Friday, November 30, 2007

Who Likes Padma That Much?

On my way into work this morning a car in front of me had a vanity plate that said:


Now this can mean a number of things.
  • Either Harold, Ilan or Hung had taken residence in Nashville
  • The best chefs on the show, Sam and Trey, decided to have a personal victory and get a personalized plate
  • There was a super-fan in my midst
I bobbed and weaved to get closer and inspect the bumper stickers. They had some from the Young Chefs Academy and one for a local mayoral candidate. My guess is they're just a moderately creative chef.

But the whole thing got me to thinking. What shows do I love enough to permanently stick to the back of my car. I have a vanity plate and deciding what to pick was difficult because you know people are constantly trying to judge you/ decipher it from behind.

I think my only options would be odes to 24 and The Office.


Because honestly, is there anything else on TV worth getting rear ended for?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Show I'm Going To Miss The Most...

if the Writers Strike doesn't end soon:

30 Rock.

Tonight's episode made that pretty much official. There's nothing I enjoy more than shows about awkward women dating hot guys, studio heads running baseball teams, allusions to the Iraq war, and Vili Fualaau jokes. I usually don't watch 30 Rock on its first-run because I'm a converted Ugly Betty fan. But thanks to a re-run, I got reacquainted with all of my favorites.

Frank (Judah Friedlander) was exceptionally "on" tonight. I don't usually find his character too funny, but his challenge to traditional sex roles was hilarious. Why can't two straight dudes enjoy each other's bodies? Quote of the night.

Cross your fingers these deals are working. The WGA comes back to the table next week. In a perfect world, 30 Rock wouldn't be interrupted. I'm just hoping the void doesn't last too long.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hump Day Updates

  • Kathy Griffin has a new stand-up special on Bravo tomorrow. I saw her perform here in Nashville a few months ago and it was the best night I've had here. If her new show Straight to Hell,is half as good, then I will probably pee my pants from laughing...twice. Plus, she'll probably talk about Jesus-Gate!

  • Diane Sawyer interviewed the Dilleys on Good Morning America today. Remember them? They're America's first surviving set of sextuplets or sixlets...not to be confused with the delicious chocolate candy. The Dilleys are 14 now and they have shaggy hair. My gaydar was totally off though. The little boy who loved Pocahontas, and ballroom dancing competitions is now a little more straight-laced so to speak. There's always college.

  • The Sci-Fi Channel is putting a new spin on the Wizard of Oz with their mini-series Tin Man. It kind of plays on the dark and morbid aspects of the original, plus it's a bit futuristic. For example, OZ is an acronym now for Outer Zone. Trippy huh? If that isn't enough it stars Zooey Deschanel (Elf, All The Real Girls) and Alan Cumming, two of my favorites. Tin Man starts on Sunday.

High School Musical: Third Times The Charm

High School Musical 3 is ditching the small screen and being released as a full-length feature next year.

Zac Efron, (who has shinier hair than 90% of the girls I know), is reportedly earning 3Million for this one. 3 Mil? And that's just on the front end. If this thing does well (and there's no doubt it will) then this kid could be one lucky/wealthy dude.

Supposedly the plot of HSM3 revolves around the senior prom. Uh Oh! We all know what happens at the prom. Maybe Vanessa Hudgens, was just doing some method acting for her scenes.

Too soon for that one?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tough Questions For The Candidates

Someone finally asked the Presidential candidates the tough questions...TV Guide.

They surveyed the hopefuls to see what they're watching and what their favorites are. The article hits newsstands on Thursday but thanks to the Drudge Report you can see it now.

My favorite response? John McCain! The old coot picked Prison Break. The Hanoi Hilton is his 9/11. Like Giuliani, he mentions it at every opportunity. It's almost adorable that he managed to work it in here.

And in a relatively shocking selection, Hillary Clinton mentioned home makeover shows, Grey's, and Dancing With The Stars among others. Frankly, I don't see it. Could this be a strategic move to constantly attract the lady vote? I would have taken her for a 30 Rock or Mythbusters fan. Something with less drama, more cut and dry.

You know who they didn't mention? Mike Gravel. I bet he'd pick Survivorman, then spend half an hour telling you how he could've done it better.

News You Can Use

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams is presenting a week-long special on Black Women. The series (creatively titled) "African - American Women: Where They Stand," started yesterday and runs through Friday on the air and through Saturday online.

The installments cover:

  • Education
  • Friendships
  • Heart Disease
  • Interracial Relationships
  • The Election
I caught tonight's installment on breast cancer. It was brief but covered a lot of stuff I never knew. And the information isn't just pertinent to women of color. There is a lot to be learned on womens health and societal issues. NBC is also keeping it interactive with additional features only available online.

An Open Letter To The Hip-Hop Community

Dear Rappers, Moguls, Singers, Back-Up Dancers, Posse Members and Mr. West,

Your music may be popular. Your clothes may premiere at fashion shows and boutiques around the world. You may even have a music video that cuts through the clutter on MTV and gets airplay. However, there is one fragment of media and pop culture that you need to stay away from: family reality shows.

MTV did it with Run's House. Then Coolio decided to get in on the act with the horrible at best show Coolio & The Gang. Now Snoop Dogg is staking his claim with Dogg Father, on E!

I get it, I really do. You re-brand yourself as a chill, laid-back family man. You have a few laughs, console a few children and you open yourself up to an entire new demographic. But this is more than we can bear. These programs make you look oafish and they come off as contrived and insincere.

Plus, it's kind of a red flag that your music career is slipping. Think of one musician whose reality show has lead to better music. Nick Lachey? Nope. Ashley Parker Angel? Who? Ozzy Osbourne? Half-dead.

Coolio & Rev Run may be done for, but you've got a new album to consider Snoop. For the sake of your work, your family and your fans, just say no. It may not have worked with the pot, but this far more detrimental.

And to the rest of you: dinkin flicka!

Shows I Wish I Cared About

Sometime's it's lonely at the ground floor. I just didn't think certain shows would last, so I let them go on without me. Now everyone is tuning in and I'm stuck with re-runs of Fresh Prince. Here are a few that I'm thinking of this morning:

  • Dancing With The Stars - Z-List celebrities cha-cha their way to back to relevancy. I should have believed the commercials. They told me it was a hit show all around the world. You know what else was a hit all around the world? Communism. That didn't last too long. Who knew people loved this stuff?

