Thursday, October 20, 2016

The 100 Greatest TV Shows of All-Time

Regular readers of this blog will know my predilection for making lists. Often about movies, this time it's about television shows. This is prompted by, originally, a recent issue of Rolling Stone magazine wherein they presented what was, to their minds, the top 100 tv shows ever. My online friend Terence Towles Canote sought to provide a better list on his blog. He succeeded, however, as many of you know, the only way to see the complete truth is to have Matty-Matt present it to you.

Without further adieu, here then is a definitive list (not ranked, however, but in alphabetical order) of the 100 greatest television programs of all-time....

Monday, October 17, 2016

Thoughts on an Election

Before I get started on the ruminations of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, I'll begin by saying I really have no clue as to who our next president will be. I've always fretted over the outcome of elections, regardless of the polls, and this year is no different. Especially this year. A good case can be made as to why Hillary Clinton will become our 45th president. All one has to do is look at the polls. Clinton has a comfortable lead in many states, enough to make one think that she will win handily on November 8th.

Of course, polls can be wrong. 538 gives Clinton's changes of winning in the low-mid 80 percent range. Several polls would seem to agree. Many Republicans are jumping ship from Trump. The race looks over. But of course, humanity isn't as easily predictable as polling would have us believe. Things happen. People can surprise us. And, for better or worse, I think that Donald Trump may very well become our next president.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Pic of the Week

Our latest Pic of the Week is Lucky Blue Smith, model and recent guest judge on Project Runway. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

3/4 Full

Ok, we're now 3/4 of the way done with 2016, so I thought I'd round-up the Top 10 movies of the year so far.

Here they are....

1. Swiss Army Man
2. Hello, My Name is Doris
3. Hell or High Water
4. Sing Street
5. Eye In the Sky
6. Dead-pool
7. The Conjuring 2
8. 10 Cloverfield Lane
9. Don't Breathe
10. A Hologram for the King

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brings us in cinema!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Women of Influence

Over the weekend I attended an event titled Women Making Waves. It is an annual breakfast/conference/meet & greet, arranged by IL State Representative Carol Ammons, and shines a spotlight on elected women at the state and local level. Along with the all-female panel discussion, there were also tables featuring women entrepreneurs selling their wares. This was the second annual event and, as with last year, I found it inspiring.

One of the questions posed to the panel was along the lines of who initially inspired them. Of course, most of those on the panel answered with a nod to their mothers. The question made me stop and wonder, who had inspired me? I'm not a woman, obviously, but we all have someone who has, for whatever reason, inspired us or at the very least captured our imagination enough to help propel us to better ourselves. After some thought, the personal answer to the question crystallized with two answers: my mom and Joan Severns, Champaign's first female mayor.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Times They Are a Changin'

Recently I came across an article that served as both an interview of late British actor John Inman, and a promotion of his then-new TV show Odd Man Out. Produced during a hiatus of Inman's hugely popular BBC program Are You Being Served?, this was a series that provided his first starring sitcom role, albeit it on the ITV network. Alas, it flopped, and was canceled after only seven episodes.

What is of note from the aforementioned article is how much it seems to focus on Inman's private life. It mentions the mews house he purchased in Little Venice (what he described as the first home he'd ever owned), and how he was still a "bachelor" at age 41. Inman died aged 71 in 2007. The article was from 1977. At the time of his death, the actor had been with his same-sex partner, Ron Lynch, for 35 years. I'll let you do the math.

Of course, hiding one's homosexuality is nothing new. Folks such as John Inman would have had to contend with a nosy media the best they could. Only ten years prior to the Odd Man Out interview was homosexuality decriminalized in parts of the UK. You can watch Basil Dearden's 1961 film Victim to get an idea of what gay men were going through to keep their lives secret at the time. And the awkwardness, fear and timidity extended well beyond the sixties and seventies.

I (briefly) bristle at the thought of John Inman hiding the fact that he's in a same-sex relationship in 1977, but then, before judging him too harshly, I remember myself and Ashley in the early 2000s. Our relationship was new, just finding its way. This was prior to Lawrence v. Texas, so there were still enforceable laws on the books regarding homosexual relations. We'd had a commitment ceremony, but it came only after much to and fro in our personal lives about just how out we wanted to be.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Pic of the Week

Our Pic of the Week this time is singer and pop culture fixture Nick Jonas, who turns 24 today. Enjoy.