Eclaire Fare

Enjoying Pop Culture, One Bite at a Time

Twilight: The Dance Musical? October 30, 2009

No, Twilight is not being made into a Broadway extravaganza – at least not yet. But, if you will humor me for a few minutes, I’d like to propose the all-star So You Think You Can Dance lineup that would fill out the cast of a dance-infused musical version of the Twilight series. The reason I started thinking about this topic is that, as I mentioned in a previous post, season six contestant Nathan Trasoras rivals Edward Cullen’s striking good looks (translation: he’s a pretty boy). However, Nathan is actually a better fit for the role of Jacob. Let’s take a closer look at which Dance contestants would bring the Twilight characters to twirling, leaping, poppin’ and lockin’ life:

Danny, beautiful person and dancer that he is, would play the important role of Edward Cullen.

  • Edward Cullen – Danny Tidwell (season three runner-up) – As one might expect, Edward was the most difficult character for me to cast, since strangely enough, there haven’t been very many staggeringly beautiful guys on SYTYCD. In fact, I ended up going against type and casting non-white dancer Danny. He may not be pale, but he certainly qualifies as beautiful! His quiet, mysterious demeanor and rare smile make him a natural to play introspective, withdrawn Edward. Edward’s habit of running at top speed through the woods and glittering in the sun will translate well into Danny pirouetting around the stage and shining in the spotlight. Glitter away, Danny, glitter away!

Jeanine would be my pick for a dancing Bella.

  • Bella Swan – Jeanine Mason (season five winner) – The first time I saw Jeanine, I saw a resemblance to Kristen Stewart, so it seems perfectly fitting that the season five champion would portray dark-haired, fair-skinned Bella in the Twilight Dance Spectacular. She and Danny would make a fine pair as epic couple Bella and Edward.

Nathan Trasoras would make a terrific Jacob Black.

  • Jacob Black – Nathan Trasoras (season six) Nathan has the darker complexion, intense stare, and youthful charm to portray Jacob Black. He would just need to bulk up some to play werewolf Jacob. I can just see the special costume now, with the wolf represented by a furry jumpsuit and elaborate head dress. Of course, when dancing as Jacob all he would wear is a pair of khaki shorts, since he would want to stay true to the book, in which Jacob wore as little clothing as possible since changing into his wolf form always resulted in the destruction of his clothes and shoes.

Small-statured Sabra would make a great Alice Cullen.

  • Alice Cullen – Sabra Johnson (season three winner) In the books, Alice is described as “pixie like, with short spiky black hair.” Sabra is definitely petite and adorable, and has a positive, contagiously upbeat personality. Since she and Danny worked together during season three, they would have good chemistry as close foster siblings Alice and Edward.
Anya and Pasha

Our favorite ballroom partners, Pasha and Anya, would be perfect in the roles of Carlisle and Esme.

  • Carlisle Cullen – Pasha Kovalev (season three) – I was quite displeased with Carlisle’s clownish appearance in the Twilight movie, so I am thrilled to have this hypothetical chance to redeem that casting (or at least makeup department) error. Pasha is perhaps my favorite SYTYCD contestant ever, and so I had to find a place for him somewhere! Since he is now teaching other contestants choreography, thus in a sense acting as a mentor, what better role for him than that of foster father Carlilse? He brings a kind spirit and maturity to the role.
  • Esme Cullen – Anya Garnis (season three) – Esme is described in the book as having “caramel-colored hair; she also has a heart-shaped face with dimples, and her figure is slender, but rounded and soft.” I think Anya resembles that description enough, plus what better person to play Carlilse’s wife than Pasha’s ballroom dance partner? We know they already have great chemistry, so they are the perfect couple for this role.

Kayla would be convincing as undead beauty Rosalie.

  • Rosalie Hale – Kayla Radomski (season five) – This was another difficult spot to fill, since Rosalie is described as “being the most beautiful person in the world; she is tall, statuesque, and has long, wavy blonde hair.” I decided Kayla was best for the role – she is beautiful, and a bit haughty (just as Rosalie often comes across), and she also has the pale skin that makes it easy to believe her as a vampire.

I'd split up this ballroom couple, making Ryan good-guy Emmett, and Ashleigh vampire villainess Victoria.

  • Emmett Cullen – Ryan Di Lello (season six) – Emmett is described as “being tall, burly, extremely muscular, and, to most humans, the most intimidating of his adoptive siblings. He has slightly curly dark hair and dimpled cheeks.” I couldn’t think of a more fitting contestant for this role than the strongest man to ever join the SYTYCD competition, Ryan. He actually seems more like a lumberjack than a dancer, and so he would bring the necessary strength and stage presence to the role of Emmett.

Travis would win people over as Jasper.

  • Jasper Hale – Travis Wall (season two) – Jasper is described as “tall with honey blond hair, and is muscular but lean” and has the ability to manipulate others’ emotions. Travis sort of fits the physical description, and as a choreographer, he certainly seems to have put the judges and viewers under his spell. His contemporary piece that Jeanine and Jason performed last season even inspired them to kiss at the end! He was a participant in one of the most famous dances in SYTYCD history: Mia Michaels’ bench piece, which was very sweet and heartfelt. Based on his experience on the show, and now as an impressive, emotionally affecting choreographer, he would create a new group of Twilight fans: Team Jasper.

If Mollee danced as Renesmee, she'd have to dye her hair black, but otherwise she'd be set.

  • Renesmee Cullen – Mollee Gray (season six) – Okay, so Mollee doesn’t have “brown curly hair,” like the Renesmee in the book. However, you can’t get much closer to childlike than Mollee when picking from SYTYCD contestants. The judges have repeatedly called Mollee out for dancing like a child. It would definitely be interesting to see her dancing on stage with Jeanine and Danny playing her parents. Strange, indeed.

Kupono dances "evil" very well, and so he would be very suitable for the role of James.

  • James – Kupono Aweau (season five) – James, the merciless tracker who stalked and nearly killed Bella in Twilight, was too campy for my taste in the movie. Kupono can be overdramatic and theatrical, but I think he has the intensity and dedication to make this a memorable role. I immediately thought of him for this part when I remembered his deeply affecting contemporary performance with Kayla from last season, in which he personified addiction, and in the process ruthlessly held her down, preventing her from escaping his grip. That was the most powerful performance of the entire season, and so I know he can be a great villain.
  • Victoria – Ashleigh Di Lello (season six) – Victoria is the “red-haired, cat like” vampire who plots to kill Bella in revenge for Edward killing her lover, James. Ashleigh may not have red hair, but that can easily be solved with a little hair color. She already has the sultry disposition, and quite a bit of attitude (in her performances). The wardrobe department could have fun with her elaborate clothing.

Russell is my pick for vampire Laurent

  • Laurent – Russell Ferguson (season six) – The only good-intentioned member of James’ coven, Laurent is friendly with the Cullens but still has the occasional lapse into drinking human blood.  Russell would bring a serious tone and quiet power to Laurent’s character.

Picture this: Adam in a police uniform, Mary as a minor league baseball player's wife, and Nigel as a tribal elder? Say what?

