Saturday, May 27, 2006

2nd Annual Scooter Television Awards

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Scooter Television Awards honoring show that aired new episodes between June 2005 and May 2006. I will save the explanation of certain winner's when I do a comprehensive review of that season in the near future (for the reviews I done already check out my Terror Alert Scale archives). Before we get to handing out the awards, let me take time out for the obligatory memoriam section, so pour some out for the homies no longer with us:

Arrested Development
Jonathan Kent
The token hot chick on
Ana Lucia
Meg Manning
The 80’s guest stars on Veronica Mars
¾ the cast of 24
UPN & The WB

Now without further ado, here are the winners of the 2006 STA's:

Best Scripted Show:

Best Reality Show (Game Show): Survivor: Exile Island

Best Reality Show (Documentary): The Surreal Life 6

Best Cable Show:

Best Sitcom:

Best Talk Show: Pardon the Interruption

Best New Show: My Name Is Earl

Best Awards Show: 2006 Grammy Awards

Hottest Token Hot Chick:

Best Moment: The spit seen round the world (Flavor of Love)

Best Episode: Donut Run (Veronica Mars 2x11)

Most Entertaining Character: Dick Casablancas (Veronica Mars)

Most Entertaining Reality "Star": Shane (Survivor: Exile Island)

Worst Idea: Killing off the Token Hot Chick on Lost

Best Shocker: The death of Aaron Echolls/”CW?” “It’s a done deal.” (Veronica Mars)

Best Soundtrack: Everybody Hates Chris

Best Song Placement: Sabotage on My Name Is Earl

Best Karaoke: The dude from Spoon serenading Veronica Mars with Elvis Costello’s Veronica

Show That Should Be Brought Back:

Best Guest Appearance: Giovanni Ribisi (Ralph Mariano on My Name Is Earl)

Best Cast Addition: Dick Casablancas

Best Catchphrase: “Suit Up” (Barney on How I Met Your Mother)

Biggest Unanswered Question: Who is Him on Lost?

Best Set Visit: Veronica Mars

Go back and relive the inaugural STA’s.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Not Everybody Hates Chris

The Cast of Everybody Hates ChrisEven though was my most anticipated show of last season, I still doubts about the show as ’s previous foray into PG territory were less than memorable (except for the maybe Little Penny ads, but how many people knew that was him). But conventional wisdom would say that say that Rock has always been funny so there could have been a time in his youth when he didn’t rely on profanity so this look back his life could be entertaining at least in a Wonder Years kind of way.

The show, yet still funnier than, say, , it still doesn’t reach that of his stand up routines, but then again it doesn’t have too because in the scenes that lack laughs make up for it in heart. In an era where all sitcoms feature dysfunction families that hate each other, you can sense the love in the Rock household aside from all the natural sibling rivalries. Even when the family argues you know it’s only because they care and that’s refreshing to see on network television without having to sit through an hour of the should have stayed canceled .

But it wouldn’t be a Chris Rock project without the discussion of racism and with Rock going to an all-white middle school during the early 80’s, it is dealt with head on. The catalyst of most of it is school bully Joey Caruso who has already used every racial epitaph for black people in the first season, my favorite being Bo Jangles. They even occasionally throw in the “N” word, but this only enhances the realism of what Rock had to go through at the time (keep in mind, even with racial slurred, the show still landed on the list of Best Shows of this year coming in at number five).

Chris Rock as PrinceEven though Chris Rock has a good ten years on me, the show almost takes me back to my middle school days complete with the token black student who teachers went out of their way to avoid being racist. And with the early 80’s time period, the show makes for the best soundtrack on television ranging from Eye of the Tiger to Ebony and Ivory. And it was just classic when Rock dressed up like for Halloween. I almost hope that on the show, Rock doesn’t make to high school for a while, because I’m having too much fun laughing at his middle school experience.

Everybody Hates Chris 1.x gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale. It also won a STA.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Toss Up: Lost vs Veronica Mars: Finale Edition

Usually when I write, I do a draft during down time at work, but when I pulled out some paper to jot down some thoughts I just sat there for a couple minutes and stared at the paper before I gave up and pulled out the Newsweek to read. Then when I got home, I fired up the computer, opened up Word and stared at the screen for a while. My writer’s block comes down to my inability to wrap my head around last night’s finale of (click to download Live Together, Die Alone, I know I need to see again). And it’s not that it dragged on like last year’s last episode and it wasn’t as sad as having some old dude being crowned karaoke king (for those keeping track at home, if you are older than me, you, by definition, cannot be an idol).

