Category Archives: Writers Room

SNL Season 40 Premiere: Chris Pratt / Ariana Grande

SNL_Chris_Pratt_752x423Welcome back! This is Season 40 of Saturday Night Live!

Let’s get down to business.

Sure, rumor had it that Bill Murray was to host, but, fuck it, they went with Chris Pratt. You remember Chris…star of Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie. Since his image has been everywhere this summer, it makes sense he would be host. Also, he seems comfortable in his own skin, and a little self-deprecation is necessary to be a good SNL host.

Overall, I was kind of amazed at how good this episode was. There were some big changes: Continue reading


SNL Season Finale: Andy Samberg / St.Vincent

andy-2Well, we made it through another year. We stuck with it and finally, finally, we got rid of Seth Meyers! Congratulations, America!

Let’s move on.

For the season finale, as with the season premiere, SNL usually brings out the big guns — some famous or infamous movie star or huge talent — OR they bring back a former cast member. This year, it was the latter with Andy Samberg at the helm, fresh off a Golden Globe win for Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Samberg came to reprise his role as the strange adorkable guy best remembered for Digital Shorts.

There were not many sketches that hit me in the funny bone. Despite the plethora of “surprise” celebrity guests like Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, Bill Hadar, Seth Meyers, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd and (I assuming the real) Two Chains, many of the sketches fell flat. I have said it once, but I will say it again…bringing in old blood from glorious SNL seasons past only shows the lack of talent SNL has now.

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SNL: Jamie Foxx / Ne-Yo

SNLOkay. I am just going to say what we are all thinking. This episode os Saturday Night Live is kind of racist.

Since I am hiding behind a blog and a pseudonym, readers may not know that I am Caucasian. My race makes it harder to explore race and even harder to enjoy humor that plays on racial stereotypes.

With that said, Jamie Foxx seems to think the only way he can be funny is to poke fun at those same stereotypes. From the very beginning his monologue is built around the tagline, “how black is that?” And it is all black from here on.

Enough about my white guilt, onward, to the review! Continue reading

SNL: Jeremy Renner / Maroon 5

thumbOh, Saturday Night Live, here we go again.

Jeremy Renner has a face like an old leather sack. It is that grizzled look that makes him perfect for all those hard-worn, deeply-troubled action roles. Like in The Hurt Locker. And The Town. And The Bourne Legacy. And Mission Impossible. You get the idea — he is a badass.  Then why is he on the longest-running television comedy show? Because SNL is an amazing, magical place where dreams come true, and even leather sacks can be funny.

ONWARD — to the review of the show! Continue reading

The Walking Dead: Season 3, Episode 8 – Mid-Season Finale

TWD_GP_308_0807_0276Hey, it’s Tyrese everyone! He’s like totally an important character for most of the prison story in the graphic novels, so it’s great to see him show up, but who are these other survivors? Zombie food, here’s hoping. Amiright? Apparently they have names. Without seeing the ending yet, we all knew Oscar would die, right? The cardinal rule of The Walking Dead is of course: 1 Black Guy = Enough, 2 Black Guys = Too Many. On to the questions! Continue reading

Glee: Season 4, Episode 9 – Marley Ruined Everything (AKA Something Stupid)

swan-songHere we go again, world, another episode of Glee. Strap yourself in for the 42 minute follow-up of last week’s “cliff hanger” Did New Directions win Sectionals? Will we ever get to see Sue’s retarded baby? Also, is Marley alive?

These questions and better ones will be answered tonight as we sit down with one of Glee‘s writers.

Spoiler Alert: New Directions lost Sectionals. What does this mean, because after a few minutes of explanation and four years of watching this show, I still don’t really know how this works. Continue reading

The Walking Dead: Season 3, Episode 7

TWD_BT_307_0719_0208SPOILER ALERT: This episode of The Walking Dead is full of zombies! And I have questions for them!

