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helenamonster

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  1. The One With the Thing: All Episodes Talk

    Ah, ok...I had the DVD sets long before Netflix got the streaming rights, so I think I'm just used to those extra scenes and it's really obvious to me when they're cut out. I don't have cable anymore so I haven't watched the Nick @ Nite reruns in a long time, but those were always very sloppily edited for syndication to the point of sometimes being unwatchable. They also, like, wouldn't air right on the half hour/hour marks? The commercial breaks would get longer and longer and the episodes would be starting at weird times like 11:37 or 12:52.
  2. The One With the Thing: All Episodes Talk

    I haven't done a dedicated, actually-sit-down-and-watch rewatch it quite a while, but I have the 10-season DVD set and will usually just rotate through it while I'm cleaning my apartment, folding laundry, etc. I prefer the DVDs to streaming the episodes on Netflix as I'm pretty sure the Netflix episodes are the versions that are edited for syndication. And it's not that there's a lot in the full versions I'm really dying to see, it's just that the cuts in the syndicated versions are so obvious (and sometimes really sloppy) that it sets my teeth on edge, even when I just have the show on for background noise.
  3. S13.E12: Live Results 1 - 2018.08.15

    Really devastated for Mochi. He is a true talent and I'm sad that the projections, which I did think could be used to his advantage, seemed to overwhelm the act. I don't have anything personal against Flau'jae, but it does give me a little hope to see Golden Buzzers eliminated in the quarter finals without a save, no matter who they are. It's nice to know that producer manipulation isn't 100% fullproof. Shin Lim, Angel City Chorale, and Junior New System are the only advancing acts that I'm emotionally invested in. We Three and Amanda Mena are dreadfully forgettable, I want Vicki Barbolak to be funny but she seems determined not to be (I did laugh at her Walmart greeter/he had me at "hullo" joke tho, that was clever), and the less said about Courtney Hadwin the better. Darci Lynne is a superstar. I didn't think it was possible for her to be more polished than she was at the end of last season and she has proved me wrong. She's confident, funny, charming, and real. I wish her nothing but continued success.
  4. I found it odd that people seemed to take this comment as an insult. Look what he did with One Direction and (to a somewhat less successful extent, since they never really took off in the States) Little Mix. Little Mix especially are four women who are fine on their own but absolute magic when you put them together. I could take or leave or Amanda by herself but I think if you could find the right three or four other girls she could really make a go of it in a group.
  5. What Are We Currently Reading?

    Haven't read Dare Me but did read You Will Know Me, the one about a murder that takes place in the world of competitive gymnastics. My issues with both You Will Know Me and Give Me Your Hand were plot-related. You Will Know Me kept trying to squeeze some dumb murder I didn't care about into a compelling story about the sacrifices young girls and their families make to pursue gymnastics on the Olympic track. Give Me Your Hand didn't really have an interesting plot hiding amongst the nonsense. I mean, yes, I think it would be possible to write something really profound about PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder, aka PMS on steroids) and then maybe take it macro to the entire experience of womanhood, but Abbott didn't really even flirt with that. It was all just a mishmash of things happening that had no importance on the overall story--I honestly could describe the entire book in three sentences and not be leaving anything out.
  6. S02.E08: Creator/Destroyer

