Archive for the ‘TV’ Category
15 Oct

A Blip of a TV Review: “American Horror Story”

Alternative Title: “HGTV’s Scream House”

Short Plot: Psychologist Dylan McDermott is caught doin’ tha nasty with a chick and gets caught by his wife. Instead of divorce, he opts to uproot his wife and daughter and move across country to an eerie house. Tension is high between all three as they start to adjust to the move and try to heal their wounds. They find out the previous owners died in the house (murder/suicide) and they also encounter strange folks who become fixtures at the house – specifically the bat-ass crazy neighbor Jessica Lange and her Down’s daughter. A housekeeper who has worked there for years also shows up and basically forces her services on the family. Odd things occur, McDermott treats a disturbed kid who may have a connection to the house, and whatever you do…don’t go in the basement.

Pros: Really quite creepy, we get to see odd things as a viewer that the family is not, the cast it terrific, it is quite gruesome and the language is appropriately salty, and Dylan McDermott shirtless a lot of the time.

Cons: A side story about the guy’s young affair chick being pregnant doesn’t seem to fit in the time line (or maybe I missed something), not sure how long a series about a haunted house can sustain – seems like the family would bolt out of there (especially after the 2nd episode), it is pretty dire – the family isn’t loaded with laughs (although the side characters can be very humorous), and it could go the way of shows like “Twin Peaks,” where it is brilliant to begin with and then just totally fizzles.

Verdict: Hands down my favorite new show of the season. The creepiness reminds me of some of the scary “X-Files” episodes that I used to love. I like how the story is progressing and it has already opened up a lot of doors to be explored. But the best part of the show has to be Jessica Lange. Casting her was brilliant and she plays the part of the very strange neighbor to the hilt. She was stunning in the second episode in a scene where she punishes her daughter (who has Down’s Syndrome) in a very odd and cruel way. Also, did I mention that Dylan McDermott is pretty much unclothed for good chunks of these shows?  Just making sure…

Even the opening credits can give you the chills….excellent.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Blips ••••

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13 Dec

1st Annual theBlippity Awards

As the close of 2010 approaches, theBlippity has taken a look at the highlights and lowlights of the year for the first annual awards. Without much ado, here it goes:

Favorite Album:  “Head First” by Goldfrapp – I probably played this the most of any this year. “Rocket” and “Alive” were stuck in my head all summer and I loved the retro 80’s feel. It was just the perfect album at the perfect time for me. Is it potential classic in years ahead? Nope. Is it full of great imagery and deep lyrics. Don’t think so. Is it even a great album of any sort? Not really. I just know that when I had this playing all I wanted to do was put on some glam make-up and start singing in a hair brush. And to those who passed me on the highway and I was rockin’ in the car to this – I apologize for burning your retinas.

Favorite Underrated Artist:  Bleu – he got a new album out this year, “Four,” and it did not disappoint. He’s got songs out there done by other popular artists but still has yet to hit the big time himself. Here’s hoping he does sometime soon as it would be well deserved.

Unfavorite Album:  “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” by Kanye West – there are obvious targets each year for just plain bad music, but why constantly pick on them? We know it, they know it. Instead I’ll focus on an artist I just have never understood.  Not one note of this egotistical turd has ever made me interested in him. And yet critics are swooning over this album as the best he has ever done and it’s a masterpiece. To my ears, it was a master piece-o-crap.

Unfavorite Overrated Artist:  Taylor Swift – She is sweet and adorable and personable. And I think she does have some kind of talent above the norm and is capable of writing a tune. However, a barely passable voice and okay writing should not propel someone into the stratosphere of superstardom in a nanosecond. Plus, an Album of the Year award AND getting to sing with Stevie Nicks? Blasphemy I say!

Favorite Song:  “Wheels” by Heart – Along with the Goldfrapp songs above, this hardly left my player. Talk about retro – this was just pure Heart doing what they do best, like it was 1976 merging into the future. With an interesting producer (Ben Mink – k.d. lang’s collaborator) on board really pushing them, they rocked and rolled right back where they should be. And I’ll mention once again – any car company’s ad agency should be drooling and slapping this into one of their commercials.

Unfavorite Song:  “Whip My Hair” by Willow – Yes, okay, I admit. I downloaded this and it is in my workout mix for the gym. I can’t help it. I have some kind of sick obsession with the song. But what grinds my ears the most is that freakin’ chorus. Just repeating and repeating until your ears begin to bleed and your head wants to explode like a bat to a zombie’s head. It is unrelenting. And, worst of all, it sticks in your head like a 3-day hangover. So while I kinda like the song and when it comes on I get a little smile on, by the time it is over I just want to smash my head through a window in order to pass out and forget it…but I don’t even think that will work.

Favorite Movie:  “Inception” – Thus far, since a lot of the real Oscar fare is not readily available yet, I’m gonna tag this as my favorite. It was strange, sometimes incoherent, and left you scratching your head, but for me I liked all of that. It made me think and kept me entertained the whole time. Some of the effects – like that hallway fight sequence – left me breathless. In a year of truly bland movies, this was the stand out and the one that I’d watch again anytime.

Unfavorite Movie:  “Burlesque” – Not because it was an awful movie, but just for the disappointment factor. I was really hoping this would work, but for me it did not. Have I mentioned that there is no Cher/Christina duet?  That alone is worthy of unfavoritism – in fact, I’d call it a sin. Shame, shame, shame!

Favorite TV Show:  “The Walking Dead” – I was really surprised at this gem. TV shows and even movies on this subject are usually about as intelligent as their subjects (zombies!), but this is the very rare case where the writing, production, and cast all came together to create something terrific. The first season only had 6 episodes and left the cast on the run again. I can’t wait to see where their journey takes them and who (or what) they will encounter. I am concerned that the writers won’t be able to keep up this momentum, but for now I’m totally hooked.

Unfavorite TV Show:  “Mike & Molly” – I kinda had hopes that this would be a good solid show, but so far it is a total disappointment. It doesn’t help that I only like one of the leads (the terrific Melissa McCarthy) and that a lot of the writing falls way south of flat. Besides Molly, the only highlight to watch for is Swoosie Kurtz as the mother. She has the best lines – probably because she is really the only name draw here. I almost had soda squirting out my nose when she was talking about “the welcome mat” (I can’t explain that here…), but a couple of great lines does not make a great show. Again, not horrific like a lot of the junk the networks tried to sell us, but a real disappointment.

Well, those are theBlippity’s for 2010 – subject to change, no deposits no returns, no shirt no shoes no service, take it or leave it. Now, I’m going to go over to Taylor Swift’s house and sit down and really explain to her why Beyonce had the best video of all time. And then take her over to Kanye’s so the three of us can karaoke to “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

Categories: Commentary, Movies, Music, TV Tags:
03 Dec

I loves me some zombies!

I almost didn’t watch AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” Now with the first season almost over, I’m so glad I did. I think it is one of the best dramas to come along in quite a while. You would think that a TV show with a zombie theme and struggling survivors would be leaning towards camp or maybe come off like one of those cruddy sci-fi knockoffs, but this is not the case. This is a very well-written drama with a believable story and characters that you immediately connect with and care about. Truly, I just watched an episode and almost cried twice! What is up with that? When was the last time you watched a horror show and welled up? But at it’s heart it is still about a zombie plagued world and the effects are pretty gross and wonderful. And there are still plenty of scares to go around. I’m hailing this as my favorite new show of the season. It’s just a bummer AMC underestimated it and there won’t be any new shows until next year sometime. But I can wait…and dream of zombies.

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