Thursday, May 29, 2008

I don't like 'Sex and the City'

OK, I can appreciate rabid fandom. After all, I am a "Star Wars" fan, and this is the second time in a week I have posted a "Robot Chicken" clip on this site.
But what I cannot - and will never - understand, is the appeal of "Sex and the City." The problem is not only that four full-grown women sit in public places and loudly discuss sex (watch the clip below and note the reaction of the guy at the next table "Lookin' for the check!"), or that each of Carrie's outfits would cost more than, oh, a lifetime's worth of paychecks for a freelance newspaper columnist. After all, who expects TV to be realistic, right?
There's the rub. Now that the movie is being released this week, people are once again using one word to describe this show - relatable. Which part? The inappropriate public sex talk? (Who has EVER sat in a restaurant with three other people and discussed sex this frankly? Bueller?) The ridiculous "fashion"? I understand that it is nice to have three friends who stick by you through everything, but surround it with all this bull, and all hope of realism disappears.
If my show is going to be a fantasy, I prefer something that is at least FUNNY, as well. This. Show. Is. Not. Funny. "Scrubs" is fantasy, and it's funny. "Arrested Development" is fantasy, and it's EXTREMELY funny. "Sex and the City" is not funny. It's whiny, rude, obvious, overindulgent, stupid and offensive, but it's not funny.
And I have watched it, so don't give me that. The very first episode I ever saw was about Samantha complaining about the bad taste of her boyfriend's semen. And I actually watched it again after that - but not until it was on TBS! I saw an episode about Miranda dating a guy who previously only dated models (I hated all the times that happened to me!). I saw Carrie pissed off because her 50-year-old, married '50s throwback boyfriend didn't want to meet her friends. I couldn't figure out why he had wanted to meet HER. I saw Carrie cheat on her fiance Aidan and then whine when he was upset about it. I saw Carrie, again, upset in Paris (!) because her boyfriend Mikhail Baryshnikov (!) didn't pay enough attention to her (!) (Mr. Big showed up to save the day, and again, WHY?).
So I gave it a chance before I decided it was worthless. Have fun at your little cosmofest this weekend, ladies. I'll be watching "Robot Chicken."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The return of 'Heroes'

NBC has released its fall premiere dates. Is it just me is this info trickling out slower than ever? By September we should have all the networks' full schedules, at the rate we're going.

"Heroes" will start with a one-hour long clip show bringing us up to date since it has been so long since it's been on.

Friday, Sept. 12
7 p.m. “America’s Toughest Jobs”
Monday, Sept. 22
7 p.m. “Heroes” clip show
8 p.m. “Heroes (two hours)
Tuesday, Sept. 23
9 p.m. “Law & Order: SVU”
Wednesday, Sept. 24
7 p.m. “Knight Rider”
9 p.m. “Lipstick Jungle”
Thursday, Sept. 25
7 p.m. “My Name Is Earl” (one hour)
8 p.m. “The Office” (one hour)
9 p.m. “ER”
Monday, Sept. 29
7 p.m. “Chuck”
9 p.m. “My Own Worst Enemy”
Friday, Oct. 3
9 p.m. “Life”
Thursday, Oct. 9
8:30 p.m. “Kath & Kim”
Friday, Oct. 17
7 p.m. “Crusoe” (two hours)
Thursday, Oct. 30
7:30 p.m. “30 Rock”

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Indiana Jones Day!

Here's a "Robot Chicken" sketch based on everyone's favorite archaeologist, to mark the release of the new movie today.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The wait is over - the next 'American Idol' is...

