Saturday, March 21, 2009

Best of the Week vol. XIII

Quote of the Week: Please, Dateline could use it to attract predators. (Howard; The Big Bang Theory)

Song of the Week: I Put a Spell on You – Creedence Clearwater Revivial (My Name Is Earl)

Big News of the Week: Is the Obama Honeymoon Over?: It seemed like the new president had a longer grace period than most considering our economic problem seems to get deeper and deeper. But it looks like people are realizing that Barack Obama is still acting like he is campaigning instead of actually being presidential by still touring the country with his Chicken Little routine about the economy, sharing his bracket with ESPN, and appearing on The Tonight Show where he made a not so funny joke about the Special Olympics bringing the ire of Special Olympian bowler Kolan McConiughey who responded, “I’ll beat you.” But Obama is spending less time in Washington than George Bush.

But all the extracurricular activities look like they are starting to backfire. In response to the president’s bracket, Duke Coach Mike Krzyewski responded, “Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's Final Four, and as much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets.” And speaking of the brackets, of which Obama spinelessly picked chalk which would have gotten him ruefully mock any pool across the country, he also shamefully favored swing state schools (according to the few times he took a higher seed.

And the networks are taking note of his affinity of appearing on television, the latest bumping the highest rated show on television this coming Tuesday. An unnamed source recently said, “These repeated interruptions, and the rumor of even more to come, really make it difficult to build audience flow and loyalty. We will all lose one or two million dollars for this." Another mentioned: “These frequent primetime requests are wreaking serious havoc with our schedule and our advertisers. Ratings are down everywhere and the airtime is costing us all significant dollars when we can least afford it.” And if Chuck does not come back next season, Ben Silverman says you have Obama to thank for killing its post-Super Bowl momentum. But Silverman is a douche, so take anything he says with a grain of salt.

And most damning is that people are actually putting two and two together and realizing something is fishy that AIG donated more money to the Obama than to all but one Congressman in the past twenty-five year and their employees just happened to keep their bonuses. And when it got out, he proposes an unconstitutional attempt of taxing those bonuses at 98% making it seem like he is upset but not actually being able to exact a punishment.

Coalition Links of the Week:
GMMR asked if you were a network exec and could program TV for only one hour out of each day, what would the TV schedule look like? (Give Me My Remote)

Vance is enjoying the shows no one is watching. Like newbies Kings and Better Off Ted or old faves Ugly Betty and Lost amongst many others. (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace talked to Joss Whedon about his "Man on the Street" episode of FOX's Dollhouse, why Dollhouse seems to lack the funny, and whether he would be leaving television for good. (Televisionary)

Sara celebrated the fact that Chuck was back to wearing ascots on the latest episode of Gossip Girl. (TiFaux)

Jennifer contemplated why Ugly Betty Suarez is such a man magnet. (Tube Talk)

Steve got his hands on a copy of next week's Gossip Girl and recapped it for your spoilerly pleasure (TVFanatic)

Ben celebrated the enws that BBC3 had bought the UK rights to the new murder mystery Harper's Island and took a look at it spin-off web series Harper's Globe. (TV Spy)

Free Download of the Week: Goliath – Kings (iTunes) - The season premiere was an odd bag but mostly enjoyable. If you missed it you can download it for free either on iTunes or at Amazon Video on Demand (see right). And you can also check out my First Impressions of Kings.

Deal of the Week: Sci-Fi Television Favorites & More: Save up to 56% (Buffy, The X-Files, Angel)

Video of the Week: Last night saw the season debut of Head Case and the new show from Rob Thomas (not the singer) and Paul Rudd called Party Down staring Dick Casablancas Vinnie Van Lowe, and Bill Haverchunk (also look out for guest appearances from Logan Echolls, Dean O’Dell, Keith and Veronica Mars). Not that I saw either on account that I don’t have Starz (but look for a review of season one of Head Case coming soon). But if you do, they are on Fridays at 10:00 and 10:30 respectively (and I presume repeated throughout the week). Below is a clip from Party Down:

Party Down: Kyle Discusses the Perks of the Job

if you are like me and do not have Starz, they actually uploaded the whole premiere of Head Case and Party Down to its YouTube channel.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Survivor, Wednesday at 8:00 on CBS: Notice the special day for Survivor thanks to March Madness. I originally thought this was going to be a simple recap show but the description says another contestant will be voted off. And if we are lucky it will be coach in a blindside.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Previewing DogTown

One of the dogs of DogTownAfter the Michael Vick incident, even the people who despise PETA had to wonder what would happen to the dogs that he and his hoodlums were training to fight. Well they ended up at DogTown, part of the Best Friends Sanctuary, a Utah based no-kill animal shelter. And the reality show of the same named last year chronicled the rehabilitation of the Vick dogs whose progress will again be featured during the new season of DogTown which premieres tonight at 10:00 on the National Geographic Channel.

