Saturday, September 22, 2007
This Monday during the eight o’clock hour sees the debut of two shows that features a nerd whose life is infiltrated by a token hot chick. Of the two shows, The Big Bang Theory by far handles the geek culture better. But on the other hand Chuck doesn’t utilize a laugh track (more on Chuck Monday). The “audience” for The Big Bang Theory laughed about four times before they actually said something that made me laugh. Sure the laugh track worked on me when I was nine watching Family Matters (Urkel: now there was a real nerd) but I can’t imagine anyone whose age has reached the double digits that doesn’t see through a laugh track. Seriously, if you film before a studio audience, just go with the natural laugh a joke generates. And if a joke doesn’t get a laugh from them, maybe you should think about cutting the joke from the show not artificially creating a laugh.
Crappy laugh tracks aside, being someone who knows whether to use an integral or differential to solve for an area under a curve, the show is right up my alley. Well that is until I found out the show is from the “comic geniuses” behind Two and a Half Men. Yet The Big Bang Theory is surprisingly funny thanks in part of their grasp on nerds. Granted some of the jokes did bomb which were then only highlighted more in the in fallibility by the laugh track. But I wonder if those are actually found funny by people with IQ’s in the double digits who then scratch their head at the jokes I laughed at. Maybe, if my theory is correct, the ingeniously created a show that both morons and smart people can enjoy. Naw.
The show itself centers on a pair of nerds who live and work together, Johnny Galecki (Dave Matthews Band Satellite video) and Jim Parsons (School for Scoundrels) who get extremely lucky when a moderately attractive, but somewhat intellectually challenges, member of the opposite sex moves in next door in the form of Kaley Cuoco (Growing Up Brady). The rest of the cast is filled with more nerdy colleagues including the want to be cool Simon Helberb (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) complete with old school Nintendo controller belt buckle, and the silent one Kunel Nayyar (nothing). But when it comes down to it, if you have seen the extended promo for the show, you basically have seen all the best parts. And if you are wondering why the people singing the theme sound familiar it is because it is the Barenaked Ladies which is a natural fit for the show. You can actually download the theme on iTunes or on the Amazon MP3site.
Verdict: In the battle between the nerds, Chuck currently holds a slight edge if only because it has the hotter Token Hot Chick. But if you can find time to fit How I Met Your Mother into your schedule, you might as well stick around and watch The Big Bang Theory or tape it as well. At least as long as it stays out of Two and a Half Men territory. The Big Bang Theory airs Mondays at 8:30 on CBS. You can download the Pilot episode for free on iTunes or on Amazon Unbox (see right for ad).
One more television related story, I wasn’t going to mention that you can watch the season premiere of Friday Night Lights over at Yahoo because 1) certainly you have already heard about it by know, and 2) I hadn’t planned to watch it myself because I would rather wait and watch it on my television. Well that was until Herc over at Ain’t it Cool mentioned, “Yahoo has the whole second season premiere, featuring many of the lead actresses cavorting in swimwear here.” So I have a feeling that I will be watching the show sometime this weekend. And if you are still on the fence on whether you are going to watch the show or not, if that sentence doesn’t get you to watch, I don’t know what will.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Well they blew up the chicken man in China last night and my sources tell me that they blew up his house too. But anyways.
Two seasons ago Survivor trotted out their Jim Crow edition dividing the four tribes by race. Even though they didn’t do that the following season, the producers said that would continue filling the tribes with people of diverse backgrounds which they in Fiji. Then this season in China the racial breakdown goes like this (assuming I am correctly guessing their ethnicity): Blacks - 2, Asian - 2; Hispanics - 0; Whites - 11. But they did bring back the token gay homosexual which I don’t remember them having one for a while and if I am not mistaken this season has the very first French dude. So there is progess in that sense.
And the white people didn’t really represent the race very well, most notably, Courtney Yates, who completely disrespected the Chinese culture by whining through the whole thing with a holier than thou attitude and Leslie Nease who walked out of the ceremony because she only bows to Jesus. Listen ladies: you are the reason why the terrorists, and now most of the world, hate us. Ever heard the phrase when in Rome? And Leslie, I am a religious person myself and have been in a Buddhist Temple before and even have a little Buddha on my bookshelf but I don’t worship him. And didn’t you hear Jeff Probst say it wasn’t a religious ceremony? Morons.
