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ADVANCE REVIEW: The Closer “Old Money” – Mid-Season Premiere

December 6th, 2010

THE CLOSER

The way TNT splits up their seasons is a little different from other networks, but no matter, because I am so glad The Closer is back. It begins its 5 episode run tonight and the mid-season premiere is quite a doozy. Someone on the squad gets injured (I can’t tell you who) and it directly relates to the case that Major Crimes is dealing with. Fritz in his new position gets involved of course, and this case goes beyond just the police force. There’s money laundering and perhaps a murder investigation, and it gets really intense. I don’t want to spoil any more so you’ll have to watch for yourself, but there is one character in particular that is returning that I was happy to see.

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INTERVIEW: Chord Overstreet (Sam Evans) from Glee

October 25th, 2010

chord

Everybody who reads this site regularly knows of my love of Glee. Week after week (with maybe one or two exceptions in between), it brings amazing musical numbers and drama to life in a way that’s never really been done before on television. Tomorrow is the big Rocky Horror episode which pays homage to the 1970s movie by putting on a production at McKinley High. I have seen it and will be posting an Advance Review tomorrow but for now I will tell you that it is fantastic. One of the more recent additions to the cast is Sam, a new Glee club member and football teammate of Finn and Puck. I actually love his new potential relationship with Quinn, and the maturity he showed about Kurt’s crush in the last episode. I recently had the chance to chat with Chord Overstreet, who plays newcomer Sam Evans. We talked about his duet with Quinn, his tendency to take off his shirt, and he even did some impressions for me.

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REVIEW: Glee “Funk”

June 2nd, 2010

I always love Glee. As someone who reviews TV shows however, I try to come at it from an objective lens. Even if I always love the show, I’m not always praising it as perfection. Last night’s episode titled “Funk” is one that was filled with many perfect moments (Quinn, Terri, Sue/Schue, Jesse/Rachel) and certainly the story drove the music this time around. “Funk” centered around Vocal Adrenaline intimidating New Directions to psych them out and get them all in a funk.

Jesse has returned to Vocal Adrenaline claiming that he was never accepted at McKinley High. Led by oh so wonderful Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff), they sing Queen’s hit “Another One Bites The Dust.” I do enjoy the sweet melodic tones of Groff’s voice but would have loved a duet between him and Lea Michele again. Given what happens later in the episode, I assume a song could have been found about hearts breaking. New Directions gets their choir room TP’d (with Sue’s help) and all the members fall into a funk.

The episode also featured Terri, who I adore (the actress and the character). Terri and Will sign divorce papers, each with very meaningful glances. The acting is so brilliant, because Terri doesn’t even have to say a word but you can tell exactly what she is thinking. When she’s about to walk out, she tells Will that he’s still that 16 year old boy to her and he always will be. Divorce is awful, whether or not one of the parties involved is a tad bit on the crazy side. But I think this scene really represented the start to a new Terri.

To get revenge on VA, Puck and Finn deflate the tires of all of their competitors. Apparently, they were expensive Land Rovers and Shelby decides she won’t press charges if they pay to fix it. Finn and Puck get jobs at Sheets N’Things to earn money, and Terri is their boss. Howard Bamboo is back, but I can’t say he was a memorable character at all for me. Sandy Ryerson is also back, and his scenes were definitely entertaining. At Sheets N’Things, Puck, Finn, Howard, Sandy and Terri sing “Loser” by Beck. If Terri had a big solo it was cut but I’m pretty sure you can hear her softly singing. She talks to Finn and while it seems like she might be a little smitten with him (ew!), I think it’s really more than she sees a lot of Will in Finn. She helps him with their Glee project (going funk) and seems to want to move forward with her life. She is working hard to become a manager, and she admits that she has a compulsive need to crush other people’s dreams. She sees Finn as her second chance. But rest assured, there’s still crazy Terri in there who has a little ridiculous crush on Finn and demotes Howard Bamboo. One of my favorite Terri lines to Puck was “I thought Jews were supposed to be smart.”

