I’m so excited for today – a new semester of my Blog Class kicks off at UT – plus, we’re halfway through the week! I know I was pret-ty skeptical of John Mayer’s latest album a few months ago, when we were only given a measly four songs per month.
But, now that it’s been released in its entirety (I actually got a free copy with the purchase of a concert ticket), and I’ve had a chance to listen to it – in my car and in my earbuds – and have heard a few songs from it live, I think I’ve got a grasp on my opinions.
From the jump, in general: I like it. Is it my favorite album? Nope. But there are definitely some gems that cannot (and will not) be ignored in the entirely of Mayer’s career. Here’s my take.
Best song: In the Blood
If you’re looking for one of those typical John Mayer songs that’s got genius lyrics and is going to cleverly teach you some life lessons, THIS is the one.
Although we’ve been told from Mayer before that he’s aware of his ways (you know what I’m talking about), this song really seems to drive it home, while also discussing his family life – which he’s alluded to in a few previous songs.
“In the Blood” has been released to country radio stations as his next single.
How much of my father am I destined to become?
Will I dim the lights inside me just to satisfy someone?
Will I let this woman kill me, or do away with jealous love?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?
I can feel the love I want, I can feel the love I need
But it’s never gonna come the way I am
Could I change it if I wanted, can I rise above the flood?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?
I still really like “Love on the Weekend”, and it will probably remain to be a favorite of mine – I’ve had too many long distance relationships and understand what he’s singing about all TOO well.
There’s two upbeat tracks that are really fun: “Still Feel Like Your Man” (which Mayer admitted was about Katy Perry), and “Moving On and Getting Over”, which I had the pleasure of hearing live. It was fantastic. Many critics said this album was Mayer’s “return to pop”, but I disagree, and I think these two tracks are fair proof that he’s still going his own way.
And finally, there’s “Rosie”, which reminds me of early 90’s Lenny Kravtiz – loungey blues with desperate love lyrics. It’s catchy as hell, and makes for a good ear worm.
Yes, there’s a few other tracks stuffed in… and they may as well go forgotten. I’m not even going to pretend like a song titled “Emoji of a Wave” is worth my shit. Not even for John Mayer.
It’s no “Battle Studies”, but I definitely feel like we got a lot of hype for this one that was perhaps unwarranted. Don’t get me wrong, it’ll hold me over, but I can’t help but wonder if Mayer is suffering from a little bit of writer’s block.
In albums’ passed, we’ve gone on a journey with him over heartbreak (admittedly the ones we saw play out in the tabloids), his life as a famous person (before moving West), his family, and his struggle with getting older.
But is his journey over? His life is quiet now, and although that’s good for him, it sometimes isn’t good for the art. Been there, done that.
We were spoiled with the release of “Born and Raised” and then right afterward (#blessed) with “Paradise Valley”. It miiight be awhile before we hear from Mayer again, despite his claims that he’s got a vault of songs that were meant for “The Search for Everything”.
Guess we’ll see…
You guys! I have been looking forward to the season 4 premier of “Southern Charm” for at least a month. And last night, it happened. Sorry March Madness, I have more important matters to tend to. Because of my excitement, I’ve decided “Southern Charm” will be my next series to review/recap each week – hope y’all enjoy!
At the kickoff of the episode, T-Rav brings Landon a rose and they go for a walk. He tells her the only thing he needs is a partner and they should just take a shot. WHAT!?!?!
Then it says, “3 Months Earlier”… and we’re cruising through Charleston with Cameron and Sheppy. Cam is headed to Craig’s house, and maybe we’ll see if he’s finally taken the bar exam. He is still dating Naomi, and she’s in school.
He says he did everything this summer to actually finish school and now he’s just waiting for the next exam date.
Back at T-Rav’s, he confirms that Katherine did fail a drug test (after allegations last season), so he has full custody of his children. He also says she hasn’t seen the kids in a “couple months” and she isn’t allowed to see them until she can pass a drug test (WHAT????).
Later, Shep is out with his new friend Austen, who looks just like him. They are talking about how Landon professed her love for Shep last season, and I guess it’s still a “thing”.
In Austen’s introduction, he basically wakes up, sends a chick on her way, admits he’s 29 and ready to mingle after a two-year relationship, and that he “actually” has a job… where he’s a rep for a beer company. But of course!
