Saturday, July 14, 2012

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 7/14/12

Quote of the Week: An eye for an eye just make both people blind. (Bobby, Dallas)

Song of the Week: Little Talks – Of Monsters and Men (Covert Affairs)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Comic-Con: Okay, it is not particularly big news this year as nothing that has trickled out so far (I am still waiting for the Homeland season two preview to be released). Really the only thing that raised my eyebrow so far was the trailer to Oz: the Great and Powerful but mostly because it is directed by Sam Raimi. But I fear this film is just a gateway drug for Hollywood to do a full Wizard of Oz reboot starring Kristen Stewart as Dorothy, Justin Timberlake as the Scarecrow, Tyler Perry as the Tim Man, and Channing Tatum as the Cowardly Lion.

Preview Picture of the Week:

The Great Escape Sunday at 10:00 on TNT

Falling Skies: An interesting plot twist with the skidder uprising, considering the overlords did force them into slavery, but the humans do have a very good reason to cautious considering they have the mind controlling harnesses stuck to their back. And they do not know, like the audience does, that the scarred-face skidder has that eye parasite computer thingy that they pulled out of Tom’s eye.
You can download Falling Skies on iTunes.

Weeds: Nancy has taken on her fair share of drug lords in the series history, but the drug dealing clown was easily the most entertaining.

Pretty Little Liars: The talk of the Katy Perry movie was so awkward (“It's a behind-the-scenes look at Mrs. Firework.”) I was convinced it was a product placement. And lo and behold the next commercial break, there it was. Why is it so hard for writers come up with product placements that do not seemed shoehorned in? But I guess this is why Pretty Little Liars writers are on this show and not Mad Men.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Dallas: Last week I pondered how Rebecca would stay on the show after Christopher boisterously dismissed her and concluded she would just do some bed hopping. Apparently I forgot the more obvious way to keep her around: make her pregnant. Or at least have her claim she is pregnant. You are in Dallas Christopher, make sure you see the ultrasound live in person and get a blood test (I am still not completely convinced that her “brother” is really related to her). And after two episodes, I am already prepared to call Assistant Director Skinner the best character on the show after J.R.’s eyebrows. Can we get him promoted to the main cast by next season please?
You can download Dallas on iTunes.

Free Download of the Week: Live at Eddie’s Attic – Rhett Miller (Noise Trade)

Deal of the Week: 2.99 Country Hits: Amazon went country for their super discounted albums for the week including ones by Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Black Shelton and the 61 track box set from Willie Nelson (which comes out to about five cents per song).

New Album Release of the Week: Life Is Good - Nas

New DVD Release of the Week: Friends With Kids

Video of the Week: Mark finally found his love on Burning Love which you can watch below. If you have not been watching, head over to to watch the entire season. But those that are caught up, do not fret, there is still one more episode where the Woman Tell All. Hopefully it will also be announced there with be a Bachelorette-style spin off featuring Annie. And if so, I would like to offer my throw my hat into the ring as one of the suitor.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Leverage, Sunday at 8:00 on TNT: In a story I broke earlier this week, Leverage returns tomorrow for another season of pure summer fun. Or as much fun as you can get in the rainy pacific northwest. Check out my Preview of Leverage.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Around the Tubes - 7/13/12

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 Dexter, George Lopez: It’s Not Me, it’s You, Tales from a Ghetto Klown, Freaks and Creeps, Falling Skies, Woman's Day, Upload with Shaquille O’Neal, ALMA Awards, and Ernest Borgnine.

- Please note I did not actually watch this video or even read the press release on account that I am still on episode eleven of season three of Dexter. So I still have eleven weeks to watch the remaining thirty-eight episodes to catch up. For those that are up to date here is a two minute sneak peak of the seventh season which premieres September 30.

- Tomorrow, tune into HBO for George Lopez: It’s Not Me, it’s You where the comic is returning for his third live solo special for the network from the famed Nokia Theater L.A. Live. Check out the promo below:

- Tonight on PBS, they will be airing Tales from a Ghetto Klown which follows award winning actor and playwright John Leguizamo as he struggles to mount his latest one-man show. It is set to air at 9:00 (check your local listings).

- This Tuesday, join zoologist Lucy Cooke in her new series Freaks and Creeps which premieres at 10:00 on Nat Geo Wild. Cooke will be traveling the globe to find the world’s strangest creatures in the wildest place including Devil Island in the premiere episode to find the strange animals of Tazmania.

