Saturday, February 25, 2012

Best of the Week - 2/25/12

Quote of the Week: You want to run your hillbilly heroin fiefdom up here, that’s between you and the great state of Kentucky. I got no interest in (expletive deleted)kicker-on-(expletive deleted)kicker crime. But you will not drag me into this. The next time you set up an operation in this county or any other it better not have my (expletive deleted) family name on the deed or so help me God, I will lose this star and the dance we do subsequent to that will not end with you finding Jesus in a hospital bed. (Raylan, Justified)

Song of the Week: Kiss from a Rose – Seal (Shameless)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: 21 Turns a Year Old: Adele celebrated her one her anniversary of the release of her sophomore album 21 by managing to have its best selling week yet with another 730,000 albums sold thanks to a sizable Grammy bump, the largest Grammy-bump in 21 years (natch). It also became the first album on iTunes to sell over 2 Million albums (it has sold over 7 million overall). Her twenty-first week at number 1 on the Billboard charts also pushed her ahead of The Bodyguard Soundtrack for the most by a female solo artist (she still has 33 more weeks before she can beat the recotrd set by the West Side Story Soundtrack). Her debut album 19 even made its way to number 4. This week also so her become the first female artist to have three songs in the Billboard Singles chart. Those numbers (two top 5 albums, three to 10 songs in the same week) puts her in exclusive company with The Beatles.

Preview Picture of the Week: Today NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) team MAKE Motorsports will kick off the 2012 season with a sponsorship from HBO and the hit comedy series EASTBOUND & DOWN. In celebration of the HBO series’ season three debut on Feb. 19, the network will sponsor the #50 Chevrolet driven by T.J. Bell at RIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway.

Eastbound and Down NASCAR

Free Download of the Week: Handclaps & Guitars – Chiddy Bang (iTunes)

New Album Release of the Week: Roses - The Cranberries

New DVD Release of the Week: Justice League: Doom

Video of the Week: Someb people complain about how The Voice recruits contestants with extensive music industry experience and to them I say “shut the frack up and go watch one of those horrible amateur shows instead.” And since some of the contestants have a large internet footprint a simple Google search (or searching the 9th Green, you can find some Charlotte Sometimes mentions) can lead you some entertaining pre-The Voice performances like breakout star Lindsey Pavao singing an acoustic version one hit wonder Flagpole Sitta. But the best pre-fame video goes to the country pianist Nicolle Galyon who recruiting a choir for a stripped down version of Super Bass. No, seriously and it is much more entertaining than her Blind Audition on The Voice and much better than the original (though I have not yet confirm that the girl in the ski cap is in fact Kat Dennings so I will blindly believe it is), take a look or download for free over on Soundcloud:

Super Bass - @nicatnitemusic from Nicolle Galyon on Vimeo.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Parenthood, Tuesday at 10:00 on NBC: The best drama on network television wraps up its third season early so NBC can air Fashion Star (seriously NBC why are you ripping of basic cable ideas?). Apparently there will a wedding even though as the last episode ended with the two participants in relationships with other people. But I just hope this season ends with Julia and Joel deciding to adopt Zoey and her baby together. But if me declaring the show the best drama on network television still cannot get you to tune in, maybe this video of the cast lip-syncing to the classic LFO song Girl on TV, complete with Vince Howard rapping, should do the trick.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Around the Tubes - 2/24/12

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 American Masters, Duff McKagen, NBC Spring Shedule, Saturday Night Live, Car Warriors, Army Wives, Conan, Doomsday Preppers, and The Voice.

- We are closing out Black History Month next week and with one last celebration, PBS is airing a documentary on Cab Calloway next Monday at 10 (check your local listings) entitled American Masters Cab Calloway: Sketches.

- Just in time for his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Guns n Roses bassist Duff McKagen’s memoir It's So Easy: and other lies will be released for the first time on paperback March 20.

