Saturday, April 20, 2013

Best of the Week: 4/20/13

Quote of the Week: Ms. Lounds, it’s not very smart to piss off a guy who thinks about killing people for a living. (Will Graham, Hannibal)

Song of the Week: Rough Boys - Pete Townsend (The Americans)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: MTV Movie Awards: You are officially old when you opt for watching Mad Men instead of an MTV awards show. But being a completist (I have seen them all) I ended up watch the awards later. As I write this a week later, I actually cannot remember anything that happened. Either it was really uneventful or I really am getting old.

Preview Picture of the Week:

Vikings "Sacrifice" Sunday at 10:00 on History

Free Download of the Week: Wildest Moments – Jessica Ware (iTunes)

Deal of the Week: 100 Albums foe $5 April’s $5 albums include The Black Keys, The Avett Brothers, Jason Mraz, and Death Cab for Cutie.

New Album Release of the Week: Bankrupt - Phoenix

New DVD Release of the Week: Gangster Squad

Video of the Week: I have no desire ever to go to a music festival, hanging out in a sea of people on a campground for a weekend in extreme heat sounds like the worst thing ever. But had you told me that R. Kelly would join Phoenix during their set at Cochella last week to perform a mash up of Ignition (Remix) and 1901, I definitely would had spent all my money to fly out to the California desert to see that happen. Thankfully the performance got uploaded to YouTube so I can enjoy it alone in the comfort of my climate controlled study.

Next Week Pick of the Week: NFL Draft, Thursday at 8:00; Friday at 6:30 and Saturday at Noon, ESPN: It is the greatest time of the year again for us Browns fans. In a time of unparalleled parity, we have only been to the playoffs once in twenty year. And now we are in year one of yet another new regime (with another that may come soon considering our new owner just got raided by the FBI and IRS earlier this week and a legal analyst Lester Munson said: “I think that's in the realm of possibility” when asked if new owner Jimmy Halsem could lose the team in the near future) so really all we have is the draft which is filled with home, dreams and optimism… right up until the point where were trade up just to draft a thirty year old quarterback who turned out to be worse than the younger one we already had. I am really beginning to believe Bill Simmons is right when he says God hates Cleveland.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Around the Tubes: 4/19/13

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 Spoiled Rotten Pets, An Apology to Elephants, Out There, Lovestruck, Superhumanoids, The Impossible, Helix, Arthur, Saint George, Deal with It, TruTV Upfronts, BottleRock Napa Valley festival, Revolver Golden Gods Award Show, and The Fosters.

- New Show Alert! Spoiled Rotten Pets certainly lives up to its name when Beth Stern (as in Howard’s wife, and if you forget she will remind you once an episode) travels the country to see just how far owners will go to pamper their pets. There will be pigs, ferrets, ducks, and even a Bark Mitzvah. Yes, it is exactly what you expect. This is not a fluff show, Beth does call the owners out on their eccentricities, but you cannot help but wonder how much better Howard would be confronting them. Spoiled Rotten Pets premieres tomorrow at 9:00 on Nat Geo Wild with back to back episodes.

- Monday is Earth Day and HBO will be celebrating by premiering An Apology to Elephants at 7:00. Narrated and executive produced by Oscar nominated actress Lily Tomlin and directed and produced by Emmy winner Amy Schatz, the documentary illustrates how elephants live in the wild – from their matriarchal structure to their truly impressive memories – and examines the problems and issues that arise when they are brought to live in captivity in zoos and circuses.

- Tonight is the season finale of Out There and if you missed any episode, IFC will be airing a marathon of every episode starting at 5:30 leading up to the 10:00 finale.

- Sunday, ABC Family will be airing their latest original movie Lovestruck and you can watch the trailer to the musical below:

- In need of some catchy feel good pop? Give a listen to Superhumanoids, who give me a mellower The Naked and Famous vibe. Listen to So Strange below via Soundcloud and look out for their debut album Exhibitionists on June 11.

- New on DVD and Blu Ray this week include The Impossible starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.

