Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘television’

On Emmy night ( September 20, 2009), I will be doing my Emmy commentary live through out the night. You’re all invited. Seriously.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I could go on and on about the technical flaws I saw on last nights episode ( the musical numbers were way to polished and the AV was out of sync), but I’m not. No. Because I am in love with this show.

The fact I love this show should be no surprise to anyone, as I am also deeply in love with Ryan Murphy’s previous high school dramedy Popular  (Mary Cherry forever!). Glee in many ways hits similar tones comically and dramatically as this late 90s cult classic, and the struggles the students face are also similar. The slightly awkward, overly ambitious girl crushes on the cool jock boy who dates the pretty blonde cheerleader. There are kids with speech impediments and disabilities, and they aren’t all a size two. Murphy creates a real high school feeling. Then he throws on show stopping musical numbers.

Now, the audio of ” Gold Digger” is amazing, but it was hampered last night by poor mixing and editing.  In fact, that was an issue with all the musical numbers last night. If this show is going to work over the long haul, they have to fix it. Off sync is distracting.  And the “Push It” number was amazingly cringe worthy and hilarious at the same time. I watched it mouth agape and sniggering the entire time. That was right on the edge of appropriate and Murphy probably knows it ( the man also created Nip/Tuck, which has been crossing that line for years).

But there were some really great moments in the episode- Will and Emma’s chalk dust on the nose, Finn and Rachel bonding over their mutual love of music, Finn making the angels cry with that popping balloon, Rachel’s speech on teenage sexuality that made her a hero to a certain faction of horny teenage boys, every moment Jane Lynch and Jayma Mays were on screen, and the realization that Quinn and the Cheerios can kind of sing. As the Cheerios go in to spy for Sue Sylvester, expect high jinks to ensue.

The flaws,  though, have the potential to be too distracting. I like Jessalyn Gilsig a lot as an actor, but her character Terri is shrill and shrewish. I honestly wanted to punch her at various moments ( though I did snicker when she pointed out the children’s bedroom as the room for ” their daughter or gay son”). The Cheerios are still way into Mean Girls territory and have yet to be really fleshed out as characters. The same thing can be said about the jocks. There are those sync issues and they need to dirty up the vocal tracks as well ( last night was a little too polished and studio for my liking- only ” Take A Bow” came close to any real emotional connection, aside from Jayma Mays’ Emma sobbing through ” All By Myself” in her car).

Then there are the highs. The appealing youngsters are delightful as the ” island of misfit toys”, as Sue called them. Matthew Morrison ( Tony nominee for Light In The Piazza and the original Link in Hairspray)  is charming as Will, who only seems to come really alive when he’s at the school, doing Glee and interacting with the students. The incomparable Jane Lynch is clearly delighting in playing the vindictive, spoiled, entitled cheerleading coach, who gets the school to pay for European dry cleaners and for some reason has seen an elementary school production of Hair. There is sharp humor and commentary about relationships, the high school caste system, and the general malaise of education systems in North America.

After the completely charming pilot, this was a good follow up episode.

Pilot received an A from me. ” Showmance” gets a solid B+.

Quoteworthy!

Rachel: I guess I don’t have a gag reflex.

Emma: Years from now you’ll find that a blessing.

***

Coach Tanaka: I’m a minority so they can’t fire me, I’ll always be able to provide for you.

***

Kurt: Wait! One day you will all work for me.

Other things of note:

  • Figures guys would join the Celibacy Club to try and bed their chaste girlfriends.
  • Chris Colfer, who plays Kurt, is going to get a big episode coming up that Ryan Murphy has said is based on his own high school experience. If you know anything about Ryan Murphy, you can probably figure it out.
  • I tend to hate cheerleaders in TV world. These ones take the cake.
  • Quinn and Finn. I hate cutesy couples with rhyming names.
  • Amber Reilly has a voice and a half!
  • I do not remember the disco revivial of 1993. Anyone else?

Read Full Post »

First, the good news.

