Saturday, May 28, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 5/28/11

Quote of the Week: Real men don't lift weights. Real men fender bench. (Billy Riggins, Friday Night Lights)

Song of the Week: Sort of Revolution – Fink (Friday Night Lights)

Big News of the Week: A Melancholy Happy Trails to Jeff Conaway: It is a shame that the lasting image we will ever have of Jeff Conaway is him in the wheelchair stammering around Celebrity Rehab and not as the immortal Kenickie. As the late great Rick James would say, “Cocaine is a hell of a drug” and Conaway joins James on the list of why you should not abuse it.

The Killing: Early in the season I assumed we were going to get a new suspect a week and move on to a new one. But focusing on the teacher as the prime suspect for five straight episodes only to clear him as a do-gooder really hurt the show creatively. If the killer ends up not connected to the Muslim church it will diminish the season on a whole. That is almost half the season on a false lead. You can download The Killing on iTunes.

Modern Family: Though not as good as the Community clip show, Modern Family came up with a clever way to look back at the season. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Modern Family on iTunes

Friday Night Lights: Holy Jason Street sighting! But where was the JD McCoy sighting? Did he and papa (and the coach) hightail it out of town after the loss last year? But this episode was restraint of lack thereof. I am surpised that Tami did not just start whaling on the TA when she realized who it was. And I do not remember a time in the series when we have seen Coach Taylor as mad as he was when yelling at Vince after the game. I will be shocked if Vince does not get benched for at least a quarter in the next game for the stunt he pulled. And the Luke / Billy sitcom continues to bring the balance to the show with a bunch of laugh out loud moments. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Friday Night Lights on iTunes

Free Download of the Week: Sad Song – The Cars (iTunes)

Deal of the Week: Blu-Rays under $10 (Office Space, Major League, Blazing Saddles)

New Album Release of the Week: Codes And Keys - Death Cab for Cutie

New DVD Release of the Week: Drive Angry

Video of the Week: Despite the holiday weekend, there will still be a new Game of Thrones Sunday at its usual time at 10:00 on HBO. Here is a preview of You Win or You Die.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Franklin and Bash. Wednesday at 9:00 on TNT: The unofficial start of summer is Monday and that means the summer television schedule starts up this week. Network is shoveling its usual unwatchable reality shows (seriously, Love in the Wild?!?) and scripted leftovers. Cable is also getting things started soon with returning favorites and a few newbies including the quirky lawyer show which TNT fleeced from its sister comedy station TBS. Look for my full review of the show next week.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Around the Tubes - 1/14/11

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 Curb Your Enthusiasm, Switched at Birth, Love Bites, Fox Movie Channel, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Indy 500, and True Blood.

- Curb Your Enthusiasm is returning to HBO July 10 at 10:00 and here is the first trailer for its eighth season:

- In honor of their new show, ABC Family will be launching the Switched at Birth: Hunt for the Code, an online scavenger hunt game starting next Tuesday. To enter the game for a chance to win $4,000 and full rules, head over to

- Love Bite was originally on the fall schedule but got pulled when one of the stars got pregnant, and now the show will now air during the not so plum summer slot of Thursdays at 10:00. No word yet if Friends with Benefits will ever see the light of day, but if Perfect Couples and the Paul Riser Show both made it to air first it is not a good sign. But anyway. Below is a featurette for Love Bites.

Love Bites Featurette

- Sci-Fi fans will want to check out The Fox Movie Channel Twitter Sweepstakes to win 14 films including Alien and Independence Day. All you have to do is follow them on twitter @FoxMovieChannel then go to the sweepstakes page at

- I just looked at the extended forecast and currently it is set to hit the nineties here in Northeast Ohio on Memorial Day and if you need to escape the heat this holiday, HDNet will be airing Jim Henson’s classic films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth digitally remastered starting at 8:00. This will be the first time this millennium the films will air on television.

- This year would have been Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday and in honor of the occasion Dan Wheldon will drive the Bryan Herta Autosport / Curb Agajanian #98 car with the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration seal on the nose for this Sunday’s Indy 500.

- The new season of True Blood is right around the corner but if you are still going through withdrawal, check out the poster below which will point you to the new website: TBwithdrawal.

True Blood: TBwithdrawal

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Previewing Men of a Certain Age: Second Half of the Second Season

The men of Men of a Certain Age

If the first season of Men of a Certain Age was discovering your flaws and the start of the second season was correcting those flaws, the last half of the season, starting Wednesday June 1, is about regression. Two thirds of the cast are back to old habits before the end of the second episode back. Needless to say the regressions do not end well with one turning violent while the other leads to one of the funnier moment in the show.

In fact the third episode back (airing June 15) may be the most entertaining episode of the show to date thanks to two scenes that will make you laugh so hard you may have to rewind the episode you were laughing so hard. One bit with Owen and a catcher during an office softball game hit very close to home for me because I had the exact same situation. As for the other titular men, it seems both Terry and Joe run into every past flame they have during the run of the show in these last six episodes that close out the season.

When the show returns Wednesday, Joe is spending extra time with his former bookie who is about to undergo chemo. Terry seems to be at a crossroads in his relationship with Erin. And Owen gets an indecent proposal from a rival dealership but it would be too spoilery if I told if he ends up rolling in a bed of money sometime this season.

Men of a Certain Age airs Wednesdays at 10:00 on TNT. You can stream recent episodes on You can download Men of a Certain Age on iTunes.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Want My Music Television - 5/25/11

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.

