Blogging Daytonnati, the nation, and the world.
this site:
  Home | Archives | Categories | | About Me
Thursday, May 18, 2006
An American Idol thought

I think this week showed just how messed up the voting really is. I don't buy for one second that the American people were actually split 33-33-33. When 14 out of every 15 of my attempted votes result in a busy signal there's no way the tallied votes reflect the actual votes people tried to cast. When all the lines are busy the person with less people trying to call really benefits since their voters just get through more often.

In reality I think the votes really reflect whose voters are willing to keep trying to vote a little longer than the other person's and whose voters hang up the soonest after the machine picks up on the other end, allowing that line to handle more calls.

Posted by robbernard at 11:17 AM in TV

Sunday, May 7, 2006
So, Time Warner updated my DVR this week.

I applaud the fact that I can now actually search for a show by name, rather than having to scroll through every showing of every show with the same first letter as the show I'm looking for.

On the downside, I now have to tell it twice that I want to erase a show. The first time it gives me the options to erase the show, not erase the show, or watch it from the beginning. When you choose erase it now asks you whether you really want to erase it. They came so close to solving a problem with the old set up, but they wound up just adding a new layer of unnecessary complication. The problem with the old set up, and the problem that still remains, is that when you start watching a show before it has ended and press "Stop" when you're done watching it then it will pop up a screen which doesn't ask whether you want to erase that show, it will ask whether you want to stop recording the show that's being recorded in real time on that tuner if you're recording 2 shows. They needed to add a confirmation screen asking whether you really wanted to stop recording the current show (or even better, just have it set up to ask whether you want to erase the show that you started watching before it was done recording). Instead they added a confirmation screen you need to answer every time you want to delete a freakin' show. That's just unnecessarily complicates things.

Also, for some reason now when I tell it to not record a showing set up to record with their version of a "season pass" I now have to cancel it twice. The first time I cancel it will show it as not being recorded in the list of shows to be recorded, but if I want to actually remove it from that list I have to go through and cancel it again.

And for some insane reason they still continue to only carry the next 6 days of program guide data. If you watch a show on Tuesday and decide you want to record it when it's on again next Tuesday, tough luck, you've only got data up to next Monday, you'll have to wait till tomorrow.

Posted by robbernard at 12:14 AM in TV

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Few thoughts on NBC's Olympics coverage

1) Would it kill them to put together a spoiler free web site? If they're not going to show the events on TV until 12 hours later then it would be nice if it were possible to view their site without having the outcomes of events yet-to-be-shown popping up all over the place.

2) They really need to do a better job of explaining how far along in the event each piece of coverage is. The third snowboarder whose run you've shown is in third after her run? Well, that's nice, but is she the 3rd person to go overall or have you skipped 13 other people in the course of showing the 3 Americans? It makes a bit of a difference. I'm not going to get worked up about her being in the bronze medal spot if there are still 30 people to run.

And then for curling they put up what end it is pretty much all the time, but hardly ever how many rocks are left. That's kind of like baseball coverage that only tells you what inning it is but now how many outs there are or whether it's the top or bottom of the inning.

3) A lot of their graphics are far too small. I've got a decent size regular-definition TV and many of the times/standings they throw up there just can't be read. They're cramming the times of 4 different competitors into a square smaller than the little map they put on there for severe weather warnings. You have a lot of unused screen there NBC, use some of it!

Posted by robbernard at 7:28 PM in TV

Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Some quick Monday night TV thoughts

Arrested Development:
Last year wasn't as good as the first but it was a strong effort out of the gate this year.

Kitchen Confidential:
I think this one has some real potential. The premier was funny (though not the funniest in its time slot) and there seems to be some real depth to it. It's not a cookie-cutter sitcom where they just assemble some funny characters and stick them in a workplace, there seems to be some real emotional depth behind it.

How I Met Your Mother:
The strongest premier of the night, despite Bob Saget. I had my doubts going in. The premise that it's a father telling his kids the story of how he met their mother seemed awfully limiting and I kept thinking back to other sitcoms with premises so limiting that they basically just ended up ignoring them (ie 8 Simple Rules..., Cursed) but the twist at the end gave me some hope that they'll be able to pull it off.

And premise aside, it was VERY funny and quite well cast. The show wasn't flailing around out of the gate trying to get its feet under it and figure out its style, I got the feeling that this is a show that knows what it is.

Prison Break:
I have to say this episode was good but for some reason this just isn't grabbing my attention as much as I feel it should and I just can't put my finger on why.

Las Vegas:
Last night's episode was really quite a departure from what Las Vegas has been in the past. I'm hoping it was just some business they had to get out of the way in resetting the show and that next week they can get back in the swing of things and recapture the energy the show's had in the past.

