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October 22, 2014

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TV Worth the Effort in 2010

by Stephanie Earp, posted Jan 6th 2010 12:07PM


Be warned - I'm starting the New Year with a cold. A cold that prevented me from properly introducing 2010 to my friend Stella Artois, and a cold that prevented me from enjoying my favourite Christmas gift - a trip to the big city to see the ballet - and it is a cold that is even now preventing me from breathing, speaking and sleeping peacefully.

Which basically means I am one cranky TV columnist.

My intention this week is to discuss the TV-related New Year's Resolution. For some it is a 'more-and-bigger' proposition, like my neighbours, who scoured the Boxing Day sales for a massive flat-screen to replace their large flat-screen. But for most of us, it is a 'less-and-better' motive that drives us to promise ourselves that this year we will watch only quality programming, and only for two hours a week, and only one night a week, because we'll join a book club, a gym, an internet dating service, whatever.

What I've been thinking about is this: what is good television?

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Glee and Breaking Bad top the Satellite Awards

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 22nd 2009 9:01AM
breaking_bad_desertThe winners of 2009 Satellite Awards were announced on Sunday in Los Angeles, and when you look at the winners on the television side, you have to like the choices. Most of these shows and actors have been on our year-end "best" lists, and if I were to guess, I think you'll see many of these names on the Prime time Emmy nomination roster.

The first thing that jumped out to me was Glee. The Fox musical dramedy was a winner in five different categories, including actors Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison and Kristin Chenoweth -- for her guest role -- recognized. And the show was named Best TV Series, Comedy or Musical.

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Lea Michele reflects on singing Streisand

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 21st 2009 12:38PM
lea_michele_gleeI have to admit that from the first time I saw Glee, I loved Lea Michele. The character of Rachel Berry, that "determined to be a star and I don't care who knows it" attitude appealed to me. I recognized that feeling, too, because I remember watching Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl in the movies and having the same feeling of identification. When Streisand finished singing "I'm the Greatest Star" as Fanny Brice, I was convinced. Well, Lea feels it, too. She's a major Streisand fan and she loved singing a Barbra song on Glee.

Every time Lea Michele has had a chance to go diva -- like "Maybe This Time" and "Defying Gravity" -- she's displayed that Streisandesque musical power.

So when the winter finale had the New Directions show choir at sectionals and Rachel stepped up to sing "Don't Rain on My Parade," I was on the edge of my seat. I wondered if Lea would pull it off. I say that because it's a very hard song to do, everything is on the offbeat and it's a driving melody that requires a big voice and a lot of stamina.

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The Twelve Days of Festivus: Eleven babes worth watchin'

by Mike Moody, posted Dec 13th 2009 10:39AM
Olivia WildeOn the eleventh day of Festivus, TV gave to me ... eleven babes worth watchin' .

Festivus is here, and is there a better way to celebrate than by taking stock of all the alluring TV hotties we've been obsessing over this year? I think not. (It's sure a beats counting down the year's stinkiest shows, anyway.)

For this year's list, we decided to stray a little from last year's Maxim covergirl-friendly tally to highlight the small screen starlets who charmed us not only with their hotness, but also with their talent. So head after the jump as we celebrate the 11th day of Festivus by counting down 11 babes worth watchin'.

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Top 10 'Glee' Performances (So Far!)

by Allyssa Lee, posted Dec 10th 2009 9:22AM
Glee
'Glee'
withdrawal already hitting like a cold slushee in the face? In honor of last night's fall finale of the Fox sensation (hooray, sectionals!), we thought we'd take a trip down memory lane and rehash the freshman series' top performances thus far. And while whittling down the list to just 10 meant that there were some shining numbers that didn't make the cut (sorry, 'Papa Don't Preach,' 'Single Ladies,' 'Maybe This Time' and 'Ride Wit Me') and there were some videos too recent to include (we'll catch you next time, 'Don't Rain on My Parade' and 'My Life Would Suck Without You'), herewith is a midseason rundown of our favorites. Perhaps watching these clips can help lessen the blow until next April(!), when 'Glee' finally returns after its winter break.

