Saturday, November 08, 2008

Best of the Week vol. IV

Quote of the Week: It’s not porn if it’s on regular TV. (Crabman, My Name Is Earl)

Song of the Week: Be My Yoko Ono - Barenaked Ladies (The Big Bang Theory)

Big News of the Week: Dollhouse All But Canceled: Nothing more sad then when Dollhouse was announced and people actually thought this would be the show that FOX turns a new leaf over for. Then earlier this week thousands of fanboys hearts sank when FOX announced it’s spring lineup and Dollhouse landed in the Friday night death slot right after Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a show itself that would have been canceled already if FOX didn’t want it around to help promoted the upcoming fourth movie. And with that announce Vegas have moved the line for number of episodes before Dollhouse gets axed from five to three. Wake me up when Dollhouse: The Complete Series DVD is released.

Coalition Links of the Week:
Buzz rounded up some of her favorite TV production company logos and slogans, like "Bad Robot" and "Sit, Ubu, Sit." (BuzzSugar)

Rae took an early look at TNT's The Librarian 3: Curse of the Judas Chalice. (RTVW)

Vance wrote some limerick reviews about Ugly Betty, 30 Rock, The Office, Bones, Grey's Anatomy, Survivor and more, just because he felt like it. (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace offered up some tantalizing spoilers as he took an advance look at the next three episodes of NBC's Chuck, including Monday's episode, which he says is the best of the series to date. (Televisionary)

How was your election night? Dan mainly focused on Anderson Cooper, the fancy electronic maps on CNN and those crazy holograms that Wolf Blitzer was talking to. (TiFaux)

This week, the TV Addict interviewed newest Terminator cast member and Battlestar Galactica fan favorite Stephanie Jacobsen. (The TV Addict)

Kate interviewed Megan, Stylista's villain, and was surprised by how down-to-Earth she was about the whole reality star thing. (TV Filter)

Who would win in a fight between Heroes and Smallville? With apologies to Harry Hill, there’s only one way to find out… It’s the Heroes vs. Smallville superheroes trump cards smackdown! [TV Spy]

Free Download of the Week: Linus for President (iTunes): For those going through election withdrawal, iTunes is offering up the Peanuts classic.

Video of the Week: Here is a look at the next episode of Frank TV this Tuesday at 11:00 on TBS:

Next Week Pick of the Week: The Bill Engvall Show, Saturday at 8:00 on TBS: It is not Thanksgiving yet, but TBS is already giving us a very special Christmas episode of The Bill Engvall Show where the kids learn the true meaning of the holiday with the help from a hilarious sight gag from their neighbor. Granted I suggest waiting until the inevitable repeat of the episode sometime in December. But before then is another non-holiday episode.

Friday, November 07, 2008

It's Up to Me to Bring Back the Hope

The Renaissance - Q-Tip

When Q-Tip calls his album The Renaissance you cannot help but get excited. It has almost been a decade since his first solo outing and over a decade since his seminal rap group A Tribe Called Quest last recorded together. In the interim rap has gone from a cultural movement to a corporate medium that now hawks soda drinks and feminine products.

Tip’s hiatus wasn’t self imposed those as he bounced from five record labels in six years with a couple albums that have yet to see the light of day (asides from some advance copied). Old School Tribe fans should be pleased that The Renaissance stays away from the pop-dance vibe of Amplified and fit somewhere between Midnight Marauder and The Love Movement.

And that vibe starts right off the top with the jazzy, minor key staccato notes of Johnny Dead, one of many songs that Q-Tip produced himself. The only outside producers are Mark Ronson whose retro sound messes well with the Tribe vibe on the sports filled metaphors of Won’t Trade. The other guest producer is frequent Tribe collaborator, the late great J Dilla on the two lead singles, the most danceable songs on the album Gettin’ Up and Move which will definitely make you want to do what the songs say with the latter sampling The Jackson 5’s Dancing Machine.

As for people lending their voices to the album (sadly no Phife Dawg) the most notable being D’Angelo who was months away from showing up on the side of milk carton on Believe. Also bring the neo-soul for a hook is Raphael Saadiq onWe Fight/We Love. While Norah Jones adds some smoothness while Tip gives a shout out to those that have carried on his torch on Life Is Better. Hopefully we don’t have to wait another decade to hear from Q-Tip again and he has Phife, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Jarobi along for the ride.

