Entries Tagged as 'television'

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingtelevision

Top ten least popular new TV shows

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10. Law & Order: Jaywalking Unit

9. Two and a Half Laughs

8. How I Met Your Father: Woody Allen/Frank Sinatra Edition

7. The Old and the Toothless

6. Justified: How I Prefer My Paragraphs

5. America’s Funniest Tweets

4. Dancing with the Has-Beens

3. Breaking Wind

2. Once Upon a Time in Newark, New Jersey

1. So You Think You Can Twerk
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

televisionThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees an end to commercials depicting ridiculously fun parties

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 3-4-33-56: People don’t dance while they eat. They simply don’t. They don’t bop from side to side and smile conspiritorially at each other as they wipe the corners of their mouths and carefully display the advertised product with fingers carefully arranged to give the camera full view. And they don’t gather in impromptu, multicolored mobs on hot city streets and jet joyously through makeshift slip-and-slides in shirts and ties. Parties never are, never have been and never will be that outlandishly fun. (Or that racially and socially harmonious. [That will be the day when a surgeon is on a slip-and slide with the hot dog cart guy.])  In fact, when real parties approach the outlandishly fun level, they usually degenerate in to something much more messy and debauched; they don’t erupt in to Target commercials with beer. Truth in advertising, people. Truth in advertising.

(Side note: And, that African American chap with the crazy hair who is in every commercial made within the past five years…will someone please give him a role in movies or something so the Emperor doesn’t have to see him eating another scrap of snack food or grilling on a grill anymore?)

The Punishment: Guilty directors will be chained in the Imperial dungeon among seductive dancers clad in various tasty foods. The dancers will move just close enough to entice the directors to reach out for a treat and then move away, for the span of a week. The violators will then be released with instructions to amend their ridiculous visions.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten new Obama scandals as reported by Fox News

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10. That, at one state dinner, Obama strongly implied that the defrosted ham was actually fresh!

9. The scandal of Obama hiding something about his heritage: he’s mostly Irish

8. The disgrace of Obama once meeting heads of state wearing a clip-on

7. The fact that Obama really really wanted to call his first daughter Clinique

6. That Obama recently sanctioned killer computer worms able to zap any computer user who dare read this Top Ten list

5. Obama sinking so low as to make the ridiculous accusation that Fox News is screaming ‘scandal’ ‘scandal’ ‘scandal’ ‘scandal’ infinity-times-infinity times just in the hopes that, eventually, something might stick

4. The Smell-Of-Cigarette-Smoke-After-Midnight Scandal!

3. That, when Obama was three, he once advertently stared up a grass skirt

2. That Obama smoked so much dope in Hawaii, it has undoubtedly kept him from even greater things – than being the most powerful man on the face of the earth

1. White-After-Labor-Day-Gate
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

televisionThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that television station names must consist only of full words

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 99-08-7: The Emperor used to enjoy the “Independent Film Channel.” He also used to enjoy “The Learning Channel.” Time was, one could learn by watching “The Learning Channel.” In fact, the very first show the Emperor remembers watching on the newly launched station was about refrigerators and how they work. Learning. Soon after, he watched a show on ancient warriors. He learned stuff — which is what one would expect from “The Learning Channel.” Sensing, one supposes, that neither learning nor teaching is a lucrative endeavor, the station, at some point, changed to “TLC.” Arguably, one can still learn about which type of shoes one ought to wear with yoga pants, but, other than that, it has generally become a channel with shows about weird families. Likewise, before the “Independent Film Channel” became “IFC,” it showed rarely-seen, less-than-blockbuster, “independent” films, all of the time. Magically, it became “IFC.” The other day, the Emperor, happily wielding the Imperial Remote, caught the opening to Lethal Weapon 2, which starts not only with the classic (and decidedly big-studio-associated) Warner Brother’s logo, but with a brash rendition of the old “Looney Tunes” theme. Down in the corner of the screen was the station I.D. You guessed it: “IFC.” No more of this thinly-veiled deception! Henceforth, television channel names must consist only of complete words. If the content of the channel changes, the name of the station must also change to reflect that content. 

The Punishment: The heads of stations who commit this crime against the Empire will have their names changed, legally, to their own initials. On second offense, they will be changed to someone else’s initials. On a third offense, they will all spend the rest of their lives being called “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.”

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

art & entertainmenttelevision

A Christmas tradition, of sorts …

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Even in the days of DVDs, when I could watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” easily and inexpensively, whenever I wanted, I would still wait for the Christmas season to come around, so I could watch the broadcast, just as I did the first time it aired … and have done every Christmas season since then … at least until the last couple of years, when broadcasters made additional cuts to the original program. Made me glad I bought the DVD a while back … I still wait for the Christmas season to come around … I just watch it via a new medium. [Read more →]

art & entertainmenttelevision

So long to a good ol’ boy

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Count me among those mourning the death of stage, screen and (most of all) television star Larry Hagman, who passed away Friday in a Dallas, Texas, hospital. Hagman was 81.

[Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingtelevision

Top ten least popular new television shows

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10. America’s Funniest Postcards

9. Law and Order: CSI: NCIS:

8. 48 Hour History

7. So You Think You Can Play Pachinko

6. How I Met Your Accountant

5. America’s Next Top Heavy

4. The Sitcom with No Gay Characters

3. The X Chromosome

2. Dancing with the Has-Beens

1. Innocence of Muslims
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

religion & philosophytelevision

How the psychedelic shows of your youth affect your mind today

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Have you ever tried to track down something you saw on TV as a kid, just to see if it was even real? Many of us are occasionally haunted by snippets of movies and shows we vaguely remember watching when we were children. We may wonder if these memories ever really happened, or if they were dreams. Especially when the memories seem incredibly bizarre! Having grown up in the 70s, I caught a lot of psychedelic stuff on TV as a kid that I’ve become obsessed with tracking down as an adult. Why? Discovering forgotten moments from our youth is the closest thing we have to time travel. We get to relive an experience we had and to see what actually happened. Sometimes, we may even be shocked to find that the story from way back then provides an answer to our lives now. [Read more →]

race & culturetelevision

This would be the greatest reality TV show of all time

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Preface: Since their invention, popularization, and herpes-like spread across the landscape of television, I have maintained an unwavering attitude of blind, unadulterated hatred toward reality TV shows and the viewers who allow their existence to continue. I actually pass rash judgement on the overall character of people who watch things like Jersey Shore. It’s profoundly ironic based on what follows in this piece, but it’s nothing short of absolute bigotry and I don’t care. I would rather spend all the years of my existence trying to take my own life via repeated blows to the head with a plastic spoon than become someone who spends his time staring at a television to watch other people spend their time and possibly also stare at a television. So when I suggest that something would make for a great reality show, I say that purely in a fictional sense. Should a program like this ever be televised, I would feel at least partially responsible and, as punishment, would reach for the nearest Dixie utensil. You may now proceed.

[Read more →]

televisionThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees an end to “cellphone orangutanism”

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 04-67739: At televised baseball games, people are no longer permitted to yammer into cellular phones while waving to the camera in order to get the attention of the person to whom they are speaking. Those who do this (in the Emperor’s opinion) are addle-pated ninnyhammers. (Yeah, you heard me.) The Imperial Minister of Education/Effective Torture Practices concurs with this assessment. Through the punishment (to follow) a great peripheral social benefit (beyond the mere elimination of myriad undignified pinheads) will also be realized.

The Punishment: All baseball stadiums will be fitted with high-voltage wiring in the seats. Anyone seen, at a ballpark, talking on a cellular phone and flailing his arms about like a juvenile orangutan, will be immediately incinerated by means of a remote button-push. (The button resides on the arm of the Emperor’s TV-watchin’ chair.) The above-mentioned peripheral benefit: Imperial mathematicians calculate that, after only a single baseball season, the average intelligence quotient in America will have increased by as much as fifty points, owing to the removal of numerous fools from the overall equation.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingtelevision

Top ten worst ideas for reality television shows

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10. Project Nunway

9. Who Wants to Be a Dental Hygienist?

8. Ferret Whisperer

7. America’s Next Top Ramen

6. Waterboard Confessions

5. So You Think You Can Crochet

4. Real Housewives of Tehran

3. Bagpiping with the Stars

2. Are You Smarter Than A Congressman?

1. Jersey Shore
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

televisionThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees an end to “chocolate porn” in advertising

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 9932: Purveyors of fine chocolate treats will no longer be allowed to market their products with television advertisements that include women eating, moaning, throwing their heads back and seductively licking the chocolate drippings off of the tips of their fingers. While the Emperor understands the love that his female subjects generally share for chocolate (and while he enjoys similar goodies, himself, from time to time) he certainly would not permit the airing of commercials that include images of gentlemen dry-humping their Audis, or seductively nibbling at the radio antennae. While sexuality can be effective in advertising, the Emperor declares chocolate porn to be frigging stupid, and things that are frigging stupid are not allowed in The Empire.

The Punishment: Violators will be forced to watch a naked Sumo wrestler, recumbent, Rubens-like,  upon a velvet a chaise lounge, eat foot-long chili dogs for an entire month.

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

 

books & writingtelevision

Who, exactly, are the “heroes” of “Comic Store Heroes”?

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I’m old enough to remember when the National Geographic brand conjured in the mind images of amazing photos of faraway lands and interesting information about exotic animals, architecture, culture, and conservation. I knew a lot of people who collected the magazine, proudly displaying the spines on ornate bookshelves. The presence of the magazine on your coffeetable was a signal to any visitors that you were an intellectually curious person with good taste and wide-ranging interests.

