Thursday, May 31, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance Season 3

I didn't get into this show until pretty late last season, partly because I just felt like it was on too often and I just couldn't keep up, and partly because I'm not that into dance in general. I read this article about how SYTYCD (oh, and the title of the show is seriously annoying) is not as popular as American Idol because while most people feel like they can judge singing, dance is kind of a lot more subjective. But I was really surprised how much I liked the show. It's extremely entertaining, and with all the bad music that's on AI in general, I think I might even like it better.

Anyway, last night Mira and I were chatting about the show a bit and we both agreed that last season we were kind of meh on Cat Deeley, but this season we're starting to really like her. Neither of us watched the audition rounds last season, so I guess we didn't realize how actually nice Cat is. On AI, Ryan Seacrest can be a little patronizing and fake-nice to the contestants, but Cat is so genuinely nice and friendly and warm to everyone that you can't help but like her.

And I've actually been enjoying these audition rounds. There's a fair amount of bad dancing, but there's also a lot of really fun and entertaining stuff as well. The winking/hiccupping couple last night was hilarious, and I really liked some of the hip-hop dancers and breakers. And Benji made an appearance! Yay Benji!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Finale report, Part 3

Ugly Betty: So obviously this show is not afraid to be totally ridiculous and since it's based on a telenovela, things are bound to be crazy. But somehow I wasn't too big a fan of the twists that the season finale brought. I mean, there was a ton to love in the episode, with Wilhemina trading Marc for a wedding date, Amanda and Christina getting stuck in the "love dungeon," Charlie turning out to be pregnant but then also a cheater, and Justin singing in his school musical. But Amanda being Fey's daughter? And Santos getting gunned down in a convenience store? I suppose the Amanda reveal could lead to lots of funny stuff, but the Santos thing is just horrible. Seriously, poor Hilda! I'm not really worried about the show next season or anything but I guess I just kind of wish they hadn't gone there.

Regardless, I know I haven't blogged much about this show, but it's been very consistently entertaining and has really had some of the best performances of the season. Nearly everyone on the show has been rocking it big time. My personal faves are Becki Newton, Michael Urie, Mark Indelicato, and of course Christopher Gorham!

Brothers & Sisters: This show was really grown into its own this season, and I'm beginning to think that the Walkers are really one of the most convincing TV families out there. As much as I like the action and sci-fi and gimmicky shows, I still definitely have a soft spot for the more standard dramas. I don't know that B&S has reached the emotional heights of say, Friday Night Lights, but it's definitely one of the most consistently satsifying shows on my plate.

Take the finale. Instead of brewing up some soap-opera cliffhanger, it ended simply and beautifully. By the Walkers' own admission, it had been a crazy year, and it was nice to end the season without a huge amount of drama (though there was plenty of emotion). The scene with Nora and Kitty saying goodbye to Justin at the airport was wonderful. I kind of wished that McCallister's family wasn't so crazy, but it was kind of funny to see the Walkers look somewhat sane in comparison. And loved Kevin and Jason! Eric Winter is everywhere nowadays. I remember back when he was Rex on Days of Our Lives, then he popped up on Wildfire, and hopefully he'll be sticking around on B&S next season (although I believe he's in a pilot that picked up also...). I'm glad they finally fleshed out Rebecca's secret about her affair with an older, married teacher. And I also like that while Joe and Sarah are separating for now, they haven't completely given up yet. I thought the kids' reactions were really well done. In light of all that, Sarah's toast at the engagement party was that much better. And Tommy...poor neglected Tommy finally got some screentime in the last few episodes, and Sarah Jane Morris also got a chance to shine after an entire season in the background. The choice they had to make with their twins was really heartbreaking and extremely well portrayed. And the final scene, with the entire family jumping into the pool was maybe a little cheesy but I thought it was a really fitting and nice to see everyone (even including Holly and Rebecca) in a moment of just pure happiness.

Evidently Greg Berlanti has two more shows coming next season: Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone. I'm starting to really like the guy. I always doubt him in the beginning but he's definitely talented. Yay for Brothers & Sisters.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

gilmore girls movie?;additional_links;0

NO!!!! Leave good enough alone!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Finale report, Part 2

The Office: Jim and Pam! This season's moment perhaps doesn't top last year's glorious finale, but in a way, it was much more satisfying because it was so simple and relatively angst-free. I feel a bit bad for Karen, but she knew what she was in the middle of, especially after last week's beach confession. Which, by the way, was really incredible. Pam is awesome! Also, usually I get a little worried about the main couple on a show getting together, but somehow I think this will be fine. I think they'll be sort of Lily/Marshall-esque--back to their old chemistry but with an extra boost of cuteness. After 3 years they don't need any more conflict for awhile.

