Saturday, March 03, 2012

Best of the Week - 3/3/12

Quote of the Week: We want to really punch America in the face with rock n roll because America needs to be punched in the face with rock n roll. (The Shields Brothers!, The Voice)

Song of the Week: To Make You Feel My Love – Billy Joel (Parenthood)

Scene of the Week: What did the five fingers say to the face:

Big News of the Week: A Melancholy Happy Tails to Davy Jones: Even though it stopped airing new episodes longer a decade before I was even born, The Monkees remained must see television for kids of all ages for years after the group tried to get serious. The show was slapstick gold and even though the fictional musical group were just hired as actors, the songs were surprisingly great most notably the show’s theme song, I’m a Believer (written by a pre-fame Neil Diamond) and their biggest hit Daydream Believer sung by Davy Jones and those songs will live on.

Preview Picture of the Week:

Game of Thrones: The North Remembers

Most Worthless Character on The Walking Dead This Week: Andrea
When Andrea and Lori had their post suicide attempt confrontation I just sat there debating with myself which character was most worthless and realized there are a lot of worthless characters on the show that should be eaten by zombies sooner than later and so I thought I would make it a weekly event. Please note that the award will only be eligible to characters that appear on screen that week.

Free Download of the Week: Well They’re Gone – The Dandy Warhol (Rolling Stone)

Deal of the Week: 100 Albums for $5 Each: This month you can get for only $5 albums by Dia Frampton, Guru, Kathleen Edwards, and Roxette.

New Album Release of the Week: Wrecking Ball - Bruce Springsteen

New DVD Release of the Week: Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season

Video of the Week: This really was not what I was expecting for a Veronica Mars reunion. Yep that is Ronnie, Dick, Piz, and Mercer (the rapist). But this is still marginally more entertaining than House of Lies.

Next Week Pick of the Week: The Lying Game, Monday at 9:00 on ABC Family: A show that started as a search for the twins mother seemed to sputter out in the second half of the season as they spent more time realizing just how evil Alec is. Although ever since she walked on screen it was apparent to everyone (except apparently the characters on the show) that AnnieRebecca was the twins birth mother. So I guess the big question as the first season comes to an end, will anyone on screen realize this (or that Ted is actually the biological father too) as she marries Alec.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Around the Tubes - 3/2/12

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 Million Dollar Moon Rock Heist, Great Performances, No Kitchen Required, Stevie TV, Alice in Wonderland, Ancient Aliens, Dallas, Touchback, Gary "G" Jenkins, Zac Brown Band, Conan, Smithsonian Channel, Masters of Sex, Mob Wives, and Late Night.

- New Special Alert! This Sunday on the National Geographic Channel will be airing Million Dollar Moon Rock Heist which is surprisingly not some zany comedy starring Ben Stiller but the story of a NASA intern who stole a cache of moon rocks kept at the Johnson Space Center valued at almost $300 million, making it the biggest heist in history. Thankfully it is not a comedy so we do not have to hear “Houston we have a problem” catchphrase ten times in the movie. But anyway. Check out a clip below:

Lunar Sting

- The latest episode of PBS’s Great Performances will feature The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall airing this Sunday at 7:00 in honor of its 25th anniversary (check your local listings).

- New Show Alert: from the producers of Chopped and Survivor comes a new show that is surprisingly a combination of the two: No Kitchen Required. As the titled suggests, three chefs are dropped in exotic locations where they must work with the locals to hunt, fish and forage for ingredients to create locally-inspired meals. No Kitchen Required premieres Tuesday at 10:00 on BBC America.

- Also premiering soon is Stevie TV on VH1 this Sunday at 10:00, a new sketch comedy show starting YouTube sensation Stevie Ryan who impersonates Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Kendra Wilkinson, Lady GaGa and Audrina Patridge.

- For those that have not been watching ABC Family the last couple week, the television premiere of Alice in Wonderland starring Johnny Depp premieres tomorrow at 8:30 and will reair Sunday at 7:30.

