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Okay… I tend to overthink my first line – especially with a topic like this – something I’m so drawn to with every fiber that makes me a human being. Okay, maybe not every fiber – that’s dramatic. But drama is something that’s fitting for this topic, as I’m discussing entertainment… specifically, film and television. Perfect timing too, seeing as the Golden Globes just aired on Sunday.
I’m not sure how many of you care about or watch award shows, but it’s something I can’t miss. The fashion, the opening monologue, the trying-too-hard banter between presenters, the surprise wins, and the acceptance speeches – both the heart-warming and the cringe-worthy (hi, Renee Zellweger). This year, they had Ricky Gervais host for the fifth time… maybe sixth. He made it clear from the start he would NOT be coming back next year, throwing punches out the gate, telling people how to make their acceptance speech so we can speed through the program, almost rolling his eyes at the fact that he was standing on stage. The camera seemed to keep finding its way to Tom Hanks, who wasn’t afraid to let the world know of his displeasure, furrowing his brows, then turning down his lips and flaring his nostrils as if he smelled a dumpster fire. I’d say it’s clear, Ricky and Tom aren’t palling around together at the Vanity Fair after party. I found the whole spectacle quite amusing.
I digress. I’m not here to give you a recap of the Golden Globe Awards, although I could easily talk about it for another two pages… I’ll bring you back to 1993, when I saw Snow White in theatres – it was my first theatrical experience, which of course I don’t remember… I was two. But, my mom said I lit up from the moment I walked in, resulting in a constant whine to go back, I’m sure. Again, I was (am) very dramatic.
What’s the first movie you remember seeing? Can you recall? I’m trying to do that now and it’s a toss up between Little Rascals and Matilda… either way, those films just hit me and sunk deep into my brain. I mean, honestly, who didn’t try closing the door with their mind after seeing that movie? I remember having such a deep urge to help her battle Mrs. Trunchbull, and the feeling of righteousness when she got to move in with Miss Honey. Whatever happened to Matilda? Is she still acting? I hope she didn’t take the Bynes / Lohan route…
As I look back at the movies of the 90’s, I can visualize where I watched them and what feelings came up. Obviously I watched Parent Trap a bajillion times, desperately hoping my parents would suddenly announce I had to go to sleep away camp where I would reunite with my twin who had a british accent. Of course I also ate oreos with peanut butter, which I actually didn’t really care for, but I thought it would bring me closer to my desired reality. Poor, sweet Lindsay… she was such a staple of the 90’s… I truly hope she’s enjoying her time at her beach club in Mykonos.
And then we have JACK. Jack wasn’t as much of a smash hit, but Robin Williams was perfection as a ten year old (actually, Robin was perfection is every role). It was the first movie where I fell in love with a character. Jack’s young best friend, Louis. He had dark, slick-backed hair, with matching brown eyes, and a sense of confidence that just drew me in. I remember asking my Grandma if I could be with him, and crying when I was told we in fact, would not be able to get married. I would watch that movie over and over, letting my emotions take hold each time.
As I grew up, my interest in movies didn’t waver. I loved being transported and seeing myself in every character. Because that’s what really makes a movie great, right? When we can relate to the characters. I wanted to be Julia Stiles in Save The Last Dance, Rachel McAdams in The Notebook, Anne Hathaway in Devil Wears Prada, Elijah Wood in Lord Of The Rings, Emma Watson in Harry Potter, and Samara from The Ring… yikes, no, not that one.
I would stand in front of the mirror with my hands pressed sideways on the porcelain countertop after finishing a movie and recite the most memorable scenes, pulling the tears out of me somehow, then quickly jumping back into my own skin once I heard a knock on the door, as one of my siblings needed to poop. I talked about these movies with whoever would listen… mainly, my journal – she was a great listener. Didn’t give much feedback though. Oof, was that just a mom joke? Let’s brush by… after I got over my desire to become a famous actor (not really… still think about it), I was off to college.
I wasn’t much of a television watcher until college – I had a busy dance schedule and an aptitude for proper studying so I just never made it a priority. Don’t worry, I’ve gone back and watched the important shows – obviously I’m obsessed with The Office, and Friends, Gossip Girl is amazing. Wait, there was one show I watched consistently… Laguna Beach, which then turned into The Hills. Yep, I was team Kristin Cavallari and had a massive crush on Stephen. My cousin’s name is Stephen and I can’t say it normally anymore… you guys know what I’m talking about. Steeeevennnnnn.
Jump to 2010 and I’m introduced to an all time favorite – my number ONE. Obviously I’m talking about Dexter. Guys, I still remember the first line – it’s carved into my mind forever. Lower your voice and say it with me… “Tonight’s the night. And it’s going to happen again and again. Has to happen.” That damn show did something to me – and now I’m a serial killer. A serial killer of hearts. What? Stop. You’re being weird. I have SUCH a strong urge to stop writing and go re-watch the first episode. No. Nope, not happening. Wow, after writing that, my eyes darted to the line above, “it’s going to happen again and again.” Okay, I’m moving on from Dexter – clearly I can’t function properly when discussing that treasure.
I also can’t write about television entertainment without mentioning Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones. The genius that came from those writers onto the screen was something they were clearly destined for… spoiler alert for those who haven’t watched Game of Thrones but are planning on it… stop reading. Okay, show of hands – who anticipated Dany becoming the Mad Queen? Who was pissed that George RR Martin didn’t have more story, which meant we had a shit final season? Who’s buying the final books the second he releases them? Even if we have to wait another five years… (please, no).
Point is, some of these movies and shows are seeped permanently into our culture, it would be a crime to deprave yourself from the novelty. Seriously though, people still talk about whether Ross and Rachel were on a break. Everyone knows where Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica comes from. And everytime I see a large Tide laundry detergent jug, I think of Seth running up the street with period blood on his leg.
I do recognize there’s a real need for polarity in our lives… unless you’re a paid critic, I don’t think anyone would recommend spending all of your time consuming movies and television.
These platforms offer us an escape, they can make us feel seen, less alone, make us laugh, cry hysterically, feel inspired, hate an injustice, or yes, even fake fall in love.
So, I intend to continue being entertained and inspired by movies and television in 2020, starting with FLEABAG because it’s all the rage now and on all the critics’ top ten television shows (already?!). I’m one episode in and I’m not disappointed… but, more will be revealed. And for those of you who care to review my top ten movies and tv shows, feast your eyes.
The Departed Mystic River
The Dark Knight
Lord Of The Rings (yes, I’m counting the full franchise)
Gone Baby Gone
Harry Potter (I mean, I can’t not)
Game Of Thrones
Parks and Recreation
New Girl (give me Nick Miller & Schmidt all day)
Gossip Girl (there’s just something about Lonely Boy)
Committed To Curiosity