Monday, March 31, 2008

Call Me Fully Teased - Loving the So You Think You Can Dance Canada Teaser

Doesn't the teaser commercial for CTV's So You Think You Can Dance Canada auditions totally rock?

Wow, that's two CTV posts in a row. You'd think I work for them. (I don't but I used to work indirectly (for one of their shows)).

I've been wanting to post this for a couple of weeks now but couldn't find it anywhere on the net, but someone finally posted a bad qualitied version up, so it'll have to do for now.

The song is apparently Tiga's "You Gonna Want Me".

Auditions begin next week on April 7th.

Check below after the jump for the full audition schedule. Get those dancing shoes on and show us your best stuff!!!

Word is the show is going to be taped at The Elgin Theatre in Toronto (which explains why Spring Awakening and the rest of the Mirvish subscription series isn't moving into the best theatre in Toronto).

Apparently it will be shown this fall on CTV (and my guess, on MTV or MuchMusic now that they own both, and the fact the commercial runs a billion times a day on those channels too).

Auditions dates and cities:

Vancouver, BC
Monday, April 7
The Centre in Vancouver for the Performing Arts
777 Homer Street

Halifax, NS
Monday, May 5
Cunard Centre
961 Marginal Rd,

Calgary, AB
Monday, May 12
MacEwan Conference & Event Centre,
2500 University Drive N.W.

Montreal, QC
Tuesday, May 27
Théâtre St-Denis
1594 St-Denis Street

Toronto, ON
Tuesday, June 10
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
John Bassett Theatre
255 Front Street West

Among the rules and regulations that should be noted for the auditions:

- Competitors must be either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

- All competitors must be legally eligible to work in Canada.

- Competitors must be of the age of majority in the province/territory in which they reside and no older than 30 years of age as of April 1, 2008. The age of majority is as follows: 18 years of age in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan; and 19 years of age in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut and Yukon.

- All competitors must provide two pieces of identification, including a government-issued photo ID (e.g. driver's licence or passport), at the audition.

- Competitors may bring a non-competing dance partner for purposes of the audition.

- All competitors must bring with them, along with the proper ID, the signed personal release, the completed preliminary questionnaire, and the music sheet. All will be available at the audition site and for download soon at

- All competitors are asked to bring with them the completed music sheet indicating the music they will use in their audition, along with the CD containing the indicated music.

- All songs must be "original" songs that are commercially available and cannot be a re-mix of a song, a song downloaded from the Internet, or a competitor-created mix.

- Competitors must not wear any article of clothing with visible designer, sports or any other name, logos and/or artwork subject to protection by copyright or trademark laws.

Eligible? Click to view full Eligibility Requirements!

For More on So You Think You Can Dance:
Check here for the most Recent current postings and Latest News on SYTYCD
So You Think You Can Dance - Season 3:
Live Tour - Toronto, Pasha's Solo Video, Neil's Solo Video
Finale - Winner Result
Top 4 Performances - Finals
Top 6 Performances, Top 6 Results
Top 8 Performances, Top 8 Results
Top 10 Performances, Top 10 Results
Top 12 Performances, Top 12 Results
Top 14 Performances, Top 14 Results
Top 16 Performances, Top 16 Results
Top 18 Performances, Top 18 Results
Top 20 Performances, Top 20 Results
For So You Think You Can Dance Season 2:
Favorite Video Clips
Song List
Live Tour 2006 - Toronto
Live Tour 2006 - Buffalo, Pics, More Pics

More After the Jump...

iPod Playlist - The Week Of The Junos Edition

The Juno Awards (not to be confused with the American movie filmed in Canada starring a Canadian as the lead title character, Juno) are on later this week on Sunday on CTV live from Calgary this year (starting at 8pm EST, calculate from there and then gripe about how everything revolves around EST and then shove it).

For those of you not living in Canada, or even for those of you that do, the Juno's is our big music awards, the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy's.

If you release an album that qualifies as "Canadian", you will probably be nominated for a Juno Award.

It's just that easy!

If your music actually hit it big in the states (see Nelly Furtado, Celine Dion, Michael Buble, Feist, Arcade Fire, Avril Lavigne, Rufus Wainwright, Nickleback, Sum 41 etc.), you are GUARANTEED to win.

If you show up, you're going to SWEEP.

That being said, I actually enjoy the Juno telecast WAY more than the Grammy's, especially since they reinvented the event a few years back when they started to present them as a concert like setting in a different Canadian city every year. Plus, their choices of hosts have actually usually worked out better than one would think. Nelly Furtado, Alanis Morisette, and Shania Twain were all surprisingly fantastic in their years. Pamela Anderson was not as bad as you would have thought (though got booed for denouncing the seal hunt but that just made me love her more). Brent Butt was dryly funny as always (he's a Canadian comedian with a hit Canadian sitcom. The only hit Canadian sitcom).

This year, the host for the Junos is Russell Peters! RUSSELL PETERS!!!

I know. This probably doesn't mean anything to many of you, especially the white folks, but the rest of us ethnics LOVE Russell Peters. Hmm... in fact, I think I'll post more on him later this week. You're going to love Russell Peters, if only because it shows how diverse you are!

Anyways, back to music. So like the Grammy's, there are WAY too many nominees to even wrap your brain around, but here are two bands (both nominated for Best New Band) that I've been liking for a while:

Faber Drive - "When I'm With You":

Then there is Dragonette, kinda like Scissor Sisters goes lesbian (I don't know if they are, I'm just saying, it feels that way):
Dragonette - "I Get Around":

Here are a few others that I've liked throughout the year that probably never made it across the border.

