Thursday, December 24, 2009

A little mini rant - Merry Christmas to all...

  • Cheesy ads for tired and old celebrity fragrances: Why is it that every holiday season the powers that be drag out the horrible White Diamonds advertisement to torture us? Seriously, who the hell still wears "White Diamonds"?! It smells like cat piss and baby powder and it was first on the market in 1985! The Britney Spears fragrance collection isn't any better; they drag out the old pre-baby Spears ad for Curious or "Inquisitive" or whatever the fuck it's called. Seeing these ads wouldn't irk me so much if they played on a regular rotation throughout the year; but they only play during Christmas/Hannukah. Almost assuredly geared towards hapless men who haven't figured out what to get their wives/girlfriends. Hey guys? Women don't want cheap perfume!
  • I hate when UPS/USPS/FedEx etc. promise that a package will be delivered by Christmas Eve and then they don't deliver on that promise.
  • If I hear any of the following holiday songs again in the next 12 months I will punch someone: Silent Night, Wonderful Christmastime, Step into Christmas, Feliz Navidad, anything sung by Johnny Mathis.
  • I hate being sick at Christmas time. It sucks balls. I have no patience, and no energy to do anything and I have a lot to do. Uggh, is it 2010 yet?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Oh Taylor Lautner...

I'm really trying to resist you since I'm old enough to be your mom, but you keep on being so freakin' adorable. While you weren't the most engaging host SNL ever had, I did really enjoy a few of the skits you were featured in like the "Team Jacob vs Team Edward" one.
Your monologue was awesome where you poked fun at yourself and your relationship with "the other Taylor" and won me over with your love of "Reba".

But my favorite skit was the middle school show choir called "The Sparklers" doing their Jingle Jangle Jam. Ha! As a member of the world famous Sparkling Choir of Love, I got a kick out of it.

[Note: I tried to load the video of the sketch from Hulu here but wasn't able to. I'll hopefully add it later. It's not to be missed]

You guys?

Dexter's season finale? So MESSED UP! I'm sure it's in poor taste for me to use the above picture considering the season ender.
John Lithgow deserves an Emmy for his terrifying performance as Arthur Mitchell. Gawdamm! I'm going to have nightmares for months!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Catching up

I've been so damn busy this week practicing and preparing for our Christmas show this Saturday that I really haven't had a chance to breath, much less watch television or read. Basically I've been getting home close to midnight and trying to fit in a little Tivo or reading before collapsing into a deep sleep each night this week.
So although I know that most of the items in this post have already been discussed or dissected, I'm still going to share my opinion with y'all. Here's what's on my mind this week.

Movie news:
You know I love anything Jane Austen, even shitty movie adaptions or poorly written Austen sequels/adaptations. And now there's news that Natalie Portman will star in the upcoming film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's mash-up of Austen's Pride & Prejudice and Zombies. I'm okay with this choice, actually even sort of excited about it.
I'm not excited about Avatar; and you can't make me be.

SYTYCD eliminating down to the 6 in the finale - Although Ashleigh totally deserved to go (hey America, remember we talked about this shit?!), I was okay with Mollee leaving us this week. What I wasn't okay with? The fact that Legacy went home before Ryan or even Russell totally bugs me. Sigh...well I'll see him on tour at least.
This week in reality television competition finales - I was truly happy with the Amazing Race and Top Chef finalists. And ultimately satisfied with Meghan and Cheyne winning the 15th season of TAR, although I was hoping for Bryan and Ericka to eek out 2nd place ahead of the gay brothers.
On Top Chef however, I think the wrong Voltaggio brother won. Bryan clearly won 2 out of the 4 courses and split the judges on the other two. But Michael still won?! Was it because he takes more "risk"? **eyeroll** Who cares? I hope Bryan at least is consoled that he's the nicer, more competent brother.
On the RW/RR Challenge I was happy to see the Champions win only because it meant that Susie got the most money which she totally deserved for having to put up with Johnny Bananas dumb ass. My former boyfriend Kenny and Evan didn't deserve shit though. It still totally pisses me off that neither of those douches ever went into the Ruins and pretty much controlled everything from the get-go. At least Derrick was able to take some money home to feed his kid, because God knows he's too dumb to earn money any other damn way. And as much as I hate Kellyanne's crazy ass, or Sarah's crying desperate one, they really did awesome in the final challenge and nearly snatched the win right out of the Champs hands. Oh how I would've loved to have seen Kenny and Bananas faces if that had happen, but Susie would've been ripped apart which wouldn't have been good. But seriously this show is my crack. And where else would you be able to see grown "straight" men throwing golf balls at each other's bare assess and pouring hot wax on their bodies? For no apparent reason, other than to pump each other up for the competition? Excellent.
Glee autumn finale - I'm still in denial about this gem not being back on the air until fucking April but at least I have the latest volume of music to comfort me a little.
And the knowledge that the first part of this season will be on DVD the end of this month. I'll definitely be rewatching these episodes over the winter.
I really liked that they revealed Terri's fake pregnancy and the fact that Finn isn't the baby-daddy before the end of this mini-season. I'm looking forward to seeing how the "Road to Regionals" goes come April. Especially since Jonathan Groff will be joining the cast as the leader of rival group Vocal Adrenaline. Yay!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

5 Things I Know Are True - SYTYCD top 8 edition

  1. Asleigh better be going home tomorrow. I'm sorry she dislocated her shoulder or whatever, but seriously America if you vote her into the top 6 (the finale?) without her having to dance or do anything this week I'm going to be really fucking angry. She's made it on the tour which us better than I thought (and I bet she thought) she would, so she should be good with that. Oh and how unlucky is Russell that he's had 2 partners that have injured themselves leaving him to dance solo. Very unfair for him.
  2. I LOVE Ellenore. Love love love. Oh okay, I love Legacy too. But I totally don't understand the judges criticism of the NappyTabs hip-hop routine. It was great. Am I high? What did I see that the judges didn't?
  3. Jakob is just perfect; I love him too and he can do no wrong in my book. And he makes any of his partners look good. He even made me like Mollee a little.
  4. Ryan and Kathryn's cha cha was one of the best that was ever done on this show. AWESOME.
  5. The Music was so Weird. "Din Da Da" by Kevin Aviance?! On nationally televised show? Used by Ryan in his ballroom solo?! WTF? But taking away from this brilliance was the fact that randomly two Samantha Ronson remixes (one of an Annie song?) were used in routines. Plus hip-hop to the Doors, which was totally unacceptable.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

AMC's "Prisoner" remake

Okay, I'm an intelligent and fairly cultured person, but I have to admit, the 2009 remake of the 60s tv series The Prisoner is kind of tough for me to wrap my head around.

Ian McKellen kicks ass as per usual. And the writing seems top notch. But seriously I've watched 4 hours of the mini-series and I'm not any less confused than I was at the beginning.

The Patrick McGoohan original tv show wasn't this confusing was it?

Jamie Campbell Bower, and Jim Caviezel sure are pretty though.

Friday, December 4, 2009

DILF Alert! - Taking a stroll through NYC with Hugh

Will you look at the adoration on little Ava's face in the photo below left?
Then again if my dad was Hugh Jackman? Well, no. I'm not going to go there. Let's just say I'm really glad that Jackman isn't my father, so I can feel no guilt in having the dirtiest thoughts possible about him!
So happy Friday folks!

Today I'd rather be walking through the West Village holding Hugh Jackman's hand or riding on his shoulders. (yes, I said his shoulders you dirty minded people).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

SYTYCD Season 6 Top 10

Season 6's top 10 dancers performed last night in their new "random pairing out of a hat" couples, performing two routines and a solo. The fate of the competitors for the rest of the season is in our hands, as the girl and guy with the least amount of votes will leave tonight.

So the first thing that was different about last night's show was that there really wasn't a lot of "filler". There wasn't really time because of the 10 different routines (20 if you count the solos) that needed to happen within the 2 hour period. I've watched every season of this show but I totally don't recall the top 10 performing two dances before this season. I believe that was reserved for top 8 and beyond?

