Big Brother has been a guilty pleasure of mine for quite awhile now. The funny thing is, the past few years I haven't really enjoyed it that much so was planning on giving it a pass this year. (I might have said the same thing last year....)
Then of course they name the contestants and I want to give it a closer look. I did DVR and just finish episode one and I think my initial though of skipping it was a good one. The show is all about visual eye candy, it is the reason they must put 'keep your shirt off' in the contracts of some of the male house guests. Initially, I wanted to see more of aspiring actor Nick. Nick is adorable, his standard BB swimwear aside, but personality wise, thus far is not really making me want to turn back in and watch more.
And then there's David....
My initial reaction was sort of repulsion, with a bit of laughter about 'the look'. David is a lifeguard, and everything about him, his info, his video's, made him out to be an ego driven dolt who had nothing about him I found remotely attractive.
Then, I watched and read a bit of what was going on in the house. I now find myself with David in the old push/pull. It is rare, but every once in awhile, a guy gets me there. The push/pull, for those who have owned cats, is when the cat pulls your hand in tightly with their front paws, while pushing it away at the same time with their hind ones. This is how I feel about David.
He is, as anticipated, coming across as mostly a dolt, but unfortunately, sort of an earnest one. He is not having a great first week, is on the block and not being treated the greatest, especially by the beautiful, and calculating Aaryon. I also feel bad for the guy as it impossible to believe he has many friends or people who care about him outside of the house. If he did, would not someone have done a hair intervention by this point??? Who could let a loved one sport that do in public, let alone on a television show! My laughter over the look has been replaced with wanting to help him out, cut his hair and tell him to stop being so trusting of the others, it is Big Brother after all!
Even with that hair, if you focus on the neck down he is rocking quite the beach bod. David is prone to wearing slow rise pants, and they always look as if they are about to slide right off onto the floor. Of course, as luck would have it, David was also the first guy this season to get naked, stripping down to change as if there were not 4 different cameras filming his every move. Most on BB change with a big towel, going to great lengths to avoid any exposure. Given it is David, it is hard to know whether he flashed on purpose, proud to show all, or simply forgot he was being filmed... could go either way.
The old Push/Pull is a powerful thing, it is really quite interesting when someone, who in some respects repulses you, also has the ability to get you hot and bothered. We all have someone (usually someone we don't want to admit to) who brings on the ole push/pull. For David, it has me giving BB about 2 more episodes.
I have written before about my loathing of re-makes. Almost always, they are never as good as their predecessor, and are clearly a studio’s way of cashing in on established material for a quick buck. Was there even an attempt to make 2006's Poseidon a unique or special film, or did the people behind it simply hope the name alone would ensure it made back it’s money?
Like re-makes, the casting of any project has its own form of copying. There are cast additions, but then there is the tired and true (and always a FAIL) method of cast replacements. Of course no movie or television show can totally control the actions of it’s actors. Many for good reasons (Victoria Principal) and many for bad reasons, (Katherine Heigl) decide it is time to leave a project. In movies, this often works better than on television. There are often years between one movie and its sequel. Given that most major motion pictures today are less focused on story and character, and more on action and special effects (the Bourne series) moving actors in and out of roles can be almost seamless. Also helps when tight fitting costume and mask are involved (Batman).
On television however, cast changes are a different story. Viewers invest heavily in shows, characters and plot lines and moving actors in and out of roles is harder to transition smoothly. Viewers have been forced to get used to it on daytime soaps, but on night time they can be unforgiving. Despite her years of movie success, Donna Reed was crucified for daring to put on the slippers of Miss Ellie. After David Caruso left NYPD Blue, the actors who replaced him generally lasted just one two seasons, even the good ones. Poor Randy ( Josh Myers) didn’t stand a shot of replacing Eric as the show simply wanted to squeeze just one more season (pay-off) out of That 70's Show.
I look around the television landscape at certain shows with large casts and they don’t have nearly the magic they did when they premiered. Grey’s Anatomy for example is not nearly what it once was. There are familiar faces, but they are outnumbered by new faces and characters that the shows audience has wisely known better than to invest in. Grey’s, like many other shows failed by not seeing the distinction between addition, and replacement. Adding new characters to shows is a great thing, but only if it is done to add storyline to an already strong existing character. Grey’s knew this once. When Callie was first introduced, she was not brought to replace anyone, she was brought on as a cool character to infuse the storyline for George. Overtime, she became a strong character in her own right, able to survive when George left and be the stimulus for other additions, like Arizona, a character brought in to enhance her storyline. Most of the other new characters on Grey’s were not additions, they were attempts to replace what no longer is, and that never works.
Earth Sciences and Geological Science describe replacement as process of gradual substitution of mineral matter for the original organic matter. Glee is the midst of failing horribly at this process. Not that they didn’t tried hard. They just spent a year doing gradual substitution, phasing out many of the original cast members over a season or two so that most would not care once they finally belted their last note. For the most part it worked. When the announcement came this week that Harry Shum Jr, Dianna Agron, Amber Riley, Heather Morris and Mark Salling (along with the already phased out Jayma Mays), it was greeted with a bit of ‘who cares’. This was well planned and calculated on the part of the Glee team, having just spent 20 plus episodes with giving most of these actors, little or nothing to do. Now, most fans can truthfully say these characters won’t be missed, as they have already ceased to be important to story.