- Just in time for Ides of March, Annie’s Boobs is returning to television. Yep, set your calendars, Community is returning March 15 at 8:00. The return will push 30 Rock to 8:30 (while Parks and Recreations heads to the bench until April 19 with a new time of 9:30). New comedy Bent will get back to back episodes starting March 21 at 9:00 with Rock Center moving back to 10:00 (SUV will take a couple weeks off and return April 11 at its regular timeslot). After the season (let’s face it, series) finales of Whitney and Chelsea, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers will finally get a timeslot April 4 at 8:00 and will be followed by new comedy Best Friends Forever.

- In other NBC scheduling news, Saturday Night Live has announced their next batch of hosts and musical guest. Next Saturday Lindsay Lohan will return (wait, what? This is a little early for and April’s Fool joke) with Jack White in his first television solo performance. Then March 10 will see the tandem of Jonas Hill and The Shins.

- Tonight sees the return of Car Warriors at 7:30 on Speed for a special preview before settling into its regular Wednesday at 9:00 timeslot and below is a preview of what to expect.

Car Warriors: Special Preview February 24th

- You still have one more week until the return of Army Wives, March 4 at 9:00 on Lifetime, until then, here is a preview:

Army Wives Season 6

- Conan has just been renewed by TBS through April 2014 (assuming the word doesn’t end later this year).

- The latest episode of Doomsday Preppers hits the National Geographic Channel Tuesday at 9:00 and here is a sneak peak:

Living off the Land

- Last year’s runner up to The Voice has a new webseries on following in her post-show career and the latest episodes features Dia performing Trapeze from her new album Red in front of a bunch of TV producers:

Personal Appearance

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Assessing the Fall 2012 Network Pilots

TV Guide recently rounded up a list of 86 network pilots vying to make it onto our television screens next fall and just like I did last year I thought I would give my extremely premature predictions of the best and worst of what we could see on television. Just keep in mind while reading this, last year was topped by the not picked up Wonder Woman. I still mourn that we did not get to see Tyra Collette in that costume every week. Le sigh. You can check out the full list of pilots for NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and The CW and here are my favorites.

Most Wanted Pilots

Bad Girls (NBC): I was actually just talking with someone why no one has ever done a female Oz and we just might complete with Jess Merriweather as one of the women behind bars and the dude who brought Shameless to the US as executive producer. Let me be the first person to ask why this is not on pay cable? (This of course was part of every discussion every guy had about The Playboy Club so I am not too positive about the show’s potential.)

Last Resort (ABC): It may not be the best sign when I read the plot outline (A renegade crew of a nuclear submarine go on the run after defying an order to fire nuclear missiles. They find sanctuary at a NATO base where they declare themselves the world's smallest nuclear nation) and I originally thought it was going to be a Gilligan's Island type sitcom, but it is apparently a drama from Terriers’ Shawn Ryan and staring Andre Braugher and Autumn Reecer.

Untitled Mandy Moore Project (ABC): Mandy Moore on my television screen every week? Yes please. And written by the co-writer of Wedding Crashers? Double yes please.

County (NBC): I am not the biggest fan of medical dramas, but they had me at “created by Jason Katims”, you know the guy behind Friday Night Lights and Parenthood, two of the best family dramas ever in the history of television. Throw in Michael B. Jordan who appeared on both shows and you have an instantly solid cast, well assuming someone can convince Jason Ritter to shave whatever that is on his face before filming.

Untitled Louie C.K. / Spike Feresten Project (CBS): I could have swore I recently heard an interview with Louie C.K. about he prefers the less money / complete control he has over his FX series, it was a bit surprising to see him have a pilot with the most homogeneous network. Even more surprising, it stars Disney refugee Ashley Tisdale. Really this show is on my list mostly because I cannot what for the Louie episode about the making of this sitcom.

Least Wanted Pilots

Beauty and the Beast (ABC and The CW): Seriously, not one, but two Beauty and the Beast shows are in the works. Surprisingly The CW version is shaping up not to be the worst of the two because they cast the absurdly attractive Kristin Kreuk as the beauty while ABC boast the guy behind the painfully bad Jericho as executive producer.

