October 1, 2014
by melissa

Smart ladies love dumb TV, X Factor UK season 11 recap, bootcamp

X Factor bootcamp 1

Both via.

Both via.

Mel B + Cheryl 4EVA.

The dramatics of the 6-seat challenge do not interest me, especially when it results in a stupid sing off where a manufactured group gets in over a real group who has their own songs. I fast forward through most of these shenanigans.

Best secret dialogue

“You’ve got a hard category”- Cheryl
“In what way?”- Simon
“It’s good”- Cheryl

Biggest WTF

An EIGHT PERSON (as yet unnamed) boyband? I hope at least two of them drop out before judge’s houses. I think James Graham and the 14 year old (I don’t remember his name) overshadowed the rest.

Worst producer decision

Not showing us the solo performances of the first part of bootcamp. Those are some of the most exciting performances, and then we would have been more attached to the boys/girls that were cut and reformed into groups.

Best peer pressure

Cheryl harassing Simon after every one of his overs that he needed to get rid of Raign. She prevailed, though, as Simon eventually switched her out for Fleur.

Best throwback to an earlier gif

Cheryl can finally use a straw! YAY!

Worst accessory

Ben Haenow’s tongue ring. Is it 1995?

Saddest moment

The elimination of Overload. Their performance wasn’t great (“9 to 5″ is a bad song for the shortlist, producers) but I was looking forward to them in the lives.

Biggest WTF, pt 2

Blonde Electric’s existence, let alone that fact that they’re through, is totally puzzling to me. Instead of watching their performance, just admire this gif of Cheryl being pretty and doing a great hair toss.

Best contestant that I hope returns next year please please please it would be a good story producers, don’t lose her number

The ever-nervous Kayleigh Manners.

Favorite performances, by category


Emily, Emily, Emily. She sings an Ellie Goulding song WHILE wearing a party dress and trainers. How could this not be my favorite?

I also loved Stephanie Nala’s “Wicked Games.” She should leave X Factor immediately and just get a good producer.


I don’t super love the boys this year (the loss of James Graham to the groups category was strongly felt) but Jack Walton is pleasant, even though there are thousands of dudes at bars singing at the exact same level around the world.

Special mention to Hayden, who did not change the gender in “I Love Rock and Roll,” thereby avoiding my #1 reality singing competition show pet peeve. It is probably why he didn’t get through. Bravo, Hayden!


I will be cheering on Fleur East this year, thanks to this clever cover of “Paper Planes.”


Y’all, Only the Young is THE group to watch.

I’ll leave you with this clip of Stevi Ritchi going shopping with Sarah-Jane, the prettiest presenter in all the land, set to the Austin Powers theme song, from Xtra Factor.

September 29, 2014
by katie

Smart ladies love movies, this week in trailers, September 29, 2014

Movie Trailer Monday


Each week I review movie trailers that came out the previous week or for movies that are about to premiere. Some of these movies I am excited about, some I am mildly curious about, and the rest I make fun of!

Notable movies coming out this weekend

Gone Girl

This movie is getting great reviews which makes me kind of sad that I made my mom recap the book so I wouldn’t have to read it but would be able to talk about it in conversations like I did read it (yes I realize this is the HEIGHT of lazy especially for a pop culture blogger). Anywho I am always excited when Ben Affleck does something good (the dude won an Oscar for Argo and yet I still feel bad about the Gigli years) so good for Ben and yay for Rosamund Pike, may she become a bigger star because of this movie. [I feel the same way about this movie as Katie does, though I got my recap of the book online. I will just never read it--there are so many other books I'd rather spend time with. Also my notes are short this week because I'm moving into a new office and I had like two seconds to do this.-M]

The Two Faces of January, is out onDemand and for Rent

SLLS boyfriend Oscar Isaac stars in this movie with Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst. It looks like a stylish thriller that I will like more for the scenery (and Kiki’s clothes) than the actual plot. [It looks so pretty! And I like Patricia Highsmith a lot. I will probably never remember that this came out and forget to watch it. Oscar is hotter with a beard. -M]

Movies I can’t wait to see in an ACTUAL theater

Kingsman: The Secret Service, October 24, 2014

This movie looks like a lot of fun. I appreciate the production design and the look of it. I also love Colin Firth and there is something amusing in seeing him as a badass. It is based on a comic book which I will try to read and write about at some point once I finish the stack of comics I already have to read and write about for the blog. [Oooohhh it looks really British! My favorite thing. -M]

I won’t go to an ACTUAL theater but will pay for it on Amazon

The Wedding Ringer, January 16, 2015

I LOVE Kevin Hart and Josh Gad and this movie looks like the PERFECT HBO movie. The type of movie that will always make you laugh no matter which part you are watching. I HATE that this trailer gives basically the whole movie away. [I think we will have to watch this on cable together. I want Josh Gad to be famous! -M]

