Archives for category: tv

While getting lunch with an old college friend today at Big Al’s Sports Bar I noticed an athletic looking guy walk in.  His haircut was a little strange, but I didn’t give it much more of a thought. Later, our waiter (who was a legit sports fan, so that was fun) came by and asked us if we were UFC fans.  We both said we are familar with it, but not really “fans” and he pointed at the athletic guy with the strange hair and said that he was the winner of the Ultimate Fighter (a reality tv show on Spike).  

A google search later, and sure enough, today I was sitting 10 feet away from Amir Sadollah. Apparently Amir just won the UFC sponsored Ultimate Fighter 4 days ago – and I didn’t see a bruise or cut on him (not that I really looked close).   

I haven’t watched mixed martial arts fighting in a few years, but one of my old roommates liked it and we’d watch matches frequently.  Kind of fun.  He was very kind to the fans that came up to him (took a few pictures and gave out some signed photos).  Seemed like a humble and very likeable guy.  Glad he is representing Richmond and Tucker High School well and hope he continues to.  So the next time I cross SpikeTV while flipping channels, I’ll take a moment to see if Amir is on and root for one of Richmond’s own.

beheaded bottle
While cleaning out the fridge tonight, I ran across an aging unopened bottle of champagne. Instead of just throwing it out, my roommate and I decided to apply some of the valuable knowledge we have learned from Zane Lamprey of Three Sheets, and we “saber”ed it (used a machete and cut the top off or “beheaded” the bottle). Zane does this in the NYC episode (the one not on hulu) but I found this video of someone else doing it. Enjoy!

If you do it right, the pressure of the champagne takes the top cleanly off and it shot about 20 feet across my backyard into my neighbor’s yard. If we can find the top, I’ll post a photo of that as well.

Hysterical! Looks like the writer’s strike was good for letting the SNL peeps recharge and come up with some good ideas… hulu.com looks like it could be a glorious waste of time!

Not really caring about either the Patriots or the Giants, the superbowl was as much about the commercials as it was the game this year for me. While the game wasn’t filled with the offensive fireworks many expected, it was a great defensive chess match, and proved to actually be a good game.

The commercials however left a lot to be desired. Doritos came through again with the mousetrap, and both etrade baby commercials were huge winners in my opinion. On a side note, I thought Fox did a great job with their own in-game promos with the terminator fighting their football robot, etc. If you’d like to check those promos, or any of the other SB ads, check out the myspace page.

A quick yet very impressive Christmas tune for you all (looks like it is from Leno some time back)…


IL MUSICISTA NATALIZIO

Every Monday night some friends and I get together – hanging out, watching tv, talking, etc.  We were excited about a new season and new shows, so we kicked it off at 8 with the season premier of “How I met your mother” (aka HIMYM) which is a terrible title for a sitcom, but the show is great.  HIMYM is a show about 5 friends in their late 20′s/early thirties living in NY. While the basic premise sounds an awful lot like “Friends” but it is very good and surprisingly fresh.

Also starting at 8 was “Chuck” a new show (highly touted by my friend Anthony).  Chuck is a nerd who is paired up with a beautiful CIA operative and thrown into the life of national security espionage.  During commercial breaks of HIMYM we’d flip over to Chuck – it had its moments, but I wasn’t overly impressed. Seemed a bit like “Alias” meets “40 year old virgin”.

Interestingly enough, the other “nerd meets attractive blonde” new comedy “Big Bang Theory” on at the same time was just fun.  The nerdiness in this is so over-the-top that it is hysterical (the nerds appear to be young CalTech professors, and the blonde is a waitress at the cheesecake factory).  I’m pretty sure I’ll be seeing that one again.

And Heroes – not as great as I was hoping – but I’ll keep watching.  I’m not sure how I feel about Hiro being in the 1600′s, but I guess he becomes the real “Kenesi” (I thought his father was the real one).   We met a couple new characters, Maya (somehow managed to kill everyone making them bleed from their eyes), Alejandro (Maya’s protective brother), the guy recruiting Mohinder (who turns the spoon to gold), and Claire’s new male friend (another flier).

I’m a disappointed that they are already repeating powers (Nathan already flies) but I assume they are going somewhere with it (Sylar and Peter’s powers while very similar were in fact very different – making them great foils).  Creative new powers like Issac being able to paint the future made season 1 not just seem like a retelling of the X-Men comics.  Hopefully we will see other new powers, and not just pairing existing powers with a new personality.

10pm on Mondays, the best show that no one has ever seen comes on – “Three Sheets” on MOJO.  This fantastic show chronicles Zane Lamprey as he does a pub crawl across the world.  If you get MOJO, do yourself a favor and check out this show (and if you don’t, you can watch a full episode on their website).  Very high production value (the high quality HD is lost online) and you learn something every show – it is just entertaining…

What to watch, what not to watch… If only there were a way to know what was good without having to sit and watch shows that may get yanked off the air. Well a friend of mine (well more like a friend of a friend) is out in Los Angeles and works on one of the ABC sitcoms (as a scriptwriter I think). Being an insider, he is familiar with the politics and buzz and this is his opinion of the upcoming season:

I’ve seen 80% of the new pilots, and I’ve read almost all the one hour ones, so here are my thoughts by network:

ABC

Pushing Daisies–(Wednesdays at 8)–best pilot since Lost and Desperate Housewives. I can’t really describe how cool this is. It’s funny, romantic, charming, with a great sense of humor. It’s fabulous. It’s about a guy who can bring people back to life, so he helps a detective figure out who killed murder victims to cash in on the reward, but when his childhood girlfriend becomes a victim, the world’s greatest unrequited love story begins. WATCH THIS OR I WILL DISOWN YOU.

Dirty, Sexy, Money–(Wednesdays at 10)–it’s like a new version of Dallas. I haven’t seen it, but I’ve read it and I’m really excited.

Big Shots–(Thursdays at 10)–think of it as Desperate CEOs. I haven’t seen this one either, but I loved the script and the cast is great. It’s definitely an estrogen heavy take on men, but it’s a great companion to Grey’s I think. Speaking of Grey’s

Private Practice–(Wednesdays at 9)–it’s the Grey’s spinoff. If they show enough of Kate Walsh’s legs, I’ll watch. Absolutely. Otherwise, I’ll be hesitant.

Women’s Murder Club–(Friday at 9)–ABC tries to do a procedural with Angie Harmon. Who knows?

Samantha Who–(Monday at 9:30)–Christina Applegate plays a woman who comes out of a coma and realizes that that she was a bitch and maybe that’s not who she wants to be. Probably the best sitcom they’ve got, but looking at what else they have, that’s not saying much.

Carpoolers (Tuesdays at 8:30)–Nobody I know who’s seen this thinks it’s funny. Actually I don’t know anbody who’s seen this. That’s a bad sign.

Cavemen (Tuesdays at 8)–Eh.

Cashmere Mafia (after Dancing with the Stars finishes)–the lesser of the Sex and the City clones coming this year. The better one (Lipstick Jungle) comes on NBC in January after football.

NBC

Chuck (Mondays at 8)–one of the two best pilots imho. Hilarious. You have to buy into the central premise, but it’s wonderful after that. Basic plot is that Chuck gets sent an e-mail that allows him to know all the CIA/NSA data, so he becomes the nation’s most important intelligence asset, despite the fact that he works at the Nerd Herd. (think Geek Squad.) I mean, you have to love a pilot that involves a ninja breaking into an apartment. Definitely check this one out.

Journeyman (Mondays at 10)–think a romantic Quantum Leap. guy keeps jumping back and forth to other parts of his life and wants to keep his 1997 girlfriend from getting on a plane that will crash and kill her. It’s confusing and I wasn’t big on it.

Life (Wednesdays at 10)–about a cop who was in prison for 13 years, is exonerated by DNA evidence and rejoins the police force. As police shows go, it was kind of interesting. A great lead character well played by Damien Lewis.

Bionic Woman (Wednesdays at 9)–when Katee Sackhoff isn’t on screen, it sucks. And that’s 65% of the time. Andy’s cigar smoking friend won’t help when he shows up in the second episode.

FOX

Back to You–this half hour sitcom with Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton is expected to be a hit. Haven’t seen it, but buzz is good

K-Ville (Mondays at 9)–it’s a cop show set in New Orleans. Nothing else really matters. It’s not great, but the New Orleans thing will completely determine how you feel about the show

And there’s a bunch of reality shows till January. At that point, watch New Amsterdam and skip The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

CBS

Cane–(Tuesdays at 10)–Jimmy Smits in a Sopranos-esque family drama about a Cuban rum/sugar business. It’s ok. Hopefully it will get better. Consider watching.

The Big Bang Theory (Mondays at 8:30)–from the creator of Two and a Half Men. If you like it, you’ll like this.

Moonlight–(Fridays at 9)–it’s a detective show about a vampire, but it’s not from Joss Whedon. I saw the original pilot, and it was horrible. But they recast 3 of the 4 roles, completely reshot the entire thing, so I haven’t seen that version. I don’t know about it, but it has Jason Dohring (Logan from Veronica Mars), so that gives me hope.

Viva Laughlin (Sundays at 8)–a musical about a guy opening a casino in Laughlin. You’ll either buy it or not. Most people I’ve talked to haven’t. Even though Hugh Jackman’s in the pilot.

CW

Aliens in America–(Mondays at 8:30)–the best new sitcom. A nerdy teen has no friends, so his mom decides to get a foreign exchange student, thinking that will raise the kid’s cool quotient. She’s not ready for a Muslim to come into the family. Very cute, funny, and charming.

Gossip Girl–maybe the worst new show. And it’s full of so much estrogen, I will personally revoke your man card if any of you guys watch this. Kristen Bell’s involvement be damned.

Reaper–a slacker discovers on his 21st birthday that his parents had sold his soul to the devil and now he has to become the devil’s bounty hunter. Even though it was directed by Kevin Smith, it wasn’t that good. No need to watch more than one.

Life is Wild–(Sundays at 8pm) Think 7th Heaven set in Africa. If I were a kid, I’d eat this up. As is, I enjoyed it, even though it wasn’t that great.

That’s pretty much it. Ignoring anything on cable and what not. Again, if you’re not watching Mad Men on AMC. Shame on you. You should be.

Hope you found it helpful… Looks like I’ll try to make time to watch “Chuck” and “Pushing Daisies” and likely not waste my time with the rest. And having not seen “Mad Men” on AMC yet, I’m thinking maybe I should…

Here is a little collection of old tv commercials starring celebrities before they were famous including Brad Pitt, Matt LeBlanc, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Keanu Reeves, Paul Rudd, Seth Green, Meg Ryan, Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman
. Amazingly, I actually remember seeing some of these on TV…

(I figured it would be better to link to them than embed so many in to the page)

Heroes, one of NBC’s hits from this last season intrigued me.  Lots of my friends talked about it, but for various reasons, I never watched – until now.  My roommate and I are running through the first season of Heroes right now and loving it.  Netflix has already sent me the next few discs, so we are good to go and should be done soon (a season’s worth of tv in a couple weeks).

If you have never watched a TV series on DVD, you are missing out.  A plot driven series like Heroes, 24, LOST, or Soprano’s  is best experienced when you can watch it in order, without missing an episode (not unlike a soap opera).    A series like this is perfectly suited for DVD viewing – you get the linear/sequential viewing, as well as not having to wait a week to figure out “what happens next”.  In contrast, character driven sitcoms (Seinfeld, Friends, Simpsons, etc) are kings of syndication because once you know the players, each episode contains its own plot, so the order doesn’t make a difference.

Another benefit of the DVD?  It has been interesting to pause and rewind to see what sort of hidden gems we can find (like Issac Mendes’ paintings, etc.)  Oh yeah, one other thing – NO COMMERCIALS (easily saves 15 minutes per episode).

So give it a try.  Once Heroes is over, I’ve got my eye on Always Sunny In Philadelphia which just came out this week too…

I kid you not… Mark your calendars for Sunday, August 5 – AMC is showing a Chevy Chase marathon!

Sadly, Man vs. Wild (aka “one of the greatest shows on tv”) is hasn’t been entirely honest with us.  Bear Grylls (the host) is still one awesome dude (while some of this may be overly dramatic, you can’t fake a lot of the stuff he did).  Even knowing that his crew would leave him for the night and go to a motel isn’t a big deal… but hearing that on two occassions he may have enjoyed the luxury of a motel bed saddened me.  Honestly, if you can’t trust tv, who can you trust?

