Archive for the TV tag


Join or Die with Craig Ferguson on History Channel

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With all the turnover in late night over the past year, I’m still adjusting. While the new shows are all pretty good, I still miss Dave, Craig, Jon, and faux Colbert. I heard Craig Ferguson would have a new history focused chat show and had no idea what that might be like. It premiered this week with two episodes – political blunders and bad medical advice. Each episode starts with six topics in the category. The panel discusses and eliminates before a winner is chosen at the end.

Some thoughts after watching the first night …

  • A monologue about historical events is a brilliant move. While some of the topics may still come up in current monologues, they can lead to groans since it’s such old news. But this is history, so that’s the whole point. There also isn’t a reliance on current events, a slow news day/week doesn’t weaken the monologue.
  • Good chance you’ll learn something new. In the bad medical advice episode, mercury was one of the topics. This is where I learned that a mad hatter is actually a thing. Hat makers used a solution containing mercury and the fumes wound up driving them mad. Link to something about it on the internet.
  • Solid guests, at least to start. The format from these first two seems to be someone knowledgeable about that week’s topic, a lesser known comic, and a celebrity. I expect this would keep up since Craig has enough celebrity friends.
  • Generally, getting a monologue from Craig and having him chat with guests is all I really need.

Obviously I give this a 10/6.

Mad Hatter

Show Page

iTunes – Premiere is Free


ABC with maybe 1 new show, plus podcasts and PTI

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Today was ABC’s day to share their fall schedule (LW). With TiVo, I have to take a minute to think about what I actually watch on a channel. For ABC I think it’s only Modern Family and The Goldbergs (please watch The Goldbergs). A slight adjustment puts those two shows back-to-back.

But is there anything new?
Selfie jumped to my attention first thanks to Karen Gillan (Amy from Doctor Who) and that it is somewhat based on Pygmalion (the character’s name is Eliza Dooley). I wasn’t blown away by the trailer but those points earn it a chance. Other than Selfie, I’m not seeing much.

I haven’t listened to much Nerdist recently, but it’s one of the many podcasts that I keep around just to see the guests before deleting. When I saw this episode with Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham (LW) pop up, that was a guarantee listen. I mentioned them and their show Playing House a few days ago. The town on the show gave me a Gilmore Girls vibe and has that potential so when Jessica compares it to that during the show, I was very happy to be proven correct.

I’ve only just started on Friday’s No Such Thing As A Fish, but their first fact is shareable. It was about a jockey that died during a race, but didn’t fall off the horse, and finished in first. To add to that, the horse’s name was Sweet Kiss, gaining it the nickname Sweet Kiss of Death. I didn’t find a ton of information, but OMG Facts had a quick post (LW).

Well, sports tv to be exact. PTI will be around for a while longer with both Tony and Wilbon extending their contracts (LW). I actually haven’t watched in a while. The show comes and goes as it seems I’ll hit a stretch of a few days when I’m looking for something to watch when it is on live or a replay. It was one of the early podcasts I listened to, but many have since replaced its spot in that rotation. 

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Fox’s schedule, then video crazy

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Fox’s fall schedule (LW) was released today. Fox starts off with a lead over NBC because I actually watch some series on Fox: New Girl (which needs help), The Mindy Project (which is one of my favorites and really pulled it together this season), The Simpsons (still going), and Family Guy (which still brings it most weeks).

Any of the new shows interesting? Oh yes. I think I’m in on Gotham, the Batman before he became Batman. It look to focus on not-yet-Commissioner Gordon and all the villains along with a young Bruce Wayne. Check out the trailer. Then there is Gracepoint, which is an American version of Broadchurch (both starring David Tenant). The one reason I might not watch is if I catch up on Broadchurch this summer. I’m in on Mulaney, I don’t even know what it’s about, but he’s hilarious and has earned a shot.

Now some videos from last night …
The Simpsons couch gag was the Game of Life. (LW)

Last Week Tonight at least had the right number of people for an actual climate debate. (LW)

Robot Chicken explains that The Parent Trap was a really really horrible premise. (LW)

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NBC has 1 show I want to watch this fall, plus new podcast and clever PSU students

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NBC’s Fall Schedule (LW) is out today. I’m not sure I care about this too much. The Voice and Sunday Night Football appear to make up half the schedule. There is really only one show I’m at all interested in watching, A to Z. It’s a romsitcom starring The Mother from HIMYM and Rashia Jones is one of the producers. Those facts got me to watch the trailer (LW), which hooked me.

The biggest hole in the NBC schedule is the cancellation of Community (LW), which isn’t too surprising except if they weren’t going to cancel it the past three years, there wasn’t much reason to cancel it this year after it got things back together and had a great season.

The only excitement for NBC comes from their not yet scheduled shows, which include Parks & Rec. Plus, there are two or three interesting new shows, based on who is involved: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (created by Tina Fey), Bad Judge (produced by Will Ferrell), and Mr. Robinson (starring Craig Robinson).

The Gist is a new daily podcast on Slate. Hosted by Mike Pesca, who is also on Hang Up & Listen (the best sports podcast). This one isn’t sports-focused, but more news and general interest. For example, on Thursday topics included the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, improv rappers attempted to teach Mike how to rap, and a round up of news items related to urine. So yea, topics will vary, but they will all fall into informative or entertaining.

Penn State
Hard to believe that it’s college graduation time, this was graduation weekend at Penn State. That means that finals were last week. Business Insider covered some students who decided finals were worth ’tailgating’ (LW). My only issue is that it appears they actually ‘GameDay’d’ finals with clever signs. So thumbs up to the students, but Business Insider, get your facts straight.

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Pilot season is sort of like the draft

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Let’s see how posts work taking some of the highlights from my WinkStream on LinkyWink over the past day or so.

TEDTalk from Randall Munroe who writes What-If on xkcd. If you follow What-If, or follow me as I Wink about half of them, then you’re already all in on this talk.

Upfronts are apparently coming up soon. Usually that means lots of cancellation news, but it seems that most of my favorites fate has already been decided. Only Community is still up in the air. This year all the news seems to be around pilots.

Difficult People on USA (LW) created by Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner. Most of the news stories focus on Amy Poehler producing, and she’s great, but you have me sold on Eichner/Klausner. The show is about best friends who hate everyone except each other, so it sounds perfect. It’s on USA, which I hadn’t watched in forever, I think they used to show American Gladiators in the mornings during the summer. Recently, they hooked me with Playing House, which is a slightly different show from Best Friends Forever, but mostly the same, as it should be because NBC should have never cancelled it.

Rashida Jones had a pilot picked up on TBS (LW). It’s produced by Steve Carell and his wife and sounds a bit like Brooklyn Nine-Nine just because it’s a cop comedy. Making fun of Law & Order, Rashida will work in the RHCU, Really Heinous Crimes Unit.

Grantland had a good overview of pilots on all the networks (LW).

The NFL Draft is tonight, which I have no desire to watch but probably will anyway. The Eagles having a decent year means I have to watch more than the first half hour this year. The pre-show is also worth watching, as the Style Girlfriend will be interviewing and commenting on the night’s styles. 

The only draft related link I have for you is from The Onion, where Mel Kiper has been trapped under his Big Board (LW).

Last, for the Philly based fans. The Eagles aren’t brining back Dan Baker (LW). You might not know the name but if you have been to a Phillies or Eagles game, then you know his voice. Always seemed to me like a while Phillies season was enough, so hopefully he’ll enjoy a lot of free Sundays.

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More LEGO, More Doctor Who

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LEGOs and BBC have been dominating posts recently, I mention those because it will continue.

LEGO Breaking Bad Lab
legobreakingbadThis isn’t official, just awesome. $250 of awesome. At that price, they should break it up a bit. I think they’d sell quite a few packs of minifigs. The town isn’t quite as developed as The Simpsons. However, there are a few things that should be released after this:

  • The RV
  • The White House (with pizza on the roof)
  • El Pollo Loco!!!!
  • Pest Control Tent, so you can turn any of your existing LEGO houses into a cook site.


Doctor Who Mr. Potato Head
doctorwhopotatoheadThis one is official and only $25. The Doctor is much more consumer friendly than meth cooks/dealers. I don’t really like all the variations of Mr. Potato Head. I love the original, but all these branded ones are a bit much. Most of that is likely due to the fact if I bought one, I’d have a thousand. Just from Doctor Who, why not all the Doctors? Throw in the companions while you’re at it.

Doctor Who Blu-Ray Set
I was browsing Amazon for the Doctor Who seasons and specials. I know I can stream them again on Netflix or Amazon but I wouldn’t mind having the discs. I’ve looked before but it quickly gets confusing. The older seasons are only on DVD. Then I have to take the time to figure out which specials aren’t included in the season sets and where to find them. Eventually I give up.

Today when I searched I came across the almost perfect set. It includes all the episodes including specials since the show returned 7 seasons ago. Everything on Blu-Ray, with the older stuff upconverted. It even includes a Sonic Screwdriver Universal Remote. (Side story: for Christmas my sister got me a TARDIS, but she wanted it to serve some use, so she got a TARDIS USB hub. So just a Sonic Screwdriver wouldn’t make sense, but one that is a remote, ok, I’m listening.) Actually the screwdriver is a bit much, from what I was reading it usually sells for $100 or more. And that presents part of the problem. The set has a $350 retail and is currently $315 on Amazon. It doesn’t come out until November. I know with most releases Amazon sticks close to the retail until the release week when the movie or show is on sale everywhere, then they match it. But I read somewhere that they had a similar Limited Edition set up through the 6th season and that sold out quickly. I have some time to wait. They may release the seasons individually next year, which they should for the people who have bought the more recent Blu-Rays.


