July 25, 2007
I finally ordered the Sports Pack from Comcast this weekend. It includes: Fox College Sports (Atlantic, Central, and Pacific), Fox Soccer Channel, Gol TV, NBA TV, CSTV, The Tennis Channel, and NFL Network. I know, quite a lineup.
I ordered it now because there was a special: $1.99/month for a year. I had planned on getting it for the start of the college football season. Last year there were quite a few times that I’d see a close score of a west coast game only to find that it was only on Fox College Sports Pacific. Leaving me out of luck. With the move of NFL Network to the Sports Pack a few months ago, getting the Sports Pack wasn’t even a doubt.
Now really isn’t the prime season for the Sports Pack. There aren’t any college sports going on. So the FCS channels and CSTV are running games from the past season, or ‘classic’ games. Unfortunately CSTV has most of its deals with non-BCS conferences and it seems that only the Pac10 likes to show games on Fox Sports.
I’m not much of a soccer fan. I catch World Cup Fever every four years but I usually recover from it rather quickly. I have always been intrigued by the European leagues but it seems like quite a commitment to really get into it. With two new channels full of soccer to watch I may learn something by accident. Oh, and David Beckham’s Soccer USA premieres tonight. That will make it to the DVR with an over/under of 8 minutes of watch time before the delete button is pressed.
The highlights of the Sports Pack will be the College Football on FCS, and games/highlights/shows on NBA TV and NFL Network. Plus who know what other college sports goodness awaits me: basketball, hockey, lacrosse. I could easily get hooked on any of those.
What’s keeping the Sports Pack from greatness? ESPN Classic and ESPNU. I blame ESPN for them not being available. They absolutely should be only in the Sports Pack. I’ll pay for them but people who don’t care about sports should not have to chip in. ESPN Classic is actually sent to my house, they just don’t have it in the lineup. I found out when I got my TV with an HDTV tuner. It scanned all the digital channels and found ESPN Classic. I can’t access it through my cable box. Some day soon I’m going to have such a desire to watch American Gladiators I’ll have to run another cable.
The Big Ten Network launches in a few weeks and I have a bad feeling that won’t be added to the Sports Pack in time. Apparently the Big Ten thinks its better than ESPN Classic and ESPNU and that Comcast will cave. I want to hang out with these Big Ten Network executives, they sound hilarious.
So far the Sports Pack doesn’t get high marks. But I hadn’t expected it to be anything special. It should be an entertaining month laughing at what they decide to put on all these channels until football gets started. Then I will have sports overload once again.
June 14, 2007
Another new commercial that I’m hooked on. This time its just a single one, not a whole campaign. I’m just trying to branch out in my commercial coverage. I sure do talk about them a lot for someone who spends a lot of energy trying to avoid them.
I’m talking about the new American Express one. There are a bunch of stars in it: Shawn White, Ellen Degeneres, Andre Agassi, Sheryl Crow, and Norah Jones. None of them matter. I would be just as big a fan of the commercial if none of them were in it. Its all about Martin Scorsese.
The stars are saying what causes they are interested in supported. Some random guy walks into the shot. Scorsese flips out. Who is this guy? Why is he in the scene? What is this lake he is talking about? He’s brilliant. Why isn’t he doing more acting instead of directing. I think he should do both.
I got to thinking that I think watching Scorsese direct his films might actually be more entertaining than his films. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy his films. The Departed was excellent. I think I’d have even more enjoyment though if the camera was behind him directing the entire movie. I’d get all of The Departed with some Scorsese flip outs in between. Awesome, right. Plus, you’d get all the actors in The Departed possibly fighting back. Or just taking whatever he thew at them. I’d be curious to see the on set dynamic.
The commercial can be seen if you (more…)
June 11, 2007
New releases for June 12, 2007.
Paramore – Riot! – I enjoyed their last album and gave the stream of the new album a listen. I enjoyed it as well. However, it won’t make the purchase list this week. There is too much on the list for the next few weeks.
Cauterize – Disguises – I’ve always liked their sound. Take a listen on their MySpace.
Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur – Covers of John Lennon songs. I’m curious to hear the cover by Mick Fleetwood and Jack’s Mannequin.
Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree (Wii) – I haven’t played the DS version, I assume its nearly identical to Brain Age. How will this translate to the Wii?
Tenchu Z (Xbox 360) – Any game description that starts with ‘Become the ultimate ninja assasain’ has my instant attention. I checked Game Rankings and so far two reviews gave it an average of 87%. I need a little more than that but things look good so far.
Nothing very exciting this week.
Ghost Rider – I had no desire.
Breach – I don’t even remember it coming out.
Office Seasons 1&2 – Not really new, just selling them together. I think I saw you get a free ticket to Evan Almighty with it. If you don’t have these seasons yet then buy them with or without the free ticket.
