Saturday, July 31, 2010

Big Brother 12

I had nothing else to do, nothing else to watch, so for the first time since "America's Player", "Evil" Dick, and Allison Grodner destroyed the series, I sat and watched the show.
One of the biggest mistakes I feel they make is the constant need for twists and where the mistake was for the longest time was making the twist about people who knew each other. I was so over the show that I don't know if they've been doing anything like that the past few seasons. But when I watched the season premier, the idea of the saboteur appealed to me. So despite my better judgment and a questionable cast, I thought I'd give it a try.

The idea of the saboteur, as I said, appealed to me. This being Big Brother, of course the execution of the idea would be completely wrong. The distorted videos, the ridiculous pranks, the midseason endpoint, and where the show goes horrendously wrong every time - the audience voting.
Instead of $50,000 if she can last until - week 5 was it? - make it $10,000 for every week she survives up to the final four. Stupid pranks and audience voting? NO! Let the saboteur sabotage challenges and house guests' strategies!

Aaaaaaaaaaaand of course she was out week one. Hey, America! Tell us who we should waste an offer of $20,000 on!

Oh, that cast. All of the above wouldn't be so bad if there was just one person I could cheer for. The Buffoon Brigade is only doing as well as it is because there are NO OTHER ALLIANCES except Rachel and Brandon (and I'd better be careful about what I say, because I don't want to get between potential stalker who is ready to give up $500,000 after a week for a guy Rachel and her man).
As it is, the only person I want to see stay in the house any given week is Enzo, and only then because I'm not yet tired of seeing a grown man refer to himself as "Meow Meow".

Rachel is HOH again. Expect to see Kristen and Britney on the block as Kathy is less of a threat to getting between her and her man.

Gawd, this show is awful.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Big Brother 8

I was right about Big Brother 8 and not having 12 complete strangers in the house. I'm also so convinced that the producers manipulate the outcome that this was my last season of the show.
Goodbye, Big Brother. It was nice while it lasted.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Screw you, Big Brother producers.

The cast has been announced for the new season of Big Brother, as well as the new lame casting twist... Pairs of people with unresolved issues in their lives are being put in the house together.
Enough with the casting "twists" where people know each other! After the trainwreck that was Big Brother: All-Stars, the series needed to get back to the basics of 12 COMPLETE STRANGERS!
I don't know how they ever got this idea in their heads that they need to do stunt casting every season, but it's worn out its welcome. I will still watch at first, but this could well be the last season I do watch, and at this point I wouldn't really miss it if it were the last season of the show ever.
At least Survivor and The Amazing Race still rock. And now we've got Pirate Master. Arrr.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Grease: You're The One That I Want - Contestant News

My friends, this is a momentous occasion. Realivision has hit the big time. How so? I've received my very first press release! Potential Sandy, Kate Rockwell, may not have won, but she did have a very good voice in a strong field (at least, it was a strong field of potential Sandys).
She's not on Broadway yet, but she will be appearing Off-Broadway.
Now this kind of news isn't the sort of thing done at Realivision, but I'm quite pleased at getting the press release, and Kate left me with a good impression after she was voted off. So you don't have to search for it, here were my final words on her...
Kate started out with some microphone problems, but that was sorted out quickly enough to give us what was possibly the best "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)" yet. In fact, she did such an excellent job at it that I was quite pissed we didn't get to hear more of her and got too much of the other Sandys singing with her. I haven't been a fan of this arrangement from the start, because it doesn't give the departing woman enough lines in her own farewell song, but this was too much. If she had been bringing this much emotion to the rest of her performances, we would have been seeing quite a different result this week, I'm sure.

She definitely has it in her to give an excellent performance, so should you be in New York, well, you should be going to see some live theatre anyway, darn it. Yes, it opens today. I'd check my e-mail more often if more people would write to me!


“Grease: You’re The One That I Want” Finalist Kate Rockwell to appear in a new Tammy Faye Bakker musical, BIG TENT!

May 15, 2007 (NEW YORK) – The upcoming musical Big Tent will receive its first public viewing in a full concert, produced by Tim Hur, on Wednesday, May 23 at Off-Broadway’s New World Stages. The reading will feature “You’re the One That I Want” finalist Kate Rockwell as Jessica Hahn, a cast of Broadway performers, and a full rock band. The concert will start at 8 pm and is free and open to the public. Ryan J. Davis will direct.

