Views on pop culture through my eyes

Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Best Music TV Shows of all Time

As a fan of both music and television, it is not always easy to come up with a winning formula that benefits both mediums. You have had so many reality singing competitions, and a few fabulous duds like “Cop Rock.” But here is my list of the shows that got it right:

Reality Shows

American Bandstand (1952–1989)
Dick Clark was the host for most of the run and is credited with it’s success. You had acts of the day performing, plus good looking young people dancing to the songs too. Who didn’t want to be there?

Soul Train (1971–2006)
Don Cornelius was the host that most people are familiar with (1971–1993). This show focused mostly on soul and R&B performers but disco, jazz, funk and hip hop made their way on it too. Who didn’t want to strut their stuff in the Soul Train Line?

American Idol (2002–2016)
The greatest singing competition show that ever existed in my opinion. It has changed the face of popular entertainment forever, and brought singers and performers we are still enjoying today. They just announced this week it is coming back for the 2017-2018 season on ABC.

Solid Gold (1980–1988)
Dionne Warwick and Marilyn McCoo are the hosts that I remember the most. If you grew up in the 80’s you remember this show fondly. It had a dance troupe, the Solid Gold Dancers, who would dance to the Top Ten tunes of the week. It was tacky, but it was fun.

Dramas

Nashville (2012–current)
This series focuses on the performers, song-writers and music industry people in Music City. The two main stars are Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere. It is basically a good old fashioned soap opera with music. Not a musical, but a drama. There have been concert specials of the stars showcasing their very real musical chops.

Smash (2012–2013)
This behind the scenes look at the making of a Broadway musical never really found it’s way to great success. But those that watched it loved it for what it was: a celebration of Broadway — it’s music and stars. Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty starred as the 2 women who wanted to play Marilyn Monroe in a musical entitled “Bombshell.” Along the way, there was plenty of drama and some great numbers as well as some ridiculous story lines too.

Glee (2009-2015)
This fun show followed the students in a Glee Club at McKinley High School. These kids were all misfits in their own ways… but they found power and success in the music. The early seasons were very successful and they were able to spin off a series of successful albums, singles and concert tours too. Some of the numbers were sung in character, while others were performance numbers. They also created some great mash-ups, where they took 2 or more songs and smashed them together into one great medley.

Empire (2015–current)
This show is Fox’s current hit drama about the going’s on in the world of hip-hop. It follows the Lyon family, ex’s Cookie and Lucious, and their 3 sons Jamal, Andre and Hakeem. Lucious is hip-hop royalty and 2 of his sons are performers, while the third is behind the scenes. The music is executive produced by Timbaland. The soundtrack from Season 1 debuted on the charts at #1, beating out Madonna’s last album.

Special Mention

So You Think You Can Dance (2005–current)
OK, so it is not a music show per se, but a dance show. But music is a big part of the routines, and I have discovered plenty of new music by watching this show. Plus they have had performances by up and coming musical acts too.

So have I missed any? I would love to hear from you.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

 

Spring Reviews Part 2

Welcome back to the blog. It’s time again for my reviews of different entertainment options. Part 1 concentrated on music. Part 2 includes movies, DVDs and TV shows. What have I been watching recently? Read on.

Movies

Hidden Figures
This is the untold story of the women who were behind the NASA astronauts launch into space. It follows 3 African American women who were human computers. They were good at math, and were instrumental in the success of the space program. It is a very inspiring story. Go see it. Grade: A

Elle
Isabelle Huppert plays the title character. She won a Golden Globe for it (plus got nominated for an Oscar). She is good, but the movie itself is not that great. A schlocky tale of a woman who is raped by someone she knows, and acts almost as if nothing happened. Plus trying to figure out who raped her when she isn’t dealing with her job, her family, her ex and current lover. In French, with subtitles. Grade: C+

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage
Vin Diesel returns as the title character in this action sequel. Xander is a secret agent, who favors extreme sports and unconventional methods of working. The movie has plenty of action: car chases, shoot outs, brawls, even motorcycles on the water. Not much difference between this and the Fast and Furious franchise at this point. So you get a multicultural cast, exotic locales, and sex appeal. I enjoyed it for what it was. A good popcorn movie. Grade: B-

Loving
“Loving” is the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, who challenged the laws against interracial marriage in VA. Interesting and moving story with good performances. Grade: A-

