Monthly Archives: February 2005

The Good Kind of Reality TV

Watched the finale of Project Runway . To my great joy, the person who deserved to win won.

What I’ve really loved about this show is that until recently the focus has been on the talent and on the design aspect rather than the “drama.” There’s a place for reality show personality driven dreck. I admit that. In fact, I have a couple of shows that I watch for that factor.

But. How refreshing was it to see a group of talented people who for the most part knew what it was they were doing. They weren’t people of the street who thought they could be designers, but who had never created a garment in their lives. They were designers, or at least people who had some kind of skill set that made their dream a plausible one.

As the show went on, they started focusing more on Wendy Pepper (I refuse to link to her site). She’s a dressmaker from a wealthy town in Virginia, who was under the strange impression that she was on Survivor. I suspect that the producers and Bravo wanted to show more of her because they wanted to play it safe. The show was a new concept and a different way to go and we all know how networks hate to take risks. But I think it detracted from what really could have been an outstanding show.

Good Bye Lenin!

Caught this on one of the cable on demand stations last night. It’s set in East Berlin some months before the Wall came down. The hero’s mother has essentially spent most of her life believing in her government and party. After she suffers a heart attack, she slips into a coma–right before all of the tumultous changes in Germany began. When she wakes up the world has changed. In order to spare her what they think would be a fatal shock, her son and daughter try and recreate East Berlin in their apartment–even to the extent of creating fake newscasts.

Fun, quirky little film.


It scares me to realize how long I’ve been watching All My Children. I started watching in the late eighties and with a few exceptions have been watching ever since. Over the years, I’ve jettisoned other soaps because they were too extreme , the writing started going to hell, or they just went off the air, but throughout it all, there was always AMC.

The headwriter on AMC is one Megan McTavish. I didn’t care for her work too much the last go around, and I positively abhor it now. It’s not uncommon for soap characters to be subjected to a whole array of sturm and drang, but with Megan McTrash (as the message boards term her) there’s usually at least one woman who gets singled out for rape, vigilantism, and in general a lot of abuse. Not too fun to watch.

She’s created a couple of skanky characters, trashy women with supposed hearts of gold. Despite having them engage in such audience-endearing actions like baby stealing, kidnapping, etc., we’re apparently supposed to identify with and like them. I don’t have anything against the actresses.

They seem competent enough. It’s the fact that my soap, my favorite soap, is fluffing these characters to death. They don’t write them in a way that makes them likeable figures. They keep having other characters remark on how wonderful these two women are. It’s very Orwellian. Other long time strong characters have turned into travesties of themselves. There’s little continuity. There’s not much keeping me interested or tuned in.

So for the first time in sixteen years, I’m considering giving up All My Children. This would have been unthinkable for me once, but now . . . it’s not a difficult decision, it’s just a sad one.

Jump Tomorrow

Caught a fun little movie off of cable on demand. Jump Tomorrow is the story of an awkward man about to enter into an arranged marriage with the daughter of a family friend. He’s not all that enthused about the match when he meets and falls for a lovely and funny young woman. Along the way he hooks up with an emotionally distraught Frenchman and ends up making a road trip with him to Niagara Falls.

It’s a slow movie, but Jump Tomorrow is a charming, really lovely little flick. Worth catching.