Sometimes teachers just don’t like you

Mr. D is one of the few new TV shows that I actually really enjoy.  Plus it’s Canadian, so double win.  Today’s episode was called “Exam Week”.  I thought this was a fitting time for it, since my brother and sister both just finished their January exams.  Mr. D focuses on the perspective of the teacher, as opposed to that of the students, giving a new take on things.

In this episode, Gerry is unprepared for giving his exam, and things are disrupted due to multiple fire drills.  He ends up making it up on the spot, asking the students the broad question “What was World War II about?” as their one exam question.  Broad questions like this save the time of having to write up specific questions with specific answers.  The difficulty with these broad questions, is that the marking is so subjective.

Instead of reading them and marking each exam, Gerry looks at the mark that each student has going into the exam, and give them a mark a little higher than that.  As for the smartest kid in the class, he marks that one first and uses it as his answer key.  He writes random comments and puts random marks on the exams so it looks as if he’s read through them and then come up with the mark as a result.

The scary thing about this, is it is based on Gerry Dee’s own life experience as a teacher.  If you watch his stand up comedy, he admits that he actually did things like this when he was teaching.  Because he’s so hilarious, I suppose he can be forgiven for this.  But it makes me wonder how many other teachers out there have similar methods.

In this episode, while explaining his marking strategies to his friend, he also mentioned that there was a girl in the class who he didn’t like.  Because he didn’t like her, he would fail her, but then give her just enough to pass his class so that he wouldn’t have to teach her again.  I’m not sure if that part is based on his real life experience as well.  It very well could be.  It makes me think back to when I took History 12.  I got 50.5% on my History exam that the teacher gave and marked in January.  But when it came time for the standardized provincial exams at the end of the year that she had nothing to do with, I got an A.  I think that’s proof right there that she just didn’t like me.

This episode of Mr. D confirmed my belief that sometimes the reason you do badly in school is because the teacher just doesn’t like you.  I know it’s only a TV show.  But it’s based on real life.  Possibly an exaggerated version of real life, but real life nevertheless.  So if you do badly in a class, maybe it’s not your fault.  Maybe your teacher just doesn’t like you.  And I learned this from TV, so it must be true.

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Toy Story 3

I love the Toy Story movies.  I remember as a kid going to see the first one in theatres, and my cousin jumping up and down out of his seat because he was so excited at the part where Buzz flies, or rather, falls with style.  Most sequels I don’t really care for, and Disney is no exception.  But Toy Story 2 and 3 were exceptions.

I watched Toy Story 3 again recently at my friend’s place, because it was the best thing we could come up with to watch at the time.  And it was a good choice.  In this setting, I found myself beginning to actually analyze certain things in the movie, because I was among friends where we could just say whatever the hell we were thinking.  I won’t get into it too much, because I do not want to give the impression that I’m trying to tear down this movie at all.  I just want to state a few things that came to mind as I watched it again.

To refresh your memories, the third one is the one where Andy is going off to college, and the toys are left worried about their fate.  It’s been a while since they’ve been played with, seeing as Andy is now 17 years old and has more important things to do.  Up until this point, I had watched these movies with my family.  Being with friends, our minds tend to wander in a certain direction.  Towards the gutter.  My friend speculated as to whether the toys may have witnessed Andy doing things that most 17 year old boys do.  In the privacy of their own bedrooms.  Not knowing that their toys can see everything.  That would be somewhat disturbing, don’t you think?

In one scene, the toys talk about how someday Andy will get married and maybe have kids of his own, and then they will get played with again.  That seems rather a long time to wait.  If that’s what they’re hoping for, the toys should really be trying to form a plan to get Andy a girlfriend and then hope he knocks her up.  I wonder why they never considered that for a story line.  Toy Story 4: Getting Andy Laid.  I think it has potential.

When the toys get themselves stuck at the daycare where things are not at all what they expected, at one point, Jessie says that it was all her fault.  Woody then says no, that they shouldn’t blame her.  At that point, I’m yelling it is your fault, bitch!  Yeah, not a big fan of Jessie.  When Woody tries to tell them that they still belong to Andy and they should respect what he wants, they mention that they don’t belong to anyone anymore and can be free.  This seems reminiscent of a someone in a relationship who is sick of being tied down.  Rather than committing to one person, the toys are now free to be played with by everyone.  Andy’s name written on them in sharpie is sort of like a tramp stamp and like when someone has a tattoo of the name of their ex.

