Thursday, June 21, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for June 21

Kris Allen was born on June 21, 1985.

Kris Allen is Born

Kristopher Neil Allen was born on this day in 1985. He won the title of “American Idol” on the show’s eighth season beating out Adam Lambert in 2009. His first album was released in November of that same year and his single, “Live Like We’re Dying” peaked at #18. On New Years Day in 2013, Allen and his pregnant wife got into a head-on collision. Allen’s wife and their baby survived the crash, but Allen’s wrist was shattered. He went through three surgeries which only helped him regain 30 percent of his wrist’s movement. He had to learn how to play the guitar all over again. “Thank God nothing worse happened,” he says regarding the accident. “My wife was in the car with our son, and it could've been so much worse. You fight through things and get through them, and I'd like to say I'm a better person for it." Allen released his fifth studio album, Letting You In, on March 18, 2016.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Irreverent Fun Continues This Summer on ‘The Gong Show’

Second season of "The Gong Show"
Performer Jan Damm on The Gong Show. (ABC)

 TV 

One of the weirdest game shows to ever broadcast on the small screen was The Gong Show. It began as a NBC mid-day game show in 1976 that was hosted by the show’s creator, Chuck Barris. It was outrageous and at times controversial. Eventually the network cancelled the show altogether, but the show continued filming in syndication. Over the years, the show has been revived and canceled numerous times but last summer, ABC took a chance on nostalgia and decided the bring the show back from the dead with the help of Will Arnett who serves as the show’s executive producer.

The Gong Show is similar to NBC’s America’s Got Talent in that it is a talent show featuring unique acts from all over the country and sports a panel of celebrity judges, but the similarity ends there. While AGT consistently presents class acts (and a few duds here and there), The Gong Show is just the opposite with constant terrible acts and few surprisingly talented people mixed in for good measure. In fact, some acts featured on The Gong Show have also appeared on AGT ... and failed.

Second Season of "The Gong Show"
The Kinsey Sicks and The Chew Crew (ABC)
This year, the show moves from its 10:00 p.m. timeslot to the more family-friendly 8:00 p.m. (That’s not to say that all content on the show will indeed be family-friendly, but here’s hoping.) The host of the show is Tommy Maitland, a fictional British comic legend portrayed by Mike Myers.

While a revolving panel of judge’s praise, critique and gong contestants, most performers will go home with their unique talent that only a mother can love; but each week, the winning act with the highest judges’ score will receive The Gong Show trophy and a check. ABC says that this season promises to bring in even more big-name judges and a new gaggle of contestants unafraid to showcase their awesome yet quirky routines.

Returning to their post from last season include Arnett, Dana Carvey, Ken Jeong and Rob Riggle; and making their judging debut are Alyson Hannigan, Jimmy Kimmel, Brad Paisley, Sharon Osborne, Jason Sudeikis and others not yet announced.

Second season of "The Gong Show"
The Uniquecycles and Adam Winrich (ABC)
Performers, such as contortionists, singers, magicians, dancers, jugglers and dancing dogs, are just some of the dozens and dozens of acts that are set to impress our panel of three celebrity judges. If any of the judges deem an act to be less than worthy of a score, they can pick up a mallet and hit the giant gong that is hanging behind them and end the underwhelming performance. But if the judges are happy with the act, they will let it play out until the end and present their scores numerically from 0 through 10. It’s not uncommon for fights to break out amongst the judges when one of them wants to gong an act, while the others want to let them play on.

This year’s crop of performers include such acts as men-in-drag The Kinsey Sicks, The Uniquecycles (featuring a guy who can ride atop of unicycle that has five wheels), western whip-master Adam Winrich, “The World’s Strongest Redneck,” Cylax the Alien, the man-and-dog act Christian and Scooby, Bobella the archer/contortionist, The Chew Crew and The Colorado Speed Spinners to name a few.

The second season of The Gong Show premieres Thursday, June 21 at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.

Not So Fast MoviePass – AMC Theatres Has Their own Subscription Service

AMC Theatres Stubs Program fires back at MoviePass
Photo by Krists Luhaers on Unsplash

 MOVIES 

As it becomes more and more expensive to see first-run movies, fans have been flocking to subscription services like MoviePass which allows members to see movies over and over again for a reduced rate. While MoviePass is a huge hit for moviegoers (about 3 million members currently) the theaters are not too keen on the program, and one chain, AMC Theatres has fired back with its own monthly service under the AMC Stubs umbrella reports the Associated Press.

Up until now, AMC Stubs has mostly offered concession discounts, but the A-List program will allow members to see up to three movies every week for a monthly fee of $19.95. This is twice as much as MoviePass’ $9.95 monthly charge, but unlike MoviePass, the AMC plan will give access to premium format screenings (IMAX and 3D upgrades) and allow guest to even see the same movie up to three times in one day if they like.

As to be expected, MoivePass is displeased by this decision and stated: "AMC has repeatedly disparaged our model as a way to discourage our growth because all along they wanted to launch their own, more expensive plan," the company said on Twitter. "We want to make movies more accessible, they want more profit."

AMC thinks that the average Stubs member will to an average of 2.5 movies a month and estimates that it will cost the chain $5-$10 million in ticket revenues during the first six month of service.

Chris Pratt Shares Faith and Poop Jokes in Same Speech - Video of the Day

 VIDEO OF THE DAY 

Chris Pratt accepts the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Award Generation Award and shares nine important tips for his fans to remember.

This Day in Pop Culture for June 20

"Jaws" was released in theaters on June 20, 1975.

‘Jaws’ is Released in Theaters

The producers of the hit film Jaws hired 27-year-old Steven Spielberg to direct the film before the release of his first movie, The Sugarland Express. Based on the novel by Peter Benchley, shooting the film took longer than expected and drove costs up to $8 million while the budget was set at $4 million. At one point, Universal threatened to shut down production of the movie, but had a change of heart and instead promoted Jaws with a $700,000 marketing campaign. The mechanical shark used in the picture was affectionately named Bruce. (Pixar named the shark in Finding Nemo after him as well.) The famous “daa-daa” music was composed by John Williams and was performed by tuba player Tommy Johnson. Jaws made about $7 million during the opening weekend becoming one of the first summer blockbuster films ever.  It also caused a lot of people to be afraid of going into the water. Any water.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Best of the Worst TV Acting - Video of the Day

 VIDEO OF THE DAY 

This collection of train wrecks will make your day. (From Looper)

This Day in Pop Culture for June 19

The first Father's Day was created in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910.

The First Father’s Day is Celebrated

After the success of the Mother’s Day holiday created in the early 20th century (attributed to Anna Jarvis), clamoring began to be heard from those who wanted a similar holiday for fathers. The credit for this usually goes to Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Washington. It was first celebrated on this day in 1910 at the Spokane YMCA. Dodd’s father was a single parent raising six children. After hearing a sermon about Jarvis’ Mother’s Day a year earlier, Dodd suggested her idea to her pastor of the Central Methodist Episcopal Church. Several other clergymen agreed and it was decided that the third Sunday of each June would be the designated day. Incidentally, International Men's Day is celebrated in many countries on November 19 for men who are not fathers.

Monday, June 18, 2018

ABC’s ‘The Proposal’ is Just as Awful as You Think It Would Be

TV Series Review
The first 10 contestants on The Proposal. (ABC)

 TV SERIES REVIEW 

Each one-hour episode of The Proposal, ABC’s new reality matchmaking show, features 10 eligible daters competing in four pageant-style rounds to win the heart of a mystery suitor whose identity is concealed from them. Within an hour, one will be asked for their hand in marriage.

“This is not a game,” says Jesse Palmer, the show’s host during the beginning of tonight’s premiere episode. Palmer explains that the contestants for the show have been hand-picked by a panel of “blue ribbon matchmakers.” Uh-huh. The former NFL quarterback, contributor to Good Morning America and official “Bachelor” of 2004 (whose own proposal/engagement to Jessica Bowlin was short-lived and appears to still be single) makes for the perfect host of this mockery of true love. I have no doubt that The Proposal will be a big hit this summer since its intended audience is the same crowd who watch The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

During tonight’s episode we meet Mike, but just like the women, we do not get to see what he looks like. We learn that he is a police officer and that he lost part of his leg off-duty during a traffic accident. He is brought onto the stage to sit in his “pod” concealed from everyone. Then the show quickly brings out 10 eligible women hoping to win his heart including:
TV Series Review
"Mike" (ABC)

  • Havilah who is an author, motivational speaker and … doll collector … something every man is looking for in a grown up woman.
  • The sloth-loving Kelly who is a skydiver and roller derby enthusiast who prances down the stairs with her roller skates on!
  • Riona is a medical student who is really proud of her calves. We also learn that her grandfather offered to pay to have her eggs frozen “but when it comes to love, she’s hoping to land sunny side up.”
  • Kendal is a neuropsychologist…and a baton twirler.
  • Life skills coach, Alona, “dabbles” in cheerleading and says that bad grammar is her worst fear. She is “sick of being alone-a.”
  • Ditzy Monica bedazzles her clothes.


What 'Jurassic World' Looks Like Without Special Effects - Video of the Day

 VIDEO OF THE DAY 

These scenes were taken from the dailies during production of Jurassic World which makes you appreciate the art of CGI special effects.