Thursday, April 14, 2016

Misc. Takes

Some random thoughts for a Thursday...

Tuesday nights are not the same now that the O.J. verdict is in. Sarah Paulson has become my favorite working actress. Whether it’s a one-headed or two-headed character, she can play ‘em all.

Sorry to hear of David Gest’s passing, but is this the creepiest wedding photo you’ve ever seen?

The Stephen Colbert show already has a new showrunner. That can’t be good.

Congrats to the Golden State Warriors, the best regular-season team in NBA history.  73-9.   Of course now they have to play another 82 playoff games.  

Conan O’Brien has been doing his shows from South Korea, obviously trying to capitalize on that MASH zeitgeist.  

For the first week of the baseball season when it’s still snowing in the east, why don’t they schedule all the games in cities that have good weather or domes?

NEW GIRL was renewed. No, seriously.

Book recommendation: “Welcome to Dumbfuckistan: The Dumbed-Down, Disinformed, Dysfunctional, Disunited States of America” by Ian Gurvitz. Ian is a hilarious writer – sort of a cross between Andy Borowitz and Howard Beale. Among Ian’s many TV credits is BECKER. He wrote the best, angriest Becker rants of the series. You can get the book here.

So SUPERGIRL’S ratings went way up when The Flash guested then plunged right back down the following week. Look for a crossover show with Super Grover during May sweeps.

Who’s having a big viewing party for this Sunday night’s TV LAND ICON AWARDS?

The Russian poem that David Isaacs and I wrote for a CHEERS episode made it to a gate arrival sign. I guess Virgin Air in SFO likes to spice up their gate announcements. This was seen recently:
My heart goes out to Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins fans.

ORPHAN BLACK returns tonight and is supposed to be good again. For the first few episodes they essentially do a prequel. Navajo Code Talkers couldn’t figure out the plot from last season.

The new CEO of AMC Theaters is experimenting with allowing texting at certain theaters.  That'll be the last time I ever go to one of those theaters.   Meanwhile, the most habitual moviegoers are not teens.  They're the over-50 crowd.   Maybe theater owners should maybe possibly want to cater to THEM. 

What a way to go out!  Kobe Bryant scored 60 points last night in his final game in the NBA.  Thanks for a great career, Kobe.   It's a sad moment for Lakers fans although they're all secretly saying, "Finally!"

EW Trend Watch: Capsule Episodes. Entire episodes devoted to one character of a series. Uh, this is nothing new. Ever see the “Hawkeye” episode of MASH or the “Maude Bares Her Soul” episode of MAUDE? TV did not begin in 2010.

I’m about to go into a deep depression. Only one more episode of BETTER CALL SAUL left for the season. What will I do with my Monday nights and aluminum cape?

Any chance I could get Sumner Redstone to adopt me?  Or Kobe?

33 comments:

Peter said...

David Gest was a genuinely nice and likeable guy. I never met him, but he always came across as sincere and funny and lovable. I'm really sad at his passing. 62 is no age to go.

This has been a truly sucky year for the loss of beloved celebrities. The other week here in the UK, Ronnie Corbett, one half of a legendary comedy duo, The Two Ronnies, passed away. His comedy partner, Ronnie Barker, died a while back. I don't know if Americans are aware of them, but if you want a glimpse of their talents, Barker was wonderful in the film My House in Umbria and Corbett was wonderful in John Landis's underrated black comedy Burke & Hare.

Bill in Toronto said...

Ken, it looks like you'll be having a bittersweet reunion with the Rams for the next several years. The team mortgaged its future this morning...

The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms to trade the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft to the Los Angeles Rams. According to the NFL's Connor Orr, here's how the trade breaksdown:
Tennessee gets: Rams first-round pick (2016), two second-round picks (2016) third-round pick (2016), first-round pick (2017), third-round pick (2017).
Rams get: Titans first overall pick (2016), Titans fourth-round pick (2016), Titans sixth-round pick (2016).

blinky said...

The Warriors 73 is the 21st prime number and in binary 73 is a palindrome, 1001001, which backwards is 1001001. Go Math!

I like how the New Girl renewal was followed immediately by the Dumbfuckistan mention.

After last seasons disaster I thought the only hope for Orphan Black was a complete origin story reboot with Kirsten Dunst and Toby McGuire.

