Friday, May 25, 2012
I Got The Music In Me!
My crazy schedule of late has me way behind on my television viewing but I did catch Duets last night and was pleasantly surprised. I tuned in as I love Kelly Clarkson and truly adore Jennifer Nettles. What I loved most about Duets was that unlike most of the other music shows, it did not attempt to manipulate viewers with overly produced packages about the contestants, it's focus was where it should be, on the music.
While on the subject of music, American Idol ended it's season this week. I sort of half heartily watched this season but was happy to see Phillip Phillips win. Jessica Sanchez clearly has a gift with that voice of hers but for most of the season she bored me to tears. Her duet with Jennifer Holliday aside, most of the season she chose the most predictable (ie boring) songs, all designed to show off her voice. Her voice was never the issue however, it was her personality that required a spotlight and that rarely got a chance to shine.
Am I the only one who thinks Joshua Ledet's voice is about as appealing as nails on a chalkboard? Some singers like Patti LeBelle have learned how to incorporate screeching skillfully into their singing, Ledet, like his duet partner Fantasia have not. I had to mute their song as after a few seconds I wanted to throw my water bottle at the television. The judges adoration of Ledet remains a mystery to me. I got the appeal after one of his early numbers but after that it was simply a repeat week after week.
I did enjoy seeing Joe Perry though, he was always the one part of Aerosmith I could get on board of.
I still have the last four episodes of Smash on the DVR unwatched. This show is sort of a hot mess. What I did enjoy about it though were the four actors who were just let go. I am not sure what the producers were thinking, especially with Jaime Cepero and Raza Jaffrey.
Megan Hilty aside, I find most of the female characters poorly written and poorly executed. Debra Messing is talented, and for the sake of argument I will say Angelica Houston is as well but in the hands of the shows writers they are struggling. Katherine McPhee on the other hand is no actress but the one part of her character that was interesting was her relationship with Raza. He is an incredible actor and made McPhee sort of likable in their scenes together.
Jaime Cepero was also a good foil for Houston and I am not sure why the show is ridding themselves of two of the shows most interesting elements. If I were choosing which male cast member to dump, my choice would have been Christian Borle who neither likable, or interesting enough to dislike.
In a recent review I read of Glee, the writer declared that after three seasons it is time we viewers stopped bitching about the show and accepted that every season we will love about a third of the episodes, hate about a third, and find the remaining third fairly forgettable.
There is a lot of truth in that so I am going to try to stop complaining. I found the series finale in the fairly forgettable category, mainly because it's focus was so narrow. The cast is huge and even though it takes forever for the opening credits to get through all the names, you can still bet most of them won't get much to do or say, if they are shown at all.
In many traditional movies and Broadway musicals there was usually written a rather bland leading male and female, and then a secondary couple, shown less, but usually given much better dialogue and more memorable songs to sing. Glee ignores this formula in the same way it ignores it's supporting cast. I find scenes with Tina, Mercedes, Sam, Mike and Quinn far more interesting than Kurt and Rachel but have come to accept they just don't hold the same appeal to the shows writers.
It was interesting to me that the supposed Tina centered episode was not really about Tina at all. It felt like the writers were basically telling the audience that Tina, and the rest of the cast, are there to support our stars, Rachel, Finn and Kurt. The first few moments of the show, telling Tina's history on the show was spot on, but then the her storyline was all about her character in relation, usually behind, the shows lead. Lea Michele's incredible voice aside, some of my favorite songs from the past few seasons were not hers (and definitely not Kurt's). Hopefully a writer will be hired one day who will view the show the way it was at one time, as an ensemble.