Tuesday, June 30, 2009

5 Best Renewals of 2008/2009 TV Season

Last week I did 5 Worst Cancellations of 2008/2009 TV Season so now I will do the best renewals for on the bubble shows and not shows like House or NCIS that were locks.

5. Cold Case (CBS)

I don't watch the show every week like I do with a lot of shows, but I will watch it on occasion and I like the concept of the show a lot and the characters with the messed up pasts. There was speculation that either Cold Case or Without a Trace would have to go and even though they both had excellent ratings compared to other networks, like with Eleventh Hour.

4. Castle (ABC)

Nathan Fillion is great as the title character of Castle though I do think his voice is a little funny. The crimes in the show are pretty mundane, but the humor and the relationship between Beckett and Castle makes the show fun to watch. In know it's a little to earlier, but the ratings near the end of the show began going back to the original level, so I think we can expect a third season.

3. Better Off Ted (ABC)

The ratings sucked (by so did Scrubs's), but was surprisingly renewed. ABC seems to be promoting their new comedy block on Wednesday, and Better Off Ted is certainly good comedy. The show is set at Veridian Dynamics, possibly the most diabolic company ever, run by people like Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. The evilness is punctuated by Veronica, Ted's boss, played brilliantly by Ellen's wife Portia de Rossi. I don't understand why there is so little people watching the show, and I'm guessing it will probably be canceled next season, but for now, we get a few more episodes of hilarity.

2. Dollhouse (Fox)

I know the show started off bad with the lame standalone episodes, but this is Joss Whedon we're talking about, the creator of Buffy, Angel, and Firefly.  After the total failure of Fox with Firefly, I think they were compelled to renew Dollhouse even though the quality and ratings of the show were definitely substandard. I'm positive season 2 of Dollhouse, like season 2 of Buffy will be 

1. Chuck (NBC)

This show is a must watch immediately. The show has smart humor and references to everything. Unfortunately, the ratings weren't too kind to it even though there really is no reason why the ratings shouldn't be higher (there were a couple bad episodes). Inexplicably, the episodes toward the last part of the season were amazing, yet the ratings only stayed steady. There was huge buzz for the show with the Subway campaign. The show ended with a cliffhanger that will propel the show in a seemingly different direction. Thankfully we now have a third season, but for the love of god, stop the triangulating!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Chuck Me Mondays - June 29, 2009

Yes, I am a huge fan of Chuck and participated in a couple ways to get the show renewed. If you don't know what Chuck Me Mondays are, it is basically an effort to show how much the fans love the show using various means on the internet. Each week on Monday, we all watch the next episode (we started on the pilot) and tweet about it on twitter.

This week we are watching Chuck vs. the Sizzling Shrimp. I like this episode, because this is the first time his spy life really interferes with family life as Chuck can't do something with Ellie he has done with her since they were kids.

If you don't know what twitter is or if you use it and don't know how to help the show, I'll give a little tutorial. Basically the goal of using twitter is to have so many tweets about the show that the topic starts trending which is indicated by the right panel. After every tweet, add the tag #chuckmemondays and #chuck. If there are lots of tweets with those tags, the topic will start trending as it did every week.

Thewb.com which is a great site has the first season of Chuck streaming, so you can just go right over there and start up the episode. This is the link to Chuck.

We all want to watch the show at the same time to get all the tweets at the same time and show exactly how many people are participating, so start watching at 9:00 PM Eastern Time. If you can't twitter, at least watch the episode since it is funny like always and probably better than whatever is being broadcast today.

If you are reading this and haven't watched the show, I would highly recommend it. The premise is that a nerd that was kicked out of Stanford gets an email from the guy that kicked him out of college. The email downloads all the government secrets into his head. A hot CIA agent and an NSA agent go after him, and then they become a team. I know it sounds a little corny, but this show has everything and I'm not sure why the ratings suck. If people just gave the show a chance, I'm sure they will love it.

