Programming note

4 07 2014

Between the ages of 0-13, it was my mothers’ mission to keep me from becoming a couch potato. We had a TV that was used for rented VHS from the library. We had a pair of antennae that picked up a grand total of 3 stations. CBC, a fuzzy local CTV, and a French channel.

Guess what happened?

Liberation and a revelation. Eventually, we got a cable hook up – and I began to watch TV like a religion. Like a habit. Like a hobby. I went on the study mass media and film in University. My first job? A runner at the CBC. My second job? Communications and copy writing for a film and TV studio in Toronto.

Guess what I still want to do every night, any night, when I get home from work? TV is a hobby. I am not ashamed of that. I’ve read some statistics that suggest 99% of the western world has a TV set. This is a bigger hobby than soccer, football, scrap booking or piano lessons.

I started this blog to have that conversation. To talk about the hours of enjoyment I can thank my TV for. To pay tribute to what it has given me: a window to the world, a good laugh, a good cry, monumental news and events, curiosity, a lullaby as I fall asleep and a common bond with so many friends and fellow-watchers around the world.

While I have stepped away from nightly recaps and commentary – rest assured I have not abandoned my TV habits. Nor should you. Keep watching, keep enjoying, keep talking about what lights up your screen every night.

Feel free to leave comments TV hobbyists. It has been a pleasure to spend my TVnights with you.

To be continued…

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My Christmas Programming Rant 2012

11 12 2012

Preface: I love Christmas. It’s my absolute FAVOURITE time of the year. I love the music so much that I listen to it non-stop starting Dec.1 and I sing along when I’m wandering through malls and shopping the aisles of grocery stores. I spend way too much money, but I don’t care. I deal with credit cards in the off-season. I go nuts decorating my house, and berate the people in my neighbourhood without adequate light displays. I send Elf Yourself ecards. I have special ‘once-a-year’ Christmas socks. I will buy any food product that is ‘Candy Cane flavoured’. I still have trouble falling to sleep on Christmas Eve, and I still wake up before dawn just to lay awake watching the ceiling until it is an acceptable hour to get the family up.

So to be perfectly clear… I love Christmas.

Now…

That being said. (Feel free to re-read the Preface before continuing…)

I am NOT a fan of how TV networks deal with Christmas. Let me explain. Somehow I envision the TV execs getting together to pitch Holiday programming, and that it might go a little something like this:

Exec 1 “Here is a list of all the (XYZ) network celebrities that signed their big TV contracts without reading the fine print.”

Exec. 2 “Here is a list of every potential scenario we’ve come up with for 6-episode Game Shows”

Exec 3 “Here are the celebrities with Christmas Albums dropping this year”

Exec 1 “Attach as many (XYZ) network celebrities to either host, or judge these shows. Add performances by any celebrity with a Christmas album.”

Exec 3 : What should we do about the rest of the list?

Exec 1: Give them their own Christmas special.

 

No, I did NOT watch ‘Take it All‘ last night. I also steered clear of Extreme Home Makeover: The Holiday edition… and I found myself finding reasons to leave the room when The Voice became a Holiday Sing-along and Promo for Blake Shelton Christmas album and Michael Buble’s Christmas Special.

There’s cheeseball Christmas, like faberge ornaments and Rudolf the Red Nosed reindeer in stop motion. Then there’s insulting Christmas, like weepy specials that exploit the poor, the sick or the families of military just to get a reaction. These shows are ratings gold mines because they pull everything else OFF the air to make room for them.

…and when was the last time you watched a Christmas Special without feeling a little uncomfortable about the level of cheeseball you were enduring? It’s not natural, and there is a reason why they can only get away with airing this stuff once a year.

The reason? People like me, and perhaps, people like you. We become the Christmas versions of ourselves this time of the year. The more patient, the more accepting, the more easily entertained by an off-key children’s choir on a paper mache float.

