So You Think You Can Dance: Season 14, The Academy part 1

E: Hello out there!  If you’ve been here before you know that I am thrilled through my entire being that this show has returned, and returned to something resembling it’s old format.  Adult dancers for the win!  I guess we’ll see how the All Star format works out (I can already tell that, even with a reduced, coastally-focused 2 city audition schedule, the cuts will still be brutal) but I will take it over nothing any day.  It’s all about the dance!  If nothing else happens this season, I could watch “Brand New” – the spectacular, 100 dancer flash mob that began this episode in true La La Land style – every day for the rest of the summer and that would be enough.

But I’m so glad we’re going to get more.

And, um, I know it’s lame of me to start so late in the season.  Things have been a mite crazy for the last few months here in Sibling World.   Much more than a mite, if I’m being honest.  But the craziness is settling down (fingers crossed) and I really miss writing, so I’m going to try and get back to a more settled schedule.  I did take notes on the audition episodes, in hopes of having the time to blog them; not only did I not have the time then, but I can’t find all my notes now, so I won’t have as encyclopedic a recall of the contestants as usual.  Please excuse me if I forget names!  I will do my best to give you all my oodles of joy in seeing this show return. I hope someone out there is glad I’m back, too. Ready to break this down?

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Fall 2016 Television Preview: Sunday

E: Welcome to the best night on TV, the night when cable pulls out all the stops.  Want prestige adaptations?  We’ve got ’em. Costume dramas?  You’re on.  Movie stars?  Check.

C: And I… don’t think I watch anything on Sundays. I’m the low-brow one on this gang, I guess.

M: Something tells me I’ll give you a run for your money there. In Thursday’s post we mentioned how that night has fallen off as the most competitive, best night on TV. Well, Sundays was always up there, now it’s the king of the hill (though, not Hank Hill). But it’s become a weird hill. NBC has football (which until about 5 years ago was on ESPN), CBS decided to go with a slate of similar-but-different, law enforcement-y procedurals, with acronym-happy NCIS:LA, Madam Secretary and Elementary. FOX, as it has for years, has gone all comedy on Sunday, and ABC is kind of schizophrenic, with the fantasty-ish Once Upon a Time, followed by the very heavy Secrets and Lies, and ends with the extremely soapy Quantico. What a weird night.

E: Two things you won’t get this fall? Game of Thrones (it’s such a long wait until April) and The Good Wife (sigh).

M: Poor E, her long-time favorite show has come to an end. Was it at least a satisfying end?

E: Confession time: I have still not actually watched the final two episodes.

M and C: WHAAAT!?  whaaatminion

E: I know.

C: Okay but seriously, that is shocking.

M: Like, “end of The Sixth Sense if you hadn’t heard there was a twist” shocking.

E: I know! I was really glad they were ending it (boy it got really dark and unsatisfying in later seasons, even though it still gave us the most brilliant, topical cases of the week and the most vivid characterizations on television), and I was glad it went out on the creators’ terms, but I don’t know.  It’s too emotionally fraught.  What if I don’t like it?  I heard mixed reviews, and I just could not — still cannot — bring myself to watch.

C: Well, I can’t say I don’t sympathize. I’ve given up on some of the shows I was the most emotionally invested in because I couldn’t handle the loss of the things I liked about it. But, you know, usually with a season or two left, not two episodes. Poor E 😦 Continue reading

Fall 2016 Television Preview: Thursday

M: Remember when Thursday nights were the hands-down dominant TV night? Well, now there’s not a lot that even looks interesting to me here.

E: And I’m sure that’s nothing to do with the fact that it’s a soap-heavy night.

M: There have been a lot of factors going into that (Shonda *bleeping* Rhimes, shows that ran their course and ended, DVR’s, the advent of Thursday Night Football, etc), but what’s left is a slate of shows most of which are either past their prime (Grey’s, Supernatural), never had a prime (How To Get Away With Murder, Legends of Tomorrow, Mom) or are new shows the nets are hoping will become the next big thing (Pitch, Pure Genius, Great Indoors, Good Place). There are still a few big shows like Big Bang, for example, but that’s not even on Thursdays until mid-fall.

E: Several other popular shows have delayed their premieres until 2017: Scandal will return after star Kerry Washington’s maternity leave, and Bones has 12 episodes to finish up the series.  So we’re not covering them.

C: And we already discussed Big Bang. In case you need to catch up, here are the links to the previews of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

E: Also, if you see a show in blue that means it’s new this season, and a red asterisk (*) mean one of us will be watching. Continue reading

Fall 2016 Television Preview: Wednesday

C: Ah, Wednesday. The night I’ll probably spend watching new episodes of series that air Monday and Tuesday nights, online.

M: Wednesdays tend to be my busiest night of the week, so I’m not typically even watching the stuff from the prior two nights. That said, there are three or four shows that I’ll either be watching or checking out, none of which were on Wednesdays last year.

E: Here are the links to Monday and Tuesday. Per our usual formatting, blue mean’s it’s a new show, asterisks (*) mean one of us will be watching. Continue reading

Fall 2016 Television Preview: Monday

E: Yes, it’s that time of  year. Come one, come all to Premiere Week!

M: I thought you meant Quibbling Sibling Fall TV Preview Week.

C: There is that.

E: Come to both, please?  Though a few new show have slipped into the schedule at the end of August and the beginning of September, the network seasons officially start today,  after the Emmy broadcast last night put a glamorous cap on the previous season.

C: Mm, yes, “glamorous” is the word I’d use to describe the Emmys, definitely not “boring” or “predictable.”

M: “Long,” “bloated,” and “pompous” come to mind, too. So do “pretentious,” “self-indulgent” and a lot of words far less kind than those. Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance, Next Generation: 6 to 5

E: Well, okay.  After I took a break and the show took an even longer break, we’re left without two of the most talented contestants.  And we’re stuck with the judges aggressively promoting the least skilled dancer in the bunch.  On the one hand, I’m still trying my hardest to enjoy what’s left of what’s undoubtedly the last season of my favorite summer show.  On the other, I really really wish it was going out on a better note.

In quick review, Cat wore a fabulously crazy outfit (gray long sleeve minidress), everyone danced with their All Star and in some version of their style.  They also danced with one of their fellow competitors.  The show welcomed Mark Ballas into its fold of choreographers.  Tate was brilliant as ever, with Kida, Ruby and Tahani not far behind.  The judges could not gush more over little J.T., and the producers can’t stop promoting him, giving him a second piece by Travis.  (Of course, the piece — clearly inspired by this line of greeting cards — was not an unqualified success; rather to my surprise, Travis joined me in not liking it.)  The best dances of the evening came from the All Stars (the opening number, a number for the boys plus Comfort, a number for the other four girls).  And instead of having a bottom two and choosing to save one contestant, the show simply kicked of Ruby, the last remaining ballroom dancer and almost certain the second most skilled dancer in the competition as a whole. I’m not sure why we had that format change at 6 contestants instead of at, say, 5, but I suppose the show isn’t very consistent about applying it’s rules.  Maybe they didn’t want us to know who the second most vulnerable person was?  Or maybe they didn’t want to be held responsible for choosing between whomever their options were.

At any rate, I’m sorry this wasn’t a full fledged recap.  I don’t want to abandon you, but I’m also just pretty frustrated with this season.   And better to share a few thoughts than none at all, right?