Saturday, September 10, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 9/10/11

Quote of the Week: This ain’t a job. It ain’t an occupation. It's a calling. (Tommy, Rescue Me)

Song of the Week: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida – Iron Butterfly (as played on the bagpipes, Rescue Me)

Big News of the Week: GOP Debate: I really do not pay too much to debates until about a month before people actually start voting, but I usually still tune in to the early ones. But this year’s Republican debates have been excruciationing to sit through I finally figured out why: where is Jimmy McMillan? I thought he was going to run as a Republican nominee for the president this election cyce yet he has yet to eb invited to any of the debates. Sure I do not actually pay it, but is the rent still not too damn high?

The Lying Game: Wow, the I accidently tipped the guy a fifty instead of a five and no do not have to pay the bill was the greatest move ever. And if it was not clear enough that the dude was poor, hustling at golf pretty much sealed it. But what made me laugh the most was when the dance instructor stopped things because of statutory reasons. It was almost a direct shot at the other show created by the same writer, Pretty Little Liars, with it’s icky teacher / student relationship. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Lying Game on iTunes.

Sons of Anarchy: And fears I had about the show continuing its slump from last season were quickly laid to rest because it was back to its season two glory right from the start. It was nice to see the dude from Terriers take up shop in Charming, adding a nice wrinkle to the town, although it took me a while to recognize without the beard. Also taking a while to place was the new assistant U.S. attorney. I recognized him right away, but could not remember what he played. The second scene I remembered he was a priest, then the third time he appeared I finally remembered he was on Deadwood (yet another actor from that show that made its way to Charming). You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Sons of Anarchy on iTunes.

Also check out my season (series) review of Rescue Me.

Free Download of the Week: Little Lie – Lindi Ortega (Spinner)

Deal of the Week: Save up to 57% on Blu-Ray Favorites & More (Inception, The Dark Knight, 300)

New Album Release of the Week: Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play The Blues

New DVD Release of the Week: Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) [Blu-ray]

Video of the Week: Henry Kissinger arguably had more to do with shaping the post-war policy of the United States than anyone else and Monday he sits down with the National Geographic Channel at 8:00 to talk about it. The two hour special comes from twenty-five hours of interviews and below is a sneak peak:


Next Week Pick of the Week: Parenthood, Tuesday at 10:00 on NBC: With Friday Night Lights ending its run this summer, Parenthood inherits the title of best show on network television (not surprisingly they share producers). If my memory serves me correctly, Adam quite his job just after knocking up his wife even though it was his sister Julia that was trying to get pregnant. Both Crosby and Haddie had sex with FNL alum to disastrous consequences. While Amber decided college was not for her much to the distain of Sarah. While Drew continues to stay in the background.

With 9/11 tomorrow, if you already inundated with retrospectives, here is another one to check out: Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience which will debut tomorrow at 8:46 A.M., ten years to the minute the first airplaine hit the World Trade Center on HBO in association with Time magazine. Check out a trailer below:

Friday, September 09, 2011

Around the Tubes - 9/9/11

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 True Blood, Psych, Fix This Kitchen, The Hour, From the Sky Down, The Car Show, Gigolos, Dean Martin, Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen, Screen Actors Guild, TV Guide, and Jillian Michaels.

- True Blood closes out its fourth season this Sunday at 9:00 on HBO. Here is a sneak peak:

- Fans of USA’s Psych will want to head over to by September 21 to sign up for a chance to win a free pair of tickets to Fan Appreciation Day on October 6 in New York City. Stars and creator of the show will screen the sixth season premiere and participate in a Q&A for 500 fans. Not feeling lucky, the site will also stream live coverage.

- If you are like me and stare at your kitchen every night wishing it would magically create itself more counter space, here is a show for you: Fix This Kitchen whose new season premieres tomorrow at 9:30 AM on A&E. Check out a promo below (and if anyone at A&E is reading this, I my kitchen, which is stuck in the seventies, available to feature on the show).

- In this month’s New Yorker, Nancy Franklin reviews the BBC series The Hour.

- Last night From the Sky Down premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and for those that were not in Canada can see the documentary stateside when it hits Showtime Saturday October 29 at 8:00. The documentary sees members of U2 discuss the making of Achtung Baby which turns twenty this year (wow, really, that makes me feel old) and is directed by Academy Award winner Davis Guggenheim. Check out a trailer below:

- Next week on The Car Show (Wednesday at 10:00 on Speed), Adam Carolla will welcome special guest Bruce Jenner.

- Fans of Showtime’s Gigolos note that the new season has a premiere date: October 20 at 11:00. For those that need to catch up, the season one replay began last night and will continue to air Thursdays at 11:00.

- Autumn officially starts in two weeks so it is time to get ready for new Christmas albums to hit store shelves and starting things off is Dean Martin’s My Kind of Christmas
which you can pick up starting September 20. The album will feature a duet with Scarlett Johansson on I’ll Be Home for Christmas along with thirteen other holiday songs.

