Monday, November 30, 2009

Amazing Race- It Was So (Big) Easy

My favorite duo throughout this season of The Amazing Race has been the pair of Harlem Globetrotters we know as Flight Time and Big Easy. They're fun loving, boisterous at time, and always out for the W. As the weeks have gone on and on it has become more apparent that Big Easy was holding the team back. Whether it was him not being able to paddle a boat, hardly being able to climb a ropes course, or taking forever to find a miniature mandolin at an opera house, he has struggled as of late. Flight Time has not once yelled at him, or fought with him to do better (a rarity for a contestant on a reality show). This week it all came to an end when Big Easy made the worst decision I've seen on the show. It was the biggest mistake, because last season's Jen decided to stop for a bathroom break on her run to the final pit stop, but it was the worst decision in my mind.

First off the dude had five letters...R N A F Z...maybe it is because I watched Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon on Saturday Night Live, or because my dad watched a lot of NYPD Blue when I was a kid, but when I saw those letters, FRANZ was the only think I could see (and I could see it right away). Ok so maybe he wasn't a fan and he couldn't understand that it was that easy, but still there are only so many combinations of letters. So he had been working on it for two hours or so, beside himself with how long it had taken him, and one of the gay brothers finally figures it out. He leaves Big Easy with the fact that it starts with an F. Now he only has four letters to figure out what the answer is, R N A Z. After what the editing made it seem was only a half hour or hour later, he decides to give up and take a FOUR HOUR PENALTY!!!! Are you kidding me?!?! Keep guessing! Sooner or later you SHOULD come up with the right combination of letters to get FRANZ. But no, Big Easy tells Flight Time that he decided to take the penalty and wait the four hours to continue to the next challenge even though he knew they were currently in last place. Flight Time didn't complain about this idea. He encouraged his partner and they went forward with a positive outlook. You gotta be kidding me. These guys, as fun as they were to watch at times, did not deserve to win this thing.

Poolies Watch- Veronica Mars Award

The Veronica Mars Award is given each year to the best female character in a drama series. Last year's winner, Julie Taylor has proven herself to once again be a contender for the award, as has 2009's runner-up Naomi Clark. The other three in the top pack would be receiving their first nomination in the category. Rebecca Logan's Greek switched over from the comedy category, while Ella Simms and Olivia Burke are making their first appearances in any category. Olivia's stint on Gossip Girl was short lived, but she packed a punch in the time she had in NYC.

The Lead Pack
Ella Simms- Melrose Place
Julie Taylor- Friday Night Lights
Naomi Clark- 90210
Olivia Burke- Gossip Girl
Rebecca Logan- Greek

Adrianna Duncan and Betty Draper are currently holding nominations as they did last year, even though most have disliked Betty during this past season. I thoroughly enjoyed everything she brought to the table in Mad Men's third season and I see her as being at the top of this group. Rachel Berry and Sue Sylvester sneak in on the new Glee. As a dramedy, Rachel and Sue have the advantage of bringing funny to a category lacking in it (other than Naomi's random moments).

In for Now
Adrianna Tate-Duncan- 90210
Betty Draper- Mad Men
Karen- Californication
Rachel Berry- Glee
Sue Sylvester- Glee

Both Haley James Scott and Brooke Davis have fallen way down, as the demise of One Tree Hill continues. Haley has an outside chance to get back in the thick of things, as she hasn't had that much screen time. Too much screen time has been the problem for Brooke as her character has done a complete 180 from the first few season and is unbearable to watch now. Watch out for Jess Merriweather of Friday Night Lights. The former best friend of Michelle Tanner has gotten me excited early on in Dillon, Texas.

Outside Looking In
Blair Waldorf- Gossip Girl
Brooke Davis- One Tree Hill
Casey Cartwright- Greek
Haley James Scott- One Tree Hill
Jess Merriweather- Friday Night Lights
Quinn Fabray- Glee
Rebecca Harper- Brothers & Sisters

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

House Steals My Joke

Yeah sure I tend to exaggerate from time to time when speaking of how much I enjoy a show or how much I laughed at a given joke. On this week's episode of House, I literally paused the DVR and laughed out loud for the duration of 2-3 minutes. Finally. Finally, my constant mentioning of how Omar Epps looks exactly like Steelers' head coach Mike Tomlin has paid off. The writers at the esteemed medical drama have the intelligence to realize that they were given a perfect situation of a character/other celebrity look-a-like and a main character that likes to use pop culture to poke fun at his subordinates.

What you end up with is this...

Chase- "What are you so excited about?"
House- "Why wouldn't I be? Got all my starters back, plus a couple of first class free agents. I feel like Mike Tomlin."
(House pauses to stare at Foreman. Camera pans to Foreman staring back at him)
House- "Probably not as much as you do, but you get the idea."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Curb- Seinfeld Reunion and Finale

This week's season finale was not quite up to par with last week's stellar episode. Having said that, I still thoroughly enjoyed almost everything about it. I especially liked that it was 40 minutes long. So much good stuff that they had to extend their normal 25-27 minute range for the second straight week.

Other than getting to actually see another Seinfeld ep (on Larry's tv) the best part of the night was definitely Larry and Jerry's conversation a the party for Jason's book. Jerry stepped up big time and proved why his character on Seinfeld (which is almost identical to his real life persona) is in my top ten characters of all-time. I lost it when he was explaining to Jason that the title of his pamphlet could have also been Acting with Acting. He then ties in the entire convo he had with Larry, by saying to Jason "Having said that, I think this is a terrific title."

