The musings of a feminist pop culture fanatic

Archive for September, 2010

#5 Hawaii Five-O (10/1)

EW Description: “Is the reboot of the vintage cop drama even better than the original? See for yourself as a detective dream team of Moonlight’s Alex O’Loughlin, Ocean’s Eleven’s Scott Caan, Lost’s Daniel Dae Kim, and Battlestar Galactica’s Grace Park bid aloha to the bad guys.”

I can still remember watching my mom watch the original show in syndication when I was growing up. I never remember actually watching the show with her, though. I always got super annoyed when she watched it for some reason. I don’t really know why.

The remake does not have anything annoying about it. It just feels very unnecessary. I don’t think anyone was really begging for a new version and I certainly wan’t begging for yet another cop show. I watched the pilot and was just very disinterested. It was just another generic cop drama. It reminded me of NCIS in some ways. I’m sure it’s entertaining if you like cop shows and I generally don’t.

Here’s the plot in a nutshell: Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin, who CBS is determined to turn into a megastar) is coming back to Hawaii after his father’s murder. He’s in the Navy or some other branch of the military, but the uniform looked Navy-esque. The governor (Jean Smart) appoints him to head up this task force to solve his father’s murder. Basically, he has carte blanche to do whatever is necessary to avenge his dad. He meets up with Danno (Scott Caan) who is working on his father’s investigation and they instantly dislike each other. By the end of the episode, they’re reluctant friends and it’s adorable. There are also some friendly locals (Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park) who just happen to be trained cops that Honolulu Police Department doesn’t like, but they loved Steve’s dad. The four of them make up the new task force and take down some bad guys and tragically kill Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I mean, he was a bad guy, but he’s Spike!

As a Lost fan, I’m glad to see Kim working again. He’s a really great actor and it’s very weird to see him speaking fluent English on this show. I’m used to his stilted English/fluent Korean, so I had trouble separating him from Jin.

Overall, it’s not bad, just not particularly interesting. Its not a risky show, just another bland crime drama. It fits in perfectly with the rest of CBS’ shows and will probably become a monster hit.

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#9 “Cameras,” Matt & Kim (9/17 and 9/24)

EW Description: “The Brooklyn indie-rock duo were last seen stripping naked in Times Square for their “Lessons Learned” video. Now they’ve debuted this easygoing dance jam about an exuberant night in New York City.”

Fun fact: It is impossible not to be cheered up by a Matt & Kim song. Seriously, just listen to them and you feel instantly happy. Well, at least I do. This song is no exception. I just want to listen to it over and over again. I’m currently on my third time in a row.

The story of the song is pretty well spelled out in the EW description above. It’s about a fun night out in NYC with some friends. The chorus talks about just experiencing the night and not worrying about taking pictures.

No time for cameras/We’ll use our eyes instead/No time for cameras/We’ll be gone when we’re dead/No time for cameras/We’ll use our eyes instead/I see flashes of gold

The other song of Matt & Kim’s that I am most familiar with is “Daylight,” and this is equally peppy. “Cameras” has this really funky opening that I’m kind of addicted to. I suck at picking out instruments, but it sounds like some sort of horn. I could be completely off base, but that’s what it sounds like to me.

Once I can justify spending money again, I will be adding this album to my collection. Until then, I’ll just have to settle for their YouTube page.

#5 The Vampire Diaries (9/17 and 9/24)

EW Description: “Like your vamps less X-rated than on True Blood? The teen series is back with a second season of beautiful people and soapy supernatural drama, including the return of Elena’s vampire doppelganger, Katherine, and more smoldering from EW’s Sexiest Beast, Ian Somerhalder.”

This show was a lot better than I was expecting. When it premiered last year, I wrote it off as yet another Twilight rip-off. Granted, I felt the same way about True Blood, which is now one of my favorite series. I’ve got to get better at that whole “don’t judge a book by its cover” thing.

Anyway, the show is very intriguing. I have a hard time separating Nina Dobrev (who plays good girl Elena and her evil doppelganger Catherine) from her role on Degrassi. I keep expecting her to break out in a cheer or hang out with her kid. So, Elena is in love with Stefan, who is way more of a badass than Edward Cullen, so that’s a relief. And Elena actually has a personality unlike Bella Swan, just a further way to separate it from that other horrid piece of trash.

And then there’s Boone. I’m sorry, Damon. Ian Somerhalder will always be Boone to me.The title of Sexiest Beast is well deserved, particularly in the scene where he’s making out with Catherine. That was a scene where I wished the show was on HBO, just so I could see more of Somerhalder’s glorious body. I was wondering why Elena was wasting her time with Stefan when Damon was so much more awesome. Then Damon turned into a bit of a jackass at the end when he tried to kill Elena’s brother because she loves Stefan and not him. A bit of a petty reason to kill someone, so he lost some points in my book. He had just been turned down by Catherine, though, who he had been in love with 145 years, so he was a bit emotional. And he was drunk, which I didn’t understand because I thought vampires couldn’t feel the effects of alcohol, since they’re not human, but I’ll just suspend disbelief for this.

And there was some other stuff with a witch named Bonnie and other people, but I only watched the second season premiere, so I have no idea what all of that means. If my Thursdays weren’t already so crowded, I would probably add this to my TV schedule. It might be a winter break project for me to catch up on all the episodes. It’s really not that much like Twilight, which is an excellent thing.

#3 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (9/17 and 9/24)

EW Description: “Danny DeVito and the rest of the Paddy’s Pub gang return for more depraved, outrageous humor.”

