Award Show Round Up: Tonys 2017

Is it just me, or was last night’s Tony’s telecast sort of underwhelming? I mean, don’t get me wrong, an underwhelming Tony’s is still one of my favorite nights of the year, but still. Maybe it’s just hard to follow the Hamiltonys, but also, Kevin Spacey didn’t ever really seem very comfortable up there. Maybe having the running joke of the evening be “why is he hosting?” without ever really giving an answer to that question wasn’t the best strategy. (An answer other than a string of 90s-era impressions I mean.)

But enough snark, here were my favorite moments of the night:

I haven’t seen Oslo, or had any real desire to really, but I liked that this was the first speech of the night:

I also have zero desire to see Hello, Dolly! (Sorry, but it’s just not actually a good play, you won’t convince me that it is. You certainly won’t convince me by having David Hyde Pierce sing a song that was clearly originally cut for a reason.) But…I have loved Gavin Creel for a very long time (once he hugged me on stage at the end of Hair and it was thrilling:

(And I love that Sutton presented his Tony!)

But I would have given the Tony to Andrew Rannells for Falsettos, I loved their performance (it’s a hard show to excerpt from), but I am so excited it’s going to be broadcast. You should all go see it, even if you didn’t love this clip, because the show as a whole is a masterpiece.

Anyone who happens to have an extra ticket to Dear Evan Hansen I am an excellent theater date:

It’s pretty gross that James Earl Jones’s Lifetime Achievement Award was relegated to the commercial break. Especially to make time for what, an extended Bill Clinton joke that seemed to be aimed pretty squarely at being mean to Hillary? (Sorry guys, the more I think about last night, the more I realize I may hate Kevin Spacey.)

Kevin Kline will always make me happy:

Also, in shows I need to see:

Do I know anyone who has seen Bandstand is this the only good number or something? I keep hearing it’s not good, but this looks very good! I need opinions:

Before I get to dresses one last snarky question, does Kevin Spacey know he’s not actually Bobby Darin? (Though I do love Patti of course.)

Now, fashion!

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Rachel Bay Jones in Christian Siriano (Photo Credit: Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

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Olivia Wilde in Michael Kors Collection (Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

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Laura Linney in Derek Lam (Photo Credit: CNN)

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Cynthia Erivo in Chris Gelinas (Photo Credit: Jemal Countess)

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Sarah Paulson in Rodarte (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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Alison Janney in Cristina Ottaviano (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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Laurie Metcalf in Christian Siriano (Photo Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision, via Associated Press)

Thing I Love – Joe Cocker: Mad Dog With Soul

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I’ve been on a documentary kick lately, which luckily seems to be the genre of movie that Netflix has decided to continue paying to keep on their platform. The all knowing “you might like” algorithm got it completely right last night when it suggested that I watch Mad Dog with Soulwhich I had previously never heard of (apparently it’s going to air on Sky TV in Britain, I don’t know if it was produced for that purpose or what the deal it.)

Like any 90s child, I grew up knowing Joe Cocker’s voice from this:

And then a few years ago (while watching another documentary) I saw this clip of him singing “Space Captain” live on stage and I fell in love:

Many of the talking heads in this documentary talk about Cocker’s unique (to say the least) performance style. At least one referred to it as someone in a trance, and I’ve always felt listening to him sing that he is channeling something raw and beyond himself. I would be tempted to say it’s almost supernatural, but that would grandiose, and would also discount the deep humanity you can hear in that gravel (particularly in the ballads):

There’s nothing incredibly inventive about this as a film, or particularly revelatory about Cocker as an artist or a man. He was a kid form Sheffield England who fell in love with Ray Charles music, and skyrocketed to fame. Once there he was uncomfortable with the attention, and predictably found chemicals that could help him deal. (Though on the scale of rockstar excess he seemed to veer more to the side of “difficult to work with” rather than “force for destruction.”) But it is a lovely portrait of an incredibly talented man, who seems like he was, by nature, gentle and sensitive and dear. (There’s a long section about their life in Colorado, where he enjoyed gardening and hanging out at the local pool hall that I found particularly endearing.)

