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Archive for April, 2009

So, off the top- the Ford commercial is lame, the group sing was only slightly better than usual, and the judges are stupid. ( Well, they haven’t done anything offensive as of this moment, but it bears repeating.)

The typical breakdown that Idol does for top five week, creating two groups of two and making the fifth choose a group. This year, RyRy sent Matty and Kris to the one side, Allison and Danny to the other, making Adam choose between the two. Usually, they announce the fifth person safe and then makes them choose. This year, I got suspicious when RyRy didn’t call Adam safe.  Adam went and joined Danny and Allison, when RyRy pulled a switcheroo and announced that no, DWP and my beloved Allison were in fact safe, and Matty, Adam, and Kris were the bottom three.

Natalie Cole looks really good for someone who is as ill as she is reported to be and she sounds great.  Some pitch issues, but she’s a legend. I forgive legends.

Taylor Hicks? Ugh.

Taylor looks pretty much the same. I’m not impressed though. His song is tolerable but nothing special.

Matty, Kris, and Adam come back and the person sitting back at the couch is-Kris.

RyRy didn’t say bottom two, so I don’t know who is bottom two.

EW has been predicting this week could be a shocking elimination. I would think if Adam went, that is beyond shocking…

I don’t like this song (the video’s cool, but the song sucks). Jamie Foxx can go away now.

RyRy calls Simon out, and Simon take sit rather well ( but smugly). Adam is announced safe ( the right call), and Matty goes home for real this time.

Next week is Rock week, and Slash is supposed to be the mentor. The coolest Idol mentor ever!

Till next week.

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Idol News

Apparently, this is happening next week:

SlashHudson I’m going to attempt to make “Rock Week” on American Idol exactly that. # fb

Slash is going to be on EFFING IDOL????

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Idol and standards weeks has previously delivered some great performances- Kelly Clarkson’s ” Stuff Like That There”, Fantasia’s ” Summertime” immediately come to mind.  But it’s a week that always worries me, because there might be a desire by the Idols in the effort for relevance to strip the melodies of classic, beautiful songs to sound newer.

The mentor tonight is Jamie Foxx, who can nail a standard like no one’s business ( I love his version of ” Georgia On My Mind”, while his R&B leaves me kinda cold despite his obvious musical gifts).

Kris begins the night with a lovely, tender version of ” The way You Look Tonight” ( one of my all time faves) that turned into a gentle swing at the end. I loved it, his voice was superb, and I felt it. The judges seemed pleasant but overall underwhelmed. Shove it up your asses.

Allison comes out with ” Someone To Watch Over Me”, which she kept simple. The attitude all came from her natural tone. It was amazing and worthy of high praise that she didn’t get. Bite me judges.

Matt did ” My Funny Valentine”, one of the hardest songs to sing of all time ( it’s another one of those songs that on the surface seems easy due to a simple sounding melody, but the song’s phrasing is incredibly difficult). It was fine, nothing spectacular, and I think he’s bottom two.

DWP- I just- I am pissed off about that. He sounded angry and snarling at points, and then he screamed the last quarter of the song, and he was praised to high heaven for it? Fuck them all. It was the worst performance of the night, not that ANYONE CARES!

Adam- I really like Adam personally. I do. I think he’s swell and there is an open invite to come party with me. But I didn’t like it. I’m sorry. I thought it was screamy at points,  a little wild vocally, although this was the first time in weeks he did an upbeat number that I watched without feeling completely overwhelmed by the sheer force of personality he brings. But I just didn’t like it.  I didn’t hate it, but I do not think that is was the best of the night ( that goes, once again, to Kris).

This is an interesting season for me. I’m learning something about my music tastes, and it turns out I like theatrical artistry when they know when to let go and when to reign it in. Freddie Mercury was a master at this  , and I’m sorry, Adam is no where near Freddie level in balancing the theatrical and the artistry, although he shows promise in learning. I enjoy Kris’ controlled, singer songwriter vibe, but I always dug the folkie thing. And Allison- well, I love authentic rockers, since most are fakers to begin with. That voice is genuine. DWP and Matty are interchangeable with dozens of other artists. If Adam, Kris, or Allison wins this year, I consider it a victory that America really wants interesting artists in their musical landscape instead of the crap labels keep trying to feed them. But I am not at David Cook level passionate level for any of those three, and Adam keeps aggravating me with the overblown theatrics ( I’m also not a fan of Allison’s clothes or Kris’s monkey face).

Bottom two- should be Danny and Matt, will be Allison and Matt and Matt’s probably going home.

Fave of the night- again, it’s Kris. I love that song and I loved the fact he kept it simple and sang it well. Allison’s my second.

Adam is where he usually is for me, in the middle, sitting beside me on the fence, asking me what he could do to win me over.

Be up against Danny in the finals is the easiest way. Harder will be to show me that he can rock without the insanity.

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Chuck Update

  1. Please ignore all rumors- NBC did momentarily have Series Finale on the official Chuck webpage, but that has been fixed. NBC may be stupid, but they are not THAT stupid. Also, there is no merit to the suggestions that ABC would pick up Chuck. There is no financial incentive for them to do so. This is not a Scrubs situation. NBC will announce Chuck’s fate on May 5, liek it has been said by every executive, Josh and Chris, and television critic for the past month. As Chuck would say, don’t freak out.
  2. I will be posting my ruminations about “Chuck vs. the Ring” later on. Work has been busy and I’m still going over my notes.
  3. Do not, however, get complacent about the ” To be continued” message at the end of the show last night. Continue to do all the things the fan pages suggest and keep the pressure up.

