Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Awkward TV Romances that Would Never Work, but I'd Secretly Want to See Anyways

You know how sometimes you can't help but wonder what two characters from a series might be like together, even though they are really not suited for one another, or have never showed any signs of fancying each other?

Well, sometimes I can't help but want to see certain romances happen, even if they would be incredibly awkward, and likely not make it in the long run (though nothing is impossible, and some strange pairings have been known to last, you know?).

I've decided to compile (yes, you guessed it) a list of a couple of these kinds of pairings from television series I have watched... Only a few though, as some of the ones I thought of earlier I can't remember now, or a lot of the series I have seen have explored countless angles, making it hard to think of a new one that would even make any sense.

With that, I give you (in alphabetical order, or course): A Selection of Random Television Romances that Would Never Work Out, but I Would Secretly be Interested in Seeing Anyways.

Criminal Minds: Derek Morgan and Penelope Garcia
Come on, admit it, you've thought about it. Maybe it's a mismatched pair, but the way these two interact is just the sweetest, cheekiest thing ever. Sure, I could just be wanting to root for the "weirdo" and the stud, but why not? They are the best of friends and always tell each other how much they care about one another, so why couldn't it be possible? It's true, there would be the awkward situation of working together, but Garcia's other boyfriend worked with the FBI for a while too. And it's also true that Morgan is typically the kind of guy that just has one-night stands (as Reed so kindly pointed out once) but maybe that's because he's never really felt deeply enough about any of those girls. It would be different for someone he actually cares about to begin with, like Garcia for example. Like I said, I'm probably just fooling myself that this will ever happen, or that it would ever work out, but all I can say is that I hope their cheeky banter continues, because it always puts a smile on my face. And who doesn't like it when friends realize they really like each other? Though that, once again, might just be my young-girl sentiment rearing its ugly head.

Nurse Jackie: Dr. Cooper and Jackie
Who didn't love seeing Coop follow Jackie around like a cute little puppy dog after she kissed him that one time to mess with his head? And who wouldn't want to see that again? Come on now, it was pretty hilarious. Well okay, mostly because Jackie is repulsed by Coop, but Peter Facinelli being all cute like that just makes the heart grow fonder. Plus her kissing him when he was upset because of his turrets response was actually kind of sweet. So why would I like to see them together? Well, I suppose because I love the dynamic between the two characters hating each other but also respecting one another. When it's all hate-hate-hate between them it's far less fun to see. As well, wouldn't it make sense for Jackie to become secretly involved with someone else, as a means of getting ahead? Sure, it was different with her and Eddie as she actually really loved him, but Jackie and Coop would make even more of a twist in her already tangled web, that would result in a lot of (pardon the phrase) shit hitting the fan, which is what makes the show so interesting in the first place. Of course, Coop would likely start to grow tired of Jackie's constantly forceful attitude, or someone would spill the beans as per usual, thereby ending the relationship, and causing more havoc to ensue in Jackie's life, as well as at All Saints.

Skins, Seasons 3 and 4: Katie and JJ
Don't get me wrong, I really liked Lara and all, but something about it felt a little forced for JJ's happiness... Or maybe that was just me thinking that. At any rate, after Katie is done dating sleazy guys and goes through her emotional crisis due to learning she won't be able to have children in the future, wouldn't it make sense that she would want to go out with a really sweet, nice guy? And hey, look who is super sweet and wants a girl so he can feel normal? JJ! Okay, so maybe it would be weird with the whole situation where JJ slept with Katie's lesbian sister, and then Katie yelled at her for having sex with him, but I suppose something like this would also help Katie to be able to accept the decisions of her sister more. No? Well, I don't know, it just seems like because of JJ's lack of experience with relationships he might be inclined to engage in one with a girl like Katie, who is willing to take charge and have someone who will dote on her because of their loyalty. Like JJ? I'd like to think so anyways.
Plus, they are good friends at the end of their series, and I'm always a proprietor of friends falling in "love" and all that (but that might have to do with the fact that I grew up in the 90s/early 2000s, so I saw a lot of teenage rom-coms where the two best friends fall in love). Of course, this relationship would probably end in Katie abusing her power with JJ, and him not knowing what to do, until Katie eventually feels like she can find "something better"... But you never know, I suppose.

