The Weekly Pulse: Mr. Coogan's Groove Tube Update

LOOK AT THIS…

You might notice the Weekly Pulse is considerably shorter this week. It’s that way for a couple of reasons. First, I’m hanging out with my bestest friends in the whole world in everyone’s 21-and-over playground, Las Vegas as two of them will be getting married before May 1.

Also, I’m looking to retool the Weekly Pulse in a way that makes it shorter all the time and in a way where I’m not spending 12 hours every week on it. We’ll see. I’ll definitely be working with Murtz on this and other IPTV projects…

In the mean time, let’s get this party started…both here AND in Vegas!

THE OPENING CREDITS: So much show coverage….IPTV RULES!

** My apologies for skipping another So-Called Television Column. I’ve been quite busy this week with the InsidePulse Movies Oscar coverage. Mosey on over there and check it out! You might see some IP TV talent over there too!

** Here’s last week’s Groove Tube Update though. Mmmm…beefy…

** Murtz scores once again with another fired candidate from the third season of The Apprentice. This time he interviews the immortal Danny Kastner who provides some interesting tidbits of information. Murtz said it’s his best interview ever.

** Danny even got involved with the public forums this week. You owe it to yourself to see what Danny has started!

** Danny’s not the only reality celebrity who contributed this week. Nick Warnock continues to be IPTV’s rock when it comes to the reality celebrities providing coverage of the shows they appeared on. As usual, he’s firm, but provides an entertaining read.

** Elizabeth Jarosz is catching up on her coverage as well as she reviews Episode 4 and Episode 5 of The Apprentice.

** And the award for the IP TV writer of the week goes to CHERI!

She has pumped out and astounding FIVE pieces in the last seven days. First, there was The Bachelorette. Then she got to the American Idol men’s show, the American Idol women’s show, the American Idol elimination show and she even found time to crank out a Survivor column.

Phew…I’m tired…

** Mark Polishuk has his Oscar preview…And so does Laura Whitehouse. I bet they are excited for Sunday like the rest of us…

** We’re continuing to provide some kick ass live coverage of the hottest shows on TV too! Matt Romanada covered the most recent episode of The Apprentice and Michaelangelo covered the second episode of Survivor: Pulau.

** If you need a Desperate Housewives fix since it’s being pre-empted on Sunday for the Oscars, John Duran continues to provide some kick-ass updates!

THE CLOSING CREDITS: Mr. Coogan’s 5 Questions

1. An Unscripted question: As the first season finale approaches, has the show come back from a very slow start? – Remarkably, (and for a reason I can’t quite comprehend), I stuck around with HBO’s Unscripted despite being bored and frustrated by it in the beginning.

I certainly wouldn’t I’ve been “rewarded” by sticking around, but now that I understand the gimmick better and the lives of these three struggling actors has developed a little bit more, I have to say that I’ve become more interested in what I’ve seen.

Primarily, I’m interested in Bryan’s story because he’s the only one of the three struggling actors that seemed to have “succeeded” in any measurable way, securing a pretty large part in a movie starring Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep. I would think that once he finishes this movie and it gets released, he won’t exactly be “struggling” all that much anymore. Or will he? The script writing (or at least the situations they are coming up with) have me interested enough.

Meanwhile, Jennifer is sweet but dreadfully naïve and her getting taken in a pyramid scheme is evident of that. And Krista? She’s nice to look at but it’s hard to feel sorry for anyone who has a personal assistant….Plus, she’s a bit of a bitch anyway.

So, I’m still not in love with the show, but I’m still recording it every week, so that says something.

My answer: Well, if Unscripted were a basketball game, they started out losing by 25 points and now they’re only losing by five. It’s a marked improvement, but I’d still rather be winning.

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2. A Monk question: How is Traylor Howard doing as Monk’s new assistant? – Let’s get this out of the way right now, no one is ever going to appropriately replace Sharona (Bitty Schram) as Monk’s assistant. She may have been abrasive and harsh at times, but she was also very sweet, kind and caring too. You’d prefer to have a nice personal assistant around instead of a harsh one, but at the same time Monk needs that since his phobias ravage him. It’s more like harsh encouragement.

With that said, Traylor Howard (Two Guys and a Girl and most recently, Son of the Mask) has stepped in, playing Natalie Teeges another attractive single mother, who becomes Monk’s assistant after helping with her burglary case.

She’s got a similar spunky personality to Sharona’s and isn’t very interested in taking any of Monk’s BS (the scene in an earlier episode this season with him paying the bills was particularly telling in that regard). So, in that regard, she fits in perfectly.

