February 27, 2008
TV Review: Quarterlife
Let me take you back to simpler time. The 1990s, when flannel covered our asses and the grunge flowed like wine. In the 90s, we believed that people in their mid-20s were creative, interesting and bound to change the world.
Now that it's 2008, we know that we were wrong. So very wrong. And, as they say, "those who cannot learn from history are doomed to be ignorant jackasses." And if NBC's Quarterlife is any indication, ignorant jackasses are well represented in the TV industry. But, of course, we already knew that.
So, Quarterlife is brought to us by the same people who brought us My So-Called Life: the most overrated television program of all time.
THAT'S RIGHT FANBITCHES, I SAID IT: MY SO-CALLED LIFE WAS A PILE OF CONDESCENDING IDIOTIC BULLSHIT AND ANYONE WHO SAYS DIFFERENTLY IS A MORON.
Now that that's out of the way, we can talk about the other people that brought us Quarterlife. Well, it's not a person so much as a thing. The internet. You remember the internet, right? It's the thing you're looking at RIGHT NOW. Like most people, I'm a fan of the internet and a fan of TV. But, unlike most people, I believe that the two should never mix. NEVER EVER EVER. I've addressed this issue before, but to summarize: there are some things TV does well and some things the internet does well. When you attempt to put TV on the internet you end up with crappy resolution video streams that stall every five seconds. And when you try to put the internet on TV you end up with something that sort of looks like TV, but is ultimately unsatisfying.
Despite the name, Quarterlife has nothing to do with quarters... which are like my favorite coin EVAR!
Instead, the show focuses on a bunch of twenty-somethings who work in film and media and are all neurotic and miserable. And they all sleep with each other, but all wish they were sleeping with someone else who they're not sleeping with and BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH CHANGE THE FUCKING CHANNEL ALREADY.
The show isn't terrible, I guess -- for an internet-based production. The show certainly LOOKS like it was produced for the net, with crappy lighting and not-particularly-attractive actors and actresses. The whole point of publishing content on the net is to put out edgy material that mainstream networks don't have the balls to broadcast. So the very fact that NBC was willing to put it on the air is proof that it was never worthy of the internet. The internet should be for groundbreaking creations like Ask a Ninja and Two Girls One Cup.
Furthermore, the entire show centers around some annoying chick whose main distinguishing characteristic is that she's has a blog. She blogs. She's a blogger. A member of the blog-o-sphere. How original.
If my website, joeyheadset.com, proves nothing else, it proves that bloggers are not interesting, entertaining or worthy of your attention. EVER.
I give NBC's Quarterlife only one and a half Joeys. And that's only because I'm feeling generous.
February 11, 2008
Idea Crisis 2008: Sex and the Stupid
So we've seen how Hollywood has run out of ideas vis a vis films. But there's never any shortage of great new concepts for TV shows, right?
That, clearly, was an example of "sarcasm". Sarcasm is an ancient concept -- but it never feels old (if you don't agree, you should probably stop viewing this website immediately). However, there are some ideas that DO get old -- particularly when you keep REGURGITATING them. Ideas for TV shows can go from brilliant to CRAPulent in only a few derivative iterations. In order to see how this happens, I present the following:
Look, I realize that our planet is on the brink of an environmental catastrophe. We must all attempt to reuse, recycle and -- when necessary -- regurgitate. But MUST this apply to television programs as well?
November 06, 2007
We Don't Need No Stinking Writers
It's been a while since my last update. Regular readers can probably guess why. The looming conflict between Hollywood studios and the Writers' Guild of America has put me in a state of emotional turmoil. In the past, I've stated that TV is the only thing that makes life worth living. And now, despite my most earnest prayers AND sacrificial blood offerings, all of the TV writers have gone on strike. As a result, all of my favorite late night comedy shows have shut down, while all the prime-time dramas and comedies continue production... but only until they run out of scripts. Once that happens, all of TV will be a post-apocalyptic wasteland of reruns and hastily assembled reality shows. Also, I think there could be rampaging mutants.
I'm not altogether sure why the Writers Guild called a strike. I think it has something to do with writers insisting that they "get paid" for their work, particularly in regard to DVD sales and internet distribution. Myself... I just don't see what their problem is. This "internet" thing is clearly a fad, and DVDs are just a stop-gap measure until everyone goes back to sweet, sweet VHS.
Clearly these writers haven't read all those really clever arguments that explain why writers -- and artists in general -- should work for free. True, those clever arguments are almost exclusively offered by lawyers and academics (who get paid quite nicely for *their* labor). But this is irrelevant. The main point is that Culture is supposed to be Free. Not Free as in speech; not even Free as in 100% syphilis-free. No, my friends, Culture should be Free as in Beer. Although, as of posting this, beer still isn't free. You still have to pay for it. But I assume that the Free Culture Movement is working on some way I can download Guinness online, via a peer-to-beer file sharing network.
As a society, our only hope is that the sooper-geniuses who run television networks can figure out SOME way of keeping quality TV alive while this writers strike' works itself out. In the spirit of Free Beer Culture, I've come up with a few ideas. I humbly offer them for no charge!
Improvisation: This one is SO OBVIOUS, it hardly seems worth bringing up. If you don't have anyone writing scripts, just get actors to make shit up! I realize that this will work better for some shows than for others. Plot-heavy programs like Heroes and Prison Break could go completely off the rails if the actors were forced to improvise. Imagine, for a moment, that you were an actor on FOX's Prison Break -- and the director told you to improv your dialogue. If it were me, I'd be like "Dood, this prison sucks crap -- I'm totally breaking out of this bitch!" Then I'd walk off camera, which would be problematic since we'd still have about 45 minutes of show to fill. However, there are a number of shows where actors could easily BS their way through. The cast of How I Met Your Mother doesn't need scripts. All they need to do is be really annoying while not at all funny every time someone yells "ACTION!" How hard is that?
