Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Random Bits from the Mainstream Media

Leafing through Newsweek yesterday evening I saw a few items that I was interested in expounding upon.

But, I wasn't interested enough to do it last night.

Now the kids are home, I've got lasagna cooking in the oven, and I've go a bit of time on my hands. I'll start now and probably finish up later tonight once the kids are in the beds.

Item #1: It seems that Newsweek has abandoned it list of weekly "blogs of note" or whatever they were calling it. I am sad, but not too sad--not too sad because Why Won't You Grow?! was never noticed . . . sad because it will NEVER be recognized by Newsweek if the feature doesn't return.

Random Thought A: I checked my website traffic last night and noticed something nice. The average page visits per month rose from 300 to 500 in starting in June and held steady through the second half of the year. Even leaving out the Mormon-inspired spike to 900 during that one glorious month, it is clear that more people are checking me out more often. What will 2006 bring?

Item #2: Newsweek clued me into the very funny video "Lazy Sunday" (also known as "The Chronic of Narnia"). Since I don't watch Saturday Night Live ever, I didn't see this video when it first aired during December . . . and since this video has quickly become the latest internet phenomenon . . . I thought I would pass it along. You can see the video linked from this post. You can also read about the growing importance of the Internet as a pusher of ideas via this Newsweek story. If you somehow find a way to catch people's attention, the Internet can open up the world to a lot of people. (And I don't seriously think this ever applies to me . . . but it might apply to some people.)

Item #3: In easily the saddest news item in this week's issue . . . riding a scooter has become "the new walking" according to this article.

I mean, come ON!! One of the scooters mentioned in the article (a husband and wife team) indicate that between the two of them, they own seven of these motorized monstrosities, "one for each floor of their home, some for outdoors, some for travel. After several operations, Ed needs them. Yvonne is mobile, but prefers to ride next to Ed in their prize model--a double-wide--when they go to car shows." (They'd better watch it before they become double-wides.)

People in this country are already fat enough, okay?

(At least Segways make you stand up.)

Item #4: Can you believe that NBC is actually making a successful move at reviving Must See TV? It's true! They are developing a serious comedy block on Thursday nights . . . anchored by My Name is Earl (that everyone swears to me is good) and The Office (which seems to have finally found itself outside the shadow of the British version). Add to that the addition of new sitcom "Four Kings" (which I know nothing about . . . but does include the always awesome Seth Green).

Now, if only NBC would put Scrubs in the Thursday night mix! (Yes, Scrubs did finally return last night, after about twelve months of hiatus. And, yes, it was very good and very funny.) Speaking of hiatus . . . Alias is disappearing into a hiatus until March. This can/should/will be blamed on Tom Cruise.


Well, he chose Alias/LOST creator J. J. Abrams to write/direct Mission Impossible: 3. So, blame Tom for killing the last season of Alias and you can also blame him for weakening LOST this season (if you happen to think that LOST is not as good in its second season).

Random Thought B: Have you hear about The Book of Daniel? It's a show debuting this Friday night on NBC that focuses on an Episcopal priest who stuggles to right the ship of his family life, his congregation, and himself. He does this by sometimes talking to Biblical figures as he goes about his business(and they are portrayed by actors). So, imagine a combination of 7th Heaven and Herman's Head.

But, that (good or goofy) isn't why I bring it up. The show has drawn fire from some conservative Christian groups for being anti-Christian. Since I haven't seen the show I can't say if they're right (but I'm gonna guess they are over-reacting). However, Newsweek quotes actor Aiden Quinn (who portrays the priest) when he describes the show:

"I'm an Episcopalian priest who struggles with a little self-medication problem, and I have a 23-year-old son who's gay, and a 16-year-old daughter who's caught dealing pot . . . and a wife who's very loving but also like her martinis. I can't tell you how many people have said to me, 'Hey that sounds like my family.'"

Let those without sin cast the first stone . . .


Sven Golly said...

Oh the tragedy of a life unrecognized by Newsweek.

David said...

I take back 5% of my snarky criticism of religious conservatives by stating that I read this morning that the Episcopal bishop in NBC's The Book of Daniel (played by Ellen Burstyn)is portrayed as having an extramarital affair.

That might rile some people up, but it is clear that one of the goals of this show is to doggedly portray clergy as "real people too."

While that is a laudable goal . . . can't ANYONE on this show not have some sort of skeleton in the closet? As the Newsweek article about this stated, NBC is clearly trying to mine the soapy complications that Desperate Housewives made popular, but it seems that The Book of Daniel is going to replicate one of my least popular aspects of DH . . . the fact that everyone is nuts in some way.

Hey programmers! Having one calm lifestyle might provide some interesting contrasts, and having a calm bishop might provide a useful font of advice for the insecure priest.

But I guess that would weaken the fantasy discussions with Jesus, huh? (Everybody's gotta have a Joan of Arcadia-style hook.)

Spec said...

It seems like "The Book of Daniel" is causing a little controversy. So far, two affiliates have dumped the show for its portrayal of Christianity. This actually makes me want to watch the show more.

Read the CNN article about it here.