Fall TV

Glee Season 4 cast

With hit TV show entering its senior year (season 4), Glee shows it hasn’t stopped believing in the formula that earned them success— a diverse cast, a few heartthrobs and those oh-so-wonderful mashups. In anticipation for Glee’s new season and time slot (Thursdays at 9p) FOX threw a great listening party to preview five songs from the season. These dance beats and earworms not only had us humming along, but also gave us a few clues as to what’s in store for the season.

“Dance Again/Americano”— Cassandra (Kate Hudson)
This high-energy mashup of Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga’s hits is totally dance worthy, and it shows off Kate Hudson’s impressive pipes (Take that, Gwyneth Paltrow)! Hudson gracefully switches between her mid and high registers throughout this groove. Look for this to debut on the premiere episode. Something tells us she’s be schooling Rachel (Lea Michele) on passion for the art of Broadway.

“It’s Time” — Blaine (Darren Criss)
Can’t get enough Blaine? You’re in luck. Darren Criss will have lots of screen time as he deals with his relationship with Kurt (Chris Colfer) and restocking the Glee Club with talent. Darren tackles the Imagine Dragons song with grace. But taking a deeper look into the lyrics it looks like there may be trouble in paradise:  “It’s time to begin, isn’t it?/ I get a little bit bigger, but then I’ll admit/ I’m just the same as I was/Now don’t you understand/That I’m never changing who I am” We can’t tell if this is Blaine reassuring Kurt as they embark on a (Mini Spoiler Alert!!!) long-distance relationship or if their relationship will show growing pains.

“Boys/Boyfriend” — Artie (Kevin McHale) and Blaine
This Artie/Blaine duet mashing up Britney Spears’ “Boys” and Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” is their first duet ever. It sounds great (duh!), but we’re even more excited to see it on screen.
Kevin McHale and Darren Criss revealed the two had to deliver the the song in an über cheesy boy band type performance. Shouldn’t be a problem for Kevin since he was in a boy band (NLT), right? Kevin admitted Darren was the bigger cheese ball! That’s great to know because by the sound of it, we need a little more expression from Darren, hopefully we get more when we see him perform it in the “Britney 2.0” episode.

“Gimme More”— Brittany (Heather Morris)
It wouldn’t be a Britney episode without Brittany S. Pierce (Heather Morris) to rock out a Spears number. Chord Overstreet (Sam) revealed the Glee Club will back her up in the dance-heavy number. No doubt, Heather, a former dancer for Beyonce will outshine them all like she did last Britney episode!

“Call Me Maybe”— Glee Club
OK, Glee, if you did Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” we guess you had to do Carly Rae Jepson’s mega earworm of the summer. Luckily there was much to delight our ears despite hearing the song 12 billion times. A new voice opens the song— maybe it’s  Jacob Artist who will be playing Jake Puckerman, Puck’s (Mark Salling) younger brother. The Glee Club will battle it out to this song, perhaps to an assignment Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) doles out. This is our first time hearing the new Glee club and we immediately notice there aren’t any powerhouse, “park and bark,” bring the house down voices that Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Rachel (Lea Michele) delivered every episode. Further in the song we found potential of one (another new cast member, we suspect is Alex Newell’s Unique) but, hate to be the bearer of bad new, she’s not as good as Mercedes. We’ll give it another chance, since “Call Me Maybe” isn’t the best vehicle to tout one’s vocal prowess.

Which song do you want the cast to sing this season?
—Ashlyee Hickman

Ben and Kate TV Review

This September, Fox’s new show, Ben and Kate, attempt to be the unique and quirky show of fall 2012 but end up just as bland as their title. Ben (Nate Faxon) and Kate (Dakota Johnson) play brother and sister. Ben is the annoying older brother who has never grown up and Kate is the younger sister who grew up a little too fast when she became pregnant at a young age. Now, with Kate trying to make ends meet for her daughter, and her brother always interrupting her life, she’s finding it’s a little hard to balance family, a love life and motherhood.

In the premiere episode, Ben rolls into town unexpected and barrages into Kate’s house unannounced while she is on a date. Kate immediately wants to know why he is in town disrupting her life once again. Instantaneously, Ben’s brotherly instincts kick in when he thinks  something is wrong with Kate’s boyfriend. But Ben— obsessed with his own love life— starts thinking of ways to crash his ex-girlfriends wedding.

Throughout all of the obnoxious things that Ben does to get what he wants, the audience ends up seeing a strong bond between Ben and Kate near the end of the show. While both characters end up being overly awkward instead of fun and quirky like FOX wanted them to appear, they both tend to get rather annoying very quickly. Even through all the strangeness, there is a small silver lining to this show. Ben and Kate showcase that when family members need each other then you stand behind them one hundred percent.
Ben overhears a conversation that Kate’s boyfriend is having and Ben sees a red flag. Instead of crashing the wedding, he rushes to get to Kate’s side. Once Kate realizes he hasn’t gone to the wedding, she makes sure he gets there even though she was against the idea from the beginning. While both characters appear to be selfish from the start, they both end up caring about each other more.
While Ben and Kate has potential to be a decent show, the pilot episode did not have the excitement I was expecting. The characters were very strange and at other times very irritating. The concept for the TV show is a good idea, and TV needs more shows centered around family,
but the cast and script brought nothing to the table this time around.
—Jenna Cusumano