Rant Time: This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Happy holidays everybody!  It’s almost X-Mas time!  That special time of year when a fully bearded diaper-wearing baby Jesus flies his rocket ship to Earth to deliver presents to all of the little girls and boys.  But only the Christian ones because the rest will burn in eternal hell fire.  Also, I think we hang stockings to prevent our daughters from becoming prostitutes.  Think I’m making that part up?  Google that shit.  It gets dark.  As we enter the holiday season, we must all take a moment to realize that now is a time for giving.  Or in the case of major TV networks, cruelly taking away the things we love.  And by things, I of course mean some of the best and most creative shows on TV.  Sweeps season moves in like a chill winter wind to blow away all of the shows not bloated enough with ratings to be anchored down.  It’s usually right about now when we start to find out if we’ll be seeing our favorite characters coming back next year to fill our hearts with springtime joy.  And as usual, the major networks are killing off every show that seems to have something going for it on the creative side.  Let’s take a look at some of the fan favorite shows that may soon be unjustly cancelled so networks can air a new reality show called Morbidly Obese Fuckin Hoarder Sister Wives of Little People County.  We’ll see why we should treasure the time we have left with them before the plug gets pulled.

obese-woman

She hoards food in her colon. That’s nature’s hiding place.

    

First things first, Community.  This show has been on life support since season one.  Easily the most creative (and probably funniest) major network show to drop since Arrested Development, Community is the greatest show on TV that no one is watching.  No one…at all.  The rock solid cast features the best group of rising stars I’ve ever seen.  Joel McHale will soon be a major Hollywood player.  Count on that.  Between Community and Mad Men, Allison Brie will be a leading lady on TV or film.  Donald Glover is turning into a renaissance man with his TV, standup, and music careers.  And those are just the top three!  Jim Rash won an Oscar last year and he’s not even one of the main cast!  This show made Chevy Chase relevant again.  Need I say more?  He’s getting Old Navy commercials!  That’s the big time.  You remember Chevy Chase right?  He had his own talk show.  You probably didn’t see it.  

chevy

Chevy’s show was just like The Magic Johnson show, but with much less HIV

In Community, Dan Harmon created a self aware show that features the best use of pop culture references in ever.  They’ve had the Zombie episode, Call of Duty episode, Glee episode, Breakfast Club episode, and Super Dark Christmas Special just to name a few.  Omar from The Wire is a faculty member!  But the show isn’t just about being clever for the sake of being clever.  Community actually makes you give a damn about its characters.  You can relate to and understand people that aren’t limited by their archetypes.  You don’t get to that with sub-par writing.  Almost every episode is strong and all of them featured at least a few laugh out loud moments.  Dan Harmon invested himself in the writing of every episode and it definitely shows.  And now he’s fired.  Thanks NBC.  The show also got moved to Friday nights.  Thanks again.  The season four premier has been delayed indefinitely and now there’s new leadership at NBC.  Doesn’t look good for our heroes, does it?  Do I sound bitter?  Of course I’m bitter.  This is the funniest show on TV, but ‘Murica would rather watch the same ole’ recycled comedy crap on CBS instead.  Let’s move on before my eyes start bleeding.  Thanks for the memories Community.  May the DVD sales be with you.

Do yourself a favor and watch this show.  It'll make Danny Pudi happy.

Do yourself a favor and watch this show. It’ll make Danny Pudi happy.

Next show? Parks and Rec.  This is another show that’s been dodging the chopping block since day one.  If I had to choose one show that could be better than Community, it would be this one.  Amy Poehler leads another rock star cast in an “Office style” docu-comedy that out performs The Office in every way imaginable.  I don’t get the ratings on this one.  Did everyone just assume it was an Office knockoff and skip it?  I’m about to drop some knowledge on you.  The Office is a knock off of The Office and people seemed to like that.  I will admit that Parks took a season to find its footing.  However, starting with season two, there isn’t another show that I would recommend that everyone would be able to “get”.  I can understand how Community wouldn’t be someone’s cup of tea, but there are no excuses for not giving Parks and Rec. a shot.  It’s just plain great TV.  Nothing has been confirmed about a cancellation, but TV buzz indicates that this season could be the last due to the executive shake up at NBC.  Another one may be biting the dust.

