Fall TV Preview 2007!

TV on roadside - RF

2007 has not been a good year for television, what with the outrageous treatment of professional writers by executives looking to cut corners, as well as the general disregard for quality that the four major networks have demonstrated without fail. Hell, it hasn’t been a good decade for network TV. I find it hard to respect any company that refuses to allow what I consider to be its most valuable employees to unionize, much less make a fair living, and god forbid, maybe even make a few bucks in DVD royalties. But no, instead the assholes in charge continue to replace scripted programming with game shows and reality crapola. NBC and CBS seem to be the worst offenders this year, with rosters of new shows that you could count on one hand. ABC has a few more to offer, but they look shittastic, while Fox actually shows the most promise, with a long list of oddball pilots, a few of which just might fly, but most of which will mysteriously vanish mid-season, to the sound of people scratching their heads and musing to their spouses, “What ever happened to that show that really sucked?” Anyway, here are a few high(and low)lights of the upcoming season of feces.

ABC

First of all, I’m not even going to talk about Cavemen. It’s all part of their game, don’t fall for it. Secondly, since when has America become so intrigued by the obscenely wealthy? OK, OK, since way back when, I know, but I still find it disconcerting that ABC has not one, but two shows about the super-rich on their fall roster. Dirty Sexy Money, besides having a name that sounds like a TLC album, purports to be about a lawyer who caters to some rich-ass family. I don’t know if they’re a wacky rich family, like in Arrested Development, or a dramatic rich family, like in Citizen Kane, but either way it promises to be boring. I would say I’m sick of legal shows, but that would require me having enjoyed them at one time in my life, which is just untrue. Big Shots continues the rich douchebag theme, but this time it’s a close-up look at the wacky lives of four CEO’s. Sounds like a real side-splitter. Ahem. No fall TV preview would be complete without mentioning the truly befuddling Carpoolers. I don’t know if they’re kidding or what, but they’d like us to believe that the whole show is some dudes carpooling. Specifically, four slightly different versions of the same suburban cockgobbler, figuring out life while driving or something. Wait, let me guess, they’re all white, straight businessmen. Damn, I was wrong, one of them is faintly dark-skinned. TV is really becoming a world of rich diversity, isn’t it?

NBC

Chuck actually looks like something I could conceivably watch, i.e. while drunk. It has some complicated and unlikely plot about some guy accidentally getting an e-mail that contains all the spy secrets in the world, and it’s now imprinted in his brain but he doesn’t know it. It’s kinda like The Bourne Identity, but instead of sexy Matt Damon, it’s just some dude. Then there’s this show Life, about someone who spends all this time in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, and then goes back to being a cop of some sort, but he appreciates life now. Spiritual storylines don’t keep their novelty for too long (unless you’re a good writer), so I don’t know what they’re going to do after, say, the first episode. “I’m still enjoying life so much!”

CBS

The soon-to-air drama Cane looks to be a sort of mafia-ish story about Jimmy Smits and his assuredly Latino family running a rum empire. Now that’s my kind of programming! A show about rum, that is, not the boring mafia part. I hope they mostly focus on the rum, and how drunk it gets you, but probably they’ll just have some dramatic stuff involving Jimmy Smits, and he’ll barely even get drunk at all. Ha ha, Jimmy Smits, he thinks he’s a real actor. Next comes The Big Bang Theory, a show that is literally just one-liner after one-liner about how the two main characters are nerds. They’re named Leonard and Sheldon! They have dry-erase boards covered in equations! They’re bad at getting laid! I believe the Revenge of the Nerds films have said all that needs to be said about nerds trying to get laid. Let it go.

FOX

When I saw that FOX was debuting a show called New Amsterdam, I got really excited, but then I found out it wasn’t about weed at all, at which point I was heard to exclaim, “Amsterdammit!” No, instead it’s just about some guy who was given eternal life by an American Indian healer, or at least until he finds his one true love, who he died for. Fine, so far not good but not abhorrent. But guess what…now it’s modern times, and he’s a fucking cop! A cop! Is that the best they could come up with? A drama I might actually consider watching is The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a continuation of the Terminator storyline, taking place between the second and third movies. Hooray for the Terminator! Those movies rock out with their respective cocks out, even the third, I don’t care what anyone says. Finally, The Rules for Starting Over is a new show somehow related to the Farrely Brothers, which promises a lot in its preview. By that I mean, it features a monkey. Not just any monkey, a monkey who’s roommates with a person. But it is unclear from the preview whether the monkey will be an integral part of the show. The rest of the show looks kind of stupid, so I really hope they consider making the monkey the lead and slowly firing the rest of the characters. Please?

