Saturday, February 02, 2013

Best of the Week - 2/2/13

Quote of the Week: I am just here to look my enemy in the eye and since your daddy is two feet shorter than I am, I guess you’ll have to do. (J.R. Ewing, Dallas)

Song of the Week: In the Air Tonight – Phil Collins (The Americans)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Deer Antlers Are the New Cow Steroids: It is clear that athletes will do anything to get ahead. A week after Lance Armstrong admitted that he was doping during all of his Tour de France championships, possible double murderer Ray Lewis (just ask Wes Welker’s wife) was accused of injecting himself with deer antlers which apparently are the fastest growing animal part in the world. Despite denying it, it seems plausible because, well, all athletes clearly cheat now a days, there is no way to test for deer antler juice, and Lewis got back from an arm injury a couple months ahead of schedule. So for those unsure of who to root for this Sunday, you probably should not root for the murdering cheaters.

Preview Picture of the Week:

Morning Mornings premieres Monday at 10:00 on TNT

Free Download of the Week: One – U2 (Google Play)

Deal of the Week: 100 Albums for $5: This month’s five dollar album deals include Prince, R.E.M., Jewel, and Ctpress Hill:

New Album Release of the Week: Smokey Mary - Harry Connick Jr.

New DVD Release of the Week: Peter Pan (Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)

Video of the Week: Last year History broke records with their Hatfields & McCoys miniseries and in a month from now (3/3/13) they look to keep that momentum going with their next dramatization of historical events with the nine episode scripted series Vikings starring Gabriel Byrne and Jessalyn Gilsig. Check out the latest promo below:

Next Week Pick of the Week: Community, Thursday at 8:00 on NBC: NBC seems to be cleaning house in the comedy department this year canceling The Office, 30 Rock, switching Up All Night to being filmed in front of a studio audience and the green lighting broader comedies like Go On and The New Normal. So canning its creator, being relegated to Fridays before getting an early February premiere date, it may be safe to assume that Community will not be featuring fifth year seniors next season. Chevy Chase has even already folded up shop a couple episodes early. So enjoy these last thirteen episodes before the show likely joins 30 Rock and The Office in the Peacock dustbin. Hopefully Alison Brie will have already have a new show or two lined up for next fall by then because with no more Community and Pete Campbell getting an apartment in the city, I fear there may not be much Alison Brie on my television come 2014.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Some of Those that Wear Forces Are the Same that Burn Crosses

Back in the post-Nirvana wild west of early nineties MTV, it seemed like anyone could get their fifteen minutes of fame no matter how weird they were (seriously, remember Ween?). Thinking back it is amazing that a band like Rage Against the Machine could get so big: two number one albums and three multi-platinum albums. Sure they did not invent the rap-metal fusion, which probably goes to Faith No More (unless you count the time Run-DMC teamed up with Aerosmith). But as good as Faith No More was, their rapping always seemed like a novelity, and I am sure in some circles they are just considered a one hit wonder.

Even more amazing was how Rage became such pioneers in the musical landscape (just do not blame them for the blasphemy that turned out to be Limp Bizkit, the douchebag you knew in college with the “Free Mumia” sign in his window even though he could not tell you the difference between Mumia and Mustafa, or Paul Ryan) was there was a very strong message which can been seen right on their debut album cover, this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame, which depicts a monk who set himself on fire protesting an anti-Buddhist regime. It was only highlighted by the opening track Bombtrack which repeated the line, “Burn, burn, yes you’re gonna burn.”

Rage Against the Machine even had their breakout MTV moment when the former music channel picked up their most politically charged song and video Freedom as a Buzzworthy selection and put it into heavy rotation. In-between a vigorous live show, featuring a very sweaty fat young kid, the video gave us a history lesson about Leonard Peltier who did not receive a fair trial when convicted of killing two FBI officers. But for the most agro for your buck, there is Killing in the Name Of which builds and builds until lead singer Zack de la Rocha (and pretty much every male under the age of forty within earshot) starts screaming “(Expletive deleted) you I won’t do what you tell me.”

Rage Against the Machine (WARNING: the next line will make you feel old) turned twenty late last year and included the prerequisite rerelease with plenty of different version that includes demo full DVD of a concert and music videos (the most bare bones version you can currently download for only $2.99) which will have frat boys and Paul Ryan raging for another twenty years.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Previewing Do No Harm

Sometimes it seems like the only drama on network television are about cops, doctors or lawyers. Last year NBC tried to shake up one of those genres with Awake where a cop lived two separate lives, one where his wife survived a car accident, the other his son. I pondered at the time who would watch the show? Procedural fans would be scared off by the weird sci-fi element and sci-fi fans would stay away from a procedural. It turns out I was right as the show died a slow and little watched death before being canceled.

