Archive for the 'Television' Category

Childhood Cartoon Shows

I got to browsing on YouTube recently– it truly is the best way to waste time– and happened upon videos of cartoons I used to watch when I was a kid.  Some of my favorites have anime style intro sequences, with killer theme songs.  Here are several of them:

Thundercats

Silverhawks

Bionic 6

Mighty Orbots

And speaking of anime, here are some of my most favorite opening sequences/theme songs:

Flames of Recca

Gatekeepers

Sakura Wars

Bleach

 

Advertisements

A Family Less Ordinary

I’ve really taken to the TV Show called No Ordinary Family (ABC, Tuesdays, 9pm) partly because, well, in all honesty, I miss Heroes.  But mostly because I’m beginning to really like the characters and what they go through to balance possessing extraordinary abilities with everyday life.

Jim (Michael Chiklis) is the head of the not so ordinary Powell family.  He is a police sketch artist who wants to do more.  He developed the ability of super-strength and invulnerability.  We already know Chiklis can play a superhero, so Jim is no stretch.  However, I like the restrained excitement with which he plays his character, tempered with an “all around good guy” vibe.  Stephanie (Julie Benz) is Jim’s wife, and is a very successful scientist at Global Tech, Stephanie developed super speed, which has come in very handy on more than one occasion.  (Fanboy Segue: Benz played the vampire “Darla,” one of my most favorite characters from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series.)  Rounding out the family are Daphne (Kay Panabaker), the daughter who developed the ability to read minds as well as tactile postcognition, and JJ (Jim Bennett), the formerly not-so-smart son who ironically developed super intelligence.

Supported by “sidekicks” George St. Cloud (Romany Malco), District Attorney who also happens to be a good friend of Jim’s, and Katie Andrews (adorably portrayed by Autumn Reeser), Stephanie’s lab assistant, the Powells are able to evolve into a superpowered family you can get behind.  And now that new characters (both good and bad) continue to be introduced– not to mention that the character of Will/Joshua (played by Josh Stewart) continues to evolve into something more than just a hired gun for Dr. King– I’m making space in DVR to catch the Powells do their thing.

What I appreciate most about Family is that, unlike Heroes, they don’t seem to take themselves too seriously.  Of course, it helps that it’s family friendly (probably slated for syndication on ABC Family at some point), so it has that aw-shucks and a we’re-just-trying-to-be-normal-even-though-we-kick-ass approach.  It is perhaps this lightheartedness that makes me appreciate it more.  Oh, sure, there’s a badass villain who happens to be Stephanie’s boss, Dr. King (portrayed by Commander Decker! a.k.a. Stephen Collins) but even that character (for now) seems pretty harmless.

Let’s just hope they don’t jump the shark at some point by suddenly granting powers to the previously non-powered (*cough* Ando *cough*) or by doing something else that is purely nonsensical.  I’d like to be able to enjoy the Powells for a very long time.

Femme Fatale

What’s sexier than a hot chick in a tight red dress? An ass-kicking hot chick in a tight red dress, that’s what!  Those wonderful people from the land of television is bringing to the small screen yet another installment in a long line of brawling babes with Nikita on the CW network.
Vietnamese-American actress, Maggie Q— best known for her work in Gen Y Cops, Model from Hell, and Rice Rhapsody (yeah, I never heard of ’em either)– plays the titular role, hell-bent on bringing justice on stilettos.  Here’s a little preview:

America Made DeWyze Choice!

As I had hoped, Lee DeWyze has just won Season 9 of American Idol. Congratulations, Lee! You are the very first contestant that I was rooting for to actually take the prize!

Lee DeWyze FTW!

It’s been quite a while since I blogged. And nearly two months since I last blogged about the current season of American Idol. Interestingly (and most excitingly), the subject of that blog post— Lee DeWyze– is now in the finale, facing off against fellow Chicago auditioner, Crystal Bowersox.

Lee DeWyze

DeWyze has certainly come a long way. During Hollywood week, Simon Cowell, the unequivocal lead judge, once told DeWyze that he didn’t have the potential to be a star. Yet here we are, over 14 weeks since DeWyze responded to that critique with a mere “Okay…” and Cowell is now singing a different tune, telling DeWyze just last week how “very, very, very proud” he is of the unassuming singer-songwriter with a troubled past.

Clearly, DeWyze had the strongest performances during Top 3 Night, with his personal song choice of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” and Cowell’s own choice for him–Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”– being the highlights of the evening. The latter was almost a season-ending turn; he would’ve won, in my opinion, had that been the last performance of the season.

DeWyze has certainly shown the most noticeable progression of any contestant in this ninth season of the popular reality show, and his humble, approachable nature has managed to amass him quite a following. He’s turned from this “little baby lamb” (as judge, Ellen Degeneres, recently opined) into a force to be reckoned with. He’s even been touted by many to be the likely recipient of this year’s crown.

Indeed, at last Wednesday’s results show, DeWyze proclaimed that he’s “never wanted to win more than I do right now.”

But it all comes down to DeWyze’s final judgeable performances on Tuesday– and, of course, America’s votes– that lead to whether his (or Bowersox’s) ultimate dream comes true.

I, for one, can picture the confetti falling upon DeWyze’s smiling, tear-drenched face on next Wednesday’s results show as he’s honored as this season’s winner. But it’s not just up to me. It’s up to the American viewers who are repeatedly reminded by Idol host, Ryan Seacrest: “You vote. You decide.”

I’m hopeful the rest of America makes the right choice: Lee DeWyze, American Idol 2010!

Vote for Lee DeWyze!

So, I’m watching American Idol again.

I know.  Lame. 

But here’s the thing: I love the journey these contestants are taking to further their musical endeavors.  They’re hoping for a career in the music industry and American Idol has proven to open doors and pave the way for many previous contestants. 

Sure a number of those that have ended up on the current Top Ten got there due to their personality or looks over any semblance of true talent.  I’m not going to talk about them.  Who I am going to talk about are those who have been hitting the street corners and subway platforms; gigging at clubs and fairs; impressing people at karaoke; hoping and wishing for that big break.  Those who have been impressing us from the get-go.

One such person is Lee DeWyze.

 

Hailing from Mt. Prospect, Illinois, DeWyze auditioned in Chicago, was put through to Hollywood, selected into the Top 24, and had recently secured a spot within the Top Ten.  And he did these not by relying on having a big personality or industry-defined aesthetics.  He did this by simply singing very well.

To date, through amazing turns with songs like Hinder’s “Lips of an Angel” and a reimagined version of Rolling Stones’s “Beast of Burden”– and impressive reinterpretations of Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars,” Owl City’s “Fireflies,” and The Box Tops’s “The Letter”– DeWyze has, in my opinion, exhibited a very current, marketable voice as well as true artistry.

Prior to joining the 9th season of Idol, DeWyze independently released two records: 2007’s “So I’m Told” and 2010’s “Slumberland.”  Both discs showcase the beautiful tone of his voice– at once gruff and tender– and a songwriting skill that could only be bourne from years of honing.

He is not the most savvy “entertainer” and has struggled with shedding the singer/songwriter vibe.  However, therein lies his appeal.  (And, that he’s landed on the Top Ten, it’s clear that he’s appealed to many.)  He’s not the flashiest one on stage; in fact, he seems terrified of it.  But one thing remains:  the voice that comes out of that still terrified frame is one that needs to be celebrated.

DeWyze performs again on American Idol on Tuesday, 03/30/10, when Usher mentors them through “R&B Week.”  If you would like to have a hand in helping this musician with incredible talent and potential, please vote for him, and keep him in the competition.  I feel he can go real far with the opportunity that Idol is providing.  Let’s make a difference in this young musician’s life.  I have a good feeling that we’ll be the ones reaping the most rewards.

Beyond The Senses

I can’t help it.  I believe in the paranormal and the unexplained.  Thanks in large part to my own ghostly encounter many years ago.  In addition to ghosts, I readily accept psychics/sensitives, extraterrestrial life, demons, the notion of panspermia, and unusual abilities like pyschokinesis, telekinesis, precognition, and time travel– to name but a few.

This is probably why I love shows like Heroes, Ghost Hunters, Fringe and Paranormal State.  Again, to name but a few.  I’m drawn to the stories and accounts of situations and experiences outside of the norm.  And that these are happening all around us, whether we are aware of/acknowledge them or not.

fringe_heroes_ghosthunters_paranormalstate

Fringe (Fox), Heroes (NBC), Ghost Hunters (SyFy), and Paranormal State (A&E)

I’ve always felt conflicted about many of these beliefs because of my also being a Christian.  Catholic, to be exact.  The potential that life exists (and possibly even started) elsewhere– not to mention the theories of evolution and the formation of the universe– contest my belief on the Creation.  Extraordinary abilities seem to not be limited to prophets, saints and angels.  Rather, ordinary people are able to see into the past, predict the future, and interact with spirits of the departed.  I constantly wrestle with the notion that religion grew out of the necessity to explain why things were to a populace that wasn’t ready to imagine the science behind them.

Is it possible to marry these concepts into one ultimate belief?  Or is that something someone clinging onto a security blanket would ask?  Someone who scoffs at the idea of Judgment Day, but secretly harbors a desire to be “saved” when the time comes?

I don’t know where the answer lies, and drive myself crazy pondering these thoughts.