Friday, October 30, 2009

Survivor: Houdini Magic

Days: 18
Survivors Remaining: 12
Reward Challenge Winner: Galu
Immunity Challenge Winner:  Galu
Survivor Voted Off: Liz
My Picks Still Remaining: Erik, Kelly, Brett

Quote of the Week:  "I can spot a good Christian any time...it's easy." - The Russell to Laura when sizing her up and creating a secret alliance with her.


Foa Foa seems to have finally put the exclamation point on how bad they are as a tribe at challenges.  Granted that it gets harder to win with fewer people as you go along, but they have been truly pathetic.  They only won the initial reward challenge for  flint and the immunity challenge involving stacking blocks in a large tower.  They will be in a severe disadvantage going into the merge being down four people.  That last immunity challenge would have been a huge win for them bring the difference in tribes' numbers down to two.  Well, at least this should make things more interesting for The Russell.  (Sidenote: This week's episode title is again attributed to The Russell.  That's six out of seven so far.  Let's keep it going.)  The Russell will have to do some serious scheming or Galu will slowly eliminate the former members of Foa Foa.


The boys on the Galu tribe seem to have a pretty tight alliance right now although for some reason Brett seems to be close with the girls.  Maybe that's because he's a t-shirt designer - whatever that means.  I wonder if he ever designs Jon Gosselin's t-shirt.  He likes big tigers on his shirts - but really, who doesn't.   Or maybe Brett designs those t-shirts with a montage of three wolves howling at a moon.  Those are so in right now in LA.  


Sorry about that tangent.  Back to my point that I think Brett is the weak link in the boys club at Galu.  Interestingly enough it is a boys club that includes Shambo.  This episode really touched my heart of Shambo's hard was finally rewarded with her taking over the alpha male female role within the tribe.  Under Shambo's mighty hand the tribe finished out the domination of Foa Foa.  Unfortunately Shambo had to make an unpopular decision and sent Laura over to Foa Foa instead of going to the reward booze cruise.  Laura thought she was sent because Shambo didn't like her.  I don't know Laura - maybe Shambo has a secret crush and is just being mean to get you to notice her.  In Survivor, anything is possible.  Speaking of the reward challenge, I was surprised Shambo didn't let anybody borrow her hair to use as a pirate wig.  It would have been perfect for their Halloween pirate sailing ship.  


The Russell, as usual, was working his magic back at Foa Foa - this time with unsuspecting Laura.  I did learn of The Russell's amazing ability to spot a Christian just by looking at them.  Laura should watch out because The Russell is the snake in the garden.  After the individual interview it looks like that little secret alliance is a bit one sided.  This alliance won't last very long because Foa Foa is just too small for it to make sense for anybody to flip.  Even if two people flipped the numbers would still be even.  Too risky for those two.  And if three flipped then they would have the numbers, but they would only be in a smaller group by one.  I can't really see anybody switching pending seeing how the immunity idols are used.  


A few last things.  I expect Mick to be the first target out of the merge.  Then The Russell.   Erik, Mick, and/or Dave will probably win the most individual immunity awards.  Maybe one more decent injury - probably an ankle twist or big cut.   










Friday, October 23, 2009

Survivor: This is the Man Test

Days: 15
Survivors Remaining: 13
Reward Challenge Winner: None
Immunity Challenge Winner:  None
Survivor Voted Off: None
My Picks Still Remaining: Erik, Kelly, Brett

Quote of the Week:  "I'm good...I'm good" - Russell (Galu) as he was being stood up by Jeff after blacking out.
Survivor Removed for Injury: Russell (Galu)




I was quite looking forward to this episode as Probst previewed it by saying it was the scariest moment he's seem on Survivor.  I'm pretty sure Mike falling into the fire in Australia would have been scarier, but Probst wasn't there, and neither was I - so I won't judge.  I was completely shocked at how long it took everyone to realize that Russell was about to pass out/already had.  Now maybe I had a different perscpective because I knew something would happen but seriously - his freaking face was planted in the puzzle board.  It look like he was trying to control the board with his lips.  All the while his teammates are yelling at him to stand up.  Surprisingly, with his arms dangling and his face planted like he was in the county pie eating competition, he had no response.  Probst was staring at him with a "WTF is going on here" kind of look until he finally realized what was going on and halted the challenge.  I will admit, that it had to have been scary to see him totally non responsive, and his eyes just blankly staring out into nowhere.  Glad he is okay and I suppose it really does speak to the conditions out there.  I previously commented about how ripped he was, but his 42 year old body clearly failed.  This has me ready to petition that no one over 40 gets on the show if your "name" is not Shambo.


One last point on this is that Probst was a total dick.  I mean you just had someone pass out because they are dehydrated and haven't eaten and your brilliant plan is to give NO ONE pizza.  Hilarious for me - not for the survivors.  I'm sure someone would have punched Probst right in the face just to press some hot pizza up against their cold, shriveled body.


One good thing about Russell (Galu) going home is now I won't have to spend extra key strokes putting the tribe name behind each Russell.  From now one is will just be The Russell.  He deserves the extra word and the capitalization as far as I'm concerned.  The Russell seems to be the only one completely unfazed by the constant down pours.  It evens makes him happy for some strange reason.  He is clearly the toughest survivor there right now even though his fingers and toes look like wet, chewed bubble gum.  In fact, everyone's fingers and toes look freaking gross.  Not that I'm truly grossed out or anything, but I've never seem so many wrinkly appendages outside of a nursing home.  I can't even imagine what is going on inside those guys bathing suits.  Talk about shrinkage.  Soak anything in cold water for five straight days and you will not be pleased with the final out come.  The next immunity challenge should be who can make themselves not look like a refugee the fastest.  My money would not be on Dave, who looked that way coming into the game.  


The tribes are shaping up fairly interestingly and I look for Foa Foa to pull out the next immunity victory, sparing Liz for one more week.  Monica is gone unless she somehow has a really strong performance in one of the challenges.  The merge seems to be approaching soon.  It should come now later than two weeks from now. Then we will get to see The Russell really works his magic by making promises he can't keep, blatantly lying to people, and becoming irrationally vindictive if anyone says anything he perceives as a threat.  


If I had to re-pick for a winner, I don't think I would change my picks. It's been hard to get a read a some of the Galu tribe so for now I'm sticking with my original picks. 


Until next week.




Sunday, October 18, 2009

Survivor: Walking on Thin Ice

Days: 14
Survivors Remaining: 14
Reward Challenge Winner: Galu
Immunity Challenge Winner:  Galu
Survivor Voted Off: Ashley
My Picks Still Remaining: Erik, Kelly, Brett

So I looked back at the titles of the previous episodes and all but one have to do with Russell (Foa Foa).  He is clearly dominating the game from a personality point of view if not strategically.  He walks around camp in those loose little boxer shorts like he owns the place and surprisingly his tribe is okay with that.  He has taken on pretty much everybody in the tribe (minus Mick) and always seems to come out ahead.   I also don't know if I've seen someone so sensitive.  I don't know if Russell's feelings are actually hurt when someone questions him or if it's part of his game, but he sure doesn't hide it.  Liz was almost the third to get the "Russell Axe" and he doesn't even hide his intentions.  First Marisa, and then Betsy crossed him and they are both gone.  Only Ashley's incredible puking display saved Liz from Russell getting a little revenge.  Of course Ashley was never a favorite of his after he made the alliance with "the dumb blonde with shorter hair."  I'll say it again, Russell won't win the game, but he is the center of attention like no one else since Richard Hatch.

I have always enjoyed the eating challenge which have been absent for many of the recent seasons.  It gives Survivor a bit of a Fear Factor feel, but, as long as they don't overdo it, watching people try to chug down sea slug guts will always get my approval.  I couldn't believe Ashley couldn't stomach down those last few bits of whatever she was drinking.  Probst did give them a tough assignment, but she really let her team down - definitely playing into her being voted off.  At the end of the challenge, there was some awkward exchange between Shambo and Russell (Galu).  I can't remember someone asking to be saved from exile island or wherever the winning team sends a player so pathetically.  Shambo is clearly not the cool kid in the class and it really shows.  She has done well for being the token old woman in the group, but her days are clearly numbered.  Russell wanted her to make amends for losing a chicken, even after she "produced an egg" (I would have loved to actually see that).  If they get close to the merge and Shambo is still around, Galu may consider throwing a challenge to get her out so she won't flip after the merge.

Speaking of Russell (Galu), he is not turning out to be a very effective leader.  He is true meat head in the challenges, but seems a bit insecure in his role.  He snaps at Dave for commenting on a better way to make a fire and then wouldn't shake his hand afterward.  Editing work may have had something to do with it, but it seemed like Russell was the only one acting like a little girl.  If Dave is the only one who can make fire in that camp, that is truly pathetic.  Scratch the flint, out some wood down there, and blow.  Maybe they should start giving out Survivor badges for things like starting a fire, taking a nap while everybody else works, snuggling with someone you never would outside of a deserted island, pissing off Probst, etc.  Other ideas would be welcome.

Next week we look forward to seeing what happens to Russell (Galu) and if they will lose their second member before the immunity challenge ends.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Change in Philosophy

There will be a little change in philosophy on the blog.

I will no longer be reviewing so many shows each week.  The quantity of the posts are too much to keep up with and keep quality up.

So with that in mind I will keep commenting on Survivor for sure and probably one other show.  The posts will be more in depth and hopefully more interesting.   If there are any suggestions for the other show, let me know.

Periodically, I will update on the other shows I'm watching just as a means of recommending shows and/or if there is a big event on that shows.

Let me know if anyone has objections or opinions on this.

Thanks.

Just in case you were wondering, I did enjoy Heroes last week and I will enjoy having our favorite villain back.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thursday Sci-Fi

Fringe:

We now know that there is a inter-universe war going on with the other side being the aggressor.  The rest of the season should center around this war and should reveal the main players in the conflict.  I enjoy the alternating back and forth between shows with a smaller plot and shows that concentrate on the bigger story.

Fringe has begun to delve into the deeper side of Walter and, while I appreciate it, I think he adds more to the show in humor and a certain gross factor when working on cases.  We will eventually have to find out about his past with William Bell, since they are the ones who seemed to have started or at least discovered this alternate universe.


Flash Forward:

This episode concentrated on why the event lasted  exactly 137 seconds.  Mark is forced to make a deal with a Nazi prison inmate who had a flash forward that had to do with crows dying in mass.  This was the same man who appeared in Mark's flash forward on his board so Mark wants to take his information seriously.  This leads Mark to look into the crow's mass deaths and he discovers that one other time in the recent past there was a severe drop in crow population.  We are left at the end of the show with a flash back to Africa, where it is revealed that there was a localized flash forward in a small town.  If this event is caused by man then this could have been a test before a larger attack.   No more information about D. Gibbons is revealed in this episode.


One other note:  I will no longer be reviewing Dollhouse as it has taken a severe turn for the worse.  i will probably still watch at during my leisure time, but there is nothing interesting to tell about it.  I predict that it will be off-air by spring if not earlier.  Joss Whedon: Strike 2.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thursday First Half

Survivor:

Another great episode of Russell trying to run the whole island.  I think he would take Probst's job if he could.  I enjoyed the new idea of the reward sans Probst - Shambo should have just ran off with the chickens.  Who would have stopped her?  Not me.

Foa Foa finally won a an immunity challenge and was able to avoid tribal council this time.  I still think Galu is the much stronger time and won't really be hurt by the departure of Yazmine since they can still sit out three people at any challenge.  I still think Foa Foa has a good shot at the merge if they can stay within two people of Galu.  Russell will have something up his sleeve to change the dynamics of the game.

In another precedented event, now BOTH immunity idols have been found by people who had nothing to do with finding clues for them.  Whoever hides the idols really needs to do a better job.  It really doesn't seem like a challenge to find them.  It is almost inevitable that someone will find them now and I think it should kind of up in the air.  If you are on the island you basically have to assume that someone has the idol after the first couple weeks.

Can Foa Foa continue their winning steak next week or will Galu put them back in their place?


Office Wedding:

Tears in my eyes in the whole time - from laughing.  The Office wedding was one of these funniest episodes yet.  They bucked the trend of some their hour shows moving along slow with some time between the good stuff.   Form the opening scene of the whole office losing their lunch to the final scene of Kevin finding some relief for his feet it was moment after moment of hard laughs.  I was watching with a group of friends and sometimes I couldn't even hear the next joke because people were still laughing.  Brilliant awkward comedy during the toasts - just classic Office humor.  My friend (and myself) could hardly even watch it was so awkward.  I''m happy for Jim and Pam (though fictional characters) and their lovely wedding is a must see episode of The Office.  Please watch immediately if you missed it.


Grey's Anatomy:

At least my prediction for Meredith seems to be correct.  She said she has to be laid up for a month or so so she can take care of her new baby...err...recover from donating part of her liver.  Honestly the show has gone downhill, but I guess it's just one of those shows you watch if you've been watching it for awhile.  Even if it just to see how they screw it all up.  So with that I will construct a short list of things I wish would change about the show and that is all.  No positives for the show.  Not yet.  They haven't earned them.

1.  Callie and Arizona should break up.  I'm a little torn on this because I don't know what is worse:  the awkward, forced relationship or Callie whining about not having some chick to have her way with.

2.  Speaking of forced relationships, Sloan and Lexie need to be given the axe.  Too many couples on the show and Sloan is more fun to watch when he is chasing tail - even more when he fails.

3.  The Chief is just being a bitch.  He is more temperamental than a 15 year old girl.  I really don't know what his problem is and he acts like he is the only one who can bring up the hospital ranking.  Maybe if he were nicer, people would worked harder for him.

4.  The merge.  I don't need 18 new characters to keep track of right now.  Just bring in one new cardio attending and let's all be happy.  They tried a few before and they failed.  One couldn't communicate with a 10 year old and the other's general conversations were the definition of TMI.

One last thought.  Is that erection contraption real?  Weird.  But I guess if it works, more power to anyone who still gets to use it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Glee with some promise

Glee left me with some hope this week after a fairly entertaining episode which I more than I expected.  By last week's preview, I thought this week would be all adults - which is not a recipe for success.  I did think the adult story line was somewhat bearable, but I really wish they would have just made Will single.  I really don't like the whole fake pregnancy/jealous wife deal.  It would be much better if we could enjoy the relationship between Will and Emma, but you really don't know which way you want it to go.  Will's wife is psycho - seriously.

The singing was good this week and the bad lip synching was kept to a minimum.  I am pretty sure that when Will sings it is the worst.  We were spared from that this week.

The promise I speak is the coaching change for the glee club.  Sue Sylvester (the cheerleading coach) will now be co-coach of glee club.  This should at least double her on air time - which can only be a good thing.  Her short journal entry was very funny.  She apparently broke her blender trying to make a meat bone smoothie.  I think we will get at 15 minutes of Sue next week and hopefully she sticks around for a while.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Non-Eventful Heroes

Heroes:

This week was basically a fairly boring filler episode with the exception of the final five minutes.  I was disappointed because I think Heroes is at its best as face paced adventure story.  We can get character development along the way.  The worst part about last night was that we didn't really learn anything about any of characters except that Tracy has developed some sort of conscience.  It was mildly interesting to see another bad thing that Angela has done in her past, but it didn't really add much to the overall story.  I'm getting very bored of seeing Hiro and Ando inside of that office.  Please release them into the wild.  And we all know Hiro isn't dying.  They are not fooling anyone.

So the two big revelations (and remember, we had to wait for the last five minutes for these) were that Bennett had at one time pursued the carnies and that apparently he is going to gain interest in them again.  He seems like he is going back to "the job", although this time working for himself.  And Nathan has transformed back into Sylar.  We have to assume that after Nathan was killed the brain reset or something to that effect as the body healed.  Next week's preview shows us that Sylar has lost memory of who he was.  I don't think it will affect him in the long run and he will return to be everyone's favorite villain.  I look forward to this.  Hopefully next week gets back into bigger action mode or this could be a long season - if I can even make it through a whole season at that pace.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sci-fi Thursday Category

FlashForward:

This episode we learn more about the apparent cause of the blackout.  I am still not completely buying the lead male for his role, but he did better this week.  I enjoy the rest of the cast as they seem to fit nicely in their roles.

The mystery of the blackout will begin to slowly unravel and it seems the clues to the answer will be slowly revealed through everybody's flash forwards and a small amount of detective work.  The exciting part of the mystery is possibly D. Gibbons of this person shows up in key flash forwards.  We see that he is most likely heavily involved in the blackout.  I do not think the man in the warehouse was D. Gibbons though.  He will probably be revealed later in the show.

