Eclaire Fare

Enjoying Pop Culture, One Bite at a Time

Fall 2011 Preview: Fox’s New Shows September 9, 2011

Filed under: Fall Preview,Fringe,Glee,Television — Emily @ 4:46 pm

"New Girl" is a refreshingly funny sitcom that I look forward to watching this fall.

This fall, Fox is too busy overhyping Glee and its newest Idol wannabe to leave much room on the schedule for new shows. So this won’t take very long:

  • Terra Nova – You’ve probably seen promos for this – it seems to be the Fox show they are promoting heavily. It’s a cross between Jurassic Park and Avatar, and I am not super interested, but I do like the guy from Life on Mars (Jason O’Mara) that stars in it. So, I’ll check out the pilot at least. I’m not very crazy about dinosaurs (I only watched Jurassic Park when it had been out for nearly ten years, and I hated it), so I hope the focus is on the characters and not the things trying to eat them.
  • Allen Gregory/I Hate My Teenage Daughter – Meh. One is a cartoon about a super intelligent and mature seven year old. The other is about two incompetent single moms trying to raise their teenage daughters. My guess is that neither one will do particularly well.
  • The X Factor – Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul try to reclaim their former Idol glory, and just as my interest in that show continues to wane (I still can’t believe how weak the finalists were this past season!), I just don’t care about this one. I haven’t even investigated it – just another talent competition.
  • New Girl – I am actually very interested in this one. Zoey Deschanel is just so cute, charming, and funny. The trailer looked pretty funny, and I like that she has a trio of male roommates who are trying to help her get back on her feet after a bad breakup. Seems different and funny. I’ve already seen the pilot thanks to Tivo’s free preview, and it was laugh out loud funny. The characters are not your stereotypical sitcom types. They are quirky but likeable, even after just the first few minutes of the show. Make a point to watch this one – it’s worth your time! I especially loved the use of Dirty Dancing references and music in the pilot episode. Instant classic.

Mid season will mark the premiere of Alcatraz, which has potential since it comes from J.J. Abrams and has Jorge Garcia. But like many supernatural shows, it may be too specific to last very long. Another new show will be Touch, which sounds very convoluted and complex. But I’m interested in it because it has Kiefer Sutherland playing a loving father to an autistic 11 year old who happens to have a very special gift of seeing the interconnectedness of events that other people can’t see. Or something like that. Those shows usually don’t last very long (remember Flashforward? – probably not…), but maybe since they have a few more months to work on it, the showrunners will get this one right.

So I will be watching The New Girl, along with returning favorite Fringe. In my opinion, this sci-fi gem is by far the best show on Fox. Every season it reinvents itself or adds another layer of complexity and excitement. I was skeptical about the alternate universe last season, but after a few episodes I was hooked and was equally interested in both storylines (over here and over there). However, I am on the fence about Glee. I still haven’t been interested enough in it to finish watching all of last season. The final three episodes are waiting on my Tivo. A few issues I have with it: overpromotion, weak to nonexistent plots, and inconsistent (if any) character development. Suddenly last season almost all of the teenagers on the show were completely self-centered and even vindictive toward their fellow gleeks. Why watch a show that doesn’t have any likeable characters? I have heard about some behind the scenes changes, so I am willing to give the show another chance. But if things don’t change soon I will have no regrets jumping off the Glee bandwagon. What will you be watching this fall on Fox?

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2010: Year in Review January 1, 2011

Filed under: Books,Fringe,Glee,Lost,Memories,Movies,Music,Television — Emily @ 5:24 pm

2010 was a year that marked the birth of my second son, which has made it decidedly more difficult for me to maintain this blog. Perhaps one of my new year’s resolutions will be to post more frequently. We shall see. Blame it on pregnancy ditziness, blame it on newborn phase sleep deprivation, but whatever the cause, much of 2010 is a blur, especially the entertainment world. I do remember saying goodbye to, and shedding some tears for, one of my all-time favorite shows. I also remember the wrong person winning American Idol, the soap opera I grew up on coming to an end, and Christopher Nolan continuing his movie-making magic. Here’s a bullet point list of the best of times, worst of times of 2010.

