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Nicki Minaj performs "Super Bass" with Taylor Swift at Staples Center right after winning an MTV Video Music Award for the song across the street at the Nokia Theater.
Nicki Minaj performs "Super Bass" with Taylor Swift at Staples Center right after winning an MTV Video Music Award for the song across the street at the Nokia Theater.

Watch: Post VMAs, Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift shimmy through 'Super Bass'

Minaj heads straight from the VMAs to Staples Center

How did Nicki Minaj celebrate winning her MTV Video Music Award for best hip-hop artist? She ran from downtown's Nokia Theater straight over to Staples Center across the way to join Taylor Swift for a fiesty, sweet rendition of “Super Bass.” Swift has declared her love for the song for months, and even rapped a little of it way back in February at a radio station.

Swift gets her groove on her and shakes her booty in a way she certainly didn’t when we saw her on Tuesday night. That night, Justin Bieber, VMA winner for best male video, joined her for “Baby.”

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Stephen Moyer of 'True Blood'</p>
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Stephen Moyer of 'True Blood'

Credit: Art Streiber/HBO

Recap: 'True Blood' - 'Burning Down the House'

Chaos in Shreveport, an intervention, a vampire resistance and more
When we last left the horny fangers of Bon Temps, King Bill had arrived at a rally for undead/human peace, only to face a brainwashed undead Viking bent on murder. Sookie had inserted herself into middle of the scrum, hell bent on yelling “watch out!” at just the right moment. Now the fight is on! 
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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

Recap: The 'Big Brother' house is in turmoil after Jordan loses her cool

The newbies think they're in control -- until the latest twist

Okay, let me try to grasp this -- Kalia and Porsche are now the power couple in the Big Brother house? The two floaters who've been napping week in, week out? My head is spinning. While I try to grasp this, we might as well find out what's going on in the house. Actually, before we can do that, we're going to be treated to a rewind so we can see the entire process of how Jeff ultimately got the boot -- and had his good pal Shelly turn on him. I'm not sure if I can stand to see it, as I was rooting for Jeff to go at least a little further in the game, but let's just get it over with. 

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<p>Nicki Minaj in &quot;Fly&quot;</p>

Nicki Minaj in "Fly"

Watch: Nicki Minaj, Rihanna come to prosper in 'Fly' music video

Cheetah hair, a plane crash and inexplicable ninajs

Nicki Minaj is talking up a storm about how she's the voice of a generation in "Fly," but it seems a storm was literally at work in the music video to the Rihanna-featuring pop track.

Showcased is a plane downed in the middle of a what looks like a suburban subdivision. Minaj and Ri-Ri slink around the wreckage in various gear, or rather, Minaj shows off her softer side in a fairy gown, then a catsuit and then some cheetah-spotted hair, to take the point home. It's one of Minaj's easier tunes, hardly a twist of the tongue to be heard; but she gets her kicks on during a brief fight with some inexplicable ninjas that show up in the clip's latter half.

Does it sound like a bit of a mess? It is, but it's the smoother, less-spazzy version of the Queens-born rhymer, which may help encourage pop-lovers on the fence to convert to her side.

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<p>Jesse (Aaron Paul)&nbsp;backs up Gus (Giancarlo Esposito)&nbsp;on &quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;</p>

Jesse (Aaron Paul) backs up Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) on "Breaking Bad."

Credit: AMC

'Breaking Bad' - 'Problem Dog': In or out?

The season reaches a terrific mid-point

A review of tonight's "Breaking Bad" coming up just as soon as I'm charged with misdemeanor trash burning...

