The TV I watch 2016

We’re a few months into the 2016 seson, and a few shows have already been cancelled. It’s time to list the shows I still watch weekly.

 

In no particular order

The Daily Show with Trevor noah
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
@Midnight (occasional)
TMZ (occasional)
Dragons’ Den (occasional
Drunk History (occasional)
Tosh.0
22 Minutes
Rick Mercer
Jimmy Kimmel Live (occasional)
InnerSPACE (occasional)
Still Standing
Saturday Night Liv
Supernatural
The Great Indoors

The Big Bang Theory
Rosewood
South Park
Lethal Weapon
Survivor
Brooklynn 99
Timeless
Conviction
Travelers
Murdoch Mysteries
Lucifer
Elementary
Rizzoli & Isles
Class
Doctor Who
MacGyver
Notorious
Simpsons
Family Guy
The Good Place
Good Witch
Conviction
Four in the Morning
12 Monkeys
Dark Matter
The Librarians
Angie Tribeca
Border Security Canada
Braindead (if it returns)
Four in the Morning
Houdini & Doyle (if it returns)
IZombie
Killjoys
Last Comic Standing
Lucifer
Private Eyes (if it returns)
Saving Hope (if it returns)
Sunnyside
Timeless
Whose Line is it anyway?
Penn & Teller Fool Us
Wizard Wars

Police must be pissed at TV murder shows

One of my favourite genres of Television for the past few years, is the murder show. The hour long dramas that come on at 9 or 10pm and start with a discovery of the body scene.

I’ve blogged before about those scenes, and I still wonder if they are written and sold and directed separately from the main show. It seems like an ideal way for new directors to practice, but it especially seems to be an ideal scene to write and sell separately.

For over 10 years, I’ve watched almost every show where the police detective gets help from a skilled or talented civilian. None have had the same dead body reveal.

I am blogging today about how this particular formula is used by almost every cop/murder show on TV.

It may have started with Sherlock Holmes. He took the name Consulting Detective, as pretty much any of the list I’m about to share could.psych-300x194

I watched a show where a Grand Chess Champion who was afraid to leave his Hotel room, solved murders with an assistant and the police.

I am trying to remember them all.  I can’t.


Do you remember these?
The one with the handsome fake psychic
The one with the real psychic and the other one with a psychic
The Canadian one where the guy is an ambulance psychic
The one who told the police he was a psychic who worked with the police, but he was really just a Sherlock Holmes smart guy.
The one with the handsome art thief
The one with the Devil Himself
The one with the schizophrenic university professor that seems people
The one with the immortal that renews nude in the Hudson river
The one with the Grimm
The one with Houdini
The one with a Bionic man and woman
The one with a guy with a computer/Internet link in his head
The one with the Zombie
The one that takes a pill and becomes smart
The one who is a Faye
The one who is the coroner
The other one who is the Coroner
The other one where the Coroner is best friends with the Italian Detective
The one where a team and the machine save lives with a cop.
The one where his partner is an android, and the 70s one with an android
The one where he’s a pathologist
The one where he’s a taxi driver
The one where he’s solving murders while gamblers bet if he can
The one where she is best friends with a Vampire
The one that had identic Memory, although she becomes a cop
The one where he’s a magician
The one where he’s an author
The one where he’s a fat paranoid nerd that’s good with computers
The one where he’s a car, although not helping police directly


I know I am missing lots.  How many have you seen?
Add to the list if you liked a show where a non cop helped the cops with some talent or skill

Blipverts for 2016. Fast Forward Marketing

In the 1987 TV series Max Headroom, which apparently took place 20 minutes into the future, a lot of technology was displayed. One of the neat idea that stucjk with me over the years was the “Blipverts”.  These were a new format TV commercial on Network 23 that lasted 3 seconds.

Over the years, I’ve seen broadcast commercials try shorter formats and radio has done so as well.  60 second commercials are almost gone from our view, and a lot more 15 second spots are common. Producers are aware that a vast majority of television watchers no longer watch shows live, and commercial breaks are often ignored or fast forwarded by.

Today I noticed an interesting concept that caught my eye while fast forwarding past the middle commercial break on a show I was watching. The middle break is often the longest, containing more commercials than the others. I noticed two commercials employing something new. The entire commercial spot had a banner, much like me may see on a computer command bar. A sold black line across the top of the screen that contained the commercial name and some vitals. The regular TV spot played below it.

