Things I Enjoyed in 2012

I’m really bad with keeping up with this blog but figured I should post something before the year ends.

Since the last time I updated, I started my MA program at NYU and moved to New York. It’s been a huge change (one that was quite difficult at first), but it’s definitely been a learning experience. I’m happy to say that I’m enjoying my time there now and school has definitely contributed to my overall happiness. The beginning half of this year was possibly the hardest time period in my life – having to learn how to accept “no” as an answer multiple times, realizing that I need to stop acting entitled just because I have an expensive sheet of paper, learning how to be happy for other people even as my self-confidence dwindles, learning how to swallow my pride and face the fact that nothing is really “below my standards,” and so on – but I do believe I am a better person overall for having experienced it. Did it suck? Obviously. Would I do it again? Hopefully not, but I am, in a strange way, grateful for January – August because I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes and how to be satisfied and thankful for any opportunity that comes my way.

Now that I’ve explained my current and past mentality for this year, I’ll move on to much more exciting and entertaining things. This is a post about the pop culture-y things I’ve enjoyed this year – anything from movies, tv shows, music, YouTube videos, etc. I have to admit there isn’t anything groundbreaking here as I was/am a bit slow to catch onto things, at least for 2012, due in part to my lack of time and (mostly) in part to my laziness. Some of these items listed are things I’m sure most people already know about and may have even moved past or gotten over. Oh well!

So here are the things, in no particular order, that provided an escape, entertained me, or helped me procrastinate:

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Lifetime movies are amazing. FACT.

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

Crazy lady who desperately wants a baby of her own

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.

3. Homecoming

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.

~KANYE SHRUG~

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….]

Review: Horrible Bosses

If you’re an Arrested Development fan like me, then you have been waiting for what seems like forever for the movie. At this point, I won’t believe it until I’m sitting in the theater with a bag of kettle corn. For now, AD fans can get their share of Michael Bluth by watching Horrible Bosses starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis.

Bateman stars as Nick, a variation of his Arrested Development character, who is determined to get a promotion at work, but must first deal with his boss, played by Kevin Spacey. Spacey’s character is, to put it bluntly, an asshole. He tricks Nick into drinking at 8am in the morning and threatens to fire another employee until Nick admits to being a whole TWO minutes late. Much like the character of Michael Bluth, Nick is, for the most part, the “straight man” throughout the film. Most of the characters around him have their own outrageous and hilarious moments, whereas Bateman’s reactions to everything are where the hilarity of his scenes derives from. It’s in this way I continually saw Michael Bluth on screen, instead of Nick. Some may point this as a negative and a sign that Bateman is only good as one character, but as a fan of AD I loved it. The scene in which Nick loses his coveted promotion reminded me of the scene in which Michael loses the promotion to his mother Lucille. Quite simply, Jason Bateman’s portrayal of Nick was the closest to seeing Michael Bluth on the big screen as AD fans are going to get, for now at least.

Nick’s two friends, Dale, played by Charlie Day (my soulmate tbh), and Kurt, played by Jason Sudeikis are also having trouble at the workplace. Dale is working as a dental assistant and must deal with a boss who constantly sexually harasses him. Jennifer Aniston takes a break from the romantic comedy genre and takes her turn as a woman determined to make her employee as uncomfortable as possible. Due being on the list of Registered Sex Offenders (don’t worry, the reason is actually hilarious), Dale has no choice but to suffer everyday as his boss blackmails and pursues him in the worst way possible. Kurt, on the other hand, begins the movie with a boss who loves him and views him as a surrogate son. His biological son, Bobby, played by Collin Farrell, is a slacker who is also a coke addict. Kurt’s original boss dies within the first 15 minutes, leaving the Pellitt company in the unqualified hands of Bobby.

From there the story starts rolling as the three leads begin to plot the murders of the three bosses. It’s a very funny movie, filled with quotables and hilarious moments. Sudeikis and Day are particularly good in their roles, while Bateman continues to deliver gif-worthy reactions and expressions. Spacey and Aniston were great in their roles, but I do wish there was more screen time devoted towards Farrell. Kurt constantly stated that his boss was a coke head and there were scenes in which he, uh, engaged in unprofessional activity at the workplace, but the audience never really gets the chance to develop a reason to hate Bobby. We watched Julia and Harken torment Dale and Nick, respectively, so we definitely began rooting for their demise. If the movie had had more scenes featuring Bobby and reasons as to why he was so “horrible” the film would have felt complete.

Still, the three leads are absolutely great and have amazing chemistry. If I wasn’t such a huge “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” fan, I would definitely ask for more movies or tv shows featuring the trio. Jamie Foxx is also great in his role as a – SPOILER!!! – “murder consultant” and the scenes where the guys meet him for the first time and the last time are too funny. The reference to one of my favorite high school books, “Snow Falling on Cedars” almost killed me.

Bottom Line: If you’re a fan of Arrested Development or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia , go see this movie ASAP. Jason Bateman and Charlie Day essentially play their tv characters on the big screen and it’s comedy heaven. Jason Sudeikis, who I’ve always enjoyed on SNL, is also very funny. You don’t want to be the last one to get all of the quotes and jokes that are sure to spread into everyday culture so be sure to see what might be the funniest movie of the summer.

FOR MY AD/IASIP FANS! VARIOUS REFERENCES TO AD/IASIP??? SPOILERS AHEAD!
– already mentioned lost promotion scene (AD)
– Dale making chicken noises (AD)
– Dale asking if Danny DeVito was in a movie (IASIP)
– Dale and Nick accidentally snorting coke (IASIP)
– Dale being called a “hamster” (IASIP – CHARLIE WAS CALLED A MUNCHKIN)
– Dale’s freak-out at being locked out of the car was very Charlie like! (IASIP)

These are the ones I could think of off the top of my head and I may be reaching, but who cares! Let me know if you can think of some more!