Saturday, November 24, 2012

Best of the Week - 11/24/12

Quote of the Week: She sent us a biter-gram yo. (Merle, The Walking Dead)

Song of the Week: Love Hurts – Nazareth (Go On)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Chevy Chase Leaves Community: Although this begs the question is it really leaving the show two episodes before the presumed series finale is filmed? That is like a teacher retiring during finals week.

Preview Picture of the Week:

Rizzoli and Isles returns this Tuesday

Free Download of the Week: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - Norah Jones (iTunes)

Deal of the Week:

New Album Release of the Week: Girl On Fire - Alicia Keys

New DVD Release of the Week: Men in Black 3

Video of the Week: The latest chapters debuted last night and and as soon as they hit the internets, I will post them here.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Leverage, Tuesday at 10:00 on TNT: Leverage returns this week, on a Tuesday instead of its usual Sundays following Rizzoli and Isles, to air the final five episodes of its fifth season going up against a big box company that is destroying a small town. For those that do the math, yes that means the season finale will fall on Christmas night. If my memory serves me correctly, it aired on Christmas (and New Year's Day) last year too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2012 Holiday Schedule

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, or as those outside the U.S. like to call it, Thursday. So I hope you have (or had depending on when you read this) a great Turkey Day. Just a heads up with the holidays upon us, here’s a look at the schedule the 9th Green will be taking the next couple weeks as well as a list of the best of 2012 and on day that are not listed, they will be filled by the regular reviews and such you have come to find at the 9th Green (card subject to change):

November 22-23 - Off for Thanksgiving
November 30 – ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas Schedule
December 1 - Induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame
December 15 - Lyrics Quiz: Best of 2012
December 20 - Worst Songs of 2012
December 22 – Best Performances of 2012
December 23 - Best Albums of 2012
December 24-25 - Off for Christmas
December 26 - Best Videos of 2012
December 27 - Best Mash-ups of 2012
December 28 - The Most Entertaining People of 2012
December 29 – 9th Green’s Reader’s Favorite Songs of 2012*
December 30 - 100 Best Songs of 2012
December 31/January 1 - Off for New Years
January 2 - Induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame
January 3 - Best Movies of 2012

*As you may have noticed, on the 29th I will have a Reader’s poll on what you all thought were the best songs of the year.

All you have to do is fill out the form below. If you have problems with it, feel free to e-mail me, ScooterKSU(at)aol(dot)com, your list. So if you would sometime time before Christmas fill out the form below, I will put a link at the top of the sidebar if you want to think about it. And as an added bonus, if you send me your list this year you can win a $5 Gift Certificate to Amazon MP3. Please note, only people with American accounts can win but foreigners are still welcome to voice their opinions. Winners will be contacted sometime between Christmas and New Years.

This poll is closed.

If you need a refresher of songs from the last twelve months, check out the list of the albums I reviewed, just look at the labels in the side bar. All the songs from those albums are eligible, look through the music videos I highlighted the past year and of course any song released this year is okay too even if I didn’t talk about it. Your nominations will be confidential and I won’t disclose it here at the 9th Green, so if you enjoy the 9th Green please fill out the form by December 26.

And with Christmas coming fast upon us, check out Amazon's Black Friday page for your loved ones:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Previewing Unlikely Animal Friends

Anyone who was five at some point in their lives remember The Fox and the Hound, but who would have guessed that the two specials could get along as well in real life as they did in animated form? That is the basis of Unlikely Animal Friends which is airing its third set of specials over the course of four episodes this Thanksgiving weekend. The first two episodes air Friday at 8:00, while the other two episodes at 8:00 on Saturday.

Each episode is dedicated to a species animal group, starting with Dogs Gone Wild (featuring commentary from Nat Geo’s resident dog expert Cesar Millan) which will be followed by Hello Kitty which features felines big and small. Then The Wild Bunch is dedicated to some of the wild’s friendliest animals. And the last episode is Man’s Other Best Friend which features some of the weirdest human pets.

