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Pop Culture Update

Christopher_Eccleston-Dr_Wh.jpgI got a Netflix account a few weeks ago and I've been using it to catch up on pop culture I've missed over the last few years. Presently I'm watching the first seasons of "Lost," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and the revamped "Doctor Who." I haven't really watched television in about 10 years, so I have a lot of catching up to do.

People I love keep talking about Buffy in rapturous tones and it was made by Joss Whedon of "Firefly" fame, so I needed to give that a shot. Yes, I know most people know him the other way around, but I always was contrary. Buffy is great so far. Smart writing and fun characters. I'm loving it.

"Lost" was also a show that seems to be widely loved by people, so I'm trying that out. So far it feels like "Northern Exposure" meets "The Prisoner" and I'm liking it all right. There are some very smartly written characters.

My kids and I are especially enjoying "Doctor Who" which they have never seen before in any incarnation, but it has become part of their lore about their mother and me and our college friends.

"So you guys used to stay up until midnight on Sundays to watch this?"

"Yep, on WTTW. Though it wasn't as cool as this. The effects were bad. The writing was often ludicrous. And the sets looked like they were about to fall down. We loved every minute of it. And we'd get liter pops from Brad's Bagels and sometimes a Warm 'n' Sticky."

"A 'Warm 'n' Sticky?'"

"Yep, that's a cream cheese brownie with ice cream, hot fudge, and whipped cream. That makes just about anything bearable."

Ah yes, those were the days.

So, that's what's on my summer pop culture watch list. What are you watching?


We too didn't watch _Buffy_ until we'd seen _Firefly_: it just sounded so stupid. But we loved it. _Lost_ was interesting, but by the end of the first season it felt like they were making it up as they went along, and we'd already been through that with _Twin Peaks_, so we were done. Scotto loaned us the first season of the new _Dr. Who_ but we just couldn't get into it, and we don't have the nostalgia for it you have. Mostly now the TiVo records _Mythbusters_, _Who's Line is it Anyway_, and _Fairly Oddparents_. Brandon and I are watching _Full Metal Alchemist_ from Netflix.

Yeah, I know what you mean about Twin Peaks. It was great while it lasted but it was so over before it was over. I've heard that Lost gets its footing again after season one, and so far I'm enjoying the ride so I'll stick with it for now.

And, yes, Doctor Who is definitely an acquired taste. It just happens to be one I've acquired over the years.

Glad to know I'm not the only dork out there who came to Buffy by way of Firefly.

I think about trying Netflix sometimes-I really like old movies, plus, since babysitters are hard to find in a new town, Brett goes to see his movies, but I rarely get a chance to see mine. Gone are the carefree days when we would tolerate each others chick flick/action movie preferences knowing that next weekend, the compromise would be on the other foot. As far as TV goes...I've never seen Buffy or Lost or any of those. I did see one of the new Dr Whos last season, and kind of liked the actor for that version--he seemed more edgy. But normally I find Dr Who, um, well, annoying. Brett likes it, though, although right now he's into the history channel, seeing as they've cut down some on the Hitler stuff. For myself, I like Ghost Hunters on SciFi--ok, I LOVE it. It's the right mix of skeptical and creepy, without those annoying mediums (although they lack some on the historical research bit--too many brides falling downstairs, that kind of thing). I also like House Hunters--it's fun to see inside other houses--generally cleaner than mine will ever be, plus my friends and I laugh at how incredibly spoiled these people are. Perfectly good bathrooms and kitchens are declared in need of immediate "updates," and not a show goes by in which the woman doesn't declare a massive walk-in closet will just about fit her shoe collection (i don't get the shoe thing). And then, they buy the house an actually do all those renovations (usually)--do they just add that onto their mortgage loan--how much debt do they want?! Anyway, it's fun to watch. Oh, and Brett loves it when they use the word "space", as in "it's a great space"--it's a little pretentious--they're not all decorators, and it's really funny when the husband does it. Too much in this post--I'll tell you my Dr Who story in another (lucky you).

