10 Shows And Movies To Watch

Written By: Hallie Madenski

I watch too much TV and I go see too many movies. I can use my technology addiction to an advantage by telling others what to avoid and what not to. Shows not worth watching? How about “Two and a Half Men,” “CSI: Miami,” “The Cleveland Show,” “Heroes,” “90210,” “Real Chance of Love” and “Dancing With The Stars?” On the other hand, here is a list of things not to avoid…

10. “Paranormal Activity”: My friend and I went to see this movie hoping to be terrified and we simply were not. In fact I found the reactions of the mortified audience to be hysterically funny. This being said, it’s still a good movie. Entertaining, suspenseful and well-acted. If you happen to be gullible you may be scared, but the “horror” aspect of the movie really didn’t strike me in the way the director intended. Worth watching despite my bitterness toward all the comparisons to actual scary movies such as “The Exorcist.” (How dare they!)

9. “Modern Family”: This show brings back family comedies in their purest form. Tune in to ABC Wednesdays at 9/8c.

8. “Police Women of Broward County”: TLC’s wonderful reality show about lady cops provides the humor I always wanted from “Cops.” While Cops had its moments it was never high enough quality or quite humorous enough to keep me interested in more than a few minutes, possibly one episode if I was feeling bloated. Police Women of Broward County has its serious moments, especially since one of the cops is a sex crimes detective. Some non-serious moments include a woman who claims marijuana was blown into her bra by the wind. Also, a group of people who put their own hair in their food to try to get out of paying their restaurant bill. And let’s not forget the fearful woman who hides drugs in her vagina. This show is “Cops” with less brutality, more comedy and just as much reality. Tune in Thursdays at 9 PM Eastern time.

7. “Capitalism: A Love Story”: The saddest of all the Michael Moore films is still worth watching. Moore has somehow managed to retaini humor while covering topics such as school shootings, terrorism and the decline of health care. This movie has its moments in the humor department but mostly it’s just depressing. Not that I expect Farrely Brothers style humor from Michael Moore. His in-your-face approach to filmmaking has always been prevalent. Showing America at its worst and reminding us that even though our movie-going, semi-intellectual lives seem fine, others are suffering. This movie is, of course, about Capitalism. The taking and giving of things, mostly taking. Taking people’s homes and selling them for a profit. The crashing stock market. The tears of lower and middle class America. While this movie ranks last on my list of favorite Michael Moore movies, it is still worth seeing and is by no means bad. Be prepared to become emotional. And please, don’t call Michael Moore unpatriotic. Nothing gets under my skin more than people who can’t handle the criticism of their own flawed country. Pointing out those flaws does not make someone a crazy extremist flag-burning fool. (And no, I’m not French)

6. “Jennifer’s Body”: Megan Fox is remembered for her role in Transformers. To me she has been in two bad movies and one good one prior to “Jennifer’s Body,” The two bad films are Transformers 1 and 2, the good film is “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.” Let’s say Jennifer’s Body is the movie to equal it all out. Now you need to really understand that this movie is a satire, that it is not to be taken seriously. You need to understand that Megan Fox is a less than mediocre actress with a more than angelic face, making it all well worth while. The movie takes the dialogue of Writer Diablo Cody’s “Juno” to another level. Spike the punch, roll out the carpet and say hello to a hilarious faux horror movie co-starring budding starlet Amanda Seyfried of “Mean Girls” and “Mama Mia” fame. Other amusing roles go to J.K. Simmons (Juno’s dad), talented face maker Amy Sedaris and sly guy-in-a-band Adam Brody. Adam Brody, who played an attractive nerd on The O.C., does a perfect job of capturing the attitude of guys who are in pop bands that masquerade as rock bands. Eyeliner and all, he asks the question, “Do you want to be rich and famous like that dude from Maroon 5?” While Adam Brody is off playing a cliche, Megan Fox is saying things like, “PMS isn’t real, … it was invented by the boy-run media to make us seem like we’re crazy.” Also coining the phrase “wetty” as a term for a female woody. While Diablo Cody hit the nail on the head with “Juno,” she may have confused her core fans in making this gory comedy. Hopefully she earned some new fans in the process of releasing this film, using her revolving door of strangely charming wit.