Recycling: NBC has been big into promoting environmental issues in the last few weeks. Why not put their Intellectual Property where their mouth is by recycling previously used scripts from some of their longer running series? The show ER has been on TV for what, 250 years? Just grab a script from one of the early seasons, and reshoot it with your current cast. There might be some continuity issues -- dead characters coming back to life and whatnot -- but viewers are quite forgiving about these things. Also, consider a show like Law and Order. Every episode is exactly the same -- so much so that I suspect they were ALREADY reusing old scripts before the writers walked.
Scabs: If they want to get those lazy TV writers back on the job, studios would be smart to hire non-union labor. Americans might change their tune on the issue of illegal immigration if the networks hire cheap mexican screenwriters to take over our nation's most popular shows. Personally, I've always felt that American TV had a lot to learn from Spanish language networks like Telemundo. For instance: how to dress up a fat guy like a school girl for MAXIMUM HILARITY. Also how to improve any scene through the inclusion of skanky girls, gratuitous cleavage and lingering booty shots. Or maybe studios should take a cue from the IT industry and outsource all the scriptwriting to India. I know I'd enjoy seeing a Bollywood style dance number break out in the middle of an episode of CSI: Miami!
Ugh. Who am I trying to kid. This strike is a catastrophe. Really, the only solution is to collapse into an alcohol induced stupor until it's over. All I ask is that is nobody schedule my intervention until AFTER the writers are back at work.
October 25, 2007
The only thing more exciting than a fresh crop of new TV shows is the impending cancellation of these shows after only a few episodes! Which of YOUR favorite new programs will be the first to crash and burn?
Journeyman: It's Quantum Leap, but with no sense of humor. Also, the entire show seems to be filmed in near-darkness. Perhaps this is to preserve the anonymity of the actors so that they can continue to get work after this piece of crap gets cancelled?
Pushing Daisies: It's Tru Calling, but without the Hott protagonist. Though it hasn't been cancelled yet, obsessive fans have already started signing an internet petition to save it from its inevitable cancellation. And network executives have already started ignoring that petition.
Cavemen: A TV show based on a commercial for car insurance. Worst attempt to integrate advertising with programming since "CSI: Outback Restaurants". I totally lost my appetite for the Bloomin' Onion after that episode where they found a human toe in the dipping sauce. Even as car insurance mascots go, those bitchy cavemen are among the least appealing. I'd rather see a sitcom based on that creepy green lizard.
Big Shots: A shameless ripoff of the British series Manchild, four attractive and successful men get endlessly emasculated. But if I wanted to see grown men getting emasculated, I'd just watch America's Most Hilarious Groin Injuries on ABC Family. Or Grey's Anatomy. Same difference.
Moonlight: A crime fighting vampire! That's never been done before. Well except for that Buffy the Vampire spinoff, "Angel". And the ridiculous -- yet compelling -- vampire cop show, Forever Knight. And I suppose we must also count all the episodes of Law and Order that featured Fred Thompson. But other than that, totally original. Sadly, Moonlight is hampered by a catastrophic casting decision. Prettyboy Australian actor Alex O'Loughlin makes for the least intimidating bloodsucker since Count Chocula. Plus, he possesses none of the Count's charm or magnetic charisma.
Heroes: Viewers still love this high-concept NBC drama, but it's still in danger of cancellation! The show is in peril due to its constantly increasing complexity. Right now Heroes has 31 "main characters" spread across 17 distinct story lines. And each episode introduces new characters and plotlines. Exciting for fans, but challenging for producers. The scripts are so complicated, they can only be written by an army of 73 writers whose brains are hardwired directly into a network of experimental supercomputers. The brain interface process burns out most writers' cerebral cortexes in a matter of hours, leaving them barely capable of basic communication. (Many have gone on to join the writing staff of Two and a Half Men). If the Writer's Union cracks down on this, NBC producers may switch to cheap Mexican TV writers. In that case, Heroes won't be cancelled, but rather moved to Telemundo.
ER: WTF, ER is still on TV?
October 02, 2007
I love me some High Definition TV. Those of you who bothered to read "Get Your Tube On" know that any TV without HD capability should be summarily thrown in the dumpster. And burned. Then urinated upon, to put out the fire. Then burned again. Then nuked from orbit, just to be sure.
The only trouble with HDTV is that there aren't enough HD channels. Watching standard definition programming on an HD set is like masturbating to the Sears catalog when you work at an adult video store. It's just doesn't make sense. This is why DirecTV's recent announcement of new HD channels sent a wave of ecstasy through my very soul. Here are just a few of the channels I'll soon be able to watch in glorious High Definition:
The Weather Channel HD
Finally! For so long, I've been waiting for HD Weather. In standard definition, I couldn't tell a cold front from a high pressure system. Now that The Weather Channel is broadcasting in HD, I feel like the weather is RIGHT THERE IN MY LIVING ROOM. Come to think of it, that may have more to do with the fact that I've got two broken windows and a leaky roof. But still, HD weather RULZ.
In regular definition, Wolf Blitzer is a pompous ass who knows as much about current events as Ryan Seacrest knows about female lady parts. In HD, Wolf is STILL a pompous ass... but his beard is FREAKING AMAZING. The details you can see -- the subtle interplay between light and shadow: like a mystical grey forest! It just happens to grow on the face of an asshole.
