Saturday, October 22, 2011

Best of the Week - 10/22/11

Quote of the Week: Oh, they don’t always get to ride to roller coaster. Sometimes they only get to spin the teacups. (Penny, The Big Bang Theory)

Song of the Week: American Slang – The Gaslight Anthem (The Lying Game)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: A Melancholy Happy Trails to Muammar Gaddafi: I am too young to remember the height of the cold war, and by the eighties the Eastern Block was a shell of itself on the verge of collapse. For a short period in elementary school it was Muammar Gaddafi who public enemy number one with every school child wanting to blow Libya off the map. Not only was Muammar evil, dude was completely insane. In recent years other mad men have taken over most evil man in world crown, but Muammar came back with a vengeance during the Arab Spring killing civilians to make sure it would not happen to him. But in the end he was found hiding in a drainage tunnel and killed by rebels. Goodbye Muammar, you will not be missed.

Free Download of the Week: Live It Up Chris Isaak (Amazon MP3)

New Album Release of the Week: Mylo Xyloto - Coldplay

New DVD Release of the Week: Captain America: The First Avenger (Three-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy)

Video of the Week: We are coming close to the end of Breast Cancer Awareness month, but before we turn the calendar HBO will be airing The Education of Dee Dee Ricks about the self made millionaire who was diagnosed with the disease and learned how difficult the disease can be for those without the insurance she relayed on to win her fight and is now deternmained to do something about it. Look out for the movie this Thursday at 8:30. Check out the trailer below:

Next Week Pick of the Week: Beavis and Butt-Head, Thursday at 10:00 on MTV: Wake up the thirteen year old version of yourself, take off your thinking caps, and lower your standards because Beavis and Butt-Head are back.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Around the Tubes - 10/21/11

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 Strike Back, American Masters, Twenty, Web Therapy, Rock Center, Franklin and Bash, The Novogratz, American Horror Story, NBC and Showtime programming, and Cafe Press.

- The season finale of Strike Back hits Cimamax tonight at 10:00 and here is a preview of what you can expect:

- American Masters is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this year while Pearl Jam is celebrating their twentieth together. So the former is going to honor the latter by airing the Cameron Crowe directed documentary about the band Twenty premiering tonight at 9:00 on PBS. Check out the trailer below:

Watch Pearl Jam Twenty on PBS. See more from American Masters.

- Selma Blair is the latest client for Lisa Kudrow on Web Therapy and you can watch the episode Bring Up Babies over at

- Naturally Rock Center with Brian Williams will be premiering on Halloween night (at 10:00 on NBC) and here is a promo:

- The boys of Franklin and Bash returned to the set this week to start filming the second season, and there were not alone. Also showing up next season will be Cybill Shepard, Eric Mabius, and Rick Fox. Look for the episodes to air next summer. Check out a picture from the set below:

Mark Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer get ready for the second season of Franklin and Bash

- Also recently returning to production is The Novogratz which is currently working on thirteen new episodes for HGTV set to return April 2012.

- Marathon Alert! On Halloween night, FX will be airing all four previously aired episode of their latest program, American Horror Story starting at 10:00.

- As we close in on the holidays, NBC has announced some of their specials airing the next couple months including The Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now (11/23); the broadcast premiere of Dr. Suess’ Horton Hears a Who! (Thanksgiving Night) followed by The 85th Anniversary of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade; Christmas in Rockefeller Center 2011 (11/30); a special holiday episode of The Sing-Off (12/5); A Michael Buble Christmas Variety Special (12/6); William and Kate: Inside the Royal Wedding (12/13); WWE Tribute to the Troops (12/17); Saturday Night Lice Presents: a Very Gilly Christmas (12/20); and of course It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve. Before then president Barack Obama will be returning to The Tonight Show for his fourth time next Tuesday. Also returning to NBC is Fear Factor coming Monday December 2 at 8:00.

