Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Toy Story 3

This was one of the few movies that I absolutely had to see in the theater. In fact, this was the first film since our movie theater installed the technology that I saw in 3D.

It was also a pretty good milestone because my son got to see his first full movie inside a movie theater. I say full movie because last year Mrs. Kano took him to see G-Force because they had two free tickets. He liked it, but didn't make it through the entire movie. This time, however, he hardly made a peep and was enthralled the entire time.

Toy Story 3 is not only great for the kiddos, but it is also pretty darn nostalgic for us older kids. The original Toy Story broke a ton of barriers back in 1995, being the very first animated movie to be created entirely through computer animation.

I have to admit that the Toy Story franchise films are pretty much some of my favorite movies and I couldn't wait to go and see this film.

So, on Father's Day Mrs. Kano and I took my son to Toy Story 3 and I have to tell you the Pixar team continues to come through with glorious results.

Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen) and the rest of the gang are back 11 years after we have last seen them. And, things are looking bleak. Their owner, Andy, is on his way to college and the toys' future is up in the air - will they end up in the attic? the garbage? or will Andy take them to college?

As Andy makes the decision, a mix up lands the gang in a box that is being donated to Sunnyside Day Care. At first it appears that this is the nirvana the toys are looking for - constant attention. They meet the leader of the Day Care, Lotso (Ned Beatty), who ushers the new toys into caterpillar room - which turns out to be for the young kids, or those not really old enough to care for the toys.

The rest of the film plays out like a prison break as the toys look to leave Sunnyside and make their way back to Andy's house before he leaves for college. And it is still up in the air what will become of the toys once/and if they do make it back.

The two new main cast members are Lotso and Ken (Michael Keaton), who is pretty darn vain and some how never ran into a Barbie before the toys arrived. I enjoyed all of the new toys and I felt like they each added something great to the film, and the other new toys are mostly background characters that don't get in the way or become a distraction.

Pixar continues to impress, this film is a little darker than the other two films and even gets you a little choked up at times. The action, humor and heart of this film is amazing and is a great addition to the Toy Story franchise.

My lone complaint is the loss of a few characters from the older films - which is mentioned, but their real whereabouts is not truly known - I do hope that if there is a Toy Story 4 that we get to see a few of them again. Small complaint, but their loss was definitely felt.


TV Meme: Day 17 - Favorite Mini-Series

A day I have been dreading. I have never watched a Mini-Series.

Sure, I have heard of some great ones like Roots or The Thornbirds, but I have never sat down and actually watched one.

So, this is a pretty short post today.

I will conclude with this, there is one Mini-Series that I do plan to watch at some point and that is Tin Man. Which is a new take on The Wizard of Oz. When it was first on I planned on watching it and had it DVRed, but the DVR was replaced. At some point, however, I will watch it. It looked interesting.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

TV Meme: Day 16 - My Guilty Pleasure Show

To me, when I think guilty pleasure I think of something that if found out you may feel a little embarrassed about.

So, I thought about a few of the shows that I watch and have watched and, well, the one that stuck out to me was Design Star, which just happens to be airing its fifth season as we speak.

Design Star is a reality television show, almost game show that is on HGTV. The current format has six guys and six ladies fighting it out for a chance to host their own home decorating show on HGTV.

In year's past, Clive Pearse was the host of the show and three others were considered the judges for the designers.

This year, however, Pearse is not on the show for reasons unknown to me, and the judges (Vern Yip, Genevieve Gorder and Candice Olson) have become both the judges and hosts of the show. I am not sure if I like the new format, because I did like Clive Pearse.

Each week the designers are given tasks to complete in interior design. Once completed the judges take a walk through and decide who was the best at this specific task, and who were in the bottom.

The bottom two are now brought forward and their hosting abilities are what may save them. They each are to showcase their room in their best hosting style and if the judges like what they see they may get to stick around - if not, their show is canceled.

Not sure how I got into this at the start, but I enjoyed the first season. So, I have been back for each additional season. I don't think the other seasons have lived up to the first one, but they have been pretty entertaining as well.

Monday, June 28, 2010

TV Meme: Day 15 - Favorite Female Character

Again, there have been so many great female characters in the history of television - how do you pick just one?

In fact, I couldn't. I had to select two, but only because I feel as a pair they make a great team, and make the show better. Apart I feel the show might be missing something.

So, my two favorite female characters are Britta (Gillian Jacobs) and Annie (Alison Brie) from Community.

Britta is the feminist movement, always has a snappy comment, sex symbol type for the main star Jeff (Joel McHale). Annie is the cute as a button, but can also push the right buttons girl that holds the group together - but is also a little neurotic.

The two together play such an important role on the show. Separated I don't feel the show would be as great as it has become. And the sexual tension that has been part of the show between Jeff and Britta has been great, but there is also a little hidden sexual tension that pops up every so often between Annie and Jeff, despite the huge (albeit only on the show) age difference.

This almost feels like a throwback to Gilligan's Island where there are the two types of women, but whoever you choose is great. Ginger was the movie star with the good looks; however, Maryanne was the girl next door-type. Annie is the new Maryanne where Britta (despite not a true movie star) would resemble the new Ginger.

