Saturday, May 14, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 5/14/11


The Killing: Now that is an ending, I finally was able to pick up my jaw around the time the “next on” segment came on (which sort of implies the FBI are not an important player as the situation is never addressed). I was a little disappointed that Richmond’s wife’s death was just a drunk driver; I was expecting something seedier when people were comparing it to Rosie’s death. At least they are finally moving away from the teacher (who has lawyered up twice now, yet they have not drug him in for official questioning yet) and onto his buddy. You can download The Killing on iTunes.

Chuck: When Vivian called Chuck to tell him that he would see someone close to him suffer I was chanted please be Morgan only to be shocked that it turned out to be Sarah. Of course it will turn out that Vivian just doesn’t have it in her to kill somebody which is why the does she gave to Sarah will not be fatal. And let me go on record that the “Oh boy” twist ending is Sarah is pregnant. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Chuck on iTunes.

How I Met Your Mother: I actually thought the big plan was to put the lion’s head on the new GNB building, but I guess it works better in Barney’s bedroom. You can stream recent episodes over at cbs.com. You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

The Event: I love how the acting president ordered air strikes on American soil and only one dude walked out of the Situation Room. Isn’t that grounds for impeachment? Although I guess Martinez already did that this season. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Event on iTunes.

Castle: Just in case people would not get the obvious Donald Trump homage with the sleazy hotel owning, pageant runner, they just had to put a bad wig and eyebrows on Michael McKeon. What, was Darrell Hammond too busy? You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes.

Survivor: Redemption Island: I hate the episodes that push a contestant so hard as if they are going to be voted out because the editors are trying so hard it becomes obvious the person they are targeting is the person that will end up winning immunity much like Ashley this week (it is not a good sign of the quality of this season that after thirteen episodes I actually had to check to see what her name was). You can stream recent episodes over at cbs.com.

Survivor on iTunes


Modern Family: I wonder what the over / under is for the number of times we will ever see that dog again. 1? You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Modern Family on iTunes


The Big Bang Theory: When I heard this episode was about Howard’s mom in the hospital I thought maybe we would finally get a glance at her. Silly me. I wonder if we will see her at the wedding. You can stream recent episodes over at cbs.com.

Community: So is Annie going to kiss a new group mate every season finale? It was Jeff last year and Abed this year. Thankfully the show has been renewed for a possible Annie / Britta make out session next season. But it is a shame that they could not switch this episode with last week’s because the spaghetti western motif was much better than the Star Wars theme. You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Community on iTunes.

Outsourced: Of course just hours after launching my Save Outsourced campaign, NBC had to go and cancel the show. Oh well. At least we got to see Gupta and Charlie serenade a horse before it rode off into the sunset. You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Outsourced on iTunes.

Friday Night Lights: Oh snap, that Julie getting confronted was painful to watch. But at least there were plenty of great scenes featuring Billy Riggins, Luke rapping, Buddy Jr.’s lipstick, the desk clerk, and Tink’s movie festival. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Friday Night Lights on iTunes


Friday, May 13, 2011

Best of the Week - 5/13/11


Quote of the Week: Success is not a goal, it’s a byproduct. (Coach Taylor, Friday Night Lights)

Song of the Week: Let’s Stay Together – Al Green (as sung by Gupta and Charlie, Outsourced)

Big News of the Week: Save Outsourced: Ever since the internet saved Chuck a couple years back there has not been a good save this show campaign, maybe because there has not been one worth saving. But let me make a case for Outsourced. Sure it is not the funniest show on television (I’ll let Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, and Community battle for that title) but it may be the most consistent. Diedrich Bader is good for an absurdly funny moment every episode. Anisha Nagarajan (Madhuri) may not talk much but has some of the funniest reaction shots currently on television. But the MVP of the show is Rizwan Manji who play Rajiv is the comic foil to everyone at the call center (and multiple butts of their jokes) who would rule with an iron fist, but is only the assistant manager but pesters the manager like he is Wile E Coyote and Todd is the Road Runner.

