Monday, August 15, 2016

Misc-takes

This is like splitting open a piñata – you never know what will spill out. But take a swing and here we go.

Studio executives and showrunners promise there will be less violence on TV this fall. Oh, they mean ON the screen. Thomas Gibson was fired from CRIMINAL MINDS for kicking a writer. They just got my Emmy vote.

Someone said we could bring the National Deficit way down by making the first Presidential Debate pay-per-view.

Who thought it was a good idea to remake BEN-HUR? So they could do the chariot race with CGI? What Millennial is saying “Where’s our Jesus tentpole blockbuster this summer?”

How many people are missing NBC’s regular shows? Anybody? Hello?

THE NIGHT OF on HBO is riveting television. Jon Turturro is terrific but Bill Camp (I know. Who?) steals the series as Detective Box. Jeannie Berlin is in it too, and last week as an inside joke that maybe five people in America got (me being one of them) they played “Close To You.” That song was prominently featured in 1972’s HEARTBREAK KID starring Jeannie Berlin.

Let Donald Trump go one day without Secret Service protection and see how many Second Amendment “jokes” he makes.

I hear STRANGER THINGS on NETFLIX is really fun. As you know, I like to stay up on things, once I’ve heard that everyone else knows about it.

There’s going to be an action-thriller this fall called THE ACCOUNTANT. No foolin’.

Three teams in the AL East could make it to the playoffs.

Watching HARD KNOCKS on HBO, following the Los Angeles Rams training camp. Their star future quarterback, Jared Goff didn’t know the sun rose in the east and set in the west. Nice job University of California.

How dare CBS – the network of Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Dick Van Dyke, Phil Silvers, and Mary Tyler Moore – call Kevin James the “King” of Comedy!  Kevin fucking James???

Stephen Colbert will anchor election night coverage for SHOWTIME. But when Trump loses (please, if there is a God), I’ll be watching FOX NEWS to see Megyn Kelly make the announcement.

I'm hearing great buzz about HELL OR HIGH WATER starring Jeff Bridges.  No one wears a cape so it's considered an art film.  

Which did you cheer louder for – Roger Ailes or Alex Rodriguez getting fired?

I want to be a lifeguard in the Olympics.

How do you take the Olympics seriously when Ryan Seacrest hosts the late night show? 

My new play, GOING GOING GONE – a comedy about baseball and life – opens Oct. 1st at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood.  "Tickets?" you say?   Why, yes.  You can pre-order here.  

HuffingtonPost Headline: ‘Robot Lawyer’ Gives Free Legal Aid to Homeless People.”

Barack Obama is not the founder of ISIS. Marc Richards is. THE SECRETS OF ISIS starring Joanna Cameron ran on Saturday mornings for two seasons on CBS in the mid ‘70s. I bet she had better ratings at 10 AM than SUPERGIRL did primetime.

There are too many NFL exhibition games. For attending fans, you’re paying big money to see the regulars for fifteen minutes and then 88 guys all wearing number 88.

They have these TV quizzes on Facebook – I fail them even though there are questions about specific episodes I wrote.

What’s worse – Trump’s Immigration plan or Swedish Fish Oreos?

How can MTV hold a video awards show when they no longer show videos?

UPDATE:  So I'm not the only one who didn't find Larry Wilmore funny -- Comedy Central just cancelled THE NIGHTLY SHOW.  

And finally, I posted this picture on Facebook but wanted to share it here too. Meet my granddaughter, Rebecca. God help me when she discovers Toys R’ Us.

53 comments:

Jim S said...

"God help me when she discovers 'Toys R Us.'"

No, God help her parents. If my family is anything to judge by, grandparents love nothing better than buying toy and clothes for their grandchildren.

Peter said...

Thomas Gibson appeared in Eyes Wide Shut. Can you imagine what would have happened if he'd kicked Stanley Kubrick?!!