Besides the Terri/Will divorce situation, one of the most heartbreaking scenes happened between Rachel and Jesse. Throughout the entire episode, Rachel is agonizing over Jesse and their breakup. When she goes to talk to Schue, she is convinced that Jesse did this on purpose to get her depressed before regionals. While half listening to her, Schue devises a plan to get back at Sue. The show used a lot of inner monologue moments, which I really enjoyed. This was one but Puck also had an inner monologue when planning revenge. In any case, Jesse calls Rachel and tells her to meet him in the parking lot. I don’t know if it was my naivete or resistance to believe that Jesse could be so ill intentioned, but I was hoping they would make up. Instead, the entire Vocal Adrenaline team throws eggs at Rachel. The last one to do so is Jesse. She encourages him to do it — like he broke her heart. Jesse tells her he loved her right before he cracks an egg over her head. People (not me) find Rachel to be annoying, so I wonder if this scene was made to take her down a notch. She became incredibly vulnerable after this moment. But as I said, I wanted to believe Jesse had genuine feelings for Rachel. However, “Funk” and “Theatricality” were supposed to air in the opposite order, so perhaps this is why we don’t get a ton of explanation behind his motivations. Whatever the case, I think and hope he will be redeeming himself in the finale. High school students are cruel, but Jesse St. James, stop breaking Rachel’s heart! After the egg incident, Rachel goes to the Glee Club, understandably upset, and they all rally behind her. Kurt’s line “Rachel’s one of us, we’re the only ones who get to humiliate her,” was great.

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REVIEW: Glee: “Theatricality”

May 26th, 2010

I have thought a lot about last night’s episode, that made me break down in tears on more than one occasion. I try not to read too many reviews before I start my own, but one in particular struck a chord with me. It was all about how one storyline from last night’s episode was done in a terrible way, despite some good acting. I want to respectfully disagree, and I will elaborate more on that later.

“Theatricality” focused on two major stories: Rachel and her new found mom, Shelby and Kurt, Finn and his dad. Overall, it was about being true to yourself, which I think is a common lesson taught at McKinley High. Tina was in trouble for dressing like a goth (partly because Figgins thinks vampires are real) and is struggling to find a new look. Vocal Adrenaline was pulling out all the stops and going Gaga. In response, Schue decides that the Glee club’s assignment is to go Gaga as well. This of course excites Kurt, the girls (and me) and results in a mind-blowing performance of “Bad Romance.” Gaga to the rescue for Tina! I am constantly amazed by how the covers of these songs completely trump the originals. I love Lady Gaga, don’t get me wrong, but this was amazing. All of the girls and Kurt walk around in crazy Gaga gear, and Kurt gets a lot of flack for it. The rest of the Glee club did too, though. Rachel’s crazy stuffed animal costume (because her dads couldn’t sew) was hilarious.

When part of the Glee club goes to spy on Vocal Adrenaline, Shelby sings “Funny Girl,” which leads Rachel to confronting her mom. It was certainly not the warmest of receptions, and Rachel shared a sweet metaphor about her dads bringing her water when she was upset, so she wasn’t sure if she was sad or thirsty. They have a nice talk but it wasn’t exactly Shelby begging Rachel to be her mom. This particular storyline hit home for me for reasons I don’t tend to share with a lot of people (more of a dad thing than a mom thing) In any case, there was no sugar coating here. You might expect in a show that is full of music and happiness that Rachel would go running into her mom’s arms and all would be great in the world again. But Shelby sees that she’s missed out on so much, including her chance to be a real mother.

In Kurt/Finn world, Finn is upset that he has to move in with Kurt and his dad. Kurt decides to redecorate the room to impress Finn. Their relationship is a complicated one, that’s for sure. Any unrequited love is complicated. I know I went through my fair share of crushes in high school, and none of them were over once the other one found out. Emotions don’t just automatically go away, no matter how hard you try. You change and grow and eventually get over it. Believe me, I think often of embarrassing crush moments, but I had them. Everyone does. I don’t think that Kurt having an innocent crush on Finn was an irrelevant storyline. If anything, it was realistic. People want things they can’t have, even if they try to manipulate things to have them.

