10 Things stays fresh and interesting

Posted by Saraline , Wednesday, April 7, 2010 9:21 PM

I saw 10 Things I Hate About You (the movie, I mean) near the end of high school. I loved everything about it. I loved the soundtrack, I loved recognizing that the movie was based on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, I loved Kat's (Julia Stiles) determination not to fit in, and, of course, I loved Heath Ledger.

I still enjoy watching the movie sometimes, but mostly for nostalgia; as I got older, Mandela seemed to be more silly and Kat seemed to be a bit more immature than I remembered. I still think that it's mostly great, though.

I was skeptical when I found out that there was a new TV show called 10 Things I Hate About You. How could the movie possibly translate into a TV show? How could there be a 10 Things I Hate About You without Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger? I was sure that the cast and crew of this show would try too hard to make it just like the movie, and I was sure that they would fail miserably.

I watched the first episode to see how bad the show would be. It was okay, I guess. It didn't disprove my theory that they would try to be just like the movie and fail miserably. I continued to watch, and I must say, this show just keeps getting better and better. The important elements from the movie are there: the strict father (Larry Miller, who played the same role in the movie), Cameron's (Nicholas Braun) unrequited love for Bianca (Meaghan Jette Martin), and, of course, the budding romance between Kat (Lindsey Shaw) and Patrick Verona (Ethan Peck.)

However, there are enough differences between the movie and the TV show to keep it fresh interesting:

-Chastity (Dana Davis), instead of being Bianca's tag-along friend, is the bossy "most popular girl in school" that Bianca must suck up to if she wants to be popular.
-Joey (Chris Zylka), who was a huge jerk in the movie, is a big softy on the TV show who allows his girlfriend Chastity to boss him around in the first season.
-Mandela (Jolene Purdy), Kat's skinny and quirky friend in the movie, is pleasantly plump and less aloof on the TV show. She also seems to have a crush on Kat, which could be interesting.
-Lindsey Shaw's Kat seems less, well, shrewish than Julia Stiles' portrayal of Kat. The Kat on the TV show cares about standing up for everyone's rights; the Kat in the movie cared about not being as stupid as everyone else.
-Nobody's paying Patrick to date Kat, so their relationship has a different dynamic than it did in the movie.

I like the scenarios that come up to develop the plot and characters. I loved the episode with the fires when Bianca told Chastity off and Patrick saved Kat's records. Recently, in the second season, a couple of things have happened that I hope to see develop more. For example, Patrick coming over for dinner; I would love to see more scenes with him and Mr. Stratford. For another example, Mandela's new jealous girlfriend; I hope that develops into a new storyline! Maybe Kat will find out that the new girlfriend is jealous of her because of Mandela's crush.

The actors in the TV show are living up to the standards that were set by the actors in the movie; everyone, that is, except for Nicholas Braun. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Cameron had a charm that Braun's Cameron lacks. Maybe it has something to do with Gordon-Levitt's puppy dog eyes.

United States of Tara shows other sides of its characters

Posted by Saraline , Tuesday, April 6, 2010 10:51 AM

This post contains spoilers from the episode of United States of Tara that aired on April 5, 2010.

Toni Collette's Tara seemed like a different person in the season two premiere of United States of Tara. The episode started with Tara and her family saying goodbye to her long absent alternate personalities by dumping their personal effects off at goodwill. She was more bad-ass, more confident, and more mischievous. With the reappearance of alternate personality Buck, she went back to the vulnerable and confused Tara who we got to know in season one.

Things have really gone off of the rails now. In last night's episode, Tara broke up with Buck's girlfriend Pammy (Joey Lauren Adams) who didn't take the rejection well. Pammy showed up at a skating rink where Tara was spending some quality time with her family and grabbed a microphone to announce that she loves Buck and that she had really enjoyed the past few weeks with him.

Buck's reappearance was news to Tara's family, and her husband Max (John Corbett) was pissed. He stormed out of the skating rink in a huff.

I enjoy this show a lot, but Max's character has always seemed like a weak point in the show for me. He's just too good to be true. His patience is enduring to the point of being unrealistic. It was great to see the human side of him when he lost his temper, and I'm hoping to see more depth to his character as season two continues.

On the other side of the "outside of character" spectrum, we had Buck crying in a bathroom stall at the end of the episode. We're only on episode three, but season two has been full of surprises so far. I wonder what else this show has up it's sleeve?

Let's see what this new doctor has to offer

Posted by Saraline 8:42 AM

Viewers of Doctor Who are impressed with the new Doctor. He did give a good first impression, but we'll see if he really is the best Doctor ever. So far Matt Smith's Doctor seems to very similar to David Tenant's Doctor, and I'd like to see what makes this new Doctor different. Still, Smith does seem to have the strength and charisma to fill Tenant's shoes.

My favourite companion so far has been Catherine Tate's Donna, but Karen Gillan's Amy Pond made a good first impression too. I liked that we first saw her as a child; it adds an interesting dimension to her character. It was amusing that all of the townsfolk recognized the Doctor from Amy's childhood sketches.

I knew when the Doctor told little Amelia that he would be back in five minutes that he wouldn't return until she was an adult, and when Amy said that she had some "stuff" the next day, I knew that she was supposed to be getting married. I wonder if the Doctor will have her back in time for her wedding? My guess is that he won't.

Catching up with Coronation Street

Posted by Saraline , Monday, April 5, 2010 11:15 PM

This blog entry contains spoilers from episodes that have recently aired in the UK (from September 25, 2009-April 6, 2010.) Canadian viewers, consider yourselves warned!

I'm a Canadian who loves Coronation Street. I watch episodes on the CBC website, but we're about nine months behind here. Awhile back, someone posted a link on the CBC Coronation Street forum to Geordie's blog. Geordie uploads episodes on his blog as they air in the UK.

I know that I'm not the only Canadian who has looked up characters on wikipedia and discovered spoilers. It may start out as something innocent, like looking up a character to find out their history and discovering a story line that happens in the future. But it doesn't stop there; with the new little tidbit of information that we've discovered, we start to become curious about what's going to happen to other characters so we look them up, too. Next thing we know, we're kicking ourselves in the shins for going on wikipedia in the first place and finding so many spoilers.

When I saw Geordie's blog, my curiosity got the better of me (I suppose that curiosity is a trait that I share with Norris Cole.) I started watching just a couple of episodes, just out of curiosity. Before I knew it I was all caught up with the UK episodes.

Now I'm watching Coronation Street on Canadian time and on UK time concurrently. A couple of weeks ago someone accidentally let a few spoilers slip on the Canadian forum, so I don't think that I'm the only one. Of course, when I'm watching the Canadian episodes, I already know what's going to happen to the characters, but I still like to see how they got from point A to point B. How did Peter and Leanne get back together? How did Jason and Tina get together and Molly and Kevin? The Molly and Kevin storyline was the biggest shock to me when I started watching UK episodes, next to Maria and Tony's relationship; in Canadian time, she was accusing him of being a murderer and trying to run him over with her car.

I also watch the Canadian episodes because I like to scan over the forum from time to time, and I also like to read Blanches Polish Hip, a Coronation Street blog written by a Canadian who also watches the CBC episodes.

For any Canadians reading this, it may interest you to know that UK viewers are not immune to spoilers; they do appear in gossip columns from time to time.