Sunday, October 13, 2013

Random shit to talk about

Because I can't think of one topic.

Tonight’s new episode of INSTANT MOM was written by Annie Levine & Jonathan Emerson. It’s on Nick at Nite at 8:30 and Nick Mom at 10. Watch it before and after HOMELAND.

Fox baseball coverage drives me batty. Stop showing close ups of distraught fans between every pitch. Let’s see the game. Let’s see the players. Not a bunch of Unabombers in team gear wringing their hands.

I love how networks are touting every rookie comedy as the season’s big new hit. Not one is performing really well. Last Thursday NBC’s primetime rating among 18-34’s tied its worst average EVER (and that includes the big new hits SEAN SAVES THE WORLD, THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW, and WELCOME TO THE FAMILY.) Matthew Perry must be screaming, “They cancelled me for that?!”

Meanwhile, Fox has already shut down production on their upcoming midseason new hit US & THEM after only six episodes.

Daughter Annie wondered why there were no superheroes in the second episode of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. It was like watching the bureaucracy of S.H.I.E.L.D, she observed.

Actual HUFFPOST headline: Miley Won’t Take Advice From Some ’70-Year-Old Jewish Man.

HAWAII FIVE-O, mercifully banished to Friday nights is so desperate they’re pulling the following stunt: viewers can write the storyline of an episode. The public (see the mouth breathers Fox shows praying at baseball games) will vote on-line for six key story points. They can’t do any worse than the show’s writers.

Hey, NBC, if it works, how about letting the public make out your Thursday schedule next year?

Will I enjoy GRAVITY even if I can’t see 3D?

A number of you have asked when my new book is coming out (okay, that number is one). MUST KILL TV will be released next month.  E-book and paperback.  No audiobook.  No one bought my last one. 

Great day for sports fans.  NFL football and a Red Sox game where they're not playing the Yankees. 

Notable upsets this week: Michigan, Oklahoma, Georgia, and MACHETE KILLS.

McDonalds is putting 20,000,000 books in Happy Meals next month. Collect the whole set, kids! Mayor McCheese explains the Federal Shutdown. To Catch a Hamburglar. Hold the Onion Fields: The Officer Big Mac Story. 

This is the kind of crap I tweet on Twitter if you'd like to follow me.  I'm only 1.5 million behind Tia Mowry 

I watch MASTERS OF SEX for all the wrong reasons. And if the pace doesn’t pick up, I’ll be fast-forwarding to all the wrong reasons.

Now that IRONSIDES is tanking, I’m having second thoughts about pitching my gritty reboot of LANCELOT LINK: SECRET CHIMP.

Alec Baldwin’s new late night show on MSNBC shows off his serious side. Yeah, but so what?  Unless he's funny who wants to watch?

And finally, the only way to watch Dodger baseball.  With Vin Scully.   Hurry.  Their season is rapidly ending. 

36 comments:

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Congrats to Annie and Jonathan; I also like her line about Bureaucracy of S.H.I.E.L.D. (I guess it's Joss Whedon's revenge on his fans that he's picked a title that's such a pain to type...)

wg

Quiet Jim said...

All new sitcoms unwatchable except MOM has potential. Someone on MJF show needs to tell that wife that Hank died and he's not coming back so may as well cheer up

Steven said...

Fox's MLB coverage has always been too gaudy, too concerned with creating graphics like Scooter the talking baseball and the Burger King hot zone, a Lite 3 style grid that shows where a hitter prefers a ball over the plate. And would it hurt Fox to create theme music for their MLB coverage that doesn't sound like a FOX NFL Sunday b-side? Baseball moves at a more leisurely pace compared to football. Lose the overly dramatic music!

In addition to Fox trying to create fake tense narratives with the cutaway shots to fans as you mentioned, their announcers always belabor the same talking points. Granted this could just be a product of having Tim McCarver in the booth for all these years, but at least he's retiring after this year.

I still don't understand why they trot Joe Buck out their every World Series, touting him as the most versatile announcer in America when he's freely admitted he prefers football to baseball. What would his dad, the great Jack Buck, say about this?

For me the sign that Fox would remain totally clueless until their contract ends with MLB in 2021 (I checked Wikipedia) came when they were broadcasting the 2003 NLCS between my Cubs and the Florida Marlins.

The action on the field was absolutely riveting, but Fox kept cutting away from it so that guest analyst Al Liter, who was sitting in the booth with Thom Brennamon and Steve Lyons, could show the fans at home how to grip a baseball to throw various pitches.

Just show the freaking game before I put my baseball through the TV!




Mike said...

SHIELD was the programme I always wanted to write, but I intended to play-up the bureaucracy as a humorous counterpoint to the action. Galactus is standing astride two New York skyscrapers, the helicarrier chugs over the horizon, Fury (the original, not 'Shaft 2000') gives the order to break out the fucking big guns, and the accountant standing next to him turns white, thinking of the insurance premiums.

404 said...

Friday question for you, Ken: Have you ever been completely surprised about a sitcom? You were convinced it would be a big hit and then it just tanked? Or the opposite, you felt it wouldn't last two episodes and it turns out to be a huge hit (and I don't mean "hanging in there" like TWO BROKE GIRLS, I mean the breakthrough hit of the year). Or anything like that?

Michael said...

Congrats to Annie--and dad.

I put on the ALCS for a bit last night and Steven nailed it. The other thing I noticed was that the Tiger pitcher, Benoit, took 30 seconds between pitches. The plate umpire, Joe West, is renowned for liking attention and being a royal pain (he's also an excellent umpire), and you can tell the networks are in control because he didn't enforce the 20-second rule and call a ball.

But here's all you need to know. When Vin Scully talks about a possible retirement, the world goes crazy. Tim McCarver is working his final games after a very successful career as an analyst, and most people are doing one of two things: yawning, or giving thanks that he is retiring. And I think it isn't just that people are tired of him, but they just don't enjoy how Fox televises baseball.

Danj said...

Hey Ken... SHIELD is supposed to be about ordinary people living in the Marvel Universe and dealing with all the weirdness around them. Sometimes that weirdness will be a superhero (like in the pilot), sometimes a piece of technology (like the Hydra object found in the 2nd episode), and I wouldn't be surprised if we saw some magic eventually too (as Coulson keeps telling us Tahiti is a "magic place"). And that's clearly the right way to approach it... No offense to Annie's instincts, but if it were a superhero every episode it would be super-predictable.

Anita Bonita said...

With apologies to Lloyd Bentsen: I knew Jack Buck. I worked with Jack Buck (and Tim McCarver, at both CBS and WWOR). Joe Buck is no Jack Buck.

Matt said...

I would actually watch Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp.

Alec Baldwin has become so pompous, I can hardly watch him for five minutes anyways.

Johnny Walker said...

That's a shame, I thought you did a good job with the audiobook, and it made the book even more enjoyable. Listening to people voice their memoirs themselves seems to add a lot, if you ask me. (Although not so much with fiction, so I'm not bothered about the upcoming book.)

Mike Barer said...

Good luck to your daughter on her new show! You must have set a great example!

Johnny Walker said...

Nice idea, Mike. A friend of mine wrote a script once which I thought was great that featured things like that. Sounds exactly like a perfect vehicle for Simon Pegg and co.

Jeffro said...

Regarding the rookie sitcoms, Moms is OK, but the best, at least this past week, was Back in the Game, although I wish we got more of Markie Post as a guest star.

Talking about "random shit". Regarding your "Prius are the worst drivers" topics from a few entries back, I got a worse driver. After taking a nice recreational drive yesterday on all kinds of streets, I can honestly say people driving PT Cruisers are the worst, bar none. I encountered three, being stuck behind all of them, and I can tell you for some reason they tend to brake out of the clear blue sky for no reason at all. It couldn't be because they were going to fast, because they were all miserably going under the limit. I guess they also have poor judgement, because I can't understand why anyone would want such a fugly car. Even if they were given away for free, I wouldn't want one.

Tim W. said...

I think I groaned the first time I saw a promo for Ironsides. It looked AWFUL..

Mike McCann said...

>>pitching my gritty reboot of LANCELOT LINK: SECRET CHIMP>>

Bernie Koppel says thanks in advance.

I still want to see a network reboot MISTER ED. Get Kelsey Grammer to be the off-camera voice of the horse (which can be CGI so no flesh and blood nag will be harmed by forcing it to eat peanut butter). Martin Short is your new Wilbur Post. CAN'T MISS.

Foaming Solvent said...

"Will I enjoy GRAVITY even if I can’t see 3D? "

Yes.

Cap'n Bob said...

McCarver manages to say at least one totally inane thing every ten minutes or so. In my book he's the worst sportscaster who ever lived. I await his retirement with glee.

Norm said...

If you are like me and subscribe to VERY Basic Cable, watch Annie's show here: http://www.nickmom.com/tv/instant-mom/videos/the-lying-game-106/

robin Lawrence said...

hi Ken, Master's of Sex is a good show will pick up just keep watching it for me thanks take care

RCP said...