Song to Download - Move

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

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Previewing Ultimate Skyscraper

Ultimate SkyscraperAs mentioned last week, I am always on the lookout to live a better, greener life, if only for selfish reasons to save myself money. So the latest special from the National Geographic Channel caught my eye. Ultimate Skyscraper premieres tonight at 9:00 and profiles a new building in Manhattan at One Bryant Park which is built to be one of the most energy efficient skyscrapers in the world.

The special isn’t much in terms of things you can do in your personal life but it is mildly interesting to see what goes into making a building in the middle of the most congested islands in the world and a green one. Ultimate Skyscraper does come off like a video a science teacher plays when he didn’t have time to create a real lesson for the day or doesn’t trust a substitute teacher to do anything but press the play button, and the less than enthusiastic narration doesn’t help much, but that cannot all be the dude from Pushing Daisies. But it would be interesting to see if they do a follow up once the building is complete to see if it does reach the potential the architect hopes it does. Check out the full synopsis below or head over to the National Geographic website for two video previews:

The Future Is Now

The Secret Roof Garden

NGC gives viewers an exclusive look at the design and construction of an eco-friendly marvel: One Bryant Park, set to be the second tallest building in New York City and one of the world’s most energy-efficient skyscrapers. Follow architects and engineers as they take a modern approach to green technology, incorporating innovative new systems including an on-site power plant that will reduce the buildings energy consumption by 50 percent. Then go behind the scenes with construction workers as they dig one of the deepest foundations in midtown, lay recycled steel beams, pour environmentally friendly concrete, and build a skyscraper whose blueprints could map out a new design for our planets future.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Musings From the Back 9: Junior Slumps Edition

There has been a long standing belief of a sophomore slump that transcends all medium and is no more found than in music. Seal may caught on to the reason why when asked why he took so long to record his second he said it took him twenty years to record the first, he should be expected to take only a year to make the next. But in recent years, there seems to be a trend of artists being able to get two quality albums under their belts before falling into a funk, most notable Coldplay whose third album X&Y found the band in such a rut that the album sounded like it was recorded by a cover band, not a band on the verge of being the biggest band in the world.

Also on the cusp of the title was Snow Patrol, the trendy band in recent years for musical montages in television and movies. Like Coldplay, on their second album, they pushed the boundaries of their musical limits, but with their third album, A Hundred Million Suns, Snow Patrol has made the ten safest songs they could. Even the last track, the sixteen minute The Lightning Strike is just basically three songs just without a break in between. While the best song on the album, Crack the Shudders follows the blueprint laid by Run and Chasing Cars on previous albums. Hopefully Snow Patrol follows Coldplay's lead and just completely deconstructs their sound for the fourth album.

A Hundred Million Suns gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

The junior slump does not just apply to rock acts as John Legend has fallen into the category with Evolver where the R&B sadly does not actually evolve. And that can be heard from the start which is front loaded with guest stars even though his first two album shows he can command a song on his own. On Green Light Andre 3000 mentions he usually does not freestyle and if his rap on the song is any indication he should go back to writing his rhymes down first. And Kanye West really needs to give back the voice modulator to T-Pain because it just does not work for him on It's Over. Things are a little better when Legend is own his own like the slow burning Everybody Knows or This Time which reaches the emotional impact that Ordinary People did on is debut. But he over reaches on If You're Out There, an overtly sappy song that tries but does not hit the gravitas of Coming Home from his last album.

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

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Feed You iPod vol. XXIV: Fireflies

Some indie/underground bands are great but you understand why they never achieve any mainstream success, but then their are ones like Old 97's who write catchy and easily accessible songs. The lead singer of that band, Rhett Miller released a solo album a couple of songs that should have at least had moderate success, like his duet with Rachael Yamagata, but sadly did not sniff the charts. I love the dichotomy of the Fireflies with Rhett singing your token The One That Got Away song, but Rachael's response is basically, you're a moron, stop stalking me.

Fireflies - Rhett Miller and Rachael Yamagata Rhett Miller & Rachael Yamagata - The Believer - Fireflies

Monday, November 03, 2008

When I Wake up in the Morning and the Alarm Lets Out a Warning

It is odd that the three least liked professions, lawyers, cops and doctors make up 85% of primetime shows. Roughly. And now matter how much we hate them, shows of that ilk just keep popping up again and again generating the highest ratings since the eighties. One has to wonder by that assumption how The West Wing is the only political show in recent memory. But anyway. Though I typically stay away from those types of shows it was hard not to get sucked into Raising the Bar just to be memorized by the mane of Zach Morris.

