Lately I find myself purchasing more DVDs of television shows than actual movies. I'm not sure why, unless it's because I am so desperate to watch good television that I'm having to go back in time to do it. Let's face it, when the most hyped program airing tonight is Who's Your Daddy (a reprehensible show that asks a woman to pick a father she's never known out of a group of potential daddies for big money) what other choice does a television junkie have? Here's what I've been watching lately...
Roswell: The Complete First Season. What is so shocking about this show is not how well written and acted it is, but that it ever managed to survive on television for three full seasons. Something this well done is usually lucky to last three episodes. Roswell is about a trio of young aliens trying to figure out who they really are and where they come from, all while trying to stay hidden from local law enforcement and FBI alien hunters in Roswell, New Mexico (home of the alleged UFO crash of 1947). Sure it sounds tacky, but the electric chemistry between the two leads (brooding alien Max played by Jason Behr, and his cute human love interest Liz played by Shiri Appleby) makes for compelling television. Season One was so good that I was compelled to immediately order up Season Two so I can keep watching. Highly recommended...
Tour of Duty: The Complete Second Season. I loathe most all war movies and war programs of any kind, because I think glamorizing something as tragic as war is pretty lame entertainment. But Tour of Duty was different and went as far as possible to depict the horrors of war within the guidelines of what television would allow. Despite the subject matter, the characters seemed more real... more human... than most any TV drama I've seen, which is why I think I enjoyed it so much. The first season started with new recruits being shipped off to Vietnam, unprepared for what they would find there. The second season continues the story of those characters who managed to survive, but suffers a bit with the addition of love interests for the primary leads of Goldman and Anderson. While the second season is inferior to the first (the move from Hawaii to L.A. for filming didn't help), it still comes highly recommended.
The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth Season. When I travel, there is always a few Simpsons DVDs in my bag because they are a guaranteed dose of funny when the perils of travel wear me down. Some consider Season Five to be the height of Simpson-y goodness that eventuated a gradual slide in quality with the following seasons, but I couldn't disagree more... I find The Simpsons just as entertaining and relevant today in Season Sixteen than it's ever been. That being said, Season Five is pretty amazing, and my only complaint is that they are not releasing the DVDs fast enough. Highly recommended.
Law & Order, Criminal Intent: The Third Year. Probably my favorite of the Law & Order franchise thanks to the brilliant chemistry between Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe, the tales from the files of "New York's worst criminal offenders" are wonderfully brought to life thanks to clever writing and even more clever acting... this is the role D'Onofrio was born the play. While the content is top-notch, I am a little pissed that they've skipped over "The Second Year" and more than a little pissed that they've changed the look of the packaging from "The First Year." I hate, hate it when they change the packaging between seasons. Still, if police drama is your thing, you can't do much better than this... highly recommended.
Next on my list is Tru Calling: a good show that ended up being a great show by the end of the season, which is a real pity since it's been cancelled.
Anybody who knows me even a little bit is aware of my unrequited love for good television. Unlike the movies, TV shows allow you to form an ongoing relationship with characters in a way that cinema can't match. Most television is pretty bad, but a few shows elevate the medium to dizzying entertainment heights. That being understood, how amazing was Alias last night? The series kind of lost its way last year, but creator J.J. Abrams had promised to restore the show to past glory this season, so excitement was mounting. Could he manage such a feat?
Apparently he could, and did so 20 minutes into the first episode.
How is it possible for somebody to be so astoundingly talented? In just twenty minutes Abrams brilliantly turned the dynamic of the show around 180 degrees, returning us to all the things that made Alias so much bloody fun to watch. Every character has been taken back to their roots, including series lead Jennifer Garner's "Sydney Bristow"...
And if that wasn't enough, Mia Maestro has joined the cast as Jen's super-spy sister, so now we've got two hotties kicking ass on the show. Still not enough? Angela Basset has joined up as well.
Un-freakin-believable. Espionage never looked so good.
Today I was planning on going into work, but an impatient truck driver decided to run through a train crossing and get creamed by a freight train, thus closing the street I use to get to the office. Sure I could have taken an alternative route, but I instead decided to take it as a sign that the work gods didn't want me on the job this morning, and stay home today. I'm not a big believer in signs, but sometimes I choose to selectively interpret things in such a way as to benefit me and call it a sign. I'm a bit psychotic that way.
Anyway, I did manage to get some work done at home, but then turned my attention to my extensive videotape collection, or at least the third of it I managed to drag out of my closet...
I have hundreds of 8mm tapes filled with television shows I collected throughout the 90's. Some good, some bad, but all preserved in sub-standard quality from a crappy cable connection I was cursed with at the time. Such is my love for television.
But here's the deal: Many of these shows are out on DVD now. In fact, a good half are on DVD and I've got them. Dozens of the remainder are due out on DVD this year, and I'll be getting them as well. Dozens still I have no idea why I taped in the first place (The Single Guy?!?). This means that I've got several shelves stacked with useless tapes I'm never going to use. I guess it's time to throw most of them away, then record what few shows remain on DVD until they're finally released for sale...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Good sci-fi is hard to find on television. In fact, since Farscape was cancelled, it's darn-near impossible. Even Farscape (which I enjoyed immensely) paled when held to the gold standard of sci-fi TV: Star Trek (that would be the original series, not any of the crappy imitators that followed). It's for this reason that I was pleasantly surprised when I gave the new Battlestar Galactica a chance and it paid off. This is especially bizarre when you consider how cheesy and badly-acted the original version was.
Airing on the Sci-Fi Channel, Galactica runs opposite the latest Star Trek franchise: Enterprise. I had TiVo record them both in order to directly compare the two, and it's not pretty. Where Enterprise is slow, plodding, and pointless... Galactica is edgy, quick, and darkly satisfying. Where Enterprise has characters that are shallow, tired, and predictable... Galactica has characters that are multifaceted, fresh, and conflicted. Where Enterprise has beautiful special effects that are pretty to look at, but boring and historically sparse (remember Odo the non-shape-changing shape-changer?)... Galactica has cutting-edge special effects that are raw, exciting, and everywhere (the new Cylons are no longer laughable men-in-suits, but CGI badasses). Enterprise is the prequel to a documented future... Galactica is forging ahead into a completely unknown future.
How sad. The once brilliant Star Trek has fallen to new levels of lameness with Enterprise. The once embarrassing Battlestar Galactica has risen to jaw-dropping dramatic heights. Oh well, at least there is finally some decent sci-fi on television again.
This afternoon I noticed the pause button on my TiVo remote is the exact same color as Tillamook Sharp Cheddar. There's something profound with this connection between television and cheese, but it's escaping me just this moment. Probably has something to do with the abundance of incredibly stupid reality programs crowding up the channel spectrum (though it's really unfair to cheese to make such a comparison).
Let's face it... as good as Betty White is, she just can't single-handedly combat such an overwhelming load of crap TV with only a few appearances on Complete Savages and Boston Legal (though last night's 60 second appearance there was fantastic).
I am to the point right now where I quite honestly don't know what to make of American society. We've become a nation of hypocrisy that defies all logic to understand, but so long as it's labeled "conservatism" everybody seems to be onboard with it. I don't know whether to laugh or cry, but it's become so annoying that what I really want to do is beat the crap out of somebody.
(Then submit a video of said beating to America's Funniest Home Videos so I can win $10,000).
Today's rant brought to you by your friends at the FCC, this country's first and last defense of common decency!
The Federal Communications Commission was founded in 1934 to regulate communications via radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. Unfortunately, the same prude bitches that formed the committee in 1934 are apparently still in charge. So let's see... assuming the average age of its membership back in the beginning was 35, that would make them 106-years-old today.
And there you have it! That explains everything! The most popular show on television is CSI: Crime Scene Investigation which regularly features graphic depictions of gore and violence. The most popular new show on television is Desperate Housewives which regularly features graphic depictions of sex, sexual innuendo, and sex. Yet the FCC has no problem at all with such programming. What they do have a problem with is a nipple on a breast flashed on the screen for 5 seconds (FINED!). They don't have a problem with Oprah discussing oral anal sex, but they do have a problem with Howard Stern discussing the same subject (FINED!). It's random bullshit that even a genius couldn't figure out (I should know... I am a genius, and I sure can't).
To me, this is compelling evidence that the FCC is indeed staffed by 106-year-old geriatric, senile, ass-clowns just as I suspected! They don't know what they hell they're doing because they've lost all cognitive ability. Their brains simply don't work anymore. The lights are on, but nobody is home. And because of this, television networks live in fear.
Case in point: Showing a cartoon with a naked ass in 1965: ACCEPTABLE. Showing a cartoon with a naked ass in 2003: ACCEPTABLE. Showing a cartoon with a naked ass in 2005: WHO THE f#@% KNOWS! And that's why FOX television decided to blur out the cartoon ass on a cartoon character in a cartoon show (the brilliant Family Guy) in a recent cartoon airing. A CARTOON! They have no idea if such a thing will get them fined, so they're having to play it safe so that an organization who controls what we are allowed to watch won't punish them.
And that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. f#@% the FCC for being outrageously inconsistent and generally STUPID. f#@% FOX Television for being such pu$$ies. f#@% EVERYBODY ELSE for allowing stupid shit like this to happen in the first place. What's next? The internet is communication and under FCC jurisdiction... so will the dumbasses decide that web content needs to be regulated? Well, better safe than sorry! From now on, all nude cartoon representations of myself will be appropriately censored...
And, as another public service for conservative America, here's a clue: IF WHAT'S ON TELEVISION OFFENDS YOUR HYPOCRITICAL ASS, THEN GET RID OF YOUR f#@%ING TELEVISION! OBVIOUSLY YOU'RE NOT SMART ENOUGH TO TURN SOMETHING OFF WHEN IT BOTHERS YOU, SO DO US ALL A FAVOR AND JUST DON'T WATCH IT!! That way, we can abolish the FCC, and let advertising dollars and television ratings dictate what stupid crap is aired on TV... exactly as the founding fathers of this country intended.
I love television, but my work and travel schedule makes it very difficult to keep up with the programs I like. Fortunately, I have a magical TiVo box that sits on top of my TV and handles the recording of my shows whether I am home or not... it has all the great features of a VCR, but without all the programming hassles and videotape. I tell it that I want it to record "Veronica Mars" and it will faithfully do so, even if the show changes times, changes days, or even changes networks. It will also skip shows that it knows to be reruns if I ask it to. It's a wonderful device in many ways, and has made my being a TV junkie so much easier to manage.
Yes, I love my TiVo... but I can't wait to get rid of it.
And here's why: with the many advantages TiVo has over a VCR, it has some serious drawbacks. With a VCR, I can use the tape with any other VCR or even loan it to a friend so they can watch it. Well, TiVo finally has the ability to offload video to a computer with their TiVoToGo service, but it sucks ass:
Yes, you read that right, TiVo is offering a service in 2005 that has more limitations than a VHS tape from nearly thirty f#@%amp;ing years ago!
So, since I can't use TiVoToGo (after having waited five years for it), that means in order to get a television show on my laptop, here is what I have to do: 1) Record it on TiVo. 2) Record it from TiVo to my DVD recorder. 3) Burn from the recorder to a DVD. 4) Copy the resulting files from the DVD to my computer. 5) Watch the shitty quality, second-generation video. What a bullshit waste of time that is. Granted, much of this is not TiVo's fault... they are bowing down to the television networks in fear that people will start giving away programming that they should be paying for, but that doesn't make it suck any less.
Of course, that is not really how I get video on my laptop. Here's what I do: 1) Start up my BitTorrent client and download a show in pristine HDTV resolution (when available). 2) Watch the beautiful result whenever I want.
And there you have it. I am still glad to have TiVo for managing the loads of TV shows I like to watch... but, unless I am sitting in front of the television, it's practically useless for watching the content at my convenience. Since this is apparently the best they can do (and new alternatives for transporting video are appearing all the time) I say with no amount of sadness that TiVo's days are numbered. If I wanted to mess with this kind of antiquated, backwards thinking... I'd still be using VHS videotape.
UPDATE: A comment directed to this entry over at Thomas Hawk had said: "Does Dave travel with his VCR? I have never in my life been next to someone on a plane with a VCR and TV on his lap. Ive actually never seen anyone leave their house carrying a VCR." To which I respond:
No. I don't travel with my VCR (I don't even own one anymore), but that is exactly my point: I can't travel with TiVoToGo either (as I am a Mac user with a dual-tuner DirecTV TiVo). So, on top of being no better than a videotape in functionality for me, it also has several ADDITIONAL disadvantages over 30-year-old VHS.
And there's the problem... I am in no way opposed to purchasing yet another new dual-tuner, DirecTV, TiVo Series 2 player (assuming they ever release one), but given that there's no software for the Mac yet, and that they could start tagging all my favorite shows as "non-transferrable" at any point in the future, what's the use? Let's say I buy a TiVoToGo capable player and Mac software is released, but then ABC, NBC, and CBS refuse to grant TiVo transfer rights for any of their programs... what happens then? 80% of the shows I'd want to transfer would no longer be available, and I'd have spent the money for nothing.
This is progress? All it's done is forced people to come up with new ways of circumnavigating a system of roadblocks to getting the convenience we should be able to have in the first place.
Who knew that my disappointment in TiVo's new TiVoToGo service would get such attention? I keep seeing my comments popping up in other sites, and can only guess it's because I had the audacity to say that TiVoToGo is a flawed technology that's no better than VHS VCRs in many ways. Either that, or it's because I drew a cartoon.
