Saturday, May 28, 2005

1st Annual Scooter Television Awards

Welcome to the 1st annual Scooter Television Awards honoring show that aired new episodes between June 2004 and May 2005. I will save the explanation of certain winner's when I do a comprehensive review of that season in the near future. So without further ado, here are the inaugural winners of the STA's:

Best Scripted Show: Veronica Mars

Best Reality Show (Game Show Edition): Survivor

Best Reality Show (Documentary Edition): Project Greenlight 3

Best Cable Show: Rescue Me

Best Sitcom: Arrested Development

Best Talk Show: Pardon the Interruption

Hottest Token Hot Chick:

Worst Idea: Jack & Bobby - When I first saw the ads for this show where they say one will become president and the other won't be alive to see it, I thought it was an interesting idea despite the obvious Kennedy correlation. Then came the pilot where, at the end, they tell you which brother is which. That was the worst idea to end all bad ideas. Why would you reveal the whole show on the first show?

Best Moment: Mini Me on The Surreal Life - I have said it before and I will say it again, Mini Me rolling down the hall naked, stopping to relieve himself in the corner is the funniest thing that has ever been on TV.

Best Episode: A Trip to the Dentist (Veronica Mars 1x21) - This is the episode where we learn everything about what happened at Shelly Pomeroy's party. Not only do we learn that Duncan who was the one that "raped" Veronica it turned out that they we brother and sister (or so the Kane's think). This was also the episode that convinced me that Beaver and Dick were the one's that killed Lilly Kane. OK I got that one wrong.

Most Entertaining Male Reality "Star": John Gulager (Project Greenlight 3) - I stated many times about how entertaining this guy is.

Most Entertaining Female Reality "Star": Tonya (The Inferno II) - This one is somewhat shocking because she was so boring on Real World: Chicago. Since Chicago she dumped her boyfriend and apparently went insane. And that just makes for great TV highlighted by when she tossed Beth's wardrobe into the pool because she'd "rather be know as a slut than a liar."

Best Shocker: Locke's in a wheelchair (Lost) - I think my jaw was permanently on the floor for a week after this episode. Unfortunately we don't know for sure why he was in a wheelchair, as we are left to assume it was something to do with his operation, or why he temporarily lost feeling in his legs as he got closer to the plane where Boone crashed in.

Best Theme Song: We Used to Be Friends - The Dandy Warhols (Veronica Mars) - One of only two theme songs that I actually sit and watch every week. Follow the link to get a copy of your own.

Show That Should Be Brought Back: American Dreams - Granted if they bring it back I hope they pretend that the last episode never ended, instead pretend that they annoying greaser boy died a horrible death.

Best Marketing Idea: Star Wars Tie-ins with The O.C. - I never watched The O.C., but I did find myself turning in for the premiere of the trailer and the episode with George Lucas (and by "turning in" I mean I taped it and fast forward to those part, occasionally stopping to check out the token hot chick, the brunette version.)

Best Cast Addition: Hannah (Everwood) - Ephram's moping this season went seriously overboard to the point I found myself wanting to change the channel this year (farewell Ephram, don't bother sending a postcard). The one thing that kept me from changing the channel was the addition of Hannah to the cast as a form of comedic relief. They expanded her role later in the season when it turned out she may have inherited a disease from her sick father. Hopefully they do not ruin her next season with the Hannah-Bright relationship.

Best Guest Appearance: Bob Newhart & Shaft (Desperite Housewives) - Newhart's appearance gave validation for me to admit I watched the show. Nothing was funnier on the show when he got beat up by Susan's mom. And of couse, Shaft's one bad, well, maybe I should just shut my mouth.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Anyone Up For a Game of Basketball?

