Jersey Shore Season Three Reunion

The third season reunion of Jersey Shore was pretty weak sauce. Filled with mostly boring rehashes of things that were annoying the first time around, there were only a few highlights to mention. Time for bullet points!

*Mike likes to put the girls he brings back to the house in his clothes so they’re easier to remove.

*Snooki does not look good. Way too orange. She also says whatever was between her and Vinny is dead. Vinny does not agree.

*JWOWW says she should have dumped Tom when she cheated on him with Pauly. She’s still with Roger. She looks fantastic.

*Ronnie has a good point: Sammi was happy when Mike told her that the note was real in season 2, but mad when he told the truth about Sammi and Arvin.

*Ronnie and Sammi are still broken up. Neither of them are saying they’ll never get back together.

That’s about it. I noticed two things about this reunion. Actually, the missus pointed out the first one: the laughter and crowd noise sounded really canned. Second, they should just have Pauly host these things as the woman who does is charmless and just keeps asking the same question in different forms over and over again. I’m glad the season’s over. I need a break. What’s that? Real Housewives Of New York is kicking off at the same time soon? Oi.

Blogging Big Bang Theory Season 4 “The Zarnecki Incursion”

I’ve missed Big Bang Theory lately thanks to a mix of reruns and errands keeping us away from the house. This seems like a really strange TV season in that new episodes have been very scattershot ever since Thanksgiving. Anyway, I had fun with tonight’s episode which was split between Sheldon dealing with a hacker who stole all of his in-game World Of Warcraft stuff and Penny dealing with seeing Leonard and Priya together. The episode kicks off with Leonard returning home to see Sheldon in hysterics talking to a police officer about something being stolen. It soon comes to light that it was his WoW account that got hacked and everything he had spent 3000 amassing was now gone. The cop leaves because, well, that’s not what cops do and Sheldon’s left waiting for his friends to get done with baths and other activities to come over and help him figure out what’s going on.

Sheldon really got to shine in this episode as everything was all about him, but without his friends getting annoyed with him, something that rarely happens. They’re all on his side, trying to figure out what’s going on. Penny even brings Sheldon a day-old cheesecake to help ease the pain. She passes Priya on her way back to her place where she soon finds herself complaining to Amy and Bernadette about having Priya’s relationship with Leonard rubbed in her face over spiked ice cream. There’s a great moment where Penny offers Amy Khalua on her ice cream and remembers her mom telling her about peer pressure. She agrees to the taste and announces she’s drunk after one bite. Mayim Bialik is such a perfect fit in this show now that they’ve established her as friends with Bernadette and Penny. Bernadette and Amy decided to be mean towards Priya partly because they’re friends with Penny and partly because it’s what primates do.Back in the boys’ apartment, the guys are assembled to help Sheldon get his WoW gear back. Raj offers to let his lady character have sex with someone to get information about who the thief is. Priya’s none too pleased to be waiting for her boyfriend to play a game with his friends and takes off. 

Next, the boys head to confront Todd Zarnecki after Howard discovers his true identity (and after they stop  by his house to watch Wheel Of Fortune with his mom, though she’s not in the room, of course). They drive down, rocking out to a quest music CD Raj put together, hit traffic and finally get to his house. Sheldon even brought a Bat’leth which I’m ashamed to say I knew right away, though thankfully didn’t know how to spell correctly. Todd’s kind of a giant nerd who refuses to give Sheldon his stuff back and swipes the Klingon weapon, closes the door and the guys are back in the car. Leonard’s car breaks down, so they call Penny to come get them (he lied to Priya and told her he was working late). Penny first notes that Leonard’s lying to his girlfriend and then heads back to Todd’s house, kicks the giant in the junk and makes him swear to give Sheldon his stuff back.

All in all, the episode isn’t really important in the greater sense of the show as an overall story, but it was still really funny and balanced the stories and characters well together, no small feat considering this episode had nine important characters all with their own jokes and beats. Well done all around.

FAVORITE MOMENTS/QUOTES

“They took my battle ostrich.” – Sheldon. “Oh, no, not Glen.” – Leonard.

“Can you at least point me in the direction of a rogue ex cop?” – Sheldon.

“There’s not enough chamomile tea in the world to quell the rage in our heart.” – Sheldon.

Penny explaining she had to carry Leonard when they were dating and she had to drag him to the beach. Bernadette one-ups her by saying that Howard almost burst into flame like a vampire.

“Drunk” and surly Amy.

Priya and Penny walking up the stairs in awkward silence.

Real World Watcher: Las Vegas Episode 4 “Three Hookups And A Break Up”

Hey, everyone, Nany kind of sucks. It became clear to me while watching this week’s episode that she went out to Las Vegas looking for any excuse to break up with her boyfriend. Judging a relationship from the outside is impossible, even moreso when it’s on TV and you only get to see one person taking about it, but it seems like Nany was the bad one in that pairing and Jordy was the good one. I’m jumping the gun again, though. The episode kicked off with Leroy talking about how Adam is clearly pushing Nany to break up with her boyfriend. While Adam and Nany go grab some breakfast, that’s the topic of conversation for the other roommates and Leroy’s opinion seems to be the general consensus. While eating their meal (I’m guessing they get to eat free as long as they’re in the Hard Rock casino) Adam talks about how hard it is living with someone he’s so attracted to who has a boyfriend. Nany replies that it’s equally hard for her and that she feels so alone in the house. Really? Continue reading Real World Watcher: Las Vegas Episode 4 “Three Hookups And A Break Up”

DC Focus Trade Post: Fraction & Hard Time

FRACTION (DC)
Written by David Tischman, drawn by Timothy Green II
Collects Fraction #1-6
A few years back DC tried something interesting called Focus, the idea being to tell superhero/fantasy/sci-fi-based stories not constrained by the larger DCU. None but Hard Time seemed to have any legs as the rest got cancelled mostly within six months. That definitely presents a problem when collecting these comics and it’s a huge problem with Fraction. The concept is solid, with a quartet of friends coming across a battle suit while on a crime spree and splitting its parts between them. The boots let one guy fly, the gauntlets shoot energy blasts, the helmet has a lot of discoverable functions and the chest plate is protective.

The strengths of this book include Tischman’s solid characterization of these four dudes (even if they might come across as a little basic given the first six issues), the concept and Green’s excellent art. He was actually the reason I decided to read this book as I became a huge fan of his when he worked on Starlord.

The problems with this book are in the execution of the story. SPOILERS AHEAD. There’s a guy working for the company that created the suit who has been hired to get the parts back from our “heroes.” He’s a pretty big threat until his boss shuts him down. Unfortunately, that happens around the fourth issue (it’s hard to tell because they don’t break them up with the covers like a lot of other trades) and we’re left without a larger antagonist for our boys to be afraid of. Sure, they’re dealing with the law, but nothing bigger. Four more dudes in the armors get sent out, but the book ends with them literally still in the air on their way to get these guys. Wah wah. It’s kind of like if Darth Vader had been defeated 2/3 of the way through New Hope and the Emperor doesn’t send anyone else to kill Luke Skywalker.

Anyway, with the book’s cancellation or just a poor ending to a six issue run, Fraction doesn’t really pay off for the time it takes to read unless you’re just a fan of looking at Green’s art, which is exactly as awesome as you’d think it would.

HARD TIME: 50 TO LIFE (DC)
Written by Steve Gerber, drawn by Brian Hurtt
Collects Hard Time #1-6
After reading Fraction, I remembered that I had the one and only Hard Time volume sitting in one of my to-read boxes. I figured that would make for an interesting themed post, so I went with it. Hard Time is a take on the Columbine killers if one of them didn’t really want to hurt anyone, didn’t kill himself, had some kind of superpowers and went to jail. When Ethan passes out a red energy monster thing starts running around and taking vengeance on his enemies. This volume focuses on the crime itself (Ethan never hurt anyone and only went in on this as a joke, but his powers did kill his friend/co-criminal) and then Ethan’s early days in prison. It’s a pretty interesting and ballsy comic which should come as no surprise when you look at Steve Gerber’s career. I am surprised DC put the book out though. I’ve been on a Prison Break kick lately, so reading Hard Time was like checking out a different side of that coin.

But, the book is not without its problems. I have trouble buying the idea that a teenager would get sent to gen pop in a prison, especially knowing that he didn’t kill anyone. That’s ridiculous. Having so much trouble with the fulcrum the story balances on nearly made me put the trade down, but I kept with it. The other problem I have with the story is how vaguely defined Ethan’s supernatural abilities are. After six issues all we know is that it can smash a guy into bars, throw toilet paper all over the cell block and walk around mostly unseen throughout the prison. That’s it. I was hoping to have a better grasp of that by the end of the collection, but was left feeling kind of empty.

Unfortunately, DC hasn’t collected the rest of this series which went on for two volumes and 19 issues total. At the end of the first trade, I’m not completely sold on whether I should track down the rest of those issues or not. I’m kind of intrigued, but not super interested, especially if it would cost a significant amount of coin. I think I’m going to let this one fade out of my mind with a possible eye towards the cheap boxes at cons for what I haven’t read yet. I know this book had it’s fans, what do you think?

Ad It Up: Freedom Stick

The first wireless controller I ever had was for the Xbox 360 and that amount of freedom was pretty mindblowing. I can’t imagine if I had that kind of tech when I was a kid (this ad was from Silver Surfer #18, from 1988). Holy crap, I think that’s the year I got my Nintendo. I could never get into this controller set up though. I love it when actually standing up and playing an arcade game, but not when sitting in my room moving Mario around.

A Few Thoughts On Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

I took a break from my consumption of Prison Break to go through a few movies my Instant Netflix Queue told me were expiring soon and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was on the top of the list because it was expiring soonest, was directed by Howard Hawks, stars Marilyn Monroe and, most importantly, it’s pretty short. I didn’t intend for this to be a full-on review, but it kind of morphed into one as I thought more and more about the movie. So, let’s jump in.

I’m always forget the artificiality involved with romantic comedies from the 1950s. In this case, Monroe’s character has a thing for men with money because she wants to be taken care of while her dancing partner played by Jane Russell likes the handsome fellas. Neither deviate from this path, nor do they seem to fully understand the other’s position. Everything ends exactly how you think it will, but it really is the journey that’s important and this journey involves a cruise liner, the US Olympic team and Paris, so at least there’s something to look at aside from the ladies and the dance numbers. On the other hand, there’s a kind of brutal honesty involved in this story and the portrayal of the characters. Sure, things wind up well for them, but there’s something to be said about people staying steadfast to their desires. Those things don’t just change overnight or thanks to an imagined betrayal of trust. People have a hard time changing and this movie goes along those lines from beginning to end, you just keep looking until someone fills the cut-out you’re looking for. Sometimes that’s forever sometimes it’s for now. Relationships are tricky. Okay enough philosophy. Jane Russell was totally barking up the wrong tree if she thought these dudes would be into her:

They ain’t there for love with you honey, but I bet they have a grand old time together. Speaking of which, George Winslow would have been about 6 or 7 if my math is correct when he played Mr. Henry Spofford III and got to sit between Russell and Monroe. If he wasn’t king of his world by that point, I don’t know what it must take to impress Hollywood kids. He also steals scenes from his counterparts like a master pickpocket picking off tourists in Times Square.

Killing it. Anyway, the most famous part of this movie is Marylin performing “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” which I’ve seen before in various clip shows and copied/parodied/homaged a million times. The number itself was pretty much what I expected. This movie isn’t really jam packed with epic dance numbers. I read that the filmmakers had to teach Monroe to dance less sexy and Russell to spice it up a bit. That really comes through in the performances. Russell’s stiff and seems like she should be playing more straight ahead comedic roles without dancing or striking dark ladies in mystery flicks. I know nothing about her, but she does get to show her comedic and sexy sides, I’m just not sure if the dancing fits. Her impersonating Monroe at the end of the film and doing this number on her own is pretty  fantastic. I wish I could dance my way out of my next parking ticket.