Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TV3 : Total Xposure. Totally Addicted.

Yes, i applied and yes i was on the audition show for five seconds but my god i'm fully addicted to this already.

TV3 hosting a search for an Xpose presenter is a sure fire genius idea for a show.

the audition show was too but my god the less said the better. still any show that can have TWO people interview themselves, one interview a postage stamp size photo of Lauren Conrad and a guy sing the Chipmunks theme tune is going to be bizzarely fascinating.

The main show wasn't a million miles from the usual reality TV competition set up but the producers should be commended for putting together a decent mix of ages and gender. I'm also on board with anything that brings Emma Leden back on to our screens! Its been too longs. The judges already seem to have their roles picked out and more importantly there are some genuinely talented people in the bunch so looks like the job is in good hands.

Not sure about leaving it up to the public vote though. I like my decisions made for me in television. Is that TOO MUCH TO ASK?

Still I've signed over the next 7 tuesdays to this, so I expect plenty of entertainment!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ciara "Work" Video : FIERCE times a billion.

Ciara just "dropped" her new video "Work" ft. Missy Elliot this week. And I love it!

The word fierce is a now huge cliche. and this video doesn't really do anything new. But my god, it is good. It gets the frenetic nutty energy of the track perfectly. It feels like an edgy fashion mag photoshoot bashed together with a sexy dance video. Ciara looks STUNNING (the whole Fantasy Ride campaign has felt like a class in "Why Ciara is actually gorgeous") and there hasn't been a pop video with as much jiggling as this in quite awhile. This had better be a smash, and if it does I expect freaky eye wear and Missy's sequin suit to become fashion must haves.

All the ladies on the floor, you betta work:

Stupid Ad Alert

Sometimes you watch the ads on TV and think to yourself : "Wow, the real creativity on my screen on the moment is not lumpy, over acted soap operas or braindead reality shows but in these 30 second mini movies that somehow make the promotion of a packet of chewing gum look like a 2 hour feature film". And sometimes you watch an ad and think : "That is quite clearly bollocks. Makes no sense and I really don't see how this would sell anything to anyone."

Case in point:


I think the part where he sneaks out for a cheeky volvic is the worst part, though it is hilarious, the idea that he acts like he is about to bury his face in a bag of cocaine as opposed to endulging in a bottle of *gasp* bottled water.

This ad is not new by any means but just thinking about it gets my goat up.

Stupid ads can be amusing though. We've all seen the "sexy" chat line ads on tv after hours. I think the one where the girls are in the gym and the hot tub with their phones is brilliant. Never mind the potential hazards of using your phone in these places. Think of the "sexytime" you can find with hot local girls in YOUR area.

Death of Michael Jackson

To be honest, I don't know what I can really contribute that hasn't been said a hundred times already since Thursday night but suffice to say the fact that one of the most iconic popstars ever is dead is really a shame. At least this will have people digging out classic albums, videos, memories etc and reflecting on how one global popstar can touch so many people.

I do think its interesting how little has been made of the fact that in Ireland Jackson was known to be working on new material with Will.I.Am, Akon, Ne-Yo etc. I'm sure this new stuff will crop up at some point.

And given that I am a huge Janet fan, I am a tad worried about how nothing has been said about her. I hope her and the entire family are holding up OK.

The latest rumour, and the one I find the most interesting is that the show Jackson intended to perform will now be turned into a giant tribute concert featuring various big names. Given that Madonna's manager had confirmed her plans to join Michael on stage, presumably she will be among the line up. I could easily see modern day talent like Justin Timberlake, Ciara etc wanting to pay tribute and pretty much everyone else who is in the music industry.

Regardless of this though, the enduring legacy of his best work will live on I am sure.

And this will always be my favourite video of his (Scream is a close second!)

Irish Chart Update

I'm going to assume next week will be full of the greatest MJ hits but still interesting to check out the current Irish Top 40, which can be viewed here (top 50 in this case, and yes there are some people who still don't own Just Dance. IN JUNE. I mean really.)

