Television


And just because I like you weird librarians so much, here are a few more clips from “Portlandia.”  This one is called “Hide and Seek.” Enjoy.  And if you want more go to the Portlandia website.  I highly recommend for librarians “Technology Loop.”  Brilliantly funny.

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Enjoy this clip from IFC’s new show Portlandia starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.  Did you read????

IFC's "Portlandia"

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Food Rules by Michael PollanBestselling author Michael Pollan’s latest book, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, is a quick read, but is not light on information for anyone that eats.  There are a lot of long and exhaustive books that don’t get to the point, especially when it comes to diet and health.  Pollan however gets right to practical advice and scientific information with this slim book of ideas that span the space of a small page.

He makes interesting points, 64 in fact.  I tend to enjoy reading about health, and honestly, I find that a lot of these kinds of books are not quick and easy, or the advice is simply not good.  Not since I read You on a Diet have I felt so satisfied with a health advice book.

A lot of this was not new to me, but I tend to try to stay up on health news.  Even still, I found a lot to take away myself.  Pollan is an expert on food and the food industry, and informs us without a gimmick of weight loss.  Yes, you will lose weight if you follow his advice, but it is about being informed.  Like his other books and talks, he also discusses what has happened with the food industry and American society to cause our issues with food.

One thing that I loved about this book is that it didn’t focus heavily on meat vs. vegetarianism, but it did comment on it.  It is difficult when a book does not take into account the different perspectives of the potential readers.  It is a wonderful way to dip your toes into understanding food, but even people already knowledgeable will enjoy Pollan’s quick tips.  This book is really a great little read for anyone interested in being more mindful and healthy about what they eat with realistic solutions.

On Wednesday, April 21, the highly talked about Academy Award Nominated documentary film Food Inc. will be shown on POV.  Robert Kenner’s film features Pollan and other experts on food.  They explore the fascinating topic of how our food is making us sick, and what we can do to make it better.  Check your local PBS station listings.  You can even get a one time e-mail reminder from PBS so you don’t forget.

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

Because of this, PBS is featuring an excerpt from Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  Unlike Food Rules, The Omnivore’s Dilemma is not quick tips, but rather a discussion of how our food industry is run and how we got to this point.  This is not to say it won’t help you make smarter decisions.  Rather, Food Rules is the distilled advice of Pollan, but is hardly exhaustive of his knowledge.

Additional information:

Official website: Michael Pollan

Interview: Michael Pollan on Democracy Now! (VIDEO) — highly recommended

Excerpt (PBS): The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Excerpt (WorldCat/GoogleBooks): The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Additional websites:  Food, Inc. trailer on POV and Food, Inc. reminder

Official website: Food, Inc. documentary film

Find these items at a library near you! Don’t forget, this website’s official list of library items can also be found here or in our side bar by clicking on the WorldCat logo.

Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan — There is also a GoogleBooks preview, which you can find on WorldCat by clicking under the image of the book cover.  Or, you can click here to be taken there directly.

Food Inc.

Food, Inc.

Food, Inc. documentary film

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Tin Man Cast

Oz will never be the same. Tin Man, a SciFi Channel mini-series production, is one of the best interpretations of L. Frank Baum’s magical world that I have ever seen (and that is saying something). It is hard to beat a cast that includes the likes of Zooey Deschanel, Alan Cumming, Neal McDonaugh, Raoul Trujillo, and Richard Dreyfus; but it is Kathleen Robertson that steals the show as the best villain that the O.Z. has ever seen, Azkadellia. Not one of the performances is less than stellar in this epic story. This is not the fluffy, feel good Oz. This is the harsh and cruel world of the O.Z.

DG (Zooey Deschanel) is a waitress “of 20 annuals” that doesn’t feel at home in her small Midwest town where she and her parents live, but it isn’t long before a storm comes. It isn’t just any storm. It brings with it soldiers sent after DG. She is taken away in the storm and wakes up to find herself in a strange and beautiful land (that looks a lot like Endor), and sets out first to find her parents who were also lost in the storm. Later her quest deepens as she tries to find herself and unlock the secrets of her past. While eluding the evil sorceress that controls the O.Z. (or “Outer Zone”), DG bans together with a small band of resistance fighters, and comes to realize she might just be the key to stopping Azkadellia’s reign of terror and torture.

