Frontrunner

Normally I wouldn't shine a light on a show that's already monopolized television for so long and hogged so much attention across all media platforms, but after watching last night's American Idol, I can no longer ignore the fact that I. Frickin. Love. David. Archuleta. Unabashedly.

Folks, we're only in the top 20, and already we have one of the most memorable performances in the show's history. How can this ridiculously likable 17-year-old get any better? He's a guaranteed shoe-in for the top 12...hell, make that the top 3...hell, make that...well, I'll have to be careful with the hyperboles because we know how unpredictable this competition can be.

Here it is, an absolutely beautiful rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine." Be mesmerized:

Extended 'Sex'



My hopes have returned for this highly anticipated mother-of-all-chick-flicks.

Carrie's jilted, Charlotte's preggers, Miranda's complaining and Samantha's horny. Oh, and even Jennifer Hudson is looking for love.

May 30 y'all.



*Anyone know who does that Don Henley cover?

Learning From Oscar

The main lesson we learned at the 80th Annual Academy Awards: Americans ain't good at anything anymore.



Congrats to Javier, Tilda, Marion and Daniel.

'Dangerous' Indeed

I'm sorry, but I just can't get enough of this hot track.

At first glance, he may just be the poor man's Justin Timberlake (with a French accent). And despite some nifty touches (Flaming chairs! Neon webs!), the video may give the impression that it was made for $5 (okay, maybe $10). Questionable choreography aside, IT'S HERE! M. Pokora's vid for his single, "Dangerous," debuted over the weekend, and I've been hitting replay in between commercial breaks during the Oscars.

The title of the song says it all. Some chick is badass ("Her love should be illegal"), guys can't resist her, Timbaland's younger brother Sebastian makes a cameo, and dancing commences against a lost backdrop from the set of Tron.

Turn it up:

Chillaxed: Spring 2008



If you're like me, you're probably getting sick of the winter weather and pining for warmer days and new episodes of Pushing Daisies. Spring may still be a few weeks away, but at least you'll have these must-listens to prep yourself for the freshest of seasons:

1. "Dangerous" by M. Pokora featuring Timbaland & Sebastian
2. "Surveillance" by Wynter Gordon
3. "Daylight" by Kelly Rowland & Travis McCoy
4. "Underneath" by Alanis Morissette *My girl is back, ever so articulate and contemplative.



5. "Can't Speak French" by Girls Aloud
6. "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow" by Paula Abdul *Overproduced, yes, but irresistibly retro...the "Straight Up" of the new millennium.
7. "Soulmate (Frenglish Version)" by Natasha Bedingfield
8. "Map of the Problematique" by Muse
9. "Mercy" by Duffy *Break out the go-go boots and fall in love with the next Amy Winehouse.
10. "With Every Heartbeat" by Robyn
11. "My Cool" by Adam Tensta *If you like your Kanye Swedish and more electronic.
12. "Bonafied Lovin'" by Chromeo
13. "I Thought It Was Over" by The Feeling



14. "Work (Freemasons Edit)" by Kelly Rowland
15. "Stop and Stare" by OneRepublic *Sure, their safe pop-rock may be for tools and divorced soccer moms, but there's something endearing about them being the next Vertical Horizon.
16. "Surrender" by Blake Lewis
17. "Selfish" by Asia Cruise
18. "Some Kind of Rush" by Booty Luv *To get you pumped for that early morning cardio session.



19. "Ride Like The Wind" by Michael Mind
20. "Let's Dance" by Hi-Tack
21. "Because" by Madita
22. "Rock With U" by Janet
23. "Wow" by Kylie Minogue

Can't Speak French

If Marie Antoinette were a Pussycat Doll, she may have strutted through Versailles with a posse like this.

It's "Can't Speak French," the latest single from mega girl group, Girls Aloud. They've definitely been around longer than the Dolls, produced way more albums than the Spice Girls, and most of you may not even know a thing about them (that's you, America, lovers of Top 40 hip-hop and bland Midwestern rock).

The song is a slight departure from the Girls' traditionally pounding dancefloor ditties, but it's still a catchy-as-hell, mid-tempo mesmerizer of a pop confection:

Hiko Does Dublin

I told y'all I was big in Europe.

This week I have the pleasure of being one of the Oscar Week correspondents for 98fm's Morning Crew in Dublin, Ireland.

