Saturday, February 28, 2009

PAUL HARVEY SILENCED

Probably the legendary voice of radio, Paul Harvey, has died. Age 90.

Also, WGN Radio out of Chicago is doing a tribute show to Harvey right now and you can hear that here. Radio will never be the same.

Friday, February 27, 2009

BART SIMPSON, PLUS MORE JUNK FROM ME

I'm back home after covering a murder trial today, so I'm tired, zonked out and have a cold now. Tonight's rant from me will be brief.

First, Bart guns down Gunsmoke. The Simpsons is picked up for two more seasons and that will mean 22 seasons on the air for the show, beating the comedy-drama record set by Gunsmoke.

Next, the Jonas Brothers are in 3-D. My box office preview is here.

Canwest is in deep trouble and got a 2-week extension on its debt talks. That company owns Global TV and just about every major newspaper in the country.

Finally, more whining from CTV about how much money they are losing. They keep on blaming the business model and say it's broken.

What garbage. I'm sorry, but it's wild spending -- not the business model -- that is to blame for CTV's problems. CTV has spent money like no tomorrow, and now the chickens have come home to roost. Why the heck did they throw all that money around to begin with on the Olympics (which they'll probably have trouble selling ads for in this recession), on the Hockey Night in Canada theme song (which CBC should have found a way to keep), and on all these TV and radio stations they bought from CHUM? Particularly these ones they say they don't want now? Buying TV stations and then shutting them down seems to me to be money well wasted.

That's it. I'm going to bed.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

MEDIA DEPRESSION TAKES DOWN THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS

This is brutal. The Rocky Mountain News has gone right out of business after 150 years. Final edition is tomorrow.

This is on the heels of depressing news in Canada that CTV is planning to close two A-Channel stations in southwestern Ontario (in Windsor and Wingham) and also their station in Brandon, CKX. ( CKX is CTV-owned but, oddly enough, is actually a CBC affiliate.) They're just going to hand over the licenses to the CRTC. Meanwhile rumors continue to swirl about the fate of Canwest-owned CHCH Hamilton and the rest of the E! Network.

Don't people read or watch any news anymore? Holy freaking crap! Yikes!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CONAN'S SIDEKICK

Well, this sounds good. On the heels of his final Late Night show, it was just announced this week that Conan O'Brien is taking on Andy Richter to be the Announcer/Sidekick on the new Tonight Show. In LA.

I think this is actually good news. It gives this new Tonight incarnation a fighting chance, now, and it will be more of an attraction for people after Jay Leno's lead-in effort is done. Richter helped liven up Conan's Late Night show, and I always thought something was missing with him gone, trying to make it on his own. It's kind of too bad his sitcoms were such flops -- the shows weren't that bad.

Anyway, he's back with Conan again. It's good to have this pair back together again -- for the first time!

Of course I still plan to watch Letterman, but still, it's a smart move.

THE LAST WORD ON THE OSCARS

Was reading Nikki Finke's rant about the Oscar telecast the other day. I got the impression reading it that Nikki had her mind made up before even watching the show and was just looking for things to criticize about it. She was going on calling it the worst opening ever, and the "gayest" Oscars ever, and so on.

But you have to remember -- this was never a show aimed at Nikki Finke or critics, or even at the ordinary folks watching at home. No, it was aimed at the only people who count when it comes to deciding whether the Oscar night is a success or failure-- these uptights in the audience!!

This group of fools in that theater were giving Hugh Jackman standing ovations!! That's more than what Jon Stewart got, and more than what a lot of other hosts got. These folks would host the show, tell good jokes that would have gotten laughs in any other setting, but face a chilly reception from people who are in no laughing mood and would then get trashed by the critics because of it. Yet Jackson seemed to be a hit with this crowd. I'm going, what the hey?! I mean, Hugh Jackman didn't embarrass himself, but it's not as if he is such an improvement over the other hosts they've had. He could have cut down on the singing, for one thing.

As for the show -- I dunno. I got the distinct impression that the people in the hall had a much, much better time watching the Jackman-hosted Oscars than people at home did. Me, I thought the show was all right, but the musical numbers just about killed it for me. It wasn't that they were poorly done; it was because they were musical numbers!

