Quick Note: Hey everyone! We ladies so enjoyed working together on our themed posts last month that we decided to choose a theme for this month as well. We’re taking a cue from Valentine’s Day and writing about love in all its splendid and sordid forms.
I suppose we should get into the Way-Back Machine this month to talk about where my corny romantic soul really discovered love for the first time – musicals.
In fear of aging myself, I can tell you that I remember when my father came home with a VCR for the first time. In his hands, two videos: Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and the MGM classic musical Singin’ in the Rain. And now, over 30 years later, these remain two of my favorite movies. And you guessed it, they’re both musicals.
It isn’t surprising that a young Smalerie would lose her mind over a Disney movie – especially one that’s so darn pretty to look at. What is slightly more uncommon was that I would also become OBSESSED with musicals. I would watch whichever ones I could get my hands on, spending way too much time during my teen years trying to explain the difference between Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire’s dance styles, and begging my parents to gift me with Show of the Month Club tickets. Back in those days, my taste wasn’t as discerning as it is now and I’ve lost my taste for most Rogers and Hammerstein, but that doesn’t mean my heart doesn’t still swell when a character spontaneously breaks into song.
I often find it hard to explain to people why my love for this genre is so ingrained in my system. I think it has to do with how music is linked to our emotions. Things that can be hard to express in just words can now be done with music, movement or dance, and words. Feelings (good and bad) are exaggerated and heightened in a way that can often feel so much more genuine that we expect. Almost as if music helps distill them to their very essence. Sure, some musicals are simple and can feel trite or silly, but others can capture a culture or moment in time. Look, not every musical out there is any good, but if you’re open to perhaps making a new discovery, I’d be happy to point you in a toe-tapping kinda direction.
3 Musicals for People Who Might Not Like Musicals:
Little Shop of Horrors – I feel as if this musical is practically perfect in every way. It’s funny, dark, and filled with catchy tunes and clever lyrics. There’s also a lot to see in this show whether you just stick to the movie or see it live just because you want to see how they pull off the plant. This show is the reason why I loved Alan Menken and Howard Ashman before they left for the fluorescent lights of Disney. And I will always love Little Shop, original disaster ending or happy Hollywood one.
See also: Avenue Q, Bat Boy: The Musical, The Book of Mormon
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (TV Series) – A masterclass on the human condition, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is hilarious but often almost painful to watch due to its accuracy on how people treat others and themselves. I think what makes this show work is that it can often be easier to sing about your issues than actually confront them. Songs are used as internal monologues, highlight particular emotional arcs in the story, and can just be so honest and funny. People who don’t like musicals might enjoy watching this show just for how clever it is.
See also: Garfunkel and Oates (TV Show), Heathers: The Musical
Hedwig and the Angry Inch – A great rock show that’s funny, heartfelt, and heartbreaking. The film version is great, but this is one of those shows that I would love to see live at some point. The main character talks directly to the audience and in the right venue, that’s a great opportunity for the performance to feel personal and intimate. I can’t remember how I even heard about Hedwig originally, but I do remember being so charmed by the music.
See also: Tommy, Phantom of the Paradise, Rocky Horror (Picture) Show
I was against this from the start. Not because I thought for a moment that I wouldn’t like Outlander, but because I knew that once I went down the rabbit hole, I wasn’t going to want to come out. And boy if I wasn’t right.
I’m not sure if I should be thanking or yelling at my friends as I spend each morning looking for Outlander blogs and taking advantage of the sweet deal Amazon is running on the kindle version of the book, but I have fallen, and hard. I also kinda don’t care. After a winter of horrible cold and ice, I needed this. So if you are looking for a little something to pull you through that home stretch, I would like to share with you a quick introduction to the fandom of Outlander.
For those who might not be that familiar with the premise of the show, here is a quick synopsis. Claire, a nurse who cared for soldiers on the front lines during the second world war, finds herself reunited with her husband who is pretty much a wet blanket. While they travel to Scotland on a second honeymoon, Claire is transported back to the 1743 where she meets a dishy guy in a kilt named Jaime. Let the steamy, meaningful looks begin! That’s right people, let’s all swoon as Jamie’s eyes stare into the depths of Claire’s very soul! *sigh
This show is heavy on the romance, and as a result it probably isn’t a great match for everyone. The good news is that in the episodes I have seen so far, there is also violence, politics, family feuds, oh and that guy in the kilt I mentioned earlier. Something tells me that a lot of people might just be watching just for him.
When we are talking about a show that takes place in two historical time periods (the 1940 and 1740s), there is a lot of fodder for some great fandom. So, make some bannocks, brew a cup of thistle tea, and let’s talk about the ways we can take an example from other Outlander fans who are both showing their love and adding even more to the experience of watching the show and reading the books.
To say that MAOS (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) started off slowly could perhaps be the entertainment understatement of the year. A show that started with so much hype and promise – they were bringing back Agent Coulson for Pete’s sake – missed the mark by quite a bit in the first half of its first season. From a viewer’s perspective, when the show first started it felt like it could have been titled anything….there wasn’t much to make you feel like you were watching something based in an established universe. Continue reading
I will admit that I probably watch a lot more TV than I should. In fact, when The Boy and I decided to get rid of cable after an epic disagreement with DirectTV (they are evil), I think I was the one who was the most concerned. How was a girl going to survive without BBC America and Cartoon Network?
The transition was surprisingly simple. I realized just how much trash I would leave on the tv just to have some sort of background noise. Since canceling cable, I have been able to be more selective regarding what I watch, and as an added bonus I have rediscovered my burning passion for Bryan Fuller.