Best Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Years of Devotion to How I Met Your Mother and Scrubs has been painful at times, as both of these hilarious but criminally under watched shows suffered from time slot shifts and near cancellation more than once. But HIMYM‘s fifth season was all but assured this year as it experienced a small uptick thanks to it’s new lead in. Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady’s superior Friends meets Seinfeld meets SciFi convention multicam sitcom has quickly become the most reliable funny show on the boob tube.

Best Comedic Performance- Male

Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

The lanky actor with a slight lisp and a gift for comedic OCD reactions has been the breakout  star on a solid ensemble cast. A virtual unknown before the show, he has quickly become the front man for the cast, doing more press than all the others four combined. And if anyone has seen his spots on Craig Ferguson, he is charming, funny, and Un-Sheldonlike. But nothing tops TBBT Christmas episode, in which Sheldon hugs Penny ( Kaley Cuoco)- that is physical comedy at it’s best.

Best Comedic Performance- Female

Jane Krakowski as Jenna on 30 Rock

She has always been funny ( look at her character on Ally McBeal), but this year, Jenna has been inspired, even profane ( black face? Seriously?). Jane and Tracy Morgan are making a brilliantly idiotic comic team. Jenna’s vacuous presence makes up for a more uneven season.

Best Drama Series

Chuck (NBC)

Okay, it’s one of the funniest shows on TV. But this spy dramedy mashup is also one of the most affecting shows I have ever had the privilege to watch. The Josh Schwartz /Chris Fedak run show has vastly improved in it’s second season ( and it’s first, strike shortened season wasn’t bad to begin with). Wildly inventive while being almost religiously devoted to geek world references ( plus a deep love of the 80s- the show adores Spies Like Us to the point of ridiculousness, but you love every minute of it). Bonus- an awesome soundtrack. Well, it is a Josh Schwartz show.

Best Dramatic Performance- Male

Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski, Chuck

We in the know and who loved Less than Perfect  remember Levi as being comically gifted ( and a great singer- ” Luck be A Lady” was a series highlight for me). But his portrayal of the Nerd Herder with a government computer in his brain is a gentle mix of comedy and pathos. He breaks my heart as often as he makes me laugh. And now that he knows kung fu, I’m all agog. Brilliant.

Best Dramatic Performance- Female

Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olsen, Mad Men

As the girl who walks into the mean manly man world of advertising, she delivers a subtle, heart breaking performance. She has suffered tremendously for her ambition on both a personal and a professional level, but do not mistake her for a pushover. Moss, so winning on The West Wing as Zoey Bartlett, has really grown into a spectacularly nuanced actress.

Best Series Finale- Till it wasn’t

Scrubs (ABC)

In perfect cohesion with the rest of the series. Everyone was there. Hooch really is crazy. Beardface, Snoop Dogg Intern/Resident, Gloria, even those who have passed. A sweet sentimental moment where J.D. ( Zach Braff- still so good here) sees his future. Small cameo by Bill Lawrence himself. Then ABC ruins my deep affection for this perfect episode of a much beloved network cannon fodder show by bringing it back for a ninth season. It still is a moving show, but I can’t imagine Scrubs without J.D.

Best Series Finale That Is Actually A Finale

ER (NBC)

The Thursday night lead out for fifteen seasons, ER  stopped being the big focus of NBC somewhere around the time George Clooney left. Lord knows I barely watched it in the last decade. But I tuned in all the same. And it, too, was a perfect finale. In fact, it really wasn’t a finale at all. Yes, old timer cast members came back for a visit, but it felt organic, not forced. The episode mirrored the pilot in many ways, yes, but it felt like it was true to the show as a whole. It was special because it wasn’t special.

And now the bad:

Worst “Comedy”

Kath and Kim ( NBC)

Just not funny. Too bad. I love Molly Shannon.

Worst ” Drama”

Knight Rider ( NBC)

This show wasn’t that good in the 80s when Hasselhoff was the MAN. Did Silverman and co. really think it would work now?

