Dance Moms: Abby’s Tears and Goodbye

I admit, I didn’t watch Dance Moms last night.  I’m find Abby’s antics a little over the top.  For all of you who love Abby, that’s fine but she’s not type of teacher.  A teacher needs to be compassionate and Abby didn’t have it.  She played favorites and those who were not her favorites knew it.

So surprise, surprise.  My Twitter account had post after post from Abby Lee Miller, Dance Moms jailbird, asking what people thought.  And more surprising was how people were fawning all over Abby and telling her how wrong the moms were to treat her this way.  I was taken aback.  You mean you want your child’s teacher to teach the same thing over and over again and charge you high prices for the same routine? Do you want a teacher who may prepare you for Broadway but not for some of the other dance areas of professionalism?  Do you prefer teachers who put their favorites over giving all girls a break?

Give me a break!  Every mom wants their child to succeed.  Every mom will push for their child to have an opportunity.  And every mother will call out favoritism.  It’s Parenting 101.  So don’t complain about moms unless you live in their shoes!

I want to address one mom who I have always felt was a “good mom.”  Nia and Holly stuck with the show and didn’t break their contract.  They stuck it out through their contract knowing that Abby would never give Nia the same treatment as Maddie, MacKenzie, Brynn, and Kalani.  You notice I didn’t include Kendall?  I’ll deal with that in a minute.  Nia almost lost her spot in the second season but production put their foot down according to sources in Pittsburgh.  Nia remained on the show.

As Nia grew and the move to Hollywood started, Abby demanded to control the girls career which didn’t hold much promise for Nia.  Nia was put in a category by Abby of singing “scat” which is not a popular song style.  Abby never thought Nia would fit any acting jobs and didn’t want to send her out on auditions.  So I don’t blame Holly for setting out on her own to get Nia the support she needed.  And what has happened?  Nia has come into her own with recordings and a movie coming out.

Remember the photo sessions!  This is where I bring in Kendall.  Both Nia and Kendall were all but overlooked at the studio when Abby did the shoot.  Abby even told the photographer to focus on Maddie, MacKenzie and Kalani as they had potential.  She did this where Kendall and Nia could hear her and I remember the girls shocked faces.  Abby said she didn’t mean it that way and took the two out for photos the next day.  Abby, that’s wrong.  Treat all equally.

So to all the people giving the OG’s a hard time, be specific.  The only real OG that was left was Nia and she was always treated badly.  You should stop and look at treatment and attitude before you speak of the girls in a group.  And, forget Abby’s tears.  She certain forgot the girls.

Dance Moms: Abby Lee to Jail We Go

By now, most Dance Moms fans know that Abby Lee Miller was sentenced to a year and a day in Federal prison.  The charge was fraud and her excuses were varied. The real issue is has she learned anything.  Let’s review some instances.

When she made her pitch for leniency, she told the judge that she would love to teach her to dance.  Okay, i kind  of understand why she said this but then she went on and invited the judge to lunch.  Say what!  Are you trying to bribe the judge, Abby?  You would think that after all the comments made about hiding money that you would realize that baldly saying “let’s do lunch” could be some as offering a bribe.

No remorse or acknowledgement of what she had done.  I like the instance best where she said that she didn’t know she was signing  a contract.  She thought she was signing an appearance agreement.  If I remember correctly, Abby uses “contracts” to enforce keeping her winning girls at the studio.  If they leave while holding a crown, Abby’s contract entitles her to a big chunk of change and keeping the trophy.  If she uses contracts, she should know to read everything she signs.

And I will end with the — er — shall I say stupid thing she said.  In an interview with Good Morning America, Abby stated that she was going to think of the 10 months in jail as being on a movie set.  It’s only ten months.  She also plans to read, write a book, and learn Spanish.  I thought she’d also be assigned some work detail like cooking, library work, etc.  Does she think she’s going to a hotel?   Does she even see this as punishment?

In 43 days Abby must be behind bars.  What do you think she’ll do?  What will she say?  How can she live without interviews and “red carpet” events?  Give your opinions below folks!

Television: Summer and the Writers’ Strike

“Now is the summer of our discontent . . .”  Didn’t Shakespeare write this?  As we move to summer months, we are faced with a fall and winter where viewers may become discontented over viewing choices.

It looks like the Writers’ Strike is happening folks.  Now, at this time of year, you may be wondering why it is a big deal.  Granted, the summer isn’t a time when most people worry about television.  Here’s why:

  • People are on vacation or outside doing sports/nature related things.
  • Networks go to repeats or try out shows that they liked but didn’t make it to fall.
  • Shows air that have already been taped.
  • Reality — need I say more with Big Brother looming for three nights this summer!