When Finn comes home to his newly redecorated room, he goes off on Kurt. He calls some of the decorations the “f” word and yells at him a lot. Kurt’s dad (Burt) hears what’s going on and completely loses it. He puts Finn in his place, and confronts his ignorance. He says that he used to call things the “f” word before and he knows what it means. Finn meant it in that way, and he can’t have poison like that living under his roof. This was a powerhouse performance by Mike O’Malley and if anyone deserves a Guest Emmy nomination, it’s him. I think that it all made sense in context. Burt may not have known about the Finn crush but what Finn said was still awful. Kurt’s redecoration might have been in an effort to win Finn over, but as I said, we all do things in high school we regret.

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Doodles for a Great Cause

May 21st, 2010

Here’s your chance to buy an original piece of art/doodle from one of your favorite stars! There are Glee and Life Unexpected cast doodles, and many, many more. All of this is for a great cause! It’s clearly a win/win situation. Here is the info about National Doodle Day:

Since 2007, NF, Inc has been collecting hand-drawn, one-of-a-kind cards from various stars of film, TV, music, and sports in order to raise money for research to find a cure for the genetic nerve disorder. This year we have collected some great ones from Cory Monteith, Kristoffer Polaha, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, Tim Conway, Gillian Anderson, Florence Henderson, Matthew Perry, Howie Mandel, Elizabeth Mitchell, Kal Penn,  Lizzy Caplan, Tim Allen, Gary Cole, Melissa Joan Hart, Nolan Gould, Doris Roberts, Amy Poehler, and Tim Daly.

Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic disorder that affects one in every 2,500 births. NF is more common than Cystic Fibrosis, Muscular Dystrophy and Huntington’s Disease combined. Funds raised from the Doodle Day auction will go to support education, advocacy, coalitions, and research for treatments and a cure. To learn more about NF, please visit www.nfinc.org.

NF, Inc auctions begin on May 13. All proceeds raised from the auctions will go to their cause. The doodles can be seen here: http://www.doodledayusa.org/gallery/v/2010/ with more to be added as they come in.

Watch Southland Tonight: Extended 1st Season Premiere

January 12th, 2010

Southland was canceled by NBC in the whole Leno mess (whew boy), but was picked up by TNT. It’s a great cop drama that let’s viewers get an inside look at the lives and cases of a Los Angeles police force. The show stars Ben MacKenzie (The O.C.), Regina King, and Michael Cudlitz. It really wasn’t given enough of a chance on NBC, so I’m glad it has found a new home. TNT is handling the show in a very unique (and great) way. Tonight they are airing the first season premiere, with about six minutes of never-before-seen footage. In addition, every Tuesday night, TNT will air each subsequent episode from the first season of Southland. This is a great way for the network to gain new fans of the show, and for old fans to re-watch the season or catch up.

And beginning Tuesday, March 2nd at 10 pm, TNT will air six new episodes. So if this was a show that interested you but you never had a chance to watch (the cast is fantastic!), you have the opportunity tonight. And because the fate of the show might be unknown, you might just help it get another season. Southland is a great drama that doesn’t feel formulaic or overdone, so tune in tonight at 10 pm on TNT to see what all the buzz is about.

ADVANCE REVIEW: Season 3 Premiere of Chuck

January 10th, 2010

Chuck is back! No more Mr. Nice Spy!! I had mentioned earlier that I was sort of a casual Chuck viewer, but this season is not to miss. I am a Chuck convert, and I’m so excited for the return! When last we left Chuck, he suddenly had new powers (due to the Intersect 2.0), he and Sarah were in love, and all seemed pretty good in Bartowski-world.

