Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Here's to God and football and, ten years from now, good friends livin' large in Texas. Texas forever."

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I watch a lot of television. However, my obsession did not really start until college. I watched a lot of TV in high school, but never really paid much attention to specific actors or directors. While it mostly started out as a way to avoid studying for my college courses, it eventually turned into something more than that. Once you start watching a lot of television, you quickly learn to decipher between good shows and bad shows. That is not to say that many bad shows cannot be entertaining, but you begin to recognize the different calibers and styles of acting/writing/directing/etc.

I eventually became the person that all my friends turned to when they wanted to know about new shows or when they recognized a guest star on Grey's Anatomy and could not figure out what else they had seen that actor on. There are more of us TV nerds out there than you probably realize and now we have some place to celebrate that, just like all you movie and music lovers :o)

This weekend I have the esteemed pleasure of volunteering for the first annual ATX Television Festival here in Austin. Beginning tomorrow night, June 1, and running through Sunday, June 3, this festival will bring together actors, writers, directors, producers, music supervisors, studio executives and fans to talk about the past, present and future of television. Operating similarly to a film festival, there will be screenings, panels, parties and live music with some of the industry's leading professionals.

To kick things off on opening night, ATX is screening the season premiere of USA Network's Royal Pains along with an episode from the first season of Suits. Also in attendance will be the executive producers from both shows, David Bartis and Michael Rauch, and Royal Pains cast member, Judy Greer. A few other shows screening this weekend are: Life Unexpected, Parenthood, The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Firefly, Criminal Minds, a few Web series and even some Hasbro cartoons.

The panels throughout the weekend include Women in Television, TV Fantasy Goes Mainstream, a Love Monkey Retrospective, Music in Television and a final goodbye to One Tree Hill. There will be a discussion between Bill Lawrence (creator of Spin City, Scrubs and Cougar Town) and a few of his friends about what it has been like to work together over the years. Jason Katims will also reflect on his career, which started on My So-Called Life and also includes Boston Public, Roswell, Friday Night Lights and Parenthood. Moderators for these panels and screenings include Meg Masters from TVLine, Robyn Ross from TV Guide and Ben Blacker from Nerdist.

And if all that was not enough to make your head explode with excitement, the Alamo Drafthouse is hosting The Ultimate Children's Hospital Marathon on Saturday afternoon. Cast members Rob Corddry, Rob Huebel, Ken Marino, Erinn Hayes and Executive Producers David Wain and Jonathan Stern will all be in attendance.

However, the event that I am probably most looking forward to is the Friday Night Lights Outdoor Screening taking place on Saturday night at the Hotel San Jose. It is open to the public and includes a screening of the Pilot and Finale episodes and will showcase music from cast members Alicia Witt, Dora Madison Burge and Jesse Plemons. A few of the other cast members who will also be on hand for the event are Scott Porter, Gaius Charles, Michael B. Jordan, Matt Lauria and Louanne Stephens. It should be tons of fun and I cannot wait!

This weekend, there is really something for everyone and if you are not in Austin you are definitely missing out on what is sure to be a FABulous time.

Like I said, I am working for the festival Friday through Sunday, but I will try my best to update Facebook and Twitter with behind-the-scenes info and pictures. And if I manage to meet Kristen Bell, it has been nice knowing you all because, I will probably die of excitement :o)


For more ATX  Festival information:

For Children's Hospital Marathon information:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lemon: I just want to let you know that it does not make you any less of a woman that you yourself have no wedding plans...

...or a boyfriend or even the prospect of one, because that little doctoring job you have can keep you busy for years to come and we have a great tradition of dignified spinsters down here.

Even though I have been really bad about updating my blog the past few months, I have definitely not stopped watching television. A few new shows started this Spring, some good and some not-so-good. Here are a few thoughts on what has been going on most recently.

A few of the new shows that I have been watching are Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23, Girls and Scandal.

I am pretty picky about which sit-coms I watch, but I have really enjoyed Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23. James Van Der Beek is hilarious, but I am glad that he is not the main focus of the show, and I have liked Krysten Ritter since she was on Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls. It was just renewed for a second season and I am very excited to see what other craziness they come up with. Will James win Dancing With The Stars?! :o)

Girls, on the other hand, I am not quite sure about yet. I have watched the first few episodes and while I do not hate it, I also do not love it. As a twenty-something woman myself, I just do not really feel a connection to any of the characters. It has smart writing and parts of it are definitely funny, I just cannot get into it.

