Tuesday, August 28, 2007

ABC's Fall 2008 lineup

Now that I've gotten NBC out of the way, I wondered what would be the next appropriate network to focus on.

And then I saw an ad for a new ABC show with the intriguing title of "Dirty Sexy Money." That seems like a plea for attention if I've ever seen one, so I thought I'd reward the poor pitiful ad man that came up with the title of the show. So, I began loading up the ABC website to see what the new Fall shows are and, lo and behold, I was confronted with "Caveman."

How could I have forgotten about "Caveman?!!" Surely the biggest train wreck of a television concept since "Whoopi." How could I not have made "Caveman" the entity around which I hang all of my contempt and disgust? How could I have let NBC slide by with their paltry lineup of shows?

First, there is Samantha Who? (Monday Oct. 15 @ 9:30), which is not an attempted spin off of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Instead, Christina Applegate plays someone who was in an accident, comes out of a coma eighty days later and has retrograde amnesia. What the hilarity ensue as Samantha tries to delve back into her life and discovers (to her horror?) that she wasn't a nice person. Will she learn from her tragedy? Will goodness triumph over evil? Does this sound like "Regarding Henry," a Harrison Ford movie that I really didn't like?

Next up, Caveman (Tuesday Oct. 2 @ 8 pm).Honestly, what can go wrong with a sitcom based on cavemen? That's comedy gold, right? Didn't you like "The Flintstones"? Isn't Barney Rubble funnier than most TV shows on television right now? Oh, wait . . . this sitcom is based off of a series of commercials? Are you sure that's right? Well, I'm sure the commercials were funny, weren't they? And the commercials sold something hilarious like toilet paper or ice cream? Umm, the commercials were for insurance? Cavemen and insurance? And now there's a TV show based on the cavemen that tangentially sold insurance? And, oh no . . . the show is set in Atlanta?!!

(I really hope someone gets fired over this one.)

Quick, let's move on, eat some dirt, do anything to get the taste of failure out of our mouths.

Carpoolers (Tuesday, Oct. 2 @ 8:30) will die a swift death, if for no other reason than it follows "Cavemen." (Sorry to bring it up again.) But, let's just say you like following the story of four guys who are "living different versions of the modern suburban family life who obsess, dream, and strategize as they rocket their way up and down the carpool lane every day." Doesn't that sound like something you might want to watch after you've spent your day carpooling to work, strategizing your way through . . . oh, okay. Well, at least it's got Jerry O'Connell in it. He was good in Stand by Me twenty years ago and some people liked "Sliders" about a decade ago. Too bad his character's name is "Laird." (It could have been "Marmaduke, who, I kid you not, is another of the carpoolers. Quick quiz everyone. Which among us ordinary suburban office drones is named Marmaduke or knows someone named Laird?)

So far ABC isn't impressing me very much. These comedies don't seem to have much going for them. The concepts aren't working and some of them are tragically doomed in utero. But things have got to improve sometime! At least LOST will be returning . . . in February! Yikes!

Moving on . . .

If "Carpoolers" is too close to home for some viewers, I'll bet you have nothing in common with Ned, the star of Pushing Daisies (Wednesday, Oct. 3 @ 8 pm). He bakes pies. I'm willing to bet that you purchase pies and don't bake them yourselves. Oh, and Ned can also touch dead people and bring them back to temporary life. He's decided to use this odd gift to bake better pies!

No, he's doing this to help solve murders! Maybe it's "Good Eats" mixed up with "Murder She Wrote." Well, the minds who brought you Men in Black and The Addams Family are behind this one, so expect a distinctly visual experience, full of highly saturated colors, sardonic eyebrows, and biting humor. I'm told there is also an element of romance in this show as well, but I've read "The Monkey's Paw" and I know that nothing good ever comes from trying to bring a loved one back to life.

Next up? Private Practice (Wednesday, Sept. 26 @ 9 pm). Do you like "Grey's Anatomy"? Well, if so, you might like this show which is a spin off of "Grey's," focusing on Dr. Addison Forbes Montgomery's attempts to do something different. At least, I think that is what the show is about. I don't like "Grey's Anatomy" and so I'm not too jazzed about this one. Moving on.

Dirty Sexy Money (Wednesday, Sept. 26 @ 10 pm) wins the award for the most provocative title of any show in the Fall season this year. What's the show about? A lawyer is given the task of handling the legal and financial matters of a very wealthy and very untamable family. There are some good actors here--Peter Krause, Donald Sutherland--but I don't know if people will care. Something seems formulaic about the premise. Maybe it'll be a lot of smoke with little substance?

Big Shots (Thursday, Sept. 27 @ 10 pm) is another group of four working guys but any possible comparison to "Carpoolers" must end right there. These Big Shots (Michael Vartan, Christopher Titus, Dylan McDermott, and Joshua Malina) are four competitive CEOs that will do anything to stay on top. I admit to being slightly intrigued by the return of Vartan, who was Jennifer Garner's love interest on "Alias." Of course, McDermott was on "The Practice" for quite a while. So, the actors are pretty solid, but I wonder if t he substance of the show will maintain over the long haul?

Women's Murder Club (Friday, Oct. 12 @ 9 pm) is probably doomed from the start, for several reasons. Those reasons are not because it's full of women, or because it's another San Francisco show that must fight off the spectre of "Nash Bridges." No, the fact that this show is on Friday night and won't even premiere until mid October doesn't bode well. The idea of the show--Angie Harmon's Det. Lindsay Boxer uses a special group of women crime specialists to help solve murders--might actually be interesting, but how interested will anyone be on a Friday night? I don't have high hopes.

Finally, the last show of the Fall premiere's is Cashmere Mafia (Tuesday, Dec. 4 @ 9 pm; special preview Nov. 27). This show tracks yet another group of four (what is it with groups of four?) women who have been helping each other our since Business school. They do everything together, much like the women from "Sex and the City," which isn't a coincidence since the producers of both shows are the same. I guess when you have a good idea, you stick with it.

So, that's ABC. I've got to say that I'm not thrilled with the shows they've got lined up for the Fall. The rest of the schedule is filled out with reality shows like "Dancing with the Stars" and the critically acclaimed "Ugly Betty" that did so well last year. I only care about "LOST" which won't be back on the air until sometime in February. So, I don't think I'll be checking out the alphabet network much for a while.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

NBC TV Preview, Fall 2007

Usually I wait until either Entertainment Weekly or TV Guide publishes their Fall TV Preview issues to begin researching and writing these posts. But that's the easy way out, really. If I'm going to bother to write these things, I should do it on my own merits and not wait for others to tell me what's good and what's not. Besides, I can only tell you what I think sounds good, since I don't have any insight into the inner workings of Hollywood, and therefore can't tell you what's going on behind the camera.

So, on my own lights and with my own opinions, here goes.

NBC's list of new shows for the fall is pretty thin, really. Only five new shows debuting. This is a result of NBC and the other networks deciding to hold back some of their new shows for mid-season replacements, which I always think of as a backup plan in case the newly released shows turn out to be horrible and no one wants to watch them--sort of like when a pitcher gives up home runs early in a baseball game and has to be relieved in the early innings.

But that makes this easier for me, since I don't have that many shows to consider.

I'll admit to being somewhat intrigued by Chuck (Monday, Sept. 24 @ 8 pm). I only know a bit about the show, based upon a commercial I saw a few nights ago while surfing past NBC. It seems that Chuck is a everyday sort of wage slave that works as a computer technician in a retail store (think the Geek Squad at Best Buy--wonder if there will be any cross promotional commercials?). He has the misfortune of stumbling across classified information while defragmenting a laptop or something and PRESTO! he is the unwitting new sidekick of a real government spy that is fighting to save the world or something. So, this show is something of a cross between "Jake 2.0" and "Gotcha." I'm sure it's my fondness for "Alias" that makes me even consider watching this show. It'll probably stink. The very fact that the website prominently features a ninja should make you run screaming for the remote.

If farcical spy stuff isn't your bag, then you might like Life (Wednesday, Sept. 26 @ 10 pm). It's a police drama but it's not by Dick Wolf and doesn't feature the words Law or Order. Instead, the main character is an ex-con who is back on the force after spending time in jail. Are you intrigued by this character being described as "complex and offbeat"? Do you think he'll be able to bring special wisdom to his beat, since he was once on the inside and (maybe) understands the criminal mind? You might be thinking "Law and Order" meets "House," but hold on! What if I tell you that Detective Charlie Crews was "serving time in prison for a crime he didn't commit." (!!??) How do you feel NOW? Maybe this show is "Law and Order " meets "The A-Team." Or maybe it's "Hill Street Blues" meets "Prison Break." Or maybe it's fresh and original TV programming that we've never experienced before! You decide . . .

