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Archive for September, 2010

After watching the premiers of most of the shows I regularly see (plus some new ones) I’ve divided it up to “GOOD”, “MEDIOCRE” and “DOWNRIGHT AWFUL”

THE GOOD:

The Middle (ABC) – The second season premier of The Middle (starring Patricia Heaton of Everybody Loves Raymond fame) was arguably the strongest premier this season. Last season, I felt that, while a good show, it had the misfortune of debuting at the same time as Modern Family, yet right now it proves that it has its own niche to Modern Family. Plus, the reunion of Patricia Heaton and Doris Roberts in the premier. Love, love, love. 

Better With You (ABC) – To be honest, reading through the summaries of the new shows this years, I wasn’t much into the concept of this show. The life of three couples, blah, right? However, it’s series premiere was just so strong and so effing hilarious that this is a show I’m excited to follow. The wit of this show is so spot-on reminiscent of Will & Grace and HIMYM (back when it was brilliant of course). The characters are endearing and their chemistry is spot-on. Plus, you know, Kurt Fuller and Debra Jo Rupp as series regulars and as a married couple at that is just fun to watch.

The Big Bang Theory (CBS) – How could a list of good shows be complete without mention this gem of a show? It was a solid episode with a lot of great moments. However, I already mentioned this – BBT doesn’t seem to have a good handle on ‘events’ (ie, season premiers, finales, break-ups, etc). It doesn’t make the episode bad per se (in fact, the humor was well-written). It just seems small. But I’ll take any Sheldon I can get

Modern Family (ABC) – This is a brilliant show, through and through. Although this didn’t seem like an apt big premiere, I felt that the individual storylines were incredibly strong and in fact highlighted the strengths of the relationships between Claire and Phil as well as Mitchell and Cam. I feel that there’s something brewing for this season set-up by the premier episode, I just can’t quite put my finger on it. And that’s what makes it brilliant.

Terriers (FX) – I don’t like action. I don’t like cop shows. I don’t like manly men shows. With that said, I love Terriers which is all three combined. The premise may seem weak and silly, but, boy, their execution hits it on the spot. I have never seen great writing and great acting on an action show which would normally just stay on the ‘Bang Bang You Dead’ genre. This show is twisted to say the least. Highly twisted. Watch out for the ending of last week’s episode. Gave me one of the strongest laughs I’ve had this year.

Psych (USA) – It’s unfair to judge Psych along with this shows for the very reason that Psych just had its midseason break while everyone else was starting. But nevertheless, I felt that the fourth season of Psych had a strong and relatively succesful attempt of going back to the roots of the show while going forward with a new set-up. I just feel that sometimes the contortion and devilishness of the plots conceived are getting less and less twisted – sort of like the problem with Monk. It had a great two or three seasons with really evil genius plots and then the latter seasons had basic guns and all.

Family Guy (Fox) – I must say, Family Guy surprised me a lot. I was expecting silly humor as usual and they delivered a parody of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, one of my favorite mystery books. I thought it was brilliant conceived. It was just there. Great opening, hopefully the rest of the season lives up. Now, to dig up my old Agatha books.

Desperate Housewives (ABC) – I love Desperate Housewives! Plus Vanessa Williams! Win! What I like about the premier of season seven is that (1) it set-up a lot of things, (2) it subverted what could have been the obvious big bads of the season, ie, Bree’s confession, etc and (3) it is a radical change, not as radical as the five-year leap but still radical in its own way. There have been a lot of changes and those seem needed. Paul Young’s reappearance makes it seem that his plotline in season one was just randomly stopped without given a cleanly-wrapped conclusion, but that’s okay.

Smallville (CW) – First of all, I’m sad that Smallville’s ending after this season. Yes, it had a terrible season seven and eight. But season nine and this current season are good, really solid. There are the typical cheesy CW lines, but all-in-all a solid show. I just can’t wait for Clark to wear his blue-and-red tights and fly. That would be golden fanboy love moment this show has been building up for ten years. Wow. Tom Welling has been Clark Kent for ten years. I miss the early seasons back when Tom was hot and was shirtless nearly every episode. 

America’s Next Top Model (CW) – ANTM again surprised me. I wasn’t a fan of the last two cycles but the twist in this cycle just got me. ‘We’re raising the bar!’ And indeeed they have! Italian Vogue! God. I soooo want to be on America’s Next Top Model. I sooo want to be America’s Next Top Model.