Added to that we get the closest thing to a celebrity in a WWE wrestler (Synergy Alert! Ashey appears on Friday Night Smackdown on The CW which just so happens to be owned by the same company that owns CBS). And not surprisingly, even though Ashley Massaro was on the chopping block, she of course wasn’t the one to leave the first week even though she deserved to go more so than Steve “Chicken” Morris who knew more about the outdoors that the rest of his tribe combined. Hooray synergy. Is there anywhere I can bet that Leslie’s radio station just happens to be owned by CBS?
But you got to love how Probst said that the tribes had to leave all their worldly possessions behind even though they were all dressed in their nice cloths that the show probably told them to wear to the ceremony just so they would be forced to walk around in their underwear all season. Yet the ban of worldly possessions was lifted slightly so the could get their running shoes. How shameless (not that I’m complaining). Zhan Hun (which every time is spoken I think they are saying John Who) then dominated the immunity challenge and looking at their tribe we might have a complete sweep in challenges this year. The show better switch it up soon before that happens. Now for some predictions:
Will Be Most Loved: Dave Cruser
Will Be Most Hated: Lesie
Most Likely to Quit: Sherea Lloyd
Greatest Mullet in Reality TV History: Denise Martin
Girl Whom I’d Still Have Dirty, Dirty Sex with Even if She Hasn’t Showered in a Month: Jamie Dugan
Should Be Voted Off Next: Courtney
Winner: Amanda Kimmel
Back Up Winner: James Clement
Verdict: An auspicious start with the blatant synergy knocking out what could have been the most interesting character this season, the Chicken man. No we have to settle with the gay Morman flight attendant Todd Herzog who at first impressions just seems like a carbon copy of Brandon from Africa. But I’ll be tuning in next week just to see if there is gonna be a rumble out on the promenade. Survivor China airs Thursdays at 8:00 on CBS. You can watch the latest episodes at innertube.cbs.com.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Scooter Note: This contest is over. Congratulation to Geraldine from Boca Raton, FL who won the copy of Nip/Tuck DVD. Be sure to check back later this month for an exclusive look at season 5 and other contests.
I could never get into Nip/Tuck because I have a low tolerance for blood. And whenever I happen upon the show when flipping through channels I usually happen upon a scene that usually make me thank that I never started watching. But for those that don’t mind all the graphic surgery scenes I have a treat for you, in honor of the fifth season starting up on October 30th on FX, I am giving away one copy of the fourth season of Nip/Tuck on DVD. There are three ways you can enter:
1. Tell me what you don’t like about yourself (yeah it’s shameless, but that’s just how I roll).
2. My sources tell me the boys are closing up shop and moving to southern California, so which Hollywood star(let) who you most like see walk into their office this season?
3. Mention and link this contest on a blog or message board. (Only one entry allowed per message board and link must be posted at least 48 hours before the conclusion of the contest; feel free to use the badge to the right).
You can e-mail your entries to ScooterKSU(at)aol(dot)com (subject: Nip/Tuck) or leave them here in the comment section (but if you leave a comment make sure there is an easy way for me to find how to contact you). If you link the contest, make sure you let me know you did by comment or e-mail letting me know where so you get credited with an entry. You may enter multiple times (up to three times). The contest ends Friday, October 12 at 11:59 PM EST. The winner will be picked at random from all eligible entries and will be contacted shortly after. Also this contest is only open to people with shipping addresses in the Untied States.
Okay enough with all the legal mumbo jumbo out of the way here is exactly what you will be winning.
