“in such good company” book review

“in such good company” by carol burnett

3.5 stars

this is a candid glimpse behind the curtain of one of the most prolific sketch comedy shows of the 20th century. the head of that show was the incredible carol burnett. it was unheard of at the time for a woman to host a variety show. this was the most compelling part of the book. burnett tells stories of having to play nice and dance around getting the “bitch” label. she documents her struggle of getting her way—she was the boss, after all—but still be viewed as easy and nice. she shares one conversation that she had with lucille ball where they commiserate over this double standard. ball was experiencing the same thing on her show. after her split with desi arnaz, she had to take charge and she got flack for it.

the feminist aspect of burnett’s story wasn’t the only interesting thing. she emphasizes the crafts of writing and acting as important parts of creating a successful show. also, collaboration was vital. one time during rehearsal, they decided to play a sketch straight instead of for laughs and the result was like “a one-act tragedy.” burnett says this was a tribute to great writing, where played straight it could be serious and when played comically it could be funny. it was such an inspiring experiment and i loved that they took the time to do that.

most of her behind-the-scenes tidbits were fascinating. sometimes the inside jokes or scripts of skits were clunky and didn’t read very well, but there were few. i loved hearing reactions of celebrities to being parodied on the show. The “meet-cute” of how burnett met vicki lawrence was especially interesting. burnett’s voice in this book makes her seem very humble and down-to-earth, like she’s telling you these stories in confidence and that was pretty cool.

i received a copy of  “in such good company” from blogging for books in an exchange for this honest review.

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year in book review 2016

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books read: 52

total pages: 17,669

avg. book page count: 340

avg. books per month: 4

no. of books that are a part of a series: 12

no. of re-reads: 0

  1. fangirl by rainbow rowell, 445p, 4.5 stars
  2. extremely loud and incredibly close by jonathan safran foer, 326p, 4 stars
  3. the splendid things we planned by blake bailey, 254p, 3 stars
  4. amy and rogers epic detour by morgan matson, 343p, 3.5 stars
  5. the kept girl by kim cooper, 274p, 2.5 stars
  6. a dream of ice by gillian anderson and jeff rovin, 279p, 3 stars
  7. the princess bride by william goldman, 283p, 4 stars
  8. the  fold by peter clines, 384p, 4 stars – blogging for books review
  9. the dinner by herman kock, 292p, 2 stars
  10. bucky fucking dent by david duchovny, 291p, 4 stars
  11. fuck that: an honest meditation by jason headley, 41p, 4 stars – blogging for books review
  12. the old man and the sea by ernest hemingway, 127p, 3 stars
  13. the little paris bookshop by nina george, 370p, 3 stars – blogging for books review
  14. the road by cormac mccarthy, 287p, 4 stars
  15. carol (previously titled the price of salt) by patricia highsmith under the name claire morgan, 292p, 5 stars
  16. american gods by neil gaiman, 522p, 5 stars
  17. the invoice by jonas karlsson, 204p, 4 stars – blogging for books review
  18. modern romance by aziz ansari, 251p, 3.5 stars
  19. the time machine by h.g. wells, 141p, 3 stars
  20. canadian fairytales by cyrus macmillan, 88p, 2 stars
  21. waiting for godot by samuel beckett, 94p, 2.5 stars
  22. the sunlight pilgrims by jenni fagan, 288p, 4.5 stars – blogging for books review
  23. sea oak by george sanders, 20p, 4.5 stars
  24. norwegian wood by haruki murakami, 293p, 5 stars
  25. in the penal colony by franz kafka, 23 p, 4 stars
  26. born with teeth by kate mulgrew, 320p, 4 stars
  27. the ones who walked away from the omelas by ursula k le guin, 13p, 5 stars
  28. the veldt by ray bradbury, 14p, 3.5 stars
  29. the awakening by kate chopin, 116p, 4.5 stars
  30. the sound of seas by gillian anderson and jeff rovin, 277p, 3.5 stars
  31. the glorious heresies by lisa mc inerney, 389p, 3.5 stars – blogging for books review
  32. allegiant by veronica roth, 285p, 3.5 stars
  33. four (the collection) by veronica roth, 285p, 2 stars: the transfer
  34. four: the initiate
  35. four: the son
  36. four: the traitor
  37. the kite ruunner by khaled hosseini, 371p, 5 stars
  38. rad women worldwide by kate schatz and illustrations by miriam klein stahl, 112p, 4 stars – blogging for books review
  39. dracula by bram stoker, 400p, 3 stars
  40. the school by donald barthelme, 10p, 4 stars
  41. scrappy little nobody by anna kendrick, 275p, 4 stars
  42. in such good company by carol burnett, 286p, 3.5 stars – blogging for books review
  43. goshen, fan fiction, 393p, 4 stars
  44. secret world, fan fiction, 2148p, 5 stars
  45. city of light, fan fiction, 2377, 5 stars
  46. mercy seat, fan fiction, 872p, 4 stars
  47. the lost land, fan fiction, 1959p, 4 stars
  48. the judgement by franz kafka, 10p, 2.5 stars
  49. the metamorphosis by franz kafka, 42p, 4.5 stars
  50. a country doctor by franz kafka, 5p, 3 stars
  51. a report to an academy by franz kafka, 7p, 4.5 stars
  52. today will be different by maria semple, 259p, 3.5 stars

