Friday, March 31, 2006

Drat

"The Amazing Race" is moving to Wednesdays at 8pm. While I didn't really like watching it at 10pm on Tuesdays, there also wasn't anything else on at that time, so it was actually for the best.

But now it's up against "America's Next Top Model." Doh! I know ANTM is re-run the following week, but it's not a show I can bear to wait to watch. Oh, what to do, what to do?

Norm Chomsky

Every time I read the first caption in this post I crack the hell up.

The rest is pretty good, too. But that first one? Classic.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Should I Go Get a Ruler?

Last night's "Lost" was awesome, and I'm pleased as punch that we're getting another new episode next week, as this one ended on a bit of a "NOOOO! Tell me more!" note.

I can't begin to get into all that happened or was revealed, because I have a life and a job, but I will direct you over to Too Much Free Time's post, where an excellent discussion is taking place.

And for an incredibly detailed image of the map that was revealed to Locke, check this out.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Is That All There Is?

So, the season finale of "#1 Single" aired a couple of weeks a ago and frankly it was a bit heartbreaking. Lisa finally found a (seemingly) perfect guy, in the guise of her old friend Michael Panes, he kissed her, to the shock of everyone including Lisa, they started dating, and then he had to move back to Los Angeles for an acting job. He wanted her to come with him. She wanted to focus on her career. The end.

Wha?

I thought the purpose of the show was for Lisa to find love. Which she did. For the entire season she kept talking about how getting married and having kids was a huge priority for her (and Panes came right out and said he wanted to have kids too), so her suddenly saying her career was her main priority was a bit of a shock.

Now, if the issue was whether she really thought Michael Panes was the right guy for her, then that's one thing. But the show (or its editors or whatever) didn't make it seem that way. It SEEMED like things were going swimmingly. Why couldn't she just have said, "I need to finish stuff up here, but I'll be in LA soon" instead of just...ending it?

Perhaps this was all just for the sake of the show and a potential second season (can't have a show about Lisa Loeb looking for love if she's already found it) and perhaps she and Michael Panes are indeed living happily ever after. (Can't seem to find any indication of that in the gossip pages, on her site, or anywhere else as of yet, though.) But I just feel kind of cheated. Either tell us the real reason she didn't pursue the relationship, or give us a happy ending. What we got made her seem like bit of a jerk, which she really hadn't been through the rest of the season. It just didn't ring true.

So Endeth the Whining

There's a new post up on SFist now!

Now now now!

Prison Breakier

"Prison Break" has been renewed. Next season will see a change in focus from "breaking out" to just "breakin.'" Can't wait to see Wentworth Miller pop and lock!

But seriously folks! I do wonder how the show is going to pull off another season, unless they DON'T break-out this season (which would be totally lame). I imagine it will have to focus on life after the break-out and all that.

While I am still enjoying the show, and the manly eye candy (and was glad to see the triumphant return of Ray Luca to primetime TV) all the fake-outs are getting increasing frustrating. There's not a lot of suspense left. Does anyone actually think the brother is going to get executed? No. So seeing him strapped to an electric chair does not put me on the edge of my seat. I'm not going to fault the show for it being unrealistic because I actually find the preposterousness of it rather amusing. But I am going to fault it for running in circles. It looks like next week's episode is going all "Lost"-y and flashing back to the inmates lives pre-incarceration. There's one way to avoid another episode full of, "Oh no! Will the guards catch them digging the hole or not?" Let's hope they come up with some more before the inevitable break-out.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Ah, Youth


This weekend I took a little trip down memory lane, and I have the incredibly dark and blurry video to prove it. I went to see The Uptones, a band I was obsessed with during junior high (and some of high school). They were a local ska band made up of high school kids (mainly from Berkeley High) and they played a lot--I must have seen them at least 30 times in a span of about 4 or 5 years. The cool thing about having a teeny bopper crush on a local band was you got to see them play almost every month, unlike if I had been obsessed with the New Kids or the like (although the New Kids were a little later than that. Who was the big teen band around 1983-1987?). The chance of speaking with them after the show was also high, and in the case of one friend of mine, she even ended up dating one of the band members.

