Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hey, Isn't Today Halloween?

The day passed by and I almost forgot it was Halloween. Busy day at work and all that. I did get some punk ass kids trying to trick or treat in my building once I got home; pre-teens obviously too old to be trick or treating. That would be fine if they actually had some cool costumes, but I think one was wearing a pirate flag as a cape, and that was the extent of his costume, and the other was just dressed in black. Oooo! Scary! Luckily I live on the top floor, and they were too lazy to venture to my door.

Now I'm watching "Halloween" as I cook me some dinner. Exciting! I didn't even carve a jack o'lantern this year. But my friend Dave did. Be sure to check out his Pumpkin House of Horrors!

And if you'd like to listen to something truly frightening, here's the Shaggs classic, "It's Halloween."

Ya! I Voted!

For the first time since I was old enough to vote, I won't be making it to the polling place come election day. I'm going to be on vacation, you see. But I am voting. Already have, in fact. Dropped my absentee ballot in the mail just this morning. So why do I feel like I just dropped it into a bottomless pit, never to be seen by human eyes again?

The cynic in me doesn't believe that absentee ballots are actually counted at all. Of course that can't be true, but has an election ever been decided by a count of absentee ballots? I kind of feel like come election night when the vote counters, or whatever, get done with that day's ballots, they look over at a pile of absentee ballots and sarcastically mutter, "Oh, let's not forget these guys."

Undoubtedly I have the whole process wrong. Nonetheless, I don't really feel like I've actually gone and done my civic duty. Maybe it's because I don't get to sport a condescending "I Voted" sticker for the rest of the day.


My parents' car was stolen last night. Bastards!

It's a piece of crap Honda Civic made during the last century (Ha! That's actually true!) with no radio, so why anyone would want to steal it is beyond me. It kinda looks like the one pictured. So, if you see a tan Civic hatchback with a bunch of pillows in the back, and a crooked fender, and someone behind the wheel who looks pissed that he's in such a crappy car, drop me a line.

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Storm's Approaching

Storm Large (and the Balls) will be playing the Red Devil Lounge this Thursday. But being that she won't be hitting the stage until after 11pm, and I have to work in the morning, and I'm OLD, I won't be going. Even though it is, literally, just a few blocks from my apartment.

Lame? Yes. Yes I am.

No YouTube Clips For You!

As you may have heard by now, YouTube has started to remove "Comedy Central" clips from their site.

I don't want to get into an argument about copyright laws, but this seems kind of a dumb move to me. First, Comedy Central's video viewing site sucks ass, so it's not like people will now be going over there to watch stuff. And second, most of the time, it was just clips from their shows that were making it to YouTube, which seems like nothing but free publicity to me. People see the clip, think "Me want more!" and then either watch the show on TV, or venture over to the Comedy Central site in a (usually fruitless) quest to see more.

Friday, October 27, 2006

I Got a Rock...

Tivo alert! "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is airing on ABC tonight at 8pm.

Nothing says Halloween like clinical depression and the delusional stalking of imaginary celebrities.


This week's reality round-up is now up on SFist!

Nobody's Watching Lost

The Nobody's Watching boys take on "Lost."

In case you've never head of "Nobody's Watching," it was a failed sitcom pilot that made its way to YouTube, and became a hit, giving new life to the show and its actors and writers. They have since done a bunch of short videos that can be found on YouTube and on their Web site.

Anyhoo, this is the latest. It's not the funniest thing ever, (that would be the Stanley Kubrick audition tape that's going around), but I do appreciate the cameo in it...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

San Francisco Is the Island of "Lost"

Don't read this if you haven't watched the latest episode of "Lost" yet.

So, let me see if I'm getting this. The Others have lived on this island for a long time, for reasons yet to be explained. For some reason, they are wary of strangers coming to their island, so they try to clandestinely learn about the survivors of the plane crash. And maybe kidnap all their children (although that might be the work of Other Others). Then they find out one of the survivors is a spinal surgeon, and since one of them has a nice fat tumor on his spine, he goes out to get himself captured and then try and lure the surgeon, or have him set-up for an abduction back to....a second island that none of the Losties has ever managed to notice. That's a little bigger than Alcatraz.

I have indicated that I have all kinds of patience when it comes to this show. I firmly believe it's not the destination with this one, but the journey, and the journey has been a hoot. But this Others stuff is really beginning to wear me down. We have no explanation for why they continue to play mind games with these survivors, and the more that goes on, the less an explanation will really matter. It's still not clear whether the Others ARE the Dharma initiative, just survivors of the Initiative, or something completely unrelated. Someone is still delivering supplies to the hatch, so someone thinks those experiments are still going on, right? And speaking of the hatch, could they tell us what the hell happened to it already? Did that sonic boom cause anything to happen besides causing the hatch door to land on the beach? Was the hatch bunker completely destroyed? And what's with the giant foot statue?

