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Archive for April, 2009

Personal sidenote: The last project I need to do to earn my Masters is due on Friday. I should probably put the HDU off for a week. Luckily (or not so luckily) due to swine flu, the media is a little less concerned with TV news this week.

  • Interesting Award update: The Office took home a PRISM Award for which recognizes shows for accurately depicting addiction, drug and alcohol use in film and television. Wow, did not know that existed.
  • Mr. T got called for jury duty. Can you imagine if he was on your jury? Or better yet (and more likely) if you were on jury duty with him? That would be awesome.
  • Heidi & Spencer got married. Gross. Even worse, they’re honeymooning in Mexico (masks and all). Plus Heidi said she wants to do Playboy now. I know posing for men’s magazines is the first thing I’ll do once I get hitched.
  • E! Hostess Guiliana Rancic and her husband, Apprentice Season 1 Winner Bill Rancic, are getting their own reality show. It should be called, “Seriously, Who’s Watching This?”
  • Two of my favorite actors, Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls) and Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights) are in a movie together and it looks just interesting enough to make me go back to the movie theater. Or I might just sit around think about what would happen with Rory met Matt Saracen.
  • And finally, my favorite non-TV related link of the week: A funny blog, Texts From Last Night. It’s exactly what it sounds like.

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This little tidbit of research kind of explains a lot.

Four studies at Miami University of Ohio and the University of Buffalo revealed that watching TV can “drive away feelings of loneliness and rejection.” Basically, your favorite TV show can act as a buffer against sadness, and make you think you have a social life, when really, you’re jsut living vicariously through the characters.

Here are the details on the study from an article in The Hollywood Reporter:

The first study found that subjects felt less lonely when viewing their favored TV shows. Study 2 found subjects whose “belongingness needs were aroused” wrote longer essays about their favored TV programs. The third study found that thinking about favored TV programs buffered subjects against drops in self-esteem, increases in negative mood and feelings of rejection. And Study 4 found that subjects verbally expressed fewer feelings of loneliness after writing essays about their preferred TV programs.

And apparently music, movies and video games have a similar effect.

This research is fascinating to me because I essentially take part in this study every day. I watch a lot of TV (consider that your no duh statement of the day). In addition, most of my friends are scattered across the country, leaving me with a state of loneliness I would guess is higher than average. Does watching TV make me feel less alone? Sometimes, but its usually when I watch shows that I know my friends watch too. It gives us something to talk about, and it adds a bit of familiarity to my day. Do I think I use TV as a buffer against loneliness? That one might be a stretch.

The exception show? 30 Rock. Because a lot of people don’t watch it, whenever I do, I consider myself part of a tiny community. I think that’s an entirely different phenomenon though.

And sidenote: Where do I sign up to be a television research test subject? Somebody hook me up.

Image: http://health.ninemsn.com.au/

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After the hearty dose of Slanket humor in Thursday night’s episode of 30 Rock, its come to light that Tina Fey ordered Slankets for her staff, and had them embroidered to boot.I hope it’s true because it sounds like the best gift of all time.

Not only is she a believer in giving awesome presents, but she gave some serious ammo to the Slanket vs. Snuggie debate.

I remain in Camp Slanket, especially if Tina Fey is there too.

Blankets with sleeves for everyone! (Seriously folks, make fun all you want but the thing is comfortable as all get out.)

Image: Hulu Screen Grab

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Yes, Mad Men is that good. The critically acclaimed show took home the award for Top International Television Show last night at the British Academy Of Film And Television Arts Awards.

I watch the reruns from season two before Breaking Bad on Sunday nights. Mad Men is just so well done, it’s hard to believe they’re pulling it off every week. Between the acting, the costume design, the art direction, the music, oh the list goes on. You just get lost in the story. Everything is just so…right.

It’s hard to explain if you don’t watch it…which you should.

Image: http://weblogs.newsday.com/

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Bea Arthur Dies At Age 86

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It’s been awhile since we lost a television star. Bea Arthur was more than just a celebrity, she was a television icon, a strong woman to be admired and a damn good actress.

Most people (my age especially) remember her best from Golden Girls. She was Dorothy, the level-headed, sarcastic, straight woman with some of the best dry jokes around. I got to “discover” Bea Arthur all over again when I found Maude a few years later. That show made me laugh and think and cry. Not every show gets to do that, not every actress can pull it off. She could. She did. She was truly a dynamo.

This clip needs no introduction. Rest in peace Bea Arthur.

Image: http://terrystuff.files.wordpress.com

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This clip needs no introduction. May T-Pain continue to influence everything in pop culture.

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Not much going on the in the world of TV this week. We’ll keep it short, I actually have books I want to read. (Gasp!)

  • Jill Scott gave birth to her first baby, a boy named Jett. Adorbs! Speaking of Jill Scott, I’m still loving No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. In fact, I went to the library today to check out the first book in the series the show is based off of.
  • Guess who got a reality show? Rudy! Not the football playing one, the Cosby one.
  • And my favorite non-TV related link of the week: Neil Gaiman writes absolutely wonderful children’s books (he wrote Coraline, FYI). This video is an animation of his latest effort, Blueberry Girl. It’s a pretty magical picture book and the video makes me smile. It’s inspiring and whimsical and I plan on buying it for every friend, relative, etc who gives birth to a baby girl in the next 20 years.

