Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm sure Donny will be insufferable now

At least when it comes to his Vegas show and his sister.

Truly, is anyone surprised at the results show last night? Kelly was eliminated first; her 9 point deficit going into the finale made it clear that she wasn't going to win. While she was a nice story, she was the weakest dancer to survive into the top 3; she was taking up Joanna's space.

As with past seasons, the judges evened out the scores, ensuring that the winner was determined by the fan voting, not TPTB rigging the show as they did back in season 1.

I'm not unhappy with the results; in face, for a show that is half technical competition and half popularity contest, DWTS consistently gets the winner right. The sole glaring injustices are John O'Hurley losing to Kelly Monace and Sabrina Bryan getting whacked six weeks too early. Every other winner has been deserving.

Also, if Mya had won, there would be no great groans of protest. She is the best dancer of the season; not head and shoulders above everyone else like Brooke Burke was a few years back, but clearly the best of this crop. What killed Mya was Dmitry's freestyle. I think if she had built up a four or five point lead going into the final show, it would have at least been a game, but the second they announced that Mya and Donny were tied, it was all but a given that Donny was going to get more fan votes.

Maybe if Len hadn't bee such a jackass early on, Dmitry and Mya may have taken a little bit more risk in their freestyle.

As for the rest of the show; it was still 115 minutes too long. Some of the bits were funny, but most of it was typical vapid reality show filler. I thought about live-blogging the results show, but decided against it because I didn't really want to pay attention to something so bad for so long.

Did you know that next "season" kicks off in about three months (right around the time NASCAR starts up and Jimmie Johnson starts in on his fifth straight Cup championship). Julianne has announced that she will not be back, which means that I am offically declaring the lovely Kym Johnson to be the Future Mrs. High Lord 2.0. I hope she can repeat. If not, I hope they give Cheryl a good partner who actually has a chance at winning. Or that they let me give the show a try and pair me with Chelsie (because she's the only female pro who is shorter than me).

At least Idol is about to start soon.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just crown Donny now

I wonder if Joanna and Derek were sitting at home yelling at their TVs, "My god! Kelly is dancing like crap and we're at home!?!?!?!"

After last night's show, I think it's safe to say that Donny is probably going to win and it's all Dmitry's fault. His choreography stunk. More on this later.

First of all, there is no question that Joanna deserved the third spot in the finale. However, since the fan voting is 50% of the scoring, I can see how Kelly Osbourne got through. That still doesn't make it right, though.

Louis got more out of Kelly than I think anyone else would have, and to be fair, Kelly is one of the most improved dancers that the show has ever had on. However, since this is the finale, the best celeb dancers should still be around and this year, Joanna was sacrificed for a feel-good story.

Mathematically, Kelly is dead in the water. She's 9 points behind Donny and 11 points back from Mya. She would have to bring in about 40% of the overall fan voting to even be considered for a chance at winning, and since DWTS limits the number of votes each phone line/email address/text plan has, powervoting will not get her through.

That leaves it a toss up between Donny and Mya.

Going into the freestyle, Mya had a five point advantage over Donny. This is where Dmitry let her down. I like that he put together a solid dance. Too many pros string together a bunch of tricks and don't have a coherent scheme for their final performance (Maks, Tony: this means you).

This is what killed Stacy's chances at winning.

Dmitry didn't listen to Mya and they had an uninspired, safe jitterbug. Mya's strength has been her latin dances and Dmitry let her down. Donny, on the other hand, went with a safe, uninspired Broadway-themed dance and it worked. It played to his strengths, which Mya's was just aiiiiiight.

Carrie Ann was ready to put Donny and Kym in the Hall of Fame; it wasn't that good, but it was right up his alley. Since their scores from the first round were flipped, the only points that separate the two are the two extra points Mya got from the Megamix round.

Donny should be able to make up those two points with the Osmond vote alone. I think if she had picked up a score of 10-9-10 and kept her cushion at four or five points, she would win, but as things stand, I think it will be Donny taking the Mirror Ball Trophy, probably much to the consternation of Marie, who will have to hear about it for the next thirty years.

Tonight is a 115 minutes of filler following V, then a couple of weeks until the next "season" starts.

In other news:

Congrats to Jimmie Johnson for his fourth consecutive NASCAR Cup Championship. That's the kind of dominance that is unparalleled in sports.

How is Peyton Manning not the MVP of the league right now. I know a lot of people want to give it to Brett Favre, but the MVP isn't about how much better Brett is this year than he was two years ago, it's about teams game planning around Manning (Miami) and coaches fearing him so much they're taking stupid chances to avoid giving him the ball back. And he's still beating them!

Katee Sackoff on The Big Bang Theory last night was funny. It's good to see she's still getting work after the cancellation of the new Bionic Woman.

I went to see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs last weekend and was delightfully surprised. I'm happy to report that Mr. T is alive and well. I hope they find a way to work him into the new A-Team movie.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Miscellaneous updated and random musings

Good day, all.

Even though I broke up with DWTS, I've kept up with the show and am watching it no-filler style. Last week, I was not sorry to see Aaron go (Mrs. High Lord can't stand him) and this week, I'm afraid that Kelly will be the one to get the boot.

Donny could be a surprise elimination, but I think he has enough family and friends to keep him around. While Kelly is the best story, she is clearly the weakest dancer of the group and deserves to be eliminated this week. That would leave us with a finale that includes the best dancer (Mya), the hottest contestant (Joanna) and the best performer (Donny).

The odds would then be on either Mya (highest scores) or Donny (most fans) to win, although Derek could slip Joanna by if they can split enough votes between the other two. Of course, that's wild speculation because Kelly could sneak into the finale and really F things up.

In other news, I'm really enjoying V. On one level, I wish things would move faster and get right to the part where the Visitors start eating people, but that also means that the anticipation that's building is good for viewers. I just hope it doesn't get cancelled between now and March, when it's supposed to resume.

Is it just me or has the Idol juggernaut been rather quiet of late? I don't watch Ellen, so I don't know if she's mentioned anything on air, but it seems to me that they're having a quiet off season. I did see that Kris has released his first CD; I haven't picked it up yet, so if anyone has it, let me know how it is.

Some buddies of mine and I just started a D&D (3rd Edition) game. It's nice to get back into the swing of things, but I'm taking some time to get used to the rules. Yes, I know they're on to 4th edition already, but I haven't got those books yet.

Three of my five fantasy football teams suck. Two are aiiiiight. I've got Joe Flacco and Ray Rice so I'm living and dying with the Ravens.

Check back later and I'll have some thoughts on the DWTS finale.

High Lord. Out.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

V: Then and Now

I don't know how many of you watched the "Five" pilot last night, or the re-runs of V, V: The Final Battle and V: The Series on the Sci-Fi Channel (I refuse to call it by that new name), but I enjoyed the pilot episode of V.

It was a nice set-up for what could be a long-running sci-fi show on network TV. At least it won't be killed early by Fox like Brimstone, Firefly, Millennium, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, et al. I think that without the success of shows in the sci-fi genre like Lost and Heroes, as well as arc-driven shows like 24 and Buffy, this new crop of shows including Flash Forward and V would never get made.

I also wonder how Battlestar Galactica would have fared if it had been given a bigger budget and been broadcast on NBC instead of Sci-Fi.

Anyway, back to V.

There were several plot lines that were nicely set in motion, but at heart, I wonder why the Visitors didn't simply conquer the planet. After all, they have demonstratably superior technology, so why not just take over. This was the basic failing of the 80s series: the aliens needed water and humans (both for food and as slaves to serve as soldiers).

Now, what do they really need?

Water is one of the most abundant compounds in the universe. Why come to earth to get it?

Humans as food? It's not practical to use a top-line predator as a food source. There is too much necessary to raise humans to maturity as opposed to using non-sentient domesticated animals like cows or chickens.

They need a rare element to power their ships? So just wipe out the population of the planet and mine all they need.

And why would they spend decades infiltrating human society. The time and resources necessary to pull all this off would be better spent by simply showing up, demanding the planet's unconditional surrender and then threatening to drop a fusion device into the sun causing it to go super-nova.

Until this basic premise is plausibly explained, the series will seem a little contrived. At least to me.

Still, there were many things to like. We saw that there are a few humans who are aware of the Visitor's reptilian origins, as well as some that are placed highly in the social structure of our planet.

However, this makes me wonder a couple of things:

First, if there are humans who know that certain "people" are aliens in disguise, why not expose them? Just show up one day with a Visitor, rip off his/her "skin" on TV and when they finally show up, we'd be ready.

Second, if there are Visitors who have been here for a while and they know their bretheran are coming, why not expose themselves so we'd be ready? Sure, we might make guinea pigs out of them, but 1) we'd know that there are other species out there, and 2) we'd know that they were coming to take over the planet. That way, we'd either be ready to fight back or have some sort of Torchwood like contingency that would destroy the planet rather than let it fall to an invading alien species.

Anyway, despite this nitpicking, I enjoyed the show last night, and will be tuning in.

Just show me more hot alien babes. And get Inara her hair back.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I never thought it would come to this

Dear Dancing With the Stars,

In a million years, I never imagined that I would be writing this . . .

I think we need to break up. Or at least take some time apart.

We've been together for these last 8½ "seasons" and I just can't take it anymore. I'm not replacing you with another show; infidelity has never been the issue. In fact, I've watched you and DVR'd shows like The Big Bang Theory and American Idol and watched you instead.

I just feel like I'm growing into a different person and you're not.

You've always been good to me. Before, I never thought of ballroom dancing as "sport" but you've made me appreciate the athleticism and energy that dancing requires, not to mention the committment that is necessary. It's just you have some glaring defects that you can't/won't fix.

First, let me say that there are many things I like: Tom Bergeron is the best reality TV show host in the world. Strong pro dancers like Cheryl, Mark, Julianne, and Derek bring out the best in people. Have I mentioned the eye candy factor?

Yet despite this, I can't go on watching you. Samantha Harris annoys me. Maybe if she'd just stand there and jump up and down instead of talking, I'd enjoy her more. Please replace her permanently with Drew Lachey.

I coped well with you rigging season 1 for Kelly Monaco to win (even though she would have won anyway), but I can't handle the way Grumpy Len bashes Mya and Dmitry for no reason, while praising others for doing the exact same thing. His expertise is an asset, but his being a jerk turns me off and doesn't make me want to listen to what he has to say.

We stuck together through schedule and timeslot changes, a revolving door of dancers and endless filler, some of which is very, very funny, and some of which is just plain awful.

I guess my problem is that while you are superior to other contest shows (including American Idol), you're not the best dance show on TV (that would be the one on Fox). I like that Bruno, Carrie Ann and Len actually do some judging that influences the results of the show. I like that the voting system discourages powervoting.

But I can't understand why you don't try and keep up with the times. Introduce some new dances: contemporary, lyrical, hip hop. You do a good job of getting some reasonably relevant C-list celebs, but you handicap your best pro dancers with crappy celeb dancers. Lots of people tune in to watch Cheryl and Anna T. and Kym and Maks, but when you pair them with the likes of Wayne Newton, Tom Delay, Steve Guttenberg, Chuck Liddell, Mark Cuban, Jerry Springer, Denise Richards, Debi Mazar, Willa Ford et al. But why would people tune in to watch their favourite pros get eliminated early?

Will you change for me? Probably not. There are millions of viewers out there who seem content with you just the way you are. Have you tried new things? Sure you have: new dances like the jitterbug, Argentinean Tango, etc. and a couple of gimmicks like the "dance off" sometimes work and sometimes don't, but I appreciate that you've tried some little things. I just don't know that they're enough.

I'm not saying I won't tune in. I think you knew this was coming when I stopped live-blogging at the beginning of this "season". I'm not saying I won't come back, but for right now, I think it's better that we took some time to re-evaluate where we are.

I'm sorry.

-Dave