Simpsons LEGO and British TV

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Simpsons LEGOs
Question: what would you buy first? The Simpsons’ house? Moe’s? Qwik-E-Mart? The Nuclear Power Plant? I think it’s pretty obvious that it would have to be a Simpsons-branded Monorail. That’s mostly because I never had the LEGO monorail as a kid.

The 12th Doctor
12thDoctorI watched the live broadcast of the unveiling of new doctor on Doctor Who. The broadcast was a great idea, but since I didn’t know many of the people they had on stage, it was much more for a British audience (which is fine). I hadn’t a clue who Peter Capaldi was when they announced him. After hearing all the talk about him being on a previous Doctor Who episode and on a Torchwood season, I at least knew where I’d seen him, but did little to add to the excitement.

I’ve enjoyed the energy and excitement of the young doctors that have been on since I started watching. I’d have preferred they stuck with that and gone with a female. But I’m relatively new to the world so I can’t care that much, and I’m sure it will be great.

The link from BBC America is a helpful collection of clips to see his previous work.

Sherlock Series 3 Trailer
Actually, I didn’t really care about the trailer, I’m just anxious for the show to come back. And then the long wait until it makes it way to the US.


Wednesday Links

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QI Infocloud
QI InfocloudSadly I only discovered QI a few months ago. I’m upset at everyone that I didn’t find out sooner. I don’t remember exactly where I found out about it, but it wasn’t from a friend. The show is on the BBC and the show is just a panel that discusses some amazing, or Quite Interesting facts, that are so amazing, you get mad you didn’t already know them.

This Infocloud site is a great web time killer to find out a bunch of facts on various topics. You can pick from the cloud of topics, or, cause you can’t really pick, just click ‘Lucky Dip’ for a random one.

St. Louis Cardinals – Baseball Village
Watching the Phillies end their season again, until they sweep the Tigers this weekend, only to blow it again next week, while visiting St. Louis, the announcers highlighted the construction of the Cardinals Baseball Village. I’ve seen enough of these entertainment complexes near newer stadiums. They are usually feeble attempts to show that stadiums actually improve the surrounding community. The Cardinals one is right next to the stadium and will have bleacher seats to watch the games, plus a Cardinals Hall of Fame. I was a big fan all around.
Cardinals Village

Jack Handey
I don’t think I knew Jack Handey was an actual person. Or at least that while he may have been a real person that multiple people wrote the Deep Thoughts on SNL. Apparently he is a real guy and this NY Times piece is a good look at him and his career.


Fox 2013-2014

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My Current Fox Shows
New Girl, Mindy Project, Raising Hope, Simpsons, Family Guy. So really, 2 nights.

So 24 is coming back as 12? Was anyone asking for it? I gave up the last season while it aired. I actually watched it a while later on Netflix and I actually enjoyed it. I think it had a lot to do with being able to watch a couple at a time. The show had a lot of dead time as they attempted to realistically (not really, but sorta) tried to move from one story to the next. For that reason, a 12 episode season actually makes a lot of sense and I’ll probably watch it. My biggest issue with 24 isn’t the show itself, it’s the people who thing it’s based in the real world.

More Tuesday
I mentioned that I watched 3 of Fox’s Tuesday comedies. It looks like more are coming. I don’t know much about them, but the little I’ve read will force me to give them a chance. Dads – Seth MacFarlane producing and Brooklyn Nine-Nine from people related to Parks & Rec.

Us & Them
A replacement for later in the season, but probably the new show I have the most thoughts about. Keeping up with all of Alexis Bledel’s career moves I heard about this show a couple of months ago. That it was an American version of a BBC show called Gavin & Stacey. I looked into it and found out it was about a young couple getting together and their families getting to know each other. Sounds promising. The first season was streaming on Netflix and the whole thing was only about 20 episodes, so I gave it a shot. Currently I’m waiting on the last disc of the last season (there were only 3) to arrive from Netflix. I’ve liked it a lot, but I’m not sold on it working here.

Why I might not like it …

  • I love the British cast. Stacey was in Love Actually, she was the, umm, adult film actress. The real starts though are the family and friends, that will be the key to the show.
  • The short British seasons make the show great because they only have to hit the big moments of relationship progression. For this version, they will have to drag things out over 20 episodes instead of 6.
  • The best parts of the show are due to the writers (they play the friends). I just watched one where they spent what seemed like half the episode ordering Indian food. And it was fantastic. Also, I don’t know much about Wales (where half the show is set), but the accents and phrases they use are outstanding.