I realize this would have been super boring, but wasn’t it possible for Merle to simply ask Glenn where his brother was? And then Glenn would have just calmly taken him. But seriously I really liked the torture teaser. The tor-teaser? (“No, my son, not everything can be combined into a combination word.” “You, you…you shut up and you die.” GUNSHOTS] It not only mirrored the graphic novel version — the tortured captives (which did include Glenn) are in cells right next to each other and can hear what’s happening — but it was also unusually light on the gore. See, you don’t have to show dismemberment to build suspense.  Continue reading

Glee: Season 4, Episode 8 – Thanksgiving

Glee-Homeward-Bound-Home-MP3-ListenJust when I thought I had seen it all…and by “it,” I mean all the previously graduated cast members, I remember that baby mama Quinn Fabray had not yet been back to Lima, Ohio. It seems that a decade of nightly drinking may have damaged my short term memory more than I had hoped. Oh well, onward and forward, to this Thanksgiving reunion episode of Glee.

Tonight, we opened with not just one song, but a mash-up of “Home” and “Homeward Bound.”  The singers were all previous Glee members who appear to have been hopelessly haunting the halls of their high school. Some state they are “in college” or “going to ballet school” or “happy,” but since I never see it, I cannot believe it. Do you ever want to show the spin offs of these characters as you did with Kurt and Rachel?

Woh, what’s with the softball question? I thought surely you’d ask why this Thanksgiving episode had literally nothing to do with the holiday, but OK. Continue reading

American Horror Story: Asylum, Episode 4 – I Am Anne Frank, Part 1

MJ: American Horror Story: Asylum really has a thing for needles, close-up shots of cutting, and obviously blood in general. Look, I wasn’t expecting to get out gore-free, but can we loosen up on stabbing people in the eye with a syringe? No? OK I guess not.

BS: Yeah, I draw the line at needles in the eye. This season is much more about the gore than last season, don’t you think? Or, have I just blocked it from my mind? Also, the end of the episode when Anne opens the door and you see Chloe Sevigny in her current state…truly disturbing. Continue reading

The Walking Dead: Season 3, Episode 6

We’ve waited so long for The Walking Dead to come back, and now I feel like I can’t get away from it. We’re only half-way through the season, and yet there are still so, so many questions.

How great was Michonne’s “Biter-Gram?” Why exactly did the Governor send out Merle and crew to find her? It’s not like she was going to come back to town. Are they hunting her? Is she hunting them? It just seemed like an excuse to have gory conflict in the teaser, which is sad given the last few very excellent openers. How does Michonne get so easily out-sworded by Merle by the way? And why does Merle so dislike the idea of following her into the “red zone” (the as yet unexplained dangerous area) that he shoots his fellow citizen (“the other one”) in the face…and then straight up follows Michonne anyway? To the shopping center where Glenn and Maggie just happen to be? Continue reading

Glee: Season 4, Episode 7 – Dynamic Duets

Since Superstorm Sandy did not kill Ryan Murphy, it appears that Glee is still on the air. After this week’s episode “Dynamic Duets,” we here at By That You Mean had the opportunity to sit down once more with one of the producers to answer some of our most burning questions.

As always, thanks for taking time out of your day to speak with us. First, I must say that the theme this week was 50 shades of awful. I could not decide if it was lazy cosplay or an ill-timed Halloween episode. Can you explain how the holy hell you came up with this idea? Continue reading

American Horror Story: Asylum, Episode 3 – Nor’easter’

MJ: OK in all seriousness, the Adam Levine cameo on this week’s American Horror Story: Asylum lasted way longer than I thought it would or could. He just kept coming back. Die already! Incidentally this is how I feel about Maroon 5. (Side note: Did you catch Mark Conseulos’ cameo?)

BS: Yes, sometimes they come back…again. Mark Consuelos is actually on the credits, which leads me to believe that his role will get bigger. I for one am excited about that!