Fences
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis star in this film adaptation of the August Wilson play. It concerns a working class garbage man who is married with children. He is not an easy man to love or get along with. He treats those around him at arm’s length. The performances are great, even if at times it feels like a filmed play (which it is). Grade: A-

Hacksaw Ridge
Mel Gibson directs and Andrew Garfield stars in this true-life tale of Desmond Doss. He is a conscientious objector during WWII, and serves as a medic during the battle at Hacksaw Ridge. He wants to serve, but will not carry a gun. The first half has Desmond in training and falling in love, the second part is on the battlefield where he saved 75 men. The movie is nominated for best actor, director and picture. It’s an old-fashioned war movie, that reminds us that hero’s come in all types of shapes and sizes. Grade: B+

Jackie
Natalie Portman stars as first lady Jackie Kennedy in this biopic. It follows Jackie during the week after her husband is assassinated. How do you compose yourself after experiencing something so tragic and so public? How do you move forward? I am surprised that this did not get a Best Picture nomination. Her performance may earn her the Best Actress award. Go see it. Grade: A

DVDs

The Purge: Election Year
The third movie in the “Purge” series. It fairs better than the second one, but it is still not as good as the first one. It concerns protecting a presidential candidate who wants to get rid of the annual Purge (the night where all crime including murder is legal). Grade: C+

The Lobster
Colin Farrell stars in this very strange, and at times, disturbing movie. In the not so distant future, everyone must be mated. If you are without a mate, you are turned into an animal. The title comes from the animal that Farrell’s character picks to turn into. At first, he is in some sort of government facility. Then he escapes and ends up in the woods. The first part of the movie I liked, the second half just got very weird and violent. Grade: C

Captain Fantastic
Viggo Mortensen (in his Oscar-nominated performance) stars as a father who is raising his brood of 6 kids off the grid in the Pacific Northwest. The family has to go out into the real world after a family tragedy. This movie raises a number of questions: what constitutes family? What is the best way to raise your kids? There are a few comedic moments in this movie. It becomes a bit of a road trip/fish out of water tale as the family leaves the forest for the city. I enjoyed it. Grade: A-

Ghostbusters
Melissa McCarthy and Kristin Wiig headline the cast of this all-female reboot. The cast is game, too bad they spent more on special effects than they did on jokes. The script and the director definitely let the ladies down. Includes guest appearances from the original stars too. Grade: C

Mechanic Resurrection
Jason Statham returns as the hitman for hire. Jessica Alba costars as his love interest. Jason must get back in the game and perform 3 hits before he can get out of the business and get his life back. Pretty forgettable movie, though I did like the one scene with the pool on the high-rise. Grade: C-

 

TV

Beaches
Another unnecessary remake. I liked it, but the original was better. The original movie has a special place in my heart. It was the movie Rasheed and I saw on our 2nd date. I even have a VHS copy of it. Grade: C+

Riverdale
I enjoyed “Riverdale” on the CW last week. An update of the Archie comics, the show played like a mix of 90210, Gossip Girl and a bit of Twin Peaks. It will be interesting to see how the season progresses. Grade: B+

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading. Please sound off in the comments, if you disagree or agree with my take on things.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

KiltMan’s Year End Top Tens for 2016

What did I enjoy most in 2016, as far as entertainment? There was a lot of good work in all fields of entertainment. I admit, I am not a critic. I am more of a fan. I will not bore you with explanations about my choices. I will tell you, that I saw most of the movies at the theater. I also own all the albums. The singles I chose include those purchased as well as those I heard (but didn’t purchase). As always, comments are kindly welcomed.intro

Albums

  1. This is What the Truth Feels Like — Gwen Stefani
  2. Wanderlust — Little Big Town
  3. Purpose — Justin Beiber
  4. Lemonade — Beyoncé
  5. Illinois — Brett Eldredge
  6. Ripcord — Keith Urban
  7. Storyteller — Carrie Underwood
  8. Dangerous Woman — Ariana Grande
  9. In the Now — Barry Gibb
  10. Cosmic Hallelujah — Kenny Chesney

Singles

  1. Love Yourself — Justin Beiber
  2. I Took a Pill in Ibiza — Mike Posner
  3. Into You — Ariana Grande
  4. Don’t Let Me Down — The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya
  5. This Is What You Came For — Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna
  6. Cheap Thrills — Sia featuring Sean Paul
  7. Let It Go — James Bay
  8. One of Those Days — Little Big Town
  9. Send My Love (To Your New Lover) — Adele
  10. Setting the World on Fire — Kenny Chesney featuring Pink

