Monday, July 19, 2010

The Good News: Tv Club's Back! The Bad News: So Is Movie Club.

Back by popular demand--one person is still capable of demand-- both here and over at

CC: I've watched this episode like a zillion times. Seriously. Best ep so far this season; there were SO MANY rewatchable routines. I almost cry EVERY FUCKING TIME Robert walks Allison on his feet (and I think it's well into the double digits at this point), and Boogie Shoes? Fucking Boogie Shoes, are you kidding me? LOVED IT! And lemme just say, I am *so into* Dee Caspary. He's kicked ass two out of two times he's been on. He seems like he might be totally uncomfortable on camera, or at least, just, like, not very emotional, but my god, he's awesome (the fact that he was in Newsies as a kid just cements that). By the way, and I realize TV Club was on hiatus while we were saying RIP to Alex Wong's achilles, but...fuck, man, RIP to Alex Wong's achilles. I trust they sewed that thing up but good and lord knows he's in great shape and will recover like gangbusters, but that shit is fucking HEARTBREAKING. On a lighter note: 1) hilarious that Neil goes for a chest bump after they kicked ass in the baseball routine and Kent just hugs him and 2) we already knew it was about Mark's abs, but boy oh's also about his legs. Jesus, Lady Gaga. Take me on tour with you and bring me back fucking *rocked* too, will ya?
JB: Just for purely asshole, contrarian reasons, I would love to see, just one time, an Important Routine not wring tears and standing O's from the judges. But I don't want to see it just yet because I, too, came over all unnecessary during that one(especially when it sped up into the in-our-dreams-we-dance-forever segment. Waah) This whole season' s turning into an emotional rollercoaster. The broken bones and shattered dreams. The bulletproof b-boy. The world without women. The underdog from the farm ending up on top. The defeated look on Billy Bell's face as he takes his weekly trip to the bottom 3. Lythgoe talking shit about Travis Wall twice on the same night( and getting a deathglare back both times). Cat having the big shiny balls to call the judges on their it's-okay-when-Jose-does-it double standards and getting an apology from Mia Michaels. Shankman, all the material you need for Step Ups 4, 5 and 6 is right here.
CC: UPDATE: Oh my fucking god, I just found this youtube interview of Dee Caspary and now I am just fucking in love with him (look, I realize that I am madly in love with, like, every single person having anything whatsoever to do with SYTYCD but just go with it). He explains that yeah, he's not really an on-camera kind of guy, and then at the end they ask him what advice he wants to give to dancers and he goes into this thing of everyone should take all different classes cuz there's so much information out there, and he compares it to a LIBRARY cuz of how many different books are in a library and OH MY GOD, DEE CASPARY, COULD I BE MORE IN LOVE WITH YOU THAN I AM RIGHT NOW? NO. NO. This is my moment, that I am having with you, that you don't know about, and I am a huge fucking nerd, and I heart you, and I heart libraries, and that is all. (By the way I've been getting like no sleep lately so everyone can blow me if they think I sound incoherent.) Also by the way, he's perfectly normal on camera in this interview, so clearly those little snippets on SYTYCD when he's in the audience just sort of expressionlessly clapping are not telling the whole story. Which is clearly an awesome one.

The Choir:
JB: David Tennant's Dr Who popularity reached such epic proportions a few years back that the BBC cloned him. They named the clone Gareth Malone and passed him off as an insanely enthusiastic choir master hellbent on turning the UK's mumbliest, least vocal, most hostile teens into a full-throated, harmonious singing unit capable of taking part in the Choral Olympics in China. This, the first of an endless stream of documentary series Malone has churned out over the past three years is Glee and Dead Poets Society and Mr Holland's Opus and To Sir With Love and every movie where an out-of-place, idealistic young teacher ever wandered into enemy territory and told a problem kid, "I know you can do it. I believe in you." I've watched every one of Gareth Malone's shows( no great feat, none of them run longer than 4 episodes). Which means I've seen the moment when the self-conscious kids hear themselves singing in harmony for the first time and instantly change from cynics to true believers. I've seen it a lot. And it never fails to get me. Even when they're singing Can You Feel The Love Tonight.

Come Dine With Me
JB: The phenomenon comes to America. Brilliant format: four strangers throw dinner parties for each other on consecutive nights. The guests secretly score the hosts on edibility and entertainment. On the final night, a winner is declared. Sounds simple. But just think about that: three strangers are coming to your house. You have to cook three courses for them and keep them entertained. I thought about how I'd cope under those conditions and I just shat myself. This week's episode threw together a medium,a tiny expat of the Philippines, a hard-nosed businesswoman and a cheerful woman-hater whose suburban home is filled with trophy heads. It takes this guy maybe seven seconds to size up the medium as his next trophy. Over the course of the next three meals, he calls her a lesbian, a gullible idiot and a slut, yukking it up and mocking her for not being able to take a joke while he does it. That's what makes CDWM unbelievably uncomfortable but also awesome. Even when it doesn't go out of it's way to cast guests pre-determined to rub each other the wrong way, they still do. Someone chokes on the starter. Or tries too hard to show how homophobic they aren't. Or makes a clumsy pass. Or thinks they're funny. And that's not even getting into the celebrity editions where washed-up soap stars and news anchors have been known to drunkenly make out while the host frantically mops up the custard she dropped in the kitchen. BBC America is currently running UK-based episodes but the show begins throwing American parties later this year.I'll be watching( through the cracks in my fingers). Oh, and the hard-nosed businesswoman won. The medium came last.

