So You Think You Can Dance: Revisiting Season 11

[Programming Note: I know I usually post a “Dear Susan” recap of The Bachelor on Tuesday mornings, but I went to the So You Think You Can Dance tour last night and haven’t had a chance to watch the episode yet. I’ll post tonight or tomorrow morning.]

Season 11 of So You Think You Can Dance seems like it happened SOOOOOOOO long ago! I barely remembered the names of all of the dancers, let alone my favorite dancers. The live show last night was epic as usual and jogged my memory about a few beautiful dances that must be added to the list of all-time best on this show. (It’s a long list). In no particular order, some of my favorite Season 11 dances:

1. “My Immortal” by Evanescence, choreographed by Mandy Moore

Seeing this dance live made me cry. It is so beautiful. The women are all so incredibly alive in this piece. Also, I want one of those dresses. Continue reading

Weekend Binge: Empire

empire_keyart_tuneinI’ve been watching Empire since its premiere, but wanted to give it a closer look so I re-watched the first 4 episodes. This show is pretty much exactly what TV has been missing. It’s the perfect nighttime soap in a brand new package. It’s what Nashville wishes it was. It is decadent and dramatic and funny and clever and more than anything, it is deep in rich characters. I’m not going to pretend for a single moment that I know anything about the music. I know I like it, but I’m not the right person to judge whether it’s good or not. What I can judge are the characters and the plot and the performances and the clothes (OH THE CLOTHES!). Continue reading

Fox Tuesday Night: First winners of the season (IMHO)

Maw Maw (Cloris Leachman) steals a dead woman’s dress.

I have read some wildly disparate views on Fox’s Tuesday night line up over the past few days but I come down firmly on the “pro” side of things.  I love everything about it.  I love that Raising Hope is just as weird and loving and demented as it ever was.  I love that Ben & Kate continues that trend but also ups the ante by creating a world much closer to reality than Raising Hope.  I love that the roommates on New Girl are starting to really gel (despite the fact that Winston still feels like he is shoehorned in there) and that Jess has become more than just a typical “Manic pixie dream girl” trope (although there is still definitely room for improvement).  And I love that The Mindy Project is trying to show a woman who is both girlie and professional and together and a mess and confident and awesome all at the same time without giving her excuses or judging her in any way.  Of the new comedies this fall, Ben & Kate and The Mindy Project are the only ones that have really made me laugh out loud. Continue reading

Returning Shows Quick Takes: Parks and Recreation, Castle, Bones, How I Met Your Mother

The list of returning shows that I watch is astronomically long.  It’s a serious problem and depending on how the new crop of shows do, I may have to make some cuts.  While most of the shows that I’m really looking forward to haven’t premiered yet – shows like The Vampire Diaries, Fringe, Revenge and Homeland – a few of my favorites are back.  But are they better than ever?

Parks & Recreation: Still my favorite sitcom I think.  I just adore the characters so much.  On last week’s premiere I felt like a few of them were a bit too much like caricatures than actual people (especially Ron and Tom) but hopefully things will even out a little bit.  I really liked Leslie’s realization that outside of Pawnee, IN she doesn’t have much of an influence and that she used that realization to have more of an influence in Pawnee.  The big fish/little pond story has been done before, but never with such an optimistic fish.  Regardless, this show still cracks me up. Continue reading

New Show Reviews: Go On, The New Normal, Revolution, Last Resort, The Mob Doctor

I guess that the official start of the Fall TV season has come and gone since both NBC and Fox have premiered both new and returning shows over the past couple of weeks.  Although, I think it would be epic if no premieres occurred until after the Emmys (which are this Sunday 9/23 – mark your calendars).  I mean, what a great kick off to the season that would be!  Anyway, that’s not the case.  On top of the fact that NBC used the summer Olympics to give a sneak peak at Go On and Animal Practice, multiple premieres have been available online for a few weeks and I have watched them all.

