Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Big Brother 12: A Preview.

CBS officially announced its cast for Big Brother 12 today. Here is the breakdown:

-There are 13 houseguests, down from 14 last year.

-12 of them are white.

-Seven men, six women.

-Half the women are blonde.

-There is a podiatrist among them. That is the most interesting profession on the list.

-The least interesting? Insurance adjuster.

-Is there a model, a bartender, and a waitress in the bunch? Yes, yes, and yes. This is a reality show, people.

-They are almost all young'uns. Four of them are 24. One of them is 22. Hey, does anybody remember Natalie from last year? She was in her 20s but claimed to be 18. I wonder if anybody will pull this stunt again. It kind of worked for Natalie.

-Speaking of Natalie, I wonder if she's still with her fiance.

-One among the houseguests will be the Big Brother Saboteur. This is the big "twist" of the season. ("Twist" in quotes because this is not an actual twist; it is EXACTLY the same as the America's Player twist two years ago, which was an actual twist.) The Saboteur's job will be to wreak havoc in the house while pretending to play the game like everyone else. If he/she makes it to the halfway point of the game, he/she will get some cash-money.

-The theme of the house will be "Playground by the Shore." All the furniture and decorations will be Art Deco-inspired. Art Deco means (I had to look this up) the patterns are inspired by geometrical shapes. Art Deco hit its last peak in the '80s, when one-half of the houseguests were still coming out of the womb.

So there you have it, everything you need to know about Big Brother 12 this summer. Right now, none of the houseguests really stand out to me. They all look pretty cookie-cutter. Big Brother premieres Thursday, July 8, so I'll be back one week from Friday with another review when we all know more about the contestants.

Till then, Happy 4th of July!

(Pictured: The BB12 cast, plus Chen-bot. And in case you were wondering, yes, the guy with the bowtie is a professor.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm Getting The Willies. Thanks Degrassi, For A Whole New Level Of Creepy!

Watching Degrassi Season 9 right now. On the episode where the pervy basketball coach is macking on KC in the hotel room, giving him beer and making him watch porn.

OMG, what is this show?

And why can't I stop watching?

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Dog Days Of TV.

If you're a sports fan, like my dad (Happy Father's Day!), you had a lot to watch on TV these last few weeks.

If you're me, you're praying Big Brother moves up its premiere date. Wherefore art thou, Chen-bot?

In the meantime, here is what I've been up to:

-Watching the Life nature series from BBC. I hate watching animals get torn apart and eaten alive, but I really liked the episodes on insects, birds and fishes. (Yes, I say fishes.) I could watch insects forever. Also, chinstrap penguins. I love penguins.

-Watching Doctor Who. I am slowly getting used to the new Doctor's rubbery face, and Amy is getting slightly less annoying with each episode. The Rory/Amy scenes are very sad. I didn't understand Saturday's episode, though. Something about Pandorica's Box and the Doctor being responsible for the world's destruction. Huh???

-Watching Degrassi: The Next Generation. I am an out and proud Degrassi fan. Last Friday, I finally watched Degrassi Goes Hollywood. All my favorites were back--Emma, Manny, Marco, Paige, Ellie, and even Craig! I miss those kids. Oh, and when did Jay of Jay & Silent Bob get so hot? After that, I watched the first two episodes of season 9. I'm still learning the names of all the current kids. This is cool--Nina Dobrev from The Vampire Diaries is still on this show. I am not used to seeing her in bright light, wearing something other than a leather jacket. It's very unsettling. I kind of wish I attended Degrassi High. I had a dream about Sav a few nights ago. Shut up! I am not a pedophile!

-Watching One Tree Hill. I'm one episode from the finale. Haley tried to drown herself. Some crazy lady is impersonating Clay's ex-wife. There's also this subplot with a bearded piano player and a British record producer that I just don't get. And Jamie has a friggin huge rabbit named Chester that I only just realized this weekend is FRIGGIN HUGE. If you watch this show, rewatch the scene where Jamie asks Quinn if Chester can watch The Goonies with them. You'll see.

-Reading. Maybe you thought that since I'm a TVholic, I don't read. Actually, I probably read more than you. And faster. I go through 1-2 books a week. The one I'm on right now is Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver. It's a YA book about a girl who dies...but then she gets to relive her last day on earth seven times. It's like Groundhog Day, the movie. Except it's a book. And it's sad. And I can't put it down. The book I read last week was a HUGE disappointment: Husband and Wife, by Leah Stewart. I read her 2nd novel, The Myth of You & Me, two weeks ago, and absolutely loved it. Another book I couldn't put down. Well, Husband and Wife is the complete opposite. The protagonist is whiny and selfish and really annoying. And she talks about her thoughts and her feelings WAY too much. I can't believe these books were written by the same person. After this, I'm going to reread all the Harry Potters. I figure I could go on this magical journey and clear my mind before starting law school (in two months, ahh!). I still haven't read #7. Has anybody out there reread the Harry Potters, and if so, are they just as good a second time?