awards:

top five- 1) american gods, 2) carol, 3) the kite runner, 4) the ones who walked away from the omelas, 5) fangirl

longest- city of light, 2377p

shortest- a country doctor, 5p

oldest- the time machine by h.g. wells published in 1895

newest- scrappy little nobody by anna kendrick published 11.15.2016

top 10 characters- 1) mike in the fold, 2) carol in carol, 3) therese in carol, 4) constance in the sunlight pilgrims, 5) media in american gods, 6) levi in fangirl, 7) scully in the goshen series, 8) mr black in extremely loud and incredibly close, 9) shadow in american gods, 10) the main character in the invoice (unnamed)

page to screen adaptations that i’ve seen- extremely loud and incredibly close, the princess bride, carol, allegiant (part 1)

best adaptation: the princess bride

worst adaptation: allegiant (part 1)

page to screen adaptations that i haven’t seen- the old man and the sea, the time machine, the road, dracula

the 2016 reading challenge:
a book you meant to read in 2015- four: the son
a book set in a different continent- the sound of seas
a book from a goodreads choice awards 2015- modern romance
a book by an author you discovered in 2015- the invoice by joans karlsson
a book with a title beginning with the first letter of your first name- extremely loud and incredibly close
the highest rated on your tbr list- fuck that at a 4.33 rating
a book about books- the little paris bookshop
a classic book with less than 200 pages- the old man and the sea, 127p
a book that was mentioned in another book- the metamorphosis (mentioned in bucky fucking dent)
a book by an author you feel you should’ve read by now-in the penal colony by franz kafka
a book from the rory gilmore challenge- waiting for godot
a childhood classic- the time machine
reader’s choice- the fold
a book with who/what/where/when/why/how in the title- the ones who walk away from the omelas
a book set in the past more than 100 years- the judgement
a book from the top 100 mystery novels- dracula
a book with a beautiful cover- allegiant
a book on a summer beach reading list- today will be different
a non-fiction book- in such good company
a book with a first name in the title- four: the initiate
a book from the goodreads rec page- the splendid things we planned
the first book in a new series to you- goshen
the next book in a series you’re reading- city of light
a between the numbers book- four: the transfer
a book whose main character is in a profession that interests you- a dream of ice (caitlin is a psychologist)
a book everyone is talking about- scrappy little nobody
a book with a beautiful title- the lost land
a biography, auto-biography, or memoir- born with teeth
a book by an author who writes under more than one name- carol (previously titled the price of salt) by patricia highsmith under the name claire morgan
a fairytale from a culture other than your own- canadian fairytales
YA fiction- amy and roger’s epic detour
historical fiction- bucky fucking dent
the 16th book on your tbr- the princess bride
a book about mental illness- norwegian wood
an award winning book- the road (pulitzer 2007)
an identity book- rad women worldwide
a book that you’ve seen the movie but haven’t read- did not fulfill, but i will count mercy seat since it is fan fiction about the x-files which i have seen.
a book about an anti-hero- the glorious hersies
a previous selection that’s not on the list- the veldt
a novella- the awakening
a book about a major world event- the kite runner
a top 100 fantasy novel- american gods
a book about a thing that goes bump in the night- sea oak
a book you’re embarrassed to read in public- secret world
a book related to a hobby or passion you have- fangirl (fan fiction)
a crime story- the kept girl
a book with a food or drink in the title- the dinner
dystopian- four: the traitor
a book with a great opening line- a report to an academy
a book originally written in another language- a country doctor (german)
a short story- the school
a book published in 2016- the sunlight pilgrims on 7.19.2016

