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post #361 of 397 Old 04-22-2013, 03:03 PM
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And Glee? I gave up on that last year. Obviously someone still watches it, but how can they bear it?

Oh Glee, I wish I could quit you. tongue.gif

I keep watching because every once in a while you see the old spark there. And they're still attempting bodacious things. A few weeks ago they mimicked that famous old movie scene where Fred Astaire dances in a rotating room, up the walls, across the ceiling, on and over the furniture, etc. But they had Mr. Shue dancing as it spun around, accompanied by Emma which doubled the choreography required, not to mention them not running into each other. It was a really jaw-dropping scene and must have taken weeks to construct the room, then rehearse and film an extraordinarily complex routine in it. Basically, I'm still watching 'Glee' for stuff like that.
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post #362 of 397 Old 04-23-2013, 09:45 AM
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Smash is surely doomed to cancellation, but still provides an interesting, if occasionally annoying show about musical theater.  I look forward to the remaining episodes and hope they give it a wrap up of sorts.  Glee I haven't liked or watched in a long time, but understand why they renewed it most likely.  The big disappointment in Smash is that it was pre-hyped by the media as the next big thing and flopped pretty badly.  That will likely hurt the prospects of such shows in the future, which is a shame.


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post #363 of 397 Old 04-23-2013, 04:20 PM
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Oh Glee, I wish I could quit you. tongue.gif

I keep watching because every once in a while you see the old spark there. And they're still attempting bodacious things. A few weeks ago they mimicked that famous old movie scene where Fred Astaire dances in a rotating room, up the walls, across the ceiling, on and over the furniture, etc. But they had Mr. Shue dancing as it spun around, accompanied by Emma which doubled the choreography required, not to mention them not running into each other. It was a really jaw-dropping scene and must have taken weeks to construct the room, then rehearse and film an extraordinarily complex routine in it. Basically, I'm still watching 'Glee' for stuff like that.

That sounds intriguing...any idea what the title of the episode is?

Many of the acts and the talent on Glee were almost worth the tedium and being accosted by the insufferable nuevo-morality of the storyline, but not quite. I could not take it anymore.

.........

"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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post #364 of 397 Old 04-24-2013, 07:32 AM
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That sounds intriguing...any idea what the title of the episode is?

Many of the acts and the talent on Glee were almost worth the tedium and being accosted by the insufferable nuevo-morality of the storyline, but not quite. I could not take it anymore.

That episode of 'Glee' was titled "Girls (and Boys) On Film", broadcast on March 7th. The rotating room piece was a takeoff of the song "You're All the World to Me" from the 1951 musical Royal Wedding. It was a dazzling scene and shows what that series is still capable of.
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post #365 of 397 Old 04-24-2013, 10:38 PM
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‘Smash’ Finale Gets Sunday Airdate
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Apr. 24, 2013

NBC‘s Smash is getting a slot upgrade for its finale. The network has announced that the musical drama — which was banished to Saturdays after several very low-rated airings on Tuesday — will get a send-off on a Sunday.

Smash will end its second season with a two-hour finale May 26, the first Sunday after the end of the season, airing from 9-11 PM. That will serve as a series finale as there is no possibility for Smash to come back next season.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/04/smash-finale-to-gets-sunday-airdate/
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post #366 of 397 Old 04-25-2013, 09:27 AM
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That episode of 'Glee' was titled "Girls (and Boys) On Film", broadcast on March 7th. The rotating room piece was a takeoff of the song "You're All the World to Me" from the 1951 musical Royal Wedding. It was a dazzling scene and shows what that series is still capable of.

You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODjf4uzaoOE

We did a similar thing in High School Musical 3, with a rotating hallway in the school. Except for there, we just built 10 feet of hallway to rotate for the dancing, put a green screen behind it, and the rest was CG set extension to make it look like the hallway went back another 100 feet. This routine in Glee is much more impressive. Hats off to them for pulling it off.
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post #367 of 397 Old 05-05-2013, 03:11 PM
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there is no possibility for Smash to come back next season.

Well after the show Saturday I say good riddance. Virtually none of the characters were behaving either consistently with what had gone before or what would be believable in anything other than some writer's idea of creating that bedrock of drama, conflict. Only the conflict simply made the viewer less willing to care about anybody in the cast. Ick.

I am becoming less and less willing to trust watching any of NBC's hour shows. Half-hour sitcoms can still be tolerable, though they let proven deliverers to hang on way past the time they should have closed up shop in an honorable fashion.

