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Tag: Contrarian Corner (1-10 of 22)

'How I Met Your Mother' finale review: Why it worked

What was How I Met Your Mother about?

If you took the title at face value, you’re one of the (many, many, many) disappointed fans following Monday’s series finale. Yes, Ted met the Mother, but their meeting ended up being beside the point.

(Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen the HIMYM series finale.) READ FULL STORY

Is Benedict Cumberbatch playing Khan? Or are the 'Star Trek' folks playing with us? -- VIDEO

If you’re a Star Trek fan of pretty much any stripe — a Trekkie, a Trekker, a Bonesy-come-lately fan of J.J. Abrams’ high style 2009 reboot — then the last few weeks and months have likely included some heated debate over who exactly Benedict Cumberbatch is playing in next summer’s Star Trek Into Darkness. From the moment he was cast as the ostensible villain in the film, the geekosphere has been humming over whether Benny Batch would be taking on the ne plus ultra of Trek Big Bads, Khan Noonien Singh. And pretty much from that same moment, J.J. Abrams, Paramount, and most everyone involved with the film have been disabusing fans of this notion. Except when they’ve been doing the opposite.  READ FULL STORY

Contrarian Corner: Katy Perry and Taylor Swift are music's mean girls

Katy Perry’s 3-D extravaganza Part of Me hit theaters this week. Obvious self-reflective implications aside, it’s strange that Perry chose this title from her collection because it’s lyrically the least Katy Perry-ish song in her repertoire. “Part of Me” foregoes the whipped-cream-and-rainbows sensibility that so perplexes (and captivates) my colleague Annie Barrett. It speaks of overcoming adversity and seeks self-empowerment. It’s also a hit job.

I’m not here to sift through the dross surrounding Perry’s divorce from Russell Brand. And I can’t fault Perry for documenting the unraveling of the relationship in the documentary — not to do so would be as glossy and inauthentic as one of her lolliprops. Still, it seems this song speaks to a potential directional shift in girl pop that, frankly, is troubling. Perry and her fellow hit-churner Taylor Swift have taken the break-up song to a new level, crucifying their exes publicly — to massive success. It begs the question: When did a few cute girls’ personal burn books turn into the American songbook?  READ FULL STORY

Contrarian Corner: Let's talk about 'The Grey'


The Grey, Liam Neeson‘s latest January release that features the gruff 59-year-old Irishman screaming at and fighting with every living creature around him, may have gotten a middling review from EW critic Lisa Schwarzbaum, but it still managed to debut with $19.6 million over the weekend, and earned many positive reviews from critics across America. (Audiences issued the film a “B–” CinemaScore grade, with 76 percent giving it an “A” or “B”.) A lot of people, it’s safe to say, were very much on board with the man vs. wolf film.

Here’s the thing, though: The Grey was the most depressing film I’ve seen in years. I disliked every single character in the film. Heck, I was rooting for the wolves to prevail, just so the movie would end! (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD) READ FULL STORY

Contrarian Corner: Come on, Steven Tyler's national anthem wasn't THAT bad

We Americans are a proud people. It’s no surprise that we expect our national anthem to be sung correctly. So I do understand those of you upset at Steven Tyler for flubbing one teensy lyric during his performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens playoffs game Sunday night. (The American Idol judge sang “as bomb bursting in air” instead of “the bombs bursting in air.”) But I’d also like to think that we Americans are a smart people. So, I have no choice to say that, folks, you’re going all too “Crazy.” (Sorry, pun Monday!)

Yes, the Aerosmith frontman delivered a version of the song that was loud and screechy. But what did you expect? READ FULL STORY

Contrarian Corner: Get out of your comfort zone, 'Modern Family'! (And fix that step!)

