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Tuesday, Feb 9, 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:


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Monday, Feb 8, 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.



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Friday, Feb 5, 2010
Modern Family is more than just a very funny show. It also takes a step toward rescuing the sitcom family from the mean-spirited vein it has been stuck in for more than a decade.

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.


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Friday, Feb 5, 2010
I honestly think that, at this point, they must be waiting for my phone to die.

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.


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Thursday, Feb 4, 2010
Andrew Garcia

Andrew Garcia


Tonight was a sort of clean-up show that revisited clips from the audition shows that didn’t make the cuts in previous weeks. It was the last episode before “Hollywood Week”, when the actual singing competition finally gets underway and Ellen Degeneres arrives to, presumably, shake things up. Ads previewing next week promised the “most intense” Hollywood cuts ever, with even Ellen looking pissed off. Ryan Seacrest declared that the Season 9 pack might be Idol‘s most talented ever—he says that every year—but that they’ve “never broken down like this before”. So if you haven’t gotten quite enough of close-ups of crying jags, you’re in luck again next week.


Tonight’s catch-all show was a chance to get acquainted with more of the faces we’ll see in Hollywood, so the episode was mercifully light on the joke auditions, geared instead toward viewers who like American Idol as a showcase for actual talent. We have to this point been offered a limited view of the audition’s most promising singers, as the first three weeks maintained a focus on rotten-apple rejects and smirkable misfits, a parade that has proven to profitably extend the show’s season. Among the tryouts’ legitimate singers, the auditions almost exclusively focus on those candidates who have compelling stories of overcoming adversity. As a result, we have perhaps met just half of those who will end up in the Top 24 with a legitimate shot at becoming the next American Idol.


Tagged as: american idol
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