Life Unexpected (CW) – I feel that Life Unexpected is a hidden gem. It doesn’t scream out too much, it doesn’t have twisted plots, it doesn’t have deep metaphysical implications. But it’s a nice show. It’s relatively heartwarming – something I watch to ground myself in reality. A nice teenage drama to cap it all off.

THE MEDICORE:

Cougartown (ABC) – It pains me to put CougarTown here. I have the feeling that I really like this show but I just feel that some of the arcs last season were just draggy. This new premier had good moments (the reunion of Jen Aniston and Courtney Coz…again) but it just felt draggy. It was fun but it wasn’t going anywhere. But I’m still optimistic about this show. It’s a good show it just needs to be refined more.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX) – Again, this another show that shouldn’t be on this list. Last season was just okay, not as brilliant as before (save for the awesome Christmas special, but, hey, 12 versus 1?) The past two episodes felt just okay, it isn’t the typical ‘Oh-No-You-Didn’t’ Sunny moments that just hit you and you feel so guilty that you’re laughing because it’s harsh dark slapstick comedy. And that’s what I miss. But this show apparently always starts low and gains momentum. I can only hope.

Community (NBC) – I think Community’s a very nice show, it offers highly interesting metaphysical commentary. My problem with Community is I hate their leads – both Jeff and the blonde girl. The strength of Community lies in its ensemble and this show would profit more by increasing the profile of the ensemble and firing the actors who play Jeff and the blond girl whose name eludes me because she’s such a flat character.

Merlin (BBC) – I enjoy Merlin, definitely, as a nice weekend treat. I like how, while set in medieval England, its language and stories are very modern. I just feel that the charm of the premise is slightly wearing off and they need to introduce elements to push the plot forward. I like how they finally made Morgana an evil bitch (which she was always destined to be) and I am enjoying her portrayal but I just feel that more could  be done.

Chuck (NBC) – I surprise myself. I always thought Chuck was a bad show but the premier was pretty decent. Haven’t gotten around to watching the second episode though. The thing though that keeps me from putting Chuck in the ‘Good’ category is that I feel that the premise is contrived and unbelievable. Yes, I am aware this is a spy show about a guy with a computer in his head – yes, that’s the extent of my suspension of disbelief. I just feel that Deus Ex Chuck could solve all his problems instantly. His abilities are erratic at best.

Glee (Fox) – I’ll be honest. Had I not seen the second episode, I would have without a doubt placed this show in the horrible category. Because, really, the premier episode was just flat-out racist, not to mention badly written. But that’s the hidden charm in Glee – it’s a stupid show really but we watch it for the fun musical numbers. It’s highly derivative of high school shows, most noticibly Ryan Murphy’s very own and more superior Popular. But, you know, who cares about characterization? Who cares about plots? Who cares about politically correct representations of your country? CHARICE PEMPENGCO (whom I’ve never heard of before Glee) is singing LADY GAGA SONGS (which I’ve never really enjoyed.)  With all that rant over, the second episode was decent at worst. It was pretty nice in retrospect. I love Britney. I really love Britney Spears. But then again, I’m biased because I’m Britney, bitch.

THE GODAWFUL:

How I Met Your Mother (CBS) – It’s very ironic that I was such a big fan of HIMYM in its early years that I kept encouraging my friends to watch this brilliant show. The twists are the BEST. I remember the episode with the dinner with three dfifferent stories all coming together in one. Just plain brilliant. Now? All we have is a show that has long overstayed its welcome, trying its best to drag a storyline we all know should have ended. All the stories churned out are just blah, blah, blah. Nothing new. Nothing interesting. Nothing groundbreaking. Boring. In my honest opinion, they should mercy kill HIMYM before it turns into:

Two and a Half Men (CBS) – This show is so bad that I….can’t even finish this sentence. Like HIMYM, I remember this show back when it was brilliant, groundbreaking and actually FUNNY. For some reason, it rapidly changed from hilarious to just pathetic. And the sad part is I can’t figure out what caused this shift! Was it the introduction of Chelsea? The slowly fading out of the role of Jake? The apparent absence of their supporting cast Bertha and the mother to be particular? Wah, wah, wah.

Hellcats (CW) – I am very disappointed with Hellcats. It’s a show about college cheerleaders. And I’m homosexual. That should make us aperfect match. BUT IT’S SUCH A HORRRRRIBLE SHOW. Please, watch the series premier. I can’t even talk about how bad it is. JUST WATCH THE PREMIER AND LAUGH WITH ME. Just don’t hate me for wasting forty minutes of your life.

