Monthly Archives: February 2012

Liz Tells Frank Stuff She Forgot About Mulder and Scully and “The X-Files”

Dear Frank,

As you know because we are friends, there was nothing more formative for me as a lass than The X-Files. It indulged and deepened my love of science fiction, taught me the difference between procedural and serialized storytelling, and (most importantly) created a teenage ideal for future relationships that still lingers, ever so slightly (I have a thing for trenchcoats).

But I had forgotten until recently, Frank, how COMPLETELY EFFED UP The X-Files was as a comprehensive narrative. Especially (SO VERY ESPECIALLY) when it came to the core relationship between Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.

No one would deny that the partnership, friendship and eventual romance between Mulder and Scully was the closest thing The X-Files had to an emotional center, especially myself. But when you look at the sequence of events that occurred over the show’s later seasons, it made NO SENSE, on a storytelling level or a human level.

Here is why I mention it. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine IMed me with a simple question that she had a valid professional reason for needing an answer to: “When do Mulder and Scully first kiss?” (Frank, it should not surprise you that I was the person she thought to ask that question.) Because Aimee signed off before I could respond, I was forced to send her the following email:

Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank Stuff She Forgot Happened In “Bridget Jones’s Diary”

Dear Frank,

Let us continue our descent into nostalgia, shall we? Of course, when it comes to today’s topic, you probably have less nostalgia to deal with than I do.

Frank, if you’ve forgotten, Bridget Jones’s Diary is a year in the life of a slightly spacey 30-something lady, who originated in the newspaper columns of Helen Fielding. When given the opportunity to turn her columns into one of the first great examples of the chick-lit genre, Fielding riffed off the plot of Jane Austin’s the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice

Wait, Frank, because you are not a girl, you may not have watched the BBC Pride and Prejudice mini-series (which was basically the Downton Abbey of its day), so if you’ve forgotten the bare essentials of that story, here they are: Read the rest of this entry

Jeff Tells Liz What Happened In “Modelland”

Gaaaaaze into the power of my eeeeeeevil eye!Boy oh boy, Liz,

You may recall that when I was recapping Top Model for you, there was a challenge based on Tyra’s new young adult novel Modelland. At the time, I expressed semi-interest in reading Modelland and telling you about it. You took me up on that offer, and purchased me a copy for my brand new Kindle. “No sweat!” I thought. “This’ll be fun!”

Liz, when I wrote the recaps for the Top Model episodes, you and your readers no doubt guessed that I knocked back a few drinks and just wrote the recap as I watched, which saved me time and effort and allowed me to uphold my absolute standards of unprofessionalism. Sadly, I could not take this approach in reviewing Modelland, since rather than being a breezy 45 minutes of stupid reality show, Modelland is an aimless novel for teens that clocks in at a staggering 563 PAGES. THAT IS SO LONG. IT IS TOO LONG. To compare, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel A Visit from the Goon Squad is only 340 pages, and that book spanned a time period from the 70’s to the actual FUTURE. So Modelland… pretty long. Too long. Just like these opening paragraphs! Here’s what happened in it! Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank Stuff She Forgot Happened In “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace”

Dear Frank,

It’s kind of profoundly intense these days, to remember the spring of 1999 and how very, very fucking excited we nerds were for Star Wars: Episode 1. Remember that? Remember talking about the trailers and debating casting spoilers and not even doubting a little bit that it would be awesome? And then we all actually saw the movie, and… yeah.

I saw Phantom Menace three times in the first five days of its release, each time having to work harder to convince myself that it wasn’t really that bad, until finally I searched my feelings. I knew it to be true. And then I pretended the movie didn’t exist for ten years.

However, it’s my brother’s birthday this week, and to celebrate I said I’d take him to the movie of his choice. He picked the shiny new 3-D transfer of The Phantom Menace. Now, honestly, this could be a lot worse — for his birthday in 1999, I took him to see the PAINFULLY bad Wing Commander, because the Phantom Menace trailer was premiering before it exclusively. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank Stuff She Forgot Happened In “Titanic”

Dear Frank,

Normally, I write these missives to tell you about stuff you have a real need to know about; this week, though, we’re going to try something different. Because you are a human being who was alive in the year 1997, I’m fairly confident that you’ve seen the movie Titanic — but the thing about a meticulously made three-hour epic is that time fades away certain details, especially if you weren’t one of those Titanic-holic teenyboppers who rewatched it obsessively on VHS.

I wasn’t one of them, myself — I’ve probably seen the movie, start to finish, four times total, including last night’s viewing. But Frank, I was SHOCKED by how little I remembered. Perhaps these are things you’d also forgotten about? We’ll find out!

First huge thing I’d forgotten? Frank, it takes 24 minutes for anyone to actually set foot on board the Titanic. For perspective’s sake — that means there’s an entire Two Broke Girls-worth of Bill Paxton and his crew of submarine duders rummaging around the Titanic wreckage and not believing the old lady who says that she’s Rose, the naked hottie from the drawing they just pulled out of a submerged safe.

Oh, and the REASON these guys are going all out in their Titanic investigation? Frank, this entire fucking movie is a jewel hunt! Read the rest of this entry

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