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Emmys 2010 Part 2 – Reactions

30 Aug

Phew… that was a long, strange night. My fingers are about to fall off from all the typing. The Emmys are done. There were some surprises, some upsets, mostly routine. I’ll just post some of the highlights of the night for me.

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Emmy 2010 Part I – my picks and predicts

29 Aug

I’m excited for this year’s Emmys because I’ll be liveblogging about it on another site. And also because many favorites are nominated. No matter who wins, it’ll be one huge fangirling fest for me come sunday night. However, doesn’t mean I don’t have my preferences. So here are the wins I would personally like to come true and the wins that most likely would come true.

(I’ve omitted all the Comedy categories coz, really… don’t watch; don’t care. For a full list of the nominees, go here)

* personal pick

† predicted win


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Jon Hamm in Mad Men *

Kyle Chandler in Friday Night Lights

Hugh Laurie in House

Michael C. Hall in Dexter

Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad

Matthew Fox in LOST

Of these six, I’ve watched five shows and I have to say that the men nominated from these shows are every bit deserving of not just being nominated, but also to win. Even a show like House, whose writing has long been repetitive and charmless, is being kept alive by the outstanding Hugh Laurie. My personal preference is Jon Hamm, however. I’m completely in love with the control he has over his facial expressions. He doesn’t have a standout WOW moment (i.e. one that involves a lot of yelling and crying) the Academy loves so much, but it’s always the little things in his mannerisms that convey how completely he’s transformed into the charismatic Don Draper. Bryan Cranston is another fabulous actor heading a fabulous show, but seeing as he’s won the past two years in a row, it’s a bit doubtful that he’ll score the third. I’ve never been a fan of the LOST actors, save for a few, no matter how much I loved the show, but Matthew Fox did have a shining moment during the show finale where he left no pair of eyes unsoaked. But I feel it’s Michael C. Hall’s year, partly because he’s won the SAG and Golden Globe, which are pretty good predictors of the Emmy.


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

January Jones in Mad Men

Kyra Sedgwick in Closer

Mariska Hargitay in Law and Order: SVU

Glenn Close in Damages

Julianna Margulies in The Good Wife * †

Connie Britton in Friday Night Lights

Like Michael C. Hall, Julianna also has the Golden Globes and SAG recognition helping her chances. She’s also been a longtime Emmy favorite because of her many years on ER (opposite George Clooney no less!), and she made a much-praised comeback this year. Kyra Sedgwick and Glenn Close are pretty much shoe-in nominations every year, although Kyra still has to win one (why hasn’t she!). I’ve no idea if Mariska Hargitay deserves the trophy because I gave up on her godawful show a long time ago.


Outstanding Drama Series

Mad Men *

Breaking Bad

The Good Wife


True Blood


Online predictions for this category have been all over the place. Some think that it will be Mad Men again. The show started off slow, but the last few episodes were definitely the most stunning, thrilling moments on TV, and I admit I would LOVE to watch the entire cast + Matt Weiner on stage again. However, some think that the Emmys will finally recognize the consistently amazing Breaking Bad. Based on writing alone, it should be either of these two. The Good Wife was definitely the best new network show, and it does have the right dose of bait-y formula – obvious inspiration from current news headlines, politically charged legal cases every week — but it’s still got the freshman green over it. A lot of people think the award might go to LOST as a reward and farewell for its six seasons of mind-twisting, heartbreaking madness. True Blood’s presence on the list, however… LOL.

(A caveat here – I haven’t seen the last season of Dexter)


Outstanding Miniseries

The Pacific * †

Return to Cranford

Really, there’s no contest. But then again, The Pacific lost the cinematography trophy to Return to Cranford, which simply flabbergasted me.