This had the outstanding effect of showing up clearly while fast forwarding by. In the first case it was the name of a movie. The commercial content itself was the traditional COMING SOON trailer, but while watching on an increased speed, I might very well have missed the movie name. This way, I saw the name for the whole duration of the forwarding.  It occurred to me that I was watching, in effect, a 3 second commercial. A Blipverts for today’s generation.

A 30 second commercial, fast forwarded, perhaps a little longer than 3 seconds, but I have 3 speeds I could use to move on. Even at the fastest speed, which traditionally cuts huge chunks out if the video as it displays only clips as it moves forward digitally, I would still have seen at least 3 seconds of a 30 second spot.  All of them containing the vital commercial message.  

I paused and blogged.  This is a very smart move. A creative way to make commercials that function for the regular watchers and the impatient ones. Many commercials try to get me to watch by creating mini stories, or mystery or blizzard imagery that should slow me down and make me watch, but all too often the brand or slogan or logo of a commercial is only displayed or spoken at the very end. WIth this new technology, it wouldn’t matter. I’d always see the web address our brand or message, even when speeding by at the maximum ignore speed.

I applaud the marketing genius. I hope they were paid well, not just for a single commercial, but for a whole new idea that could insure more eyes on the message.

I have to wonder if he or she  was a Max Headroom fan.

SNL Live Hillary speech

It’s Monday, and that’s a bit later than usual for me to watch this past weekend’d Saturday Night Live. It’s been a pretty consistent Sunday morning ritual, but toady I was a day late.  The first thing I noticed when they said Big Dick and it really looked like he wasn’t supposed to, but that may just be me, over analyzing the micro expressions.

Fake Hillary really hit it home. Before she started, I was worried, because Hillary needs help beating Bernie Sanders, and ridicule of her bad points may sway against her. However, her speech was exactly what she might have wanted to say, inside her head.  The true fact is, Donald is such a terrifying opponent that voters may turn out in record numbers just to pick the opposition.  Hillary could not have won against anyone reasonable… but a Dead congressman could win against Trump.  A sock puppet would probably win.

Now this is sadly, more insulting than it needs to be towards Hillary. I think she’ll make a great President actually, and off the campain trail, the first husband can be back in our faces to balance her cold image.  I honestly believe that Trump works for the Hillary Campaign.  His outrageous antics will get Hillary elected, in a year where she might not have.  The people voted a black man into office rejecting her. A white opponent conservative would have not voted for her.

As she says in her speech, you’re stuck in the middle with me.  I think the election 2 year season was probably more than free healthcare and maybe education for colleges would have cost.

 

Well, maybe not that much, but it sure was a long distraction.  TV comedy like Jon Stewart and SNL and all the late night standups are political because it’s just such a show. You can’t help not watch, and the parody of Trump saying he’s the greatest thing since Germany 1941 is a wonderful satire. Educational humour. I get all my American political news with a punch line… and sometimes they’re just replaying Fox news clips unedited.

I made somebody laugh out loud the other day when I was in a meeting.  Somebody spoke up and declared Nancy Reagan had died, or so says his Facebook update.  Another guy quickly brought up CNN and says; Yup. CNN confirms it.  A third fellow says; I’ll check Fox, to which I said; She’s still dead, but on Fox it’s Obama’s fault.

Too soon?

I miss Jon Stewart, but SNL has always been tops in election years for informing us about parodied versions of the players.  Even as a Canadian I know who to hate. (grin)

Which ones terrify me, in a dramatic and absolute way.

 

Hillary Wins!  The first woman President of those United States of ‘Merica.  I have hope, but I’d still rather have Bill in a Mrs. Doubtfire costume. Not because he’s a man, but because he has a big red nose and he’s always laughing or smiling. He is the charming Boiler salesman named Bill.  Hillary is no Mrs. Doubtfire. She’s not Tyler Perry either.

Best Video about Trump you need to see.

 

 

The 2015 Global TV Fall Preview Show

I just finished watching the ABC Fall Preview and writing a blog review elsewhere. I find my PVR has also recorded the Global TV Fall Preview too, and since I’m in the writing mood, I decide to check it out. In Canada, Global TV is one of the big networks but it buys many of it’s shows from American production, so you may see shows here that span the American networks.