It’s mostly just an excuse to listen to him sing, which is a pretty great way to spend a Sunday evening:

Also this:

Award Show Round Up: BAFTAs 2017

So, once again, the BAFTAs and the Grammys were on the same night, and I made the totally in character decision to skip the Grammys in favor of a rather subdued, very British film award show. (Don’t worry, I’ve seen the important Adele, Beyonce, and Chance the Rapper highlights from the other show. Gotta love YouTube.)

It really was a very calm night in London. A few surprises, but no love for Moonlight at all, which is sad, but a few lovely speeches (and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were there!):

After, an inexplicable Cirque du Soleil performance, Ken Loach, director of I Daniel Blake, which I missed in theaters here and still need to see, started the night off strong with the political theme:

Then Viola, rightfully won. I unfortunately couldn’t find a clip with Hugh Grant’s little intro to this, which was very charming. But this is also time for your reminder that Ms. Davis was the leading actress in this film, and she should be winning Leading Actress awards for it:

I used to say that the BAFTAs could always be predicted by guessing who in the category is the “Most British.” In the fast few years that hasn’t really been true, but I’m going to say that’s why Dev Patel beat out Mahershela Ali last night. (Because Dev is great don’t get me wrong, but c’mon…):

I will never complain when Kenneth Lonergan wins awards:

(Also, I love how excitedly his wife claps at the beginning of this clip.)

And, once again, I agree the best performance was rewarded. (Though I do not feel like praising him is uncomplicated.)

I wish I could find a video of Sir Mark Rylance’s beautiful speech on the importance of art in dark times, but I can’t. (He gave the Best Director award to Damien Chazelle.)

This was a pretty great Lifetime Achievement award presentation:

Although I still think Natalie Portman (or Viola Davis) gave the best Leading Actress performance this year, I do love an Emma Stone speech:

I do love La La Land and I knew it was going to win, but still think Moonlight being completely shut out is really sad:

So, not the most groundbreaking show ever, and the dresses were pretty subdued, a lot of black and white with some glitter thrown in. (There’s was also strange embroidery, but I didn’t love any of those.) Here were my favorites:

The Duchess of Cambridge in Alexander McQueen (Photo Credit: Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock) 

Emma Stone in Chanel Couture (Photo Credit: Telegraph)

Sam Taylor-Johnson with Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Tom Ford (Photo Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Viola Davis in Jenny Packham (Photo Credit: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock)

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Bryce Dallas Howard in Solace London (Photo Credit: Got Celeb)

Felicity Jones in Christian Dior (Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Awards Show Roundup: SAG Awards 2017

Even for an awards super fan like me, with all that’s going on in the world it felt a little weird to sit down and watch actors congratulate each other, but, my Hollywood coastal elite loves, took the platform and used it to speak out for good so, it was actually a really nice way to end the weekend.

Ashton Kutcher and Julia Louis-Dreyfus started the night out strong:

I don’t watch it any more, but I love that Orange is the New Black submits their entire 37 person ensemble, it’s always such a great moment:

To quote Denzel Washinton: Viola. Davis.

In case you haven’t taken my advice and watched Captain Fantastic yet, this might be some motivation now:

Power to the people, stick it to the man

Marhershala Ali made me cry, yes with his performance in Moonlight, but also with this speech:

I love Lily Tomlin, I want to be her when I grow up (and I’m glad I could find a video that didn’t include Dolly Parton’s boob joke filled introduction):

I really need to watch The Crown, because John Lithgow and Claire Foy are delights:

The kids from Stranger Things are adorable, still not watching that show though they did give the best speech ever:

Also, I just love Winona Ryder, she really went on a journey through this speech.

