Head to Head (Cross Post)

I didn’t mean to do it, but really, when do I ever mean to do anything I do, so fair enough. I turned “Guys with Kids” directly against “The New Normal”. Bad idea, my friends, bad fucking idea.

“Guys with Kids” has a stellar cast including Anthony Anderson, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Tempestt Bledsoe, which mostly makes up for the fact that it’s writing, which does show select moments of funny, largely comes off like a fourteen-year-old took a stab at it. Perhaps it’s due to directorial issues, perhaps it’s the actors being told to read the script verbatim, but there is no flow, no fluid direction and the show suffers in a massive way as a result. Of the three aforementioned actors, only two were able to make something out of the words on those pages. Life needs a bit more mystery, so I’ll leave you to figure out which two pulled it off.

The plot is basic enough, the main character has recently gone through a divorce with an uptight WASP-y wife and now they are trying to co-parent while working their way through the crazy, mixed up world of dating. Did my overly fake game show smile come through on that last bit? Good.

While there is some funny to be had with this plot, the writing really needs to find some sense of a voice or there is very little hope for this show beyond Jimmy Fallon’s name being attached to it.

After finishing up that show and reviewing my notes, I jumped right into the two episodes of “The New Normal” that were calling my name, although I really wished they’d let me recover from the first outing for at least a moment…

This show is strong. The writing, as one would expect being a Ryan Murphy show, is utterly fantastic. Depth to the point of tears in some areas, and overflowing with laughter in every other nook and cranny. Every person on the screen hits every note called for whether it’s vulnerability or over-the-top physicality, and yes, this absolutely extends to the youngest on the show, Bebe Wood, whose Little Edie impression should make us all question why we believe Drew Barrymore to be a “good” actress.

This show is based around a gay couple, their surrogate, her daughter and well, the acceptance of “normal” being a slightly different familial arrangement than those that our country started out with..

There are certainly moments that shine through of this show taking a direct jab at “Modern Family”, and in all honesty, I prefer the talking heads on this show over MF’s. They flow well, the direction is brilliant and they have me cracking up on every occurrence. At the end of the hour worth of premieres, I found myself wanting to see more of where this family went than the Dunphy-Tucker-Pritchett’s over on ABC.

This show is stable. Unfortunately, a bit too stable to have been my follow-up to “Guys with Kids”, however, it is definitely a great pairing with “Go On”, and for the sake of that show, I am beyond happy with this set of premieres.

Maybe “Guys with Kids” will be put into perspective a bit when I get a chance to catch it’s sibling “Animal Practice” tonight, maybe I’m just hoping it will as I very much want to see Justin Kirk’s show do well and having a strong show to share that hour with is more important than it should be, but, whatever. I suppose I shall see!

Farewell, WordPress.

Ultimately, this blog and it’s predecessor were experiments. While this particular address proved quite successful, WordPress doesn’t really offer me the ability to own my blog in the way that I want, and so, well, I’m moving on.

The best of the best from both this blog and my old one have been culled and re-planted in the new home. God, I hope the roots don’t wither…

Mayacadence.info

CheekyMF! Review: Season 5 of The Game in bits and pieces.

As I write this, I’m listening to an episode of “The Game” in second and a half bursts thanks to the inadequate streaming service provided by it’s new home, BET. I have an adoration of this show that stems to the pilot that was awkwardly tossed into the “Girlfriends” time slot on the CW. Or the WB. Or whatever the fuck that network was called when the show actually premiered. It’s been too long to remember accurately and I feel like writing, not researching right now, so we’ll just call it not particularly important information.

My love of this show based around a sport that I largely abhor stems more from my adoration and respect of it’s creator than it’s basic premise. That said, as a general sports fan, it is nice to see the locker room from a different perspective, so don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the occasional bits of the sport thrown into the episodes. Much like “The League”, this show has proven itself able to be less about the somewhat barbaric and probably on it’s way out game of football, and more about the humanity behind the game; a hard thing to master, but this show has managed to do it well from it’s infancy.

I was thrilled to hear the show was picked up on BET after the clusterfuck of it’s old network imploding on itself. Only one issue: at the time I didn’t have cable and for the last two years, I’ve been reliant, with my wily nomadic ways, on hotel and motel cable…which rarely, if ever, comes with BET, or, for that matter, any other Viacom-owned cable networks. Don’t know why and complaints about it go unheard, so whatev.

“The Game” is also not available on iTunes. Well, insofar as it is not available to me on iTunes, not sure if it actually is on there or not.. (I have to play Musical Computers if I want to use iTunes–This really just means I never use iTunes except on my iPhone. To this extent, I have checked iTunes & found a whole lot of “Game of Thrones”, just not “The Game”. Now you know.)

And now we get to where I’m currently at, BET.com. They do stream full episodes of “The Game” which is super awesome, don’t get me wrong, but they have no buffer to speak of, advertising included, and what often results is watching an episode, “Chopped & Screwed”, so to speak, ad time running out and the audio of the episode coming back in while the video is still trying to hawk me some Grey Goose..ooh, cherry!..sorry about that.