Some other bizarre pairing you will see are a fog who takes a swim with his dolphin friend, a housecat that plays with an owl, a wild boar who joins a herd of cattle, and a goose that follows around a human whenever he takes a walk in the park, or even a ride on a scooter. Unlikely Animal Friends is perfect for any parent with small children who will get a kick at all the wield and wild pairings.

Unlikely Animal Friends airs back to back episodes this Friday and Saturday starting at 8:00 on Nat Geo Wild.

Monday, November 19, 2012

It’s True What You Heard, I am a Freak, I’m Disturbed

Lotus - Christina Aguilera

Two years ago Christina Aguilera released Bionic and it sank like a rock. It features songs where it sounded like Christina was trying to out-Gaga Lady GaGa at a time when most people were already tiring of Lady Gaga. It mirrored her debut album where she was riding the teen pop coattails of Britney Spears. But the thing is, Christina Aguilera, unlike the two other pop star (and many that populate the charts for the past decade) can sing. She is even the lynchpin coach on a show called The Voice. A half a year after Bionic dropped off the charts, Adele released 21 showing that people who can sing without all the trappings of a modern day pop singer. I thought to myself, Christina Aguilera should not be competing with the Britney Spears and Lady Gaga’s of the world; she should be competing with Adele.

So how does Christina Aguilera start her first album, Lotus, in the post-Adele era? With a heavy dose of auto-tune. Not only that, the first single was co-written and produced by Max Martin, the pop maestro who have us Baby One More Time. And like most songs from the Max Martin catalogue, Your Body is ultra catchy, but you think less of yourself when you catchy yourself singing along. I guess after three seasons of The Voice I should have seen this coming as everyone on her team have been bland pop singer with the exception of Jesse Campbell and Lindsey Pavao (neither of who inexplicably made the finales of her team) leading her to two straight last place finishes and with the new rule change this season will probably have her entire team voted off before the finals.

Christina did recruit two of her fellow coaches from The Voice to her new album (apparently Moves Like Jagger was enough studio time with Adam Levine). Cee Lo Green shows up on Make the World Move where Cee-Lo plays a glorified hype-man for the club ready track. Just a Fool is the closest thing Christina has ever come to country so it is not surprising she trades verses with the resident country voice on her show Blake Shelton, but I was left after the song was over wishing that Christina would had kept the song for herself as it could have been her one of her strongest ballads.

Even though she goes the ultra-pop route for most of the album, there is a quick Adele-type interlude for two songs in the middle of album starting with Sing for Me where Aguilera shows she is still the best voice of her generation. That is followed by Blank Page, which goes the stripped down Someone Like You route where it is just Christina and a piano (and some subtle strings flourishes). I would much rather have had a whole album like this especially where a song latter she starts a weird reggae segment includes pair of songs, Cease Fire and Circles.

But Lotus, for better or worse, is a pure pop album. Of course the album is littered with self empowering anthems, about half the tracks. While Red Hot Kind of Love harkens back to her Genie in the Bottle days. Army of Me and Make the World Move are good old school dance songs that thankfully do not utilize any of that annoying dub-stop or EDM trends that every pop song has to have these days (unfortunately Let There Be Love does jump on the annoying trend). It is clear from her choices on The Voice, Christina Aguilera still loves pop music, I just wished she would put out a record that rivals Adele.

Song to Download – Blank Page

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

Sunday, November 18, 2012

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 11/18/12

Once Upon a Time: Is this the first time seeing the King in Storybrooke? I remember not seeing and thinking he must had died in the fairytale world.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Revenge: So this was Emily’s grand plan for Mason Treadwell: set him up to make it look like he set up Conrad Grayson so he would be convicted for a crime he did not commit (much like her father) and he will admit to it if she promised to come clean after her master plan has been executed where she will then admit to the killing of the white haired man and give him the exclusive story. What? Unless she plans for Mason to also die in prison much like her father. But would it not have been much easier, even if it were less poetic) to just let Amanda bash his skull in?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Revenge on iTunes.

