A Few New(ish) Shows

Happily Divorced– The show based on Fran Drescher’s life is surprisingly entertaining. You can’t help but wonder why anyone likes watching someone whose voice is so grating, but somehow it works in this show about a woman who learns after nearly two decades with her husband that he is gay. They get divorced but don’t have the respective money to live in separate homes (their house is unrealistically big for this issue, maybe it is time to get two smaller houses). I don’t care for her best friend Judi, who seems there for obvious laughs and little more. The show isn’t going down in the history books as a fantastic comedy, but there’s something enjoyable about killing time with it.

Death Valley– MTV’s latest foray into scripted television is a supernatural comedy about how a police station (specifically, the Undead Task Force newly formed within the LAPD) deals with the revelation that zombies and vampires are real. At the same time, they are being filmed, Office-style, for a documentary. This show isn’t of the quality that Awkward is, but the network’s scripted TV has always been hit or miss and this is somewhere in between. A lot of its laughs are a bit cheap and zombies are a bit silly. It feels like the show is mostly missing true characters (rather than a group of caricatures), but I’m still watching to see where it goes.

Strike Back– this show isn’t exactly new at all, in that it is in its second season, but it only just came to the US this year (with a partnership with Cinemax that is much like the Torchwood deal with Starz). I watched the first season (which is, in typical British form, only a few episodes long) and found it to be all right. The main character’s internal drama did not come across as strongly as it might have and felt largely removed from the action of the story (perhaps because his family and the guy who is giving him a hard time are always on the other side of the world). The six episode first season is divided into two episode arcs and the strongest one was easily the first, focusing on the kidnapping of a journalist by someone from the main character John Porter’s past. Porter is a retired Sergeant, after a mission in Iraq led to the death of two soldiers from his unit. he has since grown estranged from his family and struggled to get his life on track when he is called in to help save the journalist. The show wasn’t strong enough to jump to the top of my to watch list, but it will remain on my “watch when all that is on is reruns” list.

The Lying Game– Yet another ABC Family show based on a book series. This show follows Emma and Sutton, twins who discover each other when they are teens. Sutton was adopted and has grown up in a life of privilege. Emma, on the other hand, has gone from one bad foster family experience to another. The girls’ personalities could not be more different–Sutton is the nasty queen-bee while Emma is sweet and desperate for love and acceptance. Sutton goes off to search for their birth parents while Emma pretends to be Sutton in order to cover for her. Things get complicated as the mystery of their birth grows and Sutton’s complicated life makes it difficult for Emma to maintain her cover. The mystery isn’t as engrossing and the series isn’t as addictive as Pretty Little Liars, but the show does have a charm of its own. (Perhaps the biggest problem is that while Emma is endearing, Sutton is not, whereas in Pretty Little Liars, all four girls are sympathetic. It may also be the lack of well-developed other characters.)

The Glee Project: Episode 9

This week’s theme is generosity and the homework is “Lean On Me.” Alex tells us in his usual monotone that he really wants to win. Lindsay struggles with figuring out who she is. This week’s guest judge is Kevin McHale (Artie). Does anyone else think this show is missing Lea Michele and Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer? As sweet as Damien is, he comes off as the weakest of the group (it doesn’t help that his accent is so strong while singing that it makes the words sound slightly awkward). Alex’s belting came out as more of a scream than a sing. Sam struggles to connect. Alex doesn’t project his emotions physically. Lindsay gave a soulful interpretation. Damien connect in a smiley way. But ultimately, the winner is…Lindsay. (Perhaps a good time to start winning. He gives her the magic comb.)

The group number is “Sing” by My Chemical Romance. They will be singing and playing an instrument with a group of surprise guest stars. Damien worries about drums and naturally that is the instrument he gets. Samuel gets keyboard. Lindsay gets lead guitar. Alex gets bass. They are informed that this is the last round before the final and only three will be making it through. Their first attempt is pretty horrendous.

While doing the vocals with Nikki they meet their special guests: a group of kids. (They are part of a music program for kids form schools without music programs.)

The pairings:
Samuel- Alexander: Samuel shows him what they’re working on and he gets a bit intimidated so they bond about how you can never be wrong with music.
Lindsay- Lily: They talk about plays they have done, both have been Wendy in Peter Pan.
Alex- Alegria: Super awkward, Alex can’t get her talking and Alegria doesn’t have much to say.
Damien- Liam: Liam plays drums so Damien quickly takes lessons from him about how to fake it. (Lucky.)

