Saturday, September 26, 2009

Best of the Week vol. XXII

Quote of the Week: First of all, it would be really cool to see Hailey that fat. And how awesome it would be to have a fake little brother that is really my nephew? (Alex - Modern Family)

Song of the Week: To Be with You – Mr. Big (as sung by Laura, Greek)

Big News of the Week: The New Season Has Begun: I really hate Neilson Rating because they are archaic (with more and more people streaming and downloading) and shrouded in secrecy (anyone know the margin of error of their data?) but it is hard not pour over their data to draw up some conclusions. Like how for one of the few times in history the most critically acclaimed show of the season, Modern Family was the most watched new show of the fall. Hopefully people still watch when the show has two unwatchable sitcoms as a lead in.

As for the older shows, the big new is, not surprisingly, no one watches Heroes anymore. Also unsurprisingly is the erratic ratings for The Jay Leno Show which seems to fluxgate depending on the guest and competition. And consider some think the show could pull in The CW numbers and still make nine figures from The Jay Leno Hour at 10:00. And what could reaffirm my faith in our country, despite not knowing exactly what the margin of error is, it is probable that the ratings between the shows are so close, it is statistically possible that The Big Bang Theory is now the most watched comedy on television over the unfunny Two and a Half Men.

Coalition Links of the Week:
Vance is sidetracking to movies this week because he got to see The Boys are Back and People's Choice winner Precious at TIFF09 (Toronto Film Fest). (Tapeworthy)

This week, the TV Addict talked to Glee star Chris Colfer about Kurt's coming out party. (The TV Addict)

BuzzSugar had some fun matching up which original Melrose Place character inspired which new Melrose Place character. (BuzzSugar)

Free Download of the Week: Flake (Live) – Jack Johnson with Lebo: Note you will have to enter your e-mail to which they will send a link to. Also be sure to check your spam folder because that is where I found my e-mail.

Deal of the Week: Save up to 60% on TV Shows (Friday Night Lights, The A-Team, Saturday Night Live)

Video of the Week: Here are the first four minutes of Trauma the premieres tomorrow:

Next Week Pick of the Week: Trauma, Monday at 9:00 on NBC: When the new shows were announced last May, the one show that piqued my interested the most was this medical drama from Peter Berg, the guy who gave us Friday Night Lights. The previews make the show look epic which is right up my alley. Unfortunately the show is sandwiched between the two least buzzed shows for the fall, Heroes (which debuted to disastrous numbers last week) and The Jay Leno Show. Hopefully if the show lives up to the hype of the preview it can find an audience on a log jammed night.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Previewing Rescue Ink Unleashed

The boys of Rescue InkLooking at a promo picture for Rescue Ink Unleashed, not knowing any better you may think the show is some sort of reality show version of Sons of Anarchy. But under closer inspection, you will noticed all the inked up, bouncer looking dudes are holding a cute and furry animal (and one amphibian). Hyped as “More than 1,700 pounds of muscle, over 80 tattoos” the eight men of Rescue Ink are not some biker gang menacing people that get in their way but a company that specializes on rescuing helpless, abandoned and abused animals.

These guys take jobs that the animal control need help with or just won’t do. Like going into the same project where a hospitalized client was jumped by a gang to rescue his dogs. And since the pit bulls have not been feed in a few days, what awaits the crew inside the apartment may be just as dangerous as the people in the hallway. But isn’t always life threatening situation as the boys are recruited to capture some chickens that have taken roost in a suburban area.

Batso of Rescue Ink Unleashed

The show even gives us a little glimpse of the individual members of Rescue Ink during off duty times. With all the ink and muscles, one guy manages to stands out from the crowd who may go down in the pantheon of reality characters. Batso (seen above) is a seventy-five year old biker, covered literally head to toe with tattoos, including a few spider webs (anyone who has seen prison shows knows what that means). After losing two sons to Lou Gehrig’s disease, Batso has devoted his life to animals and is now the spiritual leader of Rescue Ink.

