Monday, May 28, 2007

Big D Hot 10.

As promised, here's my own personal Top 10. These are the ladies I would put on a card to carry around with me, and if I met them in real life, I would show them the card and they would be allowed to sleep with me. I think this is admissible in court.

10. Shannen Doherty -- Odd choice, I agree. Maybe it's because nobody else likes her. How bout this, I'll carry an alternate list with, say, Rachel McAdams right here.
9. The girl detective from Law & Order -- I realize she has a name, but this is only a passing fancy, so it would contradict my feelings if I were to refer to her as Milena Govich.
8. Colleen Haskell -- She's been off the radar for a while, so I think it would be weird to put her any higher on the list.
7. Neve Campbell -- Recently married, so no real future there.
6. Claire Danes -- Mainly love her acting.
5. Angelina Jolie -- She used to top the list in high school, but something tells me it just wouldn't work out.
4. Gina Gershon -- Four years ago, she was twice my age. Yikes.
3. Naomi Watts -- I think I'd just have her put on funny acts for me, like King Kong.
2. Hilary Swank -- Extra points for being both a karate kid and a million dollar baby.
1. Linda Cardellini -- You could tell Heath Ledger was gay in Brokeback Mountain because he passed this one up. Also he fucked Jake Gyllenhaal in the ass.

Cheers,
Diego

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Maxim Hot 100 -- Who Would I Do?

So Maxim recently put out the issue that comes with the annual Hot 100 bonus magazine. A minimag that basically counts down what they have decided are the hottest 100 women in the world. It's always funny how the hottest women are usually the ones that have posed for their magazine in the past year. I have reproduced the list here and provided commentary on which of these women I would have sex with. The darkened names represent the women I wasn't that familiar with, and hence, didn't waste any time fantasizing about having sex with. And now, the list.

100. Noureen DeWulf
99. Mia Maestro

98. Yunjin Kim -- She plays Sun on Lost. She is a pretty good actress, so I would have sex with her.
97. Kim Kardashian
96. Shanna Moakler
95. Second Life Girl
94. Kelly Carlson
93. Christina Milian
92. Mary Elizabeth Winstead

91. Isla Fisher -- She was in Wedding Crashers. She was funny. I would have sex with her.
90. Salma Hayek -- Hot, but annoying. I would have sex with her and then start reading a magazine so she would get the hint.
89. Haylie Duff -- She was in Napoleon Dynamite. I'm not really in the market for Haylie Duff sex.
88. Raquel Alessi
87. Padma Lakshmi

86. Michelle Trachtenberg -- It is always weird when evaluating the hotness of a former child star, but I guess I would take her for a boner test drive.
85. Kelly Ripa -- I would be very interested in Kelly Ripa sex.
84. Hometown Hottie
83. Ivanka Trump -- Seems a little full of herself, but still yes to the sex.
82. Dita Von Teese
81. Emmanuelle Chriqui
80. Abbie Cornish
79. Adrianne Palicki
78. Joss Stone
77. Hilarie Burton
76. Diora Baird
75. April Scott
74. Tara Conner

73. Mena Suvari -- She was in American Pie and American Beauty. Where has she been? Tentative maybe.
72. Ciara
71. Willa Ford -- She had a hit single a long time ago. Also on the fence.
70. Stacy Keibler
69. Danica Patrick

68. Evangeline Lilly -- She is also on Lost. Absolutely yes I would have sex with her.
67. Gabrielle Union
66. Joanna Krupa
65. Autumn Reeser
64. Lena Headey

63. Bianca Kajlich -- She was on Boston Public and Halloween Resurrection. If the years have been kind, then sure.
62. Danneel Harris
61. Nadine Velazquez
60. Jessica White

59. Jamie-Lynn Sigler -- She is on The Sopranos. But, ah. No thanks.
58. Penelope Cruz -- I don't really like her. Maybe some doggie style.
57. Tricia Helfer
56. Michele Merkin

55. Halle Berry -- Also very annoying. She gets angry sex.
54. Missy Peregrym
53. Adriana Lima
52. Kate Walsh
51. Alessandra Ambrosio
50. Miss Maxim
49. Mischa Barton

48. Mandy Moore -- She's cool. I would like to curl up with her and watch "A Walk To Remember," and then have sex.
47. Katharine McPhee -- At least.
46. Kristen Bell
45. Bar Refaeli

44. Rose McGowan -- Sexy and funny. God yes.
43. Kate Mara -- Might as well.
42. Minka Kelly
41. Jessica Simpson -- Sometimes her stupidity on Newlyweds became a massive turnoff. I think I would have sex with her if we only spoke through scripted lines.
40. Moon Bloodgood
39. Rachel Bilson

38. Shakira -- I don't know. I guess I'd walk in the room and call it on the spot.
37. Ashley Olsen -- Fuck no. I'm a Mary-Kate man.
36. Jamie King
35. Jennifer Garner -- Such a cutie pie. I hope she enjoys getting pregnant.
34. Vanessa Minnillo
33. Roselyn Sanchez

32. Lacey Chabert -- Isn't she like a poor man's Jennifer Love Hewitt? Well, guess what. I'm broke.
31. Amy Smart -- Absolutely yes, and would maybe discuss her career for a little bit.
30. Rebecca Romijn -- What red blooded American male wouldn't?
29. Sarah Silverman -- Not if she's gonna be gross.
28. Carmen Electra -- Actually, I could go either way on this.
27. Kate Hudson -- All right.
26. Nelly Furtado -- Nah.
25. Elisha Cuthbert -- Sign me up for the all-day pass.
24. Sophia Bush
23. Hilary Duff -- She does all those crappy movies... okay, but let's get to know each other first.
22. Nicole Scherzinger
21. Kate Beckinsdale

20. Keira Knightley -- I'd give her a jolly good rogering.
19. Cameron Diaz -- Uh, yeah.
18. Megan Fox
17. Maria Sharapova

