Posts tagged Television

Oh! It’s a Metaphor! I Get Metaphors! [Dollhouse]

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The penultimate episode of the season aired on Friday. “Briar Rose” packed a helluva punch with the reveal of Alpha, Ballard in the Dollhouse and a huge Sleeping Beauty metaphor. But holy crap, where can we go now? Let’s talk!

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Change We Can’t Believe In [The Office]

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Is it just me or has The Office seen a pretty steady decline in hilarity over the course of this season? Sure, there are still laugh-out-loud moments, but they’re not hitting nearly as much as they did before and when I do laugh, it’s not as hard or as long as before. I’m sad. I think that overall I’m just not that pleased with this season. It’s the season of change…or rather how the showrunners are terrified of it. Let’s take a look.

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Reason #341 Why Television and I Broke Up: Roommates

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I know what you’re thinking. Why should I care about a show on ABC Family? Isn’t that place run by a bunch of Mormons or something? Sort of. Yes, it’s owned by Disney, but I think that the network has grown a great deal in recent years with shows like Kyle XY and The Secret Life of the American Teenager (Full disclosure: I’ve never seen either of those shows, or anything else on ABC Family, but they seem alright), the latter actually portraying stuff like teenage pregnancy which is a big step for a Disney owned property aimed at kids / teenagers / young people. I’m surprised they even acknowledged that that stuff happens.

Anyway, I heard about this new show Roommates after hearing that Felicia Day was going to be guest starring on it. After seeing Day in the amazing Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, I figured I’d at least check it out…then I saw this trailer before a movie a few weeks ago and I just can’t do it. Here’s a commercial for the show.

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American Idol Has Nothing on Echo [Dollhouse]

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Another week, another episode of Dollhouse. I’ve been seeing some mixed reviews about this series, but I don’t see what the problem is. I’m digging what’s been laid out for us so far and this episode wasn’t bad either. I don’t think I liked it as much as the previous one, but “Stage Fright” still delivered.

So this time we’ve got Echo as a double personality. She’s a backup singer for pop sensation Raina, but she also wants to protect her from crazed super-fans. Cue the dance numbers. While Echo is doing this, Agent Ballard is stumbling along following the breadcrumbs that the higher-ups at the Dollhouse have left for him to find. More on that momentarily. (more…)

Reason #322 Why TV and I Broke Up: Frank Caliendo

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Here’s the thing. Television and I used to have a really good relationship. Then she got greedy and I felt like she just didn’t care anymore. It was quite a disappointing breakup. We did however share custody on a few programs such as Lost and The Office. I detailed several reasons for the break up over at the now defunct Tubenation, but I’m going to pick it up here as I’ve discovered a few more. Goddamn.

For the past few weeks as the NASCAR Sprint Cup series was coming to a close for the 2008 season, I was rather annoyed to be subjected to these horrible commercials for Dish Network. Now I have no problem with Dish Network. They’re one of the sponsors of Carl Edwards and anyone that likes Carl Edwards is OK with me. Unfortunately, these commercials featured Frank Caliendo. I remember seeing a handful of commercials for a TV show featuring this so-called comedian, but I didn’t care for him then and I certainly don’t care for him now. You can find examples of Frank’s “work” here. (more…)

The Office: What Happened Here?

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So lots of stuff happened in the past two weeks for our Office co-workers. Let’s take a look at some of the major things here though.

So with Holly’s unfortunate transfer, the logical thing to happen would be the return of Toby. Somehow Michael went a full week without notices the guy was back. His reaction to this horrible truth was perfect though. Just a full fledged scream of “NO!” held for as long as the camera could take it. Poor Toby. He was really put through the ringer here. Sure, he went to Costa Rica, but aside from the fact that he wasn’t working there really wasn’t much to be excited about what with his injuries and all. Then he comes back and Ryan and Kelly are making out in the next cube and no one cares about his pictures and Michael and Dwight try and frame him for having an illegal salad in his desk. The guy should take some anger lessons from Andy. Let’s see some rage or at least a backbone out of you, Toby! (more…)

The Office: Please Don’t Break Up My PB&J

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So can we take a minute and talk about last night’s episode of The Office? I really wasn’t impressed with last week’s “Employee Transfer” but this episode was just firing on all cylinders (Did I just make a car reference? Or is that a reference to a gun? I honestly don’t know what it’s a reference to, but I thought it would be applicable here). “Customer Survey” was just great. It touched on the major characters leaving folks like Stanley and Meredith in the background. Even without a strange remark from Creed, the show was still pretty damn good.

Let’s see what we had to work with. The episode started out with Michael trying to put a band-aid on his broken heart by lying to his co-workers. Instead of explaining what happened last week with Holly, he told them that they were engaged. That’s the logical next step, right? Surprisingly, his employees were excited and happy for him. Maybe they all care about him even if it’s just a little bit. Unfortunately for Michael, a call to his mom brought the truth out and that was the last we heard about it. I didn’t like how this thread was just dropped. If the first few episodes of this season has taught me anything, it’s that Michael has indeed found a soul mate in Holly. Let’s hope that they find a way to get back together. (more…)

James Knows DVDs: Prison Break: Season One (2005)

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On the surface, I should hate a show like Prison Break. It’s a ridiculous premise and it’s got the usual over-the-top storylines that FOX is famous for. Somehow, I just got so drawn into this show. The idea might be crazy, but the show does a great job in building and maintaining suspense over several episodes. By the season finale, my knuckles were white and my heart was ready to beat right through my chest.

The aforementioned ridiculous premise starts simple and then gets entirely out of control. After exhausting (just about) every possible aspect of the justice system, Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) gets himself thrown in prison in an effort to save his brother Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) who’s on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. Wait. There’s more. Michael’s firm designed the prison so he had all the plans for the place on the outside. The logical thing to do is to get an elaborate tattoo across his torso so that he could take the map inside with him. He’s developed a finely tuned plan to get his brother out safely. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, the best laid plans of mice and men…OK, I don’t know how the rest of that saying goes. Basically his plan gets fucked up. (more…)

How to Fix Heroes.

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After another mediocre episode this week, I’m ready to just give up on this season altogether. Let’s just call this one a mulligan and start over. And I think I know just want to do to fix all this mess.

Yes, we’ve got a veritable clusterfuck on our hands at the moment. Between the crazy peaks at a horrible future, the ever growing Petrelli / Bennet family, and the flip-flop of most of the characters, it’s just getting out of hand. Let’s fix it. That’ll be my super power. I’ll be the plumber cleaning the drain looking for what’s left of the show to save.

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Did My DVD Watching Break My TV Watching?

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This week saw my regular TV broadcast viewing get a little bit smaller. After a pretty disappointing episode, I threw in the towel with Heroes, a show that I’ve been an avid supporter of since Peter jumped off a building in season one. I also didn’t even bother watching the week’s episode of Fringe after I’ve been pretty mediocre about the series since the beginning. I just don’t care anymore. I’ll spend that hour watching a DVD, maybe even a TV show on DVD.

All is not lost though. I still plan on tuning in to catch Pushing Daisies and Life each week, the only two shows that have managed to cross the line between online viewing and actual initial broadcast viewing. I’ll also be checking in for my regular fix of The Office as well as 30 Rock which premieres this week.

They're trying to figure out why I'm not watchingSo what happened? I’ve only really started watching first run programming on Television recently when I got back into a few things. Up until then it was purely DVD. But after last year’s Writer’s Strike and a looong summer of great DVDs, maybe I’m just a little jaded. My tolerance for Television shows has definitely gotten a lot shorter. I want entertainment and I want it now. It’s bad enough that I have to sit through the commercials when I watch TV, but now I have to wait around as you eventually get to your point (Fringe, I’m looking at you). I just don’t have the patience anymore.

My best guess is that after watching so many complete seasons (and series) on DVD alone has spoiled my viewing of first run shows on Television. Why bother watching an episode a week when I can plow through the entire season in a weekend once I get the DVD? Plus, no commercials or annoying pop ups telling me about some other show I’m not interested in. DVD has replaced my TV shows.

Now, I know that one could argue that with the invention of the DVR, I could probably have a similar experience. I just recently acquired a DVR and I’ll be honest and say that it’s still set to record Heroes and Fringe for the entire season. Will I return to watch them though is the question. I think another would be if I’d be more comfortable watching a show like Fringe if I hadn’t seen any of the episodes before and just picked it up as a blind buy next year.

My TV is not dead though. As I mentioned, there are still a handful of shows that I’m watching on a regular basis and come January, I’ll be ready to check out the return of Lost as well as the premiere of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse. But will those last? Or do I have such high standards for TV now that I won’t be able to hold on to them?

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