But who cares about quality, Outsourced is worth renewing by the numbers. It was the network’s highest rated new series. It also pulled in higher numbers than the already renewed Parks and Recreations in the post-The Office timeslot and comparable ratings to the already renewed Community in a less comedy friendly timeslot. Plus Outsourced did it will very little help from the NBC PR team like those already renewed. And NBC should not forget other lowly rated / critically ambivalent freshman series like Cheers, Seinfeld, The Office, and Parks and Recreation. And the network should not bank too much on big names like Christina Applegate (*cough*Paul Riser*cough*) and the last time they won bidding wars like with Chelsia Handler include J.J. Abrams and Aaron Sorkin which turned into one season wonders Undercovers and Studio 60. Outsourced may not be the sexiest choice to remain on the NBC schedule, but it may be the smartest. So renew Outsourced.

Gratuitous Token Hot Chick Picture of the Week:

They are not going to kill off the Token Hot Chick are they?


Free Download of the Week: Booker T created the most recognizable instrumental in pop music with Green Onions and he has a new album out and you can get two different songs for free. Over at Amazon MP3 you can get Progress featuring Yim Yames (the solo alias of Jim James from My Morning Jacket) while at iTunes you can download Representing Memphis featuring Matt Berninger and Sharon Jones.

Deal of the Week: Over 1,500 Albums $5 Each Through May: With that many discounted albums, I thought I would highlight four more digital albums you can get for the great price of $5 including Taylor Swift, Sara Bareilles, The Pharcyde and Huey Lewis and the News.



New Album Release of the Week: Rome - Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi

New DVD Release of the Week: ESPN Films 30 for 30 Gift Set Collection, Volume 2

Video of the Week: Last summer ABC debuted its guilty pleasure Pretty Little Liars which will return for its second season one month from today at 8:00. Premiering right after it on Tuesday is new show The Nine Lives of Chloe King. It stars the new guy from Friday Night Lights and the chick from Caroline in the City not named Lea Thompson. Will it be as good of a summer diversion as Pretty Little Liars was last summer? Check out a promo below to see for yourself if it has potential.

video


Bonus Video of the Week: Also debuting this summer on ABC Family and starring the chick from Caroline in the City that actually is named Lea Thompson will be Switched at Birth. Constance Marie and Friday Night Lights’ Joe McCoy also star. Though not explained in the promo below, hopefully they explain how a Hispanic took sixteen years to realize that her redheaded daughter isn’t really hers. Or how the WASP’s did not figure out that their Latina daughter did not come from their loins. Switched at Birth premieres Monday June 6 at 9:00.

video


Next Week Pick of the Week: Chuck, Monday at 8:00 on NBC: After two uneven seasons, I will not be completely upset if Chuck does not make it onto NBC’s schedule next fall which will be announced just hours before the season / series finale airs (although “sources” says it already has which makes me wonder now that Friday Night Lights is over that Chuck will inherit its coveted Friday during Spring at 8:00 timeslot). But the best part of this season, Timothy Dalton, will be returning for one last time so the show will at least go out with a bang. Apparently the show is a glass half full because the episode is entitled Chuck vs. the Cliffhanger.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Around the Tubes - 5/12/11


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 Smallville, PBS Newshour, TV Guide, HGTV'd, All My Children, Rosie, and USA Today.

Free Smallville on iTunes


- I jumped shipped from Smallville right around the time Lana Lang did but the series finale may get me to tune in tomorrow (which would be the first time I watched The CW since they canceled Everybody Hates Chris). To celebrate Warner Bros. is giving fans the chance to download each season premiere for free in HD on iTunes. The first nine seasons are also discounted.

- PBS Newshour grabbed a couple of big names for the next two airings. Tonight Jim Lehrer will be chatting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss the national debt. Then tomorrow Judy Woodruff will interview Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

- TV Guide recently ran down what they think are the eleven most promising pilots. Only one (The Playboy Club) appeared on my list of pilots I’d like to see get picked up, while three appeared on my least anticipated list.

