SYTYCD Season 8 Performance Finale

I’m not sure there’s much more to add to what’s already out there, but here’s my thoughts on last night’s finale anyways.

Yes, the show fell a little flat and ended up being kind of disappointing. I mean with such a strong Final 4, you couldn’t help but wish they had gotten more to work with. Obviously yes, we can chalk it up to fatigue, because with 4 dances a piece plus a solo, they were definitely going to be tired. However, that’s always been the case with the finales: all the contestants dance with each other and then in this year’s case, they dance a routine with an all-star (the 4th number was a group routine in previous years). But for some reason, it feels like this year’s group got it the hardest as far as all the things they have to do for these finale shows. Maybe that’s just me, but it seems that way.

At the same time though, the dancer’s fatigue is one part, but the other part is what they’re given to dance. I don’t just mean the choreography, but the dance style and choreographer as well. Yes, it applies for the whole season, the whole luck of the draw, but it’s particularly important for the finale. From the way I see it, having watched every season of SYTYCD, there are things that should not be in the finale.

  1. Don’t bring in a dance style that has not already been featured this season. Sure, we’ve seen disco and stepping before on the show, but not this season. I honestly thought we were gonna make it through this entire season without a disco routine, and I was perfectly fine with that because there haven’t been that many great disco routines in the run of the show. And only on the very rare occasion has a new style actually worked in the finale (to be precise, that’d be Season 4, Joshua & Twitch’s trepak, but if I remember correctly, they ended up incredibly dehydrated after that).
  2. Use choreographers who have a solid rep with the show. This is sort of an extension of the first point. But also no offense to the choreographers. I would think that it would make more sense for the dancers to be working with choreographers, who they’ve already worked with on the show; there’s a better connection there. I say this with love, but as surprised as I was to see Mark Ballas choreographing for SYTYCD last night, I was disappointed by what he brought. He was asked to choreograph a cha-cha, but I have to ask where all the fun was? If they didn’t say anything, I don’t think I would’ve known it was a cha cha. On the other hand though, Tessandra Chavez, who only choreographed her 2nd routine for the show last night (and first of the season) did an incredible job. So I guess it’s hit and miss as well, but still. And I also know a lot of the other choreographers (NappyTabs, Travis Wall, Melanie LePatin & Tony Meredith) are busy doing other projects which made them unavailable for the finale, so it’s not their fault either.
  3. This sounds really stupid but, boots are not acceptable dance footwear. Season 4, Courtney & Joshua’s Jive, she wore boots, it didn’t work. Season 5, Kayla & Evan’s Jive, she wore cowboy boots, which was good for the song that was used but still no. Yesterday, Tadd & Marko’s Gumboot Stepping routine, which called for gumboots, but still, it’s just wrong.

I think overall, we just needed a lot more excitement in the routines, and that also stems from the music being used.

Now, as far as choosing a winner, it’s a little hard. If we look at who got the most variety in styles, Marko should take it – he got Disco, Broadway, Contemporary, Stepping. Melanie, Sasha & Tadd all got at least 2 routines that were firmly in their wheelhouse (or in Tadd’s case, pretty damn close). But if a girl should win (and probably will) it has to be Melanie, bias aside.

Anyways, still looking forward to the finale tonight, despite a lackluster performance show.

Glee Finale – “Journey”

It’s been a week since the season finale of Glee and I’m a little sad to think that tonight when I turn on my TV, I won’t have Glee to watch.

Glee’s season finale was a great watch. In the episode, we’re finally at Regionals but that’s not before we’re told that Sue Sylvester will be one of the judges on the celebrity panel, which included Josh Groban and Olivia Newton-John. The news sent the kids into a funk (ugh, sorry, I didn’t really wanna use that word but it was the first word to come into mind. Damn you, previous episode of Glee!). Will heard Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ in his car, cried, and then found inspiration for what the kids would do for Regionals – a Journey medley! Genius! (Not really. But maybe sorta.)