Aaron Lines - "Somebody's Son" (Best Country Recording) (Plus he's real purty, yes, I'm shameless):

Justin Nozuka - "Mr. Therapy Man" (Best New Artist):

Jully Black - "Seven Day Fool" (Best R&B/Soul Recording, Single of the Year) (she's also a great guest host on the very white Chum FM morning show):

More After the Jump...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

TV Blog Coalition - March "It's Finally Ending" Madness

Between all the snow in Toronto, being overworked on both jobs, and that basketball thingy, I'm ready for March to end. Luckily, April brings showers, lets hope some flowers, some much needed time off (uh, I said screw it and took a leave of absence from one job for April, which sadly gives me less money for more time to spend money, isn't that always the case?), and most of TV WILL BE BACK!!! YAHOO!!!

Can't Wait! Although my PVR is almost full which, considering almost nothing has been on, I've still somehow managed to tape enough stuff to fill it, I'm going to have to do some massive catching up and/or purging before the onslaught of the post-strike episodes of all our favorite shows return during the month of April. In the meantime, catch up with what the TV bloggers have been talking about this week:

With pilot season finally kicking into gear, Buzz wondered if you could tell the real pilots from the fakes. (BuzzSugar)

This week, Sandie proclaimed her love for Doctor Who and Torchwood. (Daemon's TV)

Even Britney couldn't ruin this week's How I Met Your Mother for Mikey. He's also pretty sure joining Mother would be better use of Sarah Chalke's talents than another season of Scrubs. (Mikey Likes TV)

Pop Vultures looked back at the first nine episodes of Pushing Daisies and risked inciting an angry mob by saying some unkind things. (Pop Vultures)

Rae finally shares her "Adopt A Writer" interview with writer Lisa Klink whose TV credits include Star Trek: Voyager, Earth: Final Conflict, and Painkiller Jane. (RTVW)

For legal reasons, Scooter cannot tell you what his latest album review was, but here is a hint: The band's name rhymes with basketball great Charles Barkley. (Scooter McGavin's 9th Green)

Vance thinks there is finally a competition starting on American Idol. (Tapeworthy)

Dan found an article on Ryan Seacrest that is one of the most disturbing portraits he's seen in a good long while. (TiFaux)

This week, Jace took advance looks at HBO's Summer Heights High and Showtime's Tracey Ullman's State of the Union and was overjoyed to chat with 30 Rock's Tina Fey and The Office's Greg Daniels and Rainn Wilson. (Televisionary)

To celebrate the return of The Office on April 10, Jennifer had the chance to chat with executive producer Greg Daniels and actor Rainn Wilson. She got Daniels to spill on whether Karen will be back, and there’s plenty of other spoilery scoop, too. (Tube Talk)

The TV Addict imagined what a Michael Sara reunion might look like on PRISON BREAK! (the TV Addict)

Kate decided that The Real Housewives of New York City is the darkest show on television (TV Filter)

More After the Jump...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Eli Stone - The Stone Angel

Eli Stone - Heal the Pain - Ep. 107, Praying for Time - Ep. 108, I Want Your Sex - Ep. 109

I've been trying to write a combined post of Eli Stone, Lipstick Jungle and Men In Trees, but it's coming out in bullet points so I'm just going to break them apart. Plus, about the only thing I have to say about Lipstick Jungle at this point (though it DID get slightly better) is that it was worth watching purely for Robert Buckley (Maybe NSFW). And Matt Lauria (as Lindsay Price's well dressed assistant). And Kerry Butler. Essentially, all the side characters and Broadway people they kept casting in guest/side roles.

And Men In Trees deserves it's own post. It's not perfect, and they are sure throwing in a LOT of doozies (like Buzz being Patrick's father wasn't enough, now Jane's parents are little people?) but they've written such enjoyable characters that I just love the show.

Which brings us to Eli Stone, where I like the characters more than the actual storylines, or particularly the lawyer cases, I enjoy the personal stuff when they actually get to it. I said it right from the start, that to differentiate themselves from every other law show (and avoiding in becoming a David Kelley show (take your pick, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, all shows I enjoyed but have now been done)). That being said, a few of the cases, have gotten better and more interesting, and I like how Eli's cases are an unveiled attempt to link it to some theme of the week coinciding with his visions and musical numbers of the week.

And how did Eli Stone sneak onto television to become essentially a musical TV show without massive (negative) attention?

The interesting thing about Eli Stone is, that it's somehow morphed into a musical show that works (in fact, they are the best part of the show) without being labeled the musical show (which killed Cop Rock and Viva Laughlin on arrival). Yet here we watch Eli Stone week after week and I look forward to the kooky musical numbers. I guess it helps that they are usually visions which make them somewhat logical in the plot.

Plus, usually there's only one number per episode to now completely throw off non-musical lovers, though last night, we got TWO! Plus a concert appearance by George Michael!

George Michael! Who finally appears for real in front of Eli (and not just a concert), and real enough so that Eli could touch him to make sure he's for real! Cute! Even cuter, watching Jordan get excited about meeting George Michael. Victor Garber rocks! (and sings! Doing another number this week! Man I wished I saw him in Damn Yankees on Broadway)

I actually liked the "I Want Your Sex" case where George Michael helps a about-to-be expelled student who uses his infamous song to disrupt an abstinence/sex education assembly. Since I like to provoke buttons that way (I did the whole condom with a cucumber show-and-tell dance number for an HIV project with the same guitar-playing-religion teacher back in the day. He was furious, but my project was rock solid so I got an A!).

