Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Prison Break

On Monday I watched the first two back-to-back episodes of Fox's new drama Prison Break. I heard that Fox was trying to loosely use the successful format of 24... but it actually seemed to steal every character from The Shawshank Redemption, but make it "grittier":

The 2 main characters are a mix of Tim Robbins, one is wrongly accused, strong and silent, the other is clever enough to both make the right friends as well as to find a way to escape.

There was the Morgan Freeman guy who could get anything you wanted, who seems like he will be a friend to the Tim Robbins guy.

There was the old guy with the pet (this time a cat instead of a bird).

There were the crazy perverted white guy who wants to beat you into submission (literally.)

And the list goes on....

I supposed the question we must ask is: Is the "street" version of the Shawshank Redeption just as good? The answer is simple: No. However, its still better than most dramas on TV, and even though all the main character does is glare and make "I'm Intense" faces for the whole hour, (similar to the face Andy Petite makes right before he pitches), he's pretty good-looking, so I didn't mind watching. I'll keep watching for the season as long as it doesn't conflict with any of my regular shows.

High Point: The plot is pretty interesting, as long as the bad acting doesn't get in the way.
Low Point: The side plot with the ex-girlfriend also investigating the wrongly accused brother is pretty lame. I think its trying to give the show depth outside the prison scenes - but it doesn't work.

Monday, August 29, 2005

I'm Sick

By the way, I fully plan on watching Beautiful People on ABC Family tonight. It can't be helped - I'm fully invested. Sometimes I really hate myself.

My Brain Hurts

Yesterday, I sat down and watched HBO's highly anticipated Rome. Now, I can spew a few quotes from Julius Caesar (i.e. "Beware the ides of March", and the first few lines from Marc Anthony's big speech), but for the most part, I rarely had a clue what was going on in Shakespeare's plays. Despite that, I consider myself a *fairly* intelligent person, and I really, REALLY liked Gladiator, so I figured that TV would once again come to the rescue and dumb down the plot enough so that I could pretend that I was watching historical fiction (instead of a really cool action-movie type mini-series.)

It turns out that I'm not so much "fairly intelligent" - but more likely "quite stupid". Throughout the hour, I was leaning forward, trying really hard to like the show, but kept getting lost in the characters, sub-plots, historical versus fictional references.... etc. T had not read Caesar, so every once in awhile, I would tell him with a knowing nod - "THAT name was important - we should remember that character." When he asked why, I just pretended to be so completely engrossed with the show that I didn't hear him (I'll be honest, I don't think it worked, because he had that "you're-an-idiot" look on his face whenever I did this.)

Yes, I will keep watching this mini-series because I so desparately want to like it - as long as there's no pop quiz at the end, just like high school, I'm pretty sure I can fake my way through.

High Point: The opening credits were awesome and I have to admit I liked the gore as much as the romantic plot lines.
Low Point: I feel like a 6 year old trying to read War and Peace.

No More Monologues!

Watched the 2nd episode of Real Time with Bill Maher late Friday night after stumbling home completely hammered.

I'm a dork.

At any rate the show was fine and is too political to really discuss here, but Eve Ensler was on the panel and everytime she spoke, she kept saying that women were actually now worse off in the new Iraqi regime. T considers himself to be liberal, but seriously, that has to be the dumbest argument in the history of mankind. As her inane diatribe continued, I suddenly remembered that she was also the women responsible for writing The Vagina Monologues, which if you don't know, is probably the worst way to spend 3 hours. After realizing this, an all consuming hatred washed over me. Just before I could throw a bowling ball through my television, I remembered that I was completely hammered and decided to pass out instead.

High Point: Any time Eve Ensler wasn't speaking

Low Point: Eve Ensler. The Vagina Monologues sucks. I don't care how "intellectually enlightened" you are, that play has no redeeming qualities. Even M hates it, and she watches every single episode of Sex in the City (which actually is the same thing as The Vagina Monologues. It's ugly women talking about sex.)

Friday, August 26, 2005


Jon Stewart makes Christopher Hitchens look like a little bitch:

Happy Happy times.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Alright boys and girls... Alias has finally posted the synopsis for their season premier, and I can't be any more excited! For those of you who don't watch Alias... well, no precise threat can be made, since you're already punishing yourselves.