NBC's new head of programming.  He thinks the spring lineup will be simply ghoulish.

NBC’s new head of programming. He thinks the spring lineup will be simply ghoulish.

The last great show that may be meeting its maker is Happy Endings.  I’ll admit that I’m pretty new to the Happy Endings party.  I’d heard good things here and there but I could never be bothered to watch.  I suppose I’m as much to blame as anyone for not checking it out sooner.  This season is the first that I’ve actually committed to watching and now I’m hooked.  The cast has noticeable on-screen chemistry and there’s not a weak character in the bunch.  I want to know and hang out with these people.  They’re so much more fun than most of my real friends.  You know who you are.  Happy Endings is like the chick you meet at a party one night and the two of you just completely hit it off.  You like all the same bands and you both laughed at the guy that fell off the porch and wound up going to the hospital.  You just plain get each other.  And then you find out that she’s moving to Canada soon and you’ll never see her again.  ABC is moving your dream girl to Canada against her will.  Bummer.  And lest my wife think that I actually met Canada girl, I assure you that she’s about as real as my sobriety.  So…not.  I will say that Happy Endings has enjoyed a ratings boost as of late so I may still have a chance with this chick. 

They're just like your friends.  Except way way hotter.

They’re just like your friends. Except way way hotter…even the dude at the bottom.

So who do we have to thank for taking away all of our favorite shows?  That would be the good people at the Nielsen company and their magical rating system.  Here’s a brief summary of that whole situation.  In the 1920’s, some guy came up with a rating system for radios.  Then in the 50’s, they put the same system in place for TV’s.  Every year, a miniscule number of people are selected to determine whether or not shows will stay on the air.  Seriously, it’s like .02% of the population.  How many of those people do you think have the ability to form a coherent thought?  I’m going to go ahead and say half of that number.  The selection process is determined by drawing random names out of a really, really big hat.  Whatever these silly bastards choose to write down that they liked watching is what gets to stay on the air.  And that’s how Two and a Half Men keeps making Chuck Lorre big hat’s full of money. 

This fine fellow represents 10,000 viewers.  You are one of them.

This fine fellow represents 10,000 viewers. You are one of them.

Some of you may be saying to yourselves, “Hey, this is the internet age.  Why don’t we just develop a new, more accurate ratings system that measures online streaming numbers or something like that?”  Because fuck you, that’s why.  They don’t wanna change the system.  And now my ears are ringing and my nose just started bleeding.  Time for my aneurism.  To quote a wise man during this Christmas season, “Hallelujah!  Holy Shit!  Where’s the Tylenol?

– Josh

Widow’s Peaks, and Why I Don’t Watch Homeland

Claire Danes and I have a complicated relationship.  As a chubby, precocious 14 year old growing up in a small town, Angela Chase was my manic pixie dream girl before it was a thing.  And without the pixie size.  Or manic behavior.  She was actually pretty low key, now that I think about it.  But man, I loved her.

The poetry of the 90's.  No wonder everyone hated us.

The poetry of the 90’s. No wonder everyone hated us.

In a town populated with mostly homely women (aka blondes) that showed little interest in a boy who shaved his widow’s peak (because it was seriously out of control, you guys), I was on an island of celibacy.  I didn’t make out with girls in 8th grade.  I just wasn’t that guy.  I was the guy who shaved his widow’s peak.

You thought I was going to post a picture of Eddie Munster, didn't you?  Don't be a dick

You thought I was going to post a picture of Eddie Munster, didn’t you? Don’t be a dick

Side note, I did it because I thought it looked absolutely hideous, and I wanted a straight hair line across my forehead.  What I didn’t realize is even though I shaved it, there was still stubble.  So I “Naired” it.  That’s right, I put fucking Nair on my forehead.  And guess what?  There was still a shadow.  So then I put a BAND AID on my forehead, and pretended I somehow cut my forehead for two weeks.  I was a weird kid.

Anyway, I loved My So Called Life.  I mean, obviously.  It wasn’t about happiness, or everything working out.  People fought and didn’t make up in the same 30 minutes.  And, also… Brian MF Krakow.  My So Called Life was the realest thing ever.  Like The Wire for teen angst.  Which means Jordan Catalano was Omar Little.