- Fans of HGTV will soon be surprised by the channels biggest stars including David Bromstad (Color Splash), John Gidding (Curb Appeal: The Block), and Vern Yip (HGTV Design Star). They getting a room makeover of their own for HGTV’d starting June 6.

- With All My Children coming to an end soon, I am sure there will be a few familiar faces return to Pine Valley and one already signed on to return is Cady McClain who will reprise her roles as Dixie Carter.

- Rosie O’Donnell’s talk show will not just be airing on OWN this Fall but later in the day you can listen to it SiriusXM.

- US Today and Gallup recently polled Americans about the death of Osama bin Laden and below you can look at the findings below at the infographic from ColumnFive and GOOD:

death of Osama bin Laden poll


Feed Your iPod vol. LX: Strobelite Honey


Every time I see the commercial featuring The Choice Is Yours it is like Kia Soul created a time machine to go back in to my Middle School and kill my childhood. Watching hamsters rapping the classic is like being forced to watch Glee on a loop. For those that only know Black Sheep from the commercial (or did not even know the name or were an actual group), their debut A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing, which features The Choice Is Yours is full with bangers including my second favorite track of the album Strobelite Honey, an ode to chicks who look a lot better inside the club than outside (something I unfortunately became familiar with when I went off to college). Hopefully Kia pulled the Hamster ad in the near future because it shaves months off my life every time I see it, until then, I will have to jam to their other classic tracks like this one. Hopefully no other car companies ruins Strobelite Honey.

Strobelite Honey - Black Sheep Strobelite Honey - A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Let Love Bring Us Together


Stone Rollin' - Raphael Saadiq

On his last album Raphael Saadiq a twelve track love letter to the heyday of Motown and his new album, Stone Rollin’ is still in a retro mood but expands his RnB repertoire from the fifties roots rock to smooth seventies soul and still manages to sound as cohesive as The Way I See It. Really the only time Saadiq dipps back into the Motown pool is on the grooving Movin’ Down the Line.

The rest of Stone Rollin’ is like a compilation of great rhythm and blues music from thirty years or more ago. The album opens up with Heart Attack which moves like a Jr. Walker & The All Stars song. Radio has shades of early guitar players like Chuck Berry. Day Dreams sounds like one of Eric Clapton’s poppier mid seventies songs. Raphael gets his Stevie Wonder on during Over You. Oddly, Just Don’t starts off with the same guitar strums that begin Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer.

But the biggest standout track on the album is also the greatest song Saadiq has done in his quarter century making music. Good Man just drips cool like Curtis Mayfield when he was penning music for Superfly. The song is so great someone in Hollywood needs to write it’s on blaxplotation film for Good Man to anchor the soundtrack for. Seriously screenwriters out there, just expand the equally great music video that has already been released. The other album high is the antithesis of Good Man, the heavenly Go to Hell (I understand the irony, but the song is about someone trying not to go there) which floats through your ears before heading for a gospel ending. The song is a prime example than even though the songs he makes sound like they could be from an era long gone, Raphael Saadiq can still make it sound modern.

Song to Download – Good Man

Stone Rollin’ gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.



Monday, May 09, 2011

I Want My Music Television - 5/9/11


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.

Mean - Taylor Swift



One thing that always struck me about this song is how Taylor Swift spends four minutes taking some dude to task for being mean, but then calls the dude a liar and pathetic and alone in life, which is pretty mean spirited itself. And isn’t that the chick from Ramona and Beezus in the video (um, not that I actually saw the movie, um, let’s move onto the next video)?


Sadness Is a Blessing - Lykke Li



It’s videos like this that make me want to sit in on some pitch meetings. “Lykke Li, you are going to be in a swanky restaurant taking shots for two minutes, keep in mind we will not start the song yet, and by the time we start the song, you will spend the rest of the video doing weird music.” “Sure, but how about we throw in a dramatic pause in the middle for no apparent reason.” “Brilliant, let’s start the casting.”


