Category Archives: TV

Them cops is smart

I’m watching an episode of CSI: New York. On the show, someone is blogging, and the police are trying to find out where he’s blogging from. One of them comes up with the following bit of brilliance:

I’ll create a GUI interface using Visual Basic. It might give us an IP address.

Gail and I both literally laughed out loud. Even better, a few minutes later the same person is seen manipulating a smoothly scrolling 3-D detailed map of NYC. Sure, you can throw one of those together in minutes with VB.


The things you miss when you’re a kid

I found out something a little while ago that was a little bit disturbing. When I was a kid, I used to watch the TV show Laverne and Shirley — this would have been in the late ’70’s. I have since found out that one of the recurring jokes in the show was that Shirley and her boyfriend Carmine never had sex — Shirley refused. I had no idea about this (since I was only 8-10 at the time), so who knows how many jokes I just didn’t get while watching this show in my youth. That made me wonder what other things happened in TV shows at the time that I was not privy to because of my age and relative inexperience in the ways of the world.

Maybe Captain Stubing had a coke problem. Or maybe Steve Austin got addicted to painkillers after his surgery. Did Mr. Roarke want to make other people’s fantasies come true because he was abused as a child? Maybe Arnold and Willis got to live with rich Mr. Drummond as a reward for being confidential informants into gang-related activities in Harlem. We already know that Gilligan’s Island was a mystery drama masquerading as a comedy. Were Charlie’s Angels really hookers who solve crimes? Was Jack Tripper really gay?!?! The possibilities are endless.

24 in ’94

If you’re a fan of the TV show 24, and you know anything about computers, you have to watch this video, which places the show in 1994, rather than 2007. Not only does it capture Jack and the gang pretty well (“dammit!”), but the computer references are hilarious.

“He’s hacking into the mainframe”
“We just installed Windows 3.1, there’s no way!”

OK, so Windows 3.1 was about three years old in 1994, but still.

Enough ripping already

One of the TV shows Gail and I have liked to watch for years is Law & Order. In more recent years, we’ve also enjoyed its cousins, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. For those of you who don’t watch them, each of these shows occasionally has an episode they describe as being “Ripped from the headlines”, where they take a real-life high-profile news story, and write an episode about it. Of course, they change the names and some details and stuff, but it’s usually pretty obvious what story they’re talking about. For example, a few years ago, they did one about a man who was arrested and tried for several murders, including that of his wife’s sister. Later on, it was revealed that his wife was directly involved in the killings, and was just as evil as he was, if not more. This was the story of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. There was another one about a six-year-old beauty pageant winner who was murdered. For the most part, the stories had some obvious connections to the real-life stories, but diverged in some way as the story went on.

I think these “ripped from the headlines” episodes were fairly popular, since they began becoming more and more frequent, and then I think the writers just started getting lazy. In the last month or so, there was a L&O story about a female astronaut who suffered a mental breakdown, and drove across several states (wearing adult-sized diapers to avoid having to stop) to confront her lover and his wife. The other day, we started watching one (this was L&O:CI) involving a pudgy bleach-blonde former stripper who had become famous by marrying a 90-year-old billionaire and inheriting his estate on his death. Her 20-something son died of a drug overdose shortly after the birth of her daughter, and then she died mysteriously shortly after that. When the story started to deal with paternity issues, we got bored and turned it off.

Note to the L&O writers: enough of the “ripped from the headlines” stuff already. It’s been done. To death. Drop it. It’s one thing to write a story that vaguely resembles a news item, but when you take the news item, modify the names of the people involved, and that’s it, well, that’s hardly even worthy of the term “writing”, is it?

Battlestar Galactica

I’ve heard in a number of places about what a great show Battlestar Galactica is, so I finally rented the pilot mini-series last weekend. Gail and I have been
watching it over the last couple of days (and we’re not done yet), and I’m
very impressed. We both remember watching the original show back in the late ’70s;
it only played for one season (1978 — thanks Wikipedia),
but we both remember Starbuck, Apollo, Commander
Adama, and Boxie (annoying little kid and his weird robot dog), plus the Cylons
(with the cool red light bouncing back and forth across their face). The new
series is different but cool — Starbuck and Boomer are now female
characters (though Starbuck is still a cocky bastard; that I remember
from the original series), and some Cylons are human-looking, and the special
effects are obviously better. There are a few familiaries in the show — the
scientist Dr. Baltar looks and sounds a lot like Dr. Julian Bashir from Star Trek:
Deep Space Nine, and Colonel Tigh used to be on Cold Squad, a cop show set in
Vancouver that we used to watch. Also, one of the early scenes on Caprica is
shot at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver; I visited there when I was living
in Redmond back in ’91.

