Survivor

Living in Sacramento is a unique experience.  It’s very much a college atmosphere when it comes to our Kings.  Even though the greater Sacramento area is spread out over many miles, everyone loves the Kings.  So when one of our former beloved players was announced as a member of this seasons cast of Survivor, I was super excited!  And on top of it, that player was Scot Pollard.  The biggest oddball to ever play in Arco.  I still call it Arco.  Maybe Mad Max, but Scot is up there.

I have never seen an episode of Survivor.  I didn’t realize there have been like 30 seasons of the show.  But I haven’t seen any of them.  Tell me there’s gonna be a King on it though, and I am so in.  So I settle in, and… well, I cannot believe this show has been on the air so long.  NOTHING EVER HAPPENS!!  Five minutes into the first episode they are planning alliances.  How?!  You don’t even know these people!   I’m sure it wasn’t five minutes for them, probably a full day.  But still.  How the hell can you make judgements like that so quickly?

I sat through that entire episode.  It was dreadful.  Luckily Scot made it through.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted Scot to win, or get eliminated so I could stop watching.  Episode two was even worse.  I started fast forwarding.  Once the challenge was over, I fast forwarded to see who was eliminated.  The challenge was over at minute 36 of the show.  THE LAST 24 MINUTES OF THE SHOW WERE TALKING AROUND A CAMPFIRE!!  I skipped it all and felt like I missed nothing.

My buddy Nez came over a few nights later to watch the Kings get their a**es handed to them yet again, and I told him I started watching.  He is a huge fan.  He thought I was going to say I loved it and was going to go back and watch the other seasons.  He couldn’t believe how much I hate this show.  I only watch one reality show, The Amazing Race (more on that trainwreck next week, I think).  After seeing this, there is no reason to watch any others.

This week was episode three.  I deleted the recording.  I just can’t do it.  I’ll ask my buddy after it’s over who won.  Although I won’t know who it is, unless it’s Pollard.  I just looked to see who was eliminated this week, and I have no idea who that person is.  And I’m not sad about that at all.

The Pizza Place

Okay. Deep breaths. I need to sit down. I have so much to do today. Can’t concentrate. I might pass out.

Getting dressed this morning, I decided to throw on my Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place t-shirt. It’s one of my favorites. But it always reminds me of how sad I am that it’ll never be on DVD (just like season 2 of Ned and Stacey).  

 

My shirt


Ick, that’s the lumpiest selfie ever.  I should have taken the picture of the shirt in the closet.

I mentioned in my Deadpool post how I have every episode of Two Guys recorded on VHS in a box in my garage. It’s hard to imagine when I would ever break those out and watch them. But there was no way in hell I was getting rid of them.

Then this morning happened. The bright light of justice shone down on me in the form of an email. An email from an angel named Mike. Okay he’s not so much an angel as this guy I know with questionable hygiene and an enormous head.  Like seriously big.  He sends me this email with a link.  Alright, let’s check this out, what could it be?

https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/comedy/two-guys-and-a-girl-the-complete-series

I nearly fainted.  I am not the type of guy who cares about stuff.  I don’t need things.  The occasional CD, my dumb t-shirts, I’m good.  But this I need.  I NEED IT.  It completes me.

Here comes the money!

I rarely write about professional wrestling.  For a couple of different reasons.  First of all, it matters to such a small part of the population that I don’t know who would want to read about it.  And second, I have become so disappointed with what has happened in storylines in the past six months in WWE that I only watch about 1/3 of the Monday Night Raws anymore.  Mostly I just read the recaps the next day, and if something exciting happens, I will watch.  Otherwise, it’s a straight delete.

But this week.  This week was one of the most amazing weeks I have seen in years.  It was the return of the prodigal son.  The greatest non-wrestler wrestler ever.  Shane McMahon came home.  If you don’t believe it was a big deal, just listen to the crowd reaction.  THAT is the sound of a roof blowing off a building.  That was the reaction of everyone watching.  The face that Stephanie makes is the same face that everyone made when they heard the entrance music.  It was the biggest return in probably… 10 years?  In today’s wrestling world, there is no rumor that doesn’t slip through.  Every surprise, every big signing is known before they show up on screen.  Shane has been gone for 7-8 years.  And no where I have read, did anyone see this coming.

