Saturday, June 10, 2006
Being an alleged television snob, I really don’t stray away from the fifteen to twenty channels I watch even though my television gets around a thousand. So it really takes a lot to get me to those channels not on my radar like Denis Leary starring in Rescue Me on FX. BBC America is another channel that really isn’t in my rotation and is at a bigger disadvantage because it’s on my digital tier putting it in the triple digits. Yes I am so lazy to the point where I don’t like punching three buttons on my remote. But nothing like Buffy comparisons to get me to watch a show (one of the reasons I started watching Veronica Mars but aside from the blonde heroine, they are unwarranted) and so I found time to catch what has been dubbed the British Buffy, Hex.
Again we have a hot blonde at the forefront of the show but for supernatural portion of the Buffy comparison are witches, demons, and ghosts. And there is even a lesbian sidekick. But Hex is missing what was great about Buffy in that it dealt with it other worldly inhabitants with a touch of camp, something that Hex is lacking. Or at least I think it is, the problem with this show is that I don’t speak British (for those unaware, despite having America in its name, the channel only airs shows from the BBC). It is this reason why I couldn’t get into the original version of The Office because I couldn’t get many of the jokes, but then again I sometimes have the same problem with the American version.
Another difference besides the language barrier for the American Buffy is the nudity. And by nudity I mean naked dudes. C'mon, the main characters are chick, yet they all remain fully clothed. And even with a lesbian in cast, there wasn’t even girl on girl make out session. Although since the lesbian isn’t one of those you would see on one of those Girls Gone Wild videos, that might be a good thing. But anyways.
Language barriers and male nudity aside, for the two hour première, Hex moved along so slowly, it made Invasion look like Veronica Mars in comparison and I jumped from the Invasion ship within a month because it was putting me to sleep. But with the lack of campiness and slow moving plots, not to mention the whole demon angle, Point Pleasant would be a much better comparison to the show than Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I’m not entirely sure if that is a good or bad thing. Point Pleasant was a show that was all about un-reached potential; it had the makings of being a great show, but didn’t make it there before Fox pulled the plug. But with two seasons already under it’s belt, maybe Hex will eventually maximize its.
Verdict: If I remember, I may give it another couple try, but if it doesn’t pick up, I may just check out the spoilers of what happens. Hex airs Thursdays at 10:00 on BBC America.
Friday, June 09, 2006
MTV Award shows usually are as good as their host so I was a little skeptical when it was announced that Jessica Alba was hosting thinking back to the Lindsay Lohan Dance Off debacle of last year. Or was it two years ago; was there a Jimmy Fallon bombfest in between? And that in lies the problem, there hasn’t been a memorable Movie Awards host since Jack Black and Sarah Michelle Gellar hooked up. Here’s a look at this year’s festivities:
- First we have to start off with the obligatory pre-show this time with guest reporters Rihanna and the dude from Fall Out Boy. And for those who think Rihanna sounds extremely bored when she’s sing, she was even more anemic while talking. As for Fall Out Boy, yeah Sugar We’re Going Down is catchy, but I’m totally over them since making the Michael Jackson sized video. Now it’s time for them to go to the pseudo-punk where all the other band of the like have gone after minimal success. Say hi to Good Charlotte while you’re there boys.
- Christina Aguilera announced her next album is going to be a double-album. Great that means twice as much music for me to ignore. Seriously, if I wanted to listen to jazz music, I’d break out my Ella Fitzgerald album; you really need to go back to coy pop double entendre like Genie in a Bottle.
- Not to be outdone by sports programs that have sponsored everything out except the National Anthem, the MTV Awards, instead of a Green Room, have the Neutrogena Amber Room. I shouldn’t mock too much because coming soon to the 9th Green is the Adidas Lyrics Quiz and the Scooter Hall of Fame brought to you by Heineken.
- Also seen multiple times of the blue carpet was Joe Simpson. Dude must have incriminating photo’s of very powerful people because I can’t understand how him and his daughters have stayed in the spotlight for so long.
- And now on to the big show with what I believe was a Mission Impossible 3 spoof (I only know this because its theme music played at the end). I have no clue why Topher Grace was there, but the whole bit was saved by Flavor Flav. I really can’t wait until the inevitable second edition of Flavor of Love.
