golden globes live blog 2011

Welcome to my first live blog of the new year and the start of awards season. (No, I don’t count the People’s Choice Awards. Shocking, I know.) The Globes are one of my favorites because a) everyone’s drinking throughout the show and b) you get the best of movies and television.

7:53 – I’ve got my one-woman media center ready to go: Chapstick, Blackberry and Snuggie. It’s so high-tech in here I can’t stand it.

8:00 – Not even a minute in and Ricky Gervais already has a drink nearby.

8:02 – I may be in the minority here, but I don’t find Mr. Gervais very funny. Oh, and we just had “Christ” bleeped out.

8:04 – Okay, but he just won me over a little with the Walking Dead/Hugh Hefner joke.

8:06 – Christian Bale wins Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for The Fighter.

8:09 – Julie Bowen. Love her.

8:10 – Katey Segal wins Best Actress in a TV Series – Drama for Sons of Anarchy.

8:12 – Whoever makes up the seating chart/sets up the tables has a cruel sense of humor.

8:16 – Julianne Moore appears to have lost one sleeve in a tragic limo door accident.

8:17 – I don’t know a single person who watches any of these TV mini-series or movies.

8:21 – The “shut up and get off the stage” music is so passive-aggressive.

8:22 – I think Bruce Willis was a bit taken aback by Ricky Gervais’ “Ashton Kutcher’s dad” joke.

8:24 – Literally screaming out loud that Chris Colfer just won a Golden Globe. Talk about well deserved. (He won Best Supporting Actor – TV Series, Mini-Series, Movie.)

8:25 – Perfect speech, Chris. Love him.

8:29 – Something else I just screamed about: the return of Parks and Recreation this week.

8:31 – The fact that Alice in Wonderland was nominated proves that 2010 was not a great year for movies.

8:32 – Oh snap…the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is sassy.

8:33 – Um, Milla, the Miss America pageant was last night.

8:34 – Steve Buscemi wins Best Actor – TV Series – Drama for Boardwalk Empire. Not surprising, but I was hoping for a win for my favorite serial killer, Michael C. Hall.

8:37Boardwalk Empire wins Best TV Series – Drama. Again, nothing surprising, but I think a lot of people would agree that the quality of television has far surpassed that of movies. The five shows nominated for this category have more quality in ten minutes than most movies do in over an hour.

8:39 – Seeing Angelina fixing Brad’s tie was an oddly intimate moment from America’s most scrutinized couple.

8:43 – My mother is apparently keeping a tally of how many British people appear on tonight’s telecast. (We’re up to three.)

8:44 – As a member of the Facebook generation, I’m a bit embarrassed that I haven’t seen The Social Network yet.

8:45 – “Alec from the Rock and Jenny from the Block.” Genius.

8:47 – Two songs nominated from Burlesque? Yikes. One’s a winner, too.

8:48 – Confession: I instantly hate people who have their acceptance speeches pre-written.

8:50 – Trent Reznor has just won a Golden Globe. The apocalypse is nigh.

8:55 – The fact that Justin Bieber is at the Golden Globes makes me want to vomit.

8:57Toy Story 3 wins Best Motion Picture – Animated. This is another movie I’m ashamed that I haven’t seen.

8:59 – I really don’t know whether to laugh or cringe at Gervais’ rehab and jail jokes at Robert Downey Jr.’s expense.

9:01 – I’m officially starting the campaign to have RDJ host the Globes next year.

9:02 – Annette Bening predictably wins Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy-Musical for The Kids Are All Right. I knew it was a long shot, but I was hoping for an Emma Stone win. She was superb in Easy A.

9:06 – Don’t look know, but a rabid animal has taken up residence on Al Pacino’s head.

9:11 – If someone told me Tilda Swinton came from another planet, I would believe them.

9:12 – Pacino: hair plugs or just bad hair? I’m quite curious.

