Saturday, June 29, 2013

Best of the Week: 6/29/13

Quote of the Week: Why don’t you just tell them what I saw? (Sally Draper, Mad Men)

Song of the Week: Moon River – Andy Williams (Mad Men)

Big News of the Week: Good and Bad News for Partisans: It is hard to tell if it was a good or bad week for hyper-partisans. It started out bad for progressives (and good for conservatives) when on Tuesday the Supreme Court decided 5-4 to reject parts of the Voting Rights Act (even though it was renewed with no “nay” votes by an Senators during the Bush era) and racist states hamstrung by the act was quick to act because within hours Texas already had a couple bills drafted to restrict voting rights. But things took a turn for the worse for conservatives (and turned around for progressives) when the very next day the Super Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, again by a single vote. Which does not matter much here in Ohio where we decided not only decided to outlaw gay marriage almost decade ago but also eliminated all co-habitation rights. Sorry roommate, you still cannot visit me in the hospital.

Preview Picture of the Week:

"Face Time" Pretty Little Liars Tuesday at 8:00 on ABC Family

Free Download of the Week: Live at Tramps – Radiohead (Noisetrade): For those that liked Radiohead back when they actually used guitars will want to pick up this full length concert circa 1995 which rilies heavily on The Bends and even features their breakout hit Creep which may have very well been one of the last time the band played the song live. Even though it is free to download, you can leave a tip, 100% of proceeds will go to Amnesty International.

New Album Release of the Week: Magma Cater Holy Grail – Jay-Z

New DVD Release of the Week: Last Resort: The Complete First Season

Video of the Week: Three weeks ago, Rob Thomas started releasing casting news for the Veronica Mars Movie, one by one, there were some obvious cast members (Wallace and Mac), some welcome returns (Madison Sinclair and Corny), and a couple that made the most ardent Veronica Mars fans go “who?” (Anyone remember Susan Knight?) And then filming started two weeks ago without the man who topped my list of The 10 Things I Hoped Make it into the Veronica Mars Movie: Vincent Van Lowe. Which was a depressing thought because could they really do a Veronica Mars movie without the probable sheriff of Neptune (unless Deputy Sachs rose to the position in the subsequent years)? Finally Ken Marino signed on complete with an in character video. And if that was not enough Party Down for you, Martin Starr was also cast as a 09’er returning for the reunion, and the third cast member of Thomas’s other show (considering Adam Scott played the baby daddy of the previously mentioned Susan Knight I would put money on him showing up). That would just leave Jane Lynch (who played a teacher at Neptune High but is currently filming a soon to be unwatched NBC game show) and Lizzy Caplan as the only Party Downers not linked to the Veronica Mars movie. For the latter, may I suggest one more time in the role of oft mention and little seen Shelly Pomroy. Until then, here is Vinnie pitching his own Kickstarter movie.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Dexter, Sunday (tomorrow) at 9:00 on Showtime: The final season of Dexter premieres tomorrow, unfortunately I am woefully behind so I have to spend the season avoiding spoilers (which I have not been that good at with this show). The final season of Dexter will be followed by the first season of Ray Donovan which I am actually ahead on and you can read my thoughts on the first couple episodes here.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Around the Tubes: 6/28/13

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 Siberia, Secrets of Highclere Castle, Gideon's Army, the ESPY's, Legends of the Old West, How the States Got Their Shapes, Why We Laugh: Funny Women, Killing Kennedy, Golovkin vs. Macklin, Sammy Hager, Kiss, India Arie, Chicago Fire, and The Story of Film: An Odyssey.

- Siberia seemed to come out of nowhere with an unknown creator and unknown cast, but it does premiere Monday at 10:00 on NBC (against the out of the gate Under the Dome). But if you are already hooked on the CBS show, you can still watch Siberia premiere now, check it out below:

- Following the success of the Downton Abbey-inspired special Secrets of Highclere Castle, PBS announced earlier this week the international premiere of three new one-hour specials that explore some of England’s other storied homes. The Sunday night lineup this summer will include Secrets of Henry VIII’s Palace, Secrets of Althorp – The Spencers and Secrets of Chatsworth, all part of the ongoing series by Pioneer Productions. Each of the three specials precedes Masterpiece Mystery! on Sundays, June 30-July 14, 2013, 8:00 on PBS.

