Saturday, May 20, 2006

Cross Another One Off the List

The Cast of My Name Is EarlWhen I first heard of the concept behind My Name Is Earl, I though it had the potential to be funny, but it also could turn out like The Mullets, Instead of the big long hair there would be a bushy mustache. Luckily I have it a chance because it turned out to be even better that I could have hoped. The show itself is almost the antithesis of Arrested Development. Where the Bluth’s were complex people with complex problems, Earl and his crew were just simple folk with simple problems. The writers of Arrested Development would go out of the way just to set up a joke, Earl’s staff just go with the easiest ones. And of course Earl is a rags to riches story and the Bluth’s on the other hand lost all of theirs.

Earl and JoyBut the key to the show is Earl’s list. After years of being a petty criminal, he wins the lottery only to promptly get hit by a car. While in the hospital Earl learns a lesson about karma form Carson Daly of all people and makes a list of wrongs he’s done in his life that he need to make right. And being a reformed criminal, there is plenty to atone for, but with the help of his brother Randy and the maid at the hotel he stays at, Catalina, Earl has been able to cross a few off his list so far. This is no thanks to his ex-wife Joy who routinely stands in his way, or generally mocks him along the way, unless of curse it’s something that helps her.

Earl, Randy and the listSome of my favorite bad deeds Earl has crossed of his list include when he faked his own death to get out of a relationship, ruined Joy’s wedding, and the Y2K episode where he stole the ticket thing. Earl even solved one of Lost’s mysteries when he answered the question of where’s Walt and he also kidnapped the special kid. You can check out his list on the website although it is not the complete list and inaccurate. Number one on the list should be stole money from dude at a convenient store. Then there are the things on the list that Earl hasn’t gotten around to like how he keeps putting of crossing the one-legged woman off his list. Maybe next year.

My Name Is Earl 1.x gets a Terror Alert Level: Severe [RED] on my Terror Alert Scale. It also won three STA's.

Friday, May 19, 2006

My 2006-7 Television Schedule

The networks spent all week announcing their new schedule, so here is my unofficial schedule of what I will be watching. It is only tentative because all I have to go on for the new shows are a short description (check out my preseason top five at the bottom) so I will have more of an idea of whether I will watch something when they start seeing promos are read reviews. Even Veronica Mars wasn’t on my radar two years ago as I pegged it as just another boring high school drama.

8:00 - How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
9:00 - Heroes (NBC)

This may turn out to be a throwaway night with HIMYM being the only show worth watching. Heroes seems promising if you get past the lackluster cast and a plotline stolen from a failed Courtney Cox show from the late 80’s who’s I can’t remember and too lazy to look up. I may check out The Class in between, but I hay just tape HIMYM and watch it at 8:30.

9:00 - Veronica Mars (CW)
9:00 - Let’s Rob… (Taped) (ABC)

Veronica Mars is a given, sadly the most promising sitcom, Let’s Rob… is up against it so I’ll have to tape it. The show is from the producers of Ed and Late Show and stars the taxi cab driver from the old MTV commercials. The show was originally called Let’s Rob Mick Jagger but I guess the show will branch out later and has potential to be this year’s My Name Is Earl.

8:00 - Jericho (CBS)
9:00 - Lost (ABC)

I’m just watching Jericho out of spite because they totally stole my idea of life in a post nuclear small town. Luckily since it’s on CBS and doesn’t have the prefix CSI, it most likely won’t make it past the first month. I may also check out The Nine which is oddly enough on at 10:00 solely because it stars Chi McBride.

8:00 - Survivor (CBS)
8:00 - Smallville (Taped) (CW)
8:00 - My Name Is Earl (Taped) (CW)
9:00 - Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC)

Last year they moved all my favorite shows to Thursday making my weekend catch up time and it looks like it will be much of the same. Everybody Hates Chris is out but unfortunately My Name Is Earl moved up and hour. The at 9:00 there is Studio 60 from the dude who brought us Sports Night and if this show is just like his previous one but with an SNL twist I’ll be happy, well except for the whole being canceled thing.