I think Natalie Portman should have won Best Actress, but I love Emma Stone, and I feel a real kinship with her, and this is the kind of speech I would give if ever called upon to:

I’m never going to complain about Denzel Washington winning an award, especially when he is genuinely surprised:

Look, I think Moonlight was robbed, but the Hidden Figures women gave a speech that made their win worth it:

And look, it was a weird night for fashion. Every time I thought, “Oh I like that dress,” and then it would have a strange flower applique, lace detail, or sheer panel. But here were some favorites:

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Lela Rose (Photo Credit: Getty)

 

Annalise Basso in Bibhu Mohapatra (Photo Credit: Women’s Day)

Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Michelle Dockery in Elie Saab (Photo Credit: Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock)

Bryce Dallas Howard in Dress the Population (it’s off the rack!) (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) 

Rasida Jones in Vivienne Westwood (Photo Credit: Getty) 

Emily Blunt in Roberto Cavalli (Photo Credit: WENN)

Kirsten Dunst in Dior (Photo Credit: AP)

 

Award Show Round Up: Golden Globes 2017

The HFPA likes to surprise us. This has always been true, and it certainly was last night. From the first award, which by all rights I think should have gone to Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali, though I do love the Taylor-Johnson family:

And then Billy Bob Thornton for “Goliath.” Most liked tweet of the night: “Honest question, what is Goliath?”

You may have noticed that I skipped over Jimmy Fallon’s opening. That’s because I don’t really remember it. I know it was a La La Land parody, and then his monologue was fine. He’s charming and has a lot of energy. He didn’t detract from my experience the way Ricky Gervais did last year, but I still just miss Amy and Tina.

Anyway, in great news, Tracee Ellis Ross won!

And I have to watch Atlanta:

Hugh Laurie is always charming:

La La Land won everything, but I really enjoy composer Justin Hurwitz’s nervous energy immensely:

Viola Davis won Best Supporting Actress of course, but she should have won leading actress (sorry Isabelle Huppert, but it’s true):

My award for cutest moment of the evening:

Ryan Gosling, thank you for being as amazing as I  think you are:

Barry Jenkins was robbed for Screenplay. (Or maybe Kenneth Lonergan even.) The story of La La Land is not the point, come on HFPA, spread the love a bit.

Kristen Wiig should host next year. Steve Carrell could come too if he wants:

Meryl Streep is the greatest. Not just the greatest actor of our time, but maybe one of the greatest humans:

And Viola’s presentation almost made me cry. And I see what you’re doing there director by cutting to Vince Vaughan and Mel Gibson in the middle of her speech. And I saw people on Twitter talking about how upset they looked. But c’mon they are used to being the only conservatives in a Hollywood room. And they were sitting and listening respectfully, what did you expect them to do? You should have just stayed focused on Ms. Streep and her message.

I do love Emma Stone:

And Casey’s performance deserved this award. And I encourage you to listen to his episode of WTF with Marc Maron. I’m not trying to excuse away his past behavior, but he is a complicated man, with an interesting story:

And then, thankfully, Moonlight got it’s due:

And of course, a lot of the women were wearing very beautiful dresses:

Viola Davis in Michael Kors (Photo Credit: Jay  L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Julia Louis-Dreyfuss in Georges Chakra (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison, Getty Images)

Emma Stone in Valentino (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty)

Mandy  Moore in Naeem Kahn (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) 

Sienna Miller in Michael Kors (Photo Credit: Getty) 

Blake Lively in Atelier Versace (Photo Credit: Getty/Frazer Harrison) 

Reese Witherspoon in Atelier Versace (Photo Credit: Rex/Shutterstock)

Tracee Ellis Ross in Zuhair Murad (Photo Credit: Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock)

Goldie Hawn (Photo Credit: Getty/Frazer Harrison)

Brie Larson in Rodarte (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Award Show Round Up: Critics’ Choice Awards 2017

It feels weird to title this post with 2017, as it is still 2016, but like I said yesterday, the Broadcast Critics Association apparently decided they needed to be first out of the gate this year. Critics’ Choice is always sort of an odd show, big stars show up so it feels legit, but they are in an airplane hangar broadcasting on A&E so it’s got a bit of a ramshackle vibe as well. And T.J. Miller, though very funny, continued his trend from last year of trying to be as absurd as possible. Like I always appreciate an A Chorus Line reference, but what exactly was this opening:

The show being early does mean that Moonlight won the first award of the season so that’s pretty exciting:

Lucas Hedges (Best Young Actor for Manchester By the Sea is pretty earnest and adorable:

I’ve always liked John Lithgow, and I guess this means I have to watch The Crown now:

Rachel Bloom is always “one Bustle article away from unemployment:

And I guess I need to watch Atlanta now too.