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Yes, Chuck fans, today is the season finale.

Now, there are rumors floating about that Chuck has been picked up for thirteen ( no truth to that), Nikki Finke saying that the show is safe ( I have issues with Ms. Finke at times, some things she wrote during the WGAstrike hurt some writer friends deeply, so I take what she says with a grain of salt). Let me be clear- THERE IS NO TRUTH TO ANY OF THESE RENEWAL STORIES. So do not think that we are in the clear ( I suspect Chuck will be renewed, because of the help we fans got from prominent TV critics from the Chicago Tribune, The NJ Star-Ledger, and Ausiello at EW.com, which turned a grassroots movement that would probably been effective to a point into a national story not seen since Jericho was cancelled the first time). If we are lucky to see our favorite Buy More employee and the gang back for season three, we cannot give up the big fight- we have to continue to tout the show at every possible moment and make sure people tune in for season three.

The fact is, rarely do these fan based reactionary movements work. the most famous one is of course the Jericho ” nuts” campaign, which saw Les Moonves’ office filled with peanuts. The most successful one in history was the letter writing campaign that saved 80s cop classic Cagney and Lacey, a show cancelled after it’s first season only to return for another five (it also had Ms. magazine backing it). There is also The Family Guy, cancelled by Fox only to come back years later due to the ratings the show got on Adult Swim. That show is also still on the air after many seasons.

The thing that is different about the Chuck campaing, though, is the fan ingenuity. It was a fan who came up with the Subway campaign. See, Subway is prominent in it’s product placement on the show, including the character of Morgan Grimes ( the invaluable Joshua Gomez) singing the $5 footlong jingle a couple of episodes ago. Fans actually praise the product placement on Chuck- it’s obvious, sure, but it’s done in the most fun loving, goofy way. That is why this idea got legs. We all know product placement is the wave of the advertising future on TV, as the rise of DVRs and TV on DVD attest ( not to mention the continued popularity of torrent files). What could be more effective than showing both the advertiser and the network that the idea actually works? NBC has been the most aggressive network in this arena ( see: entire episodes of 30 Rock based around McFlurries and such). They are dying to prove that product placement works. We are helping them prove a point by showing the advertiser that we are watching and listening. It’s easy to be cynical and jaded about the practice, but damn it, we aren’t idiots. Advertising dollars propel the TV industry- that’s why Neilsens, however ineffective, are still the standard we use to gauge viewership. The assumption is if 1% of the population are recorded as watching a certain television show, the number correlate out by formula, there by 2 1/2 Men scores 17 million viewers in a week ( I really don’t know how accurate that is, honestly. No one I know likes that show, but almost everyone I know watches The Big Bang Theory at some point during the week).

The money train, though, is the most important thing to the networks. And that has been part of Chuck’s problem. See, Heroes ( craptastic as it is right now) is owned outright by NBC/Universal, it gets all the money from DVD and International sales. Chuck is produced out of Warner Brothers studios, which means that NBC has to pay the WB a licensing fee, and they don’t garner a huge chunk of those DVD and International sales.  That is why, despite comparable numbers ( Heroes still draws in a few hundred thousand more, plus a bit more in the oh-so important 18-49 demo), Heroes pulled in an early renewal call and Chuck- well, by all accounts, it’s on the positive side of the bubble, but it’s on the bubble none the less.

All things being considered though, Chuck has everything going for it- it’s like Lost and Heroes in it’s dense mythology, but unlike both of those shows, it’s actually funny, light hearted, positive, and charming on top of smart and thrilling. It’s not weighed down by a ridiculously massive cast that requires maneuvering ridiculous amounts of story lines. It says great things about family and friends. It’s actually quite family friendly ( I know last weeks Chuck-Sarah make out session was a little steamy, but as my preteen daughter pointed out, when was the last time you saw a show that actually encouraged responsible sexual practices and said condoms are important and don’t sex someone up without one. Yeah, but you know, I’m one of those ridiculously open liberal parents that allows my kids to swear because there are worse things in the world they could be doing, like robbing liquor stores). And the cast has shown in the last few weeks that they really appreciate us as the fans.  Few shows have the majority of their cast and crew talk to the hosts of a fan podcast to discuss things the way Chuck’s cast and crew did last week for Chuck vs. The Podcast. Few show runners would engage their fans in interviews, thanking them and encouraging the ” Take It To the Man” attitudes. Few would actually say ” Send Nerds” ( as in the candies) like  Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak did. Fans often feel passionately about their shows, but there often seems like there is a wall between creators and fans, and we never even know if they know how passionate we are about what they do. The Internet has changed this somewhat, and I have seen show runners get majorly involved now in fan communities ( Criminal Minds Fanatic has a notoriously close relationship with Ed Bernaro and the creative crew on that show). Chuck falls on that side of the TV world. A lot of that, I’m convinced of, is Josh Schwartz being so frakkin’ young himself, growing up in the era of video games and the rise of the Internet. Chuck’s NBC page uses integration really well, and Schwartz ( who also produces the CW’s Gossip Girl- talk about a Sophie’s Choice situation in the Schwartz home Mondays at 8 pm) is savvier than most about the ways to use the Internet community. 