So, who do you pick?

That question comes to a head in the finale for Jeff - where he is to choose between Britta and his former flame Professor Slater (Lauren Stamile). But hidden in the shadows is that elephant in the room that is Annie, a fourth wheel in this little love-rectangle.

Just great casting all around for these two. Two actresses I had never really heard of until this show got started, and both do a fantastic job on the series. Together they are amazing, so I could not choose just one. Sorry.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

TV Meme: Day 14 - Favorite Male Character

Well, this was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be. There are so many great male characters on television that it was very hard to limit it to just one.

That being said, I decided to just go to the old standby and pick one from Scrubs. But, which one? Scrubs actually has multiple viable candidates in J.D., Turk or Dr. Cox, but the one character that always keeps me interested in what he is doing is The Janitor (Neil Flynn).

He is so interesting, that the Scrubs wiki even has a separate link for "The Janitor's storyline" for each episode. How many other characters can say that?

As you have heard before, most likely by me, The Janitor (along with Ted the Lawyer and a few other background characters) were only supposed to be on the show for a short amount of time. But, they were such a huge hit during the first few episodes that they kept them for the entire run of the series.

It is also pretty interesting that Bill Lawrence (the show's creator) originally intended to have The Janitor be a figment of J.D.'s imagination. And it is sort of interesting with that little bit of knowledge to re-watch the first season and see that The Janitor doesn't talk to or get acknowledged by any other character but J.D.

I am, however, grateful that they didn't stay with that intention. It would have been pretty odd - and also pretty obvious - if The Janitor was only talking to J.D. for eight seasons. Once he was allowed to mingle and throw his crazy at the other characters, he really started to shine.

In a show that was pretty weird most of the time, and had a great time with fantasy and crazy story lines, The Janitor always seemed to go even further which really made him that much more funny - and, well, that much more strange.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

TV Meme: Day 13 - Favorite Childhood Show

This was another difficult one for me. I seem to have a bit of a memory loss when it comes to any television that happened before the '90s.

I wanted to select The Greatest American Hero for my favorite show, as I have been told at great lengths that this was the one show I never wanted to miss when I was growing up. Unfortunately, I cannot remember a single thing about the show - except one of the better theme songs for a television show.

So, I decided to select my favorite cartoon as a child - He-Man.

Of course looking back on it now it is sort of unbelievable how incredibly awful it is - but awful in a good way. I recently watched the He-Man Christmas Special over Christmas and it was amazing to reminisce to the old school days. Really brought back memories.

My favorite character on He-Man was Orko. Orko was a Trollan and one of He-Man's friends.

One of the things that sort of bothered me about the He-Man universe is that for the most part a lot of the characters are a little different, but for some reason Adam (or He-Man) had to keep his identity hidden from anyone. It was sort of a Clark Kent/Superman thing and only a few people knew about it - I just had no clue why. This also happened in the He-Man spinoff series - She-Ra, which I also enjoyed.

Of course, just like every cartoon show, He-Man was mostly on the air for the money it raked in from toys. I had a ton of He-Man toys growing up - including the great Castle Grey Skull.

My mother ended up getting rid of all of them and to this day I still curse her for it.

Anyway, that is my favorite childhood show. Not the greatest of blog posts because, again, I have really lost touch with most of what I watched when I was younger. And, I cannot remember anything about them.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Get Him to the Greek

I feel I have been wrapped up in this TV Meme a little too long already, so I thought I had better get one of these movies I have seen onto the page before I get a serious traffic jam of movies.

Anyway, at the beginning of the month was Mrs. Kano's and my 5-year anniversary. We pretty much decided we weren't doing anything this year, but to my surprise Mrs. Kano had planned a day out and took me to a nice lunch and asked me to select a movie to go and see.

As you know by my blog name, I do not get out to the movies as nearly as often as I would like to. Our lives are just way too busy nowadays, especially with our 3-1/2-year old. So, each summer I scan to see what two or three movies I absolutely want to see in the theater.

At this time, none of those movies were playing.

So, I was stuck between Shrek 4 or Get Him to the Greek. Two movies that I will eventually see on DVD, so either would be fine. Except, as I said, seeing a movie in the theater is a rare treat for us so I didn't want to select a stinker.

And, lucky for us, I didn't.

I adored Forgetting Sarah Marshall and I enjoyed the character of Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), but I feel that I enjoyed him only because of his brief moments on screen. Would I really enjoy an entire movie of him?

Well, it turns out that I could. Brand was the best thing about the movie - he had me laughing the entire time and he also played the dramatic parts extremely well. I was very surprised.

I have also been up-and-down on Jonah Hill (who plays Aaron Green here). I liked him in Accepted, but he has been really hit-or-miss for me in almost all of his movies. Even in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, as small a role as he had, I despised it.

In Get Him to the Greek, however, I really didn't mind him. Of course, he still isn't my favorite actor on the planet, but he was very serviceable here.

