Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Mon 3 Nov 2008 11:02 pm   //   Posted in: In the news, Media, TV

Channel Z

“All static, all day, forever!” – Channel Z by The B-52’s

This election season, I picked up an odd habit. At the gym in the mornings, I’ve started watching Fox & Friends. I’m totally obsessed with this show. I know, weird.

Fox & Friends is beamed from a newsroom in another galaxy where everybody is batshit, spit-flying, crazypants. There is an election happening in this parallel universe, but it bears no resemblance to any election happening on planet Earth. For one thing, there only seems to be one candidate.

This candidate, Fox & Friends tells us, is a closet socialist, a terrorist sympathizer and a con artist. His head is so clouded by messianic ambition that he spins outrageous lies about his own tax plan. An endless loop of talking heads appears via satellite every morning to denounce him as a conniving snake. But alas, everyone agrees this candidate is predestined to win, thanks to the all-powerful and all-biased mainstream media. His opponent is practically irrelevant, seldom mentioned, never pictured.

Occasionally, the Fox & Friends storyline drifts from this villainous character to the world’s only other news story – The War. In this war, proud generals strut through hallways, helicopters fly low over sand-hued cityscapes, and important men shake hands. A well-oiled defense machine hums with purposeful confidence. It is a great war. May it never end.

I have been trying to psychoanalyze why I find Fox & Friends such compelling television. For one thing, it is broadcast live and has shockingly sloppy production, so watching for goofs is part of the fun. It also stokes my ego when I realize I know more about the news than a professional news anchor. But those are superficial satisfactions. Bottom line, I think it helps me exercise better. As I watch this show on the elliptical or the treadmill, I am thinking: I have to be faster, smarter, stronger and better than the schlubs who take Fox & Friends seriously. I owe that to my country.

So thank you Steve, Brian, Gretchen, and friends for helping me stay fit!

Below, please enjoy some Fox & Friends video from this morning’s show – a conversation about the rich and the poor that practically could have been written by Joseph Heller.


Thu 25 Sep 2008 9:42 am   //   Posted in: Movies, New York is different, TV

Life on a sound stage

I’ve been trying to make sense of the sudden increase in location shoots going on around the city. Gossip Girl has been taping all over Brooklyn in the last month or so; they were shooting on Prospect Avenue in my neighborhood Tuesday night.

Generally, film and TV productions cause minor disruptions. They will take over all the street parking on a block, set up a bunch of trucks with diesel generators, and spread heaps of cables and equipment all over the sidewalk. Sometimes they’ll close a restaurant or a coffee shop for the day. And rarely, for the biggest movies, they’ll block a sidewalk or a road entirely. I think most New Yorkers get such a kick out of seeing our city fictionalized in movies and on TV that we accept these small inconveniences.

The Times has a story today explaining why there are so many shoots going on right now: Tax credits.

Sun 14 Sep 2008 10:01 am   //   Posted in: Travel, TV, Videos

Space Disk: Totally cancelled

Proof that we still haven’t exhausted the humor potential of the Unisphere:

(More from SNL… Of course you’ve already seen Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, right?)

Thu 28 Aug 2008 7:30 am   //   Posted in: TV, Typography

Mad Men: Back to the Futura

I enjoy the show “Mad Men” (though I’ve missed the last few episodes, so no spoilers please). One thing that’s intriguing about the show is its attention to detail, with sets meticulously reconstructed to resemble offices and homes in 1960s New York. Every hair is in place.

But Andrew Hearst on the Panopticist blog has noticed that the wheels fall off during the ending credits – which are set in Arial! He does a better job than I can explaining why this is a crime against art:

“This is obviously a small detail. But Mad Men is a show that matches small details as well as any series that’s ever been on the air. Why does such a pitch-perfect show end with such a jarring anachronism?”

Come to think of it, the ending credits of most good shows are usually boring and slap-dash. I wonder why?

Wed 30 Jul 2008 8:00 am   //   Posted in: Music, TV, Videos

Ben Lee TV

I dig this 1990s-inspired music video for Ben Lee’s “American Television”:

Fri 13 Jun 2008 9:21 pm   //   Posted in: In the news, Media, TV

What I learned from Tim Russert

Tim Russert could ask uncomfortable questions without losing his subjects’ respect or making his viewers squeamish. That’s because he knew what he was talking about. It’s a good lesson for any journalist. Get well informed before you open your mouth to challenge and criticize.

Thu 15 May 2008 10:00 am   //   Posted in: Brooklyn, TV

Real World: Gowanus?

From an MTV press release:

“Riding high on the successful launch of an accelerated, action packed 13-week episode cycle with more favorite Real World drama packed into 1-hour episodes, MTV has greenlit the hit reality series for a 21st season. Production will move from the west coast to the east coast as Bunim-Murray Productions begins shooting in Brooklyn, NY this summer. Continuing with the new format of expanding the episodes to one-hour, the network has ordered 12 episodes of ‘The Real World: Brooklyn‘ which is scheduled to premiere in Q1 2009.”

Unclear at this time where in Brooklyn the show will take place; some blogs are guessing Carroll Gardens or Williamsburg. If I were in charge, I’d put it in Dumbo.

Also: The 21st season! The Real World first aired in 1992. Wow, I feel old.