Friday, February 29, 2008

One Tree Hill: oh my dear lord

Make no mistake, I know it's not art. One Tree is intense frivolity that I watch because Ive always watched it and I can't abandon characters without knowing what happens to them. Thus, I watch One Tree Hill and get mildly depressed at the state of the "vast wasteland" that is television at the moment but mostly I'm able to block out the idiocy and appreciate One Tree Hill for its good qualities: a few laughs, a dash of sappy happy, pretty good music and 2 very cute boys. This week's episode, entitled "For Tonight, You're Only Here to Know", however, broke new ground on bad and I simply couldn't ignore it.
The episode was meant to be an homage to the earlier school shooting episode. The girls were locked in the library where Lucas and Peyton took refuge after she was shot while the boys mused about the lost lives and support of Jimmy and Keith while gearing up for the first Ravens game of the season. Mouth was supposed to do his first official report on the Ravens at his new job. The episode also served as the "getting rid of the evil nanny" episode and the "Peyton and Lindsay find new respect for one another and learn to be friends" episode.

It could not have been cornier if it had tried. The satirical high school drama "Popular" was less cheesy, and that was the whole point of that show. The girls played games in which they each had to compliment each other or decide which body part to eat first if they were starving and one of them died- ew!!! Mia learned to deal with criticism "creation vs. criticism"- ohhh insightful!!! Brooke contemplated her mother's role in her life, Lindsay broke down about the death of her father, Hayley mused about nothing and Peyton, well, Peyton seemed to be coming on to the other girls throughout the episode while (STILL) sulking about Lucas and being generally bitchy. On the boys' side Lucas gave a 'rousing'/incredibly pathetic, badly acted and formulaic pep talk to his team, Nathan vowed to "stop being [his] father and start being the dad Jamie thinks [he is]" after telling Lucas about evil kissing nanny, Jamie got to be part of the team (since when does a team of bad ass high school ballers chant a 4 year old's name?) and Mouth (topping them all) completely disregarded his assignment to report on the basketball game and decided to wax poetic about other sappy and irrelevant things instead.

Dear Mouth: that is not what reporting is. We put up with Lucas' pathetic voice overs because his sentimental hogwash was supposedly part of his book, you're a reporter- REPORT!!!

Low Points Include:
- everyone singing the lyrics to Mia's "new" song in their own little worlds as if they applied to them even though they really didn't
- the basketball team hilariously chanting Jamie's name before their own big game
- the team apparently having won off camera even though when the girls were checking the score from the library they were losing completely and the team has been established as sucking, except for one guy
- Lindsay's breakdown about her dad: badly written, badly acted, bad... just bad
- the girls' lame excuses for not being able to get out of the library ("they're fixing all the doorknobs", no cell reception, dead batteries, etc...)
- the slow motion walk of the Ravens led by suited up Lucas, Nathan and Skills and featuring a decked out Jamie in Ravens gear as they head towards the game

Saving Graces include:
- the reappearance of Tim (a formerly terrible character) as a decent guy, with a life, a kid and a whole lot of regret and sadness (surprisingly the least corny part of the episode, I really liked it actually, it showed a character who has actually grown for the better and the worse in 4 years instead of just changed their relationship status)
- the only scene with the evil nanny we had to put up with was her quitting... here's hoping she's gone for good
- Jamie could not be cuter, he simply couldn't be.
- I do actually like Kate Voegele (Mia)'s voice/songs (they're over used but effective and she's a lot less annoying than Tyler Hilton was on the show)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Big Brother- Ill miss you alex, get excited for the rule of the worst couple in the house

say what you want about Matt and Natalie. say what you will about sheila and Adam. call Ryan oafish, Allison crazy, James paranoid and Chelsia dumb but they all are better than the new heads of household.

Alex and Amanda were evicted, predictable. I'm sad to see Alex go, disagree with the idea that the eviction was in any way his fault, glad to see Amanda gone, she was too much on my nerves.

