Monday, April 30, 2012

Celebrity Apprentice Jingles All the Way

Don't let the eyeliner fool you. Clay
Aiken is a 'grown ass man'!

Last night’s Celebrity Apprentice left me occasionally aghast but mainly howling with laughter. We were down to the final six and boy did they bring their A- game last night. Highlights for me.

Arsenio Hall
  • He refused to ‘tap dance’ on the grounds that he’s a black man and it’s a racist stereotype. Okay, but black men in drag is a new stereotype so quit it with the lipstick already. Okay?
  • He attempted to rap (bad idea). He didn’t memorize his lyrics but read them on stage from his phone (even worse idea… yet somehow his team won).

Aubrey O’Day:
  • Did she try and out Arsenio??? It sure sounded like it when he initially shot down her cheerleading idea. She said something to the effect of, “Arsenio is the biggest girl on this show, so I don’t know why he doesn’t like tap dancing or wearing cheerleading outfits. We all know he does it at home.” O.M.G. – Oh, no she didn’t!
  • I was texting my friend L Boogie throughout the show. She pointed out the irony of Aubrey representing a charity that rallies against the bullying of gay and lesbian kids when it sounded a lot like she was bullying Arsenio regarding his sexuality.
  • Of course, one charity she will never represent is one for the elderly or the middle-aged, or hell for anyone over 30, for that matter. She slammed Arsenio for being old and senile. In fact, I think at some point, she’s slammed everyone for being old. Of course, aging will never happen to her. After all, she is Aubrey O’Day who has two platinum albums, a Playboy cover and can write a song with absolutely no effort!

Dayana Mendoza
  • Where to begin? Let’s start at the beginning. The project involved writing a 90-second commercial jingle. She thought ‘jingle’ meant Christmas music … you know as in Jingle Bells or maybe even Jingle Bell Rock (okay, I doubt she knows that second one). Since she was the project manager, you kind of knew right off the bat; this was not going to go well.
  • She didn’t understand that they were going with a jingle with music from the early Sixties. So her suggestion to put some Eighties into the mix made no sense and as much as I love Duran Duran, her suggestion to use their music was just bizarre.
  • Her suggestion to have a hippie randomly appear in the presentation was also shot down. Apparently, that’s all she knows of the Sixties. Did I mention she was the project manager?
  • Then, she couldn’t manage a project about singing and writing lyrics with a singer and comedy writer on hand, so basically she stood around offering bad ideas and trying to tell people who did this for a living how to do what they already know how to do.
  • When they started recording, she started calling out colors. Why? It’s music. You hear it, you don’t see it, Fool! Sure, you could bring up the ‘blues’ or go with a little goth and do something ‘dark or black”. Yes, there is a singer named Pink but that wasn’t what she was talking about. This chick was suggesting colors that had absolutely nothing to do with musical interpretation. Let’s make it a little pink or add some yellow. Huh?

Lisa ‘WaterWorks’ Lampanelli
  • Let me be clear, Lisa and Clay carried this task. They lost to Aubrey and the Cheerleaders but if it wasn’t for Lisa and Clay, their jingle would have been a hippie singing a pinkish/yellowy cover of a Duran Duran Christmas sounding tune.
  • I like Lisa but if you want to be the tough chick in the boardroom it helps if the 100-pound beauty queen doesn’t reduce you to a pile of tears and emotion in front of Donald Jr. Bitch up, woman!
  • In the boardroom Lampanelli came out swinging. She called Dayana the female Lou Ferrigno (Yikes!) among other things.

Clay Aiken
  • Even he lost his patience with Dayana, comparing working with her to working with the special needs kids he used to teach. He said, “Dayana is the most frustrating person I have ever met in my life. I spent years teaching kids with disabilities and never have I had to draw on that type of patience since I’ve been in a classroom more than I did this task.”
  • He had the line of the night for me when his frustration hit its boiling point. Dayana “I know music and staging” Mendoza tried to ‘direct’ Clay and he replied “I’m a grown ass man.” I actually got out my remote and played that one back several times. Hysterical.

Teresa Guidice
  • Nothing. She offered no memorable moments whatsoever. I predict she’s gone next week (when we have a double elimination).

Monday, April 16, 2012

I Love Music!

Even with Adam's moves like Jagger,
The Sing-Off managed to edge out
The Voice out as my favorite singing

As I prepare to watch The Voice tonight, I’m thinking about how much I love a good music competition. It started with American Idol and maybe because I’ve been with that one the longest, I’m beginning to feel that it’s run it’s course.

I mean, exactly how many country-crooning Carrie Underwood-wannabes can one Top 10 take! Jeez! Enough Already! Plus the bland and lackluster winners of the past few years haven’t helped. The most exciting thing to happen to AI in the past few years is Adam Lambert and he didn’t even win.

Oddly, I’m not missing Simon and I haven’t missed him since he left. I never watched AI for the judges, I have always watched for the talent and Jessica and Phillip notwithstanding, I just don’t have a lot to root for this season.