For me, he has the second greatest finishing maneuver in history, after Stone Cold Steve Austin.  Austin has the Stunner, and Shane -O-Mac has the Coast to Coast.  It’s basically just as simple as it sounds.  He jumps from one turnbuckle to the other.  It always ends with a garbage can to the face!

Even though he was the bosses son, he always felt like one of us.  A regular guy among giants.  Willing to take beatings for our entertainment.  And wow, did he take some beatings.  There is a rumor that WWE is releasing a Shane McMahon DVD later this year, and you can bet your ass that I will be getting that.  As a wrestler, he wouldn’t make my top five all-time.  As an on screen performer, I find it hard to think of five people I love seeing more.

And if you still don’t understand why the people love Shane McMahon so much, well maybe you need a Leap of Faith:

 

11.22.63

I was on the fence to watch this Hulu Event Series when it came on. First of all, event series?  What arrogant douche came up with that title?  Come on. I read the book about a year and a half ago or so and really liked it. Until the end. The end is terrible. But I had a vision of the story in my head, and didn’t want that destroyed on TV. “Well don’t watch it,” you say?  Screw off, there was no chance I wasn’t going to watch it.

Then there was the James Franco factor. I am not a Franco fan. Unless it’s Freaks and Geeks. That show had EVERYBODY!!!  But whatever, I don’t see his appeal and certainly don’t see his name on a marquee and say “Wow, Franco!  I gotta go see it!”  So that was already two strikes against it.

But before I saw episode one, I read an article with show creator, Bridget Carpenter, who said that while it would move faster, the show would stay very true to the book. And my mind was put at ease. There’s a lot in this book and obviously some creative liberties were going to be taken but this?  I’m just gonna come right out and say it. Bridget… you are a f**king liar.  You have taken something that I quite liked and butchered it.

It is like the book in title and concept only. How Stephen King approved this garbage is beyond me. Supposedly he was there everyday watching this get made, but that was probably something Carpenter was lying about too.

I fully admit, I am comparing it to the book and not judging it on it’s own merit, but I can’t watch the show without wondering why they did this vs. that.  In the first episode, the story jumped around so much that it was impossible to follow without questioning everything.

For instance, I was wondering, is Jake just never going to go back for a reset to see what happens?  We ignore Florida entirely?  He’s not going to bother saving the first girl (addressed so pathetically in episode two that I assume the show creators just sat back and said, “let’s see how many people this pisses off.”)

Oh my god, episode two. There isn’t one thing that happens in episode two that happens in the book outside of the last 5 minutes. Like I said, I haven’t read the book in a while, but I don’t remember where Jake goes cow murdering.  Show me where it is, and I will write an apology post.  I was so bored I just started playing on my phone. Wake me when something remotely close to the actual story happens.

In the “Next time..” it looks like our hero gets a sidekick for the rest of the series!  That’s fun. Now he has someone to pal around with.  I will keep watching because it’s only six more episodes. But holy crap this is the most disappointing thing I’ve seen in a while.  At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if they forgot about Kennedy entirely. Since nothing else is out of the book, might as well get rid of the entire premise.

Up, up, and away!

Look!  Up in the Sky!  It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  Okay first of all that’s ridiculous.  No one has ever said look up in the sky at a bird.  Maybe if it were a hawk or something.  Or a condor.   And I only say look up in the sky at a plane to my daughters if the plane is really close.  If you run around yelling to look up in the sky, people are going to make sure to walk on the other side of the street to avoid you.

Anyway, I was not all that excited to watch the new Supergirl show.  The trailers made it look just awful.  This is our third attempt at Supergirl, and the other two have a very special place in my heart.  If you’ve never seen the original Supergirl movie starring Helen Slater, do it.  Sure, it only has a 7% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but that doesn’t mean anything.  This was followed up by Kara being portrayed on Smallville by Laura Vandervoort.  I didn’t watch Smallville from the beginning.  I started watching when the Green Arrow was added.  I was a big fan of Smallville.  I wish I had watched from the beginning.