Once in the recording studio, Alex needs to get it more solid. Damien is “becoming a rock god.” Lindsay is too careful and then ends up rushing. (Nikki really doesn’t like her.) Samuel keeps getting the wrong notes because the high are a little outside his range.

For the music video, the contestants have to help the kids perform. Lindsay has gotten some helpful lessons from Kevin McHale and can now fake it convincingly. Unfortunately, she is missing some of her vocals (do they mean she is missing the lip synching and why don’t they mention it to her?). Damien’s face looks a bit pained. Alex is noticeably not working well with his girl. Samuel’s piano playing isn’t believable.

Samuel’s partner Alexander is particularly cute, he gets this super intense look on his face when he sings and plays. by the time the music video comes along Damien has gotten the drums down. Lindsay and her partner interact well and you can see they enjoy it together.

Despite being told that one person will be sent to safety and the others will be doing last chance performance, they are informed that all four of them will be performing. The reason being that Ian Brennan (Glee co-creator and writer) is here for the first time and he hasn’t seen anyone yet. While I am fine with this twist, I do wish it had come earlier. It seems a bit late in the game for Brennan to be getting his first look.

Lindsay- Defying Gravity

  • Lindsay talks to Nikki about her personal issue of not knowing how to relax and always trying to be perfect.
  • Lindsay seems to feel attacked when he tries to pierce who she is.
  • Her look here actually makes her fit better on the show than when she’s in a nice dress and all done up.
  • She has an interesting voice because sometimes I really like it and sometimes it sounds a bit squeaky.
  • She says she has lost herself and is done trying to be perfect.
  • Ryan thinks they need her but always wants to cut her and never can.

Alex- His Eye Is On The Sparrow

  • This song is hard for Alex because it was sang at his dad’s funeral. Nikki thinks the song has a joyful feel.
  • The description for Alex is the love child of Kurt and Mercedes–he has the best voice but a confidence issue.
  • Seeing him perform, you see exactly what Kevin McHale said about his need to emote more with his face.
  • They talk about his difficult high school experience. He relates more to girls and gets picked on for being different.

Damien- I’ve Gotta Be Me

  • Mr. Personality.
  • He has been in the bottom the most but he keeps getting better and is rooted for the most.
  • Vocally he has the hardest road. He would be a good freshman but Brittany would be utterly confused by her.

Samuel- My Funny Valentine

  • Worst song choice ever. Samuel has never heard it before (honestly all I remember of this song is Tina’s version which was…awful).
  • Ryan brings up Samuel’s christian tattoos as thought this is the most important thing about him, which for Ryan, it is.
  • They aren’t sure Samuel is an underdog–he’s never had to pull himself up or struggle. When was the last time he cried? Yesterday because he was thinking about the competition. (It sort of feels like Samuel talks about God just because that is what they said they like.) Ian thinks he is the least authentic seeming.

Ian and Ryan have a hard time deciding and ultimately choose…no one. Any other time and I wouldn’t mind this decision, but I don’t like when no one is cut immediately before the finals. Something about the format of this show needs to change so that doing well in the music video doesn’t ultimately put you at a disadvantage in the end of the show (which is something Samuel says he feels is the case).

So You Think You Can Dance: Season 8 Winner Revealed

It is time to find out who is America’s Favorite Dancer for season eight. But before we find out who won, we get our top twenty dancers back onstage to perform what looks like a Sonyah Tayeh piece. It particularly suits Ryan’s quirky dance style, which seems to be the best style for her. Am I the only one who noticed how much time she had front and center before the Final Four came out? It was nice of Sonyah (who was in fact the choreographer) to give the Top Four a bit of a break here.

The guest “judges” this week include Sonyah, Tyce, Robin, Lil C, and most importantly Jesse Tyler Ferguson! (Sonyah looks surprisingly put together this week.) The rest of the choreographers are in the audience.

From the audience reaction, Marko and Tadd have zero chance of winning this one. The cheering for Sasha and Melanie were so much louder.

Final words from the judges:
Lil C– Congrats for surviving this far. (and some other nonsense)
Robin– So proud. You’ve all won.
Tyce– Your spirit meets your talent and hold onto that.
Sonyah– Thank you for making me a better person and choreographer. Your future is glorious.
Jesse– You all possess a spark that no one can take away.
Mary– You’re all extraordinary dancers and you’re humble. You have the best spirit.
Nigel– Each one of you is inspirational. (Nigel also apologizes to the guys for saying they have no chance of winning.)

