The good, the bad, and the Underwood of last night’s The Sound Of Music Live! My review is up on The A.V. Club!
"For a few hours tonight, a musical from 1959 was trending on Twitter. Perhaps even more impressive: Two relatively unknown Broadway stars—Laura Benanti and Christian Borle—also shared in the trending glory. The Sound Of Music Live! (and yes, the exclamation point is part of the title) aimed to be the kind of must-watch-live TV event that no longer exists outside of sports and award shows, and it succeeded in making a splash on social media. While it remains to be seen if the idea of presenting live musicals on TV will become an annual tradition, The Sound Of Music Live! proved that the format can work, even if the product still needs some polishing.” [Read article]
Pink skies over the Shedd Aquarium.
A good pun, or the best pun?
Patterns in unexpected places. Wrigleyville.
I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving full of family, friends, and food! I also hope you found time to think about the genocide of Native Americans that is inextricably tied to the founding of our country.
My Thanksgiving this year involved taking a Megabus to St. Louis, making gravy (always my job), and eating copious amounts of carbs (also my job). We had our standard 26 people over to our house this year. Highlights of the night included chasing my youngest cousins around the house, Skyping in an absent family member, and laughing at Discovery Channel’s Punkin’ Chunkin’ special with a group of full, sleepy relatives.
I was walking by a Lakeview cemetery when I spotted a toaster oven sitting on top of a gravestone. I cannot even begin to fathom the story behind this, but I’d love to hear it.
There are very few things that are weirder than standing in the middle of the highway waiting for public transportation.
Floriole Cafe is quickly becoming my favorite coffee shop in Chicago. In addition to a full coffee bar, the Lincoln Park cafe has a large menu and delicious pastries. I usually stop by in the afternoon when the place is mostly empty, but it was packed on Sunday morning. Thankfully they open their plentiful upstairs seating area when it gets crowded.
The whole restaurant is warm, bright, and inviting; it’s quiet enough to get work done but not so quiet as to stifle conversation. Although they close a little too early for my taste (4pm or 5pm depending on the day), Floriole is the perfect place to grab a morning or afternoon coffee.
Doomsday Robot on a parking meter in Lakeview.
In honor of Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary, here are all the times I've written about Doctor Who for The A.V. Club. I think I’ve found my niche…
And my personal favorite….
Enjoy your special day, Whovians! Allons-y!
Alright, it might not exactly be a love story. But this article I co-wrote for The A.V. Club, "Which Doctor Who showrunner did it better?”, does attempt to look at the strengths and weaknesses of both showrunners and heal a divided fandom.
"On November 23, 2013, Doctor Who turns 50 years old. It’s a remarkable milestone, made even more remarkable by the fact that the show is at its peak of popularity. What started as an odd little black-and-white sci-fi drama in 1963 has become one of the most successful franchises in the history of television, and the 50th-anniversary special, “The Day Of The Doctor,” is being simulcast in more than 75 countries. Yet the series hasn’t gained this international fan base without also dividing it: Two showrunners have helmed the series since its 2005 reboot, and Doctor Who devotees remains embroiled in “Russell T. Davies versus Steven Moffat” debates. To me there is no contest: Russell T. Davies’ character-focused and surprisingly dark take on the show is the superior version.
The lynchpin of Davies’ show is, of course, the Doctor. Davies wrote both the battle-hardened Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and the playful but dangerous 10th Doctor (David Tennant). In Davies’ reboot, the Doctor is the only survivor of the Time War, a battle so violent he killed his own people to stop it. The guilt of genocide hangs heavily over the character, and in both regenerations there’s a sense that his exuberant persona hides deep sadness. It’s nuanced character work helped by two stellar actors who portray the Doctor’s deep sadness while also finding his optimism. The contradiction works like gangbusters because it grounds a family-friendly show in something more serious.
Davies’ Doctor is a deeply flawed person who sometimes loses his empathy in the process of trying to save the universe. To balance the Doctor’s alien perspective, Davies gave the show strong female characters—not in the stereotypical sense of ass-kicking ladies, but in the sense of rich, well-developed women with unique….” [Read Article]