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Archive for the 'Television' Category

Why “New Girl” May Be The Worst New Show On Television

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Last week started out with a bang, with what amounted to about a dozen new shows plus the start of the Fall season for all our favorites.

One of the shows that really caught my eye was a comedy starring the adorkable (I stole that from my roommate who was quoting a writer) Zooey Deschanel called New Girl. Now, for those who have seen Zooey act in movies like (500) Days of Summer, it’s hard not to fall in love with her. She has this natural quirky style, yet exudes a suppressed cuteness, She’s All That style.

The new show is about a girl named Jess who moves in with three (or is it four?) guys, living in what can best be described as a bachelor pad. Jess is the quintessential dorky, nerdy, awkward girl. And therein lies the problem.

Rather than having Zooey Deschanel act like the way she is normally which is an adorable and dorky girl, they had her “act” like how they thought a stereotypical, over-the-top geek would act. Imagine they cast you, the reader, as a rocket scientist. You are likely not one so what you end up doing is a lot of snorting and pushing up on the bridge of your horn-rimmed glasses. I mean, after all, that’s what people expect a rocket scientist to be like, right?

I want Zooey to act like Zooey. She’s dorky enough in real life to pull it off. Instead, you get this character, Jess, that tries too hard to be awkward. Instead of being endearing, it’s extremely uncomfortable and unsexy.

The other problem with the show is that it’s clear after just two episodes that it’s going to be highly formulaic. Just like how House follows a clear pattern, so does New Girl. Each episode is about how Jess has some lame problem to deal with and turns it into a disaster. Then the guys, who have lives of their own, give up their day (or date), to rescue her and give her support. It’s an effective storyline because a guy who has better things to do yet giving up his time to help his hopeless female roommate is more dramatic than a regular nice guy doing the same.

I am just waiting for the episode where they remake her into a sexy girl in a tight-fitting red dress. We know it’s coming.

DVR Scheduling Optimizer

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Here’s my next great idea.

First a little background: I have DirecTV and the built-in DVR service. I can schedule on the web or with my phone or directly on the box itself. Since I record shows, I am not concerned with when a show airs originally (for the most part). What this means is I don’t care if there’s a new episode of “How I Met Your Mother” Mondays at 8PM. I just come home and see what shows have been recorded for me and I watch them. Of course I don’t want to watch shows a week late or anything but 1-2 days is ok. What is most important to me is that all my shows get recorded. My DirecTV can record two shows simultaneously.

The issue I am looking to solve is we (my roommates and I) have so many shows being recorded that it’s impossible to figure out what’s the best way to schedule them in order to not receive conflicts. For DirecTV, you can tell it to record a show “if possible”. You can also rank shows in terms of priority or importance. For example: If Colbert Report, Amazing Race, and Top Chef were all scheduled to record at 7:30 PM on a Wednesday, but Top Chef was ranked lower than the other two, it would never get recorded. The way around this is if you are willing to watch Colbert Report later in the day (most shows have multiple reruns, sometimes just later the same night), you can get all three shows that day. You just need to tell it to record the Colbert Report (series) at the 11PM time slot instead.

Currently there’s no easy way to do this. I could make a Google Calendar or spreadsheet and work it all out but that’s very difficult and time consuming, especially when I add a new show. This data is readily available (DirecTV, TV Guide, etc) so I don’t see why a web app couldn’t handle it automatically. I just put in all the shows I want and it creates a recommended recording schedule with priority listing.

The Writer’s Strike and Your Favorite Shows

Check out this link to see how many episodes are left for your favorite show. This beats the confusing one TV Guide put out at the beginning of the strike.  I’ve already accepted the end of The Office weeks ago and I am not too sad to see Heroes go. House will be a lost. I can’t believe BSG still has 10 episodes left. It looks like they worked overtime while some other shows were lazy.

Heroes Creator Admits It Sucks

 

Dave declared after S02E02 that he would no longer watch Heroes. Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of courage to give up a show after I’ve invested so much time into it. What I will tell you is I will rarely miss a live showing of a show I actually enjoy (i.e. Prison Break), whereas I often watch the latest Heroes episode nearly a week later.  Show creator, Tim Kring, called EW from the picket lines to discuss how terrible his show is. He discusses things like the poor character introductions, lame love stories with Claire and Hiro, and too much Feudal Japan.

Kring regrets sticking Claire (Hayden Panettiere) with a super-dud boyfriend and forcing Hiro to moon over a cutesy princess. ”I’ve seen more convincing romances on TV,” he admits. ”In retrospect, I don’t think romance is a natural fit for us.”

While you’re at it, Tim, let’s get rid of the Mexican siblings, Niki and Micah, and Ando too. I don’t care about any of them. We can let the new muscle memory girl stay. She’s pretty cool but she’s on thin ice.

| Read more at EW |




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