  • Charlie Swan – Adam Shankman – Ok, I realize that I’m reaching with this one. I’m envisioning the role of Charlie as one of comic relief, and what would be funnier than Adam Shankman dressed in law enforcement duds, playing a clueless, “trying to be cool” dad?
  • Renee Dwyer – Mary Murphy – Again, there was a shortage of bubbly, talkative, middle-aged women to choose from, and so Mary would end up playing Charlie’s ex wife, Bella’s mom.
  • Billy Black – Nigel Lythgoe – In the biggest stretch of all, I chose Nigel to portray Jacob’s Quileute father. It’s almost as bad as John Travolta playing an overweight woman in Hairspray, but if it worked in that movie, then surely Nigel can dye his hair black, wear a fat suit, and mask his British accent.

Say hello to a dancing Mike Newton

  • Mike Newton – Neil Haskell (season three) – As those of you who read my blog during season three already know, I was never a Neil fan, so I am relegating him to this rather thankless role of the “cute, baby-faced boy with carefully spiked pale blond hair.” He can pine away for Jeanine while Danny and Nathan fight over her.

Perhaps Katee and Courtney could recycle these season three costumes while playing Twilight's Angela and Jessica.

  • Jessica Stanley – Courtney Galiano (season four) – I have nothing against Courtney, but her exuberant personality and appearance make her a good fit for the role of a “chatterbox with curly dark hair.”
  • Angela Weber – Katee Shean (season four) – Katee was likely one of the nicest contestants to ever be on the show, or at least she seemed that way, so she is a good fit to play the “tall, shy, quiet, and very kind girl” that Angela is.

So there you have it. I didn’t do a comprehensive list of characters, so feel free to make suggestions about other SYTYCD contestants who would make a good member of the Volturi, one of Jacob’s Quileute friends, etc. Also feel free to challenge my casting decisions. There are so many factors at play, that there is surely more than one dancer who would work well for most of these characters.

As for what the Twilight dance extravaganza would look like, I’m sure there would be a lot of costume changes, elaborate lighting, and variety of dance styles. The early scenes when Edward and Bella are falling for each other would have to rely on contemporary, and the showdown between James and Bella might work well as a paso doble, whereas the baseball scene might translate into a goofy broadway bit. It’s fun to imagine Twilight as a musical, and I am sure that will become a reality one day. Until then, I will have fun imagining my favorite SYTYCD contestants turning this epic vampire tale into a dance sensation…

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Freaks and Geeks: A Review October 28, 2009

Why did it take me ten years to watch this gem of a show from 1999? Freaks and Geeks is a show about misfits at a suburban Detroit high school circa 1980. It is the antithesis of shows like Dawson’s Creek or the more recent Gossip Girl (worlds inhabited by beautiful teens with abnormally self aware conversational skills). If for no other reason, children of the ’80s should watch the show to revel in all of that decade’s music, cars, clothing, even wallpaper (or wood paneling) – I know I had many moments of nostalgia. Thankfully, there are many other reasons to watch the show besides its spot-on ’80s setting and atmosphere. Read on for several more reasons to tune in.

The cast of Freaks and Geeks

The Characters

  • The Freaks
    • Nick Andopolis (Jason Segel) – I was surprised and pleased when I discovered that Marshall from HIMYM was on this show. His character had arguably the most development of the trio of freak guys. Beneath his near-constant drug-induced stupor, and his dream of being a great drummer, he had a flair for the dramatic (see his song for Lindsay and his disco dancing) and uncertainty about the future, since his dad had basically ordered him to join the army. I didn’t really like where they left Nick – standing in a discotheque with a girlfriend he didn’t really like, while Lindsay walked out and moved on with her life. Nevertheless, he was a character I grew to love and root for.
    • Daniel Desario (James Franco) – I was impressed with James Franco in this role. He’s had quite a successful career since playing Daniel, the cool, laid back leader of the freaks. His on-again, off-again relationship with Kim was entertaining, but we also saw some of the pressure he felt at home, and his fear that he would never be good at anything. I love how we last saw him – playing Dungeons and Dragons with the geeks, and discovering that this game was something that was fun that he was pretty good at – even if his character was a dwarf.
    • Ken Miller (Seth Rogen) – Seth Rogen was little more than comic relief until late in the series, when his character developed an interest in a tuba player in the band. One of my favorite episodes is the one where she shares an important secret him, and although he struggles with processing it, he turns out to be cool with it. That episode also showed that Daniel, Nick, and Ken were loyal friends to each other. Loved it.
    • Kim Kelly (Busy Phillips) – Other than central character Lindsay, Kim was one of the few girls on the show. She was probably the least developed character of the main cast – she was mostly stuck making annoyed faces and insulting people. That’s not to say she wasn’t entertaining. Kim Kelly was a perfect character for Busy Phillips to play, and I much prefer her here than in Dawson’s Creek.
    • Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) – Oh, poor confused Lindsay. First she’s a Math-lete, then she’s dating Nick, then she’s a Math-lete again, for one second, then she’s hanging out with Dead Heads. Wait, I guess she was just acting like the majority of American teenagers, trying to find their place in the world. While I was disappointed with where the show took her character in the end (it left a lot of unresolved issues that we’ll never see), I suppose it’s more realistic than the alternative. (I won’t give specifics, so you can see for yourself.) Despite the realistic aspects to her character, I often found myself annoyed by her aimless wandering from group to group. She wasn’t one of my favorite characters. I guess she represented the uncomfortable world in between freaks and geeks.
  • The Geeks
    • Sam Weir (John Francis Daley) – John Francis Daley was the best thing about this show. He is adorable as awkward, geeky teen Sam Weir. Fans of Bones know him as psychologist Lance Sweets. He’s all grown up now, so it’s crazy that ten years ago he was just a sweet little 14 year old boy on Freaks and Geeks. While his friends Bill and Neal were sometimes unbearably dorky, Sam managed to be more charming with his adolescent confusion. For example, his crush on Cindy Sanders led to him getting all flustered around her, but when his dream of dating her actually came true, he realized they had nothing in common and was very bored and irritated with her. I liked most of his character’s developments, and the Cindy Sanders story was especially fun.
    • Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr) – Oh, sweet dorky Bill. As I mentioned earlier, I was sometimes irritated by how he left his mouth hanging open all the time, but he was a terrific source of entertainment for his friends and the television audience. He asked the tough questions, like when he couldn’t figure out what was so great about french kissing, and started coming up with horrific hypothetical scenarios about what could go wrong. His home life was a little sad (he spent his afternoons home alone and his evening watching Dallas), and the episode about his allergic reaction to peanuts was a downer, but usually Bill made me smile.
    • Neal Schweiber (Samm Levine) – Neal represents the stereotypically irritating dorky guy who is a little too confident in his witty one-liners and ability to charm the ladies. Despite this, he was a good friend to Sam and Bill. The situation with his dad was sad, but it was nice to see Sam and Bill help out their friend as he worked through his feelings of anger and disappointment. And no doubt, if the show had told us where these guys ended up, Neal would be a highly successful businessman married to a beautiful woman.
    • Millie Kentner (Sarah Hagan) – Millie was an odd character – so straight-laced, and representative of Lindsay’s pre-freak social scene. But beneath her awkward, serious exterior was a really sweet friend. It was horrible when Kim ran over her dog!
  • The Grown-Ups
    • Harold Weir (Joe Flaherty) – In the beginning, Lindsay and Sam’s father seemed like a stereotypical tv dad, muttering stories about “when I was your age” at the dinner table, but as the series progressed we saw another side behind his cranky exterior. Deep down, he cared deeply for his wife and kids, and was only trying to do what was best for them. One of my favorite moments from Mr. Weir was when he took Nick under his wing, when Nick’s own father wasn’t giving him any guidance or support.
    • Jean Weir (Becky Ann Baker) – Lindsay and Sam’s stay-at-home mom was always full of smiles and encouraging words, but she was mostly clueless about what her kids were going through at school. She and Mr. Weir were hilarious when they had scenes together, especially in the episode where they rekindled the romance in their relationship (resulting in a very awkward situation for the kids when they got home from school…). I felt so bad for her when she would go out of her way to make a special meal, or to bake cookies for Halloween, and no one would appreciate her effort.
    • Coach Ben Fredericks (Thomas F. Wilson) – Best known as Biff in Back to the Future, he was the rough around the edges, but generally well meaning P.E. coach. I loved how he sat Sam down for a heart to heart about real sex ed after Sam was freaked out by the porn that Daniel loaned him. And I also liked the episode where Coach Fredericks was dating Bill’s mom, and tried his hardest to find a point of connection with his potential step son. He was as surprised as anyone when that connection point turned out to be Dallas.
    • Jeff Rosso (Dave Allen) – The school guidance counselor, this former hippie was full of sage advice and cool vibes, which always freaked out the freaks. I loved the episode where Lindsay and her friends went to great lengths to secure fake IDs to go see a hot new band, and when they succeeded, they were disappointed to discover that the lead singer was none other than their dorky guidance counselor (who proceeded to direct the bartender to serve his students soda instead of alcohol).

