Thursday, July 12, 2012

This Day In TV History: July 12

Survey says! On this day in 1976, the original version of the long-running hit game show Family Feud with Richard Dawson debuted on ABC daytime.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

DirecTV vs. Viacom

As explained on DirecTV's page, Viacom wants a 30% rate increase for the networks they provide. DirecTV did not concede to Viacom's demands, and as of 11:46 PM last night, 20 million households lost 26 channels. Networks such as Nickelodeon, MTV, TVLand, VH-1, CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, Centric, Spike, et. al.

My sympathy towards Viacom is at zero and while I would be quite angry if I were a DirecTV consumer, and even looking at some of the problems they themselves have caused with conglomerate disagreements (like what happened with Fox) and with steep rate increases, I have to give the subscriber a little credit for standing their ground this time and saying enough is enough for their viewers and that the rate increase was not happening.

There's a Facebook page that Viacom has launched to try and plead their case about their DirecTV battle, and get support from their consumers. It's quite hilarious. None of the consumers are falling for this at all. I'd guess well over 95% of the comments are anti-Viacom.

Also when reading the comments, I noticed several angry parents pointing out the fact that there are ads about this situation on Nick Jr's and Nickelodeon's websites. They have a very valid point here. You have to dig pretty down in the dumps to use kids to get your point about more money across like this. There's no denying it, too -- you know a bunch of children saw these ads and were not happy with the result. They're going to want their SpongeBob, they're going to want to see iCarly and Big Time Rush.

Does Viacom really NEED this rate increase? My guess would be no. These channels do well. Especially the ones seen in more households like MTV, VH-1, and BET. And when you count in the lengthy commercial breaks during all these channels plus the merchandise that's put out: DVD's, toys, etc., and the fact that they're a billion dollar corporation, still to this day, says that a "pennies a day" increase rate is not a bit necessary. They're in no way having financial problems. They just can't be. Not to mention, the economy is still in a dire state. A lot of consumers for that reason alone are not going to be up for any kind of significant increase. Not to mention, if it's a mere "pennies a day" increase, why are they fighting so hard for it?

Ridiculous greed-powered decisions like this are what drive people away from subscription television and are what takes them to places the Internet to get their entertainment.

All of a sudden, my complaints towards Charter Communications look like pretty small potatoes compared to this. Let's hope that for DirecTV that this mess is settled quickly. Because while I'm commending DirecTV, the only people I really have any actual sympathy for in this conflict is the consumers. They're the ones that are getting screwed the most.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

This Day In TV History: July 7

On this day in 1975, the daytime soap opera Ryan's Hope debuted on ABC.

Created by Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer, the serial was about an Irish family, the working class Ryan family in the upper west side of Manhattan.

One of my favorite things about Ryan's Hope was the way the characters were written. They weren't perfect. They had flaws. They made mistakes. But they were written so realistically and purely. Good character-driven material on daytime soaps these days can really be hard to come by.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Remembering Andy Griffith

Sad to hear of yet another legend who left us this year. Andy Griffith, actor and singer, passed away this morning in his North Carolina home at the age of 86.

He is of course best known in the television world for two successful series. First as Sheriff Andy Taylor on the The Andy Griffith Show, the weekly sitcom that took place in the fondly remembered fictional world of Mayberry, which aired on CBS from 1960-1968. Also, he was the star of the long-running drama Matlock, which aired from 1986-1995. Andy was also a well-known singer and had also starred on Broadway and in movies in the 1950's before getting his successful shows on television.

TVLand and Turner Classic Movies will be airing tributes to Andy, starting tomorrow. A marathon block of The Andy Griffith Show will air on TVLand from 8 AM-1 PM Eastern time on July 4, and from 11 PM-8 AM on Saturday July 7 and Sunday July 8. On July 18th, Turner Classic Movies will air four of his signature movies: A Face in the Crowd (1957), No Time for Sargeants (1958), Hearts of the West (1975), and Onionhead (1958), all starting at 8 PM Eastern time.

Andy also appeared occasionally as guests on the classic Goodson-Todman game shows What's My Line? and I've Got A Secret. Including the memorable "man with the inner tube" episode of Secret. Here he is on an episode of What's My Line? from June 25, 1958:

Monday, July 2, 2012

Anderson Cooper - It's Official

So if you haven't heard already...

For many years this issue with Anderson Cooper's sexuality has been a debate with a number of people, sometimes heated. But this question was discussed for the first time publicly from his own point of view in this open e-mail to Andrew Sullivan which includes these words:

“The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”

Anderson Cooper, I am so proud of you. He has always been one of my heroes in the world of television news and journalism. Always has been, always will be.

