A few of Shoshana's favorite things. A swan song.
By Shoshana Greenberg (Lyricist/Bookwriter)
It is with a heavy heart that I depart from Crazytown after this week. I have enjoyed blogging here from the beginning, first with Rough and Ready and then with my own words. I'll still be here as a reader, and if you need me I'll occasionally be blogging on my own site: www.shoshanagreenberg.com.
For my final post, here are a few of my favorite things that never made it into posts of their own.
1. So Weird (1999-2002)
I was a bit older than the So Weird target audience--I was in college--but I loved it anyway. It aired on the Disney channel, but it didn't look like a Disney show. Dark in tone, So Weird was the story of pre-teen Fiona (who amazingly doesn't wear make-up) obsessed with tracking down and helping people deal with paranormal activity, all the while trying to connect with her dead father. She travels the country by tour bus with her family. Her mom, played by Mackenzie Phillips, is a rock singer.
I have rarely seen the themes of family, loss, and the supernatural blended with music so smoothly, and never geared toward young people. The third and final season saw major cast changes, and the tone shifted to brighter and more carefree. The Disney Channel was changing to a Lizzie Maguire-type network, and the third season of So Weird suffered because of it.
More than 10 years later, the series has still not been released on DVD. Luckily, many of the episodes are on YouTube, and I recommend checking out this great show, whatever your age.
2. Lemony Snicket and The Gothic Archies
I don't obsess over many book series, but I was up bright and early the day the final Lemony Snicket book came out to get a wristband at Barnes and Noble. With this wristband I could return later to get my book signed by the author. Not Lemony Snicket, unfortunately, as he was indisposed, but his replacement, the actual author of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Daniel Handler. I finished the final book the next morning.
What the Unfortunate Events series has that most of the popular series don't is a literary style. These books are for people who love books and words. Another difference is that the story doesn't have one hero randomly chosen to fight dark forces. Instead, three siblings, the Baudelaire children, are handed off from guardian to guardian after they lose their home and parents in a fire. A mystery developes, as often does, and soon the siblings are piecing together fragments of secrets about their parents and past.
Read the first book (which I've read many times) and embark on this series of unfortunate events. There are 13 books in all (plus some supplements), and I recommend at least getting to Book Eight, which is when the story really gets good.
Oh, and Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields wrote the soundtrack to the books with the band The Gothic Archies. Yes, the books have a soundtrack.