Saturday, May 06, 2006

Dad's on a Hunting Trip and He Hasn't Been Home in a Few Days

Sam and Dean of SupernaturalFrom the beginning, Supernatural looked like X-Files hits the road, the show even got the Scully and Mulder reference out of the way early. So without our tax money at their disposal, the protagonists Sam and Dean had to rely mostly on charm to get the locals to open up about the strange occurrences they saw. The show’s blend of shock and awe baddies with sly wit even landing the show on my Best New Shows of Fall 2005 at number five even though it aired opposite the number one show on that list, My Name Is Earl. In a strange twist of fate, just weeks after Earl moved from Tuesday to Thursday, Supernatural followed.

Supernatural followed the X-Files ethos of freak of the week all along searching for the big bad. The freak of the week tended to be hit or miss, seriously, killer paintings. They did deal with a lot of high profile baddies including Bloody Mary and The Hook-Man lore. Though they should have stayed away from vampires as Buffy taught us, they deserved their own show.

The big bad on the other hand started out cool, but seemed to sputter out at the end. The cool thing about the first episode was the duel attack on Sam’s mom twenty-one years ago as she is set on fire on the ceiling at the beginning and ending with his girlfriend getting the same treatment. Most of the first half of the season was devoted to hunting down their dad and we learn nothing about the demon in question. Even when we are introduced to the big bad’s henchman, in form of a chick, we still don’t learn anything about it or why it was targeting Sam. In fact I still don’t know if we learned anything about it in the finale either.

Sam and Dean of SupernaturalThe biggest problem with the show is how the characters just disappear after they have been uses. Except for daddy and the evil chick, played by Carol Vessey’s sister in a butch haircut, we never saw anyone more than once. Even all of dad’s contacts came and went after one episode, and for a solitary man, he sure had a lot of contacts, old dude, physic black chick, hillbilly dude, corporate guy. Then without warning, they introduced another bad guy who seemed to be more important than the chick, but then died the next episode. The big twist being that both turned out to be the big bad’s kids. Not that we would even care since we barely met him

Almost as bad is how Sam kept on getting new powers throughout the season. First he starts having visions ala Cordelia on Angel. Then more in explicatively out of nowhere he get the power of telekinesis. Um, yeah, okay. The strange part of the latter being they basically abandoned that idea after two episodes and only mentioned it in the finale. Then in finale, which was one of the most boring season finales ever, not only do we not learn anything, we are left with a cliffhanger as the big bad t-bones the family’s car and the last images are of the carnage.

When I first drew up my Fantasy CW Television Schedule, Supernatural made the cut, but after a lackluster ending, I’m not sure if I have a spot on it anymore. If it makes it on the official CW schedule, hopefully it doesn’t take the spot of something more deserving like Veronica Mars or Everwood.

Supernatural 1.x gets a on Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] my Terror Alert Scale.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Big Head Barry and High Pitch Kobe

When the finally won the World Series a couple years back many assumed that the curse of the Bambino had been broken. But it looks like the Babe didn’t give up on haunting the team that traded him so many years before, he just turned his attention to, you guessed it, everyone’s favorite oversized dome. It coincidentally all started right after the Sox won as had to undergo surgery that kept him out of most of last season. Then after starting to heat up this season, and coming within two round trippers of the Babe, Bond’s Giant Head swelled up just a little more after taking a foul ball during batting practice yesterday. God bless justice.

