Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Darth Spencer's Fall TV Preview

Stardate 09-10-2008

My literally thousands of readers have been screaming for me to come out with my fall TV preview. It is very clear that my readership respects my amazing ability to watch TV. Here are my thoughts at the shows that I will or won't be watching this fall.

Monday Nights-
7:00 PM on Fox-Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, started off its second season the other night. I'm going to continue to watch, but the episodes have gone progressively down hill since its amazing pilot. I am going to watch this show for one reason, Terminator Salvation, the next Terminator movie staring Christean Bale as John Conner. The guys behind the movie are also tied into the TV series. The problem with the TV series is that we already know whats going to happen in the future. There is no real suspense. We all know that Sarah Connors is going to die, Skynet is going to launch the bombs, John Connor is going to become the leader of the Resistance and figure out a way to defeat Skynet. So, my hope is that the guys that are involved in the TV show and movie will create a new idea to expand the mythology of the story. Something that is just amazing which takes place in the TV series that is a key plot element in the new movie. That would be very cool.

7:00 PM on NBC- Chuck, this is a fun show with excellent lead and supporting characters. On top of that, Buster from Arrested Development joins the cast as the new Buy More Assistant Manager.

7:00 PM on CW- Gossip Girl, Spotted, DS and A with a TIVO overload. Three shows to record Mondays at 7:00. What are two St. George westsiders to do? Simple. Record Gossip Girl with the TIVO in their bedroom. There's no better way to set the mood than by sitting down and sharing an hour with S, B, C, Lonely Boy & N. I know you love me, XOXO, Gossip Girl. If you have a void in your life that was left by Dawson's Creek or The OC, then this is the show to fill it.

8:00 PM on Fox- Prison Break, I've watched Prison Break from day one. The first season was amazing. The second and third, not so much. But I've stuck with it and I'm glad that I have. We've already seen the first two episodes of season 4 and both have been excellent. They've finally figured out a logical and somewhat realistic way of keeping all of the characters involved. The magic of the first season was Michael and his pre-meditated plans to escape from prison. They've been able to capture this magic again now that Michael has resources available to him. Plus, we are learning all sorts of fascinating things about civil engineering.

8:00 PM on NBC- Heroes, I've blogged more about Heroes than any other show on TV, most of which have been complaints. I rag on Heroes so much because up until the season 1 finale, it was my favorite show. The writing and story lines have gone down hill in a big way. I've seen the ads, read the articles and drunk the purple koolaid. I'm convinced that season 3 is going to be awesome. They better kill some heroes off for real this season. That would really up the drama.

9:00 PM on NBC- My Own Worst Enemy, This is a new show starring Christian Slater. The easiest way to describe it is Bourne Identity meets Jekyll and Hyde. I'm excited for this new action drama with a sci fi twist. And for all of you nay sayers who are wondering why in the world they cast Christean Slater in an action role, I've got something to say-- Gleaming the Cube. Action and drama at its best my friends.

Tuesday Nights
7:00 PM on NBC- Biggest Losers Family Edition, I'm not going to watch it this year. I hate when they stray from the norm and do couples or families or friends or crap like that. Its never as good. Plus I'm super skinny and hot right now so I don't need the extra motivation to exercise.

7:00 PM on CW- 90210, Holy crap I was excited for the relaunch of one of the greatest shows of all time, and man have I been disappointed. Two episodes into the season and West Beverly High just isn't the same. No side burns, no cool school dj's, and no one has accidentally shot themselves in the head with their dad's gun. The cast is annoying and everyone is too nice and fake. I'll keep watching to see if they can up the drama.

8:00 PM on CBS- The Mentalist, This is a new show about a cop that is visited by dead people who help him solve murder mysteries. How many crap shows like this are the networks going to try and put out. I will not be watching. CBS is on the shit list for cancelling Jericho and replacing it with crap like this.

8:00 PM on Fox- Fringe, This new show is a must watch for all fans of the Sci Fi Nerd Blog. Its the latest incarnation from JJ Abrams and the writing team behind Transformers and the new Star Trek movie. We've already seen the pilot and it was awesome. The show deals with fringe science which covers such topics as reanimation, teleportaition, telekenetics, and other cool stuff. There was quite a bit of science talk, but I actually really liked that. Did I mention that Pacey is one of the leads? Yes he is and he will be awesome once again.

Wednesday Nights
7:00 PM on NBC- Nightrider, NBC tried to kick start this new series with a Nightrider movie that aired last Spring. It came with mixed reviews. I never watched it even though I really wanted to. Apparently they've made some changes and are excited about the show. I'll give it a try but am hesitant. Some of the writers who worked on Bionic Woman last year are giving it another go with the new Nightrider. Lets hope its better than Bionic Woman. I have a feeling that Wednesday nights will be a night to catch up on shows that I have recorded from previous nights.

8:00 PM on FX- Sons of Anarchy, This is a new and original series from FX. Its about a motorcycle club. I've already watched two episodes and I'm very pleased. This isn't one for the kids. So far there has been plenty of excellent violence. On this weeks episode, a guy to an axe to the back of the head. He actually walked around for a second with a dizzy look in his eyes before collapsing dead to the ground. It was a great scene. I was most surprised by how many cast member I recognized.

Thursday Nights
7:30 PM on NBC- Kath and Kim, Molly Shannon and Selma Blair take on over the top roles in this remake from a popular Australian show. I'm really excited for this one. My Name is Earl has lost its magic for me so I'm hoping that this can become a regular comedy for me.

8:00 PM on NBC- The Office, Nothing really needs to be said about this amazing show which is easiest one of the funniest shows on TV if not the funniest.

8:00 PM on ABC- Grey's Anatomy, Code Black, Code Black!!!! Grey's is easily the most dramatic show on TV, which is why I love it, even though I often find myself wanting to slit my wrists rather than deal with the drama.

8:00 PM on FX- Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, this great comedy starts its 4th season this fall. This show was started by a few friends who just couldn't land the roles that they wanted in Hollywood, so, they decided to create their own. They filmed a pilot for super cheap. I think the only thing they paid for was the digital tape for the camera, and then sold it to Fox. Because of its gritty content, the show landed on FX. If you've never watched it, then now is the time to start. It is so incredibly funny. In my opinion, Charlie, is one of the funniest characters on TV. Here is a classic clip from the show. Charlie is the one singing the song.

8:30 on NBC- 30 Rock, This is another comedy must watch. Its going to be great to see how they incorporate the presidential race into the show.

9:00 on ABC- Life on Mars, This is a new show about a contemporary cop who gets hit by a car and somehow gets teleported back to 1973 where he continues to be a cop and fight crime. Though this will be a cop drama, there is some buzz about the pre-politically correct era comedy in the show. Should be funny. I'll give this a try. They are describing it as a cop show without the fake forensics crap that is found in CSI. More focus will be put on the bad guys. I'm going to give it a try though it could get lost in the shuffle on a night that is full of great TV.

Friday Nights
8:00 PM on NBC- Crusoe, I'm going to TIVO it and see if I like it. Its never a good sign if a new show starts out on Friday nights.

We are still feeling the effects of the writers strike. They really had to rush to get the new shows for this season into production. Luckily for the networks there are a number of returning shows that have been pretty popular in the past and they didn't have to try to come up with replacement shows. The good thing is that a lot of the new shows that were not filmed in time for fall will come out mid season. There are some great new shows to look forward to such as, Welcome to the Dollhouse, Virtuality, and The Legend of the Seeker. I'll keep you posted on these new shows.

Have a wonderful Fall TV Season.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Dragon Rock Opera

Stardate 09-06-2008

Have I got a treat for you. As some of my readership may know, I am totally into heavy metal right now. Some of my favorite bands include Iron Maiden, Dragonforce, Dark Moor, Nightwish, Hammerfall, and of course, Rhapsody of Fire. Not only is Rhapsody of Fire an Italian Symphonic Power Metal band, they pretty much invented the genre. These guys are big time fantasy nerds, and I love it. So what is symphonic power metal you ask? Well, its power metal that combines elements of baroque and classical music. On top of that awesomeness, their lyrics are focused on epic fantasy themes. It only gets better from here.

Every album that Rhapsody of Fire has released has been a rock opera. Their first five albums told a story called, "The Emerald Sword Saga." Each album released was a new chapter in the saga. The booklet included in each album started the chapter, but the lyrics and musical content of each song would further the story. The Emerald Sword Saga is an epic fantasy story filled with heroes, evil lords, dragons, monsters and wizards. The story is about the Warrior of Ice, a brave and fierce warrior who sets out on a magical quest to find the Emerald Sword. The only sword with the power to slay the evil dark lord.

In 2004, they came out with the album, Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret. This is the album that I have. This album starts The Dark Secret Saga. It is the same idea as The Emerald Sword Saga except for that this saga holds an extra super special surprise. This time around, the narrator of the tale is none other than Count Duku himself, Christopher Lee. When I heard the first song, I said to myself, "that sounds like Saruman." I was of course correct. I have no idea how he got involved in this project. I am forced to assume that he also recognized the greatness in Rhapsody of Fire. In fact, he loved being part of the project so much that not only did he agree to be a part of the their latest album, the second album in the Dark Secret Saga, he also insisted that they allow him to sing back up lyrics on some of the tracks. I can't wait to hear it.

Just to give you a taste of their awesomeness, I've included a YouTube video of one of my favorite songs from Rhapsody, Unholy Warcry. The first part of the video features Christopher Lee as he begins the narration of the The Dark Secret Saga. It then transitions into the song. The clip is pretty long so you may want to FF through some of it. There is a sweet power metal guitar solo at about 7.5 minutes into it. Enjoy.

In case you need further proof of how awesome they are, check out the cover art from a few of their CDs.