Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

"Out, damned spot! out, I say!"
--From Macbeth (V, i, 38)

I waited until the buzz died down to give my say on the final episode of The Sopranos. First let me explain my relationship with the show. My family, a loud group of Italian-Americans, loves the show more than their only daughter (me). Religiously, they'd all sit around the television waiting to see what sort of violent act would occur each Sunday night. Then, my father would piss and moan for hours on end about how The Sopranos would end a season in April and come back two years later. It made no sense yet, my family held onto the show tightly investing themselves in the lives of the Soprano clan.

Then, there is me. Over the past years I've watched The Sopranos like a good Catholic who goes to church only on religious holidays. The rare occasions I viewed I would ask my parents obnoxious questions through out the entire episode trying to get caught up. "Who got whacked last week?" "Who is Tony sleeping with?" "Why is that guys name Paulie Walnuts? Why not chestnuts or peanuts? Does he have a thing for walnuts? Does he like nut crackers?" I was usually asked to leave the room.

As much as I couldn't latch onto the show I understood the obsession. The show had everything; sex, drugs, violence, and fat Italian men. Who could ask for anything more? It was well written and, at some points, deeply intent on giving the mob layers of emotion and characteristics. Ok, ok, and sometimes its fun to watch someone get whacked in the privacy of your home.

As the end of the show approached I didn't expect much of anything. I wasn't making predictions but thought it was fun to hear what others assumed. Based on what I'd heard from my family about this final season I knew, deep down in my soul, the ending would not be what people expected or wanted.
Then, it happened. "Dont Stop Believing" blared and Tony and his family sat eating onion rings while Meadow Soprano couldn't parallel park. I looked at my watch and thought, "They have 2 minutes to rap this up." Based on my family's tense silence I refrained from sharing my observation and sat wondering "Will Tony get killed? There just isn't enough time!" When the screen went black my mother yelled out, "Oh, the cable would go out right now!" and I laughed and laughed. Soprano lovers everywhere got whacked.
True fans are pissed. I, on the other hand, liked the potential symbolism of the all-American mob family going to dinner in a diner (nothing could be finer) and Tony's paranoia that danger could creep around any corner at any time. I liked it. It was just what the audience didn't want or expect. At the time the show was developed a show like The Sopranos was something audiences didn't expect. It went out with a bang, er, actually, no bang at all. Anyway, it ended in a way that you decide what happens and everyone has been talking about it for weeks. You can't say that about the FRIENDS series finale now can you?

Atleast Carmella and Meadow didn't, at the end of the show, have 3 babies between the two of them and everyone was happily married. Now THAT would've been lame.

~The Lady (Bird Johnson)~

Monday, June 11, 2007

Not that I Lov'd Ceaser Less

"O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?"
--From Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 33)

I love my boyfriend very much but if he never finds this post I'd be alright with it. This is it, my take on the men on television and film that make me swoon. Sometimes these men are the only reason I go to the movies...oh...and for entertainment. So, here it is, my top ten list of the hot actors. Get ready for the flames ladies and gents b/c these boys are SMOKING! Forget I said that. Finding pictures for this entry took hours because I got so distracted by their sultry features. Mmm...ok...I digress.

#10. Brad Pitt (in Troy and in Troy only)-I know, I know, how shocking that I think Brad is one of the hottest actors alive. Yet, I have a stipulation; I only think he is super hot in the movie Troy. I could take him or leave him in the Ocean’s flix (he has many other gents to compete with in my mind) or Mrs. and Mrs. Smith. When it comes to Troy though, he puts on that loin cloth and slays a man with a spear from miles away and my heart begins to flutter. So maybe I’m not in love with Brad Pitt but, instead, Achiles. Half a god! If he wasn’t a mythical character from ancient Greece he could have my heart on a silver platter. Shucks!

#9. Mark Ruffalo – To me, he is the quintessential guy. This man graces many a romantic comedy and he's charmed my pants off more than once. He reminds me of any number of my brother's friends (if they were cuter with better manners...and hygiene). I don’t think he tries too hard when he’s acting I think he’s just a man’s man and he could be this lady’s man if he wanted to be. I just want to pinch his cheeks! Too much? Moving on..

#8. Doug Savant - If you watch Desperate Housewives you will understand why I adore this man (well, not as much lately but I remember the good ole' days of Doug). He is the cutest husband ever on a television show where men and women tend to do bad things to one another. Him and Lynette are super cute together (once again, not as of late but I expect a comeback). If the writers of that show ever divorce those two I will never watch the show again. He's just adorable and the ideal husband to many female viewers who swoon over this FILF (father I'd like to *wink*)!

