Saturday, July 21, 2012

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 7/21/12

Quote of the Week: I’m only going to say this once boys, give me the... teddy bear. (Eliot, Leverage)

Song of the Week: Little Boxes – Steve Martin and Kevin Nealon (Weeds)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Emmy Nominations Announced: The only nomination Justified got was for Dickie Bennett (and his hair)? Alright, I am back to ignoring the Emmy’s.

Falling Skies: Even though I knew it probably would not be the case, I was hoping Karen would come back normal, or at least as normal as a de-harnessed kid could be. Unfortunately it looks like she is still being controlled by the Overlords somehow. Sadly I have a feeling she may go the way of the black kid whose name I have already forgotten by the end of the next episode which is a shame because she was really the only character I actually cared about from the start of the series.
You can download Falling Skies on iTunes.

Weeds: Kids playing roller derby was probably the most entertaining this I saw anywhere this week. Well it was until the great Andy slap fight of 2012.

Pretty Little Liars: I love how stupid these girls are. Of course Hanna, the police man was there because of the note. Of course Spencer, Garrett was sending you somewhere that would help him get off (although I thought we already saw him confess to killing Allison with Jenna). Then you have Aria who finds a boat load of money in Ezra’s sock drawer (not his finest hour) and instantly thinks that he collected Jason’s reward money. She is that paranoid but actually believes his I let the guy pay in cash to avoid taxes excuse. And what could he have possibly tell Jason? Then there is Emily who just happens to remember a tattoo right before seeing it on Aria’s former beard. God bless stupid people.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Dallas: As I mention in my initial post about Dallas, there was going to be more to Rebecca and Anne than being doting brides to the Ewing men. We learned just was hiding in Rebecca’s closet earlier this season, and we finally (kinda) learned Anne’s deep dark season besides having an evil ex-husband and it looks like she had a kid. Of course there are a couple possibilities like she gave them up for adoption, they could of died, or my current favorite theory, she thinks her kid is dead but really grew up to become Rebecca. Didn’t her parents mysteriously died early in her life? If so then we would get the awesome Springer episode with Christopher marring his step-mother’s daughter. Sometime soap operas write themselves.
You can download Dallas on iTunes.

Preview Picture of the Week:

Mona is still in the crazy house on Pretty Little Liars

Free Download of the Week: Fly Like an Eagle – Steve Miller Band (Google Play)

Deal of the Week: $2.99 Soul Albums: This week’s absurdly low price sale on Amazon is dedicated to soul music including greatest hits packages from Prince, The Temptations, Al Green, and the new album from Frank Ocean.

New Album Release of the Week: Handwritten - The Gaslight Anthem

New DVD Release of the Week: Boss: Season 1

Video of the Week: Apparently Mansome is a real documentary (from Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and the Super Size Me Guy) and not a Funny or Die fake trailer. Now if you excuse me, I need to go add this to my queue.

Next Week Pick of the Week: 2012 Summer Olympics: Opening Ceremony, Friday at 7:30 on NBC: I am an unabashed Olympics fan, I will watch it all, no matter how obscure, I will be even watching handball at some point probably. Trampoline? Sure, why not? (Unfortunately for the second games in a row I will not be able to watch any basketball because I cannot bring myself to root for the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant). If you cannot wait a whole week for the start of the games, there are a couple preliminary soccer games starting Wednesday including the American woman (welcome back to my life Alex Morgan) playing at noon on NBC Sports Network (which used to be called Vs). Head over to to get a full rundown of what sports will be airing when and what channel.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Around the Tubes - 7/20/12

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 Alphas, The Godfather Legacy, Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, Lost Girl, In the Big House, Comic Con, The Last Ship, Killing Lincoln, The Dark Knight Rises, and Charlie Sheen.

- Alphas is returning for its second season on Monday at 10:00 on Syfy. The new season picks up eight months after last year’s stunning season finale with the stage set for an explosive turn of events at the Binghamton facility (the Guantanamo of the Alpha world) that could have devastating, far-reaching consequences. Dr. Lee Rosen, having exposed the existence of Alphas to the unsuspecting public, finds himself discredited and imprisoned by a government desperate to cover up his stunning revelation. Some of the team have disbanded and without Dr. Rosen’s care and guidance, have regressed to their old, destructive ways. They must now battle their individual demons, reunite and try to save their own. Check out a trailer below:

- Godfather fans will want to circle Tuesday on their calendars because History is airing a two hour special The Godfather Legacy starting at 9:00. It will feature commentary from those involved in making the film as well as those who love it.