Advertisements

Blonde Redhead / Fields

Whelp, back to Webster Hall again so soon in all its palatial glory.  Upon entering, for the second concert in a row I was handed a free drink ticket for the nearby Village Pourhouse.  Don’t be fooled my friends— a ticket such as this is only good for a Budweiser product or Well drink, both of which are not even close in caliber to any of the various fancy beers they have on tap there.  I had my eye on the Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat, but the bartender laughed boisterously and pointed to the piss beers I might choose from.  Not to complain though, for a free drink’s a free drink, and I drank it merrily.  But I digress.

The show opened with the UK’s own Fields.  These guys created a nice vibe to start off the evening, presenting a set both pleasant and enthused.  I noticed right away that the lead dude was playing a plugged in acoustic, which I thought was pretty rad. Chunky acoustic guitars always remind me of the hilarious Guitarrón of mariachi band fame. The thing usually only adds strummy accompaniment to the group’s sound, but it maintains an important part of the Mariachi aesthetic, and the player always has the biggest grin on his face. Anyway, that was cool.  Also, the bassist played with a fervor I have rarely seen.  Certainly not a note-picker, him vibrant and exaggerated strokes made me wish I could hear his part a little more clearly. Overall, the band’s sound is slightly jammy, but not without the components of pop hits (hee hee, on Myspace they’re listed as Psychedelic / Rock / Crunk). Plus, they’re British, so anytime they spoke I couldn’t help but be charmed, those gents. The lady band member rocked a nice keyboard and vocal part, and all was well.

Next we enjoyed the main attraction, Blonde Redhead.  These guys have a good thing going for them with their outgoing, engaging, and might I say good-looking lady member (Kazu Makino).  Their latest album and first since 2004, 23, is a hazy, ethereal addition to their catalog, and they played a healthy smattering from it. This resulted in lots of crazy lights foggily soaking the audience and lots of Kazu dancing about limb-flailingly and seductively. Another highlight, and also conveniently involving that vixen Makino, was the horse bench that was placed as her seat in front of the keyboard for the numbers requiring that instrument. She looked fine indeed perched atop the thing while tapping away at her parts, but the real fun came during songs featuring only her vocals, when she would saunter on over to the horsey and lovingly caress its face and various body parts.  What a sensual lass she be. Oh yeah, and she has a good voice.

But let’s not forget the band’s other members, Italian twins Simone and Amedeo Pace (drums and guitar, respectively). Their stage presence may have been a tad overshadowed by a certain hottie, but they were surely powerful contributors to the band’s live presence. A rather tall gentlemen kept me from viewing Amadeo for a great deal of the set, but from what I saw by craning my neck and shuffling around behind said brute, he played with a grin that let you know that it must be pretty awesome to be in a band.  And to be married to Kazu. Indeed, oft during her shuffling she would slide on over his way and they’d neck for a few loving seconds. Man, what a poetic relationship.

During the first of two encores, Kazu told the audience that she was glad they were eager for more, because she had yet to “Get her rocks off.”  This rendered many cheers from an audience keen to hear “(I Am Taking Out My Eurotrash) I Still Get Rocks Off,” off 1995’s La Mia Vita Violenta to which this quote surely refers, but much to my dismay she quickly explained that this meant they would be playing some older songs, although not that particular crowd favorite.  Ah well.  Those in attendance was none too disappointed by the songs they instead played, and Kazu responded with words of thanks and kindness.  So while this gracious hostess may have stolen the show a bit, overall Blonde Redhead are clearly a band whose long life and many albums have led to a comfort and precision that makes for a fine show and a fine time.

Yo La Tengo / Oneida

Ah, glorious Webster Hall in all its booty dancin’, sleazy nightclub glory.  There’s nothing more unsettling than attending a show here on a dangerous weekend night, where seconds after the band has played their encore, the stages becomes crowded with skanky nymphettes with grubby bills crammed down their G-strings.  On this most pleasant of Sunday evenings however, the old building with its cavernous rooms and endless sloping staircases was actually quite pleasant. The atmosphere retained an appropriately casual, evening of pleasantries sort of feel, as people gathered round to enjoy the venerable indie heroes Yo La Tengo.  But first, we were to enjoy the ear shattering, wobbly wall of sound producing Oneida.

Straight from Brooklyn (holla!), where all the good bands be at, these dudes surely got the musical and entertainment juices running. A three-piece that succeeds in producing an amazing amount of sound from the humble setup of guitar, drums, and keyboard, these here fellas preformed with an enthusiasm that made me happy deep inside.  Indeed, it’s quite rousing to watch a keyboardist who pounds those poor little keys with flailing arms that become absorbed in a non-stop banging rhythm.  The dude also had to keep reaching up to secure the placement of his glasses, an action which came across as rapid lurches of hand-to-face arms on some sort of epileptic, optic frenzy.  After their excellent opening set, my ears were whirring with that “I’ve attend a rock concert” ring and I was ready to take in some permanent ear damage from our fine headliners.

