Monthly Archive: October 2012

Why I love the show Nashville and you should too.

I love Nashville (the TV show, not the city) (Not that there’s anything wrong with the city).

I know, I know. It’s a one-hour drama. On a Network station. And the cheerleader from Heroes is in it, and last you heard she was staring in Bring it On 7 or something, so this show must suck.

But it doesn’t. It’s awesome.

I accidentally saw the premiere while I was visiting my friend in Pennsylvania, and I was hooked.

And I could tell that it’s about two rival country singers, one of whom is old (Rayna James) and one of whom  is young (Juliette Barnes) and that they don’t really like each other, but they both love the same guy.

And I could tell you that the older one is kind of supposed to be like Faith Hill I think, and the younger one is kind of supposed to be like Taylor Swift. And how at first I was totally thinking the one who’s kind of like Taylor was a bi-otch, but then I realized she’s just young and dumb and insecure and she means well. And how the one who’s kind of like Faith lures you into rooting for her at the beginning, but then you realize that she’s just as guilty as anyone on the show. For goodness sake SHE’S MARRIED, WHY IS SHE EVEN CHASING THE GUY?!

But the plot is not the reason I love this show.

I love this show because of the writing.

It’s real, and it’s striking, and you when you watch it, you don’t even notice it because it’s that good.

At one point, Juliette turns to the guy both she and Reyna are chasing and says, “I think something about you makes me want to grow up.”

And haven’t we all been lured into that? Imagining that if we were just a little bit older and had our lives a little bit more together, everything would be perfect. Thinking that someone older than us is so much better off.

But the it’s not even a show about one-liners, even though the previews would have you believe that. It’s so much deeper than that, and really I just want to tell that there’s a ton of original music and I love it all.

You need to hear the song, “No one will ever love you” right now. And then listen to it again. And then dream about lost-love and call your old boyfriend. The actress who plays Rayna sings it like it’s dripping slowly offer her lips the way ice cream drops linger. And the words taste sweet and breathless and desperate all at once.

“Can’t you see? I know why you’re lonely.
It’s time you knew it too.
No one will ever love you. No one will ever love you.”

http://youtu.be/g6e8plhaxAc

I never once think to myself, “Well this show has some corny moments, or it drags every now and then, or you have to get through the first episode to appreciate it, but I love it anyway.” No, I do not ever think any of those things. I just love it. Period.

And  you should watch it so you can love it too. And also because I will cry if it gets cancelled.

So go watch it, right now, online at abc.com. Feel free to thank me later.

  • Share/Bookmark

Newsweek’s decision to save the trees.

I feel like I can’t really call myself a “journalist” if I don’t at least mention the whole crazy news about Newsweek on here. Well, really, some would say that the fact that I write about candy means I can’t really call myself a “journalist” but to those people I have just one thing to say: You’re just jealous.

Anyway, so ya, Newsweek announced that they are going all digital. Part of me is really excited about this, because in theory, it should mean they will no longer be creating ridiculous covers like this:


And this:

Really Newsweek? You had to sell your list of places to eat with a phallic image? Of asparagus? That you got on a stock image website? And you wonder why people aren’t buying your magazine?

** Sigh **

As a very loyal Time reader, I have to say, I’m not too upset about this on a personal level. But as a writer for a magazine (even if it is just a “candy magazine”), I’m not ignoring it either.

Because I know you’re all worried that this is just one more nail in the coffin of my chosen profession, I will tell you that my professional opinion is that there will always be a need to pay people to write good content. I really do believe this. And I’m cool with someone paying me to write for a website instead of a printed page, or for that matter, to write for the magical yet-to-be mass marketed machine that will allow us to read via contact lenses instead of a printed page.

If that prediction proves wrong though, don’t worry, I have a back-up plan. I’m going to marry rich. Either that, or I’ll just sleep in the church, where I currently work part-time as a youth leader. Mice, schmice. If a barn is good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me. (Note: For those who don’t know, my church is really young. And we’re working on getting a building, but in the meantime, we have a creative collection of facilities. Among them is the barn, which the youth group meets in. Don’t worry, it’s heated).  

