10th Aug2007

Virgin Fest Part 1: Amy Winehouse and Cheap Trick

by Will

“Nah, I spent 2 years in the Cub Scouts & realized its potential to make me queer.”

OK, so we’re working backwards here. Virgin Festival, and then I’ll get to the SD adventures.

First off, there are just some movies that shouldn’t air on non-paid television. Friday, for example. It’s just not worth it. The thing makes almost no sense, considering how drastically MTV/VH-1 edited it. Another one? Showgirls. Don’t believe me? Stay up late one night, and check out your local MyNetworkTv channel. It’s on there, and it’s even worse than the uncut version. Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

Recently, the job has really cranked the perks up to 11. Sure, I may not be able to pay rent anymore, but I’ll never go naked as they seem to hand out polo shirts weekly. To amp that up, though, the vendors have started getting in on the action. One of our newest and biggest accounts is Virgin Comics. A subsidiary of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin empire, the Virgin Comics line primarily conveys classic, Indian stories and mythologies to a Western audience. OK, that’s enough of a plug. So, I met their new head of marketing in San Diego, and he was awesome. In fact, he was going to line up a meeting that you’ll learn about in the SD post. In any case, when we got back to the home office, Virgin had provided us with tickets to the Virgin Festival (with guest area access), being held at Pimlico where Preakness takes place.

Now, I’ve never been a concert guy. Whenever these kinds of music fests come to town, they sound cool to me, but my fear of crowds takes over, and I talk myself out of the idea. Well, here was a free ticket. And I hadn’t really paid much attention to the guest list, but one name caught my eye. Yes, the name of a strung-out goddess: Amy Winehouse.

Anyone following my recent posts and myspace/facebook activity knows that I love this girl. Not necessarily in a sexual way, as she’s a cross between Julie Kavner (the voice of Marge Simpson, who actually looks more like Aunt Selma) and that dude from Dead of Alive (they sang the “You spin me right round, baby” song). Not exactly an erection-inspiring equation. It’s not about the sexy, though; it’s about the tunes, man. Her album changed my life. OK, I won’t go that far. If anything, I think it was the timing of her album.

For the uninformed, Back to Black is an album that Amy recorded during a break in her tumultuous relationship with now-husband, Blake Civil-Fielder. She’s said that she wasn’t exactly inspired, but rather *had* to write those songs. If she didn’t get them out, she simply would have died. Dramatic, non? Sure, everyone knows her because of “Rehab”. Haha, she’s singing about how her label wants her to go to rehab. It’s not exactly funny. She was so depressed, and had abused enough substances to get to that point. Sure, it’s a cool, rebellious track, but it’s also a cry for help (especially if you’ve read an entertainment blog in the past 48 hrs). My point is that her main single is almost a joke track to some, while the real meat of the album is what follows. “You Know I’m No Good” is about her warning that she was going to fuck up her relationship, but still forcing her lover and herself to learn, the hard way, that she was right all along. “Love is a Losing Game” is about her regretting taking a chance on love, as it’s a gamble where the house always wins. Now, I’ve never been a lyrics person, so those were just a bonus. This woman could sing me the phone book, and I’d be putty. She just hit me at the right time. I was like a 15 yr old girl who’d just gotten her first Dashboard Confessional CD after being burned by her first bf at theatre camp (it’s OK, honey. He was gay!).

Anyway, seeing Amy on the card was enough for me to go. Screw the Smashing Pumpkins, or 311, or even the Police. I love all of those guys, but they melted away when I realized I might have the chance to sing “No, no, no!” in the presence of my beehived queen.

People were wondering if she’d actually show up. She’s been blowing off gigs left and right due to “exhaustion” and whatnot. But she came. And she performed. And I’m left with mixed feelings. On the one hand, she was magnificent. She really sang those songs, sometimes better than the CD. On the other hand, performance was phoned in at times, due to the fact that a racetrack was not an ideal venue for her. You need to see her in the small jazz club, where the acoustics take over. She is *not* a stadium performer. So, I think it might have been the deadest part of the Saturday bill, but I still loved every minute of it. I saw Amy! Right before she went into rehab! Lord knows what she’s gonna be like if it takes…

But wait, there are more acts! If you had ever told me that I’d get to see Cheap Trick perform “The Flame” live, I’d have kicked you in the balls. Well, now I would also owe you an apology and an ice pack. That was one of my 80s dreams come true. If they had driven out in K.I.T.T., with Catherine Bach in the passenger seat, I might’ve had a stroke.

I saw Ben Harper, but he was pretty boring, really. And while people might kill me for this, I have to say the same thing about the Beastie Boys. Sorry, dudes. That Jamaican waiter from the old MTV commercials would be glad to know that hip-hop is no longer ruled by “Tree Jewish White boyeez”. Also probably blasphemy? The Police bored me. I’m the fool who likes the Sting solo stuff better than the group stuff. He’s not one of those artists like Peter Cetera or Phil Collins, where it’s next to impossible to tell if it’s a group or solo song. No, the Police stuff is drastically different from “When We Dance” or “Fields of Gold”. Sorry, but a brotha loves his soft rock.

