Saturday, July 28, 2012

Project Runway, Season 10 E2: Pour Some Sugar on Me


In case you didn't realize, Project Runway is currently celebrating its tenth season. They haven't really been mentioning it, so I can understand why that fact may have alluded you.

Oh, who are we kidding? They are doing everything short of flash a big neon sign in the corner of the screen for an hour and a half to remind us that THIS IS THE TENTH SEASON OF THIS SHOW! And, to be honest, I think the fact that the show has made it this long is wonderful. Despite all the shortcomings, Project Runway is a fun, creative show that is leagues ahead of most in the reality category.

That being said, if they are going to tout the 10th season as huge accomplishment every episode, wouldn't it be cool if they did more than hang photos of past winners in the workroom at Parsons? Perhaps every week could been a retooling or a twist on one of the classic challenges from the show's history? Bring back the winner of that challenge, really play up the nostalgia of the occasion?

Of course, this week's challenge essentially did that without once acknowledging it, and that, my friends, led to some serious issues. So before someone burns themselves with glue again, let's break "Candy Couture" down...

Friday, July 27, 2012

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 9: Top 16


I know, I know. I missed a week of So You Think You Can Dance recapping. Let's just all pretend that I was so offended by that wretched "Teeth" number that started the show that I was unable to type about dancing for an entire week. Yes. That's it.

Anyway, I don't like to live in the past, so we are just going to charge on. This week, the Top 16 took the stage with mostly good results. We are still at the point in the competition when there are some serious weak links in the chain, and it's only a matter of time before they get weeded out. Luckily, the majority of performances were a clear indicator that Season 9 has an incredibly talented pool of contestants that will yield a dynamic Top 10 in the coming weeks.

Joining Nigel and Mary in the panel was comedienne extraordinaire Christina Applegate, who was—like last season—an insightful and passionate judge. I love that she approaches her critiques as someone who watches the show and knows the dancers, and her fangirl-iness was a delight to watch.

Now, as always, let's break down the performances from worst to first...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Project Runway, Season 10 E1: Thank You People New York!


Welcome back to another season of Project Runway! In case you didn't feel ancient enough for remembering the days of Wendy Pepper and Andrae, this is show's tenth season, and I have a feeling we will be constantly reminded of that fact throughout the next few months. "We have more seasons than I Love Lucy!" quipped Madame Kors, and I think you can probably feel my eyes rolling from wherever it is you're sitting.

But, you know what? It felt good to be back. After all, the last time we were in Project Runway Land, the judges got it right! The mentor gave specific advice! The host was... not Heidi... wait a minute! We're back with the people who gave the wins to Gretchen and Anya?! Mother...

Okay, okay. To be fair, perhaps Madame Kors, La NiƱa, Frau Klum and Sir Gunn just needed a season off to rest their weary heads and watch some other folks give it a go in those directors chairs. Only time will tell, but the best way to approach this season is with timid optimism that the judges will award the worthy and smite the fugly. Otherwise, you might as well just go watch Dance Moms.

I'm glad we talked that out, dear readers. I'm ready to break down the episode now...

Friday, July 20, 2012

Some Thoughts on the Aurora Movie Theater Shooting

This site is about the celebration and critique of pop culture. It's not, and I cannot imagine it will ever be, a place for any sort of political debate or discussion of the latest current events in the world beyond the scope of television, movies, music, etc. This isn't to say that those things are not important or that I don't pay attention to them, but that's just not the intention and mission of this space.

That being said, I've been prepping my normal reviews of this week's So You Think You Can Dance and Project Runway and every time I imagined posting, it didn't feel quite right without first discussing the horrific events that transpired last night at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. As anyone who pays attention to the news can tell you, bad things happen in this world every day. Hell, pretty much every second of every day. But something about this event truly shook me, and I have spent the majority of the day trying to wrap my head around even the most basic details.

A major part of my struggle with comprehending this incident has to do with the setting: a movie theater. Movies allow us to escape the outside world and surrender ourselves to a completely different universe. It's not always a happy place we are transported to, but there is no denying the powerful escapism that occurs between the opening and closing credits. And while we can do that in the comfort of our own homes, there has always been something magical about going to a movie theater and sharing the awe and joy with those around us. The palpable energy in a theater before a highly-anticipated movie, the roaring laughter of an audience during a brilliant comedic moment, the thrilling silence after an emotional scene: you cannot replicate these experiences, and it is maddening that someone would exploit that magic for sick, meaningless violence. The people in that Aurora theater were innocent fans who were there to enjoy two and a half hours of escape from the real world. It seems we cannot even be afforded those few hours in the dark anymore.

Finally, before we returning to our regularly scheduled posting, my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this horrible tragedy, as well as to their families and friends.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Project Runway Season 10 Premieres Tonight!


With all the build up to this morning's Emmy nomination announcements, I didn't get the chance to let you all know that Project Runway—a recipient of four nominations—is returning for its 10th season tonight! Sixteen new designers join our beloved Heidi, Tim, Nina and Michael tonight at 8pm/EST for the annual "Road to the Runway" special, followed by the season premiere at 9.

This season, the show has added a cool new feature on its site called Real-Time Runway that allows you to follow along with the Twitter buzz about the show. You can even set your time zone in order to avoid spoilers!

