Sunday, July 24, 2005

I Make Like the Networks

Tomorrow I leave for two weeks of vacation in Northern California. Posting will be limited. I probably won't get much TV watched; however, I will get to see some of my favorite people on the planet.

After I return, I will post on:
  • Six Feet Under: Why Does It Make Me Feel Better to Watch Other People in Pain?
  • The Daily Show: Jon Stewart, Master Interviewer
  • Nip/Tuck: Are You Piddling Yourself in Anticipation? and Who's the Carver?
  • 30 Days: Morgan Spurlock Ruins Other People's Health for Our Entertainment and Education
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Even Couch Potatoes Read and The TV Is My Horcrux
  • My Favorite Commercials: The Subtle Artistry of the Applebee's Song Parody

I hope you feel enticed to come back.

Friday, July 22, 2005

I Won't Hate On It

Hey, UPN. I hear you have this great new sitcom called Everybody Hates Chris. The word-of-mouth on it is good. If you'd like, you can send me a copy of the pilot to preview and I'll write a Postcard about it.

I'm sure my reader, er, readers would love the scoop.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Paula Marshall's Rack . . .

Plays a starring role in Michael Ausiello's first entry from the Press Tour Diaries. Check it out: Details from CBS's day at the Television Critics Association press tour, including an escapee from Madame Tussaud's (let's just say that I doubt Mr. Ausiello will be getting any exclusive scoop from Kimberley Elise's next movie); Alyson Hannigan's hair extensions; Tyra Banks's big faux pas; and a sip-by-sip of Ausiello's Snapple addiction.

At Least It Wasn't CSI . . .

NBC cancelled Medical Investigation. I'm glad. I don't want to be "entertained" by good-looking doctors trying to discover why people are deathly ill or dying.

Recent personal experience taught me that it's not entertaining at all. Wasteland Fan's partner was rushed to the ER this weekend, initially complaining of a headache and blurred vision and, eventually, acting incoherent, being unable to move, and giving me a mighty scare. Frankly, I thought death, or at least severe disability, from a stroke would be the likely result.

After several hours of testing, prodding, and poking -- the doctor kept telling me, "I have no idea; I'm perplexed" -- a spinal tap revealed that the culprit was viral encephalitis. Recovery is coming along nicely, but I don't think I'll ever again view a medical procedural with the same detached sense of escapist entertainment.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Best Show I'm Not Watching Is . . .

The 4400. I missed the two-hour premier back in June and ever since, I've been unable to catch up. I guess I'll watch it on DVD when it's released. In the meantime, every Sunday I'm bummed that I'm not watching it.

What about you? What show aren't you watching that you really wish you were or that you've heard so many good things about that you're sad or ashamed you've never given it a chance? Leave your vote in the comment section.

Next up: Locusts and A Blood Red Moon

Following up on yesterday's post:

This show must be the third or so sign of the apolcalypse: a reality show about a bunch of "celebrity" "strangers" living together as well as "documenting" their efforts to make a horror movie. The "celebrities"? Former reality TV "stars"!!

It's psuedocelebreality.

The celebreality monster has come full circle. I can only hope it will commence biting itself in the ass.

Kill Reality? Whatever. Put me out of my misery.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


What's with the "celebreality" phenomenon? Do we really need to suffer along with group of D list celebrities trying to lose a few extra pounds (or a few dozen extra pounds) or watch a hodge-podge of has-beens skinny dipping, drinking, yelling at each other, sleeping together, and working to complete totally bogus "assignments" in their psychedelically appointed surreal "home"? Or, for that matter, who needs a series of poorly edited home videos to prove that Britney Spears is as skanky as we suspected and that her man-ho husband is as vacuous and as in dire need of a bath as he appears in the tabloids? Even Venus and Serena have decided to jump on the bandwagon (rev up those TiVos now, folks). For real!

Granted, in amongst Gastineau Girls, Surreal Life, the Anna Nicole Show, and Celebrity Fit Club, you can stumble on a few passingly interesting and entertaining shows. The Osbournes first season, for instance, was not the high watermark of cable television, but it was fun. The Simple Life, finding Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie living on a rural Arkansas farm, and its subsequent seasons of road tripping and interning were mildly amusing. (And who doesn't realize that Nicole is the true driver of that Winnebago? She's funny. Paris is wooden. Nicole is brazen and, sometimes, even witty. Paris is pouty and comes off genuinely stupid. Apparently, Paris doesn't get this, though. She seems to think she's the star of the show and it can go on without Nicole, who "knows what she did" to Paris to warrant being dumped from the show -- reportedly Nicole showed Paris's famed sex tape to friends at a party. The latest reports now indicate that Paris and Nicole may have patched things up enough to ride the Simple Life express one more time. "Whew," says Wasteland Fan, with tongue firmly in cheek.)

Despite these and a couple of other examples of not wholly wretch-inducing celebreality, one recent entrant has to be reason enough to ban all variants of the genre from this point forward. Being Bobby Brown introduces us to the day-to-day lives of Bobby, Whitney, Bobbi Kristina, and a gaggle of other hangers on, children from "previous relationships," and Bobby's flatulent father "Pops." Really, who hasn't found herself lounging on the couch on a hot summer evening and thinking, "God, I wonder what it's like to be Bobby Brown?"

You haven't?


Come to think of it, neither have I, nor has anyone I know. In fact, I had been perfectly content to wipe my mind clean of Mr. Tenderoni, sparing a short blurb or two on an entertainment website reporting that he's taking another trip to the pokey. I don't know who convinced Bobby Brown that documenting his day-to-day life was a net positive undertaking for society, but there's a special ring in hell for them. Ah, but it's his prerogative, no doubt.

To make matters worse, we have to suffer through watching Whitney Houston alternately swearing at, bitch slapping, and fawning over Bobby, frequently as poor Bobbi Kristina looks on. Before this, a fan of her (early) music could separate appreciation of it from the reports of Whitney's erratic behavior and trips to rehab. Now it's all just one big mess and the magic of denial just won't cut through the images that Bravo TV has so unnecessarily seared on my brain.

To quote Aunt Sassy, "Note to self: I don't need to see that!"

(By the way, despite what some critics say, I love the whole send up of the celebreality phenomenon that is HBO's The Comeback.)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Michael Ausiello, Your Ass Must Be Chapped

I want to put a plug in for my favorite weekly TV column, Ask Ausiello, written by TV Guide reporter Michael Ausiello. Well . . . it deals with TV some of the time. Then, sometimes, it's about acronym contests, smurfs, diet raspberry snapple iced tea, alternating obsessions with Mariska Hargitay and Keri Russel, and Mr. Ausiello's cuteness and coolness factors.

Nonetheless, it's witty, fun, and well worth your reading every Wednesday.

(NOTE: Of course, the timing of this post is a bit unfortunate, because Ask Ausiello is going on hiatus for two weeks while Mr. Ausiello covers the annual television press tour. But, never fear, in the absence of AA for two weeks, check out Ausiello's Press Tour Diaries on TV Guide Online over the next couple of weeks. If they're anything like last year's, it'll be well worth your read. Hilarious.)

Nomination Abomination

The Emmy nominations were announced today. (For the official press releast from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences click here.) I swear, I will never understand the voters' continuing love affair with "Will & Grace." It's well past its prime. W&G relies on stunt guest stars ad nauseum. The characters increasingly have become caricatures of themselves.

Contrast this with the brilliant, and perenially ignored, "Gilmore Girls." Is there smarter, more engaging dialogue, story, and acting on TV? If so, I haven't seen it. Yet, Lauren Graham walks away empty-handed again this year. I understand that GG is on The WB and that it's not a traditional comedy, but have the voters just not bothered to watch? Emmy voters, you are called out on this one: it's a travesty.

Now, I understand there's a bit of a disconnect here in my rant, because W&G's Debra Messing wasn't nominated either, so it's not like the lamentably over-nominated W&G kept Ms. Graham from claiming a spot among the elect. That distinction belongs to . . .

The other nomination champion: Desperate Housewives. Three of the housewives (Terri Hatcher, Macia Cross, and Felicity Huffman) scored noms in the Lead Actress in a Comedy Series category. Now, I loves me my housewives, so I'm not about to bitch about this. In fact, I was saddened that the voters dissed Nicolette Sheridan in the supporting category and I'm not at all sure that Eva Longoria didn't deserve to be included among the nominees as much as, if not more than, her co-stars.

The upshot is, I understand it was a tough year for everyone to break into the leading actress category for the comedies; nevertheless, the complete absence of a single nomination for GG is an abomination.

Enabling an Addiction

I like television. A lot. In fact, I probably display signs of addiction. So, I decided to find another hobby to enable that addiction. This blog will do the trick.

I'll post here about TV that I like, TV that I hate, TV news, and all things TV. (One caveat: I probably won't do any serious posting about TV technology. I'm basically a Luddite and the technology bores me.)

I hope you'll enjoy my Postcards from the Vast Wasteland.