    Hippie guidance counselor Mr. Rosso

My Favorite Episodes

  • Tricks and Treats – The main thing I remember about this episode was Bill dressing up as the Bionic Woman (so funny!) and Lindsay realizing what a jerk she was becoming when she egged her own brother during her friends’ Halloween joyride around town. It was also interesting to hear the characters talk about fears of tainted candy (the main reason that kids were throwing Mrs. Weir’s homemade cookies into her front yard). I always love Halloween episodes of tv shows, and this one didn’t disappoint. But the look on Sam’s face after Lindsay egged him was so sad! So was the look on her face…

 

Bill as the Bionic Woman

  • Tests and Breasts – This was the episode that found Sam, Neal, and Bill pondering the mysteries of sex, a topic of discussion brought up when they don’t understand a dirty joke, and when they start covering sex ed in P.E. Much awkwardness followed, including them watching the porn flick Daniel loaned them, and Coach Frederick’s honest Q&A with Sam.
  • Carded and Discarded – The title of this episode refers mostly to Lindsay and her friends’ quest to get fake IDs, but I was more interested in the geeks’ sub plot of them befriending a pretty new girl at school. This story gave them a chance to point out the normally harsh realities of kids choosing a group and sticking to it once the dust of newness settles. But the time they spent with the new girl was fun, especially when she enthusiastically joined them in launching rockets.
  • Smooching and Mooching – This episode took a game of spin the bottle to new levels of hilarity, from Neal’s pre-party practice on his ventriloquist dummy, to Bill’s unexpected heart to heart talk and makeout session with a cheerleader.
  • The Little Things – This is the episode that saw Sam’s crush on Cindy turn into the harsh reality of a relationship built on infatuation, with no common interests to hold it together. She was shocked that he didn’t want to hang out with all her friends, and he couldn’t believe she thought The Jerk was stupid! The more serious plot of this episode involved Ken’s girlfriend telling him her deepest, darkest secret. The way that Ken and she worked through it all was very realistic and well done, and gave me a greater appreciation for his character.
  • Discos and Dragons – This episode actually worked really well as a series finale. My favorite aspect of it was how Daniel started hanging out with the geeks – and having just as much fun with them, if not more, as with his regular friends. He finally found something he was good at in Dungeons and Dragons, and his participation in the game made the other guys feel cooler. I wasn’t as thrilled with the direction the show took Lindsay’s character, which I mentioned earlier. Oh, well. Overall, it was a great episode.

The "geeks" wait for Daniel to make his move in their game of Dungeons and Dragons

Standout Moments

  • Sam streaking through the halls at school (Episode 6, “I’m with the Band”)Sam lived out all of our worst nightmares of being naked at school! It was quite a memorable scene, with him running for cover, and not finding it anywhere.
  • Lindsay’s parents read her diary (Episode 10, “The Diary”) – I loved Mr. and Mrs. Weir, and this scene found them torn between giving their daughter privacy vs. making sure she wasn’t getting involved in anything bad. What they read ended up changing how they treated her and each other, which was bittersweet to watch.
  • Sam’s feathered hair and baby blue jumpsuit (Episode 11, “Looks and Books”) – Oh, my, this may have been the moment that made me laugh more than anything else on the series. He looked so ridiculous, but then most teenagers go to crazy lengths to achieve coolness, and we usually all fail miserably. He certainly did!

Sam's unfortunate choice of wardrobe and hair style

  • Bill watching tv and eating an after school snack (various episodes) – Eating snacks and watching tv are part of most people’s childhood, and yet you don’t see it very often on a tv show. I appreciated this glimpse of Bill’s life. Living with a single, working mom, he came home to an empty house, and Garry Shandling kept him company.
  • Coach Fredricks invades Bill’s happy home life (Episode 14, “Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers”) – From Bill’s incredulous scowl, to the awkwardness of Coach Fredricks drinking out of a mug that had Bill’s name on it, this plot seemed very realistic.
  • Daniel’s stint as a punk rocker (Episode 15, “Noshing and Moshing”) – It was so funny watching Daniel make himself into a punk rocker. He looked ridiculous (much like Sam in his jumpsuit), but at least he figured out pretty quickly that the look and lifestyle weren’t working for him.

Daniel looks in the mirror and realizes how ridiculous he looks

  • Future stars’ cameos – I couldn’t possibly list all the notable names here, but there were several cameos by actors who, at the time, weren’t household names, but who are now widely recognized. For example, any fan of The Office will get a kick out of seeing Rashida Jones (Jim’s ex, Karen) as a school bully who tormented Sam and his friends. Ben Stiller had a one episode stint as a secret service agent to Vice President George H.W. Bush, who was speaking at the high school. Lizzy Caplan (currently best known for her role as Amy in season one of True Blood) also showed up, as a love interest for Nick. Kevin Tighe, Locke’s con artist father on Lost, played Nick’s similarly heartless and cruel dad (he sold Nick’s drum set without asking – that’s almost as bad as stealing a kidney, right?) Aside from the core cast, who have almost all gone on to bigger and better things, the most notable familiar name is producer Judd Apatow. Before he was writing and producing movies like Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin, he was making tv shows about awkward teenagers (he later worked on Undeclared, which is about college kids). It’s nice to know that even though Freaks and Geeks didn’t live to see another season, many people who were involved in the show were able to use it as a launching pad for their careers.

