Sunday, September 01, 2002

Friday, September 27, 2002
Things I'm tired of hearing about…
These subjects are OVER. DONE. Please, for the love of humanity, these subjects need to banished.

Things I'm tired of hearing about:

1. Jennifer Lopez’s ass. When referring to large-back-ended women, you can no longer say “Like J-Lo.” She's not the only one with a big back-end. Have you watched The Parkers? Plus her ass ain’t all that big. And enough about Puffy, Af-Flack, and her. I'm tired of hearing about her personal life. It's even in the local news. By the time you get to # 5, she'll be married to someone else.
2. Britney Spears. She's blonde, white white teeth, breasts that change size week to week, I get it. Enough. She doesn't need to be all over the place. Every poster, soda can, radio, movie, even the local news.
3. Destiny’s Child. See “Britney.”
4. The girl from American Idol. She's not fat. Obviously no one cares what she weighs, since she won the ultimate beauty contest. I hate hearing that now she's famous she needs to lose weight because of "the business." She's already a star. Her single is flying off the shelf. What more does she need? Obviously, no one cares... She doesn't weigh that much! The weight talk is Bullshit!
5. The Osbournes. Sure, it's a great show, but then what? It's been off the air for months. but there's more mentions and updates of the family since they went off the air than when their show aired.
6. Saying "Pardon my French". Whenever someone says, "Fuck," "Shit," "Motherfucker," or "This guy was such a jerk," they follow it with "Pardon my French." The French do a lot crappy things, but using American curse words isn't one of them. Just own it and blame the French for other stuff, like WWII.
7. Anna Nicole Smith Show. That show sucks. They just exploit her. You can feel that the Osbournes had love and caring about the subject even when they showed them in a silly light. But on E!, it feels like they want to make her look stupid so that they can shock the audience. The show is bad and mean; that's why the ratings are half of the premiere episode.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Are you Kidding?

''Barbershop'' jokes anger civil rights activists. Despite apologies from the filmmakers and MGM over barbs about Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, Jesse Jackson wants the offending lines cut from the video.

What Cedric said on the movie was a joke and it brought up a different point of view. Jackson is looking for attention. It's no coincidence that "Barbershop" is the #1 film in the country two weeks in a row and Jackson has to get in the papers over it. He's just looking for attention. Jesse, get off your Public Relations soap box and stay outta Tinsel Town -- and Hymietown for that matter.

I saw the movie with my mom and a packed audience. Everyone found what Cedric was saying funny. Some people reacted a little out of sorts, but they didn't cry or rush the screen. I thought the movie was funny; mom thought it was da bomb.

Jeez, I sound like an AM talk radio guy.
"This is The Media Yenta for Gold Bold medicated powder..."

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Monday, September 23, 2002
Ok, after a good night's sleep, I can see Friends winning best sitcom. I voted in this category and gave the eight-year-old sitcom a much lower vote than the other shows. Who knew? I voted, now I'm disappointed. I haven't felt this disillusioned since GWB won Florida.

The West Wing? That show wins every year. It's not any better than Sic[sic] Feet Under, 24 (which was inconsistent at best), or even Law & Older.

The NYC Times had an article on Sunday saying that the Emmys get too redundant and boring because the same people win every year. Why not go out of your way and recognize a new show that does new things? Certainly giving the award to Michael (not the) Commishlicks and the guy who writes Bernie Mac were highlights because it was new and different. It was good to see real good and interesting shows that took chances win.
Blessed Wing isn't new b/c it isn't new. Every year it beats HBO shows that deserve it more. The only difference is that it stole the award from 6' Under, not the Sopranos.
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Sunday, September 22, 2002
Friends? What the fuck? West Wing? Emmys are tired! I voted for best sitcom, and the opposite won!
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Saturday, September 21, 2002
Taking a stand, Any Stand

On E! News Barely, they showed Jack Osbourne on his way into a premiere. He told the producer, on camera, that he wasn't going to talk to the entertainment channel because they run the Anna Nicole Show.

What? They just copied MTV's idea of featuring a washed-up celebrity and reviving their career. It isn't like they copied his life or threw oranges at his home.

