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Gloomy, rainy Saturday = TV/talk time!

Once again, there are a ridiculous number of topics in this post. It's the best way to safeguard against criticism.

1. Ugh. As cool as the dinosaurs look for Terra Nova in the first trailer I've actually watched, I see no way it can become the fandom love I want it to be due to suffering from EPIC casting fail. Not one of the four main family members is someone I want to watch. Jason O'Mara: boring average joe. The kid who plays his son: a face that inspires SEETHING CONTEMPT left over from his role on Life Unexpected. The woman I'm assuming is his wife, and her daughter: criminally boring and not attractive in the slightest. Fail, fail, fail, fail!
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2. You know what has an unexpectedly great opening theme song? "Due South." My dad's been on a kick with that show lately. Even with a tame wolf, I can't get into it, but I love the intro, especially the hook that kicks in around 00:24. Play it once and see if you can ever get it out of your head. Distressingly, the actual song does not live up once lyrics get added.
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3. And now it's time for a little game I like to call, "Thoughts on radio hits that RS stores up during her 10 hours in the car each week." 

* Adele is the opposite of Lady Gaga, in that I find her a lovely and respectable human being, but her music makes me want to claw the steering wheel. Well, not the exact opposite; her music isn't offensive, it's just annoying and boring as sin. For example, I kept hearing "Rolling in the Deep" without knowing who sang it, only knowing that every time it came on the radio it sounded like 1960's R&B, and/or mercifully-one-hit-wonder Duffy -- SNOOZEFEST. I am 3 for 3 on reacting to her songs like this. Please remove her from music.

* In contrast, I just discovered that another recognizable radio song is by Jessie J and called "Price Tag," and I don't love it, but it sounds like a 90's throwback to when music that had a sort of hip-hop flavor was actually bearable, TLC-style. I applaud it and sing along on principle.

* Finally heard Avril Lavigne's "What the Hell." Do not understand the appeal. It's nice enough for a radio hit, don't get me wrong -- so much better than most of the crap they are playing this days -- but those are some obnoxious, grown-up-brat lyrics. And still with the clapping/chanting nonsense. What's the opposite of outgrowing a thing? Because she's doing that.

* Heard a rather alluring song on the drive home last night (outside of prime listening hours, when they always play better music), and was a little surprised to discover it was Madonna, "La Isla Bonita." Never even heard of it. Good to know that she occasionally has non-sucky hits! Not really enough to earn her eternally successful cult status -- it's ridiculous that she's been in the business so long. or at all -- but enough to subtract maybe 3% of my ire. Music List worthy? Maybe.

* I love when there are songs that ping my "I know this!" radar, but I can't figure out why or what they are, because I recognize them but they sound wrong. Always, always, it turns out that the reason is I know the Glee version better. Usually this happens with "Gives You Hell" (5 or 6 times now, seriously), but lately it keeps happening with Maroon 5's "Misery." It takes a good 30 seconds before the memory of the Warblers kicks in. I gotta go edit that review, because I was not enthused with the original performance, but over time and repeated exposure to the whiny original, it's become my second favorite of theirs?

* I notice that ever since I gave in to the universe and agreed to love "Alejandro" and..."not entirely hate" Bad Romance, Lady Gaga has been completely absent from my airwaves. Days now, nothing! Except for "Born This Way," whose cloying and gag-worthy Message of Hope lyrics actually *are* the first time her music has ticked me off as much as the singer herself.

* Katy Perry continues to be everywhere, although blissfully these radio stations do not play her first song, and mostly they confine themselves to "Firework," which always fools me into thinking it's a respectable new song before I recognize the chorus. Its lyrics are decent enough that I'm going to let Lea Michele's performance win me over, because all I ever see when I hear it is Rachel Berry's love song to herself anyway. Remind me to update that Glee review too.

[edit: oh God...too many radio listens; I like Katy Perry's version better! Lea Michele's voice sounds...like it's somehow not full or rich enough? This is wrong. Fine. I'll hear this, but in my head, I'm still envisioning Rachel confidently belting it out.]

* And finally: one of the blessings/curses to having two radio stations that play similar stuff to flip between is that sometimes, you will hit the same song or artist twice in a 45-minute period. Sometimes it backfires (DIE, BRUNO MARS); other times, you manage something like this: as soon as "Don't Let Me Get Me" ended and something dull came on, triggering a switch, the other station followed five seconds later with "Who Knew." What are the odds of not only back-to-back Pink, but not even her current hits?
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4. Still not discussing last week's Glee. But it does contain one of Glee's most beautiful performances ever, and I want to talk about it more.


Put up with the flipped video and just appreciate that YouTube has it. The first time I heard it, I was frustrated that I'd never heard of the original "Unpretty," because the lyrics seemed amazing. But I've since found out it's by TLC, and I like TLC, but they are nowhere near pretty enough for this music**; it is a hundred thousand times better slightly blended with a very slow version of I Feel Pretty (bonus: I am not a fan of West Side Story and have always found that song tiresome; now it's amazing).