Fred Nerk said...

Hopefully the new showrunner for Colbert knows the difference between an early evening show and a late night show, and that the audience want to slow down and relax, not get wound up and exited.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Would that it were just at movies. The woman next to me started texting 2/3 of the way through the first act of THE BOOK OF MORMON. Boggle.

wg

Curt Alliaume said...

I seem to recall MLB took your advice and put all of the opening week games one year in all of the warm weather and domed cities - and then the cold weather cities got horrible weather and lots of cancellations the following week for their openers.

Richard John Marcej said...

“For the first week of the baseball season when it’s still snowing in the east, why don’t they schedule all the games in cities that have good weather or domes? “

Ken, I expected better of you, especially since you’ve worked with MLB through most of your career.
Every year when the season starts I hear or read someone complaining about this. “Why don’t they play the first week or so on the west coast, the south or in domes to play in the nice weather. Well, there's a reason they don't and you can blame owners of the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, etc... for that reason.

In 1984 MLB scheduled most if not all North/East Coast teams to start the season in warmer areas or at domes (Pittsburgh opened in San Diego, Boston opened in Anaheim, Yankees opened in Kansas City, St. Louis opened in Los Angeles, etc…) and what happened? ALL the North/East Coast teams bitched and complained. They HATED the fact that by the time they held their home opener it was a week or more already into the season.

So since 1984 it’s never been tried again.

Steve said...

I'm that Virgin America gate agent, in SFO (the flight was to Dallas). I loved that Cheers episode, and your blog had recently mentioned that poem, and it just seemed natural to post it to spread some cheery holiday goodwill.

(When I posted the image recently on the IMGUR site, I gave credit to you and David Isaacs, but posting attribution on the sign itself -- "Kalasknikov, Russian poet, as written by Ken Levine and David Isaacs on an episode of Cheers" -- seemed to water down the humor too much. My apologies.)

B.A. said...

Peter: I remember Corbett from THE TWO RONNIES which used to air on WTTW in the 70s, also from the Peter Cook film THE RISE AND RISE OF MICHAEL RIMMER.

Andrew said...

There's a lot of rumors about Gus Fring showing up in the season finale of BCS. Maybe it's wishful thinking. But do a Google search, and the fan theories are very interesting.

ELS said...

Ken, maybe this would work as a Friday question - but I hope you'll answer it somehow. You noted that Supergirl's ratings aren't so good... but that's on CBS. How would they compare if the show were on the CW? I keep thinking that CBS might bail on "Supergirl" and the CW would take it to complete their "DC superheroes - every night!" (or some such.) I know some shows have jumped networks... any idea if this is viable? (Yes, I definitely like "Supergirl" - I'm the one - and would like to see it remain on the air.)

Ken Levine said...

Steve,

No worries. Just cool to see the poem used to cheer up weary travelers.

404 said...

Okay, I'll admit it -- I actually like and look forward to NEW GIRL. It's not near as funny as it was, and the "adorkable" thing got old quick, but 1) they've toned that down a good bit, and 2) the show is worth watching just for the character of Schmidt. Max Greenfield is hilarious in that role.

A. L. Crivaro said...

I second the Better Call Saul sentiment. What about that Rhea Seehorn, huh? Where'd SHE come from?

benson said...

Ken, I'm not sure if this is irony or just plain bad luck, but Gest was embarking, with a bunch of performers from back in the day, on a tour. The name of the tour was the "David Gest is not dead Tour". You can't make this stuff up.

@Steve, that is great. I love that episode. And being of Russian descent, it makes me laugh maybe even harder.

Dave Creek said...

Regarding SUPERGIRL moving to the CW -- could that network afford it? Or would the cast and crew have to take a pay cut and move to Vancouver?

Cat said...

I just love "Any Friend of Diane's" for Ted Danson getting to say the words "Shoesy woosy."

Anonymous said...

I got through six episodes of Supergirl. That's when it became apparent that she wasn't going to upgrade to a slinkier costume. I don't like being gypped. It's current demographic seems to be girls under the age of 14, ironic gay dudes, and people who like puns. That's no way to go out.

Time for a costume change guys. It should be fashioned in a way that makes people who like puns say, "mom, I'll be in the bathroom masturbating with my iPad."

–Snarky Joe
Results & Practices Dept

DrBOP said...

Tuesday nights haven't been the same since '56......when the Jonathan Winters Show on NBC began at 7:30pm, followed by The Huntley-Brinkley Report at 7:45.....
I kid you not:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1956%E2%80%9357_United_States_network_television_schedule#Tuesday

Now THAT's television!

Anonymous said...

50 shots.
An NBA record.
Fitting.

MikeK.Pa. said...

Been too long since you wrote one of these. I'm sure you have enough roiling in your brain to do them more often. Cackled at the Navajo code breakers line.

"Congrats to the Golden State Warriors, the best regular-season team in NBA history. 73-9."
The Sixers, who already own the record for most losses in a season, now have the record for second-most losses in a season. Brett Brown. Good coach in the wrong place at the wrong time. Good luck to GSW, even though the Bay Area has had enough championships recently.

Ian Gurvitz wrote and produced WINGS, one of my all-time favorite sitcoms. I'll definitely check out his book.

"Only one more episode of BETTER CALL SAUL left for the season."
Love Jimmy and Mike.

Charles H. Bryan said...

The Colbert thing may be good news. According to THR (I think that's where I read it), Colbert himself has been acting as the de facto showrunner.

I, too, will miss both THE PEOPLE VS OJ SIMPSON and BETTER CALL SAUL, but at least SAUL will have another season.

Mike Schryver said...

I've been a huge fan of Sarah Paulson ever since AMERICAN GOTHIC, which had great performances by a boatload of people including Gary Cole. She's always good.

sanford said...

Some cold weather teams did open in warmer climes. White Sox and Cubs opened on the West Coast. Brewers opened up at home under the roof. I was on vacation for opening day and went to the San Diego. The played the Dodgers. The Cubs had their home opener Monday (night) it was freezing. I am not sure how much it really matters where the openers are or who is on the road. Even if the cold weather teams opened up under a roof or at a warm weather site, when the come home the second week it is still going to be cold for the most part. When I was a kid I went to the White Sox home opener (1st game of the season) on April 17. It was bitterly cold.

Anonymous said...

Have you watched the Jackie Robinson doc on PBS? Another excellent job by Ken Burns. Janice B

J Lee said...

EW Trend Watch: Capsule Episodes. Entire episodes devoted to one character of a series. Uh, this is nothing new. Ever see the “Hawkeye” episode of MASH or the “Maude Bares Her Soul” episode of MAUDE? TV did not begin in 2010.

That's a favorite pet peeve of mine, with the main annoyance coming when someone makes up a 'greatest' list and throws in possibly 1-2 things from more than a decade ago (and tying it in to Kobe's night on Wednesday, someone on ESPN tonight was calling that and Golden State's win "The greatest regular season night in the history of the NBA." Does everyone have to go to Donald Trump levels of hyperbolic BS nowadays?)

VP81955 said...

NBA closing night 2016 doesn't remotely compare to MLB closing night 2011. Ask any Braves or Bosox fan...if they dare bring it up.

Doug said...

Boy,it was struggle figuring out Orphan Black last season.It was more complicated than Game Of Thrones.

Better Call Saul is great.Rhea Seehorn is excellent.Superb writing.

@Dave Creek They may get a shock at the real estate prices in Vancouver!

Mel Agar said...

NEW GIRL was much better during those handful of episodes where the new girl was gone for jury duty. It's a great ensemble, but Jess's character has just become kind of unbearable for me.

cadavra said...

And of course, two of the greatest capsule episodes of all time, each with simply one actor: "The Invaders" episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE and "Reserved For Mr. Bailey" from 77 SUNSET STRIP. Those, alas, were the days.

Johnny Walker said...

You know what to do, Ken: THE WIRE!

Artie in Sin City said...

"Better Call Saul" IS prime destination TV viewing...

Such a joy to see top notch acting, superb writing and an overall look to the shw that leaves you enthralled week after week...

Suspect the good news is I heard they have already "green lighted" the show for next season...So I will bide my time until then...

Sucks for me and lots of other Saul fans out there...

SharoneRosen said...

and, as for Orphan Black, " Navajo Code Talkers couldn’t figure out the plot from last season." OH THANK GOD! I was worried I'd lost the ability to think and speak in English.