You know something… what’s funny to me is that with all the pictures of him out in public with a guy and stuff what actually made it click for me was his friendship with Kathy Griffin, seeing the way they click together, especially on the New Year's Eve shows. I love their relationship. It’s so sweet and hilarious.

And forget these facetious “FINALLY” headlines. Coming out is a personal journey. If this announcement was too slow for some, well then that’s too bad for them. While a lot of us say with some people “duh” or “we already know”, it’s about personal liberation. It doesn’t matter if I knew or if anyone else knew beforehand. What matters is that he said it when he felt like it, and that he felt comfortable about doing it.

Alex Trebek Recuperating after Heart Attack

Alex Trebek is back home from the hospital following his mild heart attack this past week.

Great to hear that he's doing better. It's also no surprise at all that Alex wants to go back to work when he recuperates. He's had his share of problems like his car accident in 2004, the incident with the burglar last year, and after his first heart attack in 2007, and just like the first time, it hasn't stopped him from showing up back to work to do Jeopardy!. He's a real trooper and one of my personal favorites in the game show world, and I'm happy that he has a continued interest in working.

Wishing him the best and a quick recovery.

Monday, June 25, 2012

This Day In TV History: June 25

On this day in 2009, the music world lost a legend; Michael Jackson passed away. Michael's music videos were some of the most popular on cable, including on networks like MTV, and helped vitalize the network in the 1980's.

In 1999, soap fans bid farewell to the long-running soap opera Another World, as it ended its run on NBC after 35 years.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

This Day in TV History: June 24

On this day in 1963, the Password was "home." "Will you take me home, please, Mr. Ludden?"

Allen Ludden appeared on his flagship game show Password with his then-new wife, Betty White. It was their first time on-screen as a married couple.

Chandler Massey Wins Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series

This was my favorite part of last night's Daytime Emmy awards!  Chandler has totally taken my heart with his performances as the young, struggling and sensitive Will Horton on Days of our Lives. I relate so much to Will's story on the show, well the coming out stuff mostly, and not so much the dirtybadwrong chemistry with the resident badass EJ DiMera. But he's done such a beautiful and realistic job.

Daytime Emmys 2012

My thoughts:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Paul Feig on The $25,000 Pyramid

So I had been doing my typical catching up on GSN's airings of The $25,000 Pyramid on Friday and I just happened to notice a little familiar face.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Remembering Yvette Wilson

I was saddened to hear of the loss of Yvette Wilson, best known as Andell Wilkerson on the long-running UPN series Moesha and its spinoff The Parkers. I loved her character, especially on the latter show. She and Mo'Nique worked well on the show. A good example of a Lucy/Ethel type vibe with her character Andell and Mo'Nique's Nikki Parker.

Before Moesha, she appeared on the short-lived ABC sitcom Thea. She was also a stand-up comedian and appeared on HBO's Def Comedy Jam seriesand movies including Poetic Justice, Friday, and House Party 3.

Yvette lost her battle with ovarian cancer last night at the age of 48. May she rest in peace.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Price is Right's Newest Game: Double Cross

On Friday, viewers of The Price is Right saw a debut of a new pricing game, Double Cross.

The Choice: Review

After Take Me Out at 8, another new dating show follows at 9 PM eastern on Fox, this time with celebrities!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Take Me Out: Review

Take Me Out is a new dating game show that airs Thursdays at 8 PM Eastern on Fox, and it's hosted by comedian and actor George Lopez. It's based on the British version of the same name.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

GSN Richard Dawson Tribute Thursday

GSN has announced that a tribute will air this Thursday night, June 7th, in honor of the legendary host who passed away last Saturday. It will air from 7 PM to 11 PM eastern time and  will be as follows:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Remembering Richard Dawson

Yet another huge loss to the entertainment world over the weekend. Richard Dawson, comedian, actor, game show host -- best known for his hosting of the original version of Family Feud -- lost his battle with esophogical cancer this past Saturday night, according to his son Gary. He was 79.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hip-Hop Squares: Review

MTV2 debuted a new game show this past week, a spin on a popular classic. You've never seen Hollywood Squares quite like this before!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Big Community Shake-Up

As a big fan, and after seeing dismal ratings reports in some instances, a lenghty midseason hiatus, and a big kerfluffle behind the scenes involving the show's creator and one of its cast members which all left a certain cloud of uncertainty in regards to its future... as a fan of the show, I could not have been more pleased to hear that NBC had renewed its Thursday night sitcom Community for a fourth season.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What's Staying? What's Going? Renewals/Cancellations: 2012

What a year this was for prime time TV. My take on all of the shows that I currently watch or have some kind of interest in that were up in the air for Fall 2012.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

2 Broke Girls: And Martha Stewart Have A Ball

Well, after 24 episodes, thus marks the end of the first season of the new hit CBS comedy, 2 Broke Girls. The show that centers around, well, two broke girls, street-wise Max Black (Kat Dennings) and former rich socialite Caroline Channing (Beth Behrs), as they become fast friends and decide to save up money to start their own cupcake business.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Friends Reunion? Yeah, Not Happening

We can add Lisa Kudrow to Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer as voices of the series who are pretty certain that a reunion movie for Friends isn't going to happen.