But from what I’ve seen of her to this point is that she’s not as sweet and nice and Sharona seemed to be. It could be argued that as the relationship develops, Natalie will probably grow to care more about Monk instead of the simple employer/employee relationship. That makes the relationship awkward to some degree and that will iron itself out.

But if it doesn’t? Well…let’s just say fans of the show will be missing Sharona more and more….

My answer: So far, so good…But I hope Natalie becomes more compassionate of a personal assistant…

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3. A Tilt question: Was last week’s episode too deflating for its own good? – To be frank, the shit hit the fan in last week’s episode. After Seymour’s death, Eddie, Clark and Miami sped up the process of trying to screw the Matador over in a game. The only problem was as the last hand approached, the Matador vocalized the fact that he figured out all three of them were in cahoots and the three lost their huge bankroll and Eddie got the snot beat out of him.

Then to make matters worse, the Matador was kept around the Colorado and Lowball was shown the door, basically reminding everyone he is the king of the town.

Great. The villain kicks ass again.

So, after all the build up of the last five episodes, everything gets killed rather quickly and it’s like the crew has to start from scratch. It may work out for the best in the end. But there is something to say about completely demoralizing an audience that invests their time and energy into characters and the lives they lead. If too much is taken away from them, people may start to ask: “Why bother watching this show? We already know what’s going to happen anyway?”

It’s almost like typing five pages of an assignment on MS Word before your computer freezes and the assignment gets lost. You were into the assignment and getting a lot done. But when you have to start from scratch because it’s gone, it becomes maddening. I think Tilt reached that point with last Thursday’s (2/17) episode.

The writers have already set up the Matador as this colossal prick who seems to know it all already. Continuing to emphasize that makes him even less likable. When you combine that with the fact that the villain never loses, it makes a less satisfying viewing experience for the fans. If they get annoyed or frustrated, there are 200 other options out there…and that doesn’t include their DVD collection.

My answer: The episode was DEFINITELY too deflating, but I’m still tuning in this week so all is not lost…

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4. An ER question: Should Cynthia Nixon be considered for a Guest Actress Emmy for her portrayal of a stroke patient being rushed to the ER?
Some people may argue that all she did for that episode was provide a series of voice-overs and hold up a great makeup job, showing what it’s really like to have a stroke.

If that’s the case, what’s the big deal? Right?

Wrong.

It’s remarkably difficult to describe exactly what it must be like have to deal with having a stroke. For the most part, a person’s brain is fine. He/she is aware of what’s going on around him/her and yet often can’t move or take part in any meaningful communication.

Not only did the writers of the episode show they had some idea what it might be like to have a severe stroke, Nixon’s acting performance was commendable. Despite being a normally functioning woman as we all know her, she did a remarkable job of convincing the audience she was as sick as a stroke can make someone.

Then the voice-overs were included and she created the right inflection in many cases showed a broad emotional range from being surprised to angry to sad to feeling helpless.

All of this happened in just in one 44-minute episode. It was as if I was watching a movie and not an episode of a serialized television drama. And that’s great.

My answer: Absolutely. You’d have to be heartless not to be touched by her performance…

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5. A CSI question: Will an episode developed and directed by Quentin Tarantino be that much different than a normal episode?

God, I hope so.

The news out of CSI camp is that the series’ creator Anthony Zuiker has finally nailed down Quentin Tarantino (uhh…he’s a famous director) to direct an episode of CSI. It appears he’s going to be this season’s finale as well.

It’s evident that everyone is in love with CSI and the forensics aspect of crime fighting. Hell, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to show at-risk youths episodes of this show to make them realize that if they commit a major crime, there is a real good chance they’re going to get caught no matter how well they think they’ve covered their tracks.

Nonetheless, I find the shows to be largely annoying. First, the main characters solving the cases are about as likable as wannabe gangsta rapper who beats women. Second, I don’t really understand the writers work two separate crime cases into each episode. Law & Order works brilliantly (for the most part) when it focuses on the variety of twists and turns seen of one particular case. If the writing is good enough, there’s no reason to pad it with another secondary story that takes up half of each episode.

I’m sure Tarantino will be able to use his crazy and creative mind to come up with something that will abandon the normal annoying CSI conventions, shock the hell out of everyone while also providing one hell of a story too. I mean, have you seen Pulp Fiction and either of the Kill Bill movies? The guy seems to know what he’s doing and I can’t wait to see what he’s got for CSI.

My answer: This is the best thing CSI has ever done.

And the best thing I’ve ever done is end this column…right…about…

Now.

— Coogan