A First Time for Everything. Like Talking About American Idol.

Sorry no PopRox yesterday. I’ll be back tomorrow, have a quick-hitter Thursday, then we’re live-chattin’ at noon Friday. Thursday I’m going to post the live chat expectations after some of the problems we had last time, too. And I will now start the shameless and constant Facebook and Twitter reminders.

As always in Friday’s chat, I’ll be answering whatever questions you guys have. Let me rephrase that — whatever pop culture questions you guys have. So get those questions ready. If you want to ask something you want to ask early, feel free to e-mail it to me, or hit me up on the PopRox Facebook or Twitter pages.

On to today’s links:

awesome get ... 10 years ago

awesome get ... 10 years ago

Congratulations, American Idol. You’ve broken me down to the point that I have to talk about this hosting business. And I’m bringing some bad news — the show is in trouble. Not that anyone needed to tell them that, because you can almost smell the desperation in North Dakota over the producers looking for the host to replace Simon Cowell and now Ellen DeGeneres. Since I’ve never seen AI, I wouldn’t know if Ellen was a good judge or not, I can only relate how mind-numbingly annoying she is in her quest to be the female Bob Newhart. Any time she voluntarily wants to be less famous is fine by me. The latest hosting target is J-Lo, which would be interesting … if it was 2001. But it will be 2011 when the show airs. And don’t think Howard Stern had nothing to do with the fact that they can’t find anyone to take the gig. They’ve known this opening was going to be here for months and the reason that they don’t have anyone yet is that people must be turning it down left and right. No doubt it was aided by the realization that, like Stern repeatedly said when he may or may not have been courted to take the gig, it’s nothing but a silly karaoke contest. No one with any kind of self-respect, dignity or credibility in the music industry should go anywhere near either of these judging jobs. On the bright side, this could mean the show is finally losing its steam and we might be rid of it once and for all within about three or four years. Fingers crossed. Then again, if Lopez does sign on, it may give South Park some more ideas. Taco flavored kisses for my Benny!

Other than the fact that there is no news at Idol, there isn’t much news coming out of the Television Critics Association semi-yearly press tour for the last week. The little news that is news is of the “bad” variety, especially the scoop that Fox is putting off the ultra-hyped dinosaur-times epic Terra Nova until next season. That’s probably not a bad thing though, since it’s such a big project, you want to make sure Fox gets its right. Then again, it could signal problems with the show and trying to get it right. Fox is planning on giving it the Glee treatment, with a premiere after American Idol in May and then putting it on hold for a couple months until the fall. Worked with Glee, not so much with Good Guys this summer.

And why aren’t people watching Good Guys? It’s getting shelved a tad early and it’s ratings have been horrible, but I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the season that ended last night. Bradley Whitford’s Dan Stark is easily the best character of the new summer shows, he can’t say anything without making me laugh. At it’s core, it’s just a procedural. Nothing more, nothing less. But there are enough kinks and twists — I like the time-jumping element of the plots to fill in some blanks — that it has the feel of something that its creators actually spent more than five minutes coming up with. Forget about whether it’s anything new or not — Dan Stark is what should be bringing people back on a weekly basis. It’s hard to figure why people aren’t more receptive to his character and this show. Unless your reason is skanky assistant AD Liz, or the back-and-forth snorefest that is her flirtation with Colin Hanks’ Jack. Then you’re excused. Criminals in Dallas must beg to go to trial so they can find out what Liz will be wearing in the courtroom, it’s ridiculously preposterous to believe she wouldn’t be laughed out of any trial she presides over for wearing her standard six-inch skirt with 8-inch heels. (Vent over.) I’m not about to start a Friday Night Lights-style campaign to entice people to watch, but it’s worth checking out when it comes back in September. FINALE GRADE: B+. SEASON GRADE: B.

a cheerleading show in october? pass. in early september? sign me up!

a cheerleading show in october? pass. in early september? sign me up!

One bit of news is the CW just announced its fall premiere dates for its new and returning shows, and its finally doing what every other network should be doing to make some noise — premiering shows early. It makes more sense for the CW to do it than any other network because their shows are so youth-skewed, and as soon as kids go back to school, they’re OK thinking about TV again. Plus, because they premiere early and nothing else will be on except for the Phillies’ pennant race, I’ll check out the news shows Hellcats and Nikita, when normally I wouldn’t have given them a second thought. The only thing on my radar is Vampire Diaries, which comes back a full two weeks before NBC’s comedy lineup, Fringe, Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor and CSI.

Every day there seems to be some new movie anniversary, but at least it’s about time someone put some spin on one of these anniversary stories rather than just “I remember where I was when I saw it!” Now that it’s been 15 years since the punchline that was Waterworld came out, it’s a good time to take an audit — was it really that bad? There was something like 5,739 stories written about how bad the movie was before it even wrapped up filming. It was dead on arrival, no chance for CPR. The only movie I can remember having press like that throughout its production but turning it around with a great box office was Titanic. So I didn’t bother seeing it in the theater despite being a Kevin Costner fan at the time (and still now). No sense in wasting my money, I thought. Then a funny thing happened. I got it on video — you know, video? — and I liked it. I didn’t love it, but I liked it a good bit. Sure, it’s got its problems, but in any other movie, Dennis Hopper would have gotten some Oscar buzz. Seriously. OK, maybe not Oscar buzz. But his villain definitely belongs in the categories of some of his other impressive villain turns in Speed and as Victor Drazen in 24. It’s not Frank Booth, but it’s pretty good. And Costner is actually pretty good too, he just went completely against his persona at the time. No one wanted to see him in 1995 playing a cold, heartless, socially crazed mutant. They wanted to see him pitching to Joe Jackson, or taking down another conspiracy theory, or running around in the British woods with an American accent. So maybe it was just bad timing, but the movie really isn’t that bad. Incomprehensible and a little wacky, yeah, but not bad. Now The Postman — that’s another story completely. It’s one of the dumbest movies ever. So even if he didn’t deserve to get lambasted for Waterworld, he made up for it completely with The Postman.

Yet another anniversary, and this one comes with a startling confession — I’ve never seen St. Elmo’s Fire. Not all the way through, at least I don’t think so. I’ve turned it on midstream so much that I probably have caught the whole thing in bits and pieces, but it’s never been on top of my “to see” list. And the pieces I have seen never really grabbed me. So yeah, one of the seminal movies of the 80s that defined a generation of actors, and I’ve never seen it. Still don’t think I’m missing anything other than yet another Ally Sheedy might-get-nekked tease. Then again, I feel like I’ve seen the whole movie watching the Man in Motion video on MTV approximately 65,841 times in 1985. What the heck happened to John Parr? That should have been included in the where are they now story.

And since it’s now reached double digits of the number of people who have sent me the Pennsylvania Guys video and it was a topic of discussion at a bachelor party I was at this weekend, here it is just in case you haven’t seen it yet. It’s OK, but I don’t think it will be the funniest YouTube video I see today. As the point was made at the aforementioned bachelor party though, these guys know their stuff. They’re obviously fans of the state and have been all around it. They got the costume and lyrics right for the Scranton St. Patrick’s Day Parade — “sloppy wasted at 7 a.m., handcuffed by 12 p.m.” Sorry to say no mentions of the Poconos though. Maybe someone could do their own YouTube video of Pocono Guys.

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