Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday Top Threes: crazies!

M: Top three favorite completely crazy characters.

1. The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. Well, pretty much everyone in Wonderland is crazy but the Queen of Hearts with her "Off with their heads!" and flamingo/hedgehog croquet and people painting roses and just generally being terrified of her is one of my favorites.
2. The Cat in the Hat.
3. Gaius Baltar from Battlestar Galactica. Maybe in the end it turned out that he wasn't so crazy after all but with all his visions of Six, somehow becoming Vice President and then President, spending too much time on the Cylon baseship, leading a religious cult...yeah. Definitely crazy.

1. Mrs. Kim from Gilmore Girls. Perfect example of how crazy Koreans and Korean moms can be. :)
2. Along the same line as Jenn's pick of Alice and Wonderland, I'm going to say Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
3. Sue on Glee. She's only really fun for me when she's being absolutely ridiculous on the show. Like when she married herself in a tracksuit wedding dress. Or when she went full Grinch with Becky as the reindog. In her moments of pure craziness, she's kind of brilliant!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

the voice, now that it's pretty much over!

The Voice was a surprise hit for me. I didn't expect to enjoy it so much, but I have! I loved the blind auditions concept at the very beginning. I loved the coaches' performances. I really loved the coaches interactions and demonstrated abilities while working with their teams. And Blake is really hot. I was excited about some of the teams early on, but in the end there were only 4 singers that stood out for me. And they were not equally split among the four teams.

Vicci: She was the dark horse of this competition for me. Unexpected and a fantastic performer. I also love the depth of her vocals!

Javier: He was an early favorite. Cute, great sound, and soulful. He never hit a bad note really. I thought that Adam was a good coach for him, too, because he really helped Javier to rein it in and focus his vocal talents.

Xenia: I thought it was hilarious that Blake got the two shyest girls ever. Xenia really had a unique voice, as touted by all the coaches. With more confidence, I'm excited to hear more of her in the future.

Dia: Absolutely a sweetheart (though she seems a little bland in personality) and I love that she not only had a unique sound and rhythm to her singing, but she also had a very strong sense and of and confidence in her personal musical style. She was my favorite each week, truthfully, and the one whose song I wanted to purchase.

Things I did not like about The Voice:
- Battle Rounds went TOO long -- 4 weeks!!!
- The recap clips at the beginning of each episode took like 5 minutes.
- The preview clips before each commercial break basically ruined any surprise coming 5 minutes later.
- Christina and Adam's quibbles sometimes went tooooo long.
- The episodes leading to the finale were about the singers on each team competing with each other rather than competing against the other coaches' teams. I think that could have been rethought out where coaches would lose singers on their team if their team wasn't strong enough.

In any case, I was skeptical about the selection of coaches at first, but in the end, I thought it was great! I thought this show was great!

SYTYCD: top 20 x2!

I got lucky this year. Top 20 is always that week where I'm left wondering where certain dancers came from. I watch all the audition episodes and try to make note of all my favorites but there are always a good number of dancers who make it into the Top 20 who are complete mysteries to me. Fortunately this year not only did they keep the "Meet the Top 20" without elimination episode (which was a GREAT addition in the last few seasons!) but after the first elimination week, the judges decided not to eliminate anyone! Doubly fortunate, too, because I was unable to watch episodes immediately, like I have in previous seasons, and so I am a little behind in my blogging about only my favorite competition show ever -- So You Think You Can Dance!

