Because last week’s Rock Star: Supernova had so much filler, it was a pleasant surprise to see this week’s performance show include so much actual performance.
In the last couple of weeks, Toby has emerged as a clear front runner. Tonight’s performance established that even further. He crushed the trite Killers song and played a catchy original that fits Supernova’s vibe. In the webisode, Gilby complimented the Aussie’s writing and professionalism.
Storm was the other standout performer of the night. She finally managed to end up with the best possible cover song and rocked it with Dave Navarro. It doesn’t hurt that Suffragette City is just a great rock song. Unlike some of the other Supernovices who disappeared in front of Supernova, Storm has the charisma to play with an established artist and keep the spotlight on her. Her original song was excellent, but less in the Supernova vibe than Toby’s or Magni’s.
Magni put in a solid performance. His original song was one of his best performances. While it is a good fit for Supernova, unfortunately, it’s not as catchy or as ballsy as Toby’s or Storm’s songs. With only 5 performers left, the third best still ends up in the bottom three.
Dilana deserves credit for performing well with a pulled calf. While her take on “Behind Blue Eyes” was solid, if unspectacular, she has revelaed herself to be the weakest songwriter of the remaining Supernovices. The lyrics she wrote for the Supernova track and for the song she performed were trite and uninspired at best. She’s going to have to step up and give her best performance yet just to avoid elimination this week and have a chance to make it into the final show.
Like Storm a few weeks ago, Lukas gamely tried to make a song he doesn’t like into his own. Unfortunately for him, it didn’t work well. I don’t remember his original song. Toby, Storm and Magni performed originals that far outclassed the dapper hobbit’s, while Dilana’s song was so much less good than the others. Lukas’s was decidedly mediocre and forgettable.
And, of course, Sepinwall has the definitive critique of this week’s episode. Not only do I agree with him, but he managed to work in an Arrested Development reference. Come on!
The first of the Battlestar Galactica webisodes premiered on Tuesdasy at Scifi.com Pulse. The webisodes will bridge the time between the second season finale and the season three premier (due Oct. 6). This first one focuses on some of the characters organizing a resistance on New Caprica. Scifi.com will release the shorts on Tuesdays and Thursdays at midnight.
The NY Times discusses: Sci Fi Creates ‘Webisodes’ to Lure Viewers to TV: “Writing the story told in the Web segments posed a challenge because the episodes had to be short, lead up to the season premiere, be accessible to new viewers and look good on tiny screens. At the same time the shows had to be nonessential to the new season, so television viewers could follow the on-air series without having watched the Web content.”
The Writers Guild is unhappy that its members are being asked to deliver more material to the networks for online offerings without a corresponding increase in writers’ salaries.
The Hollywood Reporter offers some more detail on the dispute between the WGA and networks over webisodes: Webisodes a bone of contention: “NBC Uni said the WGA has asked showrunners on “The Office,” “Heroes,” “Crossing Jordan” and “Battlestar Galactica” to refuse to provide materials for use in show webisodes or for other Web-based content. NBC Uni is asking the NLRB to force showrunners to provide the requested materials and argues that such cooperation is mandatory under existing guild contracts.”
Arrested Development Season 3 was released on DVD last week. This includes the funniest 30 seconds of television from last year– The Mole vs. Jet Boy in Tiny Town scene at the end of “Mr. F.” Also, Bob Loblaw, the surrogate, Mock Trial with J. Reinhold, and Tobias’s business cards. If you didn’t enjoy the first two seasons, season three will make no sense. But the third season became even more twistedly self-referential before flaming out in spectacular fashion after 53 brilliant episodes. Come on!
G4 picked up the cable syndication rights to the three seasons and started cablecasting the show this week: G4 – Arrested Development
Barring something extraordinary, my favorite online radio station, WOXY, will close down on September 15. woxy.com: Listeners, fans and friends
This is the moment all of us hoped would never come. After plugging away at this for the past two years, it’s become pretty clear that operating woxy.com as a stand-alone Internet “radio station” is not going to cut it. Our operating costs are higher than you might think, and the revenue we were able to generate from advertising isn’t close to supporting what we’re doing. Even membership revenue wasn’t enough to get us there. When your business doesn’t make money, you eventually go out of business.
Despite promoting new independent rock acts, hosting Lounge Acts and being all-around nice guys, a stand-alone internet radio station from Cincinnati does not have a large enough audience to survive as a viable business.
Thanks for the music, WOXY.
TVSquad gets an early look at Battlestar Galactica season three: “Let me start by saying that you won’t be disappointed. I admit I was afraid things were going to be pretty sketchy this season, with the show’s creators taking a leap of faith by transplanting the series a year into the future. I’m extremely pleased at how well it’s working, and there are lots of hints of promise for what’s to come.”
Contains mild spoilers, but nothing that hasn’t already been leaked. The colonials never catch a break do they? Would Galactica be as good a show if people weren’t always in crisis mode? Probably not. That would probably be as interesting as if the next season of 24 is all about Jack Bauer getting stuck in traffic on the way to the beach.
Season 3 premiers with a 2 hour episode (originally two one hour episodes) on October 6.
This week was viewer’s choice on Rock Star: Supernova. What does that mean? We get to hear the remaining supernovices sing songs that other contestants sang earlier in the show. With only 6 songs during the show there was a lot of filler. We must have seen nearly half of this week’s reality episode repeated on the performance show, plus a little feature on how each singer felt about their song. Yawn.