- Even further in the future, Showtime has recently released its Fall/Winter programming Overview including the series premiere of House of Lies (1/8/12 at 10:00) starring Dob Cheadle and Veronica Mars; returning shows Shameless (1/8/12 at 9:00) and Californication (1/8/12 at 10:30); and documentaries From the Sky Down (10/29/11 at 8:00), The Last Play at Shea (11/11/11 at 9:30) Saint Misbehavin’ the Wavy Gravy Movie (11/17/11 at 7:55) and Thespians (11/10/11 at 7:30).

- And for the latest installment of political item of the week; we still are a couple months away from voting, but that have not stopped people from trying to figure out who will be the Republican nominee by trolling over all the data. Like Herman Cain currently has 58% of all GOP nominees related items bought on Café Press. Longtime frontrunner Mitt Romney although only amounts to 6% and whose highest selling items just happen to be flip flops. You cannot even make this stuff up.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Best of Soul

Last year Rolling Stone released a “Playlist Issue” that saw a bunch of artists list their ten favorite songs from a genre, niche, or other artists which let me to suggest that this become a yearly issue. Apparently Jann Wenner was listening because they just released the second annual issue (with Steve Jobs on the cover). What I like about these issues it gives me new suggestion from some of my favorite artists and deep cuts playlist from other artists I enjoy but never fully dug deep into. And who would have guessed Ke$ha’s Party Starting playlist wouldn’t suck? In honor of the issue I thought I would dig out one of my most requested mixtapes I made in college that was so loved, I was asked to make multiple volumes of, The Best of Soul. I this first one is a quick primer so those that have yet to dig deep into the classics yet like so many my age at the time to sample. And for more great musical suggestion I highly recommend to pick up the latest issue of Rolling Stone.

1. Lovely Day - Bill Withers
2. Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours - Stevie Wonder
3. Sexual Healing - Marvin Gaye
4. Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye
5. Just the Two of Us - Grover Washington, Jr. & Bill Withers
6. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) - Marvin Gaye
7. Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
8. Higher Ground - Stevie Wonder
9. Superstition - Stevie Wonder
10. Use Me - Bill Withers
11. Stand By Me - Ben E. King
12. What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
13. Lean On Me - Bill Withers
14. Pastime Paradise - Stevie Wonder
15. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) - Marvin Gaye
16. Living for the City - Stevie Wonder
17. I Heard It Through the Grapevine - Marvin Gaye
18. Lately - Stevie Wonder
19. Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers
20. As - Stevie Wonder

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Want My Music Television - 10/19/11

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.

Red Solo Cup – Toby Keith

If Schrodinger's Cat means that something can be alive and dead at the same time, is there a corollary that a song can be simultaneously the greatest and worst song ever made. If so: ladies and gentlemen, the latest Toby Keith song.

Lucky Now - Ryan Adams

How do you make Ryan Adams more depressingly sad? Apparently all you have to do is put him in an empty house that is just starting to fall apart.

Love on Top – Beyoncé

Well that was boring; Beyoncé just did the same dance routine from the VMA’s in the same loft from the Countdown video, but with more costume changes.

Nasty - Nas

I swear I this video a long time ago. Are we sure that Nas did not release this same video back in 1998?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Twin Scorned

Alexandra Chando: the only reason to watch The Lying Game

There should be a workshop that every writer for serial television shows should go to. And the 101 class has to arcing a season. The number one rule in the class is set up the mystery, ask questions throughout the season, answer them by the end of the season, and then set up some new questions for the next season. For reference, watch any of the seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Veronica Mars. For what not to do, watch the first season of Lost which spent the final three hours of the show figuring out a way to open the hatch and then nothing. Or go back and reread all the hate surrounding the recent The Killing season finale.

I bring this up for my season wrap-up of The Lying Game because I went into the finale expecting some of the big questions to be answered. Why did the Mercer’s only adopt Sutton? Why did Annie take back Emma after she was adopted? How do Ted and Alex fit into this? What is Justin hiding and does it have to do something with the twins? And what the frack is The Lying Game which was mentioned early in the season, but never actually explained? Then an hour later and not a one of those big questions were answered and in a Lostian tradition, the set up a few more questions like who was in the car with Sutton, was that really Annie at the party, and where did Alec disappear to (assuming he was not telling the truth).

