Thursday, March 22, 2012

TV Links of the Week

The penultimate Walking Dead episode, the one where Shane was killed twice in three minutes, earned the third spot on The TV Czar's Power Rankings this week. If last Sunday's season finale doesn't top that, I may attempt a coup in order to remove the Czar from his recliner*. Quite simply, the finale was the best episode the show has put out all season and maybe ever. Was it perfect? Of course, not**. It certainly did enough to satisfy me and get me pumped for where season three will take us, though.

 *Just kidding, Czar. I would never even dream of overthrowing you and putting an end to your magnificent reign. Please don't throw me in the TV dungeon/force me to watch season one of Whitney on loop for a week for making that joke.

**Unless you believe that Shane was the best marksmen trainer the world has ever known.

As we've often done throughout this season of "The Walking Dead," we're once again turning to comic creator and show executive producer Robert Kirkman to give us extra insight into the finale and exciting news about the show's future. This week he spoke with Michael Ausiello from TV Line. Among the more interesting tidbits of the interview was Kirkman's assertion that much of Lori's disgust over Rick killing Shane might be directed at herself. Look, Robbie K., that may be true, but it doesn't excuse Lori from being totally insane and manipulative. The fact that she can't handle her emotions just makes her a stereotypical woman.

She's got the crazy eyes.

Kirkman also talks about the mysterious character that saved Andrea's life at the end of the episode - the character that has comic book nerds everywhere reaching for their inhalers due to over-excitement. As the closest thing this blog has to a nerd, allow me to help out everyone that has no clue who the new character is. Her name is Michonne, and her weapon of choice is a katanna. In the comics, the two zombies she's yanking around by a chain are her dead boyfriend and his best friend. She uses them to hide her scent from other zombies, and to keep them from attacking her she cut off their arms and lower jaws. In other words, we've finally found a woman in the zombiepocalyptic world that doesn't struggle with sentimentalism or the inability to control emotions. At least I hope we have. To read more about Kirkman's comic book version of Michonne, go here. By the way, Kirkman announced after the finale that Danai Gurira has been cast to play the character next season.

Alright, alright, enough talk about "The Walking Dead." For now. 

Olivia Wilde fans will be excited to know that she is returning to House for the series finale. How she's returning is a mystery at this point, especially since House fired her back in October. I had quit watching the show regularly before she came on, so I don't know a whole lot about her, other than that she has Huntington's disease. I hope they don't focus too much on her in the finale, though, because the finale should be all about House and giving a proper farewell to one of the best characters on TV.

Frozen Planet is BBC the Discovery Channel's newest series from the makers of Planet Earth and Life. If you like animals or nature at all you should be watching this show. The Huffington Post and Entertainment Weekly both have interesting articles about the making of the show and some of its sequences. Really, though, the best parts of the articles are the videos they include from the show. If you do nothing else, click the EW link and watch a group of killer whales systematically take out a sea lion. It's amazing.

Who doesn't love penguins?


30 Rock is doing another live episode this season. According to EW, the cast and crew enjoyed doing their live show in October 2010 so much that they want to do it again. It probably doesn't hurt that the last live show gave them a 43% gain in ratings in the 18-49 demo. Whatever the real reason, I'm all for it; their last live episode was hilarious, as I recall. Of course, I think most of their shows are hilarious. This season's live episode is set to air April 26.

Syfy is rolling out another Battlestar Galactica series, called Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome. This series will play as a prequel to the 2004 series that aired 75 episodes over 4 seasons. Here is the newest trailer for the show. While I can't say whether this show will be worth watching*, it certainly won't be worse than some of the other stuff** Syfy has aired.

*Judging solely by it airing on Syfy, it probably won't be.


**Yes, I've seen that entire movie. Yes, it's worse than it looks.


Six Degrees of TV Separation

For the second straight week I've been challenged thrice. First up is my wife, Emily, who continues with her out-of-the-box theme by posting a Barney/Britney Spears challenge. Yes, she means Barney the purple dinosaur. According to IMDB.com, David Joyner has played Barney more than anyone, so we'll go with him.
  1. Over the course of three years, Joyner appeared in three episodes of ER as a Dialysis Tech. The 2006 episode he appeared in starred John Stamos.
  2. Stamos appeared in a season nine episode of Friends, which starred Courteney Cox.
  3. Cox currently stars in Cougar Town, which featured Sarah Chalke in back-to-back season three episodes.
  4. In 2008, Chalke guest starred in an episode of How I Met Your Mother that also featured Spears.
Nice try, darling, but to paraphrase the Soup Nazi, "No Coke for you!" 

Getting soup from him may be easier than getting a Coke from me.

Next, Anonymous is back again trying his/her darnedest to find the perfect old actor/new actor combination to stump me. His/her challenges are always tough, and this week he/she decided to give me two. First, we have Rachael Taylor and River Phoenix.
  1. Taylor has played Dr. Lucy Fields in eight episodes of Grey's Anatomy. At least one of those episodes also featured James Pickens, Jr.
  2. Pickens, Jr. appeared in a season five episode of The West Wing, which starred Allison Janney. Quick side bar: "The West Wing" could be the greatest network drama ever. I'll fight anyone that says otherwise.
  3. Back to the task at hand, Janney guest starred in a season two episode of Two and a Half Men, which of course starred Charlie Sheen. Winning.
  4. Sheen appeared in 45 episodes of Spin City from 2000-2002. Michael J. Fox starred on the show from 1996-2001. And for all you skeptics out there, here's proof that they appeared in at least one episode together.
  5. In the 80s, Marty McFly Fox starred in Family Ties, which featured Phoenix in a season four episode.
Anonymous' second challenge was Minka Kelly and Sebastian Cabot. For those unaware, Cabot is probably most famous for his role as Mr. Giles French on Family Affair (for all you trivia buffs/Disney fans out there, he also voiced Bagheera the Panther for The Jungle Book, and Sir Ector for The Sword in the Stone.)
  1. Kelly starred in Friday Night Lights with Kyle Chandler.
  2. Before FNL, Chandler starred in Early Edition, which featured Neil Flynn in three different episodes as three different characters.
  3. Flynn appeared in the final two episodes of Joey, one of which also featured Simon Helberg.
  4. Helberg currently stars in The Big Bang Theory, which featured James Hong in two season one episodes.
  5. Hong also appeared in two "Family Affair" episodes, which, as stated above, starred Cabot.
Nice effort, as usual, Anonymous, but definitely not your most challenging work. James Hong did you in on the second challenge. He's been acting since 1955 and has been in seemingly every TV show created since then.

From now on there will be a "one challenge per reader per week" rule. Don't get me wrong, I love the challenges, and the participation, but they can be very time consuming. In addition, I want to encourage more people to get involved in the game. With that in mind, if you haven't challenged me yet, now is the perfect time. All you need to do is give me two actors you think I can't connect in six TV shows or less. The first person to stump me gets a Coke.

That's it for this week. I'll be back next Thursday with more links and another round of Six Degrees of TV Separation. Thanks for reading.

Matt

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