16. Ashlee Simpson -- I don't recognize her with the new nose. I'd call this one on the spot too.
15. Avril Lavigne -- What an odd choice. I'll say yes for the novelty.
14. Katherine Heigl -- Not a fan of Grey's Anatomy, but whatever. Hop on.
13. Beyonce -- This fuck has been a thousand music videos in the making.
12. Angelina Jolie -- She would need to clear her schedule (for all the sex).
11. Sienna Miller
10. Fergie -- I would hit it till the London Bridge came down.
9. Eva Longoria -- Only one desperate housewife? She will have to do. And do her I will.
8. Rihanna
7. Eva Mendes -- I would definitely throw it in her for a decent amount of time.
6. Ali Larter -- Not attracted to her. Can you believe it?
5. Jessica Biel -- I really hate her, but am not sure why. She also gets angry sex.
4. Christina Aguilera -- When she first came on the scene, she was a little young; not quite ripe. Then, for a while, she was kinda gross. But she has aged into a seemingly fine wine. I'd tap the hell out of it before she gets corked.
3. Scarlett Johansson -- Yummerz.
2. Jessica Alba -- I think Sin City was the clincher.
1. Lindsay Lohan -- Really? #1? It's not her fault, but I just have a majorly trashy tabloid image of her. Maybe if she washed her vagina first.

And that's the Maxim Hot 100. Pretty lame, if you ask me. I'd say only one name out of this entire list would appear on my own personal Top 10, and that is Angelina Jolie. Perhaps I will post my own personal Top 10. After I'm done thinking of the forty-something yeses I just handed out. I hope you've enjoyed my most culturally relevant blog yet.

Cheers,
Diego

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Rialto.

So I wanted to go see Shrek the Third. I hadn't heard good things, so I expected it to be bad, but I'd expected the same of Shrek 2 (due to the new writers) and had been pleasantly surprised upon seeing that one. So I was equally prepared to either like it or dislike it. I looked up the theaters that were showing it, because I usually shell out for the nice theaters for all the cool summer movies, but I was willing to see Shrek the Third in any old shithouse. And I saw that one of the theaters showing it was The Rialto.

The Rialto is an old theater in South Pasadena where they shot the cold opening for Scream 2. I LOVE this movie, so I figured it would be cool to go check it out. I watched the beginning of Scream 2 to re-acquaint myself with the location and then I drove there. It was in a very nice little neighborhood, where I was amazed to find free parking right on the street. It's been a full decade since they shot Scream 2, and the shops surrounding The Rialto were exactly the same. The tiny box office out front was still there, but it was not in use. Rather, they were selling the tickets within, on the side of the concession stand. I just about nutted instantaneously when I saw the lobby. The door to the auditorium where Omar scares Jada, the stairs where the two guys run around play-stabbing each other, the concession stand that Jada goes to; it was all there. I immediately checked out the men's room to see if it was the same one they used in the movie, but it wasn't. Actually, I heard that the auditorium itself was shot at the Vista (another nearby theater I've been to), so maybe they shot the men's room there too. I will confirm this next time I go.

I then got some popcorn and soda at the concession stand, just like Jada Pinkett Smith. Except The Rialto uses the same overpriced cups and popcorn bags you see everywhere else. See, in the movie, Jada orders a medium popcorn and a small Diet Pepsi. She's given a giant cup with the Pepsi logo and a BUCKET of popcorn. What if she had ordered the large popcorn with a large drink? She wouldn't have been able to lift them. When I ordered a medium popcorn and a medium drink, the concession people showed me how tiny the medium was and started selling me on the large sizes, because they both come with free refills if you get a large. How much do they think one person can eat? Giving me large quantities of something is the only guarantee you have that I won't need a refill, you maniacs. They really want to give people their money's worth. I guess that's why their medium popcorn was a bucket ten years ago. And they were selling Coke, not Pepsi.

So, I guess, not exactly like Jada Pinkett Smith.

They were also selling DVDs at the concession stand. They had copies of Scream 2, The Player, and whatever other movies were probably shot there. Overall, my moviegoing experience was super awesome. Visiting this location was just as magical as when I ate at the Burger King glimpsed at the beginning of Back to the Future a few months ago. And Shrek the Third sucked my balls.

Cheers,
Diego

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Upfronts: FOX & The CW.

And here we are on the last day of the upfronts. It's been a wild ride. There's been lots of cancellations. Some wise, some foolish, and a shitload fairly irrelevant. Today, I will cover the cancellations made by FOX and The CW, and I will mix them all up into my standard four categories:

1. GOOD -- These are the shows I'm glad are gone, and would have pulled off the air myself if given the chance.
2. I DON'T CARE -- These are the shows I have absolutely no opinion of because I didn't watch them.
3. I KINDA CARE -- These are the shows I watched, but are not exactly a huge loss.
4. FUCK FOX -- These are the shows I loved, taken before their time.

1. GOOD
The CW:
- 7th Heaven -- This is a show that I think has probably long outlasted its usefulness. It ran for 10 seasons before they decided to cancel it, and when The WB became The CW, they actually uncancelled it and brought it back for an 11th season. I used to watch it at some point during the earlier seasons when I was in high school. It was about a Christian family, the father being a church minister. The main reason I stopped watching it is that the show sucked, everyone on it was annoying, and the parents were insanely strict, which made the kids act equally insane.
FOX:
- Justice -- I watched the first few episodes of this because it sounded pretty cool. Each episode would follow a court case to its outcome, and at the end of the episode, we would see what actually happened in the initial crime, and we would know whether or not justice was served. Good premise, but the show itself was lousy. They concentrated on all these high-tech tactics the characters had to use to win over the jury, using slick demonstrations and the cutthroat media that studied their every move. But I didn't give a shit about that sensationalistic garbage. I just wanted some good ol' fashioned courtroom justice. FOX ordered 14 episodes, produced 13, and aired 12. But that 13th one did air, in like, Mexico. So, in a way, justice was served.

