Saturday, March 01, 2008

I Drink Your Milkshake, I Drink it Up

McDonald's Shamrock Shake

There are many things that make March the greatest month of the year, St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness, the beginning of spring, the occasional Mardi Gras or Easter. But there is no greater March ritual than McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes, the minty goodness that the restaurant chain rolls out each year to celebrate the Irish’s special day and this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame. Unfortunately it seems I am not the only person enamored by the drink because it seems whenever I drive by my local establishment they say they are already out which leads me on a pilgrimage to all the McDonald’s in a twenty-five mile radius.

Hopefully you all are familiar with Shamrock Shakes because I’m not entirely sure if the whole nation gets the specialty shake this time of year as I was in San Diego a couple years ago in early March when I asked person at the counter in the airport if they had any Shamrock Shakes and he gave me this look as if I was speaking another language (okay, maybe that isn’t an unusual reaction I get from strangers). So for those unfamiliar with them and to show that I am, indeed, not insane, here is a commercial. God bless YouTube.

Friday, February 29, 2008

I Want My Music Television vol. XX

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I though I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form so here they are courtesy of YouTube. I advise you to watch them before you read my reviews if you don’t want me to spoil things. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available, if not the link goes to YouTube where you can watch the video in full screen). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

We Are the Ones - and the Pretentious All-Stars

The first man love video for Barak Obama was entertaining in a where did they find Ashley Banks kind of way. But this is just overkill. C’mon, Landry, I expect better of you. And like a dude from Texas in a Christian death metal band would ever vote Democrat. The only thing than can be considered entertaining about this video is figuring out which “stars” appear because the whole heartedly think Obama would make a great president and which ones just signed on for self promotion. This harkens back to the last election cycle with Diddy’s Vote or Die campaign when some of the spokespeople weren’t even registered to vote (*cough* Paris Hilton *cough*). And Jessica Alba’s diatribe makes me think that it is about time to bring back the IQ test for voting.

Touch my Body - Mariah Carey

I am not entirely sure if this is a serious video from Mariah Carey or if she is thinking she is semi-ironic. I guess I am too busy figuring out why she wears less clothing the older she gets. Can we expect a Playboy layout when she his sixty?

You Don’t Think I’m Funny Anymore - Willie Nelson

What do you do when people don’t find you funny anymore, well if you are Willie Nelson you get Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson and, um, Jessica Simpson to drive lawnmowers. And unlike the previous video, this one is legitimately funny.

Broken - Tift Merritt

In a story I broke earlier this week, Tift Merritt has a new album out (see Come Gather Me in Like a Rainstorm) and here is a video for my favorite song off the album.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Previewing Dirt

Warning: mild spoilers ahead for the new season of Dirt which premieres this Sunday at 10:00 on FX.

Courteney Cox in DirtWhenever I stand in the grocery checkout line and glance over to see a headline to the effect of, “Jamie Lynn Spears tells boyfriend he’s not her baby daddy” I always feel a little dirty. Which would make Dirt the perfect title for a show about a tabloid magazine. The show was created by Courteney Cox and David Arquette and follows Cox as DirtNow’s editor in chief and dealing in rumors and innuendos didn’t help her character as she was stabbed by one of her biggest target of the first season in the finale who subsequently was hit by a car after fleeing the scene.

Despite the nausea inducing concept of following the lowest of the low on the human evolutionary scale, the show has a quick wit and more than a few interesting characters most notably the lead paparazzo that carries on conversations with his cat. The new season also sees a new reporter that Dirt fleeces from a more respectable newspaper who has to unlearn what he studied in journalism school to get ahead in his new job and Willa (Alex Breckenridge) has no problem showing him the ropes.

More Courteney Cox in DirtNaturally the cliffhanger of Cox is resolved quickly (surprise, she’s alive) and she is back to work to find that somehow she has been scooped on her own stabbing by the other tabloids and is out to find a new story. The first she finds is story about a pregnant former stripper who inherited a substantial sum from her much older billionaire husband. Mmm, where have I hear this before?

Other stories under consideration are a starlet who is caught chasing after he former assistant’s mom, again strangely familiar. Then there is the sitcom star, as played by Tom Arnold who knows a thing or two about tabloids, who has a answering machine message calling his daughter names leaked to the internet (it’s like déjà vu…) followed by a YouTube phenomenon where he is drunk on the kitchen eating a pasta bowl (…all over again).

