Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thursday Night TV aka The Night That I Stayed Up Until 3-Something In the Morning Because Too Many Good Shows Air on Thurdays and I'm Impatient

Geeze Louise! That's probably the longest title I've used so far on this blog, and I'm not sure why I used it because now I don't have much to talk about in the intro. So, yeah, like the title says, I stupidly stayed up watching all my Thursday shows when I had an eight o'clock class the next morning. I watched a total of five shows: two CWs and three NBCs. Sad? Maybe. True? Yes. Worth it? Oh yeah. Because I got from 3-4 hours of sleep last night and because whoever's reading this most likely won't care one iota, I'm not going to write up full reviews of any of these shows. However, most of the shows were awesome, and I wanted to touch on them. So, it's mini review time. They may not be as good as other mini things like mini burgers, but they're still pretty awesome. What's that? My lack of sleep is showing? I guess that means I should get onto the reviews. Not that it matters, but they're ordered by the order in which I watched them. Also, be warned. There are spoilers ahoy up in this post.

The Vampire Diaries
I know all-caps are annoying and kanye-esque so I'll resist the urge to use them. But pretend that they are there to get the full-effect of my opinion because they encapsulate my feelings. Also, don't judge me if I sound like a teenybopper. This is a CW show, so I'm allowed to embrace my inner teenybopper. Anyway, this episode was so so so so awesome. Jenna finally found out about the vampires, and now, maybe she won't be so extraneous to the plot/useless/inviting vampires in/ect. Stefan was so awesome and supportive in this episode. Damon kind of sucked and had a lot of feelings. Stefan, Elena, Elijah, & co. are trying to come up with a plan that doesn't involve Bonnie dying, and Damon's off sulking in the corner. I'm glad that they're finally addressing how awful he's being though, so props for that. What else? Oh yeah, apparently there's no sun and moon curse. Hahaha. Sometimes a twist like that would anger me, but I kind of love the writers for making all of that stuff up. But, apparently Klaus is a werepire?!?!? What? It's a little bit crazy, but I think I like that twist. Also, Elijah is his brother. What? And he's also totally awesome. I liked Elijah okayish the last time around, but he totally won me over in this episode. Okay, I better stop writing because I feel like your opinion of me is dropping with each additional word, and this is supposed to be "mini."

Nikita
Nikita wasn't quite as thrilling as TVD, but it was still a pretty solid episode. I like the Michael, Nikita, and Alex combo quite a bit. I know that a common criticism of recent episodes is that there's been too much focus on Alex. I definitely think that the show could use some more focus on Nikita, but honestly, it hasn't bugged me too much. I like both Nikita and Alex, and so I enjoy watching whichever one the show runners choose to show me. Jaden, on the other hand, could use less screen time. She's annoying, and I would have shed any tears if she'd died in the explosion. Her little turncoat move at the end just proved that I'm justified in not liking her.

Parks and Recreation
I finally got caught up to Parks and Recreation last weak (in a shamefully short amount of time, might I add), and I love this show! Amy Poehler is the reason I started watching, but the whole cast is great. From Andy's favorite food to Tom's lingo, this episode was chock-full of amazingly hilarious moments. Also, the moment between Leslie and Ben in front of the mural was kind of adorable. The whole episode worked really well, and I was really impressed with it.




Community 

Community was pretty brilliant this week. I typically dread flashback episodes, but using fresh material for the flashbacks was an amazing idea. My favorite parts of the episode were the Jeff/Annie and Pierce/Abed montages featuring one of my favorite songs, "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles. In case you didn't know (I read this online before watching the episode), these videos were a spoof of a Jeff/Annie fanvideo posted on Youtube. But, honestly, the whole episode was pretty ace.




The Office 
For some reason, this episode of the office didn't click with me (for the most part, but we'll get to that in second). The jokes weren't that funny to me, and the storyline was just kind of blah. However, what did work about this episode was a nostalgia factor. This was Michael Scott's second-to-last episode, and for that, it was worth watching. It was touching to see all of the employees embracing the Dundies that they had earlier mocked. And the final song was unbelievable sweet. It may have even brought a couple of tears to my eyes. I guess it's a warm up for next week when I will most likely be bawling my eyes out (figuratively, of course because literally that would be disgusting).


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Glee: "A Night of Neglect" aka the Writers Neglected to Write Anything Interesting

For the latest episode of the show I love to hate on but just can't quit, I thought I would do a recap. Recaps are more fun when you can make fun of show because otherwise, you're just retelling what happened. If you neglected to watch Glee, you didn't miss much. It was a pretty sucky and forgettable episode. The only thing that really progressed the plot was that the Glee club got money to travel for their next competition, and we hopefully saw the end of Gwyneth Paltrow's character. And really, they'd had money from the Cheerio's budget (I think) prior to this episode. So, really the plot didn't progress much at all.

