Friday, August 21, 2009

The PR Empire

I usually have a lot of opinions when shows make big changes, but I'm not sure it really makes much of a difference to me now that PR is on Lifetime. Had it moved to Fox, I would've been concerned. Lifetime, however, has no other shows, so it can focus solely on PR. I thought I would blog since this is kind of the last time I'll probably have time to blog for awhile, considering I start teaching (3 preps) on Monday.

So I love how PR has turned into an empire. First we get this all-stars challenge, which is awesome, particularly because they brought back both interesting and talented contestants and crazy and ridiculous ones. I kind of loved it when Uli said, "Who's making pretty dresses?" and then paused and when nobody responded, she smiled like a little girl and raised her hand.

This is how Lifetime has changed PR: I'm pleased, actually, that not much has changed. It's basically the same show, so I don't have anything to complain about. However, I will say that Bravo is more "wacky characters" than Lifetime, which I've typically seen as taking itself a little too seriously sometimes. I think had this season been on Bravo, Ari Fish would've stayed for at least two more episodes to annoy us and Cristal or Qristel or whatever would've gone home. Right?

And I love how they came up with a show based off of what had just happened on the previous show. Models of the Runway? It's kind of like The Aftershow on mtv, except it was filled with even less substance. I do like that they're all picking models every episode like they did back in season 1. I don't seem any harm to it.. makes for a more interesting show, imo. Like remember when Zulema stole Tara from Nick and thus started the grand downfall of Nick as a contestant on PR2? Tara was one of the better models, if not the best that season. Once Zulema inevitably lost, since only the winning designer got a choice, Vosovic stuck with Rebecca and Tara went home way before she was ever supposed to. Yes, I do still remember these details about the models of season 2. It's the information that got stored in my brain instead of the information from CS106B and Statistics 116. Right.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Finale blog (with Best Moments from the season)

Last week on So the Inevitable Finally Happened: Melissa finally went away.

This week on So the Kodak Made the Finale Too Impersonal: The most boring finale they've had in the history of this show. I'm thrilled that Jeanine won and Brandon was second and the rest were the rest. That part was great. However, whoever planned this finale must have been different than whoever planned the past few finales. Last year's was amazing. They packed so much in. This year it seemed like ballroom after ballroom and not nearly close to as much dancing. It was also too formal and impersonal for my liking and it felt a little self-serving, like "look at our fantastic production of a show." I felt that it should have been dedicated to showcasing the dancers and it seemed more like it was showcasing the judges, the production of the whole thing, and the phenomenon that they like to say they've created. I don't want SYTYCD to be like Idol. I like the cozy summer season show. I don't want it to become a spectacle where it becomes overproduced. I was upset right away when they didn't even announce the returning dancers like they normally do in the finale.

And all the ballroom dances for judges' choice? We get it, Janette should've won. That's your fault, not ours. Stop showing us ballroom. They could've shown some of the amazing pieces Janette was in. Okay, I'm not saying that was their actual intention.. to shove the fact that we voted her off too soon. I actually think there's been complaints from the ballroom choreographers that they're overshadowed by the contemporary and hip hop pieces every year.

Okay, so I'm not just here to complain. There have been a lot of great moments from this season. And by great I mostly mean hilarious and ridiculous. I would like to count down my favorite moments from this season.

Favorite routine: Battlefield - This was an amazing piece, and by far my favorite of the season. I understand that since Laurieann is new to this season, she is left out of the judges' choices. However, that's not going to stop me from appreciating it. This came close to some of my favorite routines from past seasons. This season had a lot of intense and odd pieces. I kind of like just having a really well-choreographed routine without some extensive deep storyline. I thought it was amazing.

