unbibium: (animated pacman)
So, there are a scant few events that get people to watch broadcast TV in the numbers they used to. The last one I remember tuning into myself was the Peanuts Halloween Special, which was followed up by another Peanuts special to fill up the hour. And after events like that, and the Super Bowl, naturally they're going to showcase some original programming. Except..... all original programming is heavy post-9/11 bleak cynicism. The show that followed Peanuts was a carefully broadcast-edited scene that cold-opened a show called "Scandal," naturally about corruption in the federal government. The show that followed the Super Bowl is about secret prisons and torture and supervillains and spies and also torture.

It made me think about how that sex scene that played over the squashed credits of the Peanuts special, was explicit enough to probably raise uncomfortable questions from children, but zoomed-in and implicit enough that teenagers wouldn't be sexually aroused by it. And how post-9/11 spy stuff always, always, always feeds the "Torture Totally Works, Guys" assumption that Jack Bauer popularized so that we could get all that non-information out of those Gitmo detainees.

It's giving me serious don't-want-to-live-on-this-planet feelings.

my reaction to this stuff... is that one of the things that's been wrong with me? Am I supposed to be feeling some sense of satisfaction? I sat through the whole episode. There was more torture, a bunch of different spy agencies betraying each other, a code-named chunk of information that's worth more than human lives, and a cliffhanger that took the form of an explosion. Is this what normal entertainment is? If I made myself learn to like it, would people relate to me better?

after that is news coverage of all the crowds of people just milling around on the OUTSIDE of sports bars at Westgate. These are the people who clogged up traffic on the 101. And of course they're talking about post-9/11 security too. Naturally the Seahawks fans who missed the first quarter because of a small bag attributed it to security, and not the stadium's unassailable right to make money on food. again, is this what normal people do? Go into traffic and stand outside a bar 50 feet away from a flat-screen TV for six hours? Is this the society I'm trying to integrate myself into?

NBC thursday is the next episode of that spy thing, followed by the premiere episode of another spy thing, this one with Russians. because everything is betrayal. No wonder it's impossible to keep friends, this is what people are being trained to be like.
unbibium: (animated pacman)
So, the Internet is full of obsessive people... why has nobody compiled a Joy of Painting episode guide?

And there are so many ways to sort through them, too.  Maybe I want to find an episode that uses only the six colors of paint I actually have.  Or maybe I only have a black canvas left, and want to sort by those.  Maybe I want to find an episode where a guest comes in and paints something other than a landscape.

Except, that's kind of only useful to people who have the entire series.  And most of the people who have the entire series are people who torrented it.  It's not legitimately available for online streaming, and the Bob Ross estate sends takedown notices to any full episodes on YouTube, despite it having been a public television show.
unbibium: (Default)
A few weeks ago, I had one of those dreams that stuck. It was some TV show that never aired, or a movie that was never released, that had characters from Star Trek TOS and TNG, and everyone looked about as old as they would in 1985. But the only thing I remembered apart from that was that it was discontinuous from the Trek universe, like someone threw the characters into another ship in another universe and nobody noticed.

I got a similar feeling when I watched some of the later Columbo episodes.

Columbo has a simple formula: someone with a lot to lose ends up committing a desperate murder, and covering it up pretty well. A homicide detective in a trenchcoat shows up, just has a few routine questions that are easily answered. As he's leaving, one more question that's not so easily answered, but he seems to buy it. He seems easy to fool; if he's not dazzled by some new technology lying around, the perp can come up with a red herring on the fly to send him elsewhere. But he keeps showing up, and the next thing you know, he has an airtight case against the murderer, and the credits roll before the cuffs are even on.

But then, in later episodes, they stray from the format. There's a kidnapping at his nephew's wedding, and he's doing legwork on that, and we don't see the perp until the second act, and his motives turn out to be just a crazy guy with an obsession with marrying and then murdering a supermodel. But the more embarrassing one was "Undercover," in which a homicide detective is somehow recruited to recover some stolen money for Ed Begley Jr, and Columbo puts on slightly different shabby clothes and bullshits his way into a deal with some guy who has another part of a picture puzzle. He gets hit on the head and goes to the hospital, and he's really whiny when he finds and confronts the guy that did that, and that's at the end of act two and I fell asleep. The tone's all wrong.

Now, there's a couple of times where they play with the format. In "Rest in Peace, Mrs. Columbo", it opens at his wife's funeral. There's one where we see one murder get executed but another one gets solved. The one guest starring Leonard Nimoy has a second victim that stayed alive because his surgical thread hasn't dissolved yet. They still have the formula, and they still have the tone.
unbibium: (Default)
 OK, so Lorenzo Music voiced Garfield in cartoons, and Bill Murray played Peter Venkman in the Ghostbusters movie.

Then Lorenzo Music voiced Peter Venkman in the first season of The Real Ghostbusters, when eventually Bill Murray would voice Garfield in the feature-length films.

After season one, Dave Coulier took over the voice of Venkman.  He's an impressionist whose repetoire includes Bill Murray.  And it's hardly worth mentioning, except for that throughout the run of The Real Ghostbusters, Ray Stanza was voiced by Frank Welker, who recently did the voice of Garfield in his new CGI series.

If I can work Egon into this, I might have enough coincidences lined up for a full-blown conspiracy theory.
unbibium: (Default)
If you go to Netflix and stream the first episode of season 6 of Columbo, you'll see William Shatner really Shatting it up.

When he first meets Columbo, he's practically a Kevin Pollak impression of himself.

unbibium: (Default)
Internet legend Kibo once reviewed a movie called Mr. Magoo, in which Leslie Nielsen forgets what made him funny in Airplane!.

Years later, when he was in full-on clown mode, but too old to insure for a feature film, he made these commercials for Arizona Federal Credit Union.
  1. 1. I don't remember the cheerleaders being this hot when I went to Computer U.
  2. How many more ways could the director have underlined the "uh-oh" moment?
OK those were the only two I found online.
unbibium: (Default)
So last night one of the episodes of Bullshit I aired was "The Bible: Fact or Fiction", in which is asserted that the Bible contains "equal amounts of facts, history, and pizza." I was a bit curious how [livejournal.com profile] tamtrible would respond, as she identifies as Christian, and at the same time believes strongly in science. I wasn't so sure about the beliefs of everyone else in the room, but the discussion that ensued was likely to be interesting at least.

Kalin and I were the only people in the room that were avowed atheists. Trible and Larry seem to be a bit more pantheistic, and Georgia wasn't particularly outspoken. I wouldn't presume to describe what they said accurately; as I'm only certain of a few details. With Trible, I know that she won't dismiss the claim that a Hebrew man rose from the dead, but she does dismiss that this Hebrew man had a monopoly on that kind of thing. Larry invoked nine-dimensional mathematics for a reason I couldn't fathom, and turns out to be an ordained minister who performed marriages. In both cases, it seemed apparent that one of the points where they disagreed with the Judeo-Christian story was that it's too provincial in nature.

This seems to be a trend in theists that avoids the most important pitfalls that are created by religious thinking, such as the denial of science, cultural insulation, and automatic credulity for religion-based authority. Such people are free to believe and learn from Darwin's theory of natural selection, they are able to relate to people and ideas outside of their own tribe, and they won't be protesting funerals or flying planes into buildings.

It seems that everyone in the room disagrees with ASU mall preachers, and agrees with Darwin. Beyond this, I consider it a minor detail whether they accept or reject the idea of God.

(edited to correct some small mistakes with large semantic effects)
unbibium: (homestar gaming)
So everyone knows you can stream Firefly episodes on Hulu, but Hulu only works in the USA, and has a habit of suggesting I'd get my chest waxed for a Klondikeā„¢ bar.

Are there any shady overseas video sites that stream it?

In other news, you can watch entire MST3K episodes on Google Video.
unbibium: (Default)
So I'm left wishing that the movie I just saw was a TV pilot, and that I could tune in next week to see more.

But no, they're going to do another nine seasons of all that shit I don't watch.
unbibium: (stinko)
Dumb Dora is so dumb, she sent her cultured pearls to BLANK.
unbibium: (Default)
Oh, wait, I remember now.

The entire professional sports industry is just a way of tricking people into wathing hours and hours of commercials.

For jewelers like Kay, reverse-jewelers like Cash4Gold, for sugar water and watery beer, and for boner pills.

I don't care if I have money on the game, I think I'll play some Wii.
unbibium: (Default)
BEEP! Hi, Nick's phone. Nick doesn't have AT&T, and therefore has no bars in some crucial location he ended up in. So he won't get your call with the crucial information that you could have given him in person a week ago, so it looks like we'll undergo some horrible consequence, such as death or imprisonment, as a result of missing your call. But it's because we don't have AT&T, and not because cell phones have fooled us into thinking we don't have to prepare for anything. And also, land lines and emails don't exist, and people don't post security outside demolition sites.

BEEP! Hi, Wynn Guy's phone. Wynn Guy doesn't have AT&T, so he's not getting your phone call about how the crumbling economy won't support his existing luxury Vegas hotel, so he should find a better way to follow it up than by building an identical hotel two blocks away, and then filming an ad on its roof.
unbibium: (Default)
I'd like to fry my own chicken.

Alton Brown says I should carve my own, but I think the first time out I'll let the butcher do it. Everything else I'll do according to his plan.

Fry Hard 2: The Chicken (Fried).

Golf on TV

Nov. 30th, 2008 02:37 pm
unbibium: (Default)
George Carlin once said that watching golf on TV was like watching flies fuck. I don't know what he was going for with that metaphor, but it's probably the most relaxing thing on TV, or would be if not for the commercials. And when golf is on network TV, I know my grandparents aren't watching Fox News, the least relaxing thing on TV.

The Weather Channel used to be the most relaxing thing on TV, back before they cared about ratings and started running all those storm documentaries. You could just watch guys in front of maps, and then some charts with some smooth jazz behind it.

But if you have digital TV in Phoenix, you might be better off leaving on Channel 8-3, which has a slideshow of some of Arizona's best scenery, and the classical radio station KBAQ playing behind it. The actual radio signal of KBAQ is very weak, and hard to tune in.
unbibium: (Default)
Monty Python has an official YouTube channel, following the lead of the Royal Family. Both of them have better-designed themes than Rick Astley's.

So I give you the opportunity to take a break and watch the superhero adventure, Bicycle Repair Man.

And for those of you who have already seen that one a few dozen times, here's a slightly rarer one, from their Hollywood Bowl appearance in 1980: Michelangelo and the Pope.


Nov. 15th, 2008 12:11 am
unbibium: (Default)
I just saw a commercial for Plan B, the emergency contraceptive.

It's on the E! network, and it aired during The Souop's "Chicks Man, Part 2" special, which showcased shows like Paris' BFF, The Hills, The View, et al. And apparently you don't need a prescription for it if you're over 18.

This is perhaps the first time I've even seen it mentioned on TV outside some kind of news report talking about how controversial it is, and how hard it is to get, and how inflexible fundamentalist leaders are on the issue. The commercial was an overwhelmingly positive message this time, and it said loud and clear that it does not terminate an existing pregnancy, and will not work if you're already pregnant. The implication is clear that pregnancy starts a few days after copulation, and I hope that message gets out.
unbibium: (Default)
OK, now, I was amazed at Seth Green's career before.

I first noticed him as Scott Evil, and saw him in some other pretty good movies. I like a good civilian race movie, so I liked Rat Race. I love a good heist movie, so I loved The Italian Job. So I figure, hey, a good character actor is living up to his potential, to the point where I know his name.

Then he achieves multiple Holy Grails for actors: not only does he land a voice acting gig for a network TV show, but he creates and produce his own hit show on cable. Voice actors on network TV work less hours per week than I do per day, and they earn a comfortable Los Angeles living wage at the very least. That light workload serves as the perfect complement to the heavy demands of producing a stop-motion-animation show, especially one that nips at the heels of as many trademarks as Robot Chicken does. Oh yeah, and he's still in movies.

But wait, there's more! Anyone remember Rally's? They had combo meals for $2 back when Burger King's combo meals were $3. I was lucky enough to grow up within walking distance of one, and I loved their seasoned fries. Yeah, Seth Green was in Rally's commercials. Behold. I learned about this on a recent talk show appearance, where he described that it became a weird phenomenon for New Orleans Saints fans, and hence his appearance at a half-time show. Most people his age would have been happy to have peaked there, and used all the money to pay for a useless college degree.

I don't know why, but celebrities of this kind have more of my respect than the big Tom Hanks style celebrities, because they're just so non-stop busy. Like that year where Tommy Lee Jones was in every single movie.
unbibium: (Default)
There's been a little buzz about CNN guests that appeared "via hologram", using 35 high definition cameras, a bunch of computers and camera tracking software, and the end result had a low frame rate and a thick blue fringe. I imagine it's supposed to be less distracting than the typical split-screen. I'm not quite sold yet, having only seen the effect while watching in a crowded bar.

But two years ago, Jimmy Kimmel interviewed Howard Stern in the same manner. As far as I could tell, Stern wanted to appear on Kimmel's show, but has just done a circuit of talk shows in New York City, and didn't want to fly all the way to Los Angeles just to do one talk show. So they agreed to do it by satellite, and decided to rig up a green screen and try to make it look as much as possible like Stern was in studio. And they really sold it.

Please digg and reddit.
unbibium: (Default)
My one complaint about this election? Not surreal enough. We need middle-aged actors reprising their roles as teenagers.

Twelve more days of this. My brain will melt out my ears.

This is the age of fan service.
unbibium: (Default)
Hiro vs the African is the highlight of the entire series.


unbibium: (Default)

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