Luke Cage

My husband and I have been watching 2 episodes of Luke Cage a night for the past couple of nights. Like all Marvel shows, I love the framing of shots, the use of color and light – it’s a beautiful looking show that evokes the comic book origins.

But the music on this show will keep me going on. It’s so good I find it distracting. I need the soundtrack. There is a Spotify playlist but I’m not a huge fan of Spotify, I’d rather buy the songs and have them on my iPod permanently. (Using the word permanently in association with my iPod feels like tempting fate…let’s say I like having it portable and without advertising interruption). I would like there to be a real Harlem’s Paradise where I can go see these people perform.

Mahershala Ali has a fantastic face, you can see the child he was in that face, while seeing the menace of a man who craves power. I wasn’t sure about Simone Missick, but I’m all in now, she’s a terrific Misty Knight. I like seeing Ron Cephas Jones, too, and he’s been popping up all over the place, on This Is Us, Mr. Robot…I’m excited to see a guy whose been around a long time suddenly being extremely visible.

Fleabag

Fleabag is a new comedy offered on Amazon Prime, starring and created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is our heroine, our filthy minded, possibly depressed, beautiful, awkward protagonist. I have only watched the first episode, but only because I don’t want it to be over yet and there are only 6 episodes so that’s an afternoon for me. I’m trying to be abstinent for a while so there is good stuff to look forward to. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is stunning and has great – no, amazing – lipstick and a speaking voice that I can’t get enough of. Her performance is peppered with asides, which is something I do in my writing, and it’s Shakespeare approved, so I’m down.

Recommend with enthusiasm!

Vacation/Not Vacation

Greetings! I have been on vacation/not vacation; that is, I have been away from work and home but not really on vacation, since I was helping my daughter move back to college in another state and then visiting my other daughter how just moved to a completely different state with her husband and beautiful brand new twin daughters, and then going to a conference for my primary paying job, so I haven’t been home and I haven’t been watching TV, or reading, or really anything other than driving and sleeping and sitting in classrooms and sleeping.

In the world of TV, I’m trying desperately to figure out if there is a way to watch season 3 of You’re the Worst when you don’t have cable.

Also, you should watch season 3 of You’re the Worst, and if you haven’t seen seasons 1 and 2 yet, you should watch those on Hulu. You will not be sorry.

SYTYCD Top 8 and Elimination

Last show before 2 week summer vacation! Toy Repair! Ain’t Playing With Ya by District 9. Everyone is a toy! Tate is a ballerina, Tahani is front and center. Kida gets a moment. I can’t tell who is who except for JT because he’s the smallest. Cat Dealy is sparkly. That was choreographed by Pharcyde and Phoenix. Tonight the kids will dance with each other and with their all-start. Cat intros the jidges, you know who they are (talking to myself, since I’m pretty sure no one else will read this).

 

Gabby and Emma work with Anthony Morigerato again. Pure tap, push technique to the limits. Maddie said he’s a great choreographer. They are shaking the building. Walk Like An Egyptian by The Puppini Sisters! Hey, my a cappella group does that! Cool lighting! These kids are learning how to work the cameras, for sure. The dance was terrific. Nigel said they were made for each other. Compliments to the choreographer – no gimmicks, just tap technique. Paula says she is prime for television, she’s a star. Maddie agrees, thought the whole routine was just great. Jason says she’s getting greater and greater, because she’s focused on getting better.

Jason has a new song which is part of the movie Storks and I don’t care enough to keep writing about it.

 

Tahani & Comfort worked with Tabitha and Napoleon. Narrative based hip hop. Comfort is the mom, Tahani is the daughter, and husband/dad walked out. There is a wall between them, they have to feel each other through the wall. Maddie said it will be cool to see them do an emotional piece. Set to I’m Going Down by Rose Royce. I don’t like the spinning camera work here, because I want to see them both at once. Tahani is the better actress of the two. Nappytabs are happy, standing O. Cat got chills. Paula offers congrats to choreographer, Tahani is crying. This is her favorite performance by Tahani. Perfect pairing. Maddie agrees, she can relate to the dance, their commitment is insane, Tahani brings something extra. Jason loves the vulnerable side of hip hop. Nigel is amazed by how much emotion can come out of a hip hop piece. Tahani gives 100% always, and she’s one of his favorite.