- TNT has been on a renewal kick lately and you can add a third season of Falling Skies to the recently renewed Dallas and Rizzoli and Isles.

- Starting with the October issue, Katie Couric will be writing a new monthly column for Woman’s Day. You will also be able to read the column ay and

- Shaq is getting on the internet video commentary trend as TruTV has just picked up Upload with Shaquille O’Neal (working title) where the big man will comment on the funniest internet videos with comics Gary Owen, Godfrey, and a special guest. Ten episodes have been ordered.

- The Alma Awards are set to air Friday, September 21 on NBC. Until then, head over to where you check out and vote on the catergories.

- We lost another legend this week with the passing of Ernest Borgnine and TCM will be honoring his work with a 24-hour marathon Thursday, July 26. Check out the schedule below:

6 a.m. – The Catered Affair (1956) – with Bette Davis and Debbie Reynolds.

8 a.m. – The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968) – with Kim Novak and Peter Finch.

10:30 a.m. – Pay or Die (1960) – with Zohra Lampert and Al Austin.

12:30 p.m. – Torpedo Run (1958) – with Glenn Ford and Diane Brewster.

2:30 p.m. – Ice Station Zebra (1968) – with Rock Hudson and Patrick McGoohan.

5:15 p.m. – The Dirty Dozen (1967) – with Lee Marvin, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, Robert Ryan, Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, George Kennedy and Telly Savalas.

8 p.m. – Private Screenings: Ernest Borgnine (2009) – hosted by Robert Osborne.

9 p.m. – Marty (1955) – with Betsy Blair and Joe Mantell.

10:45 p.m. – From Here to Eternity (1953) – with Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed and Frank Sinatra.

1 a.m. – The Wild Bunch (1969) – with William Holden, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien, Warren Oates and Ben Johnson.

3:30 a.m. – Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) – with Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Dean Jagger, Walter Brennan and Lee Marvin.

5:00 a.m. – Private Screenings: Ernest Borgnine (2009) – hosted by Robert Osborne.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Believe That I Was Born with a Song Inside of Me

Uncaged - Zac Brown Band

Recently I came to the realization that my music listening throughout my life have come in eras. Sure I listened to other genres during those periods (aside from my only hardcore gangsta rap phase in middle school). I started out my life heavy into Top 40. That transitioned into my hip-hop phase. By high school, I was deeper into the crates with classic rock which morphed into my modern rock phase by college. Recently I have been on a folksy, country, Americana kick with bands like Mumford & Sons, The Civil Wars and Fleet Foxes.

Sure much like pop radio today, country radio is for the most part unlistenable (the eighteen year old version of myself did call country music songs for stupid people) but like everything there are a few exception. One of them is Zac Brown Band even though it is a bit of a surprise that they are as big as they are in the country world. They do not sing unapologetic songs about Middle America or the small town there and they are not cute blondes with an angry streak singing straight from their diary. But there they are with ten songs that hit the top two spots on the country charts.

They are also one of the few (really only) country bands that could be considered a jam band, even opening for Dave Matthews Band. And the band has recorded with Jimmy Buffett, written with Shawn Mullins, and covered Ray Lamontange. The band is also expanding their musical pallet on their third major label album Uncaged. The album starts off with Jump Right In, co-written with Jason Mraz which has that breezy summer feel of a Mraz song taken down South. And though a duet with Philly Blue Eyed Soul singer Amos Lee may sound like a weird combination, but Day That I Die is a standout track on the album that works perfectly where Zac and Amos trade verses about how that want the last day on Earth to be with a guitar in hand. Trombone Shorty adds his expertise on the surprisingly sexy Overnight.

The rest of Uncaged sounds like what you would expect from a Zac Brown Band album. The title track shows off their rockier side. Goodbye in Her Eyes exhibits their James Taylor influence. Even though Buffett does not show up on this album, Island Song could have been a lost track of his (and I put money on a cover showing up on Buffett’s next album). While The Wind is a pure ho down. And many of the songs like Natural Disaster show off the best harmonies in country since the The Oak Ridge Boys.

Song to Download – Day That I Die

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

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Previewing Leverage 5.x

Leverage Incoperated is back on the case with Hardison and Eliot

Leverage could very well be the best show on television that is not in the discussion for best show on television. It is not in the discussion because it does not take itself too seriously which also means there are no eye rolling pretentious “best shows”. After four seasons, the format has not changed yet has managed not to feel tired with its criminals taking down bigger criminals Robin Hood style theme. Sure the last season got a bit dark with Nate taking up drinking again and he kind of, sort of killed somebody even if indirectly.