-Cooking. I made scallion pancakes and banana bread this weekend, both from scratch. I can make them with my eyes closed now, I've done it so often.

-Running. I'm doing a 5k next weekend, July 3, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to pass out somewhere on the course. I'm running with my husband and his sisters. And by "with," I mean "behind." So far, I can go about 3k, but with some walking in between. And on a mostly straight course. The 5k course is supposedly very hilly. If you don't hear from me after July 3, I didn't make it out alive. Send my regards to Chen-bot.

(Pictured: Some of the cast from the current Degrassi. From left to right: Claire, Alli, some dude, the new girl, some dude, Claire's boyfriend. Wow. Clearly, I need to get going on Season 9!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pretty Little Ramblings.

I started writing a post about diversity on television--the SEVERE lack of it. And by started, I mean I wrote 95% of it, but didn't have time to edit it thoroughly, and ended up not posting it. It's actually a pretty angry post. I do a lot of ranting about how shows ignore minorities, shove us in the background, pretend we don't exist, pretend we don't have stories to tell, etc.

So in the interest of not alienating my readers, and not coming across like Angry Asian Girl, I'm not going to post it. At least, not today. Instead, I'm just going to leave you with this nugget for thought:

Why is Glee casting for three new characters when it barely has any lines for its current cast--namely Tina C., Mike (Other Asian) and Matt (the black guy)? I'm presuming the three new actors will all be Caucasian, but I hope, hope, HOPE I am wrong. Please let me be wrong.

Anywhozles. There hasn't been much going on in the TV world, unless you count reality TV. I'm watching The Hills, The City, and Real Housewives of New Jersey, all of which are good, tasty appetizers. But there's currently nothing meaty to sink my teeth in. (Oh, speaking of which, I loved the last few episodes of The Vampire Diaries...cannot WAIT for season 2.)

Yesterday, my husband was playing Grand Theft Auto 4 on the main computer, and all my unwatched episodes of One Tree Hill are on that computer. So I took his laptop and went on Hulu and found the pilot for Pretty Little Liars. I'd heard a lot about the show, heard it got good reviews and the premiere broke some kind of record for ABC Family. Also, it looks a lot like Gossip Girl(it's also based on a teen book series), so I decided to watch.

It was okay. Just okay. It is crammed full of cliches, naturally, and I'm still having trouble telling the four girls apart (there's that pesky diversity thing again). It's about these four girls whose beeyotchy friend disappeared a year ago, but the girls start getting mysterious blackmail-y texts from said beeyotchy friend. And then we find out beeyotch is dead, so who's been sending the texts? Each girl has her own storyline--one of them is sleeping with her teacher, one shoplifts, one is bicurious, and one's dad cheated on her mom. Blah. This show smacks of what I imagine Gossip Girl Season 8 would be--you know, when all the original, juicy storylines have run out.

Many shows have meh premieres, and they need 6-7 episodes before they start getting good. I think we all know this. On top of that, Pretty Little Liars has this going for it--it's running against mostly reruns and crappy summer TV on the other networks, so people like me will watch it even if it's absolutely terrible. Which it's not.

So for now, I have one decent new summer show to get into. I'm also thinking of picking up one or two dramas I never gave a chance, like The Good Wife. What do you think? Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

To Glee, With Love.

Last night's Glee finale: I came, I saw, I cried.
The show wasn't without its bizarre/jarring moments. Like the whole Quinn giving birth/Vocal Adrenaline sequence. I will never hear Bohemian Rhapsody the same way again. (Baby Beth, by the way, gets the prize for cutest baby ever "born" on TV.) Also, Idina Menzel adopting Beth. Am I the only one who found that just...creepy?

Anywhosers. Weird stuff aside, this was one of the most moving episodes of Glee to date. There were about 84 different parts that had me weeping like a baby. Here are just a few:

-The glee kids serenading Will with "To Sir, With Love." I lost it when Will started to cry. And again when seeing each of the Glee kids tear up, one by one, during their close-ups.

-The entire "Don't Stop Believin'" performance. Glee songs don't normally make me shed tears, but this one did. Probably because it was a total throwback to May 2009, when we first saw the Glee kids singing it in their red T-shirts. To think how far they've come, all the way to regionals. Artie even used hair gel for the occasion! He's all grown up! If the entirety of Glee--its essence, its soul--can be summed up by one song, it's this one.

