My ox is broken

CBS thinks we’re all stupid. The Amazing Race 5 ends next Tuesday, September 21st. To my surprised delight, I’d recently discovered that The Amazing Race 6 was scheduled to start next Saturday, September 25th. Unbeknownst to me, in the time since that went to press in fall TV preview issues of magazines, the start date had been moved to Oct. 2nd. That’s only a week, so I could survive that. Unfortunately, CBS decided that we viewers can’t adjust to seasons ending and beginning so close together. The Amazing Race 6 will now start in “late October or early November”.

“We’ve seen (evidence) that it really helps to put a little space between one version and the next,” [CBS senior exec VP Kelly Kahl] said. “We want to let the audience breathe a little before we bring the show back.”

Why does CBS hate The Amazing Race? It won an Emmy last year for best reality series and the fans had to fight to convince CBS to film another season. It’s up for another emmy this year. It’s the highest-rated original series on television right now. It’s a home run. But CBS doesn’t get it. I don’t need a breather. I need a 24-hour The Amazing Race channel. Seriously, people, competitive travel. Need I say more?

The biggest potential disaster from this is obvious. If Colin and Christie win, I will be a bitter, bitter man for the next 6+ weeks. Bitter, I say!

With the Covenant, who needs SD-6?

I dreamed last night that I saw David Anders at a rest area in Delaware.

Anyone who reads knows that I would love this if it actually happened. Why? Because David Anders portrays Sark on THE GREATEST TELEVISION SHOW EVER. Besides being completely random, this would be a spectacular opportunity to let him know how much Sark rules. That would be awesome!

But the dream became a nightmare when I realized that I drove off without speaking to him. Thankfully, I would never let that happen in real life. If only this would happen…

The Fonz watches American Idol

I watched the last night’s American Idol results show. This season has been awful, with none of the captivating competition of the second season. The only battles this year have been how mean Randy can be and which contestant will suck the least each week. The only true description for this season is simple to explain: it’s boring.

What I find most interesting is that so many of the contestants are young and people are shocked that the competition is so bad. Just because someone is 16-years-old does not guarantee that the person can’t stun everyone, but emotional depth comes with experience. I’m generalizing without meaning to disparage, but the proof is obvious in this season’s performances. American Idol has spiraled to the level of satisfaction I would derive from watching a beauty pageant filled with 7-year-olds competing in a swimsuit competition.

Yet, I’m a fan of John Stevens, JSIV to the cool kids. While I liked Amy Adams, of the 12 contestants, JSIV is the most interesting. He’s young, so his talent is raw. He doesn’t appear comfortable showing his personality. He’s a block of wood during the dance numbers. But his voice is unique among the current competition and the notion of pop music that it portrays. There is a hidden variety and JSIV fills that. He’s interesting.

Unfortunately, the judges didn’t explain it that way. Simon did say as much early in the competition, but he offered criticism for most of the 7 weeks that JSIV performed. Paula was typically wishy-washy on voicing her opinion, but at least she wasn’t cruel. Randy doesn’t warrant an explanation, since he seemed to enjoy being mean. However, to his credit, Simon was right; JSIV took the criticism like a man. While Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia Barrino spewed attitude every time someone disagreed with them, JSIV accepted the verdicts with class and dignity. No one could expect more.

With that in mind, I’m dismayed by all the hatred being directed at JSIV. I don’t understand the unceasing need to attack his talent and to openly mock him. Ok, I do understand it, but I don’t agree with it. As a redhead who sings with a different style, it’s not surprising that he’s mocked. It’s the hatred that dismays me.

With the harsh criticism this season, I was amused last night. JSIV was voted off, so I’d hoped the reaction would be a sense of relief from everyone. The only relief was on JSIV’s face. Everyone else was busy wailing like little babies who’ve just been poked in the eye. I could only laugh at the hypocritical nonsense. Perhaps the lemmings will enjoy what they’ve molded for themselves. For me, I had the striking joy of watching American Idol Jump the Shark.

In late May, someone please give me a heads-up on who wins, since I won’t be watching anymore this season. I might even care when someone tells me.