- Sons of Anarchy finally got a premiere date in September, and now there is a preview to go along with it, check it out below:

Sons of Anarchy on FX - Before the Anarchy

- Apparently the wait was worth it because Breaking Bad returned for its fifth season on AMC with its most watched episode ever at 2.9 million viewers.

- Lost Girl moves to Fridays starting tonight on Syfy at 9:00 and check out a sneak peak below:

- New show alert! Premiering Monday on Logo is In the Big House, a docu-reality series which will reunite an old school Philly mobster with his all-too-modern family in West Hollywood.

- For those that did not make it to Comic-Con this year, do not fret because you can watch all of the NBC panels from the comfort of your computer including Community, Animal Practice, Grimm, Do No Harm, Revolution, and Brian Fuller who is behind both Mockingbird Lane and Hannibal.

- TNT is getting into the Michael Bay business as they announced they have just ordered a Pilot of The Last Ship which Bay will executive produce. The show will be based on the book of the same name that is about a global catastrophe that nearly obliterates the earth's population, forcing the crew of a naval destroyer to confront the reality of their new existence in a world where they are among the only survivors. If it get picked up, I would put mu money on a summer 2013 premiere.

- After the huge success of Hatfields and McCoys, other networks are getting in on the history miniseries. Recently The National Geographic Channel announced Killing Lincoln. Billy Campbell has been cast as Abraham Lincoln, Jesse Johnson will play John Wilkes Booth, Geraldine Hughes as Mary Todd Lincoln, Graham Beckel as Edwin Stanton, who served as secretary of war under the Lincoln administration, and Shawn Pyfrom as Private John W. Nichols in the two-hour upcoming television film set to hit the small screen sometime in early 2013.

- The Dark Knight Rises finally hit theaters and for those that cannot get enough of the Nolan Batman trilogy, be sure to check out The Dark Knight Manual: Tools, Weapons, Vehicles and Documents from the Batcave.

- Showing that he is not a completely horrible person, Anger Management’s Charlie Sheen recently donated $1 million to the USO, the largest contribution ever from an individual to the military aid organization.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Previewing Sullivan and Son

The cast of Sullivan and Son

After trying to launch a brand around Conan that did not have the words “Tyler” and “Perry” attached to it, TBS finally had a moderate success with the recent renewal of Men At Work. Sure the show did not light the world on fire and was ignored by critics, but enough people did watch the traditional sitcom. The network tries to keep the momentum going tonight now that Men at Work had its finale last week with the introduction of Sullivan and Son.

Like the show whose timeslot it is taking over, Sullivan and Son is a traditional sitcom in the eightiest way possible. How eighties sitcom: The Wonder Years Dan Lauria plays the father. If that is not old school enough for you, the show also features Bill’s brother Brian Doyle-Murray. And it does not get more traditional than pluck the lead from a comedy club with minimal acting experience, in this case stand up Steve Byrne (who studied at my alma mater Kent State University).

On Sullivan and Son, Byrne is a successful corporate lawyer with the perfect job and perfect girlfriend who bringer her home to meet the family on his father’s birthday. It is while he is there he learns that his father (Lauria) had decided to sell the family bar which prompts Byrne to ditch his cushy New York lifestyle to move back to Pittsburg and buy the bar from his father. Unfortunate his girlfriend (played by the same actress that Kat Dennings nannied for on 2 Broke Girls) does not stick around because she was the most entertaining part of the premiere and much more entertaining than Byrne’s high school crush, and probable future love interest played by Valerie Azlynn (Welcome to the Captain).

Apparently the club in question is in the most racially diverse neighborhood in Pittsburg because it is patroned by every ethnicity you can think of (except for Indians; native or foreign), Byrne himself is a mix of Irish and Korean, while Murray plays the local racist who makes fun of all of them. And they are all brought together by their love of drink whenever they can. One of the first jokes is even a drinking while pregnant joke which is promptly followed up by a drunk EMT joke. Much like Men of Work, you probably will only want to tune in if you miss the more traditional sitcoms of the eighties and nineties. Or you just like watching people drink. Hey that worked for Cheers.

Sullican and Son airs Thursdays at 10:00 on TBS (with back to back episodes tonight).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My Life Been Good Since I Started Finding Peace

Life Is Good - Nas

It seems like the last couple albums, Nas has made more headlines with his titles than the actual songs on the record. In 2006 the rapper declared Hip-Hop Is Dead while the follow up went Untitled after he announced he was going to title the album a word I am not allowed to use. His latest album Life Is Good may not sound as controversial as his previous two until you get a glimpse of the cover art where Nas has his ex-wife’s wedding dress (which Nas claims is the only think she left behind in their house when she left) draped across his lap.

