Saturday, January 12, 2013

Best of the Week - 1/12/13

Quote of the Week: I would like to quote another MC: MC Hammer because when you take the Monet’s and the Mayonnaise, you can’t touch this. Am I right? (Ryan King, Go On)

Song of the Week: It's Oh So Quiet – Bjork (Bunheads)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Big Head Barry and the Monsters Never Ever Ever Getting Into the Hall of Fame, Like Ever: In his first ever time on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot Barry Bonds received only 26.2% of the 75% needed to get elected into the Hall. Other first time ballot players who probably also roided up did not fair any better including Roget Clemons (37.6), Sammy Sosa (12.5). Other notable Big Heads previously on the ballot Mark McGwire (16.9) and Rafael Palmeiro (8.8) actually saw their percentages go down about three points each from last year which does not bode well for the cheaters. It is appropriate that when the three biggest suspected steroid users were on the ballot for the first time that no one was inducted (the first since 1961), thought Craig Biggio, who had the most votes at 68.2% should have gotten in.

Preview Picture of the Week:

Justified "Where's Waldo?" Tuesday at 10:00 on FX

Free Download of the Week: Vangaurd / Sugar Hill Records: The Americana Sessions

New Album Release of the Week: Things I Should Let You Know - Seth Glier

New DVD Release of the Week: The Possession

Video of the Week: When it was announced that the next season of Survivor would be Fans vs. Favorites II I said I would be irate if Kat from One World was not involved. Well consider me irate. Okay, I was irate that night when someone pointed out that the cast list had leaked months earlier. And as bad as the cast looked on paper, Francesca, the first voted off Redemption Island, another season for another annoying Hantz family member, this time Brandon, they actually looked worse in the promo. Did anyone really want to see more of Brenda or Corrine. At least they did bring back the clinically insane Special Agent Philip Sheppard, the clinically idiotic Erik Reichenbach (most famous, well, only famous for the first fans vs. favorites showdown when he gave away his Immunity Idol and then promptly being voted out), and the clinically attractive Andrea Boehlke. Here is hoping the show did a much better job casting the fans this time around.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Shameless, Sunday at 9:00 on Showtime: Even if you do not subscribe, you can still watch the third season premiere thanks to the Showtime free preview this weekend (and thanks to on-demand, you can even watch previous seasons). You can check out my full preview of the new season here.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Around the Tubes - 1/11/13

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 Banshee, Spring Breakers, A New Age of Exploration: National Geographic at 125, Cruise Ship Disaster: One Year Later, Wicked Tuna, Syfy's Powerful Mondays, Pretty Little Liars, Pioneers of Television, Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden, Jewish Gilt, Awesomeness TV, Camp, and The Bronx Charter School for the Arts.

- Cinamax’s latest attempt to break the Skin prefix to their name by people like me, new show Banshee premieres tonight at 10:00. Even if you do not subscribe I believe you can still check it out as part as the Showtime free preview this weekend. From the creator of True Blood, the series stars Antony Starr as Lucas Hood, an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, Pennsylvania, where he continues his criminal activities, even as he’s hunted by the shadowy gangsters he betrayed years earlier. For even more information on the show, you can head over to where you can download a comic book prequel and watch a trailer below.

- Spring Break is still two to three months away, but you can go ahead and to get you excited, the marketing campaign for the Harmony Korine directed movie Spring Breakers starring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Benson just released its first teaser poster which you can check out below:

Spring Breakers teaser poster

- National Geographic turns 125 this Sunday and to celebrate its television channel will be airing A New Age of Exploration: National Geographic at 125 tonight at 8:00 which captures the compelling behind-the-scenes stories that make going to extremes worth the blood, sweat and tears.

- One year after the Costa Concordia sank off the coast of Italy, the National Geographic Channel is investigation the latest details and gripping firsthand accounts behind the epic disaster with Italian Cruise Ship Disaster: One Year Later premiering Sunday at 7:00. The channel will stay at season after the special with the premiere of the second season of Wicked Tuna where hopefully all the boats stay in one piece.

