The Weekend is Here and New Show Reviews

Wanna make sure we get through some TV reviews, but also had to mention a couple local events this weekend:

if you don't think this looks good, we may not be able to be friends anymore

if you don't think this looks good, we may not be able to be friends anymore

Ribfest has been gone for a year while Big Daddy’s built its new place on Route 611 in Bartonsville, six miles away from its former spot across from Woodland Road. But it’s back this year at the new location, with plenty of food giveaways and contests. There will be two different rib-eating contests on Friday and Saturday, both at 7 p.m. There will be a prize for the contest’s best BBQ sauce starting at 8 p.m. Saturday. And I’m not a fan of these shows, but Rick Petko from American Chopperis the special celebrity guest judge. there is also a best cowboy/cowgirl outfit contest, which probably means every lady in the contest will wear cut off jean shorts that nearly show her @ss, a button down shirt tied together just under her boobs and cowboy boots. These are, of course, good things. The McWilliams Brothers play on Friday night, and Farmers Daughter plays Saturday night. All the proceeds are being donated to the Hamilton-Jackson-Pocono Regional Parkin Bartonsville.

Here’s one I don’t get to very often — Beach’s Sunset Inn in Saylorsburg is hosting Poconos party band Exit 22 on Saturday. It’s been six and a half years out here for me, and I still don’t think I’ve been to a bar on the West End. How is that even possible? I parked at Beach’s a couple years ago because there was an explosion at a nearby farmhouse I had to cover, and the cops made me park there and walk down to it. I really think that’s as close to a West End bar as I’ve been. Sad. Which one should I start my West End bar education at?

It’s good to see someone knows how to interpret the seasons! The last day of summer isn’t Aug. 31 and it isn’t some nebulous day of Labor Day weekend. So it’s still completely kosher and should be encouraged to have end of summer parties this weekend, since the last day of summer is actually Tuesday. So here’s to you, Sticks N Stones, for being familiar with that little thing known as the calendar. At 7 p.m. the next day, the bar is hosting the CD release party for Marshalls Creek country singer Kenny Sharlatt.

is it just me or did they turn ludicrous into a video game character for gears of war 3

is it just me or did they turn ludacris into a video game character for gears of war 3

This isn’t for the weekend — but Best Buy in Stroud Township is having a Gears of War 3 release party at 9:30 p.m. Monday. Movie midnight release parties are pretty common anymore and are open to the masses when it used to be just movie dorks that showed up. Maybe video game release parties are what’s taking over so that dorks have some place to go where they won’t get beat up by the jocks. That still happens, right? Probably not, since jocks are gamers too.

TV reviews:

best of the bunch

best of the bunch

SECRET CIRCLE (9 p.m. Thursdays, the CW): I just don’t understand it. I don’t understand why the CW doesn’t debut its shows weeks earlier than every other network, even in late August. What’s it got to lose? The same people that watch the show on Aug. 25 are the same people who will keep watching it through the year. It’s done it in the past. Gossip Girl got like three episodes in before the other networks loaded up (couldn’t get hooked), Vampire Diaries had two (got hooked), 90210 had three (couldn’t get even close to hooked). The best example was Prison Break a couple years ago. It debuted in late August and gave people a really long chance to get hooked before their favorite shows came back, delivered one of the best pilots of the decade and got millions of people hooked. That lasted about a year until the show went off the deepest of deep ends and then trudged through four more years of controlled lunacy. But hey, the gimmick worked! So why doesn’t the CW do this anymore? What’s it got to lose? Secret Circle was pretty good — but I’m not hooked after one episode. Maybe if it had a three-week head start on Person of Interest, it would be winning a DVR battle. But in a really crowded Thursday night lineup … pass. This shouldn’t diminish Kevin Williamson as a creator and show runner. He’s fantastic. He knows what people want and he knows how to successfully appeal to different demographics. Too many shows aimed at teens just concentrate on the teen stuff and limit the audience to people who freely use lol without peer repercussions. The parents are there to say, “Oh dear, you shouldn’t have done that” and parents hate them because it makes them look like the bad cop. I have not been in that lol group for 15 years, and I really don’t want to go back. But Williamson is a master of weaving in acceptable amounts of adult interaction and plot that it remains acceptable to teens and gives adults something to be interested in. Secret Circle has it — I’m much more interested in the remnants of that original circle, now adults, than the 16-year-olds of the new circle, and I think it’s going to play a big part in the show. It would be enough to make me want to watch, if I didn’t have 10 other things to watch on Thursdays. As it stands, one small dose of Secret Circle isn’t enough to get me to change my viewing habits from some of my favorite shows. Three or four episodes? It might have been a different story. And yeah, the show is just Vampire Diaries with witches, but I like the adults enough that I’d keep watching if it weren’t for that pesky time period. SHOW GRADE: B. PROGRAMMING GRADE: F-.