  • Good Reads
    • Stieg Larsson’s Girl trilogy – I read all three of these books in 2010 and found them completely riveting. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a satisfying blend of suspense and mystery revolving around the enigmatic Vanger family. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest was a conspiracy-filled investigation to clear the name of the wrongfully accused, and The Girl Who Played with Fire was a satisfying ending to the trilogy with its expose of a secret organization and Lisbeth Salander finally finding some peace. I have watched the Swedish movie adaptations of the first two novels, and they were surprisingly good (meaning the transition from page to screen was pretty accurate). I hear there are American versions in the works, but since the trilogy is set in Sweden, and so much of the plot revolves around Swedish politics and culture, I don’t think they will be as good.
    • Eric Larson’s The Devil in the White City – I don’t usually read historical non-fiction, but I was fascinated by this book, which blends the story of an infamous serial killer with the city of Chicago’s efforts to prepare for and host the 1893 World’s Fair. Larson knew when to elaborate and when to summarize, to make this a quick and interesting read. Word on the street is that there is a movie in the works, with Leonardo DiCaprio set to play serial killer H.H. Holmes. Should be a good one!
  • Good Movies
    • Shutter Island – Speaking of Leonardo DiCaprio, he has completely redeemed himself for Titanic. Yeah, I guess I should have gotten over that about ten years ago, but I lost over three hours of my life to that movie!! It took me a long time to forgive him for shouting “I’m the king of the world” and such. This year, he only impressed me, starring in two of my favorite movies. One was Shutter Island, adapted from the Dennis Lehane novel. I knew it would be good when I saw that it starred DiCaprio, along with Mark Ruffalo (one of my favorite character actors) and Ben Kingsley. This one was terrific in the theater: the scenery, the music, the everything. The ending surprised (and disappointed) some people, but Martin Scorsese did a great job with every single detail, from beginning to end, and I was impressed.
    • Inception – The only person who outdid Scorsese this year was Christopher Nolan, who continues to amaze me with his ability to intrigue and entertain. Inception is the last movie I saw in the theater before my son was born, and I haven’t been back to the movies yet! What a terrific experience that movie was: the sights, the sounds, the story… the whole package. I look forward to giving it a second look soon.
  • Good Music
    • Mumford and Sons – Their Sigh No More is the only complete album I purchased in 2010, and I love it. From the mainstream hit “Little Lion Man,” to the solidarity of “Timshel,” to the poetry of “The Cave,” everything is worth listening to and enjoying.
    • Glee – Nothing is more fun to listen to than songs from Glee. They are fun to sing and dance along to, in the car, the kitchen, or anywhere else. The second season has been a little lackluster, but I’m still enjoying last season’s hits – most notably “Somebody to Love,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “Borderline/Open Your Heart,” and “Alone.”
  • Good TV
