Trying out this live blogging thing!
Unfortunately WordPress does not support the iframe player that the live blog website uses so you’ll have to open it in a different window! Sorry! 😦
Trying out this live blogging thing!
Unfortunately WordPress does not support the iframe player that the live blog website uses so you’ll have to open it in a different window! Sorry! 😦
Last night I attended the All Night Tribute to Edgar Wright put on by Midnites for Maniacs at the legendary Castro Theatre! It was a triple feature with all three of Edgar Wright’s films – Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Hot Fuzz, and Shaun of the Dead.
I am a massive fan of Edgar Wright and was so excited when I found out it was confirmed that he would be appearing and doing a Q&A! I’ve seen him twice before at Comic-Con when he was there in 2008 to promote the American release of Spaced and in 2011 to promote Scott Pilgrim. Not only is he incredibly talented, but he’s also very charming and kind to his fans. I throw out this story whenever people ask for nice celebrity encounter stories, but back in 2008 I was lucky enough to win a ticket to the Spaced signing and had to chance to briefly meet Edgar, Simon Pegg, and Jessica Hynes. I remember wanting to throw up the entire time because I was so nervous whilst waiting in line and when I finally got to the table, I told Edgar that I was really, really nervous. He grabbed my hands and said there was no need to be nervous and that to calm down, we would count to 10. I know this sounds straight out of some weird fanfiction but it’s totally true! I remember how surreal it all felt to have someone whose work you admire, to hold your hands…and slowly count to 10, while your favorite actor is less than a foot away and watching you both.
Skip to 2:13. I am so thankful my face is offscreen. Although that moment remains one of the best moments of my life, the internet so does not need to see me spazzing out like a complete dork. So in short, Edgar Wright = one of the nicest celebrities/famous people EVER.
And back to last night! I got there a little before 6pm and the line was already wrapping around two corners! It was insane…even though I knew this would be a passionate and dedicated crowd, I had no idea just how passionate. It was like a little bit of Comic-Con in the heart of the Castro!
Once inside, my friends and I discussed possibly napping during some of the movies. They’re three of my favorite films, but sometimes I can barely handle watching two movies back to back (this is why I’m not a very good movie hopper). Sure enough, I napped for about 20 minutes during Hot Fuzz and another 30 minutes during Shaun of the Dead, but managed to wake up in time for my favorite parts.
The Q&As were a lot of fun and Comic-Con style with the audience asking the majority of the questions. What I love about audience questions is that they’re usually really thoughtful and interesting, as opposed to the typical press questions like “What was it like working with blah blah?” or “Tell us about this movie…” Fans are the ones who’ve already seen the films and have analyzed every single bit of the them; their questions are about the details most people gloss over or the filmmakers’ obscure back catalogue and so on. Some of my favorite questions last night where those ones from film geeks who asked about Edgar’s use of long tracking shots or sound. It’s pretty interesting to hear why they chose to film some scenes in a certain way or behind the scenes stories. Here’s one – did you know their director of photography on Shaun of the Dead also worked on Goodfellas? Surprise! He didn’t work on that famous kitchen scene though…surprise again! He didn’t work on that famous Shaun walking to the shop scene either. There was also that awkward moment when a fan prefaced his question with the confession that he’s never read the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels, and then decided to ask why the Matthew Patel musical was in the film (silence….someone in the crowd: “it’s in the book!”). Still, Edgar answered the questions quite throughly so the movies were a bit behind schedule, hence, why I had to nap!
All in all, it was a great night for Edgar Wright fans! It’s always fun to see movies with dedicated and passionate fans and I love that the scenes that got big reactions in the theater years ago, still get them today. Edgar chose an IMDB keyword for each film that everyone would cheer for so during Scott Pilgrim we all cheered whenever coins appeared, for Hot Fuzz when a “chin stabbing” occurs, and for Shaun of the Dead when disembowelment happens. I saw the last two films in theaters and it was great to see them on the big screen again and, as the Castro prides itself, in 35mm. I never watched Shaun of the Dead in theaters (I was an uncultured 14 year old when it came out) despite it being my favorite film of all time, so I’m glad I can now say I’ve seen that on the big screen as well. I’m really happy that the Castro Theater/Midnite for Maniacs put on this triple feature! Like I mentioned, I normally have trouble sitting through two movies back to back, so there’s not many triple features I’d be willing to pay for and attend. This, of course, was an exception and I’m glad I attended – definitely a highlight of my summer, if not my year!
