Showing 1 - 10 of 114 posts found matching keyword: television

I'm watching Atlanta Tech Edge at 1:30AM on WXIA (though I suppose it must air some other time, because who other than me watches technology news magazines at 1:30AM Sunday morning?), and the hostess just admitted being surprised when her guest, a tech podcaster, informed her that "free" apps use data mining to strip our privacy and sell our information to other companies.

Well, duh. (Side note: paid apps do it too.)

Who is this show for? If you didn't know that, most of what Tech Edge talks about is probably going over your head. If you did know that, you didn't need to hear that the hostess has no idea what she's talking about.

(I should admit that the use of the phrase "data mining" up there in the first paragraph was mine, not hers. If she doesn't know they are doing it, she sure doesn't know what it's called.)

It's not exactly fake news, more a case of the blind leading the blind. I shouldn't complain. That's better than some "news" organizations manage these days. (I'm looking at you, Newnan Times-Herald.)

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Back in February, I expressed my enjoyment of NBC's Powerless and said that it probably wouldn't make it past May.

It didn't.

The show was officially canceled last week by NBC, which had pulled it off the air last month with two episodes still unaired. What a shame, too. The show was just starting to find its footing as it dug deeper into DC's toy box, introducing live action versions of the Olympian, Jack O'Lantern, and Green Fury, all members of the criminally underappreciated Global Guardians.

What other wonders did the show have up its sleeve? Would future episodes have brought us founding Global Guardian member Godiva, the woman with prehensile hair? Or Owlwoman, a Native American with the powers and abilities of an owl? Or the immortal African king Doctor Mist? The world will never know.

So long, Powerless. I'll see you in the funny pages.

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Powerless is DC Comics' latest television show on NBC. Unlike the teen soap-opera dramas crowding the CW lineup, this one's a situation comedy, a cynical workplace lampoon similar to Fred Savage's late-90s Working. Fresh-faced Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical) is the newly hired straight woman setting up punchlines for by a fantastic cast of comedians led by Alan Tudyk (Suburgatory), Danny Pudi (Community), and Ron Funches (Undatable), among others.

The series (at least the pilot episode) was tooled to long-time DC Comics fans like me. Many fan reviews online claim the show is a DC version of Marvel's Damage Control comics, but that's not quite fair. For decades, one of the biggest differences between the Marvel and DC comic universes was the way the general public responded to super heroes. Marvel citizens lived in distrust and fear, while DC citizens tended to embrace their supermen (at least until DC saw how much money they were losing at the box office to Marvel movies and made their wolds much, much darker places to live). The characters in this sitcom are definitely old school DC denizens, the sort who would be employed by Hero Hotline.

If you're the sort of person who has heard of Damage Control and Hero Hotline, this show is aimed squarely at you. Since the series takes place inside a four-color comic book world, characters are bright, and reminders of DC's enormous cast of heroes and villains are dropped early and often. A heavy emphasis is placed on the trappings of Batman comics — which only makes sense given that Batman has been DC's best seller for going on thirty years. But that's not really the good stuff. This is the good stuff:

One thing Starro can't conquer: ratings

Look! It's Starro the Star Conqueror, the first Justice League villain, making a throwaway cameo appearance! Starro is essentially a giant purple space starfish who mind-controls heroes to do his bidding by putting tiny clones of himself on their faces. That's the Silver Age of comics in a nutshell, a generation better suited to comedy than dour Zack Snyder action films (which, frankly, aren't suitable for anything).

The Powerless pilot also references such minor DC characters as the Global Guardians' Jack O'Lantern and Justice League Europe's Crimson Fox, neither of which is exactly a household name even among people who consider themselves DC Comics fans. Most of these references are used as setups for punchlines, but its still a pretty niche market.

Unfortunately, Powerless dedication to aging comic book fans may mean it's not long for broadcast television. The pilot only attracted about a million viewers. That's not a good start. TV By The Numbers gives the show a 50/50 chance of making it past May, which is a shame. Even Working got three seasons.

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Would Trump be our president if The Colbert Report was still on the air? If you didn't watch the show, that probably sounds like a stupid question. Maybe you didn't watch The Colbert Report. It averaged only about 1 million viewers per night. Perhaps you weren't one of them. There's no shame in that. It was on late anyway.

Maybe you didn't watch because you didn't like Colbert's fawning right-wing politics and devotion to what he called "truthiness," only believing the facts that he wanted to believe, whether they were true or not. That was a put-on, a satire of what passes for television journalism in 21st century America, but it's understandable if you didn't realize it. Humor is subjective, and no one like to feel like the butt of the joke.

