June 11, 2013 2:41pm EST
In celebration of Superman's 75th anniversary, and the release June 14 of the Son of Krypton's latest big-screen adventure Man of Steel, writer Larry Tye, author of Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero, Now Out In Paperback, contributes this essay exclusively to Hollywood.com on the unique qualities some of the actors who've played Superman — Kirk Alyn, George Reeves, Christopher Reeve, and Henry Cavill — have brought to the role.
Nobody is more All-American than Superman in his red cape, blue tights and bright yellow "S." So how is it that a Brit – a native of the Channel Islands and a product of a Buckinghamshire boarding school, with an English brogue no less – is donning the leotards and cape in the new Man of Steel movie?
Warner Bros' selection of Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill as our newest Superman seems ill-conceived if not profane, the more so coming just as America is celebrating its hero's milestone 75th birthday. But Cavill, a British heartthrob who played the First Duke of Suffolk on the Showtime series The Tudors, wouldn't be the first on-screen Man of Steel to defy convention and, in so doing, to soar higher than even his studio handlers dared dream.
Kirk Alyn, the original live-action Superman, was more a song-and-dance man than an actor, having studied ballet and performed in vaudeville and on Broadway in the 1930s and early forties. That's where he decided to trade in the name he was born with, John Feggo, Jr., for Kirk Alyn, which he felt was better suited to the stage. He appeared in chorus lines and in blackface, modeled for muscle magazines, and performed in TV murder mysteries in the days when only bars had TVs and only dead-end actors performed for the small screen. But he had experience in movie serials, if not in superheroes, so when he got a call from Columbia Pictures in 1948 asking if he was interested in trying out for Superman he jumped into his car and headed to the studio. Told to take off his shirt so the assembled executives could check out his build, the burly performer complied. Then producer-director Sam Katzman instructed him to take off his pants. "I said, 'Wait a minute.' They said, 'We want to see if your legs are any good,'" he recalled forty years later. They were good enough, and fifteen minutes after he arrived, Alyn was hired as the first actor to play a Superman whom fans could see as well as hear.
Alyn and his directors were smart enough not to try and reinvent the character that Bud Collyer had introduced so convincingly to the radio airwaves. “I visualized the guy I heard on the radio. That was a guy nothing could stop,” Alyn said. "That's why I stood like this, with my chest out, and a look on my face saying, 'Shoot me.'" His demeanor said "tough guy" but his wide eyes signaled approachability and mischievousness, just the way creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster had imagined their Superman a decade before. Alyn understood, the same way Collyer had, that kids could spot a phony in an instant. If they didn't think Alyn was having fun – and that he believed in Superman – they wouldn't pay to see his movies. His young audience, after all, didn't just admire the Man of Steel. They loved him. Superman was not merely who they dreamed of becoming but who they were already, if only we could see. The good news for them was that Alyn was having fun, and he did believe in his character in a way that these pre-teens and teens appreciated even if movie reviewers wouldn't.
In the 1950s, when Superman was gearing up for television, producer Robert Maxwell and director Tommy Carr screened nearly two hundred candidates who were sure they were him. Most made their living as actors, although some were full-time musclemen. Nearly all, Carr said, "appeared to have a serious deficiency in their chromosome count." So thorough – and perhaps so frustrating – was their search that the executives stopped by the Mr. America contest in Los Angeles. One choice they never seriously considered, despite his later claims, was Kirk Alyn, who had done well enough for the serials but had neither the acting skills nor the looks around which to build a Superman TV series. The search ended the day a barrel-chested B-movie actor named George Reeves showed up on the studio lot.
Maxwell's co-producer had recognized Reeves in a Los Angeles restaurant, seeming "rather forlorn," and suggested he come in for a tryout. He did, the next morning, and "from that moment on he was my first choice," said Carr. "He looked like Superman with that jaw of his. Kirk had the long neck and fine features, but although I like Kirk very much, he never looked the Superman Reeves did." His tough-guy demeanor was no put-on. Standing six-foot-two and carrying 195 pounds, Reeves had been a light-heavyweight boxing champ in college and could have gone further if he hadn't broken his nose seven times and his mother hadn't made him step out of the ring.
The Superman TV show, like other incarnations of his story, turned around the hero himself. Collyer, the first flesh-and-blood Man of Steel, had set the standard. He lowered and raised the timbre of his voice as he switched between Superman and Clark, making the changeover convincing. Maxwell's wife Jessica, the TV dialogue director, would follow Reeves around the set urging him to do the same – but he just couldn't master the switch. The result: a Superman who sounded just like his alter ego. They both swallowed their words. They looked and acted alike. There was no attempt here to make Clark Kent into the klutz he was in the comics. No slouching; no shyness. Reeves portrayed the newsman the way he knew, and that Jessica's husband told him to: hard-boiled and rough-edged, Superman in a business suit. The only differences were that Reeves would shed his rubber muscles and add thick tortoise-shell glasses with no lenses – that was the sum total of his switch to Clark Kent.
But it worked. It worked because fans wanted to be fooled, and because of the way Reeves turned to the camera and made it clear he knew they knew his secret, even if Lois, Jimmy, and Perry didn't. This Superman had a dignity and self-assurance that projected even better on an intimate TV screen than it had in the movies. Reeves just had it somehow. He called himself Honest George, The People's Friend – the same kind of homespun language Jerry and Joe used for their creation – and he suspended his own doubts the way he wanted viewers to. He looked not just like a guy who could make gangsters cringe, but who believed in the righteousness of his hero's cause. His smile could melt an iceberg. His cold stare and puffed-out chest could bring a mob to its knees. Sure, his acting was workmanlike, but it won him generations of fans. Today, when those now grown-up fans call to mind their carefree youth, they think of his TV Adventures of Superman, and when they envision Superman himself, it is George Reeves they see.
Christopher Reeve was an even less likely choice when producers set out to find the right Superman for their 1970s motion picture extravaganza. It wasn't just his honey brown hair and 180 pounds that did not come close to filling out his six-foot-four frame. He had asthma and he sweated so profusely that a crew member would have to blow dry his armpits between takes. He was prep school and Ivy League, with a background in serious theater that made him more comfortable in England's Old Vic than its Pinewood movie lot. He was picked, as he acknowledged, 90% because he looked "like the guy in the comic book . . . the other 10% is acting talent." He also was a brilliant choice. He brought to the part irony and comic timing that harked back to the best of screwball comedy. He had dramatic good looks and an instinct for melding humanism with heroism. "When he walked into a room you could see this wasn't a conventional leading man, there was so much depth he had almost an old movie star feeling," says casting director Lynn Stalmaster. The bean counters loved his price: $250,000, or less than a tenth of what Marlon Brando would get for the modest role as Superman's dad. Director Richard Donner asked Reeve to try on his horned-rimmed glasses. Squinting back at him was Clark Kent. Even his name fit: Christopher Reeve assuming the part made famous by George Reeves. "I didn't find him," Donner would say throughout the production. "God sent him to me."