- You have a week and a half to prepare yourself for the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen featuring roaster Mike Tyson. Yes Charlie Sheen and Mike Tyson will be in the same room at the same time. You have been warned.

The Roast of Charlie SheenMon, Sept 19 10/9c
Driving the Roast Express
Comedy CentralFunny TV ShowsRoast of Charlie Sheen

- TNT has just announced that Mary Tyler Moore will be this year’s recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award which will be handed out at the 18th annual award show January 29 to air on the channel.

- has released something called the Social Power Ranking where users can easily find where they can discuss a particular show or episode, right from the homepage.

- Jillian Michaels will be October’s covergirl for Redbook which is hitting stores next week. Inside she talks about adopting a baby from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and leaving The Biggest Loser.

Jillian Michaels on the cover of Redbook

- In this week’s political press release of the week, why let the five nut jobs in Iowa determine election results with their silly straw poll? Now anyone in America can participate in the Comic Book’ First Straw Poll. Pre-Order your favorite candidate’s comic before September 29 to have your voice heard.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

You Need Two Things to Survive: Sex and Fire, One's no Good without the Other

The series finale of Rescue Me on FX

For almost two seasons it was clear someone was not going to make it to the series finale of Rescue Me. It has been a long time since anyone lst their life in the line of duty, Damien came the closest being relegated to a vegetative state. If someone were to go Tommy would be the obvious choice because creator Denis Leary seems like the guy who would like to watch his own funeral as a fallen hero. Lou’s health made him another prime candidate as well as Chief Finberg who had some mental health problems. Black Shawn just got married and being happy never tends to last on shows like this. But it never crossed my mind the whole crew would go out in a blaze of glory, but there was Lou eulogizing five caskets in a church. Oh, wait, that was just a dream sequence. Nevermind.

That pretty much sums up the last couple seasons of Rescue Me: big build up with little payoff. Off the top of my head I cannot think a show the utilized the “Just Kidding, it’s Just a Dream Sequence” plot more than this show. Tommy fantasizing about taking a drink accounted for about half of them. And that does not even take into account the time he was drinking and talked to all the dead people in his life (or that one season where he saw Jesus and Mary Magdalene) or the times he would take a drink, talk to the dead, and then spit the liquor out. Apparently he has finally learned to chat up the dead with drinking as shown in the final scene.

After Tommy wakes up at the beginning of the finale, we learn that Lou was the only one that did not make it out the building alive and the remaining guys were left to memorialize the fallen lieutenant. After another rocky season, the death brought the show back to its roots focusing on the guys in the firehouse ranging from heartwarming to hilarious, Rescue Me really did locker room talk better than any show ever on television. Sure the scene where Tommy delivering his kid by himself in under a minute was completely absurd. And how can Tommy reject baby names for being to gay when Shea Gavin sounds like the gayest French restaurant ever? But anyway.

As strong as the series finale was, it does not hide the fact that Rescue Me should have ended about two seasons ago when the show shifted from being about the firefighters to a show about the Tommy, Shelia, and Janet love triangle. At that point the show seemed like it was just feeding Leary’s ego where he got to simulate sex with every hot guest star that walked on the set then the tribute to the profession it started out as. Then we started getting more painfully long scenes that left you looking at the clock seeing if it was actually lasting as long as it felt. Even though it could have ended a couple years ago and everyone would have been happier for it, the final shot was a fitting ending for a show born out of 9/11 just days before its tenth year anniversary.

Rescue Me 7.x gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Rescue Me: The Series gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I Want My Music Television - 9/7/11

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 Scientist – Willie Nelson

Just in case you did not think Willie Nelson covering Coldplay was random enough, here come the music video presented by Chipotle, that fast food restaurant you are familiar with but never actually visited, about, um, I have no idea. Are we not supposed to eat pork or something?

A Long Time - Mayer Hawthorne

The latest from Mayer Hawthorne is a good enough song, but the rediscovered VHS tap has been done before and better by multiple artists (see Snoop Dogg). Okay seeing some dude doing the Thriller dance is still entertaining and the random country jingle. I cannot believe Don Draper okayed that to air.

Love the Way You Walk Away – Blitzen Trapper

You may remember Blitzen Trapper from my Best of Neo-Folk and the boys have a new album coming out soon and here is their first single. Even though I have a bunch of their songs on my iPod, I new the band consisted of lead singer Josh Groban, keyboardist Napoleon Dynamite, and the dude from The Civil Wars on bass.