Now, we've got a new head of household couple. and if you'd asked me this week who would be first on my list to get rid of it would be them, Josh and Sharon. She is a delightful combination of maddening and boring whilst he is hot headed, rude, hickish and...well... a jerk. They need to be gone just for the sake of my sanity- and now they're in power?

maybe we can top this pathetic week of episodes with an even worse one. what do you say big brother? think it can be done?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

BB9- illness and cowardice

Sheila turns on Allison because she feels left out. Understandable but a little crazy. Amanda and Allison both head to the hospital. Everyone readjusts their attitudes towards them when they come back. Sharon and Josh win the veto and fail to show a little spine and strategy by vetoing one of the strong couples when they decide to not use it. Matt and Natalie would have made good allies for them but no one wants to make waves.

Matt and James are the only real players in the house. No one else seems to know how the game works. Natalie is coming up as a new favourite of mine, I think she's smarter than her voice, her face, her boobs and her resume let on. Chelsia didn't do anything this week but I still like her so far.

I love Alex but he's got to be gone this week. I would rather get rid of Amanda before Matt and Natalie. I'm hoping someone gets to come back in mid season- here's hoping for Alex (though Id be OK with Parker as well- not their partners though, I don't want both partners back)

I can't believe everyone was so shocked that James was helpful when Amanda was sick... he's biking around the world with no money "to prove we still care about each other". Of course he knows how to cope with stressful situations and would help, even if she is his target. I admire Matt for saying he was "proud of [his] friend James" though, that took humility. The guy's still a chauvinistic asshole but he has his moments and is definitely growing on me. As for James, Ive always liked him (even if he is hilariously over thinking the whole fish tank thing) and expected as much from him.

I like Allison- I can see how she's a little crazy but I definitely like her. She's the best of the girls as far as I can tell this season (which isn't saying that much but its at least saying something).

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

SNL's return: Fey hits one out of the park

Tina Fey hosted the first Saturday Night Live post writers strike this past weekend.


Fey was the perfect choice. She spent 9 years on the writing staff at SNL then served as not only a cast member but the first ever female head writer on the show. After leaving the show, she went on to pen and star in the hilarious hit "Mean Girls" before returning to NBC in the critically lauded and Emmy winning sitcom 30 Rock where she chronicles the life of her autobiographical character Liz Lemon as she writes for a late night sketch comedy show. She's not only the coolest person alive, she's a recognizable face, a brilliant writer, an outspoken and socially conscious career woman and a well-loved star. These factors made her one of the faces of the recent WGA strike that closed down 30 Rock, SNL and every other TV show and movie in Hollywood for more than 3 months.

So, who better to choose to host the first SNL back? She was the perfect choice.

and she didn't disappoint.

from the hilarious "cashmere mafia"/"lipstick jungle" spoof "lady business" to Fey getting monologue tips from Steve Martin (one of SNL's most beloved hosts) to the most spectacular weekend update in a VERY long time, Fey delivered a brilliant SNL to an audience who'd been waiting a long time for it.

below is the link to where you can view all these clips and more. (if you're in Canada you unfortunately can't access the clips and NBC's already stripped them from youtube- classic mismanagement if you ask me, but that's a topic for another time)


Hey Readers,

This is my direct appeal to you. Until today I had my blog settings not alerting me to any comments made on the blog. As such, I missed out on replying to one of your comments until over a month had passed. Ive changed my settings now but the podcast host and site I use prevent me from accurately tracking my readers and listeners. I would love to know how many of you there are out there, so I propose an experiment...

everyone who reads this, please comment below or send a quick email to
let's see how many of you there are.

also, please please please send me an email with your thoughts on the latest in TV. Id love to have some emails to read on the podcast- especially if you watch something I don't or want to challenge my review of something.

I'm also in need of some more votes on the "2007 My TV AWARDS" so send me an email with your picks and pans.

and an iTunes review would be great as well.

