Saturday, March 30, 2013

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 3/30/13

Once Upon a Time: The scene back from the last commercial break may have been the most absurd thing ever aired on network television. First off you had Pinocchio die from a taser, c’mon, how does someone made of wood be harmed by a little electricity? But of course before he died, he was able to crawl out of the police station utter a couple nonsensical words before going to the big wood chipper in the sky. But since he died trying to help someone (and failing at that), the blue fairy was able to turn him into a real boy (again). And by real boy, an actual ten year old who apparently has no memory of the past twenty years. So Pinocchio gets to live even though he helped no one. In fact they are in more danger because of him.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Revenge: What a weird way to wrap up the foster brother storyline. Why not to tell Amanda your plan the whole time?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Revenge on iTunes.

The Walking Dead: I guess it is surprising Merle made it this long. He probably should have never made it off the roof. Or out of Woodbury. Or in a prison with Michonne. But it became pretty clear that it is a worse punishment not to die, because instead of putting a bullet in Merle’s head, he sentenced him to a life of a zombie. That may have been the most evil of all of the Governor’s evil deeds.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Shameless: So Jimmy has had two years of med school and only one more to go? Since when did becoming a doctor only take three years? I thought it took ten.

The Voice: If there was any question to if the new judges could successfully replace the former ones, it was answered when Shakira pulled out her English to Country dictionary. And Usher had a very entertaining moment when he called Nashville a state despite being born in the same state where the city resides. Even though the coaching panel turned out to be solid, I was a bit worried with the talent on the stage after the first episode because all the contestants were petty lackluster including the weakest four chair audition in the Morgan Sisters. Things turned around the next day (no pun intended, okay, maybe a little) with two artists that deserved all the coach’s button pushes in Midas Whale and Sarah Simmons, both who ended up on Adam’s team making him the early frontrunner (not to mention the Michael Jackson backup singer he picked up a day earlier who I found overrated; Judith Hill is no Amanda Brown). And they really amped up the sob stories this season between the dead bandmates and dead children (made worse by no one turning around). Of course there some absurd sob stories. When you look like a cross between Amanda Seyfried and Emma Stone and the worst thing that has happened to you is getting teased about a snaggletooth, you probably should not be singing Mean.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download songs from The Voice using the widget at right.

How I Met Your Mother: I would have liked this episode much better if the chopped off the last five minutes. The only way the ending could have been more depressing would be if they played a Ryan Adams song during it. And no, I will not tell you the ingredients of The Scooter McGavin alcoholic beverage that I created back in college because I am paranoid someone with plagiarize it. That and I may have forgotten the ingredients because I drank too many Scooter McGavin’s in college.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

Castle: When we saw Ryan at home I thought, oh goodness, I have zero interest following that guy home. And then he went and got himself slapped by a mobster. Unfortunately the rest of the episode was not as entertaining as him getting slapped.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes.

Go On: Between this episode and Cougar Town, I am beginning to wonder if there ever was a time when Courtney Cox was ever funny.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Go On on iTunes.

Justified: It became pretty clear that Colton would not make it to the end of the season, most likely at Tim’s hand, it is a little surprising he got gunned down before the finale (was this Tim’s first on screen kill in the series?) Which makes me wonder who will they kill off in the finale, or how many? Mike O’Malley cannot possible survive after threatening the life if Raylan’s unborn daughter. And will Theo Tonin finally make an appearance or will they be saving him to be the big bad of season five? I cannot wait to find out.
You can download Justified on iTunes.

Survivor: Caramoan: Apparently Philip did not learn that much from Boston Rob because I image Rob would have cut Corrine lose last night. He would have at the very least given Michael the boot because Corrine was cozying up with him. And splitting the vote was silly. If Michael or whatshername actually had the Idol, they would have played it last week. It is a shame that a Favorite is going to win because these are some of the most inept players in the history of the game.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download Survivor: Philippines on iTunes.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Best of the Week: 3/29/13

Quote of the Week: A man who speaks out of both sides of his mouth deserves to have it permanently shut. (Boyd Crowder, Justified)

Song of the Week: Just the Way You Are – Billy Joel (as performed by Sheila and Jody, Shameless) or The Longest Time – Billy Joel (as performed by multiple Teds and Barneys, How I Met Your Mother)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: FXX Coming to a Small Screen Near You: It was rumored a couple of months ago that FX wanted to split into two separate networks, one for dramas, the other devoted to comedy (much like the Turner networks of TBS and TNT). It sounded like a good idea at the time, and then FX announced this week that the rumor was kind of true and FX would continue to cater mostly to drama while its new comedy channel would be christened FXX. Umm, months of discussions, FXX was the best they could come up with? Did they not realize that not only does the channel not roll off the tongue very well, it would launch a million “When is FX going to launch their porn channel FXXX?” jokes?