Anyway, the latest is over at Big Damn Heroes (which is a pretty cool site now that I've been reading through it!) where they take issue with my reasons TiVoToGo sucks ass. I though it only fair that I post my reply here in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Ooh! Gizmodo, a site I've worshipped for quite a while now, has picked up my TiVoToGo-bashing cartoon from yesterday (thanks to Thomas Hawk adding it to his TiVoToGo review). That's kind of funny, but a little sad too. I actually really like TiVo (as I have said many times here), and being associated only negatively with the company is kind of strange. I don't envy TiVo's dilemma in trying to please television networks with their plans for transferring content off the TiVo box, but I maintain that if Sony, JVC, and other VCR-making companies had buckled under the same pressure thirty years ago, we'd never have had the VCR... so it's kind of their own fault that TiVoToGo is a disappointment because they caved (which is a pity, because their customers are the people purchasing their DVRs... not the networks!).
I still don't understand why, if they felt they just had to initiate DRM, they couldn't have done so in a manner that didn't make it impossible for many people to use the resulting video file! Why not just print the customer's account number across the top of the screen every once in a while (or encode it into the interlacing frames). This would allow them to track down people illegally distributing video, but also allow me to play the file wherever I want. But oh no, instead let's go for some goofy transfer shenanigans? Making your customers jump through hoops like that is just not a smart thing to do, because they will abandon you for a solution that's easier and better suits their needs. I know I will.
Hmmm... now that I've thought about it, it's also disturbing that people might think I am a bat-wielding maniac out to kill the little TiVo-man. Regular readers of Blogography realize that my baseball bat is a running joke here, but I'm not sure that's understood by total strangers.
It's disheartening to know that last week's comparison I made between the new Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek: Enterprise was not a fluke. Galactica is so much better, that I find myself secretly hoping they'll finally just put Enterprise out if its misery and cancel the thing.
Enterprise... was action-free this week. It is not inaccurate to say that absolutely nothing happened in the episode. Just a lot of lame shots of Hoshi (fully clothed) and Trip in a decontamination chamber slowly dying while non-physical aliens blab on and on and on inside the possessed bodies of two regular characters so boring that I can't even remember their names. If there was a secondary plot anywhere, I sure as heck couldn't find it.
Galactica... on the other hand, had a fleet-wide water crisis, Tigh's continuing descent into alcoholism, political manouevering, escalating tension between Adama and his son, a prison riot, a daring rescue attempt, a Mike-Tyson ear-biting moment, a death, devious and deranged Baltar getting his hands on a nuclear weapon, a swift end to the blooming Boomer/Tyrol romance, the president revealing her cancer to her military advisor, a guest shot by original series star Richard Hatch, and probably a dozen other events I'm too dazed to remember just now. The show is packed so full of stuff going on that you almost need to watch each episode twice.
The fact that Galactica would spend seven minutes on a throw-away plot that Enterprise deems worthy of an entire boring hour speaks volumes as to the philosophy between the two shows. I can't help but wonder what BSG mastermind Ron Moore would do given the chance to overhaul ST:E.
Wait a second... somebody just told me that TiVo DVRs run on Linux? Yet TiVo isn't releasing a version of their TiVo Desktop software for Linux users? (at least that's what I get from reading their FAQ).
Yikes. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. That's a nice "f#@% you" to the people who made your product possible!
Anyway, speak of the devil, I finally watched President Bush's inauguration speech off my TiVo and, I must say, I'm a bit disappointed. I want specific details, not vague rhetoric! Here's just some of the things I was expecting him to announce (and, if you don't understand what "sarcasm" is, you may want to skip it)...
Beer Endowment Fund:
I maintain that it is the right of every American citizen to drink free beer. You would think that the presidential administration would agree, and support widespread drunken behavior. Mostly because drunk people wouldn't mind so much that the economy is in the toilet, Osama bin Laden is still at large, the weapons of mass destruction apparently don't exist, the rest of the world really doesn't like us much and, even after "mission accomplished," our soldiers and countless others are still dying in a very expensive war that's way out of control.
Reality Television Limitation Act:
The horrifying stupidity of 99% of the reality shows plaguing the television landscape is appalling ("Who's Your Daddy?" "The Littlest Groom?" "TRADING SPOUSES?!?"). Normally I don't believe in government intervention in the public sector like this, but something has to be done before what little intelligence left in the average American TV viewer is sucked away. Limiting each network to a single reality show per season would be a good start.
Preemptive Strike Against Canada:
The obvious next logical step in the president's bid for global domination war against terror is to "liberate" Canada. This would have a number of immediate benefits... 1) We're really concerned about protecting our northern borders but, if Canada were annexed into the U.S., our northern border would be somewhere in the Arctic Circle and who wants to go to that kind of trouble? 2) Those whiners who threatened to move to Canada if Dubbuya won the election would have to explore other options. 3) French-Canadians who suddenly find themselves American citizens could practice an entirely new level of self-loathing, because apparently all the French hate us. 4) "The Great State of Manitoba" has a nice ring to it. 5) There'd be no more border crossing delays when heading up to visit strip clubs in Vancouver.
Spammer Death Penalty:
Oh come on. You know you want it.
Quizno Sandwich Subsidy: I love me the Quizno subs! But when it costs $8.31 for a small drink, a regular Veggie Sandwich, and a bag of chips... well, it's not like I can afford to eat there very often. For that kind of money, I could buy EIGHT servings of Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes at Taco Bell! Government subsidizing of Quiznos purchases is not entirely out of line considering they've been propping up the beef industry for decades (which is how a Big Mac costs $3 instead of $30).
National Dave Appreciation Day: My brilliance should be celebrated world-wide but I'd settle for a national holiday as a start. Laugh all you want, but you'd get a day off work, so it's a win-win situation.
Now that's odd. Suddenly I have this overwhelming desire to kick a spammer's ass, then celebrate by watching a stripper on reality-free TV in Canada while eating a Quizno's sub, drinking a beer, and appreciating myself.
I don't think I could count the number of laughs afforded me by Johnny Carson, there's just too many of them. Staying up late to watch The Tonight Show was a rare luxury in my childhood, and it was the very first program I taped when I got my first VCR with "timer recording." I missed him when he retired in 1992, and I miss him again now that he's gone. Thanks for all the funny Johnny.
Johnny Carson: 1925-2005
UPDATE: Mark Evanier (of "News From ME," one of my favorite sites) has a really nice tribute up.
And just before taking off for Seattle, I receive notice from Amazon that my order has shipped. "Order of what" I find myself wondering... I didn't remember having shopped for anything recently. But then happiness ensues. It's Wonderfalls: The Complete Viewer Collection I had pre-ordered months ago. So now I really have something to live for, and an added incentive for surviving this trip: NINE hours of guaranteed cool television I've never seen before (because the show was foolishly cancelled after airing only four of the thirteen episodes produced).
I highly, highly recommend this brilliant series. Even if you don't want to go out and buy it so that you can watch every amazing episode again and again, it is well worth a rental. It is similar in tone to Dead Like Me, so it should be particularly appealing to any fan of that show.
And I'm off...
Perhaps it's the splitting migraines that have been plaguing me all week, but I am in a terrible mood. Nothing seems to be making me happy. In the hopes that I can alleviate my frustrations, I'm venting things that suck today. Lucky you.
Alias: What in the heck was last night's Alias supposed to be? I don't know. But I will tell you what it actually was: STUPID! I was so happy that the show seemed to be back on track, but now we've got hallucinations, vampires, and rampant idiocy going on at mind-numbing levels. If this is what we have to look forward to for the rest of the season, I wish somebody would let me know so that I can stop watching right now. This has got to be the worst episode of Alias yet, scraping the bottom of the barrel with the rest of the crap that's on television.
Podcasting: Whatever. I suppose when something comes out in a podcast that I actually want to listen to... then I'll start getting excited about it. But, after trying dozens of different "shows," I am less than impressed. When Stern starts a podcast, somebody let me know. I wish Robin Williams would do a weekly podcast, that would rule: comedy podcasts for when you need a dose of funny.
American Dad: We waited all this time so that Seth MacFarlane could create American Dad, a grossly inferior copy of his brilliant Family Guy show? What a complete and total waste of time. Stewie has been replaced by a fish and Brian has been replaced by an alien, but it's basically the same show... only not funny. Thank heavens that the original Family Guy is coming back in May.
Service Pack: I don't use my Windows PC unless forced, which means that it's never much kept up to date with the latest round of bug patches and useless security fixes. This morning I fired it up to find out I had Windows XP Service Pack 2 awaiting (and probably many others, but it's hard to tell). I noticed that Internet Explorer is finally getting a pop-up blocker, so I figure that alone is worth the hassle of downloading SP2. Anyway, my Windows PC is now officially dead. Since I'd rather shoot myself in the head than go through another WinXP install, I've decided to just leave it that way. Microsoft bastards. And here I was actually considering the purchase of a Tablet PC... what was I thinking? Look, it's a version of Windows that sucks just as bad as regular Windows, but you can use a pen instead of a mouse!
iPhoto: And to show I'm not 100% biased here, I offer the following: Given that I am a certified Apple whore, do you know how hard it is for me to find something to criticize about Apple software? Well iPhoto 5 makes it easy, because it's a steaming pile of crap. It's worse than crap. In fact, you usually have to search through Windows 98 shareware collections to find something with this magnitude of suckage. Slow to the point of being absolutely unusable, I have to wonder if anybody at Apple even bothered to test this ass-sucking turd of a program on anything other than a Dual-G5 machine. Apparently they didn't bother to test it at all, considering that many people lost their photos in the upgrade from version 4. Did Apple get bought out by Microsoft while I wasn't looking?
Wonderfalls: I finally finished watching all thirteen glorious episodes of Wonderfalls on DVD and have to wonder... how could this remarkable show be canceled so FOX could have room for shit like Trading Spouses in their schedule? As if that wasn't enough, the inferior "girl talks to God" show Joan of Arcadia is still running. While I used to actually like Joan, she has turned into a whiny bitch that's so boring in the latest round of shows that I've stopped watching it entirely.
Boca Burger: When I became a vegetarian, I was ever-so-grateful when "Boca Burgers" came along, because I could then enjoy the most deliciously fantastic hamburgers... all mad-cow free! But in the past year, they've re-formulated the recipe, and now they taste like ass. Wet ass. I don't know what in the heck they are thinking, but now their burger patties are slimy, soggy, and horrible in every way. Where I once was eating them by the box-fulls, now I can't even stand to look at them. I guess when the company was bought out by the cancer cartel of Philip Morris tobacco (under their "Kraft Foods" umbrella) they decided they didn't want people to actually buy the product anymore, and made it taste and "feel" like shit to get these results. Well congratulations, as if supporting big tobacco wasn't enough of a reason to stop buying them, now you've given me a reason I can't ignore.
Seattle: WHY DOESN'T SEATTLE HAVE A HARD ROCK CAFE YET?!? I mean, come on... Latvia is getting a cafe for heaven's sake! LATVIA! And, while we're at it, whatever happened to the cafes that were supposed to open up in Oslo and Frankfurt? Lastly, it also sucks that the "Hard Rock Beach Club" experiment has closed in Choctaw. UPDATE: It has just been brought to my attention that the cafe in Queenstown, New Zealand has also closed... which is horrible, because I hadn't made it to that one yet!
Station: It seems as though you can't just sit down and watch television anymore. Oh no, first there was station identification "badges" in the corner, now we've got pop-up ads, news tickers, and loads of other obnoxious crap to distract you while trying to watch your favorite show. I weep for the future. How much longer until our television screens are cluttered with so much shit that you can't even watch the actual show?
Trackback: If things keep going as badly as they are now, I will soon be joining the multitudes that are disabling trackbacks on their blogs (like Antipixel and Wirefarm). I loathe waking up in the morning to find 70 emails notifying my of trackback spams... all of which must be deleted and blacklisted. When is it going to be legal to hunt down and slaughter these low-life, bottom-feeding, bug-f#@%ers like the ass-biting dicks they are? They've taken a wonderful feature of the blogosphere and destroyed it utterly.
Lahti: I finally gave in to peer pressure and started having TiVo record Jack & Bobby, which is the story of a young boy "Bobby" who is destined to one day be president, and his growing up with brother "Jack" under the femi-nazi domination of their bitch-from-hell mother "Grace." It's a fascinating concept with good writing and interesting twists... all destroyed by Christina Lahti's completely unlikable portrayal of "Grace." She has -zero- redeeming qualities, and I find it mind-boggling that such a heinous character was ever green-lighted for television. Just like CSI: Miami which I cannot force myself to watch because of David Caruso's arrogantly laughable William Peterson impersination, I'm afraid that Jack & Bobby ain't making my list of must-see shows so long as Lahti is so horribly featured on it.
Hate: I can't help but wonder if these so-called devout Christians who email me the most hateful emails I've ever received understand what the word "hypocrisy" means. I must be on some kind of watch-list since the clown thing, because every single time I speak my mind on such things as gay marriage and other "controversial" topics, I am bound to get at least one raving email (can't you people leave comments?). In my previous post where I recommend a book by Bill Bryson where he discusses the "science of everything" (including evolution) I received an email telling me I was a "shill for Godlessness" and then was consigned to hell... again! I usually don't dignify such things with a response, but I am feeling especially frisky today, so here it is: f#@% you. And I'll also offer a helpful hint: if reading my blog makes you so upset, STOP READING IT YOU DUMBASS! I have never, ever, been anything but supportive and accepting to people's belief structure, and don't think it's out of line to ask the same courtesy from others. Go read somebody else's blog that won't bring about such hatred because, let's face it, there's enough of that in the world just now and I don't want to hear it.