Blackhat, January 16, 2015

I recently watched Heat and I wouldn’t say I loved it but the acting in it was amazing and I was never bored so I kind of dig Michael Mann. I think I will enjoy watching this late one night when I have nothing else to watch. Bonus points for Chris Hemsworth who is dreamy and Viola Davis who makes everything she is in better. [Michael Mann is one of those directors everyone loves who elicits a "mehhhhh" in me. -M]

You would have to PAY me to see it in an ACTUAL theater

Men, Women & Children, October 1, 2014

This movie got not very good reviews at TIFF and now that I see the new trailer I can kind of see why, the dialog and acting in the trailer is kind of terrible.  Also I hate that the title doesn’t have a comma after Women –why don’t you like the Oxford comma Jason Reitman? [I am so disappointed that this got poor reviews. I really wanted to see it! I am sad for JGar. I want her to be on TV again, I decided. Something by the people who created The Good Wife. -M]


September 23, 2014
by melissa

Smart ladies love dumb TV, X Factor UK recap, arena rounds 3 & 4

On this week’s X Factor, we got the final two arena rounds, as well as a few really standout performances. We also had to sit through Kitten/Scarlett Quinn imitating Christina Aguilera, so…

Favorite budding friendship

Cheryl & Mel B are just really effing adorable (even the contestants think so). Apparently the head honchos are pissed at how well they are getting along and want to cause some friction. These are two grown women who have a lot in common. Let them be friends, instead of the same tired sexist crap that you forced with your other female judges. For a start, producers, read this, listen to this or watch this. I am so disappointed that women fighting is encouraged for ratings.

Most annoying (tie)

I do not like Chloe Jasmine as much as anyone else seems to. She’s always posing (she has modeled, of course), and I don’t care how many old videos surface, her posh accent is completely put on.

First, Raign (DA FUH is that spelling) wore the low rent version of Jamie Alexander’s dress from the 2013 Thor premiere. Then she proceeded to talk about herself forever before singing a rather serviceable song she wrote herself. Simon’s eyes looked like dollar signs as he saw her as the second coming of Florence and the Machine.

Best Song Choice

Jake Sims did “When the Sun Goes Down” by the Arctic Monkeys, which was not a great showcase for his voice but definitely showed some savvy on his part. Sucks about the pube-ish facial hair, dude. He’s also the one with the racist rap so I don’t know how much longer he’s going to be on the show.

Favorite Performances

Emily Middlemas did a Cher Lloyd song in her first audition and then managed to make me not hate Coldyplay’s “Yellow” this week. She is absolutely the most current artist we’ve seen.

Janet Grogan looked amazing in her jumpsuit and she killed this U2 song. I would love to see a female rock artist succeed on this show!

Presumed Frontrunners

Ummmm so Jake Quickenden is pretty cute but he sang Jessie J. Generally I find him boring. Poor Jake.

I just don’t respond to soul voices like Lola Saunders’ so early in the competition. She needs to sing some stuff that hasn’t been overdone by everyone on reality singing competition shows. I do think she could get to a good place with proper coaching and modern songs.

There is no question that if she makes it, Kerrianne Covell will be a fan favorite based on personality alone. She would also get a dramatic makeover, which would be exciting to see.

Best Improvement

The show is not showing as many bad auditioners during the arena rounds (maybe only one person does not get through each episode), so there is more time for good people that perhaps we did not see in the first round, or heard briefly. I was always annoyed that I could pick the people who went through to lives very early on each season, because the producers spent the most time with them.

Categories, Ranked in Difficulty and Illustrated With Cheryl gifs

1. Overs

It is going to be difficult to stand out here, with stiff competition like Jay James from last week, Raign, Ben Haenow, Fleur East, Janet Grogan, and Helen Fulthorpe. I’m sure several of them will fuck up completely.

2. Girls

There is Kaleigh… and everyone else! Well this does include Emily Middlemas, Kerrianne the shoegirl and Lola Saunders, the fishmonger who will probably win it all, especially after the producers are kicking themselves for not making Ella Henderson win two years ago (her album is doing great, kthanks).

3. Boys

Many of these boys blend together for me, which is fine since some of them will be pulled for the inevitable boyband. But Paul Akister, Jake Quickenden and James Graham look like locks.

4. Groups

Overload is the only standout here, so if you’re not Overload, I don’t care about you. However, the category only needs one to run away with the competition and the boyband could do absolutely it.

Next week: BOOT CAMP and the six evil chairs of death! SPOOKY!