BS: What do you make of the Scream-esque change-up that they pulled with Bloody Face/the Bloody Face masked teenagers who killed Adam Levine? (Bloody Face Masked Teenagers Who Killed Adam Levine is also the name of my punk band. Our hits include “Moves Like Dagger” and “She will be Shoved.”) Continue reading

American Horror Story: Asylum, Episode 2 – Tricks and Treats

We’re just now catching up on American Horror Story: Asylum episodes here at  BTYM headquarters. Just to refresh everyone on the process: two fans of the show go back and forth questioning and trying to answer. We are by no means experts on the horror genre (although one of us is “All But Dissertation,” and the other is, um, also technically not yet in possession of a dissertation), but we watch carefully, examine, and discuss the nuances, so that you don’t have to.

MJ: Finally, Adam Levine is no more. It took two episodes but felt like five hundred.

BS: I’m shocked that he didn’t ask for one less inappropriately-timed bj. Continue reading

SNL: Anne Hathaway / Rihanna

I cannot believe this is the 3rd time Anne Hathaway has hosted Saturday Night Live.  I am not sure from whence my confusion comes, but I think it starts with me being unable to think of a single memorable sketch that involved Anne Hathaway.  On that note, do you think this episode gives us some ground-breaking performances by the host Hathaway? And do you hope that the monologue is not some sad Les Miserables send-up?

Not to spoil the surprise, but the answer to both questions is no.

Read on to find out more!!! Continue reading

Glee: Season 4, Episode 6 – Grease

Glee is still on the air! That means it is time for us to once again sit down with an anonymous producer for the show to get some inside information. Where is the show going? Who are all these people? How many overweight black females are there really? Onward for answers!!

Thanks for sitting down with me today. Tell me, how amazing it is to work with Kate Hudson? Continue reading

The Walking Dead: Season 3, Episode 4 – Killer Within

Was this the hardest ever episode of The Walking Dead to watch? Obviously with the death of so many key characters, it can’t not be. As has been a trend, it’s interesting to see how the graphic novels differ so much from the show, and yet both are distantly linked.

Random side note before the real questions: The deer reminded me of something practical. Now that everyone knows they are already infected, I wonder if anyone considered it was now safe to eat tainted animal meat. Or would that still spread dangerous secondary infections and hasten death? Continue reading

RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race: Episode 3 – Queens Behaving Badly

Only three episodes into RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race, and already a few things are undeniably true: 1) The season is too short, and yet 2) The All Stars format doesn’t perfectly translate to the Drag Race pedigree. Sure, it’s been great seeing these ladies again, but I’m not finding each episode quite as thrilling as before.

Some self-awareness is obviously absolutely necessary for a drag performer, but there’s something more going on this season. It’s more than just awareness of being on camera. Is it maybe that they all want to continue to be in the good graces of Ru herself or else risk losing a place? Drag queens will always be drag queens, but anecdotally it feels like we’re seeing them more in more in print, TV, and online. Is RuPaul to blame/congratulate? But I digress. Let’s rate episode 3… Continue reading

The Walking Dead: Season 3, Episode 3 – Walk With Me

Don’t get me wrong, I love Michonne’s zombie donkeys. Zonkeys? But what’s her top speed with them in tow? It’s gotta max out at zombie amble, which seems to be 4-5 miles per hour. Maybe she entices them to walk faster, somehow. Does she dangle brains on a stick? Oh…Zonkeys, we hardly knew ye (as was the case in the graphic novels). More questions for The Walking Dead after the break! Continue reading

SNL: Louis CK / fun

Another week and another episode of Saturday Night Live. I have not been this excited about a host in a long time. I am a shameless fan of Louis CK. He is smart, honest and makes the audience uncomfortable. In this venue (live sketch comedy) I was curious to see how he would perform — he writes, directs, produces and acts for his own show, so anyone with that much knowledge and control could have a hard time excelling in this struggling show. I was very pleasantly surprised. Louis CK did a great job. Sure, part of my enjoyment came from that fact that his monologue was not a song.

