Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory

I just watched the season 1 dvd of this new sitcom comedy and I was instantly hooked. Its that good. Sitcoms are not so much about writing or jokes and such but more about the chemistry of all the actors in the show and how they play against each other.

The Big Bang Theory is about 2 genius nerds who are roommates, and then a pretty waitress moves in next to them. Rounding out the cast are 2 more nerd friends who are constantly at the apartment. Sound dull? Well, try explaining Frasier or Friends or Seinfeld.

The Big Bang Theory is all about the actors, the awesome acting and excellent script. With each episode you watch, you get more and more into the characters and the show. And being a nerd myself, not only am I not insulted, I find myself charmed by the way they are portrayed. To make things even more fun, they have actual factual physics/math/science Easter eggs throughout the show.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Knight Rider - TV Review

Just watched the premiere of Knight Rider last night and I really have to comment on just HOW BAD IT WAS. They did a 2 hour pilot of this show over a year ago and were met with a very luke warm reception from the audience. Even the most staunch Knight Rider gave it an ok, most others (me included) had less than favorable things to say about it.

For some unknown reason, this show is now making its debut and you would think that after a year to retool the show and make it better, there would be some redeeming qualities about it. You would be wrong.

The biggest problem with this show is the writing/plot. That entire first show was about showing off the car (understandable) and some action scenes, with a paper thin plot line about Micheal's mysterious history which he can't remember and seems to be the main focus of the show for at least the next few episodes.

OH MY GOD!!! Have these asshats seen recent shows? Burn Notice? Chuck? Heck even Jake 2.0 had better plot lines. The entire first episode was all about showing off how much $$$ they could spend on special effects and make the plot fit into the action scenes. Where's the intelligent or witty conversations, where's the scenes which make Michael seem cool? where's the plot that even The Love Boat had a better grasp on?

This is the 21st century. We've seen a hell of a lot of special effects and are very spoilt. We expect all TV shows to have movie quality effects. KITT (the car) is supposed to be the main emphasis of the show, and it FAILS!!! I am not a car person and even I thought the original KITT from the 80's was a cool car. There is NOTHING cool about the current KITT. Its a car has a "superior" AI and some gadgets included as well. Did no one think that perhaps liquid metal might be a better idea? A car that can morph into other vehicles (with some limitations), or a hover/flying ability, or SOMETHING cool. Something we have not seen before.

But no, this car's emblem changes from a "snake" in normal form into a cobra when its in attack mode. It has a very annoying AI voice which does not seem to be any smarter than the original KITT which is very bad given that its been 30 years and we have super dumb lines like "you can't feel KITT, you're a computer". Michael actually said that line to KITT in the show. Its like this guy has never seen any TV shows like TERMINATOR or Matrix or Battlestar Galactica, in today's world, we expect our AI to be very much more than human and we expect our heroes to be more intelligent than to say a line like that.

OH LORD. Again, did they hire the casting director and writers from 1980? In this decade we like our sidekicks smart, fun and having the ability to carry the show or play off the main cast. Take a note from "The Big Bang Theory", "Will and Grace", "Prison Break", "Burn Notice", "Eureka".

You know what this show has? A nerdy but brainy person who is their tech guy that everyone seems to look down on and faints at the sight of blood. A hot asian chick who constantly spouts one-liners and loves to tease the nerdy guy. And a black female FBI agent who has an attitude problem and makes you want to smack her.

Super bland, one dimensional sidekicks that we've seen from the 1980's. I'll admit that some current shows also suffer from one dimensional sidekicks, but they usually have other redeeming qualities.


Knight Rider is an action show. And as such it needs eye candy. The 2 main leads of the show are Deanna Russo and Justin Bruening, Now I think the girls are fairly hot, but I'm not exactly a good judge on that department. I can however comment on Justin Bruening.

15 mins into the show there is a scene where both of them need to undress in the car at high speed because KITT was just hit by a missile and was now burning on the outside (liquid) nalpham and the temperature was rising fast inside. (I kid you not, this was the actual plot - Like taking off your clothes in the confines of a car helps any in this situation).