Sports in HD
HD was MADE for sports. Ice hockey, the only sport I actually care about, looks fantastic in HD -- so I'm thrilled that the Versus network is finally HD ready. You haven't seen a hockey brawl until you've seen each blood spatter fly through the air in perfect video clarity. With NFL Network, NBA TV and The Golf Channel joining the HD revolution, fans of *boring* sports will also benefit.
HD programming isn't merely for our entertainment. It can also be educational. The History Channel, Discovery, The Science Channel and TLC (The Learning Channel) have all begun broadcasting in HD. If I was the sort of person who wanted to learn new things, I would be going apeshit crazy about these new channels. Of course, I'm not that sort of person. At all. But even I can enjoy these channels and their gorgeous visuals -- so long as I make sure I don't learn anything while I'm watching them.
High Definition programming has transformed television from "the opiate of the masses" to the "crystal meth of the masses". And if crystal meth is good enough for all those people in The Heartland, then it's good enough for all of us.
September 26, 2007
New Television Programs
Every fall, a new crop of television programs arrives for our viewing enjoyment. Each of these programs is worthy of an in-depth review. But I'm too lazy for that. Here's all you need to know:
This was not the House, M.D. spin-off show I had been hoping for. Though, to be fair, it was rather optimistic for me to believe that CBS would greenlight a drama focused on the adventures of a mahogany walking stick.
Gossip Girl (WB)
As a television program, this fails. As an hour long advertisement for some expensive mobile phone service, it succeeds. Sort of.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Smart people are ugly and socially inept. Attractive blondes are airheads. CBS comedies aren't funny. See these stereotypes (and many more) reenforced Mondays at 8:30, 7:30 central!
Kid Nation (CBS)
A social experiment designed to see what would happen if bratty children were put in charge of society. But isn't that what we've been doing for the last seven years?
Private Practice (ABC)
Spin-off of ABC's hit show Grey's Anatomy. Because only one hour of annoying, self-obsessed physicians and their endless emotional reguritations per week apparently wasn't enough.
Survivor: China (CBS)
Over 1.3 billion people currently live in China. How hard could it be to "survive" there?
July 13, 2007
Don't Forget the Singing Bee
In this workaday world of cellphones, tv dinners and random sexual encounters in an Olive Garden restroom, who has time for television?
But even I have my limits. Sure, I'm willing to watch a game show where tone deaf amateur singers try to remember the lyrics to shitty songs from 80s and 90s. But I draw the line at ONE show fitting this description. As it turns out, this is a problem. Shockingly enough, there are actually TWO new karaoke/lyric remembrance game shows on network TV: FOX's Don't Forget the Lyrics and NBC's The Singing Bee.
I know. I can hardly believe it myself.
Since, as a matter of principle, I am not willing to watch both of these programs, I'll need to decide which one is right for me. Let's compare and contrast.
First of all, what do these shows have in common? Well... they're both obvious, predictable, mind-numbing -- everything you could possibly want in a television program! Both shows also happen to reward contestants for their ability to remember song lyrics -- not for their ability to sing those lyrics. If only American Idol worked like this. Actually... I'm not altogether sure it doesn't.
So far as I can tell, the only significant difference between the two shows is the host. Don't Forget the Lyrics is hosted by comedian Wayne Brady. I don't really "get" the appeal of this guy. Perhaps fellow comedian Paul Mooney said it best when he famously stated that "white people love Wayne Brady because he makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X". As game show hosts go, I would add that Wayne Brady makes Wink Martindale look like Alex Trebek.
So, who's hosting FOX's take on this marginal entertainment property? It's none over than Joey Fatone, member of 90s boyband, NSync.
Now kids, don't get too excited -- Joey's not the one who brought Sexy Back. That's Justin Timberlake. Nor is he The Gay One. That's Lance Bass. Obviously, he's NOT The Cute One. That's... whoever the fuck else was in the group. He the one who... well, let's just call him "The Other One." Even when NSync was at the height of its popularity, it was clear Joey Fatone was destined for bigger (read: smaller) and better (read: much smaller) things. As the host of a game show, Fatone can finally let his real talents shine through. Sadly, these talents amount to little more than the ability to speak in full sentences without drooling on himself. Clearly he's more than qualified to become our next president, but does he have the necessary charisma to be an effective game show host? Not so much.
So that's your choice: Brady vs. Fatone. Not much of a choice, really. Rather like being forced to choose between being punched in the nuts or being kicked in the nuts. Either way, OWWWW MY NUTS!@!!%*$*@!
July 09, 2007
The Monday Spew: Age of Love
In Age of Love, washed up tennis player Mark Philippoussis is looking for love. Will he find it among skanky 40-something bitches or will he instead hook up with perky-yet-intolerable 20-something hoes?
"Tune in when seven beautiful, sophisticated women in their 40's, playfully nicknamed the 'Cougars,' vie for the affections of 30-year-old Australian tennis superstar Mark Philippoussis, along with six fun, enthusiastic women in their 20's, coined the 'Kittens.' But only one woman can win Mark's heart. Is she an attractive, experienced woman who knows what she wants and has already carved out a niche of her own? Or, is she a sexy younger woman who lacks the experience of her older counterpart, but has an enthusiasm for life that only comes with the inexperience of youth?"
These are excellent questions. But I've got an even more interestinger question:
Yes. That's the question.
These dating shows are only as interesting as the "twist" behind them. Seriously, how excited are we supposed to get about a battle of bitchy, annoying post-adolescents vs. bitchy, annoying soccermoms? YAWN. That's not a twist. It's hardly even a tweak. Scarcely a twiddle. If you want to get my attention, and the attention of legions of fickle/jaded Reality TV viewers, you need to flip the script on this shizz... BIG TIME!