I am glad that they dove directly into the mystery of why who or what caused the blackout.  I really think this needs to drive the start of the series or the viewership will fall off quickly.  Let us get hooked into the story and then we will become attached to the characters.  This is the formula for success in a serialized drama.


Fringe:

Interesting mystery on this episode.  A serum that causes human to become bombs that can be triggered with a radio frequency.   I like the tone that they are setting with the pace of the show.  Some shows have much to do with the over arching story and some have very little to do with it.  We always get some sort of glimpse into it though.  This week we were left to wonder how much the orchestrator of the bombs has to do with the inter-universe battle.  We also get our first glimpse of the Observer (who has a weird taste for pepper) and question where has he been and why he is there now.  My guess is that the Observer is somehow outside of the two universes and freely goes back and forth.  He may have been in the other universe this whole time.  His name suggest he doesn't necessarily take a side but takes note of everything.

Fringe is becoming must see television.  It's too bad many people missed out on the beginning of the series or dropped it too soon.  If you have Netflix or can watch it online, you should record this season and catch up.  You can even skip the first couple episodes of the first season (not that great).

Some Thursday Shows

Here we go.

Survivor:

So glad Ben is gone.  I do think Jaison was maybe a bit oversensitive but he said he was going to play it up to make sure Ben went home.  Probst was loving the exchange between those two at tribal.  I am now looking pretty good in my prediction as I dropped Ben before last night's episode in my little bet - anyone could see the writing on the wall.

The immunity challenge was not as physical as I had predicted and I am looking forward to separate reward and immunity challenges.  Although Galu seems like they will dominate this season.  Russell (Galu) is an absolute beast.  He is much bigger than he looked in the original bios.  I will be rooting for Galu as all my picks are on Galu now.

Russell's strategy is growing on me a bit now, but I think none of that will matter if his tribe doesn't win immunity challenges.  I don't think Ben was a great competitor at challenges, but anytime you vote of a young male it usually hurts.  Russell should make it to the merge and it will be interesting to see how he does things when he is outside the numbers.


Office:

Michael and Jim provided many awkward moments in their first episode co-managing the office.  Jim proved me right when I predicted he would have some difficult managing his former co-workers.  We see Michael's insecurity come out when his little world is rocked in some way.  I think he and Jim will be fine, because Michael thinks Jim is the coolest guy alive (besides Ryan).   One of the funniest parts was when Creed reintroduced himself to Meredith for the countless time.


Grey's Anatomy:

First of all, good job at hiding Ellen Pompeo's (Meredith) pregnancy.  Didn't notice it a bit.  My guess is the merge results in keeping all the characters we see and dumping all the ones we don't.  Not a big deal. I know they want us to think the Izzy is being cut or someone else, but they won't do that.  I can guarantee that much.

I am confused at Callie and Arizona's relationship.  First Callie's was begging to go out with Arizona and now Arizona is very insecure and asking to be Callie's girlfriend.  Weird.  I don't like that relationship - it just doesn't seem to naturally fit in the show.  Same goes for Lexy and Sloan.  The end scene of them playing baseball together was stupid - that would never happen given all their personalities.

It looks like next week will be Meredith's swan song for awhile.  My guess is she has to make some traumatic decision about her father and then need to take a vacation or a break or something.  So long Meredith.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Glee only...Top Chef repeat

Glee put up another solid performance last night with some good music and a great guest appearance.

Kristin Chenoweth guest starred as a never graduated, former glee club star who was the envy of Will in high school.  She gave a great performance as she boozed and sung her way through the show.  I didn't really dig the country themed glee performance at the end, but I guess just personal preference.

The Finn and Rachel drama continued with Finn taking Rachel bowling and apparently leading her on as a way to get her back onto glee.   My wife did not approve of this, but he's just doing what he has to do.  I hope Finn finds out soon that Quinn is a slut and the baby's not his, but I'm sure it will be played out for a while longer - just long enough to seemingly ruin any chance Finn has with Rachel.

Kurt and the rest of the of glee clubbers do well this episode at bringing a good amount of one liners into the show without taking up too much time from the main characters.

I'm not looking forward to next week's episode as much as it looks like it will center around the adults.  Like I've said:  More kid drama, less adult drama.

Top Chef was a repeat (not that there is a whole lot to say about it) and I am happy to report that I am four episodes away from being caught up on Entourage through season 5.  I may write something about the complete series because I am a big fan.