If they added a few things and took these ideas further, they could make an R rated version.  But enough of that.  Let’s focus on Andy for a minute.  In terms of them getting him a girlfriend, I realized that plot wouldn’t work.  Cause I think Andy might be gay.  I mean what 17 year old still plays with a cowboy doll?  Also, has he hit puberty yet?  From listening to his voice, it sure doesn’t sound like it.  Even if he’s not gay, I don’t think his chances with the ladies are that great.  What’s his pick up line gonna be?  Wanna see my Woody…?

At one point, Andy’s mom tells him to get his toys together and figure out which ones to keep and put in the attic and such.  She tell him he’s got to be more responsible now.  Yeah, because nothing says responsibility like gathering up all your old toys.  Also when he  drives to the little girl’s house with the toys, he’s on his way to college.  But apparently even though he’s in a hurry to get there, college can wait while he plays with toys for a couple hours.  Really?

All things considered, I love this movie.  And I do apologize if I’ve tainted it slightly for you with my thoughts.  But apparently these are the sort of things that go through my mind when I watch these movies now.  I could go further, but I won’t.  I hear they might be making a Toy Story 4.  Who knows what thoughts that one will evoke?

Grimm

I’m trying to watch an episode of Grimm right now.  Key word, trying.  I think the fact that I’m also blogging simultaneously really speaks to how well it’s going.  I’m not really sure what’s happening.  Someone got murdered.  Now there’s something about a watch.  I think the watch is important.  I’m not sure why.  Some guy, I think he’s a cop, just said he has a bad feeling about this.  Well that doesn’t make me feel very hopeful.

Oh no, another person’s dead.  Okay maybe I should pay attention so I know what’s happening and why.  This black guy doesn’t look like a cop.  He looks like a wannabe rapper.  He seems to be wearing his badge on a gold chain around his neck.  How badass.  I’m waiting for the fairy tale part to happen.  So far this just another random crime drama.  Which is fine, I’m just waiting to see what sets it apart.

Although Once Upon A Time is already a show which combines fairy tale stuff with the real world.  But I guess this one is darker and has more crime?  Like CSI meets Once Upon A Time?  I don’t know if that’s actually an accurate description of it, I’ve only seen a few minutes so far.  And sadly I didn’t see the pilot episode.  So it’s not my fault if I don’t fully understand it.  I missed the episode that was supposed to ease me into it.

Apparently the premise is that the Brothers Grimm stories were not just stories, and that there are these supernatural creatures living in our world.  And the main detective in this show is a descendant of the Grimms and so it is up to him to protect humanity from these creatures.  He is apparently the last of the Grimms, so this is all on him.  My question is what if he dies?  Then humanity’s just screwed?  I mean he seems to be in a lot of life threatening situations, so it could very well happen.  Maybe before going out to fight crime, he should really be out getting girls pregnant first.  That way if he dies, the world might still have a chance.

Okay, I’m going to go back to trying to watch this.  I’ll let you know if anything interesting happens.  I feel like suspense is building right now.  Something’s about to happen.  I can sense it.  Just like this detective can sense the monsters.  Maybe I can get into it and watch some more episodes.  But so far, Grimm seems rather grim.

Whitney

This sitcom isn’t the greatest one I’ve ever watched.  But I’ve seen every episode.  So there must be something about it that I like.  I’m just not sure what.  This show has had a lot of negative feedback.  Which I understand.  The acting and the jokes aren’t that great.  But they’e watchable.  And still better than some.

The revolves around Whitney, her boyfriend, and their friends, and the random, everyday problems that they all have.  Whitney is wholeheartedly against marriage, but believes in a committed relationship, which she has with her boyfriend.  A lot of the episodes revolve around arguments they get in over trivial matters in their relationship.  In one episode, Whitney is upset because Alex has a password on his phone.  According to her, since they are a couple, they should share everything.  Later in this episode, she accidentally walks in on him masturbating, and he gets embarrassed and upset when she tells her friends about it.  Yeah, now that I write it down. none of that seems funny at all.  But I’m sure that episode had other redeeming qualities?

Another episode features Whitney trying to help her friend Lily with her wedding plans, when she herself hates the idea of weddings.  Naturally, when you’re completely against weddings, you would agree to be the wedding planner for your friend.  I can’t quite remember what was good about that episode either.  But I’m sure there must have been something.

