May 2010: In Brief (Part 1)

No Impact Man (****) – In this documentary a New York City family tries to have no impact on the environment for one year.  They eat only local foods, make no trash, and give up all motor-powered transportation. They even give up electricity for 6 months.

What made this film so interesting, for me, was the honest way Colin Beavan and Michelle Conlin discuss their experiment.  Colin comes across as a deeply sincere environmentalist who wants to find a way to live enjoyably without destroying the earth. But he’s also refreshingly honest about how far away his actual life is from his beliefs at times. 

     As a counter balance Michelle is a high-powered New Yorker who writes for Business Week, loves shopping, and is addicted to reality TV. The project isn’t her idea but she goes along with it willingly. Her reflections and changes in attitude are honest and insightful.  I especially enjoyed the respectful, honest way Colin and Michelle discussed their feelings about the experiment and how fairly they negotiated their relationship.  [Currently available on Netflix Instant Viewing]

TV- Top 6 Favorites of the Month (In A,B,C Order)
The Big Bang Theory  – Just when I thought some of the Sheldon stuff was getting stale the show pulled off a series of entertaining episodes that use Sheldon but remember that Raj, Howard, and Leonard are entertaining too. [CBS is repeating season three episodes Mondays at 9:30 Eastern Time]

Better Off Ted (season two) – I liked the first season so much I ended up watching the second season on itunes and Hulu.  Sadly, there won’t be a third season. Too many potential viewers — like me– found this show too late. But season two is solid, funny entertainment that holds up on its own. [Hulu currently has season two episodes 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, the entire second season is also available on itunes to buy as a season or as individual episodes]

Fringe– gets the Rowena Eureka best season finale award for the 2nd year in a row.  I loved the way the show arc was ever so slowly built up over two seasons with the clues subtly included in such a way that I didn’t even realize they were clues at first.  The second season finale paid off big both in entertainment value and in emotional satisfaction, plus they managed to set up a tense situation for season three.  [Season two is available on itunes. Season one is available on to rent on DVD from Netflix or to buy on itunes.]

The Good Wife –  For me, Alicia’s honest portrayal is what made this show outshine any other law series I’ve seen.  I love how complicated Alicia’s life is.  There are so many decisions for her to make about her cases, her career, her marriage, her kids, her love life, and none of the answers is straightforward.  It’s fascinating watching Alica navigate the murky moral waters of each decision while trying to figure out what’s right.  She’s refreshingly honest about how difficult life can be.  I loved her "I need a plan" speech to Will and can’t wait to see what happens next season.

Party Down – As a Veronica Mars fan,  Party Down is especially fun because the show was produced and written by Veronica Mars producer Rob Thomas with former writer John Embom and others. The season one cast has three former Veronica Mars actors: Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas), Ken Marino (Vinnie Van Lowe) and Adam Scott (Mr. Rooks the history teacher Veronca defends in one episode).  The cast also has Martin Starr (Bill from Freaks and Geeks all grown up), Lizzy Caplan (Amy from True Blood) and Jane Lynch (now on Glee). Even more fun, many former Veronica Mars actors show up as party guests–Enrico Colantoni, Jason Dohring, Alona Tal, and even Kristen Bell.

Like most workplace comedies it took me a few episodes to get to know and like the characters, but I enjoyed the show more and more as I got to know this group of wanna-be and burnt-out actors catering to pay the bills.  In season two Megan Mullally (Karen from Will and Grace) takes Jane Lynch’s place.  [The entire 10 episode first season is available on Netflix Instant.  The second season is available as it airs both on Netflix Instant and on the Starz website. You can also find the link to Starz on Hulu.]

Supernatural – While the finale showdown disappointed me, I did like the stark minimal way the show portrayed the fight between angels and demons.  The penultimate showdown between Dean and Death is an example of what I love about this show. Death and Dean eating pizza in Chicago– so normal and yet so tensely weird at the same time.   My least favorite part?  Being lectured to in the finale on how endings are hard to write. Ha!

7 thoughts on “May 2010: In Brief (Part 1)

    • Me neither. For two seasons they basically built up this whole idea that Sam and Dean had to fight each other and then chickened out on that contract with the audience at the last minute. I did however like a number of the episodes building up to the end.

      • I was willing to concede that my itch for Winchester Boys With Wings was probably going to go un-scratched. But I cannot understand why they didn’t totally go for broke and send both boys plummeting into the pit. It’s not like Dean and Sam have never come back from the dead before.

        (I agree with you that Dean eating pizza with Death was an amazing scene. And the whole “O Death” sequence, where Death gets out of the car, then “brushes off” the rude cell-phone guy? Gave me chills.)

        I don’t understand why Dean didn’t say yes to Michael. Much as I love Castiel, that whole plotline made zero sense to me.

        Dean’s always been more concerned about innocent bystanders than he is about his own survival. Yet, suddenly he’s fine with letting Lucifer potentially destroy the entire world just so he can keep his free will. When he’s been saying since “Croatoan” how tired he is of fighting, and never being able to make much of a difference. I… don’t get it, Dean. When it comes down to the wire, are you just a hypocrite and a coward?

      • Yeah, I felt like Dean’s character has been all over the place this past season. I’m not sure why they didn’t send the brothers to the pit either. I also hated how Castiel’s and Bobby’s shocking deaths were completely reversed within minutes. I’m fine with resurrections in this kind of show but there needs to be some sort of visible price.

      • I felt better after I fixed everything with fanfic. I’m holding out hope that the finale is all an elaborate punking, and at the beginning of S6, we’ll be screaming, “KRIP-KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” and shaking our fists at the sky. (Even though Sera Gamble’s in charge now.)

      • No, I’m saying that after watching the finale, I wrote fic, and then I felt better.

        …even though I felt a little disloyal. Thus, I’m still hoping somehow everything will turn out right.

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