I can't help but wonder though... am I the only fan of the show that has absolutely no interest or desire in seeing a reunion movie?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Remembering Game Show Pioneer Bob Stewart

On Friday, the television world lost a true legend. Bob Stewart, the creator and producer of game shows such as The Price is Right, Password, To Tell The Truth, and Pyramid, has passed away at the age of 91.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Anniversary, Fox!

Has it really been 25 years? Last night, after encore presentations of the pilot episode of Married... with Children and The Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire, the FOX network aired a special presentation looking back at 25 groundbreaking years of broadcasting; featuring some of the network's stars and hosted by none other than by Ryan Seacrest.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"So Long", Dick Clark

A very sad and heartbreaking day for the entertainment industry, as television producer, creator, mogul, and host, Dick Clark has passed away today at the age of 82.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Just WHAT Is Going On With Logo Lately?

Last night, the Logo network debuted a brand-new reality show, Eden's World, a spinoff of Toddlers & Tiaras, about at 7-year-old "diva" working the pageant circuit along with her mother. This is the first of what's supposed to be several "mainstream" attempts at programming, not to mention the addition of Teen Mom reruns. But wait a minute. I thought this was Logo, the channel for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered community to call home. What's happening here?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

DVD REVIEW: As The World Turns - 20 Classic Episodes

Fans were devastated when CBS announced that in September 2010, As The World Turns would no longer be airing weekday afternoons and would meet the same fate as its companion soap, Guiding Light did in 2009. However, a little over a year after the cancellations, it was announced that fans would be able to enjoy their favorite soap set in Oakdale, and other soaps produced by Procter & Gamble for that matter, in some official way after the show's last air date: via DVD's and streaming content. The first main set released was a 20 episode-themed volume package of As The World Turns.

Friday, February 24, 2012

DOOL: More Flailing About Will Horton

I can’t get over how beautifully told this story on Days of our Lives is. Just simple brilliance.

It was something else as we watched Sonny mention his new plans for the newest coffee place in town and Will got so nervous and fearful about getting involved. I figured it had to be that he thought that being with Sonny and his out friends would have been a constant reminder of how afraid he is to be is own self.

Coming out is often done my many people in a step-by-step basis like what we’re seeing here. So I applaud the realistic nature of this part of Will’s story. It was also nice to see Sonny talk more about his realization and how he dealt with who he is before now when that happened. I knew this story would provide more material for Sonny as a friend and as a character, and what’s actually been on-screen has been pretty much everything I hoped for if not more.

I was so glad to finally see Will confront Sami about what he saw between her and EJ. There’s no way I feel sorry for her. Just no way. The way Sami tried to blatantly lie and deny that it happened in the first place when she was confronted about it and the fact that she seemed more concerned about Rafe finding out pretty much justified and solidified Will’s anger about the entire situation. Could she be any more selfish? Well, there’s that, and who wouldn’t be traumatized if they saw their mom getting their freak on? I was glad to see Will not fall for any of her garbage. And the fact that she STILL continued to do this as the situation worsened just drove me crazy. I know she was scarred when she saw Marlena and John go at it as a kid but there’s only so much she can blame her own mother for. It’s not all about you, girlfriend! This is the kind of stuff that leaves me completely unsympathetic to Sami and makes me not bat an eye when Will gets snarky.

But the really fun part was yesterday, of course. Will finally kissed his first guy! I could not have been more happy to see it. He never kissed Gabi like this! I often say that when it comes to daytime soaps, that it’s all about the payoff. Will is obviously not ready to be out and proud yet, but this is a huge step. A few people have expressed concern about him being drunk when it occurred, but I really like the way the show writes drunk Will. He acts out on his true feelings in spite of his insecurities and doubts. Plus his friend Sonny saw them, so there’s no backing out now.

Yes, Will Horton, there is no turning back now. You kissed a boy, and you liked it.

Ringer: “Whores Don’t Make That Much”

Some real inventive episode titles, aren’t they?

