Eureka Holiday Special

Eureka is one of the "can't miss" TV shows in our household. Last night, they aired a holiday special! As always, it was smart, funny, and added a little twist to the story. (Though I wonder if Sheriff Carter has gotten any term life insurance quotes recently. He is almost always in some sort of danger!) Sadly, I don't want to talk about it too much in case you haven't seen it. (Much like I haven't seen the Warehouse 13 holiday episode from last night yet. It's on my DVR though!) But if you love Eureka, you'll adore the holiday spin on the show. So awesome!

TV review: Michael & Michael Have Issues

Michael-and-michael-have-issues Last night was the debut of Michael & Michael Have Issues on Comedy Central. I am a huge fan of Michael Ian Black and I have been since he was on The State way back in 1993. So I was definitely looking forward to the new show.

There is no real plot to the show other than Michael Ian Black ("Black") and Michael Showalter ("Sho") butt heads at every opportunity they get. If Sho says something is awesome, Black has to say it sucks. This first episode had the Michaels fighting over an article in a high school newspaper that Greg the Intern was writing. Black didn't want to be interviewed but Sho did. Sho went behind Black's back and...let's just say it devolved into a bare-chested pseudo-fight on the front lawn of Black's house. Absolutely hysterical. I can't wait until next week's episode.

Mid-season hiatus

A lot of shows are starting their mid-season hiatus this week. That means we won't be seeing any new episodes until after the new year. Last night, I watched Chuck, Heroes and My Own Worst Enemy. Granted, My Own Worst Enemy has been cancelled so it's gone for good. Heroes was uninteresting. I'd like to see more of Hiro, Ando and Daphne and less of Claire and the Petrellis. Meanwhile, Chuck remains my absolute favorite show. Let's hear your side. What did you love or hate this season?

TV Review: The Fringe

I've been trying to hold off on talking about J.J. Abrams' new show Fringe. Partially because I don't really know what to say about it and partially because I don't want to jinx it. The show stars Joshua Jackson as Peter Bishop, the genius son of the scientific genius Walter Bishop, played by John Noble. Anna Torv plays Agent Olivia Dunham, an FBI agent scouted by Homeland Security to help deal with these new scientific phenomenon that are occurring all over the place. Unfortunately, Walter had been locked in a mental institution for 17 years and, while he is still brilliant, he's not quite all there. There's a lot that is going on in the show. Relationships between people change just about every episode (and there's only been 2 so far!); science is seen from new perspectives; the impossible is possible if you think hard enough. I really do enjoy the show a lot but I am nervous. After all, it is on Fox and they don't have the best track record of keeping good shows on the air. I hope that it will at least make it through the season.

JDorama review: Zettai Kareshi

Title: Zettai Kareshi Also Known As: Absolute Boyfriend Broadcast date: 4/15/08 - 6/24/08 Genre: Romantic comedy Number of episodes: 11 Cast: Hayami Mokomichi, Mizushima Hiro, Aibu Saki Plot: Riika (Aibu Saki) is terrible at love. One day, she finds herself strapped with a free trial for a new love robot, Night (Hayami Mokomichi). Despite Night's absolute devotion to her, Riika finds herself falling in love with her boss, Soshi (Mizushima Hiro). Which will Riika choose? What is good: Much like Ghost in the Shell, it has a "what does it mean to be human" theme wrapped up in the romance storyline. What is bad: How come Night can't willingly destroy property but he can go around telling everyone he's a robot even though Riika was explicitly told not to tell anyone? Letter rating: A- Overall: As a drama, I found it to be excellent. I was even crying during the final episode. However, that doesn't mean it doesn't have problems. The robotic sound effects that Night makes when he blinks or turns his head get somewhat annoying after awhile. We know that he is a robot. We don't need to be reminded. We do need some continuity though. Why doesn't everyone else hear Night's blinking noise? Also, Riika is told very explicitly that Night is a secret and she is not to tell anyone that he is a robot. So what does Night do? Blab it to everyone. Even if no one believes him, why wouldn't he be programmed to not say he's a robot?

If you look past those few small problems, the show really is good. The actors do an excellent job, especially Hayami Mokomichi. This would be a great show for any romantic comedy fan.

JDorama review: Honey and Clover (TV)

Title: Honey & Clover Broadcast dates: 1/8/08 - 3/18/08 Genre: Romance, Slice of Life Cast: Narumi Riko, Ikuta Toma, Harada Natsuki, Mukai Osamu, Narimiya Hiroki Plot: A group of art students try to make sense of life and love. What is good: The characters seem a bit more human this time around. What is bad: The first half of the show is still pretty boring plot-wise. Letter rating: B - Overall: I've now watched the anime version, the movie version and the TV version of this franchise. Of those three, the television series is definitely the best version. I believe that is because the writers gave a little more humanity and depth to the characters. Ikuta Toma, who played Takemoto Yuta, is a great comedic actor. As such, he was able to make all the crappy things that happen to his character seem a bit less apocalyptic but the big changes still had a big impact. Also, Narumi Riko's Hagu has a lot less creepy than any of the other versions. I'm not sure how she did it but she took a very creepy, little-girl-looking character and transformed her into a shy woman who is plopped into a strange new world. So, while I'm still not a huge Honey and Clover fan, I'd definitely watch this version more than once.

