Archive for July 2006

 
 

Big Brother 7: Will Is Still Right

BB7The Evil Dr. Will, as always, steals the show this weekend. His “parachute” theory at the end of last night’s episode was dead-on. It’s amazing how perceptive he is.

If only the rest of the losers in the house woud realize how stupid they’re being. The only flaw in Dr. Will’s Alliance With S6 is that when it comes to the final 6, it’ll be four against two. Of course, I’m sure he’s already busy sowing the seeds of descent inside of S6 to be exploited when the time is right.

We’ll have to see how this week’s vote goes — will Will become merely another floater, or will Erika be ousted? And will anyone think to veto Mike Boogie’s nomination, just to force Janelle to put Will up in his place?

Only time will tell.

Monday Link Dump

Mario: Not Such a Great Plumber?

Super Mario the PlumberHilarious:

there is very little evidence of Mario’s skill as a plumber

According to the instruction booklet for Super Mario Brothers, Mario is a plumber. He was working on some kind of plumbing job in Brooklyn when he got sucked down into the Mushroom Kingdom, where he proceeded to jump on pretty much everything he could find. It’s a very noble thing for Mario to do: leave behind his life in the real world to eat a bunch of shrooms and chase around a princess. I don’t have any problems with Mario’s lifestyle. The only problem I have with Mario’s story is that there is absolutely no evidence that he has any skill as a plumber at all. [...] Over the years I’ve seen Mario do a lot of things. He plays golf. He plays tennis. He plays baseball. Hell, he’s even refereed boxing. And though all of these endeavors involve pipes in some vague, unexplained way, they don’t really inspire much confidence in his plumbing ability. He can hit all the amazing drives-down-the-fairway-trailing-rainbows that he wants; until he can get a showerhead to stop dripping after the water is turned off, he’s not really showing much professionalism.

Saturday Link Dump

Secret Big Brother Alliance? And more!

Thanks to Shawn B. for pointing this out. It’s fascinating:

reality blurred + Secret alliance may explain Big Brother 7 drama this week; houseguests don’t want to be sequestered

Besides the alliance of the four Big Brother 6 cast members, there may be a secret alliance of four others inside the Big Brother 7 house. This new alliance was revealed on the live feeds last week, and may help explain the angry reaction of HOH James after George won and used the veto. During “a private conversation … it was revealed that James, Will, Danielle Reyes and Mike ‘Boogie’ Matlin had formulated a pre-game alliance before stepping into the ‘Big Brother’ house,? according to Jam! Showbiz.

James really didn’t have a choice but to nominate Jason.

The story goes on to say that Will and others have said they would rather be kicked out early than be stuck in the sequester house until the final jury votes.

Looks like the All Stars are playing to win or go home this year. It’ll be tough to get the impartial jury if that’s the case. Of course, it might be an interesting wrinkle in the game if the jury gets to see and hear EVERYTHING this year. I never thought that would be a bad thing. If they want to vote on the best game player, let them see and hear everything to determine who was the best. Or let them vote for their friends — that’s part of the game already.

The KenJen Critique

Ken Jennings – Blog

Dear Jeopardy!, Hey, I hope you remember me. It’s been a while since we talked. We were a bit of an item a couple years back, in all the papers, but I think we both know that was just a summer thing. The last time we saw each other…well, the magic just wasn’t there. That’s why I don’t mind when I see you with a new special someone. Or two. Nearly every night! … I’m sorry, is this sounding passive-aggressive? I don’t mean to badger you. I remember that, when we were together, it seems like all I ever did was nag you with questions. Let me start again. What I really wanted to talk to you about was your image. You’ve got a good twenty years on you now, and that’s Trebek-era alone. Times have changed since your debut, but when I watch you, it’s the same-old same-old: the same format, the same patter, the same fonts, the same everything as when I first crushed out on you in fourth grade. You’re like the Dorian Gray of syndication. You seem to think “change? means replacing a blue polyethylene backdrop with a slightly different shade of blue polyethylene backdrop every presidential election or so. Would you mind a few suggestions on how you might really freshen up your act a bit?

I can’t believe people actually took this thing seriously. This is Ken Jennings playing the Jeopardy! drinking game by pointing out that Alex is getting older, the categories are getting more obscure, and the set hasn’t had a major upgrade in its lifetime. It’s just a funny piece of writing.

