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.
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
I’ve always been a Letterman man. I mean, Carson was king, but he exited the game when I was 14 years old. Even when Carson was on the air I watched him because I knew Letterman was on afterwards. Letterman was relevant, irreverent, and goofy; Letterman was hip because of his un-hipness. I’ve always felt Leno was a complete bore. Similarly, I find Fallon, while at times slightly endearing, painfully hard to watch. I was sad when Letterman announced his retirement—I mean, we knew it was inevitable, but still, an era was coming to an end. When the announcement came earlier this year that Letterman’s replacement would be Stephen Colbert, I must admit I was sceptical. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Colbert fan, however, the record of new hosts successfully taking over established late night shows was not good, at least by my count. I was worried Colbert’s “personae shift” would not work, I was worried expectations were too high, and ultimately, I was worried I would have to re-evaluate my opinion of one of my comedic heroes. Luckily, after having watched the first week (4 episodes) of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, I realized my worrying was for naught.
So, I have this anxiety disorder. I don’t really like going out these days. I’d rather be stuck by myself in an elevator with a full bladder than at a social event with a large group of people. However, the place I would most like to be when I’m not feeling like myself is in front of my television screen.
Maybe comfort characters is a more accurate title for this post. It’s the people in the shows that I love, that give me the most comfort. Watching these characters is more effective then any breathing technique or visualization exercise in my books. Being unemployed I have a lot more time to spend with my TV friends. Here are a few of my favorites. Continue reading
I am part of the problem, I should stay away. But I can’t. 24-hour news is a morass of fear mongering and finger-pointing. No information is given. No issues are resolved. Yet, I consume a good deal of it in my daily TV gorge. I have previously discussed Fox News’ Red Eye and MSNBC’s Morning Joe. These shows sort of know that they are in the muck and mire of the never-ending news juggernaut and get through their respective programs with a wink and a smile. Most poo-poo cable news as its widest audience comes from out-of-context Daily Show clips, but I have endured wide stretches of such infotainment. For the most part, the rest of day, the genre is overwrought jargon, jingoism and partisan clap-trap. And I love it. This is partly from my love of pro-wrestling, distinct lines of good guy vs bad guy. Wrestling is the last great burlesque, aside from cable news that is. The hosts of these shows are experts on everything: Immigration, Ebola, Aerodynamics. We can dismiss this as the death of actual news, and be highfalutin, but I celebrate this unique forum. I could go on about the hosts political leanings and partisanship and what qualifies as news but that to me is boring and has been beaten to death. I would rather nitpick the people that decided to or got roped into this world. Continue reading
This blog stands as a celebration. For the most part we discuss the good stuff. We sit in awe week in and week out of the moving pictures crammed into a tiny wire and illuminated on our magic picture boxes. But the best can’t look as good without the awful. Bad TV is usually just boring. It wallows with trite jokes or thin plots. Spectacularly bad television has its own glory. Which begs the question: what is the worst show on television today? I’ll include reality fare and cooking shows …anything on TV. My vote is a broadcast that fails on every level, but still is a tremendous viewing experience thanks to its bus crash-ian, train-wreck allure.
I work offensive hours so, ostensibly, daytime is my primetime. Homer put it best when he said primetime is where TV’s greatest stars come out to shine. I come home to an endless parade of doctors, lifestyle experts, pop culture gurus and Elizabeth Hasselbeck (blonde from the View) I’m a dude. I like meat, sport-matches, and an easy way for to get me to watch your programs is “..and guest staring Miss Carmen Electra.” But I’m not a cave man. I like Project Runway, New Girl, and the endless bitch cakes being served up between Joanna and Awndrea on Real Housewives of Miami. However one needs an actual uterus to enjoy daytime TV.