TV Shows

  1. Grey’s Anatomy
  2. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  3. American Horror Story: Roanoke
  4. Gotham
  5. How to Get Away with Murder
  6. Modern Family
  7. Orange is the New Black
  8. Project Runway
  9. American Idol
  10. Nashville

Movies

  1. Hell or High Water
  2. La La Land
  3. Manchester by the Sea
  4. Captain America: Civil War
  5. The Jungle Book
  6. The Edge of Seventeen
  7. Moana
  8. Fences
  9. Lion
  10. 13th

DVDs (or Streaming)

  1. 99 Homes
  2. Concussion
  3. Two Days, One Night
  4. Kylie Minogue — Kiss Me Once: Live at Sse Hydro
  5. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  6. The Last Five Years
  7. Trumbo
  8. Carol
  9. The Gift
  10. Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids

Concerts

  1. Dixie Chicks — MMXVI Tour
  2. Gwen Stefani — “This is What the Truth Feels Like” Tour
  3. Diana Ross — “In the Name of Love” Tour
  4. Keith Urban — “Ripcord” Tour
  5. Chicago — Tour 2016
  6. Boyz II Men and En Vogue — Tour 2016
  7. Smooth Summer Jazz w/ George Benson and Average White Band
  8. Daryl Hall and John Oates — Tour 2016
  9. Rihanna — “ANTI” Tour
  10. Jason Moran — Fats Waller Dance Party

I hope you enjoyed my year-end Top Tens blog. Please sound off in the comments. I would love to hear from you. Thanks for reading.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Fall Entertainment Roundup Part 2

Thanks for coming back. Part 2 features my reviews of CDs and TV shows. As always, comments are kindly welcomed.

CDs

Dierks Bentley “Black” Dierks is back for his 8th album. Special guests include Maren Morris and Elle King. Stylistically he is not presenting anything new for me, but it is still a solid record. “Somewhere on Beach” covers similar territory to “Drunk on a Plane.” The duet with Elle King “Different for Girls” is a bit of a sequel to Beyonce’s “If I Was a Boy” if you ask me. I hope it’s the second single. Grade: B-

Beyoncé “Lemonade” Queen Bey’s new project premiered as an HBO special, and an exclusive on Tidal. It is her follow-up her self-titled project. Again, we have a visual album and a music album. Stylistically it is her most diverse project yet: rock, reggae, country, gospel, R&B, ballads and more. She attacks the rumors of Jay-Z’s infidelity head-on. Ultimately it is story of female empowerment, especially black women. She is a force to be reckoned with. Grade: A

Kelly Clarkson “Piece by Piece Remixed” Her record company released this to capitalize on her triumphant return to American Idol in it’s final season. She sang a stripped down version of “Piece by Piece” which ended up going viral, and it instantly made it’s way onto the pop charts. You get new versions of 10 of the 16 songs off her last studio album. Grade: B+

Daughtry “It’s Not Over… the Hits So Far” Only the third American Idol alumni to warrant a greatest hits album, Chris Daughtry and company offer up only 2 new tracks on this collection (Torches and Go Down). It is still a great career overview, even if most of the songs are from the first 2 albums (the band has 4). Grade: B

Brett Eldredge “Illinois” This is his second album. I decided to take a chance on him since he is opening for Keith Urban on his tour this year. He’s got a nice voice, and I instantly liked some of the songs. Will see where he goes with his career. Grade: B

Ariana Grande “Dangerous Woman” Ariana’s 3rd album is just as good as her previous one “My Everything.” Contains the hit title track as well as “Into You.” And I am beginning to get a sense of her as a woman and an artist… something I wasn’t sure about last time. Grade: A-

Nick Jonas “Nick Jonas X2” Nick’s breakthrough solo project has been re-issued in a special deluxe edition with 7 additional songs. So you get the hits from the original like “Chains” and “Jealous;” plus remixes of those 2, and a couple of new songs too like “Levels” and “Good Thing” (with Sage the Gemini). His pop-R&B sound is finally starting to grow on me. Grade: B

Miranda Lambert “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” I am just catching up on this girl. And I have enjoyed every one of her releases. This is her 2nd album and includes the hit “Gunpowder and Lead.” So you get fiery uptempo songs with a ttitude and tender ballads too. Grade: B+