At any rate, one of the unexpected things last night was that the couple routines did not have intro segments. No interview with the choreographer(s), no banter about the new partnerships, no clips showing the dancers working with their instructors - just Cat Deely going straight into introducing the couples, them already on stage dancing right away. It was VERY JARRING and denied me face time with my beloved Pasha(!) and Spencer Liff among others. I mean seriously, the only possible time that Spencer may be topless would be during rehearsals - why are you fucking with me show?!

Noelle & Ryan: started off the show with a NappyTabs "hip-hop" routine performed to a song I love - "Give It To Me Right" by Melanie Fiona. I think I would've classified this as jazz almost. Even calling it lyrical hip-hop is pushing it but I really liked the choreography about basically sexual harrassment in the work place. It took me a minute to get into the routine because of the aforementioned lack of intros but I thought Ryan and Noelle did well and had good chemistry. Nigel said that he thought Ryan could've been "funkier" and I guess I agree with this. That didn't take away from the dance for me though.

Legacy & Ashleigh - Contemporary choreographed by Gary Stewart to "Poison" by The Prodigy: I thought this routine was really cool. It was insane too. And a little disjointed; at times it seemed like Legacy was waiting for Ashleigh? Their chemistry wasn't really there for me. The ending of the dance with Legs in a head stand was absolutely phenomenal though. And I love Adam Shankman and his wink.
They did do segments with the dancers about how they started dancing before each solo. I won't be talking about the solos a lot in this post except for some notables. Like Russell's parents who they show watching him on the show from their living room in Roxbury. Love them!

Kathryn & Nathan - Broadway choreographed by Spencer Liff (get naked now!) to "Choreography" from White Christmas sung by Danny Kaye:
Okay, we're going to have Spencer Liff do all of the Broadway choreography on this show from now on right? I LOVED this routine. Fun, lively, energetic, reminiscent and an homage to the great stage work from the 40s and 50s; loved, loved, loved.

Ellenore & Jakob - Quickstep done by Melanie LaPatin and Tony Meredith: Like Adam Shankman gushed, these two together are my ultimate partnership, so I was a little disappointed that they got the quickstep because I felt their talent was sort of wasted on it. But still, it was one of the best quicksteps that has ever been done on this show.

Ryan's stepdad looks like he's my age. Ryan's 27 right? Hmmm... me thinks his mom may be a cougar.

Mollee & Russell - Lyrical Jazz from Mandy Moore danced to "It Must've Been Love" (hee!) by Roxette:
Mandy's love for the 80s continues which her choice of song, but whatever, I love her for it anyway. And I enjoyed the choreography for this piece but didn't connect with Russell or Mollee dancing it. I thought the judges overpraised their performance. But I will agree that it was good for all to break the Nathan/Mollee partnership up. They both danced more mature and better than they have all season together.

Nathan's solo was freakin' amazing performed to one of my favorite songs - "Golden Train" by Justin Nozuka. A lot of people have commented that they thought Nathan getting choked up at the end was fake; but I think the emotion was very real. Those tears weren't fake.

Ryan & Noelle #2 - Smooth Waltz created by Jaytee and Tomas:
Pretty darn beautiful although Noelle was the weak link for me. Agreed with Nigel that she needed to relax more.

Wait. Ellenore's parents moved from Santa Cruz to NYC for her dancing?! Wow, those are some supportive and accomodating people. Ellenore's mom is soooooo pretty.

Ashleigh & Legacy 2 Electric Boogaloo - Hip hop from Dave Scott done to "Slow Down" by Bobby Valentino:
I personally thought it was one of the best hip-hop routines of the season but the judges panned it and I didn't get their criticism really. I also felt bad for Dave Scott whose choreography got trashed on national television. It wasn't as bad as when the Russian folk dance people got trounced but still, damn.

Commerical aside > Not at all excited about the Carrie Underwood holiday variety special.

Nathan & Kat II - Tony and Melanie Rhumba to "Walk on By" by Aretha Franklin:
Not sexy enough for me. My mind immediately compared it to the superior rhumba done by Ade and Melissa last season and the Dominic/Sabra one from S3. Nate and Kat had potential though, so I hope this routine which was probably the weakest of the night doesn't sink them.

Wow, Legacy's clip package. I can't believe he and his cute friend Flea came to L.A. from Miami with "nuthin' but a dream" after watching You Got Served to try and make a living b-boying. Nuts! I love Legacy's dad!

Ellenore & Jakob take 2 - Sonya Tayeh contemporary piece done to "Tore My Heart" by OONA & Paul Tweedie:
Dream partnership! AMAZING! Huzzah! My top 2 did a truly fantastic job.

Ashleigh's mom's hair/head is scary. That is all.

Mollee & Russell finished with a Jive choreographed by my boyfriend, and former S3 contestant Pasha and Anya: This routine had great choreography and lots of energy but still fell flat for me.

Jakob's solo = brilliance defined

Overall no one was awful. I don't really want any of the guys to go, but could lose Noelle or Mollee without shedding a tear. I think Ryan, Nathan and possibly Legacy could be in danger. And I think Noelle, Kathryn, and Mollee (crossing fingers) could be in the bottom for the girls. All I know is if Ellenore is in the bottom or heaven forbid goes home - I'm opening a can of whoop-ass on you America!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

5 Things I know are true - TAR edition

  1. The roadblock with the ringing telephones would've unhinged me. I can't stand ringing phones. It's such a horrible sound. Especially old school rotary phones. But I will say one thing. If I did have to suffer through that torture I certainly would've fuckin' figured out that the letters were an anagram for "Franz" as in KAFKA, one of the 20th century's most famous writers!! WTF?! How did no one recognize this? How was Big Easy there for almost 3 hours(!) before giving up and taking a 4 hour penalty? The only person I may give a small pass to is Brian who was drunk on absinthe. And he figured it out before anyone else anyway. Sigh.
  2. Gay brothers Sam and Dan are ASSHOLES!!!!!!!!!! I understand that it's a race for a million $$. And I'm not saying that Dan should've given Big Easy the answer at the Roadblock...except yes I am. If Dan didn't want to share information he shouldn't have agreed to do so. Making that deal with the Globetrotter and then being a colossal dick when he lucked out with the answer (he certainly never harnessed enough brain power to figure out that the word was the first name of a famous author) was a totally bogus move, race or not. And don't get me started on the cab thing with Meghan and Cheyne. I totally defended the brothers last week when they took Brian and Ericka's cab because it's a race and really it was the cab driver that made the final assy decision to leave with the brothers. But to then have the tables turned with Meghan and Cheyne trying to, politely I might add, get the brothers' cab and for them to again be such assholes makes me want to kick them right in the nuts. And they really need to stop whining and yelling at each other. I really need Karma to bite these dudes. Sam and Dan better be glad I'm not going to the finale party this year.
  3. Drunk Czechs are funny. And annoying. Who knew that the Czech Republic consumes the most beer of any country in Europe. See? Reality tv can teach you something. I have to say that I really enjoyed this "Prague at night" leg of the race.
  4. I kind of love Brian and Ericka. Oh my god their beer Detour was so frustrating for them but entertaining for us. But seriously they are really supportive and patient with each other. I would love to see them finish in 2nd place. (see below)
  5. Meghan and Cheyne deserve to win this season of The Amazing Race. I find them rather boring but boy have they raced well and more importantly been very consistent and logical.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Things I'm thankful for

Hope everyone had a glorious Thanksgiving. Mine was excellent; filled with good times with great friends eating amazing food that we prepared.
As I sit here in the world's most boring telephone conference meeting, I've been reflecting on other things that I'm grateful for besides the great friends in my life, and naturally for me that turns to television shows. Yes, I love tv that much.

