Monday, January 30, 2006

Project Runway links

I. Am. Obsessed. With Project Runway!

Did you know that you can bid on all of the designs from the show? Most seem to end up going in the $200-$500 range but Nick's Barbie outfit made it up to $1,700! You can also pre-order the Project Runway MyScene Barbie for $24.95.

Speaking of Nick, I think he's my favorite designer right now. (I think he won me over with his glee at seeing Sasha Cohen.) He just started a blog of his own. Good for him, he got to design a dress for Brenda Strong at the SAG awards!

Diana also has her own blog which is very artsy and geeky at the same time which is what I thought was so great about her in the first place. I love the Fashion Nerd buttons!

And of course, can't forget about Santino. None of his designs have really won me over, but you gotta admit that his Tim Gunn impersonations are fantastic. Can't wait for him to get busted this week. =)

more songs

Listening to Indie Pop Rocks! for the better part of the day at work, I've been hearing a lot of new songs lately. Well, "new" meaning I hadn't heard them before. Another top 5 list but not on a Friday...

1. The Pale Pacific - Sucker Punch
2. Tegan and Sara - I Know I Know I Know
3. The Arcade Fire - No Cars Go
4. Sunny Day Real Estate - The Ocean
5. Rilo Kiley - The Execution of All Things

Man I'm an indie music snob.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


The craziest news I've heard in years:


Both UPN and the WB will disappear this fall and the new network is going to be called CW? It's not entirely clear what the merger really means, but articles have mentioned that Smallville, Veronica Mars, and America's Top Model are all safe and will air next fall. Gilmore Girls hasn't been renewed yet but if it is I assume it's safe as well.

Wow, how completely bizarre and out of left field. I mean, I suppose it kind of makes sense, since both networks have been struggling since their inception and maybe now they'll be more able to compete with the other networks, but it's just sad to think that neither will exist anymore, especially the WB. When I think about high school, one of the first things that comes to mind is how much I loved the WB and watched pretty much everything that ever aired on that network. Buffy, Dawson's Creek, Roswell, Felicity, Gilmore Girls, Jack & Jill, Smallville, even 7th Heaven and Charmed and the rare stuff like Grosse Pointe and Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane...I'm sure Mira will agree that we were both WB junkies of the most serious kind. Admittedly my love for the WB has dwindled a lot and the only shows I've been watching are Gilmore Girls (which isn't as great as it used to be) and Beauty and the Geek, but it's still sad.

Aw, remember those music videos that they used to make for commercials with stars from all the different shows? I downloaded a couple of them awhile back and they made me all nostalgic. Ahhh the WB. *sniff*

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Asians on TV

As an Asian-American myself, I do sometimes notice that there aren't a whole lot of Asians on television. It does seem like TV doesn't really care to try and find minority cast members, even for guest spots. And when Asian characters do appear on television, there's usually an outcry about stereotyping. I mean, this isn't a hugely big issue with me...truthfully I think that there just aren't very many Asian-American actors out there in general to be making a big presence, and stereotypes can be based in fact. But anyway, I've been noticing some positive trends lately, so here's a rundown of the latest and greatest Asians on TV:

- Tyson on Beauty and the Geek 2 and Diana on Project Runway representing the Asian nerd contingent. Since these are reality shows, you can't really accuse the shows of stereotyping. I mean, it's true, there are a lot of Asian nerds out there (I'm one of them). But both seem like really sweet people who took the chance to do something different and were open to learning and change.

- Grace Park as Sharon on Battlestar Galactica. Science fiction has always made room for Asian characters, possibly because they believe that race will be less of an issue in the distant future? It's definitely a non-issue on this show, and Grace Park has one of the juiciest roles on the show...she's a Cylon and there have been two incarnations of her character so far.