Little Big Town “Wanderlust” One of the year’s biggest surprises for pop music fans. This is the country group’s collaboration with Pharrell Williams, who co-wrote and produced the album for them. You get their trademark vocals, but the tracks are pop tunes for the most part. Danceable, fun, and definitely hook filled. I loved it the moment I heard it. Includes the fantastic first single “One of Those Days” — which is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Grade: A

Rascal Flatts “Changed” Rascal Flatts has never been much of a ground-breaker with their career. The country trio has a successful formula that they don’t mess with. So you get the big ballads, some good party tunes and nice vocals and harmonies. They have been consistently good through their whole career. Grade: B+

Blake Shelton “If I’m Honest” I am a fan of Blake, but this one is not doing much for me so far. “She’s Got a Way with Words” and the duet with girlfriend Gwen Stefani are the stand-outs for me. The rest is just OK. Hopefully it will grow on me. Grade: C

Sugarland “The Incredible Machine” This was the 4th (and so far last) album from the country duo. It contains the hits “Stuck on You” and “Tonight.” I hope that they get back together again to make some new music. Grade: B-

Keith Urban “Ripcord” Keith’s latest CD, has a few things in common with his last one “Fuse.” Is it country? If it is, it is very pop-oriented country. He has guest stars like Nile Rodgers, Carrie Underwood and Pitbull even on this album. I would love for Keith to try pop fully for one record, like Taylor Swift’s “1989.” That would be interesting. I believe Keith’s pop leanings, whereas with Tim McGraw it didn’t fit for me. Grade: B-

Jimmy Wayne “Sara Smile”
I first came to know this singer when he opened for Wynonna Judd on one of her tours. This is his 3rd album featuring the title track — a remake of a Hall & Oates song. They are featured on the song too. He’s got a nice voice, but some of the material is not up to par. Grade: C

 

TV

Animal Kingdom
Based on the Australian film of the same name, this TNT series follows the exploits of a crime family: a mother and her sons and grandson. The location has been moved from Australia to Southern California’s beaches. The cast is lead by Ellen Barkin and Scott Speedman. Everyone is good looking, and there is a decent amount of male flash on display. Sex, drugs, bad behavior — so far I am enjoying it. Grade: B+

Mad Men (Part 2 of Season 7)
I have been a big fan of this show through the years. I missed the last season, because I didn’t have a TV for a good portion of last year. So now I am finally catching up with it on Netflix. I have to say this last season was a bit of a disappointment to me. It was all over the place. So much of the stories occurred away from the ad agency. And they tried to give everyone a decent ending except Betty it seems. Grade: C

Greatest Hits
Billed as a special event limited summer series, this show brings back hitmakers of the past (like Rock Springfield and Backstreet Boys) singing their greatest hits as well as current hitmakers (Pitbull, Meghan Trainor) too. Each episode covers a 5-year period like 1980-1985; 1990-1995 etc. The show is hosted by Arsenio Hall and Kelsea Ballerini. This shows reminds me of “Hit Me Baby One More Time” a summer show from summer’s past that brought back old hitmakers to prime time. It was good to see some of the stars on here, even if they aren’t as good as they used to be. I hope they bring it back next summer. Grade: B

Do you agree with my reviews? Please sound off in the comments. I would love to know what you are watching and listening to.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Best Albums/Singles by American Idol Alumni

There is no doubt that American Idol will be missed. But thankfully, it brought us some great singers who have had some excellent albums and singles over the years. Here are my Top Ten favorite albums and singles from American Idol alumni.

Albums

  1. Kelly Clarkson — Breakaway
  2. Daughtry — Daughtry
  3. Carrie Underwood — Some Hearts
  4. Elliott Yamin — Elliott Yamin
  5. Carrie Underwood — Blown Away
  6. Blake Lewis — Audio Day Dream
  7. Jordin Sparks — Battlefield
  8. Kimberley Locke — Based on a True Story
  9. Kelly Clarkson — Stronger
  10. Dreamgirls Soundtrack

Honorable Mention

Daughtry — Leave This Town
David Cook — David Cook

Best Singles by AI Alumni

  1. Kelly Clarkson — Since U Been Gone
  2. Adam Lambert — Whataya Want from Me
  3. Carrie Underwood — Before He Cheats
  4. Kelly Clarkson — Miss Independent
  5. Carrie Underwood — Last Name
  6. Daughtry — Home
  7. Fantasia — I Believe
  8. Jordin Spark — No Air (w/ Chris Brown)
  9. Kimberley Locke — 8th World Wonder
  10. Clay Aiken — Invisible
  11. Elliott Yamin — Wait for You
  12. Phillip Phillips — Home