The film starts off with Sergio (P. Diddy, or Sean Combs), who is a record company producer, looking for a way to make some money. Green, a huge Infant Sorrow fan, announces that it has been 10 years since their concert at The Greek Theater and it would be amazing to have an anniversary concert. Sergio thinks about it, and agrees - with one stipulation: Green must get Brand to The Greek in three days (with a stop in NYC in just one).

Brand is in a difficult state at this point. His last record bombed and his lover, Jackie Q (Rose Byrne) has left him - for Lars Ulrich. He has fallen off the wagon, which makes Green's job all the more difficult.

The film had a lot of everything. It had its gross humor, but also just some great jokes. And, like most Apatow movies, there is a moment of drama where the picture can start to pull at your heart strings.

Another thing this film has going for it is the music. Brand's Infant Sorrow was outstanding, and the lyrics to his songs had me rolling.

P. Diddy also did a pretty great job as Sergio. I found his character to be much like Brand's character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall where I could take him in small doses - I seriously hope they don't think about spinning him a movie, that might take it a little too far.

Anyways, pleasantly surprised with the film as I was not expecting too much and very happy that this was the film that Mrs. Kano and I selected to see.


TV Meme: Day 12 - An Episode I’ve Watched More Than 5 Times

A few years ago now I got a Christmas present from Mrs. Kano's aunt. It was a little weird at the moment, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

You see, I got season 4 of Friends on DVD. It is a perfectly normal and thoughtful gift, however, when you factor in that I didn't have season's 1-3 on DVD it sort of loses some of the luster.

I still accepted it with open arms and Mrs. Kano and I dove into the season - I guess I should also thank her aunt for costing me a ton of money as I then bought all the seasons of Friends and it also got me interested in TV on DVD and I bought a ton of other shows, but I digress.

I love season 4 of Friends for many reasons but the one that sticks out the most is because it has my all-time favorite episode The One with the Embryos.

You see, the name of the episode is a bit misleading even though it is true. This episode Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) is getting Alice's (Debra Jo Rupp) fertilized eggs placed in her because she is going to be the surrogate for her brother Frank's (Giovanni Ribisi) child.

I say it is misleading because although this is actually happening in the episode it isn't the most exciting part - that comes in the form of a game played by Joey (Matt Le Blanc), Chandler (Matthew Perry), Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Monica (Courtney Cox), which was administered by Ross (David Schwimmer).

Earlier in the episode Joey and Chandler bet that they can guess all of the items in Rachel's shopping bag because they know Monica and Rachel so well. After they correctly guess all of the items in the bag - Monica says that she and Rachel know them (Joey and Chandler) just as well and the game is born.

Ross creates questions about the foursome and asks them the questions and the two pairs square off against each other. After the first part of the game they are all tied up and a lightning round ensues. To up the ante, Monica bets that if the girls win that the guys have to give up their birds - if the guys win they get the girls' apartment.

It is a hilarious episode that not only can make you laugh, but gives you even more information about the characters in a sneaky little (and fun) way.

There are a ton of shows that I have seen episodes way more than five times, so I could have selected any of those, but this one stuck out to me. I loved the show, but to me this was definitely one of their best and funniest episodes.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

TV Meme: Day 11 - A Show That Disappointed Me

This was difficult, seriously. I had a very hard time coming up with a show that disappointed me. For the most part I do a pretty good job at scouting new shows before I watch them - or accidentally coming across a show and beginning to like it. So, I don't really have too many shows that have truly disappointed me.

That being said, I guess I am going to have to select Joey. This show was essentially a spin-off of Friends a show that I really enjoy - but out of the characters on the show I think Joey (Matt Le Blanc) might be the most difficult to follow along by himself - but they tried it anyway.

I can't even really pinpoint what exactly didn't work about the show. Perhaps it was that we spent 10 whole years getting to know this character and his five friends. To totally remove them from the scenario just didn't seem to work.

I don't have too much to say really - I think if they were to spin-off Friends they should have followed Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Monica (Courtney Cox) into suburbia - especially if Janis, Chandler's ex-girlfriend, seriously moved next door. That would have been a great show. And of course, have the other cast members visit them on occasion since they just lived in the city. That would have worked I feel.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

TV Meme: Day 10 - A Show I Thought I'd Hate But Ended Up Loving

There are actually a few shows out there (mostly ones Mrs. Kano liked) that I thought I would hate, but I sort of started to like.

The one that jumped out at me when I saw this day, however, was the American version of The Office.

As I constantly watched and saw previews for the show - especially as I watched both My Name Is Earl and Scrubs on the same night that The Office was on - what I saw just didn't thrill me, I didn't find it that funny, so I never tuned in.

It's funny, thought, because I became interested in the show because I saw a YouTube clip of Conan O'Brien's Emmy opening (embedded below) and I that actually got me interested in trying it out.

I watched almost all of the seasons online, and the first few really didn't please me, but I kept with it and I am glad that I did.

The thing is, I like almost every character in the show except Steve Carell's character, Michael Scott. Don't get me wrong I find him humorous on occasion, but for the most part his humor is pretty agonizing, like watching a train wreck.