Don't get me wrong, I would kill for a body like Justin Bruening. But on a action TV star, his body is a B-. Wentworth Miller in Prison Break, Jeffrey Donovan in Burn Notice, Robert Buckley in Lipstick Jungle. Those are hot men that fans fantasize about, build websites and web shrines to and constantly scour the internet for shirtless pics for. I've seen some very hot photos of Justin on the web but perhaps he should have hit the gym before taking off his shirt for his "BIG BREAK".

To sum up, what does this show have going for it? ... ... ... ... Hmmmm... it does have high production values which all prime time shows have.

Don't even bother to acknowledge the existence of this remake.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Currently ...

When do you know that you're traveling too much? I recently got the Diamond VIP status with Hilton Honors. The VIP status go from Silver to Gold to Diamond. When I check in the hotel receptionist knows me by name and even my preferences without asking. (4 extra bottles of water and a wake up call at 6:10am).

Having VIP status does have its privileges, in this case I usually get free upgrades to a King suite if its available and free buffet breakfast daily. Although having a King suite is wasted on me, I really don't need or want the space, I'd rather they gave me a fridge in a normal room. And while I did indulge in the buffet breakfast initially, I had to cut back because I know its bad for me. So my daily breakfast now consists of 2 scoops of oatmeal and 2-3 links of sausage + some fruit and yogurt for snacking thru the day.

Oh and I also get airline miles and recently got silver award status with Northwest airlines. The only real benefit here is that I get to board the plane after 1st class passengers but before the rest of the horde. These benefits will really pay off when I make my trip back to Singapore, since miles are almost useless in terms of getting free tickets anymore, I'm gonna using mine to upgrade to first class. Should be fun, I've only flown first class once from Singapore to Narita airport in Japan and that was a lucky free upgrade. Its just too bad I don't drink.


Sunday, September 07, 2008

What I'm doing recently

Hard to believe but I've been on the road for 4 months now, traveling to and from Pittsburgh every week for work. Recently found out that I'll be doing it for 2 more months which bring it up to 6 months on the road.

My decision to buy a new laptop earlier this year was a very sound investment, its allowed me to keep my sanity while on the road. I can blog, surf and play games on this PC (although) slightly slower than when I'm at home but it gives me the illusion of being "home". This also tells you just how much time I spend on the computer.

Recently Blizzard(World of Warcraft) started a Refer-a-Friend program which has several tangible benefits. So I and many others have ... referred ourselves, meaning I now have 2 world of warcraft accounts.

I stated this Refer-A-Friend program at the start of August and I'm very happy to say that I now have 3 new Level 60 characters. For some reason the triple XP granted has re-fired up my interest in the game and I'm now working on leveling up a Hunter, Fighter and Shaman to 60. This will mean I'll have a level 60 for every character in WOW.

All I know is that its been consuming most of my free time this past month which makes the additional $15 a month very worthwhile.

In the next few weeks there are more distractions in store for me. SPORE is being released this week and I'll get my hands on it Thursday. I fully expect to be playing this non-stop creating creatures and getting them from a single celled organism to galactic conquest!

I might even use the 2 creatures I created.

And in 2 weeks, another MMORPG called Warhammer Online is being released. Its another Sword and Sorcery, Orc, Elves fantasy game like WOW, but people who crave new eye candy in the MMO space, it's a great distraction and should occupy me for a few weeks to ... months.


Monday, September 01, 2008

Weekend Cooking - Wings

It was a long weekend for me, thanks to Labor Day falling on Monday. I do love cooking and so I had a craving for wings so... That just what I did. Wings.

6-8 lbs chicken wings (this is a guess. I had about 50 wings)
1 cup splendor sugar,
1 cup soya sauce
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup mirin sauce
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp 5 spice powder
1 tsp white pepper

Separate the wings into drumstick and wing. Rinse and pat dry.
Place the wings in a large bowl or plastic bag that can be sealed.
Mix all the other ingredients. Pour over wings and refrigerate overnight.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until well done.

Here 's the wings served with backed veggies and some ouzo salad.

And for desert, we have Pluot! Yep this hybrid of plum and apricot is in season again.

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