Thursday, July 24, 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Yma Sumac, "Tumpa"

I've heard of her but never heard her sing--till today.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sam & Cat: The Series Finale

The series finale of Sam & Cat aired today (Thursday) at 4:30 p.m. Hawaii time. The episode, "#GettinWiggy", went like this:

Dice (Cameron Ocasio), the neighbor boy renowned for his "amazing hair", has a shot at making the cover of a magazine and thus boosting his hair-modeling career. The gig is in Phoenix. Because he's only twelve, Dice needs a chaperone. His mother and aunt are ill with coyote fever so Cat (Ariana Grande) agrees to take him there. Sam (Jennette McCurdy) plans on going with them, but her criminal record precludes her from entering Arizona, as well as Utah, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Tennessee. So it seems she'll be all by her lonesome for the weekend.

Meanwhile, Nona (Maree Cheatham), Cat's grandmother, had to vacate her apartment in a retirement home called Elderly Acres while it was being fumigated for pests. She asks if she may stay at her former apartment, which she shared with Cat (in the pilot episode, Sam encouraged Nona to move to Elderly Acres). Cat enthusiastically agrees, to Sam's dismay.

Cat and Dice arrive at the photo shoot, where Dice finds he has to contend not only with several other hair models, but the top hair model in the world, a teenage boy with a long, silky blond coif. The high-strung photographer fawns over the blond guy's hair, and Cat just knows it must be a wig. She pretends to look for a dropped contact lens and has Dice turn on a giant fan (to give models that windblown look) in hopes of blowing off the kid's wig. It only succeeds in giving him an artfully disheveled look that the photographer adores.

Back home, Sam is talking to someone on her cell phone as she enters the house, resigned to having for lunch a half-eaten bag of potato chips she found on the road. Then she looks at the counter. A veritable feast is presented by Nona: fried chicken, ribs, macaroni with (four kinds of) cheese, and ice cream with all kinds of toppings, including strawberry gravy. Overcome with joy, Sam hopes that if she's dreaming she never wants to wake up. Later, Sam remembers she has to get up early to babysit the Franklin twins, but Nona offers to take over so Sam can sleep in. Nona even did Sam's laundry. Picking up a piece of clothing, Sam marvels that she "got the stink out."

In Phoenix, the blond guy is chosen for the magazine cover, which angers Cat, convinced as she is that he's an impostor. She jumps atop him and tries to pull off his wig, which is his natural hair. As Cat plucks out lock after lock before the horrified onlookers, the police move in.

Nona has managed to get the Franklin twins asleep, thanks to warm milk and turkey juice. The fumigation at Elderly Acres was successful and the residents can all return, so Nona is preparing to go home. Sam's phone rings. A frantic Dice tells her first the good news: he made the magazine cover (with blond guy practically scalped by Cat, Dice, the runner-up, now has his big break); Sam couldn't care less. Then the bad news: Cat is being arrested, and blond guy, shown moaning on a stretcher, is going to a "scalp hospital." Cat could stay in jail for two weeks, and Dice is likely stranded for the duration of Cat's imprisonment. He asks Sam to have Nona come to Phoenix to bail out Cat and bring them home.

Sam pauses to think. She tells Nona that Cat and Dice will be in Arizona for two more weeks and Cat thinks it would be nice if Nona stuck around for a while. Then Sam plops on the sofa.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sam & Cat

Some of you reading this may never have heard of Sam & Cat, or iCarly or Victorious, let alone watched them. You may have been engrossed in Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, or other prestige shows of that ilk. Learning of the show's cancellation, you wonder, Where did it all go wrong?

Calling Dan Schneider the Norman Lear of children's TV is a stretch, but both are adept at creating suites of programs connected by characters, with distinct styles and worldviews.