- Yunjin Kim as Sun and Daniel Dae Kim as Jin on Lost. This is probably a first on television...regular cast members of a show that don't speak English. Sun and Jin spoke only Korean during the first half of the first season, and although Sun was revealed to know English, Jin continues to speak only Korean. Their relationship arc has been one of the more moving components of the show and I know there are a lot of fans out there.

- Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang on Grey's Anatomy. Even though I really don't like this show, admittedly it has the most ethnically diverse cast on TV right now.

- Lane and her mother on Gimore Girls. A really exaggerated portrayal of religious Koreans but everyone in Stars Hollow is exaggerated. Both Lane and Mrs. Kim still rock.

- Parminder Nagra on ER and Naveen Andrews on Lost, both ethnically Indian Brits. I don't watch ER but I loved Bend it Like Beckham and it's great that that paved the way for her to get a major role. Naveen plays Sayid, an Iraqi, with a great Middle Eastern accent. It's really weird hearing him talk with his natural British accent, haha.

- Rex Lee as Lloyd, Ari's assistant on Entourage. He's also pretty obviously gay, which is breaks another sterotype. Gotta love Lloyd, who's a great foil for Ari's antics. He'll be back next season!

- The Asian school principal/teacher. Has anyone else noticed that Asians tend to be cast as teachers and principals a lot? There's Dr. Kim on the OC, Ms. Kwan on Degrassi the Next Generation, I just saw one on Disney's High School Musical, Sydney's professor on Alias...and Sandra Oh played one in the Princess Diaries, but that's a movie. Hm, maybe there aren't as many examples as I thought there were.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Skating with Celebrities

FOX is just hilarious. They're completely shameless in stealing other networks' ideas and coming up with crazy and ridiculous versions of them. And you know what, I love it! ABC tries to find true love with the Bachelor and FOX goes for Joe Millionaire. ABC is off trying to make Dancing with the Stars all serious and elegant, and what does FOX do? They shove a bunch of B-list celebrities on the ice with actual figure skating celebrities and basically make them fall on their asses! The promo makes me laugh every time: "this ain't ballroom dancing!"

But after last night's premiere, color me impressed. They did get a heck of a lot of figure skating star power to participate, and the amateurs did pretty well considering they'd only be practicing for a month. I took some figure skating classes in college, and let me tell you, even the simplest looking stuff takes a lot of practice. And falls. And not to be mean, but these "celebrities" aren't young. Learning something as physically demanding as figure skating has got to be pretty damn hard.

My thoughts on the pairs:

Kurt Browning and Deborah Gibson - They were moving pretty slow, and Deborah's required spin wasn't very inspiring. But they were first, so I feel like the judges were a little generous.

Lloyd Eisler and Kristy Swanson - I actually really like Lloyd Eisler, but their program was also kind of slow. They got scored really strangely low, but I guess that this is more of an entertainment thing and truthfully they weren't that entertaining. I predict Lloyd gets pissed and pulls out all the stops for next week.

Bruce Jenner and Tai Babilonia - Bruce's costume just totally cracked me up. He looked kind of stiff, but he did two waltz jumps and made them look easy which was definitely impressive. And Tai was as beautiful as ever. And Randy Gardner was a choreographer!

Todd Bridges and Jenni Meno - Their program was cute but Todd looked really unstable the whole time and his cowboy boot skates were kind of distracting.

John Zimmerman and Jillian Barberie - It's really bizarre that they let Jillian into this competition because she skated for years as a kid, and it's really obvious. And yeah, they're definitely the "hot" pair. Barring some miracle by the other pairs, they'll probably win...

Dave Coulier and Nancy Kerrigan - Can you say "the Cutting Edge"? Toe-pick! Hahaha. Their program was also really fun and they make a good choice by cutting out the traditional pairs skating moves and doing more of a side by side duo thing.

Oh, and Scott Hamilton and Dorothy Hamill better lace up and skate sometime before the show ends!