Moments from the season that should be remembered:

  • Adam Lambert’s gorgeous version of ” Mad World”, Kris Allen’s stunning rendition of ” Falling Slowly”, Allison Iraheta ‘s exquisite ” Someone To Watch Over Me”, and whatever that note was that Danny Gokey let loose at the end of ” Dream On” which wasn’t even human. ( American Idol)
  • An injury plagued season of Dancing With The Stars that was more entertaining than it had any right to be.
  • Barney Stinson is in love with Robin Sherbatsky!
  • While we’re on the topic of HIMYM, damn, they did the lamest/coolest job of hiding Alyson Hannigan and Cobie Smulders pregnancies.
  • I cannot reiterate how hilarious the hug Sheldon gave Penny in the Christmas episode of The Big Bang Theory is. Just genius.
  • Chuck Bass says ” I love you”. Twice.
  • The entire second season of Chuck. This show is so much better than Heroes.
  • House losing his mind. Kutner’s suicide. Amber. Huddy sex that wasn’t real.  ( House).
  • The performance of Harvey Keitel in the short but glorious run of ABC’s Life On Mars. yes, I was the person watching.
  • Barack Obama elected to the office of President of the United States of America. ( every network imaginable).
  • The Daily Show
  • The White Stripes showing up to sing ” We Are Going To be friends” on Conan O’Brien’s last Late Night
  • Jimmy Fallon not totally sucking as he took over Conan’s slot.
  • Jimmy is still no match for Craig Ferguson’s The Late Late Show.
  • The Colbert Report
  • Hugh Jackman hosting the Oscars. The Theater geek in me died a glorious,rapturous death. I loved most of it.
  • Gray Gardens
  • Almost everything on the Food Network’s prime time sked.

So this lead me to the question of the day. What was your highlight of the 2008-2009 TV season?

Read Full Post »

Idol and standards weeks has previously delivered some great performances- Kelly Clarkson’s ” Stuff Like That There”, Fantasia’s ” Summertime” immediately come to mind.  But it’s a week that always worries me, because there might be a desire by the Idols in the effort for relevance to strip the melodies of classic, beautiful songs to sound newer.

The mentor tonight is Jamie Foxx, who can nail a standard like no one’s business ( I love his version of ” Georgia On My Mind”, while his R&B leaves me kinda cold despite his obvious musical gifts).

Kris begins the night with a lovely, tender version of ” The way You Look Tonight” ( one of my all time faves) that turned into a gentle swing at the end. I loved it, his voice was superb, and I felt it. The judges seemed pleasant but overall underwhelmed. Shove it up your asses.

Allison comes out with ” Someone To Watch Over Me”, which she kept simple. The attitude all came from her natural tone. It was amazing and worthy of high praise that she didn’t get. Bite me judges.

Matt did ” My Funny Valentine”, one of the hardest songs to sing of all time ( it’s another one of those songs that on the surface seems easy due to a simple sounding melody, but the song’s phrasing is incredibly difficult). It was fine, nothing spectacular, and I think he’s bottom two.

DWP- I just- I am pissed off about that. He sounded angry and snarling at points, and then he screamed the last quarter of the song, and he was praised to high heaven for it? Fuck them all. It was the worst performance of the night, not that ANYONE CARES!

Adam- I really like Adam personally. I do. I think he’s swell and there is an open invite to come party with me. But I didn’t like it. I’m sorry. I thought it was screamy at points,  a little wild vocally, although this was the first time in weeks he did an upbeat number that I watched without feeling completely overwhelmed by the sheer force of personality he brings. But I just didn’t like it.  I didn’t hate it, but I do not think that is was the best of the night ( that goes, once again, to Kris).