The show instead had the rare ability to be thoroughly entertaining, suck massively, and be mediocre all at the same time. The good involved what was the lone bright spot of the season, Not-Henry Gale. It all started last week when Michael was given the list of people to bring back to The Others. Yet for some reason only Sayid was the only one to realize this was a trap so he devised a plan to turn the tables on Zeke and the boys. Even though they planned ahead, they forgot that The Others are always two steps ahead and ambushed Jack and the crew before they made it to Not-The Other’s Village.

This lead to the best part of the finale as Zeke, Miss Cleo, and Not-Henry bickered because Miss Cleo and Zeke revealed each others name and Not-Henry yelling at Zeke for not having his beard. Although it’s odd with all their thinking ahead, they would carelessly leave the fake beard and theater glue where it could be found. I wonder if that was left there to be found. The list made a little more sense once Hurley was let go as the remaining people were all there the night when the group went after Michael except that Locke was also part of the search party. Maybe since he wanted to go back was why Locke didn’t make the list. So we are left with Jack, Sawyer, and Kate being led back to wherever The Others’ camp in while Hurley has to find his way back to camp even though he was brought there with a sack over his head and Michael got Walt back and a boat to take himself back to civilization. But considering where Desmond ended up, I have a feeling Michael won’t be making it Fiji or Honolulu.

Then there was the mediocre where the show answered two questioned I stopped caring about a while ago and the both ended up being connected. First we learned what happened when the button isn’t pushed, but when since we already saw the counter hit zero once already this season, it ruined the final payoff. And on that note, Desmond let the numbers hit zero and beyond when he confronted his partner and the magnetic charge that followed turned out to be the thing that brought down the plan. What a letdown. In a show where characters coincidentally intertwine without them knowing, the plane turned out to be an accident. It wasn’t Jack’s not so dead dad. It wasn’t Zeke and his band of merry men. It wasn’t part of the Dharma Initiative. It was simply an accident. Yawn. Then there was the bright light and piercing sound, that for some reason didn’t rattle The Others as they were back to business as usual afterwards and don’t even acknowledge it. And for some reason, the hatch door was launched into the air only to almost land on Claire.

As for the bad, that had to do with devoting two hours to a character we have only met once in the season premiere, granted we saw the one meeting in about four episodes, then promptly disappeared. I fully expected to see Desmond to pop up in other people’s flashbacks throughout this season, but we didn’t see or hear from him until last night. The only problem with Desmond is that I stopped caring about him around Christmastime. How do you make someone we don’t really know the focal point of the season finale? Then after investing two hours on the character, he dies, or at least he thought what ever he did was going to kill him and the worst part is after building up that stupid book all night, he didn’t get to read it. Although I have a feeling he will make it out of there because if he dies, that means that Eko and Locke bit the dust too, and I don’t think they would kill off all three. Plus with the last scene, it would be stupid to kill Desmond off now. But then again I thought it was stupid to kill Libby and the token hot chick when they did too. Did anyone else notice that Shannon’s death was conspicuously absent from the recap show before the finale?

We didn’t, as I hoped would happen, find out the identity of “Him” (See Oddsmakers: Lost: Who Is Him?). Even though Not-Henry was clearly higher in the ranks the Miss Cleo and Zeke, since Zeke pretty much blew off Not-Henry when he asked him why he wasn’t wearing the beard, I still think there is someone bigger out there. We even saw someone in the episode that could be added to the list in Penny’s father. He clearly has the resources and the motivation to keep Desmond on a deserted island.

Other people seen in Desmond’s flash back include Libby who gave Desmond a boat to compete in some competition that led him to be on the island. Libby was also wearing an obviously hideous wig that made me wonder if it was significant. Could losing her husband be not the only bad thing to happen to her, could se had also had cancer? All that bad new could have led her to a nut house. Or did she also pick up the numbers from Leonard and had a string of bad luck after getting out? Of course she’s dead now so I really don’t care anymore. Apparently she wasn’t the only person we have seen before in Desmond’s flashback as the guy who recruited Sayid during Desert Storm turned out to be Desmond’s hatch mate. I only know this because it’s in every review I’ve read. Seriously am I only person that didn’t catch that.

My major problem with Desmond’s flashbacks was the scene with Locke. It was show that Desmond was suicidal and his faith was renewed with Locke’s banging on the hatch. Why, when knowing there was a person out there, go out of the hatch and recruit the guy to help him? He knew it was safe to go outside. But instead he stays put and then seems surprised when people come down the hatch. There was some poor planning with that storyline.

In the end, the finale was much like the second season itself, there were some great parts, some bad ones and some filler. Oh, and did you notice Matthew Fox was one of the Brazilian dudes in the artic station? Yeah, neither did I, in fact I thought they were French. Oh well.