I also liked the case with the judge suing his own abondoned kid for a transplant. Nice. The one with Eli trying to save the town was nice if a little overstretched, but allowed for some nice interplay with Loretta Devine's Patti. I didn't care for the baseball case, and it didn't help that the baseball player being accused was played by a former cast member of The Practice which just solidified the whole lawyer show thing. The ending was a nice twist though.

Meanwhile, they did allow Sam Jeager to stretch a bit as Matt Dowd, and I loved that they built him up to be a sweeter-than-you-thought guy, only to know instinctively that it was all a game for him. Except, he does seem sweet. He's just a playa yo! (I TOTALLY know guys like that) So I like how that character is starting to flesh out, I just wish they did it with someone other than Taylor.

Laura Benanti (who got raves in Gypsy that opened on Broadway last night! Man, Benanti had a good Thursday!) was finally back as Beth Keller, Eli's "first" and someone he seems to have a connection with, especially important now that he's dumped Taylor and made rules against dating Maggie (below with Eli, which thank god, that was so wrong to begin with even though I knew they were going to go there). Shockingly, she's been secretly dating Eli's brother Nathan (the charming if slightly underused Matt Letscher). I actually didn't see that one coming.

I'm surprised that they are really going full on about Eli seeing his visions as directions from God. I don't care who his visions are from, just as long as he keeps doing good, they keep singing, and I keep liking the characters. And Jonny Lee Miller keeps staying adorable.

His look when he discovers he's still singing in the real world as everyone stares on gets me every week!

More After the Jump...

Miss Guided - Growing and Learning

Hot Sub - Ep. 102, The List - Ep. 103, Rebel Yell - Ep. 104, Pool Party - Ep. 105

Okay, the show goes for the cheap jokes more than I would expect a show from a former The Office writer (Caroline Williams) should but since much of it is delivered by Judy Greer, I still laugh. I'm not sure if I love the show or love that I feel guilty for loving the show but I'm enjoying it despite some of the tendencies to veer towards a Fox show, so it's amazing what a good actress can do with some of the obvious cliched material.

Not that cliches are not funny. Sometimes they can be damn hilarious! And Miss Guided mines the high school is life and life is high school metaphor to its fullest level, repeating all the embarrassments in the faculty reliving their lives in that damn hormonal angst ridden filled building.

Maybe because I don't really watch SNL regularly (sorry dudes, I may love my TV but I have better things to do on my Saturday nights) but I am not tired of Chris Parnell's caricatured antics. Love them. And his sly regular guy creepiness is a nice opposition to Judy Greer's waif-like innocence and they make a nice comedic combo/rivalry.

Then there's Kristoffer Polaha, he of the bland caucasian male love-interest potential role. Except, I kinda love him, and I love Kristoffer for doing comedy, and he makes a lovely convincing good guy. Come on, I was not watching the entire series of North Shore for Amanda Righetti or Shannen Doherty. Plus, his recounting his days with the boys and making them sound gayer than it was, were hilarious line readings. Then again, they were hilarious lines!

I kinda like Brooke Burns doing comedy. Yes, she still scares me, but she hinted at her comedic chops on the short lived Pepper Dennis, and while she's certainly not at Greer, Parnell or even Polaha's level, she's not Britney (who wasn't totally bad herself, not great, but not bad) and I commend her for doing this. I feel she's LEARNING and I support that! (Okay, that was my guidance advice for the day).

The episodes are improving as I'm enjoying all the caricatures/characters more and more (well, duh, as most TV shows do before our expectations became sky high for perfect pilots). And just as ABC seems to be burning off the 7 episodes made within 3 weeks. I hope they at least give the show a longer chance for it to find it's stability but it doesn't seem like they will. Even The Office was originally written off as a ratings loser in the first season, where it was really only helmed by the fact that they were direct copies of the cult favorite originals. Miss Guided is still far better than many other comedies that have lasted longer (Carpoolers (which I actually enjoyed on some weird level), Cavemen, any comedy on Fox that lasted a season or more (except The Simpsons). So ABC, you can't let Cavemen get a bigger order of episodes than Miss Guided so time to up your order and give the show a chance to grow!

So, what's happened so far? We already had the guest star as the new Spanish sub played by exec. producer Ashton Kutcher. He wasn't so funny (was he ever, even on That 70's Show?). I don't hate the guy or anything, I actually think he's smarter than he looks, but just like in everything else he's been in, Ashton isn't so much as funny as everyone's reaction around him is. So seeing Judy Greer slowly fall for him after initially dismissing the new hot sub for someone that would dismiss her (got all that?), and watching Brooke Burns' Lisa's delusioned advances worked more than Ashton's antics themselves.

Loved Parnell's reaction to the internet gossip site when rumours of his sexuality are brought up with some choice photos, and loved the photos he provided to prove his heterosexuality. Poor Becky has her embarrassing Britney/Lindsay/any The Hills girls moment, but at least they've toned it down because it verged on painful in the pilot. At least they offset it all with direct interviews with the camera where Becky (or any other character) can excuse themselves for the embarrassment and explain themselves (despite how delusional they may have been).

The flashbacks to Becky's youth though may verge on the painful though, and they are pretty obvious jokes, but whatever, I laugh.

Especially when Becky recounted all the horrible things fellow teacher Mrs. Poole harassed her both now and in her high school days as a student.