Enough about how much I love Louis CK, let’s talk about the episode. Continue reading

Glee: Season 4, Episode 5 – Something About Grease Or Whatever

As the episodes of Glee plod forward, sometimes I forget that it was once an original and highly entertaining show. Now, with Ryan Murphy balls-deep into American Horror Story, the show has been slipping away and leaving a lot of questions in its wake. We had the opportunity to sit down with a writer/producer from the show to provide the important answers.

We opened this week on the auditions for Grease. Other than the mirrored high school drama, what was it about this musical that spoke to the writers? Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Finale

Surprise, all four contestants get to compete in [insert corporate sponsor here] fashion week on the Project Runway finale! Double surprise, they have another whole day to go to Mood and make more fashion! Other than the first season, I can’t recall a time when this didn’t happen. Otherwise, what would we be watching before the final runway? And yet always it’s such a huge shock to the contestants. I can take only so much styling and product placement as it is. Oh gosh, but there is SO MUCH STYLING even still.

Before we move on to the final runway looks, we can’t finish out BTYM’s coverage of Project Runway’s 10th season without pointing our loyal readers towards the fabulous Fashion It So single-topic Tumblr. It is a wonderful way to detox after PR. Go read it. Continue reading

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars: Episode 2 – Gaff-In

The celebrity impersonation episodes on RuPaul’s Drag Race each season are probably my favorite because we get to see the girls pull hilarious shit out of their pockets. I’m so happy it’s making its way to the shortened All Stars season. It’s with great sadness, then, that I have to say that this episode felt a little tired. Yikes it was kind of bad! Still, it remains watchable simply based on the presence of these lively characters, not to mention Ru. Yet the pacing and humor were noticeably off this week, and you’ll see this reflected below in the patented Drag-o-Meter ratings. Continue reading

American Horror Story: Asylum – Premiere

American Horror Story has returned for a second season, err, mini-series. And of course BTYM’s here to discuss the ins and outs. Just a reminder of how we do this: Two fans go back and forth making observations, asking questions, and chastising Ryan Murphy. It’s free-form and meant to be fun. We do really love it, after all. Oh, and the bold text is one writer, while non-bold is the other.

P.S. Sorry for the lack of content this week; BTYM was affected by the storm, and we’ll be coming back online next week. Which is to say, this is free. Continue reading

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars: Premiere

RuPaul is back, and we couldn’t be happier here at BTYM. Her eponymous Drag Race is by no stretch of hyperbole the most consistently engaging source of camp goodness in reality television history. What better type of person to star/compete in the reality format than the ever self-aware drag queen? The confluence of identity formation, fakeness, and attitude is a swirling tropical storm of faggotry that we will never tire of.

So it is with great earnestness that we bring back the patented Drag-o-Meter for this, the first “All Stars” spin-off season, which by the way we are in full support of. It’s not like they won’t be making another normal season, and these aren’t humdrum normal random people trying to be famous. They are PERFORMERS trying to entertain. This week there was surprising contrast in the good, the bad, and the what the fuckery. To the results!

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SNL: Bruno Mars

It’s another Saturday night! Time to sit down with a bottle of wine and a check of Saturday Night Live hosted by Bruno Mars.

Who? Oh, Bruno Mars. I vaguely know him as the young soul-filled singer who is on the radio right before I switch it, so I was surprised to see him pulling double-duty this week as both host and musical guest. While not unheard of (see full list here), it is usually for super famous people (Sting, Dolly Parton, Justin Timberlake, Mick Jagger) — people who are up the challenge of double duty.

I am going to shut up now and just say that, holy shit, Bruno Mars was awesome. Not sure if this is because of my lowered expectations, or because he was truly exceptional. Who cares, at this point, I will take it.

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The Walking Dead: Season 3, Episode 2 – Sick

The opening scene was all kinds of confusing. First of all, was there always just one zombie on the other side of the door? I think they can handle one zombie. Yet, a big deal is made about keeping the door sealed. Then, hilariously enough, there is nary an introduction to the strangers staring back at our survivors from the new room inside the prison. There is lots of gun-pointing, sure. And granted, Hershel’s leg was just chopped off, but it was mostly a ball of confusion.

