@voyou People ignore road safety and knife crime everyday, but now Londoners get to feel heroic about it. 23 Mar 17 Reply Retweet Favorite

Lost Girl, camp, and form

Canada’s premiere supernatural drama Lost Girl came to an end last week, more, it has to be said, with a whimper than a bang. The last episode was the resolution of a storyline involving the mysterious dark plots of Bo’s dad (who turned out to be Hades), a storyline that the show has been vaguely teasing since the end of season 2. But this kind of long-running plotline has never been the show’s strong point; it’s “worldbuilding,” for want of a better word, has always been rather incoherent and perfunctory, like a bad RPG quest where an NPC shows up and says “you’ve never heard of me before but I’m here to tell you that this random object you’ve never heard of either is VERY IMPORTANT and you need to go and fetch it.” Much better was the episode a couple of weeks ago, which was a Wizard of Oz pastiche, or a few weeks before that, a flashback set in a high school for valkyries. Or the classic second season episode in which all the characters swapped bodies, or the episode where characters swapped bodies and also were in a belle-époque alternate universe. The show was at its best, in other words, when it was embracing the tropes or formulae popular in fanfiction. Read more↴

The Official Chart for October 25

It pains me to say that Demi Lovato’s new album is a disappointment. It starts very well indeed with the two singles, “Confident” and “Cool for the Summer,” which are both fantastic, especially “Cool for the Summer,” which I initially thought was merely very good, but has entirely won me over with its bombastic drama. After that, though, the album’s insistence on being uplifting largely gets in the way of it being any good. “For You” at least fully commits with a windswept monumentality that reminds me of some of The Saturdays better moments. Most of the rest of the album is very X Factor, by which I mean its larded with generic signifiers of “uplifting”. This, ironically, shows a lack of confidence in Lovato’s abilities. Read more↴

Serious cynicism

Blunt Talk and You’re the Worst are both shows where the premise depends on our cynicism about redemption narratives. Blunt Talk begins with Patrick Stewart’s character Walter Blunt standing on top of a police car drunkenly declaiming Shakespeare. This sets up a parody of the now-familiar PR-ed apology and public appeal for forgiveness, including a stirring avowal of the importance of journalism (which leads to a staged outside broadcast from a fake hurricane in a porn studio forced to rent out its space because of Los Angeles’s mandatory condom laws’ effect on the porn business) and attendance at alcoholics anonymous (with a last minute switch to Sex Addicts Anonymous for Walter and Gamblers Anonymous for his manservant Harry. “That’s a good idea; you love gambling,” says Walter). But when this sex-addict adventure goes south leaving Walter and Harry mournfully discussing loneliness in a suburban boat, the show reveals that it might be taking the redemption narrative more seriously. Read more↴

The Official Chart for October 18

At its best, Selena Gomez’s new album is absolutely brilliant, at least as good as anything she’s ever done. Selena Gomez has always seemed remarkably poised and careful in her public appearances, which in my mind has always given her an air of melancholy, and the best tracks here express that. The run of tracks from “Hands to Myself” to “Good for You” is particularly good at showing her strengths. Read more↴

The Official Chart for October 11

I hear grime has been having something of a revival recently, but I haven’t been paying a huge amount of attention to it, at least not compared to 2004/5. I remember back then hearing Logan Sama on the radio playing a track featuring Shola Ama and saying something like “Shola Ama on a grime track? This music must be getting respectable.” I guess if Sama’s doing a mix for Fabric, then grime must be getting respectable again. It’s a good mix, too, ominous beats and energetic MCing. It’s maybe, though, a little bit one-note? Perhaps I’m just romanticizing the grime of ten years ago, but what I remember making it so exciting was its omnivorous influences. Read more↴

The Official Chart for October 4

I guess Danity Kane were kind of the American Girls Aloud, in that they were a group that came together on a reality TV show but ended up being way better than that might lead you to think. Danity Kane never had the success of Girls Aloud, either commercially or in terms of their music, which was good but not life-changing. Since the band split, Dawn Richard has been making some great records, and now two other ex-members (Aubrey O’Day and Shannon Bex) are releasing music under the name Dumblonde. Read more↴