Posted by robbernard at 11:45 AM in TV

Wednesday, July 13, 2005
The Diet Coke of classic movie channels. Just one calorie, not classic enough.

The New York Supreme Court has ruled that AMC (which supposedly stands for "American Movie Classics") isn't classic enough.

It's sad to see how far AMC has fallen. It used to be a good channel but now it's filled with movies of dubious classicicity chopped all to hell with commercials.

Luckily Turner Classic Movies stepped up to take its place. (And isn't that ironic given Ted Turner's efforts to ruin classic movies?)

Posted by robbernard at 10:24 AM in Movies , TV

Tuesday, May 24, 2005
The real convergence of TV and politics

What do you get when you try to blog while watching both 24 and political news updates?

UPDATE: Senator John McCain (R - Arizona) has terrorist mastermind Habib Marwan in a headlock. Wait, this is getting confusing.

UPDATE: Foxy terrorist chick was bluffing. She intends to push through a vote on parliamentary procedure after all. Harry Reid (D - Nevada) just flipped open his cell phone.
UPDATE: Edgar and Chloe were able to triangulate the constitutional position of judicial nominee Janice Rogers Brown, and she was shot down over Los Angeles at the last second.


Posted by robbernard at 3:43 PM in Politics/Government , TV
The future of Television

Conan O'Brien takes a look into the future (the future Conan?) in Newsweek to see how television will evolve.

We will also see a stunning increase in the number of televisions per household, as small TV displays are added to clocks, coffee makers and smoke detectors.... Televisions will even be placed inside books and, before long, books will evolve into no more than hundreds of small flat-screens stapled together. Reading the opening chapter of "Moby Dick" will include watching 10 hours of "Gunsmoke."
But all of these changes will pale in comparison to the revolutionary explosion of late-night talk shows. As recently as 20 years ago, Johnny Carson was the only game in town, but as cable channels continue to pursue niche viewers, new hosts will continue to spring up at alarming rates. At first, the economy will surge as families build desks, fake windows and bandstands in their basements, but before long violence will erupt as the nation's supply of available talk-show guests begins to dwindle. Dr. Joyce Brothers, Fabio and Randy from "American Idol" will be airlifted to guest-starved areas to quell violence, but anecdote theft and consecutive Al Roker appearances will turn the Midwest into a battlefield. Order will be restored when the Supreme Court (led remarkably well by Chief Justice Judy) upholds the One Host, One Guest law in Philbin v. Ripa.
And there you have it: the future of television. In fact, I am so sure I'm right about every detail that I encourage anyone with doubts to place this magazine in a vault and, 50 years from now, compare my vision to the world around you. If I've made even one mistake I'm certain the good people at NEWSWEEK, who never make mistakes, will refund you the price of this issue.


Posted by robbernard at 3:32 PM in TV

Monday, May 16, 2005
Survivor (spoilers)

One of the best Survivor seasons ever. The right person absolutely won, one team just dominated the other and the people left standing in the last episode actually were worthy of being there.

Of Ian and Tom, Tom was definitely the stronger player. Ian was a strong player but he just kept flubbing it. He would have been a lot better off he would have just picked a story and gone with it. Too often he'd be confronted and instead of either telling the truth or telling them what they wanted to hear it just ended up being "uhhhhhhhh". That being said, you have to give Ian major credit for how he went out. That's something you'd never expect to see on Survivor and it really showed who he was.

Posted by robbernard at 12:07 AM in TV

Wednesday, April 27, 2005
VH1 turns down Jaffre

Though he's shopping the idea to other networks it looks like the Cincinnati mayoral race won't be chronicled on reality TV.

Posted by robbernard at 12:14 AM in Cincinnati , TV

Friday, April 22, 2005
Some Thursday night reality TV thoughts

First off, fair warning of Survivor and Apprentice spoilers.

Now then... Survivor... boy did Janu ever throw a wrench in the works. If Stephenie can get the girls together then the guys are in real trouble. Getting the girls together is far from a sure thing though... Katie's one of the original 4 and Jennifer's mixed up with Gregg. The guys are going to need to play up the fact that the other girls don't stand the slightest chance against Stephenie.

Now on to Apprentice... If I were Trump I honestly don't know that I'd want to hire any of these people.

Kendra is... unpolished. She's still green, but she definitely has had some good ideas. Tana's grating. Craig's a know-it-all jerk who's been nothing but condescending to Kendra for the past two weeks while she's been carrying the team. Sure Kendra's not experienced but Craig would not listen to a single thought that came out of her mouth. He treated her like a child and I simply can't imagine him ever being a good leader and getting the best out of his subordinates. Both Tana and Craig should be fired simply for how they acted in the Pontiac assignment. Alex I suppose is the most like Bill and Kelly, he seems like the type of person that Trump would pick but he really wasn't impressive in last night's effort.