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

John Slattery in Mad Men

Martin Short in Damages

Aaron Paul in Breaking Bad * †

Terry O’Quinn in LOST

Andre Braugher in Men of a Certain Age

Michael Emerson in LOST *

Aaron Paul is a deserving win, so is Terry O’Quinn. But I want it to be Michael Emerson for taking the character of Benjamin Linus all through his initial scheming, manipulative weaseliness to what became the best redemption story on LOST. Besides, how can any LOST fan see this scene and not for that teensie moment, whatever their earlier feelings for Linus, not feel for him? Kudos to Emerson, even though I don’t think he will win the Emmy two years in a row. Would love to be proven wrong, though.


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Christina Hendricks in Mad Men *

Archie Panjabi in The Good Wife

Rose Byrne in Damages

Elisabeth Moss in Mad Men

Christine Baranski in The Good Wife * †

Sharon Gless in Burn Notice

Oh, the agony. Ultimately, I boiled down to Mad Men and The Good Wife ladies. Among the former, the trajectory of Elisabeth Moss’ character had been stretched out to the entire season and not a glowing episode or two where she could have the scope to perform. Which is unfortunate per the Emmy submission rules. Christina Hendricks did have that advantage. She got to handle the vulnerable side of Joan Holloway last year, what with marriage not proving to be the ticket to upward mobility as she thought. In the episode she submitted, what she lacked in screentime she made up with versatility as both the frustrated wife and the efficient office manager.

In The Good Wife, Archie Panjabi has been getting a lot of buzz for her boot-wearing, smart aleck, is-she-isn’t-she-gay in-house investigator. Her character hasn’t really been developed beyond that, though she made a very smart submission choice (the courtroom scene in the episode resulted in a lot of Kalinda-converts). Christine Baranski, on the other hand, was supposed to portray a stereotypical woman-in-charge who would always be the foil for the protagonist, but it was largely thanks to her that the character fleshed out into a passionate, intelligent, very conspicuously liberal, and damn funny woman.

Christina Hendricks definitely gets a lot of press, but Christine Baranski has an Emmy history. I think the Emmys might go for experience vs hype, but it could really be either one. Or it could be neither. No matter what, I’d be pleased.


Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Michelle King and Robert King for “Pilot” The Good Wife

Rolin Jones for “The Son” Friday Night Lights

Matthew Weiner and Robin Veith for “Guy walks into an Advertising Agency” Mad Men *

Matthew Weiner and Erin Levy for “Shut the Door. Have a Seat” Mad Men *

Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse for “The End” LOST *

“Guy walks…” for the black humor; “Shut the door…” for the exciting coup; “The End” for the pure emotional response. Any of them winning will be perfectly fine with me.


Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

Michelle MacLaren for “One Minute” Breaking Bad *

Steve Shill for “Getaway” Dexter

Jack Bender for “The End” LOST *

Lesli Linka Glatter for “Guy walks into an advertising agency” Mad Men

Agnieszka Holland for “Do you know what it means” Treme

It could be between Mad Men or Breaking Bad, but really I’ve no idea.


I haven’t watched many of the nominees in the miniseries/made-for-TV movie categories, so I’m not qualified to comment on that. However, I am pretty disappointed that The Pacific boys weren’t nominated for any acting awards. I do hope it wins Outstanding Directing for episode nine.

What’s the most resilient parasite? An Idea

21 Jul

Mr. Christopher Nolan,

Without any preliminaries, I’m going to note down my grievances with you. Either you have extracted the idea from the safe deposit box of my mind, or you have planted the idea in my mind via an elaborate Inception scheme. Whichever you did,



Truth is, I want to meet up with you and discuss our mutual fascination with the human mind over a cup of latte. Besides other than the whole “explore the territory of the mind,” our ideas aren’t anything the same. You deal with dreams, I deal with attitudes.


I’m still undecided about how I feel after watching Inception. (Warning: spoilers ahead)

It’s been a long time since I’d had to think so hard while watching a movie, and I enjoyed the experience of constant puzzle-solving while watching it. The pace was very fast, though, and while still trying to wrap my head around the last exposition something else comes up and I’m like, “Whoa there roger, slow down.”

