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Sue Sylvester, We Love You April 14, 2010

Posted by Patrick in Muzak, Televisual.
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If you do one thing today, make sure it’s watching the hilarious Jane Lynch as Glee‘s Sue Sylvester doing her best Madonna impression (above) in her shot-for-shot remake of Madonna’s Vogue, which aired last night in the US. Next week’s Madonna-themed episode of Glee airs here next Wednesday on TV3 at 8pm, and will likely include a hefty chunk of this music video. Also featured are Amber Riley and Chris Colfer, Glee‘s Mercedes and Kurt, playing the role of Sue’s backing singers.

My personal highlight has to be Sue’s take on Madonna’s ‘rap’ near the end of the song, inserting her own name and a jibe at her nemesis from the show, Mr. Schuester.

Are you full of Glee? January 12, 2010

Posted by Patrick in Muzak, Televisual.
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There’s lots of exciting news today for fans of FOX’s Glee, first and foremost that the show will be definitely returning for a much-anticipated second season (although that was really a no-brainer at this stage).

More surprisingly is the fact that the show’s producers are starting a nationwide search for stars to fill three new roles in the forthcoming sophomore year of the musical drama.

From FOX’s press release:

Building upon the show’s incredibly supportive community of GLEEks and with the hope of bringing fans even closer to the series, auditions will be open to amateur individuals as well as professionals between the ages of 16-26, and all hopefuls will be able to submit auditions online. Additional details to be announced soon, please check www.fox.com/glee for updates.

And if that wasn’t good enough, the casting search will be documented in a “multi-part special” which will air before the second season premiere, when the new stars will be revealed. Oh Glee, how we love you.

Ryan Murphy, the show’s creator and executive producer had this to say:

“GLEE has always been about finding new fresh exciting voices. Our second season search for young talent will be in the vein of our first season. We launched a nationwide search for talent for our first season with great unexpected results, and Season Two expands that search in an even bigger way. Anybody and everybody now has a chance to be on a show about talented underdogs. No matter who you are – a Broadway talent or a struggling singing waiter with a dream in the Midwest – you now have an opportunity to make that dream come true by posting your talent video and showing us what you can do. ALL the roles will be chosen from the video audition process, which is exciting and unprecedented. We want to be the first interactive musical comedy on television, and the search is ON.”

So eh…can Irish people apply?

Glee is currently airing on TV3 on Wednesday at 8pm, and on E4 on Mondays at 9pm. New episodes return Stateside on 13th April 2010.

Image ©2010 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick Ecclesine/FOX

Watching the American Dream October 28, 2009

Posted by Patrick and Paula in Televisual.
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[Edited version published in Flux, 28/10/09]

With nothing but The Apprentice to entertain us on homegrown television these days, here’s a few shows from across the pond that you’re sure to be addicted to for at least a few episodes. None of them feature Jackie Lavin, but you’ll have to make do.

The Vampire Diaries

Irish Airdate: Should be appearing on ITV2 early next year. No Irish station has made any comments about buying the show yet. But you never know.

The premise: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – boy meets girl, boy turns out to be a vampire. They fall in love.

vampire diariescrop

The talent: Lots of unknowns with one familiar face, Ian Somerhalder, Lost’s Boone, as evil vamp Damon.

What’s it like? This series was inevitably going to be compared to that other teen vampire series, Twilight. But The Vampire Diaries, the book series, was written in 1991, long before Twilight.

This led us to expect a little more originality, and we had to groan in certain scenes that were a little too Twilight-esque to be mere coincidence. It’s a shame too, since it seems like The Vampire Diaries has at least some potential.

For a start, the central character Elena is a lot less annoying than Twilight’s Bella, and more happens in the pilot episode than in the entire first Twilight film. But enough with the Twilight comparisons.

The first episode isn’t too bad, and sets up a few interesting mysteries for the weeks to come, such as Elena’s potentially psychic friend, an evil vampire doing the rounds in town killing people and the like, and a dead parents back-story to be explored.

Curious? http://bit.ly/fluxvampire

Melrose Place

Irish Airdate: Haven’t a literal clue. Catch it online for now.

The premise: Vapid materialistic twentysomethings living in an LA apartment complex. Oh, and there’s a murder mystery too.

MELROSE PLACE

The talent: Ashlee Simpson-Wentz makes her “long-awaited” return to TV, and Cloverfield’s Jessica Lucas also appears.

What’s it like? American network The CW are following their 90210 reboot with this one, a retread on the popular 90s drama.

The murder mystery at the centre of the show feels a little uninvolving, since most of us have only known the character for the guts of half an hour. Then there’s a bizarre subplot with one of the characters doing some part-time prostitution to pay for college.

The original was successful for its outlandish, ridiculous plot twists and overblown storylines, but since most of us were too young to have seen it back then, do we really care?

Ella, a ‘high profile’ publicist, appears to be a hybrid of Ari Gold and Tara Reid. Ashlee Simpson-Wentz’s Violet is just plain irritating and whiny. Both characters are utterly underdeveloped and scarcely likeable.

It’s pure guilty pleasure material, and we’ll probably tuning in again, if only to see where it goes next.

Curious? http://bit.ly/fluxmelrose

Glee

Irish Airdate: E4 announced last month that they’ve bought Glee and will be airing the first series early next year.

The premise: Idealistic teacher Will Schuester forms a ‘glee club’ – a show choir full of misfits in this musical comedy.

gleered

The talent: Role Models’ hilarious Jane Lynch stars, and Heroes or Ugly Betty fans will recognise Jayma Mays. Broadway vets Lea Michele and Matthew Morris also take centre stage. The show’s creator, Ryan Murphy, has a proven track record with shows like Popular and Nip/Tuck under his belt.

