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Fall TV: Yes and No, Part 3


Gossip Girl (The CW): The crazy characters of Gossip Girl are back and I couldn’t me more happy. Things are just are drama-filled as ususual, and it mostly centers around Serena van der Woodsen, of course. Everyone is looking great, especially bad boy Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick), though his heart seems to have softened a lot since the season 2 finale.

The only bad thing about the season 3 premiere? Dan Humphrey’s (Penn Badgley) hair-do. Seriously, man, just cut the hair. Maybe he will before everyone goes off to college in the next episode.

What’s the say? YES
to all the drama you’ll ever need. And, oh yes, Chuck Bass. Watch it Mondays at 9/8c, or, if you’re already watching Greek, online at later in the week.

The Jay Leno Show (NBC): It’s Jay in prime time! Am I the only one happy that there is a comedian on before I want to be asleep? I hope so, because I would love for Leno to succeed in this venture.

What was working tonight, in order of appearance:

  • Cheaters sketch with the Leno look-alike.
  • The car wash entertainment segment.
  • Jerry Seinfeld in a gorgeous suit and bow tie and Orpah via telecast.
  • Jay’s “interview” with President Obama. It was the best segment of the night.
  • An interview with Kanye West the day after he dissed Taylor Swift. Way to ask the tough questions, Jay. Way to make Kanye almost cry. I think Kanye needs to take some time off from his celebrity (and whatever he was drinking on the red carpet last night). Agree? Kanye does. Followed by …
  • … Jay-Z on Jay Leno, and Rihanna (post Chris Brown sentencing) performing with Kanye. Did I miss when this song was released? Rihanna had a little Lady Gaga face mask thing going on.
  • Headlines! I’m glad he kept this segment. I’ve always loved it.

What didn’t work:

  • Jay’s not behind a desk. He looks like Oprah, or Ellen, or Tyra. No, he doesn’t look like a woman, he just looks like he’s on an afternoon talk show.
  • The bright colors of the set. Too bright. Too pink, purple and blue.
  • Jay’s blue suit and blue tie. He’s blending into the blue chair. Good thing he’s not wearing blue shoes.

What’s the say? YES to earlier nights and good laughs. Watch it at 10/9c every weeknight, or tune in when the guests are particularly interesting.

Filed under: Entertainment, Fall TV

Fall TV: Yes and No, Part 2


The Vampire Diaries (The CW): I thought this show was going to be lame, just because it seemed like the creators were trying to cash in on the obsession America has with vampires. Well, they were, but they did it successfully.

This show has fresh, young talent, a (fairly) unique storyline and lots of mystery. I actually jumped in fear at several parts. It’s like watching a scary movie!

What’s the say? YES
to the fabulous fresh faces and some seriously scary moments. What girl wouldn’t fall in love with Stefan (Paul Wesley) the good vampire, and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) the troubled teen? And guys will be falling in love with Elena (Nina Dobrev), who is a pleasure to see again after her departure from “Degrassi.”

Watch it Thursdays at 8/7c, or online starting on Sundays at

Filed under: Entertainment, Fall TV

Fall TV: Yes and No, and where to watch

Surprisingly enough, I’ve devoted some time to a few of the new series and seasons on this fall’s TV menu which offers an overwhelming number of choices. Here are the Yes’s, the No’s, and the answers to where to watch (and when), if at all:

Glee (FOX): I first heard about Glee months ago when the pilot aired. I didn’t pay much attention, though, because I was baffled by the idea of showing a pilot episode months before the real start to the series. I also didn’t pay attention because it seemed like it would High School Musical: The TV Series.

My suspicion was mildly correct. Yes, there is a high school. Yes, there is singing (which sounds much too studio produced), as well as dancing (which isn’t too bad). There is a young, talented, good-looking cast. But what Glee has that HSM doesn’t is just enough sexual humor to make me laugh but not entirely disgust me to the point where I would consider it vulgar. The show couples this humor with character reactions that are absolutely hilarious. I was literally laughing out loud.

Plus, the characters sing songs that were hits decades ago, a few years ago, and mere weeks ago. There’s something for everyone when it comes to the music.

What’s the say? YES
to music, dancing and refreshing characters (including a cute football player/glee club member with a fauxhawk). Watch Wednesday nights on FOX, 9/8c.

Melrose Place (The CW): This new series is a remake of the ’90s show by the same name. The pilot has the normal drama expected from a remake/extension series — sex, lies, murder, mystery, but nothing to really sink your teeth into.

