Archive for January, 2009

Remembering the 80s – Fame

I’m feeling nostalgic this evening, so what better time than now to launch something I plan to revisit occasionally – Remembering the 80s.

I was raised on 80s television, but of all the shows that came and went, there was one that really defined my youth. Fame. Six-year-old me couldn’t believe that such a place existed, a school for the arts, where you took classes in drama and dance and music. I enjoyed the big musical numbers, but what I really loved was witnessing the trials and tribulations of these students on their quest to become stars. I could barely wait for each week’s episode to see what was in store for Coco, Leroy, Danny, Doris and Bruno. It was because of Fame that drama ended up a huge part of my high school life. Oh, and I think my dream of one day visiting New York started because of this show (I finally made it there in 2008).

Now, I have to admit, my favourite episodes were during the first few seasons, and there are some scenes that I remember like I only saw them yesterday. Here’s one of them:

Anyone else remember Fame with the same fondness? And what scenes still stand out in your mind?

Next month, I’ll feature another blast from the past!


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Flight of the Conchords Announce North American Tour!

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I’m a happy gal today – The Flight of the Conchords have announced a Spring Tour, which includes 2 dates in Toronto! They’ll be playing my favourite venue, Massey Hall, on April 21st and 22nd. I can’t wait! In addition to Bret and Jemaine, some cities even get Mel (Kristen Schaal) or Dave (Arj Barker). Tickets go on sale next weekend.

Here are the tour dates and locations:

4/6/09 – Tampa, FL – Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
4/7/09 – Coral Gables, FL – University of Miami BankUnited Center
4/8/09 – Orlando, FL – UCF Arena
4/10/09 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
4/11/09 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre
4/13/09 – Washington, D.C. – Constitution Hall
4/14/09 – New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
4/17/09 – Boston, MA – Agganis Arena
4/18/09 – Philadelphia, PA – Tower Theatre (2 shows)
4/19/09 – Kent, OH – Kent State University
4/21/09 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
4/22/09 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
4/24/09 – Detroit, MI – Fox Theatre
4/25/09 – Bloomington, IN – IU Auditorium
4/26/09 – Madison, WI – Overture Center for the Arts
4/28/09 – Chicago, IL – Aerie Crown
4/30/09 – St. Louis, MO – Fox Theatre
5/2/09 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theatre (2 shows)
5/3/09 – Minneapolis, MN – Northrop Auditorium
5/5/09 – Dallas, TX – Nokia Theatre
5/6/09 – Houston, TX – Jones Hall
5/7/09 – Austin, TX – Bass Concert Hall
5/10/09 – Vancouver, BC – Center in Vancouver for the Performing Arts
5/11/09 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre
5/12/09 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre
5/14/09 – Portland, OR – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
5/16/09 – Denver, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
5/17/09 – Salt Lake City, UT – Abravanel Hall
5/19/09 – Phoenix, AZ – Dodge Theatre
5/20/09 – San Diego, CA – RIMAC Arena
5/22/09 – Santa Barbara, CA – County Bowl
5/23/09 – Las Vegas, NV – The Joint
5/24/09 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre
5/25/09 – Berkeley, CA – Berkeley Community Theatre (2 shows)

Here’s what you’ll be missing if you don’t go:

So who else is planning to see TFOC?


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Want to Dress Like a Draper?

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Could fashions inspired by Mad Men hit the racks at your favourite shops soon?

Glamour recently interviewed Mad Men’s costume designer Janie Bryant, who revealed that a line of Mad Men inspired clothing is likely in the works. Bryant stated:


I’m working on some things right now…I hate to be so mysterious but I can’t really say! It would have my name attached to it though.

It seems that a lot of ladies out there are anxiously awaiting this line, most of which want to dress like the sultry Joan Holloway. I’m not exactly a fashionista, but I’ve taken a second glance at some of her outfits and thought how good they’d look on me!

Ladies, I’d like to know what you think. Will you be making a beeline for the sexy, Joan-inspired ensembles, the elegant frocks a-la Betty Draper, or the slightly more demure stylings of Peggy Olson? And guys, will you want to dress like the dapper Don Draper?