- Syfy is starting up their Powerful Mondays with new seasons of Being Human, new show Continuum (unless you already saw it in Canada), and Lost Girl. Here is a preview to get you ready.

- Not only is Pretty Little Liars back, now you can tweet along with A herself @MonaVanderwall.

- New to PBS next week will be Pioneers of Television. The third season starting Tuesday will feature funny ladies, primetime soaps, superheroes, and miniseries.

- Already out on Blu-Ray and / or DVD is Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden (see my review of the movie here).

- Do not ask me where The Jewish Channel is on your cable box, or if this goyim is allowed to watch, but it is premiering a new show Jewish Gilt with renowned antique Judaica expert Jonathan Greenstein. In the show Greenstein, the modern-day guardian of antique ritual Jewish objects, brings the audience to the homes of ordinary people with extraordinary items; the show airs on The Jewish Channel on January 14th, 2013. Throughout the show, Greenstein uncovers treasured objects from the Jewish tradition that have remained hidden until now.

- Awesomeness TV recently teamed with Russell Simmons to collaborate on Simmons’ YouTube Channel with the goal of producing and sharing cutting-edge programming from diverse talent to help broaden YouTube’s audience, much in the way Def Comedy broadened HBO.

- Get ready to go to Camp this summer as NBC has ordered a thirteen episode season set to air the show over the summer. The show is created by Liz Heldens, the person behind the new show Deception.

- Music students from The Bronx Charter School for the Arts (BxA), Women’s Academy of Excellence (WAE) and Music UnitesAmbassadors are getting the chance to showcase their talents and participate in a once-in-a-lifetime discussion with Grammy Award Winning producer and recording artist Swizz Beatz during the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s latest Power of One speaker series, Music-Versity: Bronx Edition. On January 17th, Music Unites, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing music education to underprivileged children in inner city school systems, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and Swizz Beatz will host over 100 students for an educational workshop geared to inspire, empower and unite middle and high school students through the power of the arts.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Previewing Showtime's Sunday Premieres

Showtime is having a free preview this weekend which will include the premieres of Shameless, House of Lies and Californication as well as the television premieres of The Iron Lady and Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1. The free weekend will also offer all seasons of most of the channels current shows ON Demand like Homeland and Dexter. So you can catch up with the shows premiering this weekend and here is a preview of the three shows.

Shameless really out did itself for its second season finale when Karen gave birth to Lip’s baby only for it to turn out to be Asian with Down syndrome. Sheila chose the baby over Karen and so this season Karen is out of the credits (Mandy Malkovich gets promoted to take her place and also takes her place in the gratuitous nudity department too). Oh yeah, and as it turned out Ian was sleeping with Jimmy’s father.

The new season opens up 137 days later just short of Easter (do not bother doing the math, it does not really work out, especially considering someone is home from college for the summer) and no one has seen Frank who has just woken up in his weirdest surroundings ever. Speaking of superlatives, Fiona is now working a job so disgusting I am surprised Mike Rowe did not pop up. And Veronica and Kev’s latest way to get money may be the show’s most offensive storyline yet which says a lot.

At least Jimmy has moved in but do not expect the domestic bliss to last very long as he still kind of have a wife. And speaking of wives, we finally get to meet Kev’s this season. And she does not show up alone. That is not the only unexpected visitor this season because we also meet a third Malkovich sibling who shows up with something entirely unexpected. I would call it shocking, but the only way Shameless could shock anyone anymore would to not do anything shocking.

Shameless airs Sundays at 9:00 on Showtime.

Following Shameless is an all new season of House of Lies which picks up a week after last season’s finale with Jeanie and Marty try to figure out what exactly happened that night during their alcohol induced stupor (they did go shot for shot during the final seconds of the finale). And after Jeannie took down the Rainmaker to save the pod’s life, there is a new female boss. Not that the Pod is still safe under new management. Thematically, there really are no major changes, so if you did not like the first season, you may not like the new one. But for those that like the following show, there is an homage to Californication in the season premiere.

House of Lies airs Sundays at 10:00 on Showtime.

