Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Misc-Takes

In no order of importance, relevance, or worthiness…

TV ratings across the board took a big dip week two of the season. Even sure-fire hits like BIG BANG THEORY dropped millions of people. Not good for shows premiering that week.

THE GOOD DOCTOR so far is proving to be the only new breakout hit.

Although CBS is touting that YOUNG SHELDON is a breakout hit, even though it’s only been on once, it followed BIG BANG THEORY, and no one I know who saw it liked it at all.

Revised: I stupidly asked a political question so had to cut it.   My bad for thinking I could have a civil discussion but instead just opened up the can of haters.  I suspect the haters will quickly write back outraged but I'll delete those comments as well.  Carry on.

Who else watched 13 hours of baseball yesterday?   So 45 pitching changes. 

Tomorrow night’s Indians-Yankees game should be epic.  I hope you get FS1. 

So let me get this straight – the Weinstein Company knew nothing about Harvey’s behavior. They’re shocked and aghast. But all those sexual harassment suits they settled – Harvey paid out of his own pocket? Uh… I don’t think so. And if not that means they knew all along. The whole lot of them should be fired, including his brother. (Not that the company could survive without Harvey anyway.)

Networks are starting to commission scripts for their new development season. Medical dramas, family dramas, legal dramas, and comedies from actors based on their lives. Boy, they’re really thinking out of the box this year.

At least TBS, in their baseball coverage, didn’t bombard us with 10,000 promos for Conan last past painful seasons. In fact, there have been none.

BLADE RUNNER 2049 was a giant bomb at the boxoffice. This could put the brakes to BUCKAROO BANZAI 3012.

The Steven Spielberg HBO documentary is worth seeing even though it’s 2 1/2 hours long. Did you know he directed HOOK? You still might not if you watch the documentary.

Trump is soooo sensitive. Just because his Secretary of State called him a fucking moron? Sticks and stones, Donald.

Jon Stewart was on Colbert last night. Every time I see him I cry out at the television: “WHY DID YOU LEAVE US? COME BACK!” They can hear us through the TV screen, right?

So far my prediction for movie of the year is LOGAN. But that might change when other studios send me screeners.

And finally, guys – if you want to take your girl somewhere where you can be alone, take her to a Los Angeles Chargers game.

54 comments :

Peter said...

It's sad that BLADE RUNNER 2049 hasn't done blockbuster business on its opening weekend, but that's because it's not the typical mainstream blockbuster. It's really a $150 million art film, beautifully directed by Denis Villeneuve. I absolutely loved it, but while watching, I knew that the pacing and the lack of action would not appeal to the generation with short attention spans who just want one explosion after another and a soundtrack made up of rap songs.

I think it's actually superior to the original film and, just like the original, it'll do minimal box office but go on to become another cult classic as people discover it in years to come.

Anonymous said...

Sexual harassment by a powerful executive in Hollywood? I am shocked. What's next? Gambling in Casablanca?

-30-

Mitchell Hundred said...

Why are people making the Harvey Weinstein scandal a political thing instead of the sexual harassment and abuse thing it really is?

Because Harvey Weinstein has supported Democratic politicians in the past, and right-wing commentators will jump on any opportunity to distract from similar allegations against people like Bill O'Reilly, Roger Ailes, and Trump.

And the media as a whole goes along with this because they are willing to tolerate false equivalencies (which this obviously is, since Weinstein has done far less to help the Democratic Party than any one of those three men has done for the Republicans) in the name of "fairness."

David Schwartz said...

Here's what I like about "The Good Doctor." These days it seems we've seen just about everything. All of the medical shows, the legal procedural shows, the drama shows have one thing in common... we've seen something similar to them before. However, with "The Good Doctor" we have something that just feels original. In the first three episodes we've seen someone who doesn't fit in -- who in many ways doesn't belong in the environment he's in -- still thrive in that environment. He sees the world a different way. He has insights that others don't have. And he has deficits that we have empathy for and understand. As a result, the show gives us a very likable character in a sometimes hostile environment and we're on his side.

I contend that part of the problem with so many new shows is there's no one to like on the show -- no one to root for. What I like so much about "The Good Doctor" is that we really care about the main character. We're on his side. And as a result, we want to watch and see how he does in the challenging environment he finds himself in.

