Well [expletive] us gently with a chainsaw: One of the Heathers in TVLand’s reboot pilot is a dude. TVLine has become privy to new casting for the cable network’s recently ordered pilot based on the 1988 cult-classic film, and comedian Brendan Scannell (below, center photo) will take on the role of Heather Duke (who, in the movie, was played…
Epic, uncomfortable, and, above all, important, “These Thy Gifts” by author Vincent Panettiere is a welcome addition to the canon of modern literature.
Told with an unabandoned ferocity that often does not accompany written pieces that deal with religion as its foremost subject matter, “These Thy Gifts” acts as a hybrid of the seriousness of literature and the whimsy of the human condition. Encompassing a period of 50 years, the books gifted author weaves a tale that is not only highly emotional, but extremely relevant to today’s world. With a tendency to act as both an omnipresent and intimate narrator, it’s clear from the book’s opening chapter (ominously titled “The Beginning of the End”) that the story that is to unfold before the readers’ eyes will be intense.
From a pedantic perspective, “These Thy Gifts” appears to have been written for the masses without losing its sense of affection for both the finely created characters or an all-too-familiar world. As someone who does not often review books that have religion and the institution of war as such a striking element, I was immediately engrossed by the author’s ability to weave the fine line of subtlety of the human experience to the contempt that so often follows the goings on of the Catholic Church.
Set in 2006 when the Catholic Church is embroiled in what appears to be controversy after controversy, the novel’s major character Monsignor Steven Trimboli is not only clearly affected by the tarnishing of his employer (so to speak), but also intent on fixing things that are within his sphere of influence. It becomes instantly evident that Trimboli is a deeply flawed but hopeful character. His interactions with the Catholic Church in 2006 act as a springboard to his life 50 years prior where Trimboli is doe-eyed and naïve, and fiercely intelligent. The people he meets in his life act as the foundation for all of his future relationships, including the one he has with God.
Instead of writing a book that is knee-deep in dogma, the author of “These Thy Gifts” goes where the reader does not expect him to. The lens he chooses to wear is not steeped in ridicule or derision of the Catholic Church. Instead, he tackles the idea of Catholicism in America through an open mind, free of mockery. Atypical at best, Steven Trimboli’s long lasting friendship with a gangster’s wife and an extremely powerful tour of Vietnam as an Army Chaplain, sort of makes him not only incredibly endearing, but also incredibly real. He’s a hero you root for and wish the best for.
There is an inherent anger at the heart of “These Thy Gifts” that can perhaps be seen as one of the core flaws of modern society. Sometimes using religion as an excuse to act irresponsibly and kill in the name of a God, the violence, abuse and corruption that exist within many institutions of religion are coming to the forefront of the public consciousness. Here, the author really excels in enlightening the reader on the provocations of questioning the foundations of personal belief systems.
Yes, “These Thy Gifts” is a heavy read. The reader should expect as much by simply reading the book’s jacket. Where the narrative really shines is in the author Vincent Panettiere’s clear ability to share information without colluding it. The reader is encouraged to form their own standpoint on the many contentious topics written about in the book without being spoon-fed. It’s a talent to narrate without telling, and Pannetiere has clearly mastered it.
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You know what’s sad about this story? That the idea of having all women directors for a series is news because it’s not a regular occurence. What year is it again?
All 13 episodes of the second season of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” will be directed by women, according to executive producer and showrunner Melissa Rosenberg. Rosenberg discussed the all-female directing roster during her panel at Transforming Hollywood 7: Diversifying Entertainment, a conference held Friday at University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Rosenberg said that……
Today, well – today is a day of random musings and peppered opinions.
Let’s start with the new Lady Gaga album. Save for the really beautiful title track, the rest of the album is a real dud. Dissapointing. I’m not the biggest fan, but who doesn’t like a good record to sweat to at the gym. Amirite?
#2 let’s give to “American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare.” The show did a total 180, unlike anything I’ve really seen in modern television. It’s meta beyond your wildest dreams. It’s just the right about of self-referentialism for a cinematic cynic like myself. Save for Cheyenne Jackson, the casting is impeccable. But the real question remains unanswered: how can Angela Bassett always looks SO GOOD?
Coming in a close third for my weekly musings is my newly acquired, geniusly written “The Secret History of Twin Peaks” by the show’s co-creator Mark Frost. It’s SO WEIRD, which is rather fitting with the mythology of the show itself. Incorporating scientific fact, true historical happenings and the unique inhabitants of Twin Peaks, the book reads more like an episode instead of an actual dissertations of the town’s peculiar past.
To view Richard Sandler’s photographs is to look into the soul of a broken New York. From the pages of his new book, you can almost hear the rattle of the subway cars, the tap of high heels on concrete and the commotion of midtown rush hour. But if the city is the theatre, it’s…
“Clue,” the Hasbro board game and 1985 movie it inspired, is headed to the stage in a new play penned by the movie’s writer-director, Jonathan Lynn, and bowing regionally at the Bucks County Playhouse in May prior to a national tour. The project, which isn’t currently targeted for Broadway, is the latest to grow out……
I’ve always admired the building at 125 Worth Street, which houses the Departments of Health, Hospitals, and Sanitation (or at least did at some point since the building opened in 1935). Enormous Art Deco–inspired lanterns and bronze grillwork flank the entrances, and health-themed ornamentation decorate the facade. Then there’s this small sign above an unremarkable […]
Like so many other New Yorkers, Edgar Allan Poe was known to take long, contemplative walks. After he moved from a farmhouse in today’s Upper West Side to a wooden cottage in rural Fordham (below), Poe regularly journeyed across the High Bridge, opened in 1848, two and a half miles from his home. A graceful […]
By Amanda Wicks The Britney Spears biopic is underway at Lifetime, and paparazzi caught “Britney” aka Natasha Bassett reenacting the famous umbrella meltdown scene from 2007. Related: Britney Spears Biopic ‘Britney’ Cast Revealed At the time, Spears jumped out of a silver sedan while stopping at a gas station and attacked a photographer’s car with an umbrella. The…