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by John Lindstedt

19 Mar 2010

In the premiere of its 14th season, South Park decided to take the time to address the Tiger Woods scandal that happened during the hiatus. As usual, the show makes some refreshingly insightful commentary on the scandal, as well as the deeper seated issue of infidelity and “sex addiction”.

To sum up: most men in a position of power and wealth would have the desire to have affairs with as many women as possible. There is really no mystery why they would want to.

All in all, a really solid episode, especially since the show has been a little off and on in recent seasons. The South Park Studios site doesn’t have an embed option, so you’ll just have to watch it here.

Looking forward, the show will celebrate its 200th episode on April 14th, and for further reading I would suggest this recent New York Times interview with creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

by Jessy Krupa

16 Mar 2010

When music videos first really made their mark in the 1980s, broadcast channels devoted their Friday nights to them. As MTV and other cable channels gained dominance over the field in the 1990s, shows like Pop-Up Video and TRL pushed the networks out. While record labels threw big budgets at flashy videos, knowing that they served as both great publicity and entertainment, the cable channels realized they could profit more from cheap reality shows and “music based programming”.

Nowadays, the majority of music videos are watched on the internet, and their quality has mostly suffered as a result. In fact, some people say the music video is dead. But the music video is not dead. In 2007, OK Go became famous for their inventive treadmill routine in the “Here It Comes Again” video. Currently, Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s nine minute long “Telephone Line” is making a name for itself on the internet.

Nevertheless, aren’t music videos, as a valid art form, worthy of more than a tiny screen on a website or MP3 player? They should be viewed in a larger screen, on a medium that’s free and available to everyone, regardless of bandwidth. While we don’t have the power to add music videos to broadcast television, after all there are infomercials and sitcom reruns that need to be aired, someone is trying.

by John Lindstedt

12 Mar 2010

This week on The Sarah Silverman Program, two of the most subversive, non sequitur, absurdest comedians in entertainment joined forces to make some of the weirdest scenes ever recorded. Andy Samberg guest stars as Troy Bulletin-Board, Sarah’s imaginary childhood friend who comes back into her life after being “murdered” by her father when she was a child (if you watch the show, you wouldn’t bat an eye at that statement).

Andy and Sarah frolic through an epic fantasy land that includes hot air balloons, rainbows, hamburger hoses, and of course, the Loch Ness monster.

by Maureen Ryan / Chicago Tribune (MCT)

11 Mar 2010

Did you miss him? No? Neither did we. Well, whether we want him to be or not, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will be a familiar sight on TV again soon — as a contestant on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” starting Sunday.

To kick off his latest self-promotional campaign, Blagojevich read the Top 10 list on “The Late Show With David Letterman” on Wednesday: “Questions Rod Blagojevich Asked Himself Before Appearing on ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’”

10. “Can I get paid in shampoo?”

9. “Would I rather stay unemployed than work for Trump?”

8. “Should I bring my attorney?”

7. “Do I have anything better to do?”

6. “Is there any chance NBC will replace me with Leno?”

5. “Can I get paid in conditioner?”

4. “Haven’t I been through enough?”

3. “How about my own show, ‘The Haircut Ref’?”

2. “How come I’m not a governor and Paterson is?”

1. “Will my hair get along with Trump’s hair?”

by Jessy Krupa

11 Mar 2010

The second episode of NBC’s Parenthood aired this past Tuesday night, and though its title was “Man Vs. Possum”, you wouldn’t know that unless you read it in the TV listings. It turned out to be an apt title, however, because the show opened with Adam chasing one down in his backyard late at night after hearing strange noises. Instead of calling Animal Control, he puts it upon himself by Googling “trapping and killing possums” while at work. (Is anyone surprised that it wasn’t spelled opossum instead?) But that’s Adam’s main problem, he tries to solve every problem he comes across. He tries to get childish Crosby to “man up” and tell his girlfriend about his illegitimate son, he tries to cure his own son’s Asperger’s disease as if it were a bad cold, and he doesn’t resist his father’s suggestion to use his connections to get Sarah a job interview with a hip ad agency.

Sarah, however, is a downer. She doubts herself, albeit for good reasons, all through her job searching, but finally cheers up during her job interview. She’s beaming afterward, but reality sets in as she not only discovers how her brother got her the opportunity, but also doesn’t get hired.

Meanwhile, as Julia frantically tries to spend more time with her daughter by driving her to school, an annoying mom rudely gets in her way. Later on, she goes home to find this same woman, Racquel, baking cookies and bonding with her PTA-dad husband. If I was married, and some woman was as all over my husband as this woman is, then I wouldn’t have acted as coolly as Julia did.

Crosby bonded with Jabbar over pancakes at a restaurant, but he seems to be only willing to be a part-time father. Jasmine seems to be using him as a part-time babysitter, however, as he lies to his girlfriend about where he has been.

During all of this time, Max has been causing chaos at home. He’s especially intelligent, he can tell you all about cockroaches and how many hit singles the Bee Gees had, but he refuses to change his pirate costume and he seems off in his own world. Still Adam doubts Max’s diagnosis when he and his wife, Kristina, meet a kooky couple whose son has it. After inviting them to eat a dinner that hasn’t been prepared yet and showing them an unusual set of note cards, they recommend expert Dr. Pelikan. Dr. Pelikan, played by Everwood’s Tom Amandes, uses a lot of flowery language to explain that Asperger’s is incurable, and that instead of getting Max to accomplish regular goals, they need to “meet him where he is”. In a desperate bid for attention, Haddie states that the drugs she and Amber got in trouble for were hers. I know she said it was stupid and that she was sorry, but why didn’t her parents say or do anything about it? And why on earth did they bring her bag of marijuana with them to the school fundraiser?

The school fundraiser was the turning point of the episode, as Julia showed up Racquel by outbidding her in an auction war over the best parking spot. As Sarah learned that Amber was telling the truth about the drugs, Crosby made an even bigger fool of himself by smoking some of it in the parking lot.

In the end, Sarah tried to make things right with her daughter, by convincing the school principal to not push her a grade back, and Adam finally let loose by donning a pirate costume and playing outside with Max.

Some questions are still left unanswered for future episodes, though. Is Zeek having an affair? Is anyone going to do anything about Haddie? Will Racquel still make a play for Julia’s husband? And what happened to the possum?

//Mixed media

How Röyksopp's 'Melody A.M.' Brought Electronica Into the Mainstream

// Sound Affects

"With their debut, the Norwegian duo essentially provided the everyman's guide to electronic music.

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