America's Most Smartest Model - THE FINALE!

There were some extremely high winds in my area of the US yesterday. They ended up knocking out the power to the building where the server for The Geek Within lives. I apologize that the site was down and I hope the storm has passed so I don't have to worry about it anymore. Now onto the good stuff! When we last saw our contestants - Andre and VJ - the boys were informed that they would have to make PowerPoint presentations explaining why they should be America's Most Smartest Model. The preview for this week's episode showed Andre with a little something hidden up his sleeve. But first we start off seeing VJ diligently plugging away on his presentation with the expert he was given. Then we switch over to Andre. The idea he had was brilliant. Since Andre doesn't speak English very well and knew that he couldn't beat VJ in a presentation, he called up ex-contestant Pickle to present for him. It definitely was a stroke of genius.

For their presentations, VJ did very well. I now believe that he would make a very good con artist. He looks good and he knows how to spew complete crap without cracking. Pickle did very well speaking for Andre but then Andre made the mistake of opening his big mouth. He said something along the lines of "gay, black, white or fat....those things you can change." I simply shook my head and wondered why he didn't stick with shutting up. He pretty much ruined Pickle's entire speech in one sentence.

Ben Stein and Mary Alice Stephenson each brought in two guest judges to help them choose. The two smart judges liked VJ but preferred Andre. One of the fashion judges preferred Andre and one preferred VJ. So they brought the boys back out to do a sort of debate, where Andre screwed up again. He can't seem to focus on anything beyond VJ cheating. Ironically, VJ thought Andre was a coward for bringing out Pickle to speak for him.

When it came down to it, Ben and Mary Alice chose VJ as America's Most Smartest Model. I disagree with their decision but it wasn't a surprise to me. It was obvious from the beginning that Mary Alice liked VJ the most and that Ben had very little say in many of the decisions. I do believe that VJ cheated every step of the way. It's not "thinking outside the box" to call up your friend to do research for you since you don't have the ability to do the research yourself. It's not "creative" to copy the exact poses that your competition does just because they make it look good. And I really think the judges made a bad choice.

America's Most Smartest Model - Episode 10

Angela. VJ. Andre. The final three. At the start of tonight's episode, they pack up for an overnight trip to Palm Springs. The three are treated to an evening with Mary Alice. It basically devolved into a night of "My life is so much worse than yours!" Though I'm not sure that Andre participated in that. He seemed to be pretty quiet through most of the dinner while Angela and VJ compared stories of why their daddies left them. For once, I think Andre had the right idea in keeping his mouth shut. After dinner, Mary Alice revealed the first challenge. The finalists would be doing a photoshoot bright and early the next morning. A group of models were brought in to meet the contestants, who had to choose which of the new models would be in their shoot. The group got to know each other and the contestants were ready to pick their models. The next morning, Mary Alice brings in a troupe of stylists and a world-class photographer and just a ton of people, which wakes up Andre and VJ.

Once again, VJ is sleazy and I think Mary Alice shows her favoritism. Individually, she asks each of the models which of the new models they are picking for their photoshoot. VJ, who had originally picked one of the female models, overhears Andre telling Mary Alice that he's going to use the other two women. (I forget the names of the new models. I think VJ's was Heather and Andre had Jane and Lisa but I'm not sure about that.) Angela went with the two male models. When it came down to the official picking, VJ decides to take two female models, basically stealing one of Andre's. I'm not sure why Mary Alice let this happen since she knew beforehand who Andre had picked. Andre went with the flow and headed off to his shoot.

Andre, as always, did amazing in his shoot. He has a very intense look so he can pull off these crazy intense pictures. VJ tried to copy his poses but came off totally wrong. Mary Alice told him that his pictures weren't coming out and to try to be more natural. So VJ hops in the pool with the girls and gets some OK shots but nothing spectacular. Angela's shots all look the same. Same poses, same look on her face, same everything.

At the end, Andre wins the challenge and Angela gets booted from the show. Mary Alice did make a comment about how some of VJ's shots look almost exactly like Andre's. This, of course, makes Andre chuckle. Since Angela was singing through the entire music-themed photoshoot, Mary Alice told her that she would probably make a better singer and that she is not really cut out for photoshoots. She might make a good runway model but not much else. After hugging everyone, Angela leaves saying that she wanted this more than anyone. I'm sorry but just wanting something isn't enough. You have to work really hard and I don't think Angela did.

So now we're down to VJ and Andre. For their final challenge, they each have to make a media-based presentation on why they should be America's Most Smartest Model. Since Andre won the Edge Challenge, he is given a cell phone with picture and web browsing capabilities. Each of the boys get a PowerPoint expert to help them. We get a few inklings of what is to come but then.....To Be Continued. I hate those words!

I'm really hoping Andre wins this. Granted, I actually wanted Australian!Rachel to win but she fell short. I will be ecstatic if VJ loses to Andre. I can't wait for the finale!