I think the show worked better when they kind of trickled the clues in a little at a time. But now that they've devoted full episodes to the mysterious undertakings of the Others, without providing any real answers, it's just become annoying. How can they show us so much and tell us so little? There better be some awesome reveals in the next two episodes, because I want to go back to longing for the show when it goes on its three month hiatus instead of welcoming a break from the bullshit.

NBC Scrambles

"30 Rock" and "Scrubs" will be moving to Thursday nights on November 30th, giving that night two full hours of comedy as lead in to the gut-busting laugh riot that is "ER" at 10 o'clock.

This is a good sign for "30 Rock," as it means the network is actually thinking it will still be on the air a month from now. But putting it up against "CSI" and "Grey's Anatomy" is probably not going to mean better ratings, so the show is still basically on shaky ground.

There's been a lot of talk about NBC announcing they are all but giving up on producing more comedies and dramas to air during the eight o'clock hour, and will instead air reality and game shows. I had just been thinking how refreshing it's been that there are relatively few reality shows on network TV this season (comparatively) and here NBC comes along saying they want to change that. Frankly, I think reality TV hit its peak a while ago, and NBC's investing more into the genre is just a step backwards. NBC also has one of the only new dramas that can be called a hit ("Heroes") so I don't know why they aren't taking something away from that.

But the way networks work will always be a complete mystery to me. Like, why does NBC insist on running little spots at the end of shows that say something like, "Stay tuned for more '30 Rock'!" making us think there will be previews for next week, or a little stinger before the end credits, when it fact there's nothing but commercials. That's just sleazy!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Because There's Nothing Better Than Watching The Office While In the Office

For some reason, this site has every episode of the American version of "The Office" online. For free and stuff. [via Too Much Free Time]

Edited to add: Well, that was fun while it lasted. I managed to watch almost all of the episodes I had missed before the site got taken down.

How Many Pounds Is 40 Kilograms?

Rock Star Supernova has hit another snag on its road to mediocrity superstardom as bassist Jason Newstead was injured in a "freak mishap." This "mishap" follows the band being sued over use of the name "Supernova," and the ultimate mishap of choosing Lukas Rossi as its lead singer.

Hmmm. Wonder when Storm and the Balls will be hitting the road?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

No, You May Not Have a Flexy the Pocket Monkey!

The complete first season of "Saturday Night Live" is going to be released on DVD. Finally! I realize that much of the first season is painful to watch. But parts of it are brilliant, and a lot of it never made it to syndicated reruns because those reruns are only an hour long.

Personally, I'm holding out for season two (I think), when Bill Murray joined the cast, so I can finally see his "Santa's Trap Door" sketch again. For whatever reason, they decided not to include that bit in the reruns of the episode, and I remember it making quite the impression on me as a kid. In a good way.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Amy Sedaris Alert!

I'm still bummed that I won't be able to see Amy Sedaris tomorrow, but I guess I will just have to make do with her appearance on "The Martha Stewart Show" today!

If you miss it, I think the shows are viewable the next day on the Web site.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

State of TV: Sundays (and Saturdays, Kind Of)

Is Sunday the end or the beginning of the TV week?

"Kidnapped" has been pretty much killed, and dumped onto Saturday nights at 9. I didn't think the show was the most riveting thing on TV, but I appreciated its attempt at story-centered drama. There are only so many procedurals one can take. Unfortunately, NBC didn't give it much of a chance. On the other hand, it's basically up against nothing, so maybe it'll end its life with some good numbers.

"The Simpsons" remains on Sunday nights, although baseball continues to push it off the air for most of October, and once again its annual Treehouse of Horror episode is going to have to air AFTER Halloween. Annoying!

Also at 8pm on Sunday is "The Amazing Race" which has been pretty good this season, especially compared to that awful family edition. I include it in my weekly Reality Locals recaps, so I don't think I have much more to say about it here.

At 9 "Desperate Housewives" continues its attempts to dig itself out of the hole of suck it fell into last season. I wasn't a big fan of the show from the beginning--I thought its attempts at satire were pretty weak, and didn't buy it as a fluffy soap either. But last season was even worse. So why do I keep watching? Good question. And the answer is, I have no idea. The only character I've ever enjoyed has been Bree, but this season they have again paired her with a psychopathic boyfriend (now husband), and she just never seemed like such a dumb character that she wouldn't learn from her mistakes. Felicity Huffman's character seems to be many fans' favorite, but I've always found her portrayal of Lynette to be lacking in any real subtlety. Like the rest of the show, it's just a little cartoonish for its own good. I wish there was something else at 9pm on Sundays I thought was worth watching.

Which brings us to 10pm and "Brothers and Sisters" the show whose biggest claims-to-fame are Marti Noxon quit after a few months of production, and Calista Flockhart chose it to make her triumphant return to TV. It's your basic family drama, and so far has brought nothing particularly interesting to the TV schedule. The family is dysfunctional, but not in any real entertaining way. The cast includes some good actors, including Sally Field, but they can't manage to breath any real life into some pretty boring scripts. There's just not enough humor or, clever dialogue, or cute guys, or...anything to keep it from being the show I fall asleep to on Sunday nights.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Amy Sedaris Alert!

