Saturday, September 27, 2008

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. XLVIII


Quote of the Week: You thought the opposite of loser is community college graduate? (Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory)

Song of the Week: Eye of the Tiger - Survivor (as sung by Earl Hickey; My Name Is Earl)

Big News of the Week: We’re All Screwed: Well at least those of us in America. Then both canidates had a chance to ease the minds of the public but neither did at the debate last night even when Jim Lehrer tried to get them to do it time and time again (five by my count). Bob Barr is looking more plausable.


Coalition Links of the Week:
After one of the more frustrating Emmy experiences in memory, Buzz proposed five ways to fix the show. (BuzzSugar)

Plattie explained exactly why she hates British soaps. (Pop Vultures)

Vance is disappointed with buzzworthy shows 90210 and Heroes so far but is totally charmed by Privileged. (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace took an advance look at HBO's pond-skipping new comedy Little Britain USA, from the warped minds of David Walliams and Matt Lucas. Yes, you'll be talking about Mr. Doggy come Monday. (Televisionary)

She's easy to hate -- the Tim Gunn disrespect, the constant laughing, the hyperconfidence -- but Marisa can't help but like Kenley on Project Runway. (TiFaux)

Raoul talked to Misha Collins about his role on Supernatural. (TV Filter)


The Joy of Painting: I have become so cynical that I see partisan politics everywhere now. Case in point, the last two Bob Ross paintings have been of the Alaskan landscape leading me to think, “someone at PBS is in the tank for Sarah Palin.” Yeah, I need help.


Greek: Finally Evil Frannie is back. I have been waiting for that shoe to drop for almost ten episodes now. And with Frannie looking to get her presidency back should keep the fireworks coming for the rest of the season. You can stream current episodes over at ABCFamily.com. You can also download Greek on iTunes.


Gary Unmarried: Not as bad as the critics would have you believe, a decent amount of laughs in the first episode and I don’t want to go NBA Draft Analyst on you but the show has some upside. But one thing that bothered me is how did Jay Mohr not know Jamie not have a kid? He’s painting her house, how did he not notice the toys laying around. You can stream current episodes over at Innertube.


Pardon the Interruption: I am not one for superlatives, but the Kimbo Slice interview was the best ever in the history of PTI. It was the first time I was aware of anyone swearing during Five Good Minutes and Tony Kornheiser looked visibly scared despite Kimbo being via satellite. Throw in the hateable Dan LeBatard and I had to watch it a couple times. You can download the PTI podcast for free on iTunes.


My Name Is Earl: A solid return after a subpar third season thanks to Earl getting back to the list. Seth Green was hilarious as the Make-A-Wish that Earl stole from him and any show will be hard pressed to come up with a funnier musical segment than Earl singing Eye of the Tiger to his dad when he went to beat up his former neighbor this season. You can stream current episodes over at NBC.com. You can also download My Name Is Earl on iTunes.


Be sure to also check out my First Impressions of The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and Heroes or my First Impressions of Survivor: Gabon.


Free Download of the Week: Chuck (iTunes): We are two days away from the new season Chuck, and you know what that means: more gratuitous Token Hot Chick pictures. For those that cannot wait you can download the premiere for free on iTunes. And for those that do not want to download it, you can also stream the episode on Hulu or Amazon Video on Demand.

Promos of the Week: Three years ago I claimed that the TV Gods were against me because they schedule Veronica Mars and Lost, my number one and number two shows from the previous season, at the same time. And that is happening again this season but this time around it is much easier on account I do not have DirecTV to watch Friday Night Lights so Pushing Daises it is. Here is a behind the scenes look of Pushing Daisies and for those with DirecTV, something to get you hyped up for the third season of Friday Night Lights for those with DirecTV:

video


FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS Season 3 Promo


Next Week’s Pick: Pushing Daisies, Wednesday at 8:00 on ABC: If I am not mistaken, Pushing Daisies was one of the first shows to run out of episodes due to the strike so it has been a very long time since we have seen The Piemaker and the gang. With all that time off it should be interesting to see how they relaunch the show.



Friday, September 26, 2008

First Impressions: Survivor: Gabon


Cast of Survivor: Gabon

The granddaddy of all reality shows is back and in HD for the very first time. I cannot comment on how much better the show looks as I will be watching Survivor: Gabon in SD. And for one of the very few times the premiere has been expanded to two hours. Well, it was basically just two episodes on one night. The show is back in Africa for the first time since the third season which was panned for being not having any color. But this time around Gabon is right in the middle of a rain forest which should look great in HD, not that I will be able to tell.

I loved the opening challenge, having the contestants decide to either go after the immunity idol or help their team get extra rice. Then the same tribe dominated the next two challenges. Yawn. Of course the school yard pick ‘em was completely bizarre with some of the most inane picks ever. It was like people were thinking picking who they would like to vote off the most not who would help them win immunity.

