The holidays are officially over. So as we (hopefully) start a brand new year with an abundant assortment of giftcards, here’s a top ten list of entertaining ways to pass these long, cold winter nights.
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There’s one every year—a commencement address that goes viral and pops up all over the Internet. Remember the Wellesley High School English teacher who looked the Class of 2012 in the eye and intoned, “You are not special”? Remember David Foster Wallace’s 2005 “This is Water” speech to Kenyon College?
Russ Meyer loved him. You may remember him as the maniac in Supervixens, Harry in Cherry, Harry & Raquel, and Meyer’s best-known Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
Jonathan Demme was also a fan. Napier appeared in Melvin & Howard, Philadelphia, The Silence of the Lambs, and uncredited in Beloved.
The 75-year-old Kentucky-born, Bakersfield, CA resident died early on Wednesday, October 5th, after being taken off life support. The cause of death has not been released, but he was treated earlier this year in May for blood clots in his legs.
A prominent actor on the small screen, he lent his voice to the popular Adult Swim cartoon Squidbillies. Other big screen ventures include The Blues Brothers and Rambo: First Blood Part 2.
A crowd of about 60,000 people was present at Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Details about what exactly would happen were kept secret, though expectations were high because of Beijing’s expensive and critically renowned 2008 ceremony. In America, it garnered publicity because of the debut of the music video for the remake of “We Are the World”, which will raise money to aid Haiti. (Actually, the video aired about 13 minutes prior to the event.) $30 to $40 million dollars was spent on the LED screens that simulated tribal animal constellations, fabric hangings designed to look like icebergs and totem poles, high-wire acrobatics, pyrotechnics, lighting, costumed performers, and 108 projectors as Canadian celebrities including Bryan Adams, Nelly Furtado, Nikki Yanofsky, Sarah McLachlan, and k.d. lang performed.
Past Life stars Kelli Giddish as a psychologist who teams up with a former cop (Nicholas Bishop) in order to investigate crimes that involve “past-life trauma”. Set in Washington D.C., the show is somewhat similar to another FOX series Bones, in that most of the show focuses on its characters instead of what they are doing. In the first half of the episode, we learn that Dr. Kate McGinn drives a truck, loves dogs, is very particular about her coffee, and has a kooky mom who doesn’t believe in marriage. Meanwhile her partner (and probable love-interest as the series progresses) is former cop turned detective Price Whatley, who was fired after sinking into an alcoholic depression over his wife’s accidental death, which he blames himself for. At the beginning of the episode, he is skeptical about what they’re doing, but “he needs the money” and is superstitious. There are also two other regulars, fellow doctor, Rishi Karna, and their boss, Dr. Malachi Talmadge, but they don’t really add much to the show other than awkward humor.
The show should have focused more on its plot. This week, a troubled teenage boy’s mysterious visions and confusing behavior led to the fact that he was a re-incarnation of a little girl who was abducted and murdered. McGinn explains the concept of past lives as if it were post-traumatic stress, leaving her patient to deadpan, “So you really believe in all this crap?” A FBI Special Agent, who doesn’t even bat an eye in disbelief, aids them in the search for the girl’s killer. Similarly, the boy’s mother and the family of another abducted girl all easily accept this concept, and by the time the murdered girl’s father is found, Det. Whatley warms him up to the idea by saying that he has “seen some amazing things” because of “this case, or the crazy woman standing next to me”.
Even though Past Life has a unique, interesting concept, it seems to be put together poorly. In the end, the only thing original about it is the odd, sunset-like orange tint that most of the scenes are filmed in. FOX showed the first episode on Tuesday night, but that same episode will air along with a new one this Thursday. After that, it goes to its regular time at 8 pm central. Despite the fact that it will attract Bones viewers, Past Life doesn’t really stand a chance against its competitors, CSI and Grey’s Anatomy, in the ratings.
// Notes from the Road
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