Glee Top 50 part 1

After Glee began airing in 2009, it has covered well over 500 songs, bringing to light some great new music for me. Albeit, some of their songs are not so great, and some may argue that they ruin a lot of classic songs. I’d like to argue that some of the covers are even better than the original (one springs to mind straight away – Glee’s cover of Rebecca Black’s song ‘Friday.’) For me, I like to take the covers as what they are and appreciate the work, effort and the voices behind them, because Glee has some brilliant voices within its cast. So without further ado please see my personal top 50 Glee songs: (as I’m terrible at favourites I’ll be organising this list in season order)

Season 1

  1. Don’t Stop Believing

The song that made Glee famous is first on this list; at the end of the Pilot episode when Mr Schue was walking away from his teaching career, he heard faint voices in the distance, and as the cast’s version of this Journey song gets louder, the love for this show and its cast does too.

2. Somebody to Love

The cast’s group performance version of this Queen classic is a winner also, bringing the group together at a pivotal time.

3. Hate on Me

This is the first song from the episode Throwdown that I’ve picked and I love this song; it has got such a beat and Amber Riley singing the main vocals for this is fantastic.

4. Keep Holding On

The end song for this episode is Avril Lavinge’s ‘Keep Holding On’, and it’s one of the first songs that brought me to tears. Coming at the end of an episode where Sue and coincidentally the entire school finds out about Quinn’s pregnancy, you feel the emotion that’s coming out of the Glee club as they support their member

5. Thong Song

My first guilty pleasure song of the list is this as Mr Schue desperately tries to hide his feelings for Emma by helping her with her wedding songs. It’s a amusing performance of a classic 90’s song.

6. True Colours

Another end of the episode song now and a chance for Jenna Ushkowitz to properly shine for the first time.

 

7. Don’t Rain on My Parade

Lea Michele’s first solo song on this list and it’s a corker – singing this as their first song to launch their bid for Sectional glory, it’s sung with determination and finesse.

8. You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Their other song sung at Sectionals, this classic rock song is fab and showcases the vocals of Cory Monteith and Lea Michele particularly.

9. Like a Prayer

The Madonna tribute episode ends with this beaut of a track and it’s a group effort, with a little help from a full gospel choir that just helps to make the atmosphere electric.

10. Total Eclipse of the Heart

Following Rachel’s faux par at trying to juggle 3 boys’ feelings for her, it all ends in tears with her losing Jesse and her shot at Finn. Queue this guilty pleasure classic, complete with ballet dancing scenes.

11. One

This U2 classic rock song is a fantastic end to an episode that is a bit underwhelming. However, his song is further proof that the cast know how to belt out a rock song.

12. Dream On

Neil Patrick Harris and Matthew Morrison duet this Aerosmith song – do I need to save more?

13. Poker face

After the truth about Rachel’s birth mum is revealed (in the form of Idina Menzel), the two come together at the end to sing this Lady Gaga hit, but much slower than Gaga’s version. However it’s gorgeous to hear these two voices together.

14. Faithfully

The season finale and the New Directions are at Regionals and their set list is filled with Journey songs. This duet between Finn and Rachel is their opening number and just before it, Finn tells Rachel he loves her. It makes their duet to each other even lovelier.

Season 2

15. Empire state of mind

We enter Season 2 and the Glee cast belt out this in the season 2 opener, trying to drum up their rep. It’s a great way to open the season and recent enough that new viewers to the show will feel at ease with the format.

16. One of Us

At the end of an emotional episode in which Kurt thought he had lost his Dad, the Glee group come together for this sweeping song that emits love and hope.

17. Teenage Dream

It’s the introduction of the Warblers and another iconic moment for Glee – the introduction of Darren Criss as Blaine Anderson. As he takes lead vocals on this Katy Perry number, you know you’re witnessing a special moment and thankfully he’s stuck around to create more magic.

18. Singing in the Rain/Umbrella

This episode introduces us to Holly Holliday and Gwyneth Paltrow’s first guest appearance on the show. The mash-up of the musical classic and Rihanna’s first big hit sang by Paltrow and Matt Morrison in the lead vocals is a hit.

