Tuesday, May 01, 2007

DVDs 5.1.07

Dreamgirls Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Hudson and another girl sing, fight and cry in the big-haired ‘60s, then get snubbed for some Oscars. And, scene. Paramount.com

The Girls Next Door: Season 2 Despite what you’ve seen on E!, Hugh Hefner’s three girlfriends are not all retarded. Only Kendra is. Hope that clears things up. FoxHome.com

Illegal Aliens Anna Nicole Smith’s final tour de force, about alien bimbos protecting Earth from intergalactic evil. Yes, another Oscar snub. MTIVideo.com

Little Children Bored suburbanites (Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson) have an affair; a pedophile (Jackie Earl Haley) comes home; another feel-good hit. NewLine.com

Melrose Place: Season 2 No more Valuable Life Lessons—just backstabbing, bitchiness, brawls and Heather Locklear. Hence, the single greatest series of the ‘90s. Paramount.com

What I Like About You: Season 1 Amanda Bynes and Jennie Garth in The WB’s version of Sex and the City—minus sex, plus (usually) funnier jokes. What took so long? WarnerBros.com

More New DVD Releases (5.1) Alpha Dog, Beverly Hills 90210: Season 2, The Hitcher, King of Queens: Season 8, Will & Grace: Season 6

If YouTube.com had some focus and quality control, or a cable network just had the balls to try anything and everything … it still might not be as cool as VBS.tv, a free “online broadcast network” that lives up to its own subtitle. Shorts from around the world, ranging from the serious and geopolitical, to alternative comics getting freaky, to casual chats with nude models, to bands you’ve never heard of, VBS.tv quite literally has it all. Good luck getting away from it once you’re sucked in.

Monday, April 30, 2007

You Know, the Mormons ...

No, I didn’t watch Part 1 of the PBS Frontline documentary The Mormons tonight. Why? First, it’s on PBS—think I have it blocked on the cable. Second, living in Salt Lake City, I hear plenty about the LDS Church, anyway; don’t really need another four hours of it, thank you. Besides, you can learn everything you need to know in a mere 22-minute South Park episode (Season 7’s “All About the Mormons,” from 2003). But, if you’re still curious, here’s an exclusive clip from the documentary:

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Drive Fast, Die Pretty

Drove Firefly, Wonderfalls, The Inside—why exactly do Tim Minear and Fox continue to work together? Like those three critically-loved/audience-rejected series, Minear’s Drive (about an illegal cross-country race, as characters would mention every 10 minutes) has been pulled off the air before it could complete its low-rated run and replaced with—wait for it—House repeats. But for the few hundred of you who were sucked in, the remaining two episodes will either burn-off on Friday nights in the summer or stream-off online at Fox.com or be distributed via strategically hidden VHS tapes scattered throughout the nation’s highway rest stops. And … go!

Human Giant Thursdays (MTV) So it’s been on for a month—how was I supposed to know MTV was going to slip in a show that’s not about brain-dead teens and 20-somethings hooking up to produce the next (or Next) bastard generation of brain-dead MTV viewers and stars? Can’t imagine why MTV doesn’t contact me about these things. Anyway, Human Giant is the Internet-bred baby of comics Aziz Ansari, Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer, a series of short-film sketches so hysterically un-P.C. and Mr. Show-tilted that I’ve almost forgotten my pure, burning hatred of Paul Scheer. Almost. Among the many instant-classic bits (available online pretty much everywhere) is a blockbuster-film recreation of the Sept. 11 saga, starring children, titled Lil’ 9/11. Hey, it has a shot at the Lil’ Oscars, motherfuckers.

Shark Thursday 5.3 (CBS) Season Finale: James Woods, sleazeball-defense-attorney-turned-city-prosecutor. Jeri Ryan, Los Angeles District Attorney. A team of fab-haired, power-suited models at their disposal. It’s an ER-killin’ hit, but The Only TV Column That Matters™ declared Shark ridiculous (or, as they say on Human Giant, ric-deezy-lus) upon its debut in September. Nothing’s changed; if anything, the show’s gotten cocky and comfortable in its borderline campy, faux-Bruckheimer legal bluster—which makes it waaay more fun than other CBS law fare like Close to Home, an actual Jerry B. production. In the season finale, Stark the Shark faces off (again) with serial killer Billy Campbell, so expect Acting! galore. Or, Ryan’s case, Pouting!

Cold Case, The Unit Sunday 5.6; Tuesday 5.8 (CBS) Season Finales: There’s a certain quadrant of CBS’ schedule that gets huge ratings, yet you’ll never find anyone who’ll admit, even at gunpoint, to watching the shows—trust me, I’ve tried (“Can’t name a CSI:NY character? Don’t push me, punk!”). NCIS is the flagship phantom; Cold Case and The Unit are close behind: The former stars Kathryn Morris and her Bowie Labyrinth wig as a Philadelphia detective who solves crimes committed as far back as the wardrobe budget will allow (‘70s polyester, yes; 1870s petticoats, not so much). The latter stars well-endowed Dennis Haysbert undercover in the porn industry … I think; never actually seen it. Both end their seasons on nail-biting cliffhangers. Or pillow-biting cliffhangers.

Hooters Dream Girl Challenge Tuesday 5.8 (MyNetworkTV) Having failed with knockoff telenovellas, start-up MyNetworkTV is scrambling for viewers—any viewers—with dude-bait programming even Spike has probably passed on. This week, it’s America’s Trashiest Weddings, Body Doubles International Twin Search and this, America’s Next Top Mooseknuckle. Sixteen Hooters waitresses from around the world (tres exotic) compete for the honor of appearing on the cover of … the Hooters Magazine swimsuit issue? Look for it on newsstands next to the Ruby Tuesday Reader.

Jericho Wednesday 5.9 (CBS) Season Finale: In a battle of Springfield vs. Shelbyville proportions, the townsfolk of Jericho take on neighboring New Bern to determine who’ll be the Kings of the Apocalypse—and, sez the CBS PR, “one of Jericho’s own will be lost.” My money’s on Major Dad.