Thursday, September 27, 2007

Random musings

Now that we have a blitz of advertising for the new fall shows, boy are those casts good looking. No one I ever hung out with in high school could remotely get hired on one of those shows. And I'm supposed to care about these beautiful people?

Yes, you can still see real human beings on TV but it’s gonna cost ya. You have to subscribe to the premium cable channels.

If a network were casting THE SOPRANOS Tony would be played by Dylan McDermott, Carmella by Heather Locklear, and Paulie “Walnuts” by John O’Hurley.

I was thrilled that MAD MEN got a second season pick up. If only it wasn’t on AMC, the movie channel that has more commercials in the middle of movies than local TV.

I was without power for five hours Saturday. I called the Department of Water & Power and an automatic message suggested I check with their website for any outage updates. How am I going to get on the damn internet when I don’t have power??

And along those lines, why do some parking structure elevators have buttons in Braille? How many blind people drive in Beverly Hills?

Expanded MLB rosters are not fair to contending teams. My solution: you can have 40 men on your roster instead of 25 but every game you can only designate three of the new players as eligible for that game.

After all the hoopla, is anybody watching TELL ME YOU LOVE ME anymore? Even with the graphic sex? They just aired episode three.

Rod Stewart wore his British Knighthood medal at a California café while out to breakfast recently. All right! All bets are off. Writers -- you are now allowed to wear your Emmys around your neck at Fuddruckers.

I’m officially off the PRISON BREAK train. Even after suffering through last year’s plot twists, which were less plausible than a Mr. Magoo cartoon. The new prison is just too grimy and depressing. It’s hard to be in that environment. I felt like I was back at CAA.

Best idea I’ve heard in months: Up in Silicon Valley there is a fantasy football league where the point is to put together the WORST possible team. You get points for interceptions and fumbles and lose them for TDs. If I were in that league I’d have to name my team the Rams. Or Fighting Irish.

My teleseminar has been filled. Thanks to the 150 of you who chose to participate. And yes, it's still free. If you want to post a question for me just use the link contained in the confirmation e-mail I sent you. The two areas I'm most expert are screenwriting and speed dating.

I couldn’t bring myself to watch CAVEMAN. How was it? And this is the only time it’s okay to comment as Anonymous. Believe me, I understand.

THE BIG BANG THEORY -- Lenny & Squiggy join Mensa.

What team, if any, will be stupid enough to sign Barry Bonds next year? Or Milton Bradley?

Time slot is everything. Last week ACCORDING TO JIM was on at 8:30 and finished 87th. But it was also on at 8:00 and finished 85th.

Jessica Biel is in talks to play Wonder Woman in Warner Bros.' all-star superhero film JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. I’ve always loved Wonder Woman. She was able to save so much time by never changing her outfit when switching back to her secret identity. She could go from superhero to Santa Monica Blvd. Prostitute just by adding heels.


Ger Apeldoorn said...

Cavemen showed that you don't need to make an old-fashioned three camera show to have that old-fashioned set-up joke feel. They can deny all they want, but it most from the jokes came from the 'wouldn't it be offensive if they said this about afro-americans' territory. I recognized all the faces of the actors from a zillion other failed comedies - only they were more hidious. Tired crap.

Anonymous said...

Was CAVEMAN on tonight? Damn! I did want to check it out. Is there any chance a second episode will air, or will it get yanked after one?

I've noticed Braille instructions on ATM machines at the DRIVE-THROUGH window!!! Talk about multi-tasking! You'd think a blind person would have his plate full just piloting the car through the drive-through arch, without juggling cards, money, and using the ATM.


VP81955 said...

Your Wonder Woman comment made me think what a prostitute superheroine would be like ... and what (non-X-rated) superpowers she might possess.

Anonymous said...

I think it would be fun to see Jose Guillen and Milton Bradley on the same team. Actually to Jose's credit he seemed to be very well behaved this year. I like both players but it's amazing how much money they have cost themselves by not being able to reliably control their temper. (Apparently they both suffer from Rasheed Wallace syndrome.)

The antithesis of them is Vladimir Guerrero. You know he wanted to break Jorge Campillo into a hundred little pieces (and could) but he knows his value to the team and kept his cool.

Supposedly (as I'm sure you know) Seattle is rumored to be a possible destination for Bonds, but my Mariners prediction for next year is that Bartolo Colon will be pitching for them. They will undoubtedly over pay for him, but he still has good velocity, has pitched (historically) very well in the AL West and the Mariners desperately need another starter, or two or three. Still, they were a pleasant surprise this year and have a good team offensively and defensively. I think they'll be in the running again next year.

