Friday, June 01, 2007

June gloom


I just can’t seem to get into BINGO NIGHT IN AMERICA. Why is that? Maybe because I’m NOT 90 YEARS OLD!!! Is there any game more closely associated with assisted living facilities than Bingo? What demo was ABC hoping for? Maybe if they put the show on at 4 in the afternoon it would do better.

Meanwhile, Spielberg’s I-want-to-cash-in-on-that-TV-gravy-train-too entry, ON THE LOT finished fifth Monday night. On Tuesday if finished behind THE GEORGE LOPEZ SHOW, grounds for immediate cancellation. Instead of THE LOT, Spielberg should have done SAVING PRIVATE RYAN: THE SERIES where teams set out against faux Nazis to rescue Private Ryan and one team gets killed off every week.

And just to show that truth is stranger than fiction: there will be a Dutch reality show in which a terminal patient will choose which contestant will receive her kidney. We have long since passed NETWORK.

Now that it’s summer we’re in for a flood of cheesy reality shows. I miss the one from a couple of years ago where they trotted out old 80’s acts like Wang Chung and Vanilla Ice to perform their big hits again. Then they were asked to sing current songs and that was really a riot. And the Coolio look alas, has not stood the test of time.

Attention Los Angeles – there’s a little event called THE STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS happening in your area. I know it’s not Stu Nahan getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame but it is kinda sorta a big deal – the World Series of hockey and all. Not that you care LA but if it were in Montreal they would be going nuts.

I’m officially declaring this blog a “No Lindsay Lohan” free zone. Mine and a “Cushitic Slang” site are the only two blogs on the entire internet that can make that claim.

JERSEY BOYS opens in LA. Best musical I've seen in years. And the night I saw it on Broadway the understudy playing Frankie Valli was on and it was STILL sensational. Also, the performance I saw a character mentions Rikers Island prison and twenty people applauded. The Tony it won was for Soprano.

Roger Clemens tentatively re-debuts for the Yankees Monday night against the White Sox as U.S. Cellular ATT&T/Cingular/Sprint/T-Mobil Park. The Yankees are buried in the AL East, Clemens is a five inning pitcher at best, the bullpen is atrocious, and it cost $17 million for his four months of service. The Yankees are the new Knicks.

And now Alex Rodriquez lives up to his "a rod' nickname by being caught in a Toronto hotel room with a stripper.

The most overpaid player in baseball is not a Yankee but an Oakland A. Jason Kendall. $13.43 million. He’s hitting .182 with two extra-base hits in 165 at bats.

F-TROOP season 2 is now out on DVD!!!! As is EATING OUT 2: SLOPPY SECONDS!!!!

Saw Robert Duvall in a restaurant last night. I admit it, I was blown away. ROBERT DUVALL! And then later at the same place -- Don Rickles.

When Jeff Zucker took over NBC programming they were the number one network. Now they’re hopelessly buried in fourth and he’s the CEO of the entire GE monolith. And I still understand that before Elisabeth Hasselbeck being allowed to speak on national television. On SURVIVOR when all her tribe members were trying to make fire she was still trying to understand the concept of fire.

I'm looking forward to seeing KNOCKED UP this weekend.

Ed Harris will be performing a one-man play written and directed by Neil LaBute locally this weekend. LaBute is known for his biting and arguably misogynistic viewpoint. The play will be a benefit for the Archer School for Girls.

No, I am not related to Adam Levine. But I first saw him perform in a Brentwood High talent show (he and my son went to school together). Adam was good but not as good as the 10th grade girl who could blow bubbles into different shapes. I thought she was going to have the big career.

How’s this for a soap opera: THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS. The star (who was once tried on rape charges) wants out. The owner arrested on a DUI. The owner’s daughter is shacking up with the coach. And Jack Nicholson guests in every episode.

Have a great weekend.

42 comments:

Mike Barer said...

The Lakers have nothing on the Seattle Super Sonics when it comes to teams taking a nose dive. Even the dysfunctional Trail Blazers from down the road seem like a better act. I give Elizabeth a break since she is a brother-in-law of Seahawk quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, my favorite Survivor is Jenna Lewis.

VP81955 said...

