EppsNet Archive: Television

Chuck Barris, 1929-2017

22 Mar 2017 /
The Gong Show Chuck Barris 1976.jpg

Chuck Barris was well ahead of his time in recognizing how many Americans are willing to make an ass of themselves on television.

The quote below is from the movie based on his book Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. I don’t know if the quote is actually in the book but I include it here nonetheless . . .

When you are young, your potential is infinite. You might do anything, really. You might be Einstein. You might be DiMaggio. Then you get to an age where what you might be gives way to what you have been. You weren’t Einstein. You weren’t anything.

That’s a bad moment.

RIP Chuck Barris


Mary Tyler Moore, 1936-2017

25 Jan 2017 /
Mary Tyler Moore

I gave up watching TV about 20 years ago when I realized that for 10 years before that, I hadn’t seen anything I enjoyed watching, just people with strained expressions on their faces saying nonsensical things to each other.

My fondest memory of television is the CBS Saturday night lineup that I watched as a kid: All in the Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show, and I will always have fond memories of Mary Tyler Moore.

RIP MTM

Footnote: Those shows were followed on Saturday nights by The Carol Burnett Show, which I didn’t watch because Carol Burnett was not funny.

Not to say women can’t be funny, but it seems like the women with the greatest comedic reputations — Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, for example — are never funny.

To be fair, Harvey Korman and Tim Conway were not funny either.


Relative Importance

19 Dec 2016 /

On Facebook, a mass murder in Berlin is exactly as important as a 1980s sitcom character . . .

facebook


Is There an “Anti-Queer” Climate?

16 Jun 2016 /
Doogie Howser

Christian conservatives are responsible for the mass shooting at a gay bar in Orlando because they “created this anti-queer climate,” according to American Civil Liberties Union attorneys.

Agree that the summer climate in Orlando can be pretty oppressive but it’s just as bad for straight people.

Haha, but seriously folks, is there an “anti-queer climate” in America? I don’t see that. Can you think of 10 or 12 recent examples of “anti-queer” behavior that you’ve observed in your own life? Six? One? I can’t.

Quite the opposite: If a bakery doesn’t want to put two men on a wedding cake, it’s a national outrage. If a state doesn’t want penises in women’s bathrooms or locker rooms, it’s a national outrage.

America loves gays. Who in America is more beloved than Ellen and that Doogie Howser kid?

Now if you ask me “Is there an anti-Christian conservative climate in America?” I would say — and I’m neither a Christian nor a conservative — definitely yes.


Doors That Didn’t Necessarily Need to Be Closed

12 Jun 2016 /

You know, you spend your childhood watching TV, assuming that a some point in the future everything you see there will one day happen to you: that you too will win a Formula One race, hop a train, foil a group of terrorists, tell someone ‘Give me the gun,’ etc. Then you start secondary school and suddenly everyone’s asking you about your career plans and your long-term goals, and by goals they don’t mean the kind you are planning to score in the FA Cup. Gradually the awful truth dawns on you: that Santa Claus was just the tip of the iceberg — that your future will not be the rollercoaster ride you’d imagined, that the world occupied by your parents, the world of washing the dishes, going to the dentist, weekend trips to the DIY superstore to buy floor tiles is actually largely what people mean when they speak of ‘life.’ Now, with every day that passes, another door seems to close, the one marked PROFESSIONAL STUNTMAN or FIGHT EVIL ROBOT, until the weeks go by and the doors — GET BITTEN BY SNAKE, SAVE WORLD FROM ASTEROID, DISMANTLE BOMB WITH SECONDS TO SPARE — keep closing, you begin to hear the sound as a good thing, and start closing some yourself, even ones that didn’t necessarily need to be closed . . .

— Paul Murray, Skippy Dies

The State of Motherhood in America

6 May 2016 /

Mothers Day surprise

I’m in an office this morning where a TV is tuned to Good Morning, America . . . it’s Mothers Day weekend and a woman is being honored because she has children, who are now grown, and she prioritized the children in her life and made sacrifices for them.

That’s where we are in the 21st century — a mother who centers her life around her children is a national phenomenon.

Can’t wait for Fathers Day . . .


Watching Kobe’s Last Game

13 Apr 2016 /

Lightning


USC Drumline Plays with Questlove

21 Feb 2016 /

This would be a better video without Fallon but you take the bad with the good and Fight On!


The People v. O.J. Simpson

31 Jan 2016 /
O.J. Simpson

There’s a miniseries coming out called The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. I’m not going to watch it, not for any singular reason — I don’t watch other TV shows either — but I don’t remember the Simpson trial having a great deal of entertainment value.

  1. The trial proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Simpson was guilty, even though a guilty verdict was not returned.
  2. Eight of the 12 trial jurors were black women. The prosecution believed that the jurors would identify with the female victim. The defense team believed that the jurors would identify with the black murderer. The defense was right.
  3. Conventional wisdom says that anyone who can’t get out of a lengthy term of jury service is not very bright. Only two of the Simpson jurors had a college degree. One never finished high school. The prosecution bored and confused them with DNA evidence. The defense gave them a nursery rhyme. You know the result.

The 30 Most Anticipated TV Shows

19 Jan 2016 /
Thomas Jefferson

My fellow Americans —

I just saw a link to The 30 Most Anticipated TV Shows of 2016. How many TV shows do you people have if thirty of them are the most anticipated?!

Some despotic regimes around the world rely on starvation and threats of violence to keep the people in a state of submissive compliance. Here in America, the same collective stupor is effected via mindless entertainments and gadgetry.

I’d like to see my countrymen raise themselves out of depression, paralysis and failure and resist this massive government/corporate dystopia — But I might miss my TV programs, said the serfs and lackeys.

Thomas Jefferson


Frankie Ford, 1939-2015

4 Oct 2015 /

I have a quote for you on that “One-Hit Wonder” thing. I’d like to go on record right here saying, whoever that disc jockey was that coined that phrase, well he’s a no-hit wonder! I mean, it can get rude. A DJ did that to me one time in his introduction. I turned to him and said, “Well, you’re a no-hit wonder. What have you ever done?” Some people have five records that sell a million each. Some sell none. I’ve had one that sold 30 million! And I’ve outlived that one record. I’ve been 38 years at this and it’s still going.

RIP, Frankie Ford


Cheaper Than Wallpaper

27 Sep 2015 /

Donald Trump

From the 60 Minutes interview with Donald Trump:

Scott Pelley: I was in your office . . . All the pictures on the wall are pictures of you.

Donald Trump: –well, it’s cheaper than wallpaper.


Lose the Pastels and the Mopey Attitude

9 Jul 2015 /

Human of New York

  1. Americans love gay people. Since this photo has been posted, it has 60,000 shares, 60,000 comments (including presidential candidates) and 640,000 (that’s six hundred and forty thousand) likes. In the short time since the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling there’s been a national competition to see who can demonstrate the most elation about it. (OK, if you’re gay, a few bad apples will dislike you based on that alone but that’s true if you’re identifiable as a member of any group, which we all are.)
  2. I’m afraid about the future. I’m afraid people won’t like me. Leave out the part about being homosexual and you could post a picture of anyone. The percentage of Americans who can’t get through the day without medication — I’m including self-medication via alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, food, etc. — is a lot closer to 100 than it is to zero. Nobody’s life is a fairy tale, kid.
  3. How old is this boy? He looks about 10. Is he really old enough to have fully sussed out his own sexuality? Maybe he is but it seems far from certain.
  4. Find some role models, like Ellen and that Doogie Howser kid. Lose the pastels and the mopey attitude. Dress like a man and keep it peppy.

Doogie Howser   Ellen


Yes, I’m Ready for the Big Game!

1 Feb 2015 /

People keep asking me, “Lightning, are you ready for the Big Game?” OF COURSE I’M READY FOR THE BIG GAME! Look at me … how could I be any more ready than I already am?!

P.S. Wake me up if there are any pug commercials this year.

— Lightning paw

Lightning 2015-02-01


The College Football Playoff is Working

3 Jan 2015 /

Under the old two-team BCS format, the teams that lost the semifinal games — Alabama and Florida State — would likely have played each other in the championship game, while the two winners — Oregon and Ohio State — would likely have been voted out.

Florida State, as the defending champs and only undefeated team, would have been in for sure, while Ohio State would have just as certainly been out. That leaves Alabama and Oregon. One would have had to be dropped and it probably would have been Oregon.

Four teams is still not enough (see TCU’s 42-3 blowout of Mississippi State) to be able to say that none of the teams voted out was good enough to win it.

Also: I am sick unto death of the goddamn Larry Culpepper commercials. Enough of that already.


More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of

3 Jan 2015 /

Larry Culpepper


People I Thought Were Dead

3 Jan 2015 /
  • Al Kaline – baseball player, Detroit Tigers
  • Wink Martindale – game show host

Donna Douglas, 1933-2015

2 Jan 2015 /

Donna Douglas was 81?! This is how I remember her:

Donna Douglas

R.I.P. Donna Douglas


The Hedgehog and the Fox

6 Dec 2014 /

Stuffed hedgehogs outside a store in Athens

Hedgehogs “know one big thing” and have a theory about the world: they account for particular events within a coherent framework, bristle with impatience toward those who don’t see things their way, and are confident in their forecasts. They are also especially reluctant to admit error. For hedgehogs, a failed prediction is almost always “off only on timing” or “very nearly right.” They are opinionated and clear, which is exactly what television producers love to see on programs. Two hedgehogs on different sides of an issue, each attacking the idiotic ideas of the adversary, make for a good show.

Foxes, by contrast, are complex thinkers. They don’t believe that one big thing drives the march of history . . . Instead the foxes recognize that reality emerges from the interactions of many different agents and forces, including blind luck, often producing large and unpredictable outcomes. . . . They are less likely than hedgehogs to be invited to participate in television debates.

Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow

More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of: “He Was Even Better as a Person”

12 Aug 2014 /
Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi greeting supporters from Bago State on 14 August 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A person named Will Arnett was taping the Conan O’Brien show yesterday when they found out about Robin Williams’ untimely demise.

Arnett said this: “As funny as he was — he’s truly one of the all-time greats — he was even better as a person.”

That’s a reliable formulation: As great as he was as a [thing the person was known to be great at], he was even better as a person.

Of course because the person was known to be an outlier at the one thing, he (or she) was almost certainly NOT even better as a person.

How great was Robin Williams as a comedian? Top 10? I don’t know, that’s pretty competitive . . . I’m thinking of Groucho, Cosby, Charlie Chaplin, Steve Martin, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Leno, Letterman . . .

But I’d say Top 20, definitely. So according to Will Arnett, Robin Williams was one of the 20 best people of all time!?

Was he a better person than Buddha? The Dalai Lama? Jesus? Mother Teresa? Abraham Lincoln? Gandhi? Socrates? Albert Schweitzer? Raoul Wallenberg? Nelson Mandela? Aung San Suu Kyi? Mr. Rogers? Your sweet, elderly grandma? Billions of other people doing their best to get along in the world?

I get that you might find yourself on the spot to say something nice about a person and you can’t think of anything to say but this “even better as a person” bullshit cannot be eradicated too soon in my opinion.


Next Page »