Before performing, Finn adorably tells Rachel he loves her, and then they get into “Faithfully.” The rest of the medley included a mash-up of “Any Way You Want It + Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin'” (because it wouldn’t be New Directions or Glee if there wasn’t a mash-up involved) and a new version of “Don’t Stop Believin'” which featured the rest of the group. It was a fantastic performance that got everyone on their feet, and very soon after, Quinn’s water breaks.

So we get into one of the best sequences in Glee. As Quinn goes into labour, it’s cut with Vocal Adrenaline performing “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Afterwards, we see Rachel talking to Shelby, trying to convince her to come teach at McKinley and coach Glee Club with Will, while at the same time giving her some opportune mother-daughter bonding time. But Shelby answered with a definitive no, and told Rachel that she wanted to stop coaching period so she could have a life. Who knew, when she said she wanted to have a life, that meant adopting baby Beth, Quinn and Puck’s new baby?

In the end, Vocal Adrenaline won Regionals, while New Directions didn’t even place. I’m actually a bit surprised that not many others have pointed this out, but it was weird the way they announced it. There’s three teams, they have a prize for first and runner-up. They announced runner-up first (which was some other group, Aural Intensity), and then announced VA as the winners leaving ND in the dust. It just seems cruel/harsh to make them believe they might win. (Whatever, it’s TV I guess). VA were clearly better, and as a TV viewer and Glee fan, you kind of had the feeling that in order for the show to go anywhere, ND could not have won the first year they compete in Regionals, especially against VA.

With ND not even placing, the truth hit them that Glee would be no more (as per Schue’s deal with Figgins). Emma was having not of that and went into a screaming match with Figgins to try and keep Glee in tact. Shortly thereafter, Emma and Will have a conversation about the fact that some things are worth fighting for. Cue Will getting all romantic, kissing in the hallway and proclaiming “Dentist or no, this thing isn’t over between us!” (Oh right, earlier in the episode, Emma told Will that she had begun dating her dentist, who will be played by John Stamos next season. Uncle Jesse! LOL!)

The kids sat around on the auditorium stage and told Will about how Glee had changed their lives. To show their appreciation for all that he had done for them over the past year, the kids performed “To Sir With Love.” The song is quite old but that’s the great thing about Glee, they take old songs, redo it and introduce it to a new generation. As the song ends, Will is again tearing up and the shot pans out to show Sue at the back of the auditorium.

Turns out, Sue does have a heart (we kind of already knew that) and doesn’t really hate Glee Club all that much, as she continued her blackmail of Figgins and convinced him to give Glee Club one more year. And we get into the final performance of the season, with Will performing “Over the Rainbow” (the Israel Kamakawiwo’ole version) for the kids. With all the rapping that Will had done all season, you sometimes forget how great of a voice Matthew Morrison has, and this performance was definitely great (as was his performance at the Tony Awards).

The episode was titled “Journey” for great reason. New Directions performed a Journey medley, the kids have been on a journey from the beginning, and we viewers have been able to witness all the ups and downs of the show. The pilot first came to us last May after an episode of American Idol, and from there, it became a huge success – after one episode! The buildup to the official fall premiere was crazy, as was the wait for the back 9 episodes. Glee is by no means perfect as it has only just finished its freshman season (which people sometimes forget between seeing the pilot last May plus the long hiatuses), but it has done a lot of good things. A show parents and kids can watch and enjoy together? Bring old music to a new generation? Great messages about being yourself and accepting who you are and accepting others? All good things to have come out of Glee. Their slight missteps can and should be taken into account while the show’s producers and writers map out the next season, but overall, the season ended on a high note. And I’m most definitely proud to say that I’m a Gleek!

Chuck 2-Hour Season Finale – “Versus the Subway” + “Versus the Ring, Part 2”

Lots of good stuff happening on last night’s 2-hour season finale of Chuck. At the end of last week’s episode, we saw for a fact that Shaw (Brandon Routh) was very much alive and had downloaded the Ring’s version of the Intersect into his brain. This week, we saw the outcome of all that and more.

I honestly don’t even know where to start with everything that went on. We got a lot of family dynamics going on between the relationship with all the Bartowskis, and also Casey’s relationship with his daughter. It was inevitable that Ellie was going to finally find out in this episode that Chuck is a spy. We saw a flashback of when they were kids, and Ellie promised their dad that she would protect Chuck and always have his back, and obviously to this day she has kept that promise. After Shaw shot Steve Bartowski, which Ellie witnessed, she forced Chuck to promise that after he captured Shaw, he would quit the spy life.