I’d like to think I have something better to do on these nights to watch TV.

7:00 - Everybody Hates Chris (CW)

Sundays look like when I’ll be catching up on everything I missed on Thursday. I may ease up my boycott of Fox to watch the cartoon lineup, and is the Browns are on I’ll watch football, but this is basically a throwaway night.

Preseason Top 5 New Shows

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC)
Let’s Rob (ABC)
Heroes (NBC)
20 Good Years (NBC)
The Nine (ABC)

Thoughts on other new shows:

20 Good Years - An off couple with John Lithgow and Jeffery Tambor, seriously how could you go wrong with an alien and a Bluth? Unfortunately it’s on against Lost, same with the other SNL themed show, 30 Rock

Six Degrees (ABC) - As in six degrees of separation but Kevin Bacon is no where to be found. The problem with the show is that it is JJ Abrams’ third show on the schedule, and second that involves random people who randomly interact (Think Lost’s flashbacks). Then add his involvement in resurrecting the Star Trek franchise and I can’t imagine he will have too much on his table and something, if not will falter.

‘Til Death (FOX) - The dude from Everybody Loves Raymond not named Raymond stars as a married dude in a stale marriage who new neighbors are newlyweds. This show was much better when it was called Married with Children.

Kidnapped (NBC), Vanished (FOX), Runaway (CW) - Much like Surface, Threshold, and Invasion last year, these shows sound basically the same and look how those that turned out for last year’s crop of derivative shows. To add to the agony, the latter stars one of the New Kids on the Block, that’s never a good sign.

For a complete grid of next year’s schedule, check out

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Toss Up: Lost vs Veronica Mars: It's a Done Deal Edition

Evil BeaverTo start things off, as reported here first last week, “CW? It’s a done deal,” and today the official release was announced and will be on the inaugural CW schedule on Tuesdays following Gilmore Girls. Unfortunately Everwood didn’t make the cut while the worst show on television that doesn’t feature dudes sing karaoke, One Tree Hill, the already canceled 7th Heaven, and the lackluster Supernatural did. (For the entire schedule, and a cool network trailer, well aside from those annoying OTH clips, check out it’s website and be sure to check back in tomorrow for what I’ll be watching next year). Back to Veronica Mars, it will be interesting to re-watch this past season looking at Beaver and Woody for clues that I didn’t catch the first time around, although I totally forgot to look for Beaver’s post-crash reaction, but I guess that’s what screen caps are for thant to I’ll also be looking forward to next episode with the introduction of Jackie to see any hints that she was, indeed, lying about her past as I didn’t see her mom being a waitress coming although I did call her being with child.

For those of you that still haven’t jumped on the Veronica Mars bandwagon, now’s the best time to get aboard with summer repeats getting into full swing pretty soon. Although you missed out on the massive Amazon price cut, you can still catch the show other cheaper ways. First if you are a member of , , or other subscription-based DVD rental place, just throw the first disk of season one into your queue. If you like it, go head and queue up the whole season and the second too so you will get first dibs when it is released in August. But if you don’t, oh well (but don’t let the Paris Hilton cameo throw you off in the second episode, make sure you give all four episodes a chance). If you don’t subscribe to any of those subscription sites, you can always take a look at your local library to see if they have it as Veronica Mars fan raised a lot of money to buy of season one DVD’s to distribute to libraries across the country. Hey, you can’t beat free.

Now onto the show that had a new episode this week (click to download Three Minutes). Much like the last couple episodes, this one had a couple of big moments, but most of it was just filler. This could be because I had already pieces together Michael’s timeline while MIA from his actions upon return. The only part I didn’t see coming was that The Other letting him see Walt and the subsequent list that was given to him, and I was surprised that he wasn’t specifically told to kill Ana Lucia. With that said, Michael’s flashbacks were some of the most interesting of this season and there’s something to say that Claire’s is also near the top as they both had post-crash flashbacks. Hopefully there are more post-crash flashbacks next season as the pre-crash ones are getting stale. Maybe we will see a Rousseau flashback, or maybe Zeke or Not-Henry Gale.

