A Wishlist for Tonight’s Newsroom

NewsroomFromFacbook1. Do you remember that episode of E.R. where Dr. Awful was crushed by a helicopter? Like that, only everyone.

2. There’s an episode of Sports Night where the crew spends about 27 minutes of the show doing something really awful. They cut a deal with a football player who has just tried to sexually assault an assistant producer on the show: she won’t press charges if he’ll come on the show. Then, they all realize that they’re being horrible people, and someone actually says, “We did a big thing badly,” and they fix it. There’s yelling, there’s swearing of warrants to the police, there’s telling off in awkward ways. So… let’s just have a scene with Don like that, and then an hour of Mary getting to tell her story on live television while Sloan beats up Mary’s rapist. I’m actually not picky about whether that’s a physical or verbal beating.

3. The entire series is revealed to be a dream Charlie Skinner had while drunk.

4. The entire series is revealed to be a dream Mrs. Lansing had while stoned.

5. Maggie’s ethical ex-boyfriend and Maggie’s fun (ex?) roommate, Lisa, live happily ever after, as they are the only ones who deserve it.

6. Hallie wins the lottery, takes over ACN, and texts Jim to let him know he’s fired. Jim is so busy being anti-advancing technology that he’s already burned his smartphone in protest. He keeps coming to work for a year without realizing he’s not being paid, and he sits in a conference room writing scripts on yellow legal pads for a show that he can’t watch because he’s become Amish. He’s eventually arrested for trespassing and, in jail, has long, self-righteous conversations with Will McAvoy’s father. His rise and fall is covered on the third season of Serial.

Any other requests?

Movies I want to see, but don’t know why: Birdman

I’ve seen a short trailer only for the new Michael Keaton film, Birdman, and I’ve heard only clips of interviews and information about the movie. Still, I want to see it. And that’s a big declaration for me anymore because I see, roughly, four movies a year in the theater. Maybe three. This year, so far, I’ve only seen X-Men: Days of Future Past, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and The Guardians of the Galaxy in the theater, I think (which says something about what I consider “big-screen-necessary entertainment”). Still, I feel like I might burn one of my nights out to see Birdman.

So, strangely, this makes me want to find out less about the movie in case it ruins the surprise and the experience. Are there any approaching films that you feel this way about — that there’s just something there that draws you, even though you’re not sure what it is?

Interstellar might fall in this category, too, but… I think I know all the draws there.

Martha Stewart v. Gwenyth Paltrow? Tell me more.

Martha Stewart apparently told Net-A-Porter magazine (that’s a thing, btw) that:

[Gwenyth Paltrow] just needs to be quiet. She’s a movie star. If she were confident in her acting, she wouldn’t be trying to be Martha Stewart.

I kind of don’t know whose side to be one when one massively rich lifestyle-pushing celebrity insults an up-and-coming massively rich lifestyle-pushing celebrity.

Wait, kidding: Martha 4eva.

NYTimes: Jan Hooks of ‘Saturday Night Live’ Fame Is Dead at 57

Here’s a face and a name I instantly recognized, but I hadn’t realized I hadn’t seen her until, well, this.

NYTimes: Jan Hooks of ‘Saturday Night Live’ Fame Is Dead at 57

NYTimes: Death of Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas Fuels Alarm Over Ebola

Having almost nothing to do with any of this… the head of the CDC looks so much like Dennis Kucinich that I keep thinking, “Is it ok to take health advice from a vegan who believes in alien abduction?”

Now, back to your regular sad news about the poor dude who just came here to reunite with the mother of his child.

NYTimes: Death of Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas Fuels Alarm Over Ebola

Movies for Summer

I have been complaining of late that I need more things to look forward to, and I’ve been counting movies as big events.  I’m relying on summer blockbusters, full of explosions, cheesy jokes, chase scenes, and otherwise bubble-gummy wonders to make up for the “no summer break” portion of the work year.

To this end, when I saw Alyssa Rosenberg’s “When the Gun Goes Bang, Bang, Bang” post today about a movie due in August, “The Other Guys,” I was reminded of an old habit that I was once in: listing the movies I want to see, getting lists from others, and then trying to check that list off as they’re seen.