These guys even had the gall to lie to us at the start of the show as to whether or not there would be musical numbers. Here's Hugh Jackman going on stage announcing there will be no extravagant musical numbers on the show. And what happens? You guessed it-- he's doing a MUSICAL NUMBER, belting it out with that renowned recording artist Anne Hathaway!!!

I am sure there were people at home, mainly guys, who were joining me in switching to the NASCAR race on the other channel because of all these musical numbers. This was not my idea of entertainment. Maybe if the E Street Band were performing, people at home might have been entertained. But Bruce didn't even get nominated.

And you wonder why guys prefer watching the Super Bowl.

The Oscars this year had nothing to do with the folks at home or the people who hand their hard-earned money over for movie tickets. Heck -- these guys didn't nominate The Dark Knight for Best Picture. That said it all right there.

Finally -- the final outrage was "the usual list of dead people," which was the usual debacle. Here, I WILL link to Finke for her usual rant about all the omissions.

Maybe instead of running a reel of dead folks, the Academy should just simply observe a moment of silence for everyone who died instead. Then people might not be so offended.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

SLUMDOG WINS BIG

I'm just watching Indian TV streams on the Internet right now (CNN-IBN) after Slumdog Millionaire won Best Picture and seven other Oscars. They're celebrating as if they just won the Stanley Cup.

And leave it to Best Actor Sean Penn to give his own political speech trashing the pro-Prop 8 crowd at the podium while calling Barack Obama "elegant". That's two big political speeches in one night.

I dunno if this telecast set a record for lowest viewership ever -- I certainly did my part by switching over to the NASCAR race in mid-show -- but this year's Oscars might have set a record for length. Man, that went on and on and on, and what's worse, we all knew who was going to win!! Anyway, that's that.

-------------------------

Programming note: expect little from me here for at least a couple of days as I will be up to my ears in reporting assignments and other fun stuff. Until I return, here's my box office report to read. See you later this week.

THE OSCAR SHOW IS RUNNING WAY LATE

Eleven minutes past the end of prime time, and only now do they get to "the usual list of dead people."

Excuse me: "Passed away."

Slumdog now up to 6 Oscars.

THE NIGHT SO FAR

The NASCAR race is over, and I'm back to watching the Oscars.

I'm watching Will Smith present the Arnold Schwarzenegger action-movie awards -- more commonly known as the post-production awards -- and as it stands it's Best Visual Effects to Benjamin Button, best Sound Editing to The Dark Knight, and Sound Mixing to-- wow, Slumdog Millionaire. If this movie isn't winning Best Picture tonight given the roll it's on right now I would be very surprised.

And for Film Editing it's Slumdog Millionaire again. Holy Cow. The rout is on.

Oh, and Heath Ledger won Best Supporting Actor, but everyone knew that. Is this shaping up to be the longest awards show ever?

NASCAR

Just so you know, I've quit watching the Oscar show, at least for right now. I bailed out again during the latest unwatchable musical number (YECCH!!) and am watching a great ending to the NASCAR race taking place live from California, over on FOX.

What can I say? I like sports. And there's only so much of the Academy Awards I can take.

PENELOPE CRUZ WINS BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS!!!

Extremely popular choice with all guys. I love Penelope Cruz, too.

Also, first big political statement of the night from screenwriter of Milk, who's going on about equal rights after winning a screenplay Oscar.

Finally, a big shout-out to FOX for showing NASCAR and allowing me to watch that instead of this Oscar show. I am following the awards show by computer feeds instead -- sporadically.

THE RED CARPET IS ON

Well, some live streams are up and running now from the red carpet:

The Oscars plan to be backstage all night.
Fox News has Jill Dobson chasing the stars. Check it out here.
Also, KTLA has coverage from the red carpet.

That's about it. I'm just going to sit back now and wait for Brad and Angie to show up.

NOT MUCH FOR GUYS AT THIS YEAR'S OSCARS

Welcome to another Guys Guide to the Oscars post from me for another year, where we try and zero in to what might be of interest for guys at this year's Oscar show.

Believe you me, this year looks grim from a guy's perspective. We've got a bunch of nominees of interest only to die-hard patrons of arthouse and indy movie houses, nowhere else. In particular, we have a serious lack of movies popular with guys -- namely, The Dark Knight.