Last Resort: Technically, Last Resort doesn’t premiere until next Thursday, but I caught it online earlier this week (on Hulu – love that site!) and I loved every second.  That doesn’t mean it’s perfect – far from it – but I am totally hooked.  I am so glad to see Scott Speedman back on TV and in a character who is far different from those I’ve seen him play before.  While, like Revolution, there are a lot of characters and different threads being set up in the pilot, I am interested in where these stories are going and intrigued about who these characters will turn out to be.  I think one thing that really separates the handling of such large casts of characters is that on Last Resort they are compartmentalized very definitively and separately – there is the submarine crew (headed by Andre Braugher), the island inhabitants, the NATO workers, and the people in DC.  I’m excited to see all of these threads weave together and split apart.  But, I’ll be honest, like with the beginning of Fringe which I basically stuck with simply because I am a big fan of Joshua Jackson, I watched Last Resort mostly for the Scott Speedman factor and that will probably keep me coming back until the show itself finds its legs and grabs me. Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance – From 20 to 16

The top 20 perform a dance choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon

Group Routine, choreographed by Christopher Scott performed to “The Beautiful People (District 78 Remix) by Marilyn Manson: I really had no idea who choreographed the opening group routine while I was watching it.  It highlighted Cyrus which led me to believe that it was a hip hop choreographer, but had these great group movements (that I really have no way to describe other than to say it was like the dancers were portraying the movement of breathing) which made me think that it was a contemporary choreographer.  The dance was completely great, but the director did a really poor job of capturing it and editing the performance which is a bummer.  I LOVED the choreography – really challenging and different and entertaining.  The whole piece had a really great vibe to it.  I’m so glad the producers recognized how important these group routines are and didn’t get rid of them when they got rid of the elimination episode.

Amber and Nick during rehearsals.

I can’t believe we’re going to lose FOUR dancers tonight.  That’s not cool.  We jump RIGHT into the top 20 announcement by pairs.  Everyone is pretty much getting the same level of screaming across the board although it definitely lessons as the pairs go on, as if the crowd got tired of cheering which is really weird and kind of sad.  It doesn’t take that much energy, guys.  Also, it is made very clear that the group numbers are pre-taped.  I am ok with that.  I adore Cat’s dress.  So summery and adorable.  Umm, that routine was apparently Tabitha and Napoleon.  They have really switched things up stylistically this season.  It’s kind of crazy.

Judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Adam Shankman

Tonight’s guest judge is Adam Shankman which I think is a good choice for the first cut.  At least he knows something about dance/dancers so he’ll actually be able to have an opinion unlike, say, Zooey Deschanel last week. After Nigel does his whole Dance Day Spiel (which I’m all for, really, but he does go on a bit long) Cat says that we are not only going to get 10 performances from the contestants but also a sneak peak at Step Up: Revolution and a live performance from some of the dancers from the movie PLUS we have to see four people eliminated.  All in under 2 hours.  Ummmmm, right.

sytycd_s9_ep2_lindsay_cole

Picture 1 of 10

Lindsay & Cole, Hip-hop, choreographed by Christopher Scott, Performed to "Teeth" by Lady Gaga: I have a total soft spot for this song so I’m prepared to really like this performance. I thought his costume was great and Lindsay is definitely tried to bring the personality and character, but I don't think the props really worked the way that they should - she seemed to be working extra hard to move that chair around and things kept flying off her costume. She definitely out-danced him a little. He was just a little less sharp or something. Maybe she was more exaggerated in her sharpness? I'm not sure. It's was cute, but maybe a little under-choreographed. Cole totally annoyed me when he remained in character during judging. The first time, ok, but after that it's obnoxious.

Here’s where things get weird and sad and awkward.   Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance: The Top 20 Perform for Votes

The Top 20 perform a Christopher Scott routine.

The show opens with a group number which I’m almost positive has been choreographed by Christopher Scott (I was right) and I am immediately relieved because I assumed that with the elimination of the results show the group numbers would be eliminated as well. Anyway, The costumes makeup and hair are just rockin’.  I love the use of the spinny chairs as props and I really feel like everyone is in complete unison and just kind of rocking it.  Wow.  I’m really excited to get to know these dancers.  They just completely hold my interest.  They all look as if they’ve been a company forever.  I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like to lose any of them.  Why, GOD, WHY!