Starting with Supergirl, which is a show that excites me. I watched every episode of Small village and loved it. Although I’m not a comic book child, I do enjoy super hero movies and TV shows. This one appeals to me because they seem to have taken a fresh new approach, and her secret identity is revealed pretty early on. It seems Supergirl will live in a world where at least her close circle knows she’s Supergirl. I think that will allow for a lot of humour. I know if my best friend was Superman, I’d be cracking jokes and trying to take advantage to that all the time.

She’s also the first real girl superhero if you don’t count Nikita. That appeals to me as well. She’s cut and fun to watch. I’ll admit to that.

Sadly, it doesn’t premier till late October. I’ll have to keep waiting.

By the way – I couldn’t care less how Canon the story is. I know nothing about Superior’s comic history, and frankly don’t care. Like Smallville, this is about a girl living in our world.

It also stars Calista Flockhart, which I watched through Alley Macbeal. I hope she does great too.

speaking of heroes, hero’s in reborn. I loved season one of the original and was all on the Ave THE CHEERLEADER, SASE THE WORD bandwagon. I love super power human shows. I’ve watched a lot of them including the British Misfits.  It’s great to see Zachery Levi from Chuck and Greg Griner from every JJ Abrams production back on TV again..

I can’t say if I’ll like it or hate it from the preview, but I’ll be watching the pilot for sure, hoping to like it.

Angel from Hell with Glee star Jane Lynch is a new show about a rougher than usual Guardian Angel. It doesn’t have the same Christians vibe that touched by an angel did, of second chance with Al Waxman, but I still enjoy this genre. She is here to assist PYSCH star Maggie Lawson, who’s smile always makes me smile.

I think I may love it.

I don’t watch Chicago PD or Chicago Fire, so I probably won’t watch Chicago Med, but I wish them well. I do watch some hospital dramas, but this whole theme seems very real and thriller-like, so I get tense and don’t enjoy them as much.

I do think it’s neat that all three shows live in the same universe and time-line. I’ve always dreams of a really cool show idea where three shows like this, or a fourth Chicago Law would air on the same night and be the same crime through each of the episodes. That’d be cool.  The original Law and Order started with that idea, each week, but it faded.

Minority Report was a cool movie, and this new series seems to have tamed down that plot in favour of a regular cop procedural. It’ll probably be more like a physic / cop team solving crimes with flash clues and hints. We’ve seen many of these before with real and fake physics and most of them were ones I watched.  Medium, The mentalist, Psych and Ghost Whisperer. I should probably like this one, especially since for extra bonus, it takes place in the future, so we’ll see cool cars and gadgets and crazy tech.  I miss last year’s failed Almost Human future cop drama, so I hope this is a good replacement.

Limitless was a motion picture I’ve almost watched at least a dozen times. I think I’ve seen the first 15 minutes at over and over during the last few years. I just never got into it. The premises however is one I like, and based on the commercials alone, I think I’ll like it. Supreme Smart people fascinate me, and a super crazy smart guy is bordering on a super hero plot. I am sure I’ll back and laugh at some of the crazy things a smart brain I supposed to be able to figure out instantly to help Forward the case, but I hope it’s more like Scorpion, where the facts are often bogus, but not enough to break my attention and enjoyment.

To those who have seen the commercial, Bradley Cooper is involved in the production, but will almost certainly not appear in the show past the pilot.

It certainly seems like I’ll be recording more on Global than ABC.

Stay tuned for updated reviews as these shows premier.

The ABC 2015 Fall Preview Show

It’s the weekend before all the new shows of the fall start to appear on the TV schedule, and so I decided to sit down and watch the ABC Fall Preview episode. Since I started my medication Tom lessen my obsessive tendencies, I watch a lot less TV than I used to. I figure this preview will allow me to prejudge a few shows and maybe not fall up my whole PVR with the pilots.

I like to watch the first episodes of shows, sir even if I decide to add them to my rotation later on because of peer feedback, I’ll at least have seen the ep[is ode where they introduce everyone and their relationships.

I don’t actually like watching ANY show, except from the start, but now that I don’ obsessive so much, I think I could handle it. Still, I suspect I’ll be recording a lot of pilots this week and next. There seem to be quite a few shows this year I’m at least interested in.

Sadly, my tastes don’t always mesh with the masses, and the shows I most like often get cancelled just as I’m getting hooked. With Today’s TV environment in stiffer competition, the landscape has changed a lot in the last few years. Let’s hope that means network TV is trying harder.

First Show Up. Blood and Oil.