The fact that The Dark Knight got snubbed in the major categories was pretty infuriating to people like myself -- not to mention the millions of people who went to see this flick. I understand a lot of members of the vast fanboy community are boycotting the awards show. Personally, I dunno why people are even wasting their time doing any sort of "boycott". If you have no interest in the show, don't bother to watch it, but don't give me any of this "boycott" nonsense. That just advertises to the world that you give credence to the Oscars as the be-all and end-all arbiters of cinematic taste, which is a load of bull.

Anyway, here's a look at what might be of interest to guys at this year's show -- and boy oh boy, I sure am stretching it this year.

(1) Since the entire Best Picture category is of no interest, one might be interested in the technical awards -- ie. the "Arnold Schwarzenegger categories", usually dominated by movies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Unfortunately, Arnold is governor of California now, and these awards are likely to be dominated by The Curious Case of Benjamin Button -- which is bound to further disappoint fans of The Dark Knight if it happens.

(2) Always a good way to kill time: figuring out the onscreen nudity credits of the Best Actress nominees. The good news for guys is that every one of the Best Actress nominees has been naked in the movies. Every single one of them.

Of course, Kate Winslet has been nude in so many movies that it has been a joke. But you might be pulling for her to take home the Oscar for The Reader since, well, she was naked in that movie. Others might be more interested in Angelina Jolie, who has also been naked in so many movies that it has been a joke. I know the tabloid-type people are more interested in Jolie, mainly because of the whole Brad Pitt-Jennifer Aniston thing. But guys don't give a care about that garbage.

(3) Usually good for a few laughs is figuring out whether the host will crash and burn. I see that instead of going for some edgy host, the Academy has entrusted the job to Hugh Jackman. Well, that almiost ensures a dull and boring telecast, because he's bound to do a solid job.

(4) Always interesting is figuring out whether there will be any embarrassing political statements -- not likely given the new administration in Washington that is so much beloved by everyone in Hollywood. For that matter, I wonder if we will see any embarrassing moments at all, period -- like guys streaking on stage and so on.

(5) Cheering for your favorite "guys" movie to win at the Oscars is always a fun activity, but it sure looks like the Best Picture category is a total loss. So I guess your best bet is to cheer for The Dark Knight to win the technical awards -- unless you want to cheer for Frost/Nixon or something like that. You can't really cheer against a guy like Ron Howard.

Also, Robert Downey Jr. is up for his role in Tropic Thunder, so you might want to cheer that on.

And of course there's Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. Man, you know you are grasping at straws when you have to figure out what rooting interest to take in this year's awards show. The Wrestler isn't even nominated for Best Picture, either.

(6) Trying to predict who will be on the "usual list of dead people" reel that the Academy always runs. I gotta say, if Stan Winston isn't on it he will have definitely been robbed.

Uh, that's it. Back in a moment to post the live streams.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

THE YEAR'S WORST PICTURE FOR 2008: THE LOVE GURU

Was there ever any doubt??? Go back to doing Austin Powers movies, Mike, you were at least good at that.

BIG OSCARS WEEKEND COMING UP

Well, tomorrow we hope to have quite a bit of Academy Awards coverage here at the CAIRNS BLOG, in between some other assignments I have planned for the weekend. I have my box office results column to write, of course, and additional reporting assignments to tend to this weekend. (Today is Hockey Day in Canada, so I am celebrating that.) But I hope to have my annual Guys Guide to the Oscars feature up in time for the red carpet, plus links to some live streams and my usual sporadic live blogging.

Leading up to the awards, though, are the usual "junk" awards in advance of the Academy Awards.

A few days ago, that guy in Chicago with no life, Mr. Skin, gave his annual Anatomy Awards. He gave a Lifetime Skinchievement Award to that frequently-naked movie actress Kate Winslet (right), who promptly announced she was going to quit doing nudity in movies. "I can't keep getting away with it," she says.

Tonight it's the Razzies, and these are always fun because it's a last chance to throw a shoe at a movie deserving of a final insult. Honestly, I hope The Love Guru gets the Razzie for Worst Picture, but it could even go to Disaster Movie or Meet the Spartans. 2008 may have been a big year for some great films, but it was also a really big year for utter junk.

Back with more soon.

Friday, February 20, 2009

CONAN'S LATE SHIFT

This is it! Tonight is the last Late Night with Conan O'Brien as Conan wraps it up to move to LA to take over the Tonight Show from Jay Leno.

