Sunday, September 27, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (9/25): Glee

I had intended to review the pilot episode but I somehow managed to miss both airings of it…. ack! Anyway, I started watching from the second episode and I was instantly hooked. This show has many fun and enjoyable characters. Jane Lynch plays bitchy quite well as Sue, the cheerleading captain. It is also well written and acted. Matthew Morrison shines as the glee club director. The kids are great too, I think so far my favorite is definitely Mercedes.

I have had my reservations about watching new shows on Fox over the past several years… too many favorite shows of mine have been cancelled too quickly (see Boston Public, Wanda at Large, Titus)… and while I was not a fan of Terminator: The Sarah Chronicles, it really seemed to me from what I heard about it, that it was another instance of Fox cancelling a show with potential too early. But in hearing how well Glee was doing I was much less scared to give it a try and I am glad I did. Not too often am I hooked on a newer show after just one sitting.

The clip this week comes from an episode which aired last week, which features the football dancing to “Single Ladies.” You know, at this point I don’t know what’s better, the song itself or the imitations that have come from it. This is the type of hilarity worth seeing every time it airs.

Glee… my online pick of the week!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

ATWT: Tell Him, Luke

Wednesday, September 23rd:

It’s really insane. So Meg has the information needed to bust Damian, and I still hate her ass. Go figure. It’s one thing to be upset with the fact that Damian screwed around with someone else behind her back, but girlfriend is just being way too holier-than-thou and with her it’s also pretty much “ha-ha, I know more than you!” and it comes off as very classless and bitchy. And none of this concerns Luke? Um, yeah, no.

And as for Damian… I’m sure he didn’t intend to have it happen, but he totally used getting shot to his advantage. And he managed to lie himself out of the mess he got into with Luke. So I’m pretty sure soon enough Luke will be hating Damian all over again in the end. That’s classic Damian.

Holden and Maeve… oh dear. Getting to know each other is nice, but all that time yakking could have been time spent escaping. The good thing though is that lead into some decent suspense.

Thursday, September 24th:

I can definitely see why Noah was upset with Luke. Not only has something big happened in Luke’s life, but it was also easily possibly the end of Luke’s life, and the love of his life had no earthly idea. If I had a partner who did that, even if it wasn’t done maliciously, I would not be happy either. As Noah so eloquently put, with them, it is their life. And this was definitely a big deal.

Oh, Mason. You just know on the inside he totally lit up like a Christmas tree when he heard that Noah and Luke got into the argument. I can seriously imagine him happily getting the DVDs he needed to get. Yeah, sorry, buddy. You ain’t getting any tonight.

On another note… it was so nice seeing Maddie again. The REAL Maddie. The Maddie I am sure knows for a fact that Noah Mayer is gay and won’t stir any ire in Luke and make him jealous like in December (what the HELL was that, show?). And I have no sympathy whatsoever for Adam. Period. And wow, Tom changed his tune fast on that subject, didn’t he?

This actually was a really good day and a pretty good four days overall. It’s really nice to have a bit more of a character driven story. It’s definitely character driven, because this is not the first time where something major has happened in Luke’s life and he for some reason didn’t tell Noah, or didn't tell him first (also see the school election). And the dialogue during the argument scene was very nice. There’s also the fact that Luke was on four… *gasps* FOUR days. That doesn’t happen too much at all.

ATWT: No More Brian Comparisons, Please!

Monday, September 21st:

Good dialogue with Mason and Noah. Finally, more of a sign that something is starting with this story. We know that Luke is only wanting to move back home for a little while, so I didn’t see the need for the dialogue to make it so final sounding.

It’s back to not liking Meg again. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. What is up with this woman fighting for men who treat her horribly?

Jack, I am no fan of Lily sleeping with Damian either. But I doubt Lily can’t be a basic mother because of it. Though there is one thing I still don’t understand… how could she STILL possibly not see why this bothers Faith so much?! And can we please stop bringing up Luke and Brian? This was a stupid mistake too, but under different circumstances.

Loved Damian’s face when the phone rang and it was the cop from Kentucky. The classic “Damn! My plan has been foiled!” look. Paolo totally nailed it.

Tuesday, September 22nd:

My, my, Mr. Grimaldi. What are you up to? A business trip to San Francisco? Liar. And him saying that “Lily has suffered enough.” Yeah, no thanks to your ass.

