I've Been...

I've been listening to these albums:

The Madden Brothers' Greetings From California is so good! "Side" one is upbeat, happy pop songs, while side two has a '70s influence. It all feels very California. I tweeted about it and got a favorite from Joel Madden, so that's awesome! My favorite songs are Out of My Mind, We Are Done, and Empty Spirits. Pentatonix is back! I love them and their latest EP, PTX, Vol. III. La La Latch is my favorite. I'm not that into the original songs though. Meghan Trainor's EP, Title is pretty great. I love her voice and her happy, poppy music. I'm looking forward to hearing more from her. Betty Who is so awesome. I wish she was getting more recognition in America. The Australian songstress sounds a little like Katy Perry, but has a less annoying personality. My favorite songs from Take Me When You Go are Glory Days, Somebody Loves You, and Alone Again. Mary Lambert's Heart On My Sleeve is amazing. She has the best voice and I love her lyrics. My favorite tracks are Secrets, So Far Away, and Chasing the Moon. Yes, I'm one of the millions that love Taylor Swift's pop album, 1989. It's that good! Her voice isn't very strong in every song (and sometimes it flat out makes me cringe), but I appreciate that she didn't use auto-tune. The music is fun and the lyrics are vague instead of focused on individual exes (except we all know they're about Harry Styles). My favorite songs are Blank Space, Style, All You Had To Do Was Stay, Wildest Dreams, and I Know Places.

I've been watching these music videos:

Hilary Duff's video for All About You feels a little country and I like it! Her line dance is kind of adorable. I can't wait for her new album, whenever that is. To launch BBC Music, some superstars gathered to cover The Beach Boys' God Only Knows. It features Sir Elton John, Pharrell, Lorde, Chris Martin, One Direction, Stevie Wonder, Chrissy Hynde, Sam Smith, and many, many more. The song and video are beautifully done and it's raising money for BBC's Children in Need. Gwen Stefani's latest solo song, Baby Don't Lie is a grower. I was bored at first, but now love everything about it. The video is nothing special, yet totally awesome. I can't stop watching it. One Direction's Steal My Girl isn't my favorite song from them by a long shot, but the video is worth checking out because it's so weird and features Danny DeVito. Why?! Blank Space by Taylor is so crazy and perfect. I really love it and I'm not usually into her videos. She looks flawless in every scene and it's completely entertaining. 

I've been reading these books:

