Monday, February 28, 2011


  • The Monologue:
    • The Clippers are celebrating Black History Month. On the day after tomorrow.
    • Charlie Sheen says that he's not high on anything except Charlie Sheen. He went to the hospital after buying some Charlie Sheen which turned out to be a "Hot Shot". Get it?
    • See, your little mind thinks my joke is bad and all I think about is winning.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Didn't watch much of the Oscars because other people in my house do not appreciate my constant mockery. Instead, watched an Amazing Race result that wasn't fixed but could have been based on the team that left and what I assume is everyone's indifference. Also, an episode of Big Love that I barely paid attention to because I was reading Oscar jokes on Twitter and the show is mostly boring lately. Was I happy with who won the awards? Who cares. I know what I liked and that's fine for me.
    • How I Met Your Mother is pretty hit-or-miss of late, but tonight's was hit. The dog stuff was great and the "sandwich" gag is always a winner.
    • To say I don't care about House anymore would be to say that Qadafi is having some troubles in his country. I am flamingly apathetic.
    • Somehow, I've found myself watching the final season of Heroes on Netflix Watch Instantly. It's quite a bit better than I thought it would be, but obviously too little, too late.
  • Random Webpage:
    • Brian Jones would have 69 today, but of course he died 42 years ago. Anyway, he played on this song, among other hits from whatever band this is.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Worst of the Worst: #56, Because I Said So

You start with four actresses -- Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Lauren Graham, and Piper Perabo -- who we rather like. But then it turns out they have no chemistry at all as a mom and her three daughters, because who would believe that those three could be sisters? And then you make the movie slapstick and have Keaton, who I might remind you had feature roles in The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and Annie Hall, do all kinds of really stupid things. You have two likeable male leads in Tom Everett Scott and Stephen Collins, but you have a third in Gabriel Macht who is just not a good actor and give all three of them bad lines. You top it off with an unbelievable story and have multiple times that the four women sing together for no apparent reason and, voila, you have crap.

Moore plays a baker -- and to paraphrase Anton Chekhov, if a cake appears early in a stupid movie you know it's going into someone's face later on -- who is unlucky at love. Her sisters are both married, but she can't seem to find anyone. I guess it's because she is supposed to have some weird quirks, but it's Mandy Moore. Who doesn't find her cute? Their mother is divorced and living vicariously through her daughters -- who share way too much sexual info with each other -- and wants to make them happy by attempting to control every little part of their lives. She puts a personal ad in the paper and interviews men to date her single daughter, picking one and then helping him win her daughter's heart behind her back. In a weird plot twist that nobody could see coming, the daughter meets another guy who is both cute and free-wheeling. Which guy will the daughter choose and will her mother let her choose the one she wants? And will she find out about the personal ad in a dramatic scene that leads to a fight and people leaving answering machine messages when other people won't pick up the phone and eventual reconciliation while the daughter falls in love with whom she wants even though the guy she falls in love with finds out she's dating someone else and gets angry at her but then tries to get her back with a cute speech in a public setting that leads to them kissing and everyone clapping? Well, you'll just have to watch to find out.

And so Diane Keaton, she of the Godfather movies and a Best Actress winner for Annie Hall, ends up making sex jokes and wiping cake frosting off of her face. And Macht, Moore, and Keaton are all asked to deliver heartfelt speeches that are written very, very poorly. And the women sing together for no reason, but we're supposed to find it cute even though Moore's voice is a million times better than the other three's and they don't even that out so it sounds weird. So there you have the movie considered by many to be the worst movie of 2007. And it's really bad. But, somehow, I can't totally hate every second because I really do like the four actresses, especially Moore. Casting can't make a bad movie good -- though it can make a good movie like The Fighter very good -- but it can keep a movie from being unwatchable. So, Eyde Belasco -- who, by the way, cast a few other of these horrible movies but also did two great, great casting jobs in Half Nelson and (500) Days of Summer -- we salute you.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I'd have had a lot more to say twenty or so minutes ago, but then I watched 30 Rock. On a night when I finally admitted that Parks and Recreation had jumped Community as the funniest non-Curb show, I had to wonder if the former champ, 30 Rock, had finally begun to jump the shark. It's just really, really awful. The writers and Kenneth are destroying everything in their path, even being unfunny enough tonight to make Liz unfunny. Impressive as that may be, I wonder how they can salvage it unless they go all Liz and Jack for the rest of the season.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Octarocks And Whatnot

