Saturday, October 08, 2011

Best of the Week - 10/8/11

Quote of the Week: Because you don't have a girlfriend? Good Lord, if that becomes a reason not to play Dungeons and Dragons this game is in trouble. (Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory)

Song of the Week: Hot in Herre – Nelly (as sung by Caroline, 2 Broke Girls)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: The Ax Finally Drops: Just last week the president of NBC said he came from cable where shows can build a fan base, this week he canceled both The Playboy Club and Free Agents (yet giving pull season orders to the unfunny Up All Night and Whitney). The Playboy Club suffered from poor writing and worse acting while competing against both Monday Night Football and wrestling, the two of the biggest male audiences on television. Even more painful was The CW got into the action by pulling the plug on H8R before my episode of H8R where the producers of H8R ambush me for H8Ting on H8R even aired. CBS sort of had a cancelation; the network headscratchingly had Rules of Engagement by itself on Saturdays but before it aired its first weekend episode, it has been moved to Thursdays behind The Big Bang Theory with How to Be a Gentleman banished to the Saturday timeslot, essentially canceling it when it runs out of episodes. So let’s cue up It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday and take one last look at Amber Heard in her bunny suit.

Amber Heard in her Playboy Club bunny costume

Free Download of the Week: No Strings – Mayer Hawthorne (iTunes)

Deal of the Week: Plenty of decent albums this month including a few noteworthy Greatest Hits packages from Huey Lewis, The Steve Miller Band, Styx, and possibly the greatest title for a Greatest Hits album from Jimmy Buffet: Song(s) You Know By Heart.

New Album Release of the Week: Ashes & Fire - Ryan Adams

New DVD Release of the Week: Chuck: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray]

Video of the Week: Monday sees the return of Swamp Men at 10:00 on the Nat Geo Wild for third season and in the first episode back a novice gator handler learns to catch one with his bare hands while the other handlers try to rescure a baby alligator. Check out a preview below:

Baby Alligator Rescue

Next Week Pick of the Week: Last Man Standing, Tuesday at 8:00 on ABC: On paper this show does not look particularly good, nor does it look particularly good in motion either, yet for some reason I may end up watching this. It does star Loretta McCready, so maybe Raylan Gibbons may show up at some point. I and for the degenerate gamblers out there, I bet Vegas is already taking bets on when Zachary Ty Bryan and/or Jonathan Taylor Thomas show up.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Around the Tubes - 10/7/11

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 G4 Special Report: Steve Jobs, Enlightened, 31 Days of Halloween, SuperBeam, The Last Play at Shea, Nurse Jackie, Conan, Arrested Development, The Rolling Stone Years, Taylor Swift's Road to Fearless, Killer Karaoke, and the results to the Comic Book Straw Poll.

- In honor of the life of Steve Jobs who passed away this week, G4 is airing G4 Special Report: Steve Jobs which chronicles his impact on modern technology today at 1:30 and 3:00.

- New show alert: Enlightened starring Laura Dern as an ambitious executive at a global conglomerate premieres this Monday at 9:30 on HBO. Check out a trailer for the show below:

- Syfy is currently on their seventh day of 31 Days of Halloween with the premiere of the new season of Sanctuary tonight at 10:00. Tomorrow sees the premiere of the original movie The Terror Beneath starring Adrian Pasdar (The Lying Game). Head over to for the full rundown.

- Grimm will naturally debut the Friday before Halloween and here is a look at what you can expect:

Prince Charming

- If you are like me and seem to go through headphones and earbuds easily, Andrea Electronics has just launched a SuperBeam Headphone Sweepstakes where they wil be giving away four pairs of your chose of SuperBeam headphones or earbuds every week for the end of the year. Head over to their Facebook page to enter.

- Showtime has been securing a bunch of music specials lately and the latest is The Last Play at Shea, the concert by Billy Joel that closed Shea stadium in New York with special guests Tony Bennett, Roger Daltrey, Steven Tyler, Garth Brooks and John Mayer, among others. Look out for the premiere on Friday November 11 at 9:30.

- In other Showtime news, Nurse Jackie will not be returning until sometime in 2012 and expect Rosie Perez to check in for one episode when it comes back.

- Fans of Conan O’Brien will want to head over to his YouTube page to watch the third episode of Cone Drone entitled Gym Rat where he shows you where you can get a body like him.