At Patricia’s, she’s completing a needlepoint of her dog, Chauncy. Whitney comes over for a drink and admits that he recently went to Tallum and smoked weed the entire time. Patricia easily turns the conversation to Katherine, because it has been reported that she’s in rehab for weed, cocaine, and opiates.
Meanwhile, Landon is paddle boarding and claims she’s been scarred with a scarlet letter and she was traveling to escape it (lawd).
At the stables, T-Rav is talking with a friend of Katherine’s (and his) and she says Katherine has been kicked out of where she was living, and had been sending “intoxicated” texts. WHAT? This episode is on fire.
Later, Cam and Shep are shopping, and they are talking about Craig as if he doesn’t have a job… so I’m not sure what happened with his bourbon job with JD? Shep has concluded that everything about Craig is a lie. Yeeeesh.
Craig and Naomi are headed to a party and they get a call from Katherine… which I realize is spelled Kathryn. Apologies.
She says she’s back in Charleston, living with her family. Craig says he’s happy to hear from Kathryn, but his life has been easier without her in it.
Landon is having a pool party, and as soon as Craig and Naomi arrive, he tells her they talked to Kathryn. And Landon is all, “We know the only reason she went to rehab in Malibu is to find a rich boyfriend… her next victim”.
…And then in walks Landon’s boyfriend.. and he’s 25 and pretty cute.
At the party, Shep pulls Naomi aside and asks her what Shep has been doing. He suggests maybe he becomes a chef or a carpenter, which seems to offend her. But he wants to know if Craig will ever really take the bar… but why does he care?
Then, talk of Kathryn seems to take over… and at the same time, Kathryn is loading herself into her Jeep and is headed to the party. Oh. Shit.
….And then of course, she rolls up to the medical center to take another drug test. Good play, Bravo.
That’s the end of the episode, but it shows the season preview, and wow does it look INSANE. And I cannot wait!
Last week, my mom and I ventured to the Drafthouse to see “La La Land”! We were both pretty excited to see this movie, having both been fans of musicals since forever, and well, who doesn’t love Emma Stone? Sorry, I’m not huge on Mr. Gosling (and this is when everyone stops reading).
But anyway, I saw the preview for “La La Land” when I saw “Fantastic Beasts”, and I was immediately hooked. It was clear this was a movie about dreamers, and Hollywood, and entertainment, with lots of dancing – so basically all of my favorite things crammed into a single movie. Yes.
Here’s the plot from IMDB: Mia, an aspiring actress, serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions and Sebastian, a jazz musician, scrapes by playing cocktail party gigs in dingy bars, but as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.
There’s absolutely no question the singing and dancing in this movie is ON POINT. And in my wildest dreams of having my life burst into a musical, I couldn’t quite imagine something as fun as the opening scene where people are literally dancing on top of their cars during rush hour in L.A. Fantastic!
But, there were parts of this movie that were difficult for me to see the reality from the dream (I’m sure a purposeful move), but at times that line was blurred between downright ridiculous to serious and nearly depressing.
Many critics named this flick the “feel-good movie of the year”, and while yes, there were many scenes that had me smiling, I left the theatre closer to tears, and not the good kind. I won’t give any spoilers, but if you’ve seen the movie I’d love to hear your thoughts on the ending!
Would I recommend it? Yes – I mean, if you’re a fan of musicals… and dreamers, too.
I also have to talk about “Newsroom”, season three (the final season), because I spent Monday laying in bed watching it, in its entirety.
It took me a year to watch all three seasons of HBO’s “The Newsroom”, and I’ll admit that I wasn’t really that into it during season one. Frankly, it wasn’t that well-written, and it mostly did the same thing all shows about journalists do – romanticized what it’s like to be one.
But, I stuck with it and season two was grittier, and way better. So, I was really looking forward to season three – except for the fact that it was the last season! There was a part of me that was putting off watching it because I knew it would be that much closer to being over.
Season three is sadly only six episodes, though it was clearly written to be an end, and it was definitely the best season of all of them.
I came across a review of the series finale in The New York Times (don’t click that unless you want to know how things end), and it talked about how the series continued to struggle, from day one, with relevancy, given that it was a show about journalists and their battle with the digital change, and the show itself was covering events from two years prior.
On the one hand, covering events that moved us in real life was hook-worthy… but no one’s mentioning the fact that ACN was the worst news network anyone had seen. They were the last to cover any story, because they were stuck behind their desks and not actually out in the world living it.
So, Will McAvoy can be a charming playboy and a witty-one liner news anchor, but the folks typing the crap didn’t have it together – but they sure did have a love for their craft (or the one they were being paid for).