- Luckily we are spared from an Alba monologue by Andy Sanburg as Mr. Google in a funny bit. Here’s a wild idea, why didn’t they have Mr. Lazy Sunday co-host the show? Or Dane Cook? Or any comedian not named Jimmy Fallon? Really, if I wanted to stare at Jessica Alba, I could have just googled her like the bit suggested.
- Another reason why the award show has gone downhill, instead of randomly picking presenters for comic effect (think Busta Rhymes and Martha Stewart) they resort to just putting together from the same upcoming movie much like having the cast of Superman Returns present Best Hero. Hopefully the verbal beat down Batman gave to Superman during his acceptance speech may lead to the much rumored Superman vs. Batman movie.
- For Best Kiss, Justin Timberlake routinely repeats the phrase “ranch hand jobs.” Yeah, that should really help stop those pesky gay rumors.
- Crap, a Jimmy Fallon sighting. And it’s for parody of yet another movie I haven’t seen, The Da Vinci Code. And what Movie Awards wouldn’t be complete without an Andy Dick sighting. And that begs the question, Where’s Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn?
- Should I know who Borat is? But anyways. The dude is out to present the highlight of the night (asides from Flavor Flav), Gnarls Barkley who were in full Star Wars gear with Chewbacca on drums. Classic. Between this performance and the uber catch Crazy, Cee-Lo is almost forgiven for raising a daughter who got her own My Super Sweet 16 episode (um, not that I watch that show or anything). In fact the song is so good, I may start my own cover band, Gnawn Bradley. And the Barkley karma was so good, Darth Vader promptly wins best villain.
- Alba wins the Sexiest Award and thanks all the perverts out there. Um, you’re welcome, I guess.
- It’s nice to hear The J. Geils Band back on MTV to accompany Adam Sandler out. He’s out to present the Best Performance, with his Click co-star of course. I really don’t like these new serious awards MTV are heading to. But the award went to the dude from Bubble Boy, so how credible can the award be?
- Aside from Alba in her underwear, the King Kong parody was a waste of time. Stay away from comedy Jessica and stick to, um, well, um, yeah, um, never mind.
- Christina Aguilera is out next as she looks more and more like a drag queen every day. C’mon, take out the fake breasts, stop putting stuff in your hair, lay off the excessive makeup, and return to asking me to rub you the right way.
- Speaking of shameless plug, Will Ferrell is out to run down the long list of sponsors in addition to those already on his jumpsuit. Not nearly as funny as the scene from Wayne’s World, in fact it wasn’t funny at all. And did anyone notice the blatant cut during his thing? But anyways. Ferrell is out to present Best Comedic Performance and apparently the Wedding Chashers duo split their votes because that’s the only way Steve Carell could win.
- The Silver Bucket of Excellence was awarded to Do the Right Thing. Again with the seriousness. Please stop. Remember the good old days when they gave these awards to Shaft?
- Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock are teaming up again. Yawn.
- Thank goodness for the AFI performance because it gave me a chance to check out the end of the Astros game on TBS. Whoever suggested this band should be fired. Doesn’t the Red Hot Chili Peppers have an album to promote?
- Chris “Ludacris” Bridges I up next. Why does the rapper insist on using his real name for acting purposes? You don’t the clock dude going around calling himself William “Flavor Flav” Drayton, you don’t see Ice-T’s real name in the credits for Law and Order.
- Next up is the first ever MTV Generations Award given to Jim Carrey. Remember the good ol’ days when Carrey and Sandler won Best Comedic Performance every year? Those were good time. It’s interesting during his retrospective, they didn’t bleep out “There’s a lot of fine looking pussy here tonight” yet they did back when he originally uttered the line. Of course that was back in the day they were still banning the word “pimp” and now they even have a show with it in its title. Wow, I feel old now.
- Instead of the first time filmmaker award, we now get the student filmmaker award which was heavily edited. I give it two years before it’s edited out of the whole program like its predecessor.
- Sam Jackson is out to present the granddaddy of them all, Best Picture. But before he hands that off to Wedding Crashers, he gives a shameless plug to his latest film, Snakes on a Plane. Normally I go off on things like this, but since it’s Sam Jackson promoting something as silly as Snakes on a Plane, I’ll let it slide. Plus I was laughing the whole time epecially when he hints at the sequil, More Mother(Expletive Deleted)ing Snakes on Another Mother(Expletive Deleted)ing Plane.