A great place to start the questions! Continue reading

SNL: Christina Applegate/Passion Pit

Oh, holy, sweet baby zombie Jesus, this is what I am talking about. Forget about overworked political numbers, gone are the stupid voices of yesterday. Welcome the smart, provocative, and hilarious Saturday Night Live you remember from your childhood.

Of course, I am assuming that you just fast-forward through “Weekend Update” because, seriously, that is minutes of your life you will never get back.

Let’s do this. Continue reading

The Walking Dead: Season 3, Premiere

In the interim between the end of The Walking Dead‘s last season and the premiere tonight, I had a chance to read all of the graphic novels to date. I mention this not to introduce spoilers but rather to point out how divergent the television experience is from the text on which it’s based. Actually, shockingly so. Shane is such a fleeting character in the graphic novels, yet we all endured two full seasons of him on TV. Several characters exist only in the graphic novel and/or die fairly early on vs. the television versions (notably, Dale), and vice-versa. It’s fascinating to witness the changes the show’s creators deemed necessary for broadcast, and I’m more than a little optimistic about the narrative prospects.

Needless to say, I have a lot of questions for The Walking Dead.

The show itself, not the, um zombies. Continue reading

SNL: Daniel Craig/Muse

Oh no, it’s a British Invasion!! Actually, I would welcome some smart, elegant British humour on nights like tonight…you know, when the longest running comedy show in the history of America is so awful you want to smash your TV with a cat.

So here we are, another long episode of Saturday Night Live, this time featuring 007 Daniel Craig and prog-rock band Muse. Craig highlights the badassitutde of the characters he has portrayed by presenting an In Memoriam complete with fog. It was unpleasant. On that note, let’s just get right down to the best and worst of the show. Continue reading

Glee Interviews: Season 4, Episode 4 – The Breakup

After sitting down with my bowl of popcorn and big glass of wine, I was excited to see the title of this week’s Glee episode: “The Break-Up.” Finally, the sickly-sweet high school romances would go the way of the Dodo. No more Blurt, Fachel, Emill or Santittany. Before the first musical number, I could tell that this was going to be a good one.

I had the chance to sit down with a production insider and ask the burning questions I had about this episode of Glee.

As always, thank you for taking the time to speak to me! How does it feel to ruin so many relationships in one hour? Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 11 – It’s Fashion Baby

There’s not much we can say about an episode of Project Runway where the designers make clothes for babies. Not clothes inspired by babies. Not clothes made out of babies. Clothes for babies. OK, so also clothes for their moms at the last second. No real mention was made as to exactly why two winners out of such a small group would be announced, other than I am assuming because Heidi needed both a boy and a girl look for her clothing line?

Oh right, Heidi has a Kids ‘R Us clothing line. Because babies and Heidi’s style mesh so well.

With only another episode to go until the finale, it was a little strange to have this episode jammed in, but maybe they couldn’t find more than six willing parents. Or maybe it was just better to cleanse the viewers’ palates with a totally saccharine challenge before next week’s big Top 3 judging. Who knows?

Let’s discuss what we loved and what we hated… Continue reading

Once Upon a Time: Season 2 – Premiere

Things are changing this season on Once Upon a Time. In the first season we learned that Storybrooke, Maine is filled with characters who had been cursed by the Evil Queen to forget everything and spend eternity in Maine…a fate worse then death. At the end of last season, the curse was lifted, and a purple smoke haze brought magic and memories back, but the inhabitants of Storybrooke were never transported back to their fairy tale world. That is the best that I can do to fill you in because, honestly, this is not a show you can start in the second season. I am not entirely convinced this is a show you should start in the first season, but oh well, here we are. Continue reading

Glee Interviews: Season 4, Episode 3 – Makeover

Here we are again, on a dark Thursday night, watching one of the most frustrating musical Dramadies in history unfold. It is time for Glee! We have the NYC set — with Rachel and Kurt fleshing out their new lives. We also have the Lima, Ohio crowd — forging forward with their meaningless Midwest lives. And they manage to do it all while singing, dancing and running around in absurdly high heeled boots. After 60 full minutes, I had a few questions, like, “why is the show still on the air?” and “when will Rachel become a Special Victim?” We here at By That You Mean have the privilege of sitting down with a member of the Glee creative team to provide us with some answers.