UP ALL NIGHT (8 p.m. Wednesdays, NBC): Not to be confused with Out All Night, the one-season Patti LaBelle Friday night sitcom with Morris Chestnut, the show that gave us the incredibly underrated and unnoticed Duane Martin character, Vidal. I know I’m the only one that remembers this show — but I can’t hear the title for the new Christina Applegate-Will Arnett show without thinking about it. Anyway, I’m not sure there is any show that’s ever premiered at a more appropriate time in my life than this one. My second daughter is 2 months old, and my first daughter will have her third birthday in two weeks. Before they were born, my wife and I … let’s just say we definitely took advantage of the luxuries afforded to those who don’t have kids. If you did a montage video of us pre-kids, it would probably look a lot like the one in the pilot episode of Up All Night.

Actually, that’s exactly how it looked. When we have the off chance to drop the kid/kids off with the grandparents for the night so we can tie one on, we both marvel at the fact that we did this 3-6 times a week without even giving it a second thought. It is one major dose of reality when you realize those days are completely over. So yeah, it’s fun to watch two fictional people going through the same thing, laugh at their mistakes and relate to the problems. The show went through some retooling to give Maya Rudolph a bigger part — why? She was probably the weakest part, a one-dimensional, cliche-driven Oprah wannabe who’s supposed to be a ego-driven stereotype in the same way Jenna on 30 Rock. Too bad we didn’t see a hint of that humor the other night. But that’s an easy fix, you can either reduce her role or make the part better. The show doesn’t hinge on it. What it does hinge on is the relationship between Applegate and Arnett, and that bond is pretty solid so far. PREMIERE GRADE: B

although i do think,

although i do think, "stay gold, pony boy," when i see her

FREE AGENTS (8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, NBC): Let me preface this by saying I’ve never really liked Hank Azaria as a live-action actor. He’s had about 100 parts in stuff I’ve seen, and none of them have ever really had much of an impact on me. At all. The closest thing to me even remembering him in is as the ship captain that fools around with Debra Messing in Along Came Polly, because I couldn’t see Moe’s voice in that body. So a live-action TV show that he’s forced to carry with a bunch of nobodies wasn’t my first choice for a fall show. But you know what’s great about a show with a cast of nobodies? You don’t know them. I didn’t spend time looking up these guys on IMDB, because I know I don’t know them. The one completely recognizable face — Anthony Head, formerly Giles on Buffy — looks so much different and is so far removed from his previous life that you couldn’t possibly think of him as anything other than the eccentric boss. Azaria is recognized more for his voice than his acting, so this is a clean slate type of show. No one is breaking any new ground here, so it’s going to have to rely on the actors and writers to put something together we can all enjoy. One thing that will be pretty boring — if the writers figure out some weird way to get Azaria and Kahn in bed every week. By November it’s “Do you have a screwdriver I can borrow?” by February it’s “I ordered a whole pizza and feel guilty about eating it by myself” and by April, it’s “Nice shoes, wanna f—?” Hopefully it becomes more of a workplace comedy that includes some of the promising secondary characters in the office than just an uninteresting sex romp. The pilot is a little slow and too reliant on sex jokes that are more stale than funny, but that’s no different than any sitcom pilot these days. It’s at least earned another week for me. PREMIERE GRADE: B-

tommy bahama, baby

tommy bahama, baby

IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA (10 p.m. Thursdays, FX): For a show that’s dipped into every piece of gross-out humor to mine for laughs, somehow it’s never hit up the lowest form of laughs, puking laughs. Check. And when that’s the funniest part of the show, maybe it’s time to start getting back to basics. Which the premiere actually did by the end of the episode, going back to the basics of figuring out a way to dispose of a dead hooker’s body right after Dee decided to smoke a little crack. Puking? Not funny anymore. Dead hooker? Now that’s comedy. Too bad it didn’t come until the end of the episode. GRADE: B

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