While my kids were at camp, I had a little more free time (and no one blocking the TV), so here’s what I’ve loved the past few months…
- “Odd Mom Out” (Bravo) – This is certainly not the New York I knew. I laugh at least three times per 30-minute episode and giggle much more. Episode 5 in Brooklyn was terrific (I, too, have a thing about spelling) but episode 6 brought the tears, I was laughing so hard. She says the funniest things and I love her best friend relationship.
- “Mr. Robot” (USA) – Best pilot I’ve seen in a very long time. The pilot is also the best episode of all that I’ve seen, but the rest are still very good. Basically, it’s the little guy trying to beat the big bad corporation while dealing with his Asperger-y/ asocial/ computer genius self. Plus the lead actor looks uncannily like an ex of mine (hi Matt). It’s very smart and intense.
- “UnREAL” (Lifetime) – This “behind-the scenes” satire is what I kind of think “The Bachelor” must really be like. I started watching for Shiri Appleby (I loved “Roswell” on the WB/UPN with her and Jason Behr). I stayed because the drama was twisty and compelling, unlike the show it satirizes. It just got renewed for season 2 so catch it from the beginning.
- “Catastrophe” (Amazon Prime) – A guy from Boston has a 1-week stand with a woman in London and she gets pregnant. The leads are also the writers; their chemistry is terrific and their banter is fantastic. I want to talk like they do; I’m going to work on that. It’s only 6 30-minute episodes, people, you can do this.
- Trainwreck – My dear friend, Stefanie (see more below), brought me to the screening of this a couple weeks before it opened. Even if the movie was not good, it would hold a special place in my heart as it was the last time we were together. Fortunately, it’s a very good movie. It’s gotten a lot of hype so I won’t write too much. I’ll just say that Tilda Swinton is unrecognizably terrific and Bill Hader stole the movie for me.
- Spy – I know it’s out of the theatres but this movie was fun! I have loved Melissa McCarthy since “Gilmore Girls.” I can only imagine the ad-libbing that went on here.
- Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation – I am a big James Bond (Connery/Moore days), Jason Bourne and M:I fan. Clearly, why I liked Spy so much. I love the gadgets, the confidence, the trickery, the crazy/convoluted plots, etc. This movie could’ve cut out three chase scenes and still would be hold your breath, action-packed nirvana. I loved it. I’m not going to go in to Tom Cruise and his personal life because it doesn’t really matter to me. As an actor, I find him unbelievable. He totally commits and I totally buy it. Big props for letting Rebecca Ferguson and, especially, Simon Pegg shine in this, too.
- I also watched Edge of Tomorrow because it was on TV, the only bad thing about it is its title. That movie is awesome! Cruise is fantastic and so is Emily Blunt.
Caveat – I have only loved one book I’ve read this summer so, instead, I’m going to list the books I’ve loved so far this year.
- Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret both by Liane Moriarty What Alice Forgot is my favorite by her, then Big Little Lies then The Husband’s Secret. She is a very entertaining author. I enjoy her writing and I like that I can’t always guess where she’s going with her story. http://www.indiebound.org/search/book?searchfor=liane+moriarty&x=0&y=0
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I also loved Eleanor & Park and Landline by her. I just love her voice. I feel like we should be friends. She makes me laugh but more importantly she makes me care about her characters. http://www.indiebound.org/search/book?searchfor=rainbow+rowell&x=0&y=0
- The Martian by Andy Weir This book is sooooooo smart. Everyone in it is a genius, literally. Once you get over the fact that there is no way you can understand anything these characters say or do and you just go with it, it is incredibly gripping. I couldn’t put it down near the end; I finished it at 2 am. I just saw the movie preview for it with Matt Damon starring. I’m so in. http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780553418026
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern This book covers multiple genres and I loved them all. Simply put, I found it magical. It is now on my “Books I Love” list. http://www.indiebound.org/search/book?searchfor=the+night+circus&x=0&y=0
Song of the Blog…
Stefanie Whitaker Ballard (click to read her story) was a fellow entertainment junkie who loved my kids almost as much as I do. She was also a very, very good friend. That she is gone makes no sense to me. Stefanie was a gift and I feel so so lucky to have had her in my life for as long as I did.
Stef, this one’s for you…
Tried to comment on your blog, but not sure I did that right. Pretty sure I didn’t actually. Just wanted to say that I love all of your recs and your blog is so fun to read. This one was very heartfelt and I am so, so sorry for your and everyone’s loss. You are right. Doesn’t make sense. At all. Can’t wait to give you a hug soon….