Skins, Season 3 and 4: Cook and Naomi
Right now I'm probably getting screams from all the Emily/Naomi lovers out there, as this could be considered heresy against them! But never fear, I am also a huge proprietor of the Emily-Naomi relationship, as it really was meaningful and everything else you can think of. I just can't help but feel like it might have been interesting to see what would happen when Naomi and Cook were together. Sure, they kind of hated each other, but really began to understand one another after a few incidences together, so it wouldn't be totally insane to see this happen, right? Plus, it would have made it even more interesting to see the dynamic between Emily and Naomi, as Naomi is struggling to figure herself out and what she really wants. I don't know exactly, but I've heard a lot of the time when people are struggling with their sexuality they often go forth with a heterosexual relationship, as they aren't ready to accept another side of themselves.
Beyond all that, it would have been nice to see Cook try something new and get away from the whole Cook/Effy/Freddie love triangle, because that really started to get taxing after a while (I mean, it was totally obvious Effy had more feelings for Freddie than Cook and the whole thing got super redundant in the end). So don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want Naomi and Cook to stay together, as she is obviously meant for Emily, it just might have been interesting to see how this played out in Naomi's discovery of herself.

Thus, I leave it to you to take everything I say with a grain of salt. And as always, I ask what you think of all this? Are there any other characters you have always wanted to see get together, or thought might be interesting, no matter how awkward they might be or how long they might last?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dreamcasting Greek Gods/Goddesses: Hermes

Going along with my recent post on "who would be the ideal castings in a movie about Greek Gods and Goddesses, the next I decided to make a choice on was the God Hermes.

Hermes - Messenger God
Characteristics: God of youths, thieves, and movement. A trickster, and one of the only Gods to have been born as a child. Inventor of the lyre, sandals, and fire.

Originally I thought I might want someone like David Tennant to play the role of Hermes, as he kind of has that cheeky, trickster-like quality to him (as well as being kind of weirdly attractive, don't you find?). Also, knowing his character of the wily Doctor on "Doctor Who" it is only suiting that the God who acts as a traveller (not through time, technically, but still) and inventor would be someone like Tennant.

However, considering how Hermes is often portrayed as a God of youth, and is one of the only Gods ever born as a child, Tennant might be a little too old in the age department, as suiting as his persona might be. This led to me thinking that another good actor for this role would be Nicholas Hoult. I know, I know, he was in that disastrous remake of the Clash of the Titans, so why would we let him be in another tale based on Greek myth? But I just find Hoult to be the kind of actor who can play a devilish kind of youthful character. A lot of this probably has to do with his role as the cheeky Tony on "Skins", but it's also those piercing eyes that both draw you in, yet seem like they are hiding something mischievous about him. Can't you just see him bickering with his (also) youthful brother, Apollo, and concocting a brilliant plan to steal his cows, and in the process invent sandals? Because I sure can!
(Okay, maybe that wasn't the best relation, but it's just one of the important myths surrounding Hermes).

And so, I ask what you think? Is there any other actor you might want to see portray Hermes should his character ever be featured in a film?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Always the Bridesmaid, Never the Bride of the Oscars

Remember in 2008 when Kate Winslet won the Best Actress Academy Award for The Reader, after being nominated for 5 previous Oscars?
Although I personally loved her performance in that film and thought she deserved it, some people thought her win was purely based on the Academy thinking that it was "about time" she was awarded for her performances. As though to say, "Finally! She got one!"

Well, I have this strange feeling about other actors and actresses too, in that they will likely be nominated for multiple Oscars in their lives... but won't ever win. That is, unless the Academy one year feels as though they finally need to give them an award. I don't know why I think this, as these actors are often quite good, it's just one of those instincts, you know?

And so, I have come up with four actors/actresses that I have an inkling about, in that they will "Always be the Bridesmaid of the Academy Awards... But Never the Bride" (Metaphorically speaking, obviously).

