cordelianne: (Default)
I’ve decided to do something completely original and inventive to recap 2005!! ... Okay, not really. Like Entertainment Weekly, TVGal, Watch with Kristin, etc I’m compiling lists of the best – and the worst – of 2005.


Best Moments of 2005 in TV (ahem, I’m using a very loose definition of “moments”)

1. Veronica Mars’ renewal and awesome season one finale. VM has been a bright spot for me this year.

2. The media’s response to Hurricane Katrina. The heartfelt, active and horrified response of the media to this situation was a nice counterpoint to the tragedy of the event.

3. What sophomore slump? It’s great that VM, House and Grey’s Anatomy are having impressively good second seasons.

4. Bright & Hannah kiss in the Everwood season three finale. This was particularly satisfying because of how their relationship developed organically throughout the season. It’s also damn cute.

5. Buffyverse actors return to TV. James Marsters on Smallville, Charisma Carpenter on VM, Alyson Hannigan on How I Met Your Mother, David Boreanaz on Bones, Christian Kane on Close to Home and Nicholas Brendon on the sadly canceled Kitchen Confidential.

6. The news that Scrubs is returning to TV in January. It’ll be on NBC Tuesdays at 9pm and 9:30pm.

7. Lorelei tells her mother We’re over in mid-season 5, then a few episodes ago reassures her You haven’t lost me. I love the complexities of the relationships on Gilmore Girls.

8. Veronica and Logan’s first kiss on VM. Best.Kiss.Ever.

9. The reunion of Jin & Sun and Bernard & Rose on Lost. Oh man, the tears were flowing for that moment.

10. Uchenna and Joyce win the Amazing Race - you could just tell that all the other contestants were happy also, it was such an air of celebration. It was great to watch really really nice people win.


Worst Moments of 2005 in TV

1. Joan of Arcadia not renewed. I still have much bitterness towards CBS for canceling such a thought-provoking and nuanced show about spirituality.

2. Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise and Scientology. Tom Cruise and his sudden expertise in post-partum depression (despite being neither a doctor nor a medical/drug expert). Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Tom Cruise and couches. The list could go on and on.

3. Sophomore slumps. It’s been disappointing to see Lost and Desperate Housewives, shows that were so original and compelling in their first seasons, struggle in their second seasons.

4. Watching the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Or should I say, lack of response.

5. Arrested Development and Kitchen Confidential canceled. There may be a silver lining for AD because it could be picked up by Showtime!

6. Paris Hilton. To quote from Joan of Arcadia: Now, who decided I need to care about Paris Hilton?

7. The return of Fear Factor to primetime. (Thanks to my brother for this providing this item on my list!)

8. The “War on Christmas” or should I say “the talking point created by the Christian Right who are freaked out by the fact that there’s other religions and faiths than Christianity.”

9. The brilliant Everwood being put on hiatus again by The WB so a reality show can be aired.

10. The Amazing Race: Family Edition and its incredible suckiness. I’m excited about the real Race returning in February: interesting looking contestants who will actually be traveling around the world!


Best Movies in 2005

1. Brokeback Mountain. A beautiful love story that’s well-acted, beautifully shot and continues to resonate days later. A brilliant and ground-breaking movie.

2. King Kong. This is what blockbusters the movie experience should be: good story, edge of your seat action, interesting characters, good acting, homage to old movies, good use of special effects and touching scenes.

3. Serenity. This movie is clearly made with passion which creates an amazing movie: it has love, hatred, and grief as well as action, humour, excitement and creepiness on a big screen scale. Firefly lives!

4. A History of Violence. It's a deceptively simple story that examines the violence that's underneath the surface of everyone. Definitely one of the best films of the year.

5. Batman Begins. This is pretty geeky, but I loved how coherent the story is - it's very tight storytelling (I really hate the sloppy storytelling and continuity that's in a lot of movies, particularly ones with significant CGI). It’s also a kick-ass superhero movie!

6. Walk the Line. This is more than just a biopic of another musician who started off poor, became famous for an innovative sound and struggled with drug addiction because of the love story at the heart of the film. This isn't cutsie romantic comedy love story material, this is a painful, intense and hard love story that's captivating to watch.

7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This is a great adaptation of the book, because it retains the significant aspects of the story while moving along at a fast and engaging pace. It was so good it got a friend to read all the novels.

8. Jarhead. A compelling war film that has no action scenes (unless you count the troops watching war movies). Excellent acting, beautifully shot, thought-provoking and relevant to today’s conflict.

