Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Idol Season 8 Top 8 Perform

“Songs from the Year You Were Born” was the premise on last night’s episode of American Idol. It’s a popular theme that has been on nearly every season of the singing competition, and it’s become well known for producing some of Idol’s best performances. While most of the contestants gave decent performances, it was clear that only one would contribute to the fame of this memorable Idol theme.

Season 8’s Top 8: Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, Lil Rounds, Anoop Desai, Scott MacIntyre, Allison Iraheta, Matt Giraud, and Adam Lambert.

· 01 Danny Gokey- "Stand By Me"
Though a version of this classic tune was released in 1980, this song choice felt like a violation of the theme. Despite that, Danny’s performance was solid, and the vocals were improved over past weeks. The great thing is that he didn’t dance. The bad thing is the judges are still over praising him.
· 02 Kris Allen- "All She Wants To Do Is Dance” (1985)
After Kris’ sultry, soulful rendition of “Ain’t No Sunshine” last week, this performance was disappointing. Kris is still talented, but Simon called the performance “indulgent, boring, and forgettable.” He added that Kris “came over as a guitarist who wanted to sing, rather than a singer.”
· 03 Lil Rounds- "What’s Love Go To Do With It"(1984)
As the fastest fading star, it now seems a distant memory when Lil first rocked the stage with R&B flavor. Now her vocal prowess is falling victim to poor song choice, week after week. Simon said it was a “ghastly, copy-cat performance.” Adding that, “We’ve lost you. You’re not making the impact you should be.”
· 04 Anoop Desai- "True Colors"
Anoop’s take on the Cyndi Lauper tune was smart, as its slower tempo allowed him to do more vocally with the piece. Randy said it was “a very nice vocal, and very controlled.” Kara commented, “You interpreted it with soul without being someone that you’re not.” Simon thought it was good, but he called Anoop—whose performance has been up and down the past few weeks—a “singing yo-yo.” Fun fact: Anoop’s birthday, Dec. 20, 1986, is the same as Idol winner David Cook’s.
· 05 Scott MacIntyre- "The Search Is Over" (1985)
Scott stepped back from the piano and strapped on an electric guitar. Odd? Yes. Effective? No. Scott’s a nice guy, but his vocal abilities just aren’t on par with the rest of the group. In fact, the judges spent more time discussing his instrument choice than his singing.
· 06 Allison Iraheta– "I Can’t Make You Love Me" (1992)
While the song fit Allison’s voice very well, and she continues to offer solid performances, the song choice was just way too predictable (and overused). Despite this, Paula’s critique was spot on when she discussed the gift that Allison possesses: “We hear one note, and it’s undeniably Allison.” Paula went on to commend Allison for using the same song arrangement, but still managing to make the song her own.
· 07 Matt Giraud- "Part Time Lover" (1985)
Rebounding from last week’s unfortunate attempt at The Fray, Matt’s performance of the Stevie Wonder song was upbeat, bluesy, and enjoyable. Though he still hasn’t convinced me that he’s as good as Adam, Kris, or even Anoop, hopefully, he’s heading back in the right direction. Kara called the performance “incredible, on every level.” Simon said it was “a million times better than last week. Well done.”
· 08 Adam Lambert- "Mad World” (1982)
In the pivotal last position of the night, Adam easily gave the best performance of the show (and perhaps of the entire season thus far). It was understated and masterful. It was tender yet powerful. Unfortunately for those with TiVo or DVR, it was also cut off early since the show was running over its allotted time. Simon was the only judge permitted to comment. His response: “I think words are unnecessary, but I want to give you a standing ovation.”

Who Stays & Who Goes
· Adam Lambert’s stage presence and vocal chops made everyone else look like amateurs. Despite his performance being cut off on TiVos and DVRS, it’s safe to say that the theatrical pop rocker is safe. Danny Gokey, Allison Iraheta, and Matt Giraud should also be just fine.
· Anoop Desai technically gave the second-best vocal performance of the evening. However, his “yo-yo” antics might hurt him and land him in dangerous territory. Kris Allen wasn’t at the top of his game, but will viewers forgive and forget? Or will poor song selection lead him to the dreaded silver stools?
· Lil Rounds is fading, and Scott MacIntyre was easily the weakest contestant of the night. However, we’ve all learned that that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re heading home. Scott will be in the bottom three, and I predict he will be joined by Anoop, Kris, or Lil.

