Watch List – March 11-17, 2024: So You Think You Can Dance!

Television

So You Think You Can Dance (Hulu)

This show used to be an obsession for me and D. I mean, it was kind of something we lived. Two of her dance teachers auditioned in the show’s heyday and we even saw one of them on TV!

D herself went to a couple dance conventions where she took classes with choreographers on the show, like Sonya Tayeh, Dave Scott and Brian Friedman one year!

Heck, she even went to college with a future winner.

So what I’m saying is – SYTYCD nights were a huge part of our lives for many years. I wish I could find the old episodes somewhere to watch. I understand all the music rights might be hard to get, though.

So, I watched last season and it was fine – an improvement in representation. I remember liking it, but not being blown away by much of anything. My brain promptly forgot it came back.

Then the other night, I was in TV limbo after the new episode of Abbott Elementary and saw SYTCD in my “continue watching” queue.

So I did.

Gosh, do I love the vibes I’m getting from it. Cat Deeley is still there as her stellar host self, of course. The thing I love most about this season is that the judging panel is made up completely of former contestants: Maksim Chmerkovsky, Comfort Fedoke and Allison Holker.

It was very sweet (to me) because you could tell they were all a bit uncomfortable at first, but they all settled into their new roles and really started having fun with it.

By the end of episode 1, I had welled up multiple times and finished the episode similarly, after a small tribute to Allison’s late husband, another former contestant Stephen “Twitch” Boss.

Then, in episode 2, there was a auditionee who had Ehlers Danlos and was in a wheelchair. Her performance was incredible. They put her through to the choreography round, because they wanted to see how well she was able to adapt.

I do too.

So, yeah, I’m gonna keep watching.

Survivor Season 46 (Paramount Plus)

I do such a terrible job taking notes during the US Survivor episodes, that I’m gonna try to do a word vomit live blog in this space here and see how it goes.

My thoughts on this episode as they happened:

  • Ugh this fake idol play was so unnecessary.
  • omg I spelled “necessary” correctly on the first try.
  • Bhanu is stressing me out.
  • der der der “roughest starts in the new era”. Same shit every season.
  • Mermaid dragon is a great way to describe Kenzie.
  • Oh also add this to my Aussie Survivor post -I hate the Shot in the Dark. When it worked it was fine. But there is so much talk about it and so little payoff.
  • I do like the way this Beware Advantage works though.
  • I like Hunter
  • This is the best Survivor bed I’ve ever seen I think
  • What is happening with Randen?
  • I feel like Aussie Survivor would handle this way better – they give castaways 24 hours away from the game for medical care if needed.
  • UGH I HATE “IN ADDITION” REWARDS, JEFF
  • Oh look today is a water obstacle course
  • and then they have to dig, ugh
  • And now they have to throw things to hit targets
  • I am watching episode 3 btw
  • Big surprise, Yanu is going to tribal again
  • Liz, Ben and Bhanu go on a dumb journey. Hooray.
  • I get good vibes from Ben. I like him, too.
  • Why do these journeys have to be so overly complicated, ugh
  • I know it will have already happened by the time this is published, but Bhanu crying reminded me of Caroline in Aussie Survivor and if she wins I will be so sad.
  • Of course this is a puzzle.
  • Yeah – the Aussie method would work way better in this case. (Randen’s medical issue)
  • NO tribal council. Eh.
  • Jeffs, you are disappointing me. This is starting to feel like a demand and I don’t know if I would keep watching it if I wasn’t having so much fun with Molls and I’s podcast.
Community (Netflix)

Mickey said it better than me this week. (He made this comment on one of my posts and wanted to get more eyes on it. It’s very insightful.)

Mickey says:

“I love-hate how our memory circuits are so damaged in totally different ways. 

Jacki: Oh, I forgot all about this. YAY, New show!

Me: I forgot this existed until you mentioned it and now my memory is being overflooded with every fact, emotion, tidbit, and blooper I have collected regarding this one small piece of information. 

