Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorites

This week I have a longer list than normal of things that make me happy. Nothing to complain about here:

Alex Inc.: A dramedy starring Zach Braff as a man coming upon his 40s who decides to start his own podcast company, putting his family and their stability at risk. Braff is all charisma, the glimpses into his new office are laugh out loud funny, his kids are adorable, and Michael Imperioli as Braff’s boss is the extra credit we didn’t know we needed. Premieres on NBC at the end of March and I can’t wait.

Call Me By Your Name: I leaned back in my comfortable reclining chair in a dark theater on a rainy day. It was the kids’ first day back at school after almost three weeks of Christmas break. This beautiful and sensual film is about the relationship between 17 year old Elio (Timothee Chalamet) and his dad’s research assistant for the summer Oliver (Armie Hammer) over the summer of 1983. They are in Northern Italy, making for beautiful fruit trees, stone houses, lots of outdoor dining, and swimming at the lake. It sweeps you up in the romance and will leave you wanting more of their love.

The Shape of Water score: The Shape of Water was one of my favorites of 2017. And when certain movies stay with me, I want to relive the moments. Golden Globe winner Alexandre Desplat has created a score that takes right you back to the blue green soaked scenes, the haunting eyes of Sally Hawkins, and even the terror that Michael Shannon inflicts whenever he is on screen. To my children’s horror I have to get up and dance whenever “Chica Chica Boom Chic” by Carmen Miranda plays. It brings me such joy that I ended up finding this gem:

The colors, the costumes, her lipstick, and the dancing, how can you not love it?

Will and Grace: It had been 11 years since Will & Graced ended before NBC brought it back for the fall 2017 season. And its like they never left. They haven’t missed a beat with the jokes, Jack and Karen are even funnier if that is possible, and nobody looks like they have aged. I feel that it is the new Three’s Company with its sexual innuendo and mishaps. There aren’t many shows that I will make sure I am sitting down when it is on but Will & Grace is definitely one of them.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child starts rehearsals on Broadway: My daughter and I are flying to New York at the end of March to catch Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway and I am beyond excited. This video was released last week to show that rehearsals have begun and I shook with anticipation watching it. Can I get a WOOHOO?!

Michael Stuhlbarg: You probably haven’t heard of Michael Stuhlbarg. He is what you would call a “character” actor. He is meant to blend into a story and support the leads. You maybe astounded by his performance in FX’s Fargo (as the bumbling Sy Feltz with the bushiest of mustaches) but don’t realize he is also the sympathetic Dr. Robert Hoffstetler in The Shape of Water. Then you see Call Me By Your Name and want to be adopted by the loving and supportive father to Timothee Chalamet’s Elio (and cry your heart out with his finale speech). And then you see his name pop up during the trailer for Hulu’s upcoming Mini-Series The Looming Tower. Sure, Jeff Daniels, Peter Sarsgaard, and Alec Baldwin are in the cast. But now you can’t wait to see what character Stuhlbarg will create next. And with that you have a new favorite actor.

And last but not least…..

85 Degrees Celsius Milk Tea: Coffee in my 40s is not happening. Whether it’s my stomach staging a ban or the headache that comes once I have some, my body has told me in no uncertain terms my ties with it have been severed. And then I found milk tea (minus boba). What a glorious combination of sweet milk to balance out the bitterness of tea. Add extra ice to 85 Degrees version, a chocolate chip cookie, and a book, and my afternoon is set.

I hope you find passion, something you can nerd out over, and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Pop Culture, Word Therapy

Friday Favorites: We Survived 2017

The older I get, the more the cliché rings true: Time flies. For once, I am glad 2017 flew by. There is the government and its unending mission to destroy those who need help, numerous personal life changes, and my kids refuse to stop growing no matter what I say. I am grateful, lucky, and happy for many reasons. Below are my favorite movies, tv shows, and books of 2017. Are they are on your list? What were your favorites?

Favorite Movies:

Get Out-Get Out is on the short list to be an Oscar nominee for good reason. Jordan Peele directing, outstanding cast, and a story that will be burned into my brain forever. It scared the hot tea out of me with its brilliance.

It-I watched the miniseries of Stephen King’s It as a kid. I can still see Richard Masur’s severed head in the refrigerator. So when I saw the trailer for the movie version of King’s novel you would think (incorrectly) that I would run the other direction. I was all in for the delightful cast of kids (Finn Wolfhard as potty mouthed Richie made me giggle every time he talked), handsome-underneath-all-that-makeup Bill Skarsgard as insane clown Pennywise, and the dread I knew I would feel watching the film. It didn’t let me down or the full crowd that showed up for the 10 am showing on opening day.

Lady Bird-Greta Gerwig’s story of teen Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson made me want to run home and hug my daughter so tightly. I lost count of all the moments where I said to myself, “That is so going to be Scarlet and I.” Christine’s relationship with her mom Marion (Laurie Metcalf) is complicated, heartbreaking, and most of all, loving. Both actresses Sairose Ronan and Metcalf deserve Oscars.

The Shape of Water-On my short list of directors where I don’t need to see the trailer to want to see their new movie is Guillermo del Toro. Pan’s Labyrinth and The Orphanage are two of my go tos when I am asked to recommend a superb story with a dark twist. The Shape of Water is an adult fairy tale where every scene I felt like I was floating. Each shot is dreamy, Sally Hawkins is our princess, and del Toro’s long time collaborator Doug Jones is the fish man she falls in love with.

The Big Sick-Even when a movie makes my favorite list, that doesn’t mean I will be able to watch it over and over again. But with The Big Sick I know it will be added to the rotation of movies that I will find on a Saturday/Sunday afternoon, stop whatever I am doing, and watch the evolution of the love between Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) and Emily (Zoe Kazan). It is based on the real life story between his wife and him. Its honesty will make you laugh and cry.

Favorite TV Shows:

Jane the Virgin-Still a (mostly) light, funny, and sweet show about writer Jane and her family, Telenovela style. Everybody is a standout but Jaime Camil as Jane’s father Rogelio steals every scene he’s in.

Gilmore Girls-I started bingeing this show about mother Loreli (Lauren Graham) and daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) over the summer. I needed a show that I can have on with the kids around and something to balance all the dark stuff I watched. It’s portrayal of family is the most genuine one I have seen on television. Writers never try to make Lorelai’s relationship with her parents better to give its viewers all the feels. They also don’t take hard situations in the story lines and provide happy endings. My daughter has gotten hooked with me and I love that she gets to see a young girl who reads everything (just like her) and works hard become a Ivy League college student.

Favorite Books:

Little Fires Everywhere-This story of two very different families who are on opposite sides of a custody battle made me question my privilege and how it influences my decisions. Celeste Ng’s story was touted all over social media by all authors and is a Good Reads choice for 2017.

The Hate You Give-I continue to read, listen, and learn.

The Glass Castle-When I first tried to read this true story of Jeannette Walls I put it down because of how sad it was. But once I read that it was being made into a movie with Brie Larson, I gave it another shot. I finished it within a week, not allowing myself the patience of wanting to find out what happened to her family and their unconventional way of life.

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!