I’m Calling You Out Netflix and Fox

The apparent theme in entertainment business this week?  Treat your customers like idiots and sneaks.  At least it was for Netflix and Fox Broadcasting Company.  Both made drastic changes without really keeping their customers in mind.

Let’s start with Netflix.  As everyone and their mother has heard by now, Netflix did not think it was enough to nearly double the prices on their customers this summer.  Now, in order to keep services they are accustomed to, Netflix users will have to subscribe to another service to get DVDs in the mail.  Yes.  They have to move to get the service they signed up for in the first place.  Qwikster will now be the mail DVD service.  I’m really mad about this as are many of their customers.  I could deal with the price hike.  But now, Netflix will no longer have the conveniences that made me become a subscriber in the first place.  I loved being able to search for a new movie and pick whichever option is available for me to see it.  Now, if I find I movie I want to see and it’s unavailable, I have to go to a completely different site and search for it again.  I’m having to very seriously consider dropping a service that I so dearly loved and defended only a week ago.

Now to Fox.  I’m a huge fan of their programming.  Especially Glee.  I’m a Gleek to the core and have been since the show premiered.  last night was the beginning of a new season.  Since the show is on at 7, I often miss the broadcast because I work later than that.  I have always watched the episodes online.  Imagine my shock and horror when I got online tonight and Fox had locked the episode to everyone except Dish Network customers.  I have to wait 8 days to watch it.  This is completely ridiculous.  It’s an over the air show.  It’s free.  Why is Fox shutting out such a wide base of avid fans?  After 8 days, spoilers of high profile shows like Glee will be everywhere.  If this continues through the season, there will be no point in watching the show.  You will have heard the songs and know the story.  Fox is forcing me to find a sneaky, backhanded way to watch their programming and I don’t appreciate being treated like a second rate customer because I don’t have dish.  I still want to watch your shows, Fox.  But you are making it totally impossible for me to do so.  Why would you want that?

So Netflix and Fox, are you proud of yourselves?

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New on Broadway

The New York Times posted a long article giving a rundown of all the new shows coming to Broadway.  Naturally, I’m freaking out about it.  So other than Nick Jonas taking over for Darren Criss who’s taking over for Daniel Radcliffe in “How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying,” here’s what I’m excited about.  Or not.

“Bonnie & Clyde”  Yes, the crime duo is taking over the stage.  The show’s site post some previews of the music.  Give me criminals singing any day.

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Okay, so I’m torn about “Bring It On: The Musical.”  I’m really over the whole movical craze so I’ve been against this show just on principle.  But then I saw in this article Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Kitt wrote the music.  “In The Heights” and “Next to Normal” are two of my favorite shows.  The idea of them working together excites me to no end.  Maybe this one will surprise me like “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark” did (yes, I liked it.  Cue injury jokes.)

You’re favorite flop and mine “Carrie” is being revived.  Based on the Stephen King classic, the original musical closed in 1988 after only 5 regular performances.  Apparently, the songs have been revamped.  I don’t buy it.  But bold move, producers.  Kudos for being ambitious.

So now for the straight plays I’m amped for.  There are a lot.   “Wit” with Cynthia Nixon playing a poetry professor fight cancer.  All kinds of awesome happening there.  “Milk Like Sugar” about a 16 year old girl in a pregnancy pact with her friends.  The cast is jam packed with amazing actors.  It should be great.  I would love to see Jesse Eisenberg’s play “Asuncion,” however it is a limited run.  “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs”  is a one man show looking at the way Apple treats it’s Chinese factory workers.  The play I am most excited about though is David Auburn’s “The Columnist.”  He is an amazing playwright I can’t wait to see what he has done with political columnist Joseph Alsop.

Just when I thought I couldn’t have any more reason’s to hurry back to New York, NYT reminds me of what I’m missing.

Planking, Owling, Batmanning…

The online stunts trend began with planking.  I didn’t understand.  Then it moved to owling.  Right then and there I had had enough.  This was getting to dumb too fast.  The hosts of MTV’s Bigger than the Buzz agreed with me (even though we totally owled on set when shooting this episode…beside the point).

Now, the HuffPost is telling me there is a new online stunt trend: Batmanning.

I mean other than being named after one of the coolest superheros (Spiderman being THE coolest, Batman at a close second), this is the dumbest thing I have seen on the internet.  Granted, this looks difficult to pull off.  But really, internet, haven’t we had enough stunts for now?  I’m over stunts.  Now excuse me while I get on LOLCatz and watch “Shoes” for the hundredth time.

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Starving for “Hunger Games”

VMAs are always full of drama.  This year the main talking points post-show were Beyonce’s baby bump and Gaga’s man-sformation.  Both of these have been talked to death already.  One part of the show that got me pumped was the Hunger Games sneak peek.