I was pretty intrigued with this episode, for the most part this time with the actual main characters’ back story. At times when I’m following this show, it can be difficult to keep up with some of the issues behind Siobhan and Bridget. This episode however, set up what is quite obviously the biggest thing that could estrange family members up with quite clearly. We’ve seen flashbacks of things like Siobhan bailing out a drunk Bridget and so forth, but this took the cake.

Misha Collins also did really well in the role of Dylan, the father of Siobhan’s now deceased child. And Siobhan really had Dylan beaten up? Wow, don’t mess with this chick. The only thing I find off about it is that it’s going to be really awkward and weird if the real Siobhan were to ever cross paths with Dylan ever again.

The story involving Juliet, Tessa, and Mr. Carpenter got to a whole new level of bizarre though. Catherine is behind the whole plan?! Really? I thought Juliet hated Catherine's guts. I hope this is explained well next week. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good twist in the story, but right now it looks like it was pulled out of nowhere.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ringer: It's Easy to Cry When This Much Cash is Involved

I was pretty intrigued as Bridget continued to go through her twin sister Siobhan's history and get a little closer to finding the truth yet again with this episode. With her, as always, it's a slow, but sure path to getting there. The restaurant with the secret wish design was pretty clever. What could Siobhan have possibly needed to forgive Bridget for? They obviously had a rocky relationship, so it could be a number of things.

The most out-there part again though had to be the story with teenage daughter Juliet. So basically she is just a scheming individual. Both girls are. I can't believe that for one moment I thought she had a legitimate bone in her body. That feeling didn't last long, but still, I fell for it. Now I'm wondering what in the world Mr. Carpenter would want to do with this scheme with these two teenage girls. Really? What is he getting out of this? Why would he be so willing to ruin his own career for them? Confusing, and creepy, for sure, but then again, this is the part of the show that I think is really supposed to be the headscratcher.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Remembering Whitney Houston

Like many, my heart was broken when I heard the news that legendary singer and actress Whitney Houston passed away at the age of 48. Such a tragic loss. And way too young. I will always have memories of her music growing up. My personal favorite song of hers was always "It's Not Right But It's Okay." Movies she's worked on such as Cinderella and The Bodyguard have always held a place in my heart.

One other thing about this that I do want to say at the moment: I can't begin to say how disappointing the MTV tribute was late last night. I know we have channels like MTV Jams and VH-1 Soul, but how hard could it have been to air some more Whitney on the actual MTV feed? I think people could have lived without
Teen Mom and Jersey Shore reruns for one night.

It was also disappointing that there wasn't a big selection of videos shown. I just don't understand this. What could have happened? Legal issues? The ones shown were nice but it feels like there could have been more done on their end. Especially after the Michael Jackson tribute. Not to mention how do you go from "The Greatest Love of All" to Jersey Shore just like that? And not even a tribute slide or anything after it was over? Really?

But then again this is the same channel that didn't even bother to do much of anything to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its own launch on on its own channel. So I guess I shouldn't be all that surprised.

Here she is performing on an August 1984 episode of As the World Turns:

Rest in peace, Whitney. I will always remember you for your talent.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Millionaire: Jeremy’s Big Win

This past Wednesday’s episode of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? was a pretty good example of a game show that’s still got it after all these years. Jeremy Blais from Matunuck, RI walked away from the show with one of the biggest amounts of money that could be won.

What really had me enjoying this ride was the raw, genuine emotion from everyone involved. From Jeremy himself, to his family, the rest of the audience, and of course Meredith helped out with her method of hosting. And Jeremy was a really knowledgeable, and in some cases, lucky, contestant.

As more and more of these new primetime high jackpot game shows evolve, I’ve grown more and more sick of the constant overdramatic atmospheres. The obnoxious contestants who are seemingly booked for the sake of being obnoxious, the gimmicks, the ridiculous commercial tosses, which are supposed to add to the suspense, but in actually just ruin any suspense that was there to begin with (I’m talking to you, Who’s Still Standing!). I could go on.

Well, considering this is Millionaire, there was none of that here. Even with my issues with the questions being shuffled, the series proves that it can still put on a high-stakes event properly. Millionaire was one of the first game shows to have the flashing lights, the heart pounding music and the dark studio, and for the most part, at least in this country, they’ve been one of the only ones to put out the proper amount of dark intensity and feeling and still have it pay off in the end.

This was also the perfect balance of levity within the drama. Take for example when Jeremy accidentally high-fived Meredith too hard, and Meredith had me on pins and needles as she did everyone else when Jeremy guessed “Pizza” as the answer to the $250,000 question.

Some people might be wondering, especially since it‘s been quite a while since we‘ve had a top prize winner here, “What’s the big deal? People get up to the second tier somewhat often.“ It’s true, that does happen. And, well, no, Jeremy might not have made it to the top. But $250,000 is a great accomplishment and it was a very entertaining half-hour.

Ringer: What Are You Doing Here, Ho-Bag?

Yes, you read that correctly. That was indeed the episode title for this week's show. I actually found this to be a very enjoyable episode of the series.

There was the really perfect soapy interaction between Juliet’s mother and Andrew’s ex-wife Catherine, and Siobhan… (or shall we say in this case, Bridget?). Catherine’s certainly a hot mess, isn’t she? Bridget also seems to be improving since she’s stepped in Siobhan’s shoes. Even though Siobhan is always ahead of her, it should only be a matter of time before she figures out her twin sister is actually alive.

What really got to me this week was the whole issue of Juliet and her teacher, Mr. Carpenter. At first I was convinced she was completely full of it when she said her teacher forced himself on her because she already has a very long history of being mistrustful and acting out. Now here comes the surveillance video tape of her and the teacher, and he wanted none of her advances. It looked like she was caught in another lie, but then the other student Tessa shows up and drops the bomb that he did the same thing to her. I don’t know what to think now, but then again, that’s what’s supposed to happen. It's something story wise that I should be confused about. There's the possibility that they're both being honest; or Juliet could be lying, and the other kid could be telling the truth. You just can’t tell this soon and I‘m intrigued to find out what happens next. Plus one would only hope that Juliet wouldn’t actually be low enough to lie about something as horrible and awful as this.

Since it’s debuted, I’ve been hot and cold about how the show’s been progressing. As much as I’ve enjoyed seeing Sarah Michelle Gellar on a new series, it can be confusing and difficult to keep up with at times. But I guess it just goes to show that some shows need a few episodes in the beginning to even itself out and begin to get itself together. Ringer obviously is one of those shows. If it keeps up after this, I think it could be appointment television for a really good length of time.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Remembering Don Cornelius

I along with many fans was very saddened to hear of the loss of television pioneer Don Cornelius this past week. Of course he was best known as the creator and host of the long running syndicated hit series, Soul Train.

I didn’t have cable for most of my childhood years, so while networks like MTV were in their prime and some people relied more on sources like those, Soul Train was still a pretty good and official source for myself and my family growing up; finding out some of the latest music, fashion, and trends as they progressed in our society. Soul Train was not just a look into the cultural word for people of color like myself, but for everyone.

Also I must say, I’ve really been enjoying the classic episodes of the show as they’ve been rerun on stations like WGN a few years ago and Bounce TV today. Spike Lee’s description of the show as an “urban music time capsule” to me is spot on. Not only have I enjoyed seeing how various eras of fashion, music, and dance have been represented, but I’ve also discovered several favorite new (well, more like new-old) artists and songs that I probably never would have really thought of thanks to the exposure. Artists like Patti Austin, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr., Atlantic Starr, and Yarbrough & Peoples just to name a few. We also of course can’t forget the exposure given originally to then groundbreaking artists like The Jacksons, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder.

I have a lot of great hope that we can continue to remember his legacy for many years to come with the way networks like Centric and Bounce TV have been broadcasting his signature creation. No other music show can top the brilliance and uniqueness of this one.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happy Birthday, Betty White!

I really enjoyed Monday’s NBC special honoring one of the legendary golden girls. All of the classic clips (especially since I'm such a sucker for nostalgia), and all of those legends there in one room. Even a funny moment with the President! Carol Burnett has aged very well. I think my favorite part was the game show salute with Joel McHale, Carol Burnett, Ed Asner, Valerie Harper, and Vicki Lawrence. Just as a side note, I'm thinking Joel would make a hilarious game show host considering how deadpan he reacts to silly answers.

It’s impossible to pick only favorite role of hers for me. So much stuff of hers has been enjoyable. So much stuff from a legend in the female comedy world. From the fierce Sue Ann Nivens on Mary Tyler Moore, to the na├»ve Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls… in her arguably two most memorable televised roles, she’s managed to brilliantly portray two different and extraordinary characters. There’s also Mama’s Family, her many guest roles on other series, such as The Simpsons, Family Guy, and who can forget her current role on Hot in Cleveland. And let’s not forget all of her years on game shows, too. Easily one of the best players that ever walked a game show set. I'd say Pyramid and Password were the two shows I looked forward to the most in this particular genre. She could play a word game like no other.

As a person there are a number of things that make me respect her very much: her professionalism, her admiration for animals, her open-mindedness. Just an all-around wonderful human being.

I hope she has many more birthdays to come.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ugh, ABC Daytime.

As someone who wasn’t really a big watcher of most of the ABC soaps (but did tune in time to time to see them) I was still pretty disappointed and at times even outraged at the news following the months after hearing that both All My Children and One Life to Live were cancelled.

It’s for me mostly been outrageous because of the deception. I really did not like it when Les Moonves joked about As The World Turns’ cancellation the day the announcement was made, to an interview with Marie Masters’ son-in-law, no less. However, at least there was honesty in the decision to cancel it.

But this situation unfolded differently. We sat and watched as ABC daytime lied to their casts and crews; Susan Lucci was actually even on Wendy Williams as recently as a week before the official word came out saying the cancellation stories as far as she knew didn't come from ABC. Furthermore, have the All My Children people uproot and move cross-country from New York to Los Angeles in 2009 for nothing, and lie to your fans for over a year, calming their concerns about cancellation only to yank the rug out from under them like that. Several articles and stories came out denying the rumors (the most recent article came as late as March 22) which really swelled around the time World Turns ended. I've also never believed that that ABC would suddenly change their minds between March 22 and early last April to end Children and One Life. Particularly since they knew exactly what hosts and shows they were going to replace them with. Oh, and speaking of the replacements, The Chew and The Revolution? Really? Despite what ABC would like to say, these shows aren’t new to daytime at all and are found a dime a dozen elsewhere in the TV world, especially the former.

Then we saw the whole Prospect Park situation unfold. Fans were so happy when they thought their favorite shows were saved. You know, at this point, I don’t know if that company really wanted to put an honest attempt to save these shows or if this was just a ruse to keep fans quiet for a while because there was so much backlash behind the decision to kill these legendary shows.

I think it would have been sad to see a soap leave the air regardless. Even cancelling the shows themselves would have been one thing, but the lying and fake reassurance for as long as ABC did it is despicable.

Will Horton’s Journey: More Insight

I’m going to get into regular postings with this show like I did with World Turns pretty soon, but I thought I’d take one more chance to expand a little more of what I'm enjoying with Will Horton’s storyline on Days of our Lives, especially with some of the latest twists the story has gone into.

For one thing, Will and Marlena’s relationship has really touched me. I love how the show has very clearly showed that Marlena’s going to be there for her grandson no matter what he’s going through. She’s always willing to sit and listen to his problems and concerns. I was moved to tears when he attempted to come out to her but chickened out in the end and sobbed in her arms on December 29th. Chandler has been brilliant at showing the emotional struggle it takes for one to come out. Just such a wonderfully written duo. I’m loving them as much as I loved Luke and Lucinda on As The World Turns (one of the things on that show they definitely got right). I find myself relating to this in a special way, too, because I hope when I come out to my own grandmother, she’ll be as accepting as Marlena Evans obviously will be.

I'm still pretty moved from last Thursday's episode with Will speaking with Sonny's father and his friend Mateo. You could tell how badly Will wishes he could have a close paternal type relationship like Sonny has. Because he knows he hasn't gotten any of that kind of stability with his own mother, Sami, and her Merry-Go-Round of relationships and marriages. Will thought this might happen with Rafe Hernandez, Sami's latest husband, but after witnessing her affair with EJ DiMera, he thinks any chances of normalcy in the way of a family have been wiped out.

Also, the scenes with Sonny's friend Mateo clearly makes him wonder if he's ever going to have a life where he's out, proud, and free like they are. Not to mention, Jai Rodriguez played really well off of Freddie and Chandler. As Sonny himself said, "He's just not there yet. He's just not there." Also, nice to have confirmation that Sonny indeed knows that Will's gay.

I must admit, I’m enjoying the EJ element in this storyline a lot more than I expected. Will’s attempt at blackmail to get money from EJ to leave Salem is a very accurate display of how desperate people get when they’re living in fear and denial. Some people will attempt anything, no matter how illogical it is, to avoid dealing with their problems head on. The point of EJ knowing Will shot him in the back in 2007 was a really excellent twist, especially since we never saw who actually pulled the trigger. It’s nice that they could add this element in the show with it making complete and total sense. Also it looks like Will doing EJ’s tasks could add a layer to him character wise. I also can’t forget that he has figured out Will’s other big secret.