So, what's on my thankful for list this season?
  • Having 2 DVRs: Wednesday nights alone have been saved by my Tivo and Ti-faux. I can't imagine what I would've missed out on if I hadn't been able to enjoy the delights of Modern Family and Cougar Town; because they're opposite my beloved Glee and sadly if I'd had to choose what to record on Wednesday nights at 9, Glee would've won. Thankfully, there's been no need for that type of "Sophie's choice". I've been able to laugh with Courtney Cox again, and to fall in love with the crazy awesome family made up of Jay & Gloria, Phil & Claire, Mitchell & Cameron, and all of the kids on Modern Family.
  • Cameron from Modern Family - okay, Cameron may be my favorite character on tv right now. Seriously, you know I'm in love if the image of Cam as Fizbo the (classicly trained Auguste [hee!]) clown doesn't terrify me but instead fills my heart with joy and laughter. Eric Stonestreet is brilliant as this loveable gay dad. And Stonestreet in real life is single and straight! (Hey Eric, call me - I want to have a million laughing tubby babies with you!)

  • Glee - I've already praised this show here numerous times and defended it to my friends that don't get its appeal (Todd, I'm looking at you). But right now I want to discuss the show's flaws. This might not make sense in a list about things that I'm thankful for, but you see, if I can love a show that has stupid fake pregnancy plots, continually hammers me over the head with "very special moment" messages that can be a little condescending to say the least, hasn't yet figured out how to do character development for some of their best players, and generally overuses the auto-tune for the musical performances even though they are blessed with a bevy of Broadway and other music talent that don't need it? You know that this show is outstanding and worthy of all of its hype and attention. All of the stupid baby-stealing and teen love plots in the world won't make me quit you Glee. Especially when you consistently make me smile (Don't Stop Believin', Somebody To Love, all of the mash-ups) and cry ("Lean on Me", "Imagine", I'll Stand By You"). Keep on keepin' on Glee!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

That other dancing show...

The problem with having two DVRs (I know I know it's pathetic how much tv I watch) is that because there's only so many hours in the day, I end up watching certain shows days after they've originally aired and feeling behind the times when I discover something awesome that people have already talked about and is now totally played out and eye-roll inducing to everyone else.

So I haven't really been faithfully watching this season of Dancing With the Stars. Basically I've watched the results shows, because they replay the dances from the night before so I don't miss anything but the dumb filler, the results show is where they show "Dance Center" which continually is awesome, and the professional dancer showcases are also on Tuesday.
Last night's results show was a total gem that I can't believe I didn't know about until this evening. First of all the motherfuckin' BEE GEES performed. Y'all know I love me some Barry Gibb; even in all his current bad denture/receding hairline glory. And while Robin Gibb is seriously one of the scariest people alive, his face and "hair" are comedy gold.
So there's that gem, plus the show's fans voted to have past season contender Melissa Rycroft come back and dance in the pro showcase with Tony Dovolani. But here's where the really awesome part of the show comes in. The pro showcase didn't just feature Tony and Melissa. Performing with them were SYTYCD alums, Chelsie Hightower and...MY BOYFRIEND Artem Chigvintsev! You guys, I love Artem. After 6 seasons of wonderful dancers he's still in my top 10 list of SYTYCD competitors. I was sad when they changed the opening credits of that show this year because they took out all of the great Artem parts.
I knew that he was involved in the DWtS national tour but I'd never seen him on the actual show before tonight. As an aside, I was sorry to recently hear that Artem and DWtS judge Carrie Ann Inaba had broken up earlier this year. They were one "cougar" couple that I was excited about. They were so cute together and despite their 15 year age difference seemed to make it work. Supposedly they parted on great terms and remain friends.
The DWtS performance with my favorite former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Melissa Rycroft is linked here.

And another video featuring my boyfriend Artem:

C'mon! Isn't he adorable?

And finally one short note about tonight's results for SYTYCD. After an AMAZING opening number choreographed by Wade and Amanda Robson, I wasn't surprised that the judges let Kevin and Channing go. I was a little disappointed by Channing's ax though. Her solo was better than Karen's and especially Mollee's. Oh well. Victor gets a 3rd partner in as many weeks and a strange pairing at that with Karen, but we'll see.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SYTYCD - Season 6 Top 14

The best:
Spencer Liff as the Broadway choreographer! Stay forever please (and choreograph naked). I would love if Tyce just did the Jazz/Lyrical stuff for the rest of this season.

Jakob & Ashleigh - NappyTabs hip-hop routine to "Whatcha Say" by Jason Derulo
I want to see Jakob in the finals. He can do no wrong in my book. And who knew that Ashleigh had it in her to hit those moves so hard? I still don't love her, but I definitely no longer think she's an anchor holding Jakob back. The routine didn't resonate with me like some of the NappyTabs lyrical hip-hop from the past (e.g. "Bleeding Love", "Like You'll Never See Me") but it was still great to watch.

Ryan & Ellenore - Travis Wall contemporary routine to "Your Ex-Lover's Dead" by Stars
Ay yae yae, I floved this routine so damn much. I loved everything about it, from the fantastic beginning with Ellenore to Ryan's weird crotch grabbing, the fluidity if the movements, the song. Excellent. Ellenore is made of awesome!

The unfair:
Russell has to do the Foxtrot again? The hell? Good thing he and Noelle did it well.
On the flipside, I love me some Victor, but he got Jazz? Is he ever going to get a genre that isn't in his wheelhouse? And uh Tyce? Is a crazy motherfucker.
The surprising:
Legacy & Kathryn and their paso doble. I was expecting it to be so bad. And it was very good. And thanks Tony Meredith; you've officially made me hot for Legacy. Huzzah!
The scary:
LaurieAnn Gibson = terrifying

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

TV Round Up - Veterans Day edition

SYTYCD Season 6 Top 16 Results night - So excited to have a group dance again on results night. And what a group number?! Dave Scott is kind of awesome again, right? I was right about the teams in the bottom 3 for the most part. And while I understand where Nigel was coming from with his remarks to Nathan and "America" about people voting for who they think is cute instead who the best dancer is - jeezus Nigel, could you be less of a wanker about it? Okay, Nathan had an off night I guess and he was sort of cocky(?) but he's an INCREDIBLE dancer and better than any of the 3 guys that were in the bottom this week, so STFU. Also grampa? Again while I agree with you that the solos tonight weren't as good as some from past seasons, why do you have to be such a grouchy dick? Oy... Anyway, I'm feeling that Peter should have stayed over Kevin, but I was okay with Pauline leaving. I was worried about my Ellenore for a minute there.
On a brighter note, it was nice seeing the Alvin Ailey folks perform. So powerful.

Oh Glee, I've missed you these past weeks. I've been waiting for this Artie-centric episode all season. I love Kevin McHale's voice. "Wheels" was well done all around. And hee! Finn is too tall to be an Olive Garden bus boy? Hee hee.

Bored To Death season finale - Oh so good. I had been saving this since Sunday for a night where I'd have a chance to savor and really enjoy. And this gem didn't disappoint. I enjoyed the whole season, but the show has really hit its stride in the past few weeks and Sunday's finale was a great way to cap off the season. It focused on the George/Richard Antrem rivalry culminating in a "Team GQ" vs. "Team Edition" boxing match. Danson and Galafanakis are made of win! But seriously, I hope that this show is coming back in the Spring for a 2nd season.

Both Eastwick and Dollhouse have been cancelled. Meh, I'm not broken up about either of these two shows leaving us.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

SYTYCD Week 3 Top 16

This is the first week that the control is back in the American audience's hands. How will we do?

Kevin/Karen - Sad to hear about Karen's divorce but that explains why we haven't seen her hubbie who auditioned with her in the audience cheering her on. The best thing about their disco tonight was that it wasn't choreographed by Doriana Sanchez. Otherwise very boring. I can see these two being in the bottom for sure.

Jakob/Ashleigh - LOVED this Mandy Moore routine. And agreed with Nigel that it was reminiscent of her "Table Dance" with Neil and Sabra. Also agreed with Nigel when he said that Jakob reminds him of Joel Grey. That's TOTALLY who he reminds me of. It's been bugging me for weeks.

