Wednesday, July 28, 2010

TV: Breaking Bad (Seasons 1 and 2)

Just a quick note as I have just completed seasons one and two of Breaking Bad. Unfortunately, season 3, which has already aired on AMC is not out on DVD yet, and I don't get the channel anyway, so I'll be waiting to see what happens next.

Anyway, I randomly added this show to our netflix queue and Sean and I both got quickly sucked in. As a quick synopsis, Walter White is a high school chemistry teacher, married with a teenage son, and another child on the way. The news comes that he has terminal cancer and Walt turns to a former student, Jesse, to form a partnership to create and sell crystal meth.

The acting is excellent. The subject matter is very tough. But there are very comedic moments, usually at the expense of dumb drug dealer Jesse (Aaron Paul). And these situations where you are laughing so hard you cry are not funny situations in reality. To call Walter White's transformation from the first episode to the end of season two "dramatic" would be a complete understatement. I have no difficulty understanding how Bryan Cranston has won two Emmys for the role, and that the show itself and actor Aaron Paul have also received repeat nominations. If you aren't watching this show, do yourself a favor and get to it! And have tissues handy, both for the laugh-til-you-cry bits, as well as the devastating moments that come quite regularly.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Nick Jonas is Marius in "Les Miserables"

I still can't get over Nick Jonas as Marius in the West End production of Les Miserables, singing my favorite song from the entire show, "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables."  Not trying to sound shocked, but if you have ever heard Nick sing with the Jonas Brothers or his band the Administration, you know he usually sounds like his voice is in the process of changing (don't think of this as hating, because I like his pop voice just fine). But when I heard he'd be playing Marius (and knowing that I have such a major love for Michael Ball on the original Longdon cast recording from the 80s), I just had my doubts.  Anyway, here is a recording of Nick performing the song.

And while I am at it, here is "A Little Fall of Rain."

And "In My Life/A Heart Full of Love."