It’s the New Year and people are joining health clubs and cleaning up their houses. And of course, what better for Netflix to roll out their new series, ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.’ Kondo sparked interest a couple of years ago when she released a book wherein she tells people to get rid of things in their lives that do not ‘spark joy’ in them. And of course, that made me roll my eyes. I wouldn’t have anything in my life that doesn’t spark joy, I thought. Obviously, I have way too much clothes (don’t even pretend you don’t) but more or less, they give me happiness.
I have only seen the first episode, and the show is much more engaging than I thought it would be. It’s your typical HGTV style show, of transforming space from clutter to clean, with a bit of psychological cleansing involved – think Queer Eye where there’s crying and hugging. Kondo’s style is really simple, and seems to be effective. The new-agey part still makes me roll my eyes a bit – in the beginning she makes everyone say a prayer of thanks for their house. As for the ‘spark joy’ part, she has a thing wherein you kiss your clothes and say thank you to it if you want to discard it, but I ask: what if you never wore the clothes and it never served a purpose for you – do you still thank it, and if so, for what? But I am just being cynical, though, really if you have clutter (and I raise my hand) maybe it’s best to start tackling it instead of watching this show.
I was cruising on YouTube one time when I chanced upon videos of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I had been scared of them because I know the Mormons are all a homophobic bunch, and why should I support someone who hates me, right? But I have to admit that the choral pieces really touched me, and I found myself watching several of the performances, and getting really impressed by them I mean, I felt very dirty afterwards, but at the time it was satisfying.
And then I saw that PBS had a Christmas Special from last year, and it had the wonderful Sutton Foster singing Holiday anthems. And so I watched. I learn later that there is a DVD available of the performance – I think there were three performances last year. I think the PBS version is an abridged version of the DVD.
It is kind of wonderful in a weird way. It’s definitely non-secular, and very manipulative. But I just cannot resist Sutton in all her glory singing Christmas carols. She is in fine – though somewhat more nasal than usual- voice but her stage presence here is really special. And I even liked the whole ‘church’ feeling – there’s a solemnity here that is very intimate. It’s a great way to ring in the Holidays.
Apparently, this second season of MTV’s ‘Ex On The Beach’ is a who’s who of reality stars. I guess this just goes to show how out of touch I am with reality TV because I really did not know most of the people in the cast. I was lured into the show by Murray Swanby, who was in the E! show ‘What Happens At The Abbey,’ and I only know that show because one of my best friends practically lives at that bar and goes thee multiple times a week. And Murray is cute, so why not? I had never seen an episode of this show, which I gather has been imported from the UK. Basically, a bunch of people live in a house, by the beach so we could see maximum skin, and their exes start to infiltrate the house, and well, drama.
This cast is hot mess personified. They are all reality show staple – troublemakers, pot stirrers, drama queens. It is led by Farrah Abraham, who I know is from Teen Mom (another show I have also never seen) and here we see her as Queen Bee Diva. Everyone else has big personalities, and not even the first day is through that there are already fighting.
I hate them all. But surely, as drama unfolded, I got caught in it. Some exes come in, and romances get rekindled, only to have wrenches thrown in, and well more drama. I don’t really think all is authentic – I bet a lot of the drama is manufactured, or the situations set up for maximum drama. But yes, a lot of it is pretty engrossing, and I binged the first three episodes with no problem at all. Does that make me shallow? Yes! I am not even calling this a guilty pleasure, it’s just pure television pleasure. I hope it continues that way.
So this is what has become of me – watching Hallmark Christmas movies, Actually, even though I love rom-coms, even these are too corny for me. But I read on Twitter that ‘Road To Christmas’ had some gay representation, so I thought why not. I mean let’s get into the season, and we cold throw in some corny romantic stuff in the process.
The film is harmless, but it is hardly satisfying. Jessy Schram is a type A TV producer for a Martha Stewart type woman, and gets paired professionally with the woman’s son, played by Chad Michael Murray. I don’t think I need to spell out what happens next in these things.
It’s done good enough I guess, for what it is. Murray is still cute – I remember having a mild crush on him though I never watched his show – was it ‘One Tree Hill’ ? – but really, just a little too wooden. Schram is a little annoying, but I guess her character is supposed to be As for the gay content – it’s not explicitly stated and you blink and you’ll miss it, so if that’s what you are searching for, this will be a waste of your time. And is the whole film a waste of mine? Your mileage may vary. It’s short enough for me to not feel to bitter investing in it, and really, I have seen worse.
I have always liked ‘Vanderpump Rules’ because…crazy. They are. But things change, we grow. Or maybe I have and they haven’t? Or perhaps because now that I am now a resident of Los Angeles, and these people are three miles away from me, I have kind of now soured on the show. You would think I would relate more, right? But I find myself getting more detached from it. I watched the Seventh Season premiere and I wasn’t as amused as I thought I would be. The first episode is more Jax/Britney-centric, for sure. In it, Jax finally proposes from Britney, after she stick with him as his father passed away. But I don’t know, the cynic in me really doesn’t buy this. Jax has been the resident bad boy of the show, and I don’t know if I am taking delight in him now being ‘good.’ We shall see if I get motivated to see succeeding episodes and feel that my heart-pump for the show is gone.
Hulu recommended this show to me. I think it’s because I watched some Freeform shows on their platform. The show focuses on ballet and time travel. A ballerina from the year 1905 (played by Jessica Lord) gets transported to present time (2018) unintentionally because of a blunder by her boyfriend. I thought the pilot episode was kind of boring – I thought it needed more action, and the pace, especially for something that involves some fantasy. And not that I am an expert on ballet, but I thought the dancing was lackluster. And Lord isn’t the greatest young actress out there, but there are some twinks in the cast that got my attention, so all in all, it’s not a bad viewing experience. I won’t give up on the show, though, because I kind of like the idea, especially the love story parts of it – there is a very romantic vibe here that is very promising. And the episodes could get better, though I am not really a big fan of the fantasy element of it.
God knows I am not the biggest fan of ‘Wicked,’ but I really cannot escape it. I hear the songs everywhere, and I do have bragging rights of having seen it with the Original Cast – Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth. So why not, it’s Halloween and NBC has a special, /A Very Wicked Haloween’ which celebrates its 15th Anniversary. I mean, you cannot doubt its success, for sure. And it’s still going strong – with sold out audiences all over the world.
This special, though, is a real mixed bag. It’s a real definition of all over the map. Menzel and Chenoweth host it, and they both look good in their white and green outfits, and it is sure nice to see them together. Both their solos, ‘Popular,’ and ‘Defying Gravity,’ were show stoppers. But the rest of the numbers kind of made me cringe. I didn’t really get the Adam Lambert/Ledisi duet of ‘As Long As You’re Mine,’ and I think I am allergic to anything Pentatonix. The much-hyped Ariana Grande number was okay, I guess, but too much pop melisma for me – but then again that defines this musical. And for ‘For Good,’ which is my favorite song from the musical. it was a nice idea to bring in all the Elphabas and Galindas through the years, but the number was haphazardly presented, with no stage direction at all, and felt messy.
But I am just being a bitchy show queen. I am glad this special exists, and hope they do more of the same.