Adding to my shame, my parents called shenanigans on this show well before I was willing to believe it.

SAJ has a couple commercials on tv.  For those of you who haven’t seen them, check them out:

We had a lot of family in town this weekend to celebrate the 40th anniversary of my aunt and uncle. While much of my family lives in the area, there is one uncle in particular (Rick) who lives in New Hampshire that we don’t get to see as often as we like.

For those of you who don’t know him, check out this clip I saw on the Daily show that reminds me of him. Who knew that Rick and Brian Williams of NBC news are twins separated at birth – personality, sense of humor, mannerisms, and even looks (Brian is probably a tad more attractive, but Rick can certainly hold his own…)

Two Sidenotes:
- I would watch the ‘Nightly News’ if Brian Williams would show an ounce of his real personality instead of his boring “anchor” personality
- Nice to see someone be able to take it and dish it back out with Jon Stewart. He obviously likes/respects Brian a lot more than the Crossfire guys (this clip was the death knell for the now cancelled Crossfire).

The misfits.The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

- Apple Computer

Anyone have a joost account that wants to invite me?  I’d love to peek in on the beta here and see how things are going.

We have some upcoming TV spots for those who may want to keep an eye out for them…

Comedy Central – 16th @7:15AM and 12:23PM

ESPN2 -  15th @ 7:37AM and 12:21PM, the 16th @2:25AM, and the 17th @12:42PM

During this week, we are also advertising on BET, FX, TBS, TNT, and USA, but I’m not going to type out all those spots … pretty cool!

The preproduced digital shorts are the only REALLY funny things coming out of SNL these days and this one with Peyton Manning is classic.

The announcer of this Giant Slalom downhill race stepped up to the plate with some TOP NOTCH commentary about this unexpected event. I still can’t decide which impromptu one-liner is my favorite:

  • Oh the gate to the groin play
  • You could hear it and if you’re a man you could feel it
  • Oh Frenchman, Oh Messieurs
  • Wow, the boys took a beating on that one
  • That guy needs a hug

Sidenote – So you can hear the sound the skis make on the snow, they wire the whole slope for sound. In this case that lets you hear some great audio of the skier’s pain. God bless the internets.

Letterman has “Will it Float?

Brainiac has “Will it bounce?” which is decidedly the worst part of this fantastic Brittish show. For any science loving pyromaniacs out there, here’s a clip if you haven’t seen it.

But I have to say, my favorite of these “Will it” type bits has to be “Will it blend?“… It is the perfect site for anyone who has ever wondered what would happen if tape measurers, glowsticks, magnets, and other household items were thrown into a blender.

Yup, it’s official, 24 has replaced LOST as the tv show I refuse to miss. LOST had a good run in the top spot, but I think I am done with it. FOX tempted the American public to watch 4 hours of 24 this Sunday and Monday, and well, they hooked me.

While I will miss the mysticism and curious details of LOST (like the numbers, Santa Rosa, and cameos of other characters in flashbacks), 24 serves up the good old-fashioned, terrorist-thwarting, action-packed entertainment that proves satisfying indeed.

Everyone who is checking this out knows that I am a big NFL fan. Sadly my team has been out of the race for a long time, so like most other sporting fans, I temporarily adopted “secondary” teams for the playoffs. Last week, there were “things that I liked” about 4 of the 8 remaining teams: San Diego, Eagles, Colts, and Saints.

Sadly, only the Saints and Colts remain. Since they are in different divisions, there is a 25% chance that BOTH will make it to the Superbowl, and then I will be happy no matter who wins. Conversly, there is an equal chance that both will lose this next round, and then the Superbowl will be Patriots and Bears (in which case I will watch the game rooting only for great commercials). And of course, there is a 50% chance that only one of the teams I am rooting for will make it.

So you see, deducing the “likelihood” that one of the teams I am rooting for is a lot like Punnett squares for genetics. If I was a bio teacher I would explain recessive traits using playoff teams right now… now that is science I could get behind.