Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Amy Adams & One Direction

It’s the last Saturday Night Live of 2014.  What a year it’s been.  We’ve lost Seth Meyers (among others) and gained Sasheer Zamata (among others).  It’s truly been a year full of growing pains for the show. 

But Amy Adams is hosting the SNL Christmas episode, which traditionally features special guests.  Who will show up?  And will this episode end the year with a bang or a whimper? 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Martin Freeman & Charli XCX

It's funny, but I don't think I've ever seen Martin Freeman in a comedic role.  I've yet to watch the original The Office.  I guess Sherlock is slightly comedic.  I'm very curious what he's going to bring to Saturday Night Live.  

Hopefully, SNL's writers are hopped up on holiday cheer and give us something worth watching this week.  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday Morning Quarterback – James Franco & Nicki Minaj

I was looking forward to this episode, mainly because I was a pretty big fan of James Franco’s SNL documentary.  It was pretty interesting look at what goes into the making of an episode of SNL.  And how blindingly white things are behind the scenes. 

And having Franco host with Nicki Minaj as the musical guest sets up all sorts of interesting things.  Will the writers at Saturday Night Live be refreshed by their holiday break or rusty? 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Monday Munchies – Angie’s Holidrizzle Candy Corn Kettle Corn

I like being adventurous.  I enjoy taking chances with food.  Sometimes that’s ingesting something after it’s “use by” date.  Sometimes it’s trying something that should, by all accounts, be awful. 

I’m a firm believer in the whole risk versus reward paradigm.  It’s often yielded impressive successes, but occasionally there’s a horrible failure. 

Where does Angie’s Holidrizzle Candy Corn Kettle Corn rank? 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Munchies – Ben & Jerry’s Candy Bar Pie

I love New York.  I really do.  But one of the things I don’t dig is that limited access to ice cream flavor.  My grocery store, Pathmark, never stocks up limited edition flavors and rarely gets any new flavors.  It’s frustrating. 

Fortunately I’m visiting family for the holiday, which means I’ve got access to a wider selection of Ben & Jerry’s flavors, including the limited batch Candy Bar Pie.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Cameron Diaz & Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars

Cameron Diaz is one of those fearless women who isn’t afraid to be goofy and is cool with making fun of herself.  That makes her an ideal SNL host.  And she’s done it before. 

Of course last week’s episode of Saturday Night Live was a genuine triumph.  Did it set the bar unreasonably high? 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Morning Quarterback - Woody Harrelson & Kendrick Lamar


Woody Harrelson is hosting SNL again.  The only thing I asked was that the writers didn’t do a Cheers sketch.  I was totally fine with True Detective making it’s way onto the show, but Cheers was way past it’s pop cultural relevance. 

So did the writers for Saturday Night Live let me down?  And did Kendrick Lamar knock my socks off? 

Read on. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Chris Rock & Prince

Chris Rock and Prince.  Two people whose contributions to pop culture I haven’t avidly consumed since the 1990’s are the feature of SNL this week. 

For Rock, it’s coming home to Saturday Night Life.  For Prince he’s actually gotten Lorne to put both of his performances together into one supersize performance.  It’s a very Prince like thing to do. 

So how was the episode? 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Movie Week - A Late Quartet


I’ve already mentioned how I’ve been seeking out Philip Seymour Hoffman films.  I very rarely use the search function in Netflix, but when I put his name in, A Late Quartet popped up. 

It’s always a gamble when you try out a film that you’ve never heard of.  It may be a hidden gem or perhaps you haven’t heard of it for good reason.  I happen to dig that gamble. 

So which one is A Late Quartet? 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Jim Carrey & Iggy Azalea

Canadian Jim Carrey became a household name thanks to In Living Color, a show with a predominately Black cast. Australian Iggy Azalea is a star thanks to a faux Southern accent and a vigorous cosign by T.I. Basically both of these celebrities have realized the American dream with the aid of Black culture. 

This should be an interesting episode of SNL. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Movie Week - The Savages


Like I said earlier in the week, I was completely blown by the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.  He impressed me whenever he’d pop up in Paul Thomas Anderson films, which made me a fan of his.   He’s probably the best part of Mission Impossible III and I’m sad that he’s gone. 

If there’s a silver lining it’s that I haven’t seen everything he’s done.  I’m still discovering his roles and films. 

The Savages is one of those films. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Movie Week - Beginners

via minimalmovieposters.tumblr.com
I tend to enjoy a good personal movie.  There’s something about a person really investing, emotionally, in a project that makes me want to at least give it a go.  I mean if they put that much into it, the least I can do is to try it our, right? 