What we’ve known for a few episodes now is that Chuck’s flashes have gotten worse. Before being shot, the senior Bartowski managed to create a Governor for Chuck, a watch device that keeps Chuck alive and manages his flashes. Shaw was after it but after an epic final battle at the Buy More, Chuck managed to recover the Governor from Shaw.

Chuck in all its action, still manages to be very funny. After Chuck, Sarah, and Casey are captured by Shaw and the Ring, Morgan and Awesome are their last hope. Not having a plan, but luckily driving Casey’s Crown Vic, the two were trying to figure out how to save Team Bartowski and ended up accidently launching a missile towards the van that held the team captive. Whatever works to get them out, right? Shaw had also put a bunch of bombs in the Buy More and after the previously mentioned epic battle between Shaw and Chuck, everyone was looking around for the detonator. In true ‘Chuck’ fashion, Morgan was the one that found it (let it be known that at this point, he had already broken his thumbs and his entire hand was wrapped/casted) and accidently dropped it, leaving all to run out in 10 seconds before the Buy More blew up. Oh, we also got the Jeffster music video to “Blaze of Glory” playing while Shaw/Chuck battle went on.

I have to give kudos to Josh Schwartz and the writers of ‘Chuck’ because they once again did some great things for the show. They had no idea whether or not the show was going to get a 4th season; everyone was hopeful but no one knew until last week essentially. They wrapped things off nicely in the case that if the show was not renewed, it would have a decent ending, but they still left a little something at the end so as to have a jumping off point if the show was renewed (which it was). Chuck made due on his promise to Ellie that he was done with the spy life, now that Shaw was captured. But, from the dead, their dad sent Chuck a message letting him in on his secrets and what he’s been running from. The jumping off point for next season? The return/revelation of Mrs. Bartowski, Chuck’s mom.  Well played Josh Schwartz and company. Not AS good as last season’s, “Guys I know kung fu!” but pretty damn good nonetheless.

Comedy Season Finales

Another season has come to pass and considering I kind of forgot to blog about the season finales of Community and The Office this past Thursday, I figured I’d combine my thoughts on the season finales of my 4 favourite sitcoms of the moment into one post.

COMMUNITY: The show had a bit of a rough start in their freshman season, with episodes that were really funny followed by episodes that were not-so funny. But as it went along, it really hit its stride, which brings us to the finale. The big thing going on in the episode was that Greendale was having its “prom” or “Trannie Dance” (LOL). Britta and Professor Slater were both vying for Jeff’s affections, and both ended up professing their love for him. Jeff couldn’t choose and then we were all caught off guard when he and Annie kissed. Sure, they had already kissed early on in the season, but we sorta thought that relationship prospect was shot down because well, Annie’s supposed to only be 19 and Jeff is…well… Jeff. Anyways, along with the romantic entanglements was Troy and Abed’s usual bromantic antics. Troy was upset at Abed for not asking him to move in together next year, but Abed’s reasoning is that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Troy had to learn that the hard way after getting a stomach ache from consuming a huge cookie. I look forward to how the writers continue next season.

THE OFFICE: This season of The Office has been a little iffy for me. Sure, we had some great episodes (Jim and Pam’s wedding + the birth of their baby, come to mind immediately), but the show’s been better in past seasons. This particular episode, entitled “The Whistleblower” dealt with information being released that the Sabre printers were causing fires. Everyone immediately pointed fingers at Andy, which makes sense considering he was the one who discovered it in the first place. Turns out Darryl, Pam, and Kelly all had something to do with the news leaking. The episode was going great until it slightly diverged to focusing on Michael and Jo. Michael ended up being the one to let the public know of what the company was planning to do with the exploding printers, and Jo told Michael that she’d try to work on getting Holly back to Scranton.

