Tag Archives: Maria ~ Pretty and Witty and Bright!

Maria is BACK and she’s irritated. Thanks a LOT, “SKINS” America!

The Hipster Doofus-ness of "Skins - America"

Hey! It’s MARIA and I’m back from the dead!  Instead of offering weak excuses in order to pardon my absence I’ll just apologize, and I promise let you all cop a feel later.

But first, I’m sad to say with my return comes horrible (yet, expected) news.  MTV’s American imagining of the British television sensation Skins that premiered on the network January 17th was HORRID.  Being a fan of British television, I was intrigued to hear about another show coming to America, like many of you were.  Whether you’ve seen the pioneered UK version of Skins, or you’ve watched the coming attractions on MTV and affiliated networks and internet entertainment mediums, you were at the very least intrigued (if not outraged or excited – seeing as how both ends of the spectrum seemed to be fully supported by the world wide web of haters and lovers).  I, myself, was a Johnny Come Lately with all of this, not hearing about MTV’s new Monday night golden child until I picked up January issue of Nylon last month around Christmas (when my liking for balayage highlights and actress Mila Kunis, Nylon’s January cover girl, quickly matured into a gross obsession after watching Black Swan). [Editor’s Note: Maria? Get in LINE behind DivaJulia–She has DIBS on the Mila.]

In this month’s issue of Nylon, there was a mini-spread on the show’s arrival to the United States via MTV.  After seeing the cast photos and reading their reassuring article of the show remaining true to form, with only a few of the character’s names changing and the setting being in Baltimore, Maryland, I was really excited to see what this show can bring to the table.  So I read on to learn that Skins has had a reputation of button-pushing and raw storylines, and after it being compared to a filthy, darker version of the Canadian cult-followed Degrassi: The Next Generation, but with a slew of teenage drug abusers and sex-fiends–I WAS SOLD, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

The show was carried over waters by the original Skins creator, Bryan Elsley, who claimed that the show should go onto the same pathway of unapologetic and scandalous success as the parent version due to the formulation of the show. This formulation involving a panel of teens that basically veto and approve character standings, plot lines, and the fluidity of cause and effect on the show.  For this, I commend them.

More Skins America...

The more I read, the more ashamed I was that I hadn’t watched the British teen drama religiously online since its debut in 2007.  Even without watching it though, I was already on the bandwagon of AMERICAN SKINS IS GOING TO SUCK…BAD.  I could already imagine the pretty-faced no-name cast fumbling through their storylines and failing to deliver genuine drama, comedy, and the raw realities of the teenage life bred by Mommy’s money and hedonism.

After watching this week’s premiere…I was correct in my expectations.  The other night, at 5ish in the a.m. I found myself restless and at the will of my buddy’s XBOX360 that was equipped with Netflix.  THEY HAD THE FIRST THREE SEASONS OF THE BRITISH VERSION AVAILABLE, AND IT WAS LIKE CHRISTMAS.  Of course, I only was able to stay awake through 90 percent of the pilot, unfortunately.  But I LOVED what I watched before dozing off.  And I cannot believe that little rosey-cheeked child from the 2002 Hugh Grant flick About A Boy, Nicholas Hoult, matured into such a man!

Just days later, I catch the American pilot for Skins online at mtv.com.  It’s a mirror image of the UK version (which I had already learned would be the case from the Nylon article).  And when I say “mirror image” I mean just that. It looked the same, frame by frame, but the majority of the dialogue was awkward. Not in a realistic, mockumentary awkward sort of way, just…awkward.

I loved the actors they chose, and I so desperately want to love the characters but find it so hard to, when we come to the end of the episode.  I felt like the effort to keep it true to the original took over a little too much.  Yes, teens are teens, and the underbelly of metropolitan living teenagers is dark and gritty no matter what country you’re in – but no show should be created SO equal.

[SIDENOTE:  Plus, it all reminded me of a show I used to sneak to watch way past my bedtime; Undressed, the afterhours teaser show on MTV from eons ago.  That shit was hot. When I was like eight years old.]