- As I mentioned when talking about Syfy’s Upfronts last week, Helix from the dude behind the Battlestar Galactica reboot is hitting the channel this season and now you can watch this first look of the show:

- This May, Arthur is helping kids tackle another tough subject with the premiere of two new episodes about bullying. Parents are invited to visit the Arthur website for resources and though starters on how to talk to their kids about bullying, and to tune-in to the episode premieres on May 6 and 10 on PBS KIDS (check local listings).

- Now that it has been split into three networks, FX is bolstering its comedy block by signing Saint George to a 10/90 deal (if the first ten episode do well it will get 100 overall). In the sitcom, George Lopez will portray a man who struggles to balance his demanding ex-wife, his 11-year-old son, his overbearing mother who just moved in, and his uncle, as well as his new role as a philanthropist “giving back” by teaching history once a week at a night school.

- A day after it premiered Who Gets the Last Laugh?, TBS announced it was going continue in the hidden camera direction by greenlighting Deal with It. The show will pick unsuspecting members of the public who will be secretly dared to pull a prank on their unwitting companions with absolutely no time to prepare. If they agree to participate, they must obey all instructions given through an earpiece from a secret control room nearby. Deal with It will be hosted by Theo Von, or as I call him, Theo from Road Rules.

- TruTV is the latest network to have its Upfronts when it announced its intention to shift half its lineup to comedic reality to target its growing “Funseeker” audience. New shows that fit this mold will include including Panic Button, in which contestants must brave a haunted house without pushing a button that will allow them to escape; Big Sam's Kentucky Auction (working title), a look at the unpredictable world of a Southern auction house; and Cash Dome Pawn, a new entry in truTV's growing franchise of pawnshop series.

- eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace and a leading platform for charitable giving, is teaming up with the first ever BottleRock Napa Valley festival to create one-of-a-kind VIP experiences involving the festival’s musical artists and partners. The packages, including VIP passes, meet & greets, backstage access, original signed memorabilia and more will be auctioned through eBay’s Celebrity platform with 100 percent of the proceeds going to support various charitable organizations. For more about the auction series go to:

- The fifth annual Revolver Golden Gods Award Show presented by Epiphone has gotten even bigger with the announcement of a special performance by Danzig, including a special Misfits set with Doyle, along with appearances by some of the biggest names in hard rock and heavy metal. Taking place Thursday, May 2 at Club Nokia in Downtown Los Angeles, the sold-out event will be broadcast live on national television for the first time through AXS TV and broadcast in the United States and key international markets through Xbox LIVE and Revolver’s Facebook page. The highly anticipated performance joins previously announced live sets by Metallica, Five Finger Death Punch, Anthrax, Stone Sour, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Halestorm.

- We are still a month and a half away from the series premiere of The Fosters and before then you can gaze at the Key Art below:

The Fosters Key Art

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Previewing Chasing Ice

We have probably reached the point in the climate change debate where no one is changing their mind on the subject, you either believe it is happening or you are a simpleton who cannot be bothered to turn on the Weather Channel or even look out your own window to actually see it for themselves as we are currently living in a time of record hurricanes, tornadoes, flood, droughts, even the Earth has started opening up and swallowing people more often.

So it is doubtful that anyone’s mind is going to be changed by Chasing Ice, the award winning documentary that is airing tomorrow at 8:00 on the National Geographic Channel (ironically almost all the footage from the climate change deniers montage comes from Fox News as both channels are owned by News Corp). Though anyone who sees the time lapse of glaciers receding at almost a mile per year, it is disturbing to think that there are people out there that would think it is a hoax.

Chasing Ice comes from acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey who set up time-lapse equipment in Greenland, Alaska, and Montana in sub-zero conditions where the technology had been untested before for over three years. There is even a subplot that threatens the whole project when Balog has to undergo his third knee replacement surgery as all the walking up and down mountains has done serious damage to his body. But silly debates, aside, Chasing Ice is a visual wonder with plenty of breathtaking pictures and video of the frozen north.