9. Crash. An impressive yet flawed movie, the most notable flaw is how the multiple storylines are resolved. What's great about the movie - I optimistically hope - is that it encourages dialogue around racism and self-analysis of personal racism. Content aside, the acting is excellent, the shots beautifully done, and the scenes just blend together seemingly seamlessly.

10. 40 Year Old Virgin and The Wedding Crashers. As much as I love teen movies, it’s been great to have actual adult comedies. Neither of these movies are the best movies I’ve ever seen, so I've combined them as one item because they’re both damn funny movies that don’t have to shy away from adult topics.


Best TV shows of 2005

1. Veronica Mars. This show really is "the New Buffy" - it's intelligent with excellent dialogue and a smart, independent and fun heroine who's the centre of an enthralling universe of mystery, suspense, humour, pain, drama and often a combination of more than one of the above. To quote Joss Whedon Best.Show.Ever.

2. Gilmore Girls. Although Gilmore Girls is no longer the cozy and reassuring dramedy it used to be, it has grown up and is now successfully exploring the painful issues of becoming an adult and how this changes family relationships.

3. Everwood. Whenever I watch an episode of Everwood I always declare it The Best Show on Television. It has consistently high quality episodes with complex characters and storylines.

4. Arrested Development. This is the type of show that makes me laugh so hard that milk sprays out of my nose (if – you know – I actually was silly enough to drink anything while watching AD). Definitely the edgiest and funniest show on TV.

5. Reba. This show draws from the tradition of old-fashioned family sitcoms like The Dick Van Dyke Show but also has clear influences from the more cutting-edge Roseanne. Reba deals with lots of serious issues really well – weight gain and weight loss, adultery, alcoholism, depression – however it’s not a serious drama because it succeeds is finding the humour in these difficult and painful scenarios.

6. Grey’s Anatomy. I never would have guessed last year that this show would have made my list. It’s gone from being good soapy fun to a show with increasingly well-written episodes and smart/interesting story decisions (ie. Having Dr. McDreamy’s estranged wife stay and be a likeable character).

7. My Name is Earl. It's definitely one of my new favourite shows. It has a great premise (Earl discovering the concept of Karma and now trying to make amends for all the bad things he's done) that has resulted in interesting and funny episodes (eg. trying to make up for faking his own death to break-up with a girl, or kidnapping a woman to help her quit smoking).

8. Doctor Who. For some reason I didn't expect the show to have such a fabulous combination of fun, heart-wrenching drama, suspense, and interesting stories. It’s so hard waiting a whole year for the new season. I’m very excited about the special The Christmas Invasion airing on Boxing Day at 8pm to 9:30pm on CBC.

9. Entourage. Overall I love this show because it has heart - it really feels like these 4 guys are good friends. They may tease each other but they ultimately look out for each other. Also, how can I not love a show that has Jeremy Piven’s deliciously sleazy agent say Hug it out, bitch?

10. How I Met Your Mother. One of the reasons I’ve declared that there’s a “Sitcom Renaissance”. Definitely my favourite new sitcom this season (ie. half-hour comedy with a laugh track). It has sustained its funny from the pilot and it does over-the-top really well. It’s also has excellent writing and a very good cast.

11. Everybody Hates Chris. A very funny and smart new approach to the family sitcom (ie. no laugh track). Race issues and racism are explored in an intelligent and humourous way thanks to Chris Rock’s excellent narration.

I’m very impressed that I contained myself to ten items for each category, except for the Best TV shows and I’m very pleased that I only exceeded by one item! I’m now excited to compare my lists with Entertainment Weekly’s (I purposefully didn’t look at it before created my lists)!!


Right now I’m at my parent’s place in Kingston having a relaxing Christmas Eve! I slept in until 1pm!! We decorated the house and tree last night so it’s all festive, and there’s a tray of yummy treats to snack on. My mom sings in a United church choir so we’ll be attending a Family service and then the midnight service tonight. Right now I plan to do a little more livejournal reading and work more on my screenplay. I LOVE that I brought my laptop with me, and that my brother has set up the house for wireless internet!!! Yay to my younger and very technologically capable brother!!

Happy Holidays everyone!!
cordelianne: (Default)
The quote in my title perfectly describes Serenity and my experience viewing the movie. I couldn't fit the entire quote in the title, so here it is: "Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love, the clarity of hatred, and the ecstasy of grief."

Serenity is clearly made with passion, I could feel Joss Whedon and the cast's commitment to the film while I sat raptly watching the two hour movie. Of course I approached the movie filled with my own passion for all things Joss Whedon and especially with a passion for the Firefly verse. I love that Serenity has love, hatred, and grief as well as action, humour, excitement and creepiness on a big screen scale. Basically I loved Serenity!!!!!