On another note, skating is all over the place lately. Last week was the Nationals, and Sasha Cohen guested on Project Runway last night. The task was to design a skating dress for her, and the first segment where all the designers put on their skating outfits before knowing what they are was pretty much the funniest thing EVER. I didn't find any of their designs to be that great but Zulema was the last person I'd have expected to do well and it was nice to see someone different win this week.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

24 season 5 premiere

So my worst fears have come true: they killed Michelle, and even worse, I didn't have time to be pissed about it because the rest of the premiere was just so frickin' good! It'll probably hit me more once Tony makes his impossibly fast recovery and gets angry and avenges Michelle's death. Man, I know that Jack's life sucks and will continue to suck, but couldn't they have left Tony and Michelle alone?? My only consolation is that they did get to have 18 months together away from CTU...

Anyway, the 4-part season premiere was pretty much just awesome non-stop action and suspense. I'm really liking this year's plotline so far because they're keeping the bad guys more mysterious and their plan seems to be more complex.

I love that 24 has this funny formula every season though. Despite massive upheaval in his life, Jack always manages to find a new girlfriend. I mean, undercover in Mexico, working at the DoD, hiding out 30 minutes from LA (yeah, way too convenient)...evidently he's unstoppable in both the romance and fighting-terrorism departments. Of course, his relationships never seem to survive the events of each season...but Audrey Raines is back in the mix, so maybe she's actually Jack's True Love. Haha, anyway, there's also always a teenager mixed up in the action,some new CTU office romance, and a new CTU bigwig. Chloe having this season's office romance: AWESOME. As for Sean Astin, he's not doing too badly at playing the annoying dude who's actually just kind of nervous but semi-effective. Bill Buchanan is so still the best CTU boss in awhile though.

Oh, and Logan is still President? Keeler died or resigned or something? Talk about irritating. I'm not a big fan of Bush but he looks like a master politician next to Logan. The crazy First Lady tradition continues, but Martha Logan looks way smarter than POTUS himself, though yeah, crazy. I don't remember seeing Jean Smart in anything else but she's putting on a pretty kick-ass performance. And I KNEW that Walt was going to turn out to be a bad guy. Does anyone else think he looks weirdly like Dustin Hoffman or is that just me? Glad to see that Aaron Pierce is back as well, maybe he'll get to do something cool this season. And Curtis! He's becoming quite the fields ops man.

Can't wait for next week! This no-reruns thing is so the best idea on TV.

Monday, January 16, 2006

things I look forward to

My favorite things on the Internet:

- The TVGuide Podcast. This is the perfect podcast: people who love TV talking about TV and interviewing people from TV. The hosts are all editors who work at and they're always super funny. Seriously, working for TVGuide is still my dream job. Of course I have no chance in hell of ever getting to do that, so this blog is probably as close as I'm ever going to get to that dream. =(

- Also on TVGuide, Ask Ausiello and Matt Roush's columns. The former is a weekly Q and A with plenty of news and scoop and funny tidbits from Michael Ausiello, who also does the podcast, and the latter is a collection of intelligent reviews and responses to reader questions (one of mine once!) from Matt Roush, TVGuide head TV critic. Is it obvious yet that I love TVGuide? The new, larger print magazine is also pretty awesome and I am seriously considering getting a subscription.

- Jenna Fischer's posts on her myspace. She plays Pam on the Office and created a myspace for her character. The blog posts are all her though, where she gives little behind the scenes snippets from each week's episode. She was on the TVGuide podcast a couple of months ago and she was so funny and sweet and it really seems like she's as big a fan of the show as the viewers. Some of the other characters/actors on the show have myspace sites as well but most don't post as often as Jenna. It's so cute that the actors are all friends in real life!

- Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica Podcast. Did you know Ron Moore is a Cornell alum? He was also the co-executive producer of and wrote a bunch of episodes for Roswell, including the series finale. It's interesting, I really loved Roswell but some of the second and most of the third were mostly crap. Battlestar hasn't shown any signs of sucking yet so hopefully it won't. Ron Moore's commentaries are really interesting though because they shed a lot of light on the story developing and writing and filming and editing processes.