You know who rocked the house? Felix da Housecat! My dance phase was about 8 years ago, but he brought it back in full force. On Saturday, the main party was in the dance tent. It felt weird experiencing that scene with sunlight beaming in, but that didn’t stop the club kids. They were tweaking out all over the place. There was one chick who just sat near the door, pinching air. If you were close enough, and the fates allowed, she managed to pinch you ass. Otherwise, she was just pinching, at nothing particular. E is a helluva drug! Felix was awesome, though. I know he has this huge club rep, but to actually be there, and experience it…

Anyway, the overall festival was cool. It was hot as balls, but every tattooed, under-30, local music enthusiast seemed to be in the house. I just couldn’t believe that Sir Richard actually attended the thing. I was minding my own, in the guest tent, when he just kind of walks by. There he was, like a blonde-haired Jesus, swaddled in PacSun robes. Too quick for a picture, but slow enough for a memory. Man, I should be a friggin’ poet…

To Be Continued…

06th Jul2007

Harry Potter Asshole, Comics Lifestyle, iPods, and IDE Tags

by Will

“You’re way too beautiful girl, that’s why it’ll never work…”

I’m kind of phoning it in today, so you know what that means: random post.

-I’m trying not to talk shit about people behind their backs. Now, I try to say it to their face. It might be dick, but at least I keep it real. Here’s a fun example: after the librarian free-for-all a few weeks ago, I had dinner with a few “book people”, including a former honcho at Scholastic. The conversation turned to the Modern-day Messiah himself, Harry Potter. Whenever this comes up, I always try to stay out of the conversation. That’s the best way to stay out of trouble. But I’d had too much Pinot, so silence wasn’t an option. If I remember correctly, I came out with a, “Hey, it’s a cute little book and all, but I don’t get how it’s taken the world by storm.” It was beautiful. James & Marcus probably understand the feeling, but it’s basking in your own confrontation. You pushed the right button, and you’re enjoying the swell before the fallout. Being an asshole for asshole’s sake.

But in either the smartest or dumbest move of my career, I managed to spin it ever so successfully. After the shock and silence subsided, I swooped in with the follow-up. “Not to take anything away from the franchise, as I appreciate everything Potter has done for literacy. It’s just that, reading the thing, there was too much of a sense of ‘been there, done that.'” And they totally agreed with me. That’s when I went for the cherry. “I’m a huge Roald Dahl fan, and it offends me that Rowling is a billionaire, using pretty much his ideas, while he died a penniless, suspected child molester.” Let’s just say that the conversation totally swung back in my favor, and I was the belle of the ball. I shit you not. I’d go into more detail, but I really don’t want this anecdote showing up on Bookslut or something. I think I saw a glimmer of my future that night, so I certainly did something right.

It’s bad enough that I’m seen as the Antichrist for not liking a children’s book about a boy witch. Oh, I’m sorry. Wizard. Semantics. It mainly shocks people because I supposedly love all things childish. “Oh, it’s a kids thing? Will would love that!” I do, but even I have my limits. I guess I’m just a snob that way. I’d probably love the series had it not blown up like the Death Star. It’s the same way I abandoned Snow Patrol, 24, and Queer Eye when all they became all popular. I don’t like hype.

-Sometime I love my job, and sometimes I hate my job (yes, I realize everyone feels this way):
Love my job: got paid today
Hate my job: actually looked at the check
Love my job: debated the timeline of G.I.Joe, as it’s actually “work related”
Hate my job: while that conversation was going on, I got about 10 e-mails that could be considered “emergencies”
Love my job: It’s comics. Woot!
Hate my job: Yeah, this is gonna do wonders for that business school application
Love my job: It’s comics, yay!
Hate my job: which forced me to move back home with my mom, setting me back about 4 years psychologically

Fucking comics…

iPod Randomness:
-For some reason, I have about 8 different versions of This I Promise You. Don’t ask me why. It’s not like it was a hot party song, nor were there any remixes other than the Spanish version, Yo te Voy. Wait, I have that, so make it 9 versions. And many of them are live. And it’s not a song that changes much when sung live. That’s a sign of taking boyband fandom too far.

– I have a shitload of Peter Cetera. I remember going through a phase during senior year of Cornell, but I didn’t think I kept all of that stuff. I didn’t even know he had that many songs.

-My iPod really loves Carly Simon. And it’s funny because I only have 3 CS tracks. That’s it. And they’re all variations on the same song. I get it. Something is coming around again: this fucking song! I think it’s the song that comes up the most during shuffle.

-I’ve got a ton of California Dreams songs that are of a quality so low that I should be ashamed to even have them. Not that possessing CD songs isn’t shameful enough. I converted these to mp3 from some Real Audio files I found on someone’s website years ago. The sad thing is that they recorded them by placing a tape recorder up to the TV. So, you can guess that what I’ve got is per-it-ty shitty. But, what can I do? A nigga loves his California Dreams…

-My ‘pod glitched up on me the other day, so even though it was on random, it was playing songs in the exact order it had played them the day before. So, for awhile, I actually thought I had ESP. I was going, “The next song will be Always.” And it was! It wasn’t until about 15 songs in that I figured out what had happened. Or maybe I willed those songs to play. The world may never know.

-You certainly reap what you sow. I have always boasted about how I never pay for music, I get all my tracks from German porn sites, etc, but there’s a downside to this. No, I’m not talking about viruses. I’m talking about IDE tags. You see, when a song is encoded, it is usually assigned an IDE code, which is essentially its name. It’s the thing that, if you bought the song from iTunes, will make your file show up as “Last Call – Drops of Jupiter – Vestosterone”. In a perfect world, the IDE tag will tell you artist, song, and album. This is pretty standard on all legal, copyright protected downloads. BUT, if you get your files illegally, from some weird download site, you’re subject to all kinds of bad IDE tags. Sometimes, a song name might be in Cantonese, so you’ve just got a bunch of symbols and squiggles because they didn’t translate properly. Sometimes, you’ve got an Aretha Franklin song with the IDE tag “Big Old Fat Bitch”. And the problem with the illegal files is that you can’t change the tags (at least not without a ton of unnecessary work), so these don’t organize well in iTunes. So, the upside is I got a hot album for free, but the downside is that I can never find the damn thing because the IDE tags are all fucked up. Sometimes, they’ll even split an album. The first few tracks are by “Fall Out Boy”, while the second half of the album is by “Fallout Boy”, and iTunes doesn’t see fit to link the two. I need to look into a solution for this, as the bulk of my mp3s are from the days before the term “legal download” was even coined.

OK, that’s enough rambling for now…

29th Jun2007

Blog Rating

by Will

“If sexy never left, then why’s everybody on my shi it it?”

Online Dating

Now, personally, I think this site is more of a “Hard R”, but what can ya do…

26th Jun2007

Chris Benoit and the Fakeness of Exposed!

by Will

“You’re just a pathetic, old war hero who punched Hitler in the face…you don’t even have 50 friends on your Myspace page!”

Well, so much for this being a detox week…

Chris Benoit…what the fuck? I’m shocked and not shocked, all at once. I mean, he always had those eyes. He was never really a “team player”, but he came and did his job. Plus, he was the best technical wrestler in the industry. I’m not sure what happened there, but I really think there’s more to it. I’m not buying the murder-suicide angle, especially since it was apparently drawn out over a 72-hr period. Who kills their wife, chills for 24 hrs, kills their 7 yr-old, chills for another 36 hrs and then kills them self? I’m not buying it…

Anyway, this post is about dating shows. Man, do I love some dating shows. It’s sad, but I think I like to think I’m living vicariously through them. I’ve never sexed up a chick in a hot tub, but I’ve seen enough cases that I think I can relate. It’s weird because I usually table the dating show thing when I’m in a relationship, but afterwards, I’m right back in the cockpit, with Roger Lodge (Or Aisha Tyler, or the 5th Wheel Announcer) as my copilot. My favorite right now is Exposed, but I’m pretty convinced that it jumped the shark recently.

For the uninitiated, Exposed is an MTV show, where a contestant goes on a date with two people at once. While the date is going on, his/her friend is in a nearby surveillance van, listening in on the date. Everything said by the daters is being run through a lie detector, and the truth is relayed to the contestant via a hidden earpiece. At the end of the date, the ploy is revealed and the dates are given a chance to come clean. Based on the evidence, the contestant chooses the date they’d like to stay with.

When the show first started, it was awesome! I mean, people were getting tripped up on their lies, and there was no way out. Once they’re told about the lie detector, they’re given a chance to come clean, but most don’t exercise this option. They maintain they told the truth (even when it’s something lame, like “I used to date Aaron Carter.”). The point is that the lie detector should come as a surprise. Lately, though, it seems like everyone’s now in on the joke.

The show just recently came back with new episodes, but nobody’s playing their part correctly. For example, when the dater reveals the whole lie detector thing, they first say something like, “I’ve got something to tell you. You’ve just been exposed.” In the initial run of the show, the daters would look confused because they had no idea what “exposed” meant. It wasn’t until the contestant explained the lie detector aspect that the daters became shocked and dismayed. In the new episodes, however, when the contestant says, “You’ve just been exposed”, the daters burst out in disbelief. But that’s the thing: about what are the in disbelief? They supposedly have no clue what “exposed” means, so why are they so quick with their reaction? After all, they haven’t even learned about the lie detector at this point. For all they know, she could mean that their flies were open the whole time.

If these episodes were filmed at the same time, but released in a staggered fashion, that’s fine. However, if there have been tapings since the original episodes aired, how are people surprised? If they’ve seen an episode, they know the format: double date, hot seat, big reveal, date chosen. If you find your ass sitting in the Hot Seat, you should know what show you’re on. I’ve heard reality show stories where the contestants claim that they didn’t know what show they were on until the episode made it on the air. I refuse to believe that’s the case here because the show has a pretty static formula.

In addition, if you’re hanging out at a park, and there’s a weird looking exterminator or plumbing van sitting in a nearby parking lot, your ass is about to be Exposed. Why? Well, for starters, you should know better. Real plumbers and exterminators have white, child molester vans. The flashy plumber vans you see on TV are only on TV. Most plumbers and exterminators are too poor for a flashy van, unless they work for Orkin or Roto-Rooter.