For nicer photos of the marquee and his own remarks on the event, check out Edgar Wright’s own blog here.
I think most people who know me know I’m a massive fan of Conan O’Brien. I’ve looked up to him since I was 14 years old and in the 9th grade. I used to watch reruns of ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien’ on Comedy Central after school everyday. The best day of my life, which also happens to be the only day I cut school, was May 4, 2007 when I went to see Conan in San Francisco as part of the week of shows Late Night did in San Francisco. I was also fortunate to be short enough for him to stand in front of and reach behind to sign autographs.
During The Tonight Show fiasco I was all about Team Coco; I changed my profile picture to that famous image of Conan and read any article debating the issue, often rolling my eyes at any point of view that wasn’t Team Coco.
When Conan announced that he would be moving to TBS and starting over on the cable channel, I, along with many other fans, rejoiced because we knew this would be the return of our late night king. By airing on a cable network, Conan would have more freedom with his show than he did in the conservative 11:30pm/Tonight Show slot. I literally screamed when I found out I had tickets to see the 4th ever show taping and although I wished for better guests (my third time seeing Michael Cera…), it was still a ton of fun.
It’s now been about 10 months since the show began and there have been a few articles, notably from The A.V Club (“Conan not doing so well at TBS“) and the Wall Street Journal (“Conan Falls Flat in Season 1“), about the sad state Conan is in now. Reading both articles made me feel incredibly sad and guilty. I’ll admit that I haven’t been tuning into Conan lately and when I do watch, it’s usually the short clips from the website, thus not registering any ratings.
I’m going to start out by saying I’m not a media expert, nor completely knowledgable about this field. I’m merely a hardcore fan who hates to see one of her favorite comedians struggle like this. These are just a few of my own ideas/suggestions that Conan can do to bring up those rating numbers.
1. Find Conan‘s niche
Now that Conan is on TBS, it has to compete with a bunch of other late night talk shows: The Tonight Show w/Jay Leno, The Late Late Show w/Craig Ferguson, Late Night w/Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Chelsea Late. Some people might argue that too much competition is a bad thing. However, if there’s one thing I learned in all of my economics class (sad…and I’m an economics major), competition is always a good thing. It forces all parties to innovate and differentiate themselves from one another. I don’t even watch some of the listed shows but I know that Jay Leno’s well known for his “safe” humor and generally easy-going interview style, while Letterman’s famous for his snark and Top 10 lists. Fallon’s managed to make Late Night his own by having fun games for guests and lots of up-and-coming bands. Kimmel usually has some great shorts, e.g “I’m Fucking Ben Affleck” and “Handsome Men’s Club”. Chelsea Handler has that circle of comedians trash talking celebs and Craig Ferguson is known for his Scottish wit and charm. Meanwhile, Colbert and Stewart continue dominating on Comedy Central with their news satire shows. Each of these late night shows is well-known for something and have figured out how to hone in on their specialities and perfect it for their audiences.
Like I mentioned before, many thought that the move to cable would be a good thing because Conan could go back to his zany humor. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case right now and I don’t know if it’s because Conan’s adamant about reaching a wider audience of if he’s just playing safe right now and doesn’t really want to test the waters just yet. As a Conan fan, this is utterly depressing. What I absolutely loved about Late Night was the zany, oddball humor. Although the guest interviews were extremely amusing sometimes, the best thing about Late Night were the remotes and the shorts. To this day, I can still watch old remotes and laugh till I’m almost crying. Sure, some of the shorts started to get repetitive, but what I wouldn’t give to see a Celebrity Surveys with Justin Bieber or Kim Kardashian.
The Wall Street Journal notes that some television critics are arguing that Conan’s low ratings are because of his “niche appeal.” I completely disagree with this and think that the humor on Conan is nowhere near the niche-ness of Late Night. There have been very few remotes on the new show and the ones they do have, often feel like 10 minute long product placements (Time Warner Cable, Ford, etc). Rather, I think Conan needs to get back to what he’s good at – the zany, off the wall humor. Go back to doing remotes that aren’t centered around a product and establish some short comedy staples. While I love Will Forte, his Ted Turner character is weak and at times, unfunny. Conan needs to have something for his viewers to look forward.
