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  1. I have never understood the point or the meaning of "Is That You, Miss Blue?" Phyllis Anderson Wood should be much more broadly read. "I've Missed a Sunset or Three" is a great depiction of adolescent depression, especially from a male lead's POV - although his issues are resolved a bit too effortlessly. (These aren't necessarily unpopular, I've just never heard them expressed one way or another!)
  2. SophiaD

    Figure Skating

    You're right, @SeanC. It was both sets of side-by-sides they botched. Still preferred the other team, though. (Also, apologies for the duplicate post!)
  3. SophiaD

    Figure Skating

    Ugh. The Knierims won again, even though Calalang and Johnson were so much better. I know they have superior elements and had a great short program, but they botched BOTH throws* and he FELL, over a young, vibrant team that had a fantastic skate. So far, my favorite skaters from this Nationals won silver medals. At least, I get to watch them at worlds. *That should have been side-by-side jumps, as @SeanC correctly pointed out below.
  4. Drew used to annoy the heck out me, but I had a change of heart a year or two ago, when he let Jessie Graf have his spot in "USA vs. the World," and she finished Stage Two! I was really touched when he was so pleased and delighted for her - and he gave all her fans such a great moment to remember. Other than him winning, though, and Flex and Michelle Warnky finishing a city finals course (yay!), the season was kind of forgettable for me. Too many new gimmicks - the Power Tower and Akbar's moments - and too many injuries. Too many stories that bordered on exploitation. Too many favorite ninjas inexplicably vanishing from the scene (Nicholas Coolridge (remember him?), Abel Gonzalez, Tremayne Dortch). On the one hand, I think it's great to have a story about someone who suffers from autism and anxiety, if it gives others of like conditions hope... on the other, it almost felt invasive. I'm happy for Drew he won and I hope he uses some of those $$$ to take a few parenting classes, because he also came off as somewhat clueless in the video about April's pregnancy.
  5. What an incredibly boring episode. Allyssa Beird's run made me happy. The rest was just DULL. NO finishers? Everyone going out on the same place? That's a sign that the obstacle is just too hard. And to have Najee Richardson miss out on the Power Tower just made it worse. Akbar needs a new wardrobe consultant. I hope Flex does manage to finish a City Finals next week - she is one of my favorite ninjas ever and it would be great to end the City Finals on a high note. It's been really disappointing this year. Also, I'm probably being grumpy, but it feels as if both Matt and Akbar, especially Akbar, are trying too hard with all of the cute puns - and, OMG, the shark guy was annoying. "His parents know not to bother him during Shark Week?" I hope he makes up for it the rest of the year.
  6. I don't like episodes when no one finishes. To me, that says that the course is poorly designed. Also, I can't believe that Sandy Zimmerman isn't getting to go to Vegas, and those forgettable women from a few weeks ago are. It was a bit refreshing that we'll get to see some new faces in Vegas, although I'm sure the producers were tearing their hair out over the two relative unknowns who made it to the Power Tower. Really enjoyed Jessie Graf, even though she didn't hit that elusive buzzer and was just a bit too slow to make it to the Power Tower. Mady Howard really impressed as well. I'm also very happy for Dan Yager and Nick Hanson. Dan was really at a disadvantage in the new Power Tower, though. I don't tend to take dislikes to competitors, although I like some more than others, but the whole "Papal Ninja" thing really bothers me for some reason. Maybe I'm just being a curmudgeon. Akbar did do a good job catching a fish during his moments, even though I still don't like them (the moments, that is). They did a nice job showcasing Seattle, too.
  7. I must be the only one out there who actually likes Maggi Thorne. I seem to remember that her husband dumped her publicly or was cheating on her or something and it sounded excruciating. Also, I loved how well she did on the Spartan team last year, I think, and I love how supportive she is of other women, especially Jessie Graf. I'm not a huge fan of "The Kid," so tonight's episode was just okay for me. I'm happy for Karsten and everyone who is moving on, but I like Daniel SO MUCH MORE than "The Kid." Also, I like Barclay better than the woman who came in first, so there's that. It's ridiculous that the two women who finished first and second last week are ahead of all of these women who went so much farther, but I guess it is what it is.