 

National Dance Day thing.

 

Ruby and Paul do a Paso Doble with Jean Marc Generaux. Ruby is excited, it’s a fight. JM says not a fight, but a confrontation. We’ll see who comes out on top. Paul says if it was a real fight, Ruby would win. Maddie is excited for Ruby to show this style. Music is Echelon by Jack Trammell. Nice opening pose, nice lighting (seriously, the lighting folks are killing it this season). Her face is kind of weird in this one, it’s hard to see her expressions, and it appears her hair is kind of falling apart, but the dancing looks good. Jidges are standing. Maddie loves Jean Marc, and says YG are a phenomenal pair together. Jason says she is fighter, there were beautiful lines. Her hair *is* falling apart. Nigel agrees, formidable JM. Superb to Paul, and he gives Ruby credit because Paul has to keep up with her. Paula says it was an aggressive, hard routine, and she handled it well. She’s enjoying watching Ruby perform.

 

Jordan and Jake joined Pharcyde and Phoenix in a drumline hip hop routine. Jake can’t smile in this one, which is hard for him. The song is Bad Man by Missy Elliott, et.al. Ruby is sharper but Jake is holding his own, some cool moves in the choreo. Jordan carries Jake over to Cat. Jason thought it was fun, a lot of moments. He could tell Jordan feels more comfortable but Jake has some swag in him, too. Nigel says Jake had him hype, it was dope and fresh. Jake has to get down more, get Comfort to show him the stank personality. He says it’s great to see Jordan’s personality coming out. Paula says there have been no bad routines, they are all doing well, Maddie totally agrees.

 

Milky Way, I believe that is the dumbest commercial I’ve ever seen. Fire your advertising agency.

 

Tahani and JT are doing the cha cha, with Emma and Sasha. They are playing models on the red carpet.  Difficult footwork, and JT wants to show that he’s well rounded. Bom Bom Sam and the Womp. Jt can in fact shake his hips. Tahani is acting the crap out of it. It’s very cute and I’d wager better than many of the adult dancers have done when they tried to dance chacha out of their style. Nigel asks how many ballroom lessons, JT said he’s had 10 lesson, Tahani says maybe 7. Neither one of them really have it. They need to get more of the basics, he gives some constructive criticism regarding his derriere. Cat likes his little butt. Paula says she can’t keep her eyes off of them, they could see the lack of training but so enjoyable to watch them, and they’re going to keep improving. Maddie ITAs, thinks they will be great with more practice, but thought their performance made up for any technique issues. Jason’s proud of them.

 

Jordan dances with Sasha, a Sean Cheeseman piece, inspired by his father, who is very sick. They want to do justice to it. Jordan needs to focus more. She wants to make him proud. Maddie is confident that Jordan will get it. Sean hopes his dad can see the dance. Set to Amazing Grace by Harlem Gospel Choir. Wind machine, they are both visions in white. Some nice connections. Cool lift and the end is lovely. Paula thought the routine was beautiful, they shined, and this is her genre and she was gorgeous, lots of emotion. Maddie said it was beautiful, the simplicity, and Jordan was great. Jason congrats them for dancing to an a cappella song, said they seemed like one being at various points. Nigel said Sasha must be pleased with her choice. The compliment each other beautifully, she’s finding the emotions. Sasha is so proud of her.

 

KFC’s advertising department is on drugs, probably.

 

Jake & Jenna do Jive with Jean Marc. It’s a football themed jive, naturally. Lots of tricks, very technical. Maddie says wow. Dance is a full contact sport. The music is Land of 1000 Dances by the great Wilson Pickettt. Jake is jiving with actual football gear on.  Everyone seems pleased with it. Maddie loved Jean Marc’s choreo, Jakes partner work gets better every week – the partnered cartwheel was special. Jason says Jake brings something exciting and fun to watch. Jason wants his football jersey. This is where he shines, it’s uplifting. Paula says they’re a great couple and he’s very enjoyable to watch as a performer.

