outskirts: life and times in charlottesville

…small town life

The 2009 TV season is rolling along. Every year I alway catch every new show at least once. My picks for succeed/fail runs 100%. This season might be the worst selection of new shows I’ve ever seen. Was the writer’s strike really settled? It seems to me that network execs have started writing all the shows.

Kids are everywhere this season which is a critical downfall for a TV show. Even Mad Men has gone downhill due to excessive kid coverage. I hate breeder results on television, and I’m sure the entire goal of parents is to get away from their daily nightmare when they watch TV (although most don’t know they are in the midst of a nightmare – since breeders aren’t the sharpest cookies).

So without further ado, here is my rundown of the shows that have premiered so far this season (note: I only do major network shows).

Accidentally on Purpose: Dharma getting near the end of breeder years and gets pregnant when she does the nasty with a doped up 20 something. She wants to have the kid. This show should get canned, but I fear CBS will keep it since they seem to find idiots that like 2.5 Men and Big Bang Bullshit. Fail.

Brothers: The new Cosby show minus kids with a famous football player thrown in. Zzzz. Will make it if Fox doesn’t care about number of viewers and cast takes a big pay cut.

The Cleveland Show: Family Guy becomes black. Takes place in Shitbend, VA, which already makes it funny (ridiculing Virginny is also big this year). Family Guy rolls along, so same case here.

Community: What community college is this? Other than the Daily Show dude and the hot babe, this show is unbelievably bad. Fail. NBC and sitcoms have become a plague.

Cougar Town: A marginal sitcom. Courtney Cox is the draw, but the other characters drag the show down. Courtney will keep it around for a bit.

Eastwick: Desperate Housewives clonectomy with hot witches and sex. If they would migrate this show more towards the American Gothic genre it would have a chance (who can possibly argue with Shaun Cassidy?).

FlashForward: Superb new show. Alternative title – Harold goes to the FBI. Wonder if Doogie will pop in. Good thing everyone has a DVR, since this is giving Survivor a real run.

The Forgotten: Actually much better than I thought it would be. Time slot needs to get shifted though.

The Good Wife: Doesn’t do much for me….but CBS has dumped the money in to it, and it doesn’t have CSI in the title, so will make it.

Glee: It showed the first episode during the end of the 2008 season, so not sure if I should include it. In any event, the show sucks…unless of course you like High School Musical 1 to 7.

Hank: Another show that is set in Virginny. Unfortunately, the lovely accent of virginny/south is not being used (perhaps so humans will understand what the actors are saying) and the show is as enjoyable as a summertime day in the village. Stereotypical kids (among other things) crush this show. Note: never include kids in your show.

Mercy: Zzzz. Why did they cancel ER?

The Middle: Unbelievably weak attempt at Malcom in the Middle. Incorporates everything the network execs are after: recession, kids, and cars.

Modern Family: Oy. This one is painful. The only way to really watch it is to fast forward through everything other than the Julie Bowen/hubby scenes that don’t have kids in them. If you ditched every other “couple” in the show it might be worth watching. Time slot needs change.

NCIS: Los Angeles: CSI LA? NCIS LA? Who cares. CBS is dumping money in it, so it will roll along.

Shark Tank: Has it been cancelled yet?

Three Rivers: Why did they cancel ER? Oh wait…different network. Who wants to see organ transplants on a Sunday evening? I could understand the cost of health care if all hospitals looked like the one on this show, but there isn’t one.

Trauma: OK…why did they cancel ER? Will the blond from Heroes run in to a burning building and save someone?

V: The original was good…and the babe from Lost wears a cute blue/purple jumpsuit. But it doesn’t start until November…so won’t know till then.

Now…after all those new shows is anything worth watching? FlashForward is the only one on my list. The rest is crap. But at least some crap makes fun of Virginny.

The locals stations have gone digital. Of course the current view is old school digital 480p shown by that small dark region in the lower left. HDTV is the full image. The current format is like having a 15 year old kid that is 2 feet tall, or an elephant that fits inside your purse.

Size Matters in HDTV

WCAV posted that they will be trying to switch to actual HD in the next 24-72 hours. I’m keeping my teeny tiny fingers crossed…

Back in the 50’s C-Ville enjoyed having their first AM radio station. The 70’s brought FM. In the 80’s they discovered television when NBC 29 started broadcasting (that scared the locals for the first few weeks – witchery was discussed in depth). Five years ago we got FOX, CBS, and ABC with the mind-numbing low-def analog signal. Since then the world has changed. HDTV is now the norm, but here in C-Ville nothing has change. Tomorrow is new day.

After decades of nothingness the airwaves are expected to obtain intelligence. The trifecta of stations plans to switch to digital. Civilization as we know it will cease to exist. Will the village turn to violence? Will voodoo become in vogue?

There were rumors that the stations briefly went dead earlier today. Will we truly get HDTV from all four local stations tomorrow night? I will believe it when I see it, and you can bet my iMac will be doing a bit of EyeTV scanning.

Stay tuned…literally.

So I’m a bit late with this for the fall, but that is what a DVR will do to you (among other things). I’ve watched every new show of the season. I try to make it through a full episode, but every now and then a true stinker will punish me so thoroughly that I end up hitting the remote as I puke. Now that you are in the mood for TV, here is the run down in the order they premiered.

90210: We don’t have a high def version of CW here in our puny village, so it was already DOA. I did try to stomach a low def version, but couldn’t make it past the first 10 minutes. Trying to copy perfection is difficult.