Another fan based movement happens on the mother of all Internet driven commercial real estate- ITunes. Chuck is available on ITunes, and  so is the music. Chuck fans have been encouraged to of course purchase episodes off of the music store, but there has also been a push to buy the music featured. The Chuck soundtrack is heavy on two things- indie rock ( Bon Iver, Phantom Planet, Spoon, Flight Of the Conchords) and eighties classics ( Rush, Journey, Twisted Sister, Huey Lewis and The News). I know I have bought songs simply because I heard it on Chuck first. And I have apparently forgotten how much I loved Huey Lewis as a kid. I would like to thank Chuck for reminding me.

And more on that eighties thing- well, it’s less about the eighties per se than the genius way this show pays homage to the popular culture of the people of my age group. Emmett Millbarge- totally Spies Like Us. The Godfather? Well, you know that the Buy More is just a different kind of mafia, right?  Casablanca is probably referenced in this show more than one could possibly realize. There have lines cribbed from everything- James Bond, The Warriors, Quantum Leap, Jerry Maguire… part of the fun is realizing that yes, Nicole Richie and Ben Savage’s characters are, in fact, named Heather Chandler and Mark Ratner ( from the two greatest high school movies ever- Heathers and Fast Times At Ridgemont High).

Then there is that cast. Adam Baldwin as the indomitable Maj. ( now Col.) John Casey- a mix of his characters in My Bodyguard and Firefly ( Jayne Cobb=John Casey on earth and with a badge). The beautiful Yvonne Strahovski ( nicknamed Strahotski by libido charged fanboys) has grown into her difficult role of kick ass chick with a gun and a heart. How can you hate a show with a character nicknamed Captain Awesome, and Ryan McPartlin’s character has developed from one note joke to the person Chuck first tells about his secret. Sarah Lancater’s Ellie Bartowski is a smart woman who loves her brother to the point of almost smothering him, but she genuinely cares about what he is doing with his life. Jeff and Lester provide hilarious comic relief at the Buy More, and let’s face it, Jeffster is the coolest lame ass band in TV history. Morgan Grimes is the devoted best friend, and the Chuck-Morgan bromance is the stuff of legend. Then there is Zachary Levi as Chuck- handsome but not so much so as to be unbelievable as a geek, but not so geeky as to be off putting. He’s charming, affable, and funny, and a really great actor. I’m actually sure of the fact if it wasn’t for the show’s lead, the show would not work. Sometimes character and actor just mesh in a way as to become one. From all accounts, Zac Levi is an awful lot like Chuck in real life- video gamer, sweet, generous, and warm.

There are many reasons why Chuck deserves a third season, most of them listed above. But let me just say one more thing before I go and Twitter some more about the Subway thing and the season finale and just how beloved this show actually has become. I can tell you right now that the first two episodes were fun but didn’t inspire diehard loyalty from me. It wasn’t until the show’s mythology began to develop around the middle of season one I became hooked. What was a funny little spy show became deeper and more involved in “Chuck vs. the Alma Mater”, when you began to get a sense that the reason for Chuck to become the human intersect was bigger than originally thought. This is one show that has gotten better with each episode. Hurt by the ten month layoff the strike caused, being in the most competativetime slot ( Mondays at 8 ET- opposite House, Dancing With the Stars, The CBS comedies The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, and Gossip Girl on the CW), this show deserves so much better than NBC has given it. And the best thing I think NBC, after handing over five hours of prime time to a comedian ( even money from me Jay’s show fails), being in fourth place, and with little looking all that promising for them, is too reward a loyal, if small, audience.

Here’s hoping for season three of Chuck, with at least thirteen, preferably twenty two, episodes. There are worse things that could happen.

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Okay, sorry I slacked off the last two days, Chuck fans, I was simply so tired I couldn’t function all too well. To make it up to you all, some Chuck goodies.

I know we’ve all seen it, but here we are again: the promo for tomorrow’s episode, the season finale- Chuck vs. The Ring.

Next, a pic of the two men I adore, Zac Levi and Adam Baldwin. I love me some Chuck and Casey…

Maj. (now Col.) John Casey (Adam Baldwin) and Chuck Bartowski ( Zachary Levi)

Maj. (now Col.) John Casey (Adam Baldwin) and Chuck Bartowski ( Zachary Levi)

And now, the new hot Chuck viral video: JEFFSTER!

For good measure- cast photos:

Mark Christopher Lawrence, Joshua Gomez, Scott Krinsky, Julia Ling, Zachary Levi

Mark Christopher Lawrence, Joshua Gomez, Scott Krinsky, Julia Ling, Zachary Levi

Joshua Gomez, Sarah Lancaster, Yvonne Strahovski, Zachary Levi, Adam Baldwin

Joshua Gomez, Sarah Lancaster, Yvonne Strahovski, Zachary Levi, Adam Baldwin

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Chuck on the beach

Chuck on the beach

Another picture of the smoking hot Zac Levi as Chuck Bartowski. Remember to watch on Monday, April 27 at 8 PM ET on NBC ( City TV in Canada). Please remember to grab yourself some Subway $5 footlongs and drop off a comment card, ask for a recipt and mail it to Subway headquarters. Also add a note to NBC in Burbank.