Tune in at 9pm tonight for the results on FOX.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Idol Season 8 Top 9 Perform

Yesterday's theme of iTunes top downloads seemed to have so much potential. Finally, America’s most beloved singing competition—where being “relevant” is such a high priority—is handing the American Idol contestants an open opportunity to tackle some actual contemporary hits. Despite the “easy button” offered by the Idol producers to the final nine, very few of the contestants pulled off the week’s current theme. Last week we said sayonara to Michael Sarver, and this week, unfortunately, many of our favorite Idols are in danger of heading home.

Season 8’s Top 9: Anoop Desai, Megan Joy, Danny Gokey, Allison Iraheta, Scott MacIntyre, Matt Giraud, Lil Rounds, Adam Lambert, and Kris Allen (pictured).

· 01 Anoop Desai- "Caught Up"
Picking an Usher song is risky because no one can really compare to the smooth R&B singer. However, the performance did show Anoop’s personality, and it also showcased his lovely vocals. Despite this, Simon thought it was an “utter mess.” Randy said Anoop “definitely picked up his swagger,” and had “good, cool vocals.” Paula said he needs to take more liberties with the song, and Kara said he “played it safe.”
· 02 Megan Joy- "Turn The Lights Down Low”
The good thing about the Bob Marley song choice is that it forced Megan to slow things down, including her so called “quirky” dance moves. Unfortunately, Megan’s unusual voice went from charming and endearing to strange and irritating throughout the duration of the song. Simon said the “song was boring, indulgent, monotonous.” Randy said the performance was “like watching paint dry.”
· 03 Danny Gokey- "What Hurts The Most"
This Rascal Flats tune was a perfect song choice for Danny. It allowed his voice to return to its more soulful, rock roots, which kept the audience from having to endure his cheesy, up-tempo shouting and dancing. The only problem I have with Danny is that he’s not as good as he thinks he is, and he’s not as good as the Idol judges and producers want the audience to think. Though the judges were correct in saying that this was Danny’s best performance, Danny has failed to show any originality thus far.
· 04 Allison Iraheta- "Don’t Speak"
Selecting a song by a contemporary female rocker was smart, and Allison’s performance of the No Doubt hit was both genuine and enjoyable. However, the judges’ decision to spend more time criticizing her outfit was troubling. This is a singing competition, and poor clothing choices shouldn’t be at the forefront. However, Allison’s get-up did affect her otherwise decent performance in a huge, gaping, negative way: as Simon said, it made everything feel “slightly precocious.” Allison should listen to Kara’s advice: “Rock and roll comes out of you, so you don’t need to dress the part.”
· 05 Scott MacIntyre- "Just The Way You Are"
Scott has been a one-trick pony this entire competition, sitting behind his piano with his coiffed hair and subpar vocals. Tonight, he proved how song selection can turn that all around. Though he wasn’t amazing, Scott’s clever decision to take on a Billy Joel song helped the piano man give his best performance to date on the Idol stage. This song enabled his vocals to be likable and engaging, rather than one-dimensional and predictable.
· 06 Matt Giraud– "You Found Me"
Matt’s song choice sort of made sense. It did fit his raspy voice, and it could have given him all kinds of room to turn it into a bluesier, R&B anthem. Butt he failed to do this. As Paul said, it was a sound-alike performance. The judges agreed it was the wrong song choice, and said Matt should’ve opted for a tune by OneRepublic instead. Kara concluded, “You’re a talented guy. You don’t deserve to go home.” (My message to the judges: don’t use the Idol save on Matt! Save it for Adam, Anoop, Kris, or Allison!)
· 07 Lil Rounds- "I Surrender"
Given the week’s theme, I don’t understand why Lil chose a dated, non-R&B tune by Celine Dion. Though Randy and Kara were right to praise Lil’s immense vocal ability, Simon’s comments were spot on. He said it was a safe, old-fashioned song, and it felt like “a wedding performance.” He added, “It’s like all the personality has been sucked out of you.”
· 08 Adam Lambert- "Play That Funky Music”
As always, Adam was surprising, risky, a bit scary—and most of all—incredibly bold and talented. His take on the Wild Cherry hit was uninhibited and memorable. Though it’s definitely one of his less enjoyable performances, he still managed to outsing his competition. Simon said Adam’s performance was “very brave” and “original.” He liked how Adam “got rid of all this karaoke nonsense.” And Kara said what audiences everywhere were thinking: “Every week, I cannot wait to see what you are gonna do next.”
· 09 Kris Allen- "Ain’t No Sunshine"
With the best song selection of the evening, Kris’ performance was overflowing with raw talent, grit, and sex appeal. The song choice played well with his “heartthrob” role on the show, and more importantly, it allowed his voice to be fuller. Finally, Kris made me believe in him as a true contender. It was also nice to see him on the piano instead of a guitar. As Randy pointed out, Kris has been “slaying” the competition (minus Adam—my words, not Randy’s). Kara chose to be concise, saying, “That is artistry.” Simon praised Kris’ confidence and the song arrangement, saying the performance was clever and cool.