Oh, and my favorite–after the third commercial break, consistently, on every single episode, the audio jumps ahead of the video, fairly significantly, making the episode look like a badly dubbed kung fu flick from that point until the end.

I think I know what has happened in this season, but to be honest, I feel like I’ve missed so much that it might have just been a lost cause from the start. The parts that have come through loud & clear and with a mighty decent buffer, weren’t exactly filling me with hope.

From what I have seen, there was a ridiculous amount of time spent with Tasha and Melanie cattily fighting, and honestly, I’m sick of seeing that device used in singular plot lines, much less multi-episode arcs. I understand it has some basis in reality, but god damn it, women can be involved in business/family relationships with best friends and they don’t always, always, always end in prolonged Manolo Blahnik standoffs. It’s cliched, it’s easy and I wish every television show I love didn’t fall prey to it at some point in it’s run. Conflict may be necessary, but it doesn’t always have to come at the cost of the relationship between the main two female characters.

I’ve gotten to a point in the season where this conflict has finally come to an end, but between how long that was drawn out and the fact that I haven’t watched one episode start to finish in less than 90 minutes, I don’t know that I can keep up with this one until the end. This might end up being a “Put in a pin in it ’til the shit hits Netflix” and move on with my life kind of show. Which is something I genuinely never thought I would say about it..

CheekyMF! Random: “You’re everywhere and nowhere, Dawson!”

Image: Kesha//Blow Video


While the title of this post may come directly from a vehicle which is currently heavily using one James Van Der Beek to elicit laughter, the statement, in and of itself, has proven oddly accurate in regards to my viewing choices as of late. Scout’s fucking honor, so not intended to be that way! (And yeah, I’m pretty aware that this is coming from someone who had an insane love of the show “Dawson’s Creek”, but, if I’m being real with myself, I was all about the Pacey…just saying.)

It all started with “Don’t Trust the B* in Apt. 23”, of course, Van Der Beek playing an outlandish version of himself, eternally tortured with his identity as the emotionally mature beyond his years Dawson Leery, and trying like hell to be known for something other than the Creek. Then a funny thing happened, I gave into a random urge I’ve had lingering around for years, I watched ‘Danny Roane: First Time Director’. This is a flick I watched a trailer for several years ago, couldn’t commit to it, came back to it a few months ago, but was just off my ‘Bad Batch’ experience….so, yet again, I couldn’t pull the trigger. Then it popped up on Netflix as a suggestion.

I was so far removed from the trailer at this point that I didn’t remember what drew me to watching it in the first place, so instead of reminding myself, I just said “Fuck it!”, and dove right in. The film is a mockumentary of sorts. Following around Danny Roane, (Played by Andy Dick), a recovering alcoholic, who is attempting to make a film, with James Van Der Beek playing, let’s just say a version of Danny Roane who is in essence just a version of Andy Dick, so Andy Dick with a bleeding asshole is who he plays. Yes, that’s the one.

Again, The Dawson, gives us a version of himself that is so committed to keeping his role in this movie, that, even when the director shows up drunk on set with liquor bottles covered simply with a piece of masking tape, the word “SODA” written on it in Sharpie, he continues to press on in the thought that this movie cannot only be successfully completed, but also, somehow, successful!

Then, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” happened. A month ago, in my review of “Don’t trust the B*”, I mentioned that I had just adored Van Der Beek’s turn as a psycho killer in “Criminal Minds” a few years back, sans the killing part, he showed up in full force for this role.

It’s still a fairly new episode, and I’d rather not spoil anything, so I will just put this right here, and you can see for yourself:

Law & Order: SVU//Father Dearest

His acting ability is really no surprise. I mean, to be able to pull off those rambly monologues that he was given on the show that he owes his fame to, one would have to be fairly adept at the art of becoming another. I’m thrilled to see he’s moved beyond that, even if that moving on still includes a hefty amount of laughing at himself and his past…

Oldies.

I’ve spent almost my entire life obsessed with music that could, would and should be classified as “Oldies Music”…and, it all started with my parents. Gee, doesn’t it always!

Well, anyway, with Mother’s Day coming up, I decided to try and search out something new for my mom. She’s a fan of music from the 60’s and 70’s…and generally speaking, the harder to find stuff. So I went on a search. I remembered two albums that my mom had when I was a kid that I didn’t remember her replacing when CD’s came around.

I could have gone the standard amazon or iTunes route and made this pretty simple and easy, but oh, how I do adore giving my money to smaller entities. Checked my local shops to no avail, figured if I gotta go online, why not check out the site everyone and their mother has referred me to!

So I did, and I’ve found her gifts, a bit too late for Mother’s Day in regards to shipping, but, hey, her birthday is just around the corner…and she does really like those cookie bouquets!

