2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Don’t trust the b—- in apartment 23

Don’t trust the b—- in apartment 23 is a new sitcom that aired on Thursday night.  “B—-” obviously stands for bitch, but I guess they can’t advertise it like that on TV.  Just like how GCB couldn’t be advertised as Good Christian Bitches.  Maybe one day we’ll all get past the word bitch and they’ll be able to write it as well as say it?  Or not.  At least in this case, b rhymes with 23, so I think they thought their rhyme was super clever.

This show revolves around June, played by Dreama Walker, who’s just moved to New York, landed a great job, is engaged, and right where she feels like she’s supposed to be in her life.  But then the company she’s supposed to work at is shut down before she can even start, and she finds herself with no place to live.  Thus begins her search for a roommate.

And she finds one.  Who seems nice and perfect at first and is great at selling herself.  But then turns out to be a total bitch.  Or should I say b—-.  Turns out Chloe, played by Krysten Ritter is a bit of a con artist, going through roommates fast by scaring them off with her questionable morals and inappropriate behaviour.  She does this so that she can get their deposit for the rent money, only to have them leave right away because they can’t stand to live with her.  Pretty clever actually, however horrible.  Chloe resorts to tactic such as inviting June to join her in a foursome, walking around naked, and walking in on her while she’s in the tub and making inappropriate and awkward conversation.

Thinking her new roommate will soon leave, just like her past roommates have, Chloe is surprised when June, who is super sweet and naive, actually fights back, selling all her furniture to get back at her for stealing from her by taking more money from her than was actually needed to pay the rent.  But then when she says she really needs her ottoman back, June helps her even though she’s been a total bitch.  Chloe has a newfound respect for her after this.

Chloe then discovers that June’s fiance has been cheating on her.  But when she tells her she obviously doesn’t believe her because she knows she can’t trust the bitch.  So naturally, Chloe sets it up so that June walks in on them having sex on her birthday cake.  Because that was the worst case scenario she could come up with to convince her what a cheating bastard he was.

There’s a lot going on here, but the best thing by far about this show is James Van Der Beek playing himself.  He plays Chloe’s friend, who she says is “like her gay bff but straight”.  And he plays himself well.  I never watched Dawson’s Creek, but I love it when actors play themselves and can make fun of themselves which is exactly what he does.  I think I would watch this show just for him.

I’m interested to see what the rest of the series holds, now that the roommates are sort of friends, and Chloe shouldn’t really be conning June or trying to get rid of her anymore.  But I guess she’ll just continue to make her life difficult in order to teach her lessons about the hardships of living in New York.  If I never amount to anything, maybe I’ll end up stooping to something like that, getting rent money off people and then scaring them off.  Although I probably won’t have to try very hard to get a person to not want to live with me.

Friends With Kids

I pretty much just write about TV shows, but I thought I’d change it up and write about a movie every once in a while.  A couple weeks ago I went to see Friends With Kids.  I already knew I would love it because I love the people in it.  No, it wasn’t as good as Bridesmaids, but then what is?  I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two, because they’re two completely different stories, even if half the actors are the same.  When the commercials are comparing them, they’re not saying it’s like Bridesmaids, they’re saying that the actors are also funny in this movie.

The concept is kind of hard to wrap your head around.  Two friends, best friends, decide to have a baby together, even though they plan to just remain friends and not be romantically involved at all, and just continue dating other people while being committed to raising a kid together.  I was curious to see how they came up with that idea.  Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt are the last two singles left in their group of friends.  The other two couples, Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm, and Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd, are married with kids.  The two singles see how having kids have affected their friends’ lives and that gets them thinking about their own.

Jennifer Westfeldt’s character brings up the point that she wants to have a kid and how it’s scary to think that after having the kid, it would be a person who she would love more than anything, including the person she’s chosen to spend the rest of her life with.  They discuss how it might be better to have a kid now, and then find love later.  And then they somehow decide the two of them should have and raise one together.  And so they do.