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER: I loved the notion that Ted made in saying that their entire gang had come a long way from who they were 5 years ago. It’s certainly true, not just of the characters but of the show as well. With last night’s season finale, the show continued on its characters’ quest to find their dopplegangers. Marshall and Lily decided a couple episodes back that they would leave it up to the universe to tell them when it was time to have a baby, and when they found Barney’s doppleganger (the last one needed), that would be the universe’s sign. Right at the beginning of the episode, we see what we believe is Barney’s doppleganger, but it was actually Barney in disguise trying to pick up girls (what else is new? lol). The other big storyline of the episode was Robin being offered a lead anchor job in Chicago, and while her relationship with Don had been going great, she was once again forced to make a decision between love or career. Robin initially chose her career but then ultimately decided to choose love. Unfortunately, after she turned down the job, the offer was given to Don and he took it. One of the things I love about HIMYM is that beyond it being really funny, it also has a lot of heart. And though it is taking a really long time to find out who the mother is, the journey makes it entirely worth it.

THE BIG BANG THEORY: What’s funny about this episode is the idea that Raj and Howard were setting up Sheldon on a dating site, which promised that it can find a perfect match for anyone. Much to their surprise, the website did as it promised and seriously found a female Sheldon for Sheldon. Much to our disappointment as viewers, the exchange between Sheldon and his “perfect match” Amy Farrah Fowler (played by Blossom, Mayim Bialik) was at the very end of the episode and left things sort of hanging. Elsewhere in the episode, Penny was on a date with some new guy and later came back drunk, blaming Leonard for ruining her capacity to tolerate idiots, and then she pulled Leonard into his bedroom to have sex, only to wake up the next morning and realize that it was a drunken mistake. Season 3 has been fantastic, to say the least, for the Big Bang gang. My hope for them is that they continue this awesomeness next season, and hopefully get some Emmy love because the show most definitely deserves it.

One Tree Hill/Gossip Girl Season Finales

To save time and space, I figured I’d combine the posts about the One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl finales into one (not to mention my brain is not fully functioning with being sick and all).

ONE TREE HILL: The season finale took place mostly in Utah, where the entire gang went to see Julian’s movie premiere. There were nice moments all around. Haley was coming out of her depression following the death of her mom. Mouth and Skills were getting their friendship back together. Julian was nervous as hell about his movie premiere, and ended up getting advice from Jamie. The episode was nice, moving things along with a lot of optimism – how I like my OTH, with no drama. But then again, OTH wouldn’t be the same and it wouldn’t be a finale without some huge moments and drama. Julian proposed to Brooke (yay!). Haley’s pregnant! Crazy Katie came back and shot Quinn and Clay!…WAIT WHAT?! How the hell did Katie get out of jail/the psych ward? She shot Quinn and Clay??!! Mark Schwann, what the hell are you doing to us???!!! Leaving their lives in the balance like that?! The show better get picked up for another season, because I refuse to have it end like that.

GOSSIP GIRL: Let’s go straight to the point with all that happened in last night’s finale. Dan and Serena feel asleep after drinking too much the night before (and one kiss), and were then found in their compromising position by Jenny, who took a picture and sent it to Gossip Girl. Fallout between Nate & Serena, and Dan & Vanessa. Blair was adament on not going to the Empire State Building to meet Chuck, but then changed her mind and went to find him, only she was late because Dorota was in labour. Chuck, distraught, went and had sex with the first girl willing, which just happened to be Jenny when she showed up looking for Nate. Blair then showed up at the hotel, her and Chuck made up, he was about to propose when Dan punched him over having sex with Jenny. One week later, Blair and Serena are on their way to Paris for some retail therapy. Jenny’s headed to Hudson to stay with her mom. Nate was having a threesome to get over Serena. Dan was about to write an e-mail to Vanessa explaining everything that happened, then went looking at flights to Paris (he might have feelings for Serena still?). Georgina showed up at the loft, showing Dan that she’s pregnant and apparently it’s his baby. Chuck was in Prague where he got mugged and shot when the robbers took his gorgeous engagement ring for Blair. GG season finale in a nutshell.

So there we have it. Two shows, two season finales. Characters’ lives left hanging in the balance and we gotta wait until September to find out what happens to them (hopefully for OTH – we know GG is coming back).