Saturday, February 09, 2013

Best of the Week - 2/9/13

Quote of the Week: You're talking about no sense of humor. This is funny. I know I'm laughing. (Raylan Givens, Justified)

Song of the Week: P.S. I Love You – Robin Sparkles Daggers (How I Met Your Mother)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: The Super Bowl: As a former referee, I tend to err on the side of officials whenever there is a questionable call, we are all human and we are going to make a mistake or ten even at the highest levels. I do get a bit suspicious whenever the officiating is severely lopsided like it was with this year’s Super Bowl, the second most lopsided championship game I have ever witnessed (sorry Seahawks fans, you are still number one on the losing side of that). The most notable (no) call was the final play when there was clear pass interference that ended the 49’ers chance to tie the game. Add that to plays like the 2-point conversion when Ed Reed obviously crossed the line before the ball was snapped, which is only more glaring when the 49’ers got called doing the exact same thing during Baltimore’s next offensive series. Then there was also the time when, instead of a personal foul for running into the kicker, that would have given the 49’ers a drive extending first down, it was ruled incidental five yard penalty which only resulted in a re-kick. But the most jaw dropping moment was when a Baltimore Raven actually shoved a referee in the first half of the game. Not only did the guy not get thrown out, like he should have, he did not even get flagged on the play. What is worse the league have not even given the guy any sort of admonishment after the game. There is no way any player should get away with putting their hands on a referee. So the fix was clearly in, but the question is why. I have two working theories; 1) The NFL did not want the 49’ers to win so everyone would blame the blackout on the Ravens losing the biggest lead in Super Bowl history, or 2) the refs have a massive stake in deer antler stock.

Preview Picture of the Week:

Switched at Birth "Human/Need/Desire" Monday at 8:00 on ABC Family

Free Download of the Week: Same as Blood – Lee Koch (NoiseTrade)

New Album Release of the Week: Authentic Hip Hop - LL Cool J

New DVD Release of the Week: Weeds: Season Eight

Video of the Week: Enough of the shame of a football game, lets talk about commercials. Again the big loser again was Doritos who for some reason wants to flush millions of dollars down the drain on the dumbest ads of the year. But they were edge out on the single worst ad by the uncomfortable Go Daddy commercial. As for the winners, only two come to mind a week later, M&M’s singing Meat Loaf just losing out to the Budweiser Clydesdale advertisement.

Next Week Pick of the Week: 2013 Grammy Awards, Sunday at 8:00 on CBS: I am not happy that other channels are counterprogramming the Grammy’s tomorrow as there are new episodes of Once Upon a Time, Revenge, and the return of The Walking Dead. But the Grammy’s are a priority as for the very first time that I can remember, I fully endorse all the nominees in the Album of the Year category. Plus there will be performances by Fun., Frank Ocean, The Lumineers, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Jack White and collaborations featuring The Black Keys with Dr. John, Elton John and Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5 and Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars with Rihanna and Sting, as well as a tribute to Levon Helm featuring Mumford & Sons, Zac Brown Band, Elton John, and T Bone Burnett.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Around the Tubes, 2/8/13

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 Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome, The Song That Changed My Life, Grimm, Banshee, Men At Work, Who Gets the Last Laugh?, Robot Combat League, Out There, In Our Nature, Weeds, Nurse Jackie, Swamp People, Whitney Houston: Legend, Being: New Edition, Rizzoli and Isles, Perception, The Fosters, Twisted, and Town Hall with Tony Bennett.

- Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome may have already premiered online, but for those that prefer watching shows on your television it will be airing on Syfy tomorrow at 9:00. Check out the trailer below:

- Sara Watkins, formerly of Nickle Creek, will be on Wednesday’s episode of The Song That Changed My Life. Spoiler Alert! It’s Señor (Tales of Yankee Power) by Bob Dylan.

- I cannot even remember when the last episode of Grimm was and we still have to wait until two more mouths until it returns, but NBC has just released a new promo to get you ready.

- If you are enjoying Banshee on Cinamax, you will be getting even more of it next year because it has been renewed for a second season. Episode four of this season airs Friday at 10:00.

- TBS recently announced the premiere date of a couple of their programs including the second season of Men at Work Thursday April 4 at 10:00 and new show Who Gets the Last Laugh? Tuesday April 16 which is a new competition program hosted by Donald Faison and from the guys that brought you Punk’d.

