Debbie’s Totally Random and Completely Insignificant Pop Culture Awards of 2016

Yay, awards time! As always, these are about my personal preferences and just for fun.

The Television Episode that Kicked the Ass of Anything in Movies Award:

The Battle of the Bastards, Game of Thrones

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Debbie’s Totally Random and Completely Insignificant Pop Culture Awards of 2015

I’m a little late with my pop culture awards—computer problems over Christmas. But at last, at last, (I know you’ve all been anxiously waiting!) here they are!

As always, these are about my personal preferences and just for fun. Continue reading “Debbie’s Totally Random and Completely Insignificant Pop Culture Awards of 2015”

Telenovelas and their Influence on American TV

This post is part of The Hispanic Heritage Blogathon 2015, hosted by Aurora at Once Upon a Screen. Read the rest of the posts in this event HERE!

When my family lived in Spain, I frequently heard radionovelas (the Spanish equivalent of radio soap operas here in America) playing in the background. My mother and our maid Carmen would often do the ironing while they were on.

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Lauren Bacall’s Bold Venture with Bogart on the Radio

This post is part of The Lauren Bacall Blogathon, hosted by Crystal at In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood. Read the rest of the posts HERE!

Many years ago, when I first started getting serious about writing, I took Robert McKee’s very popular story structure seminar. It was particularly famous for McKee’s scene by scene (sometimes frame by frame) analysis of the movie Casablanca.

At the point where Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman’s Rick and Ilsa confront each other for the first time, he froze the movie on each face, and declared:

“This is when movie stars had FACES!”

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Fury Road and the Optimism of Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian Stories

Brad Bird, director of the film Tomorrowland (as well as The Incredibles and Ratatouille) did some complaining in interviews recently about the popularity of post-apocalyptic and dystopian stories.

Here is part of what he said in an interview with Wired Magazine:

“At one time the future was consistently presented as this bright thing where all these problems were going to be solved. I remember that feeling of wow, starvation will be solved and the air will be clean, weapons will be obsolete because we’ll understand that there are better places to put our energy. And gradually that vision has just been nibbled away at until it’s basically not there. And what’s in its place is this very dark, negative version that everyone seems to have accepted.”

I haven’t seen Tomorrowland, so I’m not going to judge the film, but many film critics point out that Mr. Bird explicitly berates society in the film for abandoning the can-do optimism of the 1960s space race in favor of gloom and doom scenarios.

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Thoughts on Star Wars Episode VII Casting

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Happy Star Wars Day! May the 4th Be With You! I thought today would be the day that Disney would finally announce the new Star Wars cast, but they beat me by almost a week. They announced it April 29. (Which, by the way, happens to be my birthday!)

I’m going to start with the awesome parts of the casting announcement. (Only actors were announced; we as yet have no idea who they’ll be playing, except, of course, for the veterans returning from the original Star Wars trilogy).

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Pop Culture Roundup April 2014

StephenColbert

1. Stephen Colbert will replace Dave Letterman as host of the Late Show.

Dave Letterman announced he would retire in 2015 and people barely got time to speculate about who would replace him. It was quickly announced that comedian Stephen Colbert, host of The Comedy Channel’s Colbert Report, would be the new host. Continue reading “Pop Culture Roundup April 2014”

Pop Culture Roundup March 2014

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1. The Oscar telecast didn’t totally suck!

I was not crazy about host Ellen DeGeneres’ opening monologue (look, Liza Minnelli is fair game, but don’t insult her to her face on live TV where close to 1 billion people can see her reaction) but otherwise she did a good job. I thought the “selfie” segment was cute, and so was calling up for pizza. Both moments had genuine elements, such as nominee Lupita Nyong’o’s brother Junior jumping in with some of the biggest stars on the planet for the photo and a real pizza guy distributing the pizza.

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My Review of the Movie Divergent, Where I Don’t Compare it to That OTHER Franchise

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MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW FOR THE MOVIE DIVERGENT:

There was once an episode of All in the Family where Edith was recounting the story of how she hit a car with a can of cling peaches (in heavy syrup). Archie got so sick of hearing her say cling peaches, Edith began replacing the words with “Mmm-Mmm.”

I am so darn sick of reading reviews about Divergent comparing it to The Hunger Games (and alleged “think pieces,” like this especially jerky one by Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman) that any time I feel compelled to do the same, I’m going use “Mmm-Mmm” instead.

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J.K. Rowling, Lynn Shepherd, and Why Putting Down Fandoms is Stupid

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 2

Hey, writers, did you know J.K. Rowling is the reason you’re a big-ass failure?

That’s according to author Lynn Shepherd, who writes literary mysteries. She wrote an opinion piece on Huffington Post’s U.K. site. In a nutshell, she accuses J.K. Rowling of taking away HER chance of being a best-selling author because she’s stealing all her shelf space by writing adult books in her genre.

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Zimbio Quizzes Are Ruining My Life

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You must have taken a Zimbio quiz or two, right?

They’re fun, aren’t they?

At least, they started out being fun for me.

One of my Facebook friends posted the Which Game of Thrones Character Are You quiz. I thought, what the heck, I’ll take it, too.

I was absolutely thrilled to find out I was Daenerys Targaryan.

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Black Sails: Starz’s New Pirate Show Really Floats My Boat

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MINOR SPOILERS FOR FIRST EPISODE OF BLACK SAILS:

(He-he, sorry, couldn’t resist that title.)

I did not subscribe to Starz a few weeks ago. Then I stumbled on a preview episode of their new pirate series Black Sails on the Audience Channel.

I thought, “What the heck, I’ll watch for a few minutes. Michael Bay is an executive producer, I’ll probably HATE it and turn it off right away.”

Within about 15 minutes I was totally hooked and within a few moments of the end credits rolling I was a subscriber to Starz.

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Pop Culture Roundup January 2014

jesseplemons1. The Star Wars screenplay is finished! The Star Wars screenplay is finished! Commence hysteria about casting and other production issues! Director JJ Abrams announced that he and Lawrence Kasdan have finished the Star Wars Episode VII screenplay. Carrie Fisher confirmed that she will be in the movie and that shooting is supposed to start this spring.

Casting rumors abound. Realize with a movie like this, they see EVERYBODY. So news items that they met with this mega-star and that rising starlet and this beloved character actor usually mean nothing except that some meetings took place. However, there was one rumor–Jesse Plemons (Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad) auditioning for the role of the young lead–that may have a bit of heat to it. JJ Abrams took the trouble to confirm the rumor. Plemons was amazing as Todd the sociopathic aspiring meth cooker in Breaking Bad. Fingers crossed that they reach a deal.

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