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Bullet Sunday 157

Posted on Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Dave!Oh boy! It's Bullet Sunday once again! This will have to be a quick one, because I have got a lot to do before I fly out again on Friday.

   
• iTunez! I have a laundry list of things I hate about Apple's "iTunes Music Store" (particularly after the last shitty upgrade they forced on us)... but dealing with App Store update insanity is currently the thing pissing me off most. It's just so damn irritating the way that the process never... NEVER... makes things easy on you. You're constantly being interrupted with bullshit alert messages that are so astoundingly stupid that you have to wonder if Apple is being staffed by morons. Take, for example, the "You Are Downloading Age-Restricted Materials" alert...

iTunes MORON ALERT!

Yes, I know. And the reason I know is that I get this dumbass alert EVERY TIME I UPDATE MY APPS! Can't iTunes REMEMBER that I'm an adult so I don't have to go through this shit each time? And what's truly asinine is that the apps themselves are not adult-oriented... it's just that they access the internet where adult-oriented stuff might pop up. And it's not like underage kids are going to see this and go "Oh, I'm only 16, so I guess I'd better stop the update" either. I feel safer already!

And what about mystical crap like the "You Have Already Purchased This Item" alert...

iTunes STUPIDITY ALERT!

Yes, you stupid pile of FAIL!, I want to download the shit I've purchased! Why WOULDN'T I want to download it. ESPECIALLY IF IT'S AN UPDATE TO SOMETHING I ALREADY PURCHASED?!?! I mean, SERIOUSLY?

And then there's my FAVORITE message. It's the "The Item You Tried to Download is No Longer Available" alert...

More idiotic iTunes Alerts!

If it's no longer available, then why try to download it? But the biggest problem? THEY DON'T TELL YOU WHICH FUCKING APP IS THE CULPRIT! The error appears again and again and again until you manually download each app until you figure out which one is no longer available so you can manually delete it from the session. It's about the stupidest damn thing I've ever seen out of Apple. IF IT'S NOT AVAILABLE, THEN STOP TRYING TO DOWNLOAD IT YOU WORTHLESS PILE OF CRAP!! Can't you just eliminate it from the update session AND STOP BOTHERING ME?!? Completely stupid. BEYOND completely stupid. This is a bug of epic Microsoft proportions, and a total embarrassment to Apple.

The iTunes Music Store is so hopelessly idiotic now that it begs the question... DOES APPLE EVEN BOTHER BETA-TESTING SHIT ANYMORE? EVER?!? This is amateur hour stuff, and it's starting to really piss me off.

   
• Gleek! After listening to the non-stop raves from practically everybody, I finally broke down and watched the latest episode of Glee on Hulu entitled Wheels. Before I get into the horrors I was subjected to, I should preface this review(?) by saying that I can't stand musicals. It freaks me out when people suddenly break into song and dance for no particular reason, and the ... unreality... of it all drives me bat-shit insane. From what I understood, Glee was different because it was about kids in glee club, so there's context for all the singing and dancing crap. Except... the first thing I see? Some guy in a wheelchair starts mangling Billy Idol's Dancing With Myself then, you guessed it, starts wheeling around his school where nobody seems to notice that he's singing his guts out the whole time. Nobody says a damn thing...

Glee kid wheeling around singing unnoticed.
It's not at all freaky that nobody notices I'm singing!

Guy in the wheelchair kind of set the tone for the "Breakfast Club" theory of random casting, except they took it to the next level. Handicapped Kid, CHECK... Jock Kid, CHECK... Gay Kid, CHECK... Bad Boy Outsider Kid, CHECK... Black Kid, CHECK... Asian Kid, CHECK... Spoiled Jewish Princess Kid, CHECK... Stupid Blonde Kid, CHECK... Pregnant Kid, CHECK... Down Syndrome Kid, CHECK... it goes on and on and on. It's as if they told the casting director "Give me one of everything!" so it would make the writing as easy as possible. Which makes sense when you start noticing that everybody gets double-duty BONUS FEATURES!! Pregnant Kid, for example, is also Slutty Bitch Popular Christian Kid, who is terrorizing her current boyfriend to pay her for pregnancy support when she knows that the real father is actually (drumroll of un-shock) Bad Boy Outsider Kid! And don't forget the teachers! Lawful-Good Glee Club Teacher simply must have his stereotypical nemesis with Chaotic-Evil P.E. Teacher...