Peter/Pauline - Did it strike anyone that Pete was struggling a bit to describe his volunteer work? It totally reminded me of Matt Dillon's character from "Something About Mary" - I work with retards. Anyway, I totally agreed with Mary and Adam's critiques of their Quickstep. Train wreck avoided indeed. They were cute; I hope they're not in the bottom.

Legacy/Kathryn - First of all, when did I start loving these two? All through Vegas I wanted to punch both of them. Now I feel like they might be in my top 3 (and hee! Adam called him "Legs"). Second, Andy Blankenbuehler! A REAL GAWDDAM Broadway choreographer. Soooo much better than Tyce. Please Nigel and Co. keep Andy around.

Victor/Channing - hee hee she used to race lawn mowers. Oh, that's rich! I do love Stacy Tookey as a choreographer. I thought they did a really beautiful job, especially considering how much pressure they were both under. I really wanted Nigel to shut up.

Ryan/Ellenore - Lil' C! Yay, as much as I miss him as a judge, I missed him as a choreographer more. Ryan's "swag's on the run". Hee! Ellenore did great in this routine. Ryan did an admirable job. He could've been worse. I thought the judges were too harsh. BTW, Ryan is a HUGE dude. Like the Hulk.

Nathan/Mollee - Mollee, your story about being deaf isn't endearing. I still hate you. And you're not sexy. At all. HATE. But I still want to have a million of Nathan's babies. I liked this salsa routine better than the stuff that Alex DeSilva used to do.

Russell/Noelle - I liked their African Jazz routine alright, but it wasn't Earth shattering. I started to nod off actually two thirds of the way through. I don't like Noelle and Russell as a couple I've decided.

My top 3 routines - Jakob/Ashleigh, Legacy/Kathryn, Victor/Channing

Who I think will be in the bottom - Kevin/Karen, Peter/Pauline, and possibly Ryan/Ellenore or Victor/Channing

Although I'd love to see Nathan and Mollee in the bottom because I want her gone, I think their (his) fan base will save them.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Catching up

I've been sick for about a week now (not bacon flu, just bad cold) and instead of being able to just take care of myself, rest, and you know fuck around on the computer (aka "blog"), I've had to work, deal with an annoying parent situation, and live through 48 hours of the wettest, weirdest, windiest weather I've experienced since moving to Seattle.

I've been behind on most of my television shows, but tonight I got current with a few; here are my thoughts.

Not being able to vote and having the judges send home the first 4 dancers hasn't been as bad as I thought. And I've pretty much agreed with their choices. But WTF? Nigel & Co. for putting Victor in the bottom 2 this week? Not cool. All of my faves are still in it (Nathan, Jakob, Ellenore, Russell) and I have been pleasantly surprised by a few dancers that I thought for sure I'd be hating (Legacy, Kathryn, Ryan). I'm still hating that Nathan is paired with Mollee, but even though she's the most immature annoying person alive, I don't want to punch her in the mouth as much as I have previously. It will be interesting to see how the voting plays out in the coming weeks.

Top Chef -
Zzzzzzzzzzzz so boring this season. Can they just give Kevin the $100K and the GE appliances already?

Project Runway -
Boring as well as annoying. While I'm happy to see an all-girl finale, the ending of this season has been so damn anticlimatic. And I don't think it's just because it was filmed a million years ago. And Irina can suck it. She's just so damn unpleasant.

Real Housewives -
I gave up on the latest Atlanta season weeks ago; I mean can we all just admit that Kim is a horrible dumbass and stop humoring her? But this week the 5th(!) season of the OC part of the franchise (OC = Original C U next Tuesdays) began and Bravo's sucked me in again. I'm just as ashamed of me as you are.

Real World/Road Rules Challenge "The Ruins" (or as The Soup hilariously refers to it "The RUNS" -
I'm bored with this show too, and I never thought I'd say that about a Challenge, especially since this season started out so awesomely. But there you go. All of drama is gone (Tonya), the loud and crazy (Katie, Wes), and the buttery (Veronica); all gone. Even my boyfriend Kenny, and the usually affable Bananas are irksome. I'd love for Cohutta to win the whole damn thing but I know that won't happen.

Survivor: Samoa -
I'm only half-assed watching this because of the betting pool I'm in at work (go Natalie!). And for weeks it's been predictable even with Russell's crazy medical stuff etc. But this week after the merge the game got kind of interesting. In a surprise move, the former Galu banded together with old Foa Foa to vote off Eric (#1 hottie, just edging out John and Mick). This was done with the help of Jaison and a lot from my girl Natalie (way to go girl!). The vote also ended up flushing out the 2 immunity idols so we don't have to worry about those for the rest of this season. Woo!

Monday, October 26, 2009

TV Show Breakup

It's been a long time coming Heroes. I've stood by you longer than any of my friends or family has. Through 4 seasons I've stood by you; I've made excuses for your bad writing and bad casting decisions that continued to happen over and over since the second season began. I was forced to defend you on a regular basis, and had to deal with people's loss of respect when they found out that I still watched and somewhat enjoyed you.
I struggled through the abyssmal third season, embarrassed to admit to friends that I was still watching you, like someone whose boyfriend gets too loud and obnoxious when they drink and they can't admit to their friends that they're still seeing the lout.
And after that struggle, I was so gun-shy to even give you another chance with this new season. But I gamely carried on; kept your Tivo season pass set to not delete any episodes until I decided, kept your season pass priority in my top 10. But I was hesitant to watch any of the new season; so afraid of disappointment. Again.
I finally bit the bullet and watched all of season 4's aired episodes this weekend. And I'm through. I'm outta here boy! You've let me down for the last time. I deleted your season pass last night at 10:58 PM. I won't get fooled again; I don't care how hot Milo Ventimiglia or Zachary Quinto are, or how much I love Greg Grunberg and want him to have a successful show.
Peace out!
For another perspective on what might have been, read this article from Television Without Pity.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

SYTYCD - Season 6 Top 20

I think we've got a really great mix this season. In fact I'll go out on a limb and say that I haven't been this excited about a top 20 since season 3.
Almost all of the of my early favorites made it, including Russell, Nathan, Phillip, and Ellenore. And while there are a handful of folks that annoy me to no end (Mollee Gray I'm looking at you and wanting to slap you and cover your mouth with duct tape), and one BIG surprise in my fave Paula turning her spot down for a part in a movie (the hell?), for the most part I feel that this might be one of the most talented groups we've had on this show.

Next week instead of the regular performance competition episode they'll have an episode that profiles each of the top twenty dancers as a sort of "get to know them" dance exhibition. I'm very excited about this as it will give the audience a chance to experience everyone equally and not just bond to those handful that they focused on during the audition rounds. These are the folks I'm excited to get know a little better: Karen, Ariana, Kevin, Victor, and Peter
But really it'll just be awesome getting to see all of these guys dance without pressure and show the world their personalities.
On a side note -
What was up with Mia Michaels shaved head? Does she have an illness we don't know about? Is this why she's leaving SYTYCD? I'm still super bummed that we won't get any of Mia's cool choreography this season. Was she that mad about Adam Shankman getting the permanent judge seat?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reality TV Round-up for the week

Rachel Zoe Project finale - First, I don't think that Rachel or her husband Rodger know the difference between literally and figuratively. They both drive me CRAZY with their misuse and overuse of the word literally. So the season finale was a little disappointing and anti-climatic what with Rachel's "vertigo" still annoying, and her decision to make Rodger the head of her company just feeling like a stunt for the cameras. And her branding stuff seems far-fetched. Seriously those fake furs of hers are totally FUGLY. All in all a much better season than the first however.

