Archive for the ‘Lea Michele’ Category

Book Review Lea Michele’s ‘Brunette Ambition’: Lovable Lea

May 20, 2014

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OK, so 27  is a young age to write your memoirs. But Lea Michele’s Brunette Ambition (Crown Archetype, $21) isn’t meant to be an autobiography. Rather, it’s designed as a how-to book for fans of the actress and singer, couched with personal insights about the life which brought this wisdom.

Liberally illustrated and an easy read, Brunette Ambition offers lengthy looks at Michele’s approach to food, fashion, fitness and beauty, and how her health-centered, professional approach has empowered her rise from Broadway performer at age 8 to TV star, recording artist and now author at 27.

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Glee Review/Recap Season 5 Episode 2 ‘Tina in the Sky With Diamonds’: Let Glee Be

October 4, 2013

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Again, I’m awed by how well Glee channels the Beatles to deliver one of its best hours. Season 5, Episode 2’s “Tina in the Sky With Diamonds” made superb use of all six of its Beatles songs (make that seven, counting Tina’s brief, unexpected and rocking Revolution), advancing plots and characters while setting up the season to come. (Or two seasons — remember Kurt, Rachel and Santana’s two-year promise?)

This episode had no more major missteps than last week’s equally vibrant “Love, Love, Love,” the only rough spot being the jump from its moving finale of Let It Be to the promo for next week’s “The Quarterback,” the tribute to Finn and Cory Monteith that many of us both anticipate and dread. (more…)

Glee Review / Recap Season 4 Episode 4 ‘The Break Up’: Best Glee Ever

October 5, 2012

As stern NYADA maven Carmen Tibideaux would say, “Nice.”

As I would say, “Bravo!”

I know the Twitterverse has erupted in a fury of “shippers” screaming their displeasure about Glee’s “The Break Up” doing exactly what its title said it would do. I know fans will be fans and they’ll lash out.

But I’m not, and I’m a fan too — but in my own way.  That’s because I’m accepting — and I accept because of this: Of Glee’s 70 episodes to date, “The Break Up” was the most moving, meaningful, artful and musically accomplished. Shun or embrace the inevitability of  its heartbreaks, but they were heartbreaks well earned, and thus more affecting. (more…)

Glee Review / Recap Season 4 Episode 3 ‘Makeover’: Don’t Make Me Over

September 28, 2012

So much for enticing transitions. With Episode 3, ‘Makeover,’ Glee suddenly feels as if it’s all settled in and has no place to go.

Kurt has found a sure-to-be successful fashion career via sudden BFF Isabelle (Sarah Jessica Parker), his editor at Vogue.com. Rachel has surrendered to the hunkiest boy at NYADA in Brody (Dean Geyer). Will has snared a blue ribbon panel job that’ll take him from McKinley (and Emma?) for seven months. And it’s finally dawned on Blaine that he’s alone at a school he entered to be with Kurt, and becoming Senior Class President won’t fill that gap.

So we’re set, right? What else is there to know, except the follow-through to Glee’s most predictable ill-timed entrance (Hollywood Cliche #697) ever, when Finn appears unannounced in NY to catch Rachel with Brody at just the wrong moment. All that was missing was Rachel blurting Hollywood Cliche #992, “I can explain.” (more…)

Glee Review / Recap Season 4 Episode 2 ‘Britney 2.0’: They Did It Again

September 21, 2012

A soulful salute to Britney Spears? No way?

Way. “Britney 2.0,” Glee’s second stanza of the pop princess’ music and first since the second episode of Season 2, took bouncy trifles and converted them to meaningful triumphs.

And they all served a story more Lima-centric this time than last week’s “The New Rachel,” as New Directions holdover Brittany S. Pearce sank to new lows when banned from the Cheerios for a 0.00 GPA (what took so long?), somberly succumbing to rock-bottom excesses (lip-synching on stage, chomping junk food anywhere) that bore a striking —  if not snarky — familiarity to her famed almost-namesake. (more…)

Glee Review / Recap Season 4 Episode 1 ‘The New Rachel’: Call Me Definitely

September 14, 2012

Best Glee season ever? Whoa. ‘Way too early, of course. We’ll see.