    • Breaking Bad – After three seasons of it receiving awards and accolades, we finally jumped on the Breaking Bad bandwagon, zooming through the first two seasons on DVD. Now we are anxiously awaiting season three, and hope it will reair on AMC before the dvd release. Bryan Cranston is truly amazing in this role, one that is about as far removed from the dad on Malcolm in the Middle as you can be. I’ve had several people tell me they don’t want to watch the show because it sounds depressing (actually, I think I was one of those people before I watched it!), but the show balances out the heavy themes (cancer, drug addiction, deception, etc.) with lighter moments. We so enjoyed this show that we decided to try out AMC’s other original series. We quickly lost interest in Mad Men (well made, yes, but no likable characters!), but immediately took to the new zombie drama The Walking Dead (too bad there were only six episodes in season one…). I was also interested in Rubicon, but since it was canceled after one season, I’m not sure I’ll ever watch it.
    • Fringe – I continue to love this sci-fi investigative show. The story arcs are imaginative, the characters well drawn, and the details thorough. This season has been all about this universe vs. the alternate universe, and I appreciate all the little details that the writers throw in about alt-universe (JFK was’t assassinated, they no longer use writing pens, avocado are a rare fruit, etc.). This show even inspired the name that I eventually chose for my son (Peter).
    • Lost – I couldn’t do a year end post without mentioning what is probably my all-time favorite show. I throughly enjoyed the final season, although it took me awhile to come to terms with the way it ended. The show had a great run, though, so I don’t miss it now. Too much other tv to watch anyway.
  • Good Sports
    • The Saints won the Super Bowl! – After years of embarrassment, followed by some years of “almost, but not quite,” the Saints finally had their moment of glory as Super Bowl champs, by winning a handful of crazy games. It was oh so sweet to celebrate with them after all those depressing Sunday afternoons growing up in Louisiana, watching the ‘Aints.
    • Duke wins the NCAA championship! – What a rare thing, for two of my teams to win championships during the same year! I have been a Duke fan since 1991, the year they won their first championship. I’ve followed their ups and downs ever since then, and was pleasantly surprised when they were the only #1 seed left standing for the Final Four last season, and added another championship to their collection. Go Blue Devils!
  • Disappointments
    • Velva Jean Learns to Drive – This book was okay, but I was really unhappy with how it ended.
    • The Event – I guess I shouldn’t have expected much from NBC, since their action/suspense shows usually fail, but this show was just one, big convoluted and implausible mess. I tried to watch it, but gave up on about episode 5 or 6. I suppose it will last for awhile, but I won’t be tuning in to this failed hybrid of 24 and Lost.
    • So You Think You Can Dance: Season 7 – When I first heard that the show was mixing things up by pairing new contestants with all-stars, I was super excited. And as much as I loved seeing Pasha, Mark, Kathryn, etc., their presence made it nearly impossible to pick favorites among the newbies. We couldn’t enjoy power couples, and I was usually too busy watching one of the all-stars do their thing to notice how the actual contestants were doing. Throw the ridiculous number of injuries in, and the uneven number of guys and girls during the second half of the season, and it was an epic failure. There were still a few memorable performances, but none that I can think of right now.
    • Lee beating Crystal on American Idol – Every year I only half watch the spectacle that is American Idol, and last season, my one eye open quickly pegged Crystal the only one with the total package amonst the weak top ten. As much as I liked Lee (he was a nice guy, after all), he wasn’t nearly as talented or comfortable on stage as Crystal. Like all previous contestants, their post-Idol successes or failures will determine the real winner (a shout out here to the one and only Jennifer Hudson, who was voted off way too soon on her season of Idol).