Follicle issues aside, the first season has been rather bland after the premiere issue promised an insight on the personal life of the lawyers it followed with the early reveal of Morris shacking up one of his rival district attorneys, the sexually harassing boss, and the gay homosexual legal aide who happened to nailing his female judge. But besides the occasional fraternizing at the local watering hole and the rare cases that involved lovers and relatives, most of episodes were just your run of the mill procedurals. But with great hair. The show even had the most boring gay outing ever in the history of television.

The season comes to a close tonight at 10:00 on TNT and brings back the fire that was ignited in the premiere with some one getting fired, a family member coming front of a judge, two characters going out on a date and another couple making out. I won’t spoil to who did what but I will say that any Bayside High School fans won’t be disappointed and it won’t be just because of Zach Morris’ massive locks.

Raising the Bar gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Here is a look at tonight's finale:

Sunday, November 02, 2008

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. LIII

Coalition Links of the Week:
There have been so many Grey's Anatomy hookups and romances over the years, it's hard to keep count. Which is your all-time favorite? (BuzzSugar)

This week, Sandie shared an interview with Reggie Austin from The Starter Wife. (Daemon's TV)

A longtime friend of Vance's wrote this past week's The Office episode and Vance gives it a totally unbiased review. (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace was absolutely gutted by David Tennant's decision to leave Doctor Who at the end of 2009 and came up with some suggestions as to who could succeed Tennant as the Eleventh Doctor. (Televisionary)

On the topic of Gossip Girl, Sara thinks that Chuck's a bore, Nate's a dim bulb and Dan and Serena keep having the same conversations over and over! (TiFaux)

This week, the TV Addict took a brief look at Life on Mars. (The TV Addict)

What can be done to save Heroes? TV Spy’s answer to Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross, Ben and Gareth, have the answers! (TV Spy)

Kate loved the second episode of Stylista even more than the first one! (TV Filter)

Chuck: Aw, the arcade. The youth today just don’t know how good they got it with next generation gaming like the PS3. I was always partial to Gauntlet myself even though it was a huge quarter suck and you needed three other players to even do anything. But anyways, they really need more Creepy Guy-centric episodes; he had me cracking up throughout especially his video tape of Anna. You can stream current episodes over at You can also download Chuck on iTunes.

Heroes: There needs to be a running counter at the bottom of the screen that ticks up whenever (now former) Osmosis Dude dies but doesn’t actually die. Dude fell further out a window than John Locke for goodness sake. The number has to be in double digits by now. Or just imagine how high that number would be if it included the whole cast. Is there any cast member that shouldn’t actually be dead by now? Hiro is the only one that I can think of off the top of my head. You can stream current episodes over at

Heroes on iTunes

Greek: Finally something interesting happened this season. Gotta love the massive brawl Rusty started and the pledges debating to take off their blindfolds or not. Then the complete blindside at the end with Frannie taking half the house to start her own sorority. This should make the second half be a little more interesting than the first half. You can stream current episodes over at You can also download Greek on iTunes.

Eli Stone: Well that was a dark episode. If there was really one episode that needed a musical montage sequence, this would have been it. Eli is forced to settle, Jordan wins his case but loses his firm in the process, and Maggie ends up defending the paint companies at the Supreme Court. And with that last sentiment, the show is closely getting into the territory that is part of Heroes downfall with the cast sending too much time trying to change a vision of the future in the long term. It has been fine with the future being resolved at the end of each episode, but it won’t work if spends a whole season, or even a couple of episodes trying to change a vision he had of the future. I guess we have to wait two weeks to see if Maggie stays with Jordan or goes with Dr. Abbott and Peg Bundy. You can stream current episodes over at You can also download Eli Stone on iTunes.

Pushing Daisies: They shouldn’t go to that well too often, but hopefully they bring back Simone every couple months. If only I could train my dogs that way. My elboy is dislocated from mine trying to catch cars and squirrels. And hopefully Jimmy James isn’t as evil as they have teased. You can stream current episodes over at

Pushing Daisies on iTunes

Survivor: At this point I am just really ready for a merge. I thought the case the team around the course was the most pathetic attempt by any tribe ever, but the keep away challenge really rivals that. While Sugar beating Bob in the log rolling may be up their as the biggest upset ever. But Bob can rest in the solace that he wins the award for best use of a buff with him using it as a bowtie. You can stream current episodes over at Innertube.

Survivor on iTunes

My Name Is Earl: A nice fight there between karma and voodoo. Earl debating anyone tends to be the highest of high comedy, but seeing him try to mind wrestle a kid just made it funnier. You can stream current episodes over at You can also download Chuck on iTunes.

For those still undecided or persuadable, please check out My Case for John McCain and Part II (I have a lot of reasons) before you go to the polls Tuesday.