Superman changed with every artist who filled in his features, writer who scripted his adventures, and even the marketers and accountants who managed his finances and grew his audience. Each could claim partial ownership. Actors like Christopher Reeve did more molding and framing than anyone and could have claimed more proprietorship. With each scene shot it was clearer that he was giving the hero a different face as well as a unique personality. Reeve's Superman would be funnier and more human – if less powerful or intimidating – than any who had proceeded him. He was more of a Big Blue Boy Scout now, in contrast to Kirk Alyn's Action Ace and George Reeves's Man of Steel. In the hands of this conservatory-trained actor, Supes was getting increasingly comfortable baring his soul.
Picking up the role and the mythos now will be English actor Henry Cavill, whose first appearance on the big screen was as Albert Mondego in The Count of Monte Cristo (2002). Can Cavill make us believe the way Reeve, Reeves, and Alyn did, and make us embrace a British-accented Man of Metropolis?
History suggests he can – provided he and Warner Bros. remember the formula that has served their hero so brilliantly for 75 years and counting. It starts with the intrinsic simplicity of his story. Little Orphan Annie and Oliver Twist reminded us how compelling a foundling's tale can be, and Superman, the sole survivor of a doomed planet, is a super-foundling. The love triangle connecting Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Superman has a side for everyone, whether you are the boy who can't get the girl, the girl pursued by the wrong boy, or the conflicted hero. His secret identity might have been annoying if we hadn't been let in on the joke and we didn't have a hero hidden within each of us. He was not just any hero, but one with the very powers we would have: the strength to lift boulders and planets, the speed to outrun a locomotive or a bullet, and, coolest on anyone's fantasy list, the gift of flight.
Superpowers, however, are just half the equation. More essential is knowing what to do with them, and nobody has a more instinctual sense than Superman of right and wrong. He is an archetype of mankind at its pinnacle. Like John Wayne, he sweeps in to solve our problems. No "thank you" needed. Like Jesus Christ, he descended from the heavens to help us discover our humanity. He is neither cynical like Batman nor fraught like Spider-Man. For the religious, he can reinforce whatever faith they profess; for nonbelievers he is a secular messiah. The more jaded the era, the more we have been suckered back to his clunky familiarity. So what if the upshot of his adventures is as predictable as with Sherlock Holmes: the good guy never loses. That is reassuring.
There is no getting around the fact that the comic book and its leading man could only have taken root in America. What could be more U.S.A. than an orphaned outsider who arrives in this land of immigrants, reinvents himself, and reminds us that we can reach for the sky? Yet this flying Uncle Sam also has always been global in his reach, having written himself into the national folklore from Beirut to Buenos Aires. If Cavill acknowledges both sides of that legacy, the all-American and the all-world, then he should be able to reel back aging devotees and draw in new ones.
Larry Tye was an award-winning journalist at The Boston Globe and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. A lifelong Superman fan, Tye now runs a Boston-based training program for medical journalists. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Satchel, as well as The Father of Spin, Home Lands, and Rising from the Rails, and co-author, with Kitty Dukakis, of Shock. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, and is currently writing a biography of Robert F. Kennedy.
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June 10, 2013 6:09pm EST
The 67th Annual Tony Awards, held at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, was swimming with A-List stars — and from the moment they stepped foot on the red carpet to the final curtain call, they were having a blast. We should know, we were in the thick of it.
While viewers at home were transported to Broadway with 15 musical numbers and laughed along with Neil Patrick Harris' fantastic hosting, those of us on the red carpet and in the media room were privvy to a little extra bit of fun. Here's what the TV cameras didn't catch.
Mike Tyson, who enjoyed a stint on Broadway with a one-man show last year, amazed everyone with his cameo appearance in Harris' show-stopping (or show-starting, as the case may be) opening number. But before he hit the stage, we watched Tyson hug The Sopranos' Steven Van Zandt (who would later present an award with Tom Hanks) on the red carpet. Tyson looked dapper on stage, but outside in the 90-degree New York City heat, the fighter was sweating like he had just exited the boxing ring. Inside the theater, Tyson cozied up with Now You See Me star Jesse Eisenberg.
Broadway veteran Bernadette Peters cut a stunning figure in a green Donna Karan Atelier with a basketweave texture. What you didn't see was the assistant she had on hand to scoop up and properly arrange her gown's train between poses.
Cyndi Lauper was the well-deserving belle of the ball on Sunday night. Not only did she rake in six awards (her show, Kinky Boots, was nominated for 13), but she was incredibly gracious to her fans and her energy was boundless. On the carpet before the ceremony, Lauper made sure to wave to the legions of fans lining the street (Glee and Annie star Jane Lynch did the same). Following her win, she hammed it up for photographers in the press room.
On the red carpet, Scarlett Johansson greeted Sienna Miller (whose fiancé, Tom Sturridge, was nominated for his work in Orphans) with a kiss on the cheek. Backstage, Johansson was equally chummy with fellow presenter Alan Cumming. The two played patty-cake before presenting the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.
On the carpet, Cumming made peace signs and crazy faces while posing for photographers.
Four-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald (whom you may know from Private Practice) shared the spotlight — and a hug — with her daughter, Zoe.
Smash star Megan Hilty shared the stage with fellow Broadway actors-turned-TV-stars Laura Benanti (Go On) and Andrew Rannells (The New Normal) for a laugh-out-loud musical number that poked fun at their bad luck on screen (cliffnotes: their shows have all been canceled). Hilty's Smash co-stars Debra Messing and Will Chase — who notoriously had a real-life affair — were conspicuously cuddly.
Home audiences were lucky enough to see this tender moment between Annie star Sunny (who plays Sandy, the lovable stray canine) and host Neil Patrick Harris. But since it's just too cute for words, here it is again:
Reporting by Lauren Paylor
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June 10, 2013 4:27pm EST
Today, we are once again reminded that it's hard to make love last in Hollywood. On Monday, actress Jane Lynch announced that she and her wife Dr. Lara Embry would be getting a divorce after three years of marriage.
In a statement to People, the Glee star said, "Lara and I have decided to end our marriage. This has been a difficult decision for us as we care very deeply about one another. We ask for privacy as we deal with this family matter." The couple tied the knot back in 2010 in Massachusetts, the first state to legalize same-sex marriage.
The divorce is certainly not slowing down the 52-year-old star, who has been hard at work with her role as Miss Hannigan in the recent Broadway revival of Annie. Lynch made an appearance at the Tony Awards on Sunday night, where she performed her signature number, "Little Girls."