I was not sure about Scandal when it started. Something about the way they promoted the show just did not appeal to me. However, after hearing all the great buzz about it once it premiered, I decided I had to give it a try and I am very glad I did. The first season was short, but very high paced and incredibly entertaining. It did not go where I expected it to, but that made it all the more intriguing. I have heard that creator Shonda Rhimes wants to make season 2 a short one as well so that she can keep up the pace of the storyline and I am totally on board for that. While I do not enjoy waiting longer for new seasons, sometimes shows stretch things out too much just to fill twenty (or more) episodes.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Reveal yourself, tiny songstress!"

The only movie in wide release this weekend is Dark Shadows.

Based on the television show from the '60s, Dark Shadows is about a vampire named Barnabas Collins. Collins has been imprisoned and when he gets released he moves in with his dysfunctional descendents. His family helps protect him from the witch that cursed him in the first place. This movie stars Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Chloe Moretz, Jonny Lee Miller, Jack Earle Haley and Christopher Lee.

The reviews for this movie have not been great, but I am guessing if you liked the TV show you will probably enjoy the movie. Plus, it is Johnny Depp, so how bad could it really be? :o)

Other movies in limited release are: Where Do We Go Now?, I Wish, Girl In Progress, God Bless America, Hick, Tonight You're Mine, The Road and A Bag Of Hammers.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"...And then shawarma after."

My original plan was to see The Avengers on Sunday. However, after sitting in front of my computer at work all day Friday and reading the multitude of comments on Twitter about how good the movie was, I decided that I needed to see it Friday night. Then, because it was SO GOOD, I saw it again on Sunday :o)

Don't worry, I will warn you before I get to the spoilery bits.....

When Loki teams up with an unexpected army, Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D) Director Nick Fury must bring together a group of super humans to defend the Earth. This team consists of Tony Stark/Iron Man, Steve Rogers/Captain America, Thor, Dr. Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow and Clint Barton/Hawkeye. After working out their differences with each other first, they then have to figure out how to defeat Loki.

The acting in this movie was all-around fantastic. There was not a weak link in the group, but it was really the supporting roles that stood out to me the most. We know from previous Marvel films that Clark Gregg is a great Agent Phil Coulson, but he was especially fantastic in The Avengers. Although he was not in a majority of scenes, he had his share of hilarious lines. I was also especially impressed with Cobie Smulders, who plays Agent Maria Hill. I love her on How I Met Your Mother, but she kicked a lot of ass in this movie...literally. I was also excited to see other Whedonverse actors Alexis Denisof, Ashley Johnson and Enver Gjokaj.

Of course, it would not be The Avengers without the Avengers themselves. We have seen Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston in their roles as Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and Loki respectively and they all continue to be fantastic. However, this is the first time Mark Ruffalo played the role of The Hulk. I did not actually see the previous Hulk movies (mostly because they did not get very good reviews) but I thought Ruffalo was a welcome addition to the team.

And now on to the more spoilery parts of my review. If you do not want anything ruined then I suggest you STOP READING IMMEDIATELY.

For those that have already seen the movie, please continue....

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"Let me know if 'real power' wants a magazine or something."

The two major movies that are being released this weekend are: The Avengers and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

In The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a group of British retirees go on a trip to India to stay in, what they believe is, a newly restored hotel. The hotel turns out to be not quite as luxurious as the advertisement leads them to believe, but eventually its charm begins to grow on them. This movie stars Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup and Dev Patel.

The Avengers is a team of super humans who have been brought together by the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D) Director Nick Fury to defend the Earth from Loki and his army. This teams consists of Tony Stark aka Iron Man, Steve Rogers aka Captain America, Thor, Bruce Banner aka The Hulk, Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow and Clint Barton aka Hawkeye. This movie stars Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard, Gwyneth Paltrow and the voice of Paul Bettany.

I am very interested in seeing both of these movies. Marigold Hotel has a fantastic cast and looks really funny, and both have been getting great reviews. I am trying not to let my expectations for The Avengers get too high, but I am very excited about it and will definitely go this weekend.

Also in limited release is: LOL, First Position, The Perfect Family, Last Call at the Oasis, A Little Bit of Heaven, Mother's Day and Meeting Evil.