- Next week, HBO's Summer Documentary Series rolls on with the brave story of a few southern public defenders and their struggle against injustice in Gideon's Army, premiering Monday at 9:00. In 1961, Clarence Earl Gideon was arrested for stealing soda and a few dollars from a pool hall. Unable to afford an attorney, he was convicted after representing himself at trial. Gideon appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously that the right to counsel in a criminal case is fundamental to the American system of justice. Fifty years after the landmark Gideon v. Wainwright case, most of them will be represented by one of the United States’ 15,000 public defenders. Check out the trailer below.

- The ESPY nominations were announced yesterday and now it is time for you to vote at After you are done voting all you have to do is wait until Wednesday, July 17, at 9:00 on ESPN when the show airs with Jon Hamm as host.

- New to DVD next week include the History documentary Legends of the Old West, the second season of History’s How the States Got Their Shapes, and Why We Laugh: Funny Women which features in-depth interviews with the funniest women in Hollywood including Kathy Griffin, Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, Kim Wayans, Janeane Garofalo, Rita Rudner, Kathy Najimy, Sandra Bernhard, Natasha Leggero, Aisha Tyler and many more.

- Last week we got our first look at the Kennedy’s from National Geographic Channel’s Killing Kennedy and now here is your first glimpse of Michelle Trachtenberg and Will Rothhar as Marina and Lee Harvey Oswald:

Michelle Trachtenberg as Marina Oswald on the set of National Geographic Channel's KILLING KENNEDY, premiering this November. National Geographic Channels/Kent Eanes

Will Rothhaar as Lee Harvey Oswald on the set of National Geographic Channel's KILLING KENNEDY, premiering this November. National Geographic Channels/Kent Eanes

- Boxing returns to HBO for the pulse-pounding, middleweight Championship Bout between Gennady "GGG" Golovkin and Matthew "Mack the Knife" Macklin. Destine to be an adrenaline fueled fight, will Macklin be able to stave off the lethal KO power of Golovkin's fists to claim the title or will he follow in the footsteps of his predecessors, and fall to the ferocious force? Find out when the World Title fight is televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark, beginning tomorrow at 9:45, from the state of the art MGM Grand Theater, at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

- Collaborations album all the rage these days (most recently by John Folgerty), but Sammy Hagar is not bringing in other acts to re-do his (or Van Halen) songs, he is recording new songs and covering other artists like Bob Segar with the likes of Kid Rock, Nancy Wilson and his Chickenfoot bandmates Chad Smith, Michael Anthony, and Joe Satriani for Sammy Hager and Friends out September 24.

- The legendary, multi-platinum selling band Kiss bursts onto your screen as they team up with VEVO, the world's leading all-premium music video and entertainment platform, for the global premiere of the band’s explosive new Lyric Video for the song Right Here Right Now from their current release Monster.

- India.Arie’s new album, SongVersation, dropped this week and this Sunday, in an-all new “Super Soul Sunday” episode, India.Arie will give a special performance of the song ‘Break the Shell’ off of her new album. Oprah & Grammy Award-Winner India.Arie Part Two: How to Break Through’ premieres this Sunday, June 30 at 11am ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

- If you missed the first season of Chicago Fire, you do not have to wait until the release of the DVD set to catch up because you can watched the enite season currently on

- Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will present the U.S. television premiere of the acclaimed documentary series The Story of Film: An Odyssey this fall. The series, which tells the history of cinema through a worldwide lens, will be the centerpiece of TCM's most ambitious and far-reaching programming event ever. Over the span of 15 weeks, beginning Monday, Sept. 2, TCM will present The Story of Film: An Odyssey curated with a slate of 119 films and dozens of short subjects representing 29 countries across six continents.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Previewing Ray Donovan