Another new show is Journeyman (Monday, Sept. 24 @ 10 pm), another drama, but this one seems to be about time travel. The intriguing tag phrase on the website is--"They say you can't live in the past, but Dan Vasser does that and more." Really? What MORE could this be referring to? Isn't living in the past special enough? Does he alter time in some way while living in the past? Can he prevent himself from altering time, even if he wanted to? Does it help that the actor playing Dan Vasser reminds me of a cross between Anthony Michael Hall ("The Dead Zone") and Daniel Craig? (Bond . . . James Bond.) Can a show set in San Francisco avoid being compared to "Nash Bridges," no matter many times it goes into the past to avoid such a comparison being made? Still, NBC seems to be investing a bit in this show. The website is already set up with a Quiz link and a Community link. Somebody seems to think that the Web is waiting to get involved. The fact that it follows last year's geek hit "Heroes" will surely help in this regard.

NBC's new reality show for the Fall isn't new at all. It's a continuation of the Summer show The Singing Bee. I don't like reality shows much and I haven't watched this one, in which people compete to sing popular songs and fill in the lyrics once the band stops playing. So, this one is a cross between "American Idol" and "Name That Tune." Not for me, thanks. And when you consider that they got ex-NSync-er Joey Fatone to be the host, my nonexistent interest level goes into negative numbers. I bet even Howie Mandel turned this one down.

My interest for NBC this Fall is devoted to only two things--the return of Heroes (Monday, Sept. 24 @ 9 pm)--and the arrival of Bionic Woman (Wednesday, Sept. 26 @ 9 pm). Clearly NBC is preparing for this show to make a splash. The website alone is so detailed, it has been reducing my laptop to a crawl while I try to type all of this. But, NBC is probably right in hoping this show will make a splash. It is produced and created by David Eick who has done quite well for himself the past few years co-producing the reimagined "Battlestar Galactica" on the Sci-Fi Channel. I'm a BIG fan of the new BSG, so I have high expectations for "Bionic Woman." This show owes debts to both of the original "Bionic" shows of the 1970s. It might hew more closely to Lindsay Wagner's "The Bionic Woman" show. (Lindsay's bionics included a right arm, both legs, and an ear.) But the 1970s Jaime was a tennis professional that was injured in a skydiving accident. Michelle Ryan's version of Jaime Sommers is a struggling singleton who bartends to make ends meet while acting as mother to her teenage sister. She gets in a bad car accident and becomes extraordinary. So, there is less glamour here. And she gets a bionic eye along with the legs, arm, and ear. This is probably a nod to Lee Major's "Six Million Dollar Man," who got the cool eye with his bionic legs and arm.

The fact that this show's premiere was leaked onto the Internet this summer and has been downloaded a lot since then should tell you all you need to know. There is a lot of buzz around this show and I'll be tuning in.

So, there are the new shows coming up for NBC. Old favorites like The Office (Thursday, Sept 27 @ 9 pm--1 hour premiere), 30 Rock (Thursday, Oct. 4 @ 8:30 pm), My Name is Earl (Thursday, Sept. 27 @ 8 pm), and Scrubs (Thursday, Oct. 25 @ 9:30 pm) are coming back as well. But you know about them, so I'm not going to get into those.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A few tweaks

I haven't adjusted my blog template since I made The Switch to the New Blogger.

But I couldn't resist making a few sidebar adjustments based on some items that I saw on another blog.

Over to your right is a new way to search my Archive of posts. Rather than have a list of the years, now it is formatted in a calendar. Each month's list of posts are provided by name below the calendar and you can see on the calendar itself what days I've posted on. If I've been particularly busy, lots of the squares will be highlighted in yellow. Each highlighted calendar square will take you to the post written on that day. You can access previous months either by selecting the month you want from the drop down menu above the calendar or by clicking on the Archive arrows below the calendar to step backwards on month at a time.

Below the calendar, my Label display has been adjusted into a Label cloud. In the past, my labels were simply a list of categories with a number showing how many of my posts fell into that particular label name. Now, the labels are displayed graphically, the size of the label representing the number of entries in that category.

(Thanks go to phydeaux3 for the html codes and helpful step-by-step instructions for how to make this happen.)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

How Bionic are You?

