April & May 2012 - Things I Read, Things I Watched & Things I Decided I Want to Read

Previous editions of the reading / watching posts here - March / February / January

I just haven't been reading very much lately. And I'm so disappointed in myself for it! Over the course of April & May I read less than ten books.... and a good chunk of those weren't even very good. But - that being said - I loved Why We Broke Up, I enjoyed The Little Stranger, I read a book about one of my favorite movies & I read a book from the How to Train Your Dragon Series (I love those. So be it).

Per usual, I found a lot of books I WANT to read though. Here they are - 
The Year of the Gadfly by Jennifer Miller.
Wondering Around Wandering: Work-So-Far by Mike Perry.
L Is for Lollygag: Quirky Words for a Clever Tongue. Via Marisa.
Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Scott Magoon.
Hippopposites by Janik Coat.
Crafty Chloe by Kelly DiPucchio and Heather Ross.
Chloe by Peter McCarty.
The Rabbit Problem by Emily Gravett.
Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett.
Wolf Won't Bite by Emily Gravett.
The Obstinate Pen by Frank W. Dormer.
Numbers and Colors by Orla Kiely.
I'll Save You Bobo! by Eileen Rosenthal and Marc Rosenthal / This Plus That: Life's Little Equations by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace / Boy and Bot by Amy Dyckman and Dan Yaccarino / The Purple Kangaroo by Michael Ian Black and Peter Brown
 Lobster!: 55 Fresh and Simple Recipes for Everyday Eating by Brooke Dojny / The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook: Cookies, Cakes, Candies, and More by Lindsay Landis / Charred & Scruffed by Adam Perry Lang
A-frame by Chad Randl / Dressing Marilyn: How a Hollywood Icon Was Styled by William Travilla by Andrew Hansford and Karen Homer / Herb Ritts: L.A. Style by Paul Martineau / Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down by Rosecrans Baldwin
Now for the things I watched over the last two months (and some rambling at the bottom on Girls and the need to "relate" to shows) - Bob's Burgers (this is on netflix instant).
Like Crazy.
On the Town.
Pal Joey.
I watched a lot of Parks & Recreation in preparation for going to see Aziz Ansari do stand-up (this is also on netflix instant).
I watched Pushing Daisies for the first time.
Some Like It Hot.
The Last Days of Disco. I long to own the dress that Kate Beckinsale is wearing above. & I downloaded about 12 disco songs after watching the movie. 

I laughed when the fact that the characters get monetary help from their parents came up, because I watched the movie right after Girls started and it seemed like everywhere I looked I saw people acting all high and mighty and sanctimonious about the fact that they'd "never take money from their parents" and thus couldn't watch the show. Because they didn't "relate" to the characters. Literally! People basically implying that they wouldn't watch the show because of that ONE aspect of the character(s).

I'm not going to write a million paragraphs about Girls (which - for the record - I love), because the show already has way too much written about it. But FOR THE LOVE OF TELEVISION - if you don't like something... just come out and SAY that you don't like it. Because you think it's bad or annoying or poorly written or not interesting or whatever. Don't say that you don't like it because "you can't relate to it", because that implies that you only watch shows that you can relate to. And if that's the case - first off, I feel sorry for you. Second off, I don't want to EVER see your dvd collection / netflix rental history / etc. Because what if I saw that you watch Dexter!!! Holy shit! You relate to Dexter Morgan?!?! A murderer?!?! Please don't wrap me in saranwrap and then save a droplet of my blood for your collection!!! Stay away. 

I thought of some other shows that I watch that I would judge people for watching if they only watch shows they relate to (confusing sentence, I need a copyeditor) - Game of Thrones, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Arrested Development (I guess you could relate to Michael as "a normal person surrounded by insanity", but... whatever). I was going to include Curb Your Enthusiasm on this list, but I actually DO relate to Larry a lot of the time, so I deleted it. I wish I was relating to his surplus of money instead of his opinions on various social interactions, but... maybe someday.

While I sometimes agree with characters on comedic tv shows, I don't really classify Parks & Recreation, Party Down, Frasier, 30 Rock, Bob's BurgersFlight of the Conchords, The Larry Sanders Show, Adventure TimeThe Office, Weeds, Friends or many other sitcoms as "shows I relate to". Are people confusing "relating to a character" for "liking a character" (that's a whole other barrel of worms [is that a saying?] because I don't think all characters need to be likable at ALL)? And yeah, some women are always comparing themselves to Liz Lemon... but the girl who can ACTUALLY RELATE to her is few and far between (most women with important television jobs don't get there by being.... Liz-Lemon-y).