... and we'll tell you in the next post. (Just kidding, that's just how Ryan does it on the show.)
This finale has seemed inevitable for about 12 weeks now, and here it is. David Cook is the winner, and next season promises lots of changes.
If I may suggest one change, less is more! Enough with the hour-long results shows, two-hour finales, and so forth. It's too much for anyone over 14 to deal with.
As for advice for the new Idol, let me quote Randy by saying "OK, OK, check it out. You can sing the phone book, dawg! That was hot! You are in the zone! Still, it was a little pitchy, dawg. I'm not mad at you for that." If you could program a robot to say just those things, Randy could spend more time on his eyewear line and MTV dancing show.
I can't really quote the others, even though like Paula I could do the critiques before the singing. Simon, on the other hand, is usually right.
See you next season, dawg!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

'American Idol' finale

It appears that the fact that they have two guys in the finale made them want to try out a "Let's get ready to rumble" opening. With David Archuleta in a boxing robe. Uff...
It must be deafening in the Kodak Theatre tonight. And Simon gets a lot of screaming.
Big David and Little David? First the boxing robes, and now this? They're both bigger than Ryan I bet. Hee.
The mentors are Clive Davis and Andrew Lloyd Webber. God, Clive Davis looks like the Crypt Keeper!
Simon says, "you have to hate your opponent!" Oh, come on. Instead of that, the Davids gush about how great the other one is.
Now we learn the structure. First song is chosen by Clive Davis. (OK, I am already sick of the stupid boxing guy.)

David Cook
Song: "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" (yay!)
I think: He's not making it his own, but he is ably handling the huge vocal.
The Holy Trinity say: Randy says "I'm gonna call you DC," (whatever) but it was a great song choice and it was "hot, baby!" Paula says "we have found David Cook, and we need to look no further." Simon says he looked very tense "but it was phenomenal."

David Archuleta
Song: "Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me"
I think: He sings this song beautifully, but it's not a very contemporary sound. He does keep his eyes open, ANDREW.
The Holy Trinity say: Randy says this was the right time for such a great performance. Paula has chills and "the sun is never going to go down on you!" Randy is still yelling about it being "hot!" Simon says "tonight's performance was the best you've done so far. Round one goes to Archuleta."

The first commercial after this is for "Beverly Hills Chihuahua." I literally yelled "What the hell!" for 30 seconds.
The next song is chosen from a pool of new songs.

David Cook
Song: "Dream Big"
I think: This track, sung by David, is radio-ready. Fantastic long note at the end.
The Holy Trinity say: Randy says the song was just OK, but "you were singing your face off there." Paula says "this is great way to take a song we don't know and fall in love with it." Simon says "it was a bit of a lightweight, but you made the most of what you had. It didn't feel like a winning moment to me."

David Archuleta
Song: "In This Moment"
I think: He should have chosen a faster song, just to get out of that sincere David thing. It is not a bad song, though.
The Holy Trinity say: Randy says once again, the song was just OK, but interestingly enough, he thinks David could sing the phone book. (What an original thought!) Paula says it was another great performance, and that's why he is where he is. Simon says "I love the egotistical lyric" and "Round two goes to David Archuleta."

The third song is whatever the contestants want.

David Cook
Song: "The World I Know" (I was hoping it would be the phone book. Wouldn't that be awesome? Maybe someone should HIT Randy with a phone book.)
I think: Simon totally disagrees with me tonight, but I think Cook is just more contemporary. This song is a bit slow, but he's still singing it very well. And he finally breaks down at the end.
The Holy Trinity say: Randy says the cool thing about David Cook is that he is showing all the different sides of him. Paula says "you're standing in your truth." She also applauds him, David Cook. Simon says he is "one of the nicest, most sincere contestants that we have ever had." He then says it was utterly the wrong song. He also winks when David says "I understand what you're saying."

David Archuleta
Song: "Imagine"
I think: I'm going to go out on a limb here and say his version of this song is boring. It's too perfect. I disagree with Simon, who said to Cook that he should have done a song that he nailed previously, like "Billie Jean." I would have liked to hear something new.
The Holy Trinity say: Randy says "you are exactly what this show is about! The best singer of season 7 is right here!" Paula says he has left her speechless (all evidence to the contrary) and "you were stunning tonight." Simon says "tonight we have witnessed one of the great finals, and what we have witnessed is a knockout." (I feel so sorry for him right now I can hardly stand it. He's so clearly overwhelmed, I'm surprised he could sing as well as he did.)