Did you ever watch this show? If so, what were your favorite things about it? If not, add it to your rental queue right now. You won’t regret it!

 

SYTYCD Season 6: The Top 20 Perform October 27, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance’s initial performance episode of the season left me feeling unsettled. The circumstances that have developed since the top 20 were announced last week seem unfair to so many people, that the way things went tonight just seemed wrong. Of course, you can’t prevent injuries and illnesses from happening to contestants, or networks from showing the World Series instead of a dance competition results show. But on top of all that, I am disappointed with many of the pairings. Do the judges hand pick the couples, or are they drawn randomly out of a hat, just like their dance styles? I just had a grimace on my face watching some of these couples dance. Maybe they just need more time to develop chemistry, or maybe we’re in for a long season. Enough of my complaining. Here’s a quick review of the performances:

  • Channing and Phillip – Quickstep – Channing looked very glamorous, and I thought she did a good job with the choreography. I’m just not a fan of Phillip, and his wardrobe and dancing didn’t do anything to change that. This is one of the couples that I’m not happy about.
  • Ashleigh and Jakob – Broadway (Tyce Diorio) – Tyce called this sultry Broadway, and that it was. I was amazed with all the praise that the judges lavished on Jakob, but I’m happy to hear it, since I am a fan of his after Monday night’s “meet the top 20” episode. I didn’t really get his clothing, but he sure does command attention on stage! Ashleigh really will have trouble getting noticed with him for a partner. I still can’t figure out who he looks like. It’s driving me crazy!
  • Ariana and Peter – Hip Hop (Tabitha and Napoleon) – This routine was a “miss” for me. It reminds me of that weird routine that Ashley (?) and Kupono did early last season, where they were supposed to be crash test dummies or something. Let’s just say I find gold and silver spandex very distracting. Plus, there really was no chemistry between these two. I thought Peter did pretty well – he looked comfortable doing hip hop.
  • Russell (and Melanie as a substitute for the injured Noelle) – Foxtrot – At the beginning it looked like this was going to be really bad, when Russell was way too deliberate about placing his hand behind his back. But then he loosened up some, and had fun with it. I wasn’t as disturbed watching him dance with Melanie as I was when Pasha danced with her a few seasons ago when his partner was out with an injury.
  • Bianca and Victor – Contemporary (Travis Wall) – I don’t like them as a couple. Again, no chemistry, in my opinion. Victor is a great dancer, but Bianca’s shoulder’s really distract me (I have always noticed that, so I was glad Adam mentioned it). There were some excellent moves in this routine, so kudos to Travis Wall for that. Even though I don’t like Bianca and Victor together, I did like the routine.
  • Karen and Kevin – Cha Cha (Tony and Meredith) – This was awkward for me to watch, but at least we heard a song from Glee (“Push It”). These two are just weird together, and Kevin didn’t seem too comfortable with all the gyrating. He seemed like he was just going through the motions. (Maybe he should have been in the bottom two guys instead of Russell…) Karen’s costume looked straight out of an 80s dance aerobics video.
  • Ellenore and Ryan – Contemporary Jazz (Sonya Tayeh) – It wasn’t a smart move for Ellenore to talk up this performance as one of the best the show has ever seen, and that she’s ever performed. I guess she was trying to compliment Sonya, but it came across as arrogant. I did enjoy the strangeness of the routine, but it was far from the best I’ve ever seen on the show. Ryan certainly is a manly man, though, and he had a chance to show off his strength during this performance. These two have the potential to be a strong couple, and they are probably one of the most satisfying pairings so far. But did anyone else notice how Ellenore had her hand resting on Ryan’s lower abs and the front of his pants during the judges’ comments? I expected Ashleigh to walk on stage and swat her hand away. Seemed a little too personal. Awkward…
  • Pauline and Brandon – Smooth Waltz – Too bad that Brandon has already been sent packing, because these two were a rather adorable couple. The dancing was far from perfect, but it was sweet.
  • Kathryn and Legacy – Hip Hop (Dave Scott) – This goofy routine was about cavemen experiencing hip hop for the first time, and they didn’t really know what was happening. This was probably my favorite performance of the night. The choreography was clever, and Kathryn and Legacy did a great job bringing it to life. I actually laughed and smiled, while also being impressed by their style. These two are one of the better pairings, as far as chemistry goes.
  • Mollee and Nathan – Disco (Doriana Sanchez) – “Inspired by Mexican wrestling…” I’m not a fan of disco, but this was a rather impressive routine. But, man, I’m disappointed that Nathan is paired with Mollee. Sure, they both have a teen fanbase, but I’d rather see Nathan with someone less goofy and hyper. Oh well, I suppose I should be happy that Nathan is in one of this season’s apparent power couples, since he’s one of my favorites.

The Bottom Four (as selected by the judges)

  • Russell – What was he doing in the bottom four? Sure, his foxtrot wasn’t superb, but the judges seemed rather impressed by him at the time, and have loved him since the moment they first saw him in Boston. Why single him out for the bottom guys tonight when he was at a disadvantage without his partner? Maybe they just wanted an excuse to see his solo, but I would have been irate if they had sent him home so early! He didn’t seem too happy about being in the bottom four either, as his solo was especially intense.
  • Brandon – Poor Brandon, we hardly knew him. He’s had quite a week: the jubilation of being called in to join the top 20, and the unfortunate circumstance of being sent home two days later, with words from the judges that he basically wasn’t quite good enough to be in the top 20. (It was nice of Nigel to say he wants to bend the rules to allow him to come back next season, but Brandon will have to do some more training and strengthening to actually make it further if that happens.)
  • Ariana – I’m not surprised that she was sent home. We barely got to know her, and I agree with the judges that she lacked a certain fire in her eyes.
  • Pauline – She’s very cute, but doesn’t seem to have much of a following. I guess she’ll be paired with Peter next week now that Ariana is gone.

Sent Home: Ariana and Brandon

So to return to my initial references to this episode making me feel unsettled: it is disappointing that Billy Bell had to drop out. It is also disappointing that Noelle will likely have top drop out next week (dancers don’t usually heal in one week from injuries that require a huge leg brace), which will leave Russell with a brand new partner. But even if Noelle can return to the competition, she and Russell will be a week behind the other couples. Pauline is also now at a disadvantage, because she has already lost two partners! So we started tonight’s episode with four dancers at a disadvantage: Russell, Pauline, Brandon, and Noelle. It’s unfortunate that the three of them who actually performed tonight ended up in the bottom four. If it were really true that the judges were making their decisions based on everything they know about the contestants, I think the bottom four would have consisted of a different group. Ultimately, though, it makes sense that they sent home Ariana and Brandon, but I’d imagine there are many fans who are disappointed that Ariana is already gone.

