Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Glee Talkback Wednesday... Wait There's No Alliteration

With Glee airing on Tuesdays now, Wednesdays becomes the day that I want to talk about Glee, however, there are only so many words that start with W. I considered Wassailing Wednesday, but... uh no. I also considered Finnsday, but... uh no. So no catchy headline. On with things...

The new episodes, which I will be referring to as Season 1.2, have been a mixed bag. I dread the thought of the show suddenly sucking. I still remember looking forward to the pilot and then as soon as it was over, texting Cathy, "OMG! DID YOU WATCH GLEE?!" and just as I hit "send" my phone vibrated and I got the EXACT SAME message from her! (And as it turns out, she got the exact same message from Beth! You can call us "the thing with three brains." No wait, more like "the three things with one brain." Or just The Borg. The Fabulous Borg.) It was one of those delightful, magical moments you have every so often, y'know?
This show was such an underdog for Fox that they went crazy trying to get people to try it, which is why the pilot aired in the spring and it was free on iTunes, to get as many people to watch it and talk it up as they could. It worked. Now it's a phenomenon and I guess I'm worried about it suddenly getting watered down and homogenized for the masses. You know, those retards that still watch American Idol and don't see the irony when they compare them to theme park or cruise ship or karaoke performers. Hey, is it time for another group singalong Motown medley?
On a related note, did you know Amber "Mercedes" Riley was an American Idol reject? Suck that Idol!
One reason I didn't want to use Finnsday is that Finn and Rachel are among my least favorite characters. I know Rachel is supposed to be annoying, but you're also supposed to root for her at times and I usually find myself wishing she'd just shut up so Tina and Artie or Kurt and Mercedes (or Kurcedes, they're Cathy and my faves!) can get more screen time. I'm glad that in the Madonna episode, they actually acknowledged that the "background" characters never get to shine the way that those two do. Look at their version of "Somebody to Love." The full-length version from the album/iTunes features additional lead vocals by Artie and some of the others, but on the show, it was edited just to showcase Finn and Rachel, with Mercedes coming in "to wail at the end" as she always does. Then, when the cast was on Oprah, they performed the edited version! Boo!
I don't know who's in charge of this, but Season 1.2 has featured some really shitty song choices. In the first episode, "Hell-O," they performed "Hello," "Hello, I Love You," "Highway To Hell," "Gives You Hell" and "Hello/Goodbye." Okay, I get it. It's cute, but that's all it is, cute. Not hilarious or genius, just cute. "Hello/Goodbye" at least was really good, but "Highway To Hell?" "Hello, I Love You?" Sucked. I don't even want to listen to them, but... I mean, I can't just skip them. They're Glee songs. I always sit through "Last Name," right? Well, most of the time.
I always stay up until just after midnight every Monday to download the songs as soon as they become available on iTunes and then an additional half hour or so to listen to them. This week's songs though... meh. Kurt's version of "A House Is Not A Home" is great, until Finn comes along and squeaks out his terrible part. (I don't hate Finn, but his part in this song is RUFF!) And none of these songs, not even "Beautiful" was a show-stopper like "Somebody To Love" or "Don't Stop Believin'."
Also, enough with the mash-ups! The ones on the mash-up episode were AWESOME... like in my top five, but since then, I don't know why they keep going back to them. Mr. Schu should have just done "Don't Stand So Close To Me" in that one episode. It didn't need to be mashed up with "Young Girl." Likewise, in the Madonna ep, they should have just done "Open Your Heart." It didn't have to be mashed up with "Borderline." All that led to was an awkward re-arrangement of the lyrics.
Overall, I LOVED the Madonna episode... Entertainment Weekly summed it up best when they referred to being initially disappointed to see that one of the songs featured was "4 Minutes" (which I think they called a "stinker" or something along those lines), only to be delighted when Kurcedes tore it up! However, the very beginning when Sue forces Figgins to play Madonna's Greatest Hits felt like a total commercial and then later, it makes complete sense for Puck to refer to Madonna as a "world class MILF," because he sleeps with older women, but when Finn later says Madonna is "hot and all..." not so much! It was like they were kissing her ass to get the rights to use her songs.It's since been widely reported that they are also planning a Lady Gaga-themed episode, however it really looks like they are just using two of her songs, "Poker Face" and "Bad Romance" and that the episode will also feature songs by other artists, which I agree with. I love Gaga, but she's no Madonna... at least not yet! They shouldn't devote an entire episode to her. There's also been rumblings that they may do additional episodes that feature the songs of just one artist, like Britney Spears, Billy Joel and... Led Zepplin?! Um, Dear Glee... DON'T!
I'm not sure how I feel about the increased fantasy element of the musical numbers. In the beginning, they'd every so often do a fantasy number, like "Bust The Windows" or "Take A Bow." (Speaking of questionable musical choices, it's ALWAYS bugged me that the lyrics to that song absolutely don't fit the scene they were in!) But, especially in the Madonna episode, nearly every musical number was a fantasy performance instead of them just singing and performing the song in "real life." In the beginning, I don't know that I'd necessarily call the series a "musical" so much as a "show about a choir with music." Now, it's definitely a musical.Maybe I'm just resistant to change, but I also hate Rachel's new boyfriend, Jesse. Lame! We're taking screen time away from Artie and Tina, for this bitch-face?!
More Tina! More Artie! Make it happen! Tina's only ever had one solo, "True Colors!" When I heard "Express Yourself," I was delighted when I thought she was the third lead only to find out on the show that it was actually Quinn! Let Tina sing, people! (However, after seeing last night's episode, Go Quinn!) Also, what's up with Santana getting so much screen time all of a sudden AND getting her real name, Naya Rivera, suddenly flashing on screen alone in the credits, and Heather "Brittany" Morris' name getting lumped in with Other Asian's and... the black kid, who I don't think has ever had a line of dialogue. Actually, I don't think Other Asian has, either, but at least they always cut to him busting a move in all of the dance numbers.