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Review: Glee - Sectionals (winter finale)

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 10th 2009 1:00AM
glee_jane_lynch_michael_morrison(S01E13) I would like to say that Glee saved the best for last, but I can't. You see, this wasn't the end. "Sectionals" wasn't the end of the season at all. What it was, in fact, was a great intermission in the middle of a terrific musical. And since it was just the halfway point, and since Glee has a brilliant way of honoring Broadway and musicals and great entertainment, there were songs in this episode that epitomized that spirit.

Oh, and if you're wondering if the dramatic elements in the show were addressed, they were. But if you think it was all tied up in a pretty bow, think again. There was so much great stuff in this show that my head is spinning. I'll do my best to sort it out. To see if I succeeded, and to share the joy of Glee, read on.

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The Wicked truth is Idina Menzel wants to be on Glee

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 5th 2009 3:02PM
idina_menzel_cdCould it be that the cool show for guest appearances is going to be Glee? It well may be the case after Kristin Chenoweth's musical showstopper last October. Kristin's Tony-award winning costar from Wicked, Idina Menzel, wants to do Glee. How do we know? Her husband, Private Practice's Taye Diggs, confirmed it.

There's more to it than just that. Apparently the Glee fans -- Gleeks -- have noticed the remarkable resemblance between Idina and Lea Michele.

Why, she could be/play Lea's mother! They look alike and they are both big time Broadway belters. We've heard Lea's incredibly rendition of "Defying Gravity," the song that made Idina a star, on Glee, too.

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Review: Glee - Mattress

by Jane Boursaw, posted Dec 3rd 2009 5:02AM
Glee: Mattress
(S01E12) While they were in there, I told 'em to go ahead and yank out those tear ducts. Wasn't usin' 'em." - Sue Sylvester

I wouldn't say this is the best Glee episode we've had, but it had some good moments, and of course, that big reveal, which we'll talk about after the jump. The mattress scene was a nice little number, but I wasn't familiar with the song performed by Rachel and Finn, so that didn't do as much for me.

Sue Sylvester was back to true form from her compassionate scene with her sister a few episodes ago. It's hard to believe she'd have that much feeling for her sister, and yet still be a big you-know-what in the rest of her life. Glee breaks down stereotypes in some cases, but I'm not sure Sue falls into that category. She still seems like a caricature to me.

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What's Hot on SlashControl: Endless Love on Glee

by Jane Boursaw, posted Nov 19th 2009 10:02AM
There were some great songs on last night's Glee, including the first one sung by Rachel and Will. As I mentioned in my review, this song set the tone for not only the episode, but the storyline of Rachel's crush on Mr. Schuester. But what was funny is that while they were singing it -- "Endless Love" -- everyone else's mind was wandering to their own thoughts of love, butts, Diana Ross, and underwear:

Kurt: "I could totally sing this song with Finn, but screw him if he thinks he's taking the Diana Ross part from me."

Puck: "I love the days when I don't wear underwear. Full commando."

Finn: "I never noticed how nice Rachel's butt is. Oh crap, I think Quinn knows I'm staring at it."

Rachel: "Wow, I've never noticed this before because he's always trying to destroy my career, but Mr. Shu has really pretty eyes."

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Review: Glee - Ballad

by Jane Boursaw, posted Nov 19th 2009 2:16AM
Glee: Ballad
(S01E10) "What does a heart attack feel like?" - Finn, in a panicky call to Kurt after facing Quinn's parents at dinner

The subject of this episode of Glee was ballads. It was learned that the club must perform a ballad at sectionals in a few weeks, and the writers managed to weave the soulful songs into every storyline. The first was "Endless Love," sung by Will and Rachel. It set the tone for one of the storylines -- her crush on the teacher. In fact, the episode was filled with odd-couple pairings, thanks to a hat-draw for ballad partners.

