Friday, April 10, 2009


State of the Union

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  none
  3. Commentary:  Ah! This movie is a buried treat! I knew nothing about it when I spotted it at Costco. The play from which it is adapted continues to be produced and, apparently, over the last few years, has been considered especially timely: check out this link for proof. I purchased it solely on the strength of it being yet another Tracy/Hepburn movie. When Mom and I enthusiastically cracked the case that afternoon and watched the movie, we were both blown away! Aside from the fact that I can't believe this movie isn't more well known, it's extremely timely. It talks about political and economic issues with which we are still struggling; it suggests the possibility of not only a European Union but a World Union with a World Currency; it discusses the problems of corporate industry and talks about the relationship between management and unions...and, of course, it deals heavily with political corruption by lobbyists and business. It's story line includes a sub-story which is a frank exploration of marriage versus mistresses and the "sacrifices" wives and husbands appear to be obliged to make when one of them becomes involved in politics. It is yet another one of Frank Capra's movies and is clearly identifiable as one. And, it was made in 1948!
      Mom and I were both wowed by this movie and wondered why it isn't considered among the Tracy/Hepburn classics, or among Capra's classics. We watched it multiple times before Mom died. I've watched it a couple of times since.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009


John Adams

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1*
  3. Commentary:  Yet another one of those teaching videos, for Mom. The Mention says it all. Yes, we made it through the entire series before she died. Yes, she was shocked and intrigued at the vaccination and breast cancer episodes; worthy of pauses and further discussion between us. During the breast cancer surgery (which wasn't completely displayed), she speculated, aloud, how lucky MCS (who is a breast cancer survivor) was that "we" weren't living during "those days". The surprising aspect of this was that my mother remembered that MCS had breast cancer, several years ago.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Commander in Chief - Parts 1 & 2

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  Mom initially discovered this series through her tabloids, insisted we tune in from the very first episode and was so addicted to it that she actually registered the news that it would be cancelled and was heartbroken. Thus, it was necessary, when it came up for sale, that we purchase it.
      I can watch it, and often do, with her. It's more interesting to me than some series: For me, a cut above, for instance, Murder, She Wrote. I am not, though, generally, a fan of Bellisario series; they all have a fawning quality that bothers me. As well, I am not nearly as fascinated with the idea of a woman U.S. president as my mother is; just surprised, continually, that we haven't yet had one. I think my mother forgets that, in the history of the world, female rulers are not an anomaly, though certainly not as frequent as men. She also tends to think that just the fact that a ruler is a woman somehow means that ruler will be "better". I do not nurse similar sentiments.

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Monday, November 14, 2005


The West Wing: The Entire Series

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  *1* *2*
  3. Commentary:  It took me a long time to decide to buy this series. When I watched it first run on TV I was never sure that Mom has liked it. Finally, when the price dropped drastically and even more so at Costco, I picked up these seasons. To my surprise Mom was as fascinated with it in arrears as I am. We will probably and eventually purchase all the seasons, even the much maligned fifth and certainly the last season. Mom especially enjoys watching the episodes with the good subtitles and has mentioned that she "understands it a lot better" now that we can "rewind" when she doesn't catch something. When we watch this I am reminded how Mom still enjoys following politics even though she can't remember who the current president is and doesn't anymore care who he is.
      I asked her, after we watched the first season on DVD, why she liked the show.
      "It's like bartering in shops in Mexico," she said.
    12/24/06 Addendum  You'll notice the designation has changed to "The Entire Series", rather than just seasons 1 & 2. I received the series this year as a surprise gift from a long time friend. It was an extreme surprise because he and I have never been known to exchange gifts, we rarely see each other, we don't email each other, we talk on the phone infrequently, and yet we remain bonded. He is one of the few people I know who is aware of my ambivalent interest in politics and my "secret" desire to become President of the United States. Truth is, I only vaguely remember talking to him about the series once, soon after it started, when Mom and I still lived part of the year in Mesa and, him living in Scottsdale, we spoke more frequently and occasionally visited one another. I do remember I was pretty excited about it, at the time we talked about it. So was he. He was recording the episodes. I wasn't, though. Funny thing, when I noticed that the entire series was available of a piece, I thought about buying it but since I already had the first two seasons and Mom and I hadn't watched it in awhile, I figured, well, maybe I should try it out on her again and see if I should collect the other seasons separately. I couldn't see spending the amount of money involved in purchasing the entire series when it would be cheaper for me to fill in the seasons. So, this was like one of those magical gift moments that blew me away!
      Needless to say, I'll be turning the first two seasons in for credit at my usual search-for-bargains video store.

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Monday, February 07, 2005


The American President

  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  Another favorite that we watch fairly often, when we need to believe in political integrity.
        Mom especially likes the state dinner for the French President and his wife. Every time we watch that scene she can't help but say, "Wouldn't you just love to attend one of those dinners?" The truth is, I think she would like to spend her entire life going from State Dinner to State Dinner. It would suit her.
        I particularly like that, after I'd established my affection for the movie, a good friend of mine told me that he considers me the real life Sidney Allen Wade. I spend a lot of time preening in as I watch this movie.

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Sunday, February 06, 2005



  1. Who's watched:  M & G
  2. Mentions:  None
  3. Commentary:  This is one (of the many) that Mom never has any recollection of watching, yet we watch it a lot, usually during a cold, stormy afternoon/evening binge of this movie and The American President, of which she has a somewhat better memory. She likes feeling hopeful about what's best in the U.S., so do I, and both of these movies help, while the love stories provide comedy relief.
        As a footnote, may I add that I am a West Wing freak; my mother is not, but she tolerates me. No, we have not bought any collections of West Wing episodes [11/2/08: I was given the entire series for Christmas a few years ago by a friend of mine; see first link above]. I have forbidden myself to do so. When, for instance, would I watch them? I watch little enough of what we have, and then, usually, only peripherally, now. It's been a hard lesson to learn that if only I like it, my indulgences in it will be few and far between. I'm okay with this; it's just been a hard learning.

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All material copyright at time of posting by Gail Rae Hudson

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