I think David Archuleta's going to win. And I think they both have recording careers.
Ruben Studdard sings us out, and I have to say I could see Archuleta singing this kind of song in a couple of years, possibly even for "Idol."

Monday, May 19, 2008

'90210'? Really?

Have things gotten so bad that this passes for exciting news? Another generation has passed, so now we have '90s nostalgia, which follows '80s nostalgia, which follows '70s nostalgia... someday this will happen to you kids of the 'aughts, too.
This promo promises that it will be more "provocative," which shouldn't be hard, right? Or maybe you don't remember "Donna Martin graduates!" In the age of "Gossip Girl," promising to be provocative means the new mantra may be "Donna Martin has threesomes!"
And is that Jessica Walter? How sad, that this is what follows her awesome turn as Lucille on "Arrested Development" (which hopefully will get its own revamp in the 2020s).
I just don't get it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The best new comedy

I don't know what you think, but this seems like the best show of the new season so far.
Get it?

Friday, May 16, 2008

The new fall season is almost here!

The complete fall season was in my newspaper column today (read it here), but it didn't tell the whole story. Here are some of the other things we can expect in the coming year.


New fall series: "Life on Mars" (based on the BBC series about a cop who somehow ends up back in 1973 after a car crash) and "Opportunity Knocks" (a reality show which shows how well people REALLY know they their family).
Midseason news! "Lost" will be back in 2009, and in the last two seasons it will make up the episodes that we didn't get this year because of the writers strike.
Other series to return in the midseason are "According to Jim" (how is this still on?), "The Bachelor," and "Primetime."
New series to come in the midseason are "The Goode Family" (a new Mike Judge animated comedy), "Scrubs" (from NBC, for a full 18-episode run), and "Untitled Ashton Kutcher/Tyra Banks Project" (which is apparently some kind of beauty pageant. Personally I wish they would keep that title).


New fall series: "Eleventh Hour" (a new Jerry Bruckheimer drama based on a British thriller), "The Ex List" (a romantic dramedy), "The Mentalist" (a drama starring Simon Baker), "Project Gary" (a comedy with Jay Mohr as a divorced man), and "Worst Week" (a relationship comedy).
The awful sitcom "Rules of Engagement" returns in the midseason, as if anyone cares.
Only one new series is to come in the midseason is "Harper's Island" (a horror comedy).


New fall series: "90210" (well, technically new), "Stylista" (a new fashion reality show), and "Surviving the Filthy Rich" (a drama about a live-in tutor to wealthy twin sisters).
One of 2007's bright spots, "Reaper," returns in midseason.
No new midseason series have been announced.


New fall series: "Do Not Disturb" (a comedy starring Jerry O'Connell) and "Fringe" (a thriller murder mystery by J.J. Abrams).
"24" returns in Jan. 2009. It's true that season 6 was disappointing, but I greet every new season of "24" the way you Cubs fans greet each new baseball season - full of hope and optimism. And season 7 looked promising, with Cherry Jones as the president of the United States (at least it can happen on TV!).
Midseason brings the premiere of "Dollhouse" (a Joss Whedon drama about an underground mercenary group starring Eliza Dushku) and "The Cleveland Show" (a "Family Guy spinoff).


New fall series: "Crusoe" (as in Robinson), "Kath & Kim" (a BBC import comedy starring "SNL's" Molly Shannon), "Knight Rider" (returning as a series after the successful made-for-TV movie), and "My Own Worst Enemy" (drama starring Christian Slater).
Midseason welcomes "Kings" (a drama set in a modern warzone), "Merlin" (a modern fantasy based on the "Camelot" legend), "The Office" Spinoff (which premieres after the Super Bowl), and "The Philanthropist" (a drama about a vigilante philanthropist - snicker).
The new 52-week schedule includes a summer block, which includes "America's Toughest Jobs" (a competition from the producer of "Deadliest Catch"), "Chopping Block" (a new chef-based reality show), "The Listener" (a drama about a mind-reading paramedic - another snicker), and "Shark Taggers" (it's pretty much what it sounds like).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bye, Syesha