But the most important part of this episode was the list, which much like Earl’s may have to do with Karma, or maybe not. There are many question to why these four, Jack, Kate Hurley, and Sawyer, are on the list. The Others like collecting “good” people, but then why Sawyer? There is something to say that they used Sawyer’s real name on the list though. Then there is why were certain people left off the list like Eko whom The Others already tried to take once and Claire whom the successfully too but escaped? Claire escaped thanks to Alex who also showed up in Michael’s flashback when she refused to deliver Kate to Zeke. And it’s pretty much a given that Alex is Rousseau’s kid. Right?

The rest of the episode was basically sleep inducing. The producers said they killed Libby because they had nothing else for her character yet they keep Charlie around with the boring heroin storyline that keeps coming back like a boomerang. Who wants to bet the Virgin Mary’s wash back ashore next season to rehash the storyline one more time just in time for him to reunite with Claire? Then there is Eko who is now king of the button and Locke sits around doing nothing. Yawn. Then they end the episode with a band with a yacht floating around shoreline.

Next week on Lost we have the two hour finale that promises to answer all your questions including why they are on the island (I’m sure they brought back the magnetic pull with Eko’s crucifix for a reason) and what will happen when the button isn’t pushed (haven’t we already seen this once possibly twice if Not-Henry was telling the truth?). Um, yeah, sure. Just from last episode I’m sure we will see who is on the yacht, if anyone and what Sayid’s master plan is for confronting The Others. I’ll go ahead and call it right now that this season will end when the castaways make it to The Other’s camp.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Final Word in the Final Sentence

Eyes Open - Snow Patrol

Over the two years iTunes has been issuing their Free Single of the Week, they have introduced us to a wide variety of songs; some didn’t make a dent in the musical landscape while others have gone on to be legitimate hits. I always find it funny when what was once a free single ends up a top seller because the people buying it could have gotten it for free at one point. But anyways. Arguable the best free song over the past two years was Run by . I played the song obsessively, eventually making the song the most played song on my iPod so naturally I was chopping at the bit to hear their new material on the newly released Eyes Open.

The album opens with a sixties influenced You’re All I Have with synthesizers and harmonies but with guitars turned up. Over the next forty-five minutes the band takes you on a sonic journey from the highs to the lows that almost make you understand the comparisons. Not in that they sound like the band, no one will ever be able to recreate the sound The Edge gets out of his guitars, instead Snow Patrol are able to craft music that doesn’t sound like anything else but is still palatable to a wide listening audience. Much like Run, Chasing Cars has and ebb and flow to it that just grabs you by the ear buds.

The journey you envision in your mind just maybe the theme of the album as they tell us to, “Just close your eyes until you can imagine this place, you're our secret space at will” (Shut Your Eyes). Then at the end of the journey they want so much to open your eyes Cos I need you to look into mine” (Open Your Eyes) to make sure we both got there before we get to the last track, The Finish Line.

Along the way there is the lullaby, complete with xylophones that could be used in a Disney ride in an alternate universe, on You Could Be Happy. Then there’s the grandeur Make This Go on Forever that, if it went on forever I wouldn’t have minded. The song builds and builds on piano as more and more people join the choir that helps out on the chorus. Then the album then quickly crashes into the more somber Set the Fire to the Third Bar, a beautiful ballad that helps with moody word especially when the two singers hit the chorus, “I'm miles from where you are, I lay down on the cold ground I, I pray that something picks me up and sets me down in your warm arms.”

If there was one negative to Snow Patrol is they still have yet to master the straight away rocker in the vain of Vertigo. When they do on songs like the unfortunate first single Hands Open as well as It’s Beginning to Get to Me and Headlights on the Dark Road seem to blend into each other and are too much like a couple songs off the last album. If on future releases they are able to craft a bombastic stadium anthem or two, they just may live up to the moniker of this generation’s U2.