That's great, Annie and Jon - congratulations on your success. I'm glad "Must Kill TV" will be available in paperback, as that's still my preferred method of reading. And in all fairness to Miley, I don't know if I'M ready to hear a 70-year-old Jewish man's advice about twerking. McDonald's is also offering "The Secret (Sauce)"

Hamid said...

Hey, I'm that one person who asked when MUST KILL TV is out! Does this mean I can buy a signed copy? (I'm old school and like to hold a book in my hand).

I enjoyed Machete Kills. Not as good as the first and a tad repetitive but fun all the same. Sorry to be typically male but there was no shortage of eye candy. Robert Rodriguez has a knack for casting the female roles in his films.

The Mutt said...

I'm blind in one eye, so I've never seen a 3D movie. I loved Gravity. You should definitely see it on the biggest screen available.

I loved Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp back in the day. Abe Vigoda's finest work.

Patrick Murphy said...

I don't enjoy 3d movies. I saw Gravity in 2d and enjoyed it.

Darla said...

There's no reason to be crude, Ken. You could just as easily have titled today's column "Random Fecal Matter to Talk About." See? It provides the same clue to the content of the column, and the more sensitive are not offended.

Rick Lesh said...

You need to be more careful, Ken...you gave Darla a case of the Vapors.

I didn't realize your blog had the unique ability to transport itself back to the 1890's.

Scott said...

I bought both the ebook and audiobook of your book. So there. :P

Craig Russell said...

Ken, your comment about how EVERY new comedy is the big hit of the season reminds m of a Seinfeld bit about Doctors...

"How come everytime someone recommends a doctor oh he's the best. Oh is he good? Oh he's the best. This guy's the best. They can't all be the best. There can't be this many bests. Someone's graduating at the bottom of these classes. Where are these doctors? Is somewhere someone saying to their friend: You should see my doctor, he's the worst. Oh yeah, he's the worst, he is the absolute worst there is. Whatever you got, it'll be worse after you see him."

Shawn Rech said...

Lately I've noticed all kinds of characters in crossover commercials (Ron Burgundy selling Dodge Trucks, lot's of stars, in character, selling Time Warner Cable). Some of the lines are bad, and seem written by ad agencies, and not the show's writers. Some of these spots in heavy rotation get more impressions than their respective shows. Wouldn't this drive you crazy as someone who's carefully developed a character?

Anonymous said...

I watch MASTERS OF SEX for all the wrong reasons. And if the pace doesn’t pick up, I’ll be fast-forwarding to all the wrong reasons.

Punch up...


I watch MASTERS OF SEX for all the wrong reasons. And if the pace doesn’t pick up, I’ll be fast-forwarding to all the right reasons.

Rob said...

I'd be happier that 2 Broke Girls is tanking if it wasn't in the time slot that once held MASH, Kate & Allie, Newhart, Murphy Brown and Everybody Loves Raymond.

Combine that with the played-out How I Met Your Mother and the DOA We Are Men and Hostages and CBS's once-vaunted Monday lineup has hit the skids along with NBC Thursdays.

On the other hand, we may be spared further seasons of Two and a Half Men.

Floridan said...

Actually, I thought Alec Baldwin's interview of NYC mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio was very well done. The questions where, for the most part, intelligent and Baldwin did not talk over the answers (as is the case with all too often on other political shows). In fact, Baldwin appeared interested in what de Blasio had to say, another rarity on such shows.

afg1 said...

Go Cardinals! (and I wish we still had Jack Buck)

Cap'n Bob said...

Thanks a lot, Ken. I watched the game last night and began noticing all those tense crowd shots you mentioned. I used to think the cameramen were just trying to spot hot babes and enjoyed the shots. No more. You've ruined it for me. Pal.

CamrioKid said...

I tried listening to Vinny on the radio with BuckArver silenced, but there is an annoying little delay on the TV feed from what Vinny describes on the radio. Distracting.

Sharon said...

Guess I'll handle the minority opinion re GRAVITY. I didn't care for it. There's no story!! While saw it in 2D, I don't think that seeing it in 3D solves the lack-of-story problem. Plus, George Clooney's lovely brown eyes were almost completely obscured by the helmet. :-)

Dean said...

Oh boy, baseball coverage is a sore subject with me. I know they CAN get a camera on the field, but why? After a pitcher gets the final out and the whole team starts running onto the field, why oh why do we cut to multiple close ups? Many of them hand held cameras that get shoved out of the way. Why not a long shot so we can actually see the whole team celebrating (and the fans too). Instead we get a super close up of the back of a random players jersey. We're supposed to feel like we're there I guess? And this is really cool?

/old guy rant