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Fucking Idol had to remind me of Paula’s “sexy” comment for DWP last night? Why does Idol hate me so when all I do is love snark it?

Anyhoo, tonight’s Idol will be interrupted as I will watch part of the East coast Letterman feed- one of my future husbands is on, and the EC feed of Letterman coincides with the WC feed of Idol. And the mid part of Idol sucks. But it serves me right for having a nap after dinner and falling asleep.

Choreographer Paula is my favorite Paula because she was really meant to be that choreographer. She looks focused and- well, normal.

The Idols launch into their very VERY canned version of ” Shake Your Body Down”. Matt’s falsetto had been sweetened to the point of being on key. And for all of Paula’s efforts ( she really is a great choreographer- let’s give her credit where it’s due, people), the Idols CANNOT dance. Except for Adam. That theatrical training helped him a lot there.

And this week’s Ford video sucks donkeys.

This episode of Idol will now pre-empted so I can watch Jim Parsons on Letterman. Be back in ten.

I return to Idol to catch the end of KC and the Sunshine Band, and we launch back into commercial.

I discover that Lil Rounds has ( thank God) been eliminated. Whoo, one down.

Kris- safe.

Adam- safer than safe.

DWP- please kill me now… he’s effing safe. Damn it.

Anoop- silver chair of doom…

Allison and Matty-  Matt is safe.

My Allison!! Noooooooo…

David Archuleta… he’s back… Jason style…

Archie does ” Touch My Hand”.  He sounds vocally tired. I like the kid, despite all my mocking last year.

I’m bored. So bored.

So we come down to Anoop and Allison and the one heading home is… Anoop.

Kinda sad about that, I like Anoop. But Slezak called it- Anoop in about sixth place. Yeah.

Next week, folks.

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Chuck season finale promo. Ack!

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Are you excited? Have you ever wanted a Monday to come as quickly as you do right now? I know I can’t wait.

So, each night this week, I’ll link to a photo or video or something to remind you all to WATCH THE CHUCK SEASON TWO FINALE ( and pray to God it’s not the series finale) MONDAY NIGHT AT 8 ET ON NBC ( CITY TV IN CANADA).

Chuck and Casey- wet

Chuck and Casey- wet

Let’s start with our two sexy leading men- Zac Levi and Adam Baldwin. A little- damp…

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Wow, we’re moving quick this week. Did Fringe fans threaten Seacrest’s life? Or did Fox execs? (I’m betting it was the Fringsters).

Lil Rounds goes with Chaka Khan’s legendary ” I’m Every Woman” and completely butchers the modulation of the chorus, goes sharp constantly on her big notes, and is a general train wreck. That was awful. And someone muzzle her, damn it!

Simon calls it. Horrendous. Bye bye, Lil.

Kris- whom I am beginning to adore ( his version of ” Falling Slowly” is my number one song on IPod last week)- chooses… ” She Works Hard For The Money”?????? WTF?????

Wait.

Artistry, everyone. That is called artistry. He sounds good vocally and I’m kinda digging the Bedouin Soundclash-ish vibe with the music. ( I am a Bedouin Soundclash fan). Kinda cool. Like it? I think the verdict is yes.

Is Paula off her meds again?

Next up- “September” by DWP, who is wildly pitchy off the top. Why does he always go flat?  I now hate this song because Gokey is singing it. Sorry, Earth Wind & Fire.

Enough about that.

Allison sings a totally awesome, rocking version of Donna Summer’s ” Hot Stuff”. Her vocals kick ass. That may be my favoritism peeking out. And I’m a little disturbed a sixteen year old is singing this song…

Adam is next… is he gonna be crazy boy Adam or amazing singer Adam? (Some would argue they are one and the same, but I maintain he’s schizophrenic in his performance style).

He goes with ” If I Can’t Have You”. Saturday Night Fever, everyone. Finally. And it’s one of those disco love songs. And he’s just singing. And it’s a great vocal. Controlled. Even. Till the chorus, he is a little shrill. But overall, impressive. And I love the shout out to Michael Orland, who helped with his arrangement.

Matty. I have a love/hate relationship with Matty. I love him when he gets it right. He crushes my soul when he doesn’t.  Chances are he’s heading home tomorrow night, regardless ( perfect world would send DWP and Lil home, but it”s never a perfect world where Danny Gokey is concerned). Matty goes with ” Stayin’ Alive”. Ooh… iconic song… but I like it sooooo much more than those two people I hate. He’s on key, he doesn’t really try to reach Barry Gibb level falsetto. Until the end. He kept it in the Robin range. Good call.

Um, now Paula’s bowling.

Anoop looking a little less frat boy, more something with the scruff.

My baby, Emma, would just like to say ” Amoo, Amoo, Amoo it aw fyah”.

Anoop goes with yet another ballad beginning.  Seriously? He goes with ” Dim All The Lights”, which does pick up, but is still midtempo. His vocal though, is on pitch and pretty good. Brave dude to wear neon and pastels, I must say.

Randy’s hyperbole is ridiculous. Better than last year? Really?

So yeah, Top three tonight- Kris, Allsion, Adam ( in no particular order).

