This is a story about two men. Two black men. They are both tall. They are both straight. One lives in TV LA, the other lives in TV Chicago.
This is Brad.
This is Winston.
Brad, played by Damon Wayans Jr on ABC’s Happy Endings, an improv-heavy ensemble comedy about six friends in Chicago with lots of that quick, pop culture riffing that has become the tone de jour since 30 Rock and Community, is a metrosexual with a pair of great, pearly white teeth and a hot, ultra type-A white wife Jane (Eliza Coupe).
Winston, played by Larmone Morris on Fox’s New Girl, an improv-lite ensemble comedy about three men and one girl living in a loft in LA with the will they/won’t they non-tension of imminent copulation always, perpetually on the horizon, is a black man who played basketball in Latvia for some time. He likes the musical Wicked. That’s about it for Winston. Read the rest of this entry »
Thanks to the Internet and the diminished attention span it has given me, I don’t read books with as much urgency and frequency as I used to. I read, but it’s mostly ephemeral articles about ephemeral things or memorable articles about memorable things, but either way they are not Books and part of me feels guilty about abandoning one of our most ancient forms of entertainment. Invisible Man is forever linked to hot summer mornings in our stuffy North Kingstown townhouse, my feet planted on some spot on the bedroom wall as I lay upside down reading the ‘Battle Royal’ scene and feeling my entire worldview shifting irreparably.
So this summer has been interesting.
I’ve bought more books than I ever have before in my entire life*, partly on the principle that I should start owning books that I profess to love and mostly because it’s too late to get a library card here. So I bought Invisible Man and A Visit from the Goon Squad at Busboys and Poets and I bought Freedom this past spring and I bought The Marriage Plot. And I bought Sag Harbor and I bought House of Mirth and I bought Uwem Akpa’s book of short stories when I walked into a used bookstore one Saturday.
As you can see, my literary tastes skew towards ‘The Big Literary Books of Two or Three Years ago.” That’s how I like it though. You read the book and then you read the fuss surrounding them all in one sitting and you can take it in coolly, rationally and see how it all turned out. Each of the books I bought I had wanted to read and I expected them to be good. I managed to get exactly 12/13 through each book before something else, namely the Internet, made me put the books down prematurely. Read the rest of this entry »
When I’m trying to exit the Metro station and there’s a barricade of wide-eyed tourists, stepping tentatively on the escalators, bright white sneakers gleaming, metro maps clenched tightly in right fists, bra straps straining under faded tank tops– they are annoying.
But then you go to the Mall on a weekday evening in late August, when it’s just rained and the weather’s actually cool for once and there’s a nice breeze and you see an Indian family slowly climbing the steps up the Lincoln Memorial and you hear some beefy, red-faced guys speaking in German. You watch the Chinese tourists grasp the black bars of the gate in front of the White House, you notice the Eritrean woman jockeying for space so she can take photos of her four bored-looking boys who do not yet understand the significance of this moment, but will much later, when their mother is gone and they’re selling the house she worked so hard to own and they’re holding the photograph that she stubbornly insisted on printing even though it was on a phone, frozen for posterity. Read the rest of this entry »
For reasons fully understandable to me, though deeply, deeply shameful, I stayed up until 3 in the morning watching old episodes of Boy Meets World.
Actually, I should be more specific.
Some kind soul decided to upload and string together in an old-fashioned, homemade kind of way every significant clip of Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong), Cory Matthew’s troubled best friend, and Angela Moore (Trina McGee-Davis), Shawn’s first major girlfriend. The YouTube clips run 12-14 minutes each, and they are eight parts in total. Official Kxren, the dutiful uploader, explains why there is, as of now, no part 9:
LIFE IS HECTIC AT THE MOMENT, WILL FINISH IT ONCE I GET SOME SPARE TIME. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR COMMENTS AND PATIENCE.
That didn’t do me any good though, so I ended up using Wikipedia as my ad-hoc TV guide and watched the pertinent season 6 and season 7 episodes until I saw the end of their relationship to its forced, unnatural conclusion.
I know exactly why I spent three hours watching Shawn and Angela. It’s the same reason I have occasional, overwhelming longings to watch Something New. But I’ve already done that blog post. Read the rest of this entry »
After watching Foxy Brown, I have so many questions, all about the hair. Forgive me for being an ignorant Negro, but were the Afros really that naturally glorious in 1974? I mean, I know there were a few wig moments, but my word, those ‘fros are so meticulously groomed, I watched in wonder.
Also Pam Grier.
Her body like whoa. Everyone that has watched this film knows this, because from the opening credits, pervy director Jack Hill had his camera all over her. Blaxploitation sure lives up to its name in this bad boy. So much gratutitous nudity. Am I hating because Jack Hill is essentially the proto-Tarantino? Not at all. Foxy Brown is a campy classic for a reason, so I can’t hate. Pam Grier plays the titular role, all hips and boobs in the opening credits, doing her little jiggy disco dance. Read the rest of this entry »
Christopher Nolan desperately needs a sense of humor.
The Dark Knight Rises is so grim, so self-serious, that at some point halfway through the 2 hour and 40 minute slog, I just started laughing.
In no particular order, my thoughts:
-Increasingly, I’m beginning to realize and (appreciate) how much Heath Ledger made The Dark Knight watchable. Sure Bane has a weird voice and his neck is freakishly thick, but as a villain there’s not much that makes him compelling. I am not a comic book diehard, so I don’t know if that’s Nolan’s fault or the people that originally wrote Bane’s character. One thing’s for sure though, Heath Ledger’s Joker freaked the hell out of me because there was no backstory, no explication for his wanton, anarchic need for violence. That’s what was chilling. That and the bad clown makeup. Read the rest of this entry »