June 11, 2007
Hopefully the highlight of the week will be the return of Last Comic Standing. Sadly, I fear that it won’t be. Still, with the College World Series starting up I should be able to survive.
Game 3 @ Cleveland: Tuesday (9, ABC)
Game 4 @ Cleveland: Thursday (9, ABC)
Game 5 @ Cleveland: Sunday (9, ABC, if necessary)
Men’s College World Series
Starts Friday at 2pm on ESPN2. Continues until June 24 or 25 on ESPN and ESPN2.
US Open – Golf
June 14-17 on ESPN/NBC. Taking place at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, PA.
See the rest of the week in tv … (more…)
June 10, 2007
Evan and Mike took a look back at what we watched this TV season, compared to what we expected to watch at the beginning of the season. Evan had a turbulent week relating to the Gators and the Billy Donovan situation. The Ducks won the Stanley Cup and unlike everyone else, Mike has no problem with that. The French Open finished up which means a trophy presentation that Mike really enjoys for some reason. Evan tries to make tennis more popular with a reality show (didn’t he suggest that for horse racing too?).
Evan is without AC.
Look back at the TV season.
Billy Donovan saga.
What’s the problem with having a Stanley Cup Champion from a warm weather city?
Grand Slam Tennis trophy presentation, other good trophy presentations in sports.
A reality show featuring tennis players would make the sport more popular.
June 4, 2007
I may have jumped the gun with my look at the Red Stripe commercials. The new ones from Cold Stone Creamery might just be better. I think they may be from the same people that did the Emerald Nuts ads. They have the same eerie feel to them, the graphics are similar, and the web site is solid. The plots make a little more sense than the Emerald Nuts ones. In the sense that the fears of each person make sense. The fact that broccoli is in a Cold Stone might be a reach.
The idea is that the main character approaches a Cold Stone Creamery. Inside are four arch nemeses (I had to look up the plural of nemesis). The character wants his or her favorite creation but they have to face what they fear most inside of the store. I mentioned the broccoli, which was one of the fears of the Kid. He had the other standard kid fears: Boogey Man, Monster Under the Bed, and the Monster in the Closet. The commercial ends with ‘Do you love it or do you love it love it? This is a play on the sizes at Cold Stone: Like It, Love It, and Gotta Have It. On their web page they explain the sizes as Like It: tennis ball, Love It: baseball, Gotta Have It: Softball.
The site lets you see the current commercials. There are bios about each of the main characters. The bios contain even more information about the main characters. Makes me hope there may be a variety of spots for each character.
Make sure you check out the outtakes. By far my favorite is the Bigfoot Tracker. He loves to lose things, so he can track them down. The Monster Under the Bed is pretty entertaining as well.
On the site if you view the you can click on the balled up paper in the corner and you can submit your own story. I’m not sure if you get anything if your story gets picked. Still, I love the idea that they are asking for more suggestions. It leads me to believe there will be a lot more and they could have a ton of variety.
I should mention that I’ve only been to Cold Stone twice. It opened at school a few years ago. However, my school is known for its Ice Cream on campus. The fact that an outsider showed up trying to sell ice cream was unheard of. I refused to go for the first year or so. I had a coupon for a free one, so I figured I’d stick it to them by not paying them anything. The special that month was Cotton Candy. The creation had marshmallows. It was unbelievable. One opened recently near where I live, so I will be going more often, especially thanks to these great ads.
So far Bigfoot is the only one I’ve seen on TV. I am looking forward to a ton more of these. With new characters or a new variety of the current characters. They will reach greatness if they feature some of the nemeses as the main characters. What is the Boogey Man afraid of??
June 3, 2007
This week the Stanley Cup Finals are wrapping up (unless it goes 7), the NBA Finals are getting started. There is no horse going for the Triple Crown but I’ll still be looking forward to the race. French Open finals are also coming up on the weekend.
Besides sports there isn’t much to look forward to until Sunday with the Sopranos finale and John From Cincinnati premiere. Plus, Brian Regan has a Comedy Central Special.
Belmont Stakes (5, ABC) – No one going for the Triple Crown this year. Still, I’m hooked on this horse racing thing. Just watching, I’m not at the point of betting on it. You can make picks for fun at Ice Cream Helmet.