So why would this be any different?  The show was created by Greg Berlanti, who created my favorite show, Arrow.  Also he created The Flash, which I…don’t hate.  So apparently this is his new wheelhouse.  Superman in movies has been horrendous.  From Superman Returns, to Man of Steel, everything DC puts on the big screen that involves the Man of Tomorrow is not worthy of a second viewing.  Barely worth a single viewing.  The only reason I have interest in seeing Batman Vs. Superman is because of the Batfleck.  It also looks horrible.  On TV however, Superman is done pretty well.  Like I said, I enjoyed Smallville.  I also remember liking Lois and Clark.  But that was a lifetime ago.  I may have to rewatch that series to confirm.  Two other things this series has going for it… Helen Slater from Supergirl, and Dean Cain who was Superman in Lois and Clark.  They are Kara’s adoptive parents on Earth, and they had a very small cameo so far.  But it was a neat tip of the cap to fans of the old shows and movies.

Kara was sent to Earth, like her cousin Kal-El, to avoid the destruction of their home planet, Krypton.  She was a teenager, and was sent to protect Kal while he grew up, since he was still a baby.  She was thrown off course and was sent to the Phantom Zone for 24 years while her cousin grew up.  When she finally arrived on Earth, he no longer needed her protection.  She went on to be an assistant at the media powerhouse CatCo.  She has never used her powers, until one day the plane her sister is on is about to crash.  James Olsen has left his job at the Daily Planet in Metropolis to come to work with Kara.  At the end of the episode, he reveals that he has known who she was the whole time because “he” told James where to find her.  I’m not positive, but I don’t think they mentioned Superman by name the entire show.  It was wierd.  Maybe they aren’t allowed to?  Maybe I missed it.

After watching it, the show wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated.  Melissa Benoist so far plays a better Kara Danvers than she does a Kara Zor-El/Supergirl.  Which makes sense.  She’s spent the last 24 years being Danvers and hiding Supergirl.  It will take some time for her to get used to being two different people.  So I guess in that sense, I think she did a great job!!  This show, like most shows isn’t firing on all cylinders after one episode.  The one problem I do have, is that it already is following a very familiar superhero show playbook.  Rule 1: Make sure you have a computer expert who knows your secret and can work with you behind the scenes.  Works on Arrow, worked on Smallville.  They even used this all the way back in 2002 for the Birds of Prey series.  But that was great because it was built in with Barbara Gordon as Oracle.  Awesome show.

Apparently the show got massive ratings.  So it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  I just don’t know how long I’m going to stick with it.  I will give it a shot.  I gave up on Gotham after about half a season.  And it has taken about 3 seasons (I think) to finally be over Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  I have 4 episodes sitting in my DVR, and I’m just about to delete them.  I have a feeling at the end of season 1, this will end up in that group, and not the Arrow group.  But, to say that I think I could watch through season 1 is a positive sign, because I didn’t think I would make it through EPISODE 1.

New shows

HOW HARD IS IT TO MAKE THE MUPPETS GREAT?!  Apparently hard as hell because the new Muppets is a pile of garbage. I had hoped to write about the new shows I had watched this week with glowing reviews. But geezus, this is unbelievably terrible.

The previews weren’t great. They weren’t even good.  But I had hopes that the obvious Office rip off would some how work. It didn’t. I was hoping to show it to my children, but there’s no way this is going to keep their interest.  It didn’t even keep my interest.

Parks and Rec tried to be Office-like, and season 1 was by far the worst season. After that, it found it’s own way and became one of the great American treasures of the recent past. The Muppets will have to go A LONG way to get there. I don’t see how it gets a 2nd season.

The other obvious rip off this year is Blindspot. It’s a combination of Memento, and the Bourne movies. And since both of those things are amazing, Blindspot works.

Jaimie Alexander is a Jane Doe who is found in a duffle bag in Times Square. She is covered in fresh tattoos with no memory of anything before waking in the bag.  Her ink helps the FBI solve crimes.   It is the first new show that I am legitimately excited to see. The premiere episode was pretty good and left lots of room for improvement, but I can’t wait to see where it goes, and who tattooed her and for what reason.

The second episode was on last night, and I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet. Monday Night Football, and finishing up Sunday’s Once Upon a Time and all that. But after the first episode, this may already be a season pass type show.

Granted, I don’t have the best of luck with that. My early seal of approval is usually a death sentence. So watch it while it’s on, because it’s destined to go away really soon.