Aside from these shows, I also regularly download HOUSE, CRIMINAL MINDS, SUPERNATURAL and WHITE COLLAR. However, I feel these shows would be a more interesting watch when viewed as a season so I’m going to marathon the whole thing when the seasons ends on May. Yipee! 🙂 But I’m more or less confident that these are superb shows.

This blog made me realize I have too much free time on my hands. But that’s okay. That’s very okay. Watching TV shows are fun.

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I’m still in a sort of high from today that I couldn’t put my thoughts together cohesively. I’ll randomly blurb out the happenings of the day.

(1) NO PE. Well, technically we had class and the other groups were already halfway through their HIGHLY COMPETITIVE choreography. Our group, on the other hand, decided to play it chill for the day. So cheat day – no practice. We deserve it anyway, we had a stressful Dancing in September.

(2) Two Plays for English. Yikes! Have got to read Acts I of Tempest and The Winter’s Tale. Eeek! While I initially suggested OTHELLO as our final play, because Othello is twisted and Desdemona is a slut, as most Shakespearean women are, but unlike most of them, I actually like Didi, (I named my two-year old laptop Desdemona) I eventually voted for Tempest because you know. Faeries. Spirits. Gayness. Fun.

(3) 121 Blocking. While we have a working script, I’m always in the process of revising this. If you’re reading this, you’re practically mandated to watch our production, because, you know, friends watch each other perform. SEVEN DEADLY SINS. October 8. 7PM. Venue TBA.

(4) 130 Meeting. Sadly, I wasn’t able to make the meeting. Had to meet up with a friend to collect a loan. Anyway, I’m starting to feel the stress of having productions on consecutives dates. Ack! Anyway, will make bawi-bawi this week. Euk.

(5) Performance Piece: I’m excited about the piece I’m going to perform for OI. I don’t want to spoil anything but it’s very very close to my heart. I cried over this piece when I first read/heard it, and up to know when I remember the weird feeling in my chest when I first read it, there is still a sense of sadness lying around. Since our motif is seven deadly sins, I might as well reveal my piece is going to be in the INVIDIA section.

(6) Oliver/Annie: I sort of, kind of (but honestly not really) miss my old 100-days. It’s fun to go back and see what they put on and honestly for their first prod, it was pretty great. I’ve seen a lot worse production done by more experience people. A big applause goes to Ronah and Mark (YAY! BATCH LOVE! ❤ Sunod na si ZYRA on Thursday) for their big UP debut. More is to come pa yan.

(7) Hellcats is a horrible show. And I’m speaking as (a) a dancer, (b) a homosexual man, (c) a CW watcher, (d) a cheerleading fan and really all aspects of me despise this show. It’s just bad. Good premise sana, but horrible execution.

(8) Excited for the BIG BANG THEORY SEASON 4 PREMIER! Had a full Season 1 – 3 marathon just to prepare for it 🙂

(9) By the way, my room is clean now.

(10) I appreciated it A LOT when A LOT of people went up to me today and said that I did a great job during the Dancing in September Tap Dance. Most of them were people I didn’t even knew watched. I’m not necessarily fishing for compliments to just boost my ego. The thing is, I’m not a tap dancer. Hell, I’m not a trained dancer. I have no training whatsoever in modern jazz or ballet. So little things like people appreciating how I dance is a nice confidence booster.

And, finally, a small passive-aggressive immature statement:

I miss you so much. Your name in my YM and Facebook chat list is a big temptation to just BUZZ and say hello. Sometimes, when I see you I just want to hug you and tell you everything’s fine now. But it’s not. No. Just no. Not right now. Not like this. Not so soon after. Don’t take me for another one of those idiots you play around with – we both know I’m so much better than all of them. ALL OF THEM PLUS YOU. Combined.

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This was a very performance-oriented day.

First off was Dancing in September. I was surprised by the turnout of this event of CHK. There were a lot of people and some of them were people I’d never expected to see. (Hello PB, Paolo, Doodz, Joy, Arjay, Joseph, Acey, Classmate from 160) etc. And, in fact, I saw a lot of people performing that I didn’t expect to see! (Roxie for Bellydancing, Jen and Mel for Line Dance, Miggy for Ballet, Leya and Red for Cheerdance, Hannah for Hawaiian Hula and, the queen of it all, Nadz for Striptease Aerobics. Nadz, the reason I’m single right now is because you’re not teaching me your routine. Chos)

While I had fun dancing and performing our 2-month old tap routine to the song of ‘Moving on Up’ (which we’re happily moving on from), there was really nothing that eventful that happened. Imma miss that routine though. Lez do it one more time for fun’s sake!