Big Little Lies was like Liane Moriarty's other books for me...fun in the beginning, super slow in the middle, and then one hell of an ending. I really liked every character (and there are a lot) and thought it was a fun plot with some heavy stuff going on. I think it'd make an awesome movie. I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You was very slow and a little depressing. I didn't really like the protagonist at all. He was whiny and annoying, but the book was well-written and some of the observations of marriage were spot on. New Kids on the Block: Five Brothers and a Million Sisters was alright. You all know how I feel about NKOTB! Besides the stupid title, this biography was a nice look at the boys' upbringing, their start as a boy band, and their major comeback. It was a light read and fun to reminisce, but didn't really touch on anything significant like sexuality, divorce, alcoholism, etc. There were also tons of fan stories injected into each chapter, which I skipped right over. I think Ugly Love is my favorite Colleen Hoover book, probably because it was about adults. I still hate the sappy, ridiculous, unrealistic way she writes from a man's POV, but I liked Miles. I also liked the back and forth between present and past and I cried like a baby for a chapter or two. It was a good, quick, easy read. I'll Give You The Sun was a good story, but the plot was slow and the the writing style got annoying. Most of the characters did and said horrible things to each other, which made it hard to like anyone. I definitely preferred Noah to Jude. One Pink Line was super easy chick-lit with a predictable story and boring supporting characters. I liked having two POVs, but they seemed like the same person to me. Also, why is it called "One Pink Line," when the characters kept referencing TWO pink lines? Belzhar was very well written, the story was original, and I had a hard time putting the book down, but the main character wasn't likable and the other characters were one dimensional. I also had a hard time with the suspension of reality, but I always do, so it's probably just me. Market Ghost Stories was a super easy read. I took the author's ghost tour, learned a ton and had fun so I picked up her book. I liked getting to know more about the people and history of Seattle. I'm not a hardcore fan of John Waters, but I like him and was looking forward to Carsick. Unfortunately the first and second sections of the book (about 65% of it) are complete fictional and not interesting to me. The third section of the book, where he factually details his cross country hitchhiking trip, was great! Nothing major happened, but I liked the every day people he encountered and how honest he was with the whole experience. How To Build A Girl didn't click with me. I love the way Moran writes, I was entertained (though it's not as hilarious as people are claiming), and I rooted for the protagonist, but the flow was off. Sometimes she wrote the character in the moment and other times she was an adult looking back on her life. I felt like the middle of the book dragged a bit too. R.L. Sine is back with a new Fear Street novel! Party Games is targeted to tweens, but I had to read it for nostalgia's sake. It was a fun, easy trip down memory lane. You all know my love for Russell Brand. I think he's a genius and a very talented writer. His new book, Revolution, is a departure from his others, focusing on social, political, spiritual, and economical issues in the world. His sense of humor and stream of consciousness writing style are still there though. I just wish there were more personal stories mixed in. I'm bummed to hear he's giving up acting, but really believe he can do great things in the world. Delancey is the true of a married couple opening a pizza restaurant in Seattle. I liked the beginning and the way Weizenberg writes, but it was literally about opening a restaurant. Like, looking for the space, finances, renovation and design, long hours, and staff issues. There wasn't much of a story there. The pizzeria gets rave reviews though and I've been meaning to eat there for a year. I need to get on that!

 I've been TiVoing these new shows:

I'm not really impressed with any new fall shows. I love a good political drama, and Madam Secretary seems alright so far. It's not as exciting as House of Cards, as soapy as Scandal, and nothing will beat the writing in The West Wing, but it's got some good acting from a great cast, so I'm going to keep watching. I was also really rooting for Marry Me because Casey Wilson and Ken Marino are some of my favorites, but it's pretty boring. I'm gonna stick it out though.

I was watching these new shows that have already been cancelled:

NBC is going let Bad Judge finish it's 13-episode order, but after that, it's over. I'm surprised by how bad it is, considering it's produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, but it is. I love Kate Walsh so much, I was crossing my fingers for this show. I don't think Selfie is as bad as everyone claims, but the ratings sucked and it's also been cancelled. John Cho and Karen Gillan (her American accent is so good!) were so great together, and the show was fresh and different with funny moments.

I've been catching up on these old shows:

Summer Heights High is another mockumentary show by Chris Lilley. It's where he originated the character Ja'mie King while also playing Mr. G and Jonah Takalua. It's not as hilarious as Ja'mie: Private School Girl, but funny enough. I watched all eight episodes in one day. Jacob and I binge-watched The Blacklist last month. He likes it a lot more than I do, but I'm into it. James Spader is amazing and I have a bit of a girl crush on Megan Boone now.

I've been deleting these shows:

Everyone is raving about Gotham, but after two episodes, I deleted it. The (over)acting is pretty terrible and it just didn't hold my interest. John Mulany is one of my favorites, but his sitcom, Mulaney, is too cheesy. The supporting cast isn't great, the jokes aren't funny, and I kinda can't stand Martin Short. The best part about the show is the first few minutes of Seinfeld-esque stand-up. Gracepoint seemed like a good show from the first two episodes, but it was just way too slow so I stopped watching after episode four. I heard it got better the very next week, but with only five episodes left, I'm not interested in picking it up again. Maybe I'll catch it on Netflix someday.