I love the relationship between Jim (John Krasinski) and Dwight (Rainn Wilson). The background characters are also very funny, especially Creed (Creed Bratton).

It isn't my favorite show, and I guess I wouldn't characterize it as a love of mine, but it is a show I try to stay up on and one that I didn't think I would end up enjoying.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TV Meme: Day 9 - Best Scene Ever


I seriously doubt that this is the best scene ever. I tried my best to go back through some of the shows that I had watched, or have been watching, and I came up with a lot of great scenes. However, it was one of the more recent ones that has been ringing in my head.

So, I had to select it - even though I doubt it is the best scene ever, it certainly was a curveball and left a pretty lasting impression.

I decided to select the final scene of Dexter in the season four season finale entitled The Getaway.

If you are a fan of the show you know exactly what I am talking about, and if you are reading this and have not watched the show I suggest you stop reading and make sure to watch the show - you are really missing something.

Anyway, season four brought us one of the greatest characters in television history with John Lithgow's great performance as Arthur Mitchell, or as he is known as The Trinity Killer.

As most of you know Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) is a serial killer by night, but a blood splatter expert by day for the police department. His department is hot on the trail of a serial killer who has been hidden for quite some time - The Trinity Killer.

It is also expected that The Trinity Killer is responsible for the murder of Frank Lundy (Keith Carradine) and the shooting of Dexter's sister, Debra (Jennifer Carpenter).

This intrigues Dexter to get closer to Arthur Mitchell, who he now knows is The Trinity Killer - he becomes even more intrigued once he finds out that Mitchell also has a family, something that Dexter has been struggling with - balancing his hobby and family life.

Through 12 episodes Dexter has gotten very close to Arthur, but Arthur now is onto him as he blows his cover to save Arthur's family.

At the conclusion of the episode, Dexter finally has The Trinity Killer right where he wants him - on his table about to be killed. Trinity tells Dexter, "it's already over" right before Dexter kills him. Dexter is not sure what that is supposed to mean.

After disposing of the body we reach the scene that I am speaking of - Dexter walks in to his house expecting Rita (Julie Benz) and his kids to be gone, but her phone goes off inside the house. He walks into the bathroom to see Rita is killed in the bathtub the exact same way that Trinity killed one of his victims, and his son, Harrison, is sitting on the floor in her blood - much like Dexter was found when he was younger.

Very creepy and superb finale, and just a great scene to end one of the better seasons of Dexter.

Monday, June 21, 2010

TV Meme: Day 8 - A Show Everyone Should Watch

I had a few shows that could go into this category - I mean it sort of feels like a repetitive question from this meme from Day 2, in which I selected Fringe.

So, I could use Fringe here again, or another show that I have really gotten into that doesn't get any recognition at all, Party Down.

But, for this particular day I decided to go with Breaking Bad as the show that everyone should watch.

Breaking Bad just concluded its third season on AMC, which is why it sort of gets lost in the talk for brilliant shows - despite the show and its actors being nominated and winning a handful of Emmys.

The show is about Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a high school chemistry teacher who is married to Skyler (Anna Gunn) and has a son, Walter, Jr. (RJ Mitte), who lives with Cerebral Palsy.

White is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in the first season of the show and in order to pay for his treatment, and to leave his family with money if he were to die, the chemistry teacher decides to cook crystal meth. In doing so, he brings a former student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) to help him with the process and with the distribution.

Things, of course, don't go as smooth as both Walter and Jesse hope it would. They both get mixed up with the wrong people, and they also don't really have the means to get this business of theirs up and thriving.

Not only does Walter have to deal with his wife, drug kingpins, and a pretty crazy sidekick in Jesse, but his brother-in-law, Hank (Dean Norris) just so happens to be a DEA agent and has made it his job to track down the maker of this new great crystal meth - even though he doesn't know it is Walter.

The show has really gotten even better over the course of its three seasons as Walter does everything possible to keep him, his family and Jesse safe - and out of jail.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

TV Meme: Day 7 - Least Favorite Episode of My Favorite Show

Wow. This took me a long time as I read through each episode of Scrubs to figure out which one I just didn't feel was up to par. Sure, I could have wussed out and went the easy route by selecting an episode from Scrubs: Med School but technically that is not the same show - so I researched and I think found the show that is my least favorite.

I say I think because I am still not sure. I can watch any episode of Scrubs nonstop and always come away happy. But, in order to stick to the guidelines of this meme my least favorite episode of Scrubs is My Quarantine.

Anyway, this episode is mainly about J.D. (Zach Braff) trying to impress his new girlfriend, Kylie (Chrystee Pharris). He shows off his outfit to Carla (Judy Reyes) and Eliott (Sarah Chalke), who soon realize just how horrible the outfit is once he starts stripping it off. The outfit as a whole works, so J.D. announces he will not take anything off and that way it will work.

Well, right away his plans are shot out the door as he runs over an opossum and uses his jacket to take it to the vet. He then hits a box as he leaves the vet's office, that turns out to be a home for a homeless man - he then has to use his shirt to wrap the man's hand - and he looks like the fool he didn't want to in front of Kylie.

