Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Weekly TV Recap

I’ve still loving Once Upon a Time and 666 Park Avenue. I hope though the plan isn’t to keep Emma and Snow in the Enchanted Forest for the entire season. I think this would be a great November Sweeps arc but then it should end after that. I am very pleased with this show. I wasn’t sure where it was going to go after magic came back to Storybrooke at the end of the Season 1 finale but it is almost as if the show has been reborn.

I tuned into Nashville’s premiere last week and I like what I saw. Ever since Friday Night Lights and American Horror Story, I’ve become a huge Connie Britton fan. I was unsure about Nashville at first. I’m not a huge country music fan but I not only enjoyed the music but the acting and the plot as well. It’s not just about music y’all. It’s political too … and it has Powers Booth chewing up the scenery as Connie’s protective, manipulative and highly unlikeable dad!

Tonight though something’s going to have to be DVRed. Nashville is going up against American Horror Story – Asylum. Season Two has a who new locale, era and cast, even though several regulars have returned. Speaking of scenery chewers, Jessica Lange is back, only this time she’s the head nun at a home for the criminally insane. Evan Peters is back – still creepy as ever – this time as an inmate in the asylum. Zachary Quinto is back as a psychologist and new faces James Cromwell, Joseph Fiennes and Adam Levin (yes, Maroon 5’s front man and featured judge on The Voice).

Hell, I might just DVR both of them because both shows are worth rewatching!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Weekly TV Recap

Look for the TV Recap every Tuesday night!

Glee came back in a big way with The Break-Up episode. You knew it was bound to happen. Long distance rarely works … especially when graduating seniors are heading off to college and/or the real world. After four months of radio silence from Finn and a lot of attention from upperclassman Brody, Rachel had purchased her tickets to Splitsville. Kurt got the companion pass as his job at Vogue opened new avenues for him that didn’t feature hometown boyfriend Blaine (who sought comfort on his own). Blaine and Finn show up in NYC and the break-ups were underway – including a heart-wrenching performance of Teenage Dream. Back in Lima, Santana returned to levy the boom on an unsuspecting Brittany. Even the adults were immune as Will’s new commission position is taking him away from Lima briefly and from Emma (although I think these two will end up back together). This episode alone almost redeemed this season for me.

The New Girl and Raising Hope were some of my favorites last season and in their second season they aren’t disappointing. Schmitt impersonating a Romney was laugh-out loud funny. I hope that postpone Jess and Nick getting together. I think it’s too early in the show’s run for that kind of couple … although it is obvious that it’s moving in that direction. Raising Hope came back as zany as ever (I can’t believe I just wrote the word zany but I think it is strangely apropos).

I missed The New Normal to give The Mindy Project a second chance. It wasn’t worth it – definitely the weak link in an otherwise strong comedy night. From now on it’s FOX from 8:00 – 9:30 and then over to NBC at 9:30 for The New Normal. Sorry Mindy.

I liked the twist of being able to steal a contestant over on The Voice. I think it will help keep the battle rounds interesting. Based on last night’s show, the coaches did an excellent job of picking teams AND musicians to help them work with the teams. Michael Buble (Team Blake), Mary J. Blige (Team Adam), Rob Thomas (Team Cee-lo) and Green Day’s  Billie Joe Armstrong(Team Christina) all added some valuable advice to the contestants. This show keeps getting better.

And so does 666 Park Avenue. I like the direction the show is heading. The subplot with the birds was sufficiently creepy and there are enough questions to keep you guessing. I’ll be watching.

And of course, I can’t end without talking about Once Upon a Time. I was worried at the end of last season, when magic returned that the show would have nowhere to go. However, it reinvented itself in a good way. I hope Mary Margaret/Snow and Emma aren’t trapped in the Enchanted Forest for the entire season. I also appreciated Charming’s explanation for David’s wishy-washiness. Charming is clearly more heroic and I’m glad to see he’s really back (and heroic is also pretty damn hot).

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Movie Review: Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect was the perfect film to see on a cloudy, slightly chilly Sunday. I really enjoyed it. As readers of this blog know, I love a singing competition and my favorite is not American Idol or even X-Factor or The Voice but, it’s actually, The Sing-Off. Various a capella groups get together and sing. Sure, there is a cash prize and a recording contract, but Iget the feeling that these groups are formed for one reason and one reason only, and that is to sing. Pitch Perfect captured that fun, well, perfectly.

Beca (Anna Kendrick) is a wannabe deejay whose college professor father wants her to get a college eduation before she heads off to Los Angeles to find deejaying fame. What she finds is a campus filled with a capella groups including the all-male national champions, the Treble Makers, and runner-up the Bellas led by task master Aubrey (Anna Camp) and her nicer half, Chloe (Brittany Snow). Aubrey is convinced, the only way to national success is to have her hot group of girl singers sing traditional a capella songs. She’s running into two problems. Auditions make it clear that she’s going to have to dramatically expand her definition of hot girls. New members include Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), black lesbian Cynthia Rose (Ester Dean) and others who don’t fit the mold. Secondly, she insists on using the same songs and routines that got them to nationals the year before.

Beca has other plans for the group, as well as a love interest in Jesse (Skylar Astin) who sings with the competition.

When I left Pitch Perfect, my thoughts immediately went to a movie released in June, Magic Mike. Stay with me now. Magic Mike promised to be the ultimate girls night out film. However, the movie us girls saw was not the same as the one that was promised. It was a lot more serious and there was a lot less stripping and dancing than we’d wanted. With Pitch Perfect, the audience wanted light comedy, lots of singing and fun – that’s exactly what the movie delivered.