So what were the best and worst moments in 2010 entertainment for you?

 

Fall 2010 TV: What I’ll Be Watching September 17, 2010

The 2010-2011 television season officially kicks off next week, and it comes at just the right time for me. We took our time this summer finishing up episodes of our shows from last season, and last week we watched (and thoroughly enjoyed) season three of Dexter. That leaves us with only one week of wondering what to watch before our shows are back. Here’s a look at what I’ll definitely be watching this year, by day of the week (I always check out several new shows’ pilots, so it’s possible I may be adding a couple of shows to this list).

  • Sunday:
    • I won’t be watching anything on Sunday evenings, except maybe the occasional NFL game, if the Saints are playing.
  • Monday:
    • There’s no “must see tv” yet for me on this night. Although I still watch the occasional episode of How I Met Your Mother, I lost interest in that show about a season and a half ago. I’ve watched most of the Lone Star pilot, and based on that I don’t think it’s worth investing another hour a week to. I am slightly intrigued by the Hawaii Five-O remake, since it stars Daniel Dae Kim, but I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve seen the pilot.
  • Tuesday:
    • Glee – This was by far my favorite new show last season, and I can’t wait to hear (and download) more songs, laugh at more of Sue Sylvester’s snarky dialogue, and cheer for the rag tag team of misfit Glee clubbers.
    • Parenthood – I fell in love with this show over the summer. Lauren Graham is the main bright spot, but she is surrounded by an outstanding cast of colorful characters. I’m planning to write a “Why You Should Watch Parenthood” post pretty soon, so I’ll save most of my praise for that. Let me just say that the sub plots featured each week on this show seem like pretty realistic depictions of the situations families find themselves facing every day. Since I’m right in the middle of suburban family life, am in my early 30s, and have two kids, I suppose I am part of the target audience, and I’m enjoying every minute of this show that caters to me. Thanks, NBC!
  • Wednesday
    • Modern Family – It’s no surprise that I’m also a fan of this other new family show from last season. I was pleased to see it win so many Emmy’s this year – it is very much deserving. I laugh just as much at this show as I do at any of the other comedies I watch (there are several of them). I love how it finds humor in typical family situations, like the classic family sitcoms of the past few decades, but adds a healthy dose of sarcasm and satire to the mix. Perfect recipe!
  • Thursday
    • Fringe – I’ve been anticipating this show more than any other over the summer. Partly because I actually watched the season finale when it aired, and thus had to wait the full four months to find out what happens next, but also because it left viewers with a crazy cliffhanger! I can’t wait to see what crazy adventures Olivia, Peter, Walter, and Astrid find themselves in the midst of next. I’m also planning a “Why You Should Watch Fringe” post, so stay tuned for that if you have considered watching this show.
    • Community – This little comedy that could grew on me more and more with each episode last season. It has some silly moments that fall flat, but I mostly adore the characters, the frequent pop culture references, and the quirky tone. I liked it from the beginning since I actually teach at a community college. There’s a lot of reality in the show’s portrayal of community college campus life (except maybe for the paint ball war…), taken to the extreme, of course.
    • 30 Rock – I fell behind on this show for awhile last season. It lost some of its edge, spending too much time on Jack and his two girlfriends. Once it turned more attention to Liz’s disfunctional love life, this Emmy darling was back at the top of its game. Liz’s boyfriends on the show have always been hilarious, so I hope we will see more of airline pilot Matt Damon, who first showed up in last season’s finale. And how bizarre and hilarious is Will Forte as Jenna’s Cher/Jenna impersonating boyfriend. Greatness.
    • The Office – This show is past its prime, but as long as it still makes me laugh, I’ll keep watching. Honestly, Michael Scott isn’t the funniest thing about it, but he may be the glue that holds the supporting cast together. But really, shouldn’t the show just end when Steve Carrell leaves?
  • Friday
    • Supernatural – I haven’t watched this show in new episodes on tv since season two. Now it’s entering it’s sixth season, and after catching up with seasons three through five on dvd and summer reruns, I’m ready to jump back in. I’ll enjoy being able to enjoy reading about the show online without fear of spoilers – it has quite an avid fan base!
  • Saturday

    • Nothing interesting comes on Saturday nights!

So there you have it. I am watching fewer shows this season than I have in a long time – especially since there are no shows waiting in the wings, like Lost, 24, and Battlestar Galactica in recent years. There are eight shows on my list, but since four of them are half hour comedies, I don’t feel like I’m investing a lot of time in tv this fall. What will you be watching? Is my list missing anything that’s must-see for you?

 

Fall 2009 TV: What I’m Still Watching December 1, 2009

A couple of months ago, I gave an overview of what tv shows I would be watching this fall. Some of them were my returning favorites, while others were newbies that I wasn’t sure about. Now that the fall season is well underway, and most of these shows are about to go into holiday hibernation, I thought I’d give an update on what I’m still watching, and which shows have lost my interest.

Didn’t Make It Past the First Round

At the beginning of the fall season, I watched a handful of pilots out of curiosity, and had a reaction of either immediate disinterest or horror.

