Friday, February 29, 2008

Make Me A... Eh...

Let's be honest. At this point, all three of the people being put up for the vote this week (Ben, Casey, and Frankie) will not, in the end, be supermodels. I voted for Ben last week, but after the derogatory comments he made (whether or not he thinks it's not what he meant... uh, dude, listen to the words coming out of your mouth) I'm not voting for any of them.

Meanwhile... Holly has been consistently great in photographs and her walk. Whether or not she wins, she's going to have a modeling career. Ronnie convinced the judges that he's more than catalogue... he'll probably have some sort of career (probably less on the catwalk than for, like, American Eagle, but work is work). Perry is strong in both categories, too. Shannon takes great pictures, but has been called too tall for runway (and her walk has been critiqued harshly) so she's less certain.

Will any of them be a "supermodel"? Doubt it.

But Holly, I think, comes out on top as far as a post-show career.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lost Hurts My Brain

Time travel will do that, I suppose.

Coolest moments:
- Minkowski.
- painting of The Black Rock at auction... background on our Island's land-capsized boat! and the Hanso family is the only one who knows the contents of the discovered first mate's journal! at an auction house whose name is an anagram of "shifted soul" no less!
- it's almost Christmas on Lost Island!
- numbers! so many numbers...
- Penny lives at an address that anagrams out to "Ye Lack When" which I find hilariously British of her.
- the intercutting of the Penelope/Desmond phone call
- Daniel Faraday's math journal (real space, imaginary time, light speed, relativistic mass of particles, Lorenz invariants). Can we get a high-def screenshot of that a la the blacklight map in The Swan station?

I feel like they really went overboard on the anvil Desmond's story reflecting The Odyssey.


Desmond is so going to die without finding Penelope... but, like, moments beforehand.

... my brain really hurts.

4 More

Mildly surprised that Alaina was sent home instead of Kady (since Kady sucked both weeks and Alaina was good in the Top 24 week). Still, all of the Idol eliminations were all completely within the confines of "your performance sucked". Unless they rock it next week, Kady and Luke are goners... I wonder who the last guy and girl will be? Next week's performances unseen (obviously) I'd I expect one of Amanda and Brooke, and one of David H, David C, and Jason.


So, apparently ABC will be airing the actual final season of Scrubs next year.

A thought for if Lost works after Grey's Anatomy... air hour-long episodes of Scrubs in the fall after Grey's. Then it'll be done by the time Lost is ready to come back. Unfortunately, ABC really doesn't have anywhere (IMHO) to schedule Scrubs at the moment. And this is, I'm certain, more of a move to support the studio (ABC TV Studio produces the show) and creator Bill Lawrence than a long-term network investment. Yeah, yeah, they should use the Grey's lead-in on something with maybe a future... but that's worked out really well, hasn't it?

Eh, they'll probably wind up putting it on Tuesdays at 8pm leading into According to Jim then the Dancing with the Stars results show...


Ugh, even I'm not sure I wanted quarterlife pulled after one episode, simply because it's already going to be in the history books as the first new media to old media attempt... why include it in the illustrious list of one-and-out shows (Anchorwoman, Emily's Reasons Why Not are the most recent the come to mind).

Hah, I'm not even sure if I'm kidding... but good riddance to terrible (and terribly rated) television!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Top 10 Women (also other reality shows on Wednesday, because that's all that is on, apparently)

Carly Smithson: Better than last week, and I thought she was among the best last week. It only is going to get better from her.

Syesha Mercado: Baby cry = freaky! Man, I wish this girl busted out so funky disco stuff. Am I the only one who thinks that there was disco music in this decade? Pretty boring arrangement, IMHO.

Brooke White: Love that she played the guitar (recall, she also played the keyboard during Hollywood Week). Her "You're So Vain" is simple. Very Carly Simon/Sheryl Crow, to be honest. And since Brooke doesn't have (or hasn't exhibited) the powerful voice that Carly and Syesha have (but don't always use), I think it's wise to get a little more alternative. And the judges dig the performance and the song choice. Brava, Brooke.

Ramiele Malubay: I'm not surprised that she Polynesian danced when she was young. OMG, FINALLY some disco fun. The song got a bit away from her, but Ramiele found it again. I'd say 80% of it is awesome. This is actually the song I wanted Syesha to sing. Maybe I'm on the wrong page about the '70s (or at least a different one than the judges)... because I want more disco! Ramiele is totally safe, though.

Kristy Lee Cook: She needs to do much, much better than last week (no flu excuse to fall back on). Good lord, she's rocking the outfit this week. I feel like this performance is right in line with the song at the beginning, though... no good. It's much better than last week, though. She needs to break out the expressive vocals and range that she showed in her auditions. Randy's right, there was no moment in the song. Simon advises the country route... hm, what will Alaina Whitaker (aka "Carrie Underwood looks like me") think of that? She seems like more of a pop singer to me... shrug.

Amanda Overmyer: Okay, I like this girl... but she needs to prove her voice outside of the rock edge. See the softer side of, um, well, not Sears, but you get it. Hm, I wonder what Supernatural fans will think of her "Carry On My Wayward Son"? She's pitchy and flat in places... sounds a bit hoarse. I bet "karaoke" is used by the judges. Once again, though, her pants are FABulous. Simon is totally wrong about the pants. I hope Amanda stays, but it's a pretty talented female pool this season (not reaching the heights of the best Idol women, but it's a well above average group). But no one said karaoke. I lose.

Alaina Whitaker: Hahah, I <3 her food quirk (foods can't touch each other on her plate). Her performance starts too old fashioned for her age. About halfway through, she breaks out into... something off-pitch. A bad performance. A bad song choice. A bad arrangement (too slow... I wonder what that song sounds like peppy). Simon totally pegs the old fashioned element. And there's some entertaining "ask Ryan about fashion" banter.

Alexandréa Lushington: That is just a weird name. I don't lie the hoodie-vest on her. Or her hair this week. Or the shorts. And the song... not good for her. She's gone.

Kady Malloy: Enough with the Britney impressions. I mean... she's got to find her own voice, reminding us how well she can do Brit's is not good (for her)! She takes a pot shot at Simon. Better follow that up with a killer performance. I don't know what song this is to start off with, but it's pretty boring. And Kady's singing is fighting with the backup and the band. There was no opera present in this song. Maybe she should've chosen a song to incorporate her, uh, singing ability? I think she's probably a goner, too.

Asia'h Epperson: A very dour performance from Asia'h, and such a contrast to her video package that was like "you gotta be fun and bring the energy" etc. Once she hits the refrain she starts to power belt and gets lost in the notes. Oh, Randy says she's sick. It was not great, Paula. The ending she got... but the rest of it she missed. Simon is right, she shouldn't have chosen a song so out of her reach (witness, Brooke White singing a song without a huge range, but hitting it out of the park).

Bottom 2: Gotta be Alexandréa and Kady for me. Amanda could be in the danger zone, too.

Is it too soon to predict the final four? Through the auditions, Hollywood, and these two performance weeks, I'm at:
- David Archuleta
- Carly Smithson
- Syesha Mercado
- Ramiele Mulabay

I'd be really interested in a David vs. Carly finale.

Meanwhile, after tonight I think Brooke White could be a fantastic addition to the Sheryl Crow/Michelle Branch brand of mellow alternative "chick with a guitar" music.

Top Model: Um... Kim? The wha~!? Also, how prescient it was of the show to bring 14 models and have one walk out and then be able to eliminate one, bringing the show down to 12! That's like some series Magic 8 Ball hocus pocus form the producers. Next week... MAKEOVERS! My viewing buddy and I have a phrase we chant during the makeover show... SHAVE THAT BITCH'S HEAD! We're pulling for Marvita to get her 'hawk hedged. But we think Fatima might look good with the bald look, too. Marvita will be far more entertaining about it, though (er, for the sadistic viewing audience). I'm liking Paulina as a judge. She has opinions! And was actually kind of advice-giving and helpful!

Project Runway: Shut. Up. No f***ing way were Rami's three pieces better than Chris' three pieces! Ugh. I'm so annoyed right now. SO ANNOYED. Was it the "human hair" (record scratch SFX) fringing? Whatever, Jillian and Christian (OMG, he lives/sleeps/works in the tiniest room evar) are going to wipe the floor with Rami and his oversized, kitchen-sink design element blue coat. And that "dramatic" gown thing made out of god-knows-what... it fit the model TERRIBLY. I was so bothered by the bodice and those hip circle protrusion things.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Top 10 Men

Oy, I dunno if I'm gonna keep on with these posts about Idol. '70s Week, huh?