2. I DON'T CARE
The CW:
- All of Us -- This was a sitcom about a racially blended family. Sounds hilarious! It ran for 3 seasons on UPN, then 1 season on The CW.
- Gilmore Girls -- This was like an hour-long dramedy about a single mom and her daughter. I've heard this is a good show, but I've never seen it. It ran for 6 seasons on The WB, then 1 season on The CW. What's up with established shows helping The CW get on its feet, only to be cut down after a single season?
- Reba -- This was a sitcom about a wisecracking single mom played by country singer Reba McEntire. I can only assume there's people on the planet who actually enjoyed watching this. It ran for 5 seasons on The WB, then 1 season on The CW. Good lord.
- Runaway -- This was an hour-long drama about a family that was secretly on the run from the law (for a crime the father didn't commit) while at the same time being hunted by the real killer. It was one of only two shows that actually premiered on The CW. As such, The CW aired only 3 of its 13 episodes. Ah, see? Now The CW is acting like a real network.
- Veronica Mars -- This was a teen mystery show. It ran for 2 seasons on UPN, then 1 season on The CW. Anyone else pick up on that pattern? Anyway, that's it for all The CW shows.
FOX:
- Happy Hour -- Happy Hour was a sitcom about a young guy trying to rebuild his life after losing everything. I'm gonna guess he didn't make it -- FOX aired only 4 of its 13 episodes.
- The O.C. -- This was a popular teen drama about people who lived in Orange County, California. I could never bring myself to watch this show. I guess I'm more of a Smallville guy. FOX cancelled this after 4 seasons.
- Vanished -- This was an hour-long drama about a senator's wife getting kidnapped, followed by a bunch of other unanswered secrets and conspiracies. FOX aired only 9 of its 13 episodes, leaving no storyline resolved. At least the show's title became tragically appropriate.
- The War at Home -- This was a sitcom about a dysfunctional family starring Michael Rappaport. I never saw this show, but with Rappaport as the lead, how bad could it have been? FOX cancelled it after 2 seasons.
- The Wedding Bells -- This was an hour-long dramedy about wedding planners, co-created by David E. Kelley. Being an admirer of Kelley's work, I tried to watch this show, but it was uninteresting and, just, filled with wedding shit. FOX aired only 5 of its 7 episodes.

3. I KINDA CARE
- The Rich List -- This was a game show in which teams of two would compete at making lists, to see who could name the most things out of each category. Holy shit! I remember this show! I had completely forgotten about its very existence. Maybe that's because FOX cancelled it after airing only 1 episode. You fucking cowards! Don't get me wrong; this show was even more asinine than it sounds, but it was still fun to play along at home and make all the contestants look like idiots.
- The Winner -- This was a sitcom about a man-child in his 30's who lived with his parents (narrated by his future millionaire self). It wasn't a brilliant show, but it was pretty funny, and it demonstrated a love for classic shows (not unlike Family Guy) that made me appreciate it a little more than I otherwise would have. FOX ran all 6 episodes of this, perhaps forecasting its imminent demise by burning them 2 at a time over a period of 3 weeks.

4. FUCK FOX
- Drive -- This was an hour-long ensemble drama about a secret illegal underground road race being run by a mysterious organization. It wasn't a great show, but it was certainly engaging, and as of its demise, I would have kept watching it indefinitely. It was a blatant Lost ripoff, which was at the same time its best and worst quality. And while I'm confessing to this guilty pleasure, I might as well also admit that this show managed to sneak in a twist at one point that actually blew my mind. Which is embarrassing, because that rarely happens, even with far better shows. I hate FOX for putting this in the Prison Break time slot and not helping it build an audience before immediately pulling the plug on it. Especially because they are once again jerking around Nathan Fillion, who previously starred in Joss Whedon's Firefly, an unbelievably good show that didn't even make it through its first season on FOX. In the meantime, Prison Break sucks ass. FOX aired only 4 of Drive's 6 episodes, with tentative plans to burn off the last 2 on July 4, 2007. Well, God bless America.

And that's it for all the shows that were left out of the network TV upfronts. Stay tuned for more upfront bullshit later if I feel like it.

Cheers,
Diego

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Upfronts: CBS.

So today was the upfront for CBS. I have a list of the shows they're not bringing back, which I will now divide into the following categories:

1. GOOD -- These are the shows I'm glad are gone, and would have pulled off the air myself if given the chance.
2. I DON'T CARE -- These are the shows I have absolutely no opinion of because I didn't watch them.
3. I KINDA CARE -- These are the shows I watched, but are not exactly a huge loss.
4. FUCK CBS -- These are the shows I loved, taken before their time.

1. GOOD
- Armed & Famous -- I never saw this, but was repulsed enough by the premise. It was basically Erik Estrada, La Toya Jackson, Jack Osbourne, Trish Stratus, and Wee Man training to be cops in Muncie, Indiana. Now, I can enjoy the reality exploitation of desperate celebrities just like the next guy, but doing it right is tricky business. And I don't think this is the way to do it. CBS killed this show after 4 episodes and sold the reruns to VH1. Must have been some cheap reruns.
- Jericho -- This show followed the population of Jericho, Kansas, after the town was cut off from the rest of the world following some kind of nuclear attack. I watched the first episode and found it to be something of an insulting Lost copycat. I didn't really hate it, but I saw no future for it. CBS cancelled it after airing all 22 episodes.

2. I DON'T CARE
- 3 lbs. -- This was a show about brain surgeons that I guess was supposed to be a really good replacement for Smith (see below), but was cancelled after CBS aired only 3 of its 8 episodes. I think the rest are being shown on the Internet.
- The Class -- All the networks wanted this one because it was co-created by one of the co-creators of Friends. It was a sitcom about these 8 people who were in 3rd grade together and meet up after a couple decades, and I guess get involved in each other's lives. I wonder if anyone heard that premise and thought, "I gotta see this fuckin show." CBS aired all 19 episodes.
- Close to Home -- This was apparently a crime drama about a woman criminal prosecutor who is married to a construction worker and has a baby daughter. It took place in Indiana, which makes me wonder if any crossovers were considered with Armed & Famous. This show ran for two 22-episode seasons, cancelled by CBS after it aired all 44 episodes.
- Rock Star -- This show also ran for 2 seasons. It was a reality competition where famous rock groups tried to find new lead singers, like the movie of the same name. The first season was for the group INXS, the second season was for the group Supernova, and the likelihood of a third season depends on CBS's determination to keep me from watching their network.
- Smith -- This was a show with Ray Liotta about professional thieves who also have personal lives. CBS cancelled it after airing only 3 of its 7 episodes, then put the rest on the Internet. Then they replaced it with 3 lbs. and did the same thing. Maybe they should start ordering new shows in 3-episode packages.
- Waterfront -- This was about the quirky mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, who, much like Close to Home and Smith, has to balance his work and personal life. The funny thing about this show is that CBS cancelled it after airing zero of its 5 episodes. The show never saw airwaves. Why did they shoot the episodes?!