The big news for the new season of Californication is the inclusion of The Token Hot Chick from Lost playing a groupie muse (while the Token Fat Dude from Lost also makes a cameo in an episode). Hank meets her in rehab in the second episode where Hank’s counselor is a familiar face which is also inhabited by a couple famous faces (which unfortunately do not play themselves).

Californication airs Sundays at 10:30 on Showtime.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

You Can't Fire Me, I Quit; You Think You Can Replace Me With Some Other Guy, Go Ahead, it Won't Be the Same

Anger Management on Blu-Ray

Recently it was leaked that the producers of The X-Factor are going to dump Britney Spears because they wanted crazy Britney and all they got was one word answer Britney. I could not help but thinking of this while watching the first season of Anger Management because I had to wonder if the producers of the show were disappointed they got bored and disinterested Charlie Sheen instead crazy warlock from Mars Charlie. But unlike Spears who could not even bring in more eyeballs than Jeff Probst on his Silver Anniversary of Survivor and looks to be one season and done, Sheen still managed to pull in cable breaking rating executing a clause that means we will get ninety more episodes of the show.

As for the ten episodes that have already aired and are being released on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, the most disappointing part of the show is not only is Sheen not crazy, he is actually supposed to play a crazy person. Supposable he is playing the Jack Nicholson character from the Adam Sandler movie of the same name that goes to extremes while hosting an anger management therapy. But Charlie’s character is not so much crazy as he is just a bad therapist. Really the only bizarre treatment he has in the first season is using sleep deprivation as a truth serum. It could be construed of hosting anger management classes at his house, but I take that more as him being lazy.

The catch is that not only is Charlie an anger management therapist, he also needs anger management. Are at least that is what the script tells us, again, we are getting boring Charlie, not crazy Charlie. The problem is the best therapist he knows, Selma Blair (Cruel Intentions), he is also sleeping with which could get into some therapist / patient moral quandaries. His personal life is made even more complicated by an ex-wife Shawnee Smith (The Blob) who seems as disinterested as Sheen on screen and teenage daughter Daniela Bobadilla (Awake) who may be the most adjusted person with OCD ever or the writers quickly forgot she has it (I also found it weird at how childish she acted but after a little research apparently the nineteen year old actress is supposed to be playing a thirteen. Usually this is where I wonder they did not get someone closer to that age, but I guess it is probably a good idea not to have a young teenager around Charlie Sheen).

Also expect many references to Charlie’s real life, the series even inadvertently starts with Sheen telling off his former bosses in a tongue and check scene. The show even brought in his real life ex-wife as a love interest and his dad Martin actually shows up as his father Martin. (Brett Butler also shows up as a bartender named Brett and Michael Boatman is Charlie's neighbor named Michael. I sense a theme.) And since he ends up moving to the same city near the end of the season, I would expect Martin to show up frequently in the future. Although it is odd with how much the writers like to reference Sheen’s past, even though the character was a professional baseball player (for a day) they manage to resist any Major League references.

But the thing about Anger Management is there is an entertaining show in there somewhere. Had they just stuck with the therapy session, the show would have been much more entertaining. In Sheen’s group, there is the entitled mean girl all grown up (the always hot Noreen DeWulf), the crappy old man (Barry Corbin, No Country For Old Men), the passive aggressive gay homosexual, and the guy who cannot get angry but always dates angry chicks (it took me about half the first season to figure this out and I am still not entirely sure why here is in the group). Sheen also does pro-bono work at a prison. The show is actually at its funniest whenever they get Sheen out his comfort zone like when Blair slaps him repeatedly or when he is forced to date a “slumpbuster” (a baseball slang for very unattractive lady). Of course they have nineties more episodes to get it right, starting with new episodes next Thursday on FX. Until then the DVD and Blu-Ray is out now.

Full Disclosure Notice: This Blu-Ray set was given to me by Lionsgate for review.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Previewing Cougar Town on TBS

The men of Cougar Town stent the hiatus growing mustaches

In a measure of full disclose I should mention I never watched a second of Cougar Town on ABC because, well, it was called Cougar Town and even though some say you cannot judge a book by its cover, if a show cannot come up with a better title than Cougar Town, it must not be worth watching. And I must not have been the only one because after the show got moved away from the cushy post-Modern Family slot where people were too lazy to turn the channel, the rating sank and the show got canceled.

