My name is Self-Appointed Expert, and this is my blog. It is part memoir, mostly fiction, and above all just trying to be funny. Some of is based on stuff that happened to me, some is based on stuff that happened to people I know, and a good deal is just entirely made up. So, if you find yourself offended, just remember - it's a joke. When you give me that look, it's a joke. Consider it my homage to the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, A Million Little Pieces, John Hodgman, and Christopher Guest.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The worst part of reviewing these two items? Admitting I watched them.

During my post-finals, pre-internship, visit to my parents' house, I've had a lot of downtime. I've filled it going for walks, playing with the dog, buying suits, and of course, watching a lot of TV. In that time, I have learned a very important thing. It’s not just that I hate bad entertainment. It infuriates me.

Case 1: The New Adventures of Old Christine.

I should have known better. The premise of the show is that Christine 1, the main character of the show, is a divorced mother of one whose ex-husband has just started dating a younger woman, also named Christine. So, you have Christine 1 and Christine 2, old Christine and Christine new. I should have known better. But I was seduced by three things: (1) Julia Louis Dreyfus on Seinfeld, who is one of my inspirations in life. More so than Madeline Albright, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sarah Silverman, and Superman combined. (2) Julia Louis Dreyfus on Arrested Development, playing a fake blind woman. Because blind people are funny. And (3) Julia Louis Dreyfus NOT on Watching Ellie. Critics assured me that in “Old Christine” Julia had reformed since her days playing a weird ex-lounge singer/tv voice actress or some nonsense whose weekly 30 minute shows were supposed to depict 30 real-time minutes of her character’s life. 30 minutes of a voice over actress’s life. It was 24 meets horseshit.

Old Christine is aptly named. It’s made from the same goo they use to crap out new episodes of Two and a Half Men each week. Things I hate about this show: (1) Every character except Julia’s is just designed to spout out script to give Julia something to react to. You literally never see another actor reacting to a bit of dialogue. It’s just Julia’s face the whole time. (2) The guy who plays Julia’s brother does a really bad Napoleon Dynamite meets Joey Tribbiani impression. If I wanted to see someone do an out-of-place Napoleon Dynamite impression, I’d go see Jon Heder in The Benchwarmers. Or Just Like Heaven. (3) They make Julia look all cute all the time by dressing her up like a 19 year old. Julia made her mark wearing suits shaped like cardboard boxes on Seinfeld, and I’ll be dead in the cold cold ground before I recognize her natural hips!

There is, however, one redeeming plot point to the show. Julia’s character is addicted to cough medicine. I get a real kick out of that for some reason. Put a little ‘tussin on it.

Case 2: The Laws of Attraction.

This movie made no pretence of not being an awful, soul-crushing chick flick, so out of fairness and a sense of the humane I can’t really bash it too much. That being said, I’m going to skip the plot summary beyond saying that it’s about two divorce lawyers who fall in love, because any detail more than that will make me ill. Things I hate about this movie: (1) Pierce Brosnan. The best thing he’s done in years is reacting publicly to getting dumped by James Bond. (2) Julianne Moore. Didn’t she get nominated for an Oscar? The extent of her character development is over-emphasizing her diction when she’s making a legal argument. (3) Making the pretty girl a huge nerd. In otherwise normal conversation, Moore cites legal precedent and admits, unprovoked, to watching the weather channel. All in the first 10 minutes of the movie. And (4) The rest of the plot. Divorce lawyers find love and get married. Sigh. This movie is so superficially bad it’s hard to write a biting review. Nothing I could possibly say about the movie would be as insulting to its makers as what is said in the movie itself.

As for redeeming points, Parker Posey plays a minor role. She alone (and, indirectly, her roles in Waiting for Guffman, House of Yes, and Hal Hartley’s Amateur) is the only reason I finished the movie. Frankly, Parker? You owe me.


Blogger Synonymous said...

Love the Napoleon/Joey reference.

10:44 PM

Blogger kayellbee said...

***This is not porn. I had to go through word verification to post it. Not porn.***

I saw "New Adventures" last night, and I kind of like it. Just a little bit. I agree with much of what you said. But. I kind of like it. A little bit.

Maybe it's just because, as you said yourself, Seinfeld-era Julia was a potent inspiration. More potent than the the combination of Fergie on Weight Watchers, Courtney Love making it through rehab seven times, and Mariah Carey's heart-rending hit "Hero."

If you expanded that triumvirate with the addition of Oprah Winfrey's "Legend's Ball" I'd start to waver, though. I watched it last night and kinda lost it when the Legends busted out the Motown at the brunch...

2:19 PM


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