Bachelor Ben: Episode 1

Like the general viewership of last season’s The Bachelorette, I too yelled at the TV while Ben H. somberly rode away from Kaitlyn in a minivan (at least spring for some better wheels, ABC). Always a sweet guy and a voice of reason in a drama-filled house, Ben H. deserved much more. Actually, pretty much every guy deserved more after Nick showed up.

I tuned in Monday to watch the drama unfold and wasn’t let down. They always seem to find the most emotionally unstable women (and men) for this damn show. And unsurprisingly, Ben was a sweetheart to all of them. This includes resident crazies, Lace and Mandie, both of whom should have gone home (but where’s the fun in that?). It was also a tad jarring that most of the women were my age or younger. But I guess that makes sense for a 26-year-old Bachelor.

As Ben H. (he will always be Ben H.) starts his journey on The Bachelor, I wish him nothing but the best luck to find love in a hopeless place. I mean, how many couples are still together? Gotta be less than five. It’s also always nice to see Bachelor Chris back on the tube. Iowa pride forever (#godscountry).

And because I like to shake things up a bit, here are my four favorites just from this first episode alone: Samantha, Amanda, Lauren H., and news anchor Olivia, who received the first impression rose. From the previews it looks like Olivia turn out to be the token “Not Here For the Right Reasons/Is Actually Psychotic” contestant this season, but we’ll see.

So, here’s to you, Bachelor Ben. May your season be full of the “MOST DRAMATIC ROSE CEREMONY EVER”, tears, and cheesy dates. Good luck with the crazies. As for me, I’ll try to stay away from spoilers.

Fall 2015 Review

I started this fall tv season in good spirits. Each fall I watch every pilot episode (sometimes more) in the hopes of finding my next big obsession. I’m currently a loyal viewer of around 20 on-air shows (yes, that number is correct) and I’m always looking to add to my collection. But unfortunately I’ve been pretty underwhelmed by this year’s crop of new shows. The premise to Quantico is interesting, but I only lasted two episodes. I tried to like Blindspot, but the whole tattoo thing is very Prison Break and I’m biased.  I loved the movie, Minority Report, but I gave up on the show after three episodes. I’ve only added three new shows to my repertoire and they can all arguably fall under the “guilty pleasure” category. Ok. They all definitely do.

Basically as the annoying little sister network, The CW constantly gets a bad rap. A show getting 3 million viewers on a main network would be grounds for cancellation, while it’s considered a hit for The CW. I really wanted to hate Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I really did. The basic premise, not to mention the show title, sounds like something I typically aim to avoid: Girl moves across the country to be close to an ex-boyfriend. But I can’t help it: I love Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. This is a surprising turn of events since characters like Rebecca give me so much secondhand embarrassment that I end up muting the entire program (RIP, Glee). In the words of Chandler Bing, Rebecca is “hopeless, awkward, and desperate for love” and it’s a car crash I can’t help but enjoy watching. Plus, who doesn’t love random musical numbers? (again, RIP Glee).

I’m a sucker for superhero origin shows. I’m in the midst of a great Smallville rewatch and I’m currently a fan of The Flash. So, I had a good idea that I was going to like Supergirl. Is it too early to petition a Tom Welling/Superman cameo? Because I’d be all for that. Melissa Benoist plays a very likeable Kara Danvers, who is starting out on her superhero journey.  I’m still on the fence of whether I’m a supporter of Kara/James or Kara/Winn, but I’m enjoying the ride thus far.

Finally, Scream Queens. With all promo this show got over the summer, I had pretty high expectations. And like most of the reviews that I read, my expectations were nowhere near met. The premise is ridiculous. The dialogue is ridiculous. The characters are over-the-top and mostly unlikeable. But I don’t care, I’m hooked and ready for the season finale tonight. I still think the dad is the Red Devil, we’ll see.