10) Randi becomes Melissa and is voted off - Okay, so enough talk about the actual dancing. It's the other stuff on this show that's hilarious. I think it's amazing that in Top 10 week, they turned Randi into Melissa with that wig, and then she was subsequently eliminated. Seriously, I watched the show on regular broadcast, so I wasn't skipping around. I saw the package before the piece where it showed Randi and Kupono, yet I was still confused when I saw this chick with long brown hair. It was too dark, thick, and fake to be Melissa's hair, but I still said out loud, "Why is Melissa there?" Then she was eliminated that week because nobody recognized her to vote for her and that's when I decided to weave conspiracies into the rest of the show. Another way to look at this, through my dislike of Melissa, which I'll go more into detail on later, is that viewers thought she was Melissa and that's why they didn't vote, rather than them not being able to recognize her and vote for her (Randi).

9) Kupono thinks he's Vitolio - This isn't really as funny unless it reminds you of another similar moment in season 2. So in elimination, Nigel says, "Vitolio step forward," and Kupono steps forward. By the way, I'm actually trying really hard to use all of their real names and because I'm doing that, I'm making sure to spell them all correctly. I haven't called Melissa "Grandma" once yet. I want an award for that. Anyway, this moment reminded me of when Nigel said, "Jessica step forward," and Ben stepped forward in season 2.

8) Jason's "bloody nose" - So Jason had lipstick on his face after the Bollywood routine and it kind of looked like a bloody nose, so I started to spin a story in my head. I'd like to pretend that he actually got a bloody nose when Janette punched him after he made out with two girls in the two routines that he did that night. The background story to this made up situation is that Janette and Jason are rumored to be dating. And that's all I need, is for it to be rumored. It's kind of odd, and they were coincidentally eliminated together, so I find it interesting and funny. What adds to the hilarity, though, is this blog I found somewhere that talked about the rumor of the two of them dating. In the comment section of that particular post, someone claiming to be Janette's brother completely denies that his sister and Jason are together. There's a bunch of exchanges where he tries to prove he's her brother, and someone else says they saw the two kissing, and Janette's brother says they're just friends, and someone else asks if they're friends that makeout. True or not, I find all the back-and-forth on the topic hilarious.

7) Nigel being creepy towards Jeanine - This isn't necessarily as funny as it is creepy, but the fact that it's creepy makes it funny to me. It really bothered me because she's only 18. If you want to make inappropriate comments about a female dancer and get away with it because you're in charge, do it to someone that's not so barely legal. Also, her mother is in the audience, why are you being so creepy? So what he said was, "You can't tie down talent," or something close, after the superhero girls routine in Top 6, clearly referring to Jeanine's outfit. Then, in the Top 4 show, he talked about wanting to "do it to her too." Gross, Nigel. Get away from her. What makes it funny, though, is in the very last moments of the finale show, everybody's hugging and we see Jeanine hugging Nigel and she says something, not on mic, which starts with, "I promise you I..." and I would like to think she said, "I promise you I won't sue you."

6) Cat calling Asuka "Oscar" ALL THE TIME - So I did not find Melissa's husband's sign funny at all: As Cat says, "It's Melisser".. although it is very much in line with what annoys me about Melissa. More on that later. I did, however, find it funny that everytime Cat said Asuka's name, I was like, "who's Oscar?" Because seriously, I was using so many awful nicknames during the first half of the season that I was never sure if a random name thrown out there was a person on the show that I referred to as something else.

5) Melissa finally leaves - Okay, so this one's more mean than funny, but I can't help it. I did not like Melissa on the show. And I do have actual reasons that are not, "her face annoyed me" or something like that. I found her condescending, self-congratulatory, and I thought she was given a lot of excuses by the judges and handed a lot of freebies. A lot of this was not from anything blatant she said or did, but a lot from the impression she gave off. So yes, I'm judging, but I'm not often wrong. And I'm not judging on first impressions, because I didn't mind her in the audition rounds. And no, she wasn't edited to look a certain way because it's impossible to edit someone's demeanor and expressions. Also, SYTYCD is not heavily edited to create characters like Survivor. It is very carefully cast instead. The best way to describe how she comes off as condescending is by the obscure reference I'm about to make. She gives these looks that remind me of Kathy Griffin's impression of Gwyneth Paltrow's condescension. She just seems to think very highly of herself. So when she finally left, much too late, I was happy to say the least.