Television, if you think about it, is like one big, crazy extended family. You’ve got your stern, but lovable dad (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood), your kooky aunt (30 Rock, Cougar Town — welcome back!), your hip, urban-dwelling cousin (Happy Endings, New Girl), your drunk uncle (Saturday Night Live, Mad Men), and the relatives that no one dares to bring up at reunions and get-togethers (Sister Wives, Jersey Shore). If that’s the case, that makes Modern Family everyone’s over-achieving, award-winning, incredibly wealthy older brother. “Why can’t you be more like Modern Family?” (Fiiiiine, we get it, Emmys and Golden Globes. But sheesh, give little siblings like Parks and Rec their time to shine, too!)

But it’s not Modern Family‘s domination of the awards ceremonies that has Contrarian Corner calling it over — with love and admiration, mind you — for a heart-to-heart. After all, their insanely talented writers and actors no doubt deserve the accolades that have come their way. (Of course, in true one-upping older sibling fashion, they even make their acceptance speeches fantastic and hilarious. You just can’t win, kid sisters.)


Contrarian Corner: Why can't you people just let 'Arrested Development' and 'Party Down' rest in peace?

Ever read Pet Sematary? The family cat gets run over by a truck. Such a sad thing, to see a pretty cat struck down in its prime. That cat could have amused the family for years! Fortunately for the family, their house is just a few doors down from the local Indian Burial Ground. Dad makes an executive decision and uses the Burial Ground magic to bring the cat back to life. Good as new! Better than ever! Except that the resurrected cat is different somehow. Stranger. Less fun. He’s not as energetic. He smells like death. At a certain point, Dad starts regretting his decision. Maybe he should’ve just gotten a new cat.

Now, Party Down died a quiet death in mid-2010. READ FULL STORY

Contrarian Corner: 'The Bachelor' is the most depressing reality show on TV

Okay, that’s not entirely true. I’ve seen Intervention. But when it comes to the guiltiest of TV’s guilty pleasures, The Bachelor is unmatched: The ABC series is truly one of the most depressing things to air on television.

Now, I like to think I have a good sense of humor. In fact, I’m such a huge fan of Schadenfreude, I’ve obsessively watched entire seasons of dating reality shows like Flavor of Love, Rock of Love, Parental Control, Mr. Personality, Temptation Island, and, yes, even A Basement Affair. (Not to mention the fact that my basic cable-less teenage self was raised on 3 a.m. showings of the likes of ElimiDate and The 5th Wheel.) But there’s something about The Bachelor that leaves me wanting to cry like a regular off-camera Jenna. READ FULL STORY

Contrarian Corner: I've had it with video stores!

I am very disappointed in myself right now for many reasons (intense cold-weather reclusion, strong identification with Charlize Theron’s character in Young Adult, weight gain), but at the top of the list is confirmation of my recent aversion to video stores.

I’m supposed to appreciate these relics, the sprawling box-like storefronts that just seem to bleed out smaller and smaller rectangles — 99-cent outdated movie posters, clunky VHS tapes the stores will practically pay you to remove, DVDs-for-purchase that no one will ever open again. Every few days during the late ’90s, I moped around the Garden Market Blockbuster (now out of business, though my mom just told me it became a costume warehouse for two weeks this October; so tragic) and Video 66 on Joliet Rd. (still there! possibly due to Honey Fluff Donuts next store?) (Update: just drove by and I was wrong; it’s now a vacant-again storefront that says FUN TAN, ugh) — because what else would I do with my life? And then whenever I was back home over the holidays or the summers throughout the late 2000s, I would mope around the same stores again, just in different sweatpants. I’m sure the Video 66 guy appreciated my upgrade from “flannel” to “yoga.” READ FULL STORY

Contrarian Corner: Money can't buy me class, but it can buy a whole lot of 'Real Housewives' music

Confession: When Real Housewives of Atlanta‘s Shereé Whitfield gave Watch What Happens Live viewers a first listen to her new single “Who Gon’ Check Me Boo?” on Dec. 18, I may have reflexively let out a squeal of exhilaration. May have. Okay… I totally did. Yes, PopWatchers, I am coming out with it once and for all: I am a “Closet Freak” for Real Housewives music (shout-out to Miss Lawrence, heeeeeey!). READ FULL STORY

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