[**seriously, whenever you hear me mention that a song is wasting its lyrical potential and I wish it could be covered by a lovely female vocalist? This is EXACTLY the remake I'm dreaming of]

And I love how brilliantly the lyrics work for Quinn and Rachel, be it the former's personal insecurities or the latter's response to the relentless, targeted torment she hands out. Every single line seems laden with meaning, even though I am rejecting the HELL out of Quinn's manufactured backstory this week. Not just because it josses my favorite pre-series fanfic where Quinn & Rachel used to be friends before high school, but because it's unpleasant and none of it makes any sense so I'm Just Saying No.

[except to say: it does not, contrary to Larda's criticism, make her a "fraud"; I respect beautiful women more than ever if they've had the willpower to transform themselves into swans, as could we all if we were less lazy -- I just think that Quinn is a much more compelling and appealing character if she's always been beautiful and had the world handed to her on a platter, and yet has all these insecurities anyway based on nothing but self-criticism]

The point of that long-winded digression is that I love it when Quinn breaks my heart, and every time she looks at the camera with the sweetest of voices in that opening verse, that's what happens. (Rachel's great big sad eyes break my heart too, but she does that all the time in song) The fact that they actually perform it as a duet for the club allows me to bask longer in the fantasy world where Quinn actually treats her as a friend. You see the way Finn's gazing? Chin in hand, that's my exact expression while watching this screen-exploding combination of beauty and vocal magic duet.

 I also particularly love the second half, Quinn almost literally floating down the hallway, outwardly self-assured as ever, and the oh-so-pretty "oh" vocals she adds over the melody while brushing on makeup. Bonus, Mike giving Tina a peck on the cheek just adds to the magic of this performance.

Wow, that is a lot of words. In sum: I LOVE IT MORE THAN EVERYTHING EVER. So now we have to have a knock-down fight between "Born This Way" and "Blame It On The Alcohol" to figure out which episode is going home in 2nd-to-last versus 3rd-to-last place this season. I can't choose which episodes good bits outweighed their horror. I want to say this episode is decidedly worse overall, but Blaine/Rachel did not rise as high above the surrounding horrors as this clip and the first 3-5 minutes did.


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The Office, "Michael's Goodbye"
If possible, I am even happier now than I was while anticipating his exit. I'm sure with time I will be able to consider this an appropriately sentimental and/or touching goodbye, but right now, I can't even acknowledge that it was OBJECTIVELY sad; I'm just on a nonstop burst of enthusiasm here. And still multiple episodes for the season with no Michael Scott, so we can start enjoying The New World immediately.

(Did the fandom like this one? I can't stomach any reviews this week because if I read one more comment about how this is somehow a sad event or the show should end because it won't be as good without him, I will blow a gasket.)

There's really no reason I couldn't shorten & tighten up the following review into paragraphs, but my running commentary notes are surprisingly coherent, so I'm just going to leave them as they are.

-OK, it was kind of sweet how he pulled Dwight out of his temper tantrum spiral by pretending to be hopelessly ignorant about bears.

-GABE. Threatening Andy to stay away from Erin. Hot. Probably in that way that people are always whining is an "unhealthy relationship" in YA novels but which I rarely see. Clearly, this is why that trope exists. Cater to my whims, cater! (p.s. YouTube, why don't you have this moment?)

-I like how the only thing Jim has to say in response to witnessing this altercation is a totally nonplussed, "You guys are filming people when they go to the bathroom now?" And by "like," I mean "am laughing hysterically at his expression."

-World's Best Boss Dundie. ;)

-PHYLLIS GAVE AWAY A BABY? WHAT?!  WHY WERE WE NOT TALKING ABOUT PHYLLIS'S HUGE SECRET IN SPOILERS? IT SEEMS LIKE WE SHOULD PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THIS.

-"You sold us all on Andy. A product that nobody wanted." LIKE HELL he sold us "all." I am still fiercely trying to "return to sender" with everything I've got.

-"You should never settle for who you are." Exactly! That is the kind of lesson we needed to truck over to Glee this week.

-I have no idea why I'm laughing at Michael's laughter over how little Oscar thinks of him, but I am.

-Ooh, YouTube does have this part: "Walk away, bitch."

GABE!!!!! Stars. My eyes fill with stars when he talks. He is such an inexplicably lovable weirdo. Here, I know how to explain it -- imagine how you feel about Andy.  That's my response to Gabe.

-Michael suddenly crying in the background of the break room is the single saddest thing I have seen about him leaving, and not so much because I feel sorry for him, but because it reminds me of my own life and senior year before graduation. I'm pretty sure I did this exact thing in the back of at least a couple classrooms, sitting alone and watching people who weren't friends enough to contact outside of school and thus would never see again, but whom I adored with everything I had.

