Sunday, May 25, 2008


Why is Ugly Betty in Seattle?

For the two seasons of Ugly Betty, they have used the Seattle skyline as establishing shots. I imagine this passes by without many people noticing. Of course I saw it right away. I don't know why they are using Seattle shots instead of New York shots. My guess is there is some sort of cross-editing with Grey's Anatomy which does take place in Seattle. Ugly Betty, like most shows, is filmed in L.A. They usually do a good job of making the show look like it takes place in New York. Next season they will actually film the show in New York. I think that's a bad idea. Ugly Betty has this rich wonderful look with bright colors. Without the bright and more direct L.A. sunlight, the exterior shot will look a little more depressing like Law and Order. I'm sure post production will still take place in L.A. so I don't think we've seen the last of the Seattle skyline in Ugly Betty.

I found the finale to be funny and frustrating. Betty's "difficult choice" is not really that difficult. She could move to Tucson, thousands of miles from her family and dream job to live with Henry who will be constantly distracted by his child and baby mama. Or she can go to Rome with hot Gio paid for by Daniel and then return to her family and Mode just in time for the new fall season. It's clear what she'll do.

Other new developments included insta-child Daniel Jr., Wilhelmina and Mark return to Mode, and Hilda hooking up with hot Coach Ranger Guy. I call him Ranger Guy because that's what I called him on Invasion since I could never remember his character name.


Thursday, May 22, 2008


Five Shows to Put on Your TiVo

Reno 911! - There sheriffs return tonight in one piece. This is the continuation of the current season which started in January. Wiegel sold her new baby. Seth Green held up a fast food restaurant. And the ladies got some new push-up bullet proof vests.

The Naked Archaeologist - I love watching the history channel and this Canadian show is great. Uber-jewish host Simcha Jacobovici may not be an archeologist but he's great on this show. In fact he is a controversial documentary director/producer. He investigates biblical stories and tries to match them up with real hard archaeological evidence. And he makes it really funny by mixing in clips from public domain movies. It's on Wednesdays.

Girls Next Door - Season 5 is still not scheduled but I enjoy watching episodes again and again. It's my favorite reality show ever.

30 Days - Season 3 starts on June 3rd with new 30 day adventures. Morgan spends 30 days working in a coal mine. New topics this year include animal rights, life on an Indian reservation, and same sex parenting.

Mind of Mencia - Carlos is funny and sexy. He's got a great skit comedy show. This season he added a new segment based on real things his parent's put him through as a kid like taking him to a cock fight. I laughed really hard at the season premier last night.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008


2008 Upfronts

NBC completely reinvented the way they program television with an unprecedented 65 week schedule of new shows stretching all the way through summer of 2009. They've got a strong list.
My Own Worst Enemy - A modern Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde story. It's got a great spot after Heroes so it may be successful.
Kath & Kim - A Molly Shannon comedy. I'm in.
Knight Rider - The 80's are back! I hope they can find better ways to stubble upon mysteries.
Crusoe - Lost of a deserted island and trying to get home. Sounds familiar but I can't quite place it.
Merlin - Giles from Buffy stars in a series about young Merlin and King Arthur. It will be like nothing on TV so it will be a complete failure.
Kings - A soldier saves some prince and gets thrust into some international intrigue. Sounds interesting I want to know more.
The Office Spinoff - I don't watch the Office so I don't imagine I'll watch this.
The Philanthropist - A billionaire loses his child and starts to help the needy. Lame.

FOX only has two new shows on the fall schedule and lots scheduled for January or spring.
Fringe - FBI agents investigate impossible cases. It sounds like X-Files without the aliens. The commercial I saw for it looks cool.
Do Not Disturb - A comedy about hotel workers. Isn't the sitcom dead?
Dollhouse - This has gotten the most buzz as it is from Buffy creator Joss Whedon. It starts in January as a lead into 24. It's going to kick butt.
Secret Millionaire - Remember Oprah's Big Give? You won't in a few years and no one will remember this clone either.
Sit Down, Shut Up - Animated show about teachers at a high school. Expect some over the top New England accents. Animated shows only work on FOX and only if they want them too.
The Clevland Show - Speaking of animated, the black neighbor from Spooner St gets his own spin off. Like all the Seth McFarlane shows there always some wackiness, this time in the form of a family of talking bears that live down the street.