    Per Wikipedia Gianni was born in '46 and Donatella was born in '55, so they were 9 years apart. It was hard to tell exactly how old Gianni was in the flashback but Donatella either wasn't born yet or was a baby/toddler. It seems like the other Cunanan children bounced when they got the chance and never looked back. The mother was definitely a victim of Modesto's abusive, controlling behavior as well, but it can be hard for children who grow up in that environment--where they are constantly shoved to the side in favor of just one of them--to resent the other parent for not doing a better job of sticking up for them. As an adult who had perfectly normal parents I think it's easy for me to say they should cut the mom some slack, but it's hard to be objective/rational about this sort of thing when you live it. Trust, another FX show that aired this year, had huge chunks of some episodes in Italian. I don't think hiring native Italian actors is that difficult, nor is hiring maybe one bilingual Italian/English writer to do those scenes.
  7. I wonder if Mochi is the kind of act that plays a lot better in person? I think it's amazing how he times the diabolo to the projections and the sparkler diabolo at the end was wonderful, but I wish they could find a way to keep the background while toning it down a tad and really letting his talent shine. The Human Fountains are disgusting, and I love them anyway. I also like that they are completely self aware about their act. I doubt they expected to make it past the auditions, so I'm sure they're just enjoying the ride. I definitely got the vibe that Angel City Chorale absolutely killed in the room but the sound just did not translate to tv. I hope they still squeak through because I do like them, though that Greatest Showman song is so overdone and needs to be retired forever. Man, I can't wait until we can finally show The PAC Dance Team the door. The guy playing Willy Wonka wasn't there before, right? He actually seemed like he could dance, and it felt like they added him between judge cuts and lives as a saving throw. The rest of them dance like they learned to dance from a person who has never actually seen dance but has had the concept of dance explained to them. Shin Lim is mesmerizing and wonderful. Simon was really on one when he suggested he move away from the cards/close-up stuff. That's what he does, dude! And he's fantastic at it! Huhhhhhh...Courtney. What is there left to say? I'm going to need this entire show to keep Janis Joplin's name out of its mouth. That poor woman suffered enough in life, don't tarnish her memory with this travesty. Who I want to see go through: Mochi, Human Fountains, Angel City Chorale, Junior New System, and Shin Lim. Don't care about the other two spots, could take or leave the rest. Howie was referencing Roseanne when he said there was a sitcom with an opening for Vicki. Ya know, I will say her dancing kind of reminded me of Lorde, who is one of my favorite singers but does have similar jerky movements in her performances. However, unlike Courtney, Lorde just oozes authenticity. It helps that she's singing her own material, but it is possible for someone so young (Lorde was 16 when Pure Heroine came out) to bring real, deep, raw emotions to a musical performance. Lorde especially excels at finding the hidden depths of otherwise banal parts of life and interpreting them in a way that makes you feel things. I don't get the impression that Courtney really feels anything she's singing, though part of that may be that I can't understand the words. The other thing about Courtney is she has completely committed to this track of not being relatable. During the judges comments she squeezed in something like, "It's just that nobody gets me." I definitely celebrate individuality, but there is a way to do it where you can also provide a foothold for other people to latch onto. Lorde sings songs about the first time your parents leave you home alone for a night, driving around boring suburbs with nothing else to do, social cliques at school...things people can come together on and commune over. Courtney is just so offputting. The bouncing from uber shy to coked out and back again like a light switch, her whole demeanor just pushes outward. She's an oddity to gawk out, not an artist creating something that people can apply to their own lives and experiences. Who or what is Front Pictures? I seriously have no recollection of this act at all, not even a guess. 7 acts total: 5 automatically, then the 3 who are on the bubble (6th, 7th, and 8th place) compete for the Dunkin Save (live audience vote). The remaining two are then handed over to the judges who either choose one of them or, if they tie, it reverts to the original audience vote for the 7th spot.
  8. What Are We Currently Reading?

    Just finished: Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott. Yawn. 300-some pages and nothing really happened. I think Abbott has a beautiful prose style but the woman can't plot for shit. This might just be a taste thing...I need stuff to happen in the books I read, and I find too much introspective navel gazing in fiction to just be an attempt to disguise a paper-thin storyline. She was also really reaching to say something profound about psychopathy in women and it did not land at all. Next up: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan.
  9. SNL Season 44: Speculation and More!

    Just some host guesses based on 2018 fall movie previews: Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga for A Star is Born Anna Kendrick or Blake Lively for A Simple Favor Tiffany Haddish for the bajillion projects she's got going on right now. I think if she wins the Emmy she's a definite lock to host again this season. Jamie Lee Curtis for the new Halloween. Please? Pretty please? Tom Hardy for Venom Bad Times at the El Royale has got a pretty stacked cast--it gives Jon Hamm an excuse to stop by again. Claire Foy for The Girl in the Spiders Web Viola Davis will probably not stop by to promote Widows but I'm going to pretend she might anyway. Melissa McCarthy for Can You Ever Forgive Me? Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law or (blech) Johnny Depp for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Michael B. Jordan for Creed II John C. Reilly or Sarah Silverman for Ralph Breaks the Internet Jason Momoa for Aquaman Emily Blunt or Lin-Manuel Miranda for Mary Poppins Returns
  10. S03.E09 Goodnight, Sweet Prince

    I am very happy that Stahl is dead (and that Harlee was the one to kill him) but I found their last confrontation rather anticlimactic, at least compared to the ones they've had before. I also wish she'd killed him off after they finished dealing with the intelligence unit, just from a narrative standpoint. Stahl was this show's big bad, killing him should be the grand finale, not the second to last big moment of the series. But at this point it might just be me splitting hairs. Good riddance, ya creep! They are introducing this "will Tess flip to intelligence or nah" subplot way too late in the game. She won't, right? And if she did, it's not like there are very many stakes left with only one episode to go. Once again, I am so bummed that this is ending. This show has been a consistently great, fun ride from start to finish. Really excited to see how they wrap it up and if there will be any last-minute twists.
  11. S03.E08 Cry Havoc

    Aw, that bums me out for a lot of reasons. I've really enjoyed JLo in this show and I don't know what all her other commitments are (I know she's got World of Dance, her Vegas residency, and a couple movies, but I bet there's even more than that, on top of being a single mom) but I kinda wish she'd dumped one of those instead. This has been a great transition to get her back into dramatic work, which she really excels at. It's always seemed to me like JLo felt she should lean more towards romcoms, that those were more her type, but I think she's better in these kinds of narratives. Also, when she first brought the show to NBC, she was only planning on producing and they asked her to consider starring. So while JLo has been excellent as Harlee, maybe if somebody else had been the lead it could go on longer (unless the ratings are also contributing to the cancellation). I remembered when the show first aired some people (here and elsewhere) thought Drea would have made a lot of sense in the lead role, especially as Harlee's season one storyline was basically Drea's storyline from The Sopranos, except Harlee has a lot more agency and gets to kick a lot more ass than Adriana.
  12. S13.E10: Judge Cuts 4 - 2018.08.07