Thanks for once again taking the time to talk to us.Today we were subjected to songs like “Celebrity Skin” and “A Change Would Do You Good.” Do you think that your time could be better spent picking more memorable songs for the show? Continue reading

SNL Weekend Update Thursday: Episode 2

Please tell me this is the last Weekend Update I will have to suffer through on an otherwise happy Thursday night! I mean, what the fuck, Seth Meyers, must you ruin everything you touch?

The show started with a political cold open —  a town hall meeting with Obama in Ohio. This was not funny because it was a little bit too true. Jokes about the unemployed, foreclosed homes, meth addiction and immigration were kind of depressing. Kudos to Jay Pharaoh, though. He is continuing to impress with his Obama impression. Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 9 – Print Challenge

I really loved the flashback to Mondo’s season, when he used a plus sign as the basis for his unique print, stemming from his HIV+ status. His look was winning in its own right, but the personal connection really sent it over the reality waterfall edge. It was more than memorable. For once I don’t mind the HP product placement, since in this challenge the touch-screen capabilities [and side note: a Mondo-inspired laptop bag] really do enhance the abilities of the designers. Wasn’t Elena super cute when her mom walked in? I of course loved that her mom had an equally edgy look. My only real complaint with the challenge was that the designers were forced to create a garment inspired by their personal history.T

  1. This was a forced connection with Mondo’s very real reveal a few seasons ago
  2. Shouldn’t they always be designing from a personal place? Sure, they aren’t designing for themselves literally, but they’re supposed to always send something down the runway that truly speaks to their inner designer selves.

However, this is a minor complaint, since usually the prints are uniformly fine; it’s more a question of scale (too big = gawdy…too small = indistinguishable) than the individual drawing that ultimately becomes the pattern’s unit.

Lastly, the cuteness award goes to Fabio’s boyfriend.

Anyway, on to Loves It / Hates It! You can see all of the looks here.

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SNL: Joseph Gordon-Levitt / Mumford & Sons

After what I consider a strong start to the season last week, Saturday Night Live continued the long-standing tradition of being a hot mess.

The overall theme for tonight’s show is to make the host Joseph Gordon-Levitt “do voices.” regardless of his talent, looks or comic timing, the SNL writers seemed determined to make JGL sound like an idiot.

I noticed the voices around the 2nd sketch. After JGL put his clothes back on, he does the Spanish voice, then he does a 20’s Film Noir voice, an over the top teenage boy, and a white rapper guy. So many awful voices, it was hard to focus. Okay, so those are the notes that I have for the host.

On to the best and worst of the night!

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Glee Interviews: Season 4, Episode 2 – Britney 2.0

This week of Glee is all about Britney Spears. You remember her, right? She was famous once and several seasons ago, Glee paid her tribute. Apparently, unbeknownst to us at BTYM, Britney has enough songs to warrant a SECOND tribute. After dusting off some sad, old songs and hyping some new, awful ones, we sat down with a production insider to answer some of our burning questions.

BTYM: First, thank you for focusing on Brittany S. Pierce again. But can I ask why we have to subject the world to more Britney Spears? Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 8 – Starving Artist

Have there even been this many team challenges in Project Runway history? There have been almost as many team as individual challenges this season. Because we like misery? I have to say that this was maybe the first time the interactions between the various team members did actually provide insight into the design process. However, that doesn’t forgive the theme of the episode. What was the connection between making crap clothes to sell on the street and this being a team challenge where that money was used to buy materials for a fall collection? Fall collection = street selling…somehow.

