February 2010

Legend of the Seeker: Princess

It's been a while since we last had a full-blown farce episode of Legend of the Seeker and I have to say that the series has much improved on its comedic edge since last season. "Princess" was a cut above the goofy thief stories that made up the majority of Season 1's joke episodes. It utilized the strengths of the main cast and undercut its own hammy jokes at every opportunity. To be honest, I groaned a bit when I learned this week's premise and even more so when I found out that its central conceit involved rhyming couplets, but the final product was actually very enjoyable.

Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay

I never thought I'd be saying this,

but I've found a reality tv show that I like. The basic premise behind Kitchen Nightmares is that Gordon Ramsay a internationally known chef and restauranteur with awarded a total of 12 Michelin Stars and a dozen successes spends a week or so at a failing restaurant and tries to give the business and the staff a push towards the success they desperately need. A camera crew follows Ramsay as he samples the menu, inspects the kitchen, interviews the staff and owners, and watches a typical night. He then tried to figure what the restaurant, the menu and the staff need in order to make a go of it—and points them towards success.

Caprica: There Is Another Sky

Five episodes into its first season, Caprica has become one of those shows that attempts to juggle so many plots that they can't all be featured in one episode. This doesn't mean that the series won't be able to handle all these disparate storylines, but it does mean that some will be deeper and more interesting than others. So far I think the multiplying segments of Caprica have favored the stronger and if this week's episode is any indication of things to come, the series is about to become a lot more action-centered than it has been thus far.

A young star is dead.

Vancouver police announced  yesterday that Joshua Andrew Koenig, (1968 - 2010), was found dead. He was best known for the role of the  Richard Milhous "Boner" Stabone, a recurring  character,(1985-1989 seasons), in the popular mid 80s and early 90s sitcom  "Growing Pains.  Joshua Andrew Koenig also known as  Josh Andrew Koenig or Andrew Koenig, was forty one. He was the son  of actor Walter Koenig who is known  for his role of  Pavel Chekov in Star Trek: The Original Series and movies.
 The Associated Press reported that after a high-profile, week long search,  the body the actor body was found in Vancouver park. He had been missing since Valentine's Day. Reportedly, he took his own life.. RIP Andrew Koenig, Boner from the show Growing Pains.

Hot Corner: Wheel of Fortune plays faves?

I've got a theory about Wheel of Fortune. Besides my theory that Pat Sajak is actually a dirty old TV man. But this other theory might play into that theory, as well. I theorize that the producers of Wheel often put attractive female contestants in the blue slot at the far end or the contestant panel. Not always, but often.

Why? Could it be the age old Hollywood addage, "sex sells" or is there something more?

Is Pat an insatiable, demanding sex-a-holic who insists that he have a clear view of the fairer contestants? That's what I think.

Conan The King On Twitter

Conan O'Brien has gone from doing jokes on the NBC Tonight Show to doing them on Twitter!

Joke -- "Today I interviewed a squirrel in my backyard and then threw to commercial. Somebody help me."

Joke ?  -- Well fact -- " I had a show. Then I had a different show. Now I have a Twitter account."

Conan left NBC will millions in cash, but no job. He can't appear on TV until -- Well until! He has to find something to do with all the free time.  And he has. He's on Twitter!

The members of the twittering public wasted no time in sharing, with the world, their comments:

"Conan O'Brien has a brand new Twitter show! It begs the question: Is Conan now on at 11:30 or 12:30?"

"The Tonight  twitter show with Conan O'Brian!" Well tonight, today, tomorrow, when ever he comes on- line.

Charlie Sheen: In rehab again.

Actor Charlie Sheen has taken a leave of absence from his top rated  CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men" to enter rehab, according to a statement issued  today by his publicist. The CBS comedy show has halted production.
Charlie Sheen entered rehab 'as a preventative measure' .    Just two weeks, his wife, Brooke Mueller,  went into rehab. The two reportedly will receive treatment at different facilities.

Charlie Sheen entering rehab  was expected, following a series of very not funny incidents, including a Christmas Day,  allegedly alcohol related,  alleged assault  on his wife, which has led to  Domestic Violence legal troubles, state charges brought against him for  felony menacing, third-degree assault and criminal mischief.

Legend of the Seeker: Hunger

I was going to say that it was only a matter of time before Legend of the Seeker spent some time mining the inherent drama of the banelings and the Faustian deal that keeps them among the living, but that's just the thing, it wasn't. Season 2 could have come and gone without really giving the disturbing implications of this unique variety of antagonist a proper seeing-to. All in all, the depth "Hunger" gave to this season's go-to monster did more to advance the show's themes than another canned plot would have.

Bieber SNL Fever

Justin Bieber booked for SNL, April 10th! Yeah, “Saturday Night Live,”  the musical guest  --  a no brainer! Bet the show will get very high ratings!

A Social Networking Wizard or an army of wizards,  are working their mojos for Justin Bieber  -- aiding his career, keeping him up front -- keeping him at the top of the Twitter' trending list, worldwide, petitioning the likes of SNL producers to get him a gig on the show, keeping the buzz going, his career rolling! And what a roll he's on: a featured spot in  the "We Are the World” remake for Haiti, a presenter at the Grammys, a performance for the  President. Now, the fifteen year old takes a stage that much older musicians would sell their souls to stand on --SNL's.

Caprica: Gravedancing

The opening credits of a show can be the most important thirty seconds of any given episode. In Battlestar Galactica the title sequence did an excellent job of building up anticipation for the next hour of television, teasing viewers with flashes of scenes throughout the episode in a way that was both exciting and a little fatalistic. It revealed just enough to reel the audience in without giving away major plot twists. Caprica's title sequence consists of a flashy, descriptive set of images that more or less boil each of the main characters down to a few basic qualities. For the most part it's been inoffensive and easy to dismiss, but tonight those opening credits took the punch out of half of the episode's action.

Legend of the Seeker: Torn

Sorry for the late post, Legend of the Seeker fans. I found myself in a far off, mystical land to the east on personal business this past weekend so I couldn't get around to coverage of "Torn" until today. It's a shame, too, considering that it was the closest thing that Seeker could have possibly gotten to a full-blown Valentine's Day episode. The subject matter loses some of its punch after the holiday has come and gone, but thankfully "Torn" has a lot more to it than just a few steamy scenes. Like all of the best episodes of the series, this one was a contemplation of some of the major themes Seeker relies on for emotional gravity. In this particular case, it was an excursion into the nature of desire and duty, especially the way they can contradict one another.

The Office: Manager and Salesman

Holiday episodes of The Office tend to be some of the strongest of the season for one reason or another. Sometimes the writers save up a barrage of their best jokes for them, sometimes there are major plot developments. What made this year’s Valentine’s Day episode so good was that it reassured viewers that just because Dunder-Mifflin has come under the purview of a disconcertingly different owner doesn’t mean the Scranton branch has to change. Despite the deliciously frosty presence of Kathy Bates as the new head honcho (honcha?), the folks from that scrappy branch in Pennsylvania are still their old, lovable selves.

Watching The Winter Olympics? Huh?

This morning's the Google doodle is about the Winter Olympics -- as if I  needed a reminder.  The 2010 Winter Olympics starts today in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,  where for the next 17 days,  Feb. 12–28,   a group of 2, 500 athletes from around the world  will compete for gold, glory, and for whatever. The opening ceremonies will be held tonight, televised on NBC. NBC will start its coverage at 7:30 PM, Eastern Standard Time. Yes, I wish the participants a successful game -- and yes, I prefer the summer games to the winter ones, as I prefer summer to winter. And with all the snow in the  Northeast, particularly, in DC,  with all the snow on the ground outside my window --I don't want to see snow --so I can't imagine myself watching kids competing in snow for a fortnight plus. I prefer to watch something warmer.

Comedy / Drama and Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin, the star of  "30 Rock",  and who is starring in and getting critical raves for his current movie with  Meryl Streep called "It's Complicated," and who is slated to co-host the Oscars this year, stars in comedy / drama on the small screen, the big screen and in life. Didn't a few weeks ago, he announced that he was quitting acting? Well, that announcement was part of the drama / comedy in the life of Alec Baldwin.
 Last night, Alec Baldwin was rushed to Manhattan's Lennox Hill hospital and held briefly. Why? It's complicated. The official  reason is unknown -- and  everything is a "misunderstanding" -- and!


Judging Judge Ellen

Last night Ellen DeGeneres had her debut on  "American Idol."  The debut went as to be expected --jokes because she is a funny comic and -- bitting comments-- because it is American Idol and she wants to fit in. Press reviews and fan feed back on the Internet are generally favorable. The Huffington Post sums up the reaction in general, "Debut Delights Fans."

Yeah, Ellen DeGeneres  is funny, she is a working comic. I still wonder why she is sitting on "American Idol" as a judge. Anyway she officially replaced  Paula Abdul last night, and that is that.

Captain Phil, A Good, Goodnight

News that is a serious bummer. Tuesday night, Captain Phil Harris, from Discovery Channel's reality show "The Deadliest Catch," died   from complications following a recent stroke.  His death came as a shock. I thought he was getting better. Captain Phil was just 53.   His show made him possibly America's favorite captain. Easily, he was the best captain on the show. His passing is a sad event.

House: 5 to 9

Earlier this season an entire episode of House was devoted to showing viewers life from Wilson's perspective. It was refreshing, compelling and allowed Robert Sean Leonard to have the spotlight after being somewhat wasted in a minor supporting role for several years. This week, Lisa Edelstein's Dr. Cuddy got the same treatment and while it wasn't quite as interesting (or deserved), the result was still an above-average episode.

Heroes: Brave New World

Ah, tradition. Pop culture usually isn't very big on long-standing customs. No, it's more interested in the next big thing, leaving all those old stand-by rituals by the wayside. That's why I've become a bit nostalgic around this time every year. Why? Because this is the time when we all sit around the glow of our televisions and say those sacred words, "Well, that sucked. Maybe next year it'll be better." That's right, kids. It's another Heroes season finale. And just like every season finale before it, it did indeed suck and it also implicitly promised that next season will be better. That is, if NBC even grants the series another season.