I will miss them though, I have been missing them for about a year now. I am one of those viewers who fell hook line and sinker for Ryan Murphy’s pilot and first season of Glee. That season that told everyone you did not have to be popular, white, slim and conform to society’s norms to be a star. Isn’t a bit odd then, that most of the new regulars on the show are hot, white, skinny and popular. I loved the cast as a whole, especially Mercedes, Mike, Quinn and Santana. I also liked Rachel and Kurt, but less and less as the seasons went by and the writers shoved them down our throats at the expense of others. Admittedly I did not watch all of last season, but did the vocally gifted Amber Riley even get one song to herself? I don’t remember one. The new cast image (bottom of the page) Lea Michelle tweeted out this week speaks to me more about loss than gain. Matthew Morrison was even left out, as he was for chunks of last season.
There are exceptions however, Murphy obviously loves Alex Newell, and he is an interesting character, but I wish he had been made an addition, not a replacement. The writers even wrote a mean (yet wildly hilarious) line about his being the new Mercedes, in an episode last season. Blake Jenner and Jacob Artist are hot, but I like little gravy with my meat. Neither has shown to be master thespians and I miss the magic that the original group had together in seasons 1 and 2
Glee has shown us they know how to add and not replace. Chord Overstreet was a great addition and even last year they added Dean Geyer. Dean was not replacing anyone, simply adding new dimensions into the relationship between Rachel and Finn. Glee as I loved it is gone; there is no real going back. The new cast holds little interest for me and the old cast who have remained still circle in the similar patterns they always have. Even after Rachel Graduated and Tina got one episode to shine, she returned swiftly to sing back up for the new cute white girl.
Thankfully there are the DVD’s, especially the Juke Box special feature, which lets us return to the magic, and the music of those early years. Glee is still a young show, and saying early years sounds sort of silly in a way. Turning the show upside down, so early in it’s run however, showed desperation in the writers. They turned it around far too fast. The changes they made last year, claiming to keep it fresh were changes most shows do in year 7 or 8. They pre-ejaculated too many of the good stuff, far too early.
And now to totally contradict my above post about originals....
I have never been a Trekkie. My father was a bit of one and I tried to get into the original series when he watched it on DVD (VHS, when I was a kid), but never really did. My main fascination was an odd one, it was with the ignored cast members, the actors in the first series who played; Uhura, Chekov, Sulu, Scotty and sometimes Bones. I would see them in all the promotional images and box covers, yet most of the time they had little or nothing to do.
If the series was shot in the 2000's and not the 60's, I am sure this group of cast members would have gotten together and made demands for more money or screen time. I think if done at the time, they all would have most likely been fired. My fascination with this group continued when I saw the first J.J. Abrams version of the brand in 2009. This was the first time I think I was fully invested in the series and the characters. I saw Into Darkness a few weeks ago. The movie was fast moving and action packed and Abrams wisely gave all of the supporting characters a brief moment or two to shine, but it again felt a little bit like the magic was gone. The movie was saved by it's pace and the incredible Benedict Cumberbatch who elevated all around him.
Normally at this time of year I am filling the pages of FH with reports and videos from Broadway Bares. Due to a crazy June, the event came and went without my having time to give it proper attention. Instead of regurgitating info already out there, I encourage you to head over to Dave's Natural City Man and check out his always detailed report on the event. If you have the time, poke around a bit as Dave has a lot information, and of course images, of the best talent on the Great White Way.
Stephen King remains one of my favorite writers but I always have a bit of trepidation when his novels make the jump to the screen. With a few exceptions, most of the big screen adaptations have fallen flat. I think one of the main reasons is time, 2 hours is not near long enough to fully depict what King has created.
I carried the fairly heavy, 1000 plus pages of Under The Dome around for much of the winter, stubbornly holding onto wanting to read my novels in the form of an actual paper bound physical manifestation of the story. Thankfully, Under The Dome is set on television. Many of King's stories have had better luck on the small screen such as It which I still hold to be one of the better adaptations of King's work.
Given the substantial ratings, many of you tuned in this past Monday to watch the series as well. Although it is early in, there are vast differences already between story and character in the novel and with that on the television adaptation, most notably the results of Angie and Juniors (Alexander Koch) encounter at the beginning of the story. I will let I pass however as the actor playing Junior is very different than the character I envisioned while reading the book and Alexander Koch is certainly one of the more attractive elements living under the Dome in Chester Mill Maine.
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Koch was heavily involved in both local community and high-school theater productions. He attended the Theatre School at DePaul University. A former model, Koch made his acting film debut in Eddie O'Keefe's independent short film The Ghosts, but his role of Junior gives him his biggest role thus far.