DG and Azkadellia

DG and Azkadellia

Along the way, there are many references and twists on the old Oz. Of course instead of Dorothy Gale we have DG; the hip, charming, and cute as a button rebel fighter with a good heart. You have the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Wizard, and many more; but they are new interpretations. For example, there is reference to the scarecrow in Glitch (Cummings), a man that has had his brain removed by Azkadellia. And instead of a man literally made of tin with no heart, you have a good man that has had his heart hardened by the O.Z. and seeks revenge (McDonough). Where you once had a cowardly lion, you now have a lion/human psychic (Trujillo), whose entire species has been used and tortured by Azkadellia. The Mystic Man (Dreyfus) replaces the Great and Powerful Oz (and so on). Azkadellia, the new wicked witch, commands an army of mobats and storm troopers. The mobats, monkey bats, are reason enough to watch Tin Man. Especially cool is the fact that when they aren’t flying around the mobats are on her body as super-sexy tattoos.

The Collector’s Edition boasts many special features including a must watch behind the scenes called Beyond the Yellow Brick Road, and interviews with the cast and crew of Tin Man. You can go even further and watch a special on the set with the director, but the behind the scenes is the better of the two. Also, there is of course a gag reel if you are into that sort of thing.

You can find this item at a library near you!

Additionally, the website for Tin Man is worth a look-see (especially if you have a good, fast connection). The official website is at http://www.syfy.com/tinman/ and you can browse the cast, a gallery, a forum, and general about information, but you also can get a tour through the O.Z. (http://www.syfy.com/tinman/oz/).

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Everyone should know who Hardrock, Coco, and Joe are — Santa’s helpers! You also should realize not only how awesome Frosty is, but also how we owe it all to Suzy Snowflake. So, I decided that for my holiday treat to all of you I would share three classics that I grew up with and watch every year. It wouldn’t be the holiday season without them!

Hardrock, Coco, and Joe (my favorite!)

Suzy Snowflake

Frosty the Snowman

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After a long day of shooting video at the library and wishing I was sleeping, I’m finally home and drinking a cup of tea and watching some of my favorite Halloween DVDs.  The Halloween Video Countdown continues! Now it is only 4 Days to Halloween! Today is all about Halloween episodes on television series. It is like candy corn for the soul.

Supernatural

Supernatural is my current television addiction.  The show is about two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, that travel across the country in a 1967 Chevy Impala (to a classic rock soundtrack) hunting demons.  Could it be any better?  Did I mention they are really sexy?  For those already hooked on the show, don’t forget season 4, episode 3, in which the boys roll into a classic horror movie!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
**SPOILER ALERT– Don’t watch this video unless you’ve already seen these episodes**

Like Supernatural, clearly watching just about any Buffy episode is going to be good times for Halloween (or any time, hello!).  However there are two episodes you need to watch for Halloween. The first is season 2, episode 6, in which Buffy and the Scoobies turn into their costumes.  It also should be noted that we get a bit of Oz noticing Willow!  Eep! The next must see episode for Halloween comes in season 4, episode 4, (“Fear Itself”) in which the gang gets locked up in a real house of horrors.  Now, if you are going for creepy, watch the critically acclaimed “Hush” (season 4, episode 10).

The Adventures of Pete and Pete: Season 2, Episode 7, “Halloweenie”
**In addition to Halloweenie, watch this Pete and Pete short**

Halloween is when “the ghouls and goblins of our souls are set free to roam the night and scarf candy.” So, what is Big Pete’s damage? He thinks Halloween is for Halloweenies. The Pumpkin Eaters, “the dark knights of Halloween,” are looking to recruit Big Pete to smash pumpkins and ruin Halloween for everyone.  Can Little Pete help his brother find his Halloween spirit or will it be destroyed forever?

The Muppet Show: Monster Laughs with Vincent Price (VHS) or Best of the Muppet Show – Alice Cooper/Vincent Price/Marty Feldman (DVD)

Now on this one I’m old school.  I have the VHS, but it appears that the same Halloween themed episode is available on DVD now under a new name.  At any rate, this time Kermit holds auditions to be in a Halloween skit and spooky favorite Vincent Price shows up!  Rocker Alice Cooper gets into the mix, too!  The Muppets are amazing and Halloween is amazing so clearly you need to watch this.  I mean, come on…what could be better than Alice Cooper singing “Welcome to my Nightmare” with Muppets!