They still haven't used Earl Billings enough but while he first seemed like the token black character they needed to add, he's now the token bigger black man who is sarcastic as hell and can deliver some lines with a monotone voice, a flicker of the eyebrow and nail the joke dead on. His name however is not Stanley, it's Principal Huffy, but the character is definitely improving now that he's getting more screen time. Loved that he hated Mrs. Poole (does Edie McClurg always play Mrs. Poole? Man, I forgot Jason Bateman was in that) just as much as everyone else in the end.

My favorite episode so far though was Rebel Yell when the good kid gets dressed up like the punk rocker to get girls and that Becky gets it and is in on the scheme. Cute!

Becky tries to be "bad" when she joins Tim and Lisa after hours at the school when the teachers must hand in their grades early, and they vandalize the school. Loved that the cops though her sponge painting of her own room was the worst case of vandalizing they had seen!

I laughed out loud throughout the episodes so far even though I felt like I had heard a lot of the set ups before, but hey, the life embarrassments are funny because they are true, so why blame them for reinventing the comedic wheel? Considering all that, the show still feels a little fresh, much to the credit to the cast and the absurd feel, but I say MORE! Go for it!

More After the Jump...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

2 Minutes To Save The World Soul

I know everyone has already posted this (or talked about it) but it was the best 2 minutes (although actually 2 min. and 28 seconds) that I need to re-live because it just makes me smile, which I so need this week month year several years lifetime.

Plus if you weren't convinced the first time, or avoided it for exactly the same reason many new people tuned in (to see Britney Spears guesting on the show), here's why you should be watching How I Met Your Mother every Mondays at 8:30 on CBS/E!Canada (I'm talking to you Michelle):

Ted's 2 Minute Date with Stella (Josh Radnor and Sarah Chalke):

The Flash version that plays slightly clearer on a bigger screen is after the jump but comes with a commercial.

I've got 2 minutes to spare, anybody wanna go out?

More After the Jump...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

American Idol - Chikezie, Meet Daniel Powter... Back in Obscurity

Top 10 Results - The cut to 9

Yea yea, it was another "SHOCKING" result. Except it really wasn't. Starting to love Syesha but that was a bad song choice last night.

I actually liked Jason Castro last night but I've never bought into him so it's more like FINALLY.

And did I not call out Chikezie last night?

Let's discuss more important things, like how iTunes ROCKS? Does it? I don't know. I just feels I've been brainwashed after the hour long commercial.

And speaking of being forced fed, what's with the new goodbye song by Ruben Studdard? It totally sucks.

I thought Ferras was this years lottery winner with the official goodbye song "Hollywood's Not America"? (Video after the jump) That seemed to last a couple weeks before things kept switching up, but I actually liked it, a LOT. I guess it was just for Hollywood week?

Speaking of which, what happened to Daniel Powter anyways?

Ferras - "Hollywood's Not America":

Ferras - Hollywoods Not America
Uploaded by davechopsuey

For more on American Idol Season 7:
Click here for the most recent posts.
Top 10 Performance Night - Okay, Now there Really IS A Race! Or I'm Just Getting Soft (includes videos of all the performances)
Top 11 Performance Night - That Old Awkward Phase (includes videos of all the performances), Results 11 to 10 - When The Stylists Finally Called In
Top 12 Performance Night - Death Race 2008 (includes videos of all the performances), Results 12 to 11 - Strippers and Prostitutes Are Not The Same Thing
Top 16 - Girls Night - Brooke's and Done, Boys Night - He Plays Piano Too?
Top 20 - Boys Night - Who Are Those Hotties - American Idol Hairdo's Edition
Top 24 - Boys Night- American, Should I Do Idol?

More After the Jump...

Oh Jesus, The Horror The Horror

I saw the scariest movie on DVD the other day. No, not Saw or Hostel or Funny Games (which seriously, the trailer alone kept me up for a week back in February and am still waiting to bleach completely from my mind). No, scarier and even more appalling.

I saw Jesus Camp. The documentary from 2006 (and nominated for an Oscar in 2007) that followed an evangelical Christian kids camp called "Kids on Fire" where kids learned to be part of God's army.

And no, the movie was not pro crazy camp. So yes, I thought it was fantastic (in its making) and horrifying (in documenting the brainwashing going on with those poor kids).

The true face of evil. Pastor Becky Fischer.

I can't believe directors Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing got such access, because Pastor Becky Fischer is so open about her whole organization that you know she really truly believes that she's doing good in the world. That is very very sad and very very frightening. Especially when you watch her kids cry as they are being "saved" and you listen to what she believes. Can I say delusional?

Sorry, I suffered made it through an all-boys Catholic high school (which was not as hot and sexy as the gay porns would have you believe) so I've done the religious thing (including a singing grade 10 religion teacher (no joke, he even started every class with his GUITAR)) and I'm not going to denounce anybody who chooses to be spiritual or anything, just please don't use religion as a crux for your own agenda. People should be good to people because we are SUPPOSED to. Not because "God" told us to.

That being said, the documentary is terrifically filmed and edited and while it pretty much doesn't hide its liberal slant, almost watching the religious zealots like some kind of weird species in a zoo, it does it quite subtly and sort of lets Becky Fischer and her clan nail themselves in hypocrisies and dated thinking and it just troubles me that another generation will be bred into small minded thinking.

It may not sound like a lot of fun to watch, and it's more aggravating than anything, but truly eye opening and strangely fascinating and enthralling in understanding how the other side works. The evil side. The evil side who thinks they are doing good. Which is the saddest part. Of course, I'm sure they are thinking the same thing about us!

You know, I love America and I even love small town middle America but like I said after seeing two other Oscar nominated documentaries, man, you guys are f#$ked.

More After the Jump...

