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Tag Archives: Entertainment Weekly

The ratings game

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NBC’s Entertainment Chair gave a speech to TV Critics the other day. In it he said the following:

“Did you see the ratings?,” he asked about the show, which was often pulling a mere 1.0 rating in the adult demo on Friday night. “That rapid fanbase going crazy on the net didn’t come to the show. Chuck‘s time had come. Chuck is over, let’s alert the masses.”

Note: I copied this from Entertainment Weekly. I believe that “rapid” might actually be “rabid,” but I don’t know.

While Robert Greenblatt did give the awesome news that “Community” will finish out the season in the spring (yayyy!), but isn’t promising a renewal for a 4th season, I’m still annoyed that Executives aren’t looking at the other places their fans are viewing their shows.

So “Chuck” fans didn’t show up to watch the end of the show. Number one: you aired it over the holidays. If you expect viewers to watch it during it’s first airing then they may not be around to do it. Holidays = shopping, parties, and generally doing other stuff than watching TV. And number two: maybe those fans all watched on your website. Or maybe they purchased it through iTunes, Amazon, or somewhere else. Maybe they DVR’d it (although sometimes those numbers get included into the ratings).

Look, I get that “Chuck” was probably costing more money to produce than it was bringing it. It clearly hasn’t been a runaway hit that I’m sure the network wanted. But, how much longer do we have to wait for Executives like Greenblatt to take notice of the other places their viewers are.

I refuse to feel guilty for not contributing to watching “Community” as it airs if it’s lack of viewership that cancels the show. NBC was still getting my money (first through Amazon and now through HuluPlus).

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Head honchos missing the point again

So what should this list mean, if anything, to the broadcast nets that air them? Not much, unfortunately. Says one high-powered suit at the Big Four: “Though it’s a nice list that indicates enthusiasm for a show, right now the live ratings mean a lot more.” Translation: ABC would prefer that you McDreamy fans watch the show when it actually airs — not on Saturday nights when you’re dateless and alone. Top 10 most Tivo’ed shows on TV
Once again the head honchos miss the point. People aren’t watching these shows when you air them. They’re watching shows on their own time via DVR, TIVO, online (*whisper* illegal downloads). How is it that these suits aren’t opening their eyes to this fact? Their audiences aren’t revolving their lives around the TV schedule. They’ll save up a week’s worth of shows to watch and blast it out on a Saturday afternoon. Or maybe watch a DVR’d ep of “Glee” while something else is being recorded. We no longer have to rush around watching the clock to make sure we get our asses in front of the TV so that we don’t miss our programs. Catching a show a few days later on Hulu isn’t a big deal. Even waiting a few months to watch it on DVD isn’t a big thing.

This kind of ties in to what I was talking about the other day. Old men who are forcing us to relive their 60s nostalgia are also the same ones not able to see the big picture. Watching a show when it airs isn’t a necessity for the majority of viewers anymore.

He, too, was my first TV crush

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Why isn’t Home Improvement a Watch Instantly on Netflix? It seems like the perfect show for it? It seems like one of those shows that, when browsing through what is available to watch I would stumble across it and exclaim “I remember this show! I’m so adding it to the queue!” Maybe I’d get through a season or two before the nostalgia wore off. Or maybe it actually hold up. Who knows.

This article on Pop Watch does, however, exactly express why I loved the show so much when it first aired. A little bit of lust for JTT and a little bit of love for just all around how good the show was. Plus my dad was the type of guy who did home improvement projects around the house. It wasn’t a rare sight to see him with a tool belt on during the weekends so Tim Taylor kind of reminded me of him. Watching Tim and Jill was like watching a better and funnier version of my parents marriage.

Obviously if you weren’t a girl growing up in the 90’s you’re not going to relate in any way to the JTT fever. But there’s always Pam Anderson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I feel the earth move under my feet…

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This isn’t really related to anything in particular, but PopWatch posted celebrity reactions to the East Coast earthquake yesterday. I live in the North East. I didn’t feel anything even though they emptied out office buildings in the city nearby.

Very wise words from Ice T…

The Hunger Games: A commentary on our reality TV habit?

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I finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins the other day. I began the book by listening to it on audio cd on a road trip last weekend and finished it up via the book I bought at the Borders clearance sale. The audio version is really good and pretty nice to listen to. My only complaint is the way the reader says the name Haymitch. It sounds more like “Haymish.”

Looking at the reviews on Amazon, I know there are a lot of complaints that this book borrows a bit too much from the Japanese Battle Royale. That series also has teens fighting to the death in a dystopian society. Beyond that I can’t really comment because I haven’t seen it (although I will). I wouldn’t say Collins plagiarized. Doesn’t a lot of Sci Fi and Fantasy borrow from each other? The plot of the Hunger Games doesn’t have identical characters to Battle Royale as far as anyone has said, just a similar plot. Fighting to the death, fighting for survival, controlling overlords who pull our strings in a post-apocalyptic world are not new themes in this type of literature. So therefore we have to look at The Hunger Games on its own.

I liked Katniss as a character. But then again I’m a sucker for a strong female character. And a strong female character that teens can look up to? Fantastic! She isn’t likable 100% of the time, but no character is. She isn’t even liked by all the characters in the book. Haymitch is meant to be on her side (and he is in his own way), but the two of them are like two strange cats shoved into a closed room. The problem with Katniss is her manipulation of Peeta. You either hate her for it because you can’t understand how she could be so oblivious to his real feelings or you admire how she has such determination and intelligence to play to the audience. I have the feeling this problem, this manipulation, will play out into the next book. Will Katniss come to really love Peeta? Will she have played at loving him that she fools herself into actually doing it? Or was it all just for show after all?