And thanks to Twitterer @newmodernist for the tip!


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Will Martha Jones Return to the TARDIS?

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So there’s a rumour that The Doctor may not have seen the last of Martha Jones.

According to UK tabloid The Sun, Freema Agyeman may reprise her role on Doctor Who in one of this year’s specials.

At this point, the BBC hasn’t made any announcements about bringing Agyeman back for one of David Tennant’s final episodes as The Doctor, so I’ll reserve my excitement until that time. I do recall The Who Camp was rather displeased with Agyeman after their plans to give her a starring role on Torchwood were thwarted when she accepted a role on Law and Order: London.

Think we’ll see Martha Jones return before The Doctor regenerates?


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Could There Be A Season Three of FOTC?

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It took me a few tries to warm up to HBO’s The Flight of the Conchords. I remember watching the first episode, and not being all that impressed. Then a few weeks later, I didn’t change the channel after Entourage, and something brilliant captured my attention – “Mutha’uckas”. Just one song, and I was an FOTC convert.

During the very long hiatus between Seasons One and Two of FOTC, I heard about their interview with Q Magazine, which I later read on the New Zealand Herald’s website.  It stated that the show would most likely end following Season Two due to challenges they were facing in coming up with new material. Bret McKenzie was quoted as saying:


“The second (season) seems to me like it would be a good end to the show. I feel like another 10… that will be enough.”

In a Reuters article posted earlier today, it appears Season Two may not be the end of FOTC on your TV. Jemaine Clement stated there may be a Season Three, they haven’t decided yet, and joked:


“if (Bret) starts a rumor that it’s the last season, we might get a bit of a better pay offer.”

I’d be down with one more season of FOTC, if they can match the hilarity of the other night’s tune “Sugar Lumps”. Do you want a Season Three of FOTC?


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Jack’s Back – But For How Much Longer?

I have to say I’m very pleased that 24 and Jack Bauer are back. Like a phoenix that has risen from the ashes, the first few episodes of Day 7 have managed to restore my faith in this series, recapturing the excitement of its early seasons. But how much longer will we have Jack Bauer saving the world, one excruciating day at a time?

EW’s Ausiello Files pondered the distinct possibility that 24 could end after Day 8, seeing that Kiefer Sutherland’s contract only has another year on it.

The end is on Sutherland’s mind as well. He admits:

“I don’t think about [the end of 24] a lot, but I did this year for the first time … It was one of those weird moments where the stage was unusually quiet; it was like a ghost town. I was looking around [thinking] about all the work that went into building this thing and it hit me: This will end one day, and I’m going to be sad about it.

Wow, I’ve never really thought of the end of 24, but as other great shows like BSG and Lost prepare for series finales, I’m reminded that all good things will come to an end. As much as I’ll miss that action packed 24 hours of buttkicking awesomeness, eight seasons is an excellent run for any show, so if it were to end, I’d be okay with it.

If 24 takes its final bow on the small screen after Day 8, will you be ready to say farewell to Jack Bauer?


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I Missed the SAG Awards, but Here are the Winners!

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I completely forgot to watch the SAG Awards this evening! This is what happens when I decide to prepare a Sunday feast and spend an evening in the kitchen. Some Televixen I turned out to be :p

So, here’s the list of the winners in all TV categories:

Ensemble in a Drama Series: Mad Men

Ensemble in a Comedy Series: 30 Rock

Male Actor in a Drama Series: Hugh Laurie, House

Female Actor in a Drama Series: Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters

Male Actor in a Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Tina Fey, 30 Rock

Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Paul Giamatti, John Adams

Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Laura Linney, John Adams

Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series: Heroes

It’s a fairly predictable list of winners. I expected Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney to win for John Adams, considering it was the darling of both the Emmys and the Golden Globes. I also figured Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin would win for 30 Rock, which is cool with me because I love that show! I was kind of surprised to learn that Hugh Laurie beat out Jon Hamm for Male Actor in a Drama Series. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Dr. House, but I would have put my money on Don Draper. I think both of the ensemble awards went to worthy recipients, 30 Rock and Mad Men.

