two shows bite the dust

Two cancellations no one will miss since it didn’t seem like anyone watched them:

Three Rivers lost me from the jump when CBS aired the pilot as the second episode in the series and went with the second episode on the air first. At least that’s how it showed up OnDemand. Hey, great! New show, new concept (transplant team at a hospital), no big-name actors — let’s immediately eff with the minds of the audience! Thanks, CBS. Further proof that its shows are so interchangeable that they thought they could just air them out of order and no one would notice. Is this common practice for its other shows? Did the first episode of NCIS: LA feature Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J solving a crime, then the second episode have them meeting? Whatever. My head hurts. Moving on …

much better.

much better.

Saw about the first 10 minutes of the pilot episode of Raising the Bar and realized right off the bat it was not a show for me. I actually felt bad about deserting Mark-Paul Gosselaar, but there just wasn’t much going on that interested me in any way, shape or form. I’ll keep my Saved by the Bell DVDs, thanks. TNT is going through some changes, dumping this and Saving Grace — but I still haven’t been able to stick with any of its shows. Holding out hope for Men of a Certain Age next week because I really like the previous incarnations of Andre Braugher (Homicide) and Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap) and I’ll stick with Southland through its new episodes when it starts on TNT in January.

watch your dvrs, parents

watch your dvrs, parents

When exactly does Victoria’s Secret stop being a lingerie company and start being soft-core porn? A mailing that goes out to every guy on the planet is one thing — but putting a fashion show on TV for anyone to see is another. Every 15-year-old boy in the world is hoping their parents don’t know the DVR is set for 10 p.m. CBS tonight.

Sorry, Victoria’s Secret. The Sons of Anarchy season finale takes precedence tonight at 10. I’ve been a little harsh on the show this season because I thought it had fallen into the basic FX pattern of guns, boobs and random cursing. Sure, that all sounds good, but when it gets in the way of storytelling, it makes a good show a mess. But in the two weeks since Gemma made her rape public to Jax and Clay, the show has given us two of the best episodes of TV this season on any network. Even Gemma’s reveal episode — the Jax vote in particular — has been impressive. The last three weeks the show has been intense, emotional and well-written and deserves a big send-off tonight. It’s been so good I can’t even offer up any kind of prediction for what might happen, they’ve thrown the whole season on its ears by having Jax and Clay play nice again.

The possibilities for The Hangover 2 are limitless — but with warning. If you just rehash the same old thing, you run the risk of damaging the reputation of one of the funniest movies of the decade. So now the question is — where do these guys go from here? The easy answer is “back to Vegas” but then you damage the reason it was so funny in the first place, because these were guys who don’t fit in Vegas. It doesn’t even need to be a party at all. These are funny guys who had a funny script — the next one could be just as good with a funny script about something as simple as a round of golf. Let’s all hope it isn’t garbage.

It’s been about a month since the NBC/Comcast merger thing started, and we still don’t know much at all. Just speculation. But it looks like it just got a little closer to happening.

Nothing really to see here, since I don’t think anyone took it seriously when the rumor mill started about Quentin Tarantino making a Kill Bill 3 as his next movie. He also at one time said The Vega Brothers was his next movie too, and that’s gone about as well as a Three Rivers movie adaptation.

Looks like the story linked yesterday about Silver Surfer going to shelf wasn’t completely true — it was more of only half true. It’s not actively being developed, but it’s certainly not dead. Not quite sure what the difference was, because it’s been my experience that nothing in Hollywood is ever dead, especially something that is a potential franchise. But just to set the record straight, it ain’t dead yet.

Two DVDs from over the long weekend:

The Girlfriend Experience: It’s tough to tell what Stephen Soderbergh actually likes better at this point, the big-budget, star-filled blockbuster (the Ocean’s series) or the minimalist, no-name art-house fair (like this or Bubble). That’s a good thing, that you can’t tell. It means he works just as hard on both and has the same amount of passion for both. He and Gus Van Sant are the two best directors in Hollywood at seamlessly and flawlessly dabbling between the two sides, but Soderbergh is the only one who has two different personas in each of those mediums. You can watch Paranoid Park and Good Will Hunting and still have a good idea than Van Sant directed both of them. But you can’t watch Out of Sight and The Girlfriend Experience and have any idea the same guy was in charge of them. That’s what makes Soderbergh special. He can make a time-jumping, keep-you-on-your-toes beauty like Girlfriend Experience, then turn around and bloom a potential crapfest like an Oceans 11 remake into a very pretty, very real blockbuster. Sasha Gray — a porn star in her regular life — is actually pretty good and if she plays her cards right, has a chance to make it in the legit acting world. Then again, her next few movies tend to show she really doesn’t want that lifestyle. GRADE: A-

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra: Here’s my apology to every Twilight fan over the age of 30 that I’ve made fun of for the last two weeks — I’m

at least that mask-breathing thing is off his face here.

at least that mask-breathing thing is off his face here.

sorry. About halfway through this movie — when I was still sitting on my couch in the exact same position I had started, hadn’t laughed, hadn’t batted an eyelash at any of the effects — I realized I’m no better than Twilight fans. Against my better judgement, and even though I had been burned by Transformers a couple years earlier, I decided it was worth the risk to see what Hollywood had done to my beloved GI Joe characters of both the comic book and the cartoon. I was wrong. This movie is made for 15-year-old boys and no one else. Anyone else who claims this is a good movie is either thinking with their inner-80s child or watched a different movie. Seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt neutered as Cobra Commander was more startling than anything, as he quickly, painfully and completely ruined any acting cred he established over the last 10 years since the end of 3rd Rock from the Sun by reciting Shakespeare-like lines like this dandy: “Ha ha ha! You and what army!” I’m going with “heavy script changes” as the reason he looked/sounded/acted like such a douche. When you factor in the ridiculous script, the crow-barred-in cartoon references (“Knowing is half the battle” — I could have easily broken my TV) and the deaths of what should/could have been some of the major players in sequels, none of it made much sense. GRADE: D

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