Archive for the 'Television' Category

30
Oct
08

Back to you in the studio.

Dear television humanoids, please stop showing me weather reports all the time. For the love of all that is holy please stop! Neither I nor anyone else living in the 21st century has any use for them. Also, I have no idea what those little  arrows and lines on the map really mean. Is that the direction the weather is moving in? Isn’t weather all around us all the time? Sort of like the Unitarian definition of God?

Weather used to play a huge part in the lives of everyday people. It dictated what you could do, and when you could do it. With little chance of escaping it. Man was subject to patterns of nature he couldn’t quite understand. Over time we have tried to develop new ways of understanding weather systems and their causes. Doppler radar and incredibly complex computer models have given us small advances in our knowledge of these phenomena. But a modern person has no use for this information.

What the hell does any of this mean?

We live in houses, drive cars, wear proper clothing and work in climate controlled office buildings. A normal person does not spend hours a day outside exposed to the elements. That only happens if something has gone awry. Besides, chances are they won’t remember what the weather man said this morning anyway. They were too busy trying to wash the vomits stains out of their dress socks. Big promotion coming up!

Unless it’s a huge hurricane of shit heading my way it won’t affect my life in any real way. And I think such an event would warrant a small segment of its own. Somewhere between the feel-good story of a kitten being rescued from a well and the sports results. I don’t need to know the possible weather four days from now. For most of us simply looking out the window before deciding for or against wearing a jacket should suffice.

What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow? More or less like yesterday. The earth won’t suddenly start spinning backwards on its own axis. It’s not going to start raining upwards. Hot won’t be cold. And November is not going to be a pleasantly sunny month. Meteorology is mostly just guesswork in front of a green screen. Suit up and let’s roll.

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03
Dec
06

Dave Foley + Craig Ferguson = Sploodge!

I’ve been a huge fan of Dave Foley ever since NewsRadio. The little known, underappreciated, incredible sitcom that deserves cult status. Since it didn’t get appreciated enough when it was on. Who was on the show a part from Dave you ask? Well how about Stephen Root, Maura Tierney and Phil Hartman? And yeah, Andy Dick. But that was before he fully evolved into his grating, annoying self. I promise.

Another comedian I have a form of mancrush on is Craig Ferguson. Best known for his role as Drew Carey’s boss Mr. Wick on The Drew Carey Show. This ofcourse only showed of a small part of his range. Don’t believe me? Check out The Big Tease and Saving Grace, both awesomely funny movies. In a very british sort of way. When I heard he’d be the new host for The Late Late Show I had my doubts. Sure he’d be better than Craig Kilborn. The man that gets handed awesome show after awesome show and consistently underwhelms on every front. A sidenote; many people don’t seem to know that Kilborn was the original host for The Daily Show, which he managed to drain the funny out of. Thankfully Jon Stewart steered that ship into the sun when Kilborn left for the future failure that was his version of The Late Late Show.

Back to the subject. Ferguson as the new host of The Late Late Show seemed to be a strange fit. I had never seen any of Ferguson’s standup so I had no idea of the man’s incredible ability to improvise himself into any situation and out of any tight spot. Add his comedic timing and weird impersonations in the short skits he does and you’ve got the funniest late night talk show ever. Maybe not the classiest, but who the hell cares?

Oh yeah, I wanted to point you towards this video.

Dave and Craig in an “interview”.

01
Dec
06

This week in TV.

I’m a huge TV person. Not so much that I actually follow the shows on TV. Also I’m not a huge fatass, well maybe I’m a little chubby arond the belly… Anyway. I download alot of shows. I pay my license fee damnit (a cost every swede with a TV has) and I see it as a free pass for downloading every show that’s aired on Swedish TV, regardless of country of origin. This is ofcourse more a philosophic approach than a legal one, as it’s probably illegal.

Episodes are normally held back for months from their American airings before they get broadcast here in Sweden. This is ofcourse for various different reasons. The major one seems to be the inefficient distribution deals and set-ups various channels and production companies have with their overseas partners. As well as the buyers wanting to get the shows for a cheaper cost. Hell, who’s going to do anything about it? It’s not like the viewers can get their content from somewhere else right? Turns out they can. From a little thing called the Internet.

Sometimes shows are captured and released by various groups on the internet well before they air on the west coast, which is 3 hours behind the east coast, obviously. How is it that a relatively small network of nerds with home electronics can do something major companies seem unwilling or unable to do? Sure they save a little money in the short term by withholding content for periods of time, but in the long run people will find other avenues of distribution. This ofcourse doesn’t mean that the companies have to lose money. The could set up alternative revenue streams. So far this hasn’t happened.

Not in any big way. Sure iTunes and Google Video are offering downloads of shows and other video content. But the pricing is as with the music way too high. 99 cents per song is in my view about double of what the sweet spot would be. A downloaded album shouldn’t cost more than 1/3 of any full price CD. What would be the point if I have to pay 2/3 of full price and then not get something I can actually misplace? Multiply this pricing problem a couple of times and you have the TV section. With prices for a new season ranging from somewhere around $34.99 to $39.99 that’s about twice of what I’m willing to pay.

And thus ends this episode of Ranting Theatre. Tune in next week when I take on mashed potatoes.