Revolution (NBC): A show about the world without any energy from the king of high concept / low reward J.J. Abrams. Subtract even more points for being written by the guy behind Supernatural who wrote the single worse season finale ever in the history of television up until The Killing took over the top spot.

The New Normal (NBC): A complete rip off of Mitchell and Cameron on Modern Family but without the funny extended family made worse by being created by the guy behind Glee.

The Frontier (NBC): Remember the boring Invasion, you know the ”mom, you smell different?” show. It is created by the same guy.

The Selection (The CW): Seriously, the show is described as “The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor.” And I am back to believing The CW does not exist.

Before I go, let’s take a look at how the shows I had on my list last year faired:

Most Wanted Pilots
Wonder Woman: The show that made the internet’s head explode did not get picked up.
Once Upon a Time: The highest rated new show of the fall may also be the most disappointed bit still a lock for a second season.
Work It: Canceled after two episodes. Dare I say it didn’t work?
Two Broke Girls: The highest rated new sitcom of the fall and even though all the vagina jokes are getting stale it is a lock for at least five more seasons.
Playboy (renamed The Playboy Club): First casualty of the fall season lasted three episodes.

Least Wanted Pilots
Charlie’s Angels: Managed to air all the episodes filmed but effectively canceled after four episodes.
Touch: Not officially premiered yet but got good numbers in a sneak peak after American Karaoke. Of course even Mobbed can get good numbers after the National Karaoke Contest.
Ringer: The show switched networks and manages to have the worst ratings on a network with laughably bad ratings across the board.
Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea (renamed Are You There Chelsea): Probably the second worse reviewed show of the season is now the worst rated scripted show on NBC that does not currently air on Saturdays.
Home Base, Grace, and Partners were not picked up.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Something Good, A Little Trouble In Your Neighborhood

Sweet Sour - Band of Skulls

Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason, it is a human nature to fit everything into a nice and easy to explain package. Of course some of the most interesting music comes from musicians that are hard to plug into a specific genre. Take Band of Skulls: sure you can put them in the extremely broad “Alternative” category, but that can mean many different things and is usually not a nice way to call something “not mainstream”. They are almost as hard to compare. The garage rock brings up images of The White Stripes but the trio is much heavier and less riff driven from the duo.

Maybe the way to explain Band of Skulls is a power trio of mellow heavy metal (if that makes any sense). They have that hard rocking trio of sixties bands like Cream mixed with the more melodic heavy metal meets grunge of Alice In Chains. And that power trio of mellow heavy metal sound is back for a second album Sweet Sour - Band of Skulls fills with haunting riffs that will stick with you for days like on the title track, Bruises, and The Devil Takes Care of its Own. Navigate is another standout track where Bassist Emma Richardson takes lead vocals on Navigate, one of the softest songs the band has recorded to date and followed by Hometown that managed to be sweeter that its predecessor.

Song to Download – The Devil Takes Care of His Own

Sweet Sour gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Another hard to categorize band is Sleigh Bells. They have hip hop beats, a lone heavy metal guitar and a bubblegum pop voiced singer (though Alexis Krauss looks like the offspring of Joan Jett and came out the womb with a leather jacket on) and the band rarely deviates from that formula. Yeah the Sleigh Bells are a one trick pony, but that one trick is really entertaining and expect a lot of it on their sophomore album Reign of Terror. The opener True Shred Guitar is a love version which will have you looking up when the band will be coming to your town. Crush is clap along fun. But the closest anything on the album comes to the great songs off their debut is Comeback Kid which is quintessential Sleigh Bells.

