Tag Archives: Hollywood sucks

Why I’m Boycotting Season 3: Confessions of an Ex-Gleek

The following post contains all of my relevant feelings about Glee.  As of September 2011, I do not anticipate blogging about this show again.  Ryan Murphy done me wrong one time too many.   I would never command anyone to stop watching a show, but I don’t think it deserves any more of my energy.   I have been known to get literally upset during in-person Glee arguments before, and it was time for me to call it quits for my own sanity.   I welcome your comments, but you are not going to change my mind. 

Friends, Romans, countrymen, I must get this off my chest:

I am an ex-Gleek.

Given my unabashed love for all things Broadway, you shouldn’t be surprised.  I also love high school dramedies, goofy pop covers, and Darren Criss.   Really, it’s no wonder it took me until “Rumors”  (Season 2 Episode 19, The One Where That Blonde Guy Is Poor) to give up in a huff.  I actually haven’t even seen the return of Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff) except for the “Rolling In The Deep” clip.   And I don’t even care.

Those of you who have always been feminists or annoyed by this show are no doubt wondering what took me so long.  Those of you who are obsessed with this show are no doubt wondering why I’m a humorless, self-righteous witch.   That’s fine.   I’m pretty used to straddling that divide.  :-p

The thing is, Glee had so much potential.   The first half of Season One was witty, irreverent, campy, and GOOD.  It was deliberately making fun of not just High School Musical but all the teen dramas that had come before it as well as all those Inspirational Teacher films like Freedom Writers.  (BTW, I hear that’s a decent movie, but the book was boring. Stand and Deliver is 1000 times more interesting.)   It seems pretty clear it was originally intended for adults, not high schoolers.   Back then it didn’t matter that half the cast looked 25 or there were too many people to keep track of.  Glee was like that sarcastic gay dude you skipped classes senior year with, the one who taught you how to smoke cigarettes and hold your liquor and could do a flawless Barbra impersonation at the drop of a hat.*

*My sarcastic gay friend was straightedge, and so was I.

Thing is, Glee got popular and Ryan Murphy got self-involved.   Reportedly that’s happened on his previous shows as well.   It stopped being about clever cruelty and cute covers and started being about BEING GLEE.   The writing got schizophrenic and the guest stars started rolling In.  Also, they started doing After School Specials that were neither clever nor properly moral-ed.  I maintain that the only two guest stars who were worth it are Kristin Chenoweth as April Rhodes and John Stamos as Emma’s Hot Dentist Husband.   And you’ll notice both of them had actual character arcs.   Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t count because she’s awful.  Actually awful.  What’s the point of singing Cee-Lo Green if you’re going to do the radio edit?

Basically, when the show started really sucking I started noticing all of the -isms going on.  They’d always been there under the surface (or maybe openly in the name of satire), but Fox is the channel that has the Simpsons and Family Guy, so for a while I accepted it as part of the package with my primetime Broadway entertainment.

Then, “Blame It On The Alcohol” (Season 2 Episode 14) happened.

It is actually surprising how long it took me to find a full version of this scene:

Fangirl Reponses

Yes, he is.

-In Which I Talk About This At Length, With Video, For The Last Time

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Exploring the Obvious Star Vehicle: The Unexpected Charm of “Sonny With A Chance” (1/2)

That’s a lot of tags, huh?   Well,the Disney Channel is pretty frickin’ complicated, even though it might not seem like it on the surface. Go ahead and skip this week if DisneyCorp makes you irrationally angry or something, but over here at Wednesday Art Criticism Central we’re too school for cool and are gonna talk about a fascinating television show for tweens, “Sonny With A Chance.”

I discovered SWAC last summer and watched most of season 1 and the sneak previews/whatever on YouTube during the off days of my incredibly draining internship.   Mostly because Sterling Knight is attractive, let’s be honest.  But that’s not why I stayed.  (There are, after all, 21 episodes in season 1: that’s  XXX minutes!)

This is not a fangirl tumblr, it’s a Srs Blog.  So I have restrained myself from posting 100 pictures of Sterling Knight in various cocksure poses and tagging this entry things like:  Sterling Knight I like your face; Sterling Knight is sexy; you can be my Knight any day; notice me Horton (big points for getting this reference, you nerd); Team Sterling; etc. Do not think that this is because I have any shame about my, uh, appreciation for this boy young man.*  No, it’s simply that I think the rise and fall of SWAC is fascinating separately from My Man Sterling here, although most of the Internet agrees that the show succeeded largely because he carried most of the dramatic weight on his lovely, lovely shoulders.   OK, OK, I’ll stop….

*For the Record:  He is legal and so am I.   Stop judging.   This will never happen, which is totally not the point of internet obsessions.   Go back to reading your Elitist Blawgs and pontificating on the use of Wittgenstein to predict the Dow Jones next month.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

If you’ve never seen a Disney Channel live-action television show for tweens, you probably have good taste and relatively in-tact eardrums.  Saturday Night Live has never been as funny as it thinks it is, but this clip is actually perfect:

My apologies to the international readers (hi, Chatulim!); Hulu is almost certainly the only option for viewing this one.  And let’s not talk about Raven-Symone here; girl absolutely deserves her own post.  (Her new show on ABC family is equally fascinating!)

