Saturday, August 01, 2009

And in Terms of a Plan? We Fight


Much like Buffy the Vampire Slayer before it, I was late getting into Angel. And much like I caught up to Buffy thanks to FX running two episodes a day, I got my daily dose of Angel on TNT going through whole seasons in less than a month before catching up with the new airings on the network. Angel started out as just an extension of Buffy, not really noteworthy in itself the first couple season, but finally came into its own and truly because better with each passing seasons and that is why it is this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame.

Please note this isn’t a post to try to capitalize on the annoying impotent vampire craze that is going on now (in fact it just shamelessly ties into a much bigger post being released this coming Tuesday, so be sure to come back then), because let’s face it; the title character was the least interesting on the show. The show was slow to start when it was just Angel, Cordelia and Doyle. But it finally hit its stride when Angel moved into the abandoned hotel and recruited what would end up being his core group by the end of the second season when Fred join Gunn, Wesley, Lorne in the cast.

And as good as that core group was in the beginning, the show went into overdrive in its fifth and final season. This is when Angel Investigations arch-nemesis Wolfram and Hart decided to give them the keys to their LA office for Angel to run and his buddies to get their own niche in the company. It probably wasn’t a coincidence that the season was the first in which creator Joss Whedon only had one show on the year and just came of a season that saw Buffy end and Firefly prematurely canceled.

The last season also saw the inclusion of comic relief courtesy of Harmony, a former classmate of Cordelia turned vampire as Angel’s receptionist at Wolfram and Hart. Not that the show needed more comic relief because even though Angel was routinely considered darker than Buffy, Buffy never had an episode as whimsical as when Angel got tuned into a puppet. And as tentative as I was as first as Spike joining the cast, it ending up a good thing if only for the astronaut vs. caveman debate. Not the mention the final season also saw a post-Firefly, pre-Chuck Adam Baldwin as the liaison to the Senior Partners.

But of course just when the show turned on its after burns in terms of creativity, the show got canceled. Yet somehow, the series finale with the gang opening up the gates of hell as repercussions of assassinate the Circle of the Black Crown was a satisfying ending in its ambiguity, and frustrating at the same time.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Around the Tubes vol. XVI

I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Chuck, Community, Wanted, Bollywood Hero, Alone in the Wild, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, The Bill Engvall Show, One EskimO, and TruTV.

- Any fan of Chuck (which should be everyone reading this) with definitely want to check out There you can find the latest news from the set and around the net, web exclusive video from cast and crew, exciting tasks and activities challenging your creativity and your Chuck-IQ, and opportunities to interact with fellow Chuck fans. Soon you will be able to earn points and prizes and additional features (prizing, UGC tasks) will roll out over the next few weeks. For those that want to see what all the hype with Chuck is or want to relive it, the good people over at TV Screener are giving away the Complete First Season on DVD and a $10 Subway Gift Card every week for the next five weeks. And speaking of the previously mentioned exclusive video, here is one where they interviewed some Comic Con nerds on their favorite characters.

- NBC also launched a new site for upcoming show Community, so head over to to ‘enroll.” In other NBC news, you can currently check out the second episode of Wanted over at

- Coming to the IFC Channel next Thursday is Bollywood Hero starring SNL alum Chris Kattan. The three part miniseries will also feature cameos from Keanu Reeves, Maya Rudolph, David Alan Grier and Jennifer Coolidge.

- Bear Grylls has nothing on Ed Wardel. Ed is currently trekking across the Canadian Yukon for three months. Head over to the Alone in the Wild site to watch his video diaries, follow his progress on Google Map Locator and more. Then look for an Alone in the Wild show on the National Geographic Channel in September.

- I showed the trailer for Sparticus: Blood and Sand a couple days ago. Here is a behind the scenes look at the show:

Spartacus: Blood and Sand – In Production Now

- Here’s one for the kiddies (or grownups that have some), there is a new online activity that follows a character named One EskimO as he tries to track down his one true love. Flash Games will be up on in September which is also when you can buy a video album from iTunes (you can currently pre order it). For right now, check out the trailer:

- TruTV (you may remember it used to be Court TV) is starting a new rebranding, below is one of their new promos. Also look for a new season of Black Gold returning to the channel Wednesday, August 19, at 10:00.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Previewing Unearthing Hitler’s Hidden Holocaust

It seems like the Nazis are getting a lot of ink lately. Tom Cruise recently tried to kill Hitler to humorous effect in Valkyrie (a movie which would have been much better if it were meant to be a comedy and stared Ben Stiller instead). Soon Brad Pitt will lead a team of Nazi killers in the upcoming Inglorious Bastards. For those that don’t mind reading subtitles, you may want to check out the Norwegian film, Dead Snow which features Nazi zombies. Because seriously, what is more evil than Nazi zombies? Then this Sunday (August 2) a new documentary on the National Geographic Channel at 10:00 called Unearthing Hitler’s Hidden Holocaust.

It should go without saying that that it is not wise eating while watching something called Unearthing Hitler’s Hidden Holocaust but I bring it up mostly because I made such mistake. As the warning that precedes the documentary suggest, there are unnerving images throughout and even some footage shot by the Nazis and they follow out their orders from high.