As for Veronica Mars, this week’s episode gave us a chance to see Jackie’s first appearance again. Now with most of the finales have come and gone, I highly recommend that you rent season one if you have yet to jump on the Veronica Mars bandwagon.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Sky Will Fall Down on You

Are You Nervous? - Rock Kills Kid

With a name like , your band has plenty to live up to. But the band isn’t a thrash metal band, instead on the band’s debut album there are syth beats that would have fit in well during the early 80’s. Sound like another “Killer” band? Well so does this album.

To be fair not every song on the album sound like as if it were created a Killers cover band. The throbbing base line that starts off Paralyzed is as innovative as anything of Hot Fuss. But after that it digresses into what would have been leftovers on the latter’s album. Well without the wit and more depressing songs and goes as far as saying “All God’s children are evil” in the aptly titled Life’s a (Expletive Deleted). Um, yeah, enough for escapism in music. Sadly that is one of the more uplifting messages of the album.

When it comes down to it, once you get past the innovative first track, all you are getting is a second rate Killers album but without the entertaining part. Add to that themselves are basically derivative of 80’s syth-pop bands like and Rock Kills Kid is to that genre what were to the boy band era. Maybe the lead singer of Rock Kills Kid can look forward to a lucrative reality television career in between overlooked albums.

Song to Download - Paralyzed

Are You Nervous? gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Radio's Playing Old Country Songs

Stand Still, Look Pretty - The Wreckers

Many may wonder why, after two successful albums, would veer into a side project, so early in her career with a virtually unknown, Jessica Harp. It could be to test something new under the guise of a not very well hidden pseudonym as the she steers more to the country side of the radio dial. That’s not to say the two are singing about how tractors are sexy or anything as the duo is in more of the vein of more palatable country artist such as the where there are fiddles and banjos but there still a pop ethos to it.

The album, Stand Still, Look Pretty, starts off with the rare break up song that is not to angry and not overly depressing either. Leave the Pieces is a more tranquil look at a failed relationship, “It’s alright, I’ll be fine, don’t worry about this heart of mine.” For those looking for the depressing relationship song, skip forward a couple songs to The Good Kind, “Do you know why I cry, and it’s not the good kind.”

Even though the album could be labeled pop-country, the songs definitely lean more towards the pop end of the spectrum but they get the country flare more from the instrumentation. The only straight up country songs include the bluegrass My, Oh My, a song that could get any hootenanny in a barn started. Then their as the album closer, Crazy People, where the girls take a stab at dumbed down country of today that they talk about on the song Cigarettes, “The radio's playing old country songs, someone's leaving, someone's cheating, on and on.” The lyrics are as over the top as their fake southern accents, with lines like “He love his whiskey, and his fist loved my face so I buried that man, they won’t find a trace.” And that was some of the nicer lyrics in that song. Then if you weren’t sure that the girls were taking the song serious or not, they break down laughing at the end.

But Stand Still, Look Pretty isn’t all banjos and fiddles as the ladies plug and turn the amps up on a few songs. Lay Me Down has been in Branch’s vault for a couple years, but this is the first time it’s made it on an album and could be her most rock and roll song in her repertoire. Later there is Rain, another hard driver that should satisfy those still weary about the country twinge of other songs on the album.

The blues have been a key element of country for years, but the lyrics here are hit and miss when it comes to the subject. When the girls stick to writing about being broken hearted like on Leave the Pieces and Hard to Love You, thing turn out well. But the songs when they address the ugly side of the business like on Stand Still, Look Pretty (where they complain that people think that's all they do), it can get annoying even though they even sing in the song, “I don’t want you to think I’m complaining all the time.” But the album as a whole is still solid and makes you wonder if Branch could pull off a disco album for her next side project.

Song to Download - Leave the Pieces

Stand Still, Look Pretty gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Oddsmakers: Lost: Who Is Him?

It's time for the game that's hotter than Tony Kornheiser with a red afro: Oddsmakers. This Wednesday’s finale of Lost promises that the answers you have been waiting for will be answered including what happens when the clock hit zero and why did the plane crashed in the first place. One question that has been puzzling me since Claire’s flashback is who “Him” that Zeke is and Ethan Rom were talking about. Not-Henry Gale would later bring up “Him” after been found out to be an Other. Now I have no clue if finding out who “Him” is during the two hour finale will be one of the questions that will be answered, but that isn’t stopping me from rounding up a list of suspects. Feel free to place your bets* in the comment section on who you think "Him" is.

Dave (1000:1) - Maybe Dave isn’t the figment of Hurley’s imagination after all. But then again there is a reason why he's a longshot.

