Glee is a show that millions of self-proclaimed "Gleeks" live to love. It is also a show that critics and most other human beings love to hate — or, just simply hate. It all started a few years back with some lovable oddball characters, a simple but fun plot about getting to regionals while embarking on a path of acceptance and self-discovery, and pretty decent writing for a teen show. Since then, it's been flailing — repetitive plot lines, annoying gimmicks, and cringe-worthy writing have turned Glee into somewhat of a disaster. That, my friends, is where Gemma Teller comes in.
RELATED: 'Glee' Recap: Bye Bye Brody, Hello Guilty Pleasures
Sons of Anarchy is about as far away from Glee as you can get. In fact, we'd put money on the fact that many of Glee's fans have never even seen FX's motorcycle opera. So they may not have freaked out at the news that SoA's badass mama Katey Sagal has been cast as Artie's never-before-seen mother, but we're super excited. Mainly, because Gemma Teller would do everything in her power to turn Lima, Ohio's Glee club into the smooth-sailing brother/sisterhood it was always meant to be — even if that required a little bloodshed. Hey man, no one ever said winning Nationals was going to be easy. Below, we share some ideas:
1. She Would Make Artie The New Rachel: Like there was any way Jax wasn't going to take the gavel from Clay and become president of SAMCRO. Gemma would do anything and everything for the sake of "the club," be it motorcycle or Glee. With her around, "the new Rachel" wouldn't even have been a competition — if Blaine refused to step down after their little "discussion" he'd be somehow rendered unable to sing to due an unfortunate, mysterious slushie accident. Artie's the new Rachel, no questions asked. Ever. Or else.
2. She Would Curb All of That Infidelity: Gemma hates it when the SAMCRO boys cheat on their old ladies, so much so that she's been known to beat them to a bloody pulp (Ashley Tisdale) and chase them out of town with vile threats (Drea de Matteo). If Artie wanted to be with Tina, he'd be with Tina. She'd have never explored her yellow fever with Mike Chang. If he'd wanted to be with Brittany... well, that's a tough one. If anyone can take on Gemma, it's Santana. But yeah — no more wishy-washy "who do I choose?" sequences for Marley, either. Gemma has no time for indecision. It's a distraction for the club — if everyone's making out with/cheating on each other, how will they ever get to regionals?
3. She Would Destroy Sue Sylvester, and the Cheerios: With Gemma's help, SAMCRO has faced (and, relatively, defeated) cartels, white supremacist groups, Michael from Lost, and several rival motorcycle clubs. Do you really think she'd let an old lady in a track suit and a bunch of bimbos get in the way of the Glee club's glory? I'm picturing Drop Dead Gorgeous levels of crime here, people. Bleach in shampoo bottles. Sniper rifles. Crumbled up laxatives in the vitamin water. Just madness.
4. Mr. Schue Would No Longer Be a Mess (Or Alive?): Mr. Schue has had four years to get his s**t together, or, you know, become remotely interesting. But no. He's still a hot, sloppy mess, and the only thing worse than his rapping is his all-encompassing blandness. He's a terrible leader, and the Glee club deserves more. Gemma helped Clay "get rid" of her own husband, John Teller, when he was bringing SAMCRO down — what sort of fate would befall the dude who couldn't even stop his lady from kissing a teenager? Gross.
5. Baby Beth Would Always Behave: Gemma Teller once pointed a gun at a baby. 'Nuff said.
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After garnering widespread praise (and an Oscar nomination for screenwriting) for his 2000 directorial debut You Can Count on Me Kenneth Lonergan was in-demand. In September 2005 the writer/director began production on a follow-up feature: Margaret which touted Anna Paquin Matt Damon Mark Ruffalo Matthew Broderick Allison Janney as well as legendary filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) as producers. The movie wrapped production in a few months time. The buzz was already growing.
Now six years later the movie is finally hitting theaters. So…what took so long?
The journey to this point hasn't been an easy one and it shows. If a film's shot footage is a block of granite and the editing process is the careful carving that turns it into a statuesque work of art Margaret feels like it was attacked by a blind man with a jackhammer. The film is a cinematic disaster a mishmash of shallow characters overwrought politics and sporadic tones. The story follows Lisa Coen (Paquin) a New York teenager who finds herself drowning in chaos after distracting a bus driver (Ruffalo) causing him to hit and kill a pedestrian (Janney). Initially Lisa tells the police it was all an accident but as time passes regret takes hold and the girl embarks on a mission to take down the man she now regards as a culprit. That's just the tip of the iceberg–along the way Lisa deals with everyday teen stuff: falling for her geometry teacher (Damon) combating her anxiety-ridden actress mother losing her virginity dabbling in drugs debating 9/11 and the Iraq War cultivating a relationship with her father in LA and more. There are about eight seasons of television stuffed into Margaret but even a two and a half hour run time can't make it all click.
For more on Margaret check out Indie Seen: Margaret the Long Lost Anna Paquin/Matt Damon Movie
In the 1950s Senator Joe McCarthy began a witch hunt in Washington and Hollywood to cleanse the nation of "commie sympathizers." No one dared stand up to him for fear of being targeted themselves until journalist Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) did an expose of the senator on his television program See It Now. In doing so he risked himself the livelihoods of the reporters working for him and the reputation of CBS. The network stood behind him although very reluctantly and Morrow swayed public opinion--a landmark moment in broadcast journalism.
David Strathairn is wonderfully subtle as the legendary Murrow from small nervous facial tics as he prepares to go live on the night of his controversial broadcast to his barely concealed contempt for the puff pieces he has to do like an interview with Liberace. Patricia Clarkson and Robert Downey Jr. also do nice work as a married couple who hide their relationship since it's against company policy but their characters--and indeed all of the characters--are all very thinly sketched. The meatiest supporting role belongs to Ray Wise (Laura Palmer's crazy dad on Twin Peaks) as CBS news anchorman Don Hollenbeck who is barely hanging on after being labeled a "pinko" in the right-wing press. George Clooney as Murrow's producer Fred Friendly is low-key but still deftly funny. A number of supporting players like Tate Donovan don't have much of a chance to stand out. McCarthy himself is presented only in archival footage.
George Clooney in his second outing behind the camera is clearly going for a documentary type of feel resulting in out-of-focus shots and quick pans that often land on nothing at all. Dramatic scenes are interspersed with so much unedited archival footage that after a while it does feel like you're watching a documentary although a documentary would likely have provided more context. For some reason a jazz singer (Diane Reeves) is frequently seen performing in a studio at CBS or at a club that Murrow's staff all frequents. The musical interludes are lovely but ultimately rather pointless. You have to respect Clooney's wanting to tell this story and to tell it an unadorned non-Hollywoodized kind of way that Murrow himself would likely have approved since he didn't approve of mere "entertainment." But except in a few rare moments the film remains more of a dry history lesson than a movie in its own right.