Maybe they meant to say Kevin James is the king of comedies that are called Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

Rebecca wins the prize for most adorable smile of the year. Have you bought her her own Final Draft yet? She's gonna need it for her first spec soon.

norm said...

Red Skelton also was a CBS alumni.

Glenn said...

Your granddaughter has a killer smile, Ken. Congrats.

Jason said...

I enjoyed Stranger Things.

BA said...

You had me at Jeannie Berlin (speaking as a fan of BONE, SHIELA LEVINE...etc)
and 'Kevin fucking James???'

VP81955 said...

Is Goff's favorite film "The Green Berets"? (Sunrise/sunset reference, folks.)

And BTW, Ken, they are exhibition games. We don't use euphemisms.

aliciab said...

yes. See Hell or High Water and Stranger Things. Really. Both are close to great. And, that's one cute baby

Anonymous said...

Congrats! Cute picture!

estiv said...

Just in case you might have missed it: your granddaughter is very cute.

blinky said...

Here is a Friday question for ya: Do you remember when there were movies that were so well made and thought out that college courses were devoted to interpreting them? "A Place in the Sun" or any Bergman or Fellini movie for that matter. In fact when I was a freshman in college in 1970 the humanities did a whole analysis of the Graduate, and it turns out it was more than just plastics.

Pamela Atherton said...

A large portion of Hell or High Water was filmed in our little burg. I was out of town for most of it, so I didn't get it on the filming. Everyone raved about how nice the cast and crew were... and I hear it's a very good movie. Can't wait to see it!

Jeff said...

I'm sure you already know that the reason CBS is calling Kevin James the "King" of comedy to remind people of The King of Queens, which did quite well for them (and continues in syndication). They're so desperate to make this connection, in fact, that they're even showing lots of ads with James in his UPS uniform — far more than they're showing ads with clips from the show. I don't think CBS is terribly confident in Kevin Can Wait, do you?

Mister Charlie said...

I worked with Joanne Cameron in the 80s, on a video vanity project of hers. I kept bringing up Isis until she snapped at me, heh. She apparently didn't want that to be her epitaph.

Buttermilk Sky said...

THE NIGHTY SHOW sounds like it should be on The Playboy Channel. (Is there still a Playboy Channel?)

She's ADORABLE.

suesea7 said...

I do like Larry Wilmore! I find him much funnier than Trevor Noah or even Stephen Colbert.

Sue in Seattle

Igor said...

Since this is grab-bag day... just because you might like it -

Their goal: Meet the Beatles on tour in 1966. Their solution: Impersonate the opening act. http://wpo.st/d15s1

DwWashburn said...

I think this will be the fourth theatrical release of Ben Hur so I don't believe that it is an untouchable franchise. Maybe this version will appeal to the "300" audience.

The Curmudgeon said...

I have a Friday Question.

I've read your many posts about the virtues -- the necessities -- of outlining. And I believe... but I have a problem.

Forty-odd years ago when I was in high school they tried to teach us how to outline so that we could write better term papers. I tried -- but I'd get F's on the outlines and A's on the eventual papers.

I've been writing for a living now 36 years as a lawyer. I do a lot of appellate work---successfully---so I have to be organized and coherent. But I still can't outline; I just write. It works for appeals, but I've tried my hand at longer stuff (a lot of attorneys are wannabe novelists) and I have floundered.

I know I need to learn how to outline, but I don't know how.

Can you recommend any resources? Tricks? Breathing techniques?

wackiland said...

Thank you, Ken, for the CBS "King of Comedy" rant. Every time I see one of those commercials, I want to projectile vomit.

Tom Wolper said...

1. Last year 3 NL Central teams (Pirates, Cardinals, Cubs) made the playoffs.

2. I was at the first Steelers exhibition game last week. Any starter for the offense you might have heard of did not play. NFL coaches are getting afraid enough of injuries to starters that they might not play them at all.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Her smile looks surprisingly like yours, Ken.

wg

H Johnson said...

I'm with @suesea7. The Nightly Show never found it's groove but he's got a cool sense of humor and that Mike Yard is really funny. Trevor Noah isn't funny at all. And he has a terrible habit of laughing at his own jokes like Bill Maher. Ugh.

Maybe if Larry Wilmore lost the 'keepin it 100' bit and extended the monologue he'd been better off.

You grandaughter, what a sweetie.

Aloha

YEKIMI said...

No, God help her parents. If my family is anything to judge by, grandparents love nothing better than buying toy and clothes for their grandchildren.

Here's what's worse. Nephews having a grandpa who used to be vice-president of a major toy company. I gave up buying them any toys because he not only was able to give them every toy that they made, he was also able to give them toys that hadn't been released yet, toys that were still in development and even toys from other toy company around that they bought for "testing" purposes. Their bedroom looked like a Toys 'R Us store had exploded in it.

Toby the Wonder Horse said...

Hey, Ken. Thought you might be interested to learn that you have achieved a kind of immortality: an episode of M*A*S*H you cowrote is the subject of a profile on The AV Club today: http://www.avclub.com/article/classic-msh-staff-held-its-own-olympics-240993

Earl Boebert said...

As an old line privacy/security guy, my advice is: stay away from those Facebook quizzes. If you don't believe me, read this:

http://www.fightidentitytheft.com/blog/facebook-quizzes-sharing-your-private-data

Remember, if the service is free, the product is you.

Anonymous said...

I thought Kevin James was the Queen of comedy....

80s kid said...

Stranger Things really is cool. An hommage to 80s scifi and kids movies like Stand by Me and E.T., maybe nothing in there you haven't seen before. Like J.J. Abrams Super 8, but better. I watched the first four episodes three weeks ago and couldn't find the fours hours necessary to watch the rest of the show in one go. I definitely do not want to have to stop in between once more.

By the way, I have the same problem with Breaking Bad. How many episodes after season 2 are there?

MikeK.Pa. said...

My son raved about STRANGER THINGS. After the first episode, I sent him a text to tell him I thought it was one of the worst shows I'd ever seen. Too much exposition in the dialogue. Winona Ryder doing a crazy "crazy." Then I watched the second episode, and then the third. By episode five of my binge watch, I couldn't wait to get to the end. Obviously an homage to Spielberg movies of the 1980s. Surprisingly, Ryder got better. The sheriff, who seemed a cliche in episode one, I began to root for.

Regarding Jeannine Breslin, hard to believe her voice could get any more annoying four decades later - but it did. Spot on regarding Bill Camp. Where has he been? Much like discovering Jonathan Banks in BREAKING BAD.

Joanna Cameron had a short shelf life, but you couldn't take your eyes off her with that killer smile.

Anonymous said...

Aw, your granddaughter is gorgeous. That smile makes my day.

Igor said...

Seems one of my comments went to the round file. Got it. (I don't know who Marc Richards is, so I thought maybe...)

benson said...

I got curious and looked up "The Accountant" Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick are in it. But the stars are a Texas Instruments calculator and a pencil. (tip your wait staff, kids)

Your granddaughter's got a melt your heart smile.

Ted said...

It's ironic that "Criminal Minds" kicked someone off for what sounds like an exceedingly mild incidence of violence -- it's by far the most violent series I've ever seen on network television. Seriously, this show is practically torture porn (with an overlay of pseudointellectual conversation to make people feel smart while watching it). Even Mandy Patinkin -- not someone you think of as shying away from difficult roles -- called being on the show "destructive to my soul." People must like this stuff, but it's hard to see how anyone involved with making it could think of themselves as taking the high road.

MikeN said...

Did you complain when they remade BenHur under the title Gladiator?

Cap'n Bob said...

This time you've gone too far, Levine. Calling for the assassination of Donald Trump is a felony. The FBI will be calling on you toot sweet, and if there's any justice you'll be thrown under the jail and the key will be melted.

bee- said...

Hey Cap'n Bob:

I presume that your statement is meant ironically, as its Trump himself who made an actual, clear-cut threat against Clinton in insinuating that NRA members off her if she's elected President.

emily said...

The network suits probably started looking askance at Wilborn right after the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Anonymous said...

Look at that smile! What a beauty! You are so screwed, Grandpa.

Pam, St. Louis.

D. McEwan said...

Remaking Ben-Hur is certainly pointless. It's a four-hour, badly-constructed, commercial for Christianity. You have that big action climax in the chariot race, which puts paid to the villain, and then there's another HOUR of turgid religiosity. At least the new one will be 100% Charleton Heston-free, so it must be an improvement.

An old friend of mine, John Harding, who wrote a murder-noir novel that takes place behind-the-scenes of the shoot for the chariot race of the Ramon Navarro version, titled The Ben-Hur Murders (Available at Amazon), sent me an email after he saw a preview of the new Ben-Hur that said "No pixels were harmed in the filming of the chariot race."

I posted a couple weeks ago "Doug James is by no STRETCH of the imagination, 'The King of Comedy.'" There's ad hype and hyperbole, and then there's just plain being obtuse.

Steve G. said...

So, Thomas Gibson kicks a producer over some argument about a fictional TV show for which he is paid big money. What is he...six years old? Use your words Thomas.

mmryan314 said...

My favorite line in this post is the Donald Trump/ Secret Service/ Second Amendment line. True true. Your baby is smoothly cute, dimples and all.

Cap'n Bob said...

No, bee, Trump didn't call for the assassination of Clinton any more than Ken called for the assassination of Trump. I was showing how preposterous a spin doctor can be when trying to make something out of nothing.

Earl Boebert said...

Re: Trump's Second Amendment remark:

"Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?"

You can Google for it. Leaders need to watch their language.

Matt said...

@Ba, when I read your post I read it as Bone Sheila Levine. Now there is a title that could get me into a seat.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

The original Chariot Race in Ben Hur is one of the greatest filmed (and edited) scenes of all time. It's always exciting, and always riveting. The use of sound is fantastic.

But The new one DOES NOT use CGI, http://www.cinemablend.com/news/1524049/the-new-ben-hur-doesnt-use-cgi-in-its-chariot-race-and-this-awesome-video-proves-it.

scottmc said...

Ken. I think the Seattle Mariners have a better chance to make the Wild Card than a 3rd AL East team. While they all face each other in September the Mariners will be able to feast on the Angels and the A's. It would be great if the Mariners get into the playoffs the same year that Junior gets into the HOF.

Roger Owen Green said...

I saw a couple teases for TV shows that will start in AUGUST on NBC, and I was SURE they were parody ads, because they seemed so absurd.

D. McEwan said...

"The Bumble Bee Pendant said...
The original Chariot Race in Ben Hur is one of the greatest filmed (and edited) scenes of all time. It's always exciting, and always riveting. The use of sound is fantastic."


The "original chariot face in Ben-Hur" has no sound whatever. It's a SILENT movie starring Ramon Navarro.

Diane D. said...

Your little granddaughter has the SWEETEST smile I've seen in a long time. It's fun to think about all the pictures we'll get to see of her over the next couple of years. Thank goodness for proud grandpas!

DrBOP said...

Man....I don't know....I'm gettin a whole different vibe from little RBIcca there.....like, "I got your number, Pops!".

Be afraid....be VERY afraid.

;^)

Doug said...

'The Night Of' ... excellent
'Stranger Things' ... quite good
Your granddaughter=cute
Go Mariners!
Not a fan of Criminal Minds.

Andrew said...

@ D. McEwan:
Here is one notable example of a chariot face:
https://thehimalayantimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Machhindranath-chariot-festival-3.jpg

andy215 said...

she is adorable!!!