The award for best “what the shit is that hot garbage” confessional cut-aways definitely goes to Alena, who is slowly moving away from love-to-hate to just plain love.  There were a lot of great lines from Dmitry to: “Alena, you wake up mad.” “Alena is walking depression.” And so on. On to Loves it / Hates it!

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SNL: Weekend Update Thursday

Will someone explain to me why Lorne Michaels decided to take the WORST segment of Saturday Night Live and turn it into a prime-time special?

It is my own fault for not reading the title correctly. I assumed this would be as it was four years ago — a smart, celebrity-filled countdown to the Presidential Election. I wanted Tina Fey/Sarah Palin  and Will Ferrell/George W. Bush. I wanted more fake commercials.

Even if the show was not 100% focused on the election, what a great opportunity to include previous “Weekend Update” alums onto the stage? I would even take some Norm MacDonald! He is still alive, right?

Instead, I was subjected to 30 minutes of Seth Meyers awkwardly recycling jokes from the Daily Show. Continue reading

Glee: Season 4 Premiere – Interview with a Show Insider

BTYM: I was struck by the relatively somber tone of the premiere. Clearly with a new season brings new and difficult challenges for the familiar faces, but it was more than that. Peppered throughout was the usual “our differentness makes us special” tone of course, but I also noted an insistence on gritty realness, particularly in New York. In a sort of, “oh you thought your life before New York was hard, well suck on this truth,” way. Though it was fleeting, there was a shot of the World Trade Center being reconstructed in the background of an early Rachel scene. I’m not super sure Glee is up to the caliber of making even tacit references to 9/11 rebuilding, but it wasn’t so overt as to seem out of place. I’m wondering if you can speak to the decisions made going into this new season, specifically how to ramp up the hardships of the characters. Continue reading

SNL: Season 38 Premiere – Seth MacFarlane / Frank Ocean

I can’t say that I missed the comedy of Saturday Night Live over the summer, but I did spend some time thinking how the show was going to survive with the loss of Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg. Oh, and also Abby Elliot.  Last season seemed to rest on the mighty shoulders of Wiig and sometimes the only well thought out segment would be the “Digital Short.” Who…whom…which comedians could possibly fill the void left in my heart?

It will be these three people, who I am not going to describe right now because they were practically non-existent in the premiere show. Instead, read about them here, at the Daily Beast. I will only state that I am looking forward to seeing some new characters, and the clips provided in this article do a lot to whet my appetite.

Okay, enough of that, let’s talk about the first show of the season. Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 7

As the season chugs along and contestants are cut, it’s becoming less laborious to talk about the final looks. This show just has way too many people, most of whom are forgettable. Has anyone ever seen RuPaul’s Drag Race? It’s the total opposite.

I (MJ) liked the challenge — design a manufacturable dress for Lord & Taylor within a set price range — even though it is inherently cross-promotional with a brand, but at least in this case it’s a fashion brand. How is this type of challenge not more common?

Design a uniform for the Postal Service. Design a look for the US Olympic Team. Design a look around a couture shoe.

These are problems for which designers might need to find solutions, and yet they can still be interesting to the viewer. For example, Christopher looks at the existing Lord & Taylor Project Runway collection and notices it has only two evening gowns, whereas Gunnar sees a connection between the styles of two dresses that he could work from. I like this. Plus, there will be drama no matter what. We hear “Lord and Taylor” and know it is a clothing store. I’m just so turned off by the various Lexus/Dillan’s Candy/HP challenges.

On to the looks! Continue reading

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars: It’s on!

The Drag-o-Meter makes its triumphant return October 22nd, when the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race premieres its new “All Stars” season.