As for the rest of the hourlong episode, it was chock-full of really great moments. My favorite was probably the very end where Ryan, of all people, gets the job at corporate and immediately breaks up with Kelly. Poor gal, but Ryan definitely needed to get out of there. I was also highly amused at how Michael and Jan have pretty much exchanged roles and Jan is now the one with the crazy antics. Melora Hardin's always put a little bit of the manic in her portrayal of Jan and she's done a really good job at gradually bringing it out full force. I also loved Michael calling all the women in the conference room for advice while Jan was in the office. And I'm glad that Michael didn't make a big deal of not getting the job at corporate and realized that Scranton was really where he belonged.

Jericho: Wow. I really was not expecting this to be cancelled, and I'm pretty upset about it. I mean, I know earlier in the season I described this show as kind of mediocre and silly in many respects, but the story started to really get interesting by the end of the season and a lot of characters were really growing on me. And with the way the season ended...I'm really bummed that we won't get to see what happens. The writers really came up with a lot of really interesting stories to keep the story going, and I thought the Jericho-New Bern conflict was actually kind of awesome. Despite the fact that they were dealing with plenty of heavy stuff before, at some points it seemed to me that life in Jericho was getting a little too normal. The New Bern stuff injected a new sense of urgency into the show and I loved it.

Anyway, this last episode was really excellent. I had heard that a major character was going to die and I was kind of devastated that it was Johnston. At least he and Jake had come to a better place in their relationship. Truthfully I don't know how much I would have liked the show without Gerald McRaney in it, so maybe in that respect maybe cancellation isn't so bad? I also liked that they gave Stanley and Mimi and Bonnie that moment at their parents' graves, and oh, and the Jake/Emily kiss was kind of hot. I'm not into them at all, but the way Jake just went over and kissed her after getting the message from Hawkins that the second round was coming was yeah, hot. And Heather! I KNEW she wasn't dead. I wish she'd have been reunited with the Jericho crew, but it was great seeing her. Oh, and minimal Dale and Skylar = good.

The ending was a cliffhanger but I thought it was actually pretty awesome. It actually kind of reminded me of the final moments of Angel, with everyone just ready to fight their hearts out.

Best moment of the show, when Jake tells Constantino "Nuts!" and tells him to stuff it.

I think a lot of people are upset about this one, and I believe there's already a "Nuts" campaign to try and save the show. I'm honestly not sure what can be done at this point, but these things are always worth a shot.

Heroes: I haven't written all that much about the show this season, not so much because I haven't been enjoying it, but because I sometimes find it to be a bit of a chore to watch, especially when it gets really bogged down in all the angsty emotional stuff. The only character that's really been having any fun at all pretty much EVER is Hiro, but with him being much more serious these past couple of episodes, the show has just been a really big downer. I know, I know, saving the world is stressful and serious business but I feel like a show like this needs a little more balance. It's kind of draining to watch EVERYONE with their pained desperation ALL THE TIME. They really need to bring back a little more fun next season.

Anyway, as for how the season ended...I found the final action sequence to be much too short. There were some unexpected things, but everything happened so quickly and easily. And with D.L. and Mohinder and Parkman and Niki and HRG and the kids just watching and not really doing was kind of bizarre. And of course all these questions remain: what happened to Peter and Nathan? What happened to Sylar? Where the heck did Hiro end up? Is D.L. going to be ok? Is Ando off the show now? Are Claire and HRG and Parkman really just going to just go back to their families? Is Mohinder going to like, adopt Molly?

I don't know, I don't really want to get myself too obsessive over the show, but I'm really unclear about how all the season's events led up to this, and I don't understand what everyone's roles really were. But maybe it's better that I don't think about that stuff?

American Idol bores me to tears...oh, and Jordin wins

So was last night's AI finale boring or what? And it really bugged me that they didn't get to announcing the winners until after 10PM. You're scheduled from 8-10PM, would it kill you to get to the important stuff?