Amy Adams
I put Amy Adams on this list, because she has only recently been recognized by many as a full-force actress, and has already been nominated for thee Academy Awards at quite a young age. She really has performed well in many of her roles, but the problem with Amy Adams is that there is just always someone who performs better. And I know everyone has to "slum" it in cheesy, generic movies every once in a while (I mean, even Meryl Streep was in Death Becomes Her back in the day, right?), but if she wants to keep up her credibility, maybe staying away from absolute fluff like Leap Year might be a good idea. I think if Amy wants to finally receive one of these awards, she will have to take on an incredibly drastic, risky role. Otherwise, she will just kind of "be there" creating notable performances that get overshadowed by something more daring, gritty, or challenging.

Annette Bening
I often refer to Annette Bening as "the queen of the crazy-train" as she is very adept at playing strange characters with a high degree of believability. After being nominated for four Oscars, she has yet to have her hands on that trophy, though when I really think about it, her performance in The Kid's Are Alright this year could have been her chance to finally snag one. As much as I liked to see Natalie Portman break free of her typical roles and go a little crazy in Black Swan, the majority of the film was her playing her usual innocent but slightly quirky self, wasn't it? Though I commend Portman's ability to learn the difficult dance aspects of the film, Bening really did more straight acting without the assistance of distorted filming and crazy contact lenses... I am by no means begrudging Portman of her Oscar, I am just saying that I also really enjoyed Bening, and it was sad to see her completely overshadowed this film season. I'm sure she will continue to play engaging and diverse characters, however, which will be nice to see in the future.

Leonardo DiCaprio
Tell me you weren't blown away by Leonardo DiCaprio's performance in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? and I'll call you a liar. Okay, so maybe some people don't like that movie overall (*ahem* my sister), but at the young age of 19, his performance as the mentally disabled Arnie Grape was so profound, that I couldn't forget it even if I tried. Since then, Leo has made himself a household name, and in more recent years, awards season buzz had often followed his films. After being nominated for an Oscar three times now, however, and often hearing about him being "snubbed" for not being nominated (though I kind of disagree about Inception being a snub, but that is really a personal thing), it appears that it may take a while for him to actually receive one of the prestigious golden trophies. In fact, I had a feeling that he was only really considered a frontrunner to win when he was nominated for The Aviator. All I can say is that Leo should keep doing what he's doing, because award or not, his work continues to be enjoyable and well-received.

Julianne Moore
I'm going to start this off by saying that I think Julianne Moore is absolutely stunning, in addition to being a very talented actress. She seems unafraid to take on different, and often difficult roles in terms of subject matter and character. All that aside, Julianne has already been nominated for four Oscars, and continues to be recognized by other prestigious guilds and academies, but has not yet come across that trophy. Personally, I found her work in Boogie Nights some of her best, which was in fact her first nomination that did not win. I just don't know what it is about Julianne that makes me think she will obtain more losses in the future. It's almost as though everyone knows that she is a great actress that they don't feel like they really need to award her to prove that... but obviously that is just speculation.

And of course, now I leave it up to you. Is there anyone that you think is on track to be nominated for multiple Academy Awards in the future? Whether they win or not, however, is another story...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dreamcasting Greek Gods/Goddesses: Hephaestus

Going along with my recent post on "who would be the ideal castings in a movie about Greek Gods and Goddesses, the next I decided to make a choice on was the God Hephaestus.

Hephaestus - God of Blacksmiths/Metal Working
Characteristics: Crafty, Inventive, Lame.
Hephaestus was considered ugly by Greek standards, as he was on of the only lame/disabled Gods, due to his mother Hera throwing him off of Mount Olympus upon his birth, due to his unappealing appearance. He was able to come back to Olympus, however, because of his wily and creative nature which he used to trick his mother, as well as to gain himself a wife in the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite.

When I think of an actor that would be able to play someone crafty and powerful because of this wily nature, I automatically think of Steve Buscemi, as he is really good at playing those kinds of characters (such as his recent work in "Boardwalk Empire", or his weaselly role in Reservoir Dogs). And, I hate to refer to Steve Buscemi as unattractive, because he seems like such an interesting and nice guy, but he really doesn't confine to the stereotypical "attractive" ideals, does he? That is kind of like Hephaestus, seeing as his mother wanted to dispose of him as soon as she saw that he did not look appealing according to the standards of ancient Greece.

