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.

Once Upon a Time: Redemption for Regina

Once Upon a Time did an amazing thing in the episode of March 26, 2017.  I would have written this earlier but the Dance Moms real-time drama got in the way.  In this chapter of the Once Upon a Time story, we were allowed to see one of its original evil characters redeem herself.  My eyes watered.  I cried buckets because the redemption theme came through at a most appropriate time.

Regina has been moving toward goodness since season three of Once Upon a Time.  She just hadn’t learned one important lesson.  Regina has moved to acceptance that her son, Henry, wouldn’t accept her using the evil magic against her enemies (his biological mother and grandparents).  She has moved to acceptance that she could be friends and work with Emma to raise their joint son, Henry.  She has even accepted that she could be part of the extended family of Henry that included Snow and Charming.  Heck, she even has accepted Snow as a friend and confidant.  Regina’s biggest move though is allowing her sister in.  While they’re still not close, they have a bond which is shaky at best. She accepts Zelena but hates that she has Robin’s child.

Regina though has never forgiven herself for her past actions.  She has never really seen herself as being worthy of the love that is shown her because of the things she had done to hurt those offering the love.  By opening her heart, she saw that people could accept.  The last step was accepting herself.  She tried to do this by separating the Evil Queen into a new entity and getting rid of her.  Well, we all saw what that did and Regina quickly came to the same conclusion.  The fight was inevitable.

When the two Reginas met in their final battle, we knew that only one could survive.  I knew that it would be the one with goodness show.  Yet, the show took it a step further and made Regina spare the life of her counterpart.  Then they took it one step forward.  Regina shared her “goodness” with her twin.  This was the ultimate act of acceptance.  Regina not only accepted the good in herself but gave some of it to her counterpart taking some of the darkness from her.  Regina can once again be a real person who has both set of feelings.

This is part sets up so much for the future of the show if Lana Parrilla renews her contract.  With her now accepting who she is, and having a working relationship with Emma, they can find common ground.  This show has always needed the two to work as one.  Now  that chance is offered.  These two can nurture/shape a future where the evil that comes to Storybrooke can be defeated.

In many ways, I have thought of this show being similar to Narnia.  I can’t pigeon hold Regina though as Susan to Emma’s Lucy though.  If you make it through all seven books, you will understand why.  I won’t give that away here.  That’s a post for another day.

Dance Moms: Well, well, well — Cheryl in and Abby Out?

Dance Moms always makes interesting reading — especially at 5:15 AM when I start my day.  It’s not every day that I find a most intriguing story in my inbox and then step back and go Wow!

This morning’s surprise dealt with the arrival of none other than Cheryl Burke as the replacement for Abby Lee Miller.  In case you don’t remember her, she did Dancing with the Stars and won two mirror trophies.  According to Jared Online (article here), Cheryl will lead the team during the final four episodes.

Abby has had a love/hate relationship with Dancing with the Stars over the years.  Who can’t remember her infamous stint behind the judges table and the instructions she gave Maks.  Remember this interview Abby’s Entertainment Weekly Interview and his comments to Maks.  Of course, there is always Derek Hough and Mark Ballas’s comments from ABC News (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBJDjM_S71o).  By the way, I love YouTube for finding this stuff!  I don’t remember that Cheryl made any comments but the guys were very vocal.  Granted, Maddie Ziegler has danced on the show but not as a contestant.

Now, reports from People say that Abby didn’t know that she had been replaced.  I have to ask this though of Abby.  To me, if you say in a post on social media that “I quit” or “I will no longer be associated with a show,” what did you expect to happen?  Did you expect episodes to be cancelled?  Did you expect that you were not replaceable?  I know you told that to your students but always thought you believed it yourself.

Unless Abby owns the show, she doesn’t control what the network does.  The show is shown on LifeTime and shows Collins credit.  To me, this means they control who does and who doesn’t perform on the show.  If Abby really did quit, she should have expected to be replaced.  If this is all a ratings ploy conceived by Abby and the producers, well, I think they’re in for a surprise.  People are tired of Abby’s hysterics and the fans are tired of the abuse.

Dance Moms: Abby Has Left and Other Matters

Dance Moms has once again cause a stir with the filming of a “season finale.”  While I don’t have all the details, I just know that the competition this weekend seems to have been filled with drama that has spilled out in every direction.  Twitter went hay-wired Sunday night while I was trying to watch Once Upon a Time. Let’s look at some details, shall we.

According to every major news outlet, Abby in an Instagram post quit the show after the awards ceremony on Sunday, March 26, 2017.  Here’s a link to one of the articles (http://tvline.com/2017/03/27/abby-lee-miller-quits-dance-moms-full-statement-jail/).  If you read her Instagram note, she not only slammed the show and the producers but she also took all the credit for the girls achievements and successes.  Well, after watching the show and following the girls’ careers, I know of at least one pupil of Abby’s who has made her own path — Nia.  She never had Abby’s support. (Remember the head shots Abby wanted.  Maddie’s, MacKenzie’s, and Kalaini’s she oversaw on camera while basically telling the photographer that they were the only ones who would make it.  I said at the time and do again today — “Hey Abs!  What about Kendall and Nia?”  Those poor kids overhead the whole conversation.)  Nia and Holly found a new road to take and know Kendall and Jill are also.

Brynn and Ashlee now have announced that they have quit the show.  Hmm!  I remember some tweets from yesterday that stated otherwise.  The link to her departure is:  http://radaronline.com/videos/ashlee-allen-brynn-rumfallo-leaving-dance-moms-abby-lee-miller-departure/.  So was Ashlee “shown the door” (as stated in her tweet) or did she really quit?  We’ll probably never know the truth about that one!

It seems much comment on Twitter appeared because of the Original Girls  costumes and routine.  Yes, it was mature costumes and yes it was a more mature number.  And yes, I saw the leaked link on it!  The costumes are very Chicago-ese which means basic in theater talk.  The girls are now seniors which means little girl costumes no longer are acceptable.  And while many have complained that the moms allowed them to dance in this dress, I would remind those who are complaining that Abby dressed them in the same type of costumes for a Chicago number back in year two or three of the series.  If we want to be more specific, there is one number that got pulled entirely from season two’s dvd and rebroadcast because of the uproar of the costumes.  The girls looked nude on stage.  So if it is acceptable for Abby to do this, why can’t teenagers dress appropriately for a dance.  In other words,  don’t throw stones without thinking of the past. Better yet, don’t give Abby Lee Miller a green light while condemning others.

I can guess much more went down than has appeared in print.  I think it’s time that Dance Moms moves on and gives the ones known as the “Original Girls” the opportunity to show us where their careers have gone.  Last June, one of my first posts was   “Dance Moms: When It’s Time Say Enough.”  I think Abby has given us enough before any drama from Sunday occurred.