Here’s the Theme Song for SWAC Season 1, which tells you all of the important context for the show, in solid cartoon theme song fashion.

And HERE is the best moment of the series, in which:  SPOILER ALERT the two love interests finally get somewhere with All That Sexual Tension. END SPOILER  Don’t skip this clip unless you were already planning to marathon the show; I saw this clip way out of order and it didn’t ruin anything.  And because it’s a Disney show, there is no touching.

Sterling did all the acting in that scene, didn’t he?  Demi’s not awful here (and she’s miles better than how she started out), but it’s really his charm as Chad Dylan Cooper that locks down the scene and creates fangirls across the globe.

(If you want to know her answer, you need to YouTube it yourself.  The 2-episode arc is called Falling for the Falls.   And kudos to the writers for not going the cliche route and HUGE KUDOS for Sterling for rocking his response to her response like A Real Boy would.)

is he really going out with her? + another 1000 links

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Pop Quiz! Teacher Needs A Smoke Break*

*disclaimer: i never have and never will smoke cigarettes, bli neder

As my FB friends already know, my apartment was burglarized last Thursday night while I was downtown.   All of my electronic valuables are gone, which includes some 25 links I had saved to blog about.  As I need to spend this week dealing with the aftermath of the Apartment Incident, I will not be able to blog at my usual standards this Wednesday.    I sincerely hope to have my electronic life functional by next Wednesday, but I make no promises.   Please enjoy this amuse-bouche while I sort Things out.

 

  • INTERVIEWER: When a comedy is this raunchy, is there such a thing as going too far?
  • JESSE EISENBERG: There is stuff in this movie that I’m uncomfortable with. I don’t like to use the “R” word, for example. Rape, for example. I’m very uncomfortable with that word, personally because I do work with domestic violence organisations and I’m very aware of the alarming statistics of women who are abused. So I’m very uncomfortable with that. I’m not uncomfortable with the sexual jokes. Sometimes I think they’re less funny than others, I don’t care about that, cos it doesn’t harm anybody. I’m uncomfortable with saying “rape,” I don’t like saying that, I never say it in my life. If somebody says it, I cringe. I don’t like it when people make jokes about that word. I’m a little bit uncomfortable with it, but I was hired to do a job. I thought most of the movie was good and kind of respectful to people in general. The movies that really bother me are rich white people lamenting their lives when they have, like, a million dollars. That to me is more offensive than sexual humour. A rich, white person lamenting their million-dollar kitchen and the audience is supposed to sympathise with that character, to me, that’s pathetic. Whereas, in this movie I thought the characters were real and my job was to take my character seriously.
(Citation sticklers will notice that the “interview” link will take you to a feminist fan tumblr that I approve of, not the actual interview.   If you want to track the original down, i’d appreciate it.)
I have italicized the parts that I think are most interesting.   I haven’t seen enough of JEisenberg’s work to make a comment about his talent, skills, or public persona.
What do you think of his statement?  What about the choice of the word “uncomfortable”? What sort of responsibilities do young actors have regarding their characters?   Does that change when you are as prominent as JEisenberg?  Does the fact that he is less offensive on Womyn’s Issues than Charlie Sheen or Donald Glover (I’ll blog about him later) absolve him from moral or logical lapses in judgment?   Do you even think there’s a lapse in judgment here?
Discuss!  (I will probably not comment on this discussion, but after I’ve seen Zombieland when Alice comes to visit, maybe I will.)
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The Troubling Feminism of Teen Fantasy Films: Exploring the Erotic Empowerment of Easy A (1/2)

Due to (positive) personal life circumstances, I am very behind on my blogging for the week – I still owe Laz and CD comments on both of their eloquent posts, not to mention responding to the Beyoncé comments. I have a lot to say about the feminist issues this movie raises, so I will definitely be returning to this topic at a later date. Please consider this part 1 of at least 2 posts on Easy A.

I was excited about this movie from the minute I first heard about it last year. As a female, heteronormative pop-culture-consumer only three years out of adolescence, how could I not be? Plus, quite separately from the feminist glee, I appreciate a good literary joke, especially about something as boring as The Scarlet Letter. (Note: I do not consider all high school assigned novels boring.)

I am glad to report that Easy A lived up to my moderately high expectations. This movie could not have succeeded without Emma Stone’s charisma and endearingly clumsy grace, and they were very, very lucky to cast her. I hope she has a long, successfully feminist career in movies. Lord knows the industry needs more like her.

I would also like to compare Easy A to Juno, another well-made feminist teenage fantasy. Many reviewers before me have no doubt connected the two, but probably not in the way that I do. The movies are alike in tone – the irreverent, self-aware attitude of the 21st-century teenager – and in female empowerment – exploring and encouraging the sexuality of young women. The moral and social conclusions the feminist viewer can draw from them, however, are very different. More on this will have to go in the next post. Extra credit if you can figure out what conclusions I draw from Juno before I write them.

LINK TO SOURCE: YOUTUBE TRAILER


 

-HERE BE RELATIVE SPOILERS, FOLKS

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