  • Cougar Town – So bad that it was painful to watch. Poor Courtney Cox – Monica Geller would be embarrassed by her character.
  • The Middle – Hidy ho, neighbor! This show was too “hunky dory” for my taste. It came across as a slightly desperate attempt to reach out to middle America. The result was a sometimes funny, but mostly contrived comedy that was a wannabe hybrid of Everybody Loves Raymond and Malcolm in the Middle.
  • Eastwick – I may have liked this show if it had a darker, supernatural element to it. Instead, it was mostly soap opera fluff with a dash of magic thrown in. I also found all three main characters unlikable, particularly the married one. I felt little sympathy for her when her husband threatened to seek full custody of their kids when they decided to get divorced. Who could blame him? She struck him with lightning! I wrote this show off by the end of the pilot, and it looks like the network has done the same, since I read they haven’t ordered the back nine episodes.

Still Sitting on the Sidelines

Some shows that I considered watching haven’t even seen any playing time. These are all shows I have watched off and on in past seasons, but so far this season the episodes are just piling up on my Tivo.

  • Bones – Actually, I only recorded the first episode of the season, and really only because Cyndi Lauper was guest starring. It’s still sitting unwatched on my Now Playing list. (I lost interest in this show about the time that Angela and Hodgins broke up. That was such a forced story.)
  • The Mentalist – I like the characters on this sophomore hit (and I love Simon Baker!), and I’m intrigued by the ongoing Red John investigation, but I just haven’t found the time to watch any episodes this season. I may catch up some in the next couple of months.
  • CSI – Ever since Warrick’s tragic departure, and then Grissom’s move to South America (or where ever he went to live in the jungle with Sara), this show has been a little depressing. I’m not a huge fan of some of the newer characters, although I like Laurence Fishburne just fine.  At this point in this veteran show’s run, I only watch the episodes that sound interesting to me. So far this season nothing has sounded too good.
  • How I Met Your Mother – I still haven’t finished last season’s episodes, much less gotten into this season’s. I guess this just isn’t Must See TV for me. It really never has been. I’ll probably do what I’ve always done, which is to catch up during summer reruns.

I finally started acting my age and stopped watching Vampire Diaries.

Cut from the Lineup

  • FlashForward – I really wanted to be excited about this show. Yet every week something was missing. I didn’t find any of the characters compelling, and wasn’t sure why it really mattered what they saw in the future and what they would do about it now. And it took them forever to introduce Charlie – I mean Dominic Monaghan’s character! In every preview, they would show him, but he didn’t actually have much screen time until several episodes in. By that time, I had already decided to bail. Perhaps this show was trying to do too much with too many characters. What worked for Lost doesn’t seem to be working for it. I have a feeling this one won’t make it past season one.
  • Vampire Diaries – All along, I felt too old to be watching this show. I rolled my eyes at all the exaggerations of teen angst, and the absence of authority figures. It seems like most of the grown ups were only introduced so they could be killed off (such as the football coach and the reporter). I was intrigued enough by the family dynamics between Stefan and Damon, and Damon really is a fun character. However, the final nail in the coffin was all the mumbo jumbo about crystals and such, and the secret society who vowed to protect the town from vampires. It was all a little hokey. Why not just stick to the formula of a teen who falls in love with a brooding but good-hearted vampire, who happens to have an evil, trouble-making vampire brother? The show seems to be a hit for the CW, and I am sure many fans will continue to enjoy it. I, however, am relieved that I now have one less show to watch on Thursday nights.

"Modern Family" is one of my favorite shows this season

Second Team

These are shows that I’m still watching regularly, but sometimes weeks after they air. In other words, they aren’t “must see.”