Guilty Pleasure of the Week!
Million Dollar Listing - I hate to admit how much I missed Chad, Josh, and Madison and all of their ridiculousness. Looks like this season will be focusing on the collapse of the market, and how that affects the boys and their bottom lines. And their egos - can't forget those. The guys are still basically the same - Josh is still a blow-hard asshole but at least he shaved his head and looks much better; Chad still has his annoying voice and his STUPID hair and his misguided girlfriend but he's added a tiny little dog in the mix that he carries around in a leather satchel to client meetings; Madison still seems stoned but he's looking a lot more manorexic than I remember, and his weird accent still fascinates me, especially after meeting his older brother in the season opener who looks and sounds NOTHING like him. Tivo season pass has been set!

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team - Oh geez, I love this damn show so much. I'm sad to say that I've been waiting for this season to begin for a few months. The first episode is of course the initial auditions and they were fascinating as usual. I wish the show was one hour each week, not just for the premier and finale. Where do these girls come from? I swear, this show represents one of the reasons the Taliban hates us. But seeing bitch-in-heels Kelli McGonagill-Finglass again just warms my heart; I'm looking forward to Kelli making a lot of these girls cry. And yay! we got a to see and know a little bit more about security guard Phil. Will returnee Sunni Cranfill make the team this time? Will both Menchew sisters go all the way? Is Katie's ass still too big? Will all of the veterans make it through when they have to go through all of training camp with the newbies? These are the questions that keep me on the edge of my seat. Kind of sad to see Texas Stadium closed; and holy hell just how many people does the new Cowboys stadium fucking hold?! It's humongous!

SYTYCD - I totally thought they were announcing the top 20 this week. Lame! Fox is really milking these episodes and spreading them out aren't they? I guess I shouldn't complain that much. Although many of my faves have been cut, several are still in (e.g. cute boy who was too young to compete last season, tapper Philip, krumper dude, sassy Eleanor) and I hope they make the final group. Don't know why Adam Shankman was hyperventilating over that Billy kid, but whatever.

RW/RR Challenge - Evan and Veronica?! Ugh! **SHUDDER**
I was seriously too grossed out by the two of them to care about all of the other bullshit. Although, shut up Wes!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dear Journal...

"Feeling listless again today..."

Oh Sue, don't let the "bi-curious machinations of a cabal of doughy misshapened teens" get you down.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Weekend TV catchup

Seattle had one of the nicest fall weekends I can remember; with sunny but crisp cool temperatures, and I got to spend a lot of quality time with friends laughing, eating and singing. Consequently I didn't watch a lot of tv but that's not stopping me from talking about the couple of shows I did see.

10/2 Saturday Night Live hosted by Ryan Reynolds with musical guest Lady Gaga - if these two weren't exciting enough they were joined by surprise guest stars Madonna, Scarlet Johansson, Elijah Wood, and former SNL cast member Darrell Hammond. With all that talent it should have been a home run right? Yet not. Aside from Gaga's inspired and ridiculously over-the-top performance art pieces, the show was a surprising dud. My babe Ryan has such good comedic timing that I thought for sure he'd hit it out of the park. Maybe I'm being too harsh on Ryan when I really should be blaming the writers. Most of the jokes and skits fell flat. Aside from the "porCEElane fountain" sketch, and a send-up of So You Think You Can Dance featuring K-Fed, almost nothing else worked. Ryan was still real nice to look at though - that Scarlet is one lucky bitch.

The Amazing Race 15 -
Ok seriously, how annoying are Lance and Keri?! Yes, he's an arrogant know-it-all meathead, but she bugs me just as much what with her continued mispronunciation of Ho Chi Minh City ("Ho Chi MON city") and insisting they were in said city for some reason even though the clue said to take a taxi into the city and her fawking witless squawking - "'s just a bullet. Where's the clue? Tell 'em to give us our clue!". Sigh...I did enjoy the poignant moment with Marcy (BTW I love her whistle) reflecting on the beauty of Vietnam and thinking about her dad who was a U.S. general POW who was shot down, too bad they were eliminated. And the Globetrotters are still a delight.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

TV Round-up for Wednesday, September 30

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Ruins -
A few words from returning champion Wes on why he decided to come back for another Challenge: "I saw the opportunity to be with two of the most important girls that have ever been in my life [Johanna, Kellyann]; to be there with someone I'd consider a hated enemy [Kenny]; to be there with other ex-boyfriends of my girls [Cohutta, the aforementioned Kenny, etc.]; to me was just too hard to pass up." This guy is a NUT JOB. Welcome back Wes! It's also good to see my boy Kenny, Bananas, sad Brad, crazy Katie, daddy Derrick, and 'roidy Evan. Even self-righteous annoying Evelyn made me smile. And Chet! It's an embarrassment of riches really.
But seriously when Derrick and Cohutta are consistently the voices of reason during the first hour you know something is messed up. Is it weird that I don't actually know where the Challenge is taking place? Thailand? Mexico? Fiji? Mars?

Glee -
I loved EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE. Tonight's episode was made of WIN! First were the awesome performance numbers; Fox has been teasing us for months with tiny seconds of "Somebody To Love", but getting to see the full piece was so much better than I could hope for. And gawd, I couldn't love Kristin Chenoweth anymore if you paid me. Her comedic timing is amazing. Oh and her Sally Bowles! Kurt Hummel and I shared a tear watching her sing "Maybe This Time". And her duet with Matthew Morrison on Heart's "Alone" is quickly going to become the most played song on my iPod. A keeper all-around.

Modern Family/Cougar Town -
Last week wasn't a fluke. Both of these new ABC shows had good second episodes. Keep up the good work guys.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

2009 TV season's first casuality

WOW, the CW wasted no time. After airing only two episodes, The CW announced that the Ashton Kutcher-produced series "The Beautiful Life," about a bunch of vapid NYC models was being pulled off the air. It was pretty bad; at least the first episode was. And it looks like I won't get to see anymore now. People just really hate Mischa Barton now huh?
I hope this means that the CW will air repeats of "Vampire Diaries," because I keep missing it and it seems fun and kitschy.
Speaking of network disappointments, supposedly FOX is really unhappy with the ratings thus far for fan favorite "So You Think You Can Dance." They're not going to cancel it of course especially before the competition even starts but its lackluster ratings will probably relegate it back to the summer schedule (I mean DUH Fox, the power of Cat Deely can't save everything!)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thoughts on some of this week's TV premieres partie une

"Dancing With The Stars" - okay I didn't really watch either of the two-night season opener shows. Like for the past couple of seasons, this ABC juggernaut had 4 hours of programming devoted to 16 couples competing for the glitter disco ball trophy. The 8 men went first on Monday. I only got to see the two group dances for the guys at the end where 4 danced a salsa routine and the others danced the Viennese Waltz. Tom Delay (not John Ashcroft like I mistakenly thought) was SUPER creepy, and Donny Osmond and Aaron Carter were surprisingly good and both totally desperate for people to like them. Tuesday's was the girls' turn and I watched even less of them. I did get to see the ridiculously (emphasis on the ridiculous) great routine that my old boyfriend Dmitry Chaplin (from S2 of So You Think You Can Dance) choreographed for his partner, R&B singer Maya. I agreed with Len that the dance had very little to do with the Viennese Waltz; what with only 9 measures of dancing in hold, and the completely sheer and only buttoned at the navel shirt Dmitry was sporting. But whatever the routine was, it was beautiful.

"Bored To Death" - I couldn't love this show more if it gave me flowers and a million dollars. Seriously. Jason Schwartzman and Ted Danson are amazing. Galafanakis funny as usual like it's his full time job. Brilliant writing and pacing. I want this show to have 25 amazing seasons sharing the antics of Johnathan, George, and New York. LOVE

Sunday, September 20, 2009

TV Round-up for the week of September 14

Glee -
This third episode (the 2nd since last week's return) was pretty polarizing among the folks I've talked to. For some of my friends "Acafella" was sort the last straw, the nail in the coffin for a show that they really wanted to like and just can't get into at all. For others like me, this week's episode was fantastic; providing character arcs and story progression that hints at wonders to come. And come on - how could you not love all of the Acafella stuff? The early 90s hip-hop; the cheesiness; the fact that the storyline created an opportunity to have Matthew Morrison and John Lloyd Young perform together, like Ryan Murphy has been poaching my dreams. It was all so great. I will admit that as happy as I was last week when this show returned to tv, and as much as I enjoyed it, that return episode didn't exactly live up to the pilot. But this week got the show back on track for me. Added bonus? Josh Groban playing himself as the drunk-cougar lady killer. Excellent!

