Saturday, July 23, 2011

Around the Tubes - 7/23/11

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 Entourage, Dennis the Menace, JEM and The Holograms, America’s Got Talent, The Smurfs, CBS, Awake, Happily Divorced, and Community.

- Entourage returns for its eighth and final season this Sunday at 10:30 on HBO. Below is a look back with Gary Busey (no, seriously). If you need some extra Entourage to tide you over until Sunday, head over to the show’s Facebook page to try out their video mash up app. It may even get featured on and its YouTube channel.

- Out this week on DVD is classic television show Dennis the Menace: The Second Season. The five DVD set includes original promos.

- Also coming to DVD shelves near you soon is JEM and The Holograms: The Truly Outrageous Complete Series! DVD box which will include eleven DVDs that will have all the episodes in he order they were intended to are and a DVD filled with bonus extra. The set will be released October 11.

- If you watched America’s Got Talent this week, you know the Smurfs are trying to get on the show and you can help one of them do so by voting below.

- Think you are CBS’s biggest fan? The network and Parade are teaming up to find just that. Head over to the Parade Facebook page and post an essay describing why you are its biggest fan for a chance to travel to Los Angeles to go behind the scenes of a CBS show, blog about your experience on, and receive $1,000 in spending money.

- My sources tell me that Awake is the best pilot of the new season although I am not sure if I want to watch such a heavy show on a Friday night. But I guess I have until at least January to figure that out. And if you need to make up you mind, here is the Awake Comic Con panel from yesterday.

- Fran Drescher recently talked to dot429 about her new sitcom Happily Divorced and gay ex-husband that inspired it.

- Lastly, did somebody say pop pop?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts… We’ll Deal with that Later

In my 2000 plus posts her on the 9th Green, I am sure I have made my fair share of stupid statement; it is probably a weekly occurrence (if not more often). But none is dumber than when I trashed the Friday Night Lights pilot equating it to one of the funniest unintentional comedy of all time. Let’s hop into the Scooter Time Machine all the way back to 10/10/06:

I’ll have to admit, there were a few chill scenes throughout the first episode like in practice like the guy that fumbled the ball who had to go in front of the tackling squad. But the show is brought down by the same reason I don’t watch sports movies, it is filled with too many cliché. The worst being the quarterback predictably going down, I knew this was going to happen the moment the backup quarterback came on screen. Then they had the backup comeback from not just a touchdown deficit, but two in the final six minutes to win the game. You know, just like Varsity Blues.

And if that is not bad enough, I even predicted that Friday Night Lights would be canceled before the then new to NBC Sunday Night Football aired its final game of the season. And here we are five years later and I do not know why I continued to watch after such a bad first impression (probably Lyla Garrity’s ponytail, the single greatest ponytails ever in the history of ponytails) but it is a good thing I did because the show finished its run as one of the five greatest shows ever to grace out television screens, topping my list of the Best Television Shows the last four year and racking in seventeen Scooter Television Awards (the most of any series).

In defense of my first impressions of Friday Night Lights, my main problem with the show was the football, from the Varsity Blues rip off of the first episode to the sixty yard hail Mary in the last one, the football was riddled with clichés throughout the series’ run. Seriously, the Panthers won way too many games in the final seconds that a perennial Texas state championship contender had any right to win. There had to be a few tomato cans on their schedule.

But Friday Night Lights was not about football, it was about the people that inhabited a football town. And the show created more characters worth caring about then any show in the history of television. Jason Street adjusting to his new life. Tim Riggins sacrificing himself for his brother. Matt Saresen balancing his new position and life at home. Trya Collette getting herself into college. Vince Howard, with one foot in prison, turning his life around. Becky Sproles dealing with the hardest decision of her life. And with many television shows unable to create even one character to root for, Friday Night Lights even had a multitude of recurring characters that could have a whole show focused around them: Buddy Garrity, Mama Smash, Grandma Sarasen, Billy Riggins, Mac McGill, Herc, Tinker, all of which I would have watched a spin-off featuring them.