  • CSI & all of its ideations - I watched a few episodes of CSI, but once it split off into Miami, I thought it was done for. Pish-posh! The show took off like a motorboat filled with cocaine. Now Jessie Spano is showing up as Horatio's ex-wife. Just don't call her a chick!

  • The newest version of Battlestar Galactica: Shocking, I know. But I hear it's one of the best shows on television. Caprica? Thirteenth Colony? It's all Cylon to me. Plus Dwight Shrute is a fan and he knows fun.

  • The Tudors - Sex, killing, accents, old-timey clothes. What's not to like? I may try to catch up with this one on On Demand. Plus, I feel like Jonathan Rhys Meyers has something to prove after August Rush. Make it reign dude!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Writers Strike: Weekly Update

  • Writers and friends resumed picketing today after a short break for Thanksgiving.
  • The WGA and the studios are formally meeting today for the first time since the strike started. Some sources are saying a deal may be in the works, even finalized. I'll believe it when I see it.
  • United Hollywood is doing an innovative live broadcast online today. You can keep up with all of the goings-on straight from the best sources.
  • These Speechless ads are a great show of solidarity. Three cheers to the A-list actors for sticking by the people who make them appear effortlessly witty, smart, or vile. The series of videos are running on Deadline Hollywood Daily. My favorite one features Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm).

That's all she wrote...for now. See you next Monday for the week five update. Let's hope this whole thing is coming to a close by then.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Prison Break Be Damned

Contributing to my addiction with prison documentaries is National Geographic Channel's Locked Up Abroad. It's exactly what is sounds like, but scarier. The show follows people who are in prison away from their home countries. I've watched two episodes so far. Both shows centered around young people, friends usually, who travel to South America and get caught up in drug trafficking.

Locked Up Abroad makes American prisons look like a Holiday Inn Express. The episode chronicling two Englishmen in a Venezuelan jail was eye-opening. First, they were in a jail. Their clothes and shoes were stolen in the first night and they were locked in a room with over 30 people. They survived in the jail for a year and a half before they were moved to a state facility. The prisoners there had knives, guns, and grenades. GRENADES! Within two days of arriving, the two watched a man get shot in the head by another inmate. No one did anything. Later, one of them hits rock bottom and starts playing Russian Roulette. It's looked like a madhouse. You can't make this stuff up.

I'm not normally scared by what's on TV, but Locked Up Abroad has made me afraid of the following things:

  • Drugs
  • South American prisons
  • Guns
  • Shanks
  • The promise of luxury vacations
It's a very interesting program, especially since the people are out of jail now and telling their own stories with the help of dramatizations and frightening stock footage. Definitely some of the most compelling hours of documentary television I've seen in a long time.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ooh Eee Ooh Killer Tofurkey!

Did anyone else catch Nickelodeon's Nicksgiving Superstuffed Nicktoons Weekend? They featured the 100 Greatest moments in Nicktoons history, a preview of new shows, and extra episodes of the new classics, Spongebob and El Tigre. It was a pretty classy way to celebrate Turkey Day. 

But the best part? They showed the first episode of every Nicktoon ever! I woke up on Thursday morning to the faint sound oh "Doo do do do do do doo do do do do." Then a tweenage boy with a sweater vest appeared and it was confirmed. DOUG! His shyness, unrequited love for Patty Mayonnaise, and beatnik sister make for 30 minutes of great TV. 

Too bad Nickelodeon couldn't keep the good stuff around. Doug, Rocko's Modern Life, CatDog. And don't get me started on Roundhouse!

Friday, November 23, 2007

TGIBF: Thank Goodness It's Black Friday

Black Friday means a few things in my house: Turkey and cranberry sandwiches, the one and only day my mother sleeps in and my earliest wake-up call of the year.

My brother and I left the house at 3:45 this morning in pursuit of TV on DVD. Between the two of us we purchased Season 2 of House, a couple copies of Weeds Season 2, Sopranos Season Six Part 2, West Wing, and Six Feet Under...the entire series.

For a TV fan, Black Friday is my birthday, Christmas, and New Years combined. If you missed it this year, your next best bet is Memorial Day weekend. Big Box retailers like to unload a lot right at summertime. Labor Day isn't bad either, but the sales are mostly CDs. If all else fails, you can always go the Amazon route.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Before I sit down to my favorite meal of the year, here's what I'm thankful for, at least where TV is concerned.

  • Returns to normalcy for Desperate Housewives & Prison Break. Thanks for finding your niche and settling in again. I'm glad I held out hope.
  • The Writers Strike is a blessing in disguise. It's high time the writers get what they deserve, plus it clears the schedule for some ridiculous reality shows that I can rant and laugh at for years to come. Stay tuned for my diatribe on Clash of the Choirs.
  • Again, I'm thankful for my DVR and iTunes for ensuring I never miss a moment despite late night meetings, boring banquets and priceless moments with friends.
  • To Showtime & HBO for always raising the bar. The Sopranos finale made people believers again. New shows on HBO (Flight of the Conchords, Tell Me You Love Me) and dark hits on Showtime (Weeds, Dexter) are carrying the torch. They owe it to the Sopranos to continue to develop intelligent beautiful television...and they are.
  • And before I forget, I'm thankful for all of the great blogs I ran into this year, mostly while writing for this one. Scanner, and Reality Blurred to United Hollywood and Best Week Ever. I learn and laugh my way through work everyday. Thanks for bringing up to date pop culture news to the masses.
A Very Happy Thanksgiving to all five of our readers, wherever they are. Here's to lots of turkey, awkward family moments, the best naps of the holiday season and great sales on TV on DVD.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hump Day Updates!