19. Dog Days are over

Mercedes and Tina take the lead on my favourite Florence and the Machine song; another end of episode number it’s a positive ending, despite the fact that the end of this episode saw the break-up of Finn and Rachel.

20. Thriller/Heads will Roll

This fantastic mash-up completely works and the performance itself is brilliant with a Halloween-esque style and a pop/rock feel.

21. When I get you alone

The Valentine’s Day episode had a particular angle that had many fans rejoicing – Blaine and Kurt admitted that there could be something for them in the future. But before that, Blaine had a crush on an older department store worker and he enlisted the help of the Warblers to serenade him with this song – it’s only short, but it’s brilliant.

22. Sing

This cover of the My Chemical Romance song is punchy and made even more awesome with the fact that Sue joins in for a one-off performance with the kids.

23. Animal

Another Warbler tune and this one has joint lead vocals for Blaine and Kurt, and the performance is made comedic when in a bid to be sexy, Kurt only manages to look pained and uncomfortable. Blaine and the rest of the Warblers however look cute, especially in their Dalton uniforms.

24. Kiss

Gwyneth Paltrow’s back and she that initial chemistry between her and Matt Morrison’s Mr Schue is built upon in the episode, culminating in their duet of Kiss, with them performing a sizzling tango and a gorgeous tone to the song.

25. Candles

This beautiful duet at Sectionals comes after the first kiss of Blaine and Kurt; its soft nature and the passion behind it means that this song is a perfect fit for Chris Colfer and Darren Criss.

I’ll be posting part 2 of this countdown in a couple of days – comment below if you agree/disagree on what should be on this list

101 Dalmatians

This 1996 live-action version of the animated classic based on the novel starring Glenn Close as the movie villainess is a brilliant adaptation and a film you can usually find on telly at one point during the year. Starting off as a romantic film about two dog owners, Anita and Roger (played by Joley Richardson and Jeff Daniels), who meet unexpectedly in the park (with a little help from their dogs) they soon get married and their dogs have a litter of puppies. These puppies come to the attention of the villainous Cruella De Vil (Glenn Close), in this version a fashion designer who was Anita’s former boss who wants to make the ultimate spotted coat and use Anita’s puppies for it.

For anyone that hasn’t seen this film, first off – why not? Secondly, you should get your hands on a copy and watch it. It’s a brilliant family film, with some funny moments, adventure and best of all cute dogs and puppies. With this being a live-action version of the story, everything seems more real and realistic. A particular angle regarding the plan to kill the puppies, introducing a character, aptly named Skinner who illegally kills animals for their coats – he’s creepy and sinister and unfortunately a very real threat.

The human actors are each brilliant in their role – particularly Glenn Close as Cruella – she’s perfect in the role. She’s a character that’s used to getting her own way, even if it means breaking the law – she’s cold, calculating and ruthless and Close is perfect at portraying this maniacal villain. Jeff Daniels and Joley Richardson are charged with bringing Roger and Anita to life, and are given more material than the animated movie gives to sink their teeth into. One of my favourite things about this film however, is the double team of Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams as Jasper and Horace. They are both hilarious in their respective roles and have a great chemistry together. They are not afraid to get stuck into physical comedy, but also have a great script filled with some funny moments to back them up.

I don’t think I can end this review without bringing up the animals that were involved in making this film also; even though the film features a lot of dalmatian dogs there is also other breeds of dogs, farm animals, a cat, a horse, a racoon and a skunk. It also amazes me what trainers can get animals to do on screen, and particularly the dog actors; some of the facial expressions that the lead dogs playing Pongo and Perdita pull are beautifully heartbreaking, particularly when the puppies are first stolen. You can almost feel the heartbreak of the dogs as well as their owners.

101 Dalmatians is a brilliant Disney family film, and still a firm favourite with me, albeit I am a dog person, so the film was always going to appeal to me. If you haven’t seen it though, I do recommend it – it’s brilliant for a Sunday afternoon, and it also has a live action sequel (102 Dalmatians) which is also worth a look in too!

