Monday, January 13, 2003


Back from lunch.

So, today I've learned that this blog flourishes when: a) I'm on the clock. b) I don't have a lot to do. c) I have a computer sitting in front of me. After all, after posting twice in two weeks, this is my second post today!

Since I was last in the Piker flow, I have absorbed seemingly infinite amounts of filmed and televised entertainment. Before I get to the rundown, I must mention that I did manage to read a book over the holidays. A book that was given to me as a gift by a very talented comedy writer back in 1996, my first year working in television. A book that has been recommended to me at least twenty times since and one that I've had in my Must Read stack the entire time -- A Confederacy of Dunces. Thankfully, I was not disappointed. John Kennedy Toole's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel made me laugh out loud many times and a few passages even had me cracking up, which is no small feat from a novel. The literally and figuratively larger-than-life main character of Ignatius J. Reilly is as hilarious as he is ridiculous and serves as the perfect conduit for a truly imaginative and unique voice in literature. A voice that was sadly silenced well before its time.

Now back to the really geeky stuff. High School Reunion continues to entertain me to no end. I can't even pinpoint exactly why I like it so much, I just get this giddy feeling while I'm watching it and I can't wait to see what happens next and who winds up with who. Of course, I'm in this mode of consuming reality television in the massive quantities that the networks are feeding it in. The funniest show on TV right now just might be "The Osbournes." I laugh heartily every single time I watch that show. As far as I can recall, this might be the first time a reality TV show was actually the funniest show on TV. Last week, in addition to "Reunion" I watched "The Bachelorette" and "The Surreal Life", and now I'm hooked on both of them. The only place where I actually drew the line and stopped watching was "Celebrity Mole: Hawaii." That show's just pathetic. If I have to look for a real job, then The Down Syndrome Baldwin should too. I liked the reversal of theme on "The Bachelorette." While the formula of featuring 25 relatively good-looking women is a more obvious ratings gimmick, watching 25 dudes vie for the attention of one hot babe actually makes for better television. I'm anxious to see which of the generic studs survives the next round of cuts. And "The Surreal Life"... I mean, I have no particular insight or enlightening pop culture perspective on this thing that's going to get you to watch it if you're not immediately intrigued by the premise of Emmanuel Lewis, Corey Feldman, Gabrielle Carteris (Andrea from 90210), Vince Neil, Jeri from Survivor, Brande Roderick (playmate), and MC Hammer sharing a house in the Hills for ten days. You just have to watch it. Tonight, "Joe Millionaire". Fox's tricked-ya spin on "The Bachelor" topped all of them in the ratings when it premiered last week. I'm planning on checking it out once and not watching it after that. At least that's the plan. Of course, I'm easily susceptible to getting hooked on the stuff. My TV drug of choice these days remains 24. In the absence of "Six Feet Under" and "The Sopranos", it has climbed to the top rung of the TV quality ladder. I know, I know. I should be getting paid to watch all of this TV. Maybe I'll put up a Pay Pal donation link on this site so you guys can pay me to watch TV so you don't have to. At the very least I should get a free TiVo.

On to the movies. Last week I went to an advance screening of "Narc" and did not expect to like it nearly as much as I did. Extremely well-made movie with some stellar performances by Ray Liotta and Jason Patric. Individually, those two haven't been this good in a long time. And they've never been as good together! I liked it so much that I went home and made an adjustment to my geekier-than-thou 2002 Top Ten List in progress. I'll post what I have here, but there's an accompanying list of movies that I missed that could potentially upset the balance. Maybe I like movies more than the average Joe Millionaire, but I find it hard to confine my list to ten films. Note: I had to make an additional documentary list because I saw so many that I liked last year.


1. Adaptation
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
3. The Rules of Attraction
4. Y Tu Mama Tambien
5. Catch Me If You Can
6. About Schmidt
7. Far From Heaven
8. The Bourne Identity
9. Igby Goes Down
10. Narc

*Narc bumped "Gangs of New York" out of the Top Ten. I watched "Antwone Fisher" last night on tape and must confess to shedding a tear, so that film should be placed on the honorable mention edge of The Top Ten as well.


Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
The Pianist
The 25th Hour
The Hours
Roger Dodger
Spirited Away

(in no particular order)

Bowling For Columbine
Dogtown and Z-Boys
The Kid Stays in the Picture
Space Station (IMAX)
Jackass: The Movie


24 Party People
About A Boy
Road To Perdition
Punch-Drunk Love
Minority Report
Moonlight Mile
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Austin Powers III
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (the action scenes)

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