2. Get better musical guests
I think some people write off having musical guests as something that talk shows have to do, but I think it really helps bring in viewers. When I saw that Conan was doing a Summer Concert Series, I was intrigued but then I saw the line-up. PITBULL. KE$HA. KT TUNSTALL. What?! I’m a fan of trashy music at times, but I looked at this and cringed. Jimmy Fallon is doing an amazing job of showcasing a lot of new bands and thus, getting their fans to tune in and generating buzz. Meanwhile Conan’s getting B-list popstars whose fans are too young to stay up to watch the show. Late Night w/Conan O’Brien was notable for its ability to bring in a ton of talented and fresh bands, while the Top 40 acts were always on Leno. The Strokes, The White Stripes, Metric, Foo Fighters, The Shins, and plenty more made appearances on Late Night and even more had their first television appearance on the show.
Conan does have some notable musical acts every once in awhile, but it doesn’t seem to have the power Late Night had. Somewhere along the way, Jimmy Fallon became the show to tune in to find the next big band.
3. It might be time to get rid of Andy
I love Andy Richter as much as any other Conan fan, but I’m starting realize that there really isn’t a purpose for him on the show. Right now, Andy serves as the announcer and Conan’s right hand man; he’s there to chime in every once in awhile during an interview and for Conan to play jokes off of. However, there’s just too much going on. Even though Andy never says that much during interviews, there are too many people talking. Some people have criticized Conan’s interviewing skills for always re-directing the flow of conversation back to himself, and I can definitely see that, and having Andy there doesn’t help. All of a sudden, it’s a Conan and Andy conversation and not a Conan and the guest conversation. Sometimes the guest is boring as hell and I love when they make it more exciting with a joke or a comment, but I think Conan as an interviewer works best alone (this also applies to the monologue). I’m not saying that Andy should leave the show entirely; he can definitely continue as the announcer and pop up in skits. Some of my favorite old skits involved Andy:
I do think it might be best to “trim the fat” (no pun intended!)
4. What to do about social media?
Conan is probably the only late night show right now that has fully embraced social media, and does it well. The entire Team Coco movement wouldn’t have exploded if it wasn’t for the Team Coco Facebook page set up by Mike Mitchell (who later hinted at bad relations between him and Conan on his Twitter…he still hasn’t explained). Fans took to Twitter to show their support by using the hashtags: #teamcoco and #imwithcoco. The show has done an amazing job of expanding their online presence by offering clips of interviews and comedy sketches on their Team Coco website. However, as the WSJ article points out, this has also hurt the show. Fans do not tune in during original airings and watch clips online (time-shifted watching), resulting in lower ratings. It’s difficult to say if this has truly hurt the show because you could argue that having web accessible clips helps promote the show and is less intimidating than offering the entire episode. I think the Team Coco website is a great website and I love that they’ve put entire episodes online. However, I would suggest that they switch from their own web player to YouTube. Right now, their official YouTube channel has short clips from interviews and some comedy bits, but the majority of the show remains only on their website. By having these clips on YouTube, fans would probably be more likely to watch because they wouldn’t have to deal with buggy video players or worse, commercials/sponsored messages.
I’ve also noticed a heavy reliance on the Internet as a source of comedy. There have been comedy bits about Twitter or posts about the “funniest” Internet videos. Rather than trying to exploit the medium for comedy, the show should focus on creating Internet-worthy material. Much like The Lonely Island’s work with Digital Shorts, Conan’s writers should come up with skits that are hilarious and easy to digest. Create something original, viral-worthy, and of course, very funny.
Additionally, I seem to recall that during Conan’s brief Tonight Show stint, they used to have viewers all tweet using a specific hashtag. I don’t know if they’ve been banned from doing it on the new show, but it was actually a lot of fun and got viewers engaged. That might be something to bring back!
5. The writing staff
The monologues on Conan have always been my least favorite part of his shows. They’re never quite that funny and usually get only few giggles out of me. I understand it must be difficult having to write up new jokes everyday of the week and still remain topical, but is there any way they can bring in new talent? I believe Mike Sweeney and the Brians (McCann and Stack) are still working for Conan and I think that’s absolutely great, but I’d love if they changed up the writing staff a bit. Lately the jokes have seemed a bit stale, safe, and tired. The show needs to recruit new writers who are edgier and wittier, perhaps younger writers who haven’t had much experience, but show potential. I’m not sure where they’d recruit them, maybe Upright Citizens Brigade, but the show is located in LA, which is just a festering pool of desperate talent.
