Archive for the TV tag


Links for May 1

Mike No Comment

I saw Joel McHale last week. Bo Burnham opened for him. I thought he was very good. He sings lots of odd songs and is only 17.

I was browsing the iTunes Podcast Directory looking for some new ones to listen to. I wound up adding a bunch of NPR podcasts. Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is the best of the bunch. Its weekly, on Saturdays, look at news items from the past week with a sense of humor.

New David Sedaris in The New Yorker. Not my favorite, its all about smoking. Still, its David Sedaris, so its worth reading.

A touching story of a balding penguin.

Photoshopping what each candidate would look like in 4 years.

Police Log from The Daily Collegian.
Always one of my favorite parts of the paper, this one doesn’t disappoint.

One of my softball teammates’ man cave was featured on a PSU blog this week.

Some Lists …
Philly is #1 place to live for new grads.

Pittsburgh gets a #1, but for sootiest. Here is the full list.

Top 50 comedy sketches. #50 is cowbell. So either the list is terrible or there are about 40 hilarious sketches I’ve never seen.

Top 50 TV Shows of All Time – See how far you get until you have to stop because you realize the list is worthless. I got to #49. Then I flipped to #48 and they redeemed themselves.


Links for March 27th

Mike No Comment

I thought this was a great post about why Hilary is doing so well in PA. Possibly the best thing I’ve seen written about the election so far.

Incompetent people are clueless. From this Dilbert Blog entry.

Fake Craigslist ad said everything in this guy’s house was free for the taking.

A corn flake that looks like Illinois. Personally, I think it looks more like Texas than Illinois.

Adam Carolla Show – Reinactment One of my favorite things about the Carolla Show is when they read a news item or hear a story and then do dialogue as if they are the people in the story. Confused? Well this one is an actual segment with the purpose of reenacting an event.

A home paternity test. Something tells me this will lead to a large number or practical jokes.

Celebrity Family Feud. Why did this take so long to happen?

The NFL going to require haircuts? This should wait until after the first person gets injured from being tackled by their hair. Just something I we all need to actually see, as a lesson.

Top Hybrids of 2008

A Focus Convertible? So hot.



Week in Links

Links No Comment

I keep telling myself to do this daily, but I get sidetracked. Here is a sampling of the links I shared with my friends this week. These are the ones that made the cut and aren’t dumb after looking at them again.

The Condiment Pistol. Now if they can figure out how to get ketchup and mustard into the same gun. Perhaps a double-barreled shotgun?

My new favorite dinosaur name: Duckbilled Edmontosaurus.

Finally I won’t have to listen to everyone demanding that BattleBots come back.

Life Clock. Cool, interesting, or morbid?

Not sure how the Secret Public Journal will turn into a sitcom, I’ll watch though.

Colbert is coming to Philly. I got burned by the fact that I DVR it and watch it after work the next day. By the time I saw this, tickets were gone.

Do we want the largest building in the hemisphere to be in Philly? I guess we never want to win a championship.

Kenny Maine is writing a book? It will be kindling. Not because it will be bad, I will probably get it and enjoy it, but its going to be so try the sun will set it on fire.

The Dodgers are leaving Dodgertown. So sad, it really makes no sense. Orioletown doesn’t sound nearly as good. Lasorda said, “We’re going to leave, but we’re not leaving our memories.” Something about the wording of that quote bothers me. Sounds to me like ‘we’re leaving and we’re taking our memories with us’.

Is independent study a major at Michigan?

Service Pack 1 was released for Vista. Usually things start looking up after the first Service Pack. Who knows with Vista, everyone hates it so much and most of them haven’t even tried it.

The Adam Carolla Show
Teresa tells what Adam says is his favorite story. Part 1 Part 2
Who the F sells this S? (My favorite segment) Part 1 Part 2

These are a little old, but in the off chance you missed them …

Sarah Silverman and Matt Damon’s song.

Jimmy Kimmel and Ben Affleck’s song.


What I Should Have Said Was Nothing

Comedy, Mike No Comment

Last night was Comedy Central’s premiere of Mike Birbiglia’s special, What I Should Have Said Was Nothing. It was on at midnight. Midnight? Usually specials are put on Sunday nights in some prime spot. If its a Comedy Central Presents that will be on Saturday Night at 10. This was his own special. It is Comedy Central so I hope they replay it constantly so that everyone gets to see it.

I’m a fan of Mike Birbiglia’s blog, which he calls his Secret Public Journal. On occasion I hear him as a radio guest reading those posts. He has the type of delivery that after you hear him read a few of them you start to pick up his style when reading them on your own. His delivery might not catch you right away if you happen to come across him on TV. Give it a shot, its worth it.