Supporting Actor to Mahershala Ali from Moonlight!

Ryan Reynolds won a bunch of things, he’s very charming and Deadpool was funny, so yay, I guess:

I love this new #SeeHer award, and there is no better first recipient than Viola Davis:

(She also won Best Supporting Actress for Fences which is awesome.)

Damien Chazelle should get used to giving this speech:

I won’t watch Wesstworld, but I will always love Evan Rachel Wood:

Natalie Portman won best actress, and I hope she continues to do so. Yes, it’s a crime that Amy Adams doesn’t have an Oscar yet, but Natalie is better in Jackie than Amy is in Arrival sorry…

Casey Affleck is a beautiful weirdo:

(I saw your tweets about how he is a sexual harasser and that means we shouldn’t give him prizes. I think you know by now that I think we need to separate how we judge people from how we judge art. He’s probably a shitty person, but he is a fantastic artist.)

John Travolta’s fake hair presented best picture to La La Land which I really can’t wait to see:

Fashion wise there were a lot of cut outs, a lot of cleavage and a lot of black, but here were my favorites:

Mandy Moore in Solace London (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Lily Collins in Elie Saab (Photo Credit: Getty)

Amy Adams in Atelier Versace (Photo Credit Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Emmy Rossum in Giorgio Armani (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Janelle Monáe (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Jessa Biel in Elie Saab with Justin Timberlake in Tom Ford (Photo Credit: Getty/Frazer Harrison)

Constance Zimmer (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Hailee Steinfeld in Jason Wu (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

And the Nominees Are 2017: Round 2

Apparently, the Critics Choice Awards are tonight. I have no idea why they would move them this early in the year. Did they want fewer people to show up/be aware of it? Or was the airline hangar (no joke) where it’s held get books for some other event in early January?

Whatever, it gives me something to do tonight without leaving my house. (It’s finally actually feeling like winter in NYC.) And I have managed to catch up with a lot of their nominees. Here are the ones I saw in the past couple of weeks:

The Edge of Seventeen

I’m finding it hard to write about The Edge of Seventeen, I had an incredibly emotional and intensely personal reaction to it that 1: I’m not sure I can completely articulate and 2: would require me to share a lot of details of my life that I’m not comfortable publishing on the internet. (Plus, this blog isn’t therapy.)

So leaving aside uncomfortable questions about how completely I identified with an unlikable 16 year old girl, I’ll try to focus on the film. Which is fantastic. It’s being marketed as a “teen comedy,” and I did laugh out loud a couple of times (usually at Erwin [Hayden Szeto]’s stumbling, charming shyness or Woody Harrelson‘s bored teacher’s one liners), but I also cried (and not just because of aforementioned personal issues).

This is the realest look at what it is like to be a 16 year old girl that I have ever seen. The fact that its written and directed by a woman (Kelly Fremon Craig) probably has a lot to do with that. The central character, Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) isn’t a cool girl archetype, or an ugly duckling, or a misunderstood nerd. She’s a person who is often difficult and hard to empathize with at times, but also witty and trying so hard to deal with the circumstances she finds herself in, even those she created for herself. (You see that – she creates her own problems – she has agency! Like a real girl!)

The movie sticks closely to Nadine’s POV, but all the characters, even those one doesn’t like, all feel like real people too. Like you could imagine a movie surrounding them would be equally compelling. Basically what I’m saying is I didn’t want this movie to be over and I would like an Edge of Seventeen expanded universe so I could spend more time with these people.

Hacksaw Ridge

I almost didn’t go to this. I give myself 3 outs each year and the prevailing tone in every review of this was, “Holy Shit that was violent.” But I love Andrew Garfield and Braveheart is still one of my favorite movies. So, I gave it a shot. And…

Holy Shit that was violent.

