Friday, September 29, 2006
Sorry guys! After the second helping of JERICHO, I rolled my eyes one too many times at the stupidity of dialog and acting that muddies up the high-concept CBS drama JERICHO. I mean, COME ON! - miscast prodigal son Skeet Ulrich JUST saves the life of his ex-girlfriend and her deaf friend from certain rape/death at the hands of two escaped cons and the ONLY gratitude Skeet gets from her is: "disaster always shows up when you're around", or something to that effect. Then the girl just idly walks away from him -even though she'd be already starting stiffen with rigor mortis if he hadn't just saved her (all the while risking his OWN life from an impending radiation rain that put the entire town in peril). The characters are sooooo annoying, and writing is soooo bad, and the reactions these people make are NOT how people would really react to these events. With too many great other shows on TV (Desperate Housewives, Lost, Veronica Mars, Ugly Betty, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The Class, How I Met Your Mother, Heroes and Brothers & Sisters), JERICHO just isn't worth investing my time in if the writers and actors can't deliver a more realistic approach. And BESIDES, do I REALLLLLY want to spend an hour of my week EACH week watching a depressing story that is ONLY going to get dragged out ad nauseum without any real relief (until the series ends). JERICHO would have worked best as a 8 or 10 hour miniseries, with a definite "end" in sight - but as an ongoing series? Nope. D+
UGLY BETTY is BEAUTIFUL!
Hands down, UGLY BETTY on ABC is the BEST NEW SHOW of the season! America Ferrara is an amazing talent and DESERVES any accolades she gets for her brave and brilliant performance as Betty Suarez - who happens to be "beautiful" on the inside and "ugly" on the outside. And I use quotes because beauty and ugly are just subjective labels, and to my eyes some of the ugliest people are the naughty, rude, insensitive "adults" already staffed at the mythical MODE magazine offices. UGLY BETTY is a unique series of eye-candy-addicting set pieces, quirky characters, eclectic songs on a varied soundtrack of pop tunes, electronica and mood-setting orchestrations that play a huge factor in upping the drama for the target of tears or ribbing the funny bone for the target of laughs. And UGLY BETTY does an excellent job of getting both: in one such scene Betty has a dramatic send-off speech to her boss, then turns around and promptly falls on her ass for last-laugh gag that sealed the deal for my New Thusday Night Addiction: UGLY BETTY! A+
Monday, September 25, 2006
This is the new raunchy sketch comedy show from Damon Wayons. And since it is on SHOWTIME, Mr. Wayons and crew can get away with just about anything. But just because you can show some tits and ass doesnt mean you are funny. In fact, some of the skits are so laugh-free that I almost tuned out on more than one occassion. But then, every 15 minutes or so comes along a sketch so brilliant that you find yourself glued to the set. Case in point from Episode 1: THE REAL VAGINA MONOLOGUES. Case in point from Episode 2: the skit where the male cast members have holes cut into their pants and their balls are physically and visibly hanging out in all their glory. So overall, the show is just average on the humor-scale. But since this is the first truly daring XXX-rated sketch comedy series, I am hooked.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
FALL TV: THE BEST...and THE REST
After the first week of the season here are the new shows that I am digging: THE CLASS (CBS), STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP (NBC) and JERICHO (CBS). I did NOT like SHARK (CBS) or STANDOFF (FOX). In the coming week I will be watching the following new shows: BROTHERS & SISTERS (ABC), HEROES (NBC), HELP ME HELP YOU (ABC) and UGLY BETTY (ABC). I have REALLY high hopes for UGLY BETTY and HEROES. (oh, and season 1 of MAMA'S FAMILY comes out on DVD on the 26th : hey, what can I say, I love Vicki Lawrence!)