Take your $400 eyebrow ring home and relax.

Did Jack and MTV invent the reality show? No, of course not. Who did? Don't say Survivor. "Survi...nothing, I wasn't saying anything."

It's called a "documentary"! Documentaries have been around since way before TV networks started kidnapping people and making them live in the same house and eat worms. A reality show is just a documentary set to good music and with better-looking people.

Also, E! is not a news network, but a promotional network. They do "stories" that promote things, like bands, and reality TV shows. Why alienate them? It is important to take a stand (I still won't watch "Police Academy VIII" for political reasons). I just don't think it's such an important stand.

So they stole the idea that someone else thought of -- what's the big deal? It's not like E! underpays their staff, giving producers almost half of the going rate. Now that would be a tragedy.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2002
Spotting talent in the Mall
The movie "Frailty" comes out soon on video and DVD. It's really good and scary.
I saw it at the huge multiplex in Los Angeles' latest hip, huge mall. The theater was packed and we all gasped at the same times. Real good stuff.
The movie lets out and everyone, on cue, turns on their cell phones. The beeping of rejuvenated phones fill the air. Ahhh... Hollywood.

As I was waiting for Diana to come out of the theater, I overheard -- ok, easdropped on -- this guy in the phone.
"The movie was great. Very scary, " he Siskel & Eberted. "The direction was great. This director really knew what he was doing. He should work more. You should look into him."

The director that this guy "discovered?" Only Bill Paxton. (Not the guy from "Independence Day," the other one.)
Paxton ain't no spring chicken, he's Chet, for Chet's sake.
This guy on the phone made a discovery of a lifetime. He discovered a famous actor's directorial debut in a major release! What a lazy visionary.
"I just saw 'Road to Perdition' -- that Tom Hanks is great. That Paul Newman should work more, maybe do a western or a prison movie."

Isn't that how Tom Cruise was discovered? An agent walked out of Mission Impossible II (MI2 to those in the know) and said, "We gotta have him. I don't care what anyone says."

Saturday, September 14, 2002
Your life, new show

In honor of the soon-to-be-canceled "Hidden Hills," I have rented the "Current Ratings American Programmer 3000."
"Hidden Hills"' slogan is "Your life, only funnier."
Reader Kendoka wrote in, nay, challenged the Media Yenta saying that his (her) life couldn't be a sitcom. I ran down to my local "Bo Jinkin's Rental Palace" ("Rippin' off the poor since 1927") and got the "C.R.A.P. 3000." This machine can take vital info or popular trends and turn them into new TV shows. This machine has been used for years to "create" new shows.

Post or email me a little something about you (also male or female) and I'll put it in the TV-show-making machine and come out with a pitchable pitch. Don't think you can stump me; the "C.R.A.P. 3000" is up to the challenge. Please, only a couple of sentences. We don't need a lot of info to make a show. After 5 submissions, I'll put them in the machine and crank out some TV. I'll post the results.

Networks use "C.R.A.P. 5000," which is like the "C.R.A.P. 3000" but has more bells and whistles, including actual bells and whistles. The "C.R.A.P. 5000" explains why next year we have 5 new shows about specialized cops (mostly on CBS), two new medical dramas in the same time slot, at least two sitcoms about the behind-the-scenes at a morning show and one that takes place in a news station.

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Friday, September 13, 2002
First Casualty
The First Show to be cancelled

Prediction: First show to get cut
NBC's Hidden Hills. It just feels like a loser.

The Slogan is "Like your life, but funnier."
AKA: The slogan of desperation.
It feels like they had no other way to sell the show, so they went for the "relatability" factor.
Think "Family Circus", but less funny.

Like you'll get all excited! "WOO HOO! A show about my life! But funnier! I've been waiting years for this!"

The obligatory "kicked in the balls" gag.

The family is just like mine? Really? When did I get a well-lit house and hot younger wife and 3.5 children? When did I become the perfect Goy?

Am I promoting the show by putting pictures up from it? Am I helping the show succeed by putting it down? No. I could pick up 1,000 Nielsen families and duct-tape them to the couch and make them watch "Hidden Hills" "Clockwork Orange" style, and the show would still fail.
I give "Hidden Hills" two weeks before it's canned.
Look for a bonus "Frasier."
Maybe little Billy will write an episode.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2002
OK, Who's the Sick Fuck?
One accidental reader was looking for some sick shit.