But that’s reductive, a lot of this movie is actually a fairly straight forward, well shot, watchable biopic about Desmond Doss, a real Seventh Day Adventist pacifist who refused to touch a gun, but served as an army medic in  WWII and single handed saved 75 men in one battle. Sounds like a compelling story right?

But Mel Gibson couldn’t just tell it. He had to let his own pet obsessions with violence and blood take over for long stretches we lose sight of Doss to watch countless bodies be ripped apart, melted by flames, eaten by rats and worse. There’s an argument to be made that showing these images is the only way to get the true horror of war across on screen and if Gibson had stuck with Doss’s point of view and showed the audience only what he was reacting to then I would buy it. But the way he lingers and repeats the scenes of carnage betrays that he’s really only interested in Doss as a way to get to the battle. Which is a shame because Andrew Garfield is really good, and Doss seems like he was a uniquely thoughtful and faithful man.

So for this, and just generally, I’m disappointed in you Mel Gibson. Be better or go away.

It’s hard to chose a filmanthropy recipient for Gibson, as broadly awful as he he has been in the past, but as this film depicts domestic violence and Gibson (allegedly) beat the mother of at least one of his children, I’ve donated double what I paid to Safe Horizons which operates shelters and provides  other services for women escaping intimate partner violence and their children. 

Jackie

Long time readers of this blog know that one of my slightly unhealthy obsessions is with the Kennedy family. I have sat through truly awful TV movies about various stages in the lives of JFK, Bobby, and the rest.

And I realized while watching this that although she is an icon (I mean I dressed as her for my 4th grade history costume day and kids knew who I was) most tales of the Kennedy saga aren’t very interested in Jackie’s perspective. At best she’s the “stand by your man” stoic spurned wife turned grieving widow and at worst she’s window dressing.

This is partly a product of the fact that she was an intensely private person, who none the less had a remarkable affinity for public relations and image creation. Which this film gives her full credit for. So much of the myth of the Kennedys that  have been fascinated by my whole life was created and maintained by Jackie during JFK’s presidency her cultivation of the arts and her restoration of the White House (lots of great speeches about the importance of objects for the appreciation of history for the museum nerd in me) brought a sense of glamour to the capital. And after his death she understood that her husband’s legacy was at stake with every more. The funeral procession may have been, as Billy Crudup‘s reporter character puts it disapprovingly, “a spectacle,” but it cemented the image of JFK as a great man worthy of such pomp in the visual memory of this country.

OK, enough Kennedy-nerd rambling. This is also a good movie. Natalie Portman should and will get nominated (at least) nominated for everything. I appreciated director Pablo Larraín‘s choice to tell the story non-linearly through conversation and flashback, though I would have liked more with the priest (John Hurt) and less with the reporter. (Nothing against Crudup, he gives a fine performance, I guess I just prefer her private face to her public one.) The standout for me though was Peter Sarsgaard as Bobby (and not just because he’s my favorite Kennedy.) He managed to get the physicality perfectly without falling into caricature (thank God he didn’t go full Back Bay accent – it would have been so distracting.) He doesn’t steal focus from Jackie, but his grief and disappointment are as palpable as hers.

Also, and this is a little thing, but this is the best depiction I’ve ever seen of what a sniveling ass Jack Valenti was. (Or as my man put it, “I believe the term you’re looking for is political whore.”)

Arrival

I get into spoiler talk in this review.

I don’t really believe in spoilers. Well, I mean, I believe that they exist, and I understand, especially for TV, why people try to avoid them. But I personally don’t really do anything to keep from hearing plot details before I consumer a story. I figure that if all something has going for it is a shocking twist than it probably isn’t very interesting as a piece of art.

I think this comes mostly from listening to a lot of film podcasts and being a creature of routine who doesn’t want to wait to watch a film and not listen to an episode when I normally would.