I also like his routine because he makes me think, ‘Hey, I have some stories, will people pay me to tell them?’ His stories aren’t ridiculous or obscene. A lot are about his family or odd situations he’s been in. Then he became popular so now he has stories about places he’s preformed or his celebrity status. If it only were as easy as he makes me think it is.


American Gladiators is Back

Mike, TV No Comment

After all the years of waiting for American Gladiators to come back it finally did on Sunday Night. It was terrible. As things went on the skip ahead button on my remote became my friend. The events are tolerable but the amount of talking to the contestants and gladiators is unnecessary. The dialog all seems scripted and Hulk is just horrible.

Some thoughts …
– Who is this mystery announcer? Why isn’t he on screen? He seems a little too into some of the gladiators.
– Hey Hulk, when talking to the contestants, ‘So, you’re a fireman’ is not a question. Do not point the microphone in the persons direction after saying that and expect an answer. Good thing the fireman can read cue cards.
– There was a gladiator joust specialist for both the men and the women. The female one seemed to do alright. The male gladiator got DQ’d on both matchups. If you are the specialist you shouldn’t be getting DQ’d. When you are 3-feet taller than your opponent you should be able to take care of business.
– They ruined assault. The contestants seem scared. I think it might be the clear shields. Now they can see the ball coming and they flinch. What is up with the hidden arrow in the sand?
– The multiple angle replays at different speeds with dramatic music are unnecessary.
– The thumbs down and good bye music whenever anyone falls needs to go.
– They need to stop with the countdown right before an event and then cutting to commercial. In the joust it was 3-2-1-Commercial. Who is watching saying, ‘Well I wasn’t going to keep watching but now I’m hooked.’?
– Wasn’t the old Hang Tough a lot bigger? Seems like its only 4 rows of rings now.
– When they were coming up with gladiator names, where there any other suggestions before coming up with Wolf?
– Is the new Siren deaf?
– Aren’t their uniform requirements for gladiators?
– On the rings the women went up again Fury. She got the first contestant in her signature move ‘the suicide squeeze.’ Its the first time, how does she already have a signature move? Has she been competing in some sort of Hang Tough that is not related to AG?
– The ref is pretty intense.
– They better not have gotten rid of the hamster ball game.
– The winners of this season become gladiators next year. Will they go on steroids between seasons and come back huge? With there be a competition to see which gladiators aren’t coming back?

New events: Earthquake, and the bridge (I forget what it’s actually called). Neither one is all that great. Earthquake is just wrestling while trying not to fall off. The bride one is a little better. It would be one I’d be willing to include in my American Gladiator Experience.

The Eliminator: Swimming under fire? What is the point of the spool? The hand bike needs to be oiled. Are the contestants really that bad that they can’t make it up the treadmill incline?

It may just be that I haven’t watched an entire episode of the old on is a while but I don’t remember it being nearly this bad, at least the dialog.

At this point I’m going to stick with it but I’m going to be quick on the skip ahead button. If they want to keep me around they better keep introducing new events or at least new wrinkles in the current events. In the later rounds they should switch up The Eliminator. I’m not tuning in for my favorite contestant. I’m not going to have one if they keep making them say stupid things.


Versus is Good, I Swear

Sports No Comment

I’ve been slacking on the List posts the past few weeks. This one deserves its own: Versus.

It made The List previously (when it was called Bandwagon Jumping) thanks to a couple of Pac-10 upsets that were on the channel. I also appreciate the channel because ESPN did a terrible job at hockey and really didn’t care about it. The NHL is Versus’ #1 priority. The only thing better would be to have The NHL Network.

This week on Tuesday I happened to flip on Versus and found two shows that I think I’ll be back for next week.

Hockey Central
Sorry, a few minutes of Barry Melrose on SportsCenter does not satisfy my hockey needs. I also usually miss it because I’ve changed the channel because they are talking about the NFL or something else that I really don’t care to hear any more about. Now Hockey Central is no NHL2Night with John Buccigross. Still its a lot of hockey highlights and hockey talk that I could definitely use more of. Besides the big name players and the Flyers I don’t know all that much. Out of the professional leagues the NHL is only behind baseball in my order of preference. I just know more about the NFL and NBA because you can’t avoid seeing all the news stories about them. They also do live look-ins.

Now I only got to see the last few minutes, but I think I will at the very least add it to my DVR for next week. I can’t really be sure because the Versus site is terrible but it looks like Hockey Central is on Mondays and Tuesdays at 9:30 or 10, depending on the game on before it.

Sports Unfiltered with Dennis Miller
This show got some press when it was announced. I didn’t really care. Dennis Miller? What was his last show on, CNBC? Whatever it was I tried to watch it once or twice, but couldn’t. I did enjoy Dennis Miller Live, when I did get to see it. I thought he was a good choice for Monday Night Football. I turned out to be wrong.

The show was on after Hockey Central. He opened with an AJ Feeley joke, so I gave him a shot. Turns out he does a whole monologue of sports related jokes. A lot of them are even funny, who knew. He doesn’t go too crazy with his historical references. Well, for me at least. He might go with more sports history, which I don’t really notice. The real history stuff I notice because I will not understand about half of what he is saying.

Its a lot like Dennis Miller Live, he does the monologue and then goes into his rant, which was about all the sports figures getting into trouble. His guests were Michael Irvin and Denny McClain, pretty solid for a show I wasn’t even aware was airing yet and related to the topic very well. After that he does the week in pictures, also right from his old show and still solid. He had on Bob Costas, who wasn’t terrible. He had some guy go try bull riding, seems like he’s going to try stupid things each week. We’ll see about that segment. He ends talking to some guy in Vegas about his picks for the week. Drop that segment right away.

I was at least able to find a half decent show schedule for this one on the site. Tuesdays at 10 or 10:30 are new episodes and the replays run throughout the week. They might be on to something with this show. I can’t think of anything else like it.


Week Links

Mike No Comment

The Colbert links are all over the place thanks to his book release and his Presidential Bid.

Watch – On Larry King, this link is to the Larry King iTunes podcast. CNN doesn’t seem to have any direct links to their podcasts.

Read – From the New York Times Op-Ed page. He wrote Maureen Dowd’s column for her.

I’ve very excited for his run in South Carolina. Anyone who thinks this is a joke that will make a mockery of the primary process has not been paying attention to the primary process. Right now his focus is getting the signatures to get on the Democratic ballot. The $25,000 to get on the Republican ballot is going to be more difficult. Why does it cost so much to get on the ballot? Shouldn’t the chance to run for office be open to anyone? I thought signatures were fairly standard, or having to go and fill out a form and pay a processing fee, but one a little more realistic. The next step needs to be voter registration. At the very least a ton of people who have never voted before will register and go to the polls. A decent showing could spawn a write-in campaign across the country. In the end, two things are accomplished: more people are registered to vote and people take notice that the whole process is actually a joke. Who knows, maybe by defending his right to be in the race he can get some of the other candidates to defend their words and be honest.

During taping of Conan one night this week an alarm went off. Conan rolled with it and they wound up keeping it in the show. It continued when the next guest, Paget Brewseter, came out.

I’ve been concerned that Conan might not be able to be successful on The Tonight Show when he takes over. I think he’s great, but, to me, The Tonight Show is an entirely different audience. An audience that enjoys Jay Leno, which I cannot understand how that’s possible. After seeing how he played this I realize how truly great he can be and that he can work with any situation. That will make him successful in the new time slot. I’m just hoping he doesn’t change too much and keep the consistent boredom that is the current Tonight Show.

More Goods
Best Dilbert Blogs that I read this week. They may be a little older, I had some catching up to do.
Indoor Recreation – Just for his idea for the Ping Pong Palace.
Some People – Sometimes, you just want to kill someone for no particular reason.

North American Vexillological Association – Flags, flags, and more flags. The kind of site that you think is dumb, and then a few hours go by and you are still looking at it.

The videos follow …



Bandwagon Jumping

Mike No Comment

I’m keeping this as Bandwagon Jumping until I find a better name. After thinking about it, the name doesn’t really make sense. The idea it to start the bandwagon, not jump on it. Bandwagon Starting isn’t all that great a name. So until I figure something out, or hear a good suggestion, here are my weekly look at what I’m liking, and what I’m not.


Basic Instructions – I heard about this one from The Dilbert Blog. It was good when I first started reading it, but the last few have been great. Check out this and this. Video Highlights – They show all the goals and great saves. Sometimes even some hits. The stream is 700k, meaning excellent quality and it uses Flash so I haven’t had a problem viewing it anywhere. There is also the option to embed the clip. One problem, controversial plays are skipped. The Flyers-Canucks clip from this week did not show the Boulerice hit that led to his 25 game suspension. I guess that sort of thing requires some voiceover and all the highlights just use the game announcers.