In my opinion, bringing the show to America was (and is) a stellar idea.  The producers just should have done one of these two options:

One:  Elsley should have brought the show in its entirety and struck a deal with MTV to promote an integration of the UK version into their program lineup, giving Skins just a second home, not a new face.

Or Two:  Elsley and producers (one of which is his son, by the by) should have taken the original plan of attack but skipped the use of the skeleton, by creating all new characters and dynamics.  Genius – I know.

I have heard, however, that the first few episodes are the only ones that will resemble the original so exactly — which gives me some hope.  Maybe when the characters take on life of their own instead of trying to recreate in a new environment that has both indefinite and definite rules of its own, the show will become more watchable.

We can only pray that this current ode to the UK’s Skins remains just a nod and actual character progression is a little more natural, giving America its own brand new guilty, thismakesmefeeldirtyinallthewrongways television pleasure. Because True Blood is months away, and I need an addiction filler.

With all that said, I will continue to report on the show’s pilot season on MTV.  For the sake of journalistic fairness, I will refrain from watching the Brit’s version and stay unbiased.

Just know, everyone; I may be unbiased, but I am still very hard to please.

Make me blush, MTV.  Show me some Skins.

XXOO  ~ Maria

“GLEE” Recap – “Never Been Kissed” (PICS/VIDEO)

Oh, Kurt...

“Never Been Kissed” Season 2, Episode 6 – “GLEE” – FOX NETWORK

Ahhhh!! I am reporting right now from the comforts of my parents’ living room homing a larger than necessary television complete with a satellite offering 5,000 more channels than anyone could ever need. There has been much buzz leading up to this week’s installment of Glee. Lots and lots of chitty-chatty about the theme of bullying and Kurt finally getting some over-the-sequined-sweater action.

For starters this week, let’s all take a moment to notice that Puck is back from Juvenile Hall, and thankfully he has fulfilled our hopes and seems, yes, even more bad-boyish than before.

On a more serious note, I have a feeling the only thing worth mentioning about the ensemble cast this episode is Kurt. Quel surprise.  Chris Colfer (Kurt) the most talented actor on the show BY FAR. However, though I love Kurt, I’m starting to become annoyed that the show’s substance is only within his story-lines and the rest of the GLEE’s characters and plots points seem to just be filler between YouTube material that will go viral by morning.

But let me get back down to Earth and make sure I mention the fact that the show is what it is…a hokey, charming, musical sitcom based in a middle-class public high school on Primetime, so I really shouldn’t be asking for much. They brought me Britney, for Christ’s sake. Why am I complaining?  Oh, that’s right – ‘cause my DVR had to choose between this and the “Bad Girls Club: Miami” season finale when that lazy-eyed tranny Morgan is supposed to come back from the reality-TV dead and ‘cause a ruckus…and I deserve good television with my sacrifices. RIGHT?!  I think so,  too.

Schuester is trying to save the world again with his lesson plans for the Glee class this episode. Sectionals are right around the corner and in preparation the class is given the familiar task of Girls v. Boys in-class competition. Same as they did last year, but this time with a little twist to spark up deflated spirits of Kurt; the Girls must select a song that is traditionally performed by guys, and the Boys must perform a selection normally done by women. THE POSSIBILITIES!

From the open of the episode, it’s pretty clear what the central conflict will be. Kurt is bombarded with the usual taunting, teasing and old-school hallway bullying at McKinley. And this time, it all seems to be slowing breaking down our little starlet.

In other news, Quinn is a prude and Sam, after some bro-coaching from Finn, tries to use visions of cleaver-wielding Coach Beiste in a Cheerios uniform to keep the party in his pants invite-only. After whispering “Beiste,” Sam makes Quinn a little concerned…so concerned in fact that she confides in Sue Sylvester for guidance on what to do about her boyfriend fantasizing about, as Sylvester so deemed her, a She-Hulk. And of course Sylvester uses this as ammunition for her umpteenth attempt at extracting Coach Beiste from the school staff.

