Saturday, November 8, 2008

News and Notes from Pop Culture Land

Jon and Kate Plus 8

This is a show on TLC about a family with 8 children: 2 twins and sextuplets. It's their top-rated show. What is the appeal? I admit that I’ve never seen it. I would never watch a show in which parents have to deal with the logistics of 8 children. It sounds truly awful to me. There’s something deeply offensive about the whole idea. Are we supposed to be impressed with their fecundity? Do they travel in a school bus? According to Yahoo! TV, in the next episode
“The 10 Gosselins head south to Walt Disney World, a trip that takes more than 15 hours to travel through seven states.” (They live in Pennsylvania.) Why, oh why would I want to watch this? Sounds like a complete nightmare.

Apparently now the family is traveling to Hawaii so the parents can renew their marriage vows. There was a big advertisement for it on the back of Entertainment Weekly this week. Ugh.

TLC Jon & Kate Plus 8 website

Recap of Jon and Kate’s appearance on Oprah in 2/08

Review of the show in Entertainment Weekly

The World Unseen

This movie sounds interesting. Two women in 1950's South Africa become involved.

From the website:
In 1950's South Africa, apartheid is just beginning. Free-spirited Amina has broken all the rules of her own conventional Indian community in South Africa by running a café, a safe haven of laughter, music and home-cooked food; a ‘grey area’ for those who fall outside the strict ‘black and white’ rules of the apartheid-led government.

Café regulars include Amina’s feisty waitress Doris, her gentle ‘Coloured’ business partner Jacob and the sparky White local postmistress Madeleine. Long accustomed to the racial barriers of the country and its new laws, Madeleine and Jacob nevertheless share a budding attraction.

Miriam, on the other hand, is a doting mother to her children and a demure and subservient wife to her chauvinistic, frustrated husband, Omar. Quietly intelligent, Miriam has never assumed that she may have choices in life.

When Miriam meets Amina, their unexpected attraction throws them both off balance. Although Miriam manages to subdue her fascination with unconventional Amina, she finds herself slowly inspired to confront familiar and familial constraints. Shortly after their encounter Miriam moves to an isolated life in the country, but even here apartheid is placing its cruel footprint on society, and these injustices bring the two women together again, cementing the basis of their growing feelings.

Meanwhile Jacob decides to pursue a love affair of his own and he and Madeleine begin a tentative, touching relationship. But the best intentions of both are overcome by practical challenges and indignities of simply spending time together.

Even the fearless Amina, faced with the strength of her feelings and with the reality of Miriam’s situation, starts doubting herself. And Miriam finds herself making some courageous choices that will change her own life forever.

Using the stunning South African landscape and jazz tunes of the time, The World Unseen explores a system that divides white from black and women from men, but one that might just allow an unexpected love to survive

Although it has an interesting premise, the reviews haven't been very good. Hmmm, maybe one to watch on DVD.

Review in The Globe & Mail

Review in The New York Times

Nicholas Hoult Grows Up

Does anyone watch "Skins"? This is a British show, on BBCAmerica in the US, about a group of teenagers. Naturally, it's much more graphic and honest about teenagers' lives than anything on American TV. I quite like it. Nicholas Hoult plays the ringleader of the group in the first two seasons, somewhat of a Lothario, as well as someone willing to experiment with his gay friend (the blond boy in the photo above). Hoult played the boy in "About a Boy", starring Hugh Grant, a cute, enjoyable movie from 2002.

Nicholas Hoult in About A Boy, 2002

Well, Hoult has growed up. *pointing to picture below* Now comes news from, that Hoult will play a "sexually ambiguous" grad student who flirts with a gay professor played by Colin Firth in fashion designer Tom Ford's directorial debut (wtf?), an adaptation of Christopher Isherwood's "A Single Man".ADuralde's blog. Whether Tom Ford turns out to be a good director or not, I don't care, I'll watch.

Now if we could just manipulate time and get an adult Hugh Grant and an adult Nicholas Hoult together at the same time and then meld them in an update of "Maurice" (in which Hugh Grant had a bloodless gay relationship with James Wilby in 1987). That would be interesting.


Julie Riddlebarger said...

Yeah, I'll watch that too.

That boy sure has growed up...

K said...

I get what you're saying about Jon and Kate plus 8, but I look at it in a completely opposite way.

I watch it sometimes because it a little kick in the pants. It a little reminder that life with one toddler isn't that hard (even if I think it is sometimes). It a pretty good cure if I ever feel the need to start whining.

There life does look chaotic and crazy and it makes my look calm in comparison. Sometimes I can use the persepctive.