Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Why I'm Not Crazy About the New "Whose Line"

The revival premiere of the improv show "Whose Line is it Anyway?" premiered last night on The CW. Unfortunately, needless to say, I was underwhelmed.

First let's look at the positives. I love that they brought back the original cast, which consists of Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, and Wayne Brady. They even brought back the original musicians for the song games, Laura Hall and Linda Taylor. The coolest part is that the set looks exactly the same. Basically, to quote a tweet of Wayne Brady, it's like they never left. They still have the same chemistry with each other. I also really like the new game "Sideways Scene", which is when they perform the scene lying on the floor and the camera films them from above. The audience is also just as cheerful and interactive.

Then there are the minor changes that I'm not crazy about, but I think I can live with. First of all, the guys have aged and gained a little weight, except for Wayne Brady because that guy never changes. It's kind of depressing to see that they have gotten older, but they don't look that drastically different. They still have the same flavor that they did back then. It's like the show never ended but decided to fast forward a few years. The original red background curtain is now blue and the intro music from commercial and title card in the beginning have been altered. There are also new guest performers. These all are actually pretty good changes because it makes it not just like the original U.S. program. It's a clean slate, a fresh start. The red to the blue symbolizes that this is the revival.

Now I'll bring up my true problem with the show. Drew Carey isn't there but Aisha Tyler is.

Don't get me wrong. I love Aisha. I was first introduced to her as a host of CBS's "The Talk" and she is actually my favorite host on that show. I find that I agree with her most on what she has to say about topics and find that she is the one that speaks for me. I even took a "Which 'The Talk' host are you?" online quiz, wanted her as my result, and got her. I even fangirled when I saw her make a cameo appearance on "Glee" as Jake Puckerman's mother.

However, she does NOT fit the "Whose Line" family at all.

I'm sure the guys like her, but you can tell that they feel awkward around her. She's just not funny and tries too hard to be, as if trying to live up to the franchise, and ends up just being too loud or annoying. Every time she tries to crack a joke, they seem to find it difficult to respond. They just grin. She is not that funny on her own show either. I mean, she has some chuckle worthy lines here and there, but on "The Talk" she is more of the serious person of the group, which is fine. You don't have be that funny for a talk show, especially when you're a foil to those funnier than you as your co-hosts. Even though she's not humorous she's still very intelligent and well spoken, which is what a talk show needs. But, you kind of have to be funny for "Whose Line".

As much as the guys made fun of Drew Carey for doing nothing on the show, he made "Whose Line" what it is today. In fact, they actually look a little depressed not having Drew there with them. He wasn't as good of an actor as the rest, but he still made an excellent, funny host. The show originated in Britain, and that host was as boring and unmemorable as can be. Not only this, but the guys are friends with Drew and they made fun of him for everything: sitting behind the desk, pressing the button, having two shows on ABC, his occasional screw ups, his movie Geppetto, everything about him. And then Drew would make fun of them right back. He was one of them. Can you imagine the guys, especially Ryan, who was notorious for mocking Drew, making fun of Aisha? For what? It would be so weird.

They are just a bunch of dudes used to joking around with each other, with the occasional female guest performer, whom sadly is never really as into it as they are. With Aisha as the host, it's like a bunch of goofy teenage boys replacing their fellow goofy teenage boy friend with a little girl, which is kind of how I see this! They are older men hosted by a younger woman. Just looking at them together in photos doesn't feel right. She looks like she doesn't belong. I can see maybe having Aisha as a guest performer, but definitely not a host. Now if you were to see Aisha on "The Talk" with her female co-hosts, she fits right in with their banters, but she's also one of the quieter ones as well, which is another reason why her loudness is so off-putting. It's just not her.

I keep trying to figure out who would be a good replacement host for this show, and I can't think of anybody but Drew! Now, would I feel better if another guy replaced Drew? Possibly. It depends on who it is. And maybe I wouldn't feel as bad about Aisha hosting if there was a female host all along. But I still think Drew is the only one who deserves the title.

From my understanding Drew couldn't host "Whose Line" due to his obligations to "The Price is Right". I don't understand this because Wayne Brady hosts "Let's Make a Deal", which airs an hour before Drew's show on the same station, and Aisha hosts "The Talk". At the time of the original "Whose Line", Drew starred in his own sitcom "The Drew Carey Show". If other people can juggle more than one TV show and he has done it in the past, why can't he do it again?

I will admit that although I was excited about the show's revival, I wasn't really keeping an open mind about Aisha, and I felt this way since finding out that she was the new host months ago on Twitter. I think this is what ruined my perception of the rest of the show. I just couldn't enjoy it fully and found it a little boring. I was so upset when I found out that "Whose Line" and "So You Think You Can Dance" landed on the same night and time, and was grateful when I discovered that there was an All-Star baseball game in place of "SYTYCD" this particular night, leaving me free to watch the "Whose Line" premiere without having to swap channels back and forth. It was a sign for me to watch it. I didn't know what I'd do in the future when "SYTYCD" returns, but now that I was given the chance to view "Whose Line", it was a sign for me to leave the show from that point on. I think I'm going to dedicate my Tuesday nights to "SYTYCD", which was my plan anyway, even though I'm STILL upset that they eliminated Jasmine Mason!

