April 7, 2012

"I Don't Wanna Be" Just Another TV Show

As I watched the final seconds of the final episode of One Tree Hill I was reminded that Mark Schwann not only created the little show that could, he created characters that felt like actual people, that I wished were my friends and for one hour every week for 9 years actually did feel like friends (well I can't lay claim to all nine years since it took my sister to introduce me to the show in Season 4 before I got hooked).  Together we watched each week as Haley and Nathan struggled to stay together, as Brooke grew from the girl who wasn't quite sure who she was to the strong independent person she became in the end.

Every year this show continued to hold it's faithful audience and the network continued to pick it up again.  Every year the writers never had anything solid looking forward so it was never certain if the show would come back and that made each season better.  And even though the show ended several seasons in ways that could have been the end, getting to the point of Jamie as a Raven was very satisfactory. 

Gavin Degraw began the soundtrack to the last 9 years of our lives with a little platinum hit called "I Don't Wanna Be" and it was only fitting that he should end our journey with the same song.  The music of One Tree Hill is forever one of the reasons I watched the show and many of the shows that started out on the WB network.  The WB gave little known artists a place to shine in their shows and that's one of the many reasons I watched and continue to watch so many shows on this "tween" network - now called the CW.  From "Buffy" to "Charmed" to "Gilmore Girls" to "One Tree Hill" the amount of GREAT music I discovered through these shows is remarkable.  OTH is the biggest contributor actually launching the careers of several amazing artists including my hometown girl Kate Voegele, whom I was very sad to not see in the final season.

The show is about brothers, it's about fathers and sons, and it's about friendships.  We may have lost some of the characters along the way, whether it be to moving on with their lives outside of Tree Hill or to tragic circumstances, but in the end we still remember the people this show started with and the people it ended with including all the new characters introduced along the way.

When the series jumped ahead 4 years after season 4 I didn't know if it would work, it was going to mean a drastic change in the way we knew our characters lives to be.  It also meant the introduction of several new people to the show.  People came and left and some came back and in the end every character was written so well that I loved them all - even Dan Scott.

Every good character has to redeem themselves at some point and no one had more to make up for than the man that I thought would never die, Dan Scott.  For every unforgivable thing Dan Scott ever did it made for great television when he was on the show.  And in the end I was sad to see him go but happy because he did redeem himself, even if it was only a little, this last season.  He was probably one of the most complex characters I've ever seen written on TV.  Sometimes you loved him and many  more times you hated him but man I loved hating him.  And in the end I cried when he finally met his fate, and I don't know if it had anything to do with the probably the most likeable character on the show - Keith Scott - making a brilliant return or if I actually did think he deserved a little bit of forgiveness and love but either way his character cannot be matched anywhere on television and probably never will be.

Am I sad Lucas left the show, absolutely.  Did I think the show would survive without him, nope.  Did the show survive and thrive even without him, you bet it did!  As much as it pained me to see Chad Michael Murray and Hillary Scott leave the show for contract reasons and nothing to do with story lines, and as much as I thought the show would suffer with their absence, I was amazed at how the characters of Julian, Quinn, and Clay really picked up the slack.  I was so excited in the off season to hear that CMM was returning to One Tree Hill for an episode in the final season, and then completely disappointed when I finally watched that episode.  It was great to see him interact with Haley and Jamie but I wanted more and I feel like it was just an excuse to get people excited.  The better episode for his return would have been the episode *SPOILER ALERT* that Dan dies.  Sure they make mention that Haley tries to convince him to come back and he won't and you can completely understand why Lucas would not be as easily swayed to forgive him but it would have made that episode even better than it was - and that might have been the best episode of the final season.

It's funny how characters came and left and then returned.  Stephen Colletti's Chase for example.  He came to us in season 4 as a love interest for Brooke who was a member of the chastity club.  He left us for a while and then returned to Tree Hill to manage Tric

As much as I rooted for Nathan and Hayley through every year I think the last few seasons pushed me to root for Quinn and Clay too.  And in the end I think they had one of the best story arcs of the final season!  Clay repressing the memory of a son he had with his first wife had to be one of the biggest plot twists I would have never seen coming.  Logan might be an even cuter kid than Jamie Scott was and my heart melted with he called Quinn mom in the finale!

