Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve TV Newsy Bits - December 31, 2007

Don't ask because I don't have any answers. I came across this stuffed figure quasi-dummy in a wicker chair on the sidewalk in front of a Latino clothing store in Plainfield, NJ today. The cigarette in his mouth was actually burning and that's an empty pint bottle in his lap. He may have one hand. If he does, it's in his pocket supporting his travel duffel. What the pink frill on his sleeve is, I don't know. I didn't ask, he didn't tell. He must be a stranger in town. But at least he dressed for the weather, eh?

In today's TV Newsy Bits:
  • Yes, the world will be watching the ball drop at midnight in Times Square. I might be watching, but I'll do it from my living room. I've done the Times Square thing twice in my life and vowed 20 years ago never again. I hope everyone has a great time, but please be safe.
  • A blog reader has a list of the New Year's TV marathons up on his blog if you don't like football. I know I need some Law and Order!
  • The late night talk shows return on January 2nd. Yay, Letterman! Since David Letterman's own show and the one following it hosted by Craig Ferguson are owned by his own production company, he made his own deal to return with the writers. Leno and Conan will be winging it without the writers. I may have to watch Leno once just to see how bad he is when left to his own devices. I actually enjoy Letterman's goofiness, so I personally think he'd be better without writers than Leno, but that's the way it goes. I can't help but wonder if guests might be more willing to go on Letterman who has the approval of the WGA than on Leno where they might be perceived as crossing picket lines. It should be interesting.
Today's musical non-sequitur:
Give my regards to Broadway
Remember me to Herald Square
Tell all the gang at 42nd Street
That I will soon be there.
-- George M. Cohan - "Give My Regards to Broadway"

Sunday, December 30, 2007

'The Amazing Race 12' - East Coast Update 12/30

Jackie's TV Blog, Amazing Race, TAR

Nah, I didn't forget to get a post up and running. The late post is due to yet another football delay here on the east coast. As I type this at approximately 8:20 PM ET, 60 Minutes is still on. I'm not quite sure when it started, but once the real show (TAR!) starts, I'll update this entry with major events including the Pit Stop order.

Late tonight my full review of the show will be posted over on TV Squad.

UPDATE 8:37 PM ET -- Finally, 60 Minutes has ended. (Grr)

Kynt and Vyxsin made up the Speed Bump time and just U-Turned Nathan and Jennifer DON AND NICOLAS (who are ahead of them),ARGH.

TK and Rachel arrived at the Pit Stop first -- won a trip to St. MArtin.

Second place goes to Nicolas and Donald.
Third -- Ronald and Christina

WAH -- Nathan and Jennifer took fourth place, Kynt and Vyxsin Philiminated. ARGH -- why didn't Kynt U-Turn Jennifer and Nathan?!?!?!?!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Jackie's TV Blog, holidays

To everyone out there who celebrates Christmas, I hope you have a day filled with love and good food. (Can't forget the good food, of course!)

Graphic artist Zoetawny created this image for the holidays and you know she rocks!

Although I've been a bit scarce as of late, we'll have new shows coming on soon. My best wishes go out to everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

'The Amazing Race 12' East Coast Updates 12/23

The show is delayed here on the East Coast -- I'm not sure how long, but I will post an update when it starts. Important events and the Pit Stop arrival order will be posted in updates as it airs. A full review will be posted on TV Squad late tonight.

UPDATE 8:20 PM ET - 60 Minutes just ended, the real show will begin momentarily.

Thanks to the Fast Forward, Don and Nicolas won first place and a trip to Cancun.

Pit Stop arrivals after Don and Nicolas --

2. Nathan and Jennifer (grr)
3. Ronald and Christina
4. TK and Rachel
5. Kynt and Vyxsin, but despite what was said pre-season, it's one of two non-elimination legs. So, they're still in the race. But during the next leg they will encounter a Speed Bump -- a task they must do in addition to the others. It may slow them down and they won't know when it will happen.

Blue, Blue (Man Group) Christmas and Bloggy Bits, Too

Hey, all! I've still been working unbelievable hours at the day job -- up before five every morning, blech. However, it's dwindling down a bit, just one more real early rising day and then a few days off. (Yes!)

I haven't seen Roofus the cat because it's dark when I go to work and dark when I come home.

Television has been slim pickings for me as of late, but that's okay with the increased workload for year end. I don't feel bad about missing Letterman as it's still repeats due to the WGA strike. It sounds like the deal he was trying to work out with the union for the writers to return to his Worldwide Pants production company have fallen through. Leno will return without writers on January 2nd. I don't care much for him when he has them, so I probably won't watch unless I like a particular guest.

