The Rock & Roll Librarian

October 10, 2007

Last One Standing; A TV Review

Filed under: TV Time — Tyler Rousseau @ 2:45 pm
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Richard Massey, Corey Rennell, Rajko Radovic, Mark Hoban, Jason Bennett and Brad Johnson in Trobriands as seen in Last One Standing.Discovery Channel/BBC - Tuesday, August, 21, 2007, 11:21 PMSad but true, I originally tuned into this show based on the promise that there would be fighting.  Sometimes, that is all the entertainment a person needs to get through the 9-10pm time-slots.  So, I flipped it on and waited for someone to get tossed, kicked or punched or, dare we go the Tyson way and say bitten?

In the first episode of Last One Standing, the six selected athletes from various sporting backgrounds ventured into the Brazilian jungle to partake in Kappalo’s Festival of Death and hopefully represent the hosting tribe in the kappalo wrestling tournaments, which includes many neighboring tribes and hundreds of opponents.

And even though the show is largely about these six atheletes’ pursuit to be the toughest of the group, it was also a great insight into the cultures themselves.  The culture shock of ‘cultured’ people being placed into tribal societies was very interesting. 

Throughout the first episode, the athletes learned about what the Kappalo tournament and Festival of Death meant to the tribe.  They also learned very quickly that none of this was a simple exhibition for the tribe;  originally, they were all denied the right to participate in the tournament and had to really step things up in order to prove themselves worth… which only three of the participants were able to do.  The other three were sent to stay with the women and children of the tribe until the day of the tournament.

And for those three who earned the privilege to represent the tribe, there was little mercy.  In order to prove their ‘manhood,’ each one was scraped with piranha’s teeth until they bled and then a salt-water and chilies liquid was rubbed into the wounds… and any display of pain would result in the revocation of representation-rites in the tournament.

In the end, I wound up enjoying the show more for its education into the martial culture of the tribe than for the fighting itself (of which there was actual quite little).  And true, this is probably a show that is more geared towards the testosterone audience, there is definitely entertainment for either gender. 

New episodes of Last One Standing air on the Discovery Channel Thursdays at 9pm.  I definitely recommend giving the show a chance and tuning in!

 On a complete tangent… I really hope this is the first and last picture I post of scantly clad men. ;-)

August 9, 2007

Flight of the Conchords- Review

Filed under: music,Reviews,TV Time — Tyler Rousseau @ 5:26 pm

Episode 6

If you haven’t heard of this show… it’s probably because you don’t have HBO.  And that’s a shame because Flight of the Conchords is practically worth the extra couple bucks a month to view it.

Flight of the Conchords is about two New Zealand bandmates who come to New York City to try and make it big, which would be easier if their manager would let them play gigs at night (but the city is far to dangerous).  They are the victims of a mugging (but befriend the muggers), put on the receiving end of racist comments (mistaken for Australians) and, of course, challenged by relationships with women.  Each one of these situations wind up inspiring songs with catchy rhythms and absolutely bizarre lyrics.

If you want to hear some of them, you can view them for free at website.  I recommend going to episode 4 (Yoko) and listening to “if you’re into it.”  If you want to check them out, tune in to HBO on Sunday nights around 10PM.

May 24, 2007

American Idol Finale…

Filed under: music,Reviews,TV Time — Tyler Rousseau @ 1:50 pm

First off, congratulations to Jordin Sparks.  You got the name, the look and now the title.  Since you have all those now… can I have the Mustang?

I’m just sorry that your award night wasn’t half as good as the previous year.

It was a night of ballads and social conscience.  Now, I can appreciate the feeling of a ballad, in fact, I have to say that each performance was pretty good.  The problem was with that they had too many of them and it set kind of a somber, low key mood for the night.   And that is largely what the night was.  Even Green Day, who I love, went with an undanceable and moody song.

Greenie, be political, be stirring, be thought provoking… but at an awards show with just one song to impress, choose one that will rock their socks off, not soemthing that mellows them back into the seats!

Last year’s finale was more of a good times celebration doused with high, high energy.  Even the ballad queen, Kathryn Mcphee did a pace-changing rock ballad with Meat Loaf.  Really, the only two things I can think of for last night was Blake’s duo with Doug E. Fresh (which was awesome) and the premiere of Taylor Hicks’ new song.  I can’t remember the name of it but it’s kind of like that other song he released.

I’m glad that it seemed everyone at the Kodak enjoyed their time but it was a bit unwatchable from home.  After forty minutes I treated the night like any of the other results shows, I started surfing channels to see what else would entertain me until the official results were announced.

