Thursday, August 31, 2006

“In the Clearing Stands a Boxer...”

I'm watching Resurrection Boulevard this week, a show I'm tempted to describe as the world's first English-language telenovela were it not for the fact that Masterpiece Theatre probably beat it to the punch. (No boxer-related pun intended.)

I must confess I've been putting off watching this show for a long time because a show about boxers -- even Latino boxers -- just didn't entice me that much.

But there's something about the persistent parade of Latino stereotypes in so many recent movies and TV shows that made me want to take a chance on this show. True, there are a lot of stereotypes in this show as well, but they seem to be depicted more sympathetically than in Anglo-oriented fare.

And quite frankly, given a choice between a show in which most of the main Hispanic characters are boxers, beauty shop owners, med students, paralegals, etc, and a show like Weeds -- in which all the Hispanic characters seem to be maids or drug dealers -- I'd choose Resurrection Boulevard every time.

So is the show itself any good? It's hard to tell. The first few episodes show promise but then so did the first few episodes of American Family. And that show ultimately showed to be a disappointment in its second season.

Plus there's the whole question of whether we really need yet another show about Mexican-Americans set in Los Angeles. Yes, there are a lot of Mexicans in LA but there are also Mexican-Americans who live in other parts of the country as well.

What would be so wrong with a Mexican-American version of Northern Exposure? Or a Mexican-American version of Boston Legal? Or better yet, an original series involving Mexican-Americans that has nothing to do with the American Southwest?

Oh, well, I'm keeping my fingers crossed...

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Sermon of the Week

Mi amiga M____ is a smart, educated woman whose company is a joy to behold and whose conversation is a joy to listen to. And yet I somehow doubt I will ever see a movie or TV show made about a person like my friend M____.

Why?

Because M____ is Latina. And we all "know" from American TV and Hollywood that Latinas can't be smart or educated. It's like against the law.

Of course, I don't rely on American TV and Hollywood to determine my opinion of Latinas. I rely on my real-life experience, which is of course a bit more positive.

However, many people who watch American TV and movies will never have experiences like my experiences. Nor will they have the opportunity to ever meet a person like M____ in real life. Thus their opinions of Latinas will mainly determined by shows like Weeds and films like Napoleon Dynamite. Shows and films that present most Latinas as servants, crooks, or morons -- if not all three.

And that is a true shame... in more ways than one.

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I'm Only Happy When It Rains...

I like it when it's complicated as well.

Anyway, I'm happy today because we finally got a decent rainstorm here in Dallas after months of nothing but sun and an occasional sprinkle. And the weatherman is predicting yet more rain this week.

Has the Big D rainy season officially begun?

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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Buscando Trabajo: The Story Continues (Sorta)

I haven't heard from mi amiga C________ in months but I did receive a reply to one of the online job applications she submitted in early March. It was dated July 28, 2006.

Ah, the power of the Internet. Because if she had submitted her job application the old-fashioned way, a reply would have taken forever...

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Twenty-Five Favorite Glass Teat Characters

Not that any of you asked:

1. The Doctor/Doctor Who. I can spend all day discussing which one of the many doctors who played the title character in Doctor Who I liked best, but to make a long story short, Peter Davison and the early Tom Baker are among my favorites.

2. Fox Mulder. The snarky male lead character in The X-Files. My role model.

3. Emma Peel. One of the first -- and best -- of the many female “tough chicks” who would eventually dominate TV. The female lead character on the best episodes of The Avengers. She's smart. She's beautiful. What more can you ask for?

4. Buffy Summers. The lead character of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

5. Rupert Giles. Buffy's paternal mentor and trainer in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Best TV librarian ever.

6. Dr. Gregory House. The lead character of the Hugh Laurie TV series House. A cynical, sarcastic doctor who's worthy a dozen shiny happy no-accounts.

7. Kim Kelly. The white trash “psycho” girlfriend of the James Franco character on Freaks and Geeks. One of the few TV characters I've seen that reminds me of a real-life person. (Actually she reminds me of a recent amor de mi vida but let's not go there.)

8. Edmund Blackadder. Funniest Rowan Atkinson character ever. Appeared in the series Blackadder, of course.

9. River Tam. Female character in Firefly. Most memorable little sister on TV since Samantha Mulder.

10. Basil Fawlty. Most memorable TV innkeeper ever. The type of hotel manager you love to hate. Appeared on Fawlty Towers.

11. Turlough. Most memorable male companion of the Doctor Who series.

12. Autolycus, King of Thieves. The most archetypical Bruce Campbell character since Ash. Appeared in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess.

13. Holly. The female computer in Red Dwarf. Far more likable in her feminine aspect than in her initial male aspect.

14. Carl Kolchak. Lead character of Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Not exactly the most memorable TV journalist ever but an early forerunner -- and spiritual ancestor -- of Fox Mulder.

15. Veronica Mars. Buffy meets Nancy Drew -- sans vampires, of course. Title character of the Veronica Mars series, of course.

16. Dawn Tinsley. The love interest of the Martin Freeman character in the British version of The Office. Possessor of the most interesting story arc in the series.

17. Arnold Rimmer. The outer space Thatcherite you love to hate. Appeared in Red Dwarf.

18. Tegan. Most memorable female companion of the Doctor Who series.

19. Beth Davenport. Because when I was a teenager watching The Rockford Files, I didn't want to just be Jim Rockford, I wanted to date his lawyer Beth Davenport too...

20. Jamie Summers. The title character of The Bionic Woman.

21. Federico Diaz. The Puerto Rican cosmetologist and future funeral parlor owner in Six Feet Under.

22. Dora Calderon. The beautiful Elizabeth Peña character in the otherwise so-so sitcom I Married Dora. I used to have a bad crush on Elizabeth Peña because of this show but eventually I got over it.

23. Brenda Chenoweth. Another favorite character from Six Feet Under.

24. Dana Scully. Female lead character in The X-Files. Yes, I know. She really deserves to be higher up on the list.

25. Billie Newman. Female journalist in Lou Grant. Because I like... er, journalists...


Of course I could have named many more...

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Ghost Writers in the Sky

I loved Gary Jennings' book Aztec as much as the next guy but there's something just so wrong about seeing the series continued after his death. Especially since the original book never really needed a sequel to begin with.

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This Week's Grandpa Simpson Rant

In the olden days, people didn't talk too loud in the local public library. Now they do.

In the olden days, people didn't talk on their mobile phones in the local public library. Now they do.

In the olden days, people didn't eat in the local public library. Now they do.

In the olden days, people actually went to the local public library to read books. Now they don't.

Let's hear it for progress...

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Songs I've Been Listening to Way Too Often

1. “Gravity” -- The Dresden Dolls. My favorite cut off their first album.
2. “If Your Kisses Can't Hold The Man You Love” -- Rasputina. Cover of an old Sophie Tucker tune.
3. “Because of You” -- Kelly Clarkson. Yes, that tune surprised me too.
4. “Words” -- Missing Persons. The new American anthem...
5. “Tomorrow, Wendy” -- Concrete Blonde. Because I can't listen to Kelly Clarkson all the time...
6. “Past, Present And Future” -- The Shangri-Las. Because I'm all about the happy tunes...
7. “Take the L” -- The Motels. An oldie but a goodie.
8. “I'll Be Your San Antone Rose” -- Dotsy and the Lea Jane Singers. One of those country songs you know you shouldn't listen to but do so anyway.
9. “I May Never Get to Heaven” -- Wanda Jackson. Another country song I'm mighty fond of.
10. “Hands Tied” -- Scandal. Just because...

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