Into The Woods (2014)
A decent film adaptation, although why on earth is it filmed so darkly? I could barely see anything. The musical is so tightly staged that abandoning physical juxtaposition of characters in separate stories hurts the film by forcing it to cut constantly, but, by and large, the performances are great. James Corden and Emily Blunt are perfect as the Baker and the Baker’s Wife, especially the way Blunt plays her infatuation with Cinderella’s Prince. (“Agony” is practically a comic set piece. It’s amazing.) The second act is largely defanged, however, and let’s never talk about how the film deals with Little Red by pointedly ignoring the sexual subtext of her story. Ugh.
“Same Sex Symbol,” Cameron Esposito
“Shit was rough! I turned out amazing.” Esposito’s mix of confident swagger, homespun charm, and dim view of straight dudes makes this instantly my favorite comedy album of the year, not that I’ve listened to much.
Rock of Ages
So Rock of Ages is closing on Broadway on January 18th, which is tragic yet significant, as it is my favorite musical. (Did I say best? No. Did I say inclusive? I did not. I said my favorite.) So off I trotted to see it before it closed, but before the last two weeks. (Mitchell Jarvis, the original Broadway Lonny, will be playing Stacee Jaxx those two weeks. I had no idea!) The show remains the same: crude, camp, and unabashedly sweet.
Constantine Maroulis is amazing as Drew, which is probably why he scored that Tony nomination. Maroulis’s Drew is just really sweet, tender, tentative, and, shall we say, smokin’ hot when he finally does take action. Lauren Zakrin, who was playing Sherrie, made her a little dottier than some Sherries I’ve seen, but it works. Also: I am all about giant!Drews with tiny!Sherries. IT WORKS FOR ME. Frankie J. Grande was a great, impossibly energetic Franz, although fellow YouTuber Chester See was a low energy Stacee Jaxx. He’s fine.
I was a little bummed to see that Chris D'Arienzo’s bio specifically dismissed the film adaptation not for totally ignoring the show’s message, but because it made Dennis and Lonny make out. Don’t write dudes in love if you don’t want dudes in love, dude.
Sailor Moon, “Dispute Over Love: Minako and Makoto’s Conflict”
I thought this was going to be a fight between Minako and Makoto over a boy, but it’s actually about their different love ideologies. And Minako coming around to JUST HOW AWESOME Makoto is. Seriously. I know I have my slash goggles glued to my head, but Makoto teasing Minako is just. Oh, Makoto, you baby lady lover. I adore you.
Sailor Moon, “Usagi’s Parental Love: the Curry Romance Triangle”
WE GET IT THEY’RE HER PARENTS. But awww, Rei feeling awkward about stepping in as Chibi-Usa’s “parent”. But the Sisters turning all the supermarket shoppers dark-skinned—that’s… that’s a racist thing, right? Like, they’re not green or diseased, they’re just brown.
Saturday Night Live, “Amy Adams/One Direction”
Not the heights of Jimmy Fallon’s Christmas episode, but endearingly sweet and straightforward. “Office Christmas Party” sees Pete Davidson and Jay Pharoah discovering their wickedly good chill chemistry, “The Singing Sisters” is pure wackiness, and “Cat Rescue Commercial” is always perfect.
Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)