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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

2006 TV Season Wrap-Up

The 2006 TV season is officially ending, so the Hands in the Air gang is turning in its reviews for some of the tube's most notable finales. Overall, we liked the 2006 season, but now that it's over, we're definitely dreading the summer replacements like "America's Got Talent" (which has the implied subtitle, "America Gots No Shame"). TiVo is gonna be bored this summer...

SPOILER ALERT: Some finale details for 24, Lost, American Idol, The Amazing Race, The OC and Veronica Mars revealed!

American Geritol: I could be Bo Bice's grandpa!

American Idol
Jenni: That old dude won? Oh, America, why? Is you people on drugs? I ain't never heard him sing, but the point is, his hair sucks and therefore he's not fit to be anyone's idol. What's that, you say? All the American Idols have bad hair? Oh. Oh right. Screw you America!
Chris: I don't watch this show at all. Some brunette or some gray-haired dude won. Whatever happened to Ruben and Clay?
Jason: Since when is the lead singer of The Doobie Brothers an American Idol? All I know is I’ve got a case of the McPheever and the only cure is a good pair of earplugs.
Steve: I didn't really watch this season, but I didn't have to. One look at the pudgy guy with the gray hair and the hound dog looks was all it took to know that the Soul Patrol would emerge victorious. The only question now is does the carpet match the curtains?

Chris: I actually watch this show and I must say that at the end of every season I feel screwed as the mystery gets bigger. Still I keep watching. What can I say? I am hooked (and trying to learn Portuguese)!
Steve: I thought that the finale was solid and I'm glad that we know what's in The Hatch and what crashed the plane. The only mystery left is when does the boat full of Swedish bikini models show up, because for a show based on an island, Lost is a total sausage party!
Jason: This was Lost at its cryptic best with a baffling final scene featuring some arctic guys telephoning Desmond's lady. I haven't been so confused since "Who's the Boss?" failed to answer who was the boss.
Jenni: I appreciate that a lot of crap happened, but it was like, a bunch of new crap to "answer" the old crap. They've been on that island for, what, almost two months now, right? So how'zcum nobody's made a car or telephone or tiki bar out of bamboo and shells yet?


Chris: What a damn disappointment. Why couldn't Jack shoot that weasel (the prez)? Also, was it just me or did they abandon the whole real-time premise for the final episode.
Jenni: This season had Forever Knight, Robocop and Warlock, so of course, it ROCKED. I hope Jack Bauer has to go undercover as a vampire in China and then maybe the Coreys and Jason Patric and the mom from Still Standing will be there as like rogue government agents or terrorists or something, but no one will mention anything because 24 is cool like that.
Jason: So, if the Chinese smuggle Jack over the international dateline, does that mean we get an extra 24 episodes? The two hours leading up to his kidnapping had so much action that even the prez got some. Conveniently, the president and first lady’s real-time nookie was the exact length of a commercial break. Thank you, sponsors!
Steve: Awesome ending to an awesome season! Jack Bauer is so badass he'll probably have defeated the Red Menace before the next season even starts. My hope is that we get Jack Bauer versus Kung Fu Masters… to the DEATH!

Veronica Mars
Steve: I was a little let down because there was really no way to know whodunnit until the finale, but otherwise it was a great finish to a great season. I'm probably most impressed with Duncan calling in a hit on that slimy Harry Hamlin.
Chris: Casablancas??? After all that, the producers drop it all on some kid that I actually liked?
Jenni: This show has one of the best casts on television--they play the sometimes outrageous drama out so well, yet deliver on the comedy front better than most sitcom casts. This show's so good I'm shocked it's not cancelled yet. I hope this whole CW thing works out. With a catchy name like that, tho, I mean, how could it fail?
Jason: A great surprise ending to TV’s most intricately woven mystery! Plus, they blew up Steve Guttenberg, but they should’ve gotten his Police Academy costar to do the explosion sound effects.

The Amazing Race

Jenni: I don't normally like hippies but damn, those hippies were awesome. Who knew hippies would make such good TV? I don't even like The Amazing Race but I loveded them hippies, baby! P.S. I bet the host of this show gets a lot of international ass. He just looks like a player.
Chris: How about the "OK Race"? What is so amazing about following a bunch of jerks around the globe doing challenges they could have done anywhere in the US?
Jason: I think the hippies made the season and deserved the $1,000,000 prize, but they’d better use it wisely. That’s a lot of money not to spend on haircuts and way too much to spend on Phish bootlegs.
Steve: I only caught a couple of episodes this time, but I was glad that the hippies won. Although, I'm far more interested in finding out how two guys like that would spend all that money. I smell a Dude, Where's My Car sequel!

The Office

Steve: Office romances never work out. Ask Jenni.
Jason: The final Vegas Night episode was a great capper to a solid season that yet again points out what an absurd hell it is to be in a 9-to-5 office. Sigh... Obviously, I’m writing this at work.
Chris: Greatest show I never watch.
Jenni: The people who are all uppity about the American version of this show 'cause they like the British version are jackasses and if they're so damn BBC'd up in here then maybe they should shove some beans on toast in their gobs and shut the hell up. Tossers.

The OC

Chris: Southern California creeps me out in the biggest way. Where did they hide all of the black people?
Jason: Yay! They killed off whiney Marissa, but it was in a cop-out car crash. Strangely, Mischa Barton’s performance as a corpse resulted in her liveliest acting all season long. They should’ve killed her off in every episode.
Steve: Ding, Dong the bitch is DEAD! The entire show had revolved around Marissa all season, and it was beyond annoying. I suggest that they replace Mischa Barton with a coat rack next season -- it'll have a nicer figure and the acting won't be nearly as wooden.
Jenni: This season was so bad that they pretty much had to resort to human sacrifice to salvage the finale. They should bring Dakota Fanning on as a child prodigy in classes with Ryan at Stanford -- I'll start watching again if Kid Chino gets some underage genius tail, and then has to punch out some dude for grabbin' her ass at a kegger.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

R.I.P. Alex Toth

Cartoonist Alex Toth, best known for his work with Hanna-Barbera in the 1960s and 1970s as a character designer (SuperFriends, Birdman, Shazzan, Battle of the Planets, The Herculoids), has passed on to join his creation Space Ghost somewhere up there in the sky.

June 25, 1928 - May 27, 2006

Friday, May 26, 2006

X-Men 3 Tribute: Part Four

X-Men: The Last Stand opens in theaters today, so it's time for our fourth and final installment of our toy tributes to the movie's poster campaign. You can find our previous pics here, here and here. To wrap things up, we're featuring Storm, played by Halle Berry, who actually had her own "Hands in the Air" moment promoting X3 on a British radio show.

As a special bonus, here's a scene with Wolverine that ended up on the cutting room floor...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Pulp Fiction

Jules and Vincent, photographed at Pann's in Los Angeles, the diner from Pulp Fiction.

The Da Vinci Crossing

Oh, Lame Saint! To promote The Da Vinci Code movie (in case there's anyone out there who hasn't heard of it yet), a "So Dark the Con of Man" sign was placed on Sunset Boulevard next door to the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. Eerily enough, there's a crosswalk sign nearby that cosmically places the Man in the street sign directly over the "Man" in the Da Vinci billboard. Is it another code? Is it a cover-up created by albino city planners? Don't ask me -- I'm still trying to solve the mystery of Tom Hanks' mullet.

Conspiracy? Where's the female in the street sign above? Could she be Mary Magdalene?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tyrannosaurus Sex

Target has a $1 section between the checkout lanes and the store entrance that is filled with amusing impulse buy stuff, like hamburger-shaped dog toys and "I heart Ashton" necklaces. Last time I was at Target, I spotted some fun dinosaur pens in one of the bins, meant to come back to them, almost forgot, remembered at the last minute and hightailed it over to grab one while Jason and Steve stayed in line. There were only two blue ones and the blue ones were the cutest so I picked the one with the nicest face and rushed back to the checkout lane.

As I proudly displayed my $1 treasure, Jason and Steve were laughing their asses off. Now, the little blue dinosaur pen made me smile, but laughing seemed a little extreme.

I asked them what was so funny and they both acted like I knew what was so funny and was pretending I didn't. "Are you kidding? YOU don't see it?"




Yeah, that is pretty funny.

When we got home, we asked a panel of experts what they thought of my blue dino pen. They immediately made him their king, and carried him away on their shoulders.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

David Blaine's Illusions of Grandeur

If there’s anything magical about illusionist David Blaine, it’s that he can trick millions of people into watching him do absolutely nothing. After finishing his 7-day stunt of being submerged in a giant glass sphere with an oxygen mask, Blaine capped his week with an attempt to break the record for breath-holding… on live TV.

Pardon my bubbles.

Personally, I think if you’re going to make a big fuss about breaking a record on live TV, you’d better have a backup magic trick up your sleeve just in case your Guinness attempt falls short. You know, a REAL stunt, like drinking all the backwash and stink juice in that aquarium you’ve been floundering in for a week.