Not to be deterred, NBC announced another Awake sounding show last fall and will be airing it at the same day at the same time of the year that Awake aired. But instead of living in two different realities, the main character in Do No Harm lives two different lives. Yep he has a split personality. And instead of being a cop, it is another television trope of being a Doctor (this is a updated version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde).

Steve Pasquale fills the shoes of the brilliant neurosurgeon and his evil counterpoint. He was arguably the most consistently entertaining actor on Rescue Me always ready for some great comic relief but really does not pull off the dual role on the show. The best parts are when he is the evil version which tends to be humorous for the most part, but I am not entirely sure if that is intentional. Also included in the cast are the underused (at least in the premiere) are Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show) as his boss and Samm Levine (Not Another Teen Movie). The always attractive Alana de la Garza (Law and Order which means she is now a cop away from hitting the procedural trifecta) as a fellow doctor who catches the eye of both personalities.

Do No Harm starts off with the good doctor keeping his alter ego suppressed for the past five years with medication. The only problem is that the evil half has built up immunity to the drug and has five years worth of debauchery to get to. With the drugs no longer working, the good doctor homes to make a truce with his bad half to do no harm, which I do not think will go over well. And do not ask me why the doctor does not lock himself up every night like a werewolf. The two switch places at 8:25 in the morning and the evening each day (there is a humorous suggestion about moving across the globe so they can experience different times of the day).

Like Awake, Do No Harm has an interesting concept, but much like Awake, it is doubtful Do No Harm gets a second season, and I am not sure it will end up all of its episodes.

Do No Harm airs Thursdays at 10:00 on NBC. You will be able to stream recent episodes after they air on Hulu. You will also be able to download Do No Harm on iTunes where you can currently download the premiere already for free.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I Won’t Treat You Like You’re oh so Typical

When you hear the name Tegan and Sara you probably conjure up adjectives like folky, moody, and / or lesbian. But like indie queen Liz Phair before them, being indie darlings does not do a very good job at paying the bills. Despite six well received albums, the sisters never managed to have a hit songs on the charts here stateside and were not even able to get one until their last album in their Canadian homeland. They look to change that with the release of the decisively more poppy seventh album Heartthrob.

Much like when I first heard Phair’s no longer being exiled in guyville pop turn with Why Can’t I, my first thought when I heard Closer, the first single off of Heartthrob, was, this is catchy, but I feel a little dirty considering the source. But where Phair when full mainstream on those album with songs of the chick rock pop of the early 00’s, Tegan and Sara travel back to the syth-pop mainstream of the 80’s (and carried on today by bands like Metric).

To get this sound they brought in producer Greg Kurstin of The Bird and the Bee who gave a similar sound to It's Not Me, It's You - Lily Allen’s sophomore album. The problem though is the album sounds too homogeneous and even at just over a half an hour it starts to drag on eventually with the lack of diversity. Heartthrob manages to draw the line very well where they are poised to pick up more pop minded fans without alienating their core fan base, but I’ll probably continue to walk with the ghost instead.

Song to Download – Closer

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Previewing Diggers

After the History mini-series, the Hatfields & McCoys are having a big comeback of sorts into pop culture. The feud’s biggest climax, the New Year’s Day Massacre where the Hatfield’s burned down the McCoy homestead in the hopes of killing the patriarch celebrated its 125th anniversary this year. Surprisingly in those 125 years, no one has found where the two story McCoy house once stood. In fact no artifacts have been dug up before. Until now.

The new National Geographic Channel show Diggers are traveling to the Kentucky / West Virginia border to uncover long lost artifacts from the time of the feud including where the former home of the McCoy’s once stood. The diggers in the title are George “KG” Wyant and Tim “Ringy” Saylor are amateur scientists. Indiana Jones these guys are not, as they are armed with nothing but metal detectors and a shovel. But they are easily excited but each and every find and have created their own lingo for when they are out digging (do not worry, they definition pop up on the screen to help you out).

Ironically the land where the McCoy’s once lived is now owned by a descendant of the Hatfeild’s. Wyant and Saylor do find a bunch of bullet fragments that they believe could have been from the New Year’s Day Massacre and think they have found where the house of the McCoy’s once stood. You will have to turn in to see if actually archaeologist confirm that they found are the remains of the McCoy homestead.

Diggers airs Tuesdays at 10:00 on the National Geographic Channel with back to back episodes.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Previewing Dallas 2.x

Time to go back to Dallas

Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way first: the great Larry Hagman passed away in the middle of filming the second season of Dallas. Which means this will be the last time we will see one of the great all time television villains of all time on screen. My sources tell me that the funeral for J.R. Ewing will be held during the eighth episode of the season, set to air March 11 which will feature many Dallas vets, some of which have yet to appear on the new version.

