watch this/see this

Two new obsessions lately: 

Of course I'm utterly fixated on "Beauty and the Beast." When I was little, in my mind, I was Belle. No ifs, ands, or buts. She had brown hair in a ponytail, just like me. She loved to read, just like me. She fell in love with a guy when he gave her a library, even though he was kinda hairy and had bad manners. I mean...what's not to love?

It's actually a secret fantasy of mine that someday, someone will love me enough to give me a of the reasons I fell hard for my ex is that he bought me books instead of flowers. UM HI. 

Needless to say, I've already seen Disney's new live-action "Beauty and the Beast" twice in theaters, with a possible third in the works if I can't stop looping the soundtrack constantly. It's a visual masterpiece the likes of which I haven't seen forever...the special effects and digital work are both unbelievable, the costumes are stunning, and the sets couldn't be prettier. The subtle nods to rococo French culture and the original "La belle et la bete" were tiny delights the whole way through. Even the cast hit it home for me...while nobody will go on to win Tonys for their vocal work, they do a completely decent job with some of my favorite music ever, and the new songs, penned by Alan Menken, enhance the score. 

After I saw it Saturday, I downloaded the animated classic via iTunes, and it came with some fantastic extras - including a 20-minute short documentary featuring my future bestie Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writing team behind "Frozen," and Stephen Schwartz of "Wicked" fame. They all group up around a piano and chat with Alan Menken about how awesome Disney music is, and it killed me dead. So enlightening to hear luminaries completely freaking out like children over how amazing it is to work with Disney...I loved it. 

Completely hooked...won't you be my guest and join me so I have an excuse to see it again?! 

On TV, I'm newly hooked on HBO's mini-series adaptation of Liane Moriarty's "Big Little Lies." Starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley as moms in Monterey, CA, struggling with marriage drama and children starting school, it's a riveting take on a book I've read several times and enjoyed. The show opens with a murder, but the audience has no idea who is dead or who is the perpetrator...and each hour ticks closer to unraveling what actually happened at the school benefit. 

While Reese is and will always be my fave, Nicole Kidman steals the show as a wealthy, beautiful wife dealing with a dark and twisty marriage. Her performance is subtle and moving, and is tempered by Reese's more bubbly, Tracy Flick-esque take on modern motherhood. 

Add to that the fact that the show is just gorgeous (THOSE HOUSES AHHH), and I'm hooked. It airs Sundays at 8 Central, and there are two episodes left...anyone else watching? 

Speaking of things I'm watching, I need book a total rut lately. Send a few my way!