Saturday, August 06, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 8/6/11

Quote of the Week: How accurate was The Wire? (Student – Weeds)

Song of the Week: Alien – Carey Brothers (Pretty Little Liars)

Big News of the Week: The Debt Ceiling Raised: Since Republicans do not want to do anything to help the economy in hopes of taking back the White House next year and Democrats do not have the marbles to push legislation without compromise through like Bush did last decade, we were stuck hearing about the debt ceiling while our congressmen played political chicken with the word’s economy. Considering it would be a lose-lose-lose type situation if the debt ceiling limit was not raised, it was done at the last minute. All this led to an all time 14% approval rating of Congress which puts them somewhere between LeBron James and Casey Anderson.

Leverage: Oh you silly promo monkeys making us think that Eliot gets shot during the episode, but never actually gets caught in the cross hairs at all. But I did like the ingenious way of getting the daughter’s breath to open the panic room. You can stream recent episodes on

Falling Skies: I swear those creatures controlling the Skidders are those long necked creatures from Star Wars on the planet where the clones are being made. We also get some interesting exposition that if you have a harness on for so long, you may turn into a skidder. But I still do not particularly care much about any of the characters. You can stream recent episodes over at

Switched at Birth: I wonder if Deafenstien is an actual movie because I think I may want to add it to my queue. You can stream the show on Hulu.

Pretty Little Liars: I have long questioned Big Head Barry’s assertion that he did not knowingly take steroids, but after seeing Emily was tricked by “A,” maybe Barry Bonds too was stalked by an omnipresent person that tricked him into using The Cream, The Clear and Beef Roids. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

The Nine Lives of Chloe King: I am beginning to think that empathy thing that Chloe does may be the most worthless superpower ever. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Rescue Me: It is a shame that Mike and White Shawn are not featured in more scenes because even seven years later they are still comedy gold. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Free Download of the Week: Dawes / Blitzen Trapper Tour Sampler ( Dawes and Blitzen Trapper are hitting the road starting tomorrow in Petaluma, California and going through November. Head over to Dawes website to get the full list and while you are there you can download a sampler from both bands which includes Blitzen Trapper’s Furr which it worth the download by itself.

New Album Release of the Week: Watch the Throne - Jay-Z and Kanye West

New DVD Release of the Week: Paul

Next Week Pick of the Week: Falling Skies, Sunday at 9:00 on TNT: Stop me if you have heard this one before: a sci-fi show that sounds great on paper but ends up being mediocre in practice. And that was the same for Falling Skies. Things did start to build up in the last episode so hopefully the season can go out with a bang with their two hour finale. Also, star Noah Wiley will be live tweeting during the episode @fallingskiesTNT.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Around the Tubes - 8/5/11

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 Friends with Benefits, Teen Spirit, True Blood, Selected of God Choir, M.A.S.K., The Voice, Southland, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, and Wipeout.

- In other debut news, ABC Family’s latest original movie, Teen Spirit, premieres Sunday at 7:00. Check out the poster below:

Cassie Scerbo and Lindsay Shaw of Teen Spirit

- Remember the universally praised Imported from Detroit Super Bowl ad? Well now they have released the choir version of the song (sans Eminem) which you can download on iTunes with all publishing proceeds going to a number of Detroit based charities. Check out the full music video below:

- 80’s children take note, M.A.S.K.: The Complete Series is hitting shelves this Tuesday. The 12-DVD box set will include all 65 episodes as well as a retrospective featuring writers on the shoe and other bonus content.

- A wise man once said there were fifty-seven channels and nothing’s on. Well now a days you can put two zeros at the end of that and it will still be the same. recently counted down the ten most useless channels on your cable box.

- In casting news, Lucy Liu has joined the cast of TNT’s Southland as a special guest star as a member of the LAPD. Look out for the new season to start in January.

- As seen below, Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara will grace the cover of the September issue of Redbook where she talks about being a young mother and her hit show.

sofia Vergara on the cover of TRedbook

- Mark your calendars, Wipeout will be premiering on TruTV September 2 at 8:00.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

I Want My Music Television - 8/4/11

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.

Our Deal – Best Coast

MTV has released its latest so called Supervideo for the low-fi girl group Best Coast and it is the first that actually has somewhat of a sensical narrative: West Side Story by way of Grease starring Hit Girl, Maeby Fünke, Troy the Wonderboy and the girl from School of Rock with an ending so lame you wonder how the writers of Lost did not come up with it first.

The Death of You and Me - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

Noel Gallagher recently poked fun of his former band (now calling themselves Beady Eye) for the poor showing on the chart, but if this song is the best a solo Noel has to offer, he may want to put down the stones before breaking his glass house.

The Book of Morris Johnson - Zee Avi

Zee Avi is signed to Jack Johnson’s record label and you can tell because she definitely has that mellow vibe (despite the dancing in the video), even uses the mellow instrument of choice of the day, the ukulele, and who knows, maybe she will even pop up on the next season of The Mellow Show.

