Archive for October, 2008

The New York Times ran an interesting article yesterday about the parallels between seasons 6 and 7 of the popular NBC drama and our current election.

Some of the parallels are  Sen. Obama is eerily similar to Matt Santos (played by Jimmy Smits), the 40-something idealist up and coming Latino Congressman, with two young children who refuses to be labeled as the “brown candidate.” And like John McCain, the right-wing base on The West Wing isn’t so sure Republican challenger Arnold Vinick (played by Alan Alda)  is conservative enough to take home the election.

Some of the similarities aren’t coincidental. Barack Obama was just becoming a bright spot on the political map when season 6 began and Wing writer Eli Attie admits to loosely crafting Santos after him. However, no one would have guessed the Phillies would be playing in the World Series in a fictional election year, and a real one.

Wacky stuff huh? You can read the whole piece here.

And for those of you who didn’t watch the West Wing, that young, idealist, Congressman wins.

Image: http://msnbcmedia3.msn.com

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Another Wednesday, another batch of updates.

  • Eric Mabius’ wife looks like she’s about to explode…with babies.
  • As far as crappy rap parodies with low-production values go, this one is pretty boss.
  • Speaking of HBO, did you see Entourage on Sunday? It turns out Turtle (Jerry Ferrera) and Jamie Lynn Sigler are an item in real-life. Adorbs!
  • Lauren Graham, formerly of Gilmore Girls fame is making a jump to the great white way. Graham will make her Broadway debut in the highly anticipated revival of Guys and Dolls. Didn’t know she could sing? This YouTube believer never had any doubt.
  • Christmas is coming. Wanna get me a gift? Make me a Muppet damnit!
  • Get your cringe-on: Larry David’s coming back for another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • My favorite non-TV related link of the week: Brokers With Hands On Their Faces Who knew the economy was so funny?
  • And if you don’t have cable, you probably had a hard time finding something to watch at the 8/7C hour. Barack took over the airwaves (except ABC, who knew they’d fight for Pushing Daisies so hard?) and delivered his message straight to the American people for a good half hour. If you missed it on the air, you can watch it below. I teared up at the end. Don’t forget to vote people.

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The Trailer For 24 – Season 7!

Hey Bauer-Heads! The trailer for Season 7 of 24 hit the internet today and it looks unreal. Tony’s back and he’s a bad guy, the president is a lady, things get hijacked, Jack tells congress to shove it, and Chloe continues to be as snarky as ever.

With all of this time off, (including a break in the shooting for re-writes), and a TV movie to set the stage,  this season should be pretty awesome.

Anyone else on fire with optimism and excitement?

Photo: http://www.techdigest.tv/

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MTV launched a new web portal MTV Music this week. The site houses over 25,000 music videos for you to watch whenever you want.
However, even with that many clips, I took a shot and typed in some of the videos I wanted to see…and they weren’t available. Not too surprising. I guess my taste for obscure mid-’90s pop videos will not be satisfied.

Even so, I suppose we have to stop bitching now and deal with the fact that if you want to see/hear music, MTV as we know it is no longer the place to do it.

Image: mtvmusic.com

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Want to watch an old episode of Married With Children? Answer? Of course you do.

Don’t have 22 minutes or the old VHS tapes to get your dose of the Bundy family?

Do I have news for you.

Sony Pictures launched a site called The Minisode Network. You can watch 5-Minute episodes of some classic television programs like Married With Children, Silver Spoons, The Facts of Life, and Fantasy Island. The videos are streaming directly from their website, and they’re also on portals like YouTube and Hulu.

Part of me celebrates this venture. What a great way to remember some iconic television and introduce it to a new generation who doesn’t have the time or the patience to sit down with the entire series.

But the TV purist in me is a little sad. 5 minute episodes? How much can you possibly pick-up in a 5 minute episode? It’s the equivalent of SparkNotes, and if our generation needs SparkNotes for TV then we have serious problems on our hands.

Image: http://img408.imageshack.us

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It’s almost Halloween TV fans and the spooktacular week ends with The Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror XIX next Sunday at 8/7c.  Can you believe this is the 19th go-round for this now iconic TV special? My favorite is still Treehouse of Horror VII, the one where we find out Bart has an evil twin named Hugo who resides in the attic and lives off fish heads. The ep was also tied to the 1996 Presidential election, and features the now oft-quoted line, “Don’t blame me; I voted for Kodos.”

If you’re looking for something a bit more traditional, the Peanuts gang rolls into ABC Tuesday night for an airing of It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. “I got a rock,” is still one of the saddest and most sincere lines of dialogue ever written.

Image: http://en.wikipedia.org

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Week 2 of Marry, Bop or Kill is going to be a doozy. So much good TV to celebrate.

Marry: Jon Hamm

I was pretty sure I wanted to marry Jon Hamm after his quick guest spot on a Gilmore Girls episode a few years back, but last night only solidified my resolve. Hamm hosted SNL last night and did a truly wonderful job. He was suave, funny and incorporated some awesome Mad Men moments, (including guest appearances by John Slattery and Elisabeth Moss). It was refreshing to see a really gifted actor take over the hosting spot because it took all of the sketches up a notch.

Boff: Linday Lohan on Ugly Betty

Lindsay Lohan returned to Ugly Betty this week and guess what? She didn’t suck, not even a little. Lohan reprised her role as Kimmie Kegan, Betty’s arch nemesis, and hilarity ensued. It kind of makes you wonder: If Lohan’s movies are no longer making money, why doesn’t she make the jump to the small screen for awhile to re-build her cache? She doesn’t necessarily have to do it with Betty but she’s off to a surprisingly good start. You can catch some of her finer moments here.

Kill: The Time Delay on Amazing Race

CBS, you know football games tend to run long. Please schedule your programming accordingly and factor in this delay. There’s no excuse to have 60 Minutes start 45 minutes late, thus pushing back the start of  Amazing Race to 7:45. Since you’ve decided not to stream Amazing Race online, the show has to be viewed live, a pretty serious inconvenience for those of us with full Sunday TV dockets. I know it may be in your best interest to make us sit through 60 Minutes and all of the advertisments on Amazing Race, but seriously people, it’s starting to get ridiculous.

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And now the first ( and probably last) installment of So Happy, So Sad. It’s exactly what it sounds like.

  • So Happy: Amy Poehler gave birth to a baby who could quite possibly have the best comedy genes ever.  Archie Arnett was born yesterday, weighing in at 8 lbs 1 ounce. Mom, baby and husband/new dad Will Arnett are doing just fine.
  • So Sad: While we welcome Archie and can’t wait to see all the hilarity he has in store for us, his arrival signals the end of Amy Poehler’s run on Saturday Night Live. However, odds are she’ll come back for a cameo or two, or maybe even as a host soon enough.

Photo: http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com

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1. Another sparkling performance by Tina Fey playing everyone’s favorite Lady Governor on SNL Thursday tonight.

2. The fact that you can watch the premiere in its entirety right now on Hulu and NBC.com. Awesome? Yes. Does it steal a little thunder from the premiere? Double yes.

I plan on holding out. I’ve waited this long to see the premiere and I wait one more week to see it live..or at least time-shifted on my TV. Hey, turns out there is a reason to keep the darn thing.

For now, I’ll tide myself over with old clips. Ahh the memories.

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Today I decided to peruse through my On Demand menu to find something enjoyable to watch while I ate lunch. I stumbled into the HBO Series section and decided to watch the pilot episode of The Life & Times Of Tim. I have never been so instantly rewarded in my life.

TL&TOT is an animated comedy about an average guy who finds himself in some painfully awkward situations. The humor is bone-dry but fans of shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Home Movies will fall in love with Tim despite his constant slip-ups.

However, if you’re one of those people who  can’t make it through an episode of The Office because you think Michael is “so weird” then chances are you won’t get this show either. Seriously people, when I say the humor is dry, I mean it. You could start fires with the pilot.

The show is receiving mixed reviews from critics but I’m hoping it will stick around for awhile, especially since HBO has nothing left to lose at this point. The only wrinkle for the show may be the network actually. TL&TOT might find a better home on Cartoon Network’s late-night block Adult Swim, or even Comedy Central. Should the worst happen and HBO decides to bump it, I can definitely see one of those networks scooping up the re-runs.

But do your part and watch the show now. Need more convincing? Get started with some clips. I’m telling ya people, it’s my best find in a long time.

Photo: http://dyn.ifilm.com

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It’s our first Hump Day Update of edubtv 2.0. Woohoo! Let’s get crackin’

  • Scanner ranked the Top 5 Worst TV Spin-Offs today and Saved By The Bell: The College Years came in number 1. Obviously these people have never seen…I tried to make a joke right there but upon further review I couldn’t think of a worse spin-off than SBTB:TCY. Nevermind. Good call Scanner.
  • Oprah’s show will now be available en Espanol through closed captioning and secondary audio programming (aka dubbing). The service is starting out in some of America’s largest Spanish-speaking markets including Houston, Miami, Chicago, New York, Dallas and Los Angeles. Winfrey’s production company, Harpo, is picking up the tab.
  • Former child-actor Skylar Deleon was found guilty for killing three people this week. Worse? Up until now, he’s been telling everyone he was the star of The Power Rangers when he’d only appeared in a small role in one episode. Deleon obviously hadn’t heard of DNA testing before his crimes, so odds are good he hadn’t heard of IMDB either.
  • Pop Culture staple Best Week Ever is getting a makeover. Starting this week, the show will have a new format and will now be called Best Week Ever With Paul F. Tompkins. Seriously. Don’t worry true believers, you can see the last of the old episodes here.
  • And finally, this made me laugh out loud today. You know someone pulled her aside later, shook her by the shoulders and said, “Elephants, Sarah! Elephants!

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The last vestige of anything remotely positive on MTV is the show True Life. If you’re not familiar, True Life follows young people with out of the ordinary lives.

For the past decade I’ve been a bit enamored with the program and have seen nearly every installment. There’s something about watching actual people cope with a serious problem or make a difficult transition. It’s nearly impossible to turn an episode off once it starts. It’s more addicting than a car crash because you get helpful details and title cards.

After ten years you might imagine the folks at MTV are running out of things to talk about. We’ve met cheerleaders, jealous siblings, competitive eaters, veterans, people getting out jail, people with embarrassing parents, body builders, southern belles, compulsive shoppers, sex workers and muy thai boxers. Who else is out there to talk to? Today I was glued to the TV watching True Life: I Have Acne.

The beauty of this show is that they can take topics they seem simple, even petty and really showcase the human element. This episode followed three young people who would do whatever it took to get clearer skin. It was almost heartbreaking to watch parts of it. I know there’s a lot I take for granted in this life, and I will now add an okay complexion to the list. Who knew this was such a serious issue?

If only all of MTV’s programs were as well done and carefully managed. Nope, instead we get 10-hour marathons of ANTM with a side of Paris Hilton’s My New BFF. Maybe I’m asking too much.

Anyone else seen any good True Life‘s lately? How about that one with the single parents? That dude had six kids?! Yikes.

Image: joi.org

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