But much like Conan O’Brien, the “cul de sac crew” got a reprieve from TBS but unlike Conan unfortunately did not take the opportunity to change the horrible name (okay, Conan had to change the name of his show). This would have been the perfect time (even the creator has grown to hate it) because all of the fanatic would know of the change while those scared off by the name may want to check it out under a new moniker. Oh well.

So what does this uninitiated viewer think of the new cable version of the sitcom? Well it is not very funny. Since this is my first time watch I cannot comment on if it just lost its funny in its transition to cable or if it stayed the same and just was not very funny to begin with. Maybe a combination of both. The show does seem to be geared towards an older age group to mine as it focuses on a bunch of middle aged people who just sit around and drink all day (and drink, and drink) and am I am about ten year away from joining that group (um, I mean twenty, or twenty-five).

Of the first six episodes I only laughed once and even that involved mustaches and mustaches are never not funny. None one in the cast is particularly funny and just are not good at selling jokes. What makes things worse is that Busy Phillipps sounds just like The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party but significantly less entertaining. Really the most entertaining character, Tom the nosey neighbor, is not even a part of the main cast. So anyone who was already a fan of Cougar Town rejoice because it is back tonight. Personally I hope instead of a fifth season of Cougar Town, next year TBS airs a fifth season of Community.

Cougar Town airs Tuesdays at 8:00 on TBS. You can download episodes of Cougar Town on iTunes.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Previewing Deception

I am sure a lot of people will write off Deception as a cheap Revenge knock off. Even the names have the same ominous sounding title. That was what I originally thought when I saw the first promo except Emily was a black cop (my second though was when was the last time there was a black lead on NBC; certainly they have had one since The Fresh Prince of Bel Air but I cannot think of one). But those who would will be selling the show short because it also rips off Veronica Mars also in the process.

Such much like Emily infiltrating the Grayson family on Revenge, Meagan Goode (Californication), who may rival Rachael Leigh Cook as the least believable law enforcement agent on television, is recruited by Laz Alonso (Breakout Kings) to infiltrate the Bowers clan when the daughter of the family dies of a drug overdose that may very well be murder. Goode just so happens to be a good friend of the victim (Goode’s mother was the help) despite being on separate rungs on the economic ladder just like Veronica Mars.

The Bowers clan makes the Graysons look like The Waltons with each family member skeevier and holding a deeper darker secret from the next. Victor Garber (Legally Blonde) is the patriarch and the head of a drug company that may be developing drugs that do more harm than good and may not be as nice as his public persona would suggest. Katherine LaNasa (The Campaign) is the ice queen of a second wife who seems more irritated than saddened that her step daughter is dead. Tate Donovan (Hercules) is the ruthless heir to the drug company. Wes Brown (Glory Road) is essentially the male Paris Hilton. While the baby of the family Ella Rae Peck (Bachelorette) is probably the most level headed so of course she has the deepest darkest secret in what is the premieres most shocking reveal.

Much like when Revenge premiered, you have to wonder how long they can stretch a singular purpose, and in this case of a murder mystery, as The Killing showed, it is not more than ten episodes. At least Veronica Mars solved other crimes while finding out who killed her best friend. But between Deception, Revenge, and the recently rebooted Dallas (which will air an hour before Deception on Mondays over on TNT starting later this month) we may be entering the Silver Age of salacious rich people television. Either that or Deception will be canceled and replaced with Betty White by Valentine’s Day.