Who Stays & Who Goes
· Kris Allen and Adam Lambert were the only contestants to successfully tackle the evening’s theme, proving they are the real frontrunners in this competition. If you give into the Idol brainwashing, then Danny Gokey and Scott MacIntyre were also considered good.
· Allison Iraheta, Anoop Desai, Matt Giraud, and Lil Rounds weren’t the best of the evening, but they weren’t the worst either. They managed to bring strong vocals to the stage, despite some poor song or outfit choices.
· Megan Joy was really the weakest contestant, but does that mean America will (finally) send her home? I do think she’ll make the bottom three, but something tells me Allison, Anoop, or Matt may also join her on the infamous silver stools.

Tune in at 8 pm tonight for the results on FOX.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Idol Season 8 Top 10 hit Motown

Last night’s theme on American Idol was Motown week. Legendary Motown icons Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy attended the week’s festivities, and they helped the Idol contestants pull out some very polarizing performances—some strong and captivating, others not so much. After losing frontrunner Alexis Grace last week, the Idols definitely felt the pressure, and only some seemed able to keep up.

Season 8’s Top 10: Matt Giraud (pictured), Kris Allen, Scott MacIntyre, Megan Joy, Anoop Desai, Michael Sarver, Lil Rounds, Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey, and Allison Iraheta.