My bottom three- Anoop, Lil, and DWP. But the bottom three will be Anoop, Lil, and Matty, with Matt and Lil heading off home.

This bites.

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First off, Colonel is a funny word. Like Lieutenant in Canada, where it’s pronounced ” Lefftennant”. Just saying.

As season two of Chuck winds down, I have been thinking about a lot. Like how I am regretting not touting it as much as I should have. Not talking it up every week. I felt it would find an audience. Sadness suurounds me if next weeks season finale ends up being the series finale.

There is also the fact that I have been ignoring three of the best television performances. Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah Walker has been enlightening. In the pilot she was a pretty blonde who could kick some convincing ass, but she has grown to be a woman with a deeply troubled past trying to escape through Government approved means, and one who is surprisingly caring and warm, two things one does not expect from a C.I.A. operative. Adam Baldwin, so good as Jayne Cobb and Animal Mother, got no glory as Maj. John Casey, N.S.A. super badass. Yes, Casey hasn’t been given much in extraordinary emotional range, but that’s the genius of it. Casey is always combat ready, so it makes those emotional moments strangely effecting. Then there is Zachary Levi’s Chuck Bartowski, the opposite of Casey in every way. He wears his emotions on his sleeve, unable to hide is love for Sarah even if he really needed to. He’s no spy in a classic sense, but has proved time and again he could be if he would just relax and remember that they have his back. He’s a genius with slacker tendencies, more at home with Call of Duty than his actual call of duty. Levi gives Chuck the perfect balance between sweet naivete and calculating brilliance.

This show has been one that has just improved with each passing episode. The pilot was amusing, buoyed by Levi’s excessive charm and comic stylings, and while the action was really good, it lacked a certain heart. I cared about Chuck, but not enough at the moment to be moved by the fact that his dead college roommate downloaded a computer into Chuck’s brain and ruin his life. The second episode really was just a bridge to the third, when the show began to find it’s footing. Chuck’s ability as the Intersect aids the missions, but his general good guy behavior keeps getting him into trouble. He has an inability to stay in the car. He feels the need to rescue Sarah at every moment, despite the fact he knows he proably will end up being saved by her in the end. He doesn’t know what to make of Casey, whether Casey was friend or foe. Poor Chuck, and then the show just kept getting better. Bryce Larkin wasn’t dead. Fulcrum appears. And the mythology the show builds itself on solidified and it got REALLY good REALLY fast.

Which makes last night’s episode really interesting. the few criticisms I have heard are all valid. It was packed full of the myth and the fandom. Sarah and Chuck almost go at it- to be stymied by the fact there is a Morgan Grimes ” IOU one Condom” note in Chuck’s wallet. Casey is promoted to Colonel and tries to be the cold badass, but is really just mad he wasn’t invited along for the ride. Sarah let’s all her emotion out, but at what cost in the end? Awesome stumbles into Casey’s life- and Chuck needs to tell the truth in order to ultimately protect Casey from impending stalker, assault, and attempted murder charges ( and Awesome from the unleashed Casey). Awesome comes through by being, well, awesome, and trying to calm a devastated Ellie when Chuck and her dad both appear M.I.A. Morgan decides to leave the Buy More to become a benihani chef… okay, some things are still ridiculous at the face of it.

The show has always used two things cleverly. The music ( last night, Bon Iver). A blend of 80s craptastical genius, indie brilliance, and an propulsive house score.  The music is too cool for words. The other thing is the pop culture references. For one thing, Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak seem to be much enamored of the 80s Chevy Chase classic Spies Like Us. And last night, between Big Mike’s Godfather impersonation, the slow clap, Morgan carrying Anna out of Buy More ( well, attempting to), The drive-in, the ” can you dig it?”, Scott Bakula being awesome, Chevy Chase being awesome, the strange desire to have a Pepsi, Emmett Milbarge- the show is in love with pop culture.

The fact is, Chuckhas become the most consistently funny, heart warming, thrilling show on television. The fact that it’s on the bubble disappoints me a great deal, seeing as it’s fresh and unique in this landscape. Why aren’t you watching it? I know I’m tuning in next week for the season finale to see if there is any clue where it will go if it does miraculously get a third season. I pray you all do the same.

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Simply the best TV show on TV. Watch. Watch. Watch. Watch.

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You know, this one was just to mind blowing to wait till Monday or Tuesday to do. I mean, it’s disco week. The much mocked, undervalued seventies dance music that has enjoyed a recent underground revival ( truthfully, it never really went away). The general consensus is Adam will be the only one to survive this train wreck week in waiting, but that would only be if he doesn’t repeat himself by doing something to close to ” Play That Funky Music” ( please don’t…). When I was researching, I kept looking at songs and seeing Adam do something pretty close to that performance. I want him to do something different. The rest- well, I guess it comes down to what Idol means by disco. Practically every dance groove of the last thirty five years qualifies as disco. But something tells me that Idol producers lack imagination or even a working knowledge of music styles, so I’ve narrowed my list to mid 70s to very early 80s dance pop. It doesn’t mean, though, that the Idols should do it disco style.