3. I KINDA CARE
- The King of Queens -- This is a really funny show, and the last surviving sitcom to have premiered in the 90's. I don't really mind that it's over, because it ran for 9 seasons, which is great for any sitcom. Hopefully this means more Kevin James standup.

4. FUCK CBS
CBS didn't cancel any shows I really loved. This shows either great judgment, or a lack of great programming.

So that's it for CBS. The upfronts end tomorrow with FOX and the CW. Paragons both.

Cheers,
Diego

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Upfronts: ABC.

Yesterday was the upfront for NBC. They announced their new fall schedule, so I took a list of the NBC shows that weren't coming back, and I divided them into categories describing how I felt about their cancellation. CBS is tomorrow, FOX and the CW are Thursday, but ABC was today. So I will now list ABC's cancelled shows, divided into the same four categories as yesterday:

1. GOOD -- These are the shows I'm glad are gone, and would have pulled off the air myself if given the chance.
2. I DON'T CARE -- These are the shows I have absolutely no opinion of because I didn't watch them.
3. I KINDA CARE -- These are the shows I watched, but are not exactly a huge loss.
4. FUCK ABC -- These are the shows I loved, taken before their time.

1. GOOD
Nothing. I didn't hate any of the cancelled ABC shows.

2. I DON'T CARE
- According to Jim -- I used to watch this back in the day. I love Jim Belushi, and I remember it being a funny show, but I haven't seen it in years. It ran for 6 seasons though, which is not bad for a sitcom.
- Big Day -- Evidently, this was a sitcom about a wedding. I don't even remember the commercials for this thing. ABC aired 12 of the show's 13 episodes. How sad.
- Day Break -- I do remember the commercials for this. Taye Diggs relives the same day over and over, like Groundhog Day, except it's a drama where he has to solve a murder. ABC aired only 6 of the show's 13 episodes, then cancelled it and eventually showed the rest of the season online. Good for them.
- Extreme Makeover -- Apparently, this show was like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, except people got plastic surgery instead of new homes. Who would watch this? It ran for like 4 seasons.
- The George Lopez Show -- I used to watch this around the same time I used to watch According to Jim, and I remembered it also being funny. But I recently tried to watch it again and it sucked, so I'm not too broken up over it. It also ran for 6 seasons, and it's going to Nick at Nite this fall, so everyone go buy a lot of tapes so you can record every episode. Thank you, Nick at Nite!
- The Great Dream American Vote -- It seems that this was a show where contestants would say what their dream was, and people would vote on the Internet for which one of them would get to have their dream come true. So what the fuck actually happened on the show? Not surprised to see this one get shitcanned. ABC cancelled it after airing only 2 episodes (out of, like, 3).
- Help Me Help You -- Ted Danson as a therapist who may have even more problems than his patients. Wow, good idea for a sitcom; I wonder where he got it. Oh, I know, his friend Kelsey Grammer did it as a spin-off of Cheers, which they were both in. What are you, copying other people's sitcoms now? I think the next Ted Danson show should be about a standup comedian and his three friends. Or perhaps Wings 2. ABC cancelled this after airing only 9 of the show's 13 episodes.
- In Case of Emergency -- Some kind of sitcom about old high school acquaintances. ABC aired 12 of the show's 13 episodes. Hey, just like you, Big Day.
- The Nine -- A serial drama about a group of strangers brought together during a bank robbery, with flashbacks and connections between the people. Just like Lost, except nobody cares. ABC aired only 7 of the show's 13 episodes. Have you noticed networks never finish anything they start?
- Six Degrees -- This one was about these six people living in New York, and how their lives intersected in all these different ways. Just like The Nine. How weird is it that stealing from Lost doesn't automatically guarantee you an audience? It worked for Heroes. ABC aired only 8 of the show's 12 episodes, but then put the rest online. For all the hardcore Six Degrees fans.
- What About Brian -- I guess this was a show about some guy played by the guy from 7th Heaven. It had a 5-episode first season, then a 19-episode second season, and then ABC cancelled it. And that's the pulse-pounding story of What About Brian.

3. I KINDA CARE
- Show Me the Money -- I liked this one. It was kind of a convoluted mutant amalgam of lots of other different game shows, and it completely lacked any kind of unifying theme, which may have, in part, contributed to its mindless charm. It also had hot chicks (who danced) and was hosted by William Shatner (who also danced). So it was always fun to watch. ABC aired like 5 of its 7 episodes.

4. FUCK ABC
- The Knights of Prosperity -- I wasn't drop-dead teenage girl puberty in love with this show, but of all the shows that premiered in 2006, this was probably the funniest, and it most definitely did not deserve to get yanked like this. Of course, ABC's plans for the show are still unclear, but that in itself is an insult. To date, ABC aired only 9 of the show's 13 episodes. I guess the one thing every network loves to do is throw money away.

Wow. That was a lot of inconsequential ABC shows. I don't really feel like talking about the new shows they announced. This is a time of mourning. Maybe at the end of the week, I will write about the new shows that sound interesting. Tomorrow, I discuss CBS. Today, ABC stands for Another Bunch of Crap.

Cheers,
Diego

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Upfronts: NBC.

It's the third week of May again, which means it's time for the major TV network upfronts. An upfront is when the network executives meet with the press and potential advertisers and show off their new fall lineup. NBC went today, ABC will go tomorrow, CBS will go Wednesday, and FOX and the CW will go Thursday. I have in front of me a list of the shows reportedly cancelled by NBC. These shows will not be coming back. So I thought I would present them here in a list of four categories:

1. GOOD -- These are the shows I'm glad are gone, and would have pulled off the air myself if given the chance.
2. I DON'T CARE -- These are the shows I have absolutely no opinion of because I didn't watch them.
3. I KINDA CARE -- These are the shows I watched, but are not exactly a huge loss.
4. FUCK NBC -- These are the shows I loved, taken before their time.

