Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Who Should Sing The Next Bond Theme

The release of the next James Bond film, Casino Royale, will be here before you know it. I'm not much of a Bond bluff though. Sure, I enjoyed the first few Connery films and any person with eyes and ears can see that Brosnan was born to play that role, but what I'm most excited about is who will sing the next theme song. For the most part, the Bond songs have been killer. I mean seriously killer. "Goldfinger." "You Only Live Twice." "Diamonds Are Forever." "License To Kill." Even A-Ha managed to squeak out a quality Bond tune. The history of these songs is what makes the themes so anticipated. As of now, no one has been named, but I figured I would give my opinion before it's too late. If the producers of Casino Royale were smart, they would choose one of these five options, instead of say Beyonce or Coldplay. While the more recent Bond songs have been solid, they will less than likely be immortalized like the aforementioned songs. These people have the potential to add proudly to the Bond legacy.

Fiona Apple
The next Bond theme is expected to be darker than the previous installments of the franchise. Bond songs have long been heavy on sex appeal and sorrow, which Apple could deliver without straying too far from the grittier tone of the film. It's no question that Apple knows how to do sorrow, but the movie would still retain some of its sex appeal through Apple's husky voice without having her sing about lust and martinis.

What may seem like an odd choice at first is actually quite perfect for the Bond series. Bond songs are heavy on bombast and dynamics, which Bjork can deliver greatly. Just imagine a Bond theme song that has the ambient feeling of being washed calmly under the sea one minute and a soaring vocal that blasts you into the galaxies the next minute.

Franz Ferdinand
They're one of the hippest bands going right now to have reached a wide audience. There's no telling if Franz Ferdinand will still be relevant by the time the second Craig film rolls around which makes it even more important to capitalize on someone who's still popular and is still critically acclaimed. Franz Ferdinand have proven countless times that they have enough suave to handle the task of a Bond theme, and if chosen, they would be the first rock band to do so since A-Ha performed the theme for The Living Daylights.

Probably the least commercially viable out of all the hopefuls here, only because a lot of people have heard the songs, but probably don't know who they are. "Ooh La La" has been inescapable for the past year and landing the Bond theme song could push Goldfrapp into the mainstream, where they've seemed to be on the verge of since the days of "Strict Machine" and "Train." If the producers want to keep the sound of Bond futuristic, as seen by Madonna's synth heavy "Die Another Day," then you could not do any wrong with Goldfrapp as a choice.

It's been a while since someone's done a classy, soulful Bond theme. There are plenty of talented singers available, but few can match the songwriting skill and the coolness of the Purple One. Imagine Prince doing a slow, scorching stab at a Bond song. The anticipation for that song would be crazy.

And a few other artists who have no chance in hell in being asked to do the Bond theme, but would still make a pretty kick ass one:

Could take the Bond song darker than its ever been before, but still palatable for the ordinary consumer.

Van Hunt
Knows all about being one of the coolest men on Earth.

Pulp/Jarvis Cocker
The 90's are over and it's been 4 years since their last album. They've already been bumped from one Bond song by Sheryl Crow, but whenever Jarvis Cocker opens his mouth and lets his wit shine, you couldn't imagine the perfect soundtrack to the opening credits.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Emmy Nominations

Nominees for the 58th Annual Emmy Awards were announced Thursday. Yes, there were some surprising snubs, but for once, there was a lot of good news. Let's do a category-by-category breakdown, shall we?

Outstanding Comedy Series
Arrested Development FOX
Curb Your Enthusiasm HBO
The Office NBC
Scrubs NBC
Two and a Half Men CBS

The biggest WTF here is Two And A Half Men's nomination. I understand it's the highest rated comedy on television, but just because Raymond, Friends and Sex And The City are no longer on the air doesn't mean that this field has to be diluted it's inclusion. Arrested Development and Scrubs are two of the biggest surprises, in my opinion, since AD was on and off the air so many times over the course of the season, that it's a wonder that anyone still remembered it, but then again, it won this same category only two years ago and was nominated last year as well. Scrubs hasn't been doing as well in the ratings either, but it's still one of the funniest shows on television.