Usually when I like a television show I start counting the minutes until it's cancelled. I'm pessimistic that way. So when they cancel Cupid or Sports Night or Oh Grow Up! or Wonderfalls or any of the dozens of other shows that make for good television, I accept it the best I can and move on. There are surprises, of course (Alias and Lost come immediately to mind), but most of the time the ever convenient "low ratings" excuse makes it all too easy for short-sighted, dumbass television execs to shaft loyal viewers.
The thing that gets me is that the world of television has changed. Syndication can bring old series to life in new markets and provide a financial windfall. Releasing shows on DVD is easy money. Internet distribution is just around the corner. Who knows what new financial outlets will present themselves in the future? It's not just about the ratings anymore. And because of that, "viewer campaigns" to save shows which have customarily have -zero- effect on the minds of the networks, may actually start to be carrying some weight.
Cult favorites like Wonderfalls and Miracles that were ratings failures are getting DVD releases because of consumer demand. Shows like The Family Guy are being resurrected because of runaway DVD sales. Suddenly there's hope for the impossible.
And that's why a group of television addicts over at Television Without Pity are trying to create a preemptive strike in saving a show that hasn't even been cancelled yet. Like me, they are pessimistic about the chances of Veronica Mars getting picked up for a second season (heck, it's a miracle it hasn't been cancelled already)...
And here's the deal (thanks to wyk95 for the tip)...
Inspired by Veronica's clever ploy of writing "Veronica Mars is smarter than me" on the bills in Clash of the Tritons, a few fans thought it would be fun to design a Veronica Mars themed two dollar bill to ask for a second season. Just click here to download the custom $2 bill, print it out, then write "Veronica Mars is smarter than me" on the bills and send them to UPN (you might also include your gender, general age range, and location to show UPN that the show has a very diverse fan base). You can read more about this campaign at the TWoP boards And here's the addresses for the top UPN executives and the UPN affiliates.
Since I'm a big fan of Veronica Mars, I'll be sending mine, hoping we can contribute even a little bit to save a brilliant show from premature cancellation. Or maybe not. But it certainly can't hurt.
Yet another excellent cameo appearance on Boston Legal last night by the incomparable Betty White! Of course, it doesn't hurt that David E. Kelley is writing the most delicious dialogue for her character, Catherine Piper... a cantankerous old bitch who became Alan Shore's secretary when he couldn't keep from sexually harassing the babes that held the position previously.
I'm just amazed that Betty continues to be this brilliant, even at 83 years old...
Catherine Piper: Alan! Wonderful news! The Kerwin deposition has been cancelled, you don't have to go. Your morning is now free. Which works out, because it seems these two police officers are here to arrest you.
Police Officer: You Alan Shore?
Catherine Piper: My aren't you clever! I bet you make detective one day! Was my calling him 'Alan' a clue?
And all delivered with perfect comedic timing that's classic Betty White! I can only hope that she continues making weekly appearances on the show. It helps compensate for the amateurish and jerky "push-in" camera moves that the directors for Boston Legal seem to think create compelling television (though nothing is quite so bad as the shaky hand-held camera work on the show Medium, which I'm guessing they think is artistic and edgy, but in reality just gives me a headache to watch).
I quite honestly do not know how to react to the rampant stupidity going on with businesses world today. Business execs close their eyes to problems, don't serve their customers and then, when trouble starts eating away at profits, turn around and blame their customers for their woes! It's as if I were to stop writing in my blog, then turn around and blame my readers for not visiting my web site and instead reading somebody else's blog. Well, duh!
Reuters has a revealing article about television downloading entitled: '24' Makes Britain a Hotbed for Illicit TV Downloads. It basically goes on to report that TV fans in the UK are tired of waiting months for their favorite television programs to be aired in their corner of the world, so they are instead turning to the internet to get what they want. Well, duh! And it works both ways... Battlestar Galactica aired in Britain months before it did here, and I didn't want to wait for it either. BitTorrent here I come.
Since television network executives are so blatantly clueless, allow me to spell out reality for your incompetent asses...
I am the first to admit that this is not a simple scenario, and don't claim to have all the answers for the problems you will face as you transition to the internet age. But here are some things to consider...
The thing that really gets me ranting is that television networks actually expect people to feel sorry for them! How am I supposed to feel sorry for somebody who is too stupid to keep in touch with customers and their market trends so they can stay in business? Networks are bloated with so much hypocrisy that NOBODY is going to shed a tear when they fade into irrelevance (we've been dying for that to happen with music labels for decades!). Liberation of video media is at hand and you can either accept it, service your customers, and give people what they want... or close up shop and let somebody else do it. Yes, I know it's hard, but nothing in business is ever easy. Just like life.
QUENTIN TARANTINO HAS JUST BEEN CONFIRMED TO BE DIRECTING CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION'S SEASON FINALE EPISODE!! And, as if that weren't enough, he came up with the story idea as well! I have been longing for Quentin to return to Alias, but I think this is actually more exciting. Quentin rules the earth for filmmaking, and is apparently a big CSI fan, so there couldn't possibly be better news for an already excellent show. You can read all about it at the Hollywood Reporter. I wonder which character is going to be in "grave danger?"
And, while we're on the subject of CSI... has anybody seen the cover to the latest TV Guide? It has Warrick, Nick, and Catherine on the cover, with Catherine looking like a hooker! Then you open to the interior, and there she is looking even more like a hooker! I guess that's one way to improve your "horny males" demographic!
I am not a big fan of Doctor Who and have never really understood the cult-like following that the tacky British sci-fi show has. But my best friend was a Who fanatic, and a little bit of his fondness for the time-traveling alien kind of rubbed off on me over the years. While I could never seem to muster the appreciation for the series that others had, I did come to enjoy it quite a lot as a nifty television diversion.
So when the BBC finally decided to revive the character after over 15 years, there were a lot of people wondering just what kind of show would be produced. Historically, Doctor Who has always featured brilliant writing married to cheesy, cheap-ass special effects. But now-a-days where special effects are relatively cheap to produce, but good television writing is exceedingly rare, the fear is that the things that made the show so beloved would be abandoned to try and reel in a new generation of sci-fi fans.
In the end, I can't say one way or another which route was taken based on this one episode, but it seems as though they tried their very best to hit somewhere in the middle. The writing is clever yet a bit kitschy (for nostalgia's sake), whereas the special effects are both old-school bad (plastic mannequin zombies?) and new-school enhanced (CGI touches and pyrotechnics are liberally used). It's definitely a Doctor Who show, but kind of stands on its own as well.
My verdict? I kind of liked it. The chills that ran up my spine from hearing the Doctor Who theme music kind of set me in the mood for being open-minded, and the rest was a fairly decent hour of sci-fi television...
The new Doctor (played by Christopher Eccleston) is sufficiently charming, yet nerdy and superior. His new companion "Rose" (played by Billie Piper) is cute, yet not so hot that she doesn't seem like an "average, everyday person." Together they make a fairly good team and, given the show we're talking about, are perfectly acceptable in their roles. In all honesty, I think I like Eccleston's version of the Doctor better than the previous versions (save Tom Baker, of course).
But most people here in the States will never see the show because it was not picked up by The Sci-Fi Channel. And why did they decide to take a pass? Well, I think it comes down to two things... 1) The show has an incredibly "low-budget" look and feel that will compare badly indeed to Sci-Fi's other offerings like Battlestar Galactica, and Stargate (heck, it even looks bad compared to an episode of Red Dwarf!), and 2) It is very much British in both style and execution, which probably won't play well here. You could also argue that the show just isn't geared to a new viewer and would only appeal to Doctor Who fans, but I don't think that's true. In the end I can't really fault Sci-Fi for their decision, though I think it's a pity something couldn't have been worked out for some kind of late-night marathon or something. Oh well, perhaps BBC America will have a go.
About the only addressable criticism I have was that The Doctor didn't seem prominent enough in the show... we seemed to get more of Rose and her boyfriend than we ever did of Doctor Who himself. Perhaps this was an introductory ploy that will be rectified in future episodes, and so I'll have to see a few more shows before I can cement my opinion. Anyway, if you have a BitTorrent client, a fast internet connection, and are a fan of kitschy British sci-fi, then you might want to give this new version of an old classic a try.
This has not been the best of weeks for me, but it has been a good week in entertainment news...
Oldboy. A movie I have been waiting to see for years now... a Korean film called "Oldboy" finally has a US distributor! When I was last in Korea I looked for it, but it had left theaters there (having been released in 2003). It's a mystery/revenge thriller that won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and has critics falling all over themselves with praise (in fact, it's #93 on the IMDB 250 meme I did yesterday, and is assured of going higher on the list once more people have seen it). You can read about the movie and see a trailer over at FilmForce. The only down-side is that I will probably end up having to go to Seattle or L.A. to see it, unless it starts making Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon box office.
Veronica. E! Online's annual "Save One Show" television poll is over, and Veronica Mars devastated the competition with 56% of the vote! All while beating out popular favorites like The West Wing (less that 1%) and Arrested Development (9%)...
Hartman. After being announced, then unannounced, scheduled, then unscheduled, Phil Hartman's final show News Radio is finally coming to DVD! One of my all-time favorite comedians, Hartman headed up an absolutely brilliant cast that included Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall), Stephen Root (Office Space), Andy Dick (Less Than Perfect), Maura Tierny (E.R.), Vicki Lewis (Celebrity Makeover), and Khandi Alexander (CSI: Miami). I stopped watching after Phil died, but every show until then was GOLD and will be a welcome addition to my DVD collection.
Renewal. NBC has already announced renewals for The West Wing, Crossing Jordan, Las Vegas, ER, and Joey. I stopped watching ER ages ago, never got into Crossing Jordan, and thought Joey sucked ass. That leaves me happy for Las Vegas a guilty pleasure which has four of the hottest ladies on television, and The West Wing which took a nose-dive after creator/writer Aaron Sorkin left, but has been rebounding with great new characters (the new National Security Advisor, "Kate Harper," is the best addition since "Ainsley Hays"). It will be interesting to see what happens when the show gets a new president.
Bullshit. Proving that it can't be all good news all the time, The Sci-Fi Channel has debuted what has to be one of the most embarrassingly bad concepts for a movie in recent memory... MANSQUITO! He's half-man, half-mosquito, and all killer...
They cancelled the brilliant Farscape so they could have money to finance this crap? WTF?!?
Alrighty then... just thirty days until my second blogiversary, and things are looking pretty good for the celebration. I haven't totaled everything up, but it's looking like there's going to be over a thousand dollars worth of goodies given away. Yes, you read that right, ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS!! No joke. No kidding. Just five days of big fun and fabulous prizes spanning from April 18th to the 22nd. It'll be worth a look so be sure to tune in.
Hmmm... I'd feel pretty good about that, but the weather here has taken a bizarre turn. Saturday morning it was biting cold and actually snowing, but then that turned to rain all day long. Now it's a drizzle again and we're supposed to get scattered showers throughout the day. How am I supposed to ride a motorcycle in this crap?
Oh well. There's something to be said for staying home and watching Angel: The Complete Fifth Season on DVD. I mean, come on! Angel gets turned into a PUPPET in this one!
And just look at what happens to Fred!
Argh, what an amazing show. Just think of what they might have come up with had they been given a well-deserved sixth season. Bastard WB Television executives!
Sniff. I don't really celebrate my birthday anymore, but I'm sitting here burning a candle that smells like birthday cake, so I guess that's something. I haven't kept up with the "candle renaissance" that's going on right now, but it's freaky the dozens of flavors they've got for candles now-a-days. Birthday Cake was strange enough, but Pineapple & Pomegranate? Mojito? Lemongrass?!? The flavors I want are Pizza, Beer & Pretzels, and New Macintosh.
Crushed. Well, the Huskeys couldn't really pull it together, leaving Louisville (at the top of their game) to blow by with a 14-point win. It's kind of a sad day for Washington State, but the Dawgs had a great season, so there's really no reason to whine about it.
Order. One of my all-time favorite music groups, New Order, is releasing a new album Monday! It's called Waiting for the Siren's Call and they have a limited-time free preview where you can listen to every song in its entirety. Very sweet. Since Apple has most of New Order's stuff on the iTunes Music Store, I am hopeful it shows up on "New Music Tuesdays" on the 29th.
Pie! My favorite pie is my grandmother's apple pie, which is unearthly good. Next on the list would have to be Key Lime pie, which I am rarely able to get around here (heck, authentic Key Lime pie made with real Key Limes is hard to find even in Key West!). I've tried making it once before, but it ended up being a difficult, sloppy mess that tasted like ass. Now I have a no-cook solution that tastes pretty darn spiffy and is rediculously easy to make. I'm going to record it here in case I ever lose the recipe card...
Release. March 24th seems to be a popular day to release a new product. MacOS X was released on this day in 2001. Four years later, Sony has chosen this date for the American release of PlayStation Portable. Unlike the Nintendo GameBoy DS which looks like a clunky toy, the PSP is serious. A big, beautiful screen that not-only plays kick-ass games, but audio and video as well. Since Steve Jobs continues to be astoundingly short-sighted about releasing a video iPod, perhaps this is the answer for me? I wonder how much trouble it is to re-encode downloaded TV shows for PSP playback? I want one.
Tru. Fox has dumped the boringly awful Point Pleasant and is replacing it with the second season of Tru Calling, starring the delicious Eliza Dushku! I really enjoyed this show, especially when they introduced the "anti-Tru" (played by Jason Priestly) late in the season. Unfortunately, the second season was short-ordered, but it's better than nothing... and at least now we're finally going to get to see it.