My favorite musical number backdrop this season for some reason has been the school steps during what looks like lunch hour. The first number this episode is held in that spot, with Puck armed with his acoustic guitar, Artie (with whom Puck is now hanging out with in lieu of real community service), and Puck’s empty guitar case waiting to be filled. Puck and Artie shamelessly panhandle in the school’s quad to the music of Bob Marley circa 1977, as they double team “One Love.” Just wondering…is Mark Salling in any of those sexually charged, hot pink bordered Teen Bop “magazines” so I can create a small shrine to him in my room? Preferably one with a weird excerpt of an interview where he divulges to millions of 13 year old girls (and boys) that he’s just a down to earth mama’s boy – a true Leo looking for an Aries that will just cuddle with him… Convict-Chic is really working for him.

Artie’s creepy stare has recalculated its normal gaze as of late.  If it already slipped your mind, Brittany (our comedic genius and God-send to the show’s cast) popped Wheelie’s cherry, after which Artie dumped Brittany – and now weeks later, of course, he wants Blondie back.  Puck offers up some unsolicited advice and tells his two-wheeled charity case that Artie and Puck himself will be using their guitar case that is now filled brim with their peers’ lunch weed money to take Santana and Brittany on a date where Artie will proceed to act like a douchenozzle to win back Brittany’s odd affection.

Kurt takes it upon himself to check out some of the anticipated competition for sectionals; a nearby private all-boys school, home of a show-choir dubbed “The Warblers.” Kurt slips himself into the halls of the school, swimming in a sea of over-privileged boys with classic good looks in slim-cut black blazers.   He’s in nancy-boy heaven.  And so are we.  Posing as a new transfer student, Kurt meets a dashing young fellow by the name of Blaine.  Kurt learns from Blaine that the Warblers are school-widely known as “rockstars” and cool, by definition. Kurt is lead, hand-in-hand and running, by Blaine through the halls of the school that is laden with English leather furniture and crystal chandeliers…all in slow motion. That is until they reach the common area where the famed Warblers would be having an impromptu performance. Blaine is then revealed as the soloist of the Warblers. GO FIGURE.

At this point,  I have paused the show to refill my glass of water and, from the living room to the kitchen, have already fantasized the rest of the season as Kurt and Blaine fall in love and slowly destroy each other as Sectionals and Regionals approach… but back to relevant details… The Warblers serve up a DREAMY and CRRRRREAMY version of Katy Perry’s chart-topper from her most recent album “Teenage Dream” that I absolutely recommend that you watch it RIGHT THIS SECOND.

I even hear Mrs. Russell Brand loved their rendition! Did I mention DREAMY?!  Because that is the only appropriate word to describe the vibe-age between Blaine and Kurt during the little concert in the commons.

Weirdness rises with the “Beiste Technique” gets a little outta hand amongst the students, starting lovers quarrels. Seeing Coach Beiste in a pink leotard and tutu just brings up some harsh memories for myself…

Back at MADAME DREAMY’S SCHOOL FOR HOTTE GAY BOYS, Kurt is treated to coffee by Blaine and two other Warblers. Blaine, not-so-shockingly, admits himself as gay to Kurt when asked and the boys explain to Kurt how open and accepting their school is of their gay students. After noticing the internal cog turning and eyes glazing over, Blaine shoos the other boys out of the cafeteria to chat with the little Glee Spy alone. Kurt opens up to his new friend and shit gets REAL.  Dreamy convinces Kurt to confront his bullies and antagonists.  Ah!  So inspired.

Speaking of confrontation, Coach Beiste finally speaks up about her concern of what the kids at school are saying about her. Schuester sits Beiste down and explains why the students are using daydreams of her to keep their cool during heavy petting. I feel for Coach Beiste, I really do. Hilarious as the vignettes are, they’re rough images, y’all.

In a cozy booth for 4 at reputable eatery Breadsticks, Santana and Brittany are enthralled by a Juvenile Hall recollection from Puck…oh yeah, Artie’s there too. After Wheels successfully rejects Brittany’s whorish table-side advances, the kiddies dine ‘n dash, ‘cause Puck doesn’t “pay for food because that’s [his] thing, yo.”  But Artie’s heart of gold and pussy-like ways don’t allow him to skip on the bill and instead, pays for the dinner for four himself.