some quotes:

“parents are always more knowledgeable than their children, and children are always smarter than their parents.” extremely loud and incredibly close

“time was passing like a hand waving from a train that I wanted to be on.” extremely loud and incredibly close

“ted flashed a smile that was a grimace in drag.” bucky fucking dent

“”all the love, all the dead, all the people we’ve known. they are the rivers that feed our sea of souls. if we refuse to remember them, that sea will dry up too.”” the little paris bookshop

“how does the never to be differ from what never was?” the road

“you want to see lucy’s tits?” american gods

“”i’m sorry I didn’t teach you how to let the world in (other than in film) but I never figured out how to do it myself.”” the sunlight pilgrims 

“death exists, not as the opposite but as a part of life.” norwegian wood

“”don’t feel sorry for yourself,” he said. “only assholes do that.”” norwegian wood

“…because murphy’s law is the law of sadness…” born with teeth 

“at a very early period she had apprehended instinctively the dual life–that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions.” the awakening 

“”the bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings.”” the awakening 

“the trouble is we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. this is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.” the ones who walk away from omelas

“”but just because you have ties to someone doesn’t mean you have to double-knot it.”” the glorious heresies

“”children aren’t coloring books. you don’t get to fill them with your favorite colors.”” the kite runner 

“flung out of space.” carol 

“…though sympathy can’t alter facts, it can help to make them more bearable.” dracula 

“”that’s how i am and that’s how he’s got to accept me,” he said to himself; “i can’t remake myself into a person who might be more suited to be his friend than i am.”” the judgement 

“as everybody knows, being raised catholic with half a brain means becoming an atheist.” today will be different 

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throwback: secret film festival

Secret Film Festival: The Ultimate Movie Marathon

The independent movie theater in my town puts on an annual Secret Film Festival. Their tagline is “the titles are secret, the awesomeness is not.” The itinerary is movie after movie from midnight to noon. A film fanatics dream. All the decisiveness has been taken care of for you. This is for the hard-core movie buff, as it is quite a commitment when you buy that ticket. You are locking yourself into twelve hours of unknown movie watching. The challenge and the suspense were a big draw for me.

This year is the first year I attended and it happened to be their 10th annual event. I had no idea what to expect and I also didn’t know anyone who has done it or even knew about it. They put the “secret” in Secret Film Festival, for sure. I “napped” from 7:30pm to 11:30pm on Saturday night. I woke up, made an espresso and packed my bag. It was like packing for a hike or a picnic, but with junk food. I had chips, granola bars, Red Vines, and a giant Nalgene bottle of water. I dressed comfortably in yoga pants and a sweatshirt. Still sleepy-eyed, I went into town. I drove past bars and clubs still filled with late-night patrons. In my mind, downtown would have been deserted, there would have been ample parking, and only a few crazy people like me making their way to the theater. In reality, it was a busy Saturday night and I struggled to find a close parking spot. I found something relatively close, but the meter would kick in eight hours later. I set an alert on my phone so I could come out and move my car or feed the meter. As I approached the theater I was surprised again. There was a line down the block of pajama-clad movie nomads with backpacks and blankets and pillows. At twelve o’clock on the dot they opened the doors and the long line filtered in pretty fast. “Enjoy your shows,” said the ticket-taker. I bought my first round of popcorn and a soda and found a seat in the largest of the three screening rooms. It felt like sleep-away camp. The same type of excitement, but without the sleep. Our host welcomed us and explained how it works for us newbies. There were lots of veterans in the audience. Even a smattering of hands went up when the host asked if anyone had attended all ten festivals. The first year the festival was called the Mystery Movie Marathon and people thought that it would be all mystery genre films. Each film is introduced right before it starts. After the first three movies, you are given options. They will give you a cryptic description of your two options and time to make it to the other theater based on your choice. Then it ends with a closing film in the main auditorium. You receive a program at the end of the night (well, day, actually). You have in and out privileges; you are not held captive. And it ends with a raffle drawing of ten secret (of course) prizes. The concession stand is equipped with specialty items like donuts, bagels, and coffee to go along with their exceptional organic and GMO-free popcorn.