I will also admit that I may have chosen Buscemi for one of the Gods because of a weird fascination and adoration I have with him as of recently... There is no denying, the man is talented, intriguing, and unique, thus a perfect little addition to any ensemble.

And so, I ask what you think? Is there any other actor you might want to see portray Hephaestus should his character ever be featured in a film?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dreamcasting Greek Gods/Goddesses: Artemis and Apollo

***As a part of a series of different Gods and Goddesses to come in the future...

The other day in my Greek and Roman Mythology class, our Prof asked us, if a Hollywood movie were to be made about the Goddess Artemis, who would we want to see play the part?
It was just an idea she had to get us to remember the Gods and Goddesses easier, based on their characteristics.

That made me think, about a lot of the other Gods and I thought it might be fun to cast my own "Olympian/Greek God Movie". I know, I know, we already have a lot of films that absolutely butcher the myths, but that doesn't mean we can't think about who is like each of these characters, right?

My first post on this is going to be about the very Goddess my prof mentioned about this, as well as her twin brother. That is, Artemis and Apollo:

Artemis - Goddess of the Hunt
Characteristics: Strong, Untamed/Wild, Virginal, Young (as compared to the other "adult" Gods).
Carries bows and arrows, hunts, and lives in the wilderness. She is also the protectress of Young Virgins, and is often surrounded by them and Nymphs as her attendants.

When this was first asked, someone in my class said Tilda Swinton would be good for this part. As much as I love Tilda Swinton, I really don't agree with that, mainly based on the aspect that she has to be quite young compared to all the other Gods and Goddesses (though Swinton would definitely address the warrior-like aspects of Artemis).

To me, this would be suited to someone like Mila Kunis, who is good at portraying scrappy, free-spirited young women. Her, or Jennifer Lawrence, who is youthful and beautiful, but can also be incredibly tough and wild, as we saw in her performance in Winter's Bone.

Apollo - God of the Lyre, and Archery
Characteristics: Young, Strong, Proud and Rash.
Unlucky in his pursuits of love, and protector of Ephebes (Young Men) who have not yet entered manhood, like himself.

When I heard that Apollo was a young God that would never be a full "man", and often unsuccessful when it came to love, for some reason I automatically thought of Andrew Garfield. Apollo was Zeus' favorite son, and many Gods were afraid of him at first, so if Garfield kept his growing Spiderman Muscles I would say this would maybe be a possibility. Garfield has a very young looking face so he would suit that aspect, and is very adept at acting especially when he lets loose, so that rash side of Apollo would definitely be able to come through.

Either that, or Joseph Gordon-Levitt, (who actually looks maybe a little like Mila Kunis, right?) because he is also younger, fit, and capable of great acting. Not to mention he has been in multiple movies that involved unlucky romantic situations, so that part of Apollo's character would be quite believable.

And so, I leave it to you: What do you think of these choices? Are there any other actors/actresses you might want to see portray these two Greek Gods, should they ever be featured in a film?
(Hopefully I will get to making more posts such as these featuring Gods soon).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

7 Memorable Onscreen Gay Kisses (According to a Young Person)

***Note: SPOILER ALERT! I kind of rely on a lot of plot points in these films and series to illustrate why these moments are so memorable/important/meaningful.
(There is one specifically large spoiler revealed about American Beauty, so be aware of that... Even though I kind of just gave it away by even mentioning the name here...)

You know how there are all those really iconic kisses in movies and tv, that will always stick in your mind for their passion, romance, or meaning? It seems like when people try to compile a list of these, there is always one or two homosexual embrace that ends up in the running.
Well, why not compile a similar selection, focused purely on gay kisses? I mean, because of the mixed reception that homosexuality still has in today's society (not by me, but you know, there are still those groups that disagree with it) they almost seem to have deeper meaning than most-- but not all-- heterosexual romantic experiences in the media.