Versus College Football – Last week Stanford beat #1 USC. This week Oregon State beat #2 Cal. I have no idea if the actual coverage is any good, I only watch the last few minutes and at that point you don’t really notice the announcers. I don’t get Versus in HD, but that’s more of a Verizon issue. I’m hoping the Penn State/Ohio State game in two weeks can somehow be covered by Versus.

Angels & Airwaves – My Only Fear – I’m excited for the new A&A album, I-Empire. It comes out on November 6th. I’ve heard some of the songs and My Only Fear hooked me instantly. Don’t be surprised if this album makes the Bandwagon in a month.

Paramore – I’ve like both their albums so far. The reason they are here now is how impressed I am at their live performances. For example, this acoustic version of Misery Business. This week they were on Conan and were amazing doing the normal version of the song.

Dollyrots – Because I’m Awesome – Sirius Hits One is slowly picking up that this song is good. First I like the full of herself attitude of the song. Also, I usually like songs where two people have a conversation in part of it. For example … Guy: I always tell you how smart you are. Girl: It’s cause my brain is really supersized. There are a couple of those type of exchanges in the song.

Natasha Bedingfield – Love Like This – If I like Unwritten and I like this, do I need to get the album? I haven’t heard any other songs.


Finger Eleven – Paralyzer – I was on board with this song early on, then it started spreading. Now its one of the most requested songs on Sirius Hits One. This song just didn’t stand up to being overplayed. Few songs do.

Reaper – I actually like this show. It just didn’t do enough to keep me coming back for more. It isn’t serialized enough. I could watch the first few episodes on their own or in any order and it wouldn’t have made any difference. Its entirely possible that they will figure something out and I’ll be getting these DVDs in a year. For now, I’ve got too many shows that I’m watching every week and something needs to go. I can’t keep up this pace. This is one is the first difficult cut. If you see that its on and you’ve got nothing else to do, you should definitely check it out, you’ll enjoy it.


Week Links

Mike No Comment

These got me talking …

Legality of some Pa. marriages is questioned
This one caught my eye because I know some people who were ordained by the Universal Life Church. I was even there when it happened. We had some time to kill after Fitness Walking. Yes, I got credit for walking. We were sitting in the computer lab and two of my friends decided to get ordained. It required them to fill out a form. It was all very official looking and by official looking I mean it was a web site with a form. I decided against it on the grounds that I could make my own certificate, if I really wanted one, and I felt thing signing up would get me involved in the subsequent legal proceedings that were likely to be associated with this organization. There was one wedding performed. While I’m not sure how much the bride and groom talk anymore, I don’t believe there was ever a divorce. I guess now they can rest easy that they can pretend the whole thing never happened.

Comcast holds the line on Big Ten
I’ve talked about this a few times. While I love the idea of having more Big Ten coverage and a chance to watch some Penn State sports besides football and basketball, I’ve been on Comcast’s side the whole time. Two things in this article stand out to me. First, something I’ve been curious about it how much money is actually on the line. According to this if Comcast puts the channel on expanded basic, BTN gets $60 million a year and if it puts it on the Sports Teir, BTN only gets $2.5 million. The article states that the Sports Teir has only 4% penetration. However, those Sports Teir numbers are going to grow. NFL Network is now on the Sports Teir but NFL games don’t start on the channel until Thanksgiving. Also, have some confidence in the drawing power of your channel. The BTN will draw even more subscribers. Getting some money has to be better than nothing at all, especially when you don’t have to do anything extra, the channel is already broadcasting. The second point in the article is even more important and something I hadn’t thought of before. Every major sport has (or will have in baseball’s case) a channel. The Big Ten is the second conference I know of to have a channel (I haven’t been upset that I don’t receive The Mountain West’s channel, which I believe Comcast has a part of). Pretty soon the other major conferences will follow suit. Then it’s going cost a bunch to pay for all of these channels. There won’t be any need for the ESPN PPV packages for college football and basketball. Everyone will be paying those prices and more because all those games will be part of the channels. While I’m an alum of a Big Ten school I want to see games from all the other conferences just as badly. I already subscribe to Verizon’s sports package so that I can see Pac10 and Big 12 games that Fox College Sports shows. I’m an odd case. There are lots of people that don’t care about sports at all, these are people I refer to as ‘people I’d rather not associated with,’ who don’t need to be paying for a bunch of channels they are never going to watch.

TV Related

Table Cloth Challenge
Someone explain to me why there isn’t a Japanese Game Show channel. At least GSN should have a Japanese block which would wind up being so popular it would need its own channel.