Song to Download - Make This Go On Forever

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

Snow Patrol on iTunes

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Exile on Probst St

Survivor Exile IslandThe granddaddy of all network reality shows, Survivor, hit double digit a couple seasons back but it still remains the most constantly entertaining one. Its advantage above all others, who are dependant on picking contestants that have to bring the entertainment, Survivor’s ace in the hole is the show’s main character, the environment itself, which almost always ups the drama. You don’t see a torrential downpour on the set of American Karaoke? The show even added to that this season with the addition of Exile Island where one or two of the survivors would be banished there with nothing but a clue to a hidden immunity idol that could have been used at anytime up to the final four.

But as beautiful as some of the locales are, you still need populate the tribes and this season’s tribes could have been the most volatile. It saw the rare case where there were three contestants that got multiple votes at a single tribal council and there some odd votes cast at other tribals too. Then there was the most volatile survivor ever, Shane, who had to quit cigarettes cold turkey and his nicotine withdrawal him to have multiple outbursts, alienated alliance members Aras, Danielle and Courtney, and at one time created a Blackberry out of wood and it seemed as if he really thought he was talking on it and emailing other people.

Danielle and her BreastsThe season, though, was all about Danielle’s breasts. You know if she bent over, the camera guys would be there to capture them on film and they got more screen time than half of the other contestants. They even liked to come out and play during every other challenge giving the censors the most work they have done since the original winner and future contestant of Survivor: Alcatraz. With that all said, Danielle easily made the top five hottest survivors ever list. Then there was Molly who shot herself into the top two cutest contestants ever list.

Danielle and her BikiniSurprisingly this was also one of the rare instances where one of the token hot chicks didn’t look uglier after taking a shower (think Stephanie who put on way too much makeup at her two reunion shows). But Shane did look a lot like Johnny Knoxville after cleaning up and that can’t be a good thing, well, unless you are trying to trick Jessica Simpson into sleeping with you. In the end the yoga dude won, yawn.

Next season we will see the return of Exile Island, but the show will be leaving Latin America for the one of the rare times in recent seasons for the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. No matter who is in the cast there will be a mutiny on the Bounty. Well that and someone will borrow Danielle’s gravity defying bikini top.

Survivor: Exile Island gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale. It also won three STA's.

This season is not yet available, but check out other seasons of Survivor on Amazon.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Lyrics Quiz - At the Movies

Mission Impossible 3 started off the summer blockbuster season a couple weekends ago. Seems odd considering Memorial Day used to be the kickoff date. But as studio try to out do each other, soon St. Patrick’s Day will kick off the summer blockbusters. Well except the whole M:I:3 not doing as good as expected. But anyways. So movie soundtracks are the basis of this month quiz. As usual, leave the song title and artist in the comment section. As and added bonus, if you name the movie the song appeared in (as long as the title of the movie is not the same as the title of the song), you get an extra point. You can steal the bonus once the song has already been guessed. If you are right I will un-bold it and give you credit. Winner will join the Winner's List on the sidebar. Now on to the lyrics:

1. I wish I could just make you turn around, turn around and see me cry. (Against All Odds - Phil Collins; guessed by Anonymous)