UPDATE!!!  Alright, since I am a dumb dumb and forgot to post this, I had time to watch the 2nd episode of Blindspot.  Rather than re-write the whole post, I just decided to add to it.  Seemed easier.  And I’m all about being lazy.  So now that I’ve seen it again, I don’t feel as strong about it as I did before.  They are moving way too fast.  The main FBI agent apparently had a young friend go missing as a child and he thinks our Jane Doe is her.  Um, no build up to that I guess.  “Hey remember that girl I knew 25 years ago that went missing that tragically changed my life forever that we’ve never mentioned because this is only our 2nd episode and could have been stretched out over the entire first season?  Yeah it’s totally Jane.”  Wow, okay.  We can talk about that.  Where did that come from?  It felt really forced.

I’m not expecting great things anymore.  It may have been first episode excitement.  I still like it.  But the way episode two went, I have a feeling its all downhill from here.  Which is fine, because Arrow starts next week, and all my time goes into Arrow.  Yeah, I know it’s only an hour a week, but trust me, I’m all about Arrow starting next week.

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll

Now I’ve got your attention, don’t I?  Okay, bare with me.  Because this is going to sound ridiculous.  But, I’ve been known to make ridiculous claims before.  At our fantasy football draft, I stated that the perfect song of the 90’s was Stay by Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories.  It’s great.  There isn’t one person who grew up in the 90’s who doesn’t know ALL the words to that song.  I remember going to the bay area with 3 other guys and the song came on.  We had just gotten off the freeway, and we rolled down all the windows and started singing as loud as we could.  It is an amazing song.  Phil tried to claim it was the Friends theme song.  False.  And I love Friends.  I used this song as the wedding party dance song at my wedding.  But how many people know the second verse to the song?  How many people even know there is a second verse?

Back to the ridiculous claim for today.  Over the summer, we watched the new Denis Leary show, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll.  Leary is a former front man for the band, The Heathens who broke up on the day their first and only album came out.  He has a drug and alcohol problem, and now, he has a daughter who he never knew about.  Elizabeth Gillies plays Gigi who has come to New York to find her father in hopes of making a name for herself a singer with his help.  But only as a songwriter.  As a bandmate, he’s a complete trainwreck.

I love anything with Denis Leary.  I was in 8th grade when No Cure for Cancer was released.  And I can vividly remember listening to it so much in high school that I could recite it line for line.  Rescue Me was a brilliant show that had a great run and I’m glad it was on as long as it was.  So this was a no brainer for me.  Then I found out it also had John Corbett.  I’m not as familiar with all of his work except for Lucky.  Which was so damn good, I can’t believe it was cancelled after only 13 episodes.  I will go to my grave saying that show was treated unfairly.  How dare you, FX.  How dare you.

The best part of the show is by far the music.  In fact, I bought the album online.  I love it so much, I think everyone should give it a listen, and consider buying it.  Part of the reason I love it so much is because I think they are really good songs.  Not the clips from the show, but the actual songs.  Better than a lot of what is put out today (That’s my get off my lawn moment for the day.  Yeah yeah, I’m old.  I get it).  And part of it, probably the bigger part is I am absolutely in love with Gillies voice.  I think she is incredible.  There are so few voices that I find distinguishable today and that can make me lose myself in a song.  She has one of those voices.

I’ve always said the two most amazing voices for me in all of music were Alison Krauss and Amy Lee.  I know, they couldn’t be any different of artists, but I would listen to them sing the phone book.  I can’t forget my favorite female singer, Kacey Musgraves.  She is a treasure to this world, and her songwriting is unmatched for me right now.  I’m not saying that Gillies is that level of a singer (my ridiculous claim isn’t THAT ridiculous), but she is very talented, and her voice is crazy amazing.

You may be thinking, it’s an album from a TV show on FXX.  How good can this possibly be?  F**KING GREAT, that’s how good it can be!!  She was the perfect person to sing these songs.  As good as I think she is as Gigi on the show, she KILLS as a vocalist.  Never in a million years would I have considered buying a song from a TV show like this, much less an album.  But after 10 episodes, I am a huge fan of Gillies and I think everyone should be as well.  Anyway, listen to this song, fall in love with Elizabeth Gillies and go watch more of her performances on YouTube.

And hey!  Good news!  The show was renewed for a second season today!!  Yay for me!!