Monday, December 28, 2009

Best of 2009: My Life, Made Possible By Pop Culture Pieces...

A producer I used to work with once told me that 2010 would be my year, and while I still hope he was right, I can't help but notice that 2009 was a pretty strong start for my writing career already. Sure, I still have three manuscripts sitting unpublished, and I am not yet on staff at Entertainment Weekly, LA Times, or Good Day LA, but I don't have as far to go as I did when I first started this site. After all, finally getting back into red carpet reporting and film and TV reviewing has given me countless new clips for my portfolio. And I have gone through the year's posts to select my favorite one from each month to serve as a summary of the year's happenings in pop culture.

Though this column was started for a Guest Columnist stint with "i am that girl," the first interview, with actress Krista Allen, was a featured interview on "My Life, Made Possible By Pop Culture" first and foremost. What was intended to be a 20-minute, 500-word piece turned into an hour and a half conversation that could have filled multiple essays. Allen was full of wisdom and victory in this interview, one of the last she gave before taking a break from the Hollywood scene, proving she is anything but what people stereotypically expect from her.
- Archived from January 2009

Facebook has undergone countless "face lifts" this year, supposedly to make the interface faster, easier to navigate, and more efficient. However, back in the first quarter of the year, there were still quite a few bugs to be worked out, and I took a look at some of what I thought were the most annoying quirks of the social networking site, on which I-- admittedly-- was already hooked.
- Archived from February 2009

Inspired by Mariah Carey's Honey B. Fly Club contest for fans to submit their favorite songs of hers for consideration in her "anniversary" "Best Of" countdown, I took to this site and ranked my ten favorites (with videos and brief explanations) from her first fourteen (compilations included) studio albums.
-Archived from March 2009

After season three, many fans and critics alike started to discount Desperate Housewives, but the Paley Center for Media stuck with the cast and crew long enough to realize its rebirth of sorts with the 2008-2009 season should be celebrated. They produced a panel with Marc Cherry and some of the cast during their Spring 2009 Paley Fest, which I attended and covered for
- Archived from April 2009

Okay, admittedly this never became a monthly, or even bimonthly occurrence, as I found that all of the work that went into getting panelists, shooting, editing, and then re-shooting and re-editing if there was "late breaking news" was just too time-consuming considering I still had my day job at The Corporation. But this experience was extremely fun and a little taste at what Chelsea Handler's life must be like with her nightly roundtable!
- Archived from May 2009

Stealing the subjects (such as "Must Movie" and "Must Scapegoat for the Moral Decline of Modern Society") from an Entertainment Weekly article may have been a slight cop-out, but the ideas and selections were all originals. It was the first "Must List" column of what will probably become bi-yearly.
- Archived from June 2009

Honestly, I'm just impressed I managed to write anything in July at all, let alone anything about this experience. Moving back to New York to take care of my mother in her final days was the most terrifying, angering, and humbling thing I have ever done-- and perhaps will ever have to do. Although it taught me a great deal about what I am capable of, I cannot rightly say that it only made me stronger. But maybe that is a conclusion I will come to over time...
- Archived from July 2009

Returning to LA at the end of the summer jump-started my career in celebrity interviews. This was the first month I did a number of them, and it was hard to select just one. Knowing that I had to-- and that it was the month in which I first met those GLEE kids who became such a phenomenon-- the choice seemed to be made for me, though. Covering their Hollywood stop on their mall tour-publicity tour, each and every kid was friendly and eager to chat with fans and press alike.
- Archived from August 2009

2009 was the first year that Disney held a D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center. Advertised as the "Comic Con for Disney geeks," I more than happily filled my gas tank and spent the weekend driving back and forth to Orange County to take in seminars on Pixar animation advancements, the making of Toy Story Mania for Disneyland California Adventure, and the future of The Muppets franchise. My favorite, though, was the one part Disney trivia, one part cultural and one part historical trip into Disney Records' archives, "From Annette to Miley."
- Archived from September 2009

After countless announcements from the various studios about a new Ghostbusters, Scream, and even Death at a Funeral, I took a look at whether or not remakes really are less risks-- financially as well as creatively-- than new releases. I utilized a few examples from this fall only, but it is the kind of case study that really could be revisited every few months.
- Archived from October 2009

November was a ridiculously hard month to narrow down. It was the time when I visited the set of The New Adventures of Old Christine, had a call with the It's Always Sunny... guys, and looked at both Fearless Females in Comedy as well as Modern TV Villains. I think, though, the most fun piece to work on-- as well as to read-- was my interview with Joel McHale and Ken Jeong of NBC's Community. I had only covered the show once before-- a couple of months earlier during an advanced screening of the pilot-- and quite frankly I was somewhat disappointed in the lack of character development within the program. However, these guys are so likable, and they create so many laughs, they endeared the show to me even more. And I think I managed to capture their voices and relationship pretty well in the write-up!
- Archived from November 2009

After attending the CW preview day back in September, I got super excited about their new family drama (then titled Parental Discretion Advised). Unfortunately for me, the show was not put on the fall line-up. But fortunately for me, their January premiere date gave me ample time to get the network to know and like me and get me exclusive interviews with the cast and creator. Though I spoke to Kerr Smith and Kristoffer Polaha separately, I combined their sentiments into this one epic transcript style article. And to date, I have been the only television writer to talk to these guys, but I sincerely hope more will follow because they-- and their show-- are awesome and deserve the positive press!!
- Archived from December 2009

What the hell can next year hold??

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