Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Listing: Make Happy

It's sunny outside, tomorrow is halfway through the work week, and I have had A LOT of coffee in the last couple of days, so, without blasting everyone with too much caffeine fueled enthusiasm, I'm having a very good week so far!

Like usual, a ton of fun entertainment items are also boosting my mood, and this week one of these is NPR's, "Pop Culture Happy Hour" podcast.

Each podcast features a round table discussion where everyone dishes on numerous pop culture topics (this week is about Downton Abbey!) and in the final moments each contributor goes around and says what is making them happy that week. Random books, movies, viral videos, and tunes are all thrown out, some more interesting (and pompous) than others.

What has now occurred is a list inspired by this exact question. What is making me happy this week?

Golden Globe-in': Tina + Amy

Separately these gals have two of the best shows on television, but when they come together the hilarity that ensues is unmatchable.

The entire night truly felt like the best, most giant, SNL sketch you ever saw. Tina and Amy were back smartly skewering people, except on a glittering stage in front of beautiful film stars (minus Meryl Streep!) and "rat faced TV people", instead of behind the Weekend Update desk.

My only complaint from Sunday's telecast, even with the bounty of priceless jokes they delivered, is that there wasn't enough of these two classy broads. Vote for Dog President!

Soundtrackin': Beasts Of The Southern Wild

While I enjoyed Beasts Of the Southern Wild, as I step back and think about the movie again, a lot of that joy was brought on by the score.

Music can make or break a movie, and sometimes it even makes a good movie into a great one. That is definitely the case for this independent film turned Oscar contender.

Almost every movie has a score or soundtrack, but this music works especially well, with each note intensifying the boldness, sadness, and wonder of a little girl named Hushpuppy.

To be honest, I just want that orchestra following me around to make every moment in my life seem more poignant.

Versatilin' with Jessica Chastain

It is always this point in the year when I am getting on a soap box triumphantly obsessed with at least one Oscar nominee.

That time has come around again, and so far this year, I haven't been cheering for anyone. It is clear now that I have dedicated more time to catching up on TV than current movies; now my desperation shows.

This was all true until last week when I finally saw two of the Best Picture nominees. Other than Beasts Of The Southern Wild, I now know why people have Chastain fever again this year.

Since her perfect breakout role in The Help, Jessica Chastain has been working her butt off in one fantastic movie after the next. From The Tree Of Life to Take Shelter, and earlier this years in Lawless, it seems like she is popping up in everything.

Much like the ever changing Kate Winslet, each movie and role Chastain takes on is unique and her passionate character in Zero Dark Thirty only adds to her impeccable body of work. I can't wait to see what she is going to do next.

Enlightened Spektor-in'

What is your favorite bridge in a song from the last 10 years? One may think this is a mighty specific question, but it is one I can confidently answer.

The Regina Spektor ballad, "Human Of The Year", slowly builds to the most soulful bit of music that has ever filled my ears. After listening to this one section hundreds of times, it's pure gorgeousness still makes me drop everything when it starts playing-I have to soak up every moment.

I caught wind this afternoon that there was an HBO Preview on Comcast, so I couldn't pass up previewing a few eps of Girls and another show that had award buzz, Enlightened.

Created by Laura Dern (who also stars in the series, won a Golden Globe last year for her role) and the brilliant comedy writer Mike White, the pilot has some interesting ideas, but I was not completely sold on the story.

Then in the final moments, they had the genius of featuring said Regina bridge overlaying the ending of its very first episode. I have never heard it played anywhere except my room or car before, and it being featured as one of those "poignant TV moments" set to music made my week. This is now another series I need to catch up on.

Now, the only question that follows; what is making you happy this week?

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