The theatre was also packed to its seams and in general I hate crowded theatres. There would always be some high school kids who think checking their facebook is a good excuse for distracting everybody around them with the super-bright display of their phone. The couple sitting right next to me found the whole movie very funny – go figure. There was one guy whose phone rang twice during the movie, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, he even carries on a conversation with the other person on the line. I mean, WTF? I don’t understand why people pay money to watch a movie when they are doing everything but. I was also in a pretty uncomfortable visual range – right up front close to the screen at a sharp angle to the right. So all in all I was pretty disoriented and often unfocused for the 2+ hrs. I think – I think – I have a good idea of the general story of the movie, but I can’t really form an opinion unless, being the Anal Annie that I am, I understand all the nitty-gritty details in between that I couldn’t entirely grasp. So I might just have to wait till I watch it on DVD with the subtitles turned on and the pause and rewind buttons handy.

I alas felt pretty disconnected from most characters and none of them stayed with me after the credits rolled. I couldn’t care less about Cobb and his wife, and you wouldn’t believe it – I can’t believe it – but part of it was because the way Marion Cotillard played Mal really bugged me. I don’t suppose Mal was really all that well developed to be anything but a femme fatale/neurotic flashback appearance, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I just felt that the role wasn’t really right for Marion, GAWJUS as she is. I did find it amusing that they used Non, je ne regrette rien as the “kick,” and at first I thought it was a nice little reference to Marion’s Oscar-winning performance. But apparently, Chris Nolan has called his choice of the song a pure coincidence. Hmm. I suspect a little Inception work here…

I’m interested in reading from the film theorists as well as the parallels in literature/myth/religion that will most assuredly come up (the internet is already buzzing with the various interpretations of the movie.) We already know, for example, that Ellen Page’s character is called Ariadne, which is a clear allusion to the Ariadne in Greek mythology who had helped Theseus escape the labyrinth of the Minotaur. Ellen Page’s Ariadne, on the other hand, actually helps create the labyrinth.

I’m also especially interested in reading some analyses with a more psychological bent. There is one that describes the movie’s characters using Jungian archetypes.

LOST: The End

25 May

An hour ago I finished watching the series finale of LOST and I’m so dazed I can’t decide what I’m feeling about the way it all ended. I’m writing this post in an attempt to sort out my incoherent thoughts. I wanted to do this before reading the discussions and analyses over at forums. I’m sure there are plenty of very interesting reactions, as well as theories, emerging in these little nooks and crannies all over the internet, all of which will occupy my reading over the course of this week. But for now, while I’m still overwhelmed and overcome, I want to jot down my own unadulterated opinions.


Firstly, I liked the way most* of the characters regained their memories of their Island life. In terms of resolution of character arcs and giving us, who have gotten somewhat attached to most of the characters, what we wanted (shipperisms aside), the show did well.

– The Aaron birth scene that brought together Kate, Claire and Charlie, in the same way when Claire had given birth on the island. It was a nice throwback to their character dynamic back on the island.

– Jin and Sun remembering during the sonography. Okay, the first couple of times the impact of their “reunion” was lost on me because I was too busy squeeing at Juliet Burke Carlson. I really loved this and the above memory flashes for the music alone. I need the Season 6 soundtrack RITE NAO!

– Juliet and Sawyer. AWW. I knew Elizabeth Mitchell was back this season, and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to guess in what capacity, so I was expecting their reunion. But seeing them together was oh-so-sweet and I totally lost it when she was so emotional she couldn’t even look at him. They were the only two people I cared for as a couple in the show, so I’m glad they got together.

I do wish that we’d had a scene with Juliet and Ben. They had a history together as Others and I would think she was one of those people whose forgiveness he would want.

– Daniel recognized Charlotte, but she didn’t recognize him. I suppose that means it’s not time for him to “move on” yet, and makes sense why Desmond told Eloise that he wouldn’t take her son.