Chasing Ice premieres Friday at 8:00 on the National Geographic Channel.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Previewing Locked Up Abroad 8.x

Ernie Brace returning from Vietnam

John McCain on Locked Up Abroad seems so obvious it is a bit surprising that he has not appeared on the show before as the Senator may be the most famous person ever to be “locked up abroad.” Maybe it is because most people know the stories of the Navy bomber pilot who was shot down over Hanoi and spent five years in the infamous Hanoi Hilton where he was tortured for most of his stay. We have all seen the photos of his bloody body being dragged around by the Vietcong and him hobbling off the plane after his release.

Though in solitary confinement for most of his stay, McCain was not alone, communicating in code with neighbors in the next room, one of which was Ernie Brace (the two do not meet face to face until years later) who was the longest prisoner of war in Vietnam being held behind enemy lines two months short of eight years. Ernie actually spent the first half of his time in a small bamboo jail which only became more confining after each failed escape attempt before being moved to the Hanoi Hilton three and a half years after originally being captured. His story is so harrowing you will not even notice that half the episode goes by before the more famous McCain shows up.

There is a second episode tonight which you will want to stick around for if only because the episode is entitled Snake on a Plane. It is the story of Tom Crutchfield, the self proclaimed “Mick Jagger of the reptile industry” who would successfully smuggle crocodiles, tarantulas, king cobras, and yes, snakes around the world who escapes to Belize to avoid prosecution, but ends up being imprisoned there with no electricity, plumbing, toilets or running water in his cell. The show gets back to drug related roots next week when an English stockbroker moves to America to be an ecstasy dealer in Arizona only to be thrown into one of America’s deadliest jails where he witnesses firsthand skinheads murdering someone.

Locked Up Abroad airs Wednesdays at 9:00 on the National Geographic Channel. You can watch select episodes on Hulu. You can also download Locked Up Abroad on iTunes.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Previewing Who Gets the Last Laugh?

For anyone who watched MTV Punk'd and thought to themselves, this would be much better as a game show, you are in luck because that is the basic premise of Who Gets the Last Laugh? and wouldn’t you know it, the show comes from Punk’d co-creators Jason Goldberg and Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher is absent on screen, instead Who Gets the Last Laugh? Is hosted by Donald Faison (Clueless) and three comics complete to produce the best pranks on regular citizens with a studio audience picking a winner who gets to donate $10,000 to a charity of their choice. Sorry losers, your charities do not even get mentioned.

Tonight The Big Bang Theory’s Kunal Nayyer, who surprisingly does have an accent in real life (or TBS made him use it not disorient their viewers who watch the ten hours of The Big Bang Theory programming the network airs in a week), Bill Bellamy, who reminisces over Rock and Jock Basketball with the host (which begs the question, is it not time for a Rock and Jock reboot? Certainly Dan Cortese is not busy) and Jeff Dye. Each comedian controls the action off sit much like Kutcher did but it may be the people actually pulling the pranks to keep an eye on. Remember Punk’d launched the careers of Dax Sheppard, Bill Hader, Whitney Cummings, B.J. Novak, Kaitlin Olson, and Jill Wagner.

Coming up this season Actor/comedian D.L. Hughley gets a new car at the car wash. Danny Masterson, star of TBS's Men at Work, exposes a cheating wife. And Saturday Night Live’s Cheri Oteri has everyone screaming about ice cream. MADtv's Aries Spears puts a locksmith in lockdown (which is personal favorite set up of the first couple episodes). Comedian Natasha Leggero gives gas station customers an unwanted friend. And Andy Dick gives a bride's hairdresser the blues. Comedian Charlie Murphy is a limo driver's worst nightmare. Owen Benjamin, co-star of TBS's Sullivan & Son, arranges an unusual family dinner. And The Middle’s Chris Kattan creates a security breach. And Saturday Night Live’s Finesse Mitchell does a bang-up job at the car wash. Comedian Luenell tests the loyalty of office temps. And Growing Pains' Alan Thicke (Mr. Seaver!) turns a club VIP list into Purgatory. Also competing this season will be Tome Green, Bam Margera, and Nicole Sullivan.