Last seaons was a little bit of a low for me, but the season finale was jaw-dropping, and I'm hooked all over again. Anyway, here is what ABC posted:

Thursday, September 29 at 8/7c

In the season premiere episode, after learning that the man she has known as Michael Vaughn is under investigation and suspected of being a double agent, Sydney begins to question whether their business and personal relationship over the years had all been a lie. When she discovers that she's pregnant with Vaughn's baby, she becomes determined to uncover the truth about him. Meanwhile, because of Jack's past betrayal by Irina, he begins to worry that his daughter may suffer the same fate that he did.

This season, new agents will be introduced and a nefarious organization will come to light in Sydney's life as she fights to protect her unborn child -- all the while traveling incognito, outsmarting the bad guys and keeping the world safe.

This is one of the best written shows - EVER. If you do anything, watch this show once - you'll be hooked for life.

Forecasted High Point: Michael Vartan playing the Bad Boy!
Forecasted Low Point: Jen Garner's pregnancy dictating the script.

It Turns Out They CAN Dance

3 words: I love this show (okay,that was 4). I'll admit it (even though T has already outed me)- I had a little So You Think You Can Dance party last night. We bitched about every little thing, and judged these people as if we knew what we were talking about - and I loved every minute. Here are the top 5 things I like to bitch about:

1. What is UP with Snow's eyebrows?
2. I hate Blake. I know that the directors are purposefully trying to make him the bad guy, and that he is probably the best dancer, but I hate him anyway.
3. The only person I hate more than Blake is the clean cut hip-hop judge - he is entirely too self-satisfied.
4. Why is Nick so dumb? All he can say is "Wow".
5. What was with the new age jazz choreographer's dog in the audience? It looked like a deformed Ewok.

What got annoying was the 10 hours of commentary after each performance. I wish they would cut this show down to an hour (2 hours is entirely too long) and muffle the judges, instead just asking them to show number from one to ten, a la the Olympics. But, thanks to my best friend TiVo, and it became the perfect show.

High Point: Judging lots and lots of people (I LOVE to judge people)
Low Point: T whining every two seconds (but I notice he never actually left the room....)

Boys Don't Cry

OH WAIT! Of course they do! That's what you'd think if you watched the 4th episode of So You Think You Can Dance. I'm embarressed to say that I'm the only straight man in America who watched this show last night. This was mainly because M threw a little So You Think You Can Dance party so that everyone could comment on the routines and outfits. The insipid babble made me want to claw my eyes out with a melon baller.

This show is awful. Mind-bendingly awful. Not only that. . .but it's LONG. It's 2 hours!!! I've been on Greyhound bus rides that have been more exciting. Words cannot express my seething hatred for this show.

High Point: I like watching the non-offensive Asian host drool all over the gay male contestants. I hope she ends up sleeping with one of them

Low Point: After watching this show I'm not sure I can technically be referred to as a "man"

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

This Little Piggy...

Gosh T, you really got me there. I mixed up Snowball's and Napoleon's characters. Wow, am I embarrassed. I wish I went to a fancy liberal arts school like you so I could be so well-read. Tsk-tsk on M.

M is Very Literary

And when M says that "Snowball" is the bad guy in Animal Farm, she of course is incorrect. It's so cute when M tries to throw around sophisticated literary knowledge.

Passing Grade for Campus Confidential

ABC Family's Campus Confidential was "not bad". I have to say, much better acting than Beautiful People, but it would be hard not to top that show. Again, it paid homage to Mean Girls, but added a few novel things that cracked me up: for example, besides the obvious A-List cliques of the cheerleaders, jocks, pretty people...etc, they had the "Fab Five" clique, with the fashionable gay guys. Casting was well done - I liked that Peg Bundy was the understanding Mom - haven't heard from her since Futurama got cancelled. Also Cornelia, who played the good guy-turned-evil, was basically the same character she played in the WB's Jack & Bobby.

The best part of the whole thing was when I realized that this movie was trying to be a modern day Animal Farm... at first I thought they were being subtly clever about the whole thing - until the last scene where the writers threw it in your face with an oral book report and meaningful glances at the Snowball-type offender. All in all, I would give the movie an acceptable "C+".