I've been seeing these movies:

I loved the book, This Is Where I Leave You, but the movie could have been better. It was less depressing than the book, which isn't a bad thing, it just felt a little too Hollywood for me. And as much as I love Tina Fey, I didn't like how she played Wendy. Gone Girl was amazing! Even though I knew what was coming up, I was on the edge of my seat for most of the movie. I thought everyone in the cast was perfect and the adaptation was so, so good. The little changes didn't bother me at all. Jacob thought Nightcrawler was slow, but I thought it was just right and totally suspenseful. Jake Gyllenhaal was kind of incredible too, and I'm not saying that because I think he's hot. He looked completely different (ugly) and was totally creepy, yet charismatic.

And I've been renting these ones:

Blended was terrible. I suspected it would be, but was hoping for some redeeming humor. Nope. Totally boring. So was Sex Tape. I knew right off the bat this was going to be bad, but I can't help checking out comedies with big names. Why do they attach themselves to crap? It was very tame, considering the title. The only thing good about it was Rob Lowe, but even he was a bit over the top. A Million Ways to Die in the West was also bad! Why aren't funny movies funny anymore? It was easier to tolerate because of a few clever lines, but otherwise, it's a pass. 

What have you been up to?


Kelly @ turned UP to ELEVEN! said...

I agreed with you 100% on the TV Gotham sucked (mostly due to Jada P.), Mulaney I didn't laugh once during the two shows I watched other than his stand-up. Mike and I almost felt like he was pulling a prank on us, like, is this real? Why is this so terrible? And Gracepoint I wanted to give it a really really good watch, because I ADORE David Tennant (10th Doctor) but I just couldn't get into this show... I have probably 4 episodes on the DVR... and I will surely delete them.

I will say I enjoyed A Million Ways to Die in the West, I cracked up a lot, sure it's no Blazing Saddles but I chuckled a lot, then again my brain is that of a 12 year old boy ;)

I had no idea that the Madden bros started their own little side project. I might have to check that out I always supported GC, you know being a Maryland girl, but always felt like I was "too old" for their music back in the day... One concert with them and New Found Glory I realized yes, I was a bit too old for hot pink and spikes ;)

My dad has been hounding me to watch Blacklist so I guess I need to give it a try.

Allison said...

I agree with the above comment - Jada is horrific on Gotham. I loved The OC, and Ryan plays Det. Gordon, so I keep holding out hope that I'll love it, but it's just kind of meh. I didn't even bother watching Mulaney, though it's depressing because I love his stand up so much.

Gone Girl was INCREDIBLE (I know we've chatted about this). I think so many "comedy" movies now are relying on just being so freaking over the top that it loses so much. It's like someone who feels insecure and is trying too hard - it just looks cheap and desperate, which is never a good look.

Love this catch up list on all things media! :)

Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

Oh my I watched one episode of Gotham and that was that. It just didn't feel appealing at all. Just too much. I actually enjoy Selfie too and I'm sad they cancelled it. It's a fun show to remind us that life happens outside the social media world, and vice versa. :) I liked A million ways to die in the West but have to admit it's not something I'd watch again or would call a fantastic one. Love Taylor's video...the only one I watch and I never watch videos.

I have now more books to look for, thanks to your list here. Love it.

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I'm also finished with Gotham after three episodes. I love Ryan but not enough to stick it out. I like Donal Logue too but again, no.

I think Marry Me is okay for what it is. Those two are awesome, they need to let them loose a little bit.

Misty, Handbags + Handguns said...

I'm reading Big Little Lies right now, but haven't gotten far enough into it to have an opinion. I think I liked One Pink Line a lot because I had just read three murder books in a row and really needed something light.

Gracepoint definitely started out slow, but it got better. I think there's only 4 episodes left. They've made everyone a suspect, and I currently have no clue who did it.

I'm hoping to see Interstellar this weekend. We tried to go yesterday, but ended up not having a sitter.

Love The Madden Brothers album! I still need to check out Swift's new one. I hate that it's not on Spotify, but I understand the reason why.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Gotham is being shown here now but I haven't bothered with it in fact many shows that are about today I don't bother with

Karen M. Peterson said...

I'm LOVING Mary Lambert and Taylor Swift's new albums. They're great!

I couldn't get into Gotham either, which really bummed me out, because you know how obsessed I am with all things Batman...