A few random thoughts...Holy hell, that's Emma! Or Jayma Mays, I should say, since Emma would never wear short shorts! Enna's panties are probably bigger than that! What's up, Kitten?
Cathy is a huge Puck fan! He had my favorite part in last night's episode when he mouthed to Finn, "are you gay?" when it appeared that Kurt was singing to him.
I looooooooooove Mike O'Malley. I know it's weird. I KNOW! I SAID, I KNOW! Don't know what it is... I guess maybe he's just such a "guy." I dunno... but yeah, I used to watch Yes Dear... not every week or anything! But sometimes and I have no idea what it was about, because all I could think while watching it was "Droooooooooooooool."
Which makes it a bit uncomfortable that he plays the dad of the one character I relate the most to. I swear, I don't have Daddy Issues. Of course some people do mistake David for my dad, but that's just because they think I'm like 21. Awkwaaaaaaard...
Over all, the first new episode was... meh. The Power of Madonna was GREAT, although it had a couple of iffy moments for me and I'm not sure how I feel about all the fantasy musical numbers. And last night's was great, despite less-than-stellar song choices. But, I mean... it's Glee! So even when it's less-than-average, it's still better than anything else on TV!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Got An Award! Plus Tune-In Tuesday 04-27-10

Geez, how is April almost over already?! Anyway, first off, I received my first blog award!
Okay, so it is from my friend Katie, so... yeah, pity date. But even so, I'm accepting and would like to thank everyone that made this possible, so basically... you know everyone that sucks and makes me post rants about them. Plus all the people that are awesome that I blog about. And Calvin Klein for selecting XeXi Kellan Lutz for your ad campaign. I'd be nothing without either of you! Free Tibet!

This award is kind of like a chain letter and the idea is that you then award it to other blogs.

Here are the rules:

1. Put the logo on your blog within your post.

2. Pass the award on to twelve bloggers (which, as PrettyPrincessXO did before me, I am limiting to six because I don't follow that many blogs)

3. Link to the nominees within your post.

4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and the link to the person from whom you received this award.