Rescue Ink Unleashed airs Fridays at 10:00 on the National Geographic Channel. Here is a preview of the show:

In other National Geographic Channel news, also premiering this weekend is Unlikely Animal Friends Saturday at 8:00 featuring a baby hippo and a giant tortoise, a lioness and a baby oryx, and more. Below is a clip of an orangutan and a hound dog:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

First Impressions: Mercy

Veronica and one of her two mewn on MercyIt is a good thing that I declared Modern Family (see my preview of the show) the funniest new show of the Fall season before I watched Mercy because I may have had a hard decision of what show truly deserved that title. The difference though is that for Modern Family, being called the funniest is a compliment on account that it is a sitcom, Mercy on the other hands is a drama. Yet with scenes like the lead grabbing a screaming girlfriend of a car accident victim by the nose to get her to shut up and fighting gang members still going at it were side-splittingly funny. And watching Dawn Summers try to emote is always the highest of high comedy.

Dawn Summers all grown up adn still trying to emote on MercyBut Mercy is supposed to be a serious medical drama to be a fill in for ER now that it has left the Peacock after fifteen seasons. Although with some hanky-panky going on inside the hospital, it may sooner conjure up images of an ABC medical show. The show follows Veronica Callahan (Taylor Schilling in only her second job on her resume) as an Iraq vet now working in a civilian hospital and living with her long line of Irish alcoholic. Bonus points for having a boyfriend / ex-husband / fiancé (actually I am not sure what was going on with that relationship) for calling her Ronnie.

Her best friend on the ward is Sonia Jimenez (Jamie Lee Kircher whose resume may be more extensive than Schilling’s but still nothing worth mentioning) who is tired with broke dudes but still goes home with a cop while blowing off a seven figure lawyer. Yep, Mercy is one of those shows that have not met a cliché it doesn’t want to beat into the ground. Speaking of clichés, naturally there is the doe-eyed newbie (Summers) who is just happy to be there in her Hello Kitty scrubs.

Jamie Lee Kircher of MercyBut back to the hospital hanky-panky cliché, it just so happens once Ronnie puts back on her engagement ring, she is whisked into a closet by a new doctor who just so happened to be a fling from her time in Iraq. Rounding out the cast is Delroy Lindo (Romeo Must Die) as the boss at the hospital who naturally has already threatened to fire Veronica. Also there is Guillermo Diaz (Weeds) as your token male nurse. Fun times.

Verdict: The pilot was a tale of two shows. The first half was cheesy fun while the second half lost all its charm with the show taking itself too serious side. If the show goes in the route of the first half it may become watchable. On the flipside it may get into the its so bad its good territory.

Mercy airs Wedensdays at 8:00 on NBC. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Mercy on iTunes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Previewing Modern Family

Modern Family on iTunes

The Sugardaddy FamilyJust looking at the cast alone, Modern Family would be worth watching. At least I am tuning into anything that involves both Al Bundy and Carol Vessey. Throw in Sofia Vergara who was hilarious on the under-appreciated Knights of Prosperity and you have a pretty decent cast. And bonus as the writing is plenty funny with plenty of fall of the couch laughs even though not all the jokes work. Case in point in the promos where Carol’s family tries to find a time as to punish the kid. Luckily that is the least funny part of the pilot (which makes you wonder what ABC’s promo monkeys were thinking).

The Nuclear FamilyThe show follows three families around documentary style which, yes, is used in The Office, but Modern Family is a different kind of funny as fake camerman are much more competent to the point you sometimes might forget it is supposed to be a reality show if it were not for the interviews. And the “cast” seem much more comfortable with the intrusions with only “friend” that comes over is the only one that even does a double take with the cameras around.

Family number one is headed by Al Bundy, who seems to be going through a mid-life crisis which lands him a wife that speak inaudible English (Vergara) and her son. Family two is headlined by Vessey and Ty Burrell (Black Hawk Down) who are trying to raise three kids who may end up rivaling Louise Brooks as the most entertaining kids on television. Burrell seems to be the weak link on the show as a dad who tries to hard but I may have been as mortified as his kids at his dance sequence during the episode.

rightThe third family is a pair of gay homosexuals that adopt a Vietnamese daughter an bring new meanings to the words creampuffs. Jesse Tyler Ferguson (The Class) is the straight man of the couple, so to speak. While Eric Stonestreet (CSI) will be battling the kids as to who will be the breakout star of the show and thanks to him I won’t be able to see The Lion King in the same way.

Modern Family airs Wednesdays at 9:00 on ABC. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Modern Family on iTunes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Impressions: How I Met Your Mother / The Big Bang Theory

How I Met Your Mother Season 1Even though I have known for four months, it didn’t hit me that I would have to wait an hour after the end of How I Met Your Mother for the start of The Big Bang Theory. More specifically five seconds and one bad joke into Accidentally on Purpose, which it was all I lasted before turning off the television and stare at the blank screen pondering what to do for the hour before the new episode The Big Bang Theory. Apparently the big wigs at CBS don’t watch Sheldon and his idiosyncrasies otherwise they wouldn’t know what trauma they would cause by changing its timeslot.