My other thought is that Newsweek drove itself into the ground trying to be sensational. And in the process turned off the very people who would pick up a news magazine printed on old-fashioned paper by choice and then take it home and read it.

I also will point out that as far as I can tell, Time seems to be all right. No, they aren’t hiring in droves or giving away issues for free or anything, but they still print a paper edition every single week, while also updating their website with extremely good hourly content.

If they found a way, why couldn’t Newsweek? I’m guessing it’s the same reason Newsweek felt that the only way to sell magazines was to put Barack Obama on the cover and call him gay. And the same reason the Newsweek website doesn’t even try to offer breaking headlines at the top, or easy-to-find daily commentary, or constantly updated stories. They didn’t want to do the work that needs to happen to get readers long-term.

It’s like Newsweek thought the goal was a string of one-night stands. They worked so hard to get people to grab just one issue off the shelf by the register. But the problem is, that’s not the goal. The goal is the wedding. The subscribers. And while it is entirely possible to get married to the guy who grabs you at the register, that only happens if you’re able to offer something more than a phallic stock image of asparagus. And Newsweek wasn’t. At least not to me.

I wish I could say for certain that I believe paper magazines will exist in 40 years, but I can’t even honestly say for certain if they will exist in 10 years. What I can say though, is that they haven’t quite died yet. And I think the fate of Newsweek  is a more a result of the magazine producing horrible content than it is a reflection on an entire industry.

  • Share/Bookmark

My thoughts on the presidential debate: Because someone needs to stick up for Obama.

I watched the debate old-school style last night.

Live, on a local NBC station that featured zero insta-polls or commentary across any part of the screen. I didn’t check Twitter for live updates, I didn’t check Slate or Time for live blogging. I just watched it. With my brother. In my living room.

I’d like to think I’m a little smart, that I follow this stuff enough to know what they’re talking about when they say things like, “Simpson-Bowles”  and so,  I wanted to see how I would view the debate without any help from other people’s opinions.

And, for me, at least, I really thought Obama won.

The whole world says I’m wrong though apparently. And I guess it could just be my typical political leanings talking. But at the end of the debate, the guy I wanted to be my president was Obama.

Personally, I’d like the guy who calmly, thoughtfully replies to the issues. The guy who says things that add up, the guy who’s cool under pressure, the guy who seems to understand basic math. Because as far as I can tell, being president is pretty stressful and complicated and difficult.

Romeny seemed to be speaking in cliches, saying he was going to magically make it so we don’t have to raise taxes AND we can still spend as much money as we want on education, medicare, and the military without raising the deficit.

He said cutting taxes for the rich was going to create jobs. Umm, we kind of tried that. It didn’t work.

He accused Obama of not working with Republicans. WHO WON’T WORK WITH HIM.

Then, the dude literally said he was going to stop funding Big Bird.

** Sigh. **

Romney said that.

While in a debate with a host from PBS.

And then he said he’d cut funding for the host.

Who was SITTING RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM!

My brother was like, “If I was Jim Lehrer I would have stood up right then, turned to the crowd and been like, ‘All right, you guys can boo now. This guy is a tool.'”

And this whole business of Romney trying to pretend that Obamacare is not entirely based on Romenycare is maddening.

If you only take one thing away from this post, let it be that.

Obamacare IS Romenycare. And anything to the contrary is total crap. If you don’t like it, if you like it, either way, they are one in the same. And the fact that Romney is trying to pretend that it isn’t is probably the most blatant example of his willingness to say whatever the heck he needs to say to get what he wants whether he believes it or not.

Oh sure, Romney says the states should just decide that stuff, so it’s technically different. For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that’s a real thing. Umm, have you seen how Illinois runs things these days? We can’t even manage to keep our state parks open on a regular basis and he wants them to be in charge of my health care?

No.

Romney just seemed like he was naive, like he didn’t understand the reality of the situation and as though he would just say whatever he needed to say in whatever situation he was in to close the sale.

So, I guess if winning the debate means being more aggressive, having more zingers, and telling more lies, then I, personally, will be voting for the guy who lost.

  • Share/Bookmark