Sometimes I like to pretend I’m normal.
But not today!!
Today I’d like to introduce a feature called “My Obsession Corner.” I’ve been looking for a place to talk about my favorite shows, books, music, movies….but I forgot I had a little something called a blog. Why not use it?
I’m thinking posts will occur on Fridays, although not every Friday (what? consistency?) and will be a place for me to share my obsessions with like-minded individuals.
These are the things I can’t get out of my head — the stories that follow me. The characters that haunt my dreams. I’m just going to jump right in.
Written by Aaron Sorkin (West Wing, The Social Network), the first episode of The Newsroom crackles with wit, sexual tension, and literary allusions. What else could you want in a show? I ate up the rest of the season in just a few days.
Then I made the mistake of reading the reviews online. Critics were super harsh with the show, calling the characters flat and the plot a tool for Sorkin’s self-deluded speechifying. One critic on Rotten Tomatoes says plainly: “This just in: The Newsroom Stinks.”
Even Aaron Sorkin’s worst episode of his worst show does not stink. But after the first season they changed the format and focused less on romantic entanglements (I think Sorkin took notes based on reviews) and even I must admit that I didn’t enjoy it as much.
Yes, okay, sometimes it was over the top and sometimes the love triangles could be annoying. By the end of this series I realized that Sorkin does not write romance very well at all. But man, oh, man was it entertaining…from start to finish. The show ran on HBO and was canceled in 2014 after a third and final season. I watched it all in one week and when it was done, to ease my Sorkin withdrawal, I started watching The West Wing for a FOURTH time. If you love West Wing, you’ll at least LIKE The Newsroom. Give it a try.
Dear Mr. You
I read a lot of genre fiction — and I enjoy it a lot. It’s super entertaining. But every once and awhile I read something that pleases the literary nerd in me. This week I found one of those books in an unexpected place — in what I thought was going to be just another celebrity memoir.
This book took hold of my heart and squeezed as hard as it could. It left me a little jealous, too. How is it fair that such a talented actor can WRITE too?!
I got over that soon enough. Boy, can she write. The book is formatted as a series of letters to the influential men in her life. Sometimes funny, sometimes bizarre, sometimes poignant and sad, they all place you right there — in her world. She writes intimately and powerfully about life, and she leaves you with lots and lots of feels. The writing is accessible, yet poetic.
Here’s one of my favorite quotes about the man who will marry her daughter:
“If she has given you children remind yourself every day of the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth words in this sentence. If you hurt her in ways that are irreparable I will send out people to hurt you back, sorry, but it has to be like that. Yes, you may have had a difficult childhood, but please allow me to introduce myself: Hello, I am the woman who doesn’t give a shit. Make her something warm to drink in the mornings and give her time to begin speaking; only rush at her with an embrace or a gemstone. Wildflowers. A love note. Yeats.”
I listened to the audio version and found myself rationing the letters to one or two a day…like they were a beautiful treat to savor. A definite re-read for me someday.