Mars. I've been going insane while Veronica Mars has been on TV hiatus, but the up-side is that I've been slowly working my way through all the previous episodes. I am now seriously starting to wonder if Duncan is responsible for both raping Veronica (his then ex-girlfriend and now potential half-sister!) and killing Lilly (his sister and Veronica's best friend). It's an odd theory, all things considered, but I wonder...
Bleh. It felt very much like a Monday today.
Schiavo. Honestly, I am not going to get into this here. I don't know Terri or anybody else involved, don't know what arrangements she made for her life, and don't have an opinion about whether something is right or wrong for somebody I've never met. What I do have an opinion about is that not everything should be a political issue. What I will say is that I do not want that kind of "life" for myself, and it should be MY f#@%ING CHOICE. So here it is, in public record: If my mind... if who I am... is gone, then don't save me. If there's little chance of recovery, let me go. Don't keep me on a respirator. Yank the feeding tube. Seriously, I've lived a full life and done more than most people ever will, so I'm perfectly okay with it. Don't worry about "making a mistake" or fret about "killing me" because it's all good. It's not that I want to die, I just don't want to live that way. I don't want to be a tool for some ass-wipe politician. I don't want to be a poster child for right-to-lifers. I don't want to be a burden on those I care about. I don't want to be remembered as a vegetable. I just don't want it. And if you care about me at all, then you shouldn't want it for me either.
Laid. Ohhhhh... so that's the problem! My check is in the mail...
Dental. Had my dental check-up this morning. That in itself is nothing special (no cavities!), but getting there sure was. Coming into Wenatchee this morning, some old dumbass in a beat-up Cadillac decided to turn into the wrong lane coming out of Wal-Mart. Usually I find the blissfully ignorant to be funny. But not when they are heading straight for me in a car. After I ran off the road to avoid him, he went on his merry way and heaven only knows what happened. I'm guessing he mowed down a fruit stand and killed a half-dozen people, or perhaps added a drive-thru to a local pharmacy where there wasn't one before.
Star. Mr. Jerz has finally hit the big time as a television star! I look forward to his future works, and am anxiously awaiting his entry on the Internet Movie Database. Ladies and gentlemen, I present Ryan Jerz, ACTOR...
(UPDATE: MrJerz.org is down, and I can't leave a comment... I can only guess that Hollywood casting agents are furiously attempting to book Jerz for a gig! I gotta give the guy props here, he absolutely managed to pull it off. I've seen first-hand what happens when people are tossed in front of a television camera and told to "act" - even in fun - and it rarely goes as well as this. So congratulations Mr. Jerz! Well played! Though I just gotta ask... did you really beat the crap out of the guy who played the thief at the end? Now that's what I call "method acting!").
Parts. Okay. If fingers are ending up in the Wendy's chili. What parts should I expect to be finding in my Wendy's Chocolate Frosty?
Dead. The reason I paid for ShowTime television: so I could watch Dead Like Me. The reason I stopped paying for ShowTime television: because they cancelled Dead Like Me. There's just nothing else on that lame HBO wannabe network worth watching. The second season of this amazing show was even better than the first, and it's coming to DVD on July 19th. It will be bittersweet to watch all those priceless episodes again knowing that there's no more to come after that last one. Crap.
Veronica. Hmmm... since I am about to gush like a 12-year-old schoolgirl, I'd better head on over to MSN Spaces to see how actual 12-year-old shoolgirls gush in their blogs... okay, here we go... omfg! new veronica marz 2nite! hehe. i am like sooooooo psyched! veronica is sooooooo cute and the show is sooooooo awesome!!!! u would luv it. hehe. VERONICA MARS RULEZ DAWGZ!!!!!! woo hoo!!!! hehe. c ya!
I was awakened early this morning by a searing pain running down my spine. I took a pill, and somehow managed to fall asleep again. When I got up to go to work, my lower-back was still tender, but the pain was in check. But after 5-1/2 hours of sitting at my desk, the pain had returned and was almost unbearable... I had no choice but to go home and take another pill.
So here I lay in bed trying very hard not to move. I have no idea what I did to get myself in this mess, but here I am.
Fortunately, I've got the first season of The Pretender on DVD to keep me company. Boy was this great television! I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it because the show became a big ol' mess in the 3rd and 4th seasons. But Miss Parker... a very bad girl indeed... kept me watching.
I want ice cream.
The best thing to come out of the U.K. since blood pudding, Red Dwarf is one of those shows I can always count on to make me laugh. The problem is that it's only shown on PBS here in the States, but rarely. On the plus side, BBC America has been releasing it on DVD, but slowly... at the rate of just two series (seasons) per year. The happy ending to all of this is that finally, after waiting three years, Red Dwarf: The Complete Series Five has finally been released. It's easily my favorite of all eight seasons, and has the rare distinction of being the only series that gets a full five-stars for every episode.
It's perfect television...
My favorite of the lot is "Quarantine" which brought forth one of the most brilliant characters ever conceived on television. Mr Flibble, the killer penguin puppet...
"Mr. Flibble is very cross."
Here is just a sampling of the comedic genius we get in this episode, where Rimmer has trapped the rest of the crew in quarantine and been infected with a holovirus that's driven him quite mad...
Lister: Well we've passed the test, Rimmer. You can let us out.
Rimmer: I can't let you out.
Lister: Why not?
Rimmer: Because the King of the Potato People won't let me. I begged him. I got down on my knees and wept. He wants to keep you here. Keep you here for ten years.
The Cat: Could we see him?
Rimmer: See who?
The Cat: The King.
Rimmer: Do you have a magic carpet?
Lister: Yeah, a little three-seater.
Rimmer: So, let me get this straight. You want to fly on a magic carpet to see the King of the Potato People and plead with him for your freedom, and you're telling me you are completely sane?!?
And "Quarantine" is just one of six amazing episodes you get!
So do yourself a favor and run out to buy a copy of Red Dwarf: The Complete Series Five on DVD today! Do it now, before Mr. Flibble gets very cross indeed!
Or, I suppose you could always check back the week of the 18th and see if you can win a brand-new copy... It's just one of the many fabulous prizes being offered up in Blogography's Two-Year Blogiversary Kick-Ass Online Celebration!
Like millions of other people, I am addicted to the television series that is Lost. It's a fantastic show that delivers lots of surprises and has a mystery tying everything together that's just too good for television (it's nice to know that the reason Alias is sucking so bad lately is because creator J.J. Abrams is putting his efforts somewhere).
Tonight is the last episode until May sweeps, which sucks ass, but we do have the benefit of knowing that a major player is killed off. This is probably a good thing, because the only conflict currently running in the show is seen in flashbacks, not the present-day stories. Lost cannot afford to become complacent. Anyway, the only thing we know is that it's going to be a male character who bites it, which means it's one of ten people. For your reading pleasure (but mostly my own amusement) I'm going to run through all of them and try to decide who dies.
For the sake of foreign readers who may not be caught up to the latest episode (or anybody who doesn't want the show ruined with my speculations), I've dumped everything in an extended entry.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Well, well, well... I just finished watching Lost and must say that it was gut-wrenchingly good. And this is despite the fact that the writers took the easy way out... the pussies (and I take absolutely no satisfaction that my guess as to who dies was correct). And now we wait for May sweeps to find out what's going to happen next.
A pity that Alias is still sucking. What the heck is going on there? I know it's been renewed for another season but, at this point, does anybody even care? The show that was constantly reinventing itself to stay fresh has become sadly stagnate. Why can't they go back to the Rambaldi prophecies and the secret organizations and stuff? Sure it's fun to watch Syndney beat the crap out of bad guys, but is that all we're going to get from now on? It's pretty sad when the best thing about tonight's episode was the commercial with Miss Piggy dressed up as Sydney advertising Muppet Wizard of Oz.
Or maybe I'm just pissed off that GameStop didn't get my Lego Star Wars Xbox Game in like they promised. The bastards.
And now for something completely different...
Your name is Robert Rodriguez. You've just completed filming Sin City, one of the more violent, adult movies ever committed to film. What do you do for your next project? Hmmm? What do you do?
Well, apparently, you start working on a flick called SHARK BOY AND LAVA GIRL!! I think I speak for everybody when I say WTF?
Oh well. I suppose he has to have something to occupy his time until he and Frank Miller start in on the Sin City sequel.
The Lego Star Wars for Xbox game may be built for kids, but I was wrong about it being easy. Sure it started out that way, but not anymore. I got stuck on The Phantom Menace section with the pod racing and had to move on to Attack of the Clones section. Then it took forever to figure out how to defeat Jango Fett. So now frustration is starting to set in a bit, because kids who find this game easy are a lot smarter than I am when it comes to video games. I am determined to beat it, however, which means it's a good thing I only get 4-5 hours of sleep each night!
Given my Lego Star Wars addiction and the workload I've had recently, there really isn't much else in my life right now. TiVo is overflowing with TV shows I need to watch, and NetNewswire is so packed with unread blogs that it's probably going to take over an hour to work my way through it. And then I almost forgot to put up my FridayQ entry yesterday, which would have been embarrassing.
Oh well. Another week to beat the game, and then I can get on with my life again.
But I digress. The real reason I am writing this entry is to help spread the good news that Veronica Mars has been renewed for a second season (thanks to wyk for the email letting me know... you made my day!)...
Color me shocked. Television this good is usually canceled.
Okay, I have GOT to stop watching Veronica Mars. With each new episode I turn more and more into a thirteen year-old schoolgirl, and it's really starting to piss me off. But I am getting ahead of myself...
Last night I was all wrapped up in a super-secret project for Blogiversary 2, and forgot that there was actually good television on. It wasn't until after work today that I was thinking "hey, I forgot to watch Scrubs and Veronica Mars last night!" So I ran two stop lights, hit an old lady (with cat), and bowled over a couple of children playing in the street (they deserved it, what were they doing in the street anyway?)... all so I could get home and watch TV.
And so there I am watching Veronica Mars and there's only 15 minutes left, when all of a sudden it happens. Veronica and Logan kiss right there on my television!!
Here's the bullet points...
omg! OMFG!!! So now I am going to spend the rest of the evening downloading screen caps and making pretty graphics for my blog that say "Veronica and Logan 4-ever." And then I need to start a new web site called "VeronicaLovesLogan.com" where I can write my own Veronica Mars fan fiction!
But now I am starting to remember that I am not a thirteen year-old girl, and have better ways of spending my time. DANG YOU TO HECK VERONICA MARS!! Only four episodes left until all our questions are answered.
Veronica's fingers gently caress the puka shells around Logan's neck. "I want you" she says, her voice throaty. "But Veronica, I've joined the CIA! I leave for Budapest in the morning!" he replies, running the back of his hand across her cheek. "Then I guess we had better make the most of the time we have. Take me! Take me now, Logan!" she screams, the tears coming easily. "Oh Ronnie, I love you so..."
For the longest time, I was a huge TiVo supporter. I absolutely loved the convenience and wonder of it all. It's like having a friend that you know you can always count on to record your favorite shows and manage your television habits. But with each passing day TiVo finds some new way of f#@%ing up that makes me want to smash it with a hammer and leave it for dead.
The first hit was when, after five long years of waiting, they FINALLY released their TiVoToGo format so that you can offload your shows and watch them on a computer. Since I travel a lot, this was huge for me. Unfortunately, TiVo's effort was so badly crippled with DRM that it was a case of "too little too late." But, in the end, at least it was here. All I had to do was wait for the promised Macintosh version, and I'd finally have something portable to work with, no matter how messed up it was.
But not anymore. PVRblog is reporting that development on the Mac version of TiVoToGo isn't in TiVo's future plans because of cost issues.
Ass-biting, lying TiVo bug-f#@%ers.
I wonder what kind of "cost issues" you will have when people start abandoning your busted-ass lame shit for something that is actually worth a crap? Something that is built for the CONSUMERS WHO PAY YOU rather than television networks? Maybe I should drink the Kool-Aid and go with a Microsoft Media Center? And isn't DirecTV coming out with their own DVR sometime soon? Or maybe I should just buy a Mac Mini and convert it into a media center for my recording?
f#@% TiVo. f#@% them up their stupid asses.
Television sure is good right now. I guess this is because crappy reality shows are crowding the schedule so badly that only quality "regular programming" is making it on the air. In any event, I am watching more shows now than I have been in quite a while.
For anybody who is actually interested in my television viewing habits, a list of my "Top 10 Must-See Shows" follows in an extended entry after today's movie quote.
With each passing day, I lose a little more respect for my fellow human beings because people, for the most part, are stupid. Astoundingly, unfathomably stupid. And the worst part is that people are stupid not because of genetics, but because they choose to be. Nobody wants to think anymore. They want all their thinking done for them. This kind of lazy-ass approach to living enrages me to the point where I believe that the extinction of the human race is not such a bad thing.
But whatever, it's the world we live in now. Every last obvious detail has to be spelled out in nauseating detail lest the stupidity of the masses will be left standing around scratching their heads. And that brings us to the new "My Pyramid" campaign unleashed by the USDA upon an unsuspecting public. It's not actually "new-new" but instead a revision of the old "Nutrional Pyramid" developed a while back. Its purpose is to help curb the obesity epidemic that's crippling this Nation by educating people to eat healthier...
And so now I find myself compelled to ask... WHO IS THE DUMBASS WHO DREAMED UP THIS STUPID SHIT?!? And... SOMEBODY WAS ACTUALLY PAID TO CREATE THIS JANKY CRAP?!?
