Breaking Bad has begun the second part of the final chapter of the picaresque tale of Walter White and where his cancerous diagnosis has brought him. The penultimate season faces him against the DEA’s Assistant Special Agent in Charge, his brother in law. It would seem that Walter would have the support of his wife, Skyler, who nursed him in illness and even runs his car wash which assists in the cleaning and storing of his money but alas she despises him. It would seem Walter would at lea... [Read more]
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Over the last week, I have been obsessed with the synergistic synthesis of classical music and electronic dance music—dubstep in particular—in the form of violinist Lindsey Stirling. Her music paints pictures, which is no surprise, considering Stirling writes, choreographs, directs and dances in the YouTube videos for all of her songs. Having discovered her songs before her videos, what immediately intrigued me was the classic... [Read more]
STOP! Just say no.
The cults of celebrity and personality are powerful in America. In fact there's almost a cult of cultishness. We hunger for distinctive characters to provide archetypes and guidance for the herd. In the supposed Land of the Individual, one is permitted to be an "individual" so long as one stays within the specific set of limits prescribed by these characters. Venture outside those limits, and you're "crazy" or an "undesirable". As Internet-fed national hysteria casts its har... [Read more]
Google "Who is Red John" and click on a few links, and you'll find yourself embroiled in a storm of passionate fans with strong opinions and theories. There's even a Vegas betting line, and that Robert Kirkland is NOT in last place (which he should be, because he's been depicted talking on the phone with Red John). If I were betting, I wouldn't choose the odds-on favorite, Bret Stiles, but that's admittedly at least partially because I like the character. [Read more]
In a society where you can buy string bikinis for babies, where there are children wearing clothing that say “wink wink” or “juicy” across the butt and popular shows like the psychological train wreck Toddlers and Tiaras and the salacious teen series Gossip Girls, and when people like your mom are taking classes at pole dancing gyms, is it really that shocking for an almost 21-year-old Miley Cyrus to hit the stage at the VMA Awards half-dressed, saucily rubbing herself up against singer Robin Th... [Read more]
I hadn't thought much about the whole Dixie Chicks / Toby Keith controversy in a long time (if you need a refresher, check out http://www.btchflcks.com/2013/03/shut-up-and-sing-dixie-chicks.html). It made me think about whether or not I consider my personal principles in the context of entertainment. I mean, I like to think of myself as fairly principled. I've done a u-turn and made a passenger get out of my car and pick up some litter they tossed out the window. I've abruptly left a party because the host used the n-word. Heck, I even had a "Free Mr. Bates" bumper sticker on my car.
But when it comes to entertainers, I seem to give everyone a pass. [Read more]
He's still rocking Broadway
There is quite the Shakespeare surge this season on the Great White Way. After last season's acclaimed nearly-one-man Macbeth starring Alan Cumming (Cabaret), a more traditional production starring Ethan Hawke (Gattaca) and directed by Jack O'Brien (Hamlet, Hairspray) is slated to begin performances in October. And one of this season's big celebrity vehicles is a new revival of Romeo and Juliet starring Orlando Bloom (not exactly a teenager anymore, but Legolas can pr... [Read more]
There have been many rumors about the master magician and illusionist David Copperfield in recent years. He’s been sued for breach of contract for cancelling shows in Jakarta while his Indonesian promoter held onto hundreds of thousands of dollars of his equipment in return. He sued an insurance company for reimbursement of a ransom paid to Russian mafia who had taken his equipment. He fought rumors that he was gay despite his six-year engagement to supermodel Claudia Schiffer. He later was acc... [Read more]
I have my doubts about both Celtic Woman and Celtic Thunder. I was excited enough by the build-up to watch specials featuring each of these groups, and got comfy with my popcorn (or, possibly, a martini), ready to be blown away.
Not that the productions weren't slick and the performers incredibly talented. I just kept waiting for them to cut loose a bit. It was all too neat and tidy. The vocals were flawless—too flawless. In both cases, I wanted to toss some gravel into all that honey. I wanted someone to sweat. [Read more]