The Song Remains the Same: The Glee Pilot, Five Years Later

I was recently writing something about Faking It, the new MTV show about best friends mistaken for lesbians who run with it, and was thinking about the programs it reminded me of. Awkward, its time-slot companion, is the obvious comparison. I also thought of Gilmore Girls, especially the first two years. But the more I thought of it, the more I realized the show made me feel as charmed and inspired as I once was by a very different show, one I abandoned long ago.

That show was Glee. Messy, nonsensical Glee.

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‘Noah’ provides thought-provoking look at digital heartbreak

Originally published by the Los Angeles Loyolan. For original, please refer to: ‘Noah’ provides thought-provoking look at digital heartbreak – The Los Angeles Loyolan.

Imagine learning you and your significant other have broken up because he hacked into your Facebook account and changed your relationship status. Sound too low to imagine? In the context of the short film “Noah,” it seems all too possible.

“Noah” is a 17-minute film that debuted last week at the Toronto International Film Festival. Taking place entirely on screens, primarily a computer screen, the film chronicles the break up between protagonist Noah Lennox and his girlfriend, Amy. There’s no big fight between the two. There are no tears or hints of a breakup in the making. Yet everything about it feels so organic, so realistic, so quintessentially Millennial.

It’s a fascinating film for how much of a non-event it really is. Think of the last breakup you or a friend had with a long-term lover: In the moment, it probably felt like fireworks. “Noah” is quiet about how this relationship falls apart, reflecting how silent life lived online can often be.

When Amy asks to have a serious talk with Noah, his instinct is to Skype, not meet in person. He absentmindedly peruses other tabs, including a porn streaming site, while they speak, nothing grabbing his attention for more than a few seconds. There’s no music other than the tracks Noah plays on his computer – the only score, so to speak, is made up of Noah’s clicks and keystrokes.

All this could come off as far too digital or mechanical, yet everything about it is gripping and real. It reminds me of a similarly Millennial-driven film, “Catfish,” in that the expectation is for something big to happen, but nothing ever does. The quiet, human, heartbreaking moments are so much harsher than any false histrionics could ever be. Even the ending, which would be an overplayed reveal in almost any other work, is nothing more than a fun tag in this film.

“Noah” is strikingly relevant to any young person, no matter their relationship status. I can’t stop thinking about it, and once you’ve given it a watch, chances are you’ll be left pondering, too.

Watch the full film below:

Awkward.

Quick Read: Watch ‘Awkward.’ You’re Welcome.

Awkward.

Photo Credit: YouTube | Martijn van Veen

Hey, you know what’s one of the most heartfelt, charming, enjoyable shows on television? It’s “Awkward.” Not the feeling, the MTV teen dramedy about a girl wit a blog that has more going for it than most network shows.

It’s well-acted, well-written, funny and quirky (in a good way, not in a “New Girl” way). Currently on hiatus before its third season, all 24 episodes from the first two seasons are available online at MTV.com. Since each episode is only 22 minutes, it only takes about ten hours to watch it all.

So go do that. Now. It’s too great to summarize without spoilers, and blogging about a show about a girl with a blog is just too meta  for me. So go enjoy it for yourself!

And always remember: #TeamJake. (You’ll understand after you’ve watched it. Which you’re doing now.)

Smash

“Smash” Promises More, Will Inevitably Deliver Less

Smash

Photo Credit: YouTube | NBC

Fade in on a show with a hunger to be good, but a bad first season to forever weigh it down. It hopes the past will fade away, because as of this day, the Season 2 teaser is out, and “Smash” is moving on.

Oh, “Smash.” How many feelings I have about you. My affair with “Smash” began passionately, when I first heard the show’s ubiquitous might-as-well-be-theme song, “Let Me Be Your Star.”

Masterful. Without seeing one moment of the show, I was absolutely hooked. Then I saw the show’s first episode. I wrote about it in my “It’s K-OK!” column for the Loyolan (which you can read here), where I said:

“I can say with absolute certainty that “Smash” is pretty terrible. Yes, the music is fun, and it certainly has its moments, but make no mistake, it’s really rather bad on the whole. Here’s the issue, though: It’s still more ambitious and interesting than half of what’s on network television today. So should “Smash” be applauded as a risk or bashed for what it really is: a flop?”

As the season went on, there was just no way to respect its intention any more – the characters were half-baked and stuck in crappy plotlines, the original songs were inconsistent at best and the acting was all over the place.

“Smash” was supposed to be our adult “Glee,” a more mature show that didn’t fluctuate every time a new episode was released. Instead, we got an older-looking “Glee” that never recovered from all the problems of its youth.

So despite all the amazing casting notices (Jennifer Hudson! Jeremy Jordan!) and news of a new showrunner, I couldn’t make myself get excited about season two of “Smash.” Between its first season and far too many seasons of “Glee,” I’ve just been too burned by musical programs. (“Nashville” isn’t doing much to make things better, either – it’s consistent, but it’s also boring as hell.)

Still, I can’t help but be drawn in by the promise of Jennifer Hudson. And the trailer is really, really good. So we’ll see what happens. I’ll tune in for the first episode and see if they’ve fixed the problems. After all, “Parks & Recreation” fixed its issues after season one and went on to be one of the best sitcoms on television. And as I wrote in my column about the “Parks & Recreation” Problem (also available here), shows deserve a little growing room.

So “Smash,” I’m giving you a second chance. Let me be your fan.