Who Gets the Last Laugh? Airs Tuesdays at 10:00 on TBS.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lyrics Quiz: Inner City Blues

Today is Tax Day, lucky enough for 47% of the population, all you have to do is fill out your tax forms and get any money you paid last year back (to be fair, there are plenty of corporations like GE that do not end up paying any taxes either). Of course even if you do not end up any taxes, you still have plenty to worry about as laid out by Marvin Gaye from Inner City Blues (“Natural fact is, honey that I cannot pay my taxes”). So I put the song through iTunes Genius function and here are the songs that came up. 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. Every day there's something new, honey, to keep me loving you. And with every passing minute. Ah baby, so much joy wrapped up in it. Heaven must have sent you from above.
2. Wait a minute something's going wrong. Someone’s on the phone, three o’clock in the morning. Talking about, how she can make it right.
3. A boy is born in Hard Time, Mississippi. Surrounded by four walls that ain’t so pretty. His parents give him love and affection to keep him strong, moving in the right direction.
4. My brother sat me right down and he talked to me. He told me that I ought to not let you walk on me. And I am sure he meant well.
5. Evolution, revolution, gun control, sound of soul. Shooting rockets to the moon, kids growing up too soon. Politicians say more taxes will solve everything. And the band played on.
6. Oh she may be weary, young girls they do get weary wearing that same shaggy dress.
7. I get down with my girlfriend, that ain’t right. Hollaring, cusing, you wanna fight?
8. Who is the man that would risk his neck for his brother man?
9. Born a man-child of the sun, yeah. Yeah, saw my work had just begun. Yeah, Found I had to stand alone, yeah. Well bless it now I've got my own, oh yeah.
10. Don’t let my glad expression give you the wrong impression, baby I’m sad. I’m sadder than sad. You’re gone and I’m hurting so bad.
11. It’s been too hard living but I’m afraid to die. I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky.
12. There is a long man that doesn’t like the short man for being such a rich one that will not help the poor one.
13. Hey girl, what's your fantasy? I’ll take you there to that ecstasy. Ooh girl, you blow my mind, I’ll always be your freak.
14. Don’t get so excited when I come home a little late at night. 'Cause we only act like children when we argue fuss and fight.
15. Now if you feel that you can’t go on because all of your hope is gone and your life is filled with much confusion until happiness is just an illusion.
16. A woman will sell her precious body for a small piece of paper it carries a lot of weight. Call it lean, mean, mean green.
17. Why do you use me try to confuse me? How can you stand to be so cruel? Why don’t you free me from this prison where I serve my time as your fool.
18. It could all be so simple but you’d rather make it hard. Loving you is like a battle and we both end up with scares.
19. Girl Don’t you ever be sad, lean on me when times gets bad. When the day come and I know you are down in a river of trouble, you about to drown.
20. My sister killer her baby because she couldn’t afford to keep it yet we’re sending people to the moon. September my cousin tried reefer for the first time, now he doing horse: it’s June.
21. Something told me it was over when I saw you and her talking. Something deep down in my soul said, “Cry girl,” when I saw you and that girl walking out.
22. She gives me money when I’m in need. Yes she’s a kind doll, friend in deed. (I Got a Woman - Ray Charles; guessed by Kevin)
23. Don’t need no fortune or fame. I just want you close to me. No time for castles in space. Or living in make believe. I’d trade it all for just a rainy day.
24. I got what I got the hard way. Got to make it better every day. Oh honey I say don’t you fret. Cause you ain’t seen nothing yet. (Soul Man - Sam and Dave; guessed by Kevin)
25. I’m filled with desire, could it be the devil inside me? Or is this the way love’s supposed to be?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 4/14/13

Shameless: So it looks like Steve may really be sleeping with the fishes. Granted it is hard to believe he really is dead without actually seeing a body. And then Fiona wastes the money for her on plastic cups. Alrighty. I wonder just what her and Kev plan on doing with them.