Big Tent was conceived and written by Jeffery Self and features music and lyrics by Ben Cohn & Sean McDaniel. Big Tent is billed as “The Tammy Faye Bakker Musical”, and is described by the authors as follows:

“A cultural icon for more than thirty years, Tammy Faye Bakker’s phenomenal rise from farm girl to evangelist superstar has finally been put onstage with a terrific pop-country score. Her unique style has made her beloved by mainstream Christians, as well as by gays and other outsiders whom she welcomed under her “big tent.” In this ninety minute, six character musical, we follow Tammy as she fights to maintain her dignity amidst sex and business scandals. Her perseverance in the face of private tragedy and public ridicule has made her a testament to the endurance of the human spirit.”

Reservations for the reading can be made by emailing As tickets are extremely limited, reservations for more than four people will not be accepted.

For more information and excerpts from the score, visit the official Big Tent myspace:

WHAT: Concert of BIG TENT

WHEN: Wednesday, May 23rd @ 8:00 PM

WHERE: New World Stages

340 W. 50th Street

New York, NY 10019

CONTACT: Ryan J. Davis

(646) 773-2534

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Monday, May 21, 2007

The Amazing Race: All-Stars - Wrap-Up

I've never been more torn on reality contestants than I am on Charla and Mirna, especially Mirna. Usually, if I can't stand a player, I want to see them gone, and ooooh, I could not stand this team. From their hypocrisy to their inability to go through a country without temporarily kidnapping a local to the insulting and patronizing accents they put on whenever they spoke to someone who didn't have English as a first language (and possibly even a couple who did) to their ridiculous hate of the Beauty Queens to calling every local "my friend" with the faint sound of panic in their voices all the way to their constant use of "This is life or death," this is a team that made every inch of my being scream, "PLEASE GET ELIMINATED!"
Yet at the same time, and this is why this season confused me so, I wanted them to stay because, damn, they were entertaining in their awfulness. I think I finally understand Lord Of The Rings fans. Anyway, they came in third, and I'm glad they made the final three. Sure, that meant they had a chance to win, but if that happened, the fact that they were an all-female team would have made that a lot easier to live with, despite how much more sanctimonious it would have made them.
As it is, we did have an all-female team finish better than any before, and come within a few short minutes of winning. Dustin and Kandice, for two seasons now you've had no bigger cheerleader than myself, and once again you showed why. A second place finish isn't the win for a million, but in The Amazing Race, it's nothing to sneeze at. You two showed why you were brought back for All-Stars by the way you ran so much of the race with smiles on your faces and just a joy for being there. You can also take pride that in your original season, you two actually managed to beat a Fast Forward. That is tough to do for anyone, but you pulled it off.
I don't know what it is about these two that raise the ire of their fellow racers so much, but for both seasons they've managed to make enemies. Are they kicking puppies when the camera isn't looking? They don't do much different and take any advantage any more than any other racers. They have no compunction about using the Yield, but damn it, that's what it's there for! You don't see teams whining in hockey because the other side is using a goalie, do you? Yes, it must be horribly frustrating to be Yielded, but it's not like the team punched your grandmother in the face. Eric overreacted to being Yielded just a tad, but that's nothing new in the Race.
What's more annoying is how the other teams get all morally outraged over the Yield being used. There are very few opportunities for outright strategy in this competition. To not use it to your advantage (or not use it to your advantage, rather than not using it out of a sense of moral superiority) is just stupid. It's a tool the Race provides, and using it makes sense. I love that no matter how freaked out everyone got, Kandice and Dustin had no problem using it, and didn't let it make them feel bad. Yes, Oswald, they used a tool the Race provides guilt-free. And they used it smartly, as Eric and Danielle were huge threats (very huge threats, it turns out).
They even had the best fight. There was none of the screaming we're used to in fights on this show. There was frustration, a temporary desire to quit, then they got over it and were back to smiles. There are times you can really tell when people racing together really are friends (I believe it was the first season I watched that one woman didn't want to stop unrolling haystacks looking for the clue because she didn't want to let down her friend), and this fight was one of those moments. Dustin told Kandice she couldn't imagine running this race without her. Throw in the time Dustin was crying out of concern for when Kandice was high, so very high up and jumping off a building, I've finally come to a very hard decision. It was very hard to choose between the two, but I have, and so I'm proud to announce...