Michael Johns - Shocker, he's "a bit of a jock". Anyway... he strains on the high notes, and I personally thought it was a whole bunch of shouting. But he's a ringer, so he's not in danger. And it wasn't terrible.

Jason Castro - Note to Idol: if Jason wins, there's going to have to be a lot of media coaching. He busts out the guitar again, and again he delivers a stripped down, simple performance. I don't think there's any "wow" in it, though it's pretty consistent with last week (so in that I disagree with Randy and Simon). Since I think he's going to make it to the Top 12, he's going to need to figure out how to work the big stage and to bust out the show-stopping vocals.

Luke Menard - He's in an a capella group. Zzzzz. Once you're out of college, a capella is, frankly, a dead art. Boy, this guy is really hanging his hat on the cute factor, because he has very little stage presence (most a capella groups I remember were made up of people who stood still and sang, with soloists occasionally stepping forward). I'm "eh" on the performance. I get that it had a high degree of difficulty, but I didn't think it was that amazing. Simon is completely correct that Luke suffers by comparison to the original. Ryan calling Luke "Dawson's Creek" cracks me up on a few too many levels.

Robbie Carrico: Did he gain weight form last week? Robbie, PLEASE lose the long hair. His attitude it waaaay cocky in his pre-performance interview and the performance does not hold up (the camerawork was pretty lazy, too).

Danny Noriega: Hahah, I'm actually really amused by his 9th grade punk rock band story. And then he performs a ballad. Nice...? Man, this kid reminds me way too much of L Word's Shane (Katherine Moennig). Oh, god, am I going to have to get used to this kid's sass the way I quickly grew accustomed to and fell in love with Christian's sass on Project Runway?

David Hernandez: Gymnastics, now that's a fun character piece! It actually does help with the lack of personality we've been allowed to see (unlike Jason Castro and his "I hate interviews and suck at them" piece, IMHO). Well played, David H. When he's not belting, his voice is really breathy. Much more memorable than last week. Does anyone know what Paula means when she compliments singers by telling them "you told a story from beginning to end"?

Jason Yeager: He plays instruments (and is self-taught on the guitar, we're told... twice) but is waiting to find the right song to bust them out. This was not it. And I don't think he's going to get another chance. Fittingly, my DVR experienced a lot of glitches during the recording of the performance.

Chikezie: Hey, look, last week's a**hole! He's definitely dressed better this week. And his performance is better. By a mile. I don't think I heard a false note. And this week his repartee with Simon is AMUSING, not a**holic.

David Cook: He's a "word nerd". Okay... not so endearing. Although I guess every people in America who can't go to sleep on a Sunday night if they haven't finished the NY Times crossword puzzle can relate. He totally schools Robbie Carrico on what it means to have a "rock" voice. There's an edge there. Liked that he brought out the electric guitar... but he didn't play it that much. Good that he focused on his vocals, because they were out of sorts during bits. Did you see Simon gape when David was like "I don't have to convince you, I have to convince America that I have charisma". Lulz. Simon's ego = teh broozd.

David Archuleta: OMG look at Kelly Clarkson gape at 11 year old David Archuleta belt out "I'm Not Telling You". I hope he busts that out during the competition. Meanwhile, he's awesome tonight as well. More than awesome. He'll be singing that in the finals (with all the verses). And he's still so PRECIOUS on stage when he gets complimented by the judges (will it get annoying like Melinda last season? I don't know... he's 17...) Meanwhile, Paula says, "David, you are ridiculous. I wanted to squish you, squeeze your head off, and dangle you from my rearview mirror." Her makeup is running, so I assume he was crying (or leaking coolant) and means this as a high compliment. But, uh... awkward... Meanwhile, I'm still questioning David A's sexuality (the Dreamgirls song didn't help... not that it matters one way or the other) and wondering if any of the thirteen year old girls who have his picture in their junior high lockers case.



Bottom 2: Gotta be Jason Yeager. I'd also go with Luke Menard, but it might be Robbie Carrico. All three Davids were too strong, Chikezie redeemed himself, Michael is a ringer, Jason will coast by, and Danny improved.

Monday, February 25, 2008

On Demand

The Wire 5x09... one week (er, plus 6 days, no On Demand until after the actual airing apparently) until the series finale!




Dude. Dude. DUDE.

Way to go, Lester, dropping the covert/continuing MCU investigation into Daniels' lap moments after he got an earful from the Mayor's Office about needing a 10% crime reduction in the current quarter.

However, now that basically everyone in Marlo's group is in custody and they're pouring over the information, I'm getting really bad vibes about the outcome of all this. After all, this is The Wire. It doesn't really operate in happy endings. And this case was dirty, dirty, dirty. God help the pólice if this doesn't stick. And you gotta know that the unraveling of the lies Templeton has employed in his various stories is gonna help get Marlo et al off the hook.

The suspense is fucking killing me.

OMG, McNulty isn't drinking.

BUNNY SIGHTING! Can Prez be far behind? I mean, they haven't had him all season, they've GOT to have him in this or the last episode... right??

How does the reporter profiling Bubbles play into things? And Herc working with/for Marlo's attorney? OMG and now Clay Davis is saying that said lawyer has someone in deep at the court house? HOW DEEP DOES THIS SHIT FLOW?

Oh, Kima... your conscience? It's why I told a friend of mine you were my favorite character (he said I was the first to say that, because basically everyone picks McNulty or Omar). The question is... what with Daniels do with it? Er, what do Daniels and Ronnie do with it?


The Wire 5x08

Oh, man, only two to go...



Sunday's episode's highlights:
- Omar's death. Man, that is just not the way I'd imagined him going. But so freaking poetic.
- The FBI profile of McNulty's faux serial killer... describing McNulty TO A FREAKING T. I kept waiting (and waiting) for Kima to figure this shit out, so I was kinda disappointed that McNulty just confessed the whole thing to her in confidence... but whatevs.
- The homeless ex-Marine calling Templeton out on his fabrications... there are some things you don't lie about. Great stuff.
- Bunk giving in and using McNulty's case priority to get the DNA test on his case processed... and the medical examiner / lab tech calling him out on it (after doing his job and getting Bunk the results he needed).
- Amy Ryan, Amy Ryan, Amy Ryan. That speech about what you really have at the end of the day is just family and maybe a couple of friends who might as well be... powerful. And followed up by possibly my favorite meta-McNulty moment ever (which is crazy) "You start to tell this story and you think you're the hero, and when you get done talking, you're..."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Night of WTF

I'm pleasantly surprised by this year's Oscars! Not only was Jon Stewart hilarious (no matter what Nikki Finke thinks), but there were some MAJOR shockers in the awards!

I have to complain for a half-second about that, though. What's the point in following the guild awards if the Oscars don't remotely resemble them? I know the Academy has slightly different membership (as in not every member of each guild is a member of AMPAS, so the results are often different even in the technical categories)... but am I mistaken in thinking that Oscar voting is similar to Emmy voting, where your specialty determines which categories you can vote in?

Anyway, to highlight this... god bless Marion Cotillard and Tilda Swinton for their wins (BOTH DESERVED!) but every single acting award went to Julie Christie and Cate Blanchett. So... yay, but "huh??" And while I hated Transformers and the idea of it getting three Oscars hurt me (it wound up with none, so, again, YAY), if the Visual Effects Society gives you its award, shouldn't the Oscars follow suit? Or if, say, the VES DOESN'T NOMINATE YOU, how do you wind up with the Oscar (cough, Golden Compass)? Meanwhile, there are multiple Sound guilds, but the confusing thing for me was that Transformers won awards for editing and mixing from one guild, and the other went with No Country for editing and Bourne for mixing (Bourne won both Oscars). Does not compute. And the list goes on.

So, yeah. While I was THRILLED with some of the winners that I didn't pick, I wound up with only 13/24 right (12/21 if you play without the short subject categories as some do). Which, for me, is down right embarrassing. Well, maybe next year I'll beat the 21 I got right in 2006.

Meanwhile, awkward moment of the night one... WTF with Amy Adams' performance of "Happy Working Song"? Not only did she change into an outfit far uglier than what she wore to the ceremony (she later presented, and you can see her on red carpet photoblogs) and an outfit that didn't at all recall the outfit she was wearing during the movie when the number happened... but she sang alone, on stage, with nothing and no one behind her. The rest of the musical numbers tried to recreate the atmosphere of the scene in the film, so I understand the show not setting loose a number of pigeons, rats, and cockroaches during Amy's performance... but WTF!? Tangent: gotta love Kristin Chenoweth.

Awkward moment of the night two... poor Markéta Irglová. The producers cut the mike after Glen Hansard does his thank yours when "Falling Slowly" won as she tries to talk. At least the show semi-corrected itself after the commercial break by bringing her out. Ugh, stupidity.