... but I'm not sure if other blogs want it... the idea is just to spread the word and direct your fans (... sweet Guacamole, I have fans?!) to other blogs and boost their numbers. However, I know most of the blogs I go to are way more successful than mine. Also, not to be a dick, but I'm not awarding a couple of people who are actually good friends, because their blogs haven't been updated in a significant amount of time. (You know who you are.) I'm not doing it to be rude or anything, but seeing as how these blogs haven't been updated, there's probably a reason for that and they don't need the added pressure of my fans (STILL stunned by that revelation!) bugging them asking, "Why hasn't your blog been updated?" So see, I'm doing you a favor. Anyway, on with the show:

1. Katie at Date Me, D.C. - She's the one that awarded me my Sunshine Award and if you're a fan of Sex and the City, her blog is a must! We have the same sense of humor, and her blog chronicles her online dating misadventures (emphasis on mis!) in often wince-inducing detail! "It's funny because it's true," becomes, "This would be hilarious... if it weren't true and didn't happen to someone I know!"

2. Plaid Stallions - I think this blog is already plenty popular and they won't bother with this, but this blog is a must to anyone that grew up in the 70s and 80s. And even if you're too young, you can enjoy the HI-LARIOUS catalog photos of the most hideous clothing ever sewn (with polyester thread) and ridiculously misguided attempts to market inappropriate toys to children. Keep in mind, EVERYONE was on drugs in the 70s. EVERYONE!

3. Rob at The Aquaman Shrine - My bible. I read it almost every day. Dedicated to comics' ultimate under dog(fish), Aquaman! If this blog didn't exist, I'd have to invent it and I'd do a far, far crappier job of it. So luckily the responsibility does NOT fall on my frail, bony shoulders.

4. Wallopin' Websnappers! It's... Spider-Man Stuff - This site makes me happy I'm a fan of Aquaman and Wonder Woman, because the avalanche of Spider-Man toys, even if you limit it to the 70s and 80s is still RIDICULOUSLY enormous! I'm not even that big a fan of Spider-Man, but there's some really neat stuff on this site.

I'm gonna leave it at that. I'm not posting the biggies like Perez Hilton, because everyone already knows about that one and Socialite Life, which is also pretty massive. The last few I posted make me think sometimes that maybe my blog is too scattered and maybe I should focus on one topic... sadly, the one theme that I post about that gets the most reaction is MANic Monday and if I switched to only posting shirtless hunks, I'd feel I was veering too far into porn territory. Soft-core, but porn nonetheless. Plus, then what would I do with all the comic/toy/cartoon diatribes I am compelled to write? I mean, no one else is going to write a tribute to Hell-Cat! Believe me!

Anyway, on with the show... CURVEBALL!!! I was already going to post this, but receiving a Sunshine Award makes it even more appropriate...

You know those compilation cds that Target sells? The ones you always pick up and go, "Ooooh, 80s Movies Hits!" before realizing you already have all those songs. Well, some went on clearance for $4 and I picked up four. One was 90s Radio, which had almost all songs I didn't already have. Despite the four girls on the cover striking a Spice Girls-riffing pose, the songs on the cd are actually all that 90s, post-grunge pop rock crap like Sugar Ray and The Gin Blossoms and Fastball etc. The other three were 70s (mostly) collections, 70s Roller Disco, #1 Hits of the 70s and #1 Hits of Soft Rock. It's all that SHIT they show on VH1 like I Love The 70s or One-Hit Wonders... so it's all songs we all kinda know, but surprisingly even though I was familiar with a lot of these, I realized quickly that I'd never listened to them. Y'know, like I'd never actually heard the whole thing and never paid attention to the lyrics or anything. So today's Tune-In Tuesday highlights:
The Starland Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight!"

Didn't see that one coming, didja? OMG, can you believe that FILTH?! SMUT, I declare!!! I can't believe that that is a soft rock classic! You could easily hear that at like the dentist's or on an elevator!