Others — gossip writers, in particular — chose to skip over the funny parts and cite it as the screed of a bitter champion. Bizarre.

Read it, though. It’s funny, particularly the bit about the Trebektron 4000, which he later updated here.

Big Brother Stupidity

BB7 All StarsLast night’s episode of BIG BROTHER may just show how stupid these supposed “all-stars” are. Not since Marcellas refused to take himself off the block many a moon ago has such a silly decision been made as the lot of them made during the Head of Household competition last night.

Let’s recap some things to properly set this up:

  • There are ten people competing in the HoH contest.
  • Three of those ten are members of the well-known and much-feared Season Six alliance. They have the strongest and largest (total of 4) alliance. As a voting bloc, they dominate the house and continue to grow in strength as the total number in the house dwindles.
  • Mike Boogie and Evil Dr. Will are an alliance of two. Powers of Two are quite powerful, but only when under the radar. (See Jason and Danielle in season three(?).)

So we get to the HoH competition, which includes three paltry members of the S6 alliance. The fourth, James, has to sit out since he was HoH. It’s a simple format: Be the first to ring in with a correct answer to the JulieTron 2006’s question, and eliminate a contestant of your choice. Answer wrong and you’re out.

It seems to me that the chance to retake control of the house from the Season Six alliance has never been greater. They should all jump at this chance.

Evil Doctor WillInstead, only Will eliminates a S6 contestant willingly. Marcellas only eliminates his mancrush, Kaysar, because he was left with two members of the S6 Alliance to compete against at the end.

Marcellas eliminated Mike Boogie. Kaysar takes out Diane. Will kicks off Howie. Will misses a tricky question. Erika eliminates George. Kaysar takes out Erika. (I wonder if she learned her lesson right then and there?) Janelle eliminates Danielle. Marcellas takes out Kaysar. Janelle wins.

If Erika had chosen a S6 alliance member, she might have survived another question or two. Ditto Diane, had Marcellas done the right thing. That’s an extra chance or two to kill the 4-person alliance. There were 10 people behind those podiums. It was 7 against 3. 6 of the 7 blew it, either by not answering quickly enough, or making bad decisions once they did. Idiots!

Next week, it’ll be 6 against 3. The odds are only going to get worse, until somebody in the rest of the house (after Will) wakes up.

And while I’m on this roll: Jase — you weren’t back-doored! “Back dooring” someone is when you intentionally set up a pawn in the initial nominations with the express intent to win the power of veto (agreed upon by a larger group of people) to take that person off the block and replace him or her with the person you really want to go.

When George used the Power of Veto, James had to put someone else up. Jase made an easy target of himself.

And: How long will George last on slop before walking out the door, himself?

Also: Without Doctor Will, there is no BB: All-Stars. He’s the star of this show. Poor Howie.

Link Dump

Babylon 5 to iTunes

iPodAppleInsider | Apple adds Warner Bros. favorites to iTunes

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Apple Computer on Tuesday announced that classic hit programming from Warner Bros.’ vast television library is now available for purchase and download on the iTunes Music Store. The new content features favorites such as the hugely popular sitcom “Friends,” sci-fi epic “Babylon 5″ and some of the most popular sketches from “MADtv,” as well as animated classics including “The Jetsons” and “The Flintstones.”

And, yes, comic fans: The failed Aquaman pilot.

Rock Star: Supernova – Week 4 Results

Phil RitchieVoting was up 15%, and singing ability has been ignored for the sake of ratings. I don’t have any problem with the band’s ousting of Phil last night, except that they used a really lame reason to kick him off instead of the outstandingly bad Zayra. Can we just be honest with ourselves? Zayra is still around because she’s better eye candy for the band and the show’s ratings. I haven’t seen such a poor singing performance since Ashlee Simpson’s first SNL visit.

Before we got to the bottom three, though, we had our usual tour of drama through the mansion. The contestants have stopped being nice to Dana, who’s trying her best to act just like the rest of them, but really shouldn’t. It’s not so much that she’s still learning that bothers me, it’s that she doesn’t belong on this show and would be so much better on a different singing show. She’d do well on IDOL, for example. But she’s trying to transform herself for Supernova, which is a mistake. She’s a little girl playing dress up. She’s got major chops, but this isn’t her.

Ryan offered to let Jill grind him anytime, which was somewhat uncomfortable.

But it was Jill who truly dodged a bullet last night. Had she fallen to the bottom three, she would have been out in a heartbeat for telling Supernova that everything in rock and roll has been done already. The band nearly tossed her out right then and there.

Storm Large got the encore. Thanks to Noel for pointing out her website and past associations in the comments yesterday. I looked at her booty-shaking in a whole new light last night.

Tuesday night’s early results had Jill, Zayra, and Josh in the bottom three. Bit Phil and Patrice caught up to them in the overnight voting.

Patrice was the first unlucky one to sing for her life, choosing Radiohead’s “My Iron Lung.” Lukas really likes being the center of attention and lapped it right up when Patrice walked over to him during her performance. Still, I don’t need to see any more of his tongue this season, thanks. Jill looked ticked off during the song. Of course, she was busy pouting for the entire show.

Patrice saved herself with her strong performance. She might have smiled a bit too much, but she still made it all work.

Zayra fell next to the bottom three. Watching her playing to the audience in the faces of the band, though, reminded me of Justin Guarini’s arrogant dismissal of Simon Cowell in the first season of IDOL, something for which he apologized the night after. No, Zayra didn’t apologize. She is, after all, rawk.

She sang Jane’s Addiction’s “I’m Not An Addict.” I didn’t like it, but it doesn’t matter. Every member of the band wants to bonk her, so they’re not getting rid of her any time soon. She’s cannon fodder, but she has her uses for the show for now.

Jill looked like a disgraced French woman waiting in line for her turn at the guillotine throughout the performance, once again.

After Zayra’s performance, Josh got the “All Safe” call.

Phil was the last of the bottom three. He’s a geek. He can’t help it. He has no future with the band. He sang “Smoking Umbrellas” by a group called Failure. That’s not a bright move. Talk about your self-fulfilling prophecies! He did really well with it, though, and the band liked it.

Then, for some reason, they questioned his desire to be with their band and dropped him from the show. I don’t know why they suddenly picked that excuse out of thin air, but they dropped him for it. Phil said it broke his heart, and everyone at home gagged on those words for him.

Phil’s ultimate problem? He doesn’t look as good in blue spandex as Zayra.

Gentlemen, start your engines!

…but only if you swing that way. . .

FOXNews.com – Lance Bass of *NSYNC Reveals He’s Gay

Lance Bass, band member of *NSYNC, says he’s gay and in a “very stable” relationship with a reality show star. Bass, who formed *NSYNC with Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick, tells People magazine that he didn’t earlier disclose his sexuality because he didn’t want to affect the group’s popularity. [...] The singer says he’s in a “very stable” relationship with 32-year-old actor Reichen Lehmkuhl, winner of season four of CBS’ “Amazing Race.” Bass and Fatone, 29, are developing a sitcom pilot inspired by the screwball comedy “The Odd Couple,” in which his character will be gay.

New Babylon 5 to DVD

Babylon 5 logo
[B5JMS] JMS’s Spotlight at SDCC

And there’s something else…WB came to him as they do periodically wanting to do something with B5. They asked if he wanted to do a feature film but JMS declined mainly because he can’t yet picture structuring a B5 movie “…as long as Andreas and Rick insist on staying dead.? Maybe in a year or two he’ll be able to but right now he can’t do something big. What JMS suggested was a bunch of short films—little mini-movies, an anthology show set in the Babylon 5 universe. They said, “Okay.? There’s a network already interested in carrying them but they’re also planned for direct to DVD. This will be “Babylon 5 – The Lost Tales’, a lot of small stories that never made it into the series that he’s rediscovered notes for. And JMS wants no interference, complete creative support – in writing. They said, “Okay.? And JMS wants to direct them. They said, “Okay.? The first will be three individual stories about three of the main characters (to be determined). The plan is to shoot in September, post-production Oct.-Dec. and they’ll probably come out the second quarter of 2007.

More details from JMS at the link.

Rock Star: Supernova – Week Four

Rock Star Supernova BandWe’re down to 12 contestants. And with the show’s tight editing, we’re getting to see more of the Behind The Scenes stuff back at the mansion. That makes me happy. I know it’s available on the web site, but I’m not THAT addicted to this show. Let’s get to the performances, then:

Lukas is a freaky little guy, but he’s good at what he does. He made The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” into the rock song this show requires you to sing. I just wonder why he chose to sing it with the guitar, when he only plays the instrument in the last 30 seconds or so of the performance. I thought the song lost a little momentum in the middle, but I was likely the only one who noticed that. He’s also full of himself — he doesn’t take criticism well. The other contestants at least fake it like they do. Well, most of them do. Then there’s –

Zayra still sucks. On Ice. It’s ridiculous how bad she is. She attempted Blondie’s “Call Me” but couldn’t manage her breathing at all. She was completely out of breath for the last 3/4 of the song, and couldn’t get half the lyrics out without a huff. She was off key, out of tune, and sounded like an amateur. The blue spandex bodysuit thing was just ridiculous. The band seemed to be staring at her in disbelief during the performance, but none of them really mentioned how poorly she sang. Dave Navarro suggested she start a solo career right now. And when Gilby said something bad about it, all she could do was turn to the crowd and ask what they thought. The crowd’s reaction was hardly thunderous. . . It’s a stupid American Idol trick that fails everytime it’s tried, which is why I think she’s toast this week.

Dana is trying to rock herself up, so she went with Nirvana’s “About A Girl.” She’s been taking lessons from Dilana, and it’s obvious. She went with the cliched scary-eye approach that Marty pioneered last year and nearly every contestant has felt the need to use so far this year. She, too, felt the need to hold a guitar throughout the song. It was acoustic, so I suppose it wasn’t completely out of place. She sounded fine. I’m not really one to judge Nirvana songs, since they do nothing for me. Dana definitely has a great voice, but it disappoints me a bit to see her transitioning into a “rawk star” when she could be a very good singer.

Patrice did “Remedy” by The Black Crowes. I don’t get her. She smiles too much. She has little stage presence. She’s almost sweet. I can’t at all picture her leading this band. She’s not memorable, and that might be the worst part of it all. She has a good voice, though.

Toby came back with “White Wedding” from Billy Idol. It started off as an impersonation of the original, I thought, but it got him back to the ugly rock the band wants. I’d love to know what the band is saying to each other during these performances. We always see cuts to them chatting. Their microphones should stay live during the performances, just for fun. It’s all edited – the eff bomb won’t make it to air. . .

Magni did David Bowie’s “Heroes,” which was the slowest song of the night at that point. He also chose to play the guitar as he sang, something that’s quickly becoming an epidemic on the show. The band didn’t like that for some reason that they failed to explain to me. But he had the best reaction to that: “I didn’t want to put on blue spandex and run around.” Ooh, snarky!

Ryan gets a gold star for the night on Live’s “I Alone.” He has definitely listened to the band. His energy level on stage was cranked up to a very high level. He jumped around and didn’t lose his breath or his vocal. He had Dilana dancing like a freak, although I’m sure that’s not terribly hard for her to do. The ending had a weird falsetto thing, but I liked it otherwise. So did the band.

Hey, did you notice that the writers are getting Brooke to make cracks about her constant readings of the phone numbers to call? How cute — she’s showing a pre-programmed personality now. I don’t think she’d be able to ad lib a thing, though.

Jill went with The Rolling Stone’s “Brown Sugar,” doing her best to rub her body up against guitarist Gilby the whole time. Gilby didn’t like it. Tommy Lee did — what a shock. Her skirt was short enough that the front row must have had a heck of a show last night. (She’s not the first with that, mind you. . . ) I did find it ironic that Gilby called Jill “cheap and weak” for her bump and grind, but never says anything to Zayra about her costumes. (Maybe he does and they edit it out?)

Phil has no chance on this show. He’s a weak-looking geek. He’s awkward to watch. He did the Wallflowers song, “One Headlight.” Lukas looked bored, but he always does when he’s not the center of positive attention. I was bored, and I think The Wallflowers are one of the most underrated bands of the past 10-15 years.

Dilana is amazing. She’s the reason I watch the show. You know each week that Dilana’s performance will always stand out. She’s memorable. She does bizarre things. She’s fun to watch. Last night, it was Cindy Lauper’s “Time After Time.” She didn’t rock it up, either. She kept it acoustic and fairly slow for the show, which was a huge risk. But it worked. She’s just that good. She deserves the encore, although I think they’ll wind up giving it to Ryan or Storm.

Josh did a boring rendition of “No Rain” from Blind Melon. It’s time to go back to the jazz stuff, and he’s promising that for next week. Plus, he smiles too much, and his stage presence is fading away. Jason Newsted clearly hated the performance, but we didn’t see any of his comments.

Storm wrapped things up with “Anything, Anything” by Dramarama. She went for the full-blown scary eyes thing with more free shows for the front row thanks to the skirt. Ah, the glories of rock and roll. . . She’s good, but I have a hard time buying “rock star” from her.

The early bottom three is Josh, Jill, and Zayra. I don’t have any problems with that group, but I do think Phil deserves to be there more than Jill, perhaps. Josh has greatest potential, but he needs to find his middle ground (rock versus soul) before he’s right for the show.

I think Zayra might be toast this week.

Rock Star: Supernova – Week Three Comments

I watched last week’s shows after my vacation. Some quick notes:

  • Jenny’s departure was predictable. She’s a good singer, but she’s not a rocker. When she tried to be a rocker on the results show, it wasn’t at all believable to me. She even tried the big wide open scary eyes trick, but it didn’t work.

  • I was shocked at Brooke’s outfit on the same show. She actually covered her entire chest. In a t-shirt! What was wardrobe thinking?!? (Oh, yeah, it had an anti-war message on it. Nevermind.)

  • Lukas wears his full rock star regalia even when he’s just hanging out at the house. There’s no such thing as casual clothes for this man.

  • Magni got the encore performance. He was good, but there were better last week.

  • So we’re not supposed to say “Stone Temple Pilots” anymore? Just “STP”? I missed that memo.

  • I didn’t think Zayra’s “Everybody Hurts” was as good as the band thought it was, but it was definitely her best performance to date. I was shocked she wasn’t wearing black spandex, but the white dress was practically see-through, so it was close enough. And part of me wonders if some of my problems with her voice are related to the way her accent shows through the song. Sometimes, that throws me off. Then I saw her last night, and — well, more on that later.

I’ll be back with a full review of this week’s show a little later. Hold your comments on last night’s show until then. Thanks!

New Releases 25 July 2006

Animaniacs, Vol. 1Sorry for the delay. Today’s my last day of vacation, so I went golfing instead of sitting in front of the computer. Given how I swung the club today, I think I should have stayed behind the computer.

But look what’s coming out this week:

Animaniacs: Vol. 1 Pinky and The Brain: Vol. One

REJOICE! I’m hitting Best Buy tomorrow, for sure.

I saw some of the writers and voice talent for both shows at the San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend. I have pictures and video from that to show all of you. I hope to get to that in the next week. Or, check YouTube. It’s probably already up there from someone else’s digital camera. You can’t beat a live performance of “All The Countries Of The World” by Rob Paulsen. . . (I hope I got that title right.)

La Femme Nikita: Season Four (6-disc set)

Best Buy has a decent sale on all the boxed sets in this series, if you’re so interested.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers: Divimax (1988)

Is “Divimax” supposed to be a new format? Or is that just the latest and greatest way to say, “We’re asking you to buy this for a third time, so here’s a new banner to splash across the top of the box”?

Hudson Hawk: 15th Anniversary Edition (1991)

Wasn’t this thing savaged when it came out? Didn’t it bomb? Or was this one of those movies that was unfairly criticized when it first came out, and now is ready to find its true audience?

Maybe I need to bring back the DVD podcast and retitle it “I Hate The Movie Industry.”

JAG: Season One

What took them so long? It’s CBS’ Little Engine That Could show.

Now, they have NCIS.

Laguna Beach: Season Two

Did you just die when Lauren did that thing she did to that good looking guy, who was really in love with that other blonde chick that he always talked about on the basketball court with that other cute guy with the five o’clock shadow and runway model good looks? Ohmigawd!

Punky Brewster: Season Three

As big a child of the 80s as I am — NO.

Next week: When people ask why I stopped doing the DVD podcast, I’ll be able now to answer it thus: Because I’d have to find something witty to say to put down next week’s release of the direct-to-video “I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer.” Would you wish that on your worst enemy? I didn’t think so.

On the bright side, V FOR VENDETTA is also out next week.