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Halting Hex

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  1. So I'm watching I Ship It, the CW musical series originally (and still somewhat) set in a package-shipping chain store, and Ella (the delightful Helen Highfield) has gone on to work at her dream job, as a Writers' PA for the fantasy series "Superstition" (seems to be a witchcraft-laden version of The Vampire Diaries, AFAICT). And the middle-management type that Ella has to report to hates the fans of the series, thinking them all obsessive kooks and psychopaths, and "proves" this to her by having her listen to the voicemails on the "superfan" line, which becomes a musical number where various "fans" are indeed repulsive and insane and… …well, I'll never know, because that's where I quit the series, right then. (In mid-song, in fact.) So, watching television means I'm insane and have no life and I'm dangerous to "real, normal" people, but I'm supposed to keep watching your show, anyhow? Yeah, fuck you, good-bye. Would that I had had the brainpower to quit this show right here, when they pulled the same "attack the audience" bullshit, with the unveiling of "The Evil Nerd Trio". Fuck you, Jane/Doug/Joss. I mean, I would have missed one good episode…but just the one. (Unspoiled newcomers may think they know which episode I'm speaking of here. They'd be very wrong. I hate that one. [Of course, even knowing of that episode's existence, never mind its popularity among some fans, means one isn't "unspoiled" per se, but even so.]) Seriously, is this some sort of "negging" going on? Insult the audience and they'll want to make you love them more? I mean, I'm sorry, but I don't believe "negging" actually works. People don't like being insulted, so they leave. A few possibly-invented anecdotes about "I scored with this hot chick by pretending she was ugly" aside. And so I've left I Ship It, I should have left BtVS, and I will (hopefully) never speak to my mother ever again. (I'd check the Social Security records to see if she's dead, but fuck that. Who needs the trouble? Not I. Even if it means I can't do a happy dance from knowing for sure.) That said, of course this has absolutely nothing to do with… (Bye, all. Which, granted, is probably just lembergwatcher and Joe Hellenback [and perhaps some lurkers] at this point, but still. It's been fun. Or rather…it was.)
  2. Ian Gibbons, the longest-serving keyboard player for The Kinks, has died of cancer at age 67. The Kinks were originally a four-piece, featuring brothers Ray (rhythm guitar) and Dave (lead guitar) Davies, with Pete Quaife on bass and Mick Avory on drums. For their early hit singles, they employed a variety of keyboardists (future Deep Purple founder Jon Lord claimed he played piano on "You Really Got Me", but that was actually Arthur Greenslade, better known as Shirley Bassey's musical director, who did the arranging for "Goldfinger"), even spotlighting the famous side man Nicky Hopkins with a song about him ("Session Man"). But in reconfiguring the band in the early 1970s after Quaife's quitting the group, a change in label (to RCA) and an emphasis on theatrical concept-albums, they hired John Gosling as a permanent keyboardist. Gosling lasted through 1977 and the Kinks' first album on their next label (Arista), where they returned to greater emphasis on stand-alone tracks, and the group eventually sought out Gibbons for the tour in support of their third album for Arista, 1979's Low Budget, whose harder-rocking sound moved the Kinks away from the ballads that had become their trademark. Ray Davies played keyboards on the album, but with Gibbons added to the touring lineup (and a new permanent bass player in Jim Rodford, replacing John Dalton), the group had found a tighter, more stable unit that lasted through most of the 1980s. (There was a change in drummers in 1985, but still…6 musicians for a decade was much tighter than the parade of players in the 1970s.) Gibbons's background in new-wave groups was thought to be of use in modernizing the group's sound, although they were still very much a guitar-driven unit. (Understandable, with Dave Davies's work having inspired the likes of Eddie van Halen.) But Gibbons got to be a full member, out front with the others, and even was occasionally spotlighted, as in this live video of Low Budget's lead single "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman" (That's Gibbons wearing the necktie.) Even if it was still Dave Davies getting the solo spots, it was nice work if you could get it. While many "legacy" acts continue to tour to great success, plans for a Kinks reunion have fizzled, since Ray and Dave Davies really don't like each other. (Dave once said "An hour with Ray is about all I can stand, so it would be a very brief reunion.") In recent years, Gibbons had played with other former Kinks (including Rodford, who died in 2018) as part of The Kast-Off Kinks. Yes, a "Kinks" project without either Davies is about as directionless as that "Creedence Clearwater Revisited" group which lacked either Fogerty brother (Tom having the excuse that he's dead, of course), but it got Gibbons out of the house, so that's good, no doubt. Here's an oddity to close with: Dave Davies apparently hasn't bothered to turn up to this 1981 TV programme, so even though "Destroyer" is famously a pastiche of the band's second hit, 1964's "All Day and All of the Night", it's Gibbons that carries the melody line for the most part, Ray sticking to a secondary guitar part and Rodford playing what seems to be a nine-string bass to cover for Dave's absence. More keys and more face time for Gibbons than normal. Huh. Enjoy.