They take the man to the hospital and J.D. continues to try to impress Kylie, but accidentally says the word 'SARS' which is an automatic quarantine. And as things continue to be dull, he feels he is losing her and pays the homeless man to fake a heart attack to make himself look like a hero.

I guess the main reason I was not a fan of this episode is I just wasn't a fan of the character Kylie and the apparent relationship between her and J.D. There also just wasn't too much going on during this episode - which is strange because of the great characters in such a close space usually produces great comedy. But, in this episode I just felt the characters were all in the wrong place to make the comedy great.

There were two great parts of this episode, however, but they weren't enough to make this episode better. There is a moment when the characters are explaining their worst dates and Turk (Donald Faison) overhears Carla telling hers and Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley) telling his - and they happen to be the same date. I thought that was a pretty cool way to let Turk (and the audience) know that Cox and Carla once dated.

Finally, the Janitor (Neil Flynn) bets Dr. Kelso (Ken Jenkins) in a game of flicking a cotton ball into a jar using a tongue depressor. Janitor ends up about $700 in the hole and at the end says 'double or nothing' on one final shot - and nails it. I thought it was a pretty good background story.

Well, that is my least favorite Scrubs episode - which I would actually watch right now if it were on. That is how difficult this was for me, because I love each episode of this show - despite this being my least favorite, I still like it.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

TV Meme: Day 6 - Favorite Episode of My Favorite Show

Well, this was actually pretty easy (and will be a little shorter than my other posts) because I did a post about this a little while ago right here.

But, just to recap: my favorite episode of my favorite show (Scrubs) is My Screw Up.

Scrubs to me has always had that rare talent in mixing both drama and comedy in such a way that it doesn't take away from the show - it only enhances it.

In this episode, Dr. Cox's (John C. McGinley) best friend and brother-in-law Ben (Brendan Fraser) returns to Sacred Heart after touring the world. In the only two previous episodes that Ben was in he was diagnosed with leukemia.

At the beginning of this episode we are now aware that Ben has been in remission since we last saw him, but he has not seen a doctor since his world tour had begun. Ben's visit also coincides with Dr. Cox's son's birthday, and Dr. Cox spends a good amount of time in this episode trying to get everything ready for the party so it is perfect.

It just so happens that the birthday clown lands himself in jail and it is up to Dr. Cox to bail him out - in doing so he leaves Ben and his other patients in the hands of J.D. (Zach Braff). J.D. tells Dr. Cox that he is swamped with patients, including one particular patient whose heart J.D. is worried about. Nevertheless, he takes on Ben as a patient.

As Dr. Cox returns we learn that one of J.D.'s patients has died - and this is where the episode gets wicked good - we aren't truly told which patient died. We are led to believe that it was J.D.'s heart patients and throughout the rest of the episode it sure does appear that way.

See, Scrubs pulled the old Sixth Sense on its audience. Throughout the rest of the episode Ben is still around, however, he only interacts with Dr. Cox. We don't find out it was Ben who passed away until the final season as Dr. Cox is walking with J.D. (and Ben) in a suit - Dr. Cox believes he is heading to his son's party, until J.D. asks him where he thinks he is and we pull back to a graveyard and Ben's funeral.

Like I said in my previous post about this episode - it is truly amazing how the audience has so much of an attachment to a character we have only seen twice before. It is a great pat on the back to the writing, the acting of Fraser and also that of McGinley.

Just an outstanding episode.

(They definitely pulled a fast one over on me - I had no clue until the end.)

Friday, June 18, 2010

TV Meme: Day 5 - A Show I Hate

This could be absolutely anything for me. There is so much trash on television nowadays that it is disgusting.

I can't believe how some of these shows not only get on television, but actually get a following. The Hills? Wife Swap? My Super Sweet 16? How do these shows get on the air? They are nothing but trash - and honestly, I have no idea how people can actually sit down and watch them.

That being said, I am not going to select one of those trashy shows. Despite them being somewhat popular they are not a complete juggernaut. So, for my selection of a show I absolutely hate (and this could ruffle some feathers) American Idol.

I know that a ton of people love this show - Mrs. Kano being one - but I just have never gotten into it. It also takes up what seems/feels like five hours a week, which is about five hours too long.

The show itself is actually two shows in one - the first is the train wreck that is the audition phase where the judges go from town-to-town searching for actual talented people to get considered for the show. It is truly amazing what some people will do for their 15 minutes of fame. I find this first part of the show to be pretty embarrassing - I have a hard time watching people embarrass themselves (I have a hard time watching karaoke).

The second part of the show is actually where the 'talented' people perform and slowly get booted off until the American Idol is crowned. This part of the show doesn't always crown the best singer or performer, but is really just a popularity contest as voted by America. I still can't watch this either - and the judges are pretty darn annoying.

Last year a person I know actually tried out and was selected to go to Hollywood by the judges. So, I watched the shows that I knew he was going to be on. As much as I enjoyed seeing him, the rest of the show was horrific.

