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  1. Let's all remember that the judges are doing more than choosing dancers for the live shows. They are casting a reality TV show. This is especially true of Nigel with his producer's hat. Given this, they will always select cast members who will make the show more dramatic and interesting, same as any other TV show. That's why Madison (and I take nothing away from her dancing) was a stone cold lock to make the top ten. Let's see what happens next week in regard to Eddie Hoyt, the tapper who didn't make the show his first time around. Will his "oh, he's so sincere and he tries so hard and he's an underdog" story line hold sway. Anyone wanna bet against it?
  2. cali1981

    S08.E01: Abby's Big Comeback

    Before I decided to pull the plug on Dance Moms for other shows (I.E. Jessica Jones and Designated Survivor on Netflix) I was wondering about whether Abby held to her intention to discontinue Chemo. It would have been a terrible decision. Burkitt's Lymphoma is very aggressive and the post-op chemo is essential. I was glad to see that she did finish her treatments. Her chances of long-term survival would have been in doubt without them. Good for her.
  3. Ariana DeBose, fresh off last year's Tony nomination for her performance in the Donna Summer Musical on Broadway, will play Anita in Steven Spielberg's remake of West Side Story. Other SYTYCD alumni in the movie are Rickey Obeda, Gabby Diaz and Jess Leprotto. Not too shabby is it? For Dance Mom fans, Maddie Ziegler will also be in the film.
  4. cali1981

    S08.E01: Abby's Big Comeback

    So after watching 30 minutes of the recorded first episode of Season 8, I stopped it, deleted it from the DVR and cancelled all future recordings. It's just the some old dreck, with another cast of young kids and despicable mothers. Even in the summertime, there are so many quality shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. as well as previously viewed series to revisit that I don't want to waste one more hour of my life with Dance Moms.
  5. I like Neera Tanden but she is another of Bill's "go to" guests who has no sense of the timing of the show. She kept muscling her way into every conversation, often cutting off another guest. The producers should really brief he panelists on basic show etiquette before the cameras go on.
  6. cali1981

    Season One Talk: The Umbrella Academy

    I just finished the series last night. It was weird, dark, inexplicable at times and I enjoyed the hell out of it. The one thing that puzzles me was how did Vanya suppress all of those childhood memories? Maybe they were so traumatic that she buried them deeply into her sub-consciousness. Perhaps Reginald with Pogo and Grace's help gave her mind altering meds because they knew how dangerous she could be out in the real world. I was struck by the irony on how the apocalypse actually started. Talk about best intentions back firing. The chunk of moon being a planet killer reminded me of the similar premise in Armageddon when Billy Bob Thornton is telling the president what would happen when the "size of Texas" asteroid hit the earth. Like everyone, I'm hoping that there is a second season just to see what the show runners and writers come up with.
  7. cali1981

    S02.E05: Saints of Imperfection

    Agreed! Michelle as Capt/Emperor Georgiou has been great. The aura of danger and malice that surrounds her is palpable and her sarcasm is a big plus in my book. The deep eye shadow that she's using gives her face a certain look that really emphasizes that aura. As starri noted, Michelle can make the simple act of biting an apple look malevolent. Her scenes with Sonequa were up there with Sonequa's scenes with Doug Jones. I loved the Admiral's talk with Leland and Pike, in effect telling the boys to put their manhood back in their pants and get the job done. Jane Brook nailed it. Alan Van Sprang, who plays Leland, looked vaguely familiar. I just watched the four season run of The Tudors on Netflix and Van Sprang had a pretty juicy role as Sir Francis Bryan, envoy, fixer and assassin for King Henry. He's a very good actor. I'm finding this Section 31 plot thread to be very interesting and dig the black and silver Starfleet badge. Bet that will be collector's item for Trek fans.
  8. cali1981

    Berlin Station

    It looked like Platov's crew found Daniel on their own. They were going to find the dacha sooner rather than later. I suspect that they maimed the body and dumped it in Berlin to send a message to the Americans and the Kremlin. Platov's ignoring Moscow's order to stand down is going to cost him dearly if and when his plan for Estonia fails.
  9. cali1981

    S02.E04: An Obol for Charon

    I almost thought that Saru might be killed off but then it was, "nah. no way". Saru is a bedrock character on the show and Doug Jones portrayal of him every week is wonderful. Still, I enjoyed that plot thread, especially since Doug and Sonequa were just so damn good in their scenes together. Sometimes, even when you know how the story ends, the real fun is seeing how it gets to that ending. The Saru "death" story was well played.
  10. cali1981

    S02.E02: New Eden

    I have really enjoyed the first two episodes. The addition of Anson Mount as Capt. Pike has been a major plus for the show. The decision to shoot this season using anamorphic lenses was a good one. The 2.35:1 image gives the show a more cinematic look than the previous 1.78:1 image did. I know that some don't care for the top and bottom black mattes but almost every movie is now shot in at least 2.35:1 so the mattes are pretty much standard now. The wider image suits a show like Discovery very well.
  11. cali1981

    Berlin Station

    It's nice to see Ismael Cruz Cordova back on another series after his excellent work on Ray Donovan. I may be crazy but when they showed the flashbacks of "Diver" my first thought was "that's Steven Frost". From the little we saw of him, he looked a bit like Richard Jenkins and sounded like him. Wouldn't is be a kick in the cajones if the man that Daniel respected and trusted turned out to have killed his parents? On that note, I'm so glad that Jenkins is part of this series. He has been one of Hollywood's best character actors for decades and always delivers superb performances.
  12. cali1981

    S02.E10: All Alone

    Does anyone think that Shay is, in significant part, modeled after Johnny Mathis? He was a superstar just around the time that season 2 takes place.
  13. Upper middle class and above families did go for the summer. We weren't in that economic universe but , in the mid-1950s, we did "go to the country" as we called it., usually for a week or so. There were many bungalow colonies in the Catskills and that's where working class families usually stayed. We never made it to the big hotels like the Nevele , Browns and Grossingers with the big name comedians who played the "Borscht Belt". Nevertheless for most of the families it was nice to get away from the hot city for a while. As a Jewish kid who grew up in Brooklyn in the 50s and 60s I'm continually amazed at how accurate the cultural references are in this show. Family gatherings have me in tears from laughing so hard. The Palladinos have really gotten it right.
  14. cali1981

    Berlin Station

    And as they say "ripped from the headlines. This is looking like a very good season.
  15. cali1981

    S27.E11: Week 9: Finale

    Three wonderful freestyles and a hodge podge go into a bar. The three wonderful freestyles are thrown out of the bar while the hodge podge stays and gets an unlimited free bar tab. Just a discraceful result.