9:13 – Uncle Jesse is at the Golden Globes! I see you peering around Lea Michele, John Stamos.

9:16 – Holy hell, I hope Claire Danes’ award has a sleeve of Saltines inside it. Eat something, girl!

9:23 – Zac Efron’s military-style haircut: do not like.

9:24 – Please pardon me while I worship at the altar of Tina Fey.

9:26 – Carell and Feya match made in comedic heaven.

9:28 – “Smart girls have more fun.” Hell yes, they do.

9:29 – Another Glee win, this time for Sue Sylvester herself. Jane Lynch is awesome.

9:36 – Oh, Olivia Wilde…why must you ruin a gorgeous Marchesa dress with such awful hair?

9:37 – The lady who just won for Best Foreign Film flashed her Spanx as she was walking up the stairs. Whoops…

9:40 – Kind of thankful that Laura Linney isn’t here to accept her award, because that’s one less speech we have to sit through.

9:47 – I loved Burlesque, but it was by no means Golden Globe-worthy.

9:48 – It appears that the Big Bang Theory cast was seated in a dark corner. Congratulations to Jim Parsons on his win.

9:50 – Best Supporting Actress goes to…Melissa Leo for The Fighter. Boo, I wanted a Mila Kunis win.

9:50 – Don’t tell anyone, but…I’m kind of bored. I’m in a mid-show slump.

9:58 – Matt Damon is like a fine wine…better with age.

10:00 – Call me uncultured, but I can only think of Robert DeNiro saying, “Double dose,” in the Little Fockers trailer.

10:03 – Was I hallucinating, or did they really include The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle in DeNiro’s best-of montage?

10:07 – Someone get Mr. DeNiro some glasses so he can read the teleprompter.

10:14 – All of these wins for The Social Network make me want to see it ASAP.

10:16 – Dear David Fincher, jokes aren’t that funny when you’re reading them from something you typed in a Microsoft Word document last week.

10:18 – Best Comedy goes to…Glee.  I love this show, but I really wanted to see Modern Family win.

10:24 – I’ve never even heard of the movie Paul Giamatti just won for, but he’s a great actor.

10:27 – Lots of censoring going on tonight. Someone’s busy in the NBC control room.

10:29 – Emma Stone and Mila Kunis would be great in a well-written buddy comedy. Screenwriters of the world, get on this.

10:34 – Natalie Portman totally deserves this win for Black Swan. No one could play ballerina-gone-psycho better than her.

10:37 – Darren Aronofsky’s mustache is ridiculous. It looks like he pasted it on in the limo on the way over.

10:39 – Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical is The Kids Are All Right. A real shocker, considering its competition included Burlesque and Alice in Wonderland

10:41 – I have a saying that goes, “Friends don’t let friends get unfortunate bangs.” Sandra, your friends dropped the ball.

10:47 – Colin Firth wins for The King’s Speech. He’s so charming and British-y.

10:50 – I wish I was more adept at lip-reading, because I would love to know what some of these celebrities are saying to each other. I mean, what do you think Robert Downey, Jr. and Johnny Depp talk about? How to maintain that homeless man chic look?

10:54 – A standing ovation for someone with cancer just seems patronizing, but I like that Michael Douglas made a joke of it.

10:55Social Network wins Best Picture – Drama. This was such a strong category that I wouldn’t have been surprised if the award went to any of them.

And we’re done! Thank you to everyone who stopped by to read.

“american idol” top 4: consider the shark jumped.