Hopefully next week’s show will have a more positive vibe!

  • My favorite routines of the night: Kathryn and Legacy’s cavemen hip hop, Ellenore and Ryan’s contemporary jazz, Jakob and Ashleigh’s Broadway.

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SYTYCD Season 6: Meet the Top 20

I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed last night’s special episode of SYTYCD, in which the viewing audience was treated to performances by the top 20 in their respective styles. Why have the show runners never done this before? Probably because it was hard enough to cram a full season into the short summer season. So now we have an added benefit of a fall season: time to do more showcasing of the contestants’ individual talent. Read on to see who danced what, who choreographed them, and how they did. I’ve listed the performances from my most to least favorite.

  • Nathan, Ariana, Jakob, and Channing – Contemporary – Choreographed by Tyce Diorio – “Crying” by K.D. Lang – I absolutely loved this routine! It helps that two of my early favorites were in it (Nathan and Channing), and they didn’t disappoint. I loved the costumes, the choreography (I so prefer Tyce’s contemporary stuff to his Broadway), and the dancers’ complete investment in their charge to “convey sadness.” All these guys are so light on their feet, have impressive leaping abilities, and were basically a joy to watch. They reminded me why I love this show so much. 🙂  Ariana mostly caught my eye when she was leaping into someone’s arms, and I was impressed by Jakob’s strong movement. Channing manages to dance gracefully while also taking advantage of her strength, and I still maintain that she’s very elegant despite her tomboyishness off stage. And I continue to love everything that Nathan does.
  • Top 20 Group Routine – “Comanche” by The Revels – Choreographed by Wade Robson – The setting of this routine is a smoky 1930s bar, and “the four slickest gangs in the city have showed up, and a turf war ensues.” This was a great way to kick off the night, and it’s my second favorite performance of the night. All 20 dancers were stylin’ in their 1930s-era clothing – I loved the guys in their suits, and the girls in their luxurious, shimmery, colorful dresses (especially the red and green). Everyone exuded personality and seemed spot on with the choregraphy. It was super cool and fun. It seems like this is a top 20 to be reckoned with!
  • Legacy, Kevin, and Russell – Hip Hop – Choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon – “Beggin’ (District 78 Remix)” by Madcon – No doubt about it, these guys are a talented trio. I’ve discovered that although Russell is one of my favorites, I prefer serious Russell over smiley Russell. He has more intensity when he’s not grinning. I’m curious to see him in a contemporary or ballroom routine, but not so much Broadway. Knowing Kevin’s backstory, of how he’s worked hard for three years to be on the show, makes me like him more. Otherwise, I wouldn’t pay much attention to him – not with Russell and Legacy in the room. That Legacy sure is a scene stealer! He had the most impressive moves during this performance. Overall, though, all of them did a great job.
  • Karen, Ryan, and Ashley – Latin Ballroom (Samba) Choregraphed by Jason Gilkison – “Everything I Can’t Have” by Robin Thicke – This was a fun, spicy routine, although not as effective as a traditional one on one partnered samba. Ryan was certainly working his suit, and Karen stood out to me more than Ashley. Mary called Karen “animalistic” – she definitely had a grittier stage presence than the more pageanty Ashley. These guys may be pretty good ballroom dancers, but they have nothing on Pasha and Anya, my all-time favorite ballroom couple on the show. Oh, how I miss them. I really hope they will choreograph some routines this season!
  • Billy, Victor, Kathryn, and Noelle – Contemporary – Choreographed by Mandy Moore – “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay – Oh, I love this song! And I also found the beautiful autumn backdrop inspiring. Unfortunately, those were my favorite things about this routine. The dancing itself was so-so, which is more to blame on the choreography than the dancers – I think Mandy Moore is saving her best stuff for the actual competition. I didn’t particularly care for Noelle’s “Dorothy” skirt, but everyone else’s clothing seemed appropriate. Honestly, when I try to remember the difference between Kathryn and Noelle, they kind of morph into one person in my mind. Neither of them is high on my list of female contestants. Billy and Victor both did a good job, but didn’t wow me. During the partnering, the two couples were out of synch at times – it could have been much tighter and sharper. Overall, I was underwhelmed by this performance, especially compared to the outstanding Tyce Diorio routine from earlier in the show.
  • Mollee, Pauline, and Ellenore – Jazz – Choreographed by Sonya Tayeh – “On a Cloud” by PPP – Adam said it best when he called this routine “cute as a button.” This was supposed to be a sexy, flirtatious dance, but the tu-tus made it seem more juvenline than the “grown up” women Sonya kept talking up. Ellenore is my favorite of these three girls, but she didn’t seem fully invested. While the other two girls were bouncing around and all smiles, Ellenore seemed unsure of her steps and afraid that her top was going to fall down. It’s true that the costume did not suit her at all. She seems more mature and refined than someone who would be jumping and bouncing around in a tu-tu. So, yes, this dance was more suited for the younger-seeming (they are actually all about the same age) and more playful Mollee and Pauline, who were actually quite good here. But as we know, the contestants who fail to show America their personality and ability to adapt to even the most awkward dance styles (remember how fantastic Joshua was doing the Bollywood dance in season four?). I fear that unless Ellenore does a great job in the first performance show, she is in danger of being the first girl sent home.
  • Peter, Phillip, and Bianca – Tap – Choreographed by Derick K. Grant – “Take the ‘A’ Train” by Ella Fitzgerald – This routine was charming and pleasant, but didn’t blow me away. I’ve said before that I’m just not a huge fan of tap. It lacks the excitement of other forms of dance. However, I’m glad these guys had a chance to show off their talent in their style, since – as Nigel said – they won’t be including tap in the rotation of dance styles this season, because it would take too long to teach it to the other contestants. (I’m not sure I buy that. If they make people figure out various ball room styles, surely they could manage with tap, too.) In this performance, I was most drawn to Phillip, who had the most understated stage presence. I was able to appreciate his tapping without being distracted by over the top grinning.

So did this special episode change my opinion of any of the dancers? Well, I still love Nathan and Channing, think Russell is pretty cool, and think Ellenore may be in trouble. The dancer who I didn’t know much about beforehand that stood out to me was Jakob. He is pretty fantastic and fun to watch, and I can’t quite place it, but he reminds me of some actor. Who does he look like to you?

Who impressed you the most in this episode?

 

Brian Regan at the Majestic October 25, 2009

Filed under: Memories — Emily @ 10:53 am
Tags: , , , ,

“If you were to second guess your decision to book some time to visit an Indian community, that would be a reservation reservation reservation.” That was the one joke that comedian Brian Regan said he didn’t really have a good place for in his routine, but it made the crowd at the Majestic Theater in downtown Dallas laugh anyway. Regan put on a great show, and comedian Joe Bolster, who warmed up the crowd, was also highly entertaining.

