1. I saw “Toy Story III” with friends. It is a movie that I would never choose to see on my own. The animation is skillfully done and the 3-D effects were used with reserve. The film is about the value of family, friends, loyalty, steadfastness, and bravery. It is clearly a fantasy.
2. I saw the latest in the “Shrek” series. This is a movie that I chose to see. It is about the value of family, friends, loyalty, steadfastness, and bravery. It, too, is a fantasy. But I know the characters more so I trust that it’s not just manipulative. I also like Mike Myers.
3. Monday night TV is a wasteland for me, so I grabbing a straws (what does that mean?). This past week “Rizzoli and Isles” debuted and I took a chance on watching it. The lead characters are played by Angie Harmon (Rizzoli) and Sasha Alexander (Isles). R is a cop and I is a medical examiner. The plot was full of holes and the characters were poorly developed. These two women were friends, but apparently had never been to each other’s homes. This is probably attributable to poor writing and an effort to get us familiar with the characters as quickly as possible. Alexander is beautiful and stylish. She is feminine and her character may turn out to be interesting. For me, Harmon is something of a conundrum. She is a former model and has had a series of cancelled TV shows. I think her character is supposed to be plain and not into girly stuff. She put on lipstick to attract an FBI agent, but it was the same color as her skin. Harmon is oddly not feminine. That’s not to say that she is “butch” but she doesn’t have the natural grace that I would expect from a former model. It’s that kind of grace that can’t be taught and thus can’t be unlearned. Sharon Gless also seemed a bit unfeminine in the classic female detective show “Cagney and Lacey”, but make no mistake; Tyne Daly was no Sasha Alexander. I will continue to watch this show, but only because it’s on Monday.
4. HGTV has jumped the shark. The latest “Design Star” contest is a bust. The decorators are given silly tasks, like designing a room inspired by clothing. Each decorator has to have their chosen piece of clothing reflected in the design, and then the judges determine whose clothing is indeed represented. Two of the judges are nearly silent (Candice Olsen and Genevieve Gorder). The third judge, Vern Yip, is a humorless ogre (with all due respect to Shrek). Gorder is not a great decorator; Olsen is, but she seems to have a big budget when designing rooms so they are nice but expensive, and always in the same style. I like Yip- he is known for designing cool modern spaces. But he is just nasty on this show. The judges are seated on chairs without a table. They look so uncomfortable. Olsen looks to be about six feet tall and Yip is about five and a half feet tall. Her legs look like they are everywhere and his don’t seem to reach the floor. Ugh.
HGTV has become a real estate program. It’s all about selling and buying houses. What happened to design? One of its shows deals with selling million dollar condos in New York. If you can afford one of those places, you likely wouldn’t be watching HGTV.