The first film was described as a Western if Jim Jarmusch had directed another Western and Wes Anderson had directed the action scenes. Totally an accurate description I soon found out. “Slow West” was a perfect choice for the opening film. It had won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance this year. Michael Fassbender is phenomenal as a bad-ass cowboy alongside the nuanced Kodi Smit-McPhee. Next was the short comedic film, “The Sidekick.” Rob Benedict plays a superhero’s bumbling buddy who loses his position and goes from fighting bad guys to fighting unemployment. Third was “Spring,” a unique horror/love story starring indie favorite, Lou Taylor Pucci. It’s aptly described by a review from rogerebert.com as a “hybrid of Richard Linklater and H.P. Lovecraft.” After the third film, I was getting in the groove of it. I wasn’t sure if the films would be a mix of new and classic, big-budget or small independents, but now I was getting a sense that the films were all going to be soon-to-be released, film festival favorites. Now it was our turn to make some decisions. For the fourth film you could choose from a dramedy adventure based on an urban legend based on a true story or a horror film similar to “Open Water” but set in the woods. I went with the first option being too much of a scaredy cat to choose the scary movie. My choice ended up being “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter” over “Backcountry.” I’m not sure if I made the best decision. My proclivity to avoid the horror genre may have steered me wrong. I took my first short snooze during “Kumiko.” There were parts that I liked. I can see why it had been nominated for Independent Spirit Awards for lead actress and director, but there were several times that the story dragged, thus the opportunity to get some shut-eye. After “Kumiko,” I took a quick bathroom break and replenished my drink. That helped push the doubts that I could make it until the end back and renewed my energy. Our next options were given to us. We could choose between a sci-fi thriller or a dark comedy described as the anti-“Napolean Dynamite.” Whatever that means. I did not find out as I chose the sci-fi thriller. I was happy with my choice. “Coherence” was an awesomely mind-bending ride. It also mentioned the town we were in and specifically the university, of which many students were in attendance. I’m not sure how the other option, “Buzzard,” turned out to be, but I’m still somewhat interested.

After the fifth movie, I went to feed the meter. I stepped out into the bright early morning sun. Several delirious and sleepy marathoners milled around smoking or stretching their legs, reviewing the films with their fellow cinephiles. After the brief reprieve, I hunkered back down in the dark theater ready for film number six. Again, my fearful nature made my choice. It was between a horror movie about a ghostly STD (huh?) and a cult drama. “Faults” was playing in the other theater, so for the first time I found a new seat for the next hour and a half. “Faults” fell the way of “Kumiko” for me. It had its moments, but was dull overall and provided me with short snooze #2. I’m not sure if “It Follows” was any better. I was rewarded though, afterwards, with the seventh and final film. “What We Do In The Shadows” completed the marathon. Just like “Slow West” was a proper opening film, “Shadows” was a perfect closing film. “Flight of the Conchords” Jemaine Clement is writer, director, and star of this vampire mockumentary. Being sleep deprived and punchy was the ideal state of mind to watch this outlandish, silly comedy. The credits rolled more than twelve hours after I started this cinematic pilgrimage. I felt a wave of accomplishment rush over me. I sat through and lost all the raffle prizes (good ones, too, like seasons 1-4 of “Game of Thrones” on DVD) and then packed up my belongings and left my temporary home. Outside the sun was blinding and the cheery, awake pedestrians breezed past me. The zombie-like stupor that threatened to consume me was fought off by a giddy buzz I had from what I had just experienced. I didn’t even crash when I got home. I relished my triumph over that epic marathon. Closest thing a film buff can get to a runner’s high, I suppose.