Don't get me wrong, I am a music fan - in fact I actually enjoy some of the American Idol winners (Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, sometimes Kelly Clarkson). But, I like them afterwards. I am sorry, but the show itself is just like watching a train wreck to me - but then again some people enjoy that.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

TV Meme: Day 4 - Favorite Show of All Time

This, so far, was the easiest day for me. Ever since I started getting into this show it has been considered my favorite.

I speak about it almost non-stop and refer to it often in these blogs, so I am sure most of you know what show it is before I even mention it.

That being said, my favorite show of all time is Scrubs.

I am not really sure when or how I got into the show because I didn't watch it during its first and probably even its second season. I do know that once I did start watching it I could not stop.

I own each and every season on DVD and watch it whenever possible on Comedy Central when the repeats are getting shown. I have seen each episode probably a dozen times, but that does not stop me from watching it again - nor does the fact that I can probably recite each episode. I still laugh.

This show has probably been the underdog of television comedies ever since it started. It was sort of a running joke between everyone on the show if they would make it to the next season. The show began on NBC and was moved around so much over seven seasons and was never given too much promotion - but it still lasted seven seasons despite that.

Eventually after NBC pulled the plug - ABC picked up the show and had the eighth and practically final season (the show continued as more of a spinoff: Scrubs: Med School for one season).

The premise of the show was following John "J.D." Dorian (Zach Braff) as he enters Sacred Heart Hospital on the first day as a doctor. He is joined by his best friend, Chris Turk (Donald Faison), who is a surgeon. On his first day he stumbles upon Dr. Perry Cox (John C. McGinley), who over the course of eight seasons would become a mentor/father figure to J.D.

J.D.'s first (and eventual last) love interest and fellow doctor was Elliot Reid (Sarah Chalke) and the mother figure of the group and eventual wife of Turk, Carla Espinoza (Judy Reyes) was one of the head nurses.

The Janitor (Neil Flynn) as he was affectionately known was probably my favorite character on the show. He was best known for lurking around, trying not to work and busting everyone's chops throughout the episodes - but most especially making J.D.'s life as miserable as possible.

That is one thing I really enjoyed about Scrubs was despite having the five main characters, the secondary characters all had a huge role in the success of the show. Whether it was The Janitor (who originally was only supposed to be a figment of J.D.'s imagination), Ted the lawyer (Sam Lloyd) or The Todd (Robert Maschio).

If you have a great sense of humor and you haven't checked Scrubs out yet I highly recommend that you do. I have hooked a handful of my friends on the show already who thought they wouldn't be interested. It is downright hilarious, but it also has a lot of heart - the characters truly feel for one another.

Just great casting and amazing writing. I am sad to see it end, but it will live on in reruns for a good, long time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

TV Meme: Day 3 - Favorite New Show From This Past Season

Unlike years past this was a pretty slow year for me in selecting new television programs to watch. I was just starting grad school when the Fall season got underway and I had been under extreme pressure from Mrs. Kano to drop some of the many shows I was already watching - so as shows were canceled and completed I didn't really jump on to too many new shows from this past season.

And, when things were coming together for this upcoming season I wasn't really too thrilled with many of the previews. The lone show that grasped my interest was FlashForward as Lost was ending and I was hoping to fill my nerd-void (that apparently didn't work). I was also somewhat interested in The Middle, which was a new comedy on ABC thanks to the inclusion of Neil Flynn (or the Janitor in Scrubs). That being said, I was also interested in Cougar Town the new brain child of Scrubs helmer Bill Lawrence.

Although I enjoyed all three of the above shows - and two of them actually will return for a second season (adios FlashForward) it was a show that I really had no intentions of watching that gets my pick for favorite new show of the season. And despite my search for another Lost this show just may help me as I grieve the loss of Scrubs.

My favorite new show from this past season is none other than: Community. And, like I said above, I had no real intent to even watch this show except for the fact that I was allowed to watch the very first episode wicked early on Facebook - which actually peeked my interest.

I was unsure if the premise of the show could actually work, but so far it has and it has surpassed my level of expectations and then some.

Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) is a lawyer who gets caught with a phony law degree. So, in order to get back to his cozy lifestyle and his former job, he is forced to enroll at a local community college and get an actual degree.

In the pilot he does his best to talk his way out of actually attending class or paying attention in an attempt to basically just get his degree handed to him - but that fails.

He meets a pretty girl in the cafeteria, Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs) who is struggling with Spanish and, in an attempt to get in her pants, pretends to be a Spanish tutor and invites her to study with him. She accepts, but little does he know that she invites a handful of other students from her Spanish class to the study session - and this is the birth of an extremely funny comedy.

The rest of the cast rounds out amazingly, Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase) is the old man of the group. In the past Chase has sort of become annoying, but he really hits it on all levels as a supporting character. Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi) is a film loving student that Jeff believes possibly has Aspergers. Abed compares everything that happens to a movie and has movie quotes that fit every situation. Troy Barnes (Donald Glover) is a former football star who misses out on a scholarship. Troy wasn't one of my favorite characters at the start of the show, but he has truly progressed into a great character and has some great one-liners. His relationship with Abed is one of the best in television. Annie Edison (Alison Brie) is a goodie-goodie brainiac who is only in community college because she became addicted to pills in high school. She is the young girl of the group and tries to keep everyone on task. Finally, Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown) is the mother of two boys that recently divorced her husband. She is very religious and sometimes tosses her two-cents around.