The cast of Ray Donovan

We have all been there, wake up to some naked dead chick and try to figure out who to call to take care of it. For those of us with enough money, we can call Ray Donovan, the kind of guy who has another client, an action movie hero who got caught with a transvestite, who could be seen with a dead coked-up chick because that would be an upgrade in the public eye from a transvestite (although I am not sure how you have an A-lister get caught with a transvestite and not make an Eddie Murphy joke).

That is the titular character of Ray Donovan (Live Schreiber, Scream 3), he is a fixer. A fixer for high priced clients who need things done by any means necessary. One of his first “fixes” involved his father, Jon Voight (National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets) twenty years ago which landed the him in prison, and the start of the series sees papa Donovan getting released five years ahead of schedule leading the younger version scrambling to keep his father out of his life.

His bothers are more on the fence. Eddie Marsan (The Disappearance of Alice Creed) is the former boxer with Parkinson’s while Dash Mihok (The Day After Tomorrow) is dealing with his own demons that stems from his time in the Catholic church and is now a “sexual anorexic”. And like any good Irish Catholic families, there is even a bastard son unbeknownst to Ray that appears right around the time their father shows up. Home life, in Calabasas, what they call the Jersey Shore of Los Angeles, is not much better, his wife Paula Malcomson (Deadwood) begrudgingly accepts what he has to do for his job while his kids (including Kerris Dorsey who was most recently seen as Sally Draper’s violinist friend on Mad Men) are eager to meet the grandfather they never knew.

The big problem with Ray Donovan is we have seen the troubled Irish-Catholic family with major issues done many times before, and done much better than this. The scenes when Ray is working are much more entertaining but also lean on major clichés. In the first episode we meet the adulterous basketball player, the closeted gay action hero, and the horny pop star. I am guessing it will not be too long until Ray meets the gangsta rapper who actually grew up in the suburbs. And while Voight is creepy, is is not the creepy cool that Mads Mikkelsen on Hannibal plays, but in a hide your young daughters (and probably young sons too) kind of creepy. Early in the season you will get to witness Voight dancing in a gay bar to Now That We Found Love, an imagine you will instantly want scrubbed from your brain after seeing it. In the end, Ray Donovan is one of those shows that is very well done, well written, well acted, but there is just something missing.

Ray Donovan airs Sundays at 10:00 on Showtime following the final season of Dexter.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Monster Is About to Come Alive Again

Yeezus - Kanye West

When you are dealing with a genius, you are going to have to put up with some eccentricities, be it Prince changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol or Van Gough cutting his ear off. Then there is the case of Kanye West. His trilogy school themed albums stand up against the first three albums of any artists ever. But after Graduation, West’s mother died and he broke up with his longtime girlfriend and instead on continue his college esthetics of those first three albums, he instead made an emo-rap album more depressing than any of the horrible shoe gazing of the time.

It was also around this time when even I as one of Kanye’s most ardent defenders was having trouble sticking up for the guy after stunts like the Taylor Swift incident and the ill-timed “George Bush doesn’t care about black people comment.” But after his emo opus, Kanye was back on point with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Watch the Throne and even Cruel Summer had a couple hot tracks (if you are able to edit out Big Shawn). Apparently more accessible Kanye albums come in three because out next is Yeezus which one Rolling Stone writer said “makes Radiohead's Kid a look like Bruno Mars by comparison.” I believe he meant it like a compliment, but this listener did not take it that way.

Like most people, my first experience with Yeezus, was when West performed New Slaves and Black Skinheads on Saturday Night Live, not really the best idea considering the show’s legendary poor audio for musical guest, but considering the lo-fi feeling of the songs, it actually might have been appropriate. Based on the two songs alone, it sounded like he was trading in the annoying emo rock of the 00’s that he aped on 808’s and Heartbreaks for an even more darker time period with the new wave sound of the early eighties with bands like Joy Division.