Hot Buns – Foo Fighters

Um, so the Foo Fighters created this video to promote their upcoming tour. Just do not ask me why they decided to do so by dressing up by Willie Nelson, Rob Zombie, and ZZ Top. For those braver than me, there is an uncensored version.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The Five Most (and Least) Anticipated Questions for 2011 Fall Television

How fitting that the day after Labor Day the fall television season unofficially starts off with the return of Sons of Anarchy. So I thought I would look at the five biggest questions going into Fall.

1. Will Beavis and Butt-Head Still Be as Funny? Somebody recently ask me this and my simple question was no not because it would be stale but simply because we were fifteen years older than when it first came on. But from the promo where they watch Jersey Shore, there will still be plenty to laugh at, at least nostalgically.

2. Can The Walking Dead Match its Behind the Scenes Drama on Scene? I was not enamored with the first season as some were (it at limes moved as slow as some of the zombies on the show), but I still enjoyed it. Yet since the show ended its six episode run the show has made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Most concerning was AMC forcing show runner Frank Darabont, the guy who brought the comic book to the small screen and wrote and directed the Pilot and replaced him with a dude whose last two lines on his resume are Hawthorne and Crash.

3. Can Sons of Anarchy Bounce Back? Let’s be honest, the Irish storyline was painfully bad. It was a two-three episode arc that they stretched into a full season. Now with Ireland in the rearview mirror, it looks like the show is going back to the Jax vs. Clay storyline that made the first two seasons so compelling, so hopefully so if the fourth season.

4. Should I Be Excited for Something “From the Writers of Lost”? Once Upon a Time toped my list of Most Anticipated Shows of Fall 2011 but I do have big reservations about the pedigree. Hopefully the creators of the show look at how their bosses flubbed Lost and learn from their mistakes, because if done right Once Upon a Time can be a grand television show.

5. Can The Sing-Off Transition into a Weekly Contest? The Sing-Off was a nice winter diversion when there was nothing else on in the two weeks leading into Christmas but now it is going head to head with the befuddling reality ratings king, Dancing with the Has Beens and Nobodies. The show was lucky to lose its one link and made a huge upgrade by bringing in Sara Bareilles. But I have not liked the song selections from the promos. Seriously, can we please put a moratorium on people singing Rolling in the Deep who are not named Adele?

Since you cannot have light without dark, here are the least anticipated questions of fall:

1. Does Kate Beckett Survive? (Spoiler Alert for Stupid People!!!) Yes.

2. Ozzie or Coach? First off I hated bringing back Boston Rob and Russell and hoped Survivor would never do that again, or the stupid Redemption Island twist. Of course they brought back both. After it was announced that it was going to happen, I initially thought bringing back Matt and Andrea, the two people who were brought back from Redemption Island, would be a no brainer. (I secretly hoped they would go Erik and Matt as a battle between the dumbest Survivors ever). But then they revealed the two returning contestants would be… Ozzie and Coach? What?!? Was there anyone sitting at home thing, “you know who I want to see more of: Ozzie”? Survivor has come off of three of its four worst seasons in a row, I fear this season will make it four of the worst five.

3. Will X-Factor Outsuckshine American Karaoke? Let me get this straight, the show is being judged by a Pussycat Doll (on her fifth reality show), someone who has not had a hit in two decades, and the biggest douchebag. The real question is why would anyone watch this?

4. How Will Morgan Use the Intercet? Hopefully it kills him in the first episode back. If not the show may go out with a whimper not a bang.

5. Who Is the Titular Character on How I Met Your Mother? If I had made this list for the last five years, this question would have made it ever time. I cannot even remember the last time I cared who the Mother is.

And here is what I will be watching this fall and when they return. Mark your calendars.

8:00 – The Sing-Off (NBC) 9/19
8:00 – How I Met You Mother (CBS) 9/19
8:00 – The Lying Game (ABC Family) airing now; note the new starting time starting next week
8:30 – 2 Broke Girls 9/19 (premieres at 9:30 before moving to its regular timeslot)
10:00 – The Playboy Club (NBC) 9/19
10:00 – Castle (ABC) 9/19

10:00 – Parenthood (NBC) 9/13
10:00 – Sons of Anarchy (FX) Tonight
10:00 – Covert Affairs (USA) 11/1

8:00 – Survivor: South Pacific (CBS) 9/14
8:30 – Free Agents (NBC) 9/14 (premieres at 10:30 before moving to its regular timeslot)
9:00 – Modern Family (ABC) 9/21
10:00 - Revenge (ABC) 9/21

8:00 – The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 9/22
8:00 – Community (NBC) 9/22
10:00 – Beavis and Butt-Head (MTV) 10/27

Chuck (NBC) 10/21
Grimm (NBC) 10/21

8:00 - Once Upon a Time (ABC) 10/23
9:00 – The Walking Dead (AMC) 10/16
10:00 – Pan AM (ABC) 9/25
10:00 – Homeland (Showtime) 10/2
10:00 - Hell on Wheels (AMC) 11/6
TBA - Leverage (TNT) 11/27