The girls kicked major ass...

Clad in black leather from head to toe, the Girls perform a mashup of Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” (1981) and Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer.” I’m always a fan of classic karaoke selections and good use out of smoke machines and fans. This number was KILLER. And Lea Michele didn’t annoy me ONCE. (Nor the usual THRICE occurance 😛  .)

Sue Sylvester calls Schuester into the auditorium to tell him that Beiste resigned from her position as Coach at McKinley. All thanks to the dirty minds of his Glee kids.

Feeling inspired by his talk with Blaine, Kurt runs after his repeat-offender locker-push-into…er after being pushed one too many times. Kurt finally confronts the walking, grunting Varsity jacket in the locker room.



Kurt gets in the face of his relentless, ignorant, asshat of a bully. Threats are thrown, fists are shaken, and A KISS IS EXCHANGED all in a matter of seconds in this scene. We’ve all seen this dynamic before, both in fictional entertainment as well as real life. It’s textbook, really. Closeted jock teases resident homo due to his insecurity of his own sexuality and his inability to accept in other what he can’t yet of himself.  Normally, when this is brought up in movies or television the notion is dropped after a few inevitable jock jokes are made. But GLEE takes on the real gravity of such a situation and punches tonight’s audience in the face with some REAL.  After Unnamed Jock plants one on the little tender Tenor, Kurt in utter and excusable shock pushes this bully-turned-mo off of him and Unnamed Jock punches the lockers in rage and storms off. YEAH…I KNOW!!

Kurt recruits Blaine O’Dreamy to confront Unnamed Jock a second time…but this time, to help him. After feeling ambushed, Jock gets on his testosterony-pony and shoves Blaine then storms off.   Kurt, now alone with Blaine, explains that the kiss shared in that locker room was his very first kiss. My heart drops for Kurt. I felt for him.

Riding on the water works express, we find a crying Coach Beiste boxing up her things. Schuester and Beiste have a man-to-woman and we find out that Kurt and Beiste have something in common. Same shade of coral chapstick?  No. Beiste confesses she’s never been kissed. And after a few soft words from Schuester, he places his lips on hers and they share a sweet, innocent, and compassionate moment. There’s no joke here…just adorability.

The love just keeps goin’ when Artie convinces Puck to stay in town and in school, while also doing real community service.

Sorry, boys. The girls beatcha!

Beiste visits the Glee class for the Boys’ turn for the class’s battle of the sexes, as they hope to double their performance as an apology to Coach. In 60’s style cocktail tuxes, the boys look absolutely swoon-worthy as they serenade Beiste with The Supreme’s 1965 #1 hit “Stop in the Name of Love” parlayed with early 90’s radio hit from En Vogue “Free Your Mind.” And odd pairing of songs…that I really wanted to work for them, but I’ll be the first to say it didn’t.  The vocals were great and the choreography was nice and campy, yet still had the rock ‘n roll edge expected of the boys, but it didn’t feel like a closing number to me. And the group-hug at the end? Ehhh…

Overall, a great episode. Definitely beefing up this drama-rama and sense of real conflict this season, I just hope things keep up!

Next Tuesday, another celebrity-centric episode for the season is in store when Gwyneth Paltrow plays a substitute teacher. We know how Julia feels about HER.   You’ll have to come back next week to hear what I have to say about it.




Hold onto your mutha-f*ckin' HATS, y'all.

“The Rocky Horror Glee Show” Season 2, Episode 5 – “GLEE” – FOX NETWORK

By: Maria S., Bitches.

So, in order to do my review this evening I definitely had to illegally stream the latest installment of “Glee.” I recently moved out of my parents’ house for the first time and I am now living on my own in the heart of Seattle…sans cable. Kill me. But thank God, I can steal WiFi from the Starbucks downstairs.