And that's exactly what I've done. I'm currently in talks with NBC to produce a new dating show that will REALLY get the bitties in the typing pool chattering during their coffee breaks. Here's an except from an upcoming press release:
"When it comes to love, age doesn't matter. But try telling that to a judge!"
"From the Producers of The Bachelor and Dateline's To Catch a Predator comes "Age of Consent", a thrilling new dating competition which asks the question: can you tell the legal hotties from the underage skeezers? Recently paroled bachelor Curtis "Assbag" Monroe hasn't been with a woman in over 18 months. Sexy romantic fun ensues when 12 vivacious bachelorettes compete for his heart -- and for a significant cash prize. The twist: some of these buxom beauties are only 15 years old! Each week these young women (the "Barely Legals") battle the REALLY young women (the Jailbait") for a date with Bachelor Curtis. If Mr. Assbag can eliminate the underage girls and select an age-legal finalist, the new couple will head off on a luxurious island getaway. However, if Curtis chooses wrong, he'll be humiliated by series host Chris Hansen and turned over to the LAPD."
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call "appointment viewing." Keep an eye out for it this fall.
June 11, 2007
Veronica Mars Cancelled
It's official: The CW has cancelled Veronica Mars! Since this was the only show I actually watch on this so-called television network, I wonder... what spectacular shows do they have in development that are so HELLA-SUPER-AWESOME that they'd be willing to flush their only decent show down the toilet just to make room on the schedule?
Needless to say, all my questions were answered when I ventured onto the CW website to check out their Fall 2007 line-up. They've got so many AMAZING shows on the way, it's quite understandable why Veronica Mars had to be brushed aside. Here are just a few of the televisual treats that await CW viewers this fall!
Rich young (mostly) white people are obsessed with some inturrnet blog written by some anonymous rich young (mostly) white person. Will the hot hot socialites find out the identity of the Gossip Girl blogger (thereby ensuring the immediate end of the series)? Will hot sexy rich teens hook up and then betray each other by hooking up with other hot sexiness? And, of course, lets not forget the BIG QUESTION: will anyone watch this for the 3-4 weeks it will last before its inevitable cancelation???
Carson Kressley (the REALLY gay guy on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) and some other bitch "referee an eight-episode competition that dares to pit mother-daughter teams against each other in a no-holds-barred beauty pageant". This is the perfect show for bulimics who are too lazy to stick fingers down their throat.
You know those fun video clips you like to watch on the internet? Haven't you ever wished you could watch the exact same videos... ON TELEVISION? I could go on about how stupid this is. And on. AND ON. Actually... I already have, in my classic essay "The Internet. On TV!"
It's a half hour of fashion and pop culture reports by annoying American Idol rejects and former Reality TV contestants. The perfect show for Americans who don't have health insurance and can't afford to pay for their lobotomy out-of-pocket.
Reality show. Farm Boy wants to meet a nice City Girl to be his Missus. Bitchery and inanity ensue. You've never seen anything like this show! (Unless you've watched television at any point in the last 10 years, in which case you've likely seen 5 or 6 shows exactly like it).
Hot young twenty somethings learn that working a job is "like totally hard n' stuff"! Television viewers learn that The WB is the biggest piece of shit excuse for a television network EVAR.
June 10, 2007
Sopranos Series Finale Spoilers!
A lot of you are anxiously anticipating The Soprano's SERIES FINALE later on tonight. As usual, I received an early copy for review (SHUT UP I DO SO RECEIVE PREVIEW COPIES OF POPULAR TELEVISION PROGRAMS!) and I am now prepared to
ruin the ending provide you with exclusive spoilers!
If you are one of those losers who actually prefers to watch TV shows and movies without already knowing exactly what's going to happen, stop reading now.
In recent episodes, life has been hard for Mr. Anthony Soprano. Rival mobsters are trying to kill him and the FBI is looking to put his fat, Italian-American ass in prison. Trapped like a gerbil in a cage, Tony is desperate to find a way out. And, in the series finale, that's exactly what he does.
In the final episode, Tony evades both federal authorities and mafia assassins by hiding out in a convent. DRESSED AS A NUN!
A shocking ending, with HILARIOUS consequences! See Tony, er "Sister Antonia" threaten to wack one of his sunday school students after he suggests the portly Antonia lose a few pounds. See that adorable tyke learn that Sister Antonia doesn't use a ruler to wack unruly students... he uses a Glock! Also check out the wacky hijinx ensue when Sister Antonia has to coach a baseball team of troubled inner-city youths.
We can only hope that this series finale represents, not the end of The Sopranos, but the beginning of a brilliant new spinoff series.
June 01, 2007
TV Review: Pirate Master
Everyone loves pirates! They wear cool costumes, sing festive songs and say "ARRRGH" a lot. What's not to love?
In fact, pirates are so lovable, CBS has created a new Reality show based around their thrilling aquatic adventures. Pirate Master is the first television program that casts regular people as treasure-seeking, swashbuckling pirates! Really, there's only one problem with the show.
It's total bullshit.
In Pirate Master, the contestants dress up like pirates and sail around looking for hidden treasure. Of course, pirates are strongly associated with treasure, particularly of the buried variety. But pirates didn't make their living digging up treasure that other pirates had buried. Obviously. If piracy worked that way, the whole enterprise would have been nothing more than a gigantic pyramid scheme. As a general rule, most pirates preferred to hold onto their treasure, as opposed to burying it in remote locations for random land-lubbers to stumble upon.
So how DID pirates get their hands on all that booty? By stealing shit and killing people, mostly. And raping. Don't forget the raping!
This is the problem with CBS's Pirate Master. No raping, no killing, no stealing. Not even a humble Pegboy! All these so called pirates do is sail around, looking for conveniently placed treasure chests. And they bicker a lot (which is a given for programs in this genre).