Major spoilers for Serenity to follow!! )

I know that there's zillions of Serenity reviews right now, but I particularly love the one in New York Magazine. It's written by my favourite former television columnist at Entertainment Weekly, Ken Tucker. Here's his excellent review.
cordelianne: (Default)
In honour of the Serenity premiere my title is quoted from the Firefly episode "Out of Gas" (definitely one of my favourite episodes ever). Today is the day that Joss Whedon fans are seeing our miracle come to fruition as a beloved but canceled show is revived on the big screen.

I hope that everyone gets out to the movie theatre and watches Serenity this weekend!! If the numbers are good there could be a sequel!

I'll be at the theatre this evening with a bunch of friends enjoying the opening night of a much-anticipated film, and I hope many other people will be doing the same.
cordelianne: (Default)
Joss Whedon & Veronica Mars:

Joss Whedon loves Veronica Mars! He recently posted on whedonesque.com detailing his love for VM. Here's the link to his post. He's all excited about how fabulous VM is - which I totally agree with - and describes it as "The Harry Potter of shows." I love how the connection to Harry Potter describes how VM can also suck you into an obsessive fandom mode in which you want to continually experience the universe and are very invested in the characters. (When I use "you" in that previous sentence, I really mean "me", of course.) Unsurprisingly, I also feel that way about Joss Whedon's shows (which is likely why he and I like Harry Potter and VM).

My unofficial VM conversion campaign is going well, I have most of my friends hooked on the show now. I'm so committed to getting people into VM that I'm lending out my tapes (I normally have a no lending policy). I'm pleased that Joss has declared his love for the show as it should get other Buffyverse fans to check it out. Although my sense is that most people who are into Buffy are already into VM. Veronica Mars really is "the New Buffy" - it's intelligent with excellent dialogue and a smart, independent and fun heroine who's the centre of an enthralling universe of mystery, suspense, humour, pain, drama and often a combination of more than one of the above. What I like about the title "the New Buffy" is that it recognizes that Veronica Mars is it's own show with it's premise (ie. not a copy of Buffy) that happens to share some core qualities with Buffy (namely an intelligent show with a kick-ass heroine).

2046:

It was with great excitement that I went to a free screening of the new Wong Kar-Wai movie, 2046, on Wednesday night. The movie, unfortunately didn't live up to my excitement, however it was still very good.

I'm a big Wong Kar-Wai fan so was disappointed that I didn't love it as much as Chungking Express, Happy Together and In the Mood for Love.

I'd still recommend that people see it (particularly if they've seen In the Mood for Love as 2046 is its sequel, of sorts) because it's still an enjoyable movie. My biggest complaint was that it was too long. Now I'm someone who can watch 5 episodes of Buffy consecutively with only brief bathroom breaks so I don't mind long viewing experiences as long as I feel it's not just because the director doesn't want to cut anything out.

As my friend pointed out, Chow (played by the always fabulous Tony Leung) and most of the other characters are expressions of existential philosophy so their constant state of inaction can be frustrating to watch (which aids in the movie feeling long). Fortunately, the excellent performances by all the actors (including the always awesome Gong Li, Faye Wong and Zhang Ziyi), the beautiful settings, costumes, lighting and incredible cinematography make the movie a worthwhile and enjoyable experience.

House:

As a rule, I avoid procedural shows because I'm not interested in law, order, crime, science, and medicine (I have previously made the exception for Numb3rs). After hearing so many good things about House, I finally saw an episode the other day, Role Model (1:17) - which, no surprise, I really enjoyed. I'm now excited to watch more of the show (I've been taping House for a while now and meaning to watch it). Like everyone else who enjoys the show, I love Hugh Laurie's House - prickly yet an engaging character (he's sort of in the tradition of Dr. Cox from Scrubs, if Dr. Cox was in a drama). There's also impressively witty and sharp dialogue - which always wins me to a show. After watching that first episode, I'm considering buying the season 1 dvd, that's how much the show impressed me.

Smallville:

I'm very excited because I've returned to catching-up on last season tv watching. I basically need to watch the 2nd half of this season of Smallville. I found all the episodes (they're scattered on many different tapes) and started watching the first one I need to watch (from February), Recruit. It guest stars Chris Carmack, from the O.C., and it's very fun to see him again. Because it took me so long finding the tapes, and figuring out which episode I need to watch first, I've only seen the 1st 20 minutes of Recruit so I can't really comment on the episode yet. I am, however, pleased that I'm working to get caught up on last season, especially since I'm psyched for the James Marsters presence on Smallville this season!

