‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ Cast Announced, Lameness to be Announced Later This Week

Posted in Survivor with tags , , on January 10, 2011 by Nick Caruso

It’s officially official: two returning castaways will rejoin the tribes on the spring edition of Survivor …but let’s spoil that later on, shall we?

(The spoiler will be located directly under the Survivor logo – read easy til then, and read below that to know who the returning douchebags castaways are.)

CBS announced the cast on its official page with photos, bios, videos and more! The two mystery members are marked as question marks, giving us a grand total of 18 tribe members. EW has a slammin’ photo gallery including brief bios and little blurbs of fun facts. Check it out!

The Winz is not so sure how we feel about the new “twist.” Redemption Island sounds like something too close to a Real World/Road Rules Challenge and we all know Survivor is far superior to that. So they vote someone out and then get them back when they win a duel? Won’t that deplete almost all of the tension at Tribal? “Who cares who is voted out, they can just win the Redemption round and return!” Yikes.

Another side note – more than half of this cast is from the L.A. area. (Casting department getting lazy, Probsty?) It’s been no secret that Survivor does a ton of recruiting for the show, as opposed to old-school video submissions/interviews, but enough is enough already. Some of our best cast members were every-day normal-guys! The over-abundance of recruiting techniques (i.e. – finding castaways in Hollywood bars) makes it less possible that they’ll find the next Rupert, Jane, Denise or Big Tom – and that can and will mess with the show’s dynamic. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow…but someday.

I’m extremely leery about this one, folks. Regardless, the new season starts February 16 on CBS.

And now for some other Survivor business:

As you may have noticed, I didn’t really chime in regarding the Nicaragua finale. It’s probably because the entire show ended with a big: MEH. It’s boring to watch someone “Colby” their way to the final (Australia-Colby, not Heroes-vs-Villains-Colby!). It’s boring to watch a final tribal when it’s so blatantly obvious who is going to win. And goddammit, HOLLY was voted out!

Who wasn’t rooting for Holly!? It would’ve been an epic redemption story! She was shaky and shady during her first week, but totally upped her game as the show progressed. Even though she didn’t win, I’m still a huge fan of hers and found her story to be both interesting and compelling. And if the show continues to recruit, we can say goodbye to the Hollys of Survivor!

Nicaragua was a mediocre season, at best. Maybe this is why producers decided to bring back…(spoiler below!)

Russell Hantz and Boston Rob. Ugh. Somebody kill me, please.  If there ever was a reason for this die-hard fan to stop watching the show – I think it would be Hantz’s third appearance in four season coupled with Boston Rob’s fourth.

This better be fucking good, Probst.


Griffin Confirms the End of ‘My Life on the D-List’

Posted in What's NOT on the telly? with tags , , , on January 7, 2011 by Nick Caruso

Reality Blurred reports that Kathy Griffin’s Bravo reality series My Life on the D-List is officially over, because, well, Griffin is no longer a D-Lister. This pretty much seems like a no-brainer.

Griffin hinted at the show’s conclusion in mid-November, but with Bravo’s announcement of four Kathy Griffin comedy specials airing this year, the official cat has been let out of its official bag.

“It was a really tough decision because I think of the D-List as pretty much my baby for the last six seasons and I also think it was really time to stop doing it. Reality is great, but I really didn’t set out to be a reality star. So now it’s time to spread my wings and show that I’m a little different than Kate Gosselin. I’m not saying better, but maybe separate myself from the pack a little bit,” she told People.

In a press release, Bravo’s Andy Cohen said the network is “giving Kathy Griffin an unprecedented four new stand-up comedy specials on Bravo in one year. Kathy’s quick fire humor and ability to tap into pop culture make for must watch television.”

I dig Griffin and I’ll miss her sweet and innocent mother, Maggie. But not enough to actually read her book. (Sorry, Maggie!)

Hannigan, You Heartbreaker

Posted in sadness, What's on the telly? with tags , , , , , , , on January 6, 2011 by Nick Caruso

Did everyone see this week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother? Cuz it’s spoilin’ time! This episode has got me in a headspin – I’m all tizzy with glee and melancholy at the same time. And it’s all because of you, Alyson Hannigan. You heartbreaker.

In the episode entitled “Bad News,” Marshall and Lily are still trying to have a baby, as they visit a fertility doctor to make sure everything is A-OK down there (enter: Barney Doppelganger…finally!). The episode offered a fun little countdown that would eventually drop the bad news bomb.  Starting at 50, the numbers counted down, displaying a different digit in every scene until the big WHOA moment of its final seconds: Lily gets out of a cab to tell Marshall that his Dad has died.

Ok, so check it: First – I can’t lie – I didn’t even see the numbers the first time around. Props to Doom for bringing this to light. Second – and the reason for this post – Hannigan, you have broken my heart. Again. For the millionth time. And I love you.

It’s just like: bad news, BAM!, she cries and my life is ruined. That’s how it goes down. I’m convinced that when Alyson Hannigan cries, 25 babies die somewhere. Damn, man – she kills me every. fucking. time. Remember that little ol’ show Hannigan was a part of – Buffy the Vampire Slayer? (I’m thinking about Season 4’s “Wild At Heart” and Season 6’s “Grave” in particular). Aly brings the hurt every single time.

I’m feeling a picture post coming on, because dammit, I want you to feel the pain too.  

That’s it! That’s all I can take.  Someone give this woman an Emmy, already!

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark Review

Posted in Check this bee.. with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2011 by Nick Caruso

(We have another Guest Blogger in line! Thanks to V.j. for this review of the Spider-Man Broadway play – playing preview shows now and officially opening in February! For those with tickets in hand – this review is SUPER detailed and contains a plethora of plot points. Consider yourself warned! His insider info is really interesting, and includes information about the set design, actors and glitches that occurred during his viewing. Enjoy!)

By V.j.:

This Spider-Man worshipper finally got to see the Broadway play Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark on the first day of the new year. I’ll have to admit, when it was first announced years ago I was apprehensive about this and even making fun of the possibility. As the date got closer, and more was revealed about the production, I was looking forward to it. Then I saw the 60 Minutes segment it was featured on and I was sold immediately. I was a nervous wreck thinking my show would get cancelled with injuries to performers and technical glitches. Hell, just to make this play get off the ground cost $65 million dollars with a $1 million dollar week upkeep. But New Years Day came and my show was still a go.

The show was held at the Foxwood Theatre – the only theatre a large enough to hold the production. It even had to go through a major renovation just to accommodate the moving set pieces. The producer came out to introduce the show, letting us know that all stunts were approved by the labor department and if a glitch occurred, the stage manager would stop the production (which he did twice).

The show begins on a bridge with Mary Jane (played by Jennifer Damiano) hanging by a rope and Spider-Man running to save her. A set piece drawing of the Green Goblin comes out cutting the rope and Mary Jane is falling off the bridge. (The scene had to be re-written, as Spider-Man was supposed to jump off the bridge to save her. A stunt performer got seriously injured when his harness snapped and the scene was re-done so that the stunt man never jumps off the bridge.)

The show then brings us to the beginning with four comic geeks telling their Spider-Man tale. One of the geeks (Matt Devine, singer of the emo-rock band Kill Hannah) tells how a Greek myth of Arachne interwined with Spider-Man. The show begins in High School as Peter Parker (played by Reeve Carney) is giving his report on Arachne. As the scene continued, the first musical number of “Bullying by Numbers” began as Peter was getting bullied by Flash Thompson and his friends.

As the show progresses, Peter is walking home from school with Mary Jane. What was cool about this scene were the set pieces. The two actors were walking on a treadmill with the sets of houses changing in the back to show they were walking from one neighborhood to the other. Another song occurred and during a break in the song, to what I believe was called “No More”, the stage manager came on the horn to pause the show for a set malfunction. (One of the moving houses didn’t close properly). It was the third song and this malfunction stopped the show for five minutes, bringing the curtain down. When the show began it was the same set pieces, but Peter and MJ were in the homes.

The next scene we see Norman Osbourne and his wife Emily for the first time in his lab. Osbourne is showing his experiments and how excited he is for his project and how much pressure he is under to succeed. This scene is very similar to the movie in how Peter got bitten by the Spider. When Peter returns home and discovers his powers, Peter then goes into the number “Bouncing off the Walls” (My favorite in the show with Carney in the harness jumping from wall to wall and off the ceiling). I loved how the number was done. The four comic geeks came out to narrate the story suggesting the spider that bit him choose him because of Arachne (played by T.V. Carpio) When the story continued, Peter sees Flash on a date with MJ taking her for a ride in his car.

And let the wrestling scene begin. As a giant blow up doll of Bonesaw McGraw comes out, Peter enters in a ski mask and sweatshirt. I didnt like how the scene that would make Spider-Man who he was drastically changed. Peter didn’t stop a burglar; instead it was changed to a man carjacking Flash’s car off stage with Peter not stopping it before it mowed down Uncle Ben. As the scene ends, Arachne comes out sings a little and drops the infamous Spidey costume for Peter to wear. And out comes Spider-Man swinging into the audience landing on a couple of platforms in the balconies.

During the musical number, the scene was showing Spidey helping citizens swinging around, the stuntman missed his mark onstage causing the computer to stop the sequence and halt the show. The dancers in mask and costumes entertained the crowd by doing Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” dance. It was a nice moment of levity. The show continued with Norman Osbourne angry that Spider-Man was created by one of his Spiders and under pressure from the military, Norman becomes the Green Goblin filled with rage that his wife was killed in the accident that made him the Goblin. Patrick Page plays the Goblin/Osbourne brilliantly for a Broadway show and at times steals the scene. Soon after, we see the Daily Bugle set and J. Jonah James (Micheal Mulheren) on his Spidey rant and how he is a menace and wants pictures of him.

Eventually, you see a cool aerial fight between Goblin and Spidey and, like in the movie, Goblin knocks Spidey out and brings him to the Chrysler Building. Goblin wants a partnership like father and son. (This will also be the only time you see Reeve Carney in the Spidey costume, minus the mask) Spidey says no, of course. Act one ends with Goblin playing a prop piano (all props in the play were purposely made to look cartoonish like a comic book) singing “I’ll take Manhattan by Storm.” And Patrick Page does it so well, making the audience laugh.

Act 2:  The four geeks come out discussing who Spidey’s greatest villian was and they come up with six, which are then introduced in a silly “Ugly pageant.” Carnage, Kraven, The Lizard, Electro, Swarm, and then the made-for-play character “Swiss Miss” (picture a female Silver Surfer with spinning blades) all enter the stage.

Peter starts having trouble with his dual identity and decides to quit being Spidey. Arachne doesn’t like this as she chose Peter to be bitten by the Spider. She makes the Sinister Six and Goblin run rampant through the world. They cause a black out in NYC leaving it dark. This all happens off-stage, as giant screens display the Sinister Six terrorize with Goblin making viral videos. This is really the only time you see Goblin as now he takes a back seat to the Arachne storyline, who haunts Peter in his dreams, taking his powers away. She makes you believe she was behind the black out and Osbourne taking MJ.

Peter becomes Spidey again and Reeve Carney dons a costume of a red shirt with a Spidey emblem (which they sell for $40) and a leather jacket with the Spidey pattern airbrushed on it, as a way to show that Peter is wearing the actual costume. A stunt man in full costume is in the back shadowing Carney’s moves. Spidey saves MJ from the bridge scene (which was very confusing by the way as the catch was made off-stage) and soon the play was over.

The second act was horrible compared to the first. They spent so much time on Peter and Osbourne in the first act that when the second started, the Osbourne story ends without warning as Arachne’s confusing story takes over. The ending needs to be re-done and the Osbournes needs a bigger scene in the second act as he was mainly reduced to viral videos. Patrick Page’s performance of Norman Osbourne/Green Goblin was the best in the show. Reeve Carney as Peter plays a perfect nerd and has a hidden rock voice. Jennifer Damiano has a beautiful voice; every time she sang I felt like I was watching a Disney musical (that’s a compliment) and T.V. Carpio, who takes over the role of Arachne, has a great voice, but the character she was given (an evil version of Madame Webb for you comic fans) just confused the audience. Almost every time she was on stage, it was in a dream sequence of Peter’s. And only once do you see her in the real world.

I’ll see it again in a heartbeat, but like I said, the second act sucked and needs to be re-written, making Arachne a secondary villain to Goblin like she was in the first act. The set pieces were great–all cartoon props using the inclines of the stage to create perspective. A majority of the cast came from director Julie Taymor’s Beatle movie Across the Universe and her love of the The Beatles was hinted in the play as the name of Oscorp’s main competition was called the “Let It Be Corp.” And those curious, I bought two souvenir shirts and a cap for a grand total of $110. Bono and Edge had some cool songs, but they were all in the first act. A lot of the second act’s songs were slow and dreary and made to show off the actors’ vocal talents.

Catch ya on the flipside baby.


The Sweatervest Sagas: I love my job

Posted in The Sweatervest Sagas on January 5, 2011 by gracedoccupation

(NickNote: Oh, hey! Our fellow contributor is back and this one is a doosy! Our uniformed hero is now masked, shrouded in anonymity under the name A Graced Occupation. Check out this page from her book of life!)

I’m Blessed. I’m truly blessed. I work in my chosen profession.

I repeat this mantra to myself every night while I’m brushing my teeth, every morning while I’m sipping my  coffee and at lunch while I’m eating in a cold dungeon disguised as a lunchroom.

And it’s true – my principal gave me a shot when she hired me. I had no teaching experience and my bachelor’s degree is in media studies.  Today, my days are still as unpredictable as ever, but three years ago I had absolutely no clue what each day would hold. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I took the job mid-year.

Seventh and Eighth grade – easy enough; I could handle it. Or I thought I could.  Year one left me exhausted and asleep on the couch by 4:30pm, or in my classroom til 8pm.  During my free period I’d go to my car and scream with the doors closed.  In my defense teachers still talk about the eighth grade that year.  The worst class in 30 years they say.

During my first two weeks at the school, a group of these darlings brought a water bottle filled with vodka to school.  Another time, I had a student after school for  detention when the toilets in the boys’ room began to overflow.  While I was rushing to find a janitor, the sweetheart sitting in my classroom suggested that I “go get one of the Mexicans who was working outside to clean up the shit.”  Really- he did.

The year dragged on and the my lovely students didn’t change, but I seemed to be the only one struggling. Granted, I was a new teacher and I came in halfway through the year, my classroom management was lacking, but so were these kids’ respect levels.  It all came to a head one day when I discovered that a group of these lovelies had broken into the school over the weekend.  Later that week, two students lit off fireworks and threw them out of the windows of the school at a group of second graders playing at recess. I had never been so happy in my life to never have to see that group of students again.

The following year a few would stop back and visit from their respective high schools.

“I’m really worried about your social life, ” I’d tell them. ” I can’t figure out what you are doing here. Don’t you have friends in High School?”

Thankfully, the visits stopped. I rarely think of any of those nightmares anymore, and I love my job.

I’m Blessed. I am truly blessed. I work in my chosen profession.

Zombies vs. Supermodels: A Comparison

Posted in Check this bee.., Do the Zombie with tags , on January 4, 2011 by Nick Caruso

Have you ever wondered just how much supermodels compared to zombies? Now, for the first time ever (LIE!) delve into the eerie similarities of The Walking Diva and The Walking Dead.

Thanks to Laughing Squid for the radness!

Everything’s Comin’ Up Louie!

Posted in GLORIOUSNESS, What's on the telly? with tags , on December 30, 2010 by Nick Caruso

Louis C.K. has a new DVD coming out on 1/11/11 called “Hilarious.”
Louis C.K. is in fact – hilarious.
Louis C.K.’s show Louie will return to FX in 2011.
Louis C.K. got drunk, rode a plane and attacked Twitter.

Here’s a snippet of what happened:

Props to Funny or Die – and watch Louie: Season 1 on Netflix Instant!