Personally, I'd love to see a REAL Pirate Reality show -- one that's based on historical fact rather than Disney-esque fiction. Any authentic show about pirates must include the following:
Infected Stab Wounds
Walking the Plank
Until Pirate Master incorporates the elements listed above, I can only award the show four Joeys Wearing Pirate Hats.
April 23, 2007
The Monday Spew: Are you ready for some BINGO?
I like game shows. Not HARD game shows like Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune (I can never guess the words LOL!). Those are stupid. I prefer nice simple game shows like Deal or No Deal and Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader (as it turns out, I'm not). But sometimes even those shows are a little too tricky for me. In Deal or No Deal, you have to pick a number, then pick some more numbers, and then decide if you want to pick some more numbers or not. It a lot of work. Why can't they make a game where someone picks all the numbers for you?
They already have!
Bingo is a classic American pastime, enjoyed by 9 year olds, 90 year olds, and virtually no one in-between! Now, by popular demand, ABC TV is bringing BINGO prime time TV. This is a brilliant move. The only thing more exciting than putting little plastic chips on a bingo card is watching other people do it.
Of course, there will be no plastic chips on National Bingo Night. And no ping balls with numbers, no glue sticks or paper cards. N.B.N. is going Hi-Tek with this shit! According to ABC's press release:
"In the studio, a contestant will race against the studio audience as balls numbered from 1-75 are randomly selected from a giant, two-and-a-half story sphere set in a high tech "Bingo Plex" arena."
Two and a half stories... imagine how big they'd have to make the bingo balls that fill the chamber. They must be the size of a mid-size sedan. If one of those things gets loose, it could crush a few dozen people. I'd tune in every week just for the chance of seeing some midwestern family get mashed into paste by a renegade B-16.
Shut up, Elvis.
April 09, 2007
The Monday Spew: Hello Pussycats
Screw American Idol. Discerning fans of Reality TV know where the REAL excitement is: On The CW. (That's a television network.) (No, seriously, it is.) America just can't get enough of Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll.
Sure, some cynical assholes might accuse PDP: tSftND of being a cheap Idol ripoff. They might also suggest that the show's respectable ratings can only be because America's Next Top Model fans are too stupid to operate a remote control without assistance -- and therefore unable to change the channel before Next Doll comes on afterwards. Pshaw! The reason why people watch the show is because everyone wants to know the answer to this question: WHO WILL BE THE NEXT MEMBER OF THAT GROUP THAT HAD TWO SONGS ON THE RADIO LAST YEAR!?!?!
Will it be:
Um... wait a minute. I've made a small error. The sexy ladies pictured above aren't contestants on Next Doll. It seems they are actually CURRENT MEMBERS of the group. Did you recognize them? Betcha didn't! In fact, I'd guess most people couldn't pick members of The Pussycat Dolls out of a police lineup. As anyone who's been to Vegas can tell you, trashy dancer girls are fairly interchangeable.
This leads to a rather obvious question: Is an exhaustive search really necessary when adding a new member to this group, when you could just as easily replace EVERY MEMBER of the group without anyone noticing the difference?
January 15, 2007
SPOILERTASTIC Preview of FOX's 24
I've got a buddy at FOX TV who just sent me preview screeners of the new season of "24". The ENTIRE SEASON! I can't reveal the identity of the guy who sent me these episodes, let's just say his name rhymes with Poopert Schmerdock. Though our political views couldn't be more different, the two of us bonded years ago as the only two American citizens who eat Vegemite sandwiches.
When he sent me these DVDs, Mr. Schmerdock made me promise I wouldn't reveal any details about the new season. But, right now -- just for you -- I'm going to publish plot summaries for every single episode. Poopert should have known I always break my promises!
This new season is AWESOME... but not perfect. Some fans might complain that there's not quite as much action and suspense as in previous seasons. Others might notice that the show features a few (subtle) promotions for other FOX entertainment properties. I'll let you decide for yourselves. So, I'm giving you fair warning: SPOILER ALERT!!! or whatever. Here is an episode by episode breakdown of this season of "24".
Episode 1, 6am: The clock radio alarm rings in Jack Bauer's apartment. Jack, brutally hungover, reaches over to his nightstand and hits the snooze alarm. Jack sleeps through the rest of the episode, hitting the snooze bar several more times and getting up only once to use the bathroom. As he sleeps, the camera pans to a TV set which is tuned to a TV channel that shows nothing but advertisements for other programs on the FOX schedule.
Episode 2, 7am: Jack finally rolls out of bed. He pours some breakfast cereal into a bowl and grabs some milk out of the fridge. Sniffing the milk, he determines that it's turned sour and pours it down the drain. Jack is now left with a full bowl of cereal and no milk. As he ponders this predicament, he tunes into FOX and Friends on the FOX News Channel.
Episode 3, 8am: Jack takes a shower and gets dressed. Over at CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) Headquarters, Chloe O'Brian is seated at her workstation, typing furiously on a computer keyboard. Chloe periodically looks over her shoulder, afraid someone might be monitoring her activities. Meanwhile, Milo Pressman and Nadia Yassir access the audio files from a phone tap they had initiated over the weekend.
Episode 4, 9am: Jack gets behind the wheel of his Toyota Prius and drives to work. As he drives, he dials CTU where (Senior Special Agent) Bill Buchanan answers the phone. Buchanan wants to know why Jack is late to work. Jack briefs his boss on the cereal/milk scenario (see Episode 2) and informs him that he is en route to Krispy Kreme to get breakfast. Buchanan threatens to "revoke Jack's torture privileges" if he doesn't bring donuts for the whole office. Jack mutters something under his breath but agrees to Buchanan's demands.