Aristotle, the terrier mix and star of DogTownSome of the other stand out cases you can also expect this season are Aristotle (who is featured tonight and is pictured at left), a terrier mix who comes in covered in scabs from an undiagnosed skin condition. Then there is Rush, a shepherd mix airlifted out of Beirut, who had to have a leg amputated and who is traumatized by load songs after living through bombings in the city (April 10). And there are Haley and Hana, two dogs rescued from an underground cave in Ethiopia where strays are thrown into to die (April 3). And you will never want to adopt from a pet store after seeing dogs that were rescued from an overcrowded puppy mill (March 27).

Another heartbreaking story is that of Ava, a golden retriever who was found in a coyote trap. View a clip below.

Broken Paw

You can get more information about DogTown, the series, over at National Geographic and DogTown, the facility over at Best Friends. And of course if you want to see pictures of my dogs, head over to Ren and Snoopy’s Doghouse.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Want My Music Television vol. XLVI

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. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Stay Up (Viagra) – 88 Keys and Kanye West

Even though the beat is pretty weak it is nice to hear Kanye West rapping again. And now that he has fulfilled his self fulfilling prophesy of leaving hid woman for a white girl he will stop singing those horrible emo songs and trash is auto tuner.

No You Girls – Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand is one of those bands that I need to be in a certain mood to enjoy (typically a parting type a mood which isn’t very much these days). But this new song is catchy enough to get me in that mood whenever I hear it.

Buggin’ Out – Consequence and Kid Cupri

I am always up for A Tribe Called Quest rehash and Consequence (who was featured on multiple tracks on Beats, Rhymes and Life and just happens to be Q-Tip’s cousin) does a stellar job recreating the song. But maybe goes a little too far with the bugging out metaphor in the video.

Sweet About Me - Gabriella Cilmi

Keep in mind when listening to the song that Gabriella Cilmi is a seventeen year old Australian. Her voice sounds like someone who has been drinking whisky for the past seventeen year. Maybe we should keep her away from Amy Winehouse.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's March Madness Baby! 2009 Edition

March Madness seemed a little less mad
this year, or at the very least the brackets did. A lot of mediocre teams from big conferences made it in this year which means trying to pick upsets less fun. At least that was until yesterday’s Pardon the Interruption started calling for Congressional investigation into the NCAA for favoring major conferences over small ones. Hopefully when the tournament we do get some exciting games, but the tournament selection really robbed us of man y potential Davidson like runs this year. Now keep in mind you may be better off taking the advice of your little sister, but here are my picks for this year.

Finals: Villanova (3) over Xavier (4)
Upset Special: VCU (11) over UCLA (6)

Finals: Louisville (1) over Kansas (3)
Upset Special: Dayton (11) over West Virginia (6)

Finals: North Carolina (1) over Arizona St. (6)
Upset Special: Western Kentucky (12) over Illinois (5)

Finals: Memphis (2) over Washington (4)
Upset Special: Utah St. (11) over Marquette (6)

Final Four
Louisville over Mephis
North Carolina over Villanova

North Carolina over Louisville 68-60

I didn’t notice until I wrote this that I have all the 11-seeds out in the first round except the one I have going to the Elite 8. Maybe an already ominous start to my bracket. Or may just be genius. But most likely stupid.

Monday, March 16, 2009

First Impressions: Kings

The Cast of Kings

Can something be grandiose and boring at the same time? If so, than that can sum up Kings. The show has a look and feel like nothing currently on television and a scope not seen since Rome. But it is hard to not think the two hour premiere could have fit everything important into one hour to kill off some of the lulls.

Ian McShane of KingsThe show is a modern day retelling of the story of David (Spoiler Alert for the heathens out there: He goes on to become king) set in a parallel universe and the fake country Gilboa (isn’t that where Anne Hathaway is a princess?) who is currently at war with their neighbors, the equally bad named Gath. In Gilboa, there is monarchy les by King Silas played by the overbearing Ian McShane (Agent Cody Banks) who lives a tangled life; he marries into money to set up his kingdom (of whom his brother-in-law is the main profiteer of the war); his daughter cares too much about his subjects and continually lobbies for better health care for them; his son is a royal version of Paris Hilton, right down to the parting and having sex with dudes. And of course there is the mistress with a kid of her own.

I am pretty sure this is Mr. BostonOn the front line of the war is David Sheppard (who I cannot confirm is Mr. Boston from I Love New York, but I’m pretty sure it is him), an awe shucks country boy that can fix anything, including, apparently, wars. He gets tangled up with the king when he rescues the prince in one of the more laughable scenes as the soldiers of Gath acted like enemies is a crappy nineties video game. And as the preview promised, David takes the king up on his offer of half his kingdom by getting a dance with the princess.

Being based off of the Bible, there are plenty of religious references, many coming from then king’s personal guru, who naturally is not fond of the wars he wages and seems to be drawn to David (whom he creepily touches a few times in the first hour). And like most prophets he takes in vague terms and makes little sense.