Song to Download – Comeback Kid

Reign of Terror gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

There's No Need to Fear Underdog Is Here

Underdog: The Complete Collector’s Edition

Even though it ran for three short seasons during the sixties, Underdog was a mainstay of children’s television watching for decades. And now people who grew up with the cartoon can watch the series with their next generation without having to grimace through the live action film with the release of Underdog: The Complete Collector’s Edition. For the uninitiated, Underdog was a canine take on Superman with Underdog taking all the super powers of Superman but the clumsiness of Clark Kent. Oh yeah, and he speaks solely in prose.

The show is rounded out by Sweet Polly Purebred, the Lois Lane of the show, a reporter who finds herself captured by bad guys at a disturbingly high frequency. And what superhero would be without a rouge’s gallery and Underdog’s two main archenemies included Simon Bar Sinister, a mad scientist who would have a new diabolical machine he would create in hopes to rule the world with. Underdog would also have to butt heads with Rift Raft who more of an old time gangster who was content with doing evil the old fashion way, with a gun, and gang of thugs, and a cigar (I do not seeing Rift Raft making his way into a modern cartoon).

The episodes on Underdog: The Complete Collector’s Edition are based on the original NBC airing and featuring two Underdog segments along with a segment of Go Go Gophers and a Commander McBragg short for the first two seasons of Underdog while the third season features segments of Klondike Kat and either Tooter Turtle or The Hunter (for those that grew up with the syndicated version of Underdog and wonder where Tennessee Tuxedo And His Tales is, that show is getting its own release next month). The 62 episodes are spread across nine DVD’s with each all three seasons getting its own case. The full breakdown is the first season has 26 episodes on four DVD’s. The second season has 22 episodes on three DVD’s. While the third and final season just had 14 episodes on two DVD’s.

The Collector’s Edition comes with a twenty page booklet that tells the history of Underdog, for those not a big fan of reading, there is a featurette that goes over the same territory with people who helped create the show. Another extra feature included is an interview with Underdog co-creator Joe Harris who explains and narrates a never-before-seen storyboard he created for children he knew. There are also commentaries for ten segments featuring animation historian Mark Arnold talking about the show with co-creator Buck Biggers and Little House on the Prairie’s (and daughter of the voice of Sweet Polly Purebred) Alison Arngrim, while The Jay Leno Show announcer Wally Wingert chats with narrator of Underdog George S. Irving on a couple commentaries. The set also features alternative openings and closings.

Full Disclosure Notice: These DVD’s were given to me by Shout Factory for the purpose of review.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 2/19/12

Once Upon a Time: When Mr. Gold started beating the owner of Game of Thorns (great name) for contributing to the death of his daughter I thought there was no way they actually killed off Belle. When the Evil Queen talked about how she threw herself out of a tower I thought there was no way they killed of Belle. During Gold and Regina’s discussion in the jail I thought to myself, there is no way they killed off Belle. And just when I thought, well maybe they actually did kill off Belle, Regina started entering a code at the hospital (who puts a secret room behind an emergency exit?) and goes down the mental ward (I assume) wear we see that Belle is in fact alive and well in the real world. It only took half the season, but this was the first great plot twist on the show. Hopefully Regina has more characters down there. And the show really needs to forget about focusing on the battle between Emma and Regina and spend more time on the battle between Regina and Gold.
You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Shameless: Greatest wedding toast ever. From now on, you cannot consider it a good wedding toast unless someone pulls a gun on you.

The Walking Dead: After the mid-season finale I was ready to come back with a vengeful Hershel killing off everybody, Shane, Rick, Lori, T-Dog, Andrea, Dale, Carol; he could have mercy on Glen and Daryl if he wishes, but I would like to see most of the main cast brutally murdered. Unfortunately that did not happen (of course there is no way Lori could possibly survive that car crash and if so would be eaten before someone finds her; but I but she manages to avoid death) but at least they finally introduced some interesting characters in the form of Britt from Terriers. Oh wait, they killed him before the end of the episode. I really hate this show.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

House of Lies: Seeing Veronica Mars in her pedestrian clothes again, it is just a reminder how she is wastes wearing pant suits all the time. I may have to start up a Free Ronnie campaign.