Beginners is one of those types of films. 

Movie Week - In A World


I love films that offer a peek into a world that I don’t really know that much about.  I like that into of something that I don’t really understand.  Those films can be a bunch of fun.

I’m also very interested in writing and directing debuts.  I often find inspiration in see how these artists brought their vision to fruition. 

In A World is one such film. 

Movie Week - Escape From Tomorrow

via jorislaquittant.deviantart.com
Part of the joy of Movie Week is checking out a film that I probably wouldn’t have ordinarily have watched.  Sometimes it’s because I wouldn’t have had access to it in theaters or because it’s not a huge movie and it flew under the radar. 

It’s a fun opportunity to venture outside of my normal comfort zone as a viewer.  Of course sometimes it’s not so fun. 

And so we have Escape from Tomorrow. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Movie Week - World War Z

via rsvlts.com
I remember reading stories about how World War Z was doomed.  It was over-budget and had to do extensive reshoots.  Those are never good things and the film sounded like a mess.

Still, it ended up being successful enough to have a sequel announced.  World War Z was a hit, despite all of the things that apparently went wrong behind the scenes. 

I was kind of looking forward to watching it. 

Movie Week - Cold Mountain

I am not much of a reader.  I purchase maybe one book a year and I usually don’t read it.  Case in point; I picked up Jay-Z’s Decoded when it was released and never got around to reading it. 

So the whole idea of a film being based on a book, isn’t really a selling point for me.  Maybe if it’s based on a comic book, I might check it out.  But I guess I’m not the biggest fan of adaptations. 

Cold Mountain is an adaptation. 

Movie Week - Lovelace


I find the adult entertainment industry to be fascinating.  I participated in National Novel Writing Month and wrote about the industry affected a group of disparate individuals.  I never finished it. 

One of the reasons I find is fascinating is how it exists in both the mainstream and fringe at the same time.  It’s a pretty unique phenomenon.  And Deep Throat was really the start of that. 

Which brings us to Lovelace. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Movie Week - Fruitvale Station

via richardtyi.com
I kind of put off watching Fruitvale Station.  I think I was worried about what sort of mindset it would put me in, especially given the current climate. 

But I’m always rooting for alums of The Wire.  And especially for “Wallace.”

Watching Fruitvale Station was inevitable.

Movie Week - Filth

via http://letskisstomakeitreal.com
I have an Apple TV.   I’m a fan.  It’s crazy convenient and given the other Apple products that I own, it fits right in.

I also have the screensaver set up to the movie poster option.  So, whenever things have been idle for five minutes, up comes a parade of movie posters.  Some are upcoming movies while others have come and flopped.  Some are new to iTunes, while others are apparently available on other services. 

It’s some great advertising.  And it’s how I first came across Filth. 

Movie Week - Pineapple Express

via brickhut.wordpress.com

Seth Rogen and James Franco.  A decade ago you’d never have guessed that in 2014 those two actors would have one foot firmly planted in pretentious.  I don’t think it’s a scenario that many people would have expected, yet it’s totally true.

Franco’s attempt at achieving polymath status has turned his critics into haters.  I’m fine with dude, because for every book of poetry you get a doc on Saturday Night Live.  He knows how to mix things up. 

Rogen on the other hand, not content to be famous as both a writer and comic actor, has recently ventured into social criticism via twitter.  It’s annoying and shows that he takes himself more seriously than anyone else does. 

Which brings us to Pineapple Express.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Movie Week - Lawless

via pinterest.com/jacobsimms
I remember being intrigued by Lawless.  Two-thirds of the brothers in this film were portrayed by actors that I first became acquainted with via Showtime shows. 

Tom Hardy played Jack Donnelly on Meadowlands, arguably the most compelling character on that show.  And Jason Clarke portrayed Tommy Caffee on Brotherhood, a show that’s easily one of my top ten all time favorites. 

So, how did I feel about Lawless? 

Movie Week - Step Brothers

via behance.net
I used to be a fan of Will Ferrell.  I can remember when he was the funniest guy on SNL.  I remember watching the Don’t Fear the Reaper sketch live.

I even went along with Will when he ventured to the movies.  At least in the beginning.  Old School was dope and the first Anchorman felt fresh.  But something happened and Will Ferrell movies stopped being “must see.” 

And that’s how I missed Step Brothers the first time around. 

Movie Week - Stoker

via behance.net
I’m really trying to remember how I first encountered the trailer for Stoker.  I want to say maybe it was in the theater?  Maybe The Charles?  I genuinely can’t recall. 

But I do remember being very intrigued.  It was a very well done trailer that gave the briefest hint of what the film was about  but completely captured the tone and mood of the film.  I liked what I saw and I’ve wanted to check out Stoker ever since. 

I’d missed it on HBO Go a couple times, but thankfully the stars aligned for Movie Week. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Movie Week - Oldboy


The second part of our “remake double feature” is Oldboy. 

I dig Spike Lee.  I’ve basically been down with Spike from the beginning, though I was clearly too young to be watching She’s Gotta Have It.  I’ve grown to appreciate the type of filmmaker that he is.

He can make a studio picture.  He can also make a personal film.  He’s also made a few “message” films.  But the beauty of Spike Lee is that you know what your in for, depending on the hat that he’s wearing. 

So where does Oldboy fit? 

Movie Week – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

via richardtyi.com
I’m a longtime fan of Ben Stiller.  I can’t tell you how happy I was when The Ben Stiller Show was released on dvd.  That was like the one show that really defined my sense of comedy. 

I haven’t been overly thrilled with Ben Stiller’s work in film.  More often than not Ben Stiller’s been playing variations of the same character for most of this millennium.  He hasn’t been a “must see” draw for me for a while. 

Still, I was interested in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Morning Quarterback - Bill Hader & Hozier

Hader is coming home!  This is the one episode of SNL so far this season that I genuinely have expectations and hope for.  When Hader left SNL, I got a bit saddened. 

But now he’s back with some musical guest I’ve never heard of.  Will Saturday Night Live be amazing this week, or is the bar so high that it can only be disappointing? 

Friday, October 10, 2014

My Fall TV Schedule - Fridays

Fridays are a dead zone when it comes to TV.  Gone are the days of TGIF or even Fox’s genre nights, anchored by The X-Files.  Now, more often than not, shows are sent to Friday to die. 

Oh, how the television landscape has changed. 

So, what am I watching on Friday nights? 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Fall TV Schedule - Thursdays


Remember when Thursday offered “must see tv?”  Seems like so long ago, doesn’t it?  NBC abandoned it’s comedy block.  Fox too.  CBS has a powerhouse with Thursday Night Football, while ABC dominates the scripted tv game via Shonda Rhimes. 

Is it wrong to miss those days?  Is it like longing for vaudeville, something that will clearly never return?  Well, if it is, I don’t want to be right.

So, what am I watching on Thursday? 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My Fall TV Schedule - Wednesdays

I like Wednesday.  Wednesday is when comic books are released.  Wednesday is right in the middle of week, which is pretty awesome positioning. 

But Wednesdays in terms of television, is pretty weak.  I think the only show that I regularly watch on Wednesday night is The Bridge, but not only is that a summer show, but it just wrapped it’s second season. 

Can any show fill that void?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My Fall TV Schedule - Tuesdays

No one really has an opinion about Tuesday.  Everyone hates Monday and loves Friday.  Wednesday is Hump Day and Thursday is known for great television.  But Tuesday?  No one has anything to say about Tuesday. 

I can’t say that I disagree with the lack of identity for Tuesday.  I feel pretty “eh’ about it too.  I also feel that way about the television shows it offers. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Munchies – Ben & Jerry’s Two Wild & Crazy Pies

Just in time for the Fall we get a new flavor for Ben & Jerry’s line of SNL Batches.  And SNL Batches should be a great thing.  But much like some sketches on Saturday Night Live, the execution of some these flavors leaves a little to be desired. 

Gilly’s Catastrophic Crunch lived up to its name, while Lazy Sunday lived up to its inspiration. 

So, how will Two Wild & Crazy Pies stack up?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

My Fall TV Schedule - Sundays

Sorry about slacking off on my Fall TV Schedule posts, but I got caught up in something (which I’ll post about later) that got me tied up. 

But now we’re back with Sunday, arguably the busiest day of the week for television.  Pay cable and AMC roll out their finest hours of programming on Sundays, which marks it as a prestige day for viewing. 

What will I be watching? 

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Sarah Silverman & Maroon 5

Sarah Silverman returning to Saturday Night Live has me kind of excited.  Sarah is known for being outspoken and no blushing violet, so I’m curious to see what she’ll do with the live audience at her former workplace. 

And of course since it’s early in the season SNL’s writers are still optimistic and haven’t been beaten down by the grueling pace of the show.  They’ve still got energy, which means this week’s episode should be an improvement over last week’s debut. 

I mean it’ can’t get worse, right?

Monday, September 29, 2014

My Fall TV Schedule – Mondays

I’m a fan of television.  So you’d think that I’d be a fan of the Fall television season.  I’ve gotta say; I’m kinda not a fan of it. 

There are a ton of shows that made their debuts and you don’t know a) which ones are good and b) which ones are going to survive.  It’s a gamble, a crapshoot. 

Still, I participate.  Here’s what I’m watching on Mondays. 

Monday Munchies – Pepperidge Farm Limited Edition Blueberry Cobbler

I’ve been spoiled.  For the past seven years I’ve basically had a steady stream of homemade cookies.  Whether it’s family, friends or coworkers I’ve been supplied with fresh cookies baked with love. 

In fact I sort of unofficially swore off of store bought cookies. 

Still, there are few words that prompt me to buy something like “Limited Edition.”  And that’s how I came to pick up Pepperidge Farm’s limited edition Blueberry Cobbler. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Chris Pratt & Ariana Grande

Saturday Night Live is back!  Over the summer there were additions (Michael Che, Pete Davidson) subtractions (John Milhiser, Noel Wells, Brooks Wheelan, Nasim Pedrad) and even some lateral moves (Mike O'Brien, Cecily Strong).  Time will tell how well those moves pay off.  

Hosting the season premiere is Chris Pratt, who is coming off a huge summer.  He's known for comedy, so this should be a breeze.  Welcome back SNL!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday Munchies – Little Caesar’s Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza

It’s rare that I try a gimmicky pizza.  It’s not that I’m a pizza purist, I’m just not all that interested crusts stuffed with things or that detach to become breadsticks.  I don’t see the need for it and it doesn’t engage my curiosity.

I do like a good white pizza, but that’s as close as I get to tinkering with the format. 

But, as I’m sure you know if you’ve read a Monday Munchies before, if there’s one that I’m a fan of it’s salty.  So the idea of a pizza with a pretzel crust proved tantalizing.  And thus I went to Little Caesar’s. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Amazon Prime – Really

It will be interesting to see what direction Amazon takes as an entertainment creator.   Alpha House was a show that thought it was more clever than it actually was and Betas was cancelled before I even checked out an episode. 

But will Amazon set it’s sights on becoming the next “next HBO” or will it be content to the next CBS?  I can’t call it. 

Closing out our week long look at Amazon Prime’s latest group of pilots is Really.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Amazon Prime - Hand of God

Everyone loves an anti-hero.  It’s why The Sporanos was a hit show and why people rooted for Vic Mackey on The ShieldBreaking Bad which just cleaned up at the Emmys because it was a great television show that happened to focus on a meth cook.  You can’t get much more antihero than that. 

With the previous batch of pilots, Amazon presented Bosch, which may have antihero elements, but seems firmly cemented in “cop show” clichés.  This time around Amazon went full antihero with Hand of God.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Amazon Prime – The Cosmopolitans

I almost feel like Amazon pulled the trigger on it’s latest pilot season a tad early.  Like perhaps it’s trying to counter the bad press Amazon’s been getting lately in regards to strong-arming companies and it’s treatment of employees. 

Not that the shows feel rushed, but they kind of dropped out of thin air as if Amazon wanted to change the conversation abruptly. 

Anyway, today’s focus is on The Cosmopolitans. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Amazon Prime - Hysteria

So Amazon has pushed out five brand new pilots, three comedies and two dramas.  Last time around the "genre" show was The After, an intriguing offering from Chris Carter that shared much of it's DNA with Lost.

This time around Hysteria fills that slot. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Amazon Prime - Red Oaks

Amazon’s third pilot season has arrived.  The last pilot season saw four of the five pilots picked up to series, with only The Rebels failing to make the cut.  Yet before any of them have begun to air (or stream) Amazon is already pushing ahead with a new batch of pilots. 

Perhaps it’s a good idea that Amazon put out the new pilots before the season group was fed to the wolves.  That way, these pilots can fail or succeed on their own merits without (potentially) having to carry the weight of Amazon’s streaming service on their shoulders. 

First up is Red Oaks.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Skip’s Emmy® Picks

It's that time of year again.  Fall is just around the corner and the best days of the summer are behind us.  Seems like just the right time for television to honor it's best and brightest, and if history holds, Jim Parsons.

