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As a bonafide TV buff, I like to think I’m quite knowledgeable on most of the great shows in television history.
As a bonafide hater of sci-fi and aliens all my life – there is one series I always made a point of avoiding, despite being well aware of its important place in the entertainment canon.
Growing up I was always watching something, but as soon as Star Trek came on I would flip the channel. I thought the aliens were hideously terrifying, and it didn’t make sense to me that the humans and aliens cavorted together.
As a child I hated anything alien related, though. The thought of life on other planets seemed like the scariest thing imaginable. I remember literally crying at a friends house when she forced me to watch Independence Day.
Then I met my boyfriend – who happens to be a true blue sci-fi nerd (he literally wore a vintage Star Trek tee on our first date). As it goes when you fall for someone, you start to open the more closed parts of your mind to things you might have previously wrote off, in order to see things through their eyes.
I’ve now watched Alien, Aliens, Prometheus, Terminator, and now even Star Trek.
I actually had the chance to catch the 2009 movie revamp of Star Trek recently at the Sony Centre, where the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony masterfully played composer Michael Giacchino’s epic score live.
I’ve wrote before about how incredible it is to watch a movie with the score being performed live in front of you, and this experience was just as beautiful.
Last time though, it was a film I had watched countless times, so I was able to pay more attention to the musicians onstage since I always knew what was about to happen onscreen.
This time, being so completely new to the Star Trek world – for most of the screening I almost forgot they were even there – which is a testament to the level of musicianship conductor Erik Ochsner and his team excel at, as well as a testament to the film storyline itself being so strong and compelling.
Would I have loved it as much if I were watching the original with Shatner and Nimoy? I’m not so sure. I actually sat down to watch the original movie over Easter and fell asleep – so I can’t claim I found it quite as compelling. But the revamp was shot with the same adrenaline and humour as modern day action adventure films like The Avengers, so it impressed me in a way I wasn’t quite expecting.
With Leonard Nimoy’s recent passing before the screening, they also used the night as a tribute to the legend, and it was nice to see the Sony Centre screens lit up with his iconic moments as the night came to an end. I finally understand exactly why the fans love Spock so much.
Star Trek Live In Concert is currently touring cities across North America, find the schedule here.
Remember the days of Kids In The Hall? The days when MuchMusic was your favourite thing on TV because they actually played music? And for my parents generation, maybe you even remember SCTV and the original Degrassi?
There was a time when Canadian TV was all about innovation, despite the tiny budget. No – because of the tiny budget. But that tiny budget also meant we could never compete with American broadcasters in primetime.
If you’ve been following the CRTC rulings lately, you’ll know some great things have been put into action – for example, them forcing the big name providers to offer a basic TV package for $25, and then allowing you to pick and choose the extra channels you want.
As a self professed TV nerd, I am all for this. Rogers and Bell have been ripping off cable users for a damn long time, and this kind of ruling was absolutely necessary.
But the ruling Ed the Sock is talking about is different. CRTC also passed a rule to loosen the daytime CanCon requirements for TV producers, and there will no longer be genre protection for specialty channels – meaning MuchMusic doesn’t have to play any music (though that stopped happening ages ago), and History Channel doesn’t have to show any history – as Ed puts it.
For the most part, I agree with what Ed is saying – equating money with innovation is always wrong. That’s exactly why I think the best art is always the first thing the artist releases, when they are poor and struggling and full of innovation and passion and desire. The first album, the first novel, the first film or TV show, that’s the stuff that sticks in the cannon throughout an artists life for a reason.
Having no budget means you have no choice but to be your most creative self.
On the other hand, I don’t think it’s wrong for the CRTC to want Canadian productions to be able to increase production values so that our industry can at least try to compete with what the American networks produce.
There’s a reason we watch more American television than Canadian, and it’s not because we don’t have the talent and skill to make shows as great as our Southern friends – it’s because the budgets up here are nothing compared to what they are down there.
Tons of American shows are shot and produced up here (Hannibal being my absolute favourite) – the difference between that show and the Canadian made shows we ignore on CBC is the budget – which trickles into the actors they can hire, the ability to have one consistent showrunner onboard from the pilot to the finale, the directors they can afford, the writers, the production design, the shooting locations, and so on and so on.
Maybe Canadians like keeping our TV in a specialized “Canadiana” stereotype world of Trailer Park Boys and Corner Gas, but if that were true, Canadians wouldn’t spend the majority of their TV time watching American and British produced shows.
That said, more money does not equal more innovation, but it does allow the innovators to translate the vision they have in their head into the one we see on the screen – rather than shooting a version they end up ashamed of because the budget didn’t leave any room for that vision to be realistically created.
Hear his thoughts below, and let me know what you think about the new changes.
Last week, I did something I normally loathe doing – I woke up and was out the door before 8am. I have never been, and quite likely never will be, a morning person.
Normally, you’d be hard pressed to find me awake at that hour unless it’s for something specifically related to a job, but this time it was for the sake of shoes. Spa treatments and shoes.
Skechers knows how to create a morning worth waking up extra early for.
The spring summer 2015 preview of the new line of Skechers took place at Elmwood Spa – the definition of a high end, luxury spa that is worth paying a premium for.