I watched the remake movie of Godzilla the other night on FX. I had been stuck in Manhattan traffic as they filmed it, but had never seen it before. Corny, but I was entertained.

This morning I followed my routine of CBS Sunday Morning with coffee. Huh. Charles Osgood wore an actual tie instead of a bowtie. There was a nice segment on James Taylor and it brought back memories of seeing him on the ski slopes of Mohawk Mountain back in the 80s.

Today I've had the VH1 100 Best Songs of the 90s on in the background as I did chores around the house. I'll have to turn it off for The Amazing Race, but it's reminding me I liked more 90s music than I thought I did. Yeah, I can get jiggy wit' it.

Speaking of The Amazing Race, I'll get the east coast update post up when it starts here on the east coast. It should be starting on time, I believe.

Until then, I made a nifty Blue Man Group holiday greeting for you. I get their newsletter and it provided the link to create it. Fun, fun, fun. I also noticed they're looking for writers. Now, that would be a dream job for me, but since I don't have any background in comedy and physical sketch kind of writing, it will just remain a dream. Plus, what would I do with my 401K and retirement pension where I am, huh? But, I can dream.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

'Survivor 15: China' - East Coast Updates - Season Finale

The show is starting on time here for a change. As it airs, I'll update this post with the more important events. My full review will be posted late tonight on TV Squad. Please feel free to jump in with your thoughts in comments!

Amanda won reward -- a personal feast. She can choose to share with one or two others (it's a feast for one). She invites Todd to share it.

They've gone for the memory walk and, after the commercial, immunity will be up for grabs.

Todd is the first out for immunity. Courtney is out of it. Denise is out. Amanda wins immunity!

Denise was voted out -- the spoilers were right on final four and final three.

"I would have won if I stayed in the game," said Denise. Well, duh. That "if" ruins it all, huh?

It will be a final three facing the jury once again.

Todd won Survivor China! Four votes for Todd, 2 for Courtney, 1 for Amanda. We know that Erik was the Amanda vote. Denise voted for Courtney. Since JR said well-played and you stole a million dollars, I'd guess he was a Todd vote.

I know many of the readers here didn't want Todd to win, but of the three remaining he was my choice for the win.

On the reunion show, James won the 100,000 from show fans. Mark Burnett stepped up to the plate and gave Denise 50,000 because she lost her lunch lady job and is working (unhappily) as a janitor.

New season-- select few superfans of the show versus favorites from previous seasons. Jeff says at least one is from Survivor China (James, I bet).

A Bit Off Topic - Some Sunday Randomness

I once again apologize for not being as blog-conscious as I should be. The holidays are a bit of a rough time of year for me on both a working and personal level. This year the personal level was dealt yet another blow. But I am alive and reviewing the shows I must do for TV Squad -- reminder -- the Survivor 15: China season finale and reunion show are on tonight. I'll have an east coast updates post here for during the show and post a full review on TV Squad late tonight. (And then get up at 5:30 AM to head to work ... sigh.) I haven't even been able to keep up with my email lately, but I'm trying!

Hopefully, once next week is done, I'll be more like my old self. In the meantime I saw Roofus sans his little friend sunning yesterday morning on his balcony window roof.

I took a picture of ice lining a tree on Friday morning.

I took a photo of the James Ward Mansion Building in Westfield (NJ) all decked out for the holidays which includes loud piped Christmas carols as well as a group of live carolers roaming the streets.

Then it was off to a rowhouse in Plainfield (NJ) for a photo of the traditional Christmas lighted Jack O'Lantern display. Diversity is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

A few observations and/or thoughts:
  • Whenever I listen to the song "Smooth" I think of Trashy pledging himself to Randall Flagg in The Stand when I hear this line: "I would give my world to lift you up, I could change my life to better suit your mood."
  • I work on Saturdays, coming home in the evening. There is always a group of Orthodox Jewish men getting on the train in Plainfield. Where are they coming from? Plainfield tends to be the home of P-Funk with a largely black and rising Latino population. It's supposedly also a gay mecca with folks like ex-Governor James McGreevey buying up the huge old Victorians and Colonial homes. I know there are a few synagogues in town, but I don't see the men on the streets. Yet there they are, about ten of them, getting on the train in Plainfield looking more like they're getting on the train in Crown Heights.
See you all later for the finale updates post!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

'Survivor 15: China' East Coast Updates 12/13

As the show airs here on the east coast, this entry will be updated. A full review will be posted late tonight on TV Squad.

Happy belated birthday to commenter Nana! You share Frank Sinatra and my younger brother's day!

