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by Michael Landweber

9 Feb 2010


This week on Lifetime, the story of a guy/girl who overcame disability/disease/hardship to reach a lifelong dream of auditioning for American Idol and getting that golden ticket to Hollywood.

So far this season, I’ve felt like I’m watching that TV movie promo over and over. Nearly every decent singer that has gotten airtime so far seems to have a tragic tale to tell. It has happened more during the auditions this year than any season in the past, so far as I can tell. The I’m-a-special-person music starts to play, letting us know that the judges will be putting this person through before a single note is sung. Then, the pre-packaged video montage of their sob story. Oh, and if you didn’t get the point, next comes the interview where they actually sob.

by Meghan Lewit

9 Feb 2010


Call this episode a hooker with a heart of gold. Project Runway oh-so-cleverly spent an entire show shilling for Campbell’s Soup, and managed to look noble in the process.

The challenge was to make a red evening dress for a gala sponsored by Campbell’s AdDRESS Your Heart Program. The crassness of the designers being forced to incorporate the brand’s logo into their garments was somewhat leavened by the fact that the models this week were real women who had survived heart disease. Confronted with altruism and normal-sized women (two things that cannot be found on the Bluefly accessory wall), several of the designers seemed to lose their ability to form rational sentences. To wit:

by Jessy Krupa

8 Feb 2010


The Super Bowl was overshadowed again by its heavily hyped commercials, with advertisers paying about $2.6 million per ad this year in order to broadcast them to a large audience. While some ads are interesting, funny, weird, flashy or just stupid, they all serve as an example of what advertisers think will gather attention and money from consumers.

by Michael Landweber

5 Feb 2010


The sitcom is experiencing a revival. Every broadcast network has a night devoted to the half-hour genre that had been left for dead just a few years ago. NBC has its uncomfortable workplaces, CBS is home to the spawn of Friends, and Fox has its animation broods. This year, ABC jumped back into the sitcom game as well. Most of their offerings are middling at best, but there is one standout: Modern Family

It is the story of three families—a May-December multicultural couple raising her child, a gay couple with an adopted daughter, and a nuclear unit with two parents and three kids—that all happen to be branches of a larger extended family. The December patriarch of the first family is also the father of one parent from each of the other families. Don’t worry, it is not as complicated as I made it sound. 
 
What is so refreshing about Modern Family is that it manages to be about a family where the individuals actually care about each other in a believable, non-cloying way. It avoids both the saccharine triteness of yore and the ugly animosity that has marked recent clans. For many years, I thought the live-action family sitcom was all but extinct. Turns out it was just waiting to evolve.

by Matt Paproth

5 Feb 2010


Oh, Randall, I know that you asked me to remain on hold while I wait to be transferred to the Service Signal Department, but I know that whoever is on the other end will just make me answer all the same security questions and repeat the same troubleshooting steps as you did.  And I wish I believed that nice woman’s voice on the recording when she tells me that a team member will be with me shortly, but she has now said that more than 50 times.

So I am writing this blog.  I like television… obviously, I watch a lot of it (I write for blog called Channel Surfing, for God’s sake), but I really do enjoy the time I spend watching it.  I enjoy thinking about how creators like Joss Whedon, Matt Weiner, Aaron Sorkin, and David Shore construct their series.  I enjoy how a character develops over episodes and eventually across seasons into something potentially more satisfying and rounded than a movie, or even a book, could possibly achieve.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Double Take: 'The French Connection' (1971)

// Short Ends and Leader

"You pick your feet in Poughkeepsie, and we pick The French Connection for Double Take #18.

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