#7. Orlando Bloom- Only since the most recent Pirates of the Carribean movie have I fallen for Mr. Bloom. To be honest, in the Lord of the Ring trilogies I thought his character was, um, uh, a little…light in the loafers? *cough* Not that I don’t accept and love all people but I just thought…and in Troy he was annoying and whiney and the cause of Eric Bana’s death (see Bana later in this list) so I didn’t enjoy him till this last Pirates. I have since formed a crush on this young star and his swash buckling ways. I join the ranks of swooning pre-teens everywhere when I state that there is just something about Orlando Bloom.

#6. Hugh Grant – Hugh Grant is getting up there in years but has found a way to break out of the “I’m a pouty-nervous- good guy” roles he started his career with. He now plays manipulative, charming, asshole roles…and I love both sides of Mr. Grant. When I was young, and a bigger nerd than I am now, I loved Hugh in Sense and Sensibility and thats when I knew he was the Brit for me. I’ll forego the thought of him and that prostitute because, well, he’s so damned charming I’d forget about it instantly. He’d wink, smile, or nod his head and I’d melt. Damn Brits with their charm and lovely accents!

#5. Christopher Gorham- I am a big-HUGE Ugly Betty fan and Christopher plays the nerdiest-nerd, and love interest to Betty, named Henry. He plays this loveable nerd so well that, recently, I've taken to making my boyfriend (with his lame 20-20 vision) wear thick dark glasses. I think Mr. Gorham is one of the reasons I stuck to the show. He makes the nerd realistic, goofy, and romantic. He has avenged nerds everywhere, hey, they should make a movie about Nerds who take their revenge...

#4. Johnny Depp - Although most women swoon over Depp’s good looks I swoon over his acting. My lord, this man can play anything. He can work me into a frenzy with any character he takes on and he does so with every role. He could do an interpretive reading of the encyclopedia from A-Z and somewhere in there I would have laughed, cried, swooned and applauded. At the end of his reading I would probably hand him the Bible and tell him to go at it. I think I’d become more religious. Praise Jesus and pass me some Johnny Depp.

#3. Colin Firth – He's handsome, he's British, and he played Mr. Darcy in the original BBC Pride & Prejudice (did I mention I am a nerd?). Colin Firth is the sexy man of mystery in most of his movies. Then, when he finally does speak, its usually the sweetest lines writers have ever written. Him as Mr. Darcy in P&P changed my opinions about what a real man should be like. Bridget Jones' Diary talks of her love for the actor, Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Then, as handsome as he could be, he played Mark Darcy in the movie. He has this sad look about him in most of his movies. Apparently he has a film out with loads of orgies in it called Where the Truth Lies. Next stop, Blockbuster! I just want to hold him against my bosom and cheer him up. Even in Nanny Mcphee with his foppish hair I just want to love him and, subsequently, take care of his 12 children. The things I’d do for Colin Firth.

#2. Eric Bana – In the film Munich Eric Bana plays an introverted, tortured, assassin leading a dangerous life and killing those he was hired to kill in honor of the Israelis who died at the Olympics. For some reason, even describing Eric Bana in this film makes me want to find & bed him. That’s sort of sick so I’ll move onto him in Troy where he plays a tortured Prince trying to save the ass of his brother and killing those who want to take down his beloved Sparta. Hm, I’m still sort of warped aren’t I? In conclusion, he’s hot and I love me some rough men who kill for the ones they love. Sicko.

And now, #1. Hugh Jackman – I love him. I love him so much that if he called me up today and said “Lady, to be mine you must scale the Empire State building” I would figure out a way to rig myself up that building and climb my way into his heart. I’ve loved him since Someone Like You (only true romantic-chick-flick fans would know of this one) when he acted tough but I knew, deep down, he was a softy. I loved when he got really hairy and muscular to play Wolverine in the X-Men movies. I think I fell deeper into love with him when he played an eccentric gay man on Broadway in Boy from Oz because, well, every man I love is either gay or gay. I would’ve sold my prized dog Vinnie to see him perform on Broadway. The Prestige made me want to love him more but I was already too deep. I think my love stems from seeing him in interviews and him seeming so nice and funny. That combo really adds to his tall and handsome look. Plus, I have a soft spot in my heart for men who can sing (which he can).