And a lot of people think Conan is getting a raw deal because of Leno's deal to stay at NBC.

Meanwhile Jimmy Fallon prepares to take over from Conan at Late Night. Read it here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

WITH OBAMA IN CANADA, RICK SANTELLI STARTS UP CHICAGO TEA PARTY

Well, today President Barack Obama was getting rock star treatment in Ottawa, meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Meanwhile, the bloom seems to be coming off the rose back home. Maybe Obama should just stay in Canada.

Seems CNBC correspondent Rick Santelli was getting a bunch of Chicago traders all fired up about the government "promoting bad behavior" by giving bailout money to all the "losers" on the losing end of the mortgage mess. Traders were giving him a big ovation as he asked them "how many of you want to pay for your neighbour's mortgage?"

They're calling it the Chicago Tea Party. Here's what US News and World Report had to say on the Santelli rant.

I gotta say, Rick Santelli has a future in TV.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

SLASHING THE COMPETITION

Guess what. Friday the 13th absolutely dominated the weekend, ringing up $43.5 million on the President's Day holiday. My take on the weekend box office here.

HISTORIC WEEK IN TV LAND

Well, this is an important week in the history of television as the start of the infamous Digital Conversion happens in the USA. Most stations have heeded the order to delay shutting off their analog signals until June 12, but several are shutting down today, Feb 17, which is the day that was originally scheduled for the switchover. Seems like a lot of the stations shutting down early are UHF stations and FOX affiliates, like ones in Buffalo.

As for Canadian signals, Canada doesn't switch over until 2011 so our old analog sets will still be somewhat useful for something after the digital conversion is over this year in the 'States.

And this is the final week for Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Next week Jimmy Fallon takes over the time slot and Conan will wait for Jay Leno to get finished with The Tonight Show. Then Conan will take that show over and Leno moves to 10/9 Central, booting an entire hour of prime time real estate off the air at NBC.

Needless to say, people look at that move and think it will be the end of TV as we know it. I read an article at the Denver Post website which puts all the problems in perspective. Basically it says we've reached the nadir of TV and that TV has lost its glamour. That nails it! Basically, the only excitement left on network TV is the crowning of an American Idol or even a sole Survivor. That's about it. But TV watching just doesn't seem like a big deal anymore. Besides, too many of the shows on TV these days are unwatchable reality crap. Too many of these networks are cash-strapped, and the industry has still not recovered from that disasterous writers strike of last year that alienated so many of us die-hard TV watchers.

TV watching has changed. Now a lot of the most anticipated shows are on cable; plus you have people skipping TV to watch their favorite episodes online on the Internet, or entire series on DVD. That kind of activity doesn't exactly breed "appointment TV." Now the big TV events seem to happen only occasionally, and you have more people turning to cable for the really hip shows on TV.

Also, I happen to think the ratings system is flawed. I'm convinced some of these shows that are on the air right now, like The Office and Family Guy, are far more popular than the Nielsen ratings indicate. But you can't tell because the Nielsens don't follow Internet downloads or DVD sales or any of those measures. Anyway, I'm digressing again. This has turned into just another long-winded rant from me about the state of television.

Actually, tonight has turned into yet another night of non-TV watching for me as I was at another very long meeting. So I haven't had a chance to watch any TV at all this evening. Maybe I'd better just publish this post right now, and fire up the colortinis.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

NASCAR IS BACK

Just have a comment for all those radio sports-talk hosts who have been ranting and raving about A-Rod and steroids this week.

Who cares about baseball! Who cares about steroids and that whole crummy sport that everyone knows is in the tank, when more people care about another sport that is back up and running now -- one with definitely no steroids involved.

"BOOGITY BOOGITY BOOGITY, LET'S GO RACING!!!" (Direct quote from Darrell Waltrip.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

VALENTINE'S DAY TODAY

Today is Valentine's Day, a big day for the lovebirds to be lovey-dovey with each other. For those of us single guys looking for girlfriends, though, it's a day to plot strategy.

Here's the way I see it. I haven't been close to getting married -- largely for job or career related reasons. I've been so busy either focusing on getting ahead or trying to pick myself up from the odd career setbacks to even contemplate looking for a potential wife.