1. GOOD
- Twenty Good Years -- This was a traditional sitcom starring John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor as two old guys who want to make the most of their lives. Unfortunately, it suffered from a combination of terrible writing and annoying canned laughter. This was one of the most tragic wastes of comedic talent in recent history, and I'm thankful it's over. NBC aired only 4 of the 13 episodes, showing surprisingly remarkable aptitude.
- Grease: You're the One That I Want -- This was an American Idol-type show where male and female contestants performed competitively in order to win the roles of Danny and Sandy (respectively) in a Grease Broadway revival. I started out watching it, because I love Grease, but it started to feel like too much of a shallow Idol ripoff. And it was making me sick of the Grease songs I love, so I cut it loose. By the way, why does every Idol ripoff have to have its own catty British asshole judge? They had one in this, American Inventor (ABC), and America's Got Talent (NBC). And none of them are as great as Simon Cowell, even though he's a producer on both those last ones. Too bad they both got renewed.
- The Real Wedding Crashers -- If there's anything worse than a cheap reality prank show, it's a cheap reality prank show trying to capitalize off someone else's creative success. I didn't watch this, but I resented it for existing, especially in what was once Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip's time slot. You can't tell me more people would want to watch this garbage than Studio 60. And I am NOT a reality snob. I love reality. I just don't like shit. NBC cancelled this after three episodes, but they are thinking of airing a few more later in the year. Great.

2. I DON'T CARE
- The Black Donnellys -- This was the first thing that took Studio 60's Monday night spot after Studio 60 was prematurely pulled for low ratings, and this show's ratings turned out to be even worse. I didn't watch it, I don't know what it's about, and I don't care to. NBC only aired 7 of the show's 13 episodes, but the rest are available online.
- Crossing Jordan -- Apparently this was a crime drama about a medical examiner that ran for 6 seasons. It was created by Tim Kring, who has moved on to his new show, Heroes. I like to watch Heroes, although it has yet to show me anything besides ripoffs of Lost and classic comic books. They say Tim Kring doesn't read comics, but then, all his writers sure do. I have no opinion of Crossing Jordan.
- Kidnapped -- This was apparently a show that would feature a core cast of kidnapping investigators, and each season would bring in a new cast of people involved in the specific season-long kidnapping investigation. NBC only aired 5 of the show's 13 episodes, but they put the rest online, and I think it's even out on DVD as we speak.
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent -- This Law & Order spinoff ran for 6 seasons on NBC, but it's not really getting cancelled; it's just moving to USA. I don't even care because it's the only Law & Order I don't watch. I'm a regular viewer of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit because it's the best one of all the Law & Orders. I also watch the original Law & Order, but only because I like the girl detective in it. I don't really pay attention to the show itself.

3. I KINDA CARE
- Andy Barker, PI -- This was a single-camera detective sitcom co-created by Conan O'Brien, starring Andy Richter and Tony Hale. I regularly watched it, and it was pretty good, but I wasn't really in love with it. Richter can't seem to catch a break. NBC aired 4 of its 6 episodes, then pulled it from its regular Thursday night time slot and burned off the remaining 2 episodes the following Saturday.
- Identity -- This was a game show hosted by Penn Jillette where contestants were given a list of twelve identities, and they had to match each identity to one of a dozen strangers standing on the stage in front of them. This show was fun because I would watch it with my brother and we would play along with the contestants. NBC aired 5 trial episodes last winter, and 7 more this spring. It's not scheduled for the fall, although I just read somewhere else that it also may not necessarily have been officially cancelled. So maybe we will get more.
- Raines -- This was a crime drama created by Graham Yost, starring Jeff Goldblum as a Los Angeles police detective who talks to imaginary manifestations of the victims in the crimes he's investigating. The pilot episode was interesting enough, and the rest of the episodes were okay. It seemed like they were trying to make Raines into a House-like character (a brilliant but anti-social hero). But the show was never in any danger of being THAT good. NBC aired all 7 episodes.
- Thank God You're Here -- This was an improv comedy show where four celebrities have to comedically bluff their way through a scene with no prior knowledge of the scene's premise. Kind of a Whose Line ripoff, but forgiveable. The improv nature of this show made it fun to watch, but there would always be one or two participants who weren't that great with the improv (as opposed to Whose Line's generally consistent improv all-star lineup). And it always bugged me that host David Alan Grier had gray hair in the pilot and black hair in all subsequent episodes. Networks really do treat us like morons. NBC aired all 7 episodes.

4. FUCK NBC
- Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip -- This is very painful for me. When I was in high school, I became a fan of Aaron Sorkin's Sports Night, a single-camera sitcom behind the scenes of a fictional sports news show. But I only became aware of it through reruns on Comedy Central, after ABC had cancelled it. Which made it something of a bittersweet joy. So back then, when I heard that Aaron Sorkin wanted to make a similar show, but have it be behind the scenes of a Saturday Night Live-esque sketch comedy show, I just about flipped my lid, because I love SNL, so this would essentially be a combination of two things I loved. And finally, years later, when NBC announced that it was happening as a one-hour drama on their 2006 fall schedule, I was as jazzed as humanly possible. I had been waiting since before the turn of the goddamn century. And when the show actually premiered, I really really loved it. From the first episode, it was instantly one of my favorites. But the whole season was plagued by poisonous chatter about its supposedly low ratings. NBC decided to temporarily pull the show from its Monday night slot in February, after airing 17 of its 22 episodes, but then got antsy and actually pulled it one week early, after airing only 16 of its 22 episodes. The remaining 6 are scheduled to take over the ER Thursday night slot at the end of May, when sweeps is over and all the other shows have aired their finales. As far as I know, there has been no official cancellation announcement, but let's just say the sets have been dismantled. So, that's nice. Fuck NBC. I hope it dies.
- Treasure Hunters -- This is like old news. NBC had a show on last summer that was kinda like The Amazing Race (which I don't watch), except it followed groups of three as they deciphered clues related to American history in order to find a treasure. I LOVED this show. It was one of my favorite reality shows. It combined colorful characters with puzzles that were interesting and challenging, and they threw in some good ol' fashioned American history to boot. I'm not entirely sure why NBC didn't bring it back this summer, but I guess if I knew the reason, I probably wouldn't like it.