  • 30 Rock – Still funny, but I’m not compelled to watch it immediately
  • The Office – Continues to be hit or miss. I don’t like the direction the show has taken Jim’s character lately, portraying him as a fish out of water in his co-manager position.
  • Community – Community seems to be getting better with each episode. We just watched the Green Week episode, which was hilarious, particularly the montage sequence that had Senor Chang salsa dancing at the “Greene Daye” concert, while Shirley gave an inspiring speech about brownies, and Abed and Troy sang “Somewhere Out There” to coax their lab mouse out of hiding. Comic genius.
  • Modern Family – Modern Family also gets better with each episode. I love how it balances quirky and deadpan humor with characters that are actually lovable. I like all the characters on the show, which is very rare on today’s brand of sitcom. On the latest episode that I watched, which had to do with a “stolen” bicycle, toddler time, and the installation of a ceiling fan, I was really touched by the ending. Jay (Ed O’Neill) and Gloria’s wine country getaway plans are spoiled when Manny’s father cancels his plan to take him to Disneyland. Rather than tell Manny the truth about his deadbeat dad, Jay sacrifices his and Gloria’s kid-free weekend, telling Manny that his dad wanted them to take him to Disney World, and that he had sent a limo to take them there. That was really sweet. And like Jay said, the most important part of being a dad is just showing up. Sniff, sniff. This show really deserves a post all its own, so I won’t praise it anymore right now.

Glee remains a joy to watch

My Must-See TV

  • SYTYCD – I’m still enjoying this show, although this season’s choreography and performances have been underwhelming, except for a handul of my favorite couples. I’m used to investing more time into this show during its summer runs, but since it’s up against so many fall shows, I’ve devoted much less time to blogging about it. I vote that they return to a summer-only format.
  • Glee – I am in love with this show. While some episodes are better than others, and some of the humor is just plain silly, there is plenty to make up for those small complaints. The musical numbers are always fun, Sue Sylvester is the funniest character on tv, and every episode ends on an uplifting note that has me either cheering for the characters or celebrating life itself. Can one little tv show achieve all that? Apparently so.
  • V – ABC, why must you be so cruel? Four episodes? That’s it? And now we have to wait until March?! I am disappointed to learn that the ratings have plummeted, and I hope that someone will generate enough buzz to get this show back on America’s radar. It is certainly worth it! I was fascinated by the first four episodes. It was very different from the 1980s miniseries, but that wasn’t a bad thing. I like both versions. In this new version, the acting is top notch, the cinematography and special effects are impressive, and the story is compelling and very applicable to our society’s current concerns (healthcare, vaccinations, terrorism, etc.). Perhaps they should have just made this into another miniseries, because it will be very disappointing if the show gets canceled before we know how it ends!
  • Fringe – How strange that this is the only one hour drama that I am currently watching (now that V is on a long hiatus). It used to be that I only watched a couple of comedies, and several one hour shows. Maybe I just don’t have the time anymore, or maybe there are more good comedies than dramas right now). With Lost and 24 scheduled to kick off in the next couple of months, my tv lineup will be more balanced. But for now, I remain fascinated by this scifi/thriller/mystery/drama. Olivia, Peter, and Walter are all characters that I care about, and the mysteries are a satisfying blend of disturbing and riveting. I got really antsy waiting for this show to return during Fox’s baseball playoffs coverage. I’m glad that at least one good new show from last season has continued to be successful.

So there you have it. I now have three must-see shows, plus another four comedies that I enjoy watching. That’s all that remains from an original batch of 15 shows that I was considering watching. Have you lost interest in any of this season’s shows? Which ones are you still loving?

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Glee 1.10: Ballads November 19, 2009

Filed under: Glee,Music,Television — Emily @ 2:32 pm
Tags: , ,

This week’s episode of Glee was one of my favorites yet. While some of the episodes have struggled to find the right balance of “funny” and “sweet,” this one was perfect. I laughed, I cried, I tapped my foot, and after the credits rolled I was singing the ballads that were so entertaining. My only complaint is that we didn’t get our weekly dose of Jane Lynch, aka Sue Sylvester. Maybe she needed a week off to get her edge back, after going soft in the last episode.