Allison- the talented teen with the Joplin rasp seems like a goner if she doesn’t pick just right. Her age may also lead her to an obvious choice- “Lady Marmalade”. The huge cover done by Christina and company, not the LaBelle version ( though they really are too similar for words- louder guitars do not a rock song make). But my advice- ignore the song about New Orleans prostitutes and go instead for the Feist version of the BeeGee’s ” Love You Inside And Out”. It’s quieter, more even, and easier to adapt to Allison’s great but limited voice. Alternate choice- the disco classic ” I Love The Nightlife”, only because it’s the fifth greatest disco song in history. Avoid- Blondie’s ” Heart Of Glass”. If Allison has a falsetto, we haven’t heard it. The verses span an entire octave.

Anoop- he does best on ballads, but I would like to see him try something like Earth Wind and Fire’s ” September” ( fourth greatest disco song of all time). It’s smoother than most disco standards, and I’d like to see if he can match Phillip Bailey’s amazing vocals ( doubt it- no one can, not even Bailey anymore). Alternate choice- ” I Just Wanna Be Your Everything”, Andy Gibbs’ schlockfest love song. Avoid- anything that requires any range, i.e. The BeeGees.

Adam- the funny girl comedian in me could make so many wisecracks… but I won’t. I prefer Adam when he just sings, but if any week requires high camp- it’s this week. I wouldn’t be adverse to a stunning rendition of forgotten ABBA gem ” Voulez Vous”, but I pick instead a- Lou Rawls song. Hear me out, people. ” You’ll Never Find A Love Like Mine” is a great disco song. Lou had one of the great baritones in history. Adam is no baritone, but the song could really allow that clearly amazing tenor voice of his some actual range defying drama. The song would allow for embellishments if needed, but would benefit form a highly controlled vocal. I want him to sing. I want to challenge Adam to use his lower register. See where I’m going. Avoid- camp classics that would remind tween girls everywhere that Adam plays for the other side. Which is 95% of disco music.

Matt- his ass saved by the judges, Matty lovely needs to step it up. And he gets disco week? The kid never had a shot, indeed. Poor Matty. But I’m throwing him a bone and suggesting Bill Wither’s ” Lovely Day”- soulful folk disco pop. Avoid- Everything else.

Danny- I honestly thought it would be hard for me to find DWPing songs in the most gloriously banal, apolitical, sunshiney genre of music in the history of mankind. I was so wrong. He could go with ” Don’t Leave Me this Way”. “Last Dance”. “Tragedy”. ” You’re The First, My Last, My Everything”. ” I Will Survive”. I predict he’ll go with Andy Gibb’s ” An Everlasting Love” and put the go in Gokey. At least, I hope. Avoid- frankly, do whatever the hell you want, Gokey, just do it badly and get out of my life.

Lil- the one who woulda gone home if the world was at all fair. The bet is Donna Summers ( the truly awful, worst song in history ” MacArthur Park” please. Even Carrie Underwood couldn’t make that song good.) But- there are a couple of other options. The obvious ” I Will Survive”, for one. But i keep on hoping for Lil to just dirty it up a bit. I want her to sing ” Don’t Leave Me This Way”. I just keep hoping she can hit something. But if she fails, she’ll fail miserably, and then I never will have to listen to her again.

Kris- oh no. Ummm, I picking blindly out of a hat and going with- Boz Scaggs’ ” Lowdown”. I really have nothing for our sweet Jason Mraz wannabe. Nothing. So I just picked randomly off of Wkipedia’s List of Disco artists. It could have been Boney M.

And I am sorry I couldn’t work Boney M’s legendary ” Rasputin” into this list. Till now. That woulda been frakkin’ awesome, no?

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Oh. My. God. Has Idol now become a UFC grudge match? WTF is up with that opening?

RyRy looks smirky and smarmy.

Looky, the Idols did a Ford vid to J. Geils Band’s 80s cheestastic ” Freeze Frame”.

“Maniac”? Really? Idol couldn’t clear a better song that?Oh, and it was painfully live, not canned. I’m in agony.

Adam looks vaguely embarrassed.

To quote Idolatry- put the Go in Gokey. I hate the dude so much.

RyRy asks the Idols about working with Quentin last night. Coolness from Adam. I love how teenaged normal Allison is. Too bad they had to go watch a Zac Efron movie.

Time to dim the lights.

Allison- safe.

Adam- safe.

Anoop- Bottom three ( WTF? He delivered one of the best vocals all night last night). Off to the silver stools of doom.

JHud!!!!!!!!!!

My feed is all fucked up.

She looks gorgeous. She sounds great. I adore her.

Paula says she’s surprised by Anoop’s inclusion in the bottom three. Simon- not so much.

Kris and Lil- Simon gets a word in for Kris- brilliant. Lil still gets to natter on. Shut. Her. Up. RyRy does one of those stupid switcharoo things, and Lil ends up going to the silver stools of doom.

Matt and Danny- I just hate DWP sooooooo much. ” Sing it how it’s supposed to be sang”? Are you kidding?  Danny needs to GO AWAY! How the fuck do you give an edge to ” Endless Love”? That’s like saying you can give edge “My Heart Will Go On”.  Danny is safe, I’m dying, Matt goes to the SSOD.

Paula still can’t say who she thinks will go home.

Anoop gets to stay. Relief.