So… during the mid-days of the pandemic, we started a watch through of Community and specifically had a notebook (one that I started on my trip to the middle east) taking notes of the downfall of Britta. 

In today’s T.I.M. talk, I will illustrate the three pronged attack on Britta to create a hated character. 

One… Dan Harmon created the story circle based on Joe C’s Hero’s Journey. The first step of the DHSC is “YOU”. Dan’s style of writing insists that the very first thing the audience encounters is the main character. (This excludes cold opens which are basically prologues). And, the opening of Community is Jeff and Abed. 

The American TV watching audience of that day were easily fooled into thinking Jeff was the main character. And, as the audience of a Dan Harmon story…. Jeff is YOU. So, YOU the audience is trying to date Britta and she rebuffs the advances of YOU… so YOU begin to not like her. 

If one were insane or autistic… one might do a deep dive and find out who hurt Dan so badly for him to create Britta. I know that Trey Parker had just broken up with someone who cheated on him… so he named the horse in his student film after the ex-girlfriend. 

A few episodes in, the audience has now become slightly angry at Britta for dating Vaughn. She’s essentially cheating on US the audience because we believe we are the main character and we believe the main character is Jeff. On a mental manipulation model, this is top notch strawmanning. We’re Luke letting our hatred flow through the Emperor now replaced with Britta. 

So, the writers set us up to hate her from the moment the study group starts.

Now, the Vaughn Affair. Vaughn is a faux-hippie. As we learned in “Family Ties”, hippies are gross liars who turn into corporate shills as soon as they turn 30. (Although, some of the teachings of Family Ties has to be walked back a bit because that was top notch propaganda by the Ray Gun team.) 

But worse than being a hippy, Vaughn is a person with Fragile Male Ego. If you break the episode into basic Lego building blocks…. a lady is dating a man. The man sees the relationship differently. The lady speaks to her friend for advice. Britta, being the lady, has done nothing wrong, shady, or even questionable. 

It becomes questionable because Vaughn has unspoken expectations and is grading Britta on that level. 

Now, the “friend” is shitty. But, in this case, Jeff can’t do anything wrong because Jeff is US. But, Jeff violated Britta’s trust. He then released the poem without authorization. That caused a break in Vaughn’s Fragile Ego. 

Without untangling the situation or investigating any further, Vaughn reacts. In a later episode, he will react the same way to Annie… but then recants and gives Annie a second chance. Why didn’t Britta deserve a second chance? But that is another key device used by the writers… making mountains out of specks of dust. 

Vaughn’s singular opinion of Britta being a B, a GDB… is then popularized through the school via the Britta song. It’s not a good song, but it is a catchy song. While the study group were against Vaughn, they lacked any kind of support for Britta. 

And then the Bag-GULL incident. Dan Harmon has a flavor of mental stew that leads to the “everyone hates me” feeling a lot of the time. And, he also incorrectly pronounced bagel as BAG-GULL. And someone laughed. And, he turned it into a horrific scene in his brain. I do this every moment of every day and it is exhausting. 

So, he recreated that feeling and chose to put that on Britta. The real feeling of Dan’s mental feelings about being crushed from one mispronunciation wouldn’t have worked with any other character. Pierce… we hate already because he represents old racist white men. Shirley wouldn’t get bullied. Even in her worst moments, she is treated with kid gloves. Annie would have been “cute”, Troy would have leaned into it an by the end of the episode everyone would be saying BAG GULL. Abed is bulletproof and additionally, the group would have felt like it was punching down. Jeff wouldn’t put up with people trying to bully him and he would swing back twice as hard … he had already done that three times by the time this episode aired. 

So Britta was the only one who could convey Dan’s pain. Dan is a “OOooh, TV writer” but has the confidence of someone already walking out carrying their box of desk stuff. Britta is the “cool chick who lived in New York”, but she has the confidence of a home school girl who hasn’t seen another human in 18 years. 