The biggest surprise is Industry getting to number one with "My Baby's Waiting". I had pegged this as too cheesy and old fashioned to take off but apparently :

"a string of daily performances in record shops around the country has generated enough CD sales to take their independent debut release ‘My Baby’s Waiting’ straight to No1."

There you go. Interesting though, to see a pop act slog it out for a top spot, especially this market which is obviously tiny. I'm still not a fan of the song at all but it is nice to see a pop act do well in Ireland home of the "mid 30s and over" radio playlists.

The top 10 is actually quite exciting, having Battlefield by Jordin Sparks and Bulletproof by La Roux enter the bottom reaches (despite In For The Kill peaking at number 13, hugely different to it's long standing top ten run in the UK earlier this year) and the new Cascada single, which whatever you think of them is hugely enjoyable, opening up so strongly. Interesting moves outside of the top ten aswell with Pixie Lott climbing to number 13. I still think its so funn how a song can top the UK charts and only hit the mid teens here.

This week feels a bit more interesting then recent ones on the chart where you would see the same top 5 songs unmoved for what felt like an age. Of course this time next week should be interesting. Industry will struggle to keep that lead of a second week I'd imagine and given the small size of sales needed to get a hit song here, I wouldn't be shocked if we had a Michael Jackson number one along with several top ten entries.

Keep an eye on chart-track.co.uk for more.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Audrina like totally loves Burgers

Well I'm glad that Audrina Patridge has taken time out of her busy schedule of being on The Hills and. . . not a lot else to make this burger advertisment.

I'm sorry I'm not sure what I find more difficult to comprehend. That Audrina would ever let herself eat a burger or that people would willingly pay for a *shudder* Terriyaki burger. "With pineapple!". Really? How undelicious.

This deserves a watch, props to her I suppose for having the balls to wear a gold bikini.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Play Review: All Over Town

I went to see this rather fine play this evening and wanted to share my thoughts on it. Kicking off the Queer Notions strand of performance, theatre and lectures that runs this week in conjunction with Dublin Pride, the play is a one man show about a young gay guy who runs off to find himself in Thailand and Australia. In just over an hour, he takes us on the whirlwind journey of being in the airpot, waving goodbye to friends, family and SIM card and waving hello to the bright lights of new places and new opportunities. It was staged two years ago but has been re-written since its original production.

The play is anchored by the riveting performance of Dylan Kennedy who is brilliant as the cocky yet naive, arrogant but innocent Sean, a brilliantly realised character. Sean is a perfect blend of exuberant adolescent offensiveness and youthful charm (though the insistence of having every second word he says be "totally" is both irritating and inaccurate. I can't think of anyone who says it. I think we're all stuck on how something is so annoying).

Kennedy sells the rather intense journey Sean goes on very well. We are right there with them as he surveys his new surroundings with a sense of awe and studied nonchalance. We feel that initial rush of power as his new found job takes a turn for the questionable. And we feel the unease that comes with realising that the life you've created for yourself could fall apart at any minute. (this sounds like a press release for the next Sex and The City movie doesn't it? Oh dear.)

The play does a fantastic job of taking us into both the glamour and the darkness of the new world Sean ends up in. It doesn't judge the characters or try to offer an easy way out but merely illustrates how quickly we can fall into situations that may or may not be the best thing for us. It is a powerful and punchy play that will make you think about your life and how you present yourself. The central conceit of the play that "Life isn't about finding yourself. It's about creating yourself." is a powerful one and you'll find yourself running the idea around your brain long after the play has finished.

The production is fantastic too. The lighting creates a fantastic sense of time and place and the use of the space and the beats Kennedy takes with the audience bring life to even the most darkest moments of the play.

This is a really engrossing and enjoyable piece of work, and one that starts the Queer Notions festival off with a bang. There is a wide range of shows to be seen (I'm gutted I'm without a ticket for Panti's "A Woman In Progress" which will no doubt be amazing) including performance art, drag, theatre and lectures.

For more information on the festival click HERE

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Britney Spears In Dublin : Review

Well I won't go into the nitty gritty but basically I went from having no Britney tickets to getting them for both nights. Ended up near the pit on the Friday show and had a seated view on Saturday (for which I had free tickets, the kind of fluke oppurtunity that I love). I thoroughly enjoyed the show despite my reservations. Alot of people were saying she wasn't ready to be back on stage, that she acted like she didn't want to be there etc.