Where I am rooting is over at NBC at The Voice (and not just because Adam Levine is there). I just love the dynamic of the show: four chart-topping current artists mentoring and working with a group of singers. They get involved in a way that Idol could only hope.

I look forward to The Voice much more than I do Idol. The judges and contestants look like they are having fun. And, I’m having fun watching them.

I also have a lot of fun watching The Sing-Off. These are a capella groups that are solely in it because they love to sing. The talent and the enthusiasm is catching. Of course, by the time The Sing-Off started, they knew that having a good trio of judges was key. When Sara Bareillis replaced Nicole Scherzinger and joined the boys (Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman of Boys II Men fame), I had my doubts, but she pulled it off. Of all of the singing shows I think this would be my favorite.

New to the game this year was The X-Factor. Since I never really missed Simon, it’s no surprise that I wasn’t super-excited about seeing him back. After The Sing-Off and The Voice, I had gotten used to judges that were fun. The tension Simon brings is unnecessary, however, I actually did like the show. I didn’t have the same anticipation for it week-after-week, but I watched and will probably watch again this year.

So if I had to put my favorite singing competitions in order, I’d rate them…
1. The Sing-Off
2. The Voice
3. American Idol
4. X-Factor
(3 and 4 are virtually tied).

Monday, April 9, 2012

Yea!!! Boo!!! Meh...

The fall TV season is all about new shows. Spring is all about which shows will be renewed and which will be cancelled. If I were using a Magic 8-Ball, I'd be stoked, if I'd asked it about any of the following shows being renewed. The answer would be "Certainly."

Glee: This was a given but it’s always good news.

Once Upon a Time: I’ll say it. It’s my new favorite show. Do not call me Sundays at 8:00 PM!

Kitchen Nightmares: What’s a Friday night without Gordon Ramsey? Damn, I need a life… However, until I get one I’ll be watching Gordo try to save some truly nasty eateries!

Castle: As we race towards the season finale, it looks like our star-crossed lovers might finally get it together … which  means a whole new dynamic next season. Think of the possibilities!

Smash: I wasn’t sure Smash would be a smash. However, I find myself looking forward to this on Monday nights. I’m definitely a fan.

Now, this next group of shows hasn’t been officially renewed yet, but if we were using an old Magic 8 Ball, the answer would be “All signs point to Yes.”

Raising Hope: I have several LOL moments in every episode. 

The New Girl: I had concerns at first, but this has developed into a nice little comedy. And, it’s actually funny.

The Voice: I don’t think it’s in any jeopardy of not returning, however, after two successful seasons I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few changes to the coach/judges in those spinning red chairs.

The Celebrity Apprentice: My guiltiest of guilty pleasures will most likely be back with its mix of tired musical divas, reality stars, former beauty queens and retired athletes plus a few other where-has-he-been-I-thought-he-was-dead D list celebrities.

You remember when you asked the 8-Ball a really good question and then got ticked off when it told you to “Try Again Later”? Well, these shows are on the Bubble, which means they could go either way.

GCB: Good Christian B****es is funny as all get-out. I am really pulling for it to come back in the fall. I just hope it stays comedic and doesn’t add too much drama to the mix.

Scandal: Saw the first episode on Thursday and loved it. Given that the first episode debuted the first week of April, the verdict is still out on this one. Kerry Washington is amazing!

Fringe: Someone I’ve managed to follow the twisted alternate universe, changing time lines storyline (but don’t ask me to explain it). Yes, I want it to come back, but I think I’ll be okay if it doesn’t.

Finally, remember asking the Magic 8-Ball if that guy in third period study hall lkiked you and becoming positively crestfallen when it comes back a very definititive and heart-breaking “The answer is No.” Well, that is exactly what these shows can expect.

Awake: I really wanted to like Awake. Steve Harris, one of my favorite actors, is in it. However, if I’m being honest Awake barely kept me awake. I’m not surprised that it won’t be renewed.

Alcatraz: I was really getting into this show and, they go and pull the plug. It needed at least one more season. Better yet, move it to Fridays and pair it with Fringe.

If you didn't see your favorite show on my list, check out the TV Renewal Scorecard over at TVLine.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Decisions! Decisions!

All of the sudden, Sunday night has gotten really busy. It used to be Once Upon a Time and that was about it (I gave up on Desperate Housewives a few seasons ago). Then came Celebrity Apprentice which rounded out my Sunday TV watching.

Then, things got busy … really busy.

I started watching GCB and thought it was a lot of fun. However, I had to DVR it because it competed with the second hour of Celebrity Apprentice. Then, AMC threw in another twist. They brought back Mad Men – that used to be a late summer, early fall show. I love Mad Men but felt I should probably DVR it. I want to have the ability to play certain scenes back. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, they launched the second season of The Killing last night. Goodness Gracious! Now, I have to find the time to watch all my Sunday shows before the next Sunday!

Monday night is pretty easy from the DVR perspective. I have The Voice from 8:00 – 10:00 and then ..., it used to be Castle but now it’s Smash. I DVR Castle. I feel sort of guilty about that, but I’m in that music mood from The Voice and Smash just makes sense.

I have to say, it’s nice to actually have several good shows worth watching.