June 2010 Archives
I am just going to say I am not much of a television person. I much prefer movies and videogames, but there are some shows that are worth it, and Arrested Development definitely falls under this category.
Arrested Development is a FOX sitcom that ran from 2003 to 2006 for three glorious seasons. It has garnered a cult following since the beginning of the show and was cut down in its prime due to lack of mainstream attention. It makes this show a total gem as it inspired the writers and creative producers to push the limits even further as the show was getting ever so closer to an abrupt ending.
The show follows the Bluth Family, a very eccentric group, with the patriarch George Sr.(played by Jeffrey Tambor) as the CEO of a real estate company locked up for possible treason for dealing homes to Iraq. His son Michael(Jason Bateman), the only somewhat normal one of the family, must now take over his father's company and somehow lead his own family through the troubled times ahead. He must learn how to grow up and no longer rely on George Sr.
One of the great aspects of this show is the superb cast including Will Arnett as Michael Bluth's brother Gob, Jessica Walter as his mother, and his son played by Michael Cera. Other actors such as Liza Minnelli as the mother's rival and Gob one time love interest; Henry Winkler as the ne-er do well family lawyer. Other guest appearances include Scrubs star Zach Braff, Scott Baio, Charlize Theron, and many more.
The writing of this show is spectacular and all the credit in the world goes to Mitchell Hurwitz and other writers for the show. It is a witty comedy that takes the eccentric Bluth family and pits them against everyday situations that they would normally not have faced except for their current circumstances. This creates outrageously hilarious situations as each character has their own passion and flair which allow for great reactions to everyday life. For example, Will Arnett's character is trying to become a professional magician, so he often tries to use his magic on dates and corporate meetings in order to get someone to hire him for a gig.
The show's ability to handle multiple plotlines that intertwine really does separate it from the other sitcoms out there. Almost every character is included in every episode and layers of depth are added to the show by its simultaneous tackling of multiple topics going on in today's society. The show's lifespan often referenced and made fun of current political controversies, including former President Bush's Mission Accomplished photo, the Patriot Act, and much more that added a sense of realism to these characters as they went through the same everyday issues we do.
Arrested Development also has some key aspects that make it very different from other television sitcoms. The first is the use of hand held cameras to create the feeling of a documentary starring the lives of the Bluth Family. Another is the breaking of the "fourth wall", when a television show acknowledges its presence of an audience, to heighten the show's comedic effect. Will Arnett's character will sometimes argue with the show's omniscient narrator, Ron Howard, on what actually happens in previous episodes. All of these aspects add up to "Arrested Development" being a truly unique sitcom that deserves to stand out amongst all the other duds that plague television today.
Greenwich Library Intern
Are you a fan of science fiction television shows? Does the idea of a man traveling through space and time fighting monsters excite you? If so then Doctor Who is the show to watch.
"What is Doctor Who?"
Doctor Who is a science fiction television show that first aired on the British Broadcasting Channel in 1963. The show is about an alien named The Doctor, his companions and their adventures through time and space in a ship called the TARDIS. TARDIS stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space and the unique thing about this ship is that on the outside it looks like an old Police Box but on the inside there is a whole world of space. Not only is it bigger on the inside but it can also travel through time. On his adventures The Doctor and his companions run into a whole slew of monsters and aliens that range from robots to killer mannequins.
"Why, if it first aired in 1963, should I care about Doctor Who?"
Well even though it first aired 47 years ago new episodes are still being made, in fact it is the longest running science fiction television series in the world.
"How could it still be running today, what is the secret?"
Because the writers were clever and figured out a way to completely replace the main characters (The Doctor and his companion). The Doctor is a Time Lord and instead of dying he is able to completely rebuild his cells through a process called regeneration. But the result of this regeneration is that The Doctor goes through a complete physical change, basically he becomes a whole new person. Because of this trick the writers of this show have been able to keep it going for so long.