Um also, if the only instruments are two acoustic guitars, what's making those VROOOOM rocket noises? Also, there are CHILDREN present! Also, I like the people "flocking" to see what's going on... so now we all know from where U2 STOLE the idea for their "Where The Streets Have No Name" video!

Here are the lyrics, with bold emphasis on the especially salacious parts:
Gonna find my baby, gonna hold her tight
gonna grab some afternoon delight.
My motto's always been; when it's right, it's right.
Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night.
When everything's a little clearer in the light of day.
And you know the night is always gonna be there any way.

Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight. Afternoon delight.

Thinkin' of you's workin' up my appetite
looking forward to a little afternoon delight.
Rubbin' sticks and stones together (!!!) makes the sparks ingite
and the thought of rubbin' you is getting so exciting. (!!!!!!!!!)

Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight. Afternoon delight.

Started out this morning feeling so polite
I always though a fish could not be caught who wouldn't bite
But you've got some bait a waitin' and I think I might try nibbling
a little afternoon delight.

Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight. Afternoon delight.

Please be waiting for me baby when I come around.
We could make a lot of lovin' 'for the sun goes down.

Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight. Afternoon delight.


Aaaaaa-aaaaa-aaaaaaah-haaaaaa-haaaaa-haaaaaa- Afternoon Delight!

Monday, April 26, 2010

MANic Monday 04-26-10 Jailbait Edition

Okay, lines must be drawn, folks. Not only did one of my favorite gossip blogs, Socialite Life, run a series of pics of this:Yep, it's the Beib. Not only did they run a series of shirtless beach photos of this kid, BUT a link to an article about men women most want to sleep with but shouldn't, which included this KID! Um, he's not even a MAN yet, cougars! Claws in!

Sigh, I kinda knew this would happen, and though it's a tad early, I'm going to go ahead and declare 2010 as "The Year Not Committing Pedophilia Became Just A Suggestion." And unfortunately, I can look back and see a linear pattern. I think the real turning point came with High School Musical 2 in 2007, when this:
...turned into this:Man, I wish my adolescence had been so kind. Instead I got backne and the world's largest Adam's Apple.
Oh and it just kept getting better:
This scene was deleted from HSM3... um, WHY?!?!
Floppity, floppity, floppity, floppity... this look: bad on guidos, amazing on beautiful post-teen idols.
"No, no, Bandslam will totally be a hit! It's a great career move!"
Wow, you can almost count the hairs. Nice job, telescopic lens.
"Yup, still there."
Geez, son, you need help with that?!

So, from Zac we then moved to the next slice of hot jailbait, Taylor Lautner... well, there was a brief stop in Jonas Brothers-ville, but... I'm sorry, the "cute one," Nick is and always was a complete horseface and has THE! WORST!! voice of any pop star ever, and that includes Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys and Bob Dylan. So there!

Anyway, this image from the next Twilight movie (that I am also not ever going to watch) was released:
"No, I refuse to take any more shirtless promo pics. I insist on wearing a shirt. Okay, fine it can be sleeveless and tighter than my skin. But I'm wearing a shirt, nonetheless."
"I didn't say it had to be buttoned..."
... "Or dry." God bless Rolling Stone.
And, uh, apparently, Teen Vogue.
Jesus, remember when he was Sharkboy?! Oh, sorry, did that just ruin it?
Hey, here's a stupid question... is that tattoo real?
I mean, it's pretty iconic and this was his break-thru role, so I could see him actually getting it done in real life. Plus, I mean, it is a cool tattoo... we've all seen our fair share of awful ones... especially on celebs, ahem Megan Fox. Tard. But this one is actually really cool. Just wondering.

So in closing, if I want to see a teen heart throb frolicking on the beach with a football, he needs to look like this:
Not this:
Also, I'm relieved at least that Socialite Life ran these pics and I didn't have to do a Google search for them, because I'm pretty sure that if you Google search pics of Justin Beiber, the FBI knows about it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Throwback Thursday 04-22-10 The Super Seven

Okay, students, put all your books away and take out a pencil. Time for a pop quiz. Yesterday, I told you to take note of a particular character's origin, because it would come back into play today. Name that character!

