Saturday, October 22, 2005

The End Is Near

The Family GuyThere is nothing like the yearly release by the Parent Television Council that recommends what shows I should be watching. Of course when I say what I should be watching, I referring to the shows they put on their Worst Shows list. Ever since the very first list in 1997, the PTC has condemned such favorites of mine such as The Drew Carrey Show, Norm, Angel, Family Guy, and The Surreal Life including number one spots for Married with Children (1997), WWF Smackdown! (2000), Boston Public (2001), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2002), and Everwood (2004). Looking at the Best Shows list over the years, there have only been three shows I’ve watched regularly that made that list Smallville (twice), Joan of Arcadia, and American Dreams.

But looking at the Worst Shows list, the PTC might have actually gotten it right this year by putting The War at Home number one as it was one of the worst shows I’ve watched in a long time (see my review). Granted Family Guy made a return appearance along with first timers Desperate Housewives and Arrested Development making the list this year.

Everybody Hates ChrisBut the interesting aspect about this year’s Best Shows list is there is actually only nine shows on it this year. How sad is it when we have gotten to the point in our culture that the PTC can’t even find ten shows worth recommending? And looking at the list, number one is Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, a show that was a spin-off of a show that advocated plastic surgery, American Idol (#3) a show built around some British dude insulting young people and another judge who allegedly has sex with numerous contestants, and Dancing with the Stars (#8) that featured a Playboy Playmate who had a wardrobe malfunction. Then at number five is Everybody Hates Chris. Who would ever think that the PTC would endorse anything that Chris Rock did? Or they would recommend a show that used multiple racial slurs? I’m may have to start believing the whole “The end is near” that the religious fanatics keep telling me about.

Check out the whole list -
Parents Television Council Publications

Friday, October 21, 2005

Toss Up: Lost vs Veronica Mars week 4

This is when I usually do my toss up between toss up between the two best shows of last year that just happen to be at the same timeslot, Lost and Veronica Mars but I’m going to skip that this week on the basis that Lost sucked massively this week and just hand the award to Veronica Mars this week. After a finale that revealed nothing, Lost this season has gotten progressively worse throughout this season. The most recent stinkfest involved both Jin and Sun searching for something, in the past they were both looking for love which, duh, they would eventually do. Back on the island Jin was searching for Michael while Sun couldn’t find her wedding ring that lead to the worst metaphor of the show.

The only entertaining parts of the show was when Hurley asked Sun “Are you from the good Korea or the bad one?” and when Sawyer and Ana Lucia where trading barbs while asking about each other’s availability. But that was about it. The major problem was not with the lame storyline though; instead it was where was the token hot chick? They are only five episodes into the season and Shannon has been completely left out of two of them already and has been reduced to about one scene of the other episodes. Is it really that hard to scan her sunbathing while transitioning to another scene? Luckily my TV Guide (the new TV Guide, for the record, is the worst idea since New Coke. Like a wise man once said, “I fear change.”) said next weeks episode will be Shannon-centric so hopefully that will make up the lack of bikinis in this season so far.

The heart of the reason why Shannon has been lost in the shuffle this season is because the cast has ballooned up to rival that of Hen-Hur leaving a large chunk of the cast without any screen time. But that is going to change because in three weeks someone. Will. Be. Lost… Forever. So once again the preview of Lost was actually more interesting than the show itself. Yet most like the death will suck much like Boone’s demise. Do they not realize that Arnz’s death was much better TV not knowing it would happen as opposed to Boone’s who everyone realized he was going to die the moment he fell off the cliff, yet they devoted a whole hour afterwards anyways? And for anyone who doesn’t realize it yet, the death is in three week, but there will be a new episode next week, and presumable the week after that. Of course that’s if you trust the new (evil) TV Guide.

So here is my prediction, much like I predicted last season, Claire will be the one to die leaving Charlie in charge of her kid.

As for Veronica Mars, the show seemed to slow down for the first time this season. I thought it was odd that after last weeks dramatic ending of Big Dick fleeing in a helicopter that there wasn’t even a mention of it this week. Yet unlike Lost, who leaves multiple questions unanswered, that it will be brought up later. But the big reveal of the week was that the snooping dude from Chicago turned out to be Wallace’s dad. I don’t know how I didn’t see it coming when the dude mentioned to Keith that Alicia had something of his. The small hint of the week could have been revealed by Meg’s little sister saying that there was something on Meg’s secret computer that would make her parents pull the plug. I’m really hoping that Meg comes out of her coma sooner rather than later because that can only up the intensity, but I have a feeling it will happen later.