Now all I need to do is find someone who owns the first season on DVD and
borrow it! I could probably find them on the internet and download them, but
that would be illegal. Then again, if I were to download them, watch them once,
and then erase the files, how would that be different from borrowing the DVD
from someone?

Crossing Jordan premiere bumped

From TV Squad:

Sorry, Crossing Jordan fans. NBC has pushed back the season premiere, in favor of a new game show hosted by Bob Saget. The game show is called 1 vs 100 and it’s a game where one contestant battles 100 other people to win $1 million. It’s the American version of a game show that is already popular in Europe. The series premiere is at 8 pm on October 20th, as a lead-in to the season premiere of Las Vegas.

NBC hasn’t announced a new premiere date for Crossing Jordan.

Question: Why is Bob Saget still on TV? Has he ever been funny?

Killing time

I have some time to kill before I play baseball at 9:30 (!) tonight. Since I live so far from work (~70 km one way), there’s no point in my going home and then coming back — best case, that’s an hour and a half of driving — so I’m hanging out at work. What better way to spend that time than blogging?

We’ll start with 24, which Gail and I have been addicted to for the last 5 seasons. The season finale was this past Monday, and it did a pretty good job of wrapping up what was actually a rather boring season, by 24’s standards. Oh sure, several main characters died (Michelle, Tony, Edgar), so that was exciting, but the whole gas cannister plot went on too long, and I didn’t like the way the writers handled the traitorous President — I think it would have been better if he was a strong man acting indecisive and weak, rather than actually having him be indecisive and weak and manipulated by some bald guy (who they never explained, now that I think of it). The only thing that we know about him is that his name is Graham. (I’m just assuming that it’s spelled that way, not Graeme. Call me pessimistic.) Maybe they’re keeping him as next year’s villain, though one thing on this show that you can never do is figure out who the real bad guy is — as soon as you think you do, they bring out another guy who’s giving the first guy orders. They also kind of abandoned the whole “real-time” thing at the end, where Jack is is knocked unconscious and abducted (in LA) by the Chinese, and five minutes later wakes up in the middle of the Pacific on (quite literally) a slow boat to China.

Let’s move on to baseball now. Barry Bonds hit home run number 714 in his career the other night, tying Babe Ruth for 2nd on the all-time list. Big freakin’ deal. Well, I suppose it is, but I just can’t get too excited about it, firstly because it’s not a record anymore (Hank Aaron surpassed it over 30 years ago), and secondly because we all know that a good number of those home runs (at least all the ones hit in the last 5 years) were done while Bonds was juiced up on steroids. The evidence is painfully clear. Bonds played 14 seasons with the Pirates and Giants, and averaged 32 homers a year in that time — he hit over 45 home runs only once. He also averaged 33 steals per season. Then 2000 rolls around — the year Bonds turned 36, and for the next 5 seasons, he averages 52 homers (over 45 every year, maxing out at a major league record 73) and only 9 steals per season. His batting average over those 5 years was .339, while his career average before that was only .288. Then MLB announces that they will begin steroid testing in 2005, and lo and behold, Bonds sits out almost the entire season with an injury. But he’s not on steroids. Rrrrrrriiiiiiight.

On an unrelated baseball note, the Jays finally demoted Josh Towers to AAA Syracuse yesterday after yet another dismal outing. He didn’t lose the game because the Jays came back to tie it (and then lost it later), but he didn’t even last 2 innings. It’s about damn time. I have nothing against Towers — he pitched really well last year — but he’s 1-and-freakin’-8. For a second-year player, that’s at least 2 losses too many. It’s not like he was going 7 innings and losing 3-2 games either — he was getting shelled almost every time out. His one win was very impressive though – he went 8 innings in that one, so maybe John Gibbons figured he’d found his groove or something. Obviously he hadn’t, so they’ve sent him down to try and pick things up there. In 2001, Roy Halladay was sent down all the way to single-A ball to “re-build his delivery” — essentially learning how to pitch again. By the end of that year he was back in the majors, and look how that turned out — a Cy Young award in 2003, and he might have won another one last year if he hadn’t broken his leg in July and missed the rest of the season. I don’t know if single-A ball is the answer for Towers (heard someone on the radio this morning refer to him as “Fawlty” Towers), but staying in the majors isn’t working for him at this point, and it’s certainly not helping the Jays out either.

Well, I think that’s all I have to say for now, and I still have an hour before my
game. Well, since I’m at work, maybe I should, oh I don’t know, do some work.

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