Then to add insult to injury, Phillies picture became the first of hopefully many current big leaders to question Bond’s legitimacy:

“I don't think it's legitimate. What he could have done without performance-enhancing drugs - which he hasn't been proven guilty of (using), which I'm not buying - you can maybe take what he had done in his prime, before his head started growing at an enormous rate, and just make those projections. Say that, ‘This is what he could have done.’ Maybe it's 550 home runs. I don't know. It definitely wouldn't have been anything close to 700. I've never met him, I don't know him. I know what I've heard. I've heard a lot of things where he doesn't treat people very well. That doesn't sit well with me. The reason I'm not scared to speak out is - I don't think he's a dumb person - basically, he had decisions to make, whether he wanted to treat people good or treat people bad. Whether he wanted to pump drugs into his body or stay clean. I believe he chose the (former). There are consequences in every decision. He's a grown-up. He's got to live with those consequences. I don't feel sorry for him. I don't want to see him break records. If he breaks them, it will be a shame, because I think when all is said and done, the truth will come out. It hasn't yet, but I think if he was in front of a jury, and there had to be a verdict, I think the verdict might be - with everything that I heard was in that book - I think the verdict might be guilty. It's sad. I'm not a player-hater. I like to see players get paid as much as they can. But without friggin' cheating. The worst part of it all, the young guys - the guys in the minor leagues, and worse than that, high school, and college - they already know they don't have a chance. If someone can't hit 15 home runs in college, how do they expect to take somebody's job in the big leagues who's hitting 50 home runs? They start feeling this pressure of doing that stuff, and it really is a problem. It's selfish for those guys who did it... to know what the chain reaction was to keep doing it.”

As much as I loved that, remind me again who Cory Lidle is.

Then there my next favorite athlete embarrassed himself even more the Big Head. I’m sure we have all scene the infamous clothline, well at least those of us that watch at least an hour of ESPN everyday. But what came next was even more entertaining with calling pompous. Classic, then to add to things, check out Kobe’s response, which would have be a good retort had he not sounding like a member of Howard Stern’s Wack Pack:

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Toss Up: Lost vs Veronica Mars week 15

Before I get into this week’s Toss Up, I'd like to mention a very special offer, as I type this, Amazon is offering copies of the first season of Veronica Mars for half price. So if you are a fan and have been dragging your feet in buying the set or like me, who tends not to buy TV DVD’s while the show is still on the air, or if you haven’t seen the show and have been wondering what the fuss is about and want to see the show from the beginning, now is the time to pick up the set because you are most likely not going to see this set this low. And maybe if the powers that be at the CW see its rank shoot up (it’s currently at #16), it may help season three chances. Now Amazon is known for switching prices without warning from week to week so I suggest you get the set now if it is still at the price of $30, which is just pennies more than what you can but the set used. And as an added bonus, if you use the link below, I get a commission from the purchase.

Now on to the important things, if there is one thing I have learned from Lost (download the latest episode Two for the Road) it that if you drink and drive, you will be shot. So let that be a lesson to you kiddies out there reading. And now on to this week’s Toss Up:

Creepier Dude
Lost: Not-Henry Gale
Veronica Mars: Not so Lucky
Winner: Lost

Parental Forgiveness
Lost: Ana Lucia’s mom seems to forgive her for killing the dude that made her miscarriage.
Veronica Mars: Keith seems to forgive all of Veronica’s transgressions that were brought up at the trial.
Winner: Veronica Mars

Post-Gun Wielding Job
Lost: Ana Lucia is a wand waver after resigning from the force.
Veronica Mars: Not so Lucky gets a job as a janitor.
Winner: Veronica Mars

Gets Off
Lost: Ana Lucia gets away with killing the previously mention baby killer.
Veronica Mars: Aaron Echolls is acquitted on all charges.
Winner: Veronica Mars

Lost: “They didn’t have in Baghdad?”
Veronica Mars: “How is Amber going to know she’s a (expletive deleted)?”
Winner: Lost

Lost: Sawyer in his afterglow.
Veronica Mars: Sheriff Lamb finding out Veronica has VD.
Winner: Veronica Mars

Lost: I thought that was Claire that Jack’s dad went to see, but alas, it was just some random Australian chick.
Veronica Mars: Really, how am I supposed to go without Dick for a whole week? (Ducky, you are not allowed to comment on this)
Winner: Lost

If You Have Sex…
Lost: You will die.
Veronica Mars: You will contract Le Clap and/or die.
Winner: Well everyone loses