What were your thoughts on the SAG Awards? Did you tune in?


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BSG Improv Style with Battleawesome Awesomestar

baasjan_pstrCanadians love science fiction, and we also love comedy. Sometimes the two converge. What happens when TV meets comedy on a Toronto stage? Battleawesome Awesomestar, a sketch/improv show very loosely rooted in the first season of Battlestar Galactica. Sub-zero temperatures couldn’t stop a sold-out crowd from converging on Bad Dog Theatre for the return engagement, and I was one of the lucky ones to score a ticket!

In case you haven’t seen it yet, or aren’t sure what it’s about, here’s how it all unfolds, without giving too much away. As the audience files into the theatre, a “Gaius Baltar” is randomly selected and brought in ahead of the rest. The show began with the cast standing on stage, each holding an envelope, one of which determined who the Cylon will be. It’s never the same show twice. An object suggested by the audience becomes integral to the story. In this evening’s show, balls became the item that the Cylons have stolen from the fleet, causing everything from DRADIS malfunctioning, to Colonel Tigh having to find other ways to drink his libations, besides a “highball”.

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The entire cast was fantastic, but the one that really stood out in my mind was Marcel St. Pierre as Tigh – he had the voice and the mannerisms down! Here are just some of the highlights of this evening’s performance: Starbuck talking about “painting circles”, and referring to her art supplies; Roslin asking if Baltar’s on drugs, muttering “kamala” under her breath, when Six keeps making him move erratically; Billy being practically invisible; and references to the 1980s Canadian kids program You Can’t Do That on Television. Who knew so much hilarity could be inspired by such a dark series like BSG?

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I have to say, this is a must-see for any Battlestar Galactica fan, and next Saturday, January 31st, is your last chance. If you’re going to be anywhere near Toronto, be sure to reserve your tickets HERE. So say we all!


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Is Ryan One Step Closer to being The Doctor’s Next Companion?

There has been speculation that Michelle Ryan (EastEnders, Jekyll, Bionic Woman) will be the next companion on Doctor Who. With today’s news that she has signed on for the upcoming DW Easter Special, she may be on her way to landing this coveted role.

BBC announced today that Ryan will star opposite David Tennant in “Planet of the Dead”, one of this year’s four Doctor Who specials, slated to air in April. Exec Producer/Writer Russell T. Davies had the following to say about casting Ryan, and shared a bit about her role:


“Michelle is one of the most sought after young actors in the country and we are delighted to announce that she will be joining the team … As always the script is being kept strictly under wraps – however we can reveal that Lady Christina is a woman with a mysterious past who’s going to have a huge impact on the Doctor!”

I admit, I only know Ryan from her work on Bionic Woman. Even though I wasn’t impressed with the show, I did recognize her talent, and saw her potential. And I’ve heard she was quite good in Jekyll (which I plan to watch in the near future).

What are your thoughts on Ryan potentially becoming the Doctor’s next companion? Personally, I can see her as a great addition, and a fine match for Matt Smith’s incarnation of the Doctor.


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Tara’s a Hit!

Showtime’s newest offering The United States of Tara made its debut earlier this week, and the numbers are in. So, what’s the verdict on this half-hour series about a wife and mother with dissociative identity disorder?

1.5 million viewers either watched Sunday night or checked it out via On Demand. Combined with an estimated 1 million viewers that streamed the premiere online, more people tuned into Tara than the premieres of other popular Showtime series like Californication, Weeds and Dexter.

I have to say I really enjoyed the first episode. I don’t want to give too much away for those who haven’t watched yet, so I’ll just say it was a great intro to Tara (the immensely talented Toni Collette) and a couple of her “alters”, her very patient husband Max (played with subtle brilliance by John Corbett), her kids Kate and Marshall, and her sister Charmaine. I’m intrigued by these characters, and the situations that arise in Tara’s life which cause her alters to manifest.

If you haven’t discovered The United States of Tara yet, perhaps this TRAILER will spark your interest.

Were you one of the millions that tuned in? What did you think of Tara, her family, and her alters? And will you be tuning in again for the second episode?

Photo courtesy of SHO.com


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