Moreover, I've had the misfortune lately of living in a place where there are just no girls. As a province, Saskatchewan is notorious for being a terrible place for single people. All the best prospects here have either married a long time ago or, worse yet, are in long term relationships. And those long term relationships might as well be marriages as far as I'm concerned, because those folks are also off the market. You don't have too many people playing the field here, which makes this a lousy place to meet other single people. Most single people I know have left the province in disgust, because Saskatchewan has nothing to offer them. That in turn makes life even more miserable for the few single people left behind here, because as a result there's no one left here worth dating.

If you are a single person you are far better off in these big cities outside Saskatchewan. Not only are there more single women, but they're generally more attractive and you get to go to far cooler venues for dates. The bars there tend to be more upscale. Plus, there are these speed-dating things you can do. There are hardly any of those types of things going on here where I am, not even in the bigger centres.

I think the first order of business for me is to get back to a big city as soon as possible. That would take care of the relationship problems as far as I'm concerned. There's no shortage of women in these big cities. Moving to Calgary or Vancouver might be the answer to my problems -- but Vancouver has hardly any jobs. As for Calgary, I get the sense the situation is similar there to Saskatchewan -- a lot of women there are hitched up already. There are also more guys than girls in Alberta, which means a lot of fierce competition for fewer women.

Maybe what I ought to consider is moving to Brazil. The women there are gorgeous, and there are more women than men in Brazil, so as a guy the odds would be in my favor. Plus, it's a LOT warmer there. (You could also get shot or mugged there. Rats, there's always a downside.)

Anyway, Valentine's Day is always a fun day to plot strategy for single people-- gives you something to do. (Pictured: hitched Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen.)

Friday, February 13, 2009

FRIDAY THE 13TH NEWS FROM NOWHERE

Well, it is Friday the 13th, and yes, the movie of the same name is opening today. Based on the happenings today I think it's fair to say that it would not have been too wise an idea to get out of bed today, at all. Because the news today has been grim.

Well, all of Buffalo is in an uproar today as the TV stations are covering the big Continental Airlines plane crash there that killed 50 people. And oh, by the way -- the plane is Canadian-made.

Just when I get satellite radio, this happens: Sirius XM may go bankrupt. So what happens to all the programming if they go belly-up? Is all the talent going to leave? I gotta say, if they all leave, so will I.

The Obama Stimulus Package has gone through the House, with no Republican support at all.

To lighter news now: smoking-hottie Erin Andrews is once again Playboy's Sexiest Sportscaster.

Meanwhile, Stacey Dales quit ESPN, apparently because she was forced to fly coach while other ESPN sportscasters got to fly first class (ie. Erin Andrews).

Well, good for her to take that stand. You shouldn't be expected to put up with being a last-class airline passenger when your colleagues are drinking the champagne up at the front. The food in economy class isn't good, either.

Also learned that William Houston, the Globe and Mail columnist assigned to covering the sports broadcasting beat, has left the paper.

Finally, did you see Letterman trash Joaquin Phoenix?

That's it for now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

TOMORROW IS FRIDAY THE 13TH

Be very afraid. My latest Reject Report is out previewing Friday the 13th, Confessions of a Shopaholic and The International. It's not all that great an article this week, but it's there if you want to read it.

Also, Kevin Carr wrote an article at the same website about Isla Fisher's breasts. You know, if he really wants to see breasts in a movie, he should forget Isla Fisher and go see Two Lovers, which has a scene featuring Gwyneth Paltrow topless.

(Yes, I have Valentine's Day on the brain, I am thinking way too much about girls. That's it, again, folks: no more girls on this blog.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

ON THE ISRAELI VOTE

Don't ya hate having an election, and then you have to figure out who won the election because no one knows who won the election?

That's the situation in Israel right now. And all I will say about the situation there is that Israel is proof that coalition governments suck.

That's all.

METRO NEWSPAPERS ARE A MESS

Just thought I would post on a bizarre story I read about the sorry state of the newspaper industry in Toronto. Seems that Metro, the daily free commuter paper there owned by TorStar, just sacked its entire staff. Apparently the people there plan to put out a paper using nothing more than wire copy and, uh, unpaid interns.

Now before anyone goes nuts, keep in mind the paper wasn't so great to begin with. It is just a rag people could pick up for free to read on the subway. Well, I guess you get what you pay for, now, eh??? The only thing worth reading in that whole paper was the TV column by Rick McGinnis who, of course, was sacked.

