Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Favorite Christmas Movies

With Christmas just hours away, I have been spending much of my time getting into the holiday spirit by watching some of my favorite holiday movies. Most of them I have been watching since childhood, others are more recent additions to the list. Now I know this tends to be a touchy subject - forgive me if I have left out some of your favorites, or a few movies you consider "Christmas classics." You won't find White Christmas or It's a Wonderful Life here - it's not that I don't think they're great movies - they just aren't my ultimate "go-to" films when I start to hear sleigh bells ring. So without further ado...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 6 - Finale, Pt. 2

Courtesy of Fox

It's been three days since the SYTYCD Season 6 Finale, and I am still in a state of shock, confusion, disbelief and disappointment - none of which have to do with Russell's victory. Most of the finale played out like a bad dream, leaving me with a whole slew of questions:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 6 - Finale, Pt. 1

Last night was Part 1 of the SYTYCD Season 6 Finale. The last time we saw the six finalists perform before deciding who will be America's Favorite Dancer and the recipient of $250,000. Basically - last night was a BIG deal. Or, at least I thought it was. Apparently the folks at FOX disagreed; the scheduling of Chef Ramsay's Christmas Special cut down the broadcast to one hour. ONE hour. Meaning no video packages, no interviews, no solos, no all guy/all girl dances...and no shirts for the guys (that one is not a complaint). There were, however, plenty of tears and a lot of spectacular dancing. We were treated to nine routines last night, at the end of which I knew for certain who I wanted to go on a mega voting spree for. More on that later.

Since the partners switched for each routine, I'm going to talk about them in reverse order of how much I liked them, starting with...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 6 - Finale Predictions

It's hard to believe we have already arrived at the SYTYCD Season 6 Finale. Sure, the auditions went on forever, but after not voting for the first two weeks and now having the Top 6 in the Finale, our time with this season's Top 20 has flown by too quickly. At the end of tonight's show, I plan on voting for only one dancer (after all, it's Favorite, not Favorites), and voting often (last season, I voted 100 times for Jeanine...no exaggeration). Tonight's decision is going to be an incredibly tough one - who will join the ranks of Nick, Benji, Sabra, Joshua and Jeanine as America's Favorite Dancer? Here are my thoughts:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Glee - Fall Superlatives


If you had told me last year that one of America's biggest obsessions in 2009 would be show choir, I might've laughed in your face. Correction - I would've definitely laughed in your face. As someone who did musicals, chorus and theater in various capacities from 3rd grade through my sophomore year of college, I am no stranger to the fact that the general public is quick to harshly judge when it comes to public acts of singing and dancing. Sure, we have American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, but those hardly compare to singing Broadway medleys and the best of Billy Joel adorned in a sparkly blue vest (true story).

Luckily, 2009 brought about change. The Revolution of the Gleeks. Beginning with the May pilot premiere and continuing with the first half of Season 1 this fall, Glee has taken the country by storm. Combining just the right amount of comedy, drama, song and supreme villain Sue Sylvester, the William McKinley New Directions Glee Club has touched our hearts. And not only do millions tune in every week, but the weekly song releases have kept the show on the top of the iTunes charts for months. While promoting the Glee: The Music, Volume 1 album across the country, the cast of Glee was met daily by thousands of screaming fans - not too shabby for a bunch of show choir losers.

In honor of the this past week's fantastic fall finale, I present my Glee Fall Superlatives. With almost 50 songs to choose from, there were some tough decisions made.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 6 - Top 8 Results


A wise man once said, "SYTYCD is no stranger to upsets...Hold your breath and cross your fingers, tonight's results show is going to be an interesting night for sure." Okay, fine, that wise man was me...yesterday. Tuesday night's show may have featured a Mr. and Mrs. Smith routine, but last night's elimination show was all about Mr. and Mrs. Di Lello (ba dum CHING). Despite Ryan's wonderful performances this week, most (including myself) had pretty much already counted him out of next week's Finale. Couple that with Ashleigh's sidelining injury, and it was not looking good for the married couple going into the final pre-Finale results show.

