Like a little Music in your Day?

The-flash-logo-600x337; The Flash, By The CW (der.com/wp-content/uploads/the-flash-logo.jpg) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

by,

Suzanne Coleman

Hey y’all.  Just wanted to share this little bit of heaven I came across on facebook earlier.  Take a couple of minutes and listen.  If you like harmony and cute men with deep voices, this is the right click for you lol 🙂

http://www.ew.com/article/2015/03/25/the-flash-actors-sing-joss-whedon-firefly-theme-song

This clip features three of the starring men from CW’s series “The Flash.”  They are Jesse L. Martin, Carlos Valdes, and Rick Cosnett.  It’s a fun TV show with some good twists and comforting relationships based on superheroes, and supervillains.  Check it out sometime!  The last two episodes have been especially nice.  I won’t spoil it for you but the one before last is my FAVORITE 🙂

Man, I wouldn’t mine those guys serenading me sometime…  Hope you enjoy it!

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Taraji, aka, “The Cookie Monster,” to Host Saturday Night Live!

Empire Gossip, framed

by,

Suzanne Coleman

Omg you guys I just read that none other than Miss Taraji P. Henson who plays our favorite girl Cookie on “Empire” will be hosting Saturday Night Live coming up on April 11th!  Omg (I know, I said it again, but it’s soooo deserving!) this live wire will be cracking us up I just know it.  I saw her on late night TV a few weeks ago and she is HILARIOUS.

I know this is one episode of SNL that I won’t want to miss!  I wonder if she’ll be bringing any of her crazy co-workers along with her?  That would be the bomb!  Maybe they could work in a little surprise singing number, or two, for us?  Hmmm, what do you think?  Would you watch that?  I know you would!  Lol!

How about a few surprise guests during the skits?  You know, some pop-ins?  That would be cool!  Maybe some Terrence Howard, or Bryshere Gray will show their handsome selves?  Or how about Jussie Smollett, Serayah, and Trai Byers?  I can’t help it but I want to hear that lady sing some more!  Now, you know if they brought out Ta’Rhonda, that girl can get things going!  Her and Teraji together are like fire-crackers, popping and going off, you know what I mean!  I can’t wait 🙂

Alright fans of the House of Empire, stay-tuned here for all of the latest topics and if we hang in there together you know we can all make it through to the fall when our favorite crazy drama starts back up again!

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Last Night’s Episode of Empire, are things cooling off for the show?

Empire Gossip, framed

by,

Suzanne Coleman

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Hey, are you looking to read about the Empire FINALE?!  Go here:

https://sliceiconic.com/2015/03/19/empires-finale-fist-fights-manslaughter-and-crazy-crazy-crazy/

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It seems that a lot of you want to read about last night’s episode of “Empire.”  I wasn’t going to write about it because honestly, I wasn’t as impressed as I usually am, but I’ll give it a go.

Straight-up, the music on this episode wasn’t very good.  I am not sure what is happening in that department.  They have had some good stuff over the series, mostly “You are Beautiful” and “Drip Drop,” though it’s pretty gross, lyrically.  Some others were also enjoyable.  But last night it just wasn’t there.  When Jamal was singing in the bedroom to Lola with Hakeem, the idea was so sweet, but Jamal just sounded terrible except for about 3 seconds near the end.  I don’t know why they put that into print.  And, Hakeem has a great voice, but we haven’t heard it showcased in a long time now, I’d like to hear him again in a song where his rich, low voice and slow vibrato is highlighted, not just talk-rapping.  And Tiana was missing, again.  That’s ok, it’s just my personal opinion that there is a lot of talent there that is not being utilized optimally.

The show is continuing to fast-forward certain plot lines, leaving us wondering how we got to where we are; they’re leaving out important steps of the stories.  And for others, they are dragging along when they could be simplified.  This is an amazing show with lots of complexities and interesting relationships, and I feel like we are losing out on the potential richness of the experience when they do that.

The show really spent too much time on the Lola story (Jamal’s daughter) this episode.  And it was wasted time.  We didn’t see or hear much of her 2 episodes ago, then she was back on the last episode and there were nice scenes of her with her father, that episode was a good balance and percentage of time allotted to their relationship.  But then on this show, they spend a lot of time discussing how she is becoming an integral part of the family, in both Lucious’ and Jamal’s personal circle.  They talk about how both of them want her to stay with them as their daughter.  We think that she is being added to the regulars on the show and that they are building her story.  But, no.  They suddenly shift gears and she’s off the show, atleast so it seems.  I feel like I’m getting jerked around in this sense.