They Met Before
Lost: Ana Lucia and Jack’s dad
Veronica Mars: Veronica and… You. (also know as the dude with Beaver)
Winner: Lost

Lost: Michael kills Ana Lucia and Libby(?).
Veronica Mars: Random security guard takes down Lucky.
Winner: Lost

Harebrain Theory
Lost: Jack and Claire are siblings.
Veronica Mars: Lamb is behind the bus crash.
Winner: We’ll just have to wait and see

Lost actually pulls off the rare win this week with its shocking ending. And I might as well start at the end. So on the surface, it looks like Michael has already made contact with The Others, contrary what he told the rest of the tribe, and that there may be a trade in place if he killed Ana Lucia and rescued not-Henry then he could be reunited with his son. And it looks like the tailies will be down to two as Libby got caught in the crosshairs.

The other big new of the episode is that Ana Lucia was in Australia after being picked up by Jack’s dad in, presumably, LAX. And as I stated in the Toss Up, I fully expect that the woman he harassed to turn out to be Claire’s mother, making Jack an uncle. And with parental issues continually turning up, I’m beginning to wonder if this is going to turn out to be an X-Files situation where the parents were the ones that submitted their kids for this experiment. Well that’s assuming we will ever learn what is truly behind the island.

Then on Veronica Mars we were sent on a roller coaster ride all episode going from happy go lucky scenes that quickly come down in shock in awn conclusions. Again starting at the end, it’s not that surprising that Aaron Echolls got off. Something tells me that he may end up dead in the near future. But the only thing with that, would anyone care to hunt down the real killers if that did happen? Then there was the trial itself, and I’m beginning to think that Veronica doesn’t really have Le Clap and that her doctor was on the Echolls/Not-Kendall payroll. But that was a great look from Lamb, when this tidbit came out.

Then back to this season’s major theme, Officer Mahoney is looking guiltier and guiltier which leads me to believe that it is not him behind the bus crash because that’s too obvious. Plus an understandable answer to why he skipped town is because they just found a bomb under his car. I may do the same with my family if such thing happened and I had a private jet. I also assumed the Michael Jackson tendencies of the mayor were just coincidental to throw us off the trail, but the pervert comment really hurt my case.

Veronica Mars at graduationThen next week we will finally find out who was behind the bus crash. And now for my personal prediction: Sheriff Lamb. He’s has always been quick to close the case prematurely whether it be with the bus driver or Terrence Cook. He’s even reluctantly followed Keith’s Woody theory even though Woody can destroy him. But no matter who it is, I’m sure it will be great as the preview had more excitement that most shows have in an hour. And it looks like we will finally see the exiled Duncan as I can’t remember that spot he was in being from a past scene. I remember Rob Thomas saying that they blew the back for the finale and that it would be spanning continents. Although the last time I checked Mexico was on the same continent as Neptune, unless he went further south. Or we may go to Europe, specifically Paris. Is it Tuesday yet? Well until then make sure you check out my photo blog, Scooter McGavin Takes Pictures, for exclusive pictures like the one to the right from next week's graduation during the finale.

Then on Lost next week we will finally find out, wait this is Lost, they only ask more questions, not answer them. And it looks as if we will never find out who called Ana that took her away from Jack at the bar. Oh well. But it should be interesting to see the fallout from the bloodbath in the hatch. Oh, and from the previews, it looks like the tailies may be down to one when Mr. Eko looks like he takes a fall of a cliff.

Veronica Mars season 2 DVD coverScooter's Addition - A couple weeks ago there was a rumor going around that Veronica Mars was not going to make it to the CW and I even got a letter from my UPN contact debunking that rumor and I told you not to believe anything until the CW announces it in two weeks. Well I'm going to break my own rule and pass along what seems to be a legit story. they have information on the season 2 DVD which will be released on August 15th. The interesting point is that their post states, "the release date is tied to the season 3 premiere on the CW." Now I don't know that much about the site, but the seem fairly reliable and have no reason to lie. And that it was hidden in another post and they weren't posting the information to break the story so this puts my mind a little more at ease as we head to the CW's offical announcement. Clink on the link for more information and an addition defending their posting of the news.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

If I Keep Holding Out Will the Light Shine Through

Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam

There has been a lot of hype surrounding the new self titled album as everyone says it is their best work in over a decade. Well that really says much since it can’t be hard to be better than the bland rock they have been churning starting with the release of No Code. But with that said, this album is indeed better than anything they have released during that time frame, but still is no way near as good as their first three albums.