So, here’s my plans for the summer. I know I won’t see all of them, and there will be others that aren’t on this list that I do see, but here’s what caught my eye today:

April 16: Kick-Ass. I am most amused by the girl hero, though the entire premise — regular people trying to behave like superheroes, in a world that doesn’t have movie rules — entertains me. This sounds like a perfect  popcorn combo movie (shared among equally fun-loving movie folks).

Death at a Funeral. It’s unlikely that I’ll see this in the theater, though I admit to a certain curiosity, having recently watched the British movie it based on/ripped from. I’m not sure I believe that Chris Rock can step into the quietly outraged (emphasis on quietly) role played by Matthew McFadden, but I might enjoy watching that attempt.

April 23: The Losers. This looks like pure, high-summer fun, a film full of misfits, explosions, and conspiracies. Bonus: Idris Elba. And The Comedian.

May 7: Iron Man 2. I don’t know the comics well enough (OK, at all) to be able to cheer for the inclusion of specific characters or villains, but I so, so enjoyed the first one that I’m incredibly happy to have the second one here already.  Robert Downey Jr. wise-cracking and saving the world alongside Don Cheadle? Sign me up.

May 14: OK, this might be cheesy, but I kind of want to see Just Wright. I understand I’ll be seeing it alone.  And probably at the dollar theater.

May 28: Prince of Persia. I had no idea Jake Gyllenhaal was trying to prove he would’ve made a better Spider-Man, still, but I’ll be happy to watch his belated audition tape.

Sex and the City 2. I saw the first one, and it was kind of mindlessly fun, so the second seems within the realm of summer viewing possibilities.

June 11: The A-Team.  Just to wash SATC2 out of my hair, I guess,and also because I can think of three guys who will be deeply worried/offended if I don’t attend with great enthusiasm.

June 18: Toy Story 3. Hooray!

July 2: The Last Airbender. I don’t know anything about this film except that every time there’s a new trailer, or a new whisper of a trailer, C watches it like it might reveal the secret of the universe, and has pinned his hopes on M. Night Shyamalan loving his children too much to screw up the film. I have no doubt I’ll be going to see this, possibly the first night it opens.

July 9: The Kids are All Right.  Well, this breaks the happy-summer-movie mold, but it looks enticing (and also like it might not hit my town’s theaters until fall). Julianne Moore and Annette Bening star as partners who each conceived a child through a sperm donor; now, their daughters are grown, and one sister convinces the other they should look for their father. I love Moore and have usually loved Bening’s work, so I think this could be quite good.

July 16: I am iffy on both of these, but The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Inception both come out that weekend.  Inception should be right up my normal summer alley — it has Christopher Nolan directing and Leonardo DiCaprio acting. But I just don’t know enough about it, even after seeing the trailer, to know whether I’m interested.

SA — I think one Nic Cage movie a summer might be enough for me, but I have a feeling C is interested.

July 23: Salt?  Probably not, but I might still be convinced.

July 30: The Adjustment Bureau. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt in a world-twisting Philip K. Dick story? Sure, why not.

Get Low. This looks depressing as all hell, but Robert DuVall’s character throwing a funeral for himself at Bill Murray’s character’s funeral home, with Sissy Spacek in there somewhere, makes me want to see this.

I Love You Philip Morris. I may have already seen enough Jim Carrey movies this year (0), but this story — Carrey tries to win back the love of his prison cell mate, Philip Morris, played by Ewan McGregor — sounds bizarre enough to get me to the theater. I’m sure I’ll want air conditioning by then.

August 6: The above-mentioned The Other Guys. It’s like Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals, where Animals=Will Ferrell.

August 13: Scott Pilgrim v. The World. Michael Cera battling supervillains to win his girlfriend’s love? OK.  More popcorn, please!

Think Progress » Limbaugh vows to flee the country if health care passes.

Poor Costa Rica.

Think Progress » Limbaugh vows to flee the country if health care passes..