Saturday, October 29, 2011

Best of the Week - 10/29/11

Quote of the Week: I ain’t afraid of no ghost. (Beckett, Castle)

Song of the Week: Like a Surgeon – “Weird Al” Yankovic (How I Met Your Mother)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Charlie Sheen Coming Back to the Small Screen: Right after getting the boot from Two and a Half Men, Charlie Sheen was quickly cast in an Anger Management reboot (the original movie starred Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson) and now it has a channel, FX (which I once called the nest network on television, but after picking this and American Horror Story and canceling Terriers and Lights Out, I may have to reassess). And not only are they looking at one-ten episode season, if successful, it will be picked up for an additional ninety episodes much like many of the TBS sitcoms. No word on where Vegas has set the Over/Under of how many episode Sheen will make it through.

Free Download of the Week: Make My. – The Roots featuring Big K.R.I.T. (Rcrdlbl)

New Album Release of the Week: Achtung Baby (Super Deluxe Edition) - U2

New DVD Release of the Week: Scrooged [Blu-ray]

Video of the Week: In honor of their Rocket City Redneck, National Geographic Channel has laughed a new PSA to Save the Rednecks asking all Americans to break out their work boots, coveralls, and proudly declare themselves rednecks. Their campaign even comes with this shiny new video:


Next Week Pick of the Week: Homeland, Sunday at 10:00 on Showtime: I have finally caught up on what is, for all intents and purposes, the best new show of the fall (assuming you do not consider Beavis and Butt-Head “new”) as well as tomorrow’s episode. And just in time as the last image for the previous episode is a suspicious couple buying a new home, straight cash homie, which just happens to be right near an airport. That and many other plots will be playing out tomorrow including an intense interrogation sequence, which is a bit of more realistic than one commissioned by Jack Bauer. We also get to meet a couple more family members of the main cast. And get ready for more Homeland because the show was recently renewed for a second season.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Around the Tubes - 10/28/11

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 Grimm, Chuck, The Incredible Dr. Pol, Explosion Bus, Zombie Apocalypse, Dallas, Lynyd Skynyrd, and Adopt a Turkey.

- The long awaited final season of Chuck premieres tonight along with the series premiere of Grimm. For those that cannot wait a couple more hours, here is a twenty minute preview of Grimm along with a sneak peak of Chuck:

Special Extended Preview

- New show alert! The Incredible Dr. Pol follows a veterinarian who specializes in large animals and pets as he makes house calls to his patients. Some compare it to a real-life version of All Creatures Great and Small, the British television series from the 80s, but that is a bit before my time and wrong continent. For the premiere this Saturday at 9:00 with back to back episodes on Nat Geo Wild, Dr. Pol treats a horse with a spinal cord injury, operates on a cow with two dead fetuses that need to be removed, a K-9 Hungarian German Sheppard that may have cancer, and a cow with a twisted stomach. Check out a clip below (assuming you have not eaten lately because the video is as graphic as the title suggests):

Massaging a Cow Uterus

- Fans of singing competitions may want to check out Explosion Bus, a satirical web series that looks into the genre from Tom Snyder, the creator of Dr. Katz.

- For those looking for a scare this Halloween weekend, Syfy has its new original movie Zombie Apocalypse starring Ving Rhames and it premieres tomorrow at 9:00. Here is a preview:

- The TNT Dallas reboot had its first day of filming recently and here are OG Larry Hagman and newbie Josh Henderson talking about it:

- BBQ, Beer and Lynyd Skynyrd sounds like a natural fit, and now you can have all three starting December 8 in Las Vegas. And you can be there for an “eat ‘n’ greet” with the band for the grand opening as tickets go on sale today at 10:00 by calling (702) 262-4400.

- We are less than a month away from Thanksgiving and Adopt-A-Turkey Project recently announced Ellen DeGeneres will be back as their spokesperson.

