Warning # 1: by reading this, you might die of chronic boredom.
Warning # 2: it will be infested with spoilers.
Warning # 3: my stupid opinions are just that – stupid opinions. If at any point they seem patronizing, then… what? They are stupid opinions. Just ignore them and move on.
In the final installment of Audiovisual Summer of Doom: Not much, really. SYTYCD reaches its 100th episode, preceded by a massive tear fest; BBC Northern Ireland comes up with the goods again; and I conclude this series with a scorecard of sorts.
Kill me, I’m on Twitter
I’ve finally surrendered to the power of the Twitter tractor beam. I fought against it for so long. But I am weak, very weak.
Here’s the thing: I tend to be a very quiet person. Sometimes I can be borderline autistic. So for a person that doesn’t say much, Twitter is kind of perfect. However, I am finding it terribly difficult to come up with one-liners for my twitter account. I guess what I normally don’t say, I have to write extensively.
So at this point I don’t really know what to do with my twitter account. I can only post from my computer, so weekly updates will do. I did promise I’d stab myself with a fork if I ever got a twitter account. I haven’t done it yet.
Maybe I should stay away from forks for a while.
Occupation – a micro review
“What happened to you?”
“I went to Iraq. Why? What happened to you?”
This is a miniseries, starring James Nesbitt and Stephen Graham, about 3 former British soldiers who return to Basra for different reasons. The biggest merit of this BBC Northern Ireland production is that it doesn’t glamorize war in any way. There is no talk about honor or a sense of duty to their country. There’s no clear definition of who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. This is a story of three men who are severely changed by war and must pay the consequences of their personal change.
Occupation is brilliantly cast and produced. And if you’re capable of understanding thick Irish accent, I very enthusiastically recommend it.
So You Think You Can Dance – Episode 99
Amusement and deep concern with a bit of cynicism come to mind when a reality competition calls for guest judges that have absolutely nothing to do with what the competition is about. Case in point: Quentin Tarantino for American Idol. I mean, love the guy, but how is he relevant as a mentor to the little singers and to the music industry, aside from being great at putting together awesome soundtracks for his films? Though one could argue plenty about the actual relevance of American Idol to the music industry, but that’s not the point.
“Well, I can do that!”
Ellen DeGeneres was announced as one of the guest judges for the 99th episode of SYTYCD and I thought: Love her, but what the hell is a comedian /talk show host doing as a dance competition judge? As I expected, she didn’t bring anything relevant as a judge, and her comments were, for the most part, textbook comic relief. However, she gave the show some levity and humor, which was appreciated. I just hope celebrity guest judges don’t become the norm for this show.
So, on to the performances:
Season 2 runner-up Travis Wall was asked to choreograph the group routine after his fabulous debut as a choreographer the previous week. And the judges praised him in every possible way. I don’t think it’s one of the best group routines ever on the show, but I think it was one of the coolest routines of the season. It wasn’t trying to convey any story or emotion, it wasn’t trying to send any message, it was just about kids having fun at a futuristic rave. And I am now completely obsessed with the song. I can’t get it out of my head.
Aside from that performance, this episode was as weird as this season has been. The first half of the show, with the exception of the first Jazz routine, was the snooze fest of the season; tiny, adorable, geeky looking Broadway Evan got to do a Rumba where he suddenly got sexy in a Zoolander sort of way; then came the Pop Jazz routine that brought back some life into the show and got such praise that the choreographer shed some tears; and finally, the cancer routine came along and everybody shed tears.
Yes, there was a contemporary routine, choreographed by Tyce D’Orio, about a friend of his who has breast cancer. It was performed by Ade and Melissa, two dancers who began to fade fast in the last couple of weeks and had a very weak routine earlier in the episode. The cancer routine was beautiful. When it was done, Melissa was crying, her husband (in the audience) was crying, and the massive snowball effect began, because EVERYBODY cried. The judges didn’t just shed a few tears. They were full on bawling like their mothers had been slaughtered right in front of them. There’s been much discussion online about this routine. Many found it emotionally manipulative. And maybe if the routine had been about “a woman with breast cancer” and not “a choreographer’s friend with breast cancer”, the routine would have gotten lots of praise but not to the extent of having all the judges fall apart the way they did. In the end, it was a great routine and it saved Melissa and Ade.
So You Think You Can Dance – Episode 100
Not many TV shows reach 100 episodes. It’s a big accomplishment that should be celebrated in a very special way. Unfortunately for SYTYCD, the 100th episode was an elimination show. I was disappointed because I wanted more highlights from past seasons, maybe a montage for each season, and I think it should have been 2 hours long. Instead we got a tiny montage summarizing all seasons, the 3 Emmy winning performances, the Katie Holmes thing, and the usual elimination stuff. What I didn’t like about it was how they tried to make the viewing audience believe those 4 routines were live when it had been previously reported online that they were all prerecorded a few weeks ago. It looked kind of ridiculous when, after each of the special performances, Cat Deely and whoever was standing next to her looked at the stage and thanked the performers that weren’t even there.
That being said, The 3 emmy winning performances were excellent. I’ve never particularly liked Mia Michaels’ The Bench but it was well performed. Wade Robson’s The Hummingbird and The Flower and Ramalama were awesome. Here’s Ramalama, with season 2’s top ten and Wade Robson himself:
Then there’s the Katie Holmes special performance, a performance that had been hyped endlessly by many from the SYTYCD camp. In the end, it was fine. It wasn’t impressive, but I don’t think it was as bad as many think. And there are plenty of people who hated this performance. I have the impression that half of the haters think Katie Holmes’ performance was simply inferior to the contestants’ performances, and half of the haters simply hate Katie Holmes. But the performance was for charity, so who cares if she lip-synced the whole thing and barely danced.
And then Janette and Jason were eliminated. Too bad, because Janette was the dark horse of the competition. In the end, the 100th episode ended up being an extra special elimination show, but not really that great for being “the 100th episode”.
This is the end, my friends…
I decided to end Audiovisual Summer of Doom now because there just aren’t any more things I’m looking forward to this summer. All the good stuff will come our way in the fall, and all the good summer stuff has already aired.
So here are my final conclusions about things reviewed in this little blog series:
Burn Notice: Getting better every week. I personally volunteer to discipline Jeffrey Donovan if he gets arrested for another DUI.
So You think You can Dance season 5: Weird season, seems rigged at times. “Where’s the magic, people? Where’s the magic?”
Love ‘n Dancing: No.
Christina Aguilera’s Candyman: Thank you for bringing swing back to our time.
The Lindy Hop Showdown video: I still want to learn to do that!
Mental: Stopped watching after third episode.
Terminator Salvation: Not the profound experience I expected, but pretty fun anyway.
The Girls’ Guide to Comic Con 2009: Still pathetic.
Leading Ladies: Not much info on this one yet, but looks promising.
Push: Love it.
Five Minutes of Heaven: Love it more.
True Blood: Doing great until episode 5, when Sookie and Bill got extra slimy and made me want to stake them both. But the other characters remain great.
Angels & Demons: It gave me Action Padre McKenna, so I’ll forever love it.
John Safran vs. God: Priceless.
LG monitors: DAMN YOU TO HELL YOU BASTARDS!!!
Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince: Loved it.
10 Things I Hate About You: No, no, no… Give me a Larry Miller – fronted comedy any day. But not this.
Virtuality: Disappointing but I didn’t hate it.
Watchmen – The Director’s Cut: OMG!! LOVED IT!!!!!
Did you notice the lack of Transformers: Revenge of the Asshats? I couldn’t bring myself to buy a ticket. So I’ll rent it someday. Who knows, maybe I’ll love it.
And that’s all. I liked this format for my blog. I’ll probably write a similar series for the fall. After all, there’s season 6 of SYTYCD, season 2 of SYTYCD Canada, House, Fringe, a second season of Darker Than Black (Yay!!), Dollhouse, Family Guy, The Cleveland Show (What? Really?), The Beautiful Life, The Vampire Diaries…
Oh gods, there’s so much to watch…
I hope any of you found this little series at least a little bit entertaining!
And now, the final YouTube video of the week:
Is it a short film? Is it a commercial? Who cares! It is simply divine.