As this final season began and started to progress all I kept hearing was, this season is so dark, I don't like where it's heading, but in the end bad things had to happen because 13 episodes of everyone being happy isn't good television.  Now obviously in real life the amount of things this one group of people experience is kind of inconceivable, so thank goodness it's a TV show.  Drama makes people watch no matter how unrealistic the scenario, I mean people are still watching the same things play out over and over on Days of Our Lives so why wouldn't people tune in to see things that most definitely do happen to people but maybe not the same 10 people over an over again.  In the end I was impressed with they way this final season played out.

In the end the stories told held our interest and the characters are what brought us back to One Tree Hill every week for 9 years.  So what will the soundtrack to the next 9 years start and end with?  Who knows but "I Don't Wanna Be" will always make me remember my friends in One Tree Hill.  Thank God for DVDs!

June 7, 2011

Super 8 Movie Review

I just returned from a pre-screening of the new summer blockbuster "Super 8".  Let me preface this review by saying I don't normally see "scary" movies, I just don't like them.  I got a free preview ticket to see this and it has been so hyped I had to go.  I mean it's JJ Abrams and Steven Speildberg!  I'm not going to write too much about the actual movie until after it hits the theaters for all to see but I want to post this to say that the movie lives up to the hype.  This is going to be one of the big summer movies this year.  I don't even want to tell you what the movie is about because part of the hype of the movie is that no one really knows what it is about so I'll leave that for you to find out when you watch.  What I will say is this: It feels like a classic Speildberg movie!  It combines action/scary/funny/friends movies all in to one.  I'll give you a few movie titles that have a similar feel to parts of this movie: "Stand By Me", "Jurrasic Park", "ET", "Alien", and any movie where there are huge explosions....I also like that it didn't end the way I expected it to...things aren't always as they seem (which is classic JJ Abrams).  Abrams wrote and directed an incredible film and I expect nothing less from him...and when was the last time Speildberg's name was attached to a disappointment?  Basically go see this movie if you like comedy, action, suspense or a good story about a group of friends who stumble upon the unexpected.

The dialogue is so smart and funny...the language definitely feels like "Stand By Me" and the kid who plays Charles is like a clone of a young Chris O'Donnell...Joel Courtney does an amazing job in his acting debut as the lead of Joe Lamb...Elle Fanning does a great job here, she's got a great flick here to bring her out of the shadows of her older sister Dakota, could be her breakout movie...Kyle Chandler plays Joe's dad and the deputy sheriff in the fictional town of Lillian, Ohio (which is supposed to be near Dayton, Ohio) who goes digging into things that others don't want him looking in to.

There's a great little back story about 2 families that are connected by a tragedy which just adds a great touch to the main plot as well.

I highly recommend this movie and hope you all go see it and post comments below and let me know what you think.  After the film has been out for a few weeks I'll include more of what I think of the plot but I don't want to give any of the surprises away to you.

January 18, 2011

Reege is Retiring!

Ok first off let me say I know I haven't posted anything since like November and I'm such a slacker but I was traveling so much during the last 2 months I didn't have time to keep up with TV and movies and the media but I'm going to try to get better.  I never did write a review of Promises, Promises...maybe someday soon I'll get to it but for now here's the entertainment news I got for you...

Can you believe it? After close to 30 years on the air with LIVE Regis Philbin is actually leaving the show! Tuesday live on the air Regis announced that sometime later this year he would be leaving the show.  This makes me very sad because I love Live with Regis and Kelly.  I'm sure the show will go on and they will find someone to step in as the new co-hose with Kelly but it will not be the same.  Also this makes me very sad that the one time I was able to go see a taping of LIVE, Regis was not there :(  Jeff Probst filled in as the co-host for the day and I must say he's a good choice to step in.  Among some other choices would be the obvious Mark Consuelos (Ripa's husband) who fills in often and one of my favorite co-hosts, Anderson Cooper although I think he's kinda busy what with his show on CNN plush his new gig on Broadway's "How to Succeed in Business".

