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

Channel Surfing #7 – Drinks Edition: Horace and Pete, The People Vs. OJ Simpson, Baskets, Broad City, Kevin Morby

Sit Down and Have a Beer

We live in a curious age. An age where the extremely wealthy (and moderately creative) can cobble together vanity projects and drop them online, somewhat secretly, and get them out to an enormous audience. Recently, Louis CK went the Kanye route and corralled a group of his most famous actor friends, made a little show, and put it on his website. The result is Horace and Pete, a show that harkens back to the days of the multi-cam sitcom, most specifically Cheers (one of the first pleasures of the show is when you realize that they’ve done a lovely job paying homage to the Cheers set). The show stars CK as Horace and Steve Buscemi as Pete, owners of a family-run bar (called Horace and Pete’s) in Brooklyn. The bar has been passed down through the family for over 100 years, from fathers to sons all named either Horace or Pete. Alan Alda plays the curmudgeonly, spiky-tongued, racist, Uncle Pete, the bartender, who will only serve beer or straight alcohol, no mixed drinks. Edie Falco plays Horace’s sister, Sylvia, who is in a particularly a bad spot. There are a number of other actors you will immediately recognize and many other character actors that stop by for a drink (you’ll be pointing at the screen and saying, “that guy!” multiple times while watching).

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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

A Cornucopia of TV Thanks


In the spirit of giving thanks to all we are grateful for this weekend, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank television. That big black box that is always just a click away from filling the room with light, happiness and the comfort of all my favorite characters. It would be impossible to capture all the reasons I am thankful for TV so I narrowed it down to some moments I’m thankful for this week. Continue reading

Distracted Watching

This week I am writing in defence of watching less TV. I’m not out to shame or blame or screech that “TV is bad for you!” This week, think of me as your childhood caregiver, the person who delivered you a grilled cheese sandwich and lovingly told you to sit further away from the TV set. I f’ing love to watch TV, so if you love watching TV too, understand that this essay is written from the perspective of a benevolent slob. One time I watched the entire series of How I Met Your Mother, and then when I was done, I started watching it again a few days later. I don’t even love that show. It’s just pretty good. Continue reading

Email Roundtable #51: TV in Fits and Spurts, or what we watch when we are busy

Kerri and Jane attempt to discuss how they fill their down-time during busy times.

Jane: So, full disclosure, Kerri and I are both fully immersed and crazily busy with the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Obviously, we still have time for TV; meaning we have some things to say this week. We’ve discovered that both of us turn to cooking shows during those hectic, busy days when we have a bit of time to ourselves. Kerri, why are cooking shows so important to your down-time and what are the favourites that you rely on? Continue reading

Finales and Live TV

I have a standing appointment with AMC. For the next six Sundays, I’ll find someone who subscribes to AMC, show up at their door at 8:45pm sharp, and we’ll watch Mad Men. We’ll be watching along with 2 million other people, if Mad Men’s viewership statistics stay predictable. And come finale night, maybe a few million more will join us. Here at Golden Age of Television, we write about Mad Men a lot, but today’s entry isn’t about Mad Men so much as it is about watching shows live. A while back, Kerri wrote about communal TV watching and how watching TV has never really been a solitary activity for her. I think about communal TV watching a lot when it comes time for a series finale. Continue reading