Correct answer: Marvel's Spider-Woman!

Yes, Marvel didn't have a Spider-Woman, but when animation company Filmation planned to produce a Saturday morning cartoon character named Spider-Woman, Marvel was all like, "Aw hellz naw! We already got us a Spider-Man! You can't be all copying us!" And as I said, they quickly threw together a character named Spider-Woman and were all like, "Dibs!"
Filmation was all like, "We don't even care! We didn't like the name Spider-Woman anyway! We're gonna call our character Web Woman, which is way better, so nyah!" And they did.
Web Woman starred in her own animated shorts on a series I remember from when I was in Kindergarten, called Batman & The Super Seven. I BARELY remember it, but I remember it nonetheless. I have since learned that the show was originally called Tarzan & The Super Seven in the previous season, which I apparently missed. The show was an anthology and featured a variety of super hero series:
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle
The New Adventures of Batman

Freedom Force

Manta & Moray

Superstretch & Microwoman

Web Woman

Jason of Star Command

I don't know who was in charge of doing the math on this one, but if you extract either Batman or Tarzan, that only leaves six other features, so it should have really been Batman/Tarzan & The Super SIX or The Super Seven featuring Tarzan/Batman.

Really, Filmation should have called it, "Hey Marvel and DC, Sue This!" Because that's exactly what Marvel and DC did. The show was only on for two seasons and most of the segments featured have never been seen since.

Tarzan and Batman both continued airing as stand-alone series. I recently saw Tarzan thanks to the DVD set Saturday Morning Cartoons: The 70s Vol. 1, which I highly DON'T recommend as apparently Saturday morning cartoons in the 70s were damn terrible.The one item of note was my re-introduction to Tarzan's pet spider monkey Nakima. I remember drawing pictures of Tarzan as a wee lad and I'd always draw Nakima along with him and I remembered people always saying "Is that Cheetah?" Cheetah being Tarzan's pet chimpanzee in the old black & white movies, which at 4-5 years old, I'd never seen. I was always like, "Cheetah is that cat lady that fights Wonder Woman. What the hell are you talking about? This is Nakima." Okay, I didn't say hell, but can I just say NOTHING is funnier than when little kids curse. HI-LARIOUS.
Of the Super Seven segments, the one I remember the least, meaning not at all, was ironically Jason of Star Command, but it was a live action segment, so it probably sucked. I own it on DVD, but have never watched it... probably because I can just tell it's unwatchable. But as you can see from the picture, it does have Scotty in it!
Also available on DVD is my favorite segment from the show, Freedom Force. I guess I've always preferred my heroes in teams. More bang for your buck. I was in love with FF team leader Isis, unaware that she's previously starred in her own live-action series just a couple of years earlier. The concept of Freedom Force was actually pretty cool, heroes from various points in history, gather in the Valley of Time to combat evil; Isis (representing either the present or ancient Egypt), Merlin, Hercules (riding Pegasus), Sinbad and made up teenage sidekick Toshi, who was somewhat lame... until he turned into armored giant Super Samurai. (Even cooler, in one episode, he battles his jealous rival, Scarlet Samurai! Kids love evil duplicates!)
I was unaware that, like Isis, Hercules had also previously appeared on Saturday morning on a boring-ass series called Space Sentinels. Somewhat like Freedom Force, the show featured super heroic versions of Greek gods, with Hercules teaming with an inexplicably Asian Mercury and black Astraea (the Greek goddess of Justice). In a bold move for the time, Astraea served as the team's leader. Likewise, Isis was the leader of Freedom Force.
Most of the rest of the info in this comes from Wikipedia, since I barely remember these shows.
Web Woman was Kelly Webster... a farmer! There's a first. Filmation made a habit of giving its heroes these long ass transformation sequences, I suspect to kill a lot of time and require less plotting. I still recall Web Woman's pretty vividly. (Fast forward to about 2:40.)

