Bits and Bobs: TV is still awesome

TV is as good as ever (LOVED the twist on The Vampire Diaries last night that when an original dies their whole bloodline dies with them) but I’ve found that when the TV I love is really good, I have less of a need to blog about it.  Here are a few bits and bobs that I’ve been thinking about anyway:

– Nothing makes me happier than seeing So You Think You Can Dance alum in new projects – last week I pointed out that Alex Wong is in Newsies on broadway (along with Jess LeProtto from season 8 and Evan Kasprzak from season 5), this week it has come to my attention that Kathryn McCormick from Season 6 is starring in Step Up: Revolution out this summer.  Not only that, but Travis Wall is going to be choreographing a few of the dances.  Dude.  This is going to be the best (dance-wise) in the series yet!

– Do you think America is ready for a black Bachelor? If ABC/Mike Fleiss go with Lamar Hurd from Portland, OR I think the answer is ABSOLUTELY!  Check out his audition video in which he comes across as sincere, well-spoken, actually interesting and also adorable!  That smile!  Seriously, ABC.  You should do this.

– Show pickups for next season are starting to trickle in from the networks and so far there haven’t been any major surprises.  I’m still holding out hope for a Fringe renewal from Fox though.

– I have finally watched Terriers, the FX series from 2010.  It is awesome.  I still have 1 episode to go but it is so worth checking out on Netflix if you’re looking for a great show.

 

The Bachelor Season Finale: Love? Probably not so much.

Can't say I'm going to miss Ben and Courtney (or Ben's awful, awful hair)

I was spoiled about the “winner” of The Bachelor after the first episode.  I found Courtney to be so obnoxious and didn’t want to waste my time watching Ben’s “journey” if she was going to be on the show for long so I let a friend spill the beans and I could not be happier that I didn’t watch this season religiously.  I did catch an episode here and there but was just so unimpressed and appalled by Courtney that it left a bad taste in my mouth.  I watched the finale last night with a couple of my girlfriends and despite the crap ending of Ben choosing Courtney (although, let’s be honest, Lyndzi wasn’t a good match for him either), I found the After The Final Rose episode to be pretty interesting.  I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I actually believe that Ben wants to work through this rough patch in his relationship with Courtney.  I don’t know that I got the same feeling of sincerity from Courtney, but a lot of that is because I have never found her to be sincere so it’s an uphill battle for her to change my opinion at this point.I don’t think they have a snowball’s chance in hell of making it down the aisle, but over the years I have learned to be satisfied with long-term (meaning 6 months or longer) relationships.

Wow. They don't look happy AT ALL.

Another thing I loved about ATFR was seeing Ashley and JP.  They seem to have an actual relationship and I would put money down that they not only get married but become the next Trista/Ryan-Mesnick/Molly pairing that this franchise trots out at the end of every season to prove that it’s not entirely full of crap.  They seem to have actually worked to build a life together.  She finished her dental degree (which is huge!) and they have a realistic approach to their wedding (waiting until she was done with school and in her residency).  There seem to be a few keys to making one of these relationships last and I’d say the biggest one is a willingness to move.  Unfortunately, up to this point, it’s always the women moving to a new city and trying to fit themselves into their man’s life (which is probably why Jen and Andrew didn’t work out) but being in the same city is paramount.  Another key to success is staying out of the spotlight.  Ali and Roberto took care of key #1 when she moved to San Diego, however, they neglected key #2 and seemed to be all about the media attention (well, she did).  You can’t have a real relationship under that kind of scrutinization.  So, we’ll see if Courtney and Ben are able to sidestep the pitfalls of their previous contenders and actually make a go of it.  My guess is that we won’t be seeing them at the end of Emily’s season of The Bachelorette (which starts on May 14th).

The Bachelor: Ben Episode 1

Ben welcomes the ladies.

Happy New Year TV Junkies!  After a slow December, television has come roaring back with the premiere of Ben Flajnik’s season of The Bachelor.  After much thought I have decided to give you a list of my thoughts rather than a composed recap.  I just can’t anymore.  This show has devolved into a series of crazy women crying and it hurts my soul to think too much about it.  However, I must give credit where credit is due and admit that the producers and editors have sucked me in for another season of this crap.  Here are a few of my thoughts. Continue reading

The Bachelorette: Oh Ashley. Use your brain.

