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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Glee Review: Furt

Can you believe it?! I gotta say, this week's Glee was a lot less silly than previous episodes! While not groundbreaking by any means, it was one of the more consistent episodes this season. Anyway, let's get to the review!

Most Unnecessary Song

Glee did a pretty good job this week of focusing on the story rather than including unnecessary songs. Then again, did Sue's mom need to book the auditorium for an hour just to run through her song choice? And did anyone else find it terribly awkward as Finn sang "Girl, you're amazing" to Kurt? Still, I'm gonna give this one to "Marry You" for a few reasons.
1. No one knows it.
2. It was cheesy. No one wants to walk down the aisle like that. NO ONE.
3. It was inappropriate. Did you hear the lyrics? The song is about a shotgun wedding fueled by alcohol and wanting to do something dumb.
4. Kurt's dad looks SO AWKWARD dancing down the aisle.
5. They could have used Train's "Marry Me," which fits much better.
The fact that the show featured two Bruno Mars songs this week makes me think that his record label paid them to use his songs to boost album sales or something.

Biggest Waste of Money That Should Have Been Used to Get the Kids Transportation to NYC

As the club approaches sectionals (next week!) it seems they're trying to save money! No extravagant dance numbers with amazing special effects this week! But I did have to wonder... How did they afford to get their matching costumes (tuxes for the guys, red dresses for the girls) for the wedding? They didn't charge as a favor to the newlyweds, so they didn't get the money that way... Maybe they already had them? Either way, they seem to be saving money a little bit. Good job guys!

Most Overly Dramatic Scene

Once again, the most overly dramatic scene involves the bullying storyline. Isn't this dude afraid of being outed? Does he really think it's a good idea to find Kurt in a crowded hallway and put his finger on his chest for way longer than necessary, all while staring into his eyes? Stealing the wedding cake topper was ridiculous. Why did Kurt have a wedding cake topper in his locker anyway?

Most Out-of-Character Moment

Adam Everyone agrees: Sue's wedding was the weakest plotline this week. Can I see Sue marrying herself because she knows no one will ever be as awesome as she is? Yes. But her wedding this week was pathetic.

Don't say, "But we get to see another side of Sue!" We see another side of Sue when she deals with her sister, and even in this episode, when she resigns as principal so that she can keep an eye on Kurt. That was way more touching than seeing her rotate and place a ring on each hand. If you want to 'show another side of Sue' by highlighting how she wants to be in a relationship, it can be done in a way that is consistent with her character. We can see her in her office alone, making a dating website profile. But to embarrass herself in front of everyone is so unlike Sue.

Worst Use of a Guest Star

Isn't this woman a comedic legend? Her materials was repetitious, boring, and not that funny. When they get someone like Carol Burnett on the show, they should utilize her talent. Her role as 'the mother that made Sue who she is' was easy and didn't allow her the space to really work with the character. They should have just featured Eunice. Or Mrs. Wiggins!

As I said, this week's plot-driven episode was an improvement from the rest of the season. Do you agree????

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ghosts in the Attic: Books Report

Can you believe it folks? The semester is almost over!! Well, most of my readers don't look at life in terms of semesters or school years, but the semester being over is a big deal for me. And considering that this will be my last year of school after being in school for as long as I can remember, this is a really big deal!!!

But I still have one semester left. Next semester, I hope to learn about Latin American writers, Shakespeare, US history in the 20th century, and poetry. Since I'm enrolled in all of those courses already, I'll probably accomplish these dreams. BUT, a more important questions begs to be asked...

When I was in 1st grade, what did I want to learn in 2nd grade? FIND OUT NOW. [click to enlarge]

In second grade
I wan't to
learn about
how to do division
and how to
do times.

I have two major problems with this journal entry.
2. Why did my teacher cross out my perfectly fine how TWICE (ok, I could have made the line longer) but she didn't correct the apostrophe in wan't or the phrase "how to do times"?? Mrs. Gural, what were you thinking??

I wan't to
learn about
science and
about books
report and
space and

Alright, this is more like it! Books report!!!

But again, Mrs. G crossed off the "s" in books but didn't add an "s" on report! Did this teach me anything?

Well somewhere along the way I learned how to correctly write "book reports" so it's OK. But isn't it funny that I wanted to learn about all that stuff that I don't care about at all anymore, like division, times, science, space, and earth? It make me wonder...