High Point: When the school tabloid "inned" the head of the Fab Five - yes I saw it coming from 5 miles away, but it was still pretty funny.
Low Point: I enjoyed a made-for-TV movie that was aimed at a tween audience...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Stones, Glass Houses.... etc

I will judge Campus Confidential once it has been (successfully) TiVo'd and watched.

As for individual TV schedules, T's TiVo schedule goes something like this:

PTI (no judgement)
Laguna Beach - the Real OC (how old are you? 12?)
My Super Sweet 16 (really?)
Real World (which everyone else in the world stopped watching about 5 years ago)

High Point: T singing the Super Sweet 16 theme song
Low Point: T talking about the Real World characters as if they were... well, real.

M's Viewing Habits Hurt Everyone

Here is the description of Campus Confidential from

Violet (Carlson Romano) is in for the shock of her life when she goes from urban to suburban with her mom (Sagal) and finds a drastic difference between schools. Not only is there a popular crowd, but even the teachers show blatant favoritism. With her acerbic wit and acute sense of social justice, Violet decides to take matters into her own hands and use her first amendment right by starting a school tabloid with her new friend Cornelia (Keri Lynn Pratt, “Jack & Bobby”) exposing the embarrassing secrets of the popular kids that rule the school. Along the way she mistakenly publishes information on her only crush (Teddy Dunn, “Veronica Mars”), and soon finds out that the pen is mightier than the sword. Now Violet must try to heal the deep wounds she has cast.

I hope everyone learns a valuable lesson in the end. This seems to me to be less of a movie of the week and more of a pointed social commentary.

Forecasted High Point: Me preventing this from Tivoing

Forecasted Low Point: Listening to M complain about me stopping it from Tivoing. You have no idea how annoying this is going to be.

Addictions Hurt Everyone

Did I watch another episode of Beautiful People last night? Yes. But in my defense, I was a little bit drunk, which definitely made the episode more interesting... no it didn't, that's a total lie. Actually, it still was the worst thing on TV... HOWEVER, you'll be glad to know that the commercials for the ABC Family movie "Campus Confidential" caught my eye, and that will be TiVo'ing tonight. I just have a good feeling about this one...

Also, in defense of my previous Entourage blog, T basically repeated everything I had said using different words. Maybe T can come up with an original blog for once?

High Point: Commericals for Campus Confidential
Low Point: Ruined my buzz

Good Morning Saigon

The Greek tragedy that was M missing the 3rd episode of So You Think You Can Dance has thrown the blog into chaos. Despite all the theatrics, M has taken me off suspension and allowed me to start posting again. It's interesting how I had to sit through another episode of Beautiful People again last night, but Entourage has one poor episode and M ends up making all sorts of "jump the shark" claims.

Sunday's episode continued the recent trend of below-average episodes. The Sundance Kids was clearly the best episode in the series, and I think the show has had some trouble transitioning. The Mandy Moore angle is terrible. I fail to see why a character like Vince would get caught up by Mandy Moore of all people. It's like the writers thought they needed to bring conflict and depth to Vince's character when the truth of the matter is that Vince's whole character is based on a lack of depth! Also, the fact that E's new girlfriend is alot hotter than Mandy Moore is completely underscoring the ridiculousness of the situation.

Overall though, there were a few highlights. Ari was incredible as usual, and it was funny to see a reanimated Beverly D'angelo come out of hiding. Where did they find her? I thought they only take her out of carbon freezing for Chevy Chase movies.

High Point: Beverly D'angleo, Walsh scoring QB with a sitar, Ari
Low Point: Vince and Mandy, Vince and Mandy, Vince and Mandy, Vince and Mandy, Vince and Mandy, Vince and Mandy, Vince and Mandy, Vince and Mandy, Vince and Mandy

Friday, August 19, 2005

Judging T

So, here is where I planned to write my latest update on So You Think You Can Dance - but T messed up our TiVo settings, and it did not record last night. Nice job T - you are a moment ruiner.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Beautiful People

Okay - I've hit a new low point in my television watching career. ABC Family's Beautiful People is one of the worst shows I've ever seen. Yes, I realize that I should have guessed this by the mere fact that it was on the ABC Family channel, but I got hooked by the poster across the street and thought I might like it. Its like a weird mixture of Mean Girls, Cruel Intentions and Gilmore Girls - but somehow not interesting at all. Basically a mother and her two daughters move to New York City from New Mexico, and all kinds of "crazy" situations ensue.

High Point: None. Not one single high point.
Low Point: The whole damn show.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Entourage Peaked?

Has HBO's Entourage already jumped the shark? Signs point to yes. In last night's episode, nothing happened. I've already forgotten 90% of the so called plot. This show was supposed to provide Marky-Mark's insider view of young, egotistical Hollywood - a completely shallow indulgence to top off our weekends... and now we're getting stuck with a sappy (and out-of-character) love story. I'm so disappointed, that it's not even worth the hassle for me to write anything else.

High Point: Ari (unarguably the best character on the show)

Low Point: Any dialogue that occured between, about or around Vincent Chase & Mandy Moore.

Friday, August 12, 2005


Okay, so I'm getting desperate for the summer re-runs/reality hell to finish, so I TiVo'd the new show on FX, Starved. The show follows four friends who are in a dysfunctional eating disorder group - the motto of the group is "Its not okay". The friends characters seem intersting enough: a fat husband, a bulemic cop, an anorexic performer (not clear if she just dances or if she also sings?), and a compulsive chocolate cake eating (but really anorexic) generic business guy. I've watched 2 episodes so far - the first one started off with a hilarious scene that included quotes like: "If you were a dog, I'd kick you in the face." Episode 2 still had some pretty funny scenes, but started getting a little too emotional.

This show seems to be following a new trend of comedy-slash-drama, but tends to lean more on the drama side. The comedy scenes are some of the most hilarious that I've seen on cable TV, but the drama so hammed up that it makes me want to punch myself, so that's a shame. Also, as a warning - the scenes can get pretty grotesque at time - i.e. you actually see the cop throw up (not just the motions) and there is a pretty disgusting hospital scene after a "colonic". It probably won't make it on my permanent rotation during the 2005-2006 schedule unless it stops taking itself so seriously - but its enough to feed my hungry TiVo during the summer doldrums.

High Point: The Carrot Comparison scene in episode 1 (obviously, has more to it than just orange vegatables.)

Low Point: The pushy gay father who drove his pretending-to-be-gay-for-her-fans-but-really-is-straight daughter to anorexia/bulemia.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

So You Think You Can Dance II

I didn't need to watch the first two episodes of So You Think You Can Dance to know that it would suck. As it was, I only watched the last 5 minutes of episode II (the so called "high point") and learned that it sucked.

As I watched the contestants flail their arms around like posessed Raggedy Ann dolls, I couldn't help but notice that same Stepford Wife grin the contestants have on their faces. It's even more creepy when you look at the faces of the emaciated white guys. Why can't they look normal? It's like people on Broadway, except it's got like an added sick desperation to it. It's almost as if their faces say: "Please like me. . . because if you don't all the times I stuck my finger down my throat are going to be rendered moot." It makes my skin crawl, and not in a good way.

High Point: I guess some of the girls are remotely attractive. Not attractive enough to keep watching though.

Low Point: Everything else

So You Think You Can Dance

I just finished watching the first two episodes of So You Think You Can Dance, the new dance-y version of American Idol on Fox. The show was watchable only because I was able to TiVo through the blah-blah-blah - I struggled so much to be a dancer - sob-sob-sob parts. The snippets of dance scenes are fun to watch, but they seemed far and few between - but I suppose that the actual competition is yet to begin, so hopefully it will get better. What I doubt will get better (and promises to get worse actually) is all the so-called world famous choreographers trying to be the new Simons, (with a twist of Donald to boot). You could tell that "New School Hip Hop Guy" was just dying to yell "You're Fired."

High Point: The last scene in episode 2 where the final 16 all do their little 5 second solo - at least its dancing instead of hackneyed and over-rehearsed monologues....

Low Point: Watching the dancers start bawling during a contemporary dance workshop in episode 1 because they digged deep into their soul and found themselves while dancing (was I supposed to be crying too? I was just staring in awe at the idiocy.)