X Factor Expanding — But You Already Knew That

Had a good stretch of music on the way in this morning — Everlong, Longview, Killing in the Name Of, Time Won’t Let Me Go — so I’m feeling pretty good. I’ll try to keep it positive, but who knows:

am I the only one that thought the xfl was coming back when they say this logo?

am I the only one that thought the xfl was coming back when they say this logo?

We already knew X Factor was expanding its talent search since we announced earlier this week it’s coming to Shawnee Inn on Monday (I’ll be there with a story for Tuesday’s paper). I’m not saying this is a bad thing in any way, since you never know what can happen. But don’t think for a second this is anything other than extra publicity for the new show. Cowell has been promoting this things almost non-stop for a couple months now, and expanding the reach of it is a no-lose situation for him. It’s at a relatively small cost, you get an extra thousand people per site excited about the show and their chances of being on it and he himself has to do just about nothing to make all these things happen. Genius move. I don’t know why more reality shows don’t do this. This is the third major reality competition show to have a casting call in the Poconos since November. America’s Got Talent and Amazing Race held one at Mount Airy and now X Factor. We’ve also had a bunch of people who have starred on reality shows. Are the Poconos some kind of reality show epicenter? Umm, let’s hope not.

Let’s put an end to this right now — there’s no way 30 Rock ends in 2012. None, zero, zip. But the chances that Alec Baldwin will leave after the season are pretty high. He’s never made it a secret that he’s bouncing the second his contract is up, and it’s up after the end of the 2012 season. So this doesn’t seem like posturing or leverage, it seems like he’s as good as gone. Now the question becomes — where does the show go without him? Baldwin doesn’t write one word of his dialogue, he has nothing to do with the show other than the show up, say “Lemon” about 100 times an episode, provide impeccable comic timing and have masterful chemistry with Tina Fey. Those are his talents. They are excellent talents — but they aren’t irreplaceable. Steve Carell has much more irreplaceable qualities than Baldwin. And like The Office, 30 Rock has a copious amount of talent to go around if/when Baldwin leaves. The “Who Will Be the Next Jack Donaghy pool” will be much less-talked about and fretted over than the next Michael Scott hype. And neither show will die. This is probably Jack’s greatest moment:

Further proof I don’t read. On the Forbes list of the 15 richest fictional characters of 2011, I knew all of them except two. And both are literary figures, that Artemis Fowl II cat and Smaug. Through the glory of Wikipedia, I found out Smaug is from The Hobbit. If you asked me in a couple years, I would know exactly who he is since I will have seen The Hobbit movie. I’m actually interested in finding out how a dragon could get rich, but not nearly interested enough that I can’t wait for a couple years. It’s of note that I saw Scrooge McDuck #1 and immediately sang the entire Duck Tales theme, but I didn’t know the two literary people. Oops. And since it’s in my head, I’d now like to put it in yours:

that's a huge noggin

go get your mother the paper if ya can, haulin' that gargantuan cranium about

I really do feel for child stars sometimes. They spend the rest of their lives answering questions about what they were famous for years ago. Elizabeth Berkley has it double. She was on the best teen show ever made, and then to break out of that role, she took part in one of the worst catastrophes ever captured on film. Not only was Showgirls a catastrophe, but it was largely her fault that it was such a horrendous movie. So she’s gonna be 60 years old answering questions like, “So you and Slater, eh?” and “After you saw Showgirls, did you have any idea of how bad an acting job you did?” Actually, she’s got it triple since her huge face that was hidden by her remarkable body as a 25-year-old is now exposed as, at the very least, completely distracting.

See, this is why I was trying to corner Mark Ruffalo a couple weeks ago at that Marcellus Shale hearing in Honesdale. So I can ask him when Avengers was starting. Well, anyway, at least we know now that it’s starting in a couple weeks. But uh oh, we have our first Avengers red flag, of which I’m sure many more will follow. It doesn’t seem like they have a finished script yet. The movie was announced about two years ago, Joss Whedon hasn’t really had anything else to do other than sulk over the end of Dollhouse, but there still isn’t a script? Here’s how the rest of this story goes over the next six months, I’ll save you the trouble of waiting for it. It gets revealed that Whedon’s first three drafts were rejected, that Marvel had to bring in a script doctor to work on it, that actors were getting pages a couple days before the scene is supposed to be shot, that Whedon is “disappointed” his first couple drafts were rejected, and so on, and so on. We’ve heard this before, and even pretty recently. Hey wait, what happened to the positive outlook??? OK, there’s nothing wrong, this is just how big-budget blockbusters work, and Avengers will be the coolest thing since Dark Knight. Hoo-Rah!

I’ve only seen about three episodes of Bob’s Burgers, but it’s an OK show. Nothing special, and nothing you have to necessarily keep up with like crazy every week, but it’s OK. Apparently OK is enough these days, as Fox has decided to pick up a second season of the animated show. Anything that keeps Kristen Schaal and H. Jon Benjamin working, I’m all for it.

Well, now we can all sleep better at night. Actually, this is one of those times where I’m worried my sarcasm won’t come through completely in print, so I’ll be blunt. The TV Armageddon can’t be too far behind now that there are two Jersey Shore spin-offs coming. And no, I’m not kidding. It’s like the fourth sign of the apocalypse, right behind the frogs falling from the sky in Magnolia, the moon in Transformers 3 turning black, and the ocean at the Malibu Sands Beach Club turning red from Mr. Caorsi was eaten by a shark or something. Look it up, people!

not scary. or entertaining.

not scary. or entertaining.

The worst movie I ever saw in the theater is always a toss up between If Looks Could Kill and The Crow, which is now being remade. At least If Looks Could Kill was so stupid and silly that it was enjoyable for a bunch of 15-year-olds to have a night out on the town with. The Crow, on the other hand, tried to mask itself as this stylishly cool metaphor on life and death, but all it made me do was think of the 7 trillion other things I could be doing with my time. At one point of the movie, and I’m not kidding, I thought it would be more enjoyable to take the shoelaces off and put them on the opposite shoes. Luckily, it didn’t come to that because then I started getting mad at the movie’s inane dialogue. I always refer to this exchange as possibly the worst I ever heard in a movie: Little girl: Are you a clown? The Crow, despondent: Sometimes. And that’s when I kicked the chair in front of me and decided The Crow would supplant If Looks Could Kill on my worst movie in the theater list.

How did Bravo come up with six — SIIIIXXXXXXXXXXX!!!! — separate Real Housewives of … franchises without me realizing it? If you put a gun to my head yesterday, I wouldn’t have been able to name more than four, and would have been ashamed I came up with that many. So good news, the thinning of the herd has begun with the cancellation of the Washington D.C. brand. Incidentally, that would have been one of the ones I would have never been able to name.

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