This seems like a convultued idea, but think about the number of women who want to have kids and opt for sperm banks, which is considered a perfectly acceptable thing to do.  I guess this way, at least she knows the father and he’s invested in helping raise the kid.  But obviously, we know that feelings and attractions will occur, as it is a romantic comedy after all.  Apparently I like romantic comedies and chick flicks?  I honestly don’t know when the hell that happened.  But to be fair, it’s the rauchy, funny ones that I like, not the sappy ones.  So it’s okay.

And as I said, I couldn’t not love this movie because I love the people in it.  I liked seeing Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig in another dysfunctional relationship.  And Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd were great.  It was kind of weird seeing Adam Scott play a womanizing jerk as opposed to a nerdy pushover like on Parks and Recreation, but I got used to it.  And I haven’t seen Jennifer Westfeldt in anything before, but I love her.  I also love her clothes.  I found myself noticing her fashion choices throughout the movie and loving them.  I especially loved her coats and there was this red one she wore that I really wish I had.

So yeah.  Great movie, and if you don’t like chick flicks, don’t call it a chick flick.  Because it has the type of humour that should give it a different category, a better one than that.  And while I still think the concept is convoluted, I like the way the story plays out.  But I would never in a million years want to have a kid with a friend.  Unless my friend was Adam Scott, Jon Hamm, or Chris O’Dowd.

Touch

Touch is the new television series starring Kiefer Sutherland that aired last Thursday.  I find there are a lot of complex one hour dramas to keep track of that all seem to be on Thursdays.  I’m sure you’ve seen several commercials for Touch by now.  I know I saw the same one over and over again which made me sick of it before it even began.  But I decided to watch it anyway.

The premise of Touch is that Kiefer Sutherland’s character, Martin Bohm, has trouble connecting with his 11-year old son Jake, played by David Mazouz.  Jake never speaks and doesn’t let anyone touch him.  He’s constantly preoccupied with writing down numbers and no one knows why.  But in the beginning of the show, Jake explains the the viewers about some ancient theory that we are all connected and there are certain connections between people who’s lives were meant to touch.  And apparently for some reason it’s his job to keep track of them all.  I think that would be an awesome role for an actor to play, just having to look upset and disturbed, and never having to memorize any lines.

Martin goes to see a man named Arthur Teller, played by Danny Glover, who tells him that his son can see all these connections and patterns in the world that the rest of us can’t, and that the numbers mean something, and it’s up to Martin to follow these connections and figure it all out.  Or something like that.  But how does he know that without having even met the kid?  He also says that his son sees so much beauty in the world, no wonder he doesn’t talk.  I don’t see the connection there.  Why would being overwhelmed with the world’s beauty make a person not talk ever?  And if he’s seeing all this beauty, then why does he look angry all the time?

Jake climbs the cell tower three times in a span of three weeks while he’s at school, causing a social worker, Clea Hopkins, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw to have to intervene and take him in for assessments.  Martin tries to tell her that there are patterns in what Jake is writing down and showing them, but she refuses to believe there is any meaning behind them.  But then Jake arranges popcorn kernels in groups of numbers, which are the same as her mother’s phone number, and she receives a call from her right after.  It must be incredibly annoying for them that Jake can’t talk, and that they have to follow his indications and clues in order to figure out what the hell he’s trying to tell them.

There are also worldwide connections shown throughout the show, ones which don’t seem to have anything to do with Jake.  A man loses his cell phone, and it consequently ends up being passed around the world and connecting the people who come across it.  The man who loses it needs it back, as it has pictures of his daughter who died a year ago.  Because of the way the phone is passed around, he ends up seeing these pictures on a jumbo tron in Japan, because someone put a video of a girl singing, in hopes that the next person to find the phone would discover her.  Then, a girl in Japan made sure everything on the phone was put onto the jumbo tron because she wanted to start a fan club for the singer.

Meanwhile a boy in the middle east tries to steal an oven for his family who is in need, gets caught, and ends up with a bomb strapped to him, with the phone attached to it.  The original owner of the phone had made a request to get it back, and so the boy gets a call from the call centre on that phone.  Coincidentally, the woman at the call centre is the same woman who was recorded singing on the phone.  When she realizes he has a bomb strapped to him, she convinces him to take out the battery and not go through with it.  He says the only thing that would get him to stop would be an oven for his family.  Conveniently, the original owner of the phone is a restaurant supplies salesman, so the call centre woman is able to acquire an oven for the boy.  She also realizes the video of her singing has received many hits on youtube.