As it turned out, those two songs were some of the most “musical” songs on the album Yeezus instead starts off with On Sight which sounds like it samples some Artari games from the eighties. And most of the songs follow that sparse industrial that throws in even weirder effect like the screaming in I Am a God or the weird almost air-horn distortion in Hold My Liqour, does turn into this psychedelic trip at the end that sounds like a hip-hop Pink Floyd (Guilt Trip also has a trippy Pink Floyd feel to it).

Yet the most surprising song on the album is the closer Bound 2 which musically sounds like classic Kanye with its sped up soul sample (looking back this was foreshadowed with snippets in On Sight and at the end of New Slave) but he still sounds as angry as he does on the rest of the album and some dark synthesizers seep through by the end of the song. I am not sure if the ending means that things are not as bad as the first nine tracks on Yeezus would suggest or it itself suggest on his next album Kanye will revisit his backpacking days. Either way, rumors suggest we will learn that answer sooner than later be it Watch the Throne II or Cruel Winter as soon as by the end of this year.

Song to Download – Bound 2

Yeezus gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Previewing Perception and Rizzoli & Isles

Scott Wolf pops up on this season of Perception

When we last saw Dr. Daniel Pierce on Perception, he was back on his medication, no longer suffering from the symptoms paranoid schizophrenia like talking to figments of his imagination. Sure this would be good in real life, but characters on their meds make for less interesting television show, just look at Homeland when Carrie spent an entire season on a strict diet of pills. Although when we first see Kelly Rowan on screen I had to wonder if it was the real life doctor he met last season or the imaginary friend he made up to look like her. Do not worry, we get a definitive answer by the end of the episode.

Also in the new season we get to met Kate’s estranged husband, who shows up in the form of Scott Wolf (V), who just so happened to be transferred to Chicago and is quick to call on his soon to be ex-wife. First when someone who brutally killed his wife but became a changed man after a gunshot to the brain. Or at least Dr. Peirce is brought in to see if he really has changed and it brings up the moral dilemma of if you are no longer the person who did the crime, should you still serve the time? Later in the season, the team investigates a wife who thinks her sci-fi writing husband has been replaced by a alien and things are only get more complicated when someone ends up dead.

Perception airs Tuesdays at 10:00 on TNT. You can also download Perception on iTunes.

Rizzoli and Isles now with more yellow boots

When we last saw the ladies of Rizzoli and Isles Maura decided to anonymously donate her kidney to the half-sister she barely knows and the fourth season with her recovering from surgery. But no one thanking her hurts just as much (maybe she should not have given up her organ anonymously if she wanted credit). While Maura waits around for someone to show up and thank her, Jane gets a couple unexpected visitors, one in the first episode that you have already met while a second one show’s up in Jane’s life after eight years apart and the two did not part on very good terms.

As for the cases, tonight a senator gets assassinated at a parade (which brings up images of JFK with hints of the Boston Bombings because of the setting). Though it is not very hard to guess who does it because when the camera scans the sniper, you actually get a better look then the show probably wanted you to have because once the character reappears on scene I instantly recognized them. Then next week deals with a drug deal gone badly and the detective have to figure out why this good college girl got caught up in the situation.

Rizzoli and Isles airs Tuesdays at 9:00 on TNT. You can also download Rizzoli & Isles on iTunes.

Monday, June 24, 2013

I Want My Music Television: 6/24/13

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.