As a whole, the awards were another borefest, but if you are interested in watching it, not only can you wait for MTV to repeated ad nausea, you can watch individual segments on their broadband channel, Overdrive. I highly suggest the Flavor Flav bit and the Gnarls Barkley performance and skip the rest.
Now for something unrelated to the awards but under the rule of ask and you shall receive, Annie asked for more “Weird Al” Yankovic, and it just so happens that Al is offering up his latest parody, You’re Pitiful on his website (click his name). So if you are a fan of Al or just hate James Blunt (yep it’s a parody of You’re Beautiful), this is a must download. I personally love the beginning of the song.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Of course, by football, I’m referring to European football. Now it doesn’t take me much to get revved up for the World Cup. Unlike the Olympics, which also come around every four year (well two alternating summer and winter), there is no overload, because it’s only one sport to focus on. And this years Cup will be extra exciting this year because this will be the first time I’ll be participating in a fantasy World Cup run by ESPN.com. Unfortunately it strays away from the tried and tested fantasy behemoth, March Madness brackets because you can change your pick to win the game up to the start of the game (Germany time of course). Since the bracket are set ( Winner of bracket A plays the 2nd place team in bracket B and so on) they should have set it up much like March Madness where you had to choose the top two teams for each bracket, giving a point for each one right, then two points for picking the right quarterfinals and so on. Maybe I should copyright this idea for an office pool in 2010 (um, I mean I already copyrighted it, so don’t try stealing my idea). But using that idea, here are my pick for who will compete in the round of 16 and so on:
Germany vs. England (1A vs. 2B)
Argentina vs. Angola (1C vs. 2D)
Sweden vs. Costa Rica (1B vs. 2A)
Portugal vs. Netherlands (1D vs. 2C)
Czech Republic vs. Croatia (1E vs. 2F)
France vs. Ukraine (1G vs. 2H)
Brazil vs. United States (1F vs. 2E)
Spain vs. Switzerland (1H vs. 2G)
Germany vs. Argentina
Sweden vs. Netherlands
Czech Republic vs. Ukraine
Brazil vs. Spain
Germany vs. Sweden
Czech Republic vs. Brazil
Brazil over Germany (3-1)
Then back stateside, the biggest story is of Jason Grimley whose house recently got raided because of Human Growth Hormones. And of course everyone’s favorite oversized dome is prominently featured in the story. According to Grimsley’s attorney, the reason why his house was raided was because he refused to wear a wire in hopes to dig up dirt on Big Head Barry. And some of the Monsters also appear as Grimsley has been teammates of both Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa. And to add intrigue to him naming names (which you know will come out within a week) Grimsley became a Yankee around the time they were winning a bunch of World Titles as well as my hometown Indians when the had the massive offensive explosion in the mid-nineties well he also made a name for himself by crawling through the air ducts in Chicago to steal Joey Bell’s corked bat.
And here’s a lesson to all those people out there who watch too much Sopranos, if the Feds com knocking out your door asking you to do something, unless you have a mob boss backing you up, do it.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
And so it ends, after getting booted around by the WB last season, and bumped from the inaugural CW schedule for a last second reprise of 7th Heaven (not to mention CW giving a spot to the worst show on television that doesn’t feature dudes singing karaoke, One Tree Hill), Everwood has ended. And I’m not really holding my breath for a midseason revival. If there was any chance of one, I’m sure it would have been talked about already by the higher up. Now on to the review of the last season.
As the season begun, we were promised a wedding, but it only learned out to be a renewal of vows, but this event unfortunately brought back Ephram to town. If there was one sore spot to the earlier season of the show was the amount of whining that boy did. Yeah he had good reason with the whole getting uprooted to move to the middle of nowhere and his daddy paying off his baby mama to leave town, but there is a point where you can’t take anymore and I found myself switching channels whenever he came onscreen. Luckily an epiphany came to piano boy while in Europe, because he came back much more tolerable. But that did mean he still took up valuable screen time from my favorite Everwood denizens Dr. Abbott, Hannah, and Irv.
Dr. Abbott certainly had his shares of ups and downs this season and Tom Amandes hit every note just right (did I mention I met him, see - My Dinner with Dr. Abbott). He made it through his wife’s cancer stronger and even attempted to adopt an African baby after his trip there. All the while Dr. Abbott even foun the time to watch Beauty and the Geek sometime this season. But you just ache with him when he realized his omission of his wife’s cancer was found out during an interview. But thanks to the nice little bow that put on the finale, he got his baby after the crazy chick left her’s on his doorstep.