American Idol - Okay, Now There Really IS A Race! Or I'm Just Getting Soft

Top 10 Performance Night - Theme: Songs From The Singers Birth Years (or, How To Remind the Rest of Us all How Old We've Become)

People were born in 1987? Good lord? AND they can drink? (Oh wait, I actually am friends with people born in 1987. And they can drink. And they work. Gosh darnit) I had a whole other life previous to 1987. I never watched TV before 1987 (My parents didn't let me watch anything except a few TVO shows (Ontario's PBS) and Family Ties and The Cosby Show, so as you can tell, I write a blog primarily about TV, so keeping the TV away from children doesn't necessarily work, we just make up for it later in life).

Ramiele Malubay wasn't good yet I didn't hate her. Maybe I'm feeling sorry for her. I give up being snarky this week. I'm too exhausted so I'm flying the white flag.

Jason Castro has totally flown through this competition with his pretty blue eyes, the Jack Johnson floating on a beach vibe and his niceness and I totally think it's a total crock. That being said, I actually liked his performance this week. Wow, I've really HAVE weakened this week especially when the judges hated it. I'm THAT tired to hate him this week!

Syesha Mercado sang that loud brashy, show-off-the-fantastic-voice thing. Yawn. She sounded great on a really boring song. I'm so over those torchy songs on American Idol. Still, I like her, but PLEASE differentiate yourself from every other Black female that has sung on American Idol and do something a bit different. Because you CAN stand out girl!

Chikezie was cheesy. I liked his vocals (that's saying a lot since I'm usually hard on him). Hated the arrangement/performance.

Brooke White took my breath away with her performance of "Every Breathe You Take". With the exception of the starting misstep, I loved every simplistic acoustic moment of this performance (except when the extras joined in, as Simon noted). Plus, her hair was real purty.

Michael Johns sings "We Will Rock You". Seriously? And yet, he rocked it and I actually liked it despite some serious trauma I've associated with the song. I didn't think it was the best of the night but it was great, though the song has built in energy for it so it's actually hard to lose with it.

Carly Smithson was not perfect on the vocals but I've always loved this song so it's hard to go wrong, despite the song being overused everywhere. What's with the background singers? Seriously, they've ruined a bunch of songs tonight now. It was a decent performance that wasn't perfect but I like Carly so I kinda liked it tonight. Maybe it's the accent when she talks. I'm a sucker for the accents. See Michael John.

David Archuleta was born in 1990.

Nineteen NINETY???

David sings "You're The Voice". I guess he had to. It gets right to the point. Love the voice. Meh on the actual song that I've never heard before, but love the raspy deep voice.

Kristy Lee Cook has a hot dad. Both in the old pictures and even currently. Is that wrong for me to say? I thought that's all I would have to say, especially since Kristy sang "God Bless the USA". Talk about pulling the right strings for votes to save herself again this week. And you know what? I didn't hate it. Wow, I'm so easy tonight (shut up)!

David Cook emo's out "Billie Jean" and I LOVED IT. LOVED IT. Yah yah, so it was Chris Cornell's arrangement but he rocked it! Plus I'm not sure how he's seemed to thicken his hair a bit but he's looking better every week (but still like Gossip Girl's Nate and Chuck's lovechild).

Best of the night: David Cook

Next best: Brooke White, David Archuleta, Michael Johns

I even liked: Carly Smithon, Jason Castro AND Kristy Lee Cook (whoa, was I on something tonight?)

Worst of the night: Chikezie or Ramiele Malubay? Except I didn't hate either of them.

Most forgetable of the night: Ramiele Malubay

Going home? Ramiele? Though I said that last week too. I'm almost thinking Chikezie for some reason, just cause that's what I feel in my bones is going to happen tomorrow night. Of course, now that Kristy actually did quite well, I'm sure Murphy's Law will strike her down.

All the videos of the performances are after the jump:

Ramiele Malubay - "Alone":

Jason Castro - "Fragile":

Syesha Mercado - "If I Was Your Woman:

Chikizie - "If Only For One Night":

Brooke White - "Every Breath You Take":

Michael Johns - "We Will Rock You":

Carly Smithson - "Total Eclipse of the Heart":

David Archuleta - "You're The Voice":

Kristy Lee Cook - "God Bless the USA":

David Cook - "Billie Jean":

For more on American Idol Season 7:
Click here for the most recent posts.
Top 11 Performance Night - That Old Awkward Phase (includes videos of all the performances), Results 11 to 10 - When The Stylists Finally Called In
Top 12 Performance Night - Death Race 2008 (includes videos of all the performances), Results 12 to 11 - Strippers and Prostitutes Are Not The Same Thing
Top 16 - Girls Night - Brooke's and Done, Boys Night - He Plays Piano Too?
Top 20 - Boys Night - Who Are Those Hotties - American Idol Hairdo's Edition
Top 24 - Boys Night- American, Should I Do Idol?

Thanks to Rickey for the photos.

More After the Jump...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How I Met Your Mother - Special Guess Stars

Ten Sessions - Ep 313

My laptop is in for repair so I have no computer access at home and I actually have to work at work today, so I don't have much time so let's cut to the chase.

Britney Spears: Was fine. She was decent and she didn't ruin our beloved How I Met Your Mother. In fact, she made me actually laugh out loud on PURPOSE at the end (just before being seduced by Barney) when she started chasing Ted down the street.

She could have used a better stylist since it seemed like hers stayed in therapy but Britney was decent. She didn't ruin the show and in fact, the show didn't make her a total SPECIAL GUEST STAR that they could have.

