Tuesday, May 04, 2010

My answers, AMERICAN IDOL, Shania Twain, Gilligan -- all kinds of stuff today

Tying up some loose ends:

I haven’t been reviewing AMERICAN IDOL lately because (a) I’ve been covering Dodger games at night and don’t get home until after midnight, and (b) the show is less fun when there are just a few contestants. But I’ll still recap one or two before the season is over. I’m curious to see how they do this week singing Sinatra. Hopefully one of the 18 year olds will sing “My Way” or “It Was a Very Good Year”.

By the way, last week – Shania Twain songs? THAT was the theme? I finally watched the show and didn’t recognize 80% of those songs. It’s one thing to sing the Beatles or Elvis but the Shania Twain catalog? What’s next? The many hits of A-ha?

I was disappointed but not surprised that Siobhan was eliminated. Americans don’t like “weird”. Same problem Adam Lambert had last year. They like to vote for the wholesome youngsters that most reflect their beliefs (and then behind doors engage in sick shit David Lynch couldn’t imagine).

Thanks to all who participated in the “Who, What, or Which” game. Less than 100 is certainly a small sample size but a few preferences became very clear.

I was tickled that most of you preferred Shelley Long over Kirstie Alley on CHEERS. I love Kirstie and thought she was very funny but Shelley is one of the great comediennes of television. The subtlety and depth she brought to Diane was extraordinary. And here’s what people miss: without the absolute right actress that character is insufferable. Shelley made you love her instead of wanting to kill her.

I was a little surprised that NEWHART was preferred over THE BOB NEWHART SHOW by so many. Could be an age thing but I prefer the original BOB NEWHART SHOW. Much better chemistry between Bob and Emily than Bob and Joanna. Although I will say this, Julia Duffy on NEWHART always made me laugh.

Glad to see the hate for Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin. Glad to see the love for Sean Connery and Jigsaw.

The rest of my answers:

Bob Denver (John’s songs will fade into the mist of time but GILLIGAN will still be shown after the next Ice Age.)

I haven’t seen enough of BREAKING BAD but I’m still enthralled with MAD MEN (although I really started to hate Betty last season).

I loathe everything about the Dallas Cowboys, starting with their owner.

I still can’t tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi. Of course I also can’t tell the difference between Shasta Cola and Shasta Orange.

Sammy over Kenny.

Carrie over Eddie (as long as there’s STAR WARS and Mental Health treatments Carrie will live on.)

Mac all the way. Even I know how to use one.

Real friends vs. Facebook friends. Real friends don’t invite me to join a thousand causes and attend two thousand stupid events every friggin’ day.

Thanks again. I love finding ways of involving you guys in this blog. I would say this is “your” blog but actually it’s not. It’s still mine.

Coming Wednesday morning: my thoughts on the passing of Ernie Harwell.


Ref said...

Sorry, Babe. I love Sean Connery (one of those I'd pay to watch reading the phone book) but if you've READ the Ian Fleming books, Daniel Craig is the best James Bond.

I've heard somewhere that Shelley Long was insufferable to work with, but she's undeniably talented and has the magic ability to go from flat out sexy to utterly repugnant in about two seconds.

Sorry to hear about Ernie Harwell.

Sharon Lin said...

Hi Ken,
My name is Sharon and I'm a writer for an online supplement to a lifestyle magazine. I would really love to get an interview with you. I think our readers would be very interested in reading about a script writer rather than the actors and actresses. The email is sharonlin123@yahoo.com. Please email me if you are interested. I can provide you with more information about the publication. Hope to hear from you soon!

Tony said...

I haven't been watching American Idol regularly, but I wasn't impressed with what I saw of Siobhan. Lots of screaming, not much singing, and she didn't seem to have much of a knack for tune.

Jaime J. Weinman said...

I think what makes Newhart the choice for a lot of people (including me) is that after a more sedate first season it just kept getting crazier and more surreal every year.

The original Bob Newhart has some great episodes and two great seasons (4 and 5, under Patchett and Tarses), but if you watch a random episode it's likely to be about Jerry or Carol's relationship problems, or something else that comes off as a Mary Tyler Moore type of script without the acting depth of the MTM cast. Whereas with Newhart, except the first season, a rerun is likely to have some kind of wacky absurd set piece, like this one from the second season.

It's true that Bob had much better chemistry with the late Suzanne Pleshette than the late Mary Frann (who was great as nasty characters on MTM and WKRP). But Newhart made up for that with character actors like Duffy, Peter Scolari, and William Sanderson; overall I think it had a stronger supporting cast than the original, at least in practice (Peter Bonerz is a really talented comic but he didn't get to show it much on Bob Newhart). They're both fine shows but I enjoy Newhart more overall.

A. Buck or Martin Short said...

Are you kidding? MARTIN Short! I MUST say!
And yet our Texas Stadium rubble blends in with its surroundings so much more seamlessly than your Yankee Stadium rubble.

Jim, Cheers Fan said...

I can't answer the Diane/Rebecca question, cause to me it's like two different shows: A romantic comedy followed by a screwball comedy. As much as I loved the first five seasons (especially the Coach years-- "You're making a MOCKERY of Bell Day!"), I think on balance I liked the Rebecca years better, once they got the kinks of the transition worked out.

Speaking of American Idol, does anyone know why Fox is sending the losers to Letterman, who judging from the way they're presented doesn't want them there? And if Letterman wasn't kidding, and it sounds probable, the winner goes to Leno?

Michael Zand said...


Do yourself a favor and rent the first two seasons of Breaking Bad so you can catch up. It's one of the best written and acted shows on TV. Even better than the Sopranos IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Ref, I think I prefer a James Bond that doesn't remind me of Stephen Baldwin as Barney Rubble.

Anonymous said...

I really liked Siobhan at the beginning and appreciated her weirdness. But something happened along the way, or maybe her weaknesses just needed time to be revealed. It turns out that when she wasn't hitting the big notes, she had this odd "smooth jazz" delivery that didn't sound right coming out of her and conatined very little inflection or phrasing. She seemed to have two modes -- loud diva and cheesy elevator singer. Too bad, she definitely seemed to have potential and was fun to watch.

Unknown said...

Jim - the AI losers traditionally go to the Tonight Show. When they were making arrangements this year, the Tonight Show was in chaos so the producers approached the Late Show. Now that the Tonight Show's situation is stable again (for better or worse) they're going to get the winner.

Regarding the Who, What or Which survey, I like to read posts here the day after they are posted in order to read the comments. Reading the comments from that post was impossible since it was lists of unrelated words. It might be better to do only two or three questions and encourage people to say why they made that choice. A lot of your commenters are intelligent and know how to write and the comments can be something more engaging than a list of words.

Regarding Ann Coulter, the first time I heard of her, she was described as someone who engages in vicious attacks and demonizes those who disagree with her. As a result I have never seen her on TV nor read anything she wrote. So I have zero hostility towards her. I can't wish ill of her because I have not given her enough of my attention for her to make me angry.

Unknown said...

What makes a person "glad to see hate" in any form?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think that the final episode of series 5 of cheers when shelley long left the show was so much better than the final episode of cheers when the show finally ended. shelley long was brilliant kirste allee so so

Rory L. Aronsky said...

They like to vote for the wholesome youngsters that most reflect their beliefs (and then behind doors engage in sick shit David Lynch couldn’t imagine).

Ken, the restraining order is in effect for another six months. Don't make me call the cops again. ;)