At the heart of the matter is the fact that all of The Hunger Games was played out in front of an audience. I feel like Suzanne Collins was making a statement on how we, as a modern day audience reading her book, also watch lives unfolding in front of us on TV day in and day out. And that has a real effect on the people who are being filmed. Case in point? Russel Armstrong, the estranged husband of one of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” wives committed suicide recently. Keeping up with the extravagant lifestyle of a Beverly Hills family got to him. When he went into debt it was too much and he felt that the show was going to portray him in a negative light. We gobble up these “reality” shows. J”ersey Shore”, “16 and Pregnant”, “Real Housewives”, etc. It’s our new entertainment. I really kind of wish Collins had expanded on the conversations people were having after the survivors came out of the arena. She touched on something there. Katniss went through an ordeal. But to everyone else all they could remember was where they were and what they were doing when they saw her brush death, or lose a friend. Kind of like us now. I wish this fueled Katniss to anger.

Maybe it will. I haven’t read the second book (no spoilers, please!). I hope she gets ripping pissed at The Capitol. I would be!

The Hunger Games will be a movie pretty soon. Entertainment Weekly posted some pictures not that long ago.

“Avenue Q”‘s upcoming nuptials

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I’m trying desperately to get tickets for a November show of “Les Miserables”. I haven’t seen it even though I know some of it’s music. It was on stage when I was in London back in 2004, but I opted to see “Phantom of the Opera” instead (also a fantastic show to see live).

At the same venue where I’ll (hopefully) get to see Les Mis, my husband and I saw “Avenue Q” a couple years ago. I really don’t even know how to sum up what an awesome (and not kids- appropriate) show this is! Puppets! Singing! Hilarious non-PC jokes!

 

Winner of the TONY® “TRIPLE CROWN” for BEST MUSICAL, BEST SCORE and BEST BOOK, AVENUE Q is part flesh, part felt and packed with heart. Don’t miss out on this chance to save big on this long-running Broadway hit!

AVENUE Q is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named PRINCETON who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. There, he meets KATE (the girl next door), ROD (the Republican), TREKKIE (the internet sexpert), LUCY THE SLUT (need we say more?), and other colorful types who help PRINCETON finally discover his purpose in life! (from the Avenue Q website).

 

And now the big news of today is that two of the show’s gay characters/puppets will be getting married (you know, since it’s legal in NY now).  Congrats Rod and Ricky. I’m sure your wedding will be fabulous!

Cage match

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Cage match: Parenthood vs. Modern Family. But to be fair, I’ve watched both seasons to air so far of Parenthood and only one disk of Modern Family. So I’m not fully versed in Modern Family.

There seem to be more family-centric shows surfacing these days. If the 90’s – 00’s were all about singletons and urban families then this decade is all about families. Maybe that’s because the people writing these shows see that their audience/target demographics are growing up. Me and my husband are part of their target audience. In the last decade it was all Sex and the City and Friends. And while I’m not quite at the Parenthood stage of my life yet, I am married and finding myself settled and living at the more “boring adult” stuff in life (I put it in quotes because I’m far from bored).

Part 1 (Parenthood) will be posted today. Tomorrow will be Part 2 (Modern Family)

Parenthood

I first added Parenthood to the Netflix queue for two reasons. 1. Because Hulu Plus doesn’t have first first season in their catalog (boo and hiss) and 2. I confused it with Modern Family. An easy mistake to make just as Entertainment Weekly pointed out. They did try to squeeze the two shows into the same genre. But Parenthood has a lot of heart. I find it impossible to watch this show and not care about these characters as if they were actual people. I think this comes down to the dialog and the acting. Lauren Graham, Craig T. Nelson, Peter Krause, Mae Whitman, and sure…I’ll even throw Dax Shepard in there because he really proves himself in this show. The dialog really flows and sounds natural. It sort of reminds me a bit of Gilmore Girls, but with less coffee. You know when you’re talking to someone and your having a conversation how you sometimes talk over each other’s sentences? That’s how dialog goes sometimes on this show – natural. They even argue like real people.

However, as my husband is fond of saying about this show, the alternate name could easily be #whitepeopleproblems. I mean, they live in Berkely, California. All the kids have money. In the first season the grandfather (Craig T. Nelson) has money problems (from a bad investment which probably took a lot of money in the first place!) and a lot of references are made to the bad economy, but it’s still white collar problems. And in fact I don’t even remember a resolution to that story line.

Now, I’m not saying every show needs to be gritty and “real”. This family represents tons of families that exist. In fact I can relate to many members of this family; particularly Haddie the teenage daughter of Adam and Kristina. She reminds me of me as a teenager. Everything was a battle between me and my parents despite feeling like I had everything under control and being a generally pretty responsible kid. And now as an adult and married person I get some of what goes on between the other married couples on the show.

After watching two seasons of the show I don’t feel like anything has gotten stale or boring like some of these shows. Sometimes plot resolutions are too quick for my taste, but it’s preferable to dragging on. The drama isn’t too heavy and the comedic moments are true gems.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s review of Modern Family!
(Parenthood’s second season is available on Hulu)