Saturday, October 23, 2010

Best of the Week vol. XLIX

Quote of the Week: It’s like sleeping with a graphing calculator that’s on the fritz. (Swift, Terriers)

Song of the Week: Travelin' Band – Curtis Stigers and the Forest Rangers (Sons of Anarchy)

Big News of the Week: Full Seasons All Around: After three quick cancelations, NBC and CBS have given full twenty-two orders to most of the new show, all in the case of CBS including Mike and Molly, Hawaii Five-0, The Defenders, $#*! My Dad Says, and Blue Bloods. While on the Peacock The Event, Chase, Law & Order: Los Angeles, and Outsourced will all make it to the end of the season. Hopefully with Outsourced getting more episodes, all the pretentious Parks and Recreations fans stop whining for its cancelation. And for those pretentious types worrying about where P&R could fit into the schedule; remember NBC will have three hours to play with their schedule when football is over, not to mention the Wednesdays at 8:00 spot where Undercovers, the one show that hasn’t gotten picked up yet, currently occupies.

Gratuitous Token Hot Chick Picture of the Week:

Yvonne Strahovski looking down on you

Free Download of the Week: I've Got You Under My Skin - Rod Stewart (Amazon MP3)

Deal of the Week: Blu-Ray Deals (The Evil Dead, Let the Right One In, Army of Darkness)

New Album Pick of the Week: Speak Now - Taylor Swift

New DVD Pick of the Week: Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy (+ Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]

Video of the Week: My first thought when seeing the Scream 4 trailer was “there was a Scream 3?” According to Wikipeadia, there actually was one so I will take their work for them. Since it will be eleven years between films, hopefully I won’t need to have seen the third installment, because sign me up for a movie with Kristen Bell, Emma Roberts, and though they are not in the trailer, Allison Brie and Julie Taylor supposedly have roles in the film. But hopefully the annoying chick from Heroes dies and early and horrible death.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Friday Night Lights, Wednesday at 9:00 on DirecTV: It is that time of year again where I debate switching my cable provider to DirecTV for the sole purpose of being able to see the new season of Friday Night Lights, six months before it hits terrestrial television. Even more painful is that this will be the final season of one of the finest television shows ever.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Around the Tubes vol. LXXI

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 the Legends of the Superheroes, In Treatment, Who Is Harry Nilsson (and Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?), The Best Government Money Can Buy, Skullcandy, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Fairy Jobmother, Men of a Certain Age, Timmy Time, Conan, and Boby Brown.

- For the first time ever, the Legends of the Superheroes is coming to DVD. The made for TV movie features classic Batman and Robin Adam West and Burt Ward, joined by other Justice League members The Flash and Green Lantern as they face off against The Riddler (Frank Gorshin reprising his TV role), Mordru, and Weather Wizard. Not sold yet, the set also includes a Superhero Roast hosted by Ed McMahon.

- In Treatment returns for its third season next week on HBO. There will be two new half-hour episodes debuting back-to-back on Monday 10/25 (9/9:30pm) and two more new episodes back-to-back on Tuesday 10/26 (9/9:30pm). Check out the trailer below:

- Coming to DVD next Tuesday is Who Is Harry Nilsson (and Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)?. Many of my generation will know him best from Without You which was covered by Mariah Carey (and featuring in a creepy scene in The Rules of Attraction) and the Coconut song which was featured in Reservoir Dogs. Check out the film to learn more about who was called the greatest songwriter of his generation with interviews with Micky Dolenz, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Al Kooper, Randy Newman, Yoko Ono, Van Dyke Parks, The Smothers Brothers, Jimmy Webb, Paul Williams, Robin Williams, and Brian Wilson.

- Just in time for the mid-term election in twelve days, out on DVD Tuesday is The Best Government Money Can Buy looking at the lobbying system and its impact on our democracy. Keep in mind this election cycle alone a tally of $250 million spent from undisclosed sources. Here is a clip from the film.

The Best Government Money Can Buy Clip #7 from Cinema Libre Studio on Vimeo.