- Syfy has a new show called Robot Combat League premiering Tuesday, Feb 26 and is exactly what it sounds like. Check out this interview with host Chris Jericho:

- IFC announced earlier this week a roster of notable voices guesting on the network’s upcoming original animated series, Out There. Selma Blair (Anger Management, Hellboy), Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Ellen Page (Juno, Inception), Stephen Root (King of the Hill, Office Space), Jason Schwartzman (Moonrise Kingdom, The Darjeeling Express), Sarah Silverman (Wreck It Ralph, The Sarah Silverman Program) and Christian Slater (Breaking In, Robot Chicken) will voice a variety of characters in the coming-of-age comedy. Created by Ryan Quincy, two-time Emmy®-winning animation director and producer of South Park, Out There premieres Friday, February 22 at 10:30pm ET/PT with two back-to-back episodes.

- John Slattery (Mad Men), Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights), Jena Malone (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and Gabrielle Union (10 Things I Hate About You) star in Brian Savelson’s candid, delicately observed family portrait of couples at a crossroads. In Our Nature is out now on DVD.

- Also out on DVD over the next two weeks include Weeds: Season Eight, Nurse Jackie: Season Four, Swamp People: Season 3.

- Moving into the second week of Black History Month, Centric TV continues to celebrate some of African American’s greatest musical talent this weekend. To kick off February 9-10, Centric TV will feature interviews about the legendary Whitney Houston in a never-before seen documentary Whitney Houston: Legend and new exclusive interviews from R&B group New Edition in Being: New Edition, which takes center stage Saturday and Sunday, February 9-10, starting at 9:00PM ET.

- No return date yet other than “summer” but the Rizzoli and Isles team was back to work this week and started production on the fifteen episodes of season four while Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break) is set to be a guest star. Perception will also start production its season for a summer premiere and it was just announced that Scott Wolf has signed on to a recurring role as a charismatic, fast-rising Assistant U.S. Attorney recently transferred back to Chicago. Oh yeah, and he is also the soon to be ex-husband of Kate.

- Also coming this summer but to ABC Family will be two new shows The Fosters from executive producer Jennifer Lopez, and Twisted, from executive producer Gavin Polone (Gilmore Girls). Check out the cast photos for both below:

The Fosters coming to ABC Family this summer

Twisted coming to ABCFamily this summer

- Sirius XM Radio announced this that legendary recording artist Tony Bennett will sit down for an intimate Q&A session with an audience of SiriusXM listeners, moderated by Alec Baldwin (who humorously parodies Bennett on Saturday Night Live), at the SiriusXM studios in New York City as part of its Town Hall series. SiriusXM’s Town Hall with Tony Bennett, which will take place on Wednesday, February 13, will air on Valentine’s Day.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Previewing Inside Comedy

Inside Comedy with David Steinberg and Drew Carey

Showtime is launching its second season of Inside Comedy Monday with a new lineup of comedians that sit down and chat with director David Steinberg. This season will feature Judd Apatow, Carol Burnett, Jim Carrey, Louis C.K., Susie Essman, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Bill Maher, Mike Myers, Bob Newhart, Ben Stiller, Lily Tomlin, Keenen Ivory Wayans and Betty White, among others.

The season opens up with Bob Newhart and Louis C.K. but the most interesting of the first couple episodes is the one with Jim Carrey and Keenen Ivory Wayans because of their shared history and even though each comedian is interviewed separately, their crossed paths does get brought up as well as what Carrey thought about being “The White Guy” on In Living Color. It is unclear when these interviews were tapped by Tina Fey mentioned a film she is filming with Steve Carell which I assumed was 2010’s Date Night.

Some highlights from the first couple episode includes C.K. talking about Pootie Tang and why you should never ask him for a picture, Newhart talks about who gave up with the iconic series finale and also puts country music fans on blast. Fey talks about portraying Sarah Palin while Apatow talks about his time being roommates with Adam Sandler. Drew Carey talks about how he missed his first chance to be on The Tonight Show and Wayans reminisces on his first gig… which was at a Racquetball convention.

Inside Comedy airs Mondays at 11:00 on Showtime. You can download the previous season of Inside Comedy on iTunes.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Previewing Alpha Dogs

If you happen to wonder what I do with my free time, it is mostly spent thinking of possible Hollywood reboots like Turner and Hooch with Steve Stiffler filling in for Tom Hanks, Ramona Flowers as the vet love interest and Carl Winslow would naturally get promoted to chief (surprisingly no studio executives have hired me as a consultant for their reboot departments yet). Despite all the time I have devoted to resurrecting the dog cop classic, I never gave much thought about how you train a K-9 unit.