I originally thought it was Annie in the car, but if that really was her at the party, the only other serious possibility was Char’s boyfriend. If it was him, that would explain where Alex was, he was getting him in the car to do more undercover work for him and really the only other character we know that was not at the party was Ethan’s brother and though he seems he may also have some shady history with Alec, I doubt it was him.

But I guess it may have been too much to ask when the show was created from the books that were also authored by another criminally bad question answerer Pretty Little Liars. And the episode breakdown and pacing for The Lying Game seemed off all season. It took them way too long to get Sutton in Emma’s shoes, which turned out to be way more entertaining than the vice versa (WAY OFF TOPIC ALERT! remember the great Judge Reinhold / Fred Savage movie, you know, back when body switching was fun; ah the good old days).

It did not help that aside from Alexandra Chando, who lit up the screen in the dual roles, the rest of the cast were utter bores. The second most interesting character was that of Alec but he was relegated to recurring status which makes me think he may be found out for his misgivings sooner than later. But then again, that would assume they answer some questions in the near future. That is not to say I will definitely stop watching, but hopefully if I do continue to watch when it returns in January, they figure a way to work in more Becky Sproles, she could replace any of Sutton’s friends and I do not think any viewers would care, or even notice.

A quick prediction for season two (besides a lack of answers): Emma continues to be Sutton while Sutton sits in a coma as Emma because she still has her ID when brought to the hospital. Unless season two is too early for an amnisia plot.

The Lying Game gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Lying Game on iTunes.

Monday, October 17, 2011

First Impressions: The Walking Dead 2.x

Behind the scenes turmoil is never a good indicator of onscreen quality. Usually these problems stem from creative disagreements between the producers and the network. Though most is speculation at this point, what we do know about the second season of The Walking Dead is that creator Frank Darabont and AMC parted ways early into the filming and is was not a very amicable decision. The shakeup really puts the thirteen episode season set for this season in question as will it live up to the promise to the first season.

That is not to saw the first season did not have its flaws even with Darabont in complete control (even Frank may have seen the shortcomings, firing the writing staff in between seasons, starting off all the behinds the scenes gossip surrounding the show). The one minute recap at the start of the episode was so short but comprehensive it makes you wonder why it took seven hours to tell that story.

With the trip to the CDC a dead end (quite literally as it blew up), at the start of the second season, a band of not so merry men are heading out to an army base and naturally hit a road block where a disturbing about of people chose to die in their cars. Naturally a pack of Walkers were not far behind which makes you wonder where there were going. Do they have some natural instinct that is leading them somewhere or did they think they heard something and just went that way and did not stop?

The season premiere also broke down like one from the first; the cast is going nowhere and then they get sidetracked as a plot point, this time around the young girl goes missing in the wood and you really cannot go shouting her names as not to alert the zombies. And after an hour of searching, she is still missing. But we of course get a cliffhanger in that the young boy got shot while looking at a deer in a weird scene. Seriously, who goes up to pet a wild deer? But anyway.

The episode did show possibly the most gruesome scenes to date. Even though I had eaten dinner four hours earlier, opening up of the zombie to see what he had eaten earlier made me quite a bit queasy (and brought back flashbacks of biology class when we had to dissect animals to see what they had eaten). Also high on the creepy-meter was opening up the church to find three Sitters just at the pew staring at Jesus. Also cool and gruesome as these season are, much like season one I find myself wondering when The Walking Dead will kick into high gear.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9:00 on AMC. You can stream episodes over at You can also download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 10/16/11

Pan Am: The sixties seem so long ago, and WWII even longer it is hard to put the two in perspective for one person’s lifetime. It never really dawned on me why Collette would avoid Berlin up to this point, and when she said why I did not realize why it would hit her so hard until she told her story at the end of the episode.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pan Am on iTunes.