Anyway, so Jordin won. No surprise there, really, and I was even kind of relieved. I really like Blake, but making him have to sing that godawful song again and release it as his first single would have just been too mean. He won't have the title hanging over his head, he won't have the future obligations to appear on he show, and he can just go do his thing. And even though I find Jordin a little irritating, I'm happy for her. I mean, the fact that she can sing "This is My Now" and really mean it pretty much guaranteed her win. Go Jordin, go and embrace your now.

Anyway, the show was also saturated with a ton of performances, as all the former Idol winners minus Fantasia were there, along with the rest of the Top 12 and assorted musical legends that I mostly had no interest in listening to. The only celebrity performance I was the least bit interested in was Green Day but even they were pretty boring. (I have to say I liked them a lot better back when they were grungy and punky, now they're just...blah.) I thought the Beatles tribute was alright, and I liked Melinda's number, but did we really have to watch Sanjaya again? I started watching the show from my DVR just after 9PM but I was caught up by 9:45 because of all the fast-forwarding I was doing.

Sooo yeah. That's all. Now throwing my reality competition energies into So You Think You Can Dance.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Last post on Veronica Mars ever?

So as episodes of Veronica Mars go, I thought last night's were really pretty good. The mysteries were much less lame than they have been lately, there wasn't an excess of relationship angst, there were good doses of all the main characters, and there were lots of first and second season references and faces.

But as a series finale? Really ultimately disappointing. I mean, I don't know that I was really expecting more, since for some reason Rob Thomas was convinced that he could somehow brainwash the CW to renew his show and didn't seem to want to prepare for the possibility of cancellation, but...this wasn't a cliffhanger. This wasn't purposely leaving things open (like Gilmore Girls did). This was just plain "to be continued." And since it seems we're not getting any's just so dissatisfying!

I guess there's really no point in overanalyzing anymore, but I'm going to interpret the way things ended between Veronica and Logan to be positive. Her "I want you out of my life" statement was really just her being overdramatic, and at the end where Logan beats up the guy she just minutes ago tells not to, I think she finally realized that no matter she says and does Logan's still going to want to defend her. And I feel like she has to respect that because of her own thirst for revenge. Just like Parker, I think Piz has got to realize that he doesn't really have a chance.

As for non-LoVe things, I'm really glad we got to see Weevil again. I actually think that the Veronica-Weevil dynamic with their constant "owing eachother" has been one of the best developed relationships on the show. The fake ID mystery really reminded me first season with all the assorted students being involved. I also liked the secret society mystery, even though they already did that back in first season too. I'm still kind of unclear about why the Castle set up that sex tape of Veronica, and I'm even more convinced that Veronica would make a really horrible FBI agent the way she keeps thinks she's so much more clever than the law, but overall it was a lot more interesting than the past couple of mysteries. Still, I liked that it got both Wallace and Jake Kane and Clarence Weidman involved. And I liked seeing the portraits of Lily and Duncan as well.

I mean, I guess we did get the best of all our characters: Veronica, the angry, vengeful outcast; Keith, the sacrificing father; Wallace, the loyal best friend; Mac, the all-powerful computer whiz; Dick, the horrible human being who maybe isn't completely horrible after all; Weevil and Veronica helping eachother out; and the Logan who's going to beat up anyone who he thinks has done Veronica wrong.

But with Veronica having really crossed the line and totally screwed up her father's election, the ending was pretty depressing in itself, made even more depressing by the fact that that was it.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

two more days....

...until So You Think You Can Dance, Season 3!


Monday, May 21, 2007

Upfronts -- Another take

I think what surprised me most about this year's upfronts were how few returning shows I'm going to be sticking with this fall. There's only Brothers & Sisters, How I Met Your Mother, Heroes, Ugly Betty, the Office, Scrubs, Beauty and the Geek, and Friday Night Lights. There are plenty of new shows, though, and it seems that there are two trends: sci-fi twists, and glamorous rich people...

  • So glad Friday Night Lights is renewed, but are they really putting it on Friday? I know, it's kind of fitting because of the title of the show, but Friday at 10PM? Not sure how that's going to work out.

  • Chuck sounds like Jake 2.0, so I might like it.

  • SO EXCITED for Pushing Daisies. I recently watched the full Wonderfalls series on DVD and I'm a huge huge fan of Bryan Fuller and I'm so happy to see Lee Pace back on TV. I'm still kind of worried though, because it really seemed like it could be too quirky for network TV.

