Latest Blog Posts

by Terry Sawyer

11 Feb 2010


I came to Season Two of RuPaul’s Drag Race with an unbelievable amount of prejudical goodwill. Unbelievable for me, because I’ve long been a strident critic of gay cliché burdensomely called “culture”. RuPaul and I have a long history from back in the high schools days when, like any credentialed dork, I had a long distance debate camp friend. She was the cosmopolitan Atlantan; I was the rube.  She used to send me video tapes full of Atlanta public access shows which included the inimitable “Star Booty”, a series that followed the trials of a cross-dressing hooker (RuPaul) with martial arts moves borrowed heavily from renowned sensei, Miss Piggy. Here I learned the true meaning of “good bad”.

The first season of Drag Race was a slapdash riot, sloppily sewn, but with a cast of characters that held it together and an intensity belied by the quality of the gift baskets. Drag Race had momentum that glossed over the webcam quality and the viewer think that surely “they’ll fix some of this stuff once it catches on”. Nope.

by Steve Leftridge

10 Feb 2010


On the verge of driving a stake into its own heart with interminable audition shows, Idol finally reaches Hollywood week to separate the wheat from the chaff and end up with the Top 24 singers who’ll make up the season’s official talent pool. The show to this point has been a typical sleight of hand in showing some promising auditions but also withholding others in order to keep a lid on the Top 24, already decided behind locked and heavily guarded doors. Amid the technocalypse, however, it’s virtually impossible to keep anything under wraps that involves two-dozen people, so not only did a story surface that one of the finalists was yanked for blabbing, but the entire Top 24 was leaked last week by a mystery source who has been accurate when letting the cat out the bag during two previous seasons. In any case, it’s down to (mostly) people who can actually sing, so hooray for Hollywood.

As the show unveiled this season’s first look at the Kodak Theater (described by Ryan Seacrest at “The Most High-Profile Stage in the World”: Hmm.), we also got our first look at new judge Ellen Degeneres, strolling out in denim and heavy makeup. News sites last week, with story lines running thin, were trying to make hay out of Ellen’s supposed comments that Simon was meaner than she thought he was. No signs of salty-vs.-sweet friction last night between the two of them, as Ellen seemed to charm about everyone, including Simon and, based on early poll results, the home audience, as well, by finding a balance between praise, criticism, and wit.

by Michael Landweber

9 Feb 2010


This week on Lifetime, the story of a guy/girl who overcame disability/disease/hardship to reach a lifelong dream of auditioning for American Idol and getting that golden ticket to Hollywood.

So far this season, I’ve felt like I’m watching that TV movie promo over and over. Nearly every decent singer that has gotten airtime so far seems to have a tragic tale to tell. It has happened more during the auditions this year than any season in the past, so far as I can tell. The I’m-a-special-person music starts to play, letting us know that the judges will be putting this person through before a single note is sung. Then, the pre-packaged video montage of their sob story. Oh, and if you didn’t get the point, next comes the interview where they actually sob.

by Meghan Lewit

9 Feb 2010


Call this episode a hooker with a heart of gold. Project Runway oh-so-cleverly spent an entire show shilling for Campbell’s Soup, and managed to look noble in the process.

The challenge was to make a red evening dress for a gala sponsored by Campbell’s AdDRESS Your Heart Program. The crassness of the designers being forced to incorporate the brand’s logo into their garments was somewhat leavened by the fact that the models this week were real women who had survived heart disease. Confronted with altruism and normal-sized women (two things that cannot be found on the Bluefly accessory wall), several of the designers seemed to lose their ability to form rational sentences. To wit:

by Steve Leftridge

4 Feb 2010


Andrew Garcia

Andrew Garcia

Tonight was a sort of clean-up show that revisited clips from the audition shows that didn’t make the cuts in previous weeks. It was the last episode before “Hollywood Week”, when the actual singing competition finally gets underway and Ellen Degeneres arrives to, presumably, shake things up. Ads previewing next week promised the “most intense” Hollywood cuts ever, with even Ellen looking pissed off. Ryan Seacrest declared that the Season 9 pack might be Idol‘s most talented ever—he says that every year—but that they’ve “never broken down like this before”. So if you haven’t gotten quite enough of close-ups of crying jags, you’re in luck again next week.

Tonight’s catch-all show was a chance to get acquainted with more of the faces we’ll see in Hollywood, so the episode was mercifully light on the joke auditions, geared instead toward viewers who like American Idol as a showcase for actual talent. We have to this point been offered a limited view of the audition’s most promising singers, as the first three weeks maintained a focus on rotten-apple rejects and smirkable misfits, a parade that has proven to profitably extend the show’s season. Among the tryouts’ legitimate singers, the auditions almost exclusively focus on those candidates who have compelling stories of overcoming adversity. As a result, we have perhaps met just half of those who will end up in the Top 24 with a legitimate shot at becoming the next American Idol.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

'SUPERHOTLine Miami' Is Exactly What It Sounds Like

// Moving Pixels

"SUPERHOTLine Miami provides a perfect case study in how slow-motion affects the pace and tone of a game.

READ the article