· 01 Matt Giraud- "Let’s Get It On"
This Marvin Gaye classic was a smart choice for the dueling-Piano player because it allowed Matt to showcase his soulful side without boring us to tears. Unlike his previous performances, Matt was engaging and fun onstage. Kara said he came out of his shell, and Simon commended his “brilliant choice of song.”
· 02 Kris Allen- "How Sweet It Is"
Another smart song selection came from resident sweetheart Kris Allen. He made the song sound fresh and contemporary, and he was just so natural, playful, and fun to watch onstage. Randy noted him as a “very consistent” contestant, Kara loved his artistry, and Simon advised that Kris begin to believe in himself more.
· 03 Scott MacIntyre- "You Can’t Hurry Love"
Scott was smart to pick a more up-tempo tune this week, but the delivery was cheesy and subpar. He’s not knocking any songs out of the park. Randy said it was a “very hotel kind of performance,” while Kara stated Scott has “good ideas, but the execution wasn’t perfect.” Simon concluded, “Week after week, you are choosing the wrong songs.”
· 04 Megan Joy- "For Once In My Life"
Perhaps the worst of the evening, Megan shouted and rushed through this Stevie Wonder gem. The judges agreed the performance was hectic and all over the place. Paul said it was the wrong song, and Simon told Megan, “You could be in serious trouble.”
· 05 Anoop Desai- "Ooh, Baby, Baby"
Though not as moving as his Grand Ole Opry performance, Anoop continued to deliver excellent control, range, and phrasing during this performance. Paula once again said Anoop was sweet and tender. Simon said it was “a great vocal. You’ve have two good weeks in a row.” Randy suggested Anoop “turn up the energy” next week.
· 06 Michael Sarver- "Ain’t Too Proud To Beg"
Michael’s performance was fun, likable, and much better than last week. Despite this, he’s showing again and again that he’s as vocally strong or stylistically relevant as his competitors. Paula said it was a “Las Vegas, lounge-y” performance. Simon cited Michael’s shouting, saying, “In the real world, it just isn’t good enough.”
· 07 Lil Rounds- "Heatwave"
Personally, I believe this song should be banned. There is no way to make this Motown hit sound contemporary, or non-cheesy, in today’s world. Despite this, Lil’s performance was solid, though she tended to shout more than sing as she rushed through the verses and chorus. The song selection was poor, as it didn’t let Lil show her R&B flavor. As Simon said, the song didn’t give her “a moment.”
· 08 Adam Lambert- "The Tracks of My Tears”
Opting for subdued and understated, rather than his trademark theatrical swagger, Adam offered a sweet, tender interpretation of the song. In the end, he earned a standing ovation from Kara and the crowd. Kara said the performance was one of the best of the night. Simon disagreed, saying, it was “the best performance of the night.” Randy commended Adam’s range, stating that he “can do anything.”
· 09 Danny Gokey- "Get Ready"
The song choice was fair, much better than the atrocious “PYT,” and it allowed him to be powerful without being cheesy. However, if this frontrunner wants to maintain his status, he needs to resist the urge to dance or risk forever scaring away the audience. Though the other judges raved, Simon saw the performance for what it really was: “clumsy and amateurish.”
· 10 Allison Iraheta- "(Papa Was A) Rolling Stone”
As perhaps the only female contestant who’s still got it together, Allison delivered another solid performance. It wasn’t as strong as her Heart performance, but as Randy said, it was “blazing hot.” Kara said the girl was amazing, and Simon called her “a survivor,” adding that this performance was one of Allison’s best.

Who Stays & Who Goes
· Matt Giraud, Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, and Allison Iraheta provided the best vocals and performances of the night.
· Following closely behind, Anoop Desai, Lil Rounds, and Danny Gokey also offered up some decent performances.
· Scott MacIntyre, Michael Sarver, and Megan Joy were by far the weakest contestants of the evening and should be in danger of elimination.

Tune in at 8pm tonight night for the results on FOX.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Idol Top 11 Performances Recap

Two weeks ago, the round of Michael Jackson songs sent two American Idol contestants packing—Jorge Nunez and Jasmine Murray. Then last week, the 11 remaining Idol hopefuls attempted to tackle songs by the inductees of the Grand Ole Opry, which is the heart and institution behind legendary country music. Let’s do a quick recap of the performances before moving onto tonight’s newest episode.

Season 8’s Top 11: Michael Sarver, Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen, Lil Rounds, Adam Lambert, Scott MacIntyre, Alexis Grace (pictured) , Danny Gokey, Anoop Desai, Megan Joy, and Matt Giraud.