I’ve seen Brian Regan on Comedy Central and DVD a few times, but this was my first time to see him live, and it was definitely worth the price of admission. His jokes are hilarious, but what’s even better are his expressions, mannerisms, and other physical comedy. He had everyone in the audience under his comic spell from his opening horse jockey joke (“how would track runners feel if I ran behind them flogging them with a whip to remind them to run…”) to his closing “I walked on the moon” piece (the astronaut’s dinner party trump card that beats all other stories).

The ornate lobby at the Majestic Theater

The ornate lobby at the Majestic Theater

As for the venue, the Majestic Theater was great. It was my first time to see a show there, and there’s something special about an old restored theater, with its grand staircases, ornate decor, and interesting architecture. I would definitely like to see more shows there. It is nice that the Majestic is in the heart of downtown Dallas, so you can enjoy the view of the skyline or grab a bite to eat at an interesting restaurant before or after the show. Another plus is the ample amount of parking available. We actually found a metered parking space right across the street from the entrance (and were amazed at our luck since we arrived right at show time), so we didn’t get stuck in parking garage traffic when we left.

Overall, this was a relaxing, stress relieving evening. Laughter really is contagious when you’re sitting in a theater packed with grown-ups giggling and guffawing uncontrollably. But I didn’t have to depend on the audience to make me laugh, because Brian Regan’s jokes and demeanor were consistently successful at doing their job.

Here’s a sampling of some of my favorite jokes of the night (I can’t do them justice, but hopefully you’ll get the idea…)

  • Grown-ups shouldn’t vomit like the balloon boy when they lie – This was probably my favorite moment of the show. I appreciated that he included such a timely topic as the balloon boy incident, and his use of the material was great. Basically, Regan explained that someone needed to teach Falcon how to lie without vomiting, since that’s a dead giveaway that you are lying, and then imagined what would happen if grown ups had a tendency to throw up while lying. His impersonation of a husband vomiting while lying to his wife about where he’s been had everyone in the crowd rolling with laughter. “Yeah, honey, I was out playing pool with the guys…” (followed by ridiculously loud and explosive retching noises). This scenario played out in similar fashion for another minute or two, with equally hilarious results.
  • 125,000 Gorillas – This joke relied on the sight gags for most of its humor. He explained that he read in the news that researchers have “just discovered” 125,000 gorillas in the Congo. He had trouble understanding how someone just happened upon “one hundred and twenty five THOUSAND” gorillas that had remained undetected until now. He wondered, were they all standing in a single file line behind a tree? And he reenacted the moment of discovery by pretending to pull back some branches, and seeing 125,000 gorillas! You probably had to be there to fully appreciate this one, but you know…
  • Wide Receiver Stance – In another sight gag, Regan mentioned that he played football in high school and college, but was always bummed that his wide receiver position had the only not cool starting stance on the field. While everyone else was striking a manly pose, he was doing the “Tinkerbell pose,” standing up straight with his hands on his hips and one foot pointed out in front of him. Kind of like this:

  • Black Coffee – He doesn’t understand why it’s so hard to order a simple black cup of coffee at a restaurant. He asks for a “cup of black coffee,” and the waiter asks him how he wants his coffee (“um, could I get it black, in a cup?”), and then asks if he wants cream and sugar (“do they make black cream?”). Finally, he lets out a long rant about how black he wants his coffee. I couldn’t possibly remember the whole thing here, but he starts with the phrase “blackity blackity black” and ends with something about closing your eyes and imagining the infinite blackness of space, and letting that be a starting point for understanding how black he wants his coffee. So funny, and so true, since this once simple beverage has been complicated so much by the various concoctions created by Starbucks.
  • Food Pyramid – Does anyone actually use the Food Pyramid? He mimes taking the Food Pyramid out of his pocket to order at a restaurant… “I’ll have some grains – 6 or 7 servings – that’s right, just keep ’em coming… And I’ll also have some legumes…” I knew he would mention legumes – it’s such a funny word, and few of us are even sure what they are (he said he’s not sure he’s ever even seen one).
  • Irish Dancing – He mentioned his Irish heritage, and said the Irish are only good at dancing from the knees down, before proceeding to do a very spastic version of the river dance.
  • Texting – He closed the show by recounting his first experience with receiving and responding to a text message. I could totally relate. He didn’t even know what was happening when his phone made a different sound, and then his wife had to show him how to accept the message. His first text was a wrong number, and only said “Yo yo, we clubbin?” Out of courtesy, he responded to let the person know that he was not “Yo Yo,” and that they hadn’t reached the right person. His response was ridiculously long, and he acted out typing the whole thing, which included words and phrases like “to whom it may concern,” “individual,” and “Godspeed.”
  • The Encore – I had heard that this is always a fan favorite, since Regan takes requests from the crowd. He only did two requests at our show, probably because he had another show at the theater an hour later. But they were good ones, and both related to how certain people always want to one-up you with their stories. In his “Wisdom Teeth” bit, he related how you should never try to tell a “two wisdom teeth” story, because the “four wisdom teeth” people will parachute in and steal your thunder with tales of impacted teeth that were twisted around their tongue, and of how the teeth were ripped out with no anesthesia, and they were eating corn on the cob later that day. From there he went straight into his astronaut bit, saying he wishes he had been one of the astronauts that had been to the moon, because then he would always have a story better than all the “Me Monsters” (those people at parties who constantly talk about themselves without taking a breath – his impersonation of them is great). He proceeded to imitate a Me Monster at a dinner party speeding through one extravagant tale after another, while an astronaut sat quietly in wait for his moment. When the Me Monster took a breath, the astronaut simply said, “I once walked on the moon.” Classic.

These are only a few highlights of Brian Regan’s 75 minutes of pure comic gold. I’ll leave you with a video of his classic dinner party bit:

 

SYTYCD Season 6: The Top 20 Revealed October 22, 2009

After over a month of watching auditions and the Vegas round, we finally met our season 6 top 20 last night. Actually, I enjoyed this new, slower pace. Normally we go from the first audition to the top 20 in about two or three weeks of two hour episodes. By spreading the episodes out into one hour increments, and devoting more time to back stories on the contestants, I feel like we are way ahead of where we were at this point in season 5, when – ironically – I had no clue who Jeanine was! Let’s take a look at the 20 dancers who earned a place on the show. I’ve grouped them by dance specialty.