-Sue Sylvester in the last half-hour, putting New Directions down for first place. And then blackmailing Figgins to give the club another year. And then getting misty-eyed in the back of the room as the club sang to Will. Who knew Sue had a heart? Actually, all of us.

-"Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Will and Puck sang this at the Glee concert, so I'd heard it once already. But this song as the closing act for Season 1: A sweet, wistful, and memorable way to say good-bye.

And of course, the episode was not without its hilarity. Two parts stand out:

-Every line Josh Groban and Olivia Newton-John uttered in the judging room.

-The title of Sue Sylvester's memoir: I'm a Winner and You're Fat.

Best quotes:

"He was having an affair with some tattooed freak." -Quinn's mom (I hope Sandra Bullock watches this show)

"You know how many Facebook friends I had before glee club? Two--my parents." -Tina C.
"From Fort Wayne, Indiana, the not-at-all stupidly named, Aural Intensity!" -Sue

So long, Glee. It's been a crazy, emotional, triumphant ride. Thank you for all of it. The songs, the laughs, the concert (I'm still recovering). Thank you for bringing joy to the Gleeks, one inspiration song at a time.

See you in the fall.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Uncle Jesse Joining Glee Cast.

In shocking casting news, John Stamos is joining the cast of Glee.

I say shocking because, really, I didn't know John Stamos was still around.

Anywhosers, he will be playing a dentist and new love interest for Emma. I can't imagine Uncle Jesse wooing the shy, OCD guidance counselor. All I can see is him with his comb, slicking back his hair and checking himself out in the mirror. Then again, Uncle Jesse was a rock star, so maybe Stamos will bring his guitar-wielding skills to this show.

I foresee an Uncle Jesse-Will Shuester showdown, presided over by--who else?--Sue Sylvester.

All in all, not a bad casting choice.

(Pictured: John Stamos, the way we all remembered him. Whose hair would Sue Sylvester make fun of more--his or Will Shuester's? Discuss.)

Terra Nova: Keep It Simple, Spielberg!

As you may/may not have heard by now, Steven Spielberg has this new dinosaur drama project for Fox called Terra Nova. I have a beef with it.

Here's the basic plot: A family living in the year 2149 goes back in time 150 million years to the dinosaur era to join a human colony and start civilization afresh.

My beef: What is the point of starting a show in the future if the whole premise of the show is to go back in time?

Does anybody else think this is totally pointless?

I don't have a problem with a show taking place in the future. But if it's going to take place in the future, I want to see future-y things, like flying cars and talking appliances and alien-human-blended families. I want to see what other people's concept of the future looks like. I don't want to see a bunch of dinosaurs and sand.

Here is my suggestion: Instead of going back in time, why not have it stay in 2149? Let's say dinosaurs are walking around, destroying everything and eating people. And let's say a couple of scientists have found a way to kill off all the dinosaurs once and for all. But the scientists are torn on whether to use it because it raises questions of morality. Is human life more valuable than dinosaurs?

Or, if they really want to hang on to the idea of starting a human colony, why not have just a few surviving people remaining on earth in 2149? And maybe some of them want to figure out how to live amongst the dinosaurs, while the others want to kill them? And maybe two people from opposite camps fall in love. You get the gist.

My plea to you, Steven Spielberg: Employ the KISS method for this show. You can thank me later.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Scripps National Spelling Bee: I Dreamed A Dream...

I'm the biggest geek ever (also the biggest GLEEK), so you can bet that I have on my Outlook calendar to watch the Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals tonight, starting at 8PM on ABC.

When I was in sixth grade, I won my class spelling bee, and also beat every other classroom winner in the school. I went on to compete in the district, where I lost out on first place by one word. ONE WORD. I'll never forget the two words I blew: tariff and magnate. They told me I'd step in for the winner if he/she couldn't make it for some reason. Of course, I never got that phone call. It was the saddest day of my life.

Ever since then, I've been trying to live vicariously through the winners of each year's Scripps Spelling Bee. I even borrowed that documentary on the Bee from the library, crying into my pillow, "That could've been me!" My goal is to train my kids to enter the Bee someday. They will be spelling "etymology" before they begin to teethe. I will take them to DC and they will get to shake the hand of that guy with the glasses who reads all the words, if he's still around. They will meet all the Indian kids and learn to spell their names, backwards, as this will surely psych them all out, not to mention give my kids the boost of confidence they need to win the Bee.

Until that glorious day, I will settle for watching the Bee on television.

(Pictured: A contestant in this year's Bee. That could've been me! High-waisted pants and all.)