I don’t know why her friend couldn’t have just put the video on youtube to begin with, as opposed to sending it off on a phone.  And I also wonder why the cell phone owner’s only pictures of his daughter were on his cell phone.  Did he not own a camera?  And did he not ever upload the pictures to his computer?  And as for the boy in the middle east, the men he tried to steal from still know who and where he is, so wouldn’t he still be in trouble, even if he was able to get an oven for his family?  And what does any of this have to do with the mute boy writing down numbers?

My mom mentioned they didn’t really need the boy, they could have just called the series “Phone” and focused on how it was randomly passed around and connecting people.  The part that does have to do with the kid, is that he is preoccupied with the numbers 318, and tries to indicate to his dad that there’s something he needs to do.  What Martin ends up doing, is going to the terminal at 3:18, and trying to use the payphone.  He gets in a fight with the guy at the payphone, causing him to miss his train.  Later on the news, we find out this same man was able to save a bus full of children, something he wouldn’t have been able to do if he hadn’t missed his train.

Coincidentally, this man had been on the phone leaving a message for Martin at the time, informing him that he had been a fireman who had tried to save his wife when she was killed at the world trade centre on 9/11, but had left her not knowing whether or not she was really dead.  He had played lottery numbers significant to that date ever since, and had just won.  I think they would have called this show “Numbers“, if the title hasn’t already been used previously.

My mom remarked that this show may even be more confusing than Awake, if that’s possible.  And I remarked how we’re only dealing with one reality here.  I don’t know, I suppose the connections and everything are interesting.  But do I really care that much?  I guess the show will progress with the kid trying to predict other various things and getting his dad to do certain things in order to make connections.  It would be funny if he just showed him random numbers that didn’t mean anything for fun.  But I guess he takes his job seriously.  But I still don’t get why it’s up to him and why this prevents him from talking.

Missing

No, I’m not writing a blog post about something that I’ve lost.  I’m writing a blog post on the new TV series that aired last Thursday.  Missing stars Ashley Judd as Rebecca Winstone, a former CIA agent whose son, Michael, played by Nick Eversman, has just gone missing.  Her son goes off to college in Rome, on his own for the first time.  We see a flashback from when he was a boy and his father, played by Sean Bean, is killed when his car blows up.  Luckily, the boy goes back inside where he has forgotten his soccer ball, or else he would have been killed as well.

Before going off to college, Michael comes up with a code which he can text his mother which means “I love you”.  He explains to her that he can’t possibly text the words “I love you” when he’s with his friends.  I forget what the code is.  Something like 26@4a something.  That’s probably not even close.  But whatever.  Soon after he leaves, she checks her phone and receives that text.  But seriously, he’s not with his friends yet at that point, he could easily have just texted “I love you”.

As the weeks go by, Rebecca stops hearing from her son, and senses that something is wrong.  She finds out that he’s left his dorm and stopped going to classes and been kicked out of the program.  This isn’t like him, so she goes to Rome to find him.  I thought it would’ve been funny if it turned out that he actually had just decided to drop out and he was totally fine.  But I guess that’s not the direction they decided to go in.  When we first heard about this show, my mom basically told me not to end up missing somewhere, because she wouldn’t do whatever it takes to come and look for me.  Well she didn’t say it in those words exactly, but I think it was implied.  I don’t blame her though, she hates travelling and as far as I know has never had any CIA training.

It’s convenient that Rebecca is a former CIA agent and not just a typical soccer mom, or else she wouldn’t be able to go to the lengths that she does to get her son back.  Although to be fair, her son being taken probably has something to do with her being a former CIA agent.  Also, I wonder if maybe her husband didn’t actually blow up in the car and is still alive somewhere.  Sean Bean has a recurring role, so maybe he’s alive, unless it’s all just a bunch of flashbacks that he’s in.