The worst part of the show is Ashlee Simpson-Wentz. She couldn’t act on 7th Heaven and her 2005 film Undiscovered was just that. I’m surprised she got another chance. The casting director must have been hoping third time’s a charm. Nope. Michael Rady, who plays Jonah on the show, is the charm.

The best plot line will probably grow out of Jonah and Riley’s (Jessica Lucas) relationship. Rady has the same charm he has portrayed in past characters from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies and TV’s Greek. But that’s what is loved about him, so be glad he hasn’t lost the charm.

What’s the say? YES to Rady, and yes to everyone else who shines 1o times brighter in scenes opposite Mrs. Wentz. Watch online at, a few days after it airs.

America’s Next Top Model
(The CW): Oh, yes, Tyra is back for Cycle 13 of the show were girls cat fight and Tyra talks in random foreign accent because … well, no one understands why. What’s interesting about this season is all the girls are 5’7″ or shorter.

According to Tyra, this makes them petite (which officially labels this 5’6″, 145 lb critic as a petite, plus-size model! What?). After the long, long 2-hour premiere Wednesday night, I need a break before next week’s episode.

There were two girls in the business of castrating cows/sheep, a girl who lives in a trailer with no toilet, an orphan, a crazy “Christian,” and a girl from my hometown of Louisville, Colo. Not only did we get introduced to 20+ girls, it was makeover week! I wish Tyra would move the makeover episode further into the season, like the good ole days.

Do you see why I need a break from ANTM? That’s not a good thing, Tyra. I normally love your show.

What’s the say? YES to cheering on the Louisville girl who used to work in the coffee shop my family frequented (before it closed a few months ago). Watch online at You can also see the girls’ portfolio pictures online.

Project Runway
(Lifetime): Sorry, Heidi (the other Victoria’s secret model with a competition show that includes fashion and a catwalk … and cat fights, occasionally). The move to Lifetime is not working. Nina Garcia works for Marie Claire now, not Elle, Michael Kors is missed, and the guest judge choice for the premiere? Lindsay Lohan. Lindsay Lohan? Yikes.

Those aren’t the only changes. The designers are now in LA, not NYC. At least they still shop at Mood. Is that the only thing that hasn’t changed? Hedi is still there, thank goodness. Without her there is no point in auf-ing anyone.

The contestants this time around seem to be without personality, without passion and without any punch. Where’s the magic the show had when it was on Bravo? It was left in NYC, no doubt.

What’s the say? NO to too many changes. I think the hardest thing about watching this show is flipping the channel to Lifetime. So just don’t. Maybe Bravo can get the show back … somehow … maybe? Please?

Models of the Runway
(Lifetime): This half-hour spin-off from Project Runway follows the models on the show. They have no say in their chances of winning the show; it is all up to the designer with whom they are working.

Therefore, there is no point to the show.

What’s the say? NO to a complete waste of time.

Greek (ABC Family): If you have never seen this show, Netflix the first two seasons, watch them quick and hop on the bandwagon. I never thought I would enjoy watching a show about the Greek system on college campuses, but I love this show.

This season’s first two episodes has proved the show still has the fire to naturally rattle off pop culture references while building characters who, at this point in the series, feel like peers. Casey and Cappie are, yet again, dealing with their feelings for each other (just get together, guys!), Rusty is happier than ever with Jordan, Calvin is hooking up with his hottie Kappa Tau brother/roommate (double trouble), and Rebecca is making the same old unwise decisions regarding other people’s boyfriends, including Ashleigh’s. Add on all the other subplots, and this will surely be a season full of shockers.

What’s the say? YES, yes and yes, to laughs, unpredictability and the undergraduate experience I (thankfully) didn’t have. Watch it Mondays at 9/8c (the same time Gossip Girl is on … which, by the way, is tearing me in two).

Coming soon

Vampire Diaries (The CW): The vampire craze continues with this new series, which premiered Thursday. The show stars Nina Dobrev (from Degrassi: The New Generation) as the object of a vampire’s affection, set in a high school. Watch an encore presentation Sunday night 8/7c.

Gossip Girl (The CW): You know you love her. The show that saved The CW returns for its third season, Monday at 9/8c. xoxo.

The Amazing Race (CBS): It’s a ways off, but you never know what you’re going to get when you watch people race around the world in 21 days. The 15th race around the world begins Sept. 27 at 8/7c. I can’t wait to hear that theme music again; there’s just something about it that gets me pumped!

