Pop Culture

26th April
written by Caryn

Seriously … how exciting is this?

Have the time of your life all over again! The original Dirty Dancing is celebrating its 20th Anniversary by returning to the big screen for two nights only – May 1st & 2nd at 7:30pm local. Don’t miss the original full-length movie PLUS exclusive never-before-seen footage and interviews with cast members and stakeholders that have kept the energy of Dirty Dancing alive for 20 years – seen only at this two night event!

20 years? Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday that we were carrying a watermelon?

8th February
written by Caryn
Gary Coleman

On February 8, 1968 Gary Coleman was born! That’s right — it’s the birthday of everyone’s favorite child star, fan accoster, former California gubernatorial candidate & Surreal Life inhabitant, Gary Coleman. The Gary.


17th January
written by Caryn

Now that I’ve got that Lisa Loeb song in your head …

I’m sure that some people think that reality television is the exact thing that is causing the ruination of culture and dignity in the world today. As if there were any in it to begin with. I’m sure they’d suck in a quick breath between their crooked teeth and proclaim it pedestrian and insipid, shaking their heads and strain themselves to look long and hard down their noses at anyone who indulges in any pop culture mainstays — or anything popular for that matter. Eh, people, what can you do with them? I find that they’re generally not the sort of folk that are too much fun to hang out with and much of the time smell like vinegar. But really, whatever happened to each his own? Or even better, like my man Rodney says, can we all get along? Indeed …

Although I went through a long stretch of hardly watching television at all, I quickly got over that and I find it now hard to resist the siren call of reality shows in every shape and size. Even the really, really bad ones. Like Surreal Life or MTV’s The 70s House. I generally don’t go for dating-themed shows like “The Bachelor”, but I did watch “Joe Millionaire”. I realize this doesn’t make sense. But that’s really the beauty of it, don’t you agree? recaps of , just like I did with last fall. As if that weren’t enough, my fiance has got me into watching Grease: You’re the One That I Want (which comes on right before The Apprentice! How convenient!) and VH1’s , which is like Rockstar (INXS or Supernova) meets Jerry Springer. Which means it’s so bad it’s good. Of course last night I plunged headfirst into the steadfast commitment that is viewing. A lot of people won’t really start tuning in until they get down to the final dozen or so, but I find the gold is really in the early auditions. Maybe it’s the exhibition of perseverance in the human spirit … or the complete lack of self respect. Maybe it’s that I just need to commune with Randy Jackson to pick up some new slang, or see what Paula Abdul’s trainwreck is looking like these days. All I know is that I just can’t look away.

Last night’s 2-hour (!) season opener focused on the auditions in Minneapolis, home of Prince, Sinclair Lewis and Mary Tyler Moore. Unfortunately for most of the thousands who came out to audition, not many of them were going to “make it after all”. They did however, lean heavily toward performing Prince tunes, including one woman in a tie who just couldn’t seem to remember the words to “Kiss”, repeating what sounded like “a women and girls” over and over in varying states of rhythmic breakdown. It was painful … yet awesome. The show got off to a slow start and seemed to focus too many minutes to only a few people. Even the really bad ones that are fun to watch in disbelief … spending too much time on one person just prevents us from seeing all of those other disasters waiting to happen. The theme of the show for most of the evening was how disappointing the auditions in Minneapolis turned out to be … so perhaps they just wanted to pass along that same feeling to us as well. The true talents were few and far between … and even some of those I’m not so sure about. There wasn’t one person who we saw make it through that I’ll be rooting for in the long run. Some of those who made it through was 16-year old Denise who sang “You’re Gonna Love Me”, oh and was also a crack baby. She was pretty good, but seemed to not have a whole lot of control and I wonder how versatile she’ll be. I also have to say that sometimes people should just leave their stories at home and just audition. Like Perla, the Shakira-esque contestant who really didn’t seem to have what it took … until her second try allowed to squeeze through. She of course “lived on the street” with just two backpacks and her guitar. Right. Let’s hope she goes home early, otherwise it’s going to be a long season. Two people from the armed services also get the wave through, both having touching stories and mediocre voices. They were nice to watch, but again, I don’t think we’ve met any finalists so far. 17 people in all made it through to the next round, but I think we’re going to have to keep searching for any real superstars. Other highlights included the “urban amish” guy who sang/talked a Weird-Al meets Andy Dick style song and then talked about how he never watched the show; a guy dressed as fictional boxer Apollo Creed and sang an Italian aria (or I’m assuming it was Italian and not just made up fake language), a girl who fancied herself as the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz and had the character’s voice stylings to prove it…. there was also the guy who did a juggling act and then stormed out of the room in a fit of profanity after the judges had to pass on his, er, unique talents. Last but not least, probably one of the saddest auditions was the final one of the night, in which young Josh’s Nickleback inspired hoarse-growling singing voice didn’t seem to cut it with the judges who wanted versatility (really?), and asked him to come back and sing an ABBA song — which he did, in the exact same style. Think Enter Sandman meets Dancing Queen. Ok not that good. That’s about it — the judges were fairly subdued this time around, which was disappointing. Paula Abdul was almost silent, which leads me to believe she’s either asleep, on pills or that she can’t talk much due to her collagen injections. Or is it Botox? The world may never know. Along with guest judge Jewel, the comments were pretty tame. Maybe to calm them, Jewel read some of her poetry to them just before they got down to business? All in all, the show was on the light side in terms of gems, even with Jewel, so I hope tonight’s installment from Seattle is a bit more interesting.