Royals - Lorde

Just last week during my Summer Music Preview I was lamenting the lack of great music this and, boom, the next day Lorde pops up while listening to my library. Supposedly I downloaded this in March and played it once already, but I guess it took a second listen to really get it. The song along with the video reminds me of something that would have been a big Buzzworthy hit during the alternative craze of the mid nineties. Over the weekend I made some slightly hyperbolic statements: that not only is it the best song of the year so far, but it is the best anti-materialistic song since Ante Up, the best song by a teenager since Christina Aguilera, and the greatest song ever to come out of New Zealand. I should probably walk back on a couple of those, Get Lucky is still probably the best song of the year, Royals is probably only the best song by a teenage since Taylor Swift’s Our Song, and the Naked and the Famous could make a claim for greatest song ever to come out of New Zealand with Young Blood. But I fully stand by Royals being the best anti- materialistic song since Ante Up. Nonetheless, this is a great song, the kind of song Lana Del Rey only wishes she could make. And the outro of the video is getting ready for her next single Tennis Courts which is almost as good.

Paper Doll – John Mayer

Just a year ago John Mayer released his folk epic Born and Raised but will already have a new album out fifteen months later. I guess he spent a lot of downtime during his voice issues writing. Everyone has already declared this song about a naïve former flame to be pointed at Taylor Swift who eviscerated Mayer in her song Dear John. If correct, Mayer wins this round mostly because Dear John ranks as one of Swift’s worst song ever (do not worry Taylor, your Joe Jonas song was way better than his about you) and Paper Doll is already better than anything on his last album. But enough about the song for now, the chick in this video really creeps me out.

A Tattered Line of String - The Postal Service

The Postal Service recently their ten year anniversary of their only album and this is one of only two new songs. I still prefer when Ben Gibbard’s lyrics set to a more organic background. But the music video is a great idea.

U Should Know Better - Robyn featuring Snoop Dogg

I am already on record saying that kids as the artists in music videos is always entertaining, but Robyn flipped that concept on its head by casting a kid of an opposite gender to play her which is pretty awesome. I do not know about the female Snoop Dogg though.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 6/23/13

Mad Men: Oh my god! They killed Kenny!!! Oh wait, never mind, he just got Cheneyed. Yeah I would want off that account too. I do not see how anyone can get hard feelings if you leave after getting shot in the face. And Don was really on point this week, giggling like a baby, saving, then humiliating Ted, gets caught nailing a neighbor by Sally last week and this week she ships herself off to boarding school. I wonder how long until he asks Megan to wear that wig in bed. But I was really disappointed that Bob Benson juts turned out to be another Don Draper, but possibly gayer. I wonder if there s another shoe to drop. And I do not mean the heavily rumor that he is the love chick of Don and the hooker from the flashback earlier in the season. But that still was not more disappointing that the unnecessary return of Creepy Glen. That had to have been the worst choreographed fight scene ever put to film.
You can download Mad Men on iTunes.

Switched at Birth: Ouch, Daphne really looked hurt when Regina told her not to clean up because she was “a guest.” And it only got worse when she caught the Vasquez clan dancing together at the end of the episode. I have a feeling she will be taking out that frustration on the tennis court this season.
You can stream recent episodes on Switched At Birth on iTunes.

The Voice: I skipped out on the show after the egregious elimination of Caroline Glaser but tuned into the finale because I figured she would pop back up and of course the awesomeness of Bob Seger and the first live performance from Cher in over a decade which turned out to be the worst live performance since the Britney Spears VMA debacle. The finale was pretty befuddling; I get Danielle Bradbery, not the greatest voice but was always in my Top Ten Power Rankings this season and rates very high on the likeability scale. But how did the other two turn out to be The Swon Brothers and Michelle Chamuel made it that far? I thought Michelle benefited from being on the worst team and would not have even made the Live Shows if she was on any other team, instead she benefits from being the anti-country choice this season. While The Swon Brother lucked through on Blake’s Team taking a spot in the Live Shows that should have gone to Caroline, Savannah Berry, Grace Askew, or even Luke Edgemon. I thought for sure after the first Live Show, they would be one of the first three acts voted out with Josiah Hawley and Garrett Gardner.