Jer also came up huge by doing the LD stare down to LD. Although not as good as the original, Jerry's final burst of bug-eyed stare was fantastic. Final note on Jerry was that I loved his very Seinfeld-esque observation that Larry's unimaginable love for wood meant that when he is at a funeral, he is more concerned for the coffin than the deceased. Classic.

How were the other people on the stage not cracking up at Larry's version of George? It was hilarious.

And final note on the Curb side of things, George doing LD's pretty, pretty, pretty good was also extremely enjoyable to see.

Great season.

Now to all the haters out there that were unhappy with the Seinfeld finale back in 1998. What were and are you thinking? It was a great finale. It did what a finale should do. It summed up the show in a way that gave it a complete ending. Going through and bringing back all the old characters to show how sick and twisted Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer were was both eventful and fulfilling. I would have been extremely unhappy at the time, if the finale had been something like what Curb's Seinfeld ep within an ep was. There was no closure on the characters. In '98 the four guys go to jail because of all of the trouble we've seen them get into. It was a perfect end to a perfect series.

Sepinwall, like most I assume, disagrees...

In fairness, placing this "Seinfeld" reunion in the confines of a "Curb" episode makes it easy for it to stand out. It's all the good bits, none of the plot mechanics: just joke, joke, joke, joke, joke. But what we did see of it, here and in "The Table Read," felt much more along the lines of what the finale should have been: just one last collection of stories involving these four socially maladjusted people.

In a final mini-rant, I'll say that I don't want my series finale to be just like any other episode, which he is basically say here. I want it to be momentous, like the original finale was. Having said that, this reunion ep inside of Curb was great for what it was. A way to get these four actors, and at times characters, together again for one more time in a way that they would all enjoy.

Poolies Watch- Titus Pullo Award

With many of the action shows yet to begin this season, and last year's winner most likely in prison for a long time (Tony Almeida), The Titus Pullo Award (Best Supporting Character in an Action Series) seems to be up for grabs. I currently have Gabriel Sylar and Ben Linus at the top of the heap. Although Heroes has gone way down hill, Sylar's character is still fantastic week in and week out. And then with Linus, I don't know whether he will be here or in lead character this season, but either way he'll be a front runner.

Top of the Heap
Ben Linus- Lost
Gabriel Sylar- Heroes

Next we have four guys currently receiving nominations that we have seen already this season. Eric of True Blood and Cho of Mentalist had and are having a great second season and I am pretty confident in them getting nods come June. Lafayette and Wilson are on thin ice depending on what others bring to the table in 2010.

Those We've Seen
Eric Northman- True Blood
James Wilson- House
Kimball Cho- The Mentalist
Lafayette Reynolds- True Blood

Now we have four dudes that have yet to come on screen this season, but are currently occupying spaces based on previous performances. Captain Awesome and Lester of Chuck have proven to be great comedy, while Desmond and Richard Alpert of Lost make the list for many other reasons. The problem with these two, as with many Lost characters, is that I have no idea how much screen time they will get in the final season. Richard has been lacking in that area most of the time, but I feel we need to hear more of his story this year, and that it will be sweet.

Yet to Come
Desmond Hume- Lost
Devon Woodcomb- Chuck
Lestr Patel- Chuck
Richard Alpert- Lost

There are plenty of worthy characters waiting to grab a spot. There is also the 24 wildcard, since they have so many new characters from year to year. And if Jacob sees any kind of a larger role in Lost, he could have the potential to jump up (that is if he isn't also dead). Also there is the slight chance that I catch up on Sons of Anarchy and they have anyone worth while in the category.

Outside Looking In
Andy Bellefleur- True Blood
Big Mike- Chuck
Jeff Barnes- Chuck
Sam Sullivan- Heroes
Stan Wedeck- Flash Forward
Steve Newlan- True Blood
Wayne Rigsby- The Mentalist

Friday, November 20, 2009

Survivor Samoa- Week 10

After getting yelled at by Lar for having nothing to say about the greatest episode in Survivor history last week, I'll have a bit more to say about what was the second fantastic episode in a row. In what started out as a pretty boring season, the past two eps have picked up a notch.

First of all I can't stop thinking about how fantastic last week's tribal council was when Russell used the hidden idol to perfection to save himself. Great move by a great guy. When Probst announces that the idol will go back into the game, I would have bet $1,000 right then and there that Russell would find it again. Fast forward to this week. The winning reward team receives a clue that the idol is under a rock. As soon as they get back to camp, Russell is on the prowl. Bald Dave starts following him like a crazy man. Russ finds a rock he thinks is it but sprints off through the woods to lose Dave. He then comes back to the rock and what do ya know, there is his third idol of the season. Are the producers helping this guy? Or is he really this good?

Jaison continues to prove how he is the worst. His little tent conversation with I think Monica (could've been some other former Galu) was painful. He tells her that they have five people voting with them. "I can't tell you who it is, but we have five. The fifth person knew what was going on at last tribal council." What a complete idiot. Like it isn't completely obvious that he's talking about Shambo. She's been on the outs with former Galu since the beginning, and you think giving her up to Monica will help in any way? You're dumb. There goes Monica running back to the rest of old Galu to tell them about it.