I mean, the original pyramid was no masterpiece, but at least you kind of got the idea about what it was trying to communicate. Even the stupidest person could see that you are supposed to be eating more breads and grains than milk and dairy. But this new pyramid is so f#@%ed up that there's absolutely no way to figure out what it is trying to tell you. When I first saw it, I thought it was some new gay pride symbol or something. I never dreamed that it could possibly be communicating any information. Probably because it doesn't communicate any information. Even a brilliant person like me would find it impossible to figure out what the f#@% it was trying to tell you. And since I am a brilliant person, here are my guesses...
WHAT THE f#@%?!! I could go on for pages about how poorly the new pyramid is designed, but I'll spare you. Suffice to say that it's next to impossible to tell what the different colored slices mean, or even how big they are in relation to each other. Somebody on the design team desperately needs to read some Edward Tufte books, because there is no way anybody is going to figure out that this pyramid is telling you to "put down that donut, eat a banana, and exercise." It's just not going to happen. Holy crap... a simple pie chart would have been easier to decipher than this disaster.
It's yet another case of the stupid leading the stupider, and your tax dollars at work. Oh well, it's not like people bother to look at this stuff anyway. Kind of like those asinine warning labels on a pack of cigarettes. People are just too stupid to pay attention, and the people paid to change that are not much smarter.
But enough of that crap...
OMG!! Did you guys see Logan and Veronica totally making out on last night's episode of Veronica Mars?!?? I was like, SOOOOooooooooo excited!!!! Logan is like so totally hot and Veronica is so cute!! And Veronica is all "what are we doing?" and Logan is all "I don't know!" And I was like totally dying and rewinding the TiVo. And then Veronica Mars broke up with Deputy Leo and I was all "OMG! SHE LIKE TOTALLY LOVES LOGAN NOW!!!" And was like "this is totally the bestest show ever!!!!" And went to bed smiling like a fool because I know Logan and Veronica are so totally perfect together!
And then the next morning I woke up and started looking for my testicles.
I thought for sure I had left them next to the television remote, but they weren't there at all. Tonight I'll tear the couch apart, because they probably just fell behind the cushions or something.
Somehow it became May and I didn't notice. Probably because I am too busy fighting with vending machines and watching television.
Of the two activities, watching television seems to be what I am more successful at. I say this because I am typing this entry one-handed after having damaged my other hand beating up a vending machine that stole my money. Fortunately, I did manage to shake two candy bars and a bag of chips out of the deal (even if none of them were what I was trying to purchase).
Tiger Heat. Ever since upgrading my PowerBook to MacOS X Tiger, it runs much hotter. I have no idea what is going on, but both fans are running constantly and my fingertips are burning up from typing on it. Perhaps it's the processor working harder or something? I've tried setting my "Processor Performance" to "reduced" but I'm not sure it's having any effect. This is a bit troubling, and I hope somebody at Apple is looking into it... assuming it's not just my imagination. I guess if she bursts into flames we'll know for sure.
JAG. One of my favorite TV shows, JAG ended its 10-year run last week. I just don't know what I am going to do with myself not being able to look at the sweet hotness of Catherine Bell each week. Oh well. At least they wrapped up the show nicely nicely. Here's hoping that some brilliant television exec finds her a new television show right away.
Mars DVD. According to the genius behind Veronica Mars, the first season is being rushed to DVD with a September street-date so that people who missed it can get caught up before the second season starts up again. The bad news is that there won't be time for any "extras" like commentaries and production featurettes to be included. As much as I would like to have these things, I'm just happy to be getting a release. The only thing that could possibly be better news would be if Rob Thomas's other excellent show (Jeremy Piven's Cupid, the best television series ever) was also being released.
Surgery TV. Is anybody watching Grey's Anatomy on Sunday nights? The show is excellent. The fact that Sandra Oh is in it is just icing on the cake.
Bandwidth Bust. My bandwidth usage continues to climb. I have no choice but to make a few alterations in how Blogography is arranged, or else I will top my new 80gig limit in 18 days (at the current rate). From now on only 7 days will be displayed on the front page (down from 10, which was my weekly average)... and all feeds will also display 7 days (down from 15). I apologize to those readers who only stop by once a week (since you'll end up having to go through the archives now), but there's just nothing I can do about it. This weekend I plan on chopping up the category pages into years so that the pages will serve up dozens of entries instead of hundreds. I'll also be killing trackback. Hopefully all these changes will keep me under the 80gig limit until next January when I can look for a web host with a bigger allowance (it's either that, or stop posting photos, like the one above, which I really don't want to do).
So now Veronica Mars is over for the season and all I can say is... wow. I did not see that coming. All in all a very satisfying end to one of the best things to watch on television. And now we have a four-month wait to find out who was at the door. For anybody who missed this most excellent show, a DVD set is being planned for release in early September, hopefully before the debut of Veronica Mars season two.
In the meanwhile, we've still got the finale of Grey's Anatomy to look forward to. Along with 24, CSI, Lost, and Scrubs. I still have no idea what has happened to Eyes (yet another great show destroyed by the asshats at ABC who keep preempting it... and have probably canceled it). Not a bad year for television.
Now I want pie.
Wouldn't it be great if you could send a bill to people who waste your time? I mean, if time truly is money, then shouldn't I get paid when forced to interact with some dumbass who steals away minutes I could have spent doing something more important?
I think about this often when dealing with airlines, phone companies, technical support, and other organizations that seem to excel at pissing away my valuable time. Yesterday, as I was trying to make my way home, I had more than my fair share of it. In fact, I think I should have netted out around $1000 in dumbass-billable hours.
But it's not all bad news, while trying to catch up with work today, I've been watching all the TiVo-ed television shows I missed last week. Alias, which has been taking a nose-dive as of late, finally managed to churn out a decent show (with Lena Olin, no less!). Lost was kind of an interesting stop-gap until this week's season finale (which looks incredible). Grey's Anatomy was brilliant as always. The Tarantino-directed CSI did not disappoint and was suitably disturbing (I never thought George Eads had it in him). And even The O.C. was unexpectedly entertaining. Good television is so rare, I feel like I've entered some kind of alternate dimension or something.
In other news, I've decided to host my own talk show...
My first guests will be Elizabeth Hurley, Batman, Paris Hilton, and (time permitting) President George W. Bush. I'm thinking there will also be a segment for "Stupid Jared Tricks" where I make Jared (from the dumbass Subway commercials) jump in a tank with hungry sharks and other cool stuff.
If Tony Danza can do it, how hard can it be?
Okay, I just sat through two hours of Lost expecting that at least one small something would be solved or explained. Of course, nothing was, and now I want my two hours back. I think this was about the most lame, disappointing, piece of shit finale ever aired on television. Note to writers and producers: you can't just string people along forever with no pay-off. So where was my f#@%ing pay-off? If they're not going to explain anything at season's end... the most important episode of the entire year... does that mean they never plan on it at all? Will they just keep going and going until they're cancelled, and then leave everybody hanging? Whoopee! It's a hole! THAT'S what I waited all season for? I mean, who cares?
Amazing how Lost can go from being one of the best shows on television to one of the absolute worst. Of course, why should I be surprised? J.J. Abrams f#@%ed up Alias, so I guess it was only a matter of time before he destroyed Lost as well. He has a real talent for starting out with something mind-boggling cool, then letting it degrade to utter shit.
And speaking of Alias... what started out as a slightly promising fourth season (after a disastrous third season)... quickly slid into something far, far worse. Now we've got big red balls and Night of the Living Dead zombies? WTF? And sorry, but no, the little plot twist at the end does NOT make up for what a crap season this turned out to be. Unless something really spectacular happens in the season-opener of these shows, I'm done with them both.
Thankfully there was Veronica Mars this year with a REAL pay-off for the fans at the finale. Otherwise, I might have just given up on television entirely.
Sweet! Thanks to terrific DVD sales, the highly entertaining Futurama may be revived in the form of direct-to-DVD movies! I loved this show, and felt that it had surpassed the later seasons of The Simpsons in quality. Originally, I had thought that it was too much to hope that the show would come back (like Family Guy did), but now there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Bender has got to be one of the funniest characters created for television. He had me at "bite my shiny metal ass"...
In other television news, I've been main-lining continuous episodes of Scrubs from the Season One DVD set all day while catching up on work. It never ceases to amaze me that a show this smart and funny has not been cancelled yet. Go buy it immediately...
Lastly, I am having to rearrange a few things here this weekend in hopes that I can conserve bandwidth. I am really close to blowing past my new limit (that didn't take long), and hope that dividing up some long, long archives by year will help out. It's just my luck that this would happen right as I am trying to get things together before I head over to Seattle next week for work.
As a part of my plan to slip into a television coma yesterday, I've started watching the first season of Alias again. And oh how far this once mighty show has fallen.
There's only one word to describe what it once was: stunning.
Compare anything from those first magical episodes to the complete shit we've got now in the third and fourth season, and the difference is staggering. It's almost like watching two completely different shows. And all of that makes me wonder... how could an amazing program that once had edge-of your seat espionage and was one of the best things on TV be allowed to degenerate into a weak X-Files parody with vampires, zombies and other such bullshit? They shouldn't even be allowed to call it Alias anymore, because it just isn't. I'm totally embarrassed for everybody involved.
Somebody needs to bitch-slap J.J. Abrams and then kick some sense into him. Alias has pretty much been flushed down the toilet... and his other creation, Lost is well on its way. Does he even care? Or is he too busy rolling around naked in huge wads of cash to give a crap?
Oooh, look... Michael Jackson is like totally innocent!
Well, I sincerely doubt he's totally innocent, but given the wonderful job the prosecution did of piling on bad evidence on top of bad witnesses, it's the verdict he gets. Why oh why didn't they just focus on a child molestation case instead of all the stupid shit that diluted everything into an un-winable mess?
I'd attempt to be shocked, but it's exactly as I predicted...
Do I think that Michael Jackson is guilty of everything he was charged with? No. Do I think he acted completely inappropriately with little boys he invited into his bed "so that he could show his love for them"? Uh, yeah. This is just not normal behavior, and the fact that the child accuser provided graphic details as to the incidents... well, something very wrong was going on there. The fact that Michael gets away with it is really sick.
The real losers are, of course, the kids. Their innocence has been taken, but whether it was by Michael Jackson or the prosecution is open to debate. I still blame the parents. Where in the f#@% were they when this crap was going on?
I think the 18-20 hour work days are finally getting to me. Just one more day left before I am caught up and can go back to a more sane schedule. Thankfully television is in reruns, or else I'd be screwed. It's bad enough I'm two weeks behind on email, I don't think I could handle being behind two weeks on TiVo.
There is something new happening on HBO though. Six Feet Under is actually getting good again (after a disastrous run last year). The fact that they brought back the utterly brilliant Illeana Douglas for a guest shot is just icing on the cake. Would somebody please give her a series?
HBO's other brilliant show, Entourage, remains highly entertaining despite the fact that the main plot for the series has kind of stalled right now. Some of this has to do with the amazing writing talent behind the show's better-than-real dialogue, but MOST of the credit has to go to Jeremy Piven, who completely rules the earth as slimy talent manager Ari Gold. I wish that they would shift the focus of the show to him since his character is anything but boring. If not, would somebody give him a series? Or better yet, bring back the best show ever to air on television, Cupid?
And last on my television hit list... why did ABC stop re-runnning Grey's Anatomy? The more I watch it, the more I like it... even when it's an episode I've seen before. I could have really used an episode last night. The good news is that TV Shows on DVD is reporting that the series will come out on DVD soon. I wonder how soon is "soon"?
Argh. I'm falling asleep while typing this. Here's hoping I can get more than 4 hours sleep before starting all over again.
I've decided to recover from three weeks of doing nothing but work... by doing nothing much at all. I fully plan to stay in bed surfing the internet most of the day. At most I'll be catching up on the tremendous backlog of blog-reading and maybe watch my News Radio DVD set. I have no plans to leave the apartment today... even for a motorcycle ride, which will tell you exactly how lazy I plan on being.
One thing that has already caught my eye (via an entry on Boing Boing) is a Japanese artist named Toru Kanamori who was an illustrator for Star Trek novels back in the day. He is retired now, and unable to take on book assignments as he once did. But, since he still needs to make a living, he is looking for some kind of licensing or publishing deal for his stunning collection of original art...
Amazing. And there are at least 400 more illustrations sitting in a cardboard box in a suburb of Tokyo just begging to be seen. I mean, holy crap! Somebody get Kanamori-san a book deal or a gallery showing A.S.A.P.!
It is rare that I just dump a news story here for linking purposes, but I had to make an exception for this. To read more about the artist and his work, there is a web site up.
I just hope the blood-sucking licensing department over at Paramount will respect the fact that Kanamori-san is responsible for selling a bunch of their books in Japan, and not hassle the guy if somebody is smart enough to want to publish his works.
I finished the last episode from my News Radio DVD set, and then turned to watching Joss Whedon's Firefly. I never saw the show past those few episodes that aired before it was cancelled. But now that the big Serenity movie is coming out, I thought it was time to take a look.
Besides, I got the entire series on sale for a ridiculous $22.
And it's probably the best $22 I've ever spent on DVDs. A real pity that FOX decided to screw Joss (not to mention the fans) and cancel it, because everything about the show is brilliant... from the writing to the special effects. I wish they hadn't moved the film all the way to September.
And then I decided to play around with putting the set together for my tooncast (a Flash animation follows, but you probably have to be in a browser to see it?)...
Look! It's going to be in widescreen! I'm so totally HDTV-ready.
Of course, I need to finish the theme song and record the introduction before I can animate the opening of the show for real, but it was fun to goof around with it for a bit. I am particularly pleased with the multi-planing that goes on between the set and the photo of Seattle in the background. But the amazing thing is that the file is only a measly 120K. No audio or anything, but there's still a lot going on for such a small size. There's a logo now too...