Long preamble, sorry! I explain all this to say that I went into Arrival already knowing the “twist” that the scenes of Amy Adams‘s daughter that read initially as flashbacks are actually her characters brain being rewired by the alien language to perceive the past and present and future as the same. (Or something like that. I have trouble conceptualizing how it would work, but I’m just a lowly human.)

This movie is definitely more than its twist, and Adams gives a seamless performance, but I’m still not sure if I liked it or not. Director Denis Villeneuve has crafted a complex world visually in addition to conceptually and the allegory of world politics, complete with dangerous radicalization of white men via You Tube conspiracy theorists is timely enough. But I can’t figure out exactly what this movie is trying to say: Globalism is dangerous but also the key to our survival? Don’t trust the CIA? China 7 Russia will always choose war? Choose life? Enjoy pain because its the price we pay for pleasure? Jeremy Renner looks good in glasses. (That one’s not a question.) Language is more important than science? Language is science?

I’m not saying I want every movie to spell out its message – God how dull that would be. But I can’t help but feel that beyond the conceit this movie is a bit of a muddle.

Weekly Adventure: Chill Thanksgiving Edition

I love Thanksgiving, complicated history aside, it’s a pressure free day where the point is to gather and eat a lot of food. This year lived up to my expectations completely.

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During food prep, Mom and Charlie had important crossword duties to attend to

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Dad made sure everything was safe for the rest of us to eat

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While Phia and Charlie actually cooked everything for us

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Nancy’s beautiful centerpiece (and the traditional scratch off tickets)

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Negaro/Dennett Thanksgiving selfie (though I personally like last year’s better…

The next day, while recovering from our food comas my mom and I watched all of the new Gilmore Girls and I have a lot of feelings about it. (Some spoilers below the picture.)

Gilmore Girls

  1. I continue to disapprove of Logan. Strongly.
  2. Rory may actually be (read is probably) a bad person.
  3. Emily Gilmore can be cruel, but she is also incredibly strong. (And I love her attitude towards the D.A.R.)
  4. Luke Danes, and Jess Mariano, are the best. It’s that simple.

We took a break in the middle to go with Dad to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Which is pretty wonderful. (Full review to come in the case of awards nominations and/or sequel reviews.)

On Saturday, I got to meet up with some Chicago friends in town visiting family and lay round watching football.

Sunday, my parents drove my back to Queens and I was able to show them around the museum where I work, which was pretty special.

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Mom in Noguchi’s garden

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I don’t think they tried to match…

And now it’s my favorite time of year! Happy Holidays every one!

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My neighborhood gets pretty into the season. In addition to these lights there are also speakers piping in (very loud) Christmas carols, which I’m sure will get old fast, but for now I find whimsical.

 

Things I Keep Meaning to Blog About

I’m still commuting to Queens from New Haven everyday, which, despite the looks of shocked pity on the faces of people whom I tell this to, is really not that bad.* It’s just long, and not really great for typing. (There are people that bring their laptops and type. I am not on their commuter level.) So, I’ve made notes and reminders for at least 5 posts in the last two weeks and just never gotten around to writing any of them. Instead of letting that backlog grow, here are 5 things I’ve meant to blog about recently:

  1. Andrew Bird at College Street Music Hall

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New Haven is a small city, but because of Yale and it’s location along the route between Boston and NYC, it gets pretty good music sometimes. Case in point last Friday, my cousin Phia invited my parents and I to join her and her parents to see Andrew Bird. He was great ( of course) the whistling alone is mind blowing.

The one quibble I had with the night was that the sound mixing was a little off, at least for us in the balcony. There was a lot more bass than you expect from a violinist-singer-songwriter, but it really only bothered my Mom and my Aunt Nancy. (You can see their reactions on my Instagram.)

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2. New Haven City Wide Open Studios

My parents’ house is near an old Armory building that is supposedly going to be a community center…but once a year the Open Studios program sets up a bunch of artists in there. It was pretty cool:

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This was made of silverware!