Maybe I like the fact that it’s based in part on Whitney Cummings’ real life experience?  That adds something to a show, right?  Although I think Rob was supposed to be somewhat based on Rob Schneider’s real life experience, and I didn’t care for that at all.  I guess in order for it to work, your life experience has to have some substance or humour in it.  I think what I like is her attitude and some of her opinions.  Like when she asks how buying flowers for a woman is romantic, because you’re basically saying here, I picked these for you so you could watch them slowly die.  In today’s episode, remarks are made about how she has a knack for being mean to people and dissing things that most people love.  Being mean in a way that is at least intended to be humorous is right up my alley.

So it’s not the best sitcom, but it’s not the worst sitcom either.  And I can’t be the only one who’s watching it, or it wouldn’t still be on the air.  I don’t know, I guess I’ve just gotten comfortable with watching not so great sitcoms.  Perhaps I should higher my standards again.  But I can’t be bothered.  I’ll just wait and hope that the sitcoms will just get better.  And if they don’t, I can just write bad reviews about them.  Whitney’s not the only one who can be mean with the intention of being funny.

All This, and Heaven Too

I am not referring to the song by Florence + the Machine (although I do like it).  There is no comma in that song title.  I am referring to the 1940’s film starring Bette Davis.  Why am I watching old movies instead of listening to new music?  Because I can.  Because I have random movie channels that play random movies, both new and old.  And because sometimes I have nothing better to do.  And after all, this blog is called what are we watching, not what are we listening to.

In this movie, Bette Davis plays a governess for a family where she is loved by the children and their father, but despised by their mother.  And due to no fault of her own, unfortunate circumstances and events seem to play out for her.  She is more of a mother to the children than their own mother appears to be, although maybe that was the case in a rich family that had a governess.  But the mother is cold and rude and doesn’t seem to care for the well being of her own children.  She is also insanely jealous.  I just kept thinking “wow, what a bitch.”At one point the governess tells her that the little boy is too sick to go out, but she forces him to accompany her, and as a result, he becomes very ill.

My favourite thing about this movie is the little boy.  When he’s sick, you’re worried that he might die, and when he’s well, he’s just so cute.  The way he talks to his father and says “pa paw” is adorable, but not as adorable as when he refers to the governess as mademoiselle, but pronounces it “mum-selle”.  Richard Nichols, who played the boy is now 76 years old.  I’m not sure if he went on to other roles as an adult.  But either way, playing that four year old boy had to have been his best role.

The movie was a bit long, but I didn’t mind it.  I found myself getting angry as I watched it.  Which is good, because that meant that it was holding my attention.  I was angry at the circumstances that Bette Davis’ character was faced with, and at how bitchy the mother was, and at how stupid the father was.  Love grows between him and the governess but is never acted upon.  But this movie seems to explore the idea that the love itself could be considered a crime.  Well there is an actual crime committed as well, but I don’t want to spoil it in the off chance you might actually want to watch it.  Although when I watched the movie, it was already spoiled, as it was stated in the movie description on my TV.

If you do happen to ever be in the mood for an old drama romance movie, this one isn’t bad.  Though if you’re like me, certain things about it might make you angry.  It bothers me that the governess has to suffer even though she is guilt free.  But things work out for her in the end.  And it was actually based on a book that was based on a true story.  I’m not sure if that makes it better or not.  But if nothing else, just watching the scenes with the little boy in them makes this movie worth it.

Today Is Friday

That probably makes you think of Rebecca Black doesn’t it?  And now you hate me for getting that song stuck in your head?  Well, that was actually not my intention.  If I wanted to make you think of Rebecca Black, I would have called this post “Friday” or “It’s Friday” or “Gotta Get Down on Friday”.  Or something like that.  Everyone associates Friday with Rebecca Black.  But am I the only one who remembers the song Today is Friday by Nuclear Donkey?  Don’t have a clue what I’m talking about?  Here…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxzhhcuJOHg

Now do you remember?  Or am I the only one?  Sadly I couldn’t find an actual video of them singing it.  But at least I was able to find the song.  I used to love watching YTV.  It was great when I was a kid.  YTV provided classic after school entertainment for kids.  I remember watching it when they had Treehouse with PJ Phil.  And PJ Katie’s farm.  And the Hit List.  I remember watching Camp Cariboo and Rupert and Wishbone and Reboot.  And Pinky and the Brain and Sailor Moon and Dexter’s Laboratory.  I think YTV had much better taste back in the 90s.