Jokes aside, FXX will launch September 2 in 74 million homes (mostly likely where Fox Soccer currently is on your channel guide until your cable provider moves it from the sports tier to the entertainment one). FX will actually be the same, airing comedies, dramas, and movies targeted at Adults 18-49 while FXX the 18-34 demographic. Also launching next fall will be FXM geared to old people (25-54) airing “prestige movies and related short-form original programming” and eventually limited series and mini-series. With the three channels, FX Networks plans to air 25 scripted original programs within the next three years, double of the programs that FX currently airs.

With the expansion, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The League both have been renewed for two more season and will be movie to FXX along with Legit, which is renewed for a second season, and Totally Biased with Kamua Bell which will be airing five nights a week next fall (and a compilation episode Sunday nights). Justified (which was renewed for a fifth season), The Americans, Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story: Coven, Louis, Archer, and Wilfred will all remain on FX.

FX Networks also announced a bunch of new shows coming soon. You may have already seen advertisements for The Bridge coming in July. FX also ordered a limited series order to Fargo inspired by the film of the same named and will be produced by the Coen Brothers who won an Oscar for writing the screenplay. Tyrant comes from the producing team behind Homeland and the pilot will be directed by two-time Academy Award winning director Ang Lee. And The Strain, written and directed by executive producer Guillermo Del Toro about vampires unlike any ever depicted on television or film. FX Networks also have two comedy pilots in the works including How and Why from Charlie Kaufman and animated comedy Chozen from Danny McBride. There are also other limited series in development from Sam Mendes, Paul Giamatti, Alexander Payne, and Shawn Ryan.

Interestingly enough, Anger Management, which FX is still on the hook for another eighty episodes, is only mentioned once in the very small print at the end of the press release ”The FX schedule will also include the acquired series Anger Management, Two and a Half Men and, coming in 2014, Mike & Molly” which I guess means that the show is also staying on FX. Either that or they are trying to figure out how to get out of those final eighty episodes. But that was one more mention than Brand X with Russell Brand.

Preview Picture of the Week:

The Americans, "Safe House" Wednesday at 10:00 on FX

Free Download of the Week: Norm Macdonald Live (iTunes)

Deal of the Week: $2.99 Albums: Get cheap album from arists like Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, Alicia Keys, and the Eurhythmics Greatest Hits.

New Album Release of the Week: Dear Miss Lonelyhearts - Cold War Kids

New DVD Release of the Week: Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One - Avengers Assembled (10-Disc Limited Edition Six-Movie Collector's Set)

Video of the Week: First there was The Bachelor spoof, Burring Love, which of course the second season making fun of The Bachelorette, and with that season just wrapping up, we now get a trailer for the third season Burning Love: Burning Down the House which take aim at Bachelor Pad with its $900 cash prize. All of your favorites from the first two seasons are returning (assuming your favorites were not Kristen Bell or Adam Scott), a Burning Love superfan and Jeffery Ross. And you will not have to wait long because the season premieres April 12.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Hannibal, Thursday at 10:00 on NBC: Much like the recent Norman Bates reboot, I had very little interest in a modern day prequel of Hannibal Lecter. But where Bates Motel is being helmed by the dude from Lost, Hannibal is being run by Bryan Fuller who has created some of the best television shows of the millennium. Unfortunately, much like shows that air on Thursdays at 10:00 on NBC, most of Fuller’s shows do not last very long. But on the bright side, if Hannibal does not last very long, the quicker we may get a Pushing Daisies or Wonderfalls Kickstarter funded movie.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Around the Tubes: 3/28/13

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 Justified, Hannibal, Fall to Grace, Mad Men, Defiance, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Jurassic Park, The Kick, Beat Making Lab, Killing Jesus, The American Bible Challenge, Gigolos, Face Off, Continuum, and Cougar Town.

