Basically it comes down to either 1. lame jokes or 2. being too much like Friends. I'm not a regular viewer of How I Met Your Mother (I did love Friends), so I have absolutely no opinion on the matter at all. They do point out the plot from last night's episode where they tried to quit smoking, saying that Friends did that several times with Chandler Bing's character over the years and that was funnier and HIMYM copied too much from Friends.
What do you think?
Anyway, with the release of King's new book, which is full of stories from his past, it seems like it's again time for journalists to point out that -- gasp! -- King makes some of his stories up. Jack Shafer in Slate, for instance, has decided to bring up King's claims that he knew Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax when the two of them were growing up in Brooklyn, a story that even Shafer acknowledges was refuted by Koufax himself... way back in 1991.
I can just sense thousands of readers right now smacking their heads with their palms and going, "I knew it!" right now. And I bet right now you're also scrambling to Google the condition and see what the characteristics are. No need; they're right here. Just in that website's brief description, you can see a lot that goes into the character of Sheldon: affected speech patterns, a small and unexpandable circle of interest, and -- most of all -- difficult two-way social interaction. Seems like Sheldon to a T.
Case in point: this somewhat obtuse essay praising Poehler on Slate.com. In the process of reviewing Poehler's cartoon, The Mighty B!, writer Troy Patterson goes through some verbal gymnastics, like calling the ASSSCAT show she puts on at the UCB Theater "a Dadaist party trick," among other head-scratching terms. But what's interesting is the virulent reaction his review gets in the comments section.
No, this isn't some programming move to get rid of reality shows (though I think it's worth exploring). It's actually a strategy in case there's a strike in Hollywood.
And that strike is looking more and more like it might become a reality. It sounds like hyperbole, I know, but the two sides are really far apart, and we're closer to a strike than we've ever been. Writers want more money for DVD sales and other forms of media. At one point they were going to work under their old deal until the end of this season, but now things have changed. The networks have been stockpiling on scripts and orders for reality shows just in case.
When I was at the premiere for Daisies at the New York Television Festival last night, my main purpose on the event's red carpet (pictures of and text about the event will be posted on Tuesday) was to ask Sonnenfeld to reply to that article. Luckily, the director of Get Shorty, Men In Black, and The Addams Family wasn't reluctant to respond. "You know, the writer of the piece hasn't written a lot about Hollywood, I think," said Sonnenfeld. "Almost every show after the pilot is over-budget, whether it's Bionic Woman, Chuck, last year's Ugly Betty... I suspect they're all over-budget." More after the jump.
The article, written by Liesl Schillinger, examines the reasons why the remakes -- including the American version -- were done, paralleling how each fictitional office is portrayed with how each country views their respective 9-to-5 grinds. For instance, the "Tim and Dawn" equivalent in Germany are even better looking than the American "Jim and Pam," and are already fooling around under the desk. And, the British and French Offices emphasize that life isn't all about work, while the American version reflect our nation's desire to revolve our lives around the workplace, even if we don't actually do much productive work. Not a bad read for a lazy Thursday afternoon at work.
There's also a quick history of animation, from Max Fleischer and Walt Disney to Chuck Jones and Tex Avery. Adam, are you reading this?
"Gibson is an excellent choice, and having him start three months before Katie Couric is probably a good strategy. Gibson is a solid newsman, old school, nothing frilly or fancy. The contrast with Couric will be stunningly obvious."
Now wait a second. Isn't Gibson coming from Good Morning America, a morning talk show just like The Today Show? I've seen him talk about American Idol and interview movie stars and help with the cooking segments, so how is that different from Couric (regardless of the years that Gibson has over Couric)? Has anyone who has seen Couric handle serious news - from 9/11 to Columbine to Katrina - really think she can't be a serious prescence on the evening news? It's not like they're bringing in Bozo The Clown or Martha Stewart to do the news, she's been a newsperson for a while. Hell, even Mike Wallace did morning shows and cheesy commercials.
I don't know, the quote seems out of touch.
Hey, check your watch. Yeah, it's time for another episode of The Five where we list stuff in groups of five, and you throw down some more in the comments. It's both fun and educational. Today we're talking about the best fictional corporations on television, so let's get into it:
Acme: Are you a coyote who has devoted his life to catching a single bird? If so, the Acme Corporation has everything you need from anvils to rocket sleds to exploding birdseed. Of course, none of these things come with any guarantee, but I'm sure they'll work out just fine for you. According to Wikipedia, Acme was part of the Warner Bros. cartoon universe early on, having first appeared in "Buddy's Bug Hunt" in 1935.
But Boutin does get into something I've been wondering about lately: why is MySpace so popular? It's basically a place where you can put up a web site, but those kinds of sites have been around for years (Tripod, GeoCities, Angelfire, etc). What makes MySpace so popular (besides the whole "friends" thing)? I'm amazed that so many celebs have a site on there, because the designs are pretty crappy, if you ask me. The sites look like the web, circa 1996, from what I've seen. Though I guess like any other site you have to design them well.
The last panel, where he describes "Fox Lips" as being the new blonde, is a riot.
Hey, I like Anderson Cooper, but even I have to admit this Slate piece is pretty damn funny. Writer Tom Peyer gets Cooper's (and the show's) tone and phrasing and M.O. just right:
ANNOUNCER: Shock. Grief. Outrage. Glee.
One year after a devastating tsunami, four months after the fury of Katrina, mere days after a tragedy underground, which emotions will overtake Anderson Cooper next? Tonight, a special investigation on ANDERSON COOPER 360°.
ANDERSON COOPER: And good evening from CNN studios in New York, where we begin with a picture. Take a look. The man you see is 38 years old. A Manhattanite. A citizen, an employee, a friend, a son. His name: Anderson Cooper.
Most nights, he appears live on CNN to show you the devastation, destruction, disaster, sadness, and pain his countrymen endure.
But not tonight.
Tonight, he will explore Anderson Cooper. How one reporter copes while waiting for news, any news at all. A story of hope, and of prayers, ahead on 360.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. Our topic is Anderson Cooper, so we have a lot to cover in these two hours. We begin at his workplace.
After you're done reading the Slate review, head on over to Amazon to read the customer comments. There are already 33 reviews, and it appears a war is a-brewing over the literary quality of The Truth About Diamonds.
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