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Californication Comes to a Merciful End

Published July 2, 2014 - 0 Comments

californication-on-showtime_-watch-recaps-episode-schedules-downloadsYou know how there are shows that seem to go on longer than they should?  They’re once-great shows and then they peak and the quality starts to noticeably fade.  House M.D. went 8 seasons.  Glee is going on its sixth before calling it quits.  What’s Survivor or American Idol up to now?  28 and 13 respectively.  Even The Simpsons have 26 seasons, and they haven’t all been great.

Well, I think that it’s fair to say that you can add Showtime’s Californication to that list.

When Jess first introduced me to Californication, the show was already into its 4th season, I think.  If ever there was a show that I wanted to be part of, it was this one.  Hank Moody was my hero!  We blew through the first seasons on Netflix, and then had to wait patiently like everyone else as the new ones were released.  The problem being… the quality seemed to really take a shit-kicking.  I don’t know if they changed writers, or what happened, but it just kept going from bad to worse.

Season 7 was hailed as the final season of Californication, and rumours started to swirl whether Hank Moody would even survive it.  Surely someone who has lived such a careless lifestyle couldn’t possible end up in a Happily Ever After.  Season 7 should have been a downward spiral as Hank’s life unraveled.  Instead they decided to introduce Hank’s unknown bastard son from 20 years ago.  What a disaster.  It wasn’t funny.  It wasn’t loving.  It was just really really annoying.  Even Heather Graham, as Hank’s old girlfriend, couldn’t salvage that sinking ship.  I normally love most of her work, but the task was too daunting.

To say that the series finale was a disappointment would imply that I actually had high hopes going into it.   Nope.  In the end I continued to watch simply because I had given so much of my life to the story that I felt that anything less than complete closure would grate on my nerves.  It certainly wasn’t from enjoyment.  Sadly, I was right.  But at least its over.  Time to let the healing begin.

It’s not to say that the show wasn’t brilliant at one time.  I just wish that the people in charge had had the courage to realize that and wind down the show while it was still on top… ala Seinfeld (9 seasons) or Breaking Bad (5 seasons)…

Collini out!

Californication

All I Want for Christmas is… For Glee Not to Suck Again

Published December 12, 2012 - 3 Comments

glee-season-4-poster-kate-hudson-lea-michele

Yup, I’m a Gleek.  Get over it.

Now that that’s out of the way…

We are now in season 4 of the show that everybody hates to love… or loves to hate… depending on your point of view.  While the initial sparkle of Glee has long since faded, the current season has taken the direction-less drifting to new heights… or lows… again, depending on your point of view.

Several of the highschool seniors have now graduated, and a new crop of social outcasts have joined the ill-fated Glee club.  The writers have the impossible task of developing new characters that the viewers will care about, as well as maintain a connection with the ones who have gone off in different directions after graduating.  And don’t forget the new seniors who have been part of Glee club for 3 years, and are finally getting their turn in the spotlight.

Except that no one is really in the spotlight.  There are simply too many storylines to do any of them justice.  It’s almost comical (in a sad way) how Glee tries to hold onto the original characters… Kurt and Rachel have the  most screen time  (and really should have been spun off onto their own show, as was originally rumoured) but the others?  A 30 second webcam chat, or coming back to choreograph, or worse.. lead the current students in their quest for another championship.  It’s such a stretch… and it’s sad.

Too many things going on… too many storylines… not enough time…

Somebody That I Used to Know

Published April 13, 2012 - 4 Comments

So I’m driving home from work last week, listening to the Top 7 at 7pm, and a song comes on that I’ve never heard before.  I immediately asked out loud “What is THAT?”.  It didn’t sound like anything else I’ve heard on the radio.  It sounded weird.  I didn’t like it at all.  I quickly changed the channel to something else.

The next day I heard it again.  I don’t remember if I let it play fully or not, but I wasn’t really all that impressed with it.

Then I sat down to watch Glee.  Toward the end of what had been a very disappointing episode I heard the unique beginning of the song that I had previously turned off.  As I sat there and watched the performers do the song, something clicked inside of me… I suddenly “got” the song… It was just as if someone had flicked on a light switch or something.  I went to my computer and bought both version of the song, and I’ve been hooked ever since!  I don’t really know which one I prefer… they’re both equally awesome in my opinion.   It IS completely different than anything else on the radio, and that uniqueness really elevates it to another level.  It doesn’t hurt that the meaning behind the song is one that I can easily identify with!  I wish that I had heard this song when it was first released, because it would have made a perfect theme song.

But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and I feel so rough

And that’s the thing… this is not a new song.  When I went looking for information on it, I was shocked to see that it was released in July of 2011!  It’s already been number one in Europe and Australia.  When I went to find the video on YouTube it had over 155 million views!  For whatever reason it has taken awhile to get picked up over here, but I’m really glad that it did.  I feel like I’m that last person on the planet to discover the song.  It’s a very unusual feeling for me!  🙂

Take a look at the original video… it’s a little odd… very artsy…  I love it!