What was something you wanted to learn about that you don't care about anymore?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Glee Review: The Substitute

In a recent post on one of my favorite blogs Cocky and Rude, bloggers Adam and Mike talked about how to fix Glee. I am a Glee fan with mixed emotions. I think the show has the potential to be good, but definitely think it needs to make some major changes in order to do that. While thinking about what makes the show bad, I realized that the same problems exist every week, including overly dramatic scenes, unnecessary song sequences, and ubiquitous instances of characters acting out-of-character.

So each week, I will review Glee with the same criteria and we'll see how faithful the show is to its impediments.

Most Unnecessary Song

No question about this one: "Make 'Em Laugh" performed by Mr. Schuester and Mike Chang. After a promising first ten minutes (with a great performance of "Forget You" by guest star Gwyneth Paltrow), we come back from commercial to watch Mr. Schuester and Mike Chang dance around on a stage and sing a song that has no relationship to anything ever, except that watching Singing In The Rain is like medicine for Mr. Schue. Yeah, exactly.
Turns out this scene is a dream sequence, and the show is redeemed since no one saw that coming and dream sequences are really innovative and fresh.

Biggest Waste of Money That Should Have Been Used to Get the Kids Transportation to NYC

At the end of the episode, Schue asks Ms. Holliday to help him prove that old music and new music can be blended together and the duo performs a mash-up of Rihanna's hit single "Umbrella" and the medicinal classic "Singing In the Rain." [Note that Schue needed Ms. Holliday to help him prove this to the kids, because they had never seen such a mash-up before... except when they did "Hair"/"Crazy In Love" or when they saw Aural Intensity do "You Lift Me Up"/"Magic" at regionals.]

During this innovative mash-up, the glee club dances on a stage flooded in water. Is it cute to watch them twirl umbrellas and kick up the water? Yes. But the money required to flood the stage (sprinkler system, receptacle to hold the water), then get the water removed (expensive pump or something? Maybe Puck can help since he is/was a pool boy?), could definitely be put to better use in renting a bus so the kids can get to NYC for sectionals.

Most Overly Dramatic Scene

The two worst moments of the episode happened in the same scene basically. After psychoanalyzing Mercedes' eating habits and making (unfounded and offensive) claims that Mercedes is downing tater-tots to fill the hole in her heart where love should be, Kurt is approached by that guy from last week. The closeted jock asks him if he told anyone about their kiss, Kurt says no, and the jock says, "If you do... I'LL KILL YOU" and walks away. Kurt stands in the hallway looking frightened as the camera zooms out and I PRAY that Ms. Holliday will burst out of a locker for a "Forget You" reprise.

Most Out-of-Character Moment

I We all fell in love with Rachel because of her over-the-top arrogance and prude behavior. For most of the first season, some viewers may have gotten annoyed with Rachel, but at least she was a consistent character.

One of my favorite scenes in last night's episode was when she took over for Schue and wrote "ME." on the board, then screamed as everyone got mad at her. Pure Rachel. But when Ms. Holliday tells Rachel that she "sucks" and her condescension is met with surprising complaisance and a musical collaboration, you have to wonder if the writers even know their own characters at this point. Rachel would never respond kindly to the accusation that she sucks.

Worst Use of the Guest Star

Gwyneth Paltrow helped make this week's episode one of the stronger episodes of the season. She was a surprising casting choice, but she did a great job and her version of "Forget You" was by far the most fun we've seen on the show in a long time. And while her character, the hip-teacher-who-understands-the-kids was cool at first, it was pushed into a caricature, just like most of the characters on the show.

By the time Gwyneth is supporting Mercedes' (out-of-character) decision to wreck Sue's car and handing the answers to the pop quiz to Puck, she has turned into an insipid flat character, and worst of all, just another Glee character with no relationship to reality. American education is obviously a social institution with a lot of problems, and the boundaries of teacher/student relationships is certainly a real issue. The show addressing this issue seemed smart and realistic at first. But rather than give Gwyneth a change to explore the line between being hip and relatable while still being a good teacher, she just became naive and silly. With the way Gwyneth rocked the beginning of the episode, she deserved better. And rather than have her moping in Shue's apartment and looking lost in Sue's office, she should have been having more fun, since that's clearly what the show needs.

So what did you guys think of Glee this week? Although I thought the episode was very problematic (and I found the Mercedes storyline highly offensive), I do think that this episode was funnier than the other episodes this season. I did laugh more than usual! And Cameo definitely stole the show.

Monday, November 15, 2010

We Could Have Had It All

Yes, this deserves its own Monday Music Moment post.


I loved her last album 19 and was ecstatic when she won Best New Artist (and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance) at the 2009 GRAMMYs. I've been waiting for its follow-up for years now. And based on this song, I don't think I'll be disappointed with it.

Check out "Rolling In The Deep" below.