Wednesday, January 31, 2007
On the other hand, after last night's disappointing Odd, Los Angeles brought new blood to the American Idol Odd Squad. Guest judge Olivia Newton-John sat in on the panel and was treated to some of those audition hijinks we've come to love and adore... or not.
Tonight's Most Notable of the Odd
As easy as pouncing a mouse, Martik "Panther" Manoukian leapt to the top of the Odd Chart. Full of attitude, snarling, sound effects, hissing, and what tried to pass for cat-like moves, he mesmerized the judges.
He claims to have studied extensively and boasts of many talents, dreams and goals.
He can't sing a lick, so he should think of grooming himself for a new career. Hey, maybe he can team up with Ian Bernardo and be a comedy act in the dive bar circuit!
We never got to hear Sophat really sing. He probably can't sing. If he could sing, he wouldn't have to wear an onion (or is it a banana... maybe a plantain) costume.
I apologize for the quality of the shot, but thought it still conveyed the very essence of Sophat and preserved it for eternity.
I actually liked Phuong. Oh, she really can't sing that well or anything as far as American Idol goes. But I enjoyed her spunk and personality. I felt sorry when she said her mother told her she wasn't "TV pretty."
Hey, she's pretty in her own way. I've noticed in the years of watching American Idol that the looks seem to matter so much more for the women than they do for the men. Oh, I wish this girl could have blown them all away with her voice. But, um... no.
Darold and Cavett (Sparkle) met at a bus stop. I wonder if it was a wet day and he shared his umbrella. The question is, does Darold have a grillfriend for life? The way she was hitting on Simon was even making Simon blush. It must be his man-boobs turning her on, right?
As things turned out, neither could sing. I guess they'll have to keep investing in their grills and sharing the love.
The closer for the show, Eric Mueller, was a true case in study for the show. He spoke with confidence. He told Ryan he studied and practiced four to five hours a day for two years in preparation for his audition debut on the show.
And, then he sang. Mind you, I'm using the word "sang" quite loosely here. It sounded a bit more like a nasal moose-in-heat call. Or, perhaps aliens have taken over his voice.
Wait, no! He taught himself to sing using Randy and Paula's DVD! Bwahaha! Simon had lots of fun with that one. But, dang, if Eric seriously thinks he can sing, that's scary. It's almost like Martik thinking he can sing.
A Very Touching Moment
Sherman Pore's appearance on the show was one of the most emotional ever in the history of the show. No, he wasn't a serious contestant. But he wasn't an Odd, either.
His love of twenty years had suffered through cancer. They shared a love for the show. To brighten her days, he started a petition to be able to sing a song for her at the audition. It gave them both something to make them smile and a goal.
Alas, she died two days before the audition. Sherman still sang his song and dedicated it to her -- "You Belong to Me." In the end he said, "I am a winner." And, he sure is. Not only that, but he didn't even sing too badly. What a dear!
In between Sherman and the Odd, there were some decent singers. But, as I mentioned at the top of the article, none really impressed me. Paula came across as quasi-loopy at times and I don't know if it's all an act or not. The judges weren't really cruel to anyone. There was a girl whose mother was one of Dean Martin's Golddiggers. They showed Ryan Seacrest's star on Hollywood Boulevard way too much. Yeah, it was Hollyweird, saved by Sherman Pore, a salt-of-the-earth kind of man.
Next, it's onto San Antonio.
The 8 PM ET/PT programming includes a repeat C.S.I.: NY on CBS, new Friday Night Lights on NBC, new Bones on FOX, new George Lopez followed by a new Knights of Prosperity on ABC. Oh, and the CW Network has a new Beauty and the Geek. I'm still a bit undecided, but I think the Bones episode will get my vote tonight. I don't follow any of the other shows, per se. I wouldn't mind seeing the new Knights ep, but don't wish to sit through George Lopez to get at it. Oh! PBS has America's Ballroom Challenge! Um, no... not for me, but I bet some folks will love it. One of these days I'll watch Beauty and the Geek, but I'm not feeling it tonight.
At 9 PM ET/PT, my plans are pretty laid out. American Idol, the Los Angeles auditions, runs for a mere hour on FOX. You know I have to watch and write about it later. CBS has a repeat of Criminal Minds while NBC has a new Deal or No Deal. I like the former, but just cannot get into models opening briefcases giving someone who's not me cash. Now, if they were giving me cash, I'd feel entirely differently about the show. According to Jim and In Case of Emergency are new on ABC, neither of them thrill me at all.
In the 10 PM ET/PT hour, there's a new Medium on NBC, a repeat C.S.I.: NY on CBS, a new Primetime on ABC. Um... okay. Sometimes I watch Primetime, but they've been on a catching pedophiles kick as of late and it's turned me off. But I have other TV plans anyway. I'll be watching Top Chef on Bravo. It's the season finale and I've actually watched most of the shows leading up to it tonight as I caught them on one of the marathons. This is a good show that I don't always watch, but it certainly catches my attention when I come across it. Of the two finalists, I say "go, Marcel!" The other guy seems a bit too pompous to me although Marcel has his own attitude moments.
What will you be watching? Are you American-Idoled out already?
But, I don't fuss or whine about them because I know that some folks do enjoy them and they have their own fan base. Of course, the fan base for the last one may be a bit sordid, but who am I to judge? My name's not Simon Cowell and I ain't no judge no how no way.
However, there are some things which irk me in programming I do watch. So, please allow me the opportunity to get the peeves onto cyber-paper and out of my system.
- New York City does not have a blue tinge. Perhaps NYPD was blue, but the city's atmosphere is not. In its first season, C.S.I.: NY did the blue-tinged bit and now Heroes is doing it. Stop it. NYC isn't blue and, if you're going for some sort of "gritty-city" effect, it's not working. Plus, it makes photo-taking for my blog harder. I'm in and out of Manhattan a lot. Trust me, sometimes it may smell funny, but the air isn't blue.
- Another NYC-related rant... I generally don't watch the local FOX news for the most part. But, since I've been watching American Idol, I can't help but to catch some of the local FOX5 blurbs and sometimes even the show itself. This is New York City. We're supposed to be on top of stuff, right? How can they not understand the concept of what a blog is on FOX 5 News at Ten? Yo, FOX5, listen up! What I'm doing right now isn't a blog... it's a blog entry or a blog article. Comments are not blogs. Your viewers are not blogging to you and you are not reading their blogs unless you're reading a whole actual blog (such as The (TV) Show Must Go On...). A blog is a collection of entries, usually with comments (responses), updated regularly so the newest entries appear at the top. You are reading your viewers' comments, not their blogs. I realize there is a section to create blogs on the website, but you're over-using the term and the comments read on the air aren't blogs. "Blog us now!" Go blog yourselves. Sheesh.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
It was an odd night indeed. So, bear with me as this might be an odd report.
Tonight's Most Notable of the Odd
That's right, it's Simon Cowell's shirt! Yes, he wears those teensy-sleeved t-shirts each week. Although I don't believe I've mentioned them before, they annoy me. They're odd on men who actually have biceps, odder on Simon Cowell. In this pose, most folks with a shirt like that look a bit muscular. Nope, not Simon!
Make him stop.
Can you tell I wasn't too impressed with the Odd?
Then there was Victoria Watson's hair. And, her mother's hair. The locks prompted Ryan Seacrest to regress to his cheesy jokes, something (if I'm being honest), I sort of miss a bit.
"What brings you hair?" Ah, vintage Seacrest!
I felt sorry for Victoria when she was rejected by the judges. No, I don't think she was right for the competition, but her voice wasn't that bad. She would do well in chorus or choir, I think. Simon's comment about only a voice her mother could love was a bit rough. She wasn't a total non-talent like many going through the audition doors. Oh, well... hair today, gone tomorrow.
I don't get this one at all. A 50-year old woman, dressed in Big Bird attire, with a name of Fowler. She wasn't funny, couldn't sing, wasn't even near the age she gave (26) and I don't even really want to give her attention.
Yeah, she might be a hoot as a friend. Yeah, she seems like a nice enough woman.
But, what the hell is she doing on American Idol?
There were a few other Odds, but nothing truly original. The last contestant of the second day, the show closer for tonight, just irked me. I did like the Simon "call me" interaction with Brandy Patterson, but that was all I liked. Wait... the floor excuse was a new one.
There Were Some Good Ones
Yes, Chris looks like he should be in the Most Notable of the Odd, but he's my new favorite. His jokes are perfect and he can sing very well.
If he doesn't make it on American Idol, he could do well in stand-up comedy. "Some people think I look like Jack Osbourne. But when I look in the mirror, who do I see? Christina Aguilara!"
Many more went through to Hollywood. One of them had such an odd sob story that the story itself made me twitch to put it in the Most Notable of the Odd. But, if it's true, it's a horrible thing to live through as a child. "My Daddy shot my Momma because he caught her cheatin' on him, then he shot himself. He's paralyzed from the chest down. I take care of him and my grandma." Eep.
Twenty made it through to Hollywood. Most (of the ones we saw) just didn't come off as all that memorable to me. Tomorrow's auditions come from Los Angeles. Bring it, L.A.!
I have several friends in that industry and have dabbled in it a bit myself, albeit not quite the superhero genre. Comic books or graphic novels are a bit like soap operas. I have somewhat of a short attention span when it comes to continuity for long-lived characters. But, with an hourly television drama, I can indeed keep with it. (Just don't ask me about the Fortress of Solitude or pre-crisis or stuff like that.) "Can we ever change what we really are?"
Here's the BulletPoint Report on the latest Heroes episode, "The Fix," to get things up to snuff. These aren't necessarily in the order of appearance on the show, some are by storyline.
- We found out that the new hero, The Invisible Man, has encountered others like Peter, who can see him.
- In the Matt Parkman (cop who can read minds) storyline, he told his wife about his power, got suspended from work, and found out his wife's pregnant.
- Sylar's in bad shape hidden at the Odessa location (Primatech Paper). HRG (Mr. Bennet) instructed his henchman to keep him alive as per his boss.
- Zach is working with Claire once again. She's tired of lying to everyone (but him).
- She sought help from The Haitian and got a clue that her mother, Meredith Gordon, died in a fire 14 years ago in Kermit, Texas. He knew nothing about her real father.
- They lied to her father, HRG, and told them they were school science partners on a manatee project. A side note: she used wind chimes to signal The Haitian. He told her this would be their last meeting.
- Hiro seems to have lost his powers. He feels he must have the real sword to get them back. Ando and Hiro went on a mission to deliver an Isaac painting to the mysterious Mr. Linderman. They were pursued by really bad guys in a van.
- Mohinder and Nathan Petrelli agreed to work together to find Peter -- it was a reluctant agreement on Nathan's part. Despite the fact that the Invisible Man told Peter that he'd never see him again, he showed and hid Peter from Nathan and Mohinder Suresh.
- Ando got himself kidnapped by the Really Bad Guys and Hiro wouldn't desert him. He tried to take Ando's place, but ended up kidnapped with Ando.
- Niki was visited by a shrink in her padded cell. The shrink wants to explore the MPD factor (probably for her own means as well as Niki's). Niki refused to bring Jessica out to play. The shrink used the threat that she'll never see Micah again. (I don't like the shrink.)
- D.L. phased himself into Niki's cell trying to figure a way to phase both of them out. Niki refused to go.
- D.L. can't find a job, can't get money. He let Micah down as Micah knew his Mom had done whatever she had to do to support him. Micah took matters in his own hands and used his power to make a substantial withdrawal from an ATM. (Now if I tried that, it would probably come out of my own account! Overdraft fees, ack!)
- In a heart-tugging moment, D.L. and Micah talked and Micah promised he'd try harder. Then he dumped the money out for his father. "You know how you and Mom both have a secret? "I have a secret, too."
- HRG got a call that Sylar died. "Package him up." He wasn't happy. But, did Sylar really die? Heh.
- The kidnapped Ando and Hiro were told by the Really Bad Guys that they were the wrong ones for the mission, then offered first class tickets back to Tokyo. "You cannot bribe a hero. My spirit is unbreakable," replied Hiro. So, the Really Bad Guys brought Hiro and Ando to their boss. Uh-oh. It's Hiro's father, played by George Takei. It was the briefest of glimpses and that was the end of that storyline for the episode.
- Claire called all of the folks named Gordon in Kermit. She struck pay dirt. Her mother didn't die. However, her mother told her that she thought Claire had died.
- But, remember Sylar? Oh, he's not dead, either. He killed the lab dude, then confronted HRG when he came for "the package." You could see the shunt in the back of his head. "How's Claire?," he asked Mr. Bennet.
I'm so loving this show! I got another note from Primatech Paper, giving me a password to look into the Mr. Bennet's files sort of how Zach and Claire were doing. The easily-revealed file was about an upcoming hero - a woman who can intercept transmissions and rado waves.
I noticed there were four files there, but the password given me would only open one. However, there were highlighted numbers/letters in her file. I put them together into a password and found it went to the last file of the four -- Sylar's file. In his file, nothing was highlighted, so I can't get into the middle two files. The site even (mock) yelled at me threatening me with legal action if I kept trying to hack their files. Uh-oh.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Whatever will I watch?
In the 8 PM ET/PT time slot, my usual shows (How I Met Your Mother and The Class) are both repeats. If you haven't seen the slap-bet episode on HIMYM, here's your chance. At least, that's the episode showing in promos. New episodes of Deal or No Deal (NBC) and Prison Break (FOX) are also airing. Over on the CW Network, there's a new episode of Everybody Hates Chris followed by a new All of Us. ABC has a repeat Wife Swap.
Any regular blog readers here know that my 9 PM ET/PT hour will be filled with the new Heroes episode on NBC. CBS has repeats of Two and a Half Men and The New Adventures of Old Christine. 24 is a new episode on FOX while Supernanny is new on ABC.
The 10 PM ET/PT sees a repeat of C.S.I.: Miami on CBS and new episodes Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC) and What About Brian (ABC). For a change of pace, VH1 has a new episode of The White Rapper Show. I may have to channel surf, eh?
What are your television plans for the evening?
Sunday, January 28, 2007
One redeeming factor in tonight's episode was the lack of Trumpette and/or Trumpling -- Ivanka and Donald, Jr. Instead, last season's winner, Sean Yazbeck, visited the task and later joined in at the boardroom. Good. I'd rather see him than a Trump progeny any day. Well, they could use Baron, I guess. "Who should be fired?" "Googoo." That would be about as good as the elder Trumps and much cuter.
The show started off with Arrow celebrating the fact that since Michelle quit, they wouldn't face the boardroom and another firing. In the celebration somehow the topic of Cheez Doodles came up. Like Frank (and I never thought we'd have anything in common), I was shocked that someone doesn't know what Cheez Doodles are. I know them all too well.
Trump had a little conference call with both project managers, once again lecturing about how quitters are losers. Of course, Michelle would have lost anyway. I still give her kudos for quitting this fiasco of a season. Then he asked for a volunteer to give the constantly losing Arrow team. Heidi offered herself, Surya, and Amy. Trump decided only Surya would go. Frank mugged, er, hugged him very energetically under the glow of the night vision cameras. Poor Surya.
I think Surya was a bit off-putting to the Arrow team when he droned on and on from a list of business rules. Even though they've been losing, he's no expert. In my opinion, he's been a bit on the sidelines of Kinetic and didn't play a huge role in any of their wins so far.
The task was similar to ones they've done in the past. They had to create a bowl dish for two separate El Pollo Loco locations. I've only seen that fast food chain when I was last in California, so I checked the website for the location nearest to me. Oh, gee... up at Foxwoods (CT) is the closest, with Chicago next in line. Being near NYC, I don't think I'll order any for delivery.
As per the norm for this season, it was obvious which team would win the task. Arrow jumped right on things, came up with a chicken tortilla bowl, and worked together as a team. Frank was actually the MVP of the task, getting an order for 22 bowls from a local business. For once his energy and Excitable Boy attitude did some good. They set up a festival atmosphere with balloons and signs. Even Surya mixed in well with the team despite his "rules."
Meanwhile, Kinetic, which is a word derived from "kinesis" that means movement, was ironically stalled arguing over small details. "What should we name it?" "I don't like that name!" They had decided on a fruit and chicken bowl and some wanted to name it "Paradise Pollo Bowl." Um, okay. They wasted time bickering about the name and then wasted more time quibbling on cellphones with Marisa because she wanted to hire two people with chicken suits. In the end, they just walked along the drive-thru lane telling people about the dish.
Well, duh. I see the problems from the get-go. The name of the dish doesn't tell me anything about what's in the dish. And, with no real excitement or promotion, no one's even going to know anything special was going on. Heck, the chicken suits would have been an improvement.
Sure enough, in the initial boardroom with both teams gathered, Sean announced that Kinetic earned $313.54 while Arrow brought in $418. At least that's the amount I managed to hear as the Arrow team burst into shouts of joy. I'm surprised it wasn't a larger difference.
The reward was much more appropriate than last week's Playboy Mansion evening. (Phew!) Arrow headed off to Malibu Beach where noted singer Andrea Bocelli played piano and serenaded them. Oh, la la! After the performance, there was a fireworks display on a grand scale solely for their enjoyment. And, even more important, they would be able to move into the mansion and out of Tent City. They were beside themselves with glee.
Kinetic weren't happy tent campers, though. They inherited a "disgusting mess" as Muna put it. Plus, one would have to be fired. I noticed that Heidi, the reigning Project Manager all season so far, immediately took any firing focus off of herself. She is good, I'll say. She went through polling the rest of the team because she thought the cashiers and marketing were the weak areas. The whole team decided that Marisa should represent the marketing aspect in the boardroom.
Back in the boardroom, Marisa kept sinking her own ship. I guess she wanted to make sure it stayed sunken. She ticked off Trump some even though he's on a "he/she has good spirit" kick this season (he liked Frank's spirit, too). The entire rest of the team spoke up saying she should be fired. She kept trying to talk over them about the chicken suits, which when you consider that this is supposed to be a corporate situation... chicken suits? Yikes, that's just plain silliness-talk! Trump seemed to be a bit patient with her, but eventually told her to "shut up." I guess that was the big fuss in the promos? I felt let down. I wanted to see some hair-pulling or something!
In the end, sure enough...
"Marisa, your whole team wants you to go. You're fired."
Okay, the episode was better than the last few, but I'm still not enamored with this season. Bring it or give it up, Trump. No, you're not fired, but that is indeed a written warning I'll be putting in your Reality Television File.
Dollar bills, y'all...
Don't ask me why. Perhaps he flew to Rio with his buddy Regis. Or, maybe he's having quality time with Richard Simmons. I just don't know.
Here's this week's guest line-up:
- Monday, Jan. 29: A recent repeat with Will Smith promoting the movie The Pursuit of Happyness and musical guest Evanescense. A good show - Will Smith is always very entertaining and mixes it up well with Dave. But, too recent for me to rewatch. (Grr.)
- Tuesday, Jan. 30: Matt Damon promoting The Departed, Barbara Walters. Again, a fairly recent repeat. The Barbara Walters segment is interesting as she discussed recent brouhahas. (And you know I love to say "brouhaha.")
- Wednesday, Jan. 31: A Holiday Toy Demo (can you guess when this show first aired?), Renee Zellweger promoting Mrs. Potter, musical guest Taking Back Sunday. The Holiday Toy Demo is a hoot! I think I'll rewatch this one just to see that again.
- Thursday, Feb. 1: Ah, new pants! Actor Bill Murray and Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James. Bill Murray can be um... interesting... on shows. I'm not always so sure what's going on with him. And, for this non-NBA-watching person, half of the players I know by name, I know from Letterman.
- Friday, Feb. 2: David Spade promoting his new show Rules of Engagement (which isn't hitting my "must watch" radar at this point), documentary filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi (Friends of God: A Road Trip with Alexandra), and musical guest Dustin Kensrue. Okay.
So, there you go. Plan your TV-watching accordingly.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Survivor 14: Fiji begins on Thursday, February 8th, at 8 PM ET/PT. As it always has been (and we always complain), the season premiere is an hour, not the 90 minutes or two hours we often see with other reality television shows.
Similar to last season's diverse cast, we're in for a heck of a lot of diversity this year ranging from age to color to culture and beyond. I personally support this kind of mix on the show because, to me, it's more like the real world in which I live. Perhaps other areas of the country are different, but I live in a huge mix of cultures and colors within the Greater NYC Metropolitan Area. I love the mix and would find it a boring world if everyone looked alike, held the same beliefs, etc. I outlined the cast with bio information and photos in four separate entries - Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four.
As I tend to do, I've been poking about the Internet in search of more information and any spoilers I can find regarding the upcoming season. The biggest spoilers I really know come from my Unknown Castaway contact, but I'm not at liberty to divulge all that I know about that castaway. I made a few corrections to that initial article here.
I found several sources which reveal the reason we're seeing the odd number of 19 castaways at the start of the season. There were actually 20 castaways as they flew off to Fiji, but one dropped out before they were placed on the island. In stead of replacing her with an alternate (Sundra, an alternate, made it to the Final Four last season), they decided to leave it be and work around it.
In my travels, I visited one of my favorite Survivor sites, Survivor Fever. They always have some great pre-show footage and photos, as well as a spoilers area and cool things like a peek at the Survivors Base Camp for the production staff. Of particular interest to me on my latest visit was an interview with Jeff Probst originally posted by The Slug.
An excerpt from the interview (go to The Slug for the whole interview):
I know there was controversy here on this blog and elsewhere about Jeff's "interference" in that incident. I see his reasoning, but I still think he went a bit further than he should at the Tribal Council. What do you think?
The Slug: Now there was some criticism about your influence during "Cook Islands," specifically when you pointed out Yul brought Jonathan his hat to Tribal Council. When is too much, you know, too much?
Jeff Probst: It's a fine line I walk. The line is being a moderator on the show and being an instigator. That fine line is when you start influencing the game too much. It's always a judgment call. It's never really any formal discussion about it. We all know that line. There's a lot of trust in me to not step over it. I'm sure at times I do, and I have. I'm sure there are times when I've been too heavy handed or hard on somebody. I usually can justify it in my head.
There was a time in the Cook Islands when Yul had skated through Tribal Council after Tribal Council and never really got hammered on anything. There was a point where he had revealed he had the Idol, he had revealed he was in control of the game and after that.
At the next Tribal Council, I felt like there were certain questions the audience was gonna want to know, which was "Why would you let a guy rule the game like this, have the Idol, let him tell you he has the Idol, let him tell you he's in control of the game and not try to stop it? Are you just gonna let him waltz to the finish line?" And Yul got upset. He's like, "Jeff, why are you picking on me?" And I said, "Yul, you've had a free pass for the last several Tribal Councils. I'm saying everything that everybody's thinking." So that's how I look at it.
There are mild show spoilers in regard to how the show starts out and the have/have not theme comes into play, but nothing within the article spoils beyond the premise of the season.
I think we're in for another great season. Survivors ready?
What's even odder (more odd?) is that I could hear the voice of Ian Bernardo (American Idol reject) blasting from the van. Thankfully, he was talking and not singing. Oh, he was on the van's radio, not in the driver's seat. Although, now that I think of it, he reminds me of the last time I dealt with a Comcast customer service representative!
In a related note, but much friendlier, I received an email from American Idol NYC Auditions male singer with the beautiful woman's voice, Christopher Henry. He seems to be a nice guy. He's a music theater major who has no desire to sing in drag, but that's a comfort point for his singing voice. He said that if he knew then what he knows now, he would have chosen another song. But he's doing well and has had positive reaction from show fans as well as in radio and television interviews. I missed his Larry King interview the other night. Now, he can't be compared to the likes of an Ian Bernardo. He wasn't right for the competition, perhaps. But he does have a music background and a true interest in the field. I wish him the best of luck!
In other TV Newsy Bits:
- I caught a bit of I Love New York on VH1 last night for the first time. Eep. Omarosa (The Apprentice) was on it. Yikes.
- Ohhh! There's an insider peek into Survivor 14: Fiji contestant Edgardo Rivera from his college sports coach. He has a temper, huh? I wonder how that will work out on the show. Earrings, a tongue ring, and a bad attitude? But, but... he's so good-looking and clean cut in the CBS promo photos!
- There's yet another interview with one of my newly-found favorite television actors. Masi Oka (Hiro on Heroes) was recently interviewed here. I find him a fascinating and entertaining guy. He makes me smile and, to me, is the hit of the show.
- Celebrity Spider has the goods on the American Idol schedule. The top 24 singers will be revealed on February 14 (Valentine's Day) and the top 12 finalists will perform for the first time on Tuesday, March 13. We have three more audition shows to go through - Birmingham, San Antonio, and Los Angeles. Then, on February 7th, there will be a special "Rest of the Best" auditions show. On February 13th, it's onto the Hollywood rounds. Check out the article I linked for more details.
Friday, January 26, 2007
Sure, I'll post that I have inside information that the upcoming Survivor 14: Fiji was filmed entirely in HD (and that info is just starting to hit the web a few weeks after I posted it)... but I won't post the rumored final four in the upcoming Amazing Race 11: All Stars.
Just because I don't post the information doesn't mean I haven't come across some cool spoilers, foilers, and Internet rumors about shows as I scout about the Web. But, since I don't feel comfortable posting information which may "spoil" a show or information which could very well be just rumors, I'll let the readers decide. I'll give you some of the best spoiler sites and you can choose to go there or not... and to believe the spoilers or not.
One of the best and most comprehensive TV show spoiler sites out there is SpoilerFix. They cover almost every show you may want to know about. Want the latest spoilers on Grey's Anatomy? Well, it's updated today on the site. Another "overall" spoiler site I recommend is the Ask Ausiello column on the TV Guide website. That site has lots of insider information that a mere mortal like myself can't get without Hollywood connections. It's a weekly column and you can subscribe to it... if you want to know the skinny, that is. Kristin over at E!Online always has some good gossip and a few spoilers, too.
I like some of the individual show spoiler sites, but they're sometimes as lacking in knowledge as I can be myself. So, what you read there sometimes has to be taken with a grain of salt. It could be show fans following rumors or foilers-believers spreading the news. But, still, they can be an interesting read.
Lost spoilers can be found on these sites:
- LOST - The TailSection always has some good show spoilers and lots of show speculation.
- Although dependent on fellow show fans for spoilers, the Lost Spoilers Blog is always a good place to check in on.
- In addition to a huge plethora of show info, Lost-Media.com has spoilers.
The Amazing Race 11: All Stars is out there in the Spoilers Zone. As they filmed the season, there were fans around the globe reporting on the teams as they traveled. Now, the spoilers at this site are major. I can't actually vouch for their truthfulness as I didn't see the teams race through New Jersey. Beware that the final group of teams competing may be spoiled for you as will the route followed. Don't go to the site if you don't want to know. You've been warned. It's now up to you. (Please don't discuss the findings in comments as I'm sure some folks really, really don't want to know.)
Thursday, January 25, 2007
What will I be watching (or not) this evening? Here's some of what's on:
At 8 PM ET/PT, it looks like almost everything on the basic networks is a repeat. Ugly Betty, C.S.I.: Miami, My Name is Earl, The Office... all repeats.
:::I interrupt this blog to bring an important news update. If you live in New Jersey, please limit your consumption of squirrels, especially ones found near the toxic waste sites near Ringwood. This came from the WNBC4 news I have on in the background as I write this. Hey, you over there with the squirrel in the oven, take heed! We return to the regularly scheduled blog entry at this time.:::
Back to the 8 PM slot -- over on the CW, Smallville is new. Oh, and CourtTV has on new Hot Pursuit shows back-to-back. Woowoo, pull it over! I think I'll reserve the hour for reading or writing endeavors.
At 9 PM ET/PT, there are some new episodes of some popular shows. C.S.I. is new on CBS and Grey's Anatomy is new on ABC (check the sidebar of the blog for the GA discussion post). Scrubs and 30 Rock are repeats. One show I see listed which would catch me if I didn't want to watch something else is the Winter X Games on ESPN. Although my ski-racing and adrenalin-rushing days are over, I love to watch that stuff... and preferably from inside where it's warm. Also at 9 PM, although I'll catch the later airing of it, BET is showing The Wire. I'm hooked on that one now that it's being shown off of HBO, but I want to watch C.S.I. Oh... and The O.C. is in its death stages, but it's also new this week on FOX. The CW is airing a new Supernatural.
The 10 PM ET/PT time slot is Repeat City with the exception of Men in Trees on ABC. Hmmm... TBS is showing Dumb and Dumber. I've never seen that one. It couldn't dumb me down any more than American Idol does, right?
What are you watching tonight?
In TV Newsy Bits (and a Bit o' Blog Bits), here's the latest:
- I just received a note from one of my friends at Turner Broadcasting. I'm not all that into NBA games, but now I have the overwhelming need to watch TNT's promos for NBA All-Star 2007 (Feb. 16-18). Why, you ask? Because Jeremy Piven (hot) and, more dear to my heart, the Blue Man Group are to be featured. The Blue Man Group! It's enough to make me watch the game... almost! Great marketing, I must say.
- I mentioned that I filled out the job application for Primatech Paper (Heroes) in a previous post here. I received another note from Primatech today. They said " We are always interested in unique individuals with special abilities to help us provide the best service to our many clients." They promised a Primatech representative will be contacting me with further instructions. I'm not sure where this is leading, but it's intriguing. I hope they realize I'm just an observer-type. I don't want to be on the show or anything. My biggest super-power is my ability to eat large amounts of gourmet chocolate ice cream.
- Please remember that I've taken early peeks at the casts of The Amazing Race 11: All Stars and Survivor 14: Fiji. If you missed them, they're listed on the right sidebar.
- Reality News Online (RNO) have been giving their take on the Top Thirty Reality TV Contestants of 2006. Although I admit to watching a lot of television, perhaps even with a focus on the reality TV genre, I couldn't make such a list as my time (and interests) rule out so much of the genre. It's an interesting take - their number one choice was actually a duo. Well, um... one of them made my personal list.
- The New York Post extended American Idol wannabe Ian Bernardo's fleeting fame. Actually, I was surprised that he brought up a bit of a serious side in the interview.
- Huh, I didn't know that the actress who plays the Niki/Jessica role on Heroes, Ali Larter, was a Jersey Girl. Yes, from Cherry Hill which is over towards the Philadelphia area. [I'm more towards NYC. If I go atop the local "mountain," I can see the Manhattan skyline.]
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
It was another long two days for the judges as they faced the masses in New York City or, more accurately, East Rutherford, New Jersey. Although there were tons of street scenes from the city, the actual auditions were in the Continental Airlines Arena... Joisey. It's otherwise known as The Meadowlands and is the home stadium of the NY Giants, as well as the large rock concert tour circuit. There have been rumors for decades that Jimmy Hoffa is buried under the concrete there. I vividly recall the August days when the auditions were going on. With the local news coverage, it seemed like a mini-season all on its own.
The show started off with an oddity, thus promising it might be an entertaining evening. Yes, there was some talent, too. There were sob stories and crushed dreams, but not everyone can be an American Idol, right? Guest judge Carole Bayer Sager might not have realized what she got herself into.
Tonight's Most Notable of the Odd
Oh, snap! It's Ian Bernardo! I remember when he was a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance. He can't dance. Now he thinks he can sing. Nope, he definitely can't! I think Ian's true calling is to be a character actor playing a gay street punk in bad movies.
I'll give him credit for one thing, though. I think he came up with the best line of the night on the show while he ranted about Simon and company. "Hollywood is New Jersey with celebrities." Now, that cracked me up. I refused to watch the local FOX news afterwards to see more rants of his. He had his five minutes of fame with me this year. Next.
I somehow missed Antonio's age, but he looks at least 45 to me. Coming out in a black suit with a fedora to sing "New York, New York" is always a bit gimmicky at the New York City auditions. Frank could carry it off, but Antonio certainly can't. It would help if he didn't blatantly sing "New Yor, New Yor."
In some ways he reminds me of Joe Pesci. I have an idea! While Ian is playing a gay street punk, Antonio can be a two-bit thug. It could be American Idol Wannabes Story... like West Side Story, only different. They could "sing" each other to death!
Chris looks normal enough and indeed doesn't seem to be any sort of whacko. They decided he looked like Simon Cowell, which I'm not really seeing. Chris mentioned George Michael, too. That I see a bit.
But what he didn't mention is that he sings with a beautiful woman's voice. I closed my eyes and could have sworn it was a woman. Perhaps Simon shouldn't have made the comment about the stilettos and dress. However, I think the guy could make a killing in drag singing in shows. I don't think he would work in well in American Idol.
Sarah looks normal, doesn't she?
She's got a problem.
She can't sing. She knows she can't sing and tells the judges that she's tone-deaf. What's she doing auditioning to become the American Idol? Well, she wants them to teach her how to sing! She wants them to mold her into a pop star from the get-go. It ain't gonna happen, Sarah. And, you shouldn't have gotten as upset as you did about the rejection.
She wants to be called Isadora. Ryan Seacrest kept calling her "Julie." I call her performance tonight's Most Notable of the Odd.
Words cannot describe her performance. (Well, maybe if I spelled them wrong and changed fonts throughout each word...!)
Voulez-vous couchez avec moi, ce soir? Non.
There Were Some Good Ones
Jenry (pronounced Henry) is amazing. It should be illegal that this kid is only 16-years-old. He's charismatic, extremely good-looking, mature, and he can sing well. Paula called him "easy on the eyes" and I must agree.
A few folks from previous seasons returned to the New York City auditions. Ashanti had gone to Hollywood twice, but didn't make it. Yet fellow ex-Hollywood level singer from last year, Nick Pedro, stunned me again with his voice. Last season, he quit when he forgot the lyrics in the group round. He's going to Hollywood once again.
Best friends and Jersey Girls, Amanda Coluccio and Antonella Barba both made the cut. Nineteen-year-old Sarah Burgess sneaked away from both her parents and school to audition. She didn't think her father would support her dream. She was wrong and she's going to Hollywood.
Kia Thornton is heading there as is Jory Steinberg. Chris Richardson, a bit reminiscent of Justin Timberlake in both looks and voice is heading to Hollywood. A young girl who's on an opera scholarship, Rachel Zevita, came across as a character, but her opera is amazing and she can even sing rock. When asked about herself, she told Simon she's a singer, songwriter, and rock star. Simon told her all of them can go to Hollywood.
Paula seemed coherent for the NYC auditions and Simon went missing for the first part of the second day. One of the ranters (Sarah Goldberg), claimed the judges were out until three in the morning before the second day. All I can say is they weren't here with me.
In the two days in New York City (Jersey), 35 went through to Hollywood. That's the most we've seen from any audition. I think we need a group hug for NYC!
The next auditions come to us from Birmingham, Alabama. Will they bring it and sing it?
I have a few days off from my day job, as you might be able to tell from the times I've been posting articles. I also have had some time to catch up on my book-reading and taped-shows watching. Woohoo!
Here are some of the TV Newsy Bits I found out on that Big Bad Web this morning:
- USA Today has an article about the fifteen minutes of fame that comes with being an American Idol reject, especially one who has endured the Wrath of Simon Cowell. Huh. Kenneth Briggs told The Today Show his name is Kenneth Swale. It seems the viewing audience may be more upset than the Idol rejects.
- What's two-timing Survivor Stephenie LaGrossa up to these days? The Asbury Park Press spills the beans on her latest adventures.
- Lost returns on February 7th at 10 PM ET/PT. In case you've forgotten where Lost left off, they'll be airing a Lost Survivor Guide prior to the new episode.
- BuddyTV has an article about the new hero introduced in the online graphic novel for Heroes, but not yet seen on the show. I'm not talking about the Invisible Guy.
- Speaking of Heroes, Celebrity Spider has a rather in-depth look at next week's episode. Sulu, beam me up. (Okay, I know that should be Scotty, but he passed away some time ago.)
- TV Tattler has a Katharine McPhee interview in which she tells of her upcoming Ugly Betty role and catches us up on what's she's been doing since coming in second on last season's American Idol.
- Is your favorite show on the list? AOL Television has listed last week's twenty top-rated shows according to the Nielsens. Their list certainly differs from my own! Football is number one? Yikes, not with me!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
The show started out with a male cheerleading captain, accompanied by his squad (is that what it is?) and marching band. Frank Byers, Jr., wasn't horrible as he sang "I Heard it Through the Grapevine." He was just a bit too much. Don't save the cheerleader... please.
There were some not-so-good contestants (who really shouldn't have tried out) like Timika Sims shyly singing with a voice which seemed to come from deep within her nasal cavities. There was Wandera Hitchye, a woman who really doesn't sing well, was let down very nicely by the judges, yet ranted and raved.
Tonight's Most Notable of the Odd
Many of tonight's Most Notable of the Odd were never shown in an actual audition, as I mentioned above. The center girl, Alexis Partee, decided to semi-strip her sweater and don't ask me what she was up to! The one on the left was never named, yet said, "I forgot my medication." And, Hunka Hunka was almost X-rated while wearing a huge baby bonnet. Eep.
Janita Burks claimed to be conservative and sexy. Neither, I say! SHe could have teamed up with Hunka Hunka and we would have had Porn Idol. Simon said she was a handful. I say they could have used that American Idol emblem over her chest at times. I have no idea what was going on with the one in the middle. Her audition, with the exception of the montage, was never shown. Robert Lee Holmes started it all. He thinks he does a good Elvis. He does not. Trust me on this one.
There were a few other notables like Travis McKinney and Christopher McCain. Travis sang some bizarre song he claimed would fill the stage with emotion. If you call annoyance emotion, he did his job. Christopher had a crush on Paula and, since he recently broke up with his wife, he's available. Paula looked like she'd rather hear from Corey Clarke again. Thankfully, Christopher's singing wasn't much better than his possibilities with Paula.
Oh, There Were a Few Notable Good Ones in Memphis!
Sundance Head may not look like a contender, but he certainly is one. He's the son of singer Roy Head, a fairly popular singer in the mid-sixties. I remember the songs, but I liked The Beatles more. (Yes, I'm that old... got a problem with it? To be honest, I was pretty young at the time and listened to the records of older people. Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)
Sundance belted out "Stormy Monday" like he was born to sing the blues. It'll be interesting to see him adapt to other styles and see what they do with his "look" if he makes it into the 12 finalists.
I found Melinda Doolittle not only a singing powerhouse, but she was also a refreshing delight to watch. She's a background singer for someone else and her shyness has kept her from stepping out and singing on her own.
Wow. She can sing!
She needs to gather some self-confidence, but I feel this girl's a winner nonetheless. It was nice to see someone who doesn't think they're "all that." I hope she goes far.
Yes, I know he looks more like he should be in Tonight's Most Notable of the Odd, but he's going to Hollywood. Sean Michel is actually kind of cute under all that hair. He has a nice smile and a decent voice.
He received comments like "wow" and "soulful" from the judges. He's also going to be another one to watch what they do with his looks if he makes it into the finalists.
In the two days of Memphis auditions, cut to one hour here on the East Coast (and elsewhere? I don't know), they put through 22 more to Hollywood. Tomorrow is home territory for me... the New York City auditions. Yes, I remember when they were holding them. No, I didn't try out.
First there was How I Met Your Mother. The friends found a nude painting of Marshall that Lily had painted when they were in college. Although there was another storyline in which Ted was trying to fire his ex-boss Hammond Druthers, the painting was the true fun instigator of the episode.
When they "told" Marshall about finding the painting, the hints revolved around "I have a new dart." New dart, of course, is nude art. Yeah, it's a bit sophomoric, but funny nonetheless. Barney talked Lily into painting him nude; Lily and Marshall demanded money. In the end, Barney got the Ken Treatment. Little Barney never showed. But, his stance with the sword leads me into...
Here's a quick bullet-point update on last night's Heroes (not necessarily in the order of occurrence) followed by some of my thoughts (feel free to share your own thoughts or ideas):
- Niki/Jessica is in jail. She turned all Jessica on the guards and eventually ended up in the good ol' padded cell.
- Micah still wants his Mom, D.L. isn't so sure.
- Matt Parkman, the mind-reading cop, teamed with his FBI buddy to raid HRG's (Mr. Bennett's) paper company in search of Sylar.
- Either HRG or The Haitian blocked their thoughts from Matt and the raid was a bust.
- Claire met up with The Haitian wanting him to restore Zach's memories of her. We find he can only erase memories, not restore them.
- Hiro, Ando, Isaac, Simone, and Nathan all met up at Isaac's studio.
- Peter was comatose at the beginning of the show, probably due to absorbing so many powers from his Sylar encounter, as well as with others.
- Sprague, the radioactive-hands dude, is in a shack in the desert.
- Sylar is indeed still alive and still a captive of Mr. Bennett and Company. He's not doing so well and there's huge cockroach crawling around in his "room." I'm talking one of those really huge ones like a Madagascar hissing cockroach or something.
- Mr. Bennett met up with Suresh in NYC and they both lamented over Eden. Suresh is leery of him.
- Hiro and Ando found the sword Hiro sought in a museum. Hiro slowed down time all around him to steal it only to find it was a replica, not a real sword at all. And, not only that, but a replica donated by the notorious Mr. Linderman. The incident showed that Hiro's encounter with the dinosaur took place in the museum, not back in time.
- Claire either tried to jolt Zach's memory or create a new knowledge of her powers by re-enacting the falls from the building videotape - "this is my first attempt."
- Peter's coma and fever broke and he ran from the hospital (really ticking off his mother).
- Peter started roaming the streets of Manhattan trying to make arrangements to fly to Las Vegas to a desert area as he's sure he'll be combusting soon.
- As he walked along, he spotted the newest hero - an invisible man (played by Christopher Eccleston of Dr. Who fame). Like Jessica of Jessica/Niki, he wasn't using his powers for good. He was pickpocketing and stealing. They struggle, Peter's eyes light up once more.
Okay, those were the basics of this episode, "Godsend."
First, I want to know more about the mysterious, yet notorious, Mr. Linderman. I'm beginning to get the feeling he may be Mr. Bennett's boss, but I could be off-base. Also, the sword replica. As you see in the photo of it, it bears the same design as the tattoos on Jessica and Matt Parkman (other places, too). What's the significance? It looks like the mangling of a Japanese character or perhaps the mix of two.
Remember the business card Mr. Bennett passed to Matt during the raid? Well, I went to the URL they listed for Primatech Paper - "Paper, People, Performance. Primatech, since 1962." There are a few things about this... first, if you call the toll free phone number on the card and then ask for the hiring department, you'll be given a code to open the application on the site. I did so and completed my application. I got a brief note back telling me they were reviewing my qualifications. On the phone they said they were looking for "motivated people with abilities to fit our needs." Huh, you don't say. On the application there's a place to sign up for newsletters or text messages. I signed up for the email newsletters.
The second thing about Primatech I'm wondering is the date. 1962. Is there any significance to that? Could it have been the year Suresh's Dad started his research? Or, perhaps the year that HRG (Horn-Rimmed Glasses, now known as Mr. Bennett) was born? I don't know. I can't recall any specific references to that year.
As for the characters, I'm so loving Hiro! I even like Ando; he plays so well off of Hiro. I'm glad that Nathan is perhaps not a bad guy, but bad gal Jessica can go far away. I'm not thrilled with that whole storyline although I enjoy Micah and D.L. I wish that Eden had stayed around instead of Jessica/Nikki, though. I'm hoping that Claire (whom I enjoy) can get Zach's memory back or rebuild the knowledge - I like Zach although he seems to be non-gay now. (That was a brouhaha before the hiatus!)
What will the new hero bring to the mix? Other than his invisibility, that is. He was shocked that Peter could see him. Now, if Peter hooks up with him, he can be invisible, too.
Peter Petrelli - Peter Parker -- coincidence or not? With great power comes great responsibility.
I'm looking forward to next week's show as the story is...
.... to be continued.