The episode started off with (shocker) the Glee club needing money again. Apparently the money they would have received from the Cheerios budget (the Cheerios were disbanded, right?), has been put in untouchable offshore accounts by Sue. I guess it's no surprise that Glee got rid of that money because otherwise, they'd have to think of a plot line that doesn't consist of New Directions raising money and being thwarted by Sue. To be honest, I'm just impressed that they remembered the Cheerios money plot line. Will (surprisingly not wearing a vest) gets super-pumped about selling $20,000 (then $20,250) worth of taffy. Also in the opening, we find out that Mike, Tina, Artie, and Brittany are in some kind of academic club which will most likely be forgotten about by the next episode. Also Will makes some crack about being surprised that Brittany's on the team, insinuating that she's dumb. As true as that may be, I don't see that as being a great thing for a teacher to say. Also, Sunshine from about a million episodes ago is on the opposing Braniac team.

Next up, Sue has a meeting with the director of Sunshine's glee club, Terri, and Sandy. Any guesses as to what the meeting is about? Because Glee is incapable of giving Sue any other storyline (except for those moments that she shows kindness/growth that's forgotten by the next episode) she has assembled this team to bring down the Glee club. The only notable thing about this meeting is that Sue makes a reference to the hilarious honey badger video on youtube. 

Will and Holly have a pizza date as his house. Thankfully, this part is brief because I think they're kind of gross couple. They're both so gross, inappropriate, and annoying.. He brings up his taffy plan, probably expecting Holly to admire his brilliance. Instead, she says it's stupid and suggests that they hold "A Night of Neglect." Will possibly loves this plan even more than his taffy plan. It's a good thing that Will is a Spanish teacher because he really has no financial sense. How in the world did he expect to make even a dent in the $20,250 with some concert? He explains the plan to the glee club (somehow believing it will being an annual event), and he's still not wearing a sweater vest!

More boring Sue scheming happens. It makes me sad that Sue's become so one-note, cartoonish, and repetitive. She used to be one of the best parts of the show, but now I get bored every time she's on screen.

Both Mercedes and Rachel, missing the point of the "Night of Neglect," decide do do songs by well-known artists. Sunshine offers to participate in their performance. Sunshine also misses the point of the show and sings a song about neglect rather than one by a neglected artist. I guess it's a little more understandable than Mercedes and Rachel because she didn't actually hear Will explain it. Rachel tries to point out that Sunshine may be trying to spy on them, but of course, everyone gangs up on her.

Lauren has some dumb conversation with Mercedes and tells her to be a ridiculous diva leading to a stupid plotline. Lauren really just needs to go. Confidence is not the same as being rude and pushy. She's just annoyingly rude. Same with Mercedes. She was so terribly divaish and annoying in this episode. It was much, much worse than Rachel. Yet, everyone's nice to her and terrible to Rachel who normally seems to have good intentions, despite her self-centeredness.

Then, there's a nice scene with Emma and Will about Emma's OCD problems. As much as I think Will is way too terrible for Emma, it was actually a sweet scene.

This episode is boring me, so I'll just quickly sum up the rest of it. Sunshine bails on the benefit. Karofsky (is that his name) makes fun of Blaine/Kurt (who appears to wear a hippo head broach) but is bested by Santana. Only a handful of people show up the benefit (despite the fact that the glee club's school performances usually get a good response from the crowd), most of them "hecklers." Tina, yet again, fails to get to sing a full song. Mike dances. Gwyneth Paltrow manages to get another solo. Mercedes sings an Aretha song, inspiring Sandy to donate the necessary money. And Will and Holly break up. The end to a boring episode. The most surprising thing about it was probably the lack of vests.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

District 9

I'm a bit late to the game on this one. District 9 came out in 2009, but I just watched it on Netflix Streaming for the first time. I'm actually a bit surprised that it took me this long to watch it, because I'd heard so much hype for the movie. And I really have no excuses because it's been on streaming for a while. Anyway, I really liked it. It was enjoyable and intriguing. I'm not much of an expert in alien movies or science fiction movies, and so my opinion is coming from a novice of the genre. I'm not really sure how to go about sharing my opinions on the movie, because they're a little all over the place. So, how about this? (not that I'm really asking because by the time you read this I'll have done it anyway, but whatever) I'll share some adjectives to describe the movie, and then I'll go into a little more detail about each one: horrifying, complex, engaging, and realistic (I know, ha ha at me calling an alien movie realistic, but as I said, I'll explain.)

