S&M is A-OK

February 13, 2011
by

8

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but the implications of a woman singing about S&M excite me. By Lauren Sieben Amid the hullabaloo surrounding Rihanna’s “S&M,” I’ve learned something valuable: It’s totally OK for women to make sexual music, as long as our sexuality doesn’t venture into the “extreme.” The ball gag-, whip-, chain- […]

F.A.M.E. and SNL

February 12, 2011
by

0

Chris Brown’s career was declared dead two years ago. But tonight, he takes the “Saturday Night Live” stage with two Top 20 singles and three Grammy nominations. Is it forgive-and-forget time for him? By Anna Wiegenstein In a previous ArtSTALK piece of mine, I quoted a co-worker who, when expressing her deepest loathing of an […]

Syfy Goes HiFi

February 12, 2011
by

0

For a 16-year-old cable property once best known for airing “Battlestar Galactica” and reruns of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Syfy has taken significant strides in the past few years to distance itself from its fanboys-only viewer base in hopes of reaching a broader audience. Although the network was one of NBCUniversal’s most reliable entities, ranking fifteenth among basic cable channels in adults 18-49 and eighth in adults 25-54, Syfy President Dave Howe saw the original “Sci Fi” moniker as a hindrance to future expansion (indeed, when most basic cablers saw ratings growth in 2009, the science fiction network had basically none). Viewers may have initially ridiculed the network’s decision in 2009 to rebrand the Sci Fi Channel as the phonetically identical “Syfy,” but the effort has ushered in a successful programming and publicity metamorphosis. Armed with the tagline “Imagine Greater,” Syfy has not only expanded the range of its science fiction offerings (it now includes fantasy, horror, paranormal, supernatural, mystery and action/adventure under its genre umbrella, as well as new original scripted and reality-based shows), it’s building its reputation as Syfy Ventures, a business portfolio that includes five consumer sub-brands: Syfy Games, Syfy Films, Syfy Kids, Syfy Gear and Syfy Digital. In essence, if all goes according to Howe’s rebranding plan, the nerd of cable’s high school could soon become its most popular student.

A Gay Old Time

February 9, 2011
by

0

When I heard that the cast of characters in MTV’s “Skins” included a hot lesbian cheerleader, my heart, like the hearts of the rest of the red-blooded straight males in the “Skins” audience, began to beat a little bit faster. After all, a spirited young hottie who gets a thrill out of her teammates’ tight, sweaty, revealing uniforms (sorry folks, that’s not a link to RedTube), is basically the archetypal heterosexual male fantasy. I was willing to accept that the show was mindless drivel in exchange for the possibility, however remote, that the writers would deem it necessary to include a post-cheer-practice shower scene (again, not RedTube). Child pornography concerns (legitimate ones at that) aside, it quickly became apparent that the use of lesbian cheerleader Tea as a cheap thrill to lure straight guys into surrendering their Monday nights was contributing to the show’s status as actual mindless drivel.

Posted in: CultureSTALK, TubeSTALK

Good Girls Go Bad

February 9, 2011
by

0

When not preparing for “Hello Dolly!” or captaining the Scholastic Bowl team, I, like everyone I knew, turned to TV in my spare time. But even there, I was still pretty goody-goody. My most relatable character was Dawson Leery due to his film fixation – too bad no one liked him, and his legacy is now an unattractive crying scene. Meanwhile, the show I chose to devote my heart to – “Roswell” – was one with no bearing in reality at all. In summary: Nothing in my life has ever resembled “Gossip Girl.” Now, I’ve been informed that the television landscape is more dangerous than ever.

Posted in: CultureSTALK, TubeSTALK

Touchdown

February 7, 2011
by

0

There's little question that "Glee," coming off a surprising (and undeserved) second Golden Globe for Best Television Series - Comedy or Musical, is one of the hottest shows on TV (and certainly on Fox), so it would make sense to slide it in after TV's biggest sporting event. However, the show's subject matter and audience are in many ways antithetical to those of the Super Bowl. After all, "Glee"'s two breakout stars are openly gay actors Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer, the latter of whom plays a gay character on the show who is frequently bullied because of his sexuality. In case you've been living under a rock in a very red state, "Glee" focuses on the day-to-day dramas of a high school show choir. The show is geared toward teens and does a great deal of speechifying about acceptance and tolerance. These touchy feely messages, on a show where the football players are often demonized as testosterone-crazed bullies, doesn't exactly scream "Super Bowl Synergy." But there "Glee" was, in all its singing and dancing glory, moments after yet another Green Bay Packers Super Bowl victory. Sunday night's episode wasn't particularly strong or even star-packed (though I appreciated the completely out-of-place Katie Couric cameo), but it tackled the issue of bullying head on. Within the first five minutes, self-absorbed diva Rachel Berry insulted pigskin star Dave Karofsky as a "known homophobe" before protesting his joining of the glee club. Without going too far into the backstory, Karofsky has tormented many of the members of the show choir, none more than Colfer's Kurt Hummel, who Karofsky targets due to his homophobia.

Diva Ryan Murphy

February 2, 2011
by

0

Let’s talk about “Glee.”You don’t want to? You’re sick of it? Well too bad – this obnoxious fad is going to be around for at least another year or two. The first season of “Glee” was a novelty, something to be enjoyed not only for its musical numbers, but also for its charismatic and fun (if sometimes snarky) ways of handling topical issues. Unfortunately, the show quickly headed into a downward spiral of plotless storylines that existed only to prop up Top 40 pop songs sung by celebrity guest stars and/or provide fodder for Sue Sylvester’s zingers. Not only has the show suffered creatively (though by no means financially), but Ryan Murphy and co. bought into the hype (with the exception of Jane Lynch, because let’s face it: she’s all kinds of awesome). They turned from underdogs to bullies. Lea Michele and Dianna Agron stripped for GQ. Lea Michele was mean (SHOCK!) to a young starlet. Lea Michele is a diva on the set (noticing a pattern here?).