The Walking Dead — What Happened to Glen, Dammit?

America: Okay TWD, We’ve been waiting all week. We have to know. Glen, is he… ?

TWD: You seem agitated, maybe now is a good time to take a break How about a nice soothing flashback. Here, let’s find out Morgan’s story.

America: What? wait… no….

TWD: Remember when Morgan was all bat-shit crazy? Then this happened…

(90 minutes later)

America: Okay…. yeah… that was interesting, I guess….

TWD: You’re welcome..


TWD: You seem agitated…

Seth Meyer has ruined Venn Diagram Humor (Not that it matters)

So, for my first foray into the post-Craig-Ferguson late-night tele-pocalypse, I thought I’d try watching Seth Meyer’s version of the Late Night show over on NBC. (Not much choice, CBS apparently gave up on guest hosts for the remaining LLS and went with reruns of “The Talk”. Talk about a late-night hellscape… but I digress.)

Anyhow, I enjoyed Seth’s work on Weekend Update, and the few bits and pieces I’ve glimpsed have seemed promising, so, what the heck, let’s give it a shot. This night he was following the standard Carson formula, in between the monologue and the first guest you do a behind-the-desk bit. His bit this night was Venn diagrams…

Okay, an easy enough premise, reveal circle one and circle two, each containing seemingly unrelated things, then reveal the intersection containing the punchline that relates the two. Okay, fine. Nevermind that this shtick is all over the Internet already, that’s okay, it’s everywhere because it works. It can be funny with the right writing.

Here’s the problem with Seth’s Venn diagrams. With almost every single one, the intersection containing the punchline wasn’t a proper intersection at all. Out of maybe a dozen or more, there were two, only two, that could be considered intersections. The rest were all supersets. Now, the bit could have been just as funny if the punchlines were presented as supersets. Funny and mathematically correct. As it was, the punchlines were funny, but their inaccuracy in the diagram was absolutely grating.

Now, please don’t misunderstand. I don’t care that Seth Meyers doesn’t understand Venn diagrams. I could care less. What bothers me is that he would attempt using Venn diagrams in bit without understanding them. If you make jokes about things you don’t understand you’re likely to get the details wrong, and that detracts from whatever humor was in the joke. Rookie mistake. I can’t believe in a whole room of writers there’s not one nerd who would catch that.

Even that shouldn’t matter, but I know me, it will. From now on, if I happen to flip over to Late Night, I’ll be like, there’s the idiot who does Venn diagrams when he knows fuck all about how they actually work, and I just can’t respect that. Sorry Seth.

So the search continues. I’m telling you guys, Netflix is looking better and better….

Hey NBC…

Hey NBC, let me just rant here a little bit. I can’t help but notice you’re promoting the hell out of the second season of “The Blacklist”. Good for you (they probably could have used it the first season, but hey, water under the bridge, right?). Anywho, It looks like an interesting show, something I might enjoy, and I think James Spader is just swell. So I’m thinking, let me go back and binge the first season, and if I like it, I’ll be all set for the season two premier.

I wonder if you’re sensing the problem yet… So off I go to NBC on demand, and what do I find? Last season? No, just the last five episodes. That’s no good, I don’t want to jump in at the end of the season – I want to start from the beginning. (Call me OCD, but I hate starting in the middle.) Okay, let’s try  Same thing. Wait, what a bout Hulu, that’s where put all this stuff now, right? Nope, just those same five episodes.

Alright, fine, lets widen the search…. There it is! On Amazon. I’ve got Prime, perfect! Wait? What? It’s not Prime, you have to buy the whole season? For $35?? Are you freaking kidding me? You honestly think I’m going to spend $35 on a show I’ve never heard of, just to see if I like it or not?

Screw you, NBC. If it’s half as good as you say it is, it’ll turn up eventually on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Guess what, I can wait. That’s where I spend 80% of my viewing time anyway. If you don’t care enough to make previous seasons available now, why should I care about jumping on board, and watching it “live”.