There's probably not much else I can do until my new microphone, pre-amp, mixing board, and compressor arrives next week. I need audio before I can really get to work.
I gave up on MTV ages ago. That's because somewhere along the way they seemed to forget that the "M" in "MTV" stood for "music" and abandoned the idea of actually playing music. Instead you have a lot of dumbass crap that has nothing to do with music at all. A simple and brilliant idea has been destroyed utterly.
But I made an exception yesterday, because I wanted to see the Live 8 concert. So I had TiVo record the entire thing... the plan being that I could sit down this morning and skip to all the bands I wanted to see.
Leave it to the insanely stupid, greedy ass-hats at MTV to totally rape a benefit show.
NOTE TO THE STUPID f#@%S IN CHARGE OF MTV "MUSIC" TELEVISION: Live 8 is a benefit concert to raise awareness of the plight of poverty-sricken countries within the African continent. And, while applaud you taking time to air educational segments to show people the horrors of what is going on there, YOUR VIEWERS TUNE IN TO A "CONCERT" FOR THE MUSIC!!! So when you continuously interrupt performances so no-talent idiots can provide useless commentary and introduce yet another commercial... RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A SONG... that makes you THE STUPIDEST f#@%ING IDIOTS ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET!!
I kept skipping forward past the endless commercials to try to actually find "music" in the broadcast, but it was a rare event. Apparently MTV could give a shit about what's going on in Africa, and saw this as nothing more than a money-making opportunity from continuous advertising revenue. "Oh look! It's Maroon 5!" But then they interrupt for a commercial and so that some dumb bitch can wander through the audience asking people "what have you learned here today?"
Well I've learned that MTV sucks ass on a level of ass-sucking I never thought was obtainable. What a bunch of moronic pricks. I eventually gave up trying to even watch... there was just no point in it.
f#@% MTV. If I lived in New York, I'd be protesting in front of your Times Square studio.
Protesting or fire-bombing... one or the other.
UPDATE: Okay then, I'm not the only one who thinks MTV sucks.
Since I am only home for a day to clear off my desk at work and grab some clean clothes, there's not much time for anything else. I pretty much had two goals outside of that: 1) Set up my "recording studio" and 2) Catch up on my TiVo.
Setting up audio recording on the computer-side of things was as simple as I had thought it would be (hey, it's a Macintosh). But since I am a complete novice at this type of stuff, the hardware was a bit more difficult. First I had to figure out how to get it all connected. Then I had to play with all the various dials and switches to try and figure out what they do (the documentation was surprisingly sparse). And then I had to learn the software and experiment with the hundreds of filters and effects to see what works. In then end, this is what I'm working with...
My initial efforts sound a hundred times better than what I was getting before I bought the proper equipment. The recorded sound is much, much warmer and pleasing to listen to (even if it is me). But all is not perfect. The microphone is very sensitive to even the slightest ambient noise... the whir of the hard drive... the click of the mouse... everything is recorded. Some of this can be filtered out, but not all of it. Adjusting the gain doesn't seem to help. Before I can get serious, I'm going to have to either find a quieter spot or figure out a way to lessen the distracting noises.
Then it's time to start animating the tooncast.
Catching up on TiVo was far easier, because there's very little new stuff on TV. About the only thing to see was INXS: Rock Star and The Family Guy. Both were fairly entertaining (though I thought Wil was more talented than some of the other INXS wannabes, and shouldn't have been voted out so quickly). But it was The Family Guy which blew me away. The show is famous for pop culture homages and quirky parody, but their use of a-ha's Take on Me video was pure genius. Chris goes to get a carton of milk when a strangely familiar hand reaches out to him...
So much left to do before I fly out again...
I am becoming more and more convinced that the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica is not only one of the best science-fiction epics ever created, but perhaps once of the best TV shows ever. It's a bizarre hybrid of smart sci-fi and character-driven drama that lapses into absurd moments of current-day-earth reality at a moment's notice. This is both exciting and frustrating at the same time, but it's hard to argue with the results.
Until the new television season starts, it's the best show you're probably not watching.
In some respects, it's a voyeuristic guilty pleasure because so many of the characters are deeply flawed. Watching them fumble through their trials is fascinating entertainment which is filled with never-ending surprises. I don't think I am alone in feeling just a little bit dirty for having pried into their lives.
Where the show stumbles is in its failure to maintain a consistent "world" in which these characters can exist. Vehicles on other planets are just every-day earth cars, complete with license plates. Characters have nick-names like "hot dog" where hot dogs don't exist. Everyday US English idioms are commonplace, even though these people have never been to earth. Sure it helps the average viewer relate better to the show, but it's poor science fiction that is otherwise so brilliant in execution. On top of all that, soldiers aboard the Galactica are killed off at alarming rate, making you wonder when they're going to run out. How many can there be?
On the other hand, the acting, stories, and special effects are shockingly good... more than making up for any shortcomings. If that weren't enough, Cylons are bad-ass (or, in the case of Number Six and Boomer, bad-ass sexy!).
And now, from the opposite end of the sexy spectrum, comes the Dell XPS laptop. I keep seeing commercials where some idiot in a coffee shop sees another guy using the XPS and keeps trying to touch it because he thinks that it's so cool and sexy. This is baffling because, to me at least, the "XPS" must stand for "eXcruciatingly ugly Piece of Shit"! Just look at it!
You know when you go to the luggage store how there are three kinds of luggage you can buy? First there's the really amazing-looking expensive stuff that you can't afford. Then there's the average-priced nice-looking stuff that you settle for. And finally there's the cheap-ass-looking crap that you'd be embarrassed to be seen with? Well, Dell went for the cheap-ass embarrassing luggage look here, and not even the MacOS-inspired background on the desktop can save it.
The aluminum shed siding alone is hysterical, but the retro-futuristic lettering and clutzy duo-tone color scheme just pushes it way over the top. It looks like something a redneck would put out on the porch along with the refrigerator and a recliner! As if using Windows wasn't painful enough, Dell expects you to lug this pile of crap around with you? Jonathan Ive must be laughing his ass off thinking "THIS is my competition?!?".
But I'm just a Mac snob, so what do I know. Perhaps this is what the kids are considering "cool" now-a-days.
(If that's really true, I weep for the future)
I swear, Rock Star: INXS keeps getting better and better every week. Tonight's episode was amazing from start to finish, with some stunning covers of classic (and not-so-classic) songs that had me wondering why anybody would ever watch that lame American Idol crap ever again. While some performances were definitely weaker than others, each one was worth a listen. Jordis, as usual, was great... with a soulful rendition of Knockin' on Heaven's Door. I also enjoyed MiG's sweet take on Baby I Love Your Ways and Marty channeling Curt Cobain singing Britney with Hit Me Baby One More Time.
It's interesting to extrapolate fan favorites by looking at the number of comments on each performer's most recent blog entry. As of this writing, the totals are as follows:
It would seem that J.D. is currently favored, which is really too bad considering he is such an ass. Then we drop to Jordis, which is not surprising, as she's amazing. After MiG and Marty, everybody else is kind of trailing, with Jessica and Deanna at the bottom of the heap. I still maintain that J.D. or MiG will take the prize. Personally, I think that MiG is their best bet because not only is he a fellow Aussie, but he actually seems like a very talented guy that works well with a band. J.D. is a loner who wants it his way or no way, and INXS would be walking away with a loaded cannon if they were to choose him. Jordis is simply too talented to win.
Regardless, both J.D. and Jordis will absolutely end up with recording contracts, so it's not like they will be suffering if MiG gets the gig. Truthfully, they are probably both better off if they don't win.
I certainly hope that whoever is in charge here is smart enough to release a "best of" CD after the show ends, featuring some of the amazing performances we've heard along the way. There are quite a few songs that I definitely wouldn't mind hearing again.
Other than guessing who will win, one question remains: what band is going to step up for season 2 of Rock Star?
Just finished watching the series finale of Six Feet Under and have to say the ending was amazing. There was so much going on in the last six minutes that I've re-watched them five times now. And with each viewing I see something new that causes me to freeze-frame and try to put the pieces together.
It could very well be one of the most beautiful and brilliant six minutes of television ever aired.
This is a bit sad for me, because I honestly think that the show has been crap for the last three seasons. The constant bouts of bitching, whining, screaming, and yelling by every single character is more than anybody should be subjected to for entertainment. Fortunately creator Alan Ball knew when to say "when" and mercifully killed it before it got any worse.
And killed it in such a cool way that it leaves you wanting more.
The ending was made all the more special by using the hauntingly beautiful song Breathe Me by Sia. I went to go buy it at the iTunes music store, but it was only available if you buy the entire album at $12.99. I went to buy it from Sia's site, but the $1.72 to get it resulted in a Windows Media file that won't play on a Mac. Once again, the RIAA is simply not getting the fact that they force people to steal, then continue to bitch about it. Congratulations, you're all dumbasses. So now I had to get my Windows machine to work, import the song, burn a copy to CD, then import a copy with inferior quality into my Mac to listen to it. Lovely.
SPOILERS! I'm making a list of the things in those last six minutes, and am putting it in an extended entry for those who don't want to have it spoiled. If you caught something that I didn't, please leave a comment so I can add it!→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
I didn't bother to watch the Emmys because the most deserving shows never seem to win.
And there was an new episode of Family Guy on.
But, now that the winners have been announced, I figure I might as well dissect the results...
Now I am even more glad I didn't bother to watch, as I would have been screaming at the television most of the time. I mean, Everybody Loves Raymond... are you f#@%ing serious??
It's time for new TV!
Supernatural. Supposed to be spooky. I figured that out when they posted a notice before the show telling you to turn out the lights. Not bad. Not great. "Alex" from Dark Angel is here, as is "Dean" from Gilmore Girls. I'll try it for a few more episodes, but every time I watch I'll be thinking one thing: "Why couldn't they have kept Miracles on the air?"
Threshold. Oooh! The aliens are going to invade not from space, but from a mathematical equation! Promising sci-fi horror show with a who's-who cast that boggles the mind. Peter Dinklage alone will keep me watching. The initial two-hour pilot was a bit covoluted, but at least it tried to keep moving. I think that when it gets cut back to its regular 1-hour running time it could be something interesting. I worry that viewers won't give it a chance.
Surface. Oooh! The aliens are going to invade not from space, but from out of the ocean! And who cares, because this show is slow. Slow. Slow. Slow. At least with Lost they started out with a bang and THEN got slow... here we're starting off boring from the very start. Lake Bell, who I loved in Boston Legal, is a gum-smacking waste of space that is annoying to the point of horror. I hope the sea monsters eat her very soon. Not that I'll ever be tuning into another episode. I predict this will be one of the first casualties of the season.
How I Met Your Mother. All the laughs seem forced, though I think there is enough promise here that it could become something worth watching if they find their "groove." The premise is certainly nifty enough. Neil Patrick Harris, who totally stole Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle is once again chewing up every scene he's in, and is easily the highlight for me. He provides one of the best lines of the night as well... "Look at you, you beautiful bastard! You suited up! This is totally going in my blog!!"
Kitchen Confidential. I always thought that Bradley Cooper was wasted on Alias, and this new show proves me right... kind of. It's hard to tell, because I don't like the supporting cast at all. Andrea Parker had a surprise appearance, but it looks as though her character is gone, leaving nobody worth watching (including a sleepwalking Frank Langella and vapid Nicholas "Xander" Brendan). The sad part about this is that Bradley Cooper delivers, and the show's concept is brilliant. Having worked in a couple of kitchens, I know there's delicious material to draw from. I will be watching to see if the cast rises to Cooper's level here, but I remain skeptical... yet hopeful.
Las Vegas. ACK! WHAT HAPPENED TO NESSA HOLT ON LAS VEGAS?!? They seem to have replaced the sweet hotness of Marsha Thomason with the skanky scariness of Laura Flynn Boyle. Now why in the heck would they go and do something as stupid as that? What a revolting development. Oh well, at least Sam is still around. As a P.S. here, I think the new design for the Montecito is stupid... both inside and out. The giant waterfall is ludicrous, and when you marry it to some really bad CGI, the casino looks like a joke. The good news is that they finally got fresh "fly-by" material of the city (including the new Wynn hotel), because I was tired of looking at the old crap over and over.
Medium. Cannot believe that Patricia Arquette won an Emmy over Kristen Bell for her work here. She is not at all bad as an actress, and I actually enjoy her character... it just seems so out of league with what's going on at Veronica Mars. Its one saving grace is the fantastic supporting cast and smart, creative writing team.
Next up... the most acclaimed new comedy of the season, My Name is Earl starring fan-favorite Jason Lee. Bitch-Queen of the Universe Martha Stewart gets an Apprentice knock-off. More alien invasion nonsense with the aptly titled Invasion. Chris Rock brings the funny with Everybody Hates Chris. And Jennifer Love Hewitt takes another stab at destroying television with The Ghost Whisperer.
Finally got around to watching My Name is Earl (which is brilliant), Invasion (which shows promise), and the season opener to Lost.
I just don't know what to make of Lost. I mean, had this been the season finale instead of the lame piece of crap show we got months ago... I might be happy. But as a season opener, it's a bit tame. Sure they gave "the hatch" an interesting twist, but when you stop and think about it... there's not much else to it. Somehow I doubt the explanation as to what was down there is going to blow me away, but I remain hopeful.
It will be interesting to see if this season works like last season, where they start off with all the cool stuff and then gradually run out of ideas and drag out the remainder of the season into mindless tedium.