Favorite So You Think You Can Dance Performances

Mondays from 7-9 (well, 10 because the Teen Wolf love is still there) is an event. It’s So You Think You Can Dance time. It’s been my favorite reality show ever since its inception back in 2005. And even though I haven’t been a fan of the format for a few seasons now: the jam-packing into one show instead of two, the all-star introductions, and this stage vs. street nonsense (TEAM STAGE), I’ve remained a loyal viewer. For two hours, I’m glued to the tv and my phone (my bestie and I live-text the show) and I get to immerse myself in one of my favorite things: dance. I danced religiously up until college, and did two years of college before calling it quits. I have such a deep appreciation for the art and greatly enjoy watching it. Plus, it’s a great place to get new music.

It was hard compiling this list because there have been so many performances that I loved and still love to go back and rewatch. I also skipped over seasons 1, 9, and 10 because I couldn’t watch due to a lack of television access. (And photos link to YouTube vids! Check them out).

SEASON 2

Calling You

Duet: “Calling You” – Contemporary, Travis + Heidi (choreographer: Mia Michaels)
Group: “Ramalama (Bang Bang)” – Jazz, Top 8 (choreographer: Wade Robson)

So, yes, I know my choices are extremely cliché, but these are the best known dances from this season for a reason. Firstly, you can’t go wrong with a TWall + Mia combo and I miss Wade Robson terribly. And the song Ramalama has a special place in my heart because we used to go stretching and warm-ups to that song at my studio. Hello nostalgia.

SEASON 3

Screenshot 2015-08-24 14.25.04

Duet: “Night of the Dancing Flame” —Jazz, Neil + Lauren (choreographer: Wade Robson)
Group: “The Moment I Said It” – Contemporary, Top 10 (choreographer: Mia Michaels)

More Wade and Mia dances because the quality of their dances are always top notch. Neil was my favorite dancer this season…yes, he mostly because he was extremely pretty. This was also the first season whose tour I went to and “The Moment I Said It” was amazing live.

SEASON 4

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Duet: “Bleeding Love” – Hip-hop, Mark + Chelsie (choreographer: Napoleon and Tabitha)
Group: “The Dance” – Contemporary, Top 16 (choreographer: Mia Michaels)

Seeing “The Dance” live was basically a religious experience. So. Freaking. Good. And this was back when lyrical hip-hop was new and fresh.

SEASON 5

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Duet: “If It Kills Me” – Contemporary, Jason + Jeanine (choreographer: Travis Wall)
Group: “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” – Hip-hop/Samba, Top 16 (choreographers: Dmitry Chaplin, Napoleon and Tabitha)

Choosing this was so hard because the addiction piece, “ Gravity” is one of my all-time favorites, but “If It Kills Me” barely wins. TWall’s first piece for SYTYCD and it’s amazing. And I love me some Dmitry.

SEASON 6

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Duet: “Ordinary Day”—Viennese Waltz, Jakob + Mollee (choreographer: Jason Gilkison)
Group: “Aha!” – Contemporary jazz, Top 14 (choreographer: Wade Robson)

Oh, season six. The season that time forgot. This Viennese Waltz is probably my favorite ballroom routine of all-time.

SEASON 7

Screenshot 2015-08-24 14.31.27

Duet: “Collide” – Contemporary, Kent + Lauren (choreographer: Travis Wall)
Group: “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” aka Alice in Mia Land – Contemporary (choreographer: Mia Michaels)

I think this is last season where I’ve been truly impressed by the quality of performances. I feel like they’ve slowly declined since season 7. There are so many performances that I loved from this group of dancers. “Outta Your Mind” (obvi), “Mad World” (duh), and “Fix You” are all tied for a very close second.

SEASON 8

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Duet: “Total Eclipse of the Heart” – Contemporary, Neil + Melanie (choreographer: Mandy Moore)
Solo: “You’re the One That I Want” – Contemporary, Melanie

I couldn’t think of a group routine that stood out for me, so I went with a solo aka my favorite solo.

SEASON 11

Screenshot 2015-08-24 14.33.34

Duet: “Like Real People Do” – Contemporary, Casey + Jessica (choreographer: Travis Wall)
Group: “My Immortal” – Contemporary, Top 7 Girls (choreographer; Mandy Moore)

One of my favorite songs (My Immortal) + one of my favorite choreographers = one of my favorite (if not my favorite) group dances.