Sex. Seduction. Liposuction. Find them all in the fearless Nip/Tuck, the award-winning series that's the scalpel's edge of entertainment...and the spark for debate about what cosmetic surgery can or cannot bring to a patient's life. Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon play plastic surgeons/best friends whose glamorous South Beach practice is a revolving door for Season 4's hot-button issues (including a terrifying story arc about an organ-harvest ring) and human foibles (a ventriloquist wants to look like his dummy). Guest stars include Jacqueline Bissett, Larry Hagman, Alanis Morissette, Mo'Nique, Rosie O'Donnell, Brooke Shields and more. Thrills, surprises, shocks, stars abound in this 5-Disc Set. And all it takes is a little Nip/Tuck. Season 4 DVD
- Clever Casting: The Seasons Guest Stars
- Sizzle: The Sexuality of Nip/Tuck
- The Cutting Edge: How Real-Life Dramas Are Incorporated into the Show
- Additional Scenes
- Deleted Scenes
- Gag Reel
Like I mentioned before, the fifth season of Nip/Tuck starts up on October 30th and really, what better way to start off your Halloween celebrations. To wet your appitite below are some exclusive pictures from the new season (click to enlarge) as well as a promo for the new season as well the previous seasons of Nip/Tuck that you can pick up on DVD:
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Like I mentioned in Part 1, A couple weeks ago I realized I never got around to giving full season reviews of many of the past year’s programs. But I figured since the introduction of 57 Channels and Only This Is On this past year it seemed redundant to waste a whole post reiterating this I have probably said earlier. Even though I didn’t want to write up full reviews for each show, I did want to give each show a rating on my Terror Alert Scale. So here in a sort of television in review I’m going to give a quick though on each show (no seriously, I can write short things) and then give it a rating. If you want to go more in depth of my thoughts on each show, than click its label at the bottom of the post.
My Name Is Earl: It is very rare for a great show not to show signs of a sophomore slump in its second season but it even rarer for a show to actually get better. And to think after the first season I had serious doubt that Earl could continue to find entertaining thing to cross of his list. But this season saw the two funniest half hours of television with Our Cops Is On and Two Balls, Two Strikes featuring the extremely hilarious Norm McDonald with oversized, um, just watch the episode. Surprisingly the only let down was when we finally found out why the one legged woman was on the list. But a season filled with Joy arguing with her deaf lawyer, a trip to Mexico, and plenty of Camden County’s finest reappearing definitely made up for it. And for those that can’t wait for the new season, head over to NBC.com where you can see a Free Earl music video made by the Camden residents as well as download the mp3. My Name Is Earl 2.x gets a on my Terror Alert Scale. The show also won two Scooter Television Awards (five lifetime). Download the whole season of My Name Is Earl iTunes.
Rescue Me: after three stellar seasons the show had its first sub-par one. The plotlines seemed to be dropped for now reason with little or no payoff, there where just way too many moments where Tommy’s antic left everyone scratching their head and Papa Gavin showed up late in the season only to die on us. If Denis Leary wants a mulligan I’ll be happy to forget this season ever existed. Rescue Me 4.x gets a on my Terror Alert Scale. The show also won an STA (three lifetime).
Smallville: Actually I can’t really remember much of the past season but if they really killed off the Token Hot Chick I will never watch this show again. Smallville 6.x gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: Here is a story of two seasons. The first half knocked out some of the best television of the year from the Pilot to the Wrap Party to the Christmas episode with plenty of great behind the scenes of what goes on at a television show and a network. Then when it became clear that the show was heading for cancellation it seemed like Aaron Sorkin stopped caring and the second half was bogged down by the horrible courtship of Danny and Jordan and his uber-liberal take on the Iraq war. Who knows how great the show could have been if he seemed to care the whole season. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip 1.x gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Veronica Mars: Many people complained of the mini arcs, but those people are morons because the first arc finale, Spit and Eggs is up there as one of the greats in the series run. Same for those that complained about the stand alone episodes because the series finale is also near the top. The heart of the show was the relationships. For three seasons Ronnie and Keith remain the best father daughter on television, Vee and Wallace were the best friends on television and the only one who possible liked Dick more than I did was Dick himself. Sure people like to jump on board flashier names in the Grey’s Anatomy, Heroes and Friday Night Lights, but there was no show more entertaining this past year than Veronica Mars. And now that the series is over we can stop debating if it is the best show currently on television and start throwing it into the discussion of bet ever. Veronica Mars 3.x gets a on my Terror Alert Scale. The show also won five STA’s (fourteen lifetime). Download the whole season of Veronica Mars on iTunes.