Chappelle's Show 2.x

For years, I had to hang for by the water cooler listening to all the girls talk obsessively about crappy shows like The Bachelor(ette), American Karaoke, and Oprah, there hadn't been something from the TV that guys could talk about the day after since the heydays of Jerry Spinger (sadly this Sorority Girls doesn't count because apparently myself and a co-worker were the only ones that watched then dissected each episode the next day). Then came Chappelle's Show. It wasn't an instant cultural phenomenon. I didn't catch it until the middle of the first season with the reparations bit, "I'm rich, (expletive deleted)!" The first season also featured such instant classic as Black KKK, The Mad Real World, Wu Tang Financial, The Player Haters Ball, and the latest R. Kelly video (who doesn't have (Expletive Deleted) on You on their iPod?). But the best was yet to come as in the second season Chappelle's Show became the show guys could talk about the next day.

It would be silly to review the episodes, so instead I will countdown the top five sketches from season two.

5. Wayne Brady - When Brady said, "Is Wayne Brady gonna have to slap a (expletive deleted)?" it had me on the floor for days.

4. When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong - Keep it real is a phrase that has annoyed me for a while so these skits were always good for a laugh especially the one with the girl.

3. Black Bush - A rare political statement from Chappelle with great takes from Mos Def as Black Ashcroft, Charlie Murphy as Black Rumsfeld and Jamie Foxx as Black Tony Blair. Check out the deleted scenes for Black Jeb Bush explaining the Florida recounts.

2. Kneehigh Park - How can you go wrong with Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, Snoop Dogg as a puppet and a bunch of little VD puppets? I just hope that they overdubbed the lines so the kids there didn't actually hear any of it.

1. Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories - This one is a no brainer with the duel blast of Rick James and Prince. I remember reading Prince said he's constantly getting challenged to play basketball, although he never mentioned whether it actually happened or not. And it is very hard to go a day without hearing someone say, "I'm Rick James..."

This DVD does have most of the musical performances unlike the first season so we get great performances from the likes of Anthony Hamilton, Common, Kanye West (three times), Mos Def, Wyclef Jean, Snoop Dogg, and a special performance from John Mayer and ?uestlove doing a few 80's TV theme songs. I'm a huge John Mayer and The Roots fan so the skit was great to see them perform together (a side note, ?uestlove played drums on Mayer's Clarity).

As for extras on the DVD, we get the standard audio commentary by Chappelle and co-creator, Neal Brennan for five episodes. We also get about an hour and a half of deleted scenes and blooper, including twenty-three takes of Charlie Murphy laughing at Prince's challenge. But the highlights of the extra a two unaired storied by Charlie Murphy. One of which I can't believe they didn't turn into a sketch because it could have been as funny as Rick James or Prince. Then there is the extended interview of Rick James that they used for that episode. His imitation of Charlie Murphy had me on the floor. This interview would be great for any Health teacher starting the drug unit, because as Rick said just six months before his death, "Cocaine's one hell of a drug."

Chappelle's Show 2x gets a Terror Alert Level: Severe [RED] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter

can'tneverdidnothin' - Nikka Costa

Nikka Costa's new album, can'tneverdidnothin', is a dance romp for anybody who spends more time in the club than they do in the classroom. It packed full of funky beats that will make Dr. Dre and Prince jealous. The album starts of with a one-two punch. Till I Get To You, the first single that hopefully you picked up last week when iTunes was offering it for free, is a bouncy song that is just as catchy as her breakout song, 2001's Like a Feather. Next is the title track, which is just as danceable and fun as the previous track.

The album does slow down in a few places, sometime with better results than others. I Gotta Know is a heartbreaking love song about a girl hoping to find out her boyfriend's feelings are still as strong as her's. Hey Love, another slow gem, is also a lovelorn song that tries to help a lover out of his funk. Where Costa slows down that fails is the closer, Fatherless Child, which actually slows down too much to the point you may fall asleep while listening to it. (In actuality, there is a very good bluesy hidden track, I Don't Think We've Met, that ends the album.) Another misstep is when Fooled Ya gets to the chorus, it's just overkill for the song, had she cut that out the verses would make up a good song.

