Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Doogie does Dallas

Seriously . . . I know I'm not the first one to make that joke.

Tonight's generally worthless guest judge is everyone's favourite kid doctor, Dr. Horrible. Only he's not singing. He should though. Something like this masterpiece.

The show opens and they remind us that Kelly Clarkson was "discovered" in Dallas. I'd be happy if they "discovered" another Jordin (mmmmm . . . Jordin . . . yum). Or Kimberley Caldwell. Hell, I'd "settle" for Becky O'Donohue.

I just saw that Apple announced the iPad, which seems like an overgrown iPod Touch. There's a wireless version as well as a wireless plus 3G version. It comes in 16, 32 and 64 GB and has all flash memory (no moving parts). I'd be interested to see one in the glass. It seems that it will displace the Kindle, the iPod and the Blackberry in one fell swoop. The only thing it doesn't have is the phone and the camera. Otherwise it's basically a touchscreen netbook. I just don't know that people in general will fork over $500-700 for a device that doesn't have the functionality of a laptop.

Our boy Barney seems to be at odds with Simon like Katy and Kara were going at it yesterday. I think the drama is probably manufactured, but at least NPH is entertaining.

Quick question: Fox is using U2's classic song "Bad" as the soundtrack to its Daytona 500 ads. What does a song about heroin addiction have to do with NASCAR?

Mrs. High Lord is in mourning over her favourite show which is a shame because I don't see anything else on the horizon that can take its place. ABC canceled "Pushing Daisies" which was similarly smart and funny. Do networks not like shows that don't involve contests or criminal forensics? Do they not understand that moving a show to Friday nights is its death knell.

I'm dreading the day CBS moves Big Bang Theory to Fridays, 'cuz Mrs. High Lord likes that show, too.

It's a good thing the judges's table has a skirt on the front; I'm sure he creamed his pants when BDSM Barney girl walked into the room.

We're halfway through the show and we've seen two singers who've made it, right? I think next year I'm going to skip the audition rounds entirely. I know, I say that every year, but this time I mean it, dammit!

This two guest judges per episode is really beginning to grate on me. Why can't they stick with one for an entire episode. Or get rid of them altogether.

Guest judges and Lifetime movies. They definitely need to go.

Anyway, the show is now over and I've lost an hour of my life. I wonder if I can write to Fox and get that time back. Probably not.

Enjoy the Dr. Horrible and U2 videos, though.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Idol goes to Hollywood

. . . and sadly, we're still in the audition rounds. Have I mentioned how much I hate these shows?

While the show starts with its filler, let's talk some football. How 'bout them Colts? Who wishes they were 18-0 right about now?

(If your hand is not up right now, click to another blog because I hate you.)

I'm happy to see Peyton Manning back in The Big Game because if he wins, he'll cement himself on the list of Top 5 QBs of All Time (the others being Unitas, Elway, Graham and Marino). Plus, he'll push Brett Favre off said list. Also, given that he's got the chance to make two (maybe three) more Super Bowls, he could establish himself as the Greatest of All Time.

Seriously, I know all the Montana and Brady people are jumping up and down right now, but did anyone fear any of the aforementioned QBs more than Manning? This season, we've seen the usually level-headed Bill Belichick make a bad 4th down call and the Dolphins specifically to avoid giving Peyton Manning the ball back. None of those other guys ever had that happen to him. And guess what, Manning beat both the Fish and the Patriots.

And how 'bout them Saints? I'm very happy for New Orleans, more so because they beat up on Favre and the Vikings. For all the fawning the media has done over Favre, I'd like to remind everyone that he's 1-1 in the Super Bowl and he's just as likely to throw for 4 TDs as he is to throw 5 INTs. Look, I appreciate that he's 40 years old and playing a game with guys who are young enough to be his kids.

But the fact of the matter is that aside from his longevity, he's not necessarily the kind of QB you'd build a team around, especially over the past seven or eight years. He's careless with the ball and a selfish ball-hogging statmonger. Yes, he owns all of the major passing records (including the most INTs of all time), but is that because he's stuck around so long or because he's good? Either way, it doesn't matter because unless Peyton goes Jim Brown/Walter Payton on us, our boy Manning is going to own them in about five years.