The best way to dissect this episode is to look at the ballads, since these songs reflected the characters’ struggles, triumphs, and awkward dilemmas:

Rachel and Mr. Schuester sing "Endless Love"

  • “Endless Love” – Rachel and Mr. Schuester kicked off the glee club’s ballad assignment by singing Rachel’s favorite ballad – a song that turned out to be highly inappropriate for her to be singing with her teacher, and which set off a major crush that led to many funny moments in the episode. I knew this would be a special episode when all the voice-overs started during this song; while most of the students were thinking about trivial things, Rachel was admiring Will’s eyes, and his dental hygiene. I loved Will’s reaction to the crazed look in Rachel’s eyes: his eyes got wider and wider, and the look on his face became more and more uncomfortable. It was so at odds with the song lyrics, that it was highly entertaining. Meanwhile, their duet was fantastic. All in all, this segment worked well on many different levels.
  • “I’ll Stand by You” – I like this song, and I liked Finn’s performance of it. It was silly, yet sweet, that he was singing to the ultrasound video of the baby, but for the audience it’s also a little sad, since that baby isn’t really his. The moment between him and his mom was touching – upon seeing the ultrasound video, she realized that Quinn was pregnant, and her reaction was to comfort her son, who had broken down in her arms. That was a much better parenting technique than the one we saw from Quinn’s mom and dad later in the episode.
  • “Don’t Stand So Close to Me/Young Girl” mash-up – This may have been my favorite moment of the whole episode. After Emma suggests that Will let Rachel down gently through a song, he performs a mash-up of Sting’s “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and Gary Puckett’s “Young Girl.” First of all, what a fantastic mash-up it was, and second of all, Matthew Morrison once again gave an amazing performance. I loved how he was pleading for Rachel to understand his very clear message, through his dancing, his tone of voice, his looks of desperation, and most significantly, the lyrics. Of course, Rachel and Emma were both so enamoured with his performance that they didn’t notice the meaning. Speaking of Emma’s infatuation with Will, I am glad that the show has toned it down a bit. It is mostly a one-sided deal now, whereas for awhile Will seemed to be showing an interest in her.
  • “Crush” – What an awkward moment, when Rachel pushed “play” on the mix CD she made for her and Mr. Schuester, and started singing Jennifer Paige’s flirtatious “Crush.” The whole car ride was painfully awkward, but also amusing.
  • “Having My Baby” – Speaking of awkward, what a way to break the news of their teenage daughter’s pregnancy to two prim and proper parents: serenading the whole family in the middle of dinner with a Paul Anka song that includes lyrics like “I can see it, your face is glowing” and “the seed inside you, can you feel it growing.” In the midst of the song it was funny, but as soon as Quinn’s parents turned a cold shoulder it became very sad. It really wasn’t Finn’s place to tell them the news, but I guess we’re supposed to think that Quinn needed his support and didn’t have the strength to do it alone. Once again, Finn’s mom came through and offered to let Quinn stay with them as long as she wants to, after Quinn’s parents kicked her out.
  • “Lean on Me” – After an episode full of ups and downs, crushes and crushing moments, it was nice to end with such an uplifting, sweet moment. The whole glee club showed their support for Quinn and Finn by singing the ultimate friendship song. “Lean on me, when you’re not strong, and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on…” I loved the camaraderie that was represented through this song – despite all the people giving Quinn and Finn a hard time, they have their glee club buddies to depend on. Sniff, sniff. And they sang every last drop out of the music and lyrics. I was ready to stand up and sing along with them, but I didn’t, because then I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate their voices! After hearing Amber Riley (Mercedes) singing the national anthem at the World Series, I have an even greater respect for her voice and overall star power. Those American Idol contestants wouldn’t stand a chance competing against her! “Lean on Me” was a great ending to a great episode.

The main non-singing related aspect of the episode that I enjoyed was Sarah Drew’s guest starring role as Suzy Pepper. She was worlds away from her role as the soft-spoken and sweet, but level-headed Hannah on Everwood. I was amused that she is still playing high school student roles, even though she’s nearly 30 years old. She was great as the neurotic, hot pepper-eating, student who had never gotten over her out of control crush for Mr. Schuester. I’d love to see more of this character on future episodes.

What did you love about this episode? Am I the only one that thinks it was one of the best yet, or was it really that good?

 

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?