The couples:
Ryan & Ricky: She was already been touted to become a favorite but she really has been one of my favorites. Their Christopher Scott number in week 1 was fantastic! Their week 2 Mandy Moore number was powerful, but not something I would remember. They have a great, silly off-stage partnership, though. Reminds you of how the dancers on SYTYCD become such a family!
Caitlynn & Mitchell: She was good but I wasn't sure if I would remember her based on her dance week 1. And... I really didn't remember her from week 1. I definitely will remember her after week 2! It's also good that we got a chance to see the two dance together since Mitchell was injured week 1. In any case, Stacey Tookey is absolutely my favorite choreographer on this show now, and this was a fantastic example of why! I thought Caitlynn was amazing in this piece!
Missy & Wadi: Darn, I was expecting Sonya to choreograph to Judas sometime this season. Instead it was African Jazz. I don't like Missy that much but I wanna see more of Wadi! I think one of the reasons I'm having trouble warming to Missy is because she worked so hard at selling herself as a "sexy" dancer (her and Jordan both)... In any case, their week 2 cha-cha was... meh. The non-ballroom female dancers doing Latin is just not exciting for me because there's something so stiff about them. I still really like Wadi, though!
Yvetta & Nick: Nick is my favorite to look at this season. I think Yvetta is a dark horse, and I'm definitely rooting on her. I love how frenetic Bollywood is and I really enjoyed their week 2 dance. And Nick is too cute. :)
Miranda & Robert: I think these two talking will annoy me. Week 1 Jive -- I think that all jives fall short of Anya's. The concept of the NappyTabs routine reminds me of Hok & Jamie's hummingbird dance (Wade Robson choreographed, I think). Fortunately the routine was not too literally the concept. I thought that this was a fun routine and was impressed by both. NappyTabs routines without the lyrical hiphop sap stories are soooo much better. :)
Clarice & Jess: As of week 1 I was not sold on them yet. But week 2, they get Stacey Tookey (not only do I love her and her choreography, I loooove her song choices!)... I think this dance would've been better with a stronger and bigger male partner. Her legs were as long as he is tall! I don't think I could buy him as the "prince"; too little!
Jordan & Tadd- I was already a fan of Tadd and really enjoyed his 8 second intro. Such a cutie! Jordan is the other half of the "sexy" girls, so bleh. Haha. I like how Tadd ratted her out for being not-so-smart, cuz she looks kinda airheaded a lot of the time. Anyway, the Viennese waltz was really pretty. (Haha, another "Vietnamese Waltz.")
Melanie & Marco: Really awesome concept by Travis in week 1. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed with their week 2 dance. I don't know if it was because sometimes they were not fully in sync or I did not like the choreography... In any case, overall I'm undecided about Melanie but I think she's a great dancer. Marco, I adore!! I also think that they are another great off-stage pair.
Sasha & Alexander: Alexander is a lil creepy. Sasha got a lot of airtime in the audition and Vegas rounds and I'm glad to see that I like her more and more! Alexander's interesting fact (looking at self in mirror) was totally not surprising. I feel like I could have predicted that NappyTabs would choreograph to "I'm Coming Home." Haha. I thought Sasha was fantastic, Alexander not so much. Just something so stiff and awkward for me. If he's safe after this week it's because SHE carried that performance.
Ashley & Chris: For week 1, I thought it was okay. I liked the song choice and it was fun but I thought Chris was way better. I don't much like Ashley... She smiles like a horse. In any case, the Broadway number was okay as far as Broadway numbers go.

My bottom 4:
- Missy
- Jess
- Alexander
- Ashley

The bottom 6 SUCKED. :( I would never have put two of those couples in the bottom three couples.
Actual 4 sent home:
- Wadi :(
- Missy
- Nick :( :( :(
- Yvetta :( :(

- Ryan
- Ricky

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday Top Threes: U2!

J: Mira and I went to the U2 360° Tour last night in Baltimore! It was a great show and it got me thinking, what are your top three all-time favorite U2 songs?

1. Ultraviolet - So happy they played this last night!
2. With or Without You -Yeah, there's a reason it's so popular.
3. Where the Streets Have No Name - I really love the instrumental intro.

1. City of Blinding Lights
2. Pride
3. One

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday Top Threes: retitling

M: Top three worst titles for a movie/tv show...

1. I Am Number Four - I (may have been one of few people who) thought that the concept of this movie was interesting, but almost chose not to watch it because of the title alone.
2. Taken/Wanted/Hostage/Any of those super, duper unmemorable one worded titles that all sound like they could be the same movie.
3. Secret Life of the American Teenager - That, and I hate the show. I think it's ridiculous and I think it's even more ridiculous that it's done well enough to go on for seasons and seasons.

1. $h*! My Dad Says - Never watched it but I mean, really??
2. Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore - It just sounds ridiculous. Another stupidly long kids' movie title: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. Haven't watched either of these.
3. Source Code: I actually saw this Jake Gyllenhaal movie and it was decent, if forgettable, but the title makes absolutely no sense. As a programmer I was kind of irked.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Summer TV Schedule

i know the resident blogstresses are fans of the CW, FOX, and the other big networks, but i've found that many of the shows i most enjoy these days appear on TNT (We Know Drama) and USA (Characters Welcome), and their primary seasons are during the other networks' off-season. jenn already blogged about the fall 2011 season; let's look at the summer 2011 season!

TNT: We Know Drama

The Closer - my favorite show on TV, returns 11 July. Kyra Sedgwick's performance as Los Angeles Assistant Chief of Police Brenda Lee Johnson is the best part of the show: a girly-girl from Georgia out of her regional element and in a tough, traditionally male position, she wins the day in the interrogation room. and her wardrobe is terrific, too! the surrounding cast of characters are also well-developed. moreover, i think the show does the best job in recent memory of capturing LA's local color.

Memphis Beat - i've blogged about this show before. returns this tuesday, 14 june!

Rizzoli & Isles - returns 11 July. this is a buddy cop show, except that the buddies are women and only one is a cop; the other is a medical examiner. i like this show, but i don't love it. angie harmon is a good texan, so i always root for her. both stars are likable (the medical examiner is played by somebody i don't know), but the show needs to step it up conceptually this season in my opinion, to have any legs. in their favor is the fact that they're using this great Grace Potter & The Nocturnals song in their promos :)

Men of a Certain Age - already started. i understand what this show is about and i think the 3 leads are great, but i've only watched it a couple of times and haven't warmed up to it. maybe i identify too much with that demographic and would prefer not to see myself as pathetic as they are. the show gets great reviews, though.