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<p>Lady Gaga and Brian May of Queen perform &quot;You and I&quot; at the beginning of the 2011 MTV&nbsp;Video Music Awards.</p>

Lady Gaga and Brian May of Queen perform "You and I" at the beginning of the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Live blogging the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards

Join us in the fun with Lady Gaga, Adele, Katy Perry, Chris Brown

8:50: As MTV’s Video Music Awards get ready to launch in a moments, we already know two things: Lady Gaga’s “Born “This Way” snagged the Moonman for the newly minted Best Video with a Message and that Maroon5’s Adam Levine will not be watching. He tweeted earlier today, “The VMAs. One day a year when MTV pretends to still care about music. I’m drawing a line in the sand. F*** You VMAs.”  It’s a safer move than you’d think since Maroon5 falls squarely in VH1’s demo, not MTV’s. Given how he also just took on “American Idol,”  “The Voice” mentor is veering seriously into “Get off my lawn” territory.

 There have already been some WTF moments during the pre-show, such as Justin Bieber telling girlfriend (and black carpet host) Selena Gomez that he has a snake named Johnson. We are so hoping that none of his tween fans got that joke, but our little boy is growing up. Plus, Nicki Minaj’s incredible odd--even for her-- black carpet outfit included a decorated surgical mask and James Montgomery interviewed her as if there was nothing odd at all. Who dresses her? And, of course, Beyonce stole the show already by announcing that she's pregnant. It's a Bey Baby!

Not that the actual awards matter tonight—they’re just something to hand out between the performances— but if you’re keeping count, Katy Perry leads all nominees with nine, followed by Adele and Kanye West with seven.

Join me for the fun.  I’d love to know what you’re thinking as we go through the next few hours together.

9 p.m.: Lady Gaga opens the show as her alter ego, Jo Calderone, who looks like a reject from the Dylan pic, "I'm Not There."  Flash to former MTV VMA host Russell Brand in the audience, who is not amused, and seems to be thinking, "They decided to go without a host for this?" This is a little scary and brilliant all at the same time in that Jo is channeling everything the rest of us say about Lady Gaga: is it real or theatrical? Another audience flash to Justin Bieber. What does it say that Lady Gaga makes a much more convincing man than the Biebs? 

9:10: I loved  LG's performance of "You & I," which featured her flanked by male dancers dressed in the same white t-shirt and black pants as she/he is and sporting ducktails. I'm not sure how many people, other than Dave Grohl, realize who Brian May is or that a lot of the man moves, including the final gaze off into space, were copped directly from Springsteen.

9:11: Kevin Hart is giving us all the reasons why he should be hosting. I'm trying to listen, but I can't get past the YSL belt buckle. Well, all that routine is doing is proving us to why he should not be hosting.

9:14: Nicki Minaj, sans surgical mask, and Jonah Hill are presenting best pop video. Hill tries to convince us that he's still funny despite the weight loss in a sketch that is meant to be unfunny--and is. The show already had a weird meta feel with a lot of folks working out their inner issues. They present best pop video, which goes, surprisingly to Britney Spears for "Till The World Ends." And she's getting a Lifetime Achievement Awards tonight. Coincidence? You decide. Will Katy Perry continue her losing streak? So far, yes.

9:23: Kayne West and Jay Z, a.k.a. The Throne,  perform "Otis." The rumor that they were performing leaked out today, though was never announced officially. Both are dressed very casually. I'm digging that the first two performances are relatively low key and are focused on the song and not special effect (although there is a bit of a steam geyser going off right now). So here's a taste of what their tour will be like. More importantly, will tonight's performance be enough to keep "Watch The Throne" at No. 1 for one week longer?

9:27: Miley Cyrus, dressed like a speckled Morticia Addams in a dress appropriate for Angela Lansbury, and Shaun White present best rock video to Foo Fighters for "Walk."  Dave Grohl remembers to thank Joel Schumaker, who directed "Falling Down," the movie on which the video was based.    "Never lose faith in real rock and roll music," Grohl says. "You may have to look a little harder." Grohl also dedicated the award to Judy McGrath, who was the longtime president of MTV (and had been at the network for three decades) until she stepped down earlier this year. Very nice touch.

9:34: The first Rebecca Black sighting: in an interstitial piece with Joe Jonas, Cali Swag District and Ke$ha. People, please, she will never go away if we keep leaving food out for her at the back door.