In my life, very rarely do I ever give up on a television show before its run is completely over but this year there were four shows that I actually gave up in the middle of the season. I don’t think there have been four shows that I dumped midseason in my previous years of watching televisions. Here’s what and why:
Jericho was so boring Invasion seemed fast pace in comparison and there is nothing more shocking than to see that people actually cared that is was canceled because CBS was right to do so in the first place.
The Class was basically a place holder between How I Met Your Mother and Heroes but after a month and no laughs I found I rather spend that time reading, the show was that bad.
Everything that could have gone wrong went horribly wrong for Pirate Master. Maybe you shouldn’t have filled the cast with rejects from the stack of Survivor applications.
After I deemed the last year’s Supernatural the worst season finale ever, I didn’t plan to watch it this season, but when it was announced that Meg Manning was going to make an appearance (and Studio 60 moving from its timeslot) I though I’d give it another try. Bad idea. Sure the show does have the ability to crank out a great episode or two but there are just too many mediocre X-Files retreads in-between to watch week in and week out.
For those wondering where Friday Night Lights is, the show was one of the few full season reviews I wrote this year thanks in part to it ending in April (see Clear Eyes, Full Hearts Can’t Lose). I bring this up because in the most recent ESPN The Magazine, one of my favorite writes (at least when he is not trying to defend cheater Bill Belichicken) Bill Simmon wrote an impassion article about why you should watch Friday Night Lights (that can also be found at ESPN.com; see Don’t Turn off the “Lights”). I have to agree with everything he says including how the Pilot was clichéd and how the Taylors are two of the best actor on his Tivo (not that I’m pretentious to have a Tivo). Okay he lost me at The OC comparison, but overall it is a great read especially if you are still on the fence on whether to start watching yet.
And for those that want to run your own television network, TelvisionWithouPity is starting up a new fantasy television game, TVBigShot.com. It started off to auspicious start because the link in the e-mail the sent me initially didn’t work, then when I tried later I was able to create an account but wasn’t able to log in. I was finally able to get through to day and filled the appropriately named Scooter McGavin Television. There is a monthly prize and a grand prize of $100,000 at the end of the year which I doubt I’ll win because I went with quality over quantity. If decide to play, a word of advice, don’t just start picking shows like I did because you only have a limited about of money to spend. First write down your favorite shows and their cost, and then pick and choose within your budget because it will cost you money to drop a show once you have selected it.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
During Beauty of Uncertainty on her new album Drastic Fantastic, Scottish singer KT Tunstall tells us, “There’s no sense in traveling if we've already been that way.” That sentiment was very apparent on her debut, Eye to the Telescope, where every song was carefully crafted without repeating themes or sounds yet still having the ability to keep each song under the umbrella of adult contemporary. That helped garner the album a rare Severe rating (fun fact: out of two hundred and twenty-one album reviews, only four have been rated Severe).
The quote can also be applied to the new disk where Tunstall wisely doesn’t true to recreate the quirky hit Black Horse and the Cherry Tree. And that is the blessing and the curse of Drastic Fantastic. That hit was a huge risk that paid off tremendously but on the new disk Tunstall tends to play it safe carefully crafting each song into something that is more traditionally found on adult contemporary radio.
There are some flashes throughout the album like the funky upright bass found on the first single Hold On, but the bassist on the song rarely gets a moment to shine as the instrument spends most of the song forced into the background of the backing track. Then near the end there is a smoky, slow burner Beauty of Uncertainty that builds like a train coming down the track.
The rest of the album though falls directly into Adult Contemporary heavyweights Sheryl Crow and Matchbox Twenty territory: there is nothing horrible but then again there is nothing that really stands out. The polished edges may garner her more radio play, but KT may want to leave the wax behind for her next album if she want to make another album as good as Eye to the Telescope.