Deception airs Mondays at 10:00 on NBC. You can stream episodes on Hulu. You can also download Deception on iTunes where you can currently download the Pilot for free before it even airs.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 1/6/13

Quote of the Week: I both hate you and want to be you. It's Ryan Gosling all over again. (Raj, The Big Bang Theory)

Song of the Week: Rapper's Delight – Sugarhill Gang (Parenthood)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Television Is Already Back: Even though many shows just had their “Winter Finale” less than a month ago, most are already returning as soon as tonight. And here is what I will be watching while trying to stay warm over the next couple months (new shows I hope are worth watching in italics):

8:00 – Once Upon a Time (Tonight)
9:00 – Revenge (Tonight)
9:00 – Shameless (January 13)
9:00 – The Walking Dead (February 10)
10:00 – House of Lies (January 13)
10:30 – Californication (January 13)

8:00 - Switched at Birth (January 7)
8:00 – How I Met Your Mother (January 14)
8:00 – The Voice (March 25)
9:00 – Bunheads (January 7)
9:00 – Dallas (January 29)
9:00 – 2 Broke Girls (January 14)
10:00 – Deception (January 7)

8:00 – Pretty Little Liars (January 8)
8:00 – The Voice (March 26)
9:00 - The Lying Game – (January 8)
9:00 – Go On (January 8)
9:00 – Happy Endings (January 8)
9:30 – Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 (January 8)
10:00 – Justified (January 8)
10:00 – Parenthood (already back)

8:00 - Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites II (February 13)
8:30 – The Neighbors (January 9)
9:00 – Modern Family (January 9)
9:30 – Suburgatory (January 9; moving to 8:30 April 3)
10:00 – The Americans (January 30)
10:00 – Nashville (January 9)

8:00 – The Big Bang Theory (already back)
8:00 – Community (February 7)
8:00 - Last Resort (January 10)
10:00 – Do No Harm (January 31)
10:00 – King of the Nerds (January 17)

9:00 – Grimm (March 8)

Preview Picture of the Week:

Pretty Little Liars returns with a bang Tuesday
Pretty Little Liars returns with a bang Tuesday at 8:00 on ABC Family

Leverage: It was cheap of TNT to announce that it was not going to renew Leverage just days before the season finale which also happen to air on Christmas night. At least the writers had already wrote the finale like a series finale and the team was able to go out with one last entertaining job.
You can download Leverage on iTunes.

Parenthood: Thankfully my New Year resolution was not to tear up during Parenthood because I would not have made it a full day without breaking it. Really heartbreaking when Kristina shaved her head. The show when from heartbreaking to shocking when Victor shatters the window with his bat. Should be interesting to see how Julia and Joel react to that.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Parenthood on iTunes.

The Big Bang Theory: For anyone who want to give me a belated Christmas present, a life-sized Jenga game will do. Either that or a Sheldon Cooper’s Council of Ladies t-shirt.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download The Big Bang Theory on iTunes.

Free Download of the Week: Sooner the Sunset – Sooner the Sunset (Noisetrade)

Deal of the Week: 2,000 Albums for $5.00: Need to spend those Amazon gift cards you got for Christmas, Amazon MP3 has 2000 albums for only $5.00 each including a few albums that made my Best Albums of 2012 list like The Lumineers, Fiona Apple, John Mayer, and Cat Power:

New Album Release of the Week: SIGNED and SEALED in BLOOD - Dropkick Murphys

New DVD Release of the Week: Dallas: The Complete First Season

Video of the Week: Whenever you do a list inevitably something is going to be left off. This Is the End just missed my list of the 13 Events That Will Make 2013 Awesome because even though it features numerous comic geniuses from the Judd Apatow phylum: Seth Rogan, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, and a dead Michael Cera all playing themselves. And even though the trailer is hilarious, I feel the actual movie will just be one big in joke and an excuse for everyone involved to sit around and get high. Plus had I included one apocalypse themed movie on my list it would have been the end of Edgar Wright’s disaster trilogy: The World’s End described as “Five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind's only hope for survival.” Since that does not have a trailer yet, here is the trailer for This Is the End.

Next Week Pick of the Week: The Lying Game, Tuesday at 9:00 on ABC Family: Let’s face it, the first season of The Lying Game was a bit of a bore. But when Sutton turned around and said, “Hi mom” the show got way more interesting. Except we had to wait ten months to see what exactly the mother and daughter knew and when they knew it. I would not mind at all if the first episode (or some episode this season) is a flashback at how they got together, devised their scheme, and put it in motion.