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Media thoughts and ramblings

Review: Falling Skies “Mutiny” and “Eight Hours” Season Finale

Noah Wyle as Tom Mason in "Falling Skies." (Credit: TNT)

There haven’t been very many shows to strike me in a way that I must watch each episode as quickly as possible. “Falling Skies” was the first in quite awhile. It helps that the season was only 10 episodes long and thus it goes by a lot quicker. I started watching the show after the first six had already aired. The 2-hour premiere was so entertaining that it didn’t take long for me to knock out the remaining episodes I had stored on the DVR. I caught up in time to watch Sunday’s season finale the night it originally aired — an accomplishment if I may say so myself.

As for the actual content of the show, and specifically the final two hours, I was left less than impressed. I had a fairly good idea going into watching the final episodes that the show was not going to wrap up neatly at the end. TNT ordered a second season fairly early into the first and thus I figured the writers were going to figure out a way to extend the main storylines into a second season. Done correctly, this isn’t a problem. “The Killing” is a show that failed in that regard. But I’m still going to watch the second season because for the life of me, I must know who killed that damn Rosie Larsen.

“Mutiny,” the first part of the 2-hour finale, I could’ve done without. As viewers, we are just finding out that the Skitters were harnessed just like the kids they are capturing. Unfortunately, this angle was not developed in the final two episodes, only for some mentions in the final scene of “Eight Hours” relating to Tom Mason’s son Ben, which I won’t spoil here. The inner-fighting and Captain Weaver’s drug-fueled activity was not well-timed. I figured we finished with Mason doubting Weaver and that whole business after they reconciled at Weaver’s pre-alien invasion home. The stories dragged and didn’t do a good enough job of getting me ready for the final hour and the attack of the alien base in downtown Boston.

“Eight Hours” was better. The ending leaves a lot to be desired but also will lead right into a second season. Some of the actions by the characters were a bit questionable. We are left seeing Hal, Tom’s oldest son, grow into a strong fighter only to be sent back out of harm’s way by both the Captain and his father. I understand this reasoning, to protect his two younger brothers, but there was little-to-no worry that the civilians were ever in imminent danger during the rest of the season that it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to get rid of one of your strongest and youngest fighters.

Overall, though, the show was quite enjoyable. Good quality, entertaining shows are harder to come by in the summer. I’ve let the rest of the shows I watch build up a few episodes each on the DVR. “Falling Skies” was not one of those shows. Once I gave it a chance, I watched them as quickly as possible. I can’t wait for season two and hope some of my qualms about the ending are resolved or at least dug into a little deeper next summer.

August 8, 2011 Posted by | Television | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dave Matthews Band Caravan – Full Chicago Schedule

As posted on the official Dave Matthews Band Caravan website, here is a look at this weekend’s schedule breakdown for the Caravan festival at Lakeside in Chicago.

FRIDAY
Slip Stage
1:30-2:15: Bobby Long
2:45-3:30: Alberta Cross
4-4:45: Dirty Dozen Brass Band
5:15-6: Soulive
7-8: Drive By Truckers

Lakeside Stage
2:15-3: Blind Pilot
3:45-4:30: Daniel Lanois’ Black Dub
5:15-6: Soja
7-8: O.A.R.

South Works Stage
1:45-2:30: Gary Clarke Jr.
3-4: Amos Lee
4:30-5:30: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
6-7: Ray Lamontagne
8:05-11: Dave Matthews Band

SATURDAY
Slip Stage
1:45-2:30: Cornmeal
3-4: Yonder Mountain String Band
4:45-6: .moe
6:45-8: Umphrey’s McGee

Lakeside Stage
1:30-2:15: Bombimo
2:45-3: Vieux Farka Toure
4-4:45: Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds
5:30-6:15: G. Love & Special Sauce
7-8: Kid Cudi

South Works Stage
1:45-2:30 TR3
3:15-4: Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk
4:45-5:30 Liz Phair
6-7: Ben Folds
8:05-11: Dave Matthews Band

SUNDAY
Slip Stage
1:45-2:30: Jeff Coffin Mu’Tet
3-4: Emmylou Harris
4:30-5:30 Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
6-7: Michael Franti & Spearhead