Once their lead singer left the band (he was the one I had a crush on), I slowly started to lose interest. I don't know if they stopped playing before I stopped listening, but whatever the case, I kind of grew out of my "mod" phase and eventually could hardly bear to listen to any non 2-Tone ska bands.

Seeing the Uptones this weekend was kind of a frightening flashback. They were always a few years older than me, so knowing some of them are pushing 40 is...shocking! There were only, I think, four original members playing this incarnation (and non of them looked like 40-year-olds!) but I was a little disappointed that they only played two of their golden oldies (one of which, "Get Out Of My Way"--is featured in the clip above); they also played way too many cover songs (something I don't recall them doing much of in the good old days).

It was an all-ages show, so there were plenty of the youngins skanking away (and way too many of the old folks doing the same.) If I squinted my eyes, I could almost imagine myself back at Wolgang's in 1985. The only thing missing was the overwhelming stench of clove cigarettes.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Alarming

I got a CD alarm clock for Christmas, one of those clocks where the alarm can be a song from a CD. It's pretty cool, and serves well as a CD player in my bedroom, so I can listen to music as I fall asleep and not worry about falling asleep with my stereo playing all night, (it has a sleep timer).

The tricky thing is picking songs to be woken up by. Previously, I had mentioned a trip to Disneyland, and the realization that "Gimme Shelter" by the Stones is an awesome song to wake up to. It starts quiet with some soothing "ooo ooo ooo"s and builds to a rockin' conclusion. So I set that as my wake-up alarm for a number of weeks. But then I started to fear I would build up some kind of Pavlovian response to the song, and instantly get sleepy any time I heard it. So I had to switch tunes.

I've been experimenting with different songs. Cheap Trick and "I Want You to Want Me" worked nicely for a while, but I didn't want to grow to hate that song, so I stopped using it. Other choices proved less successful because they were just too mellow, and I ended up sleeping right through them. (I love Ricard Buckner, but he doesn't make me want to jump out of bed and face the day. More often than not, he makes me want to crawl under the covers and sob.) This past week it's been "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys. Set REALLY loud.

But for the past few days, I've found myself waking up and feeling kind of angry, so I think I should switch that one out, too. I'm wondering if I should choose songs that I hate, so I won't be tempted to let them keep playing, thus allowing me to fall back asleep. Unless I get up and turn off the snooze alarm, I'd have to keep listening, and I wouldn't want that. But then I have a fear I'll wake up hating the day because I began it listening to a crappy song.

Or maybe I should just go the "Groundhog Day" route and stick to Sonny and Cher... FOREVER!

Sheesh. Maybe the MMMMEEEEEEEEEEHHHHHHHHHHH!! of a regular old alarm isn't such a bad thing.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Will We Finally Get to See Buster's Mysterious Chicken Dance?

Defamer quotes Jason Bateman on the fate of "Arrested Development."

I read in other places that the "ball is in Mitch's court," but I wonder how much of that is true, and how much is just Hurwitz willing to take the blame when most of the cast and the show's creators are just happy enough to let it die?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

New TV Post on SFist....Oh, Who Cares!?

I did nothing at all exciting today. I swear!

I won't post about what I didn't do that was exciting today, so you're just gonna have to entertain yourself with this SFist Watches post.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

My Burdens Have Been Laid

Humanity has surrendered. The war is finally over. We must now fulfill our true destiny...So we will love them, and take care of them. Show them the glory of peace. And, like God, our infinite mercy will be matched only by our power.

And complete control.


Good gods.

I thought the "Battlestar Galactica" finale was one of the best season finales I've ever seen, anywhere. It goes up there with "Lost"'s pilot episode as an example of almost perfect genre entertainment--be it TV OR movies.