So happy viewing tonight, dear readers, and make sure to come back here for the usual metric ton of judging and bitchery.

Auf Wiedersehen!

[Image Source: Lifetime]

2012 Emmy Awards: Nominations Announced!


Ladies and gentlemen, here are your nominees for the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards! They were just announced this morning by Kerry Washington and Jimmy Kimmel—where was Nick Offerman?!—and thank goodness for living on the East Coast so I didn't have to up at the crack of dawn to watch the live feed.

There are an unbelievable number of categories for the Emmys, so I am just going to list the major acting and series nominations here. For a complete list of nominations, visit http://www.emmys.com.

And now, on to the nominees...


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

2012 Emmy Nomination Dreams: The Women


Tomorrow morning at 8:35 am, the nominees for the 2012 Emmy Awards will be announced. Last night, I broke down my list of Top 10 dream nominees for men. Now, it's the ladies' turn!

Remember, these are dream nominees. You won't find the likes of Amy Poehler, Julianna Margulies or Julianne Moore on this list. Those fine women are shoe-ins and will undoubtedly—and rightfully so—be frontrunners in their categories. No, these are the women that I fear will be tragically overlooked by the Academy despite delivering some of the best performances on television this year. With all of last year's nominees returning, the comedy categories are particularly cutthroat. Is it possible that Kristen Wiig won't get a nomination for her final year on SNL? Could the unstoppable Betty White get snubbed? Is last year's winner—and now Oscar nominee—Melissa McCarthy going to be dropped like old news? Not bloody likely (well, maybe the McCarthy thing). There are going to be many snubs worth bemoaning come Thursday, so let's make the most of our time pre-announcement and celebrate some fabulous women.

From vice presidents and doctors to vengeful housewives and drunks, here are the 10 women I would nominate for the 2012 Emmy Awards...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

2012 Emmy Nomination Dreams: The Men


The nominations for the 2012 Emmy Awards will be announced early Thursday morning, inevitably starting two months of bemoaning the snubs and pontificating on the winners. But until the names are read aloud by Kerry Washington and Nick Offerman, the world is our oyster and we can remain hopeful that our favorites will make the cut.

Like last year, I'm leading up to the nomination announcements with my list of dream nominees, starting with the men. You won't find the likes of Jim Parsons, Aaron Paul or Bryan Cranston on this list—those guys are shoe-ins and will undoubtedly be frontrunners in their categories. No, these are the actors that I fear will be tragically overlooked by the Academy despite delivering some of the best performances on television this year. You'll notice that, once again, most of these men are eligible for the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. For the third year in a row, all of the Modern Family actors have submitted themselves in supporting categories, and while Ty Burrell and Ed O'Neill would likely be frontrunners in the lead category, their inclusion here means many of our favorites don't stand a chance.

Here are the Top 10 men I would nominate for the 2012 Emmy Awards...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bill Clinton is a 'My Little Pony' Master


Former United States President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is a Yale graduate, law professor, former Governor and Attorney General of Arkansas, a Rhodes scholar and husband to the current Secretary of State of our country.

He is also, apparently, a genius when it comes to all things My Little Pony, the popular '80s cartoon that, like any self-respecting gay kid at the time, I was obsessed with during my childhood (cue When I Knew reference).

Last year, Clinton appeared on an episode of the NPR radio show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! to discuss his time as President and his current endeavors, including the Clinton Foundation. And while they weren't able to air it at the time, NPR has recently released an extended version of the interview, including a game called "Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Twilight Sparkle," in which the former president had to answer three questions about the magical ponies.

Take a listen to the amazingly hilarious clip after the jump...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 9: Top 20


As is customary on So You Think You Can Dance, the "Meet the Top 20" episode that aired two weeks ago was full of praise along the lines of "all of these dancers are so talented!" or "I don't know how America is going to decide!" And, as is customary on So You Think You Can Dance, the first show of actual competition, last night's Top 20 episode, did a fantastic job of showing that, in fact, there is an incredible distinction between the  dancers who are in it to win it and the dancers whose names we will struggle to recall upon their return in the season finale for a group number or two.

Don't misunderstand what I'm saying. Indeed, all twenty of these contestants are skilled dancers, but this is the point of the competition when we determine who has that determination, that extra spark. Top 20 Week shows us the stars of the season.

Joining Nigel and Mary on the judging panel this week was Mr. Kenny Ortega, legendary choreographer and director of classics like Dirty Dancing, Newsies, Hocus Pocus and the High School Music trilogy. He also directed The Cheetah Girls 2, but let's move on. After all, he was, per usual, an excellent guest judge, unafraid to give a proper critique unlike some previous panelists (ahem, Zooey Deschanel).

So who emerged as the stars last night, and who faded into the darkness? Let's break down each duet from worst to first...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 9: Top 20 Refresher Course


Tonight's the night, So You Think You Can Dance fans! We've made it through the auditions, survived Vegas Week and avoided being cut during the Green Mile. This evening, the Season 9 Top 20 will dance for our votes for the first time, with two dancers going home next week.

It's been two weeks since the fabulous "Meet the Top 20" episode aired, so if you find yourself a little fuzzy on who exactly is performing tonight, fear not! Here's a quick refresher of the Top 20 dancers, along with my rankings going in to tonight's show...

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