One other character missing above is Senor Chang (Ken Jeong) who is the groups Spanish teacher and gets involved in a lot of their extra-curricular activities somehow. He is extremely over the top and hilarious in almost all of his scenes.

As I said, I was not looking for this show but it somehow found me and I couldn't be happier. Sure, it had some growing pains in its first season, but for the most part it was downright amazing and hilarious. I haven't laughed this hard during a show since - dare I say it - Scrubs.

And just because I think she is so cute - here is a picture of Alison Brie:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TV Meme: Day 2 - A Show Needing More Viewers

I actually believe that all of the shows that I watch need more viewers. Each and every year I fear that a show I am currently invested in will get canceled - even though the show itself is amazing it may lack the viewers because of one or more different reasons (terrible time slot, terrible promoting, etc.).

The show I picked, however, has quite possibly the most jumbled time slot in any given week - and that is the 9 p.m. time slot on Thursday night.

It originally started on Monday nights and I felt got a decent following, but for whatever reason it was moved opposite Grey's Anatomy and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in its second season, and to no one's surprise the ratings took a hit.

The show I am talking about is, of course, Fringe.

The show originally teamed with House on Monday nights in one of the best pairings in television, but for some strange reason they decided to move it to the most crowded timeslot of the week - and despite the show actually getting better, the ratings fell in its second season.

For the most part, the show is on a continuous plot line of Walter Bishop's and William Bell's science experiments - and the Fringe team is out to clean up everything that happens out of the ordinary (which usually finds it way back to having something to do with Bishop and/or Bell).

Occasionally, there is an episode that is tossed out that really doesn't have much to the ongoing plot line - but every so often it is nice to get away from that (sort of a monster of the week type episode).

For the most part, however, we have been on the plot line of this alternate universe that William Bell and Walter Bishop had stumbled across in the past. And in two seasons, it is nice to see how things have progressed - and I have to say this show has had two of the most satisfying season finales I have ever seen (the first season's finale was amazing).

The best part of the show is Walter (John Noble) and Peter's (Joshua Jackson) relationship - and give and take. Walter has become one of the funniest and best characters on television, and I have to admit that Pacey from Dawson's Creek has seriously come into his own in his acting.

When the show originally started I felt the low point of the show was actually the lead of Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) - as the show has progressed, however, she has really grown on me. I also really enjoyed the character of Charlie (Kirk Acevedo), and I really hope they figure out some way to get him back permanently.

What's difficult for me is that I actually watch all three of these shows (not to mention 30 Rock which is usually on around the 9 p.m. timeslot) so I don't want to tell people to not watch the other shows. But, this show has really progressed and is very interesting - not to mention it sort of blows your mind every so often (something that I need now that Lost has finished).

Monday, June 14, 2010

TV Meme: Day 1 - An Unfairly Canceled Show

When I first spotted this on Rachel's Reel Reviews I was immediately interested, and when Nick at Random Ramblings of a Demented Doorknob also jumped in to participate I thought it would be a great time to finally get my blog up and running again.

I posted the directions of this 30 Day Meme last week and I took some time to think about my answers carefully. I have been an avid television watcher for a long time now, and as I have said in the past, I probably watch too much television. But, for some reason my answers to most of the questions kept coming back to somewhat new shows - I just don't really remember loving too many shows when I was in grade school that weren't cartoons or something of that nature.

Anyway, let's get started.

This is pretty interesting that this would be the main topic on Day 1 of this meme as I have stated in the past how much I hate when shows get canceled prematurely. I have major problems each Fall season as I think about which shows I may want to watch because, for the most part, a lot of the new shows won't last until January much less the entire season. Shows just don't get the leeway they were allowed in the past; they aren't given time to find their audience - if they stink out of the gate in the ratings department they usually get axed.

I have spoken about this before, but a few of the shows that I feel were yanked far too quickly were:

  • Standoff
  • Las Vegas
  • Saved
  • Playmakers
  • Traveler
  • Freaks & Geeks
  • Undeclared
And those are just a few. But, the show that always jumps out to me as being unfairly canceled perhaps actually should have been canceled. But, only because the show that it once had been was no longer and it had been changed to something that was not watchable.

SeaQuest DSV was my new Star Trek back when it originally aired in 1993. It starred Roy Scheider (of Jaws fame) as Captain Nathan Bridger. He took command of the Seaquest DSV, much like Kirk of the Enterprise, but instead of being in outer space it was located in the ocean.

Jonathan Brandis was another huge character named Lucas Wolenczak, a brilliant teenager who actually created a device to speak and understand dolphins - including his pet dolphin, Darwin.