Song to Download - Hold On
Dramatic Fantastic gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Monday, September 17, 2007
A couple weeks ago I realized I never got around to giving full season reviews of many of the past year’s programs. But I figured since the introduction of 57 Channels and Only This Is On this past year it seemed redundant to waste a whole post reiterating this I have probably said earlier. Even though I didn’t want to write up full reviews for each show, I did want to give each show a rating on my Terror Alert Scale. So here in a sort of television in review I’m going to give a quick though on each show (no seriously, I can write short things) and then give it a rating. If you want to go more in depth of my thoughts on each show, than click its label at the bottom of the post.
Everybody Hates Chris: One of the most consistent comedies on television, but even though that means there are no bad episodes, there really are not too many great episodes either. Plus you never know which long forgotten black actors that are going to pop up with this season seeing Jimmie Walker and Todd Bridges making appearances. Everybody Hates Chris 2.x gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Greek: Typically I avoid shows that can qualify as a guilty pleasure but since it aired during the summer when there is nothing else on it makes it less guilty. Plus the show is on the high end of guilty pleasures thanks to its sometimes high brow humor with jokes about Dick Cheney and Ronald Reagan (thanks to Frannie, the pseudo-conservative sorority president who is one of the most entertaining characters on television). Aside from Frannie the rest of the show was pretty hit or miss. Greek 1.x gets a on my Terror Alert Scale. Download the whole season of Greek on iTunes.
Heroes: I’m not sure what is annoying, the Lost fanboys that would have you believe the show is still as good as its first season or the Heroes fanboys who ignore some humungous flaws, most notable it is poorly written and its acting is even worse. Then some of the secondary heroes (see Radioactive Man, Invisible Dude, the Haitian) are much more entertaining than the main ones like. Hearing Cop needs to die. Split Personality Chick needs to die. Absorbing Guy needs to stay dead. And wouldn’t you know, the three worst characters were all seen in the future. Then the show went and broke the cardinal rule of shows like this and didn’t kill off the Big Bad. Shows should never recycle Big Bads. Maybe if they kill off the three characters above, have the new Big Bad kill off Sylar early (after he repents for his sins), start turning Hiro dark (because he is already starting to get annoying), and bring in Rob Thomas (no, not the dude from Matchbox Twenty) to write for Kristen Bell and maybe Heroes can finally live up to the hype it got in the first season. Heroes 1.x gets a on my Terror Alert Scale. The show also won an Scooter Television Award.
How I Met Your Mother: The show hit a big sophomore slump this year. But I guess that would happen when Ted spends the entire season tied to someone we already know is the mother in question. Added to that the show spend too much time trying humanizing Barney. I prefer my Barney with no redeeming qualities. How I Met Your Mother 2.x gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Knights of Prosperity: One of the biggest crimes against humanity was this show never finding an audience thanks to ABC screwing with its scheduling then saying they couldn’t find a slot for it this fall though they found one for Cavemen as well as finding a reprieve for According to Jim. The show did rival My Name Is Earl in terms of laughs most of the time although never did quite have any instant classic episodes like Earl had this season (more on that later). The absurd cast was cast of characters were instantly likeable including Rockefeller Butts who had me on the floor every time he opened his mouth. Knights of Prosperity 1.x gets a on my Terror Alert Scale. The show also won two STA’s.
Lost: The show recovered a little after suffering one of the worst sophomore slumps ever in television history. And the show looks to be curing one of its worst ills, boring flash forwards (seriously did anyone care anymore when we found how Locke got in his wheelchair), with the shocking introduction of the flash forward in the finale. And I know I may be in the majority, but the two random people-centric episode was up there as one of the best in the series history just because how inane it was. I laughed more during that episode than I did during an hour’s worth of some sitcoms. Lost 3.x get a on my Terror Alert Scale. The show also won two STA’s (five lifetime).