- Another episode of Ancient Aliens airs tonight on H2 and for people who are fans of the show and fans of money will want to head over to their Facebook application where you can win $10,000 by deciphering their Ancient Alien code.

- We are still a couple months until the relaunch of Dallas, but for those wondering what JR Ewing has been up to since the show went off the air, TNT has added a Timeline to the DallasTNT Facebook page as told by JR.

- Coming to theaters April 13 is Touchback starring Brian Presley, Melanie Lynskey, Marc Blucas, Kurt Russell, and Christine Lahti. Head over to Yahoo! Movies to exclusively watch the trailer.

- Silk recently made my list of the 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 90’s with their epic slow jam Freak Me and for those wonder what they are up to these days, Gary “G” Jenkins has recently released a new single I Love which is currently available on iTunes.

- Country band Zac Brown Band recently teamed up with Jack Daniels (natch) for a new batch of commercial. Check one out below and of course drink responsibly:

- Are you a Conan fan with a tablet? Well today is your lucky day because Team Coco has just released a tablet app that features video clips, live billboard comments, photos and slide shows, background info on guests, polls and quizzes, factoids and trivia, memorable quotes, as well as Facebook and Twitter feeds.

- For those iPad users who are more into serious topics, Smithsonian Channel just released an app that features short stories and full length episodes and specials.

- Just when you thought hearing Lizzy Caplin starring in a show called Masters of Sex could not be better, Showtime recently announced that they have just cast Beau Bridges and Mags Bennett herself Margo Martindale. Production begins next week.

- It is Halloween this Sunday on Mob Wives for a brand new episode.

- And just because, John Legend and The Roots covering Dancing in the Dark for Springsteen week on Late Night.

John Legend – Dancing in the Dark (2/29/12)

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Ma Coo Sa

Thriller - Michael Jackson

Last week Amazon did one of the absurdly cheap daily sales for Thriller and I came to the realization that I never upgraded my cassette tape version to CD so I jumped on the deal (please not as of this writing it is back up to $9.99, which is probably cheaper than what you paid for it on cassette). Thirty years later, yep the Michael Jackson album hits the big 3-0 later this year, it is easy to forget how big the album was but when a great song Baby Be Mine is the least recognizable track on the album, you are doing something right. Seriously, Thriller, which is this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame, is pack with more hits than most artists’ Greatest Hits albums.

Thriller starts off what remains today one of the great party starters Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ which will have everyone within ears shot shouting along the ending tribal chanting. And who else but Michael Jackson can make calling you a vegetable sound fun? Jackson was also one of the few people who could recruit a Beatle to sing one of his songs on his album and even battled for a girl’s affection with Paul McCartney on The Girl Is Mine.

And that just the start of the album, then you get to the heart of the album and Thriller, Beat It, and Billie Jean is the musical version of the Murder’s Row. Each song is vastly important in its own way. Billie Jean and it lighting effects because the first music video by a black artist t hit heavy rotation on MTV. Then MTV helped catapult Jackson into legendary status with the fourteen minute movie for Thriller turning the new medium into must see television. And as much as Rihanna and the pop stars tried, Thriller remains the darkest pop song of all time. And of course what better compliant than when Beat It got the “Weird Al” Yankovic treatment? And forget the aging Beatle, Jackson recruited an in his prime Eddie Van Halen to play guitar on the song.

The sneaky great song on the album is Human Nature. The smooth delivery and sythy backing music is almost Yacht Rock and maybe is Michael’s most sampled song in his catalogue. Thriller is really a great rediscovery for those that have yet to upgrade it to your digital library. Hopefully Bad gets the deeply discounted treatment soon because I need to upgrade that also to the digital age in the near future.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Previewing Awake

Awake on NBC

For years now, the networks have tried to recreate the sci-fi magic that Lost had in its first season leading its wake numerous one and done series like FlashForward, Threshold and Surface. This season the networks tried a little different, mix the sci-fi elements with procedurals, much like the godfather of modern day sci-fi The The X-Files. This season alone has seen Persons of Interest, Grimm, Alcatraz, and Touch, featuring law enforcement agents with special abilities or ones chasing bad guys that are not normal.

Awake is a different kind of sci-fi show, the lead cop Jason Isaacs (Black Hawk Down) does not have any special powers nor do the baddies he is chasing down. He is quite simply living a double life and not like the lead character of the short lived Lone Star who had two wives that did not know about each other (Kyle Killen created both shows). After a car accident in which his wife survived and son did not, whenever Isaacs closes his eyes to goes to sleep he wakes up and his son survived and wife survived.

Sound confusing? It kind of is. Isaacs wears a blue wristband in Kid-World and a red is Wife-World but the clues are not as obvious to us the viewer. In both worlds, Isaacs has to see a work appointed physiatrist, in Wife-World BD Wong (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) is more aggressive in his session than in Kid-World shrink Cherry Jones (Erin Brockovich) who is more nurturing but both believe the other is a figment of Isaacs’ imagination.

In each world, Isaacs has two different partners. In Kid-World he is teamed with his long time partner Steve Harris (Friday Night Lights) but in Wife-World he is assigned to a newbie Wilmer Valderrama (Columbus Day) yet both appear in the other timeline, Harris is naturally an ex partner while Wilmer is still a uniformed cop. Makes me wonder how long it will take Isaacs to Google the other shrink to see if they exist in the other world.

Naturally there is a son and wife in the cast for their respective timelines. Laura Allen (Terriers) plays the wife while Dylan Minnette is no stranger to alternative universes as he also played Jack Sheppard’s son who also turned out to be a figment of his imagination (or something like that, I do not care to over think the abomination that was the final season of Lost). Rounding out the cast is Dylan’s Tennis coach Michaela McManus (Castle) after he took up his mother’s favorite sport after she died in his world and may or may not be a love interest of Isaac. Which begs the question, can you cheat on your wife if she is only alive in the other universe?

The problem with Awake is I am not sure who the show is aimed at. Sci-fi fans may be turned off buy how procedural the show may end up being while fans of cop procedurals may get confused by the two worlds on the show (let’s face it, sci-fi fans may find that confusing too). But if the show does manage to thrive in the long run, here is a Spoiler Alert for how the series ends: Neither worlds are “real” because Isaacs is the one who actually died in the car crash while his wife and son survived.

Awake airs Thursdays at 10:00 on NBC. For those that do not want to wait to watch it tonight with commercials, you can download the premiere episode of Awake on iTunes for free or just go ahread and steam it below via

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Let’s Set the World on Fire We'll Burn Brighter than the Sun

Some Nights - fun.

It is a pretty bold statement when you name your band fun.. It may have been better if a emo band used that as a name semi-ironically but fun. is an indie pop band through and through. Making things worse is the pretentious stylization of the name: lower case “f” and a period (I thought punctuations in band names went out of fashion around the middle of last decade). But guess what, fun. is actually kind of fun. They started out solidly enough with songs like All the Pretty Girls from their first album which sounded like a more assessable version of Scissor Sisters.

Now fun. is primed from the big time with the release of their sophomore outing Some Nights. And bigger does not only describe their bandwagon but their sound as they repeatedly go for Queen style theatrics. Even when they go into Queen territory they manage to stay away from the pit falls of previous Freddy Mercury wannabes by never going over the top most notable in the title track (as well as Some Nights – Intro). Some Nights itself has a great tribal drum beat and chant along whoa’s and just the right amount of guitar, unfortunately they ruin the song a little bit with about ten seconds of unnecessary auto-tune before bring back some more awesome whoa’s.

fun. hits it peak when the band aims for an anthem with We Are Young and hits it out of the park with an instant sing-a-long that you will be able to join by the second chorus. Seriously, just try not singing along at some point. Just when you think things cannot get better Janelle Monae shows up to sing one line. And you know a sign of a good song is when it sounds just as good stripped down and yes the acoustic bonus version of the song is just as good. And the good times flows into songs like One Foot and Carry On.

