Category: TV Shows

The Family. The movie and the straw that broke my Italian back.

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So. I haven’t blogged for a while. Ya know, it happens….and when I say “it”…I mean LIFE. Comes at ya quick and unfortunately sometimes I don’t have enough time in the day to get down and blog. Getting ready to welcome a new human into the world and into my family has been time-consuming. That, on top of some work mayhem, has made it difficult. BUT…with all that said here we are. And we are here because something got my juices flowing so I carved out some time to make this happen.

We went and saw THE FAMILY the other night out in Westfield NJ. This was said event…the one that got my juices flowing. Let me first say…the movie was pretty freaking awesome. Bobby D was Bobby D. Meaning he. was. AWESOME. And while it made me feel way old to see Michelle Phiefer looking so, well…OLD. She was awesome too. Throw in that girl from Glee and Tommy Lee Jones and you’ve got yourself a fantastic cast that executes on a witty script.

The story of a constantly displaced family in witness protection delivered some serious laughs. The comedy was steady throughout as was the theme and story of “The Family”. The family was tight…they loved each other. They had to. Always being moved around and living in foreign lands they didn’t have much else to lean on other than their family unit and they seemed to always make the best of what some may have considered a shitty situation. The brother-sister duo attacked a new school with a strategic and calculated approach that quickly led to them achieving serious status and protection from the typical crap that can sometimes make life in high-school, and certainly any new school, so difficult. That was fun to watch. The little bro orchestrated the take down of some bullies and the sister showed the entire school how to treat a lady and how to NOT steal her pink pencil-case. All thru the immediate and potentially alarming drama they had a positive and can-do/”no one can touch us” attitude. Solidarity as a family unit was beautiful to watch between bro and sis and that clearly stemmed from Mom (Catwoman/Michelle Phiefer) and Dad (Bobby D) who were as close as close can get…you could tell there was nothing they wouldn’t do for each other.

Normally I would go a little more in-depth on a movie review BUT I don’t want to ruin your potential viewing experience by saying too much about the plot line and/or spill the beans about the ending. BUT here’s the thing…this ISN’T a movie review blog posting. Surprised? This post is something more, something different. This is about the juices I spoke of before and how they are flowing because – while the movie was a good one…it pissed me off.

Let me explain…

While enjoying the movie I couldn’t help but think about how absolutely sick and tired I am of the movies and TV shows that come out depicting all Italians as prosciutto loving, pasta eating, bad suit wearing, big sun glasses having, bad-tempered, non-intellectual, mobbed up, sub-humans!

Wow, that felt good. But, I mean…right?!

Every single movie, including “THE FAMILY, with an Italian “Family” is so filled with stereotypes it’s disturbing. The fat guys with bad accents, chomping on meats and cheeses, muttering “MADON! FUGETTABOUTIT!” were everywhere in The Family. Frankly and unfortunately it’s just become the norm for any newer programming including Italians to show my people like that…it’s sad and I am over it.

I say all that with a clear understanding and opinion that the classic movies are un-touchable. Godfather can do no wrong…Goodfellas is a gem…The Sopranos was the best…Casino is wonderful…you get it, the list can go on. But all these movies/shows are 10+ years old and were tremendously more relevant to the times it was set in than any new movie that comes out nowadays. Unless I missed it…The Family was set in modern-day. I feel like modern-day mobsters and the mafia have all but disappeared and if (not that I know of any…) they still exist they are way less out in the open, operating quietly with subtle movements as organized crime is a big no-no. With that depletion of mafia dudes…shouldn’t the insane stereotypes in Hollywood also trend downwards? Well I’m not seeing it, capeesh?!

Now, like with most stereotypes…the ones in the movie(s) are generally true. Come to a family gathering of mine and you can bet your ass you’ll see some cured meats and soft cheeses on the table along with dark red wines and all the carbs you can eat. Do some of us have on gold chains with crosses on them? Sure. That doesn’t mean we’re sitting around running numbers, breaking legs, racketeering, extorting and/or laundering money. It just means we like to eat and drink and some of us enjoy gold chains. For a long time I never noticed it – but when you say “I’m 100% Italian” – people judge you due to what they see in the movies and assume you are mobbed up and/or have a Uncle/Cousin/Nephew in the joint. Could I have your legs broken? Sure…but not because I’m Italian…because you are an idiot. Just like any other ethnic background could. So stop thinking weird things about me – you jabroni!

I’d like to end this long, admittedly crazy, rant with a plea. A plea to Hollywood.