 Best Overlooked Idol Tracks

  1. Blake Lewis — Gots to Get Her
  2. David Cook — Time of Your Life/Paper Heart
  3. Adam Lambert — No Boundaries
  4. Kris Allen — Live Like We’re Dying
  5. Kimberley Locke — Change
  6. Mandisa — True Beauty
  7. Katharine McPhee — Home
  8. Josh Gracin — I Want to Live
  9. Bo Bice — Inside You Heaven
  10. Jennifer Hudson — You Pulled Me Through
  11. Scotty McCreery — Walk in the Country

Idols have touched us on screens big and small…. Movies and TV. Plus on Broadway too.

One of the things I loved about this show was that it took a nobody and made them a star. It presented you with regular people that were striving for their dreams — and that is something that everyone can relate to.

So that’s my list. Be sure to check out the songs and albums from some of my favorite American Idols. I am sure we will be enjoying their music for many years to come.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and more.

Who Will Be the Final American Idol?

One of my all-time favorite shows — American Idol — is coming to an end this season, after 15 seasons. The show debuted back in June 2002 on the Fox Network. It soon became a cultural phenomenon and launched the careers of superstars such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, Daughtry and more. It changed the face of television and shook up the music industry too. So who is going to be the final American Idol? Read on for my picks from 8 to 1:download

8. Lee Jean. This kid is so out of his element. He wants to be the black Ed Sheeran, and he doesn’t have a chance.

7. Avalon Young. The tom-boy girl with the soulful voice. She is not very consistent of a performer.

6. MacKenzie Bourg. Cute, nerdy white boy who plays guitar. He seems very sincere… but ultimately very forgettable. They have had too many of this type already on this show.

5. Tristan McIntosh. She wants to be a black woman in country. More talent than Lee, but she is so young and doesn’t have control of her voice or a clear idea of who she is as an artist.

4. Sonika Vaid. She’s got looks and a voice — this girl is a real contender. But I don’t know she is sure of her of her musical path yet.

3. Dalton Rapattoni. The cute guy with the guyliner — He looks like the lost member of 5 Seconds of Summer. He’s shown quite a wide variety in his song choices.

2. Trent Harmon. He’s cute, and a bit quirky too. But he’s got a distinctive voice and that should take him far.

  1. La’Porsha Renae. The big girl with the big voice. This girl literally could blow all the other contestants away, and she does week in, week out. I think we have found our next superstar.

So those are my predictions. I have predicted most of the seasons correctly. I really hope that her album is great and she has a long career. The next big question is — how long till the re-boot? I am predicting that it will happen in the next 5-10 years.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and more.

Super Bowl Entertainers

The 50th Super Bowl will take place on February 7, 2016 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos are the teams competing this year. Usually I could care less who is playing. What I really want to know is — who is performing at the half-time show? This year it is Coldplay, the British rock band led by Chris Martin, with guests Beyonce and Bruno Mars. Madonna, Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Katy Perry all had great half-time performances. So who’s going to be the headliner next year? Read on for some possible choices:shutterstock%5F367205408%2Ejpg

Country Hitmakers

Luke Bryan — One of the hottest acts around right now. He is selling a lot of albums and concert tickets. And it has been awhile since a country act has been featured here.

Carrie Underwood — She has across the board appeal. With 5 albums under her belt, plus countless tours and “The Sound of Music: Live” too, she is a consummate entertainer.

Kenny Chesney — He dominates the concert season almost every year with his shows. And he is a natural performing for stadium crowds. Why hasn’t he done it before?

Female Pop Stars

Pink — She has taken a detour with her You+Me project, but if she wants to reestablish her pop-rock cred, there would be no better place to do it. Great entertainer with a powerful voice.

Lady GaGa — She has taken a detour too, with her duets project with Tony Bennett, but if she wants to come back to the pop world, this would be a good launching pad. She is a proven live performer who consistently sells out tours.

Taylor Swift — What a year this woman had in 2015! She has been everywhere with her “1989” album and tour. And is favored for this year’s Grammy Awards. At this point in her career, I think she is too big for the NFL. But if she is launching a new project in 2017, this would be a great way to do it.

Britney Spears — She has the successful shows in Las Vegas; and has never done the Super Bowl by herself. She previous performed with NSync and Aerosmith in 2001.

