Get Ready for B-Shows this January

January is B-flick month! Okay, we're talking tv shows, but what else do you call them, but B-flicks? B-shows? Whatever you call them, they're coming in droves this January to a prime time television station near you. 

Good 'ol Writer's Guild strike! Gotta love it when people fight over money. Seriously. When else can you watch millionaire actors, directors, and producers talk about how important these underpaid and underappreciated writers are to the quality of programming we've come to expect. How meaningful. How thoughtful. How absolutely full of sh*t.

These millionaire celebrities are either strategically kissing ass or taking the opportunity to paint themselves as more egalitarian and human. Nothing like taking advantage of every opportunity to make yourself look good. 

As for the B-shows, you may not be as disappointed as the "B" implies. The networks are OBVIOUSLY pulling some shows off the shelf, dusting them off, and giving them a run. Let's face it, even B-shows are better than prime time reruns. Personally, I'm looking forward to these B-shows. I've disagreed with many "keep or cancel" network decisions these past few years. Some of my favorite shows have been dropped mid-season. Some of my favorite canceled shows are: Day Break, starring Taye Diggs; Kidnapped, starring Jeremy Sisto; Crossing Jordan, starring Jill Hennessey; and Vanished, starring John Allen Nelson. There have been many others that I thought were hits, yet the network moguls gave them the axe. 

Some of these upcoming shows may be decent. Just don't get too attached. One or two resurrected scripts may get a second chance once this strike is over, but don't count on it being your personal choice.  

Donald Trumps the January 2008 TV Lineup

As of May 2007, it was uncertain whether Donald Trump and The Apprentice would return for another season in 2008. Have no fear. The Donald is here. Starting Thursday, January 3rd at 8pm CST, The Celebrity Apprentice will air for the first time. Donald's mixing it up after six years of somewhat repetitive and similar competitions. 

This year, celebrities will be competing for charity. Stay tuned to see how well that works out. Among the celebrity contestants are Gene Simmons of the band Kiss, Stephen Baldwin, Trace Adkins, and supermodel Carol Alt. 

How will The Celebrity Apprentice stack up against previous seasons? It's uncertain, but one thing is for sure – celebrities competing for charity surely can't stir the pot as well as real entrepreneurs. Playing for charity will drain the bloodthirsty cruelty right out of it. Prepare yourself for spoiled rotten celebs who expect to get their way as they attempt to work their way back into your good graces as true celebrities. 

I'll check this show out, but I doubt it will draw me in to watching the full season. Check back to see.  

Can the Dallas Cowboys Convince You to Switch to Dish Network or DIRECTV?

That's the million dollar question. Just minutes ago, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones held a press conference on ESPN Radio where he urged football fans nationwide to switch to satellite. Two days from now, the Dallas Cowboys will face the Green Bay Packers on NFL Network

I was livid until I heard Jones say that fans in both the DFW region and Green Bay will both be able to watch the game on a regular broadcast channel. If you live in the Dallas area, tune in to Channel 27 KDFI at 7pm. So crisis #1 solved. I get to watch the game.

The truth remains, however, that Dallas and Green Bay are the two most popular teams for nationwide televising. That means that millions of people nationwide will be looking for a place that has Dish Network or DIRECTV or making the switch themselves from cable in order to watch this game.

But answer me this: are you hardcore enough that a football game will make you switch providers? Will you switch from cable to satellite just to watch more football? Drop me a comment with a yea or nay. I really want to know. Because honestly, I'm cheap. I don't have cable OR satellite. I get enough shows that I want to watch on prime time broadcast. Of course, that may change with the writer's guild strike. But there is NO WAY that I'm signing up for satellite tv just to watch the Dallas Cowboys, and I love my Cowboys.

I would have searched high and low for somewhere to watch the game. There is a movie grill not too far away that usually puts the Cowboys game on a theater sized screen, and I've watched there once. That wasn't bad at all. I could do it again. But it's the principle of the thing. Don't take away my team just to sell me on satellite tv. Seriously.

So I'm glad that as a local Dallas fan, I'll get to watch the game as usual from the comfort of my own home. I'll be cheering on my Boys while my wife watches on with dismay over the loss of an evening.  

Writer’s Guild Strike Brings Quick Halt to Prime Time

You've heard whispers and vague comments about the Writer's Guild strike. Well, prepare to be affected. Michael Ausiello recently posted a list on TVGuide.com of television shows and how many remaining episodes you can expect to see this year. 

I won't mention most of them, because I don't care about most shows. I will briefly mention the shows in his partial list that I watch:

Bionic Woman
9 total episodes will be produced, so there are only 3 left 🙁

Chuck
13 episodes will be produced, so there are only 6 left.

Grey's Anatomy
11 episodes will be produced, so there are only 4 left. 

Heroes
12 episodes will be produced, so there are only 5 left.

House
12 episodes will be produced, so there are only 6 left.

LOST
8 episodes will be produced, so there are only 8 left.

NUMB3RS
12 episodes will be produced, so there are only 5 left. 

Shark
11 episodes will be produced, so there are only 5 left. 

Still waiting to hear about other favorites including Battlestar Galactica, NCIS, and October Road.  

FOX Locks Out House Fans for 8 Days

Already very late to the party, FOX continues to prove that they don't understand customer satisfaction. This time last year, you couldn't watch all primetime television shows from FOX. Only a few were available, and you had to watch them on MySpace.com/fox. 

This Fall season, FOX got their butts in gear and provided their own streaming video player on their own website. And guess what? You can FINALLY watch House MD online! Hurray!

But wait! There's a catch! You can only watch House 8 days after it airs on television! WHAT?!?!?!? If you happen to miss the show's original air date, you have to wait until one day AFTER the next week's episode. 

This is yet another network television company's attempt to encourage you the viewer to watch the original airing. Which makes no real sense, since FOX can make money through online advertising before and in the middle of shows like every other television station online. 

This is a case of telling the customer to stick it. FOX doesn't care that you can't afford TiVo. FOX doesn't care that you have a family and a life where you can't always sit in front of the boob tube. They want you to watch their show when it airs or they're going to penalize you and make you wait.

The other major television networks take a maximum of 48 hours after television broadcast to post episodes online. Most are available the morning after.

So, FOX, are you going to start thinking about we the people? Or should we just accept that you think you can put us on hold and we won't do anything about it? 

Revisiting Roswell

Roswell the tv seriesI can't remember why exactly I ended up watching Roswell reruns. Oh wait! Now I do. It was because of my beloved StumbleUpon. I stumbled upon a site where you can watch tv reruns and movies for free via streaming video. Roswell was on the list, and I couldn't help but watch. 

Roswell was that one show that Heather and I bonded over in college. We'd go over to her mom's house and watch it while Heather devoured more buttered popcorn than any 110 pound model should be allowed. To be fair, sometimes it was cookies.

She was also into Felicity, but I only caught maybe two episodes. College was actually one of those periods of life when I watched very little television. Movies were another story, but television was definitely NOT a priority.

I loved Roswell. Several things I attribute to the show: 1) introducing me to Dido and the awesome song, "Here With Me;" 2) being the first series I saw that overtly promoted the bands and songs used for each episode; 3) giving Heather and I something new and fun to enjoy together. 

Watching it slowly all over again, the plot is still entertaining, but the dialogue and plot are at times a little more juvenile than i remember. There are moments when a character gets all flustered over something petty. 

I love the show, and I wish they had continued more than three seasons. My wife insists that I don't wish it had continued because of what happens in season three. Guess I'll wait to see what happens again before I disagree with her. I do remember that the pregnant girl from LOST shows up at some point as the fourth alien.

Honestly, I want to know why Jason Behr and Brandon Fehr aren't leading men in other series or films. They are charismatic and intriguing actors. I get that sad feeling of unrealized potential.

Anyhow, here's to great memories and an excellent first season worth revisiting. 

Sabra Wins: America Gets It Wrong Again

Sabra JohnsonThe So You Think You Can Dance season three finale just concluded, and everyone I know is in shock. Sabra? Seriously? How on earth did she manage to beat Danny?

I wouldn't go so far as to say that this result was fixed by the show's producers, but I would say that they heavily promoted a female to win this year despite the obvious conclusion that Danny was the superior dancer.

Make that two years running that America has gotten it wrong. Last year, despite how charismatic Benji was, he couldn't hold a candle to Travis. Yet somehow America voted for Benji. But that was NOWHERE NEARLY as surprising as this season's finale. Danny was obviously the superior dancer. Neil was obviously the in-house crowd favorite. Lacey is Benji's sister. Sabra is this really talented and surprisingly fresh girl shorter than five feet tall. She's excellent, don't get me wrong. But she didn't deserve this prize.

Danny, Neil, and Lacey could each have won in my estimation. Each possessed a quality the others lacked. Sabra was definitely a ray of sunshine, but that is not the sort of quality you expect to be recognized and appreciated by the masses on a reality show / dance competition. You expect America to vote for the sexiest or the most charismatic. That is the way popularity seems to work. Except here.

You can't really begrudge her the prize. Sabra possesses the most excellent attitude of the final four dancers. She is positive energy wrapped up in an amazingly small package.

I'm amazed that Danny lost. I'm surprised that Lacey lost. I'm disappointed that Neil lost. I have no explanation for Sabra's victory. Perhaps some of you out there can explain this to me.  

Danny Tidwell For America’s Favorite Dancer

Danny TidwellThe final competition of So You Think You Can Dance featured Danny, Neil, Sabra, and Lacey. Each of these four dancers are extraordinarily talented. Sabra, though under 5', dances with intense energy and charisma. She is extremely athletic and able to adapt to almost any dance style (tonight's hip hop routine was a bit weak). Lacey plays the sex card a little too much during her solo acts for my taste, but she definitely exudes stage presence and confidence. Her big surprise was dancing so elegantly with Dannny tonight without a hint of overt sensuality. 

Neil is a gymnast turned dancer/actor. He is a crowd favorite and exudes larger than life presence on the stage. He really enjoys playing angry or devilish roles. Danny is obviously the superior dancer when it comes down to technique and discipline. He can do what no other dancer on the show can do – compete with anyone, anywhere.  

The unfortunate part is that Danny has been largely misunderstood throughout the season. Some of the judges thought him arrogant in the beginning, simply because he was perfect in form and did not express the nervous laughter and insecurity that most contestants do. He is very shy and is learning to unlock his personality throughout the performance. His technique is near flawless, and his willingness to express self is just starting to emerge.

Though Lacey and Neil are likely to be crowd favorites (both exude charisma and confidence), vote for Neil if you get a chance. The phone lines will be open for another hour and a half at least.

To vote for Lacey, dial 1-888-TEMPO-01

To vote for Neil, dial 1-888-TEMPO-02 

To vote for Danny, dial 1-888-TEMPO-03

To vote for Sabra, dial 1-888-TEMPO-04

These are your top four dancers. The winner will be announced Thursday evening. Don't miss it.

Kameron and Jaimie Are Voted Off

I am astonished. The results are in, and the two dancers leaving us this week on So You Think You Can Dance are Kameron and Jaimie. The voters were not consistent in this vote. Jaimie is obviously among the top 2 female dancers remaining. Only Lacey can compete with her style and ability. Sadly, votes are not always based on ability.

Jaimie's one downfall has been a lack of stage presence – more specifically, she lacked depth of expressed emotion. She always emoting the same expression. So I can't say anything except I am sad to see her go. She deserved to stay several rounds later. At the same time, I was relieved that the other girl with the fewest votes stayed (Lauren), although she does not possess the same skill level as Jaimie. Lauren has the stage presence Jaimie lacks. Put them together and they are the total package. 

This is exactly why Lacey will be the last girl standing. She has the skill and the stage presence. She has enough attitude for two dancers (often a little too far to the skanky side). The girl I believe most deserving of disqualification was Sara, who until Wednesday's performance had not proved to be more than a mid-level dancer.

On to the boys. My top 2, Danny and Neil are safe as they should be. They have the greatest technical abilities of the remaining guys. I expected to see Pasha and Dominic in the bottom four, based on the combination of skill and attitude. Pasha is one of the remaining dancers who is obviously limited without the benefit of a partner (I completely sympathize – I can't play one-on-one basketball to save my life although I'm not bad on a team).  Dominic has the heart but lacks the size and skill to be America's top choice.

Surprisingly, Pasha was voted safe and Kameron was on the chopping block. Since Sara was voted to stay, I assumed that image was more important than skill, but not so. Kameron is one of the top 3 best looking guys left with a cool hair style, but it wasn't enough. America didn't find him worthy, so he's done.

Prediction for next week:

Assuming the world doesn't turn upside down, I vote Pasha and Dominic into the bottom 4. Of the girls, Sara is definitely in the bottom, and either Lauren or Sabre is the other. Of the remaining girls, Lacey is the only lock. Sabre might make it to the Final Four, though her tiny size makes a victory next to impossible. She's also too nice of a person with not enough skank in her to combat the overwhelming skankiness of Lacey. I'm not completely against Lacey because her brother was awesome last year, but she definitely will not win the most sincere award.

My elimination picks for next week are Dominic and Sara. I love Lauren's attitude, but she might be there instead.  

So You Think You Can Dance – Top Ten

You now have your Top Ten dancers, America. Tonight's losers were no surprise. Anya was little more than a stripper in her solo dances. Her choice of attire was always atrocious and she basically shook her ass the entire time. Regardless of what style you might call it, I call it hooker-ish and not worthy of the Top Ten. 

Hok was everyone's favorite personality, but he simply couldn't dance formally to save his life. On his own, he bounces off the ground like he's made of rubber, and he's got sick skills. Hok will definitely make it in the bigs.

Here are your Top Ten dancers:

Guys: Danny, Dominic, Kameron, Neil, and Pasha

Girls: Jaimie, Lacey, Lauren, Sabra, and Sara

Predictions

I have a Final Four list already. The last two girls will be much more difficult to determine than the last two guys. For the Final Four, I have selected Danny, Neil, Jaimie, and Lacey. Sabra and Lauren both have a chance at the Final Four. Sara is the only one I expect to see bounce quickly. Of course, she's the female hip hop dancer, so perhaps she has enough tricks up her sleeve to last a little while longer. 

Pasha is a crowd favorite, but his partner-only training will be a weakness in the weeks to come when solos become the sole determining factor.  

Conclusion 

This year's cast on So You Think You Can Dance has been very talented, but we're missing the connection to dancers like Benji, Heidi, and Travis. Travis was my favorite dancer last year, and I feel robbed that he didn't win. But to be fair, Benji had the attitude that just wouldn't quit. 

Biggest Mistake of the Season

Without a doubt, the biggest mistake of the season occurred when the judges voted Jessi off the show. She had health problems and missed one dance routine with Pasha. Pasha danced with the instructor and did an excellent job. Jessi came back the following day and danced the same routine with Pasha for the audience, and they blew everyone away.

But because of her absent day, or because the judges felt like she was too unpredictable, they voted her off. Jessi could have made it to the Final Four. BIG MISTAKE! Biggest one of the season. Take that, Nigel. Stick that in your Twitter.