True Blood: Season 5, Episode 12 – Finale, Save Yourself

Did someone say something about tying up loose ends as quickly as possible? Goodbye, Russell Edgington. You were surely the funnest villain in recent memory on True Blood. Well, Michelle Forbes was maybe more exciting. You were up there, though. I kind of wanted Russell to eat all of the fairies. All of them.

And while I’m making requests, let’s petition for Stephen Moyer to be staked. You read that right. Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 6

It’s the regular person / Loreal co-branded design challenge, where invariably everyone bitches and moans about how unfair their fat clients are. It’s hilarious how little enthusiasm the Project Runway designers have at the prospect of making clothes for real people. Not sure why this has occurred to us yet, but Dmitry is Count Chocula in human form. You see it? Oy, it’s hard to watch Ven, who is particularly demeaning to his client. Ironically, he is the most “plus size” of the contestants.

The designers are once again totally underwhelming. Why aren’t the judges hammering them more? In past seasons there have been better outfits that were torn apart in judging. Is it true what DM suggested, that they are scraping the bottom at this point? We’ve never been so bored so consistently week after week with the off-the-shelf looks, which, speaking of… Continue reading

True Blood: Season 5, Episode 11

It’s the second to last episode of another season of True Blood, which means every new character and plotline that haven’t already been called off must be crammed into as few minutes of onscreen time as possible.

Let’s list all of the ball-trippingest new elements we are hoping are never mentioned again:

The Authority
The Fae

Let’s discuss Lilith. Continue reading

Cult: Series Premiere

This summer, I had the nerdy privilege of attending Comic-Con San Diego for the first time. Aside from the plethora of cosplay, acne, and virgins there were also premieres. To be more specific, many television and movie studios use Comic-Con to get buzz started on future releases. There are “much-anticipated” premieres (like the first trailer for The Hobbit) and there are some “interesting-but-not-exciting” first peeks (like Hotel Transylvania). What I saw falls very much into a third category called, “what is this and who cares?”

Let me paint the picture for you.

I struggled to find a seat close to the front so I could see the pseudo-celebrities up close. Sure this meant I was squashed next to a morbidly obese, type II diabetic on a Hoveround, but come on, I was getting free TV.

Some mouthpiece for the CW introduced the TV show Cult, describing it as a meta show within a show within a compound. At that description I was already plotting my escape for a bathroom break, and boy, would I be glad I did.  Continue reading

True Blood: Season 5, Episode 10 – Gone, Gone, Gone

In the “previously on True Blood” segment my husband takes time to point out just how overpowered the vampires are in this universe. Can the werewolves, shifters, slutty faeries, or whatever Lafayette is ever truly compete? I don’t know if anyone else recognizes the character actor Sookie chopsticks to death in the intro, but I will always remember him as the lovable Phlox on Enterprise. Live long and prosper. I love how Sookie is so used to piles of blood in her home that she doesn’t bother to clean it up. Point of order: is it illegal [from the humans’ perspective] for a vampire to turn a human? We can assume not, since there’s not been a mention of any sort of investigation into who bit whom.

Blergh! Let’s discuss the rest of this bloody mess of an episode in true Am I tripping balls fashion… Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 5

The challenge this week on Project Runway was to create a “fashion capsule collection” for a real world / workplace setting. In a team, with a photoshoot! Was Raul a little too upset about being chosen last? He is kind of not great. There was seriously so much freaking out peppered throughout the episode! Lots of swearing and yelling for no reason. “CAN YOU DO A VEST AND A SKIRT?!?!” Why is this yelled? We also learn that a one-way monkey = one-trick pony. In conclusion, so much yelling.

DM hates team challenges. It stresses her out to have to sit and watch people fight and be whiny and catty. That said, the whole episode she kept wishing they could send Raul, Elena AND Gunnar home because of their bad and selfish attitudes. It’s a team challenge! Be a team player, because if your collection isn’t cohesive, there’s MORE of a chance you’ll get sent home.

On to Loves It / Hates It! Spoiler Alert: The judges seriously disagreed with MJ this week. Does he have bad taste? Continue reading