- I wish people will stop talking about an Arrested Development movie until they actually start filming something, but for those that do not, below Ron Howard, creator of the show, sat down with Kevin Pereira on Attack of the Show and revealed exclusive details on the upcoming season and movie. Wake me up when I can actually watch something.

- Rolling Stone’s first chief photographer Baron Wolman has gathered his classic photographs and tells their inside stories for The Rolling Stone Years out now.

- For those unavailable to make it out to her tour this year, now you can bring Taylor Swift into your own living room this Tuesday when Taylor Swift: Journey to Fearless hits shelves featuring thirteen performances from her three albums.

- Sure there are countless amounts of karaoke shows littering the networks these days, but only Killer Karaoke, which was just picked up by TruTV, boasts Steve-O as host. The show people trying to sing under extreme conditions. Think of it as American Karaoke meets Fear Factor. No word yet on when it will air.

- A couple weeks ago I wrote about the comic book straw poll and now we have the results, not surprisingly Barack Obama came in first as the only Democrat while the recently announced non-runner sold the most among Republicans while Ron Paul was the highest of those still in the race. On the low end was Rick Perry who came in last. Unfortunately Jimmy McMillan was not included. For more information head over to

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Previewing Brain Games

David Copperfield on Brain Games

Recently I have been singing So What'cha Want by the Beastie Boys a lot because every time I misplace something or enter a room and forgot why I went there I sing to myself, “I think I’m losing my mind this time, this time I’m losing my mind. That’s right…” And it seems the times I break out the song are doubling every year since leaving college. My memory has gotten so bad I recently got called out by a neighbor who realized that I called everyone by their last names so I would only have to learn one name instead of two to six names.

The fact that I am losing my mind is what makes the three hour block of Brain Games on the National Geographic Channel so interesting to me. The special, if I remember correctly, keep in mind I watched a screener last weekend (which was unfortunately sent along with a Rubik’s Cube which was the bane of my existence because it was the one puzzle I could never conquer and now I have a new one to mock me), shows the inter working of the brain and explains why some of us have these senior moments even if we are decades away from collecting social security and some steps to lower the amount we have. All three special are narrated by Neil Patrick Harris.

The first hour, Pay Attention! brings in David Copperfield and other illusionists to explain just how you can be a victim of a pick pocket even when they are talking to you while taking the scarf off your neck and putting it around their without you even noticing. And if you have ever driven with anyone who insists to talk on the phone while driving, or actually do it yourself, you and they need to watch this special because anyone who sees the segment on multitasking will never do that again and may even make you write to your politicians to get it outlawed in your area if it is not already.

The second hour is entitled Watch This! and explains all the optical illusions that have amused you for years. Not only with you “watch this” using your eyes, during this hour you will even meet a blind man who “sees” using sonar and teaches you how to do it yourself. Though much like learning a new language, it is much easier to learn if you are younger. I personally do not have the patience even though my eyes seem to be going faster than my mind.

The last special is right up my alley: Remember This! And who better to guide us through the episode than a mental athlete. No, seriously, there is such a thing and the dude is a world champion who can memorize the order of an entire deck of cards. He even gives me a good tip at remembering people’s names which I will have to break out at next year’s block party. During this episode we also follow a crime to see just how reliable eye-witness testimony is, and let me spoil the outcome a little bit by saying if I ever find myself wrongfully accused for a crime I didn’t commit, I am bringing in this episode as exhibit A.

Brain Games is one of those educational shows that is actually entraining and can be watch by the entire family, and watching it in a group actually makes it more fun. And as the title suggests, each special has games you can play along with at home with your television to see just how well you pay attention and tests your memory. I highly recommend recording the show so you can go back and watch certain scenes because some tricks and illusions are worth rewatching. And who knows, after watching you and I will be singing less Beastie Boys in the future.

Brain Games airs Sunday at 8:00 on the National Geographic Channel. Check out a preview below with the previously mentioned David Copperfield.

Brain Games! With David Copperfield

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Previewing Mad Scientists

Mad Scientists on the National Geographic Channel

Last week the National Geographic Channel premiered Rocket City Rednecks (which I declared the best new reality show since Tool Academy) and after new episodes tonight, there is a premiere of a great companion show for the redneck MacGyver’s in Mad Scientists. Much like the show it precedes, Mad Scientists features people building weird, and sometime, useful new toys.

