Trust No One

The first episode of Trust Me throws you right into the midst of the ad biz, with the internal struggles of people trying to climb their way up within the big-time ad agency. One of the characters is shown as having nothing doing in his life but the ad business, and his life means nothing, and that seems to be a major point.

Only thing is, no one has anything going on in this show but the ad business, and their fights within the business. Adn whatever quirks they may have, we’ve got no reason to root for them, no reason to care about them. These are not grounded as human.

The triumphs are not one the viewers share. The internal games are not that interesting. And things hinge on The Great Ad Campaign, which is a lot like the show that relies on The Great Skit or The Great Standup Routine — and if you see how many bad ads are written by ad-writing specialists and how many bad skits are written by the folks on SNL, it’s no surprise that the writers of a drama don’t come up with something truly great. They just have to have all the other characters pretend it’s great, but that never truly convinces the viewer. It feels quite fake.

The characters – well, dang, their rad, their creative genuises, they seem just too damn Poochy.

Look, if anyone should be able to be made the audience for a show about the ad biz, it’s me. When I was a kid, I thought I’d end up in the ad biz, wanted that as my job. I read From Those Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Pearl Harbor, I cared about the ad campaign in Cujo. And it can be done on TV. Witness thirtysomething, with its drama, or Mad Men, with its texture. But here we have a show built around two actors I like (Tom Cavanaugh, and if you were wondering when someone would try to make use of Eric McCormick, wonder no longer), and it leaves me cold.

Not for me.

Published in: on January 27, 2009 at 11:26 pm  Comments (2)  

The costs of the Super Bowl

With the nation’s big football holiday upon us, let us remember that players pay for it with their comfort and their lives. Now, I’m not against people knowingly choosing such a path… but it does bring to mind the way certain things are outlawed because people cannot “sell their bodies”, and contrast that with how well we reward people for such selling on other fronts.

Published in: on January 27, 2009 at 1:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Truth on Lie To Me

Caught the pilot of Lie to Me, Fox’s new series of procedural pieces based on folks who are monstrously good at reading expressions (based on some real claims by someone who gets hired by law enforcement, but I don’t know if there’s any more truth behind it than the truth behind the psychic detectives.) And what the pilot established is that this will be a procedural series based around folks who are monstrously good at reading expressions. Oh, they tried to give the lead a bit of House-like attitude, but it’s really later episodes that will tell us whether they know what to do with what they have. Not so bad that I won’t watch another one, but not so good that I have high anticipation for what is to come.

Published in: on January 25, 2009 at 11:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Why the Oscars are no longer fun for me to watch

Out of the 11 films nominated for the top three Oscar categories (picture, actor, actress), I have seen only one, nominated for one Oscar among those categories (Slumdog Millionaire). So there’s no way that I can root for anything. And that’s one more film than my wife has seen.

On the other hand, I’ve seen all three films nominated for Best Animated Feature. That’s what comes of living with a four year old.

Really, of all the non-animated picture nominations, the only things I’ve seen are Slumdog, Dark Knight, and Tropic Thunder… and the last was seen on DVD.

Published in: on January 23, 2009 at 7:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Not what he flubbed

Various sources are, of course, reporting that the Chief Justice flubbed when the tried to lead Barack in saying “I will execute the office of President of the United States faithfully …”

And yes, that is a flub. And yes, he did flub. But folks are paying so much attention to part of the flub (the incorrect placement of “faithfully”), they’re missing the other part: he said “President to the United States”, not “of”.

And let us note that’s not some random oath. The words of it are in the Constitution… the document which the Chief Justice is supposed to be a rather key authority on.

Published in: on January 20, 2009 at 1:44 pm  Leave a Comment  


That’s better.

Published in: on January 20, 2009 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  

The series I wish they hadn't cancelled…

…it’s the Washington Mutual ads. For those of you not in a WaMu banking area, they ran a series of ads where a comfortably dressed sharp-looking young black man was running things with his young crew, and all the stodgy old three-piece-suited white-guy bankers with all their old ways of doing things were locked in “the banker bin”.

So what would they be doing now? The hip young banker and his hip young ways seem to have destroyed the bank, to the point where they were subject to an emergency buyout by Chase. That bin full of stodgy bankers who were doing old-style banking things like not loaning money to people who couldn’t afford it, and by making money off of the interest from their loans rather than by selling investment loan bombs, turn out to have been the smart ones… but there they sit, helpless in the bin, as the hip young crew are overrun by the Chase Invaders.

Published in: on January 11, 2009 at 12:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

The little lies of "All New"

The phrase “all new” has long been abused on TV. If it is to be meaningful at all, it must have some definition. But back when shows occasionally did “clip” episodes (which seems to have fallen by the wayside for fiction series), they would still be labeled as “all new”, even when 75% of the content was recycled. I could see the argument for “new”, but not for “all new”.

But tonight, I was watching a show on MyNetworkTV. Yes, that’s hard to believe, but true; they have some World Magic Awards, which probably isn’t anything serious as award goes, but it was an excuse to watch magic acts (if really poorly filmed at times; constantly switching angles and going for the wide shot on someone doing quick little tricks doesn’t work.) And hey, it was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, whom we like. But an ad came on for an episode of The Twilight Zone. An “all new” episode. And that caused us pause, because I thought that if MyNetworkTV were doing new TZs, I’d’ve heard.

So I checked. They’re not doing new TZs. They’re rerunning the 2002 series. And now I’m left wondering if they’re lying on purpose… or just rerunning the ads that UPN used when the series ran the first time.

Published in: on January 1, 2009 at 9:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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