Kings is ambitious but sometimes too ambitious for its own good. It has yet give a good enough back-story to the king and Gilboa, it is easy to compare it to America but under the surface seems to have little to do with this country besides New York City being the obvious standing for the faux the capital right down to Central Park overlooking the kings office. And the storyline of being in and out of war multiple times in a two hour frame was a little hard to follow. But once the show finds its footing, it could end up being the most compelling show on television.

Kings airs Sundays at 8:00 on NBC. You can stream current episodes at You can currently download the two hour pilot of Kings for free on iTunes and it is also free on Amazon Video on Demand (see below):

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lyrics Quiz: St. Patrick's Day

Recently I have been playing around with Genius in iTunes and have concluded that it doesn’t really live up to its name because I rarely have any, “wow, that is a great match” moments. Like when I put in Puff Daddy’s Been Around the World I’d like to see Davie Bowie’s Let’s Dance and/or Lisa Stanfield’s All Around the World instead of the generic rap of the late nineties. But anyways. It does make for a good Lyrics Quiz creator. For this month I threw in St. Patrick’s Day by John Mayer (on account that it is Tuesday). Now if it was truly Genius I would expect other holiday themed songs like Halloweenhead, The Thanksgiving Song, 4th of July Ashbury Park (Sandy) or anything from Christmas related, but alas. 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. Please keep in mind the lyrics quiz is for entertainment purposes only so please only use your own meandering mind to guess them. Here are twenty-five songs that Genius did spit out for St. Patrick’s Day.

1. Anger, he smiles, towering in shiny metallic purple armor.
2. Am I the one who plays the quite songs? Is he the one who turns the ladies on?
3. Looking on, she sings a song. The words she knows, the tune she hums. (Tiny Dancer - Elton John, guessed by Angie)
4. Just remember the telephones; they work in a both ways. But if I never ever hear them ring. If nothing else I think the bells inside them finally found you someone else. And that’s okay.
5. There’s no one left to finger. There’s no one here to blame. There’s no one left to talk to honey and there ain’t no one left to buy our innocence. (Adia - Sarah McLaughlin; guessed by Angie)
6. She could keep anything from me. I could have been anyone you see. She’s nothing but porcelain underneath her skin.
7. When you’re sure you had enough of this life, to hang on. Don’t let yourself go. (Everybody Hurts - R.E.M.; guessed by Angie)
8. Your top was untied and I thought how nice it’d be to follow the sweat down your spine. (Dreamgirl - Dave Matthews Band; guessed by Angie)
9. You will never have the time. I would love to change your mind. You were there, and it was good in the beginning.
10. Come one, come all into 1984. Yeah three, two, one, lights, camera, transaction. (Talk Shows On Mute - Incubus; guessed by Jo)
11. There are many things I’d like to say to you but I don’t know how. (Wonderwall - Oasis; guessed by Angie)
12. I’m going to meet you, I’m gonna greet you at her back door as you’re coming out.
13. We’d hit the bottom. I thought it was my fault. And in a way I guess it was. I’m just now finding out what it was all about. (Landed - Ben Folds; guessed by Molly)
14. Finding what I really need is what makes me bleed, like a new disease. Oh, lord, she’s still too young.
15. Late nights won’t do me justice because when I drink I get so (expletive deleted) depressed and it’s not right. I ain’t trying to get over you.
16. Wish I had a dollar every time you say, “don’t you miss the feeling music gave you back in the day.” (Musicology - Prince; guessed by Angie)
17. I pulled into Nashville Tennessee. But you wouldn’t even come around to see me. Since you’re heading up to Carolina you know I gonna be right there behind ya. (Steal My Kisses - Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals; guessed by Angie)
18. If you want it, come and get it. Crying out loud. (Babylon II - David Gray; guessed by Angie)
19. Flowers in her evening set I get the feeling she won’t forget. And there’s times you’d long to be her but to be her is surely blinding. (She's On Fire - Train; guessed by Angie)
20. Spin around one more time and gracefully fall back into the arms of grace. (Breathing - Lifehouse; guessed by Angie)
21. Well, I shuffled through the city on the 4th of July; I had a firecracker waiting to blow. Breaking like a robber who was making his way through the cities of Mexico. (New York, New York - Ryan Adams; guessed by Molly)
22. I have only come here seeking knowledge. Thing they would not teach me of in college. (Wrapped Around Your Finger - The Police; guessed by Angie)
23. I am surrounded by liars everywhere I turned. I am surrounded by imposters everywhere I turn. (I Don't Want To Be - Gavin DeGraw; guessed by Angie)
24. There was so easy living day by day; out of touch with the rhythm and blues.
25. Don’t know who I’m kidding imagining you’ll care. I could stand here a fool for another day. (Barely Breathing - Dunkan Sheik; guessed by Angie)

(Scooter’s Note: I plan to use Genius in future Quizzes, feel free to suggest a song you would like see run through Genius in the comments along with your guesses. Keep in mind I must have it to use it)