This show stars a few people we don’t know, and Don Johnson. It appears to be a mixture of a romantic comedy couples will enjoy, and the ruthless oil business that did quite well with the Dallas remake. It’s an hour long drama, and it’s probably not I one I’ll watch. I like Don Johnson, and would like to see him have success. I loved his cop drama barely legal with Tom Hanks’ son, but apparently, nobody else did.

The preview starts right off in bed. A couple making love before they leave what is known, and enter a new world like romantic fish out of water.

It also seems to have the entitled son father relationship. If I remember, this is pretty much what I remember episode 1 of the new Dallas was, but it turned very soap opera sale fast. I think this may follow that model.  Sex, action, dirt and rich.  Some people will like it.

Quantico is a new series with an new hottie. Her half second glimpse in the TV commercial made me think it was actually Selina Gomez for a moment, but it’s just another hot sexy Latino.

The last few years were filled with civilians and police agencies teamed up to solve crimes. Everyone from the local cop, through fictional CSI agencies and the FBI and CIA all hired on experts of various skills to solve crimes. In one, the FBI even worked with the police in a small town. Everybody needed help. It seems they may have gotten away from that with Quantico.  It’s an FB show about the FBI.

A friendship of cast FBI recruits, much like Rookie Blue, except with a bigger budget and more mystery. I can’t quite tell if it is serial with an new story each week, or one story about her getting blamed for a crime she didn’t commit.

I’ll watch it till I find out if it holds me.  I usually prefer single episode shows, but serials keep more viewers I suppose, so they’re be opening more the norm for 1 hour drama shows. Now that people have PVR’s you can actually watch every week without having to rush home from the kids football practice.

Tuesday night have the Muppets back on ABC, which I’m excited about. Regardless of my no-kids status and age, I’m still a fan. I liked the original theme of the Muppet show actually being a show, It seems this time, they seem to be going a bit more towards The Osbornes, where we’ll see a reality show of their lives. I’m not sure how it’ll work because scripted reality sows sometimes miss, but I’ll be watching.

It might be closer to Larry Saunders, which worked. I love the idea that Muppets exist in the real world normally. It’s better than the way they Handle Brian on Family Guy.

If nothing else, I suspect each episode will have several actual laughs. That’s all I can ask for from a light half hour comedy with puppets. I’ve always been a fan of puppets. I have a few on my shelf.

Wicked City is a show set in the 80s’ in Hollywood which gives us some extra things to laugh at and tell our children; “Oh I remember those”. I’m not sure if we get to call 80’s shows “period pieces” or not, but it has potential to get pilot views just for the nostalgia.

Billy Idol plays live in the preview clip, as a classic example. The show seems to have a very rock and roll vibe.  Too bad all the guest stars will have to be played by young actors. Don’t expect Rock Idol cameos from 80 year old Rod Stewart, although I could be wrong. They made the Terminator look young… kinda.

It appears to be a copy show, but with a known serial killer adversary, so I guess we’re not trying to solve anything each week. The sow is more about the lifestyle of the 80;s and how deceives were different, but not as different as the Life on Mars cops of the 70s’

From the preview, the story seems to be more about the in love psychopathic serial killers, like Bonnie and Clyde. It looks like a complex crime drama that may be new and popular.

I will not watch it. tension and psychopathic negativity and crime is not for me. I can’t even watch Criminal Mind.

During a commercial break, I was fast forwarding and happened to see Aston Kitchen may be one of the sharks on Shark Tank. That is great casting, because we’ve all heard he’s some kind of tech genius and has invested in lots of business, but we kind of know him, so watching him in that environment could be fun. I stopped watching Dragons Den last year but only because I cut back lots of shows. I still love the format of pitching.  I actually invented the Dragons Den/ Shark Tank show in my mind decades ago.

Doctor Ken is a new sitcom that stars the wacky Asian from THE HANGOVER who was also the too-wacky to be believable actor on Community. I usually judge my acceptance of sitcoms on how believable or annoying the stupid character is. Most sitcoms have one… some have many.  Few have the stupid actor being the main character, and very few of the make it past the first season.

I have not even watched the preview for Doctor Ken yet as I type this, but based on his hosting of this entire episode, I’m fairly certain it isn’t for me. I don’t like opening egotistical characters, and Ken has been overacting the stupid all show.

is ensemble cast includes a sterile fat black woman receptionist, and I have not yet heard her speak, but I sincerely hope she doesn’t wave her hand and snap her fingers. His boss is Kids in the Hall great sitcom star Dave Foley. My appreciation for him is hit and miss. I like him, but he does seem to be cast in some stinkers.