I did think that Raven-Symoné’s (Lola’s mom) being named Olivia on the show was funny, since that was her name when she played a little girl on the “Cosby” show decades ago.  She wasn’t the best actress but it was good to see her.

The story line with the abusive boyfriend was very good.  His acting was of good quality during the gun scene, but up to that, a bit flat and restricted and I didn’t feel that he really engaged with the audience.  The whole Lucious trying to draw the gunmans’ attention to him by saying all of those things to his family was really odd.  It was good that he tried to save them, but then he didn’t really explain it well to them and they were apparently all too stupid to understand that a dying man did it to save them from getting killed.  Plus, was it all true?  I don’t know, and neither did they, but no one asked, they just assumed he was telling the truth.  Especially with him, that is just crazy…  And they suggested that he was Lola’s father, but no one got a paternity test, no one asked for or offered financial support to the single mother, too many loose ends and unanswered questions here.

I liked where they were going discussing bipolar disorder, how they showed some common reactions to the diagnosis.   Cookie being unaware of the illness, she decided to educate herself.  That was en excellent idea, and a great model for others to follow.  And they also showed Lucious, rejecting the “label” of “mentally ill;” shocking for him, I know.  But this represents how many people might react (though not usually so strongly), and by showing it they can open up the discussion of why there is such a stigma around this and other mental health disorders.  They are medical problems, and people who have them need medical help.  I would have liked to have seen them spend more time going into more depth in these areas on this episode; it would have been very valuable and good entertainment.  But they cut it into short bits and pieces and then it was done with, seemingly.

Another thing about the choppy and erratic plot issues, last episode there was major drama over the conflict between Lucious and his music business rival Billy Beretti, but  on this episode, I didn’t notice any mention of it.  Why not keep a steady course to the plot?  Maybe they could add in a lead writer or plot analyst to ensure that story lines are well-interwoven and characters are consistent with past behavior?  They could have (and probably should have) discussed the rivalry and business concerns at several points during the show.  Especially with the IPO happening, business is business.  They were all concerned about the conflict last episode and how it would impact Empire, then, silence… (hear the crickets chirping?).

The whole IPO thing was choppy and confusing.  They missed a huge opportunity for drama, too, though it probably would have made the show take a turn they didn’t really want.  When Lucious was signing the contracts with his colleague Vernon, his business partner who worked with Andre behind his back to try and get the power from him, Lucious didn’t appear to read the contracts.  They have been portraying Vernon as having a serious grudge against Lucious ever since Lucious murdered their childhood associate.  They have made it seem as if Vernon is only waiting for the opportunity to take power over Empire away from Lucious.  Those contracts were his chance.  He could have given Lucious contracts to sign that he had altered so that they actually gave him power over the company instead of Lucious.  I was really expecting that to happen, but it didn’t.

I thought that Cookie’s character wasn’t as sharp and biting on this episode as she was in the beginning of the series, though she still had some good moments.  The interaction between her and the security expert Malcolm was very hot, so that was well-done.  I like that she is not being pulled into a relationship with Lucious, because we know he’s not good for her.  But they originally had portrayed her as in love with him, and willing to do anything to be with him.  But then in one moment, she is over him?  Unrealistic guys.  That’s not how love works, it lingers on and on, and that was portrayed very well in earlier episodes.  The truth is, the relationship between Cookie and Lucious would be way more interesting and sexy than the one with her and Malcolm.  It would be complex, and real.  At least it felt very real, the way that these two actors were portraying it, up until now.

The scene with Lucious and Camilla, this is interesting.  Apparently she knows that Lucious is sick, but as intelligent as he is, he decides to treat her with no respect and send her off.  What is to stop her from telling the world that he is sick and ruining his dream, his IPO?  Nothing.  Yet, it isn’t mentioned or even hinted at.  Another lost opportunity to build some major drama and anticipation.  They could have written it like he didn’t think she knew he was sick.  When he tries to pay her off, she mentions it, coldly, causally, he pauses, frozen, and afraid, cold sweat breaking out on his brow.  His illness is worsening and the side-effects from his medication are clouding his ability to think clearly and to strategize like he used to.  Suddenly he realizes his mistake, but, is it too late to fix it?

She gets up threateningly, he steps back and stumbles.  Quickly Vernon (who was standing in the room next to Lucious, in the darkness) steps forward and takes control of the situation.  Thinking fast, he asks her what she wants.  She spells out her terms (details to be added later) and they negotiate a truce between them that holds, for now.  Vernon escorts her out, and the scene cuts to Lucious, slumping into his chair, looking like a broken man.  It just takes one mis-step to destroy an empire.