The folks at Nunc Solo says the sackings make Metro the laughingstock of the newspaper industry. "Time to pack it in, folks." Well said.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

BAILOUT 2009 COVERAGE CONTINUES

Welcome back to The Cairns Blog's live continuing coverage of the Second Great Depression and the 2009 Bailout. You know, I've haven't really done too many economic-meltdown stories in my reporter job, but I make up for all that here at the blog, let me tell you.

Well, the latest bailout package was unveiled today and the stock market rendered its verdict by promptly taking a bath. A big bath. Down almost 400.

You know, I think the Obama gang have lost sight of a few things -- and so have a lot of Americans who seem more intent on punishing Wall Street bigshots than solving the problem. The problem is that there's no liquidity. Businesses aren't getting money, and as a result they are going under and people are losing jobs. Reputable people with a good credit history are being treated like the worst deadbeats imaginable by lenders at the moment, and that's not what should be happening.

The solution seems obvious: get the system back to normal where people can be extended decent credit again, so that people won't lose any more jobs!

But all we are getting is a lot of hot air and a lot of money being thrown around, with not enough guarantees that (a) people will be extended more credit or (b) any jobs will be saved. All that seems to be happening is that the bailout money is going towards propping the system up rather than bailing the system out. It's propping up these bigshot executives, who then turn around and sack the help anyway. What the heck good is that?!

And we're hearing a lot of talk from government officials that maybe it'll work, or maybe things will still go wrong with the bailout. Well, that's not good enough. The bailout package HAS to work, otherwise you are throwing good tax money right down the drain for no real reason.

Until we see a bailout that actually bails people out, and extends credit lines and saves jobs, Wall Street will continue its crisis of confidence and NOTHING will get accomplished. People in Washington need to focus their attention on those two issues right now. They can't just throw money around.

By the way -- speaking of President Obama's Monday news conference, was that a love-in or what? These silly journalists were lobbing all these softball-type questions, and Barack Obama was rattling off these PR-spin answers about all these people losing their jobs and how we should do something about it, without really going into much detail about specifically what he wants done about it. That is not what I want to see from politicians. I want to see them up there telling it like it is without spinning a line of bull or any of this "I feel your pain" nonsense, and I want these journalists to press them and ask the tough-but-fair questions! Not these softball-type lobs that Obama can hit out of the ballpark! What a joke. I just want to see some action that will get things done, that's all. Anyway, that's it for now.

BIG DAY FOR ISRAEL

Uh, there was an election today in Israel.

Plus the new Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is out and a sexy Israeli woman is on the cover.

Life is good if your name is Bar Refaeli.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

WORST SHOWS ON TV LIST 2009

It just occured to me today while watching TV that I hadn't posted a Worst TV shows list for 2009 yet.

It's something I do every year and I just got delayed in posting it, mainly because I was busy with other commitments for most of last month. Also, I must admit it -- I have not been watching a lot of TV lately. Instead I have been steadily growing my DVD collection.

But I was flipping around the channels and just so happened to land on MTV today. So thank you very much, MTV, you gave me plenty of fresh ideas about what shows to include in my Worst List of 2009.

One show that has to take the cake is the pathetic Shot at Love series that featured bisexual Tila Tequila looking for the perfect match, only to have the babe she chose dump her in the final show. Talk about an embarrassing piece of junk TV show that didn't produce true love.

But it seemed to gain an audience, so we peasants wound up getting a sequel series to it: A Double Shot at Love, featuring the adorable Ikki twins -- Vikki and Rikki (pictured). I must admit-- I like the Ikki Twins. They may be a little bit strange, but they definitely seem like a couple of interesting, fun and frisky individuals.

I think these two girls are aces. But their show? Yecch. It's pretty tawdry. You got to see plenty of shots of them sticking their tongues down other girls' throats on the show. Really, that was what the show was about -- an excuse to show girls kissing girls.

Moreover, the show did just a terrible job of producing a "romance". I watched what must have been a replay of the finale today on MTV. In the end both Rikki and Vikki dumped the lesbian contestant on the show. Instead, they both chose the blond surfer dude Trevor. But according to the stupid rules of the show, they both couldn't share Trevor. Trevor had to pick only one Ikki Twin to be his girlfriend.