See What You're Made Of - Visit The Official Site

(Consider this the first salvo of my upcoming Fall TV Preview series of posts. I'll start researching and begin preparing my observations very soon. Aren't you excited?)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Embeddable Maps!

I just read that Google Maps has created a feature allowing bloggers to create maps and embed them into posts--much like you can currently do with YouTube videos.

That is awesome! And I would be beyond belief excited about it if I ever went on trips of any kind.

Imagine what fun I might have had if this feature had been available when Lynda and I took our trip to San Francisco a few years ago. Along with all of my posts about places we went, I could have provided maps of the spots, embedded even further with photos. I could have shown you our wanderings up and down the neighborhoods of western San Francisco, up and down Lombard Street, our bus trip to Golden Gate Park, etc.

Begin to prepare for the awesome posts I'll create a short eight years from now when Lynda and I go to Hawaii . . . or somewhere similar.

(Those of you blogging friends of mine that DO go on trips more frequently than I . . . I'm expecting great things from you on this front.)

You can read all about the details of the new feature here.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Yep, it's more random stuff to finish out the weekend.

1. I think I've heard of this site before, but I didn't check it out until this weekend. Cover Browser can show you hundreds--maybe thousands--of comic book covers from all across the comic spectrum. While I am not a comic fanatic, I (like many American males) am certainly familiar with them. I've never collected comics, but I did buy some graphic novels back in college. (Everybody experiments in college, right?)

What I found particularly valuable about this site, however is not the amazing variety of comics you might choose to look at. Rather, it's some of the humorous categories that the webmaster has uncovered. For instance, did you know that Superman's identity has been revealed a shocking number of times . . . and in an increasingly ridiculous set of circumstances?

2. Do you remember the Coca-Cola "Happiness Factory" ad from the last Super Bowl? Well, there is a sequel to it now out that recently debuted in the Web-verse.

You can watch the entire 3 minute clip over on WWYG?! Omnimedia, but I've got to say that Coke must be the most powerful brand name in the world if they don't care about the message that this clip gives about the product in question.

The original "Happiness Factory" clip gave you the impression that the mysterious creatures living in the Coke machine were well meaning drones who only wanted to get you a cold Coke fast. The music was cheerful and everyone seemed pretty damned pleased with themselves. But, in this new advert-epic, when things go wrong, we get a more disturbing look in the depraved world of Coke creation.

First of all, by spending over three minutes in the world of Coke, we can clearly see that the mysterious beings that deliver the Coke are much creepier than they should be. What was once viewed as whimsical now appears to be grubby, slimy, nasty little of all shapes and sizes just galumphing around in the inner crevices of a vending machine.

It's supposed to be a quest to find the source of Coke or something, but I couldn't escape the feeling that as our hero ventures deeper and deeper into the center of the Cokeverse, things get scummier and dirtier. This is a product that you are pouring into MOUTHS, Coca-Cola company! Hygiene would seem to be of primary importance, no?

And, finally, PLEASE tell me why belching is the mysterious force that causes the willowy Coke tree to revive itself and begin juicing out the (now suspicious looking) brown Coke liquid. Gross!

Friday, August 17, 2007

. . . ___ ____ makes three

[The captions read, from L to R--David (Dad), Lynda (Mom), Sarah (Me), Grace (sister), Babby (isn't here)]

I found this in Sarah's cubby at daycare when we picked her up this afternoon. I don't know when she drew it, but it is recent. And it is all true.

We just started telling people last week. Lynda is into the early days of the second trimester. Given our past history, we didn't want to jump the gun on informing people until we were comfortable and (as) certain (as we can ever be) that things are going to be fine.

So . . . how are things with you?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Making an omelet . . .

This morning, I found something interesting for you to look at and enjoy.

Thanks to The Presurfer, I saw some interesting photographs made by German artist Martin Klimas.

Klimas drops ceramic figurines and takes photographs at the moment of impact. His pictures are taken using a strobe-light type camera that clicks the shutter when it hears the sound of shattering.

You can read more about his technique, and see some of his photographs via this link.

Though I am surely influenced by the Asian style of these particular figurines, I think Klimas' pictures have a sort of "Matrix" stop-motion feeling to them.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Taking it Easy

About two weeks ago, I was picking up the girls from Vacation Bible School in New Albany. I had to take them to a noon dentist appointment.

I saw a guy roller-blading down the sidewalk, on a Monday. Who knows if he had a job, had the day off, was unemployed, was on vacation. But as he slid down the decline preparing to cross the street that I was driving on, he just busted a 1970s disco roller skate move, twirling in place in a kind of joyful fluidity that grabbed my attention.

Here I was, in mid-day, transitioning from the grind of office work, getting my kids to get their teeth cleaned, then I'd drop them back at daycare and return to the cubicle for a few more hours of profitable anonymity. Average, banal, ordinary.

And here was RollerBladeDude, busting his move, unconcerned and enjoying himself.

I tried to carry that image with me, reminding myself to take it easy, to breath more slowly, to focus on the moment, rather than dwelling on what's been done before and what still remains to be done ahead.

I've often had this problem, thinking outside of myself too much. Worrying about anything, everything. It was a problem when I was a young boy in school. Maybe because I had older siblings I could watch them ahead of me and project myself forward to when I faced those challenges. More than anything, I was just an anxious, worrying kid that was afraid of doing something wrong, of creating disappointment. This anxiety was enough of an issue that my parents signed me up for a summer session of weekly talks with a psychologist.

These talks were very informal affairs, just him and me sitting in his office talking about the week gone by. I don't really even remember him specifically asking me what caused my anxiety or focusing on the things that make me get upset. We just talked, though I'm sure those things came up and he got my impressions on things. Maybe talking through my week, pulling it out of my perspective, having someone else objectify my experiences allowed me to gain perspective of my own. Maybe I just grew up a bit, but in the end, we met weekly for the summer months and then it was over.

I do feel that I loosened up some after that. I didn't project my worries out into the future quite as much. I still worried then and still do today, but I took it all better in stride. Nowadays, I've got LOTS more to worry about than school projects or living up to the previous examples of my siblings. I guess it's proof that things are better if I can do all the things I now do without being overwhelmed.

I guess I just kept on growing and learning that you worry about the stuff you can control and do your best when you can. But, if you're just out and about on a weekday, living your life and doing your thing, don't pass up the opportunity to twirl on your roller blades and have a little bit of fun.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Keeping up appearances

Hey Ya'll. How's it going?

I'm pretty good, really. My life is normal and ordinary and uneventful right now, which is more than I can say for others that I know and my thoughts and prayers go out to them this week.

I have been neglecting WWYG?! lately, simply trying to come up with an idea, a reason for blogging. I haven't been able to come up with much and I have to learn to accept that. I am aware that my daily life is not always suitable for presentation.

But, the internet is always out there, filled with idiocy, some interesting stuff, and other things I can't even begin to guess. So, let's take a look at recent stuff that I thought was worth a few minutes of ocular review.

Thanks to a new blog that I recently heard of (The Presurfer), I can fill you in on some very interesting bathroom signs from around the world. Everybody's gotta go, right? But how you go about informing people WHERE to go can provide some nicely creative moments. Check out the visual list here. One of my favorite signs is displayed below:

For the LOST fans out there, there was some big news a few weeks ago. Harold Perrineau is going to be back for Season 4 of our favorite Mystery Island show. Be sure to get your earplugs ready for lots of "WAAAALLLLTTTTT!"
And for more LOST stuff, check out this video listing of stuff from Comic Con 2007. I'm too lazy to search it all out for you individually, but you can find interesting links and some tantalizing stuff about season 4 within. I've listened to the podcast audio and I'm ready for February to arrive.

Yes, I am suffering a bit from post-Potter depression. Yes, clicking on that link WILL take you to mildly spoileriffic materials. And, yes, I am currently reading The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman to try and fill the void. (Though I am also planning to fill the void by reading Deathly Hallows again as soon as my copy is returned to me from GY, my coworker who is sharing it with her daughter.)

Speaking of Harry Potter (and then I'll try and stop, I promise), I was checking page proofs and listening to the audio book for HP & the HBP today when the word "satsuma" came up once again. (Sometime like "Arthur Weasley looked up from the satsuma he was peeling.") I have often wondered exactly what a satsuma was, but have never bothered to look it up before today. I imagined that it was a vegetable or something.

Well, I was getting in the right direction, but it's not a vegetable. As you probably already know, a satsuma is another word for a tangerine.

But what's interesting about the website I just linked to is that there are some rather odd Pop Culture references listed for satsumas. And consider that someone had to put those there when the entry was written. Clearly I'm not the only one wasting my time on the internet.

Until next time . . .