The holiday has forced me into the kitchen for most of primetime this week. Luckily, I caught a few things that are worth mentioning:

  • Never is Charlie Brown more adorable and cringe worthy as he is in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. The boy makes a meal out of toast and popcorn. I also enjoyed the role reversal of Peppermint Patty and Marcy. That dinner almost turned into a scene from The L Word...not that there's anything wrong with that.
  • Planes Trains & Automobiles is all over the TV. If you haven't seen this movie, or hell even if you have, I only have 8 words for you: I want a fucking car. Right fucking now. If that and the picture above don't inspire you, then I'm done.
  • Grey's Anatomy is doing a special episode tomorrow night where the doctors face their scariest crisis ever: their ratings! I kid! I think an ambulance crashes into them or something.
  • Project Runway was fun again! I've purchased clothes from Sarah Jessica Parker's line before and the tonight's winner doesn't have me running to the store. In fact, it makes me want to run into H&M. And I am kind of over the entire cast constantly saying, "Make it work!" Sweet P must have done it 15 times. That's a sentence I never thought I'd write.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Favorite Thing Is The Screaming!

Oprah gave away a jillion dollars in gifts today on her annual Favorite Things episode. She traveled to Macon, Georgia for the special. Apparently, Macon boasts the largest concentrated Oprah viewership. At 4 PM everyday, 45% of TV sets in the city are tuned to that giant talking head.

But my opinions about Oprah aside, the woman knows how to throw a celebration. The most exciting part was the reveal. Have you seen hundreds of women and one sharp-dressed man go ape-shit nuts? I have.

Nothing says Christmas to me like loafing around eating baked goods. I'm glad Oprah finally figured that out.

Blood Sugar Sex Lawsuits

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are suing Showtime over the name of their new show Californication. The David Duchovny vehicle is about a writer with issues. It also features a character named Dani California, a Chili Peppers song in its own right.

The show's creator, Tom Kapinos, alleges he saw the phrase on a bumper sticker. Even if it were true, he had to know the band would come after him at some point. And Dani California? That's just too much of a coincidence. This would have been relatively easy to avoid if he had just worked with the band from the beginning. They seem like pretty chill guys and it would be a nice cross promotion. It would be easy to soundtrack a show with Chili Peppers songs and covers.

Hindsight is 20/20.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Celebrity Apprentice Lacks Celebrities!

The list of Z-List celebrities Donald Trump gathered to appear on his umpteenth installment of the The Apprentice is out! For the full list click here.

My favorite selections are:

  • Stephan Baldwin: Loved him on Celebrity Mole! Stars without scruples are the best kind. He'd pick a fight for a roast beef sandwich.
  • Gene Simmons: The only person on the show with actual street cred. His ego is bigger than Trump's so it should be a nice clash of the titans...and the bad haircuts.
  • Omarosa: She's famous for appearing on the first season of The Apprentice. Not only was she a huge bitch but she acted like she almost died when a piece of drywall fell on her head. I can't wait to see her lose her shit when she drops a very important file folder.
Is anyone actually going to watch this? Is the novelty great enough to give it a chance? If nothing else it will be nice to see Trump again. He kind of needs this season to be a hit. Otherwise, he can always go back to his true calling at Donald Trump's House of Wings.

I'm Never Trying New Things Again

With my favorite shows out of episodes because of the Writers Strike or Fall Finales and my parents not investing in a DVR (sometimes I think I'm adopted) I have come to realize that my TV patterns may be doing more harm than good. Instead of sticking to the basics, I decided to try and watch new shows today. I didn't get very far. Here's what I tried:

  • Young & The Restless: My brother stopped over for lunch and insisted on watching this daytime classic. Supposedly he became a convert after his ex got him hooked, but I refuse to believe it. He tried to catch me up but he lost me at " This woman had three babies die and now she's pregnant again but she could die...and this baby could die too, but they'll both probably live." Things I never realized 1. My brother is not as articulate as he appears 2. Soaps are why people hate TV.
  • Emeril Live: I've seen it before but that husky torso shoved into that little chef's coat combined with all of the yelling and spices freaks me out a little. I tried it again this evening. Turns out it's exactly how I remember, except this time he made disturbing noises while molesting a turkey with butter and rosemary.
  • My First Place: HGTV follows one super annoying young professor while she tours 40 or 50 houses out of her price range before finally picking a mediocre townhose and has it poorly decorated. It's not exactly ripped from the headlines but this is pretty much what that show is. To double your pain, the network is starting a new show Property Virgins, which is essentially the same thing. Who knew watching people go into escrow was the new black?
Am I just looking in the wrong places? There has to be better TV out there? What is everyone else watching?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

CNN Airport: Sucks - Old Movies: Don't

I flew home for Thanksgiving yesterday. For how much love and happiness you can find at the airport, at night, it can be the loneliest place on earth. People are tired, frustrated, smelly, tired of overpriced food and literally bent out of shape.

These sluggish masses of people eventually sit down at their gates and wait for the plane. What is the only consolation? The big TVs are on. You can just let familiarity wash over you. Only one thing: It's always the news. I understand that the news is important. People need to stay abreast of weather, trauma, sports scores, etc. But last night on CNN Airport (most ridiculous channel ever by the way) they were broadcasting the Democratic Presidential Debate. Again, I understand that it's really important, but COME ON! I am tired, my head hurts and I hate the sound of wheelchairs. I'm not going to like anything anyone has to say, let alone Bill Richardson.

So what do I purpose? They can't put other TV shows on. Too many families, too many debates over what to show. But they can show old movies! Imagine how improved your airport experience would be if you got to the gate and got to watch Ferris Bueller or Willy Wonka (not the frakish Tim Burton version)? Different gates could show different movies. A ticker with weather, headlines and stock quotes could run at the bottom. Think about this!

This thought alone got me through what felt like the longest 90 minute layover in my life.

Writers Strike: Days 13 & 14

Well I feel guilty, but I won't back down. The blog, Get Back In That Room, is compiling a list of people who have lost their job thanks to the strike. Remember, these aren't writers who are not working out of principle. These are casualties of that strike. It's a long list that probably grows everyday.

It's a sad side effect but ultimately it just needs to happen. If not now, when? I trust that these people will get their jobs back when the shows begin, however, they still have to make it through the holiday season.

Let's just hope this meeting on the 26th goes well.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Writers Strike: Day 12

The WGA and the studios agreed to return to the table for negotiations.

This is big! It probably won't end anything, but talking is a great start. The meeting is set for November 26.

What a great day. Let's hope for the best.

Almost As Good As Stonehenge!

And I thought he peaked in This is Spinal Tap. (He just might have. You be the judge.)