Follow Caroline on Twitter @carolinesb | Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @Hollywood_com
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May 14, 2013 5:44am EST
Five years after we met West Beverly High's newest generation of rich kids, the time has come (again) to say goodbye to the most famous zip code in the world. The CW's 90210 might have been conceived as a reboot of the '90s teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210, but after midwestern transplants Annie and Dixon Wilson adjusted to California life it quickly became its own show.
The final episode of the drama felt very retro — the Goo Goo Dolls performed, proving that it might actually still be the '90s in Beverly Hills — but it also tied up plenty of loose ends for some happy and not-so-happy endings. Can you guess the Jen Linley of this bunch?
Let's take a look back at where the gang began, and where they ended up:
Annie (Shenae Grimes) She might've started out as a goody-goody drama kid — the Anne Hathaway of West Bev — but Annie's story took a dark turn into rebellion, vehicular manslaughter, and prostitution. Interestingly enough, Annie managed to snag the only straight-up happy ending of the bunch: She and Liam finally got engaged.
Dixon (Tristan Wilds) Dixon went through plenty of trauma in a five-year span, including the David Silver Memorial Aspiring Musician Drug Problem and a terrible car accident, but interestingly enough, he seemed the most unchanged out of the group. Good ol' smiley Dixon.
Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord) Once a straight-up bitch, Naomi Summer Roberts'd herself into the position of intimidating, confident friend who's actually a softie at heart. When her family lost their fortune she learned humility, and came out on the other side with just as excellent a wardrobe, a newfound urgency to do good in the world, and much straighter hair.
Navid (Michael Steger) Navid always had it bad for Adrianna, and although he got trapped in a collapsing building and nearly died in the finale, it was because he ran in after his love and saved her life. Typical Navid. Those two ended up happily ever after as well, but in a less-than-ideal setting: the back of an ambulance.
Silver (Jessica Stroup) Poor Erin Silver was not dealt an easy hand in life. After struggling with bipolar disorder and losing her mom to breast cancer, Silver learned in the finale that she'd developed cancer too. Can the poor girl catch a break? At least she has some truly supportive friends surrounding her. (And Adrianna.)
Adrianna (Jessica Lowndes) Once a pregnant teenage former child star, Adrianna morphed into a crazy, slightly older teenage music star. For some reason all the nice dudes on the show put up with her, but thank goodness she and Navid stuck it through — his not-awfulness managed to rub off on her, at least a little.
Liam (Matt Lanter) Liam went from the guy from the other side of the tracks to a bar-owning major movie star, earning himself a much-needed attitude adjustment before finally pleasing Lannie shippers everywhere and getting down on one knee. Annie and Liam forever!
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May 10, 2013 10:50am EST
Admittedly, we series purists weren't going to like whatever season finale that replacement showrunners David Guarascio and Moses Port put together for the fourth year of Community. Or, as we've come to think of it, the first year of a half-hocked Community live-action cartoon spin-off. Ever since the pair took over for the ousted Dan Harmon, they've managed little more than a legion of The New Scooby Doo Movies episodes, capitalizing on the appeal of familiar characters but losing their spirit entirely. Having approached the season straight out the gate prepared for this schematic has helped me to feel too badly about all of the turns it took with the characters. As far as I, and many of my fellow Greendale devotees are concerned, Community ended with the Season 3 finale. And ended well. So, Season 4 was really just morbid curiosity and a way to past post-work time on Thursdays before Parks and Recreation. As such, the season has been moreover harmless.
Yes, there have been offenses taken: Annie's regression to obsessive schoolgirl, a form from which she evolved in Season 3 (re: the stellar "Virtual Systems Analysis"), Troy and Britta's break-up (I'm not saying they needed to stay together forever, but the relationship was built on a slow, steady, charming ground; to demolish it out of nowhere seemed cheap and synthetic), the penultimate "Heroic Origins" (a good idea, and one that could have been well-executed under Harmon, but that seemed to undercut the characters and their otherwise vivid personal histories). But the worst jab taken at the golden era of Community comes in the Season 4 finale, "Advanced Introduction to Finality." And it takes form in a single throw-away one-liner.
The episode kicks off with Jeff reuniting with his old partner (Joe Lo Truglio), a good-natured but very lawyerly lawyer, agreeing to take on a position at his budding firm out of town. The idea of this venture brews anxiety in Jeff, who is afraid to leave his seat at the study group table and transform back into his seedy, pre-Greendale self, and to lose touch with his nontraditional family. Jeff transfers this anxiety to Abed, whom he insists will not be able to handle his dismissal from Greendale and the group, aiming to provoke this revelation and prove his absence a bad idea by hearkening back to the catastrophes of "Remedial Chaos Theory" — Jeff brings a die to the study group table to determine who will pick up soda for his graduation party, tosses it up in the air, and sets into motion a series of eye-rolling events.
The episode calls back to a slew of important Community episodes: "Chaos Theory," in the entry of the Dark Timeline characters into the primary universe (Evil Jeff figures out how to cross into the characters' canon, bent on sending Jeff down a path of evil), "First Chang Dynasty," in the reintroduction of Napoleon Chang and the Deanelganger/Doppeldeaner (they reign supreme in the Dark Timeline), and, of course, the paintballs. See, the Evils bring timeline-warping paintball guns to switch places with their counterparts — Abed is transported to the negative world, where he must learn from Evil Abed how to stop Evil Jeff and Evil Annie.
If you've already got a headache, I don't blame you. The episode is as convoluted as it is thoughtless, a rare combination.
But the most specifically scathing element comes in a solitary remark made by Abed, who, in his ever present meta commentary, calls this turn of events the only way that they could have made paintball "cool again." This is an affront to the majesties of Harmon, assuming not only comparability to "Modern Warfare" and the "A Fistfull of Paintballs" episodes, but superiority. This episode seems to think that it improves on the creations of "Remedial Chaos Theory," "Virtual Systems Analysis," and "First Chang Dynasty," while it is really just a bastardization of the elements crafted so eloquently within them. Community never did anything just because it was cool, not prior to Harmon's leave. It's episodes were thoughtful and suggestive. Not candy.
Stomachache-inducing, teeth-rotting, not-even-very-good-tasting candy.
And this is the legacy of Season 4 of Community: it took something wonderful and stocked with merit and used it for surface value lunacy. The finale might have contributed one last piece to Jeff's growth: the realization that he doesn't need to stay at Greendale to be the person Greendale made him, that he'll carry that, and his family, with him forever. This is a good lesson, but not one well-delivered in light of the absurd laser show that is this episode, and past year altogether. Luckily, we have the Season 3 finale: a worthy ending to an unparalleled series. Season 4 might have done its best to infuse itself into the Community chronology, but those of us who didn't enjoy it don't have to accept it as part of the story. What we got from our good years at Community is a lot like what Jeff got from Greendale. It might no longer be with us, tangibly, but it will always be with us in essence.