Other than that… Joe Perry, you rock.  You have an open invite to my house whenever you’re in town and want to jam.

May 17, 2007

Personality Goes a long way on American Idol

Filed under: Celebrities,music,TV Time — Tyler Rousseau @ 2:28 pm

If we were strictly talking about talent, Melinda Doolitle would still be on American Idol. And Sanjaya’s singing career would be limited to subway performances… I’m sorry, no links for Sanjaya… I just can’t endorse him on any level.

But singing is about more than just a voice, there has to be personality behind it.   For personality, we are willing to forgive young people singing “old people” songs and techno-pop remakes of classic songs.  We may even praise them for it. 

Considering that, it’s not surprising that Melinda left last night, there is no way she could compete with  Jordin and Blake.   Jordin had spark, no pun intended.  She simply was able to drop herself into a song and make you listen to the story.  She was also brutally honest with herself and even thrashed herself for a really bad Bon Jovi song.  Blake’s confidence to remake songs made him interesting as viewers always wanted to see what song he would mess with next.  And always looked like he was happy to be there.

Golly gee, you really think I’m a good singer? doesn’t win votes.  When you finish a song and then stare in blank surprise at the audience’s positive reaction, it becomes a turn off for viewers.  You simply don’t get this far in the competition and have absolutely no clue that you are a good singer. 

Simply put, singing requires confidence.  But that naive sort of humility became Doolittle’s trademark… and I am willing to bet that I am not the only one who found it just a little fake.

Congrats to Jordin and Blake, your personality shone through.

May 4, 2007

The Top 25 Sci Fi

Filed under: movies,TV Time — Tyler Rousseau @ 6:26 pm

Entertainment Weekly has released their collection of the Top 25 Sci films and movies.

Overall, I would have to agree with a lot of their decisions, although not necessarily in the order they chose.  That said, I strongly have to disagree with their # 1 choice.  True enough, as a single film it was very entertaining, but the sequels utterly destroyed any points made by the creators.

 As much as I would like to add my own top 5 to the list, I just can’t, the sci-fi shows I liked all seem to get cancelled within two seasons… sigh

April 11, 2007

Spanish is the New Latin???

Filed under: Disabilities,humor,TV Time — Tyler Rousseau @ 2:07 pm

According to the Closed Captioning during American Idol last night, yea!  When pseudo love-god Sanjaya Malakar sang his rendition of Besame Mucho last night, captioning services proceeded to tell listeners he was “Singing in Latin.”

Man, I was so confused because I only know a little Spanish and I could’ve sworn the song was supposed to mean “Kiss me many times.”  Which is pretty close to an exact translation…

I’ve been doing research for Latin translations and I haven’t found an exact phrase; the best I can find is bestia mucro which translates roughly into “beastly sharp point”  of which I would expect a song like that to have far less crooning and much more wailing in a song like that. 

If this is the case then perhaps the song was the ballad of Julius Caesar, I’m not sure.  I guess I have a bit more research to do…

January 16, 2007

An Open Letter to Jack Bauer

Filed under: humor,random,Reviews,TV Time,Uncategorized — Tyler Rousseau @ 8:42 pm

Dear Jack,

We all knew the Chinese government couldn’t hold on to you forever.  We knew you’d return to us somehow, we just didn’t know in what condition.  Poor, poor Jack.  They tried to torture you but they obviously didn’t pay attention to your storylines in the last couple seasons, otherwise they would know you are incapable of being broken.  Oh brave, brave Jack.

 I’m so sorry I ever doubted you as my numero uno.  So much happened between season five and six and I just got confused and swept up in all of the commotion.  After four hours of season six, there is no super power, no ornery doctors, nay, not even a really god awful singer who could divert my attention away from your remaining twenty sixty-minute adventures.

Can you find it in your cold and calculating heart to forgive me?

Yours truly,

A sickly obsessed librarian

December 29, 2006

The Year in Review- The Idiot Tube

Filed under: humor,rants,Reviews,Technology,Teens,TV Time — Tyler Rousseau @ 3:21 pm

Yep, it’s that time of year again; anyone who has the time and effort makes an assessment of the year gone past. With the introduction of my beautiful and awesome daughter, I found myself at home more often and not going out as much; hence TV was probably my biggest pop-culture endeavor of the year. It seemed the logical place to start the “props and drops.”The Best of Them:

Heroes- Yeah, it’s no surprise a comic geek chose this as his favorite, but according to Sci Fi’s poll, 54% of watchers did as well. It just goes to show that there really isn’t a “geekiness” about superheroes or people with superpowers, it is the way in which it is presented. In this case, extraordinarily average people who wake up and find that they are more capable than they ever dreamed, showing their powers to be both a curse and blessing.

