Category Archives: Other People Telling Liz Stuff
Sometimes, Liz needs a break.
Another guest post! We are truly blessed. Loyal reader Nick really wanted to tell me about “Survivor,” and I cannot deny anyone the opportunity to tell me about stuff. It is, after all, one of life’s most unique pleasures.
Dear Liz (and I guess Frank, too),
Although some may believe that reality TV is worse than getting an STD or having jury duty, I still feel compelled to write in about the latest season of Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites. Because quite frankly, it was a treat!
If you don’t already know, Survivor is a show where 16-20 Americans are put on an island to compete for a $1 million prize. They participate in rewards challenges, where they get food or luxuries that make their camp life easier — fishing gear, tarps, blankets, etc. Then, there’s an immunity challenge. The winning team is immune for the week and the losers go to Tribal Council where they have to vote off one of their own. Our gracious host, Jeff Probst, then grills them about how much they hate each other. If we’re really lucky that week, there’s tons o’ tears and drama and it’s beyond great. Read the rest of this entry
So after we did the first season of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” I’ve been asked by people about the possibility of doing the rest of the series. These people underestimate my laziness! However, vunderbar married people Sam and Terri just so happen to be watching the series from the beginning, and have graciously offered their individual perspectives on the second season. Take it away, guys!
Sam: For the past 9 years, I’ve been trying to convince Terri that Deep Space Nine is the best of all Star Treks. When Liz released Andreanna Ditton’s Farscape guide, I started thinking we could probably come up with a Season Two guide ourselves, with opinions from a longtime fan and a newcomer to balance things out.
Deep Space Nine is somewhat of a strange beast, especially two decades later when the special effects look wonky and the acting can get cringey, but it’s also a precursor to serial, huge-ass-arc storytelling in sci-fi (as well as television altogether). It’s Star Trek with deeply flawed characters that change over time. It’s Star Trek with villains that make you stare evil right in the face without being half as formidable as, say, the Borg.
What I’m getting at here is that as the show progresses, you’ll see the line between “good guys” and “bad guys” get blurrier as the characters fall deeper and deeper into chaos and despair and their victories become exponentially more hollow. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry
Remember when our friend John told us about 50 Shades of Grey? What a good time that was! And now he’s taking on another bit of Twilight-adjacent storytelling. Because Hugh Jackman forbid we actually watch The Host ourselves.
First, a quick disclaimer: When I saw The Host, there were teenage girls in my theater and they were all laughing out loud at the same parts that made me laugh out loud, so while I usually try to go easy on movies for which I know I am not the target audience, I have no qualms with tearing into this one. Besides, The Hunger Games was my favorite film of last year, so maybe I am the target audience.
Believe it or not, I didn’t know that Stephenie Meyer was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but it doesn’t surprise me in the least. LDS church members are compelled to get married very early in life and abstain from sex until marriage, unfairly burdening all their romantic decisions in high school with the weight of eternity. So it’s no surprise that Meyer’s characters routinely struggle with their hormonal impulses as this directly conflicts with the marriage vows that they will eventually be bound to until the end of time. No doubt her work connects with young people growing up in similar environments, but for the rest of us it gets really irritating.
Ironically, no one is as preoccupied with sex as people who have been taught that sex is evil or sinful, and that’s what makes Meyer’s characters so incredibly frustrating: No matter what’s happening, you’d be hard pressed to get them to think about anything but their hormones for five fucking seconds! Read the rest of this entry
The CW’s Supernatural, according to many I respect, is a show that’s gotten better and better over the years, which is impressive, given that it’s on Season 8 right now. THAT IS A LOT OF SEASONS! Especially a lot of seasons to devote to two brothers in an Impala fighting demons. But brilliant people like Ben Edlund work on this show, and like I said, the people who like it are people I trust.
