Crazy Train – Supernatural Recap

Supernatural Sam face

Posted by Sarah and Dawn

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks over in the Supernatural-writin’ wing of Head Over Feels. Sarah got engaged (it being the era of the internet, you can see the moment in its grainy glory here at 02:59:04) and Dawn headed off to Florida! Now that the dust has settled, so to speak, our ladies of Salt and Sass are back at it with Season 1, Episode 10.

Sarah: Welcome back, my similarly scared SPN sister-fans! I am getting hitched! (at some point! In 2015!) I spend a lot of time doing this:

Parks I Love You and I Like You

Aaaanyway. I have yet to watch the second season of American Horror Story because I read that it takes place in an abandoned asylum and that (shocker) scares the crap out of me. On the other hand, I love ghost stories and stories of haunted buildings and hospitals and the like. So color me both terrified and intrigued by this episode.

Dawn: Forgive the lateness, my demons and angels — I spent the last two weeks dealing with an interstate move, and I swear it almost made me want to live in an abandoned asylum. Because I love me some abandoned asylums. Madness and the supernatural go together like me and Dean Winchester — a great combination that is entirely in my imagination.

Season 1, Episode 10: Asylum
Written by: Richard Hatum

We start our episode with the usual teensy recaplet, this time with descriptive title cards! So now we know for sure how old Sammy is. It’s like watching a movie trailer that isn’t, quite. Also no flames, and so we are kinda bummed. But bonus Baby, which is kinda cool.

Thanks to our ever-helpful chyron person, we know we’re at Roosevelt Asylum in scenic Rockford, Illinois. It’s abandoned, graffitied, and creepy as fuck, as all derelict asylums should be, and this doesn’t bode well for anyone. We meet Sgt. Exposition and his helpful partner, Clueless Rookie. Sgt. Expos comments that they just can’t keep those gosh darn kids out of said abandoned asylum. When his partner seems confused, he launches into an expository monologue that actually begins with the words, “That’s right, I forget, you’re not from around here.”

Basil Exposition Meme

Sgt. Expos tells Clueless Rookie that as local legend has it, spending the night at Roosevelt Asylum will cause you to go insane…driven there, helpfully, by the spirits of its inmates.

Then they charge into the Asylum, announcing their presence. Because when cops on TV announce their presence, things always go well.

Sgt. Expos is really taken aback that this latest group of kids has brought bolt cutters with them. We consider that enterprising, really. And also practical, and proof that these particular teens believe in research and preparation.

Clueless Rookie treks down to the Boiler Room. It’s dark and ominous. Sarah nominates him for our Deadshirt of the night; Dawn thinks it’s too obvious. Meanwhile, Sgt. Expo’s creepy and dangerous situation turns out to be a McGuffin – instead of DANGER, he finds TEENS! Mission accomplished.

Back in the Boiler Room, though, Deadshirt!Rookie opens a door marked with a BioHazard warning he totes fails to notice. While he’s trying to figure out why his flashlight has gone out, another door opens behind him.

We cut immediately to teens driving off in a sportscar, overseen by Sgt. Expos. He radios for Deadshirt!Rookie, who appears, RIGHT BEHIND HIM. And is also now extra creepy.

Here's Johnny The Shining

So no winner yet on Deadshirt roulette. Both cops get in the car together and prepare to drive off – Sgt Expos is behind the wheel, and Creepy Rookie is creeping pretty intensely in the passenger seat. Also his nose is bleeding inexplicably.

Suddenly it’s Later That Night, and Creepy Rookie has creeped upstairs to his pretty blond wife.

Shit, there’s a new candidate for first Deadshirt of the night. Could be, especially because CR (actually named Walt) is reaaaaaaaaaallly methodically taking off his gear and emptying his pockets – gun, watch, etc. – while Blonde Wife apologizes for what is apparently not the first time tonight. He grabs his gun, and from outside the house, we see and hear two gunshots.

Oh, great, SPN. A murder-suicide.

Now we’re with the Brothers Winchester, who are bickering inside of their Motel Room-of-the-Week. Sammy wants to call the Feds to report their father missing. Dean is afraid of his wrath if they go that route. Sam doesn’t care…not after KANSAS, where he Should Have Been (and, we the audience know, Actually Was). The brothers continue to bicker while Dean’s we-love-the-mid-2000s flip phone rings and rings. He opens it and ZOOOOM goes the camera to reveal coordinates.

“I don’t believe it!” Dean says, “It’s a text message. Coordinates.”

Sam is not on board, as their father can “barely work a toaster.”

Dean thinks Something is Afoot, though, because the coordinates are for (surprise, surprise) good old Rockford, IL! Not only is Deadshirt!Rookie’s murder-suicide on Dean’s computer, he lets us know that Papa Winchester had previously earmarked Roosevelt Asylum in Scary Demonbits. Well, then. So we have a total of seven unconfirmed sightings and two deaths — well, four, now.