Not counting that year when the Cup didn't do much of anything due to the lockout (it wasn't a strike, ladies and gentlemen), Lord Stanley's been getting around of late. In 2003, East Rutherford, N.J. -- at least a place it had been twice before (although future stays in Jersey will be in Newark. Hope the Cup enjoys riding the Raritan Valley line). In 2004, Tampa, Fla., where the Cup watched cigars being created. In 2006, Raleigh, N.C.; has Lord Stanley become a NCSU, UNC or Duke fan? And now, the Cup appears likely to go to Anaheim. "E" ticket!

Todd Mueller said...

There was a network had a dog and BINGO was its name-O!

Didn't Spielberg already have his 'who's gonna make the cut' reality show? Or am I thinking of 'Schinder's List'?

And is a "No Lindsay Lohan" free zone the same thing as a "Lindsay Lohan" free zone? If so, you're breaking your own zoning laws by mentioning it. Joseph Heller would be so proud. If he wasn't dead. Then again, if he wasn't dead he'd be googling Lindsay Lohan.

Hey, I just realized you can break googling into 'go ogling'. Am I the first to stumble upon that? If so, I want credit.

Neil LaBute and Ed Harris. Sheesh. There ain't no knees being slapped in that equation. Still, with Ed playing all the objectified and defiled women in the show, it'll be interesting to see how they stage the rape scene.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

As your resident Dutch guy, let me explain about the Dutch reality show 'in which a terminal patient will choose which contestant will receive her kidney'.

It is in fact a one-off special, which though real is a reaction to the fact that organ donor figures have dramatically dropped in Holland last year. The network doing this is a young one, which was founded by a comedian/presenter who suffered from a kidney disease and as a result had the stulted growth phenomenem which cause him to look like a child all his life. He adapted this into a perennial kid persona and this stuff is complete in his and the network's style. It is being broadcasted on the aniversary of his death a couple of years ago.

They thought to use the stunt to call attention to their very serious and well-intentioned cause. They forgot foreign media usually only mention the sensational part of a news item, not the boring explenation. Otherwise it is no fodder for the ongoing entertainment machine that the media have become, now including it seems your blog.

I like it better when you do substantial or personal stuff than add to the easy digs to media-selected targets.

Ken Levine said...

Ger,

For whatever noble intentions the show may have it still has been portrayed as utilizing a reality show format. Granted it has gotten press here in the always-looking-for-sensation media. But you must admit there is a certain surreal NETWORK feel to the whole concept.

Ken Levine said...

Ger,

For whatever noble intentions the show may have it still has been portrayed as utilizing a reality show format. Granted it has gotten press here in the always-looking-for-sensation media. But you must admit there is a certain surreal NETWORK feel to the whole concept.

Tiago said...

An of-topic question:
Ken, once you mentioned a former screenwriter for the Simpsons that now writes books, and you admire. Back then I got really curious to read his books. Can you tell us who he is again?
Tiago

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't a "No Lindsay Lohan" free zone, be a "zone" where there was nothing BUT Lindsay Lohan minutiae?

Mary Stella said...

I’m officially declaring this blog a “No Lindsay Lohan” free zone. Mine and a “Cushitic Slang” site are the only two blogs on the entire internet that can make that claim.

I can make that claim, too. Maybe blog by blog we can start a revolution. If nobody blogs about a certain celebrity, does he/she remain hot news.

Wait. That could be a trick question. She Who Will Not Be Blogged About isn't necessarily hot news. Everyone just thinks she is because, for some reason, so many rags write about her. It's the snowball effect.

I want to pick someone who is totally obscure, absolutely not worth a column inch on a good day, and get everyone to blog about him or her. Let's see if we can rocket them to tabloid stardom.

Anonymous said...

"On The Lot" started out as a commercial TV (inferior) version of HBO's "Project Greenlight", with the focus on actually making movies, and the personal conflicts between the people (who, for some stupid reason, were kept up without sleep for many nights in a row--probably to enhance the drama). But after 2 episodes, it suddenly turned into "American Idol" for movies, with gushing "judges", personal interviews, public voting, etc. I deleted it from my TiVo 15 minutes into the 3rd episode. Too bad.

estiv said...

I want to pick someone who is totally obscure, absolutely not worth a column inch on a good day, and get everyone to blog about him or her. Let's see if we can rocket them to tabloid stardom.

I'm available.

Mike McCann said...

It's a VERY good time for Classic TV on DVD... not just F-Troop, but Mission Impossible - Season II (Peter Graves replaces Stephen Hill) arrives in stores Tuesday.

I watched my review copy less than 24 hours after TCM screened Stalag 17. Even though there's a 15 year gap between these fictional works, it makes you think for a moment if Phelps was a plant.

Also, even though it won't be a direct hand-off, wouldn't it be fair to have Peter Graves replace Fred Thompson on Law and Order -- thus he again fills a spot once held by the talented Mr. Hill.

Lizbeth said...

The worst part of "On the Lot" is that it will predictably end up giving a million dollar deal to another generic young white guy(aka movie nerd) with no life experience, who only knows how to think and speak in movie cliches.

Oh yeah, I think Carrie Fisher might be slightly more loopy than Paula Abdul.

Hugh Betcha said...

On the Lot -- watching young filmmakers get artistic guidance from the man who made a RUSH HOUR sequel and the guy who gave us GEORGIA RULE...well, it's like seeing innocent people board The Hindenberg. "Oh, the humanity....the humanity."

As for Bingo Night -- I immediately want to dye my hair with a blue rinse, put on a Shirley Booth housedress and consider packing a stool softener as I prepare for a trip to Boca when that thing is on. Why doesn't ABC just call that show "70 Something"?

Mike Barer said...

Really,don't we have bigger issues on our minds than where A-Rod stores his bat?

Jon Badeaux said...

Say what you will about how ridiculous BINGO is as a TV show. I caught a few minutes of it last week and thought it might be a fun way to kill an hour. So I logged on to:

http://nationalbingonightgame.abc.com/print.html

to print my play-along Bingo card.

The process was very easy. But the server was busy for over 90 minutes. When I finally got on, it took almost five minutes to print my Bingo cards.

This site is busier than American Idol two weeks ago.

Please don't tell me that all American Idol viewers are now doomed to spend Friday nights the same way I spend them!


-Jon

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Ken,

You certainly caught me at a bad morning... I could have given the info without the snippy attitude. You are right about the whole Networkishness about it... but in a very juvenile way. Doesn't every sketch show have at least one writer who wants to try a 'let's see how bad tv can get' sketch on... only to find it on television for real two years later? A couple of years ago we had a sperm donor show ("Who Will Father My Child?) announced here, that got so much bad press they didn't do it.

Richard Marcej said...

"An of-topic question:
Ken, once you mentioned a former screenwriter for the Simpsons that now writes books, and you admire. Back then I got really curious to read his books. Can you tell us who he is again?
Tiago"

I don't want to speak for Ken, but it's my guess that he may have been referring to John Swartzwelder, the prolific Simpsons writer.

Not only is he responsible for some of the funniest
Simpsons episodes, but his books (including) "The Time Machine Did It" and "Double Wonderful" are very funny too!

Allen said...

Kendall's close...but I'd pick Bobby Abreu.

Knocked up should be fun.

Montreal would be going absolutely nuts.

CJB said...

Additions to the list of overpaid baseball players: JD Drew and Bobby Abreu.

Mary Stella said...

Additions to the list of overpaid baseball players: JD Drew and Bobby Abreu.

Both of them have connection to my Phillies. JD sat out a year rather than sign with the team when he was the first round draft pick. I'm not sure who the fans hated more -- JD or his agent -- but JD's name has never been announced without triggering boos.

We loved Bobby Abreu, but we had him in his good years. *g*

benson said...

Just saw this on our news service....

(Amsterdam) -- Remember that story a few days ago that had a woman who was going to donate a kidney to the winner of a reality TV show? Well, it turns out it was a hoax. That's according to the supposed makers of the program, who had said it was meant to highlight a shortage of donor organs in the Netherlands. The fake story prompted outrage across the world, and had been condemned by the Dutch Prime Minister.

Ken Levine said...

ATTENTION:

The robots at blogger.com have temporaily frozen my blog accidentally flagging it as sending spam. They've been alerted that it's not and now I wait while they review it.

I'm getting less and less enamored by blogger.com

I hope the problem is resolved soon.

Ken

TheMuse said...

The real issue is where A-Rod stores his balls!

CaliforniaStyle said...

Hi Ken, you have a great site! As for the robots on blogger, it took about 7-10 days for them to unblock my site. I know how you must feel. Cross your fingers. =)

tiago said...

Richard Marcej, thanks! That was it.

Melissa said...

I am watching the bingo and loving it, I don't care who knows. I am 37. It's seriously campy fun. Judge me, I have no shame about it.

Lone Grasshopper said...

Bingo Night was kinda sorta fun. It would have been better if my extended family were here, also. Playing bingo alone is boring. That studio audience (which was supposed to be playing) was so quiet. It didn't feel like they were playing the game. They should have been making comments after the numbers were called. Some emotion, please!

But the good news is that I didn't get a bingo. Now I can see that not everyone will bingo, making the game better. It is still lonely, though. I'll only play next week if I go over to Mom's house and we both play. I definitely will not watch the show unless I am playing along.

Buttermilk Sky said...

"Schindler's List" - what a pisser.

I googled "Cushitic slang" and got your blog. I think you meant "Gujarati slang," which is a much greater presence on the internets.

My blog has never mentioned Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton or David Hasselhoff. I'm pretty smug about it.

Boston 3, Yankees 1, bottom of the fifth.

Mike Barer said...

Lee Goldberg and his brother and sisters, as well as his Mom blog on typepad. I've never had problems with blogger (other than forcing me to go to their new system), but if they froze me I would go to typepad. Good luck getting to on track!

FraggleRock said...

You mentioned Jersey Boys. Did you know the original Broadway cast (Tony winner) of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is playing over at the Wadsworth Theatre until the 17th? The show is a riot! You should go check it out!You might even be picked as a guest speller!

(No, I'm not involved-I just saw it last weekend and loved it!)

Jon Badeaux said...

Ok, so after struggling to get about a dozen sets of Bingo cards from ABC.com, I had absolutely NO fun whatsoever trying to mark each of the Bingo cards before the next number was called. Even when I figured out I could wait until the end of the show, play it back on TiVo and mark them at my leisure, it was still no fun.

It might have helped if I could understand what the prizes would be if I had gotten a Bingo.

Net Friday night I have plans to rent video wallpaper of bubbles from Blockbuster. I mean bubbles as in water, not the stripper. That would be too exciting!

Joe said...

no Lindsay Lohan on my site either, although it probably helps with the hit count...Cheers!

eChuckler said...

Ken,
That happens to EVERY Blogger site that I've ever known and/or used.
And to think, some said Google was going to make life easier! Clearly, part of Google's ultimate endgame is to have accused every citizen of spamming at one point or another, then posting our pictures all over their map service.

It usually just takes a day, then you'll be cleared and good to go!

Ken Levine said...

Three days now and I'm STILL LOCKED. I have been sending emails to blogger support continously. If anyone has any suggestions for what I can do to speed this maddening process along please email me.

Thanks. I hope I'm up and running soon.

Ken

eChuckler said...

Sad news! It seems I'm the exception to the rule... (Always am, but not positively so) I've been looking around the Google Blogger Help Group, and some people have had to wait up to a WEEK. Which, in internet time, is an ETERNITY!

It would seem that Google's quest for world dominance has meant that their spam-detecting robots need not be good. And their "customer service" seems to be as good as any other company's as well.

http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help-publishing/browse_thread/thread/11f7e85e0c4453ce/595536112fd21290?lnk=gst&q=spam&rnum=4&hl=en#595536112fd21290

My suggestion would be to get a bunch of pitchforks and torches and storm your closest Google office. (You're based in Hell-A, right? It'll just look like a movie being filmed.)

emily latella said...

Ken,

Maybe you can just post your blog on this comment section until the idiots wake up and put you back online.

I'm having withdrawal symptoms...

Ken Levine said...

ATTENTION!!!

I HAVE MOVED!!!!!

At least for the moment and if blogger doesn't resolve this soon I will move permenantly.

My temporary new address is:

http://kenlevine.typepad.com/blog/

Please check in. I'm posting there.

Thanks. Sorry for the inconvenience. I am really pissed.

Ken

benson said...

FWIW, I, too, missed your daily postings, part of my morning routine. Glad to see you're up and running on the other site.

Jason said...

What did you think of Knocked Up? I loved it? And as a the new dad of a seven month old baby, that was the fakiest hoo-haa I've ever seen.

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Free Internet Bingo Game said...

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