One of those people is the super-talented Leslie Levings, famous among those who like adorable clay monsters as the creator and sculptor of the Beastlies. However, while Leslie is a big Supernatural fan, she’s also quite upfront about how the show has improved with time, meaning that much of the earlier seasons is not so much with the good.
So below please find Leslie’s personal guide to the show, unannotated because I have not seen any of them (but do know a good place to copy/paste episode titles from). Read the rest of this entry
When last we met, our friend, writer and filmmaker John Ross, was telling me what happened in the best-selling erotic not-technically-”Twilight”-fan-fiction-except-basically-still-”Twilight”-fan-fiction novel “50 Shades of Grey,” leaving us with this breathless cliffhanger:
Ana wakes up the next morning to find herself in Grey’s hotel suite in Portland where they did the photo shoot. Don’t worry, they didn’t do anything. As he explains over breakfast, he won’t touch her unless he has her “written consent to do so.” What does he mean by that?! Refrain. He assures her that all will be revealed later that night, at which point, I guess, he will finally touch her. But in the elevator, he can’t seem to contain himself and—pinning her arms above her with one hand and grabbing her hair with the other—proceeds to try to fit her whole head in his mouth. Afterwards, he promises to never do that again until the paperwork is signed. What paperwork?! What is this mysterious man’s mysterious secret?!
Now, we go further down the rabbit hole, as things intensify for not-Bella-and-Edward’s relationship, as does John Ross’s use of “Ghost Recon: Future Soldier” as a coping mechanism…
I wish I could say that a lot of what you’re about to read was made up by me or embellished for comic effect. Such is the sadness of the Fifty Shades of Grey experience: reading it, knowing it is not a joke. Until the ending, that is, when another writer seems to suddenly take over, but we’ll get to that.
That night, Christian picks Ana up and flies her via helicopter to his penthouse apartment complex. After Ana signs a non-disclosure agreement (kinky!), she’s all ready for him to make love to her. But Christian needs to explain something to her first: he never makes love, he fucks…hard. Record scratch! Big reveal: Christian Grey is a dominant, and the only relationships he’s ever had were with women who agreed to be his submissives. This is the only kind of relationship he’s ever had, ever will have, and ever wants to have. And if Ana signs a contract, she can be his submissive too! Read the rest of this entry
Here’s the true story of how this came about — at an engagement party a few weeks ago, your friend and mine John Ross (a writer/filmmaker based in Los Angeles), mentioned that he was looking for a good excuse to read the best-selling erotic novel “50 Shades of Grey,” so he might learn what all the hype was about.
Because one of Liz Tells Frank’s proudest traditions is other people telling me about stuff, I immediately said to this nice Nebraska-born young man, “You should tell me about it so that I don’t have to tell Frank about it!” He proceeded to buy the book that night at his local grocery store (because apparently they are seriously selling “50 Shades of Grey” in grocery stores). And then, everything for John changed. For the better? Let’s find out….
Fifty Shades of Grey tells the story of Anastasia Steele, leader of a four-man Ghost Team call-signed “Hunter,” tasked with extracting an arms dealer named Christian Grey from a terrorist-controlled compound in Sucre, Bolivia. After using her remote surveillance drone to tag and execute the surrounding hostiles, Anastasia at last breaches the compound — taking out the last remaining guard with a silenced double-tap.
His body drops to the floor to reveal Christian Grey, bound and tied to a chair — her objective. She flushes. She can see the heat radiating from his toned physique through her thermal optic tac scope. Her breathing accelerates. Her optical camouflage deactivates and she starts to feel a pinch down there. Her subconscious is pinned down but her inner-goddess is providing cover fire—there’s just something about him that she can’t keep away from!
That is a pretty accurate snapshot of my psyche while reading Fifty Shades of Grey. I played a lot of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, because it was the only way I was going to get through the book—by taking frequent breaks to kill people. It was rough, Liz. There were moments when I wanted to take the book out to my driveway, run it over with my car, then light it on fire — for example when I would read an exchange like this: