Tag Archives: CBS

End of summer blues…

Some people say it’s the way the days grow ever shorter, or the subtle chill in the air at night, but for the past twelve seasons, there is one sure-fire way to know that summer has ended in our house…and that’s when “Big Brother” airs it’s season finale. And seeing as that happened on Wednesday, well, I’d say the summer of 2010 is officially over.

So, goodbye road trips, plane trips and warm summer days at the beach, but most of all…goodbye to the positively radiant Chenbot.

Seriously, did any of you see Julie Chen in action this season? Chenbot was looking fine, yo. Motherhood clearly agrees with her circuitry. Wow…

Anyway…now that the show is over and all the sunny, summer distractions are slowly winding down outside, maybe, just maybe, I’ll get back to blogging again on a regular basis. Hooray!

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“Big Brother” starts tonight!

At first, Christine and I were just excited to see the pregnant Chenbot’s, um…Chenbump. But now, after totally nerding out and reading way too much about the show online just now, we are literally counting the hours till the 8:00PM debut of “Big Brother 11” tonight on CBS!

I don’t know about you guys, but, summer in our house is not complete without loads of snarky, half-naked hotties duking it out in a cool house full of cameras! And while this year’s crop of houseguests look pretty much like any other season, there are two key twists that might shake things up a bit.

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One: the house will be divided into traditional high school cliques, geeks, brains, jocks, what have you. And two: there will be a 13th mystery houseguest who may (or may not) be recycled from a previous season. Awesome!! And recycling a houseguest is apparently just the beginning this year!

Jumping on the marketing bandwagon, the “BB 11” producers have decided to “go green” this season with loads of eco-friendly touches sprinkled throughout the house. Of course, once the “Big Brother” slop starts flying, who really cares where the power comes from, just keep those cameras rolling, baby!

Either way, kudos to “Big Brother” for rocking some pretty cool eco-friendly decor this year — I love that wall of recycled bottles, cans and cardboard and stuff below — and, as always, all hail the Chenbot!

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The Chenbot is pregnant!

OK, I know this is kind of day old news, but Christine and I were thrilled to learn that our favorite reality show host of all time (sorry, Heidi) is pregnant. That’s right, amigos, Julie “Chenbot” Chen is with child! Yay!

Her amazingly-lifelike eyes aglow, the Chenbot announced the big news last week during her regular gig on The Early Show and said that even though she is due on October 4th, she will not miss a single episode of the upcoming season of “Big Brother”. Hooray! I mean, hello, “Big Brother” without the Chenbot is kinda like cake without frosting…it’s just not the same.

The Chenbot is with child!

So, congrats to Chen and her husband, CBS cheiftan Les Moonves, on their pregnancy. And when can we pencil little Chenbot Jr. in for a play date with Greta and Petal Blossom Oliver? Those three would have a blast together. Um, provided little Chenbot has baby-safe wiring of course…

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“Harper’s Island”

Sure the writing is kinda obvious and the only real “name” in the cast — wait, is Harry Hamlin still considered a “name”? —  was literally sliced in half on the pilot, but for some reason, Christine and I are already seriously hooked on the new TV show “Harper’s Island”.

If you’ve somehow managed to escape the ubiquitous commercials and billboards, “Harper’s Island” is a limited-run murder mystery series (meaning it will resolve itself completely, telenovela-style after 13 episodes) airing Thursdays at 10PM on CBS. Yes, that CBS…

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Set on a spooky, fog-shrouded island just north of Seattle, “Harper’s” isn’t exactly award-worthy fare, but, so far there has been plenty of gratuitous sex and some shockingly-gory murders — one dude was beheaded by the engine blades on a boat! Awesome! — so, like I said above, we’re kinda hooked.

The other big selling point for us is that the show will end in 13 weeks. I mean, hell, we’ve watched way lesser shows for a lot longer — yeah, you heard me final two seasons of “Angel” — so, 13 weeks of Lifetime TV-movie actors getting the axe (literally!) sounds cool to us.

So far, the premise is pretty much a “Scream” rehash with the troubled daughter of a murdered mother returning home to the Island for a friend’s wedding. Haunted by her mother’s death, the girl is kind of a cutesy basket case and the fact that every other character acts all “murderous” all the time doesn’t help put her frail mind to ease.

So far, people have violently chopped the heads off fishes, burned snails with a magnifying glass and revealed Satanic-looking tattoos just before getting in a crazy bar fight. Can you say, suspects? Wow!

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Seriously, this show is like a crash course in cheesy soap opera acting: say or do something creepy, smile darkly to yourself…and hold that pose while the music builds. It’s kind of hilarious. And with almost every character already having had one of those moments, guessing who the killer is, and why they are killing everyone could be kinda fun.

Or not…but hey, it’s only for 13 episodes, right? So, if you’re looking for some cheesy so-bad-it’s-good fun, check out “Harper’s Island”. And, seriously, take a drink every time someone does something creepy and, trust me, you’ll be wasted by the fifteen minute mark. A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

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Earthquake night on “Big Brother”

Just finished watching tonight’s episode of “Big Brother” and all I can say is…wow. Not only did we get to see the houseguest’s stunned reactions to the earthquake we had down here on Tuesday, but we also got to see one of the strangest Head of Household competitions ever.

And for some totally wrong-headed reason the producers decided to end tonight’s episode with an earthquake-themed HOH competition.

Yep, you heard me, two days after the Los Angeles area was shaken by a 5.4 magnitude tremblor, “Big Brother” staged a mock earthquake as part of one of their competitions. Wow, man…that takes balls!

I’m sure they figured: “Hey, nobody died, it’s cool to have a little earthquake-tastic fun, right?” But man, talk about bad taste. After this week’s eviction — I won’t spoil it for you by telling you who got the boot — the houseguests lined up on the ledge of a two-story building facade in the backyard.

The rules were simple, whoever stays put on the ledge wins this week’s Head of Household. For you non-BB fans, that’s means you are immune from going home and actually in charge of nominating two people for eviction during your one week reign as HOH.

So, after the housequests took their places on the ledge, the entire facade began to slowly rotate forward, forcing them to hold on tight or risk falling off into the padded plastic mats below.

And then, the real shocker came when our beloved Chenbot — who I’m sure had nothing to do with this tasteless ratings ploy — uttered these immortal words: “You all felt the earthquake the other day, houseguests? Well, you should know, when there are earthquakes, there are always aftershocks!”

And then, to our horror, the building facade began to violently shake as sawdust rained down upon the startled housequests. I swear to God, Christine and I just paused the Tivo and stared at one another: “Um…are they really doing this?”

I mean, sure, no one died in Chino Hills, hell, nothing major even broke or crumbled, but still…an earthquake-themed HOH so soon after a real earthquake? Really?? What’s next, flaming wildfire competitions? Yikes…

And to make matters even worse, they ended the show without showing us the result of the competition! Which means we have to wait till freaking Sunday to see who won HOH! Argh!!

For shame, Chenbot, for shame…

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The Chenbot is not amused…

By now you’ve probably all seen this year’s list of Emmy nominees — if you haven’t, you can download the full list of nominees here — overall, this year’s crop was a pretty decent bunch. Glad to see smaller basic cable shows like “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” swing a few major nominations, but at our house, the news was all about who was not nominated.

And no, I’m not talking about the extremely talented cast and crew of “The Riches” or the writers of “Lost”, but rather, the elegant Chinese robot that is “Big Brother” host Julie “Chenbot” Chen.

With the announcement earlier this year that the TV Academy was adding a Best Reality Host category, we thought for sure our beloved Chenbot was a lock for a nomination. Of course, we expected to hear the names, Jeff Probst, Heidi Klum, and even cheesy old Ryan Seacrest…but what no one expected was to hear the next two names on the list: Howie Mandel and Tom Bergeron?!

Are you kidding me? Have you seen their shows? The best things on both “Deal Or No Deal” and “Dancing with the Stars” have absolutely nothing to do with those two ham-fisted windbags! I mean, really, take them out of the equation and the shows are just as good, or, you know…bad…without them.