As fas as the performances, these were all among the better ones from the entire season.
Lukas, “Lithium.” A good cover song will either change up the song from the original in a new an unexpected way or remains more faithful to the original, but simply amplifies what makes the original good. Lukas strove to reimagine the Nirvana song and created a dynamic version. I was less sold on his take than Dave Navarro, but it was a good performance.
Magni, “I Alone.” Wasn’t Magni the singer in Live? He wasn’t? He could well be Ed Kowalczyk’s Icelandic doppelgänger. Magni earned an encore performance with “The Dolphin’s Cry” and this Live song fit him well, too. Great energy to this performance. But, if he ends in the bottom 3 for another consecutive week, might that spell the end for the Ice-man? Even if it does, that might not be such a bad thing.
Ryan, “Clocks.” Ryan looks incredibly awkward whenever he’s trying to rock out. And trying to rock out to a Coldplay song is incredibly awkward (even with the House Band de-suckifying it as much as possible.) He’s a good performer, but trying to hard to be what Supernova wants.
Storm, “Bring Me to Life.” Storm’s gotten stuck with some of the worst songs available over the last few weeks. Her performance was solid. Having Toby sing backing vocals shows how confident she is in her performance. But getting stuck with a song that’s less memorable and interesting than a Coldplay song did not help her. If she ends up in the bottom three, she’s the obvious candidate to go. Supernova doesn’t feel her vibe. But, like Magni, I don’t want her to win and be subjected to having to become part of Supernova.
Toby, “Rebel Yell.” Like Magni, Toby lucked into a song that was perfect for his voice and persona. This was one of the few memorable performances he’s given. And, coming after the week when he played with– and sonded right for– Supernova, I have to think that he’s jumped into the group of leading contenders if not to the front of the pack. Plus, bringing the audience on stage worked for him. (Imagine the awkwardness that will ensue when Ryan tries this…)
Dilana, “Mother, Mother.” Dilana also lucked out with a song that was right for her voice. She remains the obvious front-runner, but after hearing both her and Toby sing with Supernova, Toby sounds like a much better fit for the band.
The usual suspects weigh in:
Sepinwall: Rock Star: Impending Doom?: “First of all, can I give a resounding “Boo!” to the “Rock Star” producers for padding the hell out of what could have been an awesome show. You’re down to six contestants. You’ve squeezed as many as 14 performances into an hour; why not let everybody go twice, once with the Fan’s Choice and once with their own (whether an original or something from a list of covers)?”
ALOTT5MA: Dilana, the Glass Tigress: “This will be an interesting elimination week, to be sure. No one sucked.”
In the latest Wired, Dave Itzkoff writes about The Pitchfork Effect: “Though the music industry has seen drastic changes in recent years, what has remained constant is the fact that most listeners still find their music with the assistance of a filter: a reliable source that sifts through millions of tracks to help them choose what they do (and don’t) want to hear. The filters we traditionally depended on – music magazines, radio stations, music video channels, even the recommendations of a trusted record store clerk – have diminished in influence enough to give a player like Pitchfork room to operate. Pitchfork is a small site: The traffic it draws is too tiny to be measured by Nielsen//NetRatings. But like the indie bands that are its lifeblood, Pitchfork has found its own way to thrive in an industry that is slowly being niched to death: It influences those who influence others.”
Why is the fork the most important web site in indie rock? Does it matter? I, for one, welcome our new indie masters.
Instead of writing up a long blogroll that’s going to go out of date in a week, we’re going to periodically post about sites we like.
Because the Emmys are tonight, here are some of my favorite TV-related web sites (in no particular order):
- Television Without Pity is the big dog of snarky tv recaps and discussion on the web. The recaps can be more entertaining than watching the source show. Unfortunately, it’s become so popular that it could be a full-time job just to keep on top of the conversations for its more popular shows.
- A List of Things Thrown 5 Minutes Ago is more than just TV. It casts a wide net over all that is pop culture, with brevity, wit and intelligent discussions. Undoubtedly one of my favorite blogs.
- TV Squad is part of Weblogs Inc. There’s a lot of posting, but of very mixed quality. Reviews are quicker to read, but less detailed and less entertaining than TWoP.
Dead Tree Critics:
- The Star Ledger’s Alan Sepinwall blogs at What’s Alan Watching and analyzes programs in more detail than in his column. Good stuff.
- The San Francisco Chronicle’s Tim Goodman writes The Bastard Machine which is witty and wise.
Showrunners and Writers:
I find that learning more about the craft of writing television helps to make me a more educated a consumer of televised entertainment and get more out of watching TV.
- Battlestar Galactica. Even though it’s a remake of a super-cheesy 70’s sci-fi show, Ron Moore’s Battlestar is one of the best (and bleakest) shows on these days. With the blog and podcasts, showrunner Moore lets fans in on the decisions behind the show.
- Ken Levine is a veteran television writer whose credits includer MASH, Cheers and The Simpsons. He knows what he’s talking about.
We’re clearing out the cobwebs here at Buzz Rant & Rave World HQ. Things are kind of dusty around the server here.
Our focus is music and pop culture– more specifically, indie rock (and a touch of jazz) particularly in and around NYC, with a touch of television and web culture.
You can also find me (Andrew) blogging about law and policy and playing music with The Bosch.