Check back later this week for part 2.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Big News of the Week: The New Television Season Starts This Week: Or so I’m told. There is only one show on my schedule this week. Only one hour of network television: I guess I can catch up on my reading. Naw, I’ll waste it playing video games. Of course if you cannot wait for some of the new shows, many of them have popped up on Amazon’s Unbox. But be warned for those new to Unbox as the DRM is more strict that iTunes (or so my token geeky friend would have me believe) and has an excruciatingly long download time (seriously five hours for a twenty minute show is way too long), but hey, they are free. Here is a rundown of all the shows you can get and links to where you can download them:
Big Bang Theory (Scooter Update: the show also popped up on iTunes today; so if you like Apple more than Amazon, download it here)
And not to be left out, iTunes is offering up Gossip Girl. Although oddly the show’s page is no longer link from the TV section in iTunes but you can get there by following the link on the name. Now I’m not entirely sure why shows about bored rich kids who have nothing better to do but have sex, do drugs, whiled being followed around by crappy music (see Beverly Hills 90210, The OC, Laguna Beach, The Hills, New Port Harbor, any E! new special on Paris Hilton) but I would sooner watch the Britney Spears performance from the VMA’s on a loop than watch another second of this show. And any fan of Veronica Mars may stick a pencil in their ear hearing Kristen Bell talk like someone who is bitter that they weren’t picked for MY Super Sweet 16. So watch at your own risk and do so without any access to sharp objects.
Greek: You think that an episode featuring Cameron Frye, Cordilia Chase and Kendall Casablancas would be a can’t miss but the finale was, in a word, underwhelming. The one saving grace was Frannie who is quickly moving up my favorite characters on television list (granted over half of them were on shows that were axed so I do a complete repopulating of the list). Her Ronald Reagan reference had me on the floor for a while. If you know anyone like Frannie, have her shout me a holla. Download the current season of Greek on iTunes.
Rescue Me: Speaking of underwhelming, that is the best word to describe the whole fourth season of Rescue Me. There we rumblings of this season ending up as just a figment of Tommy’s imagination but that may have been for the best, just take a mulligan and start over again next season with Tommy being pulled out of the beach house fire. And the ending storylines were just inane, Franco allowing Rich to get married, Lou’s cousin setting him up with the fat black chick for the revenge sex, Shawn and Maggie giving up on their marriage for I believe the fifth time this season, and the death of Tommy’s dad, who just popped up for the first time this season not too long ago just continued everything.
Check out my thoughts of Rome 1.x: Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ear.
Promo of the Week: Last week I mentioned the Mandy Moore promo for the season premiere of How I Met Your Mother and in my neverending quest to find it (which I still haven’t) I came across this video hyping a December (although the Grammy homepage says November 30th) special celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Grammy’s. You can head over to Grammy.com to vote for your favorite; presumably the top vote getters will be counted down in the special. Not surprisingly all the performances you can vote for are post-1980 and there are some questionable inclusions in the 50 you can choose from (seriously Seal?). I may have to do some research and come up with my definitive list one of these days.
Pick of the Week: Survivor: China, Thursday at 8:00 on CBS: As you may heard this is the first time any major television show has been allowed to film in the country. But if you look back at the past Survivor seasons, the some of the worst have been the land locked ones (see Africa). And CBS had the unfortunate luck of including a WWE wrestler not foreseeing the Chris Benoit incident and the ensuing steroids in pro wresting scandal. But hey, at least the is a chicken farmer named Chicken. Mmm, I wonder how he got that nickname. And what the hey, I’ll go ahead and say Chicken is my pre-season pick to win it all.
And now here is my official watching schedule of Fall 2007. Please note that either Chuck or The Big Bang Theory with likely be dumped. Chuck is currently leading just because the have the hotter Token Hot Chick. Also I may watch Journeyman if NBC.com streams the episodes.
8:00 - How I Met Your Mother (CBS September 24)
8:00 - Chuck (NBC September 24)
8:00 - Everybody Hates Chris (CW October 1)
8:30 - Big Bang Theory (CBS September 24)
9:00 - Heroes (NBC September 24)
Since network television didn’t bother putting on anything worth watching on this night I’ll take this time to continue watching some shows on DVD including the second season of Rome and the first of Big Love. Anyone have any other suggestions?
8:00 - Pushing Daisies (ABC October 3)
8:00 - Survivor (CBS September 20)
8:00 - My Name Is Earl (NBC September 27)
8:00 - Smallville (CW September 27)
9:00 - Friday Night Lights (NBC October 5)