Then there was Hannah whose tedium part of her relationship with Bright was even more entertaining than the start of it. And I knew as soon as it began, it would end badly as Bright finally gave into his manly urges and got it own with the chick from Nip/Tuck. Unfortunately thanks to the nice little bow put on the end of the show, she pretty much forgives him by going choosing Colorado A&M over Notre Dame. Well at least she got her prom before he cheated.
Then after a season of near deaths, Edna having heart problems, not-gay dude committing suicide, and Bright going through a window, it was Irv that bit the big one. This wasn’t too surprising as he was off on his book tour most of the season and it seems these days on television, instead of coming up with new storylines for characters, they just kill them off instead and Irv ended up being the latest casualty of this trend. Well that and the age old rule that the black dude’s always the first one to die.
One major problem this season is that it looked as if the writers gave up on storylines midseason so they could wrap up the show in a nice little bow realizing this could be the lat season. So feminist Amy is dropped unfortunately before any lesbian activities and in time for to make up with uber-conservative Hannah and reunite with Ephram who also dumped his new girlfriend for his one true love. And Amy’s professor, who looked like she was brought in to be a love interest for Andy, promptly disappeared paving the way for him to hook up with Nina. And that begs the question: who drives their own car to the airport when they are moving out of town? Wouldn’t they drive it to Los Angeles or have someone drop them off at the airport if they were leaving the car in Colorado so they would incur the massive parking fees airports charge? Then their was Delia who was slowly turning into a B Girl only to do a one-eighty so she could end the show happily too, even getting the pony she was promised in the first episode.
But instead of crying over the loss of the show, I will instead look at the bight side, first and foremost, that means there will be one less hour stuck in front of the television come fall. Then, without the show, it almost guarantees a fourth season of Veronica Mars being it the only quality drama on the CW and considering it’s doubtful 7th Heaven will make it another season (although I still would put money on a spin-off) nor will One Tree Hill after getting crushed by Lost and karaokers (not to mention Supernatural in the Thursday 9:00 death hour slot) so barring the New Kid on the Block show being any good and an onslaught of good pilots, our favor Neptune resident will be back for 2007-2008 season. And by favorite Neptune resident, I am referring to Dick Casablancas. Now I just need to find some wood to knock on.
Everwood 4.x gets a on my Terror Alert Scale. It also won a STA.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Holly Brook may strike up images of a local creek, but the twenty year old is currently invading your radio singing the haunting chorus to Fort Minor’s Where’d You Go. But don’t expect any hip hop beats or guest spots from Mike Shinoda or other rappers on her debut, Like Blood Like Honey. Instead the album is strictly part of a Lilith Fair revival where Holly pours out her soul while switching effortlessly from the piano to the guitar.
But as heard on Where’d You Go, Brook is more deep than her contemporizes sets the tone with the opening lines to the opening track, Giving it Up for You where she tells us, “Though I’m young and cynical, it’s not my only crime.” The song itself sounds like an edgier version of songs heard on Anna Nalick’s debut. And when I say edgy, I’m not talking about the manufactured edginess of singers like Ashlee Simpson. Then there's What I Wouldn't Give which shows a much more vulnerable side. As for influences, they run the gambit of female singer songwriters; Wanted is reminiscent of something from Sarah McLachlan’s prime. Saturdays acoustic quickly beat sound like something Susanne Vega could have came up with. Heavy brings up thoughts of Tori Amos but much more palatable.
Even though Holly doesn’t get as experimental as another artist she is compared too, Fiona Apple, Brook branch out more musically than other singer songwriters of the day. This is helped by Brook’s knowledge of multiple instruments so she can switch from one to another without bogging the album with tedium and knows when to bring in other instruments into the equation to highlight the song. She can also bring things down, ending the album her and the guitar on All Will be Forgotten then spotlights her piano on the closer Cellar Door. Maybe after a couple more years and albums under her belt Holly Brook can get to the place where Fiona recently reached herself.