I say almost perfect. I fear the audacious decision to skip ahead one year will only lead to way too many episodes next season that will begin with the titles "10 Months Ago" or "6 Months Ago," and those kinds of episodes always bug me. But I suppose they're better than episodes that begin with an explosion and then a title that says "48 Hours Ago." There were way too many of those this season. This season also gave us some truly awful episodes. (I speak of the first one with Lucy Lawless, which was cringe-inducing until the final moments and its big reveal, and "Blackmarket," the one about Apollo and his whore. Although I found it amusing how often it seemed like Apollo was going to die this season and didn't, like the writers were purposely fracking with Chuck.)

I'm a little annoyed by some things that seemed to be left out of the finale. Why didn't Starbuck's boy-toy tell her about being rescued by Sharon and Six on Caprica? And if he did, why not show the audience that exchange? The gullibility of the humans kind of bugged, too. Did they just take Dean Stockwell's word that the whole annihilation was just a big "My bad!" on the Cylons' part? Or were they just so tired of running and fighting that they all just buried their doubts in exchange for hope? What did they end up doing to the Dean Stockwells? And why would Cylons build a model that looked like someone pushing his 70s? What human is gonna want to sleep with that and get preggers with a hybrid baby?

From what I've read, some people seem to think that Gina's detonation of the bomb was nothing but a suicide. But I fall in with the belief that she did it as part of a bigger plan to send a signal to the Cylons, revealing the humans' whereabouts.

The arrival of Sharon, Six, and Kevin Spacey at the end was a little confusing, too. At the end of "Downloaded" it felt like Six and Sharon had nothing but love for the humans, but that love seems to have turned into, "Yeah, we love you. As long as you obey us." But I suppose that kind of stuff will be addressed in the third season.

Which begins in OCTOBER.

Frack!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Everyone Knows It's Wendy

Yesterday I got an email from someone who works PR for UPN. She had read my post about this week's "America's Next Top Model," and invited me to join in on a blogger conference call with Wendy Wiltz, this week's boot-ee. I don't think there was anything extraordinary about the post that got me the invite. I'm sure it was just the luck of a Technorati search, but it was still kind of cool.

Unfortunately, since I was on a cell phone, and en route in a car at the time of the call, I didn't get the clearest reception. If only I could have live blogged it via a spotty WiFi connection at the same time!

All of the bloggers asking questions were disappointed and surprised that she got eliminated (although, who would really be willing to say, "I thought you sucked and deserved to get cut!"). She talked about life during the show, and post hurricane. While the show was in production, she had finally gotten in touch with her family, and they were safe, but she admitted she was thinking about them the whole time; it's no wonder the judges kept saying she had a "sad" look about her. Uh...yeah! After getting booted, she moved to New Jersey and is currently working as a model. (As for her makeover, she dyed her hair back to its original color after leaving the show, although she admitted her "makeover" wasn't too drastic to begin with.) She hasn't returned to New Orleans, having heard from friends and family that it "would only depress her." I sounds like she and her family really lost everything.

I was just as surprised by her elimination as the other callers seemed to be; the judges had so many bad things to say about Jade, and I didn't recall them really saying anything too negative about Wendy. I just didn't get it. So I asked her if the judges or Tyra told her why she was eliminated, and she said no, they didn't say anything. No explanation. How frustrating! "But if I'm ever on Tyra's show, you can bet I'll be asking her!", she laughed. I also asked if she's currently with an agency, and she said she wasn't, since contractually they aren't allowed to join any agencies until after they're eliminated.

After admitting she really has no predictions for who might win this season, the call came to an end. She did manage to plug her MySpace profile during the call, though, so feel free to drop her an annoying comment filled with glittery words, a sound file, and huge photos.

I'll tell you what, though. I'd love to listen in on the phone call with Jade when she gets eliminated.

And she WILL be eliminated.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Cold

I thought last night's elimination on "America's Next Top Model" was pretty cold. One, because the girl they kept (Jade? Jaide? Jaded?) is a hag, and two, because the girl they booted was a lot prettier than the one they kept, and was also a New Orleans resident who had just lost everything in the hurricane. For shame Tyra, for shame!