Well that was fun!  🙂

But back to what ACTUALLY happened…  so why did Camilla leave?  She seemed to love Hakeem for real, but then she just left.  Was she afraid that Lucious would hurt her?  It didn’t make any sense to me.  She is a strong, intelligent woman, but in the scene they portrayed her as helpless and a victim, unable to stand up to Lucious by staying in the country.  I can’t picture her like that.  I think she would stay, shove his money in his face and then threaten him that if he messes with her or their relationship again that she will leak his illness to the press or to his competitor Billy Beretti.

The fashion on the show continues to provide a good amount of interest.  Cookie’s well-fitting dress in her scene with Malcolm the security guard was very nice.  Camilla’s outfit was also a stunner.  Hakeem’s white shirt with black designs on the collar was unique and I like unique.  I do think they could pump up the fashion though, I think that too is falling a bit to the wayside lately.  We like our fashion!

I really appreciate that the show addresses important social issues, I’m all for doing that as much as possible.  Having the platform to create change is amazing and that they choose to use it for good, I applaud them.

What do you think, is Empire losing its spark?  Or is it just as charged as ever?  Let me know in the comments!

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YY reports it doubled revenues this quarter

by,

Suzanne Coleman

YY is China’s online social networking, gaming and music platform, similar to our facebook (FB), but with more features and it monetizes user activity as well.  YY just reported great earnings with an increase of approximately 100% year over year.  This stock just may do very well in your portfolio and I recommend that you check it out.

I’ll have you do your own research but its current price (before earnings) was about half of its estimated 12 month price.  Now that earnings are in, I would think that that 12 month estimate may increase.

I would keep in mind that for some reason this well-perfoming company has a bit of an erratic stock price history.  Also, factor in the unknowns about investing in a company in China.

This stock reminds me of Yahoo! (YHOO) back in 1996.  Time will tell the tale.

 

“You’re so beautiful…” omg I can’t stop singing it!

Empire Gossip, framed

by,

Suzanne Coleman

Wow guys!  The last episode of “Empire,” holy cow!  Amazing.  Loved it!  Only problem was it ended without telling me MORE!  Like, what happened to Serayah/Tiana?  She is amazing, PLEASE tell me she is coming back on the show…

And what happened with Elle?  Are they ever going to tell us if the security guard saw what happened?  Maybe that will be part of the whole grand Anika double-cross they mentioned in the previews?  Oooo she is so, ew…

And I figured out why Lucious is still with Anika, before tonight’s episode I realized that it was the whole thing with her FATHER, the doctor, and how Lucious needed him to verify that Lucious was in good health so his big IPO could go forward!  Omg, it sure seems like they just told us that this is why he is sticking with her and giving her what she wants (for now).  Now he needs to open up to Cookie and tell HER that’s what’s going on, otherwise, he is going to lose her forever.  Don’t you think?  Something that good doesn’t come along often, or at all, in life, Lucious, don’t mess it up!

And damn, that Jamal, amazing.  The whole scene at the white party where he is singing HIS song was awesome.  When they were singing the song in the booth, it didn’t sound good, but when he sang it out like that with the crowd, it was the bomb.  I expect it’ll be in all the clubs soon for real.

Check out the video here!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krlxHu6pAA0&spfreload=10

And his scene with his sweet little baby girl, omg, so real.  Loved to see him bonding with her, giving her the security she is going to need with her momma gone missing.  And he is starting to feel what it means to be a dad.  So cool.  So family.

What about the fashion?  Those outfits for the white party, very cool. Definitely not something I see around much.  I like that, stepping out of the usual to bring us something new and different.  The guys jackets were very east Asian or something.  Cookie’s white dress was cool too, clean and striking.

I love that Hakeem finally spoke his piece with his mom, at his dad’s prompting (a very wise man in that moment).  They are now starting to heal the wounds of his abandonment and her separation from her littlest baby.  This is real good.  And Hakeem and Jamal are finally coming back together too, and finding out what brotherhood is really all about.  Love, support, caring.  Even though the two are very different, maybe they have more in common than they sometimes remember.  Their music is their love and their passion, and when they feel that together, they are joined.

Hopefully Lucious can drop whatever baggage he has over Jamal’s sexual orientation and listen to his own advice, love your family, let them be who they are.  It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen though, does it?  I guess that is one of the many things that makes this show so REAL.