    Aw, I like Yumbo Dump. They're stupid but they make me smile, and I think they have really good showmanship. They won't make it past the quarterfinals, though. I'm tired of technically better dance groups getting the shaft in favor of groups with ~*personality*~ It is possible to have both. I thought Academy of Villains had both from the little they let us see. I find it much more impressive when a crew can synchronize (and clearly looks like they've had a professional lesson or two) than a crew that just flails around with a few back handsprings and aerial cartwheels thrown in. It's unskilled and boring, especially because it's now so ubiquitous. They cut Sergey and Sasha, are you kidding me?!?! They are insanely talented and Sasha has charisma off the charts--that girl is a star, she's going places even if this show can't get its head out of its ass long enough to see that. Definitely don't think we saw Elijah Holt in the auditions but thought he was fun. Someone put Troy James in a mo-cap suit and get him to Hollywood pronto. There are horror directors who would pay him a lot of money for a few days' work on a green screen. Has #TeamScorpions now changed alignment and become #TeamAlligators? Alright, lives next week, time to trim the fat.
  13. S03.E08 Cry Havoc

    I too love when the crew all get to work together, though of course it can never work out the way they want it to. There's something about Stahl when he's calm that makes him so much crazier than when he's raging. So bummed this show is almost over, but can't wait to see how they end it. I really don't have any guesses, I'm looking forward to being surprised.
  14. S13.E09: Judge Cuts 3 - 2018.07.31

    The Stavitsky Cats are magnificent. I just lost my sweet fluffy girl last week so maybe my emotions are getting the best of me, but I adore them and just...omg y'all. These cats do tricks. Like they're dogs. A human tells them to do something and they do it. It defies the laws of nature as we know them. I found OC Music and Dance's cover of "Praying" to be an attack targeted at me specifically. That small clip we heard was horrendous--as if poor Kesha hasn't suffered enough! As a former dancer, dance is the category on this show that I feel most qualified to critique, and the PAC Dance Team's continued presence boggles the mind. For starters, I distinctly remember them getting montaged in the audition rounds, and am having trouble thinking of any act that got that treatment and still made it into the live shows. Even for a high school dance team, they are terrible. Presumably the lead girl is supposed to be their best dancer and she honestly might be the worst of them (though maybe I just take more notice of her since she's so heavily featured). The judges couldn't muster any enthusiasm and still put them through? Is it because they were apparently a viral sensation at one point and might bring in some extra eyeballs? Whatever. I look forward to them quietly being cut in the quarter finals. I am really stunned that neither Angel Garcia nor Jeffrey Li made it to the lives. They definitely set it up to make it look like Jeffrey would get in over Angel, but I wouldn't have been surprised if they both made it given this show's track record. It's nice to not be able to predict things so easily with obvious editing, this show should pull the rug out from under us more often. I actually said "What?!" out loud in my apartment to no one when she made this comment. Look, I get it sucks that your nerves got the best of you and that maybe if you'd remembered the words you would have gone through. But she had to know it was over once she stumbled like that, right? A couple years ago there was a comedian--I'm blanking on his full name but his first name was definitely Scott, and he performed in drag--who absolutely killed at his audition. He seemed like a shoe-in for the lives, but then in judge cuts he completely blanked on his set. I was devastated, but neither he nor I were surprised when he got cut, because how can you send someone through who can't even finish their act? Quin and Misha getting the Golden Buzzer was definitely a thing that happened. Anyone notice that Noah Guthrie's Twitter handle is @Only1Noah? I mean...that's not even close to being true. Wait wait wait...Fratelli Rossi do the trick they stumbled on in the auditions blindfolded, nail it, and get cut? Typical. Noooooo, Oliver :(
  15. S03.E07: Straight Through The Heart

    I don't like that they're hinting that Tess might jump ship to the intelligence unit either. She's obviously frustrated but I can't see her ditching the crew unless she felt betrayed by them. It doesn't feel like she blames any of them for her current position, she knows what she got involved with and understands the consequences to a point, it's just no longer sustainable. I mean, Woz offered to help her pay off her debt--I think something major would have to change in the dynamic of the group to get her to switch. Maybe they'll do a fakeout with us and she will appear to switch loyalties only to be a mole for the 64 in the end? Is the female intelligence officer incapable of ever lowering her left eyebrow? Hah, I think Stahl is a great villain but I also live for his plans not working out. Love how he was counting on Harlee doing the wrong thing when she realized it was such an obvious setup that it made more sense for her to be honest.