Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Case for Miranda Hobbs

I would like to make a case for Miranda Hobbs, arguably the least popular of the gal pals featured on HBO's "Sex and the City" and upcoming movie. Smart, driven, honest and confident I can see how she isn't your typical female character. Unlike Carrie, she was financially stable and owned her own home. She was a loyal friend and often put their problems over her own, unlike Charlotte. She enjoyed sex, like Samantha, but unlike her she also enjoyed steady relationships. And unlike all the girls, she ended the show with the single woman's dream: the career, the guy, the kid, the house and the maid.

Unconventionally level-headed and straight-minded, Miranda Hobbs was a unique addition to the canon of women TV characters. She defied a slew of stereotypes that labeled women as either bleeding heart wanna-be housewives or hard as nails man-haters. Un-self-conscious in a way that most women on TV can only dream, Miranda endeared herself to me during those moments when she simultaneously showed off that Harvard Law education and that healthy dose of estrogen. She was Carrie's best friend, probably because she would put her in her place every once in awhile (remember when Carrie skipped out on helping Miranda up from the bathroom floor, and sent Aiden instead? Carrie didn't apologize and immediately launched into an essay on her problems. Miranda was quick to remind her sometimes selfish friend "that's bullshit!") and tried to refrain from judging the other two, even when she didn't agree with their choices.

A credit to the writers, I loved how Miranda truly owned her sexuality, much more than Carrie (hello! Ms. Bradshaw had the most b-o-r-i-n-g sex scenes on the history of HBO) and Charlotte, who disguised her whoreish ways by saying that every guy she met would be her future husband. Next to Sam, she was probably the best in bed...remember when she bedded the hot cop in Season 3 and told him, drunkenly, "I'm no Mena Suvari, but I'm great in bed!"

But the overwhelming evidence that puts Miranda up there as one of my favorite TV characters ever is the fact that she refused to be a doormat for anyone. I'm sure this next statement will come with much flack, but Carrie, Charlotte and even Samantha, allowed the men in their lives to use them, damage them and toss them aside for the next poor sap. Carrie's Big, who consistently pushed her away, got married while they were technically still together and willingly made her the "other woman," can't be blamed for all of that. Carrie can. Charlotte and Trey, who refused to stand up to his mother and allowed Bunnie, his impotency and her barrenness to end their marriage (which, by the way, he ended, not her.) And, to a lesser extent, Samantha and Richard. Miranda wouldn't stand for that nonsense and got the guy anyway.

She stands as a shining beacon of hope for all the women against silly girls everywhere, the voice that reminds us that our lives don't exist to be half of a couple, but to be one whole of a woman. I haven't seen the movie yet, but long live Miranda, Steve, Brady, Magda, Scout and Fatty as an example of what being smart and in love can get you.

As a sidenote: I really do love Carrie, Samantha and Charlotte. I just felt the need to defend Ms. Hobbs and point out to some subjective viewers her many merits.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Reunited and It Feels So Very Good

Break-ups and beefs are sooo 2007. This year has been all about reunions. I've recently been reunited with my favorite teen TV Shows (All That and Saved by the Bell on The N...get into it) and was inspired by all the other B, Big and bigger reunions out there. See my favorites below.

1) Yellow-Blond Beyonce: Yes, her darker 'do was only a temporary, wonderful reprieve before she debuted her tried and true goldie-locks at the Grammy's in February, but since then she has been skirting around the hue with highlights, lowlights and lights all over the place. This past week she has returned, with a vengence, with full-on blonde hair and the old faithful ponytail. Classic Beyonce and I luv it. Curious onlookers also notice the glass of wine in her emphatic pregnancy confirmation was obviously wrong.

2) Carrie & Co: Yes, BG's, the time has come for us to again bow down and worship at the temple of fashion, fur and friendship when the Sex & The City Movie premieres everywhere next weekend. Not only will audiences be reunited with their favorite 40-something freaks, but we will also hail the return of the rare All-Girl Summer Blockbuster, which we only discovered two summers ago with The Devil Wears Prada.