Lost in My Mind - The Head And the Heart

If you are like me and are going through withdrawals waiting for new music from The Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons (both that may have new music out by the end of the year at the earliest) may I suggest to you The Head and the Heart that run in that same passionate folk / Americana of the previously mentioned bands.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2011-12

It has been a while since I counted down what upcoming movies I am looking forward to so here are my most anticipated films that will hit theaters sometime before the world ends (You don’t think Roland Emmerich would lie to us, do you?). Click the movie names to be taken to their trailers.

10. The Muppets (November 23, 2011) – There has been a run of movies that want to bastardize why childhood, CGI Smurf and Transformers, live action Scooby-Doo, it is only a matter of time before Jerry Bruckeimer ruins He-Man too, but at least Jason Segal had the common courtesy of not messing with TheMuppets formula and keeping them as puppets and corny, just like I like them.

9. Tower Heist (November 4, 2011) – This is purely wishful thinking because Eddie Murphy has not been in a funny movie since I was in grade school and not allowed to actually see his movies, and Ben Stiller recently has only been funny when he writes and directs his movies, but I did laugh more times at the trailer than I did in the last ten live action movies Murphy has been in. And it is hard not to think 48 Hours when Murphy shows up in jail.

8. The Help (August 10, 2011) – I do not know about her hair in the movie, but Emma Stone is the best comedic actress of her generation and it looks like she will be able to stretch her drama chops in this film too which will give us a sense of how she might fair in the upcoming Spiderman flick (where she takes Gwen Stacy over from Bryce Dallas Howard who is also in The Help).

7. 30 Minutes of Less (August 12, 2011): Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari, the director of Zombieland and the dude from Zombieland? Yes please.

6. 50/50 (September 31, 2011) – If there is one thing we learned from Funny People, also starring Seth Rogan, cancer can make you laugh. It also helps that the movie co-stars the highly likeable Anna Kendrick.

5. The Ides of March (October 14, 2011)

4. Drive (September 16, 2011)

I have a kingship to Ryan Gosling every since I constantly being told I looked like the dude from The Notebook. Apparently nobody knew his name probably becaude besides The Notebook, Gosling has been in some heavy and weird films like the drug addled teacher in Half Nelson and the doll lover from Lars and the Real Girl. Now he is making some assessable movies like the recent Crazy Stupid Love and the upcoming political thriller with George Clooney and action flick with Carey Mulligan.

3. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (June 22, 2012) – No trailer for this yet, but this is one of those movies, much like Snakes on a Plane, that you can tell will be awesome by title alone. And the movie gets bonus points for featuring Ramona Flowers herself as Mary Todd.

2. The Avengers (May 4, 2012): I am more of a DC guy, but I am interested how they are going to fit all these Superheroes, most that have their own standalone films, into one movie. Hopefully it will lead to a Justice League movie.

1. The Dark Knight Rises (July 20, 2012) – Seriously, does this really need an explanation?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Ephram, I am Going to Miss You and Your Sullen Ways

Everwood: The Complete Fourth Season

It only took five years, but starting today you can down own every season of Everwood (which came in at number 30 on my list of The 100 Greatest Television Shows of the 00’s) with the Complete Fourth Season out now, own it on DVD now. The groundbreaking family drama was one of the casualties when UPN and The WB merged to form The CW and not only can you now watch every episode ever aired whenever you want on DVD, for the first you can take a look at what might have been as Everwood: The Complete Fourth Season also includes an alternative ending of the show which would have aired if the last episode would have been the fourth season finale, not the series finale which includes a hundred percent more Madison (you will have to pick up the set to how and why she reappeared) and tweaked Hannah’s last scene which put her college plans up in question. Including the alternative ending, the DVD set features about an hour of deleted scenes.

Andy and Nina of EverwoodThe four season of Everwood saw both the Brown boys pine over not so attainable girls; Andy professed his love for Nina only for her to choose Scott Wolf while Ephram did the same to Amy only for her to chose no one over him. The youngest Brown, Delia spent the season turning into a mean girl. But not all love was lost, Hannah and Bright found love at the end of last season which went strong for most of the final season. It was the same for Edna and Irv who got back together at the end of season four and stayed strong to the end even with Irv on a book tour. Dr. and Rose Abbott continued to be a rock on the show while Rose beat cancer and decided to adopt.

The final season also saw a couple recognizable faces pass through the small Colorado town including Justin Kirk (Weeds), Keith David (Barbershop), Leslie Hope (24), Nia Long (Friday), Simon Rex (MTV VJ), Margo Harshman (Even Stevens), Charles Dunning (Tommy’s dad on Rescue Me), and Kelly Carlson (who returned an episode after Scott Wolf decried how Nip/Tuck was an insult to plastic surgeons). And it is known that Everwood launched the career Emily Van Camp (the upcoming Revenge), Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreations), Gregory Smith (Rookie Blue), and Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy), the final season of Everwood also featured early acting credits from Brooke Nevin (Breakout Kings), Victoria Justice (Victorious), Christopher Egan (Kings), and Steven R McQueen (Piranha 3D) had a recurring role as Ephram’s moody piano prodigy he helped try to get into Julliard. And yes, he got his name from his grandfather.