I wish the producers would have actually shown Ashley dancing. If she can actually dance, it would make me like her so much more.

These early episodes of The Bachelorette are just a mess.  Let’s get the messiest of the mess out of the way first: Bentley.  What a douche.  I mean, seriously.  I don’t know how this kind of exposure is supposed to help his business, but after watching him behave in such an immature, cruel manner towards a girl who is innately hopeful and sweet would actually stop me from helping him in any way.  I don’t care how cool his family fun center is (and I don’t know how cool it is.  It’s probably not cool at all).  From the previews of next week’s episode it looks like he takes himself out of the game pretty early which is a relief.  My friend N. and I were worried that he made it pretty far from the devastation that Ashley was expressing over his cruelty, but no.  Two rose ceremonies and he’s out.  My prediction is that his removal from the “game” has nothing to do with not wanting to hurt Ashley and everything to do with getting bored of the whole thing.  It can’t be fun pretending to be a nice guy when in reality you’re a complete jackass.  And while yes, he definitely tricked everyone on the show about his intentions, it’s probably not a charade that he could have kept up much longer.  As soon as some of the guys started feeling attachments to Ashley they probably would have started to see through him.  I’m actually really glad that he goes next week.  I just want to see him crush her and be done with it already.  Not that I want to see Ashley crushed, I just think this buildup is tiresome and that he is tiresome and does not deserve an ounce more of my television time.  The fact that Ashley is buying into Bentley’s “insecure” crap is strike one against her ability to judge someone’s character.   Continue reading

The Bachelorette: Ashley’s second chance at love.

Ashley and J.P.

The first episode of The Bachelorette is always really overwhelming.  Unlike The Bachelor, I don’t have 25 ugly dresses to judge and instead have to try to parse out the guys based on “personality”.  And there are just so many guys.  I try to come up with nicknames for them right away to help tell them apart.  Usually the nicknames focus on something negative (Chris L. from Ali’s season was nicknamed dead mom for the entire season.  Which is just mean.  He was a total sweetheart!  I was actually rooting for him to be The Bachelor), they don’t make me feel that good about myself.  A couple of the guys stood out right away: Tim, because he got so drunk he couldn’t walk to the car by himself (hey, it happens every season at least once, whether there are 25 men or 25 women vying for the rose); Jeff, because he was wearing a mask (duh) which would have seemed less gimmicky if he had just taken it off right away; and Matt because he looks so much like former Road Rules contestant (future star of NBC’s Grimm) David Giuntoli it was all I could think about while he was on the screen.  I think Ashley has some pretty sweet, genuine guys in the mix and already I have my top three narrowed down to J.P. (shaved head from New York), Ryan P. (winner of the first impression rose) and William (who is the kind of dork that isn’t self conscious about it).   Continue reading

The Bachelor “Winner” Is. . .

Brad before the final rose ceremony.

ME!  About 1/2 way through the episode I made my official pick (my friend N. can vouch for me) and went with my gut and I was right!  PLEASE don’t read ahead if you don’t want to know who the winner is.  I hate being spoiled, so I’m giving you fair warning. Continue reading

Monday Night TV: House, Greek, & The Bachelor: The Women Tell All

 

Scott Michael Foster, Dilshad Vadsaria, Jacob Zachar, Clark Duke, Spencer Grammer, Paul James, Jake McDorman, & Amber Stevens of Greek.

Greek (ABC Family) – After four fun-filled seasons, Greek has come to an end.  This show was like a carnival ride and bright pink cotton candy all rolled into one.  It was fun, frothy, sweet and totally inconsequential.  It never took itself seriously, but still taught great lessons about finding yourself, loyalty and the importance of higher education (although maybe not the book-learning kind).  In this final episode, the KTs worked a terrible terrible scheme to try (in vain) to save their house, but like most episodes, I was chuckling all the way through (until they actually tore down the house – I have to admit, I teared up a bit).  I am a big fan of the fairy tale element in any finale and this one had fairy tales in spades and they were all beautiful.  Cappie (AKA Captain John Paul Jones) and Casey rode off into the sunset, everyone started the next chapters in their lives with smiles on their faces and friends by their sides and Kappa Tau lived to fight another day.  I’m definitely going to miss the crazy theme parties and overdrawn romances, but it is time to say good bye.  Like all shows based in high school or college, viewers will only stick around for so long before they start to see the grey hairs in the actors and stop buying them as being high school or college aged.  It had one of the most diverse casts on TV, perfect chemistry, a great sense of humor, and a huge, huge heart.  Good-bye Greek.  Way to do the college thing right.