Let’s get to the nit and grit! The episode opens with the classic ‘Rocky Horror’ theme song, “Science Ficition/Double Feature” sung by a familiar faceless red kisser that fills the screen (to which I’m almost positive belongs to Quinn). Rachel’s screeching is heard and in the school auditorium in the midst of a dress rehearsal for “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” we have Rachel and Finn cast as the doe-eyed lovebirds, Janet and Brad.

"Rocky Horror Picture GLEE"

During the first snippet of a number, (the kids are rehearsing “Over at the Frankenstein Place”), we get a sneak peek as to the other roles doled out to the rest of the Glee class. And we are intrigued to say the least. The scene is abruptly interrupted by Dr. Emma’s New Boyfriend, John Stamos, clad in all black leather pants and jacket — reminiscent  of his famed and dearly missed role of Uncle Jesse Katsopolis .

Uncle Jesse still GOT it, yo.

He barges onto the stage to exclaim, “You messin’ with my woman?” in Schuester’s direction. We Tarantino it a week ago when poor, insecure wreck of a teacher, Schuester cops another lie to the Emma in order to gain points over her new man. Good luck. I normally root for the underdog, but c’mon…it’s John Stamos. Have mercy! Schuester, after being told that going to see a midnight showing of ‘Rocky Horror’ at the local dive movie house has caused Emma to do filthy, filthy things like forgetting the crusts off her sandwiches and thinking about wearing a costume to go trick-or-treating with Carl, tells Emma that funny enough, just last week Glee club had decided to do ‘Rocky Horror’ as the annual musical this school year.

Though he immediately sees the fault in his plan when he realizes he’s at a public school. “Soccer Mom friendly rendition” of the classic ‘70s musical? We’ll see!

Next scene we have Sue Sylvester doing her micro-segment “The Way Sue Sees It” on the small Ohio town’s news broadcast. Surprisingly, she’s not instilling fear in the youth of the world, but pressuring the public to agree that childrens’  fear should be a priority to civil living. Shortly after, using a local Emmy win as bait, Sylvester is approached by producers of the news show (CAMEO ALERT! Meat Loaf and Barry Bostwick!) to do an expose’ on the school actually doing the show and what it means for the public.

Finn’s insecurity about his body becomes more and more of an issue this episode. “Glee” is actually going to try to tackle the topic male body image? Interesting…not really — I JUST WANNA SEE SAM IN A GOLD SPEEDO. First rehearsal in class is a run-through of “Dammit, Janet.” Finn is actually adorable, and Rachel didn’t make me want to pull my hair out. Mid-song, Coach Sylvester yanks Schuester away from the class to fill her quota of intimidation for the day and to not only voice her unexpected “support” of the Glee club’s choice of ‘Rocky Horror,’ but to accept the role as the Criminologist.

Horny and lovesick, Schuester brings Emma on board of the crew as the costume designer. His excitement in his pants is brought to a halt however when Mike, the other Asian, backs out of his role as Frank N. Furter, forcing Schuester to tell Sylvester the musical is off. No musical means no expose’. No expose’ means no Local Daytime Emmy.  No Local Daytime Emmy means no happy Sylvester.

Sue is on the prowl for the solution to her troubles, and she doesn’t have to travel far for it. She pops into Emma’s office to find Carl and her gushing over their PVC leather and lace ‘Rocky Horror’ garb for their Halloween costumes. After learning that Dr. Love happens to know every ‘Rocky Horror’ song there is and that he has an amazing voice “for a dentist,” Sylvester brings Carl to the Glee room to audition for the role of Frank N. Furter to save the show. Carl busts out “Hot Patootie – Bless my Soul” and let me be the millionth person online to say this, JOHN STAMOS HAS STILL GOT IT. This entire number was fantastic actually. It was spunky, had natural progression and fun blocking and choreography. It made me want to be spun by John Stamos while he kick-ball-changed. Dirty. During the entire audition Schuester looks on in bitter resentment to his talented counterpart. Oddly enough both Schuester and Sylvester are in agreement that Carl has the makin’s of an Eddie, not a Frank N. Furter.  When this is said, Mercedes, meekly pipes up saying that she’d like to play the role of the Tranny from Transylvania. Whaa?  Aight, girl. Get it…

Get it, Gurrrl.