Here's a short article about Wendy, the girl from New Orleans. Doesn't really talk about where she is now, though...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Monday, March 13, 2006

I Hope I Look That Good When I'm 45

There's a new SFist post up now. And it's spongeworthy.

Maybe Now He'll Reconsider Assisted Living

I was able to watch the premiere of "The Sopranos" last night, and thank goodness, as I know there would have been no way I WOULDN'T have heard about the shocker ending. But watching the show again made me realize how little I ever really know what the hell is going on. I can't keep the characters straight (who was the woman Carmela was having dinner with at the end of episode again? Who's husband was she? And have we ever seen Eugene before?) and it's just too damn long between seasons to really remain completely involved in it all.

I still enjoy it, but I find it frustrating too, like I'm just not getting it all. So maybe there's something to be said for just waiting and watching the season in one long marathon.

Especially since HBO are a bunch of meanies who aren't selling episodes on iTunes. Oh, sure, you can get "extras" from the show, but no episodes. What a bunch of stugots...es.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Two YEARS?

TV Tattle has a good round-up of articles about the return of "The Sopranos" this weekend.

Being that I still don't have HBO, I'll be waiting even longer before I get to see any of the new season. (I tend to wait until I can watch the entire season on tape. I don't know if I'll be able to hold out that long this time, though.) But seriously, I can hardly remember anything about the last season. I remember Adriana getting whacked, and I remember Meadow staying up all night arguing with her boyfriend, and then calling her dad to tell him they had gotten engaged.

And that's honestly ALL I remember...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Soul Man

"Black. White." premieres on F/X tonight, and I'm linking to this article about the show because the author disses "Crash" in the process.

I saw the families when they appeared on Oprah, and was unimpressed with their make-up jobs. They looked freaky. And I don't care if the person is black or white, anyone who approached me while wearing that much pancake make-up (especially a dude) is going to get a different reaction from me than someone wearing no make-up at all would. I don't care how good make-up may be, you can always tell when someone is wearing it, so I don't see how they can pretend to say that people were reacting to them like they were everyday black or white people. They had to be thinking these people were either suffering from some horrible Robert Davi-esque skin conditions, or they were all men-pretending-to-be-women-pretending-to-be-men. Or something.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

This One's for My Pa

Hey pa! Get off the dang roof!

Also, this blog post compares "Deadwood" with the Altman film "McCabe and Mrs. Miller." I have yet to watch "Deadwood," (shut up all you g*ddamn c*cksuckers, I will eventually) so I don't know how accurate a comparison it is, but it sounds pretty accurate. And I will admit to thinking of the muddy town in "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" when I saw some clips from "Deadwood."

Monday, March 06, 2006

Crash Cake


Crash Cake
Originally uploaded by Rain Rain Rain.
I can't take credit for the idea, or the execution. Pretty cool, huh?

We also had German potato salad, Broke Babyback ribs, some Communist appetizers, and Capote cocktails.

I Don't Think Marge Drives a Volvo

Not sure how I feel about this, but British TV has filmed a "Simpsons" promo in which real actors act out the opening credits montage...


Sunday, March 05, 2006

Live Oscar Blogging!

5:05ish: Stewart drops his first bomb of the evening: the Angelina Jolie joke.

Are Jack Nicholson and Kiera Knightley dating? What's with the constant cutting to the two of them?

A tribute to gay cowboys in the movies. Where's the pudding?

5:18 Clooney wins best supporting actor...and they play music during his speech. What the hell? I hope he's not hearing that because it's distracting the hell out of me.

5:29 Best visual effects: "King Kong"...Man, that Ben Stiller bit sucked, didn't he? Nice pit stains, Ben.

5:32 "Wallace and Gromit" wins. Yay! I liked it better than "Corpse Bride"....(and I'm three for three in predictions.)

5:43 Naomi Watts joins Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in the "blondes wearing light colored dresses that do nothing for their fair complexions" category...and you can add Uma Thurman to that list.