No word on how they will deal with J.R.’s death on screen (or if we will be getting another Who Shot J.R. mystery), but the character certainly is not going out with a whimper. Like last season the elder Ewing still has the best lines (like his distaste for the amount of male secretaries at Ewing Enterprises) and is still doing plenty of double dealings and manages in a couple blackmails for good measure just in the two hour premiere tonight.

When we left off, Christopher learned that his wife as not the Rebecca Sutter he thought he married and we learned that she was the real offspring of the Ewing’s bane Cliff Barnes (which would have made the newlyweds, if I am reading the family tree right, cousins by adoption). Christopher reluctantly teamed up with his other cousin (in a less skevy way) when him, J.R. Jr. and Bobby created Ewing Energies.

The new season starts up a couple weeks later, Rebecca (get ready to call her by a new name this season) has been in hiding ever since Christopher learned she was not who she seemed. It is on the eve of the election and by the end of the night you will learn if Sue Ellen will be the next governor of Texas. But the most interesting part of the new season involves Assistant Director Walter Skinner, who was promoted to the series regular this season, who pulls something tonight that is more shocking than anything that happened in the first season (which is saying a lot). And just when you wonder how someone could get so evil, we meet his mother, Judith Light, who is definitely the Boss in the family.

Dallas airs Mondays at 9:00 on TNT. You can download previous episodes of Dallas on iTunes.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 1/27/12

Once Upon a Time: I do not understand why Belle does not remember who Mr. Gold is, I thought if they cross the city line they only forget the fairytale land but still remember Storybrooke. I guess I should not assume that the writers of Lost would remember their own rules. Also, no one cares about Dr. Frankenstein.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Shameless: It looks like we are going to get a power struggle within the Gallagher family as Fiona tries to do things the right way while Lip continues to do it the way the family always has, stealing and scamming. Being that this is Shameless, I have a feeling Lip’s way will win out because I really doubt that Fiona will continue at a loss just to try to dig her way out of her situation. When Frank came back from Mexico I wondered where he landed because he already got kicked out of Sheila’s, his family would not take him back, and the last person he cohabitated with died. Apparently it is back to Shelia’s house, but I still do not see that lasting long.

How I Met Your Mother: Wait, Barney’s half sister is Hanna from Pretty Little Liars? Was this common knowledge? I vaguely remember Barney learning his dad was John Lithgow but I do not remember ever meeting his sister. And how did Lithgow possibly produce someone who looks like Hanna? But I have to admit, I kind of would like Hanna to be the mother.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

Bunheads: I do not really care about what happened this week because all I can remember is the promo for next week featuring roller derby. Awesome.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Bunheads on iTunes.

Castle: Hasn’t the show already done a Girls Gone Wild episode? Or is it just every other crime show has done one and it just seems like everyone has done one at this point?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: Allison was extremely busy on her last day (assuming that Aria was hallucinating and really is dead). She had a sleepover with the Liars, met with that dude who is now dead, had a run in with Jenna and Garrett, blackmailed Mr. Montgomery, and now Melissa is the last person to see her alive. At least until Melissa saw Allison with someone else. I am sure at some point we will learn she had a run-in with Ezra who was not even living there at the time before meeting her demise.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

The Lying Game: I feel a little cheated we did not get a full tennis match between Emma and Sutton, that could have been the whole episode and I would have been fine with it. On the bright side, no more Thayer, he overstayed his welcome a long time ago.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Lying Game on iTunes.

Justified: So it turns out Robert Quarrels’ Detroit boss has been taking some trips down to Dixie because his name interestingly came up during the interrogation scene this week. One thing that is not interesting is the whole snake preacher storyline. I am ready for the to end anytime now.
You can download Justified on iTunes.

Parenthood: Those Braverman’s are really a fertile bunch (except for Julia of course). That makes nine grandkids for Zeke (not even including Drew’s mistake). That makes three pregnancies and an adoption in four seasons. I would project Sarah gets knocked up next season, except she picked the dude who went to Minnesota (seriously, who goes from California to Minnesota, the Lakers made the right transition). Maybe Amber is up next.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Parenthood on iTunes.

Nashville: I really liked seeing Rayna and Juliette going at each other on tour these last couple episode, but it is only get better throwing Deacon in the mix… in Juliette’s band. The only way it could get better if they hired both Avery and whatever they are calling Scarlett’s new band as opening acts.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Nashville on iTunes.

Last Resort: I guess you really cannot say the ending was rushed because it obviously was as they had to cram an entire series into the last couple episodes. But I am still a bit disappointed we never learned of the conspiracy as to why the president did what he did. Was he just an evil Neo-Con? But it is clear that the that the show would have benefitted had it just been a six episode or so miniseries because it started out strong and came on at the end when they realized it would be canceled, but really dragged in-between.
You can stream recent episodes on Last Resort on iTunes.