CW Hinkle
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post #368 of 397 Old 05-05-2013, 07:38 PM
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there is no possibility for Smash to come back next season.

Well after the show Saturday I say good riddance. Virtually none of the characters were behaving either consistently with what had gone before or what would be believable in anything other than some writer's idea of creating that bedrock of drama, conflict. Only the conflict simply made the viewer less willing to care about anybody in the cast. Ick.

I am becoming less and less willing to trust watching any of NBC's hour shows. Half-hour sitcoms can still be tolerable, though they let proven deliverers to hang on way past the time they should have closed up shop in an honorable fashion.

I can't argue with your premise that Smash is getting sillier and sillier but still am credulous enough to stick with it because of the music. I agree that the loss of the kid with the crush on Jimmy was no great loss and the business with Eileen's ex deciding to back HIt List after Eileen spurned his offer to back Bombshell was breathtakingly ridiculous. Oh, well, it's a serialized NBC show, so I guess we should have been warned. Still the musical talent on the show is impressive and the musical numbers are uniformly thrilling so I will be there until the bitter end.
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post #369 of 397 Old 05-05-2013, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Shaded Dogfood View Post

there is no possibility for Smash to come back next season.

Well after the show Saturday I say good riddance. Virtually none of the characters were behaving either consistently with what had gone before or what would be believable in anything other than some writer's idea of creating that bedrock of drama, conflict. Only the conflict simply made the viewer less willing to care about anybody in the cast. Ick.

I am becoming less and less willing to trust watching any of NBC's hour shows. Half-hour sitcoms can still be tolerable, though they let proven deliverers to hang on way past the time they should have closed up shop in an honorable fashion.

I don't know what was worse in this Saturday's episode: The writing or the acting. It's as if all involved with this series are just going through the motions. Good riddance.
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post #370 of 397 Old 05-06-2013, 01:58 PM
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I can't argue with your premise that Smash is getting sillier and sillier but still am credulous enough to stick with it because of the music. I agree that the loss of the kid with the crush on Jimmy was no great loss and the business with Eileen's ex deciding to back HIt List after Eileen spurned his offer to back Bombshell was breathtakingly ridiculous. Oh, well, it's a serialized NBC show, so I guess we should have been warned. Still the musical talent on the show is impressive and the musical numbers are uniformly thrilling so I will be there until the bitter end.

Yeah, the show for all of its potential, is quickly circling the drain. I wasn't particularly outraged, like many others, about the obvious parallels between Jonathan Larson/Rent and Kyle/Hit List. It's a TV show, after all, not reality (although if you look at one board in particular, people are almost pathologically obsessed with every and anything thing about the show and find nothing positive in any part of it). I had no problem with Jerry's actions. Eileen had every chance to bring Hit List to Broadway but couldn't swing it financially. Jerry, for as much of an SOB as he is, is still a producer and producers bring shows to the Great White Way that they think are meaningful and, more importantly, profitable. If Eileen is offended, tough nuggies. Go into another line of work. I'm sure that producers obsess over Tony Awards but Eileen and Agnes celebrating the downfall of competing shows didn't ring true. Broadway only thrives when most of the houses are running shows are they are doing good box office. It seems to me that their cheering for failure was a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. IMHO, the only force that drives Eileen is to prove to Jerry, the theater community and herself that she can be a producer on her own. When she and Agnes were discussing the awards, all Eileen was concerned about was that Bombshell ran long enough to be eligible for nominations. It didn't say much for a long-term commitment to the show.
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post #371 of 397 Old 05-07-2013, 09:37 AM
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Wow, that was bad.  With the exception of the truly moving end song by Jimmy and Karen, this was a mess.  Circling the drain is an understatement in how badly this opportunity is being wasted.  The only positive I can take from this is, that they have succeeded in making me unconcerned about its inevitable cancellation.  The change in showrunners and staff was definitely not in this show's best interest.


Ray
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post #372 of 397 Old 05-07-2013, 06:00 PM
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Wow, that was bad.  With the exception of the truly moving end song by Jimmy and Karen, this was a mess.  Circling the drain is an understatement in how badly this opportunity is being wasted.  The only positive I can take from this is, that they have succeeded in making me unconcerned about its inevitable cancellation.  The change in showrunners and staff was definitely not in this show's best interest.

Well, Jimmy sang anyway. As I recall, Karen walked around like a ghost and didn't sing a note. It was a beautiful song which Jeremy Jordan sang live on camera (according to his tweets). He is too brilliantly talented to be wasted in the backwash of writing this poor. It is going to be interesting to see where the principal cast members careers go from here. Megan Hilty appears to be the biggest beneficiary of her time in Smash. She is an A+ name in the Broadway community but was not generally well know beyond that. I suspect that she is now and that movies and TV roles will be coming her way. She can't work the stage forever, even though she's still relatively young. Doing 7-8 shows a week as you get up in years is a pretty rigorous life. Jack Davenport, Angelica Houston and Debra Messing's well established careers will move right along. Christian Borle will one the watch. Again, another well entrenched theater star who can break into celluloid if he chooses to do so. As for Kat McPhee, it's hard to say. She has had some success as a recording artist, is visually stunning and will always have her American Idol stint on her resume. He acting career was moving slowly prior to Smash but I don't what the show does for her. She has been, very unfairly IMHO, savaged for her "wooden acting" in many quarters. To me, an actor is only as good as the material that is written for him or her and I suspect that Kat, like Jeremy Jordan, was not done any favors by the show runners.
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post #373 of 397 Old 05-11-2013, 08:07 AM
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Well, it's officially canceled now.  At least the showrunner said that the final episode was crafted as a series finale, so that may help things.


Ray
"You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place." -Jonathan Swift
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post #374 of 397 Old 05-13-2013, 09:44 PM
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It's probably best for the writers. I'm assuming the spinning, looping, constantly reversing and random plotlines this season have been physically harmful to them. Perhaps some time off and a couple muscle relaxers will prevent stroke or PTSD.
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post #375 of 397 Old 05-14-2013, 09:36 AM
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Theresa Rebeck, who created Smash and left after season one, tweeted that Smash‘s poor Season 2 ratings performance were the least of its problems. “Most media reporters would agree that the second season is a complete disaster,” she wrote. “and that the troubles of a once promising show go far beyond faring poorly in the ratings.”

I agree. I thought the first season was brilliant with a few minor irritations, and the second season was complete crap. The music went from riveting to boring. The plotting went from pretty good to absolutely ridiculous. That's what happens when a network with no clue tries to fix a program that is very good aesthetically but not a ratings winner.
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post #376 of 397 Old 05-26-2013, 10:31 PM
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So long Smash, You died with a whimper not a bang. The once arresting songs faded with the ratings until there were none. Sad ending to a promising beginning. The 0.02% of us who adore musical theater will probably never see TV try again.

.........

"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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post #377 of 397 Old 05-27-2013, 07:27 AM
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Despite some weaknesses, I loved Smash from beginning to end, including the wonderful two hour series finale. The writers knew they had to wrap things up and they did it with style. I also loved the music, as I have most of the time during the show's two seasons. Goodbye, Smash, I am really, really going to miss you.
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post #378 of 397 Old 05-27-2013, 07:49 AM
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I loved Smash v1.0 and was tremendously disappointed with v2.0.  This show went careening off the rails this season with a new team and (terrible) new ideas and dismissal of some old (really good) ideas.  For me, the finale was mostly disappointing except that they did attempt to provide some sense of closure, with mixed results.  I share Distorted's view and especially his conclusion about this failure making it far less likely a major network will try such a thing again anytime soon.


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post #379 of 397 Old 05-27-2013, 08:17 AM
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I still had the 4/20 show on the VCR, so I reprised the That's Life number to remember that this show had some great moments. I was not disappointed.

I saw at the end of the finale this week that many of the musical numbers are on video at ITunes. I think I will preserve some on my hard drive, as waiting for a DVD will probably be like waiting for those So You Think You Can Dance DVDs, although most are original tunes so perhaps they would not have copywrite issues, That's Life not withstanding.

.........

"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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post #380 of 397 Old 05-27-2013, 09:48 AM
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So long Smash, You died with a whimper not a bang. The once arresting songs faded with the ratings until there were none. Sad ending to a promising beginning. The 0.02% of us who adore musical theater will probably never see TV try again.

I fully agree with your conclusion. We will not see another TV show about the world of live theater in our lifetimes if ever. The potential of season 1 was never fully realized and season 2 went off the rails very early. There are lots of reasons for the demise of Smash and they involve both the show runners and the "fans". This is going to ramble bit but here goes.

- Firing Theresa Rebeck, a real theater person (who has said that the network suits kept interfering and "suggesting" character behavior changes) and bringing in Josh Safran, predominantly a TV guy was not, IMHO, a wise decision. Whatever flaws Smash had in S1, it was still on to something. S2 became a downward spiral of, at times, mawkish soap opera. Don't get me wrong. We're a "theater family" (my kid is in the biz) and watched the show every week and, even with some eye rolls, enjoyed it, but it really slipped. Every time a very good episode aired, it was followed by one that was mediocre or worse.

