Monday, June 1, 2009

Conan's Big Night

Last night marked the first episode of the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.
First and foremost, I love seeing Conan and Andy Richter reunited. As he grinned and waved like a madman, it was endearing to see Andy so excited for his friend's big moment. There were the worries that he would lose his crazy schtick he's known for. But as he tug on his invisible strings, it was clear this was the same old Conan, or "Conando." (His spanish wasn't shabby.)
Granted, not every joke killed (Desperate Housewives line), but that didn't matter. A bad Conan joke is still 20 times funnier than any good Leno joke. But I love Conan for all of his little quirks. The dorky faces, the self-deprecating hair humor, the Leno impression.
There's only so much you can tell from the first show, as was the case with Jimmy Fallon and his painful Late Night. And plenty are going to continue to worry that Conan's humor is to obscure to reach the masses quite like Jay's dry and obvious humor tended to do. Maybe Conan doesn't beat Letterman everyday. Maybe there's actually some competition in late night again. But if nothing else, Conan proved he can more than handle taking over the desk that once belonged to his hero, and perhaps the greatest television host of all time, Johnny Carson.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Just added 'Laodicean' to my repertoire

For one day a year, the American public forgets about reality television and embraces its nerdy side. The Scripps National Spelling Bee aired last night on prime-time with over six million viewers tuned in to watch 13-year-old Kavya Shivashankar become the new Spelling Bee Champion. The Daily Beast is featuring a list of the 7 best moments of the night which are pretty spot on.
Despite our failing education system, it's refreshing to see these talented kids who have dedicated years of their lives to memorize the dictionary. Granted, the title comes with more than just bragging rights. Shivashankar walked away with $30,000 and other prizes. But regardless, for one night, America was fascinated with some of the brightest faces of America's youth.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A quick commercial break

Although this blog's purpose is to discuss pop culture and entertainment, I thought I would delve away from television and film to focus on something even more exciting: sports. After a pretty lackluster May sweeps, save for finales from Chuck and The Office, leave it to the NBA to remind me what truly exciting live TV was.
I thought things couldn't get any better than the Celtics-Bulls first round series, but leave it to the King, LeBron James, to show me just "Where Amazing Happens." Here's hoping the NBA hasn't hit its high point just yet. I want to see a LeBron-Kobe final.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cat Deeley, How I Adore Thee

There are plenty of things to love about summer. The lack of school work. The weather. The vacations. The graduations. But for me, the end of May marks the new season of one my favorite shows, So You Think You Can Dance. And while I can't but smile watching the dancers and their amazing stories, one person truly makes this reality show Must-See TV- Cat Deeley.
Unlike every other reality host, Cat never has an attitude as if she's above the competitors. Instead, in nearly every episode you see her joking with the contestants, trying her hand at dancing despite her four-inch heels and gorgeous designer duds. She's incredibly earnest night in and night out, as she never seems to grow bored of the dancers. In some ways, she's the biggest fan of every dancer, there to support those whose performance was subpar, or celebrate after a jaw-dropping performance.
After seeing hosts like Ryan Seacrest seep with disdain and ambivalence, it's incredibly refreshing to see someone so excited truly love going to work everyday.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Obligatory Gossip Girl Post

There's really no denying it. I partially wanted to start pop rocks again so I could blog about "Gossip Girl."
I should hate it. The TV snob in me should mock those who sign their emails with the now famous "XOXO." The repeated storylines, the ridiculous scenarios, the unrealistic portrayal of high school. Every now and then I question the merits of spending an hour with B and S.
But I just can't turn away. Not from the clothes or the prettiness of it all. I have to see Chuck and Blair finally make it work, because damnit, who else could they possibly end up with? I want to Serena suddenly become "bad" again, knock back a few cosmos and kind of-almost-but-not-really kill someone. I need Georgina Sparks to wreak havoc on everyone's lives because this season hasn't exactly been amazing. And I really want to see someone finally let Dan know he's a hack of a writer. I have to hear Kristen Bell say those corny lines before each commercial break because of my Veronica Mars withdrawal. And I just really want to look at Nate.
My roommate and I sit there week after week, criticizing this plot line or piece of dialogue. When the credits roll, we shake our heads wondering what the writers were possibly thinking.
And every morning I anxiously await the recaps. From New York Magazine to Gawker, I love seeing the opinions of others.
There's something about asking someone if they're a Blair or a Serena that you just can't help but love. This ridiculous show has absolutely captured the public's attention and no one is really sure quite how. Is it the New York backdrop? The fashion? The acting? (On second thought)
And then it hit me. Why does America love "Gossip Girl?" Dorota.