CBS got rid of their edgier material like Jericho and Moonlight and replace it with some real crap.
Worst Week - The nice guy get humiliated by his conservative future inlaws each week. I suffer from Sitcom Embarrassment Syndrome just thinking about this awful show.
The Mentalist - It's just like Medium except it's set in California, not Arizona and no huge rack.
Project Gary - Divorced Jay Morh has a hot new girlfriend. On after Old Christine on a new Wednesday timeslot. Could be successful until idol returns.
Eleventh Hour - CBS does best with procedural crime dramas. This one is about a government agent investigating abuses with science like cloned babies. Perfect for the intelligent design crowd.
The Ex List - A Women needs to re-examine all her ex's after a psychic tells her she already dated her one true love. As much as people say TV is skewing toward chick shows, I don't think this will make it.
Harper's Island - This midseason show is the only CBS show that looks interesting. A secluded wedding on a remote island leads to a series of murders. Murders, most fowl.

The CW is bringing back Reaper and Gossip Girl and only adding two new dramas and a new reality show. Three new shows seem like a small list but it's 33% of their total schedule so it's a huge change.
90210 - The 90's are back! I didn't watch the original so I don't plan on watching this spin-off or re-imagineening or whatever.
Surviving the Filthy Rich - A reporter wannabe ends up a tutor to the super rich. Lame.
Stylista - It's The Apprentice meets The Devil Wears Prada. I've been Jonesing for some good Apprentice style reality competition show.

ABC is hardly making any changes. Perhaps they were hit the hardest by the writer's strike timing. They've got a new reality show and a British remake that's been in development for over a year.
Opportunity Knocks - Crappy game show comes to your front door and you compete in front of your neighbors. Lame.
Life on Mars - Based on the British show that ran for two seasons. A modern day police detective wakes up in the early 70's after getting hit by a car. Did he travel in time or is he just crazy? The British show was great how it integrated that past and the present into the storylines. Plus the attitudes about race and gender from the 70's are shocking. Chief O'Brian plays the grizzled and somewhat corrupt police chief. This is my favorite pick of the fall. ABC has done little wrong in the past few years.


Monday, May 19, 2008


Best Week Never

Best Week Ever wasn't on last week and that made me sad. Happily it is scheduled for this week so we don't have to suffer from a big break like they do. Don't they know that pop culture doesn't stop when they go on vacation?

On April 11th, Sarah Jessica Porkher had the best week ever. It must have been a slow news week for a blowup doll to get the BWE honor. Here's some strange youtube news that talks about it:

On April 18th, the kid who got a butter knofe stuck in his head had the best week ever. His name is Tyler Hemmert but I couldn't find any video of him.

On April 25th, Inappropriate Behavior had the best week ever. Here's a un-notable youtube reporter talking about CNN reporter Richard Quest getting arrested

On May 2nd, Claymates had the best week ever. Here or some crazy people getting Clay tattoos.

On May 9th, Terrible Moms had the best week ever, just in time for Mother's Day. You know who wasn't a terrible mom? My mom. She's great. Look how beautiful she was on her wedding day in 1956. She's the one in white.


Friday, May 16, 2008


Technology Doesn't Hate Me

I love DISH Network. I've had them for over eight years. I even paid a $5 a month fee to keep my account active while I lived in the rental house. I'm one of their top customers, according to the recording. But never in my experience with them have they been able to do something on the first trip out. I've just come to expect it as part of doing business with them. Wednesday morning they came out to install the new tuner and pull a new line so I could record two things at ounce from the new DVR. Of course they didn't have a ladder tall enough to reach the DISH. So we rescheduled for Friday afternoon. No problem. In the mean time I decided to play around with the DishPlayer 7200 that I love so very much. After removing and replacing the SIM card, pulling out and putting back in the hard drive, and blowing out all the dust I plugged it back in and it worked right away. This was a big shocker to me. I cancelled my DISH upgrade. HD will have to wait for later this year.

In addition I went to Best Buy and bought a new VCR. They only sell DVD/VCR combos now which is fine since I have a super crappy $20 DVD player that sometimes can't play HBO shows. I don't know why it's only the HBO shows but it had a problems with some episodes of Six Feet Under and Rome. The funny thing about current VCRs is they don't have tuners any more. No more coax. They only have RCA ins so you need to use an external tuner. Everything is going digital next year anyway so that make sense to me. I bought a Toshiba because my preferred brand JVC wasn't available at Best Buy.

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Monday, May 12, 2008


Why Does Technology Hate Me?

So first it was my projector that died. That was a costly and annoying fix. Then last week my final VCR went to VCR heaven. I don't use it to record any more but I have loads of stuff on tape I'd like to convert to digital media at some point. Did you know the only VCRs they sell now are combo DVD players? And the VCRs don't even have tuners.

But today is the ultimate tragedy. My beloved DishPlayer 7200 malfunctioned. I got this just about eight years ago when I first got DISH network. It still has my favorite interface of all the DVRs I've ever used. I swapped out the hard drive but that wasn't the problem. It's just dead. This make me so very sad. DISH is coming on Wednesday to get me a new tuner. Hopefully HD will fill the void. I'm not confident that this will go well.


Thursday, May 08, 2008


The Great LaserDisc Transfer Project

One of the things I like to do now and then is move all the furniture out of my bedroom and do a deep, deep vacuuming. It's amazing how I can vacuum the same spot over and over and I can still get dirt out of the carpet. And the carpet feels so nice and soft after the cleaning. But in order to super clean the carpet I have move all the furniture. In doing that I run across lots of the old stuff from my life. I pulled lots of old product boxes from the closet and recycled them. I boxed up all my CD as I will never need the hard copy of those again. Under the bed I found a very old artifact: a LaserDisc.

I was always an early adopter of video technology. I'm approaching eight years with my first DVR. I had a kick ass flying erase head VCR in college. And I also had a LaserDisc player. I only knew one other person who had one, my friend Craig. My happy LaserDisc player has been sitting silently on the floor of my living room since I moved into 1717. I have never plugged it in before today. Today I decided to start a new project I'll be working on for a long time. I call it the Great LaserDisc Transfer Project. I'm going to be slowly uploading the discs from the LD player to my MacBook, compress them, and save them on my hard drive. Some of them I may burn to DVD.

I have a big box of LaserDiscs in the garage I haven't open it since I last moved it from my storage unit. This project is going to take a while. First up, Dances With Wolves directors cut. It's like five hours long. My goal is one a month.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Work Out's New Season

Somehow Work Out on Bravo! managed to start their new season completely under my radar. I happened to see a short mention in the TV Guide and added last week to my TiVo. Tonight is a supposed big show down between mean-spirited-lesbian-trainer Jackie, and cry-baby-hot-straight-boy Peeler. On the previews she threatens to fire him. Oh my, what delicious drama. There is also lots of lesbian drama. Which straight girl kissed Jackie on the Olivia Lesbian cruise? Actually, I think all of them did and I could care less. But I love that they think it is a big deal. There are some hunky new faces and they all went on a mud run last week while the ladies cruised with the fishes.

BTW, their wikipedia page is awful. They don't have the number of seasons or episodes or the episodes titles. Do lesbians not use wikipedia?


Monday, May 05, 2008


Mallory is a Whore!

Justine Bateman started a recurring spot on Desperate Housewives last night. She had a great guest spot on Arrested Development a few years back. There she played prostitute turned corporate trainer "you forgot to say away." Now on Housewives she has moved in the Gabby and Carlos because they are having money problems. Gabby sees men constantly coming out of her room and giving her cash. She's a whore! Actually, she's a drug dealer. I want more of Nellie the protitute with her pimp, Franklin the puppet. I miss Arrested Development.

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