Harry Shearer is amazing. An actor since childhood. Comedian. Writer. Voice of several characters on The Simpson's (Mr. Burns, Smithers, Reverend Lovejoy etc.).

Now he's on to bigger things: TV News. Shearer is exposing what happens behind the scenes of big network newscasts. From debating the validity of stories to popped collars, Shearer catches it all (with the help of several crafty employees who sneak him the tapes).

Here's the video of his latest target: Katie Couric. It's almost shocking. How can someone be even more annoying in real life than they are on TV? It's like she tones it down a notch when they're recording.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Todd Bridges?! Who Knew?!

Todd Bridges is having a great week...for the first time in a long time.

The former drug addict and Diff'rent Strokes star has been tearing up the blogosphere in the past two days.

This morning, he appeared with Ali Leroi, (showrunner for Everybody Hates Chris) in a video on the strike. Why was he hanging out there? Who let him out of the house? I don't know. All I know is, the results are hilarious.

Then I was perusing the Best Week Ever blog and on their Best Night Ever video podcast featured non-other than TODD BRIDGES. What is going on here? Check outside and tell me if pigs are flying.

Writers Strike: Day 11

Adorably awkward, Michael Cera, is hosting SNL this weekend. You may be thinking, "Won't there be a rerun?" Nope. The New York Post is reporting the show will go on...stage that is.

The casts of SNL and 30 Rock will perform stage versions of their shows at a small theater in New York City.

Tickets are only $20 and the proceeds go to the WGA strike fund.

That show is going to be wonderful. I am officially jealous that I will be missing it. This is one of the only good things to come out of the strike so far, at least where fans are concerned.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Writers Strike: Day 10

Tonight's Bad Ass Writer of the Day Award goes to David Letterman. He's planning to pay his entire staff until the end of the year out of his own pocket. CBS stopped paying the crew on the 5th of November.

This almost makes me want to watch Late Night. Too bad it's in reruns!

Strike humor has yet to get old.

I think it will tomorrow when the last new episode of The Office plays. Don't call me after 8:30, I will be sobbing heavily.

Live Blog: Project Runway

I am so pumped for the triumphant return of Project Runway! It's been too long since we last saw Heidi, Nina, Michael and of course Tim Gunn. To celebrate this ocassion, I am blogging in real time. It's like 24 but with random observations and fewer requests for schematics. And I may be getting some insights over gChat from my friend, co-worker, and reality TV fanatic Liz.

Stay tuned. I'm strapped in and ready to rock this bitch.8:56 PM : Last year's finale is still on. Jeffrey was a jerk but you can't say he wasn't talented. Uli was one dimensional and annoying. The worst dimension you can be. Sidenote: You never see the models on this show ever again. I think they fall into the same bottomless pit as America's Top Model winners. Naima? Where are you?

9:00 PM: Rami Kashou could beat up the other designers if he wanted. FIT! Opposite of Chrs March. Though Chirs March could probably make a better sandwich.

9:02 PM: Carmen Weber and Christian whatshisface are starting the trend of Project Runway kids with bad hair. It's not innovative, it's just ugly. Oh yikes. Kit joined the club too. And Kevin's facial hair decided to be in on the fun.

9:03 PM: I'm already loving the quiet guy who works at the Museum of Science and Industry. What a sweetie. He reminds me of Daniel Vosovic.

9:04 PM: Don't piss them off or Sweet P and Rami are going to collectively whale on everyone in the apartment. I wouldn't want to meet either of them in a back alley. And Marion Lee may or may not be a serial killer. That pasty skin, the quiet gravely voice, the flower shop. He has access to shovels and soil. Tim Gunn grew his hair out and no longer works for the New School. Liz Claiborne? That seems a little drab for his taste, maybe that's why they hired him.

9:09 PM: First challenge: Use really nice fabrics to make anything you want that expresses who you are as a designer. Everyone is running towards the tents. I hope Chris March is okay. I'd be out of breath. Oh know, he really is slow. Luckily he got what he wanted. Ricky Fast Hands took everything he could. It's smart but kind of a dick move. And who is this crazy lady rubbing her fabric in the grass? I get that you love natural dyes, but don't be that girl on your first day.

9:16 PM: Simone Le Blanc is not going to win this show. You heard it here first. Quote of the night, " ...almost like water or magic flowing out of the back." There is magic or bullshit flowing out of Elisa's mouth. All of these people are just too philosophical. Shut up and sew.

9:20 PM: Well Rami can sew. That dress is adorable. It's one of the first ones on this show that I would actually wear. Elisa's dress with the magic coming out of it looks more like a blue dress throwing up on a thrift store. I hope she goes home, but I do kind of like her craziness.

9:25 PM: That commercial with Santino was so contrived. I know he was probably contractually obligated but I think he sold out. I couldn't find Santino's blog on I did find Laura Bennett's. Remember her?

9:28 PM: Carmen Webber has a deeper voice than half of the dudes on the show. It is a little distracting. Elisa with the crazy? "I'm going to hand measure you." What? That sounds like a line a drunk guy would use to feel a girl up. I think this is the first time I've warped blue over Project Runway.

9:36 PM: Reason 159,321,763 why people hate America: The Arby-Q sandwich.

9:38 PM: Micheal Kors looks older and very orange. I think he's been fraternizing with George Hamilton. Kevin's dress is kind of slutty. A mix between a party gown and 3 AM at the Moonlight Bunny Ranch. Christian Siriano's dress is like a period piece. 1920s or 30s. Not very flattering on the model. Jack Mackenroth's dress is adorable. I am enjoying the increase in accessible fashion.

9:42 PM: Marion's dress was steeped in S&M overtones or at least a Nightmare Before Christmas vibe. This is only confirming my suspicions.

9:44 PM: Shut up Michael Kors! Rami's flower was not too bland and motherly. I thought it cinched the whole thing together. But who am I to judge? I wore stirrup pants 3 years past the expiration date.

9:47 PM: Victorya's flower is more abrasive than Rami's ever will be. I'm 47 minutes in and already playing favorites. The judges aren't happy with Simone. If she goes home, it will be the biggest call of my life. Elisa's model looks kind of like Natalie Portman.