originally published at collective lifestyle 4.6.2016

 

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throwback: harper lee

Harper Lee’s Return

Book nerds everywhere are rejoicing. A mysterious discovery has been made worthy of its own literary telling. Harper Lee wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” in the 1950’s. It is her only published book. That is until this summer. Lee had started writing “Go Set A Watchman” as her first novel about a young woman named Scout returning to her home town of Maycomb, Alabama to visit her father, Atticus. There are flashbacks to the time when Scout was a girl growing up in that town. Her editor back then thought that the references to the past were the real story. “I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told,” recalls the author. Lee spent the next two years working and editing what was to become one of the most beloved books in history. “Mockingbird” was published in 1960. More than 50 years later the manuscript, once thought lost, was discovered in the writer’s archives affixed to an original typed manuscript of “Mockingbird.” It is set to be published on July 14, 2015. It will be released as is with no revisions.

The story takes place 20 years after the events in “Mockingbird.” Scout is living in New York and comes home to visit her father. It is set in the time of history during which Lee was writing it. The themes are similar to “Mockingbird,” heavy with racial tensions, struggling with what is right and just, and the unique relationship between a father and daughter. Many readers are thrilled to delve further into these themes and characters. Many are skeptical. This was a young writer’s first attempt, will it lack structure and finesse? Some remain dubious of the discovery. How does one lose an entire manuscript? At any rate, the release of “Watchman” will be a success. The first printing will be 2 million copies which is along the lines of a Stephen King book. Literary collectors, “Mockingbird” fans, and even the average reader will be clamoring to get their hands on a copy. It is sure to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Lee, 88, currently lives in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, the inspiration for the town of Maycomb. She lives in an assisted living facility. A close friend notes that she is in poor health. Her literary agent, Andrew Nurnberg met with her recently and found her “feisty and in very fine spirits.” Somewhat adverse to the public eye, it is unlikely she will do publicity for “Watchman.” She hasn’t said much about the major announcement of her second book besides her official statement. Nurnberg reports that Lee does not agree with tagging “Watchman” as a sequel, she prefers to think of it as “the parent of “Mockingbird.””

originally published at collective lifestyle 2.4.2015

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“rad women worldwide” book review


“rad women worldwide” written by kate schatz and illustrated by miriam klein stahl

4 stars

this beautiful book is filled with inspirational stories. there was not one that i wasn’t completely fascinated by. most of them moved me to tears. tears of sadness for the struggles, adversity, and heartbreak that they endured, but also tears of solidarity for the amazing ways they overcame all of it. the women in these pages are strong and independent. they have fought for our rights to be treated as equal. some of the tales go as far back as ancient egypt. some of the women were poor mothers and some were princesses.

i wanted to learn more about each woman i read about. this book serves as a great primer, a jumping off point to learn more. it’s an abridged history lesson about feminism. i can’t wait to learn more about these women and all the other rad women out there who have made and are making a difference. these stories made me proud to be a woman and a feminist, but also made me proud to be a human.


i received a copy of ” rad women worldwide” from blogging for books in an exchange for this honest review.

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throwback: holiday reading

Holiday Reading

The lists of holiday movies that surface every year are abundant and a bit redundant. There are some great Christmas books out there that will be a fresher holiday leisure activity than watching “Home Alone” for the thousandth time (although, “Home Alone” is great, you should watch it, too). For those of you lucky enough to have a Christmas break, cracking open a good book is the perfect way to spend your days cuddled up inside. Just add hot chocolate (with marshmallows, of course) and you’ve got yourself the perfect way to while away those idle winter hours. Here are the top ten holiday books to add to your TBR pile this month. These would also make great gifts for the bookworms on your list.

