I know that someday you'll find better things.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Watch Better

I realized last night that if you remove (or accidentally forget) the 't's in better, it makes 'beer'. Noticing those weird little things makes me feel better. Sometimes beer makes me feel better, too.

Movies and TV shows aren't compatible with my attention span, but there are a few that are so good that even I am compelled. We have a running joke in this household that I've only seen sixteen movies in my life. Half of them are listed below. They are not in order of preference. They are in alphabetical order, of course. It's only fair.

The Avengers (2012) Imperfect superheroes joining forces to fight crime imperfectly. It's like a modern version of the Battle of the Alamo with a fantasy-twist. What's not to love?

(500) Days of Summer (2009) Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a greeting card company, and a catchy soundtrack.

Garden State (2004) If I had to pick a favorite, this one would be it. Absolutely, unequivocally. Your previous experience with New Jersey doesn't matter-- this will remind you of home no matter where you are from. PS: I realized in the usual way-- too late, and while watching with Hannah-- that it is deceptively (and highly) inappropriate for younger audiences.

Life is Beautiful (1997) You don't have to speak Italian to have an appreciation for the love and bond in this family. Never was there a more devoted and optimistic father.

Paper Hearts (2009) Documentary-style with artful little shoebox-dioramas along the way, this is the sappiest movie of the bunch. Still, we own it. I really want to learn how to make those dioramas.

Romeo and Juliet (1996) Modern-day retelling of Shakespeare's classic. You'll get used to the language. I wish Baz Luhrmann would do this to every classic ever written-- maybe it would deepen my appreciation for Chaucer.

True Grit (2010) A remake of the 1969 John Wayne western, the cinematography in this film is outstanding. The bonus material that came with the blu ray disc (which, I think I discovered is also accessible on youtube) is equally fascinating. So much effort and consideration went into the creation of this historical film.

Honorable MentionGood Will Hunting (1997) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Better take a moment to note these great TV shows, too.

Blue Bloods (currently airing, CBS) They're a conservative family of police officers and attorneys in New York City, and they try to do the right thing.

Downton Abbey (currently airing, PBS) They're a conservative family of feudalist England in the early 1900s, and they try to do the right thing.

Duck Dynasty (currently airing, A&E) They're a conservative family of rednecks in rural Louisiana, and they try to do the right thing.

Elementary (currently airing, CBS) Sherlock Holmes is a recovering addict and a consultant for NYPD. The lovely Dr. Watson is Sherlock's sobriety companion and apprentice. He's a blazing mess. She's logical and lovely. Even though the crime scenes are sometimes a bit gory for my sensitive soul, I still wish they'd present two or more episodes a week.

King of the Hill (aired from 1997-2010 on FOX; we watch it on Netflix) It's an almost embarrassingly-accurate portrayal of life in suburban Texas. I love the little details. The show ran for 13 seasons, and the cartoon characters--who were pretty rough in season one-- became more and more three-dimensional in spirit as the years went by. If you only watch one episode in your life, let it be number 228, 'Behind Closed Doors'.

The Middle (currently airing, ABC) They're the weirdest family I've even seen, but somehow they are still loveable. Their home is authentically cluttered, which is sometimes reassuring and sometimes excruciating.

24 (aired from 2001 to 2008 or 2010, took a hiatus, and is supposedly returning soon!) Jack Bauer is conservative patriot and hero, and he tries to do the right thing.

Honorable Mention: New Girl (currently airing, FOX)

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