Six TV Deaths I Actually Mourned

I honestly cannot remember the last time that a tv show or a movie moved me to tears. And this is an accomplishment considering I feel like a whiny, needy mess inside. McDreamy’s death didn’t do it for me. Inside Out didn’t either. And Me and Earl and the Dying Girl failed to cue the waterworks. So, in order to prove that I, in fact, am not a complete robot, I thought I’d make a companion to “Three TV Deaths I Rather Enjoyed.”

Some of these bring out feelings off bitterness rather than sadness because they were completely unnecessary deaths that were simply put in for shock factor, but I’m still upset. And, yes, it’s been years. I can hold a serious grudge (I’m looking at you, Shonda Rhimes).

Allison_Argent

Allison Argent (Crystal Reed), Teen Wolf

I always appreciated that Allison wasn’t your typical female lead on a sci-fi show. She didn’t need saving. She completely held her own. She was bad-ass with a bow and arrow. She fought against her family and their werewolf hunter ways. She wasn’t just the girlfriend of the main protagonist. Allison Argent was her own character, which made her death even more unnecessary. Personally, I don’t think it moved the plot any further. I’m a fan of Kira and her relationship with Scott, but it shouldn’t have come at the expense of Allison.

ml

Lexie Grey + Mark Sloan (Chyler Leigh + Eric Dane),
Grey’s Anatomy

Hey, a double-whamy death that actually did make me cry. Mark and Lexie was the Grey’s couple for me (Sorry MerDer) and I’m still bitter that these deaths happened. Meredith lost yet another member of her family (don’t even get me started about this new sister that has popped up now). The deaths, again, weren’t necessary. Mark gave a speech of rom-com proportions only to have Lexie kick the bucket. And then he died of a literal broken heart. No thank you. You’re damn right that they deserved the hospital memorial.

sj

Sun + Jin Kwon (Yunjin Kim + Daniel Dae Kim), Lost

Another two-fer. You’d think that getting within an episode of the finale would mean that all the characters were safe…nope. Sun and Jin bit the dust right before the series finale. Sun and Jin were separated more than they were together throughout the whole of LOST and their reunion scenes all pulled at these tough heartstrings. Add in the fact that Jin probably could have lived if he pulled a Rose, and you’ve got a sad Kate. Shame on you, Man in Black, shame on you.

finn

Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), Glee

This one might be cheating a little since his death wasn’t planned, but I’m going with it. Coming at a time when Glee’s quality of episodes was pretty crappy, this episode (“The Quarterback”) is a definite standout. The songs didn’t feel contrived, the song selection was on point, and the acting seemed natural because everyone was in actual mourning. It even made me feel for Finchel, and that pairing was typically the bane of my existence. I wasn’t even bothered that we weren’t given a reason for his death either. Life imitated art and the episode was heart-wrenching in the best/worst possible way.

RIP Derek Shepherd

credit: hollywood reporter
credit: hollywood reporter

I had the luck to be on a plane like week and did not get to experience of the hysteria over Derek Shepherd’s death live. I did land to 25 missed text messages from friends freaking out, however, claiming that they were done with Grey’s and that it will never be the same. (In my opinion, people should have been done with Grey’s around two seasons ago, but that’s just me). By the time I watched the episode the next day my Facebook and Twitter was full of nothing of upset fans. I can barely call myself a fan anymore, but at first thought I wasn’t upset. Like Dempsey, I’d be desperate to get out of the show, too. But now after watching his swan song, I am upset. But not for obvious reasons.

First things first: I’ve never found McDreamy to be that dreamy. I’ve always been more of a McSteamy girl. I was never really that devoted to the Derek/Meredith romance. I accepted that their relaysh was a main component of the show, but I was never a diehard fan. That all being said…what kind of send-off episode was that? The first half had nothing to do with the second half. I get that that they wanted to show Derek’s character and how good of a person and doctor he was. But then because he went to unknown hospital, the episode consisted of characters that we don’t know and don’t care about. I expected an episode of at least George/Izzie power in terms of emotionality (Lexie is still number one in my heart).