  1. “My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories” by various authors: Read a short story a day during the twelve days of Christmas for the ultimate holiday reading experience. The stories are written by some of today’s most popular writers, including Rainbow Rowell, David Levithan, and Gayle Forman.. The plus here is that the stories incorporate different holidays and customs, not just Christmas, so it truly does have something for everyone.
  2. “Holidays on Ice” by David Sedaris: If you are fan of darker comedies, this is the holiday book for you. Sedaris brings to life the absurd behind the scenes of the department store Santa world and parodies the ridiculous family update newsletters and children’s holiday plays. I recommend getting the book on tape read by Sedaris himself. The sarcastic and twisted humor that this collection emits is fully enjoyed by listening. Bring it on the drive to Grandma’s house (as long as you don’t have Grandma or kids in the car).
  3. “Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares” by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan: The authors of “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist” gift us a sweet and fun holiday adventure. Alone for Christmas, Lily leaves a mysterious book of dares on the shelf of a Manhattan bookstore and Dash is the bookish fellow that finds it. This young adult book will delight old and young readers alike. And the literary references make it bibliophile’s dream.
  4. “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens: This is quite possibly the most quintessential Christmas book ever published. Travel through time with the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future as Ebenezer Scrooge learns the true meaning of Christmas. Although Dickens wrote it way back in 1843, the story still resonates today. Do away with the “bah-humbug!” and add some vintage Christmas cheer to your reading list.
  5. “Wishin’ and Hopin’” by Wally Lamb: This funny coming of age novella is set in the 1960s and is centered around a 10 year old Catholic school boy. With a lot of heart and not too much sappiness, this book is a sweet, nostalgic holiday treat. 2014 is a good year to read it as Hallmark just released a TV movie version starring Molly Ringwald as substitute teacher, Madame Frechette.
  6.  “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg: This is a great bedtime read during the holiday season that adults will enjoy as much as the kids. This story of wonder takes us on a ride to the North Pole and to Santa himself. Families have enjoyed reading “Express” as a yearly tradition since it was published in 1985. Tots will go to bed with visions of trains and sleigh bells dancing in their heads.
  7. “The Christmas Box” Trilogy by Richard Paul Evans: If you are up for a literary challenge this season, read the three books in this holiday trilogy or just read the first in the series for a more manageable task. But, be prepared for some feels and arm yourself with tissues. These books deal with love, loss, and heartache.
  8. “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” by Barbara Robinson: This is for the middle schoolers, although most parents indulge in reading it, too. Originally published in 1972, this is an oldie, but a goodie. Follow the troublemaking kids of the Herdman family takeover the school play and turn it into the most unusual telling of the Christmas story ever.
  9. “Let It Snow” by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle: Three holiday tales interconnect in this collection of short stories from very capable YA storytellers. Romance is the theme and it is heightened by the magical season during which the stories take place.
  10. “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Suess: No list about Christmas books should be without the wonderfully silly “Grinch.” You probably watch it every year, but when is the last time you read the book aloud? The sing-songy rhymes and colorful characters are fun for any age. And with all the consumer madness, we can all use a reminder that “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas means a little bit more.”

originally published at collective lifestyle 12.2014

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the x-files project: 5.12


the x-files

season 5, episode 12, “bad blood”

aired: 2.22.98


“bad blood” is many philes’ favorite episode including one of the show’s stars, gillian anderson. it’s not hard to see why, it’s a well-written, well-acted episode. the x-files isn’t really known for comedy or character studies, but they do it from time to time and most of the time it’s done really well. “bad blood” is one of the best examples of the x-files excelling at both.

vince gilligan has written some of the angstiest episodes of the show. paper hearts, pusher, and memento friggin’ mori, to name a few. he is a master of drama (see also: breaking bad). it’s so unfair that he is equally as talented at comedy. we have him to thank for some of the funniest episodes, as well. gilligan gives us a glimpse into the minds of our favorite agents and their perceptions of each other and the outcome is hilarious. the x-files case becomes a he said/she said dilemma, where both agents have differing accounts of what happened. they each walk us through their version of events and both take this opportunity to point out what they find annoying in the other by exaggerating their behaviors. to scully, mulder is “overly exuberant.” he forgets her name, teases her (“get those little legs moving”), and orders her to do another autopsy forgoing food and rest (and taking that all for himself, in her room). to mulder, scully is “less than exuberant.” she whines, gets distracted by a (possibly buck tooth) sheriff, and yells at him for politely asking her to do another autopsy. i love how they exaggerate the other’s behavior, but i also love how they downplay themselves in their own accounts. scully paints a picture of herself being very amenable to mulder’s whims and mulder tries to portray himself as someone who respectfully tolerates scully’s bullheadedness. they both view themselves as the one in the partnership that is put-upon. let me think, what does that sound like? oh yeah, a MARRIED COUPLE. these two have been each other’s worlds for five years. things are going to come up that bug them and what is more married than airing their grievances, passive-aggressively like this? you would think this kind of bickering would be tedious, but it is a pure delight. i have seen this episode hundreds of times and it never gets old.