Oh, I guess I should go into the storyline a bit for those who haven't seen the movie. I'll try to be as spoiler-free as possible in this review because I feel that's probably the best way to go into this movie (even thought I had kind of been spoiled as to its plot). However, I can at least give you the setup as best as I can remember. I may be a little off, but I'm going to try and do this without looking anything up so there's that. Basically, the movie begins by explaining that twenty years ago or so, an alien ship came to a town in what I think was Africa. Somehow, these aliens got to earth, and they were put into this place full of shacks. Most people didn't like these aliens, and wouldn't let them shop in their stores, treated them badly, ect. So, now they want to move these aliens into some type of camp resembling a concentration camp. Our main character (whose name I can't remember and am really tempted to look up right now but I'm sticking to my non-looking-things-up goal) is a kind of nerdy looking guy, and he gets put in charge of this group who's trying to move these aliens into this new camp. In the midst of this, however, he get's sprayed with some kind of alien device. That's when things start getting interesting. And while I'm saying that in a tagline, trying-to-intrigue-you-kind of way, I also mean that it was literally the point when I got interested in the movie. The first 16 minutes or so was setting the movie up, and my impatient self considered turning the movie off. But, I'm glad I stuck with it because it was really interesting once the plot got going.

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures

Horrifying


District 9 was horrifying on both an emotional level and on a visual level. Visually, it was just really gross. There's a lot of gore, and I found myself cringing several times throughout the movie. To be honest though, I don't have the best tolerance to gore, so you'll have to take my opinion with a grain of salt. On an emotion level, it was horrifying too. One of the movie's main themes is the mistreatment, and that can be pretty hard to watch. Even if it's happening to alien creatures, it's appalling to watch someone get yelled at and treated like they're nothing. 

Complex

District 9 is pretty obviously trying to comment on the mistreatment of people and racism by showing the mistreatment of these aliens. However, the movie really made me think about questions of morality in the situations shown. Because, to be honest, if aliens came to earth, we might be right in being wary about them. The main alien shown and his son seemed pretty nice, but most of the aliens shown were kind of scary and tried to hurt people. It honestly might have been pretty stupid to just welcome the aliens right away. On the other hand, torturing them is not cool either. Plus, the storyline about the main human character lends itself to some morality questions. 

Engaging

One reason that District 9 worked for me is that I felt a strong connection to the characters. I think part of the reason that I felt a disconnect from the first little chunk of the movie was that I hadn't become invested in any of the characters yet. And to be honest, the main guy wasn't the most likable guy ever. But interestingly, I cared a lot about what happened to him. I became invested in his fate, and therefore, I was invested in the movie. Also, I became invested in the two main aliens. They were still very "alien-like," but there was almost a humanity to them. This engagement with the characters was probably one of the strongest aspects of the movie for me.

Realistic

When I use "realistic" here, I'm talking more about the style of the movie than its plot. Although the whole movie isn't done in this style, it's partially done as a mockumentary. This was a really interesting choice stylistically because it was cool to imagine this as a real event. They looked at the alien invasion from the perspective of "what if aliens really landed on earth?" Parts of the movie looked almost as if they could have come from a special on the History Channel. This style gave a uniqueness to the film, and made its horrifying moments all the more horrifying.

I could see some people not liking this movie, but I'd say it's worth a shot, especially if you have Netflix. And if you decide to watch it, I'd advise you to stick around until the main plot kicks in. District 9 is a bit weird, but it's interesting and different from a lot of things that I've seen.

Have you seen District 9? What did you think about it?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Steal Their Style: How to Dress Like Your Favorite TV Characters

I feel a little bad for doing this post because my last post was a list of links too. However, I'm swamped with school work at the moment, and I haven't felt like doing a lot of extra writing on top of that. Plus, my brain is pretty much mush right now because I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night due to my lovely eight o'clock class. Anyway, you probably don't care about that, so I'll move on to what I was actually planning on writing about.

Today, I thought I'd round up some of the best links I've found on copying the styles found on TV Shows. A couple of them are specific to a certain show, but some are a bit more general.

But first (and feel free to read that in Julie Chen's voice in your mind), I thought I'd share what what my super scientific research aka Google's auto complete revealed to be some of the television show most commonly searched for as style inspiration. I've tried to find some kind of style resource for these shows that came up in my search, but I was unable to find one specifically for General Hospital, and the 90210/Gossip Girl resource is less than stellar. If you're looking for clothes from these shows, you might want to try some of the more general resources I've listed.