Thanks to Courtney, Denise won reward. She chose Courtney and Todd to accompany her on an overnight trip to the Great Wall of China.

Amanda won immunity.

Peih-Gee was voted out.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

'The Amazing Race 12' East Coast Updates 12/09

Jackie's TV Blog, Amazing Race, TAR

Tonight's show here on the east coast is delayed a bit due to football. (What else is new?)

Once it starts, I'll update this entry with any big news, the arrival order at the Pit Stop and Philimination. My full review of the episode will be posted late tonight on TV Squad. As always, feel free to jump in with your thoughts in the comments section!

It's 8:25 PM ET and the show is finally starting here. Sigh.

Pit Stop --
1. Ronald and Christina
2. Jennifer and Nathan, but NO -- sent back because they took a private car not a taxi. Yay!
2. Kynt and Vyxsin
3. Nathan and Jennifer
4. TK and Rachel
5. Nicolas and Donald
6. Azaria and Hendekea -- Philiminated

Thursday, December 06, 2007

'Survivor 15: China' - East Coast Updates 12/06

The show has started here on the East Coast. I'll update this post with important events (immunity, boot, etc.) as it airs. So, please refresh the page for the latest and definitely let me know what you think of the episode!

My full review is posted over on TV Squad.

Family members are being teamed up with them for the Rewards Challenge. Denise and her husband Robert won Reward -- a boat trip, meal, and phone call. Denise had to pick two others to go with them -- Todd and his sister, Amanda and her sister. The family members of the chosen will spend the night. The family members of those not on Reward go home immediately.

Peih-Gee win Immunity.

Not a shock ... Erik was voted out.

TV Newsy Bits - Thursday, December 6, 2007

Just a New Jersey house framed by barren trees and highlighted by the sunrise on a cold December day.

I'll be posting an east coast update post for tonight's Survivor around 8 PM ET. My review will be posted late tonight over on TV Squad, but the important show events will be in the update post here.

In today's TV Newsy Bits:
Today's musical non-sequitur:
He said, "I dance now at every chance
in honky tonks for drinks and tips.
But most the time I stand behind
these county bars 'cause I drinks a bit."
--"Mr. Bojangles" by Jerry Jeff Walker

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

TV Newsy Bits - Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Well, well, well ... perhaps this is one reason Roofus has been not in sight lately (in addition to the weather). He seems to have a new friend. This is not the cat I used to see him with late last winter -- that one was white and black, mostly white. This one seems all black from what I could see. I suppose we need to come up with a name for the new addition to the roof?

Tonight is the first night of Chanukah -- Light, love, and joy to all!

In TV Newsy Bits:
  • I received my fourth season DVD set of The Wire today. So far I've watched one episode. I'll probably watch another before bed as Letterman is striked out.
  • Buddy TV has an exclusive interview with Philiminated Jennifer and Shana from The Amazing Race 12. I find it interesting that Shana was approached to audition for the show. Is she the one who was "seeing" Ryan Seacrest? They also said that they thought Lorena and Jason were the only team behind them when they used the U-Turn. Jennifer thinks they used it too early in the game.
  • Whether there will be a second season of Kid Nation is still out to the jury, but official investigations into the child labor, etc., issues prior to the season have been dropped. A quote from the article -- "It has been determined that absent any formal complaints to this office or request for investigation by any state agency, the Attorney General's Office will not pursue any further inquiry into the 'Kid Nation' production in New Mexico," according to a statement.
  • I know someone in comments within the last week asked about a discussion post for another show. If you'll refresh my memory, I'll get one up for you.
Today's musical non-sequitur:
I said to Hank Williams
How lonely does it get
Hank Williams hasn't answered me yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
Oh, a hundred floors above me
In the Tower of Song.
-- "Tower of Song" by Leonard Cohen

Monday, December 03, 2007

'Heroes' - "Powerless"

Heroes - NBC
Tonight's season finale of Heroes made me wish the first several episodes of the season weren't as lackluster. It was old-time first season pacing tonight. They didn't jump around as wildly between the characters and locations and even spent more than a few minutes in one spot -- as it should be.

Here's the lowdown by character(s) --

Mohinder Suresh, Molly Walker, Sylar, Maya in Brooklyn
Sylar and Maya were waiting for Mohinder (who still has a screw loose if you ask
me, but improves this episode). Mohinder tried to tell Maya that Sylar's a killer and she confesses to killing others, too. She wants the Ashanti virus to take away her powers while Sylar wants his powers back. When Mohinder learns Sylar doesn't have powers, he pulls a knife. But Sylar pulls a gun.

