Wednesday, March 09, 2005

From the No shit file:

Get Dan Rather back! We have a ground breaking story!

The New York Post reported that the talking head shows that have invaded our cable airwaves are fake! Those witty comics, magazine writers and actors (that you've never ever seen before) are told what to say! You mean that guy from In Touch Mag. didn't think of that Britny Spears joke on his own?

You can't watch a show with someone looking askew to the camera and saying something snide.

It started with "We Love the 70's, 80's, and 90's" then they caught up with the times and made "Best Last Week Ever." It's people who don't necessarily have anything to do with the subject or any authority at all commenting on a subject. Why is wrestler Jerico talking about the 70's?

Well, it turns out that these people are prompted by evil producers! NO SHIT! It's still TV. It's job is to entertain. Why get someone who is qualified to talk about the 70's when you can get a chippy wrestler? Why get Jimmy Carter? Or the Iron Sheik for that matter?

It helps move the story along. These people are there to serve the story.

This producer quoted in the story was so offended that he was told to say things that he did what any whistle blower would do...he wrote a play and is plugging it in this article.

Good thing he had nothing to gain. How much plot could this play have? And does it have a narrator who talks to the camera?

In the article writers complain that they are invited to do these shows and then producers coach some of their answers. Well yeah. Why? Because you write for a music magazine the whole world needs to hear your opinion on Michael Jaskson's charges or Courtney Love's child costudy? Are you an expert because you're an editor of a gossip mag that prints the same type of trash that the show is showing?

At least it's not a one man show.

It's got to be the shortest play int he world.

Evil Producer: "Thank you for coming to "1000 worst hair moments in Duran Duran history. Tell me about Simon."

Poor pained writer: "Oh, thank you. I'm only here to inform the world of the history of the greatest pop band's hair do's and don'ts. I'm doing God's work, really.
Ok, Simon's hair now..."

Evil Producer: "Say his hair is different than the eighties."

PPW: "I can't! I have what's it called...integrity. I write for Us Magazine. I've had three covers, two were Brad and Jen Break ups and the third was one of the Bachelors."

EP: "You are right. Please tell the world what you really think of Simon's hair?"

And scene.
from ny post

March 8, 2005 -- IF you adore guilty-pleasure shows like VH1's "Behind the
Music," "The Fabulous Life" or "Best Week Ever," get ready for a reality

You know those fast-talking commentators who wittily expound on the trials
and vices of your favorite celebrities?

I've been there. I once participated in an episode of "The Fabulous Life" about Cameron Diaz. The producer asked questions like, "Wouldn't you say Cameron has a real knack for combining high and low fashion?" and I was expected to parrot back, bubbling with enthusiasm, "Cameron has such a knack for combining high and low fashion!!"

Although I didn't cooperate, I was invited to do more shows, but declined.

It was a series of similar experiences that prompted Marc Spitz, a senior writer at Spin magazine, to write his play, a 45-minute, five-man production playing at the intimate Under St. Marks Theater in the East Village.

"These shows are evil," says Spitz. "They're like a virus in the culture. When I started doing them to promote magazine pieces, they were a bit more sincere. But they've gotten worse."

Spitz finally lost his cool after doing a show on Axl Rose. "They kept asking me, 'But Axl Rose was crazy, huh? He started a riot and went nuts on his supermodel girlfriend, didn't he?' It was like they were throwing bait at me, and I wouldn't say what they wanted me to say and I just walked out.

Complete Story

Friday, March 04, 2005

Don't Quote Me
I'm sick and tired of expensive computer-generated animated movies that substitute humor with pop culture references. The Shrek films pulled it off mainly because they're nothing more than Disney piss-takes, and everyone loves pissing on Disney, you know? But I'd rather listen to Michael Ian Black talk about "Diff'rent Strokes" than watch Shark Tale or Robots. It seems like a lot of effort to anthropomorphize sharks and robots just so they can say "Is that your final answer?" or name-check popular movies. What sort of fantasy world would have talking animals that use slang, make potty jokes, and reference Matrix movies? Why is that funny?

Also, as a cartoon fan, why aren't any professional voice talents like Billy West or Tom Kenny used more in these films? Or am I supposed to regress into childlike wonder hearing Jada Pinkett Smith voicing a hippo?

Needless to say, the latest CG film, Robots, wasn't really on my must-watch list. The latest TV ads feature a glowing blurb from none other than Earl Dittman, whose praises are usually attached to bad movies. Dittman, a real person who once appeared on Jimmy Kimmel, writes for the elusive Wireless Magazine and tends to have glowing things to say about garbage films (he likes The Pacifier, for example). Even with that said, the Robots ad rubs wrong.

The first sentence that appears in the Robots ad reads:

"More Incredible than the Incredibles" - Earl Dittman, Wireless Magazine

The next two sentences read:

The Ride of Your Life.
The Most Amazing Action Ever Put on Film.

Notice something missing with the last two quotes? There's no quotation marks surrounding them. So, are the last two statements (which seem a little too hyperbolic, even for Dittman) actual quotes from Earl's review? Or are they statements written by the marketing department and placed after a quote to make it seem like they're part of a review? Maybe the unquoted blurbs are written by an army of Earl Dittman robots. Either way, it seems deceitful to me. But what do I know? I don't find Robots making piss jokes either the ride of my life or the most amazing action ever put on film.