Saturday, March 06, 2010

Best of the Week vol. XXXVI

Quote of the Week: I have dated a lot of liars before so I usually know how to spot them, but you, you are like the best I’ve ever seen. I hope that you’re lies keep you warm at night. (Hannah, Chuck)

Song of the Week: Kick Drum Heart – The Avett Brothers (Parenthood)

Big News of the Week: Canada Takes the Gold: After the greatest three periods of hockey I have ever seen, I had to take a double take when the announcers that overtime would start off four on four. With the exception of football (who ironically were talking about changing their last week), this may be the dumbest overtime rule in sports. You do not play an hour of a hard fought game and just change the rules. Sure, you can speed up games in round robin or regular season, but ion the playoffs where their nothing to play for tomorrow, you play until someone scores man up. At least we can rest in the solace that America is the best five on five hockey team in the world.

Gratuitous Token Hot Chick Picture of the Week:

Kristin Kreuk coming out of the shower

Free Download of the Week: Pilot - Parenthood (iTunes): For my thoughts on the series premiere, check out First Impressions: Parenthood. For the anti-iTunes folks, you can also download it for free on the Playstation Network and Amazon Video on Demand (see below).

Deal of the Week: Save Up to 50% off New Blu Ray Deals (WWII in HD, Forrest Gump, Black Hawk Down)

Video of the Week: Lorene Michaels has to be kicking himself for not being able to get all the past (fake) presidents for one skit on Saturday Night Live. Although how were Randy Quaid or Joe Piscope not available to reprise their Reagan. I am assuming I wasn’t the only one who had to look up who played Reagan on SNL after seeing Jim Carrey taking over the role. But watching this only makes me wish Bob Dole had been elected president so Norm McDonald would have been included. Oh well.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Lost, Tuesday at 9:00 on ABC: Hopefully the promo monkeys are being extremely misleading because I really hope they were not insinuating what I think they were insinuating. At any rate, it looks like we will be getting a Ben-centric episode and hopefully he returns to form after being neutered by a pre-dead Locke when he took charge of The Others.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Around the Tubes vol. XLI

I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Saturday Night Live, How to Make it in America, The Office, Caprica, and Arizona Dream.

- The hosts this year for Saturday Night Live have been less than spectacular as they seems to be relying too heavily on hot chicks with nominal to no acting skills (I am looking at you January Jones). It only took sixteen episodes, but they finally brought in a professional funnyman to host this weekend with Zach Galifianakis returning to late night after his short lived VH1 chat fest got canceled. Joining him will be Vampire Weekend. Here is a promo (a much watch for the last bit):

SNL Promo: Zach Galifianakis

- Like the new HBO series How to Make in America and do not want to wait until Sunday to watch it, or just want to catch an episode to see what it is like? Well head over to the HBO YouTube page where you can stream the fourth episode Unhappy Birthday for free.

- The Office has launched yet another web series this time entitled The Mentor featuring secretary Erin Hannon as she tries to break into the world of accounting with the help of Angela. Here is the first episode The Pupil and you can find the next couple over at

- For those waiting for the start of James Marsters on Caprica, the wait is over as he will be appearing on tonight’s episode. Here is a sneak peak of Know Your Enemy:

- With his latest movie hitting theaters today, Warner Archives are exclusive releasing Johnny Depp 1993 movie Arizona Dream, also starring Jerry Lewis and Faye Dunaway on their website March 16.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

First Impressions: Parenthood

There may not be a more likeable cast in the history of television than that of Parenthood. On the show you have Peter Krause (Sports Night), Monica Potter (Head Over Heels), Lauren Graham (The Pacifier), Erica Christiansen (The Upside of Anger), Craig T. Nelson (Coach), Sarah Ramos (American Dreams), Sam Jaeger (Eli Stone), and Mae Whitman (Her?). That is as close to a Murderers Row of likeability you are going to get on the small screen. Oh, yeah, and Dax Sheppard (Idiocracy) is also in the cast.

Of course as Potter found out with her last foray into television Trust Me (with the ever Tom Cavanaugh and Eric McCormick), likeability doesn’t necessarily makes for great television if the stories and characters are not well conceived. Luckily for Potter, this time around the behind the camera personal is just impressive including Ron Howard, Executive Producer of Arrested Development, Jason Katims, Executive Producer of Friday Night Lights, and Brian Glazer who was also an Executive Producer on those two shows. Keep in mind those two shows both landed in the top six of The 100 Greatest Television Shows of the 00’s so color me excited for Parenthood.

Parenthood, of course, is a remake of the movie (that was already turned into a television show in 1990) but I have a hard time remembering much about either besides the cast and I think there was some storyline about dumpster diving after a retainer accidentally got thrown away at some Chuck E. Cheese type restaurant. And even then I am not entirely sure if that was the movie or the television show. I really couldn’t even tell you about the similarities between the new version to the old ones aside from the extended family and a nice mix of humor and family drama.

Erika Christensen of ParenthoodAs the new story goes, Nelson, along with Bonnie Bedelia (Die Hard 2) are the parents of four very different children. Graham is moving back with her children to the family abode after running out of money. Krause (married to Potter) is the closest to being a nuclear family of the bunch, or at least that it what it looks like from the outside until his son is diagnosed with autism. Christiansen is the overachiever who leaves her husband (Jaeger) to play Mr. Mom. Oh, yeah, and Dax Sheppard is also a sibling.

After all the advertisings during the Olympics, the show did live up to the hype if not for a few flaws. With a cast this large (fourteen regulars), some characters are going to get lost in the shuffle as the first episode that seemed to focus heavily on Krause and Graham and maybe a line of less to Jaeger and Bedelia. And maybe they were trying to fit too much into the pilot, but storylines seemed to be rush like with the cousins being caught with pot which seemed to go away as fast as it was introduced. Oh, yeah, and Dax Sheppard is loitering on the show somewhere. On the brightside, unless my eyes were failing me, I swear I saw Lyla Garrity somewhere in the season promo.

Parenthood airs Wednesdays at 10:00 on NBC. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Parenthood on iTunes or Amazon on Demand (see below):

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I Want My Music Television vol. LXXV

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought 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 you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Stylo – Gorillaz

So does the lead singer of Gorillaz, 2-D, have to undergo a name change now that they have had a visual upgrade? And I have to say I was a little disappointed that Bruce Willis got the better of the band instead of the other way around.

Kandi – One EskimO

Another semi-animated video (you can check out the fully animated version here), this time from One EskimO for a song I just can’t get out of my head the last couple weeks.

This Too Shall Pass – OK Go

Ladies and gentlemen: the greatest game of Mouse Trap ever. Now if only OK Go could make music that was as entertaining as their videos.

Gypsy – Shakira

What is it about tennis players that make Latin artist want to put them in their video? First Maria Sharapova starred in an Enrique Iglesias video and here is Raphael Nadal (sans his patented Capri pants) moonlighting in the latest from Shakira.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Until We Meet Again

American VI: Ain't No Grave

I am not a big fan of posthumous albums. They almost never work because it is missing what every album needs, the artist vision. This is the main reason why I am most likely going to pass on the upcoming Jimi Hendrix release next week. But the thing about the two albums the followed the death of Johnny Cash is they may be more a Rick Rubin album as much as Cash who has been in bad health threw much of the recording adding only his voice, and three songs of which wrote to the final two album.

Released last week on what would have been seventy-eighth birthday, American VI: Ain’t No Grave is a fitting end to the career of the Man in Black and doesn’t stray at all from the previous American Recording. Cash and Rubin pick songs that manage to sum up Cash’s life of where he has been and where he was going. But unlike the previous albums where the duo choose some songs aimed at reaching a younger demographic with songs like Nine Inch Nails Hurt or Personal Jesus from Depeche Mode, the most recent cover is Redemption Day from Sheryl Crow’s 1996 album, the next dates back to 1970.