But Colbert wasn't canceled because you didn't watch. It was canceled because CBS offered Stephen Colbert a lot of money and he took it. Unfortunately, when he went to CBS, he didn't take his satirical character with him. Where he once had a well-earned reputation for speaking truth to power, he chose instead to glibly shills celebrity clothing lines. And that's my point.

Trump entered the presidential race only six months after The Colbert Report left the air. While plenty of voices decried Trump's nonstop stream of bullshit, the voice that would have been the most damning would have been the one most like his own. In our time of need, there was no one to lead us.

Would Trump be our president if The Colbert Report was still on the air? Probably yes. Frankly, the people who voted for Trump weren't the sort who would watch a nightly half-hour satirical comedy show about politics. But watching Trump's crony capitalists loot every American institution for their own benefit would be a lot less painful experience if Dr. Stephen T. Colbert was around to cushion the blow with his sharp tongue. Sadly, Kanye West's $120 t-shirts just don't seem that amusing anymore.

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Yes, I still watch Saturday Night Live every week.

But I'd really rather be watching La La Land again.

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Preacher season one is now complete, and I have to say that all my earliest apprehensions were completely unfounded. If you liked the comic, you should be watching this. I anxiously look forward to the next season. The sooner we get to Herr Starr's penis-head and the scion of Christ, the better. There's not enough gun to keep me away.

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The annual Superman Celebration returns to Metropolis, Illinois this weekend. Scheduled guests include three Jimmy Olsens: Marc McClure from Superman: The Movie, Michael Landis from Superman: Lois and Clark, and Mehcad Brooks from the current Supergirl show on CBS The CW. That's a lot of Jimmies! Too bad the real Jimmy Olsen didn't live to see this. (Rest in Peace Jack Larson.)

Also dropping by is Peter Facinelli (just $20 for a photo op!). He plays Justice League founder Max Lord on Supergirl, but he's no doubt best known for his participation in the Twilight movies. It might be interesting to see how the Twilight and Superman fan bases overlap. Sparkle, sparkle!

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I just caught an episode of Baywatch on Cozi TV. ("Beauty and the Beast," season 6 (1996), episode 12: The lifeguards compete for a spot in Inside Sports magazine's annual swimsuit issue while the events of Jaws play out on California's Venice beach.) It's even more sexist and exploitative than I remembered. What a good show.

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Re: the new Preacher series on AMC.

The pilot came on tonight. I was prepared to hate it. I mean really, really not like it.

I'd read several interviews strongly suggesting that the show was going to deviate in some pretty significant ways from the source material. While I believe that any story should be retooled to fit the medium used in the telling (for example, 2-hour movies shouldn't be word-for-word videos of 400-page books), no adaptation should remove the heart and soul of any key story element. If you believe you have to do so to tell that story in your chosen medium, you should probably be telling another story instead.

The Preacher comic rather famously included a lot of elements that were designed — rather intentionally — to alienate a mainstream audience. Corrupt churches protecting the offspring of Jesus Christ. Women made of meat. Homosexual sex detectives. Nazi love slaves. The ghost of John Wayne. The Saint of Killers. Pegging (before it was called pegging and long before Deadpool made it cool). That was all part of the comic's rogue charm. The word on the street was that the show would be shitcanning some of the more, shall we say, "potentially offensive" elements.

Haven't you heard? He's everywhere

That's why I was surprised to see that the AMC television pilot episode practically bent over backwards to leave open the possibility that we will see some of these elements in future episodes. Honestly, that alone exceeded my expectations.

While it might have played coy about some future story lines, the Preacher television show clearly does change a lot. Story timelines are changed. New minor characters are introduced, and existing minor characters are extensively overhauled. The Preacher's love interest has been radically overhauled. However, there is at least one thing that the pilot has dutifully reproduced: the protagonist. Preacher's 1996 Western genre anti-hero Jesse Custer is alive and well on television in 2016. It was like meeting an old friend I hadn't seen in years. If nothing else, I have to say that I liked that.

So I can't say that I hated the Preacher pilot. For the time being, I'll keep watching. And just like Jesse Custer, I'll be holding its feet to the fire if it steps out of line.

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Saturday Night Live has long had a habit of dumping the weirdest skits of the night at the end of the show. However, those can also be the best.

I watched the following skit when it aired at just before 1 AM on September 26, 1998. It remains my all time favorite SNL skit. It cheers me up whenever I think of it.

If you can't laugh at unity, caring, kindness, and friendship, what can you laugh at?

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To be continued...