Nonetheless, it was a fun show to watch – because, well, writers are an interesting breed. I’ve heard, though, that people really enjoyed watching “Scandal” instead, soooo… maybe I should add that to my list!
My best friend Sheena has brought us the real meaning of Christmas in another review of “Fuller House”, this time for its second season. Check out her review of season one, here. And let us know what you thought of season two!
Earlier this year when I sat down to watch Fuller House season one I was all high on nostalgia and crap. I thought that had worn off since I really wasn’t looking forward to watching season two. It seemed like season one had covered all of the bases. We saw the whole family again, were reaffirmed that the Olsen twins hate us all, and relived some of the best Full House moments. What more could Netflix do? Well, let me tell you, they did more with season two.
The first episode had me a little worried because it seemed like we were diving right into the Fuller House story line, forgetting the reason we were all watching in the first place: Full House. Season one ended with a cliff hanger surrounding DJ’s love life. She had to choose whether she wanted to date her old high school flame, Steve, or the hot newcomer, Matt.
After spending the summer focusing on herself, she finally made a decision. Sorry, no spoilers here! We were also thrown right back into the tumultuous relationship that is Kimmy and Fernando, one that I personally could do without in this series. Stephanie stayed true to form and is still single, edgy, and a little bit slutty. This season we also got to know Kimmy’s younger brother, Jimmy, who I definitely do not remember from the original series, but I don’t hate looking at him.
Thankfully as the season went on family members started to reappear and we finally got to hear about Joey’s wife and kids. I was worried that his old girlfriend, Roxy, had ruined him forever. Netflix even went so far as to pull out some memories I had long forgotten about. Remember after season one when I told you I thought Gia was still a bad influence on Stephanie? Well, there may or may not be a Gia appearance during a reunion of the girls’ band, Girl Talk, in season two. Even that big boobed, boyfriend stealing, frenemy of DJ’s, Kathy Santoni (Editor’s Note: Whhattt Kathy Santoni is back!?!), came back into the picture. DJ also had a little run in with her ex-boyfriends, Viper and Nelson, at her and Kimmy’s 20 year high school reunion.
Of course the kids on the show were still as cute as ever, the jokes got even cheesier, and the one-liners more prominent than before. But, I have learned my lesson and I will never again doubt Netflix and their ability to surprise me. If Fuller House gets renewed for a third season, I’ll watch it the day it comes out and pretend I didn’t watch the first half of season two while mumbling under my breath that they should have stopped after season one.
Good morning! I definitely stayed up writing this entire post last night, and scheduled it to publish, and when I woke up, I see that it published with no words or phots… so there’s the wonder of technology on this Monday morning!
I spent most of my weekend at dance rehearsal, as I performed in two showcases yesterday evening. I have the day off work, and I’m really glad I planned for it, because my legs are so sore! But, more on that later this week. For now, I’ll try and write what I recall from my usual Sunday night TV binge (given that I’ve already erased the episodes from my DVR).
If you recall, last week I said I was giving HBO’s “Divorce” one final episode before I stopped watching it, and that episode was last night’s.
When the episode opens, Robert is hiring a divorce attorney. The guy seems like a complete idiot, but still costs an arm and a leg, and only accepts cash. Robert obliges, and later, the attorney calls the house and Francis answers – a rather awkward conversation follows, but nonetheless, now Francis knows Robert hired an attorney.
She immediately calls Robert, upset that he is no longer agreeing to mediation. So, she goes out and finds herself an attorney as well – only this guy has a reputation that precedes him. Apparently, she’s going to win this thing, despite her affair, and also admitting to deleting episodes of Robert’s favorite shows on the DVR (pure evil).
Later, Francis finally gets the keys to her art gallery and the realtor tells her all the things it’s been before, kind of making it seem like businesses in that area/building haven’t succeeded. Francis seems like she’s starting to feel a bit of buyer’s remorse on the place, but it’s too late now.
That night, Francis and some of her girlfriends head out to an art opening. Francis meets one of her favorite artists, and at first, it seems they are hitting it off and that something might spark. But then, the artist says something to another guy and they end up punching each other in all all out brawl, and ending the night early. Awkward.
Meanwhile, Robert is out with Nick, who is fully recovered from his heart attack. Robert pulls out his laptop and shows Nick his ideas for “Fun Space” – one of those places that has all the trampolines. Robert is convinced that this should be his next investment, although nick isn’t so sure.