5. “Hung”: Hung is an intriguing heartfelt show about a man struggling to make money after his house burns down. He turns to the obvious profession, being a gigolo. Now this may sound tired and ridiculous, but it somehow isn’t. The way the show weaves together comedy and human nature is refreshing and sweet. The characters are realistic and while sometimes obnoxious, they are also lovable. The shows protagonist, Ray Dreckler, is played by the previously boring Thomas Jane. Playing a man with a big penis could potentially be difficult to convey without seeming literally cocky but somehow he does it wonderfully. He is supported by a great cast, especially his “pimp” who is played by Jane Adams.

4. “Nurse Jackie”: The season of this Showtime show, as well as HBO’s Hung, is already over. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth mentioning. Rent it yourself for the dramatic comedy of a feisty, pill popping, affair-having nurse. Played by the talented and severely underrated Edie Falco of “Sopranos” fame. Her acting chops are up to par with Toni Collette of the wonderfully quirky Showtime show “United States of Tara.'” Catch up on the first season so you can tune in next year.

3. “Zombieland”: Woody Harrelson is a badass. Need I say more? Actually I feel like I should say more since I don’t think the advertisements for this film did it justice. 13 year old Abigail Breslin has a substantial role in the movie and isn’t even really shown in the previews. Jonah Hill’s alcohol-seeking love interest in “Superbad,” the lovely Emma Stone, is good in the movie even when she lisps. Her crackling voice reminiscent of an equally smoky Lindsey Lohan. Big-haired Jesse Eisenberg of the future cult classic “Adventureland” is always charming, and even Bill Murray makes an appearance as Woody and company seek shelter in his home. Woody Harrelson plays a loner hellbent on finding his all time favorite treat, Twinkies. They have been all but wiped out on zombie-infested earth. It’s also funny hearing Woody Harrelson describe this movie in interviews because he is actually a peaceful vegan hippie who doesn’t eat Twinkies. Apparently, during filming, special vegan Twinkies were concocted just for his consumption. Look out for a standoff between his character “Tallahassee” and about 40 blood thirsty zombies. Like the entire movie, this scene isn’t one you can forget. This movie is the opposite of a porn star, it’s unpredictable and the climax is real.

2. “Bored to Death”: Airs Sunday nights at 9:30 Eastern time on HBO. Surprisingly, this show has received mixed reviews. Its dry humor may not be for everyone but I am certain anyone who enjoys Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm or early seasons of 30 Rock could probably get on board with this show. Starring subtle nerd Jason Shwartzman, an eccentric pot-smoking Ted Danson and bearded “Hangover” sidekick Zach Galifianakis. The cast is genius, the script is genius. Just tune in. We can only pray this show doesn’t get cancelled like so many other comedy masterpieces of its kind. (Rest in peace Lucky Louie)

1. “Anvil: The Story of Anvil”: This Documentary follows the Canadian metal band Anvil on their journey to and away from fame. A band that started out strong in the 80’s but never reached their full potential due to bad marketing. You don’t have to like metal to like this movie. Original band members Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow and Robb Reiner struggle with their lack of success and their relationship as bandmates all throughout this film. They now both maintain regular jobs in Canada to support themselves. They allow a misguided fan to manage a tour in Europe for them and when they arrive they find they are playing to crowds of around 200 on average. One venue’s owner even refuses to pay them, offering them a serving of Goulash instead. The reality of it all can be too much. Lead singer Steve Kudlow is like a real life Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler.” A little unhinged, working hard to make a comeback, trying to turn nothing into something. Straining every piece of his heart and soul in the process. The band lays it all out on the line. As a fan of music and of film I give this movie an A+ for combining the two in such a delightful manner.

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