Thursday, February 25, 2021
Monday, February 1, 2021
I'd originally started this post at the end of last year in order to relay what all we'd been watching. At this point, it's kind of hard to remember through the haze that was 2020 and the endless hours in my spot on the sofa what I put my eyeballs on. As you may know, I mostly watched movies, and baseball came back in July. I even gave a go of becoming a fan of Korean baseball, but kinda failed at that.
In general, I don't binge TV shows (and quietly judge people on twitter complaining when shows come out once per week), but this year has been a year unlike others. And I did plow right through some shows that I might otherwise have ignored.
For example - I watched all of something called The Great Flower Fight, which I can't say I even liked, but at the start of the pandemic, it was the right show at the right time. As was Love is Blind.
Frankly - I do not get how TV is funded in this era of a million channels and streaming services. What constitutes a win versus a cancel. It's all just a big mystery to me. There's so much stuff out there, and while the same percentage of it is watchable, with the sheer volume, there's a lot of decent TV in existence at this point. But, yikes, there's a lot of stuff on, and somebody is watching it.
None of these shows are recommendations, but the list is what I've watched over the past 12 months or so between baseball and movies. Some of it's pretty bad - but I somehow stuck it out.
I'm also not looking for recommendations - and I know you all have them. Good! Say them very quietly inside your head and give a knowing smile to yourself. Ahhh.... there's that familiar glow of a recommendation.
Anyway - here's my best possible stab at a list
- Doom Patrol
- Filthy Rich
- The Righteous Gemstones
- Star Trek: The Next Generation (select episodes)
- Star Trek: Picard
- Star Trek: Lower Decks
- Star Trek: Discovery (Season 3)
- Fargo Season 4
- The Great Flower Fight
- The Vow (the NXIVM doc)
- The Mandalorian
- Imagineering Doc
- One Day at Disney
- One Day at a Time
- Disney Galleries - Mandalorian
- Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2
- On Pointe
- The Expanse
- The Good Place
- Lego Masters
- Brooklyn 99
- Love is Blind
- What We Do in the Shadows
- Schitt's Creek
- The Amber Ruffin Show
- Reruns of The Nanny
- Reruns of Seinfeld
- a whole lotta KXAN News @ Noon
Sunday, January 10, 2021
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Today is the 100th birthday of the late Noel Neill, the original live-action Lois Lane.
Neill mostly famously played Lois Lane for five seasons of The Adventures of Superman alongside actor George Reeves.
Sunday, November 8, 2020
I can't remember any version of Jeopardy! that didn't feature Alex Trebek. I know that by 1987-ish and the time I was in 6th grade, we all had our Alex Trebek impersonations, or at least knew how to imitate his cadence when delivering an answer/ clue.
While I was a Wheel Watcher and had an odd affinity for "Sale of the Century", Jeopardy! was clearly the thinking-person's gameshow - because it was one of the last surviving quiz shows on TV. And, it was hosted by the thinking-person's gameshow host. Trebek ran a tight ship - foolishness was not creeping into the world of Jeopardy!. Demographic-pleasing plebes were not going to find their way onto the contestant's stand - he needed people who could answer a medley of trivia questions, and not lose their cool.
Trebek grounded the show with a cool, dry, breeziness that was polite, maybe a tad formal, and was unimpressed with credentials even when touting those of his guests. He was far more impressed if you made a run on the board. And, his giddiness (which amounted to a small smile at the best of times) shown through during returning champions weeks where he could count on a battle royale instead of watching middle school librarians fall by the wayside early in the game.
Most game show hosts you kind of just shrug at - goofy entertainers with a gift for hucksterism. But Trebek outsurvived almost all of them (Sajak is still doing his thing, along with Vanna). And he did it with a certain poise and sincerity about the show that gave gravitas to 30 minutes daily of people being asked random-ass questions for money. That could have been dumb, y'all.
Jeopardy! existed before Trebek, and it will exist after Trebek. But it will not be the same without him. Nor will the television landscape as I've known it my entire life. And, yes, I will be quietly very judgey of whomever tries to fill Trebek's podium.
Here's to a well deserved rest and may he never have to hear a response in the form of a question ever again.
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Format: Amazon Watch Party
Director: Lou Antonio
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Diana Rigg, actor and icon, has passed at the age of 82.