Bonus: Did you know Demetri Martin used to be a writer for Late Night?
6. Change the format (?)
I’ve seen this suggested by some people online. What if Conan got rid of the talk show format and just made it a sketch show? That would definitely make his show stand out among the other late night talk shows, but a decision like this could hurt the show more. It’d be smart for the show to look into viewer interest of a show that only focuses on comedy bits and gets rid of the interviews. Or maybe they could just have one guest/interview and the rest comedy bits? Again, it’s an interesting suggestion and I would fully support it if the show went through with it, but Conan should conduct some research beforehand. It’s definitely a radical choice that could really help the show.
In the meantime, I feel like the show’s been having bad timing lately. When Rebecca Black’s “Friday” exploded on YouTube and became the butt of EVERYONE’S joke, the show was on a break/hiatus. During the week of the release of Harry Potter, the show was on a break/hiatus and so it lost the chance to interview the stars. A huge blockbuster movie, and you’re not going to have the actors on the show? Huge mistake. Luckily, Tom Felton showed up later to promote Rise of the Planet of the Apes and I will say that it was one of the only interviews I’ve watched recently.
Also, the show could benefit from a Friday airing. Currently, the show airs M/T/W/R and has a break on Friday. However, most people can’t stay up late during the week because of school or work, so having a Friday show would give viewers the chance to tune in to a new episode at least once a week.
I’ve offered my own thoughts and suggestions as to how Conan might recapture some those viewers lost over the past few months. Again, I’m not an expert on any of these issues, but I am a fan who wants desperately wants Conan to flourish in its new home on TBS. Writing this also helped me figure out why I haven’t been tuning in lately, but I will try to do so more often from now on. After all, I’m a Conan girl for life!
Isn’t it scary how fast time flies? I can still remember large chunks of 2001 – that was the year I entered 7th grade and had to do numerous posters for the most random things, like “Inventions” and still had to memorize vocabulary for spelling tests. And now, here we are in 2011 where I’m almost a month away from turning 22 (!!!) and flying to Washington DC where I’ll beging working as an intern at the Smithsonian. The past ten years have been a blur, filled with moments that I’ll always remember, ranging from the time I traveled around Europe with one of my best friends to days and nights I spent at my high school working on the school plays.
I’m a sucker for nostalgia so I had to put together a short playlist of some of my favorite songs from the past decade, with each song from each year. I’ll probably put together another playlist of my favorite childhood songs (BRITNEY! BSB! TLC! MARIAH CAREY!). In the meantime, enjoy this playlist!
the past 10 years
Direct link HERE
1. Nelly – Hot in Herre (2001)
2. Justin Timberlake – Rock Your Body (2002)
3. R. Kelly – Ignition (2003)
4. Shakin’ – Rooney (2004)
5. L.G Fuad – Motion City Soundtrack (2005)
6. Promiscuous – Nelly Furtado ft Timbaland (2006)
7. Silver Lining – Rilo Kiley (2007)
8. Paper Planes – M.I.A (2008)
9. Glass – Bat for Lashes (2009)
10. Basic Space – The xx
11. What You Know – Two Door Cinema Club
This past weekend I attended the 4th annual Outside Lands in my very own hometown of San Francisco! This was my third time attending, but my first time obtaining actual tickets. In the past, I’ve volunteered to get in and snuck in (shhhhh….), but I was fortunate to win tickets from one of the many contests I entered. The line-up was insanely good this year, so I was determined to attend this year’s festival.
However, because I didn’t pay ANYTHING for my tickets, I didn’t feel the need to convince myself that I was having THE BEST TIME EVER! Rather, I could look at everything in an objective manner. That’s not to say that I tried to pick apart every single thing at Outside Lands, but I did note a few things that kind of reinforced my belief that I will never pay $200 for Outside Lands. The ticket price alone is a major turn-off, especially for a poor student like me who isn’t bringing in any income at the moment, but I’ve tried to compile a list of some of the things that bothered me and put me off on paying major bucks to attend a festival.
