Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Hope You Enjoyed President's Day

ACCOMPANYING: Music. Please to enjoy some music from Panic at the Disco as you read this post.

You may notice they've dropped the " ! " from their name. It's true. They also claim their new album to be less "teen angst." Fine with me - just make sure that CD is available on March 25th as you've promised, OK?

DISCOMBOBULATING: The TV Landscape. Network TV has me befuddled and bewildered while cable - and not HBO-style cable - continues to 'wow' me. Sure, American Idol transfixes me twice weekly for an hour, and Thursday is a perfect-storm of TV watching, and maybe its just the Writers Strike hangover I'm feeling, but some of the best shows and specials simply aren't on Fox, NBC, ABC, or CBS right now.

The best new show I'm watching is Breaking Bad AMC. Yes ...AMC. American 'Movie' Classics. The Nickel Guy (aka EJ from spunkybean) is in my corner on this one and I highly recommend you read his reviews here and here - and he raises some interesting points. But, at the very least, if you don't have time for all this reading, make sure you Tivo this show or find it in your channel guide. Each week I'm left feeling sick by the realism they bring to this character and this story, even if the whole thing is completely outrageous.

And while you're at it, Tivo (or start watching via appointment-viewing) Mad Men. Here, again ...AMC. It's amazing that I'm watching original series on AMC while I'm not watching Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader, My Dad is Better than Your Dad, American Gladiators, Deal or No Deal, Moment of Truth, or 1 v. 100. Do the networks actually get pitched these other shows? I'm sure many an article (and likely many a book) has been written on the topic of the declining television landscape, and I'm sure some of my faves like Survivor, The Amazing Race (though it has won Emmy's), and everyone's guiltiest pleasure, American Idol, should be on that list, but I wonder why Breaking Bad and Mad Men could only muster placement on AMC?

Are the networks still skittish about this type of content - crystal meth, extreme grossness, adult themes, and blatant sexism? No ...that can't be ...CSI and Grey's Anatomy have all the grossness and sex covered, so that can't be the reason.

And finally, The History Channel aired one of the coolest specials last night (2 hours worth) called "The History of the Joke" and, unless I don't realize it was aired months or years earlier on network TV or PBS, I again find myself confused. The documentary included interviews with George Carlin, Penn & Teller, Lewis Black, Robin Williams, and some of the biggest names in comedy of the last 30 years. It was great and I wish I could tell you it repeats 14 times before the end of the month, but I don't see it.

The whole point of all of this is to say I'm confused. Either I'm unaware of the fact I'm turning into a grumpy old man and I'm complaining about "the crap on TV" and suddenly I'm watching AMC and The History Channel but justifying it with the fact those networks are now showing good, original shows, or TV really is sucking. My grandfather watched AMC for the old westerns and he didn't like "today's movies" and he watched hours upon hours of The History Channel and Military Channel, mixed in with boxing. Have I just reached the age where I don't 'get' music (which is too loud), I'll stop updating my wardrobe, and use coupons for the missus and I at Denny's? Is that good enough? Maybe old people didn't become old and curmudgeonly, but maybe it just happens to them. Can it be?

Sometimes I think if my 22-year-old-self met my 34-year-old-self, my 22-year-old-self would point and laugh.


Krik said...

Yer gettin' old, Donnie! Life gets much easier when you can admit it.


Myndi said...

As far as stand up goes, I just saw this book reviewed, and it sounds very interesting:


You can read it while you sip your lemonade on the porch of the old folks' home.