Monday, November 30, 2009

Three Rivers Canceled

CBS has announced that Three Rivers will be placed on hiatus, network for canceled, unless its ratings improve. Managing to garner 8.5 million viewers at it's peak it has been declining in recent weeks. Though the show hasn't been officially canceled it's most likely not going to be seen again next season.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hulu's Inovates Online Television

If you haven't tried Hulu, you are missing one of the greatest resources available on the web. Hulu is a website that hosts a library of television shows current and past. No longer are we bound to our chairs each week for fear of missing our favorite episodes. Now we can log onto Hulu and catch up on our favorite shows when we have the time.

With the new Hulu Desktop the whole process becomes even easier. Hulu Desktop allows you to log into your own Hulu account and subscribe to the shows you want to watch. As your shows become available they are placed in a que that you can watch at your leisure! If you have to stop watching a show part of the way through, you can exit the program and when you restart, the show will automatically begin playing where you left off.

The only problem is that some network and cable stations are taking their own time hopping on board. CBS, for one, is woefully behind adding their shows online. This has gotten a lot of flack from the growing segment of the viewing population who have turned to online sites like Hulu to watch their favorite shows. People are embracing the TV on demand concept in a big way even if some of the big names in broadcasting are choosing to avoid it.

With CBS, BBC America and a host of others now joining with Youtube, the hope is that soon they will move beyond just hosting clips and start posting complete episodes of their shows at Youtube. Time will only tell when this will happen but for now your best source still seems to be Hulu. Though most industry analysts agree, the longer some broadcasters refuse to post their shows online, the more difficult it will be for them to gain back what market share they lost. To many viewers choosing online instead of digital broadcast or cable outweighs the inconvenience of missing some of their favorite shows. Although I think most would agree, the sooner all the broadcasters get on board the better.

Also Hulu is free to use, each show still has commercials but they are usually only 30 seconds long and you only have to watch one per commercial break, compared to the usual two to three minutes of commercials broadcasters usually place.

Watch Hulu via your browser at You will want to register and start your own account because some of the shows with certain TV ratings will require one.

Download the newest version of the Hulu Desktop at You should check to make sure you meet the system requirements. The Hulu Desktop itself is very intuitive but if you get lost check out their online tutorial videos by clicking on the link to their Lab page.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Winner Announced for Dancing With the Stars...

So I'll rip the bandaid off quick, Mya and Kelly Osborne didn't win. Who did win? Donny Osmond! I think most people over 40 will know who he is, for the rest of you, he was the equivalent of Zac Efron in the 70's. He and his sister (Marie) have managed to keep in the spotlight for the past 30 some odd years and honestly, I think that popularity didn't hurt when it came to this show.

I think this show honestly judges based on 40% talent and 60% popularity. I don't know who Mya is, then you add in the only connection to Kelly Osborne I really have is that her father, Ozzy Osborne, is one of the metal gods. Other than that her short and often annoying tenure in reality television has not made me a fan. I'm not a fan of Donny Osmond either, so I'm going with the lesser of three evils here, one I don't know, one I don't care about, and one hasn't really annoyed me in the past 10 years. I think that mentality might have fed the crowd reaction towards Donny Osmond and maybe influenced their decision a tiny bit.

Anyway I hoped you enjoyed this season, I'm sure it'll be back next year, crossing my fingers to see Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan in a dance off! I would actually tune in every week for that!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oprah to End Show in 2011

So Oprah says she's going to hang up the hosting gig in 2011. The final season will be the 25th for Oprah and many are already making predictions as to the impact it will have on day time television. I for one think the show is great for it's target audience and I've been known to watch it occasionally, when I'm bored and counting the bumps on my plaster ceiling no longer entertains me. Seriously though, she's a great host, who I think has set the standard that people gauge the genre on. As it's been said, she's revolutionized the approach to talk shows with her strong sense of ethics and business savvy. I think most would agree she deserves the kudos being lauded on her. Honestly folks, I think financially she'll be doing just fine.


Dancing With The Star's Results To Be Announced

I haven't watched the show this season (I burned on it around season 2) but I know a lot of people are interested so I'm going to put up a link to the Associated Press article on it. It's short and sweet but it gives the vitals. May the best (most popular) dancer win I guess.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Canceled Shows of 2009: Say Bye to....

So this season was chock full of new shows and though I didn't watch a few of these shows, some of them I was definitely surprised to see they were canceled.

I wasn't shocked that Dollhouse on Fox was canceled, though I was saddened. It was a good show with a strong cast and an intriguing storyline. Though I applaud Fox for giving the show a chance for a second season, I would have been happy to see a third season. I guess we will just have to wait for Josh Wheddons next show. Tip to Josh, try a different network this time.

A couple of other show's that hit the chopping block were Eastwick and Hank on ABC. Eastwick I watched a couple of episodes of but I didn't really get into it. I thought it was trite for the most part, a mix of Desperate Housewives and Charmed, but it fell short of anything spectacular. I didn't really feel for the cheesy writing or the shallow characters, so for one I expected it to be cancelled. Hank just didn't get the following it needed, I think it tried to put Kelsey Grammer into a role that people are just sick of seeing. I think they wanted to capture the success of Frasier and this show didn't do that at all.

