Wednesday, March 31, 2010

V- Building an Army

Erica Evans- "She has my son. If I have to cross a line to blow that bitch out of the sky, I will."

ABC would really like one of its two new sci-fi action series to fill the void left by LOST next season. I don't think that Flash Forward will be back for a second season, let alone be able to fill that niche hole they thought it could. What gives V a much better chance at doing it? The same thing gravitated people towards LOST in the early going. There wasn't all of this massive plot twists and mythology when LOST began. It was about a bunch of characters stuck on an island that the audience grew to care about.

While watching tonight's return of V I realized that they were able to get me to care much more about Erica, Ryan, etc. in only four episodes than Flash Forward could get me to give a flying cuss about that main guy, his wife or that other dude. Sure some of the character development of V has been of the negative variety (wussy Tyler Evans and Father Jack) but at least they're making me have feelings for them. I could care less what happens to pregnant lesbian or beardy on Flash.

Maybe it's because of my affinity for Juliet from LOST, but I really want to see Erica do well. And if that means saving her terrible son from the clutches of the V spaceship than so be it. Her "She has my son. If I have to cross a line to blow that bitch out of the sky, I will" was a fantastic moment and I love seeing her get after it.

Now all this isn't without plenty of plot and action by these great characters. Erica is after all an FBI agent with a gang of resisters out to dismantle these pseudo friendly aliens inhabiting the Earth. Between the underground Fifth Column movement that has been set in stone years beforehand and the V's R6 DNA tagging system now put into place, there are plenty of story lines put into place to make you wonder what will happen next.

An added bonus? You get completely awesome scenes like Ryan rolling his eye back into his head, revealing that he has an evil snake like eye ball and admitting, "Yeah I'm one of them...but I'm not with them." Oh and when Anna decides she needs an army to combat the rebellion building on Earth, she simply finds the best physical specimen she can, consummates with him for about 20 seconds and then releases her teeth to devour the dude whole. Ridiculous.

LOST- Dawdling With the Kwons

The Package was easily the best of episode of the season!!! No of course it wasn't. It was probably the worst. Like almost all of those before it, this Kwon-centric episode, was as boring and lackluster as LOST gets. Their sideways story was less than interesting (probably because we knew Jin was gonna end up in that refrigerator anyway) but it was the stalling Island action that made this such a filler episode.

I guess we can all assume that Jaydon was annoyed by this ep, because they sure did dawdle here. Smokey went walked around in the mud, trying to build up his coming battle with the Widmore Crew. It all just seemed like doing nothing to me. Did anything else actually happen in Island world? Slow and boring.

Back in the sideways we were stuck with a non-English speaking Jin (who is so much less interesting). My favorite part about the Korean fisherman recently was his broken, but understandable English. In the sideways it was back to the subtitles as him and Sun did what they have always done off Island, bore me to sleep. Honestly was that LOST or an Idol performance by Aaron Kelly?

Funnily enough the one thing that I noticed everyone complaining about in Twitter-verse was the V Countdown in the right hand corner. I honestly did not have a problem with it, other than the fact that it covered one word of a subtitle near the end. V should get the right to put its logo where ever it wants because its return last night was better than LOST (recap later today).

Now I wait for Larry to say "I told you so."

American Idol- Don't Treat Lee Like a Lady

Simon Cowell- "Watch the show back and realize this is the night your life may have changed forever."

Sure MamaSox was the best of the night by a mile and she continues to have wow moments week in and week out, but let's take a week off from the Crystal Bowersox show to focus on some dudes that made Idol watchable through an entire episode again.

As Simon said at the top, this was a great week for Lee DeWyze. The cool, quiet one took an oldy but a goody and turned it into a contemporary gem. The Cornelius Brothers' Treat Her Like a Lady is well known by most and because of the great sound to his voice, he was able to flip the song on its head without changing it up to much.

Obviously Andrew Garcia took my advice from last week. Thanks for reading Andrew. He cut all this crap about doing different things and got back to his bread and butter. Acoustic rearrangements of popular songs. Of course this wasn't as good as Straight Up, but he's back on the right track. The judges praised him for getting back to who he is even though they are the ones who told him to go away from this style a few weeks back. Once again, you guys are morons.

Big Michael Lynche gave us a big cheeseburger with no cheese this week. The corny winks and movements were to a minimum because of the soft and tenderness of the song he chose. What shined through? His fantastic vocal ability. He's not my cup of tea, compared to Lee or Andrew, but there's no arguing that he's pitch perfect every week.

Two girls that I liked tonight. Of course my MamaSox, whose big surprise was playing the piano. Although she had to concentrate on looking at the keys, it didn't take away from her fantastic performance. When she stood up and the song picked up, I think all 30 million people watching smiled along with the dreadlocked queen. And shoot me but I liked Didi Benami once again. She wasn't as good as the past two weeks, and I wish she had slowed the tempo down a bit, but her voice is so unique that I love it every time.

Here's my bottom three for the week. Now obviously this isn't who will be in the actual bottom three, because both Siobhan Magnus and Aaron Kelly have big fan bases already, but my worst three performances of the night belong to the glass blower, the tiny loser and Mr. Smiley Tim Urban.

As JJ tweeted last night, "finally someone puts magnus in her place." Now unlike JJ, I've liked her in the past, but last week's Superstition was annoying and this week's Through the Fire was flat out terrible. Her lower register sounded awful and when she went up higher with the "through the fire" lyric I wanted to pull my ears off. El Pres over at Barstool simply posted, "Siobhan just ruined my vacation and I haven't even left yet."

Tim Urban and Aaron Kelly are just self explanatory. Neither one can sing. They both use a disgusting amount of vibrato. Kelly chose Ain't No Sunshine, which might have been Kris Allen's signature from last year, and it was so bad I don't even know if it can qualify as the same song. Urban is just so bad he's not worth talking about. Simon did his annual "oh it doesn't matter what we say anymore because they're gonna vote you through anyway" thing which was a great jinx and I think Urban goes home tonight.

That leaves me with only two performances that I neither liked or hated. Katie Stevens was once again blahh, but her vocals are always decent. She's a good singer just not an artist in any sense of the word. Casey James is just so uneventful. Kara was absolutely correct wrong when she said, "I think you've got more range in you." That's the main thing holding him back. He has no range and it shows in every flatline performance he gives us.

My order of the night
1. Crystal Bowersox
2. Lee DeWyze
3. Andrew Garcia
4. Michael Lynche
5. Didi Benami
6. Casey James
7. Katie Stevens
8. Aaron Kelly
9. Siobhan Magnus
10. Tim Urban

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Greek- The Famous Clapper Caper

Beaver- "Then I didn't mean to sleep with your girlfriend, Bing!"

The most disappointing moment from last night's season finale of Greek? Cappie and Casey breaking up? Nope. Rusty's magnificent revenge plan being all about getting Calvin to be president of Omega Chi? Nope. JJ missing the Cyprus Rhodes crew in Myrtle Beach by only a couple days? Yes. Oh sure the Kappa Taus, Zeta Betas, etc. weren't there last night. And they probably weren't shooting on location in the South Carolina Spring Break destination, but that doesn't mean I can't rib JJ for missing out on all the Greek action.

In all seriousness, the most disappointing part was actually the fact that Rusty's evil revenge plan ended up being a stupid little plot made out to get Omega Chi and Kappa Tau as friend frats. You see, I've hate Russell Cartwright since this show first started. I gave him my first place vote for the Lily Finnerty Award for the Character I Love to Hate in a Comedy at last year's Poolies. I went into every episode of Greek knowing that I was going to cringe at everything the young college student did.

During last night's ep I realized that this guy was actually turning things around. For the past four or five episodes I didn't detest him more than everything in the world. I even started thinking that I disliked Calvin and Calvin's ridiculous gay partner more than Rusty. His normal idea to get revenge on the Omega Chis for getting some Kappa Taus expelled got him some points in my book.

Phase 1, phase 2, phase 3 all go according to plan and I'm thinking to myself "is Rusty actually being sweet right now?" You lose on purpose in the golf contest so that the Omegas get the party house in MB. You hire a fake mobster to kick them out of said party house. You make it look like you're paying off mobster so that they try to take back the house. All good. But when the cops that come to arrest the Omega Chis for throwing a party in a house that's not theirs, end up being fake I lost all the minute respect I had for Rusty.

You go through all of that so that Calvin can pretend to sweet talk his way into getting the Omega Chis out of trouble? And now the one or two dudes that see him do this say that they'll vote for him in the presidential election? Wow what an awesome plan. There was no other way to get this done? In the words of Lee Giordano, I doubt that! You could have gotten some Omegas kicked out of school, gotten their charter taken away, but no you want the two frats to be friends with each other. What a bunch of pansies. How did Cappie go along with this? Disappointment inevitably ensues.

This worthless revenge plot by Rusty reminded me of the fantastic moment in Saved by the Bell: College Years when Mike Rogers explains that he concocted the best frat prank ever back when he was in school. He took the clapper out of the bell on top of the school so that when someone went up there to ring the bell..."There was nothing! No sound!" Hilarious moment because Zack, Slater and the gang all made fun of him for it. Unlike here where everyone congratulated Rusty for his useless prank.

Other Points

- Cappie and Casey's break-up was extremely anti-climactic. We all saw this coming a mile away. What happens form here on out? I always wanted the show to end with them getting together, but now that we've seen them together I don't know if that's really that sweet anymore.

- This summer will be the next and final season of the college dramedy. What can they do with another 10-12 episodes. I did hear that they're bringing Franny and Casey's nerd ex-bf back so there should be a couple stories there, but I think this should've been the last one.

- Dale and Beaver obviously killed it again this week. The Beav's quote at the top in response to Evan saying that they didn't mean to get the Kappa Taus expelled from school, was the highlight of the ep.

- Check that. It might have actually been when a drunken Dale asked "who ordered the fat, ugly strippers?" when the fake cops rolled through the party house.

Chuck- Filling Out a Pair of Slacks

John Casey- "Shaw's not some geek who likes to talk about his feelings all day long. He's a real spy."

Now I'm not going to go as far as Larry, who said that "Last night's Chuck was better than any episode of LOST this season," because I have the ability to enjoy its nuance, but this week's Chuck vs. the American Hero was a fantastic hour of television that gave us the Chuck Triple Threat at its best.

At the heart of what was supposed to be the penultimate episode of the season, was Chuck's final plea to get Sarah to go away with him for good. And all of that, combined with the action, was great, but the highlight last night was the ensemble effort by Casey, Morgan and Awesome to attempt to help Chuck pull this achievement off.

Why would getting Sarah to fall for Chuck again be so hard? Because she saw him kill somebody and thought that he wasn't the same person she used to have feelings for? Well yeah that's one part of it, but also because she was currently involved with the stallion of a real spy that is Daniel Shaw.

The chemistry between Casey, Morgan and Awesome while staking out Shaw and Sarah's date was unbelievable. Every time one of them added a comment about how great or good looking Shaw was, I lost it. The best was when Morgan called up Shaw and used the voice alterer and goes, "We know what you look like. Six foot two. 220 pounds. Raven Black hair. Extremely good looking." Well either that or Morgan reiterating Jeff's comment about how Shaw really can fill out a pair of slacks.

Now don't get me wrong, of course all of the Sarah/Chuck stuff got me going because I'm a complete sap. He spills his heart to her for the final time hoping that she'll go away with him, but she is still hesitant because she saw him kill that dude last week. Who has to come in and save the day again? Colonel John Casey. He does it with his gun and he does it with his words. The Colonel sacrifices his freedom to help these two crazy kids make things work. After Casey admits that he was the one that killed the dude, Sarah is all smiles. She looked like CJ after a trip to the Cramptons.

Oh what's this? Another pit stop on the way to happy town? Yes of course there is another ridiculous obstacle. Shaw's suicide mission fell apart because Chuck saved him from The Ring, but it wasn't before the Real Spy was shown footage of his wife's Sarah...Dun, Dun, Dun. Shaw steals Sarah away and for all we know is ready to throw her off a cliff. This ep is setting up what would've been an awesome season finale, but instead we'll get six more episodes this spring.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Breaking Bad- Mr. Pollo's Game of Chicken

Flynn White- "My name is Walter Jr."

Breaking Bad is a real character driven show. That is, it is driven by the character of Walter White. Like him or not, he's such a strong personality that its almost impossible to not be drawn in by his actions. What makes Breaking so good is that although slow moving, the story telling can be really good. Last night's waning moments of the episode were a great example of how it has the ability to force the audience to wonder and ask questions through story telling, while keeping you so very excited throughout.

The final house break-in scene was foreshadowed by two earlier moments in the episode. The Two Suits met with Tuco's mute papa to find out who this crazy Heisenberg actually was. After using a ouija board and the old man's trusty bell, The Two Suits got a name- WALTER WHITE. On the other side of the story there was the Wire Tapper. We met him earlier in the ep when he received a call from who I thought was Saul Goodman saying that "We may have a wife problem."

Jump back to the end of the ep where all of the action goes down. The Wire Tapper, in all of his casual style, walks up to the White Home and drills his wire tap into the side of the house. While all of this is happening, Walter is frantically trying to break into his own home because Skyler locked him out. Once he gets in through the crawl space, and The Wire Tapper goes back to his car, we get the real magic.

The Two Suits show up to the White Home with an axe ready to do business. They're thinking to themselves, "get in, get out, nobody gets hurt (well except Walt)." As the silent killers wait for Walt to get out of the shower, The Wire Tapper makes an urgent phone call saying that there is a problem. Who's on the other line? Mr. Pollo himself. How powerful is this dude. Is he in charge of all the meth in the world? Anyway he simply texts "Pollos" to the The Two Suits and they forget all about killing the meth manufacturer that has done them so much harm. They got out of there as fast as Jack Donaghy when someone says "Twig and plum."

T-time and I predicted that The Two Suits would get to the ABQ by this second episode but wouldn't be confronted with Walt until ep two. Does this Mr. Pollo put a wrench in that prediction? Is he gonna sideline The Two Suits for a while? Or is he going to use them for some other plan that he's concocting in that giant factory of his? Whatever happens, I'm extremely intrigued by where the story is heading.

Other Points

- I'm really starting to enjoy Walter Jr. now that he hates his mom and likes Walt. As the quote at the top shows he is very proud to be named after his father and might be getting rid of the ridiculous nickname of Flynn for the time being.

- Very little Jesse action in this one. He was very subdued throughout, while managing to blackmail (through the help of Saul) his parents into selling him the house that he used to live in.

- Walt has really lost it. Between him going agro on the food hut police officer and having to clean out the motel pool because it had some debrit in it, I'm starting to be worried about him.

- More subtle humor from the writers and Bryan Cranston. When Skyler won't let Walt in for dinner, he pleads with "we've got dipping sticks."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Laugh, Laugh, Revolution

April Ludgate- "Life is a picnic...with you."
Andy Dwyer- "That could be about a girl...or Peyton Manning."

Amongst my wide range of friends and aquaintances, The Office has been renowned as the comedy to watch over the past five years. Since Curb Your Enthusiasm is on HBO, and therefore unavailable to some people, you had to watch The Office to be in on all the best jokes in current pop culture.

When 30 Rock began three years ago, there was then two comedies that were cool to watch. The really interesting thing about this 2009-10 season is that there have been three new sitcoms that have outdone both the rising star (30 Rock) and the current king of comedy (The Office). Modern Family, Community and Parks and Recreation have all been fantastic this year. The Office and especially 30 Rock have been less than stellar. Now that may be because they are just getting stale. 30 Rock's only in season three, but we've known these Office characters for six years now and it could be the lack of freshness that is holding them back this year.

Two years ago, I think ABC's only sitcom was Cavemen. Now Modern Family leads a group of three that are doing very well (The Middle and Cougar Town). This week's episode went back to its best attribute, which is getting unusual pairings of this large family together. The Dunphy clan stayed in tact, while Jay and Cam switched partners for the ep (Jay, Manny and Mitch go star gazing as Cam and Gloria eat spicy foods).

The kids carried this ep for me. Although it was no surprise that Manny was one of the two best performers of the night, I am pleasantly surprised at how hilarious Luke is getting. Between him not knowing how 'sound reducing headphones' work, "Everyone is stupid...except me!" and turning his heartfelt voiceover into a PSA about aliens attacking the earth, "Wake up people, we're next!" he was 100% on his game this week.

Modern Family is easily the frontrunner for best new comedy, but it's crazy that we've had two first year shows that have done this well publicly and critically. Community has been my favorite show on NBC's comedy block week in and week out. Is that because these characters are fresh, and I'm getting to see a different style of comedy? Maybe.

Although he is the star of the show, Joel McHale as Jeff Winger is somewhat of a straight man here. He creates his own comedy at times, but is mostly there to help Abed, Pierce and more and more, Troy get the job done. I've long praised the work of Chevy Chase and Danny Pudi in their respective roles, but recently Troy is really growing on me.

Others (especially Rizzo) have loved him since day one, but this week's ep was a definite highlight for the former football player. Can we all take a minute and realize how hilarious his no-snake in the can prank was? "Lookin' for something?" Between that and him comparing Britta to a vampire, he was on his game early. "You're more of a fun vampire. 'Cause you don't suck blood, you just suck."

Which brings me to another reason why Community has been great. I haven't gone back and watched any of the first episodes, but I feel like they were trying to make Britta out to be cool. Recently the characters have been emulating me, by bagging on Britta any chance they get. Whether it is making fun of her for how she said Bagle a few weeks ago, or telling her she's a complete buzz kill last night, we've all realized how fun it is to hate on her.

Now it's not brand new, but Parks and Rec's first season was not good at all, so I lump it in with the first timers. Unlike Sepinwall, I don't think it's been close to the level of Modern Fam or Community, but I'd put it ahead of 30 Rock and slightly ahead of Office or right on par with it this season. A vast improvement from its first year.

The major reason for its improvement, the larger roles of Andy and April. Not only one of the best quasi-couples on television, but are both fantastic individually. Chris Pratt was being ridiculously underused early on as he just sat in Ann's house with a broken leg. Getting him involved in the city government issues was a great move. And then there is April who has taken on the Jim Halpert role of camera looks, only her eye rolling is miles better than Jim's smirk face ever was. She also adds gems like this from last night, "Can you photoshop your life with better decisions Jerry?"

T-time sees one of the problems with the show being that the auxilary characters just aren't funny or interesting. Unlike Kevin or Creed on the Office, Jerry and Donna just bring nothing to the table. The thing is that I'd be fine with that if a couple of the main characters were better. Ron and Tom are basically the male leads, and as much as my man Sepinwall loves Ron Swanson, I can't say that he's made me laugh out loud once this season.

Tom, on the other hand, is completely hit or miss. Within last night's episode, he completely bombed with the racoon bit in the beginning, but then killed it at the end with his massive criticism of Ann at the photoshoot. Adam Scott, if given a big enough role next season, could push this show over the top to compete for the top spot amongst the comedies.

It should be interesting to see who wins the Seinfeld Award at this year's Poolie Awards. The favorite has to be Curb, but with all the new competition anything as possible (not in the Kevin Garnett voice).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Survivor Week 6- No Three-Way Ty

James Clement- "Today he got beat by a cripple and a fat dude."

In the middle of last night's episode of Survivor I immediately starting replying to @tysonapostol on Twitter asking him he could be such a complete idiot. Seriously, how could he have let this happen to him. Not to take anything away from Russell, who once again used the hidden immunity idol successfully. This time not to save himself, but to save one of the few people in this game that he is aligned with.

The original plan of Boston Rob to have all six of his alliance vote for Parvati and let Russell think they were voting for him was pretty silly. Russell, being the good player that he is, came to the simple conclusion that they were trying to flush out his idol and that's exactly what he'd do. Give the idol to Parvati and his group of three would vote out Tyson.

Golly Gee Boston Rob finally figure that his original plan was dumb and his six switched their plan to splitting the vote in half; three vote for Parvati, three vote for Russell. This way Russell uses the idol on either himself or Parvati and it will be a two way tie and the re-vote will be to the advantage of Rob's Six.

But then @tysonapostol was swayed by just the gentle breeze of Russell's words. The little man told Tyson that he was looking out for number one and that he was gonna vote Parvati out. Ty then took it into his own hands to decide that this reason enough to give extra votes to Parvati. For what? You know by splitting three/three that you will win. I'm still kind of in shock that he changed his vote to Parvati, which led to him walking out the door. Unbelievable.

This was a double elimination night, and on the Heroes side it was Big James that went home. Colby all but said 'please vote me out of here.' But that wasn't enough. James had to go. Really? His injury is enough to get rid of him now, but not last week? Whatever I'm just glad the brute is off my tv screen.

I made up some huge ground in the fantasy results as both my players won their respective individual immunities. It was looking grim for eliminations on my side. Early on it seemed that both Parvati and Colby would be getting the boot, but in the end they stayed in the game and I moved past Mags into second place.

Punch Face Champions

Russell (Villains)- W6 (16), Successful Idol (20), Votes (-8)= 28
Danielle (Villains)- W6 (16)= 16
Sandra (Villains)- W6 (16)= 16
JT (Heroes)- W6 (16)= 16
Tom (Heroes)
Week 6= 76 Total= 313

Redwood Original

Boston Rob (Villains)- W6 (16), Ind. Im (20), Ind. Reward (10)= 46
Parvati (Villains)- W6 (16)= 16
Colby (Heroes)- W6 (16), Votes (-4)= 12
Sugar (Heroes)
Candice (Heroes)- W6 (16), Ind. Im (20)= 36
Week 6= 94 Total=246

DJ Roomba

Tyson (Villains)- Votes (-12)= -12
Randy (Villains)
Jerri (Villains)- W6 (16)= 16
Rupert (Heroes)- W6 (16)= 16
Amanda (Heroes)- W6 (16)= 16
Week 6= 36 Total= 191

Kick Puncher III

Coach (Villains)- W6 (16)= 16
Courtney (Villains)- W6 (16)= 16
James (Heroes)- Votes (-20)= -20
Stephenie (Heroes)
Cirie (Heroes)
Week 6= 12 Total= 139

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fantasy Idol Results- A Real Paige Turner

For all of those that feel it is better to be awful and get killed by the judges than to be mediocre and get unnoticed (I'm staring right at you Sepinwall), tonight's results proved that to be completely wrong. Paige Miles put forth one of the most heinous performances this week. She was absolutely murdered by the judges worse than I've seen in the past few seasons. And yes she went home tonight without even getting the chance to sing for the judges save.

I am now one for two, as my prediction Andrew Garcia wasn't even in the bottom three. Paige was joined by Tim Urban, for the second straight week, and Katie Stevens on the chopping block. After Katie was sent back to the couches, Timmy followed her and Paige was sent packing. That's right Simon didn't even give her the chance to fight as he told her she was 100% gone no matter what happened. Thanks for saving us the time Sime, but it was kinda cruel.

And now for tonight's guest performers...The Disney Channel All-Stars. People can make fun of Miley for not being the right person to have as a mentor on Idol, but you cannot deny that she killed it up on stage tonight. Her When I Look at You was incredible and her interview with Seacrest afterward just as good. On the flip side, I was not so impressed with Joey Jonas and Demi Lovato. Their uneventful Make a Wave was nothing to write home about. The sparks between them on stage does keep my hopes high for Camp Rock 2 this summer though.

Larry takes a big lead in the fantasy results as he is now the only one with three contestants left. Rizzo is hanging on by a thread as his only player left, Katie Stevens, was a bottom three member this week.

Fantasy Scores

The Rock Bodega
Casey James- Safe (11)= 11
Janell Wheeler
Tim Urban- Bottom 3 (-5), Safe (11)= 6
Lee DeWyze- Safe (11)= 11
Week 5= 28 Total= 64

You're Coming With Me Leather
Andrew Garcia- Safe (11)= 11
Paige Miles- Bottom 3 (-5), Eliminated (-10)= -15
Aaron Kelly- Safe (11)= 11
John Park
Week 5= 7 Total= 42

Diabolical Haters
Didi Benami- Safe (11)= 11
Lilly Scott
Lacey Brown
Michael Lynch- Safe (11)= 11
Week 5= 22 Total= 42

The Curlgar
Ashley Rodriguez
Joe Muñoz
Haley Vaughn
Siobhan Magnus- Safe (11)= 11
Week 5= 11 Total= 18

Splash Downs All Around
Todrick Hall
Crystal Bowersox- Safe (11)= 11
Tyler Grady
Michelle Delamor
Week 5= 11 Total= 17

HashTag Katie Stevens Is Only 16
Katie Stevens- Bottom 3 (-5), Safe (11)= 6
Jermaine Sellers
Katelyn Epperly
Alex Lambert
Week 5= 6 Total= 11

LOST- Ricardus to the Maximus

Man In Black- "There's only one way to escape from hell. You're gonna have to kill the devil."

You asked for Richard back story and you got it, an entire episode's worth. Aside from the first and last five minutes or so, Ab Aeterno was Richard Alpert's origin story. Not only did we get to see so much of Ricardo's life, but we also got the return of the actual Man In Black, and it was glorious. This was definitely my favorite episode of the season thus far.

The magic that is the LOST storytelling is that they of course made Richard's past ever so important to what he does on The Island. He was a deeply religious man who made a grave mistake one night trying to save his dying wife. Ricardo's accidental murder of the rich man in town led to him realizing that his fate was to go to hell when he died.

Instead of being hanged by his neck until his feet quit kicking (skip to 00:45 for my second Shanghai Noon reference in one week) he was sent aboard a slave ship of Captain Magnus Hanso! The Hanso Foundation is of course the group that funded the Dharma Initiative way back when. Of course the name of the slave ship was the Black Rock which ended up crashing into The Island one stormy night because Jacob brought it there.

Now I don't know why the Man In Black killed everyone on the Black Rock except Richard, but I do know why he did what he did next. He convinced Richard that he was dead and that he was in hell. The MIB is a master manipulator and knows exactly what story to tell to each individual to get them to do what he wants. In this case he knew that Richard was a very religious character and he might believe that he was actually amongst the devil.

The Man In Black's goal, obviously, is to kill Jacob. As he uses Benjamin Linus in the late 2000s, he tried to use Richard in the whatever the heck olden times this was. "There's only one way to escape from hell," MIB said. "You're gonna have to kill the devil." Who's the devil? Well Jacob of course, so Ricardo gets on his way to kill the proverbial Man In White.

After Richard's attempt to kill Jacob fails miserably, the two sit down for a long chat that was just fantastic. Jacob, as we've seen him do in present day, is so calm and collected when explaining himself to Ricardo. He let's it be known that he is not the devil and uses a bottle of wine to describe the Man In Black's situation.
"Think of this wine as what you keep calling hell. There's many other names for it too--malevolence, evil, darkness--and here it is, swirling around in the bottle unable to get out because if it did, it would spread. The cork is this island. And it's the only thing keeping the darkness where it belongs."
Jacob goes on to explain that Smokey believes that everyone is corruptible because it is in their nature to sin. Jacob, of course, bring them to The Island to prove him wrong. He adds that when they get to The Island, their past doesn't matter. This point brings everything back to season one, and the fact that it was kinda crazy that all the people that came to this island had such shady pasts. That was exactly why Jacob brought them all here. To show Smokey that not all people are bad, and when given a choice between good and evil, some will choose good.

Because Jacob's belief is that people have to know the difference between right and wrong in order to be good, he makes a point not to intervene with the people he brings to The Island. It is during the end of his conversation with Richard that he asks if he would like to be that intermediary between him and the people he brings to The Island. Ricardo's payment for doing this job? Eternal life. Bingo!

We jump back to present day, and there is Richard with his fresh haircut and shaved face. He is on a search for the Man In Black because he is ready to turn to the dark side. Back when they first met, Smokey told Ricardo that he could come on his side and the offer would always stand. After Jacob's death, the dude was so freaked out that he's ready to switch teams.

That is until Hurley comes in and saves him from evil by talking to the ageless wonder's dead wife. Hugo's ghost whispering powers really came in handy here as Richard could feel his wife's presence through Hurley. Hugo's final plee to Richard...You have to stop the Man In Black from leaving The Island or we all go to hell. Now was this actually from the wife or was this Hugo's own doing? Or was it someone else telling him to add that last part in there? Jacob?

In closing I'd like to mention a couple of quotes that came out of the mouth of the Man In Black this week. "It's good to see you out of those chains," Smokey recites to Ricardo immediately after he gives him the key to the handcuffs. That puts a whole different meaning to when he said it on the beach back at the beginning of this season. I take it one of two ways. Either it was a clever pleasantry. A nice call back to an old quasi-friend. Or it was his way of letting Richard know that he was the Man In Black in a John Locke outfit. Either way, it makes that line that much better looking back on it.

When the MIB sends Richard after Jacob he tells him that, "If he speaks it will already be too late." This is the exact same thing that the Temple Samurai told Sayid when he sent him off to kill the MIB. Now is this just because both Jacob and MIB know how good of a manipulator the other is? Or is there something bigger? Is there really an incapability to kill one of these god-like characters if they are able to speak out loud first? Did Jacob speak before Benjamin Linus murdered him? I can't remember. Keep it coming.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

American Idol- He's a No Soul Man

Simon Cowell- "You sucked the soul out of that song."

And that quote, in a nutshell, explains what has happened to Andrew Garcia since the first week of the semifinals. After completely killing Paula Abdul's Straight Up during Hollywood Week, Garcia came back with a similar acoustic rearrangement to Fall Out Boy's Sugar We're Goin' Down. I thought it was a great performance, if not up to par with the ex-judge cover. The judges, on the other hand, destroyed it and did so again the next week.

They pushed him to do different things, and he began shying away from acoustic rearrangements, and completely lost his guitar for the next three weeks. It was these empty performances that have Andrew on the verge of being ousted before the top 10. He sucked the soul out of the performances because the judges gave him horrible advice for many, many weeks. Don't get me wrong, it's Andrew's fault for listening to these yahoos, but I still place most of the blame on the fabulous four behind the table.

Garcia took on Marvin Gaye's I Heard it Through the Grapevine during Billboard Number Ones week and failed to show any type of improvement. My girl Miley Cyrus helped Andrew out the door by telling him to drop the guitar during her mentor session. We all know that Miley is a comic genius, but her skills as an Idol mentor were less than stellar tonight. My prediction is that Garcia goes home this week.

Andrew definitely wasn't the worst this week. That's why he will be joined in the bottom three by Paige Miles and Tim Urban. They were by far the two worst of the night. Seriously Paige's Against All Odds was one of the worst vocals I've ever heard on the show. Urban was equally as awful during Crazy Little Thing Called Love if only for his horrendous slide across the stage (and complete lack of vocal ability).

Out with the bad, in with the good. The one that Pops affectionately calls "Boxer shorts" was once again the best of the night. Crystal Bowersox did Me and Bobby McGee miles better than Janis Joplin. I had actually never heard it before (crazy I know because I like old music), so I YouTubed it and watched how it wasn't even close to how unbelievable MamaSox was tonight. She is on another level right now people. And what's this? She claims that she's "got big plans for next week." Oh boy.

The other three I liked tonight were (in order) Didi Benami, Lee DeWyze and Mike Lynch. I really don't get what the judges didn't like about Didi tonight. She was theatrical? Isn't that what you praised Adam for last year? And Siobhan as recently as last week? And Didi wasn't even as over the top as them. I loved her performance of You're No Good and judges can't stop me from voting (even though I don't).

I thought Lee wasn't good when he went first, but after watching everyone else be worse, he got better and better as the night went on. He wasn't as good as other weeks, mainly because his rendition of The Letter just didn't feel like him, but the sound of his voice makes up for that.

Will Kieffer's black cousin, or Big Mike Lynch as the Idol faithful like to call him, recorded another fantastic vocal performance this week. His When a Man Loves a Woman even reduced many of his over confident gestures that had me hating him last week.

Katie Stevens and Aaron Kelly both scraped by and really give me nothing to say about them. The other two mediocre performances of the week came from Casey James and Siobhan Magnus. It's pretty difficult to not get me to love the Back to the Future song, but that's exactly what Casey did with Power of Love. He's just so boring and robotic. Power of Love? How about a little power of voice Mr. James. 'Cause you haven't shown any.

And finally we get to the judges favorite who is starting to really irk me. This week she chose one of the most repetitive, boring songs out there in Stevie's Superstition. Note to Siobhan: You can't half ass your way through the entire song and then just scream at the top of your lungs at the end and think you're gonna win me over. It's not only predictable, but really annoying to watch at this point.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chuck- Spy Testing

Chuck Bartowski- "Wow, that just really self-destructed. Did it not? That's like in the movies. That's incredible."

Chuck vs. the Final Exam was one of my least favorite episodes of this season of Chuck for a couple of reasons. One was that the side plot was less than awesome and the other was that I'm not enjoying the speed at which Chuck's evolution to becoming a real spy has moved.

The side plot this week was absent of Captain Awesome, Ellie and Morgan so we weren't off to a good start. John Casey, Lester and Jeff have been great for a while now, but they weren't able to put everything together tonight during this side story with Big Mike. It's probably because I don't really like Big Mike that I wasn't enjoying myself. That's not to say that I didn't crack up when Casey confidently chomped into Jeff's half eaten Subway Tunaroni on wheat.

As the quote at the tops shows, Chuck was thrown a whirlwind of new gadgets, environments and required duties this week, as he prepared for his final spy test. Throughout the test he went back and forth between awkward uncomfortableness (not knowing what to do with the self-destructing dvd player, fumbling through his words with Agent Perry) and complete preparedness (setting up the stake out room, tracking down and capturing Agent Perry).

Of course I was much happier when he failed to live up to snuff, because I do not want to see the day when Chuck is actually a real spy and no longer needs his handlers. Why? Well because whether we lose Sarah and Casey for a while, or they have to work in different capacities, I don't want to lose the greatness that this team brings. Yeah I know that two weeks ago I said that change is necessary, but not this fast.

When Chuck became Intersect 2.0 and learned Kung Fu, we were supposed to get similar dynamics, only with Chuck having some new skills to help his pals with. If Chuck is going on solo missions and Sarah is off living the life in D.C. with Shawsy and who knows who else, I'm gonna be an unhappy camper.

When Chuck needed to pass his Red Test (kill some dude) to become a real spy, I got pumped because I knew my man Chuckles can't shoot a guy. But then civilian John Casey had to come in and save the day once again. He's not even a government agent anymore and he's still saving Chucky. This time he shot Chuck's target just as Chuck was supposed to, making it look like it was the Nerdherder who did it.

On one hand, I'm relieved that Chuck couldn't actually do it. On the other, I'm mad and/or scared that Chuck is now a real spy. The unknown frightens me. What will happen between him and Sarah now that she thinks he's a cold hearted killer? After all when she killed her first person, it was the worst day of her life. If this causes Sarah and Shawsy's relationship to grow, I'm gonna have to have a chat with John Casey.

Other Points

- Loved that the Russian dude in the steam room used Ivan Drago as his alias.

- Another great Chuck quote as he hung from the side of the hotel in a towel, "This woulda been easier in underpants."

- How 'bout earlier in the episode when Chuck spills his heart to Sarah on the stake out, she eats it all up, they lean in for the kiss and Shawsy comes in on the earpiece and ruins the whole thing? What a jerk.

- I also didn't really like the fight scene between Chuck and the guy from Worst Week. The camera movement was weird and they've done a lot better.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Breaking Bad- Two Suits Don't Look at Explosions

Hank Schrader- "Whatcha got in there, cinder blocks?"
Walter White- "Half million in cash."

What makes a show like Breaking Bad so good is that any true television enthusiast is forced to pay super close attention to every second that it is on because you have so much confidence in the story telling of the series. Unlike Flash Forward, who has gone through three or four showrunners in half a season, I have the utmost belief that Vince Gilligan and his crew have a reason for every second of footage that gets on the air.

The cold open to tonight's season three premier, No Mas, had no characters that the audience had ever seen before and managed to keep my eyeballs glued to the screen throughout. A bunch of Mexican dudes, including a couple of suit wearing bad asses, were crawling towards what could be called a church. Inside we saw the two suits worshiping a skeleton that was placed in front of what seemed to be a sketch of Heisenberg himself.

The entire time I wondered if this was a look ahead at something we would eventually get to at the end of the episode or the end of the season, like we've seen in the past. As the plot continued to come back to these two characters a couple more times during the ep, it seems that we are dealing with parallel storylines that will no doubt converge early in the season.

Speaking of these two suits...when's the last time we had a couple of dudes that were this hard and flat out this cool, without saying a single word during an entire episode. Seriously they must be big fans of Andy Samberg, or just have had some cool guy errands that they had to walk to, because not many people could have walked away from that gigantic explosion without looking back at it.

Back in the ABQ we had Walt in denial about his wife leaving him, Walt Jr. not taking it so well, and Jesse in his last few days of rehab. The quote at the top shows how Walt's complete dryness continues to get laughs out of me. He simply tells his DEA brother in law the truth and Hank thinks the guy is fooling with him.

Walt had a couple other crucial moments in this first ep. He finally got the nerve up to tell Skylar that he actually cooks meth and she didn't even give him a second to explain any of his reasoning for doing so. My thought...good riddance. She said she'll keep your secret Walt! That's all you need from her. You can do better than this chick.

We also got to see Walt take out his frustration with the plane crash that happened at the end of last season on the entirety of his high school. Because he let Jane die in her sleep at the end of last season, which led to her air traffic control father mistakenly killing 100 odd people in a couple of airplanes, Walt seems to feel responsible. He releases his frustration to 500 high school students in a way of a passionate speech about moving on after tragedy. Why did the teachers and students seem so weirded out by it? I thought it was rather moving.

And finally, Jesse Pinkman. At the end of last season, and the start of this episode, I was worried that we were going to have to deal with half a season worth of rehab episodes. Thankfully Jesse was in his last stretch of rehab when this ep started and he left by the end of the 45 minutes. I wouldn't have been happy with more than one ep worth of rehab stories. We're now back where everyone is comfortable...Walt and Jesse living in a hotel room together. Bring on ep two.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Justified- From Girls to Guns

Boyd Crowder- "Would you shoot me, if you get the chance?"
Raylan Givens- "You make me pull, I'll put you down."

Sure I may be a few days late and a couple dollars short, but FX's new series Justified showed so much promise that I needed to get my initial thoughts on the premier down.

Now he may be most famous for his time on Deadwood, but the only thing I knew Timothy Olyphant as was Kelly from The Girl Next Door. He was great as Elisha Cuthbert's porn producer, but we're only one ep in and his Raylan Givens character seems to be that much more fantastic. Olyphant portrays such a hard U.S. Marshall that is yet so calm and collected all the time that he is hard not to love immediately.

The prologue-esque cold open starts the series in Miami. Raylan is in a meeting with a South Florida gun runner played by Peter Greene. The protagonist desperately pleads with the mobster to leave Miami or he will have to do away with him.  Unfortunately for Greene's character, this time there was not time for one last kiss as Raylan shot him on sight. Greene pulled first though, so it was "justified".

Of course this horrific event leads to Raylan's necessary transfer to Kentucky, where he grew up. Fortunately for Raylan, his giant cowboy hat won't look so out of place anymore. Once relocated, the heat in southeastern Kentucky is already brewing as an old acquaintance of Raylan's is around town blowing things up.

This fella is a Nazi by the name of Boyd Crowder. Apparently somebody forgot to tell Boyd that Roy O'Bannon took away his "wingin' it" privileges back in 2000 (skip to 9:00 mark). Seriously where does this Boyd character get off blowing up Sanka's church like that?

Speaking of the former bobsledder, I loved him in this small role as the pastor that only has a church so that he can sell weed from it. I also love that Raylan knew that all he had to do was name drop Peter Tosh to get the champion push cart driver to talk.

Anywho, how bout this chick Ava? Of course she had a crush on Raylan. I love that she is real cute and unassuming even though less than 24 hours ago she murdered Boyd's brother Bowman (also her husband) in cold blood. All she wants to do is make out and cook fried chicken for Raylan. The good U.S. Marshall could get used to that.

And by the end of this series premier Raylan finds himself in a similar situation that he went through back in Miami. This time it was him and Boyd at the dinner table discussing life and chicken. Of course the roles were reversed as Boyd now wanted Raylan to get out of town before he shot him on sight. Although the roles were reversed, the results were the same. Boyd pulled first and Raylan took him down, with his holstered gun no less.

Justified has all the key components for a great show. A great lead character. A few good surrounding characters. Promise of good storytelling. And an interesting and different setting (I do not watch another show that takes place in Kentucky). There's only been one episode, but it is one that I would recommend starting.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fantasy Idol Results- Seacrest, Chill Out

Ellen- "I actually feel more mariachi."

Ellen continued her good week with a few more comfortable and funny moments during tonight's show. Meanwhile Seacrest is getting more and more like Jeff Probst on these results shows, and that's not a good thing. As Probey Probst does during tribal council, Seacrest has begun to over probe the Idols when it's time to hear the results. He's giving them difficult questions that have no real way of being answered. He's also allowing them to go on and on when he should just interrupt them so that don't sound so stupid, which they all eventually do. I really liked Lee DeWyze before he was forced to talk so much. Please stop doing this Ryan.

There were a few good things to come out of the first Finals results night. The production to start the episode was a major improvement on past years' Last Night's Recap. Secondly, it was great to see David Cook back on the Idol stage, where he performed well with Jumping Jack Flash. And finally, I liked that they changed it so the losing contestant doesn't have to sing the same song they just got eliminated for. It didn't help change the judges mind tonight, but it might in the weeks to come.

And now to the results...Kieran dim the lights. Safe, safe, safe. Bottom three was not much of a surprise as Paige Miles, Tim Urban and Lacey Brown found themselves in the uncomfortable silver stools. As Tim was the first to be relieved from the peculiar position, he once again went into his shocked out of his mind routine that is really starting to tick me off. Get a life pal. Just be happy, give the others a hug and sit down.

Who went home? Lacey Brown. Quiet Pool is 1 for 1 during the finals. Here's another reason why the finals are better than the semifinals. It's much more likely that the better contestants will advance on the big stage. Many people don't start watching until the finals and therefore the semifinals is voted on by more diehard fans. In the finals the casual fans join in and vote for who performs the best. In the semis you most likely get the fans of contestants who don't care what happens during the show, because they are gonna vote for their favorite no matter what.

Fantasy Scores

The Rock Bodega
Casey James- Safe (7)= 7
Janell Wheeler
Tim Urban- Bottom 3 (-4), Safe (7)= 3
Lee DeWyze- Safe (7)= 7
Week 4= 17 Total= 36

You're Coming With Me Leather
Andrew Garcia- Safe (7)= 7
Paige Miles- Bottom 3 (-4), Safe (7)= 3
Aaron Kelly- Safe (7)= 7
John Park
Week 4= 17 Total= 35

Diabolical Haters
Didi Benami- Safe (7)= 7
Lilly Scott
Lacey Brown- Bottom 3 (-4), Eliminated (-8)= -12
Michael Lynch- Safe (7)= 7
Week 4= 2 Total= 20

The Curlgar
Ashley Rodriguez
Joe Muñoz
Haley Vaughn
Siobhan Magnus- Safe (7)= 7
Week 4= 7 Total= 7

Splash Downs All Around
Todrick Hall
Crystal Bowersox- Safe (7)= 7
Tyler Grady
Michelle Delamor
Week 4= 7 Total= 6

HashTag Katie Stevens Is Only 16
Katie Stevens- Safe (7)
Jermaine Sellers
Katelyn Epperly
Alex Lambert
Week 4= 7 Total= 5

LOST- The Coward James Ford

UnLocke- "I had problems that could have been avoided had things been different."

James 'Sawyer' Ford has been one of my favorite television characters for the past few years. Although I loved his sideways story, he took a few steps backwards for me tonight. Unless he is lying to UnLocke, Widmore, Kate and everybody else about his end game being getting off The Island, Sawyer's got some serious issues.

So Sawyer, you've been on this Island for over three years. You've seen a Black Smoke Monster eat people. You've seen a fellow passenger be reincarnated by said Smoke Monster. You've watched another fellow castaway be revived by a magic hot tub. And you think that you need to just get off of this Island and everything will be okay? You have to be kidding right?

Please tell me this whole thing is one big hoax, because you know that Kate, Jack and the rest of the Oceanic Six have already been off The Island and since come back. It wasn't enough for them to get off the Island, why will it be enough for you? This character has never been this dumb before.

Don't get me wrong, I loved his idea of having Widmore and UnLocke beat the crap out of each other (if Widmore's armed gunmen would even have any effect on the Monster), but my man James has to have a better end game. Destroy the Island? Rule the Island? Something to make things different around those parts. Leaving the Island won't solve anything, as we've seen before.

Now that I got my complaining out of the way, I can get to what was really good about this episode. James Ford making the right decision in the sideways world. As he said, he got to a point where he was going to be a criminal or a cop and he chose cop. I thought this was very indicative of the sideways world in that most of the characters are making better choices and/or leading better lives than their Island counterparts.

Well not all of them. It seems that Sawyer, Jack, Lock, Linus are all better people in sideways world, but not Kate or Sayid. We already know that Sayid has fallen to the dark side, does that mean that Kate is destined for darkness as well?

I loved Sawyer as a detective, especially when we first find out, because he was almost mirroring the Sawyer we saw in flashbacks oh so long ago. That is until we found out the whole thing was a setup by the LAPD. Studly. His code word for his partner Miles to come in and save the day? Lafleur! Perfect.

Other Points

- As the quote at the top shows, UnLocke continued to explain his feelings to characters on the show this week. This time it is with Kate in order to let her know what he thinks baby Aaron might be in for. Since "Aaron has a crazy mother too" the kid might be the next one to take Smokey's place.

- UnLocke- "I'm the smoke thing." And Sawyer doesn't even blink twice at it.

- UnLocke explains that the Temple people think they are protecting the Island from him, but he really just wants to leave. I don't buy it. He kills because he's a killer. There's something bigger for him than getting off the Island. Even though Jacob is dead, maybe he needs to kill Jacob's soul as well?

- Another great mirror scene in the sideways world as Sawyer gazes into it before smashing it in.

American Idol- Rolling Stones Gather No Votes

Crystal Bowersox- "I haven't thought that I had the competition at all...but thank you for saying it."

It is very weird to watch the last two performances of an episode of Idol and then go back to watch the first ten, but that's what I had to do tonight after coming home at 9:40.

Well Ellen was on her game tonight. As Pops pointed out to me, someone must have told her that if she didn't start being funny she was gonna get canned. That's not to say that she was laugh out loud, knee slapping hilarious tonight, but her witty comments were definitely an improvement on her awkward commentary during the semifinals.

Now let's get my favorite out of the way first so we can move onto the contestants that both me and Slezak are not biased in favor of. Crystal Bowersox absolutely killed it once again, this time changing You Can't Always Get What You Want to fit her style perfectly. Her little riffs, especially the talking piece in the middle, were great. She can do so many different thing vocally that it seems like she has been at the top of the charts for years.

Then we have the other three that were good tonight.

Didi Benami might have the best sound to her voice in the competition. Although her performance of Play With Fire wasn't out of the box vocally, she showed decent power and had great tone throughout. The anger she produced on her face as "Don't play with me" came out of her mouth was truly fantastic to see.

Lee DeWyze might continue to be David Cook Light, but I really don't care. I loved Cook's voice and I love Lee's. He changed Beast of Burden simply by putting his raspy voice on it and he did a great job with it.

While Siobhan Magnus's glory note was completely off tune and screechy at the end of Paint It Black, the final falsetto moment made up for it. Her vocal skill is definitely there, but tonight was not nearly as good as last week, I don't care what the judges tell me. Having said that, she gets the okay from me if only for letting us know that Cape Cod is "divided into towns."

Honestly I thought the rest were pretty bad. If I had to pick one to go home based on tonight it would be Lacey Brown. Her baby doll voice is losing its luster and her off tune singing is shining through. The worst part of her take on Ruby Tuesday was the way she changed such a great part of the song. When she sped up "still I'm gonna miss you" it killed me because it's such a great moment in the original song.

The rest of my bottom four would consist of Aaron Kelly, Casey James and Andrew Garcia. Aaron's place mostly has to do with my hatred for him, because I thought his Angie was serviceable tonight. Casey and Andrew on the other hand just blew up there. Casey obviously shouldn't do fast songs or use the electric guitar and his voice doesn't have the power or range to go far in this competition. Garcia, meanwhile, just obliterated Gimme Shelter. I was literally laughing during the entire performance at his attempt at the song. Strap the guitar back on and try to sing Straight Up every week buddy.

Michael Lynch, Paige Miles, Katie Stevens and Tim Urban were okay in my book this week. Lynch showed he obviously skills during Miss You, even if his confidence is turning into unbearable undeserved cockiness. Paige was way better than any of her other performances with Honky Tonk Woman, even if she is as bland as Lil Rounds. Katie finally picked a great song to showcase her big voice, but still didn't do much else with Wild Horses. Urban decided to dial back Under My Thumb into a reggae song which allowed him to not murder himself like he did with Apologize a few weeks ago. It was a weird choice but not a horrendous vocal so good decision.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chuck- Casey Wants to Chat

Morgan- "You went on missions?"
Awesome- "You haven't?"
Morgan- "What? Of course...dude...I...never saw you out there."

Since the Olympics ended, Chuck has had a few landmark events occur in a row. First it was the whole Chuck/Hanna and Sara/Shaw, then it was Morgan finding out about Chucky's spy life and this week we got what may be a short-lived firing of John Casey.

Before tonight we didn't know much about the growling one's background. Tonight we found out that he had a fiancé and child before being turned into one the best black operatives this country has ever seen. Although Casey has been as hard as they come over the three seasons we've been watching him, you could always tell there was a softer side to the Colonel. In this week's ep he proved it with his explanation to Chuckles near the end of the ep.

After the crew defeats Casey's old boss and saves his ex-fiancé, Miss McCue simply asks the man formerly known as Alex Coburn, "Do I know you?" Casey walks away from the love of his life and what seems to be his daughter. Once Casey is relieved of his duty and suffering through civilian life on his first night out, Chuck pleads with him to give his fiancé another try. The Colonel tells the Intersect boy that he made his decision for love of country over love a long time ago and it is too late to go back now. We can all see how much this saddens him, but his advice to Chucky is that Walker is a great girl and it is not too late for him yet. Great stuff John!

Cut to Sarah in D.C. saying she wants to move there. Ouchtown, population Chuck!

Other Points

- Another Morgan quote of the night, "I thought you were KGB...or maybe a ninja."

- How would doing back flips down that corridor help at all?

- Somebody explain to me how Chuck would actually believe John Casey was an actual member of The Ring?

- I don't like the Chuck that comes out when he takes this pill. I don't want two stone cold killers. We already have Casey for that.

- I actually thought we might be losing Ellie and Awesome to Doctors Without Borders for the rest of the season. Thank God!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Marriage Ref- How It Can Be Funny

With all of the critical backlash against The Marriage Ref recently, I figured I would explain why the common viewer may really enjoy the Jerry Seinfeld produced show. Don't get me wrong, there are a few aspects that will detur anyone from loving this show, but there aren't enough wrong-doings to make up for the hilarity of a quality panel.

The audience can be extremely distracting, as their need to laugh and clap at every single comment made can get quite annoying. Then again they might help the panelists get their juices flowing. Then there is the Ref himself, Tom Papa. As Tyson so elequently put it while I was watching this week's ep with a few broskies in NYC*, "He's corny." Although he is extremely corny, he occasionally pulls off a good line to make up for the rest of the episode.

*There is definitely something to be said about watching a comedy with a bunch of dudes that enjoy the same type of humore as you. This week's panel, which featured Larry David and Ricky Gervais, was probably the best so far, but my position on the subject might have been exaggerated by the constant cracking up by everyone in the room.

The stories about the married couples are rarely funny themselves, but who cares? We're there to watch funnymen like LD, Gervais, Seinfeld and Alec Baldwin make ridiculous comments about random people. Baldwin and Seinfeld were a good duo to start the series with, but last night LD and Gervais showed you why this show can be unbelievable at times. It is made or broken by the panel. David's undeniable humor combined with Gervais's infectious laugh made it work this week. Next week's panel does not show as much promise. Jason Alexander, Cedric the Entertainer and Martha thanks.

Watching Larry David talk about anything would be hilarious. That's why Curb Your Enthusiasm is fantastic, that's why this week's Marriage Ref was very funny, and that's why if I got to pick one celebrity to just hang out with for a day, LD would be my number one choice. His disgust with human beings, and the fact that he doesn't mind sharing his negative feelings for said humans never gets old.

Other Points

-Seinfeld should have just had himself and LD be on the panel every week and rotated the third guest.

-Ricky Gervais's laugh is incredible, making The Ricky Gervais Show on HBO that much better.

-Episode two, featuring Seinfeld, Tina Fey and Eva Longoria proved that you can't have a good panel with two females. Never try that again.

-Madonna was surprisingly good this week. Maybe she just got caught up in the greatness of LD and Gervais, but I laughed a few times at what she had to say. Something that can't be said for Fey, Longoria or week one's Kelly Ripa.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Survivor Week 5- JT's 180

For as much as I didn't like JT for all of his good guy-ness the last time he was on, I'm really starting to love him for pulling a complete 180 this time around. Back in Tocantins he went about his business, winning challenges and won the whole thing because everyone respected his play. This time around he's on the Heroes All-Star Team is being as villainous as anyone out there. His previous acts of kindness make him that much more enjoyable now. It's as if he said to himself, "I've already won this thing once, let's see if I can mix things up a bit this time." I like that about JT.

Nothing else of major importance happened this episode, except Coach completely disregarding Tyson's plee to do his Coach-chee in private. It makes me think that those to events happened in reverse order from how they were shown. What was Coach like, my boy Ty wants me to take it easy with the Tai-chi...I'll get everyone on the squad together to show them how good I am at it. Not likely. Either way I enjoy that all but Russell have accepted Coach and his ridiculous ways.

Speaking of Russell, he went against his teammates wishes, went searching for the hidden idol, and eventually found it. What did he do? Of course he told as many people as he could. I guess he didn't get burned by this last time around, but he should have. Why not keep something like that a secret until you think you might be going home and then surprise everyone with a play at tribal? Again, he did make it to the final two last season playing this way.

Jaydon finally takes a hit in the fantasy results and everyone else catches up a bit. My heroes, Colby and Candice are hanging on by a thread so I could go for either a Heroes immunity win or a merge real quick.

Punch Face Champions

Russell (Villains)- W5 (11), Reward (4), Im (8)= 23
Danielle (Villains)- W5 (11), Reward (4)= 15
Sandra (Villains)- W5 (11), Im (8)= 19
JT (Heroes)- W5 (11)= 11
Tom (Heroes)- Votes (-20)= -20
Week 5= 37 Total= 237

DJ Roomba

Tyson (Villains)- W5 (11), Reward (4)= 15
Randy (Villains)
Jerri (Villains)- W5 (11), Reward (4), Im (8)= 23
Rupert (Heroes)- W5 (11)= 11
Amanda (Heroes)- W5 (11)= 11
Week 5= 60 Total= 155

Redwood Original

Boston Rob (Villains)- W5 (11), Reward (4), Im (8)= 23
Parvati (Villains)- W5 (11), Im (8)= 19
Colby (Heroes)- W5 (11)= 11
Sugar (Heroes)
Candice (Heroes)- W5 (11)= 11
Week 5= 64 Total= 152

Kick Puncher III

Coach (Villains)- W5 (11), Reward (4), Im (8)= 23
Courtney (Villains)- W5 (11), Im (8)= 19
James (Heroes)- W5 (11), Votes (-8)= 3
Stephenie (Heroes)
Cirie (Heroes)
Week 5= 45 Total= 127

Fantasy Idol Results- Outrage About the Finalists

Let the outrage from last night's American Idol results begin with one of the ousted herself...

Lilly Scott- "A lot of incredible talent is going home tonight. I just don't know what America wants to hear."

The answer to that is trash. America apparently wants to hear the disgusting voice of Aaron Kelly, the boring drone of Tim Urban, and whatever the heck Paige Miles is for the next couple months. Here's what others are saying about this catastrophe...

Michael Slezak- "and four eliminations that ranged from deeply infuriating to moderately infuriating."
AV Club- "I was surprised, though, that Todrick got eliminated tonight."
TV Fanatic- "Still, America, you'd rather see Paige Miles and Tim Urban over the next few weeks? Really?!?"
TV Squad- "What?! Tim's in and Todrick is going home?! I really couldn't believe it."
Sepinwall- "Can Crystal and Siobhan alone keep things interesting for the next three months?"

See I'm not the only one who enjoyed Todrick over the last few weeks. Sadly though, he, along with Lilly Scott, Katelyn Epperly and Alex Lambert will not being making it to the big stage next week where the finalists will be performing songs by the Rolling Stones.

The Fantasy results look to be a three man race at this point, with me, Mags and Rizzo only having one contestant each heading into the finals. Thankfully my remaining contestant is the one they call MamaSox.

Fantasy Scores

The Rock Bodega
Casey James- Safe (4)
Janell Wheeler
Tim Urban- Safe (4)
Lee DeWyze- Safe (4)
Week 3= 12 Total= 19

Diabolical Haters
Didi Benami- Safe (4)
Lilly Scott- Eliminated (-6)
Lacey Brown- Safe (4)
Michael Lynch- Safe (4)
Week 3= 6 Total= 18

You're Coming With Me Leather
Andrew Garcia- Safe (4)
Paige Miles- Safe (4)
Aaron Kelly- Safe (4)
John Park
Week 3= 12 Total= 18

The Curlgar
Ashley Rodriguez
Joe Muñoz
Haley Vaughn
Siobhan Magnus- Safe (4)
Week 3= 4 Total= 0

Splash Downs All Around
Todrick Hall- Eliminated (-6)
Crystal Bowersox- Safe (4)
Tyler Grady
Michelle Delamor
Week 3= -2 Total= -1

HashTag Katie Stevens Is Only 16
Katie Stevens- Safe (4)
Jermaine Sellers
Katelyn Epperly- Eliminated (-6)
Alex Lambert- Eliminated (-6)
Week 3= -8 Total= -2