Indicators that the Blimpies in the Walmart (which closes at 8PM) may not do a lot of business at 7:30

“I’d like a 12-inch tuna on the honey oat bread.”

“We only have enough tuna to do a six inch.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“Can you give me a sandwich that’s half tuna, half something else then, and still just charge me for one 12-inch?”

“Sure.”

“Okay, make the other half roast beef.”

“Out. Turkey okay?”

“Okay.”

(pause while she looks under the counter.)

“It’ll have to be on wheat bread…”

Published in: on December 27, 2009 at 7:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

What is funny

Watching last week’s SNL, and it’s not real funny. I’ve found that if Kristen Wiig is the lead in a comedy sketch, it’s best to just skip through it. She’s got talent, but the things that showcase her are just painful to me. The fact that they had her Gilly character hosting the Christmas clip show this week was sufficient reason to skip that whole affair.

So what is funny? Sadly, the biggest laugh I’ve gotten from TV today was based in irony. Around here, we’ve been watching The Sing-Off, the a capella competition. On the episode we watched today (on a delayed basis), the bands were supposed to sing “guilty pleasure” songs. Voices of Lee, a group from a Christian college, chose to do George Michael’s “Freedom ’90”.

Folks, when you’re going to sing a song in public, please examine the lyrics and make sure you know what they’re about. Yes, “Freedom ’90” has a happy, bouncy sound. But being a dance track does not mean it isn’t also a personal tune; the words that you were smiling and bouncing through are Mr. Michael’s tale of his life, and while you might notice the ones about being a rock star, it’s about being a star with a secret… and clearly from history, it’s about coming out as being gay. They seemed so utterly oblivious to what they were singing, well, that would’ve been hilarious enough.

But to add to it, there was the aspect that they were supposed to be having fun, and instead of having fun on stage, as Mrs. Nat’s TV pointed out they were clearly acting like they were having fun, rather than having actual fun. And the impression wasn’t particularly good, as if they’d heard about the “fun” thing but had never actually seen it. It’s the lovemaking scene written by a virgin. All their protestations that despite their squeaky cleanness they know how to have fun, are proven false by the performance.

Know your songs, people. Words mean something.

(Of course, we can turn to another George Michael to prove that point. The “Afternoon Delight” episode of Arrested Development explains the problem just fine.)

Published in: on December 20, 2009 at 1:17 am  Comments (2)  

Dreams are like TV. Really stinky, nonsensical, TV.

Last night, I had a dream that I had a chance to audition for the Bob Uecker role in a remake of Mr. Belvedere, a sitcom that, in real life, i don’t think I ever watched.

I do not understand where dreams come from at all…

Published in: on December 15, 2009 at 7:48 am  Leave a Comment  

AfterScrubs

Back in the glory days of Saturday Morning TV, they crafted some shows by taking existing characters and plopping them into some other situation. So Laverne & Shirley joined the Army, and Josie and the Pussycats went to outer space. They would keep the shallowest version of the existing characters and work in various lame gags about the situation, which was painted not particularly realistically.

The new season of Scrubs brought that to mind. They stripped the show of all of its female characters and most of its male supporting cast, and turned everyone into med school teachers. Whereas the original show, as silly as it could be, was built around a base of serious situations and  some verisimilitude. I’ve never been to med school, but this doesn’t feel like it really reflects anything. They’ve just made the existing characters goofy to the bone.

They’ve also made the show overwhelmingly white, keeping one black character from the previous series and introducing various new white characters, no new non-white characters.

Worst of all, it’s just not amusing. When it tries to be amusing, it comes off of desperate. When it tries to be dramatic, it comes off as hollow. It may have been wiser to have just let the franchise go, or to craft an officially-new series that could focus more completely on the students, rather than still trying to say something new about the existing characters. Keep one character as a teacher, make it officially a spin-off, and let it grow its own wings.

I’m three episodes in, and I don’t think I have the hope needed to make it through four.

Published in: on December 11, 2009 at 11:05 am  Leave a Comment  

…not with a whimper, but with a bleah

I just finished watching the two-part finale of Monk. Now, story ahs never been this series strength; its basically been a framework for giving its talented lead some creative scenes of  discomfort. But this season has been particularly egregious, including teh worst episode of the show’s entire run, the vacuum cleaner episode where almost nothing done made contextual sense; it felt like it was written by a high school student.

But sadly, the finale was not much better. Throughout the series, they’ve used the set-up mystery of this series – the urder of Mrs. Monk – very cheaply, never really advancing it (or seeming to have a plan), but merely using a supposed, generally-unspecified clue regarding her murder from time to time as a trigger to get Monk into a certain situation. The finale does finally address the murder, but by having Monk look at a clue that’d been infront of him all the time, by having the murderer acting now and in the past in ways that make no sense, and generally by making everyone look like an idiot. Everything felt monstrously contrived… and the new emotional relationship established at the end made no bloody sense. (“Here’s someone who is unrelated to you, that you never knew existed, Now have so deep emotional relationship with him that it takes days to get around to asking about the one link you have…”)

A crappy, crappy ending to a show that never lived up to its potential and frequently fell quite short of even what they’d shown they could do. It was worht existing, but it deserved better than this.

Published in: on December 6, 2009 at 10:23 pm  Comments (3)  

Tiger Woods is staying away from Thousand Oaks…

…’cuz he fears my mad golph skillz!

Published in: on December 1, 2009 at 8:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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