Click on the pic of these lovely lads and, if you're a night owl or insomniac, catch my award predictions live online Wednesday night from 10pm-2am (PST) and 1am-5am (ET).

Jonesing for Indy

I feel like a 9-year-old all over again...



That's what I call a classic adventure filmmaking.

HOT MIX: Music Preview

The writers and editors of HIH.TV are getting prepped, primed and pumped for this Friday night's HOT MIX at Cinespace in Hollywood.

And just to remind y'all, Big Chocolate from Shejay.net will be spinning some tunage to get you in the mood - whether it be for dancing, lounging or enjoying a Friday night like you've never experienced before.

Her playlist is ready with some sick beats and a few surprises. Wanna peek? Click and listen, kids:

1. "I Believe" by Simian Mobile Disco - The perfect early evening groove from Britain's hottest DJs (James Ellis Ford & James Anthony Shaw).



2. "Let's Dance" by Hi-Tack - The David Bowie 80s classic gets a hot makeover.

How I Survived The Great Strike of 2007-08

Now that the writers have hung up their pickets just in time to enjoy Valentine's Day (well, I guess nothing's final until those signatures dry on whatever specifics are hammered out), I can now look back on the past three months like a summer vacation...or a devastating drought.

It was indeed a bleak entertainment landscape. I refused to succumb to the ways of the reality-TV salesmen who tried to sell me gimmick after annoying gimmick. I had no interest in Dueling or finding out if I was smarter than a 10-year-old. I could care less about Tila Tequila and her loyal band of losers. I chose not to check myself into Celebrity Rehab. Sorry.

All of my favorite TV shows were off the air (no one does repeats anymore these days). I never found out what havoc Sylar was about to wreak on Heroes after regaining his powers. I didn't get to see if Wisteria Lane was completely recovered from that nasty tornado. I wouldn't know if my favorite characters' secrets were going to be revealed on Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money.



It was slim pickings when it came to my TV schedule. My DVR capacity dipped below 40%, an all-time low. I found myself turning to my DVD library in order to keep myself warm by the glow of the tube. I relived the glorious heydey that was Season Two of Melrose Place (Jo just found out she's preggers by the guy who held her hostage in the middle of the Pacific, and Sydney blackmailed Michael into marrying her). I discovered the sheer brilliance of Glenn Close during the first season of FX's Damages (my jaw never left the floor). And I befriended Jeri Blank in Strangers With Candy (before Stephen Colbert was...Stephen Colbert).

I found myself scrambling for the remote to record movies I had never seen or hadn't watched in years. The random lot still sitting in my queue: Single White Female, World Trade Center, and A Home at the End of the World. I even went so far as to return to Port Charles to see what those duplicitous denizens were up to at General Hospital.

However, not all hope was gone. CBS wised up, repurposing Showtime's Dexter, of course right after I learned the identity of the Ice Truck Killer via the first season DVD. Jericho, a show the network and I had given up on nearly a year ago, is coming back just in time to hand out a few more paychecks to Skeet Ulrich. And then there's my crew from Oceanic flight 815 returning from an extra-long hiatus, those castaways on Lost; I applaud the producers for finding even more ways to pose more questions while answering a few and introducing new characters as semi-intriguing filler.

I could also say that I was, for a brief moment in time, and avid watcher of CNN. I give thanks to the strike for allowing me to become glued to the real-life drama that was unfolding in the polls across the country and surrounding two exciting and historic presidential campaigns.

One would think I'd be able to catch up on some much-needed reading during this work stoppage as well. Not so true. A sizable pile of paperbacks remain neglected on my bookshelves. I have yet to crack open Book 6 of Harry Potter, and I know that ultracool Japanese gangster photography book is only collecting dust on my coffee table.

It's safe to say that TV, and some movies, will never be the same. The viewing habits of many Americans are rapidly changing, and the industry is doing what it can to keep up with the Joneses, the Rodriguezes, and the Steinbergs.

We'll just have to deal with what we have now until the next strike, which, if history repeats itself, should happen in another 20 years from now, probably when newer media takes America by storm - like eyeball implants that allow us to watch movies and TV shows with the tap of a finger on our foreheads.

iTunes iMplants anyone?

H.P.M.

*Welcome back, writers.


The Mitsuzuka Manifesto

My full name is Hikoichi Paul Francis (don't ask) Mitsuzuka.