Yea, that is totally supposed to be Paris HiltonThen there is the famous for being famous heiress Milan Carlton, played by the chick from Point Pleasant, who drunkenly drives on the off ramp prompting some jail time. An heiress with no redeemable talent and a city in Europe first name and a hotel for the last who spent time jail; why does that sound familiar? This is going to bug me for a while until I can figure that out. But I do not remember the real life story ending as hilariously.

You can try to figure it out for yourself when the second season premiere of Dirt airs this Sunday at 10:00 on FX. You can also check out Dirt on iTunes or Amazon Unbox.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Maybe We Should Ask Barak if He’s Comfortable and Needs Another Pillow

Before I get into the debate itself, let me thank the local NBC station for preempting the series premiere of Quaterlife, sparing my neighbors from even the opportunity of seeing the show. I had seen an advanced copy of the first episode almost a year ago and was surprised to learn that not only they decided to make more for the internet that they would actually put it on network television. The show is horribly acted with dialogue that is too talky, and obviously written by dudes on the wrong side of fifty, spoken by characters that are not at all likable. As someone who recently went through a Quaterlife crisis I am offended by such crap.

As for the debate itself, you know your campaign is in trouble if you are complaining about always having to answer the questions first. One should be happy to get to answer a question first so you can get the chance to set the tone and the tone Hilary Clinton set last night is that she is a complainer. And she didn’t help dig herself out of that whole when she awkwardly referenced the Saturday Night Live, asking Barak Obama (seriously, Fred Armesen?) if he would like a pillow. Not only did she did not get a laugh when she paused for one, there was a dead silence followed by a spattering of boos.

That was basically about the involvement of the Cleveland crowd which seemed to be about as bored as I was, no cheering, no real booing, not even an applaud line. And the pre-show Hardball with Chris Matthews from the Cleveland State University, the background was almost as sedate to the point I was embarrassed to have taken classes there. Usually when Hardball is on a college campus, the crowd is raucous with opposing signs and warring chants for their candidate of choice even if they were not there. Instead we got what looked like a church choir with blue shirts which was puzzling because I though Green was school color.

I know it was so snowy to the point instead of announcing all the school closings, the local radio DJ just said, “If you can hear my voice, you don’t have to go to school today,” (not to mentioned I have had to shovel three times in the past two days with snow banks getting up to my waist) you’d think there would be some student that would take the five minute walk from the dorm to where the debate was just for the change of getting national television. This doesn’t bode well for Obama if the weather is bad come November. Oh and here is the previously mentioned SNL sketch:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Come and Gather Me in Like a Rainstorm

Another Country - Tift Merritt

Another Country is a perfect title for an album by Tift Merritt. Even though she is a country artist in the traditional sense, but she certainly isn’t like mainstream country has become over the past three decades which insults the intelligences of those of us north of the Mason-Dixon Line with at the very least a high school diploma. While listening songs about how sexy tractors or checking chicks for chicks, you can almost here the Nashville record executives telling artist to dumb it down for those who are still so amused by the Doppler Effect they are willing to watch cars turn left for hours on end.

So unfortunately true country artist like Merritt, Ryan Adams and Shelby Lynne get lost in the shuffle as the country label scares off the educated but their songs are too high brow for country radio (ironically enough Lupe Fiasco wrote Dumb it Down for the rap radio which is starting to fill up with as much morons as country radio). But do not let the country label scare you; Merritt is more Emmylou Harris than a redneck woman like Gretchen Wilson.

In fact the album is virtually void of fiddles and banjos (there is plenty of slide guitar though) and her Carolina drawl isn’t overwhelming she can certainly finds her way around a melody. Where country radio is filled with the same tired guitar riffs and done me wrong lyrics, Another Country effortlessly deviates from the formula with songs that pull in influences from rock, folk, bluegrass and even and even a song with some R&B influenced horns. And she probably doesn’t invite any new country listeners in with her album closer which is sung in French.

Song to Download - Broken

Or you can currently download Morning Is My Destination for free on Amazon MP3.

