TV Notes For A Tuesday

tvYou know that Good Housekeeping seal of approval? I look at HBO as such a seal. If a television show belongs to HBO, I'll give it a good shot because it's highly likely I'm not just going to enjoy the show but I'm going to love it.

This year alone I've enjoyed the following HBO series: The Sopranos, John From Cincinnati, Flight of the Conchords and Curb Your Enthusiasm. And yes, I realize I'd love Entourage and I'm missing out, but I'm thinking at some point someone will lend me the complete DVD set and I'll catch it from the beginning.

The new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm just kicked off last week and episode one was hilarious. The David's have adopted a less privileged family who lost their home in a Katrina-like disaster, and hilarity is sure to ensue. I love this show.

Yesterday night, Taryn and I watched the pilot of a new HBO series, "Tell Me You Love Me". It had that HBO seal of approval, so I didn't hesitate to give it an hour of my life. We both enjoyed it, and will be checking out episode two this week, but there was something different about this show... Hmmm, what was it? What was I sure to take note of? Oh yeah, "Tell Me You Love Me" is super graphic.

I'm used to HBO shows with nudity, "Dream On" was good for a few flashes a week, but "Tell Me You Love Me" kicks it up a notch. We're talking full frontal nudity and sex that can't possibly be simulated. There's a little too much sausage for my liking, and graphic acts to completion, if you catch my drift, but the wonderful scenes with Sonya Walger and Michelle Borth made it all worth while.

"Tell Me You Love Me" is worth checking out, just make sure the kids are locked away. And prepare yourself for a little more skin than Tony used to see at the Bada-Bing.

2007 MTV Video Music Awards

mtvTonight's the 24th annual MTV Video Music Awards and us crazy canucks can watch it live on CTV at 9pm. For years this was my favourite music awards show of them all. The best artists were always on the bill and the coolest videos for great songs often took home an award or two. Then, I got old.

Today it's for the kids, all about the Justin Timberlakes and Beyonces, but there are still great moments tucked in amidst the crud, like Sarah Silverman's Paris diss last year.

This year I'll be watching for a performances from the Foo Fighters featuring Queens Of The Stone Age member's Josh Homme and Troy Van Leeuwen and System Of A Down's Serj Tankian. That, and some comeback thingy by the Brit. Hey, I'm only human.

The Office Summer Vacation

tvThe people who market The Office seem to get it. They know how to please their target audience, and that's with little tid bit videos on YouTube.

There's nothing ground breaking in this promo, but it's still fun to hear from the characters and get a little bonus insight into where they're at. And hey, it's got me talking about the new season. As I said, these guys know their market.

Elwy Yost at the Movies

moviesToday I thought about someone I hadn't thought of in years. I thought about Elwy Yost.

Elwy Yost hosted Magic Shadows and Saturday Night at the Movies on TVOntario for most of my life. He focused on classic films, and I was too young to appreciate it, but he was a regular face I'd see as I surfed channels. He was always there, hosting these shows from 1974 to 1999, and he always seemed to love what he did.

Wikipedia tells me he's retired and living in West Vancouver, British Columbia. I'll bet he's seated in a comfy chair right now, enjoying a movie.

Californication and Saving Grace

tvThis past week I checked out a couple of new television series. I sampled the first two episodes of Californication, starring David Duchovny, and the pilot of Saving Grace, starring Holly Hunter.

Californication reminded me of Dream On, an HBO series I used to watch. Californication is actually a Showtime series, but it's still a dude who easily scores with ultra hot babes who always end up showing us the goods. Dream On was a comedy while Californication is sort of a dark comedy with dramatic aspirations. I watched the first two episodes and I'll be back for the third. It's even got geek appeal with Duchovny's character getting paid to blog.

I hated Saving Grace. I hated everything about it. It aired on Showcase last night and I expected a great deal better. It's awfully contrived with a boring as all hell subplot and a corny Touched By An Angel premise. The best part of Saving Grace was the theme music by Everlast. I'd avoid this one like the plague and wait for the far better Dexter to start up its second season.

And while we're discussing television, we finally get the new season of Rescue Me tonight at 10p on Showcase. As Red would say, dont'cha dare miss it.

Confession Time

tvBrace yourselves, I'm about to reveal something pretty shocking. I have never found "Royal Canadian Air Farce" funny.

Is that wrong? Does that somehow make me a bad Canadian? "Royal Canadian Air Farce" has been on for over a decade and I've caught bits and pieces here and there but I've never laughed. Not once. I just don't find it particularly funny.

One minute of "The Kids in the Hall" contains more pure hilarity than an entire season of "Royal Canadian Air Farce". Does anyone out there actually enjoy RCAF?

The Best TV Theme Songs

tv musicWhen John From Cincinnati got canned earlier this week, I shared the opening credits of that show because it featured a very cool tune by Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros. That got me thinking about television theme songs that are too cool to be confined to the small screen and are good enough to stand alone.

Sometimes a song is a created for a tv show and sometimes it's simply licensed, as is the case with most of the songs below. However you slice it, here are my favourite television theme songs.

  1. Von Bondies' "C'mon C'mon" from Rescue Me
  2. Joe Cocker's "A Little Help From My Friends" from The Wonder Years
  3. Foo Fighters' "Next Year" from Ed
  4. Waylon Jennings' "Good Ol' Boys" from The Dukes of Hazzard
  5. Steve Carlisle's "WKRP in Cincinnati" from WKRP in Cincinnati
  6. Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros' "Johnny Appleseed" from John From Cincinnati
  7. John Sebastian's "Welcome Back" from Welcome Back, Kotter
  8. Alabama 3's "Woke Up This Morning" from The Sopranos
  9. Gary Portnoy's "Everybody Knows Your Name" from Cheers
  10. Joey Scarbury's "Believe It Or Not" from The Greatest American Hero

An honourable mention goes to the three Who songs used for various CSI shows. The Who songs are great but having not seen a minute of the shows that use them, I felt weird putting them on this list. All ten shows above are actually shows I watched and enjoyed.

Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros' Johnny Appleseed

tvOne of the best things about John From Cincinnati was the opening credits. It was cool grainy surfer imagery with Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros' "Johnny Appleseed" playing overtop. I had never heard "Johnny Appleseed" before but I'm now a big fan.

Download the song in MP3 here and watch the opening credits from the recently cancelled John From Cincinnati below.

The Premature Death of John From Cincinnati

tvApparently, I was the only one watching John From Cincinnati. I knew early on the ratings were poor, so I was prepared for what happened this week. HBO has cancelled John From Cincinnati.

Without a doubt, it was out there. Some weeks I didn't know what the hell was going on, but I knew I liked it. I haven't seen the final episode yet, but I'm certain it won't explain everything so I'm destined to live out life never knowing what was up with John.

I still think he was Jesus Christ.

TV Sucks

tvFor the most part, TV sucks. I'm so tired of the Law & Orders and typical dramas and sitcoms. Right now I'm only following two series: John From Cincinnati and Flight of the Conchords.

There are, however, a few other series I follow that will be airing new episodes soon. Weeds, a Showtime series, is airing new episodes in the USA next week. Showcase, which carries the show on this side of the border, will start season three in the fall.

Another US cable series I follow is Rescue Me, which started airing season four a couple of months ago. Showcase will air these new episodes in the fall as well. Why Showcase chooses to make us wait is beyond me, but I'm sure there's a method to their madness.

Finally, Curb Your Enthusiasm is set to air season six in September as well. TMN will air this series simultaneous with HBO. Here's a very cool list of celebrities that have appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

There ya have it. Throw in The Simpsons and The Office and that's about it for me. As I said, for the most part, TV sucks.

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