Upon arriving, I was asked if I would like a foot massage and then treated to a delicious breakfast spread – is there any better way to start a morning than this? I think the world would be filled with happy people if everyone got to start their day with happy feet.
After my toes were exfoliated and relaxed, I entered the showroom where we all got a good look at the massive variety of shoes Skechers currently produces.
Admittedly, the last time I owned Skechers was probably grade 8, but back in those days I absolutely adored this brand.
You were the cool kid at school if you were lucky enough to have a pair.
I specifically remember my beloved baby blue chunky foam wedges, my first pair of heeled shoes – I had lusted after them for a while before my parents agreed to buy them for me. I wore them so much that summer that they were grey once fall came around and it was time to start wearing boring shoes again.
While it has been over a decade since I last owned a pair, that is because I had always associated them with running shoes once I outgrew the girls style shoes I had once adored – and sneakers aren’t a type of shoe I wear unless I’m in a gym – AKA never.
But I quickly found out just how expansive the brand has become. While comfortable sneakers for women are obviously their main appeal, they have boot styles that I would happily purchase, and shoes suitable for work - but much more comfortable than the typical dress shoe. AKA I want all of these.
I was lucky enough to take home a pair of their rainbow Skech-Knit Mesh Flex Appeal Memory Foam sneakers as seen above, and man, if I knew running shoes could look this cool and feel this comfortable I might not have had an aversion to wearing them on my walks and while running errands.
The knit idea allows them to be incredibly comfortable – you know how typical athletic shoes don’t really allow your feet to move, and then the leather ends up cracking where your foot bends when you actually do run in them? These will never give you that problem. It also allows them to come in amazing colours and patterns that you would otherwise never see on a shoe.
And can we talk about the idea of built-in memory foam insoles? YES please. I don’t know why this concept doesn’t exist with every shoe that is ever made. It’s essentially a custom insole for your foot – and if you struggle with foot pain as much as I do you’ll understand just how valuable that is.
The knit shoes (and most of their other styles) are also sleeker than most running shoes, they fit closer to your foot, weigh very little, and don’t look bulky on. They’re the perfect shoe to wear to yoga and pilates class – I’ve always struggled with what to wear with my lulus on the way to classes because regular running shoes make you look like bigfoot when you’re wearing tights, and nice shoes look odd with athletic wear.
These are the perfect solution.
It’s safe to say I am happily back on the Skechers train after a 15 year hiatus.
How gorgeous is this live soundtrack to Canadian filmmaker Norman McLaren’s 1971 classic, Synchromy ? Absolutely Free was asked to create a new soundtrack this year at TIFF for a special multimedia event, Re-sounding The Films of Norman McLaren.
McLaren’s work and Absolutely Free’s music go incredibly well together.
Also, loving this reminder of TIFF’s Festival Square, and how much fun it was to have King Street closed down that first weekend – not to mention the live music stage.
Remember when we could still be outside and listen to music? Damn you, winter.
Just in time for Christmas, you have the chance to win a brand new Samsung Galaxy Alpha from Virgin Mobile.
As you may know, I am very loyal to the Samsung brand, and have been ever since the Galaxy S III gave me a smartphone alternative to the iPhone that actually compared (and surpassed considering the price difference). Now that I’m on the S5, I still think it’s the greatest.
Also great is paying $45 a month for unlimited text, talk and data – the big three can never compete with that .
While I haven’t had the chance to try the Alpha yet, I’ve heard nothing but good things, and I have no reason to doubt it isn’t as great (or better) than my S5. I am definitely jealous of whoever wins this one! I would love to try it.
Anyhow – the cool part about this phone is that, when you purchase it from Virgin, $5 from every sale goes to their RE*Generation foundation, which helps at-risk and homeless youth find jobs.
Speaking of RE*Generation, if you’re not in need of a new smartphone but still want to help a great cause (and see some awesome tunes), Dan Mangan + Blacksmith will be playing the Mod Club on Monday December 15th in support of it. Tickets are $20 and on sale now, and all proceeds go directly to the cause.
You get to see one of Canada’s finest live performers bring his best collaboration to date to the stage while helping kids find much desired employment – if that isn’t a win, I don’t know what is.
Anyhow, if you do want a chance at the phone, you have a few options to enter. Each option counts for one entry.
1) Sign up for the upcoming (look out for TTRO’s relaunch in 2015) weekly newsletter, which will round up the week’s posts so you don’t miss things like this in the future:
2) Like TTRO on Facebook and comment on the status update about this giveaway.
3) Follow me on Twitter, and tweet exactly this ONCE ONLY, no spamming please: “Hey @Lisa_TTRO I want to win a Samsung Galaxy Alpha for Christmas http://wp.me/pWBir-2RT #regeneration.”
4) Follow me on Instagram, and heart the photo about this giveaway when it is posted.
Keep in mind that this is a Virgin Mobile Canada phone, so that limits it to Canadians (or people who know a Canadian and want to surprise them with this for Christmas) only.
That’s it! You have until December 17th at midnight to enter, and the winner will be contacted the next day via the email they used to subcribe to the newsletter – so make sure that’s the one you do if you only do one of the above 4 things.