The last time my 14-year-old daughter saw me and my wife being affectionate, she said, "Ewwww, old people kissing." Now, I'm not so old — barely half a century. But let's be frank. My daughter's no different from many people whose objects of fantasy are young and freakishly fit. So even a mild, cutesy little comedy like Hope Springs about two sexagenarians trying to have sex can seem shocking, even transgressive.
Tonight, after NBC wraps up its Olympic coverage — at a time currently listed as 11:04 p.m. — they'll be previewing Matthew Perry's new sitcom, Go On, which will then go away until its regular premiere on September 10.
Meet God, according to Simon Rich. He's a mostly nice dude — compassionate, though he gave up on listening to prayers and intervening in the lives of humans years ago. ("[H]e's really more of an ideas guy, you know?" explains an angel.) He loves golf and the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and he's not averse to enjoying a beer or two during the workday. He's easy to like, except for two things: He's planning to destroy all of humanity so he can focus on opening an Asian fusion restaurant in heaven; and even worse, he's a Yankees fan.
Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 5:09 pm
A couple of years ago, on a weekend in August, I was lying on the beach, reading. The sun shone, the waves crashed, and no plans lay ahead beyond soccer, grilling, maybe a stroll to the ice cream stand. My friend, on the towel next to mine, rolled over lazily and glanced at my book. His brow wrinkled. "Are you enjoying that?" he said, laughing.
Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 11:57 am
My mother was never one for spending money on food that other '80s kids took for granted. Canned ravioli, boxed macaroni and cheese, animal crackers and white bread were the kinds of things my kid palate craved to the point of obsession, forbidden fruits to be enjoyed only at friends' houses.
And while other mothers were stirring up alluring, fluorescent pitchers of Kool-Aid, my mom wouldn't dream of it. She was the queen of the frozen fruit-juice concentrates.
Larry McMurtry is perhaps best known for novels like The Last Picture Show, Terms of Endearment and Lonesome Dove; but the author also has a career as a bookseller.
His store, Booked Up, spills across four buildings in his small hometown of Archer City, Texas, and houses nearly half a million rare and used books. But starting this Friday, McMurtry is holding an auction to whittle down that number — by a lot.
A panel from part one of<em> Insufferable</em>, the first title offered by the comics website <a href="http://Thrillbent.com">Thrillbent.com</a>. The site's creator, comic-book writer Mark Waid, hopes it will redefine comics in the era of smartphones and tablets.
He wouldn't make the claim himself, but when it comes to comic-book writers, Mark Waid is one of the greats.
"I've pretty much hit all of the pop culture bases," Waid says, surrounded by comic-book memorabilia in his Los Angeles home. Batman, Spider-Man and even The Incredibles have all had adventures dreamed up by Waid.
"Jan. 26, 1979, was the most important day of my life," Waid says. "Because that's the day that I saw Superman: The Movie. I came out of it knowing that no matter what the rest of my life was going to be like, it had to involve Superman somehow."
Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) reluctantly agrees to go to couples therapy with his wife, Kay (Meryl Streep), in <em>Hope Springs</em>. The film, directed by <em>The Devil Wears</em> <em>Prada</em>'s David Frankel, is a refreshingly subdued take on marital conflict.
Credit Barry Wetcher / Sony Pictures
Steve Carell plays Dr. Bernard Feld, Kay and Arnold's marriage counselor. The therapy scenes between the three go on for longer than expected and play like chamber pieces for the theater.
The act of sharing decades of your life with one person lends itself to repetition. If you aren't careful, repetition becomes routine, routines become ruts, and then, for the terminally uncommunicative, ruts dig themselves so deep that they become the sort of soul-sucking bottomless trench in which Kay and Arnold, the married couple played by Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones in Hope Springs, find themselves.
The Festival Theater in Stratford, Ontario, is the main venue for the town's annual Stratford Shakespeare Festival. The town lies on the Avon River — just like Shakespeare's British birthplace — and had schools named after Romeo and Juliet before the festival started in 1953.
Credit Richard Bain / Stratford Shakespeare Festival
This summer, NPR's Destination Art series is going off the beaten path to visit small to midsize North American cities that have cultivated lively arts scenes. We want to hear from you! Where's your favorite art hot spot? What makes it unique? <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=156306412"><strong>Tell us about it.</strong></a>
Credit Brian Santa Maria / iStockphoto.com
Cara Ricketts plays Innogen in <em>Cymbeline</em>, one of three Shakepeare plays produced for this year's festival.
Credit David Hou / Stratford Shakespeare Festival
For the first Stratford Shakespeare Festival in 1953, a circus tent was brought from Chicago and raised on a hillside.
Credit Peter Smith / Stratford Shakespeare Festival
Mike Shara (left) as Cornelius Hackl and Josh Epstein as Barnaby Tucker in <em>The Matchmaker</em>, a play Thornton Wilder rewrote into its current form 50 years ago in Stratford<em> .</em>
Credit Cylla von Tiedemann / Stratford Shakespeare Festival
Most theaters let audiences know the show is about to start by blinking the lights. Stratford's Festival Theater in Stratford, Ontario, is a bit more festive. Four burgundy-uniformed buglers and a drummer quicken the pace of hundreds of theatergoers who've been ambling up the hill from the banks of the Avon River. When curtain time arrives, a cannon will boom.