Archive for the “What the Hell?!?!” Category
Somebody somewhere did something to really, really piss me off.
The last post to this blog was back in … October … 2011!? Holy shit! Did someone die? Well, I wish I had that good of an excuse, however morbid it may be. I don’t.
Mostly I’ve been lazy. A little busy, sure. But also a lot lazy. I do this sometimes … start project, attack it enthusiastically for a bit, then forget it. Thankfully, I’m not raising my kids that way.
So yeah … gotta new job. Started playing World of Warcraft again (God, what a timesink!). Quite playing WoW but started up with City of Heroes when it went Free-to-Play.
Watched way, way too much TV. Go pretty disgusted by it all. Reality shows make my eyes bleed.
Bought a new car … after the teenager wrecked the old one (she’s fine … no worries). Bought another one … after the teenager (still just fine, thanks for asking) got into another wreck. Not her fault. But jeez … really?
Read a few books … some quite good, others not so much.
Man cannot live by television alone … though no one will blame you if you try. At least I won’t. Maybe your cat will. Cat’s are pretty judgemental.
Also got cable! Finally ditched the dish in favor of the “giant cable conglomerate which shall remain unnamed”. No it ain’t Time Warner or Cox. I feel like such a whore. Only it’s me paying for it so that doesn’t make any damn sense at all. I am experiencing an overwhelming sense of shame … and the accusatory way the cat keeps glaring at me it’s starting to get on my nerves.
Any way … enough idol chitchat. Let’s get back to the business of bitching ’bout some telebishun, ‘kay?
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The Parents Television Council is not too happy with Glee lately. As someone who has been watching Glee from the beginning, I have to wonder … What took so long? Beneath all that singing and dancing is a whole lot of offensive … and some of it is the singing and dancing. For the most part, the offensive bits appeal to me a lot more than all that singing and dancing.
So the PTC should hate this show. They should despise it. They need to be organizing boycotts and refusing to send their own kids to school on the off chance someone breaks into song.
But here’s a note to you PTC clowns. Don’t call me a pedophile. I wasn’t a pedophile when I thought Britney Spears was smoking hot in that school uniform in her “Hit Me Baby One More Time” video. I’m not a pedophile now if I admire a photo layout in GQ featuring a couple of scantily clad actors from Glee.
You people need to quit throwing around terms like “pedophilia” so damn lightly. That just tells me the PTC has no damn clue what it really means or how serious it really is. A picture of Lea Michelle in a bra doesn’t make anyone a pedophile!
Damn. Being a borderline Gleek is bad enough without this shit.
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… goes to (drum roll please): The CW!
Nevermind the mild guesswork involved in simply finding the site (cwtv.com if you’re curious) or the various shades of green liberally spread about … the heart of any network site has got to be the viewing experience.
So it comes down to several factors. How easy is it to get to the episodes? One link, possibly two at the most. Even though the button is that horrible green again, it gets you there easy enough. Select full episodes, find the show you want to watch, and click. So far so good.
Your episode starts up with no hassle … that’s the second requirement met. No video or streaming hassles please. So far so good.
The episode opens with your usual commercial intro, this one something fairly amusing from Trident. There’s a good bit of video before the next break comes, but come it does. A minute of commercial here and there … no problem really, we’ve learned to live with those. But don’t push it. The CW not only pushes it, they ram it down your throat.
We also expect to get the same commercial over and over again. But we’re usually talking about maybe 5 minutes of commercial for nearly 45 minutes of a show. That’s a nice trade-off.
Unless you’re the CW. Now, I didn’t actually time anything, but I did tally the number of commercials during one CW show … 34 commercials. That compares favorably (or unfavorably depending on your take) with watching the show on the television. Those 34 commercials included many, many repeats and at least one example of “commercial volume boosting” … the seriously annoying habit some commercials have of significantly increasing said commercial’s volume. You know who you are … Applebees.
The CW is also one of a handful of network sites that won’t let Hulu host their programming. I’m assuming it’s because Hulu’s advertising policy doesn’t include up to seven different freaking commercials during one break.