  3. Well, the good news is that Holly won HoH and she's on my team, so that's 10 pts for me. The bad news is that Holly is the most-popular HG in this game, so 14 of the other 22 players get those pts, too. Fucking Jackson! Why couldn't he have shut up and let Holly throw it to AnalFleas? I'd still get the pts, but I wouldn't have to share so much! Ah, well, AnalySis can always win next week, I suppose. It's probably a questions comp (HoHs have been, in order, endurance, questions, physical skill, questions, and endurance, so questions seems logical), and that should be right up Anal's…oh, wait. Never mind. 😦 (But on the plus side, the full selection of emojis is back! Yay! Dance! 💃) Ahem. Esoterica Popular Kids (Holly, Nick, Bella, Christie): 63 pts (+2 pts; HoHlly wins HoH, +10; Nick gets nommed, -5; Christie gets poisoned [we should be so lucky…], -3) The three surviving "Populars" have each won HoH. So I suppose there's something to be said for "consensus wisdom". (If you ignore Bella, that is.) You Can't Sit with Us! (Cliff, Kemi, David, Jessica, Nicole): 33 pts (±0) Team DEstiny ("Michie", Tommy, Jack, Sam): 85 pts (-8; Tommy is icky and annoying, -3. Er, Tommy's punishment is. I meant his punishment. [Honest]; Sam hits the block, -5) The Irrelevant? (Kathryn, "Sis" Analyse, Ovi): 31 pts (±0) Oh, AnalFleas. So close…and yet, so lame. Geography Noo Yawk, Noo Yawk! (Nicole, Kemi, Tommy, Christie): 44 pts (-6 ptsl Staten Island [finally?] under quarantine, 2x -3) "Taylor Swift" (Nick, Sam, Ovi, Jackson): 48 pts (-10; Northern chorus nominated, 2x-5) Hey, didn't you guys use to have a lead? Somebody's looking likely to hit the Old Town Road, soon. South (David, Jack, Kathryn, Cliff): 58 pts (±0) West…ish (Jessica, Holly, Bella, Analyse): 43 pts (+10; HoHlly rides to the rescue…but they're still in last.) Credit Where Credits Due First Quartet (Analyse/Ovi and Nicole/Jack): 48 pts (±0 pts) Second Quartet (Cliff/Kathryn and Nick/Kemi): 48 pts (-5; Nick might not stick) Third Quartet (Christie/Sam and Jessica/David): 60 pts (-8; Christie gets splotchy, -3; Sam gets blocky, -5) Fourth Quartet (Jackson/Isabella and Tommy/Holly): 56 pts (+7; Tommy is bad to touch, -3; Holly is untouchable, +10) Hex v. Hexself My "Shadows" (Jessica, Kathryn, Kemi, Nicole): 37 pts (±0 pts) High and Low Current "Perfect" Team: Sam (31), Jack (24), Christie (23), Jackson or Holly (22 each) =100 pts Aww, "Jolly" are tied in the standings! It's like they're soulmates! (Don't mind me, I'll be over here, vomiting…) Current Perfectly Imperfect Team: David (-3), Ovi (-3), Kemi (-3), Bella (4) = -5 pts Now boarding on Track #6: Team Good Taste (Nick, Kat, Tommy, Christie): 64 pts (-11; Nick nominated, -5; Tommy, Christie contaminated, 2x-3) And with that, I'm exactly tied with the Jess-fans. Intriguing.
  4. A whole lot more than 12 AMC episodes; IMDb credits for soap operas tend to be incomplete.
  5. Don't cry for me, New York City! You were supposed to have been immortal… That's all we wanted Not much to ask for… 21 Antoinette Perry Awards ("Tonys") were too few. A brilliant visionary. I was privileged to see the original Broadway Evita (in the round, with Patti LuPone, Bob Gunton and Mandy Patinkin) in 1979. Sheer brilliance to conjure such spectacle on a tiny, triangular stage. (Which rotated for "And the Money Came Rolling In", as I recall.) And that's only a drop in the Prince bucket. I salute you, sir. (Ricky Martin played Che in the 2012 Broadway revival. Ricky Martin???? Sigh.) ETA: all the videos I see for the 1979-vintage Evita are on a proscenium stage. Huh. I must have seen a previews workshop or something. It makes sense, since the show opened on September 25 and I saw it (and the long-running A Chorus Line and Annie and the euthanasia drama The Shadow Box) as part of a summer theatre program. But still a surprise. I wonder if I have the Playbill anywhere?
  6. The 1972 Miami Dolphins, the NFL's only "perfect" championship team (17-0), may still hold their unbeaten mark, but they suffered a major loss with the passing of Hall of Fame middle-linebacker Nick Buoniconti, at the age of 78. Buoniconti had struggled with CTE-related dementia recently, and had donated his brain to study of football-related injuries in 2017. He was a leader in the "Flag Football Under 14" movement, which seeks to ban Pop Warner and other youth football programs that allow strong physical contact. He'd been personally affected by football-related trauma before this, when his son, Marc, was rendered quadriplegic while making a tackle in a college game in 1985. The spinal research project that was founded after Marc's injury continues today. The leader of Miami's "No-Name Defense" (so-called because it lacked "star" players), Buoniconti was the closest to an exception to the rule, having been an AFL all-star 5 times with the Boston (now New England) Patriots before being traded south to the then-new Miami team. Beginning in 1971, the Dolphins, in only their fourth year of existence, reached the Super Bowl in three straight seasons, winning the latter two. (Only two other teams have since won three or more consecutive conference championships; the 1990-1993 Buffalo Bills, who lost all four Super Bowls, and the current Patriots, who benefited from dubious "strategy" by the losing Atlanta Falcons two years ago, lost to Philadelphia last year, and then scored a legitimate victory over the Los Angeles Rams this past February.) The strength of the Dolphins was their defense, which is how the 1972 team went undefeated despite quarterback Bob Griese missing more than half of the season (and the start of the playoffs) with a broken ankle. Safeties Dick Anderson and Jake Scott also excelled, but as captain and middle linebacker, Buoniconti was the unquestioned driving force behind the team. After retiring, Buoniconti did some broadcasting, but found his niche as co-host (with Len Dawson) of HBO's long-running highlight show, Inside the NFL. He remained with the series through 2001. (The show has since switched to Showtime.) Buoniconti and his first wife split in 1997, after 35 years of marriage, but he remarried in 2000 and leaves a widow, as well as his children.
  7. Most famously, Dr. Will peed himself in the F4 endurance comp in S2, where he and Monica outlasted Nicole (who freaked out over the banner plane accusing her of having gotten inappropriate with Hardy). Once Nicole was out, Will threw it to Monica.
  8. Sorry about the delay (remember, I only read this thread after the fact). I would have let this slide, but I see this isn't the only poster who misconstrued my OP, so I should clarify. I did not mean that David wanted to portray himself as a "Scary Black Dude"; he certainly did nothing of that sort. I meant that in a game where straight black males do poorly because the white HGs are too easily willing to (wrongly) view them as "Scary Black Dudes" (hence the sarcastic quotes), David might have felt an exceptional desire to succeed and overcome past instances of racism. I mean I don't know if David was aware of Amanda's attempts to brand Howard as a sexual harasser or Jacob calling Parker a "snake", but if he was, he might have realized that his road would be more difficult because of who he was. And thus he felt extra pressure to defy those odds, and extra disappointment when he didn't…not so much because of any social failings but because he finished last (or tied for last) in both of the comps he competed in. Or…he might not have. This is nothing but spec. And no, I haven't read his interviews. (Or anyone's.) Although I'm not certain that his explanations would necessarily be completely true…he could be reluctant to bring up race if it hasn't already been an issue. But JMO. And apologies for any confusion, or anyone who took offense because I wasn't clear enough. My bad.
  9. This is totally awesome! The most vivid BB dream I ever had was when I was sitting at a sidewalk cafe with Jordan Lloyd and we ended up making out. (This is before she and Jeff were married.) Nothing serious, it just seemed to happen. This is odd, as I've never really been attached to Jordan. At least, not consciously. Not even a patch on the dream in which I was dating Taylor Swift and we were being chased by bad guys who wanted to steal giant blocks of ice by towing them behind motorcycles. No, apparently they'd never heard of the concept of "a refrigerated truck or train". I didn't question it in the dream, just wondered what was up with that when I woke up. (Taylor and I got away safely, you'll be glad to hear.) I don't recall very many of my dreams…which is probably for the best.
  10. There was a coterie of people on TWoP who praised it (because it didn't have a laugh track and HIMYM did, and because some people will support actors [such as Bradley Cooper] but bash actresses [like AH], almost reflexively), but it wasn't funny, the characters weren't drawn well (BCoop's "asshole-with-a-heart-of-gold" lead had nobody to balance him; Bonnie Sommerville, mediocre on creator Darren Star's far better Grosse Pointe, was fairly useless here), the usage was poor (Nick was reduced to a walk-on in the second episode, ffs, only appearing in the tag) and the restaurant setting was by definition restrictive. Tanked, and deserved it. JMO.