Nuclear Donkey was a band formed by Jenny and Pat on the Zone on YTV.  I specifically remember watching it when they sang the song Today Is Friday (Donkey Sneakers).  I remember thinking how completely random it was.  “Today is Friday, I hope you put your shoes on” and “Today is Friday, I hope you got your pants on” were random but also brilliant lyrics in my mind.  Thinking about it kind of makes me want to go out and buy the YTV Big Fun Party Mix CD.  So I can remember the awesomeness once again.

If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, then I feel bad for you.  It would be upsetting to know that Rebecca Black’s song is the only Friday song that you’re familiar with.  I’m so glad I was exposed to one long before it.  I mean technically there’s also Friday I’m in Love by the Cure and Just Got Paid (Friday Night) by Johnny Kemp (yes, the N’sync version was a cover).  And now there’s Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night as well.  But I’ll always remember the one by Nuclear Donkey because it makes me feel nostalgic and reminds me of my YTV watching days as a kid.

I just thought I would share that since today is Friday.  And I’m tired of people quoting and singing Rebecca Black when this day rolls around.  I mean sure people love “partying” and I know that “everybody’s looking forward to the weekend”.  But more importantly, I do “hope you got your pants on”.  Please, for the sake of those around you.  And “I hope you put your shoes on” if you’re going outside.  Pat and Jenny really knew what they were talking about.  “Today is Friday, thanks for putting your clothes on.”

 

New Girl

I love Zooey Deschanel.  Well, love is a strong word.  I like her.  I loved 500 Days of Summer, but I think Joseph Gordon Levitt takes most of the credit for why.  I liked Zooey in movies, but when I saw the pilot episode of New Girl, I liked her even more.  I thought I had found my new favourite show.  But then a few episodes later, I began to question myself on this matter.

I’m not sure what it was about the pilot episode.  It was just good.  It was funny and able to encompass material that I liked in a sitcom.  I was very happy that this was a show that had an awkward central female character.  That to me, was awesome.  And the character of Jess was just full of awkwardness.  Her quirky behaviour was very refreshing.  The jokes and references were good and it worked.  I was looking forward to a whole season of this.  But somewhere, somehow, the awesomeness of it was lost.

Of the three guys Jess moves in with, Coach was my favourite.  I thought it was incredibly misleading for them to introduce his character in the pilot as a regular on the show, only to replace him so that we never see him again.  I understand that it’s because the show Happy Endings was renewed for another season and so Damon Wayans Jr. had to leave New Girl for that.  But still, very misleading and unfortunate to rid me of my favourite character.

They didn’t even really explain the switch that well.  Their friend Winston was moving back, and since his name was on the lease and Coach was subletting, he had to leave.  But just because he no longer lives there, why would he be cut completely out of their lives?  Where did he go?  It’s not that the character of Winston is horrible or anything, he just doesn’t seem to add as much value to the show is all.  He’s sort of just, there.  He’s okay, but he’s not great.

My least favourite character right now is Nick.  Funny enough, I didn’t mind him earlier on and thought he was okay.  In about the second or so episode, he may even have briefly been my new favourite when Coach left.  I don’t know how that would have been possible, seeing as how annoying I find him now.  All he does is whine all the time in a really whiny voice.  In the “Naked” episode when he did that weird strip thing in front of the mirror, I thought what the hell is this and why is it going on for so long?

And that leaves us with Schmidt, the douche bag.  In the first few episodes, he wasn’t my favourite.  Naturally, why would a douche bag be my favourite?  In real life, I hate that kind of person.  Speaking of douche bags, I absolutely love the concept of the douche bag jar.  I think that was my favourite thing in the pilot episode and in the show in general.  I wish that I could carry around one of those jars when I go out and charge people for being douche bags.  I swear I would be rich after just one night.  Despite being a douche bag, Schmidt grew on me and is now my favourite.  His character is somehow likable and funny.  Also, he can cook, which is an obvious plus.

There were a few episodes in there that I didn’t much care for, but I suppose that’s the case with any sitcom.  You can’t love them all.  I do think it’s starting to get better again though.  Maybe because the last episode involved the douche bag jar?  It’s not quite at the level of awesome that I remember the pilot to be.  But I can still wait and hope for that awesomeness to return.  Maybe it’ll happen if Coach comes back for an episode and guest stars.