Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays everyone!

Charles Schultz = pure genius. A Charlie Brown Christmas is such a simple story yet its captivating, intelligent and poignant. Another truly great mind which is gone forever. Who doesn't love Linus' description of what Christmas is all about? Charlie Brown is great, but such a sad (sometimes depressing) character, Linus is optimistic, secure in his beliefs and a true philosopher - the perfect friend for poor Charlie Brown.

Just want to take a moment to wish happy and peaceful holidays to everyone. Hope the new year brings great things for each of us and eventually the world.....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jane Austen Greetings

My dear Ms. Austen,

Please permit me to wish you a most happy belated birthday. You may be surprised to receive such a message from me - a person who you never saw in your life, but if you had even an inkling of the number of people who have been inspired, delighted, altered by the your work, you might understand a bit more.

Allow me to express how ardently I admire your work Ms. Austen. From the moment I apprehensively picked up your Pride and Prejudice and realized that the first chapter was amusing, clear and devoid of heavy, incomprehensible description, I was devoted to your compositions. From the moment, I sat down to watch the television series based upon your novel and realized how beautifully your words could be brought to the screen, I was committed. (You would have found television interesting I think. There is as much to amuse as to annoy on it. I think you would have found a great deal to marvel and laugh at.) I must thank you Ms. Austen for enriching my life with your novels.

Thank you for your heroines - for delightful people like Elizabeth Bennet, Catherine Morland and even opinionated Emma Woodhouse. Young women who I wish to emulate. They are flawed yet principled. Intelligent, but with a lot to learn. Some of them are witty. All are wonderful in their own ways. I can hope that someday I can learn to be more like them.

Thank you for your heroes – true they have spoiled me for having real life relationships with the boring men of the world, but ah well - I would not pass up making the acquaintance of your Mr. Darcy and Mr. Tilney and many of your other gents for the world. Your gentlemen are kind and wonderful. They show us what true nobility is. Mr. Tilney particularly is witty and adorable in every sense of the world. I envy your creation of him as I envy so many other aspects of your work.

Your ability to construct concise, loaded, truly hilarious sentences strikes me every time. If ever I can learn to express myself as you do, I would believe that I had reached the epitome of writing ability. You may think I exaggerate to flatter, but I do not. I speak the absolute truth.
I do not wish to weary you with a lengthy Mr. Collins-style epistle (you characterized him and your many other bores excellently by the way. I fear that you suffered the company of many such types in your short life). I will conclude directly. I cannot end though without saying that I love your villains. They are real. John Thorpe is so vivid in my imagination. Also many of the movies your novels have inspired are fantastic, and I have spent considerable hours enjoying them. It is because of you that I have been introduced to the amazing skills of the likes of Colin Firth, Jennifer Ehle, J.J. Feilds and many others. Perhaps you have a suspicion now of the pleasures you introduced into my existence. I can honestly say my life is better because you lived on this earth for forty-two short years.

Perhaps, you a white, British woman did not realized that one day your “bits of ivory” would touch the heart and mind of a young, black West Indian woman, but that is the beauty of writing isn’t it? We reach through the pages we write to touch other human beings; we cannot know how far the vibrations will go. Yours go very far indeed, and I hope you are aware of this in some way.

Happy 233rd birthday.

Yours respectfully etc.

Read more about this remarkable woman here

Monday, December 15, 2008

Can Pushing Daisies be revived?

While browsing on my favourite discussion boards, I discovered that the ABC's Pushing Daisies has been cancelled. Can we say "tragic"! The show is in its second season, and is a whimsical concoction which I find hard to describe. It is a comedy, but it's also a mystery. It's an hour long and definitely has drama, but it's a fantasy too with magic.

Read more about this wonderful show here

Whatever it is, I love all the elements of this show, and no cancellation has hurt this much since Cupid.*

Since it still hurts a lot, I can't talk too much about this. Besides I don't think I can say anything much about this show which has not been said already.

Briefly for those of you not in the know: Pushing Daisies is a show about a sad eyed young man named Ned who has trouble expressing his feelings, and finds some happiness in owning and running a pie shop called the Pie Hole (yup! Don't ya love it!)Ned is lonely and sweet and adorable, and he also has the strange power of bringing people to life by touching them. (Stay with me.) Ned can only bring the person to life for one minute; he has to touch them again and let them die or someone living in the vicinity will drop dead. This brings numerous complications to Ned's life. One of which is the love of his life the lovely and sweet Chuck who Ned resuscitated but whom he cannot bring himself to let die. So, (get this) he can't touch her! Ever! Or Chuck will die. (How can anyone not like this show?)

Despite the angst that his "ability" brings to his life, Ned has also found a way to profit by it. When not working at the Pie Hole, he helps a detective named Emerson Cod to solve murders by simply bringing the deformed (really weirdly) corpses to life and asking them about how they died. Many episodes revolve around Ned, Emerson, Chuck and fun Pie Hole staff member Olive solving murder mysteries. Usually I don't like shows like this, so this demonstrates how well Pushing Daisies captured my heart, because I even love the mysteries. They are just tres bizarre e.g. the bigamist who realized the cup of coffee one of his wives gave him is poisoned, but then dies anyway by slipping on the spilled coffee and stabbing himself to death on a strategically placed letter opener.

As you can tell, this show captured my sense of whimsy. In a TV universe of doctor/lawyer/cop/reality shows, Pushing Daisies was a breath of fresh air. One look at any scene just makes me smile. The sets, the clothes and the scenery are resplendent with vibrant colour. Magic works in this type of environment. Any place that looks like that must have magic seeping in at the seams. The costumes fit the fanciful atmosphere. The dialogue is rapid and quotable. (Like the time Ned, Chuck and Emerson are trying to find their way through a sewer and Chuck suggests that they "follow the yellow thick hose".) The romance between Chuck and Ned is lovely. They adore each other. Just look at them kissing through saran wrap. (They can't touch remember) Awwwww.

Anyway as this post is painful as well as doting I must end it. Instead of giving a show which epitomizes imagination and creativity the arena it deserves, ABC chose to scrap it because of its ratings. I do not care how poorly they imagined this show was doing. It will be a wonderful world if networks ever start putting their support behind good shows and giving them the extra attention they need instead of going for the money all the time. Yes, I know money makes the world go round (blah! blah! blah!) but I am confident this show could have continued to build an audience (and believe me there are many, many other dedicated fans out there), if it was given the opportunity.

For those of you who did not have the chance to get to know this show I am sorry. There are still some episodes left and Season One has been released on DVDs, so I recommend you give it a try. For those who are fans and are pained about this as I am, do not forget to let this network know how you feel.
Do it, even if it's too late. This show deserves as much.

*Very few people know this 1998 show, but it was also excellent and unusual and cancelled. I still mourn for it. Ironically this show was also on ABC. Great job guys.....Read about Cupid here: