March 31, 2009

idol top 9

I've failed my own self as a blogger by posting about Idol twice in a row with nothing in between. Please forgive me, and I'll try to forgive myself.

Ahh well. Here we go. The theme this week is "most popular downloads". Interesting idea. Has the potential to bring a lot of different genres. I was afraid to would be new pop songs that I'm not cool enough to know yet, but it seems to be just popular songs overall.

Anoop: Singing "Pilot" by Usher. Seems like a good song choice for Anoop. His voice sounds good, and he's really performing it. It's funny because he seems to like the sensual songs, and as much as I do like him, I don't really see the sex appeal - something that Usher really relies on. Judges not overly impressed. Simon called it a mess - I wouldn't go that far, but it just didn't seem professional. This might be it for Anoop.

Megan: Singing "Turn Your Lights Down Low" by Bob Marley. Oh Megan, you cute little weirdo. She obviously loves this song and it goes well with her unique voice. I'm wondering why she always sings behind the mic stand and never walks around. I'm getting a little bored with that. Judges seem bored with her too. She doesn't seem to be taking their advice from week to week.

Danny: Singing "What Hurts the Most" by Rascal Flatts. I might be wrong, but I think this is the first ballad Danny is singing on the big stage. His isn't the strongest voice among the guys, but I still really do like him. This is probably cheesy, but he just puts a lot of emotion into it, and you feel that. (I know one particular reader who probably just disowned me for typing that)Simon agrees with me though - he called it Danny's best performance thus far on the big stage.

Allison: Singing "Don't Speak" by No Doubt and playing guitar. I love this song. Yikes, her wardrobe is slightly frightening. Luckily, her voice is awesome as usual. I just love this little girl. Randy and Simon agree with me on the outfit, but everyone liked her performance. She's still one of my favorites.

Sidenote: Haha, you can see David Spade behind Randy.

Scott: Singing "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel. Shocking, Scott is singing Billy. He pretty much impersonates Billy every week, but you can tell he's really psyched to get the chance to sing this one. It's true, his voice and style is definitely suited for the song. The judges all loved it - Simon calling it his "best by a country mile." Scott was definitely smart this week playing to his strengths.

Matt: Singing "You Found Me" by The Fray at the piano. They have him on a side stage surrounded by audience members - it's a little awkward and distracting. He sounded good, although it sounded a little like an imitation. Ahh Paula agrees with me! Oh Paula, we're like sisters. The others didn't like it either, which is a shame because he was in the bottom two last week. Too bad because he really is talented, but I think he's letting self-doubt and indecisiveness get the best of him.

Lil Rounds: Singing "I Surrender" by Celine Dion. She mentions paying careful attention to this song choice given the judges' previous criticism. I gotta say, I don't agree with this one. The song does show off her big voice, but it's just a boring ballad. It seems like she's still looking for what the judges want from her. Incidentally, I do love her hair this week. Alas, judges still don't love the song choice, but did like her voice. Oh no, Ryan is trying to interview her kids. One is giving Randy a big hug - too cute.

Adam: Singing "Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherries. Interesting choice, which is no surprise from Adam. He's rocking the Elvis hair again this week. I've expressed my reservations about Adam, but his professionalism and stage presence over others like Anoop and Matt is glaringly obvious. This performance is wild and weird, and it definitely works for him. Paula just nearly ruined it for me by comparing him to Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler. Everyone else liked him too as usual.

Kris: Singing "Ain't no Sunshine" by Bill Withers at the piano. Kris, I worry I've been too judgemental and hard on you. So, I'm wiping the slate clean tonight, and we're starting over. Nice to meet you. He's doing something really cool with this song, and his piano playing is pretty impressive. I'll admit it, he is talented. I still don't find him very engaging and a little cocky. Baby steps, Kris. Baby steps. Judges loved him as usual.

Who I think will go home: Megan or Anoop
Who I hope will go home: Anoop
Who got my vote: Danny and Scott

March 25, 2009

idol top 10

It's Motown week. The contestant get to go visit Barry Gordy and Smokey Robinson at Hitsville, USA, which is pretty amazing. Smokey served as the mentor this week. Here we go:

(By the way, in case my tense is confusing, I do the Idol blogs while I'm actually watching the show. And no, I don't have a life.)

Matt: Singing "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye at the piano. I think I've been underestimating this guy a little. He really has a great voice. This kind of music with a bluesy feel is definitely his strength. I worry that the judges will say it's old-fashioned. I was wrong - they all really liked it, saying he's now one of the front runners.

Sidenote: Randy is wearing turquoise.

Kris: Singing "How Sweet It Is" by Marvin Gaye with the guitar. Again, Kris is just blahh for me. He's like a kid at the high school talent show trying to be John Mayer. Everyone else likes him. I'm at a table for one.

Scott: Singing "You Can't Hurry Love" by Diana Ross at the piano. Interesting choice - a little cheesy interpretation, but there's no denying that he's a talented musician. Again, this guy is an adult contemporary artist, not a pop star. But I still like watching him. Simon pretty much hated it, and Randy agreed.

Megan: Singing "For Once In My Life" by The Temptations. She is just too darn cute. I love her outfit and hair this week. Smokey said it right - she's perhaps the most original contestant they've had on Idol. It's some odd place between awkward and cool. Uh oh. Randy called it a train wreck. He said the tempo was too fast, and I actually agree. No one seems to like the song choice. Simon called it atrocious. I hope this isn't it for her.

Sidenote: Simon seems like he has somewhere else to be.

Anoop: Singing "Ooh Baby Baby" by Smokey Robinson. Right off the bat, I'm thinking this is a risky choice for Anoop. His voice does sound nice, but I'm bored. And it's not often that Anoop bores me. Kara is impressed with his vocal skills and wants him to continue showing it off. Even Simon said it was a great vocal, but needs to work on showmanship.

Michael the Oil Rigger: Singing "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" by The Temptations. Michael says he's going to "take it to church" this week, which I gather means break it down. I would say good, but not great on this one. Ouch, Paula called it Las Vegas loungey. Simon said he couldn't wait for it to end.

Paula Note: I really love her hair short tonight.

Lil Rounds: Singing "Heat Wave" by Martha and The Vandellas. She was made for songs like this. She looks great and sounds great. Randy actually didn't love it, Kara agreed. Paula loved it. Simon called it an authentic tribute, but didn't love the song choice.

Adam: Singing "The Tracks of My Tears" by Smokey Robinson. I love this song, so I'm a little worried about how Adam will do to it. He completely changed his image this week going for an old school Elvis look, which is interesting. He's singing with only an acoustic guitar player. I honestly can't decide how I feel about this. I think I like it. Smokey gave him a standing ovation, which I think is the first of the night. All the judges love him as usual.

Danny: Singing "Get Ready" by The Temptations. He's always fun and great at this big vocal, high energy songs. This is what Michael was trying to do, but didn't pull off. This was one of my favorites of the night. Paula, Randy, and Kara loved it, Simon called it clumsy and amateurish.

Allison: Singing "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" by The Temptations. She's still one of my favorites. She really wiped the floor with this song - just such a powerful voice coming from a 16-year-old girl. Kara is going crazy for her. Everyone else loved her too.

Final Note: Smokey Robinson is a handsome man. And he's so nice and sweet to all the contestants. I have a little crush on him.

Who I think is going home: Michael
Who I hope is going home: Michael

End Note: Annoyed yet? I just saw a preview for Glee, the new Fox show coming up in May. I CANNOT wait.

March 22, 2009

new show review: better off ted

Better off Ted is a new half hour ABC comedy on Wednesdays. It's about a company that manufactures products of questionable ethical standards. Basically, they'll make anything.

Here's the cast: Main character and narrator Ted - the research and development director - is played by Jay Harrington (you may recognize him from Private Practice or Desperate Housewives), his boss Veronica is played by the lovely and talented Portia de Rossi, Lem and Phil are research partners played by Malcolm Barrett and Jonathan Slavin, product testing coordinator Linda is played by Andrea Anders (if you had the unfortunate experience of watching Joey, you'll recognize her).

In the first episode, they're making a killer pumpkin mold, itchy office chairs to promote employee productivity called "The Focus Master" and freeze an employee for a year to see if it works (doesn't work out well).

Ted narrates the show both Zack Morris style (looking at the camera) and Meredith Grey style (voiceover), which is working well for the pilot - reminds me a little of Scrubs.

We're introduced to Lem and Phil while they're both on the toilet in the office bathroom - each finding or not finding a way to cope with toilet paper dispensers that have been moved out of arm's reach of the toilets. So far, they're making me laugh the most.

We find out that Ted is a single dad with a young daughter named Rose. She's super cute, but she's got a slight case of talking above her age. I've mentioned before how much this annoys me. And we're set up with some sexual tension between Ted and Linda, a quirky girl who is coping with her struggle to justify working for an ethically-challenged company by stealing large quantities of mini creamers. However, we find out that Ted already used his only allotted office affair last year with Veronica, so he cannot pursue another one with Linda for fear of becoming an office slut. Plus the fact that Veronica has expressed her disapproval due to an apparent continuance of their affair.

Bottom line: I laughed out loud once or twice but wasn't blown away. I do like the cast - Portia de Rossi is way under-rated for her comedic talent, so I'm excited to see her back on TV. Because I don't watch enough comedies right now, I'll continue to watch to see how this one progresses. ABC doesn't have a good history with maintaining successful comedies. So again, we'll see how it goes.

March 20, 2009

tgif top 10

Sometimes I just feel like watching reruns. Call it lazy, but there are some shows that are just easy and fun to watch no matter how many times you've seen the episodes, especially on a weekend afternoon when you don't want to think. With so many channels, I go through phases of rerun watching, but here's what's on my list right now. I could watch these shows any time of day, no matter how many times I've seen them.

Top 10 Favorite Reruns (currently)
  1. West Wing - Sacred. I currently watch an average of 2 episodes per day. Thank you, Bravo.

  2. Roseanne - I wasn't allowed to watch this show as a kid, so maybe that's why I always want to now. But I really do love Roseanne and Dan. Oddly enough, I think there one of the most relatable families ever written for television.

  3. Beverly Hills, 90210 - SoapNet broadcasts about 16 episodes per day. I prefer the early high school days because I get confused as the seasons get later, and I have to use Donna's hair as a timepiece.

  4. That 70's Show - I've always loved this show, and I'll admit it took me a good three seasons to realize they are smoking pot.

  5. M*A*S*H - I've talked about this show before, and there's no denying that it was one of the most influential shows for television writing. I'm willing to bet you can find an episode on some channel 24 hours a day.

  6. The Cosby Show - You gotta love the Huxtables. Incidentally, I was recently on a flight with the divine Felicia Rashad. We bought the same NurtiGrain bar at the news stand, and I'm pretty sure we'll be best friends for life.

  7. Law & Order - Since there have been 3 million episodes, you can always find one you haven't seen.

  8. The Real Housewives of Anywhere - I'll admit it, this show sucks me in. I was loyal to the OC ladies, then NYC got me. Atlanta scared me a bit, and I can't wait for New Jersey.

  9. Friends - Raise your hand if you can recite the lines from every episode.

  10. Rob & Big - This one's a bit of a wild card. It's not on anymore, but you can find it on MTV2. I cry from laughter every time.

Honorable mention goes to The Wonder Years, which I love to watch in reruns but can't seem to find lately. ION, you weird little channel, I'm looking at you.

March 18, 2009

new show review: castle

Castle premiered Monday nights on ABC two weeks ago. I’ve only seen the first episode so far. I’m not hooked, but I'll give it a few more chances.

Here’s the cast: famous murder mystery novelist Richard Castle is played by Nathan Fillion who’s one of those guys who you know but don’t know how. He’s been in basically everything. Most recently, I liked him in the movie The Waitress. His costar is homicide detective Kate Beckett played by Stana Katic, who I don’t recognize but IMDB has her guesting on a bunch of shows. Supporting characters include Susan Sullivan and Castle’s mom channeling a drunk Mona Bower and Molly Quinn as his witty teenage daughter. There are also some supporting characters at the police department who haven’t really made an impression yet.

The film is very rich with saturated colors (does it sound like I know what I’m talking about? I don’t.) The music is just a typical crime drama track.
The pilot starts with a killer who is copying the murders written in Castle’s books, and a bored Castle with writer’s block volunteers to help solve the case in hopes of getting a story out of it. In the end, he decides Kate should be the inspiration for his new main character, and he signs on to make this a regular gig for “research”.

Katic’s Kate Beckett is a little flat, but she’s also playing a straight homicide detective, so I will cut her some slack for now. Fillion’s Castle is a little tough to diagnose. He’s arrogant and handsome, and fancies himself an expert on people and all things murder. He tries to analyze Kate’s psyche and motivation for working in this field – something like House, but more caring. The inevitable sexual tension is based on her pretending to hate him and him loving to annoy her.

One of my favorite parts of the pilot is a scene with Castle playing a poker game with a two older men and a woman who are fellow writers. They give him advice about writing the story (solving the case). I like the dynamic of the group, so I hope they make it a regular thing.

Bottom line: I’ve said this before – I expect a lot from a pilot. I want it to blow me away, and this one didn’t do that. I was looking for this show to distinguish itself from the myriad of other crime shows. In theory, it does with Castle solving the cases as though he’s writing the story himself. In practice, I worry that it’s just a typical crime drama with some extra dialogue. A lot will depend on how they choose to develop these characters. We’ll see how it goes.

grey's reconciliation

I almost hate to admit it because I've been in a fight with this show since after the writer's strike last spring, but I'm going to say it. Grey's Anatomy and I almost are best friends again. Here's why:

Good cases. This has always been writer/creator Shonda Rhimes' bread and butter, but the cases have been particularly strong lately. The pregnant mom with the brain aneurysm (the Private Practice crossover worked really well here - Addison and Derek had some great scenes), amazing Eric Stoltz as the death row inmate (seems Shonda wrote this storyline specifically for Ellen Pompeo's Emmy submission reel), the short guy with a botched leg lengthening surgery, and even the band geek with Karev.

Dizzie Izzie. I hated the dead Denny storyline. It was just asking too much of the viewer. We already put Denny behind us and lost much of the emotional connection that made his first return (when Merideth drowned) really effective. That said, the last Denny episode with Izzie trying to "break up" with him and Denny trying to make her see why he was there was really well done. I would have liked that whole storyline to be cut down to just that one episode. But, since then, I've loved what they have done with Izzie and her relationship with the interns. Last week's episode with the diagnosis of Patient X was so good.

New pairings. With all the Denny/Izzie fatigue, it's nice to have some interesting new couples. Lexie and Sloane are fun and cute. Callie and Arizona have some good potential too. But Christina and Owen really get me. I heard Shonda Rhimes describe their relationship as almost Victorian, with Owen protecting Christina and trying to hide his vulnerability while Christina hangs back in the beginning waiting to be "courted." The chemistry between the two makes it difficult not to stare at the screen.

Bailey's hair. So glad Bailey finally got a new 'do. That Dutch boy style had been bugging me for years.

Mer and Der. I've never been a fan of this couple. Just too annoying and dramatic. But following Mer's therapy and breakthrough that allowed her to somewhat get past her mother's suicide attempt, I've liked her character a lot more. I've already mentioned the Eric Stoltz story, which I loved. And Tyne Daly coming in as Derek's mom (perfect casting by the way) explaining to Derek that, while he sees the world as black and white, Merideth sees the greys - such a great way to explain this couple. In the past few episodes, we've seen Mer really showing her new found strength with Derek acting as the "broken" one culminating in this scene from last week, which I though was so well done:

All this is to say, I've liked the latter half of this season so far. There are still many areas of concern, including tragically absent George, whiny Chief, useless Sadie, and what I understand to be an unfortunate portrayal of a women living with Asperger's Syndrome. But I'm looking forward to Thursday nights more these days.

March 17, 2009

idol top 11 (100th blog!)

This is my 100th blog. Unfortunately, I have nothing clever to contribute tonight. It's St. Patrick's Day, and it's Tuesday. I seem to have developed a weekly Idol blogging habit, so here we go...
Tonight is country night. Really? It seems a little early to throw this one at them. We'll see how it goes. Randy Travis is the mentor, which is really cool. He's pretty much the epitome of country music.

Michael the Oil Rigger: Being from Texas, he might be the closest we have to a country singer, and he's taking on a tough song - "Ain't Goin' Down Til the Sun Comes Up" by Garth Brooks. Lyrically, it's a super fast song, and he's not missing a word. I would have stopped breathing after the first chorus. The judges liked him (except Simon), but obviously don't like that style. I think he'll get a lot of votes from the country fans.

Allison: Singing "Blame it on Your Heart" by Patty Loveless. To quote Randy Travis, "This girl has pipes." This is definitely not her typical genre, but she sounds awesome. I love this little girl. The judges love it even though Simon is reluctant to admit it.

Kris: Singing "To Make You Feel My Love" by Garth Brooks. I'm a little bored with the song choice because so many people have covered it. Actually, I just find him boring. He has a nice voice and everything, but blahhhh. Simon thought it was "terrific" and everyone else loved it too. I guess it's just not my thing.

Lil Rounds: Singing "Independence Day" by Martina McBride. This is a beautiful song, and I officially have goosebumps. This woman is so talented, it's crazy - and here's an R&B singer doing country. Judges didn't like her song choice. Simon called her "Little" hahaha he's such an ass.

Adam: There isn't a lot of buzz around Idol this season, but the little buzz there is seems to be around Adam. Singing "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash. His video with Randy Travis is hilarious...singing a song by one of the kings of country in a dark sort of Middle Eastern style. I typically like this kind of offbeat contestant, but he just doesn't do it for me. I can't put my finger on it. Simon called it "indulgent rubbish" and Randy called it "current and young"

Scott: Singing "Wild Angels" by Martina McBride at the piano. It's a pretty ballad - the best style to suit his voice, but runs the risk of getting repetitive. I worry that Simon is going to skewer him. Actually, he liked him, but everyone wants him to step it up with the song choices.

Alexis: Singing "Jolene" by Dolly Parton - a classic. This isn't an easy song to sing, and she's not Dolly Parton. It's the same risk you take when you try to sing a Whitney track. She made it a little bluesy, and it didn't really work for her. The judges don't love it. I still really like her though, so I hope she stays around.

Danny: Singing "Jesus Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood. It looks like he's wearing a parka. Distracting. It's a pretty song and gives him the opportunity to belt out some big notes. A good choice for him a thing - he wouldn't have done with with traditional country twang. The crowd goes crazy for this boy. Judges still love him, though he had some weak spots.

Anoop: Singing "You're Always on my Mind" by Willie Nelson - another classic. I love this song. Anoop is no Willie, but he's singing really well. You can tell he's really trying to step it up after being toward the bottom last week. Simon said he's gone "zero to hero" and I have to agree.

Megan: Singing "I Go Walking After Midnight" by Patsy Cline. Here's another classic song, and you can't touch Patsy. Megan definitely has a different sound - I think you either love it or hate it. I find it cute and fun, but I worry it doesn't have staying power for the duration of the competition. Although I do like that she brings something really different to the table. Apparently, she is sick with the flu. The judges really liked it.

Matt: Singing "So Small" by Carrie Underwood at the piano. I don't know this song, but it's nice. Nothing too special. He sounds a little like Gavin DeGraw. I think I compared him to Justin Timberlake last week. Odd. I do like him though, and he's a super talented pianist. Judges are very complementary.

Who I hope will go home: Kris
Who I think will go home: Alexis
Who got my vote*: Allison and Anoop

*My vote is 25% based on talent and 75% based on my bizarre emotional attachments, which will likely fluctuate.

March 12, 2009

tgif top 10: thursday edition

I'm taking a little vacation time that will limit my blogging ability (gasp), so the top 10 list is coming early this week. In preparation for vacation, I'm clearing my mind of all things annoying and stressful. So, I'm making a list of all TV-related things and leaving them behind never to bug me again.

In no particular order, here are my top television pet peeves. The things that plague me and keep me up at night - some you've heard before and some are just my weirdo issues. Please add you're own in the comments if you suffer from the same neurosis.

Top 10 TV Pet Peeves:
  1. Makeup in the Morning: I understand it's Hollywood, and I'm fine with actors waking up with flawless hair and zero puffiness. But I cannot get behind waking up with perfect lipstick. It's physically impossible and absurd.
  2. Kids Talking Like Adults: Also known as "Dawson's Creek Syndrome" - but my problem is more with really small children. Writers who obviously do no understand child development writing lines for kids who don't even know what they're saying. It's creepy.
  3. Police Visits: This might be my worst one, and all Law & Order iterations are guilty of it. When cops show up to questions someone at their home or workplace, the person just goes about their business as if it happens every day. Walking on the treadmill, filing papers, feeding the dog. If the cops came to question me, I would drop everything and try not to pee my pants.
  4. Abandoned Meals: Eating while acting is difficult and probably not advisable in most situations. However, I get a little twinge in my stomach when people have huge meals delivered to them, then leave the table 30 seconds later.
  5. Rude Phone Etiquette: No one ever says "bye" in a TV phone conversation. Ever. They just hang up.
  6. Jobcentric Dating: Doctors only date doctors and lawyers only date lawyers. I love inter-cast relationships as much as the next girl, but a little branching out never hurt anyone.
  7. Recasting: During my short-lived soap opera phase, recasting made me crazy. But I will say soaps are the only genre that can get away with it - there are just too many episodes with no breaks, and actors burn out. Any other time, it's much more interesting to just kill the person off and bring in someone new. It's especially annoying when they turbo grow a child by recasting. I'm looking at you, Party of Five.
  8. Unequal Housing Opportunities: I might be bitter because I live in a shoe, but Penny from The Big Bang Theory could never afford that apartment. She works at California Pizza Kitchen for goodness sake.
  9. Stupid Dads: Why does it seems like every dad on a comedy series has Ray Barone Syndrome? Dads are not that dumb. In fact, many can handle car pool, cooking AND laundry. I'm all about revolting from the Make Room For Daddy sitcom days, but this plotline is getting a little tiresome.
  10. Parking Spots: Always available and always in the front.

March 11, 2009

tv quote of the week

Lily: "Oh my God. She was such a douche."

Marshall: "Dude, she was the heiress to the Masingil fortune."

Show: How I Met Your Mother
Episode: "Sorry, Bro"

(gross, sorry)

March 10, 2009

idol top 13

Finally, the big stage. Let's be real, this is where the competition starts. What's with the new entrance/intro? A voice from above introduces the judges who walk onto the stage and down to their table. A little over the top. The stage is ridiculous as usual. I think I just had a seizure.
Michael Jackson songs tonight. I always love this theme. It's not easy though - if you can sing an MJ song, you gotta make it work.

Lil Rounds: Singing "The Way You Make Me Feel." Her voice is so strong - no doubt there. She's confident and comfortable on stage. Her top looks like an unfortunate 80s prom dress, but I can overlook that. Seems like she does this every night. Judges love her. I hope she gets votes because she's swimming in a sea of cute boys, who are going to scoop up those tween voters.

Scott: Singing "Keep the Faith." Behind the piano is obviously where Scott is comfortable. His voice plays off the piano really well, and he turns into a performer. I don't know this song - it's a little hokie - but he definitely has an identity, and I like that. The audience is going crazy for him. Simon hated the song because no one knows it. Quote: "It's fine being artistic, but not on this show." Simon, you're making it difficult for me to defend my love for this show to the music snobs of the world.

Danny: Glad the producers highlighted a different aspect of his life beyond the loss of his wife - he seems genuinely fun. Singing "PYT" (Pretty Young Thing). I like that he picked such a fun funky MJ song. He's singing his heart out and engaging the audience - he definitely came to play. Paula said he's on his way to the finals, Simon thought his voice was brilliant, but his dancing was hideous. He's in for sure.

Michael the Oil Rigger: Singing "You are Not Alone." Sorry MJ, but I hate this song. The performance seems overdone and hokie (that's my word of the day). Simon gave him one of his best compliments which was kind of surprising - said he made up for his weaker voice with heart and passion giving it 110%. Randy called him one of the best, and Cara liked him too. I wasn't wild about it.

Jasmine: Her family is too cute. Singing "I'll be There." This one's a classic, someone had to pick it. She's basically singing the Mariah version. I know judges love that she's very young, marketable and commercial, but I find her kind of boring. Judges comments are good, but not great.

Kris: Family video snooze. Singing "Remember the Time" with his guitar. I loved this song in 6th grade. The guitar makes him a little more interesting - it gives him a confident little swagger that seems to work for him. He looks like he's having fun - this is the first time I've really like one of his performances. Cara says he spent a lot of time helping the other contestants this week. Awwww...puke. The ladies love him. Simon says he shouldn't have brought the wife out so early (in the family video) - cut to the wife, she is NOT happy.

Allison: Turns out she's Salvadorian, and grew up singing at a Latin shopping center (like Cosco) - I love it. Singing "Give in to Me." Kind of a dark song, but it works for her rocker girl shtick. I'm worried she won't attract too many votes, but I think she's super talented and cute. She's only 16! Judges really like her, but I'm worried they're jinxing her.

Anoop: Singing "Beat It." Love that he chose this song, but it doesn't show off his voice too much, and I wish he smiled instead of looking so intense. His charm is in his goofy nature, and we didn't see that this time. Paula said this song is untouchable and Simon called it horrible.

Jorge: His family video is super cute, he seems to have one thousand relatives. Singing "Never Can Say Goodbye." It's a nice ballad that shows off his huge voice, but I'm bored. Judges weren't wild about the song choice. Simon called it corny and awful. He'll get votes.

Megan: Singing "Rock n' Robin." Is this an MJ song or does he just own it? I'm confused, I'm also confused about why she would choose this song, but she's actually really making it work for her, but it's a risk. She has a great quirky retro sound, and she's crazy beautiful. She crowed like a bird at the end. Simon called it a stupid song choice, but the other judges pretty much liked it.
Adam: I'm trying not to be distracted by the heavy makeup and scary internet photos I keep hearing about (but haven't seen - promise). Singing "Black or White." He's singing the hell out of it, but I'm not sure he connects with the audience. He's sort of intimidating if that makes sense. No doubt that he's super talented though. Paula loves him so much, she nearly passed off. Simon says he's in a different league.

Matt: His parents are precious. Singing "Human Nature" at the piano. Just like Scott, you can tell he's much more comfortable behind the piano. I forgot about this song - good one. He sort of singing it like Justin Timberlake. I wasn't a fan before, but he's winning me over. Judges liked it.

Alexis: Singing "Dirty Diana." I don't know this song, but I like it. She's singing her little heart out - looking very confident and strong on the stage. Simon thought it was over-the-top, but the rest like her. Notice the change in her voting number because they realized the version ending in "13" (never used before) is a sex hotline. Oops.

We learned that two contestants will be eliminated tomorrow night.

Who I hope will go home: Michael and Jasmine
Who I think will go home: Anoop and Jasmine
Who got my vote*: Danny and Allison

Paula Notes: Feathers.

*My vote is 25% based on talent and 75% based on my bizarre emotional attachments, which will likely fluctuate.

March 9, 2009


Check out this NPR piece called "In The Post-Shipper Era, 'The Office' Is The Most Romantic Show On Television"

For those of you not in the nerdy know like myself, a "shipper" is a TV show fan obsessed with the will they/won't they-plagued romantic relationship within the show. You see them pop up quite a bit on message boards and fan pages - seeming to only recognize the parts of a show that deal with the romantic story arc.

Although, I'm sometimes guilty of "shipping" myself - I've listed some of my favorites before - I generally find it annoying because the rest of the show is not given the same attention. My favorites "shippers" are those who obsess over shows that obviously do not intend to have a romantic storyline - Law & Order: SVU is a good example. It's a crime procedural - not going to happen guys.

The NPR piece uses The Office as an example of the "post-shipper era" looking at the concept of carrying a story arc beyond the initial drama, saying:

"The shipper-oriented vision of romance, in which it's all nothing-nothing-nothing-BOOM! KISSING! has a tendency to devalue actually being happy in favor of being constantly stimulated by drama."

In the end, I think "shippers" and their love stories are here to stay, but I do like the idea of moving beyond the drama and keeping the show compelling with characters (gasp!) being happy.

March 6, 2009

just ten things

I'm straying from the regular top ten list to try to redeem myself for the recent tendency to only blog about Idol and Lost. Here are ten items that I have not addressed due to distractions from LeFleur and James and Sawyer.

1. I love How I Met Your Mother. Have I told you that? This season has been really strong, and executive producer Carter Bays is reporting that they WILL address the title of the show before the season ends. This is great news since I heard that Laura Prepon (That 70s Show's Donna) will be appearing soon. I love her, although I'm hearing her character is not so nice.

2. Lauren Graham's upcoming ABC show has a new name - The Bridget Show. The old name was Let It Go. I think I liked that better. Lucy Davis (British Office, Studio 60) has signed on to costar.

3. The Gossip Girl spinoff has two cast members in place: Brittany Snow and Andrew McCarthy, who will play her music executive father. I love anything Andrew McCarthy touches.

4. Next week marks the first spring season new show premiere: Castle on ABC, Monday at 10. The premise is: famous mystery novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) learns that a real-world copycat killer has started staging murder scenes from his novels. Castle steps in to help find the killer, which leads to a new job assisting homicide detectives. I'm not sold, but will check it out.

5. Fox is premiering a new scripted musical comedy pilot called Glee on May 19. The show - about a struggling glee club - won't run until the fall, but they're using the Idol lead-in to generate some buzz. Two recurring characters have signed on: Kristen Chenoweth and Victor Garber. That is all.

6. CBS is reportedly very close to signing a two-year renewal deal for The Big Bang Theory. I can't get enough of this show. It makes me happy.

7. Quest Crew won America's Best Dance Crew last night. Was there really any competition?

8. The top 13 (yes 13!) are in place on Idol (you know I couldn't go an entire post without mentioning it). The round 3 winners were Lil, Jorge, and Scott - all good choices, although I did like Ju'Not. The wild card round last night brought not three, but four contestants back into the competition to move on to the big stage: Megan, Matt, Jasmine, and Anoop (yes!) were chosen. I'm pretty happy with those picks. So the top 13 are: Danny, Alexis, Michael, Adam, Allison, Kris, Jorge, Lil, Scott, Megan, Matt, Jasmine and Anoop.

9. TBS cancelled Frank Caliendo's Frank TV. Thank god we don't have to watch those ads anymore.

10. My first impressions of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon are mixed. I keep reminding myself that Jay, Conan and Dave all looked very different right out of the starting gate than they do now. Aesthetically, the show is really cool. The set is very old-school Johnny Carson with some cool technology thrown in. The Roots are really good. Here's my question about The Roots though - don't they look really young? To be honest, my exposure to The Roots is limited to when they opened for Dave Matthews when I was in high school and then some Napster downloads here and there in college. But I don't think these guys are the same people I saw - they seem so young. Who are actual "Roots"? Are they like Menudo and they just rotate new members in? I need to do some research. Anyway, Jimmy's opening monologues are awkward. Being awkward is kind of his shtick, but he needs to work on timing with the audience, and I think that will come in time. They've had some funny games and digital shorts, but nothing too mind blowing. His rapport with the guests is good so far, but that's mostly because he has a lot of friends lined up for this week. My favorite was Justin Timberlake. Who knew he was so good at impressions?

March 4, 2009


I just caught up on two weeks of Lost - well last week ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham") and this week's ("LaFleur") episodes. Again. I'm left both obsessed and confused. So, I will present my findings accordingly.

Here's what I loved:
  • The notes at the bottom of the screen - do they always do this for the 8pm rerun? I find them quite helpful. It's like pop-up video.
  • Three cheers for the return of Lance Reddick (Matthew)...looks like that's the end of him.
  • Walt! He's huge!
  • Sawyer minus beard.
  • Daniel is still wearing his tie.
  • Jin stepping up to carry the dead guy (also his greatly improved English in the future).
  • Sawyer and Elizabeth lovin it up at the Dharma camp. I never liked them together until this episode. I'm sold.
  • Oops. Sawyer just laid eyes on return Kate. He's a goner.
Here's what made me feel like a total idiot:
  • Why am I starting to feel like I should trust Charles Widmore?
  • Why did Richard know that John had to die, but Ben didn't want him to? Or did he want him to?
  • Ben completely eludes me. Sometimes I really want to like him, like when he talked John off the table. But then he killed him.
  • What the hell is that giant Tutankamun statue?
  • When John fixed the time on the island, when/where did they end up? I think three years go by, but when/where did they start? Are the going to catch up to present day or are the Oceanic 6 coming back in time?
  • We know Horace, right? I can't remember how.
  • How did Sawyer/LaFleur get glasses that matched his prescription?