Two-for-one entry

I never commented on The Apprentice while it aired, but I was addicted. I’m “proud” of myself for picking Bill halfway through the series. I’m “proud” of myself for picking why Mr. Trump chose Bill over Kwame. (It’s not a real source of pride on either point. It’s a tv show, so it doesn’t really matter. Unless it’s Alias. Then it matters more than anything else.)

At the time that Kwame was fired, I didn’t think much more about his future. But it’s no surprise that he’s receiving offers for employment. He’s a qualified businessman (from what I can tell from an edited, weekly television show) with a good education and impressive professional experience. So there’s little mystery that he would get offers. As this article states:

The real game has just begun for “The Apprentice” runner-up Kwame Jackson. Any regret over losing a job with Donald Trump to competitor Bill Rancic was quickly salved by a rush of offers and by Jackson’s own ambitions to make the most of his reality TV fame.

“This was basically a chance to have NBC pay for a 15-episode Kwame commercial in a business environment,” Jackson said of “The Apprentice.”

Ignoring the third person reference to himself, that’s exactly what it was, with the added benefit that NBC knew to edit it well. NBC is not going to humiliate Donald Trump by portraying Kwame Jackson as an incompetent. So it was an ideal situation for him. And losing may not be worse than winning:

Being No. 2 is turning out to be as much a problem for Jackson as it was for “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken, who has outsold winner Ruben Studdard.

“My theme is, ‘Don’t cry for me, Argentina,” said Jackson, 30, a Wall Street investment manager before “The Apprentice.”

All the exposure with the bonus of leaving his options open? Sounds like a deal to me.

Now that I’ve made my point, I’d like to roll in the mud for a moment. I’m basing my opinion on the same editing tactics that NBC used to make Kwame Jackson look good, but I despised Omarosa’s “antics”. She appeared fake and a miserable bore. I suspect it would’ve been a challenge to edit her into such a ridiculous character if she didn’t provide enough evidence.

For that reason, Kwame surprised me when he picked her for his team. I screamed at the tv when he didn’t fire her from his team during his final assignment (managing the Jessica Simpson concert).

Even the antics of Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, whose scheming may have cost Jackson the top prize – a $250,000, yearlong job with Trump – is something he shrugs off.

During Jackson’s final “Apprentice” test, staging a concert with Jessica Simpson (news), Manigault-Stallworth flubbed transportation for the pop singer and appeared to fib about it.

Does Jackson think she lied to him?

“There’s no ‘think’ about it. It’s 100 percent on the tape. There’s no need to think about it. It’s like watching Rodney King get beat: How did the bruise happen?” he said.

I wish I’d thought of that line.

Future ratings grabber

I’m pitching a new reality show to Fox Television. It’s a synthesis of Iron Chef and G4’s Arena, with a twist of Playing It Straight for good measure. There might even be some Lord of the Rings trilogy marathon action. Oooooh, boy!

The title of this unprecedented reality ratings bonanza? Wait for it… Ok, here it is: When Good CuddleFeasts Go Bad. Bam! Zock! Pow!

Not to be perceived as an amatuer by the Fox Television executives, I already have my proof of concept. Take a look at one amazing frame of the show:

I'm not telling what this is.  You'll have to watch the show to find out.

Now imagine a full hour of that every week! With 43 minutes of show per hour at 30 frames per second, that’s 77,400 frames of glorious joy. Can you imagine 77,399 other frames as spectacular as the one above? So can I!

I should stage my fake abduction

I try not to get too wrapped up in celebrity worship, but sometimes I can get sucked in against my will. Earlier this week… yes, I know I’ve been away for a little while. I’m back now and will catch everyone up on the monumental last few weeks… So, I was watching VH1 earlier this week, specifically Best Week Ever. I’d followed the show a little bit since Wil Wheaton mentioned his involvement several months ago. I’ve enjoyed being “in the know” about his involvement, since I read his blog regularly. So I was watching the other night, with the hope that he’d be involved in the episode. That didn’t prepare me for what I saw as I watched.