See? A good lesson. Too bad it was surrounded by all that other nonsense.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
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May 05, 2013 1:05am EST
I'll admit it: On Sunday morning, I'll have a hangover. Not because of excessive drinking, though. (There are only so many Mint Juleps you can drink before your breath smells like a tube of Aquafresh.) But because I laughed so hard during Saturday night's installment of Saturday Night Live, there's little chance I don't wake up fielding a brutal stomachache.
But host Zach Galifianakis gave me little choice. Back at SNL for a third time, the host gave us so much, we're left wondering how The Hangover Part II could have gone so wrong. But let's rewind to the episode at hand!
After a Fox & Friends parody that was a bit too familiar to SNL fans — each one is becoming less distinguishable from the last — we finally got to the moment we've been looking forward to this entire week: Galifianakis' monologue, which he had already perfected his first two times on the series. Starting off the show with the same oddball deadpan we fell in love with in Live From the Purple Onion, Galifiankis waxed poetic about charades ("My wife and I once played charades with a couple who was deaf. They were amazing.") and stumping Google ("I once Googled, 'How many candles does Dave Navarro own?' Fourteen thousand."). The opening was so Raven, the perfect antidote to Season 38's subpar monologues, even if it was a bit less daring than a bearded man wearing an Annie costume.
Still, Galifianakis didn't stay out of costume for long, donning a dragon suit for the next sketch, "Game of Game of Thrones." Tapping into the obsessive fan culture for the HBO series (admit it, we're all guilty), the sketch featured the comedian as an enthusiast who knows everything about Westeros, but nothing about the real world. (Among the questions he got in the game show-centric sketch: What is the capital of Wisconsin?) Bonus points go to the sketch for featuring the under-appreciated Aidy Bryant and Game of Thrones star himself, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who popped by long enough to prove Galifianakis' ignorance about the Supreme Court.
And bonus points go to SNL's Match.com commerical parody for utilizing the also under-appreciated Kate McKinnon as an unlucky-in-love Martha Stewart. Her impression might not have been as on point as her others (hello Ellen DeGeneres!), but who didn't get a giggle hearing Stewart express appreciation for "tiered macaroons" and "the simple elegance of a good bang"? (Though why SNL didn't choose this prime spot to feature its hilarious New Balance add — advertising the shoe brand "worn by chubby white guys" — is beyond me.)
The episode's celebrity cameos didn't end with Coster-Waldau. Galifianakis' Hangover c0-stars Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms showed up for a severely under-rehearsed Jennifer Aniston look-alike sketch, which derived most of its humor from seeing the stars in blonde wigs. It was all worth it, though, to see that Taran Killam can add Rachel Green to his list of celebrity impressions.
Of course, Killam was easily upstaged by Bill Hader, who stopped by Weekend Update as James Carville to talk gun control legislation, his ghost grandma, and drinking sweet tea in Louisiana with Alligator Joe (who's called that "because he's an alligator"). So many of Hader's one-liners were so delicious ("I have nothing against guns. And I'm not just saying that because I look like a bullet"), I'd prefer them any day over a giant bowl of gumbo. Or, at least, I'd prefer them over Fred Armisen's Google Glasses-plagued tech correspondent and Cecily Strong's increasingly overplayed (and never funny) Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party.
It wasn't long until Galifianakis was back in a costume, this time as a racist, sexist, and homophobic M&M's World employee who expressed his distaste for his diverse staff "often through song." It's easy to imagine the sketch — which featured a good number of jokes that pushed racial boundaries — was a divisive one, but dammit if Galifianakis in a beret didn't make me chuckle.
What didn't make me chuckle initially was "Darrell's House," a bit about a deluded man marking a low-grade talk show in his home. All the elements were there — Galifianakis' patented absurdity, Jon Hamm references — but teasing a Hamm cameo and not delivering was like teasing a delicious Honey Baked Ham and handing us a piece of bologna. But, of course, the bit more than paid off when we watched "Darrell's House" later in the episode as it was meant to be seen, featuring the Mad Men star himself. And, as it turns out, waiting 20 minutes for the joke to pay off was well worth it.
As was Galifianakis' stint on SNL. Is anyone else going to be hurting tomorrow?
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May 04, 2013 3:50pm EST
While jury's still out on The Hangover Part III — will it redeem the franchise after the groan-worthy Hangover Part II? — one thing's for certain: Zach Galifianakis will win us all over during Saturday's new episode of Saturday Night Live.
After all, the two-time host is already a pro — his first monologue in Studio 8H ranks among the best of all time, and his second monologue in 2011, in which he dressed as Little Orphan Annie, only made us wonder how he'd up the Annie (er, ante), his next time back.
And, luckily for us, Galifianakis is back for a third time, with musical guests Of Monsters and Men. Whether or not The Hangover Part III does redeem itself, Galifianakis will no doubt redeem SNL's troubled 38th season — and is it too much to ask he stop by Today again to redeem the entire network?
Will you watch Galifianakis on Saturday's SNL? If so, be sure to talk about the episode here, and return Sunday for a full recap of the night's best sketches!
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April 26, 2013 3:21pm EST
This week’s episode of Glee was kind of a head-scratcher. Thankfully it wasn’t as bad as last week’s pointless episode, but still when you look back on it as a whole, did this hour help propel any of the storylines forward? Unfortunately not. Of course the New York side is still flawless and fans were treated to a gorgeous rendition of a Broadway classic and Santana is one step closer towards realizing her dreams, but things in Lima have turned stale. It almost seems like Glee is trying to push as many hot button issues as they can before the season comes to a close. Read on for all the shining details from “Lights Out.”
So Here’s What You Missed On Glee
Unplugged: Will enters the choir room with a concerned look on his face and reveals that he went to scout out their Regionals competition and they’re in big trouble. (Side-Note: How about instead of spying on high schoolers, you spend more time with Emma? Also where is Finn? And Brittany? And why haven’t we seen Sugar (or Joe) for weeks now? Maybe you should be more worried about your MIA students and less focused on the competition.) Will says that the Who’s Your Daddys has a secret weapon sophomore who has a voice so big that she could fill an arena and he tells the group that they need to be epically over the top this year in order to win regionals.
All of the sudden all of the lights in McKinley go out and the always monotone Principal Figgins says that there is no need to panic, classes will continue and flashlights and candles will be distributed based on grade point average. (Side-Note: I actually snorted I was laughing so hard at Figgins. I don’t know why, but I absolutely adore that man.) In the choir room, Sam adequately describes the problem as a “zombie apocalypse” but Will quickly comes up with a new assignment: Unplugged week. The New Directions need to rediscover the power in their voices.