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Julie Chen, host of Big Brother and  co-host of the CBS Early Show is expecting a baby in October.

While this is the first child for Chen, her husband CBS President/CEO Les Moonves, has three adult children from a previous relationship.

Chen still plans on hosting the latest installment of Big Brother this summer. If the baby doesn’t make her want to vomit, the idiots on that show probably will.

Image: http://www.unclebarky.com/

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It’s unfair to compare siblings to each other, but it’s difficult almost inevitable when  reviewing Mitchell Hurwitz’ two babies. Hurwitz is the brains behind Arrested Development and Fox’s latest Sunday night offering, Sit Down, Shut Up, an animated look at the lives of teachers at a Florida high school, which premiered last night.

The comparison’s to AD are numerous in nature. Both shows ran on Fox Sunday nights, both feature the talent of Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Henry Winkler and finally both are probably too ridiculous and smart for their own good.

Sit Down, Shut Up is to high school what Reno 911 is to the police officers; you know that’s not what it’s really life, but part of you can’t help but wonder if it’s close. The fictional Knob Haven High School has pervy German teachers, a take no-prisoners Principal (last name Sezno) an overly religious science teacher, and a other wacky characters too absurd for words.The cast is a mix of AD favorites and SNL folks including Cheri Oteri, Will Forte, and Kenan Thompson.

The humor is a bit different than the typical Animation Domination block. There are jokes that break the 4th estate, extremely dry quips, and names involving puns. It’s truly the “thinking man’s cartoon,” something you’d be more likely to find on Adult Swim as opposed to Fox.

Speaking of which, If it’s true that the medium is the message, than this program may be lost in translation for lots of folks. Not only is it animated, but it’s cartoons mixed with live-action backgrounds. It’s a lot to absorb for adults not used to this style. People may focus too much attention on the animation itself as opposed to the witty dialogue.

I’m definitely planning on watching Sit Down, Shut Up again. I laughed out loud more than once and it’s one of the better new comedies I’ve seen this season. It will still take some getting used to, and it’s no Arrested Development, but maybe that means it will stick around for awhile.

Image: http://www.watchtvsitcoms.com/

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I don’t know if you’ve heard or not, but times are tough. Folks are running out of money, losing their jobs and homes left and right. When the trouble hits Main Street, the big companies suffer too. One way they’re saving some serious dough? Re-using their old commercials.

It makes good sense. For some companies, the product hasn’t changed, why spend the money to say the same thing? Not only does it cut back on spending, but we get to see some of the old and familiar commercials we used to love…or at least the ones I loved.

The one that inspired me to write this post was this old Folger’s ad. I’m a Tivo user, but when I see it pop up, I usually slow down, and sometimes I even stop. You listening marketers?

I’ve never had a cup of coffee, but this commercial kind of makes me want one…or at least learn how to Irish dance.

One commercial I’d like to see back on the airwaves is the McDLT. Jason Alexander may be ready to move on, but I’m not.

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Guess who’ll be playing Big Mama Morton in the latest run of Chicago on Broadway?

Grey’s Anatomy star Chandra Wilson! She’s pretty much the only actress on that show that doesn’t make me want to throw up. Wilson (and her character) are strong, proud and sassy and that’s the perfect recipe for Big Mama Morton. I’m not too familiar with her singing voice, but I bet it will be a pretty amazing show.

And in case you were wondering, this is not Wilson’s first time on the great white way. She’s had roles in On the Town and Avenue Q.

Image: http://www.greysanatomyinsider.com

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I’m on an American Idol high right now. I won’t spoil it, but let’s just say history was made tonight, and I am thankful. This show keeps finding ways to keep me coming back. Some ways are easier on the eyes than others.

Let’s get to it!

  • Someone finally had the brillz idea of remaking the Golden Girls...in Turkey no less. Now not only do they have delicious kabobs, but a foreign version of Blanche. Can life get any better?
  • When you’re the kind of guy who makes his own Kenny Powers jersey, getting arrested was sort of bound to happen. And sidenote: Eastbound & Down got picked up for another season. Fuckin’ right!
  • Speaking A-List, the 2nd Annual A-List Awards are on tonight. They’re essentially a 90 minute commercial for Bravo, but I might watch just for Kathy Griffin. Her special tonight was aces!
  • Guess where season 8 of 24 is taking place? Memphis! I kid, it’s New York. But wouldn’t it be a lot funnier in Memphis? He’d have to deal with a slower pace of life, and he’d have to learn how to shoot a gun with BBQ hands.
  • Nadya Suleman may have made her best decision yet. She is getting a TV deal, but it’s going to be documentary style instead of a reality show. Cameras will follow her family just six times a year instead of constantly. They’re going to follow the family until the kids are 18. In the spirit of full disclosure: I will have a hard time not watching these specials…every single time.
  • Everyone’s favorite Governor, Rod Blagojevich is headed to jungle…for a reality show. That was a mighty fast plummet.
  • And my non-TV related Link of the Week: Rainn Wilson twittered about this band like an hour agao and I’m already into them. It’s Balthrop, Alabama everybody. Prepare to fall in love with Pop music again.

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