Hard-THIS. IS. MY ISH. I'm addicted to the aggression in it. However, I think some of the lyrics are better suited for my queen diva, Beyonce`, no shade.
A Rihanna playlist has been much requested and those who closely follow my blog may be surprised I can even muster one up (my musical opinion of her isn't very high), but believe it or not, there's a couple of songs from the Barbadian beauty I really enjoy. Rihanna's talent level may be debatable, but I think most can agree that her record label makes sure she gets tracks that are infectious and, sometimes, very well written, like "Russian Roulette" & "Stay." I'm so taken with "Unfaithful," I wish another singer would've gotten it till this day. Can you imagine someone with pipes singing it? Epic. Anyhow, here's my list :)
Disturbia- My favorite Rihanna song, period the end, hands down. I love psychotic and frenetic with a touch seduction lol.
(Piano Version) Love the Way You Lie- Most adore the original Eminem edition with Rihanna as a featured artist, but I would take Rihanna solo on this halting, heart-rending version any day. Bravo to writers for creating possibly one the most emotionally-provoking and painful lyrics penned in this decade.
L-R Megan Hilty, Jennifer Hudson & Kat McPhee
Considering majority of “Smash's” fan-base are Broadway enthusiasts, they likely won’t agree with most of my season 2 grievances because I'm from the “American Idol” side of the viewership.
I started watching this show because Katharine McPhee (“Idol” Season 5 runner up) was billed as the star. I knew Debra Messing and the epic Anjelica Houston, but I mainly wanted to hear Katharine sing again. For two seasons, I've waited for her to become Marilyn and actually sing on more than just a song or two in the sassy, versatile voice I heard on “Idol;”not the vanilla, soul-less one that unfortunately fits her character, Karen (I didn’t start getting life from Karen’s vocal until “That’s Life” & “Don’t Let Me Know”). Additionally, I wanted to see Karen fully triumph over her antagonist, Ivy. Yet, after all this time and “Bombshell’s” many hills and valleys, she still isn't Marilyn. It's made the series frustrating to watch; not to mention her character is an even bigger push over than before, her storyline is drab and her school-girl fascination with the insolent, spoiled, selfish, arrogant and immature Jimmy is nauseating and doesn't make sense to me. The writing has yet to give a vivid illustration of why Karen would be attracted to him. Jimmy’s contention doesn’t function as well as Ivy’s because he has 0 likability. In order for the audience to be engaged in any type of adversary, he or she must have some endearing quality. Getting back to the “Idols” of the show, I thought Jennifer Hudson was a great addition to the cast and I was disappointed to learn that she wasn’t supposed to be a series regular.
On another note, it seems there is less musical- or at least traditional Broadway- numbers this season and the storyline tempo is at times very slow and winding. And why is Ivy so nice now? Yeah, I wanted her to have a humbling moment, but lose all of her bitchiness? Come on. In addition to too long of a hiatus in between seasons, I believe these are the elements that smashed “Smash.” Thoughts? Oh, and the above picture came from a BEAUTIFUL "Entertainment Weekly" photo-spread that you can view here.
My favorite supercouple, Jason & Sam
Let's talk GH'ers. It seems that with even a brand new writing and production team (Ron Carlivati & Frank Valentini, formerly of "One Life to Live"), "General Hospital's" path is still working in extremes. Around 2007, "The Mob Era" wore out its welcome, the writing became stale and characters who were an asset to the show got cut (ex. Nikolas Cassadine & Jasper Jacks). Fans loved the mob-clique characters (i.e. Sonny Corinthos, Jason Morgan, Sam McCall, Carly Benson, Damien Spinelli, Johnny Zacchara, etc), but yearned for flexibility and diversity in the storylines so everyone could have a chance to shine. For a second there, Carlivati & Valentini provided a happy medium; we had our mob, we had our hospital and ratings were greatly improving, but eventually, things went completely left. Jason (Steve Burton) was presumed dead and Carly (Laura Wright) and Sonny's (Maurice Bernard) storylines were reduced to chasing after their ill-reciprocating love interests. Since when in GH history does Caroline not have a real storyline (by the way, I've always felt the writers have not taken full advantage of Wright's talent and ability)?