HOLLYWOOD – I like mob movies. I’d never ask you to stop production of mob movies. But can we keep it modern-day appropriate and, please, have some Italian characters be something other than a mobster from Brooklyn? You do know we are capable of other things right? Doctors, Lawyers, digital media executives! Let’s show the world, together, Italians can make a positive contribution to society, OK? Please comply…otherwise my Uncle Vito is going to come to your house with a baseball bat. I mean it. Thank you! Signed, Chris Signore

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True Blood truely stinks to high heaven

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TrueBlood

True Blood used to be about PEOPLE and Vampires. PEOPLE…and VAMPIRES. And it was cool. Great concept…How would vampires and people interact? Could they live together? What kind of crazy hijinks would they get into together as friends? The first few seasons were awesome. Drama, comedy, violence, action and romantically charged intrigue all exploded on the screen like a fresh blood spatter! But now…things have changed.

I mean come on…Werewolves, fairies, shifters, ghosts, other dimensions, witches, mediums, fairy grandfathers, super vampires and more things that are totally made up. What’s next? I’m afraid to ask. It’s 100% ridiculous and makes no sense whatsoever.

This thing has spiraled so far out of control I can’t stand to watch it and unfortunately have to question those who are still into this thing…”why are you still watching this??” I’ve even tried to get back into it for some reason but that didn’t work at all as the last scene I checked out ….involved a fairy grandfather, who obviously appeared out of nowhere, jumping to another dimension in Suki’s kitchen to then come back all wet and tackle Jason for no apparent reason. He then described the magic power he possess that can KILL, totally, all vampires everywhere. Sweet…

I know a lot of you are still hooked but…I’d recommend you take your invitation (and precious TV watching time) back and make those blood suckers leave your house and TV forever.

James Gandolfini checked out appropriatley

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I’d like to think Tony Soprano himself would have been proud.
James, just hours before his massive heart attack, pounded booze, fried food and fancy cheese with his family on vacation in Italy. Healthy? No. But fitting for a lasting image.

Reports are saying big Jimmy downed a total of 6 shots of RUM (via 2 pina colodas) and two beers at dinner. I’m SURE this was merely a continuation of some serious indulgence that was happening during the day time as well. HEY…the dude was on vacation. Oh, that’s not it…he also reportedly chomped on TWO orders of fried prawns, smothered in mayo-chili sauce of course, and a large portion of foie gras.

R.I.P. JAMES – While you left us too soon, I’m glad you went out happy. I hope the capicola is soft and chewy up there.

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Antoni Gaudi – brilliant architect or big ol’ trickster?

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I saw this repeat of 60 minutes (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50142539n) last night and it really had me scratching my head. I remember, when I saw it the first time, I was equally confused yet intrigued about this story. Did you see this one? It was about a 20 minute piece, covered by that lovely Australian (or is she South African?) coresrepont Lara Logan, about Antoni Gaudi and the building of the massively insane church, Sagrada Família.

This is a super crazy story and intense history of a guy. I won’t go into too much detail here – as this could easily turn into a essay paper (and my inner 15-year-old refuses to write a 5 page homework assignment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoni_Gaud%C3%AD ) – long story short is… this guy was considered a super genius architect, dressed liked a bum and people are still working on completing his building that he concieved…about 100 years after they started it and way after he died. For a little more context – The Sagrada Familia is a church in Spain that depicts everything that is in the bible with symbolism and design. YES. Everything. “It’s the bible written in stone” Said one dude. So…as you can imagine this is a pretty big building (when completed = tallest church in the world) and the details are insane – thus the 100 years or so it’s taken to complete.

Really interesting stuff here Lara Logan but I need take your “this guy was amazing and way ahead of his time” spin and toss it right back at you because I just don’t agree.

I found it totally shocking that people have dedicated their entire lives to completing this building and spend every single waking moment trying to put together the pieces of this puzzle that Gaudi left behind after he died. Just doesn’t add up to me. They showed this one Japanese stone carver/artist guy who works literally every day, and has for over 30+ years, on carving the stone for this church and I thought “doesn’t this dude want to do something else at some point in his life?” Even more shocking was the project manager guy who, I believe is a relative of Guadi, probably won’t even be alive when this thing gets finished! Could you dedicate your life to something (your ENTIRE life) knowing well that you probably won’t be around to see it completed and/or enjoyed? Not me. I’m a finisher. I want to see things done at 100% especially the things that I care about.

60 Minutes, Laura Logan and everyone who was interviewed in this piece praised Antoni for being a forward thinking visionary who was way ahead of his time. I think Guadi…is just an absolute maniac.

On what planet can someone go to their Church, State/Federal Government, Representative and say “Hey…I have a great idea…It’s just going to take a couple hundred years to finish, ok?” And have the response be “Sure, go for it dude!” It’s just not even in the realm of possibilities – and while some may think that is why Guadi’s church is so special I’d, again, disagree.

Interestingly enough the show never mentioned just how much this would cost BUT they did mention that the entire project has been funded by “donations from the Church”. Does that sound strange to anyone else? Well…maybe we shouldn’t dig too deep or question his will. Because Gaudi asked for it – it must have made sense right?