The originality of a series plays a HUGE part in my decision-making to take on and commit to watching a new show, which is why I am already a fan of CBS' JERICHO. The opening moments of the pilot cut right to the chase: Skeet Ulrich has barely spent 10 minutes on screen before a mushroom cloud erupts in the far horizon. Cut off from the rest of the world, the citizens of this small Kansas town are soon panic-stricken with unanswerable answers to many crisis-situation questions. Further, an additional explosion has taken place in Atlanta, making Jericho not alone in what is going on. To add drama, a busload of convicts have escaped from their crashed bus, with one of the escapees shooting and killing the sherrif of Jericho. The pilot ends with the mayor of the town delivering a 'Stand United' speech that is borderline cheese, but not altogether horrible. The show definitely had some loopholes, but overall I am intrigued. JERICHO left me wondering what's going on...and I wonder how CBS can maintain the goods for an entire year (let alone more if the show is a hit). I fear that if the show is a hit, writers will drag the thing out (as the producers of LOST have done with their show...though LOST is awesome and has many creative avenues to explore: how can JERICHO maintain that same kind of drama and mythology in a single Kansas town). But hey, it's only been one episode, and from the ratings, JERICHO performed decently enough - which means the show won't be canceled as quickly as EMILY'S REASONS WHY NOT did (um, after just one episode). So watch JERICHO and let me know what you think! B
STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP
Anyone who follows my blogging already knows that I am an entertainment junkie, so it shouldn't come as any surprise that STUDIO 60 was one of my Must-See pilots this year. And after seeing the first episode I am not disspointed. This series does an excellent job of going behind the scenes of a live late-night comedy series on the National Broadcasting System - combining biting drama and scathing satire never seen since, well, THE WEST WING. The creator of that series, Aaron Sorkin, once again is in top form with STUDIO 60. There are a lot of characters and plot points addressed in the first 60 minutes, and I am sure viewers could overwhelmed by it all. But in the end, I was left wanting to see more - and that's the key element any successful pilot strives to achieve. Oh, and Matthew Perry is BRILLIANT! It's going to take several episodes for these characters to grow on me, but I truly believe that STUDIO 60 is worth the wait. A-
Everybody loves a good comeback story. I just find it hard to believe that a show can go from major phenomenon to major backlash to major comeback (all in the course of 2 years and a month)....that seems to be the going story for ABC's DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. Granted, I have not seen the new third season yet, but critics, show-runners and general buzz has it known that this season is a return to form for the ABC ratings darling. Personally, I enjoyed season 2 and felt the backlash was blown way out of proportion. True, it didn't come anywhere near the fabulousness of season 1, but it was still entertaining (with a wicked second half and an enjoyable payoff ending to the Alfre Woodard storyline). It takes most series (and I am referring those lucky enough to make it to syndication-worthy fourth seasons) a year or two to catch on, a year or two to "peak" in ratings and popularity, a year or two to start getting stale (aka, backlash), and then -if they are lucky enough- a year or two to come back for some ratings glory before disappearing entirely (ahem, WEST WING). For DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES to go to critical hell and back within the course of 2 years (and a month!) is sweet, indeed! It also doesn't hurt that I LOVE the ladies of Wisteria Lane!
SHARK: No Bite
The only reason why I tuned in to CBS' new show 'SHARK' was to see actress Jeri Ryan. And, though it was good seeing her again in a TV show (my last exposure to her was as Seven of Nine on STAR TREK: VOYAGER), it wasn't enough to keep me glued to my set at 11pm on Thursday nights. The problems with SHARK are 1) I can only stomach James Woods for about 5 minutes (and in SHARK he is in almost every scene), 2) The camera-work is dizzying at times (that old NYPD BLUE/CSI/LAW & ORDER thing goes on A LOT), 3) It's just another TV procedural (which I am SOOOOOO over by now). Still, SHARK (to date) is the most watched new TV show of the season. That's the bad news. The GOOD NEWS is that GREY'S ANATOMY beat up on the season premiere of CSI in their first head-to-head battle of the new season (I think it was GREY'S at 25 mil to CSI's 22 mil). If this trend can continue, HOPEFULLY,the glut of TV procedurals will start to thin out. I think there is room on TV for one CSI and one LAW & ORDER (but not 3 of each). I would much rather see more inventive shows like LOST, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, UGLY BETTY and HEROES get airplay than a CSI: PEORIA or a LAW & ORDER: K9 UNIT.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Sean Storm Videography: PRE-BAREBACK CLASSICS