Episode 5, 10am: There's a long line at the Krispy Kreme, Jack reads a newspaper as he waits to purchase his donuts. Meanwhile, at CTU-HQ, Chloe has found a workaround to the internet filtering software (installed by one of Chloe's rivals in Season 5). She giggles gleefully as she successfully logs on to World of Warcraft.
Meanwhile, Milo and Nadia phone Jack (still on line for donuts) to play him the audio from the wire tap. We discover that, strictly for their own amusement, the two agents had used CTU resources to capture audio from Kevin Federline's cell phone.
Episode 6 11am: Terrorists attack Krispy Kreme. Jack defeats them with nothing but a pot of freshly brewed coffee and a dozen warm glazed donuts.
Episode 7, 12pm: Jack is still at the Krispy Kreme (WTF, he's been there over two hours!). Jack can hardly suppress his laughter as he listens to a recent phone call between clueless Federline and his exasperated publicist. He activates the speaker function on his phone so all the donut shop patrons can enjoy hear the exchange. Jack asks Milo and Nadia what kind of donuts they want, which leads to an embarrassingly lengthy debate regarding Krispy Kreme vs. Dunkin Donuts.
Episode 8, 1pm: Jack FINALLY shows up at CTU-HQ. Everyone in the office grabs donuts, except Chloe who is "questing with her guild" on WoW. Jack checks his email and last night's NBA scores in his cubicle. The Krispy Kreme vs. Dunkin Donuts debate has spread through the office. CTU Operative Morris O'Brian (Chloe's ex-husband) suggests that Tim Hortons donuts are better than both KK and DD. Overhearing this, Bill Buchanan accuses Morris of being a Canadian spy and has agents take him into custody.
Episode 9, 2pm: The whole CTU gang goes for lunch at the Olive Garden. Except for Chloe who was "deep into the Onyxia raiding instance and hoping to level up". Terrorists attack the Olive Garden, Jack defeats them with a salad fork and a basket of breadsticks.
Episode 10, 3pm: Back at the office, a Special Training Consultant conducts an hour-long sexual harassment workshop, mandatory for all personnel. Jack asks if it might be considered sexual harassment when a male Special Agent tortures a female suspect in one of the CTU holding cells. The training consultant assures Jack that this is acceptable, so long as the suspect remains clothed and the interrogator refrains from using any derogatory language of a sexual nature. Milo suggests this rule could effectively end Jack's social life. Everyone gets a good laugh out of this... except for Jack who pulls a gun on Milo.
Episode 11, 4pm: After the workshop, Morris convinces Buchanan that Tim Hortons DOES SO have franchises in the United States. Buchanan drops the espionage charges, but tells Morris "I better not hear you praising Canadian donut chains again." Jack catches up on some paperwork. Milo posts the Kevin Federline voicemail audio on his celebrity gossip blog.
Episode 12, 5pm: Jack clocks out early, listens to Fox Sports Radio on the drive home. Milo and Nadia stick around the office, using surveillance satellites to capture images of Lindsay Lohan doing coke outside a popular LA nightclub.
Episode 13, 6pm: Jack stops by the liquor store on the way home. Terrorists attack liquor store, Jack defeats them with a bottle of Jose Cuervo.
Episode 14, 7pm: Jack gets home from work, reheats some leftover Chinese take out (originally purchased: Episode 7, Season 3) and spends the hour checking the messages on his (NEWS CORP owned!) Myspace account and googling for "asian ladyboy torture porn".
Episode 15, 8pm: Jack settles in for another evening of brilliantly entertaining FOX Television! First up, a very special episode of "House": a patient has contradicted some weird disease and Dr. House must diagnose the patient WHILE popping vicodin and insulting everyone. Chloe calls Jack during the commercial breaks to comment on how the show is "totally unrealistic".
Episode 16, 9pm: At 9pm, Jack watches Standoff, FOX's action-drama about romantically entangled hostage negotiators. He's surprised the show hasn't already been cancelled. Terrorists attack during a commercial break, Jack defeats them with his remote control and and bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.
Episode 17, 10pm: Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell drop by Jack's place. They discuss the upcoming season of American Idol. Toward the end of the episode, Paula Abdul stumbles into the apartment, totally wasted. Jack asks them all to leave.
Episodes 18-23, 11pm through 4am: Jack stays up all night, catching up on his TiVO. In these episodes, Jack works his way through the entire FOX primetime schedule, as well as a few higher profile shows from the FX Network. Terrorists attack a few times, Jack defeats them with a variety of household appliances.
Episode 24, 5am: Jack settles down with a bottle of Jim Beam (purchased in Episode 13) and reminisces about his eventful day. This is one of those annoying flashback episodes. CHEAP.
November 10, 2006
August 27, 2006
Liveblogging the EMMYS
Since my Oscars liveblog seemed pretty popular, I'm going to do it again. This time, it's the Emmys! The Emmys are like the Academy Awards, except without the glamour, the stars, or really anything else that anyone cares about. WHOOOO.
8:07 -- Hey, time to get down on some hardcore liveblogging for the Emmys! I turned it on 7 minutes late, so I missed most of the Comedy intro but is seemed pretty funny. Conan's monologue is quality, as usual. And a nice song and dance number!
8:15 -- Now that Conan is done with his intro, I'm wondering why I'm sitting here watching the Emmys. And the Emmy for something or other goes to the woman from Will and Grace! The one who talked in a high pitched voice. Already forgotten her name.
8:19 -- Fucking hell... according to the schedule this thing goes on for THREE HOURS!!! It's an awards show for TV, wouldn't it make more sense if they could knock the whole thing out in 30 miuntes. That is the length of most TV shows.