And then there's Dolly Parton. But picking on Dolly Parton is just too easy. Um...she looks terrific.

5:41 Ooooh. A Scientology joke!

5:43 Doh! Live action short: I picked "Our Time is Up."

5:45 Oh no. "Chicken Little."

5:47 Doh! Animated short. I picked Pixar and "One-Man Band." Hope that's not a bad sign of things to come for Pixar...

5:48 Jennifer Aniston...I guess Brad isn't there. I wonder if she got the Oscars in the divorce. And he gets the Golden Globes....IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!

5:49 "Geisha" wins costumes. *Phew* Finally, predicted another one.

I am REALLY hating the music-during-the-acceptance-speech thing. It's totally disrespectful and unnecessary.

5:58 Will Ferrell and Steve Carell. Heh. "Chronicles of Narnia" wins best make-up. Got another one!

6:00 Rachel McAdams hosts the Nerd Academy Awards.

6:02 The Voice of God flubs his line presenting the Best Supporting Actress nominees.

6:06 Rachel Weisz wins Best Supporting Actress...and the announcer brings up her starring roles in "The Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns." Now that's just mean.

6:13 Lauren Bacall...um...just put your glasses on so you can read the teleprompter, OK?

6:16 Best Actress campaign commercials bit. Hilarity.

6:20 Best documentary short....Doh! Didn't get this one.

6:22 "Penguins" wins. Yay! I got that one. And I liked the movie to boot. Then again, who the hell didn't?

6:23 Whoa. Jennifer Lopez almost gets run down by the penguin-totting-Frenchmen. Ironically, she's there to introduce the theme song to "Crash."

..which is sung in front of a burning car while dancers mime moments from the film. Including the cop-feeling-up-Thandie Newton scene! This might be the cheesiest thing I've ever witnessed.

6:33 Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. They came to the show together. What, was her new husband Jesse James too busy riding around on a motorcycle to escort her? Sheesh.

Art direction goes to "Memoirs of a Geisha." Yawn. I picked "King Kong." Who's this Gretchen chick the dude is talking about, and what happened to her?

6:39 Message Movie Montage. "And none of those issues were ever a problem again." Heh.

6:41 Academy president. Bathroom break!

6:43 Salma Hayek. That dress makes one of her boobs looks a lot bigger than the other. At lease from this angle...

6:50 Best Score goes to "Brokeback Mountain." I think that's why they had Salma Hayek present the award. They knew she'd be able to pronounce Gustavo Santaolalla's name correctly....I guessed that one right, woo! And I actually really liked that score, too. I think all the "Brokeback" parodies that have been hitting the Internets has a lot to do with that score winning. The minute you hear those guitar chords, you know you're in "Brokeback" country. Can that be said about any of the other scores nominated?

6:58 That tribute to the big screen didn't make me want to immediately go to the movie theater. It made me want to go home and watch some of those movies on DVD.

7:02 I get another with "King Kong" and Sound Mixing. Woo!

7:03 Bring on Robert Altman!

7:20 "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp." I think half of the audience is genuinely frightened right now...but not enough to not vote for it, as it wins best song. And I predicted that one too, yo.

7:25 Jennifer Garner almost falls on her ass. Awesome. "King Kong" wins best sound editing, and I predict another one correctly. That's 11 out of 15...I think.

7:31 Oscar Death Applause-o-meter. Sandra Dee and Chris Penn get some good applause....Shelley Winters, pretty good, but not as good as Anne Bancroft...Richard Pryor gets the last nod....tough call on the Applause-o-meter, but it almost sounded like Anne Bancroft was the winner...can I get an official judges call on this one, please?

7:38 Best Foreign Language Film..."Tsotsi." Whoa, this guy's intense...but please wrap it up. (I got this one, too.)

7:42 Editing goes to "Crash." Hated the movie, but I predicted that one too, woo! This guy's getting flustered by the clock but he talks long enough for the annoying background music to stop, which is good.

7:44 It's Best Actor time...what did Joaquin just mouth to the camera?...Phillip Seymour Hoffman wins, which is no surprise. And it's for Oscars like this that I don't think the Academy Awards are so bad. It's not just the pretty boys, or the pretty-girls-pretending-to-be-ugly who win, sometimes a genuine character actor will take home the big prize, and that's pretty awesome.

7:55 Make room for John Travolta's gigantoid head!! Hey, who was the guy who just said "OK...here we go..."? That was weird. "Memoirs of a Geisha" wins cinematography. Meh.

7:57 Best Actress time...No surprise, Reese Witherspoon...Her speech was polished, but sweet.

8:05 Sheesh. This show better end soon, because my battery's about to run out!

8:08 Best Adapted Screenplay..."Brokeback Mountain." I guessed that one too...I didn't think it was that amazing a screenplay, but I think it probably won because the base material was so brief, and therefore more of a challenge to adapt. They just said Annie Proulx was in the audience...where? WHERE? Hey director, where?? That's not Annie Proulx, that's Ang Lee. *Sigh*

8:13 Best Screenplay goes to "Crash." Meh, again. Sorry, but I thought "Crash" was preachy, forced, and tailor-made for a guilt-filled, white, liberal audience--of which I am no doubt a member, yes, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

8:20 Best Director, Ang Lee. And he makes the lame "I wish I could quit you" joke! Ha ha ha ha ha ha...blech.

8:22 The requisite Jack Nicholson appearance, as he presents the Best Picture award to..."CRASH"????!!!!!!

GOD DAMMIT!

Well, it won an Academy Award, so that's proof that it's not that great a movie.

As for my score, I predicted 19 out of 24. Not too shabby. And as for the show itself, it wasn't very exciting, but I think I enjoyed Jon Stewart as host more than I did Chris Rock last year. The "Daily Show"-inspired moments (the "campaign" commercials) were funny, and his off-the-cuff jokes were good. I still think Steve Martin has been the best host of the last 10 years or so, but I'll take Jon Stewart over Whoopie Goldberg (though please god, not literally) any day.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Best Costume for the Day

I was discussing the brilliant "Grey Gardens" with a friend today, and how we both need to watch it again, and in a roundabout way that lead me to finding this "mashup," "Hung Up on Grey Gardens," in which Little Edie dances to Madonna. It's not perfect, but it is kind of funny, especially if you watch Madonna's video afterwards. (I think Edie's routine is better.)

I also discovered there is a "Grey Gardens" musical, and a possible movie set to star Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lane. Not sure how I feel about that.

There's a Yarn Stash Somewhere On That Island

And if I were there, I'd be hunting for it like crazy.

Last night's "Lost" was excellent, (and that link goes to a good EW article full of theories), and that's surprising since it focused on Claire. (Perhaps the utter lack of Charlie can be blamed for its excellence.) More "just what the hell is going on there?" questions. I loved the reveal of the fake beard and the Dharma-brand theatrical glue. Those guys thought of everything!

The Ecko and Henry Gale exchange was odd. I don't know if I totally get it. But I did like Gale's attempts to undermine Locke. It seems when Locke's in the hatch, he might as well be back at the office typing up TPS reports. All that's missing is the wheelchair, and I think he's beginning to realize that.

Anyway, if you liked last night's episode, savor it. There won't be another for three weeks. And then after that one, I think it'll be another two weeks. ABC is run by the Hanso Foundation.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Where's Wolfgang Puck When You Need Him?

This year's Oscar night menu is proving to be a tough one. So far, we've only got one menu item down ("Baby Brokeback Ribs") but the other movies are providing far less inspiration. I'm thinking perhaps a "black and white" dessert in honor of "Capote" and Truman Capote's famous Black and White Ball, but what about "Good Night, and Good Luck"? Or "Crash" (I know there's gotta be something there). And for "Munich," do we go Jewish, or German?

I need ideas, people! Help!

Baba Wawa

There's another short SFist Watches up now! Written on the shuttle bus this morning! Multitasking! Doh! Gotta go!