Welcome to the West Week Ever Late Express Edition! I’m actually traveling but the show must go on, right? Since tablet WordPress is a bitch, there won’t be any pictures or special characters this week. Sorry for the bare bones approach but at least I’m putting something out!
So, last week, I found myself watching Fury. War movies aren’t usually my cup of tea, but I’d been intrigued about it since I’d first seen the trailer. If you’re not familiar, it’s set in the last days of World War II, and Brad Pitt leads a ragtag group assigned to a tank. Finding themselves outgunned and outmanned, they decide to try to hold down a critical crossroad from the Germans. It was a really good movie, with great performances by Pitt, Michael Pena, and even Shia. I missed the first 15 minutes, so I know I’ll be rewatching it soon. I highly recommend it!
I also found myself watching Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie . The man on the street doesn’t realize that there were actually TWO theatrically released Power Rangers movies. That’s mainly because the second came out after the show’s popularity had peaked AND it sucked. At least that’s how I remembered it. Looking at it with fresher eyes, it’s not the travesty I remembered. And it did something daring by introducing the first (and only) kid Power Ranger. I can see where they were going with that: allow a kid to be a Ranger so that the kid viewers could have someone to identify with. Sure, it makes sense on paper, but I’m not sure they nailed the execution. I’d also kinda forgotten how hot villainess Divatox was, even though she was nothing but a terrorist (she hid bombs in parks. THAT is the definition of a terrorist ). At the end of the day, it didn’t deserve a theatrical release, but it would’ve made a pretty decent TV movie.
I’ve had a Cappella on the brain this week. It started when Facebook recommended a local a Cappella group’s upcoming auditions. I did a little background research on them, and that led me down the rabbit hole of local post – collegiate a Cappella groups. Well, in my travels, I discovered Acaville Radio – a 24/7 streaming service dedicated to nothing but a Cappella. They’ve got high school groups, college groups, and even pro groups. I’ve also struck up a nice little dialogue with the person running their Twitter account. It seems like they focus mainly on tracks from post-2002, as that’s where the audience feedback drove them. Luckily, my “Drops of Jupiter” came out in 2002…
Speaking of music, I finally checked out SiriusXM’s Yacht Rock Radio the day before it was set to go away forever. If you’re not familiar with the concept of Yacht Rock, think of Adult Contemporary music circa 1980. It’s smooth and relaxing – the kind of stuff you’d listen to on your boat. That said, I really like the format. What Sirius was doing, though, didn’t really work for me. It was a little too Leo Sayer when I wanted more Doobie Bros. I know you’ve got to dig out some deep cuts to keep a radio station going, but I didn’t recognize a lot of the songs, which killed the singalongability of the whole thing. If it comes back next summer, maybe I’ll give it another shot.
In the world of TV, the 2015-2016 television season kicked off this week. I checked out The Muppets on ABC and I really didn’t like it. In fact, I actually fell asleep on it 20 minutes in. I didn’t laugh once. I just think the whole mockumentary thing is over. A Facebook friend pointed out that it’s essentially 30 Rock with Muppets, which sounds like how they probably pitched the show. The difference, however, is that 30 Rock was enjoyable.
I was glad to see the return of Fresh Off The Boat. It appears creator Eddie Huang’s voiceovers are gone, which I don’t really miss. It pears ABC distanced themselves from him following his racist and misogynistic Twitter rant last spring. It’ll be interesting to see how performs against The Grinder, Best Time Ever, and The Flash once they’re all in their regular timeslots.
Speaking of Best Time Ever, I’m still critiquing the show, wondering what might have been. At this point, I think I’ve isolated some problems. First off, the Get Ready hidden camera segment and the karaoke bit need to go. The Hell, even the game show portion, Get Lucky, isn’t even that strong. The strongest bits are NPH’s challenges and the big number at the finale. It could also probably benefit from being 30 minutes instead of a whole hour.
It was announced this week that Ta-Neheisi Coates would be writing a year-long Black Panther storyline for Marvel. A lot of people seem to think this is a big “get” in terms of diversity, but I’m not yet intrigued. Coates is brilliant, with a lot of great ideas, but his stuff is so dense. I joked on twitter that every issue will be 87 pages and cost $7.99. I’ve never really liked Black Panther, as it always seemed like he was “doing too much”, so it would actually take a lot to get me excited about something going on in his book. This announcement didn’t do it.
Things You Might Have Missed This Week
-Nick Kroll and Amy Poehler have reportedly broken up
-Meanwhile, Fred Armisen and Natasha Lyonne are reportedly dating
-Fox’s Empire returned this week, crazier than ever
Nobody had a week like The Pope. His inaugural trip to the United States was treated like the arrival of The Beatles. Streets were closed, and cities shut down awaiting the pontiff. I love the dude ’cause he got me a day off work Wednesday. There’s something about him, though. Everybody loves him but that’s because he seems to say exactly what everyone wants to hear. Does he mean all this stuff or is he just a great listener? Who knows? All I know was that I saw a ton of news footage of people crying like they had just met One Direction. Who else (besides One Direction) has that kind of clout? I dunno, man. All I know is that Pope Francis had the West Week Ever.