 

Emma and Tate do a Broadway number with Sean Cheeseman. They are troublemakers in detention. They aren’t allowed to be cute in this number, it’s all about being tough. They sing Trouble from Smokey Joe’s Cafe, a fun little blues riff. Schoolgirl uniforms. It’s cute, they aren’t totally in sync with each other, though. Jason thanks Sean for the choreography. They were outside of their element, they put their all in, it was fun to watch, but it wasn’t their best ever. Nigel thought they sat nicely in the groove of the music. Paula, really cute, they had fun, she could see it in School of Rock or something (is it because of the school uniforms and the music? Gosh, what a leap to make!). Maddie loves the routine, and it showed how versatile they are in different styles.

 

Ruby and Kida are working with Mandy Moore on a contemporary piece about looking to one another for help and support. She wants it to beautiful and emotional. They have to find the connection even though they are both out of their styles. They are dancing to Over the Rainbow by Shawn MacDonald. Beautiful lighting again. Ruby looks very comfortable, but Kida is actually doing an amazing job of feeling the style. It’s really lovely and sweet and I’m impressed with both of them. Standing O. Kida is emotional. Nigel said they danced beautifully, he thinks Kida is a joy, he’s growing. Nigel says to think about his breathing, choreograph his breathing. Ruby he felt all the way through. They were beautiful. Paula says that’s how it’s done, she was swept away, she didn’t see them as children, but as two beautiful dancers. She’s impressed and proud of Kida. Ruby takes her breath away, her lines were exquisite, and she loves Mandy’s choreography. Maddie – YG are phenom dancers, lines were gorgeous. Jason said they seemed like they were in their element even when they’re outside their element. Suggests Kida points his toes more.

 

All Stars with Tyce Diorio routine to A Star In A Stoneboat by the Kevin Keller Trio. I guess they’re in a snowglobe? Is there snow on stage or is that just an effect for TV? Looks like it’s actually there. As usual with Tyce it’s kind of a mess, too much happening at once. He’s not my favorite.

 

JT and Robert dance with Mandy Moore on a jazz number. The choreography is just about celebrating the dynamic duo. JT says he has to push harder. Maddie says it’s good to see him smile after a couple of weeks of more emotional routines. Friend Like Me from Aladdin by Ne Yo, it’s really cute and JT is great. Robert throws him way up in the air at one point. Paula said if you’re having a bad day, watch that routine over and over again. She said she could see that in a Broadway show. Maddie says they were great, they always wow her. Jason says he was in his element and it was amazing and fun to see. Nigel says they are great together, great partnership. He said to check out Shirley Temple & Bojangles, they have that kind of magic together.

Kida and Fikshun and Misha Gabriel, they are funky bees, better than the rest of the hive. Maddie has glasses and antenna. She says they like to misbeehive. The Buzz by Heritude, et al. Fikshun has a little of the groove at the beginning. It’s pretty fast moving and there is a very cool assisted flip. Really fun routine. Misha is happy. Harry Potter meets Bug’s life. Maddie loved it, so amazing. Jason says entertainment at its finest. Nigel Un-BEE-lievable, there will be social media buzz. Paula says great job, keep it going. Teamwork makes dreamwork. They show off their special handshake.

Tate and Kathryn and Travis Wall. It’s going to be complex, Kathryn is her birth mother, but she doesn’t have her shit together. Maddie says she has to pull from something she hasn’t experienced before. Travis said he would have done this with adult dancers. Set to She Used to be Mine, Sara Bareilles (it’s a song from her music for the musical Waitress). Tate is so strong. It was beautifully done, but honestly, I was told it would rip my heart out, and I didn’t feel it. Jason says amazing piece by Travis Wall, accomplished what you wanted. Nigel thanked Sara Bareilles TAte is so wonderful. Kathryn is one of the best actresses she’s ever had, that means a lot, she can learn that from Kathryn. Paula says Travis’ chore is like a voice that heals. Tate is a gift, she has become an emotionally connected exquisite. Maddie Travis is incredible, she thinks this might be the best dance of the compe. She is proud of Tate. Well done.