-The show was caught between demographic groups and couldn't solidly cater to either of them. On the one hand you had people like many of us on this board who love theater and wished that there would have been more a bit more focus on the nuts and bolts of ramping up a show and on the other hand there was the far larger group of typical TV viewers who are not theatergoers and did want a degree of soap schlock every week. The show never successfully navigated the path between those shoals.

- While the network and the show runners and writers bear their major share of responsibility, there is a segment of the audience that does as well. The folks in this forum have been entirely fair and mature in their assessment and criticisms of Smash. But it's not so much elsewhere. On other boards, there are many who have savaged the show from day one. Some are in the business (and others are dilittantes who wished that they were) and insist that the show be true to everything that happens in theater. That's rubbish. It's a TV show, a fantasy, not real life and there are many who seem not to realize that. Such a show would be cancelled in 30 minutes. The blistering comments after every episode were almost pathological at times. The sheer hatred for Katherine McPhee actually did cross that line quite a bit. Maybe NBC made a mistake by initially pushing her as the face of the show but she was well known from her Idol days, is outrageously gorgeous and has an excellent voice. If they would have pushed the brilliantly talented Megan Hilty, known only in the theater community, would that have helped? I doubt it. As the show went on, McPhee could only suffer in comparison to Hilty in world of real or imaginary theater but that was hardly her fault. The rivalry between their characters was the dramatic heart of the show even if was mishandled at times. The problem is that a lot of the theater folks in the viewing audience developed a "thing" about McPhee where she couldn't do anything right and Hilty couldn't do anything wrong and those feelings carried over to the show itself. Every little thing that happened was torn apart by these people.

- There were so many Jekyll and Hyde character shifts in S2 that it was disquieting. A primary example was Tom going from good guy to self-serving jackass to good guy again. You got the feeling that the producers and the writers were just throwing stuff against the wall to see what would stick.


There are so many more reasons for the show's failure but like most of you, I will miss it. I went to my first Broadway show when I was 10 or 11 years old and have been hopelessly hooked ever since. I welcomed a show about the business, even one as flawed as Smash and will mourn its final curtain coming down. Maybe it was doomed from the start. It could never settle on what its target audience was and perhaps, given its core foundation, that was too heavy a lift. I still applaud Steven Spielberg, Theresa Rebeck and all of the Broadway people involved for having the courage and imagination to launch Smash. I have every episode saved and will pull one up, smile, sigh, roll my eyes or whatever but I won't be erasing the series anytime soon.
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post #381 of 397 Old 05-27-2013, 11:09 AM
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Cal1981 -- Thanks for your thoughtful analysis of the decline and ultimate failure of Smash. As you know from our exchanges here and elsewhere, I have a life long love of musical theater. As bad as some of the soapier aspects of the show were, particularly in Season 2, the musical performances were uniformly stellar, from beginning to end. I thought last night's two hour series finale marked a fitting end to what to my mind at least had been an excellent show. The loose ends were wrapped up in what was to me a satisfactory way and the music was never better. In short, I loved it. "Leave them wanting more," indeed.smile.gif

To say that not even the showrunners believed in the show toward the end of its run would be an understatement. For example, earlier today I discovered to my disappointment that Smash Season 1 wasn't released on BD, it is available only on DVD. Thus, it's virtually certain that Season 2 will have no more than a DVD only release, if that. Needless to say, I won't be buying the DVDs, although I had been looking forward to buying the BDs.
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post #382 of 397 Old 05-27-2013, 11:22 AM
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Cal1981 -- Thanks for your thoughtful analysis of the decline and ultimate failure of Smash. As you know from our exchanges here and elsewhere, I have a life long love of musical theater. As bad as some of the soapier aspects of the show were, particularly in Season 2, the musical performances were uniformly stellar, from beginning to end. I thought last night's two hour series finale marked a fitting end to what to my mind at least had been an excellent show. The loose ends were wrapped up in what was to me a satisfactory way and the music was never better. In short, I loved it. "Leave them wanting more," indeed.smile.gif

To say that not even the showrunners believed in the show toward the end of its run would be an understatement. For example, earlier today I discovered to my disappointment that Smash Season 1 wasn't released on BD, it is available only on DVD. Thus, it's virtually certain that Season 2 will have no more than a DVD only release, if that. Needless to say, I won't be buying the DVDs, although I had been looking forward to buying the BDs.

The closer was pretty good considering that some serious re-writing probably had to be done. It was maybe a bit too pat and cliched in the "everyone lived happily ever after" aspects but all in all it played well. How about Jack Davenport singing a few bars of Pressure? He carried a tune pretty well. The "11 o'clock" number by the two stars was very good and I loved that it was presented in the context of the Tony Awards show but with the big "Smash" logo behind them.
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post #383 of 397 Old 05-27-2013, 11:59 AM
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At some point I didn't care whether Karen or Ivy won the Tony but If I was writing the show, neither of them would have. I believe that the 11th Commandment is "If Audra McDonald is nominated for a Tony, then by God she wins it" biggrin.gif so I would have had the Leading Actress award presentation go right up to the second before the winner was announced and then cut to commercial. Coming back, I would have had Karen and Ivy together at the bar commiserating over the fact that neither of them won and that either Queen Audra or Sutton Foster had won. This way all of the Team Ivy and Team Karen followers would been able to whine and moan for the next few months, making sure that Smash didn't quite "slip out of focus and into history" quite so soon rolleyes.gif
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post #384 of 397 Old 05-27-2013, 12:21 PM
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At some point I didn't care whether Karen or Ivy won the Tony but If I was writing the show, neither of them would have. I believe that the 11th Commandment is "If Audra McDonald is nominated for a Tony, then by God she wins it" biggrin.gif so I would have had the Leading Actress award presentation go right up to the second before the winner was announced and then cut to commercial. Coming back, I would have had Karen and Ivy together at the bar commiserating over the fact that neither of them won and that either Queen Audra or Sutton Foster had won. This way all of the Team Ivy and Team Karen followers would been able to whine and moan for the next few months, making sure that Smash didn't quite "slip out of focus and into history" quite so soon rolleyes.gif

Amen about Audra McDonald! Have you seen her Live From Lincoln Center special on PBS? Holy, cow, the lady is talented! She may be the best singing actress I have seen. Her five Tony Awards have been matched only by Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris. Sutton Foster is another favorite of mine, perhaps the best dancer among leading ladies I have seen. My daughter and grandson saw Foster and Christian Borle (Foster's ex husband) in Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway. I was bitterly disappointed in Foster's TV gig, Bunheads. Instead of it providing a platform where Foster could sing and dance, it was a saccharin sitcom with a bunch of teenaged girls. It was bad stuff, a terrible waste.
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post #385 of 397 Old 05-27-2013, 01:10 PM
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It was bad stuff, a terrible waste.

Fie, fie! I really like Bunheads. I like it a lot better than Smash. Granted, it's a generic sitcom, bu the young ballerinas were quite talented.

CW Hinkle
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post #386 of 397 Old 05-27-2013, 01:58 PM
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I still had the 4/20 show on the VCR,

VCR? Wanna buy some tape? Single pass. Some new. Various brands.
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post #387 of 397 Old 05-27-2013, 02:21 PM
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It was bad stuff, a terrible waste.

Fie, fie! I really like Bunheads. I like it a lot better than Smash. Granted, it's a generic sitcom, bu the young ballerinas were quite talented.

The young dancing girls in Bunheads were talented but there was too little of them dancing, way to much of them reciting lines of soapy dialog, and almost none of Sutton Foster doing what she does best, singing and dancing. Bottom line, Sutton Foster, one of the great musical theater talents of our day, was wasted, wasted, wasted.
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post #388 of 397 Old 05-28-2013, 08:13 AM
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VCR? Wanna buy some tape? Single pass. Some new. Various brands.

Brain fart - DVR.

.........

"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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post #389 of 397 Old 05-28-2013, 09:40 AM
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VCR? Wanna buy some tape? Single pass. Some new. Various brands.
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Brain fart - DVR.

Until I saw the foregoing exchange, I hadn't thought of VCRs in many years. My old VCR players and all of my old tapes are long gone. I do, however, still have a laserdisc player and a bunch of laserdisc recordings. Compared to even DVDs, much less BDs, laserdisc PQ sucks but I can't bring myself to get rid of them.
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post #390 of 397 Old 05-28-2013, 10:37 AM
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So ... I sat down last night to begin de-spooling the final 5-6 episodes off the TiVo, and found that the first one was actually a recording of "The Voice." I don't know what happened there, but at this point that I realized I just didn't have the will to slog on through to the end ... and poof ... in an instant my disk usage went from 76% down to 65%.
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