Sigh…

As much as I can get on my soapbox and demand reform, I can’t promise that I won’t get sucked in by a caroling competition featuring inner-city at-risk youth. I’m not a martyr. I simply wish that networks could find a way to ‘keep Christmas’ without assaulting us with overt Holiday filler… sponsored by your favourite soft drink.





DWTS Season 14 Cast Announcement

28 02 2012

Once we’re done with the Bachelor, we’ll jump seamlessly into the next DWTS season.

So today, the Cast list was announced for season 14… and there are some serious goodies secured for this year! And as usual, there are also some headscratchers. For a show that could literally have their pick of anyone under an A-List celeb, they sure do pick some obscure identities.

Decide for yourself, and have ‘Google’ handy, as you read the list:

  • Melissa Gilbert – one of the little girls who starred in Little House on the Prairies, and consequently wrote a book about her addictions.
  • Jaleel White – Havent heard of him? Yes you have… it’s Urkel. Steve Urkel. I’m shivering in anticipation! #DidIDoThat
  • Jack Wagner – Soap star who used to rock a mullet.
  • William Levy- a Spanish hearthrob. Seriously. He’s Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise, with an accent.
  • Maria Menounous- Fresh off  ‘Extra’ – she will have no problem with skimpy wardrobe that will show off her bod. I’m also rolling my eyes at the fact that she got Derek as a partner. Of course she did.
  • Roshon Forgen – ABC continues it’s two way deal with Disney to use their ‘Stars’ for the young vote. FYI, there is no ‘young vote’.
  • Gavin Degraw – 2007 was a monster year for Gavin, and since then he’s got a new-ish album and a top song, this is a big ‘get’ for DWTS. He’ll be one of th emost recognizable names on the list and probably a fan favourite.
  • Katherine Jenkins- Wikipedia says she is a Welsh Mezzo-Soprano. That doesnt mean she’s from an Irish mob, it means she’s a singer we’ve never heard of.
  • Donald Driver –  a Green Bay Packer.
  • Martina Navrilitova – Interesting. Will she be nimble and graceful? Not sure… but she IS a fairly big name, and will be more recognizable than the Green Bay Packer.
  • Sheri Shepherd – Was probably an easy ‘get’ from another ABC show, The View. She will be comical, and will bring with her fairly large fan support. She will likely be the next ‘dancing diet’ face for US magazine.
  • Gladys Knight – she’s their token ‘distinguised’, big name, old person. This is the erson they keep on the show to stroke their ego and praise for being such an icon with such a great career… am I right?

Thoughts?





The Voice: Post Superbowl Premiere

6 02 2012

Good on NBC. We knew about this timeslot and this premiere a LONG time ago, we have been hearing about it ever since the announcement, we’ve seen commercials, we’ve read articles, Blake and his wife sang pre-show, Betty White got involved in the advertising, heck C-Lo was even on stage with Madonna to promote the show. There was hardly a post-game show… 15 minutes tops, then cut right to the ‘main’ post show event… The premiere of The Voice.

NBC is so proud of this show. This was the show that was filler last season. As soon as there was a crumb to nibble on, NBC made this show a chart topper. It has only been a few months since The Voice wrapped last season, yet here it is again. Capitalize on a captive audience. Also, it doesnt hurt to double bill it with The Superbowl.

Synergy. There’s an entire 30 Rock episode dedicated to ‘Synergy’ of brands… NBC isnt ashamed, nor shy about their synergies. Do you really think it was Madonna’s idea to have Cee-Lo as a guest on HER stage? Please.

Anyways, enough about that. It was a highly promoted premiere in a highly coveted timeslot – and The Voice delievered on it’s promise. Hot talent (without the duds and trainwrecks), Hot judging (with actual celebrities) and a Hot start to the new season.

It’s a great show, it’s not THAT different from American Idol, but it does a better job at straying from the franchise than X Factor.

Last thing:

X Factor=Pepsi
American Idol= Coke
The Voice = Starbucks

I wish I could write more about this. One day I’ll write a full analysis of the pychology of each show based on the brands of beverage they promote. Maybe it’s just spitting in a fresh wound… you know, after watching and critiquing commercials and ‘synergies’ for the past week.