Favorite Sawyer Nickname: Bonsai (Miles)

March 3, 2009

top 36: round three

It's round three of the top 36 - the last round. At this point, I hardly remember Hollywood week, so tonight should be full of surprises.

So far, we have 2 girls and 4 boys going on to the top 12. Let's hope for some standout girls tonight to even that out. (Note: the final 3 for the top 12 are "wild card spots" chosen by the judges)

Von: 22 from Missouri. Singing "You're All I Need to Get By" by Marvin Gaye. I always worry when they go with a classic. Ugh. He sounds like he's doing a George Michael impression - actually looks a little like it too. I stand corrected - the judges like him. Just too cheesey for me I guess. Haha... Simon said he reminds him of Clay Aiken, but he looks appalling.

Taylor: 17 from Utah. I remember her from auditions - she's cute and very tall - reminds me a little of Jordan Sparks. Singing "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys. Good stage presence and soulful voice. She has super shiny tights on. They look like pleather. I want those tights. Judges didn't love it.

Alex: 19 from California. I remember rooting for this guy during auditions because he's so awkward, making his the voice that comes out of him surprising. Singing "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" by Elton John. I love this song. He has a nice voice, and he's trying to put some rock and roll into it - coming out a bit awkwardly. Simon skewered him - it was like a bully picking on a nerd. Meany, stop it Simon. I kind of love this kid.

Arianna: 17 from California. Don't remember this girl at all. Singing "The Winner Takes It All" - first live Abba song on Idol ever! I love it! I'm guessing this is because of the Mamma Mia movie. She's changing the melody a lot - making it more theatrical and going after some huge notes at the end, but not going so well. Simon called it absolutely terrible, other judges pretty much agreed.

Ju'Not: 26 from New York. I like this guy - another one who's different from the norm. Singing "Hey There Delilah" by Plain White Tees. I embarrassingly join every other female under the age of 30 who loves this song. He's singing it like a slow soul ballad - totally changing the melody. It worked for me, and the judges liked it too.

Kristen: 22 from California. Singing "Give Me One Reason" by Tracey Chapman. Good choice for her voice - also putting soul into it, this seems to be a trend tonight. A little bored. Judges were a mixed bag - seem to like her voice and range, but not her style.

Nathaniel: 18 from New York. This guy bothered me during Hollywood week. I'm all about theatrics, but he struck me as unnecessarily over-the-top. I can't handle the crying and drama. And the headbands are not good. Singing "I Would Do Anything for Love" by Meatloaf. My mom did not like me listening to this song when I was little because he says "screwing around." Ok, I'm actually having fun listening to this guy. He's having a good time. Get rid of the drama, and we can be friends Nathaniel. Simon said it was excruciating. Randy can't see what kind of artist he would be.

Felicia: 23 from Virginia. She's the one who replaced the girl who was cut after they found out she already had a professional recording contract - that comes with a bit of pressure. Singing "No One" by Alicia Keys. I think she's doing really well. She has a nice, clear voice and good confidence on stage. But what do I know? Judges seem to agree. I'd like to see her again.

Scott: 23 from Arizona. Not to blatantly label, but most people will remember him from auditions as the blind guy. We also found out that he's an amazing singer and pianist. Singing "Mandolin Rain" by Bruce Hornsby. A little worried this song is too old, but he has such a nice voice. I want to listen him while driving in the car with my windows down - sorry. He is too cute. Judges like him because he's authentic - I agree. Hope we get to see him at the piano.

Kendall: 24 from Texas. Hate to say it, but I feel like she's the token blonde country singer. She is crazy talented and beautiful, but a little boring. Judges think she's adorable, but not stellar reviews. I'm worried she'll get all the country fan votes and that will push her through.

Jorge: 20 from Puerto Rico. Singing "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" by Elton John. He was criticized during auditions for trouble with pronunciation because of his accent. You can tell he worked on that for this song. He really has a great voice. He made Paula cry. Prompting Simon to say "You heart him, don't you?" Haha. Ok, now he's crying. I'm a softy.

Lil Rounds: 23 from Tennessee. She gets a full name listing because let's face it, an incredible name. I've liked her from the start. Singing "Be Without You" by Mary J. Great song. She sounds amazing and looks confident on stage. She worked "call this show if you can't be without me baby" into the lyrics. I love it. Simon called her brilliant. Cara called her powerhouse.

My Boy Picks:
1) Scott 2) Ju'Not

My Girl Picks:
1) Lil 2) Felicia

Wild Card:

Paula Notes: Really with it tonight. Love her hair. Jewelery scary.