- For the latest installment of Political News of the Week, last week I mentioned that Herman Cain was the number one seller on CaféPress among Republican hopefuls and now he has even taken over Barack Obama in sales at 43% of all presidential candidates to the current president’s 33%. Although Poll Position recent survey of registered voters found that a third of Americans think Mitt Romney has a better chance to defeat Obama than Herman Cain. Although when it comes to the voting cycle, wake me up when voting starts happening.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Previewing Grimm

When it comes to new shows, I tend to look past the cast and the glossy introductory promos and look at who is working behind the scenes of the show. Surprisingly of the two fairy-tale themed new shows this fall, Once Upon the Time (see my First Impressions of the show) topped my list of the Most Anticipated New Shows of Fall 2011 list while Grimm could not even make the list considering the former is “from the writers of Lost,” a show I still cringe whenever I think about it, while the latter is brought to us by the guy who co-created Angel with Joss Whedon, which landed in at number sixteen on my list of the 100 Greatest Shows of the 00’s. Of course, on the flipside, Sean Hayes is also a co-executive producer. Yes, the Sean Hayes you are thinking of.

Much like Angel, the lead in Grimm, David Giuntoli (Road Rules, wait, what? Why am I just learning that this guy was on Road Rules and the subsequent Challenges with the Real World, and why do I not remember him at all?) is a detective that takes on special cases due to his special ability, in this case, his is a descendant of the Brothers Grimm and as it turns out, their stories were not just fables but real life and only the Grimms can see these characters for who they really are. Unfortunately just like Angel, the lead is tall, dark, and boring (which is maybe why I do not remember him).

Giuntoli is joined in the homicide department with Russell Hornsby (Playmakers) who like to bust his partner’s balls. Also hanging around the precinct is Reggie Lee (Persons Unknown) and all will be reporting to Sasha Roiz (Caprica) as the captain. While at home Giuntoli is getting ready to propose to girlfriend Bitsie Tulloch (Quarterlife) but his newfound lineage may put that in jeopardy. Kate Burton (Monty) also puts in a memorable guest appearance in the Pilot as David’s aunt who keys him into his heritage.

One problem that Grimm runs into is that it is a very dark retelling of the stories we remember as children, but it may be hard for the show to go into the cheesy, like in the first episode where we meet a young girl in a red hooded sweatshirt, who is kidnapped on her way to her grandparent’s house, whose initials just happen to be R. H. It is hard ton to wince a little at plot points like this. Hopefully this gets less cheesy as the show goes on just like David Greenwalt managed to do with Angel which managed to be a darker version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that still had a lighter side to it. This time around, the comic relief (though not as entertaining as Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan) will come in the form as Silas Weir Mitchell (My Name is Earl) who will be helping the newest Grimm out with some of his cases and just happens to be a reformed Big Bad Wolf. No, seriously.

Despite what looks to be a procedural every week, there looked to be an introduction of a Big Bad in the form of the moderately attractive Claire Coffee (Wild Things: Diamonds in the Rough) which hints that the fairytale characters may be more organized than the Grimms may realize. Hopefully she will be appearing early and often because I am not quite sold yet on a strictly procedural show.

In a battle between the show and Once Upon a Time, you will have to give the win to OUaT in terms of quality and almost certainly in terms of viewers (assuming Grimm will not garner enough eyeball on Friday against the already entrenched sci-fi show Fringe) it is currently a tossup because it is hard to be cautious when it comes to a show “from the writers of Lost.” But Grimm’s ratings may make that discussion moot much like The Playboy Club vs Pan Am.

Grimm airs Fridays at 9:00 on NBC. You can stream episodes on Hulu. You can also download Grimm on iTunes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dumb Plus Dumb Equals You

Stronger - Kelly Clarkson

Trends are so powerfully, even big time rock stars like The Rolling Stones were recording disco songs at the height of the genre. With the explosion of Adele this year as the most buzzed and bought artist, I bet record labels are already signing clones for the last couple months. You would think one artist who would love to jump on the Adele bandwagon would be Kelly Clarkson. After her most personal album My December bombed with critics and the public alike, she was resigned to recording what sounded like leftovers from Katy Perry and P!nk albums for the follow up All I Ever Wanted.

But instead of filling her latest album with Adele like tracks that more highlight the voice over cheep production effects that are meant to hide the limitations of lesser singer, Clarkson’s latest album Stronger is just a retread of her last album which sounds even more dated now two years later. Just how overplayed is her title track What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)? It actually inspired someone to compile a video of all the pop songs that have overused the Nietzsche quote.

