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Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page

Is Mr. Sunshine ABC Network’s Next “Hot” Sitcom?

In Television on February 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm

In 2009, ABC Network launched Cougar Town, one of the funniest, most well-written sitcoms on television.   Courtney Cox (of Friends fame), and the rest of the ensemble cast brilliantly bring each character to life.  On the heels of Cougar Town’s success, ABC Network has once again gone back to the Friends well for their new sitcom,Mr. Sunshine, which stars Matthew Perry as Ben Donovan.

Perry’s character is the General Manager of the Sunshine Center, a second-rate sports arena in San Diego.  While the name of the character has changed, Ben Donovan could have easily been cast as Chandler Bing in his new career.  He is well-suited for this role, but Mr. Sunshine doesn’t shine as brightly as Cox does in Cougar Town, which is not necessarily an indictment of his acting ability.

The Cougar Town cast was as perfectly assembled as the cast of Friends was.  The roles of the characters on Mr. Sunshine are still being developed, but it didn’t take long to realize that Allison Janney’s character, Crystal Cohen (owner of the Sunshine Center), will be the one to receive most of the accolades if the show takes off.

Janney’s character is wildly inappropriate, has little to no filter and is almost as politically incorrect as Archie Bunker.  She plays the role perfectly, and even though she is not the focal point of the show, you can’t help but look forward to hearing what she will say next.

In the pilot episode, before hosting a charity event for Himalayan children because someone was bitten by one of the dogs at the Himalayan dog track that she invested in, Crystal Cohen wanted to make sure that the event would put her in a positive light.

“Now Alonzo” she said, “Make sure that you have a good mix of kids for the photo op.  You know…black, white…the Himalayas are in Asia, right?  Get me an Asian kid.  Oh, and I’m going to need some kind of trophy.  Have the Asian child hand me some kind of a trophy.”

In the second episode, a number of blind children were invited to attend a concert at the Sunshine Center.  Upon leaving the room full of blind children, Cohen very casually said…

“I envy the blind.  I sometimes think that I too would give my sight to play the piano that way.”

Overall, Mr. Sunshine is a quirky sitcom centered around a series of unlikely scenarios and sometimes outrageous dialog.  Because there is a different event each week at the Sunshine Center, there will be no shortage of potential storylines.

The show is not as clever or well-written as Cougar Town, but it has its share of laughs, and offers ABC Network the potential to fill a regular time slot with a sitcom anchored by another former Friends cast member.

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NBA Slam Dunk “Contest”: Blake Griffin’s Win Very Harlem Globetrotter-esque

In Sports on February 22, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Blake Griffin is a great dunker.  There is no arguing that.  In the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, Griffin had two memorable dunks, but only one of them was great, and it was NOT the one with the car and the choir.  That dunk only served to prove that the NBA planned on Griffin being in the finals and winning it all along.

Not since Curly Neal, Meadowlark Lemon and the rest of the Harlem Globetrotters toured with the Washington Generals, has the outcome of a basketball “contest” been so anti-climactic.

Griffin was the Harlem Globetrotters to Javale McGee, DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka’s Washington Generals.  McGee, DeRozan and Ibaka never had a chance, which is a shame, since they all were impressive in their own right.

When Griffin’s very ordinary second dunk in the first round scored a 46, even the most casual fan had to suspect that the fix was in.  That dunk followed Ibaka’s creative and impressive dunk which only scored a 45.

Once Griffin was in the finals, with the fans deciding the winner, there was no way that anyone else was going to win unless Griffin totally missed his dunks.  The whole contest ended up being a mockery.

Griffin’s coach, Kenny Smith, served no purpose on the court other than to ramble on endlessly.  During the early round, his puffery about Griffin not needing props like the others ended up looking downright stupid when Griffin rolled a car onto the court for his final dunk.  The car was bad enough, but the choir that came onto the court as Griffin’s supporting cast turned a supposed sporting event into a joke.

Even the camera crew didn’t seem to know what to do with the choir, as they missed Griffin’s running start while showing a choir singer on camera.

While Smith was somehow able to orchestrate a pre-dunk standing ovation for Griffin which surprisingly included the judges, it doesn’t seem like everyone bought into the hype.  Charles Barkley openly mocked what was going on, serving as the voice of many fans watching on TV.

It came as no shock to anyone when Griffin was announced as the winner of the contest.  The obvious favoritism that was shown towards Griffin has turned this competition into an exhibition going forward.

LeBron James has resisted showcasing his skills in the dunk contest, but if he ever changes his mind and participates, they should just present the trophy to him before he or his competitors attempt their first dunk, since the presentation is nothing more than a formality anyway.

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New Music Spotlight: Egypt Central – “White Rabbit”

In Music on February 22, 2011 at 6:44 am

In June of 1967, Jefferson Airplane released a psychedelic, acid rock song called “White Rabbit.” The lyrics were derived directly from the story of “Alice in Wonderland.”  Nearly 44 years later, in May of 2011, a band called Egypt Central will release their sophomore album entitled “White Rabbit.”

Aside from the song title and inspiration, Egypt Central’s “White Rabbit” is an entirely different animal.  It has nothing to do with magic mushrooms or psychedelic trips.

Egypt Central’s “White Rabbit” is much deeper than that and much more powerful because it is about real life.  It is about the struggles that the band has gone through as a group and as individuals.  It is about a willingness to step outside of one’s personal comfort zone, to be open to unexpected life-altering experiences.  It is about letting go of preconceived notions and embracing the unknown.  It is about letting go of fear and doubt and choosing the road less traveled.

According to the band, the upcoming release is “a 12-song compilation of heavy riffs, lyrics from the soul and strong melodic hooks.”

While the band doesn’t go so far as to call “White Rabbit” a concept album (like Queensryche’s “Operation Mindcrime” or W.A.S.P’s “The Crimson Idol”), there is an underlying theme that threads the songs together…“a story of consequences that occur when one accepts or declines an invitation from the White Rabbit.”

Many bands would have rushed to put out their second album, but Egypt Central wanted to do it the right away, despite pleas from anxious fans to release the record.

The band will be touring extensively in support of “White Rabbit.”

According to Egypt Central drummer, Blake Allison, “Our secret weapon has always been our live show.” Allison continued “I can’t tell you how excited we are to play this new batch of songs for our fans that have stuck by us, and this is our invitation for anyone new to Egypt Central to come along on this journey…we hope you accept!”

Take a listen to the title track (below), which was just released this week.  If you love powerful, melodic hard rock, you will definitely want to take Egypt Central up on their invitation to join them on their journey.

CLICK HERE TO SEE “WHITE RABBIT” VIDEO

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New York Islanders Prove Their Mettle In Retribution Game Against Penguins

In Sports on February 15, 2011 at 9:51 pm

For many years, the most excitement surrounding the New York Islanders came at the end of the season.  In the 1980’s that meant Stanley Cup Championships.  However, for the modern-day Islanders, the end-of-the-season excitement has been about adding yet another high draft pick to the mix of young talent already on the roster.

If you’re not going to win, you should at least be entertaining to watch if you expect fans to show up and spend their hard-earned money to watch games inside of an antiquated arena.  Quite frankly, up until their performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins this past Friday night, it was hard to get overly excited about going to watch the Islanders play live.

You wouldn’t think that a storied franchise who once won four Stanley Cups in a row would need to put on a performance that is best described as bonus footage from the 1977 classic movie Slap Shot to excite the fan base.  But it is exactly what the Islanders needed, despite the cries from Penguins’ Owner Mario Lemieux that the game is not supposed to be played that way.

In the retribution game for the damage that the Penguins did to Rick DiPietro and Blake Comeau the last time that the two teams met, the Islanders extracted their “pound of flesh” and then some.

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING AND TO WATCH VIDEO FOOTAGE

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Top 14 Hard Rock Love Songs For Valentine’s Day

In Music on February 14, 2011 at 7:16 am

All day long today, guys will be flooding card stores and flower shops to make sure that they don’t come home empty-handed on Valentine’s Day. The last minute shopping frenzy has become an annual rite of passage for a lot of men. It’s the nature of the beast, I suppose.

It’s not always easy to find the right words while sitting in your car in the parking lot feverishly scribbling down last-minute, heartfelt sentiments. But don’t worry guys…Hard Rock Music Report has your back!

Looking for that something extra to add to your card to make it special?

Check out the Top 14 Hard Rock Love Songs for Valentine’s Day (below). Some key lyrics have been pulled out and displayed for each song to make things easier for the last-minute shopper with writer’s block.

Click here to see videos of the…

Top 14 Hard Rock Love Songs for Valentine’s Day

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HARD ROCK FANS – Check out http://www.HardRockDaddy.com

Life After Friends: Grading the Cast Members on Their Post-Friends Careers

In Television on February 14, 2011 at 7:03 am

For ten years, millions of people tuned into NBC every Thursday night to hang out with Ross, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler and Joey.  We saw them go from single in the city to married with children and moving to the suburbs.

Television shows that last as long as Friends don’t come around very often because it is hard to keep things fresh and entertaining for viewing audiences.  It’s difficult to go out on top, but Friends managed to do so.

Once the show went off the air, the cast members faced the challenge of moving on to other roles while being typecast as their respective Friends characters.  It is the blessing and the curse that actors face when becoming a particular character in the eyes of the world.

The cast members of Friends have enjoyed varying degrees of success since taking their last sip of coffee at Central Perk.

The following is a report card of each cast member’s post-Friends career (in ascending order):

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE GRADES

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Fairly Legal – Thursday Nights – USA Network

In Television on February 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm

When you think of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, it is not likely that you wonder what else they do besides cheerleading…until now.

Sarah Shahi, a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader who grew up just minutes away from Cowboys Stadium, shines in her role as Kate Reed on Fairly Legal (a USA Network original program).

In the opening scene of the pilot episode, Reed is awoken by her cell phone and finds herself in bed with her soon-to-be-ex-husband, Assistant District Attorney, Justin Patrick (Michael Trucco).  The sexy Reed, wearing nothing but a men’s dress shirt, leaps out of bed disappointed in herself and Patrick for sleeping together again.

On Reed’s first day back at work after her father’s passing, the lawyer-turned-mediator shows off her skills as she successfully mediates an attempted armed robbery at a coffee shop between a gunman and the coffee shop owner.  Although it would seem implausible in real life, Shahi makes you believe that she could pull off such a feat if she actually found herself in a similar situation.

Whether she’s mediating a dispute between an armed robber and a store owner, a father and son involved in a business dispute, a wrongly-convicted man and the state of California, or a high school football coach and the parents calling for his dismissal, Shahi uses her even-keeled manner and flexes just the right amount of sex appeal to get the job done.

Click Link to Continue – http://television2day.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/fairly-legal-thursday-nights-usa-network/

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Scorned Super Bowl Fans File Lawsuit Against the NFL, Cowboys Stadium and Jerry Jones

In Sports on February 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Unless you are one of the four people featured in the “never missed a Super Bowl club” commercial, the odds are highly likely that you fall into the opposite club – “never been to a Super Bowl.” With Super Bowl tickets extremely hard to come by, or afford for that matter, most people have no choice but to watch the game on television.

Imagine that you have decided to pony up the thousands of dollars that it takes for tickets, travel and expenses to fulfill the dream of going to the Super Bowl.  Imagine that you take vacation time from work to seize what may very well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see your favorite team play in the game.

Now imagine being told upon your arrival at the $1.5 billion stadium where the game is being played that your seats don’t exist because they weren’t installed to proper safety standards.

The only way to avoid feeling sympathetic to the fans who were burned by the NFL, Cowboys Stadium and Jerry Jones, is to allow jealousy to overrule logic.  While it may be hard to feel bad for someone that was able to afford to go to the Super Bowl if you are struggling financially, how would you feel if it happened to you?

The Super Bowl is the biggest event of the year…EVERY YEAR!  Nothing in the world is even a close second.  It is the only time that people actually sit and watch every commercial as if it were a movie that they paid to see.  It is the only time that people who have absolutely no interest in the game tune in to be a part of what has become a cultural event.  It is not a holiday, but if it were, it would rank right up there with Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

So, when the Super Bowl was awarded to Dallas (a.k.a. Jerry Jones) for the first time ever, it was reasonable to think that all worst-case-scenario contingencies would have been addressed beforehand.

Click Link to Continue – http://sports2day.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/scorned-super-bowl-fans-file-lawsuit-against-the-nfl-cowboys-stadium-and-jerry-jones/

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Hard Rock Music is Traveling “Back to the Future”

In Music on February 8, 2011 at 5:59 am

The year was 1985, and the world was a much simpler place.

In an attempt to escape from terrorists, Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) put the pedal to the metal of Doc Brown’s DeLorean / time machine and ended up thirty years back in time.  While McFly was fighting back his mother’s advances in an effort to ensure that his parents got together in the future, hard rock music was thriving in the real world.

Hard rock artists sang about sex, drugs and rock-n-roll because it was what they knew.  For better or worse, it was how they lived their lives both on and off the stage.

Excess was the norm for hard rock artists back in 1985, as evidenced by the flamboyant wardrobes, the heavily-teased hair, the over-the-top stage shows and the sheer multitude of groupies who wanted to get close to these rock gods, if only for a night.

They were living the dream.  All of the girls wanted to be with them, and all of the guys wanted to be like them.  But most importantly, their music provided a great escape from the pressures of the real world.

Click Link To Continue – http://hardrockmusicreport.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/hard-rock-music-is-traveling-back-to-the-future/

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Green Bay Packers: Super Bowl XLV Champions Should Be Favored To Repeat

In Sports on February 8, 2011 at 5:51 am

Ever since the salary cap era began in the NFL, one of the most common characteristics of Super Bowl champions was the ability to remain relatively healthy upon entering the playoffs.

It is a given that all NFL teams are banged up by the time that the playoffs begin.  However, those teams who enter the playoffs with their key players able to take the field are considered to be “healthy” by NFL standards.

The Green Bay Packers, with 16 players on injured reserve, defied all preconceived notions about what it takes to win a championship.  They won games all season long with back-ups filling in for key injured players.  As a result, they were crowned Super Bowl XLV champions in front of a near-record crowd at Cowboys Stadium last night.

Click Link To Continue – http://bleacherreport.com/articles/600218-green-bay-packers-super-bowl-xlv-champions-should-be-favored-to-repeat

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