There are a couple missteps on Some Nights. When It Gets Better first came on with its electro beat, I actually thought my computer was doing something wrong and was playing something it was not supposed to, the song just completely sticks out like a sore thumb. And if the ten seconds of auto-tune during Some Nights is unnecessary, then the auto-tune during most of Stars is downright painful to sit through much like the second half of Kanye West’s Runaway, but much longer. When will artist realize there has not been a good use of auto-tune since Peter Frampton put that weird tube thing in his mouth?

Song to Download – We Are Young

Some Nights gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, February 27, 2012

I Want My Music Television - 2/27/12

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.

Simple Song - The Shins

Who would have guessed The The Shins, you know, the band that Natalie Portman told you would change your life, but didn’t, could actually be funny, and funny in death at that?

Charlie Brown - Coldplay

The new Coldplay video needs more elephants. But anyway, after listening to this song for a couple months, I still have no idea what it has to do with Charlie Brown (fun fact: I dressed up as Charlie Brown for Halloween in grad school).

Love Interruption - Jack White

Wait a second, wasn’t that chick on the most recent season of The Sing-Off in the new Jack White video?

Gimme a Kiss – Madi Diaz

Talk about a plot twist, the way it started all cheery, I did not see Madi Diaz putting on Kiss makeup a minute in. Even more surprising to took me until about the 2:30 mark to get the Gimme a Kiss in Kiss makeup connection.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 2/26/12

Once Upon a Time: I was half expecting that the guy under the gold amour to turn out to be motorcycle dude. Instead he just copied (I think) Henry’s book for some unknown reason (I still think he is the author). I also am assuming that August W. Booth is an anagram for something; I am just too lazy, and do not care enough, to figure it out. Either way I just hope they do not drag it out for that much longer.
You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Shameless: Poor Jody, married for not even a full episode before getting kicked out. Hopefully he sticks around for the rest of the season to sing more horrible songs.

The Walking Dead: It is never a good sign for a show when one of the mail leads is left in pearl and the audience universally cheers for her potential death even though she is one of the main leads and everyone knows in the back of their minds knows that she will make it somehow. But I am sure there were a lot of watcher disappointed that Lori actually survived flipping her car twice and two zombie attacks. Another bad sign: the most entertaining moment of the entire episode was the unintentional comedy of Maggie brushing aside her father to hug Glen.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Pan Am: It is too bad the show took itself too seriously in the beginning because now that they have started incorporated more absurd plotlines like Kate taking down a British intelligence agent, Collette dating a prince, and best of all, Ted’s open marriage (c’mon, who turns down a proposal to be married to the hot chick from the annoying vampire films and have the token hot chick as a marriage).
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pan Am on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: Very high on my list of potential “A” was the trio of Hermy the Hermaphrodite, the blind chick, and Mona, although if A is targeting Mona, that really puts holes in that theory. Unless Mona as A did it to through the Liars off her scent now that they are closing in. Although now that we know at least two of the Liars’ families have ties to that shut down law firm that was connected to the phone number, I wonder what exactly happened at the place.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

The Voice: Sure there have been three artists so far that I had on my iPod previous to the show, not only do I have Charlotte Sometimes in my music library, I have actually written about here on the 9th Green. And just to show how great talent scout that I am, four years ago I predicted a bigger career for Charlotte over Katy Perry (see Toss Up: Katy Perry vs. Charlotte Sometimes). Oops. But her song How I Could Just Kill a Man (which as it turned out was not a Cypress Hill cover) even came in at #44 on my list of The 100 Best Songs of 2008; #36 on The 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 00’s; and #608 on The 1000 Greatest Songs of the 00’s.

One thing the struck me while watching Nicolle Galyon (who apparently stole Jennifer Morrison’s Thiller jacket from Once Upon a Time) play the piano is that maybe the coaches should be let in on what instrument the contestants are playing because that could be a selling point for the contestant especially for sandwich maker Jamie Lono whose guitar picking was what made his take on Folsom Prison Blues so unique. But then again the show is called The Voice, not The Musician.

