Tuesday, August 21, 2012

NBC's 'The Office' is Shutting Down

NBC sitcom 'The Office' is getting ready for its upcoming 9th season, which has been confirmed to be the final one. Angela Kinsey took to her twitter to address the rumors and confirmed them, saying, "It is true. This is our last season. We hope to give a real end to these characters we love to play. Thx for watching." Producer Greg Daniels, who is back for the final season after doing seasons 1-5, also confirmed it. He stated, “This will be the last season of The Office. And we’re planning a very big exciting last season. We’re going to have a lot of faces coming back. There are a lot of things that I’ve personally been wanting to do since season two. All questions will be answered this year. We’re going to see who’s behind the documentary. Now that we know we have an end date we can blow things up and take some chances and it will be very freeing, creatively.

There is no confirmation that Steve Carell will return as Michael Scott, but one can assume he will be back for the final few episodes of the series that he led from 2005 to 2011, continuing on with it years after he became a box office draw. What better way to end the show than have Michael & Holly get married and return to Scranton? Mindy Kaling will return as Kelly Kapoor for a few episodes even though she has her own sitcom, 'The Mindy Project', debuting on FOX.

Word is John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer (Jim & Pam) will be getting some kind of big storyline for the final season. We'll have to wait and see what it is, just don't break them up! Read more from Greg Daniels about the final season of 'The Office' over on Entertainment Weekly. It may be sad to say goodbye to the characters of Dunder Mifflin, but at least everyone can prepare for the show to go out in the best way possible. Many questions will be answered, including who the "Scranton Strangler" actually is! The season premieres on September 20.

Monday, August 20, 2012

McKayla Is Not Impressed: Jurassic Park

McKayla Maroney is not impressed is still fun, and a good segue to talk about something random. I also just wanted an excuse to make another one, like the Kerri Strug/Bela Karolyi one from last week. Here, she is not impressed with dinosaurs or Jurassic Park.

Speaking of Jurassic Park, the date is set for the 20th Anniversary 3D re-release of the original film: April 5, 2013. I'm not much for 3D re-releases, but seeing big dinosaurs coming at you in 3D might just be worth it. Even though Jurassic Park came out in 1993, those dinosaur effects look better than the special effects in many movies that come out now. They used a combination of CGI and animatronics, which adds to the realism. Thankfully they apparently will be using animatronics for the fourth film as well.

Speaking of Jurassic Park 4 (Jurassic Park IV?), the writers for the successful Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, are writing it. No word on when filming starts or who will be in it from previous films, but producer Frank Marshall has said Summer 2014 could be the aim for them. Of course that date can change. Fear not, even though Steven Spielberg won't be directing, he will be involved with it. Laura Dern, star of HBO's Enlightened, has been rumored to reprise her role from the first & third films as Dr. Sattler.

Honey Boo Boo Child Parody

"Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" is the latest trashy reality TV show to take the airwaves by storm on TLC. If you're a fan of the show or if you absolutely hate the show, you should enjoy the above parody of 6-year-old Honey Boo Boo and her mom, which takes place 25 years in the future. I actually think this is a pretty good representation of what will happen to them.

By the way, Honey Boo Boo is going to be an aunt to her teen sister's baby. She's six and will be an aunt. Let that sink in a moment. Apparently they don't know how to use condoms. Hopefully they keep the "Go Go Juice" away from the baby.

The above picture of Honey Boo Boo and her mom June is going to be the star attraction at my Halloween haunted house this year. By the way, June (aka Coupon Queen) was arrested in 2008 for stealing child support payments. You can see her mugshot below, yet another candidate for best haunted house attraction this year.

Monday, August 13, 2012

London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony

Freddie Mercury
All good things must come to an end, and once again the Olympics have come and gone too quickly, with London 2012 ending with a bang, with one of the best Closing Ceremonies ever. Featuring performances from the likes of The Who, Spice Girls, George Michael, Muse, Anne Lennox as well as the members of Queen with Jessie J on vocals. They were introduced by the late, great Freddie Mercury on big video screens. It was old footage of him (from Live Aid 1985) interacting with a crowd, and the crowd in the London Olympic Stadium interacted back with him in a fantastic moment. This was the highlight along with the next one.