- Skullcandy has recently teamed up with the NBC to create the Skullcandy Crew including Kevin Durant and James Harden of the Oklahoma Thunder, Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz, the Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose and from the Philadelphia Sixers, Andre Iguodala (sorry Miami Cheats, you are not cool enough). Here is a video of the crew:

- If you need something to do on Halloween but have no desire to go outside, Fox Movie Channel is running a twenty-four hour marathon of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in honor of its thirty fifth anniversary.

- This upcoming Thursday (10/28), you can check out a sneak peak at Lifetimes’s latest show, The Fairy Jobmother at 11 after the Project Runway finale before airing at its regular timeslot the following Thursday at 9:00. Or check out the promo below:

The Fairy Jobmother comes to Lifetime Thursday

- Men of a Certain Age finally has an airdate for its second season, Monday, December 6 at 10:00. Head over to for a recap of the first season.

- Fans of Timmy Time (and their parents) will be happy to know that next week Playhouse Disney will be airing the show three times a day (5:30am, 7:00am, 11:00am). The the first week of December the network will have all new episodes every day that week.

- And the very first guest to sit on Conan’s new coach: Seth Rogan. Not surprising, Jack White will be the musical guest. Also showing up the first week is Tom Hanks, John Hamm, and Michael Cera. Also joining Conan will be Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band as the house band starting Monday November 8 at 11:00 on TBS.

- And just because, Bobby Brown and The Roots:

Bobby Brown: My Prerogative

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Everytime that Flags Unfurled, They're Coming to America

America: The Story of Us: An Illustrated History

In a story I broke last week, History’s twelve part series America: The Story of Us is on Blu-Ray (see They’ve All Come to Look for America) and for those history buff out there that are not a fan of the boob tube, I have some good news, there is also a companion book, America: The Story of Us: An Illustrated History by Kevin Baker.

Like the series, the book opens with an introduction from President Obama and follows the same structure of the series, dividing it down to the same twelve chapters (Rebels, Revolution, Westward, Division, Civil War, Heartland, Cities, Boom, Bust, WWII, Superpower, and Millennium) but goes into much more depth at 416 pages with segments that were just touched on or not even mentioned in the televised version. Also helpful is that each section is given a date range so you get a sense of when things were happening.

As the title An Illustrated History suggests, the book comes with an abundance of glossy pictures that depict the country’s history from the first pictures taken during the civil war to the high resolution of citizens today. The compilation also includes many story factoid and graphs that didn’t make it on television like did you know that a male Colonist in the eighteenth century had a life expectancy of fifty-four, eighteen years more than a British man?

Some of the complaints of the book are the same as the special, like do we really need quotes by Michael Strahan? Luckily the book includes much less talking head quotes, and of course it is much easier to ignore them on paper than on the glowy tube. And like the series, the book completely ignores how Americans entertain themselves, no sports, music, and the only mention of a theater includes Abraham Lincoln.

But just like the series, the book is definitely worth a look as it is well researched and well put together. And if you know someone who is like me and would read his history textbooks for fun, America: The Story of Us: An Illustrated History would make for a great Christmas gift with only fifty-nine shopping days left until the holiday as this would make for the most entertaining history textbook you can find.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hate to Be so Emotional, I Didn't Mean to get Physical

Come Around Sundown - Kings of Leon

In the current issue of Rolling Stone issue, Kings of Leon lead singers Caleb Followell expressed his deep displeasure of “hipsters.” Which is ironic considering those are the only people who bought his band’s first three records. Yes kiddies, Kings of Leon recorded music before Sex on Fire.

After barely cracking the top twenty-five on those first three hipster approved album, the band exploded with one anthemic song after another off of Only by the Night becoming the biggest band in America in the process to dismay to all the hipsters who knew them before they became beloved by frat boys, soccer moms, and pigeons everywhere.

So what do you do for a follow up? More of the same. Come Around Sundown sounds like it could have been from the same sessions that produced Only by the Night. But the problem is that the new album is cut from the same cloth as the previous one, there are no songs on Come Around Sundown as haunting as Closer, as big as Use Somebody, or sweaty as Sex on Fire.