Latin-Pop Stars

Pitbull — Mister World Wide, aka Pitbull, has sold out concert tours, hosted award shows and amassed a few major hits along the way. This would be a good fit for him. Plus add in some of his featured guest stars (Ne-Yo, J Lo, Christina Aguilera, Kesha) and you would have a half-time to remember.

Jennifer Lopez — American Idol judge, model, actress, singer, and dancer — she can do it all. With her Las Vegas residency recently launched too, this would be a good fit for a global superstar.

Old School

Earth, Wind & Fire — This veteran group is so retro they are cool. They have a great song catalog that will have people dancing in the aisles.

Queen and Adam Lambert — On his own Adam doesn’t have enough hits, but with Queen behind him, he is both contemporary and retro at the same time. Which is a good fit for reaching a huge TV audience.

Billy Joel — Another oldies act who still plays sold out shows across the country. If the Who and Paul McCartney can perform in their later careers, so can Billy.

So that’s my list of possible choices for the next Super Bowl half-time show. I would love to hear your thoughts on my choices.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for Valentine’s Day for friends, family and loved ones.

 

 

 

 

Living Without TV

So we have been living without a TV for about 4 months now. I would usually watch about 15 minutes in the morning before I left for work. I turned on the TV one morning, heard a loud pop, and saw smoke coming out of it while sound still played. WTF? I unplugged it immediately. That was the day our TV died.Broken-TV

So now I am trying to get by without a TV as I save up to either repair or replace the one we had. It was a Samsung 45” big screen TV, the first one we have ever had. We had some good times with it: birthday parties, Christmas parties, Oscar parties, Madonna parties and movie nights too.

I realized I couldn’t keep up with things like I had been with my DVR. Plus I would have to just let go of some shows. Also, some of the shows I watch are not available for free on the net, and I didn’t feel like trying to pay for them on Itunes. I did my best to follow American Idol, one of my favorite shows. I would usually watch the shows the next day or so. Empire I was able to watch all of it too.

Shows I haven’t been able to catch up with yet include: Grey’s Anatomy, Nashville, Scandal, The Amazing Race, and Modern Family. Missed the final episodes of The Fosters for this season, so don’t know what happened to Jude and Connor. Haven’t watched any of the The Real World: Skeletons online. I was a little iffy on this season anyway… maybe I am finally falling out of love with it. Disappointed I missed Mad Men’s last season and the latest season of Bates Motel and Orphan Black too.

Internet watching is a challenge too, streaming that skips, and having to watch all the commercials too. On the DVR, an hour show is 40 minutes. On the web, an hour show is an hour. I find myself losing interest sometimes, and then watching an hour show over a couple of days. All in all, a frustrating experience.

We are still getting discs from Netflix at home, and have hooked up a CD/DVD drive to the iMac. But it sucks to not have a big screen to watch shows on. Good thing that there are not a lot of award shows at this time of year… Sorry, Billboard Music Awards, you aren’t one of my must see award shows.

Haven’t done anything yet as far as finding a place to get the TV fixed. I just did a simple web search, and the first thing to come up was Best Buy Geek Squad. I remember as a kid we used to have someone come to our house to fix our TV… not sure I will find that these days. And is it even going to be worth it to fix? Who knows? Things aren’t made to last these days.

So when exactly am I going to replace the TV? I keep telling my lover, if I go crazy and you come home one day and see a TV, you know I couldn’t take it anymore. I do get sad about it sometimes. I want one by the fall TV season for sure. I know I can get through this. I know I will be fine.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Who Will Win American Idol 2015?

I have watched American Idol since season one. It is the best singing competition show on TV. Their ad campaign has said it all: we make superstars. With all the platinum records, online downloads, concert tickets sold, and major industry awards like the Grammys — this is the only show can boast about their track record. Even “The X Factor” has produced bigger stars than “The Voice” ever has. So who has what it takes to win it all this season? Read on for my list — from least likely to most likely — to win and be crowned the next American Idol.American Idol Season 14

7. Rayvon Owens (Richmond, VA; 23) — He is very soulful and reminds me of John Legend or Ne-Yo. Negative is his reliance on his falsetto, which he isn’t always good with. He’s been in the bottom a few times, so he is not connecting with the audience.

6. Joey Cook
(Woodbridge, VA; 23) — The kooky girl with the retro looks and little instruments (squeeze box or ukelele) is a bit too quirky for her own good if you ask me. Her interpretations have been interesting at times, but can’t see how she fits in today’s music scene.