Maybe one day you pinheads will learn how to use streaming to actually build an audience. Maybe, clearly you’re too afraid of it now to use it effectively. That’s too bad — missed opportunity. By the way, if you don’t figure it out soon, there’s a good chance your competitors will. Or not, they’re pretty dumb too. Either way, good luck staying relevant.

Duck Dynasty

A few random thoughts on this whole Duck Dynasty nonsense…

1. Yes, Phil Robertson is entitled to his opinion, regardless of how backwoods bible-thumping ignorant it may be. Seriously, have you seen the show – what did you expect?

2. Yes, A&E is entitled to fire him. They haven’t yet, he’s only been “suspended”, whatever that means, but if they decide Phil’s opinions do not represent A&E in a way they would like to be represented, they are within their rights to fire him. (If Phil worked for me, as a public representative of my business, I would fire him, or at least strongly consider it.)

3. Yes, freedom of speech still exists. Freedom of speech means the government cannot throw you in jail for something you say publicly (or privately). It does NOT mean you are guaranteed to keep your job. You are not. Don’t believe me, try saying something derogatory about your employer and see what happens. No one is going to throw Phil in jail for any dumb ass thing he’s said in GQ magazine.

4. Bigotry is NOT faith. It is bigotry. Now I don’t know whether Phil Robertson has hate in his heart, and I don’t really care, that’s between him and his god. But, to blindly defend bigoted attitudes by saying it’s “faith” is a cop-out. It wasn’t that long ago that many southerners defended segregation as being part of their “faith”. Mixed race relationships were condemned as a sin, and churches refused to perform mixed race weddings. All as an expression of “faith”. Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but… it was bullshit then, and it’s bullshit now.

5. If you want to follow Jesus, read what he wrote. He was all about acceptance and love, not condemnation and hate. On the other hand, if you want to follow the teachings of the old testament, like the ones Phil quoted, read the whole old testament and learn to follow ALL of the teachings. Don’t just pick out the ones that support your ignorant ass opinion. Say goodbye to bacon and lobster, and for god’s sake stop wearing cotton and linen together. And don’t get me started on the sin of crop rotation. And if you got a tattoo, oh well, you’re pretty much screwed.

6. Religion based on hate and condemnation is a cancer on society. Period. I don’t care which god they purport to serve. If you’re not sure about what your church teaches, ask yourself, does it all come down to love and acceptance, or does it come down condemnation and punishment. If it’s the latter, and you’re okay with that, do me a favor and just go ahead and reach for that “unfriend” button right now. The older I get the less patience I have for that kind of nonsense in my life.

Mister Rogers, Captain Kangaroo, and Romper Room

I just read that Mister Rogers passed away 10 years ago today, and this made me stop a moment and reflect. Mister Rogers and Captain Kangaroo were the first two adults, outside of my immediate family, to take the time to talk directly to me. They were always warm and kind, and never mean or cruel. Unlike that Romper Room bitch. She’d look through that magic looking glass thingy, “I see Susie and Jamie and Kevin and Mark…” What about me? I’m right here! Can’t you see me? I would be right in front of the TV, jumping up and down, waving frantically. Why can’t she see me? I watched every day for years. Every damn day, just waiting, waiting for that day she called my name. Bitch never saw me. Never. Finally one day I turned her off, threw away my little plastic-cup-on-a-rope stompy thingies, and never looked back. She was the first woman to ever break my heart, and it was time for me to move on. Still, every now and then, I think of her. And I think, if I ever run into that Romper Room lady, I swear I’m gonna walk right up to her, slap her in the face, and say “Can you see me now bitch?”

Swing State

One of the “benefits” of living in a swing state is we get to see all of the campaign commercials. Two in particular have been making the rounds, one featuring Obama, and the other featuring Bill Clinton for Obama, both basically suggesting we need to continue on the same path, and eventually it will all work out.

This reminds me of that little kid at the party who keeps trying to do the magic trick, but never quite gets it right. “Is this your card?” “No wait, here, is THIS your card?” “No, hold on, let me do it again, is this your card?” “No?” Eventaully his mommy will come along and tell him that’s enough, and to go play in his room now.