Dustin Seltzer, you are Miss Realivision 2007!
If there was an actual crown and ceremony, I'd have Miss Realivision 2006, Melissa Witek, present it to you, but it's all happening in spirit.
Danny and Oswald were my second choice to win. They also remembered to have fun for most of the race, and it was refreshing to see a team stop for refreshments. I started to sour on them a little near the end though when they started getting more grumpy, and especially when Oswald started getting all pissy and guilty about selling the last Yield to the Beauty Queens. Look, Ozzy, you needed the money as you were broke, and the Beauty Queens didn't use it maliciously. Get over it. I'd really hate to see some of these people on Big Brother or Survivor, seeing that we'd be hearing "integrity" get yammered on about more than we already do. And voting someone off? Oh no! That's not a nice thing to do! Yes, all this self-righteous yapping about the Yield got to me. If I was in the game and I got to the Yield first, you can bet I'd use it on someone's ass to give me an advantage.
Not that it mattered either time. Eric and Danielle were very good at coming back from Yields. In fact, the second time they did so well they may well have won that leg if it weren't for the Yield, so it was a good play and got the BQs another prize.
Oh, Eric and Danielle. I so didn't want you two to win, but you just had to go ahead and do that, didn't you? It's not that I hated you, it's just that when your squabbling wasn't annoying me, you bored me. But you won anyway, and I'll especially give props to Eric who is very good at this competition, coming in second the first time, and winning the second. I just wish I never had to see your pierced nipples. Nobody wants to see that.
In case you haven't heard, Eric and Danielle broke up very soon after the race. I guess he couldn't wait to ditch the beard and get back to Jeremy, his original partner, who promised Eric spankings in a strange, pointless phone call at the finish line.
One of the biggest head-scratching decisions from the producers this season was having one non-elimination leg right after the other. When Eric and Danielle were marked for elimination on the first leg, would they have just been marked for elimination the second time as well if they ended up coming in last? It makes no sense, and really takes away from the point of being marked for elimination. Back when they players just had to give up their money and possessions, it would have worked, but with the new rules, it doesn't.
I've also never seen a season where airports and flights have played a bigger role. Obviously they're a big part of every season, but rarely have they screwed so many teams so often. Joyce and Uchenna were eliminated because they chose the wrong flight and couldn't make their connection in time. Other teams wound up so far behind that the frontrunners were starting the next leg before they even reached the mat! I felt bad for them, but it was awesome to see. I'd also like to point out that in that particular leg, Dustin and Candice had come in first so they were the first to leave before those in the back arrived. Whoo hoo!
All in all, it was a good season. There weren't a heck of a lot of great challenges this time around, so that was a bummer (really, count stairs for a fast forward? Go for a ride? Come on). On the other hand, it was the best All-Star season of any of the shows that have had one. There wasn't as much baggage going in, and alliances count for very little thanks to the nature of the game, despite what Mary from Kentucky would like. She'd do very well in The Amazing Picnic, but she's just not cut out for The Amazing Race where people actually want to be ahead of you and aren't horrible, horrible people for doing so. This is why they missed the Chos from their season, another team not made for this game. If there's ever an Amazing Stroll Through The Park, they should apply.
Not having watched every season (to my regret), it was nice to see faces who were new to me this edition. I didn't get to know all of them, as the very first elimination was a team I'd never seen before. There were teams that left me wondering how they got picked for All-Stars. The two bald guys, Kevin and Drew... Were they more entertaining or stronger racers in their original season? Now I know how people who never saw the first season of Big Brother felt upon seeing Chicken George on their All-Stars (I so wanted Brittany back for that, but upon seeing what an abomination that season turned out to be, not only am I glad she wasn't, I'm sorry any of my favourites who were there had to go through that).
There is good news and bad news from CBS about the show. The good news is the Race will be back. The bad news is, it's going to be a wait. Unless there's a big upturn in ratings, we've come to the end of two seasons a year. Luck for us though, there will still be a lot to watch. I'm particular looking forward to the premiere of Pirate Master coming up very soon. Arrrr.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Apprentice L.A. - Wrap Up

