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SKIPPING THROUGH REVIEWS

June 17, 2010

Enjoying Civilization Revolution on my iPod. Started out with the free version and after I could even win as the Americans, upgraded to the full version for $7, a bargain considering the computer version is in the $45-50 range. And a real bargain compared to the monthly fee I used to pay to Blizzard. I do miss sibling WoW time, but they’re all beginning of summer busy and right now, I’m seeing how I do as Napoleon. I prefer Genghis Khan but can’t play the Mongols all the time. Neither the Greeks or the Spanish have been successful routes for me yet, they’re more economic powers I think and I do better with conquering enemy capitals. I did do very well with Cleopatra’s set up. I like a good military strategy game and Civilization is one of the best.

Watched Hot in Cleveland tonight. Yes, I know there are legions of Betty White admirers, but honestly, Wendie Malick is who triggered my radar. She is unfailingly funny. Jane Leeves almost stole the queen of the comic half hour crown in the first episode though. It’s great to see actresses with great comic skills being able to use them in more than a bit part. Note: it’s not that I’m not a Betty White fan, she is a very funny lady, but sweet looking, slightly daft lady saying outrageous and/or gross and/or salacious things is just not the meme I’m looking for. Give me Jane Leeves getting to do clever humor as well as post hangover arm licking or Wendie Malick assaulting the universe with the baton of her character’s celebrity. And with Hot in Cleveland, you get variety funny. Hope the crack comic timing continues. The John Schneider cameo was a plus.

Very behind on reviews, so Chuck season finale = total success. Loved seeing Ellie step in and save the day. Hope they don’t spend another season keeping her out of the spy stuff. Also hope they avoid trying to drive an artificial wedge between Chuck and Sarah. Stick to action, snappy patter and excellent guest stars. We’re watching our way through the first two seasons again to tide us over until SyFy starts their summer season. Neutral on Eureka but looking forward to Warehouse 13. Not sure about the Phantom movie, although it seems to be getting some positive buzz.

iCarly: New episodes are funny, but iPsycho once again falls into the loud, shouty error zone. Good to see Gibby get more screen time but not much else of note.

True Jackson: the Paris movie was fun in parts, but nothing that couldn’t have been covered in a half hour. They seem to be focusing more on Ryan and Jimmy. Jimmy’s postal schtick is good but the straightforward heroic angle belongs on another show.

Victorious: not watching consistently, although I do think Daniella Monet is doing excellent work as Tori’s ditzy, selfish sister. Playing dumb is actually a talent and I have fond memories of Monet’s performance in one of my favorite goofy movies no one else has seen: Taking Five.

Haven’t been reading as much as I’d like that isn’t on line or The Merchant of Venice. Trying to get through the FT in a reasonably timely fashion. Can’t find link to FT article interviewing a director who’s modernizing theatre and reaching out to audiences by utilizing social media tools to engage them but I will look for it because I’d like to refute it.

Yes, being able to interact with actors might be exciting but I think it would detract and distract from the experience that theatre gives you: sitting and being captured, moved and transformed by the touch and weight of the human voice, there in the space with you, giving life to a world and characters created masterfully. Yes, a good play, done by good actors: it’s an amazing, ephemeral and unforgettable experience. Listening actively is participating. We seem to be in danger of forgetting that.

And that’s enough for now. Thanks for stopping by. And BP still bites. Much more than 20 billion dollars worth.

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