For more information, please go to Chucktv.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Review - True Blood Season 2 Episode 3 Scratches

Wow, wow and just one more wow for good measure. This show continues to impress me in so many different ways. I'll give a summary before giving a score which I promise will be really high.

After the scrap at Jessica's parent's house, Bill is off driving like a maniac yelling at Sookie. She gets out of the car and decides to walk (sure...) the 20 miles back to Bon Temps where she gets clawed by a bull-headed creature. Sookie attracting more supernatural things; that's a shocker. Bill brings Sookie to Eric since she is badly injured and rejecting his blood. Eric gets a healer (who is human), and after she pours some liquid on the wound, Sookie is perfectly fine (who needs real doctors?). When she wakes up, she finds out that Lafayette is chained in the basement. In exchange for releasing our resident male vampire prostitute, Sookie agrees to go to Dallas with the stipulation that Bill comes too and she receives $10,000 (she's definitely not pushing her luck). 

Jason begins having doubts at the Light of Day conference after having nightmares about Eddie, the vampire Amy killed in season 1. The Newlin's use their words and Jason's stupidity to cajole him into staying. While I'm talking about the Light of Day, I have a really big problem with the portrayal of religion. I'm not religious per se, but the way religious people are portrayed to very narrow and idiotic. There is an overwhelming majority of devout Christians in the show that are completely illogical i.g., Tara's mother, and the whole Light of Day cult. I'm guessing this negative portrayal to due to churches' opposition to gay marriage though you can't really blame them since the Bible is pretty specific.

Marianne is once again up to no good. She has a party/rave minus the cool music and Tara finally begins to see what kind of lifestyle Marianne and Eggs both lead. Marianne reminds me of this video (one of the weirdest things ever) where everyone just starts dancing. Once again, the show proves itself not to be a family show, and boobs are everywhere. There's this weird thing going on with some people at the party with their eyes turning completely black. I'm guessing Marianne is using sex or something to control people and the black is an indication of being under control. I still don't know what to make of Eggs. Is he good, bad, under a spell?

Jessica gets lonely (surprise) and goes to Sam's bar and Hoyt really likes her, even after learning she is a vampire. They go back to Bill's house where Hoyt tells her all the different games we can play on the Wii (great non-intrusive product placement). She starts kissing him and her fangs come out, and a bit later with Bill and Sookie kissing as they come through the door, see them, and all hell breaks loose.

Sam is in a foul mood and moping around, so he decides to go for a trip, but before he goes, the dog he impersonates wants to go with a little pond. He turns back to a human once he is in a pond and when he turns around, there's Daphne, the new waitress, standing right there. She wants to join him and when she takes off her shirt (another woman in the town that doesn't wear a bra) and the audience sees similar claw marks to the ones inflicted on Sookie earlier in the episode.

Score: 9.9/10 (I'm reserving a perfect score for something special)

Next Episode: Another show that won't air next week (wtf are wrong with the networks?) Anyways, it looks there will be guns and more craziness.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Review - Virtuality Pilot

I'll call it a pilot and not a movie, because simply put, it is not a movie. It is a 2-hour first episode that leads the show into a certain direction, so for Fox to call this a "movie" is shameful.

TBH I was quite surprised by how good the show was. My expectations weren't very high having read the premise and thinking that it was pretty ridiculous, which it still it (I'll go into that later). I, like many others watched because Ronald D. Moore, the man behind Battlestar Galactica reimagined, wrote part of it.

Before any positive comments, I really have to get something off my chest: the premise. Basically a ship with 13 people are traveling into deep space to find life. Apparently the journey is a $200 billion project funded by a corporation (or conglomeration) called the Consortium (I'm sure they are all upstanding citizens). So these geniuses with the money decide, "Hey, let's make a reality show out of this," and a la Real World/Surreal Life, we have a reality show in space. But wait, these aren't your normal sex-crazed coeds, these are your average are sex-crazed scientists.

Apparently there is something called the go/ no go point (it sounds so lame is squirmed every time it was mentioned) at Neptune where they will either slingshot around Neptune or continue going.No this isn't even the most ridiculous part yet. Their propulsion system past Neptune is...nuclear warheads!!!! They actually have 182 on board and detonate them behind them to move forward. Yes, so silly and unrealistic. Wait a second...there's more? In fact, a few months into their journey, scientists on Earth discover that within 50 years, the world will be uninhabitable (convenient), so the fate of humanity rests in their hands and the ability to find a suitable planet. Since this is the case, the reality show must go on, and 5 billion people keep watching. Take that American Idol!

Now that that's out of the way, the show has a nice tone to it when it isn't delving into the ludicrous reality show interviews that have become all too famous. Each member has a virtual reality module that allows them to enter anything at will. From the beginning, we know there is a serious glitch where this one creepy virtual guy does crazy stuff. Later on, he even rapes one the members (slightly shocking), and the question is brought up whether the rape was real or not, etc...

The characters and their relationships are really weird, but diverse. There's a happily married couple, an unhappily married couple, a gay couple, and an affair. Good luck sifting though all that. Oh yeah, there's also a guy in a wheelchair, and a guy with Parkinson's. Sure seems like a great 13 people to put together in a ship.

I will now discuss the twist in the end, so if you haven't watched the pilot yet, please don't read any further. The captain of the ship dies when he gets trapped in the airlock and freezes (I always though the person boiled due to pressure vs volume). Anyways, he's dead right? We see him in the virtual world (a Civil War battle) and he talks to the person wearing the module like he knows her. So he's dead in real-life, but alive in the virtual world. WTF? Well the show ends like that and we will probably never know.

Score: 8.5/10

The ratings are in, an Virtuality tanked. I'm 99% sure we won't see this in the fall or at midseason. I'm disappointed, but not as much as the Firefly cancellation. Props to Ron Moore for another good job. 

Friday, June 26, 2009

Review - Royal Pains Season 1 Episode 4TB or Not TB

Kind of a tacky title, but whatever..

HankMed goes to a restaurant to give everyone TB shots where Evan gets to use his very limited Italian (probably learned specifically to get girls) to speak with an Italian girls that knows no English. The head chef there has some kind of blackout problem and wants help from Hank.

We also learn that Sunday is when Hank was supposed to get married. He gets a call from his ex when he is supposed to eat brunch with Jill and she learns this also. Ouch... He sees the head chef and she has no clue who he is, and Hank figures out she has a stroke. They get her to the hospital, but disappears from her room leading to a frantic search by Hank and Jill. They eventually find her in the walk-in freezer where she had sex with another chef. They give her the medicine and she is forever grateful. IMO it was fairly boring.

The other storyline was more entertaining. When Divya goes back to the hospital for the TB follow-up, the Italian chef is gone, but tracks her down. After amusing squabbles with Evan, she eventually gets the Italian woman to come out and figures out that she has already had an inoculation for TB which prompted the reaction.

Score: 8/10

Next Episode: (2 weeks, boo!!) It looks like Hank and Evan have some Harper's Island thing going on.


Review - Burn Notice Season 3Episode 4 Fearless Leader

Wow, this was one hell of an episode. I think it may be my favorite of the season. I you haven't watched this episode yet, there will be a summary, so prepare to be spoiled if you are going to read it.

Detective Paxon decides to get serious and puts Michael under 24/7 police surveillance. As expected, Mikey isn't too happy about this, but of course he has a plan. He finds Paxon on a stakeout for another case and Paxon is pissed. Further investigation reveals that Paxon is also after a master criminal, so Michael decides to help her catch him so she will get off his back.

Helping her catch this guy involves befriending a hapless goon called Tommy who works with this mastermind. Eventually Michael tells Tommy the truth and gets him to help take down the big guy. After trapping the bad guy and his thugs in a meth lab and a shoot out, Michael, Fi, and Sam run off, leaving C4 as evidence. Paxon sees it and assumes they helped her, so she agrees to stop going after them. Convenient huh?

In a recent interview, Matt Nix said that she will never come to see Michael as one of the good guys, so I assume either she is either putting up an act and continuing her investigation, or Michael will do something later on to get her back on his case. In any case, of positive this is not the last we've seen of her.

In a scene in the end, it looks like Fi gets a little teary that Michael still wants his old job back especially when the people who burned him are gone, and the police aren't after him. I don't understand Mike's motivation myself, but Fi should know by now that he isn't going to give this one up without a big fight (I think I read thay they have a brawl in one episode).

In the B storyline, an IRS auditor is going after Sam pretty bad and is finding errors left and right. There is a decent twist when Sam realizes that the guy is the son of one of his ex's. The reason he want to bury Sam is that he felt abandoned when Sam never showed up again. They end up having some drinks and all is well.

Score: 9.5

Next Episode: in 2 weeks (huge groan), it looks like some spies are going to be in Michael's debt after he saves the day.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

5 Worst Cancellations of 2008/2009 TV Season

I know TV is simply a business to earn money so when I say worst, I mean in terms of the viewers and not of company revenue, so without any further explanation, I'll jump into the list.

5. Eleventh Hour (CBS)

Another CBS crime procedural except this one doesn't stick. It had an interesting premise focusing on science and I'm not talking 3rd grade science, advanced stuff only Dr. Hood (Rufus Sewell) could figure out. He and his "bodyguard" Rachel Young (Marley Shelton) go around science related crimes for the FBI. I know this is just another cop show, etc...but the quality of the show was on par with the rest of the CBS show so it would have been nice to see it stay for another season.

4. The Unusuals (ABC)

I absolutely loved this show when it first aired. The show mixes cop humor with totally off-the-cuff comments. After each commercial break, there is a police dispatch report about a random, crazy crime that's going on sprinkled in with commentary by the police dispatch herself. Amber Tamblyn is once again magnificent with her unusual portrayal of an NYPD detective (who'd of thought those 2 would go together). For those who understood where the humor was coming from it was absolutely hilarious and I guess to those who don't, I was a jumbled piece of garbage.

3. Reaper (CW)

I'll admit the show was never overly amazing, but it was never horrible either. It was a decent show with good characters. The standouts here are Tyler Labine as the sidekick Sock with his sex-driven comments and Ray Wise as the smooth-talking devil. The reason why I put this show ahead of the other 2 is that there were 2 seasons to develop the story and the characters. What makes the cancellation of this show worse is that it ends on a cliffhanger with Sam's girlfriend Andi losing her soul to the devil which would logically lead to a wild third season with more fun. Alas we will never see the ending.

2. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Fox)

Okay, I'll admit something (don't kill me), I haven't watched all of the show, so I guess I'm not really qualified to add this, but judging from the fan reaction after the cancellation was announced and from the episodes that I have seen, I added this here.

1. Pushing Daisies (ABC)

It is simply an utter travesty this brilliant show got canceled. There are simply not enough superlatives to describe exactly how great the show was. The show has humor, mystery, romance, and fantasy. There are bright colors and happy stories that make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside without being overly cheesy, but hey, how uncheesy can something be when the main setting is a pie store called the Pie Hole which has a crust on the outside of the store. The show has a great cast led by Lee Pace and Anna Friel. Oh yeah, did I forgot the unfinished storylines? The great part of the show is that there are standalone episodes blended seamlessly with a main storylines. As much as this is a light, funny show, the storyline still was excellent and I was anticipating the next thing that happened. It's a shame we'll probably never see a good resolution though I hope the comics will bring some closure.

Honorable Mentions: Stargate Atlantis (Scifi), Life on Mars (ABC)

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