Sam volunteers to show the glee club how to unplug and he performs an absolutely gorgeous rendition of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” with just an acoustic guitar. (Side-Note: So are we really just not going to get an explanation as to where Brittany is? I’m sure many Brittana lovers were hoping that Sam was going to sing this song to Brittany and it would lead to their relationship downfall but I’m sorry ladies. Looks like Sam just really likes this song.)
Sam tells the group — well more specifically Artie — that everyone is way too connected to technology. “We’re so focused on being plugged into the Twittersphere and the Blogosphere that we don’t appreciate what’s actually in front of us and I think that’s just sad and lame.” Artie comes up with a plan to totally unplug and the New Directions sing “We Will Rock You” using bucket, shovels, brooms, and other everyday objects to make the beat. (Side-Note: Watching Jake show off his tap-dancing and twirling skills was jaw-dropping. We need more of that please!)
Sweating and Singing: We see Sue dressed in a snazzy new track suit and writing in her infamous journal that now that she has left McKinley, she gets to do what she does best: “Dishing out top-tier abuse to trophy wives, and self-hating single gals as a personal trainer.” Over in Sue’s workout room a familiar song fills the air and we see a group of aerobic-gear wearing hotties (and Blaine!) ready for their workout. (Side-Note: I literally squealed with delight and had a HUGE smile on my face during this entire scene. I love the original video for “Call on Me” [watch it right here newbies] so I was thrilled to see this mini homage.)
Blaine survived Sue’s workout class and tells her that the Cheerios are a mess without her and everyone needs her to come back to McKinley. (Side-Note: Wait a minute! How does Blaine now know exactly what happened the day of the shooting? Oh, I know! Maybe it’s because Glee cut out the scene where Blaine dressed up as Nightbird and discovered what really happened the day of the shooting. Lame. But it’s okay. I don’t really care right now because Blaine’s all sweaty. I like it. I like it a lot.)
Over in the bleachers overlooking the football field, Sue is watching from a far as Coach Roz is leading the Cheerios practice. Becky comes up to Sue in a matching tracksuit and begs her to come back to school but Sue refuses saying that she doesn’t want to be around little girls 24/7 anymore. Cue the Annie music and fans get a sneak peek into Jane Lynch’s upcoming Broadway performance as Miss Hannigan. While singing “Little Girls” Coach Sue fantasizes about tormenting and pushing her former Cheerios around. The song ends and Sue tells Becky, “You couldn’t pay me to go back to that, and I don’t miss them at all, not one bit. Not. At. Al.” (Side-Note: I really don’t have an opinion on that scene. It was meh. I would’ve much rather seem more of the NYC stuff, but then again I’m starting to wish that the entire show was just NYC stuff. Sigh… a girl can dream!)
Coach Roz barges into Principal Figgins’ office with Becky and then goes off on the best rant of the episode: “Sue’s adult baby is being a belligerent pain in my booty and I am not going to take it any more! First she started making farting noises every time I bent over. Then she started making farting noises every time I blinked. Ain’t nobody fart every time they blink that’s just crazy! Then Robin Sylvester called me Coach Chocolate Pie and I marched her down here so you could decide what to do with her. It’s your problem! (Side-Note: Goodness gracious that was amazing! Nene makes me smile.) Becky tells Figgins that the only reason she was acting out is because she wanted to tell him something about the day of the shooting.
NEXT: Ryder and Kitty Sitting in a Tree…
Ryder and Kitty Sitting in a Tree: The episode opens in the choir room and we see that all of’ the Glee clubbers are busying playing on their phones, including Ryder who is still talking to “Katie.” (Side-Note: Seriously Ryder? Seriously Glee? Just tell us who is it already! It’s kind of a bummer that the most interesting storyline in Lima is about someone being catfished.) Ryder asks “Katie” why she has stood him up twice and she eloquently responds, “IDK.” Kitty is right next to Ryder with her phone out and he questions who she is talking to—but she immediately calls him a weirdo stalker and says she’s playing a game.
Ryder and Jake are walking down the dimly lit halls and Ryder is once again talking about how “Katie” blew him off. (Side-Note: Oh my gosh dude get over it! That was two weeks ago! If it was really that important to you, then you would’ve mentioned it last week, but noooo you were too busy singing those awful original songs.) Jake then once again points out something we’ve all been screaming at our TV screens, “How do you know this person is even a she?”
Ryder quickly defends his cyber sweetheart and says that he cares about this girl and he has told her deep dark important things about himself — things that he has never told anyone before. (Side-Note: Life Lesson from Leanne: Do me a favor Glee-bees, do not tell your deepest darkest secrets to strangers on the internet — no matter how cute their fake pictures may be. Thank you for your time.) Jake points out that Ryder already had a big secret this season — his dyslexia — so what else could he be hiding? Ryder quickly refuses to say anything, but he’s worried that it will somehow get out because “Katie” might tell people.
Ryder gathers up some of the McKinley high orchestra and tells the group that he wants to unplug his feelings with this song. “I want to really reveal myself through this song and frankly I’d like to dedicate this song to all of us for all the slushies real and proverbial that we’ve taken over the years.” Ryder sings a lovely version of “Everybody Hurts” and viewers witness multiple flashbacks of the group’s slushie attacks over the past few weeks. (Side-Note: I’m kinda over the whole slushie thing. Does anyone else feel the same? Sure it was interesting in the first two seasons, but are we really supposed to believe that they’re still losers at that school? They seem pretty cool to me…)
As the song comes to a close Ryder reveals that he wants to tell the group a deep secret that not even his parents know about. “When I was 11 I was molested by my babysitter. She walked in on me in the shower and she touched me a bit.” The guys in the glee club suddenly don’t see what the problem is. They says because his babysitter was a female that he should be excited that an older girl fooled around with him. (Side-Note: Guys can be such idiots. When Sam wouldn’t let it go and started naming all of the ‘80s movies about youngers guys being with older girls I wanted to seriously punch him in the face.)
Ryder says that this traumatic experience has affected his view on girls and that he has difficulty trusting them. As Ryder took his seat fans saw that Kitty looked like she was going to throw up and we immediately know that she is hiding something. The scene quickly changes and we’re back in one of our old favorite places: Breadstix! (Side-Note: Let’s take a look back at one of the best Breadstix moments brought to you by the one-and-only Brittany S. Pierce: “There was a mouse in mine.” Classic!) Kitty asked Ryder to come to dinner with him and casually reveals that she and Puck broke up. “He dumped me when he went to off to live at a college that he doesn’t go to.”
Kitty reveals that she has had terrible luck with guys because she comes on strong and pretends to be slutty but then she suddenly freezes up and gets distant. She also, drops weird hints that her vagina has teeth. (Side-Note: Ugh! That was the worst visual that Glee has ever imprinted into my mind. Like a damn Venus flytrap…) Kitty says that she doesn’t want Ryder to feel like he was alone in glee club so she tells him a deep secret as well.