This is an interesting season for me. I’m learning something about my music tastes, and it turns out I like theatrical artistry when they know when to let go and when to reign it in. Freddie Mercury was a master at this  , and I’m sorry, Adam is no where near Freddie level in balancing the theatrical and the artistry, although he shows promise in learning. I enjoy Kris’ controlled, singer songwriter vibe, but I always dug the folkie thing. And Allison- well, I love authentic rockers, since most are fakers to begin with. That voice is genuine. DWP and Matty are interchangeable with dozens of other artists. If Adam, Kris, or Allison wins this year, I consider it a victory that America really wants interesting artists in their musical landscape instead of the crap labels keep trying to feed them. But I am not at David Cook level passionate level for any of those three, and Adam keeps aggravating me with the overblown theatrics ( I’m also not a fan of Allison’s clothes or Kris’s monkey face).

Bottom two- should be Danny and Matt, will be Allison and Matt and Matt’s probably going home.

Fave of the night- again, it’s Kris. I love that song and I loved the fact he kept it simple and sang it well. Allison’s my second.

Adam is where he usually is for me, in the middle, sitting beside me on the fence, asking me what he could do to win me over.

Be up against Danny in the finals is the easiest way. Harder will be to show me that he can rock without the insanity.

Read Full Post »

Oh. My. God. Has Idol now become a UFC grudge match? WTF is up with that opening?

RyRy looks smirky and smarmy.

Looky, the Idols did a Ford vid to J. Geils Band’s 80s cheestastic ” Freeze Frame”.

“Maniac”? Really? Idol couldn’t clear a better song that?Oh, and it was painfully live, not canned. I’m in agony.

Adam looks vaguely embarrassed.

To quote Idolatry- put the Go in Gokey. I hate the dude so much.

RyRy asks the Idols about working with Quentin last night. Coolness from Adam. I love how teenaged normal Allison is. Too bad they had to go watch a Zac Efron movie.

Time to dim the lights.

Allison- safe.

Adam- safe.

Anoop- Bottom three ( WTF? He delivered one of the best vocals all night last night). Off to the silver stools of doom.

JHud!!!!!!!!!!

My feed is all fucked up.

She looks gorgeous. She sounds great. I adore her.

Paula says she’s surprised by Anoop’s inclusion in the bottom three. Simon- not so much.

Kris and Lil- Simon gets a word in for Kris- brilliant. Lil still gets to natter on. Shut. Her. Up. RyRy does one of those stupid switcharoo things, and Lil ends up going to the silver stools of doom.

Matt and Danny- I just hate DWP sooooooo much. ” Sing it how it’s supposed to be sang”? Are you kidding?  Danny needs to GO AWAY! How the fuck do you give an edge to ” Endless Love”? That’s like saying you can give edge “My Heart Will Go On”.  Danny is safe, I’m dying, Matt goes to the SSOD.

Paula still can’t say who she thinks will go home.

Anoop gets to stay. Relief.

Miley Cyrus.  Never a great live singer, but a surprisingly competent songwriter. She sings ” The Climb”, from her new movie, and it’s a pretty good little pop song. She annoys me so many different ways ( and she’s so nasally). I give her props though for not being a wreck so much on stage like when she did ” Fly On The Wall” at the AMAs. Oooh, those big notes kinda fall flat, don’t they?

Lil and Matt. Matt and Lil…Simon would consider the save.

Love live TV when it fucks up like that.

RyRy… get the fuck to it.

And the person to go home is…Lil is safe? Fuck. Matty?No…

Shit, dude.

He starts off better than he did last night. Could it really be better than last night?  Really? Oh, hell yeah! Soooo much better. If he sang it like that last night, he would be fine and Lil would be going home. Still didn’t like the bridge shrill thing, but two lines doesn’t make it bad.

Save or not save? Come on, Simon, tell me… is it safe?

Hell yeah!!!!!!! They saved MATTY!!!!!!!!!!!!

But that means a double elimination  next week, keep that in mind.

And next week is disco week?

Oh. God. No.

That is my own personal hell.

