Author Archive

REVIEW: Watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch on YouTube

Posted on December 30, 2008 by

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It’s just about blizzarding outside. It’s just about blizzarding outside and I live in a charming but kinda dinky basement apartment. So it’s hella-snowing outside, I live underground, and as such there is little else in this world that I want to do more than curl up with my laptop and watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch on YouTube.

Second only to Josie and the Pussycats in terms of live-action adaptations of peripheral Archie comic characters, Sabrina succeeds at more than simply following the obligatory format of a family-friendly high school-centred sit-com, though it definitely does. What makes the show so magic – heh, you get it… do you get it? – is its complete irrationality, and the ability to explain away any potential plot holes with the fact that Sabrina and her aunts Hilda and Zelda are witches. Narrative gold!

Sabrina’s best friend from the show’s first season (Jenny, a pretty girl with curly hair and countercultural leanings) disappears without an explanation to be replaced by a far inferior pal (the neurotic and co-dependent Valerie) in the second season. But who cares? Look, a cameo by Davey Jones from the Monkees! Paul Feig (Sabrina’s cynical science teacher in season one)’s absence is never noted either, when yet another neurotic lady is brought in to fill the shoes of a well-liked character from season one. But, hey, here’s Penn and Teller! One of the most important lessons I have gleaned from this well-structure show is that there is virtually no problem that a surprise visit from Eric Estrada can’t solve. Though I already had a hunch about that one.

There are countless other nerd reasons why I genuinely love this show, even though it clearly jumped the shark when they made the grievous error of sending Sabrina to college (hey, Degrassi: The Next Generation, are you listening?). I mean, come on! Melissa Joan Hart’s Sabrina and her subsequent role as a teen starlet in such exceptional films as Drive Me Crazy and Can’t Hardly Wait totally cement that TGIF ideal of my early adolescence, when watching 20/20, which aired at 10 o’clock on ABC after Sabrina and its cohorts, made you so totally in the know with how the world really was. Not to mention the fact that Sabrina’s father in the show is the same actor who provided the voice for Prince Alexander in the stunning 1992 point-and-click adventure game King’s Quest VI, which also had a solid hand in the formation of the socially graceful, upright citizen I am today.

So, in conclusion… oh man, I don’t know. In conclusion, I will never find love because I spend my time watching sit-coms from when I was twelve on YouTube and can identify the voice actors of computer game characters that spent half of the game telling you, “I don’t want to pick that up.” Good grief.

Hits & Misses, Live, Old Stuff | | 19 Comments »

An Open Letter to Michael Cera by Suzanne Sutherland

Posted on November 21, 2008 by

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Dear Michael Cera,

Hi, how are you? You always seem like such a likeable, down-to-earth sort of guy that it seemed like a good idea to write you a letter. In the following letter I hope you will find that I have recently enjoyed Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, that I am very excited for the “pre-production” (IMDB) Scott Pilgrim movie, and that I have, as a whole, enjoyed your career in film and television thus far.

First and foremost, I would like to say how much I enjoyed your work in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. I know that there’s a lot of haters out there, but your ability to stick to your charmingly awkward guns in this YA novel-turned heart-warming teen rom-com stole my heart in addition to the $4 I had in my wallet that I was planning on buying pizza with.

Secondly, I would like to express how excited I am that you will be starring in the upcoming Scott Pilgrim movie. I live just up the street from Honest Ed’s, so if you were ever to get hungry while filming this winter you could come by for soup or something. I’ve been watching some of Clark and Michael. It was my interpretation from the show that you enjoy soup. Please say hi to Clark for me, by the way. I saw part of an episode of Greek one time while I was on my way out somewhere. It seemed pretty okay.

The third thing I’d like to focus on in this letter is your previous accomplishments and how much I’ve enjoyed them and/or how much they’ve meant to me. Aside from the aforementioned Clark and Michael, I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed your work on Arrested Development, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, as well as in Superbad. Juno was okay, I guess. I liked it when I first saw it, but the more time people spent talking about it and listening to the Moldy Peaches the more I was all, “Hold on guys.”

In this letter I sought to prove that I enjoy your work, Michael, and that I have a relatively great knowledge of your career in film and television. I feel that my overarching use of the “hamburger essay method” has led to a well-structured and overall good letter. In conclusion, I would like to remind you of my offer for soup, or to otherwise crash on the couch in my living room if the situation were ever to come up (it’s a pull-out!).

Yours ’til butter flies,
Suzanne Sutherland

Old Stuff | | 3 Comments »

REVIEW: Infest Wisely (DVD)

Posted on September 11, 2008 by

Infest Wisely, a collaborative lo-fi sci-fi film, written by Jim Munroe and directed in seven chapters by Munroe and six other directors is… well, why don’t you digest that sentence first. Okay, seven chapters, seven directors, crazy nanotechnology that appears to make the Toronto of the future a better place, but oh wait! This crazy nanotechnology is actually going to take over everyone’s brains! Brutal.

Anyway, it’s my humble opinion that there is nothing wrong with a movie that features a talking cat, bike chase, and the destruction of a shoebox model city. Throw in a ‘high tech photo viewer’ (for the pictures people can take by blinking their eyes!) which is actually the same dollar store cutting board my mom uses — with photos superimposed over it — and you have a charming low budget dystopian flick that wears its politics like a silk-screened bike gang patch on its sleeve.

DVD, Hits & Misses | | 3 Comments »

Because your kids have better things to do than listen to Sharon, Lois and Bram condescend to them about elephants

Posted on July 11, 2008 by

Last month, the city’s most hopeful small press racketeers crammed their earnest handshakes into the gymnasium of the JCC at Spadina and Bloor for the Toronto Small Press Book Fair.

Having only minutes to check the scene out—dashing to work from a family garden party, at which candy sushi was served—my eyes fell on by far the coolest tablers there: Bronwyn and Madeleine Kay.

The young sisters were each hawking their wares, Bronwyn’s Kitty Corner, focused on all things feline, and Madeleine’s Curdled Way, with emphasis on guinea pigs and horse drawings.

Regardless of the ages of the Kay sisters, and their occasionally creative spelling, their zines are some of the most inspiring things I’ve read in a while. I mean come on — Kitty Corner features the untitled poem “I am a cat I don’t know why I am a / Cat why oh why.” Were you that existential at age nine? Doubtful!

Still, as rad as the Kay sisters are, they’re not the only pre-pubescent cool kids who have probably done things twice as awesome as the things you lie about to your friends. More… »

Old Stuff | | 2 Comments »