Oscar Predix

Lead Actor - Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
Supporting Actor - Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)
Lead Actress - Julie Christie (Away From Her)
Supporting Actress - Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There)
Animated Feature - Ratatouille
Art Direction - There Will Be Blood
Cinematography - No Country for Old Men
Costume Design - Sweeney Todd
Directing - Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men)
Documentary Feature - No End in Sight
Film Editing - The Bourne Ultimatum
Foreign Language Film - The Counterfeiters
Makeup - La Vie en Rose
Original Score - Atonement
Original Song - Falling Slowly (Once)
Best Picture - No Country for Old Men
Sound Editing - Transformers
Sound Mixing - Transformers
Visual Effects - Transformers
Adapted Screenplay - No Country for Old Men
Original Screenplay - Juno

The above is what I think is going to win, and most of the categories I'm pretty certain of (especially the majors, even if I'd have voted for Ellen Page or Marion Cotillard over Julie Christie for Lead Actress and for Tilda Swinton or Amy Ryan over Cate Blanchett for Supporting Actress).

As for the technical categories... I do have a couple of question mark. Specifically Art Direction, I'm really torn between There Will Be Blood, Sweeney Todd, and Atonement, but I think that There Will Be Blood will get its lone technical award there. Cinematography might go to Atonement for its beach scene. Film Editing could go to No Country for Old Men (and if it does, it's really a shoe-in for Best Picture). Sound Editing might go to No Country for Old Men, and Sound Mixing might go to The Bourne Ultimatum, both over Transformers. And if Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End sneaks away with La Vie en Rose's makeup Oscar I will actually be pretty ticked.

And, finally, we come to the short subject categories... I haven't seen any of the shorts, so these are pretty much just stabs in the dark.

Animated Short - Peter & the Wolf
Documentary Short - Sari's Mother
Live-action Short - The Tonto Woman

I won't have my computer with me during the Oscars, but I'll update with my tally out of the possible 24 points at the end of the evening...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Eggtown 2

Apparently the meaning of the title "Eggtown" will be revealed in the annotated 8pm repeat next Thursday, according to a source at ABC. Color my DVR set!

Eggtown (aka I Lied)

I do have the energy to post a Lost commentary tonight (weird, those nighttime cold medications and anti-histamines ought to have knocked me out...)

Anyway... how much so I <3 one =" good" style="font-style: italic;">Valis. Which I will now have to reread (it's been ten years). After all, Locke tells Ben to reread it. I have to ask... why are there no more eggs? Sadly, that was probably my least favorite Locke/Ben scene. They're usually longer and more intense and acting master-class-ish.

Scene between Kate and Sawyer... OMG, my friend is totally and completely right that the "he" Kate was referring to in "Through the Looking Glass" is her son. Sawyer's son. OMG.

Flashforward! Kate's a celebrity! And I suspect they're going to explain, through Oceanic 6 Magic, how she can be herself in the outside world again without facing up to those Pesky Murder Charges. Oh, suckage, Freckles is remanded into custody for the duration of her trial, which, um... seems like it should be extensive given the celeb status and the not guilty plea and the multiple charges.

Sun and Jin! Remember them? And how they used to get screentime? Anyway, Jack and Juliet return to the Beach with Daniel and CS Lewis, and fill everyone in on the exposition of last week's Island story in a matter of seconds, while completely ignoring the issue of time-space fluctuations. Sad, now.

Kate is surprisingly resourceful about finding Miles (poor Hurley...) Now, why does she want to talk to him, exactly? Kate, in another shocking move of intelligence, cuts to the chase in asking Mr. Boatman what he knows about her and her crimes. Mr. Boatman creates what I'm certain will be an episode full of Kate-centric shenanigans trying to get Miles an audience with Ben so that she can find out what she wants. Miles so knows how to play the game of "delay answers to infuriate viewers". Peanut-butter kudos.

Kate's sleazy lawyer is telling Kate that she can make a deal and probably serve 7 years of a 15 year sentence with good behavior (dear Lost: why not make it 8 of 15?) Kate's reaction is understandable, but two things come of this scene. One, her mother is the DA's star witness, meaning that she's probably got to die for Kate to get off. Two, the lawyer wants to make the trial about character, not what Kate did/didn't do (like the show itself! So meta!) and wants "him", which further convinces me that "he" is Kate's son. And, bam, Kate voices it. Gotta remember to give my friend the necessary props.

Back on the beach, we find out that it's been a day since Sayid and Desmond took off. Cue dramatic music and Sun's thankful questioning! Gosh, how much does Sun rock? She's like the Island's Lisa Simpson.

Cute scene between Kate and Claire re motherhood (and the necessary info drop about Locke's dinner party and Ben's whereabouts). Maybe the baby isn't hers... it's Aaron? Eh, probably not.

Kate's lawyer calls Jack to the witness stand. Pre-beard Jack. Dude, whatever is going to go down here is what is going to cause their rift. Is this scene right after Jack's visit to Hurley in "The Beginning of the End"? Ooh, Jack just lied re: the marshall. Ruh roh. And is continuing the COMPLETELY FABRICATE THE STORY OF THE ISLAND. OH MY GOD. SWEET ZOMBIE JESUS WHAT'S GOING ON HERE? We know there's some big lie that the Oceanic 6 told... this is it, peeps. Hahah, the DA asks Jack is he loves Kate. Who cares, the DA is now my new besty. EVERY SINGLE THING JACK SAID WAS A LIE. It's clearly this lie the Ocean 6 spun that has caused the divide between Kate and Jack... so now we need to know... why the lie?

Hey, look, Sawyer's hilarious glasses return!

Sawyer tells Locke about Kate's request. Locke has no choice but to demand Miles tell Locke whatever he was going to say to Ben. Meaning Locke has to leave his house. Meaning Kate can go in and smuggle Ben out. Meaning Miles is so very not still in the boathouse. This is all very obvious. However, Kate brings Miles to Ben. Interesting. Oh, and Kate? How much more respect do I have for you now that you told Miles to go f*** himself when he asked to be alone with Ben? I mean, in more network-friendly words... but yay. OMG, MILES AND BEN CAN YOU PLEASE STOP BEING SO VAGUE? Who is Ben? What can he do? Who is Miles going to lie to (Matthew Abbadon?)? Why is Miles such a cheap extortionist date? How is Ben going to get the money to Miles in a week?

Locke is a frightening, frightening man.

Aw, Kate's mother just wants to see her grandson.

Wait, why is the title of this episode "Eggtown"?

Daniel and CS Lewis test each other for psychic power development. Huh? Shouldn't they be busy discussing fluctuations in time and space? Please? Anyway... apparently the helicopter didn't make / hasn't yet made it to the freighter.

John Locke is a truly, truly frightening man (with regards to gagging Miles with a grenade). Genius, Locke has it. Enjoy your breakfast, dude.

Kate hasn't left the barracks yet. Probably a bad idea. Slapping Sawyer? Hottt.

Looks like Kate's mother is about to bite the big one. Probation... acceptable way to get Kate out. Who's driving that taxi? Anyway, the rift hasn't started yet... but clearly it's the big lie that caused it.

That kid is too old to be Kate's. It has to be Aaron (and therefore Jack's half-nephew). And it is (so, perhaps, half-props to my friend?) How long have they been off the Island in the flashforwards, anyway? A year? A few? Anyway... poor Claire?

Next time: Answers re helicopter???

Looking back on this post, it's clear the Blogger ate a paragraph or two at the top, but I can't remember what it is that I said i <3ed and whatever came after that up to the word "Valis". Sigh.

Whittle It Down

So... I'm committed to trying to watch the entire hour tonight. I guess I'll fast forward through clip packages. I never really watch the elimination shows of Idol, I just read who got cut on the internet. I suppose I always have the luxury of skipping right to the ending.

Meanwhile, yay, Ronnie wasn't cut on Make Me a Supermodel. But fake gay love affair person Ben is up for the vote this week (though the episode definitely set up either Perry or Jacki being the one to go because of arrogance or inhumanity, respectively... while everybody <3s style="font-style: italic;">Lost reactions will come tomorrow (too tired tonight to react). But, um, the streak continues?

Ugh, nevermind, this results show crap is killing me, skipping to the ending...

I'm surprised Garrett was cut, because he took the critique so well. That's what lack of airtime does, I guess.

Meanwhile, I'm not surprised about Amy Davis. In an uglier year, she'd have made it further as a hot chick, but this season is a very, very attractive group of ladies.

Plug: Randy Jackson's album. Can someone give me the number of Paula's airbrusher? But not her windmachine person. Not that my hair is long enough to accidentally go down my throat while I'm lip-syncing. It's been a while since I've watched music videos... but was there a concept to this one other than Paula Abdul standing and walking in front of back-up dancers?

