Stuff I've enjoyed recently

  • Sep. 9th, 2009 at 12:10 PM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
Wrestling: The amazing match on last Friday's WWE Smackdown between Rey Mysterio and John Morrison for the Intercontinental Championship. Nearly half an hour in length and never a boring moment. Rivals the tables, ladders & chairs match between Jeff Hardy & C.M. Punk at Summerslam for the best wrestling I've seen since I started watching again.

Honorable mentions:

a) Bob Barker (of The Price Is Right fame) guest-hosting on Monday's WWE Raw. The opening segment -- complete with the game show theme song, the announcer calling out wrestlers planted in the audience as contestants to "Come on down!", and most of all a sour Chris Jericho in his wrestling trunks with a yellow 'Chris' nametag slapped on his chest -- was everything I hoped it would be. I just wish they'd used Barker on a different episode, rather than the one building up to this Sunday's Pay Per View, so that they could have really gone wild with the format without having to sell the PPV storylines.

b) John Cena's excellent "I will not quit!" promo last week, Dusty Rhodes' swerve followed by Randy Orton giving Rhodes the RKO as his son Cody Rhodes looked on, torn between his father and his ally/mentor. Very well scripted, and the wrestlers really sold it. Points deducted for Orton looking increasingly orange due to spray tan abuse.

Soap opera: Stacy Haiduk's riveting performance as Patty Williams aka Mary Jane Benson on The Young and the Restless. Normally, I abhor the whole Fatal Attraction-style woman-spurned-turns-psycho trope -- like, I really, really hate it with a passion. I think it's the idea that this trope needs no further explanation -- that we're supposed to assume that women's psychology is such that they're only one romantic rejection away from insanity. And this case, at least on paper, should be no exception, especially on a show that already has two other female characters in the midst of nervous breakdowns (no, seriously! Driving one to random acts of shoplifting that landed her in a mental institution, and leading the other -- victim of a gaslighting plot preying on her history of mental illness -- to hallucinations, a hit-and-run accident, and a miscarriage-turned-hysterical pregnancy).

But Haiduk is so mesmerizing that I don't care. Even when the storyline has faltered, as it has many times, Haiduk infuses such conviction and commitment into the role that it smoothes over all of the plotholes and dubious motivations. And the layers and subtlety that she brings to the role somehow manage to keep her character sympathetic even when she's committing unforgivable acts (though it helps that most of the other characters involved with her aren't particularly sympathetic themselves).

Reality dance competitions: Okay, despite my fears, the America's Best Dance Crew Bollywood challenge last week ended up with some awesome choreography & performances. One especially welcome choice -- they assigned each crew a different "Bollywood" dance style to incorporate into their routines. A very strong episode overall, and tied with the excellent  "Bollywood" group routine on last week's results show for So You Think You Can Dance Canada, choreographed by Slumdog Millionaire choreographer Longinus "Longi" Fernandes.

Comics: Nothing special that was new out last week (Invincible Iron Man lost a bit of momentum after the last few issues), but I'm enjoying catching up on some stuff I'd missed -- most notably the sadly canceled Manhunter. It reminds me a bit of one of my favorite '80s comics, Steven Grant's Whisper.


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