I went through all the gay kisses I have seen in film and on television, and have come up with a short collection of what I would consider the "Best/Most Memorable Gay Kisses". They are narrowed down to one specific incident, as certain moments mean more than others in the course of a plot, you know?
Also, keep in mind, I am only 20 years old, so there are a lot more recent shows and movies on my list, and I am also kind of biased towards a younger generation (and men... apparently). As well, I have tried to find photos of each of these moments, but some of them were difficult to find, especially in good quality.

Regardless, here is my list of "7 of the Most Memorable Onscreen Gay Kisses, According to a Young Person":

American Beauty: Colonel Fitts Reveals a Secret
To start this one off, I must make a confession: I have a weird obsession wherein I find Kevin Spacey incredibly attractive, despite being much older than myself, and sometimes coming off as kind of creepy. But that's not really important as much as the fact that when Col. Fitts kissed Lester Burnham in the pouring rain, a collective gasp rang through my mind. Sure sure, we had our suspicions as to why the Colonel was so uptight about the sexuality of others, but that basically turned into a bombshell, what with all the other dirty little secrets that were flying around the Burnham household. Not only that but the reveal of Fitts' true self to Lester (who did not return the affections) led to the inevitable end of this masterpiece of a story. Fitts felt as though he could finally try and be the person he had been repressing for years next to his completely withdrawn wife and son who was pushing him away, only to be stopped short, and embarrassed. This kiss is so memorable as it identified and unravelled many underlying aspects to the lives of these suburban families, which from the pristine outside were difficult to see.

Brokeback Mountain: The Reunion
This film always seems to manage to sneak onto the previously mentioned compilations of "best movie kisses/couples", so it may appear that this choice is somewhat cliche. But I don't really see a problem with it, because the kiss I chose will be forever ingrained in my mind due to the pure power it encapsulated. And of course, I'm talking about the reunion kiss when Ennis and Jack see each other for the first time after their initial interactions on Brokeback Mountain. Even years after they had had their emotionally confusing relationship for one Summer, both Jack and Ennis knew that what they had felt was real, and couldn't contain themselves upon seeing each other again. I heard a rumor that Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger almost broke each other's noses during a couple of takes because they got so into it, so you know there was some real power behind that kiss. Not even new lives, families, or the lack of acceptance in Wyoming could make them turn away from the love that they felt for one another. (Wow, that sounded incredibly cheesy, I must admit.)

A Single Man: George Remembers Jim
I've raved about Colin Firth's subtle but incredibly moving performance as George in A Single Man on multiple occasions, but nonetheless, this made my list. The whole moment occurred in the film as a memory of George's about his late partner, Jim, and was stopped short, just as their lips met. This breaking-up of the moment added to the deep sense of loss in the film, as this romantic occurrence in George's mind was cut out just as swiftly as Jim's life. In addition, the implications of this relationship were very difficult in the context of the 1960s, as evidenced by George's secrecy to his coworkers about his loss, as well as not being allowed to attend Jim's funeral by his family.
It might also help that both Matthew Goode and Colin Firth are incredible actors, and attractive at that... Oh, and I once heard Matthew Goode refer to Colin Firth as "naughty" in an interview for the film. (Oh my, how intriguing!)

"Skins", Season 1: Tony Takes up "Canoeing" in Russia
Alright, I'm going to admit, this one sticks in my mind mainly because I find both of the gentlemen involved incredibly attractive, but it's not just that: that fateful incident between Tony and Maxxie in Russia was the cause of some major teenage drama, as well as some hilarious confessions on the part of Maxxie during psychology class. Ie, "I'm really sorry for being a slut, okay?"
Not only was this illustrative in showing what teenagers might do to be accepted-- or willing to due because of drama from friends such as Anwar-- it also solidified Tony's destructive course of doing whatever he wanted, simply because he could. Because of this wily persona, Tony became a memorable icon of mischievous teenage behavior.