And then there's J.J. Abrams' other show, Alias, which sucked so bad the last couple of seasons that I find myself wondering if I am even going to bother watching this time. I'll probably give it a try to see where they go with the "Vaughn is not Vaughn" story, but what can they do once the pregnancy hits?
Argh. How many days until Veronica Mars' new season starts??
The new television season was in full-swing as I left the country, leaving me a little despondent about not seeing all the cool stuff that was coming up. Fortunately, I have a dual-tuner TiVo to record stuff while I'm gone, so all that's left to do is catch up on all the crap I missed.
Just in case nobody cares about my TV ramblings, I've put everything into an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Alrighty then! So far as I can tell, I've just watched my last episodes of Lost and Alias!
Lost is just ridiculous. They refuse to wrap up mysteries and move on to something new. It's just the same crap over and over and over again. Locke's flashback episode from last year had one of the coolest plot twists and fascinating reveals ever to air on television. What do we get for THIS season's Locke episode? NOTHING! We learn that he had issues with his father and that he dated Katy Sagal. THAT'S IT!! And then there's all the long, drawn-out angst and drama with absolutely no substance. Locke and Jack argue about PUSHING A F#@%ING BUTTON for like, TEN MINUTES!! Who gives a crap about PUSHING A BUTTON?!?
WTF? Seriously, that's the best we're going to get? And how many f#@%ing times are we going to see flashbacks of how everybody got down the hatch? It wasn't exciting THE FIRST TIME!
And then look at next week's previews... everybody's going to be arguing and getting all dramatic over FOOD. This might have been interesting if everybody was shown to be starving for the past five episodes. But oh no... food is never mentioned. Now, next week, COMPLETELY OUT OF THE BLUE food is going to make for a lot of senseless yelling and screaming. Not because it moves the story forward, but because the writers seem to think that yelling and screaming is entertaining television...
Well, whatever... I'm done. Unless Evangeline Lilly starts walking around topless, I just don't care. If they ever bother to answer any ACTUAL F#@%ING QUESTIONS SO WE CAN MOVE ON TO SOMETHING NEW and stop milking the same old crap, somebody let me know.
Alias is almost as bad. I sit back in total amazement wondering what happened to one of my favorite shows. The first two seasons were miraculous. Mind-blowing spy intrigue that simply didn't let up. Watching an episode of Alias was like running a marathon where you were totally exhausted at the end, yet begging for more. Now, everything that made the show so cool is gone. It's just GONE.
Sydney's undercover operations in exotic locations? GONE! The Rimbaldi mystery? GONE! Competition with Anna Espinosa? GONE! A worthy bad guy? GONE! A secret double-life to hide from friends? GONE! And keep in mind here... it's not like they wrapped up all these things and then moved on to something even more interesting. Oh no. They just abandoned them and went on to stories far less entertaining (like last season's "zombie" episodes). Alias is just a run-of-the-mill, wanna-be action drama now. I keep expecting Steven Segall to guest star.
I'm not saying that the show has to stay the exact same all the time (that would make it Lost), I'm just saying that you can't expect people to stick around while the writers rest on their laurels and take the easy way out at every opportunity. I was hoping that the nifty cliffhanger would have Michael Vaughn turn out to be evil or something cool. Instead, they set up a potentially delicious new direction for the show... then dump it without consequence.
Well, whatever... I've had enough. If it ends up being Vaughn in the cryo-chamber or something interesting, somebody let me know.
I blame my impatience and dissatisfaction on Veronica Mars. If Veronica wasn't so frickin' amazing... illustrating how GOOD television can actually be... I might be content with the latest crapfest coming out of Lost and Alias. Instead, JJ Abrams can suck it. Get off your ass and FIX YOUR LAME-ASS SHOWS!!
Returning home from back-to-back travels is never a good thing. Not only has work piled up while you were gone, but your TiVo ends up so packed with television shows to watch that you have to wonder if you will ever manage to work your way free.
Fortunately, there are only two shows I can't live without, and all the rest I am pretty much skimming through, so it's not as bad as it could be. Good thing, because I don't have the time for television right now...
Sigh. When a television genius like Joss Whedon says that Veronica Mars is the best TV show ever you would think that people would want to watch it. The fact that this is a true statement makes you think that people would be dying to watch it. Every episode is so tightly written and so brilliantly acted that the show seems to redeem television all on its own. Sadly, despite all of this (or, knowing American viewing habits, IN spite of this), the show will be lucky to last out its second season.
What is wrong with you people?
Last season was excellent from start to finish, and the last few episodes had jaw-dropping moments so profound that I wanted to have Rob Thomas' baby (he's the guy who created the show). This year, Veronica has shown no signs of slowing down and the episodes have been as amazing as ever. If you think this is just another high school angst crapfest, you couldn't be more wrong. It's a brilliant detective drama/comedy that's the one of the most clever and intelligent series ever to air on network television. It's only been five episodes and already we've had a tragic bus crash, a cameo appearance by Kevin Smith, Charisma Carpenter in a bikini, Steve Guttenberg, and Veronica is being her usual self... destroying powerful people and solving mysteries that Jessica Fletcher wouldn't have the balls to face. If you are missing Veronica Mars, you are missing life. The first season is out on DVD now, so there are no excuses.
Speaking of Kevin Smith, he's got a blog running for the filming of Clerks 2 and a spoiler images he's provided shows that one of the funniest people on the planet, Wanda Sykes, will be making an appearance. This woman is so funny that I actually sat through the movie Monster-in-Law (starring, heaven help us, Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez) because Sykes was in it. I am trying really, really hard not to get overly-psyched for Clerks 2, but I absolutely cannot wait to see what crazy stuff Smith is going to do with the "Jersey Trilogy" this time.
After Veronica Mars, the best show going has to be Grey's Anatomy (Sundays at 10pm, ABC). The medical drama part is better than ER, the comedy part is sheer writing genius, the eye candy is sweet (in the form of Katherine Heigl and Sandra Oh), and it has my favorite character on television (George). This show could have failed so easily because the dialogue doesn't really impress on the page, but the cast somehow makes every line sparkle. Who could guess that a simple exchange like this could be the funniest thing on television all week...
Izzy: "Way to go George!"
George: "I have my finger in a heart."
Izzy: "Very cool!"
It's just so flat when you see it in print, but when performed by Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight it totally kills. I have no idea how they can keep things going so well for more than a couple of seasons, but I sure hope they manage it. Veronica doesn't have the ratings (a scary 2.5) to run much longer, but Grey's is a hit (a stellar 12.2) and can have a nice long run if they keep things interesting enough.
And speaking of stellar, Mr. Sulu has just come out of the closet and announced he's gay. Well, not really Mr. Sulu... he's married and has a daughter just out of Starfleet Academy... but the guy who plays him, George Takei. This got me to wondering why we haven't yet seen a gay character in Star Trek. I mean, in the Star Trek future everybody is supposed to be so advanced and tolerant of alternative lifestyles (you'd have to be with aliens walking around), yet it seems that anything not hetero has been jettisoned into space. It's all kind of bizarre when you stop and think about it. For the next Star Trek series, why not toss in a couple of hot alien lesbians and see if that affects ratings any. Nothing makes a sci-fi geek happier than hot alien lesbians.
And, since there is no better way to end a post than by talking about hot alien lesbians, I guess there's no point blathering on any further.
Tonight there's a new episode of Veronica Mars on, yet all I see is promos for somebody dying on Lost. How sad. I mean, they can kill off all the characters they want on Lost but it isn't going to change the fact that the show is spinning its wheels and nothing new is happening. It's just the same old stories and the same old mysteries and the same old plot twists being recycled for another season. Where is the payoff? How many times can they sneak Hurley's "bad numbers" into a scene and expect people to still care? I sure don't. Not anymore. I stopped watching weeks ago.
And speaking of Veronica Mars, what is going on with the Buffy The Vampire Slayer reunion there? First we get Alyson Hannigan (Willow) appearing as Logan's sister Trina Echolls...
Then Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia) shows up as Dick and Beaver's delicious step-mom (and Logan's new lover!) Kendall Casablancas...
And now Buffy creator Joss Whedon Himself is guest starring. Not as a writer or director, but as an actor...
When a talent like Joss Whedon not only writes a rave review for Veronica Mars on DVD, calls it one of the best shows ever, AND decided to try acting on the show... what more do you need to know? Veronica Mars is the shit! Take a whiff tonight at 9:00pm on UPN! Unlike Lost, STUFF ACTUALLY HAPPENS!!
And in non-Veronica news...
In yesterday's entry I was whining about wanting a Giordano's pizza and my misery over having to settle for a crappy Cheese Pizza Hot Pocket instead. Some of you were nice enough to sympathize with my sad existence, and I thank you for your pity. Then I happened upon a comment that took me by surprise...
Okay. Get this: my wife grew up on Giordano's pizza that when she met me (a guy who thought PIzza Hut Deep Dish was the best pizza ever) she had Giordano's sent us pizza halfway across the country for a special occasion. Did you know they do that? For a price, they ship them half cooked in dry ice — then you finish the job at home in the oven. Works awesome, and you get that amazing Giordano's pizza.
Mmm, can't wait till Christmas to get back to Chi-town and eat myself up some of that goodness.
Posted by Pauly D on November 09, 2005
At first I was surprised at the thought of being able to order a REAL pizza from Girodano's here in the backwaters of Washington State... for a price... but then I followed the link for "Pauly D" and got the real surprise of the evening.
Here is my response to the above comment:
Okay. Get THIS: You are THE Paul Davidson!
I'd seen your comments here and added you to my list of blogs to check out. It never registered to me that you are the "Consumer Joe" guy until I visited your web site last night.
Your book Words for My Enjoyment was passed to me when I started helping out at the local library, and I loved it. I was going through a difficult time just then, and it was nice to find something to laugh about.
And now I find out that you have a blog where you are giving away your writing for free! Sweet!
But something is puzzling to me...
What in the heck are you doing reading my crappy blog? I'd think that to REAL writers like yourself, James Bow, and Cavan Terrill, and dozens of other bloggers far more talented than I) my blog would be absolute torture. I mean, doesn't it drive you crazy pouring over my dangling participles and never-ending ellipsises? Or my making plurals out of words like "ellipsis" that are already plural in their singular form? Or talking about "dangling participles" when I don't even know what they are? Is it some kind of self-inflicted torture? I heard once that good writers are tortured writers... is this what does it for you? Reading crappy blogs I mean? And, because I am really curious, how much alcohol do you have to consume before reading Blogography doesn't make you want to gouge your eyes out?
Oh well. Here you are. I suppose I should thank you for stopping by... but I feel like I should apologize or something instead, so here it goes.
I am so very, very sorry.
And for everybody else out there, stop reading this right now and go read this instead...
It is laugh-your-ass-off funny, and a mere $10.36 at Amazon! If you can't wait for a taste of Paul Davidson, then take a look at his blog: Words for My Enjoyment, which is far more entertaining than anything I write here.
And do NOT forget to watch Buffy Mastermind Joss Whedon make his acting debut on Veronica Mars tonight on UPN!
TBS (Turner Broadcasting System) is airing a 2-hour star-studded event called "Earth to America" which is an attempt to educate people as to the dangers of global warming via a comedy standup show. It's a great idea, and a noble gesture for TBS to take time out of their busy schedule of Friends and Sex and the City reruns to air it.
Except that they're running DUMBASS ADVERTISING at the bottom of the screen during the show. I guess that makes TBS complete and total tools. It's like "Save the Planet... but be sure to watch Everybody Loves Raymond weeknights at 7:00 and 7:30! Lame!
TBS = Total Bull Shit?
Watching television is getting to be a horrible exercise in self-inflicted torture.
Let's face it, most of what's on TV is crap. And once you finally do find something to watch, it's constantly being interrupted by commercials. But even that wasn't enough for dumbass network execs, because they've also started putting advertising ON TOP OF THE SHOW YOU ARE TRYING TO WATCH! It's getting so bad and so distracting that sometimes it is hard to focus on the actual show...
You would think that it couldn't get any worse than that.
But you would be wrong.
Now networks are trying to drive traffic to their web sites by offering "exclusive scenes" of their popular shows which are only available online. For example, at the end of the last CSI Miami episode, there was a huge banner telling you to visit CBS.com to see the "extended ending" for the show. Nevermind that a good chunk of their viewers probably don't even have access to the internet... for some reason CBS is just dying to get people to their site.
So off I go.
And what I find there is something that I guess you could call it an extended ending to CSI Miami, but it's kind of hard to tell when the entire segment seems to be nothing more than Hummer beauty shots that happen to take place in front of some actors...
Seriously, it's in EVERY SHOT! They didn't even attempt to make it subtle... it's a Hummer ad.
Now we know. Apparently it's not enough that networks are whoring out their shows for product placement (accepting money to feature products IN the show)... now they are BUILDING SHOWS AROUND THE ADVERTISING! And what's so totally lame here is that they actually worked that gas-guzzling Hummer into the dialogue!! So now we have the entire cast of CSI Miami driving around in Hummers. As if David Caruso's pathetic "acting" wasn't enough to make me gag, now the show has turned into an advertisement that's interrupted with more advertising with advertising in the advertising.
Next week it will be a new CSI Miami "extended ending" sponsored by Massengil feminine hygiene products...
Det. Horatio Cane: Calleigh, do you ever have those moments where you just aren't feeling fresh?
Calleigh Dusquesne: Excuse me?
Det. Horatio Cane: You know... down there...
Calleigh Dusquesne: OH! Of course I do! There's no need to be embarrassed, everybody does! But freshness isn't a problem since I discovered Massengil's NEW Herbal Douche!