Sam is annoyed that their dad wants them to work a job. Dean is just thrilled that there’s some sort of communication and is gonna follow those coordinates no matter what, dammit. Just so we are clear, Sam is the Rebel. Dean is the Good Son. Or at least the obedient one. Some are born to their roles. Some achieve them. And others find those roles thrust upon them. These two boys got all three.

Next thing we know, Baby is parked outside of The Terminal Pub.

Sarah: I sincerely hope that the locations department FINDS some of these pubs and that it’s not all just clever art dept. signage. Just saying.

The World's End Drink

Inside the Terminal Pub, Dean approaches Damian Gunderson (nee Sgt. Expos), who is, understandably, having a beer. He unleashes his alias of the week – Nigel Tufnel with the Chicago Tribune.

OK, Dean is out on a serious limb if he truly thinks that anyone Sgt. Gunderson’s age will truly never have heard of Christopher Guest’s infamous Spinal Tap character. But apparently, Spinal Tap is not a timeless classic in the SPN universe. It’s okay though, because Sgt. Gunderson is totally capable of calling Dean out for his asshole move even if he does believe his name is “Nigel.” And as soon as he does, there’s Sammy to the rescue, shoving Dean off the barstool and telling him to “show a little respect.”

So, this case kicks off with Sammy’s dreams coming true then. He gets to call his brother a “serious jerk” in service of a case. He calls it method acting, which Dean doesn’t get (and which makes Sarah wince). But the beer Sam bought Sgt. G pays off – he gets the goods on the Deadshirt and the Asylum.

It’s daybreak, and the brothers Winchester are breaking into Roosevelt. It looks like the aftermath of a terrible frat party. They land at the South Wing, which is where two kids died in 1972. Dean figures if it were truly something icky, the body count would be higher. Sam helpfully points out that it looks a whole lot like someone usually chains that shit up…though whether to keep something in or some other folks out, it’s hard to say.

Dean calls Sam “Haley Joel Osment” and it’s kinda the line of the night. Big Brother is trying to come to grips with Sam’s emerging talents, and it’s not going so well.

Supernatural Cas Understatement

The South Wing is creepy as fuuuuuuck. The brothers are sort of 50/50 between spirits possessing people and spirits driving people nuts. After bickering about WHAT IT MEANS that their father isn’t with them, they find a door plate that says “Chief of Staff: Sanford Ellicott.”

Dawn: Dr. Stanford Ellicott just sounds like a creepy old mad scientist from a Hammer Horror movie or a Gothic novel.

Next thing we know, Sam is paying a visit to a Dr. James Ellicott, a local psychiatrist. Sam is playing a slightly AU version of himself – a “local history buff” – which is how he just HAPPENS to know that this Dr. Ellicott is related to the Dr. Ellicott who worked in the South Wing at Roosevelt. He tries to get Dr. E to talk about an incident in the South Wing, but today’s Dr. Ellicott isn’t biting – he reminds Sam that they’re on his dollar, and there to talk about Sam. Shockingly, Sam plays along, or tries to. He is spectacularly bad at talking about himself, though it’s pretty clear he wishes he were. He tries to drive things back to the South Wing again, and is challenged with a toss-off comment that is also A Clue — If Sam is truly such a history buff, he knows all about the riot, the doctor remarks, before telling Sam he’s avoiding the real subject: Sam. The doctor dangles info about the Roosevelt Riot in front of Sam, promising to tell him all about it if Sam can just tell him one true thing about himself.

Oprah suspicious

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Crank It Up – SYTYCD Recap

SYTYCD We Said We'll Dance

Posted by Sage

Phase 1 of Season 11 of So You Think You Can Dance closed out in Atlanta this week. The last stop on this audition tour always brings out some serious hip-hop talent and even the mainstream debut of a few new styles. Am I allowed to be disappointed that not one contestant gave us the “peace up, A-Town down”?  That’s the one ATL move I can do. Maybe in another 10 years, crankin’ will have trickled down to an Usher frat party track so we can all get in on it. And until then, let’s leave the hard stuff to Dragon House. Annnnnnnndddd…cue music!

Cat Deeley Scale of Awesomeness

Cat Deeley Lauren Froderman

Queen Cat seemed particularly low-key and relaxed this week. She could host this show under a double dose of Nyquil and still be the most charming. Even her style read “kickin’ it” – dig that embellished sweatshirt. She still shined, of course, especially when she gleefully hoisted up a girl who’d just been given her ticket and bemoaned the fact that dancers are now auditioning who started watching the show in elementary school. (“Which makes me 107.”) Please be with us until that day actually comes, Cat. You’ll still be fabulous.

This Week’s “Jidges” Score of Awesome: 10/10. Always a 10, this girl.

Audition of the Night: Ricky Ubeda

Ricky is the dancer who told Cat he grew up watching the show and it makes sense. He’s molded himself into the ideal contestant. This 18-year-old cutie-face will definitely command the teenybopper vote and in this case, I’m fine with it. Ricky’s impeccably finished extensions and impressive power wowed the judges, and he won me over instantly with his music choice. (Coldplay’s “Us Against the World”) Contemporary choreographers are gonna go nuts for him – think about that inevitable Travis Wall number – and he’s certainly got the strength to be a solid partner. Plus, he loves his mama. Gotta love a boy who loves his mama.

Top 20 Material:

Angelina Granitz

I’m so enamored with everything about Angelina Granitz from her goofy demeanor (“Hello, I’m back.”) to her insane control and poise on the floor. But most of all, I’m enamored with her brother, who featured heavily in her pre-audition package and is fine.

Cristina Moya Palacios

No word on whether Nigel finds Cristina to be a “miracle dancer,” but he and the rest of the panel were certainly dazzled by her technique. I’m no expert, but I don’t think she was messing around with the level of difficulty in this routine. From the pirouette that opened up into an arabesque to the sort-of bridge pose with one leg extension, her solo showed that Cristina is in it to win it.

Mariah Reives

I feel like we’ve seen more jazz auditions than usual this audition tour and I’m not complaining. Mariah opened the show this week with a refreshing solo that was all sass and cool. She can act the crap out of a number without resorting to pulling silly faces. That slow-mo drop into a split made my thighs hurt. She even worked a little tap step in there. I get the feeling that she’s super versatile – we’ll see next week how she handles callback craziness.

Eric “Silky” Moore

Silky is a great dancer and a good man, as I would have gone all Sideshow on Nigel if he rudely cut off my routine right at the start like that. He’s supes presh though, with his purple pants and his “here’s my thing about the ballroom.” He definitely knows how to pick a piece of music and his interpretation of it was so much more than move after move after move. He used the floor, which is an issue with some animators. He got his ticket not just because he’s good at what he does, but because he made an effort in his solo to hint at the other styles he’s “dabbled” in but could really tackle with some instruction.

Marissa Milele

“Princess Warrior” Marissa Milele wants none of your delicate, frou-frou, music box contemporary, thank you. The routine she showed up with makes it look “like I’m about to fight somebody,” she told Cat, and no that’s no joke. I’m with guest judge Jenna Dewan Tatum, who was totally into it. And look at that body. I like a lady dancer who looks like she could squeeze the life out of a man with her thighs.

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“Loneliness Is Tragical” – Ranking the Top 12 BSB Music Videos

Posted By Kim

Happy Friday, dear readers!  Normally we do a Fan Video post on Fridays, but since we’ve been all Backstreet Boys all the time this week in preparation for seeing them on Sunday, this lovely Friday I am taking a look at the BSB videography.  Earlier this week, I focused on my favorite songs that didn’t get released as singles, but today I turn to the singles and the all important music videos.  Holy CRAP did this make me nostalgic for the days of TRL!!!

I wanted to do a top 15, but that would literally be half their videos, and Sage put her foot down, and rightfully so.  I always WANT to be definitive, but it’s hard when you love things so much.  So after much back and forth yelling over gChat, we finally settled on allowing me to have Twelve.  The dirty dozen one would say. Enjoy!

12) “I Still”

I must admit I chose “I Still” because I am incredibly partial to the song (as you saw in my last post the Never Gone album is my favorite).  It kind of feels like a sequel to the video for “Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely” (which…is not on this list.  Blame Sage and her demand for ruthlessness) with each of the boys wandering sadly through New York City thinking about their lost loves.  Obviously, my favorite set-up is sad Kevin trying to drink away the thoughts of the girl he lost (WHY DO I NEVER SEE THAT AT ANY BAR I GO TO?), followed closely by Nick sitting desolated at a bus stop, because let’s face it, all New Yorkers have done that at LEAST once.

Also let’s discuss perpetually clean-shaven Brian’s shadow of a goatee here.  Did he grow it in to make him more angsty? Brian, didn’t anyone tell you it was dangerous to walk in traffic?  Not just walk, but COLLAPSE in the middle of the street because you miss your lady so much.  I love it.  And just how much of a cab fare did Howie run up as he sat there with the door open, too paralyzed by grief to GET OUT OF THE CAB?

11) “Bigger”

The video for “Bigger” finds Brian (WHO AGAIN IS SITTING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD AND SINGING SO HE CLEARLY HAS A DEATH WISH), Nick, A.J., and Howie gallivanting all around Tokyo.  It at first feels like an odd choice…but knowing how popular BSB is in Japan, in retrospect, it is surprising that it took them so long to film a video there.  Plus, “Bigger” lends itself to group sing-a-longs with the “La La La La”s of the chorus and what better place to do that than the birthplace of karaoke.  I am also a massive fan of all the boys’ little asides into the camera.  Congrats on all your faces, fellas.  Bonus points to Brian’s red scarf and A.J.’s hat.

Also I don’t know WHY it hasn’t been my life’s ambition to go get a private karaoke room with The Backstreet Boys until JUST NOW.

10) “Straight Through My Heart”

This Is Us was released in the heyday of Twilight and True Blood mania, so it is not at all surprising that the video for lead single “Straight Through My Heart” has a vampire theme.  We’ll forgive them for that.  “Straight Through Your Heart” has a great club beat and some sweet dance moves proving that jam on, cause Backstreet’s (still) got it.  They’ve got it going on, oh yeah.

9) “I’ll Never Break Your Heart”

“I’ll Never Break Your Heart” came early in the Boys’ career when management really felt it was important to  firmly establish individual personalities, thus putting the boys in their own environments.  Kevin is dark and exotic (yeah he is) (also HAI that bubble bath scene).  A.J. is sleek and modern.  Howie is the soulful musician.  Brian is…Southwestern?  Nick is…anime and apparently friends with Meg Ryan’s flat-iron from Kate and Leopold.  Seriously guys…Nick’s 90’s hair had some ISSUES.

“I’ll Never Break Your Heart” reminds me of the best kind of Boyz II Men song, from the spoken intro by Kevin to the super rich harmonies to the earnest riffing by lead vocalists Brian and A.J., who will NEVER break our hearts.  You KNOW A.J. really means that cause he takes off his glasses and gives us the puppy eyes.

8) “Incomplete”

“Incomplete” continues the Backstreet Boys “Desert Period” as it feels like a sequel to the video for “More Than That”.  Clearly, the girl(s) they were singing to there abandoned them.  Angry sand throwing!  Windstorms!  Fire!  Rain!  The world is literally ending for these guys over this lost love.  Brian continues his music video death wish by trying to drown himself in the Ocean.  Obviously, the video wins for having Kevin on a piano in the middle of the desert.

7) “The One”

Yeah, yeah.  I know I complained about “The One” being chosen as a single in my Deep Cuts post.  But the video for “The One” is nothing short of delightful.  It’s a giddy and dizzying scrapbook of the year of Millennium and a love letter to all the fans.  Plus, I am forever a sucker for any sort of behind the scenes stuff.

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“Nobody wants to buy lady art.” – An Early Review of Tim Burton’s Big Eyes

A Tim Burton Film

Posted by Sage

“I’m into Tim Burton, but only his newer stuff,” said no one ever.

So I’m thrilled to report that, so long as no drastic changes are made to the cut from last week’s preview screening in NYC, his upcoming live-action biopic is vintage Burton. The Weinsteins clearly have considerable faith that Big Eyes will strike a chord; they’re prepping it for a Christmas release. Was anyone game to throw Dark Shadows to the wolves smack in the middle of awards season? How about Alice in Wonderland? I don’t think so.

Big Eyes is a different story. It’s as focused and measured as those movies were not. In concept and even execution, it’s closer to Ed Wood than anything else in Tim Burton’s filmography. (And is, indeed, only the second biopic he’s ever done. If you don’t count Vincent, which I do. Because it’s the bomb.) The film tells the story of artist Margaret Keane whose husband Walter claimed, for decades, credit for her massively popular paintings of weepy children. The Ed Wood team of Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski wrote a distraction-free screenplay that zeroes in on the fairy tale-like story of Margaret’s enchantment, isolation, and eventual freedom. Oscar darlings Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz star, with Krysten Ritter, Terence Stamp, and Danny Huston in supporting roles.

This feels like a passion project in a lot a ways, as most art about artists does. Tim Burton has a personal connection with Margaret; he commissioned a painting from her of then wife Lisa Marie in the ’90s:

Lisa Marie Tim Burton Big Eyes

Quick, Hot Topic: screenprint this on a t-shirt! I’ll take 12.

The story of the Keanes is so bananas that there’s nothing to do but keep it and the ’50s themselves center stage. Burton’s stylistic touches are there and all the more effective for their restraint. We first meet Margaret as she and her daughter are frantically packing up to escape, we assume, her first husband. She piles her things into a big boat of a pastel car and drives it down her calm, colorful, and symmetrical suburban street – very Edward Scissorhands. Vancouver streets are transformed into a swinging, San Francisco drag. Margaret pushes her shopping cart through cartoonishly perfect grocery store aisles. She locks herself away in her studio to paint in secret, like a princess in a tower. The costumes and styling are truly breathtaking. There’s care in the details, like the milky green Grasshopper Margaret drinks at the local jazz club. The evocative and obligatory Danny Elfman score is there. And Burton adds touch of the fantastical that I won’t give away; it works and does nothing to downplay the drama of Margaret’s real story.