The fundamental flaw with The Apprentice, other than Donald Trump being a complete ass as a human being, is that the competition is for a job while most of the tasks have no relation to that job at all. If you go in to interview for an accountant position, nobody asks you to bake a pie. You may have to cook some books, but pastries don't come up in the equation at all.
I don't watch America's or Canada's Next Top Model, and I don't watch Project Runway, but I do know that all the tasks in the form require modelling, and all the tasks in the latter require designing clothes. Granted, it would be fun to make them balance a ledger, but that would have nothing to do with the ultimate goal.
Granted, there are things you can learn from watching people perform in Apprentice tasks. Hard working or lazy? Works well with others? A good leader AND a good follower? Quick and creative thinker?
I've never overseen the construction of a building, but I suspect the creative thinking required isn't quite like the creative thinking in putting together a commercial or advertising event. There's a reason companies have departments specifically for marketing.
That said, I'm still disappointed in Heidi. Since I last updated this show, Heidi had won another task as Project Manager, and when it came to measuring up to her previous performances sitting beside Trump, she hit the mark and I thought she had this competition sewn up.
That is, until she teamed up with Frank. The final six got together in teams of two and each had to come up with presentation for a new Trump Towerish Thing, and Heidi and Frank's presentation sucked. The video was nothing, there was no theme, and Heidi wasn't preparted at all to present what they did have, which wasn't like her at all. The thing with the boardroom is, if you have a horrible task but shined throughout the competition up until then, you should be able to save your own butt. Unfortunately for Heidi, sitting across from The Donald instead of beside him, and on the defensive at that, she crashed and burned.
What she needed to do was to admit to screwing up in this task without humming and hawing, without trying to excuse it, just admit to the screw-up but then stand on your record. It might not have worked, but at least it would have been a lot less disappointing for those of us who were behind her.
Kristine was also fired at the same time for not doing well enough on her task (and wasn't given enough time to defend herself, from what we saw, and even with editing she seemed shocked to not have more of a chance). The good news was that both of them took the firing well, having a bit of a laugh and regretting not teaming up with each other (Kristine wanted to prove herself without Heidi). At least they left us with a positive impression.
But there was bad news as well. With those two gone, there was no more original Kinetic, the only people left were the buffoons of Arrow. Crap.
Even crappier than who made the final four was that it was only going to be a final four. Based on this and his other show, Survivor, it seems that executive producer Mark Burnett has found himself with a fetish with groups at the end instead of a final two. For two seasons now, Survivor has had a final three (more on that when I write my Surivor: Fiji entry, which will come after The Amazing Race which will be next), and now The Apprentice gives us a final four going to the final boardroom. It just doesn't work, because it doesn't remove the last people you know don't have a chance, and it's a little cruel because it gives them false hope. Trump may like you, Frank, but you really don't think you were in the running, do you?
However, I could have lived with the lameness of final four if it wasn't for the absolute suckiness of the final task. Instead of the standard bringing together of a charity event, the final task was... making a commercial. Something they've already done for a task, but this one was for movie theatres! Oooh! Nope, sorry, that's a load of crap for a final task. There was no tension, one deadline, no large numbers of people to impress and organize. It was a friggin' commercial. Seriously, am I getting across how horrible a choice I thought this was? Maybe previous final tasks meant they weren't able to get corporate sponsors willing to let them get together two charity events again, but they should have at least come up with their own.
It was a lame ending to a pretty lame season. I really hope this isn't the one they go out on.
Even though it was a final four, it still got whittled down in the boardroom to a final two as the losing team from the lame final task was fired, and it came down to James versus Stephanie.
I didn't care much for James. There was arrogance in him with a dash of hypocrisy (don't make me search for it, but I believe he was complaining about Frank doing exactly the same thing he did a couple of tasks earlier). But Stephanie was pretty much the Invisible Woman all season, and she never once stepped up as Project Manager. As much as she struck me as someone more grounded and ready for the job, never being PM should have been her death knell.
Then Trump told James that James had said something he didn't like, but didn't elaborate it but he said that he knew what he was talking about. I don't know what it was, maybe James stood up and proclaimed himself a Rosie O'Donnell fan, and that the comedian and talk show host has as much right as any other citizen to stand up and speak her beliefs, despite what appears to be a successful conservative effort to demonize and marginalize her. Don't like what Rosie's saying? Shout her down and belittle her! Nobody wants to listen to a fat, ugly pig!
Sorry, this whole thing has been a sore point with me lately, and Trump has been at the forefront of it. I'll keep trying not to get too political in these pages.
All that matters is that Stephanie did something I thought would have been impossible. She won the season without once being Project Manager. I don't know if it would have been possible in a normal season, but this one did have the twist of the winning PM staying in the job until they lose. That does make it more difficult to get the position, but I will still argue that you should fight for the job whenever you get the chance. If the show does manage to come back, I doubt we will ever see someone who has never been PM win again.
I'm not sure how I feel about the winning PM keeping the job, as twists go it's not the best but it's not the worst. I do like that they sit in the boardroom beside Trump as it gives us a chance to see how well they do in that situation. And damn it, nobody did better there this season than Heidi.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Grease: You're The One That I Want - The Finale