 

Cruella (to Jasper, Horace and Skinner: Congratulations, you’ve just won Gold, Silver and Bronze in the ‘Morons Olympics’!

(pause)

Horace: Who won the Gold?

Cruella: SHUT UP! (101 Dalmatians)

Pilots: The Crazy Ones

The Crazy Ones is a new comedy which stars Robin Williams in his first major venture into TV alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar as a father daughter team running an advertising company. The dad is a class wacky, zany person with lots of grand ideas to back him up, whilst the daughter is desperately trying to reel him in.

First impressions of this show; it makes me chuckle which is a good start to have for a comedy. Williams and Gellar also have a lovely rapport on screen, each with polar opposite characteristics but a good partnership. Williams brings his usual theatrical, energetic personality to his character Simon, whereas Gellar’s Sydney is much more reserved as the long suffering daughter; Gellar brings some fantastic facial expressions and despite her past roles not being in comedy, she’s shown some of her skills in previous roles and further proven she has a comedic flair with this one

The rest of the supporting cast are fine as well – particularly the character of Zach who seems to follow along with Simon’s zany ideas, bouncing off Williams’ character and the two actors shared a good energy together. The episode is also helped by representing a brand everyone has heard of (McDonald’s) but also having the power of a celebrity guest star in the form of Kelly Clarkson. They try and convince her to record an advertising campaign for the company, but Clarkson has other ideas and admits to wanting to ‘sex up’ her image which leads to her and Zach performing a particularly hilarious duet,
Overall, an enjoyable first impression -the promo for the 2nd episode also made me laugh so I’ll be sticking with this for now. Let’s hope that with a change in genre and the power of Robin Williams’ move to TV this show fairs better for Gellar than her last venture into TV (ah Ringer)

Sydney: This is a sex song!
Simon: I know, isn’t it fantastic! (The Crazy Ones)

Day of the Doctor Trailers

So with just under two weeks to go til the 50th Anniversary special of Doctor Who, we finally have a trailer for the episode -and not just one the BBC spoils us and gives us two! One smaller trailer was leaked early Saturday afternoon and the second premiered last night. Below is both trailers:

 

 

Well even though it took so long for these trailers to appear, they were well worth the wait. The special looks amazing. I’m even more excited to find out exactly what Steven Moffat has cooked up. It’s even more brilliant to see David Tennant back as the 10th Doctor and even more sweet to see just how much chemistry him and Matt Smith have, even in that minute and a half footage. Moffat has promised us plenty of surprises and maybe even more guest stars that have not already been mentioned.

There are so many questions and clues to come out of these trailers – who is John Hurt’s Doctor and where does he fit in? What is the moment? And does the return of the fez mean trouble or is this going back in the 11th Doctor’s timeline to the end of series 5?One thing’s for sure – I truly can’t wait for this!

Doctor Who will air on the 23rd November simultaneously across the world.

10th Doctor: For once I’d like to know where we are going

11th Doctor: No, you really wouldn’t (The Day of the Doctor)

Pilots: Sleepy Hollow

This modern day re-telling of the Sleepy Hollow legend is something that initially didn’t interest me; when I found myself having nothing else to watch and it happened to be on TV, I thought I’d give it a go and I was so glad I did. The show opens with Ichabod Crane smack back in the middle of a battlefield – the American Civil War. He faces off against an enemy who doesn’t appear to be of this world – he’s shot and he doesn’t die, but when he cuts off his head with a sword the man falls to the ground but not before shooting Crane in the process.

Cut back to modern day America and the action really gets underway. For viewers, that opening segment was the origins of the headless horseman who seems to have been awakened, and as the legend goes, quite wants his head back. It’s a good thing then that Ichabod also awakens but has no idea where he is. Enter the main female lead, Abbie Mills, a detective with a slightly troubled past she witnesses the work of the headless horseman but struggles to make believers out of her superiors.