The numbers are still coming in tonight, but Fast and Furious has been shattering records left and right. Best opening this year. Best April opening ever. Best opening for the franchise.
I'm happy for the actors, who haven't exactly had the best success after they first filmed The Fast and the Furious in 2001. Sure, Michelle Rodriguez was on Lost and Vin Diesel attempted to continue as an action star, but neither of those panned out. Paul Walker hasn't been much more than a pretty face. Granted, I've enjoyed Jordana Brewster on "Chuck," but it's only a recurring role.
On the glass is half-empty side, I'm amazed that there were so many people ready to rejuvenate such a questionable franchise. When I saw the trailer months ago, I thought it was some weird prank by Universal. Somehow, the film studio finally got a sense of humor and chose to delete the "the's" in the title to pretend it was a brand new film. But alas, not so much.
I get the appeal of mindless action films. I've never enjoyed them, but I do understand the American need to watch things blow up. It's just interesting to think that in the times of a recession when hundreds are losing their jobs daily, this movie made 75 million dollars in three days.
That's America for you.


I missed blogging. Plain and simple, twitter is a cheep substitution, serving as nothing more than a quick fix for my narcissistic needs. Because when my friends get tired of my ramblings and my hand cramps from writing in my journal, I'll still have pop rocks. Here's to hoping to this time it sticks.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Mad About These Men

Considering the recent cover story in EW, I'm still surprised when I run into someone who hasn't heard of AMC's Mad Men. As an avid fan of the show from the first episode last summer, I still can't quite fathom why America hasn't fallen in love right along with me. And maybe it has to do with AMC, specifically the fact that it doesn't have the advertising of the major broadcasting companies. Had it not been for TV Guide, I would never have tuned into the highly-stylized show.
But with season 2 premiering July 27th, I've begun a word of mouth campaign, hoping to pull as many of my friends to appreciate one of the best shows on TV. The look and tone of the show, with clothing and props from the 50s and 60s giving it an authentic feel, should be enough. But the show is so much more than just advertising men womanizing their co-workers. Its so much more than booze and cigarettes. The characters, from the deceptive and dark Don Draper to the ignorantly ambitious Peggy Olson, are never purely good or bad, just interesting and complex. And the story has never come off as cheap, but rather completely realistic and true to the times. The rise of female empowerment has begun to develop, as Peggy becomes a junior copywriter and Don's neighbors deal with the single mother who recently moved in.
And did I mention the show is so damn pretty?

Finding Comfort in the Rain

No matter how many times I've seen "Singin' in the Rain," I still get goosebumps when I see Gene Kelly tapping down the street. But that feeling is trumped when I get the chance to see someone watch the film for the first time. There's something about watching a friend fall in love with a movie I've always adored that makes the viewing experience that much better. I am one of those people who glances back at you for every reaction shot. And I do shoot looks of disdain at friends who have never watched "Gone With the Wind" or "Philadelphia Story."
Sure, I come off as a film snob every time I spout off a list of the classic movies everyone should have to watch to appreciate film. But maybe it isn't just about preaching my views or educating my friends on film appreciation. Maybe it's all about getting people to understand and feel those emotions I experience every time I watch the movies.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I Haven't Kissed A Girl... But I Like It

Yes, the lyrics are awful. And sure, it can be interpreted as homophobic. But damnit, Katy Perry's song "I Kissed A Girl" is so freaking catchy I can't help but sing along. And truth be told, I'm excited about her upcoming album. When I first heard "UR So Gay" a few months ago on MTVU, I realized we finally had an American Lily Allen sans meltdown. While the video for "I Kissed" is boring quite frankly given the possibilities, "UR So Gay" smartly uses Barbies to tell the story of the metrosexual. Check out the video if you haven't seen it already.
Thankfully though, I'm not alone in my guilty pleasure. It's actually the second most popular song on ITunes, which completely boggles my mind. Yes, the beat is pretty sweet and the chorus is fun. But if this song becomes more downloaded than Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" (my current favorite song), I might just have a problem with Ms. Perry.