9:36: Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and Seth Rogan come out as Beastie Boys (ala the video for  "Make Some Noise). Out comes Odd Future and they do a dance off. That could have really developed into something so much better.   The present best Hip Hop video to Nicki Minaj for "Super Bass."  This has to be the first time a woman has ever won this award, unless Missy Elliott managed to sneak one in more than a decade ago.  Kanye West was robbed, but our projections are looking pretty good right now: three for four. We're only pointing that out since it may be our best percentage of the evening.

9:41: The  dancing mice and robots in the Kia commercial are so far the most entertaining part of the evening.

9:45: Demi Lovato and Chord Overstreet awkwardly present best collaboration to Katy Perry for "E.T." featuring Kanye West, her first VMA ever. Despite even a little baiting from Perry that "now is a time to interrupt," West is on his absolute best behavior. Maybe he really has changed. 

9:48: Paul Rudd and Rick Ross awkwardly  introduce Pitbull. We're watching on a Slingbox without the best clarity and we honestly can't tell if they just showed Kim Karsashian or Nicole Scherzinger. It doesn't matter because all eyes are on  the least clothed woman in the room, Nayer. Katie Holmes just politely clapped and wondered if she could get Tom Cruise to wear that outfit.

9:58: Adele is classing up the joint with a subdued, beautiful performance of her searing, wrenching new single, "Someone Like You." Look ma, no backup dancers, no fireworks, no auto-tuning, all X-rated body parts covered up. Listen up kids, that's what singing actually sounds like.

10:05: We're halfway through, or thereabouts. Jessie J did a great version of "Firework," complete with a broken foot. It's been a fast and uneventful first hour. No outrageous performances at all, but all have been solid.

10:10: Mystery solved. It was Kim Kardashian, who's now presenting best male video and manages to do a sweet intro about love, given that she's a newlywed. Will that marriage last until the end of the VMAs? Best male video goes to Justin Bieber for "U Smile," who kisses Selena Gomez on the lips. Oh, shout out for Christianity. It's not enough to thank God anymore, as Bieb shows, you have to thank Jesus. Good God, even the uber-right country music artists don't go that far. The Holy Ghost cries a little at the omission.

10:16: Uh, every bit of restraint expressed in the first hour just went to hell as Chris Brown delivered a performance of "Beautiful People" that included lots of flying, dancing, a nod to Nirvana, and Kanye West standing up in solidarity with the felon. It's MTV meets Cirque du Soleil. There wasn't a note of real singing in it and it is far and away the most captivating performance of the evening. Discuss.

10:25: Jo Calderone is back to introduce that Britney Spears' lifetime achievement segment and to tell us that he used to have a poster of Britney over his bed that he pleasured himself to.  Britney's life flashes before her eyes in a very short dance homage. Quite frankly, even though we think its ridiculous that she's getting the award at 29, it was way too short a tribute. And the even weirder thing is that Britney's thank you speech, which she's so clearly reading off the teleprompter seemingly for the very first time, was basically an introduction for Beyonce.If I were a hardcore Britney fan, I'd be pissed.

10:31: Beyonce's spoken song intro about "the love that's crawling inside of me" takes on new meaning given the good news she announced earlier tonight. She's performing our favorite tune from "4," soulful retro "Love On Top" in a glittery  tux jacket. Jo Calderone is drinking whiskey and getting a hug from Kanye West, Katy Perry has a wedge of cheese on her head (the state of Wisconsin thanks her). Beyonce sounds like she's singing live and, if she is, has never sounded better. At the end, she rips open her jacket to rub her tummy. Okay, we've only known she's pregnant for less than 2 hours, and we're already tired of baby bump watch. Plus, unless you actually give birth during the show, no pregnancy performance will ever top M.I.A.'s appearance at the 2009 Grammys.  The shot of Beyonce's baby daddy Jay-Z glowing in pride and getting hugged by West is a true "Awwww" moment. Our favorite shot, though, was Tony Bennett looking over at Jo Calderone with complete befuddlement.