The season premiere picks up where they left off. Chuck Bartowski is trying to embrace his new role as a spy. He is slowly grasping his new powers with the Intersect 2.0, and suddenly knows kung fu, how to play musical instruments, and get out of the stickiest situations. But what makes Chuck the character we adore, is not his Intersect powers. At heart, Chuck is still that lovable nerd from Buy More who is head over heels for Sarah. And it’s those things that make Chuck who he is, that can interfere with his ability to perform as a spy. If he can’t flash (Intersect 2.0 lingo that means to gain the information to do those aforementioned crazy things), he risks failing at a mission. And he can’t flash when he gets nervous or upset or scared or shows any sort of emotions. And let’s face it, if you are at risk of being beat up, you probably would get scared too.

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Chuck Behind-The-Scenes Video Preview

January 8th, 2010

I have to admit, I was an on/off again Chuck viewer…until now. I loved the show but it was more of a watch on the DVR later kind of deal, instead of a can’t miss. It had been in danger of cancellation several times, maybe because of people like me? But when I received the screener for the first 5 episodes, I was thrilled to dig in. I am now a total Chuck convert, a member of the Nerd Herd, a fan of Jeffster, a lover of all things Dr. Awesome…you name it. (I’m sorry if I ever doubted you, Chuck! Never again!) The third season is full of great plot lines (Intersect 2.0 action), the continuing love drama between Sarah and Chuck, and bringing true meaning to the new show slogan “No More Mr. Nice Spy.”

On Sunday, I will be posting my advance review of the 3rd season premiere, but I thought in the meantime, you might enjoy a behind-the-scenes video preview of the upcoming season.

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Be sure to check back on Sunday, January 10th for my advance review of the 3rd season premiere. Also, you really should be watching Chuck. It’s fantastic. Tune in on Sunday at 9 pm on NBC, and then again on Monday at 8 pm. It’s a two hour Chuck premiere event!

ADVANCE REVIEW – Life Unexpected & Video Preview

January 7th, 2010

After a slew of hit and miss shows from the CW for the new season, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Life Unexpected. I received the pilot back in September, and was floored. There was no release date at the time, so I decided to wait to share the greatness. It is one of the best shows/pilots I have seen in a long time. You can absolutely tell is a well-thought out, passion project. It reminded me of Gilmore Girls. It is quirky, sweet, funny at times, but most of all, it just has a lot of heart.

The show centers around Lux (Britt Robertson) who has decided to emancipate herself from foster care at 16. This process leads her to her biological father Nate “Baze” Bazile (Kris Polaha from Mad Men) and her biological mother Cate Cassidy (Shiri Appleby from ER and Roswell). Baze owns a bar and lives above it, and is stuck almost in a state of arrested development–friends with a bunch of frat boys and waking up every day at noon. Cate is a local radio star of a show called “Morning Madness” (which Lux listens to every morning) with her partner and off-air boyfriend Ryan Thomas (Kerr Smith aka Jack from Dawson’s Creek). Through unforseen legal decisions (a judge grants Cate and Baze joint custody), their world becomes interconnected, and Lux ends up with the parents she never knew she had.

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REVIEW: Mid-Season Premiere of Make It Or Break It: "The Eleventh Hour"

January 5th, 2010

As you all know, I am very excited about the return of Make It Or Break It. When I visited the set back in October, they were filming “The Eleventh Hour.” They were very hush-hush about spoilers and such, but I did get to see Payson in her back brace, and a little bit of the scene from last night with Payson and her mom and Becca. I have to say, I loved this premiere. When I spoke with Ayla, she said that it was when she let her face drop, where you could see that she was really hurting despite her cool facade. She was absolutely right, and Payson went through some tough moments in the premiere, which were all acted beautifully.

The episode centered around Payson…her grief, her friends, her struggles. At the same time however, Kaylie is struggling with being the new National Champion. She hired a manager and now her time is taken up with media appearances, parades and distractions. Kaylie also feels extremely guilty for winning the National Championship, because Payson would have won if it wasn’t for her injury. Payson plays everything off like it’s fine, and she is doing great, but it is clear she isn’t. Her sister Becca wants to watch the parade with The Rock gymnasts, which turns into a painful moment for Payson who feels she should have been there. But she still insists everything is fine.
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