Maya does her eyes thing affecting Sylar, Mohinder, and Molly. Sylar made her stop and Mohinder agreed to help him.

Mohinder takes them to his "lab" -- Isaac Mendez' old studio. He told Sylar that he needed a blood sample, but Sylar is smarter than Mohinder -- he doesn't trust him. But Mohinder quickly drew blood anyway and noted he had to have been injected with the Ashanti virus to stop his powers when he was at the Company.

Meanwhile, Molly offered to find Alejandro (killed by Sylar last week unbeknownst to Maya) for Maya. "He's not anywhere." Maya freaked and went after Sylar. He shot her, then demanded that Mohinder give her the Claire blood cure. "Now look what you made me do," he said after he shot her.

Mohinder injected Maya with the Claire cure blood, and Elle (thinking she could
impress her father Bob by going after Sylar after seeing him on their video monitor of Mohinder's lab), went after Sylar, but he escaped. She was tickled pink when Mohinder told her that even though Sylar escaped, she saved their lives. That Elle has issues.

Elle, Bob, and Noah Bennet at the Company in Hartsdale, NY
Elle was in hot water with her daddy for her confrontation with Claire. "You're
benched! No more field missions." He was really cold and condescending to her. Which, of course, was perfect for the captive Noah when she asked about what he knew of her past.

He told her that her father experimented with her powers, pushing her way past the wattage he should. Bennet told her that no father who cared about his
daughter would treat her that way.

Bob interrupted them, so Elle went off looking for her file. It was empty. But the monitors caught her interest and that's when she saw Sylar was with Suresh at Isaac's studio.

As she was doing that, Bob was blackmailing Bennet. He told him that Claire was "becoming difficult" -- planning to go public. In her best interests, Bennet needed to return to the Company and keep her from exposing it.

Matt Parkman, Nathan and Angela Petrelli in Manhattan
Matt and Nathan told Angela that Victoria (the woman in the group photo) was
killed by Adam. She told them that Adam would need Peter to steal the virus at Primatech in Odessa, Texas, as only his powers could do the deed.

Angela told them that 30 years ago she trusted Adam. They were all going to "fix the world." Then she found out that the way Adam would fix it is to wipe out the population. (Reminds me of the Lathe of Heaven).

She told them the only way to kill Adam was a bullet through the head. She thought at Matt that if he needs to do it, only a bullet in the head would kill Peter.

Primatech Paper Adventures
My, what a busy place this was. Adam and Peter Petrelli were there to get the
virus which would eventually kill 93% of the population. Peter thought they were going there to destroy it but Adam actually wants to release it. Peter used his powers to knock everyone out of their way.

But then Hiro showed up -- he wanted to kill Adam to avenge the death of his father. Since Peter's as stupid as Mohinder as of late, he thought Hiro was his enemy when Hiro froze time and went after Adam.

Hiro, on the other hand, knows that Adam is a bad dude and fought Peter the
best he could so he could kill Adam. But Peter zapped him only ...

... to have Nathan and Matt fly in to town. All during this time, Peter had opened the vault and Adam had gone inside. Oh, no! Stop him!

Nathan convinced Peter that it was him (Peter) on the wrong side -- he was being used by Adam. Hiro had already come to and had gone after Adam in the vault.

Adam told Hiro that he was actually his inspiration. They struggled and Hiro
transported them away leaving the vial of virus to fall to the floor ... only to be stopped from breaking by Peter.

Peter destroyed the vial in his hand with the radioactive hands power. Before the
vial's dust disappeared, the "Godsend" logo (whatever) appeared in it.


Hiro solved the Adam problem at least temporarily by burying him alive in the graveyard where his (Hiro's) parents are buried.

Niki, Micah, Monica in New Orleans
Micha convinced Niki to drive him to save Monica from the hooligans who kidnapped her. For the crime of stealing back a stolen comic book and backpack, one thug was lighting her and an abandoned building on fire.

Micah used his powers to talk to the cell phones for GPS tracking and to change traffic lights to green. Once there, Niki went someone strong, beat up the thug, and saved Monica from the burning building. The building blew up with Niki still inside.

Claire, the Bennets (Butlers) in California
Claire is determined to expose the company. West showed up trying to convince
her not to do so. She gave him the file on him and broke up with him. He flew away.

Then Noah showed up telling them that they had saved him with Claire's blood. But he also had to work for the Company once again to keep the family safe.

Claire wasn't to tell anyone of her powers and their lives would be as "normal" as possible.

Noah told them that everything was his fault -- he never meant to hurt anyone. When he went outside, Bob was there and he told him he told them.

Nathan at press conference in Odessa, Texas
When Peter destroyed the virus in the vault, Nathan decided it was time to
expose the Company and go public.

He started going on about "ordinary people with extraordinary powers, heroes amongst us" when BANG.

Nathan was assassinated. We saw the back of the killer going out the door.

Cut to Angela Petrelli on the phone in Manhattan with the news of Nathan's death going on in the background -- "I know it was unavoidable. You do know you opened Pandora's box, right?"

Sylar shoots up in the alley
Sylar, pretty beaten by Elle, is like a junkie in an alley shooting up the "cure." His wounds healed and his powers, weak at first, came back.

"I'm baaaack."

So, it looks like Nathan and Niki are dead, but are they? Who was the assassin? Noah Bennet? The Haitian? Bob himself? Will the grave hold Adam long? I guess we won't know until it all resumes in 2008. My one real irk of the episode is that I was overjoyed that Maya was killed -- thus the end of the Wonder Twins ... then they brought her back. Grr.

'Big Brother 9' and 'Survivor 16' February Dates Announced

Due to the WGA strike, CBS big-hitter reality television shows Big Brother and Survivor are scheduled for February premieres. According to the CBS website, Survivor 16, an "All Stars" version currently in production, will make its debut Thursday, February 7 at 8 PM ET/PT in most viewing areas.

Big Brother 9 will premiere on Tuesday, February 12 at 9 PM ET/PT. This first winter version of the show will air Tuesday nights leading into a new season of Jericho. The other two episodes of the show will air Wednesday and Sunday evenings. Julie Chen will return to host the show, but there have been no cast announcements for either series released at this time.

TV Newsy Bits - Monday, December 3, 2007

Yes, that's snow. Well, icy snow. Yesterday we had our first snow adding up to more than a dusting -- about two inches here. But then it turned to ice coming down, then rain in the overnight hours. So, most of it is gone as I type this. What was left probably blew away with the wind gusts of up to 50 MPH here throughout the day.

Despite the snow, then ice, then rain ... I saw Roofus the cat this morning. He was jumping onto the roof of the abandoned building, his probable access to the roofs. Although the building certainly isn't safe for a human's weight on the upper floors (the entire back top story has crumbled), I'm sure there are plenty of hidey-holes for a small cat to get out of the weather.

On the home front, my remaining cat is still looking for Teaser -- crying if she's in a room alone, jumping at any noise and heading out towards it apparently thinking she's going to greet him. She's also grown very clinging even though she'll never like laps or being carried. It hasn't been easy.

In today's TV Newsy Bits:
  • Tonight is the season finale of Heroes. I'll be watching it and writing it up, but don't expect to get it online until 11:30 PM ET or so.
  • Tonight is also the big holiday-themed season finale of The Closer. It's a two-hour special event starting at 8 PM ET/PT on TNT. I have watched the screener of the episode and highly recommend it if you're a fan of the show ... even if you're not.
  • Also, after The Closer, there's a new episode of Saving Grace, kicking up the start of four new weekly episodes of this show. I have them on screeners, but have only watched the one which is airing tonight so far. So, that would start at 10 PM ET/PT in most areas.
  • The WGA turned down the most recent offer to settle the writers strike ... so it goes on. Leno (NBC) has terminated or is terminating employees after he promised them they'd be okay through the holidays. Letterman, in a different situation as his production company owns the show (Worldwide Pants), is paying the staff of both his show and The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson through the holidays at least. I always knew David Letterman had to be a good guy.
  • A few folks have mentioned the upcoming Big Brother. As it's in open casting now, it's highly unlikely it will be a celebrity version. From what I've previously reported, we shouldn't expect it before March or so.
Today's musical non-sequitur:
Look around, the leaves are brown
There's a patch of snow on the ground.
-- "Hazy Shade of Winter" by Simon and Garfunkel

Sunday, December 02, 2007

'The Amazing Race 12' East Coast Updates 12/02

Jackie's TV Blog, Amazing Race, TAR

The show is about to start here on the east coast. As it airs, I'll post major events up to and including the arrival order at the Pit Stop. Please refresh the page for the latest. My show review will be posted on TV Squad later tonight.

As always, please feel free to share your thoughts on the show in the comments!

Fun Detour! (Well, until Ron fell just before the commercial, that is.)

Pit Stop --

1. TK and Rachel -- won a trip to Japan
2. Kynt and Vyxsin
3. Ronald and Christina
4. Azaria and Hendekea
5. Nathan and Jennifer
6. Donald and Nicolas
7. Shana and Jennifer -- Philiminated

Karma strikes again.