Now with Jack Latimer and Victor Dubenich out of the way, Leverage Incorporated has relocated to Portland, Oregon (the FBI, InterPOL and other groups have been staking out their Boston hideout) and is quick to find a new job in the City of Roses. And how very Portland of them to use a microbrewery as their cover? This week’s case involves a shipping executive (who shows up in the form of Carey Elwes who will also show up in a future episode of another TNT show Perception later this season) who cheap techniques leads to the death of a couple of employees. To get him back, the team may have its biggest con yet (or at the very least they “steal” one of their biggest prop for con).

Even though it is only a brief cameo, Christian Kane’s Angel buddy Adam Baldwin shows up in a hilarious flashback tonight. Hopefully this only sets up a bigger role for Baldwin later in this season. Also showing up this season will be Treat Williams (Everwood) as an ex-hockey player turned team owner who cares more about money than wins or player safety. Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo) also pops up as a corrupt businessman (is there any other kind?). And what would a Leverage season be without a face-to-face with their longtime nemesis, insurance-investigator turned InterPOL agent Jim Sterling?

Leverage airs Sundays at 8:00 (until August 26 when it moves to 9:00) on TNT. You can also download Leverage on iTunes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Want My Music Television - 7/10/12

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.

Both of Us - B.o.B. featuring Taylor Swift

I am trying to figure out if this is a good B.o.B. song or a bad Taylor Swift song.

Let’s Go – Matt and Kim

Considering Matt and Kim have created some of the most interesting music videos of the past couple years, I kind of expected a bit more than just a dude dribbling a basketball for three minutes.

Girls Like You – The Naked and Famous

I am really hoping there was minimal CGI involved in The Naked and Famous video because I would like to think there was really a dude in each room flicking the lights on and off.

Diversity - Family of the Year

A nice play of the lyrics, “Nobody’s ever gonna take anything from me again” with strangers taking everything in the room occupied by Family of the Year, even, quite literally, the clothes off their backs. Everything but their instruments.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Previewing Perception and The Closer

The cast of Perception

When I was growing up, cop show featured cops partnered with other cops. From to Sipowicz to John Kelly all the way up to Benson and Stabler (with an assist from Ice-T). But during the middle of last decade, all the cops started getting paired with civilian, some reasonably with scientists and others with the absurd be it psychics, novelist, or my personal favorite, a piemaker who could bring the dead back to life (R.I.P. Pushing Daisies). Even the dude from Awake had an imaginary partner (possibly two). It also seemed like most of these civilians fall somewhere on the Asperger Spectrum.

Eric McCormick of PerceptionEric McCormack (whose previous TNT series Trust Me lasted only one season) is the latest civilian consultant and though he has the very helpful profession of neuroscientist professor, but of all the consultants on the new breed of cop shows, McCormack is probably highest on the Asperger Spectrum, closer to Sheldon Cooper than anyone else, and really his best cast study for his class is his own. The cop in this equation is Rachael Leigh Cook (She's All That), an FBI agent who gets demoted back to Chicago for obsessing too much over cases. Sure recruiting the obsessive compulsive McCormick (she was a former student of his) as a consultant may not have the best idea considering why she got demote, but there would be no show had she not.

Along for the ride is Arjay Smith (The Journey of Allen Strange) as McCormack’s teaching assistant slash live in man servant. Yeah, it is a very weird relationship that I still cannot quite comprehend after watching a couple episodes. There is also Kelly Rowen (Cyberbully) as McCormack’s best friend and possible former girlfriend who have a very complicated relationship that is revealed at the end of the first episode (or earlier if you figured it out like I did when Kelly first appears on screen).

Rachael Leigh Cook back from obscurity on PerceptionLaVar Burton (Reading Rainbow) also shows up in a recurring role as the Dean at McCormick’s university who hilariously gets involved in one of the cases later this season. Jonathan Scarfe (a name you will not recognize but whose face you will because he has been on almost every television show in the past two decades going all the way back to Robocop the Series; wait, there was a RoboCop television series?) is also recurring as Cook’s FBI partner who routinely butts head with McCormick eccentricities and always has a quick whip about them. Neal McDonough also show up for an episode as an evil executive (you expect him to play a do-gooder?) who ironically gets Marshall Protection.