However, the real standout was Sarah Chalke. (Alicia Silverstone who?) I mean, we've know she was glorious all along in Roseanne and Scrubs of course (where she will be returning and why this re-occurring role is being cut short into this one episode (for now, that we know), but even as the episode was cute but ho-hum for most of it, mostly riding on the funny-enough-for-a-smile antics during Ted's ten sessions at Dr. Stella's to get the butterfly tattoo lasered off, Sarah shined even more than when she's with J.D.. Have we just met Ted's match?

So in an episode that probably brought the most publicity this terrific show desperately needs, the lack of laugh-out-loud one liners (and the lack of Barneyisms) in the first half worried me, I enjoyed it, but would this hook people in?

But then, Ted had his 2 minute date with Stella and I fell in love with everything about this show all over again, or actually, confirmed my love with this show all over again! And hopefully a few more viewers fell in love with Ted and the gang. (View the clip here)

In the meantime, for longtime viewers, the writers threw us a few more clues.

Is Stella the woman with the yellow umbrella? Maybe.

For one, Stella made a quick mention of going out for the only time on St. Patrick's Day.

Last week, Ted found the yellow umbrella at the club after St. Patrick's Day.

On the other hand, she already has a daughter.

On the other hand, do we actually know the name of Ted's daughter he's retelling the story to? All imdb says of Lyndsay Fonseca's character is "Daughter". As I quote the great M.C. Hammer: "Things that make you go hmm..."

More After the Jump...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Aliens in America - Always Lights My Candle

Community Theater - Ep. 113, One Hundred Thousand Miles - Ep. 114

I missed the first two post-writers strike episodes because I didn't realize the Canadian network (SUN TV) started catching up last week, but they caught up last night with the "Rent" episode from last week (on The CW) and with One Hundred Thousand Miles.

And I couldn't let Justin and Franny performing Rent pass by without mentioning it. It was just as awkward, weird, hilarious, cringeworthy, gross and sweet as you would have imagined. Kudos again to Amy Pietz for taking that role full gusto and making a character that could have totally come off as a caricature and making Franny totally realistic and relatable, even as she is singing the love song "Light My Candle" as a drug addicted cat-scratch-club-dancer (Mimi) towards her son who is playing her lover (Roger) in the community theatre production of Rent.

Also, kudos to the show and the writers for making the set up actually somewhat plausible (Franny and Justin didn't originally sign up to play lovers) AND for making the outcome actually sweet and heartwarming.

Yet on the other hand, I think I liked Claire and Raja's storyline even more. I liked that Claire TRIED to do some good by helping out at the crises call centre only to receive dirty calls from some pervert. So in order to help, Raja calls in as an "American" in trouble just to get some help from Claire, only to find themselves bonding.

I wish One Hundred Thousand Miles was funnier but they seemed to skip some of the really easy laughs that I thought they were going for for another set of easy laughs that veered the show back towards the sweet and heartwarming spectrum (but way more than the "Light My Candle" sequence).

I think I wished we saw The Tolchuks actually make it to Vancouver on a trip Franny won (loved her methods for winning silent auctions, good tip!) though mostly because it actually mentioned Canada (yey!) and we take our shout-outs any way we can.

Still, loved that Raja's praying got him in trouble at the airport (and that they simply left it at commercial break for us to fill in the blanks) and that the Tolchuks finally goes to a Mosque in search for missing Raja, who leaves because he thinks it's all his fault.

I know it was a cheap laugh but I still laughed out loud when Franny innocently asked a guy at the mosque if he had seen Raja, describing him as every generalization of a Muslim she could, in a building full of Muslims. Even funnier? When she meets the Muslim family that also has an exchange student, a blonde white boy from Europe. Loved that each family sighed at each other's exchange student in wishful longing.

So wrong yet somehow Aliens in America manages to make it so right AND heartwarming, though I could use a bit more political and societal bite the later episodes from last season had.

Or just have The Tolchuks perform Spring Awakening next time, but with Franny as Ilse.

More After the Jump...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

TV Blog Coalition - March Sleep Deprivation Madness

My brain's got nothing. At least the other TV bloggers do:

Buzz tried her hand at casting the spinoff of Beverly Hills, 90210. (BuzzSugar)

This week, we interviewed Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver about Season 2 of The Riches on FX. (Daemon's TV)

Mikey's dreams for a weekly dose of Judy Greer finally came true, and if Miss Guided's momentum doesn't slow down, it may even be worthy of her talents. (Mikey Likes TV)

Marcia lists her five favorite TV characters of the moment. Naturally, Barney takes the top spot. (Pop Vultures)

Much like Eli Stone, Scooter was followed around by a George Michael song this past Thursday. (Scooter McGavin's 9th Green)

Vance loves Judy Greer! Likes Miss Guided (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace was all about the Paley Festival (his fifth!) where he attended events for Pushing Daisies, Chuck, Judd Apatow, and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer reunion. (Televisionary)

Dan pondered Battlestar Galactica's Jamie Bamber and House's Hugh Laurie in an effort to figure out which English actor does the best American accent. (TiFaux)

We list the 5 Shows you should be watching! (the TV Addict)

Kate would have cut the entire bottom three (plus Erik) on Top Chef (TV Filter)

More After the Jump...

Friday, March 21, 2008

It's All Greek To Me

And before I disappear for the long weekend, at least for us in Canada, I hear some of you don't get it off in the States? What? Aren't you guys supposed to be even MORE into the religious stuff than we are?

Well, you definitely are into the fraternities and sororities WAY more than we are in Canada. Where the Greek system is barely existent on Canadian campuses, it seems to be a huge thing in America, or at least in movies and what we hear about future politicians.

