19 March 2009

May we have a word? (Part 1)

Dear Wiley Miller,

May we have a word? According to dictionary.com, satire is "the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc." and, as I would add, predominantly and preferably funny. 


On to your "comic strip," your little labor of love, Non Sequitur. It seems we have found the greatest example of uncomedic satire since...Twain? Let me refresh your memory:

click for greater res

Ha. Ha ha. Ha HA. I do always love me some good ol' fashioned down home corn shuckin' tenured unfunny comic artists. I don't know about you, but I like my satire served up hot and subtle. 

Let me spell that out. S U B T L E. 

Until next rant, 

15 March 2009

Fit for a "King"?

"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized." -- George Orwell, 1984

...and to painfully demean this work of art, this is the feeling I had while watching the first hour of Kings. Aside from Ian McShane's superb Big Brother-like character, doubling as both the warm leader and the iron-fisted monarch, this show unfortunately falls short of the mark. It is, as the Dallas Morning News's Tom Maurstad says, a glorified prime time soap opera. The 2-hr. premiere gives the viewer a dizzying primer: "so, we're in this country Gilboa, and it has a supreme monarch, and they're at war with another fake country, and the protagonist is a hick, and he falls in love with the princess, and the king hates how his son is gay, and the king is controlled by his financial backers, and..." the list goes on. At most times, it seems this show is trying to be too many things at once; a life lesson, a Bible reformatting, a soap with a broader audience. Since I turned this haberdashery off shortly after the first hour, it remains to be seen for me and many whether or not this show will gain enough of a following to keep airing. C

Ps--the site I obtained my Orwell from had some very entertaining commenters. Examples:

  • Freedom is the freedom to say that 2 + 2 = 4. All else shall follow. (WHOOPS. CLICHE ALERT / QUOTING ACCURACY FAIL)
  • 1984 Orwell is ALREADY here... you Brainwashed Idiots
  • believe it or not, my friend's kid got suspended from school 2 years back for writing his book report on 1984 and relating it to present day America. The teacher actually called the essay unpatriotic. Insanity...
  • I love how people quote a work of fiction like it's the bible. I'm sorry the government hasn't legalized pot douchebags.
  • Remember kids: BIG BROTHER IS A PEDOPHILE If he promises you a toy or candy, that means he's trying to f*** you. If he gets his hands on you, it may already be too late to say "no". Big Brother is a known member of the NAGCLA - North American Government-Citizen Love Association. If you see Big Brother in your neighborhood, break his cameras with rocks and never get into his van, even if he offers you a Barbie.\
  • The things in 1984 which you can directly relate to today's gov't such as spying on citizens, using patriotic propaganda, waging war for peace, etc, are the things that you SEE. What about other things that are NOT so obvious? For example, a friend told me to google "Chemtrails." I did so and found a site with the kooky idea that the gov't was using aerial spraying to blanket us with unknown chemicals for unknown reasons. The proof? Just look up at the jet trails that crisscross the skies! Like I said, I thought this was a pretty kooky idea at first, but I live in Phoenix AZ and I began to keep an eye on these "chemtrails" and now I DO believe something is being sprayed. Case in point, one of the planes was fairly low, and I could see puffs every 100-200 yards or so along the contrail(chemtrail). My son even commented, "It looks like a centipede"! Another day, we had a beautiful cloudless sky, and during the day jet after jet crisscrossed the sky leaving a web of trails until there was (what appeared to be) total cloud cover! You could easily see where the contrails/chemtrails of the planes had been widened and spread out until they webbed together then finally formed one united covering. There was a "sheen" to the light from the sun, that looked remarkably like the sheen when oil is sprayed up into moist air. Maybe this spraying is for bird flu vaccine, after all, the gov't has already stated that migratory birds could spread the bird flu easily, as there's no way they could be controlled, or, maybe it's something more sinister. Whatever the case, I DO now believe the go'vt is spraying SOMETHING, some type of chemical(s) on us regularly. Crazy? I used to think so too, but I don't think it's a crazy idea anymore. Check into this for yourselves, whatever it is, it ISN'T simple water vapor, or it would dissipate, NOT linger for HOURS and form a cloud cover!

07 March 2009


Nothing moistens the arid television-less state like some unnecessary lists...

MY TOP TEN COMEDIES OF ALL TIME (in no particular order):
  1. 30 Rock--obvious, really: NBC, Tina Fey, quirk, SNL parodies, etc.
  2. The Office--Michael Scott is THE most awkward person ever
  3. I Love Lucy--treason for not including, it introduced the modern sitcom
  4. The Honeymooners--the most criminally underplayed show on television
  5. Seinfeld--never challenge my mother to trivia. She will win.
  6. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia--as a recent convert, all four seasons bring something uniquely entertaining and unexpected (ie Father Matthew Mara)
  7. Fraiser--the more I see, the more I laugh; Grammar and Pierce are a spectacular team...
  8. Everybody Loves Raymond--...as are Romano and Heaton. Now stop laughing at me for enjoying this show!
  9. Fawlty Towers--Monty Python's God-sent answer to the British invasion. I would never want John Cleese to be my hotel manager.
  10. The Simpsons--after 20 years, still television's best animated comedy
  • SNL--recent years, while fleetingly entertaining, let this show lose its credibility
  • MADtv--would be so much better with the dream-team cast, alphabetically headlined by Alex Borstein
  • Robot Chicken--Seth Green's brilliant brainchild is simply too short per episode
  • South Park--a close second to The Simpsons, no doubt
  • Daily Show/Colbert Report--would be mush higher on my list if I regularly watched them
  • Testees--GODAWFUL
MY TOP TEN SHOWS OF ALL TIME (in no particular order):
  1. 30 Rock
  2. The Office
  3. House--my reasons: writing; casting; Hugh Laurie (for acting); and Jennifer Morrison, Olivia Wilde, and Lisa Edelstein (for the other thing).
  4. Fringe--next to Sunny, the least elapsed time taken for me to like a new show.
  5. The Honeymooners
  6. Seinfeld
  7. It's Always Sunny...
  8. The Simpsons
  9. Fawlty Towers
  10. Spongebob Squarepants--yes, I know; but seriously, best kids show in existence (sorry Sesame Street).
  • Hell's Kitchen/Top Chef/Iron Chef--THE best food shows of their channels
  1. Tina Fey--God who?
  2. Marion Cotillard--she spoke the truth last year "there IS angels in this city"
  3. Salma Hayek--can the 30 Rock cast-er get a raise, already?
  4. Olivia Wilde--birthname aside, pretty darn admirable in every way
  5. Jennifer Morrison--holds higher, hypothetical spot on list (pre-blonde, that is)
  6. Carla Gugino--thanks for reminding me, Watchmen...it was, of course, love at first Spy Kids
  7. Jenna Fischer--one of the 37 reasons to like The Office
  8. Kara DioGuardi--Judges' Table just got better (to look at, mainly)
  9. Penelope Cruz--optimal looks=photos of bedhair from Vicki Cristina Barcelona
  10. Jane Krakowski--only more supported by Tina Fey
That lesbian from Watchmen (almost made it)
The lead from Watchmen (would make it if she was not completely ridiculous)


05 March 2009

Oh, What a Night...

...the certain theme song for tonight's television scene, known in this household as the night of so much television it takes two simultaneous DVR tapings and live viewing just to get it all in. It kicked off today with American Idol, possibly the most ridiculous show on television, only made odder this week by the special one-hour wild card show, a method ressurected from Idol's brighter past (days where Paula's Coke cup wasn't completely spiked). In a clever gimmick, the producers decided to push for overemotional prima donna Tatianna Del Toro to return once more to the Idol stage, bringing along her bnoxious laugh, overemotional sobbing, and A NEW SPANISH ACCENT WHAT THE CHEESECAKE???!!? When your fake accent even has Paula making lucid criticisms, you know you've gone too far. She even went so far as to plagirize earlier contestant Jorge in something he expressed ONE WHOLE DAY AGO..."You know, I'm like what Jorge said, when I'm really emotional, I think in Spanish and the English comes out wrong, but when I think in English, I can take the accent out...I worked on my accent for, like, four years."
Spoiler Alert: FAKE ACCENT...Really, Tatiana? Really? 
You can't try to pull that on us when you 
try to sing like Raven Symone 
for the whole goshdarn competion
(I'ma SHHHHAVING all my LAHVING fa you)...

And then just when we feel like we've figured the Top 12 out, Matt beats out the more talented Anoop for a spot....only to learn that the judges are MAKING A TOP 13 ZOMG! Oh, judges, your creativity just slays me.

Eh. Enough of that. On to Hell's Kitchen.

Ah, it never felt more like the end of Top Chef as when Chef Ramasy gives the teams a challenge, a budget, and a guest judge...trying to take a cue from the most successful food show? Once again, sort
of uneventful--sumo wrestlers come in in a tribute to the episode's Asian fusion cuisine challenge, Coleen sends out raw food, the usual--until the elimination, where Ramsay overturned both the Reds' nomination of loud but weak Andrea and the Blues' of dunderhead J in favor of ousting Coleen, claiming she had five dinner services, all of them disasters on her part (true).
I banish you FROM Hell!
Oh, well. She had it coming, to say the least.

Oh, and next week's a bar mitzvah in Hell's Kitchen. King of kings, joy of joys, indeed.

Mazel Tov,

PS--Fabio won Top Chef fan favorite. All bets off.