Time for the judges’ favorites. Mary goes first and she picks Kent and Sasha’s Tyce routine from last week because it hit a chord for her.

Next we get a segment about the Nigel-Mary love affair. Leading into Nigel’s choice, which is Marko and Melanie‘s Nappy Tabs lyrical hip hop routine about the girl who is comforting her friend and he realizes he loves her. This routine reminds me just how much leaping Melanie did this season into other guys’ arms. Nigel seems to have moved on to Jesse. But Cat is jealous.

Robin’s favorite routine is Tadd and Lauren Froderman‘s Mandy Moore routine. (Personally, I loved Lauren’s routine with Marko better but they can’t have the same two people doing all of the dances.) This time around we get to see Tadd do his whole routine with the hat on. This routine is yet another reminder of how much Lauren has grown since last season.

This season has been full of strange characters and scenarios, which brings us to Lil C’s choice of the season. He picks the Nappy-Tabs routine danced by Miranda and Robert (Woo Man?). I don’t even remember these dancers it has been so long. I do want to say to Lil C–this was your favorite of the entire season? Really? Miranda is really not that good. Well, I guess compared to Melanie and Sasha lately.

Cat gets to pick a routine this year and she likes the routine because Tyce made her cry–the Top 8 circus routine. Good choice Sonya, another one of Tyce’s few successes. I don’t know about cry-worthy but it reminds of the Allison Wonderland routine last year. (Was that just a video?)

Next up, Matt Flint, the winner of the UK version performs a tap routine with Jess and Nick. I want Jess’s coat to be more flowy like everyone else’s. Jess still mugs on stage, didn’t really expect that to change.Nigel thinks it was one of the most exciting tap routines.

Mary chooses Mandy Moore’s Neil and Melanie routine. Another excellent choice which earns a standing ovation from the judges.

Jesse’s turn to pick the dance and he choose a Sonyah Tayeh routine danced by Marko and Allison. I’m just happy that Allison will be dancing this week. (I don’t like the rotating all stars, I like seeing the same awesome ones over and over again.) This is such an atypical Sonyah piece, which makes it all the more impressive.

Tyce has chosen the nasty, sick Sonyah piece about Geishas, danced by the Top 10 Girls to which I say, Tyce…really. This was a favorite? Not that it isn’t good but I think there was better.

I will say that I have missed Mia this season. I want choreography from her! I also want the show to look into choreographer Sabrina Mathews from SYTYCD Canada. Virtually every routine she has done this season has been impressive and emotional and beautiful.

Time to get back into competition mode, it is almost time to discover our winner. Also, don’t you think there should be a viewer’s choice dance? Let America vote online or something. The finalists are called up so that we can eliminate one of the dancers (I notice the guys are wearing matching suits and I am trying to figure out why). 11.5+ million votes came in and Tadd has come in fourth, as expected.

Lil C gets another choice, in which he selects Chris and Ashley‘s Spencer Liff routine about a woman visiting her husband in jail. I don’t really care for Lil C’s choices (if they even are their choices).

The Top Four are greeted by Heather Morrison, Harry Shum, and Naya Rivera with tickets to go to the Glee 3D Movie premiere (which they thought was rehearsal for an extra Top 4 dance). Good job at cross-promoting Fox.

Nigel wants to see Chris Scott’s routine starring Twitch and Sasha as a married couple who are not happy in the morning.

Sonyah picks Chris Scott’s Top 10 Guys‘ routine.

Jesse chooses a ballroom number (really were any good?) choreographed by Miriam and Leonardo, danced by Caitlynn and Pasha.

Mary picks the statues dance of Marko and Melanie, choreographed by Travis Wall. I was wondering when this routine would come up. They opted for no makeup this time around because that would make everything else complicated (though it does minimize the statue feeling).

Time for some more results and my biggest question is all female top two? Sure enough, Marko is the next person eliminated.

The final judges’ pick of the night is Nigel’s but first he thanks the lighting director and director for their job. Another Sonyah Tayeh routine is selected as the final routine of the night.

Now it is time for us to learn who the winner is. America’s favorite dancer is…Melanie.

What do you think? Did America get it right? (This is the first time the winner has been the clear frontrunner from the very start and is considered one of the best technical dancers as well.)

So You Think You Can Dance: Finale Performances

Time for the final performances by our Top Four. Kenny Ortega and Katie Holmes are the guest judges for the night (and I have to admit that I spent much of Katie’s commentary thinking “Why are you here?”).