So, I’ve been working my little ass off on this…

Now, I’ll start by saying that while I have been known to do dreaded “guest-y” posts and shit like that, but I don’t normally try to outright hawk shit on here. It’s a review site and I try to respect that even though I sometimes use it as a stash to rant about life and people and things of that nature…

-but-

I’ve been working my little ass off on a side project lately. I had an idea that is super friendly to the environment…and, well, perhaps even more importantly, adorable.

I’ve seen all the bags and totes out there at the big box retailers. Even the independent-ish boutique-y type places, and honestly, they’re all kind of super expensive for what I really buy “accessory” tote bags for…

I’m a wee bit on the nomadic side and while I have traditional “luggage”, the bulk of my life is lived out of knapsacks, backpacks, musette packs…and 90% of the time I look like a school aged child or over the top hipster doofi-ish. Even when I bought the damn red cross bag from an actual army surplus shop…could I ever really live with myself if I rocked it EVER AGAIN after seeing Duplass do so in that movie that I was supposed to love but didn’t? No.

But what now? Still got a lot of shit to carry…tried to be..well…sort of environmentally friendly by rocking plastic shopping bags that needed a new purpose since they’re apparently stuck with us here for the next 500 years or so…but OHMYGOD, could I look more “white trash” or “homeless”? Lifestyle choice, guys, lifestyle choice.

So I started making my own. I have an extensive amount of hardly, in some cases, never worn clothing and t-shirts. The t-shirts turned out to make amazing tote bags that are sturdy, (they’ve lived up to me criss crossing the country for, oh, two years now..), take up hardly any space, and are quite frankly, adorable. (I mean, really, I love The Casualties, and the fact that Jorge gave me the shirt off his back as a take home souvenir, it means, so fucking much, but it was three times too big for me and apparently the design was copied by Hot Topic about a month later….now, I have a super awesome bag that means the world to me. And carries my precious, precious notebooks.)

And now I have decided to venture into the marketplace with them. I’ve had a few meetings and quite frankly, fuck that. As a freelancer, I give enough percentages to enough people in the world, I really don’t need to add more hot mess to my life…

So I present to you the link to….drumroll, please…

The Original “Green” Tee Tote/Grocery Bag!

It is 100% handmade, with love! From gently used, (code for thrift store), or imperfect and otherwise unwearable clothing.

So to sum up, it’s super awesome for the environment, will save you from ever having to take one of those annoying plastic bags again…and it looks cute, did I forget to mention that part?

Anyway, um…they’re ten dollars each, and available through the link above!!!!!

I’ve been a “businesswoman” for my entire adult life. I’ve sold newspaper advertising, crappy and not so crappy electronics, fuck, even gothic goddamn jewelry…figured it was time to sell something I genuinely believe in and, well, actually like. So, there you have it, I really hope somebody else likes them too!!

CheekyMF! Rant: Hey NBC, why don’t you sit don’t for a bit, we need to have a talk.

The time has come when we must address this. It’s gone on far too long and I just can’t watch this network I grew up adoring frenetically spiral downwards any longer. You’ve got to stop self-destructing, NBC, there’s no other way to say it.

I don’t know if it’s booze or pills. Maybe you’ve gotten yourself hooked on the reefer, but whatever is happening, it has to come to an end.

I grew up knowing that Thursday night could be funny because of you. I can’t begin to count how many Saturday nights were spent quietly awake in my bed, waiting for my parents to finally go to bed so I could come out and laugh at Adam Sandler and David Space dressed as Gap Girls. Five whole seasons of quotable “Newsradio” dialogue that still comes out of my mouth on a near daily basis…. We had some good times, right?

You can get to that place again, but it’s not by putting shows like “Community” and “Best Friends Forever” in limbo while “Whitney!” and “Are you there, Chelsea?” drag you down. When every show has shit for ratings, maybe you need to start looking at why. And I know it hurts to look inside yourself and own your failures, but please, stop now, take a step back, re-assess, and just look at what you’re doing to yourself for a minute.

A fan base is a finicky thing and it takes time. And while you think you’re doing the best for the Parham/St. Claire show by pairing it up with other “girl” shows, you’re really not. The fan base that would have inevitably proven the core for “Best Friends..” is simply not going to show up for Whitney Cummings or Chelsea Handler. I forgot the show was on every week if I’m being really honest. Only tended to remember when Friday morning came around and I realized it had been a while since I’d seen a new ep.

I know that at the end of the day, not every show can stay on the air. And what speaks to the broadest audience and gets the cheapest laugh is what’s likely to win out…but this one hurts, NBC. It hurts to see you give such a small chance to a show that had such potential and still keep shows that have been around for longer and seemed to have inspired less of a fan base. And perhaps that’s what hurts the most, it’s those shows lack of a fan base that cost this show from ever getting a “real” showing.

Please get help, my dear, sweet, NBC. Get help before there isn’t a network left to save.

All my love,

Maya F.