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December 20, 2014

Things I Hate About TV

Things I Hate About TV: It's just like a movie!

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 16th 2006 10:35AM
SmithI hate it when a network, a star, or a producer refers to a TV show that "looks like a movie." Is this supposed to impress me? I don't really care if a TV show "looks like a movie," because I look for the actual content of the show (writing, stars, direction, etc) before I look at how it looks. Give me a good script that looks terrible and I'll take it over a formula show that looks fantastic any day.

Take Smith. The network (and more than a few TV critics and fans) kept saying it looked like watching a movie only on our TV sets. Um, yeah, only I think what people meant by this is that the cinematography in the pilot was good and it had some good explosions. Not a terrible show, but really, that's what it came down to.

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Things I Hate About TV: Video on the web

by Brett Love, posted Oct 8th 2006 1:44PM
Microsoft failure to play
I'd imagine that, for most of you, I don't even really need to go into details on this one. Just reading the phrase 'video on the web' probably conjures plenty of your own experiences fighting with technology to get your dander up. Why? Why does it have to be so damned complicated to put a video file on the internet?

Now, part of my frustration with this comes from the fact that I'm one of 'those guys.' I loathe Windows. I could go on and on about the evils of Bill and the Gang, but that is probably a post for another site. It does bring up one of the most frustrating things we run into when we link to content from the various networks. Requirements to play. You need Windows XP, or Media Player 10, or Flash 6, or IE, or Quicktime, or to stand on your head and chant the namshub of Enki. Good grief, it doesn't need to be that hard.

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Things I Hate About TV: Calling actors by their character names

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 5th 2006 1:06PM

Mary HartThe infotainment shows (The Insider, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, etc) are all moronic. Studies have shown that you actually lose brain cells when you watch them. That's no secret. But do they have to be so outrageously moronic?

I'm watching a repeat of yesterday's The Insider this morning, and they kept teasing an upcoming story about "Doctor McDreamy." They must have said the name at least five times, before the damn story even ran, later in the show.

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Things I Hate About TV: If you change leagues, your stats go to zero

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 12th 2006 7:43PM
Bobby AbreuBobby Abreu (right) is batting for the Yankees, less than two weeks after his July 31 trade from the Phillies. You vaguely know his stats, but are curious to see how they've changed since the trade. So you look up while watching the game and see on the TV screen that Abreu is hitting .378 with one home run and five RBIs.

Whaaa? What happened to all the homers and RBIs he had with the Phillies?

Well, they're still there. But, because Abreu went from the National League to the American League, the channel that you're watching has decided that the stats he compiled in "the other league" don't apply anymore, and just showed his stats since the switch. It's something they've been doing since baseball's been on television, when the two leagues were distinct and the players from each never played each other outside the World Series and the All-Star Game.

But it doesn't make any sense anymore.

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Things I Hate About TV: News stories about food

by Anna Johns, posted Aug 6th 2006 3:29PM
hot dog contestWhat is the deal with news stations and food? Are the employees not fed enough? Everyone, from national cable outlets to local news affiliates, loves to run stories about eating contests or giant versions of regular food. It's disgusting to see a bunch of people shoveling hot dogs, bratwursts, and whatever else in their mouths in a race against the clock. It's also embarrassing that there are so many food eating contests in this country. It seems like we're showing off that we're fat and we have a lot of food to spare. I also hate the stories about giant foods. Giant Oreos! Giant Moon Pies! Gross, gross, gross. What a waste of time and resources.

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Things I Hate About TV: That stupid new Today Show promo

by Keith McDuffee, posted Aug 4th 2006 11:28AM
matt and meredithI think I'm living some kind of weird Rip Van Winkle life lately. Suddenly, without warning, there are these bizarre promos running during the breaks on the Today Show showing Matt, Al, Ann and Meredith laughing, goofing and dancing together as if they'd been on the air for ten years with Meredith. Who are they trying to fool? Who are these people? What is going on here?!

Maybe they did an excellent video editing job and stuck Meredith's head on Katie's body, and this is an old goofy video they're using. And even then, when I say the promo's goofy, I mean GOOFY. I'm trying to imagine what the director was saying while trying to get the team to feel all chummy together, as if we're supposed to believe they're really that pally with Meredith: "OK now Al, you do a little hop and shuffle, then eat a beignet. Matt, you stick out your tongue, slap Ann on the ass and dip Meredith. No, on the ass, Matt. Meredith, you flex your biceps while Ann laughs hysterically in the background. No Ann, laugh. Like this 'hahaha.' There you go."