Also on the album is the rocking On and On. The song sounds like as if AC/CD tried to make a danceable song with a female singing lead. You can almost hear Back in Black if you listen hard enough. But the highlight of the entire album is the excellently titled Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter (I'm not sure exactly how the title got pass the censors). The tribal song is decent, but I just enjoying saying Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter.

can'tneverdidnothin' gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Musings From the Back 9 vol. IV

- Tonight is the greatest event in all of sports: the NBA Draft Lottery. Yeah it's rigged but it's always interesting to see who shows up for their respective teams. Will Kobe show up? LeBron? Will Spike Lee be the Knicks' representative? One thing for sure is that Elgin Baylor will be there for the 91st time. Check out the Sports Guy's take on the event: Lottery Ticket.

- It was just announced that Wicked Wisdom has joined the roster of this year's Ozzfest. Now that might not be newsworthy until you find out that Wicked Wisdom is actually a Christian metal band... whose lead singer happens to be Jada Pickett Smith. Yes that is Mrs. Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I think Vegas has the line set at three shows before she quits.

- Apparently the latest trend to sweep the nation is Movieoke. And it's pretty much what you think it is, karaoke with movies. Great, sign me up. I can't wait until I go, "You little son of a (expletive deleted) ball! Why you don't you just go home? That's your HOME! Are you too good for your home? ANSWER ME! SUCK MY WHITE (expletive deleted) BALL!" or "O.K., let me tell you what Like a Virgin's about. It's all about this (expletive deleted) who's a regular (expletive deleted) machine, I'm talking morning, day, night, afternoon, (a lot of expletive deleteds). Then one day she meets this John Holmes (expletive deleted) and it's like, whoa baby, I mean this cat is like Charles Bronson in The Great Escape, he's digging tunnels. Now, she's gettin' the serious (expletive deleted) action and she's feeling something she ain't felt since forever. Pain. Pain. It hurts her. It shouldn't hurt her, you know her (expletive deleted) should be Bubble Yum by now, but when this cat (expletive deleted) her it hurts. It hurts just like it did the first time. You see the pain is reminding a (expletive deleted) machine what it once was like to be a virgin. Hence, Like a Virgin." in front of a bunch of drunks. And one can hope the Fox in the future will follow up American Karaoke with American Movieoke. (Free plugs to anyone who can name one or both movie quotes. Leave your guesses in the comment section.)

- Natalie Portman has apparently came down with a case of the Sinéad O'Connor disease. It seems that she cut off her hair for a prison movie that she is doing. I was unaware that they shaved women's hair in prison, but oh well. Maybe if she was playing a cancer survivor, I'd understand the look, but not a prison inmate. This new hairstyle has dropped Portman out of my top 5. So now I will have to make an exhausting search to join Kate Bosworth, Natalie Coughlin, and the token hot chicks from Smallville and Lost. Any TV executive interested in a new reality show idea?

- Keeping with the Star Wars theme, it seems that a lot of people are drawing comparisons between Darth Vader and George W. Bush. God bless stupid people. In this scenario wouldn't that make George W. Luke Skywalker and George H.W. Bush Darth Vader? That would be backwards because George H.W. Bush was a good president and George W. Bush is the evil one. For more on this lunacy check out
The Empire Strikes Bush.

- Is it just me or did the dude from Coldplay look like Schroeder from Peanuts on Saturday Night Live when he was at the piano?

- Speaking of SNL, how many more times does Horatio Sanz get to forget a line or go out of character before he gets fired? Does he have something over Loren Michaels? Does Michaels keep him on because if he gave Sanz the boot then he would have to find a token fat guy and a token Hispanic dude?

- Now I didn't watch it, and I hope none of you watched it, but I hope child welfare workers watched Britney and Kevin: Chaotic.

- There is nothing more depressing than knowing the one of the back up lip-syncers in *NSYNC actually dated #1 on Maxim’s Top 100 list I and haven’t. Shouldn’t dating a boy bander, by virtue, drop you a few notches anyways?

- It’s never a good sign when a pitcher on fantasy team gets tennis elbow from spending four hours a day e-mailing his brother. Hey, Carlos Zambrano, it’s called a telephone; I think you can afford the long distance charge. But I guess it’s my fault drafting a pitcher that is coached by Dusty Baker.

