Tag Archive for 'tv'

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!

Mad Men, Mad Props

Mad Men is such an enjoy­able show – but, type­face designer Mark Simon­son takes Mad Men’s prop mas­ters to task for their typog­ra­phy sins.

None of these mis­steps occurred to me when watch­ing, so maybe I need to brush up on my his­tory of typography?

Neighborhood Envy, Gossip Girl in Carroll Gardens

I’m no stranger to neighborhood-envy, but it’s nice to hear some directed our way:

Gos­sip Girl Invades Car­roll Gar­dens, Olds Are Befud­dled, Enraged »

I’m going to refer to my neigh­bors as “Smith Street whip­sters (wealthy hip­sters)”, uniron­i­cally and with zero self-awareness, from now on.

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.

Village Academies/Esquire Event

We attended a fundraiser for Lisa’s work last night, hon­or­ing Bill Cosby and oth­ers. It was held in Esquire’s swank Esquire North pent­house on Cen­tral Park North, and the mag­a­zine is also fea­tur­ing Vil­lage Acad­e­mies founder Deb­o­rah Kenny in this month’s issue:

In six years, Kenny’s vision has grown into a trio of char­ter schools under the rubric of Vil­lage Acad­e­mies, located in New York precincts where a mus­cu­lar poverty has thrived for gen­er­a­tions. The num­bers alone tell a com­pelling story. Locally, pass­ing rates for seventh-grade math hover around 30 per­cent. At HVA, the rate is a stun­ning 96 percent.

Cast mem­bers from Gos­sip Girl showed up, and Tyler Hilton played a few songs, (who played Elvis in Walk the Line Johnny Cash movie).

midtown office + loved ones

At least the ladies look good – Matt and I have taken bet­ter pictures.

More pho­tos below the fold.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘Vil­lage Academies/Esquire Event’

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.