It seems very punchline based, but he seems to be trying to be a good family / work sitcom. It could be good, but it’s hard to tell. It could equally be awful.  The preview isn’t enough to decide.  I’ll record it and check it out for a few weeks.

It certainly eels more watchable than FRSH OF THE BOAT.

I don’t instantly hate Ken Jong in it, which is good, but I kind of hate him in other roles.  I loved Community, but hated his scenes and storylines.


So that is the ABC preview.   Some I’ll look forward to.  More news and reviews as I watch them.

EDIT: I found out Shark Tank will have guests this year, and Ashton Kitchen is a guest, not a regular shark.  Too bad.

Fame Adjacent

I have a very social relationship with many of my clients, having served them often for over 20 years now. One client of mine that I consider a friend, has a 19 year old son with amazing talent, and has recently started down the path of a singing career.

As is the industry’s way, they’ve been told he’ll be a star. He has talent, and a great look. he writes, mixes and records his own music with skill.  A lot of big names have participated in his growth.  people are excited. It’s a slow process to become an overnight success however and much of the past few years has all been preparation work.

When I visit, I hear a lot of stories, but nobody really has any solid way of knowing whether he’ll hit big, or be one of the many close, but no success stories. Does he have the “IT” factor the girls will love?  As a 51 year old straight male, I can’t say with any experience, but the moment that inspired this blog was his appearance on the Canadian MMVA show I’m currently watching. The MMVA show is a huge live concert and awards event held on the streets of downtown Toronto, broadcast around the world. It’s a huge deal in Canada, much like the MTV movie awards.

290x240_FrancescoYatesHe wasn’t one of the performing artists yet, because he’s still to new a name, but he did get to come out and be an award presenter.  To me, he seemed a little more awkward than the other guest presenters.  HE just didn’t have the same smoothness that the other presenters did, although this may be somewhat related to me seeing him and being more critical because I know him. I know he’s been on all the radio and TV morning shows across Canada recently, as his first release hit the radio, but for most Canadians, this may be the first time they’ve seen him.

I’m not sure he nailed it. He does have a cool hairdo though, and maybe that less smooth awkwardness is part of the appeal they’ll be marketing. He’s more real.

It’s weird having such a close, yet far connection to celebrity – or near celebrity.  I have met him a number of times when I came to his house to install a printer or fix the network. He was the one to nickname me Frogman. In reality however, I don’t have any real connection, and I doubt he could pick me out of a line up. If I said Hi to him walking by on the street, he’s most likely wave Hi back, but not know who I was.

Still, I was close enough to the story of his rise to feel excitement and some odd form of pride for him. I got to hear back stage stories, and photos, and early unreleased music.  It was a cool feeling. I dreamed of being a part of the entourage. I tried to convince his mother I should be his onsite technical support, and go on tour with him in the bus. That was a silly fantasy, but I imagined it.  Sadly, musicians use Macs anyway, so I’d have been useless as tech support.

In any case, I wish him well, and if he does ever get to be a household name like Avril Lavine or other Canadian music stars, I’ll always be able to say; I knew that guy.

 

Agents of Shield – Birdkillers

I was watching this week’s episode of Agents of Shield and an evil genius has rounded up a bunch of criminally insane super Villains,  like so many comic books plots from history.

An ugly man takes off his BAIN type face mask and yells a loud screen in the middle of a football field.  So loud it seems,  that the director wasn’t pleased with a normal yell, and hired animators to CGI his face,  and allow for a distorted mega jaw that opened wide enough to fill with a watermelon.

It’s conveniently a football field,  because we’re already so conditioned to judge distances in this metric.  Anything bigger than a car is always compared to a football field or two. It seems we all know how big one football field is. 

In this scene, the players are standing at one end,  and they drop to the ground when the roar reaches them.  A moment later,  all the cheerleaders at the other end of the field drop as well.  Another moment passes, and all the black birds in the sky fall to the ground too. A dramatic scene.

I was impressed at the accuracy of this timing, and the attention to detail.  The birds all fell while in flight,  so of course they fell at an angle.  In many other films,  animals dropping from the sky open fall straight down,  like rain without wind. Flying birds wouldn’t drop straight down.  Perhaps raining cats and dogs would be more vertical,  but birds would flow this way,  and in random intervals.

