Friday, December 21, 2007

The TV Quarterly Report

Twas The Night Before Christmas
And All Through The Plaza...
There Were All the Jews
Cheering Avi Maza!

Ok that doesn't quite rhyme... How about this??

Twas The Night Before Christmas
As I sped to see Maza
Got Caught by a cop
who zapped me with his tasa!

Yes folks.... for the 2nd straight year, my Temple will be sponsoring a terrific show with The Avi Maza Orchestra - it starts at 7pm at The East Brunswick Jewish Center. It costs 40 at the door! Admission includes a Glatt Kosher Chinese Buffet All You Can Eat Dinner. The event will be at 511 Ryders Lane in East Brunswick, NJ - Music will include "The Great American Songbook" - featuring songs by Jewish artists including Mama Cass which makes you wonder if they will do "The Ballad of Melanie McGuire!"

As I have written in my annual Christmas column, being a Jew on Xmas has its advantages. Yes, I don't mind if folks wish me a merry, and some of my co-workers actually bought my tall tale about my side job as a mall Santa. Or was it a Tall Tale??

As usual, Christmas for this Yid will be the Maza concert and as many of my movie trifecta as I can watch. And since the TV writers are on strike and almost all the good shows ran out of new episodes, the tube is gonna be quite blase over the coming months. As usual, I have 12 A Christmas Story options since TBS is running it for 24 consecutive hours, Scrooged for some bizarre reason is not on the schedule this season ! and there was another movie I thought may be a possible replacement, The Family Stone will air Tuesday night at 6:45 PM on Cinemax and of course there is the classic - "It's a Wonderful Life" which airs Monday Night on NBC.

But once the Christmas movies wrap up - what will be left to watch on TV? Just a bunch of crap thanks to the strike! The late night talk shows will be back on January 2, but its a catch 22 - if Letterman, Conan and that no talent Jay Leno come up with funny material, then it minimizes the writer's impact - but if they suck... well then its just more garbage on TV.. but until this strike is settled it's just going to be a few selected scripted shows that have unaired episodes such as Lost and Jericho, reality shows, and American Idol destroying everybody else in the ratings. However in looking back at the Fall Preview, there are a few shows that have grown on me this season.. including...


Last fall, NBC took honors for this prize with their revolutionary Monday night Heroes show... a program about a bunch of people with superheroes who through a series of events end up teaming up together to save the world. NBC looked like it had really taken over the night with this falls introduction of JOURNEYMAN, but strangely enough the network has given it as much support as Nickleodeon will give the show with that little teenaged Spears slut who just ended up pregnant. I don't know what NBC is thinking, but unless they come to their senses... this show just aired its final episode on Wednesday night. NBC hasn't ordered any more episodes and if that doesn't change, our time traveling hero Dan Vasser has taken his final trip to the past. The show is impossible to describe.. Dan has these uncontrollable time travel missions where he goes to the past to fix something. He is helped by his now dead fiancee whose disappearance many years back was part of her time traveling to her future since she really lives in the 1940s. The show built some pretty cool backstory and layered it together quite well, although a weird FBI agent's investigation of Dan ended up flat.. but since the actor used to be Ryan Chapelle on 24, it wasn't such a big deal. However, due to the writing strike where the only writing left was on the wall - the show was going to be toast after its initial 13 episodes.

Last year, the Jericho fans sent nuts to CBS execs because it related to that show's plot and with all those nuts pouring in CBS relented and is bringing the show back. As I pointed out in the comments section on TV critic Alan Sepinwall's blog, Monday's episode revelated that the son on Journeyman was conceived when his parents got frisky during a SF Giants game. So on the heels of the CBS-nuts-Jericho mailing campaign, I think that since Barry Bonds played for The Giants, Journeyman fans should mail steroids to NBC. Can you imagine Journeyman fans sneaking into NBC headquarters and injecting corporate bigshots with a shot of steroids in the tushy? Unless NBC comes to its senses, the only journeyman I will get to see is the parade of drek that will come out of the Mets bullpen starting in April.


In the fall preview we named 14 shows to watch this season... Now that 2007 is done, I am taking 3 off that list - Tell Me You Love Me finished its run on HBO, as did Phenomenon on NBC. In addition, The Singing Bee is going to lose its slot since it has been off also, although its going to be coming back. Here are the 3 shows to replace them....

DONT FORGET THE LYRICS- Yep, Fox was watching The Singing Bee on NBC.. stole the idea... and then remade it in a much more entertaining and exciting format. It's kind of like Who Wants to be a Millionaire meets karaoke.. and Wayne Brady is the perfect host for this show.. although his James Brown bit the other week was a bit odd where all of a sudden, he just started singing and dancing with the 2007 version of Jan and Diane - Motion from the Old Deney Terio Dance Fever! The show is very slickly produced and extremely entertaning, and stole a page from Deal or No Deal by building to a cliffhanger moment and then tossing it to commercial.