If you already own the first three season of Everwood on DVD, the fourth season is a must, and even if you do not own the rest, fans of the show may want to pick up this set just to see what might have been with the alternate season ending. While for those that missed the show the first time around, it is worth starting from the beginning because it is one of the best small town family dramas ever to hit the small screen (it was in the discussion for best ever until the Taylor family moved to Dillon Texas, putting that category out of reach of any other small town family dramas). Check out a synopsis of the DVD set below:

The final season of the series set in a welcoming town in the Rockies is all about finding oneself… and finding each other. Here, in the 5-Disc, 22-Episode Season Four, the unforgettable people of Everwood test the ties that bind them together in joy and tears, friendship and love. Drawn by his feelings for Amy, Ephram returns home and mentors a troubled piano prodigy. When Nina chooses Jake over him, Andy struggles to remain friends with the woman he loves. Bright and Hannah make their unlikely romance work. The Abbotts open their arms to a new child. Intriguing characters arrive and beloved characters depart. Say goodbye to the place and the people that won your heart - and discover how everything turned out!

Full Disclosure Notice: This DVD was given to me on behalf of Warner Bros. for the purpose of reviewing the season.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Kenny Wasn’t Like the Other Kids, TV Mattered, Nothing Else Did

I am not one of those people the bemoan that MTV does not play music videos because I bet most of the people who do complain would not bother to sit through an hour of Lady GaGa and Katy Perry videos in hopes they may play the latest from Mumford & Sons when you can just go on the internet and see it on demand. But watching the channel’s retrospective on VH1 Classic all weekend (apparently the actual channel is too busy with a Jersey Shore marathon to get nostalgic) I realized just how horrible the channel’s line up these days compared to the classic days when even non music video shows did not suck.

If I am not mistaken, Remote Control, this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame, was the first show on MTV that did not resolve around music videos except for the lightning round where characters who have a wall of televisions in front of them and had to name the music videos that were playing on the ten screens. As the name suggested, Remote Control had a much more focus on television than music with many categories devoted to classic television shows like Leave it to Beaver and The Brady Bunch (Jerry Mathers even made an appearance while Barry Williams, Eve Plumb, and Susan Olsen actually played).

The game was simple, three contestants would come to the basement of Ken Ober, sit in easy chairs and buzz in for point with bizarre characters (my favorite being Dead or Alive, where contestants would have to guess, well, you know). In between commercials there would be a snack break, which was delivered from above the contestants. And when a contestant was eliminated, they were yanked “off the air” through a brick wall where they were tormented for all damnation.

Remote Control was surprisingly a launching pad for many of the cast. Ken Ober, rest his soul, would go on to star into the original Parenthood television show before returning to MTV in a trio of Blues Traveler videos. Co-host Colin Quinn would parlay the gig into a cast member on Saturday Night Live. While token hot click Kari Wurhrer would go on to be a staple during the Skinamax block of movies throughout the nineties. Ever her replacement Alicia Coppola would go on to have many recurring roles on shows like American Dreams, Jericho and most recently popped up on The Nine Lives of Chloe King.

But the most surprising breakout stars of the show included Adam Sander, who beat Quinn to Saturday Night Live by a half a decade before going on to become the biggest comedic actor for a decade and a half. Also performing skits on the show was another comic who would eventually make it huge, Denis Leary, including some famous commercials he would go on to film for the network.

Watching classic bits during the MTV of Remote Control like celebrity edition where LL Cool J goes head to head with (not Downtown) Julie Brown and "Weird Al" Yankovic and another featuring the Red Hot Chili Peppers (where Anthony and Flea played as a Two Headed Monster)makes me wish that MTV would add Remote Control to the list of shows the channel is rebooting along with Beavis and Butt-Head and 120 Minutes. If only for selfish reasons because I would be the Ken Jennings of the show.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Feed Your iPod vol. LXII: Stomp (Remix)

The late nineties was a weird time for music. The two biggest musical movements from earlier in the decade grange and gangsta rap seemed to die with Kurt Cobain, Tupac and Biggie while teen pop did not start its domination until the last year. So there was a short period where weird songs from Cake and Harvey Danger crept into the public consciousness. Maybe the most surprising song to get played on MTV at the time was a straight ahead gospel song by Kirk Franklin. This was not a pop artist touching on religious themes like Kanye West and Jesus Walks or a Christian artist like Amy Grant crossing over by making secular music. Kirk Franklin was a gospel artist making a gospel song that was getting legitimate airplay at the time. Religious themes aside, Stomp was just a fun song which worked in the church and dance club and even featured a guest appearance from Salt of and Pepa fame, a group that had some very non churchly type songs. Which may have made the song that much more fun to listen to even today.