When Kitty was in sixth grade she was at her friend Julie’s sleepover and in the middle of the night Julie’s older brother climbed into Kitty’s sleeping bag. “At first I thought it was a joke, I didn’t know what was happening but then he started to feel me in places.” Kitty waited a while but she eventually told her parents what happened and her mom called Julie’s parents.
Julie told all of Kitty’s friends to stop talking to her and Kitty decided that it would just be easier to switch schools. Ryder is so glad that Kitty opened up to him and he held her hand at the dinner table realizing that they are more alike that he thought. (Side-Note: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you lovely ladies out there ever need someone to talk to, tell your parents or a trusted a teacher or you’re more than welcome to reach out me. No one should ever feel like they’re alone.)
NEXT: At The Ballet and The Episode’s Best Moments
At The Ballet: Santanna shuffles into the NYC loft dragging in an old arm chair and looking 27 different kinds of fierce in the process. (Side-Note: Santana is here!!! Oh how I have missed her wanky ways, blunt behavior, and pretty pretty face.) While Santana is looking jazzed about her new dumpster treasure, Rachel and Kurt calmly yet firmly ask her to take a seat because they need to have a conversation. Rachel jumps right in saying, “We think you’re throwing you life away.” (Side-Note: Sheesh Rachel way to sugarcoat it!)
Kurt chimes in, “It’s bad enough you let those horny tourists grope you for tips at that awful Coyote Ugly bar but Tina just informed me that you’re now a bouncer at a lesbian beer garden?” (Side-Note: So is that all Tina is good for now? A blabbermouth who needs to stir up drama from hundreds of miles away? Goodness gracious Tina get a hobby!)Rachel tells her roomie that she needs to stop being a go-go dancer and put her talents to good use. “You’re so talented Santana. You’re like the most talented person I know — Obviously with the exception of me and Kurt... So I’m telling you what you told me which is that you just need to stop and focus on your talent.”
(Side-Note: I’m all warm and fuzzy right now because I love how much HummelBerry cares about Santana and how badly they want her to discover what her dreams are.) Santana brushes off their attempts to help and tells her roommates to stop pushing their Broadway dreams onto her. “I don’t think I need to be taking any advice from TV’s Blossum and lady Elaine Fairchild.” (Side-Note: Fact: Santana is all kinds of perfect and she can do no wrong. Do your thing girl and dance your ass off.)
Over at Vogue.com we see that Kurt is actually still working there and the lovely Isabelle is just as unexpectedly kind and sweet as we remember. She immediately asks Kurt how his father is doing and Glee fans everywhere cheered with delight because we’re finally going to get some answers about the world’s best dad. Kurt responds, “He’s doing good. He’s back at work and all of his treatments seem to be working.” (Side-Note: Yaaaay! Burt’s okay! Thank you so much for asking Isabelle! It’s a shame we’ve had to wait this long for any kind of an update—something this serious should have been mentioned a lot sooner.)
Kurt apologizes that ever since he got accepted into NYADA he has not been putting in as much time and effort into his internship, but Isabelle graciously tells him, “Though NYADA’s gain, is Vogue.com’s loss, I will never stop anyone from perusing their passion.” Kurt quietly and adorably tells her, “Bless you fairy godmother.” (Side-Note: I second that!) Isabelle tells Kurt that she needs his help at the New York City Ballet Gala and he’s allowed to bring a few friends along to help him.
Back in the loft Kurt enters the room looking like he’s going to pee his pants from excitement and he tells Rachel and Santana that they all get to attend the event of the year. As Kurt and Rachel jump up and down and shriek with glee Sanatana quips, “And just when you thought it couldn’t get any gayer, it does.” Kurt and Rachel recall their first ballet classes and fans are treated to flashbacks to mini versions of our Glee favorites. (Side-Note:How adorable was mini Kurt with that pink tut and wand? Absolutely adorable!) After trying to bail, Santana is convinced to stay when she is promised a designer gown from the legendary Vogue.com vault.
At the gala, Kurt looks oh-so dapper but Rachel and Santana are absolutely breath-taking in their floor-length designer gowns. Rachel politely asks Isabelle if there is any way they could watch the performance from the audience but Isabelle flat-out refuses. She then smiles saying that they are going to watch the ballerinas rom the wings with her. Santana then reveals to the group that she loves ballet just as much as they do — if not more. “I only took a few lessons but it helped me escape a little. It was the first time I danced and I felt safe there and not different and part of something… beautiful.
All of the sudden Santana, Rachel, Kurt and Isabelle are up on stage and Santana breaks into a flawless rendition of A Chorus Line’s “At The Ballet.” Complete with flashbacks to their childhood and dancing ballerinas in the background this performance was both emotional and exquisite to watch. (Side-Note: Does anyone else have chills right now? Goodness gracious this is one of the most visually stunning performances we’ve ever seen on Glee. I absolutely loved it! Oh and Sarah Jessica Parker’s voice was just lovely.) At the end of the song Isabelle gives Santana some perfect advice: “It doesn’t have to be ballet or Broadway, just as long as it’s something that you love. Something that feeds your soul and Santana, baby-steps are okay.”
The Final Five: The power is finally back on and we see Ryder in the library having another online conversation with “Katie.” Ryder tells “Katie” that he tried to look for any signs of who she could be in glee club, but even when he was revealing his secret, he wasn’t able to figure out who she really is. “Katie” asks Ryder why he’s even still talking to her considering the fact that she has stood him up twice and completely lied about her identity. Ryder quickly types back that she has opened him up and he likes the way that she makes him feel. (Side-Note: For someone with dyslexia, Ryder can type awfully fast…)
“Katie” says that she’ll be right back and then ever so conveniently Kitty pops up out of nowhere and tells Ryder that she wants to take him out to lunch. He politely refuses saying that he “kind of has a date.” Kitty is hurt that Ryder would pick and online girl over the real deal and tells him that she never warms up to people easily and she was really starting to like him. Ryder suggests that maybe after he sorts out all this “Katie” nonsense they can go out then, but Kitty quietly says, “I don’t think so” and walks away.
Right as she leaves the room, “Katie” sends Ryder a message that says “Hi babe,” and he excitedly starts typing her back. (Side-Note: Come one! Are you honestly going to make us wait another episode before you officially tell us who is catfishing Ryder? This is absolutely ridiculous. The McKinley side is officially lame.) The New Directions end the episode with an a capella cover of Billy Joel’s “For The Longest Time and it was a light-hearted and fun number filled with longing glances from Kitty.