 

Bottom 2 will be going home tonight. I’m going to guess Ruby and Jordan or Ruby and Jake. Nope. Jordan and Jake. I’m bummed about Jordan. Jake is still smiling but he’s not happy. I hate this part!

SYTYCD: TNG Top 9 and Elimination

The top 9 with the all stars are up to perform to (ugh) Meghan Trainor’s (ugh) song  Me, Too. They are all in fedoras and pinstripes, boys in yellow ties, girls in pink. I wonder if Jonathan gets to stay even though Daniela went home? At first it’s just the AS, but then the kids come on and join in on the fun. Emma gets some good air on her jete. Sheaden and Kida have a moment which I think would have looked better if the camera was head on, then it’s the men, and it appears Jonathan is still there. Jenna gets a little solo. The audience screams when everyone moves in sync. Jake appears to be looking at Shea instead of doing whatever he’s supposed to be doing.

 

Cat hosts in a feathery dress. Brian Friedman did the opening choreo (I feel like they are recognizing the choreographers much more now). We meet the jidges again, as if we need to.

 

The kids will dance with all-stars again.

 

First up, Jake, Cat talks to him, he’s had an amazing week, he’s excited about his Samba with Jenna, and Dmitri choreo’s. I remember the one Danny and Lacey (Dancey!) did in season 3. Hopefully this one won’t be as sexy. Hip hip chin club des belugas. I have to hand it to the kid, he knows how to perform. He looks great with Jenna, and she’s so good. A little iffy on the bachacadas. This is funkier version, fast moving. Nigel thanks Dmitri and Jenya, they got engaged in addition to the choreo. Paula wants to squish him, and Jenna isn’t so bad either. Maddie says he cheeks hurt from smiling. Jason said it had Carnival all over it and that Jake owned the stage. He tries to pick up Jenna, also.

 

The kids have solos, too, along with a campaign speech. Tahani is up first. Doesn’t like how grownups take away their phones. Run the World (girls) Beyonce, good fit for Tahani. She’s so good.

 

Tate talks to Cat next. Proud grandparents. Story is about distance and time and how it separates people. Brian Friedman is the choreographer. Get Here by Oleta Adams is the music. Tate has an hourglass, which represents time, I guess, and there are silk barriers of some sort which I guess represent distance, and SO MUCH SMOKE I CAN’T SEE THEIR DAMN LEGS OR FEET! Tate disappears in the fog. It was hard to see most of it, although I’m sure they did fine. Paula thanks Brian Friedman, and he’s teary eyed. Tate is technically masterful, beautiful. Maddie thought it was incredible, she says she could hear “you guyses” breath as they breathed together. She got chills. Jason he says he wouldn’t be able to tell TNG from the Allstar, and that is not a dig at Kathryn, Tate is just that good. Nigel says she’s a step above the other dancers. She doesn’t have just great legs and feet, but something else that is special.

 

Sheadan makes a campaign speech, and he moonwalks in. Unlimited ice cream! Oh, for kids only. And then he dabs. His solo is set to Lean On, Major Lazer. I have a feeling he’s going to go home tonight. He’s great, but not quite up to par with the other kids.

 

Kida talks to Cat, he’s too cool for school. He’s nervous inside, but chill outside. He got Dave Scott this week, and he does an imitation of him, which is pretty good. Fikshun is the puppeteer and Kida is the puppet. Scott says it’s hip hop Pinocchio on Broadway, which I would see in previews before the prices went up, maybe. Maddie gets in there to puppeteer. Panda Desiigner. It’s excellent. They aren’t 100% in sync all the time, but it was terrific. Kida is special. Maddie thanks Dave Scott, she loved it. Fikshun’s hair is crazy. Clean in their movement, she wishes she had their quality – YG are so fun to watch. Jason says they’re not perfect, some level issues not addressed, need to add a little more level in his performance, he thought it was on one plane, add some fun. I feel like Jason was watching something else and I think the smiles looked choreo’d. Nigel disagrees with Jason (and agrees with me), thinks the facial expressions were part of the character, and he also is not a fan of Fikshunks hair. Paula thinks Kida is thriving, and he’s holding his own right next to Fikshun.