30 ROCK - I just started watching it a few weeks ago and I like the Alec Baldwin acting job. His portrayal of the swarmy TV executive is quite hysterical - especially now that the extreme right winger is dating a liberal lawmaker whose story was told in a bizarre Lifetime movie called A Dog Took My Face And Gave Me a Better Face So I Could Change the World. The cool thing about this show is it is really funny. I see that 30 Rock along with the newer comedies not on the CBS Monday Night lineup have pretty much dumped the laugh track. However, other than the five card hand of Seinfeld, Cheers, Frasier, How I Met Your Mother, and Roseanne.. have any sitcoms since 1990 actually been.... funny?? Nope. The laugh track was really the chance for producers to hang themselves out to dry because it told the viewers what was "supposed to be" funny... and then we as the viewer could count how many laugh track jokes just weren't funny to see how much a sitcom was really striking out. Now without the laugh track... we the viewer lose a major barometer! Yet the audience laughs at Leno for some reason.

And the last slot goes to GRETA VAN SUSTEREN ON FOX NEWS - I was leaning towards How I Met Your Mother which I am watching again.. but Greta will singlehandedly get credit when an arrest is made in the disappearance of Staci Peterson. Even if the creepy hubby didn't do it, at this point it is really hard to believe that this woman just staged her own disappearance. Yet Greta got on this story right off the bat, and within days that she vanished, must have held a preproduction charades meeting where she tapped her ear and told players it "sounds like Laci Peterson". Her crew jumped on this story full throttle, which led to the reopening of the mysterious death of the often married husband's 3rd wife. I might have put Private Practice on this list... but frankly I only watch it to drool over Kate Walsh.

So what do we have to look forward to next year? Well more reality shows are headed our way - along with some game shows.. Duel has looked kind of good so far.. although Mike Greenberg doesn't really impress me as a host. Greenberg kept saying the same things over and over....You're watching Duel on ABC. What would he say if he was hosting a reality show with old people?? You're watching Drool on ABC? And 1 vs. 100 is coming back soon too. But as long as the strike goes on, it's going to be more hockey for me. Tuesday Night I watched the Devils play the Canucks.. it was the Devils first trip to Vancouver since December 29, 2001 - which just so happens to be the day I met my lovely wife!!

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK - So here we are at the tail end of 2007 - The Year of Vladimir Putin who will become the new powerful Russian Prime Minister and make his former Presidential Post largely ceremonial... just as they do in Israel. Pumpstradamus has already predicted that he will be here next week with a special podcast with his 2008 predictions. I just took a listen to last year's predictions where not only did he accurately predict The Colts Super Bowl Win... but he also predicted that the next celebrity caught without panties would be... Richard Simmons.

Pumpy's late season swoon continues!! Last week he lost again dropping to 10-5 - his 3rd consecutive loss! For this week, we take a quote directly from A Christmas Story - "I see that the Bears are playing Green Bay on Sunday". The Packers are 8 1/2 point faves.. Sayeth The Pump: "Well since Brett Favre is SI Sportsman of the Year.. in his honor I take his team the Bears". When informed that Favre is on the Packers, he announced his pick as Green Bay! Next week Pumpy will learn to pronounce Mike Krzycewski!

UNBIASED GIANTS FAN PICKS OF THE WEEK: :Last week we went 1-2 again to drop to 22-21-2... Anyway maybe we jumped the gun last week looking at the Giants potential first round opponents.. although they could actually lose Sunday and still make the playoffs!!

Giants 3 faves over BUFFALO - Do not even think about losing this game and the alternative of needing a win against New England! Although, one loss by The Saints and The Skins will get The Giants in. But backdoor clinches = first round losses. Time for the Giants to take The Buffalo by the Horn!

Philly 3 doggies over NEW ORLEANS - Sorry about Katrina.. I'm still rooting against the Saints!

Washington 6 1/2 doggies over MINNESOTA - The skins will be eliminated Sunday... but at least they will cover the spread.


What else would I put up this week? Fragileeeeee It Must be Italian!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr Nate
It seems to me that you should limit your comments to things that you know about - such as the New York Mets and Jay Leno. Why would you state something like "I am sure Petey is well aware that if they are still living, he has brought his grandparents much shame. If they are dead, they are rolling in their graves as their time they spent tortured in a concentration camp was all for naught since the cause they so valiantly fought for is now being totally minimized by their offspring" Why do you not investigate a situation before making such rude and ignorant remarks? I spoke to Peter's grandmother this week. Rest assured Peter's grandmother loves and respects him tremendously. And it is her that taught her daughter "NEVER AGAIN TO ANYONE" - who then taught this to her son. Peter's grandmother would be deeply hurt and offended if she were to read your comments. You should stick with football - something you MAY actually know something about!
John Mitchell, Markham Ontario