The show follows professional builder John Bowler as he searches the country for eccentric engineers who build new creations in their garage and then challenges them to upgrade their inventions. In tonight’s premiere John heads to California looking for a guy who built his own all terrain vehicle. And not being content with that, John bets the inventor to make his machine stand, and drive, standing up (see picture above).

Stick around for back to back episodes because the second one is even more entertainment when John travels to an abusement park. And no, that is not another one of my misspellings; they actually call it an abusement park. Oh, yeah, and the roller coaster was built by a guy and his friends in his back yard. And naturally John ends up getting the guy to trick out one of his rides, an air compressor fueled roller coaster that John want to put on a monorail track, and do it within forty-eight hours.

Also this season, John looks to make weird contraptions even weirder like a 40-foot-long counterweighted teeter-totter, a drag-racing super-machine converted from a minivan, Gyroplanes built from scratch, and an off-roading wheelchair that shoot pellets like a machine gun.

Mad Scientists airs Wednesdays at 10:00 with back to back episodes on the National Geographic Channel. Check out a preview from tonight’s episode below:

Speedcult Abusement Park

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Fall 2011 Music Preview

I usually do a “Most Anticipated” list here but overlooking the scheduled lists of album being released in time for Christmas, I really cannot say I am overtly excited for more than two or three of them. Please note while looking over the list for yourself, twenty years ago last weekend, Nevermind, The Low End Theory, and Blood Sugar Sex Magik were all released on the same day (that does not even include the very first CD I ever bought: Waking Up the Neighbours - Bryan Adams by Bryan Adams). Unfortunately most of the albums I am most looking for are in the dreaded “TBD” section which usually means if they do not have a release date by now or even a title; we will not likely see them until early next year at the soonest. For those that want to pre-order the album on Amazon, click its name, or the artist’s name to be taken to iTunes.

Metals – Feist
People & ThingsJack's Mannequin
Chicago XXXIII -O Christmas ThreeChicago
Lie, Cheat and Steal – Us3

October 11
Ash and Fire – Ryan Adams
How Do You DoMayer Hawthorne
ChesapeakeRachael Yamagata
New Blood (Special Edition) (2CD)Peter Gabriel
AwakeningJames Morrison
The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective (3 CD)Ben Folds
Still WinningJohnny Gill
AnarMarketa Irglova
Crazy GlueFishbone
Deeper Into DreamBen Lee

October 18
Beyond the Sun (2CD)Chris Isaak
Songs of the Ungrateful LivingEverlast
Revelation RoadShelby Lynne

October 24
Mylo Xyloto - Coldplay
Stronger (Deluxe Version)Kelly Clarkson
Divine ProvidenceDeer Tick
TwentyBoyz II Men
A Very She & Him ChristmasShe & Him
Bad As Me [Limited Deluxe Edition]Tom Waits

November 1
CeremonialsFlorence + The Machine
LuluMetallica and Lou Reed
The Smile Sessions Box SetThe Beach Boys
Four The RecordMiranda Lambert
Invisible – Skylar Grey

November 8
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds [Deluxe Edition]Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

November 15
CampChildish Gambino
Love After War – Robin Thicke
We Found Love – Rihanna

November 21
Fallen Empires: DeluxeSnow Patrol
My Life II: The Journey ContinuesMary J. Blige
Dreamer the BelieverCommon

Undun – The Roots
Blakroc II - BlakRoc
West Coast Time – Michelle Branch
Born and Raised – John Mayer
Rise of the Phoenix – Tenacious D
Daddy Fat Sax: Soul Funk Crusader – Big Boi
Mumford & Sons
The Black Keys
The All-American Rejects
Fiona Apple
The Album Formerly Known as Songs of Ascent - U2

And let’s not forget the obligatory, this may be the quarter where Dr. Dre finally drops Detox.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Previewing A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King

October is the month of scary and what better way to celebrate the spook than with a sit down with Stephen King talking about the horror genre? For A Night at the Movies, King discusses everything from the first movie to scare him (Bambi, no seriously) to the movies based on his writing he calls The Shining, “A beautiful car without an engine in it.”) He even breaks down the sub-genres like creature features, freaks, hauntings, vampires (he calls Bella Lugosi a, “wacked out concert pianist”), and of course slashers.

