Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More sitcom stuff

Well, as it turns out that, after just three airings, The Return of Jezebel James is being put of its misery. And mine, frankly. Fox is going to air Bones re-runs in its place for the forseeable future. If you want to regain your faith in Parker Posey, go ahead and watch Waiting for Guffman or Best in Show. Girlfriend is great in those. Heck, I'd even suggest the little seen Josie and the Pussycats. It's one of my favorite movies that no one's ever seen, and she's hillariously over-the-top in it.

As for Britney's big appearance on How I Met Your Mother last night? Let's just say she wasn't awful! I'm not saying she was good or anything, but she didn't ruin the show, so there's that. I thought the episode was worlds better than the previous week, and I really liked Josh Radnor and Sarah Chalke together. That two minute date at the end had me grinning from ear to ear, but I'm a sap like that. Did you hear her say she was at a St. Patrick's Day party? She is at least a candidate for being "the mother", dontcha think? I haven't seen the ratings yet, so I don't know if all of the Britney press had an impact on the numbers, but my fingers are crossed. I'm going to be furious if CBS cancels this show!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Three Very Different Comedies

I actually got to watch some fresh, new sitcoms this week. I wish I could say all three were insanely funny, but that distinction is reserved for just one, Miss Guided.

Judy Greer stars as Becky Freely, a once mousy student who returns to her old high school to be a guidance counselor. She has settled in and even has a good friend/potential love interest in Tim O'Malley, the shop teacher who's been forced to teach Spanish, which he doesn't speak, creating a few funny subplots. Then, the former head cheerleader, Lisa Germain (played by Brooke Burns, most famous to me for things like dating Bruce Willis, having a baby with Julian McMahon and breaking her neck in a diving accident, but who also acts) returns as an English teacher and sudden rival for Tim's attention. This makes Becky, who's still a little ditsy and living with her mom, feel like she's back in high school all over again.

Chris Parnell, aka Dr. Leo Spaceman from 30 Rock, co-stars as the Vice Principal, Bruce, and he's spot-on; perfect in small doses. The cast is stellar across the board, and the show hit all the right notes in each of the three episodes that aired. I was interested in these people from the get-go and, although there are some silly set-ups, the situations as a whole are believable. Unfortunately, the ratings have not been very good and ABC is choosing to double-pump the show on Thursday nights, an obvious move to burn off what they bought. Well, you never know, right?

Week 2 of The Return of Jezebel James was slightly better, but still feeling super-contrived. I was happy to find out that Coco's real name is Caroline, though. Turns out she doesn't like needles, which is going to make pregnancy that much more fun. It just seems like ASP did not flesh there characters out as much as she should have. We have no real idea what drives them, besides the fact that Sarah seems to be a little OCD. I keep waiting for Parker Posey to ask Lauren Ambrose, "where is busy bee?!" I mean, when she's playing someone more high-strung than her Best In Show character? Oy vey.

Finally, we had the return of How I Met Your Mother, post-strike. This episode had a St. Patrick theme, but I have a feeling that it was written before the strike and adjusted accordingly. I didn't so much as chuckle at Marshall and Lily's crooked apartment and there just wasn't much new in Barney and Ted's adventure at the party. Definitely felt like a placeholder. Next we have the big Britney appearance, which is good for publicity, if nothing else. And, even when it's sub par, I do love HIMYM.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My I-Pod is a Scary Place

I like to do this every once in a while--document the sequence of songs my i-pod plays on shuffle and note how it kind of relates to stuff; or not. Yeah, it's totally random, but if I can't amuse myself, then what's the point?!

Yesterday afternoon, I was listening to some old school Mariah Carey from her first CD back in 1990. I loved her then, as opposed to now, when I fast-forwarded through her SNL performances this week. My favorite song has to be "Vanishing", which was not a single, so allow me to share it with you. No one can deny this woman has, or at least had, killer pipes.

So, when I headed for the car and hit shuffle, I was thrilled to first hear one of my all-time favorite Stevie Wonder songs, "As (Always)", which was a good segue out of Mariah. When the next song was 'I Write the Songs" by Barry Manilow, I just knew I had to play my little game, because, as the title says, my i-pod is a scary place. Here's what followed:

"The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" by XTC. Sure, that's a natural transition! A seriously great band.