10:41: Selena Gomez and Taylor Lautner present best new artist video to Tyler, The Creator. Bugs everywhere are running for their lives.He's bringing the rest of Odd Future up with him. Tyler says he's wanted the award since he was nine. We're hoping that's his mother  that the camera that just flashed to. OK, the only part of this acceptance speech that wasn't bleeped out was "To all the kids that's watching." There's something very, very hilarious about that to us.

10:45: Young the Giant is performing (in what looks to be a taped piece). Why?  Seriously, if someone knows why, please answer below. This is the only rock performance of the night and it goes to a new band that isn't up for anything.

10:53: Cloris Leachman just came out to present with girls from The Jersey Shore. I don't know what it says about the fate of Western Civilization when Snooki is the most charismatic person up on stage. Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" wins best female video. Katy Perry and Adele have to politely clap on camera. Of course, since Lady Gaga is pretending to be Jo Calderone all night (including even accepting the award and referring to LG in the third person... oops, she just broke form and said "they told me I got best video with a message") we have a dude accepting best female video. What will Beavis and Butthead have to say about that? 

11:03: Russell Brand is introducing the Amy Winehouse segment. As you may recall, he wrote a very touching tribute to her (and the reality of addiction) on his website following her death. He's basically recapping that here. Did he just say his wife was influenced by Winehouse? Uh, that must on some hidden Katy Perry tracks we've never heard. Tony Bennett is now talking about recording with Winehouse on "Body & Soul" for his "Duets II" album. They recorded at Abbey Road, not The Abbey, but that's okay Tony. Both Brand and Bennett have given out plugs to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Wouldn't it be incredible if this turned some new folks on to them?

11:11: Bruno Mars is performing "Valerie," the Zutons tune that Winehouse and Mark Ronson recorded for Ronson's album a few years ago. We're sure it's going to get pilloried, but we like the performance despite the fact that Mars and Winehouse shared absolutely nothing in common other than their retro sensibility. He's a star.

11:18 Squeee! It's the first look at "The Hunger Games." And in the time it took me to type that, it's over. If I had tuned in just for that, I'd be pissed. And if I'd tuned in for that and the Britney Spears tribute, I'd be so hating on MTV right now. Looks like a cross between "Twilight" and "Robin Hood" based on that preview.

11:20: Katy Perry wins video of the year for "Firework," presented by Katie Holmes.  This means that Adele, whose "Rolling In The Deep" was nominated for seven, goes home empty handed (although the clip wins best direction, best art direction and best cinematography). Kanye, who was also nominated for seven, wins only as a featured artist on Perry's "E.T."

11:23: Lil Wayne is closing the evening with "How To Love" approximately 35 minutes before "Carter IV" goes on sale via iTunes. It's all too sedate. Oh... there we go. Off go the shade, the shirt, and almost the pants. He's now blazing through "John," most of which is bleeped out.

11:27: No credits, no sign off, no passing go because MTV has to use the time to show a clip of new scripted program "I Just Want My Pants Back," which looks beyond awful. Well, for better or worse, we just saw the most music that MTV has shown in the past year.  All the MTV promos during the show were for scripted series. Is there even a reason for MTV to have music video awards anymore? Most folks see videos on Vevo or YouTube anyway. Why don't they take it over.

11:34: So the 28th Video Music Awards are over. It was a watercooler-moment-free show, which is the exact opposite of what MTV was going for. Other than Chris Brown, most of the performances were fairly low key, but all were solid. There were no trainwrecks or OMG moments.

What are your thoughts? 