1. TALL PEOPLE LOVE TO STAND RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.
I’m short. I’ve been the same height since the 6th grade. This doesn’t bode well for me at concerts where the majority of the crowd is taller than me. I’ve been going to shows since I was 14/15 and I can still remember how the girl at the Rooney show rested her armpit on my shoulder. Yes, I have suffered because of my height. Regardless, I still attend shows because they’re fun and I know that I should probably aim to be in the front to get a decent view.
Anyway, back to OSL. So there I was standing and enjoying my decent view of the Sutro Stage right before The Joy Formidable’s set. Right after the band finished soundchecking, this girl walks directly in front of me! All of a sudden, my view of the stage is completely obliterated by her head! My perfect view of the stage was now ruined by a head of blonde hair. Sadly, this was not the first instance in which my view was ruined by a person’s head or back.
After Ok Go’s set on Saturday, I came up with the “brilliant” idea to have my friends move out of the middle of the pit towards the barricade dividing the audience in half. I thought our view would be decent there and we’d at least have the barricade. Unfortunately about 50 other people had the same idea, so about half the people around us pushed forward while the other half pushed alongside us. It failed obviously. I ended up behind this 6 foot old guy and my arm squished between his back and this other girl. At first there was a average height man in front of me so I could at least see the stage if I stood on my tiptoes. Things got worse, though, when the old guy in front me asked the average height man to switch places with his son. Suddenly, a GIANT in a blue hoodie was standing directly in front of me. And if you’ve ever been to a concert, you may be aware of how close people are packed in. I was, essentially, pushed up against him, practically grinding against him. Not by choice! The girl behind me was also complaining about not seeing anything so she decided that she could see better by pushing against me, which pushed me against the giant. It was an awkward, sexy sandwich. Yep.
2. PEOPLE WHO BRING THEIR DSLRS INTO THE CROWD/PIT
I’m not going to lie, I’d love to have a DSLR. I’d love to have the ability to take great pictures and just look like I actually know what I’m doing with a camera; having that giant camera slung around your neck definitely adds to that illusion. However, I completely dislike seeing people bring their fancy cameras into the crowd. There’s a reason why most venues stop you from bringing in large cameras. THEY BLOCK EVERYONE’S VIEW OF THE STAGE. Not to mention the fact that sticking your expensive camera up in the air where people may crowdsurf isn’t the smartest idea.
So there I was, enjoying Phantogram’s set on Friday when this girl appeared next to me cradling a fancy DSLR camera. She seemed to be really enjoying the music so I didn’t mind her presence…that is until I saw her lifting her large camera to take photos and thus, completely blocking my view.
She didn’t do it too often, thankfully, but it was still annoying. I remember reading this article from my Alternative Press magazine from 2003 (yes I used to read that magazine) in which they asked photographers for their tips. One that kept popping up in my mind throughout the weekend was, basically, “Get to the show early if you’re going to take photos…no one likes having to deal with the photographer carrying a bunch of gear and blocking the view.”
Not to say that the photographers in the front weren’t annoying as well. I was loving Foster the People’s set when I suddenly noticed a giant DSLR camera bobbing up and down in front.
It was funny, but definitely distracting. I couldn’t focus on the music because all I could see was a camera moving around near the band’s faces.
3. DUMB SECURITY POLICIES
One of the other things that bugged over the course of the weekend was the policy that you couldn’t bring in open containers, including refillable water bottles. I understand the goal of this rule is to prevent people from smuggling in alcohol and other “substances” (LOL) but it seemed stupid, considering the fact that this festival preached green tactics and such. They encouraged festival goers to bring in re-useable bottles, but then we all had to empty them at security check? Luckily, I realized that I could just pour out a few drops of my water and security wouldn’t notice. Honestly, though it was, as I overheard one girl complain, “…a complete waste…”
4.WHY DOES EVERYONE DRESS THE SAME?!
I live in the Sunset, which is fairly close to Golden Gate Park, so I think I’m pretty good at being able to differentiate the Sunset locals from out-of-towners. Since OSL began four years ago, Irving Street, typically filled with Asians, senior citizens, and mothers, get overrun with, for lack of a better word, hipsters. Usually, people who look like Tumblr threw up on them.
It gets worse once you’re inside where you may be stuck in a sea of people who are all sporting the same sunglasses (Ray-Bans or knock-offs) and headbands. I looked around and I could count at least 10 girls near me wearing headbands and many more (guys and girls) wearing identical sunglasses. I’m not quite sure what it is about festivals, but people come out in droves wearing their best faux/”hipster” garb.
