Archive for June, 2007

Hi Everybody!

Hello there, readers! I just wanted to pop in and point out that I’m not dead. I’ve just been rather busy with my paying job. Also, there’s nothing on TV.

Although that’s not entirely true: I started watching Top Chef on Wednesday, and boy is it great. Of course, Dan’s got that one pretty well covered, so there’s not much else to say on that topic.

I also forced Kyle to watch So You Think You Can Dance, which I found delightful (after all, this is one of my favorite movies), and he found… less so.

What else? Hm… I’m happy Jason Dohring is getting work, as Dan pointed out. He’ll make a fun vampire. And a bunch of Comedy Central shows joined the writer’s guild, so that seems like a good thing. Yay benefits, right?

To mask the nothing that was this post, please now give me your opinion. 

Jason Dohring's playing a vampire. Where should everyone else end up?
View Results

1 comment June 29th, 2007

The More You Know: New pants edition

They’re my size, but they feel kind of tight and I feel like everyone is staring at me.

1 comment June 29th, 2007

Who Would Win in a Fight: Angela Petrelli vs. Lucille Bluth

First item of business: who prevailed in the battle of the babyfaced badass Logan Echolls versus the tribe leader Jack Shephard? Turns out most of you think that brawn and raw anger would prevail, since (as of this post) Logan is enjoying a healthy lead. Makes sense, I suppose, but it would still be an entertaining match.

But after two boy fights in a row, it’s time to let the ladies have at it. And not just any ladies — two dames with ice water for blood. It’s Grandma Petrelli versus Grandma Bluth. That is, Nathan and Peter’s always-surprising mother on Heroes, Angela Petrelli, and the matriarch of the wildly dysfunctional Bluth clan, Lucille Bluth.

I predict hair-pulling and dirty tricks.

Side note: although it is entirely possible that Petrelli has some sort of super-power, right now we’re operating under the assumption that she doesn’t. That wouldn’t be fair now, would it?

lucillevsangela.jpg

Angela Petrelli

Strengths:

  • Nerves of steel
  • Has a history of shady dealings
  • Patient

Weaknesses:

  • Like a mother lion, she’s protective of her cubs — which could be a liability
  • Used to having other people do her dirty work
  • Has less power over those not directly related to her

Secret Weapon: Steadfast and determined.

Lucille Bluth

Strengths:

  • Acid tongue
  • Emotionally manipulative; can pretend to be hurt and then pounce when Petrelli’s guard is down
  • Sharp jewelry can be used as a weapon

Weaknesses:

  • Perpetual buzz could slow reaction time
  • Words may sting, but they can’t cut
  • Likely to forfeit if she gets tired

Secret Weapon: Fights dirty.

Who would win in a fight?
View Results

June 28th, 2007

The More You Know: AFV edition

Head, gut or crotch?

1 comment June 28th, 2007

Not on the TiFaux Tonight

I’ve been complaining lately that television has abandoned us, but I was just scanning through the programming guide and it turns out that I have abandoned TV. There is a show on like every channel at almost all times. So why is the list of upcoming recordings on our TiFaux Arrested Development on HDNet (even funnier in HD!), The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report? It turns out even though there are lots of things available to watch it’s nothing I want to watch. Here’s a review of the shows I won’t be watching tonight.

ABC’s The Next Best Thing: Who is the Greatest Celebrity Impersonator? No point. It’s Kevin Federline. Zing! Next!

CBS has a repeat of Criminal Minds. Is that the one with Mandy Patinkin? Do I look like I’m 55?

FOX continues So You Think You Can Dance. I don’t think I can dance, so I don’t know why they’re accusing me like this. I saw that Robert Altman dance movie The Company—which had actual good dancers, but a complete lack of situations—and that burned me out for dance-related entertainment for a long time.

Last Comic Standing on NBC. I can’t get behind this one on principle. A competition like this is never going to find good comics. It’s going to find filler for “Comedy Central Presents” shows. My stand-up friend Tim McIntire said it best on his blog: “I would try out if it really was a fight to be the last comic standing. I would definitely want to be on a show where I could hide in the living room and smash comics who are better connected and more telegenic than me in the face with a piece of rebar… It could be like Highlander – if you kill another comic, you get all his jokes, until there really was only one comic standing, with a notebook and a samurai sword, bombing at the Comedy Connection because it’s all tourists.”