Even though she’s spent 10 years away from the CIA, she’s retained all the skills and tactics as if she’d never left.  This is a great series to watch if you love to see a lot of action scenes in which Ashley Judd kicks some serious ass.  I kind of feel like it should be a movie.  Partly because I have a short attention span.  Or maybe I just want it to be one so I can find out sooner what happens and how it ends.  I would assume it would end with her finding her son.  But if they want to have multiple seasons, then how will the first season end?  How long will they draw out the story of her trying to find her son?

There’s a lot of action and it is interesting, so I think I’ll invest in watching it for now and see where it goes.  Since her son’s been taken, and in Europe, I was reminded of the movie Taken with Liam Neeson for a moment.  Except now it’s mother and son instead of father and daughter.  In terms of the “I love you” code, I think it’s going to come up in every episode, because Rebecca comes to a place where her son has been, and he has written it on the wall.  Convenient that no one else knows what the hell that means.  I’m guessing writing “I love you” on the wall would not have the same effect.  In any case, this show looks promising, and it’s cool to see a mother kicking ass and doing everything she can in order to get her child back.  Even if my own mother wouldn’t do that for me.

GCB

GCB is a new series that aired last night on ABC.  I had seen a bunch of commercials for it and thought what the hell is GCB?  I had to look it up to find out that it stands for “Good Christian Bitches“.  And then they changed it to “Good Christian Belles“.  And then they just decided to abbreviate it to save the trouble.  Good Christian Belles would have been an awful title.  The b obviously stands for bitches.

It’s a classic story of “I used to be a mean girl in high school but now I’m a nice person but things aren’t going so well in my life so I have to move back home where the girls I was a bitch to in high school are now major bitches themselves and won’t let me live it down”.  Or you know, something along those lines.

When I saw the show starred Leslie Bibb, I thought “She was in some TV show that was popular when I was a kid”.  But I couldn’t remember what it was.  And then I realized the show itself was called Popular.  I never watched it though, so that’s why I had such a hard time remembering.  In GCB, Leslie Bibb plays Amanda Vaughn, who used to be popular in high school.  Her husband has just died and it’s been revealed that he was involved in a scandal and had stolen money from investors.  He also died in a car crash while another woman was giving him head.

And so Amanda has no choice but to take her two children and reluctantly move back home with her mother in Dallas.  The community is small, and so everyone seems to know each other, and the women she went to high school with gossip and plot upon hearing of her return.  And their husbands are all too eager to greet her when they see her.  And her mother makes her go to church with her.  Because they are good Christian bitches, after all.

The new queen bitch in town since Amanda’s departure is Carlene Cockburn, played by Kritstin Chenoweth.  When I saw she was on the show I thought “Oh, look, she’s getting more work after Glee, but still playing a really annoying character”.  Carlene is dead set on making Amanda’s stay in town miserable enough to get her to leave.  Amanda used to be cruel to her in high school about her looks, but Carlene has since had a lot of plastic surgery and refuses to accept that Amanda is now a better person.  She is also religious and self righteous, while being very judgemental.  The other women sort of just go along with her, although one of them may be actually starting to accept that Amanda has changed.

I found it a bit difficult to keep track of all the people in town, particularly the husbands.  We learn that one of the husbands says he’s in love with Amanda, lures her into his car dealership and kisses her, where she refuses his advances.  Another husband is secretly gay and in love with the other guy who works on his ranch.  And then there’s Carlene’s husband who seems alright and just loves sex.  And then I think there’s another husband of someone who’s just there but I’m not sure.

Amanda needs to get a job but can’t find anything, so becomes a waitress at a bar, which the other women look down on her for and say that it goes against their moral standard, based on the outfit that she wears there.  But Amanda doesn’t let their judgement stop her from trying to make the best of her new life and even comes to make peace a bit with her mother who’s outlook on life she doesn’t agree with.

This show wasn’t as bad as I expected.  I kind of liked it.  I heard it was supposed to be like the new Desperate Housewives.  Except I never watched Desperate Housewives, so I wouldn’t know.  I just know there’s going to be a whole lot of drama in it.  I think I’ll watch it again next week and see how it develops.  Not sure yet if I’ll follow it completely.  Also I don’t know if I should feel sorry for Amanda and want things to work out for her, or if I should think “While that’s what you get for being a bitch in high school”.  But Carlene is so annoying and manipulative, I think I’ll have to root for Amanda.

Happy Endings

This show is in its second season.  I never watched the first season.  For some reason it just didn’t really seem like something I’d want to watch.  But at the time I didn’t really know what it was.  I’d see random commercials and scenes and just brush it off as another random show.  But then it would follow shows like Cougar Town and Modern Family, shows that I had pvred, and so at the end of watching those, I would always catch the first few minutes of Happy Endings.  And those first few minutes made me decide to give it a chance.

I’ve been watching this season and I actually really like it.  It focuses on a group of six friends, two of whom were engaged, but then she left him at the altar.  But they stayed friends.  Normally I hate that story line because I think it’s just been so overdone.  Why wait to leave someone at the altar?  You obviously knew at some point before then that this wasn’t what you wanted.  Fortunately, since I didn’t watch the first season, I missed that first episode.  I didn’t even know about the previous engagement leaving at the altar part when I first starting watching it.  Which is probably a good thing.

Six friends who are really close, two are siblings, one couple is married, one used to be a couple and there is still lingering tension, and the remaining two have their own love escapades with people who aren’t part of the group.  Sound familiar?  In today’s episode, Brad gets high from too many drugs at the dentist, and in his doped up state, points to his friends calling them Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, and Joey.  I love that they acknowledged the comparisons between the characters and even pointed it out.

Brad

Brad is played by Damon Wayans Jr., who was my favourite character on New Girl, in that one episode he happened to be in.  Happy Endings having a second season is the reason he couldn’t be on New Girl, which I was initially upset about, but I love that this show is continuing and I think he’s better on Happy Endings than he would have been on New Girl anyway.  He would be the “Chandler” of the group, I guess because of his jokes and personality, and also because he’s married to the “Monica” of the group.

Jane

Jane is Brad’s wife, played by Eliza Coupe, who I also love.  She was one of the few new additions to the last seasons of Scrubs who actually fit with the show.  She is definitely the “Monica” of the group, because she is very anal and a control freak.  Her uptight personality can be overbearing and annoying, but it suits her and she makes it funny.

Alex

Elisha Cuthbert plays Jane’s younger sister Alex, who leaves her fiance at the altar.  I grew up watching her on Popular Mechanics for Kids.  You may also remember her from The Girl Next Door.  She is the “Rachel” of the group, because she leaves a man at the altar.  She is sort of dumb at times and doesn’t always understand jokes.  My favourite thing about her character is when there are scenes in which she loves food, like when she gets drunk and eats ribs, or orders like three different plates when they go out for breakfast.

Dave

Zachary Knighton plays Alex’s ex-fiance Dave.  To be honest, I initially thought this guy had a really weird face.  I don’t know what it is, but something about it just wasn’t working for me.  But I got over it.  Dave owns a food truck and is moving on with his life after being left at the altar, but remains good friends with Alex.  He is the “Ross” of the group, since he dated the “Rachel” and because he’s the most depressed character of the guys.

Max

Adam Pally plays Max, Dave’s friend and roommate.  In today’s episode, Brad calls him “fat Joey”.  He’s the “Joey” of the group because he’s kind of dumb and quirky in his own way.  But unlike Joey, he’s gay.  When I first started watching this show, I found him super annoying and thought “How can the gay guy be my least favourite character on a show?  That never happens”.  But I have since changed my mind.  His character is arrogant and whiny at times but that’s just who he is.

Penny

Penny is played by Casey Wilson.  She was Max’s last girlfriend before he came out.  Yeah, there’s all sorts of love complications within the group.  But they make it work.  She is the “Phoebe” of the group because she’s fun and quirky and always an optimist.  She has her own love problems, as she gets a lot of dates, but can never seem to find the right guy for her.  In real life, I would find someone like her incredibly annoying, but on the show, I love her.

So am I saying it’s the new Friends?  No, not at all.  There are many similarities but it’s still unique in its own way.  The random story lines and the relationships and friendships within the group are just really entertaining and I enjoy watching it.  I just wonder if Dave and Alex will get together again at some point and how much of a “Ross and Rachel” type thing this really is.

I hope there's a third season