So he chose Vikki, which made Rikki all upset. I mean really, what the hell was that?! If the show had any pretensions of producing a real romance, they would have allowed both these dames to date Trevor at the same time! Heck, Hugh Hefner has the multiple-girlfriend thing going on. In fact he's dating a couple of twins right now! It could have worked out if Trevor had snagged both of these twins, or these two twins could have worked something out so that Rikki wouldn't go home empty-handed. Instead, this stupid show just turned into another train wreck, another freak show. What a waste. A Double Shot at Love is definitely on my list of Worst of 2009. Definitely.

Right after that show ended came the Brody Jenner reality show Bromance, where Brody is looking for a best male friend, a "bro". And I'm just looking at this and thinking this is the stupidest idea for a show ever.

Choosing a "bro" on a reality TV show -- good grief. If I were Brody Jenner I'd be truly embarrassed. I can't believe Jayde Nicole is dating this idiot.

Let's not even talk about The Hills, which has totally established itself as fakery due to the totally fake Spencer-Heidi relationship. They have a fake marriage, and apparently they're gonna get a fake divorce! Actually, I dunno what is going on with those two. Whatever it is that's going on, you can bet it's totally fake.

Among other shows worthy of getting a shoe thrown at it include Momma's Boys - where these dudes have their girlfriends pass muster with his mother. I mean really, you can't make this kind of stuff up, folks. These bad ideas actually made it to air! I wonder if this show is even going to stay on the air. Probably not. In which case maybe we should take it out of consideration for Worst of 2009.

But really, these shows make previous atrocities like The Two Coreys and The Girls Next Door and Gene Simmons Family Jewels look like Emmy award winners by comparison. I mean, there really isn't a comparison. Those series look like genius compared to some of this reality crap we have been getting this year.

Three more shows getting deserved pans from me are TMZ, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, and The Insider. Mainly, I'm sick of their celebrity coverage. In the case of The Insider, I'm sick of their focus on fashions these days. These have turned into complete female-oriented shows with an emphasis on whether people are anorexic or not, whether they are fat or not, whether or not they're having babies or getting divorced or married, and all that crap.

I gotta say: if you are a girl and you actually like these shows, then you are a loser. If you're a guy and you like these shows, you're even more of a loser. I gotta say, people who want real entertainment news are better off going to the Web, because you sure won't get any information from these shows.

In the cable news category: aren't people fed up yet with Nancy Grace and her show? Her effort has always been a dis-grace, but ever since Caylee Anthony took over the show it has become completely unwatchable.

And I notice Celebrity Apprentice is coming back, so yes, that show deserves a mention as well. Finally -- uh, is Jerry Springer still on? I guess it is, but I never watch it anymore.

I guess I could go on and on and mention Knight Rider and other crap that is littering TV. Believe me, there is no shortage of bad TV out there. In fact, I am sure that there are some really bad shows out there that I've completely forgotten about -- likely because they were totally forgettable.

There's so much junk out there, especially on the broadcast networks, that I really wonder why President Barack Obama even bothered putting off the much-ballyhooed switch to digital to June 12. If the digital switch had gone ahead on schedule this month, a lot of people at home wouldn't be missing much given all the junk we are getting at the moment.

As I said weeks ago -- my new cable package is truly 257 channels of nothing these days. You would think at least one of these 257 channels would put a decent show on the air!! Right now I am watching World Poker Tour poker on the Game Show Network, and let me tell you, that is sad. When you are reduced to watching poker on TV as your best option for entertainment, that kind of says it all about the state of television these days.

That is all for now.

Friday, February 06, 2009

I'M JUST NOT THAT INTO THE PINK PANTHER 2

It's obvious that I'm not, based on this week's rant in my Reject Report column. Check it out.


UPDATE (Sunday PM): Box office results are in and they are not good for our pink feline friend.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

HAVING A BLOG IS LIKE HAVING A CAT

...you have to feed it a lot.

Unfortunately, feeding the blog has been pretty tough lately. Last week I was at a coroner's inquest, and this week I was covering a municipalities convention. In between, I was covering countless meetings and banquets. Plus, on top of that I've had my regular Web movie column to tend to. I am a busy man.

Then, after you get done all that stuff, you just want to lie back and watch a mindless TV show like Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders:Making the Team on CMT. That's what I did tonight. So I ended up not blogging.