From the title track, you get another twelve forgettable tracks. It is never a good sign when you go through a whole album and not one song sticks out from the mediocrity. They just sound like leftovers from her last album (which sounded like leftovers themselves and no one likes still eating turkey the Sunday after Thanksgiving). Okay, one song actually stick out, but not in a good way. Einstein features lyrics so painfully lame they would make Ke$ha songs read like something out of the Bob Dylan songbook. Not only is “Dumb + Dumb = You” a line in the song, it is the actual chorus. C’mon, you could not come up with a second insult that you had to add dumb to itself? Why not then just say “Dumb Squared = You” then? Hopefully Clarkson recorded Stronger before Adele had her success and we will have to wait for her to capitalize on Adele’s domination of the charts for her next album, because songs like Einstein are embarrassingly bad.

Song to Download – You Love Me

Stronger gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Want My Music Television - 10/25/11

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.

Paradise - Coldplay

With the whole formal opening credits for a film I was expecting some grand epic music video, but the very next scenes is someone in an elephant costume with scenes with the elephant in a trunk (get it?), on a unicycle, and in his natural habitat, in the Sahara playing music. Well done Coldplay.

This Isn’t Everything You Are – Snow Patrol

It is not a very good sign when a band rushes out a second single, it usually means the first one bombed, and the first single was so forgettable, I cannot remember its name. The new Snow Patrol song is slightly better, though not as fun as the last video, not that I remember what the song name was, and this one kind of reminds me of the Kings of Leon video for Pyro, but with less freaks and more random dancing.

We Found Love - Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris

Speaking of videos that remind me of other ones, the new Rihanna video looks Teenage Dream if it had been filmed by the director of Trainspotting who wanted to add a completely random intro for no reason.

One Up for Love - Boyz II Men

With The Sing-Off, the Beyoncé sampling Countdown, and contributing to some midget’s Christmas album, I would love for a Boyz II Men comeback (get ready to feel old, Cooleyhighharmony came out twenty years ago). I am not sure this is the song to do it, the opening production (I was going to ask where was Babyface, but upon some research, it turns out he actually produced it), but it did get better by the time the band kicked in. But this is still better than ninety-nine percent of what is considered RnB that is released today.

Monday, October 24, 2011

First Impressions: Once Upon a Time

The cast of Once Upon a Time

It seems like every season there are a couple shows that share a premise and this year there were actually two competing shows on ABC and NBC with the same idea. ABC resoundingly won the first battle between the sixties era drama with Pan Am being a more critical and commercial success while The Playboy Club flamed out with both and did not last a month. This week sees the debut of two more similarly themed shows based around fairy tales, with Grimm premiering Friday at 9:00 (look for my review later this week).

Where Grimm is simply a procedural whose perps just happens to come from children’s stories, Once Upon a Time is all in with its fairytale theme with half the story set in the mythical land and the other in present day Storybrooke, Maine where the fairytale characters live your average human existence. Confused yet (the show does come to us from writers on the Lost staff)? As the story goes, the Evil Queen (of Snow White Fame) cast a spell banishing everyone in the enchanted forest to the worst place where there are no such things and happy endings without any knowledge of their fairytale past: present day America (or purgatory, these are the writers of Lost). And the writer really hit that idea hard repeating just how much this life sucks making you wonder how much they hate their own lives.

Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow WhiteBut wait, it has been prophesized, by Rumpelstiltskin of all people, that the offspring of Snow White and Prince Charming would come back on her twenty-eighth birthday to rescue them from this horrible place. And wouldn’t you know in present day Boston, Jennifer Morrison (Urban Legends - Final Cut) is celebrating that very birthday when she is visited by a precocious ten year old saying he was the son she gave up a decade before and is apparently the only one in Storybrooke aware of the inhabitant’s pervious lives (maybe it is because he looks to be the only one who is actually ageing in the city which is why Snow White and her daughter look the same age; though not explained is why they look nothing alike or why Morrison is wearing a jacket out of the Thriller collection). One has to wonder in the Evil Queen excluded herself in the amnesia curse.

Much like the upcoming Grimm, the big flaw (aside from the laughably bad CGI) is that both shows take themselves too serious for a show about fairytale characters. It is hard not to cringe as scenes like present day Red Riding Hood is a slut. But shows really need to learn to embrace the cheese factor when updating stories like these to be successful.

Other modern day counterparts include Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin, Ramona and Beezus) is now a teacher. Prince Charming (Joshua Dallas, Thor), who was fatally wounded before the curse was set in now a John Doe in a coma at the hospital. Jiminy Cricket (Raphael Sbarge, Vision Quest) is a children psychiatrist. Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands) “owns” the town, whatever that means. And naturally the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla, Spin City) is in politics and the adoptive parent of Snow White's grandchild.