 

Ruby gives her campaign speech. We’re going to dance all day every day, all we need is dance and candy. She does her solo to The Girl’s Gone Wild by Travis Tritt. She seriously looks like an adult woman.

 

National Dance Day promo.

 

Jacki something choreographs a group routine for the kids, set to Wolf by Tailor. Tahani has a wee solo, hey manhandle JT a bit. The kids are so good, there’s a nice moment for Kida. In the back row Emma and JT look great.

 

JT needs a stepstool – he wants a longer summer and more pool time. Foreign relations, he doesn’t know. His solo is to Unsteady, not sure of artist. He looks like the most flexible, well coordinated toddler in the world. He dances so well for someone so tiny!

 

Jordan comes out to talk to Cat – she’s great, she loves her routine this week, she and Sasha are saxophone players. They had Ray Leeper, who is hiding, She says he sweats a lot. Straight up jazz, inspired by 1920s, really sassy and “saxy”, he says. Fast music, lot of moves in short time, the music is Sax, Fleur East, and it sounds way more 80s than 20s. Great costumes and lights. It moves right along and Ruby’s smile is so infectious. They are great together. Jason says super dope piece by Leeper, lot of dynamics, he enjoyed all the moments, they had fun so we had fun, they weren’t always in synch, though, which is true. Nigel doesn’t know where they breath, it got a leetle sloppy at the end, but they were both sparkling. Paula loves to see her personality, that’s a hard routine, she said watch the bent knees but the showmanship was great. Maddie says Jordan is growing, YG were just amazing.

 

Tate would like to be the first Canadian President of the US. The only wall between the US and Canada should be Travis Wall – Her solo is Lorikeet by The Ship Shape (which I’ll be downloading shortly), interesting music and she’s right with each little sound. She never looks hurried or like she’s trying hard, really.

 

How is Sheadan coping after being in the bottom last week. He said it was scary, he thinks Marko was more nervous than he was. How was rehearsal, he said it was great, tried to focus, give his A game and have fun. He wants to show he should be here. Luther Brown is the choreographer, Sheadan is the boss, he has the swag, Luther Brown loves him. Maddie says he’s a character when he dances, he needs to show who he really is. The music is Down in the DM by Yo Gotti (I think?), he’s not as polished as Marko, not as smooth, although he’s good and his expression is great. Really enjoyable. They get a standing O. Nigel loved it, the old man swag, pacemaker pulse, defribrilator liberator, Luther Brown gettin’ down, this was his fave thing Sheadon’s done. Paula says he’s a little soul, he’s very smart with his performance, his face is authentic with the movement, the joy is contagious. Maddie totally agrees, best he’s ever done, stupid how good he is. Jason says he did it. You were in the bottom and now he showed him. Those little nuances were great, it takes a lot to be that cool and suave. They are adorable together running off. I still think he’s going home tonight.

 

Emma’s campaign speech, day where you could do something good for the world – that’s good, she could win. There would also be Tapping Tuesday. The music is Expensive by Tori Kelly and someone else who’s name was gone before I caught it. What to say, she’s just awesome and her timing is always perfect.

 

Allstars routine by Travis Wall – Send in the Clowns sung by Sarah Vaughn. I think this was prerecorded since there is no screaming. Kathryn is tossed around like a doll.  But now she’s a clown like everyone else. It’s a little creepy, actually. But good, and excellently performed.

 

Cat talks to Ruby, who likes Cat’s dress. She worked with Miriam and Leonardo and there were a lot of bugs in the room (insect bugs, I’m assuming). Argentine Tango, Paul is trying to pass the Tango legacy to his younger sister. Ruby says it is not the tango she’s used to. Lots of ganchos have her abusing Paul’s legs. Maddie thought the rehearsal was great, the footwork was amazing. The music: Malevo Electro Dub Tango. Lovely costuming for the story. Really nice lift, It was sweet, well performed. Standing O. Paula thanks the choreographers, they were wonderful together. Well done! Maddie says Ruby is incredible, the footwork is crazy, and it didn’t look like a new style to Ruby. Jason agrees, he said it put him a vacation mood. He asks what was the hardest, she said the footwork, and that she kicked Paul a lot. Nigel said it was beautiful, he was transported. I wasn’t quite transported, but it made me smile.