Back in New York we see that Santana has decided to enroll in NYADA’s extension dance program. After a few snappy exchanges, the teacher asks Santana what’s she’s doing in the class. Santana replies, “I love to dance. I’m an artist but I’ve sort of lost touch with that part of myself lately and I’m here to do some reintroducing.” The class begins and Santana sees her five-year-old self dressed in the most adorably little tutut. Tiny Santana tells grown up Santana not to forget her again, and Sananta promises she wont. (Side-Note: Well wasn’t that just all kinds of adorable. I’m thrilled that Santana is finally finding her place in life, she deserves the best.)
Most Heartwarming Moment: Knowing that Kurt and Rachel care deeply about Santana and want her to find a dream and be the best Snix she can be.
Most Heartbreaking Moment: Learning Ryder and Kitty’s dark secrets and not being able to give them a hug because they’re stuck inside your TV screen.
”Alright Rachel if you are still obsessing about what you are going to sing at your Funny Girl callback may I suggest your best jame ever, “Run Joey Run.”” — Santana
“We’re so focused on being plugged into the Twittersphere and the Blogosphere that we don’t appreciate what’s actually in front of us and I think that’s just sad and lame.” — Sam
“Citizens of McKinley the power has been restored. Congratulations to all of us for refusing to resort to idol worship or rampant cannibalism.” — Principal Figgins
”Sue’s adult baby is being a belligerent pain in my booty and I am not going to take it any more! First she started making farting noises every time I bent over. Then she started making farting noises every time I blinked. Ain’t nobody fart every time they blink that’s just crazy!” — Coach Roz
What did you think of “Lights Out”? What type of dancing do you think Santana about be best at? Are you irritated that we haven’t officially learned the identity of the catfisher? Sing your thoughts in the comments below!
Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera
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April 24, 2013 3:12pm EST
This week’s edition of Leanne’s Spoiler List features five fabulous shows that will make you giggle with excitement and gasp from all the amazing moments that will soon flood your TV screens. Are you ready to learn the truth?! I chatted with Glee star Jane Lynch and she promised me that fans will soon learn the answer to a question they’ve been pondering for nearly a year now.
Arrow’s Stephen Amell reveals what’s coming up next for the ladies in his life and Jesse Spencer teases that an old flame is coming back to ignite some problems on Chicago Fire. Plus, I’ve gathered Caroline-centric scoop for The Vampire Diaires and watched this week’s Community to bring you all the Greendale details you could ever want. This week’s list is packed to the brim with spoilers so grab a spoon and dig in to the deliciousness!
1. Glee: Oh Baby (Daddy)!
Let's travel way back to the beginning of Season 4 when we still remembered that at one point Sue had a baby. Since these early episodes many fans have forgotten about this off-the-wall season 3 pregnancy because we haven’t heard much — or anything actually —about Sue’s sweet baby Robin. However, when I caught up with Jane Lynch Monday evening the Glee star promised me that’s all about to change.
When asked if we’re ever going to learn who’s the father of little Robin, Lynch was quick to answer: “We do! You’re actually the first person I’ve told,” the actress said with a smile. “But I wont tell you who.” Did you hear that, gleeks? Finally we’re getting some answers! The baby daddy will be revealed in the Season 4 finale and Lynch says that she was thrilled to finally know the truth. “I thought it was great and so funny! I was a little surprised — I had absolutely no inkling.”
Lynch reveals that you’ll be completely baffled when you learn the mystery man's identity. For months Glee fans have been under the impression that he's someone who lives in the spotlight, so can fans expect to meet a famous father? “Maybe, maybe not.” Lynch teases. “I can’t tell you, but it was hilarious and wonderful and apt… There’s no way you would know.” Start throwing your guesses down in the comments Glee-bees!
Bonus Scoop! After the terrifying (yet totally fake) school shooting, Sue has been MIA from McKinley. But Glee fans will find out what our favorite coach has been up to in this week’s episode, “Lights Out.” Lynch explains, “Well, Sue is teaching aerobics now and she has a new life at The 23 Hour Fitness.” Wait… The 23 Hour Fitness? When do they close? Once again the Glee actress has all the answers, saying, “Well they close from 12 midnight to one in the morning so they can scrub down the steam room.” Ah, got it. Thanks Jane, please continue.
“She’s kind of acting like, ‘Hey I’ve got a new lease on life!’ but I think she misses McKinley so hopefully she’ll come back," Lynch says. I know for a fact that our brave and cape-wearing Blaine Anderson — a.k.a. Nightbird — is headed out to rescue our damsel in distress, so I have a feeling she’ll be back at McKinley in no time. Want more Glee? Of course you do! Check out the six sensational songs from “Lights Out” and plenty of scoop from the episode right here!
2. Chicago Fire: It’s Getting Hot in Here
On Monday I looked into Jesse Spencer’s piercing blue eyes and after taking two seconds to daydream about us frolicking in a forest together, I got down to scoop-snagging business. This first season of Chicago Fire has been a fiery whirlwind of action and drama, but Spencer teases that things are just heating up for Casey. “His ex-flame comes back and rekindles his relationship,” he says.
Spencer explains that this blast from the past will lead Casey into dangerous territory. “Basically after that happens he takes a crazy turn and goes on a roller coaster ride,” the actor says. “Casey kind of goes on the revenge trail which turns into some massive action sequences which we were just literally shooting yesterday.” Sounds like we’ve got a lot of hot stuff coming up! (Pun intended. Sorry. I couldn't help it.)
The former House actor says he was eager to act out Casey’s downward spiral on set. “To be honest I was excited about it. I love the physical stuff and I think that this show has offered me what I didn’t get before,” Spencer says. “In House is was all so cerebral for eight years so now it’s good to chase someone down. It’s great and I’m really enjoying the physicality of it.” And we’re really enjoying watching him do it!
3. The Vampire Diaries: Beware of The Woods
Confession: I absolutely adore The Vampire Diaries' Caroline Forbes. To me this blonde beauty can do no wrong and I’ll openly root for her and any guys she even breathes on because I think she’s a sweetheart and should have anything she wants. Steroline? I ship it. Klaroline? Damn straight. So after this week’s sure-to-be amazing backdoor pilot for The Originals, I’m excited to return to Mystic Falls and see more of Caroline being her badass self.
At this point, the majority of our characters have already had the displeasure of meeting Silas — and experienced his terrifying mind tricks in the process. In episode 21, “She’s Come Undone,” Caroline will finally come face-to-face with the psychotic bloodsucker, but not in the way that you would expect.
That’s right! Silas will once again cloak his true identity and appear to our former Miss Mystic Falls disguised as someone who will really mess with her head. Of course I can’t tell you which TVD favorite sparks a dangerous conversation with an unknowing Caroline, but I can tell you to be wary of any character lurking in the woods. I seriously can’t wait for Silas to stop this body switching nonsense and finally reveal his true identity — this is getting confusing!
