Saturday, May 01, 2010

Could You Tell Me the Things You Remember About Me

Recovering the Satellites - Counting Crows

For their debut album, the Counting Crows created the greatest album any moody teenager could ask for so when the first video off their sophomore outing debuted on MTV, it became appointment television (unlike premieres today that randomly appear on the internets like yesterday when the creepy new Christina Aguilera popped up with little warning) which was also the first time many got a chance to hear something new from the band. For the moody teenagers who wore grooves into August and Everything After, Angel of the Silences was a jolt of musical napalm, much faster and angrier than anything we heard from the band before.

And there plenty of new styles Adam Duritz and the boys tried out for Recovering the Satellites like the country tinged Daylight Fading and the new wave synthesizer on Catapult and continue to amp it up for songs like Children in Bloom and Have You Seen Me Lately. And tacked on near the end is the quirky duo of Monkey and Mercury.

The growth of the band is why it is the second time they have been inducted into the Scooter Hall of Fame. But is still plenty of music for the moody teenager in all of us like Goodnight Elizabeth or Miller’s Angels, foremost A Long December which may be the last song that Duritz wrote about having sex with a castmember of Friends that the general public was able to relate to (or that anyone has written judging from the latest John Mayer album). I still get chills whenever I hear the lyric, “All at once you look across a crowded room to see the way that light attaches to a girl.”

Friday, April 30, 2010

Around the Tubes vol. XLVIII

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 Community, The Sing-Off, Friday Night Lights, and the summer schedules for TNT and TBS.

- If you watch Community, you probably cannot get enough of Starburns. If so you are in luck because in the show’s very first webisodes, he is front and center as Senior Chang has assigned him and Abed for some video homework assignment that not surprisingly has very little actual Spanish in it. Check out part one below and head over to for the second part.

- For those that watch last season’s of The Sing Off and thought to yourself me and my buddies can do that (and live near New York, Nashville, Chicago, and Los Angeles), head over to Sing Off to see how you can audition.

- One more week until the season premiere of Friday Night Lights. For those who cannot wait, check out an excerpt below. You can also get ready for the premiere by watching the final four episodes over at

- TNT recently renewed Southland (which will return early 2011 with ten episodes) and now it is getting ready for it “100 Days of Drama” with two new shows (in bold) on the docket. Here is the schedule and the premiere dates:

Saving Grace (on now at 10:00)
The Closer (July 12 at 9:00)
Rizzoli and Isles (July 12 at 10:00)

Hawthorne (June 22 at 9:00)
Memphis Heat (June 22 at 10:00)

Dark Blue (August 4)

Leverage (June 20 at 10:00)

- TNT’s sister station also has a couple of new shows coming this summer including the animated Neighbors from Hell (June 7) and a serial version of Are We There Yet? with Everybody Hates Chris vet Terry Crews taking over for Ice Cube (who will have a recurring role as his brother-in-law) starting June 2.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Want My Music Television vol. LXXX

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Thinking ‘bout Somethin’ - Hanson

I wonder if Hanson, the original pre-pubescent trio of brothers, can make a comeback since that is back in vogue with the Jonas Brothers. Granted the Jonas Brothers have never written anything as catchy as MMMBop. And they certainly haven’t made a video as entertaining this one featuring one Hanson brother as Ray Charles, another as a Blues Brother, and the third as, um, is that supposed to be Zac Efron circa 17 Again? John Travolta in Grease? Oh yeah, and a hair straightened “Weird Al” Yankovic on tambourine.

You and Your Heart – Jack Johnson

Naturally the new Jack Johnson video would feature him surfing, but I wonder what was harder, lip syncing while riding the waves or doing it backward for Sitting, Waiting, Wishing.

Drunk Girls – LCD Soundsystem

You would think a video for a song called Drunk Girls would features less creepy dudes in panda suits and more, well, inebriated females, but not when Spike Jonze is directing a video.

Wheels – Jamie Cullum

When I saw the wheel at the beginning of the video I thought, “Sweet, Jamie Cullum is going to play in the middle of a Murderball match.” Unfortunately there was one solitary wheel for a reason, but the unicycle routine was kinda cool, but not as cool if it had been a Murderball game.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Previewing Happy Town

The cast of Happy Town

The ABC promo monkeys want to liken the network’s latest show Happy Town to its nineties suspense show Twin Peaks. But aside from a murder in episode one, the town of Haplin, Minnesota could be the exact opposite of the Washington town. There are no backwards talking midgets or other oddities that could only reside in the brain of David Lynch. Instead Haplin is more like a modern day Mayberry, your stereotypical small town where everyone know each other business because most work at the local bread factory, while the town’s namesakes still run the city and there have been no violent crime in over half a decade.