Another amazing moment came when a bunch of children came out to perform John Lennon's legendary song "Imagine". Then old footage of John Lennon came on the screens to sing the song, and it sent everyone into a frenzy (myself included). The children performed the song in sign language. The video was remastered from the archives of Yoko Ono especially for the Olympics. Much better than a hologram! Thank you Yoko for helping to bring John into the closing ceremony, where people from hundreds of countries were together singing and dancing, all "living life in peace." A sculpture of John's face was also created on the floor.

There were also tributes to David Bowie, Pink Floyd and The Beatles of course. The Spice Girls had a fairly good entrance, each coming out on a British style Taxi which then drove around the stadium floor with them standing on top. Russell Brand performed The Beatles' classic "I Am The Walrus" in a very psychedelic setting. Though Jessie J got so much screen time (too much) that I was half expecting her to come out and sing the "Olympic Hymn." Annie Lennox was dressed like some giant bird on a pirate ship which was odd, but interesting. Also got to see a great Monty Python performance. Some NBC viewers are mad that they cut out the band Muse and waited until midnight to show The Who after airing a new sitcom in between. Should have watched a BBC stream.

I loved the closing ceremony, and London knows how to stage on Olympics like no one else. This was their record third time hosting (1908, 1948 & 2012). Next its on to Sochi, Russia for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Spice Girls Reunite

Saturday, August 11, 2012

McKayla Maroney is Not Impressed, Kerri Strug

Gymnastics vault on an injured Leg? McKayla Maroney is not impressed.  (Click for larger)
Kerri Strug, Bela Karoyli, Atlanta 1996

I was surprised I hadn't yet seen the McKayla Maroney meme used with Kerri Strug and/or Bela Karolyi from the Atlanta 1996 Olympics, so I had to make one for our enjoyment. I'm sure there is one out there I haven't seen, but this is the best one of course. ;) And if you're one of the few who haven't heard of the McKayla Maroney meme yet, check this out for some laughs.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olympic Women's Soccer: USA vs Japan

The United States is golden again after defeating the world cup champions Japan 2-1 in front of 80,203 fans at Wembley Stadium to finish the Women's Soccer/Football tournament at the London 2012 Olympics. Japan defeated the US in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup final in Germany, and this re-match more than lived up to the hype. Both teams were outstanding from start to finish. Carli Lloyd scored both goals for the USA, and Japan cut the lead to 2-1 in the 2nd half, but couldn't find a 2nd goal to tie. Hope Solo came up with some big saves to hold the US lead.

Even though Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach missed some chances, they didn't need it in the end with Lloyd stepping up for the United States. There was a Tobin Heath hand ball early in the game that should have been a Penalty Kick for Japan. However, referees missing these calls are nothing new, you have to keep playing and try to get another goal back. In attendance were members of the US Men's Basketball "Dream Team" and soccer icon Mia Hamm. Japan, nicknamed Nadeshiko, were upset at first but danced their way onto the podium, happy to win the silver medal a year after winning the World Cup. You can't help but like their great spirit that goes along with the talent.

A funny moment happened during the medals ceremony, as the fans at Wembley Stadium let the boos rain down on FIFA president Sepp Blatter. Earlier in the day, Canada defeated France 1-0 with a late goal to win the Bronze medal. I also wondered why they didn't move the game to NBC instead of NBC Sports Network. Maybe they're trying to build awareness of the NBC Sports Network, but still. There will be homecoming friendly matches on NBC in September.
Carli Lloyd shoots her second goal

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Misty May & Kerri Walsh Make History

Misty May and Kerri Walsh finished their Olympic gold medal three-peat by winning gold in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and now London 2012, remaining undefeated (21-0) in all three Olympics. And they only dropped one set during their reign as well, easily the best and most popular Beach Volleyball team of all time. The match was Misty May's final one, confirming she will retire from the sport. Kerri Walsh is going to continue on with a new partner and attempt to qualify for Rio 2016. Odds are she will, and it will be interesting to see who she chooses and how they play together on the big stage.