Of course this set of songs may not have been meant to be heard solely through computer speakers but at your local amphitheatre. The pounding drums that open up the album on The End will shake fourteen thousand fans in unison. “It’s in the water, it’s where you came from,” the chorus to Radioactive begs to be chanted in stadiums across the country with a guitar opening that may even make The Edge jealous. And Pickup Truck is too good to be stuck at the end of the album where Caleb is at his most mournful. But Come Around Sundown as a whole just blends together and gets old really quick. Hopefully the band pumps new life into the songs when they come to your town.

Song to Download – Pickup Truck

Come Around Sundown gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Want My Music Television vol. XCIII

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.

Erase Me - Kid Cudi & Kanye West

Kid Cudi had a high bar to jump over from his last collaboration with Kanye West, but at least the video version awesomely great thanks to appearances by McLovin, Dale Kettlewell, a Jimi Hendrix wig, random hot groupies, and I swear I spotted the kid from The Middle a couple times too.

Waiting for the End – Linkin Park

Before I saw the new Waiting for the End video I heard someone compared it to Radiohead’s House of Cards which raised my expectations as that was one of The 100 Greatest Music Videos of the 00’s, but this is bit of a letdown, it looks to be weird for the sake of being weird. And what is with the reggae interlude at the end?

Well, Well, Well – Duffy

I think I’m off the Duffy bandwagon, Mercy was a breath of fresh air, Warwick Avenue and Stepping Stone were haunting and heartbreaking, but her voice is grating on me. Hopefully the rest of her sophomore offering is better than this.

Somebody to Love – Mark Ronson and the Business Intl. and Boy George

You want to feel old: try explaining the eighties to a teenager. No matter what you talk about, they will just look at you like you came from another planet, which exactly what the eighties was, like living on a different planet. As hard as Lady Gaga tries, she will never be able to outdo the weird crap that came out of the eighties. Case in point: Boy George. Seriously, if you are younger than twenty-five head over to YouTube and search for Culture Club to get a small sense of what the eighties were. This Mark Ronson video is no joke, the Boy George era actually happened and I lived through it. Man I feel old.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Not All Conspiracies Are Theories

Rubicon on AMC

I am certainly not one of those pretentious critics who thinks AMC programming is the greatest thing to hit television since the invention of color. Don Draper is a douchebag and there is no entertainment value in hearing the dad from Malcolm in the Middle cough a hundred times in a forty-two minute episode. Yet I found their third try at a series (which is always the charm) engrossing.

When the network schedules where unveiled back in May, many thought it would be The Event that would take the torch from the retiring Lost and 24, but it was Rubicon that beat the show to it with a deep conspiracy so detailed you probably should have been taking note.

The concept was benign enough to start (or as benign as a show that started out with two deaths can be) focusing on an analyst tasked to keep tabs on a potential terrorist as he reeks havoc in the eastern hemisphere. Jack Bower Will Travers is not. But if 24 was a shoot ‘em up video game, Rubicon was a thinking man’s chess game of a television show.

Which may have also been the shows biggest weakness in that, where chess players stare at the board for minutes at a time, the show sometimes took way too long to unravel its plot. The two main leads to half the season before even meeting and even then it was a while before they could be considered intertwined.

But when Will starting putting two and two together, Rubicon kicked into high gear with edge of the seat thrills that rivaled any action packed show. Even though it was quite obvious that everything would tie together neatly by the end (there are rarely coincidences in television shows like this) it was fun to watch Will piece everything together and go deeper into paranoia with every layer he pulled back.

If Will was the brains of the show, his co workers were the heart. His trio of underlings could always lighten the tension of the main plot between Miles’ squirreliness, Tanya’s drug addledness (who saw her as a relationship writer?), and punching bag Grant. And who figured Cale as the show’s white hat, if there is a second season we really need to know more of his back story.

In the end, Will found the smoking gun that linked Spangler to the terrorist plot with plenty of twists along the way. I never saw the connection between Tom and David coming, although how does Will not see the DVD in her hand and she collapse. That better show up in a second season. Also didn’t see Will’s neighbor from across the way as one of the good guys, I long suspected her being placed in that apartment by the antagonist and was quite shocked when Katherine came knocking on her door. And we learn (I think) the purpose of the four-leaf clover, it is a message that your time on this Earth is coming to a close.