After the lackluster second season, I was inspired to write 10 Ways to Fix The Voice and two seasons later the implemented four of them the next season and three more this season (well Shakira was closer to a “rock” judge than they have had before but they came close to banning Adele, the only person who sang one of her songs did not get any of the coaches to turn around for her and I do not recall anyone annoyingly screaming “I Love You” while Adam was talking). Even the sob stories seemed to be toned down this season. Still season four was the worst season yet, I stopped watching season two just short of the finale, but was out this season after the first live shows. But unlike after season two, the fixes are easier and really only need three.

1) Tweak the Voting System Again: One of my biggest complains about season two was how Chris Mann made it into the finals when Lindsey Pavao crushed him on the iTunes Charts every week (and to a lesser extent RaeLynn and Jermaine Paul). In season three they introduced the iTunes Bonus where if an artist reached the top ten on the iTunes Overall Chart their iTunes votes would be multiplied by 10. Trevin Hunte advanced further than his iTunes sales would have suggested but for the most part I think every week but one where the lowest selling artists were voted off.

Fast forward to the first live show of this season, Caroline and Sarah Simmons are the only two artists to have all four of the songs enter the iTunes Overall chart after they were released, that week Caroline was the only contestant to have all four of her songs on the Overall Chart at the same time (to put this into perspective, no one else this season did this until they started releasing two songs per week a month later), all four of which were higher than Josiah’s highest charting song. Despite being the two best selling contestants overall up to that point, Caroline and Sarah ended up in Adam’s bottom two while Judith Hill inexplicitly went through even though she was over fifty spots behind them on the iTunes charts. It did not help there were voting irregularities that week where they threw out all the internet and texting votes. That meant there were a lot of phone calls for Judith to make up the difference. I can buy if someone is within ten or so spots on the iTunes charts can overcome someone by other methods but not fifty spots, especially during a week with “voting irregularities”.

So the show really needs to tweak the voting system again to put more say into the hands of the music buying public because those are the people who are going to buy the albums after the show, not the people who just vote on the internet for an hour trying to stuff the ballots. Even though I like the iTunes voting, it is a bit arbitrary and clunky. I believe there was a time last season where Amanda Brown sold more copies of a song than a previous week but it was the previous song got the iTunes bonus because it just so happened to chart higher despite selling less songs. They could maybe change that to a fixed number like say if you sell over 25,000 songs you get the bonus. Or if they are really like having it fixed to the iTunes Charts, expand the iTunes Bonus to something like top ten gets a x10 multiplier, top 25 gets a x5 multiplier, top 50 gets a x2 multiplier. The more the show lets the music buying public decide who advances and wins, the better chance that artists has of becoming successful and more credible the show is.

2) Make Sure the Live Shows Are More Diverse: If you remember back to the first Live Show, America saved only country and RnB artists (again Michelle was extremely lucky to be on a team with only one RnB sing and no country) while the rockers, pop singers, latin, and folk artists were stuck hoping their coach saved them. Country ended up overtaking the RnB singers with four of the last six contestants. In comparison, here is the breakdown of the final four contestants’ genres of the four seasons:

Season One: pop dude, indie-folk chick, pop rocker chick, and classic rock chick
Season Two: RnB dude, rocker chick, folk-rock dude, opera dude
Season Three: pop rock chick, rocker dude, blue eyed soul man, RnB dude
Season Four: three country singers and whatever Michelle was supposed to be

Really last season, each team was super diverse with the exception of Christina and her Mini-Me’s (who were not surprisingly quickly eliminated). Blake even said he only wanted to take one country singer last season because he did not want them to siphon each other’s votes. But that is not clearly the case. When fans of Danielle were done voting for her, they would then vote for Amber. Then the Swon Brothers. Then Holly Tucker creating a coattail effect where all the country artists benefited from being alike. I guess it would be easy to limited people to only ten votes per person per method (with the exception of iTunes) where voters would have to chose if they want to give all ten votes to Danielle, or if they want to go 3-3-2-2 to Danelle, Amber, Swons, and Holly.