"Welcome Back" by John Sebastian. Clearly, my i-pod has been watching NBC promos for the return of Thursday comedies. (And it wants to impress EJ, too.)

"I Learned From the Best" by Whitney Houston. This is a little more recent Whitney, when she was probably big into the crack, but she's still awesome when she goes to town on these power ballads.

"Little Tiny Song" by Barenaked Ladies. And it is only one minute long, thank goodness. One of the dumbest things ever on a BNL CD, and I have all but one of them.

"The River" by Garth Brooks. Now, I am not a country fan, but I love Garth Brooks. It probably has a lot to do with him being at his zenith when I was in college, which I attended in Southern Ohio, where people speak with accents as if they are in the actual south, for some reason. But Garth does transcend his genre.

"Three Hits" by Indigo Girls. Gimme a pair of birkenstocks, stat! One of the best bands ever, especially when it comes to their lyrics. Don't argue with me.

"Walking in Memphis" by Mark Cohen. I am partial to Mark because he is from Cleveland, like me, and mentions places I've been, like parks and streets, in his lyrics. My husband and I also danced to his song "True Companion" at our wedding. While I listened, I decided if given the chance, Michael Johns should totally sing this song on American Idol.

"Watching the Wheels" by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Basically, another Idol-centric thought, although I hope no one attempts to sing this tonight...

"Fake Your Way to the Top" (from Dreamgirls) by Eddie Murphy. Man, was he robbed of that Oscar. The scene where he shot heroin after everyone tried to get him not to? No matter what other weird shit Eddie gets into, he acted his ass off in that movie. Period.

"Calling Baton Rouge" by Garth Brooks. Apparently, the i-pod was feeling a little bit country. Now, this tune is super twangy, but I love it. Don't ask me to explain these things. I also love that it's about the guy stopping to call a chick in Louisiana as he drives...somewhere else, probably in an eighteen wheeler. The funny part is that he needs money for the pay phone. How quickly things change.

Hope you've enjoyed this window into my warped little mind!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday Fun!

Here's a quick little quiz that will brighten up your cold Monday (that, and maybe some green beer, right?)!


It's an audio 70's music quiz! Thanks to my dad for sending it to me. I actually missed one (95%), for which I am ashamed, but I'd love to see how you all do. Take the quiz and post your results in the comments section!


Sunday, March 16, 2008

My Two Cents

So, I watched The Return of Jezebel James--both episodes--and was not really impressed. There's Amy Sherman-Palladino, Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose (plus Dianne Weist as their mom) but it just didn't work. But, wait! The last scene gave me a glimmer of hope and encouraged me to set the DVR for next week. Posey, who was playing so opposite type as a shrill, hyper-organized, overly-girly Sarah that she gave me whiplash, toned down that persona to finally have a normal conversation with Ambrose, playing her sister, in the last minutes of the show, and it actually made me smile.

Lauren Ambrose, who is still playing Claire Fisher at this point, doesn't have a lot do in the first two episodes, except look disheveled and hate Posey. What really bugs me is her name--Coco. This name conjures images of Irene Cara in Fame and Courtney Cox's kid (also, Cocoa Puffs, which are delicious!) but it so doesn't work for this character. I'd like them to tell me in a future outing that this is a name she made up for herself and her real name is something like, I don't know, Karen.

But, look--there's Scott Cohen, aka Max Medina, as Sarah's boyfriend! There's something here, I swear, they just haven't hit the nail on the head yet.

On the contrary, SNL was "on" once again this week! Although I could really do without that Target sketch ever again (and, is it just me, or are Jonah Hill's forearms alarmingly skinny?) I loved the inevitable Elliot Spitzer cold open, the Benihana sketch with Jonah playing a six-year-old as Catskills comedian, the Suze Orman skit (including an answer as to where she gets all her jackets!) and Kristen's awesomely spot-on impression of her, and the Digital Short in which Jonah sat Andy Samberg down to tell him that he was dating his dad, Ben Samberg (played by Jack Handey, of "Deep Thoughts" fame). That make-out session was both disturbing and hilarious. Update saw the return of "Really?! with Seth and Amy", which routinely kills me, and Tracy Morgan doing a sort of belated point-counterpoint to Tina's three-week-old "bitch is the new black" by saying "but Black is the new President!" I just feel like the show is kicking ass right now, and I hope another Christopher Walken hosting gig in a couple weeks can continue the streak. I need more cowbell!!!

See y'all over at the 'bean this week, where I will explain why I love TV, plus breakdown DWTS and Big Brother for you. Read 'em even if you don't watch. I promise you'll enjoy!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hulu & Housecalls & Dancing, Oh My!

I am so excited about this newly public site, Hulu.com, (full disclosure--my cousin works there) and I invite anyone who is reading this to check it out! They've got full episodes of great current shows like The Office, Family Guy and 30 Rock to name a few, as well as classic shows like Doogie Howser, Welcome Back, Kotter plus tons more...even sports and movies, old and new! It's all free to the user with minimal commericals. That's right, the site is ad-supported, so don't worry about any fees. And the quality of the video is primo. There is also a really cool feature for us blogging-type folk, where you can create your own clips to embed to your site (or even just to email to friends) by grabbing a full episode and changing the start and end times to suit your needs. No more of me attempting to transcribe the funniest scene from 30 Rock for you, I'll just embed the clip! Will it revolutionize the ever changing entertainment industry? Wait and see!

As I've shared before, I am recapping the current season of Big Brother over on spunkybean, and now that they've disbanded the couples, the game is actually ON! Now, I still don't have anyone to genuinely root for (these people all kind of suck), but it's a lot more fun all of a sudden. And, I've also rediscovered my love for Housecalls, the Big Brother talk show at cbs.com, that airs Monday thru Friday. Big Brother alums Danielle, Kaysar, Bunky and last year's winner, Evel Dick, join host Gretchen Massey each day and take calls from viewers. It's all archived here. The thing is, as much as I hated Dick by the end of last season, I love him in this capacity! It's really unnerving.

Lastly, don't forget that a new season of Dancing With the Stars is almost upon us--starting this Monday, March 17th. EJ and I will be recapping it together for spunkybean; one week I'll handle the performance episode and he'll take the results, then we'll switch it up. He's convinced I'll excel at discussing the fancy footwork of Mr. Steve "No, I didn't write the Bible" Guttenberg. I'm just trying to brush up on my dance lingo. Join us, won't you?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Rock N Roll Heaven

It's been a while and I could talk about a bunch of different things, but I don't want to keep you too long. First of all, I was sad to hear Jeff Healey died today. He was the blind guitarist who had his biggest hit song in the late 80s with a tune called "Angel Eyes". He was only 41-years-old and died of cancer. Major bummer. But, on the other end of the spectrum, I may be late to the party, but I just found out about Hard Rock Park, a rock n' roll theme park set to open on June 2, 2008! Dude! I have four words for you: Led Zepplin: The Ride. Sweet! There's also a suspended roller coaster called Slippery When Wet. Bitchin'! I feel like grabbing a can of Aquanet and some ripped jeans and road trippin' down to Myrtle Beach, SC, for the grand opening, where The Eagles and The Moody Blues will do the honors.

I hope by now you've all caught the SNL version of the democratic debate, but in case you haven't, check out a clip of it here, along with the real Hillary and her doppleganger, Amy Poehler. Hilarious.

And, let the Juno backlash begin! Andy Samberg was dressed in drag, as Diablo Cody at the Oscars, during Ellen Page's monologue. I haven't been able to find it online, but it was pretty damn funny. Ellen made a solid effort, but she didn't really get a lot to do. I felt a little bad for her in the "Virginiaca" sketch, as I think it's hard to top Justin Timberlake and Scarlett Johanson's turns as the rich white stepdaughters of a large black woman.

Oh, just a couple quick thoughts on Project Runway: I was a little squicked out by Chris' use of human hair as fringe in his collection, and though I enjoyed his personality, I think Rami was the clear choice to join Christian and Jillian at Fashion Week. I'm excited to be baffled and amazed by what they all send down the runway in the finale!