Yo La Tengo, with a career spanning twenty years and a ridiculous number of albums, have certainly done it all.  NYC missed them last year without their usual eight nights of Hanukkah run (although the Sounds of the Sounds of Science at Prospect Park was the shit), but ‘tis no matter, for here they were now to take us to a world that is jammy, sweet, and mind-blowing all at the same time.  The backdrop—reminiscent of the infamous Lite Brite toys we all once enjoyed in years past—sprayed a real nice starry sky atmosphere over the band.  They seemed to be standing and performing in their own sprawling field of moments magical, which was perfect when they brought out the lengthy numbers like I’m Am Not Afraid of You and Will Beat Your Ass’ ambitious opener “Pass The Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind.”  Through tunes like these, Ira Kaplan really wailed it on the guitar, acting as the most outgoing member of the band.  He was all over the damn place.

All these aspects lent to the overall exuberance of the well-behaved little audience that evening.  Their ears had been rewarded with a fine sampling of their beloved band’s catalog, including both lengthy, rock the hizzy jams and tight numbers perfect for calculated rump shakin’.  More so than usual, the peeps making up the crowd took in the wonderful feel of the evening and let it ride effectively through their spines, resulting in what I was raised to call “dancing.”  To be sure, I’ve complained more than once of the oft stiff and immovable demeanor that some NYC show attendees unfortunately possess.  So when it got ‘round to encore time, Yo La rewarded its most excellent audience not only with glowing words of gratitude, but by taking requests from a screaming lucky few up in the front row. One such number was “My Little Corner of the World,” which is a fine song in and of itself, but was made just dandy with the jazzing up of the solo.  Although the usual keyboard was all set up and clearly had been functioning properly all evening, they had this dude run onstage and whistle the thing. Now, this was impressive.  It ain’t no easy task to whistle those high notes. During this moment, and for most of the show, joy abounded.

Dating Tips

-Always bring your date (plural noun).  If you’re having a quiet night in, a bottle of (liquid) would be a fine choice as well. 

-Always take your date’s dietary (plural noun) into consideration when picking the restaurant.  You don’t want to show up at a greasy (noun) joint and find out your date’s a (noun)!

-A few drinks can help loosen up the conversation, but avoid having more than (number), or you’re liable to get a little (adjective).  There’s nothing worse than a date who’s been (verb ending in -ing) too much!

-Though you may be feeling amorous, resist the urge to go ‘all the way’ on the first date.  You will probably feel (adjective) the next day, and with the number of (plural noun) in the world today, you can never be too careful. 

-Once it seems like the (noun) may be getting serious, it’s important to get the important questions out of the way.  For instance, do their (noun) beliefs mesh with yours?  Do they feel the same way about (plural noun) as you do?  All of these can be potential (noun)-breakers.

-Some people take dating too seriously, but it’s supposed to be (adjective).  Don’t forget to have fun while you’re searching for your (noun)-mate! 

Visiting New York City

Millions of tourists flock to New York City every year, and it’s not hard to see why!  With all the (adjective) sights to see and over (number) restaurants, the hard part is choosing what to see and do first.  Plan ahead with the help of a guidebook from your local (noun) store, or by doing some research on the world wide (noun).  If you plan on travelling by subway, don’t forget to grab a free map from the (adjective) attendant in the (noun) booth. 

Most people try to fit a visit to a museum into their itinerary.  The Museum of Modern (noun) is a good place to start, as it features priceless relics of the ancient world, including a rare 800 year old (noun) and a collection of 18th-Century (noun)-studded (plural noun). 

Once dinnertime rolls around, head down to Little (country) for the best (adjective) (type of food) in town, or go to Chinatown for some authentic fried (animal), served the old-fashioned way, with the (body part) still on.  Save some room for dessert at “(man’s name) & Son,” an ice cream parlor that opened in (year).  It’s the perfect end to a (adjective) New York day!

Fashion Week Highlights

Spring is in the air, and last week, so was fashion!  Reporters, models and (plural noun) flocked from around the globe to beautiful (city) to participate in what many consider to be the most important fashion event of the year.  Celebrities like (celebrity) and (celebrity) hobnobbed with models and designers while sipping (liquid) and nibbling on (plural noun), all the while doing copious amounts of cocaine.  Tongues were wagging when (name of friend/person in room) was seen canoodling with (name of musician). 

But the real action was on the runway, where the top designers all made strong showings this year.  Emerging designer (name of other friend/person in room) wowed the critics, combining traditional (adjective) elements with bold splashes of (noun).  (name of fashion designer) stuck to the basics, focusing on simple (plural noun) made to draw attention to the (part of body).  Couture has never looked so good!