this examination of perceptions doesn’t stop at mulder and scully. it is also the main angle of the x-file they are investigating. the vampires in cheney, texas are very run of the mill, ordinary folk, but they are also actually, literally, vampires. they are able to allude capture by acting like normal people. outsiders perceive them as normal, in turn. the behavioral characteristics are there, but other people’s perceptions get in the way of seeing the paranormal reality. they just want to be left alone to drink their blood and what not. except ronnie. ronnie wants to emulate the romanticized image of a vampire, fangs and all. this risks exposing his community by shedding too much light on them and that’s what grabbed the attention of the FBI and our agents. this script is so smart, addressing both the image conscious vampires and the skewed perceptions of mulder and scully in a balanced way and humorously, as well.

rating: 5

wandering thoughts:

let me tell you, it took a lot of restraint not to just cite every line of this episode. every single moment is great.

“bad blood all the way, motherf*ckers!” -gillian anderson

mulder kicking the trashcan.

epic scully face palm.

*snaps* “take me there now.” that snap is everything.

one of my favorite autopsy!scully scenes ever. “yada yada yada.”

MAGIC FINGERS.

mulder’s evil laugh when he takes over the magic fingers.

i love how both versions have the mexican goat sucker reference, implying that she actually did bring it up.

mulder’s reaction to sherriff hartwell’s buck teeth.

i once saw the actor that played ronnie strickland coming out of the scientology branch in los feliz. i was so disappointed.

mulder in that tank. HOO BOY.

mulder only gave the delivery boy a 2 cent tip? no wonder he attacks him.

mulder singing shaft, tho.

the fact that they are actually vampires is a pretty great twist.

the garlic breadstick cross. fuckin’ genius.

when mulder accidentally honks the horn at the end. errrrgh, it’s so cute.

did you know? behind the scenes facts:

in the bloopers, luke wilson makes david duchovny laugh by telling him it sounds like he’s saying “sheriff fartwell.” it’s adorable.

first appearance of arlene as skinner’s secretary.

shipper’s corner:

uh, yeah, they are a married couple in this whole episode.

hands on shoulders when scully asks what she’s looking for. “i don’t know.”

mulder makes himself at home in scully’s room so naturally in both versions.

she fixes his tie while they wait for skinner.

mulder made up the fact that sheriff hartwell had buck teeth/”slight overbite” because he was jealous that scully found him attractive. the sheriff is attractive, but also a vampire which can be very charming, so scully couldn’t really resist anyways.

mulder’s hand on her shoulder when he says “don’t say i never did nothin’ fer ya.”

scully quotes her bf, uh, i mean, partner, when discussing vampires with sheriff hartwell.

notable quotables:

m: “oh shhhhhhii-”

m: “prison, scully. your cellmate’s nickname is going to be large marge. she’s gonna read a lot of gertrude stein.”

s: “he does that.”

s: “begin autopsy on white male, age sixty, who is arguably having a worse time in texas than i am, though not by much.”

s: “yee-haw.”

sheriff hartwell: “y’all must be the gov’ment people.”

s: “what do you mean you want me to do another autopsy?! why do i have to do it now?! i just spent hours on my feet doing an autopsy, all for you! i do it all for you, mulder! you know i haven’t eaten since 6 o’clock this morning, and that was half a cream cheese bagel. and it wasn’t even real cream cheese, it was light cream cheese! now you want me to run off and do another autopsy?!”

m: “finally you left.”

s: “hoo boy.”

ronnie: “you are in big trouble.”

m: “i was drugged!”

 

 

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