Of course it would be much easier just to tell the coaches to make sure they have a more diverse team next season because have two genres takes up over half of the live shows (nine of the sixteen spots) really hurt the quality of the show. It is very telling that as the Live Shows went along the ratings in the much coveted 18-49 demo crashed and burned, breaking record lows multiple times during the Live Shows yet the overall viewers stayed about the same, and even had the most watched finale. This says that the audience got really old really quick over the course of the season. It almost turned into American Idol overnight which was helped by being dominated by two genres that skew old and this season of The Voice going against a season of American Idol where even the most loyal viewers were jumping ship to avoid Nicki Minaj. To think how much more entertaining and diverse the top twelve could have been had it included Caroline, Luke, Jess Kellner, and Mary Miranda instead of eight country and RnB singers.

3) Put a Moratorium on Songs: Thankfully were not stuck listening to singers trying to out-Adele Adele this season, but there were still way too many recycled songs. Case in point when Judith sang Feeling Good. Not only had the song already been performed this season during the blind auditions, but it has been performed four times on the show over the past year. That is overkill. I Have Nothing has been performed each of the last three seasons. There really needs to be a moratorium on singing a song on back-to-back season if not a full year ban. It is time for the song selection to be more diverse. Seriously people, Tom Petty is one of the greatest artists of all time but if you watch the show you would think his only songs were American Girl and Won’t Back Down, both repeat song this season. I would make an exception if the singers switch up the arrangement. Like how Seven Nation Army was performed each of the last three seasons too (I would have thought if there was on The White Stripes song that would become a standard it would have been We’re Going to Be Friends), but Jamar Rogers did a more straight forward version while Melanie Martinez did a folky version and Garrett Gardner went with a reggae arrangement. But that is the only exception. I am sure The Voice has a couple thousand, if not million, songs available to license, they should not be recycling songs so often, especially in the same season.  If you need help selecting some new song, my services are available.

The show took my advice after the second season and the third turned out to be the best yet. It was just followed by the worse of the four. But these are easy fixes that the show really needs to implement especially when it comes to a diverse Live Show where the show quickly became American Idol this season. And if The Voice does not make these easy fixes, it will quickly go the way of American Idol where old people with their telephones determine who advances and the boring winner if forgotten by the time the next season starts up.

You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can buy my ten favorite performances this season with the widget at right.

Pretty Little Liars: I love Hanna, where all the other girls are calculating and plotting, Hanna just does not care. Her best moment was last season when she confronted Jenna about being able to see. Her confronted the rival swimmer was not as epic because I am still not entirely sure who she is. It seems like just through that character in because neither Jenna nor Melissa were available for stretches of time. But Hanna just went ahead and put her on blast with little to no evidence. Love it. Then randomly she just takes Allison’s old parrot just because it may remember something Allison could have said two years ago. But I really hope they do not wait until the end of the season to reveal that Allison is still alive, it just seems inevitable at this point, so why drag it out.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

The Hero: Everyone was really altruistic the first week, but after Shaun screwed over his team last week, the floodgates were opened this week with both Athena and Darnell taking the money. We have to wait until next week to see if Darnell actually tells anyone he took the money or lie and say he lost. But the house really crushed Athena unfairly. When Patty turned down the offer (by a hilariously disguised The Rock), I thought she was an idiot. Then more people turned him down until Athena said yes. Personally I would have said yes in a heartbeat and would not have begrudged anyone who would have. During the first two episodes I really did not have any rooting interest in any of the contestants, but after seeing everyone gang up on her unfairly, I will probably vote for Athena at the end of the season.
You can download The Hero on iTunes.

Hannibal: I have longed assumed the season would end with either Hannibal or will in jail. A great finale that tied (quite literally) everything in the season together. Cannot wait until next season to see how long until Will is able to clear his name and at the same time prove that it was Hannibal that set him up. Complicating things is that Hannibal knows that Will knows. Hopefully people will be able to find the show in its second season so there will be a third.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Hannibal on iTunes.