L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. - Noah and the Whale



This by Noah and the Whale is one of those songs if it was released in the mid-late nineties it would have been heavy rotation on MTV along with Harvey Danger, Marcy’s Playground and Cake until teen girl came along and ruined the channel. I miss those days.


Poison and Wine - The Civil Wars



Last time I posted The Civil Wars' first single and here is their latest which is my favorite off their album because it is just heartbreakingly beautiful.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 5/8/11


The Killing: One of the reasons I never watch Six Feet Under is because I had no desire to see a dead body prepared every week, and I could have done without seeing Rosie getting ready. But I guess we have to have the teacher’s wife very high on the suspect list. Now that we are at the halfway mark of the season I wonder if we are going to start narrowing down the suspects or keep adding to the list until the end. You can download The Killing on iTunes.

Chuck: Early on I actually thought Volcoff was Agent-X before changing my pick to Mama Bartowski. But I love the people who think the show went with Volcoff to explain away Timothy Dalton’s in and out Russian accent. Here is hoping he gets reunited with his mother at some point. I would not be surprised if she exchanged information with Casey. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Chuck on iTunes.

How I Met Your Mother: Hopefully my special talent that is brought out by a special mix of cocktail never gets revealed to the general public. And how disappointing was the Arcadian? It is supposed to be some great historical landmark (as so Zoey would have us believe) but it looks like it should be condemned and torn down even if it were her childhood home. You can stream recent episodes over at cbs.com. You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

The Event: If there are plenty of nutjobs out there that believe Obama is a foreigner and Bush ordered the Twin Towers destruction, I do not understand how the evidence they already have against the vice president would not be enough. But my favorite part of the episode is they just so happened to have an antidote laying around to give to the president. How convenient. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Event on iTunes.

Castle: Nice to see Billy Riggins still getting work, and he was the butt of the best gag of the episode, a fake interrogation room as they were brought in by actors. But I am disappointed that we did not get any more on Beckett’s mom’s case. Wasn’t the detective killed involved with it in an earlier episode? You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes.

Survivor: Redemption Island: One thing that amazes me about the remaining players is that none of them are paranoid. Have none of them actually watched the show before? It’s like they are all playing checkers when they should be playing chess. It is a shame that any of the remaining players made it this far let alone even got cast. After a couple busts in a row, it may be time to get a new casting director, because casting just a pretty face makes for boring television. Seriously, is Natalie actually going to be the first winner ever to have less screen time in a season than the first person to get voted off? You can stream recent episodes over at cbs.com.

Survivor on iTunes


The Big Bang Theory: I now want to play three person chess. You can stream recent episodes over at cbs.com.

Community: If you scroll the 2000+ posts I have made you will notice that I never talk in hyperbole, so believe me when I say Spaghetti Western Annie is the greatest thing ever. EVER. You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Community on iTunes.

Outsourced: Wow, we actually got to hear the bearded dude talk. Although if he picks up the quiet chick in the office, I wonder what those conversations would be about. And as great of an episode Community’s second paintball one was, no sight gag was funnier this week than Pinky on the bike. You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Outsourced on iTunes.

Friday Night Lights: The Lions continues its theme of players from the island of misfit toys with the addition of Buddy Jr. (I’m guessing it is not the same actor). It is nice to see Mindy warm up to Becky just by saying her butt is small (and can we please get a Riggins family spin-off sitcom next season? I’d watch that). And note to East Dillon High: In School Suspension, it is way worse punishment that out of school suspension, just sitting in a small room for eight hours staring at a wall and you only get to leave twice a day to go to the bathroom. And if you do not follow the rules, more time in The Box (as we affectingly called it when I was in high school). But seriously, how has Texas yet to come up with a more cruel and unusual punishment than Ohio? You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Friday Night Lights on iTunes