I shot the boy Mike-Mike in his hind parts, that all.

I shot the boy Mike-Mike in his hind parts, that all.

So 1994-95 was a special time in my life.  A time when I didn’t feel like I was the only one who wasn’t taking a Kelly Kapowski-type out behind the school and getting her pregnant.

kelly2

After that moment in history, I kept waiting for for Angela Chase / Claire Danes to reappear and sweep me off my feet again.  Even at an early age, I had a hard time separating the actor from the role.  But unfortunately, the rest of her IMDB page reads like the kind of stuff I go out of my way to avoid, a laundry list of things like

“How to Make an American Quilt”

“To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday”

“Les Miserables”

“The Mod Squad”

“The Hours”

I'd much rather watch this

I’d much rather watch this

You get the gist.  Oh sure, you can throw in a “Romeo+Juliet” here and a “Terminator” there, but really, don’t both of those things suck?  And now, I’m at a point where I just can’t help but notice that as an actress, I hate Claire Danes.

angela

“I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.”

angela 2

“I’ve never been to a cabin with you, you psychopath.  I’m sorry if that hurts”

angela 3

“Just… Just don’t cry, okay?”

angela 4

“UGH”

I don’t hate her because she’s necessarily bad.  She’s just like Julianne Moore and Andie McDowell.  I don’t particularly like their brand of blandness.  So I won’t watch Homeland.  Probably ever.  I’ve heard it’s good, but I don’t care.  If you are interested, here are some people who say it’s good blah blah blah

http://www.metacritic.com/tv/homeland

http://www.avclub.com/tvclub/tvshow/homeland,269/

So watch if you must.  But I think I’ll stick to my MSCL DVD collection.

– Stephen

Anywhere But Home for the Holidays and Further Housekeeping Matters

First, dear readers, a mea culpa for no article last week.  Thanksgiving family time, a busy work schedule and the disgusting Cowboys performance left a bad taste in my mouth.  I needed an escape, I needed the beach, I needed a really good buffet and questionable shore excursions…

So I left the country entirely for a week long cruise with my girlfriend.  At some point I’ll be posting a bunch of pics to disgust and annoy all of my FB friends, but I’ll only make you look at a few.  I want to keep your hatred of me to a minimum, because later there will be IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KEEP YOU ALIVE FOR GOD’S SAKE.  I don’t want you being so angry at my happiness that you quit reading.

Robe

sandcastle

Congratulations, you’ve made it through the first gauntlet.  You’ve reached the “I don’t like you, but damn it I respect you” stage.  On to other matters.

It’s December finally, which is to be quite honest the best time ever.  Not only do I get double the presents (I was born in December) and a few free days off of work, I get to see my family again (who are giving me presents this time AS IT SHOULD ALWAYS BE).  Also, it really is better to give than receive.  For instance, I bought three of the item below.  So if you are one of my friends, this is a very exciting time in your life.  I may have gotten one of them for you!


sj

Anyway, I know that some of you out there may not like Christmas.  It’s probably because you don’t watch enough TV, to be quite honest.  Because holiday episodes are the best.  See below for confirmation.

Finally, and I’m just gonna come out and say it because I gave up on pride a long time ago, WE NEED WRITERS.  If you know any, please send them our way.  This was started as a communal blog between Josh and I, and we want to include anyone who loves something about television.  It can be one specific program or the general idea of television.  It can be an article every week or every third January.  If you want to write something, contact us.  We’ll put it up.  I just want it to be all inclusive.  It should be a forum for the most consistent media/art form we as Americans observe/participate in.  If you want to write a 30 page dissertation about the tribal council of Survivor and its implications on American society, DO IT.  If you want to write a 30 word twitter feed article about the hotness of the new Bachelorette’s boobs, DO IT.  We’ve had a few contributors, whom I greatly appreciate.  I know writing is a daunting task, and you are worried it won’t be good.  But it doesn’t matter if it’s good, we’ll post it.  Because, folks, we simply have no shame.

– Holiday hugs and kisses from Stephen and all both of us here at MSCTVB