Archive for March, 2009

I know it’s late. Busy week.

We open with paintball. Finally we get to see the guys play paintball. And typically, Sheldon is anal retentive and insane. Physics team paintball strategy meeting? Stargate episodes as strategy? Poor Howard, though, still forever a mama’s boy. Leslie Winkle is back, and she and Howard, trapped in a shack, talk about the difficulty of war ( she killed her team in a hail of friendly fire). Dialog lifted out of every classic war film ( including Raj’s tribute to Robert Duvall). Leslie and Howard start making out. Leonard calls to Howard, who replies ” war is hell” and continues to make out with Leslie.

TBBT universe is also in an economic crunch, and the boys are complaining about cutbacks. Sheldon’s theory is that they should all be fired to fund his research ( our Sheldon is full on back!!!!!) Leslie, though, tells Howard his request for new equipment is approved, leading to a discussion of quid pro quo in which the boys suss out Howard’s reason for failing to cover them in the paintball has to do with his hooking up twice in the shed with Leslie. Bombarded with opinions about how unfair it is that he’s getting rewarded for sexual favors, Howard points out that it is indeed unfair, but he was also having sex while they were not, and that’s merely delightful.

Howard, though, gets a taste of Howard’s own medicine when it becomes clear that Leslie is only using him as a bought and paid sex toy/arm candy when he almost is disinvited to Geneva on a field trip with Leslie after refusing to go to her sister’s wedding. Leslie insists she would be uncomfortable without using quid pro quo as then they would disintegrate into a real relationship with ” feelings and crap”. Howard accepts this and asks his mom to rent him a tux.

The actual A story involves Penny accidentally shooting Sheldon’s ” spot” on the couch with a paintball gun, causing Sheldon a few uncomfortable days in which he sighs incessantly during Halo night’s Chinese food meal. Leonard though, throws himself in the line of fire at the end of the show by admitting that he had actually been buying Sheldon’s cashew chicken from a different restaurant and putting into the bought containers from a now closed favorite. For two years. Sheldon goes into an existential crisis, but insists the cushion, recently cleaned and brought back, still isn’t right.

Overall, the episode had very funny lines, and real out loud laughter moments ( the look on Howard’s face after sex with Leslie- priceless). The story was a little repetitive ( how many times can we talk about Sheldon’s spot?), but as long as one can wring humor from it, I guess the writer’s will continue.

Sheldon line of the night- ” They don’t talk incessantly for no good reason?” in response to Leonard’s query about what makes a good friend.

Grade- B-

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The Wild Card Round.

I hate it. This would have eliminated Jordin Sparks and David Cook in previous seasons.

But I digress.

And truth be told, six of the eight gave far better performances tonight than in their previous tries. Jessie sang Chaka’s ” Tell Me Something Good” with soul and spunk, Matt Giraud nailed the Jackson 5’s ” Who’s Loving You”, Megan Corkrey shone on ” Black Horse And The Cherry Tree”, Jasmine dazzled with Christina Aguilera’s ” Reflection”, Ricky was all funky with stevie wonder’s ” Superstition”, and Anoop was on fire with ” My Perogative”. Only Von Smith’s ” Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” and Tatianna’s ” Saving All my Love For You” fell flat, and when eliminated again, Tatianna went drama queen histonic again. But the judges, in their wisdom, went with four people- Megan, Jasmine, Matt, and Anoop( I told you they wanted Anoop that badly. For all the producer’s pimping of Adam, Danny, and Lil, the judges seem to prefer Anoop.)

So we begin again next week, and who shall win is really up in the air. Last year, David Cook was barely on the radar, having dazzled with ” Billie Jean”, but still under the massive shadow of Archie. Lil appears to be the producer’s pick, but there are some interesting personalities in the mix.

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First, pity the musical genius that is MICHAEL JACKSON, who gave us Thriller and Bad and Off the Wall, ” Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” and amazing videos that fill our 80s loving hearts. The man announcing a ten date concert series at London’s O2 Arena is not Michael Jackson, no matter what he says. That is a shadow of a man. Saddest story in music, I think, when all is said and done. The series starts on July 8, and despite everything, I think it’s still a tentative stand. He looks mighty frail in the pics I’ve seen.

Coolness factor off the charts news- Daft Punk is to score the upcoming Tron sequel. How awesome is that?

And lastly, in so FRAKKIN’ AWESOME I MIGHT JUST PLOTZ news- Larry David’s genius keeps them coming back, I guess, as all four Seinfeld regulars are to appear on Curb Your Enthusiasm this upcoming season. Julia’s been on already ( I caught a bit of it on Sunday night- A Channel had it on). But yes- Jason, Michael, and Jerry are gonna be there. Whoot! closest thing we’ll ever get to a reunion!

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Start off with a heinous version of Katy Perry’s ” Hot N Cold”, in which my kids laughed with the obvious switch from ” bitch” to ” girl” in the lyrics. Gawd, that was not good at all ( eldest DD disagrees, but what does she know?).

Whatever, we knew Lil would get through ( and she was better tonight, IMO), and Scott ( I also thought he was better as well, but clearly, I am in the minority about Scott MacIntyre.) I also predicted Jorge over Ju’not, and was right on that account.