So You Think You Can Dance’s Season 6 Top 10 Girls

  • Tap – I listed tap first since the judges seem determined to make this season “the year of the tap.” I have nothing against tap dancers, but is there really room for three of them in the top 20, when there are so many other versatile dancers out there? I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that at least one of these tappers will hear something from the judges along the lines of, “You are a terrific tapper, but you’ve got to grow in other areas…”
    • Bianca Revels (20) – Despite my rant above, I do like Bianca. She has a laid back but fun personality, and we’ve seen how passionate she was about making the top 20. (I have a soft spot for the dancers who shed genuine tears in response to the judges’ feedback, or to making it through a particularly difficult round.)
  • Contemporary
    • Ariana Debose (18) – I had never seen her before last night (that I can recall), but her name certainly has a nice ring to it. And she has a nice smile. If she has the personality to match, she could be popular with the fans.
    • Channing Cooke (18) – Now there’s a name and a face you’ll remember. They are playing her up as “the tomboy” (with good reason, since she watches auto racing and once won a national lawn mower obstacle course competition), but I think she has a very classic beauty, and looks very glamorous in the show’s top 20 press release photos. I bet the makeup, hair, and costume departments will have fun working with her. Let’s just hope she has the dancing skills to match the look! If for no other reason, I like her because her profile said that she loves cats. 🙂
    • Ellenore Scott (19) – Her demeanor and speech make seem older than 19, and unfortunately we don’t know much about her. Will her beautiful smile and complexion be enough to make her stand out from the crowd? (After all, since in theory they are all supposed to be great dancers, the viewing audience will pick and choose based on other factors.)
    • Kathryn McCormick (19) – It’s unfortunate that the only thing I know about Kathryn right now is that she talks in an extremely high-pitched voice when she cries, and she cries A LOT. I hope she can get control of her emotions before show time! Earlier I mentioned that I have a soft spot for contestants who cry, but I do have my limits!
    • Noelle Marsh (18) – All I know about Noelle is that she’s Mollee’s BFF. Like, OMG that’s 2gd2btru! Woo hoo! Watching the scenes of them screaming and hugging made me feel like I was watching a Greek rush week special instead of a dance competition. As you may have guessed, I’m no sorority girl, and so I wasn’t super interested in these girls’ sisterhood moments. Granted, I’m happy that they struck up a friendship and will have someone they are close to while they are away from home. I have no comment on Noelle’s dancing yet, since I can’t remember seeing her audition.
  • Jazz

    • Mollee Gray (18) – I agree with the judges that Mollee seems more like a 14 or 15 year old than an 18 year old. She will face quite a challenge on more “grown up” dances like the waltz or the tango, and on any emotionally-charged routines. She’s in a similar position to former American Idol contestant Diana DeGargmo, who had to sing songs about lost love or long standing relationships, things she’d never experienced. Since I tend to root for the older-skewing contestants (like last season’s Melissa), Mollee is not likely to be on my radar.
    • Pauline Mata (19) – I don’t know much about Pauline’s dancing, but I fear she will be one of the contestants who slips through the cracks because we don’t know much about her and she doesn’t stand out.
  • Ball Room
    • Ashleigh Di Lello (26) – She barely made it into the top 20. She was basically the judges’ consolation prize when their top choice, Paula, turned down her invitation to the top 20 because she had a contract to be in a movie. Speaking of which, did it bother anyone else that Paula would remain in the competition as long as she did, knowing that she wouldn’t be able to continue? On the other hand, I can understand why she’d want to see what could have been. However, if she had notified the judges in advance, who knows who would have rounded out the top 20? Back to Ashleigh, she seems like a sweet girl, but I hope she tones down the face pulls she does when she dances.
    • Karen Hauer (27) – Hey, her last name rhymes with Bauer. Sounds like an opportunity for Fox to plug its most popular spy thriller! At 27, she must be one of the oldest contestants, and “older” never bodes well for contestants on this show. Plus, I wonder if missing her husband, who also tried out, will affect her performance – especially since she will constantly be around the ballroom couple who did make it in together.

So You Think You Can Dance’s Season 6 Top 10 Guys

  • Tap.

    • Peter Sabasino (22) – One of two guy tap dancers this season, Peter seems more like an athlete than a dancer, which should serve him well in the competition, since much of the partnering requires strength and agility.
    • Phillip Attmore (25) – Phillip seems like an old soul – well, at least he looks like he is from the big band era. I don’t know what to think of him yet, though.
  • Contemporary
    • Billy Bell (19) – I love his dancing, and although I had thought that he lacked personality, he certainly came out of his shell after he was invited to the top 20! It was fun to see him jumping around and doing some cheesy dance moves. If he can keep that attitude up, he can avoid the curse that other highly trained dancers before him (aka Danny and Will) have suffered from, since they were always criticized for being too serious and proud.
    • Jakob Karr (19) – Where did this guy come from? I don’t remember seeing him a single time this season. I will wait until I see him dance to form an opinion.
    • Nathan Trasoras (18) – Isn’t he just a beautiful boy? I’d go so far as to say he’d rival Edward Cullen’s epic looks. And thankfully, he (I’m back to Nathan now, not Edward) has the dancing skills to match. I was a fan of Nathan’s the minute he started his audition back in season five, and I’ve been anticipating his return ever since.
    • Victor Smalley (21) – I don’t know anything about Victor, but apparently he made an impression on the judges in Vegas, by giving his all and succeeding in the various genres (and being willing to shave his distracting hair). Perhaps he’ll make an impression on America, too.
  • Ballroom
    • Ryan Di Lello (28) – Based on some of the judges’ remarks, it almost sounds like Ryan made it into the top 20 on the strengh of his biceps alone (well, and also his pecs, his abs…). I just hope his dancing matches his physique, and that he will sometimes keep his shirt on (lest he distract us from the actual competition!).
  • Hip Hop
    • Legacy Perez (28) – I didn’t realize Legacy was in his upper 20s. He sure has a lot of energy and strength for someone approaching 30! I’m impressed by his dancing and his determination, so I hope he will do well in the competition. Again, I’m a fan of the genuine tears, and he certainly shed a lot of them (but never too many at once!).
    • Kevin Hunte (23) – I vaguely remember seeing Kevin’s audition, but I don’t know much about him. He faces some tough competition from other hip hoppers who’ve received more screen time.
    • Russell Ferguson (20) – I love this krumping Bostonian! His first audition had so much energy and passion that he moved to the top of my list right away, and he’s still there. It remains to be seen how he’ll do in the actual competition, but I was pleased to see him succeed with whatever was thrown at him in Vegas. I’m a little skeptical at his claim that he’s received no formal training, especially since his bio says he trained at Boston Arts Academy. Nevertheless, I’m a fan. And how sweet was it when he teared up as Mia complimented him and shared the news that he’d made the top 20?!

Early Favorites – I know, it’s still too early to pick favorites. They haven’t even performed yet! But it’s always funs to look back and see how my opinions have changed once the competition gets going. So who are your initial favorites? It will be fun to see them perform on Monday night, without fear of elimination. Check back for my more objective analysis then!

