Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Glee ~ New York ~ Season 2 Finale Episode 22

i know what you're thinking---why is sookie reviewing this Glee episode now---didn't it originally air 3 months ago? Yes it did---but i feel like i need to show some love to Glee and since Glee will return for it's 3rd season on September 20th, the timing seems right.

"I can't have anything keep me from my Manhattan destiny" ~ Glee character Rachel Berry

Anyone who has ever dreamed of coming to NYC, the opening scenes of Glee New York succeed in capturing what it feels like when you arrive. Particularly if you were under the age of 21. That joyous vibrant feeling that anything is possible. The city that never sleeps truly does have a palpable energy. When you add youthful exuberance to that mix it's like a generator that perpetually runs at full capacity.

This episode was shot on location and the opening scene is in the TimesSquare/TheaterDistrict accented with Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue on the playback. i especially enjoyed Rachel's outfit and the way the camera framed her. Very Marlo Thomas/That Girl.

Best Line: "It was the Superman of kisses. It came with it's own cape."

Moment i'm willing to make allowance for: After Finn and Rachel leave Sardi's located on W44th street in the Broadway Theater District---they are seen strolling approximately 2 miles south in the West Village with a Bedford Street street sign prominently in camera frame.

my favorite moments in this ep: Finn mispronouncing Ni├žoise as Nee-cozy.

Will Schuester's clandestine audition for a Broadway show. Theater security at that show referring to Mr.Schuester as 'kid'. Rival show choir director Dustin Goolsby wishing Will Schuester luck in his Broadway debut and confessing his resentment of his own show choir kids. Cheyenne Jackson is hilarious, vicious, bitter and delicious.

Puck being the first to embrace Mr.Schuester when he announces he's not leaving Lima Ohio or his McKinley High students for the bright lights of The Great White Way. Charice's Sunshine Corazon telling Rachel she thinks she's mean but not stupid. And of course Charice performing As Long As You're There. Choreography for New Directions when they performed Light It Up Tonight.

The romances among the kids---Kurt's boyfriend Blaine declaring his love with ease and spontaneity. And anyone paying attention should not be surprised about Mercedes and Sam holding hands---he ran over to hug her at the end of their nationals performance and it was clearly not just congratulatory.

Rachel meeting her idol Patti LuPone and Ms.LuPone asking her to promise her she will never give up on her dreams.

Glee New York is a confection. A valentine to gleeks and to everyone who dares to dream and let nothing deter them, even if those dreams hit detours.

Glee returns for it's 3rd season Tuesday September 20th at 8:00pm est on Fox. Please check your local listings.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Breaking Bad on AMC Season 4 EPs 1-4 Box Cutter 38 Snub Open House Bullet Points

Wow the 4th season of Breaking Bad grabs your attention from the get-go and is not about to let go.

Not that the previous seasons were lacking, but man, the current season is definitely not for the faint of heart. If "it's hard out there for a pimp" it is downright calamitous for meth cooks and anyone involved in their lives.

Soft-spoken and seemingly mild mannered Gustavo 'Gus' Fring will put the fear of god in you. Gus will slaughter a man just to make a point, with the same ease and skill that he would butcher chickens for his Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant franchises. Brilliantly chilling performance by Giancarlo Esposito.

Matching Gus stare for frigid glare is Jonathan Banks' hit-man Mike. Mike is very good at what he does. Nothing personal, it's just a job.

Skyler White---just when i was ready to not like you, given your behavior in previous seasons---you have turned into one bad mamma-jamma. Taking the 'if you can't beat them join them' mind-set, Anna Gunn's Skyler has embraced her inner moll---taking care of business and her man.

Skyler's sister Marie. Gotta say i was never too keen on this character, but Betsy Brandt's performance is so heartbreaking i can't help but find her endearing. Poor Marie, she's always had issues [kleptomania for one] but now she's dealing with her husband's paralysis, on top of just the day to day quirks that can sometimes make a relationship more burden than bliss. Lately Marie's life doesn't have much bliss. i feel sad for her. Marie is taking the "in sickness and in health" part of the marriage vow to a gold standard level. i'm hoping the writers will get her involved in a support group because the stress of dealing with Hank is manifesting it's self in extremely unhealthy behavior.

Hank, Hank, Hank. Yes you've been dealt a really crappy hand. And P.T. is beyond hard. You're understandably frustrated and your only joy right now is purchasing rocks er i'm sorry minerals. But your hobby has become a self-destructive and cash depleting obsession. Not to mention your passive-aggressive emotionally abusive behavior toward Marie. Dean Norris is doing a terrific job. Hank is infuriating but you can't help but want something good to happen for the guy. Looks like studying chemist Gale's notebook, and helping his former law enforcement mates might be just what he needs.

A show that has as much heaviness as Breaking Bad needs an occasional comedic release. Thank goodness for attorney Saul Goodman. Bob Odenkirk's Saul is ridiculous and brings balance to what could otherwise be dreary. Ditto Jesse's pals Badger and Skinny Pete

Last, but by no means least, we have Walt and Jesse. Walt's cook yields the purist meth Gus distributes. But even that skill does not guarantee security. Ah the irony. Long before he met Gus, it was to insure security for his family and himself, that caused Walt to make the choice to get involved in the business of making meth in the first place. Now Walt can no longer deny the catastrophic and fatal consequences of that decision. Walt is a bad-ass but he is no longer the baddest ass. Bryan Cranston's performance is as pure as 'Heisenberg's' glass.

Jesse has seen horrors that would be hard for anyone to deal with even if they weren't trying to stay sober. Now he's not just had a slip, he's jumped off the wagon, grabbing the hands of his buds Badger & Skinny Pete & pulling them along with him. Jesse is a hybrid---an enabler and an addict. And Aaron Paul's performance is flawless.

Breaking Bad airs Sundays at 10:00pm est on AMC Please check your local listings.