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Friday, December 09, 2005

Time for TELEVISION

I used to hate Television Shows.

Seriously.....for about a decade.

I hated laugh tracks, commercial breaks, and in show product endorsements. I hated the simplicity of story lines, time limit story arcs, and fucking sweeps week guest stars. I hated diseased society explorations, and entertainment fluff pieces on talk shows.

I also hated the voice of the dude that said: Stay tuned for previews of next's week episode.

Come to think of it....I still hate all that stuff.

My point is, for the most part, I avoided television programming. Usually I watched sports or threw a movie onto the t.v. screen. I mean I wasn't a total movie snob, I occasionally watched Seinfeld, Star Trek, Cheers and other iconic shows.

But I wouldn't rearrange my schedule for it.

I'd have it on while I was eating Del Taco, or when I was waiting for a friend to pick me up. I'd throw the t.v. on so I wouldn't feel lonely at night, or if my mom left the television on in the living room, and I was too friggin lazy to turn it off while I was talking on the phone, you know that sort of thing.

Then something remarkable happened.

Home Box Office.

I don't know if everyone reading this has it, but if you don't you better figure out a way to afford it. Steal some money, donate some sperm or sell you body, cause you're really missing some good shit.

Seriously, it's the most remarkable stuff in ALL of entertainment.

I don't know if you've noticed from my blog, but a good movie is a rarity nowadays. I don't know if it's just that I'm a cynical bastard, or I'm just getting cranky in my old age, but most movies nowadays are just horrible.

Sometimes when I'm watching a movie that's a comedy I WISH there was a laugh track, cause I just don't get it.

I literally don't know when I'm supposed to find something funny.

All this PG-13 Lindsay Lohan, Steve Martin, underage white bread comedy drives me nuts...... And all the dramas that I watch nowadays.....I fucking find hilarious.

They crack me up.

Seriously, I can't stop laughing at how bad they are. All this life and death stuff.....the mental illness, and heart transplants. Seriously, it's like watching 2 hours of a public service announcement, or a history lesson.

I literally have to get up, and walk out of the room cause I feel the movie stealing my brain cells.

Of course, it's only funny if I've rented it for free from my job.

When I go to a movie theatre, and have to pay for a bad film.........I feel like I've been sexually violated. I walk away from the theatre shaking my head, almost in tears, scolding myself for being so stupid.

I shouldn't have put myself in that position..... to watch that piece of crap.

For whatever reason, most of the good stuff....... you'll find on the television screen.

For me the good television shows are more satisfying than a solid two hour movie.

When your watching a good show you get to watch characters grow and develop. It's more of a effective character study and complicated story arc.

In other words, more sophisticated entertainment.

It sounds odd to admit it, but it's true.

Here's a list of 10 shows mostly on H.B.O. that I've discovered recently, and I heartily recommend.

1. DEADWOOD
The best show on television. I don't care what anyone says, you won't find more interesting and fascinating characters ANYWHERE. The characters are all fully fleshed out, and complicated. Not to mention the cast. Not since Reservoir Dogs will you find such a talented, and impressive array of character actors in the business. The production design is top notch, not to mention the story lines, writing and directing.

2. Curb your Enthusiasm
The funniest show on Television. Welcome to the fictional world of Larry David. You'll witness all the quirks, and inappropriate behavior your gut can handle. Hilarious writing, impressive since the show is 90% improv.

3. DA ALI G Show
The best reality show on television. Sasha Baron Cohen and his three alternate personas will have you wetting yourself in laughter. A parody of all talk shows, everyone is in on the joke, except for the unfortunate guests, who often times reveal their ignorance, vanity, and unfortunately racism for all to see.

4. The Office (B.B.C. version)
I've never watched a show that made me laugh so hard, and tugged at my heart strings like this program. What's so great about this program was that these characters are in your life already....they just have different names. The U.S. version is pretty good too. But make sure you watch the two seasons, & the Office Special to truly appreciate it's brilliance.

5. ROME
The adventures of two grunt soldiers, Titus & Pullo, in the back drop of Julius Caesar's Rome. Sure it's soap opera entertainment, but strong acting, and wonderful production design, not to mention good writing will keep you satisfied for hours.

6. Tilt
The main reason to watch this show is Michael Madsen's Matador. But you've got poker,
con-games, revenge, pretty girls, and the Vegas back drop to keep you going when he's not around.

7. The Sopranos
The ONLY reason why this show is not number one on my list is because it takes so fucking long for them to produce the show. In between seasons you forget how truly GREAT the show is. If you need a synopsis, you're hopeless and should probably just stop reading now.

8. Extras
From the creators of The Office. The show is a great parody of the entertainment industry. What's cool is seeing all the star power contributing to the show. You just know that they all LOVED the OFFICE too, and jumped at the chance to work with Gervais.

9.The Contender
I hate reality shows. Survivor, and Big Brother are full of people who just need attention, and aren't talented enough to be actors. The Contender was a boxing contest, with struggling boxers. If you don't know it already, boxing is the toughest sport to be a success at. Even the Champions aren't guaranteed success and money, yet they put their life on the line everytime they compete. Just for the chance at glory. You can see the desperation, and hunger in each of the fighters eyes, even when they are competing in silly skills contests. Each episode ended with a challenge, and fight. Almost like Roman gladiators, two men entered, one man left. Hans Zimmer's score is incredible in the show, if you don't get emotional listening to it, go see a doctor....you're probably dead.

10. Dave Chappelle show
It was fun while it lasted. A combination of Saturday Night Live and In Living Color....only funnier. I'm not surprised Chappelle decided to stop. There was nowhere else to go but down. At least you have two seasons on dvd to watch.

I don't think there's anything groundbreaking or controversial about my list. All the shows recieved critical acclaim. But the fact that I had ten shows to watch was impressive for me, and showed me that there's exciting stuff going on in television, and hopefully a lot more down the line.




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