They did well. I liked it enough to pause and blog.

This is what my brain thinks about when I watch TV.  Inside my brain is a DVD commentary of imagination. I can almost hear the director discussing various options, and imagine the back stage arguments and discussions with the effects crew. 

The sound of dropping birds was also impressive. It was a soft thud, aided by the fact that they were all hitting the same soft green AstroTurf surface.

I wondered to myself what the budget must have been for this scene. It went by quickly, and it wasn’t clear whether they used 50 real birds, or added them in digitally, but either way, it was an expensive 3 seconds. An average Agents of Shield episode has a number of special digital effects you’d expect, like whenever they use their special red corvette or invisible jets, but to me – a bunch of dead birds was equally impressive.

I didn’t remember to watch if the end credits were there to assure us all,  no actual birds were harmed during the filming of this episode.  That was how they would have done it in the 70’s.

 

Pauseandblog : I Zombie

iZombie is a new show on The CW.

I like the comic book style credits they use to do scene transitions and some effects that would be too costly to work out. It’s a great idea.  It makes me believe this may be based on a comic.  I didn’t bother to look up whether it is or not.

At the first commercial break,  this episode has already shown us a sex act,  and then described it again in a recapped vision memory.  It was a very sexy first chapter,  even if described by a zombie. They’re grabbing our attention early it seems.  On the older prime time shows,  the sex scenes are in the 45 minute chapter. It’s actually funny if you go channel surfing at 9:45 through network prime time.  Everyone is in bed… including much of the audience it seems.

It occurs to me that this show is hitting a younger age demographics for a cop show.  All too often,  the police solving murder mystery shows are appealing to an older audience.  NCIS is even jokingly referred to appeal to the same audience MATLOCK used to. A much older crowd. When I heard that, I stopped watching it, just to appear younger.  iZombie is more like Nancy Drew than NCIS.  Of course, that sentence certainly doesn’t make me feel young at all. Nobody young knows who Nancy Drew is anymore.

Teenagers don’t watch cop shows.  They watch Zombie shows,  and zombie shows with sex scenes may broaden their audience.  The fact they solve crime makes them almost like a super hero with special powers – not a cop show.

In the second act,  we see the Zombie’ special powers.  She not only gets visions and memories of the dead person who’s brains she eats, but she actually develops bits of their personality.  In this week’s show, she’s learned to appreciate art,  and women.  It starts off quite subtle at first, especially if you didn’t see episode one.  I almost missed the bit where she was enamoured with a women the dead man had slept with.  By the time of commercial break,  they’ve gone past the subtle, and made it more obvious for the whole audience by explaining it in the narrative.  She even implied that some of the powers she earns stay with her.  She can now speak Spanish,  and paint.

As a 50 year old man,  I’ve lived a lot of generations and seen how society picks new things to learn and improve upon each decade or so.  From before I was born,  we started figuring out things society was doing wrong, and we try to correct them.  In many cases, this kind of change is slow, and still ongoing.  Classic social blunders like slavery and race bigotry, rights for women,  and more recently,  gay rights.  We’re improving,  even if slowly.  Sadly bad parents teach their kids bad habits,  so it’s taking more than one full cycle of everyone dyeing off to eradicate bad behavior. A current hop topic of evil is rape, and in this episode, our third sex scene; more of an attempted rape is tackled. A handsome man moves past consent in such a casual way, as to lead me to believe this is way more common than most people understand.

It was this scene that actually inspired me to pause the playback and start this blog. It’s only quite recently that society has chosen to highlight a rape culture as our newest wrong to right. Media is strongly doing it’s best to bring to my attention how horrible men can be. With luck, scenes like this will help start a conversation or two, especially if boyfriends and girlfriends watch shows like this together. 

Since I’m writing while the show is paused, I have not yet seen how this attempted rape resolves itself in iZombie. I hope she doesn’t go “full on zombie mode”  and just kill this guy, and eat his brains, however I suspect a lot of women wish they could.  I can’t fully imagine how being raped must feel but I have been bullied before, and held down powerless to do anything but panic. I will say it does change your perspective on life and trust. There are few worse fears than being helpless in the control of an attacker. I hate knowing that kind of evil is so common.