- A couple of weeks ago, it was reported that the armed forces came up way short on recruitment goal, and those enrollment may go lower. Patrick Tillman’s family is blasting the US military for giving covered up the investigation into Tillman’s death in Afghanistan. They also accuse the military of created a heroic tale about how Pat died in hopes of garnishing a patriotic response. This brings to mind Jessica Lynch who became a national hero just by being rescued. I remembered the military that rescued Jessica refuse to use a key that an Iraqi offered them because knocking the door down made a better story. It’s sad that it took ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on Sunday to honor the true hero of that story, Lori Piestewa who gave her life in Iraq. For more on the Pat Tillman story, check out
Tillman’s parents lash out at Army.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Fall 2005 TV Schedule

During my Star Wars love fest last week, the TV networks quietly announced next year's schedule, and to back up my pervious notion that the world is against me, almost all the shows I watched last year got canceled or moved to the same day and time. Before I let my faithful readers what I'll be watching next year, I like you to take a moment of silence to this season's dearly departed:

American Dreams
Joan of Arcadia
Listen Up
Tru Calling

Christopher Reeves
Ethan Rom
Genevieve Teague
Rex Van de Camp
Dennis Miller

You all will be missed, at least by me. So on to what I'll be watching next year.

8:00 - Arrested Development
8:30 - How I Met Your Mother

Arrested Development is the funniest sitcom on TV today, basically by default because the rest are absolutely horrible. I did like the uncomfortable type humor of The Office (see Tuesday), so I will give that another try. How I Met Your Mother stars Alyson Hannigan last seen on Veronica Mars (I was hoping she would join that cast but there is a good chance this show will bomb so she can join it for the second half of next season) and most famously known as the lesbian-witch on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Oh and Doogie Howser is on it too.

8:00 -
9:00 - My Name is Earl
9:30 - The Office

Bones is a crime drama that teams up a forensic anthropologist and an FBI agent (TV and their wacky crime drama pairings; will they ever run out?). The show stars Angel himself, David Boreanaz and Henry Walker from American Dreams. My Name is Earl is about a con man who gives up his life of crime after he wins the lottery. I have a fear, due to the name, that the show will revolve around an AA type meeting for crooks. Jason Lee, mostly known for his work with Kevin Smith, I assume plays Earl.

9:00 - Lost
9:00 - Veronica Mars (Tape)

Lost seems to be a magnet for my favorite shows. Last year it attracted Smallville and American Dreams, this year it is Veronica Mars. Wednesday is also the day the show that tops my "No Way You Will Ever Get Me to Watch That Crap" list with Freddie starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and David Silver (oh please let him rap on this show too). I give the show five weeks.

8:00 -
8:00 - Smallville (Tape)
8:00 - Everybody Hates Chris (If somebody buys me another VCR)
8:00 - Alias (Might catch it on DVD)
9:00 - Everwood

OK here is where my conspiracy theory against me starts. Yeah Lost and Veronica Mars on at the same time sucks, but Thursday at 8:00 sucks massively with four shows I want to watch all on at the same time. Alias is the odd (wo)man out as I never really got in the show that much. Everyone Hates Chris (as in Rock) follows a teenager at a mostly white high school in 1982 with Rock doing his best Daniel Stern impersonation (think The Wonder Years). I might tape Reunion at 9:00 also.

Friday is where shows go to die so there is never anything worth watching on this night, especially without Joan of Arcadia. Although one show I'll love to make fun of will be The Ghost Whisperer about a newlywed who sees dead people. It stars Jennifer Love Hewitt and Aisha Tyler.

(See Friday)

8:00 -
The Simpsons
8:30 - The War at Home
9:00 - Desperate Housewives

Michael Rapaport Alert! I don't know how this guy can still find work, but he's always good for some good unintentional comedy.

Some shows to look out for that will replace the stiffs like Freddie and The Ghost Whisperer in the midseason include:

Crumbs staring Kevin Arnold (wow, Kevin Arnold and Doogie Houser on TV at the same time. Is it 1988 again? Makes you wonder where DJ Tanner is) and Maggie Lawson who been a few failed sitcoms, Inside Schwartz and It’s All Relative, she due for a good one.