Through the episode these two make a great pairing; actors Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie have a great chemistry together – I particularly like Mison in his role as Crane who is snarky and oozes sarcasm, but yet is devilishly attractive. The episode fits in a lot of story and manages to add in character development as well. It’s quite an intriguing concept as well – part-crime drama and part-mystery fantasy. As well as the original tale of the headless horseman, it plays with the idea of other evils including the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.

There’s a lot of good about this pilot, and the fact that it’s branching further out and not just sticking with the classic headless horseman story also means there’s more scope for story, which is originally what put me off this drama. However, the writers do take certain leaps of faith in the opening episode, such as how quickly Abbie believes Crane’s story, even though it is incredibly bizarre and how well Crane adjusts to being over 200 years outside his time period.

Despite those few grumblings aside, I felt really positive after watching this first episode, with likeable characters, an intriguing storyline I was already looking forward to the next one. The series has already been picked up by FOX for a second series, making a quick impression on the network so it’ll be sticking around at least until 2014. Don’t let the title fool you though, this looks like it’s going to be much more than just the Sleepy Hollow legend.

(About the headless horseman) “Do you think he can hear us?” (Police Officer, Sleepy Hollow

Halloween Horror: Scream

Halloween has come and gone which can only mean 2 things: number 1 Christmas is fast approaching again, and it’s the perfect excuse to watch a scary film. This Halloween I stuck on my favourite horror movie – the original Scream movie. Directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson, those that have seen it will know it’s not the creepy/gore horror movie of today, but it is filled with suspenseful moments and a script that is filled with clever plot twists.

Plot is pretty simple; a killer is on the loose, killing his victims with a knife and wearing a comical mask to hide their true identity. The main protagonist is Sydney (played by Neve Campbell) who the killer seems particularly intent on killing – Sydney has already experienced death and heartache as her mother was viciously killed a year earlier. Even though the killer was supposedly caught, it seems the identity of the masked killer may be the true killer of her mother.

I won’t spoil the movie for those who haven’t seen it and reveal the identity of the killer, and you can have fun guessing your way through the movie. One of the things I love about the film is that it takes the horror movie genre and evaluates it, becoming almost light a parody, making references such as ‘if this was a scary movie’ and playing fun at certain clichés such as why to do they always run up the stairs. It also changes the genre, making it more of a mystery to find out who the killer is, rather than it being ‘hide behind the sofa’ scary.

At the start of the film, Drew Barrymore is the first to get killed, her screen time amassing around 10 minutes. At the time however, she was considered quite the star in Hollywood; her death is so unexpected that it’s a welcome surprise for the viewer and it’s something the films keep doing throughout the series. As well as Barrymore, there are quite a few familiar faces – Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Rose McGowan, and Matthew Lillard.

It’s a brilliant movie, and like I said probably my all-time favourite horror movie. The original movie is the best but the franchises sequels are also well worth a watch. Just remember when watching them – never say I’ll be right back.

“(callers voice) Not so fast we’re gonna play a little game it’s called (normal voice) ‘guess who just called the police and reported your sorry mother-fucking ass!'” (Sydney, Scream)

Friends with Benefits

This 2011 comedy has been on my watch list for a while and when I caught this on the telly I was really glad I did. Starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis as two friends who after both experiencing bad relationship issues decide to engage in casual sex, no strings attached while still remaining friends.

Its premise is the ultimate un-romantic comedy, with the two friends remaining determined to not bring feelings into their agreement. However as romantic comedies go, they both start to develop feelings for the other person and after some bumps and misinterpretations along the way the two come together at the end in an adorable, heart-warming scene involving a flash mob.

I can see why when it was released so many people raved about this film as it has so much going for it; it’s a great script with some great laugh out loud moments. It has also helps that Timberlake and Kunis have a great chemistry together, and you can’t help but root for these two characters to get together.

If you haven’t seen this comedy, get it on your watch lists. It’s a perfect excuse for a night in with your friends and some snacks!

Jamie: Everybody, this is Dylan. He’s from L.A.

[Everybody boos him]

Jamie: He’s the reason I can afford all this beer!

[Everybody cheers him]

(Friends with Benefits)