8.31.2010

DVR Ready. DVR Aim. DVR Record. Fall 2010. Part 2 - Tuesday Wednesday

Previously On...
DVR Ready. DVR Aim. DVR Record. Fall 2010 Part 1 Sunday Monday


The 'ol DVR ain't slowing down as Part 2 of the Fall 2010 Season highlights continues with Tuesday & Wednesday. In some ways, this fall is proving to be the most frustrating. We can only record 2 shows at a time. Both Tuesday and Wednesday have more than 2 shows airing during the same time slot (which wouldn't be a problem if the Major Networks were willing to air encores late at night instead of infomercials), forcing the decision of which not to record.

TUESDAYS
Think I can safely call Tuesdays guilty pleasure day. Read on.

Stargate Universe
Premieres 9/28, SyFy

Have you watched that trailer yet? You should. If you have not yet checked out this Stargate incarnation, you are missing a truly great show. I've said it before, don't think of it as a another installment of the Stargate franchise, for SG-U is so much more. It is a really great, intense, well written drama that just happens to have a Stargate in it. SG-U is my most anticipated returning show this season.

Sanctuary
Premieres 9/28, SyFy

I like this show. It is a good tongue-in-cheek companion to the more serious Stargate. Their take on the monsters is really creative, and the powers that be behind it know how to weave an interesting fable.

Sons of Anarchy
Premieres 9/7, FX

I consider it a failure on my part for not getting into this show until its 3rd season. The very concept itself says it is bad ass. I like my TV bad ass.

No Ordinary Family
Premieres 9/28, ABC

I am approaching this one with caution...aka, trying not to get my hopes up. Despite of the obvious Fantastic Four origin rip off, the comic geek in me is absolutely giddy about the concept. However it is on ABC, so my fear is it will be ABC-ized. Hopefully, the network will allow the writers to take it in the direction it needs to go for it realize its potential. Either/or, I'm going to be there on premiere night.

Parenthood
Premieres 9/14, NBC

Lauren Graham always gets me watching the most compromising guilty pleasures. I am a big fan of hers. To give this show credit, the writers do a great job in balancing all the characters and storylines. Not to mention, Craig T Nelson's character is dead ringer of my Grandpa (only it was the Korean War as opposed to the Vietnam War...d'OH, just aged myself).


Tuesday Honorable Mentions

Glee (Premieres 9/21, Fox): There is too much going on in the same time slot, so going to have to wait until the reruns to catch this quirky guilty pleasure. Yes, I know, I am a bad Gleek.

Biggest Loser (Premieres 9/21, NBC): Is it just me, or does the Biggest Loser operate like a cult. They isolate the contestants, break them down, and fill them full of their over-the-top preachy rhetoric as they built them back up. My wife, however, loves this show, so I gotta take one for the team...a heavy price to pay so I can record my Friday shows.



WEDNESDAYS
Though there really isn't that much worth watching on this day, it just so happens all but one occupy the same timeslot.

Terriers
Premieres 9/8, FX

I was originally going to pass on this one. Seemed like yet another case-of-the-week procedural. Then I read the write up in TV Guide Magazine, and changed my mind. It is a case-of-the-week procedural, but the characters are interesting and have great back stories.

Undercovers
Premieres 9/22, NBC

JJ Abrams is coming out with a spy drama?! SOLD!

Survivor
Premieres 9/15, CBS

Survivor got the shaft for not being nominated for an Emmy. Both seasons last year were some of the best of the show's entire run. Hoping that this is the case this year. Though why CBS is moving their 10 year Thursday night anchor to Wednesdays is beyond me...now convinced that network execs are all on crack.

Wednesday Honorable Mention

Hell's Kitchen (Premieres 9/22, Fox): Fox hates me. Really, they do. Why else would they move Hell's Kitchen (yet again) to Wednesdays. I just love it when Gorden Ramsey gets so worked up he literally spits on the contestants. Hoping they're encoring this one, 'cuz spitting or no, I ain't going to miss my Survivor.


Links to the show on their respective networks websites are the show's title. Part 3: Thursday Friday should be up in 2 - 3 days. Stay Tuned!

Cheers!

8.29.2010

DVR Ready. DVR Aim. DVR Record. Fall 2010. Part 1 - Sunday Monday

September is upon us...already?!

September brings many things. That serene silence which can only mean the kids are back in school. Street gutters are clogged w/ the colorful leaves of fall. Cable Networks relinquish the airwaves giving the Major Networks the chance to ruin great concepts. Yes, my friends, Fall Premieres are just around the corner, and the DVR is aching to capture what I hope will be some excellent new & returning shows.

Like last year, here is the list of shows in the 'ol DVR's crosshairs. Unlike last year, I included a trailer or preview instead of a picture. Taking a Don't take my word for it, see for yourself approach this year. Also different, I'm going to split out the blog into 4 separate installments (previously one mammoth entry), each consisting of 1-2 days. This should make things easier on you, the reader...not to mention on me, the writer.

Enough banter, let's get to it:

SUNDAYS
This day still belongs to cable...

Boardwalk Empire
Premieres 9/19, HBO

As sad as I am to see True Blood's season end, I know Broadwalk Empire will right on it's heels. The more footage I see of this show, the more excited I get. Prohibition is a fascinating era in our history, & it looks like the show runners are not hesitating about getting knee deep into it. And it stars that "funny looking" guy from Fargo; Steve Buscemi is a longtime favorite actor of mine. Boardwalk Empire is the premiere I am most looking forward to.

Walking Dead
Premieres 10/31, AMC

Finally! A TV show about Zombies. Based on the Image Comic book, this series is written, directed, & executive produced for television by Frank Darabont. You might know him from these little flicks he did, The Shawshank Redemption & The Green Mile. Love that they're premiering a zombie TV show on Halloween.

Dexter
Premieres 9/26, Showtime

Though I have only seen one episode, I have heard enough from reliable sources (aka: friends) that this is a kickass show. So much so, that I've had the 1st 4 seasons DVDs are near/at the top of my "to buy list". The biggest hurdle of me not catching Dexter is the lack of a Showtime subscription. Through with Dish Network's autopay promotion, I'll be able to get a free 3 month trial subscription to Showtime, & catch the 5th season. Judging from the above trailer, it looks like it is going to be pretty intense too.

Sunday Honorable Mentions
Amazing Race (Premieres 9/26, CBS): Phil and the Travelocity Gnome are back to greet stressed out/cranky world travelers at the Rest Stop. I do get a kick out of this reality alternative show. There is a reason it is a staple in the Emmy nominations.

Undercover Boss (Premieres 9/26, CBS): It is good to know that CEOs really, honestly care, and are willing to give us average joes the time of day. Sarcasm aside, this is my wife's pick. She loves this show. One thing I will give it, they have perfected the emotional heart tugs. Though there is a underlying propaganda factor to this, the companies represented in this do get some brilliant publicity.


MONDAYS
Between returning show schedule changes & more new shows than you can shake a stick at, long gone are the days there's nothing worth watching on Mondays.

Chuck
Premieres 9/20, NBC

Why more Nielsens don't watch Chuck is beyond me. The drama is intense. The comedy is hilarious. The action is badass. It is rare that a show can have you laughing out loud & sitting at the edge of your seat in a single episode. I highly recommend you check out Chuck, if you haven't already.

House
Premieres 9/20, Fox

The preview says it all. All I can add is: Finally.
House is a cleverly disguised serial drama. If you go back to the first season, the characters are distinctly different to who they will be when the 7th premieres. Just be sure to set your DVRs to finish a couple minutes late, Fox is notorious about running their higher rating shows over into the next hour.

The Event
Premieres 9/20, NBC

Everything about The Event comes screams it is a great concept. If done right, it could prove to be amazing TV. I have high hopes for this one. My biggest fear is NBC will "water" it down, so it can't take the risks it needs to take to be the successful show I know it can be.

Castle
Premieres 9/20, ABC

A true stand out amongst the procedurals. Castle won't hesitate to make fun of anything, including Nathan Fillon's Firefly days. Mix satire with the perfectly executed sexual tension between Castle and Beckett, you have the workings of an entertaining hour.

Hawaii Five-0
Premieres 9/20, CBS

If you could judge a show by the caliber of its cast, then Hawii Five-0 is going to rock. If you can judge a show by the extended preview, then Hawii Five-0 is not only going to rock, but will be badass. I am totally excited about this one, and fully admit to having impossibly high expectations. I hope hope hope it won't become a case of the week procedural, but then again it is on CBS, a network that doesn't stray too far from their formula. Either/or, Hawaii Five-0 is the 2nd most anticipated new show (next to Boardwalk Empire) I am looking most looking forward to.


Links to the show's respective network webpage are the titles. That's it for Part 1. Part 2 - Tuesday Wednesday will be uploaded w/n the next 2-3 days. Stay tuned!

Cheers!

8.17.2010

Stay Tuned...

Have a couple of blog projects brewing.

First is a preview of Fall programs I'll be capturing on my DVR. Unlike previous entries, think I'll be breaking them down to 2-3 day installments (ie: Monday-Tuesday, Wednesday-Thursday, Friday-Sunday). Whenever possible, will include the trailer. There's some really interesting shows coming out, and I can't wait to see them.

The second is I've been compiling compilations (iTunes calls them "playlists") of my music. Having an iPhone has really reconnected me with my music collection over the past couple of months. I'll be publishing them here as soon as I figure out how, and I find a good online streaming player. Over the past couple of months, I have completed 6 compilations (15 tracks each), and am currently working on an additional 2. So there is plenty of great music for you all.

Cheers!

8.15.2010

Dream Home Theater System

Once again, I find that there is an unintended hiatus between blog entries. To call this summer stressful is an understatement. With everything going on, it has been difficult to find the time & subject matter to blog.

There is a method to my madness here; and, no, this isn't going to be one of those downer blogs solely focused on my woes.

It is no secret that I am a TV fanatic. Same also translates to movies, though not as intensely. Like great beer, it is as much about the experience as it is the quality. My current entertainment system ranges from 10 to 12 years in age. It has treated me well. Saw me though some very big changes in my life. Watched some of the best shows (Farscape, Lost, True Blood, etc) & movies (Abyss, Transformers, X-Men, etc) with it. However, it is showing signs of its age. The receiver remote doesn't work, and the TV is square, often clipping the right/left edges off of the picture (mainly on the big broadcast networks). I love it, but it is long past due for an upgrade.

This epic fable is a couple of years in the making. Toggling between Amazon, cnet, & various manufactures websites, I began looking into home entertainment system components. 2 months of on-again-off-again research yielded what I feel is a frelling sweet Home Theater System. It is by no means top of the line (aka, it is affordable), but meets (hey, lets be honest...exceeds) my current needs, as well as leaves room to upgrade as technology develops (the biggest weakness of my current system).

The Dream system is:
Toshiba REGZA Cinema Series 55SV670U 55-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV with LED Backlight and ClearScan 240

A TV over half the size of the wall it will be up against.
I admit a total bias towards the Toshiba brand. My current TV is a Cinema series from 10 yrs ago, and our other Toshiba is pushing the 20 year mark. When pursuing the HDTV option, there was no doubt it would also be a Toshiba. Reviews supported that this is the right TV. Though I might opt for the 46" version, 'cuz the 55" is too big for the room...but having a TV that takes up half the wall is an appealing concept, so we'll see if "common sense" or "want" wins out when I get the system.

Onkyo TX-SR608 7.2-Channel A/V Home Theater Receiver

The hub, the heartbeat of the system. The decision for going with the Onkyo over the Yamaha RX-V863BL 7.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver is pretty much price point. Both receivers have similar functionalities, not to mention constantly received positive reviews. Even now, I go back and forth between them, Key features I'm after here are multiple hdmi ports, and versatility with digital audio. Can't forget the dock for my iPhone!

Mirage Nanosat 5.1 Small High-Performance 5.1 Speaker System

Probably the most time spent on researching was on the audio system. Audiophiles are an opinionated bunch, and don't hold back their criticisms. After a lot of reading...A LOT of reading...I settled on the Mirage Nanosat systems. Not only do they sound like amazing pieces of technology, but it was immersive 360ยบ sound performance which won me over...and positively reviewed by audiophiles & regular folk only backs up Mirage's claims. But this is going to be a 7.1 surround sound system, & I'm going to bring in an extra speaker & central speaker. Plan is to perch them on stands going down the length of the room.

PlayStation 3 160GB

If you're in the market for a Blu-Ray player, why would you not buy a PS3? Not only do you get a quality player (w/ a ton of internal memory), you can also play video games! Aside from the obvious game or 2 (suggestions welcome), gotta get an extra controler, & a remote control for the Blu-Ray.

APC 8 Outlet 2525J Surge Protector

To protect the investment. Want it to last at least 10 years, you know?

All in all, it should run around $4500...at least a thousand more if I go through Best Buy. My goal date to get it is April 2011...for my 40th birthday. After pushing it back for better part of 2 years now, it needs to happen...after all, a man can only live w/o volume control for so long.

Cheers!