I’m not gonna front though, I wore my AA blue hoodie just like thousands of other people and some guy ran up to me and said, “Nice hoodie!” and then I realized he was wearing the same thing.
Luckily, this was not as ubiquitous at OSL as it is at emo/punk shows (Warped Tour, I’m looking at you), but it definitely happened during the Arctic Monkeys set on Saturday. My friends and I were, once again, packed in and practically grinding against one another and various strangers when we could feel a strong push behind us. All of a sudden, there was a body above our heads and because none of us are strong enough (or care enough) to carry another human beings above us, he felt directly in front/top of us. The guy also happened to be the guy who pushed past us earlier, claiming he had to “find his friend”, so he somehow made his way behind us and tried to crowdsurf back to the front. Great.
I’ve never crowdsurfed, nor do I want to. I’m scared of heights as it is and to have to trust other people to successfully carry me around makes me want to die. I suppose I can see how it’s fun, especially when the mood and music are right, but my God is it annoying when you expect ME to carry your bony (or not so bony) bod to the front of the stage. Plus, it’s never fun getting kicked in the head.
Still, one of the best things I saw this weekend came courtesy of a crowdsurfer. A girl also standing near the crowd dividing barricade decided that she would partake in the fun and had her friend lift her up. Her “Yeaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!” scream announced to those of us around her that she would be crowdsurfing, so immediately hands went up to try to carry her across. Unfortunately for her, a security guard right on the other side of the barricade also heard her and grabbed her ankle and began pulling her back towards the barricade. The result was a tug-of-war between security guard and audience members, with the girl as the rope. It was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in awhile and taught me that if I ever wanted to crowdsurf, doing it right near the barricade and security guards isn’t the best idea.
I think those are all the pet peeves I can think of right now. There are more, but most of those come with attending any type of concert, so I usually just brush them off. Overall, Outside Lands was a ton of fun and definitely a highlight of my summer. Thanks again to EggDrop app for giving me free tickets and to all of my friends who went with me. I can’t wait till next year and depending on the line-up, maybe I’ll pay for tickets. Maybe. 🙂
If you know me at all, you might know I’m a bit of a night owl. It’s a really bad habit, but I stay up quite late at night, sometimes for no reason. I’m a huge procrastinator so there have been MANY nights where I’ve stayed up to finish an essay or project at the last minute, but there have also been nights where I just didn’t feel like sleeping yet.
Because I’m usually the only one up, I listen to a lot of music so I can’t hear the random bumps and creaks. I don’t get scared easily, but it’s not really fun when you’re the only one who can hear scurrying in the vents at 3am (true story). So I’ve put together a playlist of some of my favorite night themed songs or songs I like listening to at night. They’re either quite soothing or really dance-y because those are the ones that usually power me through writing a long essay. Hopefully you like it and enjoy it during one of your late nights.
Direct Link HERE
1. 1901 – Phoenix
2. Hearts on Fire – Cut Copy
3. Kids – Sleigh Bells
4. Show Me Lights – Friendly Fires
5. The Reeling – Passion Pit
6. Howl – Florence + the Machine
7. Thriller – Michael Jackson
8. Nightvision – Daft Punk
9. You Know What I Mean – Cults
10. Thursday – Asobi Seksu
11. Lost Coastlines – Okkervil River
12. Night Time – The xx
One of my all time favorite shows is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and it would require an entire separate post to go into everything I love about that show, but that’s for another day. What I want to mention is the fact that they’ve got a few promos out right now for their upcoming 7th season premiering in September.
They all seem to be recreating the inspirational cheesiness of Hallmark Movies and my favorites, Lifetime Movies. Here’s an example:
I absolutely love these promos because I’m an avid Lifetime Movie watcher. There’s just something about those made-for-tv-especially-television-for-women movies that draws me in. It’s the ridiculous storylines, the overdramatic acting, the low budget sets, and more! I think everyone needs to watch a Lifetime movie at least once in their life. You will be forever changed by the experience…or more likely, you’ll probably be left wondering, “Who comes up with these brilliant movies and who are these classy people watching them?” I’m not sure what the answer to the first part is (though I have noticed that quite a few movies on Lifetime are based on books by Nora Roberts, the romance author), but I am going to guess the answer to the other part of the question is mothers, middle aged women, and people who enjoy movies that are so bad that they’re amazing. I’ve put together this post of some of my favorite Lifetime movies and I hope that it inspires whoever happens to to read this, to go out and find a Lifetime movie on YouTube or television.