That is until I saw Alpha Dogs which premieres this Friday at 9:00 on Nat Geo Wild. The new series follows the trainers at Vohne Liche Kennels located in Indiana, one of the largest K-9 kennels in the world which provides law assisting pups to local police, SWAT teams, border patrol, and every branch of the military, including some outfits us average citizens are not privy to. They even have top security clearances and some of the people they train to use their dogs have to have their faces blocked out “for national security reasons”. The team teaches handlers and dogs to leap from helicopters, rappel down buildings, search buildings and cars for explosives and drugs, and chase down human targets. The dogs can even be trained to find illicit cell phones in prison cells and money being brought through airports as part of laundering schemes.

The show, brought to you be Jack Osborne (before you scratch your head, if I am not mistaken, Jack starred in a misguided celebrity police show that also took place in Indiana so he obviously made some connections), is full of a couple characters that you would expect on a show like this, really anyone willing to play a bad guy decoy for dogs or hang out with live explosives is probably going to be an interesting person (or just really hard up for cash). These are the type of people where you are going to see more mullets than sleeves and go turtling in their down time. If you want to know what turtling is, you will have to tune in to find out. I will give you a hint by saying it is something you will never see me doing.

Alpha Dogs airs Friday at 9:00 on Nat Geo Wild with back to back episodes.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The 20 Greatest Charity Supergroups of All Time

In honor of one of the most charitable Super Bowls ever where the referees gave the championship to the Baltimore Ravens in the second most lopsidedly officiated Championship Game in my lifetime (the first being the Steelers over the Seahawks which gives me a little satisfactions that the refs love the AFC North so much if the Browns miraculously ever make a Super Bowl appearance in my lifetime). More on the game in my Best of the Week roundup on Saturday. As for the Greatest Charity Supergroups of All-Time, unfortunately there are not a lot of them; I found a little fewer than thirty. Seriously, why there are not more of them, there should be one after every tragedy in addition. And I am sure there is still plenty of famine still left in Africa, where half of these charities went to, a favorite cause in the eighties which kicked of the charity supergroup trend. Oh well, here is my list.

1. We Are the World – USA For Africa (1985)
Raised Money For: Famine relief in Ethiopia
Best Line: Bruce Springsteen singing the chorus
Weirdest Transition: Dionne Warwick to Willie Nelson
Who Invited: Dan Aykroyd

2. Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid
Raised Money For: Famine relief in Ethiopia
Best Line: Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you - Bono
Weirdest Transition: Sting and Simon LeBon
Who Invited: Spandau Ballet

3. Just Stand Up – Stand Up 2 Cancer
Raised Money For: Stand Up 2 Cancer (2008)
Best Line: You don’t gotta be a prisoner in your mind, you can live your life (yeah) let your heart be your guide – Mary J. Blige
Weirdest Transition: Beyonce to Carrie Underwood
Who Invited: Miley Cyrus

4. We’re All in the Same Gang – West Coast Rap All Stars
Raised Money For: Promoted an anti-violence message
Best Line: Don’t you know we got to put our heads together – Michel’le
Weirdest Transition: N.W.A. to Young MC
Who Invited: Humpty Hump

5. What’s Going On – Artists Against Aides Worldwide (2002)
Raised Money For: AIDS programs in Africa and other impoverished regions, 9/11 Relief
Best Line: Oh my father, father, we don’t need to escalate – Nora Gaye
Weirdest Transition: Gwen Stefani to Aaron Lewis
Who Invited: Fred Durst… rapping

6. Voices That Care – Voices That Care (1991)
Raised Money For: U.S. troops involved in Operation Desert Storm
Best Line: You are the voice and the guiding light. Feel in your heart how our love burns bright – Warren Wiebe
Weirdest Transition: Ralph Tresvant to Randy Travis
Who Invited: Mike Tyson (seriously, who put him next to Debbie Gibson)

7. Stars – Hear n Aid
Raised Money For: famine relief in Africa
Best Line: The epic guitar solos as a whole
Weirdest Transition: None, a very homogeneous group
Who Invited: Spinal Tap

8. Wavin’ Flag – Young Artists for Haiti (2010)
Raised Money For: People of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake
Best Line: If you weren't involved before it's never too late to start - Drake
Weirdest Transition: Drake to Nicki Yanofsky
Who Invited: Tom Cohrane

9. Self Destruction – The Stop the Violence Moment (1989)
Raised Money For: National Urban League
Best Line: I never ever ran from the Klu Klux Klan and I shouldn’t have to run from a black man – Kool Moe Dee
Weirdest Transition: Ms. Melodie to Doug E Fresh
Who Invited: Tone Loc

10. Give Peace a Chance – The Peace Choir (1991)
Raised Money For: In response to the imminent Gulf War
Best Line: Liberation ahhhhhhhhhh – Rev Run
Weirdest Transition: LL Cool J to Iggy Pop
Who Invited: Dweezil Zappa

11. Sun City – Artists United Against Apartheid (1985)
Raised Money For: protest apartheid in South Africa
Best Line: We’re stabbing our brothers and sisters in the back – Bruce Springsteen. Bono
Weirdest Transition: George Clinton to Joey Ramone
Who Invited: The Fat Boys (did one of them seriously get kissed by Bono?)