  • I'll probably check out Big Shots because Michael Vartan is in it, haha.

  • Still can't really believe that they're actually doing the Cavemen show.

  • Dirty Sexy Money might end up being a guilty pleasure?

  • Really really surprised and pretty upset that Jericho was cancelled. More on that later though.

  • Um, Moonlight is Angel. Is it not?

  • New Amsterdam seems to be another version of Angel too. What the heck?

  • Kitchen Nightmares. Gordon Ramsay. I am so there!

  • The Search for the Next Great American Band. This seems to be an extension of American Idol, but is this for rock bands or just like singing groups? I'd much rather see Rock Star come back...

  • The Return of Jezebel James, scheduled for mid-season. Amy Sherman-Palladino, Parker Posey, and Lauren Ambrose? Kind of sounds like the dream team, but early reports say that it was a bit disappointing. Will definitely check it out anyway though.

  • Pretty relieved that Veronica Mars was cancelled, because all the talk about the show coming back in all sort of different incarnations was just ridiculous and worrisome. I'm pretty eh about the state of the show right now, considering how much I LOVED the show first season. But more about that later with what's now apparently the series finale.

  • Yeah, like Mira, I will not be able to resist Gossip Girl. Yes, I read some of the books. Yes, they're trashy. Yes, I'm too old for it. But yes, I will watch it. I also hear that Kristen Bell will be narrating the show as Gossip Girl. She's one of the few actors that I can take hearing voiceovers from, so that's a good sign.

  • Life is Wild sounds like it's going to crash and burn like Runaway.

  • Reaper could be good. Is this the return to teen genre TV that I've been waiting for?

Veronica Mars - The End is Near

So now that Veronica Mars has been cancelled, I have somewhat mixed feelings. On one hand, I'm disappointed because I really love this show. The first season was one of the best seasons of TV ever, I think, and even though things have gone kind of downhill from there, I'm still going to remember it as one my favorite shows of all time.

But on the other hand, all the talk of how the show was going to come back five years in the future with Veronica as an FBI agent and with none of the supporting cast? I was definitely not of the opinion that I would have taken the show in whatever form it was in.

And honestly, these past couple of stand-alone episodes have not been that great. The mysteries have been pretty lame, Logan and Veronica with other people is uninteresting, and there's no suspense left at all. I do like that they're bringing back old characters like Leo and Dick's father and the Fitzpatricks, and I liked that they finally addressed Cassidy's death and had Paul Rudd on the show and such, but overall things have been kind of...lame. I'm not as annoyed with Piz and Veronica as I thought I would be, but they're just pretty boring, and Parker, who I originally kind of liked, is evidently that girl who becomes annoying once in a relationship. I'm glad that we're seeing more of Mac, but her relationship dramas seem kind of petty. And why can they not find Wallace anything to do?

Hopefully this week's double episode and series finale will end things on a good note. It looks like Weevil will be back, and I've heard spoilers of a few other old faces returning as well. And dammit Veronica and Logan better end not badly. I'm not even looking for a happy ending here. As long as there's hope I'll be ok...

Finale report, Part 1

Wow so I'm only gone a week and so much happens, although I guess I expected as much. I'm still catching up but here's the first installment of my season/series finale reports. I'll be commenting on the upfronts soon.

Gilmore Girls: Thanks to Mira for posting on this. Ditto to her entire post, really. I was really hoping that the show was going to end this season and was super relieved when it was finally announced, but I was still pretty sad as well. I was kind of getting a little choked up during some of the scenes, and surprisingly even during Rory's goodbye party, which I was dreading because I usually can't stand how everyone in Stars Hollow worships Rory. But I'm glad that they acknowledged that it was really as much about Lorelai as it was about Rory, and it really was great seeing all the crazy townspeople one last time. I was also really satisfied with where Rory ended up. The job was fittingly awesome of course, but I'm glad that it was for an online magazine and not something irritatingly perfect like the New York Times. And I really liked the last scene, which mirrored the last scene in the pilot and really brought the show full circle.

How I Met Your Mother: So glad to see this was renewed for next season! Especially since Ted and Robin are finally over (a long time coming) and now things are open to find out who the "mother" is. I feel like the writers/producers really have to introduce her next season. I believe the show's doing well, but it's not really a huge hit and I don't think they have the luxury of stretching it out for much longer with the risk of cancellation before getting there. Anyway, Lily and Marshall are finally married and it's really great to see a couple on TV that completely makes sense get married and not have to worry about the show or couple getting boring because of it. And I really loved the last scene with Barney and Ted. Really looking forward to next season!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

okay, i take it back. grey's anatomy can GO

I hadn't watched the season finale of Grey's Anatomy before I had last posted... Now that I've caught up, I've gotta say, screw it all. Grey's can go. You know that point in Roswell when all of a sudden Max and Tess started to become close? Or when Prue dies on Charmed and you just can't care about the show anymore. Or was it when Andy died that it started to suck? Who knows. Or that point in The O.C. when that stupid Dean showed up and all storylines started going downhill? The introduction of the annoying Johnny, which lead to Marissa-Johnny, Ryan-Johnny's cousin, Johnny-Marissa's sister, Johnny's suicide, Marissa-Volchek... GEEZ. I blame the Dean. Cuz if it weren't for him, she wouldn't have gotten kicked out leading to all that nonsense. Okay, anyway, the point in that tangent was Grey's Anatomy has slowly been leading up to that amount of terribleness and now fully achieved it.

I know that off-the-set there have been major issues with Isaiah Washington, but seriously, Burke is one of the BEST characters, or at least half of the best couple on the show. So yeah, they have to go and SCREW UP the only good couple on the show because, I'm guessing, his contract is up in the air?!?! NO WEDDING?! Urgh. After making it like we'd get that wedding. Hate them.

Next, McDreamy. Okay, I've been hating him majorly. So much so that I have dreams where I'm seriously YELLING at him for being a jerk. Well yeah, I guess he sorta tried to redeem himself by telling Meredith that he's "in this," but really to my ears? It's just a wimpy way to ask to break up with someone. He doesn't want to be in it, so he's just trying to get Meredith do the breaking up. PLUS, what the hell?!?! As if Meredith wasn't dealt a raw hand when it comes to family. First her mother dies (who wasn't much of a mother anyway), then her surrogate mother dies (who was in that short time infinitely better), and THEN her father bans her from his life because SHE supposedly killed his wife?! And yes, where was McDreamy through all of that? Weighing whether he wanted her or chief of surgery more. THEN to make matters worse, HE FLIRTS WITH HER HALF-SISTER?!?! And that's what we have to look forward to next season?! THE FACT THAT THE ONLY OTHER WOMAN MCDREAMY HAS SHOWN ANY BIT OF INTEREST IN IS MEREDITH'S HALF-SISTER WHO GOT THE PERFECT MOTHER AND THE BEST OF HER FATHER?!


Worst season finale, EVER.

Side notes of more suckiness: I hate the Izzie-George storyline. HATE HATE HATE. Why the heck did Bailey NOT get chief resident? And I adore Callie, and it's nice to see that she'll be sticking around (maybe), but then if she's not, I still think Bailey should've gotten that position on her own merits. Plus, George failing the intern exam?! It's all Izzie's fault! UGH!

This show gets an award for so quickly going from being one of my FAVORITE shows to one of my MOST HATED shows.

Worst season finale, EVER.

Friday, May 18, 2007

2007 upfronts

Since Jenn's not around to blog about the Upfronts, here is my opinion of it in short:

  • Yay for giving Zach Braff & co. the opportunity to end Scrubs right.
  • Yay for giving Friday Night Lights another season, but they deserve a full one, not just 13 episodes!
  • Yay for another season of Heroes, though that is no surprise.
  • Boo for canceling The Black Donnelly's and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (though I know that perhaps I'm one of the few people that LOVED that show).
  • Unsure what I think of Las Vegas without James Caan and with Tom Selleck instead, but we'll find out next year!
  • None of the new shows particularly excite me. So... meh, we'll see.
  • No surprise on the renewals of Ugly Betty (which I still need to catch up on), or Grey's Anatomy.
  • Yay for them giving October Road one more shot. I really liked it, but it might be just cuz I like Jake from One Tree Hill.
  • It's cool that the Lost creators decided to set a deadline for the show. But really, do they need 5 more years? I guess, I won't be starting that show anytime soon...
  • Surprisingly I'm excited about the Grey's spin-off, Private Practice.
  • So what happened to that Traveler show?
  • Not surprised by How I Met Your Mother's renewal, but yay!
  • Glad to see NCIS, Numb3rs, and Shark will be back.
  • May give Cane and maybe Kid Nation a try.
  • Sad but not surprised to see The Class is gone.
  • Not surprised but glad to see House back.
  • Kinda want Prison Break to be over already. Okay, okay, I like the show, it's just inane that he escaped prison in Season 1, he continued to escape prison in Season 2, and now he's captured and is going back to prison.
  • Amy Sherman-Palladino making a new show? Yeah, I'm there. The Return of Jezebel James(working title apparently) will get at least a few tries by me.
  • Ending The O.C. this past year was the smartest thing Fox could've ever done!
The CW
  • One Tree Hill needs to go.
  • Yay for FINALLY ending Seventh Heaven and Gilmore Girls.
  • Boo for completely screwing up what WAS a great show (Veronica Mars) by going so back and forth on how many episodes it was getting this year. And now by not making a decision on whether it's getting renewed. UGH. I don't think I will be buying Season 3.
  • I probably will not be able to keep myself from watching Gossip Girl, unfortunately.
Has anyone noticed the number of shows about three or four friends of the same gender who bond together to take on the world? Very Sex and the City.
  • Lipstick Jungle(NBC)
  • Bigshots(ABC)
  • Carpoolers(ABC)
  • Cashmere Mafia(ABC)
  • Cavemen(ABC)
  • Women's Murder Club(ABC)
Oh wait, it looks like it's mostly an ABC trend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

a little sad, but a lot relieved...

So it's over.

7 years of witty banter, eclectic characters galore, wonderfully built relationships, and it's done. But everything got tied in easily, with little need to force everything into a tidy ending. Luke and Loralie finally got it together, but without the need to hash everything out. Just simple and perfect, the way they've always fit together. I love that they resolved the issue of the continuation of Friday night dinners. Actually I had no idea what Emily was getting at with the spa issue, but when it came together, it all made sense. I love that Emily and Richard both made huge steps in showing how much their relationships with the Loralie Gilmores had been repaired. Richard, by announcing to Loralie that she was truly a remarkable person. Emily, by telling Rory that she was honored to be her grandmother. Both touching speeches. I'm glad we got to see the bond that will always exist between Lane and Rory despite how separate their lives (and storylines) went. And I'm super glad that Logan was just a non-factor. A loose end, but I mean Rory's young, there's far more story to happen in her life. PLUS, another loose end left untied was the fact that both Luke AND Loralie have a very, very free month ahead of them. What with April and Rory both canceling on them.

Well tied together. And I'm so glad that they finally decided to end it. I'll miss all the quirky Stars Hollow townspeople (I'd like to mention how much I loved that this episode celebrated their generosity and wonderful spirit), I'll miss the deeply rooted love all these characters have for each other; but I WON'T miss the unnecessary drama-filled storylines created to keep ratings high.


Friday, May 11, 2007

North and South - Mr. Darcy watch out!

I NEVER thought I'd be saying this, but Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy now has some serious competition.

I was reading something online about Pride and Prejudice and noticed some people making comparisons to another BBC miniseries from back in 2004, called North and South. I'd never heard of it nor the novel it's based on (by Elizabeth Gaskell) but my curiosity was piqued, so I immediately added and bumped both discs to the top of my Netflix queue and watched the 4 hour-long episodes this week.

And it was INCREDIBLE.

The story follows a similar pattern as Pride and Prejudice, but the settings and motivations and tone is completely different. The story follows Margaret Hale, a minister's daughter from the privileged south of England, who moves with her family to the industrial town of Milton, in the north. She soon gets mixed up in the affairs of the town's cotton mills and one of the owners, John Thornton, who also becomes a friend of her father's. There's a good dose of social consciousness here, and none of the silly humor that Austen novels usually include. The story is actually quite grim, with the cotton industry and mill workers and strikes as the backdrop, but the romance aspect of the story keeps it from being too depressing. Most of the series is shot very dark in general, but with really beautiful cinematography. And the score is really haunting and wonderful also.

And the romance...sigh, the romance! Maybe because I feel like I've been so familiar for so long with all of Austen and Bronte and all that, but watching this new story was just phenomenal. And usually I'm all for reading the novel before watching the movie but in this case it was really great to be able to watch it all play out without having any idea of what was coming. The last scene was so wonderful that it gave me goosebumps and I immediately rewatched it a couple more times! I am so buying this on DVD ASAP. (And Mira, I'm so going to make you watch it!)

So who could possibly be hotter than Colin Firth? Richard Armitage, apparently! His Mr. Thornton is so intense, so smoldering, that I was practically squealing every time he appeared onscreen. He's a self-made man, charistmatic, hard working, practical, and respected among his peers, but has a temper and first appears as a somewhat harsh and driving master. But as the story moves along he shows a more sympathetic side and you really understand how Margaret eventually falls in love with him. And man, this probably sounds ridiculous, but he was SO HOT in those billowing white sleeves and cravats and top hats. HOT I tell you!

Man, what is it with me and British period dramas and their brooding romantic heroes??

On a related note, I will be on vacation in the UK next week so there will be no posts while I'm gone. I know, I know, it's May sweeps and next week are upfronts and I'll be missing everything but I'm sure you'll all survive without me...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

American Idol takes a huge nosedive

Wow. So I know that the Bee Gees are like a classic and important American band but did we really need to hear two Bee Gees songs from each singer last night? I thought that when we got down to doubling up on performances that they did two themes per week. But man, last night was just ROUGH. Maybe I was coming down from the high of Bon Jovi night, but this was really really boring. And pretty much everyone was extremely unimpressive. I even have to admit that Blake, my favorite, was horrendous. I really don't have anything good to say about any of the performances last night actually. Last week I thought that we were down to a really respectable final four and THIS is what we got? Suddenly I don't think I even care who's going to win anymore...

Also, adding to the not caring...I registered to listen/vote for the songs in the American Idol songwriter contest and they all suck hard. I couldn't even bring myself to listen to more than a few seconds of each song. Blah.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Arcade Fire!

Arcade Fire!
Originally uploaded by wrain.
The first time I saw the Arcade Fire was back in 2004, soon after their first album came out and slightly before people started getting all crazy about them. I saw them play at Cornell in Ithaca, in the "multipurpose" room one floor above a dining hall, where they were crammed onto a makeshift stage that was entirely too small for them, and just really knocked my socks off. I was standing right to the side of the stage and the whole experience was kind of electrifying.

This time around, I saw them at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia, which is really one of the nicest venues I've ever been to. The architecture and decor are very historic and vintage feeling, the seats seemed newly cushioned, and the views and acoustics were really excellent. My seat was in the back of the first balcony section, and with the stadium seating I didn't have trouble seeing the stage at all (which is often the case because I'm short). And the band? Still fantastic live. There were even more members of the band this time...was it nine, ten people? There were a ton of instruments that they all kept rotating on (including the strange but somewhat wonderful hurdy-gurdy) and they were really appreciative of the very revved-up sold-out crowd. The lead singer, Win Butler, told everyone in the orchestra to get up closer to the stage and things looked pretty jammed and happy up there in front, and the balcony was really hopping as well (so much so that my brother, who was a good sport and came along with me despite not being a huge fan, commented that the balcony seemed like it had the potential to collapse). The stage set was also pretty cool...they had these five round "screens" on top of posts around the stage that were showing various images and sometimes live playback of members of the band treated to look like an old silent movie. As for the music, I have to admit that I don't think I like their new album as much as their first, but the live performance kind of changed my mind about some of the new songs. And they mixed in just enough of the old stuff to make me happy too. They ended their regulars with Rebellions (Lies), which was definitely my favorite song of the night, followed closely by No Cars Go.

But before the show I kind of had the feeling that nothing was really going to live up to the first time I saw them and I was sort of right. I think that was kind of a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and I still think that was the best show I've ever been to. But I'm definitely glad I got out to see them on this tour, especially since it was at the Tower which was super nice. I will definitely be taking advantage of more opportunities to see bands there.

Also want to mention the National, which opened the show. I felt pretty bad for them, as the theater was almost less than half full during their set and people were really just not that excited but I thought they were actually really good. I'd only heard of one of their songs before (Indie Pop Rocks! plays them occasionally), but I think I might check them out some more now.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Gilmore Girls OVER!

It's official!

Finally, an end to my long suffering love-hate relationship with this show! Seriously, this is so the best timing to end the show and I couldn't be happier.