First the odd trio sing "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now." I'm sure the Davids were thrilled.
The Ford spot tonight is set to "Heaven." Great song, but apparently all these kids dream about is fame and cars. Probably not that far from the truth.
Fifty-six million people voted last night! Man.
Lots of celebs in the audience tonight. Mostly "American Idol" celebs.
Speaking of "American Idol" celebs, Fantasia performs. now, Davids and Syesha, THAT is a confident performer. Her enthusiasm is amazing. She. Loves. This. Simon is staring, slack-jawed.
First we go to David Archuleta's hometown. The cheerleaders rush him and hug him. It looks like the entire day he had girls screaming and clawing at him. It's a lot for a 17-year-old, and he breaks down at an insane mall appearance. The mayor of his town has a gigantic handlebar mustache. Awesome.
Next we go home with Syesha. Someone gives her a baby to hold! She's saying "I can't be doing this." Then she cries. Her parents cry too, as they hug her and hold her legs on a parade through town. She rides a helicopter to an appearance and sobs as she holds a snowglobe on the way back in the limo.
Lastly, we go to David Cook's house. He does the weather on the local TV station. He surprises his elementary school music teacher with flowers and thanks her for inspiring her. I don't think she was THAT surprised, because he was wearing a David Cook T-shirt. Then he is the subject of a huge parade. And he, too, cries. He threw out the first pitch at a Royals game. He says "I'm going to get to do all the things I have ever wanted to do in one day." During his montage we learn that he actually tried out with his brother.
And ... it's (don't you just hate how Ryan stretches out every word) ... David vs. David.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

3 is a perfect pair

Tonight on "American Idol" each of the remaining Davids - and Syesha - are singing three songs. One is chosen by them, one by a judge, and one by the show's producers. How did they pick who got Archuleta? Maybe they watched "Hey Paula" and decided they didn't want her to cry like she did when she didn't get to work on the "Bratz" movie.

David Archuleta
Song: "And So It Goes," chosen by Paula
I think: The simple arrangement brings out a maturity that we don't usually see in Archie. Incidentally, this is the first week he is performing since his dad was banned from rehearsals (although he is still allowed to sit in the audience).
Huey, Duey and Louie say: Randy says Paula chosen a "dope" song for him, and although he would have liked to see him at the piano, he was "in the zone! In it to win it!" Paula said he performed it beautifully. Simon said it was good, "a bit predictable" but not outstanding.

Syesha Mercado
Song: "If I Ain't Got You," chosen by Randy
I think: First, a confession. Syesha and I do not have the same taste. I can't stand Alicia Keys. And I think this song is plodding, and then screechy at the end.
Huey, Duey and Louie say: Randy loves it, and says she is peaking at the perfect time. Paula says it is difficult to do Simon says she sang it very well, but he would have preferred she do a song she could make her own more.

David Cook
Song: "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," chosen by Simon
I think: He sounds wonderful. I thought the long notes would challenge him too much, but he is doing great. The second he started singing, I could see why Simon chose it for him.
Huey, Duey and Louie say: Randy says he could sing, but he thought the song choice was predictable. They are in a fight. Paula says it shouldn't be about the "two of you, it's about you!" She says it is one of her favorite songs and he's "my second favorite singer of it." Simon says it was one of his best performances. "This is what makes you brilliant, you take risks. Round one goes to Cook and Cowell!"

David Archuleta
Song: "With You," chosen by David
I think: This is fun. I have never seen him so loose and enjoying himself so much. Bye bye Dad?
Huey, Duey and Louie say: Randy says he's not used to him doing the kind of song and "I'm not sure I want to hear you sing 'boo.'" Paula says it's nice to see him get away from the ballads, but he shouldn't oversing it. Simon says he applauds him branching out but "it was a little like a chihuahua trying to be a tiger" and it was not really him.