Okay, I know it's been a while. Sorry. There were two reasons for it. One was the usual burnout, but that wouldn't have been as bad if it weren't for this show, and I didn't want to touch the other programs until I got this one done as I don't like to mess up the order. But the thing is, I've had no desire to watch the finale. It's still sitting on a tape, but seeing as the competition was over, the whole thing would have been filler up until the winners were announced.
Who cares about the filler? That's the problem with the Dancing With The Stars results show. I haven't even bothered watching most of them, just flipping over to see who's been eliminated (and let me tell you that Billy Ray Cyrus outlasting Heather Mills was yet another crime audience voting is responsible for).
So how can I write a commentary if I haven't seen the show yet? Because I know who won. Congratulations, Max and Laura!
This should be interesting now when the show opens. There shouldn't be an issue with Laura, as she is very talented. My only concern about her is if she can play the role innocently enough, but that's about it. If too many people care that she's brunette, she can always wear a wig or dye her hair.
The bigger problem is going to be Max. People who watched the show know what a plucky underdog he was and his backstory, the kind of things that helped him get the votes to win. But people who didn't watch? They're going to go in and many will likely respond, "What the hell? That's Danny?"
It's unfortunately, but it's a reality in show business and in life. Personally, I'd love to see the show on Broadway and see how he does, if he's going to be able to pull it off despite not being quite what most people imagine Danny Zuko to be.
There have been people so upset at the result that they've cancelled their tickets. I have no sympathy for those idiots. Anyone paying attention could have predicted Max and Laura would win (I'd like to pat myself on the back here and note that I called it), but even to those who didn't think it was obvious, it should still have been too big of a gamble to buy tickets expecting certain people to win. If you were stupid enough to buy tickets like this, suck it up and go see the winners perform. To do otherwise gets you called an idiot in this blog.
If people were trying to beat the rush, I think the ratings for Grease: You're The One That I Want should have told them not to sweat it. Trying to get tickets to see it on Broadway before it closes? Now that's something else. That I can understand. I really hope I remember to check out reviews and such when it opens. I don't know what kind of contract the winners signed and if it gives the producers outs, but if they were smart, they will be prepared to let the winners go and have understudies ready to go on that more fit what people want to see. Yes, it sucks. Don't you think I'd love to be able to step in front of a camera? But no, I'm a hideous troll and I know that I will never make it as Canada's Next Top Model. Canada's Next Top Sideshow? Sure, of course!
Now there's a show I'd watch, as long as it wasn't exploitative.
Anyway, little of this is new. This is the sort of thing I've been saying all season. If having Max as Danny affects ticket sales, hey, they're the ones that put him through to the competition. Not that they had much choice. I know there are a lot of talented men out there but why they didn't audition for the show is beyond me.
So break a leg, Max and Laura. I can't say you were my choices (though Laura was close with some awesome performances), but you were both at the top of the competition and I hope you kick butt.

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