If all of the preceding episodes of American Idol this season were distress signals, then last night’s performance episode was those signals flat lining. “Songs of the Cinema” night was an all-around disaster. The judges could barely muster up any relevant critiques, and even the praised performances were just so-so in comparison to other things we’ve seen from the contestants this season. This is the top four, people! This is the time when you need to step up your game, not sit back and churn out something mediocre that borders on karaoke.
Before I get to the actual singing, I have to address the ridiculous theme and equally ridiculous mentor. Ryan proclaimed that everyone loves the movies, but that doesn’t mean that everyone loves songs from the movies. Based on the pathetic list of songs the top four had to choose from, I gathered that the theme was actually “Songs Written Specifically For a Movie,” rather than “Any Song In a Movie/On Its Soundtrack.” Nine times out of ten, songs that are penned to play over closing credits of movies are dull and schlocky, which explains why I spent most of last night waiting for Idol to be over so Glee could start. This type of theme is usually a momentum killer, which is exactly what happened.
Jamie Foxx was partly to blame; he spent more time obsessing over his silly “artist” and “contestant” shirts than he did offering any useful critique. No, I don’t think sticking his face in Lee and Casey’s personal space counts as mentoring. Maybe I’m still riding high from the excellent mentoring of Harry Connick, Jr. last week, but it seemed like Foxx was just there for the face time and didn’t care too much about the contestants.
Lee Dewyze and his face full of spray tan opened the show with a shaky version of Seal’s “Kiss By a Rose.” First of all, way to pick an awful song, Lee, and second, please stop dressing like you’re performing at Zeta Chi’s Beer Bash 2010. The pitch was just beyond his grasp the entire song, and all of the words ended in a vague mumble. You know I adore Lee, but I had to hide my face behind a pillow in embarrassment.
Here’s a shocker: Big Mike picked one of Michael Jackson’s cheesiest songs, the Free Willy song “Will You Be There.” Nothing about this performance indicated that Mike has the chops to become the next American Idol. I’m hoping Big Mike will be heading home tonight. Free Willy, indeed.
I missed out on season 8, so I hadn’t seen any duets on Idol until last night. I think it’s a great idea, and I’m all for duets being introduced earlier on in the season. Group night creates lots of drama and entertainment during Hollywood Week, so why not carry that into the rest of the show? Lee and Crystal sang “Falling Slowly” from the movie Once. I loved how their mic stands were positioned to face each other, and I also loved that they both played guitar. I wasn’t too keen on how their voices meshed; Crystal’s Joplin-esque howl was a bit grating against Lee’s gravelly tone. Things definitely picked up around the chorus, and Lee redeemed himself for his hideous solo performance just minutes before. Bonus points to Crystal for calling Lee her “musical crush.”
Back in solo land, Casey chose “Mrs. Robinson,” which is hands-down my favorite Simon and Garfunkel song. It could have been okay, but he chose to sit in the crowd and play a mandolin to a slowed-down version of the song. The judges were so proud of themselves for making the connection between the Graduate and Kara’s supposed crush on Casey, but anyone with half a brain/knowledge of music history knows that the song was originally titled “Mrs. Roosevelt” and was changed only to fit in with the movie. Nice try, though, Randy.
Crystal was the only solo performer to change up her song a bit, but no amount of orchestral rearranging could hide the fact that “I’m All Right” is the song from Caddyshack. It was the best performance of the night, but that’s like saying it was the pile of dog poop that smelled the least. I did enjoy her boyfriend’s American flag pants, though. Forgive me if this sounds incredibly mean, but her boyfriend is way cuter than I thought the boyfriend of Crystal Bowersox should be.
The duet between Casey and Big Mike was like a nonentity, as I think one of them will be going home tonight and the other next week. I do enjoy “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” for the cheesy ballad that it is, and I thought the guitar stylings of the two gents worked well. Casey may not be the next American Idol, but damn, that guy can play the guitar. Their harmonizing wasn’t as bad as I thought, but someone was way sharp during the chorus (methinks it was Casey.)
Will there be a shocking, Chris Daughtry-type elimination tonight as we see who makes it into the top three? You never know with American Idol
Photo courtesy of Fox.com.

glee-king out

After a winter hiatus that seemed all too long, Glee is back in all of its quirky, musical, jazz-handed glory. I was a gleek to the extreme during the fall portion of the season, quoting funny lines, discussing the progression of various storylines, downloading the soundtracks, etc. Glee is the first scripted show in a long time to become one of my must-see TV shows. I’m probably the millionth person to say this, but it’s not like anything else on television at the moment, which is why it’s become the worldwide phenomenon that it is. The cast is doing a concert tour, for crying out loud.

My anticipation for last night’s show was ridiculously high, made even higher by the boring episode of American Idol as the lead-in. I wasn’t totally in love with “Hell-o.” It was at times uneven and other times too busy. The snark and humor I love about Glee was present, but there was too much to focus on. It was like the writers took Adderall before writing this episode.

I’ve always known Glee to be imperfect, but aren’t all the best shows on TV? The imperfections were front and center last night, though. Glee is guilty of introducing and wrapping up storylines within the course of one episode, as well as cramming the hour with too many stories to follow. Let’s see…last night we had Will and Emma getting together then breaking up, Will making out with another woman while he was still sort of with Emma; Rachel and Finn dating, then not dating, then Finn wanting to date Rachel, and all sorts of Sue Sylvester-related chaos. I know the writers were eager to give the audience what they’d been waiting four months to see, but it was like Glee overload. The musical numbers were haphazardly thrown in to pad the episode, and while they were all great on their own, they just added to the disjointed feeling of the episode. I’ve heard many good things from people who have seen next week’s Madonna-centric episode, so I have faith that Glee will regain its’ pace in the coming weeks. I’m just eager for it to get there.
Enough negativity. On to the things I liked…
One thing Glee does so well is bring in kick-ass guest stars. Bringing in Broadway veterans Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff as the coach and lead, respectively, of rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline was great. Groff’s Jesse St. James is a much more believable match for Rachel than Finn. Jesse’s arrogance fits well with Rachel’s desperation. ”I’ve got a full ride to a little school called the University of California Los Angeles. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s in Los Angeles.”
The ensemble cast was killer last night. Will asked the glee club how they answered the phone and Kurt replied, “No, she’s dead. This is her son.” Calling Rachel “Benedict Arnold” after it came out that she was dating Jesse was great, too. Chris Colfer is for sure the heart and soul of the show. He’s made Kurt into a believable character with depth while others are still very two-dimensional. Brittany and Santana were put to good use last night by Sue, who wanted them both to seduce Finn away from Rachel. Their awkward dinner date was great, especially when they were ripping apart Rachel, then Finn, who was sitting across from them. Brittany had a few great lines last night, like, “Sometimes I forget my middle name,” and “Dolphins are just gay sharks.”
I’ve never been fond of crazy Terri because, well, she’s crazy. Jessalyn Gilsig kept Terri’s crazy in check during the great scene between her and Emma, where she revealed that maybe Will wasn’t such the knight in shining armor. More of this subdued crazy Terri, please.
Sue Sylvester was awesome as usual, with lines like, “You may be two of the stupidest teens I’ve ever encountered, and that’s saying something. I once taught a cheerleading seminar to a young Sarah Palin.” (Oh snap!) Her whole must-destroy-glee-club schtick is getting so old and predictable, though. Can we go one episode without a Will vs. Sue battle royale? Please?
Photo courtesy of fox.com

‘american idol’ top 8 guys: a crying shame

After viewing last night’s episode of American Idol, I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, or shake my fist disdainfully at the pathetic displays of talent that made up the semifinal round. Forgive me for repeating a sentiment many others share, but these 16 people are the most talented out of the thousands that auditioned? If so, I weep for the future of the music industry.
My favorite male contestant, Lee Dewyze, started the show with Owl City’s “Fireflies.” I grimaced when I heard his song choice because I think this is one of the most annoying songs on the radio right now, but Lee actually made it likable. I appreciate his willingness to take on a song that doesn’t fit his “style,” so to speak. What is up with Simon obsessing over performances having “moments?” Was he hired by Hallmark recently? It’s strange.
My second favorite male contestant, Alex Lambert, picked a great song in Ray LaMontagne’s “Trouble.” I just adore the sound of Alex’s voice, and this song was a good showcase for it. The poor kid still has no stage presence, but there’s a marked improvement since week one and his deer-in-the-headlights performance.
That brings us to Idol punching bag Tim Urban. I believe my exact words when I heard he was singing Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” were, “What the hell?” This is a beautiful, nuanced song, and I couldn’t bear the thought of Tim vocally destroying it. However, it wasn’t all that bad. Was it as good as Jason Castro’s version (which still gets played on my iPod a lot)? No. Was it much better than anything else he’s sang on Idol so far? Yes. Nothing he presented last night merited a hug from Ellen DeGeneres, who claimed she’s been really hard on Tim for the last couple of weeks. If by ‘really hard’ she means ‘vaguely critical,’ then sure, hug away, Ellen.
The curtain has been pulled back to expose Andrew Garcia‘s talent to be mere gimmickry. One can only turn so many female pop songs into acoustic jams before America gets bored. His attempt to recapture the “Straight Up” magic by taking on Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle” ended up working against him. He messed up the lyrics during the first few lines, his vocals were clipped and breathy, and the whole thing just came off as weird. He removed any and all range from the song, and believe me, Ms. Aguilera has quite the range. I think the neck-tattooed wonder might be in trouble tonight.
Casey James‘ version of Keith Urban’s “You’ll Think of Me” was much better than the goat vibrato he served up last week. He did some weird things to the melody of the song, but it was a decent performance.
Aaron Kelly picked possibly the cheesiest, most melismatic country song I know: Lonestar’s “Already There.” He started off very shaky and sharp, but he was able to recover by the chorus to give a passable performance. It’s hard not to like Aaron because he’s so earnest and he tries so hard. Props to Simon, though, for sticking up for Aaron after Kara claimed he couldn’t relate to a song about a dad on the road. I always think it’s such BS when the judges say stuff like, “You weren’t living the song,” or, “You didn’t bring the song to life.”
Todrick Hall finally lost the theatrics and sang a decent version of Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” although I have a sneaking suspicion he used the arrangement from Glee. The gospel-lite arrangement suited his inclination towards dramatic performances, and he finally gave a straightforward vocal performance that showed why the judges wanted him in the top 24.
I totally called Big Mike singing last tonight, so I wasn’t at all shocked to see him in the pimp spot. (I’ll stop talking about the pimp spot next week, I promise. Even I’m getting sick of it.) Before the commercial break, when Ryan said Mike would be singing a Maxwell song, I turned to my mother and said, “If he sings “This Woman’s Work,” I’m going to barf.” I should clarify that I have nothing wrong with the song; Kate Bush’s lyrics about suddenly having to grow up and face reality in the time of a crisis are truly lovely and moving. Just reading the lyrics online makes me emotional. However, nothing about Big Mike’s performance was deserving of Simon’s “best performance of all these live shows by far” label, nor did it merit Kara’s apparent crocodile tears. For someone who had to tell all of America that she was crying, she sure had a dry face. Those falsetto notes Mike tried to hit were akin to a yowling cat, and it just got worse from there. All of his theatrics, from the dramatically raised hand, to the pained, supposedly emotional looks into the camera, felt so overdone and uncomfortable. When you’re singing a song that packs that much of an emotional punch, just stand there and sing it. No amount of fist-thrusting or shoulder shaking is going to suddenly turn Big Mike into the next American Idol. And no, Randy, he is not the person to beat. Stop saying that.
While I can think of four girls who might be in danger tonight, I can really only pinpoint Andrew Garcia as someone who might be watching his goodbye montage come 8:58 pm tonight. (Side note: how annoying is it that Idol and Survivor are on at the same time? I need a DVR, stat.)