4. Community: Freaky Friday at Greendale
This Thursday’s all-new episode of Community, “Basic Human Anatomy,” finally feels like the good 'ol days. Annie and Shirley are obsessing over schoolwork, Pierce is mumbling nonsense, Troy and Abed partake in a hilarious body-switching bit, and Jeff continuously expresses how much he doesn’t care about any of their problems. I heart you Greendale!
It’s a delightfully fun episode — especially when Troy and Abed switch bodies after declaring their love for all Freaky Friday-esque movies. Their acting is so damn convincing that you’ll want to rewatch the episode again just to catch all the quirky characteristics the two best friends have mastered about the other. Unfortunately the episode is not all fun and games, and two of our beloved GCC students have a heart-to-heart talk that could forever change the dynamics of the group.
Community fans can also look forward to seeing Dean Pelton channel his inner cool guy when he thinks he has switched bodies with Jeff. Warning: There are plenty of shirtless scenes and you may be blinded from the dean’s pasty white complexion. I’d suggest having a pair of sunglasses close by when watching the episode to avoid any damage to your retinas.
5. Arrow: Olicity Overload (In the Best Possible Way)
On Tuesday morning, I had the pleasure of interviewing Stephen Amell for the second time and I can now officially confirm that he is, without a doubt, the kindest and sweetest actor I have ever chatted with. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s jump straight into some Arrow scoop, shall we?
We know that Thea and Roy are determined to discover the identity of Starling City’s hooded vigilante, and Amell promises that Oliver will learn of his sister’s plan before she can get too close. "Oliver does catch wind of this before the end of the season which does lead to some interesting interactions between the three of them," Amell says. "It's time for Thea in the finale to really stand on her own and have some heroic moments of her own." I honestly think that Thea could be such a badass sidekick and I know that Willa Holland is more than ready to have her action moments.
And speaking of fierce females, many fans have fallen head over heels for Team Arrow’s IT girl Felicity — and fingers crossed Oliver will too! "In episode 21 and in episode 22, Emily and I get very close." Amell says. "I think that every day he sees Felicity, he finds out how capable she is...By the time we get to 22 and 23, 23 especially, with the stakes as high as they are, it's not the IT girl in the Arrow cave; it's you are a member of the team, on equal footing with myself and with Diggle, and we need you as much as you need us in this scenario.”
Amell says that Ollie’s working relationship with Felicity always has the possibility of evolving into something more. “I think Oliver sees her as an equal and a very capable individual. And just based on her knowing more about me than just about anyone at this point in my everyday life, she can probably challenge me in ways that other people can't, and that's always very attractive," he says. Team Olicity!
Who do you think is Sue’s baby daddy on Glee? Excited to see more Oliver/Felicity scenes in Arrow? Which Vampire Diaries character do you think Silas will disguise himself as next? Tell me everything in the comments below!
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April 23, 2013 6:02pm EST
Any Glee fan knows that each week could be a mystery bag of ballads, pop tributes, Broadway classics, or rock anthems. Sometimes the song choices are absolutely phenomenal, while other weeks leave more to be desired. Luckily this week’s all-new episode, “Lights Out,” features a mixture of six incredibly diverse songs and each one is more fantastic than the next.
While the New Yorkers are showcasing their mind-blowing voices in a beautiful quartet with Sarah Jessica Parker, the New Directions are dealing with a school-wide power outage at McKinely. Bummed that they can’t practice with all their electricity-powered instruments for Regionals, Will encourages the group to “unplug” and re-discover their powerful voices.
Inspired by Mr. Schue’s assignment, the New Directions really step up their game to bring four acoustic and a capella songs that will make you question if they really even need any instruments to win. Could we possibly see a nod to The Warblers at Regionals this year with an a capella number? Only time will tell but one thing is for sure, you need to hear these six sensational songs from “Lights Out” right away. Plus, get excited Glee fans because I've sprinkled in a little bit of scoop from the episode to make your listening party even more delicious.
“You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'” — Sam: This infamous Top Gun anthem was Tom Cruise’s secret weapon to court pretty bar patrons — and it sounds like Chord Overstreet is now using it to court any girl with ears. Accompanied only with an acoustic guitar, Sam’s sugary sweet voice has never sounded better. While I can’t reveal exactly why Sam chose to this song, I can tell you that you’re definitely not going to want to miss this emotion-packed scene.
“Everybody Hurts” — Ryder: This rendition of R.E.M.’s classic almost sounds like a lullaby when accompanied with Blake Jenner’s soft words. During this song fans will get a deeper glimpse into Ryder’s mind with an intriguing flashback, and after weeks of waiting we’ll finally learn the identity of the Glee catfisher. Bonus Scoop: A secret about Ryder will be revealed in front of the entire group.
“Little Girls” — Sue: I honestly could not imagine a better person to ever sing this uniquely mean-spirited song and Jane Lynch tells me that it sets the scene for a very interesting moment between Sue and Becky. “I’m with Becky and we do a kind of revenge fantasy singing the song 'Little Girls' from Annie,” she says. Luckily Broadway fans will be treated to many more songs when the Glee actress hits Broadway this summer to star as Miss Hannigan in the hit musical. Lynch explains, “Ryan [Murphy] put that in the show because it was appropriate and also because it will help me cross-promote [my appearance] so it was really nice. A nice little practice.”
“At The Ballet” — Santana, Rachel, Kurt, and Isabelle: This song is without a doubt, one hundred percent, absolutely gorgeous. Weeks ago Ryan Murphy tweeted this and this, so you know it’s going to be a very special performance. We’re already well aware of Santana, Kurt and Rachel’s mesmerizing voices so it’s nice to hear Sarah Jessica Parker keeping up with our talented trio. Now please excuse me while I re-listen to this Broadway classic over and over again.
“We Will Rock You” — New Directions: We’ve all heard this Queen rock anthem tons of times — whether in high school before a big game, or maybe just in your bedroom when you’re getting ready for a big day. So when Mr. Schue learns about a rival glee club member with ridiculously powerful voice (American Idol's Jessica Sanchez) The New Directions decide it’s time to get pumped up for what is looking to be the most pulse-quickening Regionals we’ve ever seen on Glee.
“For The Longest Time” — New Directions: This a capella favorite was originally performed by Billy Joel and the New Directions definitely make him proud in this foot-tapping cover. Each glee clubber gets their time to shine in this final song of the episode, but it’s especially wonderful to finally to hear Kevin McHale and Becca Tobin’s voices highlighted on something this season.
Which song from "Lights Out" are you most excited to see on Glee? Cast your vote in our poll below and then take to the comments with your thoughts on the episode!
<a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/7057407/">Which 'Glee' Song Are You Most Looking Forward to?</a>
Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera
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