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Things I Hate About TV: Everybody thinks they can host a talk show

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 3rd 2006 2:11PM
Vivica A. FoxThink about the number of daytime talk shows that have lasted more than a couple of years. You've got self-help shows like Oprah and Dr. Phil, "You're my baby's daddy" shows like Maury and Jerry Springer, and one or two celebrity-hosted shows, like Ellen and the old Rosie O'Donnell Show. The formula for daytime talk show success is very nebulous, so nebulous that it has chewed up and spit out celebrities as diverse as Jane Pauley, Tempestt Bledsoe, Tony Danza and David Letterman.

So why, why, WHY do celebrities whosse star power has fallen a little bit keep thinking they can forge a second career as a talk show host? And who are these studio execs who think creating these shows is a good idea? That's what I thought when I read that Vivica A. Fox is now talking to studios about hosting a daytime talk show. Sigh. I mean, Vivica's a nice actress. But what insight can she give to a daytime talk show, especially one that isn't celebrity-driven? We already have Tyra Banks talking about her dolphin phobia; do we need another beautiful celebrity trying to relate to everyday folks?

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Things I Hate About TV: Constant reminders that it's hot outside

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 18th 2006 3:03PM
WCBS logoWhy do local TV stations think we're not aware of the weather that is going on all around us? Right now, the Northeast is experiencing a pretty bad heat wave, with temperatures in the high 90s - low 100s and high humidity. Even though you might have your air conditioner on, you still feel that steamy stickiness, even it's just left over from your commute. But, for some reason, WCBS in New York has decided that you need a constant reminder that it's hot outside.

They've decided to stick a "Heat Alert" box in the lower left-hand corner of the screen, showing the current temperature. So, just in case you don't realize that it's already in the 90s, you can be told while watching the latest episode of The People's Court. Jeez. Look, it's 91! Oh, wait, wait... it's 92! Woweee, it's 97! No, wait... 95! Note to WCBS: we know it's hot out there. We've taken two showers already, and earlier today we let a lawn sprinkler spray us while we were in our work clothes. We don't need the reminder. You're just making us feel hotter with that damned box.

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Things I Hate About TV: summer commercials

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 3rd 2006 8:17AM

Dunkin' DonutsI wrote about a few of these commercials over at Adjab recently, but I have to mention more of them here because they are really starting to get to me.

Have you ever noticed that TV commercials that run during the summer are particularly annoying? It's not just the actual content of the ads (though that can be quite irritating), it's the number of times that a commercial is repeated during June, July, and August. Toyota can't just have a one or two week sale, they have to have a damn Toyotathon that lasts all summer, so we have to hear that "Let's go for a ride, feel the sunshine, let's go for a ride in the summertime" song 300 times a day. Dunkin' Donuts doesn't just have a few summer drinks, they now have summer drinks for every situation and personality, and America runs because of them, so these ads run 200 times a day.

Now, some of this might be because I get paid to watch TV for a living and watch a lot more of it than most people, but I think that even the most casual TV viewer sees these ads over and over and over again, to the point that they want to change the channel. Have you noticed that summertime ads run a gazillion times a day?

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Things I Hate About TV: Talking about something later

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 29th 2006 8:39AM
Will and GraceHere's what I mean: something will be about to happen in one scene, or it's something that happens offscreen that we don't see, and in the next scene, some place else, the people involved in that scene will just then start talking about it.

God, that was confusing.

Here's an example from tonight, a Will and Grace repeat. Will sells the car that Grace's uncle used to own, and he tells her he sold it to someone who has a farm in the country. Then they have to get the car back, so they go to the home of the buyer. The very next scene is Will and Grace standing in a convent in Queens, and Grace says to Will something like "this isn't the country, this is Queens!" But wouldn't they have talked about that BEFORE they even got inside the convent? Wouldn't Will have to explain why they were taking a subway to Queens instead of driving out to a home in the country? Yeah, I know, I know, they do this for the funny and they do it because that's how the staging and the setup has to be, but it doesn't make any sense! What, did they not talk on the whole ride down there? Was Grace blindfolded the whole time?