Yes, it looks like with what I’ve said above that summer is well prepared to survive the writers loss but you have to look beyond the known to the unknown.  I’ve been through one strike before with favorite shows and remember their demise which was blamed on the strike.  Let’s put it this way:

  • If a show is returning next year, production has either already started or starts in late July or early August for September premieres.  The very least is that they get back in a short time span and can begin work.  Otherwise, the new shows could be delayed until November, December, February or beyond.  Can you remember the plot that long?
  • If a show is a pilot that has been approved, very few scripts have been stockpiled to be filmed.
  • If a show has a tentative green light, production may just be getting underway.
  • If the writer’s walk, unfinished scripts stay that way (unless someone crosses the picket line).
  • If the show is a talk show, I hope the host doesn’t belong to the union or at least has writing abilities.
  • For soap operas, I hope that fans love reruns.

And for a little historical background information, soap operas, which in my opinion was holding on by a thread, may be history after this strike  Both One Life to Live and All My Children lost long-time viewers during the last strike.  Their future is very uncertain, I believe, now.

Now a writer’s strike doesn’t mean that it will last for a long period of time.  In fact, it could be very short.  The problem is that no matter how long the writers are out, the creative process and plans are put on hold.  There are benefits for writers being out.  The last time, Joss Whedon did Dr. Horrible Sing-a-Long Blog which grew a audience of itself.  And new shows are born out of creative minds at rest.

I understand that the writers feel they are getting a raw deal.  I’m actually glad they are speaking out about their conditions versus the big wigs and their big bucks.  Unfortunately their walking out means that other who cannot at this time (the camera operators, sound guys, musicians associated with the program, make-up, costume, assistants,and actors) are all out of work.  While it’s not fair, it’s the way of life.  The good thing that may come out of this is that the underpaid people associated with the industry also gets the benefits that the writers are seeking.

Granted, I’m not a television writer although I often thought I’d like to be one.  I have no idea of all the complexities of the business although I have friends who have been or are associated with it.  The one thing I know is that the union wasn’t getting anywhere and felt that they had to take a vote and did.  Negotiations are still ongoing so there is hope.  I just hope we don’t see an influx of reality shows staring people wanting 15 minutes of fame.

Dance Moms: Is It Really Gone?

Dance Moms as we know it may have ended forever after the last episodes filmed air.  The show runners hinted at renewal but if so, who will be on it.  Let’s look at the cast of characters and see if we can determine whether it will return or not.

Abby Lee Miller — left the show in a fit of glory.  She claims to be through and is out marketing herself for other shows (and possibly a gastro-surgery one).  Abby is facing jail time and she wants the minis to be her new group with Brynn as a leader.  Would fans accept this?  Most seem to like the elites (formerly junior elites), but they are have a future ahead of them.

Chloe — Chloe came back but seems to have other projects on her plate.  Would she have time to continue with Dance Moms? Her mom has hinted that the end of the road has been reached.

Nia — the only one in all seasons has started a music career.  She also has huge potential to do other projects and her mother has also hinted that the show may be off her radar.  I think she and Chloe will stick together and both do the same thing.

Kendall — the next longest on the show.  She wants a music career and she is doing some modeling.  Would she return?  Abby hints she already has returned to ADLCLA but it could have been an old video.  And while Abby had that video up, Jill had pictures of their return to Pittsburgh on her page.

Kalani — Kalani has been there for her friendships with the girls more than anything else.  She is the oldest and must make a decision about college/professional career within the next two years.  She has a sock line that seems popular and has gotten into modeling. I honestly don’t think her girls would return.

Brynn — Brynn has made her decision and it is to follow Abby Lee Miller.  She is part of the mini team but the real question is how long will that last.  Time will tell.

Bryan Stinson is being very coy and no networks are saying anything yet.  My guess is the Writers’ Strike may impact all of this.  I guess it is a wait and see type deal.

Television/Movies Writers Strike: Could This Be Happening Again

Have you wondered why we haven’t heard about some renewals or expectations for next year?  Well, I was alerted yesterday by a friend who has a relative in show business as the possible reason.  Her relative writes for television that ANOTHER Writers’ Strike looks threatening.  Not only does it threaten the television industry as a whole but also what we viewers watched.  If you want to read more about the potential of what this strike might mean, visit the New York Times article entitled With a Hollywood Writers’ Strike Looming, Here’s What to Know..

Let me just remind people of what happened in 2007-2008.  This is not in any particular order but I what I recall.

  • When the strike happened, all production on the shows ceased.  Since it was at a time when production was going on, shows either stopped in the middle of a production or had to ask other unions to cross the picket line.  Some actors refused because they wanted to show solidarity for their fellow industry workers.
  • The networks scrambled for programming.  Reality took over.  Big Brother fans remember the winter of 2008 as the year we want to forget.  They came out with a special “couples” edition of Big Brother and no fan was happy.  Coming off the Evel Dick season 8, season 9 was annoying and too soon.
  • Shows like Heroes, LOST, Desperate Housewives, and 24 were caught in the middle of complicated story lines.  Seasons were cut to whatever was already filmed leaving people want more.  To me, this was beginning of both Heroes and LOST good season and the ending of the series.
  • Late night shows returned in January but either had to have a special permit, go without writers, or  have the celebrity as owners.  Of course, this saw a rise in ratings for both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
  • Many shows went into repeats immediately saving the filmed shows for “sweeps months.”
  • Daytime drama suffered the worse.  Many attribute the writer’s strike to the end of most daytime dramas (and I won’t say it didn’t help the shows to end).  While trying to keep their viewers with repeats, the shows often seemed in a time warp that hurt instead of helped.

Now don’t get me wrong, some good did come out of this.  I’m not sure if we would have either Agents of SHIELD or Once Upon a Time if the writers hadn’t had a break.  Plus Whedon became his most creative with Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog.  If you haven’t seen that Harris/Fillon piece, I’d suggest this Writers’ Strike (if it does happen) as a good viewing option.

Will the writers’ strike.  I’m hearing that 51% wants it to happen.  If they do go out on picket lines, it will begin on May 1st.  The 2007-2008 version lasted 100 days.  In 1988, the Writers’ Strike lasted 155 days.  One of the big issues this time is health insurance.  Let’s hope the networks and writers come to an agreement or the 2017-2018 television season may not happen until January or February 2018.

Once Upon a Time: Time Warp Again???

Once Upon a Time had so much happening last night (Sunday, April 9th) what with the Black Fairy and everything but I decided to start with the laugh.  In case you didn’t watch it yet, it’s an episode worth watching if not for anything more than the interaction of Regina, Henry and the Author.  This was so funny, it made me laugh.

First the set up for the section.  Regina is trying to brew something that will end the sleeping curse that has been placed on the Charmings by her evil self.  It’s nice to see her accepting responsibility and admitting to her son false starts.  In the middle of the spell, she decides she needs ingredients from Emma’s shed and asks Henry to go get them.  As Regina runs off a list of items like tongue/tail of newt (not eye of newt), something happens to Henry.  His eyes glaze over and he starts writing in a strange script.  Could this be the “Once Upon a Time” book (by the way, Adam, I want that prop when it’s not needed anymore) or is something happening.  So Regina decides to take Henry to the only person who might know — the Author who is in the hospital basement.

When Regina and Henry gets there, you can see that the Author isn’t happy.  He’s typing away but knows they’re there and is ready for them.  Sure, he’ll help, as long as Regina will pay a price.  What does he want?  The Author isn’t greedy.  He only wants his freedom, a fancy (and high price) sports car and a one-way ticket to New York.  Regina doesn’t want him on the loose, much less in New York, but the Author shuts up but then tells them that Henry’s attacks will only continue and get worse.  Regina relents but the Author wants Hamilton tickets!  Hamilton tickets???  Was Hamilton even conceived in the town time?

This of course got Twitter astir and Mr. Horowitz quickly got online and told the Twitter time police that the episodes we’re seeing of Once Upon a Time is basically 13 months earlier than yesterday’s date.  Thank you Adam!  I’ve often wondered on the timeline of the show but refused to ask.  And yes, there was that time when you did the two year jump while Henry and Emma was in New York, so this news was welcomed.

But back to the story, Regina gets the Author a car.  It’s not his sports car but he will take it and he asks about Hamilton to which she shakes her head.  The Author’s response should go down as a classic.  It was something like:  “Well, I guess there are some things that magic doesn’t get.”  When he rushes to get out, Regina asks him again what is happening to Henry and we get the gist of the story.  The Author tells Regina the only way that Henry will not be affected by visions is if they follow him out of town.  Regina and Henry look confused and the Author tells them to look at the book.  The book is finished.  The story is ended and the battle is going to be huge.

With this one short bridge of story, Once Upon a Time not only gave viewers a chance to laugh (which I did), but also gave us some more background on what is to come.  If you watch from season one, Rumple had told the Charmings that their child would be born to fight the epic battle.  Now, Emma is set to have the fight of her life.  Forget that first foray at the beginning of season two.  That was just the set-up.  Forget the visions because we know visions don’t always count.  Visions are affected by what actually happens.  Now with the Black Fairy around, the real battle has just begun.

What will the final chapter reveal?  Can Henry read it?  And does the Author really think New York will be far enough away to escape a world turning black?  We don’t have many episodes left and the battle looms ahead.  Let’s hope that as this chapter closes, the next will be exciting and the show gets renewed!