The album is the band’s first in four years and the rest did do them good as there seems to be a spring back in their step, or it could also have been their time on the Vote for Change Tour lit a match underneath them, as sharing a stage with can definitely have a positive effect on musicians. The album starts off with the twin guitar assault by Stone Gossard and Mike McCready on Life Wasted and the you should have downloaded it when it was free on the band’s website World Wide Suicide which roar with ferocity that will undoubtedly will become a highlight of their live shows. Then Comotose is fast romp that is the closest the band has gotten to puck yet.

But what made Pearl Jam great is their diversity, yeah, they rocked, but were still able to slow things down, go acoustic, and make some eerily good music too. Marker in the Sand effortlessly switches from an angst fill verse to a mellower chorus with ease. The back to back Parachutes and Unemployable both sound like something from the British Invasion. The conclusion on Wasted Reprise sounds like something that could have come off their collaboration with on Mirror Ball. The somber Come Back is their most heart wrenching song ever not named Betterman. Then the closer is the very moody Inside Job that builds to a eerie conclusion that grabs your attention for all of it’s seven minutes.

The stories are more poignant as ever even as Eddie Vedder’s delivery seems to be more indecipherable as ever. World Wide Suicide is a full on assault on the Bush administration. Unemployable follows a dude just issued his pink slip on his journey on trying to get another job. But the one that hits closest to home, and happens to be the closest to the Pearl Jam of old, is on Army Reserve, an elegy to the wives and children of those serving in our armed forces today. Hopefully this album singles an upswing the band will be on for years to come.

Song to Download - Come Back

Pearl Jam gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Pearl Jam on iTunes

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I’m Embarrassed to Say the Rest Is Rock n Roll Cliché

Goodbye Alice in Wonderland - Jewel

Back in the mid-nineties, I was totally on the bandwagon. Even though the radio edits of the hits were better than the original, I still loved the coffee shop intimacy of her first album, Pieces of You. Spirit the polished the edges but keep the intensity of her debut. But that’s where my love affair with Jewel died down. She seemed to lose something on This Way and her attempt at dance music on 0304 was laughable at best. Now Jewel is back to her more acoustic roots on .

The problem with going back to her roots is that it’s been over a decade since she was living in her car back in Alaska. The album finds her bitter at fame and even at one point on the album on the title track says she’s “embarrassed to say the rest is Rock n Roll Cliché. I hit the bottom when I reached the top.” It’s almost as if she’s in on the joke. She then rails against the epicenter of it all, Los Angeles, on Satellite, but the bouncy sarcastic sounds like it’s a leftover from her last album.

Even when Jewel tries to expand, it just doesn’t feel like right. The type verse talking on Good Day just ruins what could have been the best song on the album. Then on Words Get in the Way, she goes for a more nasally sound that is more annoying than her usual soothing voice. The too much information Stephenville, TX is her attempt at country, which wouldn’t have been too bad if her delivery of the already dry lyrics was more interesting. Last Dance Rodeo is the closest she comes on this album to anything that would be good enough to be included on her first two albums, but the song still seems to go long. Unfortunately it is too late to ask for the old Jewel back because she is too far gone.

Song to Download - Last Dance Rodeo

Goodbye Alice in Wonderland gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, May 01, 2006

I Fart in Your General Direction

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

For this month’s induction to the Scooter Hall of Fame I picked one of the crown jewels of my DVD collection. Surprisingly I first watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail while I was in high school. Now when I say I was in high school, I mean I was actually sitting in English Lit class as a learning experience. Not surprisingly, this class was taught by the same teacher who gave away beer mugs, which he tried to convince everyone were milk mugs. Needless to say this was the greatest class I had in my educational career.