1. Cyber Seduction
First up, Cyber Seduction, starring Zac Efron look-a-like/kid who was in that weird non-Disney Peter Pan movie, Jeremy Sumpter. Sumpter’s character is your average teenage boy who participates on the swim team and has a cute girlfriend. She also happens to be waiting until marriage to do the deed. The movie starts to get interesting when his friends introduce him to a softcore porn website featuring Monica, another girl at school. Justin’s interest in the website becomes a full blown addiction to porn and begins to affect his school performance, swimming, love life, and family life. His much younger brother somehow manages to find his stash and his parents eventually learn of his addiction. Because Lifetime is a basic cable channel, none of the porn is particularly x-rated, providing more laughs as you get to see everyone worked up over images that are as racy as your basic PG-13 movie. In true Lifetime fashion, there are numerous scenes involving Justin and his parents shouting at each other, though the best one would have to be when he shouts, “I WAS LOOKING AT PORNOGRAPHY! IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR?!” Someone give this kid all the awards.
2. Maternal Obession/Locked Away
This movie is so awful that Lifetime changed the title to thwart eager viewers like myself from finding more information on it. I can’t even find a clip of this disaster on YouTube! Insane. Anyway, in this movie a teenage girl discovers that she is pregnant, much to the chagrin of her mother. The girl then seeks the help of a pregnancy counselor, who kindly offers her a place to stay during the girl’s pregnancy. However, it turns out that the counselor is a complete psycho who has been unable to have her own child and has been turned down by the adoption agencies multiple times (most likely because she’s a psycho). The teenage girl eventually realizes that there is something strange about the counselor and subsequently, tries to leave. However, the counselor isn’t have any of that, obviously, and poisons the girl and then chains and locks her away in a room with a few slits of sunlight and a toilet. How accommodating. The counselor has already devised a plan to make it seems as though the girl has decided to run away, complete with a handwritten note and voicemails. There are a few unintentionally hilarious scenes involving the psycho counselor rewarding the girl by providing her with a few CDs and magazines, but punishing her by shooting mace directly into her eyes. The movie ends with the mother and baby daddy finally (FINALLY) realizing that something was up and finding the girl locked away and the psycho counselor is killed by either the mother or the teenage girl (I really can’t be bothered to look it up). The movie is a great way to pass two hours and the baby daddy has an atrocious mullet, if I recall correctly. Maternal Obsession should be shown in health classes, if only to show teens the consequences of getting pregnant and then stupidly agreeing to live with a stranger.
Hey, remember when Mischa Barton sort of had a promising career and wasn’t the complete mess she is now? Yeah, those were good times. Well, she has fallen off the radar after The O.C ended and is now doing television movies. I managed to catch Homecoming right after Maternal Obsession (an amazing television double bill) and was quickly drawn into this hot mess. Mischa’s ex-boyfriend has been at college for the past semester and is returning home with his new girlfriend. Somehow, Mischa never understood that the two of them ended their relationship and has been awaiting his return for months. His new girlfriend gets trashed after doing several tequila shots with Shelby (Mischa Barton), who strangely handles the news that she no longer had a boyfriend well. The new girlfriend decides that she’s in no state to meet her boyfriend’s parents and insists that she stay at a hotel for the night and sober up. The local police officer, who is also the boyfriend’s cousin, drops her off at the hotel and drives off before checking to see that she has a room to stay in. The hotel owner tells her that they have no vacancy and the poor girl is now stranded outside the hotel without a ride back to her boyfriend’s home. The sensible thing to do would be to call the boyfriend and get him to pick her up, but because this is a Lifetime movie, she has no signal on her cell phone and the hotel owner has closed the office. She now has no choice (I guess?) but to walk all the way back to his house. Guess who happens to be driving down the very same road, whilst sobbing hysterically over her break-up? Oh, Mischa Barton, that’s who! Shelby manages to run the new girlfriend down and instead of bringing her to the hospital like any normal person would, she brings her to her own home and “nurses” her back to health. Shelby is so desperate to win back her ex-boyfriend that she steals the girl’s lingerie and then tries to seduce him in a crappy bar bathroom. The climax features a fight in the bathroom, killing someone with an axe, Mischa Barton making a ham sandwich in between killings, and the boyfriend shooting her only once and failing to make sure she’s dead. I never watched The O.C, but I heard Mischa Barton’s character got a little crazy towards the end. She certainly continues that crazy streak with Homecoming, though Mischa should probably try to find work in a movie that isn’t such a blatant rip-off of Misery and Single White Female. Still, the movie delivers some unintentionally hilarious scenes and bad acting, all signs of a great Lifetime movie.