  • The Monologue:
    • The Legend of Zelda was released twenty-five years ago on Monday. One of the greatest video game franchises ever. We salute a quarter century of people hitting the sword button to make it look like Link was flashing the screen and twenty-three years of nobody beating Zelda II.
    • As if you needed any other proof that Mariah Carey is a force for pure evil.
    • First Carmelo Anthony goes to the Knicks then Deron Williams goes to the Nets. Now Wyoming has traded its entire population of sixteen people for two dogs from Connecticut and a fetus to be named later.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • This promises to be one of the great seasons of Survivor. There are interesting personalities, shifty dealings from day one, and Russell starting to go crazy.
    • A quick search shows that I have so far neglected to sing the praises of Science Channel's An Idiot Abroad. Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant send the center of their jokes, Karl Pilkington, around the globe to see the Seven Wonders and experience the local cultures. Pilkington is funny. Watching a woman eat a scorpion in China, he wonders what goes through her mind when she sees a spider in her bathroom. Seeing the Taj Mahal and learning that a man built it for his wife, Pilkington wonders what the man must have done to have to build that to get in good graces. The show can be found in On Demand.
  • Random Video:
    • Starting to feel new music a bit. Got the Cee Lo album and just stole a copy of Mumford & Sons from the wife. They are a British folk band with a great sound. Here is the song they played on the Grammys.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Internet Makes No Sense

  • The Monologue:
    • I went to walk the dog this morning, not realizing that the Knicks had traded him to Denver along with fourteen players, thirty draft picks, and the entire population of Staten Island.
    • Is there any more relieved person in the world right now than Hosni Mubarak? "I'm not that bad, guys, seriously."
    • Rush Limbaugh called Michelle Obama overweight. Not to be outdone, Sarah Palin called her stupid.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Traffic Light had a nice bit about a guy treasuring his morning commute as alone time, but I call foul on a bit where a guy got a girl's phone number for ostensibly professional reasons and looked all over for a pen to write it down. Does anyone do that anymore? You don't just put it right into your phone?
    • I really, really like Lights Out -- the writing is great and Reg E. Cathey puts on an acting clinic -- but the boxing action in tonight's episode was super fake. Way too many clean head shots; the ref would have stopped the fight if anyone left themselves that undefended for that long. The action especially looked fake after the beautifully-shot action in The Fighter.
    • Indeed, saw The Fighter, the eighth of the Best Picture nominees that I've seen. Pretty good movie, though far from great. There are a few very weak moments here and there, though, like many sports movies, the great ending helps you the remember the movie fondly. I think I'd find it a pretty average movie without Christian Bale's tour de force performance as a crack-addled brother lying to himself and his family about his addiction and the toll it has taken on his life. He's a shoo-in for the Oscar. I also really, really liked Amy Adams as the tough girlfriend who helps Mark Wahlberg start to get his act together. Who I didn't like? Melissa Leo, who has gotten such great press and the Oscar nomination. I didn't like her accent and she seemed to be a caricature that didn't really add anything to the movie.
    • All eight of the Best Picture nominees that I've seen have been at least very good. I'd probably rank them right now as: 8) The Kids Are All Right; 7) Winter's Bone; 6) The Fighter; 5) Inception (saw it a second time recently and it didn't hold up as well); 4) True Grit (now convinced Hailee Steinfeld needs to win Best Supporting Actress); 3) The Social Network (plan on seeing it again very soon); 2) Toy Story 3; 1)The King's Speech. It's not close, by the way. The King's Speech is way, way, way, way, way, way, etc. better than everything else.
  • Random Webpage:
    • And I mean random. It's inexplicable, but I laughed out loud. First go all the way down the page and click to play the theme song. Then, enjoy "Selleck Waterfall Sandwich".

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Can You Imagine Bouncing A Check To Kunta Kinte?