In some other Olympic news, track star Allyson Felix won her first individual gold medal in her third Olympics and as expected, Usain Bolt continued his Olympic dominance on the track. The US Men's Indoor Volleyball & Water Polo teams were both eliminated, leaving it up to the women to get medals.

And as a reminder of the biggest event tomorrow, USA takes on Japan for the Gold Medal in Women's Soccer at Wembley Stadium. As of Tuesday 83,000 tickets had been sold, which will make it the most attended Olympic women's soccer match beating the 76,489 from Atlanta 1996 as well as the most attended soccer match at London 2012. It will probably fall short of the women's soccer record 90,185 that attended the Rose Bowl in California for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup final that the US famously won on penalty kicks over China. Live coverage of the game starts around 2pm ET on NBC Sports Network in the US, don't miss it!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

USA-Canada Women's Soccer Controversy

About this "controversy" during the outstanding USA-Canada soccer match in the Olympics - Get over it is what I have to say. The USA won the game 4-3 fair and square. Yes there were "controversial calls." But there was a moment in the 54th minute when Canada's Melissa Tancredi stomped on Carli Lloyd's head inside the box, which could/should have been a Red Card. American fans are not complaining. There wasn't some fix before the game. For the Canadian players to say "the ref should have worn a US jersey" is crazy. They should be thankful Tancredi wasn't sent out of the game where they would have had to play down a player.

And before the game, Canada coach John Herdman said the "US uses highly illegal tactics in the box." So he got what he wanted, the ref went by the rule book with the 6 second rule against the Goalkeeper, it just didn't work out in Canada's favor. Be careful what you wish for! Not only that, but Great Britain got robbed of a penalty kick against this same Canadian team. So why don't they bring attention to that? Maybe because they won the game and beat GB? During the first half there were about 5-7 times Erin McLeod, Canada's Goalkepper, held the ball for around 15 seconds to try and slow the game down. The ref warned her at the half she would enforce this rule, so it should not have been a surprise. Though personally I think it was a bad call, it was just one call. Bad calls happen in sports, it sucks but you have to forget it and keep going.

Here you can see Tancredi's step on Lloyd
So stop with the conspiracy theories and complaining, and focus on trying to beat France for the Bronze medal. Christine Sinclair is one of the best players in the world and she should be able to rally the team for a win over France. Canada has a lot of talent and will join the US as a Women's World Cup contender in 2015. It won't take away from Alex Morgan's phenomenal header in the 123rd minute, the latest goal in history.

Monday, August 6, 2012

London 2012: Women's Soccer Steals The Show

Oh what a day for women's soccer at the London 2012 Olympics. It started off with Japan taking on France in front of over 61,000 people at Wembley Stadium. The first half was a bit slow, but the game picked up in the second half. Japan took a 2-0 lead and controlled the ball. Then France unleashes a storm of shots, getting one back. They missed a penalty kick but kept on attacking Japan's goal. Japan sealed the win 2-1, and after the game consoled the upset French players in true Olympic spirit.

Then one of the most epic sports matches ever took place in Old Trafford between CONCACAF rivals the United States and Canada. Christine Sinclair of Canada put on a clinic, scoring three goals to give the lead to Canada three times during the game. But the USA would not go away. Megan Rapinoe scored two and the 3rd was scored on a controversial penalty kick by Abby Wambach. The back and forth battle fittingly went to Overtime as Twitter exploded with more and more people joining the action. The game was still tied 3-3 as 120 minutes went on, now into added time. In the final seconds, the USA sent in a cross and Alex Morgan headed the ball in to give the US the 4-3 win. Basketball coach Doc Rivers called it the best game he's witnessed at the Olympics in any sport. Another side-story was Abby Wambach and Christine Sinclair both chasing legendary Mia Hamm's record of 158 international goals.