Before I get to the elimination, there are a few things I have to mention about last night's broadcast.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 6 - Top 8

Courtesy of Fox
Last night's Top 8 show was a night of remixes. Not only did each couple perform to a remixed version of a song, but we were also given a few SYTYCD routine remixes - tables, benches and all! One of the highlights of the evenings was the return of the intro video packages - balance was returned to the universe and there was an actual flow to the show. It's hard to believe that next week is the finale, but you could tell that all of the dancers were trying to fight their way into the Top 6, though some were more successful than others. In general, I thought most of the dancers' solos weren't up to the standard we've seen in weeks past.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 6 - Top 10 Results


Dear America,
Please start voting for Kathryn immediately. She is fabulous, and if she gets kicked off before Mollee I might just have a "White Chicks"-style bitch fit.
Love always,
B

Okay, I feel better now. Now let's talk about last night's results show. The evening began with a Tyce Diorio Broadway group number to Billy Joel's "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" that was full of energy, and a hardcore make-out session courtesy of Ryan and Ashleigh (to quote Sue Sylvester from Glee, "At first I was aroused, then furious"). It felt like a mix of "Thriller" and West Side Story, and I for one really enjoyed seeing the Top 10 rock out, but where were the routines for the Top 5 guys and Top 5 girls?! I've really enjoyed those in the past, especially Season 4's "Five Guys Named Moe" and "Ave Maria".

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 6 - Top 10

Photo courtesy of Fox
Last night's Top 10 show felt like a tour de force of dance. With 10 routines, 10 solos and very few video montages, even I felt out of breath. Last night's show didn't blow me away like last week's Top 12, but I think that's only because the competition is getting tougher and it's becoming harder to stand out amongst this group of extremely talented dancers.

Though I am all for seeing more dancing than talking, I did find myself missing the videos before each dance, especially with the dancers in new pairings. I liked the individual profiles before each solo, but it just wasn't the same. It was also strange to see almost no air time or recognition of the choreographers last night for a few reasons: 1. SYTYCD is usually so choreographer praise-happy, 2. We didn't get to find out the "story" behind some of the dances (though it was fun to make them up in my head) and 3. We didn't get to see more Anya and Pasha!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 6 - Top 12 Results


With the Thanksgiving holiday a few days behind us, hopefully everyone has recovered from their Turkkoma (question...do vegetarians get sleepy from tofurkey? discuss) and caught up on SYTYCD. The night started out with a great Alice in Wonderland-inspired group number by Nappy Tabs, and even with all the make-up, lights and crazy costumes, Jakob still stood out from the rest of the dancers. As I predicted, Victor and Karen found themselves in danger, joined by Mollee/Nathan and Ryan/Ellenore. I had no doubt Ryan and Ellenore would be safe, especially after Nigel expressed his frustration with the voting results; although, with 50% of the dancers in danger, there was bound to be a great couple in the bottom.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 6 - Top 12


The stakes are certainly high going into tonight's results show, and last night you could tell. The dancers seemed to really step it up, delivering the best episode of Season 6 so far. I think I knew it was going to be a great night as soon as I saw Ryan not wearing high-waisted trousers during the intro, a definite sign of improvement. I also noticed a few new camera angles and less distracting lighting - the new stage did not bother me nearly as much as in previous weeks. In less-than-stellar news, we were still subjected to Megan Mullally's "Turn the Tub Around" commercial. Seriously? Make it stop!!!

Each couple performed two routines last night. I'm going to break the night down couple by couple to keep it simpler, and because that's how I organized my notes. I wrote down who I would vote for after the first round of dances to see if it changed after the second round. It didn't. But I'm pretty set in my ways.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 6 - Predictions for Top 10


With the nationwide tour for SYTYCD Season 5 coming to a close last weekend, it seems appropriate that we are now arriving to the Top 12 episode tonight for Season 6. This week will be one of most nerve-wracking for our fabulous (and not-so-fabulous) dancers. Tonight we'll see the Top 12 dancers perform 2 routines each, and tomorrow two dancers will be sent home. This will be fifth elimination since we entered our Top 20, but this is one of the most pivotal since only the Top 10 will be performing on the tour. Yes, I realize that last season they allowed Phillip and (let's be honest, to keep an even number) Caitlin to join the tour, but unless hell freezes over, pigs fly and Jakob gets sent home, I don't really see this happening again.
Here are my predictions for where the dancers stand in their chances to making the Top 10. Obviously this could all change after tonight's show, but we shall see.

