Welcome to the Blade blog Culture Shock, a three-times-a-week riff by Pop Culture Editor Kirk Baird on pop culture news, events, and trends. The blog will appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings here, with the odd night or off-day posting if something is merited.
I'll be back Thursday morning with what I expect to be the news that Northwest Ohio's Crystal Bowersox made it to the next round of 24 contestants -- 12 men, 12 women -- on American Idol.
The 24-year-old Elliston resident seems to do no wrong on the show -- or, at least in the footage that makes the air.
And based on the many close-ups of one singer-guitarist, I'm quite convinced I was wrong when I previously blogged that 24-year-old Bowling Green product Luke Shaffer, who goes by Luke James, appeared to be eliminated in the first round of Hollywood performances.
Now, based on a guy whose face kept popping up on screen, I think Shaffer at least made it through to a list of 46 contents being winnowed to the final 24. If it is Shaffer, Idol hasn't given him any quality face time and backstory -- the way Bowersox has been splashed over the screen several times -- which often helps a contestant win over viewers.
But, if Shaffer does make it to the top 24, he should have an opportunity for plenty of network exposure. The show is all about pulling the heartstrings and making you care about the contestants, even when you don't vote for them.
So, Idol is waiting to finish the 24 unveiling until tonight, seen locally at 8 p.m. on WUPW-TV, our Fox affiliate. So, I will update this blog then.
Also on my plate for tomorrow night is a screening of Shutter Island, the latest pairing of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. To get me ready for it, I revisited a previous Scorsese B-movie thriller, his Cape Fear remake.
The two things that struck me most about the film, which I haven't watched in several years, is how tame the violence is in the movie compared to how I remember it being -- even the brutal rape and bloody cheek bite. I'm not sure what this says about our society or me, having watched all these uber-violent films and TV shows that have apparently numbed me to such shocking cinema.
The other thing that struck me is just how young Robert De Niro and Nick Nolte looked. Cape Fear is nearly two decades old, and De Niro and Nolte were in their mid-40s when they made it. But for some reason, I remembered them being older in Cape Fear -- perhaps I've grown too accustomed to their present-day appearance.
Anyway, just a coupla observations.
Oh, and I've got to say that I was pleasantly surprised with last night's Lost. For the first time since last season's finale, I thought the show was back in the groove. And I love the explanation of the numbers, which I expect to be fully revealed as the show winds down.
Meanwhile, there's the Winter Olympic games, which I try to catch in my free moments during prime-time programming and movie screenings. I kind of feel like I'm not a good citizen by not watching more of our athletes giving it their all for the gold. Perhaps for the next Olympics, the competing networks can be a little more patriotic too and only schedule repeats of lame sitcoms opposite the games so that there is NO choice in what to watch.
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LINK: For all of Kirk Baird's Culture Shock riffs