Read Full Post »

Quentin Tarantino, all-round pop culture geek, is this week’s mentor. I know some people have issues with this development, but I don’t. QT was a guest judge in season three ( he was a Fantasia fan), and every single one of his critiques were more spot on than any of the judges. In retrospect, he’s even more sane now while the judges are even more ridiculous.

Simon apologizes for last weeks overrun, which pissed of Fringe fans extremely ( I don’t blame them- it’s a good show, even if I don’t watch it often). Simon, ever the class act, blames the girls.

Allison tackles the legendary ” I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”, and Quentin points out her performance flaws. DC did this memorably last season, so I’m nervous for her ( it has a gigantic chorus). But she sounds so fantastic in the verse I immediately relax. She runs into pronunciation issues in the chorus, and there are a couple of bum notes in the bridge, but super solid. I hope cursed at first doesn’t apply this week. Simon finally tosses my girl some love. Yay!

Anoop to do ” Everything I Do ( I Do It For You)” and Adam to do ” Born To Be Wild”, I gather from Ryan’s throw away.

Quentin recs to Anoop to rough it up a bit, which I whole heartedly agree with ( the song is pap, let’s face it). He sounds really good, a few bum notes, but surprisingly strong vocally. He messes up the melody just enough to make it more interesting. He really is a great balladeer. The girls screamed through out. That’s what it’s about.

Adam takes on the huge classic ” Born To Be Wild”, which has always been popular on Canadian Idol ( Steppenwolf being a Canuck band and all).  I don’t like this vocal as much as ” Mad World” last week, and the arrangement seemed messy to me. The boy can sing, we have established that, but I strongly dislike it when he doesn’t control his vocals and goes all over the place. He doesn’t service the song that way, he distracts from it. This song is legendary and doesn’t need the embellishment.

Matt’s doing ” Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman”. I hate that song. Matty, you are making it really tough for me to keep championing you. QT’s advice to enunciate is valid. Matt drops sounds when he sings, and gets a bit mushy mouthed. I still hate the song. But he did it just fine for what it is.But  the bridge fell apart, and was all over the place. Man, that bites.

RyRy didn’t give me a Danny clue. DWP is a mystery… I kinda want him to do something ridiculous, like ” The Trolley Song”, because, as we know, I HATE GOKEY. ” Endless Love”… ridiculous DWPing song, right? Gawd. I hate this song as well. I feel gross right now. Missing notes, DWP. Kill me now. Kill me now. Kill me now. Kill me now. Kill me now. Kill me now. Kill. Me. Now. Please.

I need to go bathe in Lysol. Followed by bleach.

Kris does the unimaginable- he picks something NEW and INTERESTING and INDIE!!!!!!!! He goes with  the Oscar winning love song ” Falling Slowly”. He decides against the guitar, and the vocal is imperfect, but so beautiful at the same time. I’m aching at the moment. Gorgeous. Love the chorus… stunning and emotionally perfect. Welcome back, Kris.

Randy is the biggest motherfucking moron in the history of mankind.

Is Lil singing ” The Rose”, or a different song from The Rose? The problem with ” The Rose” is that it is deceptive to sing. It’s a very simple melody, but it needs to be infused with a certain emotion or it’s a massive fail. I’ve seen good singers brought down by this song, and Lil isn’t that good a singer.

There is a difference in making a song your own, people, and destroying gorgeous melodies.  The Rose, a sad love song, is NOT a gospel song. Not even close. And I think it’s not pleasant to listen to at all. And her vocal isn’t strong enough to make me feel it helps her at all. FAIL! Not good, girl. Not good at all.

It’s still running over. They do all these modifications, and they STILL go over.

Top three: Allison, Kris, Anoop.

Bottom three- Danny, Lil, Matt.

Adam- confusing the hell of me.

Shut up, Fringe is supposed to be on!!!!!

See you tomorrow tonight for the elimination, folks.

Read Full Post »

Chuck Mini Post of the Day

Just reminding everyone if they missed Monday’s episode, go to NBC.com or Hulu and watch there. They count those, you know.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »