Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Come With Me Now on a Journey Through Time and Space to the World of.....


If not for the invention of DVR, I may have never stumbled upon this brilliant mess of a show. My days of being awake at 1:00 AM on Sunday night/Monday morning are long behind me but that just happens to be the time slot for The Mighty Boosh on Adult Swim. This show must be huge with insomniacs and shift workers. It originally aired on the BBC and has completed its third season.

I am really not sure how to describe The Mighty Boosh. Let me try: The show follows the adventures of Howard Moon and Vince Noir. Howard is a jazz loving, fashion victim, loser. Vince is the ultra-mod, hair obsessed, club kid. They live with a Shaman named Naboo the Enigma and a talking gorilla named Bollo. Over the course of three seasons they have been zoo keepers, band members and proprietors of a magic shop. Their adventures have taken them to places such as gorilla hell and the forest of the mod wolves. Along the way they have crossed paths with characters like the Crack Fox, killers grannies, the tentacle headed shaman Tony Harrison, and Old Gregg (a tutu wearing mer-man with a "mangina"). Oh yeah, they also manage to work a song into just about every episode.

It sounds insane right? Well it is, but in a good way. The Boosh is the creation of Noel Fielding and Julian Barrett. They play Howard and Vince plus most of the secondary characters. The other main actors are Noel's brother Michael who plays Naboo and routinely steals the show, and Rich Fulcher. Fulcher is the only American and his main character is Bob Fossil who is loud, obnoxious, fat, and always very funny. The Boosh actually started as a radio show in Britain and eventually found its way to the TV. The show is weird, surreal, and always hilarious.

This show is probably hit or miss with most people but it was a home run with me and I would definitely recommend giving it a shot. Besides, what the hell else are you watching at that time?If you aren't a night owl or don't have a DVR, the DVDs of the first three seasons are now available in the US.

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.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Y the Last Man

In honor of its appearance on the most recent episode of Lost, I am finally posting about Y the Last Man. I'm not sure why I haven't posted about it yet because it is simply awesome.

I don't like to ruin things for people so I'll try not to drop any spoilers in my quick review. The story revolves around Yorick Brown who finds himself to be the last man on earth after a strange "plague" has wiped out anything with a Y chromosome. Yorick and his pet monkey Ampersand (who has also mysteriously survived despite also being a male) embark on a quest to find his girlfriend who is half a world away. When all the men suddenly die, society is plunged into chaos and the world becomes a very dangerous place for the last man. As the women begin to rebuild we see that things will never be the same. While most women try to return things to some kind of normalcy, others begin to unite and become militant, forming groups like the Daughters of the Amazon who try to take over by force. Yorick finds himself teamed up with Agent 355 who is a member of some secret government agency. She becomes his bodyguard and helps him navigate this strange new world. In their travels they also attempt to uncover the cause of the mysterious "plague" and try to determine if there is hope for the survival of the human race.

Y the Last Man is written by Brian K. Vaughan who is also a writer for Lost. He handles the material in a very serious way while still adding large doses of humor and action. The original series was released in 60 single comics but can now be found in 10 collected versions released by DC/Vertigo. I was really happily surprised when I started reading this story. It is hard to put down once you start.

LOST fans, here is a pic of the issue that Hurley had on the plane. He was reading the Spanish version of issue #15. I will have to go back and see if there is any specific connection to that issue and last week's Lost episode (316).

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Flashback Episode 6

This week I have two of my favorite cartoons of all time. It should be no surprise that they are based on comic books. There have been some really great super hero cartoons in more recent years like the X-men and Bat-man shows from the 90's or the current Justice League cartoon but these were the originals for me. I grew up with these shows and they had a huge influence in my becoming a comic collector.

Spider-Man and his amazing friends took a ridiculous amount of liberties with the source material, but who cares if it's fun. Right? Spider-Man, Firestar, and Ice-man all go to college together and live at Aunt May's house with her prissy dog Ms. Lion. At some point they had a giant computer network installed into Aunt May's house that appears when they move the trophy on the mantle. I guess that they hope Aunt May has some kind of phobia of trophies and will not go near it. Aside from his interactions with his Amazing Friends, Spider-man's(Peter Parker) story is pretty true to the comics. Nerdy student lives with Aunt, fights crime in his spare time. Sounds right. Ice-man(Bobby Drake) was one of the original members of the X-men but I guess he decided that he wasn't getting a good enough education at Xavier's School for Gifted Children and decided to enroll at Empire State. Firestar(Angelica Jones) was created specifically for the cartoon but later found her way into the comics. Her heat power involves the use of microwaves. The last unaired season documented Peter and Bobby's battle with radiation poisoning due to their years of interaction with Angelica. ABC Family still shows re-runs of Amazing Friends so check it out when you have some time.

A bunch of super good guys vs. a bunch of super bad guys. It doesn't get any better than that. Challenge of the Super-Friends is not the first Super Friends show but I think that it was the best. The original Super-Friends consisted of Super-Man, Wonder-Woman, Bat-Man, and Aqua-Man. They were joined by two cornball kids and their dog. Average at best. The new huge group of Super-Friends is joined by two super powered twins and their space monkey. Still unnecessary but better. The true stars of the show were the Legion-of-Doom. Thirteen major villains from the DC universe who decided that if the Heroes can join forces, they should too. One of the cool parts of the show was seeing villains pair off against someone who wasn't their arch-enemy. Watching Sinestro square off with Bat-Man or Bizarro take on Wonder-Woman was always really cool for me as a huge comic book fan. I've recently watched a bunch of these episodes on DVD and they hold up pretty well.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Friday the 13th

Tomorrow is Friday the 13th. That really doesn't mean a whole lot to me except for the fact that it is also the title of what is, in my opinion, the best horror movie franchise ever. This Friday is special because we will be getting another installment of the Jason Voorhees saga. The new release will be movie #12. Suck on that Freddy.

Friday the 13th has had some low points (I'm talking to you "A New Beginning" and "The New Blood"), but overall I have been very entertained by this collection of films. Jason is an absolute bad-ass killing machine. He doesn't try to mess with your mind, he tries to separate it from the rest of your body. This guy is pissed off and nothing can stop him. Not the endless waves of new camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake, drowning, being shot, being burned, a harpoon to the eye, going to hell, being ejected into space, not even corny Freddy Kreuger. Get the idea? This dude is durable.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of great horror movies out there. The Evil Dead series and Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies are just a couple of the standouts, but for me Jason is King. I have very high hopes for the new film which is titled simply "Friday the 13th". The people who made the Texas Chainsaw remake are involved and that was a really great new look at the original story. I don't think that this new film is a remake and I'm hoping that they have a few new twists to throw in to the usual Jason blood fest at good old Camp Crystal Lake. "Jason X" and "Freddy vs. Jason" were both pretty cool so I'm hoping that the bar has been raised and they keep these high standards for the new one.

Let me know if you think I'm crazy. Would Michael Myers kick Jason's ass? Do we need a Jason vs. Chucky showdown? Should Pumpkinhead have had more sequels? If Norman Bates and the Leprechaun joined forces could they take down all the Gremlins and the Ghoulies? Ok, maybe that last one is a bit far fetched.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Art is Classy!

For those of you that don't know, I'm a very classy guy. Fine wine, gourmet food, classical music, and modern art. I recently discovered this new artist and his work has passed the tests of my high standards and fine tastes.

Ok, I'm making myself sick. This is the art of my brother-in-law Max. He has made all kinds of cool things. Most of it involves animals, bugs, or skulls so you know it has to kick ass. He can do it all: draw, paint, sculpt. He's like the perfect artistic weapon. You can check out some of his work here on his website. Hopefully he'll add some more stuff soon. It's all pretty awesome.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Flashback Episode 5

I love video games.
So obviously I should love video game cartoons right?
Well, kind of.

I did love Captain N the Game Master. I'm not sure if I would still love it but watching the opening brings back some good memories. Were there any greater villains than Mother Brain, Eggplant Wizard, and King Hippo? Well yeah, plenty, but those were the ones they chose so deal with it. Mega-Man, Kid Icarus, and Castlevania were all pretty bad-ass games so I guess they did a good job with the heroes. I always thought that Captain N was pretty lucky because the generic video game princess was way hotter than Peach or he's got that going for him, which is nice.

If this video doesn't make you cringe, I don't know what will. The Super Mario Brothers' Super Show was an OK cartoon but the live action segments with Captain Lou Albano and Joe Flaherty are pure gold. Why are the super Italian brothers "dancing" to rap music? Is it just because they say brothers in the song? Hey man, that's racist. Anyway, the whole live action concept for this toon is a little sketchy, but that doesn't mean that I didn't still enjoy this show.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Gang Laughs Their Asses Off

Ok, first things first. I am in no way taking credit for discovering "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" as the hidden gem that it is. I had, in fact, never seen an episode until 2 weeks ago. Had it not been for the prodding of several of my friends, I probably still would have never seen an episode.

That being said, this show kicks ass and I highly recommend that you also get on board.

If "The Young Ones" and "Cheers" got hammered drunk and hooked up, "It's Always Sunny" would be their bastard love child. The show starts off by telling the story of some guys who own a bar together called Paddy's Pub. For the most part, the humor comes from the fact that they are just pretty horrible people. As the show progresses and we get to know the characters, things get weirder and weirder. Charlie, Mac, Dennis, and Dennis' sister Sweet Dee don't even really seem to like each other all that much but they are inseparable. Paddy's Pub is the central location for the show but it is mostly a failure as a business and an excuse for the gang to drink constantly. The characters are all very self-centered, even when the gang starts doing something as a group it usually devolves into an every-man for himself situation. Their adventures take them all over the city of Philadelphia and anyone who knows the city will recognize a lot of the outside shots.

This is one of those shows that doesn't have a stand out star. Just when you think that Charlie is your favorite, Mac will crack you up, then out of nowhere Sweet Dee will do something ridiculous. The addition of Danny Devito in the second season was mainly to save the show from being cancelled by adding a big name but he could not have fit in more perfectly with the cast. This is Taxi Danny Devito, not Twins Danny Devito.

This is one of the funniest shows on TV. Seasons 1+2 and 3 are available on DVD and new episodes air on FX. So, buy the DVDs, watch episodes online, set your DVR to record it. Just watch it. That way when your friends are sitting around saying "Dude, remember when Charlie was Serpico and he had a package 4 the Mare?" you'll know what the hell they are talking about and you can have a good laugh too.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Unstuck in Time

I'm sorry about the delay in my posts but I have been stuck in a time loop trying to get an old bald guy and and a guy with permanent eyeliner to exchange a crappy gold compass without them knowing that it was really me who inserted it in the time line in the first place. So, while it may have seemed to you like I have not posted in 108 days, I was simply unstuck in time and looking for my constant. But I digress....and if you don't watch Lost, see below.

(My excuse for non-Lost fans. If the the above excuse seemed plausible, please disregard the following.)

I'm sorry about the delay in my posts but I found myself trapped in 1955. I would have been back sooner but I needed to get my mom and dad to kiss at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance or, of course, I would cease to exist. Anyway, long story short, they kissed, lightning bolt, 1.21 jiggawatts. Now that I have Biff washing my cars, I will have have plenty of time to post.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Flashback Episode 4

Formula for Success:

Take a successful property + make all of the characters younger = hit show. Right?
Well, it worked for these shows. At least I think it did

Muppet Babies should suck, but it doesn't. The characters transferred from puppets to cartoons and from adults to babies without losing what made them popular in the first place. All of the muppets have very distinct, funny, and likable personalities. Except for Miss Piggy, everyone hates Miss Piggy. The babies either had very good imaginations or the nursery was some kind of temporal hot spot because every door, cabinet. or window opened a worm hole to some other parallel universe (usually in the form of an old movie clip). Anyway, this was a fun little show. I still wonder what Nanny looked like. Was she a super-model? Was she horribly disfigured? All we know for sure is that she had some cool socks.

I love to picture the people in the studio recording that song, it cracks me up. A Pup Named Scooby-Doo is basically just a caricature of the original Scooby-Doo, but I think that it holds its own as a pretty good show. The concept is basically the same; solve a monster mystery that is really just a person in a monster suit. Velma's smart, Freddy's dumb, Daphne's a bimbo. Shaggy and Scoob don't come off looking as much like stoners, but they are still very hungry, so they might be experimenting at this point in their life. When they did the big mask pull-off reveal at the end of every episode, Freddy always thought that it would be the local bully Red Herring (get it?).

Hope everyone had a very happy New Year.