At the end of the night, Robert fires his attorney and also his accountant in a fit of rage. Simultaneously, Francis’ friends tell her she’s probably not going to get custody of her dog. And that’s the end of the episode. Not impressed. Even the previews for next week look like the same old thing. Is anyone else giving up on this show? I wanted to like it! But I’m just not seeing it go anywhere – why did Robert and Francis get together in the first place? It seems like they’ve hated each other for awhile, so I’d love to know the backstory. Someone let me know if that episode ever happens.
Afterward, on “Insecure” the story is moving right along. Isa is really concerned about the fact that all of the students found the video of her at the open mic night. She apologizes to the teachers at the school and promises she’ll make it right.
This means she goes to Molly’s office and asks her to help her sue whoever recorded and posted the video, since it was done so without her consent. Molly agrees to help and ends up calling her former date – the “Enterprise” guy. He’s happy to hear from her, but seems a little pissed when he finds out why she’s calling.
He was at the open mic night, but isn’t sure who recorded the video. He says he’ll talk to his brother and get back to her. Molly has a new man in the scene, Mike, who seems to really like her, and vis versa. She invites him to come to her coworker’s engagement party that night and he tells her he will see her then.
Later, as she’s getting ready, she texts him to see if he’s coming to pick her up. He tells her he will just see her at the party. She knows this is a bad sign, but heads to the party, where he shows up and tells her coworkers that he’s her boyfriend. Everyone seems impressed, but when Molly pulls him away and asks if he was serious about that title, he says “Of course not”, that he was just doing her a favor by impressing her friends. She’s embarrassed and asks him to leave.
Meanwhile, Daniel is determined to help Isa recover from the leaked video. He invites her to hangout at his studio, but when she gets inside, it’s dark, there’s one guy in the booth (who sounds pretty terrible), and everyone else is sitting around drunk and/or high. Isa seems uncomfortable, until everyone leaves and Daniel asks her to get in the booth.
She records a bit of a song, and Daniel seems impressed. He asks her why she didn’t give him a chance before; she explains herself, and they laugh, but sort of agree maybe there would have been something there. They kiss, and Isa stops it, at first… until things get heated, REAL quick.
Afterward, Isa has another scene looking in the bathroom mirror. You can tell she feels guilty, and she sees what looks to be a woman’s bar of soap in the bathroom, and she quickly leaves.
Meanwhile, Lawrence is working a shift at Best Buy when his lil friend from the bank arrives, wearing a very revealing top. She invites him out for drinks and he quickly reminds her that he has a girlfriend. She seems embarrassed and quickly leaves.
I’ve been listening to a podcast, “InsecuriTEA” that recaps the show, and the two hostesses predicted either Isa would cheat or Lawrence would, and I’m glad it wasn’t Lawrence. I really want him to be a good guy, and it seems he’s really trying, even when Isa’s not around.
The question now becomes, will Isa tell Lawrence about her little affair? We will see in next week’s episode!
At the start of the episode, it appears there’s a new guy in town and he doesn’t know what a “Lending Library” is, so there’s that. He’s chatting it up with Abby’s sister, and although doesn’t give his name, he says he cooks at Sally’s (the neighborhood spot).
Back at the house, Connor throws Abby’s phone into the lake. Uhh… while she goes to look for it (not sure why), her daughters stumble across the fairy garden their great grandmother built for them. Pretty cute.
Trace runs into Abby’s dad in town and is pretty pissed about him buying the place Trace wanted. Her dad asks what his plans were for the building, and Trace explains his ideas. Abby’s father then suggests they go into business together. But of course!!
Abby heads to Sally’s to meet with Wes and talk about the investigation – he admits that his girlfriend, now ex-girlfriend, was in on it as well. He says he’s lost his clients, his money, and his apartment – everything but their children. He’s basically begging for her help.
Back at the house, Kevin is still recovering in his makeshift hospital room and his fiancee is still at his helm. Everyone still pretty much hates her, and Kevin tells her he wants to change the wedding plans and get married in Chesapeake Shores – because where else?! Not going to lie, I wish they would break up.
At dinner, great grandma tells the family she’s going home to visit Ireland, and she’s suddenly developed an Irish accent, which is borderline annoying. However, at the end of last week’s episode, she was admiring the ring Trace found at the church weeks before – I definitely think these two things are linked, and I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.
Later, Trace is on the phone with Abby and invites her over… dun, dun, dunnnn.