Amy Adams

Kate Hudson and Reese Witherspoon were among the actresses once attached to this movie. And no offense to either of them, but my god, were they kidding? Margaret Keane is passive for about 70% of this movie and no actress in her generation can play a quiet moment like Amy Adams. It’s frustrating for a modern audience to watch a woman hand over control – for love, for security, for both. (Our theater gasped indignantly when a priest told Margaret that the Bible commanded her to honor her husband, even after she confessed her diminishing faith in him. It made me feel good about life again.) Amy plays her with such dignity, particularly through – you guessed it – her eyes. Margaret may not be aggressive, but she’s no fool. The tension builds steadily. Walter gets more and more manic. When she finally starts to fight back, that’s already a triumph.

Should Amy get a nomination for this and The Weinstein Company is obviously counting on it, it will be her sixth in less than ten years. The part may not be showy enough to bring an Oscar home, but the Academy does love actors playing real people. And if Harvey can convince her subject – still alive and painting – to participate in the campaign, they would eat it up. So much depends on her competition (which will probably include Witherspoon in Jean-Marc Valee’s Wild), but I’d bank on Amy at least getting another nod this year.

Christoph Waltz hot cocoa

Amy will be in the Best Actress category for certain. But we know that Harvey can pull some shenanigans when he feels like it (see: Julia Roberts as SUPPORTING for A:OC). So I wager he’ll scan the lead and supporting fields before submitting Christoph Waltz. To me, Walter Keane is absolutely a lead role – the foil for Margaret and the dragon she has to face. And who else would you cast as this charming, frenetic con-man? Even knowing the greasy path his character was headed down, Kim and I couldn’t help but be a little seduced by his first appearance. (“He’s so cute,” I whispered to her, as he bounded over to Margaret, dressed like Gene Kelly in An American in Paris.) Waltz has got the crazy eyes; it’s just a fact. But we can see how even that madness could enchant Margaret. Would it be crazy if we got married? Would it be crazy if we started this business and built a life together? There’s nothing quiet about his performance. Walter’s desire to fill every room and to fill every silence makes Margaret look incredibly sane in comparison. Ryan Reynolds was also attached to this part for a while and I’m morbidly curious as to how he would have pulled it off. Walter is despicable and ever so slightly lovable at the same time. Cast a guy who looks like Reynolds and he surely would have read more oily and menacing, yes? I think so.

Margaret Keane Big Eyes Painting

And that’s it. No stop motion. No overblown Johnny Depp performance. Helena Bohnam Carter doesn’t even get murdered in this film. It’s a grown-up movie with an imagination. A fable that’s also real. A Cinderella story where she fairy godmothers herself. Harrowing but never hopeless. And most of all it’s a story about claiming what’s yours. Not for money or fame, but just to be able to sleep at night. All we have in this world is what we create and it’s up to us both to share it widely and keep it close. This is the kind of movie that Tim Burton should be making and one that’s bound to awaken a long dormant (or at least apologetic) fandom. I can’t wait to see it again on Christmas Day.

“Faster Than A Shark Attack” – Our Favorite Backstreet Boys Deep Cuts

Posted by Kim

I’ve always made my Boy Band Allegiance known.  I’m a Backstreet girl through and through, and I will NEVER be ashamed of that fact.  When Sage suggested that I should do a “Deep Cuts” post for BSB, it was a no brainer.  It’s also a perfect time to do so, as we’re seeing them play at Jones Beach this Sunday (Sage: Do I HAVE to sit thru Avril Lavigne? Kim: Why do you have to make it so complicated?).  I have not seen the Boys live since the Never Gone tour in 2005, so needless to say I am a little more than excited.  Do not fear…I will have a full recap of the concert next week!

The Backstreet Boys have been together for TWENTY ONE years now.  They have eight studio albums, so there is a wealth of material that was never released as a single to choose from.  There are obvious choices (if you don’t IMMEDIATELY say “Don’t Want You Back”, you may want to check your fan card at the door) for this list and there are some not so obvious choices (I would have just submitted the ENTIRE Never Gone album if the parameters allowed).  But one thing is certain: these are ALL great songs and I will scream my lungs out on Sunday if they sing any of them.