Why I might love it …

  • It’s actually the story that works.
  • They cast the family right.
  • They nail the little meaningless scenes that make it fun to hang out with the people in the British version.
  • They figure out how to do their own thing (like The Office).


What it all means for me
It looks like I’ll have a few shows to try out. Us & Them I’m probably in for half the season even if it’s terrible. Oh, and let’s be honest, everyone is going to give 24 another go round.


SNL: Kristen Wiig

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I had some concerns going into the Kristen Wiig SNL. It seemed too soon for her to come back and that such a short time away might lead to falling back to a lot of her characters. While I enjoyed her on SNL, I really didn’t like any of her recurring characters.

The monologue started off alright, I was relieved when Gilly (my least favorite) showed up and was gone so quickly. I hoped that was how the rest of the show would go. But then Lawrence Welk showed up with the doll handed sister (my 2nd least favorite). Then Garth and Kat, and finally the Target Lady (a great one time sketch that has no purpose recurring).

Disliking them means that I think they could do better by trying new things. Just throwing those characters out there leads to an average show. That averaged was boosted with The Californians along with a few other sketches that were good (and I hate myself for laughing at the Second Hand News Guy). Subtract points for the odd Double Date sketch and Vampire Weekend and that totals out to an average show.

My favorite sketch of the night: Acupuncture. It went just about exactly how you’d expect it to go, and it was still great.

I’ll be honest, with any good leak situation (be it water or blood), you can’t go wrong trying to use some chewing gum to plug the whole. It was the only thing missing.

Finale next week with Ben Affleck and Kayne West.


NBC 2013-2014

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All sorts of exciting events to read about online this week. Near the top of the list, TV Network Upfronts. Meaning we get the fall schedules and find out what shows are new/renewed/cancelled.

Up first, NBC. Will there be anything to watch? Well, besides the Winter Olympics, which I will watch all of.

Late Night
First, there is the late night shakeup, with today’s news that Seth Meyers is taking over for Fallon. Now I’m a big fan of Seth Meyers. I’ve enjoyed him on Weekend Update and saw him do stand-up a year or two ago. My first reaction is that it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Two Weekend Update hosts, back to back, both from New York. Will they be the same show? Actually no, and I actually warming up to the idea. While both Fallon and Meyers were Weekend Update hosts, they have completely different styles. Fallon can kill the music parts, which are the only thing I see of his, online. That’s not Meyers game. What could be his game, is a 12:35 Daily Show style show. He already does this once a week at the Update Desk. Add in a daily format, which he can handle, since most news jokes get played out by the time SNL comes around. The question will be if he can handle the interviews. I don’t know if he can, but he should be better than Fallon.

If I had to rank the bubble shows up NBC from this past season for the order I’d renew them.

1. Parks & Rec – No doubt.
2. Community – I didn’t like this season, but the cast is too good to give up on.
3. Guys With Kids – I didn’t get how no one watched this. It was the best pure sitcom I had seen in a long while.
4. Go On – I like Matthew Perry a lot. I watched this whole season. It never quite figured itself out. There were some really good episodes. The cast was a bit too large and they weren’t developed enough. Even at the end of the season, I didn’t know the names of all the members of the support group.
5. New Normal – The only one on the list I didn’t stick out for the season (I quit short of half way through), which is why it’s last. I tried to like it. I wanted to like it. The leads were solid. The show was actually destroyed by the grandmother and assistant. 

Just Parks & Rec and Community. No surprise. I would have liked for one of the others to make it.

New Shows
Not a ton jumped out at me on the schedule. The Michael J. Fox Show will get a watch, but the fact that it was given the 9:30 spot, and not 9, makes me wonder if it turned out less than excellent. Although if NBC is the judge, that either means it’s actually good or so bad even they realized it.

I see a midseason show from Bill Lawrence, Undateable. I always give his shows a chance. Ok, maybe I never gave Cougar Town a chance.

The odd one on the list: The Million Second Quiz. If I understand this correctly, players live in a bubble answering questions 24 hours a day for 12 days and it will air in primetime. But people at home can play along and possibly appear on the show. So I don’t really know how it works. It’s pretty save to say during those two weeks if you watch any NBC, they’ll mention it.

I’ll give some of the new shows a try, at least the Thursday night lineup. It looks like the spring might be where it’s at for me on NBC. Whenever Community and Undateable show up along with Seth Meyers, they will add to Parks & Rec and SNL. Hopefully for NBC’s sake, one of the other shows makes the list.