But given what we saw Thursday night in Glee Season 4 Episode 1 The New Rachel, don’t call me maybe. Call me definitely — on board with Glee’s new characters, new dynamics and especially new settings.

New York, NY, it’s a wonderful town. And it’s as natural to Glee as slushies in the face. It’s where Glee belongs — at least, part of the time. And it’s where –with help from splashy, big-name casting — Glee may blossom most this year, just as life changes there — ultimately for the better, I’m sure — for this ensemble’s central character, Rachel (Lea Michele). (more…)

Why ‘Glee’ is Safe, Successful and Will Soar in Season 4

September 8, 2012

With so much unsettling if exciting change in the air, and with so many Glee haters still predictably preaching doom for its ratings fate (uh, four seasons ago you said the same thing), I figured Glee lovers could use some reassurance. And I’m just the guy to provide it, not only because I love this show, but because I covered the entertainment biz for 20 years, and the journalistic eye I apply to Glee reveals a far different picture.

So when you fret about the new format being iffy or new characters being “whodats” or other shows trumping Glee in its new time slot, I say “Relax.”

And here’s why:

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Glee Review/Recap Season 3 Episode 22 ‘Goodbye’: Parting’s Sweet Sorrow

May 23, 2012

With all the drama and trauma of Glee’s spring season, I didn’t think Ryan Murphy and company would fail to deliver a satisfying finishing kick. I wasn’t worried that their seniors’ send-off finale, Goodbye, might blow it.

Rather — and in part based on previewed music — I expected this three-season wrap-up of sorts to be a rousing triumph. I expected it to tap the touchstones of Seasons 1-3, to tie up some threads — while unraveling others — in mixing resolutions with questions for Season 4, and to celebrate what I love most about Glee: its questing heart, its quirky humor, its love and acceptance, and the sheer emotional lift of its music.

A confession: For me, that music is what makes Glee work — what makes it sing, literally and figuratively. It’s not principally the “ships” or the cutting comedy or the heart-tugging, meaningful moments of social commentary and humanistic insight. It’s the characters communicating their feelings through song — a sheer fusillade of songs, in fact, which are so often brilliantly produced and performed yet seem taken for granted, as if it’s routine for a TV show to deliver half an album’s worth of strong material each week.

But it’s not. In fact, Glee is the only show that’s ever done it. And for that alone it’s special. (more…)

Glee Review/Recap Episodes 20-21 ‘Props,’ ‘Nationals’: The truth of triumph

May 16, 2012

As a longtime entertainment journalist, I acquired a healthy cynicism toward show business, yet I always also believed in so-called “Hollywood” endings, which is to say, happy ones. But I didn’t believe in them as mere wish fulfillment, and I didn’t believe in them as shrewd audience pandering to sell tickets.

No, I believed in them as truth.

Some will say Glee’s amazingly cohesive double-header of Episodes 20, Props, and 21, Nationals, was too feel-good — too Hollywoodish — to ring true. They’ll say that New Directions winning Nationals, Rachel getting another — and apparently solid — shot at NYADA, Will winning teacher of the year — and heck, even Will getting laid — was too much too quickly, and more phony than feel-good.

And to that I say: Not in my book. After all the struggles and heartbreak, after all the slushies in the face, after all the “L” sign of losers from contemptuous fellow students, after finishing in 12th place last year, our little glee club had this championship coming. They’d worked for it. They’d fought for it. And this time they won it. And it was right, because sometimes underdogs do come out on top. Sometimes the right people do win despite the odds. And that truth is as real as any heartbreak, and certainly as meaningful. (more…)

Glee Review/Recap Season 3 Ep. 19 ‘Promasaurus’: Last Dance

May 9, 2012

And lo, it did come to pass that Quinn walked again. And Rachel became Senior Prom Queen (with a little help) alongside fiance Finn. And Brittany insulted old people with a daffy dinosaur dance. And it was good.

No, not a great episode, but Promasaurus was a good one, rippling with more rueful glances toward the finish line that’ll end our little glee club’s special togetherness, and brimming with joyous contemporary pop, from One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful to Selena Gomez and the Scene’s I Love You Like a Love Song. (more…)