The moon landing. The birth of Little Ricky Ricardo. “Who shot JR?” Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction.” The fall of the Berlin Wall. The final episode of Newhart. Alexis and Krystle’s cat-fight in the lily pond. All iconic moments in the history of television viewing.
But let’s face it – none can compare to this, the ultimate Showcase from The Price Is Right. Everything about it is amazing.
Relaxing after work last night, gettin’ my Jeopardy on, when a couple of commercials played back-to-back.
First, this, for Extended Stay America:
Just terrible. I guess it’s supposed to be funny? But what a trite choice of a song. Plus the main dude looks like a potential serial killer and/or child toucher and has an extra-cray gleam in his eye. It’s unsettling to say the least and I would steer clear of this hotel chain if this is the caliber of the other guests. Plus the features they’re singing about? Free wifi? Tap water? It’s not exactly sexy – but then I guess neither is spending weeks and weeks in a hotel adjacent to a business park.
Then, this, for Power Ball’s arrival in Cali:
Amazing! Beautifully shot, the score is perfect, it’s fun and fantastic at the same time. Alludes to the wonderful thought of winning the lottery without bludgeoning the viewer over the head.
So what’s my point here? I guess just that despite most commercials simply being ordinary and many being just awful, there are some agencies out there producing some really cool commercials. Well done, David & Goliath!
I’ll say it again: cutting the cable cord was the best decision I’ve ever made. Not only do I save money, I watch less TV. And what I do watch is of superior quality – I’m halfway through Season 2 of Sherlockand it is excellent. Also really liking Prisoners of War, the Israeli show upon which Homeland is based.
Anyway, here’s Time-Warner Cable pissing off Patrick Stewart and William Shatner simultaneously. And trying to be “funny.” Seriously, TWC, if you’re going to crack wise, I recommend it not be to a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company who has also portrayed Jean-Luc Picard, Professor Charles Xavier, Gurney Halleck and the inner-voice for Susie Swanson. You will not come off well…
So, this is a thing. Cottonelle is asking viewers of this commercial to come up with clever euphemisms for the combination of wiping your ass with both TP and “flushable wipes.” Gross.
Now, obviously, I could visit their site and add my own suggestions for this process. But I’m pretty sure that any entries with appropriate words like “shit,” “poop” and “excrement” will be filtered (heh) – not to mention, I don’t want Cottonelle showing up on my list of “Likes” on Facebook. So, here’s what I’ve come up with so far, presented without the stifling censorship of the Kimberly-Clark corporation. Feel free to drop (heh) your own suggestions in the comments section.
Crusty Crack Crap Crammer Combo
Excrementary, Dear Watson a.k.a. No Shit, Sherlock
50 Shades of Brown
The Origin of Feces
The Hole Shebang
Searching for Klingons on Uranus
Better Than a Corn Cob
The Number Two-Step
Rock, Paper, Shitters
From Shart Minds Come Shart Products
The Doody Free Shop
Shit’s About to Get Real
The Karl Rove
Also, just while on the subject of Cottonelle: their TP is the most dingleberry-inducing product I have ever used and it is banned from both my home and my bottom.
Well, as is well-known, I am the worst – especially at posting regularly (though also in every other observable way!). And I actually have plenty of stuff I want to write about. But I think the upcoming 9th anniversary of my 39th birthday is taking a heavy toll on my initiative – though to my credit, I have thus far not even come close to defenestration. Though, in what I hope is not a case of foreshadowing, my primary household chore for this weekend is cleaning the windows….
So, as I while away the hours not writing, please enjoy what is arguably the most hilarious scene yet from Parks and Recreation – not to mention a shoo-in for this year’s Emmy for “Best Comedy Scene – Gloria Estefan Song Division.”
I’ve railed both here and on Facebook about NBC’s truly awful coverage of the Olympics in London. And as I’ve continued to watch, probably the most depressing aspect of all is the extraordinarily jingoistic and America-centric nature of the coverage.
Sure, it’s great to root for the home team – but what about celebrating (or even acknowledging) the athleticism and competition of some of the rest of the world? In fact, for me, the chauvinistic nature of NBC’s coverage has found me rooting against some of the home team, simply because NBC’s constant (and often incorrect) hype makes some of the competitors seems like juggernauts, steamrolling all in their path to win gold. They almost seem like bullies.