Britta is a perpetual outsider who accidentally found herself on the inside of a group. And that is a trait that makes others not trust her. Read again… it’s not that she is untrustworthy… it’s just difficult for people to place their trust in her. So, they try to tear her down.

And to be perfectly honest, my ADHD kicked in way up there so I’ve just been coasting on fumes, but I think I hit most of the points.”

The Great Pottery Throwdown (Max)

I have finished another season and they did actual slip casting in this one! Which is the same style of ceramics I do in my classes.

I have some air dry clay here I think I’m gonna make a Tracy Morban with. I think I can do it.

Starting a new season and meeting a new cast of potters! And probably a new host. That part of this show does kind of annoy me. A new home, too! The Gladstone Pottery Museum.

As long as Keith is there to judge, I’ll be happy, though! OMG, Rich the kiln guy is the other judge this year!! I love this.

The Americans (Hulu)

Y’all we ended on a cliffhanger that has one of my favorite characters dying and I am so looking forward to seeing what happened. I keep trying to convince my brain and my body that their death was just a dream, but I am not hopeful.

This is not that kind of show.

This is, however, the sort of show that is really excellent at people. And one of those characters that has grown on me over these last four seasons is Martha. At first, I just was kind of embarrassed or sad for her, getting strung along by a spy as she’s doing.

Now, I must protect her at all costs.

Abbott Elementary (Hulu)

This is a two episode week.

Of course the one after the Oscars made me cry. It was lovely and filled me with happiness.

Now I will react in real time to the latest episode, which aired last night. It is called “Librarian” and I am hoping to see more Lance, please.

Cold open slaps, as always.

LAAAAAAAANCE!!!!

It makes me so sad to think about schools without librarians.

Okay, I love this Jacob and Melissa messaround. Warms my cockles. Also, it is such a joyful feeling when you find out that someone else obsesses over the same tv show you do.

This is such a good illustration of how hard it is to start new programs in the workplace. Especially when “Things have been working fine for years”.

This show never fails to make me cry.

Mad Men (AMC+)

I am at Season 3, Episode 11 – ‘The Gypsy and the Hobo’. I have been watching maybe one or two episodes a week, while I do my blogging and winding down pre-gymnastics.

Really been paying attention to Roger lately. He’s a lost little boy at the core. I mean, all of them are in some sense or another, but he *really* is. He hasn’t even lost his mom or his shoe shiner yet. He, like most people, is just trying to fit in (in his own way).

I love this show so much, y’all. It scratches my brain just right and fills me with infinite amounts of promise and inspiration.

Australian TV

Survivor Season 9: Titans vs. Rebels

I am gonna shed a tear when this ends next week. This has been a RIDE. I might have to add this season to my “Australian Survivor School” curriculum as a third semester offering. It’ll be an entire-ass degree by the whole time I’m finished.

I’m leaning towards a Feras (duh-doi) or Raymond win at this moment in time. Kirby is really playing a freaking stellar game though. I like her better with Rianna on the Jury.

Of course, listen to our podcast to hear us wax poetic about who we love (Feras and Ray) and who we hate (Caroline).

Movies

Ricky Stanicky (Amazon Prime)

You know what? I hate to say it but this was fun. Going in, I expected it to be dumb, but then as the credits rolled, I noticed that it was a Peter Farrelly movie. His humor scratches my brain just right.

I also might have gotten allergies at least once.

I know a lot of people hated this, based on online comments I’ve read. Did you watch it? What did you think?

Austenland (Hulu)

I put this on because I am obsessed with Keri Russel right now. This is another thing I avoided watching for the longest time because my brain was unable to see her as anything BUT Felicity, despite never really watching that show.

I should have left this movie unwatched. It did not tickle my brain in the way I wanted it to, but at least I got to see Major John Andre again.