She's going to be on the "Martha" show Monday. Set those TiVos!

Locals Still Going Strong

This week's post about reality locals is now up on SFist!

The locals are doing surprisingly well. Except when they're not. Read the post to learn more.

State of TV: Fridays


Especially because it means less TV I have to watch! Not that I don't love me some TV. But even I need a break sometimes.

The first Friday must see is "Meerkat Manor," although I'm still torn up about the disappearance of Courageous Little Shakespeare, and that Flower is one tough matriarch, isn't she? I guess this season's sad sack is Mozart, who was banished from the manor because she got pregnant by a meerkat from a rival tribe--big no no!--and Flower wasn't about to deal with any other pups when she was expecting her own (that girl can reproduce, yo). Alas, Mozart's pups died, and last we saw her she was hoping to be accepted back into the Whiskers tribe. Man. This show can be damned heartbreaking!

Now comes my shameful confession. I watch "Men In Trees." I'm not saying I like it. I'm only saying I watch it. Really, it's pretty awful, so obviously ripping off from both "Northern Exposure" and "Sex and the City," (although since one of the show's creators was also a writer on "SATC," that's to be expected). It really does not fill the void left by the loss of "Sex and the City," though, so I remain perplexed over just why I keep watching. I suppose it's because Friday is a slim night for TV. And it's a completely fluffy, unthinky show, which is just what I need at the end of the week.

Unlike "Battlestar Galactica," which remains extremely thinky and challenging. In that way it's almost the polar opposite of "Men In Trees." But I'm not complaining about the show's complexity; it still blows me away week after week. I will admit, however, that I am getting anxious about the whole New Caprica setting. I want to see the show get back into space--it is called "Battlestar Galactica" after all. And I want to see Starbuck cut her hair and kick some ass again. I also want them to get on with the revelation of the other Cylon models, or at least one or two. The longer they wait, the more disappointed I will inevitably be with those reveals.

Also, when Boomer finds out her baby is still alive? That is going to be...intense.

Halloweeny Tee Vee

Here's a good list of Halloween TV coming up in the next 10 days or so.

I love this time of year for TV. Especially the annual viewing of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" (which will air Friday the 27th at 8pm on ABC).

Thursday, October 19, 2006


T.R. Knight, the actor who portrays George on "Grey's Anatomy," has admitted he's gay.

Not sure if he was before the show started, but I wouldn't be surprised if those scenes he had to spend in bed with Ellen Pompeo kind of sealed the deal.

Liza With a "Holy Crap!"

Remember back when Liza and David Gest first got married and they were going to have a reality show on VH-1? Yeah, amazingly that never made it on the air. But low and behold, it has made it to YouTube. And it's...well, pretty much what you'd expect it to be. Watch as Liza sweats! Thrill to the sight of David Gest buying CDs!

Part one is below. And here are parts two and three. Hopefully YouTube will keep them up there. The whole thing is also on Google Video, but I can't get it to play. [via PopWatch]

I'd Never Be Caught Dead On a Segway

Unless it was the one that GOB rode on "Arrested Development"!

Come on! Let's pool our resources! And there might even be a few magic tricks illusions in that handlebar bag! [via Gizmodo]

State of TV: Thursdays

Thursday! The most crowded night on television!

The 8 o'clock hour brings us "Ugly Betty" on ABC, one of the only new shows that can be called a hit. It's cute and it's for girls! My only fear is we've had three episodes so far, and they've been pretty much the same, storywise. Betty's happy about her job, her co-workers make fun of her, then Betty's sad about her job and wants to quit, then Betty saves the day and her boss's ass, and loves her job again. Yeah, we kind of get the she's-an-outcast thing. Maybe do something a little different with it? Also, for a show about fashion, the fashions on the show aren't that great. Still, it is charming, and not really like anything else on TV right now, so I'll keep watching.

Over on CBS, "Survivor" continues after teasing us with a "race war" and only giving us two weeks of it. I think I have the rest covered over in my locals recap, so let's move on...

To "My Name Is Earl" and "The Office." Earl continues to be amusing, but if Jamie Pressly wasn't on the show, I think I'd have to stop watching. As for "The Office," I'm not too happy with the way Jim and Pam romance played out, but I've expressed my annoyance at the old "gotta keep the people meant for each other apart! It's more dramatic!" convention before. For once I'd like to see those people just end up together and be happy. But then again, I can't imagine Jim and Pam ending up together and remaining as workers in that office, that would just be kind of sad, so I suppose there just isn't a choice here. Perhaps they'll just save the romantic resolution for the series finale, (or reunion, as the original series did). Aside from all that, the show is still pretty darn funny.