Mad Men: Wow that was a boring two hours. In lieu of discussing what happened because I may fall asleep at my keyboard, I will instead just post a power ranking of facial hair at Sterling Cooper Draper Price:
1. Harry Crane
2. Ginsburg
3. Don Draper
4. Bert Cooper
5. Stan Rizzo
6. Roger Sterling
7. Ken Cosgrove
8. The Annoying New Guy
9. Betty Draper
10. Pete Campbell
You can download Mad Men on iTunes.

House of Lies: I did not see the team fracture like that. I guess it should not be too surprising that Clyde would jump ship even though he almost showed a conscience earlier this season, but for Doug to not follow his mentor was shocking.

The Voice: I pretty much summed up my thoughts on the week, and the entire Blind Audition in the Power Rankings, but I got to thinking that since then like bringing back people to audition again, maybe they should put even those who do not get picked on iTunes and whoever sells the most downloads will get an automatic invitation to the auditions next season. I have a feeling Jane Smith would have charted higher than a vast majority of the people that did make a team (which may be why the show currently does not do this. But anyway. Here my favorite performance of the week (and second of the season): Caroline Glaser.

You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Dallas: I have made light of I’m sorry your parent dies sex, even on this show, but I’m sorry your father was responsible for killing your unborn children sex is much more disturbing.
You can download Dallas on iTunes.

Survivor: Caramoan: Another nerve racking episode. How dare the brolliance target Andrea? Serves them right to waste an Immunity Idol. Really dumb move by Douchebag #1 to give his to Malcolm. Not dumb enough to be an automatic inclusion whenever I update my list of The Dumbest Survivor Constants Ever list, but he will definitely be in consideration. C’mon Douchebag #, who cares if they did vote out Malcolm, Now you are still in the minority without a safely net and have to win every Immunity Challenge to make to the finals without fail (or hope they target Malcolm and Eddie first, then go on a winning streak).

I am surprised that everyone keeps trying to turn Dawn thinking she is on the bottom. For most of the game, I have assumed the top of that alliance was Cochran, Dawn, Andrea, and Philip. But two weeks in a row, they approached her, and two weeks, she used that to help her alliance take out the right person. And even though Douchebag #1 made a boneheaded decision, Douchebag #2 just got played by Andrea fiddle. Between this is his inability to realize his four person hot alliance was less than the six ugly people alliance, he is eligible for the Dumb list too. Serious, what happens if he does not tip Andrea’s name? Do they really vote for Malcolm who uses Douchebag #1’s Idol and Andrea?

And what was Philip doing tipping his hand? Sure Boston Rob got rid of anyone who he thought may turn on him, but he never let them know until he wrote their name down on the parchment. Unless Philip did that to make the brolliance think they were voting for Malcolm to make Michael and easy vote, but I am not sure he is that devious. Now Malcolm knows Philip is gunning for him and Philip knows Malcolm knows. Now the question is do the Favorite feel comfortable now the Idol has been flushed and put all their votes Malcolm next week or the still split just in case? Cochran is an overthinker so he has to know there is another Idol that can be in play and Andrea is clearly paranoid after last episode. Oh yeah, and Dan may be going crazy next week. But even if she pulls herself out of the game, the Favorite can split the votes three ways for a tie to flush out the Idol and vote out the other guy in a revote.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download Survivor: Philippines on iTunes.

The Americans: Two shocking deaths in two weeks. This week may have been more shocking because I thought they would use Gregory to continue the wedge between Elizabeth and Philip. Almost as shocking was Elizabeth going soft by actually letting Gregory walk out the door alive. I was a bit disappointed that Gregory somehow managed to survive the shootout at least for a little bit, long enough for Stan to ask him a question or two in the hospital.
You can download The Americans on iTunes.

Community: Zombie-Community does a musical puppet show. Alrighty.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Community on iTunes.

Hannibal: Holy Wonderfalls reference! Too bad Gretchen did not run into her old high school friend Jaye. Or least her Doppelganger. I am just going to assume that Jaye has spent the last decade in a mental institution and will not be released until a Kickstarter movie gets made.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Hannibal on iTunes.