- Almost forgot, my favorite internet radio station: Indie Pop Rocks on SomaFM. I used to listen to it during college whenever I was bored with my own music and now I listen to it at work. This is how I'm discovering new music nowadays. =)

Friday, January 13, 2006

music I've been listening to lately

I haven't done a top 5 list in awhile and I'm not sure if I'll be picking them up again, but here's a list of some of my current favorites:

1. Sufjan Stevens - Casimir Pulaski Day. One of the saddest and most beautiful and honest songs I've ever heard. What I love about it is that yeah, it probably qualifies as a Christian song but it's about the real struggles and doubts that Christians can have and he doesn't try to offer any answers that he doesn't have.
2. We Are Scientists - This Scene is Dead. Really upbeat and peppy.
3. Broken Social Scene - 7/4 (Shoreline). I really haven't a clue what this title means and I haven't really paid attention to the lyrics either, but I still really like this song. Kicking myself for not going to go see them when they played a Fanclub Collective Show at Cornell my junior year.
4. Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees. Every so often I get obsessed with this song all over again.
5. Sufjan Stevens - John Wayne Gacy, Jr. It's strange, last year I couldn't really get into Sufjan Stevens even though he'd gotten so much critical buzz. And I'm still not completely sure about him but there are a few songs that I just really really love. This is another one of them.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

midseason thoughts

I have to admit that this fall I was getting slightly discouraged with TV in general. I was really loving Veronica Mars and the Office but elsewhere things just weren't holding my interest as much. Gilmore Girls was still more aggravating than not, the OC was consistently inconsistent, Arrested Development had Charlize Theron as an extended guest who I couldn't stand (and then it got cancelled), Alias continued to be shaky, and I started a new viewing pattern with Lost (a handful episodes at one time, which was great but not quite the weekly enjoyment I usually associate with TV). But at midseason, I have to say that my outlook has improved immensely, due to the following:

1. Battlestar Galactica: I finally caught up and I watched Friday's new episode on schedule. This show is INCREDIBLE. See my previous post on this unbelievably awesome show. Don't let the title throw you off, this is one of the best dramas on TV, hands down.

2. 24 returns next week! For some reason, this is the one show that can do as much crazy stuff as it wants and still leaves me hooked. Although I do have to say, DON'T MESS WITH TONY AND MICHELLE. There are some rumors flying around that I am really not happy with. I mean, I've kind of been terrified of either or both of them dying since season 2 but if it happens now (after I've gotten all invested in them and they've escaped multiple life-or-death situations) I will be PISSED and the writers will have to perform a miracle to keep me happy.

3. Project Runway on Bravo. Haha, I know that I'm way too susceptible to getting hooked on reality shows, which is partly why I didn't start to watch this show sooner despite the good things I'd heard about it. Unfortunately (or fortunately) Bravo did a marathon on New Year's Eve and yeah, I got hooked. Again, as with America's Top Model I'm not really interested in fashion but the show is just so interesting because the contestants are actually doing something every week, not just competing in random tasks that probably don't mean anything to them (i.e. selling lemonade on the Apprentice). My favorites so far are Nick and Chloe. Santino needs to be booted even though he is a good designer most of the time and he does make for better television.

4. Scrubs is back! I love that it's just so goofy. Probably the only medical show I'll ever watch, haha.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Family Stone

This is definitely a movie that needs to be seen BEFORE Christmas, if at all. Erm I wanted to see it cuz of the cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Luke Wilson, Claire Danes, etc. etc. Yeah, I dunno, it kinda sucked.