  • Russell
  • Nathan
  • Channing

To see pictures and mini-bios for each contestant, check out this SYTYCD page on Fox.com:

 

Glee 1.6: Vitamin D October 8, 2009

Filed under: Glee,Television — Emily @ 2:51 pm
Tags: , , ,

Remember those milk commercials from the ’80s and ’90s that had the tagline “Milk: It Does a Body Good.” Well, it is fitting that last night’s episode of Glee was titled “Vitamin D,” because this show is my weekly dose of feel good fun – and I know that all the laughing I do while I watch is good for me. I thoroughly enjoyed this week’s episode, which had the girls and guys facing off in a mash up, with the idea that the winners would get to choose which song they do at sectionals. While Will was trying to motivate his students to apply themselves, Sue was in turmoil over the glee club’s continued success; Ken and Emma were negotiating the terms of their “secret, live on separate sides of town” marriage; and Terri was weasling her way into Will’s work place by becoming the school nurse (she took a first aid class at Sheets ‘n Things!), with the hope of keeping Will and Emma apart. Things came full circle when Terri’s presence led to the glee club students’ hyper performances during their mashups, after she gave them a Suphedrine “pick me up” (after all, she is the school nurse, and it’s over the counter, so it’s perfectly fine). Let’s take a closer look at each of these subplots:

  • Sue’s Corner – I loved Jane Lynch’s lines so much this week that I may just transcribe every word she said. So, here are her quotes of the week, which includes just about everything:
    • While observing Will and Emma in the lunchroom: “Oh dear God, please, please, stop talking. I’m trying desperately to ignore the treacly sweet inanity of your asinine conversation, but now I’ve got bile in my mouth. I will hold my tongue… no further.”
    • While convincing Will that he needs to scare his students into succeeding: “We’re dealing with children. They need to be terrified. It’s like mother’s milk to them. Without it, their bones won’t grow properly. So if you want results with a kid, you find that competitive animal within, and unleash it. Okay.”
    • “Ellen, that blouse is just insane.” (In reference to Emma’s ridiculously bright yellow top, complete with a large bow attached to the top button)
    • Thinking outloud while writing in her journal (I hope this becomes a semi-regular bit on the show, because it was fantastic): “Dear Journal, feeling listless again today. It began at dawn when I tried to make a smoothie out of beef bones, breaking my juicer. And then at Cheerios practice – disaster. It was unmistakable. It was like spotting the first spark on the Hindenburg. A quiver. That quiver will lose us nationals. And without a championship, I’ll lose my endorsements, and without those endorsements, I won’t be able to buy my hovercraft.”
    • The standout moment in this episode, and perhaps the best Sue Sylvester quote so far out of a goody bag full: “Glee Club. Every time I try to destroy that clutch of scab eating mouth breathers it only comes back stronger, like some sexually ambiguous horror movie villain. Here I am, about to turn 30, and I’ve sacrificed everything, only to be shanghaied by the bi-curious machinations of a cabal of doughy, misshapen teens. Am I missing something journal? Is it me? Of course it’s not me. It’s Will Schuester. What is it about him, journal? Is it the arrogant smirk? Is it the store bought home perm? [and after remembering that she’s noticed Will and Emma flirting over lunch she continues…] If I can’t destroy the club, I will have to destroy THE MAN!”
    • [During a conversation with Will’s wife Terri] “Let me be frank. Your husband is hiding his kielbasa in a Hickory Farms gift basket that doesn’t belong to you.” Terri asks who, and Sue replies, “Guidance counselor. Real floozy of a man eater. Wears creepy brooches like the kind my Nana was buried in.”
    • “I’ve always thought the desire to procreate showed deep, personal weakness. Me – never wanted kids. Don’t have the time, don’t have the uterus.”
    • “I think you should both pack up and move out of the district, unless you want to lose your man to a mentally ill ginger pygmy with eyes like a bush baby.” Ouch. Sue certainly knows how to deliver an insult.
    • “I’m not an American citizen. I was born in the Panama canal zone. But I managed to get a passport, and run for office twice.”
    • The episode ended with the revelation that Sue was being brought in to co-chair the glee club. “Hey, kids. I gotta tell you, I’m just thrilled to be coming on board to co-captain this little showbiz cruise. I can’t wait to start singin’ and dancin’, and maybe even puttin’ on the ritz a little bit.” That should make for fun times.
    • The only thing about Sue’s storyline that I didn’t like is that she put the school nurse in a coma by tripping her as she walked down the stairs. I thought it was a bit extreme to say the old lady was in a coma. A broken leg or hip would have been enough to put her out of work for awhile.
  • Ken and Emma Sitting in a Tree… – I thought Ken’s marriage proposal was very sweet: “Emma Pilsbury, this is not an engagement ring. It’s more than that. It’s a promise. I know you have this thing about being clean. Now I can’t promise that I’ll pick up my underwear or squeegee the shower door, but I can promise to keep your life clean of sadness and loneliness, and any other dark clouds that might float into it. It’s cubic zirconia. I know how affected you were by Blood Diamond. Emma Pillsbury, M & M, will you marry me?” Sadly, Emma’s response was decidedly unromantic: “I would want to keep my last name, and I’d want to continue living in different parts of town, and I think it would be best if we didn’t see each other after school. And I wouldn’t want a big ceremony, like in a church, with people. We wouldn’t have to invite anybody, you know, or tell anybody actually, it could be like a secret marriage.” Ken’s smitten response: “That’s actually a better deal than I expected.” So I guess these two not-so-in-love birds are going to tie the knot. The Ken-Emma-Will love triangle is most certainly not why I watch the show, and it’s a shame that the writers have made Terri such an awful person. It doesn’t speak well of Will that he couldn’t pick a better spouse than this completely self-absorbed dingbat. And even though Ken comes across as an unattractive slob, he really is very sweet. He’s getting the worst deal in this situation.
  • Nurse Terri – It was interesting (and annoying) for Terri to be on Will’s turf at school. Of course, it was ridiculous that the principal would hire her based on her weak qualifications of having done first aid training and used a defibrillator at Sheets ‘n Things, but it was amusing to watch her “work.” She managed to get Will and the glee club students in trouble, but she also convinced Quinn to agree to give her the baby when it is born. What a “sweetheart” she is, telling Quinn that she can manage to pay for maternity care for nine months if Terri is going to pay for the kid for 18 years.
The Glee girls performed a hyper rendition of Halo/Walking on Sunshine

The Glee girls performed a hyper rendition of "Halo/Walking on Sunshine"

  • The Mash-Ups
    • The Guys – Their hyperactive rendition of “It’s My Life / Confessions” was entertaining, and comically fast. It makes me wonder how many caffeine pills N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys used to take, because they sure had a lot of energy.
    • The Girls – Rachel’s introduction says it best: “If there’s two things America needs right now, it’s sunshine and optimism. And also angels.” Their super sunny rendition of “Halo/Walkin’ on Sunshine” was really something. The warp speed. The yellow sundresses. The gold shoes. Again, the addition of the suphredrine made it an entertaining, yet hilarious performance.

Other Random Observations

  • Kurt doesn’t understand how lightning is in competition with an above ground swimming pool. Neither do I, but that was part of Will’s humorous attempt to convince his students that competition is a necessary and healthy ingredient of success.
  • I learned that a mash-up is “when you take two songs and mash them together to make an even richer explosion of musical expression.” I am now a fan of mash-ups. I’ve heard them before, of course, but I had never heard the term “mash-up.”
  • Rachel became slightly more likable in this episode, first by reaching out to Quinn, who was feeling like an outcast because of her pregnancy, and then by becoming a team player, learning to care more about the group than her own fame.
  • If I were to dress up for Halloween this year, I would be Sue Sylvester. I would wear a track suit and a smirk on my face, and I would memorize all the painfully inappropriate and hilarious things she has said so that I could converse in character all night. That would be really fun. Which Glee character would you be for Halloween?