3. This Is Us

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I’m not breaking any ground here, but I really love this show. I see your think pieces about why it may be bad, but I don’t want to read them. This show makes me feel good. (Well it makes me cry, and then it makes me feel good.) Catharsis is an important function of art and this serves it up every week, accompanied by good (if at times overly earnest) writing, and excellent acting. I saw a video where Sterling K. Brown summed up how I feel both about this show and about the so-called “Golden Age of Television” we are living through right now. All of these prestige shows, even the comedies, take a pretty dark view of the world and humanity, This Is Us lets the light in and I like that.

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Also, Milo Ventimiglia is in it…

4. In The Dark 

115db4-20160819-in-the-darkAnd now I’m going to undercut everything I just said about focusing on the light. This is a true crime podcast about the 1989 abduction of Jacob Wetterling. It’s from APM, which also produces a few of my other favorite podcasts, so I’ve been hearing ads for this for awhile, and I wasn’t going to listen. Despite my love of Serial, I’m not really a true crime person, I get too invested and then too scared, but I kept hearing every day on my other shows how good this was so I sucked it up and started. And it’s amazing. It’s obviously upsetting, but it never feels voyeuristic. Host Madeleine Baran  is fantastic and measured. This isn’t a leering look at tragedy, it’s a compassionate investigation into what went wrong with the (large scale) attempts to solve this case. Seriously brilliant, I’m actually sad it’s almost over.

5. Billy Gilman on The Voice

OK, I can’t end on that. Here’s a clip of a former child country star singing Adele:

* This relatively positive attitude probably stems from the fact that if all goes to current plan I won’t be doing this much longer. 

Award Show Round Up: Emmys 2016

Due to the fact that my commute is crazy long right now, and I wanted to eat dinner when I got home, approximately every person on the internet has already shared their thoughts on last night’s Emmy Awards, but whatever. I have thoughts.

The general consensus seems to be that the show was amazing, and at first I found this surprising. It was a good show, and there were some refreshing winners, but was it really that good? But then I thought, this is the Emmys, the bar is so low. The fact that they gave awards to more than one person of color (and 2 women directors!) and managed to pay tribute to people without turning it into a showbiz funeral, was all it really took to make it a success.

Here were my personal highlights:

Jeb! I like the Bushes when they have absolutely no power to over the government. And Jeb seems to have a sense of humor about himself which is nice:

I like Master of Nonebut I loved Alan Yang’s acceptance speech:

KATE MCKINNON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All speeches that end with “topple the patriarchy” will always be featured on this blog:

Look, I know people will be disappointed by this, but I still haven’t watched Transparent, (I know, I know), but Jeffrey Tambor has always given good acceptance speech:

I have no interest in rehashing the gruesome murder of an innocent woman and her friend, so I haven’t watched The People vs. OJ Simpson, but I’m a little bit in love with Sterling K. Brown after last night and I am A LOT in love with Sarah Paulson:

Patton Oswalt has been put through the wringer this year, so I was happy that he got this recognition.

(Also, would have been happy if any one in that category won.)

For no good reason, the fake rivalry between Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon makes me really happy.

And I’m always happy for a Good Will Hunting reference whenever.

As I tweeted last night, I’ve loved Rami Malek for a very long time. (Like since he was on a stupid sitcom with Michael Rappaport long time), but I am so happy the rest of you can see what a delightful weirdo he is.

And, like I said about Modern Family a few years ago, we get it, Game of Thrones is good, they don’t really need anymore Emmys.

Also, dresses! There were a lot of one shoulder looks with cutouts, some more memorable than others.

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Kerri Washington in Brandon Maxwell (Todd Williamson/WireImage)

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Constance Zimmer in Monique Lhuillier (Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

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Kristin Bell in Zuhair Murad (Photo Credit: Getty/Kevin Mazur)

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Mandy Moore in Prabal Gurung (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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Priyanka Chopra in Jason Wu (Photo Credit: AP)

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Tina Fey in Oscar de la Renta (Photo Credit: GotCeleb)

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Angela Bassett in Rene Caovilla (Photo Credit: Robyn Beck/Agence France Presse – Getty Images)

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Constance Wu in J. Mendel (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)