Saturday, May 30, 2009

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. LXXXII

Quote of the Week: I guess I’m never gonna go to Cleveland. (Mike, Rescue Me)

Big News of the Week: Showtime Does Some Casting: Following last week’s announcement that Alanis Morissette would guest star on the upcoming fifth season of Weeds (which will also feature Jennifer Jason Leigh) as Nancy’s obstetrician, Dr. Audra Kitson, comes news that John Lithgow will be appearing in all twelve episodes Dexter. He will be playing Miami’s latest serial killer, the Trinity Killer who likes to kill in threes, naturally. The fourth season of Dexter premieres Sunday, September 27 while Weeds returns Monday June 8. If your are too cheap to subscribe like me, their latest DVD’s are coming soon, Weeds 4.x is out this Tuesday but you will have to wait until August for Dexter 3.x. Both will also be available on Blu-Ray.

Coalition Links of the Week:
Buzz counted down the top 10 reasons she's keeping her TV on this summer. (BuzzSugar)

This week, Sandie interviewed Amy Ryan who plays the adorable Holly on The Office. (Daemon's TV)

This week, Jace reviewed the full pilot episodes of such series as ABC's Eastwick, FOX's Human Target, and ABC's The Deep End. (Televisionary)

Dan came across this bizarre video of Heroes' Zachary Quinto getting doused with milk. He wants to know what could be done to make the erstwhile Mr. Sylar less sexy in this video. (TiFaux)

Matt isn't good at math, but Edie Falco + a drug-addicted, well-intentioned nurse = must-see viewing of Nurse Jackie. (TV Fanatic).

Greek: I never really understood the all nighter, I always valued a fresh mind from a good night’s sleep as apposed to cramming at the last minute. Granted, I have to admit I tried osmosis on more than one occasion. You can stream current episodes over at You can also download Greek on iTunes.

Charm School with Ricki Lake: I really hate these eliminations where they don’t actually eliminate anyone that they pull on reality shows. And when people leave you can smell the non-eliminations miles away. That is why Survivor remains the best, when they have an unexpected exit, Probst just says no tribal council and that is that. Going through all the pomp and circumstance and not eliminate anyone is just cheap. You can also download I Love Money on iTunes.

Rescue Me: As bad as it sounds, much like Lou I prefer the drinking Tommy Gavin above the sober one. And that bar scene is pretty much the reason why as it is nice to see our dearly departed again. Although Conner got real old real quick. You can stream current episodes over at Hulu.

Rescue Me on iTunes

Free Download of the Week: Absolutely Still - Better Than Ezra (Amazon MP3) - Paper Empire may be the weakest Better Than Erza album to date as most songs are just mediocre pop, but at least the lead single is free.

Deal of the Week: Buy More Lost on Blu-ray, Save More

Video of the Week: NBC launches three new shows this week, certainly everyone is aware of Conan O’Brien taking over The Tonight Show (click the link for an advanced look at his new set) and I will spare you the Spencer Pratt rap for the reboot of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! The other show is The Listener debuting this Thursday at 10:00. Below is a promo:

Next Week Pick of the Week: Royal Pains, Thursday at 10:00 on USA: A decent enough first episode airs this Thursday with a seventy-five minute limited commercial run. Look out for a full review sometime before then.

I will also like to point out Monday June 1st, Dave Matthews Band will be streaming a concert on Hulu. Look for a review of Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King later that week.

Dave Matthews Band on iTunes

Friday, May 29, 2009

Those Calendar Girls Ain’t got Nothing on Me

Amanda Leigh - Mandy Moore

On her 2003 album Coverage, Mandy Moore covered plenty of songs from the seventies-singer songwriter era like Todd Rundgren, Cat Stevens, and Carly Simon which could explain why her latest album Amanda Leigh sounds like it was recorded during that era. And not to discredit her adult pop of her last album, the decent Wild Hope, but the music on Amanda Leigh is better for it.

Songs like Merrimack River and Song About Home float along and could be a great soundtrack if you are interested in a mellow summer lounging on a park bench. I Could Break Your Heart Any Day of the Week is a clap along that is much more fun than anything on Wild Hope (although I wonder what her newly husband thinks about the song being released right after they got married). Nothing Everything follows that trend but is more adventurous with Moore unleashing for one of the few times on the album while everyone in the studio just seems to have fun the longer the song goes on.

Of all of the songs, the one that could have fit best in the seventies is Pocket Philosopher which bounces along with its piano intro, some well placed flutes, and cutesy delivery to the point it borders on a song from a musical. There are a few hiccups along the way; Fern Dell just doesn’t come together as well as other songs on the album. While Everblue borders on smaltzy. Also at thirty-seven minutes, the album seems a little short. But for that half hour, everything can just fade away while watch the summer go by slowly.

Song to Download – Pocket Philosopher

Amanda Leigh gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

First Impressions: The Goode Family

The Cast of The Goode FamilyMike Judge has a pretty impressive batting average when it comes to comedy: Beavis and Butt-Head, King of the Hill, Office Space and Idiocracy (and looking at the trailer, the upcoming Extract starring Jason Bateman will extend that streak). So there were high expectations for his latest animated show The Goode Family that follows a family that try to live the most politically correct way they can, living by the motto WWAGD (What Would Al Gore Do).

