Favorite TV Chicks: Jessica, Kelly, Paloma and Michelle of Survivor Gabon

a quick break from actual TV viewing with Renzie Baluyut.

Spoiler Alert! If you're actually following Survivor: Gabon, and would rather not read anything on what happens on the show, or who got voted out, you might want to read something else- like my other featured TV eye candy on Too Much TV | Renzie on TV's Favorite TV Chicks.

Otherwise, hey- welcome aboard- read on!

I must admit- I've stopped following Survivor a long time ago. It was the hugest thing for me when it first came out, as the concept of reality shows were still pretty new at the time, and maybe it was interesting watching people eat pretty much anything to get just a little bit of protein.

My interest definitely waned right after Survivor: All Stars- which was, what? Season 7 or 8, I think? Still, Survivor continues to be one of CBS's strongest shows today, and they've even lined it up on Thursday nights along with CSI to go against NBC's comedy line-up, ABC's Grey's Anatomy, and The CW's teen-oriented programming.

Oh, and gratz to Jeff Probst for bagging an Emmy this year.

I'm not about to watch Survivor again, but I have been keeping tabs of what's going down online at least. And like any other red-blooded heterosexual male, I cheer for the chicks. So let's meet our four Survivors: Jessica, Kelly, Paloma and Michelle.

The Chicks of Survivor: Gabon

Jessica "Sugar" Kiper looks more like a 50's pin-up girl than an actual Survivor: Gabon contestant, at least in this press release photo. But in real life, she IS a pin-up model- working as a waitress in 50's-themed restaurants and taking on acting gigs in New York.

She's bubbly, spunky and flirty- but let's see how far she actually gets this season. Go, Sugar, go! Read the rest of her bio on the official Survivor: Gabon website.

Kelly Czarnecki might be one of the cutest on this season of Survivor, but she also looks like she can kick my ass anytime- because she's a kickboxer! Our one-time cheerleader is also into outdoorsy stuff (like camping and canoeing), yoga and fashion. In fact, she hopes to open her own clothing store someday.

Read up more on Kelly here on the Survivor: Gabon section of the CBS official website.

Paloma Soto-Castillo looks like a real nice girl, but our college student has a bit of an adventurous streak in her. According to her profile on the Survivor website, she just decided to drop everything one day and moved to Kenya all by herself- and actually lived with natives and wild animals for 3 months- with no friends, family or the trappings of real life.

So it seems she's probably really at home on Survivor. Then again, probably not- as her tribe members just voted her out this week in their first ever tribal council- seeing her as their weakest player in challenges.

Michelle Chase has this nice little girl-next-door vibe going on, if you ask me. But she's actually one tough chick- and not afraid to speak her mind. According to the CBS website, Michelle also runs triathlons, enjoys boxing, and has been supporting herself since she was 16.

In a landslide vote, however- on the very first episode of this season, Michelle Chase, the 24-year-old music assistant from Los Angeles, California was the first person to be voted out of Survivor: Gabon. One less reason for me to watch the show.

Check out more of Survivor: Gabon on it official website on CBS. Or you could read up on it more on TV.com. Pics are from TV.com.

As long as TV keeps coming up with delicious eye-candy, this blog's feature on "Favorite TV Chicks" will be on hand to get to know more about our fine female performers who make our TV shows a little bit more interesting. Only on "Too Much TV | Renzie on TV!"

Cheers, everyone!

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The Coolest Thing I Ever Saw on TV as a Kid

from the couch of Renzie Baluyut

Thanks to a message thread on Facebook, I've been able to check out some old Sesame Street clips I've marked as my favorites on my YouTube account.

Sesame Street was definitely one of the most influential TV shows for me when I was a kid. Seared into my subconscious are some of the most fun sketches and songs I've ever seen, which to this day, I could still recite from memory. Check these lines out:

You take the Golden 'An' to the tan van- you give it to Dan, who'll take it to Fran!
A loaf o' bread, a container of milk, and a stick o' butter. (If you can't remember it, I'll write it down for you. That's OK momma, I won't forget.)
Once upon a time in the land of 8, there stood a castle, very great. With 8 flags up in the air, for the King of 8 had put them there (*trumpets*).
That's about the size, where you put your eyes, that's about the size of it!
What do you think your mother would do, if you yelled like a Yellow Yahoo? (Boo!)

But the coolest of all has to be this one: Stevie Wonder's live performance of "Superstition". And he brought his whole crew with him. And some kids to jam out on the balcony. And I mean really jam out. Check out my post on that particular version of "Superstition" here on my personal music blog, My Thoughts in Stereo.

But just as cool is this one song: something I've never seen on any Stevie Wonder album, though I've heard it's been included in a Sesame Street box set sometime ago.

Stevie has his exact same crew with him, this time with some lovely backup ladies (I wonder if one of them was Denise Williams?). Check this one out and tell me you won't be funkin' out to this. Enjoy!

Now THAT'S how you jam on TV. Thanks to lamarixoxi on Youtube for the video.

Stevie used the Heil Talk Box- and he wrote another cool song for Chaka Khan called "Tell Me Something Good" (thanks to rcollins305 for the info). I don't think I ever noticed the tubing (almost well-hidden by the microphone) when I was a kid. Stevie just moves away from the mike to breathe in from time to time.

Now if I could only find a clip of The Pointer Sisters' "Yes We Can Can". I tried searching for it on YouTube. Fail.

Wanna get more Sesame Street vids and clips? There's a whole lot of em posted all over YouTube, but you may want to check out the official Sesame Street Channel on YouTube here.

Hope you enjoyed this post, ladies and gentlemen.

Cheers, everyone!

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Favorite TV Chicks: Pailin and Natalie, Amazing Race Asia

from the couch of Renzie Baluyut

On today's feature on Favorite TV Chicks, we turn the spotlight on two of the prettiest contestants to ever sign up for The Amazing Race: Asia. For those of you who have been checking out the show on AXN, you know what I'm talkin' about: the two lovely ladies of Team Thailand: Pailin and Natalie.

Just what the show needs- some serious weekly eye-candy. But if you caught last night's episode, you probably already know how my favorite team fared.

Maybe it was the heat, the sleep deprivation, or just the race itself, but it seemed that Natalie's spirit had begun to give, despite Pailin's best efforts to keep her going. And as luck would have it, this week's leg ended in an elimination.

Who would've thought, right? They look great, they're most likely in top shape, and definitely in a good mood when the race started out. Then again, whoever's going to win any cycle of The Amazing Race- Asia or otherwise- is really going to need more than just physical prowess, endurance, charm and luck. It's really more about a strong desire to win. They have to want to win more than any other team on the competish.

It was truly disappointing since I was really looking forward to seeing more of the two every week on The Amazing Race: Asia.

Here's Pailin and Natalie's write-up from the Amazing Race: Asia website:

No Amazing Race season is without its resident eye candy but with leggy beauties Pailin and Natalie, their team has one credential none of the previous good looking teams in race history ever had – being in a Miss Universe pageant and winning one!

25 year old Pailin Rungratanasunthorn was the first runner up in 2006 Miss Thailand Universe and represented her country as Miss Thailand Earth 2006 as well.

As for her good friend Natalie Glebova, the 26-year-old actually was a Miss Universe. Natalie took home the gleaming crown and title from the competition held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2005. The Russian Canadian beauty originally from Tuapse, Russia represented Canada in her winning event and is the second Canadian to claim the title.

It is no wonder that beauty pageants are part of their blood, having met in the 2006 Miss Thailand Universe pageant and becoming fast friends after that. Pailin was also one of Natalie's bridesmaids when she married Thailand's highest ranked tennis player, Paradorn Srichaphan, in November 2007.

But beauty is not the only thing that links the Thailand team together. Both have acute business sense as they are running their own business. Pailin's company makes toys, t-shirts and gifts for sale online, while Natalie's company sells beauty products across Thailand.

Describing herself, Pailin notes of her decision to participate in The Amazing Race, "I am really competitive and I want to do something where I can put my energy in it."

Agreeing, Natalie adds, "We're both very competitive and cannot stand to lose. We love to travel, love to do adrenaline like things, love to experience new cultures and learn."

And with both their credentials, travelling has become second nature to them. Pailin has travelled to Japan, China, South Africa, and Egypt while Natalie, other than gracing beauty pageants around the world, has attended the G8 Summit in New York, and as a HIV/AIDS awareness advocate, has travelled extensively to India and Africa.

Having spent their formative years in the beauty circuit, the damsels know a bit about what it takes to stay ahead. And having seen the show on television, the duo is also gunning to experience the thrills and tumbles that only the race can deliver. Exclaims Natalie, "We love to try new things. Give us bungee jumping, parachuting, paragliding and parasailing any day!"

She adds, "We are competitive, we're in shape and we're going to kick ass."

The girls have started preparing for the trek around the world based on what the previous Amazing Race Asia seasons were like. Surprisingly, their strategy for winning is to be the underdog and "fly under the radar". "Let's hope that no one will take us too seriously so we won't be recognized as a threat until it's too late!"

Well, so much for those two. But even if they did get eliminated, they still have a fan in me. Just look at those two- absolutely gorgeous :D

You can check out the rest of the teams, team photos and even interact with other fans of The Amazing Race: Asia on the official AXN Asia website.

As long as TV keeps coming up with delicious eye-candy, this blog's feature on "Favorite TV Chicks" will be on hand to get to know more about our fine female performers who make our TV shows a little bit more interesting. Only on "Too Much TV | Renzie on TV!"

Cheers, everyone.

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Favorite TV Chicks: Anna Torv, Dania Ramirez and Mädchen Amick

from the couch of Renzie Baluyut

With our old favorite TV shows coming back for new seasons, we can definitely expect a lot of great viewing these next few months. There will be surprise hits and flops, drama on- and off-cam, and of course, new chicks on TV!

So far, I have my eye on three great-looking women: Anna Torv of the J.J. Abrams FOX drama Fringe, Dania Ramirez, the deadly Maya from the hit NBC show Heroes, and then we have Mädchen Amick, who plays Nate Archibald's new cougar love interest on Gossip Girl on The CW.

Lets get to know them a little better, shall we?

Anna Torv of Fringe

As special agent Olivia Dunham, Anna Torv kicks ass every week on Fringe. And just like any other FBI field operative, she's chasing down criminals on foot, or vaulting over cars, or even across buildings.

What makes Dunham's character so bad-ass is the kind of crooks she hunts down: you'd think they're regular serial killers or terrorists, but these miscreants are actually part of some much larger, much more elaborate conspiracy she's still trying to figure out.

Anna Torv's character is forced to confront the systematic spread of weird, paranormal occurences (called 'The Pattern' on the show), and I have to say that Anna is doing great playing Olivia Dunham.

Anna is an Australian actress, with a few movies and TV shows to her credit, but this is the biggest role she has thus far, and I say good luck on this endeavor. She's doing a great job, and I can't wait to watch the next episode to see how The Pattern unfolds.

J.J. Abrams' Fringe is this season's new sci-fi action/thriller. I'd describe it as the new X-Files, though there are people who also see a little bit of Dark Angel, Twilight Zone and Lost in it.

Dania Ramirez of Heroes

We've actually seen Dania Ramirez's character, Maya, last season on the NBC hit drama. Remember that Mexican chick who'd always be crying black tears and then everyone in a hundred-foot-radius would suddenly drop dead?

Well, Maya is back this season, and while we didn't see much character development the last time she was on Heroes, she promises fans this time, "I cry a lot less this season and make out a lot more."

We can all appreciate that. Thank you, Dania.

Dania Ramirez actually came from the Dominican Republic, and has had a recurring role in The Sopranos' final season. You also may have caught her on the last X-Men movie (X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006) and on a music video here and there.

As for Dania's character on Heroes, well, we've seen some more of that "making out" the other night. That, plus more revealing clothes. Still no idea how her powers work though. Is it psionic in nature? Does she exude some kind of airborne nerve toxin? A fast-acting disease perhaps?

I suppose we'll have to find out in the next several episodes of Heroes. And I wouldn't mind seeing more Dania Ramirez in the process.

Mädchen Amick of Gossip Girl

Her name Mädchen means "girl" in German, and is pronounced mayd-shyen- remember that. You probably remember her as Shelly Johnson from the old TV drama Twin Peaks, or that chick in the Stephen King movie Sleepwalkers (1992).

OK, so she also had recurring roles on a lot of other shows including Gilmore Girls, E.R., Jake In Progress and Joey- that plus a number of movie roles and other gigs. So you get the idea: she has been around for quite some time, and now Mädchen is back, for the appreciation of a totally new audience on Gossip Girl.

Mädchen Amick plays the role of Catherine Mason, one of this season's new characters. She has a summer fling with Chace Crawford's character of Nate Archibald, which of course goes on to extend for several episodes just for fun.

We also find out later on that Catherine Mason is stepmom to Blair Waldorf's (Leighton Meester) love interest, Marcus. With all the characters running around, up to their usual Upper East-side scheming and shenanigans, you know that this makes for great Gossip Girl drama, and it can only be a good thing for viewers, right?

There will definitely be more Mädchen Amick and Catherine Mason this season. You know you love her.

Hey, you can check out our featured actresses on their own respective profiles on the Internet Movie Database: check out Anna Torv's here, Dania Ramirez's here, and Mädchen Amick's here.

As long as TV keeps coming up with delicious eye-candy, this blog's feature on "Favorite TV Chicks" will be on hand to get to know more about our fine female performers who make our TV shows a little bit more interesting. Only on "Too Much TV | Renzie on TV!"

Cheers, everyone!

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Seems Our Heroes Have Their Work Cut Out For Them

by Renzie Baluyut

You've probably been waiting for it all year- the third volume of Heroes finally made its premiere last night. I caught it myself, and liked it. I'm sure a lot of my friends did too. But in the business of television, buzz is good, but ratings ultimately matter. The question is: was the NBC drama able to hold up well enough against the fierce Monday night competition?

Not quite heroically enough, according to a report on TV.com. In fact, according to figures from The Hollywood Reporter, viewership of Heroes: Villains is rather disappointing- down 25% this season, based on ratings of the third season premiere last night, pulling in only 9.9 million sets of eyeballs.

Which meant one in four who saw the second season premiere last year was probably watching something else, leaving it up to the DVR to record the show, or just busy doing other stuff. Heroes overload, perhaps?

We had three hours' worth of Heroes last night: a 1-hour clip show at 8pm, which pretty much just brings us up to speed with what went down the past couple seasons, then you had Episodes 1 and 2 of the "Villains" volume: "The Second Coming" at 9pm and "The Butterfly Effect" at 10pm.

Understand, however, that in my case, I also want to catch my other favorite Monday night shows- specifically: Gossip Girl (on The CW, at 8pm), How I Met Your Mother (on CBS, at 8:30pm), The Sarah Connor Chronicles (on FOX, at 9pm). So thank Bob for DVR's.

Now that's just MY demographic. What about the rest of Monday night primetime-viewing America? It seemed that ABC's Dancing with the Stars pulled in 21.1 million viewers- more than twice the number of Heroes' viewers- at 9pm, and then CBS kicks NBC's ass at 10pm with David Caruso's screaming hot shades with CSI: Miami's 16.9 million viewers.

The biggest draw for Monday night however, seemed to have come from Monday Night Football, with the return of Bret Favre, so all around, even the other Monday night shows got hit: The Sarah Connor Chronicles only had 5.8 million viewers, Prison Break (also on FOX) also took a slight dive, and so did Gossip Girl, which saw 20% less viewers compared to last week.

Possibly impressive: comedy newcomer Worst Week garnered more than 11 million viewers last night- still at least a million more viewers than the Heroes season 3 premiere.

I'm still hoping that our heroes (and villains) would rally by next week. Sure looks like the Petrellis have some hustling to do.

Cheers, everyone!

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You Know Tina Fey Just HAS To Do a Sarah Palin, Right?

You already knew this was coming. Tina Fey is just going to be so all over Sarah Palin.

Exactly what I thought when I first saw Governor Sarah Palin, running mate of Republican presidential hopeful, Senator John McCain, on TV at that Republican Convention a few weeks back. She does look so much like Tina Fey, doesn't she? Check their photos out right here.

The resemblance is uncanny, wouldn't you agree?

In case you didn't know, Tina Fey is best known for her work on Saturday Night Live and on 30 Rock, both on NBC. On a recent airing of Saturday Night Live, the show opens with Tina Fey (as Gov. Palin) alongside Amy Poehler (as Sen. Hillary Clinton) as they address the nation. In true SNL form, the sketch just completely bowled me over. Watch and enjoy.

Special thanks and shout-out to Erin P of The Life of Erin for leading me to Truveo- a virtual treasure trove of great video gems from all over the net, including a lot of classic (and new) SNL skits and sketches. Video originally from the NBC official website.

Cheers, everyone!

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Renzie Watches Burn Notice

Probably one of the more underappreciated shows that came out in the past couple years is the USA Network's Burn Notice. The new season came out last July 10- just after I flew back to Metro Manila from Los Angeles, and I gotta say- the show just keeps getting better and better.

Burn Notice first came out in the summer of 2007. The title refers to a memo of sorts issued by intelligence agencies that pretty much dismisses and discredits agents, operatives or other assets as unreliable, and are therefore, blacklisted from any project thereafter. So spies don't get pink slips, they get burn notices.

Our show follows the misadventures of Michael Westen (played by Jeffrey Donovan), an international covert-ops operative, who got inconveniently burned in the middle of an assignment, and is trying to figure out why he got burned, and who got him blacklisted and flagged on just about every government watchlist to begin with.

Finding his assets frozen, cut off from his network and waking up in a sleazy motel in Miami, Michael sets off to redeem himself. So he takes on just about any job he can get his hands on- small-time stuff, really, for someone of Michael's caliber- but hey, as long as it pays the bills, takes care of the rent, with enough leftover for blueberry yogurt and beer, it's all good.

So what's an ex-spy supposed to do? Get by with a little help from his "friends", that's what.

Michael then reluctantly enlists the aid of a couple of "friends": a trigger-happy ex-girlfriend, (Fiona, played by Gabrielle Anwar) who just so happens to be an IRA-trained demolitions expert and sharpshooter, and a former Navy SEAL and Military Intel Operative (Sam, played by Bruce Campbell) who's seen better days and too many sugar mommas and mojitos.

Then of course, there's Michael's mother, who's just happy to have her son back in town (after not hearing from him in 10+ years), and calls him up 20, 30 times a day, often asking for Michael to attend to some errand or help out with some problem at home.

The show is really a first-person narrative from the viewpoint of Michael, offering some interesting insights and nuggets of wisdom in espionage and covert ops. The show has an entertaining mix of action, suspense and comedy, fun and memorable characters, and ultimately a good storyline.

I just finished a Season 1 marathon, and now I'm watching the Season 2 episodes I've had recorded- and it's great stuff. Check out the Season 2 promo they had airing on the USA Network:

Wanna catch more Burn Notice? Visit the show on its official website, or on its entries on TV.com, on IMDb.com and on Wikipedia.

Cheers, everyone!

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Renzie's Updated Fall Guide 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen, the new shows for the Fall Season are upon us. Yes, your favorite shows- at least most of 'em, anyway- are back to entertain you once again. So get your eyeballs ready- there's lots of great stuff coming out of primetime TV these next few months!

Week of Sept 01 to 07

  • Gossip Girl comes back with its second season on The CW, Monday, September 01.
  • An all-new Prison Break returns to FOX, with a 2-hour fourth season premiere on Monday, September 01.
  • The brand new 90210 premieres on The CW on Tuesday, Sept 02
  • Yet another cycle of America's Next Top Model- we're on season 11, btw- comes back on The CW on Wednesday, Sept 03
  • A brand new HBO original series, True Blood, premieres on Sunday, Sept 07.
  • Entourage on HBO returns with season 5; new episodes begin on Sunday, Sept 07.

Week of Sept 8 to 14
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, returns with all-new episodes on FOX, the second season premieres on Monday, Sept 08
  • Fringe, the new J.J. Abrams drama comes out on FOX with a special 2-hour episode on Sept 09

Week of Sept 15 to 21
  • House, now on its fifth season, comes back on Tuesday, Sept 16.
  • Smallville is back with new episodes for season 8 on The CW; Thursday, Sept 18.
  • An all-new Supernatural returns to The CW with its fourth season on Thursday, Sept 18.
  • Everybody Hates Chris season 4 comes back with all=new episodes starting Friday, Sept 19.

Week of Sept 22 to 28
  • Heroes on NBC. With a 60-minute clip show preceeding the third season premiere. Sept 22.
  • How I Met Your Mother returns with its fourth season on CBS; Monday, Sept 22.
  • The new Knight Rider premieres on Wednesday, Sept 24 on NBC.
  • Season 5 of CSI: New York comes back on CBS on Wednesday, Sept 24.
  • The third season of Ugly Betty premieres on ABC on Thursday, Sept 25.
  • My Name is Earl is back for its fourth season; new episodes start on Thursday, Sept 25 on NBC.
  • It's a special 2-hour premiere for season 5 of Grey's Anatomy; comes back on ABC on Sept 25.
  • The Office returns with new episodes on Thursday, Sept 25, with a special one-hour episode premiering on NBC.
  • The Simpsons is now on its 20th Season- with all new episodes starting Sunday, Sept 28 on FOX.
  • The Amazing Race is back on CBS for its 13th season; it's another race around the world on Sunday, Sept 28.
  • It's the fifth season of Desperate Housewives; brand new episodes on ABC on Sunday, Sept 28.
  • Showtime's Dexter is back for season 3; premieres on Sunday, Sept 28.
  • ABC's Brothers and Sisters is on its third season, returning on ABC on Sunday, Sept 28.
  • Little Britain also comes back on HBO, on Sunday, Sept 28.

Week of Sept 29 to Oct 5
  • The second season of Chuck comes back on NBC on Sept 29.
  • Life, also on its second season, comes back on NBC on Sept 29, but moves to Fridays on Oct 10.
  • Pushing Daisies is also on its second season on ABC; premieres on Wednesday, Oct 01.
  • The Grey's Anatomy spinoff, Private Practice, is back for another run. Second season premieres on Wednesday, Oct 01 on ABC.
  • A new Sci Fi original series, Sanctuary, premieres on Friday, Oct 03.

Beyond the first week of October
  • CSI: Las Vegas is back on CBS; season 9 premieres on Thursday, Oct 9.
  • NBC's 30 Rock returns with all-new episodes for its third season; airs Thursday, Oct 30.

So there we have it, ladies and gentlemen. Whether you choose to clear your schedules or set your digital recorders- here's to a great Fall Season for TV!

Some pics from Wikipedia. Your favorite show isn't on this list? Then go to TV.com's Fall Guide 2008 for more.

Cheers, everyone!

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A Quick Update From The Couch - 2008 July

Hey everybody.

It's actually been quite a while since I've posted anything really substantial on this blog. I've been in Los Angeles for a little over a month- and if you've been reading any of my other blogs, you probably already know that I have plans of moving there definitely within the year.

I've already cut all my corporate ties (i.e. retired early from my radio career in Metro Manila and had gone completely home-based) back in the Philippines, and I'm starting to appreciate my new work-life situation.

What it means, really, is more time for me to do the shit I want, whenever I want. And yes, that means, among other things, more TV.

And there was a lot of great TV in Los Angeles, by the way. The TV viewing experience made even so much better by the wonders of TiVo. Whoever invented DVR's should be given a nobel prize, in my opinion.

So what have I been watching while I was in Los Angeles? Not a lot, really. But I did manage to catch a few shows for the short time I was there:

  • A lot of G4TV: Attack of the Show and Ninja Warrior- probably the best game show on TV I've seen in a long while. Also some Code Monkeys and X-Play.
  • Whenever I can- The Soup with Joel McHale, and Chelsea Lately on E!
  • The last few episodes of Battlestar Galactica on the Sci Fi channel- awesome, wasn't it?
  • There was also this marathon of old episodes of The Incredible Hulk, just before the movie opened. Managed to watch a few episodes, until you realize that it became really formulaic after a few.
  • Was also able to check out some episodes of Metalocapypse and Robot Chicken on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. Some really funny shit.
  • Recorded a few episodes of MonsterQuest on the History Channel. We should have that show back at home; I heard another cable operator is actually carrying History Channel. SkyCable sucks- remind me to cut my subscription.
  • The premiere of CBS' new drama Swingtown. Great premise, fun soundtrack, but ultimately disappointing.
Big thanks to all of you who have been reading this blog, and coming back every so often to check on things here.

So yeah, I'm back. Here skimming through blogs, websites and TV for just a little inspiration. You'll hear more from me soon enough.

Cheers, everyone.

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Getting To Know Joss Whedon

I'll have to admit: I wasn't a fan of Joss Whedon until I saw Serenity and Firefly- which, in my opinion is probably one of the best TV shows ever.

When Buffy: The Vampire Slayer hit local TV, I was way too much into work back then- way too much. Plus, there was a lot of crazy things going on in my life as well, and TV was really the last thing on my list of priorities.

But even without watching any of his work (at least without my knowing), there was an awareness of sorts. So by the time I saw Serenity- I was completely sold.

Plus, Firefly was a remarkable piece of work- I'm one of those guys who just wanted so much more show.

Notable Joss Whedon Projects

  • He's the creator, as well as writer and director for three popular TV series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), Angel (1999-2004) and Firefly (2002-2003).
  • He wrote 25 issues for Astonishing X-Men (which picks up from New X-Men), a comic book series which focuses the spotlight on Beast, Shadowcat, Colossus, Lockheed and Wolverine, with Emma Frost and Cyclops leading this incarnation of the X-Men.
  • Wrote (and co-wrote) a number of films, including Buffy The Vampire Slayer (the 1992 film starring Kristy Swanson), Disney/Pixar's Toy Story (1995), Alien: Resurrection (1997) and Titan A.E. (2000).
  • Wrote uncredited drafts or rewrites for Speed (1994), Waterworld (1995), Twister (1996) and X-Men (2000).
  • More recently, he has teamed up with brothers Zack and Jed, together with Jed's fiancee Maurissa Tancharoen to produce the internet musical, "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog". Stars Nathan Fillion, Neil-Patrick Harris and Felicia Day.
  • FOX will be airing his new TV series, Dollhouse, in January 2009, starring Eliza Dushku.
Read more about Joss Whedon on his write-up on Wikipedia, and check out his body of work on the Internet Movie Database.

Cheers everyone!

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Getting To Know Neil Patrick Harris

For a moment there, I thought it would be an impossible feat to completely break away from the old Doogie Howser, M.D. stereotype. But Neil Patrick Harris did manage to do so, and so much more.