  8. Drew really was amazing. I used to dislike him, but then I saw he supportive he is of his fellow ninjas - and when he gave up his opportunity to run the Stage 2 course to let Jessie Graf do it at USA vs. the World a few years ago - and was so genuinely happy for her - he completely won me over. Other than that, it was kind of meh. I really miss shows with no elite women on them, especially since the major stories were essentially re-dos. Also, it's ridiculous to do this huge segment on Neil Craver and have him go out early, and basically ignore two of the finishers. It's not like there were that many. I know I've said this before, but I really don't like Akbar's moments. I've taken to muting the sound and just looking at the list of finishers while that's happening.
  9. I REALLY REALLY do not like the game show gimmicky direction that the show is taking. If I never have to see "Chad Flexington" again, it will be soon enough for me. I'm probably boring, but I miss just the plain, old celebration of the competitors who made it to the next round. It's a big deal! Having Akbar's "moments" (or whatever they are) is just annoying. I like him and his over-the-top enthusiasm (and he was very impressive when he did a charity run a few years ago), but I'm just not thrilled about it being about the host more than the competitors. Yay for Tianna Webberley and to Flip. The rest of the episode was fine, but nothing special. I'm still hoping either Jessie or Jesse finishes the final course this year.
  10. Jesse LaBreck is a beast. She was on Team Ninja Warrior a few years ago with Chris (and someone else - maybe Jon Alexis, Jr?) and she totally put her whole team on her back and they won. I love watching all of the women ninjas, but she and Jessie Graf seems to have taken it to another level. I LOVE that Chris knows that she is better than he is and obviously adores her. We see plenty of men with adoring spouses on the sidelines. It's lovely for young girls to know that they can be high-achieving (and be even better than their love interests!) and still be in a successful relationship. I hope they make amends for all of the successful ninjas we missed in the City Finals. Abel Gonzalez and Tremayne Dortsch are huge fan favorites. Jonathan Horton is one of America's most successful male gymnasts ever. We should get to see their routines instead of endless montages about huge families, or sob stories.
  11. Yes, the lunch lady made it. Her name is Amanda O'Dell, and she was the 29th finisher. Jeri D'Angelio made it, too. She was 30th. We had four women in the top 30!
  12. I was happy to see Grant do well. He's always nice to other ninjas and always roots hard for them, although he is a bit goofy and extreme. Too many finishers in WWWA for my liking. Great to see so many women doing well, though - we didn't even need a "women's top five," I don't think. Flex is amazing. I could have done without all of the fuss about Chris "putting a ring on it," though. I cannot imagine completely the course after hitting my head, either. Huge props to Michelle Warnky. I hope she's okay. Anyone know what happened to Nicholas Coolridge? He seems to have seriously offended someone, because in his first season, he was everywhere, but now, not so much. I also don't remember how Tianna Webberley did this time.
  13. I love the balance obstacle in the middle of the course. It was the great leveler and really wonderful to see so many women do well. I so wanted Barclay and Maggie to hit a buzzer. I'm also annoyed that past fan favorites Tremayne Dortsch and Abel Gonzalez didn't even get WWYA treatment. All in all, though, I really liked that episode. I hope they keep using balance obstacles.
  14. That episode was especially great. Michael Strahan's family was so impressive. The section on the Jesuits was just wrenching. Ms. Merkerson nailed it when she said, "They came her to avoid persecution, but then they turned around and persecuted us?" (I don't think that's quite right). It's great that Georgetown named the hall after her ancestor, but she's right - they are owed a lot more than that. I wonder if any schools are using these programs to teach about slavery? I think these episodes would make great discussions.
  15. I like ANW better, because they are racing against the clock, not each other. Also, what's the point of telling a backstory on a contestant if three seconds later, they'll be out and we'll never see or hear from them again? I liked the original American Gladiators back in the day, but the recent reboot had way too many interviews and too much commentary, and not nearly enough action. This is more like the reboot, honestly.
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