· 01 Michael Sarver- "Until The Sun Comes Up"
Though Michael is becoming more comfortable and believable on stage, and though both country and a Garth Brooks song should have fit him like a glove, Michael was just so-so. He ran out of breath and poorly showcased his vocal abilities.
· 02 Allison Iraheta- "Blame It On Your Heart"
The Patty Loveless tune was a great choice for Allison, as it allowed her to show off her pipes and her maturity on stage. Though it didn’t stand out as much as her previous Heart performance, it was still rock solid.
· 03 Kris Allen- "To Make You Feel My Love"
Kris was smart to go without his guitar for once, and he’s even smarter for targeting his role and honing his skill as the balladeer of the group. And quite possibly, I think he is becoming more likable and convincing as a performer.
· 04 Lil Rounds- "Independence Day"
Lil looked a lot better this week, and she showed off her amazing vocal talent during the chorus. The problem was the song’s predictability, and her inability to master its verses.
· 05 Adam Lambert- "Ring of Fire"
The Middle Eastern, sitar-tinged rendition of the Johnny Cash classic may have scared some viewers and annoyed others, but vocally, Adam was spot on. The performance showed his personality, his willingness to take risks, and most importantly, his impeccable singing range.
· 06 Scott MacIntyre "Wild Angels"
The good news is the Idol crew attempted to tame Scott’s hair. The bad news is his style of song selection has remained the same: “inspirational,” or better said, cheesy. Scott has a decent voice, but his song choices are not allowing him to stretch his vocal ability. He’s okay, but he needs to get better.
· 07 Alexis Grace- "Jolene"
I don’t understand why people think they can touch this lovely Dolly Parton classic; it just can’t be done, at least, not with the proper conviction. Alexis sounded and looked pretty good, but there was no sense of power or believability to the performance. It was second only to Scott’s performance as the most forgettable of the night.
· 08 Danny Gokey- "Jesus Take The Wheel”
Sorry, but no one can touch a Carrie Underwood song, especially singers who think they’re better than they really are. I’m looking at you, Gokey! Though this was better than his Taylor Hicks-esque performance of “PYT” last week, there was more shouting than singing.
· 09 Anoop Desai- "You Were Always On My Mind"
Anoop Dawg is back! Anoop’s take on the Willie Nelson tune was tender, effortless, and beautiful. His masterful performance was definitely a surprise comeback, and unlike other performances this night, it showcased his ability to sing above all else.
· 10 Megan Joy- "I Go Walking After Midnight”
Megan is cute, quirky, and “joy”ful, but by sticking to that niche, she is getting a bit too predictable. Her performance was pleasant and fun, but she needs to step up her game. Plus, the dancing is no longer adorable. It’s just annoying and needs to cease to exist.
· 11 Matt Giraud- "So Small"
Men should not cover Carrie Underwood songs. No, all people should not cover Carrie Underwood songs (unless you are skilled—for example, David Cook). Despite the mistake in song choice, Matt was pretty decent. He has a nice, raspy quality to his voice, but I’m still not convinced that he’s Idol material.

Who Stays & Who Goes
· After a nationwide vote, America decided (and the judges chose not to save) a one-time fontrunner, Idol contestant Alexis Grace.

Due to Obama’s press conference, Idol was moved to Wednesday and Thursday night this week. Tune in tonight at 8-10pm on FOX, where the Top 10 contestants will be performing songs according to one of Idol’s favorite themes: Motown hits. Results will follow on Thursday night at 9pm.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Idol Season 8 Top 13 Perform

After initial auditions that included a special trip to Puerto Rico, expanded Hollywood auditions, Billboard Hits-themed rounds, and the reinstated Wild Card selections, American Idol has finally begun the main stretch of the competition. And with the legendary Michael Jackson’s songbook at their fingertips, this season’s Top 13 had a lot to work with, and a LOT to prove. While the majority of contestants offered up solid, consistent performances, some lost their frontrunner status, and others catapulted themselves into an entirely different league.

After three groups of 12 singers performed and were cut down into a Top 9, four more contestants were chosen by the judges in the Wild Card round to make Season 8’s Top 13:

Lil Rounds, Scott MacIntyre, Danny Gokey, Michael Sarver, Jasmine Murray, Kris Allen, Allison Iraheta, Anoop Desai, Jorge Nunez, Megan Joy Corkrey, Adam Lambert (pictured above), Matt Giraud, and Alexis Grace.