Finally we get to what was maybe more of an exhilarating tribal council than last week. Everyone in the tribe and the viewers knew it was going to be a 5-5 tie. Is this tie rule new, or were there no ties the past two seasons? After a tie, they take out the two that were voted on (Laura and Natalie) and the other eight re-vote. If it is a 4-4 tie, the remaining eight draw rocks and the odd man out leaves the game. What?!? Why would you risk it to the hands of a 1-8 chance of going home?! Switch your vote please! And the man that I have grown to enjoy and respect over the past couple of weeks, John, did the right thing. He switched his vote from Natalie to Laura and now will be on the side with a 6-4 advantage.

Fantasy Results

The Technotronics

W. Russell-W10 (46), Reward (4)= 50
B. Russell-
Monica- W10 (46)= 46
Natalie- W10 (46), Reward (4), Votes (-20)= 30
Week 10= 126

Canon Controversy

John- W10 (46)= 46
Jaison- W10 (46)= 46
Dave- W10 (46), Reward (4)= 50
Week 10= 142
Total= 631

Freecell Makes Me Wanna

W10 (46), Im (20)= 66
Brett- W10 (46)= 46
Laura- Reward (4), Votes (-20)= -16
Week 10= 96
Total= 602

Sweet Niblets

Shambo- W10 (46)= 46
Week 10= 46
Total= 399

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Heroes- Nathan/Sylar Is Making My Brain All Kooky

As my cousin Mikey would say...This whole thing with Nathan and Sylar's bodies and minds switching around is making my brain all kooky. When Nathan's mind inside of Sylar's body touched Sylar's mind inside of Parkman's body, Nathan should have been deleted completely right? Or at least suppressed. If the result of the hand touch wasn't Sylar just pretending to act like Nathan for an extended period of time so that he could kill Peter, then I have absolutely no idea what is going on anymore. I lost faith in Heroes a while ago, but this is just getting awful.

Nice little round table question from TVFanatic that fits in nicely.

If Sylar is back inside his body now, why does Nathan still act and think like Nathan?
M.L. House: I'll give someone $10 if he/she can explain what actually took place in Parkman's hospital room. Ready... go!

Dr. Shepherd: I have no idea.

The Barnacle: Stop! You're making my head hurt. Can't we all just mourn Nathan's death next week... even though, you know, he already died last season.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Curb- Leon Whites That Sh*t Up

The penultimate episode of this season of Curb Your Enthusiasm did not disappoint. All of the waiting for the Seinfeld action was worth it. Seeing all of the old Seinfeld sets and having the extraneous characters (Banya, Estelle) at the table read was fantastic. The only Seinfeld-related character that continues to disappoint me is Jason Alexander. He just is so far less funny than George it's not even fair. Jerry is Jerry, Julia and Michael are slightly less funny than their on screen alter egos, but Jason has just been blahh from what I've seen.

Watching Jerry, Julia and Wayne Knight (Newman) rehearse was unbelievable television. Now I'm the type of guy who like to watch the credits of a movie so I can see the outtakes when the actors start laughing. I enjoy when people on Saturday Night Live start to laugh during a sketch. And I love when Jimmy Fallon laughs at his own jokes during the monologue of Late Night. Watching Jerry, Julia, Wayne and Larry cracking up at their own scene for about five minutes was just gold.

Leon knocked this episode out of the park. From his pretending to be white, to his cracking up at the Seinfeld rehearsal, he was perfect. As he pretends to be a Jewish Danny Duberstein and told Michael Richards that he had three bar mitzvahs with a stone cold face, I lost it. As he searched for the reason that he beat Groats disease, all he could think of was the hat on his head? Unbelievable. Leon whited that sh*t the f*ck up. He then goes on to kill it when he watches Jerry, Julia and Wayne rehearse on the set. He is cracking up all over the place because he's never seen Seinfeld before. As Newman stands at the entrance to Jerry's apartment Leon loses it. Fantastic.

I'm extremely excited for the finale.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Poolies Watch- Arthur Spooner Award

In what was a stacked, and pretty wide open category in the inaugural Poolie Awards, the Arthur Spooner Award seems even more so this year. Kevin Malone and Andy Bernard from The Office finished top two in 2008-09, but this year Andy, if not both of them, are hanging on for dear life in my book. My four leaders at this point were not nominated a year ago. One of them, Leon Black, was simply a huge oversight on my part last time. The next, Robby Ray Stewart, was not in my wheelhouse last year. Andy Dwyer from Parks and Rec has taken on a much bigger role in the second season and has shined. Finally, Manny from Modern Family is having an unbelievable first season on a fantastic new show.

Leading the Way
Andy Dwyer- Parks and Recreation
Leon Black- Curb Your Enthusiasm
Manny Delgado- Modern Family
Robby Ray Stewart- Hannah Montana

Honestly, I could see anyone in the next 12 making the list come season's end, but for now I have these six as the nominated ones. I assume Kevin and Kenneth will make the cut, because they are mainstays of their respective comedy juggernauts, but the rest of these guys could go either way at this point.

In for Now
Abed Nadir- Community
Andy Bernard- The Office
Cameron Tucker- Modern Family
Kenneth Parcell- 30 Rock
Kevin Malone- The Office
Max Russo- Wizards of Waverly Place

The fact that these guys are on the outside looking in, is truly a testament to how good this category has been this year. Pierce Hawthorne and Jerry Seinfeld have come on really strong recently in Community and Curb, respectively. Meanwhile Stevie Janowski from Eastbound is a product of his show not being on the air yet. He could skyrocket once it comes back on.

Outside Looking In
Frank Rossitano- 30 Rock
Jerry Seinfeld- Curb Your Enthusiasm
Mitch Brooks- Gary Unmarried
Pierce Hawthorne- Community
Stevie Janowski- Eastbound & Down
Tommy Brooks- Gary Unmarried

Although ultimately I have the final say on nominations, I definitely need some help with this one. All suggestions will be considered. Who do you like?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

SNL- January Jones and Kathy Lee Gifford

Granted there was a lot of this given episode that was pretty bland, but nothing made me want to kill myself this week like Taylor Swift did last time. January Jones messing up her lines was actually an improvement over Swift's dry, terrible acting. Jason Sudeikis was all over this ep, which is always a good thing, but Fred Armisen was noticeably absent, which is not. The digital short was not funny. I kept on waiting for it to change gears, but they just kept going with the same bit the entire time. The whole episode I was waiting for my boy, Josh Duhamel to pop in a sketch, but it never happened. Oh now you stop bringing people's famous boyfriends on! Highlight of the ep was definitely Kristen Wiig's Kathy Lee Gifford. She is always fantastic. Jenny Slate is no where close to as good as Michaela Watkins was as the sidekick, Hota Kotb.

Survivor Samoa- Week 9

Decided to throw in a new rule. If you successfully use the immunity idol to save yourself your vote points get nullified and you get an extra 10 points. Given that, I'm going to also subtract 5 points if you use it when it was unnecessary. Since Russell has done both in the past two weeks, he gets and extra 5 points.

Fantasy Results

The Technotronics

W. Russell-W9 (37), Idol (5)= 42
B. Russell-
Monica- W9 (37), Reward (4)= 41
Natalie- W9 (37)= 37
Week 9= 120

Canon Controversy

John- W9 (37), Reward (4)= 41
Jaison- W9 (37)= 37
Dave- W9 (37), Reward (4)= 41
Week 9= 119
Total= 489

Freecell Makes Me Wanna

W9 (37)= 37
Brett- W9 (37)= 37
Laura- W9 (37), Im (20)= 57
Week 9= 131
Total= 506

Sweet Niblets

Kelly- Reward (4), Votes (-16)= -12
Shambo- W9 (37), Reward (4)= 41
Week 9= 29
Total= 353

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Something Really Stupid by Bill Simmons

Basically, he's played fewer than six quality seasons … but those seasons were so good, when you throw in three Super Bowl trips, the 1999 MVP, (potentially) four 4,000-yard seasons and whatever might happen in the next two or three years, he's a lock for the Hall of Fame. I have a feeling future generations will be confused, much like I'm confused every time I look at Joe Namath's stats. Has there ever been a more overrated legend? I know his knees went on him early, but he finished with 173 touchdowns, 220 interceptions and a 65.5 QB rating. He played in three playoff games total. His career record was 62-63-4. And he gets lumped in with Montana, Elway and everyone else? Really?

He has to be joking right? Has anyone ever lumped Joe Namath in with Montana and Elway? I've never heard it in my 24 years of life. It's not surprising to see that his stats are bad, because all I've ever heard about him was that he was a superstar in New York that was very charismatic. Never anything about him being a great quarterback. I put at least 20-25 quarterback ahead of him.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wednesday Wisdom- Wheelin' With Himself

Glad to have Glee back, especially when it is mostly about the students and less about Shue's marriage problems. I'm also thankful there was an extreme lack of Emma this week. How 'bout that musical number by Artie? Billy Idol's Dancing With Myself. Obviously it could never compare to Al Dukes' version, I Just Shot Myself (about Plaxico Burress), but it was fantastic none the less. Then we get to the issue of the diva-off between Rachel and Kurt. Sure this dude can say that he took a dive all he wants, but before that last note, Rachel was killing him any way. His voice sounds really weird and it wasn't working with the song at all.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tuesday Tidings- Silver's Half-Birthdays

So Silver celebrates half birthdays because her mom always let her down on her birthday. I'm on board with this. I like that they have kept up with the history of the original show, in the fact that Jackie Taylor was always a mess. Here in lies the problem. They can't even go along with the history of the first season of the new 90210. Naomi complains that Silver doesn't want to celebrate her half birthday for the first time?!? All during season one, these two girls despised each other. I know for a fact that these two didn't have a half birthday party with each other during sophomore year. I'm just speculating but I believe their mutual hatred started a bit earlier than the first season. I bet there were plenty of half birthdays that Naomi wasn't a part of.

What a gut punch at the end of the episode. Is Jackie Taylor actually dead? It's been a long and winding road for Jackie on both Beverly Hills, 90210 and 90210. I'll be sad if Kelly doesn't get another interaction with her before her death. By the way, what the heck are they doing with Kelly on this show. She comes on once every five episodes? Pretty bootleg if you ask me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday Musings- Serena In the Workplace

Gossip Girl
Obviously the Jenny and Eric parts were brutal, but let's talk about something important. How does Serena get a job as an aide to a Senator or Congressman? Whatever Tripp is, he shouldn't be taking on recently graduated high school students to be a part of his staff. And then he claims that Serena deserves this job/opportunity? Why? Because she graduated from high school and skipped out on going to Brown? She frolicked through Europe with God knows who. This is the person that deserves a well respected job, that a college graduate would kill for? I don't get it. Chuck I understand. He inherited his father's company and has millions of dollars, he can do what he wants. Serena is rich sure, but it's not her money. She should really educate herself before trying to get jobs in the real world.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sunday Speculations- LD Happens to Enjoy Wearing Women's Panties

Mad Men
I've said it before, but I have finally turned a corner with the show that gets rave reviews. This week was the season three finale and it again didn't disappoint. The Sterling Cooper storyline is exactly the type of workplace plot that I can enjoy. Most of the garbage they pour in doesn't do it for me. But Don, Roger and Bert getting Lane to fire them so they can start over with a new company? Very enjoyable to watch. Gathering all of the members of the former Sterling Cooper that they wanted to bring along with them was classic, and as they started Sterling Cooper Draper Price in the confines of a New York City Hotel room, I only had one concern.