Then there are dramas - Damages, Six Feet Under, Lost, Mad Men, The United States of Tara, In Treatment, Alias, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Twin Peaks, The Sopranos: I love them, but I don't really relate to any of the characters in a "OH I SEE MYSELF IN ______!" way. Also (even though I haven't really watched much of either of these two) - The Tudors / True Blood - super popular shows, and YET... not so relatable.

Pushing Daisies isn't really a comedy or a drama but still - don't relate.

I've discussed my love for high school shows before, and while teenage-Mallory could totally relate to many of the characters, current-Mallory can't... but I still love the shows! Freaks & Geeks, My So-Called Life, Veronica Mars, Felicity, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.

Okay. I think I've made my point. If you can only watch shows you relate to, you are losing out on SO MUCH GOOD TV! Don't even get me started on the books and movies you must not be watching/reading!!!! AHHHH!!!!



  1. Hear hear! I always enjoy your rants.

    1. hahaha thanks, Marisa! It was bothering me. For better or for worse my blog ends up being my place to vent those issues. But since I'm only ranting about silly pop culture things I feel like it's okay.

  2. have only watched the first few episodes of girls, haven't caught up yet, but i like it. i relate to dexter, only because i thought i would go into forensics at one time, but i couldn't do the bug thing. but i did consider taking a forensic photography course. also, i'm a bit socially awkward like him. fyi, i'm going to use the phrase 'barrel of worms' from this moment forward. also, i think i need to read that paris book because i romanticize the hell out of that city every day of my life.

    1. I romanticized Paris for years, but then I had a miserable time visiting a few years ago so I need to like.... re-romanticize the city for me somehow. But I still want to read the book.

      Forensics is one of those careers I always think of as a career that I might've had in another life. Mostly that comes from my obsession with crime novels / tv shows.

  3. I think the issue I saw cropping up most frequently was that Girls is "supposed to represent a whole generation," and because NYC is a verrry diverse place, people were looking askance at the fact that the show is not diverse at all. But, I know what you mean. I still enjoy Girls even though I find some of the characters annoying - and hey, Lena Dunham only ever claimed to be writing about her own experiences. Maybe someday she can nail capturing all of humanity within the confines of a TV series, but probably not at this point.

    1. Oh I totally agree that HBO screwed her over by using that quote from the episode in all of the promotional commercials and stuff - so people went in to it expecting something that she wasn't actually going to give, and that SHE should have expected to receive a bunch of criticism about the lack of diversity in the show (hell - if I were writing a show about my current life in RURAL MAINE - often jokingly referred to as "the state for white people" - it would look more diverse than her version of Brooklyn!! I honestly don't know what she was thinking, in that respect).

      I read a lot of writing from people with valid criticisms about the show, but the people who were seemingly writing it off just for that one "money from parents" reason annoyed me. & the whole "relating" thing. Because none of the people I was referring to in my rant were talking about relating on a deeper "I'm never represented on tv" way, just simply because they "always made it on their own" or whatever. Which is admirable, but - to me - a silly reason to hate a show and just a good reason to act all high and mighty about the fact that you'd never allow your parents to help you out.

      I find some of the characters annoying too.... I just really like the show because - even though it isn't more diverse when it should be - she is writing about a type of character that I haven't ever seen on tv before & just her voice in general is something I've never seen on tv before. Yeah, it's another show about white people, but at the very least it's about white people whose particular quandaries I haven't watched before. And at least it's staffed by a bunch of women - which IS very rare in tv/movie world.... if only she'd hired a more diverse bunch of writers & actors.

      And I think her show got twenty pounds of criticism for that fact when it should be equally spread around ALL the many shows on tv that are shitty in regards to diversity.

      Anyway - I'll cease the rambling. Have an awesome week, Sally!

    2. Okay so I just took a shower (I'm on a weird schedule today) and I basically thought of a much clearer way to summarize what I mean (that I should have used in my actual rant) -

      A desire to relate to a character in terms of your under-represented race or sexuality (so - basically anyone non-white or non-heterosexual) is such a valid desire. But when people start wanting to see characters who make all of the same life decisions as they do; when people can't watch a character that makes different choices than they do - well, to me, that's ridiculous! And totally does away with almost every book or movie or tv show you could possibly watch. That's the kind of "relating to" I was referring to.


  4. You are very right!
    J'adore ton blog x

  5. THANK YOU. I'm going to copy and paste this in a mail to everyone I had this argument with but wasn't able to articulate my point as well (crediting you of course).


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