31 December 2013

End of 2013: Reading/watching

random mesh of things here. man, im in a real reading rut. i need some inspiration for 2014, and a kick in the rear.

devils bride. 4.5/5. yes, this is a romance. i havent read many in a while but in the past year the ones ive read have mostly been irritating crap. this one was actually very well done for the genre. the "adventures" the characters usually go on and the messy tangled webs they get themselves snared in always bug the shit out of me and cause me to do serious skimming or abandon the book altogether. but this was fun, and mostly focused on the relationship and emotional stuff...you know, what ladies pick these books up for in the first place. anyway, i was pleased to see there are still good ones like this out there. the book "a secret love", which is also part of this series, was good as well.

chain reaction. 4/5. a young adult romance. it was, unknowingly, the third in a series of stories about a family of three boys. this was something different. it was about hispanic, "wrong side of the tracks" boys who find their way, messily, to the happy ending these kind of books always have. i thought it did a good job with gang violence, immigrant and class issues, and still honestly portrayed the emotions and life focus of teens in love. im not sure i need to go search out the other two previous books, though the first one looks quite good, but it was a pleasant surprise read.

30 rock. 4.5/5. just finished watching the final season 7. tina fey is wonderful. she was able to get so much out of her comedic muses (alec baldwin and tracy morgan) and she wrote about all manner of stuff: real women, celebrity behavior, power struggles at work, politics, parenthood pressures. she added a healthy dose of whacky and non-sequitors and everything worked. she didnt nail it every episode, but she should be very proud of her 7 years offered up from that show. she is an amazing comedian.

veep. 4/5 (seasons 1 & 2). this show is tricky, its from the guy who did the political comedy movie i liked "in the loop". he kept some of his favorite people from that and hired the guy who played buster in 'arrested development' and julia louis-dreyfus as the countrys first female vice president. its funny, the chemistry all works. its also depressing, because many times i feel like it isnt even a stretch of the truth, that its all very, very believable, and that makes me very, very sad.

downton abbey. 4/5 (season 4). after season 3 with the significant death at the end and drama drama drama i was thinking season 4 would force me to give up on it after a couple episodes, but they managed to rein themselves back in. the mary character is once again interesting and not so polarizing. everyone still shows their multiple facets but it isnt such a roller coaster. id say it almost got a bit dull at the end. im not sure exactly sure they know how to balance things on this show.

archer. 4.5/5 (seasons 1-4). this is a 30 minute cartoon show. its got a lot of known voices and the shows plot basically meshes spy/CIA life with 'arrested development' with potty humor. the man voicing the lead guy is perfection and the boozing, inappropriate, wacky, and weird characters on the show make it so fun to watch. its the perfect use of a cartoon to do storylines and humor that you just couldnt do in real life.

- looper. 4/5. good plot, fairly simple and easy to follow considering it included time travel. joseph gordon-levitts character plays a young version of bruce willis' character. its like a dream-come-true, right? the way he does the facial expressions and mannerisms of bruce, the kid is amazing. the additional cast: paul dano, emily blunt, and jeff daniels (who was in "the lookout" with joseph as well, though there wasnt as much chemistry between them in this one) were great choices. i felt there could have been more kick to the whole movie, but it was well done in general.

- perks of being a wallflower. 4/5. i guess this is what this generations teen drama/coming-of-age/romance stories looks like. i liked it. i like the honesty and the awkward but genuine relationships. the lead kid and the gay friend were great. id like to see more of them.

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