Thursday, March 8, 2012

Escaping from "Alcatraz", Where is Peyton Going?


Last night I watched two episodes from "Alcatraz" last night. The first episode "The Ames Brothers" was frightfully boring. It was easily the worst hour in the short history of "Alcatraz". It didn't help that I had to watch it on Fox's On Demand. On Demand is usually one of my favorite things about modern day TV. However Fox's On Demand is the worst On Demand from any station. Most On Demand episodes only last about 50 minutes, with 10 minutes of commercials. However greedy Fox shows the program in the usual hour long broadcast TV block. That means all 20 minutes of commercials. They also make it frustrating to fast forward, I quickly realized it's better to endure the commercials. For the purpose of entertainment, especially with this episode, that is horrible. Those 20 minutes of commercials added to the realization of how thin the story was.

The second episode, "Sonny Burnett" was a little better. But the less they focus on the prisoners and the more they focus on the characters the better.

I loved "Lost" as much as the next person, but this show is too "Lostian". That's not helped by having Jorge Garcia in the cast, he's a constant reminder of the superiority of "Lost". There are also so many more great characters in "Lost". There's not one fantastic character in "Alcatraz". Quite simply theres no Kate, Sawyer, Jack or Locke. It's a hard balance to meet the right number of characters. Alcatraz needs a break out character. But having too many main characters can also be a curse. "Lost" started to lose it's mojo when it had so many characters and they tried to find things for all of them to do. I realize that's a tricky balance to have. Too many characters is currently hurting two of my favorite shows. Both "The Walking Dead" and "Blue Bloods" needs to lose a couple of extraneous characters.

In one of tonight's episodes an inmate uses dynamite to blow open a door. That reminded me of Locke blowing the door off the first hatch on "Lost". This show needs to distance itself more from "Lost". Even the end credits with the "Bad Robot" snippet isn't doing "Alcatraz" any favors. I also get that prison life is brutal, but that's not very entertaining. I wish the show would spend more time developing the story and mystery about where the inmates went for 49 years. Like "Lost" we watch for the mystery, more than for the lives of both confined populations.

It seems "Alcatraz" is struggling in ratings, chances don't seem good that this show will be coming back. Even if it did I'm on the verge of giving up on this show anyway. There are just too many dead spots in this show.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, 12 teams have reached out to Peyton Manning's representatives. It will be interesting where he ends up going. Among the places he's rumored to be considering include Miami, the Jets, Seattle and Denver. I'd love to see him end up in Denver, barring injury that's nearly a guaranteed way to end the misery of Tebow hysteria. Manning says he wants to stay in the AFC, Denver would work for that. Also Broncos Coach John Fox changed Denver's offense to take full advantage of Tebow's "skills". By doing that Denver had a surprisingly good season. Imagine what the Broncos could do if they built their offense around the tenacious, pro style abilities of Manning. He plans to announce which team he's going to join in about a week.

Also one week from today the greatest sporting event of the year starts, March Madness. I don't consider  the games that are played on Tuesday to be that interesting. Yes it's time for March Madness! It's my favorite three sport weeks of the year. I especially love the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament, those two days feature exciting and hard fought basketball played all day both days.

Great songs:

Bloc Party's "Staying Fat":

Van Halen's "Tattoo". I'd expected a little more showmanship out of Dave.

This is an interesting song from a band called School of Seven Bells. I don't know a lot about the band, but this is a pretty cool song, "Scavenger":

Spandau Ballet's "True", just a great, great song:

Listening to Disturbed's cover of "Land of Confusion" made me think of this song. Both are very angry songs, it seems either would fit in with "The Wall" as well.

I had the video of the most famous song from "Chess" yesterday. This is probably the next most famous song. Not only because it's from the play, but also because Whitney Houston covered it on her second CD. For some reason this song has spawned a lot of parodies on youtube, stay away the one purporting to feature Susan Boyle.

The incomparable Whitney Houston, with her mother Cissy:

Wow there's a lot of crappy versions of "I Know Him So Well" on the internets, I was hoping to find a version from the play. However there's something to be said for a sexy woman that can sing. This is one of the best versions I could find:

I like this version as well, although I wish both singers would have sung it with more pizzazz. This song should be sung with more passion, but it grew on me after awhile. I've listened to this version of the song several times.


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