Specific Show Style

As you can see, Glee seems to be a very popular show for finding fashion inspirations. To find a article of clothing seen on Glee, you should try Glee Style.

How I Met Your Mother Style is great for finding looks from, you guessed it, How I Met Your Mother.

The CW Store has a few of the items from Gossip Girl, 90210, and The Vampire Diaries (one ugly necklace as of now for this show) available for sale.

If you're a fan of the t-shirts seen on The Big Bang Theory, check out Sheldon's Shirts.

The Possessionista has done a great job of finding some of the style seen on The Bachelor.


More General Resources
 If you can't find what you're looking for at any of the above sites, here are some more general places to look.

I haven't explored CoolSpotters too much, but it seems to be like a good place to look for a certain show's (or movie's) style.

As far as I can tell Find That Style, is a fairly new site. Their aim is identify clothing seen on television. The amount of clothes they've identified seems to be fairly small right now, but it will be an interesting site to keep an eye on.

College Fashion has a series of posts based on emulating a television character's style. While this probably won't help if you're looking to find a specific article of clothing, it's a good place to go for  character style inspiration.

That's all of the links I have to share at the moment. If you know another good site to find television style, feel free to share it in the comments.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Grey's Anatomy 7x18: "Song Beneath the Song" aka The Musical Episode

Oh my gosh! How great was Grey's Anatomy last night? It was a million times better than the shooter episode. April Fools!

Hey, maybe this episode was just a great big April Fools day joke on all of us. Credit: An original graphic by me. Can't you tell by how professional it looks?

Last night, the long-awaited musical episode of Grey's Anatomy aired, and to be honest, it was pretty terrible. I took notes during the episode because I knew that I'd probably want to write a review, and many most of my comment are of the "what the crap" variety. I'm going to warn you now, this review will probably be quite ranty and will most definitely be critical. Okay, you've been warned.

Here's an analogy to describe how I felt about last night's episode: Think of the tv show plot that consists of a dorky, awkward girl wanting to perform in the school talent show. (See the Little Seal Girl episode of As Told By Ginger for reference.) She has some friends, but she's made fun of by a lot of the school. Her friends are worried about her making an embarrassment of herself and don't want her to do it. She ignores this and performs in front of the school. Only unlike the classic plot, she makes a complete embarrassment of herself. You can probably figure this out on your own, but if you're having trouble, here's a key to the analogy: Grey's Anatomy is the awkward girl in this analogy, the "friends" are fans of the show (myself included), the rest of the school are non-fans of Grey's Anatomy, and obviously, this episode is the talent show performance. You may be thinking that's kind of a harsh analogy, but then you probably didn't watch the episode.

I have so many thoughts about this episode, that I'm not sure where to start with my review. I guess I'll start with the setup of the episode. The basic idea behind the episode was the Callie was severely injured in last week's car crash because she wasn't wearing her seat belt. And, may I add (this means a rant is coming on), because Arizona took her eyes off the road for like a million hours while she was proposing to Callie. She kept saying that "a truck came out of nowhere." Maybe if she had just kept her eyes on the road, they wouldn't be in this mess. I was just looking at her (which I guess is kind of creepy because she's not able to see me and doesn't exist) like "Guuuuurl, please" throughout the whole episode (see one of the most amazing videos on youtube). Okay, this specific rant is over.

Forget click it or ticket. How about click it, or you will suffer massive injuries and hallucinate people singing?  Actually, that second part sounds kind of fun. Also, sorry this is uglily placed. I fail forever at formatting. Credit:  Under: Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License      Wikipedia/ PMcM, Liftarn


Anyway, Callie somehow becomes disembodied as a result of this and sees everything as a musical. I appreciate that Grey's (yeah, we're on a first-name basis) tried to incorporate the musical into the story. However, they did a sucky job of it because it was nonsensical. People were singing even while Callie was not in the room. Does this mean that what we saw of people singing who were not in the room with Callie didn't happen? Or I guess it could mean that she was literally a disembodied spirit roaming the hospital? I wouldn't put it past them after Meredith's non-dying death and ghost Denny (who was a hallucination, but whatever). Plus, ghost-Callie was just weird. She did a bunch of strange things like singing while sitting on actual-Callie and stroking actual-Callie's face. She also sang to her premie baby which I guess was sweet in a totally creepy and bizarre way.