I tend to punctuate my life experiences with pop culture references. I believe in working smarter, not harder. If a glass if half full, I would rather drink from a bottle. I enjoy the words ensemble and symposium. I hate the fact that I am relying more on text messaging; I believe direct human communication is gradually dissolving into a soulless practice. Barnes and Noble is my haven. I am meticulous when it comes to selecting tracks for CD compilations.

I started to read at the age of 3. I've had one sleepwalking incident during which I randomly walked into my parents' bedroom to ask them when my grandmother was coming over for a visit. There had been a time when I never realized that public schools have no tuition; I was a private-school brat up until I was 18. I own a Darth Vader Potato Head. I have recently discovered the magic of Tide-To-Go stain-removal pens. I love the smell of freshly Xeroxed paper. To me, anything British is better.

I have zero tolerance for stupidity and ignorance but appreciate their existence, consequently allowing me to feel superior to others.

I'm a sucker for used bookshops as well as montages accompanied by sappy music. I enjoy good bottles of merlot (preferably from 2004). Primetime soaps are a subject of which I consider myself a strong connoisseur. My vices consist of chocolate chip cookies and movie theater popcorn. The last time I cried at the movies was during an autumn screening of Tim Burton's Big Fish.

I have witnessed a friend's nervous breakdown on the Charles River in Boston. I have wandered the rain-soaked streets of Milan while looking for a cafe that served a particular brand of fruit tart. I have eaten Belgian mussels in a London pub. I have played Poison Eights in a smoky pool hall in Tokyo. I watched Basic Instinct for the first time at a cozy bed-and-breakfast in Wales. I have played miniature golf with cowboys in Toronto. I have come to the conclusion that the 405 freeway in Los Angeles is one carpool lane short of a highway to Hell. I have been solicited by vagabonds in Las Vegas. I have observed fine art in a penthouse overlooking the Miami skyline. I have left a drunken friend behind in a New York City nightclub. I have been slapped on the ass while hiking up to the Acropolis in Athens. I have climbed a dormant volcano in the Greek Islands. I am guilty of scrawling graffiti on the walls of an old, historic prison in Venice.

I never liked Seinfeld. I memorized the capital city of each U.S. state in the third grade - just for fun. I can recite every polysyllabic lyric to Alanis Morissette's "All I Really Want." I hate celery and peppers. Sushi is my dinner of preference. I don't get what the big deal is with Emile Hirsch. I am thankful for the multi-purpose armrest/console in my Ford Focus. I think most Americans live in a bubble. I have never seen Braveheart. Or Aladdin.

I have never had a near-death experience and bathed in the glow of that proverbial White Light. I've been mistaken for a stand-up comic from Mad TV. I was an employee of Starbucks for one whole month (November 5, 2002 - December 5, 2002) during which I once served Helen Hunt a Grande non-fat latte. Elderly women dig me. Challenge me to a board game, and I will pledge to kick your ass in a round of Taboo. One of my dream jobs is to become a young adult novelist with a bestselling thriller series that eventually evolves into a CW adaptation for which I receive an executive producer credit. I consider myself well-cultured.

I've made an on-camera request for a Blink-182 video on TRL. I've shared an elevator with JC Chasez at the Sunset Laemmle complex in West Hollywood. I've gone swimming in Alicia Silverstone's pool. I've shared a birthday cake with three-fifths of the Backstreet Boys in a crowded nightclub off Hollywood Boulevard. I've watched Oprah Winfrey chat it up with Jaime Foxx after the Oscars at the Governor's Ball - from seven feet away. I've cut J.J. Abrams in line at the sushi bar of a premiere afterparty. I've asked George Clooney for the time while trying to maneuver my way through a throng of cocktail partygoers. I namedrop only when necessary.

I am a writer. I am starting to feel more comfortable saying this despite the fact I haven’t been able to make a solid, legitimate living off of communicating my words to a mass audience. This confidence in declaring who I am stems from two things. First, everyone seems to be a writer nowadays, what with the rampant blogging and web journalism that exists in our society of instantaneous infotainment. Second, I live in a city full of writers, each one of them thinking they’re better than the next, and I find it somewhat comforting, living in this bubble, blanketed by shared aspirations and hopes or, depending on one's outlook on life, wishful thinking and delusion.

My name is Hikoichi Paul Francis Mitsuzuka.

Goodnight.