PBS has a show called Bear Island which sounds like Stephen Colbert’s worst nightmare. But also kind of cool.

colbert-bears.jpg

The CW has a new teen soap-opera called Hidden Palms. Which I thought was a porno featuring mostly under-the-table handjobs, but it’s really The O.C. II: Don’t Call it That.

Take that Jackie Harvey!

5 comments June 27th, 2007

Top Chef: The south, apparently, will not rise again

Previously on Top Chef: Micah won the first quickfire challenge, Tre won the first elimination challenge, Brian chose to cook two — count ’em — two kinds of snakes and completely grossed me out, Howie forgot the frog legs, and Clay couldn’t cook his way out of a paper bag (what?).

Credits, credits, credits — have you noticed that the product placement is a little more ham-handed than it normally is? The contestants are basically forced to simulate sex with pieces of Gladware in an effort to prove how awesome it is.

It’s the morning after the elimination and everyone is struggling. Brian’s still smarting from being in the bottom four, as is Howie. Howie says he’s going to win this time and prove himself to everyone (foreshadowing: no, he isn’t). By comparison to Micah, though, everyone else seems to have the energy and sunny disposition of a coked-up Hannah Storm. We see the girls lure her out of bed and then, when she gets to the kitchen, flip both birds to the world. Mornin’ sunshine.

Meanwhile, we watch Sandee go through her morning mohawk-forming ritual. It’s strange, you know, to see people with badass haircuts go about the mundane maintenance of their ‘dos. She’s got to blow dry it, gel it, spike it — it’s a lot of work. It makes you appreciate the work that Hot Topic employees go through to make their inner pain visible. After all, black lipstick doesn’t just apply itself.

Cut to the Competition Kitchen where there’s a giant produce stand that must have taken a coterie of interns all day to arrange. The stand is filled with limes, lemons, oranges and every other form of citrus you could possibly imagine (Brian says it’s “gorgeous” — which strikes me as a weird adjective, but whatever turns you on). Next to it, stands Padma and a dad-ish looking guy named Norman Van Aken, who it would seem is the czar of Florida citrus.

Padma (this scene’s fashion choice: a dainty white top with one of those big honking belts that all the LA types wear) announces that the quickfire challenge will involve making a citrus dish. That’s it. You have 15 minutes — go.

The exciting music starts and the chefs start running around. Micah says she has no ideas and that she had more direction when she was dealing with geoduck and monkfish liver. I can totally understand this, since I’m pretty convinced that the imposition of limits is a great way to fuel creativity.

Hung (oy!) talks about he and Tre are the ones to beat. I mean, it’s probably true at this point, but I suppose he’s that requisite competitive reality trash talker that casting directors find infinitely appealing. Hung says he’s definitely going to win and everyone else has a “slummy” dish.

One thing I find funny about this quickfire challenge is that despite all product placement there is a little segment of Sandee and Hung complaining about how all of the GE-furnished equipment sucks.

normandpadma.jpgAnyway, on to judging the dishes. Padma and Norman make the rounds. Sandee made an orange marmalade-encrusted something or other, but also made a mojito with a gigantic tropical plant growing out of it. C.J. freaks out about stray seed making it into his dish, and admits (when asked) that it wasn’t a choice and that the seed just got away.

Sara Nguyen finally makes her way onto the scene this episode and made a shrimp dish for the challenge. Whereas last episode her only reason for existing was to say “And then we went to the hotel. It was great!”, this week she is presented as a basketcase — freaking out at every opportunity and convinced that nothing will go right. And in the quickfire nothing does go right, as she craps herself under the pressure and can barely explain her creation.

Joey (who, in case you forgot, is from New York) impresses Norman with a watermelon -flavored shooter alongside his dish. Cut to a clip of a Machiavellian raise of the eyebrow by Hung. Remember that for later.

Despite that, Hung wins the quickfire, to which he responds that he never expected anything less. And I impale myself on the nearest implement on which one could impale oneself. I guarantee you that Hung is going to get nothing but worse, being weirdly proud of his smugness. On the reunion show he’ll try to play it off with the old “I didn’t come here to make friends, I came here to win” chestnut.

That said, he can cook. Which, I suppose, is what this show is about.

Joey’s pissed that he wasn’t in the top three. You know — New York pissed. Micah, Sara N. and Sandee are in the bottom three.

