Advertisement

Peanuts and Popcorn

Peanuts and Popcorn

Summer Shows – Let the Games Begin

posted by jtotey

Summer TVNow that we got most of the series and season finales done, summer time game shows hit the small screen in a big way. This week, eight new and/or returning reality/game shows debut with a total of 13 or so debuting in the coming months. NBC is the leader of pack with the largest selection of shows which makes sense since they have had good luck with ratings for American Ninja Warrior, America’s Got Talent and Last Comic Standing – all three returning. But, all of the four major networks have something new to share. One notable absence is Wipeout, the silly slapstick competition show that’s been a summer staple on ABC. The “official” page has been taken down from the ABC website, so there’s no telling if or when the show will reappear. However, Here’ is what you can look forward to this week – starting tonight!

Advertisement

(Photo by: Kyle Rivas/NBC)

(Photo by: Kyle Rivas/NBC)

American Ninja Warrior
Show: Returning
Network: NBC
Premieres:May 25
Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila return for American Ninja Warrior’s 7th season with the addition of Kristine Leahy from CBS Sports as co-host. Over the six previous years, none of the contestants have been successful in completing the entire course (modeled after the famed Mt. Midoriyama course in Japan) and claimig the $500,000 prize. This year, over 700 contestants are participating in the course which includes 23 new obstacles.

Advertisement

(Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

(Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

The Island
Show: New
Network: NBC
Premieres: May 25
Premiering after American Ninja Warrior, The Island features famed survivalist (and Christian believer by the way) Bear Grylls and a group of 14 men alone on an deserted island with nothing but the clothes on their backss. Unlike other reality shows, no one gets “voted off,” no one will win a big prize and even the filming will not be done by professional photographers during the six-episode series. The contestants will be filming all of the action themselves. The Island is based on the UK show of the same name.

Advertisement

Pictured: Chapkis Dance Family -- (Photo by: Isabella Vosmikova/NBC)

Pictured: Chapkis Dance Family — (Photo by: Isabella Vosmikova/NBC)

America’s Got Talent
Show: Returning
Network: NBC
Premieres: May 26
This year marks the 10th season of America’s Got Talent, a huge talent show of amazing proportions. Once again, Nick Cannon returns as host as do judges, Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B. and Howie Mandel – the best pairing in the show’s history. They are honest and yet kind to the contestants…even Stern. Unlike shows like American Idol, contestants of all ages are welcome to audition from around the country to compete for the $1 million prize.

Advertisement

(Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

(Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

I Can Do That
Show: New
Network: NBC
Premieres: May 26
Labled as a one-hour comedy/variety series, I Can Do That features Marlon Wayans as host to a variety show that features six celebrities with doing a number of acts using skills that they didn’t even know that they have. The six-week show features no judges, eliminations or prizes. Contestants include Cheryl Burke, a cancer from Dancing with the Stars, recording artists Ciara, Joe Jonas and Nicole Scherzinger, national standup comedian Jeff Dye and actor Alan Ritchson. Each week, in front of a live audience, the six cast members will enter a friendly rivalry as they choose their favorite act — what they think they can master — and who they would like to pair up with to master that act. The acts will span every variety of entertainment from song and dance to magic and danger. They will also feature some of America’s biggest-name performers in a guest-starring role.

Advertisement

(Photo: FOX)

(Photo: FOX)

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader
Show: Returning
Network: FOX
Premieres: May 26
After being off the air for some time, the popular game show returns for a summer run with new students aiming to assist “grown up” contestants in winning the $1 million prize money. All of the questions are based on various school subjects. This year’s show features a $10,000 level where the prize money will go toward a deserving school. One again, the show is hosted by Jeff Foxworthy and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Advertisement

(FOX)

(FOX)

Bullseye
Show: New
Network: FOX
Premieres: May 27
Created by the same folks who created the then-popular Wipeout for AMC, this new gameshow features four contestants with challenges for both their brains and bodies with the simple task of hitting the bullseye … literally. Challenges will take place on land, in the sea and in the air. Only the “sharpest” will continue on from each round. A sample of the types of challenges they will face includes a moving 18-wheeler, being pulled by a helicopter and acting as a human slingshot being projected hundreds of feet through the air. The show is hosted by Kellen Lutz and the comedian Godrey.

Advertisement

briefcase_logo

(CBS)

The Briefcase
Show: New
Network: CBS
Premieres: May 27

Created by the executive-producer of The Biggest Loser, The Briefcase has a bit of a complicated premise: Each week, two families have 72 hours to learn details about each other’s challenging circumstances and make the weighty decision of what to do with $101,000. However, what they don’t know is that the family with whom they are considering sharing this financial windfall received an identical briefcase with the same instructions. Throughout their journeys, relationships within both families will be tested and beliefs questioned as they find out what really matters most in their lives, and how much importance they place on values such as love, generosity, compassion and faith.