With Veronica getting her hand on a voice mail from the bus as it went over the edge along with Wallace and his father and possibly the returning Casablancas, Veronica Mars looks like it will be better than Lost next week especially when Lost is already looking ahead three weeks. Granted I won’t be watching either as they will coincide with Game 4 of the World Series, so I will watching both Thursday barring any VCR mishaps like the one that stopped recording Smallville 45 minutes in.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Come Back to Texas

Word has it that the ball hit the Astros' plane on route to St. LouisAfter the Albert Pujols moonshot that essentially ended game 5, many o my friend asked if the loss was hard, but to be honest, that moment barley cracked my to 5 worse sport moments as my childhood was so bad, they named the failures: the fumble, the drive, the shot. To make matters worse, EPSN Classic shows these games every year on their anniversary. I really doubt they will be showing Game 5 this time next year. Although I have to admit I had nightmares of David Eckstien that night.

Who need momentum why you have Roy OswaltUnlike many blowhards, one thing that didn’t worry me since the homer was momentum. Momentum is just something created by sportswriters who can’t think of anything better to write about. Yeah after the shot, I really doubt the Astros would get the run back in the bottom of the ninth, but I didn’t think it would affect the team in the next games because of the two guys who didn’t play in game five, Roy Oswalt and Roger Clemens. And it turned out that I was right as Oswalt pitched the type of a game that basically punched his ticket to Cooperstown baring a Jose Lima type collapse in the future.

Craig Biggio is on to Chicago then CooperstownAnd no way should I have to debate whether Craig Biggio should be in the hall anymore. His number should have been enough along with his flawless transition from catcher to second base to center field to left field back to second. Now his clutch performance in the playoffs so far should solidify his induction. And because of the performance, Biggio is wiped from being third all-time in games played without a World Series appearance. Granted he shot to number one with a bullet on the list of most games played before their first World Series with Jeff Bagwell moving into third on the list. Ironically they samwitch Big Head Barry whose Monsters all seem to be going to jail on drug charges. Hope he’s stocked up on his flaxseed oil.

Have fun on the golf course LaRussaWith two dominating performances, Roy Oswalt was the easy choice for the MVP but I think Tony LaRussa should get an honorable mention. How else can the best team in baseball lose to a team that should have been disbanded in June? The Cards were basically one rocket lancher away from losing in five games. Where Phil Garner changing the lineup multiple times to keep the hot hands in their, LaRussa keep his struggling stars at the top of the lineup. The most notable mistake was keeping the anemic Jim Edmonds and Larry Walker around Pujols. Through most of the series Pujols would come to bat with no one on because of Edmonds and then was left stranded because of Walker. Then LaRussa stubbornly still goes with the righty-lefty matchups which is the worst philosophy in baseball. Anyone who can only get out a certain type of batter shouldn’t be in the big leagues anyways. And look at some of his matchups. LaRussa continually brought in Julian Tavarez, the ugliest person in baseball, who Houston has owned in the last two playoffs to the point where Tavarez got so frustrated dude punches a telephone. So I’d like to thank LaRussa for being the most overrated manager in baseball. Hope you have fun golfing with Bobby Cox next week.

Burke, Berkman, and Oswalt are the 1st Astros to hold that trophyLooking ahead to the World Series, Garner has a big decision as what to do with the DH which he will have to utilize for as many as four games. In an interview last night Bagwell said he was off to petition of the job. That would make a great story, but having Lance Berkman might be a better choice. He’s been hurt too and then Garner won’t have to worry about benching Chris Burke, Willy Tavarez, or Mike Lamb and with those three in the field rather than Berkman would also be a better defensive lineup too. If Garner does go with Bagwell (this does set up a potential Kirk Gibson scenario), I’d go with Lamb being the odd man out because I don’t really trust Berkman’s knee to roam the outfield until they have the abbreviated left field in Houston.

They may not be part of the Big Three, but the Sox batter may not want to see these guys on the mound eitherOne think that I’m really getting sick of is people talking about Chicago’s “big four.” Just because they can get a complete game doesn’t put them on par with Andy Pettitte, Oswalt, or Clemens. Plus the original Big Three don’t have to worry about going nine innings; all they need is six with Wheeler, Qualls, and Lidge concluding the final three innings. So the Big Three doesn’t have to worry about a pitch count and can waste a few pitches setting up the batters. The so-called “big four” doesn’t have that luxury because Houston can jump on the Sox relievers much like they did against Atlanta and St. Louis.