But I do adore Rachel McAdams. :-)

3 movies, 3 days -- a late post

Over Christmas break, I went out and saw 3 movies in 3 days. So here are some brief words on them

Dec 26 -- King Kong -- w/the family
I went in expecting this to suck, and as a result I was pleasantly surprised about it. I love how the movie stayed true to the original era -- New York City in the 1920's-30's? It was so beautiful in that aspect. I didn't like the fact that the movie was so darn long -- 3 hours long. And it took King Kong 1.5 hours to appear in the movie. Geesh. The dinosaurs and the huuuuuuuge insects and the huuuuuge spiders and leeches and all that gross stuff -- YUCK. But the actors, King Kong, the cinematography, etc -- Awesome.

Dec 27 -- Fun with Dick & Jane -- w/family friends
This movie I knew very little about other than Jim Carrey was in it. But it was fun, fun, fun! Fun style, fun storyline, fun acting. I enjoyed it.

Dec 28 -- Yours, Mine, & Ours -- w/my 9-year-old cousin
So I really wanted to watch Cheaper by the Dozen 2 but guess what? She watched it without me! *sigh* So we settled on this, a movie I once again knew nothing about. The deal was if the movie sucked, my little cousin was going to pay for it. Hahaha, turns out I ended up paying for it. It was SOOOO much fun. Seriously, I love kids movies, and I think they are by far way underrated. This was a crazy fun cast headed by Renee Russo and Dennis Quaid, the kids were a great rowdy bunch, and I looooooove kids movies!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

DVD update

Rundown of some movies I've watched on DVD recently:

March of the Penguins: I heard some teenaged guys talking about this at Blockbuster the other day and one of them was going on about how it's basically just a National Geographic special and how he doesn't see how it could be so great. I mean, that is partly true. But what sets this apart is the quality of filmmaking. I don't really enjoy nature stuff on TV because no matter how interesting the subject matter, the presentation is dry. In March of the Penguins, Morgan Freeman's warm narration is terrific and the music is wonderful. Plus those penguins are just so damn cute.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Just incredibly incredibly weird. The source material (and Roald Dahl in general) is weird to begin with, but leave it up to Tim Burton to make it even weirder. The Oompa Loompas (all played by one actor) really creeped me out, Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka was also pretty creepy, and all the other children were, well, creepy too. I suppose this all helped in making Charlie and his family all the more normal and sympathetic, which they definitely were, but man, everything was still so creepy. I was never really a fan of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory either, so I guess I just prefer Roald Dahl's stuff remaining on the page with their little line sketch illustrations.

Crash: A little too consciously controversial and serious for my taste I think. The large ensemble cast does a good job and the stories are told well, but everything was so dramatic and I was kind of meh about the storylines intersecting in the way that they did. And man, the movie made me seriously not want to ever live in LA. I mean, I shouldn't be one to talk since I'm from New York, but LA was really not presented in a very good light.

Hitch: I'm usually a sucker for romantic comedies but somehow this one didn't hold my attention very well. The actors all did a relatively good job and parts of it were funny and sweet but in general it was a little too long and a little too predictable. Yes, I know all romantic comedies are predictable, but the conflict separating the main couples wasn't convincing or interesting enough and at some points I was just really bored...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2005 Movies

As much as I enjoy watching movies, rising ticket prices and a general lack of people to watch them with generally keeps me from seeing as many as I'd like. So while this list consists of movies that were released in theaters during 2005 I may have watched them on DVD thanks to Netflix. =) This year I also watched considerably fewer indie flicks than last year...

1. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
2. Sin City
3. Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were Rabbit
4. Serenity
5. Sky High
6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
7. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
8. Mad Hot Ballroom
9. March of the Penguins
10. In Good Company

Honorable mentions: Capote, Batman Begins, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Pride and Prejudice, Star Wars: the Revenge of the Sith

Still would like to see: Brokeback Mountain, King Kong, Proof, A History of Violence, Munich, Syriana, Corpse Bride, the Constant Gardener, the Squid and the Whale, Match Point, Good Night and Good Luck