Two and a Half Men

DONT BLINK discs

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Don’t Blink A group of friends head to a remote cabin for a vacation, but before they can even get settled inside they begin to notice things are not as they seem. The surrounding woods are devoid of birds and wildlife, the lake has frozen over catching a fishing boat in its center and all of the nearby cabins are empty of people as well. Food is on tables, cars are still running and they even find a bottle of warm baby milk. The situation intensifies as they start disappearing too, one by one, whenever one of them is out of sight of the rest. You’d be forgiven for thinking this direct to DVD thriller was a slight affair not worth your time — after all, the names above the title are Brian Austin Green and Mena Suvari — but I’m here to say it’s actually a well acted/shot and frequently suspenseful mystery. It’s smartly constructed too with believable characters and reactions. It wobbles a bit at the end with something of a cheat, but it remains a satisfying experience. To be clear, its selection as the Pick of the Week doesn’t make it the best release of the week (that would be X-Men: Days of Future Past), but I think it’s a cool little movie deserving of a few more eyeballs. [DVD extras: None]

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30 Rock

When we talk about joke-machine sitcoms, you know the type. They have the same sense of humor and dramatic climate as a 30 Rock episode. It’s the kind that’s hard to articulate, but easily recognized: comedies where misunderstanding the pronunciation of “rural juror” is a series-long gag and characters can change their attire by turning around and walking away without anyone raising his or her eyebrows. Tina Fey and company broke sitcom barriers with the show-about-a-show for more substantial reasons than just economizing sentences into rapid-fire jokes, but there’s no denying style played a key role. In plenty of ways, 30 Rock was equal parts insufficient and success; while its audience only ever grew sizable with Fey’s Sarah Palin skits, the little sitcom that could was a critical darling. More importantly, peers loved it. The show was awarded three Emmys for outstanding comedy series and holds the record for most nominations given to a comedy series in a single year (22). This month, the show will be nominated again in almost every category, for certain. And there’s even a fighting chance it will win in plenty of them, too. But the other sitcoms that sprung from the 30 Rock generation have not had the same fate.

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Channel Guide - Large

I doubt many people tuned into the premiere of Charlie Sheen’s FX show Anger Management thinking that it was going to be their new Thursday night fave. If you’re anything like me, then sheer curiosity is what brought you to Sheen’s latest, in which he plays, of all things, a therapist (get it? ‘cause he’s Charlie Sheen and he’s helping people with their problems! Oh brother! Cue laugh track). The vague, non-plot of the series opener finds Sheen counseling a group of sitcom archetypes (the senior citizen whose dialogue is filled with folksy bigotry, the young gay man who sits beside the folksy bigot on a couch, the socially inept guy who makes women uncomfortable, the superficial chick who’s made uncomfortable by the creepy, socially inept guy) and fuming over the values his ex-wife’s new boyfriend is passing down to his daughter. You see, he helps people with their anger management issues but he also has anger management issues, hence the title and hence the reason why you don’t really need to watch more than one episode. Honestly, the show wasn’t the wholly objectionable thing that I’d thought it would be. I did, however, find almost every aspect of it mystifying.  “How is it that this exists?” I thought to myself as I watched the premiere.

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Channel Guide: A Column About TV

Mad Men, Dexter, Game of Thrones—it’s such a great time for instrumental TV theme songs. But what about themes with lyrics, themes that follow the example set by classic shows like The Brady Bunch, Rawhide, The Jeffersons, and even The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Sadly, this variety of signature tune is a dying breed, seemingly destined to go the way of the laugh track. OK, so no one’s really bemoaning the near extinction of the laugh track but, as TV lovers, we should be concerned about the current lack of title music that we can actually sing along to. Whether we like it or not, the words to the themes from Gilligan’s Island, Cheers, Charles in Charge, Friends, Family Matters, and The Greatest American Hero, are floating around in our heads. Simple rhyming verses like “if the teacher pops a test, I know I’m in a mess, and my dog ate all my homework last night, riding low in my chair, she won’t know that I’m there, if I can hand it in tomorrow it’ll be all right” have become culturally significant. But what will this generation’s TV theme song legacy be? Here’s a list of series, all premiering within the last 10 years, that are keeping this proud vocal tradition alive with their original music (that is, songs composed specifically for the program) and predictions of whether or not these themes will stand the test of time.

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Yup, it’s that time of the year again. That time of the year where we TV folk bitch and moan about what shows won’t be getting some golden Emmy love because the Academy is full of old people who think basic cable is what holds up the Brooklyn Bridge, which they also saw get built… I think… That said, this year’s Emmy Nominations are no more surprising than they were last year. Mad Men leads in the scripted drama series dept with nineteen nominations, but more interestingly, the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce leads the overall with twenty one nominations. Before we get and further into this, let’s check out some of the shows that didn’t get nominated for anything in either overall, acting or technical categories (not that any of this matters, like usual).

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Without dragging the back story out too much, back in January Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen went bat shit crazy to the point of no return. The highest paid actor on television (two million an episode) took all his winnings and flushed them down the toilet along with his heroin, crack, marijuana, alcohol, and what ever else he flushes down there when the cops show up. His behavior forced CBS and Warner Brothers to halt production on the show and cancel the rest of the season. A few weeks later the bomb shell came out that Warner Brothers (who actually produces the show) fired Sheen from the program for good. The question then became, who could replace him? Well that answer has come today in the form of former sitcom and “current” movie star Ashton Kutcher. Yup, Mr. Good Looking himself will indeed be coming on to replace Sheen for at least a season. No other details on how Kutcher will be integrated into the show have been announced, but there is no doubt that all of that will be revealed in the coming weeks.

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With premiere week over I’ve compiled a list of the week’s top premieres from each night. The winner of each night is based upon the quality of the writing, the shows entertainment value and if it’s a new series, the shows sustainability. This year had some extremely heavy hitters and some of the best performances we have seen on the small screen. So without further ado, here are the winners of the FSR Fall 2010 Watch List (please note that this list only applies to shows that started before or during the week of September 19th). Sunday: Boardwalk Empire In what should come as no surprise, Boardwalk Empire was top dog on Sunday. I’m not big into period pieces which is why I really never got into Mad Men, but Scorsese has made me fall in love with the 20’s and Atlantic City. Steve Buscemi is a great lead and a guy I can’t wait to watch every week. If only Scorsese could direct every episode and not just the pilot.

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Now that you’ve gotten your Sunday night fix of Boardwalk Empire, it’s time to move into the beginning of the work/school week. Monday night is a time for action, suspense and comedy from all networks, and there’s plenty of each to behold this year. Many television classics such as 24 and Las Vegas have come out of the worst work day of the week. As I’m sure you’re all just looking to decompress after a hard day, get your DVR remotes handy becomes it’s time for Part II of The FSR Fall 2010 Watch List. THIS LIST IS NOT THE EVENT!

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giveaway-twoandahalf6

The Malibu bachelor, the chiropractor and the all-grown-up kid continue their lives under one roof in TV’s #1 comedy hit, Two and a Half Men: The Complete Sixth Season, on DVD.

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DVDs I Bought This Week!

TV shows dominate the DVD column this week along with a pissed off Irishman, an eerie Ann Hathaway, unnecessary sequels, and a Norwegian parody of a Tarantino film!

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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