Overlooked: Gilmore Girls, Everybody Hates Chris

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Larry David
Curb Your Enthusiasm HBO
Kevin James
The King Of Queens CBS
Tony Shalhoub
Monk USA
Steve Carell
The Office NBC
Charlie Sheen
Two and a Half Men CBS

Carell was pretty much a no-brainer, and it's also nice to see that Kevin James' fine, underrated work on The King Of Queens getting its recognition. Jason Lee of My Name Is Earl was robbed. It hurts too much to even it call it overlooked.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Lisa Kudrow
The Comeback HBO
Jane Kaczmarek
Malcolm in the Middle FOX
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
The New Adventures of Old Christine CBS
Stockard Channing
Out Of Practice CBS
Debra Messing
Will & Grace NBC

Don't really watch any of these shows except for Malcolm In The Middle, and I'm kind of tired of seeing Kaczmarek being nominated long after the show's creative peak. I know a lot of people who were high on Kudrow's work on The Comeback, but I've never seen the show. Seems like the only interesting nominee in this bunch.

Overlooked: Lauren Graham-Gilmore Girls, Felicity Huffman-Desperate Housewives, Tracee Ellis Ross-Girlfriends

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Will Arnett
Arrested Development FOX
Jeremy Piven
Entourage HBO HBO
Bryan Cranston
Malcolm in the Middle FOX
Jon Cryer
Two and a Half Men CBS
Sean Hayes
Will & Grace NBC

Arnett should have been nominated all three seasons that AD was on the air. Just watch any episode where Europe's "The Final Countdown" appears. Or that one where he says "I've made a huge mistake." Yeah, those are all good. Cranston deserves the nod, but mainly because his work wasn't recognized when the show was still good.

Overlooked: Neil Patrick Harris-How I Met Your Mother, Rainn Wilson-The Office, Terry Crews-Everybody Hates Chris, Donald Faison-Scrubs

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Cheryl Hines
Curb Your Enthusiasm HBO
Alfre Woodard
Desperate Housewives ABC
Jaime Pressly
My Name Is Earl NBC (Pictured above)
Elizabeth Perkins
Megan Mullally
Will & Grace NBC

Jaime Pressly's Joy is one of the funniest scene-stealers on television today. It's still a shame that Jason Lee didn't get a Best Actor nod, but it would have truly been a tragedy if Pressly was overlooked. The Alfre Woodard nomination is a head scratcher though. As tortured and as great as her performance was, there was really nothing funny about it. If the they wanted to go that route, Marcia Cross should have gotten the nod instead, who dealt with an equally dark season, but also brought more lols. The moment where she slapped her over-mourning mother-in-law at the table gave me as big a laugh as any moment this season.

Overlooked: Judy Reyes-Scrubs, Tichina Arnold-Everybody Hates Chris, Nicolette Sheridan-Desperate Housewives, Marcia Cross-Desperate Housewives

Outstanding Drama Series
Grey's Anatomy ABC
House FOX
The Sopranos HBO
24 FOX
The West Wing NBC

Ugh. Who is still voting for The West Wing? Hell, is anyone still watching it? Hasn't the damn thing been nominated in this category every single year it's been on the air? With any luck, it won't win, thanks to the amazing seasons of Grey's Anatomy and 24. I'm very biases towards 24 since it's one of my favorite shows period, and it just had one of its best season's ever. I still have to catch up on Grey's Anatomy (haven't seen any eps since November), but I've seen enough to know that it belongs in this group. If the Academy wanted to give an episodic series the nod, that slot shoud have gone to Law & Order: SVU instead, whose value did not go unnoticed as proven by the lead acting nods for Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay.

Overlooked: Lost(!), Alias, Veronica Mars

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Christopher Meloni Law & Order: Special Victims Unit NBC
Denis Leary Rescue Me FX
Peter Krause Six Feet Under HBO
Kiefer Sutherland 24 FOX
Martin Sheen The West Wing NBC

Once again, who in the hell is still watching The West Wing? It's nice to see Sutherland back in the running, but his best work was in the first and third season (when he was frickin' junkie!). As great as this season was, I'm not sure there was that much of an emotional arc to Jack's character to get Sutherland a win. The Meloni nod is a very welcome surprise, but he pretty much doesn't have a chance in hell of winning.