There are very few more likeable actors working today than Goodwin and Parrilla manages to make the real life mayor of Storybrooke scarier than the Evil Queen making modern day that much more interesting, but I am not sure how far the show can go unless it develops a funny bone.

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8:00 on ABC. You will be able to stream episodes on Hulu. You can also download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 10/23/11

How I Met Your Mother: As everyone else, I found Robin dating her therapist creepy, but him psychoanalyzing the group this week was hilarious.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

The Sing Off: There is nothing I hate more about The Sing-Off more (now that they banished the Pussycat Doll to a crappier show) than guilty pleasures week. If I should be guilty of liking Bell Biv DeVoe then lock me up and throw away the key. Same goes for Lionel Richie, Huey Lewis, Rick Stringfield, Flashdance or Footloose (unless we are talking about the Blake Shelton version which should make you feel guilty for liking). But enough of the silly stuff, North Shore getting voted off this early was the worst judges’ decision in the history of the show. Sure their version of Power of Love was not the best performance of the night, but it certainly was not one of the two worst. I still had them in my top five.

Even though they have a boneheaded move, the judges did provide two great moments with Ben Folds rapping and Shawn calling Sara out for calling the Soul Train line a wedding march (full disclosure: when I saw the Soul Train line I first though the DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince Summertime video). Shamelessly Afro-Blue did not let the white chick down the Soul Train line, but at least they let her speak and sing this week. As for Antoine Merriweather singing Jessie’s Girl: hated it. Why would he want a woman like that when Jesse sounds like such a great guy? I was also disappointed that no one showered Delilah with water in their chairs during Flashdance. And though over half of the songs performed this week do not deserve the Guilty Pleasure label, this, my friends, is the definition of a guilty pleasure (followed by the latest Power Ranking):

1. Afro Blue (+2)
2. University of Rochester YellowJackets (+3)
3. Urban Method (+1)
4. The Dartmouth Aires (-3)
5. BYU Vocal Point (+2)
6. Delilah (+2)
7. Pentatonix (+2)
8. The Collective (+2)

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

2 Broke Girls: It is about time someone threw a nineties themed party, the eighties are just too overplayed. But how did no one show up as O.J. or sport the Aniston?

Castle: I understand that no one would know, or would admit knowing, the thief named Falco, but come on, not one Rock Me Amadeus reference?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes.

Sons of Anarchy: Oh snap, Bobby Elvis called a vote on the president! As disgruntled as he has been, I did not see that coming. I did see Juice trying to commit suicide coming about a half an hour before it happen. Though self hanging on a tree does not seem like the best way to be successful.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Sons of Anarchy on iTunes.

Survivor: South Pacific: I originally thought that Cochran was not long for this game, but the island is full of idiots, and he may end up winning this thing by riding Jim and Dawn to the finals. Ozzie lost his mind while Keith and Whitney’s big power play was to do nothing. While on the other side the hubris, mental health, and stupidity of Coach, Brandon, and Rick have sabotage their tribe. The only hope Albert and Sophie is that Mikayla rejoins them as a threesome after the merge (assuming she returns into the game; I may have to call Shenanigans if Christina manages to make it back in the game after winning every Redemption Island challenge like Matt did last season).
You can stream recent episodes over at

Survivor on iTunes

Pretty Little Liars: You are officially old when you hear someone say that are going to dress up like Lady G and you think they are going to get a Lady Godiva costume. But anyway. This episode seemed to be a glorified reason to stuff in as many characters (you must have been starring at the stars if you missed Ezra) with basically everyone showing up at some point. Surprisingly one of the few people missing was Jenna’s boyfriend. And it looked like there may have been a forming of the Anti-Allison Fan Club with Jenna, Mona, and Hermy banning together as charter members, a lot of looks between those three.

Revenge: There are few things I have more than the “Two Days Before” place card and Revenge had the most egregious example ever when it spoiled the season(?) at the beginning of the series. But if you are going to utilize the cliché, this is the way you do it because it set up an interesting murder mystery. Was it Amy Abbott? The nerd? The Greysons or their henchman? But my favorite part of the episode was when the rich kid actually said, “All I can think about is taking you to the bedroom,” a line that hysterically worked.
You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Revenge on iTunes.

The Big Bang Theory: This show and religion should never mix again.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download The Big Bang Theory on iTunes.