Project Runway, Season 6 - Finale Review


Photo courtesy of MyLifetime.com
My review of last week's Project Runway Season 6 Finale may be a bit late, but we had to wait 8 months for the season to even begin, so it seems slightly appropriate.

Friday, November 20, 2009

RuPaul's Drag Race, Season 2 - Details Announced

 
Start your engines! And may the best...woman...win!

Last year, RuPaul's Drag Race became one of my favorite shows. A show that truly benefited from word-of-mouth promotion, it seemed that by the season finale everyone I knew was talking about Bebe Zahara Benet, Nina Flowers, Ongina and villian Shannel. Despite it's low production quality and budget challenges, the show brought the good, bad, and HOT MESS of drag performance out of the shadows of gay clubs and into the spotlight.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Project Runway, Season 6 - Finale Predictions


Well, we made it. The Project Runway Season 6 Finale airs tonight, an end to arguably the worst season yet, one that had more drama off-screen than on. After Leanne's Season 5 victory, network/studio changes and law suits turned excitement for the next batch of designers into desperation.  "It's all worth it," we told ourselves. "Runway is worth it." Oh, how I wish we had been correct. Season 6 has been a hodgepodge of lackluster design, inconsistent judging and vapid designers. While Ra'mon, Shirin and Epperson were auf'd, Logan, Christopher and Nikolas inexplicably squeaked by week after week. With the exception of Gordana's absence, we somehow ended up with a somewhat decent Top 3 for the finale: Althea, Irina and Carol Hannah.

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 6 - Top 14 Results


There weren't many surprises last night as we said goodbye to 2 more dancers. Some of the best and worst from last night's episode:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 6 - Top 14

Photo courtesy of Fox.
Welcome to the Top 14! This stage of the game is always particularly nerve-wracking, as the dancers are painfully close to getting to the Top 10 and the SYTYCD national tour. It's also when we start hearing the word "growth" in both a positive and negative way. Many of the dancers are achieving at a level unimagined a few weeks ago, while others are plateauing or fading fast. For me, last night's show was a definite step up from what we've seen in previous weeks, and I'm excited to see what happens as our favorites keep getting better and better.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 6 - Top 16

Hello, fellow SYTYCD fans!

Did anyone else feel a little underwhelmed after last night's episode? Well, maybe not underwhelmed. Just whelmed? (10 Things I Hate About You moment..."I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?" "I think you can in Europe.") Don't get me wrong, there were some great moments...but they all seemed to come towards the beginning and the end - the middle was a little lackluster. There were some who surprised me, some who disappointed me and others who were predictably poor. Luckily, we are finally in on the game...we can vote! It's been a long time coming, and I'm glad to have a say in who can stay and who can pack their leg warmers and go home.

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 6 - Top 18

I was a bit disappointed last night with our Top 18, and it sounded like the judges were, too. I think this has to do with a few things:
  1. The New Stage. I just don't feel as "up close and personal" with the dancers as in previous seasons. Some of the great dances of seasons past greatly benefited from that round stage (i.e. "Hometown Glory", "The Moment I Said It"...come to think of it, Mia Michaels really worked that stage), and the Season 6 routines could use some of its circular love.
  2. Ballroom Choreographers. I'm certainly not a ballroom expert, and I usually roll my eyes when the dancers pick out Foxtrot or Viennese Waltz because, let's be honest, they are usually a boring dud. The instances in which I find this untrue are more often than not when the routines are brilliantly crafted by either Louis Van Amstel (i.e. the only piece I ever liked Asuka or Vitolio in last season - the Enya Waltz) or, my personal favorite ballroom dream team, Jean-Marc and Frances Généreux (lest we forget Season 4's touchingly beautiful "A New Day" Viennese Waltz with Twitch and Kherington). This dynamic duo has been disappointingly absent from Season 6, yet it seems we have had more ballroom than ever! Bring back the crazy antics of Jean-Marc and the offensively orange hair of Frances!!! Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin have certainly given us some great routines in the past, but I think they're being spread a little too thin this season.
  3. Mismatched Pairings. I'll talk about this more when I get to the couples....but let me just say this: Channing should thank her lucky stars she is going to be paired with a real partner now. Poor thing.
Okay, on to the Top 18....

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 6 - Top 20

After last night's "feel good" Top 20 show, it's time to start separating the good, the bad and the ugly, all of whom were present on tonight's show.

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