Det. Horatio Cane: Really? Calleigh, you are a life-saver! Ha ha!
Calleigh Dusquesne: Ha ha! No problem! Now go douche yourself and then we'll try to figure out how our murderer managed to feed this dead body into a food processor.
Det. Horatio Cane: Will do! Oh... and Calleigh... that's no ordinary food processor, that's a NEW Cuisinart Model 6000, with titanium blades that are able to make short work of even the toughest foods... and even tough body parts like bones!
Calleigh Dusquesne: Wow! I need one of those for my kitchen! Now hurry up with that NEW Massengil Herbal Douche, Horatio... you're not getting any fresher by just standing there!
I'm sure networks will defend themselves over this kind of blatant forced-advertising by claiming they have no choice... people with TiVo and VCRs are forcing them to work ads INTO the shows, because people aren't watching them OUTSIDE of the show. Well, whatever. All it's doing is making me not want to watch television AT ALL.
Except, of course, for the most excellent VERONICA MARS airing tonight at 9:00 on UPN!
Tonight was a bit of a bummer. I had some errands to run in Wenatchee, and decided to stop by Quizno's for a bite to eat. Despite my love of all things Quizno-Toasty, I don't eat there very often because it's so astoundingly expensive. But it was the least I could do to reward myself for having to brave the cold and crowded streets. Unfortunately, Quizno's has now crossed over the line from "merely expensive" to "total rip-off." Their bread, which used to be of fairly good size, was barely over 2-inches wide on my sandwich tonight! WTF? Was this some kind of freak bread accident, or is Quizno's shrinking the size of their sandwiches on purpose? They sure as heck didn't shrink the price.
As if that wasn't bad enough, it was a fairly mediocre episode of Veronica Mars on this evening. Of course, it's only mediocre when compared to other episodes of Veronica Mars. Compared to all the other crap on television, it's positively brilliant. My one complaint is the lame resolutions for Deputy Leo and Meg, which seems to have been a half-hearted attempt to explain their absences in future episodes.
Fortunately, there was one good thing that happened today... my DVD set for the complete first season of 80's classic Hart to Hart arrived! There's something special about a show that features a massively wealthy couple who are so bored that they travel the world solving mysteries with their dog and their butler. Heaven only knows this is exactly what I would do if I had big money.
Well, that and being able to afford to eat at Quiznos with their new and unimproved skinny bread.
CHAPTER 7: All I Want for Christmas is my Two Left Feet
LEGO ADVENT CALENDAR TOY OF THE DAY: Safe with Precious Gemstones.
A stranger named Lego Buzz has appeared on the scene and cut the dead crooked cop into itty bitty pieces...
"How is this supposed to help?" Lego Dave asked. "Now instead of one easy-to-carry body we've got a bunch of really gross chunks!"
"Bark! Bark!" added the dog helpfully.
"Chill out buddy!" Lego Buzz replied. "I've got an idea. Grab some parts and follow me!"
Gathering bloody meth-addicted chunks of policeman in their arms (and a severed hand in Barky's mouth) the motley crew runs away from the raging crack house inferno just as the fire department arrives.
"Quick, in here!" Lego Buzz says as he enters the back door of a jewelry store. "I was breaking into the safe when I saw you guys axe that bad copper across the street!"
"And what are we supposed to do with these body parts?" Lego Dave asks as he waves a left foot in the air.
"Easy!" Lego Buzz chirps happily. "We'll put the body pieces in this safe then toss it in the river!"
"Are you nuts?" Lego Dave replied cautiously. "All of this won't fit in that tiny safe!"
"WE'LL PUT THE BODY PIECES IN THE SAFE AND TOSS IT IN THE RIVER I SAY!!" Lego Buzz screamed. "AND I'M GOING TO PUT YOU AND THAT DOG IN THE SAFE TOO! BWAH HA HA HAAAAAH!.
Lego Buzz revs up his rotary saw and starts moving slowly towards our hero and his brave canine companion.
"Bark! Bark!" says the dog in alarm, the severed hand dropping from his mouth...
Whoa! How is Lego Dave going to get out of this one?
FIND OUT TOMORROW WHEN DAVE'S "A VERY LEGO HOLIDAY TALE" CONTINUES!
This afternoon I wanted to work at home so I could concentrate on my job without distraction. But, since I live in an apartment complex with a bunch of elderly people who are hearing impaired, "distraction" is a relative term. In order to compensate for slamming doors and radios being blasted at full-volume, I mask the ambient noise by cranking the volume on my television. The trick is to find some show that you are completely uninterested in so that you won't want to pay attention to it.
Since Lost wasn't playing, I settled on Little House on the Prairie.
For those who have never seen it, the show is a bundle of wholesome entertainment that's about as entertaining as head lice. It centers around a 19th century pioneer family who settle in a small frontier town in the American Old West. From what I've seen, the stories are usually folksy little anecdotes that should take ten minutes to tell, but are somehow drug out into an hour... things like one of the daughters telling a lie to their parents and feeling bad about it, but they tell the truth in the end and everybody lives happily ever after. Thrilling, I know.
Usually, I could safely ignore the show, because this kind of ridiculous pap is everything I loathe in television. But something happened today. Something different. The harder I tried to ignore it, the more riveted I became.
Today's episode revolved around the town moron (Luke) falling in love with the town bitch (Nellie), but things got complicated when the town school teacher (Miss Beadle) found out that Luke was buying a $1.05 ring for another girl... oh the humanity! During the aftermath, I was treated to some of the most compelling dialogue ever to be uttered on television...
Miss Beadle: I came out here to say that anyone who leads a young lady on and then just lets it drop is NOT a very nice person! Luke, how could you be so inconsiderate as to hurt poor Nellie Oleson like that?
Luke: Me hurt Nellie? Shucks Miss Beadle, I'd never do nuthin' to hurt Nellie. She's kinda like my girl.
Miss Beadle: Well then, would you mind explaining the ring that you bought for Mary Ingalls?
Luke: Shoot, I didn't buy that ring for Mary. She just helped me pick it out. It's for Nellie's birthday.
Luke's Dad: Yeah! He spent most of the money he was savin' for a rifle on it!
Luke: It was worth it... for Nellie.
Miss Beadle: Oh Luke, I'm sorry! I apologize. I- I can see now it was just an unfortunate misunderstanding.
Luke: That's okay. I'm gonna give her the ring tomorrow night before we go to the corn shuckin'!
But the true brilliance of the episode was not realized until Luke's dad decided to put the moves on Miss Beadle!
Luke's Dad: Eva... I reckon' you know how I feel about you. And feelin' like I do, I was hoping-- AWWWWW! I'm just a dumb, uneducated pig farmer!
Miss Beadle: Adam Simms! Don't you DARE talk like that! Now there's a lot more to education than book readin'!! Now look, you know more about pigs... more about hogs... and more about farming than I'll ever know! And what's more, you have wonderful qualities! You've got special qualities that so-called "educated people" will never have! And you're a good man. And you're a good father. And- and you're kind and considerate. And-
Luke's Dad: Eva will you STOP!
Miss Beadle: Well I will if you want me to, I was just trying to show you that--
Luke's Dad: No, no, if you don't stop... I can't ask you if you'll do me the honor of becoming my wife!
Cue the violins.
So as I am sitting there watching the pig farmer with his buck-oh-five ring planning to propose on the evening of the annual corn-shuckin' festival, I start to think... wouldn't it be wonderful to live back in those simpler times? Wouldn't life be so much better without all the complexities of modern life?
If I suddenly found myself living in the Little House on the Prairie, I'd hang myself from the barn rafters.
Well, right after I slap Mrs. Oleson and push Nellie off a cliff. The bitches.
CHAPTER 20: Holly Jolly Smashmouth.
LEGO ADVENT CALENDAR TOY OF THE DAY: Skate Board and Helmet.
Lego Dave is seeking revenge against the evil Lego Buzz for killing his canine companion, Barky the Dog, and has finally learned his location from the nasty Lego Buzz Junior...
"I TOLD YOU WHERE LEGO BUZZ IS, NOW GIVE ME MY REMOTE CONTROL CAR!" screams Lego Buzz Junior.
"It's yours... but, as I said, I need to borrow something..." replies Lego Dave while brandishing his hand-axe. "... YOUR HAND!! Bwah ha haaah!"
"Waaaaahhh!" screams the brat as Lego Dave chops his hand off.
"Oh don't be such a baby!" says Lego Dave. "I'll bring it back so the hospital can sew it back on."
Grabbing the severed hand (which is still clutching the remote control), Lego Dave is tying up Lego Buzz Junior, when he notices a skateboard leaning up against the wall.
"Oh, I'll be borrowing this skateboard too" declares Lego Dave. "And this helmet... you can't be too safe now-a-days!"
"I hope my dad saws your head off!" says Lego Buzz Junior. "You've chopped off the wrong hand, bitch!"
"He is welcome to try" snaps Lego Dave. "Because I'm ready for him this time."
Hopping on the skateboard, our hero takes off towards Main Street for the final confrontation with the evil Lego Buzz.
Will Lego Dave finally be able to avenge the death of Barky the Dog?
FIND OUT TOMORROW WHEN DAVE'S "A VERY LEGO HOLIDAY TALE" CONTINUES!
All morning I've been glued to the WE Channel, which is the Women's Entertainment Channel. Most of the time, I avoid WE like the plague because, well, it's crap isn't it?
But today is different, because it's an English Royalty Marathon!
In an effort to make Americans feel better about the heinous state of our leadership, WE Channel has decided to drag out the glamorous scandals of Great Britain, with a stellar line-up of badly-produced, faux "documentaries" on the Royals. Every hour, there is another tantalizing glimpse into the life and times of The House of Windsor, each more delicious than the last! The titles alone are exciting enough to keep you watching...
It's all very fascinating, and I've learned so much (Her Majesty The Queen prefers to take her breakfast served from Tupperware containers!). Ultimately, after my hours of research, I've come to the conclusion that I should be King...
BOW BEFORE MY MAJESTY!
And my first act as King would be to behead blog plagiarists!
I've already said my peace on the subject... and am starting to see other bloggers venting their frustrations as well (including blogging giant Om Malik). But it's reaching ridiculous heights now, because people think that there is money to be made from blogging, and are desperate to swipe content so they can start raking in the big bucks (ha ha ha). Over Thanksgiving, I was made aware of somebody who decided to rape some of the cartoons I created here... even going so far as to remove copyrights and "improve" the coloring!
I guess on some level you could claim that these alterations of my stuff are "derivative works" which are allowed by my Creative Commons license... but only if you credit the original source (which he didn't) and do not use them for commercial purposes (which he did, as he was clearly using his blog to sell crap). Adding insult to injury, that second "thanks!" cartoon is only displayed here if you leave a comment... which means that the guy actually left me a comment before swiping my stuff! Hey, he may be a thief but, on the other hand, he's got enormous balls!
I've always wanted to end an entry by saying "enormous balls".
Sigh. Another night without internet.
This is getting monotonous.
But, on the other hand, I do get to catch up with my television viewing. I'm so far behind that I don't even care that there's nothing on for the holidays... I just watch deliciously fresh episodes of shows like Grey's Anatomy and be happy (well, they're fresh to me). Sweet!
The only problem with overdosing on television is that I am starting to notice some freaky trends that would otherwise go unnoticed... such as the phrase I never meant to hurt you. I hear it over and over and over again on a variety of shows and genres, and it's so puzzling to me because it doesn't make any sense at all.
Seriously, I just have to ask... does anybody EVER buy it as an excuse?
Izzie catches her new semi-boyfriend Alex sleeping with another woman and, when they finally get around to talking about it, he runs right into the "I never meant to hurt you" excuse. And I'm sitting there like WTF? Gee Alex, when you slept with the bitch, you KNEW Izzie would be hurt if she found out so, in fact, you DID mean to hurt her! What you REALLY meant was "I never meant for you to find out."
On another show, a man murders his wife's father so that she will inherit the money so he can then kill her and have it all... when he gets caught, there it is again: "I never meant to hurt you." And again, I'm all WTF? Dude, you were going to KILL the bitch! Were you planning on using lethal injection or something? Is THAT what you meant by "hurt"? You honestly didn't think that killing your wife's father was going to hurt her?
Then I heard it again when a woman has to bail out her husband because he was arrested while trying to pick up a hooker. She's standing there in the police station with this disappointed look on her face as her hubby comes walking in and screams "HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!?" The man just bows his head and says those magic words: I never meant to hurt you as if that's going to fix everything. You'd think the woman would wait until he falls asleep and cut his penis off... but, from what I can tell, they actually ended up staying together. WTF?!?
Surely this is just a television thing. A crutch TV writers use when somebody's done something bad and they just don't know what to make the character say. It couldn't possibly work in real life.
Perhaps I should try it...
Disgruntled Motorist: YOU BASTARD! YOU JUST RAN INTO MY NEW PORSCHE!!
Dave: Sorry, I never meant to hurt you.
Disgruntled Motorist: Awww, that's okay.
Checkout Person: YOU IDIOT! THIS IS THE 10 ITEMS OR LESS LANE AND YOU'VE GOT 48 ITEMS!!
Dave: Sorry, I never meant to hurt anybody.
Checkout Person: Oh... well in that case, let me ring you up.
New Wife: DAVE, HOW COULD YOU?!? YOU SLEPT WITH MY SISTER, AND ELIZABETH HURLEY, AND THE POOL BOY... ALL AT THE SAME TIME... ON OUR HONEYMOON!!
Dave: Sorry, I never meant to hurt you.
New Wife: Really? Oh, well never mind then.
If this works, I'm going to be seriously pissed off that I never knew about it until now.