Three Thousand Years of Longing (Amazon Prime)

The Tilda Swinton of it all is what caused me to pause at this one at first… and the short description drew me in.

“While attending a conference in Istanbul, Dr. Alithea Binnie happens to encounter a djinn who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom.”

The first lines of the movie had me hooked and I stayed there the whole way through.

“My name is Alithea. My story is true. You’re more likely to believe me, however, if I tell it as a fairy tale. So, once upon a time when humans hurtled across the sky on metal wings, when they wore webbed feet and walked on the bottom of the sea, when they held in their hands glass tiles that could coax love songs from the air, there was a woman, adequately happy and alone. Alone by choice.”

It’s a bunch of gorgeous art to look at, as well. I loved seeing someone question and break down all these mystical wish greeting genie stories. It felt fresh and old-timey at the same time. It makes my brain tingle in a good way, like when I see a painting or sculpture that I really like.

However, I feel like a movie was the wrong format somehow – this needs to be more intimate? Like a play or something. I saw that it was based on a book, so maybe I will check that out.

Upgraded (Amazon Prime)

I mean, it was fine for a RomCom. I loved being immersed in the art world (however far from reality it might be) for a little while.

The Secret of Roan Inish (Starz)

This is one I’d put on in the evenings when I was in *a mood* (you know, like all introspective and gloomy, but still magical somehow?) and we were closing down the video store. The music was haunting, the scenery was lovely and the story was easy enough to follow while making sure the movie cases were evenly spaced and the candy was stocked and the drinks were faced and the drawers were counted.

And then I stopped working at Blockbuster and promptly forgot this movie existed until my friend Breanna recommended it after I put out the call for “good Irish films”.

The instant the music started I felt like I was right back there in the middle of Blockbuster. That was definitely one of my favorite jobs. I was so good at it. I loved talking about movies all day and having lists of things to do.

When we couldn’t figure out where a movie went, I made it a game to convince a customer to rent it, so that we wouldn’t have the figure it out. I won an award for pre-selling the most copies of Titanic in the entire state of Florida (or the district or something. I dunno; my memory is shit.) I was good at Blockbuster.

So, yeah, this is just a lovely as I remember.

Gymnastics

2023 US Gymnastics Championships (FlipNow)

We have finally, FINALLY gotten some new announcers in the US. I like them much better – they don’t go so hard on one gymnast all the time AND they are way more positive.

Y’all, it’s gonna be so hard to pick an Olympic team this year. I mean, Simone is a given, but after that, there’s like a good 12 folks that could join her.

Here’s who I love right now (US team only, of course. I will share my International favorites in another post on another day.):

  • Kayla DiCello
  • Shilese Jones
  • Joscelyn Roberson
  • Tiana Sumanasekera
  • Kaliya Lincoln
  • Nola Matthews

But there are other potential spot takers like Leanne Wong and Skye Blakely and Jade Carey. We have so many good gymnasts right now!

Everyone does! There are so many gymnasts I love from different countries too!

You can bet your ass I’ll be livestreaming the Women’s gymnastics competitions at the Olympics this year.

Diving too probably.

Or whatever’s on.

I love the fuckin’ Olympics.

Other

Schiaparelli Fall/Winter 2024/2025 Ready-to-Wear

Fashion shows have been my go to thing on YouTube when nothing else scratches my brain just right. It’s a excellent sort of thing to watch for pattern recognition.

The look pictured above was one of my favorites. I loved seeing all the jacket variety – especially because now I have a chance to actually wear them, you know.

And the reason I picked Schiaparelli to watch is because when Emily Blunt was walking the red carpet and I saw her lil ‘floating over the shoulder’ straps, I screamed in my head “That’s a Sciaperelli!!” because I recognized Daniel Roseberry’s style immediately. Here’s what I look for – awkwardness and surrealistic body parts and detailing.

I love how much fun Schiaparelli has with clothes!

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