I suppose if I had to pick two I'd go with Kendra and Alex. It would actually be interesting to see them as a team. Kendra could stand to get out from under the thumb of Craig and I think her creativity would complement Alex's lack thereof.

Posted by robbernard at 3:00 AM in TV

Friday, March 11, 2005
Local Survivor voted off

Kim Mullen of Huber Heights was voted out on Survivor last night. She's a Wright State grad student and played the game horribly. It just didn't seem to occur to her that sitting on her ass all day while everybody else around her worked was going to lead to an early exit. That may be excusable at first, but when you know damn well that you're the most likely person to be voted off next and you don't even make an effort... simply inexcusable.

Posted by robbernard at 2:13 PM in TV

Thursday, February 3, 2005
I could not agree with this article more

Go read it.

...I've finally figured out Fox's cunning plan: obviously they want people to stop watching television altogether. It's a radical method of beating the other networks once and for all, in a we'll-all-go-down-together sort of way, but it's the only possible answer.

Why else would they keep moving shows around faster than the eye can see? "Family Guy," "Wanda at Large," "The O.C." and "Tru Calling" are recent ping-pongees but nothing matches "Greg the Bunny," which debuted on a Wednesday, moved to Sunday, then back to Wednesday for a while, then to Friday, then finally back to Sunday. It was cancelled after exhausted viewers collapsed, TV Guides still in hand.
They kicked "Futurama" around and it won Emmys. They cancelled "Family Guy," twice, and it outsold both "Friends" and "Sex in the City" in 2003. "Wonderfalls" was cancelled after only four episodes but the DVD set, which came out yesterday, was the fourth highest selling DVD on yesterday afternoon.


It all makes sense now. Silly me thinking they actually wanted us to watch their shows.

Posted by robbernard at 3:45 PM in TV

Thursday, January 20, 2005
Want to talk to a cast or crew member of 24?
On Monday's episode of 24, a woman who was killed received a phone call from her mother. A close-up shot showed the prop phone, which also happened to reveal the real number to the Nextel handset. In short order, the phone began receiving calls from fans worldwide ó 6,000 and counting. Marci has been fielding some of the calls, which have come from Miami, North Carolina, Canada and Australia. ... [T]he Fox Web site has been hot with chat about the phone number. Cast and crew have played along with the situation, and callers have spoken to everyone from the on-screen performers to various members of the production crew, Peters said. ... Want to talk to a star on 24? The number to the cell is (310) 597-3781. A star or crew member is standing by.

--Dayton Daily News

Posted by robbernard at 1:05 PM in TV

Saturday, January 15, 2005
More from the realm of interesting ideas

Fox's My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss bombed. Normally that would mean it would be pulled from the air and they would either burn off the episodes over the summer or just leave it to rot on the shelves. But with MBFOB Fox is choosing another option. They're still pulling it from the air and don't plan to run the remaining episodes, but instead of just letting it sit they're going to show the episodes over the web at the show's website. And they're doing something similar with their failed reality show Playing It Straight only it will be pay per view, $1.99 per episode or $9.99 for the entire season.

It's good to see a network playing around, trying to figure out just what they can do with the web. There's so much more the web can do for Television than simply offering show descriptions, character bios and show recaps.

Posted by robbernard at 12:49 PM in TV

Thursday, January 6, 2005
A scattershot of TV thoughts

Watched the first ep of Committed that I recorded yesterday and really liked it. That now makes 3 1/2 hours of TV to record between the hours of 9 and 10 on Tuesday. Amazing Race, Veronica Mars, House and now Committed. Would it kill the TV execs to move just a couple of those to one of the dozens of hours throughout the week when there's nothing at all on? I'm using 3 DVRs to handle it.

Craig Ferguson was decent. It certainly had its rough spots but it's almost certainly better than Conan did in his first week. He's got potential.

And now on to weather alerts...

Tonight was insane. First off, we've got the scrolling school closings along the bottom of the screen. There's a fifth of the screen gone right there with everybody on screen squished down to midget size.

And then we have the horrible watch/warning graphics...

I don't say horrible because I don't want them there at all but because they're just badly executed. There are warnings for Winter Storms, Floods, and Flash Floods and watches for Floods and Winter Weather. That's 5 different categories. You really don't need all 5 of those up on screen at once. The words take up huge amounts of the screen, especially with the school closings scrolling. Craig Ferguson has "Flood Watch" stamped in yellow on his forehead. Just put "Winter Storm Warning" up there with its color, and then switch that to "Flood Warning" with its color and so on...

And please people, remember that if you actually want people to be able to read your map YOU MUST ASSIGN DIFFERENT COLORS TO DIFFERENT ITEMS! The Flood Warning and Winter Storm Warning canít both be pink!