The show added a couple new characters in the second season, including the Deluise brothers Peter (Dagwood) and Michael (Tony Piccolo). Dagwood was a GELF (Genetically Engineered Life Form) and Piccolo had gills implanted so he was able to breathe under water.

I remember the first two seasons of the show as being very entertaining. I would always look forward to watching it each and every week. However, the show made a huge change in the third and final season - including losing all but three of the original cast members, Scheider being the major loss - which is why I have sort of claimed that season three is not really SeaQuest (in fact the actual name of the third season is SeaQuest 2032) to me and that this show was pretty much canceled after its second season - when in fact the show was finally canceled after the horrific third season.

It really is too bad because the concept was great, not too many series had been developed under water - and much like Star Trek (which only lasted three seasons itself) could have become something after the show was complete. However, that never happened and the two main characters - Brandis and Scheider - have both passed on so the show and any possible movies are also dead.

Iron Man 2

OK, this is pretty weird that I am debuting an entirely new website design and name to the site - "Kano's Lay-Z-Boy Theater". The name of this site derives my inability to get to the theater anymore.

But, for my first post on this newly revamped site I, ironically, will be posting a review of a movie I saw in the actual theater - Iron Man 2.

Iron Man sort of came out of nowhere a few years ago, and was a huge surprise hit in the same summer that brought us The Dark Knight. Iron Man I was not able to see in the theater, but was able to check out on its arrival on DVD and I found it very entertaining - sort of the anti-Dark Knight as it wasn't dark at all and most of its appeal came from its humor and leading man - Robert Downey, Jr.

Well, Tony Stark (Downey, Jr.) returns as a huge phenomenon to the adoring public, however, he continues to battle the same health issues from the first movie - and his suit only appears to be causing his health more damage.

This time around the characters are aplenty as we are introduced to Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), a competitor of Stark Industries; Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), the main villain of the film; and Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson), who we know as Black Widow. Also around are Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) - who took over for Terrence Howard.

I have to admit that in the past (older Batman films, Spiderman 3) I have always been against the inclusion of so many characters, but in this film it really didn't hurt too much. There was a lot going on in the film, but for the most part it worked.

My main complaint would be in the finale. There was such a major buildup for the final fight that was sort of let down by how brief the ending became.

Another huge part of this movie was the continued recruitment of Stark to possibly join Fury's Avengers team. I am pretty interested in seeing that film as long as it is done correctly - again the more characters in a film sometimes takes away from the actual story telling.

On a side note: I remember during the showing of this film thinking to myself that I could take a hit in the man department because, honestly, I found Paltrow to be much better looking that Johansson. I am not sure what it was, but she really stood out to me - much more than she did in the first film.

Finally - I am sure most of you have heard about this already, but make sure to stick around until after the credits for a little extra does of fun.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

TV Meme - Tune in Monday

OK. So I have been absent on here for a good while now - but I have an excuse. I was getting my master's. I have completed basically all of my classes now and should be more up-to-date with my blog posting as well. Plus, during that time I just have not seen many movies to even jump on here to post anything. That should be changing as well - in fact I already have a handful of movies I have seen and should be posting about those soon as well.

Also, I am hoping to revamp the look of this site within the next week or so (depending on when my new banner is complete and in my possession). I will have a new name so a new look seemed appropriate as well. Check back for that in the coming weeks.

That being said, I thought I would do something fun in my triumphant return and I saw that Nick had posted this TV Meme that he plans on starting today. So I thought I would try to do the same - but I will start mine on Monday (giving me a few days to actually think about it and also give him a jump start to get ahead of me).

Anyway, this is what the lineup will apparently look like and I will do my best to fill it in as best as possible:

Day 01 - An Unfairly Canceled Show
Day 02 - A Show Needing More Viewers
Day 03 - Favorite New Show From This Past Season
Day 04 - Favorite Show of All Time
Day 05 - A Show I Hate
Day 06 - Favorite Episode of My Favorite Show
Day 07 - Least Favorite Episode of My Favorite Show
Day 08 - A Show Everyone Should Watch
Day 09 - Best Scene Ever
Day 10 - A Show I Thought I'd Hate But Ended Up Loving
Day 11 - A Show That Disappointed Me
Day 12 - An Episode I’ve Watched More Than 5 Times
Day 13 - Favorite Childhood Show
Day 14 - Favorite Male Character
Day 15 - Favorite Female Character
Day 16 - My Guilty Pleasure Show
Day 17 - Favorite Mini-Series
Day 18 - Favorite Title Sequence
Day 19 - Best TV Show Cast
Day 20 - Favorite Kiss
Day 21 - Favorite Relationship
Day 22 - Favorite Series Finale
Day 23 - Most Annoying Character
Day 24 - Best Quote
Day 25 - A Show I Plan on Re-Watching
Day 26 - Biggest Season Finale Shocker
Day 27 - Best Pilot Episode
Day 28 - First Show Obsession
Day 29 - Current Show Obsession
Day 30 - Saddest Character Death

So - I might have some more posts before then, but this will start on Monday with Day 1. Again, sorry for the lack of posts in basically the last year - but I hope to be back strong now (hope I can keep my word).