Another Country gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, February 25, 2008

You’d Rather Be Scared than Bored to Death

Day&nightdriving - Seven Mary Three

Seven Mary Three is best known for their biggest (arguably only though Water’s Edge rocked too) hit Cumbersome. The song was the epitome of southern rock with crunching post-grunge guitars and a singer with such a menacing voice it sounded like he gargles with Whiskey for a month before he laid his growl to the record. The fact that the dude rocked a Fu-Manchu somehow made the song even. To this day, you can still hear drunken bar dwellers who can come up with a quarter to put in a jukebox that hasn’t changed its tracks in a decade chant “I have become cumbersome” despite not having a clue what that even means.

Twelve years and five years later Seven Mary Three is still at it with their latest album Day&nightdriving. And what makes the album so disappointing is the loss of that month long Whisjey gargling voice. It is almost as if they replaced the lead singer with someone who takes shots of milk and walks right out of a club if he sees just one person smoking inside. If it were not for Cumbersome, Day&nightdriving would be a decent southern rock jam that is the right mix of rock and roll, country, and folk. But if you love the nineties as much as VH1, it would be hard to listen to the album without hoping that the singer just lets loose the distinctive snarl from their most famous song.

Song to Download - Last Kiss

Day&nightdriving gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. XXI

Quote of the Week: You just Scooby Doo’d me, didn’t you? (Hurley, Lost)

Song of the Week: Good Lovin’ - The Young Rascals (As song by multiple Coma Guys, Eli Stone)

Big News of the Week: Friday Night Lights Shines On, Maybe: In a story I broke two weeks ago, Ben Silverman Is a Humongous Tool. Since then there were rumors of a Friday Night Lights movie to wrap up the show which I discredited because that is the token cool down the fanatics but making them think they will get a movie. Of course I’m still waiting an Angel movie The WB promised after it unceremoniously axed that show.

Keep Friday Night Lights On.  BWE.tvThen Variety posted an article (which I found courtesy of Herc of Ain’t It Cool fame) which said not only is there a possibility of a third season of Friday Night Lights, but it may be on multiple channels (think what NBC did this year with one of its five hundred Law and Order’s airing earlier on USA and saw a ratings boost). What makes me suspicious of this article is that NBC declined to comment, and there is no source mention in the article. Plus the network floated for sharing the show are The CW (why would they share with another network channel), E! (which only airs trashy shows, so FNL would not fit between The Girls Next Door reruns), and G4 (you know, the video game channel, granted Madden is one of the best selling video games and it does syndicate the also canceled too soon Arrested Development). More credible channels mentioned were TNT (who know drama so would fit perfectly) and Direct TV (which previously picked up daytime NBC show Passions). But even then, unlike the L&O case, none of these are owned by NBC Universal like USA. So until I hear anything official from NBC, my hopes will not be raised.

Coalition Links of the Week:
Buzz wondered if a movie version of The Wire would be a good idea. (BuzzSugar)

Sandie shared a preview clip from the new season of FX's Dirt. (Daemon's TV)

The return of live American Idol makes Mikey nostalgic for the TV of yesteryear. (Mikey Likes TV)

Marcia considered whether Ashes to Ashes was a worthy successor to Life on Mars. (Pop Vultures)

Rae dissected what she liked and disliked about the Knight Rider movie and admits she'd probably still give it a shot if NBC picks it up. (RTVW)

Cover your ears, TV fans. Jennifer couldn’t contain her anger and ranted against NBC for canceling Las Vegas. (Tube Talk)

The TV Addict helps pitch Friday Night Lighta to the CW, TNT and SCI FI. (the TV Addict)

Vance LOVES Lost even though he is completely lost while trying to follow the show. (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace was underwhelmed by Knight Rider, entranced by Lost, and hungry for more of BBC's culinary competition, Last Restaurant Standing. (Televisionary)

Dan dug up some reality show contestants' porno past, including folks from Survivor and American Gladiators. (TiFaux)

Raoul interviewed Mary from Survivor. (TV Filter)

Welcome to the Captain: Still isn’t funny. Seriously, a cameo by Chunky Spice from *NSYNC? Check out the latest episodes over at Innertube. You can also download or Welcome to the Captain on iTunes.

My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad: Okay, I didn’t actually watch this. But from the five seconds they showed on Best Night Ever, I’m thinking Family Double Dare should sue.