Just as comic books often publish gimmicky covers to boost sales, so too did National Geographic once release a "hologram" cover in the mid-1980s.

Today, the National Geographic Channel schedules three-hour blocks of television programs in which people hunt for UFOs (it’s balanced, because the team is composed of “one believer, one skeptic, and one undecided”).

Last night, they aired a program entitled “Comic Store Heroes,” which centered around New York City’s Midtown Comics (which is apparently the largest comic book store in America), and the indefatigable fans who shop there.
[Read more →]

on the lawpolitics & government

Free speech wins over the bleeping FCC

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politics & governmenttelevision

Nothing is fair and balanced

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U.S. News, May 30, 2012
Fox Airs 4-minute Video Attack on Obama

It’s not quite a political ad but it sure looks like one.

Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” aired a four-minute video today attacking President Obama. The video is made in the same style as the most negative of political ads, complete with frightening music, graphics and voiceovers. Obama’s words are juxtaposed on screen with images of a dystopian America.

I watch Fox, CNN, and MSNBC all the time. And I can tell you that not one of these news outlets is unbiased. In fact the reason I watch all three of them in steady rotation is so I can find some sort of truth to what is going on in our country. [Read more →]

televisionThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that there shall be no more “knowing smiles” in automobile commercials

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 34-A: While directors of automobile commercials will continue to be permitted to cast the ubiquitous “slightly-graying-youngish-but-not-old man” in order to send a message of a certain level of maturity which doesn’t preclude the ability to woo and subsequently satisfy multiple women several times each in one evening, said directors may no longer instruct these actors to drive the car whilst wearing a self-satisfied and slanted “knowing smile.” The Emperor has found that every car commercial made in the past twenty years has contained an exact duplicate of this smile and he has had quite enough. (Worse, such a smile implies that the character in the car knows everything about everything and, as anyone who is likely to avoid the Imperial Dungeon of Eternal Woe knows well, only the Emperor himself has this quality.) Further, that smile is downright nauseating. Directors shall find another way to induce the impotent sheep in the purchasing world into buying a car–some method other inspiring them to say: “I will be like that handsome and no-doubt sexually successful guy who knows everything, if I drive that car.”

The Punishment: Violating directors (and, what the heck, the actors, too) will be forced to have dinner with Rush Limbaugh. Twice.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning

diatribestelevision

Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad

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One look at me, and it’s obvious that food is a big – perhaps TOO big – part of my enjoyment of life. That includes my time on the move, traveling, which I’m preparing to do later this month. Looking at our itinerary, I’m already looking forward to making a couple of stops at places I’ve seen on the Travel Channel.

TC has three shows on their prime time lineup devoted largely to food at various locations around the country and around the world. Two of them – Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” and Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods” – are really, REALLY good, and encourage me to set my feet and my palate along the paths they have followed. Then there’s then there’s Adam Richman’s “Man vs. Food” … oh, well – two outta three ain’t bad.
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Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingtelevision

Top ten least watched holiday specials

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10. So You Think You Can Wassail

9. I Saw Uncle Charlie Kissing Santa Claus

8. The Littlest Angel: You’re Gonna Do What With That Christmas Tree?!

7. When Elves Attack

6. How the Grinch Got Green Genital Warts

5. Sheep in Heavenly Fleece

4. America’s Funniest Home Videos Nutcracker

3. Frosty the Hypothermia Victim

2. It’s a Wonderful Life for the One Percent

1. The Black Friday Special: Assault & Pepper Spray
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingtelevision

Top ten least popular new TV shows

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10. Law & Order 2: Electric Boogaloo

9. How I Met Your Accountant

8. Mad Cows

7. The Quantum Field Theory

6. So You Think You Can Play the Accordion

5. Grey’s Biochemistry

4. America’s Funniest Voicemails

3. CSI: Bayonne

2. Extreme Makeover: Prison Edition

1. Dancing with the Has-Beens
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

art & entertainmenttelevision

How we can stop the Kardashians

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I realize that the very nature of writing this post is contrary to my big plan but I’m going to write it anyway; because I don’t think I’m alone when I say, “Enough is enough times infinity.”

Over the weekend, the story broke that Kim Kardashian was getting divorced from Kris Humphries. That “news” is so widespread by now that I didn’t even have to look up how long her marriage lasted to confirm that the union lasted 72 days. It is a number that is burned in my brain thanks to all the Twitter jokes and snide Facebook remarks, the links shared and re-shared, the pithy quotes about how much was made per day in this “marriage for money”, and the countless headlines that abound when you dare to search her name in Google. What makes me pause, though, are the comments written beside many of those shared links: “I am so tired of hearing about these Kardashians.” [Read more →]

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