Michelle ChaseIt is never a good sign for Survivor when the hottest chick gets voted off first and really, how dare they vote off Michelle and her exposed nipple and see-through underwear? And couldn’t they come up with a better name for Exile Island considering that they are land locked and there is no actual island. But I do like the new twist that you can choose between a clue and comfort. A change for the not so good was the “coming up on Survivor” before commercial. Hopefully this was just because of the two hour premiere and not a permanent thing. Here are some predictions for this season:

Paloma Soto CastilloMost Likely to Quit: Kelly Czarnecki
Girl Whom I’d Still Have Dirty, Dirty Sex with Even if She Hasn’t Showered in a Month: Paloma Soto-Castillo
Should Be Voted Off Next: Ace Gordon
Winner: Bob Crowley
Back Up Choice: Crystal Cox

Verdict: It is never a good sign that they vote off the hottest chick first or when one team dominates early and Gabon had both. Hopefully the season can turn around and turn around quick. Survivor: Gabon airs at 8:00 om CBS. You can stream the show over at Innertube. You can also download Survivor: Gabon on iTunes or through Amazon on Demand:



Thursday, September 25, 2008

Life Is a Maze and Love Is a Riddle


Lenka - Lenka

One of my many reasons for my displeasure of I Love the New Millennium before the decade was even over is because you need time to get the full impact of the years and to better place things that overlapped years. For instance, in a decade we may look back on 2006/2007 as the year that Apple and the campaign ads inadvertently launched a new musical genre of quicky pop starting with Feist and later including Yael Naïm and The Ting Tings. Australian songstress Lenka could also fit into this category even though one of her songs haven’t been co-opted by Apple (yet, but she has been used in an Old Navy ad).

On her self titled debut, Lenka intertwines breezy pop with light emphasis on piano and drum looks. The highlight of the album is The Show, a hum a long anthem that is so catchy you may find yourself singing it at the most inopportune time. Lenka says about her album that it is a “mood enhancer” and adds, “I don’t like it when people are depressed. I want to cheer them up” and if The Show doesn’t lighten your mood you do not have a soul. Although you got to wonder why she would end the song with a chorus of people sing, “I want my money back.” I got to imagine that is not something you want an audience to sing at your show. But anyways.

Elsewhere on the album Knock Knock is a heart-felt love song that can bring you closer to that special someone. Songs like Dangerous and Sweet and Trouble Is a Friend sound like a long lost eighties New Wave hits. The rest of the album though doesn’t deviate from that formula for better or worse leaving the replay value fairly low. But hopefully on the next album, Lenka can expand more on what could be a winning formula.

Song to Download - The Show

Lenka gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Want My Music Television vol. XXXV


There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I though I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available, if not the link goes to YouTube where you can watch the video in full screen). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.


Love Story - Taylor Swift



When it seems like every pop act is going country it is interesting to see that Taylor Swift is going the other way with the first single off of her second album. This is after they un-countried two songs from her debut album for Top 40 consumption. We will have to wait until November 11 when Fearless, which features co-written songs with Colbie Caillat, comes out to see just how far the transformation goes.


Getting Up - Q-Tip



It has been almost a decade since we have gotten new material from Q-Tip which was much more dance music, but if Gettin’ Up is any indication, the new album will get back to his A Tribe Called Quest roots. The Renaissance comes out November 4.


U Want Me 2 - Sarah McLachlan



I am never a fan of new material on Greatest Hits compilations. It just wreaks of blatant attempts of forcing fanatics to buy the album just for the track or two that they don’t already own, what’s worse is when iTunes makes those new songs “Album Only” tracks. Plus none of the songs (sans Mary Jane’s Last Dance) ever live up to the moniker greatest hit. The same goes for this Sarah McLachlan track from her Greatest Hits which probably wouldn’t crack my top twenty favorite songs by her.


The Show - Lenka



Every once and a while a song just gets stuck in my head and I just break out into that song at inappropriate times and the first single from Australian Lenka falls into that category. And the video is just as quirky as the song the former of which I will talk about in greater when I review the album later this week (if I get around to it).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

First Impressions: The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and Heroes


Three hours of Heroes? Seriously? Last season the show couldn’t hold my interest for a whole hour, forcing me to check out the latest going ons with Midget Mac over on I Love New York. Sadly no Mac around this year, but I was saved from boredom switching over to Monday Night Football in hopes that Philip Rivers would throw seven touchdowns and five hundred yards.

But let us start with shows that do not frustrate or bore while watching. The first being the biggest surprise of last season: The Big Bang Theory. It looked like your token sitcom from the last couple years, maybe a few laughs, unlikeable character and that is just what the pilot was. Yet the show grew into one of the funniest shows on television and the reason way can be summed up in one word: Sheldon.

Week in and week out, Sheldon and his obsessive compulsive ways never failed to entertained and the new season started right where it left off. In more ways in one. Sheldon was still on point with up to four lines that could be in the running for the Quote of the Week. It also left off with the return of Sheldon and Penny from their first date, but unfortunately we weren’t privy the quality of said date. But the return from last season also involved the major plot point of Sheldon being forced to lie which we already seen before.

But thanks to Sheldon and his revolving bends, he made the rehash fresh again. And even Raj and the other guy were entertaining especially the part when they were trying guess put Sheldon over the edge. From the season opener, The Big Bang Theory could be in the running for funniest show on television at the end of the season.

