Tag Archives: Television

Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Martin Short, Paul Simon, Dan Ackroyd, Tom Hanks and Alec Baldwin

snlThus was Justin Timberlake’s supporting cast on Saturday Night Live just now, where they can still surprise. It was a kick, but a lot of them looked old, really really old.

(I’m climbing into bed now and biting my knuckles to stop the screaming.)



In 2012, American teevee came through once again

At ToolServer (some sort of Wikipedia offshoot), there’s a nifty compilation of  2012’s top Wikipedia searches by language. This one particularly caught my eye (and yes, I checked, that “G” is indeed a search for the letter G. Almost four million times, Germans went to Wikipedia for information on the letter G). Go here for more list fun.

top 10

Tomorrow will be a better day. I can promise it.

tv noiseI thought we passed this law 40 years ago, but hey, I’ll take it.

. . . beginning at midnight tonight, new Federal Communications Commission rules will bar television networks from blasting viewers with those excessively loud, screamy commercial breaks. . .

Adopted a year ago Thursday, the rules “will require commercials to have the same average volume as the programs they accompany,” the FCC says. The commission was prompted to action last year when Congress passed the “Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act“—the CALM Act.

Story here.

Great moments in television . . .


Does she do drugs?

So, I’m emptying the dishwasher, headphones on, listening to Colbert from last night. His guest is the actress Diane Keaton who apparently thought she was being funny. She wasn’t; major fail.

She was so weird she even threw Colbert a few times. I have never seen that happen before.


Let us now hang our collective heads in shame

The worst of humanity’s commercial and primal instincts are today converging in China, where it’s version of the TV show “Survivor” features condemned prisoners who are encouraged to breakdown in confession – before . . .

. . . being led off to be executed.

The show is setting records in popularity with 40 million viewers every Saturday night. The show has a market advantage of a country that can supply an endless line of subjects. The hostess of the show offers to convey messages to family and friends as well as taping a final message. Now the show will begin to appear in Britain. While there are 55 capital crimes in China, the show focuses on murderers and cases determined by the officials to be “educational.”

There is an obvious “Running Man” feel about this show that is entirely creepy. The crossover of criminal law into television entertainment has long been featured in movies and literature as the ultimate sign of social and moral breakdown. While Communist officials may insist that they are merely “educating” the viewer, the voyeuristic element is obvious.

From Jonathan Turley, here.

Data does Jean Luc

For Star Trek fans:

Elvis is back in his heaven (UPDATED below)

And my world is once again whole.

The Comcast technician has done his sacred duty, the TV is producing pictures and noises, the cable box is a new one, component cable has replaced coaxial (this is something that was supposed to happen back when I first installed the digital box but didn’t) and I shall now settle down to re-establish all my settings and recreate my recording schedule. I’ll miss quite a bit no doubt – like the future programs I scheduled because they sounded interesting. I won’t remember those.

My archived recordings are all gone and Comcast’s TV Guide doesn’t show past days – noting prior to the current day/hour. So I need to find a listing somewhere and see what I need to catch up on at ON DEMAND or Hulu.

I know it sounds like I spend my days on the couch, remote in hand. I don’t. Not at all. I do like to watch television and I record and ultimately erase much more than I ever actually watch. But I never watch anything other than news in real time so planning is involved, and that’s what I’ll now go spend a few hours doing.

That is, after I return the laptop* to the office from the kitchen, reconnect everything in its proper place and put my lonely MagicJack phone back in business.

* Icing on my cake – the laptop battery is dead-da-da-dead-dead-dead. It cannot move about without its power cord. I think it died in a show of solidarity with the cable box. Possible.

UPDATE: I wonder who would believe that I just got off the phone with Comcast yet again? Oh I still have TV – that part works. But the on-screen TV guide? Not so much. Everything but today is “To Be Announced”. I have called it in like a good customer  – as it turns out, one of the thousands who’ve been flooding their lines.  My anticipated rescheduling will not happen right now, which is a shame because I’ve very little free time this week after tonight.  The beat, as I said below, goes on.

Have you hugged a cop today?


Speaking love to power:

Because we deserve a break today too.

This is what passes for stress in my life

I like four television dramas. Only four. They are all on at the same time. But if I stay up till 2:30 a.m. for the encores, I can see them all. I shall stay up until 2:30 a.m. And it will be worth it to see: Masterpiece Mystery: Inspector Lewis; Rubicon; Mad Men; The Glades.

Make that five. Louie.

UPDATE: Got a DVR upon counsel of commenters. It is a fine thing indeed.

Thank you PBS, thank you!

If I used every superlative at my disposal, I don’t think I could adequately describe what I was privileged to see last night. PBS broadcast the Lincoln Center production of South Pacific – live, with the original cast. The show, which opened about two years ago is about to finish its run. It won nearly every award there is. I never thought I’d have an opportunity to see it. But I did.

Thank you public television. Thank you the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. I’m richer today for having seen this last night. (And thank you Steve for insisting I watch.)