  • The Monologue:
    • Fox News doctors footage. I, for one, am shocked. Seriously though, it's not like we're not asking for Fox and MSNBC to be what they are. People watch for entertainment and they deliver.
    • There's plenty of stuff out there for people who are unfamiliar with technology (take The Social Network, for example) and the way that stuff deals with the technology makes me laugh. Not sure when to text? Let your spirit guides at tell you!
    • I'm realizing this has gotten away from being a monologue and is more just random links again.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Community overall was great with its stylistic satire of The Office/Parks and Rec/Modern Family, but the real joy was Donald Glover. His fake cry is funnier than anyone else's. Fans of the Mike O'Meara Show will especially appreciate the use of the Reading Rainbow theme song in tonight's episode.
    • Straight men can't go funny in every episode, but if you use them sparingly, the times they do go funny is extra funny. Witness Adam Scott on Parks and Recreation tonight, who has been bone dry in both of his major roles so far (the other being Party Down) but was absolutely crazy in this most recent episode.
    • No matter how well it came together at one point tonight, I'm this close to just fast-forwarding through any 30 Rock scene that doesn't feature Liz or Jack.
    • Tonight, a character on Grey's Anatomy was excited about tickets to the Huskies game, proclaiming, "It's the title game of the Pac-10 tournament! If they win, they get an automatic bid to March Madness!" A) the Pac-10 tournament is always at Staples Center. B) Nobody talks about a "bid to March Madness." If "NCAA Tournament" or "the Tournament" are copyrighted, just don't bother talking about that in the show. Instead, they lost me early in what turned out to be a pretty good episode.
  • Random Video:
    • Today's birthdays include Billie Joe Armstrong and Paris Hilton. With all due respect to Green Day, nobody really cares about seeing a video from either of them, right?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

39 Days, 18 Contestants, 15 Contestants Who Understand The Game

  • The Monologue:
    • The National Enquirer reported that O.J. Simpson was beat up in prison. It hit Twitter and major blogs wrote about it. Problem: it didn't actually happen. The other prisoners were 100% not guilty.
    • The theme song to Civilization IV won a Grammy award. Everyone thought the speech was two minutes long, but it turns out that they had been listening to it for four hours.
    • This just sounds like a horrible, horrible idea. Horrible.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Survivor returned tonight with the premiere of its twenty-second installment. It started out promising and ended up being one of the more frustrating episodes I can remember. I lamented the way that the ubiquitous hidden immunity idol has changed the game for the worse, but it turned out that it led to one of the dumber set of moves in the history of the game. There's a reason you don't make power moves in the first few days.
    • Man, Lights Out is just really, really good. I guess FX and AMC are just willing to take more chances, but the quality of shows on those networks is far, far above the quality on the broadcast networks.
    • Albert Pujols is not signing with anyone but St. Louis. Please, let's stop the madness. It's not going to happen.
  • Random Video:
    • Birthday for James Ingram, who sang this duet with Linda Ronstadt.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dog Days

  • The Monologue:
    • Billy Ray Cyrus is concerned that the people around his daughter Miley are putting her on the wrong track. So are we, Dad. So are we.
    • Haley Barbour is under fire because he will not denounce a proposal in Mississippi to have a vanity plate honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the KKK. I have less of a problem with the KKK part than with the Confederate soldier part. Of course, the plate is being pushed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, one of the foremost Lost Cause organizations. The KKK we know and love now does not have the same goals that Forrest's original group did, but the dude was a traitor to the country.
    • I have very few limits when it comes to what I could potentially find funny, but I just can not laugh at the Serene Branson thing. Not being sarcastic there; I seriously just do not find it funny at all.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • Getting quite a bit bored with House. Not sure why, because it's the same formula as always, but I guess I'm just tired of it.
    • Right now, the only network drama that even sniffs the list of best shows on TV is The Chicago Code. House is boring and Grey's Anatomy has gotten really, really soapy again. Actually, dramas are pretty bad in general right now with Big Love being spotty, at best. The only other drama I'm currently on is Lights Out, easily the best drama currently airing and the only thing challenging Community and Parks and Recreation for the overall top spot.
    • I've now seen two episodes of Fox's new romantic comedy, Traffic Light. It has its moments, which is more than you can say about any Fox sitcom since, what, Bernie Mac? Fox and sitcoms do not go well together.
  • Random Video:
    • I am eschewing '80s and '90s music with the baby for '60s music. Much less hit-and-miss on the "best of the decade" station. This is what she fell asleep to last night. You think Drake or Willow Smith or Esperanza Spalding, whoever they all are, will ever write something like this?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Out Of Touch

The Grammys are not for me, and I'm okay with that:
  • I have never heard of Esperanza Spalding and I'm still not convinced that she wasn't some audience member that someone called up so they didn't have to give an award to Justin Bieber.
  • I've never heard an Arcade Fire song and they'd probably annoy me if I did because it's probably just another band that sounds like the Shins or some older alt-rock group.
  • The Lady Antebellum song is just fine, but I hate the name of the group and I don't especially like country music, even if it's fake country music that's really pop.
  • I bought four albums all of last year (like the year matters since "Need You Now" was released in 2009): Eminem, Kanye, Ben Folds/Nick Hornby, and the Treme soundtrack. I'm not interested in trying anything by anybody new. Nobody's going to make a song better than half of Stevie Wonder's catalog from the '60s and '70s anyway.
  • If you had told me five years ago that a guy who looks like Tony Gwynn would dress up like Elton John in a chicken suit and sing a song with Gwyneth Paltrow, I'd slowly back away. (Granted, that song is really good, even if I hate censorship.)
  • Someone today told me I really needed to see the performance with Usher, Bieber, and Jaden Smith. I slowly backed away.
  • The Grammys are not for me. I didn't watch a second until I found low-quality YouTube videos of Eminem's and Cee-Lo's performances. Wasn't Adam Levine supposed to be with Eminem at some point? I only saw Rihanna and some other chick who I have no idea who she is. My annoyance with the state of music is making my grammar bad.
  • In closing, we should rename the Grammys into "The Music White People Like Awards". Thank you for your time.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Worst of the Worst: #46, Material Girls

So I found myself at 11PM on a Saturday night, watching a Hilary/Haylie Duff movie and wondering where my life went so wrong. I just wanted to get through this list of the hundred worst movies, only twenty-nine to go including this one, but I sat in front of the TV, my brain slowly melting and leaking from every orifice on my face. The Duff sisters not even trying to act, Brent Spiner showing up again as a bad guy (as he did in The Master of Disguise), Anjelica Huston somehow being on the screen. Everything had gone so very, very wrong.

The Duffs play sisters who are heiresses to a cosmetic fortune. When their company comes under fire for doing something bad that could have easily been disproved by a monkey, they lose all of their money and have to clear their names. They do something or other wacky to expose the bad guy and everything's great. They learn an important lesson: money is more important than anything else! That may not be what the movie is trying to do, but that's what it succeeds at. The big fear the sisters face is that they'll have to sell the company for $60 million each. Instead, they not only end up successful, but they take a guy who works at the free legal society and turn him into their corporate lawyer.

And so I watched this slapstick mess of stupidity -- lines that fail as laugh lines are often accompanied by wacky sound effects -- that I had DVR-ed off of MTV and wondered, not for the first time, why I was doing this. But then, it ended. I survived. So, eh. On to the next one.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Good Community, great Parks and Recreation (Nick Offerman was brilliant, as always, but Aziz Ansari had some great physical moments), pretty good 30 Rock, but there's something more important eating at me.

Public demonstrations can be awe-inspiring and the yearning of a people for freedom is admirable. But if history has shown anything, it is that people with power don't want to give up that power and that revolutions are rarely, if ever, without a lot of bloodshed. That's just human nature, really.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Random Items

Some quick housekeeping, as I try my hardest to get through the short February doldrums until baseball springs anew and March Madness gets here:
  • I think very few of the very few people who read this blog watch just about anything I watch on TV (which is actually not very much these days). The first of two links from Details magazine, this one about my current second-favorite sitcom and the wacky murals that they often show.
  • The second article is an oral history of a great show that I know nobody watched, Party Down. Shame.
  • A show people probably do watch is How I Met Your Mother and Monday's episode had a whole hidden scheme working for it. I'm going to go home and sleep with my wife!
  • Finally, I neglected to review the seventh of the Best Picture nominees I've seen, The King's Speech. The only word to describe it is "beautiful." So beautiful that it wasn't just the ending that had me near tears, it was random scenes because they are so well done artistically. The acting is beyond superb for the most part, with Colin Firth about to deservedly run away with the Oscar and Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter also nominated for good reason. The "most part" comes in because the actor who plays Churchill is a bit weak, but it's a very small part. The dialogue is wonderful, the art direction is sublime, the subtleties of the direction are great (I particularly loved something that Rush does at the end, a slight tilt of his head that carries a message). Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Easily the best movie of the year.

Monday, February 7, 2011

No, The Almost-Six-Month-Old Didn't Understand What "Tin Roof, Rusted" Meant In Context Either

  • The Monologue:
    • Really awkward moment when the Steelers got all the way back to Pittsburgh before realizing they had left Troy Polamalu in Dallas. They just assumed he had been invisible on the plane the way he had been during the game.
    • I'm not saying the halftime show was so bad as to be offensive, but the FCC has now overreacted by banning music from the radio.
    • Did you love that Super Bowl commercial? You know, the one where a guy acted stupid and the smarter woman made fun of him while an animal did something that was supposed to be funny while everyone danced gingerly around racial stereotypes? You liked that one, right?
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • She didn't do a great acting job, but the weirdest thing about Katy Perry being on How I Met Your Mother tonight to me was that she's just too hot for that show. Not that the women on the show aren't attractive, but they're more real-life cute and she just didn't fit in.
    • To the show's credit, though, as bad as some of the telephone gags at Marshall's house were, the last scene with Ted and Zoe in the hallway was phenomenal.
    • The Chicago Code could be pretty good. Decent pilot with some good moments and the always great job turned in by Delroy Lindo. Shows promise.
  • Random Video:
    • From the "Song To Which The Baby Fell Asleep" Dept. What can I say? The kid likes her pop.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Yesterday I said that Community was the best thing going right now, which was fortuitous timing as they dropped the "comedy episode to beat" for 2011 tonight. Extraordinarily funny all of the way through and, unlike many episodes, it is totally standalone, so you can catch it on Hulu having not seen any other episode and still get it. The group plays Dungeons & Dragons to save a life.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


  • The Monologue:
    • Good news: the groundhog didn't see his shadow, so Spring is around the corner. Bad news: he took a wrong turn going back to his hole and froze to death in a four-foot-deep snow bank.
    • Speaking of Groundhog Day, here's a cute little piece from the guy who played Ned. Ned? Ned Ryerson?
    • Hate absolutes. I can't believe that all of the violence is originating with the pro-government faction in Egypt. Not all of the protesters are saints. We're not talking Gandhi here.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • With most of the best cable shows in between seasons right now and nothing -- nothing -- very worthwhile drama-wise on network (even House has been pretty weak lately), FX's Lights Out is far and away the best drama on the air right now. It is gut-wrenching, well-acted, and the fight scene in this week's episode was jaw-droppingly intense.
    • Best single thing on the air right now? I guess Community, though the most recent installment of Showtime's Episodes was brilliant and no show right now is better at doing what it sets out to do than Archer.
    • Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter posed a great question in a column: what is the most obscure thing you watch on TV? Mine is probably History Detectives on PBS, since the only other non-primetime show I watch the most is the overly popular Pawn Stars.
    • February means we're getting close to March. Maryland just doesn't have the go-to guy to hang with a team like Duke, so I have to look elsewhere. Back in November, I gave you San Diego State as a sleeper and they just finally lost this week. The team they lost to, BYU, has the single best player in the nation -- and most exciting to watch -- in point guard Jimmer Fredette. I may have been a bit off on Michigan State, huh? Though they tend to be different come tournament time.
  • Random Video:
    • Shakira turns 34 today and this song, which samples the opening of "Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)" by Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz and features the erstwhile President of Haiti, is one of my favorite pop songs ever.