Web Woman was accompanied on her adventures by green alien sidekick Spinner. Filmation LOOOOOOOOVED goofy sidekicks and pets. (As you will see...)
We went to visit my aunt, uncle and cousin once just after Halloween and my cousin said to me, "I was Spider-Woman for Halloween." She then showed me the mask of Web-Woman! I said, "That's not Spider-Woman, that's Web Woman." But she showed me the box and it did say "Spider-Woman." I mean, I was FIVE and I knew that was wrong, so whatever adult was working in quality control at the Ben Cooper costume factory had no excuse for their grave error.
The pics for the rest of the shorts are going to be of poor quality, since these shows haven't aired since circa 1978 and weren't released on VHS (or Beta for that matter). So they're copied from the mysterious few people who owned a home video device in the 70s... and chose to use them to copy Saturday morning cartoons.
First, there was Superstretch & Microwoman, husband and wife detectives/health nuts, Chris and Christy Cross (cute) who lived in and battled crime in the suburbs. Yawn. Do tracksuits really count as "costumes?" Also, from what I recall, they ALWAYS wore their tracksuits, so I guess thier identities weren't of the "secret" variety.
Superstretch could... y'know stretch and turn into various things. Microwoman could shrink, which allowed her to ride the couple's pet dog Trouble into action.
With these two defending the burbs and Web Woman out in the country, it's nice to know that we were ALL safe from villainy, not just city-dwellers.
It seems there were more episodes of Superstretch & Microwoman than any of the other shorts. I'm not sure why this is, because even though I don't recall many specifics, I'm pretty sure theirs were the most boring segments.
I mean... tracksuits. Suburbs. I'm guessing in one episode they fixed the air conditioning at the VFW and saved the Friday Night Bingo game. In another, they stopped the kid who knocked on the door and asked his neighbor to buy a magazine subscription... even though the neighbor clearly had a "No Soliciting" sign on his door! We just can't have that kind of anarchy in the burbs, because first we start disobeying "No Soliciting" signs and the next we're pillaging like Vikings. It's a very linear process.
Next, there was Manta & Moray, featuring a married undersea couple. Manta (the guy), was the last survivor of an undersea kingdom. Moray was a human woman who was raised by dolphins after the plane she and her parents were in crashed into the ocean. They were joined on their adventures by their pet sea lion Whiskers.
Believe it or not, these wacko super folk made it onto a few pieces of licensed merchandising. There was a set of puffy stickers, which featured these characters all mixed and matched and many miscolored.
There was also this Bubb-a-Loons set.
I remember seeing these when I was a kid. It was this sticky goo that came in a tiny metal tube with a tiny straw, which you stuck in the tube and pulled out. You were supposed to blow these giant iridescent bubbles but with my tiny five year-old asthmatic lungs that never worked. So really it was a tube of sticky garbage. I would kill for those puffy stickers though!

Like I said, with the exception of Tarzan, Batman, Freedom Force and Jason of Star Command, these shows haven't been seen in over 30 years. The reason being that Marvel and DC went all litigious on their asses. Filmation had already tempted the wrath of Marvel with trying to name Web Woman "Spider-Woman."

Allegedly, DC then claimed that Superstretch & Microwoman ripped off DC heroes Plastic Man and The Atom, and that Manta & Moray ripped off Aquaman and Mera. (Ironically, Batman, who also appeared on the show, was a DC character.) Also, rumor has it that Marvel sued, claiming that Superstretch ripped off their character Mr. Fantastic and Manta ripped off The Sub-Mariner.

I don't buy the arguments. There are thousands of super heroes from many different companies and only so many super powers to go around! There are hundreds that resemble each other superficially. However, the fact of the matter is that the Super Seven segments in question have never been released commercially in any capacity, even when BCI had the rights to release EVERYTHING in the Filmation library. And boy did that include some stinkers! They did release Jason of Star Command and The Freedom Force, as well as The New Adventures of Batman, none of which were contested, so perhaps the comic companies did actually pursue legal action... and won.

Anyway... that's it for today!