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EXCLUSIVE: 'Glee' Kids on Baby-Signing, Duets and the 'Single Ladies' Dance

by Patricia Chui, posted Nov 10th 2009 1:00PM
GleeYou may not know all their names, but if you've been watching 'Glee,' you know who they are: The kids in the Glee Club have shot to stardom right along with their new hit show.

And it's not because they've got distinctive nicknames like "Wheels," "The Asian Girl," "The Cute One" and "The Hot Guy With the Mohawk" ... or because they're all talented singers and dancers. The cast members of 'Glee' are energetic, funny and a genuine kick to be around, as we learned when they visited the AOL offices to hang out with us (jealous?) and answer fan questions.

So what did we learn about Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Cory Monteith, Lea Michele, Amber Riley, Mark Salling and Jenna Ushkowitz? Maybe that whenever you see Kevin frown, it's because he's trying not to crack up at a Sue Sylvester line ... or that Amber thinks her character Mercedes beats up on her brothers ... or that someone once asked the cast to autograph a baby ... or that Lea has a song in mind for a potential Rachel-Puck duet ... or that Cory plays drums for real on one 'Glee' recording.

Want to know more? Watch our exclusive video interviews after the jump.

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Why are you watching Glee?

by Hemal Jhaveri, posted Oct 23rd 2009 11:02AM
GleeSo, tell me why you're watching Glee. Entertainment Weekly put the Fox musical/drama/comedy on it's cover this week, calling it "TV's Happiest Hour." With around 8 million people tuning in each week and iTunes sales of songs featured on the show going through the roof, there's no denying that Glee has turned into a barely contained phenomenon.

EW says it's "snarky, theatrical and totally addictive." All very true, but I watch for one reason: this show makes me happy. Nothing I've seen on TV in the past few years, much less this season, puts a grin on my face like these high school kids earnestly singing and dancing. I mean, come on. Did you see Puck's rendition of "Sweet Caroline"?

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Does loving Glee make me a bad feminist?

by Hemal Jhaveri, posted Oct 19th 2009 11:03AM
Lea_Cory_GleeThere are plenty of ill-conceived female characters all over prime-time TV (just pick any show on the CW for starters) but is it fair to dump Glee into that category? While Glee undoubtedly has some of the most egregious, misshapen teen girls around, I don't think it's this fall's worst offender.

Sadie over at Jezebel makes some very salient points in her gender-critique of Glee, but she misses the mark when she calls the show "cheap and disingenuous." Yes, stock portrayals of female characters can reinforce harmful stereotypes, but I don't think that's what's happening on Glee.

As an avid fan, I think you can appreciate the show without dismissing it because it doesn't portray women in a positive light. This is a Ryan Murphy show. And no one comes out looking good in a Ryan Murphy show.


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What songs are on your Glee wish list?

by Hemal Jhaveri, posted Sep 16th 2009 6:03PM
glee logoAfter missing the premiere episode of Glee when it aired in May, I watched the DVR'd season premiere with friends last night. As soon as it was over, I promptly ditched them to head upstairs and watch the pilot on Hulu. I am hooked, people!

And now, after seeing their version of "Don't Stop Believin'," I want to see Glee versions of all my favorite pop songs, plus all the show tunes I loved from back when I was a high school drama dork.

So, Glee fans, what's on your song wish list? My top five are after the jump.

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Glee -- An early look

by Allison Waldman, posted May 19th 2009 9:02AM
Lea Michele - GleeIf you heard about Fox's new musical drama/comedy Glee and thought it's probably going to be something like Disney's High School Musical, you're wrong. Gleefully wrong. Glee is one of the best entertainments I've seen on television in a long, long time.

Writer/producer/director Ryan Murphy describes the show as a hybrid, and he's right. It is. For me, I saw elements of the movie Election, plus Fame and Friday Night Lights, with a bit of The Wonder Years thrown in, only it's not nostalgia. Glee is all the best parts of all the above, plus music and dancing and great characters and really witty material.

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