The Bitches of Glee
We're the stereotypical bitches of Glee!

The only part of the show that was remotely interesting to me was Down Syndrome Girl, which may seem a little too "Corky" from Life Goes On, but actually kind of works. Too bad they had to go and spoil it by building a hokey mystery as to why Chaotic-Evil P.E. Teacher could possibly want to put her on the cheerleading squad (especially when the predictable answer is a retread plot device that has been used in a billion other television shows for faux-drama heartstring pulling)...

More stereotypes for Glee!
ZOMFG! Why is the Chaotic-Evil P.E. Teacher being so nice? Yep! Exactly why you'd think she is.

And, of course, what would the show be without the big musical number finale? We'll never know, because the writers are just that predictable. But to be EXTRA tacky and manipulative, lets take the Featured-Kid-Of-The-Week cliche (Wheelchair Boy) and build a musical number of love and acceptance... by making everybody sing Proud Mary in... you guessed it... WHEELCHAIRS! Wheee...

Glee kids in wheelchairs!

Uhhh... yeah. Really, really, didn't like Glee. Didn't "get" it at all. Though, to be fair, I am not a part of its target audience of musical-lovers. Except... even without the musical numbers... the stereotypes, cliches, predictability, and gag-inducingly obvious emotional manipulation would kill it for me. Oh well. It's perfectly okay that everybody doesn't like the same things. On the contrary, in this case it's critical for maintaining my sanity.

   
And that will have to do it until next week...

Comments

  1. DutchBitch says:

    Thanks for relieving me of that tiny part of my being that kept asking myself, though I too haaaattee musicals, whether I should see Glee…

    I would now say “NO”

    • Dave2 says:

      I really HAD to watch it, because the show burns up the blogosphere and takes over Twitter every time it’s on. If you’re not into musicals (like me) then I’m afraid there’s just not enough outside of that to keep you interested. At least there wasn’t for me.

  2. Robin says:

    Damn, Dave…Corky? You really went there….

    • Dave2 says:

      When reviewing a television show, you kind of have to make comparisons to shows that came before. In this case, it was essential, because disabled/handicapped/challenged people are badly under-represented on television. I thought Becky was by far the most interesting character on Glee, but it was very clear that her prominence in this episode was not going to be a regular part of the show. It’s too bad, because when you strip away the musical stuff, she’s about the only thing left that I’d want to watch.

  3. Avitable says:

    My iTunes doesn’t do that to me at all. Maybe it’s only the Mac version?

    Amy can’t stand shows where people break into music randomly either – she hates that scene from My Best Friend’s Wedding, for example.

    • Dave2 says:

      It’s why I’m not a huge fan of “Grease” and “Xanadu” as well… whenever somebody breaks out in song, it takes me out of the experience. It IS one step above movies like “Evita,” however, because at least they don’t sing ALL their dialogue, which is even more ridiculous to me.

      Each of the stupid alerts in iTunes will only appear if you have an app that requires it. I’m guessing that if you were to download an RSS reader, you’d at least get the “Adult Material” alert?

  4. Hilly says:

    I love GLEE! You should have at least watched the episode with “Bust Your Windows” so you could have had a giggle about that, bwahahaha!

    I definitely agree though that you are so not its target audience. The last person in the world I ever would imagine liking this show is you because hi, you don’t like musicals.

    Me on the other hand? Love. LOVE!

  5. I have to admit. I don’t watch Glee, either.

    Stand strong, bro. Stand strong.

  6. bo says:

    I love Glee more than any show currently on TV. Yet you’re right in everything you said about it. They don’t *usually* randomly break into song a la ‘Dancing with Myself,’ but it happens and I hate it too.

    But it is such a good show. Last week’s ep wasn’t one of the best, or really even very good. Watching some of the older eps may help, if you’re willing to give the show another chance.

    • Dave2 says:

      Unfortunately, I just can’t. Even if I could get past the singing and dancing (which is tough because it’s such a huge part of the show) there just isn’t enough left that interests me. All the characters seem to be nothing more that cliched cut-outs rotating through a weekly spotlight that has everybody going through the motions until the next musical number drops. :-(

  7. scott says:

    I feel this same way about all television shows. They all do the things you’ve listed, to varying degrees. If there are exceptions I don’t have the patience nor the free time to find them.

    Hello, Dave.

    • Dave2 says:

      But some shows have actual entertainment value to me… mostly in their characters, not the situations they find themselves in. The problem I had with Glee is that they are pretty shameless at not disguising the stereotypes and cliches… they just slap a few musical numbers over everything and call it good. I just can’t find entertainment value in that since I don’t like musicals.

  8. Finn says:

    So glad I’m not the only one who just will not watch Glee and doesn’t care for musicals. Although I admit I love Grease, but that’s probably a nostalgia thing.

    I don’t have these issues with my iTunes either, but I don’t really have a ton of apps so perhaps that’s why. I do hope, as a devoted Apple fan, you have voiced your complaints with them too.

    • Dave2 says:

      I don’t know how to voice anything to Apple. Like most all large software companies, they are pretty closed to their users. It’s not like so many of the apps I have that come from smaller development companies (or even individuals) where you can actually email them with your concerns and get solutions to problems. The “Report Bug” feature in Apple apps has never gotten me anywhere.

  9. Robin says:

    I love Glee. I didn’t think it would appeal to me, but my friends kept telling me how much they liked it. It’s worth watching for no other reason than the comments made by the cheerleading coach. She is hilarious! Watch the pilot episode–too funny!

    • Dave2 says:

      She is funny… but I don’t know how long her “gruff exterior with a heart of gold” cliche would work on me. I don’t think I’ll be watching any more Glee… it’s just not my cup of tea. :-(

  10. You can call me, 'Sir' says:

    I stopped using iTunes when I returned to using Linux pretty much full time, but one lingering hate I have for Apple via iTunes is ass pain involved in converting their m4p bullshit over to mp3. There’s zero reason outside of assholery why they’d insist upon using a format that can’t be used anywhere else without significant hoop jumping.

    • Dave2 says:

      MP4? I thought Apple was on AAC? Though I think that AAC is park of the MP4 spec, so I’m not sure how all that works.

      I am no audiophile, but MP3 has always come up lacking for me. I’m big into 80’s synth-pop stuff, and MP3 doesn’t seem to be able to create the “bounce” I hear on CD’s. It’s as if things get clipped to a hiss on the high end and drop out entirely on the low end. Going VBR (variable bit rate) helps a lot but, overall, I think AAC gives me better sound for the type of music I like at similar file sizes when compared to MP3.

      Now that Apple is selling their AAC in the “iTunes+” format, which includes 256-bit encoding, I’m even more thrilled with the quality (I’ve always encoded my CDs at 256 anyway). The only reason I’d ever change would be if somebody came up with a better media player than the iPod, and I haven’t seen anything yet that would convince me to switch.

  11. Mary Sue says:

    Starting with the latest episode of Glee is like starting with the latest episode of Lost, you’re not going to get the whole arcs.

    Of course, my complete and utter love for the random song break will just have to make up for your hatin’.