And maybe that’s what the 2-hour episode is going to be tonight: A kind of mash-up flashback episode where the characters get to say their goodbyes to Derek properly. In my opinion, they could have cut the first half of the episode and used the second half to give him a proper goodbye. Meredith’s little scene wasn’t enough for me. Maybe that’s why this death isn’t sitting right with me. It didn’t seem real. It still doesn’t seem real. I’m expected him to show up in this next episode with a whole, “It’s a beautiful night to save lives…I’m back bitches!” speech. If they were going to kill him, he should have died back with the hospital shooter episode—that at least would been a good death with substance.

I’m not sure what I’ve hoping for. I guess closure, just closure. A nice remembrance of who McDreamy was before Shonda screws up again. It’s also amazing how many actors on Grey’s have had reportedly “diva-ish” behavior. Maybe it says something more about the way things are run behind the scenes and not the actors themselves. Maybe if they weren’t recycling storylines and keeping actors locked in a show (that again should have been taken off the air years ago) the characters could have been given proper goodbyes and a proper ending that didn’t result in a tragic death. Please, oh please, ABC gods, do not renew this show again. I don’t think fans could handle another death and I think we know more will come as long it lives.

MORE GREY’S ANATOMY POSTS:

That’s a Wrap: Glee Edition

When Glee first premiered I forced myself to not watch it. The show choir kids at my high school were loud, boisterous, and annoying, and I absolutely refused to get sucked into that world. The very first episode that I watched was 1.06 “Vitamin D,” and after the “It’s My Life/Confessions III” mash-up I was hooked. This was large in part to Cory Monteith and how adorably eager he played Finn. Thank you, Cory, for getting me to watch Glee.

As the curtains close tomorrow (finally), I am equal parts relieved that the trainwreck is finally over and grief over what a quality program Glee used to be. The first thirteen episodes of the show deserved every single award and nomination that it got. It was a heartfelt, witty show that I actually looked forward to watching every single week. Glee is a prime example of how fame and listening to fan expectations can completely ruin a show. I stopped tuning in because I actually cared about the storylines and/or characters. I only wanted to see what amazing clothes Quinn was wearing and if another great song had been Kidz Bop-ified. Not to say there hasn’t been the odd amazing episode or well-done cover over the past five seasons, but the caliber of those first thirteen episodes haven’t been reached in years. And that’s so sad to me.

So I give you some random thoughts I (still) have as the show comes to a close. Excuse my usage of the couple portmanteaus, it’s easier to write.

Thank you costume department for reviving my love of Anthropologie dresses and JCrew prep. I now own several replica Quinn outfits and they’re my favorite. My closet is forever in your debt.

I hated Finchel. As one of the few who stayed loyal on Team Fuinn, I absolutely could not stand this main couple. However, I was accepting from the beginning that this is where the show was going and how it was most likely going to end. Now that that ending will never be (RIP Cory, seriously you’re missed), I have to admit that Ryan Murphy’s proposed ending of Rachel coming back to McKinley and to Finn sounds pretty perfect.

Sam, who had originally been cast as Kurt’s boyf anyways, would have had the arc of discovering himself and finally accepting that he had feelings for Kurt and then they could ride off into the sunset together. “Duets” is still one of my favorite episodes. There was so much potential in this pairing. And yet, it was wasted on Fabrevans. This also brings me to Blaine. I’m also in the minority of Gleeks (that made me shudder) who hated the gel freak with a burning passion.

Dalton Academy never needed an introduction. The Troubletones storyline was dumb. We were here to watch the stories of the New Directions.

Quinn deserved better. Tina deserved better. As a matter of fact, all of the female characters deserved better. When the girls weren’t cheating on their boyfriends or being annoyingly clingy or that girl that we all despise, they were being used as props to make their male counterparts look better. The character of Sue was comic gold and then turned into a complete caricature.

“True Colors” is my most-played cover from the cast and still gives me chills.

I have no expectations for tonight. I assume the new cast of characters will take up the time that could have been given to the originals. I like Cheerios guy with the good voice and hot football guy. I have absolutely no idea that their names are. The show will end is some sort of stereotypical way. I’m thinking some sort of “lights out” in the choir room or Rachel in New York and a dedication to Cory. All I can hope for is that there is closure and that the original cast members get their due. I’d love to see Tina and Artie reunite.

Sayonara Glee. Please don’t pull a 7th Heaven.

SOME OTHER GLEE POSTS OF MINE: