ninahammerling


San Diego Auditions

Maybe it was the half-as-long episode an hour a night of American Idol auditions is plenty if you ask me but tonights episode seemed to have a better overall talent-to-freakazoid level than the first two though it was also a bit duller than them go figure I was glad to see Carly Smithson the Irish woman with the face-tattooed husband who was disqualified in Season 5 get a second chance at Hollywood based on her Im Every Woman Her performance was a little overwrought in my estimation but its clear shes got some definite vocal chops And then there was David Archuleta the 16-year-old who sang Waiting on the World to Change after having overcome partial vocal paralysis ouch I thought there was an odd breathy quality to his sound though the judges didnt seem to pick up on that at all One word of advice for David Hed better watch out when Ms Abdul is around because she had that certain look in her eye when he was auditioning and we all know how she likes read more

Dallas Auditions

American Idol by Michael Becker/Fox

So much for the kinder gentler American Idol judges tonight it was pretty much back to business as usual In Kelly Clarksons old stomping grounds of Dallas words like atrocious creepy and demonic were bandied freely about the audition room But Simon was nonetheless in one of his weirdly generous moods sending through some people I thought have no business going to Hollywood Like Kayla Hatfield the preternaturally optimistic girl who survived a terrible car accident only to perform a painful version of Piece of My Heart Her happiness is contagious Ill grant you that and I can see why jaded ol Simon would want to be her for a while but did she really deserve a golden ticket My husband agreed with Paulas assessment that Kayla would be fine if she would drop the Janis Joplin act Me not so much I appreciate how full of joie de vivre she is but that doesnt mean she can carry a tuneAnother questionable yes Nina Shaw though I love the name w read more

Philadelphia Auditions

Buckle up boys and girls because its that time again American Idol is back I dont know about you all but for me it couldnt have come a moment too soon in this writers strike-marred TV landscapePersonally Ive been looking forward to the audition episodes although I know that some of my fellow AI fans including my husband who watched tonights episode cringing with one hand over his eyes basically consider them cruel sport And its true that some of these kids really seem to have no idea how utterly absurd they sound and look Call me nasty but I always sort of enjoy these peeks into how far people can go down that river called self-denial Then there are also the folks who clearly know that by being absolutely outrageous or creepy theyll get their minute of fame on national TV No pity for themBut this audition seemed a bit different than past years there werent as many of the bush baby types or nasty comments In fact the episode seeme read more

Is Munch SVU's Newest Victim?

Richard Belzer by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.com

Hey there, and welcome to Beam Me Up, my blog about... whatever happens to be obsessing (or irking) me at the moment. Today's topic: the apparent phasing out of the inimitable Richard Belzer as the conspiracy-theory-spouting, comic-relief-providing Sergeant John Munch on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.Let me start off by saying that I love all things Law & Order — I've watched all three series since their inceptions (I'm ignoring the whole Trial by Jury fiasco, 'cause its five minutes on the air were regrettably forgettable). SVU has been the franchise's powerhouse in recent years — and, let's be honest, the most consistently entertaining L&O to boot.Part of what makes it so darn good is the fascinating, complex variety of personalities that comprise the cast. Which brings me to the topic at hand. Has anyone else noticed a distressing lack of Munchitude this season? He did have that brief story arc in the very first epi, when he temporarily took over for Cap... read more

"End of Days"

The first season of Torchwood ended with the conclusion of the time rift storyline from last week — and the beginning of a new mystery.To start things off, we took a peek in the bedroom of Gwen and Rhys, whose relationship seems to be on the mend after all the ups and downs (not to mention Gwen's infidelity) it's endured. Gwen gets a call from Captain Jack, who tells her to watch the news. There have been unexplained "global incidents" — including UFOs over the Taj Mahal and men in period dress attacking police in London — all a result of the rift in time Owen created to get Jack and Tosh back from 1941. Of course the locals don't know that — they think the cracks in time are signs of the end of the world. Owen and Tosh are dispatched to check out a rash of deaths at a local hospital; the epidemic turns out to be the bubonic plague, introduced by a transplant from the Middle Ages. Tosh also sees her mother in the hospital, who warns her: "It is coming, out of the... read more

"Games"

After months of reality-show challenges and sometimes-random, sometimes-dramatic firings, Cuddy gave House an ultimatum: Pick the final two by the end of the week or the Wannnabes would start getting paid from his salary. She broke the news to him while he was watching his beloved medical soap opera (hilarious), and it was only after Cuddy mentioned that she had also taken away his hard-won parking spot that House seemed to take the threat seriously.The POTW was a drugged-out punk rocker who exhibited not one, not two, but all of the many, many signs of excessive drug use — presenting House and team with a challenge, to see if there was actually something else going on. House's solution was to make the diagnosis a game: Whoever figured out what was ailing the guy first was hired, and the second person would be picked based on a point system, which House spontaneously introduced. Oh, and only the person who had possession of House's resident eyeball statuette thingy could run te... read more

Episode: "Captain Jack Harkness"

Now that was Torchwood at its best — graced with lots of Captain Jack time, a riveting time-rift mystery and, let's not forget, one juicy kiss.The main storyline followed Tosh and Jack, who went off to investigate an apparent haunted house, the Ritz, a derelict dance hall, where people had reported hearing old-timey music. While roving around, they hear the music themselves and are sucked into a time rift, finding themselves in a scene from 1941, of soldiers dancing and local gals doing their part to keep up morale. There they meet a number of eager young fellas, but none as handsome or as intriguing as one Captain Jack Harkness, whom our Captain Jack is instantly drawn to — no surprise there: He was strikingly handsome, with chiseled features, dark hair and expressive eyes. (Sound like anyone else we know?)Our Captain Jack finally explains to Tosh that he had in fact assumed the original Captain Jack's name after the original was killed and he needed an identity to go und... read more

"You Don't Want to Know"

The mysteries of life? They're maaagic — or at least, that's what this week's POTW would like you to believe. The sleight-of-hand artist was performing his trapped-in-a-glass-box-of-water trick when he started to bleed in the middle of act. Fortunately for him, "Big Love" and Number 6/9 were in the audience and came to his rescue.Next day, House scooters in to the classroom and presents his newest game to the Wannabes: Which ever of them manages to get Cuddy's thong undies is immune from being fired, at least temporarily. And most insidious of all, the winner gets to nominate two other candidates to be on the chopping block. "Cut Throat Bitch" and Plastic Surgeon Guy try to get Cuddy soaked in order to get her undies (still not sure exactly how that would have worked), but in the end it's "Big Love" who hands over the red panties. "Cole has traveled through the forest of crustaceans and brought us a treasure," House declares to the Wannabes (oh, House, just 'cause you're jealou... read more

Episode: "Combat"

The most interesting thing about this episode was the question it posed about who the real bad guys are: the Weevils, with their uncontrollable violent urges, or the men who used them for their own vicious entertainment.It all began with the Torchwooders pursuing a Weevil on the loose, who's then grabbed up by a pack of guys in black ski masks and a white van. When the gang track down where the white van eventually stopped, they discover a seemingly normal, upstanding family man who's been beaten and Weevil'ed to death. And there have been more reports of Weevil-related injuries. Torchwood sets off to investigate.Captain Jack decides to let their resident Weevil (nicknamed Janet), equipped with a tracking device, free in hopes of luring the white van. It works, to an extent: The mystery van picks up Janet, but her tracker comes off and leaves them scratching their heads.Meanwhile, Owen — who's been having a tough time dealing with Diane's absence — agrees to go undercover ... read more

"Ugly"

House showed his typical sympathetic bed-side manner with POTW Kenny. Khleo Thomas and Hugh Laurie by Greg Gayne/Fox

How does being beautiful — or deformed — make others treat you differently? That was the central theme in tonight's episode, and it brought out some unexpected twists and revealing moments for House, as well as the POTW.Kenny is on his way to Princeton-Plainsboro for surgery to correct the major congenital facial deformity that keeps him from being "just another face in the crowd." The catch is that the entire experience is being filmed (and bank-rolled) by a documentary crew. Everything's set to go in the OR and Chase is about to perform the surgery when the kid has a heart attack, followed by a host of other symptoms that seem to jeopardize his facial surgery.Meanwhile, Dr. Terzi (Michael Michele) has shown up for "class" with the rest of the Wannabes, who immediately start trying to figure out whether she's guaranteed one of their coveted spots. House, who clearly has the hots for her, can't stand the fact that he's sort of hired her, and has a little heart to heart wit... read more

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