– I wish the Church LOSTies hugging session had been longer with Giacchino’s epic music playing in the background. But, oh well, I liked what we got.


* Sayid and Shannon. Okay, whaaa? I thought Nadiya was supposed to be his One True Love. Sayid’s alternate universe story also makes sorta little sense in the context of how everything ended. Unlike many of the other characters, he wasn’t leading a particularly great life, and it seemed the only thing needed to make it great was Shannon. Which, yeah, doesn’t make sense.


From what I can understand, the sideways parallel turned out to be some kind of simulated reality in the characters’ purgatory. All these characters needed to resolve their issues and remember their connection with one another so that they can “move on”, which I’m guessing will mean going to Heaven. I’m not entirely sure if most of them seemed better/stable because they were just put into a rosier situation or because they made better choices. Like, James choosing to become a cop instead of a con man as revenge. Or Jack choosing to have a congenial relationship with his ex, who happened to be Juliet. Hugo using his money for philanthropy. Ben choosing Alex over his own ambitions.

I’m not entirely sure about Kate, since she seemed to be exactly the same as her pre-Island self in the Island reality. Although, she does tell Sawyer again and again that she’s innocent, we don’t know if we can believe her.

Then there is Ben, who couldn’t go inside the Church because he still had a few things to “sort out”. I’m guessing he still has some moral redemption to do before he can move on. Though, how cute was it that he became aide to Hugo’s role as Protector of the Island. I dunno about anybody else, but I would love to see a spinoff of The Adventures of Hugo Reyes and Benjamin Linus.

There are people like Keamy, who “dies” in this sideways, which I suppose means he went to Hell.

Whatever happened to the Ajira plane? Did it ever manage to make it home? And why weren’t Lapidus or Richard in the alternate reality? I’m guessing Michael’s still trapped in no-man’s land, since he wasn’t in the alternate reality either.

Desmond is a constant indeed. Not only can he apparently look into the future of his afterlife, he also ended up serving as a kind of spirit guide in that place.

Although, showing Juliet as Jack’s ex-wife and mother of his son was a good way of introducing her into the storyline (TV drama-wise), I can’t help but think how weird it would be like living as Juliet and having these contradictory memories of Jack in her mind. And who’s David supposed to be? Is he just some character imagined by their afterlife subconscious? Yeah, okay.

It seems that both Charles Widmore and Eloise were well aware of what their sideways existence was. So, why were they stuck there? Did they not wish to move on?

The purgatory or whatever the sideways was supposed to be was conveniently all about the Losties and their connection to each other. Assuming that Sawyer, Kate, Claire and Miles got off the island and managed to live a long, long life somewhere, you would think that we would see a bit more of that post-Island life in their purgatory. What about Aaron? Wouldn’t he have grown up? Shouldn’t he be part of this purgatory? Or Hugo and Ben protecting the island for another several centuries, we would have seen far more interactions between those two and you would think Ben would have been “redeemed” by then. My head hurts.

Even though we do get an explanation (somewhat) of what the sideways was, really, we ended up with even more questions and inconsistencies. Besides, we never get an answer to what the island really is. What’s the cave in the light supposed to be? How did Smoky become the smoke monster after being thrown into the cave? Why can Desmond survive the electromagnetism and what makes him so special? How does the island keep some of its inhabitants (like Richard, Jacob) immortal? Why did Widmore and the Dharma people come after the island? What were they planning to do with that electromagnetism? What was the hatch and what was the point of “pressing the button”? And remember those numbers – those magical, mystical numbers that were the focus for the first two seasons – wtf were that? And lastly, what was the point of the hydrogen bomb explosion?


In terms of a satisfactory resolution to the twisty-turny mytharc, it was rather disappointing. I didn’t mind the religious overtones or the whole “it’s just purgatory, y’all” revelation because I wasn’t expecting that at all. But it was just the way the whole thing was written that felt a bit contrived. Now LOST doesn’t always have the most ingenious or subtle writing, so any raised hopes were only my fault. But I did want a bit more answer than “the island’s got some mysterious, immortalizing, monster-morphing powers, and you just gotta accept it, mkay?” For all the frequent clunkiness in the script, I LOVED how elaborate they were setting up the various plotlines of the island-related mythology to be, with things like science and religion and mysticism converging. And I HATE how none of those were explained in the end.