So I just have to mention that Greek will return on Monday for more new episodes and that this long weekend (for those of us that have it) is a perfect time to catch up on the Season 1 DVD's.

The new Season Premiere starts on Monday March. 24th at 8pm on ABCFamily although apparently it's billed as Season 1 Part 2, but Greek has been renewed for an actual season 2 as well!.

I didn't catch the first season last summer when it aired on ABCFamily (and sometimes ABC) but I finally watched it this winter and loved every frothy candy coated moment. It's not deep or anything but it does of Clark Duke (of Michael and Clark)! As a southern confederate bible thumping engineering nerd no less! Ah, and the stereotypes keep coming! (Seriously, I need to visit more of middle America to check it out, because personally in my case, I loved what I've visited (especially you guys Minesotans and Oregonians! I'd move there in a heartbeat if you had work in my industry!))

So yeah, maybe it's my rose-coloured view on typical "America" and the nostalgic look (even though I've never actually experienced it) at fraternities and sororities, but Disney's soapy but clean (yet somewhat progressive, aka, has gay content that doesn't fall into fey stereotypes) look at the Greek system just helps glorify everything I imagined living in (white) America would be (while it helps to ignore anything associated with words like Bush, Iraq, and religious ignorants).

It's a pretty simple premise. Rusty (an endearing wide-eyed Jacob Zachar) starts university and wants to join a frat to be cool. His sister Casey (Spencer Kelsey, daughter of Frasier, and totally delightful) is already cool and heading towards a probable presidency within her own sorority. She's dating the perfect guy with perfect breeding Evan (Jake McDormand) and fighting off her instincts against her slacker ex, Cappie (the charming Scott Michael Foster).

There's Rusty's new friend Calvin (Paul James), who together, try to rush, and fall in different houses, conveniently under rivals Evan and Cappie. The girls at Zeta Beta have their own politics, between weaving their way through the boys of rivals Omega Chi and Kappa Tau to getting the biggest room and the next leadership. It all becomes a surprisingly fresh, funny and entertaining soap that is both light in flavour without being stupid. Silly maybe, stupid, no. Greek likes to throw the stereotypes at you, and then twist it just enough to change your stereotypes.

In case you haven't seen the series I won't spill the spoilers for the ending of season 1, but it looks like Alan Rudd (Spin City, Ferris Bueller's Day Off) will be around for this next upcoming season and I can't wait to spend more time with the Greek boys and girls.

As someone that sort of laughed at the whole greek system during university, I can't believe I just said that!

More After the Jump...

Lost - Just Shoot Me

Meet Kevin Johnson - Ep. 408

I don't have much time to write this because I'm leaving for the Easter long weekend, but Lost was so amazing that it warranted an immediate post, as incomprehensible as it may be (both the post and Lost). And now we have to wait another month before we get new post-strike episodes (starting on April 24 where it moves to 10pm behind Grey's Anatomy)? I know we had to wait 8 months from the last season, but damn, I was loving this year with consistently great episodes week after week. I mean, we got more answers and everything but I still have no idea what's really going on, but damn, it has been entertaining!

And yes, we did get answers to clear up the air. Almost right away too. Ben reveals Michael was his source on the boat. Miles is apparently there to capture Ben, then kill everyone else. Walt and Michael did actually get off the island.

Michael tries to kill himself by a car crash but survives. Sees Libby as a nurse in his mind, then sees Mr. Friendly (Tom), off the island. Michael's off the island, and trying to kill himself, but the island won't let him. Say huh? He later tries to shoot himself but the loaded gun won't go off, and Tom knows it.

He's apparently lost Walt, because Michael told him about murdering Anna and Libby, and he's got some explaining to do to the old lady.

Mr. Friendly confirms that the plane found at the bottom of the Ocean was a phony. Mr. Widmore planned it. Meanwhile, Mr. Friendly can come and go from the island as it seems.

Apparently, Mr. Friendly is there to send Michael back to the freighter as Kevin Johnson, and to kill everyone on board, before they find the island and kill everyone on the island. Following? And it's only half over!

"Kevin" meets Mikowski and Naomi on the freighter, Miles, gets a package with a suitcase full of money crack (oh wait, UPDATE: that's what I was on when I'm writing this, thanks Jennifer, I honestly have no idea what I was writing that night and thought I had fixed this, oops!)/ keypad with some elaborate hoax bomb looking thing that wasn't a bomb but a bad joke, and sees his fellow freighter mates doing target practice with some semi-automatics (or something, Rambo type guns, that's all I know). And then finds out that Ben tricked him onto the boat. It's a war, and innocent people are going to die between Ben and Mr. Widmore.

Creating the new big question, what the hell is the war about? Why is the island so important? What does Widmore want? Why must the show cut off NOW? I know I know, it's only a month before new episodes get going... be patient. You would have thought I'd have learn that after 4 seasons.

Back in current time, Sayid doesn't believe Michael's story and turns him into the Captain (Grant Bowler).

And then there's Danielle with Alex and Karl (Blake Bashoff, currently singing in Spring Awakening) are off on a "Ben" mission before Karl gets killed by darts/something dart-like, and just as you think the girls will escape, Danielle gets hit herself and dies, leaving Alex alone amongst her predators. And then? She GIVES HERSELF UP, offering herself up as Ben's daughter, in order to save herself...


See you in a month suckers...Man I love this show! What a great season it's been having! Let's hope the strike didn't slow down the pace!