How I Met Your Mother: C’mon Marshall, the second season of Friday Night Lights was not that bad. If FNL were U2, season two would be Pop, yeah it is not as good as the rest of their catalogue, but it is still better than ninety percent of music out there.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

The Sing Off: First off, it is time to retire “pitch” from the judges vocabulary, they all use it way too often. Sonos really got a bad rap for their version of I Want You Back. You want an example of the song that does not share the iconic hook but is still great check out The Civil Wars version. I would have had them above The Collective and Pentatonix (who continued their streak of horrible songs this week) and maybe even the Deltones. The stand out performance (and I cannot believe I am saying this considering the show featured Antoine Meriwether singing about balls that inspired Shawn Stockman to talk about ding dings) was the old dudes doing The Dougie in lounge chairs. And not to get too Adam Levine on you, but I have never heard The Rocketeer song before, is that really considered a hit? But anyway. Here is my Power Rakings for the second week (and their movement from last week in parentheses):

1. Dartmouth Aires (-)
2. North Shore (-)
3. Afro Blue (+1)
4. Urban Method (+2)
5. The Yellowjackets (-2)
6. The Deltones (-1)
7. Vocal Point (+2)
8. Delilah (-)
9. Pentatonix (+2)
10. The Collective (-)

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

The Lying Game: They really did a poor job braking down the story because they took way too long to get Sutton to Las Vegas because Sutton in Sin City is way more enjoyable than Emma in Phoenix. And unfortunately Sutton only stays there for one episode. But it should be an interesting reaction from Sutton when she realized someone took over her life and none of her friends and family noticed but Becky Spoles knew she was not Emma right away.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Lying Game on iTunes.

Castle: The was a nice trick to have someone in witness relocation fake their own death to make the transition easier, but how do you avoid the family from seeing the body before the funeral? I am also trying to figure out who looked sillier this week, Detective Esposito or Adam Braverman.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes.

Parenthood: It is about time someone called out Jason Ritter for whatever that is that is sitting on his face. Many cite poor writing and bad acting that sank The Event, but it is clearly his choice of facial hair that doomed that show. A note to every guy out there, if you cannot connect your goatee with your moustache, then you should really shave every day. But anyway. In the least surprising turn of events, the latte girl decided to give Julia her baby. I wonder if there is a chance they also adopt the latte girl and make her an official Braverman too.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Parenthood on iTunes.

Sons of Anarchy: Gee, if a porn star and a gang member cannot make it after about a month, what chance do the rest of us have? Onto more surprising news, was it common knowledge that Tig had two daughters? I vaguely remember it being alluded to but I do not actually remember either of them ever show up before.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Sons of Anarchy on iTunes.

Survivor: South Pacific: That has to go down as one of the most disgusting, and evil challenges ever (making contests bite down on protein but making them spit it out). And Keith may have to be a late addition to my list of The Dumbest Survivor Contestants Ever because his voting strategies may be the dumbest in the alphabet one. Instead of choosing side (and essentially controlling your tribe) now both Ozzie and Jim’s new alliance cannot trust you. Going into the merge with a tribe fractured like this spells certain doom (unless Brandon goes Brandon again messing with the Coach alliance). Even though he has the hidden immunity Idol in his back pocket, I wonder if Ozzie’s best strategy is to allowed getting voted out next, go to Redemption Island and hope to win, come back into the game with his Idol in tack and assess the situation then.
You can stream recent episodes over at

Survivor on iTunes

Modern Family: The four guys tackling the fake ID guy may be the funniest sight gag since Cameron hoisted baby Lily to the sounds of The Lion King back in the very first episode.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Modern Family on iTunes

Revenge: What a letdown is. They just have the same videos we saw in the episode and dummy links that lead to the show’s Facebook, Twitter and ABC pages.
You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Revenge on iTunes.

Community: If it wrong that the Troy getting the pizza was the only timeline that I actually laughed during?
You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Community on iTunes.