12. Across the Universe – 2005 Grammy’s
Raised Money For: Tsunami Relief
Best Line: Something’s gonna change my world – the choir
Weirdest Transition: Alicia Keys to Scott Weiland
Who Invited: Steven Tyler’s maracas

13. Give a Kidney – Kidney Now (2009)
Raised Money For: National Kidney Foundation
Best Line: Listen, when someone starts talking in the middle of a song, you know it’s serious – Elvis Costello
Weirdest Transition: Wyclef Jean, Steve Earle, and Michael McDonald
Who Invited: Clay Aiken

14. Do They Know it’s Hallowe’en – The North American Hallowe'en Prevention Initiative
Raised Money For: UNICEF
Best Line: Don’t know
Weirdest Transition: Take your pick
Who Invited: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

15. Sing – Annie Lennox featuring Various Artists (2007)
Raised Money For: HIV/AIDS
Best Line: Sing my sister sing – Annie Lennox
Weirdest Transition: None because of only two lead vocals
Who Invited: Madonna

16. Tears Are Not Enough – Northern Lights (1985)
Raised Money For: famine relief in Ethiopia
Best Line: It’s the time to take our message everywhere, ya know! – Cory Hart
Weirdest Transition: Cory Hart and the French people
Who Invited: Eugene Levy

17. H.E.A.L. Yourself – Human Education Against Lies (1991)
Raised Money For: H.E.A.L. Project
Best Line: Before you’re a color, first you are a human – KRS-One
Weirdest Transition: None, a very homogeneous group
Who Invited: Freddie Foxxx

18. Perfect Day – BBC (1997)
Raised Money For: Children in Need
Best Line: Just a perfect day, drink sangria in the park – Lou Reed
Weirdest Transition: Tammy Wynette to Shane MacGowan
Who Invited: the dude from Fun Lovin’ Criminals

19. Beds Are Burning (TckTckTck) – Time for Climate Justice (2009)
Raised Money For: Climate Change
Best Line: Now this village lives and breathes in forty five degrees – the dude from the Scorpions
Weirdest Transition: pretty much everyone in the Hodge podge of world artists
Who Invited: Talia al Guil

20. What More Can I Give - Michael Jackson and Friends
Raised Money For: Victims of 9/11
Best Line: We should give over and over again - Michael Jackson
Weirdest Transition: Reba McEntire to Aaron Carter
Who Invited: Billy Gilman

Honorable Mention
Let It Be - Gylne Tider: This did not make the list on account that it is not an actual charity single, but some Norwegian television hosts that tricked a bunch of long forgotten stars into thinking they were recording a charity single. No “Who invited…” because I would just end up writing every name of everyone involved.

Dishonorable Mention
We Are the World 25 – Arists for Haiti: Just a complete abomination

Monday, February 04, 2013

Previewing Monday Mornings

The cast of Monday Mornings

I like to complain that the only shows on television these days feature cops, lawyers, or doctors but with House and Private Practice ending last year, if I am not mistaken one of the few doctors left on television last fall was Dr. Sheldon Cooper and as a theoretical physicist, he faints at the sight of blood so he won’t be performing surgery anytime soon. For those that miss the more traditional doctors, tonight sees the premiere of Monday Mornings created by David E Kelly, his first trek back into the operating room since creating Chicago Hope in 1994, and based on the book of CNN’s chief medical correspondent (and almost Surgeon General of the United States) Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Alfred Molina of Monday Mornings
What sets Monday Mornings apart is at the start of every week the chief of staff Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2) sits down with his surgeons and makes everyone who made a mistake the previous week come up to the front of the lecture hall to explain in agonizing detail just what wrong in the operating room and what they should have done differently. These meetings are painful and Molina is relentless and scary in his line of questioning it is surprising he has not made one cry (yet). These scenes are so great that if these meeting made up the majority of the show I would be tuning in every week.

