top 10

Top 10: Favorite in TV/Film from 2018

1.  Schitt’s Creek

At the beginning of 2018, I was still ignorant of the bliss that is Schitt’s Creek. Simple, silly Stephanie that I was, it took many people with better taste than I chatting about the show on Twitter before I finally checked it out. Now that I am fully indoctrinated, no one better take this series from me. David is an angel, give him all of the awards.

2.  Second Season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

As lovely and enjoyable as the first season was, the second was even more. More of everything. Sparkle, ambiance (Paris, the Catskills), Color, and Zachary Levi. I have watched the new season three times through, and it continues to be brilliant and bright. I need more, my life is incomplete without an abundance of Tony Shalhoub as Abe.

3.  To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

I had such low expectations for this Netflix release. The romance genre has been dealt blow after blow for such a long time that anything that sprouts in the hellscape of that environment is a beautiful surprise. This is a perfect movie, period, and I can not wait to see the sequel.

4.  She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

The animation is so preeettty. It is not the only reason the show is so good, but it for sure does not hurt. Story? Check. Character development? Check. A fantasy laden world where beings come together and have chemistry as well as conflict while wearing badass outfits? Check.

5.  Oh, Hello

Another thing I can not stop re-watching. Well written and Tony nominated, this play is charming in it’s grump.

6.  Second Season of Trial and Error

Kristin Chenoweth is on trial for murder. She sings. She gives hostess gifts. She hams with every frame, and it is glorious. The writers amp it up for season two, and Kristin wastes not a bit of it.

7.  Nailed It! Holiday

Nicole is goddess. Nicole is the glue that comedy and mayhem dream of. Her reactions, ensembles, and the words that come out of her mouth are priceless. May this show ever be renewed.

8.  Ocean’s 8

Fun was needed to deal with 2018. Oceans 8 is gleefully up to the task. The score and plan are besides the point, and not the reason to watch this. Watch for the cast, bringing it.

9.  Hannah Gadsby: Nanette

Gadsby redefines what you can do with a stand up set. She builds, she smashes, she builds again. There is artistry at work here, and it is sublime.

10.  Aquaman

The budget is huge, but the heart is pure. This is more The Mummy than Indiana Jones, but also a bit of both. It could have felt like a boring road that had been over-trodden, but there is enough weird bits to veer from that path. Jason and Amber make this weird big movie their own, and it’s perfect.

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5 fandom friday

Fandom 5: Classic Films 1936-1939

This era is way too full. I’ve gone ahead and made my top five of each era into the 1960s, and none of those had more favorites that I could not include than this one.

1.  My Man Godfrey

 

THE seminal New Years movie. Go ahead and look for a better one, but it’s not happening. It does not hurt that this is also one of the best movies of all time. Top tier lushness, writing, and comedy. Also, champagne pixies.

2. Bachelor Mother

 

David Niven is way too charming, and Ginger Rogers is like “, Shoo, I’m busy. Baby. Job. Crazy people not listening to me, including you. Fix this, rich boy. Damn this fat baby that is not actually mine but no one will believe me is so freaking cute. I wanna squish him and take care of him and take him to the freaking park.”

3. Bringing Up Baby

 

This movie is insane. It’s rare that such a nuts movie becomes so popular, but thank heavens it does. Sad? Watch this. Happy? Watch this. Seen it over thirty times, but now you have the chance to view it in a theater? Do it!

4. The Lady Vanishes

 

Also known as: The Spy Wore Tweed. One of the best Hitchcock films, and I will stand by that. I need there to be more mystery on the train movies with touches of comedy.

5. The Petrified Forest

 

This is basically a filmed play, so it gets extra points from me. The petrified forest setting is so weirdly pretty and a nice change up to the noir genre usuals. My adolescent self was deeply in love with this movie.

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5 fandom friday

Fandom 5: Classic Films 1930-1935

With the Christmas season comes the Christmas classics. Thus opens the gateway to the Classic Movie Room. It tempts. It does not need to. I like it in there. Since I am now completely gone into this realm, I may as well share my favorites. Era by era, five years at a time. Here we go:

1. Bombshell

Jean Harlow is her lovely, natural self. The way she handles the sleaze of Hollywood intent on taking advantage of her at every turn is beyond capable. She has the will of a marathon runner, empathy and love for days, and is hilarious. You could remake this movie frame by frame today, and it would not feel aged at all.

2. Twentieth Century

Madcap insane comedy encapsulated on a train makes this film feel explosive. John Barrymore plays it big, and Carole Lombard more than meets him.

3. The Thin Man

Ever a delight, this is one of my most re-watched movies of all time. I would like their marriage and their impenetrable livers. Always witty and tipsy, never drunk. That’s the level that dreams are made of.

4. Ruggles of Red Gap

A movie made of equal parts strange and idealism. A British butler reminds the Americans surrounding him what this country is supposed to be about, but rarely is. The characters are refreshingly odd and the whole thing feels like a snapshot in time. It’s funny and sparkly and did I mention wonderfully odd?

5. It Happened One Night

This woman can wear a veil. She can run with a veil. It’s the longest veil I’ve ever seen, and when she books it from the wedding she is supposed to be having, she looks like a fairytale princess having none of it. This is a beautifully done, well written film which deserves every bit of its’ reputation.

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top 10

Top 5: Noir Movies

Laura

 

You can feel the lushness. Everything seems like it’s made of velvet, even the wood for the fire. Vincent Price is a sweet idiot. Dana Andrews is a detective prince. And Gene Tierney does what she damn well pleases. The most important lesson: Beware of grandfather clocks.

Brick

 

This movie is made for a certain portion of the population. A portion that is doomed to be obsessed with it. So. Many. Noir. References. The writing melds the most classic of the genre with the low budget set that is high school. It’s stripped down and beautiful.

The Glass Key

 

Brian Donlevy is a street tough with a comic gift. The only thing that feels off is that Veronica Lake chooses Alan Ladd over him, but that is probably because the two are so darn height compatible. Ladd and Lake line up like they could kiss forever.

Dark City

 

Rufus Sewell, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Kiefer Sutherland, and the bad creepy guy from Ever After. His goatee is gone, but its’ intent remains. The sci fi mixes with the noir in a way that turns this into fantasy. In the best way possible.

On Dangerous Ground

 

Ida Lupino. Her chemistry with Robert Ryan is a thing of beauty, but the real power of this film is solely with her. It keeps her in frame so much you almost feel like a stalker. It’s an intimate, character connecting investment.

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snl · top 10

Top 5: Future SNL Host Picks

I. Love. Saturday Night Live. There is nothing that they can do that will ever kill it. It is forever. I am compelled. I shove my nose into every episode, wanting the fix of the skit that lands. This season can not deter me. It does baffle me. It does make me wonder which spokes in the wheel are off. Is the gleam coming off the Emmys shining too bright into the eyes of Colin and Che? What is happening over there, guys? Don’t get me wrong, that any episode of SNL has ever come together given the mayhem of its’ DNA is a win. But it feels like the writing has gone a bit haywire. I say that with love, and with the understanding that no matter how talented a host can be, they need the writing to back them up.

Here are my picks for five hosts so perfect for Saturday Night Live that their exclusion physically hurts me:

Tituss Burgess

How has this not happened? Tituss is Tina Fey royalty, that should count for an automatic invitation.

John Cho

He is sunlight. He is rapture. He is the Cho.

Mindy Kaling

For a time she was an snl writer, and now she has evolved to show momma. The writer and overseer of a tale well told and cast is the gift that she brings. Plus she’s funny as hell.

Retta

Parks and Rec Alum, Stand Up Comedian, and shining bright on Good Girls. Her visits to Seth Meyers’ Late Night are basically SNL host auditions and she nails them.

Rachel Bloom

The energy and skill that she brings to Crazy Ex Girlfriend is a full resume that should allow this lady to do whatever she wants in her career going forward. Like, anything. Just go with it world, and enjoy.

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