Tudor Queen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Why are people making the Harvey Weinstein scandal a political thing instead of the sexual harassment and abuse thing it really is?

Maybe because as part of his defense Harvey said he is going after the NRA and funding women's issues?

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

I'm a NYY fan so I'm enjoying the MLB playoffs- and yes, I get all the sports channels. Haven't watched anything new on the networks. And I haven't for years- Netflix is it baby! No, I'm not a shareholder. I remember reading an article 4 or 5 years ago about Netflix taking on HBO, Showtime, FX, etc but the real story is: Netflix is taking over ALL of television- not just premium cable.

Anyway, I don't get out much to the movies anymore (I'm married w/kids- my life is over) but the best movie I've seen this year.
I haven't stopped talking about it. I haven't stopped thinking about it. "GET OUT!"

--LL

Terrence Moss said...

I liked "Young Sheldon". And after such a huge debut, CBS should have moved it up and held back "9JKL".

Dr Loser said...

Mitchell:

Arguably, Trump hasn't "helped" the Republicans. In fact, given three more years, he stands a good chance of being even more toxic to the brand than Nixon was. (And, incidentally, Nixon managed a huge amount of non-partisan goodness: Clean Air, Clean Water, OSHA, National Environment Policy, China ... a remarkable legacy, even if -- like all sane people -- you loathe and despise the man.)

But politics and blogs don't mix, or at least native politics and blogs don't mix. Too many ignorant yahoos like me out there who are prepared to pontificate on the basis of thorough ignorance.

Ken, if you feel the need in future, I suggest you try European politics. It's equally as shocking, but it's exotic. Start with Italy, where the judicial part of the constitution appears to be designed for the sole purpose of letting every bent politician off via the statute of limitations. Or French politics, where Macron is a sort of Gallic Trump Lite: posing as anti-establishment, but basically the same as always, with added Twitter.

Or the UK. I defy you not to find UK politics hysterically funny. I don't, but then I have to live with it.

Hamp said...

"Jon Stewart was on Colbert last night. Every time I see him I cry out at the television: “WHY DID YOU LEAVE US? COME BACK!” They can hear us through the TV screen, right?"

So much this. So much comedy genius missed the last two years.

Karan G. said...

Friday Question: Having never been in show business, I don’t have a grasp of the industry language. (Please forgive my stumbling in my attempt to ask a question.) Often referred to as the guys “in the suits” who green-light a project at a network etc., how often do these guys come from the “creative” side of things, or are their qualifications to chose a show and it’s potential success essentially no better than an astute consumer of entertainment (i.e. essentially the rest of us)? I assume they have a background in budgets, finance and potentially marketing. What qualifications should they have in your estimation? (It may or may not be resume qualifications as much as intellect or personality traits.) I assume politics, as always, plays a role. I suppose it is akin to the record business in picking a hit record. Any thoughts?

Mike Barer said...

In other words, the Raiders should be happy that LA wouldn't take them back.
StLouis Chargers, anyone?

VincentS said...

Totally on board with you on Jon Stewart, Ken.

ADmin said...

Loved Balde Runner 2049 - but that's just me. (Hey, I liked Joe Vs the Volcano.)

blinky said...

Ridley Scott and Martin Scorsese need a STRONG editor that can stand up to them and say: I don't care how beautiful the scene is, it is TOO FUCKING LONG!
Also GO YANKEES!

Peter said...

I'm not sure even an outsider would find UK politics funny. I live in the UK and these are troubling times, given the nature of the Labour Party and the possibility of it actually coming to power. It's new territory for the official opposition in Britain to be led by a rancid, lifelong communist who has spent his entire political career palling around with terrorists, whether they were the IRA or Hamas and Hezbollah.

Ever since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader, barely a day has gone by without some new incident of anti-Semitism in his party. He is surrounded by anti-Semites and has appeared on platforms with them.

Just when I thought it couldn't possibly get worse, the party reached an all time low at their recent conference, during which party members were handing out leaflets that - brace yourself - quoted Reinhard Heydrich as saying the Nazi Party had no intention to harm Jews.