How I Met Your Mother Season 2But before my obsessive compulsionisms kicked in, we had the fifth season premiere of How I Met Your Mother which is really showing its age. Right off the bat we are reminded of the creepiness of Ted meeting the mother in his classroom to the soundtrack of the clever Oxford Comma by Vampire Weekend. Naturally we still don’t get to meet her although it is alluded to that the mother was in the economics class not his architecture class. But even if this is true, still creepy.

How I Met Your Mother Season 3The other storyline is a potential jump the shark moment with Barney and Robin becoming an official couple. Barney and his Barneyisms is the heart of the show and if he is too busy tied down to one girl, and one in the group, just screams disaster if he starts becoming more human. The last thing I ever need to see is Barney suiting up to go on a date with a girlfriend.

How I Met Your Mother Season 4How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8:00 on CBS. You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes. How I Met Your Mother came in at #40 on The 100 Greatest Television Shows of the 00’s.

The Big Bang Theory Season 1 Here’s hoping that the writers of The Big Bang Theory by its fifth seasons don’t run out of ideas and just puts Sheldon and Penny in a relationship. Although a drunken one night stand would be hilarious. Instead to start the third season we get the re-coupling of Penny and Sheldon so sudden I thought it was a dream sequence. Kaley Cuoco laughing during the kiss didn’t help things much either. Although the epilogue to the episode suggest another one and done episode with some weird post-coitus talk. Granted not as weird as the pre- coitus talk that derailed the act altogether.

The Big Bang Theory Season 2 But of course Sheldon remained the center point of the episode with another of his classic hissy fits. And this is one of the ones where he had legitimate reasons to throw one when his buddies tampered with his experiments to make their lives at the arctic better with a happier Sheldon. Granted I was a bit disappointed we didn’t get an explanation as to why Sheldon had time to groom down to a goatee. But you could tell the writers had some Sheldomisms lined up from their summer break. It almost made sitting through the last three minutes of Two and a Halg Men worth it. Almost.

The Big Bang Theory airs Mondays at 9:30 on CBS. You can download The Big Bang Theory on iTunes. The Big Bang Theory came in at #14 on The 100 Greatest Television show of the 00’s. Both shows are available on Amazon Video on Demand (see below):

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chatting with Stana Katic

Stana Katic of Castle

Tonight sees the return of Castle tonight at 10:00 on ABC for it sophomore season. On the surface, the show may look like just another procedural, but the Castle is much lighter, despite some grizzly cases, thanks to some witty back and forth from the leads. I recently chatted with the straight-woman of the duo, Stana Katic who plays Detective Kate Beckett. While reading the interview, keep in mind Stana is actually from Canada so that is why us Americans may find an extra “U” in a few of her words that she wrote and it not bad spelling on her part or bad editing on mine. Cultural differences aside, here is my chat with Stana:

Scooter McGavin: Stana, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and for such an entertaining first season of Castle. Most of that entertainment came from the friction between Kate and Castle; did that rapport with Nathan Fillion come as quickly as it looked on screen?

Stana Katic: Of course. The writing lends itself to a very Hepburn-Tracy type of rapport, so it’s easy to simply say the words and find that wonderful rhythm.

In addition, Nathan has a history with and a wonderful knack for comedy. On my end, I’ve become a big fan of the Hawksian dame-- fast-talking, spirited broads like Rosalind Russell, Kate Hepburn, and Barbara Stanwyck. Using them as an inspirational resource helps in adding to those charming verbal sparring sessions.

Stana Katic of Castle 2Scooter: Kate’s one major rule was that Castle not look into her mother’s death. The first season ended with Castle revealing that he was in fact pursuing the case and had found something. How does Castle’s betrayal affect the second season?

Stana: It’s something the writers don’t shy away from at the start. Kate’s mother’s murder is in “don’t go there” territory, and of course, Castle breaks her trust by researching it. He discovers a shocking inconsistency between the final conclusion that the murder was random and the actual evidence.

The writers reveal a piece of that evidence immediately in episode one, and also deal with rebuilding the Castle-Kate relationship so that the characters can get back to what they're best at: solving crime capers together.

