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Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

I’m ready for the bad guy to die already

Posted by Chance on May 1, 2009

I am a fan of the conventional TV show. I like my shows resolved within 30 minutes to an hour.
Lost is the exception to this rule, in which it is a continuous story from the first to the last episode (or serial drama). But even so, watching this show takes an extreme amount of patience. I keep waiting for the bad guys to get theirs, in particular Benjamin Linus.  At least with the procedural shows (i.e. the 3 CSI shows or the 12 Law & Order shows) the bad guys usually get caught within an hour.  Fortunately, after this season there is only one more left.  Six (or seven, I lose track) seasons is a long time to wait for justice.

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Posted in TV, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Review of two DTV boxes

Posted by Chance on April 14, 2009

I have two different kinds of DTV converters, a Magnavox and an APEX. The Magnavox I bought at Sears. It is not a very good product. The APEX was bought for me as a gift at Best Buy.

Apex converter box

Apex converter box for sale at Best Buy

The APEX has volume control, the ability to save favorite channels, and the ability to delete any particular channel you don’t want. It also has an easy closed caption button on the remote. The remote is also very intuitive and follows the design of most TV or satellite/cable remotes, with its standard 4 direction arrows with the OK in the middle set apart from the rest of the buttons.

The Magnavox sold at Sears.

The Magnavox sold at Sears.

The Magnavox is not such a good product; it currently has 2 stars at Amazon.com. It has no volume control – which actually is not that big of a minus, how many people hate having three different volume controls? Strangely enough, the user cannot delete a single channel, they can only delete groups of channels.  What I mean is this, ABC is 13.1 and one of the Spanish channels is 13.2.  I don’t have any way to delete 13.2 without deleting 13.1.  That is very annoying. Also, the remote is not intuitive at all, with the menu direction arrows all being small buttons nestled to the right of the remote among other buttons, and the OK button being on the left side of the remote in a non-obvious place. It is very difficult to navigate menus in the dark.  This difficult menu must also be navigated just to turn the closed caption on and off.

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About The Office

Posted by Chance on March 20, 2009

I like The Office; it’s one of the few sitcoms I don’t want to miss.  The main character, Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell, is the outrageous boss who always says inappropriate things, especially in the context of a boss-worker relationship.

I think the show is going through what I like to call the “Urkel effect.”  Michael has always been the center of the show, but it seems like the show is focusing less and less on the supporting cast.  The character is, for the most part, funny, but sometimes he is just annoying.  Last night’s episode seemed pretty bad in this sense.  A new VP visits the office, and Michael is his outrageous self, breaking one rule of civility and proper work relationships, one after the other.  He’s not just a goofball testing the boundaries of what is proper in the workplace, he is simply being a jerk.  After some time, seeing someone be a jerk isn’t funny.  Midway through the show, during a commercial break, I told my wife, “this show isn’t really funny.  I hope Michael gets fired.”

The great thing about The Office is it does a great job of juggling believable characters in believable situations with totally off-the-wall characters, like Michael and Dwight, who bring about hilarious or totally politically incorrect events.  The character Dwight is pure genius (his feelings get hurt, but they regenerate at twice the speed of a normal human).  However, the believability of the show can only be taken so far.  After some time, the viewer is left thinking, “Okay, there is no way this guy has not been fired, like, 5 years ago.”

Hopefully the show will pay more attention to the excellent supporting cast, but I don’t know if that will happen.  I think the writers have been struggling with what to do with Jim and Pam’s relationship, now that they are together and engaged.  Any story involving them seems somewhat forced, and other times there is little to do with them at all.  We don’t see the normal conversations and joking around that made us love the couple in the first place.

Spoiler Alert

At the end of the show Michael said “he quit”, but I don’t know if that means anything for the show or not.  I doubt he plans to leave.

Posted in TV | 2 Comments »

Cheers and Jeers

Posted by Chance on May 30, 2007

Cheers to Boston Legal for only doing a 1 hour Season Finale. I don’t know why, but it bugs me that every show feels that they have to do a 2 hour Season Finale Spectacular where something really special happens. Part of me feels like a 2 hour episode should be reserved for only special events. Maybe this is a holdover of my comic book days, where every 5 issues they felt they had to do a super-duper special issue (that also happened to cost twice as much).

Cheers to Lost for the twist they threw right in the end, and the manner in which they did it, and they did so without even throwing in yet another special character to advance the storyline. The last 2 minutes really left me waiting for the next season, as all good season finales do.

