Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why I hate Glee (but keep watching it anyway)

I've been annoyed with Glee ever since the end of season 1 when Quinn got pregnanter and pregnanter and Will's wife was pretend pregnant and the writers were clearly like, Ooooooo crap, what are we gonna do now? Then, in one shitty season finale, Quin has the baby, Will gets a divorce and everyone brushes the dust off their hands and pretends the whole thing never happened. That's lazy. That's Alias season three lazy. You've gotta think four seasons ahead, Whedon-style.

1. What is this show, a Teenage Morality Tale or an Over-the-Top Ironic Comedy? Pick one, Gleeks. In one episode you've got the elements of a "very special drama" (this week: Underage drinking) coupled with Crazy Sue Sylvester Antics. I mean really crazy - she pushes a guy down the stairs? Really? And Will gets drunk and dials her and she plays the vm over the school speakers? It just doesn't make sense, they should choose, and they should choose the Over-the-Top thing. But it's just ridiculous, for example, to do a show about bullying with Sue as the unexpected protector and a couple shows later having the same character knocking down students and shoving them into lockers in the hallway and trying to launch the cheerleaders out of a cannon.

2. They're only about half-way to being pro-gay. I applaud Glee including non-normative characters like Artie in his wheelchair, the overweight Mercedes and Lauren, and a racially diverse cast, and I love Kurt, he's probably my favorite character. For the most part, I think the Kurt-story line is great, especially with his dad, but I think they really foul up other non-normative relationships like Santana and Britney and Puck and Lauren and particularly the character of Coach Beist. I wish they would spread the love when it comes to being open-minded.

3. Shut up and sing. I guess I'm going to keep watching because I like the musical numbers a lot.

After writing all this down, I find I care less and less about Glee. I think I'm going to take it off my queue. Probably next week. We'll see.

OMG, has anyone seen that show Perfect Couples? SO. HILARIOUS. I'mnotkiddingyou.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Milwaukee

We went for a last-minute trip to Milwaukee this weekend just for funsies. I have to tell you, one of the lamest things about living in/near Chicago is that the coolest place for miles and miles around is, well, Chicago. So, if you want to go away for the weekend, you go to Wisconsin. And you like it.

Anyway, Milwaukee is kind of fun, if you like eating cheese and drinking, which I do. We like staying at the Pfister Hotel, a lovely old place with a really nice little pool on the top floor. Great views of the city, in this case, under blizzardy-conditions.

We also discovered this fantastic bookstore called Downtown Books. It's one of those bookstores were every inch is covered in books, and it has all kinds of nooks and crannies and you get lost wandering around. Very fun bookstore - almost like a Powell's (Portland) experience. Also, there were cats. I bought like 7 books and M filled in some of the holes in his comic book collection.

Today before we returned home, we went to this AMAZING deli called Benji's. I found it on this website called Road Food by Jan and Michael Stern who (used to) write for Gourmet and guest talk on the Splendid Table radio show. They LOVE Milwaukee.
I ordered chicken soup. Just! Look! At! That!

and potato pancakes. Mmmm...

Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Big Meal

Last night I saw The Big Meal at the American Theatre Co. with my play-buddies. It was absolutely amazing and I encourage anyone in the Chicago area to check it out.

A simple stage with a table or two and a number of chairs compose the stage, and actors sit in plain view behind this area waiting to come on, with small baskets of props by their sides. Time moves quickly in this play, and one of the things I loved about it is that the audience must be actively involved in watching it. The play tells the story of a couple and their extended family, told with only 8 main characters (and two waiters) at various stages in their lives. There are two kids, two people in their 20s, two in their late-30s, and two older folks. As the characters age, the actors switch roles, so each person may end up playing 3-4 roles in this multi-generational family. As people die, as they do, the audience and the actors have only moments to process their deaths, in a rather interesting bit of staging. Despite the complex characterization and quickly-moving storyline, the actors are so talented that each transition is seamless and smooth (I thought this was just incredible especially considering we were there for only the second preview!)

I have a feeling most people will walk away with their own impression of what the play's "about", but for me it was definitely an exploration of the definition of family - of what impact having children has, and how, even in a large family, the odds that you end up alone are pretty darn high. While it ended on kind of a down-note, I thought it was, above all: true - and that's what exceptional theatre is all about.

The Big Meal
American Theater Co.
1909 West Byron Street, Chicago
February 3-March 6

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

We're not going anywhere

video

If you don't have anything nice to say....

I just have to share this house tour from Apartment Therapy. I looove this house. Lately I've been kind of stuck on Apartment Therapy even though the people that comment on it are total asshats. They're such douchebags I almost took it off my feed. Even on this truly magnificent house tour, people are all "I do not like it. It's very cluttered and busy with too many patterns and objects." and "Way too much. It verges on Horder status. I couldn't live like this. The dusting alone would take up all of my time." OMG. Srsly? STFU.

Turns out the dude from Crash Test Dummies lives there. I used to/still looooove that band. Anyone else?

view house tour