Let that sink in.

Members of the Labour Party were handing out leaflets at their annual conference containing a quote from the architect of the Holocaust that is supposed to imply the Holocaust was fiction. And cuddly communist Mr Corbyn has done nothing about it.

Before our resident Corbyn fan Johnny Walker pitches up to blast me again for being unkind about Comrade Jeremy, since he was so put out last time I mentioned Corbyn's friendship with the anti-Semitic, homophobic and misogynist butchers in Hamas and Hezbollah, I suggest he pause to consider the gravity of members of a supposedly mainstream political party disseminating a quote by a Nazi - a fucking NAZI - in order to deny the Holocaust, and the leader has not done a single thing about it and instead continues to surround himself with this sort of human sewage.

The very idea that this lunatic and his band of deranged buddies could form the next government is too terrifying to contemplate.

Ben Kubelsky said...

If David Letterman and Jon Stewart had waited to retire -- and thus been on the air until the 2016 election -- we would not be in the situation we're in.

Johnny Hy said...

Ken, have you seen The Good Doctor yet? If so, your thoughts.

Pat Reeder said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Roone said...

Why the dig at Conan? I thought you liked him.

Pamela Jaye said...

I hated Blade Runner the first time. I wouldn't have gone to see it but I was on a date with somebody sort of new and it was recommended by a friend of ours. Neither one of us sitting in the theater somehow had the guts to say I hate this let's leave. So both of us sat through the entire thing even though both of us actually wanted to leave. I really love the good doctor. And even though I hardly ever watched Jon Stewart, yes this was absolutely the wrong time for him to leave. I have to console myself with Alec Baldwin. I am thankful he is still doing it.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Politics is irrelevant to bad behavior. Ted Bundy campaigned for Nixon, while John Wayne Gacy had his picture taken with Rosalynn Carter. At least in the area of serial murder, "both sides do it." So the Weinstein-is-a-big-Democrat crowd can suck it. At least he's not a racist like Mel "Sugartits" Gibson.

And no, I'm not defending ANY of the above.

PS: I miss Jon Stewart, too.

Nicky said...


I love it. I love it....

Another Spielberg smackdown.... Ha Ha Haaaaa...

This December his movie is releasing in time for Oscar Nomination consideration... And boy am I waiting for you to take him down..... again.

Peter said...

And the revelations continue now with new reports that Weinstein raped three women.

I wish I could say there's no coming back from this, but Roman Polanski raped a minor and he's still working.

Meanwhile, Mr Tarantino's silence continues. Hey, Quentin, I thought you're a feminist?

Jeff said...


Gywneth says that Harvey harrased her https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/10/us/gwyneth-paltrow-angelina-jolie-harvey-weinstein.html

Ho Come on!!! I know Hollywood kicks people when they are down, but please say something believable Gywneth.

Ken Levine said...

My Spielberg comment was a dig at the documentary for sweeping HOOK under the rug.

And my dig wasn't at Conan but the super annoying Conan promos that ran every five minutes every game until you were ready to kick in the TV. I do like Conan.

Roone said...

Re: Conan

Oh ok, got it. My apologies. I guess I read the "last past painful seasons" line as referring to CONAN'S show's seasons, not as in TBS's airing of baseball post-seasons.

Frankly, Conan's unique silly & absurdist voice is a welcome island in the sea of sharp-but-oh-too-much political content from the likes of Colbert, Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Oliver, Bee, etc...

Thea said...


One reader Peter seems to be a die hard fan of Tarantino. He's been asking why Tarantino has not spoken, so many times.

Well Peter, the things people say when they are in Public and in interviews are all just hogwash. Just to be politically correct.

This and other such episodes expose them for what they truly are.

Jeffrey said...


Hi Ken,

Lots of comments today. A good scandal or a tiff brings a lot of new readers to various blogs. Like me, who visited your blog when searching for "No Country for old Men" reviews.

That was a 100 comment blog.

Since then been reading almost daily.


Anyway, next month will be your blog's 12th year anniversary. Any celebration planned? ;)

Any special blog that day? Maybe one of your family member could write about you or a podcast with your family.

Also this time for anniversary, could you please give some stats about the blog.. Like how many people visit it daily, monthly, yearly.

How many blogs crossed 100 comments mark. etc....

Thanks.

Peter said...

Thea, I was asking in a sarcastic fashion precisely because I believe he's a hypocrite.

Claire said...


From various reactions through the years, I know many Hollywood people read Ken's blog. Well..... hoping Meryl - the greatest actress - is reading this.

Meryl,

I don't know about Hollywood much, but I feel absurd that an industry veteran working for many decades in Hollywood doesn't know or even hear anything about Harvey???!!!

You didn't know the real Harvey? The one you called as "God".

Others have heard but not you Meryl Streep?

You are a good actress Meryl, but a liar and everyone at every social media forum are saying the same thing.

You lost my respect!

fred nerk said...

Hey Peter, so you ignore Ken again pointing out that this is not a place for peoples political opinions to be dumped on readers, how hard is that to understand? try your family or friends.

Tom said...

Hook isn't that bad, is it? I seem to recall a good first half, even if it tapers off into Disney-ride territory later on.

As a Brit living in America, it's fairly bleak thinking about politics from any angle. Corbyn just reminds me of a whole bunch of people I knew at sixth form: basically naive. May makes the country rudderless, but I'd rather her than any of the rest of the Cabinet; Boris' war on intellectual thought is an abomination. That the 52% gave this crop the chance to run the country into a Brexit ditch from which it'll probably take decades to recover astounds me. At least Farage got what he'd always wanted — himself on television and lots of money in the bank.

ScarletNumber said...

> no one I know who saw it liked [Young Sheldon] at all

Come on, now. At all?! You can't live in that much of a bubble.

VP81955 said...

I'm wondering if this fall's mass rollout of syndicated "Mom" episodes (local stations, TV Land, FXX, Hulu) from seasons 1-4 might win it new fans when season 5 begins Nov. 2. Many folks I know who are avid sitcom fans were unaware of the series until recently. It may not need "Young Sheldon" as a lead-in.

Charles H. Bryan said...

A Friday Weinstein Question: I saw a Huff Post article (yeah, I know) stating the The Weinstein Company was going to remove his producer credits from existing works, not just future. I don't blame for wanting to, but can they? Does the Producers' Guild permit that?

Angela Niles said...

Man, I was saying the same thing when I saw Jon Stewart on TV last night. Always fun to see him with Colbert-not only do they have a great rapport, but it's fun to see them cracking each other up :D.

Trump's ultra thin-skinned responses to virtually any criticism or jokes made about him or his administration make all the "liberals are over-sensitive snowflakes" comments from the right that much more amusing.

I loved David Schwartz's comment in this thread about why "The Good Doctor" is so successful. I started watching it simply because I loved Freddie Highmore in "Bates Motel", and I'm really enjoying his work on this show, too. Yeah, the medical stuff is unrealistic as hell, but that's the nature of those kinds of dramas in general. So long as they continue to develop Shaun and the other characters well and give me good stories involving them, that's all I ultimately care about.

VP81955 said...

Oh, Ken, that Los Angeles Chargers joke was similarly used in the mid-'60s by Steve Fredericks, then a Boston sports talk host (yes, kiddies, sports call-in existed in the days before WFAN and its ilk) about Red Sox games. This was when the Bosox were, like the Kansas City Athletics and expansion Washington Senators, the dregs of the American League...when Fenway Park was considered a faded relic, before 1967 and "the impossible dream," and the team became a symbol of yuppiedom.

In other words, there's hope for the Chargers yet, once they join the Rams in that Inglewood palace.

D. McEwan said...

"Anonymous Pat Reeder said...
Jon Stewart is an arrogant prick."


No, he's not. In fact he is far from being a prick, one of the least-prickish guys in show business.

"Tom said...
Hook isn't that bad, is it? I seem to recall a good first half, even if it tapers off into Disney-ride territory later on."

Hook
is crap. It's a wretchedly dreadful movie. I didn't just want my money back. I wanted the two and a half hours of my life back. Oh, and even a Disney ride would not have put a BROTHEL in Neverland. That completely blew my mind. A magic land for children to have adventures in, and they included WHORES! How could Sir James M. Barrie have forgotten to include the Whores of Neverland? And don't get me started on Dustin Hoffman's horrible, unfunny performance.

"All children, save one, grow up," says Barrie in Peter Pan. "Peter Pan has grown up and forgotten he was Peter Pan," says Spielberg, starting his film with trashing the premise of the original work. Few are the movies I hate as deeply as Hook.

And there was ONE shot from Hook in the documentary, near the very end, with no mention.

Include me among the folks you know who did not like Young Sheldon, which I turned off 8 minutes in. I've made it through 2 episodes of 9JKL, but only 9 minutes of Young Sheldon. Mind you, 9JKL is not good, but it has several actors on it I like very much, so I've been trying it for them. I hope you appreciate this, Elliott Gould.

suek2001 said...

A brief question....I watched "This is Us" tonight..and they took a couple of jabs at comedy writers. Do you know Dan Fogleman? Ever worked with him?
The writers of this episode seemed to have some comedy experience...Elizabeth Burger and Isaac Aptaker were credited as the writers.
Did you get any blowblack from your highly critical blog of TIU last year?

Pseudonym said...

Did you know Bob Schiller? Any thoughts?

VP81955 said...

For those who haven't heard...

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/bob-schiller-dead-i-love-lucy-writer-was-98-1047459

Edward said...

Watching Baseball---I just hate the dugout cameras...Fans watching at home are provided with the worst view in the stadium and the shot is so tight when the runner is heading home that the camera swings like an amateur cell phone video. Plus, the view sucks and the replay is from a higher level camera so viewers can see if the call at the plate is correct.

Just hate it!

Remove dugout cameras NOW!

Pat Reeder said...

Someone left a nasty comment about Jon Stewart under my name. I did not write that comment. Whoever did leave it and tried to make people I did is not only a coward but an arrogant prick.

Cowboy Surfer said...

I kind of like the Misc-Takes segment. I have a short attention span and can be easily, whoa someone brought in donuts...

Karan G. said...

We think that we see Alex Desert (Jake from "Becker") in "The Deuce" but can't find him anywhere in the credits or on line info. He's the guy sitting on a bar stool in two episodes. Not sure it is him...but thinking it is.

Anonymous said...

Hey Edward, I'm with you! Who needs to see a bunch of guys spiting and looking obnoxious. Fox and ESPN should be banned from televising live baseball. If you watched a game on their channels, you wouldn't know what a baseball diamond looks like because of all the unnecessary close ups of everything, except the game....

Unknown said...

The Good Doctor is not original it's a copy of a Korean show. The writing of The Big Bang Theory has been lazy this season except for the first episode, the writers need to stop coasting. Ken for non Americans like me why do they call your baseball competition a world series?

Pat Reeder said...

Correction: "...tried to make people THINK I did..." That's how pissed off I was; I posted without proofreading.

D. McEwan said...

Pat Reeder, I am relieved to learn this. Consider my retort aimed at the coward who took your name.

Juli in St Paul not Minneapolis said...

The Ringer has an article (which I may have successfully linked to this comment) about how the Chargers are an experiment in running a team without fans. This seems plausible to me, as an extremely casual and irregular watcher of sports. It feels congruent with the growing disconnect between the very rich (who can afford to own teams) and the rest of us.

Does the article make sense to you? Can you see this working in other sports? What about TV? Can you see a day when what makes a show profitable is completely divorced from whether or not people watch it? Might a trend in that direction explain the way the networks disrespect writers and show runners?

A lot of questions, I know, but I got curious and you seemed one of the few who might have knowledgeable insight. Thanks!

https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2017/10/4/16423520/los-angeles-chargers-owners-post-fan-experiment

MikeKPa. said...

I hope Hollywood doesn't hold out Weinstein as an outlier. Casting couches date back to the days of Harry Cohn. There are surely more Weinsteins out there and they need to be rooted out along with him.

Johnny Walker said...

For a cultural translation of what Peter wrote, just exchange Corbyn for Obama... except Obama lost the election. So even more crazy.

Johnny Walker said...

Actually, with the benefit of more thought, switching Corbyn or Bernie is exactly appropriate.