2. No I don’t wanna fall in love (this world is only gonna break your heart). (Wicked Game - Chris Isaacs guessed by Lisa; Bonus - Wild at Heart guessed by Kristi)
3. Fool I’m the illest, bulletproof, I die harder than Bruce Willis. (New Jack Hustler - Ice-T; guessed by Pupski; Bonus - New Jack City guessed by Lyndon)
4. I bid Farwell to ol’ Kentucky, the place I was born and raised. (Man of Constant Sorrow - Soggy Bottom Boys; Bonus - O, Brother Where Art Thou? both guessed by Lisa)
5. Most of my hero don’t appear on no stamp. (Fight the Power - Public Enemy; Bonus - Do the Right Thing both guessed by Lyndon)
6. My grandma said to your grandma I’m gonna set your flag on Fire. (Iko, Iko - The Belle Stars; Bonus - Rain Man both guessed by Lyndon)
7. If you’re all alone, pick up the phone and call. (Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr. guessed by Lyndon)
8. Tumble out of bed and I stumble to the kitchen; pour myself a cup of ambition. (9 to 5 - Dolly Parton; guessed by Lisa)
9. Out of the shadow she walks like a dream, make me feel crazy, make me feel so mean. (On the Darkside - John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band; Bonus - Eddie and the Cruisers both guessed by Kristi)
10. Just hit the East Side of the LBC on a mission try to find Mr… (Regulate - Warren G; Bonus - Above the Rim both guessed by Lyndon)
11. When everything feels like the movies, yeah you bleed just to know you’re alive. (Iris - The Goo Goo Dolls; guessed by Pupski; Bonus - City of Angels guessed by Erica)
12. He’s in a bunch of movies, really stupid movies, it’s not entirely his fault, can’t control it all. (Spin the Bottle - Juliana Hatfield Trio; Bonus - Reality Bites both guessed by Lisa)
13. Why do you have to give me a fight, can’t you just let it be? (I'm Alright - Kenny Loggins; Bonus - Caddyshack both guessed by Lisa)
14. Into the flood again, same old trip it was back then. (Would? - Alice in Chains; Bonus - Singles both guessed by ANO)
15. A world in never-ending happiness, you can always see the sun, day or night. (Let's Go Crazy - Prince; Bonus - Purple Rain both guessed Lyndon)
16. When you can see your unborn children in her eyes. (Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman? - Bryan Adams; Bonus - Don Juan both guessed by Lyndon)
17. There used to be a graying tower alone on the sea. (Kiss From a Rose - Seal; Bonus - Batman Forever both guessed by Pupski)
18. And it's no movie, there's no Mekhi Phifer, this is my life. (Lose Yourself - Eminem; Bonus - 8 Mile both guessed by Erica)
19. Now that the world isn't ending, it's love that I'm sending to you. (Hero - Chad Kroeger; Bonus - Spiderman both guessed by Lisa)
20. First time you feel it, it might make you sad, the next time you feel it, it might make you mad. (The Power of Love - Huey Lewis and the News; Bonus - Back to the Future both guessed by Lisa)
21. I can see a new horizon underneath the blazing sky, I’ll be where the eagles flying higher and higher. (St. Elmo's Fire - John Parr; guessed by Angie)
22. Jesus loves you more than you will know. (Mrs. Robinson - Simon and Garfunkel; Bonus - The Graduate guessed by Erica)
23. In my darkest hour, in deepest despair, will you still care? In my trial and my tribulations, through our doubts and frustrations. (Will You Be There? - Michael Jackson; Bonus - Free Willy both guessed by ANO)
24. If I could be king, even for a day, I’d take you as my queen; I’d have it no other way. (Change the World - Eric Clapton guessed by Lisa; Bonus - Phenomenon guessed by Kristi)
25. I touch you once, I touch you twice, I won’t let go at any price. (If You Leave - OMD; Bonus - Pretty in Pink both guessed by Angie)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Think Pink

Pink batsFirst off I want to give a big shout out to all the mothers out there especially the one that brought me into this world (not that she will read this or anything). I also want to give big ups to Major League Baseball for also honoring all the mothers out there by having the players and all on-field personnel wear pink wristbands and a pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness on their uniforms to commemorate the day. The pink ribbon logo will also appear on the bases and on commemorative home plates, and the lineups will be written on pink cards.

Pink bats being madeIn addition to all that, baseball has allowed its players to use pink bats today, all part of a weekend program to raise money for the . Many superstars including , David Ortiz, and along with over fifty other players intend to use the pink bats. of the Texas Rangers wants to go a step the pink bat a step further and have his mother’s name on his bat as well as one for his grandmother who died of breast cancer who has to say this about his mother:

“My mom is the glue of our family, and I just want to do something to thank her for all that she has done. At the same time, we are raising money for a great cause.”

The one problem a buddy of mine poised was what if Big Head Barry tied and/or passed Babe Ruth with a pink bat? My thought - great, as the bats, as well as the bases, will be signed and auctioned off later this year will all proceeds going to the charity and the amount that the potential historic bat could make for the cause could almost help Big Head Barry atone for his past transgressions. Almost. For more about breast cancer awareness, check out the pink ribbon on my sidebar.