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  1. It didn't happen in Season 8--you see some grandchildren in the finale's flashforward but that's about it.
  2. I had to laugh at the show opening with the "Blue Monday" cover from the Wonder Woman 1984 trailer, as if anything happening here is even a fraction as exciting as what's going to happen in that movie. Congratulations to Boogie Storm for getting this far in their career without being sued out the butt by Disney/Lucasfilm for copyright infringement. (And count me in as another person who found their flapping cups distracting.) Always good to see my TV boyfriend Shin Lim! They gave him four X's to force the act to stop as they had a feeling it wasn't going to end well. If an act gets four X's at any stage of the competition, it has to stop immediately.
  3. Original airdate: 1/17/2020
  4. Assuming you're still talking about Mike Yung, he was on a season that Tyra Banks hosted.
  5. Original airdate: 1/10/2020
  6. Oof. This is only the second year they're doing a special season like this and that's the best they could scrounge up? Three acts got buzzed. Doesn't feel very champion-like to me. This episode also had all the worst of AGT turned up to 11--inane judge commentary, horrible editing* and camera work, and Simon doing...whatever it is he's doing these days. Between his dead shark eyes and his unbuttoned shirt, I had trouble looking at him. When they were showing archive footage from before his terrible plastic surgery, I gasped out loud. One of those clips was from only two years ago and he looked completely different (and so much better). Hans is ridiculous, but I love him. Glad to see him back. What did that Jack Vidgen kid do to his poor face? Per Wikipedia, he's only 22. I liked Dania Diaz. That trick is done a lot, but I thought she did it well. And it is nice to see a female magician, especially a female close-up magician. I feel like most of the magicians who have excelled on this show have been men. *There was one singing performance, I think Mike Yung, where they noticeably turned down the singer to get a soundbite of Heidi and Alesha talking about how much they liked the song. It was really noticeable in how sloppy it was. Because we're not here to see the acts, right? Just to hear what Heidi Klum and someone woman I don't know think about them.
  7. Just finished: Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back Again by Andrea Barber, aka Kimmy Gibbler from Full and Fuller House. I used to work with child actors, so I kind of gravitate towards memoirs written by people who were famous as kids. Barber has the kind of attitude towards being a child star that I wish more people got to see: it was really just an after school activity for her, her parents were supportive but told her she could quit anytime, and she still got to do all the "normal" kid things while she starred on a highly successful TV show. I think people see the very public breakdowns of people like Lindsay Lohan and Macaulay Culkin and assume that child actors can only become dysfunctional adults. It really all comes down to who that child is surrounded by--if you have parents like the Lohans, who used their kids as meal tickets, then yeah, it's gonna end in disaster. But if the parents, reps, and production staff in the child's life operate in the kid's best interest and not on their own personal agendas, there's no reason a child star can't turn out perfectly well-adjusted. The only part of the book I didn't like was her need to speak well of Lori Loughlin. I know she actually knows Loughlin and would therefore have a more nuanced view of everything that happened to her than most of us, but is anybody really jonesing to read anything positive about her right now? It also read differently than the rest of the book, and I kind of suspect Loughlin's people might have paid for Barber to insert this bit as a precursor to the redemption tour we all know will come eventually. Next up: Run Away by Harlan Coben.
  8. Just finished: The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan. She's the author of Brain on Fire (which I haven't read), her memoir retelling the month in her life where she was plagued by hallucinations and paranoia, causing doctors to assume she had schizophrenia only for it to turn out to be autoimmune encephalitis. She's now dedicated her life to spreading awareness about "physical" disorders that can present themselves as "mental" ones, especially to members of the medical community, who very nearly failed to properly diagnose her. The Great Pretender follows that trajectory as she becomes familiar with the work of psychologist David Rosenhan, who wrote "On Being Sane in Insane Places": a study wherein Rosenhan and several others faked symptoms to get admitted to mental institutions and write about the conditions inside. The study was instrumental in dismantling the practice of institutionalization, as the whole field began to question if they could really tell if somebody was "insane." She uses Rosenhan's work as sort of a jumping off point to write about the history of psychology and psychological treatment, where we've excelled and where we've failed, and what the future looks like. As somebody who's always been interested in psychology, I really enjoyed the book. Cahalan has a sort of meandering writing style, but always brings things back around to make her point. I felt like I learned a lot. Next up: Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back Again by Andrea Barber.
  9. Oh man. It wasn't too long ago that I was one of those kids in the Macy's ad. I think all those uncomfy fancy clothes are the reason I hate dressing up for anything now. Just let me wear jeans and a tshirt everywhere, dress codes are made up! "Do not subtweet me at the dinner table." Never gonna be able to look at that choking poster (why is it the exact same one in every restaurant?) the same again. The dog mind-reader sketch was one of the highlights of Scarlett's last episode (which is probably why they repeated it) but it was so much worse here. I think because the original premise was so unexpected and therefore the jokes felt much sharper. This time we knew what was gonna happen. They even made almost the exact same comment about the dog getting snipped. I was almost waiting for him to make a cameo, but he's probably a little too niche for that. Not somebody who would get a huge ton of recognition applause. Mikey said on Instagram his son was one of the kids.
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