Geeks and Gleeks, prick up your ears: before this 2009/2010 season ends TV mastermind, and personal hero, Joss Whedon will lay his genius on phenom frosh series Glee. Whedonites, be not afraid, this does not mean he’s jumping his current ship Dollhouse (even though there are rumblings of said ship to be on the verge of sinking) he will merely be moonlighting as director for one episode of his fellow FOX show.
Those in the know, including Glee helmer Ryan Murphy, have already seen the Buffy creator exquisitely execute a musical slant to the Slayer series’ with its season six (“All singing! All talking!”) episode “Once More With Feeling,” which he directed and wrote both music and lyrics. Murphy gushed, “Joss directed one of the great musical episodes in the history of television on Buffy, so this is a great, if unexpected, fit. I’m thrilled he’ll be loaning us his fantastic groundbreaking talent.” Most recently, the benevolent Whedon bestowed upon the world the online musical sensation Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which garnered him a win this year in the Emmy’s newest category, Short-Form Live-Action Entertainment Program.
Joss is also no stranger to guest-directing hit shows. He ably helmed The Office episode “Business School” in its third season and says the man himself, “A television director’s job is, on some level, to be anonymous; to find the most compelling way to present a story without calling attention to himself. I had a wonderful time doing just that on The Office, and hope to again. A guest director can bring a huge amount to the party (we’ve had CRAZY talent on Dollhouse), but the party isn’t his. I just want to work with good people on a show that I like enough to have watched every episode several times.”
In other Glee guest talent news, lead Lea Michele will soon be reunited with her “Spring Awakening” co-star Jonathan Groff. The Broadway star will reportedly be on the show for about five or six episodes as the lead male singer of rival show choir Vocal Adrenaline, the group seen in the pilot episode performing “Rehab,” and will serve as a potential love interest for Michele’s glee club queen Rachel Berry. Creator Murphy describes the character as, “A male diva…a miva.”
Murphy also revealed that the cast of Glee will be going on tour next summer, not surprising given that the series’ music has exploded on iTunes with a full soundtrack set to drop November 3rd (full track listing).
Actually mama really loves samba but either sexy latin flavor will do the trick, and I’m so looking forward to a bit of both this fall from dueling dance shows, Fox’s So You Think You Think You Can Dance and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
While ravenous for all-new episodes of SYTYCD that just ended its summer season recently, I fell behind in viewership of DWTS during its spring cycle, due mostly to a conflict of interest with other Monday and Tuesday night shows (the DVR Gods demand a sacrifice!), but with the names of this year’s “biggest cast ever” released I find myself, although somewhat confused — Tom Delay, really? Methinks he’ll be joining the ranks of Tucker Carlson as the first trainwreck to depart rather than surprise like a Warren Sapp hoofing it all the way to the finals; it’s the teddy bear appeal, the avid granny viewer eats that up — mostly intrigued and shall make an attempt to watch even though no “star” stands out for me to put my fanship behind at present. I do, however, always anticipate rooting for some gloriously incomprehensible and/or inappropriate comment from judge Bruno. It’s worth tuning in just for that Italian imp and all the agita he must give Disney censors.
Season 9 premieres September 21st.
Meanwhile Uncle Rupie’s Fox will premiere SYTYCD‘s first fall cycle on September 9th, coupled with new darling Glee (will save more giddy musings on that one for a later post). Coming on the heels of its fifth and most successful season to date SYTYCD may not be equal to American Idol in the ratings as yet, but give it time as each year continues to build huge viewer numbers as opposed to the Idol which only seems to be slipping in the ratings. SYTYCD has also never disappointed with the levels of contestant talent, and thereby makes this competition feel more legitimate rather than one that finds pleasure in so-bad-we-have-to-watch-to-see-what-they-do-next entertertainment (aka, no Sanjayas).
Showcasing not only talented dancers but also an amazing and varied group of choreographers, SYTCD garnered 5 Emmy nominations this year adding to its 6 previous noms and 3 wins, and for those of you unimpressed by such numbers I dare you not to be affected by some of the outstanding performances over the past 5 years most recently with “This Woman’s Work” from Emmy-nominated Tyce Diorio.
Other impressive routines run the gamut in flair and emotional response, from Wade Robson’s visually-arresting gothic, undead group number “Ramalama (Bang Bang),” Mia Michael’s love story on a bench “Calling You” and a heartbreaking hip-hop in Tabitha & Napoleon (or, NappyTab)’s “Bleeding Love.”