Archive for the 'tv' Category

David Letterman Got Married

Wow: David Let­ter­man got mar­ried!

U2 on Letterman, $4 Album Download

U2 kicked-off their his­toric 5-night res­i­den­cy on David Letterman’s Late Show last night, with a per­for­mance of Breathe. They even par­tic­i­pat­ed in a lit­tle sketch, where Dave had them out­side on 53rd Street, shov­el­ing snow.

The res­i­den­cy is to cel­e­brate the release this week of their twelfth stu­dio record, No Line On The Hori­zon. And it just so hap­pens that you can grab a copy of it in non-DRM MP3 for­mat for $4 from Ama­zon. I don’t reg­u­lar­ly lis­ten to U2 much any more, but this is a great thing for a major-label artist to do, and I’m more than hap­py to give it a few lis­tens for that price and for­mat.

UPDATE 3/5: Night two, the boys played Mag­nif­i­cent, which sounds like a clas­sic U2 song. Bono needs to treat his voice with more care, though.

Gondry’s Flight of the Conchords

The first four episodes of sea­son two of Flight of the Con­chords were unin­spired and for­get­table, but that all changed with episode five. Direct­ed by Michel Gondry, the Con­chords return to the top with two great songs – the Sausage­fest anthem Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor, and an ode to Jemaine’s ex-girl­friends titled Car­ol Brown.

I’m just catch­ing up on this sea­son now, but episode six has Kris­ten Wiig from SNL… omgz!

Battlestar Galactica, Season 4

BSG-season04

A lot of geeks are going to be parked in front of the TV tonight, (even more than usu­al on a Fri­day night), for the sea­son pre­miere of Bat­tlestar Galac­ti­ca. Go ahead and laugh, but over the course of its 3-plus sea­sons, BSG has become one of the more cul­tur­al­ly impor­tant shows on TV:

Bat­tlestar Galac­ti­ca is one of the more beguil­ing series on tele­vi­sion, an action-adven­ture dra­ma that trav­els through time and space to explore moral­i­ty, pol­i­tics and meta­physics.

Con­tin­ue read­ing ‘Bat­tlestar Galac­ti­ca, Sea­son 4’

Letterman Makes Deal With Striking Writers

Break­ing news from late-night TV land:

Most of the late-night com­e­dy shows are going back on the air Jan­u­ary 2, how­ev­er CBS will be the only one with writ­ers. I still can’t fath­om how John Stew­art and Stephen Col­bert are going to cope with­out their writ­ing staff – my fear is that both shows will be slight­ly more awk­ward ver­sions of Char­lie Rose, (if that’s pos­si­ble), with bet­ter pro­duc­tion val­ues.

Kudos to Dave’s nego­tia­tors, and let’s hope that the big­ger com­pa­nies step for­ward and offer to work out some­thing rea­son­able as well.

People David LettermanUPDATE: Dave kept the beard! This pho­to is from the tap­ing of his Jan­u­ary 2 show.

Letterman and the WGA Strike

There were rumors that Jon Stew­art was going to pay his writ­ers through the WGA strike, which turned out to be false. While I’m sure that the Dai­ly Show host sym­pa­thizes, he doesn’t have Let­ter­man mon­ey.

Dave is already los­ing an esti­mat­ed $600k a week in salary, and because he owns the Late Show, CBS has stopped pay­ing his pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny, World­wide Pants. What’s inter­est­ing is that while Dave is shelling out for employ­ees of Pants, much of the show’s tech­ni­cal staff are CBS employ­ees, accord­ing to one blog:

These employ­ees (at least in Los Ange­les) have been on the street since day 1 of the strike. CBS does not want to pay them. They’re like the bas­tard child nobody wants to claim.

So, this thing goes on. Let­ter­man is doing the right thing by his writ­ers and staff – hope­ful­ly this thing will get resolved soon. In the mean­time, the Late Show writ­ers have a strike blog, and Ze Frank has returned to the real­ly small screen to offer his thoughts: strike day, and strike #2.

TiVo HD and Copy Protection

Why do I pay money for this?I am an avid hock­ey fan, since I was a kid grow­ing up in Buf­fa­lo. I love watch­ing the game, and I espe­cial­ly love watch­ing my home­town team, the Sabres. For the past 2 years, I’ve forked over $150 to sub­scribe to the NHL Cen­ter Ice cable pack­age, so that I can watch every game of the sea­son. With our TiVo, I can record each game, and watch it when­ev­er I have time.

That is, I did, until this sea­son start­ed. We recent­ly upgrad­ed our TiVo unit from an old Direc­Ti­Vo, to the new Series 3 TiVo HD, which appar­ent­ly imple­ments unnat­u­ral­ly strict copy pro­tec­tion on pre­mi­um con­tent. Because the new unit uti­lizes Cable­Cards, TiVo has dif­fer­ent rules for these TiVos as com­pared to Series 2 units, accord­ing to their sup­port page:

Since the Series3 and TiVo HD are DCR devices, in addi­tion to the Macro­vi­sion rules for ana­log con­tent, they must also com­ply with the con­tent pro­tec­tion poli­cies for Dig­i­tal Cable con­tent.

What this means is that NHL Cen­ter Ice con­tent is copy pro­tect­ed, and will be delet­ed with­in hours of the game’s com­ple­tion. Gone. Irre­triev­able.

Con­tin­ue read­ing ‘TiVo HD and Copy Pro­tec­tion’

30 Rock

30rock_pre2.jpgNBC’s 30 Rock will be on in the fall
Star­ring Tina Fey, Tra­cy Mor­gan, Rachel Dratch, & Alec Bald­win. It could be the fun­ni­est thing on NBC next year, (sor­ry Scrubs), if not for this hor­ri­ble pro­mo­tion­al copy:

Wel­come to the set of The Girly Show, a fic­tion­al tele­vi­sion show that serves as the back­drop to Tina Fey’s new work­place com­e­dy. Liz Lemon (Fey) is The Girly Show’s head writer and is being pushed to the edge of rea­son by the show’s two stars and a demand­ing net­work hon­cho. In order for Liz to keep her job, and her san­i­ty, she has to bal­ance the egos, the man­dates and the neu­roses while main­tain­ing The Girly Show laughs. It won’t be easy! In this bold, star-stud­ded com­e­dy, any­thing can hap­pen!

Nev­er­mind that — check out the video clip, and you’ll get a bet­ter idea. [via]

Letterman’s Politics

I still love Dave… he stood up to Bill O’Reil­ly on his pro­gram this week, (video here). There were two main points of con­tention… first, O’Reilly’s imag­ined “War on Christ­mas”, and then his calous attacks on Cindy Shee­han. Dave wasn’t as thought­ful or inteligent-sound­ing as he can be on polit­i­cal top­ics, but I love the way he sums up O’Reil­ly:

Let­ter­man: “I’m not smart enough to debate you point to point on this, but I have the feel­ing, I have the feel­ing about 60 per­cent of what you say is crap.” (empha­sis added)

Indeed. Oh, and get your Tshirts.

Mr. Sulu is gay?

George Takei Declares His Homo­sex­u­al­i­ty… lest you think this is mere­ly a pub­lic­i­ty stunt to gen­er­ate buzz for the play he is cur­rent­ly star­ring in, there is also this:

The cur­rent social and polit­i­cal cli­mate also moti­vat­ed Takei’s dis­clo­sure, he said.
 
“The world has changed from when I was a young teen feel­ing ashamed for being gay,” he said. “The issue of gay mar­riage is now a polit­i­cal issue. That would have been unthink­able when I was young.”

Full-speed ahead, Cap­tain.

The Poisoning of BitTorrent

O’Reilly Radar is report­ing that HBO is “poi­son­ing” Bit­Tor­rent down­loads of their hour-long dra­ma Rome:

HBO is now obstruct­ing the down­loads offered by oth­er peo­ple. Bit­Tor­rent down­loads are peer-to-peer, but the peers are intro­duced to each oth­er by a track­er (“you’re look­ing for Rome Sea­son 1 Episode 2, talk to 127.0.0.1”). HBO runs peers that tell the track­er they have all the chunks of the show, but then send garbage data when a down­loader requests a chunk. The down­load­ing client can detect that it’s garbage and will try anoth­er peer for the chunk, but the end result is that it takes much much longer to down­load shows.

I would care more if I didn’t have TiVo.

Everybody Hates Chris

Some­how our TiVO missed the first episode, but thank­ful­ly Google is host­ing it for us:

Inspired by his child­hood expe­ri­ences, come­di­an Chris Rock nar­rates the hilar­i­ous, touch­ing sto­ry of a teenag­er grow­ing up as the eldest of three chil­dren in Brook­lyn, New York, dur­ing the ear­ly 1980’s. Uproot­ed to a new neigh­bor­hood and bused into a pre­dom­i­nant­ly white mid­dle school two hours away by his strict, hard-work­ing par­ents, Chris (Tyler James Williams) strug­gles to find his place while keep­ing his sib­lings in line at home and sur­mount­ing the chal­lenges of junior high. This respon­si­ble resilient ado­les­cent brings a dis­tinct, fun­ny spin to his every­day tri­als and trau­mas in UPN’s new sin­gle-cam­era com­e­dy EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS. Thurs­days on UPN (8pm EST/PST).

Poor Man’s TiVo: BitTorrent & RSS

I know a lot of you cats have TiVo, but I thought I’d share my favorite method of down­load­ing our favorite TV shows, sans TiVo…

Bit­Tor­rent is awe­some, as every­one knows… but, I hate hav­ing to con­tin­u­ous­ly scan the track­er sites for the shows I want, and then, I hate wait­ing for them to down­load. Wouldn’t it be great if you could tell your Bit­Tor­rent client what shows you want, and it would down­load them auto­mat­i­cal­ly?

Why, yes. That is the point of my post.

By using the java client Azureus, in com­bi­na­tion with its RSS plu­g­in, you can. I’ve been using this for a cou­ple of months, and I couldn’t be hap­pi­er… espe­cial­ly when trav­el­ing. When we flew to Buf­fa­lo last month, I quick­ly grabbed a cou­ple episodes of the Simp­sons and Viva La Bam. Instant air­port enter­tain­ment.

The details are avail­able in this post: How to nev­er miss an episode with Bit­Tor­rent and RSS.

Queer Eye Whores Out

I prob­a­bly shouldn’t admit to this in pub­lic, but Pres­ley & I are watch­ing the sea­son pre­miere of Queer Eye, and I can’t help but won­der­ing, “when did Queer Eye total­ly whore out?”.

Prod­uct place­ments and the like were always a part of this show… but fuck­ing JCPenney? I defy any­one to find a queer who shops at JCPenney. Ready.… go!

The whole rea­son us met­ro­sex­u­als watch this damn show is because of the high­er-end, New York prod­uct place­ments… the nice fur­ni­ture stores, etc. But, I don’t need to see some cheap shit on my tv. I can go to Kohl’s or Wal­Mart.

(go ahead, send me nasty emails…)

Paul is Hosting?

Some­one tell me why Paul Shaf­fer is host­ing Let­ter­man tonight? You’d think they were tap­ing this thing out of somebody’s base­ment. I’m sure there was some kind of expla­na­tion at the top of the show… but I missed it. Did he do a mono­logue?

UPDATE: It appears as if Dave had to run to the hos­pi­tal– for the birth of his first child.

Dave Jr.

I am shocked. Anna points out that David Let­ter­man is going to be a father.

I know it seems as if his cul­tur­al rel­e­vance has com­plete­ly van­ished in the past 7–8 years, but he is the guy who trans­formed Late Night TV. You look at The Dai­ly Show, Conan, Rosie, and even The Man Show, and it’s impos­si­ble to imag­ine them exist­ing with­out Dave, (nev­er-mind that only Conan and Jon Stew­art have even approached Dave’s bril­liance).

And if the announce­ment isn’t rea­son enough to tune in tonight, Simon & Gar­funkel are per­form­ing.

Blur in a blur

blur liveLast week was Blur Week.

We were giv­en tick­ets to see the boys tape a few songs on Last Call w/ Car­son Daly in New York on Wednes­day, and were able to catch them live at Aval­on in Boston on Fri­day night. And the best part was that there were no mishaps this time ‘round.

Car­son Daly is real­ly mis­un­der­stood by music fans– espe­cial­ly those who fan­cy them­selves hip­per-than-thou. Maybe it’s because they blame him for the dom­i­nance of boy bands and Brit­tney in the past few years… or, maybe it is just that they think he’s a mas­sive tool.

I think this is unfair– the guy is doing more with his lit­tle 1:30 am show than most oth­er talk shows… he has ter­rif­ic bands on, many that you won’t see on MTV or Jay Leno, and I think he’s tru­ly a music fan first. I mean — they guy is always play­ing air drums in-between com­mer­cial breaks… I’m there with ya Car­son!

Any­way, Blur. They played an acoustic set of Out of Time and Good Song from their excel­lent new album Think Tank. Make sure to tune in to NBC Fri­day, July 25 after Conan. We’re the two embar­rassed jerks sit­ting in the sec­ond row, with plas­tic-rim eye­glass­es.

Fri­days show was real­ly spe­cial– they played a wide rang­ing set that stretched back more than 10 years, includ­ing favorites For Tomor­row, Girls and Boys, the Uni­ver­sal, and the ever-mosh­ing Song 2.

Damon was in top form, jump­ing around and real­ly singing bet­ter than I’ve ever heard him sing. He doesn’t real­ly play key­boards any­more, which is a minor peeve, but he’s doing his front­man thing well with the help of an elec­tric gui­tar.

At 35 years, post-Goril­laz, he seems to have some­thing more to prove — and 2,000 peo­ple and I were glad for it.

Bruce on Dave… Also, Regis and John McEnroe

I turned on David Let­ter­man wednes­day night, and guess who is emer­gency guest-host­ing? Bruce Willis.

The tru­ly sad thing is that the pro­duc­ers made him talk to Dan Rather about his recent inter­view with Sad­dam Hus­sein. Mr. “Die Hard” hard­ly smiled on cam­era, mum­bled inco­her­ent ques­tions, stared at the desk, and … wait, I’m talk­ing about the Jim­my Kim­mel Show.

It’s always been my dream to do the Bruce Willis show…” — com­ic Bri­an Kiley

How dis­ap­point­ed was this com­ic? You wait all your life to per­form for David Let­ter­man, and Hud­son Hawk is there to greet you. At least he’s inten­tion­al­ly fun­ny.

And while I’m rat­ing talk show hosts, I’m enjoy­ing the new shows of both Dave Chap­pelle, and Bill Maher. I laughed at Ali G, but it’s just not that good. Just like South Park is not that good… sor­ry kids.

mcenroe.jpgUPDATE: OK, thurs­day night, the guest host for Let­ter­man was John McEn­roe!

He did a real­ly good job, and the staff excused Paul Shaf­fer for the night.… and brought in Fred Schnei­der of the B-52s !

The best part was when John sent a cam­era crew back-stage to a ben­e­fit at the Rose­land. It was hilar­i­ous, as the crew caught up with Michael Impe­ri­oli (Christo­pher Molti­san­ti from the Sopra­nos), and Macaulay Culkin…

Next door at Rose­land, a ben­e­fit gig is sched­uled and a lot of the big stars are there. We send a cam­era crew out­side to take a look-see. Expect­ing to be stopped before enter­ing, we thought this would be a “quick and done.” Nope. We made our way in and explored.

Reg­is Philbin is sched­uled to host Fri­day night… I’m going to assume he’ll do a fine job… What KIND of NAME is CODY?!

Curb your Anger

I’ve been enjoy­ing Lar­ry David’s show, Curb Your Enthu­si­asm, late­ly… I hat­ed it’s impro­vised for­mat in the begin­ning, but it seems to me that a) the actors are get­ting more com­fort­able, b) Lar­ry is such a prick and i love it, or c) i just got used to it.

Speak­ing of being a prick, Mena of Move­able Type tells an amus­ing sto­ry about Ben (co-cre­ator, hus­band), and call­ing a preist a “prick”. Time to man­age that anger, turn the frown upside down, yada yada. I need some of that pos­i­tive vibe– I’m such a drag latet­ly.

Remember the Real World New

Remem­ber the Real World New Orleans? I don’t either. I think I remem­ber Melis­sa, the strip­ping alco­holic though. she was fun.

Tanya Harding vs. Amy Fisher

If you’re broke, you can always pitch a ridicu­lous tv show idea to the Fox Net­work. Celebri­ty Box­ing, Who wants to Mar­ry a Mil­lion­aire?, When Ani­mals Attack, Plea­sure Island, Ally McBeal. I can’t believe there is a mar­ket for this crap.

Watching Ellie on my tv

Take Sein­feld, add the visu­al style of 24, and you get Watch­ing Ellie. That damn clock in the bot­tom cor­ner of the screen is point­less– it just makes me ner­vous as Ellie bum­bles her was through her day. scratch that– through her 22 min­utes. The writ­ing isn’t so bad, and the char­ac­ters are all good (with the excep­tion of the blonde eng­lish boyfriend)… I espe­cial­ly liked her build­ing super, played by Peter Stor­mare (one of the nihilists from the Big Lebows­ki).

So, what’s with the real-time stuff? Are we so neu­rot­ic a cul­ture that we find this kind of thing inter­est­ing? One of the rea­sons i like Frasi­er so much, is because of the way they tran­si­tion between scenes. It gives a sec­ond to catch our breath, muse over what­ev­er clever title they give the next scene, and then we see it unfold. Sit­coms are stale, i real­ize this– but Watch­ing Ellie isn’t more than an exper­i­ment. I doubt it will catch on with­out some rethink­ing.

saw the flickerstick video on

saw the flick­er­stick video on VH1 (pro­duced as part of their bands on the run prize).

there is a great animation

there is a great ani­ma­tion for the quiz show ‘You Don’t Know Jack” on its ABC web­site. (PEEWEE!)

Oscars

I can’t say that the Oscars were all that bad… Steve Martin’s put­downs were sharp, wit­ty and deliv­ered with such class– i’m glad to see that that over-caf­feinat­ed dog Bil­ly Crys­tal didn’t decide to do it this year. Next year.… Conan? Chris Rock? Reg­is?