  11. I don't have the stamina. I made it to 55 (and passed the immortal "her GPA is Dance") and I was good. I can always come back later. She never did puke in the house, right? I mean, allegedly she puked her guts up "every day", but through at least Day 60 there was not a peep out of her stomach, despite her eating all the gluten in the world, it seemed. It's a Big Brother Miracle!
  12. All I'm going to say is that anyone who hasn't read the Raven thread (or the BB19 Live Feeds thread) is missing something. Did she really call herself a "puppet master"? I thought that was Dr. Will taking "blowing smoke up someone's ass" to Hall of Fame levels. But I could be wrong. It's not as if there was a lack of Raven stories to sift through. Raven, leaping for joy on purchasing her new $32,000 Kia. Sure, her mom was running a fundraiser to pay off Raven's alleged "$200,000 in medical debt" and there was also that trip to Sweden that she was trying to arrange to see that "special" doctor, but come on, now. Girl has to take care of priorities, amirite?
  13. Per a discussion of the history of Have-Nots in the Feeds thread: Actually, slop pre-dates the Have-Not status, including Have-Not rooms and the "cold showers only" restriction. Originally, losing competitors in a food competition, or others on penalty status, were limited to peanut butter & jelly (and bread) for food. But with Season 7 (All-Stars), slop became the penalty food instead. The full "Have-Not" package (room and showers, besides food) was introduced in Season 11. Have-Not competitions, as noted, lasted through Season 15, being replaced by "Battle of the Block" the next season. The Food competition discussed in the other thread, where the HGs had to gain weight by eating disgusting flavors of soft-serve fro-yo to avoid Have-Not status, was from Week 4 of Season 15, where Gina Marie put her bulimic past to "good" advantage and basically inhaled the fro-yo on behalf of her team. Perhaps CBS got some pushback about this; this was the final food-based competition ever held. The remaining Have-Not comp that season was a cross-promotion (for Unforgettable) memory comp, and after that H-Ns were determined by having the HoH pick them, or by who fell first in an endurance comp. And that's how we got from there to here.
  14. Who's "rebutting" anything? I said, multiple times, that I agreed with the thrust of the article; I just felt that the factual sloppiness made it less potent than it should be. Fine, but I have argued that they do. If you have a contrary opinion, fine. What arguments do you bring in support of it? I never claimed they were a focus; I felt that those who tried to excuse the racism could use the inaccuracies to deflect away from the main point. (The "if you can't get the facts correct, why should we believe your conclusion?" line of attack.) And, after all, it's not difficult to get the facts correct. I recalled them all offhand while I was typing. Are you claiming that I hold any of those IMO odious opinions? I really hope not. I'm quite capable of voicing my own opinions without any "assistance", honestly. Given that they got the facts wrong on three separate points, I'd say they could clearly have done better than this "great" job. They certainly make it easier to obfuscate them. The author was, I presume, paid for their work. Perhaps they even employed researchers. If they had done a better job, there wouldn't be anything to discuss. If you don't think that a hypothesis ("Big Brother has a racism problem") can be attacked for making over-broad claims, might I suggest that you revisit the thread for 21.02, where multiple posters thought it was "unfair" that Jackson was being "accused" of racism because of his banishment choices. ("Enjoy" the part where I am told that I am "displaying racist tendencies by so quickly throwing such a horrible accusation out there in the first place", despite the fact that I never definitively said that Jackson was racist, merely that he should be aware how his picks might be looked at.) The possibility for pushback exists. Trust me. Why aid it by getting the facts wrong? (Especially when you're a journalist who has been paid to be accurate, due to libel laws and such.) But JMO. Peace.
  15. So my TV is set to PopTV (for Big Brother After Dark) and stays there until I change the channel (as opposed to simply viewing content from my DVR). So I notice that during the day, Pop is showing old-school Charmed and I'm like, you know, it was actually rather good during the first four seasons and this one ("All Hallows' Eve") looks interesting, I could do a rewatch. And whom do I "C" (episode plot point) but Danielle "Debbie" Weeks, playing a supporting role in the coven run by Clare (Coach, Point Pleasant) Carey? (That's just a walk-on on the left. Although she somewhat resembles Clare.) What makes this crossover IMO notable is that "All Hallows' Eve" is episode 3.04 of Charmed, just as Beauty and the Beasts is 3.04 of this series. That's a nice bit of coincidence. (No, Danielle is not limited to only 3.04 episodes. Her How I Met Your Mother guest shot, the 95% abominable/5% awesome "Symphony of Illumination", is from Season 7 of that series.)
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