New episode tonight. Boy, I could really go for an overpriced organic free trade coffee beverage with an italian name.





TV Tidbits: February 2

2 02 2012

Every once and awhile, we pause from our recapping to discuss TV news and related topics of interest.

There has been a lot going on lately –

First, let’s talk about The X Factors axing more than HALF of their ‘cast’. Nicole, gone. Paula, gone. That host guy, gone.

Simon’s hand of God hath struck them down. In my opinion, it’s a fantastic move. Neither of those people were right for the job. Nicole had no credentials, she struggled with voicing her opinion (aka she didnt really have one) and she crumbled under the weight of responsibility. She also made small children cry. Paula is a trainwreck who’s ‘groups’ were eliminated first from the show… giving her no real purpose for being there.

We don’t need to talk about ‘The Host’. God awful.

So Simon cleans house – personally, since Idol did the same, their judging panel has been stronger and much more effective. I’m going to throw something out there. What if these shows cleaned house after every season, and gave celebrity judges one year/season and then brought in new ones? The buzz and the hype would be amazing… similar to that of ‘casting’ a new DWTS or Celebrity Apprentice every year. The unknown stirs up attention. I dont think ANY judging panel should stay the same year after year… it’s boring.

NEXT!

Can we talk a little bit about the Fear Factor thing? I wont dwell on it…becuase even the thought of it makes me want to ralph my breakfast. So Fear Factor is known for pushing the limits, particularly int he second stunt where eating live bugs or intestinal byproducts are the norm.

How far is TOO far? Well, apparently drinking donkey semen is one step over the line. The show was PULLED this week because the second stun was… that. There are some things I dont want to watch on TV. That would actually be close to the top of my list. Repulsive. However, I’m pretty sure you can expect it in the next installment of Jackass.

NEXT!

Let’s talk about shows coming back: We’ve got  The Voice getting the primo slot right after the Superbowl. Same judges, same format… show of hands that thought this show would last through it’s first season? Thought so. This season, it’s up against Idol, interesting to see how it compares and how it fares in ratings.

Celebrity Apprentice likes to announce it’s cast niiiice and early to start capitalizing on the hype. We heard the cast announcement weeks ago… and we still have to wait another 2.5 weeks for the premiere. Highlights will be Lisa Lampanelli, George Takei and Clay Aiken, Adam Corrolla, Twisted Sister… running bake sales in NY. I love it, such great TV.

Survivor is two weeks away. Yep, I still watch and thoroughly invest time  in that show. This season, Redemption Island is gone (too bad, I was really fond of that new aspect), no ‘former palyers’ are returning (thank goodness) and the teams will both share one island! Oooh, intrigue!

NEXT!

Oh Canada! It was announced last week that The Bachelor Franchise would be spreading… to Canada. Yes, we’ve had Canadian Idol, SYTYCD Canada, we’re now getting a piece of the America’s Got Talent and Bachelor pie. Both are getting ready to be casted and aired in Canada this season. We know what to expect from both. Canada’s Got Talent has a pretty interesting judging panel (might even be better than the American counterpart… even WITH newbie Howard Stern). The Canadian contingent will include: Martin Short, Measha Brueggergosman, songwriter Stephan Moccio and TV host Dina Pugelise.

The Bachelor Canada was just announced, casting has just begun, even the location has not been decided as of yet. We know it’ll be shot in Toronto (no big surprise) and likely in a big ol’ mansion in the Bridle Path. And to answer your question, no, I will not be auditioning as the ‘lonely blogger looking for love’.

Lastly – I changed the TV Night banner… did you notice?





People’s Choice Awards 2012: The Pre-ramble

11 01 2012

I will likely be live-blogging from the People’s Choice Awards executive seating section… my couch. 3 feet away from all the action, best seats in the house.

I love live blogging from Awards shows (even if they are fake awards shows….) because they inspire instant conversation topics. We are voyeurs, we love to ‘watch’ without being ‘watched’. we love to criticize without being criticized… we love to be in pajamas while other suffer in high heels and spanx (or is that just me?).

So tonight I will be watching.

Yeah I know… this is not an important “Award Show”. You wont see The Brad and Angelinas, The Clooneys, The Streeps or even The Goslings in the audience. This is not The Oscars.

It’s shameless self promotion, it’s shameless ‘upcoming projects’ promotion, it’s a chance to fill an entire stadium filled with screaming Team Edward fans to kick off the ‘Award’ season. This is feeding (the already completely bloated) Egos.

also… I would just like to discuss the word ‘People’ in the title of this Award show. Who are… ‘People’? Are YOU ‘People’? I realized, probably last year or the year before… I am not ‘People’. Because ‘People’ are the ones who are thanked for their fanatical support, the ones who have apparently made it possible for an elite sub group of people to succeed, the ones who have made dreams come true, and the ones who vote for Transformers at ‘Movie of the Year’ , ‘Water for Elephants’ as Best Drama and vote for a winner in a category called ‘Favourite Celebreality Star’…

Who are THESE PEOPLE?

They are People in a very specific age group, that’s who.

I’m not offended, nor do I feel left out… these are not MY Award shows. Mine are coming… my nights of pure enjoyment watching billion dollar careers make their way across a red carpet aren’t far off.

Until then… let’s have some fun at tonight’s Peoples Choice Awards. First person to shout out to ‘Baby Blue’ … gets a remote thrown at them.





Celebrity Apprentice: New Season Cast

5 01 2012

Trump has revealed the cast for this seasons Celebrity Apprentice.

Give it to him… at least in this scenario, the guy knows how to pick ’em. DWTS should take note… THIS is a Celebrity format that works because of the solid, D-List celebrities involved. Quality D-List.

Here’s the List:

Men:

  • Clay Aiken (runner up on American Idol, my grandma loves him…)
  • George Takei (Star Trek…finally one upping his nemisis Will Shatner)
  • Penn Jillette (yes, the mute one)
  • Paul Teutul, Sr. (“American Chopper” dad)
  • comedian Arsenio Hall (I had to Google him, but you’ll know his face when you see him)
  • Adam Carolla (comedian and radio personality making the reality show rounds…)
  • race car driver Michael Andretti
  • Dee Snider (rocker in Twisted Sister)
  • Lou Ferigno (The original Hulk and ex-pro body builder)

I love the variety here – Clay Aiken and Adam Corolla? George Takei and Twisted Sister? It’s genius.

Women:

  • Victoria Gotti (Former Mob Boss widow…and she’s famous?!)
  • Daydana Mendoza (Miss Venezuela among many other awards for her beauty)
  • Teresa Giudice (The fiesty Housewife… on one of the housewife shows)
  • singer Debbie Gibson (80’s pop princess making her ‘comeback’)
  • Aubrey O’Day (I can never really explain why this girl is considered famous… she just, is.) 
  • Tia Carrere (ANother one making the reality rounds, also due for a comeback)
  • model Cheryl Tiegs (yawn…)
  • Patricia Velasquez (another model for Trump to ogle)
  •  and comedian Lisa Lampanelli (a comic queen)

The ladies list may not be quite as exciting as the Men’s list… but I think we can all agree that the crown jewel in this equation is Lisa Lampanelli. Comedians kill it on this show… becuase they are quick on their feet, not afraid to act like an idiot infront of big crowds, and are people pleasers. She will lambaste the quiet, demure models and be a strong team member and leader. That’s my prediction. Resistance will come from The Housewife, perhaps the Mob Boss widow… but the weak will fall very quickly.

I think it’s a great cast, one too many models on the girls side… but Trump loves the eye candy.

Thoughts?

Is this the best overall cast ever on a Celebrity Reality Show? I’m just throwing it out there…








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