The singing and performances were on point. Sure, it’s hard to believe that the Bellas ever got to nationals with the songs and routines they were doing but this is not a film where thinking to hard will work in your favor. Just sit back and enjoy it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

American Idol: Minaj vs. Mariah - Round 1

OMG! We are just as surprised as
everyone else that we don't get along.
We were expecting to be besties!

Is anyone surprised by the feuding and fighting (well, almost fighting, definitely threatening) between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey? As far as I’m concerned, that’s part of the reason they were hired. Everyone knows the ratings for American Idol, while still awesome, have been declining. This is an easy way to boost them by bringing some Real Housewives kind of crap (and by crap I mean high school-ish drama) to the show.

For me, although the judges are entertaining, I watch for the talent. Maybe efforts should be spent on getting a more exciting mix of contestant and finding more relevant theme weeks. Those are changes that I could get behind. Hot messes and emotional  train wrecks have never been of much interest to me.

At the Movies - Dead Dogs, Singing Single Ladies and a Really Desperate Housewife

This weekend features three major releases.

Frankenweenie: A tale of the love between a boy and his dog that transcends the grave when young Victor manages to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life. Burton clearly has an affection for the Halloween holiday (The Nightmare Before Christmas) and all things creepy (just about every other film he's done - Dark Shadows, Corpse Bride, Ed Wood, Edward Scissorshands, Sweeney Todd, ...) From the fertile (and weird) mind of Tim Burton I’m sure this will be a kids film that parents will love just as much.

Pitch Perfect: Leaked in limited release a week ago, Pitch Perfect expands in full release this week. With lots of music, comedy and great buzz, I think it will be competing with Frankenweenie for the top box office spot this week. As a fan of Glee and The Sing-Off (and just about every other vocal competition out there … except Duets and the stuff on the country music channel), I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while!

Taken 2: After Taken, you got the impression that deadly covert operative Bryan Mills reunited with his wife Lenore after he saved the life of his daughter Kim who’d been traveling in Europe with a friend when she was taken. Now both of them are set to be taken in Taken 2. I don’t know but if I were Lenore, this would probably be grounds for a second divorce. First they take my daughter? Now they take me and my daughter for a second time? Enough is enough! Taken 2 looks like it’s bringing the action though and if you want action (and/or Liam Neeson), this would be your best bet for the weekend.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Weekly TV Recap

Look for the TV Recap every Tuesday night!

The new Fall Season is underway and I have a few comments on some of the new shows as well as some of my recurring favorites.

New Shows
666 Park Avenue: (Sundays, 10:00 p.m. – ABC) I was looking forward to this show and after watching the premiere, I will be watching it again. Lost’s Terry O’Quinn and Vanessa L. Williams, most recently of Desperate Housewives fame, star as Gavin and Olivia Doran, the owners of the posh New York apartment building where they can give you anything you want, for a price. Rachael Taylor (Charlie’s Angels and Grey’s Anatomy) and Dave Annable (Brothers and Sisters) are the new apartment managers who will be in over their heads with the Dorans in no time. In this first episode we were introduced to several tenants and the price they’ve paid to get what they wanted (or what they thought they wanted). I like dark and this show looks like it could be dark and mysterious. It’s no American Horror Story but it will do for a Sunday night.

The New Normal: (Tuesday, 9:30 p.m. – NBC) This show is funny. Sometimes touching, other times provocative but always funny and that is what a comedy is supposed to be … funny! It’s also unexpectedly real and grounded. Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells star as David Murray and Bryan Collins a gay couple expecting their first child with their surrogate Goldie (Georgia King). Throw in Georgia’s mom Jane (Ellen Barkin) as the Archie Bunker for the 21st Century and The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Nene Leakes as Bryan’s assistant and this show had me laughing out loud.
Other people must like The New Normal too because NBC just ordered a full season (from six episodes).

Ben and Kate: (Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. – FOX) I really like Fox on Tuesday night. Raising Hope and The New Girl are two of my favorite sitcoms. Although not quite as strong as those two, Ben and Kate was both sweet and funny. I’m hoping for more funny than sweet in coming weeks.

The Mindy Project: (Tuesday, 9:30 p.m. – FOX) Definitely the weak link in an otherwise strong night. I watched the first episode and just couldn’t get into it. Mindy is a doctor and hopeless romantic. Mindy Kaling was good as part of the ensemble on The Office but I’m just not feeling her here. I don’t think this will be a successful project.

Returning Favorites
Once Upon a Time: (Sunday, 8:00 p.m. – ABC) I have been counting down the days until September 30. I didn’t know what to expect when magic came to Storybrooke and all of our favorite characters finally remembered who they really were. I didn’t expect the direction the story would take but now I’m counting down the days until next Sunday!

Glee: (Thursday, 9:00 p.m. – FOX) I have to say I have not been that thrilled about this new season – especially since my least favorite Glee Project finalist, Alex Newell, from Season 1 is now a series regular. True he can sing but he couldn’t act his way out of a termite-filled paper bag. His presence has truly put a damper on this show for me. I do like the fact that they are following Rachel and Kurt’s exploits in New York. Kate Hudson has been really good as Rachel’s nemesis, dance instructor, Cassandra July. Sarah Jessica Parker however, was, underwhelming in her guest-role as Kurt’s boss at I’m looking forward to seeing more of the new kids (except Unique) and more of what has happened to our original Gleeks now that they have graduated. However, Glee isn’t what it once was for me.