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Monthly Archives: September 2008

Vote John McCain. Obama doesn't even watch "24", and therefore is not serious about terrorism.

Today we turn to what was once considered an insane idea in 1986 but has now become a cultural institution today. That’s right, I speak of the Fox network. Now soon to be 22 years old, It’s is no longer considered the ‘fourth network’. Sure, some people thought Rupert Murdoch was out of his mind. Well, those people didn’t understand the plan: Absorb years years of losses, exploit the underserved minority viewing population, overpay for football, then put on a glorified karaoke show and…voila! You’re a major network.

So, what is Fox offering us this season that’s caught this jaded blogger’s eye? Will, its easily most hyped new show is “Fringe“, a new show from J.J. Abrams (and some other dudes in smaller print) about three people looking strangely and fascinatedly into a toilet. Well, that’s what its subway ads make you think, anyway. I guess there’ll be scary monsters and storylines and strange creatures and intense scenes. It basically looks like the” X-Files” meets “Lost”. Fox insisted on starting early, so I could have actually reviewed this show, which now has two episodes under its belt. I chose not to.

Also new from Fox: not much else. With their lineup pretty much set, consisting of steady performers like “Prison Break”, “24”, “Bones”, and “Family Guy”, there were only two other newcomers that garnered my attention:

The first is “Hole In The Wall”, a form of Human Tetris, I guess, where teams contort themselves into cut-out holes. This is going to perfect for people who really miss “Wipeout”, which had its season finale the other day. This show is probably good for the whole family as well, and provides a perfect opportunity to for a chance to make glory hole jokes. Fun for everyone!

Also on the docket: “Do Not Disturb“, a sitcom about a cheesy hotel owner played by Jerry O’Connell. You can tell Fox must love its chances based on the hard work they’ve put into the website. (None, if you don’t bother to click on. Come on, is this any way to treat the bastard stepchild of Fawlty Towers?)

But what I’m really looking forward to is my favorite Fox show every year. No, not the still-amusing-but-clearly-past-it’s-prime “The Simpsons”. I’m talking about “Horrifying Reality Show Pulled Out of Fox’s Ass To Be Named Later.” Every year, Fox has a few cancellations, and faster than you can say, “That can’t be a real show!” they pull a “Temptation Island” or “Moment of Truth” out from the Fox Reality dungeon. THey can do this because if the show’s not successful, they can just dump it on the Fox Reality Channel, where classics such as “My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss” live on. I look forward to this year’s. I’m going to predict something involving cheating spouses. Maybe a show where they move the illicit lover into the house! You know it’ll be good. And by good, I mean “slightly better than ‘Prison Break’.”

So, are they back in the jail again, by the way? They seem good at getting out of prison, but bad at staying out of it, apparently.

Katie who?

Katie who?

Well, since I’ve previewed the other two networks, decorum dictates that I devote a day to everyone, so tomorrow will be Fox, and Thursday will be devoted to the CW, where I’ll probably just re-post my rant about the advertising on Teens Doin’ It!, um, er, “Gossip Girl.”

Anyway, the three TV shows CBS seems to be heavily pimping for the fall are “The Mentalist”, “Gary Unmarried” and “The Ex-List”. And by heavily pimping, I really mean, “There’s no way CBS thinks these shows have a real chance.”

The Mentalist” stars Simon Baker as a guy with really sharp powers of observation who solves crimes.

Yawn. This show appears to be “Psych” but without the humor, the put-upon black costar, and Corbin Bernsen. In case you’ve never seen “Psych”, the lead character uses keen observational skills as well, but he plays it for laughs. There appears to be pretty much no difference between these shows except one is on broadcast television.

Let’s move on to “The Ex-List“, a show where a lonely single girl finds out from a psychic that she has already met her soul mate, and if she doesn’t reconnect with him in a year, she will die alone. So she lists every guy she ever hooked up with, befriended, or dated, and goes back to seek them to see if they are indeed The One.

First of all, this show just screams “cancel my ass!” Why give her one year? And what if the show’s a hit, how can you continue to sustain it if you have a finite list? Second of all, how dumb is this woman to believe this psychic? If this person is your soul mate, how the fuck can you put a clock on it? How come they didn’t connect the first time? If they’re a random person you ran into, wouldn’t you just run into them again at a more cosmically opportune time?

Third, shouldn’t you automatically sue this psychic for malpractice when this woman inevitably goes back to the abusive, coke-and-porn addicted, egomaniacal asshole who she just couldn’t give up and it took four breakups and a restraining order for her to finally see the light? You know he’s out there, but somehow they’ll skip that episode.

Besides, this show is slated for Friday nights, meaning it’s aimed at married women who can feel superior and go “Thank my lucky stars I’m not single and trolling the streets for ass tonight.” I don’t give it much of a chance. 

Finally, we have perennial comic underachiever Jay Mohr in the sitcom “Gary Unmarried“, about a newly divorced dude who has to juggle a new ex-girlfriend, two kids, and an ex-wife, who also has a fiance. Blah.

The single dad embarking on the world of dating is comedy gold! Why give him a steady girlfriend right out of the box, that makes no sense. I mean, I understand some dudes are strictly long-term relationship one woman guys, but that just makes this an extended family sitcom.

The spice of the single-parent sitcom is that that they characters get to be loving, doting, responsible parents who also get to juggle the issues that come along with trying to laid. It’s the reason “Two and a Half Men” is such an inexplicable massive hit. Yeah, Charlie sheen my be “acting” like a womanizing douche, but you see the interaction with the kid, and then you think, sure, he can’t form a true emotional bond with a woman, but he can be close and caring with people in other ways. When he’s not screwing over some lady he picked up at bar the night before. So the audience has it’s dirty fantasy cake (“yeah, dirty bachelor, you go!”) and eat it with responsibility while looking to the future (“aw, he just taught the kid a valuable lesson about not quitting!”)

Kids humanize the womanizer/man-whore. You take that element away in “Gary Unmarried” and you just have a show about a perpetually annoyed guy. I don’t give this one much of a chance either, unless they retool the show by dumping the girlfriend and creating a storyline where he has to hide his newfound dabbling in fetish parties from his ex-wife and kids.

We need hope! Bob Hope!

We need hope! Bob Hope!

NBC is just not what it used to be. After ruling the ’80s and ’90s with “The A-Team“, “The Cosby Show“, “Cheers”, and “Seinfeld”, the decent showing of “The Office” is what passes for good news in the entertainment division. Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, the “Today” show and the Olympics pretty much seem to be propping up the whole damn network.

But while watching “Football Night In America”, I saw a couple of promos for the fall season that caught my eye.

First, they brought back “Chuck“. People must really be tuning in to see if the goofy nerdy guy ever really does get with the hot chick. While saving the world, of course. I never watched this show, and, ironically, the hot girl is what held me back. The premise, a nice little play on “knowledge is power”, would have been fine on its own. But nooo, they had to throw in a hot girl that the guy pines for. I personally have never benn a fan of these storylines, especially on a TV series. It’s just tiresome. How about getting him a looks-appropriate love interest? Ok, like TV ugly, but still. Instead of Chuck constantly eyeballing a chick he can’t have every stinking week slowing the show down, how about he have a bookish girl who understands him or something? At least it would be differerent. And I emphasize, she’d be “TV ugly”.

Then, there’s the new Knight Rider. Whee. But why do they call it “Knight Rider: The Series”? Last I checked, there wasn’t a Knight Rider movie, unless it went in and out of theaters with Eric Bana as Michael Knight, Hugh Grant as the voice of KITT, Sir Ian McKellen or Alec Baldwin as the old dude who was Michael’s boss from FLAG (I believe that’s the Foundation For Law and Government, but we don’t do so much fact-checking here), and Hot Brunet of the Moment as KITT’s mechanic, who of course flirts with Michael, but is having trouble competing with the bad guy’s girlfriend played by Hot Blond of the Moment, played by Middle-Aged Slumming British Actor. So, once again, why do they have to remind us that it’s “The Series?” What’s next, “Manimal: The series?”

But the most glorious moment of all came when my buddy Adam K dropped his serious conversation about music with my roommate Diddy to exclaim, “Christian Slater has a series?!” Yep yep! Christian Slater stars in “My Own Worst Enemy“. Or as I like to call it, “True Lies: The Series” (see, that makes sense). He apparently plays a normal, Jack Nicholson-imitating family dude who has a double life as a guy who spies and carries big-ass guns. I’m sure he also steals secrets, protects us from the terrorists, and as any successful operative must, flirt with evil skanks who can’t see past the cash they’re getting for a new Prada bag to the fact that they are helping to destroy our way of life. But of course Christian can’t sleep with them, he’s a happily married man. To a woman that’s probably “TV average housewife” hot. Slater hasn’t made the streets this safe since “Kuffs”, y’all.

It seems like NBC is squarely aiming at expanding the young male demographic they seem to be pulling in from “Heroes”…if those same viewers suddenly suffered an inexplicable brain injury. NBC is clearly targeting males with these hour long action dramas. I’m not positive as to why they’re trying to become Spike TV, but hey. they gotta do something, right? Let’s see how this develops.