Okay, so we have all heard of those Pre-condom classics out there (even the crappiest films ever made seem to get tagged as a classic - grrr). So I have coined the term Pre-Bareback Classic to describe some of the best condom-only films that I have made: MAN ACADEMY 1 and 2, TIGHT ENDS & WIDE RECEIVERS 1 and 2, PLAYING FOR KEEPS and NAVY BLUES: DEEPER IN THE BRIG (all Centaur); TRY ME ON FOR SIZE (Falcon); THE HOMECOMING (Studio 2000); CLOSED SET: THE NEW CREW and SEX PIGS VOLUME 1 (MSR). And here are The Best Of The Rest (all condom-only films): MAN HUNTER (Centaur), THE SEEKER (Studio 2000), FACE RYDERS (MSR), HIS TERRIBLE TWIN (Catalina), HARD AS ROCK (Blue Blake), OPEN TRENCH 2: FUCK FANTASIES (Sports N Recreation). Other Career Films: FRAT BOY SEAN & FRIENDS (Citiboyz), RASCAL'S GRADUATION GANG BANG (Catalina), DIETER'S DUNGEON (SpankThis!) and THE ORGY (Boiling Point Productions)
Sean Storm VIDEOGRAPHY
To help my fans who are interested in finding out where they can see me get plowed I am sending forth my videography of films. 2006: STORM SURGE (Cre8tive Juices); 2005: HOLE MILK and DIRECT DEPOSIT (Cre8tive Juices), HOLE SWEET HOLE, MONSTER BANG 6: PARTY IN THE REAR and THE SHAFT (Raging Stallion), SEAN STORMS COLLECTORS EDITION (Centaur Films); 2004: STORM DRAIN (Helix), CUMSLOPPY BUTTHOLES (Treasure Island Media), and GAY DREAMS 2: SAN FRANCISCO NIGHTS (Raging Stallion)
Monday, September 18, 2006
TV TREND 2006: SERIALS!
Oh yes, I am ABSOLUTELY excited that today is the official start of the FALL TV season. I am really pumped about seeing STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP tonight, and I may even re-watch the premiere of THE CLASS on CBS (Thanks for the free preview the other day, TiVo!). Further, THE MEGAN MULLALY SHOW preems today, along with the season premieres of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, TWO AND A HALF MEN and THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE. Later in the week I will be giving reviews of STUDIO 60, JERICHO and SHARK (the sole reason I am watching this one is to see Jeri Ryan out of her SEVEN OF NINES character - I missed her performance on BOSTON PUBLIC a few years back, so for me this is my chance to see her on Earth). Now, the trend this year is serialized TV shows. Sure, there are the pure soaps (like DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES), but even comedy has gotten serialized (BIG DAY). And still other shows take on a serialized format (STUDIO 60) even though they arent offically classics serials. And of course the biggest trend in TV is the year-long 'mystery' (as seen on 24 and the past two seasons of VERONICA MARS). Even reality TV is something of a serial when the cast goes from 12 to 1 in a season. So here are the serials vying for your milk: NBC: HEROES, STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, KIDNAPPED, ER (and to a lesser degree MY NAME IS EARL and LAS VEGAS); ABC: WHAT ABOUT BRIAN, THE KNIGHTS OF PROSPERITY, DAY BREAK, BIG DAY, NOTES FROM THE UNDERBELLY, LOST, THE NINE, SIX DEGREES, UGLY BETTY, GREY'S ANATOMY, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, BROTHERS AND SISTERS (and to a lesser degree MEN IN TREES); CBS: JERICHO (and to a lesser degree HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER), FOX: PRISON BREAK, VANISHED, THE OC; THE CW: RUNAWAY, VERONICA MARS, GILMORE GIRLS, ONE TREE HILL, SUPERNATURAL (and to a lesser degree SMALLVILLE). WHEW!!!
It rarely gets mentioned or talked about anymore, perhaps because 10 years have gone by..perhaps parts of it seem outdated today...perhaps because the subject matter is too dark at times. But while listening to the Original Cast Broadway Highlights in my car the other dayI couldn't help but feel some intense emotions (I think you would have to be almost dead inside NOT to get somewhat emotionally stirred by the music). I know things aren't as grim today as they were in the mid-90's (and I was never affected by any loss of friends to AIDS), but I think it's still important to remember what life was like for HIV-positive gay men before protease inhibitors came along (if for nothing more than to appreciate the advances that have been made in the decade since). Anyway,....I just felt like saying that, for what its worth.
Friday, September 15, 2006
FALL TV: THE CLASS
Earlier this summer I shared with everyone the Fall TV shows I was most looking forward to seeing. Thanks to a special showing for TiVo customers I was able to preview one of my MUST SEE PILOTS, CBS' THE CLASS. The main reasons for seeing THE CLASS were to see Andrea Anders (late of NBC's JOEY) and David Crane (Creator of FRIENDS). Beyond that, I was also looking for a show to fill in the void left by FRIENDS, and THE CLASS certainly showed promise in the pilot episode. Grantd, the show isn't exactly classic television, but the pilot left me laughing and, most importantly, left me wanting more. I think THE CLASS has a great chance of surviving (it's part of CBS' hit comedy lineup of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, TWO AND A HALF MEN and THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE). THE CLASS includes one out gay character and another gay-acting "straight" character. With 8 classmates (and additional friends, family and lovers in their lives), the show reminds me a lot of SOAP. It will be difficult to juggle all these characters and allow them the time to become more than the cliches that they each currently are. But I am hoping that over time we will see more three-dimensional developments out of this CLASS. MY GRADE: A-
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
My name is Sean Storm and I am a magaholic. In other words, I am hopelessly addicted to subscribing to magazines. In fact, I currently have about a dozen magazines in my bedroom waiting to get read. They keep arriving in the mail faster than I can read and dispose of them. My newest addiction started innocently enough (as all addictions do) last year when I discovered mags4cheap.com. I immediately subscribed to half a dozen mags on the spot. And since then whenever I read a magazine I like, I subscribe to it. And actually it makes a lot of financial sense to subscribe to magazines instead of buying a single newsstand copy. Subscribing can save you up to 80% off in some instances. So, for better or worse, here are the mags I currently subscribe to: ENTERTAINMENT: Entertainment Weekly, Premiere, TV GUIDE, OK!, NOW PLAYING, Giant, Stuff, Interview, Hollywood Life....GAY-THEMED: Out, Genre, Instinct, The Advocate....ADULT: Playgirl.... PUZZLES: TV GUIDE Crosswords, MOVIE And TV Crosswords... MEN'S INTEREST: Details....SPECIAL INTEREST: Fangoria, Sci-Fi Magazine. Grand Total: 19. OUCH!
Saturday, September 09, 2006
HGTV DESIGN STAR
On Sunday night, HGTV will reveal who America voted for to be the next host of an HGTV design show. For those who have watched, gay hottie David is up against sweet and bubbly (and sexy in her own way) Alice. But judging from last week's design challenge, David continues to impress with his talents as a designer. Further, he stepped it up on the Hosting challenge and drove it home. This man DESERVES a show. But even if he loses, it's nice to know that he lives just down the street in Miami. But if David SHOULD lose, Alice is the person I would like him to lose to. The series really got things right and chose the best two designers of the original 10 to make it this far. AWESOME! And, David, if you are reading this blog (and GOD do I hope you are reading this blog...mmmm), GOOD LUCK!
FALL TV Cram Sessions...
Ah, the beauty of TV ON DVD!!!! Now you can miss an entire season's worth of a tv show and chow it down in one big gulp of a weekend. Last August I bought the LOST SEASON 1 DVD and the DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES SEASON 1 DVD and watched both shows in record-breaking time so that I would be 'in the know' for season 2 of each show. See, how little did I know that during each show's freshman run on ABC would be phenomenal. And it just didnt make sense to tune in half-way through the season. Soooo, I had to painstakingly wait from December 2004 to August 2005 before I could devote my time to each program.....and this August is no different. I actually have 3 shows I am catching up on real fast. The first is VERONICE MARS season 2, which I am half-way through...the other is SUPERNATURAL, which I couldnt access during it's freshman run because my area wasn't picking up the WB at the time. In November I will be buying the first season of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER so that I can then enjoy season 2 of the CBS sitcom (which premieres September 18th- which means the first handful of shows will be sitting on my TiVo for a couple months until the HOW I MET first season comes out on DVD. OY!)...so what shows are some of you cramming up on in preparation for FALL TV 2006?