By the way if history is any indication Bonds will end up with Texas because they don't need the offense, really really desperately need pitching and Tom Hicks is an idiot. (Hey Tom, remind me how that A-Rod deal worked out for ya?)

I agree about the 40 man roster. One thing it also distorts is you have contending teams facing a bunch of new pitchers from the teams out of the race who want to look at next years prospects. A lot of these are guys that if a team faced them 5 times they'd beat him 4, but the first time through the pitcher has a big advantage. And as the Mets and Cubs are finding out, it can be damn tough to lock up that division crown.

God Help Randolph and Pinella if their teams don't win their divisions.

Can't wait for the play-offs.

(Angels Fan)

Rob said...

American Movie Classics treats movies with slightly less care than the fifth independent station in your city showing a faded print of The Boy in the Plastic Bubble with Spanish overdubbing. Didn't it used to be a premium channel?

Wasn't Caveman on ABC? What was their last truly successful sitcom, Laverne and Shirley?

As for your power outage, its a good thing your phone didn't go out. Our local TV station once proudly announced, following a particularly bad storm (and before cell phones) that if your phone was out, you should call 555-1234 to report it.

We also have a major news radio station here (the one you turn to when your power is out) that has now partnered with a local TV station for severe weather coverage. During one really bad tornado outbreak, they switched to a TV simulcast where the four(!) weathermen on duty kept advising us to look at the Triple Team Super Viper First Advance Warning Track 3D Radar. It was really tough to make out on my RadioShack flavor radio.

As for things that annoy me, I've always wondered what twisted plumber installs urinals so that your plumbing is above the building's plumbing. The goal is for me to hit it, not pee on top of it. And while we're at it, put a barrier between urinals. Guys with straying eyes creep me out.

Any team in its right mind knows that Parker Brothers is far better than Milton Bradley. Milton Bradley did make Twister though.

Anonymous said...

My random thoughts: Hello, you geniuses, the same ATMs and elevator panels are made for use everywhere, not just drive-thrus and parking garages. So, yes, the braille will be on all of them. Are you guys really that dumb are is this your idea of humor?

I watched Mad Men for 3 episodes before becoming so bored I almost died. It sucks, folks, and since this guy also worked on the Sopranos, maybe we can blame him for that horrid last season.

Big Bang was actually pretty funny, if totally predictable, but why do they still use laugh tracks in 2007? They are ever so irritating. I know when to laugh (or not).

Anonymous said...

I understand the Justice League project is going to use motion capture computer graphics, rather than live actors.

So lets have Lynda Carter reprise her role as Wonder Woman! No one else matches up anyway, not even la Biel.

Chris L said...

It ruins the joke if you point out that ATM-using blind people can be passengers in a car.

swaggerlee said...


Are you blind or something?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of comedies, did anyone see the second episode of "Back to You?" It was 100% funnier than the pilot and has me hooked. Some really funny writing (with one horribly awful Rosenberg electrocution joke -- don't know how that one got by)and great performances. One standout was Ty Burrell who did some of the funniest physical comedy I've seen on tv. The show harkened back to the glory days of Frasier. Highly recommend.

Jon88 said...

Interesting to see "Cavemen" comments, since the show doesn't premiere until next Tuesday and ABC isn't sending out screeners.

AMC is ad-heavy, yes, but "Mad Men" has some sort of special dispensation -- only two breaks each hour.

Anonymous said...

Rod Stewart, you got some 'splaining to do

Unknown said...

I'm glad I did not miss Cavemen...I've got a watching party planned with the same folks I invite over to watch the Labor Day Telethon every year.

Anonymous said...

According to EW, Biel passed on playing WW.

Anonymous said...

I too missed Cavemen last night...and I plan to miss it again when it actually airs (Oct 2), and then when it's cancelled, I promise I won't miss it at all..

...uh...never mind.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the anti-smoking nazis will succeed in rewriting history and snuffing all the butts before next season.

blogward said...

What's the US equivalent of 'tosser'? 'Cos that's what Rod Stewart is. And jd, bored by Mad Men? you obviously don't know what to look for. There aren't any monster trucks in it, unfortunately.

PS Ken, did you ever meet Lisa Maxwell, who famously told the Frasier runners at her audition for Daphne that the script wasn't funny?

Unknown said...

Rod Stewart? For a second I thought it was Marge Schott.

Unknown said...

I think Bonds will be out of baseball. Longshot: he goes back to Pittsburgh.

Milton Bradley is getting a pass for his OWN behavior since umps don't know how to conduct themselves like gentlemen anymore.

Anonymous said...

Mad Men is flat out brilliant, and AMC isn't ruining it with too many commercials (and when the ads do come, they're preceded by trivia about the ads/companies, a nice touch).

Actually, I'm happy the show IS on AMC. If it wasn't, it wouldn't have gotten a second season.

Anonymous said...

I think Bonds will be out of baseball. Longshot: he goes back to Pittsburgh.

Nope. Even if management were willing to spend the money, and even if the team could stomach Bonds' diminshed defense in PNC Park's large left field, the fan reaction would be overwhelmingly negative.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

For those of you wondering... I watched Cavemen about two weeks ago from a downloaded bittorrent. Which lets me watch all new shows without me havin gto pay someone to tape it and send it to me in Holland.

Anonymous said...

Wonder Woman isn't a prostitute, but she is a bondage enthusiast. (The metal bracelets? The "Lasso of Truth"? Come on!)

Anonymous said...

Amen re: the brilliance of Mad Men. To me, it's the first show, post Soprano's, that reaches that stratosphere of sucking you into another living, breathing multi-layered world inhabited by people, not "actors". It leaves me on the edge of my seat every week. And JD, who says it "sucks," and is apparently laughing at another Chuck Lorre setup, punch, obviously-written-sounding mediocre-fest as "funny" as his self-indulgent vanity card closing diatribes... Enough said.

I've never seen a period drama (not even in films) from 1960 that captures the look and tone more astonishingly than Mad Men. It's also cool that Robert Morse, such a 1960 icon in his heyday, is the senior sage here. That's another thing I love about it. It seems populated with adults (another throwback to its era) & not just very young adults. Then again, even the young adults seemed like adults back then. True - the smoking, bigotry & sexism was lamentable.

But the women sure were sexy. And more interesting to my yet to be ancient eyes than the Jessica Albas of today.

By Ken Levine said...

CAVEMAN hasn't aired yet? Well, that tells you how much I was looking forward to it. I thought it already had aired. Now I get to miss it twice.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a different spin on Wonder Woman. Her special powers are valued for crap the men of her time wanted. For instance, she's hired because she can type 500 words a minute, heat up coffee water with X-ray vision, and use her glass plane to run errands.

Anonymous said...

"Are you guys really that dumb are is this your idea of humor?"

Well, speaking for myself, I'm dumb.

"It ruins the joke if you point out that ATM-using blind people can be passengers in a car."

And thanks for ruining the joke. I'll have to return the favor one day, Chris. The ATM is on the driver's side. Having that blind passenger crawling over the driver, knee to groin, elbow to chin, to reach it, reading the instructions and working the machine with his-or-her butt in the driver's face, is so uncomfortable. Or maybe the blind bank customers use it from the back seat:

"I'm putting in my PIN number now, so don't look. Are you looking?"

"No. And that's not a check you're depostiing; it's my shopping list."

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm putting ON & OFF in Braille on all my light switches, as how else will my blind friends know if they've left the lights on - or off for that matter?

Anonymous said...

I think "Mad Men"'s crap, too -- I dislike the snail's pace reveal of plot/backstory, and I think the show's take on this period of history is one that I've seen done much better in film, albeit not in quite some time. Dollars to donuts the majority of the show's admirers, like Weiner, are middle-aged white men. I sort of get it, but I can't share in a nostalgia for our more stylish past. And though he's hinting at a fall (and how Draper isn't ready for it), he, like Chase, mourns for the old days. And that makes him a dinosaur.
By the way, I find it amusing that people can't express a negative reaction to a tv show without being insulted by the show's fans. That seems more childish than liking "Big Bang Theory" (though, I gotta say, wow...NOT a funny show, dude.)

Anonymous said...

I'm in the pro-Mad Men camp. What I'm liking about the show is its tone and pace. Scenes tend to be long, and the emphasis is much more on character than plot. It doesn't feel like anything else on the air. And I think the time period ironies are getting a bit less on-the-nose as the characters become more familiar. I admit that part of the appeal is that it's one of the few shows that keeps me guessing about what might happen next. Not in terms of suspense, per se. It just feels like the creators aren't putting all their cards on the table right away. So far, my patience is holding.

SD - I'm middle-aged, but I don't think my enjoyment of the show is nostalgia related; I turned 3 in 1960. And though the show's depiction of the era is indeed stylish, do you really think Weiner mourns its passing? He seems pretty critical to me (not that the two things are mutually exclusive, of course).

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Middleaged white men run TV AND advertising, in case you didn't know.

Anonymous said...

Ken - what did you think of Life?

Melissa said...

Tell Me You Love Me was given the heave from our DVR this week once all of the new/returning goodies came on. Basically the only way they could get someone to watch a depressing show like that is to show lots of T&A. Who wants to watch that angst, it's like a reality show for married people.

Melissa said...

I read the EW article about Justice League and it said Biel was in discussions but no one would confirm.

I always thought the other Jessica (Alba, not Tandy) would be a great WW.