9:50 PM: 10 minute predictions. Winner: Rami Auf'd: Simone

9:55 PM: Question of the night: Will Bravo's new show, Make Me A Supermodel, put the kibosh on Top Model? I hope not.

9:56 PM: Who's going home? I can't take the suspense. Simone is already crying. I told you! She's weaker than soggy bread.

9:57 PM: Called it! File that under Booya! See you later Simone.

I am looking forward to this season. It is already full of bitchiness and intrigue. Just another reason to love Wednesdays!

America's TV Icons...For The Most Part

Viacom's solution to old people ,TV Land ,and Entertainment Weekly posted their list of the top 50 Greatest TV Icons. What's a TV icon? A personality who struts straight from the small screen and into your house. You speak about them on a one name basis. These people are best friends with America.

When you frame it like that, the list isn't that surprising. It includes everyone from Johnny Carson and Milton Berle to Ellen DeGeneres and John Stewart. However, a few celebrities snuck through that I am going to take issues with and a few I thought were left off.

  • Larry Hagman: Dallas was huge. No one can negate that. But really? Top 50 TV icons of all time? Really? Too soon. Plus I preferred him on I Dream of Jeannie.
  • Jennifer Aniston: Same story. Friends is funny and popular and she did have that haircut, but if I were to make a list of icons, she wouldn't crack my top 100. Or I would at least put her behind Larry Hagman.
  • Alex Trebek & Pat Sajack: Neither of these men were in the top 50. Their presence in American homes for a combined 42 years is impressive. Their quick wit and ability to keep those game shows fresh is near miraculous.
Wanna see the rest of the list? Click here or check out the TV Land special airing on November 16 at 7 central. It's set to air a jillion times after that too, so just stay tuned if you miss it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

TV Blogs Go Dark! Viva Revolution!

I'm not posting today in support of the Writers Strike. Click here for more information.

Starting now!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Writers Strike: Day 8

I've decided that if the strike goes on for two weeks (which it probably will) then I will stop clogging your Google Readers with posts about it and I will condense my musings into a weekly rant. For now though, I am coming live and direct with tonight's Bad Ass Writer of the Day:

Bill Lawrence, creator of Scrubs, did not write the show's series finale before the strike, even at the urging of the studio. Booya! Way to stick it to 'em Lawrence. You played them like an old an old man on an escalator.

Prison Break Fall Finale! Thoughts?

What scared me most about the Prison Break fall finale? The thought that I'm going to wait through a very long and very cold December and a good half of January for the show to return, only to get one or two episodes before the Writers Strike cuts the show like a shank.

So let's talk about this while we still can. Tonight's episode was a little confusing and very disturbing. I made a short list.

  • We learned last week that vixen/villian Gretchen was a former soldier who was kidnapped, tortured and from what we can assume, sexually assaulted at the hands of her captors in Iraq. So imagine our disgust and shock when see some rich, White government type guy tell her that unless she does what he wants he's " going to make what happened in Mosul look like a massage." Ahhhh! So awful. That's kind of a cheap shot, even for an ominous threat.
  • Whistler was supposed to kill Michael before the company busted him out of Sona. It was a very tense moment, but I couldn't stop thinking how much Whistler (Chris Vance, right) looks like a dirty, poorly shaven Ryan Seacrest. I think this an intense cross promotion from Fox.

  • It was kind of ballsy for Linc to just shoot that guy in the streets of Panama, even if it was in self-defense. No one saw that? They had just come off a really busy street. This show makes Panama look like Vice-City.
So there is a lot to chew on between now and January. Where are they taking Michael? Will Mahone come back to Sona, and if so, how will he fare with the only sane American gone? And I refuse to believe that was Sarah's head in a box. Let's hope she makes a return in '08.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Writers Strike: Day 7

It's the weekend so not too much news. Picketing begins bright and early tomorrow. It looks like crowds are headed to Wall Street for some serious hell raising/walking in circles.

  • One great development I came across today is It's a great site with resources for TV fans to support the strike anyway they can. Local chapters provided pizza for strikers. See what you can do from your own backyard.

  • If you hate pizza or if you just like awesome shirts, bookmark You can buy red wristbands or a vintage Writers Strike t-shirt (pictured). More items are coming soon. Plus they have a t-shirt contest. You can vote on the site.

Week In Review

Amazing Race
The teams are in Holland doing a sport called ditch vaulting. Nothing maks me smile more than skinny blond bitches trying something and failing miserably. Especially when failing means they end up covered in mud. Thank you for making my Sunday AR.

I miss Kate & Pat already. One thing I noticed tonight. Doesn't Pat look a little like Dr. Harry Weston (Richard Mulligan) from Empty Nest? They could be brother and sister.

Christmas Specials
The classic cartoon version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas was on TBS twice this weekend. Some may say it's too early. I say these things can't start soon enough. My favorite special is The Little Drummer Boy. Who knew a crappy song on a snare was better than gold or myrrh. Not at the top of my wishlist. If you're looking for an exhaustive list of when all of these things are coming on, especially on ABC Family, then peep this. I just made your day.

Dr. Donda West
Kanye's mom unexpectedly passed away yesterday. She has nothing to do with TV, but I have an inkling she was a classy lady. In this interview on WGN, she discusses her book, Raising Kanye, and her parenting style. The best part? You can tell she secretly hates those ignorant, annoying anchors. She was brilliant English scholar and she raised a musical genius. It's a true tragedy.

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Nothing much to say except it's been really funny this season. I like that Larry and Cheryl are separated. I appreciate it when art imitates life. Plus, with how annoying he is on the show, it's amazing she never left him earlier. And Vivica A. Fox is superb as the matriarch of the Black family. I never saw her as a comedian, but I am not too proud to admit I was wrong.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Writers Strike: Day 6

Just some talk:

  • Ellen Degeneres, the first host to break the lines and go back to work, is feeling the heat. Her reasons for going back make sense. She didn't want to to disappoint fans who had planned vacations around seeing her show. Plus, she's syndicated so sweeps is a big time for her. But nothing is as good as a resolution of this dispute. One of her former writers had this to say.
  • Scribe Vibe, Variety's strike blog, had some great photos of kids and animals getting on on the picket line. Babies and puppies can even make standing for hours in the LA sun look appealing.
  • 102 crew members who work on The Office were let go. 102 people. If you didn't think this was a big deal, if you didn't think this was going to effect people, if you thought this was just a blip on your news radar, it's not. This is serious business.