Um... between Joanne and AMANDA? That has to be one of those cruel jokes, right? The producers are just breaking my crayons and forcing me to threaten to stop watching if Joanne stays over Amanda, right? I mean... come on. It's not even believable suspense. At least put, like, Kady Malloy up as the decoy since she actually did poorly. And if Amanda actually did get the third lowest vote total (I'm not sure if the producers just put random people up, or they actually warn the person who was next on the totem pole)... well, I've got to start voting... and I hate voting (for reality shows).

Simon wins for best snarky product placement since 30 Rock's Verizon plug (can we have money now?) for "enjoying my Coca-Cola".

Hm, Chikezie versus Ellen DeGeneres... I gotta go with Chikezie leaving because HE WAS AN ASS. Once again, the show fails to create real suspense. Only, wait, it doesn't. A surprise, again, on the boys' side. But at least it wasn't one of the few men to actually perform decently (or better) this week. Also, this is just me noting things, but Chikezie is the only black male contestant (while Joanne was the only big black woman, but there are a few others sistahs). I think it matters.

Wow, Simon's an ass! Love it!! I mean, hate him for it, but love it!

Cue Ferras' "Hollywood Is Not America" (sigh, this is a good song... is it too much to ask that the winner get something on the same level or better for the coronation song?)

Travis, out.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Top 12 Women

Unlike the male contestants, I think we know all twelve of these women. Let's get down to business (as I'm starting the show after midnight). I'm really curious to see Amanda Overmyer's 60s' Music Night performance.

FYI, I really do write all my comments as the performances / clips go, and if the judges echo something I think, I'll credit them.

Kristy Lee Cook: Very camera-friendly. Not a ton of pizzazz in the performance, vocally or otherwise. Safe and serviceable. She's apparently sick, according to the judges. Yeah, everyone in Hollywood is sick (not just on this show... but how come this wasn't mentioned last night with the men? Did it not affect them?) I think KLC will be saved from her audition and Hollywood week performances.

Joanne Borgella: This girl fits an Idol type, the plus-size black woman. None of the other black girls in the Top 12 are big girls, so I think Joanne needs to screw up really bad to miss out on the Top 12. The lower parts of the song were too low for her right now. She can get those notes, but needs to work it out. Hahah, you could see Joanne's parents killing Simon with their stares.

Alaina Whitaker: Ryan interviews her backstage about her birthday wishes, and compliments her shoes. Fire hazard! I'm curious, though, if Alaina's birthday is "tomorrow" as in Thursday, 2/21, or "tomorrow" as in the day after the show was taped (which I believe was this past Sunday, 2/17). Good choice to take the song from slow to uptempo halfway through. This is the girl who says that she thinks Carrie Underwood looks like her, right?

Amanda Overmyer: She needs to stay in the competition, she's got talent, but this performance did not show other layers to her voice, unfortunately. Amazing stage presence. I agree with Randy... those jeans are awesome. We wants.

Amy Davis: Boooobs. Funny, thought. Her performance is flat. Bye bye, Amy.

Brooke White: Not the strongest singer, but I really like her. She has her own style and voice, but I don't see her making it to the Top 12. Not strong enough (her range... eh). Ending the song on the "ba ba bah" wasn't a good call (not a skatting song). Randy: Brooke White the Song Slayer. Simon: Blondes r happy, I h8 teh happi (sorry, I've been reading a bit of HOWSE!!1 M.D.)

Alexandréa Lushington: I don't remember much of her auditions, but I like the bluesy-jazz tone of her voice. A few pitch problems, and the first half was better, but overall a good job and her outfit was killer. So '60s/modern mix. I normally am more in tune with Simon, especially because he actually gives critique... but I think he's been out of his element with '60s Music Week. He doesn't know most of the songs, too.

Kady Malloy: This is the impressionist girl, right? Anyway, in her own voice... she has such AMAZING control. Which is part of the problem with the performance, Randy's right, it's restrained and doesn't build to anything. Anyway, the battle of the blonde bombshells goes to Alaina Whitaker tonight.

Asia'h Epperson: One of the great things about Asia'h's audition was that she connected so, so, so much to that song she sang. Not so much tonight. She was fun and giving sassy tonight. Not that she needs to bring tears to your eyes every song. And clearly she can perform. I don't think it was the best of the night so far, vocally.

Remiele Malubay: Tiny, tiny, tiny package. Girl cannot be close to five feet tall! I really enjoyed the airy, seductive whisper-sing she did. It actually takes more control to sing that way than a simple belt. That said, I wish the song built to something bigger. I don't understand her outfit, though. Randy noted that she stayed with the melody... good call. Lots of Idol contestants go on these runs that just destroy the melody of their songs... and don't even harmonize. Man, even in those shoes she's a fun head shorter than Ryan (saying something!) And, again, Ryan shows his manliness (...) with his comments about shoes.

Syesha Mercado: Does her head remind anyone else of Helena Bonham Carter? Just me? Very excited to hear her performance since she's not sick and doesn't have the laryngitis that plagued her during Hollywood. And she schools everyone that came before her, IMHO, with a song that was more about fun than about vocal wow.

Carly Smithson: Yay, Idol controversy... Carly was apparently a spectacular flop in Ireland on MCA Records. Like, 7 years ago. Whatever, people, get over it. Hey, look, they didn't show her eyes bugging out of her head when Simon told her that her audition in Season 5 was better (a first!) She gets a little shout-y in the middle of the song, but it is still expertly done. So many different inflections, tones, colors and temperatures in her voice. Simon is right about the "old fashioned" element. She didn't modernize the song or make it "fun" or whatever. But, hey, it's '60s Music Week...

Bottom Two: Hm, it's a bit tougher tonight because the audience knows all of these women. I'd say definitely Amy Davis, and any of Kristy Lee Cook, Joanne Borgella, and Kady Malloy. Again, I don't think Joanne is in much danger because she's the only one who fits her Top 12 type.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


So I've threatened this a lot I guess... but I'm watching Nip/Tuck (because last week had a good cliffhanger I was told about, so I caught it in rerun). It's the season finale (well, there were supposed to be 8 more episodes in the 5th season, but whatever). And, well, Julia has retrograde amnesia.


Come on, show. Really!?

Considering how much of a pest the Eden character is, I was really pulling for a non-twist out of the fact that she shot Julia, then lied and said that Julia tried to commit suicide. Retrograde amnesia?

I think that, well, unless something amazing happens in these next 15 minutes, the show is off my list for good.

Oh, damn you, show. That ending was just such a sad rip-off of the brilliant season two ending with the Carver putting Christian's life in danger. I suppose I have to show up for the next episode, what with being invested in these characters... but, jeez! Really and entirely ran out of ideas, didn't they.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Top 12 Men

So... okay, I'm watching the first half (or however long it takes to catch up with live-time) of this then running out, then watching the rest later tonight. Why start out with '60s night?

David Hernandez: Nothing special to his voice. He can belt that gospel stuff though.

Chikezie (sp?): Bad performance and even worse reaction to the judgment. Wow, can he leave please?

David Cook: I'd vote for that.

Jason Yeager: It's our first time really seeing this guy... seeing his audition story with his son (!? could've sworn he was gay... maybe it was the hair being the only impression we'd been given of him to this point... I'm horrible for assuming things). So he's at a major disadvantage to start with. Pleasant voice, nice pipes, but, hm, nothing really special. Agree with Simon's critique... it was cruise ship. Maybe hotel jazz bar.

Robbie Carrico: I like Aimee Mann's version better, but it wasn't terrible. Guy's gotta get a different look, though, because he's so not Bo Bice. Maybe look the bandanna and get a haircut but leave the trim beard?

David Archuleta: Anyone else get a "keep it for a rainy day" sunshine-y feeling off this kid? He picked a song a bit too low in his register for him at some parts and lost a note near the end. But still the best performance yet. I keep waiting for Paula to jump his bones. What's with David's speaking voice, though? Very breathy. Aw, poor kid. He has no idea what to do with himself on screen. He makes me smile.

Danny Noriega: Am I the only one who doesn't like this kid? I dunno... just the whole package with his hair and mannerisms and outfit... I dunno, dawg. As long as he doesn't start saying "fierce" a lot, I'll be okay (that's Christian's thing, he can't have it). I just gett some very Sanjaya-esque vibes from him (especially because of hair that could easily become a national fascination). Paula start talking about the colors of his voice and all I can picture is him flying a rainbow flag from his Jetta.

UPDATE: 10:49PM, I'm back, lubricated (yay, vodka), and ready for more smarmy Ryan Seacrest.

Luke Menard: Again... who? Goddamn, there's a lot of tenors on this show. Where're the baritones representing us not-high-enough, not-low-enough ranged vocalists? Anyway, he's a little nasal, and a little, well, forgettable. He needs to work on making love to the camera (er, with his eyes).

Colton Berry: Earlier he had an onscreen bit where he said he looks like Ellen DeGeneres from the following angles: left, right, and from the front. Hilarious. And he kinda sorta does. Which is DISTURBING. He said his problem had been theatrical performances. Tonight, I think he could've done with a little, um, zsa zsa zsu? Also he had some major pitch problems, especially at the end. Dear Simon: If you wanted a recording artist, why did you send Josiah Leming away? That kid clearly has some modern/relevant talent (if not the best vocal range).

Garrett Haley: He's a little blasé, no? And his speaking voice is soooo fem. So his is singing voice, apparently (per the brief audition clip). There must be so much flak coming at the show about the fact that 6 of the 12 male contestants didn't have any screentime during the auditions or Hollywood Week. Garrett's song is boring and he sings it some of it really flat. Like Luke, Garrett's performance is forgettable. His response to the criticism should save him (boy has grace).

Jason Castro: All together, and for the final time tonight, now... who? Well, his hair makes an impression. Playing the guitar makes an impression. But, ultimately, pretty safe. Little vocal impression because of the lack of challenge in the song. Simon says Top 2 of the night with David Archuleta. I think David Cook's was better.

Michael Johns: Singing "Light My Fire" again? Hm, that's... eh? Much better performance than in Hollywood Week.

Travis Yanan's bottom two performances: Chikezie and Danny Noriega. But ultimately I think any of Garrett, Colton, Luke, and Jason Y. will be the bottom two on Thursday because of the "forgettable" factor combined with lack of screentime.

Based on this week and prior performances we've seen, the Top 6 Men will be David Cook, Robbie Carrico, David Archuleta, Jason Castro (the only no-screentime person to get praise tonight), Michael Johns, and probably Danny Noriega (saved by prior performances).

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Return of CAPSLOCK


Anyway, I'm so convinced that Bubbles is going to bite the big one in The Wire that this guest star / cameo / whatever has made me exceedingly happy, even if this episode of SCC has been, um, how shall I say... not quite what I was expecting given the Fox promos.

But then again nothing ever is, so shame on me for being surprised by this.

Anyway, this episode has been interesting, but also narratively challenging because all of the "flashback" stuff is happening in Derek Reese's mind... while he fights death. So while the audience gets to see it, the characters don't. Which makes it unsatisfying (IMHO) because that puts the audience sooooo many steps ahead of the characters.

Dancing with the Mars

So apparently Steve Guttenberg is going to be among the "stars" of the next cycle of DWTS. He is the third in a string of celebrities who had major guest starring roles on Veronica Mars to strap on his blue suede shoes (Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin both did so previously).

Can Charisma Carpenter be far behind? She was already rumored to be a cast member on Celebrity Apprentice before she was cast as Janelle on Big Shots in 2007 (blink, did you miss it?)

Monica Seles is among the celebrity dancers... I wonder if she'll grunt when she serves (her opponents some off the hizzy dance moves... sigh, I knew it was a stretch going into that joke...)

An Evening with the Walkers

I'm gonna miss the Walkers until they come back in a couple months.

A bit weird to have this episode airing in the middle of February, considering that one of the major plot lines is a presidential candidate's run for the Republican nomination. Of course, they're talking Iowa, Wyoming, and Michigan and what they want for their campaign heading into Super Tuesday...

... but we forgive the show because the episode would have airing on January 13th (two days before the Michigan primary on January 15th) but for the strike.

Argh, to think what could've been. This could've been a fantastic storyline unfolding fictionally in parallel to real events.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Knight Rider 2008


Seriously, in the NBC-Universal corporate, uh, universe, why is this airing on NBC on Sunday night instead of the Sci-Fi Channel on Saturday night???

Cliché-ridden, terribly acted drek (and that's just covering Val Kilmer's voiceovers, *snerk*). And depressingly bad effects (not to mention green-screening).

Friday, February 15, 2008

Decision Time

Okay, I've made my decision regarding Eli Stone. We're dunzo. It's schmaltz wrapped in convenience. Not even Victor Garber will bring me back to it. Pushing Daisies is twee and sometimes very... trying to watch because of the saccharine nature of the show... but it's far more entertaining and inventive. Someone explain to me why Eli would lose his legal malpractice insurance if he revealed he had a brain aneurysm? Shouldn't he lose it because he's BAT SHIT NUTS?

Meanwhile, I'm also growing increasingly weary of Make Me A Supermodel, because... I dunno, there's just not enough of either flash or emotion. But I'm sticking with it because I need my weekly dose of the Ronnie/Ben fake extramarital affair. Here's hoping that continues. And that Frankie leaves.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Economist

Well, it's official. Lost is on a roll. Three episodes into this season (and out of, I guess, seven that will air now, and six more will air later this season) and, day-um, but I don't remember the last time the show has kept me so on the edge of my seat with sheer entertainment value (even if half of the twists are things that I've speculated with other Lost fans... offline/IRL of course). It's just fun again. And the mysteries are good... and character based. Not a ton more "OMG, WTF IS UP WITH THAT ISLAND" questions being asked. Which is good, because I'm still waiting on answers on the giant four-toed statue, Smokezilla, and the rest of the Island shenanigans (though the time fluctuation bit was fantastically, and hilariously, brought to light tonight).

Apparently all of the 8pm repeats are annotated. I'm not currently recording anything on Thursdays at 8pm... I might just have to record/watch them.

Wednesday Night TV

American Idol: Damn you, FOUR MINUTES OF OVERRUN. Seriously, that's just unacceptable. At least have the programming department tell the EPGs that it's going to run over. I was planning to leave the apartment at 9pm, so I started watching around 8:15pm. Anyway... WTF so many people in the Top 24 that I don't think I've seen their names before, much less heard ANY audition from them? Ever? Not in the audition phase, not throughout Hollywood Week. Doesn't seem to gel with the "build contestant stories more" mandate. Plus it makes it impossible to think about who is going to make the Top 12... because I haven't heard note one from almost half the contestants. Anyway... hopefully both Josiah and Cardin will be back for Idol 8. Oh, and please, never subject me to another opening like tonight's with Fox plugging 20th Century's Jumper. Although, hilarious tangent, I'm not sure who looked more uncomfortable and did a worse job acting/shilling: Hayden Christensen or Ryan Seacrest. Frightening.

Project Runway: Really, Rami? REALLY? Ugh, I'm so over his love of draping. And I'm so disappointed that he even has a chance to knock Chris March out of Bryant Park (as far as the competition is concerned, anyway). Ferosha Coutura was on fire. It would be anticlimactic for Christian to win in all... but I'm pretty sure he's going to. It's either him or Jillian, since whatever Chris busts out will probably be haute costume, but not couture, and if it's Rami, it's going the be MORE DRAPES. YAWN.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart/The Colbert Report: It's kinda insane how different (and better) these shows were now that the writers are back. I mean... night and freaking day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hollywood Week, Part 1

I have something to admit.

I've never watched American Idol's "Hollywood Week". I've sat through the auditions before (well, not all of them like this year), but I usually lose interest until the Top 12 are "revealed". I've decided to watch the whole kit and caboodle this season, so I'll be giving my impressions, based on never having watched this process before.

I like that the contestants get to play their own instruments (this year). One of the things about Idol graduates is that you know they do their own singing. But not every great singer is a great musician, and some good singers may be helped along by showing prowess on an instrument. Or not. But I like the idea of the show making a multi-faceted performer, not just a ballad-belter. Too bad it's only going to be allowed in this round. Although most of the people who "risked" instruments sucked miserably.

Also, I don't remember any of these contestants' stories (except the annoying cheer/dance team girl who blew her first audition in this round... LOL, take that, annoying girl).

Why do they insist on cutting together acts of this show that CLEARLY shows different outfits on the judges, and thus are on different days, and then have Ryan voiceover "at the end of Day One..."? I mean... boo, editing, boo. Also, Ryan keeps saying "the talent is so strong" but I've yet to really hear that in the performances. In fact, every year, Idol consistently delivers Top 12s where, still, half the people apparently can't really sing.

And considering the show only has tonight and tomorrow to remind us who the contestants are before the Top 24 and the audience vote kicks in... I have to wonder why they focus on so few of the contestants' stories? I'm at the point where Ryan has said 48 people passed the first round of auditions (so 116 are having their "last chance" day). And I only remember maybe 4-5 people being featured and sent to the next round before this "do or die" a capella round. I guess that's the Idol way.