Libby’s Evil Twin (750:1) - I have theorized before that Libby has an evil twin, maybe she’s behind it all. But then again I also theorized that Libby was the person whose Jack’s wife left him for, so my theories aren't always the best.

Passenger of Flight 815 (100:1) - Could Him have been on the flight too, and had been the reason it went down where it did, then became the ultimate mole for The Others? Of course then who, Charlie, Jack, Locke?

The Monster (80:1) - What could strike fear in humans more than the wrath of a cloud of black smoke that can chew up and spit out them with ease? Granted not technically a Him.

A Chick (70:1) - On JJ Abrams last show the Big Bad was named “The Man” only to turn out to be Sydney’s mom, so maybe that trend will continue. My leading chick candidates include Rousseau and Miss Cleo or whatever the black chick’s name in the last episode was.

Someone We Haven’t Met (60:1) - This could possibly be the biggest disappointment of the show yet, hopefully this choice doesn’t pay out in the end.

The Field (50:1) - If you think it is someone not mentioned elsewhere on the board, here’s is where you put your money.

Desmond (45:1) - He was an enigma at the beginning of this season showing up in Jack’s flashback only to be revealed as the person in the hatch moments later. Then just as soon as we met him he disappeared into the jungle. I fully expected to see him in other flashbacks throughout this season but we haven’t seen him since kind of poking wholes into him being behind the whole thing theory.

Jack’s Dad (30:1) - He has shown up in the most flashbacks, Ana Lucia, Sawyer, and of course Jack’s and was instrumental in bringing two of them to Australia. It also seems plausible that he is Claire’s father too. When Jack found the coffin empty in the caves he just thought that they didn’t ship his dad in the plane. Maybe he was in there, but left out of his own volition to get back to The Others camp.

Leonard (25:1) - The keeper of the numbers who supposable went insane after hearing them over the radio one night and ended up in the same nut house as Hurley and Libby. Could he have been there solely to give Hurley them? It is suspicious why Hurley made the list, maybe Leonard wants to see his old pal.

Random Person from a Flashback (20:1) - Walt’s step-dad, Claire’s physic, the Second Terminator, Peg Bundy, the guy who was both Hurley’s and Locke’s boss?

Someone From the Orientation Videos (15:1) - The people that set up the experiment seems like to play God, maybe their ego’s are so big from it they don’t even let their subordinates call them by their name.

Ethan Rom (10:1), Zeke (5:1), or Not-Henry Gale (2:1) - The three guys that uttered Him, could they just been the Wizard behind the curtain the whole time pulling the strings? I always thought Rom’s death was too easy after the beat down he originally gave Jack after he kidnapped Claire. Could he have lost on purpose because he knew he wouldn’t really die?

* This game is strictly for entertainment purposes, no money is meant to change hands. Unless of course you would like to donate to the Scooter McGavin is Poor Fund.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

You've Found Yourself a Friend that Knows You Well

Broken Boy Soldier - The Raconteurs

When creating , Jack White had specific rules he wanted the band, which only included his ex-wife Meg, to follow right down to the color scheme both members must always follow be it red, black, or white. Another key ingredient was that they could only record song that could be played that way live, which meant only no more than two instruments per song. This led to a garage rock revolution and the simplicity was refreshing.

After years without wavering from those rules, Jack White has finally put the ex-wife on the back-burner and joined other Detroit rockers including Brandon Benson who trades vocals and guitar riffs with White as on their debut . The album starts off with Steady As She Goes that eases The White Stripes fans by starting off with a simple drum beat, then switches to a bass before the guitar comes in as if Jack was taking baby steps as he enters the world of more than two instruments per song. The song even sounds like it could have been a White Stripes song had White lifted his strict rule against songs that couldn’t be played live by just the two of them.

But not all the songs have the White Stripes with more musicians sound to it. The very next song Hands, as well later on the album with Intimate Secretary, sound something out of the 60’s British Invasion era with harmonizing vocals and all. The title track sounds like it could have been an outtake from an early Led Zeppelin recording session. In fact the album seems to go back and forth between the two time periods throughout the album.

On the balled Together Benson taking lead vocals with a less abrasive voice than White so the song comes off more sweet yet depressing at the same time, something White himself could not pull off during his tenure in his duo. But White is back in the spotlight on the album closer Blue Veins. The bluesy song where White goes on his full Robert Plant impression send chills done the spine and will fuel the fire of rock fans across the globe as they argue whether White should do another White Stripes or Raconteurs album next.

Song to Download - Steady As She Goes

Broken Boy Soldiers gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.