5. Tyanna Jones (Jacksonville, FL; 17) — This young lady is definitely a powerhouse vocalist, with one of the strongest and biggest voices in the competition. She seems comfortable on stage. Hopefully she picks good songs for herself, and has self confidence too.

4. Jax (East Brunswick, NJ; 18) — This smoky voiced single named young lady definitely has star appeal. How far she can go with it, I am not sure. Her take on “Poker Face” by Lady GaGa was horrible, so she’s still finding her sound.

3. Clark Beckham (White House, TN; 22) — Clark is going for the white boy soul of a Darryl Hall, but reality is he is a bit overrated for me. He can be a bit over the top for me with his vocals. He thinks he’s better than he actually is.

2. Quentin Alexander (New Orleans, LA; 20) — This guy is a refreshing change from a lot of the singers in the competition. This guy is a real artiste— with his love of fashion and unconventional looks (afro, African jewelry), plus his unique interpretations of his song choices. He reminds me of Prince or Terence Trent D’Arby.

1. Nick Fradiani (Gulford, CT; 29) — This handsome singer/songwriter is a working musician whose stage presence shows all of his experience playing gigs. He looks like a lost cousin of the “Jersey Shore” gang, and has a voice that has echoes of Chris Daughtry. Plus he’s been consistent throughout the competition.

So those are my predictions. I predicted the last 2 winners, but missed it with Phillip Phillips. Do you think I got it right? I would love to hear from you.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Goodbye to Glee

Glee recently ended its run after 6 seasons on Fox. Though the show suffered the last few seasons in quality, there is a lot I am thankful for with it. Plus I know I will miss the great musical numbers and fun, loveable and relatable characters.glee-cast

When the show first premiered in 2009, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, the show was described as the anti-High School Musical. (And I am a fan of that Disney series of movies). I saw the first episode, and was impressed with the level of talent among the kids in the Glee Club. But I can’t say it won me over that first episode. But into the first season, I came to love the show and it’s stars.

There was Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch), Rachel Barry (Lea Michele), Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer), Noah ‘Puck’ Puckerman (Mark Salling), Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley), Tina Cohen Chang (Jenna Ushkowitz), Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron), and Artie Ambrams (Kevin McHale). Later seasons brought us Britney S. Pierce (Heather Morris), Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera), Sam Evans (Chord Overstreet) and Blaine Anderson (Darren Chris). These misfits all came together in song, and the world is a better place for it.

Like a lot of gay teens, I totally felt left out and different growing up. I was an outcast or misfit myself. I so wanted to be in the ‘”in crowd” and be popular. I guess plenty of other people could identify with this feeling and why we latched on to “Glee.” We became “Gleeks” — a person who marches to the beat of their own drum, and is not afraid to sing about it.

I love the fact that you had openly gay teenagers on the show. It was a big deal at the time, and the producers took a lot of heat for it. Today, with how things have progressed as far as gay rights, I’d like to think that “Glee” had something to do with it. I also enjoyed the relationship between Kurt and his father. This was also something you hadn’t seen before on TV, with a Dad (Mike O’Malley) being supportive of his gay son.

The musical numbers were always great, and gave us many memorable moments. I have around 10 of the “Glee” CDs and listen to them often. Their interpretations are often as good as or better than the originals. And who can forget their mash-ups, where they put 2-3 songs together in a medley to dazzling results. I also love how much joy those songs/performances brought to the world. It looked like the kids were having so much fun in those scenes. I would have loved to be in that club!

I love that the show had songs from all different genres: Broadway, pop, rock, R&B, folk and more. There were often times I heard a song on the show first, only to find out who the original artist was later.

It’s a shame that so far the stars of the show have not gone onto successful recording careers: Darren Chris, Amber Riley, Lea Michele and Naya Rivera all have great voices. Maybe the next stop is Broadway for some of them.

I also want to mention Cory Monteith. What a tragedy. He was fantastic in the role of Finn Hudson, and I cried when I heard that he died. He may be gone, but his songs and acting will live on. I loved the fact that they brought back the original performance of “Don’t Stop Believin” from the pilot episode, it had me all teary eyed.

So goodbye, “Glee” — it was great having you around for the last 6 years. I know that the show and songs will always have a special place in my heart. The quote on the plaque in the last shot said it all: See the world not as it is, but as it should be.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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