There’s really no segue or downtime after the winner is announced until we find out about the elimination challenge. This week’s challenge is to make an upscale barbecue — simple as that. The whole thing makes me feel inferior at my own cookouts in recent weeks, as I think I’m hot shit because I put cilantro, grated onion and Worcestershire in my burgers. And then grill them in my overgrown backyard that is a stray hubcap away from being the ultimate white trash haven.

Click to continue reading “Top Chef: The south, apparently, will not rise again”

June 27th, 2007

The More You Know: Red eye edition

I swear, no picture has ever been taken of me where my eyes aren’t glowing like some hell-sprung demon.

2 comments June 27th, 2007

Internets TV Update

Well kids, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve been active on TiFaux but I’m taking the summer off so you should be hearing from me more often. But all that free time comes just when TV goes into hibernation. Hibernation in the summer! That’s crazy! Why does TV still abandon us in the summer? The kids are out of school with no homework to get in the way of prime time. It’s not like we all go on vacation like those lazy Europeans do. Pretty much nothing changes for most adults in the summer except we don’t get any quality TV.

So rather than catch up on the brilliant indie films I haven’t been watching (although you should all go out and buy a DVD of Hal Hartley’s latest masterpiece Fay Grim if you haven’t already) I’ve decided to turn to the Internets and see what the kids are watching there.

As usual, it’s a grim scene. When I first started writing about Internets video, Lonelygirl15 was still a cute, real-life girl who made funny videos in her bedroom. I hadn’t seen it in a while, but I watched the latest episode last night.[kml_flashembed movie="http://flash.revver.com/player/1.0/player.swf" width="480" height="376" fvars="mediaId=313382 ; affiliateId=18789" wmode="transparent" /]

Now, not only is it an obviously scripted piece of junk, Bree is nowhere to be seen! This new guy is really actory, and they’re still going with all this nonsense about cults. If only we could go back to the days of Proving Science Wrong. This show should have ended as soon as it was outed as a fake. It would have been legendary. The stuff they’re doing now is like making a sequel to The Blair Witch Project…

A recent hit on the uTube (notice how I shortened the name? The kids are always doing stuff like that) is The 305, a cross between The 300 and The Office. It’s a fairly funny and pretty well-made piece, but it’s a little too much like guys screwing around in their basement. I didn’t finish it. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/8wpa2Qplm8M" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Another thing that’s so hot right now is Machinima; using video games to make videos. It’s smart because you don’t need actors or locations or props or anything. The most popular by far is Red vs. Blue which is about to reveal its 100th and final episode. One of my old roommates once watched something like 2 hours worth of this show on DVD in our living room. I watched 10 minutes of it and thought it was a clever short. Then I found out that it just kept going. Re-watching some of it now, I have to say it’s not my thing. Here are somebody’s idea of the “best” moments from the first season. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/4ZBKFBdqb7s" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

June 26th, 2007

Let’s Talk About HD

I recently bought an HD Plasma Display, replacing the venerable 27″ Panasonic old-fashioned tube television I’ve had for 7 years. It was a nice TV, with component inputs and even analog audio outputs, which is why I bought it in the first place. But as a person making a living from my knowledge of professional HD formats, I just couldn’t see coming home to a boring old low-res TV anymore. Plus, we have a television blog, and we have to watch a lot of TV. Why not watch it in HD?

If you want a really detailed and technical description of my decision to buy a lovely professional Panasonic model, you can read about it on my highly geeky personal blog. But on TiFaux, I want to talk about my actual experiences watching high definition TV.

First of all, if our experience is any indication, Time Warner Cable in Brooklyn is in trouble. Switching to HD turned our previously minor reception problems into major ones. Since we moved in we’ve had sporadic problems with Turner Classic Movies (and apparently MTV2 and Noggin—that weird cartoon channel that’s not Cartoon Network—but we never watch those channels) but when I got our new HD TiFaux (which doesn’t match the TiFaux logo anymore) plugged in, half of the HD channels were just gray screens. Sometimes they showed up for a day, but then they went away again. After a lot of calls, 6 visits from various flavors of cable guy, and some amazing acrobatics (seriously) we have consistent HD reception. I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens a lot more as people continue switching to HD cable. It’s going to add up to a lot of expense on Time Warner’s side.

Click to continue reading “Let’s Talk About HD”

June 26th, 2007

The More You Know: Pompadour edition

If you’ve never met me, I hope your mental image involves a pompadour.

June 26th, 2007

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