Some people are wondering how EJ DiMera knows Will is gay already. Does he have expert gaydar or what? For one thing, it can be seen how EJ could interpret Will being reluctant about talking about his “feelings” in the gay way when he overheard one conversation with Will and Marlena. There’s also New Year’s Eve when he saw Will with Sonny and Tyler. What was going through EJ’s mind then? I won’t dismiss him on that. Because even when I take my slash fan hat off, Will has looked more relaxed, more open, and happier whenever he interacts with most other guys: Sonny, Chad, Sonny's friend Tyler, and for the most part, Mateo.

I’ve been enjoying this part of the story and am looking forward to the future. Because as a soap opera storyline goes, blackmail is one of the most classic elements you can have and it‘s being used very well here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm Hooked... Again (And I'm Loving Every Second of It)

So I don't know how many other people are watching the latest storyline with Will Horton on Days of our Lives. But I have been hooked for several months. I’ve had a lot of excitement for the way things have been going ever since I heard it was finally confirmed that Will Horton is indeed gay.

If you followed me through all the As The World Turns ups and downs (mostly downs, well, creative downs) to the bitter end, you’re probably reading this and asking why. Why am I trying this again? Well, I can answer this. For one, I’ve had an off-and-on interest for this show for a long time. One of the first soaps I ever fell in love with, and it's pretty much the last hardcore favorite soap left thanks to the recent cancellations. So the investment's already there.

The show’s gone through a host of creative changes. The gay characters on World Turns got pretty dismal airtime in most cases throughout their course on screen, even with fan devotion and support of said characters; usually getting 10 minutes a week if we’re lucky. But the screen time issue with Will, although disappointing at first, made sense. Now that the story is in full swing for Will the airtime has actually been pretty impressing. Also if it’s partly because of rewrites, well then, it’s been worth it because especially since the writing change from Dena Higley to Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, the writing for this storyline has improved. I’m side-eying a couple other things on the show, like Jack/Jennifer/Daniel, and Madison being appointed as CEO of Titan by Victor when he barely knows her, but the writing for Will and Sonny has been rather on point. They've done a good job at staying away from stereotypes.

I can’t begin to describe how brilliantly Chandler Massey has played this role, especially as of late. He’s done such a tremendous job of playing this role realistically. As someone who identifies as gay, I’ve been so moved at how he’s handled the denial aspect of this. I know what it’s like to be gay, and at one point be scared out of my mind and not be ready to discuss it with anyone. Will Horton is a prime example of someone going through something that I and many other people have been trying to show people for many years. Homosexuality is something that in many cases we ourselves have to embrace and accept first before we’re ready to tell this part of ourselves to other people. Even in this day and age for some people it’s longer of a road to go for self-acceptance. If you don’t believe me, look at all the reported suicides we’ve seen over the past two years and much further back than that.

Not only has Chandler been great but I’ve really enjoyed Freddie Smith’s portrayal as the out gay guy in Salem, Sonny Kiriakis, who was introduced back in July. The dialogue they have going with his character and the closeted Will has already proven to be a great dynamic, and I can only imagine how much potential could be met with Sonny helping Will go through this part of his life. I imagine him being a great friend to Will.

Some people are worried about things like affection being handled with both Will and Sonny’s characters, and any other gay characters on the show. That’s a legitimate concern, and with the way things are going now, I’m going to trust the show until they give me a reason not to. And well, if you’ve read this blog between 2007-2008, you know me. If I see a hint of censorship I will not hesitate to sound off about it. Not to mention this is honestly would be the last soap ever to try something like this. I know many consider Days to be a conservative soap, but really? I think those bridges were burned almost 16 years ago when Marlena Evans was possessed by Satan. Speaking of Marlena, she's been such a phenomenal source of guidance for Will during his journey.

So there you have it; reasons why I’m sticking with the storyline. I have been really pleased and I hope things continue to go well.

The ‘Best Drama’ is indeed Supernatural!

Supernatural fans had plenty to be excited about with the People’s Choice Awards ceremony last night. They scored pretty big. Awards for Best Drama and Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series! That’s right, Supernatural won! Whoo-hoo!

But there’s only one problem… the cast wasn’t there to accept the awards in person and the acceptance speeches were done via videotape. The latest development after this aired was found out from Jensen and Jared’s bodyguard that they weren’t invited to the ceremony.

A large number of us fans are obviously upset and disappointed with this revelation, and for good reason. How awkward could it possibly be to have a series win two major awards and no one from the cast be there to accept either? Best Drama’s about as big as you can get. It’d be one thing if it was one actor and they couldn‘t make it. But if the cast is saying they got no invitation, then that’s pretty messed up considering the attention and fierce competition revolved around said awards, especially with twitter being one of the ways to vote and how popular competitor shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Fringe, True Blood and even The Vampire Diaries are. It's also worth noting that The Vampire Diaries cast was invited since they were also nominated.

