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Television Trending

21 Nov

Trending Upward:

The Walking Dead 

I would be the first to admit that this show was treading water for the first few weeks with the “find Sophia” plot line that never seems to end but with one week to go before our mid-season break, it has finally found its stride.  Last nights episode found some strong character development and some drama that was actually entertaining.  It wasn’t another find Sophia plot line and we finally got to see some of the other character growth that I have been waiting for.  Glenn is such a likable guy, it is nice to see him getting some more face time and finally see Dale grow a bit.  I would still like to see more happen from episode to episode because we were plodding along for so many episodes there but The “farm” days are coming to a head with next weeks episode.

American Dad

I really, really disliked this show when it first came out.  Over the last month I have caught a few reruns on Adult Swim and found myself hooked.  I dug into my Netflix a bit and found that the show started taking shape in about the 3rd season so I decided to watch the most current season from week to week.  Last nights episode was quite funny but I would never have come to enjoy this show if I didn’t come to embrace Roger and Stan for the odd ball’s that they are.  They drive this show and I am glad that I gave it another chance.

 

Trending Down:

South Park

From week to week you never have a clue what you will get from the South Park boys, but I have found that more times than not it has been below average.  From the first half of the season I enjoyed “Humancentipad” and “Royal Pudding” but not since the Season 14 finale “Creme Fraiche” have I laughed out loud in the way that South Park used to make me laugh.  The most recent episode was far better than the really bad “A History Channel Thanksgiving” but is nowhere near up to par with their good stuff.

Boss

After a great debut episode and a solid second episode, this show has reverted to the “hey look we are a pay cable channel show” attitude with lots of useless nudity and a plot line that is crawling at this point.  Kelsey Grammer is the only thing carrying this show from week to week as it is struggling to intrigue.  I am not quite sure if it is too many working parts in too many different plot lines or the slow movement of the central plot that is slowing down the show.  It is pretty disappointing considering how much potential the show had, I hope it can turn things around.

Set Your DVR

20 Nov

Tonight, PBS will be showing part 1 of their 2 part, three and a half hour documentary on one of my favorite all time directors, Woody Allen.  As part of their “American Masters” series this film promises to cover all aspects of the master writer, director and actor that is Woody.

From the PBS site: “This is the Woody doc everybody has been waiting for, and I am delighted that this creative giant is finally assuming his rightful place in the American Masters library,” says Susan Lacy, series creator and executive producer of American Masters.

American Masters – Woody Allen: A Documentary chronicles the trajectory and longevity of Allen’s career: from his work in the 1950s-60s as a TV scribe for Sid Caesar, standup comedian and frequent TV talk show guest, to a writer-director averaging one film-per-year for more than 40 years.

You can read more here – Link

Woody Allen: A Documentary premieres nationally Sunday, November 20 from 9-11 p.m. (ET/PT) and Monday, November 21 from 9-10:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on PBS (check local listings) as part of the 25th anniversary season of American Masters.

Chic-A-Go-Go

18 Nov

I was looking on Youtube for some Archer Prewitt video’s and I stumbled across this:

Archer and band fake playing along to his music on a Chicago public access show called Chic-A-Go-Go.  The show is a dance show for kids…………

And then there was Tortoise

Then there was this……..a David Yow interview and more show randomness

 

Netflix News

9 Nov

Yes, I am a little slow to the draw on this one but I still think it is worth posting about.

I am a huge fan of Korean films as evidence by my inclusion of several Korean films in my “Essential Viewing” section and Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance making my Top 10 all time films.  I was pleased to hear a few weeks ago that Netflix struck a deal with CJ films, a big name in Korean film.  The agreement brought 20 new streaming titles to Netflix and is hopefully a sign of good things to come.

You can read more about the story here – Link

You can see the full list of titles here – Link

My picks of the bunch

  • I’m A Cyborg, But That’s Ok
  • Castaway on The Moon
  • Moss

 

Television: Thoughts from the weekend

30 Oct
  • The Walking Dead needs to go somewhere soon or I am checking out.  We are spending too much time doing……well…….nothing.  This has been a season of absolutely nothing and has me screaming at the screen to just kill the damn kids already.  How many episodes are we going to spend looking for Sophia?  Did they cut the budget so much that they could only afford two main shooting locations for the season?  There is some average acting and  in my opinion, they are straying too far from the great source material.  Maybe I will just stick to the comics.
  • Boss, the Starz original series is easily the best show to watch this fall.  It has been funny, well scripted and great acting by Kelsey Grammer.  They have had several curveballs so far and we are only two episodes in.  Is anyone out there watching this show?  What do you think?  Great political plot lines and it reminds me in some ways of another solid show The Wire.
  • The Simpsons Treehouse of Horrors was decent this year but I felt the last “Avitar” segment was fairly weak.  I am not a Simpsons watcher any more but I always tune into this Halloween special every year because it has remained funny.  The “Diving Bell and The Butterfly” segment gave me some laughs, especially the spiderman segment.  This is the Simpsons that I miss, but I think those days are long gone.

Shows that belong on the cutting block:

Pan Am – Wow this show is really, really bad.  The acting is laughable and do they seriously have a CIA subplot in a show about airline stewardesses?  The dialog between the pilots is some of the worst that I have seen in some time.

The Cleveland Show – What is the appeal of this show exactly?  Is television that bad on Sunday’s that this show survives year after year?  Every year I watch 2 or so episodes and every year I wonder why it is still on.

Marriage Under Construction – This show suffers from poor editing, annoying voice overs and really bad scripting.  Yes, I know it is a “reality” show but it is pretty transparent with its scripting.  I love the DIY network but this show has to go.

Real Estate – Days

11 Oct

With the new Real Estate full length “Days” due out next Tuesday I have been overloading myself on their tunes.  Their hazy, uber chill, ear candy pop tunes will be caught in your head for months.  While I have had a promo copy of “Day’s” for a few weeks now, I can’t seem to get enough.  So for those of you not fortunate enough to have your hands on a promo copy there are some great places to get a fix until next week.

The obvious place to start is with the first released single “It’s Real”.  This tune has already cemented itself in my year end top 10:

 

The first place that I heard the new tunes was a great recorded show that NYCTaper did back in May.  It features 7 of the 10 new tracks and is a great recording – Link

Lastly, Insound has a studio session with 3 video tracks including “It’s Real”, “Green Aisles” and “Municipality”.  Great stuff! – Link

My standout tracks so far:

  • Easy
  • It’s Real
  • Kinder Blumen
  • Municipality
You can pick the album up from Domino Records – Link

Technology: Perplexing Thoughts

25 Jul

As I sat and enjoyed my morning cup of coffee last week Monday, I decided to watch some Sports Center to catch up on a few of the sports scores from the previous night.  Over the past few years, I have tuned out ESPN’s “non-sporting event” coverage because it has become over sensationalized drama crap.  I probably should have tuned out this morning because it did nothing to change my mind about the constant devolution of people interactions via social media and technological advancements. What set me off was the lazy journalism and the blatant advertising that was being utilized by ESPN.  In two separate, back to back segments they managed to post “twitter responses” to the sporting events.  The first was President Obama’s response to the USA Women’s soccer team and the second was Tampa Bay Ray’s skipper Joe Madden and his response to their 16 inning loss to the Boston Red Sox.  Was it too much for ESPN to have interviewed either person for a candid reaction?  Ah hell, why bother when you can get rid of a journalist and just use Twitter responses as post game interviews.  Does ESPN own a vested interest in Twitter?  I don’t see how posting someone’s “tweets” (I just cringed a little) is showing that you are a “hip” or “relevant”.  Twitter is nothing more than a vessel for companies to advertise and a place where you can read other people’s useless dribble.  It is a fad, much like Myspace was and Facebook currently is.  It will die when the next, better thing comes along and should be taken for what it is.

This observation was just the snowball effect of a lot of similar observations that I have had in the last few years, which has brought to light a thought: Does our constant strive to become more technologically advanced have a direct impact on our ability to socialize?

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