Thanks guys, my wish list is now over.

Hoping to hear from you,

Monday, February 25, 2008

DVD Recommendation: SLINGS & ARROWS

want good television? and I mean REALLY good television? need something to watch until your favourite shows return post-strike?

look no further than, well, CANADA.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you one of my favourite TV shows of all time, from my home town of Toronto, Canada... SLINGS & ARROWS!!!

This "comedy about drama" is one of the smartest shows ever on TV. only 6 episodes a season, this 3 season masterpiece is an easy watch and totally worth the commitment.

The show chronicles the antics of a small town, big time theatre festival in Ontario (based not so loosely on the Stratford festival of Canada) called The New Burbage Festival. When Oliver Wells, the drama queen of an artistic director, dies, Geoffrey Tennant, a former actor in the company who is infamous for his meltdown during a performance of Hamlet, is asked to step in. But, Geoffrey finds himself revisiting his own madness as Oliver's ghost returns to guide him through directing the festival's production of Hamlet. The festival's resident business man (Kids in the Hall's Mark McKinney) and prima donna (Martha Burns) add some serious drama (and comedy) to the mix as well as a host of other splendid characters.

The first season explores the festival's production of Hamlet and guest stars the brilliant Rachel McAdams as the ingenue of the piece.

The second season marks a ground breaking production of Macbeth, a tumultuous Romeo & Juliet and a re-branding of the festival led by an unorthodox ad executive played by Colm Feore.

and finally, la piece de resistance,

The third season: the most breathtaking Lear you will ever see (as played by Stratford's late genius William Hutt), a comically bad original musical called "East Hastings" and a lovely character subplot from Oscar nominee Sarah Polley as the actress playing Cordelia in Lear.

Now available as a complete series from

and did I mention that they have a new theme song every season? "Cheer Up Hamlet", "I Wont Play Mackers" and "A Walk in the Rain" are hilarious (the lyrics are included on the DVD if you ever want to sing along).

Any Shakespeare fan will adore this show. Any theatre person will love it. and Everyone else really should watch it too. The backstage antics are hilariously realistic, the plays are brilliant, the characters are lovable.

You will be rolling with laughter, crying with emotion and standing up to cheer, seeing Shakespeare as you've never seen him before.

Big Brother - Second Nominations

Matt & Natalie and Alex & Amanda nominated by James and Chelsia.

Matt's words of wisdom:"never trust someone with pink hair". Also, am hugely surprised by 1) "my mom's my best friend" and 2) "Natalie, we can't have sex" must keep head in game.

Natalie: Holy muscles Batman!

Alex: PLEASE DON'T GET EVICTED aka please, Big Brother, let them switch partners if they want to.

Amanda: Ive decided I hate you. mostly because you're going to get Alex prematurely evicted.

James and Chelsia: making out? what? awkward guys do well in this house (see BB8's Erik, BB2&7's Boogie, etc...)

Josh: you are an asshole

Ryan: "I like dirty girls" you are creepy

Sheila & Allison: you make me laugh, couldn't you have thought that revealing the truth thing through a little longer?

Friday, February 22, 2008


1) I hate Jen. If Ryan stays with her after watching the show he is truly pathetic

2) thank god she's gone. Ill miss Parker, I really liked him but Jen managed to make me go from liking her to really hating her in a matter of minutes so I'm glad they got evicted.

3) Joshuah's an asshole. Chelsia had a reason to be angry with Amanda, she was doing nothing differently than Parker had so many times before but Joshuah had NO reason to attack Amanda. He went to Evil Dick proportions and then surpassed them with the comment about Amanda's dad's suicide. Maybe Neil left because he realized that Josh was an asshole and couldn't take him any more.

4) Good on Allison for her behaviour this week. Not only was she the one to get Josh away from Amanda but she also comforted her, stood by Ryan when Jen was throwing him under the bus and handled the chopping block with grace. Ive made a 180 on her in the past week, she's near the top of my list now.