And a note to Fox 45, a water drop icon and county name next to the word "Warning" is not a proper graphic for "Flood Warning". It can just as easily be interpreted as "Rain Warning" or even "Sad Person Crying Warning". How about a little lapping water icon? And then ABC 22 is scrolling its bad, blue logo on a blue background, thinking people will actually be able to read it. Of course this is just one more example of how Fox 45 and ABC 22 come nowhere close to putting a quality local product onscreen. How hard can it be to make your local content look better than cable access?

Posted by robbernard at 3:53 AM in TV

Sunday, January 2, 2005

Dan Huard and Whil Wheaton each have posts explaining how they ended up leaving G4TechTV and detailing some routine examples of dishonest/unethical activity including questions on The Screen Savers being prewritten and given to G4TechTV staff, friends and family to be read as questions from regular viewers and challenging teams on Arena being made up of G4TechTV employees and being passed off as regular players.

Posted by robbernard at 9:11 PM in TV

Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Ken Jennings back

Jeopardy's announced a super tournament that will feature almost 150 5-time winners battling for the right to take on Ken Jennings in the finals.

Posted by robbernard at 12:26 PM in TV

Wednesday, December 1, 2004
Goodbye Ken Jennings

Jeopardy won't be the same without you.

Posted by robbernard at 1:16 AM in TV

Monday, November 15, 2004
Keith Olbermann: The thinking man's idiot and idiot's thinking man

Robert Cox of The National Debate lays out what Olbermann's been up to lately. Geez, can a story get on the show nowadays without a questionable or phony source? (Hat tip Hobbs)

Posted by robbernard at 12:24 PM in TV

Sunday, October 24, 2004
Gotta say this

Last nights second Ashlee Simpson "performance" on SNL is the type of thing that's one of the only reasons left to watch SNL. They seem to focus now on pulling stuff from the headlines and doing impersonations more than they focus on being funny, leaving you pretty much with just the hope that live TV will give you a royal screwup like last night's performance.

Posted by robbernard at 8:16 PM in TV

Monday, October 18, 2004
Celebrity Poker Showdown

I like Celebrity Poker Showdown, but egads, 2 hours at a time is just too much. It was so much easier to get through back when it was just 1 hour.

Posted by robbernard at 12:28 AM in TV

Monday, October 4, 2004
Word up

You know, I don't think I've ever heard Korn's "Word up" on the radio, I've only ever heard it in TV shows and promos for TV shows and I'm already bleeping sick and tired of it, it's all over the place. Get another song already people!

Posted by robbernard at 11:01 PM in TV

Monday, September 20, 2004
A few Emmy thoughts

1) Who the hell was in charge of cutting people off. You let Pacino go on as long as he wants... and there's not necessarily anything wrong with that, he's a great actor and all... but then the big winners of the night, Best Comedy Arrested Development and Best Drama Sopranos get just plain cut off. Nobody's going to get upset because the broadcast ended 5 minutes late rather than 3 minutes late. Let the big winners have their say, it just makes you look either rude or amateurish to cut them off.

2) What the hell was Edie Falco thinking? She just looked bad.

3) Elaine Stritch, a person that probably 97 people in a hundred have never heard of, was the best of the night.

4) The two real people came in second.

5) I wasn't too impressed by the presentation overall. Didn't think the monologue and skits were all that good. Not bad, but not good. Overall it was kinda boring.

6) The problem with the Emmy's is twofold.

a)To get the full picture of a show you have to dedicate dozens of hours to it. It isn't like movies where you can spend two hours and you've seen everything you can judge it on.

b) So many of the nominees are from shows where the average joe just plain doesn't have the channel. Every time you turn around somebody on HBO or another pay network is being nominated. It's like having half the Oscar nominees be films that only played in New York and LA.

Posted by robbernard at 1:30 AM in TV

Tuesday, September 14, 2004
New TV thoughts for Monday

LAX: Eh... I was very disappointed by the first half, but it definitely picked up in the second half so I'll give it at least one more shot. I just worry that it'll succumb to the once-in-a-decade-disaster-of-the-week formula that ER and West Wing have fallen victim to.

Las Vegas: Very good episode. Definitely kept me entertained. I suppose my question mark going forward is how they handle the effects of Danny's war experience. They need to be careful about not underplaying it and having him be all better next week, but also be careful about overplaying it and having him be disconnected and surly for the rest of the season.

The Benefactor: It wasn't perfect... I'm not really sure if Mark Cuban is cut out for TV, but it's kind of refreshing to see him just be himself rather than a polished reality show host. This isn't going to be an overly polished producers-have-plotted-everything type of reality show, it's all going to be based on his whims.

Also, it had the most exciting game of televised Jenga I've ever seen. Where else are you going to see a game of Jenga decide a person's shot at a million dollars?