Advertisement

(FOX)

(FOX)

So You Think You Can Dance
Show: Returning
Network: FOX
Premieres: May 28
For the show’s 12 season, choreographer, performer, singer and songwriter, Paula Abdul and singer/songwriter and dancer Jason Derulo will join Nigel Lythgoe and show host, Cat Deeley. The show is the same with a slightly different theme: stage dancers vs. street dancers.

Advertisement

500 Question Premieres

posted by jtotey
(ABC)

(ABC)

Though the show is called 500 Questions, viewers may ask only one: Why was this show made? Since the initial debut of Who Wants to be a Millionaire aired in 1999, It seems that every spring or summer, a “new” limited gameshow appears to makes it mark, but none of them have come close to the popularity or staying power of the Regis Philbin original. However, ABC is trying again with 500 Questions from Mark Burnett (who knows a few things about reality shows) but its first mistake may be having it go against the season finale of Burnett’s other huge hit, Survivor.

Advertisement

500 Questions is an all-new game show where the “smartest people in the country to achieve the seemingly impossible task of answering 500 of the most difficult general knowledge questions ever devised,” states the press release. The only rule is never get three answers wrong in a row or your time is up. There are no “saves” or multiple choice answers or even a “phone a friend.”

The show is hosted by CNN’s Richard Quest from Quest Means Business. I’ve never watched his show, but from what I gather from watching the commercials for this show, he seems to have the personality of a high school history teacher, which is great if you like history teachers. The show will air for nine nights in a row at 8:00 p.m. beginning May 20 and ending on May 28.

So – did you watch the premiere? Will you watch again?

Advertisement

‘Wayward Pines’ is a Nice Place to Visit but…

posted by jtotey
Ethan (Matt Dillon, R) and Beverly (Juliette Lewis, L) finalize their plans in the "Don't Discuss Your Life Before" episode of WAYWARD PINES.

Ethan (Matt Dillon, R) and Beverly (Juliette Lewis, L) finalize their plans in the “Don’t Discuss Your Life Before” episode of WAYWARD PINES. (Photo: FOX)

I’m a sucker for anything that M. Night Shyamalan is involved in. Not that I have liked everything that he produced, but he fascinates me. The Sixth Sense was brilliant and even though many did not appreciate his film, The Village, I liked it. I love his Twilight Zone-ish storytelling. So when I heard that FOX was going to present the limited series, Wayward Pines with him at the helm, I was all in and after last night’s premiere, count me in for all ten episodes.

Advertisement

As others are, I’m really liking the newer “limited series” concept where a show has a beginning, middle and end. Unlike series like Resurrection where I spent two years following a mystery only to see the show canceled. Now I’ll never know what happens!

For Wayward Pines, comparisons will be made to both The Village and the older TV show Twin Peaks and for good reason. However, unlike The Village, where the twist was that a small community was living in a time warp was revealed in the end, here, we know almost immediately that the Pines community is its own universe. As for Twin Peaks, the residents of Pines are almost as quirky, but probably more sinister.

Advertisement

Matt Dillon stars as secret service agent, Ethan Burke, who accidentally winds up in the town while searching for his partner Kate Hewson (Carla Gugino) and another agent who have been missing for a few weeks. He also is still getting over the devastation of the “Easter Bombing Attack” awhile back where he was racked with guilt for not saving people and turned to Hewson for comfort which led to a short-term affair. He also has a history of mental illness. Oh goody.

The pilot opens with Burke waking up all scratched up and lying in a stream in the middle of the woods. He wanders into town and collapses. He wakes up again, this time in the hospital being attended by what appears to be the sweet Nurse Pam (Melissa Leo) but first impressions can be deceiving. He is informed that he was in a car accident and that his traveling partner didn’t make it.

Advertisement

Meanwhile at home in Seattle, (that was obviously NOT filmed in Seattle), his wife Theresa and son Ben (Shannyn Sossamon and Charlie Tahan) are anxious after hearing that Ethan was in an accident, but investigators haven’t found him yet. They try to call Ethan. Ethan tries to call them. Neither party can get through to the other.

It is not really a spoiler, (if you’ve seen the commercials for this show), to know that Mr. Burke is trapped in this town located in Idaho supposedly. There aren’t many people living or working in town and the ones who are, are not very forthcoming in details. People seem to get confused about dates. Doctors think that Burke has internal bleeding by his brain and needs to be operated on. The town sheriff, (Terrence Howard), doesn’t get alarmed very easily and is in no hurry to help Burke. However, the local bartender, Beverly (Juliette Lewis), seems friendly enough and wants to help Burke giving him cryptic messages about the town. Then, there is the issue of his partner, Kate. He finds her on his second day in the town, but instead of short hair as she is seen in flashbacks, she has long hair and is apparently married. He follows her home and when she comes to her door, she pretends that she doesn’t know who he is. However, when they talk outside of her home, she breaks character briefly to let him know that they are being watched, that he needs to go away as it will jeopardize her life and that he is not dreaming. So, let the mystery begin.

Advertisement

If you like a good mystery, enjoy odd storylines and plan to watch the show, my advice is to pay attention to everything. Anything can be a clue on what is actually happening. The story and scenes are fast-paced, so if you blink, you could miss something important. One of the fun things about this show is that you never know what is and isn’t important to know.