But the great thing about Monty Python I that it actually works on an educational level with high brow comedy that the uneducated may not get. There were plenty of references that dealt with obscure British history may not get so while watching it in class we would watch a scene and laugh at it’s sophomoric humor, then the teacher would rewind it and point out the little things that us, the uneducated wouldn’t get, then have a laugh at the deeper meaning.

Yet it is still the silliness that draws people to the Monty Python franchise, and there is plenty of that in the Holy Gail. In addition to the French dude that uttered the title phrase, some of my personal favorite parts are, the Black Knight who wouldn’t die, the Holy Hand Grenade and the Knights Who Say Ni. And as part of the English Lit class, we learned the “Ni” was actually a curse word back in olden times, so for me that added to the humor of the scene.

And unlike virtually every DVD released, all the extras are worth checking out and also boasts what I think is the only movie that offers for your listening pleasure a “Mono soundtrack in glorious old-fashioned mono!” Plus as an added bonus there is “A glorious 24 seconds absolutely free!” although don’t ask me where that is from. There are also there rare audio commentaries that are actually interesting, one with and and another with , , and . Also there a plenty of great documentaries, three sin-alongs, and a cast directory to keep track of how many characters each actor played. And if you can’t get enough ridiculousness, you can watch the film in Japanese with English Subtitles as they search for the holy sake cup and even a Lego version of the film. No seriously, well at least a scene of them. And there’s even an educational film on to use your coconuts. And really, what else do you need in your life?

Sunday, April 30, 2006

2006 NFL Draft Day 2

Yesterday, the had a productive day fill major holes in the defense, but not only did they not help the Offensive Line, they actually made things weaker by shipping Jeff Faine out of town. But with their first pick, they made that their prority. Here are some other thoughts on the picks of day two:

4th Round (110 Overall) -
(ILB Miami FL) - Romeo Crennel and crew really wanted to focus on the front seven in this draft getting three with their first four picks. Hopefully one or more doesn’t to turn out like a bust like the Courtney Brown era.

4th Round (112 Overall) -
(OT Indiana) - Finally the Browns fill one of the biggest problems the team has had, the O-Line with picking up the biggest free agent and Sowells is a big dude that should make a solid backup. I still would have liked to see one or more O-Line pickup’s in this draft.

5th Round (145 Overall) -
(RB Washington State) - Maybe the most interesting pick in the draft for the team, maybe signaling the end of the William Green era, by picking up the Pac 10 leading rusher (you know, the league with Reggie Bush). He was also third in the nation in all purpose yards so he could be the out of the backfield threat that the Browns have been missing. Hopefully this doesn’t mean the end Lee Suggs because I still think he can be something special once he gets healthy.

5th Round (152 Overall) -
(CB Georgia) - One thing I never want to hear on draft day when it comes to my team is “character issues.” So hopefully Minter grows out of that quick and stays away from Green. There may be some shakeups with the backs but with two rookies taken last year, he may be the odd man out.

6th Round (180 Overall) -
(FB Colorado) - With Terrelle Smith, who always seems to block for 1000 rushers, Vickers may not see much playing time. Seems to have good hands so may make for a good goaline back or extra TE.

6th Round (181 Overall) -
(DT Stanford) - A true nose tackle and yet another front 7 pick. I’m always a big fan of smart player, so you can go too wrong with a Sanford grad and the dude can fill some holes.

7th Round (222 Overall) -
(S Virginia Tech) - Another addition to what seems to be an already crowded defensive back pool. Could be a throw away pick. ESPN didn’t even have anything on this guy and that’s never a good thing.

Overall, I’m still giving the Browns a B. They didn’t focus on the O-Line like I hoped. I would have also like them to pick up another Quarterback because I’m still weary of the Dilfer/Frye combination and an extra one on the bench can never hurt. But anyways. Is it August yet?