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by Steve Leftridge

5 May 2010


For two straight weeks, I called for the ouster of Michael Lynche, the gargantuan daddy of melodramatic showtune-soul. Yet ever since his original near-exodus a few weeks back, when the judges conspired to save him, he’s hung around, flirting with the bottom three, but eventually finding a seat in the safety zone. As a sign of Big Mike’s polarizing effect on viewers, Vote For the Worst, that carnival of social retardation, called on their followers to put their support behind Mike this week, which probably guarantees his survival. After all, last week the Worsters, after losing Tim Urban, elected Siobhan Margus as their candidate, who was swiftly thrown overboard that very week.

Ah, Shobbie. The world was not ready for one as fantastically bizarre as you. With her obstreperous hair, gangly-hot physique, and circus-chic outfits, Margus was the oddest duck in Idol history. Even her father warned, “You have no idea how peculiar she is”, conjuring up nightmare fantasies of fan-hitting shit at the Margus house. She offered the show a steady stream of deviance—her wild-eyed hinterland friends in the audience, her cracked new-age soliloquies in response to the judges, her sheepish smile that suggested both innocence and homicide. And then there was her singing. With a stomach-turning lower register and a banshee scream that channeled Axl Rose, Shobian combined awful and awesome with spinning intensity, like Tim Burton directing a new mashup of Annie and The Exorcist.

by Jessy Krupa

5 May 2010


As advertised last week, Crosby spent the night with Jasmine, but snuck out through her bedroom window in the morning in order to avoid Jabbar. As hard as it is to believe, they were concerned about what their kid would think by seeing his parents in bed together. On another night, Jabbar saw Crosby in the hallway, but he just tried to convince the boy that he was dreaming. After seeing that, Jasmine vowed, “No more fooling around. Period”, but that offended Crosby, who thought they were something more serious. Despite the fact that it’s obvious that he cares more for her than she does for him, he eventually told her how he felt. Jasmine just replied, “Let’s just give it some time” before inviting him to “sleep over”.

Adam and Kristina continued to find some friends for Max, but in reality, they were looking for some friends for themselves as well. They first visited the Lessings, whose son, Noel, seems to be mentally behind Max. When Max wanted to leave, Adam and Kristina, put off by the bicycle-obsessed dad and the nervous mom, didn’t object. Max didn’t seem to be into the whole thing, questioning the reason why he needed to have friends. When Adam made plans to meet up with a family he knew from work, Max said, “You owe me a sticker for this.” This time, Adam and Kristina liked the parents, but their son showed no interest in Max. After they faked an illness to leave, Adam wondered if they were “relegated” to hanging out with the “short bus families”. I found that phrase surprisingly insensitive, but in the end, all of the Bravermans and the Lessings had a good time together.

by Terry Sawyer

3 May 2010


I come from a poor Midwestern family where my notions of the upper castes involved unnavigable place settings and the labyrinthian social order that I encountered in etiquette books. In college, I would read about people obsessed with the leisure class. Andy Warhol and Jann Wenner both seemed consumed with the perceived glamour of dilettantes, as if the money, power and exclusivity produced something even more magical than their other other lifetime fixation: fame. How far we’ve fallen from the ideals of these cultured, worldly elites cocooned in Victorian rituals of status. The villains of High Society have no class; they’re intellectual dead zones with charisma deficits whose tacky and shiftless lives breed the kind of collective contempt that used to get the peasants sharpening the guillotine blades. No one aspires to be Tinsley Mortimer and Paul Johnson Calderon, because there’s nothing here to aspire to:  no refinement, no worldliness, and no accomplishment. They are a Warhol film, stagnating in the gaze the camera, ostentatiously refusing to pick up a verb. They’d prefer to let the maid do it while swearing at her and throwing up on the rug. This is upper class living in 2010 and it is indistinguishable from the gutter.

by Jessy Krupa

30 Apr 2010


Tonight’s episode of Supernatural opened with two scientists discussing the upcoming human trials for a new flu vaccine. Their conversation is interrupted by a demon who injects one of the men with something that causes him to violently slaughter the other man. This, we can assume, has something to do with Pestilence.

Shortly afterward, Sam and Dean pose as CDC workers while they are questioning a female doctor. All of them wear protective masks as she describes “a mild case of swine flu” before admitting that they need vaccines and all of this is “a little unusual”. The brothers drive away, and then discuss things over the phone with Bobby. Suddenly, Crowley, the effeminate, Lucifer-hating demon that we previously met this season, appears in the backseat. Sam wants to kill him, but Dean is willing to hear out his plan to help them destroy Pestilence.

Crowley deserves a place in Supernatural’s villain hall-of-fame. Played well by TV veteran, Mark Sheppard, he delivered some of the best lines of the night. After all, his explanation for wanting the devil dead and betraying his own kind is “They ate my tailor!” Occasionally, his fireplace casts a demonic red glow on only him, which is a nice touch.

by Michael Landweber

29 Apr 2010


United States of Tara recently started its second season on Showtime. Toni Collette plays the title character, who is the mother and wife of a seemingly typical suburban family. Except that she suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder. Tara is sometimes teenager T, perfect housewife Alice, redneck trucker guy Buck, therapist Shoshanna, and a weird subhuman creature that likes to pee on people. In Collette’s hands, this surprisingly all works—I have never had a moment watching the show where I did not believe in Tara’s transformations.

The supporting cast is also excellent. John Corbett plays Tara’s husband. He’s one of those actors who I always like to watch. Ever since Northern Exposure, he’s made everything he’s in better—see My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Sex and the City for examples. Rosemarie Dewitt steals all her scenes as Tara’s long-suffering sister. Keir Gilchrist and Brie Larson are the teenagers in the household who each are perpetually on the edge of their own meltdowns. (And I also enjoy occasional walk-on Patton Oswalt as Corbett’s buddy and Dewitt’s once and future love.)

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Moving Pixels Podcast: Unearthing the 'Charnel House'

// Moving Pixels

"This week we discuss Owl Creek Games's follow up to Sepulchre, the triptych of tales called The Charnel House Trilogy.

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