Not surprisingly Life Is Good is heavily influenced by Nas’s marriage and subsequent divorce to Kelis. None more so than the song that closes out the album Bye Baby where he directly talks to his former flame and baby mama and recounts their history. Due to the subject matter, this is his most grown up album to date. For those keeping track at home, this is his tenth solo album, a rare milestone in hip-hop, especially as he remains relevant. Or close to it, some could argue he has not had a hit in almost a decade (which is probably why he has gone with controversial titles lately to stay relevant).

And Life Is Good probably will not change that trend either. When he gets around to releasing a Greatest Hits package, Nas will rival anyone in the history of rap, but it is hard to image anything from this album making his Greatest Hits unless he feels obligated to put one of these songs on it. Sadly one of the better songs, the old school Nasty is resigned to the Deluxe Album Bonus Tracks as it would not have sound out of place on God’s Son. For the album proper, the best song is the reggae tinged The Don produced by Salaam Remi who has also produces his great Made You look track.

The most noteworthy track on the album is Cherry Wine featuring Amy Winehouse (also produced by Remi who turned a Marvin Gaye song into her Tears Dry on Their Own) but it is weird hearing her posthumously sing about alcohol considering how she died. After that, the most talked about track is Daughters where Nas opens up his relationship with his and coming to terms with her growing up. Since I cannot relate I really cannot get into the song. But at least he did not sample or shout out John Mayer in the song.

Song to Download – The Don

Life Is Good gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Previewing American Gypsies

Like many people my age, I spend too much time wondering whatever happened to Ralph Maccio. He was an Outsider, the Karate Kid (the real one), and turned in a great performance in My Cousin Vinnie. Then he basically disappeared for two decades. And now he is back like every other eighties ex-pat, via reality television. Thankfully it is not in front of the camera like the painful to sit through Scott Baio is 45… and Single. Instead he is producing American Gypsies (answering the question, what ethnicity and / or occupation could reality television possibly exploit next?).

Honestly I did not know much about gypsies aside from what I learned from Stevie Nicks. Even then I learned more about lightning then the gypsy culture. American Gypsies follows an extended gypsy (or Romani if you want to be less offensive) family featuring five brothers and their fifteen kids (with two grandkids on the way). Despite being very a very insular culture (homeschooled, arranged marriage complete with a dowry and their own court) they look assimilated and would not be able to pick them out of a lineup. If face they look like they could have been a Jersey Shore feeder family.

The heart of the show are two brothers, Nicky is the traditionalist who wants to make sure every of their 5,000 year old traditions continue. While Bobby wants to become more America even allowing his daughters to take acting classes even though associating with Gaje (non-Romani; naturally one of the third generations on the show is secretly dating a Gaje) is shunned upon. This conflict seems to be the heart of the show and Nicky is very vocal about the kids taking acting classes. Granted every time Nicky complains about this I want to yell at the television, “Dude, shut up, you are on a reality show.”

Aside from a different ethnicity to exploit, American Gypsies does not add much new to the docu-series genre. There is fighting be it verbal or physical (the brothers even throw punches in a hospital sometime in the season) and shameless self-promotion (even though the daughters in the acting class have less charisma than the average Kardashian and even less of a worth ethic). It is a bit disappointing that even though the family is in the physic business, which is the most interesting part of the family, the actual business is rarely shown in the first two episodes and no one ever exhibits the gifts they claim to be bestowed upon them. But If you are fan of docu-series, American Gypsies will probably have enough to pull you in. But if you hate the genre, the show will not do anything to change your mind.

American Gypsies airs Tuesdays at 9:00 on the National Geographic Channel. You can download American Gypsies on iTunes including the first episode which is free as I write this. Check out a preview below:

Monday, July 16, 2012

I Want My Music Television - 7/16/12

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.

Breaking Down – Florence + the Machine

I would never have guessed that Florence + the Machine would go the old school Americana route for making a video. It just does not match the epicness of their music.

Two Way Street – Kimbra

It is a shame there is not a song on her album as good as Somebody that I Used to Know because Kimbra’s album as a whole is much better than the one Gotye put out. So she really has not had a single catch on stateside (although Warrior should have been much bigger than it is, I wonder if the sigma of being associated with Converse hurt it at all). Hopefully for her sophomore album she hooks up with some producers that can take her to that next level.

Man on Fire – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Honestly, this is the last video I would have expected the hippie enclave Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros to released. It looks like more like a promo I would expect to see for some crappy Lifetime reality show.