Looking for the Slutty Pumpkin

Looking for the Slutty Pumpkin

How I Met Your Mother: Season 1, Episode 6, “The Slutty Pumpkin”

In classic Ted fashion, young Mr. Mosby is attempting to find the love of his life.  He is convinced that he needs to find a girl he met years ago at a Halloween party.  She was dressed as a slutty pumpkin.  He was dressed as a hanging chad.  So, despite the seriously dated costume, he wears it year after year in hopes that one year he will once again find his slutty pumpkin. Meanwhile, Barney tries costume after costume in an attempt to get a hot girl to come home with him.

My So-Called Life: Season 1, Episode 9, “Halloween”

It certainly isn’t the best thing ever, but it is free and is kind of a kick to rewatch it many years removed. You can watch all the teenage angst on Hulu. Actually, the entire series is online, but since it is Halloween…what better than the Halloween episode. It is really strange to watch after so many years.  Angela dresses up in some horned rimmed glasses and a cardigan.  She has the book of Nicky Driskal, a boy that supposedly died in the school.  The kids get themselves locked up in the school after hours.  Ghosty craziness ensues, meanwhile, the parents get wrapped up in their costumes.  Oh, the melodrama of it all!

Tomorrow: 3 Days to Halloween, Halloween through the eyes of Tim Burton

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It is that time of year! It is almost Halloween! Over the past several years it is getting harder and harder to find good Halloween viewing on television to get in the mood. Thankfully, now with the proliferation of video players at home and online viewing, it is easier to get our hands on Halloween themed goodies so we can gorge ourselves on Halloween fare of any variety. Over the next week I will post some of my suggested viewing to get into the Halloween spirit!

5 Days to Halloween: Halloween for the Young, and Young at Heart

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Clearly, the first two choices on this list are not new to a lot of people, but I was shocked and horrified to find out not everyone knew that both Charlie Brown and Garfield have classic Halloween specials.  The Peanuts Halloween special now comes out in a Remastered Deluxe Edition.  This edition includes two other Charlie Brown specials : It’s Magic, Charlie Brown; and We Need a Blockbuster, Charlie Brown.  But to be honest, we all are much more interested in watching Linus as he and Sally wait for the Great Pumpkin to rise from the pumpkin patch, Charlie Brown in the most memorable ghost costume of all time, and Snoopy’s adventures as the WWI fighting ace.

Garfield’s Halloween Adventure

Garfield's Halloween Adventure

Garfield’s Halloween is the best of all the Garfield specials (which is saying something).  Garfield’s holiday specials are an annual tradition. Lucky for you, the Halloween special comes with Garfield’s Thanksgiving and A Garfield Christmas.  Garfield and Odie go trick-or-treating and have a memorable adventure complete with that crazy old man, ghost pirates, and great songs. I for one know them all by heart to this day.  “What Should I Be” is the best part of the entire special, but that is just one weird librarian’s opinion (although I doubt that I’m alone in this). Dead pirates and candy, candy, candy! What more could anyone want?!

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-rabbit

Aardman has been delighting us with Wallace and Gromit for years, but previously only in shorts. The huge undertaking to create a feature length Wallace and Gromit movie was well worth the wait and does not disappoint. Also included on the DVD are great bonus features. Not only are there deleted scenes and activities, but there are also amazing behind the scenes bonuses (including how to make a bunny like from the movie) and another Aardman short called “Stagefright.” Our favorite cheese loving inventor has set up business with his dog, Gromit (the real brains behind the operation), to humanely take care of the rabbit problem before the town’s vegetable competition. But of course something goes terribly wrong and the Curse of the Were-rabbit is unleashed on gardens great and small…it is a vegetarian horror film after all. Also, Wallace has found a new love interest in Lady Tottington — the same woman that the villain of the story has his eye on. Oh, the drama! The suspense! The watermelon!

Count Duckula

Count Duckula is a cartoon, vegetarian, vampire, duck: unlike the vampires of *Twilight he actually is a vegetarian. He once was a blood sucking vampire, but when he was brought back to life ketchup was used instead of blood. Now, much to the chagrin of his butler Igor, he is repulsed by blood and violence. Along with Igor and the half-wit (but loving) maid, Nanny, Count Duckula travels through space and time in his teleporting castle. And don’t forget other characters, like Dr. Von Goosewing (Duckula’s Van Helsing of course). The show is silly to say the least. Monty Python fans will certainly appreciate this cult classic. The fact alone that one of the episodes is called “Mutinous Penguins” should really be enough to sell you.

*If you hate or love Twilight, and have a sense of humor about it, you should watch this video. Honestly, it is one of the funniest things I have seen all year.

Twilight: The Broodening

Tomorrow: 4 Days to Halloween, Halloween on TV

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