And it happens all the time, usually on sitcoms. Can you imagine, say, getting into a car accident, you're there at the scene, giving the police info, driving or walking all the way home with the person who was with you in the car, and then you get home and say "that was some car accident we were just in, huh?"

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Things I Hate About TV: Not saying goodbye on the phone

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 13th 2006 7:00PM
Old telephoneHave you ever noticed that many TV characters don't say goodbye when they're done with a phone call? I find that this happens the most on action/adventure shows, where the evil boss or hero just doesn't have time to say goodbye, he just says something to the person on the other end and hangs up, and on soaps, where you'll see it happen almost every episode. I think writers and directors think it adds more drama to a scene. Personally I think it would be funny if the person the character was talking to would call back a minute later and say, "did you hang up or something?"

I'll often be watching a show and a character will just hang up the phone without saying goodbye and I'll make the joke in my head, "um, goodbye?"

This blogger agrees, and uses 24 as an example.

[via Metafilter]

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Things I Hate About TV: "I'm gonna be a jerk, Bob"

by Annie Wu, posted Jun 12th 2006 12:22PM
Hate me!I've watched The Price Is Right for a really long time. Really, really long. Well, long enough to know that, while the Beauties will get old and start to sag in all the wrong places, Bob Barker will never, ever age. And there has something -- someone, rather -- that has bothered me since I started watching.

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Things I Hate About TV: YES Network's crowded broadcast booth

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 9th 2006 8:36PM
YES Network LogoThis post is probably super-specific to Yankees fans who get the YES Network, but I just wanted to bitch anyway; for all I know, this is happening on your local cable sports network, too.

Time was, when you tuned into the local TV coverage of your favorite team's games, there were two, maybe three, announcers, shuffling in and out to accomodate bathroom and hot dog breaks. Many times, the displaced announcer would work the radio side for a few innings. Either way, the team remained stable and familiar, like the warm summer days that are perfect for watching baseball.

But the YES Network doesn't seem to realize people like stability in the booth. Today, former Yankee backup catcher John Flaherty makes his debut in the YES booth, making him the (pauses to count on fingers and toes) eighth booth announcer the network has used this year.

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Things I Hate About TV: The Weather Channel

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 9th 2006 9:17AM

Ah, hurricane! Run and hide!During a particularly bad spate of thunderstorms blanketing the Delaware Valley last week I switched on The Weather Channel thinking I would see some reports about the severe weather that was crossing the region. However, after my local forecast ended I was treated to a special which featured team coverage about the official start of the 2006 hurricane season.

Well, I looked outside, switched around to the other news networks, went on the Internet (until the thunderstorms knocked out my access), then rocketed into space in my personal spacecraft to see if any hurricanes were making landfall on the United States' coastline. I couldn't find any. So, why the heck did they have all of this team coverage when all I wanted to find out is if my house would be flooded by torrential rains or stuck several times by lightning?

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Things I Hate About TV: Network programming executives

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 8th 2006 12:35PM

matthew perry; bradley whitford; studio 60 on sunset strip; aaron sorkinI don't envy the network programming executives. Their task is to use prognostication to determine what shows will be picked up for the new season and where they'll go in the schedule to please not only audiences but advertisers as well. Sometimes they hit the jackpot ("Must See TV" Thursday's on NBC, "TGIF" Fridays on ABC, "Animation Domination" Sundays on Fox) and sometimes they go down in flames (Cop Rock . . . need I say more). However, when they go ahead and take a good thing and mess around with it due to fear it really ticks me off.

Case in point:  the new NBC fall schedule. Personally, I felt that after years of mediocrity on Thursday nights the programming executives were about to revive "Must See TV". There were no more subpar sitcoms and reality shows to fill the blank 8:30-10:00 spot that had been the bane of the network for several seasons. Instead, each hour was filled with strong shows. My Name is Earl and The Office were moved up one hour to the 8:00-9:00 PM slot. Following would be the brand new Aaron Sorkin drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip which featured the return of Matthew Perry to the NBC schedule. Closing would be the long-running ER, which is still a top twenty show that could have a new lease on life with the arrival of John Stamos. Three steady hours of TV.

And, out of fear, NBC programming executives blew it by moving the show to Mondays!

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