USA will move on to Wembley Stadium to take on world champions Japan in a re-match of last summers outstanding FIFA Women's World Cup final, which Japan won in a penalty kick shootout. The match will air Thursday at 2:45 ET on the NBC Sports Network here in the states. Canada will take on France for the Bronze Medal at 8AM ET. Canada no doubt won many fans during the match, and they may not have beaten the US since 2001 but I can guarantee they will very soon.

The Canadian women's team has elevated soccer in Canada ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, which has been expanded to 24 teams. Plenty of Americans will be making the trip to our friendly neighbor to the north for that tournament and the atmosphere could rival the 1999 Women's World Cup in the USA. Until then, it's the Olympics.

New Aaliyah Song Released

There have been rumors of a new posthumous Aaliyah album, produced by Drake, for a while now. It looks as if this will come true, as one new song called "Enough Said" has been released, which features Drake on the track itself. It's a good song and Aaliyah's vocals sound smooth as expected. I hope if a full album is released that it features songs with just her on vocals, rather than guest musicians on each song. Apparently there is a solo version of "Enough Said" which will hopefully be released.

The last new Aaliyah song to be released was "Come Over" in 2003. The singer tragically died in a plane crash on August 25, 2001 at the age of 22. She has remained popular since this time. She easily would have been a big star, as she was set to appear in the sequels to The Matrix. The role had to be recast since they did not finish filming her scenes. She also wanted to work with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails on an album to give herself a different sound and no doubt show her versatility through pop, soul, R&B and rock. Maybe they will take one of her demo songs and turn it into an industrial rock song to attempt to get us a glimpse of where she may have gone next with her music?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

London 2012: Olympic Soccer Semifinals Set

The semifinals of the London 2012 Olympics Soccer (Football) Tournament is set. First on the women's side, United States defeated New Zealand 2-0, Japan beat Brazil 2-0, France topped Sweden 2-1 and the hosts Great Britain fell to Canada 2-0. In the USA-New Zealand match there was a nasty collision between Alex Morgan's knee and Jenny Binden's head. Luckily both are fine, and Morgan should start in the semifinal between USA and Canada, 2:45 ET on NBC Sports Network Monday. Canada hasn't beaten the United States since 2001, but you have to imagine the Canadians are closing in on a victory. All streaks must come to an end. I don't think they will get it tomorrow, but you never know. Abby Wambach has been on a roll scoring in every game, while Hope Solo and the US defense hasn't allowed a goal since the first half against France in game one.

Canada is hosting the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, so this final four finish is already a big success ahead of that. They've shown that they will be contenders to win it all on home soil. The other semifinal is Japan vs. France. The defending World Cup champions should have a tougher challenge from France than they did against an aging Brazil. If Japan controls possession like they should, I expect them to win and set up a Women's World Cup final rematch with the USA. 2011 FIFA women's world player of the year, Homare Sawa, has yet to score for Japan.

On the men's side its Japan vs. Mexico and Brazil vs. South Korea. Brazil are the clear favorites for their first Olympic gold, but South Korea could give them fits. Japan dominated Egypt, though Mexico will be a tougher test for them. I expect Japan to beat Mexico and take the silver, with South Korea taking bronze.

Friday, August 3, 2012

London 2012 Olympics, Day 6 & 7

There were some notable upsets at the London 2012 Olympics. Tyler Clary won a gold medal beating out Ryan Lochte, who finished 3rd. Clary broke Lochte's Olympic record from Beijing 2008, and it was Lochte's signature race. The US men's volleyball team beat #1 ranked Brazil. They also beat Brazil for the upset gold medal in 2008, so they have their number. Michael Phelps beat Ryan Lochte in their second and final meeting, so they each won one against each other. Phelps also won his final solo race today.