Let's all hope that marks the last of the Grey's Anatomy ghosts. Although, I wouldn't necessarily mind if a ghost George haunted the hospital because I miss him. Also, that was a joke. If the people of Grey's are reading this, don't get any ideas.         Credit: ABC/Ron Tom
It's not that I'm not completely against the idea of people hallucinating musical numbers. In fact, this episode of Grey's Anatomy reminded me a lot of Eli Stone, a show about a lawyer whose brain aneurysm gives him prophetic hallucinations in the form of musical numbers. Well, that is if Eli Stone has completely sucked (which it didn't, despite it's odd description). Grey's setup was just not good enough to support the musical numbers.

That brings us to the actual musical numbers of the show. All of the songs were songs that have been featured on the show before now. This was actually kind of a cool idea, but it just didn't work for me because the song choices seemed rather random. While "Running on Sunshine," kind of went along with the action on the screen, it seemed kind of out of place for everyone to be hooking up while Callie and her baby were so much in peril. Although, I must say that I kind of enjoyed seeing the scene between hotter-Jason-Priestly and Teddy. What? I like hotter-Jason-Priestly (no offense to any Jason fans; I can't look at him the same after his role as Jack on Tru Calling). If their only chance to be romantic is through song, then so be it. In fact, the only one that I can remember going along with the story was "How to Save a Life." (Side note: I'll make an exception for "The Story" just because Sara Ramirez sounded so amazing singing it.) This made the songs, despite the humor in/second-hand embarrassment at the fact that they were singing, kind of boring. This episode turned out so campy that I probably would have just preferred original songs, so that it would have been more entertaining, even if it just meant that I was laughing at them more.

"How to Save a Life" was totally their version of "Whistle While You Work."    Credit: ABC/Danny Feld

I'm not sure how everyone else feels about Lucy, but I kind of liked her until this episode. She really pissed me off in this one, though. First, she has no plan to save Callie's baby and says to the chief verbatim, "I may be a little out of my depth here, sir." So, she really shouldn't have been upset when Addison showed up. Did she expect him to just let the baby die because she's not capable? Or did she want him to stroke her ego? I don't know, and I don't care. She pissed me off and is going to have to be extremely likable in future episodes to gain back my good opinion of her. Although, I heard that she's probably going to leave the show, because she's booked the Charlie's Angel pilot, so that might not be a problem. Plus, I think her character might have gotten fired in this episode, but I wasn't sure because the music completely distracted me from the plot.

Speaking about the music being distracting, I think I'll, well, speak about the music being distracting. Because the music was mostly not that related to what was going on, it almost become more like background music--very loud background music. I found it extremely hard to pay attention to what was happening, while all the pointless singing was taking place. I tuned out for a second during some kind of surgery on Callie or something, and I looked up to see that suddenly her baby had been delivered. Also, I was so distracted by Lexie's singing of "Breathe" that when she comforted Mark, I completely forgot about all of their history together. I didn't remember that they had been a couple until Avery said something about it. This is coming from someone who's seen every episode of Grey's Anatomy (except for the second half of the boring documentary episode). That tells you how much the singing distracted me (and how forgetful I am). I will give Grey's a little credit here. Since we kind of saw the episode through Callie's point of view, perhaps they were trying to show us the sense of disconnect from what was happening that she felt. Still, even if that is what they were going for, I didn't like it.

The singing also kept me from being sad about the episode. I'll be honest, I kind of like it when Grey's makes me cry. I revel in the drama, and I like when they have dramatic episodes. The Callie storyline could have been really sad, had I not been laughing at the singing. The scene where Mark was upset and sitting on the steps was really quite heartbreaking--except for the fact that Lexie was singing to him while he was sitting there. I will say that there were two moments that had me edge of crying, and unsurprisingly, they were two moments that didn't include singing. The first was the opening scene. Jessica Capshaw really sold me on the sheer horror of the moment, until (you guessed it) ghost-Callie starting singing. The other moment was Meredith and Derek's elevator scene. It was a melodramatic, sad, and contained no singing. What more could I ask for? Plus, I've really grown to like Meredith again. She annoyed me for a while in some of the middle seasons, but she's back to being likable in my eyes.

Good job in the elevator scene. Four for you, Meredith Coco. You go, Meredith Coco.         Credit: ABC/Danny Feld 

In short, Grey's Anatomy, you know I love you, but please do not ever do a musical episode again. And, if you can control yourself, please tone down the whole supernatural thing. I'll be watching next week, because you know I'm a fan. Just don't pull any more funny business. You made a fool of yourself this week, and I was embarrassed for you.

Did you watch the Grey's Anatomy musical? What did you think? Feel free to join in on my bashing or alternatively, defend the episode in the comments.