The documentary follows the Nazis going from town to town in Eastern Europe before the formation of the concentration camps where the soldieries would line up families and neighbors and with one bullet would leave them in a ditch then cover them up with many of mass graves still uncovered. Check out a clip below:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I Want My Music Television vol. LIX

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought 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.

Already Gone – Kelly Clarkson

A pretty boring video, but the true entertainment comes from behind the scene. For those that listened to the song an d though that sounded like Beyonce’s Halo, well there is a reason, the same guy wrote both songs (the dude from One Republic) and was too lazy to come up with different backing tracks. Due to the similarities, Kelly Clarkson didn’t want Already Gone released as a single, but as Clarkson puts it “In the end, they’re releasing it without my consent.” Of course if you look close at the video, you can see Clarkson make a cameo despite her protest. And no word on Clarkson’s thought of Since U Been Gone completely ripping off The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Maps.

Nothing but a Miracle – Diane Birch

Been listening to this song a lot lately, a very seventies vibe to it with Diane Birch sounding like a more soulful version of Norah Jones.

Every Day – Ten Second Epic featuring Lights

No one does power pop quite like those pesky Canadians, and you can add Ten Second Epic to that list.

Brand New – Amie Miriello

Is it wrong that a busted up laughing at the sight of the random Nick Lachey sighting in the new video from Amie Miriello. And that was really my only thoughts on the video. Well that and this chick is moderately attractive.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thou Shalt Aspire to Be Charming

The Girls of Charm School with Ricki Lake

It is odd how some unwatchable shows can have spinoffs that are actually enjoyable. Take maybe the most morally corrupt television show ever Extreme Make Over which spawned one of the heartwarming Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to give deserving people better cribs. Then there are the almost as morally corrupt … of Love shows on VH1 where twenty strippers and porn stars vie for the affection of washed up celebrities whose back accounts are probably receding faster than their hairlines.

Yet the … of Love shows take the rejects and put the biggest head cases and nobly (at times) tried to turn them in proper woman on the Charm School series. Sure the shows are completely staged with headmistress (Ricki Lake going where Sharon Osbourne and Mo’nique have gone before) changing criteria from week to week. Usually there is one person that benefits from this more than others with the award this season going to Ashley who stuck around to the finals despite constantly berating her competition even calling someone a retard multiple which was in itself expulsionworthy.

On the receiving end of that of most of Ashley’s slurs was the unofficial star of the season, Bubbles who never failed to put in her two cents usually to the dismay of her classmates, epically Ashley. The other stand out of the season was the drunken mess that was Marcia and her broken English who swore off alcohol half way through and to her credit didn’t take another sip for the rest of her tenure on the show and that includes a stint the show that was filmed in New Orleans.

In the end Risky took home the mantel of most changed girl even though it took her until the last episode to open up. But after hearing what she said, you can understand why she wouldn’t want to share the information to a national audience. Like the previous seasons, this one got less entertaining as the season went along, but that is not to say I won’t be turning in for the inevitable Charm School featuring the For the Love of Ray-J rejects.

Charm School with Ricki Lake gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

You can download the full season of Charm School with Ricki Lake on iTunes or on Amazon Video on Demand (see below):

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm Dancing with My Records On

A Little Happiness - Aimee Allen

The angry female break up song as perpetrated by Alanis Morissette a decade and a half ago has become such a cliché even lightweights like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood have multiple songs in that vein. So it is refreshing to hear the first single On Vacation from Aimee Allen who actually sounds happy to get rid of that pesky boyfriend to the point that she “has no worries anymore” and even throws in a few whistling solos to keep the upbeat vibe.

What makes Allen’s debut album (not counting the one that got shelved) A Little Happiness listenable is the diversity. Aside from the upbeat break up song of On Vacation is another happy to rid of a boy Change in Weather, a slow bouncing sing along that will warrant hand claps during live performances. Then there is the spooky Calling the Maker, a march along, menacing choir including song that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Coen Brothers movie. She picks up an ukulele to turn Sublime’s Santeria, a song about heinas and toting around.45’s into a lovely song which you can forget is about a western shootout and hookers.

Elsewhere on the album is the lullaby like La La Land which launches a trio of sweet songs that follows with the title track and Lean into Me. Those songs are followed by the most surprising song on the album God Talks which may be the best secular song with heavy religious overtones since Jesus Walks. The song even comes complete with an organ beginning and a hand clapping choir to bring the song to a satisfying conclusion.

Song to Download – Calling the Maker

(Scooter's Note: As I write this, you can still get On Vacation for free at Amazon MP3)

A Little Happiness gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Previewing Funnel of Darkness

The cast of Funnel of Darkness

It seems like this may be the year of the webisode as there is more and more well produced ones hitting the intertubes frequently. The latest Funnel of Darkness debuts on exclusively DailyMotion tomorrow and will air on starting August 1. The five part mockumentary follows Team Severe, a five man group as they compete in The Funnel Baggin’ Rally, an unsanctioned competition that gives out an award to those that capture the best tornado on film.

Unfortunately also joining Team Severe in the Oklahoma panhandle are acclaimed professionals, award winning scientists, hot chick with sponsorships and unfriendly locals. Also the fact they are as passionate about getting chicks and beer as shooting tornados and their Winnebago from the early eighties are not helping much either. And unlike other web series, Funnel of Darkness is much more crass in it humor and isn’t shy when it comes to gratuitous nudity. For a preview, check out the video below: