Category: TV

Winning By Losing

Anyone watching VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club 4? I caught the first episode [after watching seasons 2 and 3] last night.

In case you haven’t heard of it, Celebrity Fit Club follows eight B and C list “celebrities” as they try to loose weight by dieting, exercise and friendly competitions. No one gets voted off the show, the competitions aren’t that dramatic [or competitive], and the prizes are usually things like weekends at a spa or exercise equipment. I usually tune out before the conclusion of each episode when they all get on a giant scale to see which team lost the most weight. The reason that I fade before the show does is that the giant scale weigh-in of all cast memebers is anti-climatic. We already know which team lost the most weight.

So… if the celebs aren’t that famous, the competitions aren’t all that competitive, the prizes aren’t all that grand and the conclusion of each show is anti-climatic, you’re probably wondering why I tune in.

I guess it’s because I know how hard it can be for many [most] folks to loose weight. I find myself pulling for most of them to loose enough weight to reach their goals… and maybe win that weekend at the spa.

The Shield: One Last Season

This is the best news I heard all day:

Variety reports that:

FX has greenlit The Shield for a final batch of 13 episodes, which will premiere in early 2008.

The sixth season is currently in production and will begin airing early next year.

At this point it looks like the episodes in 2008 will be it for the show. FX president-general manager John Landgraf has said, “Shawn (Ryan — creator of The Shield) and I have been discussing how it will end.. I know what the arc is of the final season, almost through the last episode, and this is definitely the end of it.”

I’ll be sad to see The Shield end, but I do like the idea of it following it’s course to a definite conclusion. [Hopefully Lost will do the same.]

McFarlane Toys: A Lost Opportunity

McFarlane Toys, which produces the most detailed action figures on the market, has scored a major coup. They will produce several series of action figures based on the hit tv series Lost.Series One will feature Jack, Kate, Locke, Hurley, Charlie and Shannon. All figures will be 6 inches tall and come with a detailed base and “photographic backdrop, capturing an episode-specific moment in the character’s story.” In addition, each figure will come with a sound chip so that you can each hear “signature lines taken directly from the show’s soundtrack.”

Lost “deluxe boxed sets” will also be available. The first series of Lost figures is scheduled to be released this November.

Long Live the King… Or Off With His Head?

There was a time when I loved all things Stephen King. It started with Carrie which I read in 8th grade. I thought it was a really cool book. When I was a junior in high school I saw Carrie at a Midnight Movie. I loved it. It was my introduction to Brian DePalma. I still laugh when I think that I nearly jumped into the next row when Carrie‘s bloody hand came shooting out of the grave.

In college I got into King in a big way. I was reading everything that he published. The Shinning [great book — I read it in a single night! and a pretty scary movie], Salem’s Lot [another excellent novel with a cool, modern twist on vampires — and a decent tv mini-series] The Dead Zone [perhaps the best movie adaptation of a King novel] … and the hits just kept on coming [although the movies weren’t always as good]… The Stand, Cujo, Pet Sematary, Firestarter, Christine, It, etc. etc. etc.

Then for some reason, I stopped reading King. I really don’t know why. It just happened. I have a bunch of his novels and even some short story collections sitting on the shelf waiting to join the other King novels in a place of honor on my bookcase. But there they sit.

I did buy and immediately read Cell when it came out in hardcover. I was hoping for a more traditional zombie story, but never the less, I did really enjoy it.

Tomorrow night ABC is presenting a three hour adaptation of Desperation. For some reason, I’m really looking forward to it. Most likely I’ll record it for viewing some late weekend night. I haven’t read the book, but if the movie is works, perhaps it’ll give me just enough reason to pull it off the shelf and see if the novel is good enough to make it to the book case.

The End of a Great Season

I guess that maybe a picture of the cast of The West Wing would have been a more appropriate banner for today’s post, but I just couldn’t not use that great shot of the entire cast of Lost.

I really hate that this tv season is winding down.

The West Wing is ending for good. I’ve tuned in since the first episode and think that it’s pretty sad that President Bartlett and crew aren’t getting a bigger send off.

What may have been the best seasons ever on American Idol and 24 are almost over. Medium, Lost and Survivor are also getting ready to pack it in for the summer. The Shield, Wanted, Thief and Over There already ended their seasons.

There’s always the chance that a summer replacement show will end up being as good as Over There [Bring it back, FX] was or as fun as So You Think You Can Dance. But even if that’s not the case, I still have a ton of novels that I’m dying to get the time to read.

And Then There Were Three – Shocking!

Remember when I posted here about the shocking ending on Lost and how surprised I was, especially since it wasn’t the season finale?

Well, last night American Idol had an equally surprising ending. Chris Daughtry, who many thought would BE the next winner, was sent packing. Everyone was shocked.

And. I. Mean. Everyone.

Look at Chris‘ face in the banner above and you can see even he was stunned.

So what happened?

My guess is that everyone thought that Chris was such a shoe-in to reach the finals that many folks decided to vote to keep in their 2nd favorite contestant. The strange thing is that before the show started my wife predicted that it could be Chris‘ night to leave for just that reason. I thought that either Elliot or Katherine would get the axe.

So, who’s going to win now that Chris is gone?

I’d predicted a showdown between Chris and Taylor [with Chris winning], so I’ll stick with Taylor as the next American Idol. [Of course, my wife may have a more accurate prediction…]

And It Ain’t Even the Season Finale

If you haven’t seen last night’s episode of LOST yet, then you may not want to read any farther….. SPOILERS are coming!





Still here? Ok… Whoa! What a great surprise ending!

I know my jaw hit the floor when Michael blasted Ana-Lucia in the chest from point blank range. My eyes were probably still buggin’ out when he then popped a couple of caps in Libby!

If that had been the season finale, I would have applauded. With a few episodes still to come, I believe that a standing ovation is in order. I knew that Michelle Rodriguez [Ana-Lucia] and Cynthia Watros [Libby] were supposed to be leaving the show. Still, ya gotta give big props for the shocking way that they went.

So, where does that leave Michael? Has he been brain-washed? Is he fully aware of what he’s doing? Is Libby really dead? [Poor, poor Hurley!] And did you know about the novel [Bad Twin] that’s referenced in the show and written by one of the passengers… but was just released in real life?

Talk to me, folks!

Kirk, Spock Are Back, Baby!

The big entertainment news this week is that J.J. Abrams [the creative mastermind behind Lost, Alias, and Tom Cruise‘s lastest turn in Mission Impossible III ] will produce, direct and cowrite what looks to be a rebirth of the Star Trek franchise Abrams is planning for a big-screen 2008 release which will focus on the early adventures of James T. Kirk and Spock [sorry Bones, no mention of you].

I’ve got to admit that this news has caught my interest. I was a HUGE fan of Star Trek during it’s initial run on tv. Then again, I was just seven years old. Still, Star Trek did capture my attention and I made a point to watch it each week. I was never a Trekie, but I did see and enjoy the Star Trek movies [well… except for the first one] that featured the original cast.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

3 Really Bad Days or 3 Really Great Years

Kiefer Sutherland has signed on for three more seasons of 24!

Although that means that his character, Jack Bauer, will face three more really bad days, Kiefer will suffer anything but. He’s being paid a reported $40 million which makes him the highest paid tv actor in a drama. Kiefer will receive other perks as well. He’ll become the executive producer on 24, be set up with his own production company and given a two-year development deal.

Works out to be a sweet deal for Kiefer and a pretty good one for fans of 24.

Dan Curtis – Rest in Peace

Dan Curtis, best known as the creative force behind “Dark Shadows” died today at the age of 78. Curtis‘s career as a producer, writer, and director spanned five decades. Many would say that the high point of his career was in 1983 when he produced, directed and co-wrote the highly successful “Winds of War” mini-series starring Robert Mitchum. But I would argue that his work on “Dark Shadows” is what most folks will remember.

Curtis created a cult classic that was “must see tv” for the five years that it ran. Ok, ok, truth be told, it wasn’t until the second year and the addition of Jonathon Frid as Barnabus Collins that the series really took off; but boy did it! “Dark Shadows” spawned two feature films [not as good as the tv series], comic books, novels, trading cards, and more. Even now, as I think back at how all of my friends and I were “into” “Dark Shadows” I have to smile.

Curtis’s wife of 54 years died earlier this month. He is survived by his two daughters and a world of fans. Our thoughts and prayers are with them today.

Steranko Returns – Kevin Leaves

Steranko is back, baby!Just take a look at this limited edition cover for Mr. T.

Man, oh man, oh man!

Steranko shows just why he will always be considered one of the best to ever work in comics. 

On another note, it was Kevin Covais who got sent home last night on American Idol. Although he was the person that I felt most deserving to leave, I didn’t go with my feelings when I made my predictions and instead went with how I thought America would vote.

Still I did pick two of the bottom three. Bucky should start sweating now.

Zablo out!

American Idol – Predictions

It’s American Idol and we’re down to the final 11. In a few hours it will be 10… so let’s see who might be going…

Katharine McPhee did well and looked great. She’s safe.

Ace Young was in the bottom three last week and just did “ok” last night. He could be in danger of leaving soon… but not tonight.

Chris Daughtry had the best performance of the night. I loved his take on “Walk the Line.” He’s safe.

Bucky Covington didn’t impress me. I predict the bottom three tonight.

Elliott Yamin can sing but didn’t live up to his potential last night. He’ll be back next week though.

Kellie Pickler is safe again… but the cuteness factor is fading fast.

Lisa Tucker was one that I initially thought would easily get to the final 4 or 5. She was in the bottom 3 last week [shows what I know]. She didn’t impress last night and could be in the bottom 3 again tonight.

Mandisa can sing and has a great personality…if she wasn’t the best performer last night, she sure wasn’t third… but I still don’t think that she’ll win.

Paris Bennett has so much talent. She is safe as can be tonight.

Taylor Hicks might have had the third best performance of the night… and the most fun! He’s safe.

Kevin Covais had one of his better performances… still I don’t think that he should still be around, but I’ll bet he’s safe for at least another week.

My bottom three for tonight: Lisa Tucker, Bucky Covington and Ace Young.

My prediction for the one leaving: Lisa Tucker [although I’d rather see Kevin or Bucky taking the trip].

Good TV is a Good Thing

This is the best tv season in recent memory.

Tonight Prison Break returns. It has just the right mix of action, romance, drama, and right when it starts to go over the top, reigns it in. It’s a fun ride, if you’re willing to go with it.

And don’t forget that The Shield finale tomorrow night is one and a half hours long. My gut feeling is that a major character [maybe Lem] is going to buy it. I’m glad to report that The Shield will be back for a sixth and possible final season.

I’d like to write more, but there’s just too much good stuff on right now.

Kevin Dodges the Bullet

Wow! Was I shocked?

When American Idol opened with the annoucement that either Kevin Covais or Ace Young was in the bottom three; I would have bet the house that it was Kevin packing up to go. And, man-o-man, would I have been wrong.

The second shocker was that Lisa Tucker was in the bottom three! I was thinking that she was a lock to get to the later rounds.

The fact that Melissa McGhee got the boot made sense [if it wasn’t going to be Kevin] since she forgot her lyrics on Tuesday.

So, Ace and Lisa were on the bubble. I wonder how that will affect their performances next Tuesday. I guess we’ll know in less than a week.

Say Goodbye to Kevin

This is, without a doubt, the best season of American Idol yet. We’re down to the final 12 and there are at least 4 who have a real shot of winning.

Unfortunately Kevin Covais isn’t one of the four. He seems like a nice enough kid and all, but I’m actually surprised he’s made it this far.

Let’s look at the rest of the group:

Katharine McPhee had the best performance last night and she could go all the way.

Ace Young has the right look and can sing so he has a shot too.

Chris Daughtry can sing, is comfortable on stage and knows “who he is” — I just wonder if a rocker can actually be the next American Idol.

Bucky Covington seems like a nice down to Earth guy, but I don’t think he’ll be around much longer.

Elliott Yamin can sing. I mean the man CAN SING. The question is does he have the “it” factor to get enough votes to win?

Kellie Pickler is the country cutie. She’s got a great voice for country music. Cute as can be… but that may get old quick. “I feel like I got tarantulas on my eyes! They’re not real though!” Arrrgh!

Lisa Tucker is the youngest in the finals and without a doubt, one of the best. She… could… go… all… the … way!

Mandisa can sing and has a great personality… but I don’t think that she’ll win.

Melissa McGhee has her moments, but my guess is that she or Bucky will be the next to go.

Paris Bennett could take the crown. Her rendition, a few weeks ago, of “Midnight Train to Georgia” was the best performance that I’ve ever seen on American Idol. The only thing that could mess her up is that her “cuteness” may wear thin as the weeks drag on.

Taylor Hicks won’t win. He’ll go far but I just don’t see him taking the crown. I love the guy’s style and he’s a fun performer but I don’t see him beating out some of the others. I think I look forward to his performance more than any of the finalists, but he’s still a longshot to take the crown.

So, am I on the right track?