As great as those previously mentioned characters are, at the heart of Friday Night Lights were Coach Eric Taylor and his wife Tami. There is a good reason why many of the characters listed them as role models individually or what they inspire to be in a relationship. They managed to support each other but still managed to keep their own voices. In a show that had depth in great relationships (Eric and Buddy, Landry and Tyra, Landry and Matt, Matt and Julie, Tami and Julie, Tyra and Tami, Trya and Lyla, Coach and Lance, Tim and Billy, Tim and Becky, Billy and Luke, Vince and Coach, Tim and Jason, Tim Jason and Lyla, Smash and Tim, Smash and Mama Smash, Matt and his grandma, Vince and Jess, Coach and Jess) the coach and his wife stood above them all and may be the greatest duo in the history of television. To do all these relationship’s justice would require a 400 page book to cover them all rightly.

Sure there were a few hiccups throughout the shows run aside from the football, most notably the second season. Landry killing a dude gets plenty of hate, but people seem to forget that season two also gave us Matt hooking up with his grandmother’s nanny and if it were not for the writer’s strike, Julie could very well have hooked up with her English teacher (which I guessed just got postponed for four seasons). But it was the strength of the characters that whenever the writers took a misstep, the characters were still worth rooting for. It is because of that it was a little disappointing when a handful did not show up in the final montage.

Since reboots are all the rage these days, is 2012 too soon for a Friday Night Lights reboot? C’mon, FX, how about fast tracking that. And for those that missed the series, were watching the ABC Family re-airs before they were yanked (then why are you still reading), or just want to watch the series again, ESPN Classic just began rerunning the series from the beginning.

Friday Night Lights 5.x gets a Terror Alert Level: Severe [RED] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Friday Night Lights the series gets a Terror Alert Level: Severe [RED] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Want My Music Television - 7/21/11

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.

Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win (feat. Santigold) - Beastie Boys & Santigold

When you hear Beastie Boys and Spike Jonze in the same sentence it is hard not to get excited, but is hard not watching their latest collaboration and not think of Team America: World Police. But then again it is hard to be disappointed with anything that involves Nazi Zombie Dolls.

Helena Beat – Foster the People

Foster the People has the surprise hit of the summer with the catchiest song about school shootings ever (sorry P.O.D.), Pumped up Kids. And they keep the violent kids theme for their new video which is like Lord of the Flies seen through a Mad Max filter.

Brighter Than the Sun - Colbie Caillat

Speaking of summer hits, I was reading an article debating what the summer anthem of 2011 is and concluding that it may be Rolling In the Deep by Adele which is pretty bad sign for the summer that a dark breakup song released just before Christmas may be the summer anthem. Since we are still a month and a half away from Labor Day, how about we throw the new Colbie Caillat song into the ring for the title. It is her catchiest song yet, even has “Sun” in the title, and handclaps; who doesn’t love handclaps in the summer?

Sugarcane – Shaggy

Speaking of summer anthems, Holy Shaggy Sighting! Sure this is not his best work, but we should write our congressmen and have them make a law requiring Shaggy to release a new song every summer. It is not like they have anything else important on their docket right now.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Previewing Issues

In a story I broke yesterday, Web Therapy debuted on television last night and if that is not enough psychoanalysis for you, today sees the premiere of Issues which you can watch over at Issues follows psychologist Josh Cooke (Committed) as he analyzes animated superheroes. And when I say animated, I am talking actual cartoon characters.

There is the Superman like Captain Magnificent (voiced by Rob Riggle, Going the Distance), Robin gets spoofed by Sidecar (Seth Green, Old Dogs), the blind K9 (Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family) brings to mind Daredevil, The Dark Kodiak (Greg Grumberg, Love Bites) is the bear version of Batman, Nothing (Ron Livingston (Office Space) is basically the Invisible Man, while The Incredible Flame is the Human (Eddie Kay Thomas, American Wedding) Flame with a little Dr. Manhattan mixed in.

Unlike most therapy shows, Issues gets off the couch from time to time, most humorously when we see K9 trying to stop a burglary. And even though the episode are aired on the internet, Issue wisely utilizes the censor button, making Sidecar’s profanity laden rants against his mentor even that much funnier when half of his speech is bleeped out. With six episodes under five minutes each, you will be able to bang out the show in a lunch break once all the episodes are uploaded. Hopefully there is a second season featuring supervillians coming soon. Check out the trailer below:

From Crackle: Trailer

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Previewing Web Therapy

The transition from internet to television has not gone very well so far. NBC optioned Quarterlife during the writer’s strike and pulled in The CW type ratings. $#*! My Dad Says went from Twitter to CBS to canceled over the course of a year. But my sources tell me the third time is the charm so maybe Web Therapy may buck the trend.