But there is one drawback of changing the main character, there are bound to be problems. From 1963 to today there have been eleven "Doctors" and each of them have been great and/or decent until now. The newest Doctor played by Mat Smith is nothing like the past actors (in a bad way); from the moment he appeared I did not like him. I even gave him a chance and watched an episode with him in it and I did not feel like I was watching Doctor Who, but instead a spinoff of the series.
"Why, if you are promoting the show, are you bashing the main character?"
Because I want to give my point of view of the show from the episodes I have seen. I have only seen the first, third, fourth, fifth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh doctors and from those the one I have found least enjoyable was the eleventh.
"Well from your list are there any you would recommend?"
Yes the tenth doctor played by David Tennant is absolutely amazing and if you want to start watching the series with a good impression then I would definitely suggest starting with his run.
"How will I understand what is going on if I start from the tenth doctor?"
Even though the show has the same story theme and atmosphere, each individual doctor has their own "series." For example imagine Doctor Who as a book, each Doctor would have their own individual chapter which follows their adventures. So you could start with the first one and work your way up, or you could start right in the middle.
"What Doctor did you start with?"
I started from the ninth doctor (which at the time was the current doctor) and had only heard of the show, never actually seen it. From watching the ninth doctor I got so hooked that I went online, researched the show, became a slight expert, and even watched some clips of past doctors. From that I went to the library and checked out some episodes from the past series and gained an even larger understanding of the show.
"This show sounds amazing how can I start watching it?"
If you want to watch older shows try looking online, going to your local library, or local video store. But if you want to watch the most current episodes, and you live in America, try to see if you already have or can get the BBC America channel. If you don't have or cannot get that channel then look around online, or go to your local video store after the season finale and buy the box set.
"So what is your overall opinion on the show, why do you like it?"
I don't watch it much anymore because I do not like the current direction it is taking (it could change). But I did mention earlier that I am a huge fan of the tenth doctor's series and this is for a number of reasons. The actor David Tennant played an amazing Doctor, he was funny and silly except when things got serious. Then his entire mood would change from being fun to "no more mister nice guy" and his dark side would show. The writing and storyline of the tenth doctor's series was also incredible. Finally I just loved the feel of the show and I was never able to wait for the next episode.
So there you have it, hopefully this sparked your interest and you will check it out. If you still are not sure about the show or have any questions then check out the Wikipedia page or the Doctor Who wiki page (where I went for my show research).
Thank you for your time.
Greenwich Library Intern
As I bound off the very last stitches; I held the immaculate scarf in front of me with awe. I had made it entirely by hand. This is a scene from when I learned how to knit at 16 years old, almost two years ago. It was honestly one of the smartest moves I've made in my entire life. It was tough in the beginning, and my first project turned out to be an abominable object of an undefined shape full of holes. However, I kept trying and soon got much better. I discovered the myriad of things I could make by knitting; socks, scarves/cowls, sweaters, lace, cables, handbags. I later found that I could obtain hundreds - even thousands - of patterns, for FREE on the internet. And all of these are located in two convenient places - www.knittingpatterndirectory.com and www.ravelry.com .
As I bound off the very last stitches; I held the immaculate scarf in front of me with awe. I had made it entirely by hand. This is a scene from when I learned how to knit at 16 years old, almost two years ago. It was honestly one of the smartest moves I've made in my entire life. It was tough in the beginning, and my first project turned out to be an abominable object of an undefined shape full of holes. However, I kept trying and soon got much better.
I discovered the myriad of things I could make by knitting; socks, scarves/cowls, sweaters, lace, cables, handbags. I later found that I could obtain hundreds - even thousands - of patterns, for FREE on the internet. And all of these are located in two convenient places - www.knittingpatterndirectory.com and www.ravelry.com .Knitting Pattern Directory is an entirely free resource that anyone surfing the web can access. It provides you with links to free patterns that are available all over the web - all neatly organized in one place! Ravelry is a fantastic resource that provides knitters and crocheters with an online database of free and paid patterns. People who create an account with Ravelry (for FREE, mind you) can access this resource, along with the ability to network socially with yarn-crafters around the world. If you don't knit, I implore you to check out these sites so you can see what you can create with this simple skill!
Greenwich Library Intern