Lights. Camera, Action!

movie lights

One of the things I love about living in Glendale is seeing all the TV Shows, Commercials, Films, Music Videos being made. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a celebrity in this town but I love the buzz, the excitment, the lights and the cameras. Plus it doesn’t matter if we are watching Will Ferrell streaking through Montrose, Eddie Murphey playing with the kids in Verdugo Park in Daddy Day Care, or the Sons of Anarchy crew in Montrose it’s always fun to spot your town on the TV or Silver Screen. Hollywood might be over the hill but sometimes it’s just around the corner.

What shows have you seen on TV/Film/Video that were filmed in Glendale?

No News is Good News


I turn on the news with total trepidation, and more often lately, dread.  Typically the first five stories are about death, political unrest, the failing US economy, or terrorism. I seriously don’t know why I bother, yet I am literally aware of the latest breaking news throughout the day.  We no longer get our news only at 5:00 or 6:00.  We see it on TV throughout the day, hear it in our cars, and browse for it on our computers at will 24/7.

Unfortunately, mainstream news is morphing into tabloid sensationalism.  Breaking News – Lindsey Lohan is heading back to jail.  Really?!?  Taylor Armstrong’s husband commits suicide.  Taylor who?  Why does the news media think, no, insist we care?  Are hard news issues so depressing that we’re offered News Light as a friendly diversion or is good news simply not exciting enough?  Not to give the impression that I am totally down on what’s considered news, I have been riveted with the Conrad Murray/Michael Jackson trial, much as I was with the Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson trials. Allowing cameras in the courtroom incurs a level voyeurism that incites (and seduces) the public to form opinions, sometimes erroneous opinions; however; it doesn’t stop here.  There’s the recap programs.  Specifically, Headline News (HLN/Charter Channel 49) with Nancy Grace, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and Dr. Drew asking a variety of talking-head experts who discuss and disseminate the day’s testimony, which further frustrates armchair jurors like myself.  The defense in the Michael Jackson trial will be resting soon, deliberations will begin, but as we’ve learned from the Anthony and Simpson cases, nothing is a slam-dunk.

Several years ago I made a concerted effort to avoid watching late night news based on the premise that I did not want to go to bed with sad thoughts and images freshly implanted in my brain.  Instead I’d watch reruns of Friends, Seinfeld, Sex and the City, or The Daily Show.  At least I’d be laughing myself to sleep.  This experiment lasted a month.  I needed a reality fix – good, bad or otherwise.  I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment.

On the bright side, the best news I’ve heard in years is a clinical study that confirms dark chocolate is healthy to eat every day.  EVERY DAY!  That’s the kind of news we can all agree is a relevant breakthrough in medical science.  I’ll continue to monitor the news because one day the stock market will turn around, our troops will come home, Republicans will pick a candidate, and dammit, I want to be the first to know.

Channel Surfing – Indecision or A.D.D.?





In 1992 Bruce Springsteen released a song titled, “57 Channels and Nothing On.”  Here it is almost 20 years later, and as a long-time Glendale cable subscriber I find myself saying the same thing.  On any given day you’d think I’d be able to settle on something among 177 channels (and those are just the free ones).  Personally, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to commit to watching anything running over 30 minutes.Typical example, on a lazy weekend afternoon after flipping through the full cycle of channels, not once, not twice, but three times, I come across the 1960 classic La Dolce Vita, a movie I have amazingly never seen.  Just 15 minutes into it, I’ve run out of excuses to pass it by.  Though it’s over 50 years old, the theme is still very current – confused, unfulfilled Italian man-about-town meets vivacious American actress hounded by paparazzi in Rome and all the reckless consequences that follows. Eventually it becomes tedious to divide my attention between the subtitles and action on the screen.  After 35 minutes, my wanderlust is reactivated.  I change the channel AGAIN, and end up watching the last 10 minutes Toy Story 3 (which I’ve seen before).  Terminal cuteness wins over sophistication and nostalgia.

More often I find myself sitting in front of the TV while simultaneously browsing the internet on my laptop.  In between checking e mail, looking for recipes, and Google-ing random trivia.  That’s not to say I don’t have favorites: Modern Family, 30 Rock, Criminal Minds, Project Runway, and What Not to Wear.  Don’t hate me because I don’t watch Dancing with the Stars (recaps on Access Hollywood are enough) but I totally get why it’s so popular.  I’m not above lovingSouth Park and Family Guy.  Hoarders is a guilty pleasure.We’re inundated with information more than ever and feeling truly satisfied with none of it, which is why we conclude there’s nothing on.  I’ve never believed that television is the “vast wasteland” as some detractors portray it. In fact, those people really piss me off.  There’s something out there for everybody.  Finding it is now a major challenge.

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