Goodbye Norman Mailer

Norman Mailer died today of acute renal failure at the age of 84. When he wasn't drinking, doing drugs, stabbing his wife, serving in the military or dealing with one of his nine kids, Mailer was writing some of the best literature of the 20th century. Oh, and when he wasn't doing all of those things, he was doing a guest spot on Gilmore Girls.

Sookie (Melissa McCarthy) said it best, in this episode titled, Norman Mailer, I'm Pregnant:

"He takes up space, he drinks iced tea, he scares the other people off."

America just lost one of the last great rebels. There aren't too many people left willing to just stick it to people. Goodbye Norman Mailer.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Writers Strike: Day 5

  • For once, Jack Bauer needs some help. (First, with the pose above.) Second, the 7th season premier has been postponed indefinitely thanks to the strike. They have a few episodes completed, but Fox doesn't want to stop suddenly, especially with the fanatical 24 fans. On the bright side, this will give Kiefer Sutherland some much needed time to serve out his jail sentence.

  • The frontrunning Democratic Presidential nominees (Clinton, Obama & Edwards) are all backing WGA. My guess is, they want to ensure good lines the next time they go on Saturday Night Live.

  • John August lead a campaign for film screenwriters to put down their pencils as well and stop working on screenplays. This could have a serious effect on 2009 blockbusters. They took out an ad and hundreds signed their name to it. This "Not a Page" initiative is really going to shake things up.

Why Did I Pick Now To Start Caring About The People's Choice Awards?

The People's Choice Award ballots are online now. Normally I don't care about these awards because I've noticed when we let people decide what they like, bad things happen. (Ever wonder why Two And A Half Men is still on? People actually watch it!) But since I am a part of the cultural conversation, I decided to cast my votes. And this way I can bitch when awful shows win.

Here's who I voted for in assorted categories:

  • Favorite TV Comedy: My shows to choose from included The King Of Queens, My Name Is Earl and Two And a Half Men. The worst part? I wrote the above comment without seeing this ballot. Nobody wins with this award show.

  • Favorite Female TV Star: Nominees include Katherine Heigl, Sally Field and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Are they even serious? I'm voting for Sally Field. With any luck she'll win and we'll finally get to hear the end of her speech.

  • Favorite Scene Stealing Star: I'm not even going to tell you the nominees. Just know that the best choice was Chandra Wilson from Grey's. If you've seen that show lately, you know the competition must have been weak.
Zowee. I may watch the results, just to see how all of this shakes out. Plus Queen Latifah is hosting and she's a class act. Maybe she can save this show from itself.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Writers Strike: Day 4

Today I signed this petition supporting the WGA and their strike. If you are any kind of person at all then you will too.

They're near 7,000 signatures already in just a matter of hours. It's nice to know that people are sticking by them. I hope this well of good will doesn't dry up once people realize the writers seriously aren't writing and the new episodes of their favorite shows will end very soon.

It did make me think of which reality shows I would like to make a comeback in the interim though. I'm pulling for The Mole! That is probably the most underrated reality competition of all time. If you don't remember, the show was about a group of people participating in different spy like challenges to win cash and prizes. The catch? There was a mole in the group, a person working to throw the games and keep them from winning prizes. Every episode, players took a quiz about the mole's identity and the person with the lowest score was kicked off. It was genius and hosted by Anderson Cooper. What more could you ask for?

The full season of UK Mole is streaming online for free right here.

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

I love 10-Day forecasts from the Weather Channel. Other than checking in for my flight, it is my favorite online pre-travel activity. Today I discovered my airplane will be arriving in the middle of scattered snow showers! Snow in the forecast means some great things:

  • Holiday specials on TV (The homeless father and daughter on Saved By The Bell anyone?)
  • I can bring my "Sleigh Bell Grande" playlist out of hiding
  • The return of my snowman earrings
  • My favorite SNL holiday sketch ever is now in heavy rotation on my computer, much to the dismay of anyone coming close to me from now until New Years.
It begins! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Writers Strike: Day 3

Who invited Bonaduce?

It's day three and it's the same old struggle. Today I came across United Hollywood, a super blog all about the strike.

The most fascinating part are the interviews with the writers themselves. Some are pretty hilarious/frustrated. I know what you're thinking, " If you can't be angst ridden about someone withholding money from you at your job, then what are you willing to fight for?" But it's just a little too much to handle for a viral video.

The writers/actors from The Office managed to crack a few jokes. But Marc Cherry and Damon Lindelof really broke down the problem:

Hump Day Updates!

  • I finally watched The Salt-N-Pepa Show on VH1. Needless to say, I can finally confirm that I much prefer SWV.

  • Lindsay Lohan is back in fashion...magazines that is. Rumor has it she's doing a three episode arc on Ugly Betty. I would be all over that. Before she was washed out and frail she was a pretty good actress. Plus, any scene with Vanessa Williams and Li-Lo would be a nice clash of the divas.

  • The CMA Awards are on live and direct from Nashville. I tried to watch, but the second I flipped it on, a mustachioed man was singing about how, "God must be busy." I don't even want to know what he's talking about.

  • The 8th and final season of Full House was released on DVD yesterday. Don't act like you're not sad. It's truly the end of an era.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Writers Strike: Day 2

The "Where have they been?" Edition

My favorite part of this is the onslaught of celebrity support for the oft-forgotten writers. 

Here's a gem of a blog post from Jamie Lee Curtis. By the way, where has she been?

I spoke about the strike with my brother last night. When I mentioned the late night talk shows were going into reruns, he had the brilliant suggestion to air moderately old episodes instead of just shows from the past six months. Think about it; wouldn't you enjoy watching Jay Leno interview movie stars and musicians while they were still in their prime? Chumbawamba, (Where have they been? I guess they never did get up again.) Devon Sawa, LFO and hell, Jamie Lee Curtis. The humor in hindsight would be way funnier than current late shows anyway. 

Just something to consider. 

Jeopardy Trebeks...Treks to Wisconsin

UW-Madison is playing host to this iconic tournament next spring?