Syesha Mercado
Song: "Fever," chosen by Syesha
I think: I love it. She's sexy, and not oversinging too much, and using her low notes.
Huey, Duey, and Louie say: Randy says it was very interesting song choice and she sang it well. Great performance. Paula says she's surprised by the choice, and it doesn't show her who Syesha is as an artist. Simon says she will regret the decision because she did a lame cabaret performance.

David Cook
Song: "Dare You to Move," chosen by David
I think: He's actually a little flat at first, but during the chorus it really picks up.
Huey, Duey and Louie say: Randy says it was little pitchy, dawg. Not his best. Paula says she knows what a challenge it is to condense the songs, and he didn't get to do enough of the song. Simon says it was pretty much what he would have expected, and all three had an OK middle round.

David Archuleta
Song; "Longer," chosen by producers
I think: This is back to formula for him, but he sounds really good doing it.
Huey, Duey and Louie say: Randy says it was another hot one from you! Paula says it was a lovely performance. Simon says he sang the song very well, but he thought the song was horrible.

Syesha Mercado
Song: "Hit Me Up," chosen by producers
I think: She does much better with the verses, but she is so hot tonight. You almost feel sorry for her for being doomed.
Huey, Duey and Louie say: Randy says it was just OK for him. Paula says it was from the "Happy Feet" soundtrack. She says it's the type of song that defines her, and she doesn't think it's good enough to get her in finals. Simon says it was better than the second song and she peaked last week.

David Cook
Song: "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," chosen by producers
I think: He seems more on key, like the first song. The song is very choppy in the short time, though. I think he's the man.
Huey, Duey and Louie say: Randy says he loves the song, but it was just OK. Paula gives a shout out to Diane Warren, the songwriter. She says "welocme to the finals." Simon says "David Cook wins the night!"

I agree with Simon. David Cook's the next "American Idol."

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

And then there were 3

Ryan starts by saying there were nearly 51 million votes and the top 3 were all within a million votes of each other.
The top 4 sang "Reelin' in the Years."
Then David Archuleta goes to the couch again.
After the break, we see the top 4 take a trip to Las Vegas to see the Cirque de Soleil show "The Beatles Love." Then they get up close and personal with the dolphins at the Mirage, which would have been my favorite part. Then they got makeovers and went to Cirque de Soleil. Jason looks unimpressed, but David Cook loved it. It's really nice to see David Archuleta with the fans; he looks so happy. Maybe his dad wasn't allowed to go with him - hee.
Next David Cook comes out, and he's safe as well. So the top 2 are on the couch.
Did you see the clip on TMZ of Jason supposedly mouthing "Don't Vote"? Ryan starts to say who's going home and he says "you're going to tell us now?" He's probably just sick of being raked over the coals every week. And of course, no, Ryan wasn't telling yet.
The Ford spot tonight was set to "Ring of Fire." It was cute. David Cook seemed to handle the vocal the best.
Ugh! The phone call segment. First a girl asks David Cook out on a date, then someone asks what the biggest challenge has been and Jason says "uhhh ... just the brain being dead." He is such a fun dumbass.
This segment goes on forever. People are asking Simon why he hasn't been knighted yet and told him he could be the next James Bond. Ever noticed no one ever asks Randy a question?
It's finally over, and time for Maroon 5 to sing. Anything to fill an hour. Man, that singer is really skinny. Like, a boy should not be that skinny.
Another break, and Bo Bice comes on to sign. I still can't believe this guy was ever a contestant on "American Idol;" he's straight out of Lynyrd Skynyrd. He is a pretty good singer, though. And also quite skinny.
Jason and Syesha face the music (ha!) and Jason said "someone said I shot the Tambourine Man, which I thought was pretty funny." After Syesha's civil rights lecture, we finally got the results.
Jason's going home! The montage is hysterical; just him spacing out and stuff. He is relieved, smiling as big as can be.

I Want to Rock 'n' Roll All Night -- actually, maybe not

Tonight we are hearing the top 4 singing from the Top 500 Songs of Rock 'n' Roll.