4. For My Daughter’s Honor
This movie made me suspicious of all my middle school PE teachers. In this Lifetime classic, a high school freshmen is seduced by the football coach at a small town high school. The coach is revered throughout the town because the football team has managed to win several championships and in small towns, high school sports are a big deal (this is just what Lifetime has taught me and obviously, what Lifetime says is true…ALWAYS). For some reason, the freshmen girl and her friends have no problem hanging out with the coach outside of school, despite rumors that he picks a new girlfriend from the student body every year. I guess, having someone buy alcohol for you wins over getting preyed on by your high school’s creepy football coach.
The movie is essentially Gary Cole acting like a creeper, but the scene in which he harasses the boy that Amy goes on a date with, definitely takes the creepy cake. First off, seeing any of your teachers outside of school is awkward and uncomfortable. Second, having your teacher follow you around and stare at your from afar would just increase that awkwardness and uncomfortableness by 1000. That scene makes me so uncomfortable that all I can do is laugh incredibly hard. I’m sure if this were to happen in real life, I’d be doing the opposite, but because this is a television movie, I am amused by the football coach who hangs out with students and stalks them at the county fair. Anyway, the girl’s father finds out about the affair and the coach is arrested and tried. Unfortunately, the town is so passionate about their high school football team so the girl is ostracized for putting their beloved football coach in jail. I’m not sure if this is even plausible, but again, I can’t help but laugh at how ridiculous this story is. Regardless, thank you Lifetime for making me suspicious of all of my PE teachers. I learned so much from this movie.
5. Odd Girl Out and She’s Too Young
What I love about Lifetime movies is that they try their best to address modern day teen issues. These two movies stand out in my mind for tackling the issues of girl bullying and teen sexuality. In Odd Girl Out, former Spy Kid Alexa Vega plays a teenage girl who is suddenly cast out of her group of friends. The group and some other students harass her online by sending malicious IMs like , “Die, slut” or “You’re so ugly” etc. It gets so bad that she tries to kill herself by swallowing a handful of her mom’s pills. This movie is so GAME CHANGING that ABC Family recently produced their own television movie, Cyberbully that was essentially a carbon copy of this Lifetime classic.
In She’s Too Young,a teenage girl is peer pressured by her friend in to giving a bj to a guy at school. Somehow, for reasons I can’t remember clearly, the school suddenly experiences a syphilis epidemic. The girl’s mother, naturally, is outraged and tries to rally up support at the school, but the other parents are indifferent. Worse, the other students bully her daughter because of her activism. Typical Lifetime. I actually can’t remember the rest of this movie so I just had to wiki it. Supposedly, the teenage girl is attacked but saved by the stereotypical sweet guy who is pushed aside. The movie ends with a PSA from the main actress advising teens to consider the consequences before becoming sexually active.
While I think it’s admirable that Lifetime attempts to address important issues such as these, their original movies are just hard to take seriously. The overdramatic acting in these tv movies makes me laugh harder than most comedies on television. And these story lines! I feel slightly bad for being so amused by cyber bullying and STD epidemics, but Lifetime is just that good. Instead of these movie being unsettling, they’re cheese fests, filled with PG rated insults and terrible acting. So many of these stories are unrealistic, to the point that they seem more like parodies. What kind of parents would shrug off their kids getting STDs? Only on Lifetime. I just love how this channel consistently provides me with many LOLs. I can always count on Lifetime to brighten my day with their poorly made television movies. If you’ve managed to read this entire post, I think it’s only right to reward yourself with a fabulous Lifetime made-for-television movie with deliciously bad acting, cheesy writing, and cringeworthy storylines. Thank God we have Lifetime.
[Also I’d just like to add that I’m somewhat scared of the potential hits I’m going to receive after using a few choice words in this entry. Praying for my blog right now….]