Stanley Cup Finals
Ducks vs Senators
Game 4 @ Ottawa: Monday (8, NBC)
Game 5 @ Anaheim: Wednesday (8, NBC)
Game 6 @ Ottawa: Saturday (8, NBC)
Spurs vs Cavaliers
Game 1 @ San Antonio: Thursday (9, ABC)
Game 2 @ San Antonio: Sunday (9, ABC)
Women’s Final: Saturday (9am, NBC)
Men’s Final: Sunday (9am, NBC)
Check out the week … (more…)
May 28, 2007
Thank God You’re Here started on NBC a few months ago. I was intrigued because I love improv/sketch comedy. They were going to have on some moderate celebrities. The idea was that a celebrity would be dressed in some sort of attire related to the skit they were about to do. They knew nothing about it. They would be sent through a door with the show’s cast prepared with a story. During the sketch the cast would set up the celebrities for jokes. The average performers only got creative when prompted by these queues. The solid performers would take over the scene, not waiting for their turn. It was surprising how few of them actually took control.
David Alan Grier is the host. I usually enjoy him. Dave Foley is the judge. I don’t mind Dave Foley, but was a judge needed? He was nice even when somebody was terrible. He apparently picked who was the best on the show and gave him or her a trophy.
I watched a the first few shows but it was nothing that I was going to watch during primetime. There are too many other options. I tried to DVR it, but I never had a desire to watch it. It would just sit there in my recorded list until I realized I was never going to watch it.
I do think the show could be a lot more successful. It should be on some cable channel at various times during the day. If I just caught it randomly during the day I’d be more likely to watch it. Each skit should be put on YouTube. Then have people vote on the best ones and direct people to the better ones. It may even be better to start online. Instead of a celebrity doing one scene have them do a couple when they come in. Make the TV show the best of these skits as voted online.
I do have the desire to try it out, to play the role of the celebrity. I think there are a lot of people that would enjoy this. Now its not good for TV, nobody cares what I do. I just think it would be a lot of fun. The cast is there to help me out a bit, if it turns out I’m terrible. If I was decent I’d want video of it to watch again and show people.
One issue I can see is that an audience is needed. The performance really plays off the crowd if its any good. How do you get an audience to see people they don’t have any relation to who might not be very good?
One way to do this is to have a tour. This could work going across the country taking people from the crowd. The cast would know how to play to the crowd, making it entertaining for everyone. A huge bonus is that when the cast realize that the crowd member is terrible they can just switch to making fun of this volunteer. Great fun. If popular enough it could stay in one place, be sort of a weekly/monthly event at a theater.
With the tour you have to get lucky in the crowd to get up on stage. There needs to be some way to be sure you’re going to get a shot. Perhaps pay a little extra. This removes the getting made fun of aspect, since you don’t want to pay to get made fun of. If you’re paying its likely you’re a little better than the average crowd member.
Either way this sounds like an entertaining idea. Really, for me, I just want to do some sort of improv. There must be a place where random people off the street can do improv.
May 27, 2007
To save myself from Summer TV withdraw I’ve decided to plan my week’s in advance. I’m going to do some research to make sure I don’t miss any specials that tend to sneak by in the Summer. Oh, and Sports.
This week will be especially difficult with all the talk shows on break.
Stanley Cup Finals: Monday (Versus), Wednesday (Versus), Saturday (NBC)
French Open: ESPN2 and The Tennis Channel – Comcast is giving us The Tennis Channel for free for this. Trying to tempt me into purchasing the Sports Package. Little do they know I’m planning on getting it when the college football season starts. That is, if I can hold old during the college baseball regionals.
Now that the important stuff is out of the way, check out the whole week … (more…)
May 22, 2007
I’m no fan of commercials. The #1 reason for purchasing a ReplayTV all those years ago was to easily record things so I could skip the commercials. Turned out the real beauty of DVRs is not being tied to the TV schedule, but that’s off topic.
Still, I’m always intrigued by good commercials. Its just they are so few and far between. Even less often is there a campaign that I just love. I discovered a new one this week. Off the top of my head here are two of my favorite ad campaigns ever, plus a new favorite that I think has a ton of potential.
I don’t even need to really talk about these. There have been so many classics over the years. Even now they will still bust out a solid one. I loved the one with Jorge Posada and David Ortiz where Ortiz puts on the Yankees hat (even though it may have been against the rules).
These were just off the wall when they first came out. It was during the 2004 World Series. This is pre-Goulet, those debuted during the 2007 Super Bowl. There were a bunch of them so you didn’t get tired of any and they were available online so I could show people I wasn’t insane.
From the first set: Encouraging Norwegians (also includes Evil Navigators). If I remember correctly, Egomaniacal Normans was my favorite of this group, but I couldn’t find a video.
Then the came back with the really long phrases that spelled out Emerald Nuts.
My favorite from this group: Engrossed Manicurists Eventually Relay Advice Like Do Not Untie That String
Finally caught these this week during PTI. First I saw the Sweater one and was impressed. What put me over the top was the evil room. I found some of the others online and this campaign only has the ceiling of the number of places Red Stripe is advertised, which I’ve only ever seen during PTI. This one is good enough to be on everywhere.
See some that I’ve mentioned after the jump. (more…)