With Halloween close approaching, King also talks about the horror films that have influenced his work going all the way back to Freaks which was released in 1932 and current films that scare him (learn what modern film he walked out of he was so scared). He even delves deep in to our psyche to figure out what these films scare us and make us coming back for more. This special is a must for any Steven King fan and fans of the genre that will undoubtedly discover new films to put in their queue this month. But be warned, major spoilers are revealed about many of the films talked about, so if you are new and catching up on some horror classics, you may want to skip this. Also be sure not to skip the credits as King discusses his Desert Island Movies.

A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King airs tonight at 8:00 on TCM. The special will kick off an entire month of classic horror on TCM, with each Monday night's lineup packed with memorable chillers. The offerings include Universal classics like Frankenstein (1931) and The Wolf Man (1941), Val Lewton thrillers like Cat People (1942) and I Walked with a Zombie (1943), Hammer classics like Horror of Dracula (1958) and cult favorites from William Castle and Roger Corman, to name a few. Also this Wednesday John Carpenter will be the guest programmer starting at 8:00. Below is a promo for the special on tonight.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 10/2/11

How I Met Your Mother: Wait, Ted cheated on Victoria with Robin? Did this actually happen and I just forgot (it would have been about six years ago I think) are did they do some revisionist history on it? But I did like how Victoria totally called out Ted’s creepy threesome relationship with Robin and Barney. But I still wish Victoria would stick around longer.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

The Sing Off: It is hard not to get behind a group that features Antoine Merriweather, which is why I have them number one on my first ever The Sing Off Power Ranking below. As for the other performances, I am still trying to figure out what was more bizarre, a bunch of high schoolers doing an acapella version of a Ozzy Osbourne song (which followed a Hair medley) or the acapella dance version of Wicked Game. But anyway, here is my power ranking from the first round.

1. Dartmouth Aires
2. North Shore
3. YellowJackets
4. Afro-blue
5. The Deltones
6. Urban Method
7. Sonos
8. Delilah
9. Vocal Point
10. The Collective
11. Pentatobix
12. Kinfolk 9

You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download songs from The Sing-Off on iTunes.

The Lying Game: I loved how Sutton basically explaining the plot of the show got her locked up in the loony bin. That is always a good sign for a guilty pleasure.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Lying Game on iTunes.

Castle: I am surprised the show missed an opportunity at a meta moment when Castle did not say the superhero he most wanted to be was Green Lantern (he lent his voice to the recent animated film Green Lantern: Emerald Knights). You cannot blame ABC’s affiliation with Marvel because his chose ended up being DC’s Batman.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes.

Weeds: I could have sworn the creator said that she planned on this season to be the show’s last (though the network disagreed) because that finale was pretty cliffhangery. Unless she meant it to be some sort of Tony Soprano fade to black situation.

Parenthood: Wow, they actually gave Drew something to do. I do not think he has had a storyline since playing baseball and I think that only lasted an episode or two. And for anyone who wonder what I looked like when trying to flirt with a girl in high school (or in college, or last week at the grocery store) refer to the scene when Drew was “returning” the hedge clippers.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Parenthood on iTunes.

Sons of Anarchy: I wonder if the murdered club member connected to the leaving member is foreshadowing for something that will happen with SAMCRO this season.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Sons of Anarchy on iTunes.

Survivor: South Pacific: I have said this before and will probably have to repeat it every week until he gets kicked off, but Brandon has some major issues. His “apology” to Mikayla involved him shouting here, then calling a tribe meeting solely to air his dirty laundry. I do not see how he sticks around once his tribes loses another immunity challenge.
You can stream recent episodes over at

Survivor on iTunes

Modern Family: Fun fact: I actually shared a math class with my older sister in high school. And it was as awesome as Alex would have you believe.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Modern Family on iTunes

Revenge: Much more entertaining episode then the first. Once they got past the exposition that had to be done for the Pilot, it looks like we have settled in to Amy Abbott taking down a new person every week. But am annoyed in the back my mind knowing what happens later in the season, although I might be wrong of when that is. If this episode was “twelve weeks ago” I wonder if every episode is a week and the engagement party happens midseason. I could also do with the “this is how she did it” scene at the end of episode. Personally I had already figured out Amy stole the password from the massive clues that camera gave us, same with the poisoning last week.
You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Revenge on iTunes.

Community: Holy Bill Haverchuck sighting! More Annie on Annie violence this season or just Annie temper tantrums will do just fine.
You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Community on iTunes.