How I Met Your Mother: When Robin told Ted that Kumar dumped her I thought, “oh crap, they better not get these two back together” and minutes later Ted tells Robin he loved her. Uggg. If we have to sit through another season of Ted and Robin coupled I may finally have to give up on the show.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

The Voice: What a bunch of tomato cans all of the constants were this week. I’d be shocked if any of them make it out of the Battle Round. Hopefully the show did not just front load all the great talent for after the Super Bowl because think we still have two more weeks of Blind Auditions.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

2 Broke Girls: Apparently the writers have heard the critique of how often the resort to vagina jokes on the show and actually outted the word as Max’s favorite.

The Lying Game: I realize the problem with the show: not enough red herrings, and by not enough I mean none. Who killed the drug dealer was pretty easy to figure out because it had to be the DA (or someone he hired to do it) because there were no other possibilities but him. Same with the twins parents: it has to be Rebecca and Ted because there is no one else. The show really needs to build a mystery better.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Lying Game on iTunes.

Castle: I do not know what Alexis would not tell her dad of her new internship, he was going to find out the first time they get called in. And as someone who has had to do trunk duty when we could not find enough designated drivers back in college, I doubt the lack of oxygen theory that Beckett had. But there has to be a reason why the trained assassin let them live, I am guessing he turns out to have gone rouge for the greater good.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes.

The River: The cameraman realizing he had to go underground to retrieve the antidote was the greatest use of censorship since The Osbornes went off the air. But then ending of the tribesmen backing off because someone sacrificed themselves was just absurd. I wonder how long it takes the crew to realize they should listen to the Spanish chick jungle legends before running off on an adventure willy nilly?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The River on iTunes.

Justified: If someone takes out my kidneys, said I need to get twenty grand in four hours or I die and hands be a gun to get the job done, I do not care if I am a wanted fugitive, I am shooting the dude and taking my kidneys to the nearest hospital to be put back in. But God bless Dewey Crowe, not only does he not realize that none of the symptoms the nurse detailed were happening, he is the only person that does not realize that all store clerks keep shotguns under the counter. But it was weird watching the episode considering that it had the same theme as one of the plots of Raylan (see my review: It's a Shame He Wasn't a Wanted Felon so I Could Shoot Him He Resisted) but still changed a bunch of details.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Justified on iTunes.

Parenthood: Seriously, someone needs to tell Bob Little, nailing the intern is the number one Cardinal Rule of politics and with, as Michael Bluth would say, “Her?”. But poor Amber, this is the first time she gets some action on the show since the premiere and it gets interrupted by her aunt.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Parenthood on iTunes.

Suburgatory: Tessa trying to sing has to be the funniest thing of the week. I have re-watched that way too many times.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Suburgatory on iTunes.

Revenge: There is nothing I hate more in television than episodes that open with a “x amount of time earlier” and Revenge is the first show that I can remember doing it in the first episode with a resolution not coming until later in the series. And now that we have finally seen the series come full circle, I may be more let down that I expected. From the first episode I expected Daniel not to be the dead body and from the moment he stepped on screen I knew the rent boy would be the one that ended up dead even though he looked nothing like Daniel and no one would confuse the two. But it managed to be even more disappointing because the premiere’s first scene just did not seem to sync up well with the most recent episode. Making things worse, the plot they teased in the premiere, Jack killing Daniel, is a much more interesting plot twist than what presumably happened: Amanda killing rent boy and framing Daniel. Or Jack. Actually I am not really sure what was going on. Why did Amanda smear blood on Jack and then drive off to the beach? Did she try to set up two people to make sure no one comes after her? After a really good first ten episodes, the show really fumbled this moment. Hopefully it can get back on track by the finale.
You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Revenge on iTunes.

The Big Bang Theory: It is a shame that Leonard did not have as the tie breaker a foot race, because that would have been more entertaining than throwing the ball the highest, although maybe it would have been too much like Sue Heck trying out for Cross Country.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download The Big Bang Theory on iTunes.