The last twenty minutes were reserved to the Wild Card show, which airs tomorrow. The judges have brought back Von Smith, Jasmine Murray, Ricky Braddy, Megan Corkrey, Shriekianna (kill me now), Matt Giraud, Jesse Langseth, and Anoop Desai ( I called that one).

Jorge takes us out with a pleasant version of his song from last night, and I pray to God Shriekianna has a meltdown and we never hear from her again.

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A Big Bang Moment of Thought

Matt Mitovich over at TV Guide let loose this spoiler from an upcoming episode:
What happens when you arm a quartet of beautiful minds with glue guns and sequins?

Which begs the question: Do we really want to see Sheldon with a glue gun and sequins? And will Howard go all negs due to over indulgence in flashiness? Will Raj be able to tell Penny that her pet hobby is whackadoodleness? And will Leonard manage not to glue sequins to his glasses?

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I am back from a horrendous sinus thingy and chest cold to bring back the snark. And there was stuff to be snarky about. But less than the previous two weeks.

Yes- this week was actually pretty good.

Von Smith opened the show with a restrained ( for Von Smith) version of ” You’re All I Need To Get By”. The Tammi Terrell- Marvin Gaye classic is one of those songs I adore and refuse to believe anyone can sing it better than the soul king and his princess. And still, no one can. But Von surprised me and I didn’t hate him as much as i did when he tried to blast everyone’s ear drums out of their heads. It was far from perfect- he started too low and ended up shaky to start, and he seemed half a step off the tempo at times. But considering what I’ve heard from the previous two groups…

Is Simon calling you Clay Aiken like a good thing?

Taylor Vaifuna seems lovely, but that version of ” If I Ain’t Got You”- not so much. I normally hate girls who attempt Alicia Keys, who is an amazing singer and an intricate songwriter. The song was simply too big for her. Not pretty.

Alex Wagner-Tugman impressed in earlier rounds with a surprising soulful grit, but his version of ” I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues”  was all over the place. He brought in the grit where it didn’t need to be, and his straight ahead vocals were good, not spectacular. He blew it.

Arianna Asfar is a cute kid, but she has apparently never heard my advice about ABBA. NEVER sing ABBA. The melodies are deceptive. Believe me, we own ABBA SingStar, and we cannot leave the easy stage due to the fact that those songs are impossibly complex melodically. And she dared to change it up, and it was a gigantic disaster. She was never on pitch, never on tempo, and the judges declaration of ” gloomy” was spot on ( a teenage girl singing a song about trying to make peace after finalizing divorce? Seriously?).

Ju’not Joyner surprised me with a warm, touching, soulful version of ” Hey There Delilah” A little pitchy at points, but it was sweet, gentle, even delicate.  Delightful. But I don’t think it’s enough unless the judges bring him back.

Kristen McNamara gained fame during Hollywood week as being part of Drama Queen’s drama. But she does have a really great rock-blues voice, and Tracy Chapman’s ” Give Me One Reason” was a really safe choice. She managed to incorporate four different keys in two minutes, and she hit every change flawlessly. The arrangement was sunnier than the original, so it fit the young singer better.  Again, though, as good as she was, it’s likely not enough.

Nathaniel ” Drama Queen” Marshall chose ” I Would do Anything For Love”.  Why? His performance was cabaret at best, bad drag act at worst.  I’m in Simon’s camp on this one- it was excruciating.

Felicia Barton is the girl who took the Ringer’s place, and she turned in a really great vocal on- shocker- an Alicia Keys song.  There were a few stray notes ( and one big whopper of a missed one), but it was consistently good. I wonder if it was enough.

Scott MacIntyre, though, won me over with ” Mandolin Rain”. Not a perfect vocal, and the judges are right to say he isn’t the best vocalist. But man, I believed that song, I believed him, and I love me some Bruce Hornsby. I want Scott to stay so I can see him play. The pianist in me needs that.

Kendall beard is another of those blonde country girl Idol loves, but she falls way short of Carrie and Kellie into Kristy Lee territory. Her vocals are not strong enough.

Surprise of the night was Jorge Nunez. I honestly thought he was some lame dude with an okay voice, but his version of ” Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” was almost on par with Aiken’s season two masterpiece. I just don’t like the facial tics.

Producer’s Pimp Spot goes to the pimped to high heavens Lil Rounds. And finally someone deserved it. She kicked that Mary J. Blige song out of the park.  Plus, bonus on the self censorship.  She missed a couple of notes and was a little quick at the start ( nerves). But yeah, that, my friends, is how to use the pimp slot to your advantage. Take notes, Madame Lambert.

Can we just dump Danny and Adam? Just asking.

Push comes to shove, I think Lil has the ladies, Scott the gents, with Ju’not, Kristen, Felicia, and Jorge fighting for that last spot. I also think that who gets through weighs the judges choice. If two guys and a girl get in again, will they go all female to balance gender ( Idol loves symmetry)? Lord knows, although Simon would tsk tsk me in thinking such a thing.

BTW- I think it’ll be a guy who gets the third slot, and I’m thinking it’ll be Jorge, although I personally like Ju’not better.

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Ausiello at EW has confirmed that Life On Mars has been cancelled by ABC. Mourn everyone.

Two And A Half Men has gotten a three season pick up from CBS. Mourn harder.

Now rejoice- The Big Bang Theory has gotten a two season pick up. SHELDON COOPER FOR THE WIN!

No word yet on How I Met Your Mother, though.

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