Some shows that were already on their final leg, announced prior to the seasons starting, Monk on USA and Lost on ABC (Though a final 2010 season is set to begin running in January) will be sadly missed. I'm sorry to see both go but they have had strong runs. Monk has been one of those hidden gems that I was always glad to see come back. While Lost has had phenomenal success all around and built up a cult following that will keep the show in syndication for years. Kudos to both.

NBC also has canceled Trauma, a show that I watched only the first episode before realizing that I didn't want, nor need to watch another medical drama. A lot promotion went into this show but I think the general public had the same idea. With shows like House and Gray's Anatomy out there we don't really need another in the genre to fill our plates.

Kings, aired on NBC, was cancelled to poor ratings. For the expense of filming each episode, it could not build up a following big enough to validate the cost. Though I think this was a good show, with some fantastic actors, the premise (a modern country ruled by a monarchy) was hard for many to get into. I think it's one I'll try to catch on Hulu or DVD when it's available.

Guiding Light on CBS is also ending its final season after 57 years on the air. I'm not a soap fan but I don't think you have to be to realize the significance of that. Daytime soaps are being swept aside by daytime news (which, the way most news stations do it, are soaps in themselves) and talk shows. This is more a testament to a new generation of viewers, than poor quality.

The Goode Family, an animated series on ABC, has been picked up by Comedy Central, I haven't watched it because I have a hard enough time watching Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleavland Show (all on Fox), I didn't want to add another to my long sad list. I might give it a chance to see if it's another Family Guy, which also was canceled in it's first season, picked up by the Cartoon Network and later made it's way back to network television.

Reno 911 on Comedy Central, with it's cult following, is also on its final season. Funny show but I think it ran it's course. Congratulations to a show that ran for 6 seasons though.

There were many other shows canceled I'll keep them brief.

NBC: The Listener, The Philanthropist

ABC: Surviving Suburbia, Defying Gravity

ABC Family: Ruby & the Rockits

BBC America: Robin Hood (2006) (I actually enjoyed this show but no surprise here.)

Showtime: Brotherhood

CW: The Good Life

TBS: The Bill Engvall Show

A&E: The Cleaner

Overall a lot of good shows will be returning. I'll write a blog soon, once I'm sure there are no final cancellations before I get anyones hopes up.

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Webisode Part 4: Dr. Horribles Sing-Along Blog

Absolutely one of my favorite webisodes is Dr. Horribles Sing-Along Blog, a show produced and directed by none other than Joss Whedon. The same Joss Whedon who gave us Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse. Though since Angel most of Joss Whedon's shows have only lasted a couple seasons at most, Dr. Horribles Sing-Along Blog shows you why the networks are still willing to back him. Starring Neal Patrick Harris (CBS: How I Met Your Mother and ABC: Doogie Houser MD), Nathan Fillion (ABC: Castle, Fox: Firefly) and Felicia Day (The Guild), the show draws on some actors fans of Whedon's previous work will recognize as well as new talent. Either way all do a wonderful job of bringing the show to life.

Written by the indomitable Whedon Brothers, plus Maurissa Tancharoen, the show blends comedy and music into something original and funny. The musical numbers are a campy mix of Broadway meets Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the blending from musical number to dialogue is effortless and rather than feeling like your being tugged between comedy and musical you find your self immersed in the well choreographed top notch production value we have come to expect from Joss Whedon. Overall the show follows the fan approved recipe of a Whedon show, it combines comedy, drama and tragedy, in just the right measurements, into something that is truly original. I'm going to be honest and say that I'm partial to Joss Whedon’s work, but that aside, this show is the one webisode you will wish you had watched.

Watch it, if you don't, you might regret passing up an amazing webisode. Dr. Horribles Sing-Along Blog can be found at

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Webisodes Part 3: Imaginary Bitches

Imaginary Bitches, this show is something that you would think most men would shy away from, the trials and tribulations of a 20 something girl, Eden, who's surrounded by friends who are no longer single but throughly entrenched in the couples zone. She is alone and insecure so she creates imaginary friends, who happen to be bitches, to help her cope with her somewhat neurotic approach to life. So why did so many men suggest I watch this show? I think its because even though the topic is about how one woman chooses to deal with being stuck in a predicament she feels she has little control over she does so by accepting her situation and embracing it. Everyone hopes to find that sort of clarity and be happy at the same time. This pushes Imaginary Bitches beyond the typical label many shows centered around woman receive, chick flick.

Eden Riegel (who won a daytime Emmy for her role as Biancca Montegomery on All My Children) does a fantastic job as the lead, bringing a light hearted feel to many different subject matters which some might find offensive. Overall I think the humor moves past the sometimes awkward concept behind the story. The show has the distinction of having some of the hottest cast members of any webisode out there but this is plus and a minus. They are all very talented actors but I think one thing that drives many webisodes is that they feature actors that the general viewer identifies with. That concept of the average Joe or Jill thrust into the absurd situations that drive many webisodes allows for us suspend our disbelief in what is happening. I found one of the hardest things to believe was that Eden would have so much difficulty finding a boyfriend that she would have to develop imaginary friends to compensate for whatever inadequacies she has (seriously she is a very beautiful actress.) Though once you start hearing her talking to her new friends, the imaginary ones, you begin to forget that.

The production value of this show is topnotch and works well with the shows concept. In it's simplicity it holds true to what make webisodes successful, less is more. There are no unneccessary camera angles or zooms. The show uses many different locations in filming and that adds tremendously to the overall quality. One thing that's hard to move past many webisodes is the claustrophobia that ensues from filming in one room for 5 minutes. Andrew Miller, writer and director for the show does a great job developing the characters in what often borders on the absurd. Imaginary Bitches is very dialog driven but in doing so it helps you escape the premise behind the show. You might even find sympathy, if not genuine affection, for Eden.

Check it out at you will be amazed by the phenomenal acting as well as solid writing that puts this show in a class of its own.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Webisodes Part 2: The Guild

A show I synced with is The Guild, featuring up and coming actress Felicia Day (WB: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bring it on Again and June). The show touches on a subject that has gotten little attention but is very real, internet addiction. The Guild surrounds the escapades of a group of friends addicted to an online fantasy game where the only human interaction the group has successfully is inside the game. It clicks because it puts a face to something that many people forget about on the internet, behind every avatar or screen name is a real person. Even though the show is driven by a concept many might not identify with, massive online role playing games (MMORPG), it pushes beyond that and gives us a humorous look into what happens when people get too wrapped up in the surreal to realize that behind it all is something all to real. The show touches base with a lot of people because not only does she write about online gaming but she is also a self proclaimed gamer, how sexy is that? (Trust me for men that's sexy.) One of the the things that makes this show work is that it takes average people and gives them a voice and face. The acting all around in this show is top notch with solid laughs and a story that, even though absurd, engrosses the viewer into the life of a internet addict.

Check it out at then you'll want to pick up the Season 1 & 2 DVD available now, the link will have information on purchasing both seasons. I promise you will laugh and shake your head in wonder. Keep in mind that Felicia Day is also the script writer, and the producer for this show. Check out the actor bios for the show as well, I’m sure you’ll see them all in the mainstream soon enough.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Webisodes: The Face of Internet Television Part 1

Webisodes are not new, they have been around for a couple years but if you have missed them, no worry's, I'm going to bring you up to speed. Webisodes consist of short films in general, running on average around 5 minutes long. In many ways they rival the prime time television we all love to watch. They're successful because they bring together ideas and concepts that might not make it to prime time. I wanted to touch base on some webisodes I thought rise above the rest, that explore unique concepts that we might not see on broadcast television. So the next few blogs will be about some of my favorite webisodes. If you have a show that you think deserves attention, please let me know, I'll be sure to spread the word!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The First Blog is Always the Hardest

I have always felt that, no matter how many differences people have, television always gives people something in common. Certain programs draw people together no matter what differences they may have. If you have nothing to talk about, television is that icebreaker that lets people connect. You may not vote for the same politician, you might not practice the same religion, but you can always watch the same television show. It's something that everyone can find in common. Television expands horizons and introduces people to new things, it transcends borders and cultural barriers, because television at it's heart contains that human quotient that brings people together. Although a lot of times television, like most everything, is subjective to the viewer, an excellent program will have many layers that appeals to a mass audience.

Television critics have a hard task before them, because they've chosen that awful task of finding both the good and bad in something that often appeals to the masses. Critics often forget that their opinion is not golden, we all are entitled to one, and I believe we must all respect the criticism of others. So in choosing to critique something that is both popular and personal they must do so with respect. To say something is just awful or just beautiful does little to express ones point. Critiquing television is like describing the different flavors in a dish, you must be able to explain the difference in taste, but also have an understanding of why it tastes the way it does, it goes beyond just chewing and swallowing, beyond the simple act of of saying it is good or bad. It delves into that land that many of us forget, the artistic component that binds what we love together, whether that be food, sports, television or literature.

We also must remember that television is there to entertain, and whether the shows we choose are dramas, comedies, documentaries or reality television, they must always do so by being provocative. We are all able to decide what is good and what is bad and seldom do we sit and try to quantify the traits that make a good program. Yet its those traits that decide whether a show will survive the season to start a new, or be shelved and cast aside with little regard to the viewers own judgment on it's worth. To be honest critics have little control over whether a show succeeds or not, many shows that have gotten bad reviews by critics have survived by appealing to their audiences. That is where the true power of television lays, in the audience, in your choices not the critics.

I hope you continue to check in and read this blog, some days it might be me writing other days it might be someone else. I think you will find whats written here to be fair but most importantly entertaining.