Tag Archives: Glee

TV Newsround: Good News For Chuck And Visitors – Bad News For Heroes and Flashers

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As the flurry of renewals and cancellations stepped up a gear yesterday, there was good news for fans of V, the decent remake of the 1980s classic about alien invaders, and sci-fi spy comedy-drama Chuck.

V, starring Elizabeth Mitchell – previously best-known for playing Juliet in Lost – and Firefly‘s Morena Baccarin, has been renewed for a second season by US network ABC.

Meanwhile NBC has committed to a fourth season of the acclaimed, but ratings-starved, Chuck.

Bad news, however, for fans of FlashForward, which has reportedly been canceled and will not be back after season one ends – guess we should have seen that one coming…

However, we were always promised that season one would be self-contained and that any future seasons would deal with new flash forwards, so at least we should get a resolution of sorts to the story.

I’m very sad, but not surprised, also to report the demise of Heroes, a show whose five-seasons will, in the future, surely serve as a case study of how NOT to run a TV show.

During its first season, it was the hottest new property on network TV but it was systematically destroyed through a lack of any apparent show-running ability, poor creative decisions, dire plotting and convoluted story arcs that often went nowhere or made no sense. In the end, it seems, they couldn’t save the cheerleader.

It’s been a busy time over the past days and weeks for those who get to decide the future of your favourite TV shows, so here’s a quick rundown of what’s happening with the rest of your favourites on the five big networks: ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS and The CW.

Renewed: Castle, Cougar Town, Modern Family, The Middle, The Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife, How I Met Your Mother, Two And A Half Men, Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, Bones, Fringe, Glee, Human Target, Lie To Me, The Simpsons, 30 Rock, Community, Friday Night Lights, Law & Order: SVU, The Office, Parenthood, Parks & Recreation, 90210, Gossip Girl, Smallville, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, NCIS: Los Angeles.

Canceled: Better Off Ted, Hank, Romantically Challenged, Scrubs, Ugly Betty, 24, Dollhouse, Past Life, ‘Til Death, Law & Order, Mercy, Trauma.

The following are those shows that have yet to have their futures decided. Those in green are generally considered dead certs or good bets for renewal, those in red long shots and those in black are thought to be 50/50:

The Bachelor, Brothers & Sisters, The Deep End, Desperate Housewives, The Forgotten, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Accidentally on Purpose, Cold Case, Criminal Minds, CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Gary Unmarried, Ghost Whisperer, Medium, The Mentalist, NCIS, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Numb3rs, Rules of Engagement, Brothers, House, Life Unexpected, Melrose Place, One Tree Hill.

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Rock Sugar – Where Spinal Tap Meets Glee

It’s an age-old tale.

Boys in heavy metal band on the verge of rocking the planet meet 13-year-old girl. Girl hates boys. Boys  batter a smurf. The private yacht they are all on sinks. Boys are marooned on a desert island with only a pink Hello Kitty ghetto blaster, a case of batteries, the 13-year-old’s 1980s pop music CD collection and 158 cases of schnapps for company.

Ah… how often have we seen that sad story play out?

Such is the legend of Rock Sugar (full legend here). However, for the band, and fans of great music, there is a happy ending.

Twenty years later, the band were rescued by tuna fishermen and now they are back and ready to rock on from where they left off. With a twist.

Two decades of listening to 80s teenybopper music has left a mark – Popholm syndrome, as the band amusingly describe it – and now Rock Sugar is a musical nexus where the heaviest of metal collides with the lightest, catchiest and, um, cheesiest of bubblegum pop.

Okay, so, in other words, stripping away the wonderfully silly back story, we’re essentially in mash-up territory here. Or should that be mosh-up..?

I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of the mash-up – they never improve on the original component parts and if they involves a song I like, it just annoys me to hear it ruined by some idiot playing about with mixing software on his computer.

But Rock Sugar bring something new to the mix. For a start, they are performing the songs, rather than just cutting and pasting other people’s recordings together.

But more importantly, they bring a sense of fun that transforms the mash-up from the dry, soulless technical exercise it essentially is into something… wonderful.

The 13 tracks on Rock Sugar‘s debut album, Reimaginator, are an astonishing fusion of no fewer than 34 songs by rock heavyweights such as Metallica, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne, Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue and Judas Priest with catchy pop-rock anthems from the likes of Journey, Eurythmics, Rick Springfield, Bon Jovi, Madonna and Queen.

The album opener, which is generating massive internet buzz at the moment, is Don’t Stop The Sandman, which blends Journey‘s Don’t Stop Believing and Metallica‘s Enter Sandman to simply stunning effect.

I know, I know… the Journey song has been hugely over-exposed in the last year or so, from its memorable use in the final scene of The Sopranos, through being massacred in last year’s The X Factor (in the UK) and, most recently, the surprisingly decent version performed by the cast of TV smash hit (and, the Choob must admit, one of my guilty TV pleasures) Glee.

But Rock Sugar’s version will make you look at the song in a whole new light. In a good way.

The official video has only been up on YouTube for about six weeks and already, through only word of mouth, has just smashed through the 200,000 views mark. Here it is, see what you think:

Great though it is, Don’t Stop The Sandman is really just the curtain-raiser to the album. You can stream all the tracks on the band’s official site, and most are also up on YouTube too, so I won’t go through them all.

However, here are a few that I think are particularly awesome (I’ll leave you to work out what’s been mashed together).

First up we have Prayin’ For A Sweet Weekend:

Next, Shook Me Like A Prayer:

And finally, Dreaming Of A Whole Lotta Breakfast:

There are countless ways this could have all gone horribly wrong and been an embarrassing mess – but it’s hard to imagine how it could possibly have turned out better.

And that is surely a testament to the fact that the band have genuine musical talent to back up their high-concept idea. Yes, there is a gimmick inherent in their music – but there’s nothing gimmicky about their inspired choices of songs to combine, the technical genius of their arrangements or the quality of their recorded performance.

If the live experience matches the studio effort – and early live reviews suggest that they are even better live than on disc, then this band may just be THE next big thing.

In the title of this post I jokingly compared Rock Sugar to the ever-entertaining Spinal Tap. But that’s perhaps unfair, because Tap are all about spoofing the self-important pomposity and excess of heavy metal. Rock Sugar is no spoof.

If Rock Sugar share any characteristics with Spinal Tap, it’s that their tongue is firmly in cheek and they are making rock music fun again.

The album is currently only available from the band’s website for $17. Adding international shipping of $8 makes it a slightly pricy proposition for those outwith the US – $25 or £16 – but well worth it, for my money, to get in at the ground floor because they deserve to be huge.

Rock Sugar might just be my new favourite band. Because pop rocks!

Incidentally, lead singer Jess Harnell has apparently had a colourful career. In addition to being in a few bands, including Loud & Clear, he’s a somewhat prolific voice-over artist. He has lent his voice to many animated TV shows and videogames.

Most notably, he starred as Wakko Warner in the fondly remembered 1990s Animaniacs cartoon series and also voiced two of the Transformers in the two recent live action movies. Oh, and he’s been the announcer for America’s Funniest Home Videos for over a decade.


Filed under Music, Stuff, Video Killed The Radio Star

TV Newsround: CSI Galactica; Dollhouse Gathers Speed; Chenowith Full Of Glee; and more

FANS of Battlestar Galactica who are already mourning the fact that there are only two more episodes left can take some comfort from the latest development in the CSI universe – CSI: Galactica.

No, it’s not an attempt to transplant the CSI formula to the 12 Colonies of Kobol.

It’s a special episode of CSI, due to air on April 16, in which the forensics experts investigate a death at a science fiction convention.

Kate Vernon, who plays Ellen Tigh (right) on BSG, and Ronald D Moore, who created the new version of the sci-fi drama, will guest star on the episode and the producers promise plenty of other sci-fi references and in-jokes.

Talking of all things CSI, producers of CSI: New York have warned fans to brace themselves for the death of a prominent character in the season finale.

FOUR episodes in and the ongoing plot of Joss Whedon‘s new show, the flawed but intriguing Dollhouse, is slowly gathering speed as clues about the show’s mythology are gradually revealed.

For the uninitiated, it stars Eliza Dushku (right) as Echo, one of a group of “actives” or “dolls”, men and women who have had their personality erased so that they can be programmed with specific skills and memories, tailored to the needs of clients who hire them out for anything from sexual liaisons to bank robberies.

According to Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello, the show will kick into high gear on April 3 when, through a series of flashbacks, we learn who Echo was and why and how she ended up being lured into the Dollhouse. So it may be worth sticking with the show for a few more weeks, even if you’re not too sure about its long-term appeal.

OVER in Smallville, Ausiello reports that two major characters will die in the final episode of the current season. One of them is said to be a “veteran” of the show, the other a more recent addition. And, unlike previous Smallville deaths, these ones are said to be permanent. He also reports that The Legion will return in the May finale and that the final two episodes of the season will focus on a search for Chloe and Doomsday.

LOVABLE Pushing Daisies star Kristin Chenowith (right) and former Alias father figure Victor Garber have signed up for recurring roles in the Fox network’s musical comedy-drama Glee. Garber will play the father of the show’s leading man Matthew Morrisonbut Chenowith’s role is shrouded in secrecy.

The show is already generating great word of mouth amongst those who have seen an extended trailer and the pilot, so much so that the network plans to air the pilot episode on May 19, following American Idol’s current season finale. The series proper won’t begin until the Autumn.

Morrison plays a high school teacher who sets out to turn around the fortunes of his school’s glee club, which is filled with misfits and outcasts, molding them into a top-notch choir that can compete in a national competition. The show will feature musical numbers each week, ranging from classics to current pop hits.

ACTOR Jackie Earle Haley, who can currectly be seen on the big screen playing Watchmen’s Rorschach, has landed a supporting role in the pilot episode of a TV show based on another DC comic book, Human Target.

The human target of the title is master of disguise Christopher Chance, who hires himself out to act as a decoy for people whose lives are being threatened. Haley will play Chance’s researcher, who gathers the information his boss needs.

Also joining the cast is Chi McBride, who played moody detective Emerson Cod in Pushing Daisies). Mark Valley, who played FBI agent Olivia Dunham’s dead ex-boyfriend in Fringe, will play the title character.

FORMER ER star Julianna Margulies (right), who returns to County General this week for one last appearance as nurse Carol Hathaway, is set to take the lead role in the CBS drama pilot The Good Wife. She’ll play a politician’s wife who decides to resume her former career as a lawyer. Her last major role was also as a lawyer, in Canterbury’s Law, which was axed after just six episodes.

IN casting news that makes the Choob feel oh-so old, former Brat Pack actor Andrew McCarthy (The Breakfast Club, St Elmo’s Fire) has joined the cast of the Gossip Girl spin-off – as the main character’s dad.

The pilot for the spin-off, which will air as a flashback episode of the original show, is set in the 1980s and explores the wild teenage years of Lily Rhodes. McCarthy plays her dad, who is a music company executive.

THE creator of Sex And The City Darren Star has signed a two-year contract with HBO. He will produce his first new show in 10 years under the deal and oversee comedy and drama projects by other writers. He is currently developing the HBO pilot Diary Of A Manhattan Call Girl.

COMEDY cop show Reno 911! returns for its sixth season on April 1 on Comedy Central.

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