What’s it like? Before episode two had even aired, Glee attracted a global cult-like following, who call themselves Gleeks. And it’s easy to see why.

The highlight of any episode of Glee, eight of which we’ve seen, is Jane Lynch as the coach of cheerleading team, the Cheerios. She tries at every turn to thwart the glee club, with, as she says “a conviction that can only be described as religious.”

The other characters are just as interesting, including a closeted gay kid, a stuttering Asian girl, an abstinent cheerleader and an all-singing, all-dancing wheelchair user to round off the cast.

In the first episode alone we’re treated to covers of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ and Amy Winehouse’s Rehab, which could be hits in their own right.

Curious? http://bit.ly/fluxglee

The Good Wife

Irish Airdate: The show is part of RTE’s Autumn/Winter schedule for this year.

The premise: Alicia Florrick is forced to take up her old job as a defence attorney while her husband sits in jail following a very public sex and corruption scandal.

THE GOOD WIFE

The talent: ER‘s Julianna Margulies stars as the ‘good wife’ of the title. Sex and the City‘s Chris Noth is billed as a ‘Special Guest Star’, though we hope he’ll stick around.

What’s it like? The Good Wife could easily have been ‘just another legal drama’, but it’s saved by the political scandal at its core.

The fast-paced pilot throws Florrick back into the world she left behind with barely a chance to catch her breath, finding out in the process that she is vying for a position at the firm with young gun Cary Agos, played by Matt Czuchry (Gilmore Girls).

The cast do a fine job in the first episode, bar Archie Panjabi as the firm’s in-house private investigator. If we had the choice, she’d be gone by episode two.

Outside of the courtroom, Margulies struggles to deal with two children and an intrusive mother-in-law, all of whom have felt the after-effects of Noth’s playing away from home. The drama refreshingly adds more character development than is usually expected from a weekly courtroom drama, and the pilot left us eager to hear more.

Curious? http://bit.ly/fluxwife

Modern Family

Irish Airdate: It’s already started on Sky 1. Catch it on Thursdays at 8pm.

The premise: A mockumentary about three modern families, all of whom are dysfunctional and all of whom make for great viewing.

The talent: Married With Children‘s Ed O’Neill plays the newly married Jay, who is often mistaken for his wife’s father. She (Sofia Vergara) is Latino and beautiful. He is not. Ty Burrell, of Black Hawk Down and Dawn of the Dead fame, also stars as father-of-three Phil.

ModernFamily_1244590118

What’s it like? Three separate storylines mightn’t have worked, were it not for the fact that each family is equally hilarious. Phil and Claire have elements of Jon and Kate Gosselin about them, and their relationship is just as mismatched. Gay couple Cameron and Mitchell have just adopted a baby girl, but are as unsure as everyone else if they are ready to be fathers. One if the best moments of the pilot is Cameron’s unveiling of baby Lilly to the couples’ extended families. Never has The Lion King‘s Circle of Life been put to such good use.

The show is as cringe-inducing as The Office and Curb Your Enthusiasm, and the triple storyline means that the gags just keep on coming.

Curious? http://bit.ly/fluxfamily

[Images from  here, here, here, here and here]

Your resentment is delicious October 20, 2009

Posted by Paula in Muzak, Televisual.
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Three songs from this week’s episode of Glee, “Mash-Up”, have surfaced. There’s no ensemble songs though, which is sad, but maybe they’re hiding those ones from us.

Football player Puck (Mark Salling) finally gets a solo song, Sweet Caroline. I’m certainly not a Neil Diamond fan, but Puck makes it sound a bit less country bumpkin. Plus, he plays guitar. Plus, he’s gorgeous.

Sweet Caroline – Glee Episode 8 (download)

Mr Schuester (Matthew Morrison) has not one but two songs in this episode. Can’t say I’m delighted. All he seems to do is rap these days, and when he raps he looks like a parent trying to get down with it. And Thong Song? Really? Come on Fox, he’s meant to be a teacher, not a pimp…

Thong Song – Glee Episode 8 (download)

Bust A Move – Glee Episode 8 (download)

Image: ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Carin Baer/FOX

Gleeful New Music October 8, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Muzak, Televisual.
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Glee Cast

One of the new US television season’s biggest hits has been musical comedy series Glee. Each week at least three songs are featured on the show, and this week’s batch have just hit the internets.

This week there’s four tracks, all, as usual, covers of well-known songs.

Firstly, there’s a mash-up of Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life and Usher’s Confessions Pt. II by the boys of the Glee club. Surprisingly, it works really well.

Glee Cast – It’s My Life / Confessions Pt. II (download)
http://kiwi6.com/upload/hotlink?id=x2530e99

Then the girls take on, again, a mash-up, this time of a more uptempo cover of Beyoncé’s Halo mixed with Katrina and the Waves’ Walking on the Sunshine.

Glee Cast – Halo / Walking on the Sunshine (download)
http://kiwi6.com/upload/hotlink?id=466e758m

Cast members Lea Michele and Cory Monteith next cover Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown’s No Air. It’s a fairly standard cover without much changes. If you liked the original, you’ll like this, otherwise there’s not much new here.

Glee Cast – No Air (download)
http://kiwi6.com/upload/hotlink?id=ck8q143y

The final cover is an odd one – Avril Lavigne’s Keep Holding On. They do a really good job on this one, even if the opening does unnecessarily try to live up to their earlier Don’t Stop Believing cover. The backing vocals from the rest of the Glee club make this a cover that actually improves on the original quite a bit.

Glee Cast – Keep Holding On (download)

The episode with these tracks airs tonight in the US, and Glee comes to E4 some time early in 2010, apparently. If you haven’t checked it out yet, make sure you do, because it definitely lives up to the hype.