Now let me be clear, I don’t think Obama is the Devil. I don’t think he is the anti-Christ. I don’t think he is a Socialist. I don’t think he will plunge this country into a thousand years of darkness. (Really Chuck? A thousand years of darkness?). But, I am getting tired of waiting for his magic trick to work, and I think maybe it is time for him to go to his room.

Only problem is, then we have to talk to creepy Uncle Mitt, and he always calls us “sport” and “champ” and rubs our head and asks how our lacrosse team is doing this year, and I don’t know what to say ’cause I don’t even know wtf lacrosse is.


Okay, time to rant a little about “Community”. Feel free to tune out now…

First the good news: It’s been renewed for a fourth season.

Now the bad news: Only renewed for 13 episodes.

And the worse news: They’re moving it to Friday nights (the terminal ward of network television timeslots).

And the even worse news: NBC has fired creator and showrunner Dan Harmon.

Well, they didn’t so much fire him as they announced the hiring of his replacements. Helen Keller could read between those lines.

The pair picked to replace Harmon come well respected, but it seems clear their job will be to dramatically boost ratings if there is any hope of it surviving to a fifth season. It is unlikely they will be left to their own devices to do this, no doubt the NBC execs already have a slew of notes and “suggestions” for the new team, ideas designed to make the show more “accessible”, and appeal to a “wider audience”.

If “Community” were a mental patient, we would call this a lobotomy. The cleverness and quirkiness we love will slowly, or perhaps quickly, disappear.

To be fair Dan Harmon was something of a loose cannon, and had a habit of driving talent away, but… it was his vision. It’s hard to imagine it will fare well in other hands. This is the darkest timeline.

In brighter news, “Cougar Town” was picked up for a fourth season by TBS. All indications are the entire cast and crew will be included in the transition from ABC to TBS.

I Have Seen It All Now

I can die now. I have seen everything. There is nothing left that could possibly top what I have seen. Oh, I thought I had seen it all. I have seen a man walk on the moon. I have seen the fall of the Berlin wall. I have seen solo synchronized swimming. I have seen the president of the United States playing Elvis tunes on a saxophone. I have seen a movie called Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers. I have seen Howard Stem. I thought I had seen it all, but nothing could beat what I saw on TV the other night.

I have always suspected that television was indeed a vast wasteland, but I didn’t know how bad it had become. When I was a child there were only three channels on the tube, and quite often there was nothing on to watch. But we were quite happy watching our three channels of nothing. Then along came cable, and suddenly our entertainment options exploded. We now had thirteen channels of nothing to watch. Some of them even had nothing on 24 hours a day. We marveled at this electronic miracle. Then VCR’s were invented, so that if nothing was on, we could tape it and watch it later. Plus they had those nifty little digital clocks on the front of them. We didn’t even mind that turning on the vacuum cleaner and the air conditioner at the same time would cause a micro-second flicker that instantly reset the clock to a flashing 12:00. Then cable grew, soon there were 30, or even 60 channels of even less interesting stuff to watch. If that wasn’t enough, along came home satellite systems. Now you could watch nothing in a foreign language, like Canadian. And it is an even wider variety of nothing. Never again will you miss you favorite lose weight and get rich through psychic 1-900 counseling infomercial, they run 24 hours a day. There are exciting sports like harness racing, cricket, and Scandinavian women’s full contact volleyball. (Well, not really, but I wish there was.)

And the movies are great too, classics like Meatballs 3, the memorable Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, and, of course, Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death. (I swear I didn’t make that up. It is a touching version of that old traditional love story: boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl eats boy in a sacred ritual to please the pagan gods of the mighty avocado.) Now they say that soon there will be 500 channels on cable. It boggles the mind. I hope somebody makes a remote control with turbo so I can keep up. The way I figure, it should break down something like this: In addition to the 60 or so channels of nothing we already have, there will be at least 100 channels of non-stop infomercials, another 100 or so home shopping channels, roughly 100 channels of religious programming, probably about 100 channels showing nothing but reruns of Cheers and/or Simon and Simon, at least one all-Elvis channel, and 39 channels of Guatemalan rules flag football.