Community -
Speaking of unmet expectations, I wanted to LOVE the "Community" pilot and I just enjoyed it. I mean I'm still totally on board and I think it has a ton of potential but I guess I figured with my boyfriend Joel McHale and comedy legend Chevy Chase involved that I'd be doubled over clutching my sides with laughter. Not so much.

The Office - One of the better season premieres they've had. I loved all of the false rumors that Michael came up with and the opening involving Andy, Michael and Dwight with the Parkour stuff was GENIUS.

Big Brother 11 - So much (too much) has already been said about this disappointing finale. It was an hour too long, Julie looked ridiculous in her periwinkle silk rain poncho, fucking NataLIE won $50K, and Kevin was robbed. I didn't have a problem with Jordan winning actually; I'm just still mad that Natalie made it to the final 2. She should have gone home the week Lydia did and I blame Jordan for that. Oh well, until next summer BB, sayonara.

America's Next Top Model - What is wrong with me that I can't quit this horrible show? Tyra Banks is an idiotic egomaniac and this "season of the shortys" is even a bigger waste of time than usual. But here I am right there watching it each week. Gah!

Project Runway - What is up with the judging this season?! So far I haven't had a problem with any of the designers who've been "auf'ed" but for the last 3 weeks I've TOTALLY disagreed with the person they've chosen as the winner. And what is up with my boy Logan not getting the love? First there was his model client dress last week that I actually thought was really cute but which almost got him sent home, and then there was his newspaper dress this week that was so amazing and wasn't even in the top three!!? WTF?!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Like The Wind Through My Tree...

Patrick Swayze lost his battle with cancer this evening. By the time anybody reads this there will probably already be an oversaturation of memorials for him in the media, but I couldn't go to sleep without reminiscing about an actor that was in so many movies that shaped my teen years.

My Top 5 Swayze Moments
(in semi-chronological order):

1. Red Dawn (1984) - After "The Outsiders" gave me a little taste of Swayze as the strong older brother, I was excited to see him in a similar yet far larger role in this apocalyptic "the Russians are evil" film about a group of mid-western teens that try to fight the Soviet invaders. "Red Dawn" had a serious effect on me as a 13 yr old. I totally wanted to BE Leah Thompson or Jennifer Grey's characters, gun-toting, kick ass tomboys who are fighting for their country. It was so weird. It's disappointing to watch this today because the movie just does not hold up well at all. Oh well, I'll always have Patrick and his mullet.

2. Youngblood (1985) - The power of Swayze's mullet lived on in the hockey film he made the following year with Rob Lowe. I fawking loved this movie as an eighth grader. I loved boys (i.e. Rob Lowe, Keanu Reeves, Swayze), I loved hockey, I loved watching boys changing out of their hockey gear in sweaty locker rooms...this awful film awakened all kind of hormones. Sigh...

3. The North & South mini-series Books I and II (1985-1986) - Oh Orry Main, how I loved you. I think this was the first thing that Swayze had done where he really got to use his Southern accent to its full power. This mini-series trilogy that ran over a period of four years on CBS was based on some of my favorite historical fiction books by John Jakes. The mid 80s were the heyday of the mini-series and North & South was one of the best. Swayze really got to show off his acting chops.

4. Dirty Dancing (1987) - I still remember the night well. I was working the evening shift at Domino's and my friend Mandy Dramstad called to see if I wanted to catch a movie after my shift at the Tenleytown theaters that were a block away. Mandy met me at the 'No's and we walked to the theater. It was Friday night and we didn't have any idea what was out or what was opening. I don't remember what else was playing but as soon as we saw the poster for Dirty Dancing and the line of folks waiting to buy tickets for the opening night, we were sold. For two 11th graders the movie was of course - AMAZING - and I remember the two of us singing "Time of Our Lives" at the top of our lungs as I drove us home. Timeless classic for reals.

5. Point Break (1991) - Zen bankrobbing surfer dude who is so awesome even Keanu Reeves' FBI agent didn't want to put him in jail. The reason that Patrick was named by People Magazine as that year's Sexiest Man Alive, 'nuff said.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

14 Reasons Why the New "Melrose Place" Sucks

  1. Shaun Sipos (David) acts with his furrowed brow and not much else.
  2. Ashlee Simpson's (sorry, Ashlee Simpson Wentz's) acting style seems to involve looking "aloof" and/or constantly thinking about her nose job.
  3. Katie Cassidy wants to be Heather Locklear so badly it's not funny. I don't know if this bad knock-off performance was the producers idea or her own motivation but she needs to quit it. Now.
  4. Katie Cassidy's character Ella is shocker of shockers a LESBIAN. Ooooh edgy.
  5. Michael Rady is no Andrew Shue. (Small favors - at least he's not inflicting a horrible "Greek" accent on us like he did in the Traveling Pants movies)
  6. Stephanie Jacobsen is one of the few English/Aussie actors that can't do a convincing American accent.
  7. Speaking of Jacobsen, her character had one of the most ridiculous B stories on tonight's premier: She plays a doctor? Who's still in medical school and can't afford the tuition so I guess she isn't a doctor yet? But she works in a hospital and not only isn't supervised by any resident or attending but also has heart patients that she diagnoses and treats? And if they wanted to do this whole money problem stuff why couldn't she just be struggling with student loans like every other new doctor? And then to have a perfectly decent seeming character, who is nice, smart, and incredibly good-looking offer this chick $5K to sleep with him? The hell? And she does it?! Such poor writing.
  8. Why would someone automatically think that a square red leather box, just lying on their friend's dining room table, contained an engagement ring? Nothing about the box screamed I HAVE A DIAMOND RING IN HERE. Once again really clumsy writing.
  9. The clunky exposition fairy that graced the scene between Ashley Simpson-Wentz's character and Colin Egglesfield's Auggie that went something like this - "We met at church." "Oh, are you very religious?" "No. We met in the basement, you know, AA meeting." "She was the first one to encourage me to be a chef." WORST. Writing. Ever.
  10. David blacks out? And is an art thief?
  11. This whole season is going to revolve around the plot of who killed Sydney Andrews?
  12. Your landlady is murdered that morning, and at the impromptu memorial service that you have that evening at the site of her murder you act as if she just moved away to New Mexico instead of being stabbed to death by an unknown assailant who is still on the loose.
  13. They fill the pool with a garden hose?!
  14. Not enough Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton in full-effect evil Mrs. Roper style).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Nigel & Co.'s Top SYTYCD couple routines

I'll preface by saying that any SYTYCD that Fox, Nigel and Co. want to give me I'll gladly take. And while I get that "favorite" = subjective, there were some glaring misses tonight.
The show started out with promise replaying routines that had somewhat faded in my memory like "Black Mambo" but then it got kind of predictable towards the end.
But seriously, out of all of the Brandette brilliance, 'effin DISCO? It was fab but hello, Ruby Blue and Argentine Tango were better.

Also, talking about Season 1 and NOT showing any routine with Blake McGrath is a damn crime. Although it was nice to see Nick and Melody's "All That Jazz", I forgot how fun it was.
Anyway, it was a pleasant way to spend an hour.

SYTYCD - Top Couple Routines S1-S5

Tonight as a preview to Season 6 starting in a couple of weeks, So You Think You Can Dance is doing a special presentation of what they consider the top routines from supposedly all 5 of the seasons so far. In honor of this I put together my own list of faves from the first 5 seasons. I've already talked about my favorite group routines but now I'll present my top couple routines. **WARNING** The following videos are from YouTube which is notious for yanking SYTYCD clips off their site so I apologize in advance if by the time you read this the video isn't working.