One of the breakout moments of this season is just how irate Blake Shelton gets whenever someone presses their button after he does. It may overtake Carson Daly’s awkward high fives with contestants as most entertaining moments on the show. And what was with the blink and you’ll miss it cameo from Kirk Franklin who also landed on my Greatest One Hit Wonders but for the 90’s, which makes me wonder if Anthony Evans was in God’s Property. At any rate, Christina Aguilera again bolstered her old black dude contingent.

Oh yeah, and one more thing, what the heck happened to Ducky?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download songs from the show through the widget at right.

How I Met Your Mother: Whew, we really dodged a bullet there with Ted realizing Robin was in love with Barney, I could not stand another season of that coupling.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

The Lying Game: They have hinted at it for since the beginning but it was nice to see Sutton go straight up evil this week having both Emma and Ethan think the other had an affair during their time apart.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Lying Game on iTunes.

Castle: I knew the rouge CIA guy was not the bad guy, but I did not see the Flashdancer being a KGB sleeper agent who had nothing better to do than bring down the world’s government. Now that is what I call a plot twist. I guess since Caste’s father was in the CIA I have a feeling he will end up tying into Beckett mother’s murder. Who knew Castle even had a dad?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes.

Switched at Birth: Is it wrong that I was highly entertained by the fight in sign language?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Switched At Birth on iTunes.

The River: Just when you think Eloise Mumford could not get any more geek chicier when she donned glasses last week, she breaks out an accordion this week. If she wears a Ramona Flowers wig next week, my head might explode. But the endings to these episodes are really getting cheesy. So far they have trapped an evil spirit in blood and dumped it in the river, traded the bones of a mother for another, appeased natives by simply saying they would sacrifice themselves (but not actually doing so), and this week they broke a curse by breaking a phone holding a sacred video. The show really needs to cross the proverbial lines one of these days.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The River on iTunes.

Justified: Where last season had a new showdown between the principals even other episode this season has been a much slower burn to the end with Raylan, Boyd, crazy Detroit Guy, and Bubba Gump playing some weird four person chess board that Sheldon Cooper would invent. Hopefully we start getting some checkmates soon and have them not all come in the season finale.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Justified on iTunes.

Parenthood: Just when you think they could not make the Julia / Zoey storyline any more heartbreaking, there is Zoey at the end of the episode holding the son she could not bring to hold after delivery. I am still holding out hope that Julia just goes ahead and adopt Zoey and her kid. And someone should tell Crosby that when Dwayne Motherfracking Wayne tries to give you a million dollars, you take it. Does he not realize how many flip sunglasses that would buy?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Parenthood on iTunes.

Survivor: One World: Where the frack was Probst during the reward challenge? Are they slowly transitioning into a Probst-less version of the series in the near future? I really hope not. When they first showed the Immunity Challenge I thought it would originally favor the woman because females have better balance than med do, but forgot about other, um, assets women have that men do that would get in the way give the guys the heavy advantage. But again I was wrong after it was brought to my attention that the last Men vs. Women season, this exact challenge was won by the girls’ tribe and won before the guys could get a second member in. So apparently these women may be the most dysfunctional tribe in the history of Survivor. But on the bright side, Kat looks really good doing it.
You can stream recent episodes over at

Survivor on iTunes

Suburgatory: Yep, Dalia remains the most evil thing on television, her diatribe at the dance was downright spine tingling (although I kind of hope it is a bit of foreshadowing of what is to come). And it might be time to give Kimantha more screen time.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Suburgatory on iTunes.

Happy Endings: It is nice to see that I am not the only person that grows a beard in winter time. It is totally practical.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Happy Endings on iTunes.

The Challenge: Battle of the Exes: Watching Camilla’s drunken ten minute tirade I came to the realization that Survivor really needs to start have more alcohol related reward challenges.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download The Challenge: Battle of the Exes on iTunes.

The Big Bang Theory: Bongo Solo!!!!!!!
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download The Big Bang Theory on iTunes.