 

 

House and Cuddy (Hugh Laurie and Lisa Edelstein) take a dance break.

 

House (Fox): I haven’t watched this show regularly in a few seasons.  The predictability and constant cast shuffling started to get me down and I gave up.  But I read in Entertainment Weekly that this week’s episode would have a dream sequence choreographed by Mia Michaels (So You Think You Can Dance) so I tuned in.  I actually really enjoyed the episode as a whole, but the highlight was definitely Michaels’ dance to “Get Happy” .  That woman constantly surprises me with how emotional her dances can be.  The dream dance took place while Cuddy was under anesthesia and had a sort of dark and twisted undertone which I absolutely loved.  House and Cuddy’s break up was actually really sad, despite the fact that I haven’t been around for any of their relationship, but it may be too much of a downer for me to jump back into the show at this point (especially judging from that haunting preview for next week’s episode).  I don’t think I’ll keep House on my DVR, especially because my 8 o’clock hour is already full on Monday nights, but I’m glad I tuned in for tonight’s diversion.

Continue reading

The Bachelor: 2 Women Left Standing

This season of The Bachelor has been far more than an entertaining fairy-tale, it’s actually been interesting.  The girls seem to have had lives before coming on this show, they aren’t just blank slates for the bachelor to project his ego onto.  Due to years of therapy, Brad has demanded more openness from himself as well as the women and while that has led to some very uncomfortable moments, it has also led to a feeling that these people are actually getting to know each other beyond their favorite restaurants (Olive Garden, anyone) or movies.  Brad has also seemed very concerned about the way that he’s treating the women both on the dates and at rose ceremonies.  He has shown more respect for their feelings than any other bachelor before him.  Some of it may just be his Southern charm (everything sounds better with a Southern drawl – even getting broken up with) but I am choosing to believe that he is a good guy who wants the best for everyone around him. Continue reading

Tuesday Favorites: Glee, One Tree Hill, Raising Hope & The Good Wife

"The Bieber Experience": Mike Chang (Harry Shum Jr.), Puck (Mark Saling), Artie (Kevin McHale), & Sam (Chord Overstreet)

 

Glee (Fox) – This was one of the most enjoyable episodes in recent memory.  From the Justin Bieber tribute to Rachel (Lea Michelle, at her most likable) and Mercedes’ (Amber Riley, showing how it’s done) “Diva Off” I kind of loved every moment.  Even the cheese-fest that was Sue (Jane Lynch) and Mr. Shue’s (Matthew Morrison) sing-a-long in the hospital was adorable (especially because those kids were played by real kids).  I’m having a really hard time picking a best song – Sam’s “Baby” was super cute, The Bieber Experience’s “Somebody to Love” was energetic and music-video quality, Rachel and Mercedes’ “Take Me or Leave Me” was almost (I said almost) as good as the original broadway version, Lauren’s “I Know What Boys Like” was confident and a little dirty, and “Sing” was a classic end-of-episode number (with the great addition of Sue’s plaid track suit).  But  the best line of the night (by far) came from Brittany (Heather Morris), after she spread the trend of wearing leg warmers on your arms despite the fact that Rachel gave her money to get leg warmers on your legs to catch on: “My uncle lost his job and his goat was going hungry so I spent it on food for the goat.  I mean, sort of.  The goat just ate the money.” Continue reading

Monday Night Madness: Being Human, The Bachelor, 90210 and more

Rebecca (Sarah Allen) and Aiden (Sam Witwer) resist the temptation for human blood.