Come 9pm it's "Grey's Anatomy" and "CSI." "CSI" remains the only "CSI" I watch, and I still enjoy it, but I have to admit I don't really pay that much attention to it when I watch it. Since about 15 minutes of the show is devoted to some kind of lab work musical montage, I'm not missing too much, and I tend to get the gist of the mysteries involved. "Grey's Anatomy" continues to annoy me, or more specifically, Meredith continues to annoy me, but thankfully there are plenty of other, less annoying characters to watch, so I just go and do the dishes or wash my face or nap whenever Meredith and McDreamy are on screen. Yes, he's still pretty dreamy, but he's becoming just as annoying as Meredith, and I'd really like the show a whole lot more if each episode began with them sneaking into a closet to do it, where they'd remain, unseen, for the remainder of the episode. Then at the very end, they could come out looking sheepish, and the credits could begin. Perfect!

Finally, at 10pm we have "ER" and "Six Degrees." "ER" is obviously taking some clues from "Grey's Anatomy" and playing up the personal angle more than the ER angle. Even more than that, they've started using obscure pop songs during montages, which is pure "Grey's." It must be working as the show has seen an uptick in the ratings, and has even kept me watching when I was sure I'd call it quits this season. In all honesty, I think it's a better show than "Grey's Anatomy," but "Grey's" is just easier to watch, and a lot less intense.

It could be argued that "Six Degrees," another entry into the "many strangers, some connection" genre, is the weakest of those entries, as so far, there's nothing much bigger than coincidence connecting these people. No nuclear explosions, no bank robbery. Just...coincidence. And I kind of like it that way. Some would call the show boring, but I continue to watch week after week, and am more interested in these screwed up New Yorkers than I am in those Armageddon survivors in Kansas, or those bank robbery survivors in...LA? I care so little about them that I don't even know where they're supposed to live. There's no doubt where "Six Degrees" takes place; New York is practically a character in itself. I also think it helps that the show has some really good actors, like Hope Davis and Campbell Scott, and they manage to keep it more interesting than it might be with a bunch of the usual TV talent. I really can't argue with anyone who says the show doesn't seem to have a point; it doesn't. But when the acting is good, and the storytelling is good, sometimes, that's enough.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

She Likes You

Anyone catch Amy Sedaris on "The Daily Show" last night? (It's repeated many times today if you didn't.)

Also, for those who can make it, she's going to be reading and signing her new book at the Book Passage in Corte Madera next Tuesday. Unfortunately, it's at 1pm, so I can't go. Waaaaaaaa!

To tide you over until then, and to get you prepped for Halloween, read her tips on hosting a Halloween party!

State of TV: Wednesdays

border="0"Wednesday. Please, please don't call it hump day.

I'm sure some kind of hump/"America's Next Top Model" joke can be made (involving, no doubt, Fergie), but I'm just too tired to come up with it. So let's instead talk about Tyra's huge ego. Seriously, girl needs to get over herself. It's especially amusing when she gives the girls modeling advice like, "You're smiling, but you're dead in the eyes. You need to be less like this-" opens her eyes and stares ahead, "and more like this-" opens her eyes and stares ahead. Yeah. Thanks Tyra. You're brilliant. And I think anything else I have to say about the show I say every week with my locals recap on SFist.

Also at 8pm is "Jericho" one of the only new dramas to get a full season order, meaning it's a hit. And for the life of me, I can't understand why. We're what--four? five?--episodes in and we still have no clue what went down with all those nuclear explosions, and instead have been stuck in a Kansas city town with a bunch of locals who are dealing with nuclear fall out and radiation poisoning. How fun! And these people just don't act like people would if nuclear Armageddon had broken out. The local teens hold a keggar, and the local adults almost take up arms when the possibility that the town saloon's generator may run out of gas. OK, sure, maybe this is the way real people would act, but the show doesn't manage to do it convincingly. No one seems that...concerned about what's really gone down. I can understand the desire to drink oneself silly if the nuclear bomb was dropped on a nearby city, but I think I'd either be sobbing, or completely slap-happy while doing it. I'd hope I wouldn't be a total bore like every last resident of Jericho seems to be.

"30 Rock" kind of tanked in the ratings, and the critics didn't seem to like it much either, which has me flummoxed. Of course I've only watched one episode so far, but I still think that one episode was funny. I really hope it doesn't get cancelled.

Which brings us to "Lost," which has also been losing viewers and pissing off critics. Me, I'm happy with the way it's played out so far. I like that this season has introduced a new set of characters, just as season two did with the Tailies. And I'm intrigued enough by the Others' shenanigans to remain hopelessly addicted to the show. I will say I'm disappointed they brought the "it might not be Jin's baby" plot into play. I don't like how that makes Sun a liar (well, more of a liar) and possibly removes the supernatural (or Other) explanation for her pregnancy. I also can't stop thinking about how there are only six episodes (three more to go!) before the show dissapears for months. Can they possibly give us (and especially viewers who are leaving) a good enough finale and/or cliffhanger to get us to come back in February? My faith remains in the show, but that doesn't mean I won't worry.