Anyway, the more interesting part of the day was watching INFORMATION FOR FOREIGNERS by Griselda Gambaro, adapted and directed by Anton Juan. 

I must say, I loved it. I’ve read the orignal text last summer and it instantly became a favorite. Even as text, it was written in a very unconventional manner. I don’t really wanna spoil it here as the beauty of the text lies in its spontaneity. 

And yes.The production was great.  It was chilling. It was brilliant. And it was apt. This is indeed a production that will stick with you for a long time. Everything from the acting, to the lights, to the sounds was just riveting. I just hope I don’t have dreams of the things that happened there tonight.

No in-depth review to be published online as usual. It’s just not appropriate for a theater student pursuing a performance/directing tract to do so.

Watch Information for Foreigners, it runs today up to Sunday, 7PM at the CAL New Building. Tickets at 160 pesos.

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Jitters

Tomorrow (September 19) at 3PM marks the annual UP Diliman College of Human Kinetics DANCING AT SEPTEMBER. (Tickets at 30 php. You can buy at the gym) And, for the first time in four years and four dance-related PE classes, I would be performing for Professor Kimpo’s Tap Dance class.

Right now, I’m acting calm but there are so many things going through my head.

  • What if I forget my steps? I’m front and center and one tiny mistake at my part and the whole audience would notice.
  • What if my laces go undone? It has happened many times in practice.
  • What if I bump into someone in the step-back part?
  • What if we were really to dance in linoleum thus rendering the tap sounds useless? It would be weird to tap dance without the, uhm, taps.
  • What if no one likes our dancing?
  • And, most importantly, what if I couldn’t come up with a hot ensemble to wear by tomorrow afternoon? 

The thing is, this is just the normal jitters. Of course, as a performer, it is still my responsibility to shake all these off by tomorrow so that when I dance, I just dance without being self-concious or intimidated. Live the moment kumbaga. I still have so much to grow as a tap dancer and even as a dancer in general. I’m not even sure how I’m going to attack the dance tomorrow – like happy-happy, or aggressive-happy or whatever. To paraphrase Sir Dexter, dancers are not just merely the choreographer’s puppets.

Kebs.

Anyway, please do stop by at the Dancing in September event. All the dance classes will be performing with rumored special performances by UP Street Dance and UP Pep. Remember, tomorrow, 3 PM at the GYM. Tickets at 30php ONLY. Watch.

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Okay. Today was monologue refining day for Theater 111. I had quite a hard time choosing a good monologue since I did not want to use some of the commonly known ones (To be or not to, Is this a dagger I see before me, But, soft what light through yonder window breaks, O, Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art though, Romeo? and a whole lot more)

It was serendipitous that we were discussing Macbeth in class. And, shet, how much I just LOVE Lady Macbeth. I normally dislike Shakespeare’s women because, and I don’t care if this sounds misogynistic, they’re all silly sluts. The whole bunch of them, Midsummer’s Helena and Hermia; Merchant’s Portia; Much Ado’s Hero; Hamlet’s Ophelia; the titular Juliet. I do like Othello’s Desdemona. 

ANYWAY, there’s something twisted going on with Lady Macbeth and that’s why I love her. I was supposed to do the famous ‘unsex me’ monologue but then at Act IV, here goes, comes the incredibly powerful and twisted sleepwalking scene! It’s BRILLIANT! I automatically had to youtube videos of it and it gave me shivers.

I JUST HAD TO DO IT! I Just HAD to do it!

Yet here’s a spot. 

Out, damned spot! out, I say!–One: two: why, 

then, ’tis time to do’t.–Hell is murky!–Fie, my 

lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we 

fear who knows it, when none can call our power to 

account?–Yet who would have thought the old man 

to have had so much blood in him. 

The thane of Fife had a wife: where is she now?– 

What, will these hands ne’er be clean?–No more o’ 

that, my lord, no more o’ that: you mar all with 

this starting. 

Here’s the smell of the blood still: all the 

perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little 

hand. Oh, oh, oh! 

Wash your hands, put on your nightgown; look not so 

pale.–I tell you yet again, Banquo’s buried; he 

cannot come out on’s grave. 

