Archives For TV Shows

Prior to recording even the first episode, I dropped Bionic Woman. And after watching the debut last night of Discovery’s Last One Standing… I dropped it too. LOS is a reality show in which 6 athletes are shipped around the world to participate in “tribal games.” The problem is about half the locales/games involve combat (wrestling, martial arts, stick fighting), and I just don’t see the fitness professional, strongman, BMX racer, etc doing well. As someone who wrestled (and did judo) for many years, perhaps I’m biased – but for this show to work, they need a different sort of contestant with more experience in combat. (A lone kickboxer doesn’t cut it.) Or, they should just drop the whole physical challenge aspect and restrict the show to a fish-out-of-water cultural expose’ – that element was actually entertaining (shaman “healing” the strongman, contestants getting piranha-tooth epilation), whereas the wrestling was just embarrassing. As it stands, Last One Standing is some sort of perverse hybrid. And I wouldn’t be surprised if one or more of these guys gets seriously injured. But maybe that’s their hook?

What shows have you already given up on?

TV Guide Evolves

Mari Silbey —  October 3, 2007

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Last100 put a post up yesterday on TV Guide’s new online video guide, so I decided to check it out myself. Given all of the video search sites available, I didn’t have high expectations for something novel, but I was suitably impressed. TV Guide’s layout is fantastically simple and gave me exactly the information I was looking for.

Example: a search on the show “My Name is Earl” brought up a list of videos available starting with full episodes followed by short clips. Each selection listed the price of the video (usually free or 99 cents), the date posted and the show’s network. If you click on a link, TV Guide then takes you to the URL where the video is housed. In this case, it took me to NBC’s site to watch a free episode of the show. Easy peazy.

In comparison, look at what a search for “My Name is Earl” brought up on two other sites. (Click on thumbnails) Not nearly as useful. (though LocateTV isn’t bad…)

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marketing-shift-logo.pngIt’s not very politically correct, but I’ve always been fascinated by dead pools. I’ve never actually participated in one, but there is something about wagering on life and death that appeals to the degenerate gambler in me.Since I’m pretty sure that participating in a dead pool is illegal in San Francisco, I suppose that I will have to live with the next best thing, dead TV pools. Marketing Shift is putting on a contest where they are asking readers to try and pick ten of the new shows, that you think will be off the air by the end of the fall season.

The winner of the contest will be the first person to have all ten of their picks canceled. The winner will receive a little bit of link love from MarketingShift.com, but the loser ends up with an internship at Cat World the CW ;)

If you want to see a list of all the candidates for the pool, you’ll find it on Marketing Shift’s website, but here are my picks for their first annual TV dead pool contest: Continue Reading…

It was a long and boring summer for television this year, but with the fall TV schedule just around the corner, I’m starting to get excited about some of the new shows that are popping up. At the start of the summer, I thought that I would have lots of exciting new shows to check out, but with the exception of Burn Notice (which is freaking awesome), this summer’s crop of new shows was a major let down for me. Too much reality TV and not enough compelling fresh content.

Normally, the start of the Fall TV schedule is a pretty busy time for me. If I don’t catch a show from the very beginning, there is a good chance that I’ll never tune in, so I try to catch as many of the pilots as possible. I won’t end up subscribing to all the shows, but I like to check all of the new ones out, so that I can figure out which ones deserve a season pass. This year, this task got a little bit easier because a couple of the studios have been making some of their pilots available early.

Last week, NBC released free pilot downloads on Amazon’s Unbox service, for 4 of their upcoming shows. Not to be outdone, CBS decided to release an episode of the Big Bang Theory early. Over the weekend I checked out all five of the early releases and had some mixed reviews on the new shows.
Continue Reading…

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This is what I’ve been waiting for. Something good to watch on the Web. Seriously, with the amount of bad television churned out by the networks these days, I’m all for having a few professionals take the plunge to produce for an online-only audience. Last week, MySpace announced that producers Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz (Thirty Something and My So-Called Life) will debut Quarterlife on its site on November 11th. The show will not be seen on regular networks, only online.

While I don’t know if Quarterlife will live up to my TV-watching criteria (it doesn’t have Timothy Busfield after all), I’m extremely happy that professional producers are willing to give Internet-only distribution a try. Zwick and Herskovitz are almost sure to lose money, but they have a chance to convert some key TV-watchers to the Web and make the platform viable for other producers in the future. I could care less about watching TV online per se, but I’d do almost anything for good content, and it’s clear that producing quality TV for the networks is getting harder and harder.

Continue Reading…

More Mall-time Fun

Dave Zatz —  September 15, 2007

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We hit the mall today to run a few errands (and fondle the Nano “fatty” again) and ran across a Wii kiosk with 6 stations. They’ve been here (Montgomery Mall) about a week as part of a nationwide 25 mall tour. I got some hands on time with the new Metroid… Let me tell you this requires some serious hand-eye coordination (and maybe Dramamine). If I had tweens or teens in the house, this is a game I’d want them to play. (As opposed to anything on Xbox Live, which would be banned – more on that later.) We also noticed CW banners and window stickers all over the place, most advertising Gossip Girl.

In case you haven’t heard, Amazon Unbox is offering free downloads of various NBC fall premieres. Being a TiVo owner, I opted to watch Bionic Woman on television (versus PC or portable) and as the title indicates, I wasn’t overjoyed. Perhaps a two hour premiere or two-parter would have served the plot better – things seemed rushed and definitely progressed too quickly to be believable. I also felt like I was stuck in a Battlestar Gallatica reunion show – I know where to find Starbuck and Galen if I really want to see them. Maybe I’m just spoiled – can any show live up to the excitement and mystery provided by the first episode of Lost?

I’m not sure this is what NBC had in mind, but I thank them and Amazon for allowing me to save space on my DVR by killing the Bionic Woman Season Pass before it starts. Next up tonight: Chuck & Quantum Leap Journeyman.

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Brent Evans has put together two comprehensive lists of TV show premieres: new and returning shows, new shows with synopsis.

I’ve been down on most network television series for awhile now… Between premature show cancellations and crazy multi-week/month breaks, I’m afraid to invest much time in new series and generally have felt used. Brent pretty much summarizes my current strategy:

we’ll record several of the ones that interest us and watch them near the end of the season. That way we avoid starting a series that will be canceled or gets really bad reviews.

As far as returning shows go, both Lost and Jericho don’t resume until 2008 (I’m passing on BSG this time around) and after Heroes anti-climatic non-finale, I don’t have a whole lot of hope in them retaining the excitement of the first season. The new cybernetic shows I’ll be monitoring: Bionic Woman, Chuck, and The Sarah Connor Chronicles. And while I wait to see if these survive, I’ll continue to efficiently watch television commercial- and lag-free via Netflix. (Finishing up Season 3 of the 4400 (eh) and getting ready to start Season 3 of The Office.)