As for How I Met Your Mother, Robin said it best when she said, “Be gross, be inappropriate, be Barney.”

Heroes once again teased me with yet another near death of Osmosis Dude, not once, but at the top of both hours. For the sake of that is good acting, please let him stay dead next time, stop teasing me. Then after nine months of “suspense” the guy that “killed” Fly Guy was actually Future Osmosis Dude. What the frak. The only thing worse than that reveal was flipping right over to MNF to find out Rivers had yet to throw a TD with about five minutes left in the first quarter.

Of course no one ever actually dies on Heroes. Not Osmosis Dude. Not Fly Guy, Not Split Personality Chick. Not the Dude from A Clockwork Orange. But the most egregious was the showdown between the Brain Sucker and Healer Girl. How could both come-out alive. The show is full of major cop-outs, but this one some how became to biggest cop-out of them all. We have seen a twig through the head “kills” her, yet Brain Sucker can take out part of her brain and nothing?

At least Kristen Bell popped back up in the second episode even though I lose a little part of my soul to see her slum it on the show. And she even got some screen time with Weevil. But it was a little weird seeing Osmosis Dude being portrayed by someone who could actually act. If only they would let Weevil do all the acting for him. And with Hiro back with Ando, Hiro is less annoying again, plus watching the DVD that Sulu told them not to watch was the best of the episode. And the African may be the new Haitian.

You can download The Big Bang Theory on iTunes and watch it every week Mondays at 8:00. You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes and watch it Mondays at 8:30. You can also stream both of the shows on Innertube. And since it returned last week you can download Heroes on iTunes and watch it Mondays at 9:00. You can also stream the show over at NBC.com. You can also view all shows on Amazon Video on Demand:



Monday, September 22, 2008

I’m Gonna Love While I Still Have the Time


Learn to Live - Darius Rucker

In a story I broke last week, everyone is going country. But unlike Jessica Simpson and people of her ilk, Darius Rucker, you may know him better as Hootie of Hootie and the Blowfish fame, just doesn’t put on the cowboy boots and ten gallon hat and throw in a fiddle or two hoping to appeal to country fans without going too far away from their pop roots, Rucker has dove head first into his country debut Learn to Live and you even believe when he talks about owning the Best of Patsy Cline.

Just as his first solo album Back to Then was a seamless transition from the frat rock of Hootie into a classic R&B singer, the baritone of Darius is a perfect fit singing in front of fiddles, banjos and slide guitars. And he goes full country where he loses the girl, loses the dog, but that’s okay because there is plenty of whiskey to drown his sorrows. Things do not get much more country than All I Want where he tell the cheating hussy to take the house, the money because, “All I want you to leave me is alone.” That’s some Garth Brooks stuff right there. Also in that vein is the equally entertaining song about drunk dialing, the appropriately titled Drinkin’ & Dialin’.

But Live to Learn is filled with plenty of country music cliche with quicky plays on words like Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It. Then there are more than enough over dramatic songs like It Won’t Be Like This For Long, an ode to a daughter that is growing up to fast (don’t they all) or the even more sappy I Hope They Get to Me in Time, a first person account of a car crash victim. Then there is the title track which sounds like a cast off from a Carrie Underwood album.

It should be noted that the first single, Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It just so happens to be the first top five country song by a black dude in twenty years. Charlie Pride anyone? Remember the good ol’ days when Ray Charles and Lionel Richie could be found on the country charts and Kenny Rogers could be found on the R&B charts before music got so homogenized.

Song to Download - All I Want

Learn to Live gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.



Sunday, September 21, 2008

If Necessity Is the Mother of Invention, What Will Drive Our Ingenuity


Masters of Science Fiction

Like most of America, I missed Masters of Science Fiction when it was actually on television, apparently it ran for a month last August on ABC. It was a spin off of Masters of Horror: Season Two Box Set, a show on a channel I don’t get and has the same premise of taking a short story from well respected writers in the genre and turn them into a short film that fits into an hour of television. The DVD set features two episodes that never made it to air.

The cast is decent with John Hurt (Hellboy), John Locke (Lost), Sean Astin (Rudy), Sam Waterston (Law and Order), Brian Dennehy (William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet), Anne Heche (Six Days, Seven Nights), Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange [Blu-ray]), and James Denton (Desperate Housewives). Only Little Brother lacks a decent marquee name. But the real star of the entire series is Steven Hawking who narrates each episode with an intro and outro of them all giving us life lesson of what we should have learned from them.

The stories themselves are your run of the mill Sci-fi stories like living underground in a post-apocalyptic state, the guy whose memory is wiped clean ever hour, the alien visitors, a robot that can feel, mutants that are discarded into outer space, a Big Brother type society, and machines that get too smart. Most of stories take them too seriously for their own good and only Jerry Was a Man is the only one with a sense of humor about it.

But each stories is at the very least watchable, but only hardcore Science Fiction buff would want to add the DVD, which comes with zero extras, to the library. For everyone else, Masters of Science Fiction would be a decent add to your rental service if your queue is getting low.

Masters of Science Fiction gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.