But “Big Brother” without the Chenbot is just a bunch of crazy, white trash drunkards trapped in a house with cameras. Now, I’m not saying I wouldn’t watch that show too, but a huge part of what makes “Big Brother” so awesomely watchable is that cool, shiny-haired Chenbot!

So…any way you look at it, our girl got straight-up robbed this week, yo!

I guess our only consolation is that the tenth season — yeah I said tenth, you got a problem with that Emmy voters?! — of “Big Brother” started last week, so that gives us all summer long to enjoy the strangely lifelike beauty of our favorite Chinese robot! And better yet, the show airs three nights a week…yah!

Emmy or not, long live the Chenbot!

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“Swingtown” on CBS

Summer time on CBS has traditionally been good for exactly two things…round-the-clock repeats of “CSI”, and three weekly episodes of “Big Brother”. And though “Big Brother 10” is still a few weeks off — we’re counting the days, Chenbot! — the “Tiffany network” has really shaken things up this summer by airing the shockingly- good original series, “Swingtown”.

Set in the candy-colored world of key-party-loving 70’s suburbia, the show seemed destined to fail from the outset. I mean, whoa…that title alone sounds a little more HBO or SHOWTIME than CBS. But for whatever reason, stodgy old CBS is airing this show and we could not be more thrilled about it!

I know it sounds like a one-note concept — “The Ice Storm” lite, if you will — but “Swingtown” is packed full of fresh, funny, and richly-imagined characters and enough complex subplots and drama to sustain the show through at least three or four seasons. And surprisingly, the best stuff on “Swingtown” has little or nothing to do with the swinging!

Sure, the sexy title got you in the door for the first episode — or at least it did us! — but three episodes in, “Swingtown” has revealed itself to be a pretty kick-ass TV show. Calling to mind some of the more nuanced, character-driven series of the past like “My So-Called Life” and “Freaks and Geeks”, “Swingtown” is, at its core, a beautifully crafted, often hilarious, show about people and relationships. I know, a good show airing in the summer? Shocking!

But maybe a slot on the CBS summer schedule is just what this show needed. With other networks churning out crap like “America’s Got Talent” and “Celebrity Circus”, ‘Swingtown” has the cool adult dramedy category pretty much all to themselves. So rock on, Swingers!

Centered around a trio of vastly different families — two of which have teenage children — the show spends just as much time developing the relationships between the kids as it does the adults, and the payoff is spectacular. I am not exaggerating when I say that there has not been a family drama this good since the late, great “Once & Again” left the airwaves.

Another thing “Swingtown” has going for it is humor. Like “Freaks and Geeks”, the show’s sly, deadpan humor is sometimes so painfully realistic that you’ll find yourself wincing through the laughter. There was a subplot recently about the boys selling their father’s Penthouse magazines to their friends that I swear could have been lifted directly from my childhood. Although, if memory serves, my Dad was more of a Playboy man…and, trust me, my brother and I would have never sold those gems to anyone!

Anyway, um…back to “Swingtown”. Despite what our friends at Because We Love It might say, if the super cool characters and crackling good dialog doesn’t win you over, then surely the costumes and set design will. I can’t tell you how many times Christine and I have paused just to stare at the groovy stuff in these folk’s kitchens and living rooms and shout out: “We had that!” Hilarious.

And just when you think the nostalgia factor couldn’t get any higher, there is the music! Swirling disco classics giving way to awesome 70’s rock and folk, hell, half the time you’re wondering how they even afforded these songs. In last week’s episode, they actually played the Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” in it’s entirety. Do you know how much that song alone probably cost old Les Moonves? Wow!

But seeing as last week’s episode was the first to feature full-length opening credits, perhaps CBS has decided to throw some more money at the show since it’s pulling in halfway decent ratings. Whatever the reason for the support, we just hope they keep this amazing show on the air through the summer and hopefully beyond. Yep, it’s that good!

“Swingtown” airs Thursday nights at 10PM, so, toss your car keys in the bowl by the door and check out this rocking good show for yourselves.

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