Following "Lost" is "The Nine" at 10pm, the drama about nine people who survive a bank robbery. While the nine tend to be more interesting than the inhabitants of Jericho, Kansas, they still aren't compelling enough to actually get me excited about the show. I keep watching because I want to see what happened in that bank and see how it plays out over the season, but something tells me the payoff is going to be disappointing. I also really dislike Tim Daly's character, which is a shame since his story has been getting more play than the others. But then when I do think about the other characters, I actually can't think of any I'd want to see more of, so I guess that criticism isn't really valid. I will say I thought the ending to last week's episode, with the teenage girl's realization about the 911 one call, was very effective. But it remains a small part of a bigger mystery that is, at this point, just not that riveting.

Finally, for one more week (meaning tonight) we've got "Project Runway." I'm glad to say that this reality show remains the best reality show on TV, and this season can only end up being better than last season's, since none of the designers is showing signs of having a collection as horrendous as last season's winner, Chloe Dao's. (Oh, the "Dynasty" nightmares those dresses gave me!) For the record, I'm rooting for Laura. She has a boring aesthetic I find quite pleasing. (And I think the previews showing jerkwad Jeffrey's breaking down crying are probably his crying with relief that he hasn't been disqualified for cheating. Although I'm kinda hoping he does get busted for something. He's just so ick.)

Following the finale of "Runway" is the premiere of "Top Chef," which was suprisingly good last season. Unlike "Hell's Kitchen" that other reality cooking show, the chefs on "Top Chef" have to have actual talent to win, and not just the ability to put together generic menus while someone screams at them and calls them donkeys. Unfortunately, the show is taking place in LA this year, instead of San Francisco; part of the fun of the show was seeing the local eateries and neighborhoods being featured each week. But maybe if this season does well they'll bring it back to SF for season three.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Creepiest Creep That Ever Creeped

Did anyone watch John Mark Karr on "Larry King Live" yesterday? (You can watch parts of the interview online now.) It really makes me sick that this creep is still getting media coverage. Yes, the charges against him have been dropped, but he chose to give a false confession and that in itself is creepy enough to warrant a media blackout. Stop putting him in the news. There are more important things to talk about.

Like this.

State of TV: Tuesdays

Part two of my daily rambling about what I watch and why I watch it.

Tuesdays. 8pm. First and foremost is "Gilmore Girls," even though I completely hate the plot developments that happened last year. So many people bemoan the loss of the Palladinos, and I maintain that they were the writers that threw Luke and Lorelei together--something fans have been dying for for many years--and they were also the writers that totally fracked up that relationship by introducing April, Luke's out of the blue illegitimate daughter (and an ex-girlfriend as her mother), and turned Luke into a total asshole. If it was the intent all along to get Lorelei and Christopher together, they could have come up with a better plot line than that love child ridiculousness to separate Luke and Lorelei. In fact, why bother having them get together at all?

It gets me really worked up and, again, I blame it all on the Palladinos. If this season sucks, there's no one to blame but them. All that said, I still watch, just because I want to see if the show can pull itself out of the black hole. Also, the whole "Lane is pregnant" thing? I'll place the blame of that on the new guy. What a horrible way to treat a fun character. Have her marry too young, have a horrible honeymoon complete with unenjoyable (first time!) sex, and end up pregnant as a result. What has Lane ever done to deserve that?? *Sigh.* At least Jess is gone...for now.

I've already talked about giving up on "Friday Night Lights," which is also on at 8pm. I ended up watching the second episode while working, and remained just as uninterested. I don't think I can invest much more in it, since the ratings have been abysmal, and it's likely to get cancelled anyway.

The 9 o'clock hour brings us "Veronica Mars" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." I don't think I need to go into why I watch "Criminal Intent," but just in case, I'll reduce it to two words: Vincent D'Onofrio. The episodes with Chris Noth are just annoying filler.

As for "Veronica Mars," I continue to be more and more disappointed with the show. It has yet to reach the high bar set by the first season, and I've said before that I found the second season a bloated, confusing mess. It seems the series will be presenting more one-off storylines in an attempt to attract new viewers, but the underlying mystery of the on-campus, head-shaving rapist is a little grim (albeit not as grim as the first season's murdered girl mystery); it's just I don't like the idea of rape being a constant plotline. They've covered this area before with Veronica's first season rape (and horrible conclusion to the mystery last season) so I hope they conclude this arc soon. As for the mystery her father is involved in, I am hopelessy lost about that one. I have no idea what the hell is going on. Also? Having all the characters ending up in the same college is just so..."90210." What happened to Veronica getting into Stanford? Was that another second season plotline that got buried in the mess?