Meg… tsk, tsk, tsk. We find out that Holden may be alive and she STILL brings up Damian. With her now it’s very evident again that she seems more concerned over the fact that Lily slept with her man than the idea of her presumed dead brother’s memory possibly being usurped.

And one more thing… Ebberly Stone! This crazy lunatic’s full name is Ebberly Stone! Excuse me while I burst into laughter! EBBERLY STONE! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

TPiR: Season 38 Premiere: Review

Since there really aren’t any major changes to the show game play wise, I will simply comment on the minor changes.

I really am enjoying most of the new set changes. The one-bid score displays look really nice. Updated for the modern conveniences, while continuing to sport the classic look of which the show is known. Same with the turntable and the main stage where the pricing games are played. A few of the new camera angles remind me of something: I know a few friends who have seen the show in person, and the one thing that they all say is how small the set is in actuality compared to what is seen on television. And these new shots during the closed-captioned bumpers and so forth really seem to resemble that fact. The only real problem I have with the set is with the showcase podiums. The color scheme matches, but they’re a little thin for my tastes and the score readouts are a bit hard to read. The latter issue could easily be fixed by making the readout background darker.

I think Drew so far this season is doing a really decent job. I am confident that things will not turn the way things did close to around this time last fall, where the intended comedy overpowered the show itself. Luckily things for the most part turned around relatively quickly after.

Here’s to another season of Price!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (9/18): Guiding Light Farewell Tribute

Another Guiding Light related post for the end of this week: a brilliantly done tribute has been posted on YouTube by user FebWriter, which does an excellent job at looking back at some of the many memorable moments that the fictional city of Springfield has endured.

It honestly has to be the best tribute to this show that I have seen all year. As much as I enjoyed seeing Betty White introduce the tribute done at the Daytime Emmys this year, the tribute in itself was pretty pathetic. With tens of thousands of episodes and such a huge legacy, there was no reason why there should have been such a short tribute.

It is separated into nine parts. The memorable moments one is really one of my favorites out of them all. I was not old enough to see Bert Bauer firsthand, but in seeing many of the older episodes and moments like what is first featured with her and Josh, it is very evident to see what a big impact she had on the show’s fans. Celebrations is another favorite. That really lightens the mood, I think.

They are all there: Memorable Moments, In Loving Memory, Friendships, Weddings, Couples, Villains, Celebration, and Legacy.

This amazingly done tribute to the longest running television series ever, my online pick of the week!

Friday, September 18, 2009

GL: Series Finale and Reflections, Part Two

As sad as I am to see the show go, any anger or bitterness on my part as a fan is directed mostly at Procter & Gamble/Telenext when it comes to the actual cancellation than CBS. Although I do think that it was in incredibly bad taste for the network to make the announcement on April Fools’ Day of all days. It’s really irritating to see that it basically took a cancellation notice in order to get things such as better storytelling and more vets getting screen time. I’ll bet right now we would not be seeing favorites like Ed, Holly, Mindy, Danny or Michelle if the show was staying on the air past this week. There’s also the fact that there are writers and producers who stayed on the show much longer than they should have (i.e. head writer David Kreizman and executive producer Ellen Wheeler).

And I’ve said it before and I will be happy to reiterate: this needs to be a testament to any other show running right now, especially if you are a daytime soap (I am especially talking to YOU, As The World Turns! Things are starting to get better with you, and it needs to continue.). If you’re treating your fans as if they matter, then good for you, continue to do so. If you are not, then you need to do so. Fans are not expendable, and there is only so much that they can tolerate before they throw in the towel. Respect your fans. Your job depends on it. There are many items that contributed to longtime viewers deciding to no longer watch the show. Whether it was Maureen Bauer’s death in 1993, Reva being cloned in 1998, the handling and demise of Roger Thorpe's character in 2005, or switching to the “realistic” shaky-cam style in 2008; people left the show for specific reasons. There were reasons why fans stopped caring; they differ depending on which fan you talk to. Reasons to no longer watch pretty much had to do with decisions that were either not well thought out before they were made or were just plain bad choices.

This is not to say that change is a bad thing, because it is not if it is done correctly. Two years ago Days of our Lives was along the same lines; ratings down, cancellation being imminent, with even NBC president Jeff Zucker saying that the show would make it past 2009. Well guess what, changes were made to the show creatively, the ratings are up (either #3 or somewhere in the top 5 overall), and 2009 is almost over. And some really big changes were made too, and I found myself questioning a lot of them; for instance, getting rid of John and Marlena. But in the end it paid off and things look much better. So I refuse to believe that a show can’t turn itself around if it really wants to.

Change in itself can be good. It just needs to be well thought out and fans need to be respected. If television’s longest running show ever can be axed, then no other series can ever be exempt of a cancellation notice.

Despite its severe dips in terms of quality over the last several years, congratulations, Guiding Light. Congratulations to a show which achieved something no other television show has ever been able to touch and never will.

GL: Series Finale and Reflections, Part One

I have decided to split this entry into two: one part will cover my thoughts on the actual ending of the show dialogue-wise and the other will be my thoughts on the actual cancellation.

I’ve hated Alan Spaulding so much over the years, but his death was done so uniquely well in ties with the Phillip storyline that in all my time of watching this character, I never thought I’d be sad to see him actually die.

It’s nice seeing all these favorites again. And I am glad that over the past couple of years that they decided to give Remy something to do instead of just being angry all the time. I know Tammy’s death was sad, but geez. I really loved Billy and Vanessa’s wedding, and then they made it a double wedding for Buzz and Lillian. Very spur of the moment. No Olivia/Natalia reunion kiss? Grr.

Although it’s odd that Jeffrey disappeared with no explanation whatsoever, I was happier than ever to see Josh and Reva reunite. I like Jeffrey too, but with all the history these two characters have, there would have been no good excuse period to not bring these two back together.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ATWT: Go, Meg! Wait, wait… what?

Wednesday, September 16th:

Oh. My. God. I actually liked Meg today. More on that in a bit.

It’s really just like Damian to take advantage of a situation like this. And to try to justify it by saying Holden’s gone now, especially knowing that he had a hand in hiding Holden’s dental records? Okay, Mr. Grimaldi, you can go away now.

Totally loved Luke today and I enjoyed watching him slam the door in Damian’s face. Also, in spite of his disgust (totally loved that “ewww” face whenever Damian/Lily sex was brought up), in the end he actually heard her side of it.

Lily comparing this situation with Luke and Brian is so wrong on so many levels. First of all, for the comparison to actually work, Noah would have had to be presumed dead when Luke kissed Brian and he would have had to have been sober. Not that it was right for him to do what he did, but there is no comparison. Bad move, Lily. Oh, and finally the light bulb went off in regards to Faith. It only took her walking in on her in bed with Damian.

And just wow, I cannot believe I was actually cheering along Meg Snyder. This has to be the first (and probably the last) time that that has ever happened. EVER. As much as I hated Damian and Meg being together Meg was treated like crap. Not only was that slap justified, but she told him off very well and she actually had a backbone! What show am I watching?!

Oh and Holden, escaping but leaving the gun with the lunatic that will wake up at any time? Not really a good idea.

There are still some bumps that need smoothing out, but with the show beginning to improve in quality and the ratings going up from second to last to #5, it looks as though the powers that be maybe finally realizing that the show needed fixing. Good show today and I actually can’t wait for tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! Season Premieres: Review

Hard to believe we are now starting 27 years of Wheel of Fortune and 26 years of Jeopardy!.

I’ve sounded off on my issues with the current era of Wheel of Fortune and they have not changed. And I still don’t have the desire to watch the show every night anymore. This new free play wedge in place of the free spin sounds rather weird to me. Maybe I’ll get used to it as it goes along.

Jeopardy! however looks just great. Still a great game format-wise after all these years; I've found that it's aging quite nicely. And I am still in love with the new set. Nice new graphics, and I love the new board sound at the beginning. I have voiced my thoughts on the previous set back in March, and they are still the same as before. While I liked the change of podiums in 2006, I am not sad to see it go at all. It was definitely my least favorite set out of all of them. I’ll even take the Sushi Bar/Library looking set any day over it.

I am really excited about the celebrity element this season. Having a celebrity episode once a month may probably sound like a lot to a few people, but in actuality, it is really pretty much the normal length of a celebrity tournament stretched out over the course of the season. I’ve read that some of the celebrities attending so far are Dana Delany and Pat Sajak. I can’t wait to see who the others are!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Online Pick of the Week(9/11): Rock & Roll Jeopardy!

In my excited anticipation for the start of the new season next week on Jeopardy!, this pick involves another spin-off related to the series, Rock & Roll Jeopardy!.

After years of wanting to check out an episode, I found one on YouTube, and I have to say I was rather impressed with it. Jeff Probst does a really nice job hosting. This version does a pretty good job by adding a neat twist… music, to the regular good old format of the answers and question style game play on Jeopardy!. Just goes to show that you can take a tried and true format and make it work to your advantage. I also find myself to be a bit better at this version. Again, pop-culture-ish type material is really my forte. And if you were a music fan, you would have loved the apparent variety of question material.

Really nice adaptation of the series and it’d be nice to see reruns again someday.

Rock & Roll Jeopardy!, my online pick of the week!

ATWT: Over The Fence

Wednesday, September 9th:

Wow, could that fall of Mason’s have looked any more silly? It was almost as if I was watching something from America’s Funniest Home Videos. And geez, Mason, could you have sounded more pervy when you mentioned that there were things that you need someone else to do for you? I got to love how oblivious Noah is to Mason, then there’s that look on his face when Noah had to leave to be at Holden‘s memorial, and I‘m pretty sure there was a twinge of disappointment when Noah came back to check up on him and Luke came along. Yeah, buddy, you’re not getting any from him. Finally, some kind of start to this storyline.

So glad Noah made it to this memorial service. If only he could have spoken at it. And Lily… I just do not understand this, still. How does the possibility of Faith seeing her kissing Damian a while back simply not register with her? Will the light bulb ever go off? I mean, really?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Catch 21: Labor Day Marathon FAIL Moment

Nothing much was on here Monday obviously due to it being the holiday, so since I don’t watch Catch 21 that much I figured this would be a good opportunity to watch a few episodes. And one of the episodes I saw later in the afternoon… oh, boy.

Luckilly, I see someone has uploaded it to YouTube, because here’s one moment with this show in the beginning that I will probably not forget in a very long time. And then there's the end game.

If I had seen this originally, I for sure would have included it in my “Other FAIL Moments/What Were They Thinking?“ entry for the Online Pick of the Week. Now I’ll admit it right now, I am by no means a math expert or scholar of any kind. But the premise of this game is pretty easy. Answer a question correctly, decide whether or not to keep a card, and in the process, add up to 21 without going over. And 13+8 = 21. That's just common knowledge.

And then watching her play the bonus round was maddening. How could she not realize that she could have walked away in the end? My God. It's so obvious that the contestant coordinators didn’t do a good job at getting someone who knows how the show works.

I realize that every good contestant is going to goof up in some form, but this was just beyond ridiculous.

Family Feud: Season Premiere

The definite good is as usual for Feud as far as I am concerned. John O’Hurley is as good a host as ever and has a great sense of humor, as usual.

After getting a chance to see the original Bullseye era on GSN a while back out of curiosity, it’s a pretty safe bet to say that I am not the biggest fan of it. And I can take it or leave it here.

Now for the nitpicks… I absolutely hate the “meet the families” introductions. They are just way too cheap and amateurish, and really seem like a waste. They could easily have the contestants introduce themselves in the studio. Also the music issue for me is the same as ever. There are more parts of the classic theme than just the main popular part, and I wish the people in charge of the music would realize that. I hate hearing the same few notes over and over again. Also I just don’t see the need for “suspenseful” music during the Bullseye round. I just think it’s unnecessary.

Millionaire: Season Premiere

I cannot believe it has been eight years already since this version debuted. It took a little bit of time, but soon enough I really began to love Meredith on the show and I love her spirit as well as personal rapports with the contestants.

As for the millionaire tournament structure? There’s a part of me that sees this as pure gimmick. But at the same time, I understand completely why this was devised. I mean, let’s face it, it’s been 6 years since there has been a million dollar winner. We’ve gotten close a few times after Nancy Christy’s win, but no cigar. It’s also not like it was something unnecessary that was just thrown out of thin air. It seems to be very well thought out. And if it guarantees a winner, then I am all for it.

Deal or No Deal: Season Premiere

Despite moving to Connecticut, nothing much has changed with daytime Deal. Not that I really expected it to, though.

There’s still a good quality about the syndicated version. I thought that the theme weeks got a little heavy last season, but in spite of that, it didn’t really interfere with the game play that much unlike the nighttime version.

Just like last season, the show focuses on the contestants and the game, and less on the gimmicks, which makes this the only version of Deal running right now that I would even bother to go out of my way to watch. Also Howie does an excellent job hosting as usual.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Best of 25 Years of Jeopardy! This Week

All this week from September 7th through the 11th, Sony has decided to treat us with a 5 episode selection of what they call “The Best of 25 Years of Jeopardy!”

Here is the rundown:
9/7: Show #1 from 9/10/1984
9/8: Show #3482 from 10/26/1999, which features as Eddie Timanus’ game #5
9/9: Show #4656 from 11/29/2004, Ken Jennings game #74
9/10: Show #4657 from 11/30/2004, Ken Jennings game #75
9/11: Show #4783 from 5/25/2005, The Ultimate Tournament of Champions finale

I was wondering what we’d be seeing this week considering that the reruns of the Teen Tournament and the Tournament of Champions finished last week, and that they usually do not rerun just general shows during the summer on weekdays.

I wish we could see three more episodes older than four years old considering the fact that GSN doesn’t want to air any older seasons anymore. Also three of the selections are also on the DVD set (#1, #4657, #4658; although airing the first show makes sense considering what an obvious milestone it is). But I’m glad they decided to do something a little special and it’s not often an episode from the 1980’s is rerun these days. It’ll be exciting to look back at one of the episodes featuring blind contestant Eddie Timanus.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Online Pick of the Week (9/4): The Simpsons: “Dial ‘N’ For Nerder”

The Simpsons has always been one of my favorite shows, ever since I was a kid. But considering the big drop in quality overtime, I haven’t watched it much on Fox at all. I figure I’m better off watching something like Newhart reruns on WGN America. But some nights, I’ll watch reruns of the show on locally, and the station here that airs the show, WATL, seems to want to run only the more recent shows that are only a year or two old.

I’ve seen a bunch of the episodes, and I’ve seen some of the truly awful episodes, like “That ‘90’s Show,” which pretty much took the show’s important history established well on early in the series and tarnished it just to make the plot written for the episode to work, to rather mediocre ones like “Smoke on the Daughter.” But I saw one that stood out. One that I actually enjoyed from start to finish. One in which I laughed out loud a lot. That would be “Dial ‘N’ For Nerder.” I pretty much loved it all, from the Cheaters spoof to Bart and Lisa being scared out of their gourds after Martin’s cliffhanger moment, to detective Nelson Muntz, and to the NBC Mystery Movie reference at the end.

Now as a fan, I’m sad to say it, but I really don’t think that we’ll ever reach the quality of the early years ever again. But seeing episodes like “Nerder” just goes to show that a good episode can be put together. I just hate that any kind of enjoyable episodes these days seem way too few and far between.

The Simpsons episode “Dial ‘N’ For Nerder,” my online pick of the week!

ATWT: Post-Hollywood Noah

Thursday, September 3rd:

I wanted to just laugh at the episode information for this show, in which one of the bullet points said “Mason’s constant presence bothers Luke.” His constant presence? “Constant,” show, really? I’ll admit, I’m one of the ones that would enjoy a good triangle if it were played out right. Important things like showing Luke and Noah being more affectionate (also more so in a BED, you know, Goutman, the thing you lie down on to go to sleep with every night?) need to be put into play. Showing the third party character as well as the main couple more than 10 minutes a week also helps. And also for it to work, I’d think Luke’s ire should be drawn over something a bit more than a hug. Come on, show, it’s been over one month now. I should have more of an opinion on Mason by now.

Wishy-washy Luke kind of got to me a little bit. Noah made it pretty clear more than once that he would have stayed in town for Holden’s funeral. Although it was so nice hearing Noah talk about how Luke is the love of his life, and I‘m glad he toned down the excitement level about his trip considering the circumstances.

The two hillbilly characters keeping our not-so-dearly departed Holden are something else, aren’t they? Not to mention ol’ Eb got up off the ground pretty quick after being hit in the back rather hard with a shovel. And he was hit in the back so he’s bleeding from his head. Um, okay. I’m guessing he either hit an imaginary rock like Lily did a few months back after Zoe or it’s just another installment of musical injuries! The fun game in which you’ll never know where the pain will be next! Seriously, Josh Griffith can’t get here fast enough to hopefully change this continuity problem. I’m convinced no one else can do worse than this.

Oh and as for Meg and her usual whining? In the words of Travis Tritt: “here’s a quarter (*tosses coin*), call someone who cares.”