Which brings us to a potential of a second season. Will Truxton take his own life like previous four-leaf clover owners (his daring of Will to publish his story leads me to believe so)? What was the connection between Tom and David? How does the neighbor fit into all of this? It seems like there is an underground network working against Atlas MacDowell. Is Cale part of the network, and if there is one, how far down does it go? Here’s hoping they get to answer them.

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

Sunday, October 17, 2010

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. CLII

Rubicon: I wonder when they came up with the idea of blowing out the pipeline, did they had to add the BP line afterwards so people like me wouldn’t go “we just went through three months of BP spewing oil into the gulf, how bad can this attack be?” You can download Rubicon on iTunes.

Chuck: Unlike Nicole Ritchie last week, this was a cool call back with Casey’s former nemesis in the form of Armande Assante. Loved all of Casey’s tales of living in the walls of the palace for two weeks. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Chuck on iTunes.

How I Met Your Mother: That was the best episode the show has had in a while, you can’t go wrong with multiple Maury Povich sightings. Loved the GPS cutscreens (too bad they didn’t do it throughout the whole episode. But I think I missed something, I thought the were originally racing to see Woody Allen and once they got there, decided to race back to their pub, yet the episode ended with them with whoever’s buddy who spotted Woody in the first place. You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

The Event: That was a silly polt twist of letting Layla think she got free just to lure Sean. And if they want him dead, why not kill him while on the cruise? But I do have a theory that this may turn out to be a Terminator situation where Sean creates the nanobots that allows Sophia and her people not to age and the absurdly hot brunette and her people want to kill him before that happens and Sophia has traveled back in time to make sure that happens. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Event on iTunes.

Castle: I am a little disappointed that the case didn’t actually involve any time travel. And I do not care how inaccurate someone tries to tell me a nineteenth century gun is, I am not participating in any duel. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes.

No Ordinary Family: The kids got a little less annoying this week, but it is not a good sign that I am starting to get bored with the adjusting to the powers phase. Better have a run in with a big bad soon or at least some interaction with other with powers because I am starting to get bored. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download No Ordinary Family on iTunes.

Sons of Anarchy: It looks like we finally will see SAMCRO touchdown in Ireland next week. That only took seven episodes. But I wouldn’t put it past the show that something will keep Jax and company from getting on the plane. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Sons of Anarchy on iTunes.

Survivor: Nicaragua: I hate when the show teases my least favorite contestants getting voted out only for the rug being pulled out from under me. Seriously,, if NaOnca wanted to leave, vote her out. That was a gimmie vote right there. And if Marty was so shocked by the mixing of the tribes, why did he bring his Immunity Idol? I was kind of hoping that it would be just hanging up for anyone to grab at his old tribe. While the water challenge may have been the most evil the show has ever devised. I was kind of hoping the wheel would move more slowly just to see someone panic. You can stream recent episodes over at

Survivor on iTunes

Modern Family: The show is much better with Alex playing with Hayley, not the other way around. But with the holidays coming up, they better find a way to intermingle the families because it is just not as good when tat doesn’t happen. Al Bundy racist jokes can only get you so far. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Modern Family on iTunes

The Challenge: Cutthroat: Best wishes go out to TJ Lavin who had a bad accident earlier this week and is in a medically induced coma. He has really found his groove on the show in a Jeff Probstian way and it is had to think of the show without him even if it rotated plenty of host before him. You can stream recent episodes on You can also download The Challenge: Cutthroat on iTunes.

The Big Bang Theory: Great way for Sheldon to win the argument just by bringing over Penny so Raj couldn’t retort (but Raj may have gotten the last, and biggest, laugh with his oversized desk). But did we know Howard and Bernadette broke up? We hadn’t seen her for a while but I did not remember her even being mentioned this season.

Community: The show really needs to put a moratorium on parodies or at lead limit themselves to only one a month because it seems like that is all the show does anymore. It was funny that they brought up Scary Movie because that was exactly what I was thinking of when I realized we were getting yet another parody. You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Community on iTunes.