Only 2 more episodes!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Veronica Mars: Confessions of a LoVe shipper and Spoiler Addict

Confession #1. I've turned into a diehard LoVe ("Lo"gan/"Ve"ronica, for those you who have no idea what I'm talking about) shipper. I mean, I've always been into them, but this season has turned me a bit rabid. Like last season, I was really okay with them being apart, but now? I know that there's a million reasons why they're a recipe for disaster and I know that they're both kind of screwed up and I know that it's not interesting when the main couple on a show stays together with no conflict, but dammit if I want them to be together no matter what! I really just can't get onboard with this Piz thing, especially he was pretty much specifically brought onto the show as the "anti-Logan" love interest for Veronica and I've really been dreading this all season. It's kind of a shame, because in another situation I think I would have really liked Piz. I'm usually all for the dorky guy secretly pining for the awesome chick and finally getting up the guts to go for it. But not when it messes with Logan and Veronica! Ok, ok, so Logan's already dating someone else anyway. But somehow I don't seem to have as much hatred for the Parker and Logan pairing than I do for Piz and Veronica. Maybe because I feel like he kind of took a lot of shit from Veronica and I greatly prefer this Logan to the mopey Logan we had for what seems like the entire season up until now. I don't know. But Piz and Veronica = no.

Confession #2. I really need to stop reading spoilers. I remember back when Buffy was on, at some point I decided that reading spoilers was really interfering with my enjoyment of the show and I just stopped. And it totally worked. No more dreading, no more false hope, every week was a surprise and it was just really good. But I think it's too late for me to try out that tactic this season on VM. I've already read too many spoilers. Plus add onto that all the renewal/cancellation rumors and it's just left me kind of pessimistic about the end of the season. This ties into Confession #1, but what I'm really afraid of now is that the season ends with Logan and Veronica in a bad place and then the show gets cancelled or get renewed with that preposterous FBI concept that Logan logically shouldn't have a place in. But you know, at the same time, they can't keep ending EVERY season with a LoVe reunion just because of fear of cancellation. So....GAH.

Confession #3. You know what I hate about Veronica? Like, really really hate? I hate it when she bursts in on people, guns blazing (kind of literally, in this episode) and starts harshly accusing them in that know-it-all voice she does so well. HATE.

Confession #4. I don't know why, but somehow I seem to be inclined to think that any couple involving Mac is cute. I thought Mac and Beaver were cute, before you know, he turned out to be a murderer. And I thought Mac and Bronson were cute. And now I think Mac and Max are cute??? But seriously, do we really need for her to have a love triangle? Why not give Wallace something to do instead of just being supportive of everyone else's problems?

Confession #5. I kind of wish Keith wasn't the sheriff. I know it's what he wants to do and I kind of liked his little crusade this episode and him firing all the people that didn't respect him and weren't doing their jobs, but I guess I kind of miss Mars Investigations. How sad was it this episode when Veronica told that client that they were "closed for awhile"??

American Idol meets Bon Jovi

I've been looking forward to this week all season and while I'm a little disappointed that it turned out to truly be Bon Jovi week with only Bon Jovi songs instead of rock music in general, it really didn't disappoint.

First, the good. Actually, the awesome. I thought Blake was fantastic. I predicted that this would be a good week for him, and I just LOVED it. Simon was spot on when he said that half the audience would hate it and half the audience would love it, but I don't think that the people who liked Blake before were turned off by this performance, so I'm pretty sure he'll be safe. I know there are people who will probably complain about the beatboxing and how this is a singing competition, but Blake's bringing more to the table than just singing and I really appreciate that. He doesn't just insert his singing style into the songs, he really puts a lot of thought into arranging and mixing them up. Go Blake!!

Also really good was...Lakisha? I was pretty surprised here...last week I would have said that she'd be going home but this week she really stepped it up and for the first time I didn't think she was cold. Melinda was also predictably good. I thought she was so funny, asking Bon Jovi for advice on how to rock, haha. I also applaud her for picking one of the more recent songs, she's generally been going for the old stuff so far, so this was a nice change of pace.

So the rest. Phil went first and honestly now I can't even remember what he sang or how he sang it. I don't remember thinking it was bad though. Chris sucked. I've been wanting him to go home for weeks now and if he doesn't this week then I obviously I just don't understand. And surprisingly...Jordin finds herself as the worst of the night. I don't really know what happened there but it wasn't good. At all.

Two people are going home tonight. I really don't know what's going to happen here. Last week after they announced that two people were going home this week I immediately thought Lakisha and Chris. But Lakisha's "comeback" yesterday really complicates things. Could Jordin be in danger?

Oh, and uh, what was up with George and Laura Bush at the end? Talk about two worlds colliding...