You'll probably be surprised to learn that I watch "Help Me Help You" at 9:30, and even more surprised to learn that I actually like it. It's the one starring Ted Danson as a group therapist, and it's...funny. Not uproariously funny, but not completely asinine either. The "Arrested Development" influences are obvious: single camera, no laughtrack, and hopelessly dysfunctional characters, but I can excuse the copycat aspects now that there isn't the real thing around to watch anymore. If you haven't already, I'd say give it a shot. Can't hurt ya.

Unlike watching an episode of "Nip/Tuck" this season. That can be really painful. In all fairness, it's better than it was last year, with the stupid "Carver" plotline, but I just think the show's outrageousness has played itself out. This year's recurring plot involves Christian fearing he might be gay, and Sean dealing with having a deformed child. And murder. And a psychopathic psychiatrist. And organ snatchers. And Scientology. And a dying man paying Christian to have sex with his wife. And Jacqueline Bisset. And a dwarf nanny. And naked Rosie O'Donnell. These aren't single-episode storylines, people, they're what this season is all about, so I think it goes without saying: It's all too damn much.

Monday, October 16, 2006

State of TV: Mondays

In which I go into agonizing, day-by-day detail about the TV shows I am watching, and whether or not I actually like them.

So, on Mondays we have:

"How I Met Your Mother" at 8pm. I continue to watch this comedy even though the lead character is an annoying boob, and I could not care less about how he met their mother. I mainly watch because of Willow, and the "Freaks and Geeks" Guy, and Doogie Howser. I do laugh occasionally, but it's one of the shows I tend to watch while working since I don't feel the need to pay the utmost attention to what's going on, and it's dialogue-driven, so I don't have to actually "watch" it. I can treat it like a radio show. The same goes for "The Class," which follows at 8:30. "The Class" is actually not as good of a show as "HIMYM," and I wouldn't be the least bit upset if it were to get cancelled. Last week's reveal that the sad, suicidal guy who has finally met the perfect woman for him was completely sullied when they revealed that he might actually be nothing but a cheating louse. I don't care how bad his relationship with Darlene is, I just can't get behind love stories that are predicated on infidelity. It's both hackneyed and icky.

"Everybody Hates Chris" has moved to Mondays at 8pm, making it a crowded hour of television. I caught up with the last season over the summer with reruns, and can say I solidly like the show. Not love, but like. I always laugh at least once, and have a nostalgic fondness for its 1980s setting. But ultimately, I just don't think the show tries hard enough. Too often it relies on Chris Rock's narration to supply the jokes, when it would be a much stronger show if the comedy came from the actors and the plot.

"Prison Break" is also on at 8pm, although it's disappeared for the last couple of weeks due to baseball--always a bad thing for serialized dramas. This season, as last, is completely preposterous, but therein lies the fun in the show. Everything that happens is utterly ridiculous, and almost every commercial break and episode ending includes an "Oh my god, how will they ever get out of THIS one??!!" moment. Needless to say, they always get out of it. No matter, though, as Wentworth Miller remains the dreamiest tattooed freak to grace TV. (And those who watch "Nip/Tuck" can attest that Miller is not the ONLY tattooed freak to grace TV this year.)

Which brings us to 9pm and "Heroes." I'm not going to say that the show has actually gotten any better since the pilot. It's still full of cliched characters, and the normal people/superheroes idea has been done countless times by comic book writers and, apparently, Salman Rushdie, but I don't mind. As far as the "group of strangers brought together by some kind of weird event" genre that has overpopulated this season's schedule is concerned, it remains the most entertaining. Sure, Hiro still looks like he's trying to pass the world's worst dookie every time he uses his powers, and yeah, that cheerleader might have an added superpower of World's Unluckiest Girl: She broke her her neck during an accidental football tackle, and almost got raped by a football jock, only to end up impaled by a branch--straight into the skull. None of that matters, though, because the ending of last week's episode, when she wakes up on that table, completely eviscerated? Was the most awesome ending of any episode of any series all season.

At 9:30 I watch "The New Adventures of Old Christine." Putting it simply, I like Julia Louis Dreyfuss. I think she's funny. I think the show is funny. End of story.

Not let's get back to the awesome thing. Here's something that's not awesome: "Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip." Not awesome in the least. Yes, I continue to watch, but more for its "I can't believe something so bad has come from someone supposedly so great" factor. It's truly ironic that the show is centered on a writer who is again, supposedly, so great that week after week he writes an entire comedy show by himself--and the one time he actually allows something his staff of writers has written to make it on the air, the show ends up in a plagiarism scandal. See what happens when he doesn't write it all himself?? The truly sad part is, not one thing on the sketch comedy show-within-a-show has been the least bit funny, making it that much harder for us viewers to care a rat's ass about this supposedly brilliant writer, and his show, and his pining after a woman who's supposed to be an amazing comedic talent but isn't the least bit funny, and is instead just a whiny shrew. And the worst thing of all is the completely ill-placed sense of importance that hangs over it all. These people act like they're saving television week after week, and they so...aren't. And yeah, I don't know if I'm talking about the creators in "Studio 60" or the creators of "Studio 60" at this point.

