Monday, March 20, 2006

What I'm watching

Friday is my television night; most nights I don't turn it on at all, but on Friday night I watch several hours' worth. The current line up is What Not to Wear, Law and Order: SVU, Monk, and House. Law and Order has been on so long now, and it's on so often that I never have any idea whether I'm actually seeing something from the current season or not, and I seldom see the same episode twice, so it doesn't really matter, although my favorite character is the detective played by Ice T. Why do I like him so much? I have no idea. But I'm always disappointed when he isn't on the show.

I had never seen What Not to Wear until the episode with Megan Slankard, and then I only watched it because David was on it. And then after that I probably didn't watch it for a year or more, but lately I've started watching it every week; probably because I just realized that it's on on Friday nights, and that works into my Friday viewing schedule.

I don't necessarily think that they do all that great a job of "making over" the women on the show; what I think is more interesting, and more worthwhile, is the confidence that the women seem to gain in themselves. The hosts do make fun of the guests' clothes, but they never make fun of their bodies, which I think is important--they never tell anyone that they're too fat, too skinny, whatever--they just very matter-of-factly tell them what kinds of clothes will flatter their body type, what to do to minimize a not-so-great feature or emphasize a good one.

They find something attractive about every woman, and they tell them all that they're beautiful, and I like that.

Friday night there was also a special show--What Not to Underwear. The guests were three schoolteachers with very different body types, and they learned what kinds of foundation garments to wear to make their bodies look better, to make their clothes look better. I thought all three women were so lovely, and so brave, and I really enjoyed the show.

I can't stand to watch the kind of reality show where the "contestants" are made to feel badly about themselves. This show, at least, seems to make pretty much everyone feel better about themselves. And I do keep reminding myself when they're making fun of someone's wardrobe that they're also paying each person $5,000 for the privilege. That would take some of the sting out of it, I imagine.

I've been enjoying watching movies lately, too. Last night I watched one of my favorites: Grosse Pointe Blank. In it, John Cusack plays a contract kiiller who has an assignment to kill someone in his old hometown, so he takes the opportunity to look up an old girlfriend and attend his high school reunion the same weekend. Dan Ackroyd is in it, too, playing another assassin. Oh, and Joan Cusack is also in it, playing her brother's secretary/office manager, and Jeremy Piven, whom I like for no rational reason (I actually think he reminds me of one of my brothers-in-law), plays an old high school buddy.

Other movies I've been watching lately:

Terminal. When this movie first came out, I was anxious to see it because I love airports, and I love the idea of living somewhere like an airport, secretly or otherwise (I also have always had this secret story in my head about living in a department store . . .). But after I saw the trailers, I lost interest. I've never been a huge fan of Tom Hanks, and the accent he was using for the movie seemed so contrived that I just couldn't see it. So I passed. Then, one weekend when Bob was out of town and I was wandering around Blockbuster looking for something to rent, I rented it, and I loved it.

I ended up buying it last weekend so I could watch it whenever I wanted to, and I watched it again this weekend. It's just kind of a sweet movie; my laugh-out-loud moment is when the Indian man is juggling as their "entertainment" at dinner. The movie is flawed, of course--the weakest link, I think, is Catherine Zeta-Jones as the love interest--but it's a movie that I really enjoy.

Christmas With the Kranks. I loved John Grisham's book, Skipping Christmas, and I love Christmas movies, so I knew I would love this one, and I do. I kind of like Tim Allen, and I like Jamie Lee Curtis a lot (SO brave for doing the tanning salon/bikini scene!). I totally lucked out and got this movie for $.80 at Half Price Books a couple of weeks ago. It was on the clearance table for a dollar, and they were having a 20% off everything sale, so with tax it came to 86 cents! It was a pre-viewed rental copy, I think, and figured if it was junk, I wouldn't be out much, but it was fine.

The movie (and the book) is about a couple who decide to "skip Christmas" -- their daughter has left the country to join the Peace Corps, they always spend WAY too much money on Christmas, and what if they just skipped it all and took a cruise instead? Of course, it doesn't work out smoothly, but it's a lot of fun. Dan Ackroyd is in this one, too.

Blast From the Past. It seemed like every time I went to the gym on Saturday, this movie would be on television, but I always seemed to see the same part, and never saw the whole thing. I like Brendan Frasier a lot (I really like the Mummy movies), so I bought this one without ever having seen the rest of it. It's silly, of course, but I like it a lot. It's the story of a couple (Cissy Spacek and Christopher Walken) who build a fallout shelter in the 50's; Walken is a scientist. They go down in the shelter after hearing Kennedy's speech about the Bay of Pigs, and coincidentally, an airplane crashes into their house while they're down there.

They assume that the US has been bombed, and they don't come back up for 35 years--the half-life of atomic radiation, I believe. In the meantime, they've had a child (Frasier) who has lived his entire life in the shelter, so all of his experience has been as if he's lived his whole life in the 50's. Quite a culture shock. Another sweet movie.

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