Archive for the ‘Camp’ Category

Bye Bye Birdie (1995)

April 11, 2018

Some things are simply sacred and should never be tampered with. So it is with the adaptation of the stage musical, Bye Bye Birdie to film in 1963. Ann Margaret. Janet Leigh. Dick van Dyke. Paul Lynde! Please don’t remake this. But they did in 1995 with a reasonable cast, but the performances made me fast-forward. No pop, no zing, no pow. C’mon. How can you top Ann Margaret? 1 out of 5. Next.


Babylon Berlin: Episode 2 – The Dance Sequence

February 2, 2018

I started watching the Netflix German television series, Babylon Berlin created and produced by Tom Tykwer and friends. It’s got a lot of violence, but I’m still enjoying the complicated story and the lush production value – it’s the most expensive television series ever produced outside of the U.S. Last night, I caught episode two from the first season. There’s a dance sequence in the series that’s insanely beautiful, celebratory, and just plain fun. Imagine a flash mob in 1929 headed by a beautiful woman in drag. It’s just plain gorgeous.

Season 1 review coming in a few.
Check the dance sequence out on YouTube.

Grace and Frankie: Season 4

January 28, 2018

Grace And Frankie

Grace and Frankie continues to be a mixed bag for me. Just when I’m ready to give up, something clicks and the stories feel real and I feel a part of the show. Season 4 took its good old-time getting me to that place. Lots of silliness mixed with awkwardness. At the very least, the balance between the girls, the kids, and the ex-husbands seems to flow better each season. There’s even room for additional characters – boyfriends, thrupple potential, kids’ partners, along with oddballs and girlfriends. All in all, I enjoy the show. It just never seems to bowl me over like it finally did in Season 2. I gave the show a 4 out of 5. Seasons 1 & 3 each got a 3 out of 5. Same for this season. Wondering where they might head next.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 3, Episodes 1 & 2

November 15, 2017

I’ve enjoyed the remarkable experiment that is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend for over two seasons. Innovative, creative, outside the box, feminist manifesto wrapped up in a Rom-Com wrapper are just some of the words and phrases I could use to describe the show. I gave Season 1 a 4 out of 5. I gave Season 2 a 3.5 out of 5. The sophomore season lost a bit of its edge. And the first two episodes of the third season feel like the creators have done all they can with the story. I currently follow 25 shows. That’s a huge commitment. So when I can bolt, I do. Rather quickly. Not out of hatred or horror normally. Out of a need to whittle that list down just a smidge so I can get more reading and more offline time into my life. I understand a future episode involved Rebecca and her mother shines bright with AV Club singing its praise. I’m happy the show is having some fine moments. I feel it’s best for me to step aside and remember season 1 for the remarkable creation it is. 2 out of 5 for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 3. Next.

Halloween 2017

October 31, 2017

Remember, Halloween doesn’t have to be ugly or bloody. It can be retro, campy, and gorgeous. Take a cue from the cast of Bewitched.

Samantha and Endora

Uncle Arthur & Serena


Halloween Favorite Films and Television 2017

October 27, 2017

Twas the weekend before Halloween, and all through the blog.

Each year I repost my favorite spooky reviews: films and shows worth watching during Samhain season. Blessed be and trick or treat.

From the archives,

American Horror Story – first couple seasons are the best
The Bat – give Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead some sugar
Black Mirror – get your Sci-Fi, near future tech savvy freak show on
The Cabin in the Woods – new-ish camp classic
The Conjuring – Connecticut ghosts!
Halloween – the original
The Paul Lynde Halloween Special – can it possibly get any more camp than this?
Paranorman – genius animated film with zombies and witches centering around bullying!
Les Revenants (The Returned) – amazing two season French television ghost story.
Rosemary’s Baby – what’s not to love about a nice NYC couple living next door to a coven of witches?
The Shining – the original
True Blood – Alan Ball’s adaptation of the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris

Reel Charlie spooktacular categories to peruse:
Directors – Alfred Hitchcock

Match Game ’75

October 16, 2017

Thanks to Buzzr, Amazon Prime Video added some classic game shows. One of my all-time favorites, Match Game has a number of episodes streaming from 1975 and 1976. So much fun! Brett Somers, Richard Dawson, Fannie Flagg, Betty White, Greg Morris, and many, many more. Were they drunk? Were they stoned? Only host Gene Rayburn knows for sure. Whatever, they were giggly and silly. Great nostalgia. 4 out of 5.