The highlights bookend of the album. Ain’t No Grave (Gonna Hold This Body Down), featuring The Avett Brothers on banjo, footsteps and chains, almost matches God’s Gonna Cut You Down from the last album in its chilling effect on the ear. On the other end of the spectrum Aloha Oe, which dates all the way back to 1977, plays as a heavenly tune, with a ukulele taking the place of a harp, where you can see Cash finally in a well deserved white suit and you can’t help to believe when he delivered the line, “until we meet again.”

Song to Download - Ain’t No Grave (Gonna Hold This Body Down)

American VI: Ain’t No Grave gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Fly Like an Eagle

Super Mario Bros 3

There are some anniversaries that make you cringe and that happened a couple weeks ago when I saw someone mention it was twenty years ago that Super Mario Bros 3 was released twenty years ago. Most of my formative years were dedicated to playing that game and to hear that the game was released two decades ago just made me feel real old. But the greatness of the game makes it this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame.

After an unnecessarily silly sequel, the Super Mario Bros. series got back on the right track with the third of the original NES trilogy. Similar to the first game, SMB3 tweaked the game just enough and in the right places like adding more power ups giving Mario the ability to fly for the first time like the Raccoon Suit (granted the Frog suit was a little too silly). As well as adding a world map that gave you more choices in your route to completing the game, not just a straight threw version of previous games.

The world map also gave an element to a new two person version where you could “challenge” your opponent to who goes next if they go over the spot you were occupying by playing the original Atari game Mario Bros. And back in college we would play the old school Mario Bros. most that almost every other game that led to more fights than alcohol.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. CXIX

Winter Olympics: It is sad that the curling competition not just because last night will be the last time we see the Norwegian uniform, but we will have to wait another four years until we get to watch another curling match. Seriously, cannot ESPN find a spot to air some matches? Certainly they could find some open time on The Ocho.

Tool Academy: You know it is true love when your Tool spots a decade old line from a chick flick while sobbing. “You complete me.” To quote Kyle, “Psst, chicks, I don’t know.” And it only took the girlfriends two episodes this season to break out the claws. And did the skinny dippers conveniently forget they had a dude and a lesbian lurking around? You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download Tool Academy on iTunes.

Greek: No Dale and Rebecca scenes this week. Hurfph. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Greek on iTunes

Lost: So Jack has a kid because Jacob never touched him. Alrightly. Naturally the writers played coy with the mother but really there is only one plausible (not that Lost hasn’t dealt with unplausibility), and mommy dearest will turn out to be Juliet. The kid it too old to be Carol Vessey’s and it would be a very long stretch for anyone else (and extremely disappointing if it is someone we haven’t met). But of course, the time for questions is over!

While back on the island we get yet another anticlimactic ending with Smokie turning out to be Claire’s friend. But we do not learn why she was so angry that someone took her baby when it was actually she left her baby unattended in the woods all alone which is why someone took Aaron.

But the biggest smack to the head dumb was Jacob having Hurley leading Jack to some Lighthouse where everyone was once again listed (just how many more places are the names scribbled across the island?) on some dial like apparatuses, only for Jack to smash the mirrors. The mirrors that helped Jacob (presumably) help guide the candidates to the island. Sure, why not? You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Lost on iTunes

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains: I call baloney. For years now, Probsts has been telling tribes that they could not sit out the same people in back to back challenges only to explain away Courtney sitting out two in a row by saying that it resets every episode. Lame. This deprives us from seeing Candice body slam her into the mud. And not to sound chauvinistic, but they really need to incorporate mud challenges more often. And you know it was gratuitous because there was an unnecessarily amount of mud that went up to some contestants knees. The only way it would have been more gratuitous would be if they made them compete in the mud. Maybe next season. You can stream recent episodes over at

Survivor on iTunes