Heartbeat – JJAMZ

For those that have never heard of JJAMZ, they are a supergroup of sorts featuring members of The Like, Phantom Planet, Maroon 5, and Rilo Kiley. As for the video, thanks to the synthy track, I am not surprised that the video is inspired by the 80’s but it is a little odd that they started off the video with a serious kidnapping message when the video itself plays like a campy, horror film from the decade.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lyrics Quiz: The Greatest RnB Songs of the 90's (That Should Had Been on VH1's List)

A couple weeks ago VH1 released their latest list of The 40 Greatest RnB Songs of the 90’s and like all of their lists, some of the inclusions (Bone Thugs-n-Harmony are RnB?) and omissions (were Michael Jackson and Prince too big for the RnB label by the 90’s) were head scratching even if this list was as egregious as their list of The 40 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 90’s which was so bad it inspired me to make my only list of The 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 90’s. I probably will not come up with my own RnB songs of the 90’s list, but for this month’s Lyrics Quiz I did pick twenty-five songs that probably should have been on VH1’s list. As always leave your guesses, both artist and song title, in the comment section or e-mail me. If you are correct I will un-bold the lyric and give you credit. Please keep in mind the lyrics quiz is for entertainment purposes only so please only use your own meandering mind to guess them.

1. Take my money, my house and my cars. For one hit of you, you can have it all, baby. (Feenin' - Jodeci; guessed by Doug)
2. How blue can I get, you can ask my own heart. Well like a jigsaw puzzle, it’s been torn all apart. (Nobody Knows - Tony Rich Project; guessed by Doug)
3. Now you can have me when you want me. You simply ask me to be there.
4. The very first time that I saw your brown eyes. Your lips said, “Hello” and I said, Hi.” I knew right then you were the one. (If I Ever Fall In Love - Shai; guessed by Doug)
5. Other guys have tried before to replace you as my lover. Never did I have a doubt, boy iy’s you I can’t do without. (Love Will Never Do (Without You) - Janet Jackson; guessed by Doug)
6. In our darkest hour, in my deepest despair, will you still care?
7. Girl if I told you I love you, that doesn’t mean I don’t care. And when I tell you I need you, don’t think that I’ll never be there. (Cupid - 112; guessed by Doug)
8. Tell me who I have to be to get some reciprocity. See no one love you more than me and no one ever will. (Ex-Factor - Lauryn Hill; guessed by Doug)
9. Would you be a happy boy or a girl. If I could I would give you the world. But all I can do is just offer you my love. (Diamonds and Pearls - Prince and the New Power Generation; guessed by Doug)
10. Prejudice: wrote a song about. Like to hear it? Here it go. (Free Your Mind - En Vogue; guessed by Doug)
11. You remain my power, my pleasure, my pain. To me you’re a grown addition I can’t deny. (Kiss from a Rose - Seal; guessed by Doug)
12. I thought we’d get to see forever. But forever has gone away. (It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday - Boyz II Men; guessed by Doug)
13. Still have your picture in a frame. Hear your footsteps down the hall. I swear I hear your voice, driving me insane. (Anytime - Brian McKnight; guessed by Doug)
14. Is it my turn to wish you were lying here? I didn’t dream you and I’m sleeping.
15. You are the girl that I never had and I want to get to know you better. (Iesha - Another Bad Creation; guessed by Doug)
16. Since the first day I ever laid my eye on your face I knew you would be mine. And since the time you gave me your tiny hand I knew I wanted to be your man.
17. I wanna tease you, I wanna please you. I wanna show you baby, that I need you. I want your body ‘till the very last drop. (Nobody - Keith Sweat; guessed by Doug)
18. Put your faith in me and I’ll do anything. I will cross the ocean for you. I will go and bring you the moon. (For You I Will - Monica; guessed by Doug)
19. If you should feel that I don’t really care and that you’re starting to lose ground. Just let me reassure you that you can count on me and that I’ll always be around.
20. Tell me princess now did you last let your heart decide?

21. The twenty-third of loneliness and we don’t talk like we used to do. Now it feels pretty strange but I’m not buggin’. (Creep - TLC; guessed by Doug)
22. Large, if large is how you living why you living large? Are you taking what is given to you in the form of true experience ‘cause if you’re not you life will be spent. (Live and Learn - Joe Public; guessed by Doug)
23. It feels like springtime in winter. It feels like Christmas in June. It feels like Heaven has opened up its gates to me and you.
24. You want me but he needs you. Yet you’re telling me everything is cool. Trying to convince me to do as you say. Just go along and see things your way.

25. Smack it up, flip it, rub it down, oh no! (Do Me! - Bell Bive DeVoe; guessed by Doug)