If you go to the site meter you can see the (low) numbers of people who log in and where they came from.
A lot of times people find yenta haven because they're looking for something else. That's the case with this sicko. Here's the search:

This guy was looking for a video of people jumping from the World Trade Center last year. On the first anniversary of the worst day in American history, this guy wants to see the "Faces of Death" version.

I'm sorry that my site couldn't help you find the tapes of people jumping to their deaths because they didn't want to burn to death. But instead, can I offer you college girls who want to bare it all? Have fun.

Monday, September 09, 2002
The Heat Is On Again

Spotted: Ad at bus stop.
Show: CSI: Miami
Slogan: "Feel the Heat"
Problem: Two
First: That was the name of a song from 1985.
Request: Can we get something more recent? What about "It's Hot in Herre?"
Second: "The Heat is on" because the new show takes place in Miami. As the Kids say, "It's hot as balls all up in Miami."
Observation: The original CSI show takes place in Las Vegas, known for... well... heat.
Realization: Oh, the show takes place in Miami, like Miami Vice.
Still, I don't get it.

Other show taking place in Miami: "Good Morning, Miami."
Number of Glenn Frey songs: Zero
Slogan: "We'll be canceled in a week and replaced with a repeat of 'Will and Grace.'"

Sunday, September 08, 2002
And Viewers like who?

In a time long ago, before cable... growing up, PBS was a symbol of quality. They always aired great shows and news that the other stations wouldn't air. There was a pride and arrogance that went on with that network. People would get real snobby and say they never watch TV, ever, except for the Public Broadcasting Service. At the time, the government gave a substantial amount of money to the stations, allowing them to beg less.

Over the years the government has been cutting back on their spending on PBS. The stations beg more and show more commercials. Even the snobbiest show of them all, "Master Beast Theater", has added the name of an oil company to their name.
The question now, in the age of cable and such: Do we need PBS?
Can't we get British mysteries, documentaries on WWII, and children's shows on cable?

What part of PBS serves the Public? Could the US of A get by in our post-September 11th world without the broadcaster? Was there outcry in the Heartland for "Yan Can Cook"? Will we get along in this country without "This Old House"?

The idea that we "need" to support this style of programming floors me.
"It's commercial-free and I don't want my kids exposed to so many ads."
Not true -- before the show starts, they present the "underwriters," who usually sell kids' clothes or toys. Plus the shows are cut into segments, training kids to be used to commercial interruptions. Also, if you want your kids not to see commercials, turn off the TV.

As a taxpayer: Keep it. It creates jobs and gives another voice out there. Taxes are spent on more useless things than TV.
As a TV Producer: Keep it. The more jobs out there, the better.
As a viewer: Who cares?

(use the tag board to comment)

A Late Happy New Year

To all my Jewish readers. I am Jewish (see my photo), but I'm a little rusty. Someone asked me what year this was; I couldn't tell them. "Year of the Rabbit?"

Sunday, September 01, 2002
Take your prize... please

Recently, my brother wrote about puzzles and Will Shortz doing his weekly radio game on NPR's Weekend Edition.

I just want to say one thing that's always bothered me about his puzzle segment -- well, two things. I've been listening to him do the game on the show for maybe five or six years now. I even remember his first time on the air. He sounded uncomfortable, monotone, and lifeless. I figured it was first-time jitters. HE STILL SOUNDS THAT WAY!

Well, that's fine. But what's really crazy is the prize hasn't changed, either. Since the inception the prize has been a "Weekend Edition" lapel pin.You heard me right. Not a t-shirt or a bag. A cheap-ass lapel pin. To win this thing, you have to figure out the game from the week before, send in a postcard to the show, get picked, then play on the air. All this for a tin pin. I know it's public radio, but at least throw in a napkin from the cafeteria or a coaster or something.
This "prize" is more useless than a Cable Ace Award or the website award that TVBarn begs you to vote for them for. (That last sentence was shameful. Sorry, grammar fans.)