Anyway here is Tuesday's host chat when Regis announces his retirement.  Just look at Kelly's face, she is so sad he is leaving, and you can tell when she talks she's fighting back tears.  I love this show and will miss Regis dearly despite his allegiance to that crappy football team from northern Indiana...

November 15, 2010

Kristin Chenoweth kicks off the Holiday Season at L&T

Ok So I know I still haven't posted my review of "Promises, Promises" yet and I've seen it twice now but I "promise" to get to it soon...but since it's been like 2 months since I posted anything I wanted to share with you today's Lord & Taylor Christmas Window unveiling celebration.  At 14 min you will be able to see Kristin's mic check with the sound people who apparently don't know anything...the audio cuts in and out but be patient because it's really funny! and then at about 30 minutes in you can watch her performance with the Kids Choir and she sings beautifully as well as brings the humor! hehe

Key Quotes:
"I refuse to work with this mic"
"hit it sound guy....oh my, I just turned 45" (she's actually 42 but still looks like she's 22 hehe)
"You guys sound good (referring to the audience), not as good as us though"

Watch live streaming video from lordandtaylor at livestream.com

October 3, 2010

Promises, Promises with Ellen

I know I said I would post about my trip to NYC to see Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes in the revival of Promises, Promises...and I Promise I will sometime in the next 2 days I've just been sooo busy trying to get back into the swing of things I haven't had time to sit down and post anything.  But Since I saw the Show on Sept 29 and then on Sept 30 on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Ellen showed some video clips of her guest stint as the nurse in the show back at the beginning of September I felt it only appropriate to share those clips with you.

The first one is a link because I could not find it somewhere to embed, the link is of Kristin teaching Ellen how to apply fake eyelashes. 

Ellen on Broadway with Kristin Chenoweth - The Ellen DeGeneres Show

This video clip is of Ellen backstage with Kristin and Sean.  Kristin shows Ellen how much she LOVES her dog Maddie by basically tounge kissing her dog (too funny).  You have to watch the link video first though because during this clip she continues with the eyelash bit but if you didn't see the first clip you won't know why Ellen is blowing on her face.

Finally here is the clip of Ellen's guest performance on Promises, Promises as the nurse.  Sean and Kristin can't help but crack up during the scene.  Having seen what that particular scene looks like when the normal actress plays the nurse I can tell you this was definitely funny, I love when Sean says "you sound like a ghost".

Enjoy these clips and I will post a full review of Promises, Promises in the next day or so - as a little taste I will say that the show was SO GOOD, I'm going back to NYC to see it again in a month!

September 28, 2010

The Cheno Countdown Ends Today!

Since I didn't get to make a final post yesterday I'll put some extra clips in this morning because this is the last day of the countdown!!! Tomorrow I'll be in NEW YORK CITY!  Enjoying the sights and sound of the bustling metropolis (wishing I lived there) and then a little less than 36 hours from now I'll be watching the curtain go up on my first Broadway show! So enjoy the final day of the countdown with some clips of Kristin singing a few of my favorites: The Girl in 14G, Taylor the Latte Boy, and Popular! Enjoy

September 26, 2010

Cheno Countdown - Glitter and be Gay!

Only 2 more days till I get to see the amazing Kristin Chenoweth perform in Promises, Promises!  There was a great article in the NY Times about here today.  But as I have been doing today will also include a Chenolicious clip for your enjoyment.  What would a Cheno Countdown be without hearing her amazing opera voice! So please enjoy this clip from Lenoard Bernstein's "Candide", Kristin singing "Glitter and be Gay", and even if you don't think you like opera believe me you will like this because not only is her voice amazing but the character is really funny as well so it's a comedy but an opera! 