Creed Thoughts
Creed from The Office has a blog. I usually don’t even bother reading ‘in character’ blogs. However with Creed I had to make an exception.

Late Night Subdivision

Colbert on Fresh Air
Stephen Colbert has been everywhere promoting his book. I really liked this interview. Its about 45 minutes long so it gets a lot more in-depth than any of the others. He also talks a lot about the character he plays on the show.

Jimmy Kimmel Does Product Testing on Kids
I miss being able to watch Kimmel every day.

It’s official: Conan moving to L.A.
Sure, the show will probably be exactly the same. It definitely won’t be better. So why move?

Fox Considers Joe Buck for Late-Night Show
I can only support this if it means that he won’t be covering sports any more. Who am I kidding? There is already a Tim McCarver show and I still have to listen to him.

Sports Things

Giants Linebacker Injures His Ear
Lesson: Don’t stick a cotton swab in your ear in a crowded locker room.

An Error-Plagued Game, but From the Broadcast Booth
I’ve thought TBS has done a great job covering the playoffs. Although broadcasting a signal already puts them in a tie with Fox and ESPN. I would like to see more of these types of articles, besides in blogs, calling out announcing mistakes.

Fun Stuff

Exploits of a Mom
If you are a fan of SQL injection comics, then this is for you.

Top 40 Demotivational Posters
People in my job love these things. The mocking variety, just like these. My favorite out of this group has to be the Free Candy van.


Regional Coverage

Sports No Comment

Usually when discussing college football coverage my first complaint is about the announcers. I don’t do enough complaining about the games they select to put on TV for my region.

Today the Penn State/Iowa game is on ESPN2. At least that’s what I thought. After the Miami/UNC game ended it came on. I saw all of two plays when the picture suddenly froze. I quickly switched to the SD version of ESPN2 only to find NC St/FSU. I haven’t had Verizon long enough to trust that they aren’t going to screw up this sort of thing. I called up and the guy was very helpful. He had all the coverage maps and blackout lists handy. When he reset my box I flipped through the channels and found the game on ABC. I had never thought to check there since all I’d seen advertised was ESPN2 and I saw the game on ESPN2 before it vanished.

I found the game, but I still wasn’t happy. It wasn’t in HD! I know it was produced in HD somewhere, I saw it on ESPN2HD. This is what I don’t understand. There is no reason that this game wasn’t in HD on ABC. If they can’t handle it then don’t move it from ESPN2. If you are that excited to watch PSU/Iowa, you likely are someone who gets ESPN and ESPN2. Are there a lot of OTA people clamoring for this game?

This also took the Texas/Okalhoma game off of my schedule. A game that I would certainly like the option of watching. The game that was showing on ESPN2, NC St/FSU I couldn’t watch in HD because ESPN2HD was blacked out for no particular reason.

I don’t have ESPN Gameplan. There aren’t enough games that I need to watch to justify the price. I’d like to be able to see some of those games. If it only cost $50, then I’d be on board. On occasion one of these games might be picked up by one of our local channels. This week the selection was CMU/Ball St. I didn’t spend much time watching that matchup.

I am a big fan of the Fox College Sports channels that I get part of the Verizon Sports Pack. They are really the only channels worth mentioning in that package. These channels give me the good Pac10 and Big 12 games that aren’t picked up by ABC/ESPN. Last week I was able to watch Colorado beat Oklahoma. Today included Kansas/Kansas State (which Comcast Sportsnet was showing) and Arizona State/Washington State.

As far as college football is concerned the biggest difference between Comcast and Verizon is having CSTV on Comcast and ESPNU and ESPN Classic on Verizon. There would occasionally be a good game on CSTV, usually from a mid-major. I’d much rather have the ESPNU/ESPN Classic combination. ESPNU always has some major conference teams and Classic has good matchups on occasion. This week Classic went with an American Gladiators marathon instead of any games. You can’t argue too much with that decision.

What’s missing from all this is the Big Ten Network. I’d love to have this channel. Of course that means the main channel plus the extra channels when there are multiple games on. There have already been three PSU games on BTN this season. I still have to side with the providers in not carrying this channel. There is no reason for the vast majority of subscribers to have to pay for this channel. I’d gladly pay extra, so BTN should let me have that option.

See, I’m laying off the announcers today. You could say I’m growing as a person. You could also say I am saving my announcer rage for tonight when I have to endure another game with Joe Simpson doing the color for the Phillies/Rockies game. Other than him, and a few other issues, TBS’s coverage has been way better than ESPN or Fox have been for the playoffs over the past few years. Now if I only had TBS in HD.