Take the women’s beach volleyball competition. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings have been telecast ad nauseum by NBC – hour upon hour upon hour of boring beach volleyball. Of course, not a single match has been shown in primetime in which May-Treanor and Jennings aren’t competing. NOT ONE – not even the other American team, who ultimately met May-Treanor and Jennings in the gold medal match.
The fact of the matter is, winning gold medals for three Olympics in a row is pretty impressive stuff – but NBC’s bludgeoning, heavy-handed coverage just made me wish the Americans would lose, if only for a little variety in the competition.
The saddest part of all is missing out on some really great stories. The other night, NBC was kind enough to broadcast the gold medal competition in short track cycling – presumably since one of the competitors, Jason Kenny, was from the UK (i.e. an honorary American in the NBC world, thanks to English being his first language). The five minutes of coverage were among the most exciting I’d seen during the Olympics. Yet that was all I that was shown. Not a single bit of the competition leading up to that final. And no doubt, if the two finalists had been from France and Trinidad, NBC wouldn’t have shown the race.
Plus, while NBC was limiting their swimming coverage and interviews solely to American athletes, we missed out on this, which I read in the NY Times:
(Chad) Le Clos, 20, said he watched Phelps win six golds and two bronzes at the Athens Olympics and was inspired to become a champion swimmer. It was not a coincidence that Le Clos swam six events in London, including the same four individual ones as Phelps. After watching Phelps win a record eight golds in Beijing, Le Clos added more events to his program to be like Mike. On Tuesday, he pulled off a monumental upset when he handed Phelps his first major international defeat in 10 years in the 200-meter butterfly.
“That’s why I was so emotional afterwards,” Le Clos said. “He was the reason I swam the butterfly. It’s not a joke. If you think about it, it’s kind of crazy.” He added: “That’s why I swim the 200 freestyle, both the I.M.’s. I don’t swim it for any other reason than just because Michael does.”
Phelps got choked up when he heard that he was Le Clos’s hero and role model, Bowman said. “It means Michael’s done what he wanted to do: affect the sport of swimming,” Bowman added.
I mean, that is great stuff – and truly what the Olympics ought to be about! NBC’s myopic focus on a select few athletes is actually the antithesis of everything Olympic competition is supposed to represent – and I say that even in spite of all the corporate sponsorship and the politics and the shift away from amateur athletes. There are still feats occurring at these games that are awe-inspiring and moments of sheer wonder. But NBC will only share a chosen few and then beat them to death until they have lost any semblance of meaning. So, congratulations again NBC for your truly terrible job of broadcasting this wonderful event!
Here is a list of all the disciplines of sport that make up the current Olympic Summer Games:
Here is a list of the sports I have seen on NBC prime-time over the past six days (many hours after the competitions have completed and results reported not only by every online, broadcast and print news organization, but frequently by NBC itself during its own promos):
Oh, and I don’t suppose I need to add, the only competitions NBC was gracious enough to air were those in which Americans participated. Don’t even get me started on the jingoistic nature of the coverage. We were treated to hour after hour of the U.S. men’s gymnastic team having a terrible time in the team competition – yet we saw virtually none of their competitors’ (i.e. the winners!) routines. The rings exercises were not shown once. It’s really disgraceful. And I haven’t even mentioned the valuable airtime wasted with Ryan Seacrest (RYAN SEACREST!) “reporting” on which athletes are trending on Twitter. AAAUUUGGGGGHHH! The worst.
Here’s an interesting piece about the whole debacle. The sad part is, ratings are through the roof apparently. So we can expect more of the same in 2016 and 2020. I think at this point I ought to spend two weeks in London for every Olympics, just so I can enjoy the apparently marvelous BBC broadcast.
I first heard this little ditty well over 30 years ago (yes, during the original broadcast – I am old!). And still to this day, it pops into my head at random and I find myself singing it for the rest of the afternoon.
“I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” — Barack Obama
WELL! This is an amazing thing!
