Monthly Archives: January 2012

In Briefs: Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes Reaction

HOWARD MEGDAL: Oscar nominations are out. Who would you like to make a case for? The Artist and Midnight in Paris would both be worthy best pic winners, IMO. Michelle Williams was brilliant in My Week with Marilyn. Oh, and how have I not yet seen A Better Life?!?

ZOË RICE: Best actress seems sure to be between Michelle Williams and Meryl Streep, and I give the edge to Meryl, but here’s what I’m worried about. Did anyone see the Golden Globes? When Meryl won? And her reaction? Oh, she was so surprised! A gasp, a disbelieving start! How could she, Meryl Streep, possibly win an award? It annoyed the crap out of me. I like Meryl Streep just fine, but if she goes around acting shocked to be winning awards then she’s the least genuine of them all. Continue reading

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Rutgers Football: Is The Best Behind The Scarlet Knights?

HOWARD MEGDAL: My teams cannot hurt me with futility. I grew up a Rutgers football fan.

CHRIS PUMMER: Greg Schiano did a fine job turning around a Rutgers program that he also left in the lurch with his sudden departure last week. But as a coach, he wasn’t a unique talent, and to think the Scarlet Knights couldn’t find another capable coach is overreaction. Continue reading

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Downton Abbey: Episode 3

SONIA BRAND-FISHER: Mary Crawley says to her sister, Sybil, in the middle of episode 3 of “Downton Abbey” something along the lines of “Fairy tales don’t happen in real life.” This episode, however, felt very fantastical and romantic to me. Lovers, requited and otherwise, unite and reunite to swells of music in almost operatic settings. Even the subtle use of mirrors and reflections in various shots both upstairs and downstairs added to the otherworldly quality of the episode. Not quite as jam-packed with intrigue and scandal as the last episode, this one succeeded beautifully in composing a landscape of stories that could potentially have happy endings, and could potentially not.

HOWARD MEGDAL: So much to like in this episode, easily the strongest of the three so far this season. Continue reading

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Huffington Post’s Good News Section

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I like the idea of a Good News section in the newspaper. I feel like that’s what People Magazine kind of used to be about? Inspiring stories about people who weren’t famous? But it’s turned into 10% that, and 90% celebrity wedding photos and Teen Mom scoops.

ZOË RICE: My relationship with the news changed ten years ago, in the aftermath of September 11th. A downtown New Yorker in the thick of it all, I needed a balanced portrait of what was happening in my backyard and an objective viewpoint of world goings-on. Instead, I got the kind of scare-mongering that promoted ratings. By the time “It’s Anthrax!!!” became a daily warning from my local news, I wiped my hands of it and decided that from now on I’d be combing headlines with the same eye I used to evaluate entertainment – no mind-numbing Housewives or Jersey Shoreites. And no alarmist exaggerating from my formerly trusted news sources. Continue reading

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Modern Family: Little Bo Bleep

KIP MOONEY: For the second week in a row, Modern Family revolved around disastrous public speaking engagements. It also continued to be consistently hilarious.

Let’s start with my favorite scene: the mock debate at the Dunphy house. See, Claire has…

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Downton Abbey: Episode 2

SONIA BRAND-FISHER: Episode two of Masterpiece Classics’ “Downton Abbey” has begun to unearth both tension and hope that we will see unfold in this new season. Cora and Mrs. Crawley have begun shooting daggers from across the rooms that are left to their usage after Downton has gone through its full conversion into a convalescent home for wounded soldiers.

ZOË RICE: Like Sonia, I felt that the second episode of Downton rushed to fit too much into its designated time slot. Any TV program – but especially one that sets up numerous suspenseful plot threads – will jockey with the problem of pacing. Too slow and viewers complain that nothing happens, but too fast and what does happen feels either disingenuous or somewhat unsatisfying, as if we didn’t earn it. For me, the reveal of Lavinia’s deep dark secret fell into the latter category.

HOWARD MEGDAL: I largely agree with Sonia and Zoë, but allow me to spotlight a plot point that really didn’t work for me: Thomas, back to run the house? Continue reading

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SNL: Daniel Radcliffe/Lana Del Rey

ZOË RICE: Howard asks for more Sudeikis as Mitt, and we get it. Howard, can you also ask for a #1 Mets starting pitcher? Sudeikis got the rigidity right, and Romney’s distance from the common man. The firing jokes were on point. A solid open.

HOWARD MEGDAL: This was a solid opener, and captured the zeitgeist of politics perfectly. SNL is hopefully getting its election year fastball back. Continue reading

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Modern Family: Egg Drop

KIP MOONEY: Sometimes when a show hasn’t done something in a while, it can feel completely new. That’s what tonight’s episode did, and why I enjoyed it so much.

Instead of having Mitch and Cam bicker the whole episode like…

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SNL: Charles Barkley/Kelly Clarkson

ZOË RICE: Santorum has been largely ignored by SNL, so to see him get his spoof due was welcome. Unfortunately the open was slowly paced and not really funny until the last moments.

HOWARD MEGDAL: There’s some kind of value-added for me, though, having one of the Jewier people you’ll ever see playing Santorum. You’re hyper-aware at every moment that this isn’t Santorum, in a Chevy Chase-as-Ford kind of way. Continue reading

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In Briefs: French Knighthood

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: They knighted Salma Hayek. You know, like how you do.

AKIE BERMISS: It has always been my secret desire to get a knight hood from some ancient white-country. And put something like “sir” on my checks or my debit card. would be fun. Of course, Salma Hayek HAS done great things for France. She totally deserves this award. But seriously, how does the title of Chevalier not become an utter joke now? Continue reading

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