3) The Real HU: My alma mater, the place of so many great firsts and bests and of some of my truest friends. I went home to congratulate my original class, the Class of 2008, and to celebrate their commencement into the adult world. Tequila and a ticket to the Young Alumni Shin-dig at Love both conspired to make a wonderful reunion.

---notice the slightly dazed look in our eyes and the many droplets of alcohol on our dresses, sheer happiness kept us smiling after 1, 2, maybe 3 drinks were spilled on us.

So, So Good,

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Lots of Luv in The Heart of the City

The final show of the MJB/Jay-Z Heart of the City Tour in one word? Perfection. From the circumstances under which my golden ticket was obtained to the last word, bellowed in unison by Mary, Jay and their random final guest Swizz Beatz ("Sweeeeet!!!!"), the performances went off without a hitch, well unless you count the multiple masterbation mimes performed by The Dream's dancers.

So here's the backstory: I work for a marketing company with lots-o ties to the music industry and the beauty company Carol's Daughter as a client, so when Jay and Mary decided to go out on tour our ever-industrious Chief Creative Officer decided to take the Carol's Daughter show along, literally following the tour buses and passing out samples before the concerts and at nearby colleges.

My co-workers and I (collectively known as "the Beauty team," see there we are smiling in front of the wrapped van...the stories behind that vehicle you don't want to know) worked tirelessly on this tour for months so our team leader decided that we deserved to at least experience the show...and her wish was granted! Four impossibly hard to get tickets in impossibly great seats for the impossibly hyped finale of the tour. Sweeeeettt.

Cut to tonight, in Madison Square Garden (my first time there), hit writer turned singer The Dream has wrapped up his short, opening set (taking his four 90's dancing, porn star in the making companions with him) and the clock is ticking in anticipation for the The Dreams that we really came to see -

<----see, there's a literal countdown. The crowd shouts "5, 4, 3, 2, 1" and BOOM! The duo rise out of the floor, standing back to back in matching sparkly ensembles and immediately jump into "Can't Knock the Hustle," the crime-pays record that started it all. Jay-Z falls back and lets the Queen do her thing. Always a fan but never a stan, I really began to understand the hold that Mary has over people, especially the downtrodden and wronged of the world. Opening with the sweetest rap song ever, "You're All I Need," she was soon joined by Method Man himself who spit the whole song and temporarily made me stop hating him for betraying Prop Joe (yes, The Wire is an obsession). She masterfully commanded the crowd as she glided through her barrage of hit songs before tearing up as she belted out the lyrics to "No More Drama," (and not in the cheesy, fake-crying way that Beyonce does). The tears didn't stop as she pushed through some of her sadder songs (read: the My Life album) including a crowd-pleasing "Not Gone Cry," that was complete with black lipstick. She took us to church on each song, crying, kneeling to the floor, spasming and stopping to drop pearls of wisdom in between, telling the men to stay with their women even when things start to droop (her words, not mine) and the women to celebrate their life as it is now but never to lose hope that Prince C will eventually show up.

After almost an hour with the emotional roller coaster that is Mary, Jay takes the stage and represents for the gents. From the coke rhymes ("Dead Presidents," "I Know," etc) to love songs to party anthems to a moving (well, moving to me) tribute to our future Prez Obama complete with a big picture of Bush that we all got to point our middle fingers at, he showed us why he's the most famous rapper alive. But famous as he is, he's still just very expensive arm candy for the hottest chick in the game who came out in all of her thick-thighed, blonde-haired fabulousness to strut and do a little shimmy to their jam, "Crazy In Love." While Jay had the crowd going nuts, B's 15 second performance took it to a new level.

Ending with "Heart of the City" and "You All Are Welcome," which sounds much better live than it does on the radio, the two locked arms with Swizz and exited, stage left. Sweeeetttt.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Does Anyone Else Feel Sorry for Mr. Whitaker?

I recently read on that:
Cash Money rapper Lil Wayne has signed on to co-star in a new major motion picture starring Forest Whitaker, titled The Patriots. Lil Wayne [...] began filming for the movie in his hometown of New Orleans earlier this week. The Patriots is about a basketball team that was assembled of players, who attended five different high schools before Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans.

Given his errant drug use and lack of acting experience leading up to this role, does anyone else feel sorry for Forest Whitaker?