My Favorite Martian: Season 1, Ep. 1 & 2

September 24, 2017

Told you Amazon Prime has been adding a whole lot of classic television. Watched two episodes of the crazy My Favorite Martian which landed in television sets during the mid-1960’s. Ray Walston plays Uncle Martin the Martian. Walston’s role felt familiar alongside other fussy, bachelor-type characters of the day including Jonathan Harris’ Dr. Smith from Lost in Space, Sebastian Cabot’s Mr. French of Family Affair, and Paul Lynde’s Uncle Arthur in Bewitched. These characters were a combination of comic relief, throwing some spice in an otherwise ordinary household and acting as a surrogate parent – particularly in place of an absent mother for a heterosexual household. In 2017, these characters read old school asexual gay to me: don’t ask, don’t tell. Walston’s character acts more as an intrusion into main character Bill Bixby’s life as the marooned Martian in the series. He also plays cupid for Bixby as he struggles with finding the girl of his dreams. What struck me most about this stroll through nostalgia was the size of Bixby’s waist. A lean young man indeed, he was 29 during the first season. Full of sexist remarks – most surprisingly from the female characters, as well as the mandatory and annoying laugh track, My Favorite Martian remains best as a memory instead of a binge. 2 out of 5. Next.

Journey to the Center of the Earth

September 20, 2017

I usually love most classic films Steve Hayes recommends. This time I simply couldn’t arouse any excitement for the 1959 Jules Verne adaptation, Journey to the Center of the Earth. Not even Alan Napier in a pre-Batman’s Alfred role, Pat Boone singing, or a nearly always shirtless Peter Ronson could help me sustain interest in this sci-fi classic. I loved the silly effects, but the story snoozed me out. 2 out of 5. Next.

Batgirl’s Debut 50 Years Ago Proved Damsels Can Save The Day (Decider)

September 14, 2017

For my first long-term partner – that means husband in pre-marriage equality 80’s gay relationship lingo – Joe Greenwood who loved Batgirl as much as I did. Joe is probably up in heaven with Yvonne Craig cackling over 50 years of Batmania. From Decider,

The biggest superhero of 2017 wasn’t Spider-Man or Wolverine or the Guardians of the Galaxy. It was Wonder Woman, the Amazonian headliner of the biggest movie of the summer, the second highest-grossing film of the year, and the film that finally broke the bad luck streak female superheroes have unfairly shouldered. This ground-breaking movie (which is getting a ground-breaking sequel) was a major step forward for inclusivity in the superhero genre–and the first step on that journey was taken 50 years ago today.

On September 14, 1967, another A-list DC Comics super woman made her live-action debut, pushing her purple high-heeled boot through the door of the comic book boys club. Yvonne Craig pulled double duty as Commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara and Batgirl in Batman’s Season 3 premiere, giving pop culture its first live-action female superhero.

This moment of subversive brilliance exposes the damsel trope for what it is: it’s a costume that immensely capable female characters have to wear in order to fit in with what men expect. It would have been great to see Barbara figure out a way to free herself as Barbara in front of Batman and Robin, thus preserving her identity and de-samseling her alter ego, but the fact that a 1967 superhero romp subverted the trope at all is revolutionary. Viewers in 1967 were just shown that damsels can save themselves and save the boys.

Read the full article on Decider.
Happy Anniversary Batgirl.


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