"Whose Line" is a show I turned to on YouTube to cheer myself up when upset or sick, to relieve boredom or stress, or just because I felt like it. I was so excited to look forward to brand new jokes in addition to the reruns with jokes I expected. I hate to say it, but I'm very disappointed and kind of sad, especially seeing how a lot of people seem to like Aisha in the host seat, though I discovered today via social media that I am not alone in my feelings either. I feel like I won't like the show fully unless Drew Carey returns. I'm definitely willing to give it another chance, but yet I feel like not tuning in. I don't see how she got the job.

Maybe it's not her that is the problem. Maybe I'm just seriously missing Drew Carey and nobody else compares to him. Maybe any other host would get this reaction out of me as well.

I just needed to vent this. Oh, and I also decided to watch the premiere of a new dating game show following "Whose Line" on The CW called "Perfect Score". Boy was that quality TV.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Is Social Media Considered a Genre of Writing?

Last Tuesday night I was watching my most favorite TV show, "So You Think You Can Dance". I normally have my computer on during that time but this particular night I decided to turn it off and just express my opinions on the show the following day to my friends.

Then the unspeakable happened. One of my favorite contestants, Jasmine Mason, got eliminated! So after the show I quickly signed back on to express my UTMOST DISTASTE about what unfolded that evening online. Here's what I did.

I started with this. This was supposed to be my Tweet about the show for the night:

Then my tweets gradually became bitter from that point:






As you can see I felt pretty passionately about this. Still do. And these don't even include my responses to other people. But there you have it. I felt so inclined to post these tweets to get my feelings out there. I feel the need to express my feelings in writing online because I want my opinions to be read. You know, with all of my tweets, I could've just written a blog post, but normally if I'm not going to dedicate a lot of analysis to it, I would just tweet it. The same with Facebook. I don't want to waste a blog post for just one paragraph of me just making a statement. So this all being said, here is the question I pose to all of you: Is social media considered a genre of writing?

This thought came to me the night of the show after these events occurred and I went to bed. I ask because it's certainly not as creative or in-depth, and a lot of times not grammatically correct because of aim speak use. Twitter, annoyingly, limits a person's tweets to only 140 characters, so for a person like myself that needs more than that, it can be frustrating. Tweets are mainly for announcements and small statements. They're also good for real time reactions. I do this with "The Bachelorette" too. As I watch I have my computer handy to make comments and my mother has made the observation that by doing this I do not enjoy the program fully, which is part of the reason why I took my computer off Tuesday night. But yet I still had the impulse to post my opinions.

This is what is happening lately with society. We want to post our thoughts on the internet for the world to see or else it feels like they don't exist if we don't. Sometimes I attach my Twitter to Facebook and my tweets land on there as well. I try to justify what I do to myself by saying that while I am job hunting for an arts and entertainment writing job, I will tweet about TV shows in the meantime. At least I'm still doing something in my potential field. However, I get concerned that people get annoyed with my updates. At my graduation celebration dinner I asked my friends Bonnie and Kelly if this annoyed them, and they both applied with a no, and Bonnie even said that people like real time reactions. I think my problem more is that I feel like not a lot of people share in my fandom of these shows and so therefore do not care about what I post. I do this to interact with others and discuss the developments of the shows. Then I constantly have to check to see if I get a "like," "favorite," "retweet," or response in order to feel like what I have to say is validated. If nobody does this, I feel like my posts don't matter and are just random things on everyone's timeline.

Or could it also be just like creative writing, prose writing, grant writing, proposal writing, business writing, screenwriting, playwriting, etc.? There are times when I go job hunting online I notice that the job description duties in the ads include social media, so it's actually important in the business world nowadays.

I just feel like although it is important, it doesn't require as much skill nor does it look as impressive. Should social media writing be held at the same level as the other writing I mentioned?

Dontae, a former contestant from my new favorite reality show "Whodunnit?", actually said on the first episode that he was a writer because he writes on Facebook and social media, so that counts.

I brought this question up at a book signing for author Linda Rawlins at the Fairfield Public Library this past Thursday night, and she said that social media does not count as writing but only as a place to announce something and share blog posts by putting the link to your actual writing. My dad who was there with me shared his opinion with me. He told me that it does count as writing because you take the time to figure out what you are going to say. This is something that crossed my mind as well when contemplating this. Social media is a place where grammar doesn't necessarily matter, but yet I personally still have to make my writing perfect because since I am a writer and have an English degree I want to lead by example. Since Twitter allows only 140 characters, you definitely put editing into practice when tweeting to fit this format, so perhaps it can help teach writers how to say something more concisely.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sight and Sound Theatres Jonah DVD is Now Available! :D

Remember when I wrote that huge piece about Jonah from Sight and Sound Theatres last summer?

Well, it's finally on DVD!!! :D I just saw that they posted the trailer on my Facebook newsfeed. :)

Check it out. Now you'll finally see what I saw haha. I was kind of disappointed what I wrote my blog post about it that I couldn't find footage of it to show you. Now I do!

Last year when we went I noticed that they were selling DVDs of past productions and was disappointed to see that Jonah wasn't being sold. I was so pumped from it that it was a little saddening that the one musical I actually wanted wasn't on DVDs for sale yet. Maybe now I'll find get to obtain my own copy. :)