TV

February 2010 in TV

It was a month of high ratings, a truly “super” bowl, and shocking tragedies for TV audiences.

Continuing our look at the year’s most notable television events, here’s what happened in February 2010.

106.5 million viewers watch Super Bowl XLIV, in which the New Orleans Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts, on CBS. According to Nielsen ratings, that made it “the most watched telecast in history”, breaking the record set by the final episode of M*A*S*H (106.5 million vs.105.97 million) in 1983.

Superbowl ad space averages at about $2.6 million per commercial, with Coca-Cola featuring characters from The Simpsons, a Yo Gabba Gabba character appearing as a daydreaming toy inside a Kia Sorrento, and a spot for The Late Show With David Letterman that features the host watching the game with Oprah and Jay Leno.

After the game, CBS debuts the reality series Undercover Boss. Also new to TV this month is NBC’s The Marriage Ref and FOX’s Past Life, but Boss goes on to become one of the highest rated series of the season.

Captain Phil Harris of Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch dies from complications of a stroke at age 53. Cameras were rolling at the time, and Harris’ death was later featured on the show, with the support of his family.

The sixth and final season of Lost premieres on ABC.

The 2010 Winter Olympics begin airing on NBC and related networks. The opening ceremony was highly elaborate and expensive, but the focus moved on to moving tributes to luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, who died during a training run accident earlier on that day.

While her afternoon talk show has been renewed through 2014, Ellen DeGeneres debuts as an American Idol judge. Idol’s ratings rise 12%, but DeGeneres will later announce that she won’t be returning for the show’s next season.

HBO premieres the self titled biopic of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who majored in animal sciences, invented the “hug machine”, and lobbied for the humane treatment of livestock. The movie would later go on to win five Primetime Emmy Awards.

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

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TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

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The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

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Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Rockabilly Female stakes her claim with her band on accomplished new set.

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Love You To Life

Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2017-08-11
Amazon
iTunes

Lara Hope and her band of roots rockin' country and rockabilly rabble rousers in the Ark-Tones have been the not so best kept secret of the Hudson Valley, New York music scene for awhile now.

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To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

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