Amazing Race:

I keep watching the Amazing Race when I get home from work, which is a fun way to relax ... in theory. Unfortunately for me, the Amazing Race is so engaging that I'm awake and alert when I should be going to bed (I work till late at night).

I'm really enjoying the 3rd season! A few random questions regarding it:

If you have instructions that say "walk to the pit stop", how could you possibly interpret that to mean, "ride a cab to the pit stop and then walk in"? I didn't feel sorry for Heather and Eve when they got eliminated as it was a stupid mistake. Shows you that Harvard Law School can't even get you into the final 6, let alone win the Amazing Race.

Would the stress of traveling, exacerbated by competing for $1 million make most of us as cranky and bitchy as Flo is?

Were Michael and Kathy really as nice as they seemed? I was very sad when they were eliminated.

Is Ian as sexist and domineering in real life as he is on the Amazing Race? I sadly suspect yes.

Am I really in love with how kick-ass and cool Jill is? Am I also loving how sweet and supportive John Vito is?

Will the final three be John Vito & Jill, Derek & Drew, and Ken & Gerard? Those are my picks for the final three, so that's more of a hopeful question.

Serenity:

I'm still very excited about the movie - I saw the trailer again at a friend's house the other night which got me even more excited!

A very nice co-worker picked me up the 2nd of the 3 Serenity comics which are bridging the television show and the movie. I'm enjoying the comics so far, although I don't feel qualified to give a good review as I rarely read comics. This isn't because I don't like comics, I do. In fact I plan to read more in the future.
cordelianne: (Default)
Grumble grumble, stupid cramps have not made this is a pleasant day. grumble grumble.

As a result of my pain, which kept me from too much movement, I watched a bunch of television until I went to work.

Veronica Mars:

After the 8 episode mini-marathon over the weekend, I'm finding it impossible to go through a day without my VM fix. I re-watched Silence of the Lamb and Clash of the Tritons. They were particularly enjoyable since I haven't seen either of those episodes for months. In fact, Clash of the Tritons was the first episode of VM that I ever saw - I recall really enjoying it even though I felt like I was missing out on a bunch of stuff.

I love when Veronica gets Sheriff Lamb to read "Veronica Mars is smarter than me", so so funny! It's also fascinating to watch the counseling session now that I know a lot more about the characters. Of course one of the best moments is when Veronica does karaoke! Or maybe the best moment is Wallace's reaction to speeding away in the car. Damn, so many good moments, I just can't choose my favourite!! I love these kinds of predicaments!

I'm in such VM-mode that when I heard someone's lunch was stolen from our work fridge I started coming up with Veronica-esque solutions. I suggested we set up a video camera pointed at the fridge to monitor who's taking what (someone pointed out this would cause problems with privacy laws). I also started trying to deduce who could have taken the food, eg. since they were hot dogs that ruled out all the vegetarians in the office. Of course, I don't want to actually go through life being suspicious of everyone around me, it's way more fun to watch Veronica solve mysteries than do it myself.

Venture Brothers:

I watched "The Incredible Mr. Brisby" which is an amusing satire on Walt Disney and Disneyland. As well there's this hysterically ridiculous plot about the Orange County Liberation Front, at one point I believe they chant "free the OC". This amused me as it made me think of the tv show, The O.C., and how I'd like it to be freed from it's popularity so it can be edgier and less boring. Here's hoping the new season will be more entertaining.

The Amazing Race:

Before I went to Muskoka I watched the heart-stopping finale of season two. I was so worried that the annoying and mean to each other couple, Tara and Will, would win that I was literally at the edge of my seat. It was so awesome that Alex and Chris won!

I'm now watching the beginning of the 3rd season (also new to me). What's impressive about the show is that it's consistently good - new and different challenges and locations. I have noticed that the teams in the earlier seasons seem more interesting than the last few seasons. I wish they'd stop the trend towards models and/or actors, they're often the most boring teams. I'm excited that the next season is families, as it should hopefully veer away from the model/actor sort and give us more fun family dynamics.

Buffy:

I always try to catch the re-runs whenever possible and I saw part of Passion (2:17) today. I'm sort of glad that I missed the really upsetting scenes because with my horrible cramps and hormones on edge I would have been a wreck (I normally sob through a large part of Passion).

Serenity trailer:

There's a new trailer on the internet and it's fabulous! It certainly seems to have lots of spoilery scenes but I'm really glad I watched it!! I'm now practically counting down the days until September 30th!

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