Oh yeah, and by the way, take a good look at this post, Sarah Palin fans…this is sexist media coverage. Especially take note of the casual objectification and reduction. You know what’s not sexist? Dead-on impersonations by Tina Fey.

abc wednesday!

These shows are being promoted like hell by the Mouse, for some reason, on the L train. I am pretty sure I have ridden in a car doing nothing but pimping these shows for ten to fourteen consecutive workdays. Having seen none of these programs, I can’t hate on them, only their promotion.

Wait, I’m Well Whiskey Friday, what am I saying?

I’m guessing there’s some kind of dead person in “Pushing Daisies”. Let’s hope it is not the writers of the program, or Chi McBride’s career. I couldn’t name the lead actors if they showed me government-issued ID, and I’ll bet it’s one of those shows where the guy and the girl thoroughly love each other but can never bone. Until they do. (see: Files, X.)

What can I say about “Dirty Sexy Money” that the title doesn’t give away? Except what the hell is Donald Sutherland doing in this crap? Not to mention Peter Krause? Or Blair Underwood? Lucy Liu has been reduced to this? When William Baldwin looks like he deserves to be on your show, you got problems.

“Private Practice” is a “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff, meaning the only private practice you’ll really have to worry about on the show is whether the leading lady redhead prefers one guy at a time or has a rotation of strapping gentlemen callers.

abc wednesday! Premiering october 1st, check your local listings.

I had, for many years, been a believer in the wisdom of the free markets (up to a point). For example, I’m not surprised that corporations are figuring out that there’s money in going green. As consumers continued to grow  more and more environmentally aware, what quicker way for most of them to make an actual impact than changing their consumer habits? So it makes sense that companies be aware of this, recognize the market for this and make money off of this while hopefully actually helping the environment.

But somehow, after all these years, how come no one’s stepped up with the next energy source that’s going to power our transportation, our cities, and our economies? I understand it’s not easy, and I’m sure peopleare out there working on it, especially now. (When they’re not pushing for more drilling.) I guess waiting for the explosion in gas prices is the invisible hand’s way of saying, “You can’t keep relying on this oil, people.”

The problem with waiting for the markets to correct themselves, I guess, is that when the correction comes, people actually end up getting hurt and the correction becomes a crisis. But can the government step in and avert a crisis, or prepare for it? I mean certainly, someone should have stepped up by now and said, “Long term, if worldwide petroleum production drops, our economy’s going to get wrecked. We should make some preparations.” But it appears we didn’t, so we had to wait until a crisis to get in gear (hopefully).

This brings me to the, and I’m not going to be kind and mince words here, doofuses, who think drilling for more oil will solve anything. Both candidates are simply pandering to you fools because they believe you’re too dumb to understand things about basic petroleum production and too shortsighted to think in a long-term way about energy policy. Which apparently, you are. It’ll take years to get the drilling up and running, and who knows how much oil is actually out there? And do you realize that the oil’s going to run out and we’d have to tackle these problems anyway?  Well, probably not.

The country that takes the lead on these strategies and technologies will probably have a big hand in driving the global economy. The next Bill Gates is very likely going to be the guy or gal who figures out how to create energy without fossil fuels, or maybe with less of it. This seems pretty obvious, right?

But maybe not to the market yet. But just because the market sometimes doesn’t listen and see what’s in front of it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.

This was on my tumblr, but this seems more appropriate for this site, I thought…

I don’t mean to be a morbid asshole, but when President McCain gets elected in November (to the general shock and horror of many of you…), you know he’ll be alive for, like a year and a half, and then he’s going to croak, right? Then it’s President Palin, working grandma and leader of the free world. Then, hilarity ensues.

Look, it can’t not happen. The country that gave us the wacky sitcom can’t not have it’s first woman President under these circumstances! It’s so perfect for Julia Roberts’ TV comeback! And throw in the daughter with two kids: her new baby and her lunkheaded, hockey-playing, mullet-wearing husband! Perfect! You can’t ask this to be scripted any better.

“Black President” was fun for a while, but let’s face it, in most shows and movies with a black president, it usually means super-serious times, where looming danger is ahead (“24”, “Deep Impact”). I mean Russia is acting up, you never know what Al-Qaeda’s got planned, and I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t sleep on that crazy-ass Hugo Chavez down in Venezuela.

But with the Republicans protecting us from the terrorists and all, there’ll be nothing to worry about! Except when is Sarah Palin’s doofus son-in-law going to get a job? First dates! What the hell does the first husband do all day?

All these questions and more will be answered, say, sometime around September 2010…just in time for the new fall season!