And the terrible editing continues, as Ryan's "we'll be back after these commercials" involves saying only four people made it through thus far, but we just saw the judges put through eight of the ten people getting their second chance in the Amy Flynn (annoying, peppy dance team leader) section. Seriously, though, if we don't know who any of those people are... should we care? Because the producers said they were going to be putting more time into the contestants' stories this year, since that was lacking last year. Are any of those 8 people who made it through when Amy didn't going to make it to the Top 24 (considering that until next week this is all pre-shot and judge-controlled... so why waste time building contestant stories if they won't continue in the weeks to come? Other than a few foilers to sporadically care about when they do get eliminated?) On this subject... when does Hollywood Week actually occur? I mean, do the audition rounds air after Hollywood Week so the show can sort of build backwards? Or was Hollywood Week, like, last week (early Feb)? Sigh, I suppose I just don't understand the mechanics of reality shows pulling at viewers' heartstrings.

Okay, I'm up to the final day of auditions (Thursday of Hollywood Week). Wherefore art thou, Drew Poppelreiter? Anyway, what's this round about? If the judges like you, you go to the Top 50, and then they deliberate and whittle it down to the Top 24 sans performances? What's this "group audition day" they kept mentioning?

Whose sound do I like?

Amanda Overmyer - Rock and Roll chick? Yes, please. But can she sing in addition to rock?

Josiah Leming - I'm still not clear what his "mistakes" were over the last year (did he run away from home?) but I do like his sound. His Mika performance was a little more lounge than the actual song (which is ultra-pop) and his original audition was some fine alt-Brit rock. Limited vocal range, though. You can hear him straining on the high notes before he goes to falsetto. Hahah, I totally have Eminem's "Lose Yourself" playing through my head during the frustratingly sob story of his sleepless, preparationless night before the final audition round.

Carly Smithson - Irish lass has got some powerful lungs, man. And a blue tongue (actually a lot of the contestants are suffering some Blue Tongue-itis... craft services must have some fierce collection of of blue Ring/Blow/Tootsie Pops). You know what I want to hear her sing? Some Michelle Branch. She looks a bit like her. What happened to Michelle Branch (and The Wreckers), anyway?

Michael Johns - You know, he wasn't nearly as good as Amanda on "Light My Fire", but he's good looking and Australian, so what the heck. His "Bohemian Rhapsody" later in the program was actually really good.

David Archuleta - As long as this season's young, good-looking, likable boy with a good voice doesn't become Chicken Little 2... I'm on board.

Syesha Mercado - Because every season needs a pin-up soul sista.

But I feel like it's hard to really do any prognosticating because I don't even know who all of the people the judges are going to be sifting through are... so whatevs. Although, hey, look, there's Drew Poppelreiter in the Top 50 room at the very end of the episode. All together now.... aw, shucks.

Finally, I'm really liking this season's "bye bye" song, "Hollywood's Not America". Why can't the coronation ballads the winner has to sing be this good?


Well, the strike is officially over. It'll be interesting to see on Feb 25th (or 26th or later, depending on when votes are tallied) how the figure for ratifying the new MBA differs from this "lift the strike" authorization.

Now we can get back to the important things... complaining about how badly written Saturday Night Live is now.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Filler Thought For the Day

Dolly Parton postpones tour due to back injury caused by her heaving bosom.

Toe-tappingly tragic...?

I have a better title

For tonight's Brothers & Sisters than "The Missionary Imposition". It's "OMG AWKWARD GAY LOVE TRIANGLE". And I think it fits.

Nice progress in the various stories tonight. And, lord, this show employs, like, all of Hollywood's best TV actors (er, except Balthazar Getty...) doesn't it? Nice to know that there's a new episode next week, and then it'll be back in a couple months!

With the Lena thing apparently a thing of the past... WHAT FRESH HELL AWAITS????

Saturday, February 9, 2008


I'm going to be VERY curious to see WGA member reactions to this tentative deal.

It's very clear that the DGA deal (even though not formalized in draft language) was used as a template.

The only real differentiations as I can tell is an added "Downloads Rental" section (which, with Netflix's move towards online rental and the opening of the iTunes Rental store actually may be quite a significant gain, given that it is set at 1.2%) and the section on Separated Rights.

The jurisdictional clause is pretty close to the DGA language, only instead of a "WGA member" (instead of DGA member) working on the project satisfying the jurisdiction requirement, it is termed as a "professional writer", which I think is quite interesting. The actual draft language will probably detail this section, but it certainly seems to imply than non-WGA members count as "professional writers". The deal memo is vague.

Meanwhile, it's the same (pretty shitty) EST rates (0.36% for first 100,000 TV / 50,000 feature, increases to 0.7% and 0.65% respectively). On the flip side, hey, maybe this means we'll actually find out how many copies of Gossip Girl are being sold on iTunes (where it's constantly #1... but we've had no idea what that meant).

Regardless, behavioral / preference studies have shown that people are much more likely to use Ad-Supported Streaming video options than EST... and the ASS section is pretty complex and I don't want to really give a first-blush impression. I think that the feature section represents a real victory, as it is the "normal" 1.2% residual rate with no ifs, ands, or buts. The television section is the complicated part. The major difference I see is that the writers got a second year with 26-week options at 3% of the residual base, and the 2% of distributor's gross (notes, these are different bases) only kicks in at the third year (whereas I believe the directors on had one year of 26-week options, and in the second year the lower residual rate kicked in). The big question that I have is about the imputed value of the distributor gross receipts. The deal memo states that the value of said has been imputed at $40K for an hour-long show and $20K for a half-hour-long show (thus 2% per 26-week period would be $800 and $400 respectively). I know the definition of "impute", but do these residual numbers change based on what the actual gross receipts are during 26-week periods in the third (fourth, fifth, etc) year?

The explanation of this whole section (Television Ad-Supported Streaming [New Programs]>Residual Payment, Network Prime Time), I'm sure, will be the crux of whether the majority of the general membership is in favor or against this contract.

One last interesting note, though... the new contract, if ratified, would expire at the start of May 2011 (two months before the DGA and SAG contracts). This shows how effective this strike was. The studios fear that the next time the writers go on strike, it will derail a television season, the next pilot season, awards season, and the slate of movies 18 months later. Starting the contract in May lands it immediately after writing is done on network television shows, when filming is done on pilots, after awards season, and at such a time as to not have any effect on the immediate blockbusters (as some of the 2008 summer blockbusters were delayed by this strike). In other words, the writers' leverage next time they go on strike will be, well, not as much (at least there will be a less profound effect of going out on strike immediately after the contract expires). Provided the television industry's schedule stays pretty much the same, the only major effect will be the delay of the start of the next television season (like what happened in 1988). Well, hopefully there's no reason to strike for a good, long while.

3:43PM UPDATE: There seems to be a lot of noise about this missing "most favored nation" clause (for New Media areas). What gives? Also the attitude seems to be that writers have to take this deal, or wait another 3-4 months until SAG's deal is up (and presumably goes on strike). Somehow, with the deadlines coming up, the AMPTP has put the pressure on the WGA to take the deal (since, supposedly, this contract comes with a "lift the strike, then vote to take the deal or not" presumption). What gives there? You know what, some dark, deep place in me almost hopes that the general mood of the writers is against the contract, so the WGA can go back to the AMPTP and demand more (i.e. a shorter free streaming window, and some advancement on DVDs), then put it back to the membership for a 48-hour vote (instead of this 10-day vote). Come on, WGA, put the pressure on the AMPTP! Your leverage is about to expire... but until it does, USE IT!

Friday, February 8, 2008

You're Breaking My Balls, Here

Sigh, staying in tonight because of by persistent cough and sore throat (at least the congestion has subsided a bit).

Meanwhile, still no contract draft, per Nikki Finke (who attributes it to the AMPTP taking too long... but after quite a bit of experience assisting an agent who dealt with business affairs people on contracts far simpler than the WGA MBA... these things take time to read, to edit, and to approve. Like, a lot of time). I understand that the reasoning behind the deadline of tonight is basically two-fold. First, because the WGA East and West are having general membership meetings tomorrow, which means the contract needs to have language or the WGA can't present the contract to the members in order to gauge the membership's feelings about it in advance of Sunday's Board meeting that can choose to lift the strike before Monday if the feeling is that the membership will ratify the contract (or not). Second, because of the ticking clocks of The Oscars, pilot season (and to some extent, the rest of this season... although in truth there's not going to be many series coming back until Fall), and salvaging the studios' 2009 slate.

So, while I understand the delicate, detail-laden issue that is contract drafting... let's get this thing written and signed by the CEOs in time for the meeting tomorrow (which, I guess, would mean by 2pm Eastern). You'd think people, at this juncture, would be willing to pull a couple all-nighters.

Tick Tick Boom

As we all await the contract language of the WGA deal (which at this point I suspect will not be ready for tomorrow's general membership meetings), I decided to take a look at episode two of Eli Stone and I have this to say about the series... it reminds me less and less of Ally McBeal and more and more of Wonderfalls. Although it doesn't hold a candle to either. I'll watch next week's Eli Stone episode, but that'll be the final one if it doesn't show me something I can't already see on far-superior series available on DVD.

Meanwhile, last night's Make Me a Supermodel underwhelmed me, given the possibilities of the Fashion Week setting. I really, really wish the series would at least give us confessional / interview hints at what happens between putting models up for elimination and the actual elimination several days later. There has to be something interesting going on, especially for the models who after up for the vote... do they train just as hard? Is there a lot of pressure on them (which might explain Katy's antisocial-ish behaviors, given she's been up for the vote three of a possible four times). It's just so unsatisfactory to see the models having one runway training session and one personal training session per week without knowing that they're practicing and on diet and exercise regimens. Anyway, no chance Ronnie goes home (fingers crossed, anyway). After the judges doomed Jay last week by saying that America made the wrong choice by sending Aryn home in his stead, he got eliminated, and this episode did a really good job of highlighting reasons why Katy should be sent home (the damning shot of her eating that leftover piece of cake). Although, with Frankie up for elimination, I have to say I would approve of dropping him (the pattern seems to be that when there are two males and a female up for the vote, a male goes home, and vice versa with two females and one male).

The "Wow" Factor

I know, I know, I still haven't done a detailed post about the season premiere of Lost last week. I probably won't at this point. Bottom line... it was over-hyped, but a solid effort that definitely laid clues and the groundwork for, well, the rest of the series. It didn't really have much of a "wow" factor, though. Lots of information, a whole new timeline to try and digest, new mythology... so tons of the usual brand of Lost unknown. But not a ton of "wow."

Tonight's Freighter-people-centric episode ("Confirmed Dead") brought the "wow" and then some. I mean... damn. So. Freaking. Good. BTW, I'm not sure what the most "wow" came from, so feel free to chime in with your "wow" notices. For me (hopefully I'm not spoiling too much), the big "wows" were what the Freighter-people came to the Island for, Charlotte's flashback scene, and the cliffhanger.

Even if the last bit of flashback was an info-dump rather than the usual "maybe someone is thinking about this, and it emotionally informs the Island-story". Since it was a scene between Comm. Daniels Matthew Abbadon and the (officially?) deceased Naomi. BTW, how awesome is it that the Lost writers misspell "abaddon" in order to get an anagram ("what bad boatmen"). I wonder if there's an anagram... perhaps an insanely large one... to be had from the four Freighter-people's names (since the show was so kind as to say their first and last names, and in the case of Charlotte, her middle name) (i.e. Daniel Faraday could be "A Linear Day Fad" but is probably not). Or maybe they'll just be the usual lumping of references to philosophers, scientists, and authors. Well, someone else will figure it out and I'm sure it'll wind up around teh interwebz.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

What Would Riggins Do?

I don't normally get involved in pimping "Save Our Show" campaigns, but in light of Ben Silverman's recent comments about the fate of the wonderful, and not-as-tragically-low-rated-as-would-be-believed Friday Night Lights, I've decided to reverse my personal Anti Pimping Laws.

Also, watch tomorrow night's final produced pre-strike episode.

*I also love 30 Rock

Under the Weather

Been sick (damn you, catching the colds everyone else in LA got when it was raining), but I had to comment about Project Runway if only to say finally.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Ads

Please note these are not the actual titles of the commercials (probably).

Bud Light + Firebreathing: Not as funny as Bud Light has given us. Eh. I don't think Bud Light found a new "Magic Refrigerator" tonight.

Audi R8 + Godfather parody: Fantastic. And great product category branding.

Diet Pepsi Max + Night at the Roxbury parody / narcolepsy: Terrible. + ACME Widgets animated: Huh?

Bud Light + beer hidden in other objects: Better than firebreathing. Still eh.

Under Armour: Um... anyone get slightly fascist/undertones from this? Reminded me of film versions of Nazi speeches and V For Vendetta's evil government. Was it just me?

Bridgestone Tires + screaming forest creatures: Mildly amusing. Don't think it sells me a tire so much as a car, though.

Doritos + Kina Grannis music: Um... where are the DORITOS? And what does this have to do with DORITOS?

Wanted promo: Nice visual effects (seems to be "a new twist on bullet-time"). Heavily featuring Angelina Jolie and having most of the dialogue come from Morgan Freeman were probably the right calls.

Gatorade G2 + Derek Jeter and Peyton Manning: I chuckled at tad at the end. + promo for online ad: I know that Fox shot down the ads they wanted to run... but that just didn't do anything for me. I guess it would serve the purpose of driving people to the website.

Dell + Product (Red): Ad gave me awkward ass-slap/molestation vibes that didn't wind up being funny at the end.

FedEx + Carrier Pigeons: Funny stuff. I approve this message. + Circle Death Match: Goddammit I hate ads from websites that not-so-subtly tell you specifically what they do. I just find it creatively lacking.

Tide To Go + Talking Stain: More annoying than anything else.

Budweiser + Rocky parody with Clydesdale and Dalmation: YES. Not sure if they is the best ad so far. I think I might still have to give that to the Audi R8. But great ad. And the animals didn't talk!

Iron Man promo: Went by too quickly, but it was engaging/explosive enough to warrant a rewind (in fact, it was rewound at the party I attending).

Corolla + Ferocious Badgers: So when you're in the car, you can't hear outside noises... okay... and?

promo: Definitely had a "ye ol' chucklefest" feeling to it.

Garmin GPS + Napoleon: Huh? + Follow Your Heart: Gross...

SoBe Life Water + "Thriller" Dancing Lizards: Don't really understand the ad, but it was amusing (because no one but lizards dosed with some drink would want to dance with Naomi Campbell).

Parents, The Anti-Drug: The ad was basically like "Teens, you can get high off things in your parents' medicine cabinets." Thanks, Office of National Drug Control Policy / Partnership for a Drug-Free America!

GMC Yukon Hybrid + Sisyphus crudely-drawn animation: Okay, I get it, but it was a tad cerebral (not to mention not flashy) for a Super Bowl ad.

Bud Light + Carlos Mencia: Carlos Mencia is not funny. Nor was this commercial.

Prince Caspian promo: God (er, maybe not the right thing to call on) help me, I'm actually going to see this movie (really, really, really disliked the first movie, though I loved the books as a kid).

Planters + Unibrow Lady: Mean-spirited (though definitely got the "men love nuts" message across). Is this only a year after the Dove "Real Women" ads?

T-Mobile + Charles Barkley: Cloying.

Pepsi + Justin Timberlake: Would be even funnier if I hadn't seen it on YouTube (several times) but it still makes me laugh so whatevs. Especially enjoy the mailbox yelping and the HDTV wanging the back of his head at the end. Hm, does this say something about some subconscious urge to do bodily harm to Mr. JT?

Doritos + Mouse Trap: Um... okay. Unexpected ending.

Lexus GS + Thing It Can Do But You Shouldn't: Not bad, but not great. Would work outside of the Super Bowl, but I'm not sure it's big enough for the event. Well... I guess Lexus may actually have been SMART by making an ad they can reuse outside of the game.

Toshiba HD DVD Player: Hahah, dying format (Travis loves his PS3/Blu-Ray player).

Jeep/Dodge/Chrysler + Animated Rhyme: Zzzz.

NFL Network: Well, it's the right crowd...

Lexus GS + The Doughnut: As above with the longer ad.

Zantac: Utterly forgettable (but not an affront to mankind). + Witch Doctor: Okay, so the ads follow the formula of someone shopping for a car explaining that they did their research on, and thus they don't need to use "Plan B" on sleazy, unhelpful car salesmen. Bigger question: why is TJ Thyne (Bones' Jack Hodgins) stooping to commercial work? Oh, right... writers' strike... forgot about that... + Pandas animated: Just not good. Just not good.

Vitamin Water + Shaq as a horse jockey: Um... no.

Bud Light + Cavemen: I guess I'm just one of those guys that don't find cavemen that much of a source of humor (certainly not the series). Why Bud persists on these ads... well, I guess someone out there likes 'em.

Ice Breakers Ice Cubes: I think they could've done a lot more with the "prepare for the stontaneous 'whoa'" message.

Bridgestone Tires + Richard Simmons: Would've been much funnier (IMHO) if the driver, after choosing to avoid a deer and what appeared to be a whacked-out, goth serial killer hitchhiker, had run Richard Simmons over. But, again, I'm used to these commercials about how cars handle on roads being about... well, cars. + Wishing Won't Get You A Better Job: Oh, that's just not right. Icky spider eating Jiminy Cricket-a-like.

Hyundia Genesis: No ad will convince me that a Hyundai is the performance equivalent of a Mercedes. Trying to position your brand up the premium scale is hard. Sorry, Hyundai! Well, not that sorry.

Wall-E promo: Toy Story characters talking about Wall-E... maybe it would've been a bit better to do a promo about the movie instead of the character? I know it's Disney-Pixar's hardest sell yet (they keep outdoing themselves on that scale...) I mean, it was cute, but... eh. When does Toy Story 3-D come out?

Jumper promo: Nothing new here, moving on.

E-Trade + Talking Baby: We were so close to having a Super Bowl without a talking baby... So. Close.

Bud Light + Flying: As with firebreathing... Bud Light has been funnier with its concepts and with its ending twists. SuperAd: I'm not sure what, if anything, the ad about Chester Pitts was selling, but it was engaging.

Nissan Murano: So far ahead, the rest of the world will have to catch up? Eh.

Sunsilk + Marilyn/Shakira/Madonna: Seemed out of place during the Super Bowl.

Coca-Cola + Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons: Right up there with Audi and the Budweiser Clydesdale ads for "best of the night".

Coca-Cola + James Carville / Bill Frist: You know, I didn't like the ad at first... I thought that politics should've stayed out of the Super Bowl commercials... but, obviously, the point was that despite differences, both extremes can enjoy Coca-Cola (and through Coke, friendship). Nice. Not as good as the above ad, though. What prime real estate Coca-Cola bought!

Toyota Sequoia: Yawn.

You Don't Mess With the Zohan promo: Adam Sandler in a Super Bowl commercial should be a gland slam. I dunno about this movie, though... especially with the far-less-one-joke Hancock coming out (though not being promoted here).

E-Trade Talking Baby 2: Argh. Anyone else notice that the baby DOESN'T BLINK!?

Tace Bell Fiesta Platters: Uh... okay. Barely passable. But passable. Taco Bell has always been about camp anyway.

Gatorade + Dog Lapping from Bowl: One of those "waste of space" ads. The "man's best friend" tagline totally didn't work for me.

Bud Light + Semi-Pro tie-in: I usually don't like Will Ferrell being Will Ferrell... but this (multiple takes where his character says an innuendo-laden wrong line) made me laugh (especially the "suck one" line).

Hyundai Genesis 2: Again, Hyundai, there is nothing you can do to position yourself in league with Lexus, Meredes BMW. You make cheap, crappy cars.

Victoria's Secret: Pitch. Perfect. And tasteful.

Amp Energy Drink: Just wrong. Just so very wrong.

As for Fox's promo department...

Sarah Connor Chronicles
had the biggest push. I loved the CG terminator fighting the Fox football robot thing... SCC and Prison Break were set to gain the most as far as Fox shows go, because of their young-and-male-skewing demo scores. I found the PB promo where the characters find a tunnel that opens in the middle of the big game to be trying too hard (okay, I've given up on the show and nothing is bringing me back, so I'm biased).

House's post-game episode obviously got a push... not quite as "must watch" as ABC's "Code Black" promos for Grey's Anatomy (OMG, a compliment for the ABC promo department?) Probably because the episode wasn't really originally written as a post-game event episode (cue reader: ENOUGH ALREADY, TRAVIS). The promo with dubbed voices over various football coaches "talking about House" amused me. But, to be honest... I'm (pleasantly?) surprised Fox didn't promote it more. They spent a lot more on time on SCC (which needs the boost after a two weeks of steeply declining ratings after it's smashing premiere, and a week off for a repeat and the State of the Union address).

Unhitched (previously known as The Rules for Starting Over) didn't hold me interest, mostly because the pilot I saw 9 months ago was among the vilest things ever (primate rape is funny? huh?) I'd seen the New Amsterdam promo before, unless it's changed, it goes in the "wouldn't air except for the strike" category, and I don't think the ad was particularly compelling (how many "New York's Most Brilliant Detective"s are there, anyway?)

American Idol had a really good promo at the end with Ben Roethlisberger, but I was confused by the earlier promos because there is still a week of auditions, yet they were promo-ing Hollywood Week. WTF?

Ready for some football

So that game was pretty boring / unintense until the last five minutes, huh (the party I was at had a whole bunch of socializing, and a lot of shouted "oh, shit. oh, shit." by the end)?

Was elsewhere, so I've got the whole thing (and commercials) saved on the FauxVo for review (I'll admit, I wasn't paying too much attention to the commercials this year).

The post-game was only 30 minutes, so House started at 10:38pm Eastern. Especially with such a close (if slightly low-scoring and boring until the last few minutes) game, should be a big lead-in for the episode. I'm expecting it to come close to the Grey's Anatomy numbers, simply because House is such a big hit already. The episode seems very formula outside of the "House and his team aren't actually with the patient, since she's in the South Pole" thing. I really, really, really wish the show had been able to go with its original plan for the post-Super Bowl episode... but enough complaining about that.

OH MY GOD the ending. THE ENDING!!!!!!!!! I'M SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!! That so fixes my issue with the result of Number 32 from my Top 50 of 2007 list.

Still not liking that the show can't fit both Cameron and Chase into episodes. Since the end of the Survivor-arc (as in last Tuesday's episode and tonight's episode), it's been either-or.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

OMG did you see

Wow, so all of the wannamodels' hahas, hohos, and weewees were on display in this week's Make Me A Supermodel...

But the thing that struck me the most was the shoes they used to decide who the "leading lady" of the Live Art Sculpture was going to be. What were, though, 10-inch heels? Christ!

Weird thing with the show's format... two weeks ago they did makeovers. They cut everyone's hair, and they waxed the boys. Well, two weeks have gone by, and the show still has, what, two-to-three months left? All of that makeover stuff is gonna get undone. On Top Model, the makeovers work for a while because the production is so much more condensed (I think they only shoot for a month or so per cycle)... and even then the girls' hair can get raggedy by the end.

I still don't like Frankie.

And what happened to the weekly measurement / weigh-in thing? Maybe they still are doing it, but it's uneventful so they cut it from the final product?

I cannot wait for next week's episode. It's Fashion Week. The wannamodels are going, right? Right? In some capacity???

With the judges having said that Jay should've been cut when Aryn was cut at the beginning of the episode, and he's back up for the vote... I imagine he's getting cut.

And contrary to my previous Doomsday post (aka Lucy)

... here is what I'm hearing from another source, and it goes more closely hand-in-hand with the vibes form Nikki Finke and the New York Times articles.

Everyone is in agreement on the basic terms of the deal, and an agreement is being drafted, it should be in by Tuesday. If there are no issues that come up based on that draft, the contract will be brought to the WGA board probably by Friday. If the leadership (Verrone, Bowman, and Young), the board and the negotiating committee are behind it, the feeling is that the general membership will ratify the contract.

This process could take up to three weeks, but writers could go back to work sooner than the contract being ratified.

Obviously, it's a wait-and-see time, and there's no guarantee that SAG will find the deal close-enough that they don't go out on strike in July.

And there's nothing saying this can't and won't blow up in our faces.

It would seem as if having Peter Chernin back in the informal talks yesterday helped a lot.


Great episode. Finally, I think not a single plotline in the episode smacked of less-than-worthy of this series (with the rapist-murder plotline done, and Riggins not living with Ferrety-Meth Guy). Man, you gotta feel for Smash... there's only one more episode left in the can?

... FauxVo didn't record Make Me A Supermodel on Thursday. It's recording in an hour, so I'll eventually get to it... and I owe a Lost analysis post, will get that up before the Super Bowl.


Despite Nikki Finke's most recent post citing progress at informal talks between the WGA and the moguls, I heard a really disturbing rumor tonight that I pray to God is just idle speculation that went through two people before getting to me (though the original source is someone who is highly placed within the industry).

The rumor basically goes that if there isn't a settlement tomorrow, the studios are going to walk away again. And are going to sit it out until next year.

So, when this doesn't come to pass, I hope you'll forgive me for being foolish enough to post it and get you all momentarily worried with me. But I'm deeply troubled by even the possibility of the "next year" part of this rumor, much more so than Lucy pulling the football away again.

I don't understand the financial reasons for walking away again, because, as I've said before, the studios have accomplished the house cleaning they wanted to get done with the strike lasting as long as it has. There are no more short-term gains to reap (aside from firing executives and their staffs), only long-term losses to exacerbate.