Now we have our intro to the top 20 dancers and its clear that the opening number was pre taped because everyone is in different hair and makeup and costumes.  I guess I’m ok with that.  Our judges tonight are Nigel, Mary and Kenny Ortega (he of Dirty Dancing and the High School Musical series).  Right off the bat they explain how things are going to go down next week – America will vote for individuals and the bottom three guys and bottom three girls will be announced next week and 2 of each will be sent home by the judges.  Apparently there will also be some discussion with the choreographers about the dancers, which I think could be interesting if we get to see any of that.  They better not kick off 2 dancers each every week.  That would be a depressingly short show.  I’m hoping the double elimination is just to make up for the lack of episode last week.  Shall we get on with it?

sytycd_season9_top20_witneychehon

Picture 1 of 10

Witney (why no “H” Witney?) & Chehon, Samba, choreographed by Louis Van Amstel, performed to “Jump" by The Cube Guys & Lucinana: Chehon is a little stiff. Witney is awesome at this, as she should be considering that this is her thing. I wish they had chosen a different hairstyle for Chehon. There's something a little stop and go about the choreography that's not really sitting well with me. They are trying to connect, you can see them trying to connect, but there's definitely something missing here. They gave it the good old college try, but the two of them together just didn't work. Yes, Witney was great, but I think she wasn't quite there for Chehon to bring him into it a little more and that would have been nice to see. I pretty much don't care what the judges say, but find it hilarious that Kenny clearly didn't know Chehon's name so chose to call him "mister" during his critique.

Season 9 is kick-ass.

Good god.  I can’t even handle this season.  There is barely a weak link.  Plus, no results show means I have to wait another whole week for another episode.  Unfortunately, I think that Nick and Amber’s Viennese Waltz is going to land them in the bottom three because it didn’t quite have the same allure as a lot of the other dances.  I’d also put Janaya and Brandon in the bottom but I don’t want them to go home at all.  I think it’s possible that Daniel and Alexa will end up in the bottom as well which would be really sucky.  I don’t want anyone to go home.  LET THEM ALL STAY.  Let’s just pick the final winners at the end of 10 weeks of awesome dancing.  That’s my vote.    UGH.  Two people going home next week is stupid.  Can’t they just keep a double elimination for further down the line when they can seen who’s not improving and have more evidence of the dancers’ abilities?  I HATE (but really love) this show!

So You Think You Can Dance Season 9: Top 20

So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 Top 20

Every year I think that there is no way the talent in the So You Think You Can Dancetop 20  will surpass the previous season and every year I am wrong.  Season 9’s top 20 appears to be particularly strong, not only in dance ability, but likability as well.  What I’m really excited for, though, is the fact that Mia FREAKING Michaels is BACK!  This is huge news that I wasn’t aware of before last night and I am very excited to see what kinds of stuff she comes up with for this crop of dancers.  Nigel Lythgoe has done some really great things with this show – never staying too precious with the format – and one of the best ideas was this first episode introduction.  It gives the dancers a chance to get comfortable on the SYTYCD stage in front of a live audience without the pressure of the competition hanging over them and produces some really great stuff.  And the choreographers tend to just KILL IT as they did last night. Continue reading

Fox 2012-13 Schedule

Fox made more scheduling changes than anything else.  Of course, they do only have 2 hours of primetime to schedule so there’s not a lot of room for new shows, but the new shows they have don’t look completely awful.  In fact, a couple of their mid-season shows look kind of good (The Following and The Goodwin Games especially).  They do have a few big changes, but I pretty much agree with them.

#1 The Tuesday night comedy block was something they seemed to be leaning towards this year and have committed to 100% for the fall.  I’m totally on board with this decision.  Especially because new shows Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project actually look both funny and like they will fit well with Raising Hope and New Girl as lead-ins.

#2 Moving Touch to Fridays.  First of all, I think it was actually kind of stupid to give Touch a second season seeing as that show is lame.  However, I think that putting it on Fridays and pairing it with Fringe just makes sense.  And let’s all thank whatever God spoke to Kevin Reilly and convinced him to give Fringe 13 more episodes of awesome.

#3 Outside of the fact that I think that X-Factor is totally noisy and not at all good, it makes total sense to pair it’s result show (and American Idol’s come mid season) with Glee.  I don’t know why no one had done that before.  Glee is kind of on its way out (at least it is if it’s being smart) so it could definitely use the boost of the music competition audience (because even though X-Factor didn’t do as good as was expected, it still held it’s own ratings-wise).

There’s really not too much to say though.  I’m a little disappointed that The Following and The Goodwin Games are being held til midseason but that seems like something a lot of networks are doing now.  And regardless, the Fox Tuesday comedy block is totally going to become a thing – like NBC’s Must-See Thursdays or ABC’s TGIF block from the early 90’s.  I wonder what catchy name they’re going to give it.