The show is beautifully shot and the characters are enjoyable to watch if not exactly likable. Dillion’s manic character is unsettling and you wonder how long it will take him before he cracks. Is the show creepy? Not exactly, at least not yet. There is one grotesque scene in the pilot, but that ‘s about it, but things could get worse. There doesn’t seem to be any supernatural beings or demonic presence, so that’s a plus. However, the show is not for everyone. It is too soon to tell as anything can happen at this point. We’re in for a wide ride and I’m buckling in. How about you?

Wayward Pines airs on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. on FOX.

Advertisement

6 Best Movies to Watch with Mom

posted by jtotey
Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan in "Freaky Friday" (Disney)

Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan in “Freaky Friday” (Disney)

So, you decided to avoid the crowds and chaos at the restaurants for Mother’s Day this year and have invited your mom over to your house instead. Good for you. Now, what are you planning on doing? Why not make a nice brunch and enjoy a movie together? If so, avoid Mommie Dearest and Throw Momma From the Train and go with one of these instead:

Advertisement

MMMNOMom’s Night Out (2014)
Staring: Sarah Drew, Sean Astin and Patricia Heaton
Rated: PG

This underrated faith-based comedy arrived in theaters last Mother’s Day and was a hit with many moms if not the critics. In it, Allyson is overworked and “up to here” with her kids, but then, that makes her feel guilty for feeling that way. Her husband encourages her to go on a “mom’s night out” with some friends from church. They can even invite the pastor’s wife. What could go wrong? Any mother feeling guilty for not being the “best” mom will appreciate this. The film is full of laughs, is non-preachy and encouraging and is something the whole family will enjoy.

Advertisement

MMBBrave (2012)
Voice Talent: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson
Rated: PG

This is the ultimate mother/daughter movie that even the boys in the family will like. Merida is the strong-willed daughter and princess of Fergus and Elinor who is about to be paraded among some available bachelors, but unlike other Disney princesses, she wants none of it. So, with the help of a strange old lady, Merida chooses to change her own fate with humorous and almost tragic results. The film is full of strong messages with the main one being that sometimes being brave means to say that you are sorry.

Advertisement

MMSOMThe Sound of Music (1965)
Starring: Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer
Rated: G

Though the film is now 50 years old, it still has a timeless quality to it. Julie Andrews starts out as a nun, and then a nanny, and then back to a nun and then back to a nanny only to become a wife and mother of seven almost-perfect children. Okay, that last part might depress your mother, but overall, it is a film that is family-focused, has cheery music and can even be played in the background while you’re eating brunch.

Advertisement

MMSMSteel Magnolias (1989)
Starring: Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah and Julia Roberts
Rated: PG

Perhaps it’s the ultimate “chick flick,” (the male characters screen time is very limited), but it is a well-cast one based on a very popular play. It may be better suited for moms and older daughters. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll appreciate your family that much more. For those unfamiliar, Steel Magnolias is about a group of women who hang out a beauty shop over a period of years and different seasons helping each other to get through weddings, births and deaths.

Advertisement

MMBSThe Blind Side (2009)
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron and Tim McGraw
Rated: PG-13

The inspiring true story about how Leigh Anne Tuohy and her family, took in a street kid, (mind you, a BIG street kid), eventually adopt him and helped him become the All American football player, Michael Oher. Even moms who are not football fans will enjoy this award-winning movie, as the story has a lot more to do with relationships and caring for others than football.

Advertisement

MMFF1Freaky Friday (1976 and 2003)
Starring: Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster or Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan
Rated: G or PG

Silly fun about a mother and daughter who don’t see eye to eye who magically change bodies and literally walk in each other’s shoes. Both movies are produced by Disney and are fairly squeaky clean. Though the premise of the two movies is the same, they feature completely different storylines. These are the best options for group with smaller children.

Previous Posts

Summer Shows – Let the Games Begin
Now that we got most of the series and season finales done, summer time game shows hit the small screen in a big way. This week, eight new and/or returning reality/game shows debut with a total of 13 or so debuting in the coming months. NBC is ...

posted 8:12:10pm May. 25, 2015 | read full post »

500 Question Premieres
Though the show is called 500 Questions, viewers may ask only one: Why was this show made? Since the initial debut of Who Wants to be a Millionaire aired in 1999, It ...

posted 2:12:27am May. 21, 2015 | read full post »

'Wayward Pines' is a Nice Place to Visit but...
I'm a sucker ...

posted 5:18:27pm May. 15, 2015 | read full post »

6 Best Movies to Watch with Mom
So, you decided to avoid the crowds and chaos at the restaurants for Mother's Day this year and have invited ...

posted 11:59:14pm May. 07, 2015 | read full post »

'Age of Ultron' is Over-the-Top Fun
What do Avengers do for fun on their time off? They attend parties and play party games like who can pick up Thor's hammer: Tony Stark: ...

posted 6:52:12am May. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.