Hole in the Wall: On DVR you can watch an entire episode of action in about 120 seconds. If you have to watch the show, I strongly suggest taking that approach. There is absolutely no reason to watch this show. Of course, I’ve said that about many FOX game shows…

Fringe: A success for FOX. They seem to have gotten a rather large budget for fake blood and “Scanners” heads. The main woman star looks like she could beat me up in a fun sort of way.

Privileged: Once again, no CW in HD, so I couldn’t tolerate it for more than ten minutes.

Do Not Disturb: A) this show was miserable, and B) I can’t believe I watched the entire series, since it has already been canceled. Ever since Sliders the main guy hasn’t done a single watchable show. How many of you even knew this show was on?

In Harm’s Way, Valentine, and Easy Money. All on low def CW. Not tolerable for that reason alone.

Worst Week: This sitcom seems like it can last for a full half a season. Nothing worth watching, but I didn’t try to rip my eyes out while watching it. The father from the 70’s Show is always pretty funny.

Opportunity Knocks: Yet another ludicrous ABC feel good for the poor American show. I didn’t even make it through the commercial for this show.

The Mentalist: Nothing original, but the main character is rather sarcastic, so it was watchable, although they are already piling up on my DVR. Something tells me they won’t get watched.

Knight Rider: Didn’t NBC realize what crap they produced for the pilot movie last spring? Nothing improved. I lasted about 5 minutes in to this one. Latest word on the street is that NBC is sending this one back to the “rewrite” world.

Gary Unmarried: I’ll be honest, I’ll watch any show with Paula Marshall in it. I still miss Cupid and wish it would come out on DVD. The kids in the show make it painful, and having Paula dating Ed Begley Jr. is a bit nauseating.

The Ex List: I can’t remember any network show where the first episode had long discussions about nicknames for various “styles” of trimmed nether regions. The show was rather entertaining, and was actually winning its time slot, but CBS canned it. I think it pissed off some old ladies that sit around watching TV on Friday evenings. Another rough break for those that enjoy watching women clad in bikinis.

Kath and Kim: Painful. Has it been canceled yet?

Life on Mars: The scripts have had a few issues, but the show is decent. I think the 70’s soundtrack might be one of the best parts of it. Not one of the cheapest shows to make, so not sure if it will survive. Good actors.

Eleventh Hour: OK, but it doesn’t keep me interested.

My Own Worst Enemy: Seems brutally overacted. Don’t think it will make it for the season.

Crusoe: Has it been cancelled yet?

I think Fringe and The Mentalist will last past this season. Gary Unmarried, Life on Mars, and Worst Week at least have a shot (the two sitcoms simply because the are cheap to make). I don’t think anything else will make it.

That about wraps it up. Rerun season hasn’t cranked up yet. If anything strikes your fancy feel free to catch up on it, provided I approved of it.

Need something to do this Friday? I’ll be out in SanFran seeing the big city, but this makes C-Ville almost like one of those big cities out there in California.

Familiar Strangers (Movie Poster)

“Familiar Strangers” – Starring Shawn Hatosy, DJ Qualls, Nikki Reed, Cameron Richardson, Ann Dowd and Tom Bower and introducing Georgia Mae Lively – Premieres in Charlottesville at the Regal Downtown Mall 6. Friday November 14!

“Familiar Strangers” is an off beat ­ funny ­ heartfelt story of a family negotiating the changing relationships between parents and children, especially as those children grow into adulthood.

The film asks the question: “Is it really possible to relate to ones parents and siblings after being replaced by the family dog? . . . Perhaps as friends – weird friends?”

Opening weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!) box office is critically important to the success of any film. All who attend during opening weekend will receive a free gift souvenir of the film!

“Familiar Strangers” is the first theatrical release from Virginia based production company Cavalier Films. The film was shot in Staunton VA.

Visit the site for a trailer.

For those that remember Logan’s Run there was a great scene as they were walking through Washington DC. The roads had been taken over by trees, vines, and moss.

C-Ville is starting to look the same way in many places. As I run through town I’m starting to notice a lot of streets where there are three foot high trees growing from the crack between the curb and the road. Is this a good thing? I’d be willing to bet the chicken won’t be able to cross the road in the near future due to the overgrowth.

Overgrown Roads

Unfortunately, C-Ville seems to be missing some of the scenery from the movie…

Did anyone catch The Daily Show this evening? Good old Goode got ridiculed for driving around in a hummer on the 4th of July while listening to constituents complain about the cost of gas. “I’m Virgil Mother F*cking Goode and I’ll make it rain,” was his tagline. Very funny. Goode was compared to Lil’ Wayne. Rappers or Republicans.

The nice part is that Charlottesville was in a big bold font at the bottom of the screen. All publicity is good publicity. Right monkey boy?

Does this all fit in with C-Ville having the most expensive gas in the state? Will C-Ville tribal elders promote this one?

I constantly wonder why the nightlife around here gets such a bad rap for shootings, stabbings, and gang warfare. This past Saturday night only had three arrested at one location. Mama Mia’s.

I guess one just wanted to say thanks for the music, another just wanted the money, money, money, and the third decided the winner takes it all and ran off with the spare m. I’d go on…but I’m tired and can feel that you, my readers, are slipping through my fingers.

Are you ready for the movie about this? Just a few weeks away.

George Carlin (1937-2008)