I will have to think some more about it and read some more reactions to form a better opinion. I have a hunch though that some of my above queries might be answered, while many more will pop up. In any case, I enjoyed it while it lasted and it was certainly something to look forward to every Tuesday night.

When Vincent came and sat down beside a dying Jack, I realized truly that it had all ended. I started watching LOST only last year and caught up to all 5 seasons during the summer. It’s been such a journey from then to now. It’s rare that we get science-fiction shows of this calibre that actually have a bit of everything for everyone. While it wasn’t the smartest show on TV, I liked the way it kept the balance between developing identifiable and sympathetic characters (for the most part) and weaving intrigue and mystery.

“A day will come when sacred Troy shall perish”

20 Mar

Despite his three-fingers blunder in Inglourious Basterds, how can one condemn Michael Fassbender when he was looking so utterly delicious in the movie? So imagine my delight when I learned that Fassbender is going to play Rochester in the next adaptation of Jane Eyre alongside Mia Wasikowska (most recently seen in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland) who plays Jane. Now, I loved the 2006 version (Toby Stephens was the perfect Rochester) and I am of the opinion that screen adaptations of literary classics are better if done as a miniseries rather than a movie. However, I have to say I quite like the casting for this new adaptation.

Fassbender has also donned armor for Centurion. Here’s the trailer.


Well, hmm. The trailer does not have a particularly wow or original factor. I know I’ll be watching it, because if the word “historical” is there, then so am I. But I don’t know what to expect from it. The story doesn’t indicate to me if it’s just going to be another action-adventure swords-and-sandals movie, or if they are going to actually focus a bit on the history of the Roman empire in that period. I guess I shouldn’t pull up any hopes for the latter, coz I’m likely to be disappointed. However, if they do more than mention Hadrian/Trajan, then I’ll be one happy gal.

This was the year Hadrian became Roman emperor, succeeding from his adoptive father, Trajan. Hadrian was the guy who built the famous “Hadrian’s Wall” in England (Britannia) to fortify the northernmost frontier of his empire. He was considered to be one of the “good” Roman emperors during the Principate, especially in contrast to the rather… temperamental Julio-Claudian emperors. Unlike his predecessor, Trajan, who mostly had a repute for territorial expansion, Hadrian was known for being an able administrator and someone who significantly contributed to the Roman legal system. He was also a man deeply interested in culture – particularly Greek culture – as well as made social reforms, like banning the unnecessary torture and exploitation of slaves.

Hadrian was also possibly gay and his wife, Vibia Sabina, was apparently dissatisfied with the marriage. Can’t say I blame her. Instead of deifying his empress, Hadrian deified his lover Antinous. Ouch, embarrassing much? She was a pretty strong-minded woman herself, though, and might have had an affair with the historian Suetonius.

I know, I’ve been asking the same thing: Why aren’t we getting a movie about Hadrian instead?

In fact, there are so, so many great events/personalities in Roman history that could be depicted in a movie. But no, we always get the same ol’ same ol’ Julius Caesar/Cleopatra/Mark Antony love triangle, or antics of crazy Caligula and Nero. If not them, then it’s some figure mentioned briefly in history books, around whom the filmmakers weave an entirely fictitious tale (Hi, Spartacus). Of course, there’s nothing wrong with all the above, as long as it’s made well (which… is another matter altogether). But why don’t they look at the wealth of material already existing instead of beating dead the metaphorical horse?