24-Jack Bauer, please forgive me… You still remain my favorite character on TV but it was just edged out of top spot this year. When it comes to keeping to keeping viewers on the edge of their seats, no one does a better job. There is only one cast member whose job is secure on the show, Jack’s, anyone else could, and often has, bite the bullet. Someday, Sutherland is going to give up his contract for this show and I just hope they keep it a secret because the day they get rid of Jack Bauer could cause the TV to explode on it’s own.

House- Consistently good, if you like curmudgeons with the ability to heal or kill and a love for Vicodin. I do and can relate to at least one of these defining characteristics. And if I ever meet the actor who plays the cop, I might not be able to restrain myself from punching him in the nose… thank goodness I don’t wander into Princeton too often.

Ben 10- Cartoon about a boy who gets a watch that turns him into several different types of alien beings, all with different powers. Villains try to take the watch from him but don’t succeed… it’s not a spoiler! How else could the show be a series!?

Teen Titans- Another cartoon about teenage mutants who go on various adventures and combat the forces of nature along with their raging hormones…

Eureka- In the small town of Eureka, a government facility is embedded and employs some of the world’s greatest scientists. Overall, this is a good thing, but can wield some seriously bad results as well. What happens when rocket scientists botch experiments in labs next to nano-bees or space/time continuum chambers? Apparently, it takes a normal Joe cop to control it all.

I Shouldn’t Be Alive- Real life stories of people who survive situations that are almost guaranteed death sentences. Each show interviews the actual survivors along with the narration and explanation of events, combining drama and science. Call it the morbid fascination part of me, but I really like this show.

Who Wants to be a Superhero- This was good in a very sad way. Fortunately, most of the contestants were using the show as a platform to promote their acting careers or whatnot. It was the other three who took it seriously that truly made the show. Anyone who actually looked towards Spiderman as their father figure when growing up probably has serious issues; ones that could be ideally captured in a comic book!

The Not-So Best… a.k.a. The Drops List

Lost- You really ticked me off with the 2-4 episodes on and month off format. It made no sense and seemed to prove the show was being made up despite your insistence of everything being well thought out. When you returned in the fall season, you stuck around for multiple episodes but went absolutely nowhere in direction with some serious plot flaws. I watched you in order to have something to talk with my friends about during our Indian buffet luncheon dates. If things don’t improve, I’m not sure any Saag Paneer or Samosa is worth that much.

1 Vs. 100- If the show is going to succeed, then they need to fix the format. No one is ever going to for the million bucks in this, the risk reward ratio is way too steep. That said though, if I had to pick a game show to pick up a cool $50K or so, this would be my choice.

Law & Order (pick whatever spin-off you please)- I just hate the show, alright. The main characters are complete jerks who are unapologetic even when they are wrong, the judicial process is a farce and half the things said would land the lawyers in contempt or cause mistrial. I’ve grown to at least tolerate, and sometimes- enjoy, the D’nofrio version of this show but, I’m sorry, I’m just not can’t suppress the urge to put a shoe through the TV for the others.

Obviously, there are going to be far less reviews for what I think are the crummy stuff. After all, I’m not getting paid to watch them and therefore, why the heck would I waste my time in front of the idiot box for them!?

August 29, 2006

I saw it on television…

Filed under: random,rants,Technology,technology woes,TV Time — Tyler Rousseau @ 3:51 pm

A friend of mine made a good point about television and its so-called negative influence.

We always hear stories about kids who hurt themselves or commmit bad acts because they “saw someone one TV do it.”  Usually, this is followed by the parents blaming everyone but themselves for for the lack of forethought from their child.

However, we never hear of children doing good deeds because “they saw someone do it on TV.” 

Is it because there are no good acts to be seen on TV or, perhaps, the parents are quicker to blame themselves for their child’s new-found virtue?

August 22, 2006

News Covers Porn… or news covers stories with little coverage

Filed under: humor,Technology,TV Time — Tyler Rousseau @ 1:19 pm

A couple days ago, a Swedish news channel accidentally placed the wrong backdrop feed (normally being other news stories) behind its announcers and replaced it with a Czech porn film.  The entire incident lasted a couple minutes and the producer was very quick to apologize for what could only be called a really big mistake.

As I read this, I pictured thousands of Swedish men insisting to their wives that they are indeed watching the news “strictly for the articles.”

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