Last year, I posted all of the books and movies I enjoyed (or did not enjoy) in 2009. I thought it would be nice to do it again this year!
When I listed all of the books I read, I was ashamed. Only five. I could blame it on being busy with school/stress etc. but there really wasn’t an excuse. So, I made a resolution to read at least two books a month in 2010. That’s twenty-four books. Way better than five. I thought that seemed pretty reasonable, considering my work schedule and getting back into animating. Unfortunately, I didn’t make my goal. But, I read almost the entire year. Some books took me two months to complete (because they were so bad) but I pushed through and the important thing was that I continuously read.
My goal for next year is to complete the Harry Potter series. I read the first three when they came out but then I stopped for some reason so I’m basically going to have to start all over! I know, I’m way behind but the books just look so huge and it seems like I’d really have to be in the mood to read them and my interests were always elsewhere so I have put them off but I will put them off no longer!
Lucky by Alice Sebold (3/5)
Halloween (2007) (2.5/5)
Halloween 2 (2009) (2/5)
The Crazies (2010) (3/5) Read Review
Humble Pie (1/5)
Homecoming (TV) (2/5)
Zombie Honeymoon (4/5) Read Review
District 9 (4/5)
Zombie Honeymoon (4/5)
I just have to say that this is probably the most depressing “comedy” I’ve ever seen! The whole series is only thirteen episodes and each episode is soul crushing. I think there is a difference between getting into whacky situations and just downright being trampled by life and poor Valerie is trampled in every single episode. I mean, I sat there just feeling so sorry for this lady. This isn’t a case of her farting in front of the audience or having her period in the middle of a sex scene. This is about her career, self-esteem, identity and life basically being whittled away on screen!
Here’s what I liked: the show was a great satire of reality television, not only revealing some behind the scenes happenings on reality television (such as how the producers have to get permission from restaurants and other businesses that the stars of the show enter or how anyone not associate with the show has to sign a release to appear on camera and how that really interrupts the flow of not only the show, but of the people’s lives they are capturing) to how reality shows aren’t real at all. I mean, none of these are big secrets anymore but maybe some of that information was new and revealing during its time. Not only was the show full of jokes but the show itself was a huge joke. And this is kind of a small thing but I really liked how Valerie got along with her cast mates, especially the young and beautiful Juna. So many times you see women brought together who feel they are in competition with each other or act catty toward each other but Juna seemed to legitimately look up to Valerie and Valerie seemed to legitimately look at her as someone she could teach and protect. I liked that.
Here’s what I didn’t like: Valerie Cherish was not a great person. There were many times where her kindness felt disingenuous. When someone would tell her something personal, she’d interrupt them with a “Put a pin in that, dear” as a way to shut them up because she just wasn’t interested. And when a girl broke off a key in her dressing room, Valerie ran away because she didn’t have time to help her. She even adopts a puppy and then pawns it off on someone else because she never actually wanted it, only took it to look good. She’s also not the best step-mom to her husband’s daughter, ordering take out instead of cooking and never taking the time to bond with her unless the camera is on her. She is also quick to abandon her castmates in favor of going to a party with more famous actors. And then there’s the ending of the series when her character really comes out. And as mentioned before, any of the kindness she did show is put into question because you never know if Valerie Cherish really is nice sometimes or if she’s just trying to make herself look great for the viewing audience.
Here’s why I think it didn’t work: the show was just way too depressing. Listening to the commentaries, Lisa Kudrow and her co-creator Michael Patrick King said they wanted to make the show dark but comedic. I think they made it more dark and less comedic. Yes, the show was funny in some parts but it was mostly just sad to see the destruction of this lady on camera. Next, as mentioned before, Valerie isn’t that likeable. Now, I’m not saying that she’s completely unredeemable but you do get the sense that she cares more about her career than those around her. It’s hard to root for someone who seems just a bit self-absorbed. That, combined with her hopeless situation makes the audience just want to give up. I know I did. At the same time, I would have watched a second season. But I don’t think the rest of the world was willing to. At the end of the series, I think people realized that she was kind of a fame whore. And frankly, what else could they do to her in the next season? Have her husband leave her for her gay hair and makeup guy, Mickie? Have her show canceled? Have her get cancer? No thanks. We don’t wanna see that.