Marko and Melanie are paired for the first number of the night, a disco choreographed by Doriana Sanchez. This should have been a cinch since they have danced with each other so often and have so much chemistry, but it ended up looking mostly awkward, especially in the lifts. For one of them it looked like he had to heft her up over his shoulders. Melanie’s face is overly corny. Did Marko mess up in his final pose? It looked like he pointed the wrong way.
Judges Say:
Kenny- electric opening
Katie- strong and energetic
Mary- the lifts were a real struggle and they went in and out of the style
Nigel- A bit of a struggle, uncomfortable in the style.

Sasha and all star Mark are choreographed by Sonyah Tayeh, which is always a pretty good sign. The number is about overcoming obstacles (Mark being the obstacles). I thought Melanie would have it in the bag for the win but after a weak opening number and a strong number from Sasha, I’m not so sure. (However, Mark does seem to be the stronger of the two (probably because he hasn’t been in the competition and therefore isn’t exhausted).
Judges Say:
Katie- powerful, grace, and integrity
Mary- Whoooooooooo
Nigel- warrior, fighting to the end
Kenny- Sasha Warrior Princess

Tadd and all star Joshua get a Lil C hip hop number, which is right in Tadd’s wheelhouse. The pattern seems to be a dance with an all star in their own style and dances with each other out of their styles. Russel also comes off as the stronger dancer. The number is fine but it isn’t my favorite hip hop number.
Judges Say:
Mary- hard-hitting
Nigel- a little too sweet, still some way to go to win that title
Kenny- perfect pairing
Katie- terrific hustling

Melanie and Robert are paired for a contemporary Stacey Tookey routine about unrequited love. I didn’t get the unrequited part of this, which may be more a fault of the choreography than anything else. Which isn’t to say it wasn’t a great routine, it just gave off a couple in love feeling more than anything else. A much better number for Melanie
Judges Say:
Nigel- challenge accepted
Kenny- would push himself to the front of the line to work with her
Katie- blown away
Mary- in a class of her own

Sasha and Marko are paired for a Spencer Liff Broadway number. This is easily one of the better Broadway numbers. The song, dance, and story seemed connected, there was a good (not cheesy) energy.
Judges Say:
Kenny- great fun
Katie- Sasha is a beautiful, strong woman, Marko is incredible
Mary- Marko changed his character so much
Nigel- not knocked out, Sasha is a better warrior than vamp, Marko needed more character

Melanie is the first solo of the night. The solo has me hopeful that she will one day come back and choreograph someday. It is definitely one of her better ones.

Marko’s sheer sweetness factor may garner him votes and boost his chances at a win. He too has stepped up his solo to deliver his best of the season.

Mark Ballas choreographs a cha cha for Sasha and Tadd which ends up being just sort of okay. Tadd is too short to partner Sasha for this and it looks silly (it doesn’t help that she has Mohawk hair). She definitely outdanced him.
Judges Say:
Katie- gave a lot over the season
Mary- both were struggling with connections and technique
Nigel- didn’t work
Kenny- everyone knows what you can do but maybe too ambitious for tonight

Tessandra Chavez choreographs a contemporary routine for Marko and all star Lauren Froderman about a failed love story. Easily the best routine so far. Lauren has really grown up since last season. I also would love to see more of Tessandra as a choreographer. You can see the emotional connection between the pair.
Judges Say:
Mary- you are living greatness
Nigel- fabulous performance
Kenny- the connection came alive
Katie- stunning and magical

Tadd’s solo is pretty standard fare for him—fun but not full of diverse dance moves. It feels like he does the same one trick or two over and over again. All I want is some more diversity.

Tadd and Melanie are partnered for a Ray Leeper jazz routine about a woman who discovers that her boyfriend is cheating on her. This isn’t a perfect routine but it is definitely not the worst of the night.
Judges Say:
Nigel- Melanie had character, Tadd redeemed himself
Kenny- Melanie brings theater to the performance, good chemistry
Katie- fun to watch
Mary- strong, dynamic

Sasha has the final solo of the night and she shows that she too can pull out a strong, emotional solo. Her best of the season.