Overlooked: Hugh Laurie-House, William Fichtner-Invasion, Matthew Fox-Lost

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Kyra Sedgwick The Closer TNT
Geena Davis Commander In Chief ABC
Mariska Hargitay Law & Order: Special Victims Unit NBC
Frances Conroy Six Feet Under HBO
Allison Janney The West Wing NBC

Just imagine how many more nominations Commander In Chief would have garnered if it had mainatained the success it had earlier in the season. I'm still undecided if that's a good thing or a bad thing since the show delved into cornpone here and there, but dammit, I just couldn't stop watching. Geena Davis was one of the main reasons why. The POTUS can be one of the most endearing roles if played right (see Josiah Bartleet, David Palmer) and Davis does a great job of making us wish she was the President in real life. Looking over the nominees, this category looks pretty weak. I think Sedgwick could probably win, and I don't even watch The Closer.

Overlooked: Jennifer Garner-Alias, Kristen Bell-Veronica Mars

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
William Shatner Boston Legal ABC
Oliver Platt Huff Showtime
Michael Imperioli The Sopranos HBO
Gregory Itzin 24 FOX
Alan Alda The West Wing NBC

This might be the only time that I ever root for President Logan. Itzin played the most loathsome character on television and had us rooting for his downfall every episode. I also loved the subtle change from the bumbling inepititude he displayed last season to the slightly inept but still weasely scoundrel he was this past season. I didn't keep up with Boston Legal this season, but Shatner always bring the lols on that show. Everyone else seems like they belong here.

Overloooked: Terry Quinn-Lost

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Candice Bergen Boston Legal ABC
Sandra Oh Grey's Anatomy ABC
Chandra Wilson Grey's Anatomy ABC
Blythe Danner Huff Showtime
Jean Smart 24 FOX

Let's be honest. This race was over the moment that Jean Smart dunked her head in the water during that opening scene. Everyone else here had great seasons as well, but Smart's role as the president's wife was definitely the most talked about. Looking at this category actually makes me the most happiest.

Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series
Arrested Development Development Arrested FOX
Entourage HBO Exodus HBO Leverage and Closest to the
Extras Kate Winslet HBO
My Name Is Earl Pilot NBC
The Office Christmas Party NBC

Who could forget "Yankee Christmas" during the Christmas party at Dunder-Miflin? One of the best episodes from a season that was filled with hilarious moments. The Earl pilot was funny and sweet, but it's little consolation for snubbing Jason Lee. "Development Arrested" was a nice way to end the series, but it felt as if it was trying to wrap things up too quickly.

Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series
Grey’s Anatomy It’s the End Of The World, As We Know It (Part 1 & 2) ABC
Grey’s Anatomy Into You Like A Train ABC
Lost The 23rd Psalm ABC
Six Feet Under Everyone’s Waiting HBO
The Sopranos Members Only HBO

"It's The End Of The World..." is that Super Bowl episode that everyone was talking about, right? Gotta see check that one out. "Into You Like A Train" was pretty intense and heartbreaking. Hope they don't cancel each other out.

Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)
Camp Lazlo Hello Dolly / Over Cooked Beans Cartoon Network
Family Guy PTV FOX
Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends Go Goo Go Cartoon Network
The Simpsons The Seemingly Neverending Story FOX
South Park Trapped in the Closet Comedy Central

"PTV" was probably one of the most consistent episodes of Family Guy I've seen. I don't even remember what Simpsons episode was about. And obviously that South Park ep is the class of the bunch.

Overlooked: The Venture Bros., King Of The Hill

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race CBS
American Idol FOX
Dancing With The Stars ABC
Project Runway Bravo
Survivor CBS

The nominations here are pretty predictable. Hopefully that family edition won't tarnish the Amazing Race's chances.