8:28 -- Someone I've never heard of just won an award for a show that I've never seen. Also, they started playing music over her after about 8 seconds of acceptance speech. I feel sorry for whoever the hell that was.
8:40 -- W-T-F? I am a card carrying TV Junkie with a 5 million channel DirecTV system... and I haven't heard of ANY of the actors or TV shows that are up for awards.
8:45 -- OK, I've made it though 45 minutes of this. That's really more than anyone could have expected. I think I'm going to watch reruns of NFL Preseason games on the NFL Network.
July 26, 2006
Prime-time network television: where each network cunningly programs and counter-programs against every other network, ensuring that a variety of programming exists in every timeslot. Yes, prime-time network TV offers something for everybody. For instance, consider the 8pm-9pm slot this evening: Monday, July 26:
ABC: The One: Making a Music Star. Reality TV. Singers compete, one eliminated each week until winner is selected.
FOX: So You Think You Can Dance Reality TV. Dancers compete, one eliminated each week until winner is selected.
UPN: America's Next Top Model Reality TV. Lanky, anorexic women compete to see who can tolerate Tyra Banks the longest. One eliminated each week until winner is selected.
NBC: America's Got Talent Reality TV. Assorted novelty acts compete, I assume that one is eliminated each week until winner is selected? Couldn't stand watching it long enough to determine the format.
WB: Blue Collar TV Sketch "Comedy". Ignorant white trash icons compete to see who can make me more ashamed to be an American citizen. Sadly, no one gets eliminated at the end of the show.
Yes, prime time network TV offers something for everyone. Just so long as everyone is an idiot.
July 11, 2006
Next-Gen Reality TV
Sometimes I feel like life is pointless and there's no reason to keep on living. But then I remember that there's TELEVISION! Sweet, sweet television. If TV didn't exist, I can't think of one good reason why I wouldn't stick my head in the oven and be done with it all. Actually, I can think of one reason. My oven isn't gas, it's electric. I think you need the gas oven if you want to do an old school Sylvia Plath style suicide. I guess if I cranked up the heat real high on my electric oven and kept my head in there for a while it might work. But I'd have to leave the oven door open and then most of the heat would probably escape. It would take FOREVER to kill myself that way -- and I have better things to do with my time.
Fortunately, television does exist. Therefore, life is still worth living! Of course, the TV shows that are currently on the air... those are a steaming pile of bull-ass-crap. Those shows don't make me want to continue living. Mostly, they make me want to end the lives of the people responsible for producing them. Come on, who hasn't felt the urge to strangle the entire cast of Two and a Half Men?
Yes, even the little fat kid. ESPECIALLY THE LITTLE FAT KID.
No, what keeps me from offing myself isn't current TV programming. Rather, it's the promise of TV shows to come! Every fall, viewers are showered with a bountiful crop of new television programs. Some of them are stupid, some of them are really stupid, but it's entirely possible that one or two of them will be pretty decent! In fact, my research indicates that precisely 1 out of every 91 new TV programs doesn't suck. With that in mind, what if I told you that there were 91 new Reality TV shows debuting next season? Let me guess: if I told you that, you'd accuse me of making up the whole 1/91 ratio just to facilitate a convenient segue.
GUILTY AS CHARGED!!!
So anyway, here are some highlights from in-development Reality TV. Special thanks goes out to the Brilliant But Cancelled blog whose text I will shamelessly copy/paste before interjecting my own commentary and analysis.
Bling! - Due Fall 2006 - This show follows women shopping for the most incredibly expensive jewelry around.
I would watch this, but only if every episode ended with the women getting their faces smashed in with bricks.
Gene Simmons Family Jewels - Due 8/7/06 - Similar to "The Osbournes" but with Gene Simmons and his family.
OH MY GOD THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!!! Oh wait... Gene Simmons? I misread, I thought it was going to be Richard Simmons. Nevermind.
Show Me the Money - Due Fall 2006 - An Endemol game show where the prize money increases or decreases based on an uncontrollable mechanism.
The prize money is controlled by "an uncontrollable mechanism"? I am genuinely interested in seeing how this goes down. Maybe they'll put all of the prize money in a room with a dozen monkeys, and whatever they don't eat or crap on gets awarded to the contestants? At least the footage of screaming, shitting monkeys will be worth watching.
Breaking Up With Shannen Doherty - Due 8/13/06 - Shannen will intervene in toxic relationships and decide if a breakup is necessary.
Let me get this straight: Being a stupid bitch now makes you a relationships expert? Well, I guess that explains the success of Dr. Phil.
Iron Ring - Due Summer/Fall 2006 - Celebrities in martial arts fights.
Ladies and gentleman, I think we have a winner!
April 12, 2006
TV Review: Pepper Dennis
The WB's new comedy, Pepper Dennis, has a lot going for it. Well, it has three things going for it: Rebecca Romijn, Brooke Burns and Lindsay Price.
These are three fabulously beautiful women! Rebecca Romijn was a supermodel, Brooke Burns has been photographed for Maxim and Lindsay Price has appeared in many shows that got cancelled very quickly. But she's still pretty HOT! For the ladies, Pepper Dennis presents heartthrobs Josh Hopkins and Rider Strong (who was voted "Most Likely To Appear in Gay Porn" by his high school class, simply based on his unusual name. And his proclivity for fellating male classmates on home video.)
With so much eye candy, how can Pepper Dennis fail?
Very, very easily.
