Saturday, January 23, 2010

Best of the Week vol. XXX

Quote of the Week: (Facebook) is all about finding people you never got a chance to sleep with in high school or college. It’s annoying. (Ronnie, Mercy)

Song of the Week: The End – Pearl Jam (Castle)

Big News of the Week: Scott Brown, Your Newest Senator: It is hard to be surprised by political outcomes considering our last three presidents were black, brain-dead from cocaine use, and a hillbilly (two of which were even reelected). There is even a politician in Minnesota that managed to lose to both Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Al “Stuart Smalley” Franklin. But it is hard not raise an eyebrow at the special election in the very liberal Massachusetts that filled the senate seat that was held by someone with the last name Kennedy for fifty-four of the last fifty-six years by a Republican. Not only that but a Republican who has posed nude, his wife appeared in a 1984 music video for Digney Fignus's The Girl With the Curious Hand (I have never heard of it either but of course it is on YouTube) and has a daughter who was on American Karaoke (and she is single fellas, as her father so elegantly put in his victory speech). God bless American.

Gratuitous Token Hot Chick Picture of the Week:

A shocked Yvonne Strahovski

Free Download of the Week: Cousins (Video) – Vampire Weekend (iTunes)

Deal of the Week: Save Up to 56% on Boxed Sets (Mel Brooks Collection, Home Alone, X-Men Trilogy)

Video of the Week: The episode of Chuck I have been waiting for since I first heard Kristin Kreuk (who ranked in at #2 of The Hottest Hot Chicks of the 00's) would be appearing this season, and here is a promo of that episode, and as an added bonus, it also features Stone Cold Steve Austin. Color me excited.

Next On: Going Solo

Next Week Pick of the Week: Greek, Monday at 10:00 on ABC Family: When we last left Cypress Rhodes, Casey and her sisters burnt down a rival’s sorority house. That should lead to some entertainment when the show returns. What won’t will be Casey hooking up with Cappie which will probably be lame especially if the add Evan for a love triangle and Rebecca after that for a love quadrangle. I am not a fan of the newly late start time, but on an already crowded Monday, I most likely would have caught on Hulu later in the week anyway.

Friday, January 22, 2010

First Impressions: The Deep End

The cast of The Deep end

There are shows that are so bad they are entertaining (see Mercy or some of VH1’s Celebreality) and then there are ones that are just plain bad. The Deep End falls clearly into the latter category. It is hard to tell if the writers are morons are they expect the viewing public to be so. For instance there is plot point where a legal assistant is having problems with her boyfriend while simultaneously the boss’ wife thinks he is cheating on her. Then there is a “duh, duh, duh” moment at the end that the boss and the assistant were the couple even though anyone with a double digit IQ could have figured that out in the first act. Writing this bad is usually reserved for shows on The CW.

The bad writing is exasperated by the writers don’t seem to know if they want to be a drama or comedy and cannot to either very well and have horrible pacing trying to combine the two. Just the pacing in general was painful to watch as there are more than a few moments where I sit there wondering if I missed a scene or two as the plots just jump weirdly. But the most egregious writing problem was they made Dr. Harold Abbott completely unlikeable. That is something I never want to happen (please note he was also on the far superior Eli Stone which ABC dumped to air this crap).

The shame of it is, most of the cast is likeable headlined by Tina Majorino (Water World) as the push over of the new first year lawyers. Matt Long (Sydney White) is your Captain American of the group, Ben Lawson is your horny British dude, and the moderately attractive Leah Pipes (Sorority Row) as, well, the writers really didn’t define her character very well. All of them managed to almost get fired in the first episode and there was a fifth first year that showed up for half a minute and disappeared. And in the span of their first week four of them managed to sleep with each other (but not at the same time). But really, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains cannot start soon enough.

The Deep Ends airs Thursdays at 8:00 on ABC. You can stream episodes on Hulu.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Around the Tubes vol. XXXV

I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Caprica, How to Make it in America, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Ice Road Truckers, Men of a Certain Age, Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! and the Winter Olympics.

- The wait is over for Battlestar Galactica fans as the premiere of the prequel Caprica is tomorrow on SyFy at 9:00 (unless of course you already bought/rent the DVD, downloaded it on iTunes or streamed on Hulu, if so, be sure to return next week for a new episode). Below is the trailer. Fans will also want to check out the Caprica Facebook page.

New Caprica Trailer

- HBO is launching their new series next month, here is the trailer for How to Make it in America which will featuring the acting talents of Bryan Greenberg (Prime, HBO's Unscripted), Victor Rasuk (Lords of Dogtown, Raising Victor Vargas), Luis Guzman (Anger Management, HBO's Oz), Lake Bell (Boston Legal, What Happens in Vegas) and hit recording artist Scott "Kid Cudi" Mescudi (Man on The Moon, MOTOWN Records).

How to Make it in America Tease (HBO)

- A Week before the return of Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Showtime is airing an interview where the star of the show Billie Piper talks to the former call girl that her character is based on, Brooke Magnanti, the original Belle de Jour. It will take place this Monday at this coming Monday at 10:00.

- The 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be simulated on both TNT and TBS this Saturday at 8:00 (encore at 11:00) with the Red Carpet show starting a half hour with the live webcast at and starting at 6:15. Betty White will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s telecast.

- For the fans of Ice Road Truckers, you will want to check out the show’s new Facebook app.

- Robert Loggia will be showing up on Monday’s episode of Men of a Certain Age, which just got renewed for a second season, as Ray Romano’s recently retired father.

- For those with little ones running around who needs something kill the winter blues, you may want to check out Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Of course you need to live near Minneapolis (3/13), Milwaukee (3/14), Toronto (3/16), Fort Wayne (3/19), Cincinnati (3/20), or St. Louis (3/21). Each date has two showings that day, check out for more information.

- The Winter Olympic schedule is now online over at As for the most important event, the start of Curling is Tuesday February 16 at noon on USA with the American men taking on the Germans. For some reason Curling doesn’t get a primetime slot all Olympics, but if we have learned anything from the last two week, NBC executives are not the smartest people in the room.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Got Nothing to Lose but Loneliness and Patterns

Transference - Spoon

Spoon just may be the biggest band to never have actually hit it big. The formed right around the time of the alternative music boon of the mid nineties but were never able to capitalize on it before the tide turned to teen pop later that decade. They never cracked the top ten albums chart until 2007 at a time when people stopped buying albums. But the band had cultivated a loyal fan base many of which list their occupation as music supervisor because their music continually shows up in movies and television shows like the most recent episode of Chuck which generously used their song Got Nuffin off their latest album (their song Don’t Make Me a Target also got that treatment throughout a season one episode of the show).

If all you know of Spoon are those thirty second spurts on your favorite television shows, Transference probably isn’t the album that will convert you into a fan. In fact after maybe their most pop accessible album in their catalog, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Transference is a big U-turn back to a very raw sounding which may be due to that it is the band’s first self produced album which was recorded in lead singer Brit Daniel’s house and why most of the songs feel like demo tracks.

The album closer, No One Gets Me But You, might as well be about their fans. The fly on the wall of a Spoon rehearsal vibe of the album is what the draw is for those with some familiarity with the band. Guitars are not tuned perfectly, Brit’s voice cracks mid song, and there is the charm of the album. It’s a live album without an audience with the band’s usual minimalist cool.

The tracks of Transference are quintessential Spoon; Before the Destruction sets up the album with a slow burn before switching to the bouncing along with staccato riffs of Is Love Forever. The band is at their best when they let loose with the cocksure and that most evident with their first two singles, Got Nuffin, which re-kick starts the album after the twin ballads before it, and Written in Reverse is a piano pounding track full will attitude.

Song to Download – Got Nuffin

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

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Here Comes a Feeling You Thought You'd Forgotten

Contra - Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend must be upset that they were born in the eighties instead of making music in it because they very may have been the biggest college radio band of the decade not named R.E.M. Maybe that is why they dress like a J Crew ad from the era. Now they have to resign to being the blogger buzz band of the month and sadly that month was in September 2007 and by the time their self-titled debut album was released in January 08, it seemed like the entire buzz died. Two years later, which in blog years might as well be eight, the band is back with their sophomore outing Contra (a reference to, the band insists, the awesome Nintendo game, not the political organization).

For the album, the band still comes up with melodies that would make River Cuomo jealous and music that weighs heavy on Graceland-era Paul Simon afro-centric beats and rhythms, but branches out into other influences such as synth-pop of the eighties, while the first single Cousins includes some surf rock flair right out of a Dick Dale song. On the flip side, the band also unfortunately discovers auto-tune on the reggae tinged California English which turns out to be a massive fail.

But the rest of Conta is the same preppy soundtrack fun you can find on their first album that will make you want to flip up the collar of your polo shirt while listening. Sure Cousins is a silly song, but try not to sing along to the chorus by your second listen. I have no idea what Horchata is, but I want to drink it at some high price resort drinking it, while listening to the song, I just won’t be wearing a balaclava (which they rhyme with the song title). Giving up the Gun is the culmination of everything the band strives to be, an assessable song with sing-a-long words, but is still a complex wall of sound where you can find a new blurt of sound every time you listen to.

Song to Download – Giving Up the Gun

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

Sunday, January 17, 2010

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. CXIII

How I Met Your Mother: Didn’t we already have an episode where Marshall refused to acknowledge the hotness of a hot chick with Lily try to get him to say that while Robin tries to convince everyone she is hotter? If not I had a very strong case of déjà vu. You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

The Big Bang Theory: Holy Winnie Cooper sighting! Though why do CBS comedies misuse her, first she is part of a Ted three-way and now she is just a Raj hook up. You would think The Big Bang Theory would appreciate that she is a legitimate math genius with her own theory and actually give her a better role or spare with Sheldon for a Cooper vs. Cooper showdown of great television characters. You can download The Big Bang Theory on iTunes.

Castle: As entertaining as it was to see Castle tried to get out of being duct taped to a chair, if he wanted to see how Nicky Heat got out of the chair, it would have been much more funny if he was able to get Beckett to take on the task. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes. Also be sure to check out my chat with Stana Katic.

Mercy: Before this episode I would have said a hand is a hand, hook me up with whatever you got, but the whole “70% muscle memory” stuff really creeped me out to the point to unless it came from a surgeon, I may rather go with the Buster Bluth hook. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Mercy on iTunes.

Modern Family: Last week I said that a whole pig would make for a great birthday present for me, and this week I would like to add a dog butler to that list. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Modern Family on iTunes

Community: Even though I saw it coming, Senior Chang’s entrance after being presumed dead was pretty funny. I ams till not sure why a community college requires two semesters of a foreign language though. But nice callback to Getting Rid of Britta, Oh, yeah, and Jack Black was in this episode. You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Community on iTunes.

Also check out my First (Second and Third Impressions of Chuck as well as my previews of Leverage and Archer.