SNL: Amy Poehler Kicks the Season Off Right!

As an avid SNL watcher for many years I can say with truth that the show hasn't been that good the last few seasons.  Tonight was the 36th season premiere with host, former cast member, Amy Poehler and musical guest Katy Perry.  Tonight was really funny but can the season keep up the stamina without the genius comedy of former cast members as hosts?  I guess we shall see next week when Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad has his run at hosting.

Here's a little recap of the awesomeness that was tonight's SNL.  Amy's opening monologue was pretty awesome, she did a little dream sequence bit which featured the one person who can show up on any episode and make it better, Justin Timberlake, former cast member Rachel Dratch and a great bit with Seth Meyers and Amy talking about weekend update but Seth says they aren't doing it tonight because "they're back" they being Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon! too funny.

I think the best sketch of the night was the return of Bronx Beat which also brought another alum back in the form of Mya Rudolph!  In case you don't remember the bit it's a talk show-esque bit and they chat at the beginning and bring on a guest, well the guest was played by none other than musical guest Katy Perry sporting a cleavage cut Elmo shirt! (In case you live in a cave this is hilarious because Katy Perry recently shot a segment on Sesame Street with Elmo that Sesame Street has now said they will not air because Katy was showing too much cleavage!) as Sheldon Cooper would say, Bazinga!

Amy got herself back behind the Weekend Update desk with Seth Meyer during the "Reallly, with Seth and Amy!" segment where they talked about Iran and then turned to DADT and really had some great pokes at the government for not repealing this ridiculous law! it's worth a watch.  Also during the Weekend Update sketch we got our first peak at one of the new cast members who did a really spot on impersonation of Will Smith (I think this guy is gonna be a great new addition), he also does an impersonation of Chris Tucker in a later sketch that is also really good.  And of course what's better than a bit with Governor Patterson, only this time they got the ACTUAL Governor to come on the show!  And he poked fun of SNL a little but also joked about himself and was very comical.

Katy Perry's performances were just OK, she sounded a little off, especially singing acapella at the start of Teenage Dream.  I feel that way about a lot of performers nowadays.  Their voices are altered so much in the studio that when they sing live it just doesn't sound right (the biggest example of this is The Black Eyed Peas, they sound TERRIBLE live!).

It was obvious the cold open would have to be about the Republican candidate for Senate Christine O'Donnell, who recently stated on Bill Mahr that she "dabbled in witchcraft".   You can't have that be in the headlines and not make fun of her on SNL!  And there was a really funny little sketch towards the end with Andy Samburg and Justin Timberlake that was really short but really fun!

All in all I think Amy was an excellent host (but who thought otherwise?  I mean she came from the all star casts of SNL, I expected nothing less from her.  I just wish they could have brought back Horatio Sanz so they could do the Katlin/Rick sketch).  The real test is going to be next week and the coming weeks to see if the show can live up to the awesomeness that was tonight's episode.  I'm looking forward to Jane Lynch in a few weeks and can't wait to see who else will get a chance hosting this season!

September 25, 2010

Only 3 more Days till NYC - Cheno Countdown!

Cheno countdown video clip of the day is from Newsweek's  7 Things back in 2009.  Enjoy!

Rant: The Cost to See a Movie

Remember when going to the movies was like $3 and you went to see a new movie like every other weekend?  I sure do, but today a ticket to see a non-matinee movie costs $11, and that's in Dayton, Ohio, I can only imagine what a ticket costs in California or New York.  And here was the thing that got me when I went to see the new movie "You Again" this evening, the student discount (which of course is not in effect on Friday and Saturday) is $10 - are you kidding me saving a buck isn't a discount!  Within the last year alone the movie going experience has changed drastically.