Prediction: Houston wins the series in Houston this time.

On another sports story hats off to New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin who is asking for the “Cleveland Plan” where they get rid of the owner but keep the name, colors, records, and the like. But as a Browns fan, may I recommend that you not make Butch Davis the coach of your new Saints if it happens.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Your Momma's Favorite Rapper

Distortion - Rev Run

You will never be able to discuss rap without bringing up . With help from Rick Rubin, their rap-rock infusion brought hip-hop to the suburbs and could be named the first of almost any rap category. And even though many rappers are unable to find a second hit and sink into obscurity, Run-DMC was pumping out club bangers for over a decade. Sadly the group dissolved after the death of Jam Master J knowing that it wouldn’t be the same without Jay behind the turntables.

Now Run is back with his first solo album and a new moniker, Rev. And unlike every single rap album released over the past decade, there is no “featuring” after any song as it is just Rev Run, his mike, and a boat load of samples. The best sample is the guitars and scream from I Love Rock and Roll on Mind of the Road. The song and Run’s rapping are so perfectly interchanged that even the best mash-up artist couldn’t have done better. The other samples don’t quite knock the same punch though. Take a Tour takes from a song, but hearing Run with a girl singing the hook just sounds out of place. Even more out of place is the Lynyrd Skynyrd sample of Home Sweet Alabama. The song is a tribute to Jay but both are from Queens, no where near Alabama. Also throughout the album, there are samples hear and there from different Run-DMC classics.

The main problem with the album is that it is supposed to be a full length album, yet it clocks in at an even twenty-three minutes. So the full length album price tag is way too much and should be discounted as if it were an EP because I have a few EP that are even longer than this.

Song to Download – Mind on the Road

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Hey, How Long 'till You Face What's Goin' On

I Am Me - Ashlee Simpson

came to prominence solely because she had a show on MTV even though anyone who watched the show could easily tell she was tone deaf and many episodes focused on her poor performances in the studio. This point was amplified by the laughable performances at Saturday Night Live and the Orange Bowl to the point where Ashlee even had to hire a keyboard player who just happens to sing every word along with her. But thanks to Joe Simpson’s pact with the devil, Ashlee gets a second try with .

The album starts off with the disturbingly entertaining Boyfriend coming off as the 2005 version of last years “I know I shouldn’t like it” song from last year, Since U Been Gone. The song bounces along on the uber-catchy guitar hook, and unlike Kelly, didn’t have to steal it from the . But what really makes the song is the so cheesy it becomes amusing “ha’s” that pepper the song much like the hand claps in Take the Money and Run.

Unfortunately the album doesn’t have a Behind These Hazel Eyes to accompany Boyfriend. The closest is the girl anthem L.O.V.E. The major problem with the song is what is supposed to be a chant along chorus sounds like she is saying “Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello VD.” Of course that phase could ruin any girl power moment. But then, maybe it was intended to sound like it, she was rumored to be dating the dude from That 70’s Show and he sluttied up every girl he’s came in contact with.

Lyrically the album is absurd most of the time. Occasionally they induce a good chuckle like when she is self defacing like in Boyfriend where she is confronted by a jealous girlfriend and Ashlee explains herself by saying “When I go home, I’m going home alone.” So basically she’s saying that not only could I not steal you boyfriend, I couldn’t pick any guy up. Her inability to land a guy continues on Dancing Alone which is reminiscent of Dancing with Myself (the song even sounds out of the 80’s) but without the underlining double entendre that made the Billy Idol song noteworthy. Then there is the ironic line in Boyfriend, “All the lies that you told, just to ease your own soul.” Oh but Ashlee, you are not bigger than that as you blame your drummer, your stomach, Saddam Hussein having WMD’s, and Doug Eddings.

The worst of the worst is Burning Up where Ashlee tries to moan her lyrics suggestively but it ends up sounding as alluring as squealing like a pig in his underwear. The album also falters whenever they don’t mask Ashlee’s voice with a wall of sound. With only a piano accompanying her, Ashlee’s voice sounds like nails on a chalkboard. For Ashlee’s next album (God forbid) she may want to take another reality star turned pop star, and go techno because the aggravated beats can cover up even the worst voices. And with her nappy extensions, she isn’t even Beautifully Broken like the song title say, she is just broken now.