…AND DOES SHE EVER! Mercedes knocks us OUT with her spin on the role during the first dress rehearsal of “Sweet Transvestite.” Santana and Brittany as Magenta and Columbia, respectively, are too perfect for words. I’ve fallen back in love with Mercedes after this.

As another attempt at saving face and to spend even more “rehearsal” time with Emma, Schuester convinces Sam to hang up his gold hot pants as the role of Rocky is a bit too mature for a student to play. Yeah, and an adult teacher prancing around in practically nothing is far more appropriate. I’m starting to get taken out of the episodes when horrendously unrealistic plot points come to surface. Especially when such plot points mean I don’t get to see Sam Evans his skivvies. However…Schuester in the itty bitty gold shorts? I think I’m still on board.

Jayma Mays (Emma Pillsbury) finally makes her Season 2 singing premiere while she and Schuester ran through “Touch-a Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me” in an empty classroom. I really do love her comical yet chilling voice. The number is too hot for words. It’s suggestive, dirty, and highly inappropriate with Santana and Brittany moaning and singing secret backup at the classroom window. Did I say I was on board? Because what I really meant to say was that I’m on board, on duty, on deck, and on whatever else I have to be on to keep Schuester shirtless. Actually, I’d be fine with being ON Matt Morrison… The number ends with some heavy panting and Emma clutching Schuester’s chest. Ah, to be a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that chest…

After a pep talk from Sam, Finn gets his natural sexy flowin’ by cruising the McKinley hallways in his tightie-whities and dark rimmed glasses.  For this stunt, he almost gets his butt suspended from school for a month, but thanks to a previous pantsing of our favorite pro-commando Cheerio, Brittany, earlier in the school year, he’s let off with a warning. With that warning, the principal also warns Schuester about what doing this show might mean to the existence of Glee club at McKinley High School.

We’re finally brought back to where we started the episode with Carl walking into rehearsal, now with his black leather ensemble making a little more sense. Emma told Carl about Schuester and her steamy little vocal exercising and Carl is P.O.’d, y’all.

To add to the stress, Schuester is shown the rough edits of Sue’s expose’ on the school’s musical. In a curious turn, however, everything Sue Sylvester addresses in her little speech on the tape is completely…right. Schuester decides to pull the plug on the show and shares a close heart to heart with Emma in the auditorium, expressing his understanding now that if he truly does lover her (AWWWW!!!) that he needs to back off and trust that being with Carl is the best thing for Emma right now. Schuester goes to speak to his class about his new found logic and explains that the class will not be performing ‘Rocky Horror’ in front of an audience, but the show will go on — just as a release for their own enjoyment and self-expression. In the episode’s last number, which turns out to be the most notable song of the ‘Rocky Horror’ soundtrack, “Time Warp,” we finally get to enjoy every one of the Glee kids in the other Rocky Horror roles. Kurt as Riff Raff is just spot on, and Quinn as a breathy Magenta is brilliant. And, I hate to say, but Finn is actually radical in his role as Brad. The costume updates were just enough to bring some new spirit to the classic icons of Columbia, Magenta, and the rest of the gang. Speaking of soundtracks, you can purchase the entire soundtrack to this week’s episode, “The Rocky Horror Glee Show” online and in stores.

Overall , this was a great episode. Good message, great numbers, and a tasteful ode to the cult classic.

And if for some reason you needed another reminder, it’s that time of year! I know I’m going all out this year to see a local screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” I encourage you all to find out time and places in your local listings — and if you are near to a playhouse performing the live show, it’s even better! And, Virgins, don’t forget to wear your Vs 😉

I’ll see you all in two weeks for the next new episode, “Never Been Kissed.”



p.s. If y’all missed GLEE last night–guess who has the ENTIRE EPISODE all up in HERE? WE DO!

via HULU.com

If you’re at work, y’all…just turn the volume down a bit…