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Leave it to Rainn Wilson
As I am writing this review, we are 5 episodes in. From what I have seen so far, I am excited to what they've done with the concept.
Cop shows are often a dime a dozen, even when the producers claim they have something new and refreshing. But I certainly feel this one has true potential to be unique and innovative.
First of all, the storytelling doesn't shy away from some hard topics, like homosexuality, teenagers, abuse and self doubt among others. They use this to great effect, but they also use subtle, quirky comedy to keep us entertained.
Secondly, the main character is an antihero. This has been done before. But Everett Backstrom really has some issues. He isn't very friendly, he hates himself, he drinks on the job and breaks a lot of rules along the way. But despite himself and his ways, his peers respect him nonetheless, they even like him. He even has a homeless, abused tween living with him. He tells himself it's for the rent, but there is some sincerity there, that is picked up by his tenant.
Thirdly, it is set Portland, Oregon. This is fun too, because it takes us away from the cliché places like New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle or other big cities that are often used for the backdrop.
All in all I feel this is a fun ride so far, and I hope they keep up the good writing. If it stays this good, I am here to stay as well.
"Show me your Burlesque".
First of all; I didn't know what to expect from this feature. I hoped it would be fun to watch at least. Normally I would discard the idea of watching a movie featuring singers in the leads.
But I was pleasantly surprised to say the least.
As a whole, the film was beautifully shot, the costumes, set decors were all wonderful. Christina Aguilera was never prettier than in this picture.
Concerning Aguilera, I was blown away by her acting (not implying it was Oscar worthy), for the simple, fresh and down-to-earth character, she put out there. She was believable as this nice country girl destined for bigger things - if you know Aguilera's life story, you know what I mean. And she pulled it off to a 't'.
Also a nice refreshing thing this movie did, in my opinion: were the core values it expressed. Although show business, and especially burlesque dancing, have a way of being over-the-top sexy and sometimes promiscuous. A typical story in that setting could have had more sleazy behavior, sleeping around, back-stabbing and such. But no. Even the antagonists had a way of being somewhat nice and apologetic in their own ways.
The clichéd rivalry has a place in this, but although being a cliché in itself it never becomes cliché as itself. You would expect dangerous backstabbing. It never happens like that.
At the end there even is a little plot twist, concerning the fate of the club. It's a semi twist. But it works.
Although I am enthusiastic and glad to have seen this, there is a huge plot hole, I was concerned with. Halfway through the movie Ali saves the show by beginning to sing. It's pretty clear that the mics aren't working, it being a playback show. But still there are mics on stage. So if we forget this one hole, there is an immediate second hole. As if she has a hidden portable mic she is singing, passing the mics to the front of the stage, being completely audible for everyone present. Which isn't plausible.
That said, I had a truly great time watching this. It certainly the best in it's genre (a musical romantic drama).
Certainly worth your time, if you like this sort of thing.