Song to Download – Boyfriend

I Am Me gets a Terror Alert Level: Low [GREEN] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye

What better than having the opposing manager get thrown out during a playoff game; having an opposing player get tossed in the same game. And just what exactly did Jim Edmonds say to get tossed on a full count. Any lip readers out there catch what he said? It has been a very long time since I have seen someone get tossed in the middle of an at-bat. Also I sure hope I catch Tony LaRussa’s apology after catching the replay of Lance Berkman’s at-bat that got him tossed to see that each and every pitch was well out of the strike zone. Actually what I want to see more is LaRussa in the next installment of Dancing with the Stars because he did a nice two step with crew chief Tim McClelland during his tirade. But in the end, Phil Cuzzi might make us forget the call from the Sox-Angels game. (What was his name again?) The thing that bugged me was that during neither ejection did the PA announcer played the song (see title), isn’t that required by law to play whenever someone got ejected?

Then you have Phil Garner doing everything right in this series after some questionable moves in the 18-inning marathon (do you really think Garner had Chris Burke pinch run for Berkman in hopes he’d hit a walk off home run ten innings later?). But in this series you can look at the wins and great managing is the result of those wins. Obviously the best move is sticking Burke’s hot bat into the lineup. In three Burke starts in the postseason, three wins. He might have been silent last night, but he was instrumental it getting runs in the previous two wins. Although I thought the better choice would have been put Burke in for Lane who had been silent so far, but Lane’s run was what helped the Astros to the win last night, so Garner was right again.

So now the Houston Astros are one game away from their first World Series appearance ever. And with Pettitte, Oswalt, and Clemens starting the potential next three games and the Cardinals unraveling last night with multiple starters with one foot in the hospital, the odds are very good of that happening sooner than later. But it must be pointed out that the Cards beat the trio in three straight games coming out of the All-Star break so I’m not celebrating just yet.

The one thing that has worried me is Brad Lidge. After owning the Cards over the last two year with batters going 5-100 against him with no run, but the touched him up in game three and in all intents and purposes was saved from disaster by some bad base running by Albert Pujols and a great double play. This could be a Mariano Rivera against the Red Sox situation of the Cards seeing Lidge too much. Hopefully when the Astros are three-six outs away from the World Series, Lidge will shut the door.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Musings From the Back 9 vol. VIII

- Today is the nail in the coffin game for the Cards. If Brandon Backe can pull off some magic like he did last year when he shut down the Cards, then they would need to beat Pettitte, Oswalt, and Clemens in three straight games and with Walker, Sanders, and Nunez with one foot in the hospital, I really don’t see that happening.

- Speaking of Nunez going down, his replacement had the worst thrown I’ve ever seen since got glasses. Even Yao Ming wouldn’t have been able to catch that ally-oop with a ladder.

- Keeping with baseball I find it interesting that the elder Bush is not prominently shown during the Astro’s home games this playoff. Last year he and Barbra were right behind the plate and easily seen in every at bat. This year they are a little right of the plate with Barbra rarely getting in the picture. Do they have different seats this year? Did Fox change their camera angle last year for a subliminal advertising for his son down the campaign stretch?

- And I am glad I finally agree with the party of my youth, the Republicans, once again, Harriet Meiers is a horrible choose. Picking someone who ran gambling commission to a seat to the Supreme Court is like electing a cocaine addict as a president. And ripping Meiers in not sexist, every nominee goes through the ringer, not doing it to her would be sexist.

- On Tuesday look out for the review of the most anticipated album of the fall, 's I Am Me. Granted that is meant to be a joke, but looking at the list of albums slated for the next couple month's only 's latest star-studded peeks my interest. Of course the record indistry will instead blame downloaders on the poor sales that will likely happen instead of realizing that they are putting out a bad product.

- Search item of the week - cartoons making fun of homosexuals (Yahoo)

- Here are some hints for the remaining lyrics quiz (scroll down for the quiz itself)

2. If you dressed up like the song title, you will be dressing much like the artist, braided hair, guns, and some sticky-icky.

11. A couple of people have guessed the band but if you dress like the song title you most likely chaps and a 10-gallon hat. Oscars might make a good accessory too.

12. This real person who if you want to dress like, you would have a feather and a pipe on you.

17. Much like the costume at number 11, you would want a gun and hat. If you wanted to dress like the artist, not showering for a month should do it.