Unfortunately much like Dr. Sheldon Cooper, I hate the sight of blood except when it is cartoonish horror movie blood. But for those that do like medical porn, you will see inside a person’s brain within the first minute of the show. And since there are a couple neurosurgeons on the show, you will be seeing inside the skulls of many of patients throughout the series. Other cases you will see this season is a woman with incontrollable (except when consuming wine) hand tremors, a thirteen year old who refuses surgery, and a schizophrenic (played by Once Upon a Time’s Jiminy Cricket) who cannot provide the consent for life-saving surgery.

Keong Sim the best part of Monday Mornings
Joining Molina is Ving Rhames (Con Air), the Trauma Chief who is about as menacing as Alfred. The always intimidating Bill Irwin (Hot Shots!) is the local Chief of Transplantation who gets under the skin of the other doctors who thinks he just stands around hoping for their patients to die so he can harvest their parts. With all that hardheadedness, Jamie Barber (Battlestar Galactica) is the complete opposite of his co-workers who gets way too sensitive whenever he loses a patient (and my bet for the first doctor to cry at a Monday morning meeting). His partner, in possibly more ways than one, is Jennifer Finnigan (Committed) a neurosurgeon just as compassionate as Barber.

But my favorite character, which is saying a lot whenever Ving in a part of a cast, is Keong Sim (The Last Airbender) as a Korean emigrant and English speaking challenged who gives simple blunt answers like when asked what the worse case scenario is, “worse case: dead.” The rest of the cast includes Sarayu Roa (Lions for Lambs) who dates Finnigan’s real life husband Jonathan Silverman (Weekend at Bernie's) and Emily Swallow (Southland), the most inexperienced doctor on staff.

Monday Mornings airs Mondays at 10:00 (in the evenings, not the mornings) on TNT. You will be able to download Monday Mornings on iTunes.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 2/3/13

Shameless: The show has had some pretty immoral storyline (like this week when Frank tried to scam the Make a Wish Foundation) but they did do something right by organizing a mob to give a beating to a child rapist, a group of people that certainly deserve a ritual beating by the general public. Of course this being Shameless, the perp ended up being a hot chick. But I guess Lip was right that they need scorned too.

Bunheads: I would have absolutely no problem if they shifted the show away from ballet to roller derby. Not at all.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Bunheads on iTunes.

Deception: I am ready to fast forward to the part where we learn the mother killed Vivian. She seems like the only plausible person at this point (except maybe the sister in law who looks keen on skipping town).
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Deception on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: So Allison may have been pregnant before she died and may have been killed because of it (and not so coincidently the detective assigned to her murder who is eager to blame it on the Liars happened to be in the vicinity during the conception). Not that I am one to believe CeCe, but an interesting turn of events nonetheless. Not so interesting is Spencer’s spiral this week. Just tell your friends your ex-boyfriend is part of the A-Team and get on with it. And is it not obvious that the key goes to the creepy motel when the A-Team hung out in? That would have been the first place I looked.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Justified: This was an odd episode. No mention of the skydiver plotline and it kind of wrapped up two other plots with Raylan’s girlfriend going into the wind with her husband going back to Florida in restraints. It was even more shocking that they abruptly ended the preacher who I thought would be a thorn in Boyd’s side all season (granted it is probably not completely over with his sister still around and I have a feeling she will reunite with Ellie May at some point). But the sandbag shotgun may have been the greatest invention ever.
You can download Justified on iTunes.

The Americans: I had high hopes for this show after the lackluster offering there was this Fall (the best new show, Last Resort, has already aired its last episode) and though it will under up being the best new show of the season (with all due respect to The Neighbors) the premiere was missing something. I went into the show thinking it would be Justified meets Homeland with Russians. But it misses the subtle humor of Justified (which like The Americans is produced by Graham Yost) and misses the manic craziness of Homeland (though the kids on the show manage to be even more clueless than Chris Brody). And I felt a little creepy seeing Keri Russell get violated multiple times over the course of an hour. I also found it a little weird, and obvious, that the new FBI anti-communism task force member just happened to move across the street (which begs the question, who hangs out in the corner of their garage with a silencer). With that said, I am still on board for a full season. And I have a feeling that the season finale will be the two KGB agents turning themselves in and season two will be them acting as double agents.
You can download The Americans on iTunes.

The Big Bang Theory: I had the exact same response Penny had when Sheldon admitted there was a possibility that he may at some point make coitus with Amy at some point.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download The Big Bang Theory on iTunes.

King of the Nerds: Note to producers: during the explanation phase, do not show the actually players scoring because it ruined the suspense of the Nerd Off. If you show the red ball go into the goal and then the pink haired girl gets the red ball we know that she would get at least one goal and would probably win.