Lakeside Stage
1:30-2:15: Grace Apostolic Church Choir
2:45-3:45: The Jayhawks
4:15-5: Mariachi El Bronx
5:45-7: The Flaming Lips (Dark Side Of The Moon)

South Works Stage
2-2:45: The Wailers
3:15-4:15: Gomez
4:45-5:45: David Gray
7:05-10: Dave Matthews Band

NOT ON SCHEDULE: Brett Dennen (Friday), and the special Carter and Stefan performances

July 6, 2011 Posted by | Dave Matthews Band | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: AMC’s The Killing – “Undertow” Episode 9

Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) in Episode 9. (Photo by Carole Segal/AMC)

“Undertow” is the ninth episode of “The Killing,” yet I feel as though it should’ve been episode five or six. There are only four more episodes left and, to be honest, I could care less as to who killed Rosie Larsen or who will win the mayoral race.

The pilot of the show was deep, dark, interesting, creepy and foreshadowed a show putting together an investigative procedural but instead we get something out of CBS’ crime books.

Where is all the intrigue surrounding Rosie’s last weekend alive? Why do we still not know nearly anything about the relationship between Rosie and her parents? How in the world are they going to connect this back to the campaign for mayor now that Bennet has been eliminated as a suspect — or will they?

I could tell what the show wanted me to feel at the end when Stan and Belko were beating the crap out of Bennet. But I didn’t feel sorry for Bennet. I felt relieved that the plot pointing to Bennet as the killer is over. Since he was introduced we’ve seen this new terrorist angle that turned out to be not even close to a terrorist angle. In the last four weeks we have seen almost zero detective work on the part of Linden and Holder while they try to arrest Bennet. I could go on and on about the lousy police work but I am pretty sure Linden and Holder should be focusing on what exactly happened that weekend, the week leading up to the murder and the relationship between Rosie and her friends from school and family.

I really hope the show picks up before it ends in four weeks but I have my doubts. It’s become too much like many other shows on TV after a thrilling and gripping pilot episode.

May 23, 2011 Posted by | AMC, The Killing | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#MikeTV Best of TV Tournament revealed

It’s finally time to reveal the #MikeTV Best of TV Tournament bracket! Voting for the first game of the tournament is open now as well! You can vote on Facebook through the poll question on my profile, via DM on Twitter, or the poll below. Voting will close tomorrow evening. You can vote more than once but only once via each method. Check out the bracket below and start spreading the word and voting! A good friend of mine will help me preview some upcoming match-ups, so stay tuned for that as well.

http://bit.ly/miketvbracket

May 11, 2011 Posted by | #MikeTV Best of TV Tournament | , , , | Leave a comment

#MikeTV Best of TV Tournament

Beginning next week, I will be start a 64-show tournament to determine what the best/most popular TV show is using this blog and social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Voters will have the opportunity to vote here, via Facebook and via direct messages on Twitter. I will post a link on the various sites with the completed bracket by the beginning of next week. Typically, there will be a two-day period for voting in each contest. You may vote for your show once via each method of voting.

Once the results from each website are tabulated, the winner will advance and await their next opponent. Discussion among voters is encouraged on Twitter, Facebook, the blog comments and anywhere else. Just use the hashtag #miketv to alert other voters you’re talking TV.

I’m still making changes to the bracket and seeding. When both are finished, I will post a link so you can see the bracket and start making your own predictions. The shows must have aired an episode within the last year or two.

This will be exciting and I look forward to everyone’s participation! Stay tuned for more details.

April 29, 2011 Posted by | #MikeTV Best of TV Tournament, Television | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Quick Hit: NFL Draft on NFL Network

While working on Friday’s edition of the Daily Chronicle, the NFL Draft was on in our newsroom, tuned to the NFL Network’s coverage. One of the biggest points brought up by everyone in the newsroom was how different it is to basically see who will be drafted before the commissioner comes up to the podium to make the announcement. From shots of the invited players taking phone calls to hugs and kisses with family members minutes before the official announcement, it was awkward to say the least hearing the announcement after already knowing who was going to what team.

Does everyone prefer to not know who will be drafted until the announcement or did you enjoy the shots of players receiving congratulatory phone calls minutes prior to the announcement?

April 28, 2011 Posted by | NFL, Sports | , , , | Leave a comment