A little word about the much forgotten first season of this show. I'll never forget the first night I caught an episode of SYTYCD; it was the night that Artem and Ashley danced the following to one of my favorite songs of all time. The 90 seconds that they danced brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't believe how moved I was. Two weeks later Blake and Destiny performed the same routine by Mia Michaels and it was just as beautiful in a totally different way. (Editor's note: I cannot remember for the life of me why in Season 1 dance routines were often recycled? Right down to the costumes. Was it to show the difference in ability between the dancers? Lazy choreographers? No clue.)

S1 - Ashley & Artem Lyrical "Song for You" by Mia Michaels (The following two pieces of video do not have audio - you don't need Donny Hathaway singing - just watch the gorgeous dancing.

S1 - Destiny & Blake Lyrical "Song for You" by Mia Michaels

The famous "Bench Dance":
S2 - Heidi & Travis Contemporary "Calling You" by Mia Michaels

"Table Dance":
S3 - Sabra & Neil Contemporary "Sweet Dreams" by Mandy Moore

S3 Lauren & Pasha Hip-Hop "Fuego" by Shane Sparks

S3 - Sara & Pasha West Coast Swing - "Rockafeller Skank" by Benji Schwimmer

S4 - Katee & Joshua Hip-Hop "No Air" by Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo

A routine that gets eclipsed by all of the other stand-outs from the 4th season, this surprising partnership between Court and Will was one of my favorite moments:
S4 - Courtney & Will Hip-Hop "Like You'll Never See Me Again" by Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo

S4 - Chelsie & Mark Lyrical Hip-Hop "Bleeding Love" by Napoleon and Tabitha D'umo

S5 - Janette & Brandon Jazz "Ruby Blue" by Wade Robson

S5 - Melissa & Ade Rumba "Emotions" by Tony Meredith and Melanie LePatin

Saturday, August 29, 2009

TV Round-up for the week

Best thing I saw all week - What Would Brian Boitano Make?
"what would Brian Boitano do if he were here right now? He'd make a plan and follow through, that's what Brian Boitano'd do!" (I wonder if you have to pay royalties to use a song as your show's theme, if said song was actually written about you?)
Who knew Brian Boitano could cook, and was so funny with such a self-depricating sense of humor, and liked "riding his bike on rainbows". His new little cooking show is a great way to spend 30 minutes. It's a little bit "Good Eats", a little "Barefoot Contessa" with a little Rachel Ray thrown into the mix. Filmed out of his gorgeous house in San Francisco it looks like the show will focus on food to prepare for entertaining. The first episode dealt with Brian trying to find a date for his straight bachelor friend Tony. This show is fun!
Show that hasn't made a wrong move yet this season? True Blood
While a lot of this season's plots have come from several of the Charlaine Harris books that the show is based on, the writers/producers have embellished and changed things around enough that I truly don't know how this season is going to end. No clue. At all. Only 2 more episodes to go!
Show that ended with a mind f*ck - Nurse Jackie
This week's first season finale was a doozy. Did Jackie try to kill herself at the end? Did she OD? What will happen to her adorable family? Or Coop? Or Zoe? Don't tell me I have to wait 8 months to find out!!
Worse thing my wallet saw this week - Big Brother 11's Thursday show
Russell was stupidly kicked off thus ending my chance at winning $150 in my office pool. Damn Jeff! I now want Kevin or Michele to win.
Obsession renewed this week - Project Runway
So far the move to Lifetime and LA hasn't seemed to hurt the show one bit. Add the new Models of the Runway, the entertaining behind-the-scenes look at the PR clothes hanger girls and Thursday nights are becoming my new favorite thing.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sing it with me - "ACTivEEyAAAH..."

By now the Dannon Activia ads and the Saturday Night Live spot-on spoofs of them are known by practically everyone. And countless folks have blogged and bitched about them before so what I have to say isn't anything new, but I've been seeing the latest ad every time I turn the television on and it's really been bugging me, so allow me to rant.

(on the left - Why is this lady smiling so hard? Did she just poop?)

WTF Dannon? In the latest ad two ladies are relaxing on lounge chairs at a fancy pool (the Dannon website says they're at a "spa") and one turns to the other says "Wanna go for a swim?". The poor lady responds in a loud whisper that she can't - "she's a little irregular" - complete with the swirling hand motions over her belly and a wacky grimace on her face.

I find so many things wrong with this scene - first, if you were only slightly constipated (the lady laughs off the suggestion of eating Activia because her "problems" are so minor) wouldn't swimming in nice cool bouyant water make you feel better? And the exercise would possibly even stimulate your bowels? Second, would a sane person even admit to their friend that they don't feel like swimming because they need to take a crap?! No. You would just say, "hey I want to read this book", or "girl, I'm getting my flirt on with the towel boy/cabana boy/bartender/masseuse, I'd rather not leave this chair", or in this case because the constipated lady is of African-American descent she could've said that she didn't want to get her hair wet.

While I love me some Jamie Lee Curtis, I've never been a fan of these ads. The funky arrow formed out of bacteria orbs that points down indicating that as soon as you eat the yogurt poop will just shoot out of you; the way Dannon insists on calling constipation "slow intestinal transit" like it's some damn light rail train in your body; the fact that Dannon seemingly came up with their own trademarked name for the probiotic bateria that used in the yogurt - Bifidus Regularis, I mean can you just make up your own scientific sounding name like that?
There is a reason I love Tivo, so I think I'll just be boop-beeb-booping over these commercials in the future.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Revisiting a Classic - "Another Country"

Sometimes I just love Tivo. Its little DVR brain looks at my Wishlists and what I’ve been watching and decides to record things that it thinks I will like. In the wee hours of the morning yesterday Tivo decided to record a movie that I haven’t seen in probably 15 years, Another Country, starring a trio of breathtakingly beautiful (and YOUNG) actors Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, and Cary Elwes; long before any of them were stars. Watching this late last night I was transported back to my teen years.

In the mid-80s, I, the daughter of a self-proclaimed anglophile, was in the midst of a wonderful 2nd British Invasion; with all of the glorious music that was around (Style Council, Smiths, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Specials, English Beat etc) and all of the great films/mini-series coming out at that time including: Chariots of Fire, Brideshead Revisited, My Beautiful Laundrette, A Room With A View, and 1984’s Another Country. I was obsessed with anything and everything British, and of course I loved cute boys, so Another Country was right up my alley; when it came out my mother and I saw it in the theater its opening weekend. I didn’t totally "get" it back then, but I pretended that I did and added it to my collection of things that I loved. I even had the huge movie poster (see above left) on my bedroom wall that I recall getting from the gay bookstore in Dupont Circle about a month after the movie came out.
Another Country has really held up well, and besides the horrible old man make-up they have on Everett at the opening/ending of the film, this beautifully shot and acted film is a treat that I would highly recommend. I defy you to listen to Colin Firth’s character Tommy utter the phrase “contemptuous sycophant” and not swoon and/or smile.

Some background on the basis for the film - In the 1930s, four young men of rank and privilege met at Cambridge University, went on to earn positions of authority within British intelligence, and then decided to systematically betray their country and their class by spying for the Soviet Union, offering state secrets to the KGB. The notorious Cambridge Spies escaped detection for decades; Kim Philby, Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess were exposed in the 50s and defected to Russia, and Anthony Blunt escaped public exposure until 1979. The fact that a traitor like Blunt could have ascended so high in society shocked Britain to its core and was all over the news. It inspired playwright Julian Mitchell in1980 to write a fictionalized account of what might make a member of the elite like Guy Burgess break with his class as a young adult and betray his country.

In the movie Rupert Everett plays the Burgess-like Guy Bennett reprising his character from the original stage play. The film begins in 1983, with a reporter arriving in Moscow to interview an unrepentant Bennett, who recalls his days at an “Eton like” public school. Told in flashback, the movie concentrates on Bennett's alienation from his peers at the boarding school because of his homosexuality; his friendship with fellow alienated peer Tommy Judd played by Firth, who’s a Marxist, Stalin-loving “commie” who openly scorns and shuns the school’s rules and traditions; and Bennett’s transforming love and romance with a student played by Elwes.