Knowing Mad Men the way I do, I would not be surprised if they skip ahead a bunch of time between the third and fourth seasons. We will come back and S-C-D-P will be a well oiled machine and we wouldn't have gotten to watch the whole first year of its existence. This group of people, trying to scrounge everything together in the first couple months of the new company, could be some of the best television Mad Men could put out. I just don't see that happening come season four.

Curb Your Enthusiasm
As we continue to get closer to the Seinfeld Reunion, which I realize will now only be two episodes worth, I am loving the Seinfeldless Curb so much. I wonder if the last two eps are going to ruin what has been a fantastic season. I'm left with three words/phrases from this week's ep...Officer Krupke, women's panties, lemonade. 'Nuff said.

Actually not enough. There is no way someone who is a cop with the name Krupke would not have been told about the West Side Story thing before. I love that LD is the type of guy that sees Office Krupke and then just starts singing the song to no end the rest of the episode.

Larry's frankness is easily his best quality. After sipping the lemonade that the children just charged him a dollar for, he just blurts out, "This is awful!" Later on the kids' mom confronts LD with "Some guy came over and started making fun of their lemonade...was that you per chance?" Larry firmly raises his hand and states that he was "Guilty." Second best "Guilty" I've ever heard (first was Ben Stiller in Starsky and Hutch).

As Jeff is relaying to LD the excuse he told Susie about why he had women's panties in his glove box, he is stone cold when he claims that "Larry likes wearing panties." He thinks this actually made sense as an excuse to his wife. The continuation of Jeff harping on Larry to think to himself, "I'm Larry David, and I happen to enjoy wearing women's panties" worked out fantastically in the end. LD's execution of that very same line, with his pants around his ankles, was fantastic.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Poolies Watch- The Noah Hunter Award

Last year's Noah Hunter Award was a two-man Entourage race. This year I've moved Johnny Drama up to main character status so Ari Gold is the front-runner for the 2010 honor. Of the guys I have definitely accepting a nomination to challenge Ari, I personally like Mark Sloan the best, but think Landry Clarke has the best chance based on how many voters watch FNL. Although, Grey's has gotten so much worse over the years, Sloan has been one of the few bright spots.

Ari Gold- Entourage
Dale Kettlewell- Greek
Landry Clarke- Friday Night Lights
Mark Sloan- Grey’s Anatomy
Nate Archibald- Gossip Girl
Roger Sterling- Mad Men

As they say in whist (after you win the second trick and have nothing to lead with)...Here's where it gets tricky. I've placed Bored to Death in the drama category, but I'm still thinking about putting it in comedy. I know it is a comedy, but so is Entourage. Ted Danson's George Christopher is almost guaranteed a spot, but not quite. Teddy Montgomery is in unless he continues to use terrible dialogue with the surfer chick week after week. Dan Scott and Puck are the two closes to the edge here. If somebody from FNL steps it up, one of them might lose out.

In For Now
Dan Scott- One Tree Hill
George Christopher- Bored to Death
Noah Puckerman- Glee
Teddy Montgomery- 90210

Now for those that are close but not quite in as of now. Is this a stacked category? I love some of these dudes. Jamie Scott has gone down hill since his first arrival in Tree Hill (he also got kinda fat...what's that about). Clay is a new arrival, but been good so far. The Beav gets so little screen time at the Kappa Tau house that it's tough to make an impact. And again, I'm assuming one of the dudes from Dillon is gonna step his game up and get a nomination.

Outside Looking In
Beaver- Greek
Buddy Garrity- Friday Night Lights
Clayton Dawson- One Tree Hill
Evan Chambers- Greek
Jamie Scott- One Tree Hill
JD McCoy- Friday Night Lights
Vince/Luke- Friday Night Lights

Who else deserves some love?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

SNL- Taylor Swift, Scared Straight

I knew that this was a bad idea as soon as it was announced, but then I thought maybe the people at Saturday Night Live knew something that I didn't. Maybe this singer, who had done one episode of CSI, was a perfect choice to host this weeks show. Alas my original thought that she would be terrible was correct. That's not to take anything away from this week's episode, because everyone was else was terrific, and there were some great moments. Taylor Swift was bland, boring and definitely couldn't act. On the positive side for Taylor, I liked her music. Both songs were good, the first one I had heard before. By the way, how do they think to go with a young singer as musical guest/host and not pick Miley?!? She would be fantastic on SNL...I'm just saying. Also it was funny that one guitarist in her band had the Kate Gosselin haircut, and they played shortly after the jokes about Gosselin's hair on The View sketch.

The View sketch was decent as always, with Fred Armisen killing it with the "Who cares?" "So whats", but why did they bring Andy on as Nic Cage for like two seconds?

There were three recurring sketches this week. Penelope and Nicholas Fehn both have run into the same problem. I enjoyed them the first couple times they were on, but the same thing over and over again has worn out the comedy. The exact same format every single time they do it just gets tiresome. Now you may want to call me a hypocrite, but Kenan can do the exact same thing every time he does Scared Straight, and I would fall to the ground laughing each and every time. Without a doubt it is climbing the charts as my favorite recurring sketch of all time on SNL. Don't get me wrong the addition of Taylor Swift greatly hurt this week's rendition, but anything Kenan said was solid gold.

Other parts I hated...Roomies. Sometimes annoying doesn't come across as funny. It comes across as annoying. New cast member Nasim Pedrad and Swift were brutal in this one, as Andy Samberg was relegated to sitting there with no good material. Swing and a miss. And then we had the always terrible Really with Seth and Amy?! How are they still doing this? Hasn't every person on the street gone up to every SNL castmember and writer and told them that this makes them want to throw up every time they see it? No? Some people actually like this? What a joke.

Last two sketches that I enjoyed a good amount. The Firelight trailer. We all know I love a good fake trailer. This was funny just from seeing commercials and previews for Twilight. I imagine it must have been even funnier if you had seen the movie. Am I right JJ? (boom!) And then we had the Swine Fever commercial. Just watch below and enjoy.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thursday Thoughts- Dot Com at Wesleyan

Flash Forward
My first thought from this week's episode came when Demetri and the Famous Jet Jackson started talking about Madden and how one of them used to dominate the other. Or cheat as the other one put it. So by cheating he meant that he used Michael Vick right? Because that is as good as cheating. Oh let me drop back to pass and then run as fast as I can around the corner with my 99 speed. If there were a way to control every defender it may have been able to be prevented, but alas that was never possible. What a jerk. No using the Falcons in any Madden game of the Vick era.

My next thought of the ep was all about the Famous Jet Jackson (Al Gough). I was excited that they were starting to use him in a more major role. Boy was I disappointed by the end of it. His attitude to get into the club was awesome. I'm gonna be alive in my flash forward, bullet or not bullet. I kept getting angrier and angrier at the characters in this show, as they continued to talk about the future like it couldn't be changed. And then Jet had to go and do exactly what I was thinking. He jumps off the top of the FBI building and therefore screws with his future.

Is this as big a game changer as I imagine it could be? Does him taking his own life change just that ladies life the he accidentally killed at some point in the future? Or does it have a ripple effect that changes everything on Earth? Is that why Beardy's daughter shows up at his place at the end of the ep? 'Cause in his flash it seemed like he was seeing her for the first time. No?

30 Rock
Why does the blatant product placement work in 30 Rock, while it could nowhere else? This week's love affair with Cysco Systems was fantastic. They worked it in many times and the super-obvious effect worked on me every time. Oh then there was also the Winter Olympic Games plug that Jack seemed to mention to the camera only. Still, it was funny.

If I knew that Dot Com was in plays at Wesleyan, I would've driven down the street and checked it out. Since when did we know his name was Walter? Did they just sneak it in there? I love when Grizz or Dot Com have bigger roles in the episodes.

Jeff/Abed storyline: fantastic. Annie/Troy storyline: brutal. Pierce/Vaughn storyline: also fantastic. Very little Britta this week. Another positive. Jeff opening up to the finer side of eating cereal and watching non-stop television was great, but of course it was Abed that brought it all together. Guy has been fantastic so far in this first season. I've never enjoyed Troy, but now he has to bring Annie down with him. She was up and down there for a while, but has been pretty annoying recently.

Major question of the week. How did the casting/writing go down for the character of Vaughn? Did they cast the character looking for an actor with small nipples? Or was it that once they found Eric Christian Olsen to play the part, they realized he had tiny nipples and figured they could use that in some way? I'm not sure, but he's been a great guest spot.

Survivor Samoa- Week 8

Out of nowhere Erik starts running his mouth throughout the entire tribal council. We don't get to see nearly enough of what happens behind the scenes. It doesn't make it entertaining if we have no understand why he starts going nuts.

Fantasy Results

The Technotronics

W. Russell-W8 (29), Merge (8)= 37
B. Russell-
Monica- W8 (29), Merge (8)= 37
Natalie- W8 (29), Merge (8)= 37
Week 8= 111

Canon Controversy

John- W8 (29), Merge (8), Im (20)= 57
Jaison- W8 (29), Merge (8), Votes (-8)= 29
Dave- W8 (29), Merge (8)= 37
Week 8= 123
Total= 370

Freecell Makes Me Wanna

W8 (29), Merge (8)= 37
Brett- W8 (29), Merge (8)= 37
Laura- W8 (29), Merge (8), Im (20)= 57
Week 8= 131
Total= 375

Sweet Niblets

Erik- Merge (8), Votes (-40)= -32
Kelly- W8 (29), Merge (8)= 37
Shambo- W8 (29), Merge (8)= 37
Week 8= 42
Total= 324

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wednesday Wisdom- Send Saracen to School

Friday Night Lights
If this Vince kid needs to stay out of trouble, why is he forced to play football when he's never done it before. From the shots he was taking on the playground, it would seem that playing on the basketball team would make more sense. No?

If they're just gonna drag this Saracen storyline along with him continuing to hate community college art class and interning for this dirty old man, I'm going to get angry that they didn't just let him leave at the end of last season. How bout a clean break? Got into Chicago Art School. Boom! He's gone. Makes more sense than if he fights through this time and ends up leaving for art school anyway.

How come people don't ever argue in ways that make sense on tv? Tami complains to Coach T about him having the mailbox up in that open field while he was coaching at Dillon. How is his immediate response not, "Actually I had no idea it was there. It was probably the boosters." Case closed. No fight. Instead he runs around his answer, complaining that she jumps down his throat right when he gets in the door. Being defensive for no reason isn't a good way to keep things civil.

From Sepinwall-
last week's cameo by Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha as the cop who introduced Eric to Vince.
--How did I not notice this? JJ would have my head on a platter if he found out.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tuesday Tidings- V for Visitors

ABC continued their move to try and beat out NBC as my favorite station with the introduction of V this week. With 30 Rock, The Office and Chuck and Friday Night Lights against Lost, Modern Family, Flash Forward and now could be a tough call down the road.

At the root of any overly intriguing show is an epic event to start things off. There was THE plane crash in Lost. More recently, the worldwide blackout in Flash. And on this week's V there was the earthquake-like moment when the Visitors first arrived in every major city on Earth in gigantic spaceships. Fantastic.

The one negative I have from the first ep, is how quickly they moved from the initial contact by the Visitors and Three Weeks Later. That is a lot to move past so quickly. Those early moments seem integral in understanding how people are dealing with the situation. I personally would have liked to seen what went on during those three weeks.

There was some great direction in this pilot. The back-and-forth action between Anna and Double Dragon (Scott Wolf)'s interview that portrayed the Visitors positively, and the other dude's inspiring, negative rant about everything these aliens were actually up to was really well done.

I love the idea that the Visitors have already been on Earth and they are all around. It feels very Terminator-esque, especially with T-time (Morris Chestnut) and his being a good Visitor. Can any of them actually be good? Will there always be that thought in the back of people's minds that they're not us? Like Sarah Connor always felt about Cameron in Terminator: TSCC?

Why would you only bring Steve the Pirate (Alan Tudyk) in for the pilot? He had a great rapport with Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) and I would've liked to seen where that went throughout the first season.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Monday Musings- Once Upon a Time in Good Heroes

This week's semi-season finale was less than epic. By all means a quality ep, but last week's Cappie/Casey get together seemed more like a finale than this one did. What I continue to enjoy about Greek is the underrated writing habits. My favorite is the way they can hammer a joke into the ground and then find a way to turn it on its head and get so much more out of it.

This season Casey's sort-of nemesis, Catherine, used the phrase 'moving on' in every way possible. She would say it rudely to make her points clear, but Casey finally had enough and used it back at her. Classic.

The growth of the joke that Evan is not funny keeps getting better and better. This week it was portrayed through the fact that Evan knows that something is wrong when Cappie laughs at his joke.

Just when I thought that Heroes couldn't get any worse, they go and do something like this week's episode....and totally redeem themselves!!! Now I'm not usually one who enjoys an ep that brings the story nowhere and totally diverts from the plot of the season, but 'Once Upon a Time In Texas' was definitely an exception. Seeing the same scenes that we saw back in season one, in a different fashion, was fantastic. It was extremely nostalgic to a go back to a time when Heroes was actually a great show. To see Sylar and Hiro both in the early stages of their season one heroics was great. But to have future Hiro there, overseeing the whole thing...whew. Awesome! On the flip pointless was the Noah story with this random chick? Just bad.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sunday Speculations- Wes Andersonian Bored to Death

Bored To Death
I wish I had caught up on Bored to Death by last Sunday, because that ep was the best of the season. This week's was good, but The Case of the Stolen Sperm didn't compare to The Case of the Beautiful Blackmailer.

My first thought after watching the first couple episodes...very Wes Anderson-esque. The dry, subtle comedy felt like a mixture of Bottle Rocket and Rushmore. The lead character, Jason Schwartzman's Jonathan Ames, is somewhere between Schwartzman's Max Fischer of Rushmore and Luke Wilson's Anthony of Bottle Rocket to me. As a fan of Wes Anderson's films, I have enjoyed Bored to Death thus far. My favorite Wes Andersonian part from this week's ep was when Ames quickly bought flowers at the market handed them to his ex-girlfriend, stated, "You forgot these," and ran away. So good.

With basically three major characters, each one of them brings something completely different to the table. Ted Danson is having a great season, shining as Ames's boss here, and having a stellar episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm a while back. In The Beautiful Blackmailer, Danson's George Christopher was fantastic at being stoned and funny, something the third dude has failed to do thus far.

Zach Galifianakis plays Ames's best friend Ray. Although he didn't excel in the pot smoking scene with George, Ray has had his moments early in the season, but doesn't come close to the other two guys in my opinion.

Final note...It's really getting ridiculous that Hollywood keeps stealing my brothers' ideas. First it was T-time's tv show about fantasy football and now it is JJ's idea that it is funny to order a cheeseburger- no cheese. The kid has been ordering that way since he was 10, and it's never not funny. My personal favorite is the Big Mac with cheese, no cheese.

Amazing Race
Flight Time and Big Easy continue to shine as two of the best contestants I've seen on The Amazing Race. Last week they were berating a girl that was afraid to go down a water slide, and this week they were just getting down with some Dutch Dancing. They're fun, they're competitive and they've got a chance to win this thing.

These poor poker playing girls. I've hated them since the beginning, so it was nice to see them finally get eliminated this week. The, what do you call it? Road Block? When the teams have to choose one task or another. These two weak girls had no chance at either thing and it was hilarious. First it was a long hole of Dutch Golf, in which they had to finish in eight strokes...They didn't get halfway down the fairway in eight strokes. The other side of the Road Block began with one of those carnival games where you slam down the mallet to ring the bell. After over 70 tries, the girls finally gave up. The part that had me screaming at the tv was that they weren't even trying to swing the mallet hard! It was like watching Zoolander in the coal mines they were acting so dainty with that thing. Embarrassing.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Poolies Watch- Frank Pembleton Award

This is a tough category to judge at this lead character in an action series. The big guns, Lost, Chuck and 24, won't start until mid-season. My vote is always gonna be for Sawyer in this category, but with the transfer of House to action, there is a solid Big Four of characters behind him that are the focal point of their respective shows.

Main Men
Chuck Bartowski- Chuck
Greg House- House
Jack Bauer- 24
James 'Sawyer' Ford- Lost
Patrick Jane- The Mentalist

So far in this season of Heroes, Sylar has taken a bit of a back seat, so I moved him to the supporting category for now. The next five spots are really open for the taking. I see both of the Chuck characters, Casey and Morgan, holding spots. Also whoever takes a main role in Lost's final season will probably get a nod (Hurley, Linus, Locke, etc.)

In for Now
Hugo Reyes- Lost
John Casey- Chuck
John Locke- Lost
Morgan Grimes- Chuck
Noah Bennett- Heroes

Who will challenge for the final spots? Which characters from Flash Forward have been good so far? Who do the Fringe Boys like these days? Peter? That bald headed dude? Any other Losties gonna make a run? We shall see...

Outside Looking In
Demetri Noh- Flash Forward
Hiro Nakamura- Heroes
Jason Stackhouse- True Blood
Mark Benford- Flash Forward
Sayid Jarrah- Lost

Who else is out there?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bi-Monthly Power Rankings- Curb and FNL Move Up

After two months of the television season finished, here is the second power rankings of the year...

Honorable Mentions (Last Time)

Bored to Death- (-) Sundays on HBO
Community- (-) Thursdays on NBC
Flash Forward- (-) Thursdays on ABC
Gary Unmarried- (HM) Wednesdays on CBS
Glee- (-) Wednesdays on FOX
Survivor- (15) Thursdays on CBS

20. Californication- (-) Sundays on Showtime

19. Gossip Girl- (HM) Mondays on The CW

18. Hannah Montana- (16) Sundays on Disney

17. Mad Men- (HM) Sundays on AMC

16. The Mentalist- (17) Thursdays on CBS

15. Greek- (14) Mondays on ABC Family

14. House- (12) Mondays on FOX

13. American Idol- (10) Tuesdays on FOX

12. Wizards of Waverly Place- (19) Fridays on Disney

11. 90210- (20) Tuesdays on The CW

10. Modern Family- (-) Wednesdays on ABC

9. True Blood- (8) Sundays on HBO

8. Big Brother- (7) Summer on CBS

7. 24- (5) Mondays on FOX

6. The Office- (4) Thursdays on NBC

5. Friday Night Lights- (9) Wednesdays on DirecTV

4. 30 Rock- (2) Thursdays on NBC

3. Chuck- (3) Mondays on NBC

2. Curb Your Enthusiasm- (6) Sundays on HBO

1. Lost- (1) Wednesdays on ABC

Dropped Out: One Tree Hill, Heroes, Rules of Engagement, Entourage, Amazing Race

Other Poolie's Perspective- T-time on the League

Here is what T-time had to say about The League on his blog, Solomons Lines...

Television isn't typically what this blog is about, but in this case, a show about fantasy football is appropriate to talk about. The League premiered this week, and while pilots are often not as good as the show turns out to be, this one has some glaring problems that seen like they will continue. As with most sitcoms, this one will live or die on its actors and writers. The league is effectively mediocre in both categories. It will never be a 30 Rock, but it is a bit snappier than a CBS sitcom. I'll continue to watch, but mostly for the subject matter.

However, it is the subject matter that is the biggest problem with this show. Most of the jokes fall into two categories: the guys take fantasy football way too serious, and the guys don't know anything about fantasy football. This strains my suspension of disbelief too far. We're supposed to believe these guys are willing to make career decisions and kidnap kids to do well in FF but are not willing to sit down and spend 2 hours preparing for their draft, or god forbid, buy a magazine.

When The Office referenced fantasy football with an illogical reference a few years back(noone would have ever traded a top rb for defense) it was acceptable. You don't expect them to know what they are talking about. But when your show is about fantasy football, you should probably know a little about it. It as if the writers of The Office knew so little about offices they had everyone sitting on futons and using typewriters.

Some of these jokes would have worked say 6-7 years ago, when it was much harder to get information about fantasy football. Without 24 coverage on major networks and free draft kits on every sports website, I would buy jokes like the kid being the Oracle. Not now. It is just too easy to obtain reliable fantasy tips. It reminds me of something Bill Simmons was saying the other day. On his podcast, he was complaining that fantasy football is all luck now. He couldn't be more wrong about this. What has happened, is that his advantage has disappeared. 7 years ago, he had a distinct advantage over his friends that did not have sports related jobs. He had a lot more information at his disposal. Now all of his competitors can catch up in a few hours the week before the draft by Reading Berry, Karabell or whoever. The extremely lazy can just use ESPN's projections and really be just as well off as a sports columnist. It's not luck, just an even playing field. Getting back to The League, the landscape has changed, and some of these jokes don't work, if they ever would have.

Now if, I were to make a show about fantasy football, and I did have this idea a while back(it was going to be titled Keepers) I would make some of the characters way to into it. I would have a character or two that was not well informed,(you do want the jokes that are thus provided) but that character would definitely not be that into it.(yes, I have put substantially more thought into Keepers than is probably good for anyone.)

While decidedly mediocre in most elements, the show fails miserably in a few key areas. But in the end, I'm going to keep watching for a while, which is really what they were going for in the first place.