Smashing Pumpkins, Senior Benjamin, and Brother Nero

In art as in baking I have always subscribed to the concept of “appreciate the effort”, in that if something was attempted that was difficult or odd it should be commended even if it didn’t turn out fully as planned. There are cases, yes, when things are tried and they are artistic and culinary abortions but, even then, I do respect a spectacular fail. Because what is the alternative? A flavourless world that evokes a healthy dose of boredom. Continue reading

The Long Awaited Ballers Review!

Spoiler Alert: Balltastic!!!

So, I have been tough on good old TV in my last few posts, giving the fine folks who work in television the jazz. This go around will be a solid gush-fest for the show I ballyhooed many months ago: Ballers! (people in the background repeating in a sing-song manner: Ballers!) I talked about Ballers back in the day without even having seen it but just happy to live in a world in which it existed. Well, since then, I have been wafting in its Drakkar Noir-like essence. Continue reading

Bee Minus

Sadly, I have been neglectful of good ol’ narrative TV as of late. I have a buffet of season 3 of The Americans waiting for me so I have bright future of great episodic TV. But I do find those who do the daily grind of putting together TV shows to be very interesting and how I gobble up my free hours. News, sports, talk shows all rush and struggle to put on a show only to have it be carried off by the wind and then they must roll the boulder up the hill the next day. I always felt  it is unjust when the HBO talkshows would win Emmy Awards. As Dennis Miller, Chris Rock had to and John Oliver and Bill Maher have to, cobble together a half-hour every week for about half-a-year rather than their counterparts who have put together an hour every frickin’ night. Notwithstanding, the tremendous burden that the never-seen production staff have to put up with.

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Be-League’rd

It struck me as quizzical as to where my monthly Shaw bill was. I’m ol’ school – l pay bills by writing cheques and buying stamps. But by some sort of a mix up my Shaw bills were emailed to me and that left me with a whopping sum after a few months. I did notice that I had not cancelled the streaming service “Shomi”. So, I did some password recovery and dialed it up.

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Oscar Autopsy

It is the night when Hollywood’s biggest stars come out to shine. I like that the juggernaut of film has to submit to its kid sister of television to get its pageant to the masses. This year I went full boar to take it in as one of the biggest nights on the television calendar. Snacks! Bubbly liquor! Extensive red carpet pre-show watching! So I was already committed to this monstrosity of tuxes and bouffants for hours before the telecast itself began. Continue reading

House of Trump Cards

I could never be a cord cutter. Relying just on DVD’s and streaming services doesn’t do it for me. Part of the overall television experience is the flipping. The aimless wandering around the dial looking for something watchable. Over the last little while the most compelling thing on TV doesn’t really have a set time slot, but it is on more than not. If you have a vast enough cable package you’ll have access to Trump TV. Not really a show in itself, but an aggregate of the wild and wacky Donald Trump as he gallivants around ‘Murica running or sometimes just walking for President. From comedy shows to news shows and all points in between it all just falls under an umbrella of “Trumpvision”. Of course you can be disgusted at this relic from the 80’s mad lust for fame and glory and dismiss the whole thing. Or like me, enjoy the ride. Continue reading

Why Little Girls Should Watch Wrestling

On a recent SNL the lovely and talented Amy Schumer lamented about the lack of role models for young girls. I’d like to have it noted, for the record, that I have been on the Amy Schumer train since ‘08. She basically summed up how sad it is that the Kardashians is what little ladies have to aspire to. Schumer herself is admittedly not a great role model to say a nine-year-old girl. Which got to me scan TV to find one. I guess Taylor Swift is OK – obvious ones like Hilary Clinton or Malia are fine. But what about a pop culture one? Something fanciful but still based in reality. Someone who vanquishes evil doers on a consistent basis. Designed for a girl who, say, is too old for Dora the Explorer but too young for Homeland. Somebody you can buy some merchandise and dolls for and talk about on the playground. Continue reading

Willingly Bilked

When I was the mere wisp of boy, one of the chasms of TV time was Sunday morning. I was a good catholic boy. 1993 Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral Altar Boy of the Year. The pre-church festivity was an ordeal with my dearest mother putting on her fashion show of hats and heels as the Cathedral aisles were her own Bryant Park Fashion week runway. So there was a good window of chillin’ before actually going off to save my soul on a weekly basis. Sunday morning was a tough television landscape. Infomercials, political roundtables, live auto racing from Europe all had me just flipping – or forcing me to read. Continue reading

Awful Americans and Great Americans

Before I go into the very nub of my gist; I believe I have found a new program that vies for the title of worst show on TV. I do love me some awful TV. I wrap myself in the world of the show, pitying those who are involved and celebrating their effort to purposefully make a terrible product. These shows basically just take the best/worst parts of Melrose Place and make a reality show from them. Melrose Place was soapy fun. Pretty, wealthy people scheming and backstabbing each other. The reality shows that follow this model just take out the pulpy enjoyable dialogue and semi-likeability of the characters and go for decadence and backstabbing. Continue reading

Crackle in the Shield

Many people that I chat with have taken to the act of “cord cutting”. Getting rid of one’s cable service, and relying entirely on online streaming. I see the benefits, but the act of television viewing goes beyond the watching. Flipping is a main cog in the TV experience. I really enjoy aimless wandering around the dial. Often getting lost during shows I’m watching to meander around my vast cable package. I really couldn’t tell you how many channels I have. It’s in the 300 range, but some of those are just music feeds and/or Greek news. Continue reading