· 01 Lil Rounds- "The Way You Make Me Feel"
Paula got it right, proclaiming that Lil is “a force to be reckoned with.” And although Simon thought it was “a bit of a lazy song choice” and hated her outfit, Lil owned the stage with her undeniably big voice. It was a great way to start the show.
· 02 Scott MacIntyre- "Keep The Faith"
The visually impaired contestant is inspiring on stage when he sings and plays the piano. His has a lovely, controlled voice, but as Randy pointed out, Scott’s performance was “very safe.”
· 03 Danny Gokey- "PYT"
Hearing Danny growl, holler, and sing “Pretty Young Thing” was unexpected and surprisingly good. However, he shouted a bit at times and his dancing was hideous. He did show a fun, entertaining side, but he’s not as good as the judges and AI producers want everyone to think.
· 04 Michael Sarver- "You Are Not Alone"
Michael has a pleasant voice and is the kind of likable, regular guy you want to root for. But as Simon said, he’s not the best singer. Though the judges praise his passion and heart, Michael’s performance was just nice, and nothing more.
· 05 Jasmine Murray- "I’ll Be There"
17-year old Jasmine has a beautiful voice, but she hasn’t had her moment yet. This was a good song choice, but her performance felt disconnected and old-fashioned. As the Brit said, she “made a good attempt.”
· 06 Kris Allen"Remember The Time"
Both Kara and Paula pointed out that “the girls love Kris” and he’s “adorable-sexy,” prompting me to ask, “Did I miss something here?” Sure Kris is cute, fun, and likable with a “very Jason Mraz-y” feel, as Randy said. But when considering looks—and more importantly vocals—he is no David Cook or David Archuleta from Season 7, and he certainly doesn’t compare to fellow Season 8 contestant Adam Lambert.
· 07 Allison Iraheta- "Give Into Me"
At 16 years old, Allison definitely has a voice and stage presence that is beyond her years. She has such style, soul, and maturity to her voice. She’s an authentic rocker, and as Randy said, she’s “the one to watch.” One of the best of the night.
· 08 Anoop Desai- "Beat It"
Also known as Anoop Dawg, this crowd pleaser didn’t fare so well. He is fun and works the stage, but poor song choice kept him from showing off his vocal ability, and he came off as sounding karaoke. Paula said, “This song is untouchable” and Simon deemed the performance as “horrible.”
· 09 Jorge Nunez- "Never Can Say Goodbye"
I’m not a Michael Jackson expert, but I was definitely surprised by how many contestants picked lesser known MJ songs. Jorge’s song selection was by far the worst of the evening. He has a big, beautiful voice, but tonight’s performance was just corny.
· 10 Megan Joy Corkrey- "Rockin’ Robin”
Though Megan had the most unusual song choice of the night, she effectively injected her personality and quirky style into her performance. She’s original and cute, but she is in desperate need of picking a serious song that requires her to do more than bop around on stage.
· 11 Adam Lambert- "Black And White”
Following his awesomely audacious rendition of “Satisfaction” from the previous round, Adam continued to prove that he is a real performer. He’s got his own swagger, an incredible vocal range, and true star potential. As Simon said, “That was totally in a different league than everything we’ve heard tonight. It was an original version, and the vocals were terrific.”
· 12 Matt Giraud- "Human Nature"
The dueling-piano player from Kalamazoo, MI, returned to his more soulful sound, and while he was consistent, I wasn’t moved by his performance. Judges Paula and Kara, however, praised his talent. Randy liked his performance, and Simon said it was difficult to follow Adam.
· 13 Alexis Grace- "Dirty Diana"
Alexis has a gorgeous, sexy voice and style that makes her a serious contender. She’s talented, authentic, and current. While Paula and Simon advised her to avoid over-singing, Randy said he liked her attitude on stage, and Kara said, “You’re naughty, and I liked it.”

Who Stays & Who Goes
· Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, Lil Rounds, and Alexis Grace were the strongest contestants of the evening, each offering up memorable and unique performances. As long as America remembers this is a competition about singing, they should all be safe.
· Following closely behind, Danny Gokey, Scott MacIntyre, Kris Allen, Michael Sarver, and Matt Giraud had decent performances tonight as well. They should all have strong enough fan bases to keep them in the competition.
· Anoop Dawg and Jorge Nunez were by far the weakest contestants of the evening, and both are in danger of elimination. Megan Joy Corkrey and Jasmine Murray, though cute and talented, were underwhelming compared to previous performances. They, too, could be at risk.

Tune in at 9pm Wednesday night for the results on FOX. Surprise twist! Simon said two contestants will be eliminated, so voting for your favorites is important. There’s more involving the judges, but that won’t be revealed until tomorrow’s show.