NBC also announced a handful of new shows, but I don't give a fuck about any of them. With the remotely possible exception of a midseason Britcom remake, they all sound retarded. And one of them is a remake of the Bionic Woman. Today, NBC stands for Nothing But Crap.

Cheers,
Diego

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Robots in Disguise.

This Thursday, my brother and I went to a crazy Transformers-related event. It took place at the parking lot of a Kinko behind a giant building entirely wrapped in a multi-sided Transformers advertisement with light-up eyes. The flyer I saw online was a little vague as to what this event would be. It said something about seeing exclusive footage inside a mobile command unit. I was not interested in seeing any footage (I try to avoid advance footage of movies I already plan on seeing), but the thing said we could get free passes to an advance screening, and the first 50 attendees would receive a Transformers action figure. The action figure sounded like a good deal, so that tipped the scales for us.

Now, the flyer said the thing would start at 7am. So if you wanted to be one of the first 50, when should you get there? 6am? 5am? We ended up leaving at 6am and arriving at like 6:15am, or possibly sooner. There was no traffic because no one was stupid enough to be up that early. However, there were roughly 75 people already in line ahead of us, so we got fucked out of our free Transformers toys. My brother vowed to buy himself one, I guess to balance his zen or something, but this remains to pass.

We stood in line for an ungodly amount of time. Once 7am hit, they started letting people in, but whatever the hell was happening in this Kinko parking lot, it was taking a while, because the line was only moving in snail increments, and we ended up entering no sooner than somewhere around 7:45am. And if there's anything stupider than waiting in a line for over an hour, it's waiting in a line for over an hour, but you have no idea what the fuck you're waiting for. While we waited, a squirrel circled the entire block on power lines. Also, a van pulled up with a Power 106 logo on it, and someone in line recognized the front seat passenger as a DJ named Tattoo. He asked him to say some shit to his girl on his phone, so the Tattoo guy grabbed the phone and screamed some shit into it. By the time we entered, I forgot that I wanted to ask someone what this event was, so I missed my chance to ask the people at the sign-up table. All I knew was that one of the sign-up people referred to it as the "experience." "Don't bring any cameras in because no photography will be allowed during the experience." So the only sure thing was that I had just signed up for some kind of experience.

I then got into a line that led into a semi-trailer truck. This was the Sector Seven Mobile Command Unit. These stoic guys in black suits were letting random amounts of people in for increments of roughly 8 minutes. And whatever was happening inside that semi was a complete mystery. People would exit in varying states of excitement. At one point, the event started getting picketed by three or four protesters brandishing signs proclaiming that Sector Seven was a bunch of lying scumbags, and that we shouldn't believe their shit. Now this was fun! By the time we were let in, it was already past 8am. But we were like the first in our group, so we got a prime spot in front of one of the monitors.

The inside of the semi was lined with air tanks and devices and just a whole bunch of military crap. And some monitors. Then this guy stormed in from a door (which I guess led to another room encased inside the trailer) and got up in this other guy's face, asking him all kinds of questions. He and the other men in black assured us that there was no such thing as "NBE'S," or "Non-Biological Entities. Transformers." Great. I didn't think there were. Then they got this emergency video feed on the monitors from Qatar, and we were treated to footage of Scorponok attacking Tyrese and some other military guys out in the desert, intercut with a guy that one of the soldiers was talking to on the phone. What was amazing about this raw footage being transmitted to us was that it featured lots of coverage, both on the location and off, the special effects were still unfinished, and they were playing the Batman Begins score over it. When the whole thing was over, they reassured us that there's no such thing as blah blah blah, and we couldn't talk to anyone about it. Whatever, fucks. I know what I saw!

The whole experience was kinda like the introductory queue before T2-3D, except there was no kickass show at the end, and we were being recorded for publicity the whole time. Then we got these passes to a hypothetical advance screening of Transformers, of which there is no set date or location yet, but they will notify us. Whenever this thing turns out to be, I don't know if I will want to go to it. Advance screenings are usually filled with desperate people who seem to care more about the deal than the movie. This is just my impression, not an actual fact. I did spot some clear Transformers fans at the experience. But I think I just want to see it at a nice theater on opening night, with a crowd guaranteed to be made up of hardcore fans. I don't want to go to some ass place at a time that's been selected for me and possibly be told where to sit, which is usually the case at these things. I want to see this bitch with the rest of the world, so I can feel the Independence Day magic coursing through my proud American veins. Perhaps these warring robots will epitomize the spirit first carved into this nation's soul by a bunch of farmers and lawyers in Philadelphia City some 231 years ago. God bless America.

Cheers,
Diego

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Crappy TV.

This week's American Idol was pretty lame. Everyone gave uninteresting performances of obscure Barry Gibb (Bee Gees) tunes. Then LaKisha left the show, which made sense, because she was the only one left who couldn't conceivably win. I would say Blake, Melinda, and Jordin all have an equal shot at the title, although I would prefer Blake. It really might depend on their upcoming performances. Last Thursday, Randy Jackson was on Conan, and he said that he thought the Top 3 would be Blake, Melinda, and Jordin. Well, isn't that just a roundabout way of saying everyone is good except LaKisha? Get some balls, Randy. Right before Ryan announced who was going home, he asked Simon who he thought it would be, and Simon guessed correctly. Simon always guesses correctly.

What's unsettling is that Ryan keeps sticking Blake in the Bottom 2, but he never officially calls it the "Bottom 2." He just says, "You're safe, you're safe, you're safe, you're out." So, for all we know, Blake is the vote leader. Ryan isn't telling us shit.

Pink got to do a number that they didn't have time to air during "Idol Gives Back." It wasn't her latest single (U + Ur Hand), because the show producers wanted her to change a few lyrics, and she would rather not do the song at all than change the lyrics. I definitely respect that. On the other hand, I wasn't super into this other song that she did. Besides that, nothing else of note happened this week on Idol, except that Ryan did the Wednesday morning interviews at Farmer's Market again. This pretty much solidifies the fact that that is his go-to spot, and if we want to get interviewed, we should definitely hang out there on Wednesday mornings. But if they plan on doing the finale at the Kodak Theater, then the interviews could be on Hollywood Boulevard again. Whatev.