The Walking Dead: With the new season, they have really up its, Did That Really Just Happened moments be it impromptu leg amputations with an ax, or c-section deliveries with no medication. But they may have out done themselves this episode with the Governor brushing his zombiefied daughter’s hair, the zombie Thunderdome, and the zombie who apparently ate Lori whole. It will take a while for me to decide which scene grossed me out the most.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Homeland: Oh snap! The warden totally called out Saul for his beard! But I was extremely disappointed that Saul (and the guards) let Eileen alone. As soon as Saul left the room, I screamed at the screen, “Do not leave her alone with the wine bottle!” Sure I was wrong with the suicide method as it looked like she somehow killed herself with Saul’s glasses (because who does not walk around with an extra pair of reading glasses that make anyone see well?), but the sediment remained. And that was not the only false ending for the episode, just when you think Dana and Brody were going to report the hit and run, Carrie stops them at the last minute. Ugg. I do have a feeling Dana will be calling a press conference sometime in the next episode just to screw everything up. One last thing, Estes is the worst baby sitter ever. He lets Brody talk along in the sables with the party host and then sneak off to meet Carrie.

The Voice: I have joked a couple times this season that the producers read my post 10 ways to Fix The Voice, but after this week I am now convinced that they did. Previously they have implemented my suggestions to breeze through some Battle Round performances by montage, expand the Live Rounds (there will be eight performance episodes up from six last season and four the inaugural season), more Blind Auditions, they initiated The Steal, banned Adele (only one song this season, now they need to ban Katy Perry for next season), and got rid of the Product Placement I Refuse to Acknowledge (unless they pay me) Lounge (granted it got replaced by the Product Placement I Refuse to Acknowledge Skybox). They have even cut down on the annoying crowd screaming a little bit (though not completely). That is seven, and this week they added an eighth suggestion I made.

Cason Daly announced yet another new rule, that any artist who reaches the top 10 on the iTunes charts will have those votes multiplied by ten. Of course anyone who reaches the top 10 (which no one has done this season) probably is not in trouble of being voted out anyway, but I like the new wrinkle. iTunes success is a better indicator of future success but it accounts for the least amount of votes because people may make ten phone calls and vote ten times over the internet (or more with phony e-mail accounts) But no one, expect maybe family members, are buying ten sons on iTunes. The Top 10 may have been to altruistic and may should had gone with Top 25 instead. Apparently they quickly realize that the new rule did not do much (only two songs cracked the top 50 and not even close to the top 10) because the very next day they announced all music bought on iTunes this year will count for the finalist. Here is the Power Rankings for the top 10 and some thoughts on their performances:

The Voice Top 10 Power Rankings

1. Cassadee Pope – Cassadee has been number two a couple times on my Power Rankings and finally found herself this week with her best performance since her Blind Audition. Though after five straight pop-rock songs I would like to see her get out of her comfort zone next week even if it is taking a song from another genre and making it pop-rock.

2. Nicholas David – It is about time someone on one of these karaoke shows gave Huey Lewis & The News his proper due. I really liked when Nicholas went back into his Barry White voice halfway through the performance.

3. Trevin Hunte – Someone pointed out to me that this was the second week doing a Michael Bolton song (sure When a Man Loves a Woman is really a Percy Sledge that Bolton covered) and he loses some points for that. Plus this make have been his weakest performance. Much like Cassadee, Trevin needs to branch out and soon.

4. Amanda Brown – Amanda went bold last week and knocked it out of the park, she went big again this week, but did not quite reach the same heights.

5. Terry McDermott – I could not help but think back to Amanda last week who also closed the show with a seventies stadium anthem, but where Amanda nailed the notes at the end, Terry noticeably could not hit the signature high notes in More than a Feeling where Brad Delp original seemed to go higher and higher.

6. Cody Belew – Last week I thought he did a very Elvis Presley performance of One More Try and did a very Elvis performance of The Best this week. Maybe he should just do an Elvis song next week.

7. Sylvia Yacoub – Every time Sylvia showed up during the earlier rounds I thought, she is still on the show? Then she gave the most surprising performance last week, sitting down at the piano. She was back to she is still on the show status after a wobblely performance. Maybe she should had stayed behind the piano instead of having a creepy dude in a white suit on a creepy white piano instead.

