Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Myrtle Snow: The Best... Ever? -- By Matty Jacobson

Since 2009, The Skewed Review has given its opinion on films, music, iPhone apps, legislation, presidents, clothes, marathons and everything in between. But we're breaking new ground today as we review a character from a television show. 

Many shows have warranted a nod from us, but few characters housed within those shows have been striking enough to garner a column dedicated wholly to him or her. 

And when it comes to "striking," nobody holds a candle to "American Horror Story: Coven's" Myrtle Snow ("I've got a book of matches in my pocket Fiona, and I'm just dying to light this fire").

Played by Frances Conroy, Myrtle's great quotes ("Mothballs and history. It's a cocktail I swoon for!") aren't the only thing that make her the sleeper star of "Coven." Her badass fashion sense and shocking red hair round out the perfect witch who's a decadently divine combination of mystery, snark and fabulousness. 

And when it comes to hair, as Myrtle puts it, "Oh little bird, I've been buying in bulk from North Korea for years!" 

Myrtle is just one of the many witchy opponents to Jessica Lange's Fiona Goode, who is everyone else's favorite spellcaster. But Myrtle's special kind of vengeance for all things Fiona -- portrayed through dry dialogue, minimal facial expressions, and a dangerous melon baller -- bring the icing to the already delicious cake that is "Coven." 

Whether she's playing an instrument (a theremin!) or commenting on the decor ("I'm just mad for tartan!"), we're always on the edge of our seats waiting for Myrtle's next appearance. 

What does the rest of the season have in store for our favorite fiery ginger? It won't matter if she goes down in flames (again), she'll still be our favorite thing to come out of the "Horror Story" franchise! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

American Horror Story: Coven - By Matty Jacobson


It's not often I get really into a show that isn't already off the air. More often than not, I'll get hooked on a show because it popped up on Netflix, and then I'll usually just binge-watch through however many seasons are available.

There were other shows I started watching that I fully intended to keep up with. "Once Upon a Time," "Scandal," "Revenge" and "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." are just a few examples. I don't know if I just lack the attention span to stay with a show when I have to wait a whole week between airings, or if TV just ain't what it should be, but shows that follow a story arc just don't seem to be my cup of tea.

Except for "American Horror Story: Coven."

The first season of "American Horror Story" did what this season is doing for me. It lassoed me in with historical mysteries, gore and the paranormal. The first season even gave me nightmares! Suffice to say, I felt like I would be in it for the long haul.

It didn't hurt that AHS creators planned on starting a new horror story each season. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for "American Horror Story: Asylum."

What a downer. Last season was muddled and confusing, had hardly a real scare, and lacked any of the big historical mysteries that season one offered (such as the Black Dahlia nod).

So I was a little reluctant coming into the third season. But, as more was revealed about what "Coven" would entail -- witchcraft, New Orleans, Delphine LaLaurie, Marie Laveau -- my anticipation became insufferable.

I took a trip to New Orleans last year, and have since been fascinated with the place and its incredibly spooky history. So I hyped myself up for AHS's new season -- something that usually sets me up for disappointment.

But "Coven" has yet to disappoint. I've even entertained the idea that "Coven" should have another season. I'm that invested.

And of all the wonderful, grotesque, evil, lovable, hatable characters, there's one I just can't get enough of: Francis Conroy's Myrtle Snow. How can I begin to describe how much I dig her? She's got the best lines in the whole show (when asked how her burned-off hair grew back so fast, "I've been buying in bulk for years!" Myrtle responds), but her fashion sense is off the charts.

And the woman's got serious style. She was super concerned about the witches who left Salem hundreds of years before because they had to travel all that distance without a bidet. What class!

I am team Myrtle all the way.

I am going to be so sad when this season ends. My biggest fear: How will "AHS" top this season? It will definitely be a challenge.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gaga & Xtina's "Do What U Want" - Matty Jacobson


Lady Gaga has certainly been making the rounds when it comes to her single "Do What U Want." She and R. Kelly have been seen grinding on stage at both "Saturday Night Live" and the American Music Awards.

However, she's also sang sans Kelly across the pond with an additional verse not heard on the single from her recent "ARTPOP" album. And on the most recent episode of "The Voice," she teamed up with Christina Aguilera for that rendition for her American audience.

I wouldn't call myself an Xtina fan. But there's something about the two of them on stage together that made me just a little bit giddy. When Gaga first jumped on the scene, she was getting compared to Christina left and right. So to see them taking part in a duet was almost surreal.

But it made me happy. Oh lordy, did it make me happy. In fact, I think I'll buy this version on iTunes. I kind of wish she'd do a studio version with Xtina with that additional verse.

That additional verse, by the way, is still hard to make out. Does anyone know how to translate Aguilera's singing voice?

The costumes, by the way, are a big plus. I can't get enough of that '70s glam look. Here's hoping the trend continues!

I hate "The Voice," but I loved the performance.

Here's the clip in case you missed it.