Gabby Douglas, aka "The Flying Squirrel" won the women's gymnastics individual all-around gold to add to her team gold. She joins Mary Lou Retton, Carly Patterson, Paul Hamm and Nastia Liukin as Americans who have won the individual all-around gold. Bela Karolyi was animated as usual with his excitement after this. In Beach Volleyball, defending men's gold medalists Rogers & Dalhausser were eliminated.

Kayla Harrison won gold in Women's -78 kg Judo. This is significant because it is the first gold medal for the United States in Judo. This leaves just 8 sports left that the USA has not won Olympic gold in. In Tennis, Roger Federer beat Juan Del Potro in the longest match in Olympic history. Serena Williams will be in the gold medal match.

NBC has said the sport averaging the most viewers on its cable networks during the day is Archery, averaging 1.5 million viewers. You can thank The Hunger Games, Brave and Hawkeye from The Avengers for the rise in the popularity of Archery. The USA Women's Soccer team, Basketball teams, Volleyball teams, etc are getting more viewers, but when you factor in all the other soccer, basketball, volleyball games then that is why archery is averaging more.

North Korea has made some news. Apparently they give Refrigerators to their medal winning athletes. Losing athletes get sent to labor camps. I wonder why none of the North Koreans who lose don't just flee the Olympic area and go into hiding? Also, its weird that they give them refrigerators when they don't have enough food to go around. Kim Jong-un you tease.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

London 2012 Olympics Day 3, 4 and 5

The London 2012 Olympics have been on fire for NBC. Michael Phelps broke the record for most Olympic medals all time, getting 19 on Tuesday. He could possibly add to that amount. Fan favorite Allison Schmitt also won her first Olympic gold medal. She picked up her second as the anchor of the 4x200 meter freestyle, where the team set an Olympic Record..

The "Fab Five" of Women's Team Gymnastics won the first Team Gold Medal for the USA since the Magnificent Seven did it in Atlanta 1996, when Kerri Strug completed the winning vault on an injured leg, getting carried off by Bela Karolyi. Bela is famous for his enthusiasm during the NBC interviews. They should get his reaction for every event.

The knockout stage of Women's Soccer has been set. The Quarterfinals are: Sweden vs. France, Japan vs. Brazil, USA vs. New Zealand and Great Britain vs. Canada. Great Britain had a memorable 1-0 win over Brazil in front of 70,584 fans at Wembley Stadium. That's a women's attendance record in England. All games will be on Friday, with USA vs. New Zealand at 9:30 AM ET on NBC Sports Network. If both USA and Great Britain win, the two will face each other in the semi-finals at Old Trafford in Manchester. You couldn't ask for a more exciting match than for USA taking on home-town GB in front of possibly 70,000 people. They both have to win first.

USA Women's Field Hockey got a big upset win over Argentina 1-0. Misty May and Kerri Walsh have remained undefeated in Beach Volleyball games at the Olympics, though they did lose their first set at one. That may actually be a good thing, they finally had to bounce back from dropping a set to win a match. Both Indoor Volleyball teams look to be on their way to the next round, with Destinee Hooker turning into the breakout star for the US women. Both Basketball teams will be moving on as expected.

Some controversy as well. South Korean fencer Shin A-Lam got screwed out of a medal. During her match, there was one second left on the clock, and her German opponent needed more than that to get her point to win. Well, the clock didn't start (possibly because the person in charge was a teenage volunteer), which gave the German enough time to pick up the win when the match should have been over. South Korea tried to protest, and Shin had to sit on the floor for 30 minutes in tears, but the FIE (International Fencing Federation) decided to not overturn it. They offered her a "special" FIE medal, but she of course declined. Instead of getting a Silver or Gold Olympic Medal, which can of course happen just once every four years, she goes home empty handed because of a mistake that they did not correct. BS.