Dance Moms: Abby Leaves for New Show?

Dance Moms may no longer have Abby Lee Miller but that doesn’t mean that Abby has left the building. Oh no!  From the posts and interviews last week, we’ve seen she’s been taking pot shots at the producers and networks associated with Dance Moms.  As if that isn’t enough, now she’s going a step further and making plans for her future.

According to a story from Radar Online about her future, Miller is already working hard on getting a new show on the air.  Now, I’ve heard rumors of a scripted series but oh no.  This series would be a newer, fresher version of the old Dance Moms but with a new cast — Abby and the minis.  This has lead me to wonder a few things which are:

  • What about Abby’s legal struggles?  Isn’t she supposed to be sentenced in May? Apparently, she’s not worried about the outcome since she’s in talk with a network about picking up the show.
  • Didn’t she blame Dance Moms with her legal woes in the first place?  If she couldn’t handle the pressure of doing a show, how can she handle it now?
  • Is she going to produce it herself?  Usually a network wants a production company to “produce the show.”  Individuals do not have enough lout. With the way Abby claims to feel about the crew  and production staff of the present Dance Moms, I don’t they they will do any of her new programming.
  • While she may have quit, talent usually remains under contract to a network until legal ramifications (i.e. contract length) runs out.  That is unless the show either buys out the artists or said artists has written into their present contract an “out” clause.
  • She supposedly has already alerted the mini-moms.  Since the minis and their moms were part of the cast of Dance Moms, isn’t there some legal ramifications for her approaching other talent.  If she plans to include Brynn and Ashlee, I’m sure Lifetime has both under contract.
  • What will she call this new show?  She says it will be like Dance Moms but only the minis will be used.  I would think that Lifetime has Dance Moms under contract and that whoever conceived the show has the rights to it.

While I’m not into contractual law with this type of thing I do know from my research in the past that a person who leaves is still obligated by the contract until negotiations finish.  This means that if they expect to be paid for the old show, they cannot openly work or start work on a new show until the details are ironed out.

Only time will tell what Abby is up to but I do know this.  Messing with a network int he Disney chain/family can be hazardous to health.  Disney is a force to be reckoned with and I wouldn’t want to think I was infringing on their copyright.

Once Upon a Time: Have I Mentioned . . .

Dear Once Upon a Time:

Have you noticed something in my tweets and posts last night.  Did you notice how much I dislike Gideon.  Now, I know there is a reason for him on this show and I know Once Upon a Time has an important fight scheduled between Gideon and Emma but please, can’t he have one redeeming characteristic.

Let’s look at the facts.  He is the son of Gold and Belle.  Belle represents pure goodness but when she gets mad, watch out.  Gold is Rumple yes, but Gold has mellowed over the years.  I don’t really think that the evil in him now is the same as it once was.  He has a family.  He found a sort of acceptance.  He has a grandson who knows when he does bad.  Gold deserve a break and never gets it!  Plus he works with his grandson’s mothers – Emma and Regina ( never thought I would type that!).

Now I am still very fuzzy on how Blue managed to lose the baby Gideon.  Maybe next week’s show will clear that up (or maybe Blue isn’t as pure as we thought) but the real problem is that as an infant, Gideon would have had to be taken care of until he knew how to do things for himself.  I don’t buy that Gideon was left in a room alone for the entire time of his life.  So if he was cared for, didn’t he ever experience love.  There is something fishy with the whole Black Fairy thing.

I actually liked the bar and Aesop up until the moment it was revealed that it was a scam to get Emma’s tears.  Note to Adam and Jane — find  away to bring Aesop back but keep Gideon out of the picture, okay.  And what is it about Emma’ tears.   She has never mentioned or been told anything that I can recall in six years of the show that having someone have her tears controlled her.  So Gideon wants her to kill the Black Fairy.  Gideon, my friend, it’s going to take Emma, Regina, Gold and probably Zelena to do that.  Or are you using this as a test?  Hmm!  Never thought of that until I started writing.

Finally, I know the mark of a true actor is one who can draw you into the story.  Another trait of an excellent actor is when they make you hate them so much you boo when they come on the screen.  That’s where I am with the Gideon character now.  Giles Matthey must be one of the best actors in Hollywood because he’s the first actor in a long time that I want to throw something at.  While it’s television I’m watching (and I use pillows now), I’m thinking a pie would make an excellent weapon to defeat old Gideon.

So, to Giles and company, thank you.  You’ve given me something that hasn’t been on my television screen since “24” and “LOST” — a character I love to hate.  I hope that Once Upon a Time does get its renewal and continues their storytelling method.