I was expecting to have my heart ripped out of my chest witnessing Ryan Murphy’s TV adaptation of “The Normal Heart”. Mission accomplished. I’m still thinking about this movie and the truly solid performances created by the whole cast. My generation’s knowledge of HIV and AIDS was mainly and firstly molded by television and film, with movies like “Philadelphia” & “The Ryan White Story” and interviews with inspiring individuals such as Hydeia Broadbent. In the past decade it seems as though more attention has been paid to teen moms and gonorrhea. Where has the serious talk about HIV/AIDS gone?
Thanks to current movies like “Dallas Buyers Club” and now “The Normal Heart”, a younger generation can get schooled on the cause and effects of this disease. HIV/AIDS still exists and more needs to be done to let people know about it.
Besides getting educated about the first moments in which New York and the rest of America were beginning to see the results of HIV/AIDS in the human body, there were some spectacular moments in “The Normal Heart” that warrant Emmy awards. Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Joe Mantello, and Julia Roberts were especially magnificent in the HBO film. If they do not get Emmy nominations, along with Ryan Murphy, the Twittersphere will go nuts.
This TV movie is definitely going to be a contender when it comes to next year’s awards season. HBO meets Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Taylor Kitsch, and Julia Roberts meets Ryan Murphy? GET READY!
This is a story that needs to be heard because not too long ago people didn’t know what the AIDS virus was and why people were dying in record numbers because of it. Be engaged with the world around you and get to know history. You never know when you might need it.
If you are a TV groupie, Sunday night is YOUR night. There’s so much on that only a DVR can handle and then you have some hard decisions to make. Revenge or The Good Wife? True Detective, KUWTK, or The Walking Dead? Girls live or Girls later? In my world, I could only make live time room for Blood Sweat & Heels, Girls, and Watch What Happens Live, which I NEVER watch, live or not. But I had to see what could transpire between Mica, Demetria, and Geneva. I, for one, couldn’t even believe that all three ladies agreed to be on Andy Cohen’s show in one room together, but alas, it never happened! Melyssa Ford replaced Mica and while I was anything but chuffed, I soon found myself liking Melyssa a lot. She handled all her questions with grace and appeared fun and relatable. Mission accomplished.
However, Girls was the TV chicken dinner winner for me last night. It was the best episode of this year’s third season so far, trumped all episodes of the second season, and reminded me why I fell in love with the first season, and the show overall. It was perfect from beginning to end. Director Jesse Peretz has an unquestionable grasp on the tone of the show, particularly this episode. The opening scenes amidst music that sounded as though it were lifted from the Downton Abbey soundtrack were so well done. When the camera zoomed out from Marnie’s face to show the towering North Fork castle her and the rest of the girls would soon reside in for their healing weekend, my heart fluttered in admiration.
I laughed, paused, laughed some more, gasped some more, and rewound during moments just so I could laugh again. Elijah’s presence has been immensely missed and seeing Danny Strong as his caustic boyfriend made me miss his character Jonathan from Buffy. But the true highlight of the episode was the explosive fight between all of the main girls from Girls. Even though Shoshanna exhibited a mean streak that I had never seen from her until this moment, I was rooting for her still. It’s about time she let Marnie, Hannah, and Jessa know her true feelings. All of their pent-up frustrations about one another were exposed and it was both refreshing and disturbing to watch. But who would have thought that Shoshanna lay herself bare in her vicious verbage onslaught and, yet, come out the hero? Maybe it was the alcohol talking.
Then there was Marnie who was getting on my nerves all episode. I wanted Hannah to go off on her. Even though Hannah is aloof and presumptuous, she is nowhere as fearful of life as Marnie. It was clear that they still had issues left unresolved and that this fight wasn’t about all four girls, but how far Marnie and Hannah have drifted apart since college. But unlike their epic bathroom/living room fight in Season One, this spat cut closer to the bone. I’m sure that it left more than a few viewers thinking about the close friends they once had and the ones they doubt on an on-off basis.
Then there was Jessa who was smiley, unreserved without being sarcastic, and mostly quiet except for the occasional bon mots. She was a joy to watch in this episode of Girls, even when she kept mostly quiet during THE verbal fracas (so far) of the season. She was sober and did more observing than speaking up. I like this Jessa. I want to see more of this Jessa.
So, what are the top five things I’ve learned from last night’s episode of Dunham and crew’s Girls?
Friends grow apart, but sometimes they c0me back together again
Duck is best served in a portion bigger than one’s palm
Choreographed dancing is delightful- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwvhpH1IijI
The North Fork Fizz is a real alcoholic beverage that you can make for yourself– North Fork Fizz Recipe
Don’t go grocery shopping wearing only a bikini
I know the final episode ever of Ja’mie: Private School Girl happened, but some genius Hollywood executive needs to give Chris Lilley his own Ja’mie movie, or a guest star on an American comedy, or the green light to produce another Ja’mie-inspired show. I DIED watching every last episode of this show and this moment right here:
Why is the audience none too appalled, besides Ja’mie’s parents? Whose exposed body is that, doubling for Chris/Ja’mie? Why is this show over?! What’s going to happen to Kwame?!?!?!