- Next week’s episode of Justified is not just the season finale; it is a “special event.” Drew Thompson is now in police custody and Ellen May may be safe, but there looks to be plenty still to be wrapped up with the Detroit boys still on the loose. And with a title like Ghosts, I have a feeling the dude that Ava killed will be the only one haunting the characters. Did Arlo have one last surprise for Raylan?

- Hannibal finally premieres next Thursday at 10:00 and NBC has just released a “red band” trailer, which is probably just a marketing tool because it is still airing on network television.

- For Jim McGreevey, August 12, 2004 was, in his words, “a train wreck.” That was the day the former New Jersey governor famously announced his resignation and declared himself “a gay American” on live TV. After his political downfall and the ugly divorce that followed, McGreevey found himself at an existential crossroads. Fall to Grace reveals how McGreevey moved through that painful period, reinventing himself as a spiritual advisor to women in prison. Fall to Grace airs tonight at 8:00 on HBO. Check out a trailer below:

- Just in time for the Mad Men premiere next week here is an interview with creator Matt Weiner and Saturday Evening Post.

- As we inch closer to the Defiance premiere April 15, here is the latest trailer from Syfy:

- Out on DVD next week include high-flying martial arts action The Kick.

- PBS Digital Studios’ newest series “Beat Making Lab” follows musicians and educators Stephen Levitin (aka producer Apple Juice Kid) and UNC-Chapel Hill Professor Pierce Freelon (who’s also front man for the jazz/hip-hop quartet The Beast) as they travel around the globe and provide enthusiastic young people in underserved communities with the training and tools to create their own original music. The third video in the series is posted on YouTube.

- After the success of Killing Lincoln, I predicted that the follow-up, Killing Kennedy would be made by next year. I was close. The National Geographic Channel announced they would make a film out of Killing Jesus next based on the book by Bill O’Reilly that is not even going to be released until September (I have a feeling the success of History’s The Bible is the reason why the skipped Kennedy). No work on if Tom Hanks or his mustache will be narrating the new film.

- GSN has teamed up with the widely popular Bible App™ by YouVersion on its hit game show, The American Bible Challenge, which premiered for a 2nd season on Thursday, March 21st. The app, which is completely free, has been downloaded onto over 85 million smartphones and tablets, making it easier than ever to plug into chapter and verse anytime and anywhere. The American Bible Challenge airs on Thursdays at 9:00 pm ET/PT on GSN.

- Coming Thursday April 18 to Showtime, the fourth season of Gigolos with a new cast member and more action.

- In renewal news, Syfy is bringing back Face Off for a fifth season and Continuum for a second while Cougar Town has been renewed for another season by TBS.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Feed Your iPod LXIX: Give it Up

Next month Public Enemy will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and it was announced yesterday that DJ Terminator X will be attended the ceremony (unlike last year when almost nobody showed up due to illness like Adam Yauch and Rod Stewart, or ambivalence like Axl Rose). I was not sure what surprised me most, that Terminator X left the group in 1998 or that he was been raising African black ostriches ever since. I guess it is easy to forget everything after the group released Apocalypse ’91… The Enemy Strikes Black as the follow up was a dud (though I do stand by the soundtrack to He Got Game despite the silly Stephan Stills collaboration). And thought Muse Dick-n-Hour Mess Age was underwhelming, the lead single Give it Up stands up with the rest of their more beloved hits. And if I am not mistaken, the song was the inaugural MTV Jam of the Week (which ironically discontinued right after Jay-Z mentioned it in Big Pimpin').

Give it Up – Public Enemy

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Woke up on the Wrong Side of Rock Bottom

Same Trailer Different Park - Kacey Musgraves

Noel Gallagher, who wrote all the songs for Oasis, once said the first line of every song is the most important and what he spent the most time working on. By that philosophy, the fist line in the first song off your first album must be the most important in a singer’s career (maybe not so much for Gallagher who started with “I live my life in the city, there’s no easy way out”). Kacey Musgraves came up a line to start off her major label debut album Same Trailer Different Park that really sets the tone for the next forty minutes when she sings on the opening track Silver Lining, “Woke up on the wrong side of rock bottom.” Do you even need to ask after that if this is a country album?