 

Being Human (Syfy) – I watched the first season of this UK import and enjoyed it, but never really got invested and the same thing seems to be happening with the US version only much more quickly.  I don’t find any of the actors nearly as compelling as their British counterparts, despite the fact that they seem to be using virtually the same scripts as the UK version the action feels completely rushed, and for some reason, the way this show is filmed doesn’t really appeal to my eye.  The concept of a vampire, werewolf and ghost living together and helping each other deal with the realities of being a monster in a human world is fun and interesting, but the show really isn’t.  It’s dour and just sort of a massive bummer.  Also, I find the blood effects worse than sub par.  Last night Aiden (the vampire) went on a blood binge with fellow vampire Rebecca and when it was over, they looked like they were covered in finger paint rather than blood.  On the plus side, any show that casts Mark Pellegrino as its villain is a winner in my book.

The Bachelor (ABC) – Michelle grosses me out.  So much.  And on top of it, she’s a total brat and fake and clearly just in it to “win the game”.  She doesn’t want to meet someone to spend her life with, she wants to “make Brad fall in love with” her.  She’s too aggressive (in a really mean-spirited way) with Brad and the way they kiss is disgusting (mostly because she grosses me out).  She gives me the heebie-jeebies and I think Brad deserves better.  Because if there’s anything we’ve learned from this season, it’s that Brad is a good guy who deserves a good woman.  The way he handled the one-on-one date with Alli was really impressive.  He didn’t back down from telling her the truth when he let her go.  He didn’t feel the spark with her and he told her just that, instead of being evasive or giving her a rose just to rip the rug out from under her in the next rose ceremony.  That kind of honesty has really been lacking in past seasons.  Look out future bachelors, Brad has left you big, sensitive, committed shoes to fill.

90210 (The CW) – I don’t know why I watch this show.  I don’t really enjoy it that much.  I find the stories to be telegraphed and superficial.  Even this season’s plot of Teddy coming out was sort of fumbled.  Just when the audience was thinking that we were going to get to see Teddy get comfortable with who he is and his new relationship with Ian, the writers turned Ian into the bad guy and left Teddy thinking that being gay is still the curse he sees it as.  I think that the storytelling is just a little rushed in some places and a little too slow in others (please, let Adrianna get her comeuppance soon. Her selfishness is getting really really obnoxious).  And yet, despite all my complaints, I keep hoping that I’ll tune in one week and this show will either embrace the crazy (a la One Tree Hill) or . . . actually, I just hope they embrace the crazy.

Castle (ABC) – Richard Castle said it best last night: “How many cases have we actually had where there’s a butler as a potential suspect?  It would be a crime if he didn’t do it.”  Well, the butler turned out to be a thief, but not the murderer of the lotto winner with plenty of enemies.  It’s lines like that that make me really love this show.  It has a lightheartedness at its center that makes it fun to watch, rather than a chore.  All of the characters have chemistry with each other and are really likable.  The murders are gimmicky, but not too gimmicky.  But mostly, it’s the constant banter that’s fun to watch.  The cases are there as a tool to show off who the characters are.  The bit last night where Castle was trying to guess what Beckett would do if she won the lottery was great because it was a fun way to learn more about all of the characters.  Yes, it was a little cheesy at the end that Castle decided to fulfill Beckett’s lotto dreams and create a scholarship fund in the name of Beckett’s mother, but it was also sweet so I gave it a pass.

Harry’s Law (NBC) – Harry’s Law has much of the same cheerfulness of Castle, but too much indignation to really be enjoyable.  It is also peopled with characters who are so ridiculously over the top that I find myself rolling my eyes more than actually watching the show.  I like Kathy Bates as Harry and despite my better instincts I like the fact that they have combined a law office and fine shoe store (I like pretty shoes.  What can I say?), but this show is little more than a comic strip to me.  David E. Kelly is a really talented writer/producer, but his shows have started to become carbon copies of each other, down to the little lawyers winning HUGE lawsuits (in last night’s episode it was Christopher McDonald’s Tommy Jefferson vs. Fast Food) and characters who have a penchant for repeating their own names (Tommy Jefferson again).  And as carbon copies, each one is a little less clearly drawn and a little less hard to read.  I also think that Nate Corddry and Brittany Snow have been underused so far (and Snow’s backstory last night was pretty heavy handed) which is really unfortunate as both actors are talented and fun to watch.  I want to say I’ll stop watching this show, but I won’t.  I’ll probably just let it hang around my DVR until I can’t sleep one night.