But personally I thought she looked really happy to be there. Having seen Britney the last time she was in Dublin, she seemed to be enjoying it alot more this time around. Her dancing HAS slowed down. but only from ridiculously fast paced to energetic and full of life. I'd forgotten how charismatic Britney is. She isn't singing live, she isn't really talking to the crowd but her face just lights up and she has that popstar swagger few really have.

Also that setlist was fan-tastic. Loading up on the juiciest cuts from Blackout (and dropping in the super slinky should have been a single Breathe On Me) and pacing the big hits out in just the right places, it was a non stop thrill ride. Some people complained about the fact that there were so many interludes but I thought they really worked. The Sweet Dreams video interlude is one of the best videos she has ever done, effortlessly sexy and beautiful to look at. And that was another aspect of the show I really enjoyed. It was the perfect mix of exuberant, flashy and sexy. It wasn't over the top sexy like the last one or weighed down with a cheesy concept. The entire production was so well executed.

Yes, I would have loved Britney to engage more. And yes, it would be great if she sung live. But it says alot that despite these (quite large) flaws, I still found myself entertained. I still found Britney enthralling. She IS a huge popstar. There are complications and she clearly has her guard up, but The Circus still thoroughly entertained me.

AND to my delight, I got my own minute of Britney weave malfunction on Friday night when a piece of her fake hair fell out as she was mid air (during a thoroughly wierd but thoroughly brilliant simulated sex suspended in the air stunt). Really, how could I have not been entertained by this show! (the photo below is from Saturday and not of the amazing weave moment but gives you an idea of the stunt I was talking about!)

In the interest of balance (ahem) here are Panti and Rick O'Shea's views on the show, which I'm posting more to promote my love of their blogs than anything but also that I am not blind to some people not loving Brintey. I'm not some crazy maladjusted fan. honest :/

Photos stolen from BritneySpears.com (not that you'd have guessed by the GIANT TAGS.)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hours Away from Some Live Britney

Gosh how very exciting.

Snagged a bargain Britney ticket at the last minute so off to the first show tonight.

So delighted, really happy to see the whole show in person and not via YouTube.

And as much as I moan about people who video whole shows, they do occassionally provide a few moments that otherwise would go unnoticed. Namely Britney taking out A WHOLE CHUNK OF HAIR.

I'm not joking, it's about 35 secs in. Watch in HD and all. Ain't technology grand?

Probably the best thing I've seen on YouTube in ... hours.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Discussing Britney On The Radio

What with Miss Spears coming to Dublin this weekend it only seems right that she get talked about in the Irish media.

I was a guest on The Tubridy Show on Radio One today (with Dave Fanning filling in presenter duties and also Jim Nugent from 2fm who saw the show) to talk Britney and The Circus Tour.

You can stream it here, the Britney item starts at about 45 mins in though there are some interesting pieces in the show before that (honest!) :

Dave told me he was fascinated with Britney when we were finished. And I think that sums it up, aren't we all?

I'm this close to getting tickets for one of her weekend gigs, this close!

Mariah Carey "Obsessed"

First Impressions: Summer ish, tongue in cheek and a damn sight better than I was expecting.

Potential summer smash?

I think so.

Saying Goodbye to Lauren Conrad

I'm not generally one for the watching of back to back US TV show episodes online. While I see the appeal of skipping the wait for a US show to get screened here (which sometimes takes forever, heres looking at you MTV and Channel 4) I am old fashioned and feel that the ritual of sittting down each week to give your half hour / hour up to a certain show is truly something to cherish.

But sometimes you can't help yourself.