When I first moved to Dayton a little over 2 years ago it still cost about $10 for a ticket but the student discount was at least $8 (so you saved 2 bucks!) and you could use the student discount on Friday and Saturday, AND the theater offered a frequent visitor program called star rewards where after you earned so many points at the ticket office and concession stands you would get a free popcorn or a free soda or even a free ticket! (although by far the best movie theater perk ever was at the theaters in Lafayette/West Lafayette Indiana where I used to live that offered a bucket for $10 and then anytime you came to the theater you could get popcorn in the bucket for free! and the bucket lasted 6 months before you had to get a new color and you didn't even have to see a movie to get the free popcorn, you could just go in to the theater with your bucket and they would fill it with popcorn and you could walk right out and go home and eat it - it was amazing)  Then of course the theater chain got bought out by another company and everything changed but I digress...

In honor of seeing "You Again" let's go back to when I was in High School, not a particularly great time in my life but we've all been there.  When I was in High School tickets to a movie were no more than $6 (granted I grew up in a tiny town just west of the Pennsylvania border up on the Lake in good ole Ohio - I wish I could say I no longer resided in this horrible state but I can't seem to get the heck out of here!)  Obviously back then $6 probably seemed like a fortune to go see a movie but hey let's be honest wouldn't you be willing to go back to when movies were $6?  Back then the cost of renting a movie was right around $2.50 (I think) and since then it's probably gone up about $1.50 so movie rental prices have risen by a $1.50 and tickets to see a movie in the theater have risen by $5, how is that equal inflation?

So being the loser than I am, I went to the movies on a Friday night, alone, to go see this new flick that just came out today (as I mentioned before I went to see "You Again" starring Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Betty White, Victor Garber, Kristen Chenoweth, the Rock made a cameo as did Patrick Duffy, I mean this movie is loaded full of talented actors!).  I went to the last showing which started at 10:20pm but for it being a Friday night I thought there would be a lot of people out.  I guess since High School Football has started up it's not the hopping night to be at a movie but still for a movie released today I expected to see more than 6 other people in the theater, besides myself!  This lends me to believe that the rest of the country feels the way I do - that $11 is not worth it to see a movie that you can buy for $20 when it's released on DVD and watch it as many times as you want!

Sure some of you will argue that seeing a movie at home on your 32-inch TV doesn't have the same effect as seeing it on the big screen in the theater, and I will agree with you to some extent on that one.  Big blockbuster movies like Iron Man or Transformers are movies I'm willing splurge on to see on the big screen with the theater audio but things like comedies and cartoons I'm more hesitant to fork over the dough.  Luckily for me, here in Dayton we have a "dollar saver" theater that gets a majority of the movies after they stop making a certain amount of money at the main theaters and at this "dollar saver" theater tickets are only $3!  And if you go on Tuesday nights it's only like $1.75! (catch is it's cash only)  And to be fair the chain theaters offer a discount on Tuesday nights as well - $6 for a ticket and $6 will get you a small popcorn and soda as well (I'll come back to the cost of concessions later).  If it's a movie I want to see I will usually try to wait till it makes its way to the dollar saver to go see it because although you might be out of the loop on the discussions around the water cooler at work, at least you didn't spend enough money to feed 2 people dinner at McDonald's for the cost of just your ticket!

Of course there is the rare occasions when I want to see a movie so bad I can't wait for it to make it's way to the dollar saver or I just REALLY want to see a movie and nothing worth seeing is playing at the dollar theater.  Tonight was one of those occasions.  I REALLY wanted to see this movie that has been running commercials during my favorite TV shows all week long and starring some of my favorite people - like Kristin Chenoweth!  I just couldn't wait to go see it so I decided tonight I would break my rule and go see a movie opening night (which I also dislike doing on certain occasions because sometimes the theater is too crowded - exceptions to this rule also exist of course, I would put up with the crowd for Harry Potter movies and Star Wars and the occasional big name blockbuster but only when I was going to college because you knew the crowd was going to be all college kids and most of the time they all REALLY wanted to see this movie so they didn't cause a ruckus and make the experience suck).  Back to the point - it cost me $16 for entertainment tonight! That's insane!  After my $11 ticket I spent $5 for a small popcorn (Yes that's correct $5 for a SMALL popcorn), I always bring my own soda to theater with me (always a perk of having a purse to hide things in - one time in college I was able to get in food from Wendy's for 2 people in my purse!)  Last night it cost me $13 and I went to a bar had 2 drinks and played to games of bowling!  Let's just say I got more for my money last night!