The Story of Us – Taylor Swift

One of the fun games to play whenever Taylor Swift releases a new album is guessing who the songs are about. Joe Jonas was the rumored target of The Story of Us and I wonder if the ironic thick black glasses on the dude in the video all but confirms it because Joe has been seen wearing a similar pair lately. And the preverbal other woman does kind of resembled Camilla Belle, the rumored subject of Better than Revenge. I am really too old to have written this paragraph.

When I’m Alone - Lissie

It is a shame we did not get more scenes in the bingo parlor. But is still another great song from Lissie.

Carousel - Vanessa Carlton

It look like Vanessa Carlton’s transformation into Stevie is almost complete, just a dye job and a voice drop to be complete.

Sister Wife - Alex Winston

Sometime all it takes for me to check out a new video is its name. Such is the case with Sister Wife from newcomer Alex Winston where I wondered if the song was actually about polygamy and it turns out the answer is a resounding yes. And the video is so absurd I just had to keep on watching.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

He’s Going to Tell Them About... Eh, Nevermind

There was a lot of chatter after the abysmal Lost finale that people were going to swear off network sci-fi shows indefinitely. But I am a glutton and went ahead and signed up four months after the Lost letdown for The Event (and No Ordinary Family, and The Cape). One byproduct of the travesty of the Lost finale is that I would no longer let a heavily serialize show give me false of being a grand, transformative television show.

Say what you will about The Event, it did aim high, throwing an alien invasion, government cover up, and a love story complete with plenty of time jumping that put Lost’s flashbacks to shame, for better or worse. But the time jumping faded away quickly for a more linear approach which is a shame because when done right (most notably the first season Lost and least notably the last season of Lost) it can bring about great character exploration, and when dealing with characters that seem not to age The Event could have benefited from sticking with it. Of course the time shifting could have answered long lingering questions that I no longer care about to brainstorm.

The shift in the timelines was not the only thing that changed as the show went along as I am pretty sure what the event as presented in the title changed in the writers’ minds a couple time. Silly me wrongfully said in my Preview of The Event series premiere that the event happened within the first hour. By the second episode I realized what I thought was the event was not actually The Event. Then when the show returned from a four month hiatus, the promo monkeys all but confirmed that the extinction of the human race was The Event. But in the finale, Simon clearly stated that The Event was, um, something that I am not sure I can explain without re-watching it a couple times. But he did definitely said The Event.

You have to take writers at their words when they say they have their series mapped out with benchmarks they want to hit but the problems with most sci-fi shows that have failed miserably in the Lost era and beyond is those benchmarks are clearly too far apparent. Then there are too many episode in-between where you just yell at your television screen, “Just get there!” Certainly the closing scenes of the season were visually stunning with an entire planet entering out orbit, but by the point it happened very few people were around to care. Had this happened in, say, the sixth episode instead of the twenty-second, you would have a much compelling story. Instead it took six episodes just to get Sophia to escape Inostranka.

And since the writers took too long to make anything interesting happen, we will not get a second season where there was going to be a lizard baby born to Layla and Sean. C’mon, you knew that storyline was coming from miles away, long before she broke the news to the father. But at least the serioes did not last long enough where all the characters met up in a church in purgatory.

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

Monday, May 23, 2011

Feed Your iPod vol. LXI: I Will Follow You into the Dark

Death Cab for Cutie is known for soaring melodies and lush arrangements, but one of their best is the stripped down I Will Follow You into the Dark. But with a song that is about a love so strong they would accompany them into the afterworld, an acoustic guitar is really all you need. Hopefully Codes and Keys, out next week, is filled with songs this good.

I Will Follow You into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie I Will Follow You Into the Dark - Plans

Sunday, May 22, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 5/22/11

How I Met Your Mother: Whatever happened to Ted’s friend from Ohio that was getting married? I always assumed that was the wedding that was hyped to be the wedding Ted met the mother was that one (best laugh of the episode, if not the season was when Future Ted said that the chick that got the flowers was the mom). I really have no desire to see a married Barney, but I have a feeling he will not be getting married at that wedding as it will be to the British chick but will realize he loves Robin so he does not go through with it. You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

The Event: We actually got two pieces to the puzzle from the beginning of the series, but it was a little too late as the show will be not back next season. But we did learn that Sophia’s people “were here first” and the token hot chick was former CIA that went rogue. And I guess we can assume that the parchment Sean has is actually from when Sophia’s people where here originally. I wonder what, if anything we will learn from next week’s series finale. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Event on iTunes.

Castle: Early in the episode when the group was talking about a possible third dirty cop, Captain Montgomery gave a look that gave me pause, thinking he was it. I actually talked myself out of that being the case until the big reveal. But I do not understand why they killed the other two cops, but not Montgomery. I wish they would do more than two of these Beckett’s mother episodes a season because it is sometimes hard to remember what is going on. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes.

Modern Family: Does anyone actually have Middle School graduations or is that just something that happens on television? If so I feel cheated because I did not have a graduation from middle school or grade school. I did learn I have a little Pritchett in me because I laughed hysterically at Cameron for both of his pratfalls. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Modern Family on iTunes

The Big Bang Theory: Ever since the first season I have assumed that the writers will have run out of ideas the episode where they get Sheldon drunk and hooks up with Penny. Never did I ever think she would get drunk and hook up with Raj. This very well may have been a jump the shark moment. You can stream recent episodes over at

Friday Night Lights: Those Julie scenes were really hard to watch this week (sans when Buddy tried to hook her up with Buddy Jr.) and I just weep for her even if she brought all of this on herself. I also fear that the Vince / daddy situation with the gang banger is going to end in blood before all is said and done. But I do like where the Luke / Billy (great speech this week) is going. Only in Texas do they have toilets in their back yards and practice their chipping with charcoal. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Friday Night Lights on iTunes

Also check out my season reviews of Survivor: Redemption Island and Chuck.