Staying Positive Today, Promise

The other day I said I was gonna keep it positive, but that ended after about a minute. So I’m gonna try again today, and I’m gonna make it easier on myself by endorsing three things I’m very into right now:

gonna have to get a new vampire diaries picture soon. this one is starting to look old.

gonna have to get a new vampire diaries picture soon. this one is starting to look old.

Vampire Diaries. I think I’m ready to admit I’m more into this show than anything else I watch. I was trying to figure out why, and I have it figured out. It’s because something is always happening. Even when something isn’t happening, it’s actually happening. For the last two weeks we got stuck watching Elena and Stefan canoodling in some impossibly immaculate lake house that hasn’t been touched in at least two years. Then they discussed the same things Buffy and Angel fought about a decade ago and from what I understand, Bella and Edward fought about too. But wait! Stefan keeps in touch with Damon, who’s being tortured. Then Damon gets saved Elijah, who rips out a couple werewolf hearts for show. Just for shats and giggles, Stefan rips out his own werewolf souvenir because apparently they don’t sell silver bullets in Virginia. Who knew? (SPOILERS FROM LAST NIGHT COMING UP RIGHT NOW!!!) Even as Stefan and Elena still are wasting time at the lake house, super vamp Elijah gets staked twice — TWICE!!! — as Damon throws around Damon-esque quips and some of the bit players in the show get involved now that the bulging cast is a little leaner. The last three weeks, I’ve been surprised when the show is over because it literally flies by. Vampire Diaries has everything I want from my serial TV shows: Interesting stories, good acting, constant action, a couple “Holy s—!” moments that bring me back next week because I want to, not out of habit like I did in the last two or three seasons of 24. For the record, Fringe is darn near this spot now too. It’s personally shocking to realize how invested I am in the Olivia-Peter relationship even though I saw it coming in the first episode three years ago and knew the show would be based around it.

topher grace in an 80s throwback movie with anna faris. sold.

topher grace in an 80s throwback movie with anna faris. sold.

The trailer for Take Me Home Tonight. I’m pretty resigned to the fact that I probably won’t see another movie in the theater until at least May, and maybe not until Harry Potter or Captain America in July. So the latest youth-in-crisis throwback comedy that looks to be some kind of cross between Can’t Hardly Wait and Hot Tub Time Machine is going to have to wait until it comes out on DVD. But I will say I’m tempted to sneak away for this at some point. Maybe it’s because I like Topher Grace and want him to apologize to me, on screen, for effing up my favorite comic book villain. Maybe it’s because Anna Faris can make me laugh by blinking. Or maybe it’s just that it looks like raunchy, stupid fun with a cool soundtrack that includes the hysterical radio version of Straight Outta Compton. Gangster rap usually isn’t fodder for movie soundtracks because then you have to edit it when it plays on TV. Just ask Office Space, whose rhythm is completely killed when Comedy Central runs it with the Geto Boys’ Damn It Feels Good To Be a Gangster edited. But any movie that can seamlessly squeeze NWA, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Eddie Money into a trailer has my thorough and complete approval. Not even the off-putting presence of Michelle Trachtenberg is enough to keep me from getting this on my Blockbuster queue in advance so that I don’t forget.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsSNCmGUK2I 

2011 music. Or at least the mainstream alt-college stuff I listen to. I count at least three songs released in the last six weeks that easily would have made my top 10 for last year. So it’s time for an impromptu countdown of my three favorite songs of 2011 so far. Now if someone could come back and remind me of these three songs in, like, November so that I can remember to include them in my year-end blogs, that’d be great. I’d love to see any of these acts at the Sherman, hint hint.

3. Dog Days Are Over, Florence and the Machine. OK, so this isn’t really a 2011 song and I totally spaced on seeing it on Glee and the VMAs. There’s a 50% chance I fast-forwarded through it, which is what I do when I’m annoyed by the music in a Glee episode. But I’m making up for it now that it’s getting pretty heavy airplay. Or maybe I’m just noticing it more. I’m fine with anyone who says I’m a dork for just discovering this song in the last two months.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0anIVqYYyM

2. Shake Me Down, Cage the Elephant. Very fun, very catchy, very good. I feel like in six months, every cover band will be playing this song and people will be loving it.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFRKJ79-HJg

1. Pumped Up Kicks, Foster the People. Another reason I like Vampire Diaries — the show continually affirms my taste in music because it usually plays whatever song of the moment I’m in to (this song was on last night). For some reason, that makes me feel like I actually know what I’m talking about when it comes to music, even though I don’t.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDTZ7iX4vTQ

Some quick links:

Any list of the best TV cops must, repeat, MUST include Frank Pembleton. Like Poppy says, “On this, there can be no argument.” And if it doesn’t have him at least in the top 5, it’s a pretty worthless list. This one just makes the cut since he’s at #5. I’ll let it slide that Ponch is omitted. An accidental slight, I’m sure. But when you’re talking about the best TV lawmen of all time, shouldn’t it be someone that’s been around for more than a year and aired more than about a baker’s dozen of episodes? That’s right Raylan Givens, I’m looking at you. There have probably been more people employed as cops on TV than any other profession, so it’s not like there aren’t plenty to choose from. I’d probably take five people from Homicide, or NYPD Blue or Hill Street Blues before I’d start thinking about including people that may or may not be around for more than about 20 original episodes. I’m a Justified fan, and the two episodes this year have proven to me the show is hitting a stride it didn’t consistently have last year. But in those 15 episodes, I count at least three fugitives that have escaped Raylan’s care. That doesn’t scream “great lawman” to me. I don’t even think Chief Wiggum has lost that many in hundreds of episodes.

OK that wasn’t very quick. This will be since it’s a shade late. We have a director for Iron Man 3, which is more than two years away. Shane Black, whose directing credits include one movie — the Robert Downey Jr. 2005 so-so cult-loved Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. He’s written some huge action movies, but directing is different. This looks like a move that accomplishes two things — keeps the movie on budget by saving about $10 million in director salary and keeps Downey Jr. happy. There is no way Black would have been hired without Iron Man’s approval.

you and your men are the biggest mistake in the history of nasa!

you and your men are the biggest mistake in the history of nasa!

I have no idea why I love William Fichtner. I just do. I’ve suggested this dozens of times, but either he or Christopher McDonald would make the best interviews for the AVClub’s Random Roles feature that I love.

Interesting box office battle this weekend. Nothing will put up record-setting numbers, but everything is probably going to do really, really well. On Tuesday you’ll be thinking of Winston Wolf when you’ll hear Hollywood types jumping all over each to say what a great weekend it was. After a quick scan, I could only find two weekends last year with four movies that made over $20 million — I think there’s a good chance this one could have five movies over $20 million. But none of them will make more than $40 or $50 million — tops.

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