-Michael's number one concern about moving is that all the TV channels will be different. Thumbs up for true priorities.

-It was pretty adorable that the mere sound of Holly's voice snapped him out of his temporary I-can't-do-this insanity.

-...Toby has a brother in Boulder. Michael's face! Oh my God, this is the greatest thing ever.

-Gabe (chasing Erin into the women's restroom): now 2x more aggressively stalkery...and correspondingly hot. Seriously, you can't even see my eyes behind the giant cartoon stars. At least half of this response is straight up rebellion against 3-5 years of the internet's anti-Twilight railing, but part of me is oddly fond of his confusion and frustration and completely irrational behavior in response. He looks like he doesn't know whether to yell or cry or maybe just curl up in the fetal position under his desk; I can't help it, it's endearing.

-I am reasonably certain that Elf/Andy subplot was the least necessary thing ever. Except for the brief, wonderful moment in which Andy held a puppy dog, which is always precious, even if it's a relatively ugly wirehaired terrier mix. I hope the entire storyline is cut for time in syndication so the rest of the scenes can stay in.

-...wait, I thought Erin was an orphan? She got given up for adoption AND orphaned, or just nobody wanted her from the onset? (I can see that. Perhaps her stupidity was evident from infancy. Probably the only baby who couldn't figure out how to wave her hands/feet.)

-Michael kissing the top of her head was the very first time I felt the paternal vibes other people talk about. Very Gibbs/Abby. ♥

-Choked Up Jim gets me every time. Every. Time.

-I really liked that last shot of everyone just going about their business like a typical workday, even though that's something we hardly ever actually see. (seriously -- this hasn't resembled an ordinary working office season one)

-"Let me know if this thing ever airs?" Lol. Love this part, along with the ceremonial stripping of the mic pack -- so many things you start to forget even exist.

-The Pam/Michael goodbye was pretty sweet. I really don't think all that much of their relationship the way everyone else does (I see Stockholm Syndrome born of all those years as the right-hand receptionist?), but I'm always up for Teary Pam and hugging.

-Jim & Dwight's shared "Oh, boy" glance at the end: awesome. But not awesome enough to provide a reason for that gross tag to exist. Could we redo this scene with a blender in place of a cake? That's my thing this week. People's faces + blenders, in hopefully fatal combinations.  

-In conclusion: impossible for it actually make me sad, but not too shabby. Excellent, subtle work.

(Meanwhile: I'm still so excited that the show gets to go on! Giddy, actually. I still can't believe this impossible dream is coming true.)
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Dear 30 Rock: quit being weirdly heavy! That means you are to fix this nonsense with Avery immediately. I'm all invested and stuff now that they're married. (p.s. Margaret Cho does some hilarious work. It's been a long time since I've laughed that hard at this show.) (p.s. #2: I laughed long and heartily at the musical time-advancing montage as well)
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Community is next on my to-watch list, but I'm afraid right now I've gotten super ultra distracted by the 45-second preview clip of Josh Holloway doing things sexily, as he does, and my eyes have sort of glazed over in rapture and inability to process episodes of this series that he is not in.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
stunt_muppet
May. 1st, 2011 01:46 am (UTC)
I really don't like Born This Way. I like the idea of it, the whole be-whoever-you-are message, but it's so trite and simply done, with none of the lyrical cleverness of, say, Bad Romance.

But, hey, speaking of Katy Perry, you know how I said "Alejandro" was the Gaga song for people who didn't like Gaga? From what fandom seems to telling me, ET seems to be the Katy Perry song for people who don't like Katy Perry, myself included. Might want to give it a shot and see what you think?
rainbowstevie
May. 1st, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
Lyrical cleverness of...Bad Romance? You will have to enlighten me.

ET: Holy crap, I just heard this for the first time earlier today and was trying to figure out who it could possibly be. It's not bad. Doesn't blow me away -- too electronic, kind of slow with insufficient storytelling, and "infect me with your love" just sounds wrong -- but it's kinda fun for a listen.

There are Doctor Who fanvids to this, right?
(sorry! that's where my brain goes, knowing fandom as I do. Seems especially Eleven/Amy in nature) :P
stunt_muppet
May. 1st, 2011 03:13 am (UTC)
I don't know, I find the simplicity of it combined with the catchyness to be rather clever. It's got obvious double entendres, but they're not the double-entendres you'd think there'd be, and they fit in nicely with the staccato sound of the lyrics in general. It's hard to explain, but I find the song fascinating even aside from enjoying it. Doesn't help that it got stuck in my head for three months.

I know, it doesn't sound like her at all! It's only after focusing on it for a bit that I can hear the similarities in her voice.

There are apparently busloads of Eleven/Amy vids to this song - check the sidebar on this first one. Granted, I haven't checked them all to see if they're any good, but your instincts are apparently spot-on.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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