Scooter: The show focuses on a writer who tags along with a detective while preparing for an upcoming book – did life imitate art? Were you able to shadow any real cops? If so, did you accompany any weird cases?

Stana: I did have the opportunity to visit with a very gracious and witty group of detectives in New York City when we were filming the pilot, and then I followed up on that by visiting a detective and an FBI agent here in Southern California.

The most fascinating thing about accompanying real detectives is their gallows humour. I suppose their work gets to be so emotionally grinding at times that a dark sense of humour ends up serving as a survival function.

Scooter: We got a few glimpses into Kate’s personal life in the first season, will the FBI ex-boyfriend show up again and/or a new potential beau be introduced this season?

Stana: As far as i know, there are plans to re-engage in the Kate-Sorensen storyline. I’m not quite sure about the scenario and to what extent. That’s the part that is exciting for me as the actor. Each script is a new discovery and surprise.

Kate and Castle are kind-of like a great wine. We’re going to take our time enjoying all of the flavours and nuances before we finish off the bottle and get down to business. In doing that, I’m sure we'll be exploring the personal lives of both of the characters in more depth before they fully dive into each other; and i wouldn't be shocked to see both of them going out on dates before they make it back to one another again.

stana katic of Castle 3Scooter: What is one thing you personally would like to see happen on Castle this season?

Stana: You know, we touched on it somewhat above. I would love to see more of Kate’s personal life. I feel like the writers are doing a great job of unveiling other layers of Beckett this season. Nearly each episode provides a small glimpse into this working girl's life.

In fact, I just found out she is a bit of a comic book junkie (it’s a brief story point in the upcoming episode)! How fantastic is that?!!! i cannot wait to do the character research for the episode.

That being said, I would love to meet her father and see a storyline with them.
It would also be great to see her off-duty and out on the town (perhaps on a date). I have a feeling Kate has a bit of wild streak in her that can't necessarily be shown in the precinct and on duty; but once the badge is in the box, I think she can throw down with the best of them.

And finally, I would love to have a few one-on-one scenes with captain Montgomery (played by Reuben Santiago-Hudson). Reuben is our Tony Award winner and our new NAACP lifetime achievement recipient. To be able to have a couple of quality character scenes with him would be an honour.

Scooter: Anything else that you haven’t mentioned in previous questions that the viewers can look forward this season on Castle?

Stana: What I’m really looking forward to this season is watching some of the other characters take center stage, as well. I think audiences can anticipate more of what they enjoyed so much last year, meaning that Castle-Kate witty rapport; but the writers are also building wonderfully fun storylines for the rest of the ensemble. Detectives Esposito (John Huertas) and Ryan (Seamus Dever), for instance, have a beautiful storyline coming up in which they pair up against Kate and Castle in a crime-solving race. Bets are laid, and the two teams are off on a really fun episode to see who wins precinct bragging rights. John and Seamus shine in this episode, so I’m excited to have people see their great work.

Stana Katic of CastleScooter: For anyone that didn’t catch season one of Castle, will they be able to easily start watching season two without getting lost?

Stana: Each episode stands alone. Audiences should have no difficulty slipping into the series for season two.

Scooter: Did you do anything during this past summer? If so can you tell us a little about it?

Stana: I traveled around Europe and French Polenysia. If I’m not working on a film or other project, I try to travel and explore as much as possible.
Polenysia was particularly wonderful because i got to visit with an archaeologist who took me on a tour of ancient burial and temple sites. It was astounding to see the remnants and to learn about that beautifully self-sufficient and powerful people because so much of their history was eradicated by invading explorers and missionaries.

I also got to visit with a falconer here in Southern California during the summer molting season. Falcons are beautiful hunters, and of course they sit at the apex of their food chain. So, learning about them was tremendously informative in regards to the state of the environment as a whole.

Anyway, I did things like that this summer. It was fun.

Thank you Scooter for the time.

Castle airs Mondays at 10:00 on ABC. You can stream recent episode on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes. Castle ranked in at #86 of The 100 Greatest Television Shows of the 00’s.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. XCVIII

Quote of the Week: First the board gave a report. Then they proposed doing an ice cream social with a different flavor for each house which I said was a lame idea. But they said it would be fun. So I told those (expletive deleted) it was a waste of money but those (expletive deleted) wouldn’t listen so that is when I said, uh, “Bite me” and walked out. (Expletive deleted). (Laura – Greek)


Song of the Week: Ruby Tuesday – Katey Sagel (Sons of Anarchy)

Big News of the Week: Let the Fall Season Begin: How symbolic is it that my Fall season begins with Jeff Probst snuffing out someone’s torch? But what people really care about are the new shows and TV Blips recently asked me and some other bloggers what they were looking forward to so head over there to see my answers.