Web Therapy, just like the internet version, stars Lisa Kudrow (The Comeback) as an inept therapist who decides instead of the sit in the office for an hour session to do three minute sessions via chat over the internet and the show is shown solely from the vantage point of Kudrow’s monitor. The Showtime version will be a combination of the “sessions” featured on the internet version mixed with new scenes that deal with her personal life including Victor Garber (You Again) as her husband and Lily Tomlin (The Pink Panther 2) as her mother.

The show does boast an impressive list of guest stars including Rashida Jones, Jane Lynch, Steven Weber, Alan Cumming and Kudrow’s good friend Courtrney Cox. But the thing that made Web Therapy the internet show, may be the drawback of Web Therapy the television show. Watching someone’s computer monitor on your monitor makes sense, but seems too contained of an idea when watching it on a big screen HDTV. But some of the patients, most notable Lynch’s character with anger issue, make some episodes worth tuning into.

Web Therapy airs Tuesdays at 11:00 on Showtime.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 7/16/11

Quote of the Week: Texas forever. (Tim and Billy Riggins, Friday Night Lights)

Song of the Week: Heaven – Brandi Carlile (Friday Night Lights)

Big News of the Week: America Comes Up Short: Augments could have been made after the USA beat Brazil that it was the best game ever of any sport, right up there with the Miracle on Ice. Now that they came up short in the World Cup final, the Brazil match sits squarely in the second tier with all the other “Yeah, but” games. And the Japan win was eerily reminiscent of the US beating Brazil (sans any controversial referee moments) with a late goal in extra time and pulling out the win in penalty kick. They even got a red card, but only had to be down one player for seconds (and America was just about a foot away from possibly getting a penalty kick win in regulation). And if Alex Morgan is reading this, you are more than welcome to cry on my shoulder as long as you like.

Alex Morgan: call me

Leverage: I would not have been opposed had they done an entire segment devoted to the team trying to get the douchebag to do something heroic. That was comedy gold. You can stream recent episodes on You can also download Leverage on iTunes.

Falling Skies: The creepiest moment of the short series has to be when the skitter led the children into the room and nested on them like a mama bird. It creeps me out just writing that. You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download Falling Skies on iTunes.

Rescue Me: with just two months worst of episodes left, I am ready to say goodbye to this show. The part where Tommy took a drink so he could hear the dead people, just to spit it out was a little too much for me. Considering the show will end with the anniversary of 9/11, I am sure there will be a touching sendoff, but I fear the lead up will be too cumbersome. Granted the firehouse discussion of offensive stereotypes on reality television was entertaining. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Rescue Me on iTunes.

Friday Night Lights: The finale is still a little fresh and am still formulating my thoughts (which will be too long for this space) so until I get the digital version of pen to paper (fingers to keyboard?) check out Grantland’s Oral History of Friday Night Lights, which hopefully is a precursor of a 250-page book. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Friday Night Lights on iTunes

Free Download of the Week: Pilot - Alphas, Season 1

Deal of the Week: Favorite HBO Shows for Up to 65% Off (Deadwood, Eastbound and Down, Six Feet Under)

New Album Release of the Week: Universal Pulse - 311

New DVD Release of the Week: Young Justice: Season One V.1

Video of the Week: Earlier this week I reviewed her band’s Cocoon album (see I Gave Up on Giving Up on Me) and for those that that want to relive her time on the Voice, here is the Best of Dia Frampton (though you should go to Hulu and search her name for her full performances, or just go to iTunes and buy her songs).

Next Week Pick of the Week: Rescue Me, Wednesday at 10:00 on FX: With everthing going on last week, I almost forgot that Rescue Me was returning for its final season. First episode back was a little rocky (if I am not mistaken, the last two seasons were originally supposed to be one, but the network broke them up so the show could end just prior to the tenth anniversary of 9/11), but hopefully it ramps up for its series finale just days before we memorialize that tragic day.