So You Think You Can Dance: LA and Chicago

May 31, 2007 at 3:14 pm | Posted in So You Think You Can Dance, TV News | 2 Comments

Get ready for two hours worth of So You Think You Can Dance recapping! Tonight: the Los Angeles and Chicago auditions. The LA judging panel is Nigel, Mary, and … Wade Robson? I guess he’s replacing Brian Friedman, but I never expected to see Wade slumming at auditions. I thought they were beneath him.

I both love and hate Wade — you might recall that he hooked up with Britney Spears back in the day, thus triggering the “Cry Me a River” Justin/Britney breakup. He also takes himself far too seriously. On the other hand, he’s got some sweet dance dance moves. But let’s get on with it.

Lauren’s first; she’s a very pretty girl with a very bad haircut. She’s also a ringer — she works for choreographer Tyce Diorio, and once gave Tobey Maguire a dance lesson. Yeesh. Obviously, she’s great. Wade gets super technical in his critique, commenting on her lines, dynamics, control, and generally sounding sort of assy. In fact, all the judges sound bored in their critiques, but it’s probably because there’s no point in gushing over one of Tyce’s girls, since she’s not undiscovered talent. Mary looks busted, by the way. Let’s hope the stylists quickly realize this and give her a touch up. Anyway, Lauren goes straight through to Vegas.

Jessi’s next, and basically does a lot of sexy stretches. It works for the judges, though. Straight to Vegas.

And now it’s time for the humiliation portion of the show. A portly homosexual gentlemen named EJ dances a lyrical routine. It’s not pleasant to watch, mostly because his t-shirt keeps riding up and showing his belly. He’s clearly had training, though, and does some nice little leaps and spins. The crowd bursts into applause, and Nigel absolutely loses it. Prepare yourselves for Nasty Nigel. He tells EJ that the applause is patronizing, and that it’s because EJ’s fat, not for his ability. Nigel’s basically trying to shame the crowd, not EJ, but it’s hard to watch. Then Wade says EJ’s dancing like a girl, which is … mean but fair. I think Mary’s the harshest, yelling at him for “feeling himself.” No, not like that, he was just caressing his face. It’s the exact same “sensual” crap that Jessi did, but it works better for a hot lady than an awkward dude. It just adds validity to Wade’s point about being masculine. Nigel encourages him to keep dancing, but adds the final dig that it’ll be good for his health. Ouch! Thankfully, EJ handles the situation with a lot of grace.

More after the jump: Continue Reading So You Think You Can Dance: LA and Chicago…

Harry Potter gets his own world

May 31, 2007 at 2:29 am | Posted in Harry Potter | Leave a comment

Exciting news!  The best theme park ever, Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, is adding a new island: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  The Leaky Cauldron site has all the info.  They’re putting in a big Hogwarts castle — now Universal can finally conquer its castle envy.  Supposedly J.K. Rowling has been extremely demanding about the layout (which is a good thing), but I hope they do manage to have some Harry Potter rides, not just shopping/dining.  I’d like to see something similar to their Spider-Man ride, which is sick.

Hello again, So You Think You Can Dancers!

May 30, 2007 at 1:23 am | Posted in So You Think You Can Dance, TV News | 2 Comments

It’s back! Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest (dancing) reality show known to man is back! And joy of joys, it’s time to recap an audition episode. I hate watching the American Idol auditions, but for whatever reason I can tolerate public humilation much more easily when dancing is involved.

Updated: I managed to find a copy of the whole episode, so without further adieu, let the bad dancery begin!

Cat Deeley starts us off with a recap of last season’s competition and the summer tour. As hoped, she’s dressed ridiculously. Missed you, Cat! She previews the audition footage for us, and there’s some appalling stuff in store, including some chick who feigns birthing a stuffed panda out of her vah-jay-jay.

We start off in New York, where Nigel, Mary and Dan are judging the auditions. Hi guys! Missed you, too! I just love them. Sometimes we have our disagreements, but we always patch things up. Mary’s been made a permanent judge this year, which is a great decision. They can always find another ballroom choreographer, but shrill screamers are hard to come by. (Unless you’re standing outside my apartment at 3 a.m.)

First up: Dancing Derrick, who’s clearly a radio station plant or some other master of bad dancing fakery. He spastically gyrates to nineties techno. I’d enjoy his antics more if they featured a faceplant. He also ducks all the questions about his technique and goes straight for the “dancing is my life, and I’ll never give it up, no matter what you say, NIGEL” angle. Afterwards, he fakes having some sort of pulmonary episode. Hurray for excellent crazy-person faking!

Tiffany is a larger girl, and she dances to Evanescence, arms and legs a’flailing unattractively. The panel pities her. She asks what she needs to work on, and this bunch of loudmouths has absolutely nothing to say. Dan can’t even look at her. I think it was a little early in the program for Dan to act “speechless,” since this chick definitely won’t be the worst we’ll see all night, but it’s effective nevertheless. In the post-audition interview, Tiffany abandons her life dream of opening a dance studio in favor of opening a restaurant. See you next season on Top Chef, Tiffany.

Lots more after the jump:

Continue Reading Hello again, So You Think You Can Dancers!…

How Johnny Depp became a pirate

May 28, 2007 at 11:48 pm | Posted in Movies | Leave a comment

Over at Jim Hill Media, you can find the fascinating tale of how Johnny Depp ended up as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean.  Fun fact: originally, Disney was looking to cast Matthew McConaughey.

It never rains in Southern California

May 23, 2007 at 7:42 pm | Posted in Veronica Mars | Leave a comment

I’m too sad to post about last night’s Veronica Mars.  I need time to mourn.

The Complete Jane Austen on Masterpiece Theatre

May 22, 2007 at 4:43 pm | Posted in TV News | Leave a comment

Beginning in January 2008, Masterpiece Theatre is airing adaptations of every Jane Austen novel.  This will include reairings of the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice and the Kate Beckinsale Emma, a new BBC version of Sense and Sensibility, and three new ITV productions: Mansfield Park, Persuasion, and Northhanger Abbey.  I’ve seen the ITV films already, and they’re two-hour versions, with a few irritating story changes.  I won’t waste my time on Mansfield Park again, but Northhanger Abbey and Persuasion were a lot of fun.

The last episode of Veronica Mars ever

May 22, 2007 at 4:28 pm | Posted in TV News, Veronica Mars | 4 Comments

Get ready to shed a few tears, because tonight’s the series finale of Veronica Mars, 8 pm on the CW.  Here’s a promo:

Sigh.

Dr. Burke still kinda maybe leaving Seattle Grace

May 21, 2007 at 9:24 pm | Posted in Gossip, Grey's Anatomy, TV News | Leave a comment

Dr. Burke left Christina at the altar in the Grey’s Anatomy season finale, and ever since rumors have been flying that Isaiah Washington is gone for good.  Actually, those rumors started a few months ago, when Isaiah choked Patrick Dempsey and called T.R. Knight the f-word (the other f-word).  So, what’s up?  Isaiah’s people deny the rumors, obviously.  E! Online’s Kristin Veitch begs to differ, however.  She reports in her latest chat that he’s “been taking meetings in New York and Los Angeles in search of a new job that would take place during the coming TV season.”  She concludes he’s gone for good, but who knows, maybe he’s just not returning until midseason.  We’ll see …

Get ready for some magic

May 21, 2007 at 5:28 pm | Posted in Harry Potter, Movies | Leave a comment

Only a couple more months until Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix comes out!  Here’s a scene from the movie (via The Leaky Cauldron) that aired on Ellen today.  Damn that Umbridge!

Most depressing night of television ever

May 18, 2007 at 2:28 am | Posted in Grey's Anatomy, TV News | 1 Comment

ABC deserves some kind of special reward for the most depressing season finales. They kept doing it to me when I was an Alias watcher (“Vaughn, why are you wearing that ring?”), and they did it again last night on Ugly Betty and Grey’s Anatomy. Devastating!

I would just like to remind television writers that there’s a difference between a cliffhanger ending that makes everyone excited for fall, and a downer ending that makes everyone sad and kind of apprehensive about next season.

Thank goodness for Jim and Pam, otherwise this evening would have been unbearable. A date! Eeek! Thanks, NBC!

New Fox show previews

May 17, 2007 at 10:35 pm | Posted in TV News | Leave a comment

Clips from Fox’s new series are here.  Fox’s video player is seriously annoying, though — be prepared to watch an ad before every thirty-second snippet.

Zach don’t dance

May 17, 2007 at 6:39 pm | Posted in Comedy, TV News | Leave a comment

After today’s awful Veronica Mars news, I needed a little cheering up. The Cold Stone ice cream helped, but the below video really did the trick. The setup: comic Zach Galifianakis goes to a taping of Ellen.

Veronica Mars is over

May 17, 2007 at 2:05 pm | Posted in TV News, Veronica Mars | 1 Comment

Here’s Rob Thomas’s response to Michael Ausiello’s comments over at the TV Guide site:

“No one has talked to me about a new, non-Veronica project. All my writer’s have been offered jobs elsewhere, and I believe they will now all accept these jobs. Very, very, very sad day around the VM offices.

I assume that anything Dawn would be talking about in the realm of a Rob-Kristen project would involve a new from-scratch pilot as they don’t have me in a deal, and they’ll lose Kristen in a couple of weeks.”

Veronica Mars is dead. Long live Veronica Mars.

2007 Fall Upfronts: Day Four (Fox)

May 17, 2007 at 2:03 pm | Posted in TV News | Leave a comment

Here’s the latest on Fox’s new and returning series:

Returning Series:
Prison Break: Starts off Monday at 8 pm in the fall, then goes off the air until returning in spring.

24: Premiering in January, taking over the Monday at 9 pm timeslot.
House: Returning in fall in its regular Tuesday, 9 pm timeslot.

‘Til Death: Fox is going for a Wednesday comedy block this fall, and ‘Til Death will bring up the rear at 8:30 pm.  It gets bumped down to 9:30 pm in the spring.

Bones: It’s back, and it’s at Wednesday, 9 pm this fall.  It then moves to Friday at 8 pm in January.

The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Family Guy, and American Dad: Staying on Sunday nights.  The comedy block starts at 8 pm in the fall, then shifts up to 7 pm in the spring.

American Idol: Returning in January at Tuesday at 8 pm, then Wednesday at 9 pm.  In spring, the results show shortens to a half-hour.

New Series:
K-Ville: Anthony Anderson and Cole Hauser star as police officers in New Orleans.  This fall, Monday at 9 pm after Prison Break.  When Prison Break goes on hiatus in January, K-Ville will move up to the 8 pm timeslot.

New Amsterdam: A New York homicide detective show from film auteur Lasse Hallstrom.  Get this — Mr. Detective is immortal, and will only age once he meets his soul mate.  This will kick off Tuesday nights in fall at 8 pm, leading into House.  Then it moves to Fridays at 9 pm in January.

Back to You: This one’s sure to be a hit.  Kelsey Grammer is a fancy news anchor whose career hits the skids, and he returns to the Pittsburgh TV station where he got his start, clashing with his old co-anchor Patricia Heaton.  Also starring Fred Willard!  The show’s staying at Wednesday at 8 pm all year.

Canterbury’s Law: Julianna Marguiles is a rebellious female defense attorney.  I’m sorry, I’m just not able to take her seriously as a lawyer after her turn on Scrubs.  Will start in January at Thursday at 9 pm.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Lena Headey stars as The Terminator heroine.  Starts where T-2 left off.  I don’t know what to make of this one.  Airs this spring at Sunday, 9 pm.

The Return of Jezebel James: This one’s from the creator of Gilmore Girls, and it’s got Parker Posey, Lauren Ambrose, and something having to do with a baby.  Starting in January, Wednesday at 8:30 pm.

The Rules for Starting Over: From the Farrelly Brothers, this one’s got Rashida Jones (Karen!) and Craig Bierko as divorcees trying to find love again.  Held for spring.

Fox is filling Thursdays and Fridays in fall with reality shows: Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?, Kitchen Nightmares, American Band, and Nashville.  All but the Fifth Grader one go off the air in January.

Gloomy outlook at the CW press conference

May 17, 2007 at 12:43 pm | Posted in TV News, Veronica Mars | Leave a comment

I’m copying this verbatim (typos and all) from Michael Ausiello’s live blog of the CW upfront presentation:

12:28 First question, asked by me: “Is Veronica dead?”

12;29 OK, here it is in a nutshell, per dawn ostroff. Veronica Mars is dead. But, and there is a but, she says she’s “talking to Rob and Kristen” about doing something else. She’s not calling it a spin-off, and wouldn’t say whether it would feature the character of Veronica. Translation; I’m as confused as ever!

12:33 I will try and get more clarification on this. Please stand by…

12:36 OK, a reporter just asked a VM follow-up — and Dawn continues to dodge. She says they’re discussing “an idea,” but adds, “I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

12;47 The press conference is over. I tackle dawn just as she tries to escape and I ask her to level with me. Is Veronica dead? “Veronica Mars is over, but we’re talking about something else. I don’t know if it’s going to be anything. I’m being honest with you. It could come back in some form, but I don’t know what form that would be.” She confirmed that the deadline to make a decision is “somewhere around” the June 15 date i referred to previously. Long story short: mystery still not solved!

12:53 Heading back to the office to bang my head against the wall.

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