5 Favorites of 2009: Anne Frasier.

Grey Gardens

I’m a big fan of the Grey Gardens documentary, and I enjoyed the HBO remake starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. Drew Barrymore’s acting was a bit strained at times, but Jessica Lange was phenomenal as Big Edie. I liked that the HBO film visited issues and fleshed out scenes simply alluded to in the documentary. Both left me feeling Little Edie and Big Edie twisted history into their own versions of what they personally needed to believe in order to get by.

Bored to Death

Really loving Bored to Death. The half-hour comedy is about a blocked writer (Jason Schwarztman) who puts an ad on Craigslist and begins moonlighting as a private investigator because he’s read a lot of crime-fiction novels. Ted Danson almost steals the show as Jonathan’s friend and boss. Some episodes are on the slow side, but overall an excellent new HBO comedy.


Dollhouse been cancelled, but I have to mention it since it was probably my favorite television show of 2009. Like most Joss Whedon works, it began too slowly. I actually disliked the first episode or two because I wasn’t given information needed to root for or care about anybody. But as the plot unfolded and the characters took solid shape, I became hooked. Cancelled.


Fox’s sc-fi thriller Fringe is another show that just keeps getting better as the audience is given more information. Like Dollhouse, this show has a challenging premise and an overall story arc with a lot of depth and backstory. But the more information we are fed, the more interesting Fringe becomes. I particularly like the relationship of Walter, the mad scientist, and his estranged son, Peter.

Lars and the Real Girl

This is a quirky film with a lot of heart about a socially inept guy (Ryan Gosling) who falls deeply in love with a life-size doll named Bianca. Bianca is a social butterfly, and she soon becomes a well-liked member of the community. Her popularity paves the way for Lars to become a more active presence in the small town. Delightful!


Anne Frasier is an award-winning author of nineteen novels. She was a contributor to the 2009 Once Upon a Crime anthology published by Nodin Press, and is currently editing a short-story anthology of Halloween tales. She recently completed a memoir about her years spent on an apple farm. Anne lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, and rural Wisconsin. Visit her website.

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