Monday, December 19, 2011

GGS 005: Introducing the Em City Podcast

In this podcast, Geek Girls Amelia and Susan are joined by Chris to discuss their upcoming watch of HBOs' groundbreaking hour-long drama OZ. The network's first dramatic series aired 56 episodes from July 1997 to February 2003. Tom Fontana created this series after success on network television with St. Elsewhere and Homicide: Life on the Streets. Since OZ was filmed in New York and New Jersey, viewers will recognize many of the actors from Homicide, Law & Order, and other shows filmed nearby. After OZ, many actors went on to their own shows - Edie Falco (Sopranos, Nurse Jackie), Christopher Meloni (Law & Order SVU), JK Simmons (The Closer), and Dean Winters (Mayhem on the Allstate commercials).

Oz is the nickname for the Oswald State Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison, run by Leo Glynn. Most of the show centers around prisoners and staff in cell block 5, an experimental unit called Emerald City run by Tim McManus. He started the unit in an attempt to focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment. To help us on our journey through OZ, Fontana gives each episode a theme explained by the show's narrator Augustus Hill, played by Harold Perrineau (LOST fans will recognize him as Michael Dawson. Hill is usually seen in a revolving glass cell when presenting the audience with needed background information and words of wisdom.

You can catch the episodes on the HBOGO app or rent or borrow the DVDs. Join us in January as we begin our look at this HBO original series.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dear Mr. Twisp

In light of our recent book podcast I thought I'd post my thoughts on one of my all-time favorite literary characters. 

What a long strange trip it’s been. I began the journey with Youth In Revolt 15 years ago and earlier this year read Revolting Youth. As a girl part of me loved Nick Twisp. Not in a weird, psychotic, can’t-tell-the-difference-between-fiction-and-reality kind of way, but in a way that I think one should fall for literary characters. Perhaps in the way a young girl is “supposed” to fall in love with Mr. Darcy. My 17-year-old self found him intriguing. He was nerdy and well read. He was the only other teenager I knew who was as fascinated with Frank Sinatra as I was. The lengths he was willing to go to for the girl he loved could put modern day vampires of the sparkling variety to shame. I think what really attracted me to this character, as is the thing that continues to attract me to men in life, is the sarcastic wit that borders on obnoxiousness. He was told to “watch [his] smart mouth” more times than I ever was but that can be attributed to the fact that I was never brave enough (at that age) to say the things I thought.
Rereading Youth in Revolt almost proved a devastating turn for me. Seeing Nick through thirty-something eyes was a completely different experience that I hadn’t counted on. I probably should have seen it coming. Holden Caufield was a much different “person” to me when I was 21 than he had been when I was 14. It happens…but this time it nearly broke my heart. From an adult perspective Nick doesn’t just border obnoxious. He waves to those of us who sometimes occupy that land from a safe distance in asshole-ville. It’s true…or at least it seems true. I’m having trouble deciding whether or not my glasses are in fact rose-coloured.
By the end of Revolting Youth, a journey that took so many twists and turns I would sometimes end a chapter feeling rather dizzy, I wasn’t quite sure what to think of Nick. I knew I didn’t love him the same way I had, but I wasn’t quite ready to let him go. This character was so much a part of my youth I actually think the sardonic defense mechanisms I’ve used throughout my early adulthood are 50% me and 50% Twispian.
Don’t get me wrong. I still appreciate Nick for who he is. I won’t forever think of him as an asshole. I’d rather think of him as a carnival ride…you know there’s a chance it’ll make you sick, you just can’t resist riding the ride.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Geek Girl's Christmas Movies


Well, it's that very special time of year when we celebrate family by gathering together, exchanging gifts, and eating a big meal. Some families watch the classics together, for example Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, or It's a Wonderful Life. In every family, there is a rebel who decides to turn the channel and try something different. Many of the movies I enjoy are centered around Christmas, but have a foot in another genre as well. Here are some of those non-traditional Christmas movies and shows.

elf (2003) In this film starring Will Ferrell, a "giant" man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to New York City in search of his biological father. This is a Christmas comedy, made when Will Ferrell was the funniest man on the planet.

Scrooged (1988) This is the classic story of "A Christmas Carol," but with Bill Murray as the grumpy Ebenezer Scrooge, but updated as a TV executive visited by three spirits on Christmas Eve.

Bad Santa (2003) This is a dark comedy starring Billy Bob Thornton, who plays an alcoholic conman who with his partner poses as Santa (and his Little Helper) to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. They run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss (Bernie Mac) discovers the plot. This was also John Ritter's final film

Die Hard (1988) & Die Hard 2 (1990) Classic action movies that take place on two consecutive Christmas Eves. Both star Bruce Willis as police officer John McLane who rescues his wife and many other people from terrorists. Twice!

A Christmas Story (1983) A "modern classic": little Ralphie tries to convince his parents to get him a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. For many years, this has been shown for 24 hours December 24-25, and I have been known to watch it at least once during that time. One of my friends even has a leg lamp.

Trading Places (1983)  This oft' quoted movie starring Dan Ackroyd, Eddie Murphy, and Jamie Lee Curtis was a staple of the holidays for years - looking good, feeling good...

If you don't have time for a whole movie, watch the Christmas episode of your favorite show. Many of the Southpark Christmas specials are streaming on Netflix! Community is on hulu!

What will you be watching this holiday season?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

GGS 004 The Book Podcast

We finally did it, talked about our first set of book recommendations. Here's the list of the ones we talked about, so go out there and download an audiobook, an ebook, or read a good old paper and ink book!

Susan's Picks:

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
  Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  Harry Potter and the Socerer's Stone
  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

 Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
   The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
   The Girl Who Played with Fire
   The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

 The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
   The Hunger Games
   Catching Fire

 Southern Vampire Series by Charlaine Harris
   Dead Until Dark
   Living Dead in Dallas
   Club Dead
   Dead to the World
   Dead as a Doornail
   Definitely Dead
   All Together Dead
   From Dead to Worse
   Dead and Gone
   Dead in the Family
   Dead Reckoning
   Deadlocked (2012)

 A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin
   A Game of Thrones
   A Clash of Kings
   A Storm of Swords
   A Feast for Crows
   A Dance with Dragons

 The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard

 Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata

Amelia's Picks:

Nick Twisp Novels by C.D. Payne
  Youth in Revolt
  Revolting Youth
  Young and Revolting
  Revoltingly Young

 The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard

 I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne with Chris Ayres

 Ooh! What a Lovely Pair: Our Story (Ant & Dec) by Ant McPartlin, Declan Donnelly

 The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson

 Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox

 Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

Saturday, December 3, 2011

GGS 003: Moral Orel, The Best Christmas Ever

In this episode, Susan and Amelia celebrate the holiday spirit by recording a commentary on The Best Christmas Ever episode of Moral Orel. Cue up your DVD or watch online at and enjoy.