Favre bashing aside, I'm happy for the Saints. They've been the second best team all season, and they have a (small) legitimate chance at actually winning. Of course, first they have to get by the Colts, which will be no small feat. Their defense has made all the right plays at all the right time, but they can't afford to have the kind of mental brainfarts that plagued them for the last quarter of the season, or else the Colts will chew them up and spit them out.

I don't like the Colts only being favoured by four. I'd put it by at least six, possibly eight.

A quick Idol note: We're 19 minutes into the show and not one really good singer has been on. Yes, pastor/father of three guys was aiiiiiight, but he's not going to make it out of the first round in Hollywood.

Avril is kind of hawt in the horned sweatshirt, though. Not hawt enough to displace Kym Johnson as the reigning Future Mrs. High Lord, however. But hawter than Katy.

I think I mentioned last week that I've taken up Lord of the Rings Online. It's consuming a lot of my time, although I don't know if I'm going to keep it longer than the initial sign-up period. My Hunt(ress) is up to level 20 now. I think I'm doing pretty well overall, although I keep getting my butt kicked by the undead.

Two other games I'm looking forward to are the Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic and Mass Effect 2, which comes out today. I haven't played the first Mass Effect (my graphics card won't run it), but some guys at work love it. I'd also like to play Dragon Age: Origins, but I have to get a new computer first.

A quick note to anyone who tries out for Idol: Don't tell your dad if he's prone to blabbing, or you might get booted off for violating the confidentially agreement.

We're halfway through the show and I'm underwhelmed so far, which is saying something because I have such low expectations for the audition shows.

What's the deal with so many guest "judges" only staying for one day? Do that many people want to be on the show that they're double-booking at each venue? Or do they have other stuff to do?

Super-gay water treatment boy is making me want to change the channel. Seriously. I thought Idol was past mocking the bad singers and was going to focus on the good singers. Guess not. I'm almost ready to go back to LOTRO.

Why do people go on Idol and get ticked off when a camera is in their face as they're crying?

In other news, did you hear about P. Diddy giving his kid a $300,000 car? He also gave the kid $10,000, and the kid promptly gave it to Wyclef Jean's charity, Yele Haiti.

The auditions are still subpar, but the guy with the kid (it must be the season of the parents) whose parents used to be in gangs was pretty good. I will be interested to see how far he goes, both on his own talent and on the three million votes Fox just handed to him.

And what's the deal with all the ministers/pastors auditioning? Have I mentioned that I'm an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church of Modesto, California? That doesn't mean I can sing. Or that I should try out for Idol.

Speaking of pastors, let us pray: Dear God, please make the sob stories stop. Let them just get to the singing. And make Katy's boobies fall out of that dress. Amen.

You know someone's story is bad when they play that Hannah Montana mountain climbing song in the background.

That wraps up this show. Tomorrow, Idol goes to Dallas and then Obama is on for the State of the Union. Next week we have one final night of city auditions and then the Best of the Rest episode.

Maybe by then our friend Jennifer will be blogging again.

High Lord. Out.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Where dreams come true

Or not.

I've always enjoyed Orlando. Not only is it the home of the Mouse, but my brother lives there and all the tourists that visit keep the good residents of the great state of Florida from paying a state income tax.

Our friend Laura went to the auditions. Did anyone see her in the crowd?

In another hour of my life that I'm not getting back, we're treated to the usual schlock that comes with an audition show: there's the requisite amount of sob stories and pretty girls who have no clue. Surprisingly, there aren't any people dressed up as Mickey (yet) and no one is astoundingly bad.

Autism Dad got handed a half million votes tonight (assuming he gets out of Hollywood with his hopes intact). I wasn't sure about Beat-Boxer Boy, but if he sticks to just singing, he could actually do well.

I wish Kristen Chenoweth had stuck around for two days; she was funny and I took great delight in her tormenting Simon along with Kara. I think she would have made a fantastic mentor if given the chance. I think of her as Annabeth on The West Wing and Olive on the hideously underrated Pushing Dasies, but she is a much better Broadway actress and singer than she is a dramatic actress (much like Bebe Neuwirth).

The blue/yellow sisters are awful singers. It's only the blue one's boobs hanging out and the short shorts on the yellow sister that even piqued Simon's interests. If they were guys, they wouldn't have made the judges's room. The best part of their audition was them running. I watched it in slow-mo on the DVR three or four times.

Why am I still watching these episodes? Can I just break up with the audition rounds of Idol and come back when they get to Hollywood? I think I might.

The good news is that my LOTRO character is now up to a level 14 hunter. I still haven't figured out the crafting thing, though. Maybe I will by next week.

Speaking of next week, we're off to LA and then Dallas, so check back then.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and I'm wearing sunglasses.

Yup, it's time to go to Chicago (which is 106 miles away, of course).

We're still mired in the auditions, so I'm looking for more filler. Thankfully, the show is only an hour tonight, but at least I get to spend it looking at the post-dental work ├╝ber-hawt Shania Twain. Yummy.

Things start out rough with a montage of people uttering curse words. The first singer is of the day is frizzy-haired, polite and apparently doesn't own a bra. Or conditioner.

I have an idea: Let's replace Kara with Shania. Or Randy with Shania. Or Simon.

I'd like to see a Colts-Saints Super Bowl with New Orleans winning. If Bill Polian hadn't been such a douche and the Colts were 16-0, I'd root for Indy. As it is, I'd like to see the Saints win it all just because they've been so bad for so long, I figure they're due for some good karma.

At the end of last week, I received the UNF Journal, the quarterly publication of my alma mater where they keep me up to date with things going on around campus and try to get me contribute to the Annual Fund. While I don't usually pay much attention to what goes on back in Jax, I was intrigued to find out that the new dorm they just built has a lazy river in the courtyard.

Let me say that again:

Lazy. Freakin'. River.


My dorm room was little bigger than a prison cell. Cinder block walls. Shower/toilets down the hall. WTF.

It's good to see the taxpayers of Florida and the Osprey alumni providing amenities to those who have come after me with a lazy river.

Lazy. Freakin'. River.

At least our football team is still undefeated. But if the next dorms have the Kali River Rapids, I'm going to be pissed.

They just showed the Parade of Freaks who showed up in costume. Is it any wonder why people have a hard time taking these shows seriously? If this is a "singing competition", then they need to show singing, not trainwrecks. Thank god for the DVR. If they need filler, just have Shania jump up and down a few times.

I know everyone out there has already been inundated by the news about the earthquake in Haiti. I've also heard about people complaining about having "natural disaster fatigue", which I can understand. This just seems to be closer to home than a tsunami or mudslides in the Philippines. I also wonder how much longer we can afford to have the poorest country in the western hemisphere sitting within cruise ship distance of south Florida.

Throwing relief money won't help the people of Haiti in the long run. They already were living with poor infrastructure, health care, education, etc. I've noticed that there hasn't been tales of destruction and mayhem coming from the Dominican Republic which is on the eastern half of the island. What gives?

It seems to me that we need to install a stable government, root out the rampant corruption and put in place mechanisms to keep Haitians out of the vicious cycle of poverty. And for those of you who believe that it's not our job to prop up other countries, know that if Haitians can't provide for their families in Haiti, they're only going to get on boats and come here.

In other news, I downloaded and installed both World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online. After playing WoW for a while and LOTRO for a few days, I signed up for LOTRO and I'll see how it goes. I've got a level 12 elf hunter right now and I'm trying to figure out the economy. If you play LOTRO, send me an email with your character's name and I'll add you to my friend list.

I also got booed off the stage again playing Foghat on the Wii.

We're 40 minutes into the show and I don't see it getting any better tonight. In three weeks, we'll be done with this schlock and on to the Hollywood rounds. Damn, that can't come soon enough.

I think I'm going to call it a night and go back to killing mound-wights.

Go text "Haiti" to 90999 and donate $10 to the Red Cross. Or Doctors Without Borders.

High Lord. Lazy. Freakin'. River. Out.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Did Posh and Mary J do anything for you?

As in years past, the guest judges so far in the audition rounds have been basically worthless. The only one I can remember being constructive in any way was Gene Simmons. Posh looked too skinny and I can't remember Mary J even opening her mouth and the show is 70 minutes in.

Why does Idol barrage us with these audition shows? I mean, besides the fact that they're cheap to produce and a certain faction tunes in specifically to see the trainwrecks.

Since I don't care about the fodder and I hate to see the early pimpage of some singers (Carrie, Gokey, Archuleta) at the expense of others, I have a really hard time investing in these rounds because I don't want to feel manipulated when it comes time for the real singing. Of course, since I've got one eye on Mrs. High Lord's new TV, I'm happy to report that there hasn't been a Bikini Girl or Tatiana clone (so far).

In other news, I just downloaded and started playing the trial version of World of Warcraft at the coaxing of some of my co-workers (you know who you are). I've created two characters: a human paladin and a human mage. I haven't graduated to the PvP servers yet; mostly I'm just tooling around the beginner areas. Lots of Night Elf Mohawks. That's kind of creepy.

I'm not sure if I like the game yet and I don't know that I can bring myself to actually pay a monthly fee to play a computer game. When the Star Wars MMO hits shelves, I'm sure I'll pay for that (Star Wars, hello!); ask me in another nine days if I've given Blizzard Mrs. High Lord's credit card number.

How many more of these shows do I have to endure? Five? Then how many Hollywood rounds?

I noticed that they've abandoned the Wild Card format (again) and gone back to the (lame) 12 guys/12 girls rounds. There are lots of articles out there about changed Idol should make and I'll comment on them later. Suffice to say that all eight of my regular readers are probably pretty familiar with my regular gripes (and they're all still in effect).

The show's almost over and I haven't seen anything that moved me. I think I'm going to log some Guitar Hero time and try not to get booed off the stage. Or maybe I'll text one of the guys at work and see if he'll give me some stuff to get started on a WoW PvP server.

Season 9 of Idol is starting with a yawn; with any luck it will finish stronger (and with everyone's pants held up with a belt).

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Idol Farewell Tour

I know you all have heard the rumours and stories. The big question is this:

Is this the final season of Idol?

Paula is already gone. Simon--who has had one foot out the door for the past two seasons--will leave at the end of this season to focus on his new show which will air in the fall of 2011. Ellen Degeneres is in. Kara is still around. The judges's save has been saved.

I typically don't blog the audition rounds, so I'd like to bring all of you (all eight of my readers, plus my mom) up to speed.

On New Year's Day, I went down to Jacksonville to watch Bobby Bowden's final game as the head coach of my Seminoles. That Florida State got to beat up on WVU was just a bonus. I'm a little peeved at TPTB at FSU for forcing Bobby out, but que sera sera. I also realised that I come by my yelling at the TV honestly, as I was the least loud member of my family to be watching the game.


Florida State! Florida State! Florida State!

In other reality TV show news, I really enjoyed "The Sing-Off" on NBC. In case you missed it, it was a competition between 8 acappella groups for a $100,000 prize and recording contract. The best part wasn't really the singing (which was mostly good) but the judging, specifically from Ben Folds.

Nicole Sherzingsomethingorother was annoying as hell. Every time she opened her mouth, I wanted to reach through the screen and punch her in the face. I realise that every show needs a judge whose sole function is to fall out of her dress, but Nicole had virtually nothing constructive to say and when she did speak, she said the same four things over and over. She didn't have Paula's wacky factor, but apparently she is very flexible, something we never got to see.

Boyz II Men's Shawn Stockman was hot and cold; his criticism was mostly spot-on, and he was refreshingly free of Randy Jackson's Dawgisms. My problem with Shawn is that sometimes it appeared that he and I were listening to different shows.

Of course, the best judge to ever grace a singing competition was Ben Folds. He was smart, witty and spoke with authority and credibility. I think they should replace both Simon and Kara with Ben.

In case you missed it, here is my favourite performance from The Sing-Off.

Plus, Ben could say things that were 1) true, 2) negative and 3) not be a jackass about it. I will watch this show again if it's renewed.

There haven't been too many movies to catch my eye, but I went to see Avatar twice, once at midnight in 3-D and once with Mrs. High Lord in regular 2-D. I know there are a lot of negative reviews of the movie, but I enjoyed it. Technologically, it was a quantum leap forward in the same way that the Final Fantasy movie and The Matrix were.

Many of the negative reviews centered around Avatar's Ferngully meets Dances With Wolves storyline. Me, being pro tree and all that, I didn't mind the environmental message, but some of the guys I went to see it with didn't. I felt a little deceived by the previews which made it seem like it would be a lot of action and shooting instead of lots of 10 foot blue alien love story.

Guitar Hero update: I got booed off the stage playing Foghat yesterday. If I didn't like my Wii (Fit) so much, I'd have thrown it through the window.

So far, I'm not impressed by any of the auditions so far. I think I'm going to go install the 10 day free trial of WoW now. We'll talk more Idol tomorrow night.

Question of the day: What does the TV landscape look like post-Idol?

High Lord. Out.