Supernatural has been a show that often gets little mainstream press and attention. Even on its own network for a number of years the promotion has been rather minimal and half-hearted at best and has only recently started to pick up a little steam. This was really our “Emmy/Red Carpet” type moment where us fans could have had a really lovely way to earn some of that recognition and respect. And even a little better considering this was entirely a fan-driven award. Somebody from the show had to be free to accept these awards in person. It just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to not invite anyone at all from the cast. Who was responsible for making this decision and why on earth did they think it was a good one?

This fiasco aside, I am very happy for the show. When Supernatural is at its best (and it often is, even with some of the missteps in the sixth season), it has proven to be some of the most compelling television drama you could ever watch. I'm on the edge of my seat right now as Sam and Dean are going through the most intense season yet thanks to the Leviathans and them dealing with the losses of their loyal friends.

In the meantime, I’ll look at the bright side. The show won two significant awards. And well, Jensen and Jared weren’t there in person, but they did take their pants off for us. I mean, that accounts for something, right?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

'Bob''s Coming to DVD!

As reported on TV Shows on DVD yesterday.

Speaking as a fan of Bob Newhart, I obviously couldn’t have been more thrilled to read this. It’s actually funny because I was saying to myself just the other day that this was a pretty good show and that it’s too bad that we’ll probably never see it on DVD. Shows how much I know, right? Also, nice cover art.

This makes me wonder though. If CBS/Paramount Home Video is willing to release a short-lived show starring Bob, then what is Fox’s hold up with the final two seasons of The Bob Newhart Show and the rest of Newhart? Because I’m thinking with this release, and especially if Bob on DVD is a success in any shape or form, fans who pick this up will most likely want to see the remaining years of his other most famous and memorable characters, Dr. Robert Hartley and innkeeper Dick Loudon.

2011 Has Been a Great Year for Classic Television

I posted this elsewhere before, but I think it's still very relevant now as we're in 2012:

Yeah, I said it. 2011 has turned out to be a great year for classic television.

Now that I've said that, if you're as big an oldies fan as I am, you're probably thinking "What?! But TV Land is terrible. Hallmark's constant schedule shuffling is annoying. GSN only airs the same 4 classics over and over and they don't even show the full runs of them! SOAPnet airs nothing older than 1990 on a regular basis anymore!" If you are thinking any of that, well, you're right.

I haven't had GSN for several months now, and while there are some steps in the right direction, like with Jeopardy! and $100,000 Pyramid being back, I still can't say that I miss having it. I don't expect it to be all oldies all the time, but with most of their library consisting of classics, one would think they'd see more variety with the airings. I tried to keep up with Empty Nest on Hallmark all while they aired the show, and trying to follow it on there drove me crazy with how much it was bounced around. Not only did that show itself move around a lot, but there was more than one occasion where it'd change so fast that the cable guide couldn't keep up. The entire line-up in general often goes through many frequent, and seemingly haphazard changes. And don't get me started on how they edit The Golden Girls. Makes me glad I have all the DVD's at this point. And anyone like me who's followed TV Land for a significant period of time knows that channel is a shell of its former self. SOAPnet is going away, and the 1970's Ryan's Hope reruns already left the airwaves before the channel has even disappeared yet. So, yes. All of that does suck.

But even with all those gripes, classic TV in general is doing fine though. Elsewhere. When I say this I'm referring to over-the-air digital subchannels like MeTV and Antenna TV. We've had MeTV in this area for several months now, and boy, let me tell you, this is a classic TV lover's paradise with many beloved series. Mary Tyler Moore, The Bob Newhart Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Laverne & Shirley, I Love Lucy, The Odd Couple, Taxi, The Twilight Zone, Perry Mason... I could go on. This reminds me of what TV Land was like in its prime. When I didn't have cable and was pining for it. A little less than a month ago we got Antenna TV. I couldn't have been happier. Shows like Maude, Too Close for Comfort, Three's Company (and even the spinoffs The Ropers and Three's A Crowd), Soap, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents are now readily available.

Really, if you're interested in seeing some old favorites that you haven't watched in years or if you're new to some others, there's a good chance that you'll find something to enjoy on both of those channels. With the way many cable channels have evolved in the past decade, I never thought we'd have this many shows to choose from and enjoy on TV again. Oh, and did I mention the newest launched digital subchannel, Bounce TV, airs classic Soul Train on a regular basis?

So yes, 2011 has been a very good year in my eyes for vintage television. Most of it's just not on cable or satellite exclusive channels. If you don't have any of these channels, then I strongly suggest you contact your local stations and ask for them to be added.