The cost of concessions is almost worse than the cost of a ticket.  Five bucks for a small popcorn - that's just plain crazy (but a movie is just not the same without popcorn).  But let me break this down for you:  $11 for a ticket, $5 for a small popcorn and probably around $4 for a small soda that's $20 and that's only for one person!  Imagine if you are on a date it's gonna cost you close to $40 just to go to a freaking movie when you can rent one for $4, get a microwave popcorn tub and 2 20-ounce sodas for $4 and have an $8 evening at home!  And I don't even want to think about a family going to see a movie, I mean sure kids tickets are slightly cheaper but they want candy and you have to get a bigger popcorn and more drinks and so you're probably looking at $50-$60 for a family of 4 to go see a movie!  And I'm not even going to attempt to calculate the cost of seeing a 3-D movie (this new fad that seems to be the thing EVERY movie is doing, I personally am not a big fan of 3-D, "Avatar" was cool but seriously every movie doesn't have to be in 3-D).

I guess my main concern here is this, during this "great recession" how can we justify paying $20 to a see a movie?  I saw a stat at the on the trivia screen before the movie started that said something along the lines of how many more tickets are sold each year to movies vs all sporting events combined and it just got me to thinking about the priorities of the American people.  I understand that the people who make movies have to get paid, it's their career and I get that as someone who works for a TV station and wants so desperately to work on a TV show or Movie someday, but is it really fair to charge us that much money to watch the movie?  I also understand that a majority of the ticket cost goes to the movie itself and NOT the theater so in order for the theater to make any money they have to get you to buy popcorn and soda at the concession stand but again do they really need to rip us off?  I think more people would go to the movies and buy more stuff at the concession stands if they felt it was more reasonably priced.

Since i spent a lot of space on the rant I will end with a little review of the movie "You Again", which I saw this evening.

Over all the movie was good.  There were parts that were REALLY funny and parts that fell short.  Some things were predictable, but I expected that - it's a Disney movie for crying out loud.  For the most part the acting was top notch - I mean I expected nothing less with the all star cast it had.  I felt for Kristen Bell's character, Marni, because I was kind of an outcast in high school (not the extent she was), I was a band geek and didn't really have a lot of friends in high school but every experience helps to shape us into who we are going to become right?  I thought the small role of Tim was one of the funniest characters in the movie.  I absolutely adore Kristin Chenoweth who plays the role of the Georgia King the wedding extrodinator but I wanted her part to be bigger, especially because the majority of her screen time was out and about on the Internet before the movie even started so by the time I got to the theater there wasn't many new scenes for Kristin to be in and that makes me a sad panda.  Betty White's new found resurgence has afforded her some wonderful roles lately and her part in this movie was super fun, especially towards the end of the movie.  Newcomer Odette Yusman reminds me a lot of Megan Fox, she just has that face that is so similar to hers, not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing - I liked Megan Fox back when she was on Kelly Ripa's sitcom "Hope and Faith" before she hit the big time but since she's become this girl that guys drool over, I'm kinda over her.  The biggest visual flaw of the movie had to be when Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver fall into the pool at the rehearsal dinner and they look as though they are trying to tread water to stay afloat when you can clearly see the water depth signs around the edge of the pool reading no more than 4.5 feet, there's no reason why they couldn't just stand up (unless of course they were the size of Kristin Chenoweth who might have a problem keeping her head above the water at her meek 4'11" stature).  Overall the movie was enjoyable (I haven't fully decided if it was worth the $11 yet) but had room for improvement.  I give it a B+  Oh, and I got to see a preview for a new movie coming out at Thanksgiving staring Cher, Christina Aguleira and Kristen Bell as well called Burlesque!