The top 100 ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ songs, ranked (TV commentary)

C

razy Ex-Girlfriend” recently wrapped an amazing four-season run with Rebecca Bunch (co-creator Rachel Bloom) deciding to pursue love – as in her love of writing songs, but now she’ll do it on paper instead of in her head. As fans know, not all of the 150 to 300 songs (depending on how you count them) from “CXG’s” run were in Rebecca’s head, meaning that Josh, Greg, Nathaniel, Paula, Heather, Darryl, etc. also did their share of internal songwriting.

Continue reading “The top 100 ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ songs, ranked (TV commentary)”

First episode impressions: ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Season 4 (TV review)

C

razy Ex-Girlfriend” (9 p.m. Eastern Fridays, The CW) spends a lot of its Season 4 premiere reminding us where the story is at – and it’s at a very weird place. Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) is in jail, which is where she wants to be as penance for being a horrible person, not necessarily for attempting to murder crazy ex-boyfriend Trent (Paul Welsh) – an act for which she has a strong defense-of-others claim.

Continue reading “First episode impressions: ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Season 4 (TV review)”

‘The Greatest Showman’ is a beautiful celebration of showbiz that doesn’t pretend to be subtle (Movie review)

T

he Greatest Showman” (2017), now available for home viewing, takes us back to a time when anything is possible if you dream big and are persistent. Did such a time ever exist? That’s beside the point, as is what happened behind the scenes at Phineas Barnum’s circuses. (Don’t do an extensive internet search if you don’t want your illusions shattered.) Last year’s most-hyped musical is – within its own confines – a joyous celebration of dreams and achievements, with brief nods to hardships.

Continue reading “‘The Greatest Showman’ is a beautiful celebration of showbiz that doesn’t pretend to be subtle (Movie review)”

‘Pitch Perfect 3’ is completely off key in formerly fun franchise’s finale (Movie review)

P

itch Perfect 3” (2017), now available for home viewing, is an unfortunately perfect example of a franchise that keeps going after it has run out of good ideas. Following the fun and catchy original (2013) and the ultimately winning sequel (2015), the third entry is a mishmash of a concept it doesn’t commit to, a jokey style that rarely results in laughs, characters who speak more about “family” than the “Fast and the Furious” crew yet don’t seem to like each other, and – most inexcusable – a soundtrack of forgettable tunes.

Continue reading “‘Pitch Perfect 3’ is completely off key in formerly fun franchise’s finale (Movie review)”

One-season wonders: ‘Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog’ (2008) (TV review)

So I’ve finished my rewatches of all the Joss Whedon series between 1997-2010 except one – and it’s the most unusual one. “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” (2008) is three 15-minute web episodes that add up to length of one TV episode. It was penned by Whedon and his brothers Zack and Jed and Jed’s wife Maurissa Tancharoen (who also plays Captain Hammer Groupie No. 1) during the TV writers’ strike.

Continue reading “One-season wonders: ‘Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog’ (2008) (TV review)”

John’s top 10 songs from ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ so far (TV commentary)

The CW

Two new shows I kept on my viewing schedule have already been canceled – “Wicked City” and, for all intents and purposes, “Minority Report,” which had its episode order cut to 10. But the TV networks have kept the best fall show: “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” I’m setting myself up for more disappointment, perhaps, as I’m now not only hoping for a DVD and soundtrack, but also for a second season.

Continue reading “John’s top 10 songs from ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ so far (TV commentary)”

First episode impressions: ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ (TV review)

After a fairly awful September of new show premieres, October is off to a much better start with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (8 p.m. Eastern Mondays on The CW), a delightfully note-perfect mashup of genres from Rachel Bloom, who came up through the ranks of “Robot Chicken” and self-produced YouTube comedy videos.

Continue reading “First episode impressions: ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ (TV review)”

First episode impressions: ‘Smash’ (TV review)

I have to confess that I generally don’t enjoy musicals. With the notable exception of the “Buffy” musical episode, the genre doesn’t work for me. Most musicals are repetitive, using songs to emphasize what we already saw in the between-songs scenes; many of them repeat the same song multiple times; and often the overall story is predictable: Guy and girl are meant for each other but don’t know it, comedy ensues and they end up together — that sort of thing.

Continue reading “First episode impressions: ‘Smash’ (TV review)”

Midseason TV preview: The momentum continues? (Commentary)

Fall 2011 served up so many good shows, and so few of them have been canceled, that it’s easy to overlook the midseason premieres. Yet the networks have found a few open slots. I have a feeling the top two on this list will be really good, furthering this season’s status as the best since at least 2004-05. Here are some shows to look out for this midseason (all times are Central):

Continue reading “Midseason TV preview: The momentum continues? (Commentary)”