Coalition Links of the Week:
Need to brush up on what went down in The Office's last season? Take BuzzSugar's Season 5 quiz! (BuzzSugar)

Things got really hot at the So You Think You Can Dance Phoenix auditions but got skintilatingly hot during the Top 14 Group dance on So You Think You Can Dance Canada. (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace had an exclusive one-on-one interview with True Blood writer/executive producer Alan Ball the morning after the season finale and wrapped up the second season of the HBO vampire drama and took a look ahead to Season Three. (Televisionary)

They're both dreamy, they're both svelte, they're both sharp dressers. But the real question is this: who would win in a dance-off between How I Met Your Mother's Neil Patrick Harris and Glee's Matthew Morrison. (TiFaux)

Sorry, The Office. No offense, 30 Rock. But Community may have replaced you both as the funniest show on TV. (TV Fanatic)

MTV Video Music Awards: A lot of people have given crap to Kanye West for interrupting Taylor Swift, but you one person who wasn’t mad: MTV. Because what would we have talked about had he not stormed the stage? How boring the Michael Jackson tribute was (and just when you thought Madonna couldn’t be any more pretentious, she makes a MJ tribute about herself). How lame Lady Gaga is? Seriously, smearing yourself in fake blood? Considering how Russell Brand questioned her manhood in the opening he would at least man up and use your own real blood like Iggy Pop. Maybe we would be talking about Brand. And just when you thought he could be less funny than last year. At least last year he made jokes. Yeah they bombed but this year he would ramble for five minutes without any resemblance of a punch line. Maybe we would have been talking about the touching tribute Kid Cudi gave DJ AM by dedicating Make Her Say, formally known as I Poke Her Face, to the dead DJ. Hopefully when I die someone dedicates a song about oral sex to me. Or may if I am deserving enough, a song about full on intercourse. So when I pass, please pour out a forty and put on Do Me in my memory and just know when you say “smack it up, flip it, rub it down” I’ll be sing on with you with a smile on my face looking down on you (hopefully).

Greek: It has been going on all season but they just finally reveal all the rules behind the Gotcha game. And know it’s over. Oh well. And the show missed a real opportunity to do a naked mile with an homage to one of the funniest scenes ever to put to film from Austin Powers. Oh well. You can stream current episodes on Hulu.

Greek on iTunes

The Jay Leno Show: You else was happy the Kanye West went all heartless on Taylor Swift? Jay Leno. After getting bagged on everyone for the last four months (except Time magazine) his new talk show instantly became must see television. Naturally the interview was a letdown, but anything short of Swift interrupting Kanye’s performance was going to be.

VH1 Divas Live – When Miley Cyrus started in on her verse of If it Makes You Happy may have been the most painful thing I have heard in a long time. Maybe since the fake Beyoncé performance from the Today show sound board. But that was fake so it doesn’t really count.

You can also check out my First Impressions of Survivor Samoa and my Preview of Community.

Free Download of the Week: Anti Sampler Fall 2009(Amazon MP3): Amazon MP3 has a large stock of samplers for free download and here is one that includes Neko Case, The Swell Season (you may remember as the duo that won the Oscar two years ago) and Booker T’s take on Outkast’s Hey Ya. Please note only the album is free as a whole download, some of the individual songs are not. So make to click the “Get MP3 Album” button. And if there are some songs you do not want, you can just delete them later.

Deal of the Week: Hit Blu-ray as Low as $12.49 (Reservoir Dogs, Dirty Dancing, American Phycho)

Video of the Week: Tomorrow sees the return of the funniest show on television The Big Bang Theory at a new time at 9:30 which separates the show with How I Met Your Mother by an hour of unfunny television. Hurph. On the bright side, the second season of the show just came out on DVD this past Tuesday. Here is the cast and crew talking about the episode Sheldon and Penny went to war.

Big Bang Theory S2 Neighbor Wars

Next Week Pick of the Week: Modern Family, Wednesday at 9:00 on ABC: Go ahead and believe the hype, this is the funniest new show of the season if not the best new show of the fall in any genre. Look for a full review of the show later this week.