Posted by robbernard at 1:13 AM in TV

Wednesday, August 11, 2004
WDTN and WKEF switching affiliations in Dayton market
Both the ABC and NBC TV networks will enter the fall season with new affiliates in Dayton, the nation's No. 59 TV market.

Beginning August 30, after NBC's Olympics coverage wraps up, LIN TV Corp.'s WDTN-TV will drop its ABC affiliation for NBC. Sinclair Broadcast Group's WKEF-TV, soon to be the former NBC affiliate in the market, will become an ABC affiliate, the company said Tuesday.

According to a recent Sinclair filing, NBC informed Sinclair in February that it would terminate its affiliation with WKEF in order to affiliate with another station in the market. WKEF's contract with NBC expired in April.

"We had a great opportunity to upgrade from a UHF to a VHF station with LIN, a partner with whom we have many positive long term affiliations," said an NBC spokesperson.


With even a rudimentary knowledge of ABC's primetime lineup I think you can figure out that WKEF is the one getting screwed in this deal.

Posted by robbernard at 2:07 AM in TV

Wednesday, July 7, 2004
Couple TV thoughts

1) Last Comic Standing -- I couldn't have been more pleased with how the episode ended. Thank God Ant is gone.

2) Yay! The Amazing Race is back! THE best reality show on TV. The race was thrilling as always, they really know how to manage the tension and excitement.

Favorite team so far: Jim/Marsha the military father/daughter team. Tough pretty much sums up Jim; his leg is gashed open - he doesn't care, he'd rather get on the plane than get the stitches he needs. He doesn't complain, he doesn't let it slow him down.

Least favorite team so far: Charla/Mirna the "Cousins" team (Charla's a little person). They seem to have this assumption that everybody should be giving them a hand. They're indignant that nobody is helping them yet they say they won't help anybody else unless the other team helps them first. Charla seems rock steady, but in the meat carrying task Mirna showed herself to be whiney enough for 2 regular sized people.

Posted by robbernard at 12:51 AM in TV

Friday, July 2, 2004
Penn & Teller

Just finished the first 5 episodes of Penn & Teller's Showtime series Bullsh!t. They're quite entertaining and straightforward at detecting BS; and just knowing that Penn is interviewed in Michael Moore Hates America has actually got me looking forward to that film more.

Posted by robbernard at 7:04 AM in Movies , TV

Friday, June 25, 2004
Note to VH1

Lara Croft is not a superhero.

To be a superhero you must have super powers. Unless you count Jolie's circus-freak-worthy lips there is nothing super about Lara Croft.

Posted by robbernard at 12:14 AM in TV
The Simple Life 2

This show depresses me. It's hard to believe that a civilization with people like this in it can long survive.

This new season is like a Celebrity version of that NBC reality show Lost from a few years back. In Lost they took a bunch of Americans and dumped them in Mongolia and made them race back to New York with pretty much no money. The show was basically well-off Americans who I'm sure all have TVs and cars and homes back in the States panhandling from Mongolian nomads and Russians barely making enough to feed themselves.

In The Simple Life 2 they take two of the richest women in America and dump them in the South and these women are panhandling from ordinary, everyday, hardworking people. They pull up to a toll booth and have to get out and ask people in other cars for the money. They park their Airstream in the Burger King drive-thru, walk inside, order $22 worth of food, eat it at the counter and then tell the manager they're $12 short. They then go around the Burger King asking the ordinary customers for money, eventually grabbing some cash out of a guys hands.


This simply should not be! This is disgraceful.

And don't even get me started on how they were being paid to work as maids so they put on their regular clothes, called a maid on the room's phone, had that maid make up the room and then told the maid to charge a tip to that room... a room that wasn't theirs.

Posted by robbernard at 12:07 AM in TV

Sunday, June 6, 2004
And now for something completely different...

Jonah Goldberg has a column on Buffy the Vampire Slayer that ties it into bigger life lessons of the Conservative variety.

You could always tell Whedon was deeply influenced by Marvel Comics.... The overriding message of almost all Marvel stories from the 1960s to 1980s was, in the words of Spider-Man... "with great power comes great responsibility."

This was the unifying motivation for Whedon's heroes. "Do you think I chose to be like this?" asks Buffy. "Do you have any idea how lonely it is, how dangerous? I would love to be upstairs watching TV or gossiping about boys or ... God, even studying. But I have to save the world. Again."

In an age when the entire world seems to think "might makes wrong" when it comes to American power, the resonance of this message should be obvious.

Running like a steel spine through Whedon's work is the conviction that evil exists, isn't going away and must be constantly fought or it will win. Indeed, the series finale of Angel last month concluded on the eve a massive battle we'll never see, offering a simple message ó redemption is for tomorrow, but the battle against evil is for right now.