There are some other plots of interest, but fans are somewhat indifferent about them (ex. Tracy vs. A.J., Connie vs. Kate, Sabrina vs. Britt), while major talents are being underutilized (ex. Rebecca Herbst, AKA Liz Webber). No one said eliminate the mob clique; just make camera time more even! Plus, it seemed like the writers switched focus from one group to another as “One Life to Live’s” refugees Todd (Roger Howarth), Starr (Kristen Alderson) & John (Michael Easton) became major players and plot-lines from the series were reincarnated on GH (as one fan put it “the role of GH will now be played by OLTL”). Just like character centralization hurt GH in the late 2000’s, it might sting again now; OLTL is returning as a web-series and due to character licensing issues, Todd, Starr & John may have to permanently leave Port Charles. What the GH team has chosen to do as a result of the negotiations between ABC and OLTL’s new home, Prospect Park, have yet to unfold on-screen (Howarth, Alderson & Easton return reportedly as new characters May 10th). The writers/producers have tried to rebound by bringing back characters from the much beloved 90’s and the spin-off “Port Charles,” but even that has come to be frustrating to the current generation of fans. Again, extremes aren’t going to work. The future of GH lies within its current characters and its youth.
Usually on soaps, the youth are the heart of steamy and intense plots, but on GH, the youth are painfully boring and/or immature. Michael, for example, is spineless, inconsistent and easy to manipulate; he was edgier as a child. The return of Michael’s previously presumed dead biological father, A.J. Quartermaine presents a number of storyline possibilities by itself, as A.J. has surprisingly lured Michael into ELQ. Which, am I the only one who thinks they too quickly made A.J. a redeemable ‘good guy’? Anyhow, bring back Michael's easily-SORAS-able half-brother, Morgan, and give us the dynasty war we've been waiting on. Now that Michael wants to ride the fence between being both a Quartermaine and Corinthos heir, it would be delicious to see him take on Morgan, who’s the real Corinthos. Yes, Morgan was primarily raised by Jasper Jacks, but who’s to say he won’t want to get know his father for himself outside of Carly and Jacks’ opinion? As for the other younglings, Kristina Corinthos Davis is part mob-princess, part Cassadine. HELLO?! Need I say more? Now that Stravos is back and wiped Lulu’s memory (I don’t believe for a second we’ve seen the last of him), things can get interesting really quick. Let’s not forget that Kristina’s sisters, Sam and Molly, are part Cassadine as well.
Coming back to AJ, I'm sure while he was cozying up to Michael, Liz and even Sam, Jason was tumbling in his watery grave, so how intense would it be for Jason to resurface (which really should've happened soon after A.J., showed up, but what do I know?)? Some fans were eager to see what a few call "The Holy Hitman" go, but the majority- especially those who started watching GH in the late 90's and early 2000's-lost their reason to tune in, as Jason and Sam's complicated marriage was a key plot in 2012.
Whether you're a JaSammer or not, I think everyone can agree that the show's pace and the roll Carlivati and Valentini were on has dramatically slowed down since Jason left the landscape last October.
Recasting a role defined by an actor like Steve Burton seemed impossible then, but now seeing the depth of the hole in the canvas, especially in terms of Sam's storyline, I think fans are more open to the idea. Carlivati and Valentini said they didn't have any immediate plans to recast Jason because it "opened up fun opportunities for Sam," but all I've seen for Sam is ridiculousness (i.e. being attacked by men parading as vampires). A recast should happen now (it would've been a great way to cap off the anniversary week in addition to the return of Robin, but again, what do I know?). Coming down from the high of the 50th anniversary (the anniversary week was absolutely splendid!), I hope GH’s team has some great material to keep our engines hot. Don’t get me wrong, I think the team has no doubt turned GH around for the best in the last year and I’m more addicted to the soap than I have been in awhile; these are just some points I wanted to throw out. What are your thoughts?
The J.List Blog
Here, you will find playlists in full & my additional thoughts J.List items.