4) Ellen - I've already explained previously why Ellen was a great addition to the panel. Sometimes the judges take themselves too seriously, so having her there balanced out Mia in that aspect.

3) Chelsie breaking the briefcase in Bleeding Love v.3 - So I realized what I said about Chelsie was wrong, when I compared her and Janette. I still think Janette had potential to go further in the show had the breast cancer piece not come at such a crucial time. However, I underestimated the importance of appearance on the show. Chelsie by far has had the most expressive face on this show. She's also had the most expressive hair. I am being completely serious. It really adds to her performances. Had she been on a different season, she could have easily won. Unfortunately, she was on the strongest season and suffered from what I call "overconfident fans," meaning when a contestant appears to be doing well, there will often be eliminations that happen all of a sudden because fans did not feel the need to save that person. It happens on all voting-based shows. Anyway, that has nothing to do with this third best moment. I love Bleeding Love and have watched all versions of it multiple times, so I will be able to describe the progression of the routines pretty well. So in the routine, Chelsie's supposed to kick the briefcase as Mark is going to pick it up. The first time, when it really counted, she nailed it. The second time, she stepped on it and then pushed it away with her foot. The third time, on this season's Top 6 results show, she stepped on it, tried to push it away, and instead it popped open from the bottom. So the handle part was still intact and she instead broke it and it opened from the wrong side. It's not an important detail to be making such a big deal about, but I thought is was hilarious when Mark carried it off stage at the end and I like to think of what would've happened if there had been stuff inside of the briefcase.

2) Ade moves boxes - Okay, so this has to do with Melissa again. I felt that throughout the show, particularly in the first half, she was given so many routines that played to her ballet strengths. At one point, it seemed like all she did each week was look elegant and be carried around by Ade. So KB and I were watching one night and we were like, you know, all Ade ever does is carry Melissa around while she looks elegant. So we thought they should just give Ade routines where he moved boxes around, because it would basically be the same thing. It could just be him and a bunch of boxes and that would be the show. And then Top 6 rolls around and he and Jeanine do a NappyTabs routine where they're actually moving boxes. So I thought is was hilarious, could not believe what I was seeing on stage, and that's why it's the second best moment of the season for me.

1) Jeanine thanks the Academy - I hated this finale. I found it to be insufferable and too formal and impersonal. However, the last few minutes where Cat was interviewing Jeanine were awesome and probably the best moment of the entire episode. That's the one change to this season's finale that I liked. I found the entire interview hilarious, from her thanking the academy to the way she thanked her lovely mother, to her list of her favorite things, to just her reaction in general. I am a fan of hers and I find her to be very genuine. I think she and her family are probably very nice and wonderful people in real life. I know the family is well off and she probably wasn't in the competition for the money, but more to prove something to herself. I think she deserves the title and I really appreciate the thought she put into all of her solos. I get the sense that Mrs. Mason in particular has worked really hard to get where she is today and I can see that she's instilled that ethic into Jeanine and I'm sure the other children as well. I know it seems like I'm saying a lot from very little that we saw on the show. I do a little research on the contestants, especially when I'm not sure what to make of them. This is based on Jeanine's preshow interview, one article I read on her, and just my general impression of her on the show. And I'm usually right about my impressions, and since this is a positive impression, I'm sure no one will mind me reaching a little. A lot can be said about the quality of the parents by the demeanor and behavior of the children. So because I have respect for how Jeanine carried herself throughout the competition, I have respect for her parents. The only reason I'm mentioning this is because my initial impression of her has changed during the show, and I like to acknowledge when my first impressions are wrong. Anyway, congratulations Jeanine, and thank you for all of your hard work.

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