People have been telling me to watch this show for years and I’ve always meant to, but never actually got around to it. So, when this showed up on the Must List, I decided this was Fate telling me to watch an episode. Sometimes, I really question Fate.

I watched the sixth season premiere “Mac Fights Gay Marriage.” Here’s the basic plot of it: Mac gets offended when a transgender he once slept with has a sex change to become a woman and marries another man. He decides this is gay marriage and goes back to tell the woman and her new husband their marriage is an abomination. Basically, it’s just really offensive to all transgender people everywhere.

Mac then decides to marry Danny DeVito to get on his insurance. Mac gets kicked out of his apartment when his roommate Dennis gets married all of a sudden. He decides to go live with his female friend who was sleeping with the former childhood crush who turned out to be really fat, which they make a point of playing up. The episode ends with Dennis realizing he maybe shouldn’t have married someone the night after he saw them for the first time in years.

This show tries really hard to be edgy. Most of the jokes fell flat for me. While I chuckled a couple of times, nothing was overwhelmingly funny. I have heard people say this show is absolutely hilarious and life-changing. If someone really likes offensive humor, then this show is probably for them. I gave it a shot. One episode was enough for me.

#4 “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” (9/17 and 9/24)

EW Description: “Saturday Night Live’s Jenny Slate voices the little shell with shoes in this painfully adorable, painfully funny Web sensation.”

I don’t even really know what to make of this video. In only 3 1/2 minutes, it just brings up so much stuff. At the beginning of it, there’s almost a Cribs vibe to it. Marcel (the shell) is showing the camera all around hir house and telling about how ze lives. It reminded me of what a five-year-old might be like on Cribs.

Then it gets really sad and you can see how lonely Marcel is. Ze talks about making a dog out of a piece of lint and putting it on a strand of hair so ze can pull it around. The dog’s name is Alan. It’s so adorable and everyone can see how lonely Marcel is. Then ze talks about the time when hir brother killed a person by impaling them on a brush and it’s back to being kind of funny again.

I have to give credit to Jenny Slater. She did a really great job with this. She wrote the script and voiced Marcel. Her voice was adorable, funny, and heartwrenching, all at the same time. I think she has a really bright future in animation and voiceover work. As noted before, the clip is only 3 1/2 minutes long, but there are some really great lines from it. You won’t soon forget this short.

#2 Nikita (9/10)

EW Description: “Who knew a second TV adaptation of La Femme Nikita would be so killer? We’ve already committed to a season pass for this assassin-on-the-run drama – and not just because we’re kind of scared of superhot butt-kicker Maggie Q. Anyone who can take down multiple baddies in a leave-nothing-to-the-imagination red bathing suit is not to be trifled with.”

Holy crap, this show rocks. I’m a sucker for an action show with a really strong female lead. Nikita is basically the badass of my dreams. I want to be her. She can break a guy’s neck with her bare hands and throw a knife at his bodyguard, all while wearing a dead sexy red bikini. Bad. Ass.

The story isn’t terribly original, but it seems like it is going to be really well done. Nikita was an assassin until she fell in love. Then “The Division” killed her fiance and Nikita went rogue. Now, she’s getting her revenge. I feel like this show might be a bit limited in how long it can run without getting stale after a while, though. Hopefully, the writers have a plan to keep it going for a while because the show has great potential.

The cast is pretty much amazing. Maggie Q kicks ass as Nikita. I wasn’t sure about Lyndsy Fonesca (a.k.a. Ted’s daughter on How I Met Your Mother) as Alex, the new assassin-in-training. Melinda Clarke (the amazing Julie Cooper on The O.C.) didn’t have a whole lot to do as Amanda, one of The Division’s gurus, but I have hopes they’ll recognize her amazing talent and have her face off against Nikita at some point.

A lot of reviews have said Shane West was horribly miscast as Nikita’s former handler, but I didn’t think he was that bad. It takes a lot for me to look past Landon Carter (A Walk to Remember) when I see him because I was in love with that character, but I think I’ll be able to at some point. I was expecting him to be a lot worse based on the reviews I was reading, but I was almost pleasantly surprised.

All in all, this is going to be joining my Thursday night viewing lineup. Without a doubt.

#7 Thintervention with Jackie Warner (9/10)

EW Description: “The Work Out trainer is back, but Warner also plays life coach in a powerful new series that challenges participants to lose weight and ditch their emotional baggage.”

Here’s the thing. I LOATHE weight loss shows. I find them boring, cheesy, and quite frankly, dangerous. Granted Thintervention is not anywhere near as bad as The Biggest Loser because this isn’t a competition. It’s just a show about people trying to change their lives.

It’s still mostly painful to watch. Seeing people go through difficult work outs when they aren’t used to that is not entertaining. I feel bad for them. I feel bad that they are so desperate to get help for a problem that they are letting themselves be on TV when they are most vulnerable and unattractive.

I do have to respect Jackie Warner, though. She knows what she’s doing and while she does push people until they are about to break, I don’t feel like she’s going to kill them. She knows when to stop. She seems to want to help these people, or at least she knows how to act like she does.

Some of the people in the program are pretty interesting. There’s the former Playmate who wants her kids to stop making fun of her. The former cheerleader who wants to get back to her former weight. The brassy British woman who doesn’t want to give up her vodka. The poor guy who had to carry Oreos in his hand as he went up and down stairs until he burned off all the calories from eating them. The mother and daughter (who is only a year older than me, which is slightly terrifying).

The people can be entertaining at times, but mostly, I just cringed.