The movie surmises that even if you're destined to be on top of the class system hierarchy, it is suffocating and cruel and can lead one to rebel in the worse ways. Eh, the movie never does that good a job of linking Bennett's struggles in school with why he decided to become a spy. But I'm not sure it's supposed to, or has to. It really serves as a window into a time and place that is so completely foreign it's like another planet. One filled with gorgeous angelic boys with awesome accents. Does this make me shallow? So be it. Go out and rent this or catch it on cable.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fall/4th Qtr 2009 Movies - September edition

As we ramp up towards the autumn/early winter extravanganza of TV premiers and the slew of movies coming our way, I've been looking at the roster of films and getting sort of excited about some of the things arriving in theaters in the next few months.
Here's what I'm looking forward to in September:
Gamer - The plot is about how folks in the future play video games using real people (death row prisoners). And if the prisoner can survive 30 games they get their freedom. TV's Dexter, Michael C. Hall is the bad guy “player”, and of course hottie Gerard Butler is the prisoner. Written and directed by Neveldine and Taylor, the duo behind Crank. So yep, this is right up my action movie alley.

Extract - Jason Bateman plays the owner of a factory that makes flavor extracts; and he gets the hots for a new employee played by the chick who was Kelso's girlfriend on "That 70s Show". Eh, who cares about the plot really. It's got Bateman, Kristen Wiig as his wife, J.K. Simmons as the factory manager, and Ben Affleck as Bateman's BFF. And it's Mike Judge's latest movie. I'm sold!

The Invention of Lying - Ricky Gervais lives in a world where nobody lies and everyone is very earnest, TMI-ey, and honest to a fault. Gervais comes up with the brilliant idea to lie, and hilarity ensues. Jennifer Garner, Tina Fey, and Jonah Hill round out the cast so I'm very optimistic that this will be very funny.
Love Happens - I have to admit this romantic dramedy sounds like a rehash of Sleepless in Seattle, with Aaron Eckhart playing a widower in Seattle who falls in love with Jennifer Aniston. But one, I love me some Aaron Eckhart; two, I love watching movies that take place in the city I live in; three, I'm a sucker for schlocky romance. I'm just a little concerned that I have not seen an ad for this yet. Bad sign.

Fame! - There are just a few things that you need to know about me to understand how excited I am about this damn movie:

  1. The original Fame is one of my all-time favorite movies. I defy you to find another person who knows the soundtrack better than I do. Every single track; from the popular title theme to the most obscure gospel choir track.
  2. The 1980 film was a major influence on my childhood. It was the reason I seriously considered going to Duke Ellington (the performing arts highschool in DC) and one of things that got me into musical theater in junior and senior high.
  3. My love for Debbie Allen knows no bounds. The whole "You want fame. Well fame costs. And here is where you start paying; in SWEAT!" thing is totally played out, but still powerful for me if it's coming out of the mouth of one Miss Allen. Add Bebe Neuwirth to the mix and we've got magic people.
  4. I love cheesy dance films. I've seen them all. Center Stage (1 and 2), all of the "Step Up" movies (only two have been released so far, but 3 is coming soon and I'm sure we'll have "Step Up - Keep on Stepping it Up 14" in the future), the crazy menagerie of dance movies from the 80s from Flashdance to Breakin' and it's Electric Boogaloo sequel, Dirty Dancing (and it's horrid sequel), movies about ballroom, movies about ballet, I love at least a small part of them all. Add to that my love of dance stuff on tv and the remake of Fame is perfect because there are kids from So You Think You Can Dance in it and they seem to have modernized the story enough without totally messing with it too much.

I am officially too excited about this.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Big Brother 11 DRAMA

I won't get too spoilery for those of you who don't keep up with the live feeds, but this, up until now boring and tedious, season of Big Brother just got CRAZY.

First, CBS decided to run a taped show instead of a live one on Thursday because outgoing HOH Chima had threatened the producers all week that she was going to go bat-shit crazy on everyone during the live show in front of millions because she suspected that one of the houseguests would use the special "Coup d'etat" power allowing them to overturn her HOH. So they moved to a taped show so that they control anything that might happen before broadcasting. Production has been conceding to Chima's threats all season; ever since she went "off script" during the first eviction and railed against Braden for being a rascist, BB has been a little scared of Chima.
Next, after Michele won HOH on Thursday a whole ton of crap went down with Chima, Natalie, and Lydia banding together moaning and literally crying over Jessie's ouster; going over the BB rule book with a fine-tooth comb to make sure they couldn't catch any mess up that Jeff, Michele, or Russ might've done; taking and hiding Jeff's clothes and his rosary beads; hogging the washer/dryer by doing endless cycles of wash and sitting on top of the machines so nobody else could use them; flipping off and screaming at production whenever asked to put on their mics, or go to the diary room - and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Just when I was about to write this season off, it goes and gets ridiculously dramatic and wonderful. I won't say more, but just you wait until Tuesday's (Aug. 18) show. Way to go Grodner; damn you and your CBS monkeys for pulling me in again.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

TV Round-up - first week of August 2009

Final thoughts on So You Think You Can Dance Season 5-
So this little review is very late; mostly because I was on vacation without web access right after the final 4 performances, and partly because I've still been processing the last 4 hours of this season and haven't been able to put my thoughts in any kind of order.

The first problem I had with the finale week was the show's move to the Kodak Theater. On one hand it was wonderful to see that the powers that be have so much faith and pride in the show. They clearly wanted to showcase it in a larger venue and have a bigger audience to appreciate the dancers and allow the great choreographers to have a chance to show off. But for me the larger stage just didn't work. It didn't help that the lighting and the camera work were shitty, but somehow the dance performances were all dwarfed on that big stage and it was hard to pull off the subtle nuances that a few of the routines required. It was very obvious that most of the routines were choreographed for a smaller space originally. Even Wade Robson's opening bit seemed "small" on the Kodak stage.

Anyway, it was clear that the judges had an agenda from the beginning of the final to push Jeanine and Brandon and dump on Evan; and I was totally fine with this because Jeanine and Brandon were the best with Kayla trailing behind in 3rd and Evan a distant 4th. I just wish the judges hadn't been so over-handed with their favoritism.
Thursday's final results show worked much better on the Kodak stage. I don't know if it was the routines that were chosen, or if it was that they got the lighting, cameras, and staging working better but most of the performances worked. I especially loved the return performance of the top 16 "calle ocho" hip-hop/salsa fusion piece that Dmitry and Nappy Tabs did. It popped on the bigger stage.

The encore "judges favorites" routines mostly were those I liked this season (except "butt dance"? really?), but they did come off as producer picks rather than routines that the judges in question actually chose. Big ups to new-to-this-show choreographer Louis Van Amstel for having the most dances highlighted. I also really enjoyed seeing the winner from the Aussie version of this show dancing a Sonya number to one of my fave songs "Shot You Down".

Anyway, the winner came down between the 2 most deserving, Brandon and Jeanine, with my girl taking the big prize. I couldn't be happier except it's sort of sad that her "reign" will only last for a couple of months because season 6 begins in a couple of weeks. As much as I adore this show, one of the reasons I like it is because I associate with summer. Cramming another season so close to the ending of this one feels totally wrong. But if it means more viewers for Glee than I'm all for it.

I'm not going to lie - me and my almost 40 yr old ass will be first in line to see the remake of the movie Fame.

Real Housewives of Atlanta & Watch What Happens L!ve -

I promised myself that I wouldn't get caught up and watch the second season of RH:Atlanta, but dang it they sucked me in right from the first episode. Sigh...

I'm still having a love/hate relationship with Andy Cohen and his little weekly gabfest. On the one hand I like the informality of the show, like we're hanging out with friends gossiping over cocktails. But then again Andy Cohen is very annoying and that seemingly won't be changing anytime soon.