I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Social Network (2010)

Mark Zuckerberg (Jessie Eisenberg) is a Harvard college student who's a whiz with computers.  Zuckerberg is also socially inept.  He says some unflattering things to Erica (Rooney Mara), his girlfriend, and she drops him.  His response?  He insults Erica on his blog. Oh, and he creates a web site that rates the women of Harvard as being hot or not hot.   The second thing shuts down Harvard's computer system, and Zuckerberg finds himself in trouble with the school.

A pair of wealthy twins with the last name of Winklevoss (Armie Hammer) see the genius in Zuckerberg, and they deal him in to start a social networking site for Harvard students.  Zuckerberg puts together a site alright, but he names himself and friend Eduardo (Andrew Garfield) as co-creators.  Later, Zuckerberg brings in the creator of Napster, Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), as a partner, despite warnings from Eduardo that it may not be a good idea.  The story of how Facebook was started is framed by a deposition session where it's revealed that Zuckerberg is being sued by Eduardo and the Winklevoss twins over issues of who really had the idea for the web site and who was owed what. 

Zuckerberg is not exactly shown to be a nice guy, but it's hard to say that there was malicious intent behind his business dealings.  At best, the Internet billionaire is a guy who was so intently focused on an idea that he forgot that humans were just as important in the process as the computer code he was writing. 

Justin Timberlake, formerly of the group N'Sync, and now a solo singer, is actually quite good here as a guy who takes interest in Facebook and talks his way in.  Rashida Jones (daughter of musician/producer Quincy Jones) appears as an attorney who appears to be sympathetic towards Zuckerberg.  Aaron Sorkin ("The West Wing", A Few Good Men) who wrote the screenplay, has a cameo as an ad executive. 

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Car 54, Where Are You? (1961-1963)

I watched reruns of this show with my late dad when I was a toddler.  The only thing I remembered were a tall cop and his partner, a short cop who was always going, "Ooh, ooh!"  A local station has recently rerun this sitcom again, which is sort of a cult classic, and I've reacquainted myself with it.  The plots follow the antics of a Mutt and Jeff pair of New York City cops: quiet bachelor Francis Muldoon (Fred Gwynne) and stocky, married man Gunther Toody (Joe E. Ross).  Between the two, Toody was more of a dim bulb, and a source of frustration to the cops' boss, Captain Block (Paul Reed).  Toody's wife Lucille (Beatrice Pons) was often irritated by her husband as well. 

This slice of craziness was created by Nat Hiken, who was also responsible for "Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show" (1955-1959).  The plots were full of misunderstandings and general nuttiness, populated by a gang of quirky characters including sarcastic cop Schnauser (Al Lewis) and his batty wife Sylvia (Charlotte Rae), and Toody's chauvinistic brother-in-law Al (Carl Ballantine).  I also note this show for having semi-regular African-American characters, a rarity in that point in TV history, played by Frederick O'Neal, Ossie Davis, and Nipsey Russell. 

Gwynne and Lewis would appear together again on "The Munsters" (1964-1966).  Ms. Rae was the motherly Mrs. Garrett, first on "Different Strokes" (1978-1984), then later "The Facts of Life" (1979-1986).  Carl Ballantine was one of the military guys on "McHale's Navy" (1962-1966).

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Sunday, February 06, 2011

Chicago On TV

Recently, I came across a newspaper article detailing the TV series that were set in and near Chicago.  Some of them I was familiar with, others I were not.  How many of them do you know?

M Squad (1957-1960)
The Untouchables (1959-1963)

The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978)
Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974-1975)
Good Times (1974-1979)
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-1980)

Webster (1983-1989)
E/R (1984-1985)
Punky Brewster (1984-1988)
Crime Story (1986-1988)
The Hogan Family (originally titled Valerie) (1986-1991)
Perfect Strangers (1986-1993)
Married. . .with Children (1987-1997)
Roseanne (1988-1997)
Generations (1989-1991)
Family Matters (1989-1998)
Life Goes On (1989-1993)

Sisters (1991-1996)
Biker Mice From Mars (1993-1996)
Chicago Hope (1994-2000)
ER (1994-2009)
Early Edition (1996-2000)
Kenan & Kel (1996-2000)
The Steve Harvey Show (1996-2002)
Two of a Kind (1998-1999)

Soul Food (2000-2004)
According to Jim (2001-2009)
Life With Bonnie (2002-2004)
Still Standing (2002-2006)
Wild Card (2003-2006)
Barbershop (2005)
Boondocks (2005-2010)
Prison Break (2005-2009)
The Loop (2006-2007)
My Boys (2006-2010)
The Dresden Files (2007)
Trust Me (2009)
The Beast (2009)
The Forgotten (2009-2010)
The Good Wife (2009-present)
Mike and Molly (2010-present)
Shake It Up (2010-present)
The Chicago Code (2011-present)
Shameless (2011-present)

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