When someone wins, I wait for this exchange:
"We are sending you a Weekend Edition Lapel pin."
I thought I won.
"You did."
What do I get if I lose? Do you take my liver?

When can you wear this thing? At a wedding? An awards show? A job interview? This prize is more useless than one of those spoons you get at a gift shop.

So the next time you waffle about giving money to NPR, just ask them to figure out a riddle, put it on a card and hope to be picked.

Friday, October 18, 2002

Media Y. doesn't judge. Just put the Idol down

To Fox,

Slow down with the "American Idol" stuff. You're reaching too far into the stash. Captain Jack will get you high (ratings) tonight, but not at the risk of your schedule. Have you seen what you've done? In a drunken-from-success binge, you've cut back on the number of episodes of three of your sitcoms. Scaling back "Grounded for Life," "Andy Richter Should've Stayed," or "The Grubs" is only a temporary fix to make room for instant satisfaction.

After the great reality shows fade out a little, you'll still need something to keep viewers coming back. There'll be nothing there. Reality shows are great, don't get me wrong, but don't throw out the baby with the bathwater in the bush with two birds of a prey that flock together.

Save the episodes of the sitcoms for new summer airings, or to fill that huge gap you're gonna have on Friday after you can those two shows.

Have you not learned anything from "Millionaire?"

ABC was wacked out on the stuff and dropped 3-4 hours of programming to fit in that quick fix. Now look at them. They got no shows. Do you want to be stealing shows from USA basic cable or be forced to pick up "George Lopez"?

Who wants to be a "Millionaire?" Not me, Reeg.

Did you notice
The shows FOX did cut back on weren't doing that well in the ratings. They ain't dropping "Bernie Mac" or "Malcolm."

Be Honest
How bad was that intervention thing? I'm trying to spice things up here! Give me a break. Look at what time I'm posting!

Thursday, October 17, 2002
Must Watch

Boomtown on NBC, Sundays at ten, after the Sopranos.
It's a really cool show. It has the same feel of "Run, Lola, Run." The stories are seen from different points of view: the cop, the victim, the criminal, the guy on the street passing by, etc. They really pull it off. This show is worth checking out.

It's what I was saying before, different and good. The style moves the story along. It services the story.
For me to say something positive, it must be good.

You can watch Larry David piss people off in repeats every night of the week. Maybe NBC should double pump the show. News reports say that NBC is interested in buying Bravo, partly because they can double-run their shows. This show would fit in perfectly.

The ratings are dropping, so catch it before it gets canned and replaced with"Law and Order: The New Class" starring Screech.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

A comedian friend of mine told me a variation on the joke about Florida's weather.
If you don't like an executive at VH1, just wait a minute.

Apparently, VH0's ratings are at an all-time low. In fact, it's zero. After launching and then quickly canceling the "New Face of VH0," it's back to the basic-cable drawing board.

Right now, the cabler is showing programming from other stations. "MTV Diary" and MTV news specials, TV Land sitcoms like "Happy Days", and "Movies that Rock" with no rock, like "Bull Durham."
Snide response: Looks like Fonzie isn't the only one that jumped a shark.

It's filler until they launch another new face. This station has more faces than (insert name of actress over 40 or Jackson here). They had a funny show, "Late World with Zack." They canned the show after a few weeks. Either keep the strange and funny show on longer, or don't put it on at all.

The age-old question: Why not videos?

Viewers always complain that there's never enough videos and they should show more videos. VH0 and MTV keep saying that that's not true and people only say that, but the low #s don't reflect that.

So what? Lower than a showing of "House Party 2."
Tonight is the "VH0 Fashion Awards." So what? Who cares? Four queens in Bed-Stuy. This is more select than the Tonys.
Of course they still have their one ratings-getter, "Behind the Music". VH0 can be on their own show, "One-Hit Wonders".

Friday, October 11, 2002
Self-Serving Causes

Jerry Seinfeld complaining on Jay Leno about how he’s sick of reality shows. You know, the ones that are cheaper to make and have actual tension and drama.

“Don’t you agree, people?” the comic asks.

On cue, the audience applauds.

Leno agrees with him.

Then they show a clip of Seinfeld’s new documentary on Leno’s talk show.

(Get it? A reality show is nothing more than a documentary with hot people and better music. The big complaint is that it takes money away from actors and writers. Doesn’t Seinfeld’s new documentary do that also?)

Actors and writers hate reality shows because it takes jobs and residuals from them. I say it’s competition. If you made better scripted shows, people would watch them. Bad shows, scripted and reality, get canceled when people think the show is crap and don’t want to watch it.

The first two shows canned from the new season were dramas. Stupid ones at that. One was about a guy who can go back to his high school in the '80s and he’s from the present. Yeah, big deal, so what? After the first episode, when he makes out with the hot chick, punches the bully, and tells his guidance counselor she was wrong, then what? For those of you who like the plot, go to the WB. They have a sitcom version of the same plot.

This is what I’m talking about. There are multiple shows starting this year with the same plot. Why not do something different, like make a good show? Watch the "sitcoms by the numbers" on CBS’ Monday night. Every show has a blue-collar guy, pushy in-laws, and the tolerant wife who loves him. (I stole that from somewhere, I think EW.)

Different is good; a good show is better.

One show that was different, but crappy, was also shit-canned today. The other show was Push, Nevada.
If you matched up the clues you could win a million dollars.
A show so bad that it had to bribe people to watch it. Now that the show is ending soon, by law, ABC has to jam in the clues and give away a million in prize money. That’s on top of the money they lost on the show.

My guess is that they bought the show because Ben Af-flack was attached to it. Just because there’s a celeb that will back a show doesn’t mean people will watch it.

“I’ve been watching Push, Nevada for 14 years. I hate the show, but Ben Af-flack is the EP and I love his ‘Changin' Lanes.'”

Sunday, October 06, 2002
Armchair Programmer

Give Fear Factor a rest. This season opener rated lower than last year. Meaning people are a little tired of that same old shit. (ratings come out today for last night. Let's see if I eat my words.)
Put on Dog Almost Drown Dog or Meet the Parents. Then bring the Fear show back for November sweeps. In Sweeps, replace an ailing show or two sitcoms that air on a Tuesday night and one that's called Inlaws.

You should move CSI from 9 p.m. after Survivor to 10 p.m. and put Without a Trace or Robbery Homicide Division on at 9 p.m.
Let's face it, er is getting old. Why not go head to head with it with some real power? Like when CBS put its reality show against Friends. It threw NBC for a loop. For a minute, at least.

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Uncredited quote of the day:
"There are no easy paths to success in show biz. Scientology is pretty damn close."

Saturday, October 05, 2002
Movie: "Igby Goes Down"
Good?: Yes, very
Ryan Phillippe: Also good
But why does he ALWAYS do that phoney-baloney, snooty, Connecticut rich boy, 1985 rich kid's asshole friend accent in every role?
It was campy and over the top in "Cruel Intentions," After that you thought he'd try something different, like a real accent. It's like Keanu Reeves in "Bill and Ted."
After the movie the other guy, Alex Winter, talked normally and even directed a couple of funny movies. So you realize that it was just an acting choice. But Key-an-hoo! Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude, that was just him.

Maybe Ryan should worry more about his acting and less about how much more money his wife makes.

Even the name of that film was over the top. "Look out! These rich kids don't have nice intentions, good-hearted intentions, or even well intentions. It's CRUEL INTENTIONS!!

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Friday, October 04, 2002
Excuse: Wedding
Wedding: Texas
Flight: American Airlines
Class: Low (coach)
Saw on plane: Joey Lauren Adams
Class: Also in coach
Question: Why was a movie star in coach?
Yes: Were people asking her who she was?
First class: thousands
Coach: hundreds
Chasing Amy: her last film

No: Did that screechy voice disrupt the captain?
Realization: Maybe that's why she was in coach...
She's not allowed to talk within 15 feet of the driver

Also seen: generic Alternative Comedian
Seen: at Starbucks
Sell out: I don't want to hear any more of your whiny bits about how only drones and Yuppies Drink Corporate coffee.

Question: If I have a (310) cell phone, but I live in the (323), does that make me a yuppie?

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