Franklin & Bash - a buddy lawyer show, new this season and has already started. it's about two unorthodox lawyers (F. Lee Bailey meets Barnum & Bailey) working for a big law firm (malcolm mcdowell gets to ham it up as the firm's patriarch). i've seen the pilot and it's okay. not sure how much substance it will have.

Leverage - returns 26 June. a successful formula: a bunch of outcasts/outlaws team up to be do-gooders (think A-Team). i've only seen the show once. i prefer USA's take on this concept (see Burn Notice below) and Fox's (Human Target).

Falling Skies - a new show premiering 19 June. here's the concept: earth has been almost entirely wiped out by an alien attack, and this show focuses on a group of survivors who are trying to rebuild their part of civilization. Noah Wylie stars...i think he was in a hospital show. i've enjoyed books with an post-apocalyptic them (Alas, Babylon and The Stand, for two examples) but i'm not sure how it'll work in a TV format. we'll see.

USA: Characters Welcome

In Plain Sight - already started. i love this show about two US Marshals in the Witness Protection Service based in Albuquerque. i like the concept of what the Witness Protection Service does (i've used it in my stories), i like Albuquerque, and the stars are great. mary mccormack's character was perfectly described by somebody in a recent episode as "the snarky smirk in the leather jacket." she's all of that, and fun to watch. her partner, whimsically named "Marshall Mann," is the perfect foil: thoughtful, methodical, and full of arcane facts & trivia that drive his partner nuts.

Royal Pains - returns 29 June. this show is just a pleasant diversion. a nice doctor and his wacky brother playing concierge doctor to rich people in the Hamptons. not very deep, but entertaining.

Burn Notice - returns 23 June. a spy forced out of the business and forced to stay in Miami. like all the USA shows, there is a lot of good local color here. the cast is cool (you can never go wrong with bruce campbell, right?) and the show carries out the outcast-turned-samaritan concept well.

Covert Affairs - already started. season two of new CIA agent Annie Walker as she continues to adapt and excel in the spy business. kind of the exact opposite show of Burn Notice. i thought that season one was uneven and lacked substance, so we'll see what season two has in store.

Necessary Roughness - a new show, premiering 29 June. stars Callie Thorne as a psychotherapist whose new client is a professional football team in New York. haven't seen that before, so i'll give it a shot.

Suits - a new series, debuting 23 June. another lawyer buddy show. this time, only one is a real lawyer; the other is a savant who finds his skills useful in a law firm. to be honest, doesn't do much for me. i'm usually not a fan of legal shows (though i'm a big fan of USA's other legal show, Fairly Legal).

White Collar - returns tuesday, 14 June. i've never seen this show about a white collar criminal who now helps the feds solve other white collar crimes.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thursday Top Threes: Summertime

J: It's stupidly hot here in Maryland. What are your top three songs that make you think of summer?

1. Weezer - Island in the Sun. Hip hip!
2. The Ataris - Boys of Summer. One of my favorite covers.
3. Best Coast - Boyfriend. Even the album cover screams summer!

1. Stroke 9 - Tail of the Sun. The lyrics aren't very summery, but the style of the song is just so fitting for a hot, lazy summer.
2. Grease - Summer Nights. Uh Well-a-well-a-well-a huh!
3. Hanson - MMMBop. Reminds me of a roadtrip I took with my family during the summer of 8th grade. Except we sang it "Kim-bap" when we were hungry. Koreans! :)

Friday, June 03, 2011

Thursday Top Threes: SYTYCD edition

M: It's that time of the year -- So You Think You Can Dance. The only topic I have consistently blogged about on this blog! :) With 7 seasons worth of dances to choose from, what were your top three favorite SYTYCD routines ever!

Jennifer: Yikes, tough question because there have been so many amazing dances over the years!
1. Katee and Joshua - Hometown Glory (season 4). Probably not the most popular dance from this couple or Mia Michaels but something about it just gets me. I can watch it over and over.
2. Mark and Chelsie - Bleeding Love (season 4). Ah, NappyTabs back when the "lyrical hip hop" was new and fresh.
3. Allison and Robert - Fix You (season 7). I don't even like this Coldplay song and I was not a Robert fan at all, but damn, this was just a really good dance performed extraordinarily well.
Honorable mention - This is from season 1 of the Canadian version: Lisa and Vincent doing House. So good!

1. Katee & Joshua - No Air (season 4). I think that Katee is for whatever reason one of my favorite female dancers, if not my favorite, on the show. This is my personal NappyTabs "lyrical hip hop" favorite.
2. Heidi & Travis - Bench Dance (Season 2). Season 2 was my first season of SYTYCD. Heidi was one of my least favorites throughout the show but this dance really changed my mind and I thought it was fantastic.
3. Billy & Ade - Mad World (season 7). Funny cuz I listed this as my 3rd favorite from that season, but it's a dance that I still think about from time to time.
Honorable mention - SOOOOOO many more, but I especially loved two group numbers, the ignored Seven Nation Army and the much lauded Calle Ocho in season 5.