Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘smash’

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.

 

Jeremy Jordan in Concert

Jeremy Jordan in Concert
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Catalina Bar & Grill

Special guest: Ashley Spencer

Songs performed: Broadway Here I Come, Santa Fe, Underwater, Bonnie, More Than Words/Heaven, Let It Go, Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Home and more

Comments: Broadway and TV star Jeremy Jordan made his LA stage debut with 3 shows at the Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood. He was a Tony Award nominee for his role in the musical “Newsies” and starred in the film “Joyful Noise” along with Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton as well as season 2 of the show “Smash”.Jeremy Jordan

He came on and introduced himself, as 18 years old from Corpus Christi, Texas. He then proceeded to sing like he was on his first audition with a song from the musical “Chess.” Then, he gave us the truth… he is really 29, but he is really from Texas. And he made sure the audience knew he wasn’t the 90’s teen pop singer/actor or the gay porn performer. So they might as well just sit back and enjoy the show. He called the show — Breaking Character, as this was new to him, since he sings mostly as an actor, and not as himself.

Between songs he would tell the audience about himself, how he came to get such roles in shows like “Bonnie & Clyde,” “Rock of Ages” and “Newsies.” Plus how he met his wife, Ashley Spencer. She helped him out on 2 numbers — one from “Smash” and one from “Rock of Ages.” He also premiered a song from his new movie with Anna Kendrick, ‘The Last 5 Years.”

Ashley helped to pick a girl from the crowd that Jeremy would sing to. The guy next to me was raising his hand, wanting to be picked. He sang “Bonnie” to a girl named Emily, who proceeded to cop a feel on his chest.

The show was very gay friendly… which is not surprising considering he is mostly known for Broadway show tunes. He made a point of saying that the gay guy playing the piano was single and was good w/ his hands. He premiered a few pop/rock tunes (3 in total) that he said he wrote himself. He also played guitar on those songs too.

It was my first time at this club… sort of a supper club like atmosphere, with people eating and drinking during the show.

He relayed how he was obsessed with the movie “Newsies” as a kid… never dreaming that one day he would be starring in the show on Broadway one day.

He closed the show with his take on the smash from “Frozen” — “Let It Go.” The finale had him singing a medley of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” along with “Home” from “The Wiz.”

I was surprised that this was his LA debut. He is a good singer and performer, and I can definitely see him performing at Disney Concert Hall or the Hollywood Bowl sometime. Thanks to Jeremy for a great evening of music. This was a nice event to add to my birthday week festivities.

 

Goodbye 90210/Smash

Saying goodbye is never fun or easy. Two of my favorite shows are ending in a few weeks. One was a reboot of a classic Aaron Spelling soap, the other was a pedigreed show that never quite lived up to expectations. I am talking about 90210 on the CW and Smash on NBC.

The original Beverly Hills, 90210 ran for 10 seasons on Fox from 1990 to 2000. It launched the careers of Jennie Garth, Shannen Doherty, Jason Priestly and Luke Perry. The reboot 90210 debuted in 2008 and will be ending its five year run this coming May. Though not as long running as the original, it still had a decent run (compared to the rebooted Melrose Place which only had 1 season).90210

90210 concerned a bunch of rich kids in Beverly Hills, first attending West Beverly High and then California University, if going to college at all. This version at least added some people of color, with Tristin Wilds as Dixon and Michael Steger as Navid. It also updated viewers on some of their favorite ladies from the original series in the first year or 2 of the show.

I watched all of season 1, part of season 2, missed season 3, and picked it up again for seasons 4 and 5. There was always plenty of beautiful people having a lot of drama in their lives with school, careers and love lives. It seemed like everyone dated everyone on that show. And they had a lot of fun too, fabulous parties and crazy getaways.

I got to know these people and liked spending time with them. Shenae Grimes as Annie Wilson; Tristan Wilds as Dixon Wilson; Jessica Stroup as Erin Silver; AnnaLynne McCord as Naomi Clark; Michael Steger as Navid Sharazi, Jessica Lowndes as Adrianna Tate-Duncan; and Matt Latner as Liam Court. They fought, they loved, they cried, but at the end of the day they were still friends.

Smash debuted in 2012 as a mid-season replacement on NBC. Headlined by Katherine McPhee and Megan Hilty as dueling divas, both vying for the same job — playing Marilyn Monroe in a fictional Broadway musical named Bombshell. Other stars include Debra Messing, Anjelica Huston, Jack Davenport and Christian Borle.

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