Tag Archives: summer shows

“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.

"Big Brother 11" #1

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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“It’s on with Alexa Chung”

Other stay-at-home parents might dig “Regis & Kelly”, “Oprah”, “The View” or even the train wreck that is the fourth hour of the “Today Show”, but in this household, we are all about Alexa-freaking-Chung!

Haven’t heard of her? Well, neither had we until her new talk show “It’s on with Alexa Chung” debuted a couple of weeks back on MTV. Apparently Chung is a fairly well-known former model/chat show host in the UK. All I know is that she’s funny, entertaining, and best of all, totally sexy in a goofy, self-deprecating way — which makes her even sexier in my book! — and that Greta and I have become HUGE fans of this show in the past couple of weeks.

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Of course I think Greta mostly likes the cool colors on the set and stuff at this point, but, I do know that she downs her bottle much more calmly with Alexa Chung cheekily interviewing celebrities in the background. Maybe it’s the cool UK accent, who knows?

All I know for sure is that if you find yourself home at 11:30AM on a weekday, you gotta check this show out. Chung’s interviews are fresh, lively and often genuinely hilarious, and she goes out of her way to involve the audience in any number of bizarre games and contests throughout the show.

One recent episode had Chung and her cohorts trying to break a few world’s records on the air. She had one dude trying to break the record for making the most peanut butter and jelly — she called it jam, of course, which made me love her even more — sandwiches in a minute while another event had Chung seeing how many purses she could hang on former “Destiny’s Child” star Kelly Rowland. Crazy, huh?

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But crazy has never been this fun, so, check out this awesomeness before MTV cancels it. I’m sure my old ass is not even remotely the demographic they are aiming for with this show, which was supposedly designed to be a replacement for the late, great “TRL”, but I think most of you out there will love it.

What worries me the most are the bored, vacant looks of the tweens in the audience. Their lifeless stares when Chung cracks a first-rate joke tell me that unless she seriously rocks the ratings, her show might be in trouble. So, get out there and spread the good word, amigos…Alexa Chung rules!

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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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I, Chenbot

Having just wrapped up its eighth, and arguably best, season on CBS this week, it is with a pair of heavy-hearts that Christine and I bid farewell to “Big Brother” and its slinky, gloriously robotic host Julie “The Chenbot” Chen!

Revenge of the Chenbot!

A staple of our summer Tivo viewing since the show first started in 2000, we have been fans of Julie Chen’s strange, otherworldly charms for years. I wish I could say I came up with her cool nickname, but someone far wittier than I coined the term Chenbot a few years back and it stuck.

Remarkably, Ms. Chen herself has come to embrace the term as her own in the past couple of years, which proves that even hot Asian robots have a sense of humor. So, good on you, Chenbot!

Anyway, Christine and I recently discovered a hilarious website dedicated to all things Chenbot with some awesome mash-up video clips of her iconic catch phrase: “But first…” and even a surprisingly wide array of logo merchandise — including the tote bag pictured below and Chenbot thong underwear! Whoa!

Chenbot tote bag!

You guys have to see this stuff to believe it…amazing! And even non-fans of the show — which is just about everybody, except for “BB” loyalists James, Tim and Wendy — will enjoy the video clips on the site. They’re pretty damn funny.

Check them out at: hhtp://www.tvgasm.com/chenbot/ and until next summer when “Big Brother” rules our Tivo once more…all hail the Chenbot!

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