Warehouse 13
JB: I ought to like this Syfy show. Jane Espenson gets a Created By credit. It's half X-Files, half Moonlighting and half the last two minutes of Raiders Of The Lost Ark( yeah, three halves). Bickering agents looking after a warehouse filled with arks and clocks and toyboxes and keys and glasses with unimaginable powers. Stopping them falling into the wrong hands.This week's guest stars were Sean Maher and Jewel Staite from Firefly. He played a piemaker who got hold of a pair of trunks that turned him into a superhero. A superhero that the male part of the play-fighting Feds totally geeks out over. And THAT, I believe, is why I'm not on board. The wisecracking agent dude looks like a beaten-up, boozed-out Robbie Williams. Do not buy him as the geek of the duo. Do not buy him as the goofball Mulder. Ought to like show. Show makes it hard for me.

Next Food Network Star
CC: This is the first episode I've watched all the way through (I sort of skimmed that food truck one from last week), and I find this program joyless. There is not one single contestant that I'd want to watch on their own show so far. Maybe the guy with the hat, except why is he always wearing that hat? That is all.

CC: I was fortunate enough to go to the premiere of this, where I spotted none other than: Legacy, Noelle, Ivan, this guy from season 6 whose name escapes me right now, Lil C, Harry Shum, Jon Chu himself of course, Ryan Hansen, Maksim from DWTS (that guy is not afraid of a tight shirt), and a bunch of other people. It was awesome (woulda been more awesome if I had the balls to go up and talk to anyone, but I never do and then always regret it). Also awesome was the fact that we got to watch ALL TEN EPISODES of season 1, unlike the rest of you, who are having to wait a week before each one comes out on hulu (at least I think that's the schedule). Anyway, suffice to say, this shit rocks. Madd Chadd (ep. 3) is mad hot, there's Step Up & SYTYCD alumni all over this thing, and it's just crazy awesome dancing paired with comic book nerd heaven storylines. Get there.

Movie Club
CC: Quick background: never read any of the books, although do know vaguely what happens (and am appalled that by the end, we find out that Jacob is gonna fuck Bella's kid...what the fuck is that?). On-demanded the first two movies instead of going to the theater, heard this one was better so thought okay, you know what, this could be entertaining bad, why not go see it for reals. I *love* going to see entertainingly bad movies. Unfortunately, this wasn't one of them. I was checking my watch. A lot. I was totally texting multiple people by the last 45 minutes, that's how bored I was. Like, I don't even know what to say, it was THAT BORING. That being said, it did have a few moments. Very few. Most of them involved Jackson Rathbone (TEAM JACKSON RATHBONE!). If I'm remembering correctly, in the last movie he went nuts and almost ate Bella and basically just walked around looking hilarious in a bad wig, but in this one he was AWESOME and got a big ol' long flashback scene and a training scene and he and Ashley Greene are super cute together. Oh, and vampires in this universe are apparently made of ceramic. Like, when you rip off their arms or heads, it looks like a really big version of if you ordered a figurine from the Franklin Mint and broke it. The last time I checked, Franklin Mint figurines were not cool or scary (for cool and scary, check out the director's previous vampire movie, 30 Days of Night), so all the people who said this movie was better than the first two, nice try, but no. But #teamjacksonrathbone!

I Am Love
JB: I am loved this movie the more melodramatic and ridiculous it got. There was an outdoor sex scene that literally(ie:not literally) climaxed with a trainload of woodland critters riding through a rubber tire. CULT OF SWINTON!

JB: Even if you've read and heard how brutal and inhuman Sex And The City 2 is, you don't know, you're not ready. It's not like I walked in expecting "The Year Of The Nazis, My Stolen Innocence And The Yellow Balloon". I'd seen some of the series and the first movie. I wouldn't call myself a fan but they were watchable. The horrifying thing about SATC2 is the more repulsive and degrading the characters act, the more the movie is desperate for us to love them. There isn't a minute in this film a sane person won't be thinking "Why would anyone ever put up with these fiends?" And THAT is what I found myself thinking during a lot of Cyrus. Obviously, it's better than Sex And The City, it's a whole species better. But John C Reilly's character is so damaged and pathetic when Marisa Tomei meets and is attracted to him. And he keeps being damaged and pathetic. And her son is damaged and pathetic on a mammoth scale. And she just accepts it all. Where is this woman in life? This woman does not exist. Clearly, I'm the demographic that's having it's wish-fulfillment fantasy catered to by Marisa Tomei( who has aged better than ANYBODY EVER!) but if I can't accept that any man could ever put up with SATC2's version of Sarah Jessica Parker, I don't believe there's someone willing to lavish affection on John C Reilly and Jonah Hill.

JB: I did not pay to see this but I did pay to see Funny People which was one of the better films of last year, even though it went a bit off the rails when Eric Bana showed up. Grown-Ups is like it was written by Adam Sandler's asshole egomaniac comic from that movie. I might be reading this wrong but it looks like Sandler cast his less-successful friends in a film he wrote where he plays a big successful Hollywood guy who lives in a mansion and is married to Salma Hayek. He reunites with his teenage friends at a funeral and pays for them to spend the weekend at a lake house. They try to hide how intimidated they are by his wealth and hot wife. He gives them little handouts and jobs. He runs up against flabby, gone-to-seed locals and rubs their faces in how cool and athletic he is. Chris Rock, not much of an actor, but certainly the funniest guy in this group, is given a part where he's the cringing househusband to Maya Rudolph. Watch this when it shows up on cable and tell me if you think I'm crazy or this movie is one long sustained act of bullying and humiliation. I'll wait.

The A-Team
JB: I remained wide awake during the entire film and enjoyed a lot of it. I nodded off briefly during Inception--I think it was around the time the snowmobiles appeared-- therefore I am going to say I liked The A-Team better than Inception. Who's with me?

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