Jeers to American Idol. I like the show, and I’m okay with it taking 2 hours to announce the winner. After all, they have special guests and musical performances that entertain. I’m okay with 2 hours. But c’mon, 2 hours and 7 minutes! I don’t know why, but the extra minutes really bug me. Can’t you fit the show within 2 hours?

Jeers to On the Lot for trying to be like every other single reality show. On the whole, I think it is a great, original reality show. However, why does every reality show feel like they have to follow suit and take 5 minutes and a commercial break to announce who is going off the show? And, it’s not really that suspenseful when you have 18 people on the show and are booting off 3. You don’t need a whole hour, especially since we are not that far in the show anyway.

Posted in TV | 1 Comment »

The changing landscape of TV

Posted by Chance on October 7, 2006

I find it somewhat ironic how formulaic reality TV has become. When reality TV started to explode in popularity, I would say the late 90s, it was successful because it was something new and innovative. But really, as soon as the format came out, reality shows really started to just follow a certain pattern. Many of the shows overall pattern is the same, in which someone gets voted out each week, or at least eliminated in some way, whether it is the Bachelor, Amazing Race, Big Brother, or the Biggest Loser. That’s not so bad, but it does hurt originality somewhat. There are just particular patterns that really annoy me. The “let’s show what’s going to happen after the commercial break right before we go to commercial break” in which we see the same sequence over and over, or “let’s go to commercial right before we announce who gets kicked off”, or the announcer continuing to say this is the most exciting rose ceremony yet. For a television format that is supposed to be so innovative, all these shows are becoming so cookie-cutter.

I know these observations are way outdated, given that these shows have been out a while, and I know I am probably not saying anything original, I just wanted to point out in television, things that are supposed to be “outside the box” eventually just make the box bigger.

The new format of dramas, and even some comedies, have been interesting as well. This format is one in which each show builds upon the other. Many shows do this to some degree, but dramas are becoming more like a miniseries with no definitive end. “Lost” is the best example of this, and probably one of the first to take on this pattern. We know the show has to have an end, we just don’t know when. People are stranded on an island from a plane crash, and we assume at some point they will escape. Other series, like “Jericho” or “The Nine” (which I haven’t seen but can assume based on commercials) are basically one long story. The characters, and the view, find out more about what is going on as the story unravels.

This is a great format, but this is somewhat riskier. A standard type drama series, like CSI, one in which focuses on separate stories per episode, can go downhill, but it will not affect the earlier shows. Think of a movie or book that you really enjoyed for the most part. There were things to figure out, and certain mysteries were unraveled as you went along. However, the book or movie goes downhill, as certain explanations are somewhat contrived to fit the earlier half of the story, or they are somewhat anti-climactic. That is the issue here. Do the writers of “Lost” actually know where they are going with the show. It is exciting right now, but what if they disappoint us? If the ultimate ending or even later shows turn out to be disappointing, it will affect the entire series.

Posted in TV | 2 Comments »

At least we have more than 5 Bibles

Posted by Chance on September 22, 2006

A recent report says.

(New York-AP) September 21, 2006 – Televisions have taken over the average American home. Nielsen Media Research says the average home in the US now has more television sets than people to sit down and watch them.

The researchers say there are now 2.73 TV sets in the typical home, compared to just 2.55 people.

Nielsen says half of American homes now have three or more TVs, while only 19 percent have just one. In 1975, 57 percent of homes had only a single set.

Nielsen also says more people are watching more television, as sets are turned on for more than eight hours a day in the average home.

The average person watches four hours and 35 minutes of television each day.

I must say, somewhat red-faced, that I have 5 TV’s in my home, for just my wife and I. Well, and a little one on the way (found out last week!). However, not that I feel I have to justify anything to anyone, I feel I have a good explanation. My wife and I each brought a TV into the marriage, with the bigger one being 19 inches. However, in a short amount of time, 3 TV’s were given to us. My in-laws had a small TV they weren’t using that they offered to give us. We decided to take it just to have another TV for when we move into a house, maybe something for the guest room. Well, the house we bought had a TV that the prior residents left in the living room; it is about 31 inches. Then, I have a friend who works for Ultimate Electronics who delivers television sets. Sometimes the person simply gives the old TV to him (usually it requires repairs of some sort). Well, someone gave him a 48 inch HDTV, which meant he had to do something with the 50-inch older TV he got from a customer previously. Well, I ended up with the 50-inch.

And that is the story of how our family obtained 5 TV’s, only paying for 2 of them.

Posted in TV | 5 Comments »