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by Steve Leftridge

19 May 2010


For all of the heat American Idol has taken for this ninth season—“Worst season ever!” “Worst contestants ever!” “Ellen flopped!” “Paula 4ever!”—now that the show has boiled down to the top three, even the haters have to admit that we have the makings for a hot final. Yes, viewership is down this year, which doesn’t bode well for next season, but an expected Crystal vs. Lee showdown ought to make for some entertaining television by any of Idol’s past standards. Take the last time we had a Battle of the Sexes in the finale, when Blake Lewis lost to Jordin Sparks back in Season 6. (I’m still pissed that Melinda Doolittle didn’t win that year.)  Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowersox are certainly easily as strong as that pairing and have careers ahead of them more worth paying attention to. Plus, they both continue to get stronger each week.

This scenario is, of course, assuming that voters axe Casey James this week. It definitely seems that everyone wants him gone, including the judges, who saddled him with John Mayer’s tender but lifeless ballad “Daughters” as the judges’ pick. James’s version of the song was serviceable, but was hampered by the same stilted performance style that has held him back all season, which might even be more pronounced now that he’s leaning so consciously away from his bleat. Casey’s comportment at the microphone finds an unlikely combination of nervous panic and wooden aloofness, and his offhand reading of Eric Hutchinson’s “OK, It’s Alright with Me”, his own choice Tuesday night, was a typically dull Casey moment. The final line, “I’m already gone”, was the evening’s most appropriate lyric. Casey could surprise, but it looks like he’s heading home, and that’s Cool.

by Jessy Krupa

19 May 2010


Next week’s episode of NBC’s Parenthood will be their first ever season finale, so this week’s show focused on continuing some storylines while building up to the possible cliffhangers that are to come.

So far, the only cliffhanger I seen deals with Crosby, Jasmine, and Jabbar. Now living together in a semi-serious relationship, Jasmine and Crosby share a bed. After she pulled a muscle in her back because of the new sleeping arrangements, Jasmine was nursed back to health by Crosby. Through serving her tea that contained seahorses and giving her a foot massage, he learned that she is going to audition for a job in far-away New York. Taking a page from Flashdance, the former stripper seemed to ace her rhythmic dancing routine, which made Crosby wonder about their future.

by Michael Landweber

18 May 2010


The Starz pay cable movie channel has been a little late to join its peers in the original programming pool. Over the past two years, their efforts have included unnecessary takes on Crash and, even more inexplicably, Spartacus. Note to programming department:  just because you’re a movie channel does not mean your shows need to be based on films.

Then, there’s Party Down. This is the show that should put Starz on the map. But it probably won’t. Because unfortunately in its second season hardly anyone is watching.

by Diepiriye Kuku

14 May 2010


“The Outcast” shows our Enterprise crew on a peaceful mission on some far off planet. That’s the back-story. The front story is that this new species is a genderless society, or as Trekkie Michael Ricci writes: an androgynous species (cast entirely of female actors) known as the J’naii who do not have typical gender roles of male and female.” The episode, “The Outcast”, then proceeds to thread through several clichés to establish the fallacy of ‘gender’ when it comes to sex. One of the genderless people falls in love with the Enterprise’s First Officer Will Riker. Riker is the known playboy of this crew—he embodies the libido of captain James Kirk from the original series. I suppose someone has to screw their way around the universe.

The Star Trek franchise has dealt a lot with sexuality, but always through the backdoor. In the Deep Space Nine (DS9) series, for example, there is the character Dax, a genderless worm that is hosted by a gendered humanoid being, a Trill, through several lifetimes. Hence, Dax is effectively transsexual, having lived several times in male and female bodies, always retaining the life experiences and memories of each previous host. In an episode from The Next Generation, “The Host”, Dr. Beverly Crusher fell in love with a Trill in male host, only to end the relationship when the worm remerged with a female host—although still the same ‘person’. Yet, that was just one episode. There are loads homoerotic and homosocial moments through DS9 built around Dax, including a Ferengi cross-dresser who comes out to her.

by Jessy Krupa

14 May 2010


As other season finales of “Supernatural” have begun in the past, tonight’s episode of “Supernatural” opened to the sound of Kansas’ “Carry On Wayward Son” during a montage of previous events. That unusually led to Chuck the prophet narrating the history of the Winchesters’ car, a 1967 Impala. An alcoholic Bible-thumper named Sal owned it until a young John Winchester bought it from a used car dealer. This led us to the present day, where Dean told Sam that he approves of his plan to catch Lucifer by accepting him. Saying, “You’re not a kid anymore, Sam, and I can’t keep treating you like one”, this was just the beginning of the fine acting that was to be seen on behalf of the show’s cast.

Later on, as Sam, Castiel, and Dean load gallons of demon blood into the Impala’s trunk, Bobby searches the newspaper headlines to guess where Lucifer is. However, it is Dean who notices the abnormally low temperatures in Detroit and remembers Lucifer hinting, “It would all go down in Detroit”. During the car ride, Sam makes Dean promise not to bring him back from Satan’s cage and to go off and live a “normal, apple pie life” without him.

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Double Take: 'The French Connection' (1971)

// Short Ends and Leader

"You pick your feet in Poughkeepsie, and we pick The French Connection for Double Take #18.

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