But alas, David didn’t even deliver a magical coup de grace, so when he failed to break the breath-holding record, viewers were essentially left to witness a man accomplish nothing. To see guy not break the record for breath-holding isn’t compelling television. Quite frankly, I can see someone not break the world record for breath-holding every day in every show on TV. In fact, I don’t break that record every single day of my life, but no one’s offering me my own live TV show.

Ta-da! Jason breaks the record for sitting around all day. Again!

I’m not really sure where the “magic” is in David Blaine’s stunts – standing on a platform for over day, sitting in a box over the Thames River for over a month… Sheesh. I try to spend at least half a day at work doing absolutely nothing, so maybe if I philosophize about it in an overly dramatic and deep monotone voice, I might be able to perform that trick on stage in Vegas. But I’m not holding my breath. David didn’t.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

X-Men 3 Tribute: Part Three

X-Men: The Last Stand is just weeks away from opening in theaters, so it's time for the third installment of our toy tributes to the movie's poster campaign. You can find the first two installments here and here. This time around, we're paying tribute to Jean Grey/Phoenix and her horrible new red costume.

As as a special bonus, we're also featuring a Professor X tribute. It's not based on an actual movie poster or anything, but we figured he deserved to look all introspective and fashionable, too.

Stupid @$#*!! wheelchair needs seat belts!

Friday, May 05, 2006

May The Fourth Be With You

I'm by far the biggest Star Wars nerd in the group and even I had no idea there was such a thing as Star Wars Day. Apparently every fourth of May, the month in which all of the Star Wars films were originally released (and George Lucas' birthday to boot), fans of the greatest film saga of all time quietly celebrate the movies that ensure their nerddom and virginity. Honestly, I had no clue. So happy belated Star Wars Day, y'all.

I guess the folks at Lucasfilm are down with the whole May 4th tradition, because yesterday they put out the word that finally, after about a decade, they are going to release the original theatrical versions of the original Star Wars Trilogy. While I pretty much considered it an inevitability, I honestly thought Lucas would make all of the whiners wait a little longer, possibly for the 30th Anniversary of the first movie (coming up in May 2007). But, regardless, they're coming out, which is a good thing.

It's good because Lucasfilm will be cashing in, and hopefully some of that dough can go into the upcoming CG cartoon and live-action TV series that are coming sometime this decade (we think). Surely whatever happens in either of those will be lambasted by "purists," but as a fan who just loves him some Star Wars (yes, even the prequels), I'm excited about them. But by far the biggest positive out of all this is that a large chunk of the whining will finally subside and I won't have to read about how George Lucas is raping nerd-America's childhood in every article any Internet loser writes about anything even remotely related to science-fiction (I'm looking at you, IGN). There's practically a cottage industry that's built up around bitching about Greedo shooting first and I'm happy that it finally has to close up shop.

The other piece of exciting news from yesterday is that LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy is hitting stores on the same day (September 12th), as the new DVDs, and I'm excited. The first LEGO Star Wars is really fun and really funny, and this one looks like it's going to be just on a whole 'nother level. Kind of funny that one of my most anticipated games of the year is a kid's game I'll be getting for a current-generation console.

So Lucas has finally made good on at least some of the things disenfranchised nerds are bitching about (he's not going to re-make or erase the prequels from our minds, so I think they'll just have to learn to live with that one). The only thing I can find to possibly ask the big G.L. for now is a special edition (as in full of features, not re-edited or anything) Star Wars Holiday Special on DVD. C'mon, man! Bea Arthur and a wookiee named "Lumpy?" That's frickin' awesome!

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Monday, May 01, 2006

License to Ill

So you may or may not have known that there's a new James Bond. I know, you're probably wondering what was wrong with the old one, but apparently Pierce Brosnan looks a little too aged (we're supposed to forget that Roger Moore played the role quite solidly until he was like 112). So what did the producers do? They cast The Mummy.

Seriously, while I'm sure that Daniel Craig is a fine actor, to call him "youthful" or "attractive" would be a stretch. That wouldn't be such a big deal except for the fact that he's supposed to be James frickin' Bond not Count Dracula. Oh, and did I mention that this is an origin story? If this is a young, spry James Bond at the beginning of his Double-0 career, what precisely will he look like as the veteran agent we've come to know and love? My guess is it'll take a few well-shaken (not stirred), vodka martinis before anyone will be able to recognize our favorite British Secret Agent.

Happy May Day

For those who celebrate the fruity May Day, here's a picture I took of some flowers. For those who are celebrating International Workers' Day today, here's a picture I took of a gnome sleeping on the job to stick it to the man. Happy May Day!