Lastly, there's "What About Brian?" also known as "What About thirtysomething?" And yeah, what about it? I think anything that has even a trace of J.J. Abrams on it will get approval on ABC these days, hence the renewal of this midseason replacement that no one watched when it originally premiered. I make no apologies for loving "thirtysomething," even though when I watched it, I was a mere twentysomething (and a teensomething when it started). It's scary to think that the characters that inhabit the world of "What About Brian?" are supposed to be the same age as the characters that inhabited "thirtysomething." Yes, both shows are about self-absorbed, relatively well-off white people, but the maturity level of these thirtysomethings compared to those thirtysomethings? Is pathetic. Obviously 30 is the new 13.

But perhaps the thirtysomethings who were watching "thirtysomething" back in the day were thinking the same exact thing.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Saturday In New England

Well, not really, but part of it had a New England flavor.

First off, I took in some high school volleyball at a tournament my 14-year-old cousin was playing in. I don't really understand volleyball, although it doesn't seem like the most complicated of games, but my cousin did--score? spike? make?--a point, so that was awesome, and her team (go Salesian!) ended up in first place in their division. Sweet!

After that I went to see "The Departed" with the parents; I liked it a lot. Didn't love it as much as I have loved past Scorsese pictures, but liked it a hell of a lot. Listening to all those Boston accents had me craving a nice lobster roll. Not that I've ever actually had a lobster roll, but reading about my friend Chrissa's lobster roll experiences in the past few months has had me wishing I could fly to the east coast for lunch. Luckily, the Woodhouse Fish Company, a "New England-style" fish place, opened up at Church and Market a few months back, and lobster rolls are one of their offerings.

Like I said, I've never actually had a lobster roll, so I have nothing to compare this to. All I can say is I thought it was awesome. It was way expensive (but lobster on this coast always is), especially since I ordered the "mega roll": 6 oz. for 21 bucks. Yikes! But there was plenty of lobster in the roll, just the right amount of mayo, a few shavings of green onion, and it was served on tasty, toasted, buttery bread. (Not a hot dog bun, and not French bread, but something in between.) It was scrumptious. I want another. RIGHT NOW!

But now it's Sunday, and I am procrastinating on all the laundry, homework, and work work I have to do. Sounds like a good time to take a nap.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Unexplainable Disgust Explained

I have always had a deep and unexplainable hatred of local news anchor Pete Wilson. I can't stand the dude. In the past, I was never able to really pinpoint just what it is was about the guy that I disliked so much, but the recent brouhaha over some comments he's made has shed some light on what I must have just been sensing all these years. Call it Anti-Gaydar.

Further Proof That France Doesn't Deserve a Disneyland

This video isn't nearly funny as The Sun's description of said video.

Par example: Then Mickey gets friendly with the snowman--and the gay action continues with Goofy having a steamy CLINCH with cartoon chipmunks Chip 'n' Dale. Finally, the horny hound CUPS Minnie's boobs. [Emphasis theirs.]

Why can't American papers write stuff like this?

Storm Free

According to TVgasm, plans to have some of the "Rock Star: Supernova" fan faves play with the house band during the upcoming "Don't call them Supernova" tour have been nixed. I bet they realized having a band full of actual talent open for them was not such a great idea when you're the pinnacle of musical mediocrity.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I Can Almost Taste the Po' Boy

In less than a month I'll be going to New Orleans, woo! I'm excited, but also a little nervous as I always tend to be when a plane flight is a approaching. I also realized I am going to have to board Tori at the vet's for six days as she is now a special needs kitty. She's not going to like that one bit, but I think she's going to take it a lot better than this cat did.

I Heart Alec Baldwin

My review of "30 Rock" is up on SFist. Go read it! And be sure to watch it tonight at 8pm on NBC! If there is any justice in the TV world, "Studio 60" will get the can, and "30 Rock" will turn out to be a huge hit.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I've started to watch TV while working, and it's become addictive. That's how I tend to work when I'm at home, with the TV on and me on the couch with my laptop, but I've recently begun to take advantage of the availability of a lot of shows online and have been watching them while in the office. Today I watched "Studio 60," "How I Met Your Mother," "The Class," and "The New Adventures of Old Christine." And now I'm all done with the shows I had waiting for me on my TiVo and I want more. MORE!

Now, lest you think I am watching TV instead of working, I want to assure you that isn't the case. I am just so smart that I can do both at once. I can also read and listen to music, and sometimes even listen to music, read, AND sing at the same time. I'm brilliant. Oh, and it also helps having an awesome widescreen monitor here at work that allows me to have all the necessary windows open at once. In fact, I'd say I am MORE productive when I am able to watch something and work at the same time. I find it very hard to do just one thing at once. I'd much rather get something productive done along with my TV watching. That also goes into why I dig taking the shuttle into work; I am able to work AND commute at the same time. Sure beats sitting in a car, staring at the bumper in front of you, (or sitting on MUNI, staring at the bum in front of you).

