Stuff Steve Likes

A blog which more or less exactly fails to please the eye

Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

The Chicago Code Looks Promising

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Monday night was the premiere of “The Chicago Code.” It was much better than I thought it was going to be. The best part is that it feels like it might have some staying power. On the rare occasion that one of the major broadcast networks puts out a show that I like no one else seems to like it. For example, it looks like “Fringe” is about to ride off into that sunset known as cancellation. It’s already been moved to Friday night TV land purgatory. I think “The Chicago Code” will be around for a least a few seasons. In any case, I’m looking forward to the second episode.

The Chicago Code – Season 1 : Ep. 1

Written by Steve

February 10th, 2011 at 10:00 pm

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Don’t Think Too Hard About FlashForward

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I caught the first couple of episodes of FlashForward over the weekend. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. High production value and for the most part good acting were the hallmarks of the first two episodes. The acting was decent except for one of the child actors, Lennon Wynn who plays the daughter of the show’s main character. She really was pretty bad. Anyway, wikipedia was kind enough to provide a plot synopsis for FlashForward.

A mysterious global event causes everyone on the planet to simultaneously lose consciousness for 2 minutes and 17 seconds, during which people see what appear to be visions of their lives approximately six months in the future – a global “consciousness shift”. A number of people have seen newspapers, calendars or clocks in their visions, and it is established that every vision occurs on April 29, 2010 at the exact same time, adjusting for local time zones. It is also established that the visions were shared; if one person was with another in their vision, the other person also reports the same events in their vision. The event results in deaths from accidents and leaves the survivors wondering whether what they saw will really happen.

Unfortunately, in the middle of the first episode I made the mistake of thinking about the show and things started to go down hill. The premise of the show centers on the fact that everyone on earth passes out at exactly the same time and has 2 minute 17 second window into the same point in the future. Obviously, this event would have a profound influence on human civilization. O.K., I’m still cool with everything so far. What bothers me is that everyone’s vision of the future showed April 29, 2010 has just another day, not as a day with global, multi-cultural significance. In their visions of the future, no one thought to themselves “yes, this is what my vision of the future showed me what now would look like.” There were no banners welcoming what should have been an extremely important day for humanity.

I was also annoyed by the fact that the title of the show is one word. The show is loosely base on Robert J. Sawyer’s 1999 book called FlashForward. I guess I’ll have to take up any title complaints with Mr. Sawyer.

I think I’ll be able to look passed what I consider to be a major plot hole. Perhaps, the writers have considered this point and will address it in some future episode. FlashForward is entertaining and worth watching. You should check it out.

Written by Steve

October 6th, 2009 at 7:33 am

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Dislike Parks and Recreation Slightly Less

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For the second week in a row Parks and Recreation started out really slow and more importantly really unfunny. If it had been an hour long episode, I would have quit watching toward the middle of the show. And that would have been my loss because the second half was much better than the first half.

The first half of the second episode features Lessie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, and the rest of the ad hoc Subcommittee on Pit Beautification canvassing Pawnee, IN to promote and drive attendance to a public forum to discuss turning the abandoned lot into a park. The show’s writers and actors intentionally made the canvassing effort awkward and clumsy, but for me the attempt missed the mark. I don’t think I even cracked a smile.

The canvassing failed miserably. The residents in support of the park couldn’t be persuaded to attend the forum. In the end the only people that came to the forum were those that strongly opposed the creation of a park and folks that wanted to air non-park related grievances which sets up the next scene.

Lessie faced a hostile crowd and the threat of a vote to kill the park project loomed large. Ultimately Lessie saved the day by filibustering her own meeting to avoid a vote. She even went as far has to predict a future where the citizens of Pawnee would blink their emotions to one another instead of verbally communicating.

Update:Parks and Recreation is starting to hit its stride. The first two episode of this new show were fairly weak, but the third and fourth episodes were pretty funny. I guess it’s time to start the cancellation death watch now that I’m enjoying the show. I don’t know enough about ratings to predict whether Parks will be renewed for another season, but last weeks numbers were 3.4/6.

Written by Steve

April 20th, 2009 at 8:54 am

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Parks and Recreation Review

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I just caught NBC’s latest attempt to get out of the ratings basement, Parks and Recreation. Half-way through the first episode, I had formed my initial opinion on the show; Parks is an unfunny version of The Office. By the end of that first episode, my initial opinion was replacement with my current opinion of the show; Parks is a mostly unfunny version of The Office. I think I chuckled once when Tom, a character with Indian or Middle Eastern ancestry, describes himself as a redneck.

Parks and Recreation takes place in the fictional town of Pawnee, IN. Amy Poehler plays the character of Michael Scott Leslie Knope, Pawnee’s Parks and Recreation Deputy Director. Rashida Jones plays Ann Perkins, a nurse who’s boyfriend broke both of his legs after falling into an abandoned construction site.

Written by Steve

April 13th, 2009 at 10:12 am

Tonight’s Bottom Three

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Group photo of contestants

The first two couples, Kherington & Twitch and Courtney & Gev did a fine job last night. So did the last two couples, Chelsie & Mark and Katee & Joshua. With strong performances coming from those four, I will not be surprised to see any of the remaining couples dancing for their lives tonight.

Comfort & Chris and Chelsea & Thayne will definitely be dancing for their lives tonight. Who will be the third couple dancing for their lives tonight? That’s a bit trickier. I’m going to guess Kourtni & Matt* based on the weird choreography courtesy of Sonya, the mohawk lady.

*Matt and his ninja mask will haunt me for the rest of my life. Thanks, Fox.

Written by Steve

June 26th, 2008 at 1:44 pm

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Gordon Ramsey is Tricky

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So last night Chef Ramsey got me when he announced who was getting the boot from Hell’s Kitchen.  For a second I thought Corey was going home.  Jen, you will not be missed, at least not by me.

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June 18th, 2008 at 7:58 am

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So You Think You Can Dance – D.C. Auditions

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So you can dance, but that doesn’t matter if you don’t have the personality to go along with it.

I was very disappointed with the So You Think You Can Dance judges tonight.  The kid from Juilliard clearly was very talented.  One of the reasons that this show is one of the only reality tv shows that I watch is because of the focus on talent.  Yes, the American Idol winner is not necessarily the contestant with best voice.  To be an Idol you need to have a good voice and be a showman/showwoman.  You need “star power”; an intangible “It” factor.  SYTYCD is not American Idol and shouldn’t be.

Mr. Juilliard should have gone straight through to Vegas based solely on the strength of his solo audition.  Having to learn the choreography was beneath him.  Come on.  Juilliard.  In three years.  Again, I am so disappointed.

Written by Steve

May 29th, 2008 at 10:18 pm

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So You Think You Can Dance

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A contestant from So You Think You Can DanceSeason four of So You Think You Can Dance just started.  This is the first season that I started watching the show from the beginning.  I completely missed the first two seasons, but then my sister-in-law got me hooked last summer after about a third of the episodes had already aired.

For the most part I shy away from reality TV shows.  I find most of them to be overly contrived.  It seems like reality TV show producers beat the bushes to find “ratings grabbing” contestants with quirky personalities and no talent instead of normal folks with decent ability.  Most importantly, reality TV can be mind numbing to the point where drool trickles out of the corner of your mouth if you watch any given episode of any given show beyond the opening credits.

Last season of So You Think You Can Dance was fun to watch because it didn’t have any of the problems of most reality TV shows. There was no celebrity gimmick like some shows use. Instead of being an I.Q. siphon, I actually learned about different dance styles because of the variety of dances the contestants performed and because of judges’ generally insightful performance critiques. I don’t know anything about dancing, but I still found the show to be very entertaining.

When I started watching the show, the pool of contestants were genuinely talented dancers and for the most part the weakest remaining dancer was booted off the show leaving an increasingly talented group of contestants every week.  Finally, the contestants are selected by audition which means the producers can’t pick applicants because of some stereotypical personality trait highlighted in a homemade video.

I have high hopes for season 4 of So You Think You Can Dance based on season 3.

Genre: Reality TV

Premise: From the official website:

The summer hit SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, hosted by Cat Deeley, keeps viewers moving to a different beat as dancers skilled in everything from the ‘street’ styles of Hip-Hop, Krumping and Popping to Ballroom’s Salsa, Quickstep and Jive compete to be named the nation’s favorite.

Airing: Mondays at 8:00PM?? Thursdays at 8:00PM??

Written by Steve

May 24th, 2008 at 10:00 am

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