Miley Cyrus.  Never a great live singer, but a surprisingly competent songwriter. She sings ” The Climb”, from her new movie, and it’s a pretty good little pop song. She annoys me so many different ways ( and she’s so nasally). I give her props though for not being a wreck so much on stage like when she did ” Fly On The Wall” at the AMAs. Oooh, those big notes kinda fall flat, don’t they?

Lil and Matt. Matt and Lil…Simon would consider the save.

Love live TV when it fucks up like that.

RyRy… get the fuck to it.

And the person to go home is…Lil is safe? Fuck. Matty?No…

Shit, dude.

He starts off better than he did last night. Could it really be better than last night?  Really? Oh, hell yeah! Soooo much better. If he sang it like that last night, he would be fine and Lil would be going home. Still didn’t like the bridge shrill thing, but two lines doesn’t make it bad.

Save or not save? Come on, Simon, tell me… is it safe?

Hell yeah!!!!!!! They saved MATTY!!!!!!!!!!!!

But that means a double elimination  next week, keep that in mind.

And next week is disco week?

Oh. God. No.

That is my own personal hell.

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Quentin Tarantino, all-round pop culture geek, is this week’s mentor. I know some people have issues with this development, but I don’t. QT was a guest judge in season three ( he was a Fantasia fan), and every single one of his critiques were more spot on than any of the judges. In retrospect, he’s even more sane now while the judges are even more ridiculous.

Simon apologizes for last weeks overrun, which pissed of Fringe fans extremely ( I don’t blame them- it’s a good show, even if I don’t watch it often). Simon, ever the class act, blames the girls.

Allison tackles the legendary ” I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”, and Quentin points out her performance flaws. DC did this memorably last season, so I’m nervous for her ( it has a gigantic chorus). But she sounds so fantastic in the verse I immediately relax. She runs into pronunciation issues in the chorus, and there are a couple of bum notes in the bridge, but super solid. I hope cursed at first doesn’t apply this week. Simon finally tosses my girl some love. Yay!

Anoop to do ” Everything I Do ( I Do It For You)” and Adam to do ” Born To Be Wild”, I gather from Ryan’s throw away.

Quentin recs to Anoop to rough it up a bit, which I whole heartedly agree with ( the song is pap, let’s face it). He sounds really good, a few bum notes, but surprisingly strong vocally. He messes up the melody just enough to make it more interesting. He really is a great balladeer. The girls screamed through out. That’s what it’s about.

Adam takes on the huge classic ” Born To Be Wild”, which has always been popular on Canadian Idol ( Steppenwolf being a Canuck band and all).  I don’t like this vocal as much as ” Mad World” last week, and the arrangement seemed messy to me. The boy can sing, we have established that, but I strongly dislike it when he doesn’t control his vocals and goes all over the place. He doesn’t service the song that way, he distracts from it. This song is legendary and doesn’t need the embellishment.

Matt’s doing ” Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman”. I hate that song. Matty, you are making it really tough for me to keep championing you. QT’s advice to enunciate is valid. Matt drops sounds when he sings, and gets a bit mushy mouthed. I still hate the song. But he did it just fine for what it is.But  the bridge fell apart, and was all over the place. Man, that bites.

RyRy didn’t give me a Danny clue. DWP is a mystery… I kinda want him to do something ridiculous, like ” The Trolley Song”, because, as we know, I HATE GOKEY. ” Endless Love”… ridiculous DWPing song, right? Gawd. I hate this song as well. I feel gross right now. Missing notes, DWP. Kill me now. Kill me now. Kill me now. Kill me now. Kill me now. Kill me now. Kill. Me. Now. Please.

I need to go bathe in Lysol. Followed by bleach.

Kris does the unimaginable- he picks something NEW and INTERESTING and INDIE!!!!!!!! He goes with  the Oscar winning love song ” Falling Slowly”. He decides against the guitar, and the vocal is imperfect, but so beautiful at the same time. I’m aching at the moment. Gorgeous. Love the chorus… stunning and emotionally perfect. Welcome back, Kris.

Randy is the biggest motherfucking moron in the history of mankind.

Is Lil singing ” The Rose”, or a different song from The Rose? The problem with ” The Rose” is that it is deceptive to sing. It’s a very simple melody, but it needs to be infused with a certain emotion or it’s a massive fail. I’ve seen good singers brought down by this song, and Lil isn’t that good a singer.

There is a difference in making a song your own, people, and destroying gorgeous melodies.  The Rose, a sad love song, is NOT a gospel song. Not even close. And I think it’s not pleasant to listen to at all. And her vocal isn’t strong enough to make me feel it helps her at all. FAIL! Not good, girl. Not good at all.

It’s still running over. They do all these modifications, and they STILL go over.

Top three: Allison, Kris, Anoop.

Bottom three- Danny, Lil, Matt.

Adam- confusing the hell of me.

Shut up, Fringe is supposed to be on!!!!!

See you tomorrow tonight for the elimination, folks.

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Chuck Mini Post of the Day

Just reminding everyone if they missed Monday’s episode, go to NBC.com or Hulu and watch there. They count those, you know.

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I spend waaaa-aaay to much time watching the TV. I admit it. But I’m an obsessive creature by nature, and I tend to latch on to shows. Fortunately, I also suffer form what is known as a short attention span, so I obsess over multiple shows at multiple times. But once as show has hooked me, i am generally hooked for the run. That being said, most of the time I can see a natural stopping point and don’t throw a gigantic fit when shows end or- shudder- are cancelled.