This may not be how they teach things at Sunday school, but in secular culture, which often sniffs at the notion morality is real, this message is welcome.

--Jonah Goldberg

Posted by robbernard at 12:57 AM in Politics/Government , TV

Monday, May 31, 2004
Note to the BBC...


In 4 years of the show they've made a grand total of 29 episodes. That may be 4 seasons worth over there, but over on this side of the pond we'd call that one good sized season.

I can't think of a funnier series on TV right now. The Season 3 finale that was on ton(And to head off the obvious comment, The Office hasn't made me laugh once.)

Posted by robbernard at 3:47 AM in TV

Sunday, May 9, 2004
My one Survivor comment


Posted by robbernard at 11:42 PM in TV

Friday, May 7, 2004
Entire Tech TV staff fired

Looks like Comcast is moving the operation to L.A. and has thus fired everybody at Tech TV (giving them 60 days notice) and is posting 100 of the jobs for those willing to move to L.A. No real idea how this affects programming and/or on-air talent other than that if the stars don't want to move to L.A. they won't have a job.

This from Leo Laporte's blog.

Posted by robbernard at 1:37 AM in TV , Technology/Internet

Thursday, May 6, 2004
A note to NBC (Or "You bleeping sons of bleeps!")

When you say the finale of Friends is going to end at 9:59 YOU HAD BETTER BLEEPING WELL END THE BLEEPING SHOW AT 9:59, NOT 5 MINUTES LATER!!!! Every person with a DVR and everybody who taped it according to the times you gave them missed the end of the series finale of Friends.

A quote from September that illustrates NBC's feelings towards their customers with DVRs:

But NBC Entertainment prexy Jeff Zucker doesn't feel your TiVo pain.

"I guess the 10 people who own TiVo have now been informed," he sniffed. "I'm glad they're helping us out."


Way to go NBC, way to go. You just ticked off and alienated the ever-growing number of TV viewers who have DVRs.

I realize the disdain NBC execs have for Tivo, but do you really need to go out of the way to piss people with DVRs off? I guess so. In a world where more and more viewers are transitioning to cable can you really afford to keep ticking off your fans at every turn?

*sigh* My hatred for Network Execs has once again been reinforced. May you all spend eternity being forced to watch episodes of The Swan.

Posted by robbernard at 11:01 PM in TV , Technology/Internet

Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Note to Elton John: You're an idiot

He thinks the American Idol voting is "incredibly racist" because Jennifer Hudson was voted off last week and she and other black female contestants had been in the bottom three previously.

Never mind that the first 5 finalists voted out were non-black.

Never mind that 3 of the final 6 finalists are black.

And don't get me started on the judges cries of "this is a talent search, not a popularity contest!" It is a popularity contest. It isn't "American Singer", it's American Idol. A singing voice alone does not a pop star make. It's not enough to sing well, they have to have a connection to their audience. If they don't, they're going to be voted out no matter how good a singer they are.

Posted by robbernard at 12:25 PM in TV

Sunday, January 18, 2004
Let me get this straight...

You've got not just one, but TWO singers hosting Saturday Night Live tonight in Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. Do they really need to bring in FOUR COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE to be the musical guest? For Peteís sake, youíd think that between the two singers they had to begin with they could have cobbled together a musical performance of some kind.

Posted by robbernard at 12:53 AM in TV

Wednesday, January 7, 2004
Cable - the root of all evil
Cable TV made a West Bend man addicted to TV, caused his wife to be overweight and his kids to be lazy, he says.

And heís threatening to sue the cable company.

Timothy Dumouchel of West Bend wants $5,000 or three computers, and a lifetime supply of free Internet service from Charter Communications to settle what he says will be a small claims suit.
According to the [police] report, Dumouchel told Charter employees he plans to sue because his cable connection remained intact four years after he tried to get it canceled.

The result was that he and his family got free cable from August of 1999 to Dec. 23, 2003.

ďI believe that the reason I smoke and drink every day and my wife is overweight is because we watched TV every day for the last four years,Ē Dumouchel stated in a written complaint against the company, included in a Fond du Lac police report.

ďBut the reason I am suing Charter is they did not let me make a decision as to what was best for myself and my family and (they have been) keeping cable (coming) into my home for four years after I asked them to turn it off.Ē

--The Fond Du Lac Reporter

Yeah, and I'm sure Charter posted armed guards to make sure the little black cable comeing out of the wall remained attached to his TV. Boy I can just imagine how horrible it must have been getting cable for free for four years.

Imagine if Charter caved and gave hime the computers and internet. It'd just be a matter of time before he realized that the internet's addictive too and sued them for giving it to him for free.

Posted by robbernard at 11:58 PM in TV

Thursday, November 13, 2003
Commentary on the TV season so far

Now that we're solidly into the new TV season (except for stupid Fox) I thought I'd write up my impressions of how the shows I pay any attention to have fared so far.


8 Simple Rules

I think they've dealt with John Ritter's death very well. I think they've managed to show the proper amount of respect and grief while maintaining the funny.


They probably could have stood to go more than 6 months between storyline resets but I think they've managed to make it work. I really don't think the show's suffered from it.

I'm With Her

In my opinion probably the best new comedy of the season. It makes me laugh and the effort to put the "situation" in "sitcom" doesn't seem like a stretch.

Karen Sisco

Some people would flog me for even suggesting that this isn't the greatest show ever but it just doesn't manage to grab my attention for 60 minutes a week. I want to like it but it's just missing a certain something.


Joan of Arcadia

I'll give Joan the best new drama nod. It's dramatic, it's funny (but not in that "dramady" way). It's well-written, good character development. Just all around a very good show.


Survivor's been very good this season. My interest had been waning the past few seasons, kept losing interest before they were halfway through the season. Rupert's great and he and the Drake tribe have kept the show very interesting.



I enjoyed the show, but the best part of it was that it got me watching the British version on BBC America.


Loved it the first season then drifted away with the gray-haired principil/love interest for Carol. Have gotten into it more this season and Iíve liked what theyíve done. I think theyíve realized that the show needs to be able to evolve.


Completely lost interest.


Itís been funny so far this season, but once this seasonís over I do agree that itís time for it to go.

Good Morning Miami

I had a higher opinion of this than most otherís last year but this year Iíve just dropped it. It was towards the bottom of my list of shows to watch last season and new shows this year have just pushed it off the list.

Happy Family

Itís an ok show. I watch it, but itís not a great show, just good.

Las Vegas

Ooh, I already gave away my best new drama award, didnít I... Ok, letís just say itís in the top 2 among new shows this season.

The Lyon's Den

I was willing to give it a shot, but it didnít take me long to realize that it was essentially a Grisham novel. The senior lawyers try to corrupt the younger lawyers. Neverending fight between the evil of the older lawyers and the idealism of the younger ones. *yawn*


Consistently one of the funniest shows on television. NBC keeps looking for a replacement for Friends, they just donít realize that they already have it.


Theyíve gotten rid of most of the comedians that I thought were dragging the show down (do you hear me Kattan and Ferrel?) so I guess the only excuse for it still sucking has to be the writers.

The West Wing

Itís shown a bit of promise the past week or two, but the first few eps were pretty bad. Sorkinís wit is sorely missed and possibly most offsetting is how different the show just looks. For the love of God, would somebody on set go out and buy some freakiní light bulbs?!?!


Itís a decent comedy. It gets extra points for making an effort to not be PC while at the same time not really going for the shock value.



Best drama on TV the past two years, so far itís definitely living up to its previous seasons.

Arrested Development

I like it, but it suffers from the same problem as Karen Sisco, it just doesnít really grab me the way it should.

Joe Millionaire

Probably not quite as good as last season, but itís a plus that the women seem a lot more money-grubbing. Theyíve really thinned out the girls very quickly though. Here it is, only November and theyíre already down to 3 girls. (An especially difficult feat considering this is Fox and Baseball rules the schedule well into October.)

A Minute with Stan Hooper

Itís a funny show. The verdictís not entirely in on it yet. It is funny but the situation does seem a tad forced. Weíll just have to wait and see.

The Simpsons

Favorite show of all time. The two new eps so far this season have impressed me. The non-THOH ep seemed a lot less crazy-antic-driven than a lot of episodes over the past few years. I hope they keep it up.

Tru Calling

Itís an entertaining show, but weíre only 2 episodes in and already I think itís going to have longevity issues. I just donít know how long they can keep essentially telling the same story twice in an hour. Also, thereís all the drama leading up to the moment when the dead person asks for help. We know theyíre going to ask for help every time. They either need to take the suspense out of it or they need to have some episodes where it doesnít actually happen. You canít have the scene where Tru hesitantly walks towards the bank of dead people and pulls them out so they can ask for help every single episode. It just takes up far too much screen time.

The WB


Last season had its problems. This season though theyíve dumped Conner and Cordy and theyíve really gotten back to the feel of the earlier seasons. You had to be a bit concerned with Spike coming back and them taking over W&H, but theyíve really handled it superbly. Most improved show this season.

Like Family

Itís your typical sitcom, nothing all that special, but it really does make me laugh. What can I say, thatís what a comedyís supposed to do.


Star Trek: Enterprise

I was worried that by going into the expanse they were just making it another Voyager, but it seems to have worked pretty well.

Scrolling up, it now occurs to me that I watch far too much TV.

Posted by robbernard at 1:23 PM in TV

Thursday, October 23, 2003

If somebody isn't shrouded in shadows just wait half a second and they will be.

On the plus side I'm really pleased with how Angel is going this season.

Posted by robbernard at 12:23 AM in TV

Wednesday, October 8, 2003

It's now nothing more than a tired ER retread. None of the snappiness it originally had. None of the wit. Nobody's life was in danger. Just unnecessary angst.

On the plus side I think the Angel folks have handled the W&H/Spike transition quite well.

Posted by robbernard at 11:46 PM in TV

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Gordon Jump dead at 71.

Posted by robbernard at 12:11 AM in TV

Monday, September 15, 2003

First off, Fox sucks for reasons too numerous to mention.

Well, ok...
1) The treatment of their entire Sunday night lineup during football season.
2) The treatment of Futurama.
3) The treatment of Family Guy.
4) The treatment of Firefly.
5) The treatment of Andy Richter.

And while I'm at it I might as well once again express my outrage over Sports Night.

Secondly, Pepsi's Play for a Billion on The WB was actually quite exciting. Wall-to-wall marketing, but still exciting.

Finally, loved the 10th anniversary Conan special. It felt suspiciously like Krusty's Comeback Special and Krusty's 25th Anniversary special.

Posted by robbernard at 12:13 AM in TV

Saturday, June 28, 2003

And they bode well for Republicans. Dean and Kucinich both beat Kerry handily, while no other candidate pulled more than 4%. If the Dems wind up putting Dean or Kucinich out I find it very hard to imagine them taking the White House in '04.

Posted by robbernard at 1:18 AM in TV

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

...the series finale of Buffy has aired. Sad to see one of the wittiest and funniest shows on TV go.

Posted by robbernard at 10:12 AM in TV

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

I was watching The Simpsons this afternoon (Just like about 50% of my waking life.) and the episode "The Old Man and the Lisa" was on. This is the episode where Burns loses his fortune, and goes to Lisa to help him get it back. He then builds a "recycling plant" that's really an evil fish slurry plant. Well, when Burns loses everything his house is sold and the following passes between the real estate agent and the potential buyer, a famous wrestler named "Hitman".

Agent: And you wouldn't even be the only wrestler in the neighborhood. The Shrieking Sheik lives just three doors away.

You hear the Sheik shrieking.

Hitman: [looking around] Hey hey! I'll take it!

In the version I saw today there was no shrieking, just Hitman looking around in silence.

It could simply be some kind of cut for time, but I think it does beg the question of whether the Simpsons folks took it out in an effort to be more PC given the current climate...

Posted by robbernard at 6:34 PM in TV

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

You have no idea how often that phrase left my mouth while watching Hardball last night.

Posted by robbernard at 11:17 AM in TV

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

What a surprise.

Posted by robbernard at 3:42 PM in TV

Sunday, February 2, 2003

This new Dragnet kind of makes you nostalgic for the days when the biggest crime problem in L.A. was damn hippies on acid and ordinary robberies.

Posted by robbernard at 11:51 PM in TV

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Neal walked off Donahue's show last night.

Posted by robbernard at 2:35 PM in TV

Friday, January 17, 2003

Fox renews 'Simpsons' through 2005.

This will make The Simpsons the longest running comedy ever.

Now for the quibble...

"King of the Hill," meanwhile, has "aided in the branding of our network as the only broadcaster that's been able to tackle primetime animation," she said....

...except of course for Futurama which they have mistreated every step of the way. The way they've yanked that show around is a crime.

Posted by robbernard at 10:37 AM in TV

Monday, January 13, 2003

VH1 yesterday in their "I Love The 80's" marathon suggested pretty heavily that He-Man is flaming gay. I now find myself having to reevaluate my entire worldview. I just pray to God nobody comes up with a "The Transformers were actually a metaphor for transexualism" theory in the near future or I may be totally lost.

Posted by robbernard at 11:44 AM in TV

Friday, January 3, 2003

There are few things as ironic as watching Phil Donahue complaining on his nationally televised show about the conservative bias of the media. Shouldn't he at least wait until he's inevitably cancelled before he starts whining about that?

Posted by robbernard at 9:50 PM in TV

Saturday, November 30, 2002

The holiday weekend has given me a chance to, through DVD watching, reinforce the idea that Sports Night is quite possibly the best series to ever be cancelled.

Posted by robbernard at 2:07 AM in TV

Friday, November 1, 2002
Just a reminder... for the first time... Uhhhh yeah...

Just 4 more days until Sports Night is available on DVD! Stupid ABC... *grumble*

Posted by robbernard at 11:40 AM in TV


Creative Commons License
This site and all associated works created by Rob Bernard are unless otherwise stated licensed under a Creative Commons License.

My Ecosystem Details