My biggest problem with Exposed, though, is that it relies on the adage that “honesty is important in a relationship”. While that’s a true sentiment, that’s not what dating shows are about. You’re on national TV, meeting a total stranger, asking questions like, “Have you ever farted so loud that it surprised you?” This is not the recipe for a soul mate. I remember a few years back, I had a conversation with a teacher of mine (What up, Pearcy!). I used to be close to a few of my teachers, so we were discussing two dating options that I had. There was the sweet girl, who could be a lasting relationship and there was also the “fast girl” who’d teach me about…”stuff.” Since we knew nice girl wasn’t really going anywhere, he told me that the most utilitarian choice would be to choose the fast chick. And that’s how I feel about dating shows. The most utilitarian choice is the slut/gigolo, because it’s an easy lay, and you’ve pretty much maxed out the potential of the experience. You just did her in a hot tub, after a trip to a costume shop, and a rousing game of “Truth or Dare Ultimate Frisbee”. Chances are you’re not marrying that chick, so get in, get out, and move on to the next dating show. Exposed wastes too much time on “honesty”, while something like NeXt gets it right as it’s as shallow as the dating show format itself.

22nd Jun2007

P!nk, Clive vs. Kelly Clarkson, Sean Kingston, Rosie O’Donnell, and Michael Bolton

by Will

“I’m not here for your entertainment, you don’t really wanna mess with me tonight…”

I felt the need for a pre-weekend blog, but I’m not sure why. It’s gonna be pretty stream-of-consciousness…

-Fellas, if your woman really loves P!nk’s U+Ur Hand, you’ve got a problem. The writing’s on the wall right there. Listen to the lyrics. Just sayin’…

-If only Kelly Clarkson had figured out how to make a proper “fuck you, all things with penises” song, she wouldn’t be in the mess she’s in. Months ago, everybody was saying, “Crazy old Clive Davis should leave her alone! What does he know about music?” Clive Davis fucking carried music for the latter half of the 20th century. If he says your album sucks, it’s actually horrendous. Clive isn’t the kind of guy to just outright say something. He’d beat around the bush and say that it was “still in development” or something. For him to just out and tell her, “This is bad”, that meant the shit had really hit the fan. That’s when neither Diane Warren, David Foster, a 50 Cent/Nelly/Bustah Rhymes cameo, nor a Jay Z intro can help you anymore. The man knew what he was talking about, and it took this long for people to finally admit, “You know, it doesn’t really have much of a tune…” Knocking authority might’ve worked back at the Piggly-Wiggly, but you’re in the big time now, Kelly.

-Speaking of music, I put my little “song of the summer” theory to the test last weekend. At two different points Saturday, I found myself driving through Georgetown or Bethesda. When Sean Kingston’s Beautiful Girls came on, I was like the fucking Pied Piper! It just makes White people dance. It’s like it channels that latent gene (which is usually beaten up by the beer-pong and flip-flops- in-winter genes), and just lets it loose. It’s gonna be an amazing summer, as long as that song doesn’t get old fast. I really hope he’s got a follow up in the bag. Otherwise, he’s headed straight to Song of Summer Hell, along with Los Del Rio & the Quad City DJ’s.

-So, Rosie wants to host The Price is Right…would someone put a fucking Koosh bullet in her brain already? The problem with Rosie is not that she’s a loudmouth, nor is it her politics or orientation. The problem with Rosie is that she’s got professional ADD. She does something until it bores her. This might be a nice, stress-free way to live, but it’s not the thing upon which contracts are built. She wanted a talk show and did it until she got bored. She wanted to be on The View, and then she got bored and started wrecking shit. If you’re taking over Bob Barker’s obscenely long microphone, your ass better be ready for a 20 yr commitment! That’s why I wanted Mrio Lopez to get it. He can only be remembered as Slater for so long, and it’s not like he has any real long-term career potential. This could be the career renaissance that he needs, like when Tiffani Theissen went to 90210. We could look back on this era and say, ‘That’s when Mario became his own man.” If Rosie gets it, it’ll simply be known as “that period after she left The View, but before she opened her lesbian dude ranch in Vermont”.

-I came across something hilarious the other day, if you’re up on your 80’s music. Apparently, Michael Bolton would take anyone’s scraps. He’ll always be thought of as Elvis II, aka the Other White Guy Who Stole Music from Black Guys. But it doesn’t stop there. It seems that he was even taking scraps from Air Supply. Yes, All Out of Love and Making Love Out of Nothing At All Air Supply. His seminal hit, How Am I Supposed to Live Without You, was deemed unacceptable by Air Supply. They were too busy….supplying air. But Mr. Bolton looked up from his plate of ribs (I always felt like he would be that weird white guy hanging out in the rib place, just waiting to still hooks from some freshly groomed R&B group. Can’t you just see that? There’s always that White guy. He’s usually a PhD candidate or something, doing an “immersion experiment. And they always have long hair. Like we ain’t gonna notice long hair!), and said, “I’ll take one of those, please!

16th May2007

Dress My Nest, Scrubs, Reality TV Background Characters, and The Future of Syndication

by Will

“And when the sky is falling, don’t look outside your window.”

So, I actually posted the other night, but due to a faulty wifi connection, it has been lost to space. Yup, no backup and nothing in the drafts folder. It sucks, too, because it was pretty stream of consciousness. I don’t even remember what it was about at this point.

Anyway, I’ve been watching a lot of TV lately, and this is sort of my State of the Television Address:

1) On Dress My Nest, former Queer Eye decorator Thom Filicia redesigns womens’ living areas to reflect their clothing style. This premise sounds sort ot hokey, but I’ll go with it. My problem, though, is with his assistant, Erika. I’ve read a lot of reviews on the show, and the general conclusions is that she’s probably there for Thom to bounce ideas off of, yet comes off sort of useless.

After watching the past 6 episodes, I’ve come to realize what she *really* is: She’s Thom’s hag. You see, we’ve got this whole stereotyped culture where no gay man is complete without his best galpal. And there’s the counter stereotype that no Big City single woman is complete without her “gay husband”. Yet, what strikes me is that Erika is very attractive. Not your standard hag material, which then made me realize that she’s the worst kind of hag: she’s single hottie hag who’s high maintenance as Hell. She’s the chick who just can’t find that “perfect guy”, and falls in love with Thom between her failed relationships. He ain’t having it, and would rather help her pick out a new pair of shoes. Or maybe this is all in my head and I’m going too far…

2) I don’t think there’s a better comedy than Scrubs on TV. That said, I find that Scrubs is usually so wrapped up in gimmicks that the special gimmick episodes don’t work. Case in point, the “sitcom” parody episode was on last night, and it’s really not that funny. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be unfunny, as a sort of slight at the genre, or if the formula just didn’t work for them. Scrubs never would have made it as a multi-camera, live-studio-audience sitcom. Then again, Three’s Company never would have made it as a single camera, non-laughtracked comedy. The musical episode of Scrubs also left a lot to be desired.

3) Man, what happened to The Riches? It started out so promising, and now I don’t even care anymore. I feel that’s the problem with most shows on FX. They are all about these amoral, anti-hero characters, that you don’t know whether you want to root for them or see them get caught in their lies. Nip/Tuck, Rescue Me, the Shield, Dirt, The Riches… all of these shows are mired in this, and while it has proven successful, I wish FX would stop going back to the well.

4) I feel bad for the employees of work-based reality shows who *don’t* get to be cast members. From Inked, to King of Cars, to Work Out, there are people who work at these establishments who just aren’t considered “TV” enough to be featured. How does this happen? I mean, do they film really early before the rest of the employees get to work? Do they give them paid days off to repay them for stealing their shot at fame?

If you hop over to www.skysportspa.com, you’ll see that there are about 22 trainers working for Jackie Warner, yet only 7 are in the Work Out cast. Now, I understand the need to keep things contained, but I’d love to swap out a few people. Erika contributed almost nothing to this season, so I’d love to replace her with Aimet, who appears to be the most ripped Black woman I’ve ever seen. In fact, Aimet and a few other of the female trainers snuck into episode 2 this season, when Jackie decided to have her girls night slumber party. They still didn’t let Aimet speak, though. I think they should rotate the cast in and out, because I like the show, but I’m tired of most of the trainers.

5) I am all about the Andy Griffith Show right now. I’m not sure why, but something about its downhome sensibility hits all the right notes lately. Also, Sheriff Taylor has some beautiful girlfriends, from Ellie the Pharmacist to Teach Extraordinaire, Helen Crump. It’s amazing that such a slackjawed everyman pulled women like that. Don’t get me wrong; I know that Andy Griffith was considered a handsome man back then, but there was something very “Clark Kent” about that role. Almost like they didn’t want him to come off too suave, so instead, he becomes this slow, drawling nice guy.

6) Speaking of frumping up for a role, I’ve had a real hard time watching I Love Lucy in recent years. The more I learn about that cast, the more I wish the show had been a reality show moreso than a sitcom. First, Vivian Vance was the hot one, but was uglied up so that she wouldn’t overshadow Lucille Ball. Vance had the more established career, until that show came along and pretty much had her typecast for life. Also, though, anytime I see a Fred & Ethel scene, it’s weird knowing that they’re not acting. William Frawley *hated* Vivian Vance, and on numberous occasions, referred to her as “That cunt”. Sure, it’s a classic sitcom, but I’m wondering “what if?” What if Vance had broken out as a sitcom star? What if she had been cast as Lucy? Would she have, then, married Desi Arnaz instead? It boggles the mind…

7) How I Met Your Mother is renewed for another season! Rock on! This actually wasn’t a surprise to me. I had a conversation with a guy from CBS last week, and I asked him about the fates of The Class and HIMYM. So, when CBS made the announcement yesterday, I was in the know. Man, it’s nice to actually “know a guy”.

8) Nick @ Nite’s qualifications are really starting to piss me off. So, everything I grew up with is now on N@N, yet there are glaring omissions. Family Matters? Hogan Family? Alf? My Two Dads? I know that these things are wrapped up in contracts, but it seems like Nick’s hurting when they resort to showing AFV. I mean, America’s Funniest Videos already comes on 2 other cable networks, which *aren’t* owned by Viacom, so what’s the need to take away a valuable N@N slot with something you can already see 3 times a day. it would be like giving Seinfeld a N@N slot (which, mark my words, should be about 3 years away.)

9)I think The CW or MyNetworkTV should buy up all of the TNBC library and run it weekday afternoons. People my age don’t realize it, but there aren’t any kids programs on basic TV in the afternoon anymore. Fox Kids was sold to Disney back in 2002, Kids WB went weekend only back in 2005. The only programming is on PBS, and it’s mostly for toddlers. The Saved by the Bell rights are always snatched up since it’s considered this “classic”, but I would kill a man to see California Dreams again. Or Hang Time. Or City Guys. Or even the horrible Malibu, CA or USA High (not TNBC, but still Peter Engel shows). When Aaron Spelling died, people always spoke of how many shows he’d created. That’s great and all, but when Peter Engel passes away, I hope he gets the same accolades. The man single-handedly programmed NBC’s Saturday morning for more than 10 years. Sure, a lot of it was crap, but so were most of Aaron Spelling’s creations.

10)Everyone’s worried about global warming. OK, I’ll take on a lesser cause. I’m worried about syndication. There used to be a rule that, to be syndicated, a show needed to be on the air for 3 seasons OR 100 episodes (whichever comes first). 3 seasons would yield about 66-70 episodes, but once you hit the 100 mark, you were set for life. That’s why Tina Yothers doesn’t work. That Family Ties money is still rolling in. You won’t be rich, but you won’t starve either.

Nowadays, though, shows aren’t lasting that long. It used to be that I could predict which shows would be entering sydication the next season. Then, the internet came about, and it would announce these things. But the cold, hard truth is that we’re running out of shows for syndication. These slots are being filled by court shows. Around here, *nothing* entered syndication this year. All they did was shuffle what was already there. Will & Grace, Girlfriends, Friends, Raymond…Nothing new.

Next fall, there’s Chappelle and Family Guy. One is good and one is bad. Family Guy has enough episodes to keep it nightly, but Chappelle only has about 30 episodes available. This can’t be “stripped” (meaning shown 5 days a week) because you’d burn through it in a month. Hence, this is the type of show that you put on Saturday nights, after the news and Mad TV. When no one’s watching. Plus, it’ll be cut for syndication (all syndicated episodes are trimmed about 2 mins to make room for commercials) and edited for content.

I’m not saying that I want crap shows to last just for us to have syndicated shows (this actually happens a lot, especially when a studio is trying to recoup their money). I am saying, however, that we need to find alternative show sources. Maybe go back to the 80’s concept of 1st-run syndication. This is when you take a show that has never been on a network before, and you just put it on a crap station like a former UPN affiliate during a saturday afternoon. Small Wonder, Hercules, Too Close For Comfort, Mama’s Family, Xena and Baywatch were all successful in first-run syndi. Also, game shows, like Jeopardy & “The Wheel” are considered 1st-run syndi. I know that “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” is adopting the concept this summer, but it’s also simulcast on TBS, so it really doesn’t count.

If we don’t act now, what will our fat children watch on the weekends, as they resist our pleas for them to go out and play? What about the kids?!

12th Apr2007

Top Design, Style Network, MySpace, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and Soulmate iPod

by Will

“Tonight, my heart is smiling. And it is an eternal smile.”

I really just want to post enough to push all of my neurotic posts to the archives. NOT the best impression to give a person when they randomly google you. I’m sort of scattered right now, but I know I haven’t posted in ages, so let’s go the stream-of-consciousness route:

-I’ve really been into Top Design. And I never thought I’d like that show. That’s a lie; I’ve actually wanted to be an interior decorator for a few years now (truths!). Anyway, next thing I knew, I was knee-deep in some Todd Oldham. Speaking of Todd, he’s too touchy-feely. I get that he wants to be supportive and all, and I’d hate to think I’ve become used to the Cowell-Ramsay-Trump model of reality show “coaching”. Todd’s just too…gooey, and he gets under my skin. Plus, has anybody noticed the latest trend in reality shows: The “married” gay guy? I’m talking about the guy who will NOT STOP talking about his wife and daughter, to the point that even the gay judge can’t help but crack a smirk.

-I’m also really into Work Out again. Zen has got to be the cutest personal trainer ever! You guys can have your L-Word. My show has real lesbians! Man, I’ve really got to get over lesbians…

-What the Hell is Taquita & Kaui? Is that a new Kool-Aid flavor?

-I think there should be some sort of study about faith and myspace. Not religion, mind you, but the faith that people place in their interactions. Do you really make $250,000 or higher? Is that really Britney Spears’ profile? I don’t care if it’s got pictures of the baby, how do you know it’s really her? Just because her address is http://www.myspace.com/therealbritneyspears does NOT mean that’s her. Huh? No, YOU go to Hell…

-I’m beginning to wonder if I’m the only person watching Style Network. Every time I turn the thing on, they’re playing my favorite shows. Then again, when my favorite shows are How Do I Look, Clean House, Instant Beauty Pageant, and Whose Wedding, that’s not such an impossible feat. I mean, Clean House is on all the fucking time! Don’t get me wrong; I’ve developed a crush on Niecy Nash that I never thought would be possible. She’s like a Classy Ghetto. A grape soda served in a champagne flute. But I swear, it’s on when I go to sleep, and it’s on when I wake up. A network can’t be doing well with just one show on all the time…

-I am back into wrestling like it’s 2000! It’s the throwback stuff that keeps me there. Why did no one tell me Hacksaw Jim Duggan was still around? When the Hell did Tatanka come back? Shawn Michaels has been back awhile. You call up I.R.S. and Papa Shango, and you will have a new member of the RAW fan nation. Speaking of the RAW fan nation, what do I have to do to cut a promo? At first, I thought it was just for D-list celebrities, like Steve-O, but then I noticed they started letting regular joes do it, too. Marcus, make a call for me.

-I don’t like when Inferno and Duels overlap a RR or RW season with the same cast members! The things are shot separately, so for all I know, something down the road may seriously change the dynamic of the group. RW Denver isn’t even over yet, but somehow the entire cast except for Stephen and “Evanescence” made it to Inferno. That’s got to be a kick in the hot tub. How the hell do you choose 80% of a cast and just leave the other 2 hanging? Was it a contractual thing? Does Ty kill Stephen before the season is over? Does he pee on Stephen and have to go to jail…again?

-I can’t tell if Short Circuitz is trying to be In Living Color or All That.

Scrubs is the greatest show on television. I hate myself for finding it so late in the game. Also, because I would be the dork to notice this, I love how Ted’s a cappella group gets better over the course of the series. They’re pretty shitty in the beginning, but they’re pretty kick ass in more recent episodes. Of course I’d notice the a cappella.

-For 3 days, my iPod was my soul mate. She knew exactly what I felt and what I needed to hear. I feel that I am to blame for the brevity of our connection. You see, I was so impressed with her that first day that I took her to bed with me. My last memory of that night was me closing my eyes to the soothing lilt of Biebl’s “Ave Maria”. It was magical, like on Cinemax. Well, the next day, the ‘Pod and I were sympatico. If I was feeling weak, she’d play the theme to Justice League or Metal Gear Solid 2. If it were rainy and quiet, she’d play some Sade. But I was on to her. She just wanted to return to my bed. But I already knew that had been a mistake. Her place was in my glove compartment and nowhere else! As she began to realize that our relationship was not set on “repeat”, she developed a mind of her own, thus ending our rapport.

-I lost my comic collection database due to my HD getting fuxxored (did I get that right, hackers?) It’s like my view on life has changed. Ever since I started this job, I’ve changed my outlook on the free stuff. I might as well be Opie Taylor, as I roll the books up and stick ’em in my back pocket. Hell, I didn’t pay for them. But the sad thing about the database was that was 4 years of my life just…”poof”. Here’s the lesson, kids: back up your shit, and don’t waste your early twenties cataloging comics.

After these messages, we’ll be riiiiight back! *fire hydrant licks dog*

29th Aug2006

Joyce DeWitt Hair, The DCU, Craigslit?, and Jenna Von Oy’s Ass

by Will

“If he dies, he dies.”

So, I have neither the energy nor the internet connection to sit through typing the adventure I teased a few weeks ago. Don’t worry; it’s coming. But for now, I thought I’d go for a stream-of-consciousness post. Jenn calls hers “Cerebrogenesis” or something like that. I give you:

BRAINFARTS

-Why is it that, when people adopt little girls from China, they always get them that “Joyce DeWitt” haircut? I mean, do they come like that? Are there care instructions of which I am unaware?

-Why is the movie called “Idlewild”? Why didn’t they just call it what it really is: “Negron Rouge”?

-Man, was I wrong about “Snakes on a Plane” being the next best thing since Tivo.

-Man, was I wrong about Tivo.

-I’m about to stop watching TV. First, they cancel Blind Date & Elimidate, the shows that taught me to never count out the healing power of a hot tub. Then, they cancel Stargate SG-1, the show which cured me of my Trekitis. And now, they get rid of Horatio Sanz, Chris Parnell, and Maya Rudolph on SNL?!! The SG-1 announcement gets to me the most. This is a show that, for the past 4 years, has always written itself as if it were its last season. The last 4 season finales were meant as “show enders”. Sci-Fi KNEW that! And the one time the show sets itself up to actually extend into another season, Sci-Fi pulls the rug out from under them =(

-Philly is a REALLY dirty city.

-“Celebrity Duets” ain’t half bad, and I have an unhealthy affinity for Little Richard now.

-“MyNetwork TV” is the worst idea I’ve ever heard of. A network that shows nothing but translated Spanish soaps. Starring Morgan Fairchild. Fox isn’t even trying anymore…

-52’s good, but it ain’t THAT good.

-The DCU is like a cafeteria-style meal. You take one of the Big Three (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman) as your entree, and then you can add on sides dishes, like the “funny Justice League”, or the GL Corps, or the Legion. But you MUST have one of the Big Three. Beware: Wonder Woman’s the equivalent of the fish entree that they give to senior citizens. And it’s got bones.

-So, am I supposed to like Ray Nagin, or not? ‘Cause I could really go either way.

-Why is there no “craigslit.org”? The adult entertainment industry is missing out on a virtual goldmine!

-I guess there are enough fucked up people on craigslist.

-The “Alcoholic Sweats” would be a great name for a band.

-I wanna be a wedding singer.

-So, Jennine’s married now. Huh. Well, uh…if you’re still reading this thing, “Congrats!”

-Next person who announces an engagement gets a kidney punch.

-Destination wedding, my ass! I need witnesses!

-Professor Oglivee marries Mo’nique in “The Parkers” series finale?

-Man, Jenna Von Oy had a phat ass!

-Of course, I’d watch the black show for the white girl…

-Shit, I’ve gotta wake up in 4 hrs!

14th Aug2006

Fenwick Island FTW!

by Will

“It’s all fun and games until somebody gets the HIV.”

Too sleepy to blog, but I thought I’d give ya a teaser of what’s to come (’cause I’ve been SO great at following up on these teases in the past; oh well…)

Next time on williambrucewest.com:

“Dude, there’s NO proof that I gave you a virus!”

“Oh, by ‘fruity beverage’, you meant alcohol? I thought we were talking about smoothies!”

“Jackie Joyner-Kersey!”

“Muhlissa! Ring-a-ding-ding! Hickory, dickory dock!”

“‘Laguna Beach’, it’s over! So, why don’t you guys go back inside, suck each others’ dicks and go to sleep?”

“I don’t know, Officer, but it wasn’t THIS White car.”

“Get out, you fuckin’ faggot, and take your Mr. Rogers-lookin’ friend with ya!”

“White Power!”

“What you wearin’, girl? I bet you got on a headset, don’t you?”

“Underwater Ninja!”

All this and MORE, next time, on williambrucewest.com!

18th Oct2005

Tai Shan, Ruthie Camden, Lost vs X-Files, and Mark Makki

by Will

“But they need to be inspired. And let’s face it, “Superman”…The last time you really inspired anyone–was when you were dead.”

Time for a Random Thought post.

1) How you gonna name a panda “Tai Shan”?!! Tomorrow, they’re gonna announce that its last name is “Jenkins”. I mean, I know that the thing is, phenotypically, half-black, but…

2) I’ve finally had my “old perv” moment. For some people, this came with the arrival of Britney. For others, it was Lindsay or Hillary. Some of us are still pondering the Amanda Bynes quandry, but mine is even worse. I can’t watch “7th Heaven” anymore. Ruthie Camden…I mean, I’ve watched her grow up, but just overnight…wow. And, on that note, am I the only one who realizes Ruthie’s Jewish? I mean, are they ever gonna tackle that issue? Does Rev. Camden have a few skeletons in his closet? She looks NOTHING like the rest of the family, and they’ve been dragging her to church all these years when she really wanted to be in synagogue…

3) “Veronica Mars” has some of the BEST dialogue on television, and I could live the rest of my life only watching “One Tree Hill”. But it is gonna MAJORLY suck for Chad Michael Murray and Sophia Bush when they have to keep filming those relationship scenes.

4) “Lost” is taking the world by storm. It’s like a cult, and I have never known a show to encourage so much audience participation and attention. I feel like I’ve been “Left Behind” or something. I missed that bandwagon just like I missed the first wave of “Harry Potter”. It’s too late for me now. Y’all send me some letters. But I really feel the creators of that show have painted themselves into a corner. The show has built up so much hype, the creators will be incapable of providing a suitable, acceptable conclusion to the tale. They have 2 options: A) they start following the theories of the fans, and farm some ideas there, or B) they try to pull something out of their asses, hoping to appease most of the fanbase. But I see an “X-Files” here. The longer you drag out the mystery, the less people care. Remember how strong “X-Files” started? Remember how it limped across the finish line? Prepare for Round 2 of that.

5) The Special Edition DVDs of the Batman franchise came out today. I, along with most of the world, HATE the Schumacher movies, but I’ve gotta tell ya that I’m a sucker for a commentary track. As much as I hate to admit it, I think I’m gonna have to drop the $50 on the box set. C’mon, it’s worth it for the 2 Burton commentaries alone!

6) Lots of MD drama right now. Mark Makki, this kid I went to middle school with, is the main suspect in the murder of his own mother. Apparently, they kept fighting over his choice of girlfriend, who I also went to school with. Now, there are several questions in my mind: How did Makki EVER get a girl like Aramis? Oh yeah, drugs. How has Makki been with Aramis for 5 years? Oh yeah, drugs. Why would Makki kill his mom over Aramis? Oh yeah, drugs. Sure, she was hot when we were 14, but now she is BUSTED. Crack is a terrible thing, kids. But it’s been hilarious reading the Montgomery County Blog, as people keep posting their opinions on the matter. My fave, “Aramis is a junkie and her father’s a junkie, too.” Turns out her dad even punched out the photographer that took their picture outside of the courthouse. But head over to Washingtonpost.com and seach for “mark makki”. There’s a picture of BUSTED Aramis and dad exiting the courthouse. Did he do it? Who knows, but it’s becoming an Iranian community vs. MoCo PD matter. Farrakhan or Sharpton should be entering the picture any day now.

7) It’s taken me 8 yrs to realize this, but Lippart was right; every episode of “Stargate:SG-1” IS the same.

Anydangways, that’s all for now. Maybe I’ll be more creative tomorrow…

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