To bed, to bed! there’s knocking at the gate: 

come, come, come, come, give me your hand. What’s 

done cannot be undone.–To bed, to bed, to bed! 

 

 And the best part is – I get to wear drag! 😛

EDIT: Apparently, if you don’t know the story of Macbeth you won’t get the monologue. Sad:( Anyway, she’s sort of…summarizing the incidents. Well, sort of, but not really.

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A Doormat vs A Jerk

In connection to my previous post, it goes without saying that being a passive-aggressive person leads to one potentially being a doormat. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t show a strong backbone and can easily fend off for himself, you tend to keep things inside and that’s when people assume that you can be easily trodden on.

And the perfect person to hit on that is what we call a jerk. A jerk is someone who has the uncanny ability to see through other’s weakness. And trample other them. Literally. He is a self-centered, self-absorbed, insensitive person who can see no closer than what he wants and needs. When what he wants at the moment is counter to what he promised to do, he’d have no qualms whatsoever to just go about his life, nevermind the emotions and time of the people he is passing through.

The thing is, however, who is more at fault in a situation like this? On one hand, it is always to easy to blame the jerk. He’s mean, he’s insensitive, he has no business going into any kind of relationship, blah blah. But, on the other hand, is it equally the fault of the doormat person? 

I’m saying this with two things in mind: (1) isn’t it passive-aggression on the part of the doormat to always play the victim card? and (2) with that in mind, isn’t it equally as stupid for the doormat person to just go on with his life playing doormat to a jerk?

Some people live for the drama. Some people like being the doormat because that gives them the ability to play the virtuous martyr and constantly bastardize the jerk. Some people live for the ability to just call the jerk selfish and immature, all-the-while possessing the self-same virtues the doormat blames on the jerk.

The point of this is simple – don’t be a jerk. Nobody likes a self-centered bastard jerk who doesn’t give a fuck about his friends’ time and emotions. But, beyond that, don’t be a doormat. If you couldn’t even see yourself as more than a doormate, how could anyone, including the jerk, but we don’t really care about him at this point, give you the respect you deserve as a person? It’s called doormat for a reason.

By the way, this post is purely in the hypothetical. I am not a doormat.

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Angry Penguin

An angry penguin

 

I never knew that there was a term used for the likes of me. I know I can be stubborn, I can be sulky, I can just suddenly shut off from reality. I didn’t know until now that it was bad.

The thing is, I’m not a fan of conflict. No, really, I know I act all bitchy and in your face, but in the face of real conflict, I pipe down. I don’t like confrontations, I don’t like direct conflicts and all. When I feel offended, the best way you to note it is if I suddenly clam up. Literally, when I feel hurt, I don’t talk to you about it, I won’t rant to you. I’ll just shut up and sit quietly in the corner. I don’t necessarily want you to be the one to approach me, to talk to me or apologize. No, I just want to sit quietly and think. 

I’d really rather like to think about it personally, internalize the conflict within rather than open up. Yes, for a while I might seem distant and bitchy. But after a few days, I’m back to normal. I would have forgotten what had happened and I’d go back to you.

The thing is even I have a breaking point. Sometimes pent-up anger at someone I hold dear could get lashed-out on someone who was playing a little joke. Or, worse of all, when I finally confront you, every little issue I have will suddenly come out.

And that was what I realized – being passive-aggressive is not healthy. I could never forget what being hurt at that moment was and to not have it resolved at the moment does not mean it’s forgotten. It’s just stored inside waiting to erupt at any other occasion. Also, talking about it just makes it seem easier.

The flip side of this is simple – I don’t get passive-aggressive if I don’t feel hurt or offended to a high degree. As I said, I can probably just ignore small things but the big things I like to internalize.

The thing is I’ve already lost good friends over being passive-aggressive last semester. Whether or not a reconcilliation with them is in the cards, that’s still up for consideration. And, as if what happened wasn’t enough, I think I did the same thing to a really great friend right now. To be fair though, some incident were really hurtful but instead of trying to resolve them, I kept them inside thinking that everything would just figure itself out. But no, they don’t. It never works that way. I’d end up growing more and more bitter at each thing that happens.

An angry Riley

 

At the very least, I’m proud of myself when I told him exactly what I felt and why I felt that. Fine, it may have been a little late, but at least it didn’t count even weeks. I’m not necessarily apologizing for anything. I really was hurt by what happened. But that said, I apologize for being passive-aggressive and lashing out like a bitch when I was in my passive-aggressive mood. It won’t happen again, and not just for you.

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