You see, Pepper Dennis is the worst written show on television. It is just fucking awful. The dialogue is trite and stilted, simultaneously inane and asinine. Plot "twists" are telegraphed so far in advance that you'd think the show was written by old-timey telegraph operators. FROM THE FUTURE. And what passes for comedy on this show... it's a sham, a fraud. It's not that the comedy on the show doesn't work, it's that the comedy on the show ISN'T ACTUALLY COMEDY. Not really. Pretty girls running face-first into doors, falling into puddles, getting food sprayed all over their perfectly tailored outfits -- this is to comedy what plastic fruit is to a fruit salad. It's got all the trappings of humor, but none of the comedic payoff. Simply put: NOT FUNNY.
It just isn't fair to put such beautiful women on a show that is so, so bad. Every second I watch triggers another ego-crushing wave of self-loathing, yet I just can't bring myself to change the channel. Pepper Dennis makes me want to gnaw my own eyeballs off, and not in a good way.
Despite all this, the show is enjoyable. You just need to know how to watch it. I've developed a special technique for watching Pepper Dennis that allows viewers to fully experience everything that's great about the show, while minimizing their exposure to the parts of it that suck. Here's how it works: Go to your TV Viewing Room and pick up your remote control. Find this button:
Press it. Don't press it again until the show is over. At some point, you will see two or more TOTALLY CUTE girls talking to each other and you might feel the urge to un-mute your TV and find out what they are saying. DON'T DO IT! Just stare at the TV in silence. And remember: pretending that pretty girls have interesting things to say doesn't do you any good when those girls are on TV.
March 23, 2006
TV Reviews: Unan1mous, The Evidence, South Park
I'm calling my lawyer.
Last year, I sent a brilliant Reality TV idea to the FOX Network, hoping to break into the television biz. Don't get me wrong: making snide comments about television is very rewarding. However, the people who produce television get rewarded with actual MONEY, which is more rewarding. A lot more. Anyway, I sent FOX a concept for a surefire hit called "Assholes in a Room, Arguing with Each Other". Those bastards never sent me a reply; I assumed that they didn't even read my submission.
I was wrong. Not only did FOX read it, they TOTALLY RIPPED IT OFF. All they did was change the name to Unan1mous, and make one small adjustment to the plot. In their version of the show, random fuckwits are "locked" into a "bunker" where they yell at each other until they all vote for one contestant to win a big pile of money. My version of the show was exactly the same, except they all vote for one contestant who gets nothing. Nothing except the freedom to leave. Everyone else gets beaten to death by a gang of unemployed TV writers.
The ABC Network is working their way through the Master List of Cop Show Cliches at a furious rate. After the failure of Blind Justice - a hilariously un-ironic drama about a visually impaired police officer - they have regrouped and brought us The Evidence. Starring Orlando Jones (who you may remember from his amusing 7UP ads) and Rob Estes (who you may have seen dozens of times, and still won't remember), The Evidence is a cop show with a TWIST. The twist is that they show you physical evidence of the crime du jour at the beginning of the episode, before you see the heros investigate that crime. Yes, mark your calendars, folks: on March 22, 2006, the American Broadcasting Company invented a plot device called FORESHADOWING. While you're at it, mark March 23, 2006 as the day Joey Headset invented sarcasm.
Once you get past this ingenious twist, The Evidence is an amalgamation of every played out cop show trope you've ever seen. Detective troubled by the unsolved murder of his wife? Check. Jittery camera work? Check. Cops chasing bad guy down fire escape, followed by cop jumping from overpass into moving garbage truck? Check and check. If I wasn't absolutely certain I was watching a series premiere, I would have assumed I was watching a repeat. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE GET A NEW FUCKING IDEA???
I don't like saying nice things about South Park. I've found their recent attempts at political satire to be preachy and heavy-handed. Honestly, if I wanted to watch cartoonish right wing propaganda, I'd watch FOX News. However, Wednesday's season premiere was absolutely brilliant.
If you didn't already know, last week saw the heavily publicized departure of Isaac Hayes (voice of "Chef") from the program. He left because he was offended by an episode that aired in November, satirizing Scientology (his "religion"). This was quickly followed by fellow Scientologist Tom Cruise bullying Comedy Central into never showing the offending episode again. Rather than backing down, the South Park team churned out a brilliant meta-satire of Hayes's departure - stitching together audio from old episodes to have Chef speaking just long enough to get killed off in a grotesque and humiliating manner. The episode was petty and spiteful. Just the way I like it.
March 01, 2006
Television Review: Black.White
No one is equipped to explore the subtleties of race relations in America better than rapper Ice Cube. Cube has been using his lyrical skillz to address hot-button racial issues for over fifteen years. With classic tracks like "Enemy" ("I kill more crackaz than Bosnia, Herzegovina") and "Black Korea" (in which he threatens to burn down Korean owned businesses), Ice Cube has shown a special sensitivity to issues of race. So it comes as no surprise that he is the Executive Producer behind the FX network's new reality show, "Black.White".
Here's the concept: Through the magic of hollywood special-effects makeup, a black family and white family "switch races". And live in a house together. Because that's what people do on reality TV.
By switching races, do the two families gain a new perspective on how race influences social status? No. Not really.
However, we - the viewers - will learn something from this show. Specifically, we will discover that white people make for ugly ass black people, and black people look totally RETARDED as white people. Don't believe me? Check it out:
Attractive white woman... not so attractive black woman.
Good looking black guy, transformed into one of the goofiest looking white dudes you'll ever see.
Maybe this is the reason why the show is doomed to fail. When these race-swapping families notice that society treats them differently, they will assume it's because of their newly adopted race. In reality, the only reason people will act differently toward them is because THEY LOOK REALLY FREAKING WEIRD.
Even so, the show should be good for a few cheap laughs. I give it five fake afro-american Joeys.