That's right it's time of the Emmy Awards, this year, thanks to the VMA's and preseason football, on a Monday.  As is tradition, what follows are my picks for who will/should win.  I'm certainly looking forward to seeing how things play out tomorrow.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Munchies – Ben & Jerry’s Turtle Cheesecake

I used to work at a certain factory known for cheesecake.  It was quite the fun job.  One of the perks was getting “dead” cheesecake, which was cheesecake that wasn’t perfect enough to be sold to the masses. 

Basically I ate cheesecake every day I worked for a year.  Needless to say I’ve rarely eaten it since.  I’ve exhausted my appetite for cheesecake.  It’s done.  Over. 

Still, when I saw Turtle Cheesecake at the Scoop Shop, I knew I had to at least try it out. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sork of July - Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip 1.22

Wait, what kind of day has it been? (via cityofangels.freeforums.org)
And so we come the end of Sork of July.  

I feel the need to point out that Sork of July was inspired by Tim Stevens, whose March M.A.N.T.I.S
really paved the way for this project.  Also, as my (former) roommate, he sat through every episode with me.  

Todays episode is "K & R part IV" "What Kind of Day Has It Been?"

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sork of July - Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip 1.21

Studio 60 needs more Mary Tate. Every show needs more Mary Tate.
Aaron Sorkin is a screenwriter.  He's an Oscar winning screenwriter.  I think he should collaborate with Martin Scorsese.  I'd really like to see Sorkin write a Scorsese crime flick.  

Can you imagine the best of both worlds?  Sorkin's dialogue with Scorsese shots.  How great would that be?  We should get a Kickstarter started.  Are you guys down?  

Today's episode is "K & R part III."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sork of July - Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip 1.20

Worst press conference ever.
I've decided that Denny is my second favorite character on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, after Mary of course.  I find Denny fascinating and I wish there was more of him.

He worked on Studio 60 with Matt and was there before Ricky and Ron.  But he never rose through the ranks and he only left to work on Peripheral Vision Man.  He's sort of a slacker, but he pulls his own weight.  Like I said, he's fascinating.

I also secretly believe he's a blood relation to Stillman Frank from The Newroom.

Today's episode is "K & R Part II."

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sork of July - Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip 1.19

Which is more labored; Jordan's unborn daughter's breathing or the "War on Terror" storyline? 
How cool would it be if Sorkin was given scripting duties to a superhero movie?  It's not that farfetched; there are a ton of superhero movies with even more just announced at SDCC.  I think there's room for a Sorkin scripted superhero flick.  

I think Batman vs Superman would be just as interesting if it was an East Coast intellectual butting heads with guy from the Midwest.  Let's be honest; Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent are basically Matt Albie and Hannah Harriet Hayes already.  Danny is Alfred and Jordan is Wonder Woman.  

Just think about it.  

Today's episode is "K & R."

Monday Munchies – Ben & Jerry’s Coconut Seven Layer Bar

Coconut is one of those things that both seems awesome and not worth all the fuss.  I can remember as a kid, my family trying hard to open a coconut, which seems impervious to modern tools.  And result wasn’t nearly as refreshing as television had made it seem. 

Maybe it’s because coconuts pop up on televion and in films on deserted islands, where a protagonist is without food, so a coconut is much needed sustenance.  I’ve also found coconut water as a beverage to be a less than satisfying experience. 

So how would Ben & Jerry’s Coconut Seven Layer Bar ice cream measure up to my expectations? 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sork of July - Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip 1.18

Believe it or not, this is a pretty inventive cold open (via ovguide.com)
I'm kind of sad that Sorkin doesn't try to do the shared universe thing.  I mean, he's done three shows involving television networks and there's been like zero overlap.  In fact I'm pretty sure the only overlap between any of his shows is that the law firm Gage Whitney pops up in both The West Wing and Studio 60.

Here's to hoping that Sorkin's next television show about a television show manages to link everything into one cohesive Sorkin-verse.

Anyway, today's episode is "Breaking News."

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sork of July – Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip 1.17

Literally the only person happy by the end of this episode (siskoid.blogspot.com)
So, at this point in Studio 60’s season it’s been placed on hiatus, moved from Mondays to Thursdays and been cancelled.   And each of those things happened before it actually returned to the air. 

This episode holds a couple distinctions.  First, it’s completely sans Bradley Whitford, Amanda Peet and Matthew Perry.  Secondly it clocks in at just over 37 minutes long, making it about six minutes short of the usual runtime. 

If anyone know why this episode is short, please leave the answer in the comments. 

Today’s episode is “The Disaster Show”

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