I know that the CW (and all the nets) would probably prefer that I watch their shows when their actually broadcast. But guess I what? I don’t. I don’t watch anything according to any network schedule. For the most part, the CW is the last on my list for DVR. Now they’re at the bottom for online viewing as well.
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From the PTC website, a “news” article filed under this headline: PTC Denounces CBS for New Show, “$#*! My Dad Says”.
Hey, The Parent’s Television Council loves to denounce shit. They live for that kind of stuff. That headline could simply read PTC denounces $#*! and be equally accurate.
Anyway, the article goes on to outline all the many ways PTC will exercise its mighty wrath against CBS, threatening stations, advertisers … all the usual: “The PTC will not stand silent and allow this program title to become the new accepted norm.”
“Denouncements” like this are a kind of a win/win for the PTC. If the show fails for any reason, PTC can claim credit. If the show succeeds–and given Shatner’s record on TV, it just might–PTC can shout about how the networks are corrupting our youth.
Overlooked is the simple fact that this title contains a censored form of the profanity in question. But at least the PTC recognizes that this kind of “censorship” is almost a wasted effort. Everyone knows what it really says, so why bother? It’s like spelling bad stuff around your kid after she wins the local spelling bee. You can beep all the words you want, but guess what? We know what you really said. Better still, regardless of what you might have said, we’re gonna fill in the worst possible option in our heads.
I’m not sure how, on one hand, it’s okay to use $#*! in your headline but it’s not okay for CBS to use the same symbols for the title of its show. PTC uses the very thing they are all worked about in their own headline. Which is the more-or-less the same reason that CBS uses it in the title of the program. Shit My Dad Says (in case you missed it) is the real, unfiltered title from the internet/twitter phenomenon–and popular book–which is the inspiration for the sitcom. I’m not sure if Jason’s recent tweet is related to the PTC’s protest, but from May 21 (uncensored and in all its glory): “They’re offended? Fuck, shit, asshole, shitfuck; they’re just words…Fine. Shitfuck isn’t a word, but you get my point.”
I agree. But then, I’ve always been pretty certain that the PTC was mostly full of $#*! anyway.
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According to a recent story on the Parents Television Council website, a whopping 32% of advertisers have “stopped sponsoring graphic content on Two and Half Men“. That’s roughly 1/3 of the show’s sponsors jumping ship! Damn … that show must be naaasty!
It’s also a regular Emmy winner and arguably the top rated comedy on network television. And what the PTC story doesn’t tell you is why 31 out of 94 sponsors no longer buy ads on the show. Could it have anything to do with a down economy and the fact many advertisers are cutting back on television ad-time? May it have anything to do with the fact that the period studied was from January to September 2009, aka Summer Rerun Hell? Any mention of the expense involved to buy ad-time on one of ABC’s more popular shows?
They do quote one letter from a Lowe’s executive. But even that doesn’t refer specifically to any kind of objectionable content. You can bet if PTC had specific examples of any advertiser citing the shows content as a reason they dropped it, we would have seen that quote. Just like there is conspicuously no mention whatever of any sponsors Two and Half Men may have picked up over the same time period. My efforts (however minimal) to find any story anywhere (other than by or from PTC) on the subject yielded absolutely zilch.
I wonder if we might see a follow-up story from PTC about the sponsors that return to the show after its typically strong premiere last week.
Parents Television Council
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It’s difficult to fathom why any of the major networks (or the various cable/minor nets) would give us anything less than the best website experience possible. Sure, some people are going to watch certain shows whether there is a good support website or not. But it has to be competitive enough out there in network land that every single possible advantage counts for something.
So what are the ingredients for a great website? At the top of my list is a painless method for viewing online episodes, even if only one or two are made available. As important as that may be to me, it is at least as important that the website has an interesting and attractive initial impact on the visiting public. Both of these aspects are essential; the first is for us hardcore TV junkies who are going to drill down through a website no matter how confusing or convoluted the experience. The second is for the multitude of casual visitors who may want nothing more than easy access to a character profile for someone on a favorite show.
The last thing on my list (which is much longer than you probably want to know) is advertising. Internet ads are a necessary evil, but the less intrusive, the better. Failing that, creativity and style count a great deal. The static in-your-face single picture ad is completely unacceptable, particularly if that is the first thing you see when you visit a website.
Here’s an example. I’m not at all happy with StiFfy (aka SyFy), so it seriously torques me off when I go to the site and the first thing I see, besides that horrible excuse for a network name/logo, is a full screen ad for some damn automobile. I think it was a mini-van … or a cross-over. Maybe it was a state-of-the-art hybrid. I have no idea what make or model; all I remember is being annoyed by its existence. I shouldn’t have to force my way past the advertising to access content. That’s just not bringing me back to StiFfy any time soon.
But when it comes to poor design and lackluster execution, the What the Hell Award for Worthless Websites must go to ABC. Their show list is clunky, the site itself is an eyesore which suffers from an astonishing waste of valuable screen space. And their so-called “community” pages are a joke. Upgrades have been promised (along with a plea for us to come back soon), but there is virtually no way to personalize your profile. There are maybe half a dozen sad avatars to choose from along with a couple of empty red ‘x’ boxes. Currently they have a ‘beta’ site running and I cannot even access a profile, much less update it or customize anything. The message board system is a complete joke, lacking in just about every possible way imaginable. The is the network of Lost, people! You have just got to do better than this!
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… a big rock. Hell, drop a mountain on my skull, just don’t ever make me watch anything as dreadful as Meteor: Path to Destruction … ever.
I reviewed this thing last week after watching the first half. As unbearable as those two hours had been, I felt compelled to see it through. So last night I watched the final half.
This steaming pile of … rubble makes Armageddon look like Citizen Kane. Long before the end of this thing, I was praying to the Glorious One That Is My TiVo that the giant monster rock from space would just hit the planet and obliterate us all. My prayers were only partially answered when midway through they squashed Jason Alexander like a sweaty round bug.
I do however wonder if Jason requested to be killed off once he realized the horror he was perpetrating on the viewing public. If so, though a relatively small mercy overall, I thank him for his sacrifice … and apologize for the bug remark.
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Um … not really.
Science Fiction fans everywhere choked on their soylent green when they first heard the announcement from NBC Universal that the Sci-Fi Channel was going to be “rebranded” as SyFy. Across the vast expanse of geekdom could be heard a collective, disbelieving chorus of “No … they wouldn’t … Would they?”
Yeah, they would. They did. Right on schedule on July 7, 2009, the Sci-Fi Channel was officially renamed SyFy. On a Tuesday, even … evidently to correspond with the series debute of Warehouse 13 (which I think is where they will be mothballing all that now defunct Sci-Fi Channel merchandise).
I really thought someone somewhere would come to their senses and change their drug addled minds. I understand it all has something to do with ‘branding’ and not being able to copyright Sci-Fi … but come on. On what planet, including Bizarro World, did this sound like a good idea?
I’ll continue to watch good science fiction wherever I can find it (and no, I won’t be watching wrasslin’ on any network whatever). In other words, I’m not going let sheer corporate stupidity change my viewing habits. When TNN became Spike TV, it didn’t suddenly become a better network (possibly the opposite happened). So Sci-Fi becoming SyFy doesn’t really change the fact that the network continues to be spotty at best. Some great stuff, sure. But for every great show, there’s a very good one they some how manage to bury or simply bungle. Some that sure as hell could have been great too. So I don’t expect this newly revisioned network to step up and rescue promising science fiction offerings dumped by other networks (as was once done for both Sliders and Stargate: SG1). Sci-Fi opted out of that business sometime ago, choosing instead to simply rebroadcast recently canceled science fiction shows … as well as various programs that don’t resemble science fiction at all. I’m surprised that Sci-Fi/SyFy can find room on the schedule for any original content at all anymore, unless it’s another big steaming pile of a “reality” TV show.
So, Battlestar Galactica is no more. Both Stargate series are gone (but living on in perpetual rerun hell). The Dresden Files (one of those shows that certainly could have been great) have disappeared and the legendary days of Farscape are all but forgotten. The glory days of Sci-Fi have come and gone. Welcome to SyFy.
And wrasslin’. Don’t forget the wrasslin’.
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