Friday, June 12

my early summer in entertainment.


Ashley Monroe at Dr. Pepper Pavillion - Breeze and I jumped at the chance to see one of the Pistol Annies perform live for an affordable price in a venue that is brand new. Ashley took the stage with just a guitar player backing her up and performed a lot of songs from Like a Rose as well as some songs she has written that have been recorded by artists like Miranda Lambert and Jason Aldean. She manages to be cute as a button and sassy at the same time. The new venue (located at the Bridges in Roanoke) was really cute and included cornhole boards, local food trucks, local breweries, and free Dr. Pepper.


Voyager by Diana Gabaldon - I recently finished the third book in the Outlander series and really preferred it to the second book, Dragonfly in Amber. For me, Voyager was faster-paced and held my attention better. In the "present" of 1968, time traveler Claire and her daughter Brianna are researching what happened to Bree's father, Jamie Fraser, after the Battle of Culloden. Alternately, we find out what Jamie has been up to in the twenty years since Claire left 18th century Scotland - hiding from the Redcoats, imprisoned and in servitude, and finally finding work as a printer - and traitor - in Edinburgh. Of course Claire goes back, but life with Jamie is never calm and happy for long, and soon they are bound for the West Indies, encountering pirates, magic rituals, and people they each thought they'd never see again. I can't wait to read Drums of Autumn, but I try to pace myself through this series because it's ruining my progress toward my 2015 reading goal (870 pages should really count as multiple books!).


Avengers: Age of Ultron 3D - As you know, I'm a total geek when it comes to comic book movies, so I was literally counting down the days to Age of Ultron. The movie tied in nicely to the preceding Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D episode, opening with the Avengers raiding a HYDRA base in Eastern Europe. In very quick succession they take out a lot of HYDRA operatives, show off some crazy motorcycle tricks, fight the Maximoff twins Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and retrieve Loki's staff. Back at Avengers tower, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner are keeping a secret from the rest of the team - an A.I. called Ultron that they can use Loki's scepter to bring to life. If you haven't been under a rock, you know that doesn't go well. While some of the film's beats are very similar to the first Avengers (a character we've just met falling victim to mind control, Steve Rogers' mistrust of the Science Bros) there's also some new ground (Hawkeye's secret family, Paul Bettany as Vision), plus Black Widow subverting the Damsel in Distress trope all over the place AND a Peggy Carter dream sequence. Ultron failed to be a really scary villain, in my opinion, but the idea of the Avengers creating their own enemies is an interesting one that hearkens back to the theme the first Iron Man movie.

Pitch Perfect 2 - Another movie that I've been looking forward to since the first trailer was released, since I've practically got the first one memorized. While I enjoyed the sequel from beginning to end, I didn't like it quite as much as the first movie - maybe my expectations were just too high.  I liked the introduction of Hailee Steinfeld as a legacy Bella and Benji's cute crush on her, Keegan-Michael Key as Beca's record-industry internship boss, Beca's rivalry with/girl crush on a scary German a capella lady, Fat Amy's courtship by Bumper, and Aubrey's post-college job running a team building camp (of course!). Some of the negatives for me were Chloe's ridiculous storyline (purposefully not graduating so she could stay a Bella - wouldn't she have been kicked out of school for failing three times?), no real development in Beca and Jesse's relationship, and all of the other returning Bellas getting the shaft, story-wise. Pitch Perfect 3 is already on deck, and I will definitely be watching.


Orange is the New Black - So I'm super lame and just started watching this bonkers show. The third season came out last night and I am so excited to continue my journey into the twisty world of Litchfield Penitentiary. I thought the Season 2 finale was perfect (Rosa!) and I'm going to try my best not to watch all of Season 3 at once! I want to read the book, as well, but y'all know my to-be-read pile is already about a mile long so it may be a while.

So You Think You Can Dance - Mary Murphy is gone, so no more Hot Tamale Train, but Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo (who I guess had no summer plans/wanted to make heart eyes at all the female contestants) have joined Nigel on the judging panel and this season there will be two teams: Travis Wall's Stage team and Twitch's Street team. Last week's tap-heavy auditions gave me hope. I'm not sure what I think of the "Stage vs. Street" setup (personally, if I was a good enough dancer to consider trying out, I would take EVERY DANCE CLASS IN TOWN to get ready), but I'm watching because it's SYTYCD.

MasterChef - The friendlier side of Gordon Ramsay is back, along with Graham Elliot and new judge Christina Tosi. I love following along with this show every summer and it inspires me to do more cooking. I don't have a favorite contestant yet but I did totally predict that this week's mystery ingredient was corn.

What Jean Likes

No comments:

Post a Comment