I think there is something to be said about leveraging real-time capabilities and executing on a plan to completion and providing real functionality to the world. To me…designing something that literally cannot be completed in one’s lifestyle is somewhat of a crock. I’m pretty sure there are a lot of people who could put something down on paper that is pretty insane, that would look amazing, set records, change the world etc…but if it literally can’t come into fruition or be built in actuality in someone’s LIFETIME (or two for that matter) does it really count? I don’t think so.

I’m sure this is going to be one lovely Chruch. No doubt about that. But I need to question the glorifying of this entire process and the guy who designed the un-buildable building.

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Happy Endings

DAMON WAYANS JR., ELIZA COUPE, ADAM PALLY, CASEY WILSON, ELISHA CUTHBERT, ZACHARY KNIGHTON

It will be a shame if this show is cancelled. Anyone else been as into this show as me? I’m scared though…it’s in TV network purgatory. Friday nights. Not a good sign.

Happy endings has really delivered some serious laughs and has all the great components of a sit-com that could be around a very long time and even reach the ultimate sit-com goal…wait for it…………syndication and an abundant amount of day time and early evening re-runs on the Turner network! Great characters that interact with each other in unique and interesting ways and stellar comedic timing. The other main component is…there really is no story. No plot line. No real drama. But..it’s quality television people! I’m surprised this hasn’t gotten more attention and believe it should and could have the same traction as New Girl and even Modern Family (gasp!). Someone in the marketing department has some explaining to do because the show is fire and I’m baffled as to its small audience.

They have the ditzzy blonde…the gay guy… the super up tight-OCD white girl married to a eccentric black guy…the guy who thinks he cooler than he actually is…and of course the wildcard female whose personal and professional life always seems to be a hot mess. Sit-com gold. Each episode seems to focus on a different character each time yet ties it all togehter wonderfully. I thought this puppy was going to be a hit. I’m really surprised that it got the network move around and now seems to be on the way out.

If nothing else I really hope those aquisition guys over at TBS pick up the few seasons that exist. Lord know we could do without all those Everyone Loves Raymond and even though I LOVE it…I’ve seen enough King of Queens to last a long while.

Mad Men wins at TV

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I’ve loved Mad Men for a long time. I was late to the party but once discovered i caught up quick! I believe I started watching the show about half way through season 3…At that point it was non-stop net flix/Itunes action to get up to speed. Wasn’t the most productive time in my life but we made it happen and it was quiet enjoyable. I loved almost every episode and it’s clear as to why the show is such a big hit and really put AMC on the map. Obviously the show is a hit – one of the biggest on tv but the start of this season sure had me worried.

The first few (3 or 4 depending on who you ask) episodes this year have been terrible (at the time). I totally was thinking that “finally…it’s come to an end. The show that has consistently delivered fantastic entertainment for 5 seasons and overall quality tv is done. It’s lost it’s edge and this will be the season that we all need to grin and bear it, hoping they will re-capture the magic of the first few seasons. Perhaps, if we are lucky, we can hope for one out of 3 decent episodes this year? The writers/producers are testing us to see who is really invested in the show by getting über artistic and/or trying to convey some political message.” Welp. I was wrong! They really brought it this week making the previous three or four episodes of the season totally worth it and even better in retrospect now having executed such a excellent episode.

This week – some serious monumentus things happened (*SPOILER ALERT*. If you Dvr’d theis gem like we did and haven’t seen this yet – overt your eyes).

It’s like the writers were like “oh yeah people, you think we can’t bring it anymore? Well BAMM! Suck on this”. I mean… Don dumps Jaguar because he feels like it, Pete runs into his father in-law at a whore house (awkward!), said father-in-law then pulls his massive account from the firm, Peggy makes out with her boss and realizes (what we have all known for a long time) that her boyfriend is a loser, Joan gets upset due to the dumping of the client that she needed to sleep with in order to sign, Pete’s wife kicks him out for good, the firm vets a potential IPO only to then merge with their biggest competitor and thus brings Peggy back to working for Don, the new team secures CHEVY as a client and the best part….No mention of and/or siting of that boring little (not so little anymore) ex-wife Betty and her even more boring new husband. Whoah!…”Still too “slow” for ya’ll?!” Says the writers while sipping on a whiskey and smoking a cigar.

It’s been broughten Mad Men. While I can almost 100% guarantee that the next two to four episodes will be super slow and may even suck a little bit- I don’t even care and can’t wait for the rest of this season. This week’s episode was THAT good.

Back in action! (CABLE GUY.)

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FIXED. It was a painful few days but we made it. Cable and internet are back on!

The window the lovely folks at FIOS gave me was 8am to 8 pm on a Wednesday. Awesome right? And wouldn’t you know it – they called me right at 8am (once I was nice and situated at a coffee shop with my laptop about to dive into the day using internet) and said they were on their way. Isn’t that nice of them?

The cable guy showed up and fixed my issue in 15 minutes. He said “Power surge. Happens all the time.”

One part of me wanted to jump for joy the other wanted to punch him in the face. Cable was BACK but it really took 5 days to schedule this appointment which took all of 15 mins to fix?!