At the house, Connor takes Kevin for a little drive, and naturally his fiance freaks out. Connor asks him about the wedding, and Kevin says he’s not sure when it’ll happen.
Meanwhile, Jess is on a little date, walking along the beach, and they are hunting for sea glass. The climax of this date is when she finds a red piece… until I realize that she’s totally on a date with the guy from Sally’s, the cook, the one who was chatting up her other sister, who has a CRUSH on him!
Dear God! He’s talking about his dream of working in other restaurants, and she asks him if he’d cook for her… tonight, and what, they can invite her SISTER! Daaaahhhhhh!
Back at Trace’s, he’s emotional, and he tells Abby that he almost killed his bass player. He was driving the two of them, late at night while it was raining, and says he took his eyes off the road for a second, and hit an oncoming car. He said everyone else was fine except his bandmate – that he may never walk again.
Trace is crying at this point… and then it goes to a commercial.
Back at the house, Connor asks Kevin what happened in Afghanistan. Kevin doesn’t say much, but he does say he hit an IED. They are sitting in a treehouse, and on their climb down, they both fall…
At the B&B, David (the date), cooks dinner and gets an awkward introduction to Jess’ sister – like, really awkward.
As great grandma steps out to head to Ireland, she tells Abby goodbye and hands her the ring – she tells Abby it was “meant for her” and she will explain the story later.
Connor races back to the house, apparently okay from the fall, and he’s screaming for help explaining that Kevin can’t move. Ugh.
Seriously, at the end of this episode there’s so much left unsaid! And the previews for next week say there are only two episodes left. WHAT?!
My great friend Sheena agreed to write a review of “Fuller House” for The Bitter Lemon in trade for SnapChats of me singing the theme song. So, I present to you, a complete review of “Fuller House”:
I know I can’t be the only one that rushed home Friday evening (read: left work early) to binge watch all 13 episodes of “Fuller House” that were released on Netflix earlier that day. Prior to watching I had read several reviews by critics and they were not good, at all. Like many of my fellow 80’s babies, I didn’t let it get me down or spoil the sequel-series to one of my all-time favorite shows. To sum up the first season in a few words, it did not disappoint.
The first episode was completely nostalgic, satisfying, and kind of painful to watch; everyone (but the Olsen twins, who got thrown some serious shade in episode 1) was there, even The Rippers and Comet’s grandchildren. We heard all of the famous catch phrases, old stories, a performance from Jesse and The Rippers of “Forever” and Danny took it home with “Wild Thing” – it was the reunion of all reunions all crammed into about 10 minutes.
By episode 2 the circus subsided to make way for the start of the new story line and we were quickly brought up to date on what happened in the main characters lives these last 20 years. I’ll say this much, it seems like Stephanie never stopped hanging out with that bad influence middle school friend, Gia. Now in her mid-thirties, she’s single and childless, wears leather and sequin during the day (Editor’s note: Judgey Wudgey was a bear…), and is a world famous DJ that goes by the name “DJ Tanner” – this is my favorite running joke of the new show. Of the 3 girls, her character is sarcastic and witty and is, by far, my favorite.
Kimmy, who owns her own party planning business, hasn’t changed in 20 years and still provides the more obvious humor; while DJ Fuller (get it?), the veterinarian, is now a widowed, level-headed soccer mom. The 4 kids on the show aren’t lacking in personality either; the oldest boy, Jackson, is a rule breaking delinquent (in Full House terms), Max is hilarious and charismatic, baby Tommy is too little to talk but still provides some good laughs, and Ramona Gibbler is a sassy bilingual mean girl.
The show is still pretty cheesy (but wasn’t that why we all loved it?) and the lessons being learned don’t seem to dominate the episodes as much as comedy now does, thank God. They are taking the time to slowly introduce new characters, which I appreciate mostly because those characters are hot dudes, but the familiarity of the old “Full House” still reigns true with at least one of the old characters (aside from the 3 girls) appearing in each episode.
DJ’s high school boyfriend, Steve, is a recurring guest on the show and Stephanie’s old friend Harry, who she calls her husband because of their childhood wedding ceremony, even makes a guest appearance along with the likes of a few celebrities. Along with new characters, they are also introducing new catch phrases and on-going jokes even more ridiculous than the originals.
If you were a true fan of Full House and can get past the fact that Carly Rae Jepson sings the theme song on the opening credits, you’ll likely find the show enjoyable. Netflix has already signed on to season 2, so Fuller House isn’t going away anytime soon!