The episode progressed nicely, with some mildly funny snark. That’s a great introduction a show, so I kept watching. Then the duo from came on to talk about a news story, which thoroughly escapes me now. The reason it escapes me is simple: I was screaming “Holy shit!” at my television. The duo that founded are Michael Colton and John Aboud. Admittedly, I’ve never met Michael Colton, but I spent the seven years of middle and high school as friends with Aboud. He sat on my right (or did I sit on his left, now that he’s the celebrity?) every day during lunch. I hung out at his house with a bunch of friends the day I returned from Virginia Tech‘s freshman orientation. Blah, blah, blah.

I’ve had friends who have media exposure and success. My friend Kevin is a sports writer; he covers the Minnesota Vikings for the Star Tribune. Before that, he covered the Baltimore Orioles for The Washington Times. He’s covered the last few Super Bowls. Blah, blah, blah.

I’m accustomed to watching my friends have success. I’m happy for them, so I don’t want to seem jealous or resentful. But there’s a unique reaction to seeing someone I know on television. So I screamed “Holy shit!”.

The first thing I did was call my brother to tell him to turn on VH1. Then I called Danielle to lament that “my life was over”. She wisely assured me that my life was not over. Unfortunately, she was unavailable this afternoon when I reached page 73 of the new issue of Entertainment Weekly. Specifically, this text:

It’s a brilliantly simple concept featuring comics like Chuck Nice, Brian Huskey, Donnell Rawlings, the far-too-rarely-seen Rachael Harris, plus the cham-peen deadpan kings of Best Week, the duo John Aboud and Michael Colton of the webzine “Modern Humorist.”

accompanied by this picture:


After reading through this, I did some searching. I found this link to Best Week Ever panelists. I also found video that’s funny. My consolation prize in this is that I made Aboud laugh in high school. I remember one uncontrollable-laugh-inducing incident involving dry wit, Richard Simmons and Deal-A-Meal.

Maybe it’s time to dust off the novel…

I have an attention span

When I get ready for work in the morning, I watch music videos on MTV Hits, VH1 Classic, VH1 Mega Hits, and VH1 Country. I know it’s a bizarre concept, but I actually like videos more than Carmen Electra describing the shoes she wore to the Grammy’s. I’m old school like that.

Danielle woke me up to Joss Stone a few weeks ago, and I can’t stop listening to The Soul Sessions. Today, the video for “Fell In Love With A Boy” came on VH1 Mega Hits. I’ve seen bits of the video, but never from the beginning so I stopped putting my socks on and watched the video.

Correctly, the brilliant minds at VH1 Mega Hits decided that I’d like the video better if I could watch a giant white box cover the top right quarter of the screen. The regular networks haven’t gone far enough in their screen usage. I, the viewer, do not want a transparent network symbol in the corner of the screen. There is too much crap on television, so I’d rather watch something on top of the program. Instead of giving me the logo, VH1 Mega Hits offered me an “Inside Track” into Joss Stone that filled the quarter-screen white box.

In this beautiful box, I got a great bit of useful information. Specifically, I learned that Joss Stone has a big voice. VH1 has taught me that my eyes are a better judge of her voice than my ears. The mystery is revealed.

As a final ummph, VH1 offered this statement about Joss Stone in the wonderful white box: “Dusty Springfield, watch your back.”

That’s stupid. If I have to tell you why, please do a Google search for Dusty Springfield.

The wait is over!

Alias is back for season 3 at 9pm tonight on ABC. If you’ve never seen Alias, I’m requiring you to watch it tonight. If you’ve seen Alias and don’t like it, you’re no longer allowed to read this site. Please leave now.

Tonight’s episode picks up where last season’s cliffhanger ended. Obviously, since it was a cliffhanger… When we last saw Sydney, she was in a CIA safe house in Hong Kong. Vaughn had come to retrieve her, after thinking that she’d been dead for two years. For some reason, he managed to get himself married in her two year absence. What a slut he is. I have no clue how Sydney’s disappearance can be explained, but I’ve learned to trust J.J. Abrahms. He’s a master storyteller with Alias, so I can’t wait to see what comes out of his mind.

You have your homework assignment. Don’t miss it.

P.S. If you haven’t watched it, click over to and buy Season 1 on DVD to experience the greatest television show ever.