Blog Archives

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Orphan Black”

Dear Frank,

orphan_black_xlgI am writing this the Monday after the Emmys, which the Internet, in proud Internet tradition, declared to be the absolute worst. I mean, it wasn’t great and SERIOUSLY YOU GIVE BEST ACTOR TO JEFF DANIELS OVER CRANSTON WHAT THE FUCK YOU THINKING GUYS, but at this point complaining after an awards show has become a little rote.

However, some would argue that the greatest injustice of the Emmys this year did not occur Sunday night, but back in July, when a young lady named Tatiana Maslany was not nominated for Best Actress in a Drama.

People were very upset by this! Why, you ask? Well, Frank, good ol’ Tatiana stars in Orphan Black, a show about a girl who discovers that her family history is a little… complicated. Like, clone complicated.

And as a result, Tatiana ends up not just playing the main character of Sarah, but a variety of other young women who happen to look just like her — and she does it really well. Like, scary well. Like, Emmy-worthy well.

That was what I heard, anyway. I watched the pilot back when it first aired on BBC America a few months ago, but while it ended on a solid cliffhanger, I didn’t quite get into it, for whatever reason, and didn’t follow through until just recently. For the show has crazy-good buzz, so I figured it was one of those where you need to give it at least two or three episodes to rev up. And I was right!

So here’s the basic deal, Frank… Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Pretty Woman” (Originally)

Dear Frank,

pretty-woman-coverAs you and I are both vague-to-huge nerds about screenplays and story development, I wonder if you’ve ever checked out the original script for Pretty Woman? There’s a real reason for me asking this: $3,000, as the project was called then, lays claim to a bit of interesting history for the film industry.

Here’s the story: It was heralded as one of the better-written scripts of the year, intended as a dark take on prostitution, drugs and whatever else sucked about the time period. But writer Jonathan Lawton’s rather dark take on a Hollywood Blvd. prostitute getting picked up by a wealthy businessman was then rewritten by script doctors Robert Garland, Stephen Metcalfe and Barbara Benedek for director Garry Marshall.

Marshall and his team then transformed the gritty tale into a light-R Cinderella-esque fairy tale, and made like, ALL THE MONEY. Like, ALL OF IT.

But everyone who I heard discuss this made the rewrite sound like a bad thing. The triumph of commerce over art, you know? So I wanted to find out for myself, and thus, this week I not only rewatched Pretty Woman in its final incarnation, but managed to Google up a copy of the original $3,000 script.

And HOLY SHIT, FRANK. WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST READ? Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank Stuff She Forgot About “Daria”

Dear Frank,

daria-article-for-r29-image-1As a young lass, I’d always feel profoundly lonely when I would turn to television in search of a character to identify with and came up empty. I mean, as a white woman, things coulda been a lot worse for me. But when I was growing up, my hope for evidence that not fitting in wasn’t a terminal condition was filled with frustrations.

The one major exception: The animated series Daria, which ran from 1997 to 2001 and, even today, is a balm for my soul.

I like to think of Daria as MTV’s apology to women for that whole Beavis and Butthead thing: Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In The “Lost Girl” Pilot

Dear Frank,

lost-girlFor a while now, I’ve been hearing that I should check out Lost Girl, a Canadian fantasy import featuring sexy people, makeouts and magic. I normally am not a straight-up fantasy fan (due to the lack of space battles) but the voices called out, Frank. They demanded that you know about Lost Girl. And who am I to deny them?

Thus, fade in on a girl– Ugh, Frank, I’ve been watching too much Smash. Point is, meet Bo! She is a bartender, and she is hot, and while working she manages to dodge a creep who tries to force a roofied drink on her.

However, said creep then targets a sassy pickpocketing teen at the bar, cornering her in an elevator just as the roofie kicks in. Uh oh! Things do not look good for our sassy pickpocketing teen!

Until, of course, Bo shows up! Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank Why She Struggles With “Walking Dead” But Loves “Warm Bodies”

Dear Frank,

warm_bodies_ver7_xlgIt’s taken me more than a few years to understand why (despite being a total slut for any sort of fantasy or sci-fi narrative) I don’t really like zombie stories: They make for very hopeless storytelling. I can get on board with post-apocalypse narratives; I can get on board with horror. But zombie stories combine the two, often in a dark gruesome way, and goddamn if I’ve always failed to really engage with them. 

The exception, though, happens because of love.  Always because of love.  

Let’s start with The Walking Dead. If I had been single in the year 2010, I would never have finished watching the first season; I didn’t hate it, but I found it awfully bleak for regular viewing. 

However, I was not single in 2010, and the guy liked the show and didn’t have cable, so we watched it at my place — when Season 2 premiered a year later, after my relationship status had changed, I realized that on the bright side, I wouldn’t have to continue watching it. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic”

Dear Frank,

shout_factory_my_little_pony_friendship_is_magic_season_1_dvd_setFun fact: My mom knows about Bronies. I found this out when I mentioned to her that I was telling you about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic this week: “That’s the show they like?” she asked, and I said yes. I did not say whether or not I understood why this group of young Internet-savvy men liked the animated rebirth of the franchise, because the honest truth is I don’t, really.

And I say this after having watched the two-part pilot episode of the series, written by now-legendary Lauren Faust and featuring no shortage of charm, adorable ponies, and surprisingly complex backstory. In fact, the plot for this show is so complicated that I’m going to leave the understanding-a-very-strange-subculture stuff for later. Right now, let’s meet some motherfucking ponies! Read the rest of this entry

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