For instance, I admire a lot about Friday Night Lights, but I am not a regular viewer and would honestly not miss it if it were to go off the air. Friendshonestly ran about two seasons too long, but even a half assed season was pretty good. I’m still disappointed about how Gilmore Girlsended, but that had a lot to do with the Palladinos leaving and less about the show itself ( the last season was wildly uneven, but still seemed oddly appropriate). I pray for a How I Met Your Motherrenewal every spring ( it’s a safe bet this year- syndie money looks pretty lucrative for the show), but a lot of that is the show’s internal mythology is still being played out, and if it was ever truly in danger, I’d be out on it too.

Four of my five favorite TV shows all air at the exact same time on Monday nights. HIMYM and The Big Bang Theoryare on CBS, and both are safe ( TBBT picked up a two year gift from CBS earlier this year). Houseis on Fox, where it’s in season five, in no danger whatsoever ( it’s still a top rated drama), and after last weeks episode, still has the ability to stun regular viewers ( yes, I had my money on Taub offing himself). The other show is NBC’s hilarious spy dramedy, Chuck. This show is the only show I watch on TV right now that is seriously in trouble of cancellation.

So I have joined in the World Wide Web’s Save Chuck! manifesto. I have written a couple of pieces on Chuck in the last week, I have dedicated my television to Chuck, watched Chuck on Hulu and NBC.com, written to Ben Silverman, and I will be taking part in April 27th’s Finale Blowout ( go to Subway, buy the $5 foot long sub, take a comment card, write that you are doing this only because of Chuck, drop it into the comments box. They really do pay attention to that at corporate level, guys). And this is me writing to cyberworld out there asking for you to do the same. Watch it live if possible, let NBC know you are doing so, comment on every Chuck story you can find on major sites ( and even some minor ones- My own hits have been going up in the last week, thanks to some comments on more popular sites), but the sandwich. I never get involved in Save the show campaigns usually because I accept the cyclical nature of TV. But I admit that NBC’s programming strategy is currently enraging me, and letting the best show on TV go because of Jay Leno- that’s just idiotic.

P.S.- Chcuk fans, celebrate in the fact this week has Jordana Brewster’s Jill back, Scott Bakula is still here playing Stephen Bartowski (I think I’ve mentioned the genius of that casting, right?), and next week Sarah and Chuck go rogue and Casey is on their tail.

Who would WANT to cancel such perfection?

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I spent all this past long weekend hunkered down with every episode of my favorite spy show ever in marathon session ( only breaking to watch Conan O’Brien on ITAS, but that’s a different obsession thread). So I decided to come up with a list of my ten favorite episodes.

10. Chuck vs. the Imported Hard Salami

The kiss. The kiss. The kiss…

9. Chuck vs. Santa Claus

This very important to the mythology episode gave us an insight into Fulcrum- they are catching onto the fact they keep losing agents at the Buy More pretty quick ( it’s actually mentioned in a later episode), so they try to suss out who the CIA is so interested in. Turns out, it’s Chuck, and Sarah’s job description won’t let even an unarmed Fulcrum agent get away.

8. Chuck vs. The Third Dimension

The 3D episode that aired after Superbowl Sunday was a good stand alone episode, not completely drenched in show mythology ( although enough of it to keep regulars interested). Dominic Monaghan’s rock star is one of the most hilarious characters in Chuckiverse. He really seems to like Casey’s tranqs…

7. Chuck vs. The Cougars.

Nicole Richie doesn’t totally suck. Really. And we get some genuine Sarah back story.

6. Chuck vs. The Predator

One of the heaviest episodes in both tone and mythology, the search for Orion and the impact of Chuck’s choices nearly costs everyone. The Buy More subplot was really funny as well. Emmett with a bat, people!

5.Chuck vs. the Alma Mater

The Stanford Episode. This is where the mythology really begins to start up, and we get a lot of Bryce Larkin-Chuck answers we needed.

4. Chuck vs. The DeLorean

You have to love a show so into Nerdvana that the famed Back To The Future car plays a key role in the Morgan world and the Chuck world. The thing makes a terrible getaway car, as it dies if you go over twenty two miles per hour.

3. Chuck vs. The Marlin

The season one finale involves a four foot stuffed Marlin, an engagement ring, the CIA robbing Buy More, mammary cam, Chuck’s cover being blown, and Casey actually being conflicted about his new assignment.

2. Chuck vs. The Suburbs

This excellent episode gives Charah shippers some bliss, but also gives us intrigue, the Intersect, Fulcrum, and some answers and new questions. Plus some of the best music uses in the series. 

1. Chuck vs. Tom Sawyer

The math that forms the basis of video games and music comes into play in this episode, which Missile Command saves the world from WWIII ( and Chuck playing it- Chuck does save the world often with geek stuff). Funny, myth growing ( Fulcrum story was beginning to pick up steam), with awesome music and yes- JEFF has fans.

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Today’s Chuck Mini Post

Shhh, at work, supposed to be filing crap, but…
SouthLAnd debuts tonight. this is the show that Chuck fans have been super worried about.
I hope we aren’t going to have a pineapple situation.
Pineapple. Heh. Love that word. Great on pizza.

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