Monday, March 30, 2009

Drunk Nerds

I like Jeopardy as much as anyone else, but it's missing something.

I have been addicted to Buzztime trivia for the past few weeks. I have played on and off for the past few years but I have logged quite a few hours at the local pub this month. (Maybe that's why I suck and can't get a post up on my blog in the last 2 weeks.) Sometimes my buddy and I will sit there and play for six hours straight. What can I say, I love trivia. I like beer too but I'm mostly in it for the trivia. We are pretty evenly matched so we can have fun even if no one else in the bar is playing. It gets really fun when more people play because we are competitive with each other, but we really hate to lose to anyone else. (It's still fun even when you lose.)

All you need to do is find a bar around you that has Buzztime and you can join in on the fun. Just go to the Buzztime Site, enter your zip code, and go grab one of these things at your local spot.

I know, it looks like some kind of crazy Speak n' Spell but don't worry, you don't need to write out answers or anything. You pretty much just use the numbers. The questions are all multiple choice and the categories include everything from movies and TV to history and literature. Most of the games are a random sampling of questions but from 7:00-10:00 (EST) they have special games that focus on a single subject or have different rounds. Most of the games are 15-30 minutes with breaks so you don't need to get too wrapped up in it while you are still enjoying a night out. Your results are displayed on the TVs and you will even get to see how you are doing compared to everyone in the country.

If you are a fan of trivia, you absolutely have to try this. I've done bar trivia with a DJ, and that blows. Waiting for some clown to grade your papers as you hope that he's not friends with anyone else who is playing. No thanks. Plus you can play this whenever you want instead of a Wednesday night at some bar that is slow and just needed something to get some people in the door.

If you are ever playing in South Jersey keep an eye out for me, I play under the name KIDVID. Come over and say hi. If you see my buddy LILJIM, go over and tell him he stinks.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A craptastic week in TV.

Life On Mars is not returning for a second year. The good news is that the producers found out about it in time to give the show a proper ending at the end of this season. It will join the ranks of shows like Freaks and Geeks, Murder in Small Town X, and Twin Peaks. All shows that were taken from us too early.

I can't say that I am really surprised, but I am very disappointed. There is a lot of awful garbage on TV that seems to thrive while good shows just fade out. I'm not saying that Life on Mars is the best show ever, but it is much better than most of the mindless crap that returns year after year. Now, I hate plenty of things that pass for programming but reality TV has really become a cancer. I hate to think how many good shows haven't even gotten a chance to be canceled because they need to keep a spot open for The Bachelor, Wife Swap, or The Real Rich Whores of (Insert town here). Most of the stupid "reality" shows aren't even reality any more. Does anyone REALLY believe that The Hills, Hogan Knows Best, or The Girls Next Door aren't scripted? Hulk Hogan had more reality when he was wrestling with Mr. T at Wrestlemania. I don't hate all reality TV, but there is just too much. I was just as addicted to the first season of Survivor as everyone else. The Real World used to be really interesting.... when it was real people and not a bunch of jacked up tool-bags and alcoholic sluts. Top Chef is amazing. Wipeout is stupid, but I love it. There is room for reality TV, but I get more than enough reality in my everyday life.

Oh yeah, thanks to my reader KBHR for breaking the news about Life on Mars to me, yeah, thanks a lot.

In other news, Lost is not on this week. Balls. I don't understand why they insist on putting gaps in the middle of the season. Lost has been much better about that recently but they have announced that there will be two times this season when there will be no new episode. This season has been totally awesome so I will cut them some slack but it still sucks. So now I have nothing to watch tonight except for Ghost Hunters International. I like GHI but it is not as good as the original.

Fringe has been really getting on my nerves. The show is great, but that is why it is so frustrating that they keep going away for months at a time. Earlier this year they took a couple months over the holidays when there were no new shows. I can deal with that. A lot of shows break over the holidays. But then after a few weeks back and a really great episode, they announce that Fringe will return in April. Son of a bitch! I'm hoping that it is because the show has become popular and they ordered more episodes or something, but I am just guessing. My biggest concern isn't my lack of viewing options this week, I'll survive, but how do they expect the more casual fan to stay engaged in the show? I'm hoping these breaks don't affect the rating for Fringe, I really don't want to lose both of my new favorite shows.

The only good part about this week is that it has given me the opportunity to revisit some classic TV via DVD. I have mentioned it in a previous post but I need to get the message out that Northern Exposure was and is amazing. Not only do I need to make sure that it gets its own post one day but it deserves its own blog. I have always said that it was one of the greatest shows ever and this week when I popped it in it sucked me right back in. If you have never seen it, please turn off Brooke Knows Best (seriously, if you are watching that, turn it off immediately) and go grab the Northern Exposure DVDs. Your brain will thank you.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Flashback Episode 7

After School Special

I'm honestly not sure if these two shows ever had other time slots but I will always remember them as after school must-see TV.

When it comes to the best Disney cartoons, there is only one that is on par with Gummi Bears. Duck Tales was a really interesting show. Someone said "Let's make a show about Donald Duck's relatives. We'll take that cheap bastard Scrooge McDuck and make him the guardian of Donald's nephews and niece. They can travel the world and get into adventures. Sound good?" Well, not really, but guess what? It worked! There were a few episodes that were crappy, they usually revolved around Webby and Mrs. Beakley but for the most part the show was really cool. Scrooge had some major enemies like the Beagle Boys and Magica DeSpell but his arch enemy was Flintheart Glomgold. The best stories were always when Scrooge and Glomgold were both going after some treasure, they would make it a five part story and it would last all week. I haven't seen this show in a long time but I would love to get my hands on the DVDs so I can check it out again.

I hate cats, unless they are of the Thunder variety. This is one of the greatest cartoons of all time. Thundercats was one of those shows that I could never miss because it, unlike many cartoons, evolved over time. Things that happened would effect future episodes. Many cartoons avoid this so that people can tune in at any time and feel like they are not missing anything. The Thundercats had to abandon their home planet of Thundera before it was destroyed. During this time they were separated from all of the others who were fleeing. They begin a new life on a new planet, but they are always searching for other Thudercats who may have survived the destruction of Thundera. They share their new world with the evil sorcerer Mumm-ra who is an old, evil mummy who goes into an occasional, magical roid-rage and becomes a more powerful bad-ass mummy. He recruits the other inhabitants of the world, the Mutants, to battle the Thundercats. Many times when a cartoon adds characters, it feels desperate and awkward(I'm talking to you Kazoo and Scrappy) but the other Thundercats who join the show later are a natural addition because it has been established that they are looking for other Cats. I'm sure that most of you have seen this show but if you get a chance, watch it again. I think that you will be surprised at how well it holds up. One of the best stories was presented in a five part mini-series that showed how an unarmed Lion-o had to best all of the other Thundercats to prove that he should be their leader. (Spoiler Alert: he wins.)