5) speaking of the top of the list- Ive been really liking James and Chelsia so far, with HOH they'll actually get some screen time which will be nice this week.

6) poor Alex. he's great and will suffer because his partner's a little nuts. she handled the whole blowup surprisingly well though so deserves dome credit. it was completely unfair of Julie to ask the questions she did in the HOH room- tactless.

7) I don't like Sharon. I have nothing more to say on the subject

8) boring HOH competition- who cares.

9) since they revealed that Jacob and Sharon had been in sequester before Neil left perhaps they're planning to bring someone back in mid-season. I want Parker back in. He seemed like he could go really far and possibly win.

10) with the help of Allison, Sheila is growing on me.

11) THIS GAME IS SOOOOO NOT FAIR- otherwise good players suffer on account of their partners (Parker's gone, Alex is in trouble, etc...), Jen and Ryan had an advantage (which they wasted because Jen's an idiot but whatever)- big brother was never fair (the twists usually backfire and result in unfair advantages) but this is RIDICULOUS.

12) the teams that seem to be working the best are the ones that consist of people who would be out the first week if it weren't a partner game. they make each other better and can work as a team which is why they'll go far in this screwed up version (most notably Matt and Natalie though James and Chelsia are also masters of the team work though also decent on their own. Chelsia's lecture about how her and James are one showed that she really gets it and knows how to work with the twist that's thrown at her).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Big Brother 9- Episode 4

Neil leaves for some unknown reason after about 20 seconds of cumulative screen time. His partner, Joshuah is left alone and his only options or a new partner are evicted exs Sharon and Jacob. Sharon seeming not great but easy to get along with and Jacob being one of the worst players in big brother history, his choice was easy. Was it a fair situation to put him in? no, but Big Brother has never been fair. I wish Neil were still there though. I need someone I actually like.

That said, I feel terribly for Alex. I really like him. Amanda was overreacting saying he was "being mean to me" when she is clearly over sensitive. She didn't consider his feelings at all while canoodling with Parker an then seems completely confused when he reacts badly. I think, all things considered, Alex came off pretty well from the whole thing. Especially in an episode that once again revealed the normally cool Parker to have a very hot temper. The whole "Amanda and Parker know each other" thing (prompted by Sheila and Allison's hilarious claim of lesbianism and James investigatory skill and slight paranoia) was completely understandable and Alex apologized for having accidentally turned Parker on James when James did nothing wrong. It was all Parker and Amanda overreacting. Though Alex and Amanda might still be good competitors and I liked her decently enough in the beginning I agree with Alex that "its just not working" which is sad since they started off so well and he really does have feelings for her. Also, he had every right to comment on the booty shorts- they're gross. PS: he looks really cute in his glasses. They almost make me forget the gross accent.

The best couple in the house at the moment, however, are Alex and Amanda's allies Matt and Natalie. Both idiots, both annoying, Matt and Natalie work together, they work hard, they think (or at least contemplate) before acting, they support each other, they're easy going, they are yet to overreact to anything... basically the idiots may have it at this point. The veto competition looked really hard. The men had to spin a giant disk around 300 times while the women held on to a button in the middle of it and tried not to vomit. Jen spent the whole time yelling at Parker (who was not very good at the whole spinning thing) and being incredibly rude. Ryan started off very strong but couldn't cut the endurance part and Allison let go of the button anyway. Alex and Amanda were doing very well, he paced himself, she was being helpful and supportive, she had a strong hold on the button, and then she threw the competition without discussing it with him- grrr. Matt and Natalie did everything right, he paced himself but was consistently quick, she held on for dear life and never let go even though she get motion sickness quickly. They deserved to win. PS: they didn't use the veto even though Matt promised Parker he would- good move I think ultimately though false promises are a little tricky.