Stacey Tookey choreographs a contemporary piece for Sasha and Melanie about repressed housewives who want to break free. The piece wasn’t my favorite of the night. They both danced well but it felt more sexual than it was intended to be. I also really didn’t like the yellow dress on Melanie. A nice blue or green would have been preferable. The orange on Sasha looked great though.
Judges Say:
Kenny- powerful, beautifully executed
Katie- gorgeous work
Mary- just gorgeous
Nigel- any company would be lucky to have you two

Tadd and Marko are partnered for a final step routine choreographed by Chuck Maldonado. Unfortunately, the pair’s obvious fatigue showed. They were out of synch and out of step (Marko more than Tadd).
Judges Say:
Katie- strong with a lot of athletic ability
Mary- solid gold and cute
Nigel- better in bigger groups, weren’t together

After a questionable night, it looks like Sasha may have won the season, though the audience has seemed to be more enamored with Melanie throughout. Marko had too many poor performances, I don’t think even his excellent dance with Lauren could help. My friend points out one very interesting fact: Sasha has danced in her own style only on occasion while Melanie has danced within her style consistently. So though this is neither dancer’s fault it does seem like Sasha has shown us the most. The lesson of the night: Cat Deeley has the best laugh ever.

Who do you think will win? Should win?

The Glee Project: Episode 8

This week’s theme is believability and the song it “True Colors.” They are singing the entire song this time instead of only a piece of it.

Damian is sad without Cameron. It feels more like a competition now. Samuel is feeling good about himself since he has never been in the bottom.

The guest judge is: Jenna Ushkowitz aka Tina. (Does this mean they’re stepping up the guest stars as the show continues? Puck was a pretty big guest.) Tina tells them to pull from their real life to create a character. Though they are all singing the full songs, we see bits of each person’s songs. (The song doesn’t particularly suit Damien or Samuel but that isn’t really their faults.)

Jenna thinks Alex’s voice is captivating. Damian was sweet and dreamy. Samuel was awesome and intense. Lindsay is a wonderful actress with a sweet rendition. Hannah was joyous. (Lindsay thinks Samuel has one look.) Jenna decides that Hannah is the winner.

This week’s song is Paramour’s “The Only Exception.” The theme is about liking someone who doesn’t see them. There will be no choreography. It is all about acting. Alex is sad about that but Hannah is thrilled.

Vocals with Nikki-
With Nikki’s pushing Hannah gets to an emotional place. Damian pushes too hard. Samuel needs more confidence. Alex draws on the death of his father and Nikki comes up to give him a hug which is sweet. (She’s never felt his performance the way she has this time.) Lindsay gets teary as well and tries to pretend she is fine (she is thinking about home and Nikki thinks she is forcing it). Nikki feels that Lindsay forces it.

Hannah is longer for Alex who is longing for Damian who is longing for Lindsay who is longing for Samuel who is longing for Hannah. So it all comes full circle. I like Hannah’s hair a lot here. She sees Damian just past Alex and gets distracted by him. Alex looks more depressed than in love. Damian is nervous and it comes across in his eyebrows. Lindsay’s performance isn’t coming across the way they want it to. Samuel has to be vulnerable for the first time but he comes across as too confident.

I can’t help but wonder why they waited so long to test acting ability. And what about non-musical acting? Being able to speak a line isn’t the same as being able to sing one. What if they can do music videos but can’t pull off regular scenes?

Nikki instead of Zach is helping with the decision of who is safe and who is in danger. Hannah thrived in the homework challenge but seemed distracted in the shoot. Damian did a great job in the shoot despite his lack of acting experience. Lindsay is a great actress but she didn’t emote the way the others did and Nikki was frustrated with her in the studio because she expected to have a breakdown (because she saw someone else have a real moment). Samuel didn’t show the romance, vulnerability, and longing. Alex took a while to warm up because he connected to a very deep place that wasn’t quite so connected with the song until he was given some notes. He found himself safe after receiving some notes. In the bottom is Lindsay, Hannah, and Samuel. (Yay Damian is safe! After continuously finding himself in the bottom!)

Hannah– “Back to December”
Loves the song. Hannah feels like the underdog but she’s more competitive than usual. Listening to her performance, I feel like she sounded fine, but it wasn’t a recording I would ever want to buy and listen to on my iPod. Ryan thinks Hannah is up against two better singers but she is the type of person that people want to see win. She needs to be more confident.

Lindsay– “Maybe This Time”
Doesn’t know the song. She thinks she is going up against strong personalities which will be tough. the admitted best voice of the competition and perhaps one of the best actresses despite a poor showing this week. I can’t imagine why they thought this was the song to give her, but she gets very into it which elicits laughs. She is in the Lea Michele mode but she doesn’t get him to root for her because he isn’t sure she is an underdog. She says she is afraid to show weakness and talks about being adopted and having a hard time fitting into her family.

