End Notes


Well, America got it right in voting Pentatonix winners of this year's edition of NBC's The Sing-Off. I was a bit bummed that just about everybody turned in sub-standard performances on Monday night's live finale, when presumably viewership would get a bump from Dancing with the Stars' absence; maybe it was the lack of pressure, since voting was already closed, but more likely the crazy rehearsal schedule and holiday weekend are to blame. Friends who finally tuned in after hearing me rhapsodize about Pentatonix, Afro-Blue, and Urban Method have my apologies.


Photo © 2011 NBCUniversal Media LLC.

I complained in a post last month about the judges' inexplicable preference for certain groups over others — on the whole, traditional large university-based ensembles beating out more inventive, idiosyncratic but clearly cooler combos. Not that a cappella is all about being "cool", nor that I have an inherent dislike of the collegiate model; quite the opposite, in fact.

Muppet Monday


Since my review of the new Muppets film isn't done, I offer some snippets of songs from the movie



The scene in which Camilla the Chicken and friends sing — well, bwawk — the hit single known politely as "Forget You" is a showstopper. I lie not; in the theater, the audience was laughing raucously the entire length of the number. While the clip on DisneyMusic's YouTube channel incorporates other footage (and inserted audio) from the film, in the movie itself the scene is center-stage, uncut, and much the funnier for it.

The Old Soft Sell


I'll be spiffing up the blog in the coming months — fixing graphics that have broken links or are too big given the recent template switch, and making some other revisions
of varying degree. One change will be the addition of links to related items sold on Amazon in certain posts. Why?

'amazon.com' logo: the website name in black sans-serif type, 'amazon' boldfaced, with a curved gold line running from under the 'a' to the 'z' where it concludes with an arrowhead

Cue the boilerplate: Blam's Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

Muppet Monday


Jason Segel was joined by the Muppets in his monologue this weekend on Saturday Night Live. The real highlight, though, was Kermit the Frog showing up during Weekend Update to join anchor Seth Meyers in one of my favorite recurring segments in all of SNL. Ladies and gentlemen: Really!?! with Seth & Kermit. Yaaayyy!!!


Screencap © 2011 NBCUniversal Media LLC.

I must say that Kermit oversold it at times, but at least they let the follow-up to the "sausage casings" line go with relative subtlety.

If You Meta the Batman, Kill the Batman


The seemingly paradoxical nature of the Zen koan adapted for this post's title is reflected in its subject: Friday night's series finale of Batman: The Brave and
the Bold
.


Bat-Mite sitting at a laptop with 'Batman: The Brave and the Bold' on the screen

I expect that fans who loved the series loved the episode, "Mitefall", whose title is a reference to Bat-Mite, the magical imp who appeared regularly in the often-goofy Batman comics of the early 1960s, and to Knightfall, the grim-'n'-gritty Batman storyline of the early 1990s. (A Mitefall one-shot parodying that era was published in 1995.) It spotlights many of the show's most popular traits and co-stars B:TBATB's breakout version of Aquaman — less rooted in past depictions of DC's sea king than in his pompous Marvel counterpart Namor the Sub-Mariner, with a big nod to Gaston from Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

Muppet Thursday


Despite the almost reverently expectant note on which my last post ended, I carry a small amount of dread that The Muppets will be unfulfilling or, worse, offensive in some way to its heritage — and moreover I understand that no matter how satisfying it may be on the whole it can't help but lack an essential ingredient.


Promotional photo for The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson © 1990 Muppets Studio LLC.

I'm speaking, of course, about Jim Henson, who invented the Muppets, performed Kermit the Frog (among many others — including Rowlf the Dog, as much his alter ego as the little green dude), and guided a sublimely creative, colorful enterprise for decades.

Muppet Tuesday




Next Wednesday The Muppets will be released by Walt Disney Pictures. Since the countdown to the film was the impetus for these Muppet Mostly-Mondays, I figured that now would be a good time to share the numerous posters and links to the various trailers that have been produced to date.



The Muppets' first trailer debuted May 20th online and in theaters with Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Muppet Monday


I'm very sorry that this post is going up late. And I realize that there was no Muppet Monday installment at all last week, although I'll try to make it right by doubling up on them soon. What can I say? Accidents happen. Things fall apart. If you don't believe
me, ask the cast of that hit musical Spider-Monster...


Grover, the fuzzy blue Muppet with big pink nose wearing a Spider-Man costume, including half-face mask, posing with arms out and mouth open against painted city backdrop

Kindred Posts: On a BoatG LoveNo-Spin Zone • Muppet Monday
The Amazing Spider-Man Minus Andrew Garfield Plus Garfield

Jobs Report


I hadn't entered The Late Show with David Letterman's online Top Ten contest
[dead link] for several months before doing so this week. As usual, I threw in a couple of options that weren't stellar along with my personal favorite(s), because you never know what will ring the bell of whomever makes the selections. Even though I didn't submit very many, there was a winner among my...

Top Five Surprises in the Steve Jobs Biography

5. He slipped Bill Gates' barber a fifty every month for 30 years.

4. But for the flip of a coin, he'd have been wearing black pants and a denim turtleneck every day.

3. His kids had to show him how to program the VCR.

2. Ironically, he got the idea for the Apple when a book about Isaac Newton hit him on the head. (Think about it, people!)

And the Number One Surprise in the Steve Jobs Biography...