Friday, February 20, 2015

Some Thoughts on Television.....

So, what else do you do when it snows to beat hell and the temperatures are in single digits or sub-zero?  You watch a lot of TV, that's what......

Through the magic of the DVR, we finally finished watching the 3 and 1/2 self-congratulatory Saturday Night Live special that NBC aired this past Sunday night.  Based on the comments on Facebook while the show aired, I know that I am going to be at odds with a lot of folks, but that show could have been squeezed into ninety minutes, two hours, tops.  I have long maintained that the humor of SNL is generational.  My parents didn't "get" Chevy Chase, Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi et al, and I never quite got people like Chris Farley, Adam Sandberg and people of that ilk, but that's okay.

As for the show on Sunday, I liked the Jeopardy sketch, the Wayne's World sketch, some, not all, of the Weekend Update stuff, the tribute to those who died, including the item about Generalissimo Francisco Franco, Paul Simon, and seeing some of the original cast members.

And the jokes about not being able to read the cue cards, which EVERYBODY made, got old after the second person did it.

Last weekend we did a major Binge Watch of Seasons Four and Five of HBO's terrific "Boardwalk Empire".  What an great series that was.  The short, eight episode fifth and final season did a fantastic job of bringing the entire story full circle, and it led to an absolutely perfect conclusion.

If you like crime dramas, and haven't seen this show, then do whatever you the DVD sets, go to Netflix, OnDemand, or stream in some fashion, but watch this series.

Golf Channel is now three episodes in to its current season, "Big Break, The Palm Beaches FL".  Men only contestants this time.  No one yet has stood out as a "villain" in the show, as Anthony Quesada and Mary Narcisi had in past seasons, so there is no one to really root against as yet.  The guy that I am sure that the producers want to go all the way is Chad Pfiefer, and Iraqi war vet who is an amputee with a leg prosthesis.  In truth, Chad is not as good a golfer as most of the others, so I can't see him hanging in there for too long, but he has already been to two elimination challenges and sent three other contestants packing, so who knows?

From a local perspective, one of the contestants if Robert Rohanna of Waynesburg, PA.

If you've read the agate type in the Pittsburgh sports pages over the years, you know his name.  A local professional who represents Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, he has kicked around the mini-tours, and he seems to be a likable guy. Also, he is seen in some clips on the show wearing an Andrew McCutchen tee shirt.  So, Let's Go Robert!

CBS has decided to do a reboot of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple".  As TV critic Rob Owen stated in the PG yesterday, Why?  The show premiered last night following "The Big Bang Theory", which should have given it a large audience, and it wasn't awful, but, again, why?  Why follow what was a classic TV series, which was based on a classic movie, which was based on the classic Simon play?  This one stars Matthew Perry of "Friends" as Oscar, and some guy named Thomas Lennon as Felix.  Perry is okay as Oscar, but Lennon's portrayal of Felix is so over the top that it is going to be hard to take on a regular basis, I think.

At least two of the lines in last night's episode were direct lifts from the original Simon play.  So give Perry, who had the writing credit for this episode, some props for sticking with the original.

Watched an episode of "Fantasy Island" on wine of those "classic TV only" cable stations on Wednesday night.  Hey, I told you we were getting desperate.  Anyway, this show was circa 1978, and it hit the perfect trifecta of TV Awfulness: bad acting, bad writing, bad editing.  Can't believe that was regular television viewing for us back in Seventies.  Makes you realize that television has indeed improved over the years, despite some of the dreck that still populates it.

Finally, and I know I'm a bit late on this one, but I guess that I must comment on Brian Williams.  You all know the story, so I won't restate it again, but when the news of his false heroics emerged, I knew at the time that this would not end well for him.  I feel bad, because, I liked Brian Williams at the NBC anchor desk.  The fact that he continued to repeat this story, and even embellish it over the course of ten years is what is so befuddling to me.  I am surprised, actually, that it took this long for this particular shoe to drop.

Williams is currently on a six month suspension form NBC.  I am sure that we will see him again on television, but not at a network anchor desk, and probably not on NBC.

Hubris strikes down another icon.  It is a story as old as time.

1 comment:

  1. Your analysis of TV is insightful ... my take is TV is truly the vast wasteland, now more than ever. I am into streaming movies on NetFlix or content on YOUTUBE. Other than the Buccos, Pens and Jeopardy I have little interest in the shows. NCIS New Orleans and Madame Secretary are digestible but predictable .. again, truly just chewing gum for the eyes. MLB can not come soon enough for this old salt. Keep up the good work.