For a complete list of winners, including the non-televised awards, go here

 

 

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<p>Katharine McPhee of 'Smash'</p>
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Katharine McPhee of 'Smash'

Credit: NBC

Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Smash'

Katharine McPhee stars in what is almost the Anti-'Glee'

 [In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]

Show: "Smash" (NBC)
The Pitch: "It's 'Glee'... Only for people who like their musical theater undefiled."
Quick Response: Although the instinct is to think of "Smash" as NBC's answer to "Glee," the network's decision to air this midseason drama at 10 p.m. isn't an accident. The network hasn't scheduled "Smash" at 10 at the risk of narrowing its audience, but rather scheduled it at 10 p.m. in recognition that "Smash" probably isn't going to be for everybody. "Glee" twists itself into pretzel shapes to be a Big Tent show, an Everybody's Special, Everybody's Welcome show. And "Smash" is not "Glee," which is what I appreciated most from the pilot. It's a serious-minded, process-oriented, Let's Put On a Show drama in which love for Broadway and love for the IDEA of the legitimate musical theatre isn't just paid lip-service. And I liked that. It's an adult show in which people sing a lot. As such, I think "Smash" is actually a far riskier show than "Glee" ever was. To paraphrase The Bard, the musical's the thing and even though "Smash" features Emmy winners (Debra Messing) and Oscar winners (Anjelica Huston) and Tony winners (incomparable "Rubicon" co-star Michael Cristofer) and "American Idol" near-winners (Kat McPhee) and recognizable Broadway folks like Brian d'Arcy James and Megan Hilty and Christian Borle and recognizable TV folks like Jack Davenport and Dylan Baker, there's no indication that anybody thinks themself above the ensemble. Everybody's just playing their role and everybody's doing it well enough and within the proper limitations. So do I think Katharine McPhee is an evolved thespian? Well no. But do I think she looks beautiful, sings well and conveys the necessary innocence as a callow ingenue? Absolutely. Messing, Huston, Davenport, really everybody has been smartly cast and there are no sore thumbs sticking out. There are dangers to doing a TV show or movie about an original musical and the biggest danger is that the people on-screen will be raving about the brilliance of a new song which, in point of fact, is only so-so. I felt that with the original song in the pilot and fear it's an inevitable ongoing concern [Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman are established Broadway hitmakers, so their involvement obviously isn't a bad sign. Perhaps future original songs from the show-within-a-show Marilyn Monroe musical will be better.]. I also found "Smash" to be an oddly "cold" show, focused-yet-distanced, in a way that's opposite from "Glee," which is a "hot" show, pandering-and-universal. I'd think this were a choice that had been made, but since upfronts, NBC brass have been talking about the emotional reactions people have had to "Smash." Tears and whatnot. I had none, ending up interested but not involved. But I appreciated the cast, appreciated the serious approach to the subject matter and appreciated the New York specificity. I wonder how long the show will be able to stay methodical and semi-realistic, before process has to be pushed aside for sensationalism.
Desire To Watch Again: Appreciation isn't love or passion, but it will definitely be enough to bring me back. I liked the slowness of "Smash" -- the auditioning, the search for financing, the writing-within-the-writing -- and I hope the show won't feel the need to accelerate or to cut corners.

Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Good Christian Belles'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'How To Be A Gentleman'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Prime Suspect'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Man Up!'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Free Agents'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Suburgatory'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Ringer'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'Terra Nova'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Whitney'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Pan Am'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'Alcatraz'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Person of Interest'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's ' 'The River'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Last Man Standing'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Two Broke Girls'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Up All Night'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Revenge'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Once Upon a Time'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Awake'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'I Hate My Teenage Daughter'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'The Secret Circle'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Unforgettable'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'The Playboy Club'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Charlie's Angels'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Grimm'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'New Girl'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'
Take Me To The Pilots ' 11: ABC's 'Apartment 23'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'A Gifted Man'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots installments.

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<p>The cover of Game's 'The R.E.D. Album'</p>
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The cover of Game's 'The R.E.D. Album'

Will Game push Kanye West and Jay-Z off their throne on the Billboard 200?

Divas Adele and Barbra Streisand duel for No. 3, plus the Muppets return to top 10

Can Game knock Jay-Z and Kanye West off their throne? It’s looking good for the rapper as “The R.E.D. Album,” his first set since 2008’s “LAX,” will likely enter the Billboard 200 at No. 1.