The next couple songs start out with a couple dozies of their own: “Who needs a house up on a hill when you can have one on four wheels?” (My House) and “If you ain’t got two kids by 21 you’re probably gonna die alone.” (Merry Go Round) But she does not stop with writing a good first line, Merry Go Round can be taken as either a biting commentary about small time life or a lament of it depending on which side of the Mason-Dixon Line you live with a chorus that goes, “Momma’s hooked on Mary Kay, bother’s hooked on Mary Jane” and if you guessed that “daddy’s hooked on Mary two doors down” get yourself a cookie.

But the best written song on the album is Follow Your Arrow which also starts off with a very memorable opening line, “If you save yourself from marriage you’re a bore, if you don’t save yourself for marriage you’re a (w)horrible person.” The be who you are anthem (“kiss lots of boys, or kiss lots of girls if that is something you’re in to”) is much catchier and a lot less annoyingly pretentious than the annoying pop songs with the same message of recent years by Lady Gaga or Ke$ha.

Musically, Musgraves comes across like a early female Ryan Adams with more traditional country influences and a much better sense of humor than someone who would stop a concert cold because someone request he play Summer of 69. But where Adams excelled at what he would call “sad bastard” songs (It Is What It Is is the best of these songs on Same Trailer Different Park), Kacey is much more adept at barn burners like on Stupid and Blowin’ Smoke both which could be one of the better songs if they found their way into Miranda Lambert’s catalogue (Musgraves wrote Lambert’s current hit Mama's Broken Heart).

Though Same Trailer Different Park sticks mostly to traditional country, the sleepy Back of the Map is one of the few times Kacey goes for the adult contemporary track that many pop-country acts shoot for these days, and turns out to be one of the best songs on the album. When it comes down to it, Same Trailer Different Park may be the best country album I have listened to since the last American album Johnny Cash released when he was alive.

Song to Download – Stupid

Same Trailer Different Park gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I Want My Music Television: 3/25/13

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.

There Will Come a Time – Noah and the Whale

Sure Rand Paul may fillerbuster me for making this statement, but I have no problems living dystopian society that quarantines all the teenagers in the land. Thanks for the idea Noah & The Whale.

Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker

Darius Rucker watches Duck Dynasty? Okay Hootie, we get it, you are really country now. Now how about trading the bowler hat for you Gamecocks cap and get back together with the Blowfish and make real music again.

4th of July – Brian McKnight

As much as I would like RnB to return to the silver age of the nineties with the likes of Boyz II Men, Babyface, and Brian McKnight, this just is not going to cut it. And turn down the thudding, Brian; you are not a cheesy techno RnB act.

No Cure – Meagan Hilty

They could not pay me to watch Smash (at least for anything under a thousand an episode), but I kind of like this song from Megan Hilty.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 3/24/13

Once Upon a Time: Well that was the most boring Groundhogs Day homage ever. At least they let us now Ethan Embry was the young boy by the end of the episode because it was pretty obvious who the young boy would grow up to be. But this begs the question, is has his father remain in suspended animation like the rest of Storybrooke all this time or is old enough to join AARP now? Presumably he has been hanging out in the dungeon Belle was all these years.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Revenge: So much for no more distractions. Now Emily has multiple distractions between her foster brother and whatever Jack is up to.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Revenge on iTunes.

The Walking Dead: The show really does not know its audience when it does an Andrea-centric episode.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Shameless: The sad thing is, I do not think Frank becoming a gay icon even ranks in his top five most offensive scams.

House of Lies: Wait, did Clyde actually develop a conscience? He would be the last in the pod that I thought would feel bad that he orphaned a kid.