1) “Heaven In Your Eyes” (aka “I Need You Tonight”) – A Night Out With The Backstreet Boys

“Heaven In Your Eyes” was Nick’s solo for the concert special “A Night Out With The Backstreet Boys” (back when they didn’t have enough group music and each boy was given a full solo song) and was later repackaged as “I Need You Tonight” for Millennium, where they slapped on some backing vocals from the rest of the Boys for the final chorus.  Presumably they did this because Nick was being marketed as “the heart-throb” of the group, though I don’t know WHY they allowed him to have that haircut.  I mean…it was a long blond butt cut, you guys.  Do you think Nick and Justin Timberlake had each other on speed dial regarding their unfortunate hair styles?  I like to think they did.

Nevertheless, Nick’s vocals here are STELLAR and quite impressive considering he is a wee eighteen year old bb.  I never GOT Nick’s appeal until Black and Blue (precisely…the moment he threw the papers in the video for “Shape of My Heart”) but I can certainly see why the tweens liked him.

Favorite Lyric: I know that we have been through so much pain but I still need you in my life this time.  

2) “Don’t Want You Back” – Millennium

“Don’t Want You Back” was very nearly the fourth single off Millennium.  The Boys were running a “Choose Our Next Single” contest on Total Request Live (how much do I miss the heydays of TRL you guys?) and it was between “Don’t Want You Back” and “The One” .  “DWYB” was WINNING until Nick Carter had to go on the show and open his big mouth and say that HE preferred “The One”.  And thus, the Nick fangirls mobilized and “The One” was named the fourth single.  (I’m sure the label preferred that too as “The One” showcased the shiny happy Backstreet Boys, whilst “DWYB” was ANGRY Backstreet Boys…who I sometimes prefer.)

Don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE “The One” and I love the music video which shows highlights from the Into the Millennium tour.  But a VIDEO for “Don’t Want You Back” would have been AMAZING, no?  Another MASSIVE tragedy about “DWYB” never being released as a single is that we never got a mash-up with *NSYNC’s “I Want You Back”.  Get on that, internet.  I searched YouTube for one and it doesn’t exist.

Favorite Lyric:
You hit me faster than a shark attack
You saw my picture on the Backstreet’s Back, alright
And you were more than just a pretty face
But how you fooled me, I’m still amazed babe.

3) “Back To Your Heart” – Millennium

Obviously I am going to be partial to any song that is not only co-written by my Boo Kevin Richardson but also features him on the piano.  You all know how I feel about boys playing the piano.  I always imagined Kevin to be the angsty type so of course he would write this deliciously plaintive ballad…and if *I* was the girl he wrote this song for?  He would be back in my heart in a nano second.  I also think “Back to Your Heart” is a perfect showcase for A.J.’s soulful rasp (his remains my favorite VOICE of the group) and his wailed “Oh”s over the final chorus get me every time.

Also, can we discuss Kevin’s eyebrow game?  FIERCE.

Favorite Lyric: It’s not that I can’t live without you.
It’s just that I don’t even want to try.
Every night I dream about you
Ever since the day we said goodbye

4) “Get Another Boyfriend” – Black and Blue

I will NEVER understand why they only released three singles off of Black and Blue (it must have been because the label rushed the Greatest Hits album, yes?).  There were several other tracks that could have EASILY been a fourth single and “Get Another Boyfriend” is at the top of that list.  It’s danceable, has a soaring hook, and it would have been a KICK ASS video.  I saw the Black and Blue tour three times, and this one was always a favorite live, mainly for how A.J would always scream “GOOD GOD” right before the chorus kicked in.

Favorite Lyric: Let’s talk about what
He’s done to become your number one.
Or was it all the promises of diamonds,
pearls and party dresses that turned you on?

5) “Not For Me” – Black and Blue

“Not For Me” was another SUPER fun number done on the Black and Blue tour as evidenced by this video from the Yahoo! Livecast of the show (which a friend and I stayed in on a Friday night and watched even though we had literally seen the show on the fourth row two weeks before.  #sorrynotsorry).  WIND MACHINES!  RIPPING OFF SLEEVES (hai Kevin’s muscles)!  RAGEY BOYS!  (I told you I was a sucker for their angry songs).  The “No No Uh Uh” chorus that gets stuck in your head for hours on end.  It’s classic BSB.

Favorite Lyric: I don’t want to be part of your screenplay
Just tell me…did you rehearse on me?

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“My black and deep desires.” – Macbeth at the Park Avenue Armory Review

Alex Kingston Kenneth Branagh Macbeth Posted by Sage

New York sees a lot of the Scottish Play.

Just last season, we had Ethan Hawke take on the ambitious Thane at Lincoln Center. Alan Cumming too took it on – plus the rest of the roles – in his one-man Macbeth on Broadway. I last saw the tragedy staged on a morgue-like set at BAM with Sir Patrick Stewart and a magnificent Kate Fleetwood as Scotland’s most bloodthirsty couple. Then there was Liev Schrieber in the Park – a tedious version for completists only. (The unbearably muggy weather that evening is responsible for at least half of that grumpy critique.) And of course, Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More has become an institution in immersive theater and a “cultured New Yorker” test, where masked audience members wander from room to room and watch (and sometimes participate) as a burlesque-like version story plays out.