    • Dave2 says:

      But I honestly don’t feel like I’ve missed anything. All the plot points were summed up at the beginning of the episode and are telegraphed so obviously that I don’t think ant further exposition would change my mind.

  12. Ren says:

    While I have gotten those iTunes alerts before, it isn’t a regular occurrence, particularly not on regular updates. I wonder if we do updates differently? I click on “Applications” in the tree-ish view on the left and then click the little “Check for Updates” arrow at the bottom right. It pops up either a “No Updates Available” or “Some Updates are Available” dialog with a “View Updates” button. Clicking the button shows the icons of the apps with updates and an “Update All” button. Usually, clicking the button is all that I have to do (though I have to enter my password at some point in that process). Occasionally, it doesn’t seem to start downloading the updates and I end up clicking that last button again.

    I don’t see the age-restricted alert often, and I’m confident I don’t see it every time an app with an embedded browser updates. I think age restrictions were only added to iTunes in the last major update (9?), so I did get the message a few times then. And, since then, it wouldn’t surprise me if I saw it whenever a particular app had it’s first post-iTunes 9 update.

    I think I only see the “already purchased” dialog if I try to download the app directly instead of through the process I described above. Or possibly if I installed or updated it from the iPhone already.

    For the most part, I don’t really have many complaints about iTunes, even the new version. One thing I’d like would be for podcast updates (specifically, auto-delete functionality) to happen as part of the sync. As it is, if I want old podcasts cleaned off of my iPhone, I have to sync so that they will be marked as “not new” in iTunes, then select “Update” for that subscription so that they will be auto-deleted, then sync again so that they will be removed from my iPhone. Thankfully, this second sync is usually pretty quick.

    I’m with you on Glee, even though I actually like many musicals. Moulin Rouge and Across the Universe, for example.

    • Dave2 says:

      All three of those alerts were given to me on my last “Check for Updates” run. I don’t know that there’s any other way of initiating them. I do have a lot of apps (not all of which are actually transferred to my iPhone), which is all the more reason Apple should make things as painless as possible for me to manage them… otherwise, it’s just discouraging me from buying more apps!

  13. Lisa says:

    I tried, but I can’t watch Glee either. I actually like musicals, the old fashioned kind anyway like the Music Man and Mary Poppins. I stopped watching a while back because there wasn’t a single character I could like enough to spend time watching. For me the music is really the only redeeming thing about the show.

    The iTunes app glitch that pisses me off the most is the multiple account thing. Hubs and I have different accounts but sync on the same computer. We have several apps we have both purchased, but if he purchased it last iTunes makes me sign in with HIS account on my phone just to get the update. Ridiculous!

    • Dave2 says:

      The multiple account madness really is maddening. I once took Apple up on an offer to pay via PayPal, but had to sign up for a new account to get it. The misery that followed was not even remotely worth the money I saved. :-(

  14. Craig says:

    Every time I read a bad review of Glee, I die a little on the inside.

  15. whitenoise says:

    You’re wound a little tight today, dude. ;-)

  16. I’m with you on the iTunes ISSUES, but, dude! Glee is the best! It makes me so happppyyyyyyyy!

  17. John says:

    Rest assured, if Microsoft had anything similar to iTunes, it would follow the Micro-Apple suckage formula:

    Microsoft Suckage Factor=Apple suckage Factor^3

    So, I’d say iTunes has about a suckage factor of 10. That means that a Microsoft product of similar function would have a suckage factor of 1000! So be glad for your luck in this matter. But, I belive if Linux or Mozilla (Mozilla I find unlikely) made a product of similar function, it would be the pinacle of media syncronization.

    • Dave2 says:

      Perhaps Amazon’s MP3 store will come up with a Linux alternative… though the market share is so small that it would be a pretty hefty investment for (probably) low return. Though it would be nice if Amazon were to partner with a world-class Linux media organizer to add “storefront” functionality. Hmmm…

  18. Sybil Law says:

    Hahahahahahahaha!
    I hate to laugh at your obvious annoyances, but MAN you made me laugh! That was the BEST review of Glee I have ever seen!!! (Don’t watch it, either – AND I also hate musicals where people sing randomly.)
    Thank you SO much for the laugh!
    Also, all programs on the internet annoy me. Pop – up boxes telling me obviousness makes me want to stab someone.