Maybe it is that pedigree that makes The Good Family a disappointment, where the rest of Judge’s work can be measured in gut wrenching laughter, The Goode Family can only be quantified by the number of chuckles. This could be because this is the first work Judge has done out of his comfort zone; Beavis was based on people he knew and Hill was in his wheelhouse being from Texas and his work in an office culminated in Office Space, but his attempt in liberal, blue state humor just doesn’t translate as well.

Plus some of the characters seem one note. The family raises their dog as a vegan but ends up eating neighbor’s pets which causes some of the biggest chuckles, but how can they keep that funny in future episodes? Same as their adopted white African-American son (he was white born in South Africa so technically African American). Funny, but where do they go in future episodes? And why, if he has been in America over a decade, does he speak broken English.

The one bright is the first episode is the Hummer driving, meat eating father-in-law (and seemingly right out of King of the Hill) who makes a too brief appearance. Hopefully there is more of him later in the season and Judge finds his comical footing sooner rather than later. If not, at least Extract will be arriving in September.

The Goode Family airs Wednesdays at 9:00 on ABC.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Best Television Shows of 2008-2009

Last year’s television season felt weird because the writer’s strike took a big chunk out of that season and the ripples were still felt this year as there were no new great shows and the shows that had been gone since December 2007 returned to a resounding thud in terms of ratings. And this year is when Saturday is becoming the new Friday with networks running off episodes there after canceling them. But anyways. Here are the best television shows of the past twelve months.

1. Friday Night Lights 3.x (NBC)

2. Chuck 2.x (NBC)

3. The Big Bang Theory 2.x (CBS)

4. Pushing Daisies 2.x (ABC)

5. Tool Academy (VH1)

6. Lost 5.x (ABC)

7. Greek 2.x (ABC Family)

8. The Middleman 1.x (ABC Family)

9. Leverage 1.x (TNT)

10. Survivor: Tocantins (CBS)

A nice even split among the networks this year with cable getting a larger share of the pie this year. Below is a breakdown as well as a running tally of the shows that led in numbers of Quotes and Songs of the Week from my weekly 57 Channels and Best of the Week rundowns:

Quotes of the Week

Chuck (6)
The Big Bang Theory (5)
Lost (5)
The Middleman (5)
Pushing Daisies (3)
How I Met Your Mother (3)
Eli Stone (3)
Pardon the Interruption (3)
Friday Night Lights (2)
Greek (2)
I Love Money (2)
Gary Unmarried (2)
My Name Is Earl (1)
Leverage (1)
Survivor (1)
Ten Items or Less (1)
Cupid (1)

Songs of the Week
Chuck (12)
My Name Is Earl (6)
How I Met Your Mother (3)
The Big Bang Theory (2)
Eli Stone (2)
Tool Academy (2)
Lost (1)
Pushing Daisies (1)
Cupid (1)
Saturday Night Live (1)
Trust Me (1)
30 Rock (1)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fifth Annual Scooter Television Awards

Welcome to the 5th Annual Scooter Television Awards honoring show that aired new episodes between June 2008 and May 2009. Without further ado, here are the winners of the 2007 STA's:

Best Scripted Show: Friday Night Lights

Best Sitcom: The Big Bang Theory

Best Cable Show: Greek

Best Reality Show: Tool Academy

Best Talk Show: Pardon the Interruption

Best New Show: The Middleman

Best Awards Show: 2009 Grammy Awards

Best Hour of TV: Chuck vs. the Colonel (Chuck)

Best Half Hour of TV: The Barbarian Sublimation (The Big Bang Theory)

Worst Idea: Continuing to watch Heroes

Best Shocker: Richard Hatch as John Locke (Lost)

Best Moment: Miles and Hurley debating time travel (Lost)

Best Song Placement: You Got It (The Right Stuff) – Tool Academy

Best Karaoke: Mr. Roboto - Jeffster

Hottest Token Hot Chick:

Yvonne Strahovski after a shower

Vvonne Strahovski in 3-D

Yvonne Strahovsk as a Buy More nerd

Best Character: Sheldon Cooper PhD. (The Big Bang Theory)

Best New Character: Louise Brooks (Gary Unmarried)

Best Guest Appearance: Carl Winslow (Chuck)

Most Entertaining Male Reality “Star”: Matuflex (Tool Academy)

Most Entertaining Female Reality “Star”: Sierra Reed (Survivor: Tocantins)

Most Annoying Reality “Star”: Coach (Survivor: Tocantins)

Best Quote: Well, then allow me to put this to you delicately. You see, men are dogs. They come, you know, sniffing around, barking up your tree. But if they don’t see a kitty cat up in that tree, pretty soon they stop barking. Dwight’s not missing. He's barking up somebody else’s tree. (Emerson Cod, Pushing Daisies)

Show That Should Be Brought Back: Pushing Daisies

Biggest Question for 2009-2010: Will Lost have a satisfying ending?

Write-In for Hottest Token Hot Dude:

Tim Riggins without a shirt

Tim Riggins best man

Tim Riggins and Lyla Garrity

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Feed Your iPod vol. XXX: Summertime

Tomorrow is the unofficial start of summer where I hopefully am able to defend my McGavin family croquet title. Of course the official start of summer comes when I first hear Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. So adjust the bass and let the alpine blast.

Summertime – D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Homebase - Summertime