The fact that people like Ja’mie, even though she is repulsive, proves that Chris is a superb comedic actor and writer.
WHEW…it’s been three weeks since I’ve written to you all with newly curated bits and bobs for your everyday life. New, exciting gigs and opportunities have sprouted up and I’m dedicated to seeing that 2014 is even brighter than 2013.
Having said that, so much has happened in the past three weeks leading up to the new year. From Paul Walker’s unfortunate death to Obamacare, we will go forth into 2014 with the same hopes and dreams for a better life, not only for ourselves but for others, and a greater understanding about this mad, mad, mad world we live in.
So here I am looking towards the future with Part One of my 2013 end-of-year mega list. From entertainment to social issues, here is where I am putting forth my predictions of who and what you should look out for and get riled up about in 2014:
Visual Albums and Interactive Music Videos
Granted, music videos have been around for a few decades and Michael Jackson was the first artist to make the music video as a short film into an event (“Thriller”, “Moonwalker”, “Remember the Time”), but it was only inevitable that the visual album would be the next step for a generation who doesn’t know a lick about pay-per-music video view TV (The Box channel anyone?). Music artists are experimenting more with their music videos, which are becoming epic short films that could premiere at Sundance or Tribeca Film Fest. Lana Del Rey’s NSFW “Tropico” is one of this year’s leaders in the hybrid genre and is a music video which I highly recommend for viewing pleasure.
Then Beyonce came out with her visual album and killed whatever chance any other recording artist had for saying goodbye to 2013 with an effervescent bang. Hailed as a “full-blown work of art“, this secret album came out of nowhere and raised the music video game bar for next year.
Bob Dylan also came out with an interactive video this year for his song “Like A Rolling Stone”, which will blow your mind. You can legitimately spend hours playing around with the features, as it offers a musical version of “Choose Your Own Adventure”. This video is the future.
In the past five years, American award shows have made me felt hollow and I found myself having more fun Tweeting and reading others’ tweets during the live affairs. I’ll still tweet and retweet during the Grammy’s and Oscars, but in 2014 things will be different because the nominees and potential nominees for the lot give me hope. I’ve never been more excited for a group of films, actors, actresses, singers, producers, albums, and directors as I am right now since the ’90s. There is a high potential for history to be made during the Oscars, because let’s face it, “12 Years A Slave” is going to reap at least one award that night. As for the Grammy’s, I tip my hat off to artists that I predict have nowhere else to go at this point, if they stay focused, but up such as Mack Wilds, Sara Bareilles, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, and Kacey Musgraves. Then there are the Emmy Awards and the Golden Globes and People’s Choice Awards, both to be hosted by funny women I adore:
Actors and Actresses To Watch
Every year there are a handful of “I know them from somewhere” faces who are dubbed the next big things. Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, i-D, and Nylon, in my opinion, are some of the leading publications and websites that are spot on when it comes to knowing the “ones to watch”. But I’ve compiled my own list, using my powers of comprehensive reading, obsessive IMDB stalking, diligent movie watching, and above all, instinct. The pictures and names you will find below represent those who I feel have worked immensely hard, are naturally gifted, enigmatic, and are capable of their stars rising to the next level. 2014 just may be their year of reckoning.
Michael B. Jordan
The Silver Screen and Boob Tube
2014 is bringing a lot of goodies, whether you want to believe it or not. Television fan favorites like Pretty Little Liars, Downton Abbey, and Girls are all coming back and if you haven’t fallen in love with My Mad Fat Diary, catch up on the first season on your computer before the second season premieres in February. I have a burning hunch that you will also hear more about sleeper hit shows such as Broadchurch, Rectify, Orphan Black, The Returned, and Top of the Lake before the start of 2015. Also on my radar lies HBO’s Looking, starring Jonathan Groff, Joseph Gordon Levitt’s hitRECord creative project to premiere on Pivot in January, Gogglebox, which is bloody addictive and being adapted for American television screens, Finding Carter, starring Skins UK’s Kathryn Prescott (“Emily F%$#ing Fitch!”), and Bravo’s Blood, Sweat and Heels, which, judging from the trailer, reminds me of VH1’s cancelled The Gossip Game.
hitRECord on TV
Blood, Sweat and Heels
As for the movies, there is SO much to look forward to and I know that the media has been proclaiming the death of film for some time now, but film will never die. A small shortlist of movies that I am highly anticipating are: