Author Archives: Sonia Brand-Fisher

About Sonia Brand-Fisher

My name is Sonia Brand-Fisher and I am a film studies major at Smith College. Interests include vintage film and fashion, fake-swing dancing to early Standards, cooking lavish meals that stem far outside of my culinary comfort zone, and musing over the implications behind all things aesthetically intriguing.

Downton Abbey: Week 4

SONIA BRAND-FISHER When scandal strikes on “Downton Abbey,” we are intrigued and enthralled to be caught up in the frivolous exhilaration. Even when something as wild as Branson’s attempted vandalism happens at the dinner table or when Thomas sobs at the suicide of a blind soldier, we watch from afar, curious yet hopelessly invested. Episode 4, however, brought us closer into the tragedies of the household that were articulated with so much intimacy and humanity that at times it was very difficult to be a part of. This episode took us out of our cozy roles as observers and into the depths of Downton, all the way to the end of the South Gallery, behind white curtains, and into the hearts of the inhabitants.

ZOË RICE: And so this week the camera doesn’t cut away when Matthew and William face their gravest peril yet. Instead we see them lying seemingly lifeless on the battlefield. With that, this season’s most gripping episode of Downton yet is underway.

MICHAEL CUMMINGS: I swear for a minute there I almost thought Julian Fellowes was trying out material for the tragically as-yet-unplanned Star Wars Episode VII post-quel. First, Lady Mary and Daisy started feeling disturbances in the Force when their men took shrapnel at the front. Then, the radical chauffeur reminded the cute daughter to be more mindful of her feelings. Later, Captain Crawley and William (requiescat in peace, by the way) threw down in an epic Darth Vader egg-off. At that point I was honestly expecting to see a 1138 Easter Egg pop up somewhere.

HOWARD MEGDAL: So much to love about this week’s episode. My fellow reviewers have touched on the larger points, and I largely agree. It is almost impossible to imagine that Matthew, whose entrances have provided so much of the show’s lifeblood, will now be a forlorn figure in a wheelchair. Perhaps they can split the difference and give him an FDR persona, but betting on a misdiagnosis seems wise. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Euro 2012 Draw in Review

MIKE CUMMINGS: For me, the two storylines from Friday’s Euro 2012 draw were Groups A and B. Group B is the all-time, nastiest of the nasty, the one Group of Death to rule them all. Group A? Well, my rec league team could win Group A, and our median age is somewhere north of 40.
Continue reading

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

USA/Mexico in Review

MIKE CUMMINGS: The United States’ 1-1 draw with Mexico on Wednesday night served as a successful debut for new US coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Sure, the US fell behind early, again; the defense at times showed a few weaknesses, again; and we failed to beat Mexico, again. But several positive emerged from the match — enough to have reason to think Klinsmann’s reign will be a good one.

HOWARD MEGDAL: I generally agree with Mike on his takes, though I’d like to discuss some particulars where I differ. Continue reading

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Bradley Out, Klinsmann In

HOWARD MEGDAL: It’s hard to know exactly what to make of the decision to replace Bob Bradley with Jurgen Klinsmann. My suspicion is that we won’t know the true value for quite some time.

MIKE CUMMINGS: It’s not difficult at all to figure out what to make of Jurgen Klinsmann’s hiring. That’s easy: It’s a step in the right direction, and a corrective to some upper-level dilly-dallying that should have been dealt with four years ago. Continue reading

Posted in Sports | Comments Off

USA/Jamaica in Review

HOWARD MEGDAL: Sunday’s 2-0 win against Jamaica showcased one of the two American team personalities on display in the Gold Cup. Neither one looks like it will give Mexico much trouble, however.

MIKE CUMMINGS: You’re right, Howard. It’s hard to imagine Mexico quaking in its collective boots over either USA Jekyll or USA Hyde. I’ve stopped worrying about which one will show up for each game, just like I’ve stopped wondering why it happens and how to make it stop. All I worry about now is whether I’m being unpatriotic when I openly root for the USA to suffer another embarrassing loss. Continue reading

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Gold Cup: USA/Canada Thoughts, Ford Field Thoughts

MIKE CUMMINGS: After the disastrous game against Spain on Saturday, an easy win was exactly what the US wanted in its Gold Cup opener Tuesday night against Canada. And that’s exactly what the Yanks got. There were plenty of positives,…

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: The Blizzard, Issue Zero

AIDAN KELLY: The Blizzard, a quarterly digital soccer publication, hopes to “break the shackles” of mainstream media constraints by offering more in-depth pieces on a wide spectrum of subjects – and for a price of our choosing.

MIKE CUMMINGS: There’s something in this first issue of the Blizzard that speaks to me on a personal level. Sure, it’s big and bulky, it kinda sorta looks like it was thrown together in a single all-nighter by a sophomore graphic design major, and it’s not at all accessible to casual fans. But the whole DIY approach — that is, all the bigness and bulkiness and non-accessibility — scream out “damn The Man” in a way I can’t recall ever seeing in sports media. Continue reading

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Champions League Week in Review

MIKE CUMMINGS: Half of the Round of 16 is complete, and the biggest surprise so far has to be the performance of Tottenham Hotspur. Thanks to Peter Crouch’s first-leg goal in the San Siro, and the whole team’s professional return performance at White Hart Lane, Spurs are among the final eight teams of Europe. One team that won’t be there, and doesn’t deserve a place, is Arsenal. It’s hard to know which fact pleases Spurs fans more. Continue reading

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Never Miss A Super Bowl Club Commercials

HOWARD MEGDAL: These commercials about the Never Miss A Super Bowl Club irritated me to the point that when I read this, my first reaction was, “Guess he will now!” Don’t think that speaks well of me.

MIKE CUMMINGS: I, too, was irritated by those ads. Couldn’t he have done something more constructive and humanitarian with his time and money? And did he deserve to have a commercial in which to brag about it? I’m sure he was a good husband and father, but, gah. Continue reading

Posted in News & Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Chelsea/Liverpool

MIKE CUMMINGS: Liverpool beat Chelsea 1-0 on Sunday to pull themselves one point head of … well, Sunderland, for fifth place. With the loss, Chelsea stayed level on points with … well, Tottenham Hotspur, on 44 points, with the Blues taking fourth spot thanks to a better goal differential. Apologies to fans of Sunderland and Tottenham, but that doesn’t really have the same ring as pulling ahead of Arsenal or level with Manchester United, does it?

KAREN PATEL: There was indeed a lot of hype surrounding this fixture, and that is largely due to Fernando Torres. Yet it was Liverpool who shone and displayed the grit and determination that had been missing during Roy Hodgson’s tenure. Continue reading

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off