I read the first book.  That might not be quite accurate.  I devoured the first book.  I’m in the middle of the second now.  The premise of these books was so original.  The scary part of them is, it could actually happen.  This barbaric tradition is happening in America in a viable future.  These stories are filled with characters you root for, characters you despise and conflict so intense you can’t turn off your Kindle (yes I read them on my Kindle).  I could not be more excited for this movie.  I’m a huge fan of everyone in the cast (couldn’t be more excited to see Lenny Kravitz as Cinna).  If you haven’t read the books, read them.

Long Live New York

A hurricane is about to hit the place I now consider home.  I worry about my friends back there but I somehow wish I could be experiencing this with them.  I miss the city that much.  I wish I could feel how different the city feels in the wake of the storm.  Mostly, I want to see what the city is like without MTA.  MTA is such a part of everyday life, I can’t imagine it not running.  I still have my last MetroCard in my wallet.  If anyone can survive this large of a storm, it’s New York.  And they’ll do it with style.

On the more fun side of missing the summer, the VMAs are this weekend.  I got my swag in the mail so now I am totally prepared (yay hoodie!).  I can’t wait to watch having experienced the other side of making it happen.  You bet I will be on the website, with the twitter feed open, following along with the people I worked with this summer.  I do love going through MTV.com and knowing what kind of work went into everything.  Here is a video from a shoot that my department did the week after I left.  I was able to help with the prep work but I so wish I had been there for the shoot.  I can’t wait until I can get back to a place in my life were this kind of goofy video is my job.  Please enjoy.  This is why I love MTV.

Cousin Love

Last weekend, one of the most important people in my life came to visit.  Jenna and I have always been more like sisters than cousin’s.  I almost hate to admit the reason she decided to visit.  It’s so nerdy.  We bought every Harry Potter book together and have seen every movie together.  When we found out that the last movie was coming out while I was in New York, we had to figure out a way to see it together.  She had never been to New York and this was the perfect excuse. 

(Jenna and I in our Gryffindor Quiddich jerseys)

The movie was perfect.  We both cried through most of it.  Along with the movie, we did the typical tourist things.

She also got to see her first show on Broadway.  We were lucky enough to get tickets to Anything Goes.  I’ve been a huge Sutton Foster fan since I can remember so it was pretty incredible to see her perform live. 

It was so amazing to finally have some family visit, especially Jenna.  We’ve grown up together (as grown up as two girls in Mickey Mouse hats can be.)  It was an amazing feeling to show her my city.  That’s how I think of it now.  New York isn’t the sort term, Missouri is.  In the fall, I will be Jenna’s maid of honor.  At one point in the weekend she said, “It’s like we’re all grown up.  You’re living in the big city and I’m getting married.  It’s too weird.”  That’s probably my favorite part about our relationship.  We get through the grown up stuff.  We help each other through those.  But when we are together, we’re kids again.  We’ll always be the little girls playing with Barbies at Nonna’s house.

The White Lights

It began when I was three years old.  My parents took me to see my first musical.  It was Beauty and the Beast.  That was the first time I knew magic was real and I’ve believed it ever since.  I am lucky enough to be able to see at the very least 3 shows a year.  Usually it’s at The Fabulous Fox Theater in St. Louis with my mom.

Other times it’s with my best friends.

Sometimes we even make it to a show when we travel (my favorite of these was We Will Rock You, a Queen musical in Toronto that never made it to New York).

I’ve been able to act in show since I was seven.  The most recent was Dog Sees God:Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead at Mizzou last winter.  I played Marcy from the Peanuts cartoons (unofficially) and made some of my very best friends.

Theatre has always been magical for me.  This weekend, I was able to live out that magic in the heart of Broadway.  On Saturday we rushed How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.  Basically that means you camp out in front of the doors until the box office opens in order to get tickets for $30.  We were the first in line.  We got front row seats.

In line, we met a really nice woman who gave us amazing New York advice (including HipTix).  It’s amazing what nice people you can meet so randomly.  Bono was enjoying the show the same night.  Yes, I was within feet of both Daniel Radcliffe and Bono at the same time.  It was one of the best shows I have ever seen (and I’ve seen too many to count).  Bono was in town for the Tonys which happened to be the following night.  Normally, I watch the Tonys from my couch commenting on every single moment.  I look forward to it all year.  This year, I watched them from Times Square.

It is unreal that I get to experience my lifelong passion in its epicenter.  It almost seems like everything has been directing me to New York.  Now I’m finally here and get to be a part of something I’ve always believed is bigger than me.  If I could, I’d go to the theater every night.  I think Neil Patrick Harris’ Tony rap sums up my feelings:

“Theater, because it’s what we live, we’re changing some lives tonight

And theater thrives because we live to give it, so to speak

This ain’t reality TV, this is eight shows a week

Every chorus member that you saw tonight tappin’

Had to make miracles happen

For a chance to see you clappin’

And applauding in the audience. What’s next? Who knows?

Anything goes. Now go see a ____________ Broadway show.

Thank you, good night.”