"Skins", Season 3: Naomi and Emily at the Lake
(Finally, a couple of amazing girls show up on the list!)
I know, Emily and Naomi had multiple "hot" kisses before this occasion, but in Naomi's episode where the two girls go to the lake, it's just different from before. Previously it had almost seemed like Naomi was just going along with it for something to do, and even though she is still unsure about herself at this point, this photo clearly shows that for the first time, Naomi is the one initiating the encounter. Not to mention, this was a much more romantic setting than a drug-induced snog at a house party as many of their other kisses had been. The fire, the lake, total seclusion under the stars... that's the kind of thing you only see in movies, but you can't blame a girl for liking it. Not only that, but despite the two's strong connection on this night, Naomi is still confused about what she is feeling, leading to Emily saying some striking lines that I find particularly telling about the dynamic of this important couple in the series: "I know you're lonely. I think you need someone to want you. Well... I do want you, so be brave and want me back!"

"Ugly Betty": The Long-Awaited Coming Out
Right from the beginning, and at a very young age, Mark Indelicato's character, Justin, was classified as "gay". Throughout the years he developed a stereotypically gay persona, but never identified that he was ever attracted to another male. He was even pining after another girl at school right up to the end, much to the confusion of the show's outed gay character, Mark.
We waited, and waited... hoping that Justin would finally admit his homosexuality. And then, it happened. Austin was introduced and I just knew-- or maybe I just hoped he would become Justin's boyfriend because, let's face it, that boy is adorable.
Were both of them just fooling themselves when they were initially fighting over the same girl? Maybe, but it was really just the lead-up to this kiss that made it all the more memorable (to myself, at least). It also was one of the youngest homosexual kisses shown on public television, and in this day and age, it's good to have that out there. (I only say that because it seems like even though we like to think of our nations as more accepting, there are still issues in many areas with young people being tormented for being gay, or even just "different". But let's not get into a deep social discussion right now...)

Were the World Mine: After the Spell Wears Off...
I know this film was kind of an underground thing (that I randomly saw on an airplane coming home from Germany), so I will summarize what it is about: A gay teen, Timothy, discovers the potion used in A Midsummer Night's Dream to make people fall in love, and uses it to turn most of his closed-minded town gay, including the boy he has a crush on at school.
Obviously, while under the spell of being in love with Timothy, his crush, Jonathon shares a number of embraces with Timothy, but at the very end of the movie, once the spell wears off, Jonathon once again kisses Timothy, and that is the moment that I have chosen as incredibly memorable. But why? Well, before being put under the love spell, Jonathon had been hints and advances at Timothy, but now he is finally unafraid to show everyone that he too might be attracted to men. After Timothy had forced most of his town to experience what homosexuality was like, their eyes were opened to how beautiful all kinds of love can be, so Timothy and Jonathon had no reason to be ashamed of how they felt any more.

* Random Runner-Ups:
Imaginary Heroes - Tim and Kyle on New Years
The fact that these boys are later found out to be half-brothers makes this all the more shocking, but it didn't quite make the list as after the two boys "hooked up" (and have sex?) under the influence of ecstacy, they really seem to brush over the whole incident and become "all good" with one another pretty simply, when I personally think it should have had more bearing on the plot and revelations of the family in the film.
Vicky Christina Barcelona - The Triangle of Love
Penelope Cruz is gorgeous, and Scarlett Johansson is very pretty, so you'd think this would be an interesting match, yes? Well, as amazing as Penelope's character Maria Elena was, Scarlett's Christina was just not all that interesting and seemed to just go along with whatever anyone told her or she felt like... Throwing Javier Bardem into the mix made it all the more interesting, but let's be honest, the best couple in that movie was Bardem and Cruz when all is said and done... Ho hum.
Black Swan - "You Had a Lessie Sex Dream About Me?"
Let's face it, both Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis are incredibly attractive, but this whole scene seemed to be overrun with the stereotype of guys seeing it and getting excited about "hot chicks making out". It was pretty pivotal to Nina's character, for sure, but I guess I just didn't find it all that interesting.

And now, I leave it to what you think:
Maybe you think I'm kind of a deviant that gets-off on seeing gay couples, just like the previous comment about the stereotype of certain guys being turned-on by lesbians, but I assure you that that is not the case.
I just thought it would be interesting to take something as common as a "best kiss" list but do it in a less-common way.
So with that, are there any others anyone can think of that stand out in their mind as memorable, beautiful, or important?