But I digress. If you'd like to partake in this wonderful work habit, here are some helpful links.

ABC is only offering its dramas online at the moment, which is disappointing because I would love to be able to watch "The Bachelor" while at work. I can't bring myself to do it at home.

CBS seems to have most of its shows available the day after they air.

NBC only offers a handful of shows online.

The CW is lame and only has previews and clips, as far as I can tell.

And Fox looks to be Windows Media only, so screw them.

Columbus Day Is Actually NOT Better Than Christmas

Yesterday was Columbus Day, which is a holiday, hence the no blogging. It was a great day off except for the having to work and go to school part. But no blogging gave me about 30 free minutes which was ALL PARTY baby!

"30 Rock" premieres tomorrow and I should have a review up on SFist tomorrow as well. But if you just can't wait, you can watch the pilot online at the show's NBC site. And let me tell you, it's pretty fracking funny. I want to have 100 of Alec Baldwin's babies.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Night's Alright for Fighting

I've got another post up on SFist, and this one's about "Battlestar Galactica," which premieres tonight at 9pm. I can't wait.

In other TV news, "Smith" has been cancelled by CBS, making it the first officially cancelled series of the season. That sucks. I didn't love the series, but I appreciated the talent involved, and felt if given the chance it could have gotten a lot better.

Also, the CW has decided to move "Everybody Hates Chris" to Mondays after only one week at its Sunday at 7pm slot. That sucks, too, as it's now up against "How I Met Your Mother" (which is moving back to 8pm) and "Prison Break." Good thing I've got that second TiVo!

Yul Love It

This week's post about locals on reality TV is now up on SFist!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Does This Mean They'll Just Fly Lower?

It's Fleet Week, and you all know how much I love it. (And no, I'm not being sarcastic.) But for the first time that I can remember, it's actually raining. It's usually really hot during Fleet Week, Indian summer and all that, but not today, that's for sure. The Blue Angels are supposed to start their practice flyovers today, but I'm wondering if they cancel that due to rain?

I think it's supposed to clear up by this weekend, when the real air shows begin, but I can't say them not getting a chance to survey the skies and do a practice run fills me with confidence. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE watching the Blue Angels, but I'm not naive enough to think something CAN'T go wrong. I just choose to ignore that fact, much like I ignore the fact that I live in a City that's sitting on a faultline, and we could all be dust in a matter of minutes. Don't ignore it, and you'll just go nuts--or move to Kansas and worry about tornadoes instead.

Edited to add: Well, a Blue Angel just flew over my roof, so I guess that answers my question.


I've got a brief post about "Ugly Betty" up on SFist, but if you don't have the time to even glance at that, I'll make the point even briefer: I like it.

Mmmmmm....Fish Biscuit

When I said I didn't think they could top the season premiere of season two of "Lost," I didn't imagine they would just...copy it. But to great effect. I loved it! And if the call-back to the season two premiere wasn't enough, we got to see the plane crash from yet another perspective.

And that pull-back to reveal the town was on the island? I think I actually cheered out loud at that.

The rest of the episode didn't exactly pile on the answers, but I'm perfectly fine with the slow reveal. I have my suspicions that Kate might have been convinced to turn on Sawyer and Jack. She obviously struggled against something while wearing those cuffs--torture?--and she seemed pretty eager to take a bite out of that fish biscuit--guess she didn't partake in the civilized breakfast?

Obviously Jack and this Juliet woman are going to become an item. Her relationship with Ben was strained to begin with (a divorce? Or just a break-up?) and his willingness to let her die with Jack seemed to come a little too easy. But will Jack just play it up to get away?

And Sawyer. I'm thinking the kid that let him loose might have been a pawn. These Others are all about the experiments, and Jack, Sawyer, and Kate are nothing but lab rats.

These first six episodes are supposed to have a complete story arc, so perhaps it will end with an escape. But what happens after that? Do the Losties then set out to destroy the Others? Or do they join them?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Friday Night Li...Hey, I Think There's Pudding In the Fridge

OK. I tried to like "Friday Night Lights." It got rave reviews (in some cases, "rave" as in "stark raving mad") and the acting was good. The writing was earnest, and smart. But man, the minute people started talking about football, or playing football, hell the second I saw a football helmet, my eyes just glazed over and I had no desire to pay attention.

I really hate football.

I thought the human story surrounding the football team would help me get passed this, but for the characters on the show, football IS their life. And that leaves little for me to care about.

Six Weeks?!

Today's SFist post is now up, and it's mainly about "Lost," which premieres tonight! Wooooo!

This blog has been somewhat neglected in favor of SFist posts, but I think by next week things should go back to normal, which is to say, no posts on either. Ha! I kid. After next week the season premieres should be pretty much done with, and I can start talking about the shows that are getting cancelled, both by me and my TiVo, and the networks.

Monday, October 02, 2006