Posts Tagged ‘ television ’

Nickabocka loves: Glee

// They quite triumphantly tackeled Madonna a few weeks ago, and now prime-time musical dram-edy Glee takes on the music and fashion of Lady Gaga. 

Glee is taking leaps and bounds in becoming one of the most popular shows of our generation. Not since Gossip Girl hit the screens three years ago has a program really captivated pop-culture enthusiasts with their novel story ideas and hot cast (see below). Not to mention talented! Of course, I’m a sucker for the musical in most forms. In my opinion, shows brave enough to embrace the genre (Scrubs, Buffy The Vampire Slayer) should have extended their musical affiliations for at least a season or two (okay, maybe not). But the primary difference with Glee is that these kids are actually singers. And dancers. They’ve got it all going on. And with five best-selling records under their belt (including and not limited to the #1 selling iTunes hit, The Power of Madonna), the gang are building up quite a repetoir of modern pop hits as well as classic tunes. For anyone whose fantasized about losing their virginity to the sweet serenation of their boyfriend singing Like A Virgin, this is the show for you.

Single handedly responsible for the rebirth of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing, including the art of the ‘mash up’ (mixing such artists as Bon Jovi and Usher in the same number). Stand out numbers throughout the season have included unexpected renditions of Dionne Warwck’s A House Is Not A Home, Lily Allen’s Smile, Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of The Heart and Lennon’s Imagine (shared on screen with a deaf show choir. Tear). 

Lea Michele in Elle, February 2010.

Dianna Agron (in Chanel jacket), Interview, January 2010. 

The Male Cast of Glee, Vanity Fair, December 2009. 

Rolling Stone, March 2010.

Not only is Glee insanely entertaining, but it highlights the importance of arts education and gives the big fat finger to anybody that gave a wedgie in high school. The show stars broadway actress Lea Michele, who has been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe Award for her performance as overbearing starlet Rachel Berry (the show also scored a win for Best Television Series—Musical or Comedy). Michele is also set to star as Dorothy in the CGI animated remake of Wizard of Oz next year.

The Gaga-inspired episode is directed by Joss Whedon (the creative brilliance behind the Buffy empire. Yes Buffy-nerds, he’s back on prime time!) and also guest stars Neil Patrick Harris. And just who can get away with donning Gaga’s McQueen outfit in a respectable tribute to one of the biggest pop stars of our time? Kurt can. Check out the episode’s trailer:

// Dan Z


Nickabocka loves: Skins

// Nickabocka has officially emerged from Skins Season 4. If you’re still pacing through Season 3, or your internet is way too slow for episodic downloads and you’re waiting patiently for SBS to catch up, then just bare in mind – you ain’t seen nothing yet. 

With four seasons under it’s belt, a further two commissioned by E4 in London, a film on the way and an American adaptation by MTV in the pipeline, this show is unstoppable. Allow me to note a number of key reasons. Firstly, it’s a program about teenagers, played by teenagers. Yeah, like, people playing their actual age. In terms of credibility, this seems to make quite a difference. While it’s easy to ignore the fact that Dawson and Joey were some four or five years younger than the actors that embodied them, its ever-so-easy to whip out the ‘unrealistic’ curse that attaches itself to so many teen dramas.

Secondly, the episode format on which Skins is based is incredibly character driven. Each character is nominated their very own episode, which paves the way for exceptional detail throughout an integral story arc. Written surburbly, and with dialogue commonplace to kids of that age bracket, aside from the occasional over-dramatic death, the tribulations that the characters are designed to experience are reflective of the emotions experienced in everyday life, particularly when it comes to matters of the heart. And with a spectrum of eight protagonists, almost every issue is dealt with, or not dealt with as they case may be. And to make matters further novel, at the end of each couple of seasons (termed ‘generations’), the producers scrap the characters from existence (or do they?) and start fresh with a brand new lot of drug-fucked, emotional hipsters.

And not to be forgotten is the program’s production value. The shots, the pans, the tilts, the zooms – all carefully constructed and downright visually stunning. 

While the first generation paved the way for Skins phenomena, the second generation have absolutely taken over. Check out the cover’s below:

Company Magazine, February 2010. 

The Sunday Telegraph’s Stella Magazine (Sunday 10th January edition)

Diva Magazine, February 2010.

Nominated for Best Drama Series at the British Academy Television Awards, as well as countless other awards for production design (for the character of Cassie) and cinematography (Director of Photography Nick Dance has been nominated for a BAFTA and an RTS Award for Photography and Lighting for his work on the series) this show is critically and commercially on fire. 

Open auditions were held in April 2010 for the cast of the next generation which will air early 2011. 

// Dan-Z