What are the 2008 College Jeopardy Championships. 

I couldn't resist. 

As a Madison native, this is all very exciting, but also nerve-wracking. I love my city, but I am nervous as to how it will be portrayed. I am imaging Trebek walking around the lake, getting Blue Moon ice cream all over his face, or paddling a canoe. And what about the students? 15 incredibly nerdy and awkward college students converging on the Union South bowling alley...or worse...Mad Ave. If not done right, Madison stands to look like the lamest isthmus in the country. 

The episodes are shooting in April and airing in May. Meanwhile, I'm compiling a list of places for the crew to shoot B-Roll. 

Monday, November 5, 2007

Everything's Coming Up Rosie!

Rosie O'Donnell may be coming back to TV. Apparently she's in talks to host a nightly talk show on MSNBC. It will be less Ellen and more Real Time With Bill Maher.

I am a Rosie fan and have been for quite some time. True story: My first foray into journalism was in sixth grade when I wrote her a fan letter once and offered to be her snack cake reporter.

The View was top-notch when she was on. There was finally spirited debate, interesting topics and thought provoking discussions. If she gets the right forum, Rosie's new show could be the hottest thing on MSNBC...except for Lock Up.

But will people watch it? If the rumors are true, she'll be up against Larry King and Hannity & Colmes. While those shows have strong followings, the target audience is male, leans right and probably enjoys eating strained peaches. Rosie's demo is most likely watching primetime television. While I would be willing to tune in occasionally (Tuesdays and Fridays) I'm kind of booked solid the rest of the week.

I hope she comes back though. The media landscape is a little dry without her.

***Update 11/08/2007*** My dreams have been dashed. Rosie's not getting a show.
***Update 2/27/2008*** Or is she?

Writers Strike: Day 1

It begins! So far the picket line was peaceful. One picketer was hit by a car, but it doesn't appear to be malicious. 

This handy guide from the LA Times will keep you up to date on all of your favorite shows. I am most worried about 30 Rock. They've only got 8 episodes in the can and they're shooting the ninth this week. I miss Tracy Morgan already. How can I go on without Werewolf Bar Mitzvah?

I guess we'll have to find out. 

Week In Review

So much to say! I wish I could type faster!

Desperate Housewives
It got really soapy last year but Marc Cherry and company have turned it around. The show has gotten a lot funnier, especially out of context. 
"Look at yourself, you've declared jihad on a possum."
I'm loving Bob & Lee, the new couple in town. Lee (Kevin Rahm, pictured) is the perfect person to put the biddies of Wysteria Lane in their place. Rahm was an underrated character on Judging Amy, it's nice to see him shine now. 

Gourmet Next Door
Finally, I sat down and watched Amy Finley's new show. Finley was the winner of Next Food Network Star and she proved the win was well deserved. I watched the first episode, and it felt a little rushed and panicky. The food looked really good though, and she took the time to explain what she was doing. Her recipes were simple, elegant and practical for working people. 

Saturday Night Live
Brian Williams ,anchor for NBC Nightly News, hosted this week. He is a much better actor, especially comic actor, than anyone will ever give him credit for. I hope he comes back, he's probably the best host this season. With the Writers Strike, he may be last host for awhile...single tear. 

Mazda's Black Choir Commercial. 
At first you think it's a commercial for Macy's, or maybe a restaurant. But then the zoomzoomzooms kick in. I have to find it on YouTube. Or you guys can just watch primetime TV for an hour. 

What's on tap for this week? A two-hour Prison Break, Green Week on NBC, no late night TV. Too much to watch!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Amazing Race Is Back

The 12th season of Amazing Race premiered tonight and so far the pairs are the best ones yet. 

My favorites:
  • Nicolas & Donald (Grandson/Grandpa) The Grandpa swears and looks tough. He's like Cotton from King of the Hill...only friendly and with all of his limbs. 
  • Ronald & Cristina (Dad/Daughter) These two remind me of my father and I. Ronald is calm and even keeled...but he also sports a pullover that says "Who's Your Daddy." Cristina is just trying to cherish every moment she has left with her dad. He's only 60 but she speaks like he's on his deathbed. 
  • Kate & Pat (Married Ministers) They're Episcopal clergy and Amazing Race's first lesbian couple. Quote of the night, " Don't expect us to be wimps for Jesus." I hope they can win it all.
What pair am I already sick of? Brother and Sister Azaria & Hendekea. You can tell they've seen too many seasons of Amazing Race. They borrow laptops, they order taxis, they freak out when they miss flights, they start alliances one hour after meeting people. It kind of ruins the spirit of the show. I liken it to someone studying fire building and spearfishing before going on Survivor. It may be smart, but that's not what you're there for. 

I'll end with another quote from our favorite ministers:
"The Amazing Race is a love letter to the planet. This beauty of this Earth comes from God and we get the chance to sort of hopscotch around it and love it. Ya know? What a gift."

Turning Back The Clock

Daylight Savings Time ended very early this morning. Don't forget to push those clocks back. I just did a small dance in my kitchen after discovering that I had only wasted a few hours of my morning. Now I get a freebie and I'm giving part of it to edubTV. 

The time change made me think. If I were given one extra hour a day to watch TV, what new show or shows would I pick up? I probably would become a closet OC fan. I never got into it, I've never even seen a full episode, but judging from my love of other to-old-to-be-teen dramas (Dawson's Creek, Gilmore Girls) I think it would find a nice home on my season pass list. 

Or, if I could turn back the clock and get into a series from the beginning, I probably would've committed more time to How I Met Your Mother. Supposedly it's very sharp and the funniest thing on CBS since Armed & Famous. I don't want to be a fair-weather fan, so I think I'll just sit it out and wait until it goes into syndication. 

But today I get one more hour. My do-over. My freebie. How am I spending it? Watching Cavemen. I'm not going to let another thing slip by me again. 

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Hills Have Lies

Lies Lies Lies! I've never been a big advocate for The Hills. Where's the compelling drama? Local rich girl moves out of the 'burbs and into L.A. where she lands a dream job, gets drunk, hooks up with random dudes and starts giant queen fights. It's about as attractive as an ear infection. 

But thanks to a fanatic roommate and an undying need to stay in the cultural conversation, I have seen several episodes of the show. I knew most of it was set-up. I hesitated to use the word fake because the people are still real (for the most part), but the action and results were contrived. 

But this is taking it too far. Apparently, MTV is casting people for "key roles" in Heidi and Spence-Bot's wedding. WHAAA?

When there is an open call for your Maid of Honor, your life is no longer yours. You are an actress in a well-oiled cash cow. (How's that for a disgusting metaphor?) How can MTV ever explain this to the many loyal Hills fans out there who  never stopped believing the whole thing was real? 

It just makes you wonder about the rest of the reality shows out there. It's getting too hard to distinguish between actuality and fiction with non-actors. (Luckily, CourtTV is here to set the record straight.) The implications are alarming. Bad TV-->Fewer advertisers-->Cheaper Programming-->Bad TV. And this writers strike isn't helping. 

It's a vicious cycle rich in game shows and dance competitions...and nothing good can come of that. 

Friday, November 2, 2007

I'm Getting Green...In The Face

While watching the funniest episode of The Office ever last night, a commercial came on that made me laugh out loud. It really shouldn't have, it wasn't that funny.
It was all about NBC Universal's new efforts to go Green. It had flashy seafoam graphics, pictures of trees and the hottest tagline since "I'm lovin' it."

Green Is Universal.

Wow. I get it, and on so many levels.

The network's attempt to lure me with this BP-inspired public service did make me chuckle. But I laughed, no guffawed when I was reading Jack Myer's blog and discovered an uncanny pattern in NBC's shows next week.

  • 30 Rock: Jack creates Greenzo, an eco-friendly mascot for NBC.
  • Scrubs: Janitor watches "An Inconvenient Truth" and takes everyone to task about not saving the earth.
  • Heroes: The cheerleading squad gets earth conscious, (pictured). Don't be fooled, their shoes are now made with the crushed dreams of unpopular kids instead of plastic.

Wait a minute. Something is fishy. A little bit of googling and my suspicions were confirmed. NBC is hitting me over the head with environmentalism. November 4-11, is NBC Universal Green Week. The network is airing green-themed programming " aimed at entertaining, informing, and empowering Americans to lead greener lives."

NBC, file that under " Not Your Job."

The earth needs our help, pretty badly actually. But what it doesn't need are PR campaigns and Sweeps promotions (yeah I'm on to you guys. First week in November to start this effort? Interesting) disguised as genuine concern. Companies like GE are how we got into dire straits in the first place. (Except these dire straits don't give us money for nothing or chicks for free.)

I smell bullshit NBC. And it's not coming from my local compost heap.

Philly Hasn't Looked This Cool Since Fresh Prince!

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia is one of my new favorite shows. To be honest, when it premiered a few years back, I thought it was just okay. Nothing too special about scruffy 20-somethings running a dive bar. In fact, I enjoyed its lead-in a lot more. (Anyone remember Starved? The comedy about adults with eating disorders. It was a lot funnier than it sounds.)

Anyway, I watched the first season of Sunny and then gave it thr brush off once I disocvered it beat out Starved. (I've gotten really good at holding TV grudges.) In fact, I only picked up the show again on a whim. This whim just happened to be my jillionth Thursday in a row hanging around my apartment doing nothing. My options were go to bed early or start thumbing through the channels. Sunny it is.

The third season of the show has yet to disappoint. I like when shows can push the envelope, and not really realize it. I feel like the writer's room for that show doesn't even get how reprehensible some of these things are. It's basically like letting a frat-pack loving 19-year-old have his own show...except he's funny.

It's one of those shows that will never be mainstream enough to win Emmys, but the whole academy probably has it DVRed. If you're not watching it or if you don't like it, you're either too old to stay up that late or you're super lame.

I guess the inmaturity is rubbing off.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

In The Dog House

So Dwayne "Dog" Chapman, commonly known to most people as Dog the Bounty Hunter was caught on an audio recording spewing off racial epithets regarding his son's girlfriend. I'm not surprised.

Dropping N-words and F-Bombs is now the new black. Celebrities are letting their tongues get a little too loose. But when stuff like this happens, I kind of retreat. Not so because of the derogatory words, but where my loyalties are going to lie.

I am a Dog The Bounty Hunter fan. There, I admit it. It's a part of my identity. But a larger, and most would argue more prevalent part of my identity is the fact that I'm Black. When I hear about things like this, part of me wants to throw on a kente cloth and march over to A&E with Al Sharpton, demanding equality, justice and an apology. But most of me just wants this whole thing to blow over. I want Dog to keep fighting crime. I want to see how his wife manages to buy clothes. Ultimately, I just don't want this on my conscience.

I had a similar response with Michael Richards. When is it okay for me to stop being angry and enjoy Seinfeld again? Can I watch the show and laugh, or is that a total affront to the hardship and ridicule people had to face and still face everyday?

Isaiah Washington was different story. He dropped F-bombs like no other, then tried to cover it up. I can't and will not let him start a new show and pretend like it never happened. Is it a double standard? Definitely. But for some reason, it makes sense in my head. I told my mother about this and she questioned it:

"When does he finally get to move on? Everyone jumped on him. It didn't help that he was black."

Great, now I have that layer to deal with. I wish this didn't matter, but it does. And it would be nice if for once, the identity everyone sees could take a backseat to the one I want to put out: "lame grad student who just likes to watch bad guys get roughed up sometimes."

This whole thing isn't going it?

Stars Behind Bars: Lane Garrison

Remember Tweener (Lane Garrison, pictured) from seasons 1 and 2 of Prison Break? Well awhile back he drove drunk, crashed and killed his 17-year-old passenger. He was just sentenced to just over three years in prison.

This guy should be in prison. Someone died. Lock him up. But for some reason, I can't help feeling sad for him. If he is still as baby-faced as he was on the show, things are going to be very hard for him. I also think about the lady-celebs who mishandle their money and do drugs, endanger their children and flash their lady parts all around town. Grnated they haven't killed anyone, but it's only a matter of time.

I support a moratorium on movies, parties, TV shows and new music for awhile. Everyone just stay home. Find yourself. Stay out of the limelight and out of trouble. And if you're going to drink, get a frickin' cab.