Note: Due to 1-866-IDOLS-13 being an inappropriate phone number (X-rated, in fact), Alexis Grace’s phone number is 1-866-43657-36. All other Idol numbers are as follows:
1-866-43657-## (01, 02, 03,…, 10, 11, 12).

P.S.- Critic’s Vote
While my heart aches for Anoop, and I assume he will be going home (he is definitely a favorite of mine), I have to send my votes to the strongest contestant both tonight and so far in the competition: Adam Lambert.

Your Turn!
So, who did you like and who do you think will go home? Comment below and let me know!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Heroes season three brings it back around

Hit TV series, "Heroes" gets back on track with its season three conclusion yesterday night.

For most of season two, and season three, the show seemed lost in an endless cycle of killing off heroes, just as fast as they were introduced. There appeared to be no rhyme or reason to "Heroes," and many were thinking, what's the point? Was the sketchy plot of season two, and the chaotic hodge-podge of characters at the start of season three a poor attempt to keep a show past its prime rolling in the dough?

Finally came the answer. No. With the dramatic ending of volume three, we finally get what we have been waiting for; direction.

Nathan Petrelli, played by Adrian Pasdar, is planning to deport people who exhibit special abilities. The Petrelli brothers go head to head, Peter trying to stop Nathan before he exposes them all.

At long last, our lovable Ando gets powers, and just in time, now that Hero has lost his. Talk about role-reversal. And what happened to the catalyst?

"Heroes" is finally at a point where the characters are all tied together, in search of a common goal. Sound familiar?

It is. In season one, there was a single phrase that left us all cancelling our Monday night plans to tune in, "Save the cheerleader; save the world."

And now we once again, the heroes unite in a common goal. This time they will have to save themselves, and determine which side they are on. Will they be heroes, or villains?

For more reviews, including Collegiate Staff Writer, Ryan Leneau's Web Exclusive "Heroes" review, see

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Regenesis: The best show you've never heard of.

A brief aside; to the best of my research I have not found this show syndicated in America. The first two seasons are available for free to watch on The show wrapped up it's fourth season in May.

I am not a big fan of the typical cop or medical drama's because they seem too formulaic. You really are never brought into the life of a police officer, or a medical investigator. You don't learn much about the actual science behind the job. Regenesis breaks the mode. Finally a show that assumes you want to learn.

Regenesis is a Canadian show that I stumbled upon looking at (my primary source of television). The story centers around Norbac, a fictional international center to research bioterrorism, outbreaks of illness and environmental changes. The characters that staff the Toronto-based Norbac are the best sciences that North America has to offer, creating a wonderful cultural mix of people. The usual drama occurs between the staff, characters sleep together, date, and constantly bicker. This is of course, much like every day life.

The main character of the show is David Sandstrom, and though I have no formal evidence I have little doubt that the main character of House borrows much from this character. He is shamelessly brilliant, and utterly arrogant. Almost all his personal relationships are strained both because of his arrogance, and because he is an extremely distant person. When he isn't battling Alcoholism he is spending his time trying to find the next woman to woo. He is a hard character to love at times, but once you get a glimpse of his heart, you get hooked on the show.

The gem of this show, beyond the great cast (not one actor is easily recognizable, though a few have played bit parts in movies and other television shows), is the science. Instead of telling you how the cast solves, or doesn't solve the problem, they try to explain it. The science in this show is refreshingly heavy. I think for some it may be a turn off, but the idea I can watch a television show and learn at least scientific principles excites me. It is worth mentioning, that the show also tackles ethical problems in a long thought out way. The show follows an hour long format, but most 'events' on the show occurs through an arc of several episodes, allowing many things to be explained in detail. Yet much like other shows it helps to be aware of what happened throughout the season.

I can not stress enough how entertaining this show is. I really hope that American television takes a hint from this show and realizes that not everyone wants a cut and dry, learn nothing drama. For me the best part of this show is the fact that it is so in depth, and it shows me a little respect by assuming that I actually want something explained in a logical manner.