8. Bryan Keith – He took a great song full of pathos and self loathing and turned it into a lounge act. Color me unimpressed.

9. Dez Duron – Again, Dez has impeccable taste in music, but his voice is just so boring and bland. He may have made the finals with the old rules, but I am not sure he even makes the top eight under the new system. He definitely should not.

10. Melanie Martinez – Oh Melanie, cool song choice, but I think this will be your last week on the show unless Christina’s final two contestants are eliminated in on swell swoop.

The results show was fairly uninteresting (Cee-Lo’s disco party notwithstanding). Adriana Louise (I wonder if she gets to come back for a Team Christina performance or if she is out of luck because they did not perform this week) and Michaela Paige were clearly on the bottom of the pile. Next week will be about as suspenseful as two by two every twenty minutes someone is saved before Cody and Sylvia get the ax. Maybe they should go back to having the teams battling themselves to be a finalist; those eliminations were much more suspenseful.

You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download songs from The Voice by clicking on the artist’s name.

How I Met Your Mother: Did we really spend a whole month having all the main characters break up with their significant others? Yeah, the show has officially run out of ideas.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

Castle: As everyone is moving onto the new found footage craze, the show went back to the ol’ early ’00 documentary footage route. And it was probably for the best.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes.

Go On: Can they please add the hot station mascot to the cast please? Maybe her dad can die and join the support group for more airtime.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Go On on iTunes.

Parenthood: Why is grief the biggest aphrodisiac in Hollywood? It seems like whenever a guy on television show or movie has a lost in his life, the closest female to him is willing to have sex with him the cheer the dude up. Seriously, Drew is talking about his aunt that has cancer which makes his ex-girlfriend, with a college boyfriend, rip off all his clothes. Does this actually happen in real life because I have had a lot of loss and hardship in my life and not once has any chick had sex with me to console me.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Parenthood on iTunes.

Sons of Anarchy: There are so many moving pieces on the chess board this season I have no clue where this season is going. Actually I am not entirely sure if I understand what is actually going on right now. So many deals on the table, double and triple crosses it is hard to keep track.
You can download Sons of Anarchy on iTunes.

Survivor: Philippines: When the votes were revealed to be tied 4-4 I knew that Penner would be going home because I figured that Skupin and Blair would vote together. So I was shocked to see Artis go home and even more shocked that it was Skupin that flipped his vote. I thought if only one flipped it would be Blair after being berated by Abi at Tribal. I was also surprised that Malcolm did not play his Idol. You can only bluff once and why hang onto it when everyone know you have it, an you alliance needs the numbers. Either play it for yourself so you do not get blindsided or give it to Penner just in case Skupin did not flip. At any rate, I cannot wait to see Hurricane Abi next week. Between her and Camilla from The Challenge, it is clear these reality shows need to recruit more Brazilian woman to these competition shows.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download Survivor: Philippines on iTunes.

The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons: Watching Hunger Games I have to wonder why Survivor ever stopped their gross food challenges. Quality entertainment. But you have to feel bad for CJ, dude somehow managed to beat the behemoth Zach at the physical challenge three out of five times but still went home. And fewer things are more entertaining than a crazy person acting all crazy while shouting, “I not going to make to look like a (expletive deleted) crazy person.”
You can download The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons on iTunes.

Last Resort: I do not understand, if someone stole Marcus’s key, why even dock the submarine. Search everyone before coming up for air. And just how many crew members have to be captured before they realize they should travel the island in pairs, or even groups?
You can stream recent episodes on Last Resort on iTunes.

The Big Bang Theory: I was expecting that the number 43 to not live up to expectation that I was kind of hoping they would leave it unexplained. Yet they managed to come up with two extremely funny ideas, the fake Sheldon looking for life in other dimentions, and the real Sheldon trying to break his own hackeysack record.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download The Big Bang Theory on iTunes.

Grimm: Even though I hate when episodes, especially episodes before a long break, end with “…To Be Continued” but I did have to laugh the show had a sense of humor enough to add “Sorry” to it.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Grimm on iTunes.