 

Jordan makes her campaign speech. Root beer every day, wear pajamas all the time. Her solo is set to Confident by Demi LOvato. It’s a cute choreo, not as overloaded as her previous one.

 

Cat talks to Tahani next. What does she miss while being on the show. Seeing her family, her brother, even her brother, leaves his cereal bowl. She and Comfort are doing a dance hall piece where Tahani is the annoying little sister who wants to do everything big sister Comfort is doing. Maddie can relate although she says her sister is more annoying. Loure Courtellemont us the choregrapher. It’s Jamaican, and Tahani says she has to get into the vibe. Set to Get Busy by Sean Paul. Comfort looks gorgeous. Tahani always looks like she’s having a great time. She dances while in backbend. It was really good. Maddie loved the choreo, first time dance hall was done on show, they were perfect. Jason said it was dope, and calls the choreographer Sean Paul. This is his life. He gets all Jamaican. Nigel loved it. Paula says well done.

 

Why should you vote for Jake? He’s starting the pizza party, with a one day a week for dancing day, he wants to make America Jake again. It’s a Man’s, Man’s Man’s etc. World, didn’t catch the artist, but it was definitely not James Brown. Jake is all suave. Well done.

 

Chat with JT and Cat, youngest SYTYCD contestant in history. He’s doing amazing (but not grammatically correct). Choreographed by Travis Wall, he was so excited inside but cool in the outside. He does a Travis impression, it’s very cute. Robert feels like he has no purpose in life, he sees his younger self in the mirror, and it’s JTs job is to make Robert remember who he was and how to make good choices again. Maddie says wow during rehearsal. The music is The Mirror by Alexandre Desplat (j’adore! downloading!). It’s very moving, and JT does a fantastic job of equalling Robert in movement and feeling. Robert pulls JT through the mirror and it’s beautiful. Stage magic, the mirror is replaced by a real mirror. It made me cry. Jason says wow, Travis inspires the world with his work, he tells JT he makes a grown man emotional. Bravo. Nigel, thinks Travis will get nominated again. Jon Parry the camera man also did a great job. He says they’re a great pair, and he brought something special out in both of them. Stunning routine. Brilliantly danced. Paula says applause was created for a moment like that. She thinks JT is learning from Robert, steps are steps, but what you bring to it is most important. Maddie says Travis is so amazing. Maddie says he’s not just a cute little kid and she expects he will go far. I’ll admit, it made me cry.

 

Vote for Kida, who wants to replace water with orange juice, and why don’t we only eat pizza. I’m with you on the pizza, my friend, but orange juice gives me a rash. Lazarus by someone, I’m sure. I think Kida’s showmanship has grown. He does his thang, which he does so well.

 

Emma and Cat chat. Difficult this week. In her tap duet with Gabby, has to put the cute side away and be strong and fierce. Chloe Arnold is the choreographer. Emma loves it, it’s sassy and fast. Salute by Little Mix. Not 100 percent in synch, but very good, especially on the fast part. Great job. Nigel loves tap, he loves what Chloe Arnold did, stepping, hip hop and fast tap. He loves them, too. Some of the cleanest taps Paula has heard. Fierce, focused and fabulous. Maddie. YG are amazing, she loves tap, Emma is sassy. Jason said both this and her solo were great.
Now everyone comes out and there will be an elimination. I think Sheadan is going, he had a great night tonight but everyone voted last week. Ruby and Sheadan are at the bottom. The judges will deliberate. Judges have decided to place Sheadan in 9th place. Sheaden is leaving us, Ruby stays. Cat gives him a pep talk, he’s trying not to cry. Oh, man, Marko is crying, Sasha is crying, Ruby is crying, Maddie is crying, everyone’s crying! I hate the part where they send kids home.

Ads I Hate

The CT State Lottery has been this commercial for Keno, which is brand new to CT, and I have an irrational rage deep inside every time I see it. Is it the jaunty music? Is it the fact that everyone in the ad is 100 years younger than the average age of a Keno player? Is it the weird stop motion movements?