That is until the one stand out in the town, dude who stares a little too long at chick guy, gets murdered which brings back memories of what the locals call The Magic Man, who would make one townsperson disappear each year until the kidnappings abruptly stopped seven years ago. Could The Magic Man be Lauren German (which apparently is not a pseudonym for Ashley Green as these are actually two different people though I am sure more than a few could get the two mixed up), a young woman who for some reason picked Haplin to open up a candle show with her inheritance. Or maybe it is Sam Neill (Jurassic Park), a somewhat creepy cinema buff in a place that may not even have a theater and who lives with a bunch of widows, and the newly arrived German. Or maybe it could be M.C. Gainey (Lost) who starts going into weird trances around the time of the murder. Like they say, The Magic Man is someone you pass by on the street today.

Those three really provide the most interesting parts of the first episode, saying why would be too spoilery, though I can say a conversation between German and Neill is particularly riveting. The rest of the cast is a little bland, which may be the point considering the town is set up as being as close to small town utopia as you can get. Geoff Stults (7th Heaven) follow papa Gainey into the police department while his wife Amy Acker (Angel) works as the bread factory. There is also an eye rolling storyline with their babysitter (Sarah Gadon), from the wrong side of the track hiding her romance with the mayor’s grandson (Ben Schnetzer) because his father, Steven Weber (Wings) wouldn’t approve. Oh yeah, and Weber’s other kid was one of The Magic Man’s victims and he seems like the only person in the town that doesn’t want to forget the Magic Man even existed.

The problem with suspense shows has always been pacing. In the instance of Twin Peaks, once you leaned who killed Laura Palmer, everyone stopped watching or do you wait until seasons after people stopped caring about them before you answer questions like on Lost. Will Happy Town be the one that solves that problem? Only time will tell. But who cares what I think when you can check out the first fourteen minutes below. But keep in mind the all the great parts of the show happen in the second half including the previously mentioned conversation. And for anyone who makes it to the end of the episode, they will see the show solve two very big question that are set up earlier that will definitely make anyone that makes it that far to tune in for the second episode.

Happy Town airs Wednesdays at 10:00 on ABC. I assume episode will show up on Hulu after they air since there is already a page dedicated to the show on the site. Also be sure to check back Sunday for the regularly scheduled 57 Channels post when I will go in depth of the twits ending and my theory on the show.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Take My Message to Your Brother and Tell Him Twice

The Jasksons: A Family Dynasty

Just as Michael Jackson was getting ready for his This Is It concerts in London, his brothers were also contemplating their own comeback with a fortieth anniversary concert and just like Michael was documenting his preparation for the event, the brothers decided to film as they decide to put on a concert or not. The result ended up on Bravo as a six episode documentary show for A&E as The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty.

With filming starting just before the death of their brother, naturally grieving became a big focus when the announcement of Michael’s death comes at the end of the first episode. The entire episode, entitled Aftermath, is devoted to the brothers dealing with their brother’s death. And ever episode after that doesn’t go with some mention or reference to Michael.

The best thing going for The Jacksons A Family Dynasty is also its biggest drawback in that there are no contrived situations that plague other documentary style reality shows that question the definition of “reality,” the closest thing to a contrived segment is when a couple brothers go back to the city of Gary Indiana to visit their old stomping ground. But even that was engaging to see the house where the seven children grew up in. But on the other side of the coin, without any of the set pieces, we spend a good chunk of the series watching the boys debate on whether they should put on an anniversary concert or not.

The show is also striking on who was not involved. Yeah we get glimpses of all the Jacksons during the Michael memorial, but besides that, there are just mentions of Rebbie and Randy, we get Janet via a speakerphone chat with her brothers. Joe’s presence if felt throughout the show, but we never see him outside the memorial. And sorry LaToya, you are cut out altogether.

But Randy’s absence was the biggest head scratcher because even the show was stylized “The Jack5ons” there were only four Jacksons featured on the show. Michael was obviously busy when they started planning the reunion, buy where was Randy (and no he wasn’t hosting American Karaoke, they are two different Randy Jacksons) who replaced Jermaine who stayed with Motown (he was married to the boss’ daughter) and The Jackson 5 left the label, how was he not included in this or at least explained why he was not included?

But plenty of Jacksons the next generation, many of which are in the music business but have had as much successes as the other Jackson brothers not named Michael. The stand out of the next generation is Siggy the neck tattooed, mohawked, rapper wannabe son of Jackie (but you wouldn’t be surpised if he turned out to be the spawn of Bobby Brown even if Brown hadn’t gone through puberty by the time Siggy was born) who appears in half of the episode.

The show is basically for fanatics, but keep in mind for anyone that watched the series when it was on A&E, he DVD features just the six episodes that span around four and a half hours, no audio commentaries, no deleted scenes or any type of extras.

Full Disclosure Notice: This DVD was given to me on behalf of A&E Home Entertainment for the sole purpose of reviewing the series.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Previewing My Life Is a Zoo

Many have expressed to anyone that will listen that their life is a zoo, but Bud DeYoung and Carrie Cramer can literally claim My Life Is a Zoo because they actually run one in the upper peninsula of Michigan. And it is basically just the two of them tending over four hundred animals except for the occasional volunteer and visiting family over the weekend. Even that tends to dry up during the winter months which leads to Carrie shoveling over four miles of snow a day (I may need to stop complaining about having to do my driveway) so they can tend to the daily needs of the animals, they need 2,000 pounds of meat and 500 gallons of water each day.

My Life Is a Zoo premieres tonight at10:00 on the new channel Nat Geo Wild. The show follows around the twosome just after the first snow of the season hits but without any snow days in their contracts (they also get no vacation or sick days away from the zoo) for themselves and one of the white lions is near to giving birth. They are also taking in a wild stallion (the duo adopts between three and ten orphaned animals every week).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. CXXVII

How I Met Your Mother: Kid or Drunk may be the greatest idea the show has had in season and Marshall really needs to pitch the idea to his father-in-law for his next board game. You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

Trauma: Forget present day San Francisco, convert the show to late nineties New Orleans and follow around Tyler, his mullet, and his partner with his catchphrase, “He’s dead.” That show would have been much better than the current version. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Trauma on iTunes.

Castle: Oh snap, Esposito’s partner was still alive and gone deep, deep undercover. Didn’t see that one coming. And on a completely shallow tangent, Beckett should go with the ponytail look more often, she looks much better with the hair up. 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.

Lost: Not totally unexpected, the flash-sideways are starting to blend exclusively (with some help with Desmond, but how did he know that Jack was going to meet with the lawyer (a disappointing chick who blew up last week, was Rousseau not available?), or did he). But why exactly can Locke not just kill a candidate, a whole wall of them have died so far, and just take the remainder on the plane? Hurph. The finale cannot come soon enough so I can stop thinking about the show. Except next week is a repeat which pushes that back an unnecessary week. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Lost on iTunes

Justified: Now that is what I call an ending. Something tells me that even though Raylan will actually turn down the offer on his dad, that will eventually be turned into a yes later in the season. Though I must say I had the exact same reation as Raylan did towards every person I hate in my life and reevaluate if I have ever gone so far as to burn ever Hitler painting I could get my hands on. Really one of the mot powerful scenes on television this season. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Justified on iTunes.

Parenthood: Oh Zeke and your reverse racism. Though why didn’t Jasmine pull the band aid and tell her family the truth before the party even started? I guessed because we would have never gotten Zeke putting a foot in his mouth. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Parenthood on iTunes.

The Challenge: Fresh Meat 2: The look on Wes’ face when Kenny told him that he actually turned down Teresa was the funniest thing that happened on television all week. But I have to give it to Wes, the pre-game alliance to plant the mole may be one of the greatest moves in reality history to the point I am surprised no one has tried it before (aside from creating a whole show centered on the premise in The Mole). You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download The Challenge: Fresh Meat 2 on iTunes.

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains: Now that it has played out, I am not going to put J.T. on top of the dumbest moves in Survivor history because my top three all resulted in their instant demise where J.T. had the time to fix his mistake and may have recovered from the mistake had Parvati had not pulled the boldest move in Survivor history. I was shocked when she gave her Hidden Immunity Idol to Sandra, but managed to be even more surprised when she pulled out the second Idol and not use it herself but actually gave it to Jerri. I just recently was able to pick my jaw off the floor.

Too bad we didn’t get to see the gamesmanship had each tribe had Idols the other didn’t know about. Do Parvati and J.T. both use theirs and leaving no one with any votes? Does Sandra turn on the Villians and vote for Russell on a revote? Does Parvati even tell Amanda about it and does Amanda use that information against her? As amazing as this week’s Tribal was, imagine how it may have played out if J.T. kept the Idol. You can stream recent episodes over at

Survivor on iTunes