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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Freaks and Geeks: the TV show that never should have been cancelled

It is described as "an American teen comedy-drama television series" by but Freaks and Geeks was more than that. In this series  the groups of outcasts in high school were the main characters and not "the bad guys", the losers. We often see series about rich, popular, good looking and common kinds or young people in high school. The show usually is about their dramas and love life. In Freaks and Geeks we get to the other side of the coin, we see characters that are the outcast.

When I saw the first scene of the first episode, I was already hooked. You can see how the camera shows us literally a glimpse of a regular high school life: The cheerleader and the quarterback sitting in the stands of the football field, they are talking about their meaningful and fleeting relationship... but then, there's a change of music...Van Halen - Running With The Devil begins. We see our new heros, our main characters; the freaks: James Franco as Daniel Desario, Busy Philipps as Kim Kelly, Jason Segel as Nick Andopolis and Seth Rogen as Ken Miller. 

The camera pan to the right showing us the Geeks: Sam Weir (John Francis Daley), Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr) and Neal Schweiber (Samm Levine ) and of course they are not complete without their bullies. Luckily, they are saved by Sam's sister- Lindsay (Linda Cardellini ). Most of the show is based on Lindsay adapting to her new life, her new place in high school and in her family. She was a mathlete, a student who got good grades, but apparently she gets tired of it and she wants to join the freaks at her school. Their life is fun and exciting.

This show truly lets you look inside the lives of these young people, who are constantly described as lazy, weird, drug addicts and good for nothing. Dangerous people with whom we should not be associated. But the reality is, that each of this characters have different personalities, different ways to face life, different parents and they all live in a troubled environment. But all of this doesn't make them bad teens, and Lindsay can see it, they lead their own life. Lindsay first days with them are hard, they are constantly challenging her just to see if she is one of them, and she is.

This show just lasted one season! just one! but it became a cult classic among many people. I'm so surprised that shows with a positive message that analyze (not just joke about) issues like drugs, sex, bullying , friendship, relationships, etc didn't last! I hate how a tv show like Grace anatomy, 2 and a half men, Gossip girl, Real housewives, last so long! this shows only show sex scenes (all the time), women who are desperate for man's attention and...oh yes, just drama about who kissed who or who is sleeping with who. Just empty, superficial and stupid story lines that are repetitive (thanks to male writers and male directors). But I guess people (most female viewers-we watch more TV) are stupid and superficial, they don't see the difference between this tv show, and they think the show is boring when it actually tries to talk about real issues. 

There are also some amazing young actors that acted in Freaks and Geeks and that now are famous, very famous. You might now recognize them.

I just hope as viewers (and as a woman living in 2014) we become more selective of what we watch, we should always know why we like it and if all the shows teach us something meaningful, for the society or just for us. It is so easy to make TV shows that make jokes about females, kids, sex, etc. But I believe we are smarter than them. I watch comedies and silly shows, yes I do. But I also know how to recognize a show that is sexist and just straight trashy and vulgar.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive : Could have been better

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought It looked promising, but I was kind of wrong.

The movie is for a young - adult demographic, but of course with a name like Tom Hidleston it’s impossible not to have teen fans of this English actor to watch the movie. They could watch it , they should but I don’t think they would truly appreciate the movie and all the elements in it.

Before watching the movie, I had already made the movie in my head. I thought it had a really interesting story, a nice rhythm. Jim Jarmusch versión was dull and plain movie was better.

I support the concept or the idea of showing this character’s life (Adam) living  as a vampire. Having the inside scoop on how a vampire lives is exciting ( sadly just 4 vampire movies made that curiosity satisfied, this is not one of them…and no, none of the Twilight Saga films are on my list).
Let’s begin with the positives: The director showed us how is to be a gloomy, anti social, bored and kind of selfish vampire. Adam doesn't want people to know him, to be in their life, he doesn't want to be emotionally involved with anything. It's pointless for him.

He looks, acts and feels tired of living in this world. He evens contemplate suicide… or at least he likes the idea of disappearing. Tom Hidleston gives us such a good performance that he made me forget who he was, and when an actor/actress does that, that’s truly a great professional.
We can see how Adam developes a life where he can avoid socializing and talking to zombie (people) . The system he developed is called Ian. This guy, who is his acquaintance, is the one who is always bringing him what he needs, except blood. He doesn't know what Adam is but he likes his company.

At first I had this crazy idea that this vampire was living in this post-apocalyptic era were most humans became zombies and it was extra hard to get blood. I thought that he was a vampire trying to survive with the low blood production but hey… it was just an anti-social vampire trying to live alone…. my idea sounded more interesting, right?

After that intro to his life, we are introduced to his mate/wife; Eve (Tilda Swinton). She is more interesting. Probably she is bored with dealing with people and the world where they live but she deals with it in the best way she can. She is the best part of Adam, but then again, all of us Eves are the best part of living in this world. They have a passionate and old fashion love relationship, he looks less gloomy around her and life seems to be more bearable with her by his side.

Definitely, the aesthetic is the best of it all. The way every detail of their personality are shown in their houses and their clothes are perfect. The old house, the old studio, decoration items, it is just a pleasure to see. The photography is great too thanks to the cinematographer Yorick Le Saux.

The best scene is the last one. They are in Tangier, both helpless , damaged and hungry. They are sitting , waiting for their imminent assassin, the sun. Adam and Eve are talking, trying to keep their minds off the main problem, trying to pretend that they are strong enough, smart enough , educated enough and both better than savages animals, better than the “ zombies” they belittle.
But they are not.

Why is it that movie directors won't dare to create a world where vampires rule and live a normal life, like I said.... more than the inside scoop of a vampire's life, I want to see it all. We want to see more of their secret society, how they become invisible to us and how they survive for so long. It doesn't need to have cartoonish characters or a silly unbelievable world, just a goth-ish, gore-ish and terrifying delight for our minds and eyes ( Hint* Hint* Tim Burton).


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