  19. Troy says:

    Firda and I watch Glee. I really enjoy Sue Sylvester (the evil P.E. teacher). Some of the stuff she says makes me laugh and sometimes go “huh?”.

    Though I do have to say that the one episode you watched was one of the weaker ones.

    Oh and the Downs Syndrome girl isn’t in every episode. Just a plot character for this episode.

    • Dave2 says:

      Yeah… but that’s what people always tend to say when I say I watched an episode of a show they love… “that was a bad episode.” The problem is that I’ll tune in again next week, and find that it still doesn’t “do it” for me. Happened with late-series “Lost”, “Heroes”, “Dollhouse”, and many others. In this case, I think my overwhelming loathing of musicals would taint my viewing of even the best episode of “Glee.” :-(

  20. Mik says:

    I have not watched any episodes of Glee, just doesn’t appeal to me whatsoever. I do like musicals and usually take the wife to the 5th avenue theater to see them.

    • Dave2 says:

      It’s not really the “music” in “musicals” that bothers me… it’s the context. People suddenly breaking out in song when there’s no earthly reason for them to do so just rubs me the wrong way. The hey-everybody-we’re-going-to-the-lunchroom-let’s-all-sing-and-dance-for-no-reason syndrome makes no sense, and so I can’t find it entertaining. My loss, I’m sure.

  21. Sorata says:

    WHHHHHHHAT!!!!! Dave doesn’t like musical AND Glee?! I mean… if my God doesn’t like Glee, should I still watch it? Will I be zapped by Dave lightning? Will I not be able to enter Dave heaven? Will I be forbidden to eat pudding from now on? Oh Father, please forgive me.

    • Dave2 says:

      If you have me as your god, then you have bigger problems than my dislike of musicals!

      That being said…

      I say unto thee, to each thou own. Follow thine own bliss and worry not about the television tastes of thine father.

      All better? :-)

  22. martymankins says:

    I’ve rarely gotten any errors in iTunes, so I can dispute Avitable’s claims that it’s not a Mac issue with iTunes.

    I like Glee, but need to get caught up past episode 4. The way that some of these songs are presented is pretty creative.

    But it doesn’t beat How I Met Your Mother or Big Bang Theory.

  23. Jane Lynch almost makes up for the cliches and random outbreaks of song. I love, love, love her … but I can’t sit through an entire episode, either.

  24. David says:

    I love musicals, but I don’t like GLEE for all the same reasons (aside from the singing) you don’t like it. It’s just such a predictable touchy-feely songs-solve-everything crapfest. I like the musicals where they don’t have happy endings (Sweeney Todd, Next to Normal, etc.).

  25. Brandon says:

    If you can’t get past the singing and dancing, you aren’t going to like it. I have a hard time with it myself but I do enjoy the show overall. You definitely picked the worst episode to start with. There were a couple episodes earlier in the season that were really well crafted, snarky, pieces of biting satire and comedy. I’m interested to see where it’s going because I think there are some surprises in store late in the season that are the reasons for all the cliches and stereotypes.

  26. Jacki says:

    I’m glad I was a few days behind on reading your blog as that episode of Glee only aired last night here in Aus. I love it! The only show I look forward to more is Torchwood! My views on tv shows is that the more ‘unreal’ a show is, the more engaging I find it. If it is realistic, I might as well walk out my front door and ‘people watch’.

  27. mike says:

    This probabaly won’t curb your glee dislike but I just found out that Arte was copying a cover version of dancing with myself by Nouvelle Vague, not the Idol original. That version isn’t so bad…

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