I just watched episodes 8 and 9 of season 5 online, (i swore i'd watch week by week, i swore) and the final episode, a big double bill with Lauren Conrad making her exit from the show that made her a proper TV star. I'm really excited to see it. The Hills excels at big moments and you don't get much bigger than your main star leaving. Its a tricky one too. This is supposedly real life, Lauren is still going to be Lauren when she leaves the cameras behind, presumably she might still have contact with those on the show. Its a moment that could only happen on this show, part manufactured tension, part logisitical nightmare and part big moment, it set ups an interesting episode for Lauren to wave goodbye to the show that made her famous. (Or at least become a fashion designer /writer. The usual.)

So where did my obsession come from?

I've been a long time fan of The Hills, despite my initial, and quite accidental, developing of a habit for the show. ( I'm not even going to bother summing up The Hills because why bother but for those who really want a refresher or just a stroll down memory lane : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hills )

For whatever reason, despite having a fully fledged (I want to say crack habit at this point, because thats what it was like!) addiction to other reality trash on MTV like The Osbournes, Newlyweds (which I maintain was genuinely hilarious) and The Ashlee Simpson Show (*sigh*) I always comforted myself with the mantra of "At least you're not watching those really vapid fake teen reality drama shows, they are REALLY awful!" (I imagine this is what a crack addict says to themselves before they start becoming a full on meth head).

But for whatever reason, the idea of a reality show giving us a peek inside the world of Teen Vogue caught my attention. I'm assuming this has to do with my strange obsession with magazines in general and how they work as opposed to any brand loyalty I have with Teen Vogue but still. This show had a different premise (it seemed) and I was willing to give it a go. (I was also in second year of an Arts degree. So really, I wasn't EVER choosy about TV as long as it wasn't boring or worse again, sport).

But I found as soon as I started watching, the magazine stuff was interesting (oh Lisa Love and your stern editorial meetings, what a hoot) but it was the "drama" (admit it, you said "dram-ah" in a SoCal accent when you saw that word) that got me hooked. And the way it was shot. Seriously, this show, which was supposed to be "real", off the cuff, shooting stuff as it happened, looked and felt like some kind of extra glossy teen show. And when you've seen every episode of The O.C. you know what a glossy teen show looks like when you see it.

So The Hills became my addiction because it offered up so much in one bite sized TV chunk. The plot points of who did what to whom were always engrossing. The music offered up some great angsty pop gems and throwaway club jams with each episode (admit it, you've sashayed down the street to your ipod and pretended it was the opening sequence of a Hills scene. you have!) and it looked amazingly. So many times watching The Hills I have been struck by the sheer beauty of some of the shots. Seriously. The editing, the pace, this gave reality TV a cinematic, widescreen look that it was sorely missing. Obviously The Hills is a spin off and technically it was aping other shows but I feel like in terms of style, it really is the peak.

Also a show about the post college life of work/career/friends/relationships/independence hasn't really been down yet and to me that is a huge part of why this show has clicked with myself and so many others. Its fluff and pure fantasy but the basic idea, that next step that most teen dramas never explore gives The Hills an edge in a sense that other shows don't have.

That moment in the Season 5 trailer where Lauren says she doesn't know whats next feels pivotal. Thats the feeling, the first year out of college working in entry level jobs, digging for a career. You don't know whats next. The milestones of the next year of education, of graduation etc are gone. The Hills might not be real life but it tunes in to things in real life we don't usually talk about in most youth programming and for that it remains strangely unique.

And come lets face it, it is a perfect show to sit in front of and completely veg out. And that too is utterly appealing.

I suppose because Lauren is leaving the show, it feels like the end of it, despite MTV seeking to milk it when she's gone (I'd imagine The Hills is a cash cow not ready to be put up to slaughter). And given that I am soon to watch her last episode, it feels right to remember why this wierd reality/drama/soap/farce is one of my favourite shows because with Lauren gone the tone of the show will change dramatically.

I will keep watching, at least for awhile as I don't like to just stop following a show for no good reason but it only seems right that this rather normal, well to do Hollywood girl who has made a mint off of living her life on camera make me stop a second to think about why the show she lets her follow her around so much has me in its claws.

I just hope her final episode is good. There is nothing worse than a crappy TV send off. But I think I might wait to see this one on TV. We'll see.

In the mean time, amuse yourself with this badly edited and strangely creepy video of Lauren in her various opening credit moments of The Hills.