Filed under: Entertainment, Fall TV

Twittering on the Television?

Twitter has once again stuck its little birdie foot in another unexpected door: the home television.

In today’s Business Day section of The New York Times, an article was printed about companies such as DirecTV and Verizon creating applications, much like the ones offered by Apple for iPods and iPhones.

Verizon’s FiOS (Internet, TV and phone communications package) is trying to catch up with the smart phone capabilities on which Apple has been capitalizing for the last year. Verizon is also trying out app services that can be used while watching TV … on the TV screen. Already, customers can use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

In the first three days of the Twitter service’s release, more than a million FiOS customers were tapped in. People were asking how to Tweet with their remotes, something Verizon hadn’t thought of. Two days later, Verizon made it possible — users could officially Tweet live about Greg Paulus’ throw for a Minnesota interception in overtime, or about how, for goodness’ sake, Casey and Cappie just need to get together on Greek.

These days, users dictate the production of new technologies and the capabilities of those technologies. Companies can either listen, act fast on customer’s demands, and drive successful sales, or they can ignore the consumer and fail at their job.

Apple is successful in part because they capitalize on the wants and needs of their customers. The Genius Bar at Apple stores shows their customers they are available and willing to help. The iTunes store recommends songs to listeners based on previous purchases, and the Genius play list creator encourages the user to purchase more from the same artist while discovering all the other options in the iTunes songbook.

Isn’t it amazing how quickly technology changes? What was it, two years ago, that the iPod touch was released? I can have wireless at my fingertips? Super cool. And then Twitter made us all uber-connected with our friends and favorite celebrities. Now we can completely immerse ourselves in the media world, all with our TV remote and television set.

I’ll be the first to admit I am attached to my iPod touch during commercials of my favorite TV shows, sometimes even during the shows (I’m not Twittering everything that’s going on, but I am checking up on everyone else, reading e-mails, seeing the weather for tomorrow …). I have six browsers open right now, and my iTunes, and Skype, and ooVoo (another web chat program). My phone and iPod are next to me, I’m thinking about watching Greek tonight after I make dinner, which I’ll do with my iPod playing tunes from my Pandora app.

I do not demand new technologies. I wait for them to come to me. But I’m glad others do, that they ask for changes and improvements. That’s how new technologies are created … fast. People who want things when they want them (which is usually right now) are a good thing for the media industry. Those people give feedback on the content they want, and companies make it their job to get that content out there in the most user-friendly way.

Filed under: Tech

Content Management and the FCC

Multichannel News, Sept. 1, 2009, reported that the Federal Communication Commission said yes to adopting a report on different technologies used for video content management.

The report, released to the public Aug. 31, includes “current and proposed technologies,” but the FCC said the report does not fully answer certain questions about consumer awareness and the speed of the creation of such technologies.

This 80-plus-page report was written in response to the Child Safe Viewing Act of 2007 Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) proposed in February 2007. The Senate passed the bill in November 2008 and Former President George W. Bush signed the bill the next month. Pryor called the FCC out on their failure to follow up their promise to regulate new technologies that provide parental content control for televisions, the Internet and other media outlets.

For the FCC to acknowledge this act, nearly two years after its proposal, a new frontier of home content management may be on the horizon. People have had the ability to block content for years now. I used to babysit for families who would block every channel that showed anything racier than Barney. I think families have become less concerned with spending time on blocking content, though. They don’t want to take the time to learn how to do it, so it doesn’t happen.

You may or may not know my opinion on the matter of blocking content. Ignoring my opinion if you know it, it’s interesting that the FCC is now making it their job (after they promised to start doing it in 1996) to help families understand the technologies they can bring into their homes. The FCC will make it easier for people to be aware of the possibilities surrounding new and future parental media controls.

What’s most interesting is the idea of families managing media content. What do they want to see, and what don’t they want to see? Video content management does not have to be used just to protect innocent eyes. People can block channels they just plain don’t care about. I don’t like Bravo; OK, I’ll block it. Will I be limiting my views by blocking Bravo? Advertisers who might want to reach me won’t get the chance, because when I’m channel surfing, Bravo won’t even appear. (I actually really enjoy Bravo, by the way!)

I’m interested to see if 1) the FCC holds true to their new heavier hand in the matter, and 2)how this changes the already quickly changing world of media, especially TV and the Internet.

Filed under: News

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