In recent years, Neil Patrick Harris has come up with some very memorable characters. My personal favorites:

  • As chronic womanizer, shady character, and metrosexual Barney Stinson, on the CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother.
  • As a parody of himself in Harold and Kumar Goes To White Castle (2004) and again in Harold and Kumar Escapes From Guantanamo Bay (2008).
  • More recently as Dr. Horrible/Billy on the Joss Whedon internet musical "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog".
Five Facts About Neil Patrick Harris
  • While he might be an amateur magician, he's still a huge magic fan, and sits on the Board of Director's of Hollywood's Magic Castle. NPH has even performed magic tricks on Johnny Carson (The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson), Letterman (Late Show with David Letterman), Leno (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno) and Ellen (The Ellen DeGeneres Show).
  • He and Freddie Prinze, Jr. attended the same high school.
  • NPH is an accomplished theater actor. He's perfomed as Mark in Rent at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles to rave reviews, and made his Broadway debut in 2002 in Proof with Anne Heche. So, yes, he can really sing, as well as act.
  • He's a huge fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, or MST3K.
  • Neil Patrick Harris also does cartoon voiceovers: he's voiced The Flash in the direct-to-DVD DC animated project Justice League: The New Frontier (2008), and as Peter Parker/Spider-man in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series (2003).
For more about Neil Patrick Harris, check out his body of work on the Internet Movie Database, or read more about him on Wikipedia.

Cheers, everyone.

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Getting To Know Nathan Fillion

For me, Nathan Fillion will forever be Captain Malcolm Reynolds, one-time Browncoat, and captain of the Firefly-class Serenity, on the unfortunately short-lived Joss Whedon-directed TV series, Firefly.

Later on, I discovered that Nathan (along with several of his Firefly co-stars) had done voiceover work for the animated series Justice League Unlimited- as the gun-totin' Vigilante.

A few years later, he goes on to do voicework for video games, more notably on the Xbox's Jade Empire (as Gao The Lesser), and then on Halo 3 (where he identifies himself as Sergeant Reynolds).

Now in post-production: Nathan Fillion is voicing the role of Steve Trevor in the latest DC direct-to-DVD animated feature, Wonder Woman, which is slated for release later this year. Can't wait to get my hands on that one.

Five Factoids About Nathan Fillion:

  • ABC picked up a pilot for a comedy Nathan wrote. The project is called Repo Brothers, which should be out in several months. In the meantime, he is playing the title character of a new ABC crime drama called Castle, which we would be seeing in 2009.
  • Remember the Spielberg movie Saving Private Ryan (1998)? Well, Nathan was the Minessotta Private Ryan- not the Ryan Captain Miller's team of rangers were looking for. I saw it again on HBO.
  • According to IMDb.com, Fillion wanted to be a high school drama teacher. In college he majored in art, and minored in drama while pursuing an acting career on the side.
  • Nathan claims to be descended from Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early. When told this, Joss Whedon created a bounty hunter by the name of Jubal Early for the Firefly episode "Objects in Space."
  • You can check him out as the self-centered and slightly-cheesy Captain Hammer on the Joss Whedon online musical "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog", with co-stars Neil Patrick Harris and Felicia Day.
You can read more about Nathan Fillion on his entry on Wikipedia, and check out all the projects he's done so far on the Internet Movie Database.

Cheers, everyone!

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The FOX Fall Lineup 2008

Summer is right on top of us- with the last season's shows already wrapping up, and networks announcing their primetime lineups for the coming fall. Welcome to Renzie Reviews the 2008 Fall Lineup- in this post we cover The FOX Network.

Returning Favorites on FOX

Alright! More Summer Glau in "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles". The very first season of only nine episodes just wasn't enough.

You know "American Idol" is definitely coming back for another run, and so are "24", "Family Guy", "House", "Prison Break" and "The Simpsons".

Also renewed are "America's Most Wanted", "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?", "Bones", "COPS", "Don't Forget the Lyrics", "Hell's Kitchen", "King of the Hill", "Kitchen Nightmares", "MadTV", "The Moment of Truth", "So You Think You Can Dance", "TALKSHOW with Spike Feresten" and "'Til Death".

Cancelled Shows

Gone from the FOX lineup this fall are "Back To You", "Canterbury's Law", "Nashville", "New Amsterdam", "The Next Great American Band", "The Return of Jezebel James" and "Unhitched".

New Shows

This is where that new Joss Whedon project comes in: "Dollhouse" starring Elisha Dushku (from "Tru Calling").

Also we have a spinoff from "The Family Guy"- "The Cleveland Show", as well as another animated comedy, "Sit Down, Shut Up".

Also added to the lineup: comedies "Starting Under" and "Do Not Disturb", dramas "The Fringe" and "The Oaks" and the reality show "Secret Millionaire".

We've covered all the major networks so far on our 5-part coverage of the upcoming seasons on TV: Renzie Reviews the 2008 Fall Lineup- feel free to check out the earlier networks in our earlier posts.

Cheers, everyone!

