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Monday, Feb 8, 2010

With audiences of up to 150 million viewers, the Super Bowl is traditionally the highest-rated annual event on American TV. However, the reason for this has very little to do with football. The modern day Superbowl is a combination of virtually all facets of the entertainment industry. Celebrities appear, top musicians perform, patriotism is on display, highly anticipated movies are advertised, and new products are pushed to consumers for no significant reason other than the fact that they can be.


A pre-taped performance of Jay-Z with an orchestra performing “Run This Town” (without Rihanna, oddly) ushered in the experience. Later on, Queen Latifah sang “America the Beautiful”, but she got off to a shaky start probably because of microphone problems. Carrie Underwood then sang the national anthem in acapella with complete confidence. The half-time show was a mini-concert by the Who. Despite their rough voices, they were instrumentally great in their performances of “Pinball Wizard”, “Baba O’ Riley”, “Who Are You?”, “Tommy”, and “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.


The football game itself was an interesting match, the Indianapolis Colts, last year’s champions, were up against first-time competitors the New Orleans Saints. While New Orleans won the coin toss, a seemingly trivial moment that is treated like it holds the utmost importance, the Colts mostly dominated the game. That is, until the last quarter, when the Saints surged ahead by five points. The game actually ended 44 seconds early, with New Orleans besting Indianapolis with a score of 31 to 17. Quarterback Drew Brees held his baby on the field before accepting the Most Valuable Player award, with a noticeable gash on the side of his face. Meanwhile, the cameras cut to the celebration in the streets of New Orleans, noting how far they have come since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.


With all of this drama, though, CBS routinely reminded viewers that the much-hyped commercials were on the way as if they were the main event. Some of these were for CBS’ TV shows, including a montage of NCIS-style head-slapping set to Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and a preview of a new medical drama produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Miami Medicine, that premieres in April. A funny, but intrusive moment came when Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory appeared on the screen to notify us that he hacked into the Super Bowl and that he wishes that whatever team you do not like is “less effective”. As for the rest of the commercials, I’ll detail the best and worst of them in another post.



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Saturday, Feb 6, 2010

Star Trek captain and Shakespearean actor extraordinaire Patrick Stewart sees no point to Twitter, believing life can’t be condensed into snippets. He’s not a technophobe though as he “loves the Internet”, travels with a laptop everywhere and is an email junkie. This is from an interview with PBS’s Frontline.



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Friday, Feb 5, 2010
The Daily Show's Jon Stewart returns to The O'Reilly Factor for the first time since 2004 to face his ideological opposite.

In a clip that’s sure to be passed around from political junkie to junkie, two prolific and drastically different media figures faced off against each other this week. Returning to the show for the first time since 2004, The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart visits The O’Reilly Factor to face his ideological opposite, Bill O’Reilly. The two threw the standard punches (Fox News blows panic out of proportion, Stewart’s audience is made up of pot-smoking slackers), but the conversation ultimately becomes a sharp criticism of the media. No one really won, it was kind of a draw, but one should find it riveting no matter what side they’re on. The random edits, however, makes you wonder what may have been left in the cutting room floor.



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Wednesday, Feb 3, 2010
The abscence of MTV's cult hit Daria's from the DVD market frustrated fans during the eight years it's has been off the air, but the show is finally getting its due in 2010.

Much like another beloved MTV cult hit The State, Daria‘s absence from the DVD market frustrated fans for the eight years the show has been off the air. Fans mobilized an online petition movement and soon became one of most wanted shows on the site tvshowsondvd.com. Rumor had it that music rights complicated Daria‘s release. The show never really had an original score and used pop songs instead. VHS releases replaced or even completely removed the music in some episodes.


But the long awaited DVD release ofThe State last year was a huge victory for cult television enthusiasts, and a teaser trailer revealed that the impossible was indeed possible: Daria is finally getting its due in 2010.


The show will be released in complete series form, including it’s two straight-to-television movies, Is It Fall Yet? and Is It College Yet?. Although the exact date is yet to be confirmed, you can sign up to be notified of the release date on amazon. Some episodes will differ from the ones originally aired, however, because of the aforementioned music rights complications.


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Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010

Many manufacturers are getting ready to release 3D HDTVs or converter boxes that will be able to turn whatever you normally watch on television into 3D images. While the average person will still probably have to wait a couple of years before this technology becomes affordable and/or perfected, two cable channels are already in the works that boast of all 3D content, all the time. ESPN’s 3D offshoot will be available this summer, while a 3D version of the Discovery channel won’t be available until next year. I know sports and nature documentaries would be a good fit, but some shows just wouldn’t be worth the hassle. House would be disgusting with the patients seizing, vomiting, and bleeding right in front of you. Who wants to see their local news anchor’s head floating in the living room? Then again, imagine the realism of 24’s explosions or how amazing an exorcism on Supernatural would look. What TV shows would you really want to see in 3D?



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