Vikings: When the previews showed the Vikings invading English speaking countries I wondered how the show would deal with the language barrier. Two episodes later and the answer is a resounding not very well. Sometimes they both speak English and not understand each other and this week they have both parties subtitled and not understanding each other. They should have just kept the Vikings speaking English and just have the English speak Gaelic or some other dead language. But I do like the new relationship between Ragnar and the priest. He is a much more interesting foil to Ragnar than the Earl is.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Vikings on iTunes

How I Met Your Mother: If Barney’s bed was not supposed to be an homage to Remote Control, I am going to go ahead and pretend it is.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

Dallas: With the reintroduction of Gary Ewing and his wife, you have to wonder if TNT is toying with the idea of a Knot’s Landing reboot.
You can download Dallas on iTunes.

Deception: Not The Killing bad, but I am still a bit disappointed with the killer’s reveal. I long wrote off Robert because I could not see him killing his own daughter after the lengths he went through to keep his son out of jail. And we still do not know why he killed her. Ugg.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Deception on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: I have predicting since the beginning of the show that Allison was still alive and later she was under the red hood despite her body being identified, and this is the closest thing to a confirmation with both Hanna and Mona seeing a not so dead Allison pulling them out of the fire. But I am not totally convinced what they saw was indeed Allison. But if it was, then were the other time the Liars saw Allison in dream like sequences, like when Aria was being drugged by her dad’s girlfriend, or when Emily was trapped in the barn when she was looking for the psychiatrist? And if Red Hood did not start the fire, does that mean Jenna, Melissa and the random lesbian who showed up last week (is she just a stand in because the actor they wanted was not available?) did do it? And is the start of a war between The A-Team and what I would like to coin The Dukes of Hazard (the second best television show of the eighties) with the Liars caught in the middle? And what the frack was in the trunk? Or should I be asking who?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Justified: When it was shown that Drew skipped down on the 4:30 train I tho9ught why did Raylan not go with him instead stay in the principal’s office where he could get gunned down by Tonin’s thugs. I realized quickly that was a stupid question because of course Raylan is going to stick around and taunt Boyd and Tonin’s boys because he is Raylan Motherfracking Givins. If there is a hard way to do something, Raylan is going to do it. And that ended up being the best scene in the episode. Well that and Constable Bob getting beat to the sounds of Love Train. Actually, now that I type that out, I realized that was an awesome foreshadowing.
You can download Justified on iTunes.

Survivor: Caramoan: It is hard not to think of Laura’s plea to her tribe two weeks ago saying they should keep her because strength would not necessarily translate to wins and you never know when there would be a twist. The next week the Fans lost the Reward Challenge even with Douchebag #1 and Douchebag #2 and were gifted Immunity when Brandon Hantz went, well, Brandon Hantz. Then the very next week, they switched up the tribes and now Sherri is stuck on a tribe with four Favorites and the only Fans with her are Douchebag #1 and Douchebag #2. Speaking of Brandon, all he had to do was keep it together another day or two and he could have joined up with some Fan in a new tribe either vote Philip out or be in a tribe with no Philip. But that is not the Hantz way. And it is interesting that Douchebag #1 and Douchebag #2 managed to be on a tribe with the two on the outskirts of the Favorite tribe which makes you wonder if they stay loyal to the Favorites or jump ship. But after the challenge, they may never have to make that decision.

I do not know what was more surprising: that Special Agent Philip Sheppard admitting he never went to college, what exactly are the requirements for the FBI, or Julia spoke for the first time and was not voted off. I pegged her as the token contestant this season that does not get any screen time until the episode they are voted off. Maybe that will turn out to be Brenda this season. One more thing, Corrine’s love for gay homosexuals really bordered on creepy. I was really hoping that after one of her numerous comments on the subject the camera cut to Michael, who I not even remember up to this point even talking about his sexuality, who would say something like get this crazy chick away from me.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download Survivor: Philippines on iTunes.

Subugatory: This season has not been as entertaining as the first mostly because they have chosen to focus too much on the adults (the show needs more Dalia) but it was almost worth the extra old people storylines just to hear George’s rock version of Bump N' Grind.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Suburgatory on iTunes.

The Americans: Well that was an interesting plot twist with Philip all but asking Elizabeth for a divorse. Although I do not agree with him that the KGB would agree with him that it would be okay because they are not really married in their eyes to begin with so there is no need to get a divorce. But as they slowly become more American (Philip even faster), I have to wonder at what point, if ever, do they switch side like suggested in the premiere.
You can download The Americans on iTunes.