I'm not sure what Pepper Dennis is about or even who Dennis is, but it stars Rebecca Romijn (no more Stamos), Brooke Burns and Lindsay Price. And as an added bonus, it also has the dude from Boy Meets World that wasn't related to Kevin Arnold. How did he get this job?

The Unit is about Delta Force agents starring Dennis Haybert, whom I will always remember as Pedro Cerrano, but most recently he played the president on 24, the Terminator (not Arnold or the chick versions), Amy Acker, the token hot nerdy chick on Angel, and Regina King who was Mrs. Rod Tidwell.

Freebirds is about a recent college graduate who goes from big man on campus to moving back in with his parents. Stars no one in particular.

If you would like to scope out next year's schedule check out at
Ain't it Cool News. Also check back later next week as I hand out awards for the 2004-05 TV season and give a few select shows a grade on my Terror Alert Scale.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Star Wars Week - May the Schwartz be with You

I'm ending Star Wars Week with a post so big, it took three days to complete it. OK the main reason it took three days is because I was miserably sick for most of it. But at least it gives me a reason to take more NyQuil (check out my obsession for NyQuil here - NyQuil, We Love You, You Giant *cough*ing Q). And what's worse, due to illness I missed the latest Star Wars. They may have to revoke my nerd card for this. With Memorial Day next weekend, I'm sure I can fit it in, but avoiding spoilers will be the hard part. Today I'll be review the perfect Star Wars parody.

As I mention in my Blazzing Saddles review, nobody does parody better than Mel Brooks, and that definitely holds true for the quintessential Star Wars parody, Spaceballs. From Princess Leia's hair head phones to Pizza the Hutt. Instead of Darth Vader there was Dark Helmet, instead of Princess Leia, there was Princess Vespa, instead of C-3PO there was Dot, instead of Chewbacca there was Barf. Instead of warp speed there was ludicrous speed. Lone Starr played like a cross between Hans Solo and Luke Skywalker (get it? Lone - Solo; Sky - Star, OK maybe I'm pushing it). And of course there was Yogurt instead of Yoda.

There were not as many great quotes as there was in Blazing Saddles but there some great quotes from Spaceballs that will live on forever. "I bet she gives great helmet." "Dark Helmet: I am your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate. Lone Starr: What's that make us? Dark Helmet: Absolutely nothing!" “I see your Schwartz is as big as mine." "I knew it. I'm surrounded by idiots (Granted this the TV edit version as the movie is slightly different and does not pass the censors!" And who hasn't been robbed at gunpoint at their ATM, asks for their PIN number and answered, "1... 2... 3... 4... 5..." (Or am I the only one?)

Star Wars wasn't the only sci-fi film to get the Brooks' treatment, as Star Trek gets a slight jab as Snotty poorly beamed President Skroob down. And the alien popping out of a diner patron then puts on his own musical number. They even got the original Kane to reprise his Alien character.

Another trademark Brooks move is always going the extra mile for a joke, even if that includes braking down the fourth wall. He openly hawks Spaceballs crap (again a shot at Star Wars's marketing campaign), "Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the movie is made. Spaceballs-the T-shirt, Spaceballs-the Coloring Book, Spaceballs-the Lunch box, Spaceballs-the Breakfast Cereal, Spaceballs-the Flame Thrower." And when the villains have lost the heroes, they watch Spaceballs the Movie while the movie is still going on. Yogurt even mentions that he and Lone Starr will me again in Spaceballs 2: Back for More Cash, which has sadly not materialized yet. Hopefully the prequels will inspire Brooks to show us how Dark Helmet came to be.

Spaceballs gets a Terror Alert Level on my
Terror Alert Scale.

Sadly I bought Spaceballs shortly before I heard they were releasing a Collector's Edition, so I just have the bare bones DVD. I'm sure I'll upgrade as soon as I see the Collector's Edition in the bargain bin.