And, as an avowed cynic, it may surprise people to know that I’m not joining the critics on the left who are saying “Too little, too late” or that this was a calculated political move designed solely to (further) open up the pocketbooks of the gays. They may be right – but my eyes are open to the current political climate in this country.
There are millions who thump their bibles or shout about the sanctity of marriage or whatever other ridiculous and un-American arguments they can come up with to deny two people the right to enter into a legal contract together. I’m sorry, but no matter what excuse they come up with, the real reason they oppose same-sex marriage is because they hate gay people. That’s it. The only people who are affected by same-sex marriage are the two people who marry, no one else.
And some of these same bigots will be motivated to heave themselves off of the sofa on Election Day, specifically to vote against President Obama. And this worries me. It worries me enough that I’d’ve been OK with Obama’s continued “nudge-nudge-wink-wink” on this issue until after November. The specter of a President Romney (who supports amending the U.S. Constitution to make bigotry the law of the land) is frightening.
But the alea iacta est , the Rubicon crossed – so I’m just gonna say, “Thank you, Mr. President.” And get all misty-eyed as I listen to “Free to Be You and Me.”
I’d been flirting with the purchase of a new TV for awhile and recently came across the right combination of price and quality – but I wasn’t in a particular hurry to upgrade. One thing I did know, however, was that I’d have to trade my old cable card for a cable box – which seemed like a good reason to renegotiate with Comcast.
Currently, they offer new customers a price of $29.99 a month for “Digital Starter”; the same package for existing customers is $63 (nice way to reward loyalty, you fuckers). So, I sent an email to Rick Germano, SVP for Customer Ops at Comcast. Of course, I knew it wouldn’t get to Mr. Germano himself, but I was hopeful it would at least be directed to a team of service reps who understood customer value equations…
In the email, I advised that I wanted the same deal as a new customer would get – and that I was perfectly willing to sign a two-year service agreement to obtain the offer. I further advised that if Comcast was unwilling to accommodate me, I’d cancel my subscription once I bought a new TV – it’s Wifi enabled, so I can watch Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime right from my TV and use an antenna for local channels (in HD!).
I got a call the next day from an unhelpful dolt at Comcast, reading from a script, telling me the offer I was requesting was not available to existing customers. When I restated my request, the rep testily replied, “Well, if you’d let me finish what I was saying.” This did not bode well… Anyway, his counteroffer was a plan for $39.99 a month. I explained again that I saw no reason why a new customer should get a better offer than an existing customer. I went on to explain that I was disappointed that Comcast had someone contact me who is apparently unable to comprehend that, while giving me the offer I’d requested would lower my value as a customer, that my cancellation of service would eliminate my value. $29.99 per month > $0 per month. Not to mention the money Comcast will spend trying to win me back as a new customer – in which case I’ll qualify for the offer I’d requested initially.
Needless to say, as soon as I ended this call, I ordered my new TV online – out of spite. And I couldn’t be happier. It was delivered yesterday; it is beautiful; and it is meeting all of my television viewing needs without any help from Comcast. I am eagerly anticipating the call to end my subscription. I’ll show them!
Oh, and here’s my gorgeous new TV. I’ll post an update shortly re. the antenna, which is freakishly well-designed and gloriously effective.
I swore I wasn’t going to watch The Killing (a.k.a. Red Herring Weekly) for its second season. With each episode of season 1, I’d become more and more irritated – with the characters and their farfetched motives, with the story and its nonsensical progression, with the false leads and clumsy plot twists. It was just annoying…
But during my visit last week to death’s door, I spent a lot of time on the sofa watching TV and Law & Order marathons were only running half the time (why there isn’t a L&O channel at this point in time, I couldn’t tell you. But I digress…) and AMC was re-running the shit out of the premiere episode of The Killing season 2. So, I watched. Frankly, it was unwise. The show remains as annoying as ever and the plot twists and turns have become even more impenetrable and difficult to follow (even more so for viewers with a high fever, apparently). Yet I find myself drawn back into the plot – and will likely be reluctantly and eye-rollingly watching season 2.
But one thing I did still like about the show? Belko Royce, Stan’s colleague and close friend to the the Larsen family, who is endearingly creepy and/or creepily endearing – but more importantly, he is a sexy little bear and I just wanted to hug him. Too bad he (SPOILER ALERT) gets his head blown off in episode 2.
I was curious about the actor who plays Belko, Brendan Sexton III – and it turns out he made his acting debut in Welcome to the Dollhouse as Brandon McCarthy, Dawn Wiener’s charming “rapist”. Well!
Anyway, this was really all just an excuse to post this picture of Mr. Sexton that I stumbled across during my research. Humuhnah humuhnah humuhnah…
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – thank FSM for Law & Order marathons! Having spent a week at home ill (no, I’m not carping, just observing – and it did result in a rather longish hiatus in my posting to this blog…), I was reminded again that watching hour after hour of L&O (ideally, the original, though SVU is fine too – and I don’t need to point out that CI is a complete non-starter, right? Why do they even bother having marathons of that one? Who would watch it? But I digress…) is a panacea.
Seriously, no joke, last Wednesday, I watched L&O non-stop from 10AM to 7PM; then took a break for Jeopardy and Judge Judy; then another two hours of L&O; then four episodes of Chopped (easily digested and untaxing hour-long episodes of distraction). Made my 102° temperature much more bearable.
Anyway, it got me thinking about my most and least favorite ADAs. So here (with apologies to The Awl, which regularly produces lists such as this, i.e. I was not clever enough to think of it on my own) I present the Law & Order ADAs in order:
And I’m sure I don’t need to point out that this list does not include SVU since Alexandra Cabot is so very clearly superior to Casey Novak (and I don’t even know who the latest chick is…) – not to mention that she faked her own death to avoid being assassinated by notorious drug lord Cesar Valez! Rock on, Alex.
TV commercials in general are insipid and annoying. But this one really makes my blood boil every time I see it.
Yes, I think we can all agree that life is filled with random chance and unpredictability – but to then turn around and say that something happening two seconds earlier is BY DEFINITION superior to something happening two seconds later belies this premise! Suppose those ballet scouts (who, as we all know, are constantly roaming the streets looking for the next Maria Tallchief…) had been walking just a bit slower – the aspiring ballerina with the AT&T phone would’ve already crossed the street while the Brand X ballerina would’ve been discovered.
Or suppose that couple had been machete-wielding maniacs rather than balletomanes? Not only would she not be dancing Swan Lake, she’d be dead, cut down in her prime – and AT&T would be to blame!
Or what if she’d continued to wait tables and someone tipped her with a lottery ticket that turned out to be worth $46 million – then she could’ve become a famous ballerina on her own terms, without those two task-masters who discovered her on the street bleeding her dry, emotionally and financially, constantly criticizing her dancing and her weight until she developed both a dangerously unhealthy eating disorder and a raging cocaine habit, eventually ending her career before she’d even reached the age of 30, after which she spiraled further out of control until, at age 33, she was found dead of a heroin overdose in a shooting gallery in the South Bronx?
Or suppose after she was discovered and became a world-famous ballerina, with a long and successful career in which she became the most acclaimed dancer of the 21st century, she found herself approaching her 100th birthday, frail and alone in her beautiful townhouse on Fifth Avenue, just down the street from the Metropolitan Museum, surrounded by all of the trappings of wealth, the walls covered with Matisses and Van Goghs, sparkling chandeliers hanging overhead, freshly-cut out-of-season flowers artfully arranged in Baccarat vases in every room, but feeling nothing inside, just a black hole of despair and regret as she remembered her one true love, Dylan, with his crooked smile and his cowlick and his half-written novel, who’d waited tables with her back before she was discovered but whom she’d abandoned to pursue her dream-turned-nightmare of becoming the most celebrated ballerina in history?
So I guess what this commercial is really saying is don’t use AT&T. You will either die young or lead a life without even the merest sliver of happiness and completely devoid of humanity.
Kindly fashion mentor, deservedly-respectable old queen and Tide spokesman Tim Gunn lost his shit last night – and not without reason. Instead of his usual “Make it work” and “I’m worried about this neckline,” he brought the hammer down hard on last night’s losing team – especially on the putative and horrible (and obv self-annointed) leader of said team.
I honestly can’t believe I only just recently jumped on the Family Guy bandwagon. It is consistently hilarious. I’m watching all the reruns I can on TBS and Cartoon Network.
The gags on the show often go on much longer than one would anticipate – which is both hysterical and a real tribute to the dedication of the writers and directors to their craft. The cultural references, which are rampant and often rather obscure, are consistently genius.
Peter’s showboating when he joins the New England Patriots is a perfect example. How easy it would’ve been to just use a brief chorus of Shipoopi rather than do an entire musical production… But the resulting two-and-a-half-minute scene is both really funny and true (even reverent) to the source.
I’ve never seen The Music Man, so I didn’t even understand where Shipoopi came from – and now that I do, I love the scene even more.
I can’t believe I just sat through an hour of Cupcake Wars on FoodTV. What a terrible show.
I actually quite enjoy a good cupcake – though there are way more bad ones out there than good ones. Take for example, the bubblegum cupcake offered locally by American Cupcake. Granted, I haven’t tried it – but I don’t have to… The very concept is vomitous. And don’t get me started on Citizen Cake… If you want an excellent cupcake, head to Miette. They are tender, delicious, never too sweet, an excellent frosting-to-cake ratio and just the right size. But I digress…
So, this terrible show’s premise is that four teams of annoying people make cupcakes for three equally annoying judges, all of it hosted by some other annoying individual. Tonight’s “theme” was “sexy” cupcakes using “aphrodisiacs” (e.g. chocolate, champagne, spices – yawn…) for ingredients.
The potentially interesting part of the show, i.e. the actual preparation of the cupcakes, is simply ignored, in typical FoodTV fashion. The “entertainment” part of the show is the running around in the kitchens while the clock ticks down in each timed round.
One of today’s contestants was a not-overly-sanctimonious (though obviously still annoying) vegan chef. I was actually curious as to how she prepared her winning cupcakes without the use of butter, cream or eggs – but no mention of that. Just frenzied rushing back and forth from mixer to oven.
In the final round, the two remaining teams had to prepare 1000 cupcakes and create a “sexy” cupcake display to be set up in a “sexy” nightclub, filled with “sexy” Hollywood industry types (i.e. car parkers and shop girls).
Chef Vegan had a Plexiglas tower of shelves, with fake flames in the center, the cupcakes served in cheap-ass plastic champagne and martini glasses – the whole monstrosity was flanked by two hideous wooden silhouettes of “sexy” singles. It was awful.
But even worse was her competitor! She used a bed as the platform for her cupcakes. Yes, an actual bed, made up with all of that foul burgundy-and-goldenrod betasseled and brocaded faux-luxurious bedding so popular at Ross and TJ Maxx… And then covered the bed with cupcakes. Seriously, cupcakes sitting directly on the bedding!
You should’ve heard me screaming at the TV. “So what three flavors of cupcakes are you serving? Pubic hair, dandruff and body lice? And if you’re going to use a bed, why not be really authentic and put a cat licking its ass in the middle of the bed amidst all the cupcakes? Maybe shine an ultra-violet light on the cupcakes to reveal any extra ‘ingredients’? And shouldn’t they be ‘cream-filled,’ if you know what I mean..? Also, I am going to vomit.” I don’t care if that bed had just rolled off the assembly line – the very idea of eating cupcakes served on a bed in a nightclub is gag-inducing.
So, to sum up, I did not care for this TV program.
I’ve watched several episodes of Glee and I just can’t seem to get into it. Very odd, considering my love of musical theater, my still-fondly-remembered days singing in the high school choir and my raging homosexuality… But despite all that, the show just leaves me cold. I think I find most of the singing to be too “American Idol” in style, i.e. focused more on the vocal acrobatics and vibrato rather than simply singing with skill.
At any rate, the cast made an appearance on Oprah the other day. And they found a real-live show choir to perform on the show. And those bitches performed “Vogue” – in goddamn court dress, complete with wigs, make-up, fans and moves lifted straight from Madge. This is exactly the kind of shit that gives me hope for this country… Keep on voguin’, you young whipper-snappers!