However,  West and Jay-Z’s “Watch The Throne” isn’t ceding power without a fight. After two weeks atop the Billboard 200,  the title will likely slip to No. 2 next week, but a last-minute surge could change the scoreboard. Going into the weekend, Hits Daily Double predicted that “R.E.D.” would sell between 90,000-95,000, with “Watch The Throne” moving between 85,000-90,000.

This marks the second album in a row that has been a close call for Game. “LAX” was crowned the winner three years ago over Slipknot’s “All Hope Is Gone,” but then, in the first time in the Nielsen SoundScan era, the hard rockers demanded a recount and “All Hope Is Gone” triumphed over “LAX” by slightly more than 1,000 copies.

Back to next week, “The R.E.D. Album” will be one of four debuts in the Top 10:  Also set to bow high up are Barbra Streisand’s “What Matters Most,” which is neck and neck with label mate Adele for the No. 3 spot.  Miranda Lambert’s side project, Pistol Annies, will likely see their first album, “Hell On Hells,” teeter in at No. 6 and  The Muppets’ The Green Album”  at No. 9.

Filling out the Top 10, “Now 39” will likely fall 3-5. The rest of the Top 10 belongs to male country singers: Luke Bryan’s former No. 2 title, “Tailgates and Tanlines,” moves 4-7,  Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party”  shifts 5-8 and Eric Church’s former No. 1, “Chief,”  drops 7-10.

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<p>River (Alex Kingston)&nbsp;and the Doctor (Matt Smith) have a moment on &quot;Doctor Who.&quot;</p>

River (Alex Kingston) and the Doctor (Matt Smith) have a moment on "Doctor Who."

Credit: BBC

'Doctor Who' - 'Let's Kill Hitler': Nobody puts Hitler in a cupboard!

The Doctor, Amy and Rory continue the search for River in a smashing mid-season premiere

"Doctor Who" is back to continue its sixth modern season. Earlier this week, I published my interview with showrunner Steven Moffat, which I highly recommend for serious "Who" fans, and I have a review of the mid-season premiere coming up just as soon as I memorize every room in the universe...

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<p>The cast of ABC's 'Good Christian Belles'</p>
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The cast of ABC's 'Good Christian Belles'

Credit: ABC

Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Good Christian Belles'

Midseason Texas dramedy has hit potential, which doesn't mean it's good

 [In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]

Show: "Good Christian Belles" [Or "G.C.B" if ABC is being coy.] (ABC) [Midseason] 
The Pitch: "Desperate Housewives: Southern Edition"
Quick Response: ABC has always stunk a capitalizing on available resources. "Lost" was always a useless launching pad for new shows. "Desperate Housewives" somewhat launched "Grey's Anatomy," but then it was used to prop up "Brothers & Sisters" for far too long. "Castle" is about to end its fourth season taking advantage of "Dancing with the Stars," because why would the network every try using that slot for a different show? What I'm saying is that ABC could have spawned all manner of "Desperate Housewives" thematic spinoffs five years ago when the show was a hit. Instead, "Good Christian Belles" is a perfect pairing with "Desperate Housewives" at exactly the moment "Desperate Housewives" may be too tired to support it. Of course, "Good Christian Belles" is too tired to have been paired with "Desperate Housewives" in its half-a-season-peak. I'm certain there will be a group of people who love this pilot. I fear that sort of love requires a very specific appreciation for ridiculously broad, superficial, grating Texas -- not "Southern" as I initially wrote -- semi-parody, semi-camp, semi-soap, wholly-nothing. Because "Good Christian Belles" is BROAD and SUPERFICIAL and GRATING. It's like a higher budgeted -- but no better -- tonal companion for ABC's dreadful and short-lived translation of "Scoundrels." And it also, I'm very, very sad to say, provides one of the first pieces of evidence in recent memory that Kristin Chenoweth is fallible. Chenoweth is such a peculiar talent that it's astounding how well she's been utilized in recent years, but after specializing in annoying-yet-lovable, she's finally stumbled on a role that's only annoying and which throws off the calibration of everything around it. She's also too old to be believable as a former high school classmate of Leslie Bibb, who puts a lot of effort into keeping "GCB" afloat on perkiness alone. I found myself liking Bibb -- who I've always thought had the necessary gung-ho spirit to be a comedy star -- despite the show, which is exactly the opposite reaction from what I've heard from a couple colleagues. I dunno. I could be wrong. Some people are going to be just giddy that one character has dogs named "Tony" and "Romo" and will just giggle up a storm at the idea of a formerly rich character now being so poor she can only afford to live in FT. WORTH. To me, every beat felt like a desperate -- flop-sweat desperate -- attempt to simultaneously mock and celebrate everything from Texas to religion to femininity, while managing to do neither. One problem with a revenge-based pilot in which you don't really like any of the characters is that you can't choose who ought to be getting their comeuppance. Or you just don't care.
Desire To Watch Again: Well, Leslie Bibb's character does get a job at a Hooters-esque bar/restaurant named Boobylicious (yes, this show is subtle) and the character is forced to dress the part. That may be enough to get me to watch the show. But I'm so blatantly not in any of the target demographics for "Good Christian Belles" and as unpleasant as I found this pilot, I wouldn't be even slightly surprised if it somehow became a hit.

Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'How To Be A Gentleman'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Prime Suspect'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Man Up!'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Free Agents'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Suburgatory'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Ringer'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'Terra Nova'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Whitney'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Pan Am'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'Alcatraz'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Person of Interest'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's ' 'The River'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Last Man Standing'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Two Broke Girls'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Up All Night'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Revenge'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Once Upon a Time'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Awake'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'I Hate My Teenage Daughter'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'The Secret Circle'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Unforgettable'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'The Playboy Club'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Charlie's Angels'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Grimm'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'New Girl'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'
Take Me To The Pilots ' 11: ABC's 'Apartment 23'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'A Gifted Man'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots installments.

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<p>CBS' 'How To Be A Gentleman'</p>
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CBS' 'How To Be A Gentleman'

Credit: CBS

Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'How To Be A Gentleman'

A promising cast yields forgettable results, at least for the pilot

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]

Show: "How To Be a Gentleman" (CBS)
The Pitch: "It's a reverse Pygmalion with a buddy comedy twist... Or something."
Quick Response: "How To Be a Gentleman" is the last of the fall pilots to get the Take Me To The Pilots treatment. I did a half-dozen midseason shows earlier and the reason for that is that I had more to say about those shows. I had more to say, in fact, about almost every single show ordered for fall or midseason. But that cuts both ways. "How To Be a Gentlemen" is just very "meh," which doesn't mean that it's dreadful, but it also doesn't mean that there was anything about it that I latched onto as memorable. Part of me likes to think that the whole series is just a Pygmalion episode of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" in which The Gang somehow was able to train David Hornsby's Rickety Cricket to become a gentleman and then rather than pulling the rug out from him at the end, they just left him in unnaturally civilized shape. But since it's Cricket, we all know that eventually, he's going to bottom out again. As it stands now, "How To Be a Gentleman" is a comedy that needs to be let loose, that needs to stop wallowing in a core premise that's at least 15 years behind the cultural curve (something about a GQ-style magazine attempting to fight off the Maximi-ization of society). It's unclear how much of the ongoing premise is going to be about Hornsby's character's week-to-week efforts to change Kevin Dillon's lunkheaded trainer (and vice versa), but I'm not sure who will be served by sticking to that formula. As it stands now, this is the sort of sitcom you can imagine Johnny Drama [Dillon isn't asked to flex any new acting muscles] landing in the finale of "Entourage," but it isn't the type of comedy that's going to make proper use of Hornsby, Rhys Darby, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Nancy Lenehan and David Foley. That's a lot of comedic fire-power and while it isn't entirely squandered in the pilot, nobody's got the sort of character initially capable of utilizing them to their full potential. But in addition to being a funny in-front-of-the-camera guy, Hornsby had a long run as a writer on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," so I have at least some confidence in him and his ability to recognize the value of the full ensemble here. Eventually. I don't know if "How To Be A Gentleman" quite fits after "The Big Bang Theory," but I'm guessing it could be smarter than the shows that aired in that time period last year, not that "Feces My Dad Says" and "Rules of Engagement" raised the bar very high.
Desire To Watch Again: I'm curious. And it's a time slot in which I end up being generous, once I've already watched "Big Bang Theory" anyway (and with the NBC comedies either frequently available via screener or else easily accessible OnDemand in a way that CBS comedies rarely are). But it's hard to get excited by something this average.

Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Prime Suspect'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Man Up!'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Free Agents'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Suburgatory'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Ringer'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'Terra Nova'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Whitney'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Pan Am'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'Alcatraz'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Person of Interest'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's ' 'The River'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Last Man Standing'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Two Broke Girls'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Up All Night'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Revenge'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Once Upon a Time'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Awake'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'I Hate My Teenage Daughter'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'The Secret Circle'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Unforgettable'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'The Playboy Club'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Charlie's Angels'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Grimm'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'New Girl'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'
Take Me To The Pilots ' 11: ABC's 'Apartment 23'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'A Gifted Man'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots installments.

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<p>Taylor Swift can't believe her Music Power Rankings position</p>
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Taylor Swift can't believe her Music Power Rankings position

Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

Music Power Rankings: Taylor Swift sells out, Lil Wayne surges

Plus, RIP Jerry Leiber, Nick Ashford and Frank Dileo

1) Steve Jobs: “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as CEO of Apple.”

2) Lil Wayne:
“She Will,” the second single from “Tha Carter IV,” bows at No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100, Weezy’s best opening frame ever.  Estimates for first week sales of “IV,” which drops at midnight on Aug. 29, are running in the staggering 800,000 range. He may be small, but he’s mighty.

3) Taylor Swift
The country pop princess starts her four sold-out shows at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. How many 21-year olds can put that on their resume?

4) Amy Winehouse:
Her “Back To Black” has now become the top-selling album in the U.K. of the 21st Century. We know we’re only 11 years in, but still...  Total British sales of the set now tally 3.26 million, which moves it past the 3.25 million reached by James Blunt’s “Back To Bedlam.” Coming soon, my new Flintstones’ tribute album, “Back To Bedrock.”

5) Game:
The rapper is poised to knock Jay-Z and Kanye West off their throne as The “R.E.D. Album,” his first set since 2008’s “LAX,” will likely enter the Billboard 200 at No. 1. “LAX” prompted the first ever recount on the Billboard 200, with its No. 1 debut revoked after it turned out the Slipknot’s “All Hope Is Gone” had sold a tad more.

6) Jerry Leiber: Paul Shaffer said it best: “Lieber and Stoller? There would be no rock and rock without them.”  R.I.P.

7) Nick Ashford: If he’d only co-written “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” we’d owe him a debt of thanks, but he and wife/songwriting partner Valerie Simpson also gave us “I’m Every Woman,” “Solid As A Rock” and so many more. R.I.P.

8) Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine:
The pair could ultimately pocket $200 million each for the sale of their Beats headphones. We’re happy for them because, you know, both of them really need the money. 

9) Frank Dileo: Michael Jackson’s manager during the era that earned him The King of Pop moniker dies at 63. He was Colonel Parker to Jackson’s Elvis and seldom seen without a cigar.

10)  BlackBerry: Parent company Research in Motion unveils its BBM Music service on Thursday, the day after Jobs resigned. Good timing, dudes. Read more about the cloud-based service here. http://www.berryreview.com/2011/08/25/interview-with-bbm-music-senior-project-manager-nick-patsiopoulos/
 

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