Overall, I'd say I've been disappointed with this season's theme selections. Some previous season themes have included the likes of Elton John, Billy Joel, and even Queen. This season didn't have Elton, Billy, or Freddy. I better see all three next season. A Beatles week would also be amazing, or maybe even a Beach Boys week. Get on this, uh... Ryan.

In other TV show news, "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" seems to be specifically put together for idiots. The show always starts with clips from the episode it's about to air, and this week's episode started by telling us that the first contestant was going to reach the million dollar question. Kinda took the suspense out of every drawn-out moment that Jeff Foxworthy took before confirming every right answer. When the guy reached the million dollar question, he was told that if he decided to "go for it" and hear the question, he would not be allowed to walk away with his $500,000. He would either get the $1,000,000 for a right answer, or the consolation $25,000 for the wrong answer. He was then shown footage of the last two guys who made it this far. Both of them dropped out and took the money, and one of them ended up knowing the answer to what would have been his question. So this guy, not wanting to look like a coward, became the first person in history to go for the million dollar question. He was asked the name of the first satellite the US put into space. He was between Mercury and Genesis, but went with Mercury. Mercury was indeed the name of the first manned mission into space; however, the first satellite was named the Explorer. So this guy cost himself $475,000. But at least no one could deny his balls.

For a few weeks, I stopped watching this show, and when I started watching again, I noticed that they had replaced one of the 5th graders. The brunette white girl with the glasses is gone, and now we have a freckle-faced blonde named Marki. What happened to glasses girl? One of the last times I saw her, a male contestant complimented her on something, and she responded, "Are you flirting with me?" Perhaps the producers fired her for being so inappropriate with her banter. Now she's the Pete Best of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?"

In closing, here's a video of what Bee Gees week should look and sound like:



Cheers,
Diego

Friday, May 11, 2007

Closing Time.

One of my favorite things to blog about is the many ways that businesses in my daily routine are poorly run. Mainly food establishments that close early or don't know how to turn off their OPEN sign. I save special places in my memory, alongside the most wonderful moments of my life, for those times when I'm turned away from a restaurant mere minutes before their official closing time. I treasure these moments of injustice, in the hopes that one day I can maybe do something to help stop them. Yesterday, I experienced quite the opposite.

Jamba Juice closes at 9:30pm on Mondays through Thursdays, and I went in like five minutes before they were about to close, and before I even set foot inside, I was filled with a surge of dread. These people were almost done with their work day, and here I was to unexpectedly make them do more work during the home stretch. But I was surprised to find that all the employees were in a cheerful mood, and only too jazzed to approach the cash register and ask their last minute customers, "what can we make for you?" One of them even remarked that the mountain outside was dark, but that yesterday, they had a nice light show (referring to the massive Griffith Park fire that took days to put out). And that's when I realized how twisted it was that I had been conditioned to feel wrong about entering a food establishment right before they close. There is no difference between the 8am customer and the 9:25pm customer, and these Jamba Juice employees seemed to get that.

I recently stopped going to the KFC on Hollywood because one night they decided to close the register early to count the cash, and were only accepting credit transactions. I had a card, but was forced to watch a father and son be turned away because the only thing they had was FEDERAL RESERVE NOTES. DOLLAR BILLS. LEGAL TENDER, ACCEPTABLE ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY. EXCEPT THIS KFC (I considered telling the guy that he could give me the cash and I would put it on my card, but I don't think I had enough in my account at the time). So I started going to the KFC on Central, until one night, when we arrived 10 minutes before closing time and the guy said I couldn't have a famous bowl, because he didn't want to prepare more mashed potatoes and gravy so close to closing time. This is why my default KFC is now, ironically, the one on Hollywood. Also, the one on Central had a B instead of an A. I don't want to think about what they got wrong on inspection day. Perhaps it has something to do with their "walk-thru" window, which is like a drive-thru window, except it's just a window that opens out into the parking lot from the kitchen. And it's labeled "walk-thru." Wierd, right?

Well, the point is, these KFC assholes have their shit wrong. Jamba Juice has it right. Every customer should receive the same care and attention, no matter what time of day it is.

Cheers,
Diego

Thursday, May 3, 2007

New Shoes.

I've been recently trying to do the hiking thing at this little hiking mountain they got over here called Runyon Canyon Park. But every time I go, I risk my body more and more harm, because my shoes are 2-year-old Nike Shox that don't grip the ground very well, so I'm constantly slipping on steep crags of rock at over 1300 feet. So I decided I should get me some hiking shoes. I went to Sports Authority and tried out some hiking boots, and they all fit okay, but the problem there is that stores don't offer you a way to test out shoes on a diagonal rock surface. They should do that, because I don't care how these shoes feel when I'm walking on level manmade floors. I care how they feel when my ankles are twisting in all kinds of unimaginable angles and the fate of my entire life is resting solely on the piece of rubber strapped to my feet. But these boots were all exactly the same. My brother had refused to come with me, so I was calling him and asking him to pick a pair based on how reliable the manufacturer name sounded (he refused me here, too). Then I looked at every other shoe they had and I noticed that there was a category of Nike shoe called the Trail Running Shoe. This sounded good, because I also wanted to be able to jog in these shoes. So I went home and checked that out, and on the Nike website, I found a relatively cheap pair called the Air Assail IV. It featured Nike Air cushioning, ideal for downhill descents, and "a full-length sticky rubber outsole that provides traction on a variety of different surfaces." It came in four color options:


1. Black Graphite/Black/Natural Grey/Varsity Maize


2. Army Olive/Black/Mineral Yellow


3. Black/Metallic Silver/Black


4. Midnight Navy/Sonic Yellow/Black/Neutral Grey

Clearly, #3 was the coolest option. However, #3 was the only pair that wasn't marked down in price. #'s 1, 2, and 4 were all marked down to $49.99, while #3 was the full price of $75. Assholes! I didn't think twice about eliminating that pair first. I'd wear pink shoes if I got a good enough price. And #1 was too girlie with the baby blue disguised as "natural grey," so that pair was out too. I was between #'s 2 and 4. #2 had "army olive" and "mineral yellow" with a black swoosh. This would give me a more earthy foot tone that I needn't be afraid to get dirty. Whereas #4 had "midnight navy" and "black" with a sonic yellow swoosh. This was more of a swanky shoe color that wouldn't mix as well with dirt. But that didn't stop them from trying to get that tough-sounding "midnight navy" in there to compete with the "army olive." The colors are all gender-biased. The female version of this shoe features a pink called "tango" to make them sound more romantic. How is "tango" in any way pink?