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The CBS Fall Lineup 2008

Summer is right on top of us- with the last season's shows already wrapping up, and networks announcing their primetime lineups for the coming fall. Welcome to Renzie Reviews the 2008 Fall Lineup- in this post we cover CBS.

Returning Favorites on CBS

The only show on the lineup that really matters to me is "How I Met Your Mother", which is already on its fourth season. Maybe we'll actually get to meet her this time.

Also, all 3 CSI shows have been renewed, as well as "Cold Case", "Criminal Minds", "NCIS", "Numb3rs", "The Unit" and "Without a Trace". That's a whole lot of crime drama, wouldn't you agree? But it seems to work alright with CBS.

We'll also be seing new seasons of "The Amazing Race", "Ghost Whisperer", "The New Adventures of Old Christine" "Survivor", "Two and a Half Men", "The Big Bang Theory", "48 Hours" and "60 Minutes".

Cancelled Shows

It put up a good fight, thanks to fans- but "Jericho" wouldn't be coming back this time.

Also gone: "Kid Nation", "Cane" Power of 10", "Secret Talents of the Stars", "Shark", "Viva Laughlin", "welcome to the Captain", and the vampire drama "Moonlight".

New Shows

Only a few new shows have been added to the CBS lineup, and other than the new Jerry Bruckheimer sci-fi thriller "The Eleventh Hour", it seems that I haven't heard of the rest of CBS' new shows- at least for now.

Remember Ava- Alex Karev's new psycho girlfriend from the latest "Grey's Anatomy"? Well she's got her own comedy now on "The Ex List". CBS also has a new crime drama with "The Mentalist", the Jay Mohr sitcom "Project Gary" and "Worst Week", an American take on the British series "The Worst Week of My Life".

Keep track of your favorite shows for the coming fall season on my continuing coverage: Renzie Reviews the 2008 Fall Lineup- our next posts will be covering FOX. We've already covered NBC, ABC and The CW earlier on.

Cheers, everyone!

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Human Tetris, Great Gameshow From Japan

You can always count on the Japanese to come up with some incredibly crazy- and funny stuff. You probably remember seeing this clip from last year: a rather innovative game show called "The Human Tetris"- at least that's what the clip says on YouTube.

If you haven't seen it yet, check this one out- it's extremely funny!

You gotta hand it to these guys: a great concept truly needs no translation. Anyway, word is that FOX has picked up this show and already ordered 13 episodes- only this time, they're calling it "Hole In The Wall".

I wonder how it will match up to the original? I suppose we'll find out soon enough.

Cheers, everyone!

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The CW Fall Lineup 2008

Summer is right on top of us- with the last season's shows already wrapping up, and networks announcing their primetime lineups for the coming fall. Welcome to Renzie Reviews the 2008 Fall Lineup- in this post we cover The CW.

Returning Favorites on The CW

This season on The CW, you can expect more drama goin' down on new episodes of "Gossip Girl" and "One Tree Hill", and fresh sets of "Reaper", "Smallville" and "Supernatural".

I can't believe we have yet another cycle of "America's Next Top Model". Then again, I got friends who watch that show religiously.

Also renewed: the Chris Rock comedy "Everybody Hates Chris"- which I totally have to catch up on, and "The Game".

Cancelled Shows

Not coming back at all are "Aliens in America", "Beauty and the Geek" and "Pussycat Dolls Presents". The axe also dropped on "Online Nation", "Life is Wild", "Girlfriends", "CW Now" and "Crowned".
New Shows

Already getting some early hype is the new "90210"- along with a completely new cast, you might also expect to see familiar faces of the old "Beverly Hills: 90210" to make cameo appearances and guest roles.

Also new: "Stylista" and "Surviving the Filthy Rich".

Keep track of your favorite shows for the coming fall season on my continuing coverage: Renzie Reviews the 2008 Fall Lineup- our next posts will be covering FOX and CBS. We've already covered NBC and ABC earlier on.

Cheers, everyone!

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Just A Regular Dude Watching TV

I might be a media guy, but my field is really more into radio and marketing more than anything else. For the most part, it means that what I know about television is pretty much stuff just about anyone can know- so don't expect me to go technical or anything.

I'm just a regular dude who just happens to appreciate me some good TV.

TV has so much to offer- a show I like might not exactly appeal to your tastes and vice versa. And that's the beauty of it all- with just so much TV going on, there's definitely something for everyone out there. We even have our own guilty pleasures- and that's just all good.

Feel free to share your thoughts on whatever TV show you like (or don't like). As long as you're all mature about it, with a genuine desire to inform, educate, or just someone with an honest opinion- come, sit and let's talk about TV.

Cheers, everyone.

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