Now I'm sure many ladies, and some guys, are contemplating their own lists now -- matching theirs up to mine. Thats the beauty about your own personal top ten list its based on a lot of movies, characteristics you love about the bevy of handsome men out there and changes as much as we ladies change our hair color.

For now, sweet dreams of beautiful men!

~The Lady~

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Fortune's Fool

"We that are true lovers run into strange capers;
But as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal in folly."
--From As You Like It (II, iv, 53-56)

I am mere mortal and I have many loves of which some would see as "folly." That devilish phrase "guilty pleasures" comes to mind. Guilty pleasures, oh, I have a few.

There are some things I enjoy that I can proudly talk about. Socially acceptable areas of my "likes" that I can put in my facebook "About Me" section without feeling I will be judged too harshly. For example, biking or cooking. I might be looked upon as some sort of 45-year-old woman but, heck, atleast those are two acceptable activities.

Then, there are those dreaded likes...the ones no one should hear of let alone write down on an blog for all the world to see. Mostly these menacing loves come from the entertainment world. Yet, they are loves that my Communication degree, and any ounce of high culture I thought I was exposed to, yell at me "NO! TURN THE TELEVISION OFF! WALK AWAY!" But, I can't. And so I am a woman scorned with the love of many an unacceptable lover.

Nothing gets me going more than a good, or terrible, romantic movie. I sincerely mean that, nothing. Even thinking about it now makes me rather watch something juicy and cheesey like The Notebook. I cannot resist watching one loveless teen find romance with the popular jock. I get my fix of terribly corny teen-love from the new flick She's the Man *based on Shakespeare's Twelth Night (Billy Shakes is definitley rolling in his grave). I cannot turn Bridget Jones off without watching its entirety and, more likely than not, crying at some point. When people ask me my favorite movie I can't scream out "I LOVE 13 Going on 30" because they will, rightfully, mock my choice of fluffy-girl-movie. Yet, when I see the zany trouble Jennifer Garner gets herself into I laugh like a true 13 year old. I have discovered that this guilty pleasure is a genetic disorder stemming from (no, not my mother) my burly father. Yes, my manly-man father pretends he doesn't want to watch Notting Hill but, as the credits begin to roll, I see the tear he hides in the corner of his eyes. He also bought the soundtrack to the movie...yep...its all in the genes.

Along with my genetic-disposition for the romantic-movie I have developed, from my mother, the love of all television that is terrible. She and I can go for hours without watching one television show of any substance and feel fine about ourselves seconds after we snap out of our shit-TV induced comas. We love us some old fashion variety show in the form of America's Got Talent and American Idol. Oh boy, oh boy do I love watching people do stupid stunts for the camera and singing their hearts out for judges. Critiquing others is far easier than thinking about my daily failures and gosh do I want to avoid those for atleast 2 hours a night.

Yet, if there is one television genre I have developed a love for, with no help from my parents, its that of Wedding shows. I don't care who the bride and groom are, how attractive they are (or are not), where they're from, their color schemes, or how hideous the bride acts on the the day of the wedding, I love every second of it. I love the drama, the exaggerated drama, the choices, the beauty (or crap) the wedding planner creates. Visions of what I would've done differently dance in my head along with the "Funky Chicken" as I imagine how long this couple will last. This morning I found one of my favorite couples ever (I can say that because I watch enough of these programs to have favorites). They were sweet and really went with the vision of what the planner was thinking (a Morrocan inspired wonderland of crystals and colors...I...LOVED..IT). But, why? Why this fascination with other people's weddings? My own wedding is years (I mean lightyears) away from this very moment I type and, yet, I can't get enough of their plans. I feel somewhat like a creep. I'm the wedding crasher just admiring the lovely centerpieces from afar. I'm a stalker of someone else's happiness. I am, in fact, a big weirdo.

Thus, I cannot speak of my love for Wedding shows. I must conceal my true desire to not think real thoughts and watch other fools on television do foolish stunts to make a buck. I hide away in my bedroom crying when the girl and the guy in my movie don't get together but then, because of something contrived, they do and everything is beautiful and victorious and I'm sure they throw a killer wedding that is hopefully Morrocan styled with crystals. Perhaps these guilty pleasures are what keep me from living in reality. Perhaps reality television is so far from the truth that, as a robot-viewer, I can pretend for a while that life isn't hard and simply solved in a nice package at the end credits.

Whatever, time to go, Whose Wedding is it Anyway is on in 5!

~The Lady~