Survivor: There has to be an inverse correlation between the intelligence of the survivors to the enjoyably of a season and thank God the favorites are some of the dumbest that have played the game. First you have Cirie deciding to go with the two couples instead of the loosely configured alliance. Then instead of trying to convince her of getting back into their alliance, Jonathan decides to berate her at camp and tribal council. And out of nowhere, Amy decides to vote for Cirie instead of with her alliance. And to make the episode even more enjoyable, they allowed contact between the survivor in the immunity challenge which always end badly. And by badly, I mean highly enjoyable. You had dudes body slamming chicks, people pull off other people’s clothes, Mike hitting on the other tribe. They really need to have more full contact challenges per seasons. Check out the latest episode over at Innertube.

Survivor on iTunes

Lost: Ugg, it looks like Lost may be falling back into its cycle of fifty-five minutes of tedium boredom with five minutes of jaw dropping plot twists. And even Not-Henry was calling out the show for recycling its plots with Locke locking up in a room bringing him food like in season two. Really the only thing that happened in the first fifty-five minutes was the revelation that everyone off the island thinks that only the Oceanic Six survived the crash aside from two that died after the crash. Of course being Lost this will end up sounding more important that it actually will be.

The big shocker of course being that Kate is now taking care of Aaron and it sounds as if she is making people believe that it is hers, this also presumably answers the question of who Kate had to get back to in the finale. But of course it creates more questions than it answered. Like does Aaron count as part of the six? I can see this going either way. Why would Jack avoid Aaron? Does he not know it is him? Or is his guilt so large that he doesn’t want to be reminded of what he did? I guess he hasn’t found out that it is his nephew. What happens to Claire? Does she die? Is she still on the island? Did she give up Aaron voluntarily so he didn’t have to grow up on the island? And where were the creepy black dude and/or his minions during the episodes, the one that approached Hurley and presumably Sayid is killing?

But during the uber-boring first part, I got to thinking of the Oceanic 6’s celebrity and the funeral that Jack went to last season. Many assumed Locke but it seems unlikely that a member of the Oceanic 6 would have no one show up at their funeral, certainly there are the morbid celerity seekers that would show up. My other thought back then was Not-Henry, but he seemed too powerful to end up like that. I am wondering if it were one of the Other Redux, the one whom he made a plan with to get off the island that ended up in the casket, Miles maybe. Check out the latest episode over at

Lost iTunes

Eli Stone: In my First Impressions, I mentioned that if Andrew from Buffy the Vampire Slayer showed up I may have to check myself for an aneurism, well Uncle Phil showing up is close enough. Seriously, this show may have the best casting director on television, well if it weren’t for the chick from Species. If only the writing were as good, it was pretty well telegraphed that the nappy headed lawyer would end up being offered a job. Check out the latest episode over at You can also download Eli Stone on iTunes.

Promo of the Week: After hyping the free Sports Illustrated Swimsuit video last week, I did a little stalking researching of the host of the video Brooklyn Decker and found that she was cast in failed NBC pilot, Lipshitz Saves the World and even though the show did not get picked up, of course a trailer for the show popped up on YouTube:

Seriously, how was this not picked up. I had the making of instantly being the funniest show on television. It would be like Chuck: The High School Years but actually funny and somehow with a hotter Token Hot Chick. Plus it has Leslie Nielsen playing Leslie Nielsen. Hopefully it is not too late for a slot on newly announced NBC year long television season or at the very least the concepy would make for a great movie idea. Someone get Judd Apatow on the phone for that.

Next Week’s Pick: Democratic Debate, Tuesday at 9:00 on MSNBC: You think the marketing people at a major network would be able to come up with a better nickname than Super Tuesday II but apparently that is what they are going with. A week before Texas and Ohio go to the polls, the two candidate’s debate just north of me. This may be Hilary Clinton’s last stand as she hasn’t won a primary or caucus since the original Super Tuesday. Nor can she be happy that Dave Schuster got reinstated just before the debate on the same channel. But it is hard to feel sorry for her about the pimping comments when she is eager to make light of her husband’s infidelities at the last debate. You really can’t take the moral high ground when you do that. But anyways. Since I am within driving distance (and have a working Cleveland State student ID), if MSNBC, the Democratic Party, or anyone who can hook me up with some tickets, credentials, or get my questions included in the debate, or get me into a Frank Luntz focus group, shout me a holla.