Song to Download - Wanted
Like Blood Like Honey gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Monday, June 05, 2006
I have to admit I wanted How I Met Your Mother to fail before I ever saw an episode because I wanted Trina Echolls to be free to pop in on her little brother on Veronica Mars, but unfortunately the show ended up not sucking massively and even was one of the first shows CBS renewed for next fall. Luckily Alyson Hannigan wa still able to squeeze a trip to Neptune this pass year.
That’s not to say the show had a few incidents that had shark jumping potential even in its first season. The biggest being the first episode where they built up Robin as this great love for Ted only to end the show with future Ted telling his kids “that’s how I met your Aunt Robin.” Of course that leads to another problem in the narration where future Ted tells his kids about stories now parent would share like his one night stand with Winnie Cooper. Then half way through the show, the future kids disappear from the show completely as if we, the viewer, wouldn’t notice. Then the show ended its season much like it started with Ted blindly pining over Robin. You already told us they are not ending up together so why waste our time?
Okay, enough with the negative, let’s get to the good stuff: Doogie Howser. Doogie’s character on the show is so great, I may even start referring to him as Barney in the near future. First off, Barney is good for a new catch phrase that I would be using obsessively by Tuesday morning, with some of my favorites being the Lemon Law, Legendary, and of course Suit Up. Unfortunately my cousin Ted is married so I can’t do the, “Have you met Ted?” And there is his pinnacle of practical jokes when he got Robin to do the Ickey Shuffle on live television. Classic. You could stick Barney on any show and I’d watch it, he’s that entertaining.
Then there is Marshall and Lily who surprisingly avoid being the obnoxious couple even when they go into their lovey dovey moments. I chalk that up to Alyson Hannigan who can easily portray the guy’s girl then switch to the girly girl effortlessly. And the former Willow even brought in some of here Buffy-verse almni as former Wesley Wyndam-Price, who just happens to be Hannigan’s real life husband, stopped by for an arc as Robin’s co-anchor/stalker and former Fred even stopped by as a former Barney conquest. But my favorite guest of the season was Victoria as Ted’s culinary girlfriend who sadly went off to Germany leaving Ted to go back to obsessing over Robin. Yawn.
Hopefully for the second season, they quickly break up Ted and Robin, get back Lily and Marshall, have Banrey have promiscuous sex with many anonymous partners (even with Robin if that gets her away from Ted) and hopefully they give Hannigan enough time off to make an appearance or two in Neptune again next year.
How I Met Your Mother 1.x gets a on my Terror Alert Scale. It also won a STA.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Last year, around the time U2 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I began to wonder why, after twenty-five years of being one of, if not the best band in the world, the band hadn’t spawned a new generation of U2-wannabes. Even newer, and lesser bands such as Green Day and Nirvana have inspired many of the bands of today, but there still are not any new U2’s with only Snow Patrol comes to mind. Well there is now a band, that comes from a surprising source, openly hoping to be the next U2 and that would be former Blink182 guitarist, Tom Delonge’s new band Angels and Airwaves.
Yes, a member of a band best known for being naked in their videos and sodomy jokes in their songs has grown up and there is not a one fart joke on the group’s debut, We Don’t Need to Whisper. Instead the album focuses on the seriousness of relationship something Blink182 had already been moving towards on later albums. But the songs here do lack the faith overtones that seem to soak into a lot of the U2 catalogue.
So if there is a comparison to U2, it would be sonically where Angels and Airwaves builds a wall of sound opposed to heavily relying on the drummer as Blink182 did. The opener, Valkyrie Missile builds up to a crescendo and takes it’s time tapering off at the end much like Where the Streets Have no Name. Well so does The Adventure which highlights the problem with the album, diversity. Most of the songs blend into each other, not noticing where one ends and the next one begins even with spacing in-between and the songs themselves, all of which clock in at over four minutes seem to drag on. Also the choruses of It Hurts and Distraction get old real quick.
It’s a novel idea trying to copy the style of the best band of my generation, but at the end of the day, it still sounds like the dude from Blink182. And the rest of the band, made up of Dave Kennedy of Delonge’s other side project Box Car Racer, Ryan Sinn, formally of The Distillers, and Atom Willard, who has drummed for Rocket from the Crypt and The Offspring, just are not close to the musicianship of The Edge, Adam and Larry, nor have the history the close friends had even before starting U2 with Bono. But at least Angels and Airwaves haven’t run naked through a video yet or uttered a fart joke.
Song to Download - The Adventure
We Don’t Need to Whisper gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.