Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Worst of 2012

2012 like any year included lots of duds, annoyances and just plan BAD stuff. Here's what comes to my mind:

Worst Movies of 2012 - We Need To Talk About Kevin, Avengers, The Cabin In The Woods, To Rome With Love, The Dark Knight Rises
Worst TV - Except for Top Chef and At The Actor's Studio, BRAVO has the absolute worst television with shows like the Real Housewives and a load of reality shows about unpleasant, self absorbed rich people. Then there's the TV staple, the Sitcom. Once a funny, charming and even relevant diversion, the situation comedy has become a half hour of insult comedy and toilet humor. Even Modern Family and The New Normal are beginning to unravel so early in the game.
Biggest TV Gripe - The Side Bar - On reality shows - even the good ones like Top Chef, Survivor and Amazing Race - there is this annoying thing they do. You all know what I'm talking about. As the program unfolds, the people participating are seen commenting on their actions expressing their feelings etc. What bugs me to no end is the vapid comments that actually result in a redundancy. We can see what is happening. Why do we need the characters to comment in an "off scene" shot on what we just witnessed. I HATE THIS PRACTICE!
Bad "Music" I witnessed in 2012 - Taylor Swift, Justin Beiber, Rod Stewart, Meat Loaf, the singing in the Les Miz movie, the singing on The Voice
Worst Food -  Pino's in Orchard Park, Casa di- Pizza in Buffalo, Wasabi in Buffalo, Joe's Coffee Shop in NYC 3rd Ave & 16th St., Popeye's on W. 14th St. Taco Bell on W. 14 St.
 I will avoid listing any Hamburg eateries. I live in this town. I am so tempted. Let me just say that Hamburg has some terrific places to eat. Of course, it also has places to seriously avoid. And these few places would be surprised on how they are viewed. But I will not mention them here. Just to tease with this remark - some upscales are a fraud.
As for groceries: Feel Rite has the worst produce. Walmart's fresh produce is inconsistent but meats and all other groceries are great.
Theatre in Buffalo is a joke. I have sampled all major companies and find therm amateurish. My biggest complaint is the sameness of it all. MusicalFare, BUA, O'Connell & Company and a few others I will not mention for personal reasons cast the same actors IN EVERYTHING. I dropped my subscription to MusicalFare & BUA because I couldn't take another play with John Fredo, Lisa Ludwig, Marc Sacco and many others. Same Same Same in tone, in style in performance AND what's most unforgivable - this practice of casting the same handful of actors produces a lot of miscasting. I remember a year or so ago seeing "Man Of La Mancha" at MusicalFare. The production was awful - much of it due to the miscasting of John Fredo in the title role AND worst of all - Lisa Ludwig as Aldonza. Aldonza is supposed to be a very sexy SPANISH beauty. The role requires exceptional singing. Check out the Broadway cast album. Here was Nordic Lisa Ludwig in a blond wig playing YOUNG Spanish spit fire Aldonza The Whore. Miss Ludwig is not a singer! It was laughable. Although I did not laugh at the time. I was just so pissed. By the way, Lisa Ludwig is married to Randy Kramer Artistic Director for MusicalFare. Could this be why Miss Ludwig is in so many of the shows? Which brings up this issue. It seems these frequently cast actors all seem to be in some sort of clique. One gets the feeling that they have joined hands and pick projects for each other. In other words, they are playing out their fantasies of big time Show Biz. The truth is what they are really participating in is  community theater AND trying to pass It off as professional. What's troubling is that the local press has agreed to join in the fantasy and report and review this shit like it is serious professional theatre. It is pretty outrageous.  
 Then there was Cabaret also at MusicalFare with middle aged, paunchy John Fredo in the role of the decadent MC. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The actress playing Sally Bowles had this pretty little soprano voice and acted like a Miss America contestant in the talent competition.
BUA's plays lack any real production value. They do far too may campy plays and they do them badly. Let me conclude this rant by stating that these city theater companies' ticket prices are unreasonably high. I would also add that they all paper their houses due to low attendance. Yet they continue to receive corporate support so they can go on with their game of LETS PLAY THEATER.
Retail To Avoid - Sears for poor customer service, Radio Shack in Hamburg for ineptitude 
Coffee - I like Great Harvest in Hamburg Village BUT they need to serve hot coffee. Their coffee is ALWAYS tepid. I still prefer GH over Comfort Zone. Although their food is good, their wait staff leaves much to be desired. They need to be reminded that they work at a place called the COMFORT Zone.
Random thumbs downs - The Roundabouts in Hamburg are pretty BUT they do not improve traffic flow. Drivers are still unsure of roundabout etiquette. The abrupt pedestrian crossings at the roundabouts are dangerous. Why not place them farther down from the turn offs.
Thumbs down also to relocating the Hamburg Rocks The New Year to the municipal parking lot. The first year it was GREAT with the streets closed to vehicular traffic and the shops and restaurants all open and music on the street -  people everywhere. WHY, HAMBURG, DID YOU CHANGE THIS?
 My final thumbs down is to VBAC in Hamburg for their failure to support or sponsor the arts. AND LET ME SAY HERE AND NOW, THE MUSIC FESTIVAL IS NOT THE ARTS. We know why VBAC supports The Music Festival. By the way, the reason for their support and sponsorship of this festival is why I say it is not in the category of the arts. The musicians who participate, however, are artists.
Trends - I love texting. Its efficient in so many ways. What annoys me is the constant addictive texting that is so prevalent. I mean, people you are with are texting as they interact with you. It is so rude. What is really bad is that the texter feels it is perfectly OK to behave this way. I see people at tables in restaurants not talking - they are texting, heads down, fingers going - no one who is present is talking to each other - they are all texting someone who is not with them. Why don't they just go be with the one they are texting. Why isn't that person with them at the table?
Why do we all abuse technology so terribly?
Let me conclude this rant filled post with a BIG THUMBS DOWN  to the 2012 political campaigns especially the presedential one. Whatever side of the aisle you are on, let us all agree the run for presidnt was PAINFUL, UGLY, SHAMEFUL AND SCARY.
Negatives to Positives - employment, spending, abolish DOMA, lose weight America, live and let live
 America, end your love affair with guns.



  1. I noticed you didn't mention the Kavinoky but they are guilty of the clique, sameness of the actors they use. I am so sick of seeing Lisa Ludwig that I won't go to a show that she's in even though I get free tickets!

    1. Submitted by Anne Antes: I agree with most of what you wrote, but remember I have been around longer than you have. Hate those roundabouts

  2. Submitted by Gary Hosking: Enjoy your blogs!