Anyway, I thought the blue ones would fit my style well enough if I could get some red on 'em, so I ordered those and then went to another website and ordered some red shoelaces to replace those white ones. And by the way, I think it's insane that neither Nike.com nor any other shoe-ordering website offers a comprehensive catalogue of different shoelaces. Have they really missed out on this market? They must have thousands of those shits laying around the shoe factory! Sell those too, idiots!

My shoes came yesterday. Take a gander:



When I went back to the shoe website just now, they were all back up to $75, so looks like my purchase was serendipitously timed. Now if I kill myself, it won't be because of slippery shoes. Check out those treads!



Cheers,
Diego

Bon Jovi Week.

So Bon Jovi week ruled ass. For the first time this entire season, everyone gave a great performance. The people I was watching with kept telling me that Jordin sucked, but I thought she was good. The one person I felt shitty for was Gina Glocksen. As a rocker, this would have been her dream week. I notice she attended both nights, and not only did Ryan Seacrest basically come out and say "this must be killing you," they also did two songs she'd previously performed as her own picks earlier this season. First was Carrie Underwood doing "I'll Stand By You" during the first farewell, then the Top 6 doing "Paint it Black" for the Ford commercial. So I guess she didn't have the best week, unless she's the type of gal who enjoys watching people do things she wants to do, which I'm guessing she ain't. Anyway, the Tuesday night performances were as follows:

1. Phil Stacey - "Blaze of Glory" -- This song was one of two ideal farewell songs performed that night, because it's all about, as the title implies, going out in a blaze of glory. Perhaps he knew the end was near.
2. Jordin Sparks - "Livin' on a Prayer" -- Arguably the biggest hit Bon Jovi has ever had. Expectations were high, and she supposedly sucked, but again, I dug on it.
3. LaKisha Jones - "This Ain't a Love Song" -- Bon Jovi said he would bet on her staying based on how well she was singing this. Which didn't bode well for me, cuz I was ready to see her go home.
4. Blake Lewis - "You Give Love a Bad Name" -- One of my favorite Idol performances ever. A major risk, which I totally respect. Better to fail doing your own thing than to succeed doing someone else's thing. Not only that, but the undeniable fact here is that no other Idol could give a performance like this. One that not only excelled in new ways, but traditional ones as well. This guy deserves to win based on innovation alone. I voted for his shit twice.
5. Chris Richardson - "Wanted Dead or Alive" -- The first thought that comes to mind when you hear this song selection is the fact that Chris Daughtry performed it last year, and he rocked the shit out of it, so Chris Richardson would have to be out of his fucking mind to attempt it. But this was the first thing he addressed during his pre-recorded interview, and his reasoning was that it may not hold up to comparison, but you can't have a Bon Jovi night without "Dead or Alive." I thought this made a lot of sense, so he gets my respect too. This, by the way, was the other ideal farewell song performed that night, because it's about life as a performer through the career highs and lows.
6. Melinda Doolittle - "Have a Nice Day" -- She claimed not to know how to rock, but Bon Jovi said he was gonna teach her, and he most surely did. I think Melinda Doolittle is the best singer based purely on vocal talent. Ideally, I would want her in the Top 2 with Blake.

Right after Doolittle performed, George W. Bush and his wife came on the big video screen and thanked everyone for all the money that was raised last week. I thought the timing was funny, because "Have a Nice Day" is an anti-Bush song, written as a reaction to the 2004 election. Good. Fuck him.

Who I wanted to go home this week:
1. Phil Stacey -- I don't care how many good performances he still has in him. Keep 'em.
2. LaKisha Jones -- Still not feeling the charisma from this one.

Who did go:
1. Phil Stacey -- ABOUT TIME.
2. Chris Richardson -- FUCK.

I am in no way comforted by the fact that the two people going home were the two people who performed ideal farewell songs. I guess one outta two ain't bad, and if that second wasn't LaKisha, I should be glad it was Chris. But now the Top 4 is Blake Lewis and three girls who are... well... similar... in... ways. And one thing I value about the show is its potential for variety.

Other things of interest:
1. One of the extra performers on the results show was Robin Thicke, son of vocalist Gloria Loring and Canadian sensation Alan Thicke. Alan Thicke was on Growing Pains, and is also known for WRITING AND PERFORMING THE THEME SONG TO DIFF'RENT STROKES. Robin Thicke's song was boring, so we muted it and played the mp3 of the Diff'rent Strokes theme, which improved the performance exponentially.
2. This week's Wednesday show interview spot was Farmer's Market again. Which makes sense, being that it's adjacent to CBS Studios, which is, like, where they shoot this. So, if I wanted to be on this next week, should I go hang out at the Farmer's Market? Or will he switch it up again and hit up the Kodak Theater on Hollywood Boulevard? There's just no way to know with this goddamn show.
3. Next week's coach is Barry Gibb, which means it could be another amazing week. However, Ryan Seacrest called it "Sounds of Boogie." I hope it's not another one of those generic bullshit weeks where anything from the genre will do. Hopefully that title is about as accurate as Rock Week was for what was essentially Bon Jovi Week. It needs to be Bee Gees Week. Always. Speaking of which.
4. I was surprised that no one performed Bon Jovi's "Always." This seems like the kinda group who would give their left nut for a tasty ballad.

For the past two weeks, I've closed my Idol blogs with a video of a former Idol performing the shit out of a song that one of the new Idols attempted, thus embarrassing the new Idol. A task made incredibly easy this week by Chris Richardson's song choice. But I found his reason for performing that song too compelling to do it any dishonor. So, instead, I will simply post Blake's little tour de force.



This cocksucker better win, or I don't know what.

Cheers,
Diego