Showing 1 - 10 of 134 posts found matching keyword: television

True story: Emma is my favorite Jane Austen novel, and I was really looking forward to the latest movie adaptation when it finally opened in my local theater the second weekend in March. (I've seen other adaptations, of course. The 1996 version is good enough that it almost made me like Gwyneth Paltrow.) However, the second week in March coincided with the arrival of COVID-19 and the global shutdown. That's right, this whole pandemic exists just to keep me from Emma. Curses!

Well, I finally fooled you, COVID-19.

126. (1780.) Emma. (2020)

Fifteen minutes into my rental, Mom asked me, "What is it you like so much about bitches?" She was referring to protagonist Emma Woodhouse, who at the start the novel is very unlikable indeed, something the movie leans into *hard*. (Some might say that she's not much better at the end. Those people are heartless monsters.) Mom also knows I just watched 6 seasons of Downton Abbey and developed a bit of a crush on Lady Mary Crawley, another character who always gets it her way. In response to her question, I replied, "I like women who are like my mother." We did not talk much for the rest of the movie.

The enjoyment of Jane Austen's story is Emma's journey of self-discovery through a series of misadventures and comic misunderstandings which the movie does perfectly. In fact, the movie does just about everything perfectly. If you can't get behind Miss Woodhouse and the rest of the amazing cast, you at least should be able to marvel at the lush, Technicolor-like cinematography and stunning Regency period outfits. (Oscars for everyone!)

If I have any complaint, it's that the relationship between Emma and her beau develops too quickly. (Austen's Emma is constructed more as a detective novel than a romance. All the clues are there the whole time, but nothing comes together until the end.) It's a minor quibble, and the modernization of the plot does nothing to damage an otherwise wonderful adaptation. (The Harry Potter movies disabused me of the notion that movies should be exact visual duplications of their source material. If you're going to adapt another piece of art, you need to bring something new to the table.)

I've been in such a foul humor lately, what with the eternal cycle of bad news, that it's truly an unexpected delight to have a distraction like this. While I've always highly recommended Emma, the novel, I can now do the same with Emma., the movie.

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It's election season, and the television is flooded with campaign ads.

I have repeatedly seen an advertisement for Kelley Loeffler's reelection campaign for her U.S. Senate seat in which a young black man extols her virtues not as an embarrassingly rich owner of a sports franchise and a stock exchange but as someone sympathetic to those less fortunate than her. Yet her supporter mispronounces her name throughout the whole commercial. (He says "loff-ler", yet she appears at the end of the commercial pronouncing her own name "leff-ler," almost like she is passive-aggressively correcting him after the fact.) Why would the Loeffler campaign air that? Could they not find a single person who could praise her who actually knew who she was?

Another advertisement for current president Donald Trump's reelection campaign claims that if former vice president Joe Biden wins the election, the United States will go to shit. What condition are we in now? Uncontrolled pandemic, record unemployment, race riots, oh, my! If this shit show is the current administration's idea of greatness, I'll take anyone else, please.

I suppose it's some small comfort that Marjorie Greene isn't adverting over the air in the Metro Atlanta market in her run for the state House of Representatives. Greene has become infamous as a candidate so openly racist that state Republicans have widely disavowed her, which takes some doing considering that the current Republican governor ran on a platform of successfully befouling state citizens' ability to vote. Even Facebook has said Greene has gone too far in her most recent gun-toting ads. When you're too far afield for Facebook, it's time to stop auditioning for a government seat and start looking into some professional mental help.

That said, there's nothing new to watch between those campaign commercials anyway, so maybe I should just leave my television off until December. Being too aware of who's making the decisions that impact my life is bad for my own mental health.

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PBS ran a Memorial Day weekend marathon of Downton Abbey. I know I'm really late to this party, but let me say it's a damn good show.

I've now seen most of the fourth season, the series finale, and the movie, though mostly in reverse order. I think maybe I should watch the rest of the series back-to-front so I can see all the characters live their lives backwards.

I've still never seen an episode with Mary's oft-mentioned first husband, Matthew, or Thomas' oft-mentioned first wife, Sybil. It's kind of nice to see characters who live on past their expiration date like real influential people do.

Now that the marathon is over, I guess I'll go back to my previous quarantine stand-by, The Golden Girls. To think that there was a time when people lived naturally into old age. What a wonderful world!

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I like to think I'm a Dorothy, but I'm probably a Sophia

Now that I've put that song in your head, click here.

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I was watching LEGO Masters (on Fox!) when this was shown on the screen for like, a whole 5 seconds, and I. Lost. My. Mind!

You are watching Foxes

That's Captain Carrot on national broadcast television!

I can see you sitting there shaking your head. No, obviously it's not the real Captain Carrot. He lives on Earth-C with the rest of his heroic Zoo Crew. And of course, Captain Carrot is a boy. (The original Roger Rabbit, in fact!) But still. On national television!

Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew was the first comic book that I collected. The concept was created for DC Comics in 1982 by Roy Thomas and Scott Shaw! with half an eye toward developing a Saturday morning cartoon. The cartoon never materialized, so the genius of a super hero league of funny animals remains visualized only by comics aficionados of a certain age.

I was so excited when I saw my first hero on TV but I didn't know who to tell. Who do I know who would be giddy to see Captain Carrot? We're a very niche group, and I assure you that you don't really want us at your parties. So I'm doing what those of us who were raised as the first Internet Generation do in these situations: I'm blogging about my thrilling experience.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a rabbit!

You're welcome, Internet.

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Just a quick FYI: I watched the pilot of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist last week, and I liked it. I liked it a lot.

The protagonist is a coder for a San Francisco tech company, and a plot point is that their code doesn't work. Zoey manages a promotion after realizing that no one on her entire team knows even the first step in debugging a network communication error. I probably definitely should have been irritated, but series lead Jane Levy is too cute for me to be mad that she's bad at her job.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Knowing that musical television is an uphill battle, NBC is streaming the episode on NBC.com and YouTube to build positive word of mouth in advance of its February 16 series debut. In software development, we call that a soft launch.

Try it. You might like it. A lot.

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Texas A&M 13, UGA 19

I didn't take that picture. That was broadcast by CBS, which is how I saw the game between Texas A&M and Georgia (final: Texas A&M 13, UGA 19). I post it only to remind myself of what I missed. What a great sunset!

I had a real debate with myself whether or not to attend today's game. The final decision came down to the (accurate) forecast of heavy rain. I went to the Kentucky game last month and was generally miserable. I ended up wet, cold, and bored by the lousy game quality. That wasn't an experience I was interested in having twice in the same season.

Now that the home schedule is over, I'd like to make note of two disappointing trends from the 2019 season:

  1. 1. Why is it getting so hard to get people to go to the games? Even putting aside the two rainouts, I had a hard time enticing anyone to come with me, and the seats around me were empty most of the time. Assuming this isn't purely a side effect of my own anti-social tendencies, is this a problem with the current state of Georgia football (which seems to win in spite of their anemic offense) or a symptom of some larger trend?
  2. What happened to bands at halftime? The only band marching in Athens in 2019 was the Redcoats. Was this a fluke in the schedule that no team playing in Athens this year had a traveling marching band, or are marching bands at football games becoming as archaic as the fewer and fewer fans attending them?

Maybe we'll get answers to these questions next year.

Meanwhile, good luck against Tech and in the SEC Championship, Dogs. I assure you I'll be rooting for you on the couch.

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Meanwhile, dogkind had already long mastered leaping

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Today marks the start of the 13th annual Wriphe.com Superman Month!

Is this the year I finally make it to the Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois? Probably not. It's next weekend, and I already have other plans.

Their guests of honor will include original Supergirl, Helen Slater, and Erica Durance, Smallville's Lois Lane. Their lists of guest artists, however, leaves something to be desired compared to past years. I guess they do have to save something for next year.

Out of curiosity, I took a look at the Greater Metropolis Convention & Visitors Bureau website to see what else there might be to do in town between autograph sessions underneath the Superman Statue. Metropolis isn't a big town, and the Visitors Bureau only lists 15 total "sights and attractions." Of course the big draw is the Harrah's Casino (which I haven't visited) and the Super Museum & Gift Shop (which I have and highly recommend). They also have a bowling alley, gym, state park, and microbrewery. I guess the town isn't big enough to support a full sized brewery.

Their most unusual non-Superman offering might be the Mermet Springs "full service dive site" inside an abandoned stone quarry that includes "the jet airplane from the movie U.S. Marshals." That short sells what they offer, as the Mermet Springs website lists 2 additional planes and 10 other man made objects to swim around. Not counting Jimmy Olsen.

I find it easier to believe that Jimmy Olsen can hold his breath for three hours than that he can win at checkers

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In 1985, Coca-Cola unleashed New Coke on an unsuspecting world. It didn't go well, the kind of not well that still gets taught as a cautionary tale to MBA students. To their credit, the Coca-Cola Company learned from that debacle and quickly buried New Coke under the basement, never to be tasted again. Until now.

New Coke is now for sale as part of the "New Coke and Stranger Things 1985 Limited Edition Collectors Pack" at cokestore.com for the conspicuous price of $19.85.

Coca-Cola's advertising budget is the stuff of legends. They support everything from little leagues to summer blockbusters. They're so powerful, they practically created Santa Claus just to sell more soda. That they would work with the popular Netflix Stranger Things streaming show is no aberration. But that they are willing to revisit the worst decision in their business history to do so... that takes a special level of masochism you won't find in your average multi-national corporation. It's admirable, in a twisted sort of way.

I just hope the decision doesn't come back to bite them. There are two generations of Americans who have never had the misfortune to taste New Coke who might now try to catch the nostalgic wave. That can't go well. Kids these days drink fewer soft drinks than my generation did, so it might not be a good idea to give them another reason to walk away from a Coke machine.

Take my word for it, kids. New Coke tastes bad. Enjoy it ironically, if you must, but for your own sake, do so from a distance. Not all oldies are golden.

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To be continued...

 

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