There are some topics that within the bounds of polite conversation, are not usually talked about.
The WNYC podcast, Death, Sex, & Money, hosted by Anna Sale, has aired since 2014.The premise of the podcast is discuss issues around death, sex, and money, three subjects that are difficult to talk about. Even among those that we are closest with.
This is one of my favorite podcasts. Anna has a way of talking to the guests in a way that is both sensitive and genuine. By doing that, it makes these issues a little less taboo and opens the door to being less afraid of being honest with one another.
Before the internet, asking for a recommendation for a new restaurant was commonplace.
Top Five Restaurants aired on Food Network from 2015-2016. Hosted by Sunny Anderson and and Geoffrey Zakarian, each episode focuses on an individual food. Several professional foodies and chefs are interviewed, proclaiming that their favorite restaurant makes the best version of that particular dish.
Watching this show makes me hungry. The way the food is described by the interviewees is enough of an impetus to at least hypothetically, get on a plane and visit some of the places.
When solving a problem, a little creativity never hurts.
Trends are just that. Some come and go quickly, others last and create change in the process. For the last few years, homeowners have been getting around the issues of climate change and rising home prices in the United States. One of the ways they have been doing so is via container homes.
Naturally, the idea was picked up by television executives. Container Homes has been on HGTV’s schedule since 2016. The show is also available on Hulu. Every week, the audience is introduced to a new family as their new home is built by converting shipping containers into a livable space.
This show is interesting. What I find compelling is the process of creating a house using unorthodox materials and the surprise when it is all said and done.
There comes a time when we can look back on the past with a clarity that does not appear until after the fact.
The CNN miniseries, The Eighties, premiered in 2016. Breaking down the political, cultural, and technological changes of the era, interviews and media clips illustrate how transformational the decade was.
I loved this series. It was illuminating, educational, and entertaining.
In my world, giving back to your community is a mitzvah (good deed)
The HGTV show, Hometown, has been on the air since 2016. The series follows Ben and Erin Napier as they renovate older homes in their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi. The narrative of the show is similar to that of every couple/duo home renovation program on the network. Erin and Ben show three possible new houses to neighbors. One is chosen and it is rebuilt to fit the needs of the new homeowners.
What I think makes this show standout is the charm and the chemistry of the stars. They are down to earth, genuine, and truly believe in the work they are doing.
It is easy to make assumptions about a person or a community based on a brief glance or what one sees in the media. It is harder to keep that assumption once you have had the opportunity to get to know that person or community.
United Shades of America has aired on CNN since 2016. Hosted by stand up comic W. Kamau Bell, the series delves into serious issues via the lens of different cultures and people within America.
What I love about the series is that Bell uses humor to diffuse what could be some very dangerous situations. In introducing the viewers to the various sub-groups that exist within the country, he is opening the door to communication, understanding, and perhaps the diverse nation that our founders envisioned more than 200 years ago
Success in the entertainment industry, if nothing else, breeds copycats.
The HGTV show, Desert Flippers (2016-Present) follows IRL couple Wisconsin to Palm Springs transplants Eric and Lindsey Bennett as they buy and flip homes. The structure of the episode is the same as it is in the genre of home renovation shows. A rundown home with potential is purchased and renovated. Along the way, there are challenges. By the end of the episode, property of the week is redone top to bottom and ready to be sold.
As home renovation shows go, this program is par for the course. But it is still interesting to watch the process of finding a diamond in the rough and making it shine like new.
Every film genre has its own basic narrative structure. The question is, does the screenplay blindly follow that narrative structure or is it used as merely the bones of the story?
The disaster film, San Andreas, was released in 2015. Raymond Gaines (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) is a helicopter rescue pilot living in Los Angeles. When the biggest earthquake in history hits California, his daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario) is in San Francisco. Ray’s ex-wife, Emma (Carla Gugino) reluctantly asked her former husband to find their daughter. Putting their history aside, Ray and Emma have to work together to locate Blake.
As disaster films go, the plot is paint by numbers. But there is something about this particular film that rises above what is expected. It is not the best movie I’ve ever seen. But if I was looking for a popcorn film that gives me the chance to step away from my reality for a few hours, this movie is it.
For many of us, sibling rivalry is par for the course when we are not an only child. The question is, when push comes to shove, do we continue that rivalry or do we put our siblings first?
Look Who’s Talking Too (1990) is the sequel to the 1989 movie, Look Who’s Talking (1989). James (John Travolta) and Mollie (Kirstie Allie) are now married. Mollie is pregnant with Julie (voiced by Roseanne Barr). Big brother Mikey (voiced by Bruce Willis) is not exactly sure about the soon to be new addition to the family. As James and Mollie deal with the struggle of raising two little ones, Mikey and Julie learn to live with one another.
Thirty years ago (is it really thirty years?), the reviewers destroyed the movie. I disagree. It’s not the most original of movies (or sequels), but it is charming. The comedy comes from the everyday-ness of the narrative, the stress that comes with marriage and raising children.
This hobby blog is dedicated to movie nerdom, nostalgia, and the occasional escape. In the late 90s, I worked at Blockbuster Video where they let me take home two free movies a day. I caught up on the classics and wrote movie reviews for Denver 'burbs newspapers and magazines. Today, I continue to revisit the old and discover the new on the screen. Comments and dialogue are highly encouraged. This year, I'm excited to collaborate with other writers via SLICETHELIFE, in which we will share our movie genre favorites in our 2021 Movie Draft!