More After the Jump...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring's Awakening! Let's Celebrate with Spring Awakening!

It's finally Spring! It may not look like it outside in Toronto but it has been all year round in the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on Broadway! (And Spring will finally come to Toronto in spring 2009! or to a city near you!)

Alright, here's another clip of Spring Awakening in celebration of today (the first day of spring) as they appeared on ABC's Good Morning America this morning!

I especially enjoy the re-working of "Totally Fucked" for the morning national TV audience!

Plus it may be the last time we see Jonathan Groff in a TV appearance with the show before he exits May 18th to do Hair.

Lea Michelle will leave the same day as well.

It's interesting to see some of the new replacements. Love that Matt Doyle is there!

For more on Spring Awakening
For my original review
See also
One Jonathan Groff To Live
One More Jonathan Groff To Live
No More Jonathan Groff To Live
Broadway Marathon
I Only Stalk Celebrities (Like Jonathan Groff) on Broadway

More After the Jump...

Damages - Spoilers From Eight Months Ago

I finally started catching up with the critically acclaimed, viewers challenged, Glenn Close starring Damages from F/X last summer (which only started playing here in Canada this winter and is already currently available on DVD) and HOLY SH!T...

I'll continue after the jump to avoid any spoilers but seriously, did the pilot just end that way? Did anybody else actually catch this series? Don't tell me how it unravels but does the series continue to be as amazing and enthralling as the pilot was?

Whoa! I'm seriously like, did that just happen? Glenn Close as Patty Hewes is one tough and ruthless muthaf*cka (I've been listening to "Original Musical" from [title of show] a lot so I've been singing/swearing like a sailor).

Plus, when did Ted Danson start doing dramas and why hasn't he done it before? He's amazing. Same with Tate Donovan (below with Close), who I only know from The OC and even lighter fare than that. Who knew both could be so terrific in a dark drama?

Okay, I don't have much new to say but don't read below if you haven't watched the pilot yet.
First of all, what an excellent cast. Rose Byrne, Zeljko Ivanek, Danson, Donovan, Close. Wow!

Okay, but they were pretty blunt that Close's character Patty Hewes and Donovan's Tom Shaye conspired to kill Rose Byrne's Ellen Parson's dog but did they kill her boyfriend David Connor (Noah Bean) too (to pull Ellen onto Patty's side even more)? Or was that Frobisher's men?

I think I may have been overreading things but I'm sure there will be plenty more twists along the way.

Alright, I just needed to get that out of my system and since I know no one that has actually watched the series, there's no one to discuss it with me in real life.

More After the Jump...

A Musical of Some Importance - A Man Of No Importance - Musical Review

A Man of No Importance - Acting Up Stage Theatre Company - Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs - Toronto, ON
Music by Stephen Flaherty, Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Book by Terrence McNally based on the film A Man of No Importance
Directed by Lezlie Wade

This little musical (originally produced Off-Broadway at the Lincoln Centre in 2002) that was based on the somewhat obscure and sort of recent 1995 film A Man of No Importance (starring Albert Finney) is tiny in scope but large in emotions, following a simple middle-aged bus conductor in Dublin, Ireland in the 1960's as he survived life through devotion to the arts at a local community theatre, and soon discovers that his love for the words of Oscar Wilde is not the only connection he has with the gay writer, and realizes his own love for his bus driving partner Robbie.

To be honest, part of me is like, another musical with a gay twist? (I've seen a few in recent months) but this one is done with such gentle care and a quiet manner, with beautifully luscious music by Stephen Flaherty that the simple life of Alfie Byrne becomes very important indeed. There's nothing revelatory that we haven't seen before and sometimes the pacing is a bit TOO gentle, but the musical tells it in such a lovely manner that cliches are easily overlooked in a funny and witty script that is touching, if not totally emotionally arresting book by Terrence McNally.

The music and songs by the team of Flaherty and Ahrens are not their best and memorable work (that would be Ragtime, easily one of my favorites of all time (and being remounted next year at the Kennedy Centre in DC!)) but they still sound distinctively like their stuff, with a folksy Irish twist, and that's a good thing.

Alas, it's the incredible acting company (with a terrific small 4 piece orchestra) that carries this little musical through any flaws in this tiny gem of a play, headed by Douglas E. Hughes who is simply terrific as the always positive Alfie. It's definitely a musical theatre performance that grabs your attention without needing to grab your attention, and it felt both real and grounded while still being mesmerizing and heartbreaking at the same time.

Kyle Blair who radiated immense charisma in last years Stratford production of Oklahoma, plays the object of Alfie's affections. Bethany Jillard is lovely as the new girl who is persuaded to join the community theatre group, though my friend didn't love her voice, whereas i felt it sounded like she was singing in character with an Irish accent. Patty Jamieson was fantastic as Lilly, Alfie's protective sister.

Most of the rest of the cast filled all the other characters, usually playing a multitude of them, and everyone was uniformly excellent. Christopher Darroch was a small revelation, alternating between a hilariously nerdy wannabe actor, the mean boss at the bus company, a mysterious man at the bar, and the lazy janitor, all while singing in an amazing baritone voice. Susan Henley (whom I must have seen in Toronto's Hairspray) was another standout amongst a solid ensemble.

It's not a revolutionary musical, and what is said, has been said before, but it has it's place in the musical universe, just as every man of no particular importance does in this world.

A Man of No Importance - ***1/2 (3.5 stars out of 5)

The show closes this Saturday, March 22nd.

Here were the other reviews around town:
Toronto Star
Eye Weekly
Toronto Sun
The Globe and Mail

More After the Jump...