I have to wonder whether watching it happen like this in so many shows and movies, is working for or against the idea.  I suppose it alerts me the problem is far worse than they may realize,  but whether it deters rapists or enables them is yet to be determined.

I unpause and watch. 

She doesn’t kill him.  She defends herself, hurts him slightly,  and runs away.  I fear that is the real problem.  While I don’t 100% guarantee that a rape attempt always justifies a life changing death sentence or imprisonment for all,  I do believe a suitable hard punishment should be exacted on anyone who bullies and overpowers,  sexual and/or otherwise. In my universe crimes against trust are the worst crimes of all.  Society needs to be able to trust ton survive,  and the more it deteriorates,  the more we all lose.

The last scene is used to further the overall love storyline the series will eventually persue.  Her comic style narrative is written to take the episode and relate to the many struggling teens who may feel of themselves as a zombie,  free of emotion. 

I’ll keep watching.

SNL Layers

I just finished watching this week’s 2014 Christmas edition of Saturday Night Live. It’s odd to feel cheated that hardly any celebrities showed up this year. The only cameos were three former SNL Characters – so far anyway.

The demographically perfect boy band One Direction is actually growing on me. They were not bad, as I expected, given that I’m over 40. It’s supposed to annoy me. I’m nearly grandpa age.

The sketch that made me stop the playback and blog, as the one set in the past, with three “dames” in a bar who seem quite bat-shit crazy. The conclusion actually had a way to explain it for a quality ending, at least to me. It made me smile. I won’t are it’s rare that I enjoy an SNL sketch through to the end, but it’s not unheard of. 

However, the part that most impressed me, was how hard the sketch must have been. This entire show has really had a lot of hard song and dance numbers. It always amazes me how well these talented people are able to pull a song and dance routine in 4 days, and still pull it off with precision.  In my head, from my history with community theatre, the first few weeks are still horrible… but I suppose 3 days is easier than 1 day every week for three weeks – in some ways.

 

The part that impressed me, was a swinging song sung by two of the women, and Ammie Adams. Although not dancing, the lyrics were jibber jabber read from cue cards and yet they sang all three together without error.  I want to believe it was a live take, because it’s Saturday Night Live, but back stage shows have implied some times they play the dress rehearsal versions.

In any case – they did it – twice. Well. It made me smile on two levels. Giving respect to the dedication and practice, or the amazing talent of people doing things I tell myself I could never do.

That kind of live comedy show with minimal rehearsal is an amazing skill. Saturday Night Live is a success because it’s done live. I hope that never changes.  All other sketch shows are comedy. Saturday Night Live is theatre.

It was always my dream. I never wanted Second City. I wanted to be on, or write for Saturday Night Live.

Since I can remember, I’ve liked scripts. I think it stemmed from my two first editions of the Holy Grail first draft and movie script, and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which I first read as the original radio show scripts.

With undiagnosed attention deficit disorder, I grew a fondness to sketch comedy rather than long form scripts. I wrote sketches. As a kid, I watched every single sketch comedy and variety shows on TV, and in the 70s, there were a lot.  Everyone had a variety show, and I watched them all, from Any Wiliams to Jim Stafford to Shields and Yarnell to Avery and Shriver and even the singers and Bobby Vinton too…

Saturday Night Live wasn’t just sketch comedy. It was theatre like my Mom did, up on a stage with fake sets and an audience. Plus, it was restricted to late night, so you had to be older that me to stay up late and see it.  I missed season 1 live, but starting with season 2, I don’t know that I ever missed an episode. Our early VCR was Beta, so I sometimes missed the the last 30 minutes, because they only recorded one our.  I fast forwarded past 70% of the musical acts I think. I love music, but live music on TV doesn’t’t hold my A.D.D interest past the first few bars when I see the set furnishing.

Number one on my buckers list has been Saturday Night Live for 30 years. I literally have dreams of being there, and have every year since I was 15. Usually something horrible happens… I had nightmares about giant lobsters that night.

I may have given up more than half the things I used to watch on TV. I’m watching less, and my PVR was filling, but I always like to watch Saturday Night Live each week I can, usually on Sunday.  Live-ish. I have never given up on them, and their Doctor Who-like cast changes. I’ve never complained about one cast over another.  I love the concept.

It’s similar to South Park, in turnaround. Each is about this week’s funny… and yet, they stand up in time.. at least a few a season make the highlight DVD for future generations.

Thank you Saturday Night Live,m for being a part of my life story, and tonight’s Blog.