I personally would like a miniseries based on the life of Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus Numantinus. Yes, that’s his full name. His friends probably called him just Scipio Aemilianus. He was definitely a fascinating guy. He was quite a nerd when he was young and felt like a disappointment in his family full of high-achieving names. However, very soon he proved his own mettle in the battlefield and in politics. He was the one who definitively put an end to the Punic Wars by completely destroying Carthage. His friend and tutor, Polybius, wrote that Scipio had wept openly while watching the city burn to the ground and had quoted from the Iliad:

A day will come when sacred Troy shall perish

And Priam and his people shall be slain.

Polybius: o.O What do you mean, boss?

Scipio: Don’cha know I love all things Greek? Cato thinks my Scipionic Circle is a wuss, and we’re always like naked and stuff. Psshh whatever. Dude’s got a problem with everything.

Polybius: Well, you are crying.

Scipio: *chokes sob* I’m just being insightful, yo. One day my Rome will also fall. And the Romans will also have their asses kicked to the curb like these fuckers.


While serving in the senate, he had openly opposed Tiberius Gracchus. Gracchus was a politician aiming for popular support, mortifying the more conservative Senators who believed in keeping politics in the house (i.e. among the aristocrats). Lots of bloodshed followed. Gracchus and his supporters were assassinated. Scipio might have been indirectly involved in the murder. His death shortly after was considered rather mysterious, and rumored to have been caused by his wife, sister of the slain Gracchus. Scipio and his wife was, if you hadn’t guessed, quite a model of an unhappy marriage.

Dude, this guy’s life is begging to be adapted!! Especially, since any story about him can’t possibly be complete with a mention – if not a major character arc – of Cornelia, famed Mother of the Gracchus brothers, and one of the earliest Head Bitch in Charge of Roman politics.


Hell, if until 2030, there is no major work – movie, book, or otherwise – based on them, I might do one myself.

82nd Academy Awards 2010

9 Mar

It was probably one of the worst Academy Awards shows in a long time. Bad jokes that went on and on (Ben Stiller, I’m looking at you) and very predictable winners. 

Other than Das Weisse Band’s loss for Best Foreign Picture I can’t remember there being any major upsets on Sunday evening. However, I hadn’t seen most of the nominees in this category, so can’t really comment. Although, Argentinean director’s jab at Avatar? As my bb Hans Landa said,


Congrats Christoph Waltz for your Best Supporting Actor win. You were expected, but oh-so-deserved. You were probably the most deserved winner that night.


The Hurt Locker wasn’t my personal favorite among the nominees, but I definitely enjoy Kathryn Bigelow’s brand of action films. I remember watching Near Dark in secret because vampires were so ~risque~ to my 12-year old self, and I loved it. And even despite the ridiculously bad Russian accents, I found K-19 pretty entertaining. Besides, the race was always going to be between Avatar/James Cameron and The Hurt Locker/Kathryn Bigelow. I’m just glad it wasn’t Cameron, and even gladder it wasn’t Lee Daniels (could Precious be more overbearing?) or Jason Reitman. I do wish that everybody didn’t make it into the “Woman vs Black guy” thing this directorial race. It was extremely insulting to all the nominees, never mind the two people implied. That these things need to be brought up again and again – the only more mentioned fact was that Bigelow used to be married to Cameron – just shows how far we still have to go in terms of equal opportunity.


Besides, Kathryn Bigelow has to be the hottest Best Director recipient as far as my memory serves me (Except, Martin Scorcese of course). And probably also the most excited, most overwhelmed on the stage. It’s usually the acting winners who are all speechless and about to collapse (dramatics are, after all, their bread and butter), never the cool-and-collected directors. So, I found it kinda cute to watch Bigelow *this* close to doing a crazy victory dance on the stage itself. Not that she would have done it, so relax the grip, Mark Boal.


Speaking of actors, it’s sad that Sandra Bullock has an Oscar, while actresses like Laura Linney and Julianne Moore don’t, but I digress. Sandy’s a classy broad and her acceptance speech made her win far more palatable.


Other than that, meh. Although, I cannot express enough love for Michael Giacchino.