So, in the grand scheme of our perpetual fascination with Macbeth, what purpose does a new production serve? If it brings Kenneth Branagh to our city for what is unbelievably his first New York stage appearance, that might just be enough. Add Alex Kingston (also making her New York theater debut) as his lusty bride, master of Broadway spectacle Rob Ashford, and the Park Avenue Armory, the grandest non-traditional theater space we’ve got, and okay, okay, we want it!

The Armory also bills its production as an “immersive” one, though don’t expect any bloody dancers writhing against you. We’re talking tradition here. Fine, upstanding, classic Shakespeare. But so much of it! Branagh’s Macbeth isn’t recast as a WWII-era dictator, a mental patient, or whatever it is that roams the halls at the McKittrick Hotel. He’s the Thane of Glamis and a soldier. He wears a kilt – and quite well, might I add. We’re in 11th Century Scotland, and, from the moment the audience makes it past the will-call table, the Armory wants us to know it.

Head Over Feels Macbeth Park Avenue Armory

Audience members were assigned to an actual historical clan based on our seat locations. And for lack of a budget to outfit us all head to toe in our family tartan, we were given Livestrong-style rubber bracelets bearing our clan’s name. From there, we were encouraged to explore the Armory’s rooms before reporting to the Ross clan’s headquarters, fifteen minutes before showtime. The building does its duty by placing visitors in a not-so-distant history when the military and the nobility were one and the same – it was the home of the first volunteer militia that formed in 1861 after President Lincoln called for troops and listed some of New York’s most fancypants names on its roster. After admiring many a fireplace, bronze bust, and dangerous-looking chandelier, we met up with the rest of our kinsman to, as the performer-ushers declared, “go into battle.” We picked up programs emblazoned with our name and an inside cover explaining the clan system and the history of the noble Ross. “Tonight,” our programs told us, “Ross marches with Macduff against the ambitious Thane.” Oh, goodie. We win.

Room by room, clan by clan, an army of a house staff leads the audience to their seats. (This show must be a House Manager’s nightmare.) And even if you can’t make this production, I urge you to see anything in this building. The Wade Thompson Drill Hall is like a moderately-sized airplane hanger, which enables directors’ imaginations to run wild when it comes to usage of the space. A guy dressed like a druid opened the Hall’s massive doors for us and we looked out into what, for all the world, looked like a foggy Scottish heath. A winding stone path leads to the actual “theater.” And outside of that path, three witches squirm and crawl in the moss. It’s creepy, my friends. I wasn’t 100% convinced that Banquo’s ghost wasn’t going to grab me and drag me off somewhere if I lagged too far behind.

Macbeth Armory Fight Scene

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“Where Ever The Ticket Takes Me.” – SYTYCD Recap

Posted by Kim

Our audition tour to find the contenders for America’s favorite dancer continues with the second half of the Los Angeles auditions and the auditions in Philly.  Let me again point out how wonderful it is that SYTYCD chooses to focus principally on the GOOD auditions…this was a jam-packed episode of talent.  What’s telling is that I feel like we were shown a FRACTION of the good people due to all the montages of dancers who made the callbacks…especially among the guys.  Come ON Nigel…less time on Justin Bieber (who really isn’t doing anything for the ratings anyway), more time on the dancers!  Let’s get right to the episode, shall we?

Cat Deeley Scale of Awesomeness

For an audition episode, we got a LOT of Queen Cat this week.  Cat’s best moment came early in the episode when she was interrogating ballroom dancers Serge and Alla about their relationship and she grabbed the boom mic and shoved it in Alla’s face to get an answer.  Only our delightfully daffy host can make that charming!  And then when Alla DID give an answer about wanting to get married and have all the babies, Cat replied “You skipped a few steps, girlfriend!”  I actually seal clapped when she said that.

Also wonderful was Cat’s obvious delight that Jenna honored her promise to her partner to come back and dance with him for HIS audition now that he was old enough.  As Sage pointed out last week, her relationships with her little ducklings are real and she is ALWAYS happy to see them and watch them succeed.  Cat is EVERYONE’S big sister and I just want to gossip and have cocktails with her.  And have her take me shopping because I had some SERIOUS clothes envy over that maroon and gold blazer she was wearing for the Philly auditions.

This Week’s “Jidges” Score of Awesome: 10/10.  It’s never NOT going to be 10.  Really we’re just in a holding pattern till we get to the live show and discuss her outfits week to week.