Aside from McCormick being the most eccentric person ever to help out the fuzz Perception does not add much to the burgeoning genre. What is does have going for it is some really weird affliction like a human lie detector introduced in the premiere (surprisingly even though they have a human lie detector at their disposal they do not use him in the future episodes). Later in the season Sheryl Lee (Twin Peaks - Fire Walk with Me) pops up as a patient who came down as the same syndrome that Drew Barrymore had in 50 First Dates. Unfortunately for her, Adam Sandler is not the one trying to get to her, it is a raping murderer. Also expect a lot of anagrams (which are solved The Da Vinci Code style) and there is a whole episode dedicated to ciphers. Seriously. But hey, it is nice to have Rachael Leigh Cook back in our lives.

Perception airs Mondays at 10:00 on TNT.

Just as Perception gets started, The Closer is, well, coming to a close with its final six episodes. Naturally some familiar faces return like Brenda’s longtime nemesis Philip Stroh who returns tonight as the lawyer of a suspected rapist. Brenda’s parents also return as she gets her father new treatment for cancer in Los Angeles. And with the lawsuit out of the way, at some point in the final episodes we do learn who the leak within the department was. All this leading up to the series finale on August 13 which will be followed by the series premiere of its spin-off Major Crimes.

The Closer airs Mondays at 9:00 on TNT. You can also download The Closer on iTunes.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 7/8/12

Quote of the Week: You phone sex in Latin? (Jared, Franklin & Bash)

Song of the Week: Rainy Day Janie – Peter Bash (Franklin and Bash)

Big News of the Week: It’s Hot: Seriously, it was 90 degrees by noon almost every day this week. On the bright side my lawn is officially dead and I may not have to mow it again until next year. Unless of course weeds start sprouting up in lieu of grass. Is it fall yet?

Preview Picture of the Week:

Perception premiering Monday at 10:00 on TNT

Falling Skies: Wow, that harness factory was extremely creepy and was only made creepier by the reveal of that the harnesses are actually living entities. I wonder if that knowledge will make removing them easier or lead them to being able to remove them completely. But my favorite part was when the Hispanic leader, then told Lourdes that Northern Mexico was destroyed. He just told her he was from Pennsylvania. How does someone from Philly know what happened to Mexico anymore than someone who living in Boston? The only thing that will make me laugh harder if her family shows up in Virginia.
You can download Falling Skies on iTunes.

Dallas: I do not understand why Rebecca fessed up to the e-mail. Why not just say JR Jr. was setting you up and blackmailing you? I am sure Christopher would have believed her over him and it is very plausible explanation. Now I just do not k now what that can do with the Rebecca character after this. Oh wait, this is a soap opera, she will just hook up with JR Jr.
You can download Dallas on iTunes.

Free Download of the Week: Medicine Spoon – Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics (Spinner)

Deal of the Week: $2.99 Soundtracks: Sure the art of soundtracks died in the internet age because you could just cherry pick some of the best songs anyway. But there are still some oldies worth picking up like Footloose (the original, not the crappy reboot), Reality Bites, Dirty Dancing, and Romeo + Juliet.

New Album Release of the Week: Uncaged - Zac Brown Band

New DVD Release of the Week: American Reunion

Video of the Week: It has been a while since I have seen anything that involves Nickelodeon on account that I am old. But back when I did, the most salacious it got was kids getting green slime dumped on them for saying “I don’t know.” Fast-forward a decade (or two… or three) and Nickelodeon Films is about to release a movie featuring Chelsea Handler, Jonny Knoxville, an animatronic humping chicken and some dude shouting “trick or treat (expletive deleted)”. But Fun Size also features Suburgatory’s Jane Levy in full Snarky Emma Stone mode which I fully approve of.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Perception, Monday at 10:00 on TNT: New show Perception starring Rachael Leigh Cook premieres Monday which begs the question, where has Rachael Leigh Cook been the past decade? She was poised to be the next best thing after She's All That (the gold standard of Ugly Chicks Who Are Secretly Hot movies) and the greatest anti-drug commercial ever. Unfortunately she followed that up with three high profile clunkers: Josie and the Pussycats, Antitrust, and Texas Rangers (where James Van Deer Beek once again botched the Texas accent). After that her IMDB page is filled with movies I doubt anyone has even heard of (Blonde Ambition with Jessica Simpson anyone?). Twenty-four movies since 2002 and I saw one of them. Hopefully Perception can get her career back on track because the world could use more Rachael Leigh Cook in stuff worth watching. If not, there are still people taking drugs she can knock around with a frying pan. Look for a full review (minus Cook’s career overview) tomorrow.