Rigg was a cult favorite in the U.S. and a bonafide star in the U.K., and would have been well remembered just from her work on the UK whack-a-doodle adventure show The Avengers as Emma Peel - which laid the foundation for about 10,000 imitators and arguably indirectly to the most popular iterations of Black Widow in the Marvel Universe. She also has the most solid of Bond-girl credits as Traci, the woman who Bond would marry in On her Majesty's Secret Service (and a favorite of the PodCast). Most recently she'd been on Game of Thrones (which I didn't watch, but I know she's a fan favorite).
She, of course, did so much more and was just one of those actors it seems everyone could agree upon.
Saturday, July 25, 2020
How odd. I always thought of Regis Philbin as.. a permanent fixture. He'd seemed sort of ageless all his years on TV.
But he seems to have passed.
For the kids - Regis was a sort of gadfly of the media industry who had his greatest success with "Regis and Kathie Lee" back in the 90's, a softball morning show where he drank coffee and met celebrities and clearly had no idea who they were or what they were pitching. He was a great default guest for late-night talk shows (I always suspected he was on speed dial when they had a cancellation) because he'd been a sort of Jiminy Glick for so long that he had tons of crazy stories.
Anyway, he was someone I always found pretty funny. He had a certain joie de vivre that made him a kick to have on. And, when he hosted the game show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, our own Nathan Cone got to meet him as a contestant.
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Last night the news hit that Grant Imahara, one of the main cast members of Mythbusters, had passed at the age of 49.
This one shook me.
The Mythbusters cast never came across as celebrities - they came across as people you might know who someone had bestowed a budget and granted time to answer all sorts of questions you might think about but never be able to pursue. To this day, I can't tell you how many times per month I still say "I think Mythbusters covered that" when we're pondering a question. And those questions are not just whether and to what degree something might explode.
Imahara was the purist engineer of the crew, and seemed genuinely more interested in the process and data than being on TV. He made a great third side of the triangle for "the build team", ensuring engineering and data driven practices were part of what they were up to. And he did it with a joyfulness that was positively inspiring. We should all strive to have Grant's excitement about opportunity and discovery.
The cast seemed to be roughly of my generation, and so of course it's a shock when someone your own age suddenly goes. We aren't really there yet. But especially someone who had become famous somewhat by accident, who never became a jerk or let it go to his head, and never seemed to lose his curiosity. We *liked* Grant.
I can't imagine what his family and friends are going through. It seems incredibly unfair.
Thursday, April 9, 2020
PODCAST: Quarantine Media 01 - "Love is Blind", "Tiger King", "McMillions" and more - w/ Jamie, Maxwell and Ryan
Watched: I mean.. kind of since March 13 - April 5
Format: Netflix, HBO, etc...
Things have gotten really strange as we've sheltered in place in our homes. Life is upside down, and we're all worried for the state of the world. But in a time of existential crisis, it doesn't mean we aren't watching some TV. Maxwell joins us to talk "Tiger King", "Love is Blind", "McMillions" and whatever else we're watching as part of our self-care regimen. Or what our kids are putting on, at least.
Sunday, March 8, 2020
I am not a "Trekker" like I'd consider some of my friends. I do not have a tattoo of the Enterprise on my forearm (hi, Stuart). I do not know the names of episodes as chapter and verse. I mostly only watched Star Trek (the Original Series) and Star Trek: The Next Generation. And I quite liked both.
Y'all can go to bat for DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. I'm aware they all have their plusses, but I didn't really watch them. And I honestly mostly watched ST:TNG out of order in syndication after season 4 wrapped up (why our local channel showed them out of order when I was in college, I will never know, but I generally knew what season it was by which uniform they were wearing).
When Picard was coming on, I realized it'd been a while since I spent much time with ST:TNG. In theory, I liked the show, and I'd watched bits here and there on BBC America during lunchbreaks when I worked from home, but I was genuinely not sure the show held up. Further, I wasn't ready to wade through 22+ episodes per season of 7 seasons of TV (plus a few movies) to catch up and be ready for Picard.
Thus, I turned to Stuart, who gave me the following watch list:
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Thursday, January 30, 2020
It's Academy Awards Season! Our panel of experts sits down to talk about the Oscars! What are they? Why are they? How did they come to be? It's a four hour program full of tiny clips of movies, awkward shots of celebs, and where you walk away with a paper weight, so what's the deal?
The Oscars Theme - Greg Hulme
- 2018 article from NPR: in 2016 after it was revealed that 92% were white and 75% male -
- 2018 article from MotionPictures.org - in 2014, the Academy voter was on average 63 years old, with 76% of the members being male, and 94% of the members being white.
- Preferential voting explanation
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
This isn't a comprehensive list of what I watched in 2019. Like the movies list, it doesn't include all the partially watched Hallmark movies. It also doesn't include local and global news (some of us still watch the news). It doesn't include Seinfeld and The Nanny reruns. Nor shows I watched part of and gave up on. I may have even missed entire series in here. I don't really track TV watching or I'd probably have to have a moment of self-reflection. It doesn't include the hours and hours and hours of baseball, soccer, volleyball, and football I'll watch in a given year (with hundreds of hours of baseball to account for as I probably watched 60-70 games last year. Go Cubs!).
But when I sat down to think about what I'd watched, this was what came to mind:
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
|The amazing Elizabeth Mitchell, partially blocked by some guy|
Format: Hallmark Channel, baby!
Mostly I don't write up the Hallmark Christmas movies that I watch, because I don't really watch them. I put them on and do other things, how I'll sometimes watch a 4 hour baseball game on a Saturday or Sunday. You do some work or check email or talk on chat to someone while the movie is on. And when you do look up, it's mostly a game of Hallmark movie bingo, teasing out what the new formula themes are this year (military, servicepeople - mostly men, and veterans have been big the past two years).
But The Christmas Club (2019) was one of the more expensive version of the formula, where they'd hired actors you may have seen somewhere before rather than the usual "who is that?" stars of other than Hallmark movies, assembled from spare parts found in a vat of pumpkin spice, Coach purses, bedazzled iPhones, Lululemons and Uggs.
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Format: Amazon Streaming
We welcome special guest, Eric S, as Maxwell and I discuss one of the greatest episodes of TV of all time, from one of the greatest sitcoms of all time! It's a 2019 Thanksgiving edition of The Signal Watch! We talk about the series in general, but all through the lens of one turkey of an episode. Oh, the humanity! (We recommend watching S1: Episode 7 of "WKRP in Cincinnati" before listening)
My entries for The Signal Watch Challenge!
Thursday, November 7, 2019
Format: TV broadcast on ABC
This "show" was some rough going, and I hope it's not how anyone would introduce their child to The Little Mermaid, stage musicals or entertainment in general.
In honor of the 30th Anniversary of the animated The Little Mermaid, Disney, for reasons that remain totally unclear, decided to show the original The Little Mermaid, but when the movie reached the musical numbers, cut over to actors performing the numbers on a stage in front of their big movie screen.
Look, I've seen The Little Mermaid maybe twice and neither of those times occurred in the past 20 years. As with about 1 in 2 Disney movies, I just don't really click to the movie about a young, dumb mermaid in love with a guy she only met when he was wet and unconscious. I skipped TLM at the theater because I thought it was for very young children, and missed the memo that this movie the thing to tell people Disney was no longer making kinda bad movies. I finally saw it summer 1992, thought it was better than I expected, but was more into what Disney was doing when I did hit the theater for Beauty and the Beast in '91.
Monday, October 14, 2019
Of late, if someone is going to mention a television show to you, it often comes with a wild look in their eye I recall occurring most elsewhere when my glance would occasionally meet that of the Hare Krishnas who used to roam The Drag in the 1990's.
One does not "enjoy" a show anymore, they area devotee. They advocate for it. They seek converts.
So, lately, has it been with Fleabag, the short-seasoned show from England that, as was discussed at my house over the weekend, on paper, does not at all sound like my cup of tea. Self-immolating, possibly alcoholic and definitely caustic young woman behaves badly, who runs up against the people she loves, and who love her, with poor results. And does it whilst literally winking at the camera.
I mean, sure, fine, but is there at least a robot she drinks with? Then we might have something.
Thursday, September 26, 2019
In my head, I walked around knowing full well that Mad Men was the best television I had ever, or would likely ever, see. And the minute the show ended, I pledged to rewatch the whole show from beginning to end, but other things catch up with you, new shows come on, and at some point you start to say to yourself: you know, you may well put the show on and start to get that uneasy feeling as you realize that this thing you loved? It doesn't hold up. You weren't wrong at the time, but we've all moved on. But, sure, rewatch out of nostalgia.
Having just completed a rewatch of Mad Men Season 1, I am reporting that Mad Men is better than I remembered.