A couch potato’s holiday, part 1


Over the holidays, I went to a very special place: smack dab in front of my TV. Yeah, fine, I already spend a lot of time there. But rarely do I get to spend hours and hours of quality time with the DVR. Pure bliss. And when I did leave the apartment, I went to the movies. Even more bliss!

So because I’m still in a fog of TV- and film-induced joy, the most I can manage to do today is reflect on those days of uninterrupted entertainment.

(Note: I did do some reading, too. I finished Away by Amy Bloom, which was just OK, and I plowed through a pile of magazines. There; now I feel slightly better about my couch potato tendencies.)

1. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Practically perfect in every way. I’ve loved the score for a long time, especially “Johanna” and “Pretty Women.” But the recent Broadway show (starring Patti LuPone) was a huge disappointment. So I’m thrilled that Tim Burton got it exactly right and did justice to Sondheim’s genius. “A Little Priest” — aka the song-and-dance number with cleaver and rolling pin — is awesome.

2. Cane (three episodes)

I’ve been a fan of Jimmy Smits for yonks (thanks partly to Switch). On Cane, he is doing some amazing work. Plus sometimes Rita Moreno shows up, and she is a shining example of how to age gracefully — make that gorgeously. (If you watch the show, how great was it when she said, “Finish it”? Chills!)

3. The Singing Bee and Don’t Forget the Lyrics

Yes, I’m a dork. I love these shows — especially when I can fast-forward through the lame and/or intolerably suspenseful parts — and they always warm me up for a session of Guitar Hero.

4. I Love the ’80s, Jeopardy, Chefography and The Next Food Network Star

These seem like time-fillers at first, but they end up being time-eaters because you can’t tear yourself away.

On The Next Food Network Star, I was rather fascinated by the contestant who calls himself Jag (Joshua Adam Garcia). When he puts his glasses on, he totally looks like a lesbian. I think I saw his twin at Rubyfruit recently.

5. Waitress

Although I did enjoy Keri Russell‘s performance — and Cheryl Hines and Adrienne Shelly are also great — this movie didn’t charm me as much as it did other bloggers and vloggers. It just seemed a little too long, and the ending is so sweet, it’s almost sickening. Not that I didn’t want a big slice of pie afterward.

6. Fall From Grace

This documentary about Fred Phelps (the homophobe who preaches hate in Topeka) is unsettling — partly because of Phelps’ message, of course, but also because it leaves so many questions unanswered. I’d like to see a full-fledged biography, rather than a shocking snapshot.

7. Harold and Maude

This movie makes me feel better about everything every time I watch it. It’s weird, hilarious, heartbreaking and inspiring.

Afterward, my girlfriend and I did some Googling for more info about the soundtrack. We came across this terrific video of a fifth-grade chorus (P.S. 22, Staten Island, NY) performing Cat Stevens‘ “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out” at their 2007 holiday concert. How awesome are music teachers?



That was the first half; more tomorrow.

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