Chelsia and James need more screen time. I'm sick to death of Jen and her selfish, competitive ramblings. Though Ryan admits he wouldn't put Jen before himself, Jen claims she will vote him out even if she doesn't have to- that definitely gives the other players an idea of how loyal she can be. especially considering her actions towards Ryan in the house have outside of the house consequences. Chelsia and James however, the little we see of them, seem pretty great. They're both calm and collected, dealing with the drama in a smart way. They also both seem fun. James was overreaching a bit on his theory of 4 twists but he was put on to it and its not unlike big brother to plant a clue in the fish tank. His conversation with Alex, too, revealed not only that he is personable and not nearly as crazy as his wondering around in blue briefs would suggest but also that he is starting to really like Chelsia which is kinda sweet. Chelsia, also, was there when Amanda came out to complain about Alex and sympathized without getting involved- smart move. I think they could emerge as a really strong team.

Sheila and Adam gave it a rest this episode- thank god. note to the editors: no one wants to watch people who make them physically ill (a lesson that should have been learned with last summer's dick).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

BB9- second impressions

firstly, Jacob is a royal idiot. He completely screwed himself over. He thought he was being slick and strategic when in fact he was being reckless and eager. If he'd staid him and Sharon could have done really well and ended up back together. As it stands, she has even more reason to hate him than when they came- oh well.

I need Sheila and Adam gone. I think Adam is a creeper but Sheila keeps jumping on him for stupid things that he says and does when he wasn't thinking or cant control it. She's a bitch, 'nough said. However, she certainly seemed enthusiastic when jumping all over him during the competition.

Jen and Ryan told their partners about their relationship? that makes it a little more boring. That said, Ive gained a lot of respect for Parker for how he handled that news and for how he dealt with the Jacob situation- he's stand up, or at least he seems that way at the moment. Him and Jen will go very far if they're not picked off as threats. They ARE a power couple. Ryan seems pretty cool too. Him and Jen make a lot of sense and he seems like he'd be a pretty good player. As I said in my earlier post, however, Allison is clearly insane. "Ryan needs to be with someone less jealous and catty, like me" so I will sit here and complain and be catty and jealous about it while Jen is perfectly mature. Yeah Allison, that makes sense. I see her causing serious problems.

Alex and Amanda are going to rule the house (if, like Jen and Parker, they're not picked off as threats). They're really good competitors. She does, after all, look a lot like a brunette Janelle. She does, however, need to wear pants.

I see things happening with Matt and Natalie- they're perfect together in all their annoying grossness.

and... the most exciting thing in the whole episode...

ERIC AND JESSICA!!!!!!! YAY. I so glad they're still together and I was so happy to see them on the show again. They were an adorable couple, great players and some of the best strategists on the show. They only made one really wrong decision which was to keep their agreement with the Donatos when Jess had HOH. Otherwise, they would have wiped the floor with everyone Dr. Will style- oh, lets have him on the show!!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Big Brother Returns- I REALLY wish I hated this show

but I don't, I love it.
15 minutes in to the first episode and I couldn't kid myself that I had enjoyed the episode of Eli Stone Id just watched nearly as much as this guilty pleasure.
so, my thoughts are as follows...

- Sheila is a bitch. I don't care how disappointed you are in the person chosen as your partner, you DO NOT treat another human being like that. Sure Adam seems like a bit of a bozo and it was bad form to call you "ma" but clearly you are unhinged and simply should not have custody of a 16 year old kid.

- Sheila and Adam will be the first to go. or at least I REALLY hope so.

- Joshuah is hands down the cutest in the house. Neil's a close second. Why are all the good ones gay?

- Matt is clearly an asshole. He thinks more highly of himself than even Jase did back before his reformation. I live in Boston and Ive never heard such an atrocious accent. Natalie, who seems like a complete bimbo (remember Jase's girlfriend from season 5? quadruple it), fits him perfectly. I predict that I will loathe them with a passion and they will do extremely well.

- Chelsia scares me a little but she seemed like she was making the most of her time in the house and having as much fun as possible. Her and James may be fun to watch. I think they'll be like Ivan and Allison from SYTYCD season 2: a lot of fun, great friends, no chemistry.

- I really like Jen and Ryan seems alright as well. I think both their teams will do very well (particularly Jen's since she seems really together and Parker seems pretty cool). Allison is clearly a little crazy but sometimes that works. If Ryan's less of a meat head than he seems they should do pretty well (see Justin from season 4). Both teams stand out as obvious threats though. hopefully they can stay in long enough to see the real couple have to lie profusely.

- I see great things for Amanda and Alex. Neither are terribly annoying though neither is exactly my hero (then again I actively disliked Jessica at the beginning of season 8 and she turned into one of my favourites). They both seem strong and smart enough. They would be my pick for an actual showmance to likely happen. Id say they're a top 4 kind of team.

- Sharon and Jacob will work it out. I guarantee it. They'll work through their issues in about a week and become one of the most strategically strong teams there. How do I know this? Dick and Danielle hated each other and ruled the house. Even the least reasonable people can learn to understand each other when faced with spending all that time together. and they aren't unreasonable. They both seem like smart, strong people who have a huge history of love and trust behind them with only one misstep. Sharon may be hurt but she'll get over it. They'll be back in love in no time and will do extremely well in the game. Those who go furthest tend to be the people who, no matter what, know they can fully trust at least one person in the house (see Dick and Danielle, see Will and Boogie, see Jason and the other Danielle).

it'll be a fun couple of months.

Television Prophets

All hail the the almighty end of the writers strike.
That being said, there's another almighty at work in today's TV climate- the actual almighty.
Considering all the shows in question thought themselves completely original at the time of conception, it's almost surprising that in the span of the last 2 weeks Ive come in contact with 3 different shows about people who are contacted by God... that's right THREE.
Such an obscure (and possibly controversial) concept, one would think, would be a rarity- oh no, it's not.
I recently bought the second season of an old favourite of mine on DVD- "Joan of Arcadia". I also have fallen newly in love with an under appreciated gem called "Wonderfalls". Inspiring slightly less enthusiasm but still warranting a watch is "Eli Stone" which premiered 2 weeks ago in the strike-struck wasteland that is television at the moment.
There are probably a couple more "god speaks to our characters" shows out there too- I've just missed them.

Here's the breakdown of the prophet formula:

1) the unlikely hero: a disenfranchised teen, a cold corporate lawyer,whatever. as long as they're sarcastic, cynical, secretly big hearted and completely nonreligious they'll work ( Jaye, Joan and Eli).

2) the snarky friend: someone to question the weird behaviour of the new found prophet and keep them rooted in reality. again, sarcasm is a must but it has to be someone who knows the hero well and spends a lot of time with them (before and after the visions begin). (Jaye's friend Mahandra, Joan's friend Grace and Eli's assistant Patti)

3) the authority on science: the person who tries to explain it all away (Jaye's therapist Dr. Ron, Joan's scientist brother Luke and Eli's doctor brother Nathan)

4) the authority on faith: the person who knows about "something more" who can explain why the hero is perhaps not completely crazy (Jaye's theologist brother Aaron, Joan's artist boyfriend Adam and Eli's acupuncturist friend Dr. Chen)

5) the bizarre God-ly medium: how God reaches our hero (inanimate animal objects speak to Jaye, God appears as ever changing everyday people to Joan and He reaches Eli through the songs of George Michael)

6) and everything else: a lack of organized religious participation on the part of the hero, strong family connections, weekly cryptic "missions", the hero's strong sense of detachment from others, moderate to enthusiastic critical acclaim, low ratings and early cancellation.

and who says only crime shows can be procedural? if visions from the ether can be formulaic, anything can. God help us all.