David Cook
Song: "Hungry Like the Wolf"
I think: Now, I am an unashamed fan of Duran Duran. I always have been. But when I think of the top rock 'n' roll songs of all time, I do not think of Duran Duran. That threw me for a loop, but it wasn't bad.
Snap, Crackle and Pop say: Randy says is looking forward to seeing the variety of choices tonight and "mad hot vocals," but this was just OK for David. Paula said "your 'Hungry Like the Wolf' has left me with a big appetite" and she loves watching him grow and flourish (must she always sound like a predator?). Simon said he thought it was good, and it was a "little bit copycat." He didn't make it his own the way he usually does. But he thinks it's good enough to get him through the week.

Syesha Mercado
Song: "Proud Mary"
I think: Now, THAT'S a rock classic. She starts out too slow, but she picks it up pretty well. She's fun to watch. She will make a good Broadway star, and that's not a bad thing at all.
Snap, Crackle and Pop say: Randy said this is the third week in a row she is in the zone, and it's great timing. Paula said she looks like a star, and magic happened. Simon said he's sorry to put a slight damper on things, but he thought it was a bad, "shriek-y" version, and a bad impression of Tina Turner. (I think he was too hard on her.)

Jason Castro
Song: "I Shot the Sheriff"
I think: I'll admit, I was unable to do this recap last night, and I read that this was awful today, but I like it. I think I just like Jason, and some people don't.
Snap, Crackle and Pop say: Randy said that was a really karaoke Bob Marley, and there was nothing special about it. Paula said he really performed for the audience, but she wasn't crazy about the performance or the song. Simon said "stand back. That ... was ... utterly ... atrocious. (he went on for a while.) I don't know what you were thinking. (more) It was a bad first round nightmare audition (oh come on!)."

David Archuleta
Song: "Stand by Me"
I think: Such a lovely song, and he sings it as well as he always does. Still, it's a little dull, and he adds a line about "all your beautiful girls."
Snap, Crackle and Pop say: Randy said "at least there's one guy who hits the stage every time trying to win the whole thing! This is a competition! It was hot!" (so what do I know?) Paula said he's way beyond his years, and she admires that he is communicating with his eyes that Andrew Lloyd Webber said. Simon said he "could have whistled and sounded better than the last performance" and he struggled a little at the end.

David Cook
Song: "Baba O'Reilly"
I think: He's a lot more in his element here, and it's a better arrangement. I am not a big fan of the song, but I liked this.
Snap, Crackle and Pop say: Randy said "that was more like the David Cook I've grown to love." Paula said she just wants more and she's really humbled. Simon said "Welcome back, David Cook."

Syesha Mercado
Song: "A Change is Gonna Come"
I think: She's singing her little heart out, but I don't like the arrangement. I think it's a little boring.
Snap, Crackle and Pop say: Randy said he did not love it, and he didn't like the arrangement of the band or her vocal. He said it was disconnected and was trying to be something it wasn't. Paula gave her a standing o and said "welcome to your dream, Syesha. This is it." She was crying a little. Simon said "I have to be fair and I'm going to agree with Paula." (Syesha is sobbing, and it's really sweet.)

Jason Castro
Song: "Mr. Tambourine Man"
I think: I said "uh oh" when I heard he was doing this. And he forgot the words! To a Bob Dylan song! He's gonna get massacred, and he should.
Snap, Crackle and Pop say: Randy said "how did you think that was?" and "Jason's not in the zone tonight." Paula said "it is what it is" and it did not blow her away "but you blow me away.Simon said "Jason, I'd pack your suitcase." (He's forgetting it's a popularity contest.)

David Archuleta
Song: "Love Me Tender"
I think: Again, it's what I always say. This is not a sexy guy singing a love song, like Elvis did, it's Aladdin. And the judges will go nuts for it.
Snap, Crackle and Pop say: Randy said "another great performance" and he caressed each word. Paula said it was one of her favorite performances of his. Simon said he didn't just beat the competition; he crushed it.