Samuel– “Animal”
Ready to rock. Samuel is surprised to find the song is harder than usual. Samuel tends to get too aggressive. This isn’t his best vocal, but he gets very into it. I’m not sure he is an underdog either–he seems to self-assured. Ryan finds him the most unrelate-able of the bottom three. He might be too slick for the show. He wants something more emotional. Samuel mentions his religion, which Ryan immediately jumps on.

None of them feel very confident and though the other judges aren’t sure who to get rid of, Ryan Murphy is pretty confident.

The callback list is up. And the person going home is:

Hannah.

I honestly thought it would be Lindsay or Samuel at this point. This is the second time the homework winner has been the one to go home.

Platinum Hit: Finale

From twelve songwriters, we have dwindles down to three: Scotty, Jes, and Sonyae. It is still pretty surprising that Nick is not around, despite how repetitive his songs tend to sound.

Scotty thinks Sonyae is his biggest competition for her lyrics. Sonyae thinks Scotty is her competition. Jess thinks she has better melodies and key changes.

This week’s challenge: write your biggest hit. They have two days to write and then they will go into the studio with a band, backup singers, and experienced exec Evan “Kidd” Boggart to record. Then they will perform in front of “industry insiders.”

Sonyae struggles because she doesn’t play an instrument and can’t find inspiration. Religion maybe? (For some reason she goes to ask Scotty for advice. He doesn’t love it because he has issues with religion.) Or Capacity? (He likes this one better.) Evan likes the title “Love You Like My Religion” but she struggles on the religion.

Jes starts writing about her last relationship who she stills cares for. He doesn’t see his potential… (I think her life is so much less inspirational than everyone else.) She is advised to connect to others instead of being so interior–how can everyone relate to it?

Scotty meanwhile wishes for some boundaries. After talking to Sonyae, he thinks about religion and being shunned for being gay, which gets him very emotional. Scotty’s has the strongest positive feedback but he needs to make sure to “go there.”

They work out the kinks in their studio session. Sonyae’s is particularly impressive, considering that she came in with no actual music.

The guest judge for the finale is Leona Lewis. The room is crowded but most exciting for the contestants is their parents.

Up first is Jes with “Come Alive.” You can see Nick incredulous and Jackie supportive. The judges are nodding along (as is Johnny) which is all that really matters.

Scotty is second with “Beautiful You.” His song makes the judges smile with more head bopping.

Finally comes Sonyae with her song “My Religion.” It’s a very Beyonce song.

Now for the judging:
Jes is told her lyrics are her strongest yet. Leona thinks it has a lot of crossover appeal. Very commercial and melodic though Keith Naftali thought the “Come Alive” concept was okay. Jewel shows some ways she could tweak it even more.

Scotty‘s song had great sentiment. Jewel would have liked more streamlining. But it is a great melody and he has become contemporary. Naftali calls him the maestro of melody. It felt too similar to “Just the Way You Are” though.

Sonyae had yet another great concept, which is her strength. It was sing-a-long-able. Melodically, she is not the strongest contestant. They wanted the chorus to go up, as Kara demonstrates.

(This is some of the best judging we have seen all show. The judges demonstrated the improvements and the songs sounded better with their stronger voices too.)

Once they talk without the contestants they decide Jes has the most crossover appeal, Sonyae has the most sophisticated concepts, and Scotty is a melody machine and key collaborator. (PS- while Jewel looks the best she has looked all season, Kara looks ridiculous in a shiny maroon suit.)

Time to find out the winner. Scotty is booted out first (with kind words from all on his future). The winner is…Sonyae. (Once it was down to her and Jes there was little chance of another outcome.)

Awkward.

MTV’s newest foray into the half hour comedy follows Jenna Hamilton through her trials and tribulations in high school. She starts out as something of a nobody but after an accident garners some unwanted attention in school, she finds herself at the center of attention.

Like with the network’s series The Hard Time of RJ Berger, Jenna has a mother who is more obssessed with sex and good lucks than being a mother with good advice. The school guidance counselor is little better. (Only Jenna’s father seems to be at all sensible though he is hardly in the show so it barely counts.)

In school Jenna must contend with the boy she likes who slept with her and then ignored her and an overweight cheerleader who is out to get her (though the reason is unclear at first).

The show is funny and clever in a way that its other recent TV shows have not been lately. I can’t pretend to love the voice overs (meant to be lines from Jenna’s blog “Awkward.”), as I generally dislike them unless they are extremely well integrated into the show. But aside from that, I don’t really have any complaints.