And here’s the Glee version.. at least until Fox makes them take it down, like they have with every other video that I’ve linked to in my Glee posts.  It wouldn’t bother me so much except that they don’t even make the videos available to purchase…  Anyway.. the premise of Glee’s version is that the two brothers have drifted apart, and they don’t really know each other anymore.

2CELLOS And Glee

Published March 5, 2012 - 1 Comment

I’ve been a little slow getting caught up on my Glee posts lately (sorry Jan, I know how much you miss these) …

A couple of weeks ago they performed a Michael Jackson-themed show. There wasn’t really anything overly special about it for me… until I started listening again to some of the music from that episode.  Their version of Smooth Criminal was a duet duel of sorts, and I think that it worked really well. (And not simply because Santana is smokin’ hot)  But what made it even more unique was that all the music in the song comes from 2 duelling cellists (I had to look that up because apparently celloist is not a word.  Go figure.)  Check out the Glee version of the song.

That’s all fine and dandy… but then the latest Gleek, Jess, pointed out to me that the guys playing the cellos have their own thing going called 2CELLOS (Don’t hold that astounding originality against them) and have several songs on iTunes.  So I went there to check it out, and it’s quite amazing!  With or Without You.  Use Somebody.  Welcome to the Jungle.  It’s really neat to hear their take on these songs!  I ended up buying their video for Smooth Criminal.  After doing some reading, it seems that’s the song that got them first recognized, and it’s easily my favourite.  If you’re looking for something different, check this out!

Glee: The Proposal Episode… WOW!

Published January 21, 2012 - 2 Comments

I haven’t been real happy with Glee lately.  The music has been “ok”.  The storylines have been “ok”.  There really haven’t been any special moments this season.  I keep watching because I’ve already invested in 2 seasons, so I might as well see how it finishes.  With my favourite characters graduating at the end of this season, I don’t know if I’ll even bother to watch it next year.  But I’ll trudge through this season and see what happens.

And then this week something finally happened that re-kindled my love of the show.  Easily the best episode of Season 3, and one of the best of the series.  The music was great (except the Moves Like Jagger bit… I wanted to throw my supper at the TV screen)… the storyline progressed amazingly… I was up… I was down… It was quite a ride!

If you watch this clip and aren’t familiar with the storyline, then it’s not going to have the same impact as if you’ve been watching those two characters for 3 seasons… But watch it anyway.  🙂

For the first time in a long time I actually felt something while watching the show… and am looking forward to the next episode!

Glee 3D Movie Review: Brace Yourself!

Published August 14, 2011 - 3 Comments

It’s been awhile since I’ve waited in anticipation for any movie, but Glee 3D was different.  I’ve been a fan of the show since episode 1 (although it took me a long time to watch that episode, and I was essentially forced into it).  So when the Glee 3D concert movie was announced, I was pretty excited to watch it.  I joked that I’d be the only guy in the theatre, but hey… that’s ok.  I didn’t care.

Well…

I wasn’t the only guy in the theatre.  I think there were 2 others.  There might have been a third, but it was dark.  The first thing that I noticed was the complete lack of people in the theatre!  I honestly thought that going on Saturday evening of the opening weekend (it only plays for 2 weeks) would be nuts.  I thought that I’d be sandwiched between a bunch of crazy teenage Gleeks, swooning over their favourite characters.  Instead, there might have been 25 people in that theatre!  It was a little disappointing in a way, but maybe the people who didn’t go knew something that I didn’t.

Are you beginning to sense my overall feeling of disappointment?

The Glee 3D concert movie is one part concert and one part “touchy-feel-good see how real people connect with the the show”… Let me get this out there right now before anyone has the wrong impression… I am not unsympathetic to how some people’s real life obstacles may help them identify with Glee’s themes of acceptance and being true to yourself.  It’s not that I found stories un-interesting…  My issue with breaking away from the concert portion of the movie is that it killed any flow that the concert had.  I think the longest uninterrupted section of the movie was 3 songs.  I found it extremely distracting to watch a song being performed, and then cut away to someone continue their story of how Brittany is their favourite character and how identifying with her has helped her deal with her Asperger Syndrome. More concert… less everything else…

The second problem with breaking up the show like is that the actual performance was incredibly short.  There were so many songs that I wish they had performed, but didn’t.  It felt extremely “light”.

So was it a horrible experience?  No.  There were some shining moments.

Although I am not the biggest fan of 3D movies, I believe that a concert movie is probably a very good use of the technology.  That being said, they certainly could have done a better job.  At the end of the show, the cast throws “Slushies” onto the crowd.  This would have been a perfect showcase of 3D to have it come directly at the viewer, but it doesn’t.  On the upside, Lea Michele appeared to be standing directly in front of me at one point…

When Heather Morris performed Britney Spears’ I’m a Slave 4 U, I thought my heart was going to stop.  Wow.  That girl can move.. and wow…

Naya Rivera (Santana) … I was happy to see her get featured in a few songs.  Considering how little some of the main characters performed, Santana’s two songs were quite noticeable.

Gwyneth Paltrow was a nice surprise addition.  I considered leaving that out but then thought… “Really?  Who reads this blog that is going to go see the movie? ”  So no spoiler there.

All in all… I have to be honest and say that I was quite disappointed with the movie.  I think that it had great potential, and there were parts of it that I enjoyed very much.  But if I was home watching it, I would be skipping through big chunks trying to find those enjoyable parts.

I hate to say it… but the D in Glee 3D stands for “dud”…   🙁

New Staples Back to School Ad With Glee’s Heather Morris

Published August 11, 2011 - 0 Comments

As much as I like Lea Michele, she’s far from the only talent on Glee.  Brittany (played by Heather Morris) is a hilarious character, but because she constantly has that blank “dumb as a post” stare, you rarely get to see her looking “natural”.  The exception to that rule is during a dance routine, where she is easily one of the best dancers there.  I’m pretty sure that I read once that she has danced backup for Britney Spears.  She’s good.  Really good.

I was quite surprised to see the new Back to School ad on TV.  I didn’t immediately recognize Heather as the shopper in the store.  I really should have, though.

And yes… she can dance.

Glee Cast Changes… and the Movie Trailer…

Published July 15, 2011 - 0 Comments

Yesterday we learned that 3 of the main Glee characters would be graduating at the end of Season 3, and would not be returning in Season 4.  When I looked at the article to see who they were… I wept!  OK, maybe I didn’t weep… but I was disappointed to see that Lea Michele was one of the names mentioned.  Well.. that’s it for me and Glee! I have no doubt that she will be in something else, but I actually liked the Rachel Berry character… surprising because of how she is on the show… but there’s something about her that is very appealing.. not to mention the voice.  I’ve said it before…

But it made me wonder… if those three characters are graduating, what’s happening with the rest of them?  Are they all being held back a year ? It’s gonna be hard to attract people into your Glee club if you’re more likely to fail the year.  Think about it.

So after that news, I needed some cheering up.  Thankfully, the Glee gods heard my plea…   I present to you… The Glee 3D Movie Trailer!

Glee … Is the Honeymoon Over?

Published May 25, 2011 - 8 Comments

** Spoiler Alert – If you haven’t watched last night’s season finale, and you intend to, you may not want to read this post **

For some reason I had convinced myself that the Season 2 finale was a couple of weeks ago.  When that episode came and went, it was obvious that there were still a few more left to wrap up the season.  So last night I sat down at 9pm to watch the season finale… only to discover that it was airing at 10pm, not 9pm.  *sigh*  Not sure why I can’t keep track of these things, but apparently I can’t.

Now I’ve had time to watch it, and to let it sink in… now what?

As far as season finales go, I have to admit… I was disappointed with last night’s episode.  I’ve been listening nonstop to the 2 original songs that they introduced a couple of weeks ago for Regionals.  They’re fantastic songs.  I was really looking forward to the new original songs that would be performed at Nationals.  Maybe I set the bar too high, but the songs last night were nothing special at all.  Worse, the first group number was actually horrible!  New York?  Is that what they called it?  I don’t know.  I could hardly stand to listen to it.  It had nothing for me.  I actually liked Britney’s My Cup more, and it wasn’t even meant to be taken seriously!  Kurt and Rachel’s song from Wicked wasn’t really my thing, but I will say that I didn’t hate it.  Rachel and Finn’s duet during the competition was actually not too bad… but I’m a sucker for their relationship, so they don’t have to try too hard to impress me there.  It’s too bad that the group number that followed sucked.  Well… maybe it didn’t suck… but it was just nowhere near Loser Like Me from the Regionals.

I wasn’t surprised at all that The New Directions didn’t win Nationals.  It was a good move for them not to win…. what I wasn’t expecting was a 12th place finish.  I thought that was pretty clever.

I tried not to cry when Quinn cut her hair… why do they do that?

I could keep going on, but really.. what’s the point?  There really wasn’t much good to say last night.. and I fear that it’s becoming a trend with the show.  I was very disappointed by the previous week’s episode!  One of the Glee creators had come out prior and said that there would be a death of a major character.  That didn’t happen.  The Funeral episode was touching, but not at all what we were led to expect.  It felt like a cheap trick to me… and the show should be good enough to stand on its own and not have to pull a stunt like that.

I’m happy that it’s done for the summer, and I hope that they are able to come back strong in the fall.  Let’s face it… as long as Rachel is still there, I’ll keep watching… but I’d prefer to enjoy the entire show, and not just bits and pieces of it.

 

Glee Goes Pretty / Unpretty

Published May 5, 2011 - 5 Comments

Here is a prime example of one of the Glee remakes that I like much more than the original.  Not that I have anything against TLC’s version of Unpretty, but it didn’t stand out as anything special to me.  Glee made this one special.

I have to admit, I don’t think that I’m familiar with the other part of this mash-up, I Feel Pretty.  I didn’t even realize that this was a mash-up, because most of the lyrics are from Unpretty.  I just thought that they had done something interesting with the way they chose to sing it.  I love how the two girls are singing different parts at the same time.  I know that there’s a word to describe it, but I have no idea what it is.  I just know that it works.  I really works well.

And it should give you pause to think…