Talk to me people, what are YOU thinking?

 

 

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Empire Gossip: Last night’s episode, OOoo the Drama!

Empire Gossip, framed

by,

Suzanne Coleman

Ok guys, so what did you think about last night’s episode?  Pretty dramatic huh?  🙂  So much went down…

You know when they showed the preview last week of Cookie and Lucious MAYBE kissing, I was like, oo-ooh, do you think they will?  But then last night…  Haha, ok, well they certainly didn’t hesitate to get back to business now did they?

I think it’s good, sort-of…  It’s obvious that they have a real connection.  But I think it’s also obvious that he really hurt her in the past, and what the hell was that?  So to be letting him back in now, that is probably going to be a big mistake for Cookie in the future.  I mean, he already showed her what he thinks of her while abandoning her for SEVENTEEN YEARS while she was in prison!  Hel-lo girl!

I think a lot of the women out there know it can be hard to let go of that true love from your past, especially if there is real chemistry, even if he was an ass.  But, hopefully as we get older, we grow and learn from those mistakes and don’t let them happen again.  Right girls?  Um, Cookie?

Now on to some BUSINESS!  Does anybody else think it’s obvious that Cookie will be the one who gets to run Empire in the end?  I know, last night kind of made it more obvious, but it has seemed that way to me from day one.  She is IN CHARGE!  She is the smart one, she knows how to handle people, she knows her music and her artists, and she is clearly a great speaker, as we saw in the episode last night.  All good skills to have to run what is really HER company after all.  And let’s face it, not one of her sons has the skills to do it.  Even combined they don’t.

There is one thing that Cookie isn’t good at, and that is trusting the people she should.  That bit last night about Elle really bugged me, in SO many ways.  Elle worked hard to get clean from heroin and then Anika (what a FREAK) dopes her to get at Cookie to make her look bad.  I mean, seriously, SICK.  Felonious-sick.  And when this happens Elle TOLD Cookie she was clean and Cookie could see that she was clean, I mean, you could tell that Elle was on board with staying clean and working hard, so then why did Cookie just turn away from her so easily?  She sticks by “her man” after all of the crap he has pulled, but the person who has worked hard for her and shown her loyalty, Elle, she just blows off in a second?  That kind of bad decision-making might just turn around and bite her.

I hated to see Elle stabbed in the back like that, not only by her supposed supporter, Cookie, but also by Cookie’s damn jealous rival, Anika.  The show made it look like one of the security guards (I think that’s who that was) might have seen what happened, so hopefully it will come to light that Anika is evil, and Elle can get back into the business she is so good at, singing.

And Anika?  Anika needs to go.  To jail.

What do you think?

 

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Obnoxious Commercials, are They Effective at All?

too loud! image with text for slice, signed

By,

Suzanne Coleman, MD, BS social psychology

It seems that the advertising community has decided that screaming at the audience increases sales, but does it really?  I wonder what the research shows on this.

What I have read actually shows that the best way to get and hold someone’s attention, besides actually saying something they want to hear, is to whisper.  Screaming is not whispering, so why are they doing it?

Besides screaming, they have added random loud noises with no real rhythm or melody.  Do they think that everyone has ADD (attention deficit disorder)?

Another prevalent ad technique which doesn’t make much sense is when the presenter is talking really fast, and the speech is edited to eliminate the normal pauses in conversations.  It’s really hard to follow this and again I wonder, is there actually any research that shows that this leads to sales?  I would think that the basis of any sales would be getting the consumer to listen to what you are saying to them, but maybe I am wrong about that.

When any of this noisy distracting craziness is going on, I simply reach for my remote, and hit my favorite button, “mute.”  Ah, that’s better.  Am I the only one?

What about the bright white backdrops they are using so often these days?  With the new backlit televisions, this just blinds me, am I alone?  I literally block the screen when those commercials are on.  Is that effective marketing?

So conversely, what are the best commercials?  Well, in my opinion, the ones that are enjoyable.  Now I know I am not alone on this when I say that the ones with the best music are at the top of the list.  Add to those the ones with interesting and enjoyable visuals and you have my top characteristics of TV ads that hold my interest.  These tend to be things like high-end car ads, some other car ads, Target ads over the last few years or more, some Apple ads, and others.

So I want to know, is this an age thing?  Maybe a cultural background issue?  Or is it just that advertising executives are making the wrong choices when it comes to really getting their audience to sit, watch, and listen to their ads?  I wonder what the research shows.

What do YOU think?

Please add your voice in the comments (see the link at the top by the title, or below).

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