Ok, here is how I was introduced to Dr Who....
There was a guy in my freshman US or maybe World History class who wore this huge cape. I thought it was original, and that maybe he was into historical re-enacting, so I started talking to him. He told me that it had something to do with Dr Who (which I had only barely heard of before), and proceeded to follow me back to my dorm room--clear across campu, talking about Dr WHo the whole time--and since I had no frame of reference, nothing he said made too much sense to me. We got to my residence hall, and I thought he would leave, but no, he came right on in. He followed me onto the elevator, and then he followed me up the stairs to my room. It became very apparent that he was going to follow me into the room--and it was abt 8:30 am ( I took early classes because I had to work later). I knew my roommate was probably just barely up, so I managed to get rid of him. When I went in, My roomate was standing there, trying to cover herself with a towel, afraid I was going to bring some guy in. He gave me his number and told me he liked to hear his phone ring, but really, it creeped me out a little. I googled him a yr or so ago, and he is living in Cambridge where he composes music for a theatre group, and also on his own (apparently) for Dr Who fansites. I'm sure he was a nice guy, but I never liked a man to come on too strong.

Mmmm... Warm & Sticky.

Oh yeah, warm & sticky!! The truly marvelous thing about the warm & sticky was that Brad's DELIVERED.

So you could be sitting in the dorm on a Sunday night (the night there was no food service, inexplicably) and get pizza bagels and a brownie sundae brought right to you. Brilliant!!

Now if I could get Coldstone Creamery to deliver to my office, the world would be magical once again.

Netflix and Tivo are a mixed blessing. At this point, I have watched every episode of every good TV show I ever wanted to. Since I have to keep watching TV (why? why?), I have had to slowly descend down through shows I didn't really want to watch to shows I can't believe I watch. Now my Tivo is mainly capturing CSI: Miami, and I obediently watch it every day. Help.

heh, warm 'n sticky nostalgia!

Okay, I may have the bite the bullet and check out Firefly. My DVR has been clogged with Pokemon and Power Rangers for the boys, plus Mythbusters which we all enjoy, and one Nova special on Cuttlefish (yes, really...I find them fascinating!!)that I just can't seem to get around to finishing.

I probably won't ever watch "Buffy" because I associate it with my ex, and that's reason enough not to watch. I'll second the recommendation for "Full Metal Alchemist" though. Well drawn characters, literally and figuratively, great action and often surprising psychological depth. Well scored musically, too--Anime at its best. I was sorry when it ended.

And speaking of anime, the boys and I have all become big fans of the works of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. It started several years ago when I was testing some file sharing thingy or another and I downloaded a copy of "My Neighbor Totoro"...and the music, animation, and storyline completely enthralled all of us, even though it was entirely in Japanese. Since then, we've collected legal copies of just about all the works by Studio Ghibli that we've come across, though we tend to get the dubbed versions now. Ben is starting to feel that he's a little old for Totoro, but he still giggles when the CatBus appears. His favorites now are "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" and "Laputa, Castle in the Sky". Josh still loves "Totoro," but he also likes "The Cat Returns", which is a non-Miyazaki Studio Ghibli work. I'm partial to "Porco Rosso" myself. More people know "Spirited Away", but it's a bit on the creepy side for young kids. "Howl's Moving Castle" is less scary and more fun for younger kids, though there are still scenes Josh prefers that we fast forward through. It's a little more convoluted, plot-wise, than many of the other films, but it still has the Miyazaki magic. Especially when you get a chance to see them on a big screen, some of Miyazaki's backgrounds can simply take your breath away with their sheer beauty. If you haven't seen some of these, by all means take the time to check them out. You won't be sorry.

Firefly rocks!

Oddly, because of this one post, if you google "Brad's Bagels" this blog now comes up #3.

Hey Celia:

Do you and your boys read Usagi Yojimbo at all? Simon and I LOVE it. Samurai rabbit comic: Yay.

::waves to Char:: Thanks for the recommendation! Checked out a couple of UY websites, and it looks like it's right up our alley. Definitely going to see about finding some copies here!

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