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 Reality Myth: life is not what it seems on unREAL

I’ve made terrible TV mistakes in the past. I once wrote a very glowing essay on this very blog after the first episode of The Affair (I still stand by my thoughts about that first episode), essentially declaring that it would likely be the next-best, must-watch, prestige drama of the season. I’ve since stopped watching the show outright, realizing that what I thought was thoughtful, smart tricks in plotting and characterization was actually, maybe just not knowing who the characters were. And that any amount of shouting couldn’t cover up not so great writing. And so I’m usually a little slow to assert my opinion about a show, I’ll wait a few episodes before saying anything one way or another. This wasn’t the case while watching Lifetime’s drama unREAL (the show originally aired last summer and I’m just catching up with it now). After watching the first two episodes I was telling anyone who would listen that the show was brilliant and unique and my favourite new thing. And then I watched the rest of the season. That’s not to say I made a mistake about unREAL – in fact, my fondness for the first season still rivals some of my favourite new shows from last year – it just proved that, in many ways like the show it skewers, it wasn’t exactly what it seemed. 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

Television Secret Santa – Project Runway, Season 14

Over the holidays we decided to treat ourselves to some quality shows by doing another round of TV Secret Santas. This time, instead of picking shows for each other, we all wrote down the names of various shows (which we had either seen and wanted others to watch or hadn’t seen at all) and did a random blind pick out of a Santa hat (or in our case a Ziploc bag). This week Katie discusses her pick, Project Runway, Season 14. 

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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

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

Dropped The Ball


When word came that Ballers was coming to HBO, I was pretty damn stoked. Game of Thrones isn’t for me. It’s about wizards, right? – Just not my bag. The Newsroom was so ham-handed that I lost interest. Those other HBO offerings never got me excited, But Ballers! I mean – its Ballers! Let’s throw together things I really like and produce it slickly. Good job, HBO. Continue reading

TV’s Greatest Dumpster Fires

I find myself way outside of the mainstream in my current televisions gorging. I’m on the Mad Men express but we’ve tackled that pretty thoroughly. Other than that I don’t watch any of the endless bounty of the high brow televisions. I do love delving deep in my cable package for the awesome and awful. Shows I watch not because they are all that good – but because they strike my particular fancy. They may even be terrible. I find such shows like these odd TV rubix cubes. I can’t figure them out – they are frustrating, yet I find myself coming back. One such show was cancelled. The bastards who took it away from me shall be on my enemies list along with the girl who “tried” to “teach” me improv in Grade 11. Or for our American readers, 11th grade. The show is Texas Hardtails, on The Speed Channel. Continue reading