Friday, September 08, 2006
STILL LIFE WITH CROWS
And finally, today, I finished reading Preston-Child's tale of small-town Kansas serial murder STILL LIFE WITH CROWS. Again, the authors treat us to recurring character Special Agent Pendergast as he investigates a series of twisted murders in the bowels of the cornfields of Medicine Creek, Kansas. The murders are MOST gruesome in this book, and after coming off THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES I am wondering if my favorite authors will ever return to their rollicking adventures as put forth by THUNDERHEAD and RIPTIDE. The Midwest characters in SLWC are a little too cliched for me, especially since I am from the midwest myself. But even with the book's flaws, Preston-Child once again know how to tell one hell of a story. And I'm sure that if I ever lived in Illinois again, I don't know if I would ever want to be stuck out in the cornfields again. If not for anything else, Preston-Child know how to paint the environment that their characters find themselves in. All of the senses get detailed with explicitness. SLWC doesn't achieve the same chills as their previous effort, THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, but that's probably a GOOD thing for my heart, because I don't think I could have taken anything more intense than what COC presented. Both books are excellent reads.....Tomorrow I will start reading Preston-Childs' BRIMSTONE- which already promises to be yet ANOTHER trip down Goosebump Lane.
THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES
EXCELLENT!!!! Up until COC, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have mainly written books of adventure (MOUNT DRAGON, RIPTIDE, THUNDERHEAD, THE ICE LIMIT), in addition to their most popular (the creepy THE RELIC and RELIQUARY). Bringing back two of my favorite characters from THE RELIC (Special Agent Pendergast and journalist Bill Smithback) was a welcome surprise. But nothing surprised me more than how creepy and harrowing and spooky COC was. This book showed a whole new twisted side of the authors as they masterfully and graphically presented a story about the sinister exploits of a 150-year-old-plus serial killer stalking present day New York City. The grand finale of the tale is SO disturbing that it sent chills through me (and continues to freak me out as I type this out). I don't tend to like extreme-graphic books, so it caught me off guard that my favorite authors would write a book such as COC. But it's so well-done, and so spot on that it actually is among my three favorites of Preston/Child (THE RELIC and THUNDERHEAD being my other two faves). From the opening 'discovery' to the final quote and sentence, THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES is a creepy rollercoaster ride of prose.
THE ICE LIMIT
I just finished reading my third Douglas Preston/LIncoln Child book in a row (STILL LIFE WITH CROWS). But let me backtrack 2 books to THE ICE LIMIT and let you all know my thoughts on it, THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES and CROWS.....First up: THE ICE LIMIT. I have to admit that this book really had me juiced with excitement. The basic premise is about a guy who is hired to find the biggest meteorite to ever hit our globe: and it takes him and several characters WAY down South...right down to the ice limit that leads to the South Pole. But after an engaging first half, the direction of the book goes south, too...and what started out as a promising adventure turns into a revenge story that's been told before (and BETTER) by other authors. I don't want to spoil the outcome, but suffise it to say I was EXTREMELY disappointed with THE ICE LIMIT. It is BY FAR the worst book by Preston and Child that I have read (and to be fair, I have yet to read BRIMSTONE, DANCE OF DEATH and BOOK OF THE DEAD).
And Then There Were Five...
DING DONG , VINCENT'S GONE!..... Whew, it's about fucking time the RUNWAY judges booted the TERRIBLE designer (Yeah, RIIIIIGHT) Vincent off the show. Now if they would just knock off JEFFREY! I smell a terrible odor and until Jeffrey leaves things just aren't smelling any fresher. It would be a disgrace for him to make it to the Final 3. For starters, he is a terrible example of a human being. True, the editors may have shown us what they WANT us to see, but you realllllllly can't fake the nastiness that spewed from his mouth toward Angela's mother (and Angela). The guy does have some talent, but not THAT much talent. And his arrogance is just nauseating. DAMN, I SURE MISS AUSTIN SCARLETT and JAY MCCARROLL!!!! (Fuck, I even miss WENDY PEPPER!!!!!!) Yes, it's no surprise based on my past bloggings that I am disappointed with this season of RUNWAY. In fact I am already thinking ahead to next season...and speaking of which, does anyone know if Season 4 will premiere in January in time for Olympus Fashion Week, or will it be held back to next summer? OH, and is anyone else revved up for TOP CHEF Season 2?
The next film from Cre8tive Juices will be titled JUICED!, and it will be my company's first all-sex movie. Four scenes have already been shot (BRAD MCGUIRE and DREW PETERS; BRAD MCGUIRE and SEAN STORM; AARON and JON; BO KNIGHT and SEAN STORM). We still have two scenes yet to cast and film, so if any hottie bottoms or tops are interested - or if you know of any guys wanting to do a film for CJ MEDIA, please send them my way via email@example.com.