Audition of the Night: Jourdan Epstein

I must admit that I rolled my eyes a little bit over her story about her brother dealing with addiction.  I’m a terrible person, okay?  But my eye roll immediately stopped when Jourdan began her solo.  First of all, I am amazed at ANYONE who dances En Pointe.  Seriously.  HOW do they do that??  Even though the extent of my ballet knowledge is essentially culled from Center Stage, I can tell that Jourdan has AMAZING feet and incredible strength and control.  When she essentially does a standing split and then extends her leg FURTHER beyond her head (all while managing to NOT fall over?  When she does the en pointe plie in second position that made my hamstrings SCREAM on my couch?  The slow sliding split to the floor?  This girl is fiercely talented and her expressiveness as she moves proves she is not just a robotic prima ballerina.  I fully expect to see her go far on this show.

Top 20 Material: Stanley Glover

Stanley is another total package SYTYCD contestant.  He has the triumphant personal story of being abandoned by his dad’s side of the family after his mother died and being taken in by a family friend and he also has the talent to back that story up.  Stanley’s leg extension is ridiculous and he has a very fluid and boneless sense of movement.  His slim body (seriously, look at his shoulders to hips ratio) and large eyes give him the alien/creature quality that often does so well on the show and his face lights up when he dances.  He’s the total package.

Also Stanley’s audition produced the runner-up for this week’s INCON: “I don’t normally like to go with strange creatures.”

Shafeek Westbrook

We’ve said it before but one of my favorite things about SYTYCD is the fact that people come back after being cut in a previous season…and usually they come back after spending the time WORKING to get better.  Shafeek made it to Vegas in season 9 where he was cut in the Jazz round when he couldn’t keep up with the choreography and then threw a fit.  Shafeek returned to season 11 much more focused and clearly having done the work to be able to keep up.  While his initial audition lacked the explosiveness that so often sends B-Boys straight to the callbacks, it was still full of moments of great power, control, and humor.  I loved watching Prima Ballerina Misty react to him pulling himself up from a split by the crotch and his incredible control when he did that backbend on the floor.  He was sent to choreography where the work he had put in between seasons paid off when he passed that routine with flying colors.  If he can figure out how to integrate both his charisma and his new-found self-control, Shafeek is going to be a contender.

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Fan Video Friday – “Say Something”

Cas Bring on the angst

Posted by Sage

Let’s get this out of the way first:

“Say Something” is a wretched song. It’s cloying and overly simple. The plodding piano. The generic lyrics. If I had to guess its runtime off the top of my head, I’d put it somewhere near “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” But it is good for one thing and one thing only and that is to soundtrack the angsty-est ships in the land. “Say Something” and its blanket melancholy can easily apply to to any OTP who are kept apart by their own inability to JUST SAY IT, ALREADY. (So, all of them.) For today’s Fan Video spotlight, we’ll be taking you on a tour of sexual and emotional frustration of every stripe. Don’t blame us. Blame A Great Big World, Christina Aguilera, and the artists who edited these clips.

Deacon and Rayna — Nashville

Talk about a couple who keeps getting in their own way. Deacon and Rayna are bogged down by so much history – the history that also makes them clear Nashville endgame. And while career success and other relationships might bring them fleeting happiness, neither of these beautiful humans is going to be wholly satisfied until they’re back together. And “That’s just never not been true.”

John and Mary — Sherlock

John Watson is a hero. Mary Morstan is his only match. And real life couple Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington nailed John and Mary’s journey from easy home life to unimaginable betrayal to acceptance and forgiveness. Now, please excuse me while I watch this on repeat and grow old and grey waiting for Season 4.

Josh and Donna — The West Wing

Say SOMETHING. Either of you. ANYTHING. PLEASE.

Rhett and Scarlett — Gone With The Wind

Fan-vidding: it’s not just for SuperWhoLock anymore! The most ill-fated of classic film couples gets their turn here and again, the song strangely works.

Charles and Erik — X-Men

The “anywhere, I would have followed you” lyric especially hurts here with our favorite star-crossed X-lovers. Extra points for working in the elder Cherik, for a particularly delicious note of regret.

Will and Alicia — The Good Wife

Will Gardner and Alicia Florrick are the very definition of an OTP that can never get their shit together. They are the definition of bad timing and never being able to fully articulate feelings. Oh, and there’s the obvious obstacle of Alicia’s marriage to Peter and the fact that despite his many infidelities (and her eventual affair with Will at the end of S2 thru mid season 3) she NEVER leaves him, despite obviously being in love with Will. They are longing, they are spontaneous kisses, they are passion turning anger into hatred, they are everything a tortured OTP should be.

Will they have eventually gotten their timing right? WE’LL NEVER KNOW NOW THANKS A LOT SHOW.  –K

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