One night I was channel surfing through the electronic ocean, and I saw it, the sight to end all sights. It is etched into my mind; it is indelibly stamped into my very being, I will carry this image with me to the day I die. I saw Robin Leach eating Spam on a Twinkie. I swear this is true; even my mind cannot invent something as twisted as this. Right there on the Television Food Network, in living color and full stereo sound, was Mr. Lifestyles himself choking down a Spam covered Twinkie. Any more questions about TV being a wasteland?

How does something like this happen? Well to start with, you need a food channel And, yes indeed, there is a food channel. There is a channel for everything, there are channels about other channels, there are channels about channeling, there are channels about the English channel, there are channels about Chanel no.5, and in the midst of it all, there is a food channel. As it turns out, Robin Leach has his own show on the food channel; it’s called Food That Might Possibly Be Eaten By People Who Think They Are Rich And Famous, or something like that. This particular night he had two items on his agenda. One, showing the correct way to open a bottle of champagne, and two, talking to a woman who had written a book about Spam. I don’t know which is more disturbing, the fact that someone has written an entire book about Spam, or that there are people out there who will pay good money to read it. Or the fact that this Spam person was being interviewed on national television. Or the fact that Ms. Spam was so seemingly important that she was being interviewed by phone. Or the fact that I was actually watching this. Take your pick of disturbing images, at least I didn’t buy the book. Actually the Spam lady’s book was about all different types of junk food, not just the slimy pink kind that comes in a tin can.

Robin Leach lost it. Somewhere between talking about that strange glaze-like jelly at the top of the Spam can and talking about where the cream in the Twinkie comes from, and how it gets there, he simply lost it. Perhaps he had been practicing on opening the champagne bottles earlier, I don’t know, but in any case he completely lost it. He had a package of Twinkles and a can of Spam in front of him. He cracked open the Spam, scooped out a nice healthy chunk with his fork, and tossed it down. The stage crew audibly grimaced, if such a thing is possible. Robin didn’t seem to like the Spam very much. Looking back, I don’t think he really cared much for the Spam lady either. Then he broke out the Twinkies. He seemed to like those better. Then he popped open a Coca-Cola and washed it all down. He seemed to like that too, although not as much as, say, champagne. Then the perverse side of Robin Leach came out, he began mixing and matching. He grabbed another Twinkie in one hand, then a forkful of Spam in another. The crew began to grimace again. They urged him not to do it, but he was out of control. He spread the Spam on top of the Twinkie like it was cheese on a cracker, only it wasn’t. And as God is my witness he ate it.

He seemed to enjoy it, sort of like Jack Nicholson seemed to enjoy smashing things up in that Steven King movie. Some of the crew excused themselves and ran towards the bathroom. He didn’t stop there. Since Coke and Twinkies go together, and he forced the Spam and Twinkies together, he thought he would give Coke and Spam a try. He poured the Coke into the Spam can, making what may be the world first Coca-Cola and Spam float. Little pieces of that jelly-like stuff started floating to the top. It turned a very strange color, one you don’t find occurring in nature. Then Robin Leach drank his Spam float. I was stunned. The crew was gone. Robin Leach grimaced. Robin Leach turned a very strange color, one you don’t find occurring in nature. This seemed to snap him back to his senses. He hung up on the Spam lady, tossed the whole Spam/Twinkie/Coke mess into the trash, and moved over to work on opening those champagne bottles. He seemed to be in a bit of a hurry. He opened one of the bottles, not at all the correct way, and poured himself a tall one. The crew was slowly beginning to return. He mumbled something about never having Spam on the show again, tossed back his champagne glass, and went to a commercial. Hopefully, he’s learned his lesson. If there is anything to be seen that can top this I’m not sure I want to see it. I’m pretty sure I didn’t want to see the Spam incident, but it’s too late now.