I think I should have time to do some more posts in the next few days-- football is over, after all. But what is there to talk about? There really is nothing uplifting to talk about right at the moment. I keep on reading these websites in the States from the likes of Matt Drudge and everyone else, and it is all doom and gloom. People down there are worried there's going to be a depression. Well, there will be if enough people talk themselves into one! And you have people taking bailout money and then wasting it on big bonuses on themselves, while they keep on firing people. How's the economy going to improve with that going on?

Maybe I'm just sad because I see the things I like the most in this world falling into big financial trouble -- like MAD Magazine, for example. That just isn't right, folks. Plus you have these newspapers and TV stations getting in trouble, and it's all just downright depressing.

I guess I am just ranting right now and looking for something intelligent to write on this blog. Anyway, stay tuned for more junk the next few days over the weekend when I'll have a little more time on my hands. Maybe I'll get back to talking about more movie stuff.

Among other things, there's a new Pink Panther movie coming out this weekend and I want to rant about that, and how that series has gone right down the drain. So I plan to talk about that.

THE STATE OF TV IN CANADA

I just thought I would update people on the TV situation here in frozen Canada.

Well, the news is in the papers: Canwest is looking to sell its E! stations.

Great. What is going to happen to CHCH Hamilton now? Not to mention these other "secondary-network" stations in Red Deer, Victoria, Kelowna, and Montreal?! Who'll buy them, in this lousy economy?!

Also, been reading about the usual sob stories of these TV producers who are worried about the CRTC looking at TV station license renewals. Seems the CRTC might re-look at some of the license conditions, like the Canadian content requirements, given the awful economy. So now the people who make Canadian TV dramas are all upset and worried that money for their shows will dry up.

Meanwhile, the people who actually watch TV in this country are ridiculing the people who make Canadian TV dramas; they claim these Canadian producers shouldn't be getting propped up with any money at all. Heck, no one watches their shows, the argument goes. So they don't deserve any money!

Personally, this is one more example of how politicized Canadian TV has become. If Canadian TV shows get the hook in this country because of poor ratings or a bad economy, people automatically go nuts and get all political, and call for the government to get involved with more CRTC regulations and more arts funding to keep these losing shows afloat and on the air -- so that Canadian jobs are protected.

Of course, there wouldn't be a need for more CRTC regulations and more arts funding if the Canadian networks, particularly private TV, would invest in Canadian productions. But they don't, because they know full well that Canadians won't watch most Canadian TV except for Hockey Night in Canada, Corner Gas and maybe a few other shows. So the CRTC has to force them to invest through license conditions and these content requirements. And let's not even talk about the CBC, because no one can talk about the moves that network makes without politics entering into the picture.

To show you how ridiculous the situation is here in Canada, check out this article over at Dead Things on Sticks, which talks about how Being Erica is being moved to Wednesdays by the CBC, forcing The Fifth Estate to move to Fridays. So all the interest groups are all up at arms about this and proclaiming this is the death of news at the CBC. What nonsense. This is just a shift of a time slot, people. This sort of thing happens to plenty of TV shows. Besides, the move might actually help Being Erica stay on the air, because it was getting killed in its Monday time slot.

Anyway, that's Canadian TV for you -- it's all about political handouts and special interests being accommodated. I just wish these folks would forget about handouts and start producing shows that people will actually watch! Then these might actually pay for themselves and won't need any government assistance!! Heck, it shouldn't be that hard -- it's not as if the product the Americans are turning out is such great shakes.

That's it!!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

STEELERS NOT JUST THE ONLY WINNERS IN THE SUPER BOWL

ADVERTISERS were winners too -- at least, the ones that bothered to advertise. The latest estimate is that this was the most-watched Super Bowl in History.

That's a lot of people watching the ads, folks. And because the contest was so close, people tuned in for the whole game. Too bad too many companies didn't feel like advertising. They missed a great opportunity to promote their products.

The biggest loser of the Super Bowl game, though, was no doubt Ed McMahon. Holy cow, times are really bad when you are reduced to doing low-budget commercials for Cash4Gold.com. It's even worse for NBC when the only way to fill your spots is to sell time to riffraff advertisers like them.



Who the heck are they?? This ad reminds me of those cheesy Oliver Jewellery ads that run on Toronto TV.

"I'll buy your jewellery! Oh yeaaaaah!!!"

Man, I still miss Toronto.