OMG October 2015!

It’s October.  Time’s flying by; good grief.

As least that Hurricane Joaquin didn’t hit us.  (I kept calling it Hurricane “Joaquin Phoenix” to amuse myself, I have to say).  Thank goodness.   People in the northeast tried not to panic.   Instead, we had a cold, wet, and windy nor’easter. Not convenient or pretty, but not a hurricane.  And, it was nice to see the sun on Sunday.  Oh, and MTA subways were running, because they cancelled the weekend construction because of storm fears. Uh… yeah…

NY Mets won today.  NY Giants won.  NY Jets won.  NY Yankees got home field advantage for their one-day wild card playoff.   That’s what you’ll get from me as the casual sports fan.

As a follow up to the previous post on Fall TV, I share the following link: Linda Holmes’ article on “Television 2015: Is There Really Too Much TV?”  I share it because it asked the question that I’ve been wondering about, and I remembered seeing it when it came out, but I didn’t get a chance to share it at the time of the prior post.  Check it out; Holmes pondered it and while she acknowledged that there is a lot out there, is it really that bad to have a lot that we like?  I don’t know; but, I am frustrated that I’m behind on everything and I feel like I can’t keep up.

Plus, I’ve been getting back to fiction writing and it’s October.  National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is right around the corner.  Gasp.

More Fall TV follow up: I’ve been watching “Dancing With the Stars.”  I can never quite say if “the stars” are really stars (not to me, and especially not if they were on, say, a Real Housewives show).  But, the professional dancers are starting to feel like the stars, to me, and they’re fun to watch as far as their skills and artistry are concerned.

I generally watched the first week of “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” on Comedy Central.  I thought that it was pretty entertaining so far; Trevor Noah is new, yes; he has big shoes to fill; but he felt like was a little naughty (there were some jokes that I don’t think Jon Stewart would have done) and newsy (still on that current events thing), with that different perspective (whether you want to call that different perspective that of the “Person of Color” or “non-American” or whatever).  I’ll be hopeful.

Because I’ve been watching a lot of Colbert on CBS, I’ve ended up watching some of James Corden on “The Late Late Show” right after it.  He’s quite talented. I think that I’ve moved past the “wait, he did two episodes or so on Doctor Who” as Craig, the Doctor’s roommate (the 11th Doctor, as played by Matt Smith), and I liked him as the Baker on “Into the Woods.”  He’s quite talented, I have to say.  His recent thing with Matt Damon on “The Late Late Show” was hilarious for covering the various roles of Matt Damon.  I liked “The Late Late Show” with Craig Ferguson, but James Corden is okay (even though he makes it so that there are too many people named “James” or “Jimmy” on late night tv).

Speaking of Stephen Colbert, seeing John Oliver on Colbert was fun – if only to hear Oliver be all candid and funny (well, certainly candid about how he doesn’t care about Donald Trump).

Doctor Who continued its entertaining momentum.  I’m not sure whether I quite like how this season has a “Parts 1 and 2” thing over last season’s series of one story episodes. I recall that BBC did paired episodes way back in the first season of “nuWho,” for the 9th Doctor and Rose, and maybe it works for the 12th Doctor and Clara, giving them some room to breathe and smooth over the plot holes moments.  But, the one story episodes were crackling with tension and absurdity (which was their way of covering for plot holes); the paired stuff so far really does make one wonder how Part 2 will work to make Part 1 look workable.

But, hey, the Doctor and Clara are back in the Tardis.  All good.  So far, anyway (because one never knows what can happen to the companion!).

On to Monday and another work week… and the Major League Baseball playoffs!  I still cannot believe that the NY Mets are in it, and I wonder how far they’ll go.  Let’s enjoy this while we can, Mets fans!



Fall TV 2015!

It’s that time of year again – I as the traditionalist think of it as time for new tv stuff!  Of course, thanks to streaming tv, cable tv, and the ridiculous levels of competition out there, new stuff already came out anyway, so my traditionalism is antiquated.

Nonetheless, the following are some observations about the new stuff that I managed to catch so far…

An admission and sort-of disclaimer: I’m not much of a late-night tv viewer and I was never much of a Stephen Colbert fan.  However, I had to watch the first episode of his taking over the Late Night Show, and I thought he had a decently entertaining 1st episode on network late night. Nice cameos. Good music.  Clearly having Jon Baptiste and his band, Stay Human, was a good move and their music and their energy entertains the live audience. I like Jon Baptiste and Stay Human.

Since that 1st episode, I think so far some of the joke bits are a little too long, but I like the selection of guests so far.  Colbert was moving with Vice President Joe Biden, for instance; it was strangely entertaining to see Justice Stephen Breyer on the show – and the next day, Breyer was on Charlie Rose’s show… well, that was strange for me, since I was changing channels and lo and behold on PBS with Charlie Rose… oh, and Trevor Noah had an appearance, to get ready for his hosting The Daily Show.

Also, there are times when it feels like Colbert’s still being “Colbert,” the blowhard on Comedy Central and “the character” (I guess it’s hard to get rid of that guy) doesn’t and didn’t necessarily work for me (it might entertain the hardcore Colbert fans; I don’t know).

I’m not sure how this will all work with CBS (Letterman pulled it off for years, but he has been a network tv guy and got to tease the networks for years, and CBS is… CBS – I have lots of mixed feelings about that network).  I’m hopeful that this would be a good product – something more substantive than either of the Jimmys (the one on the Tonight Show on NBC or the one on ABC), so I’m not the one who’s going to be all judgmental about Colbert after only a couple of weeks.

We’ll see how Trevor Noah will be once he takes over The Daily Show. I miss Jon Stewart in the meantime.  It’s not fun trying to make up my own Donald Trump jokes.

The Doctor Who season premiere – it was nice to see the Doctor back, along with Clara.  I still don’t know what to make of Missy (a.k.a. the Master), and I don’t get the Daleks (I’m not a veteran fan of the Doctor, so it’s not like I understand the Daleks or even the Cybermen).  As a Part 1 of 2, it’s hard to assess the episode because Part 2 might make Part 1 more interesting or flesh it out.  But, it was fun to watch anyway, just for being the usual Doctor weird stuff.

I thought that the new show “Blindspot” on NBC had an ok pilot episode. Jaime Alexander as Jane Doe, the tattooed woman with amnesia, who the FBI wants as a mystery to solve, was compelling.  And, of course, I’m a sucker for FBI agents in weirdo mysteries (somehow I managed not to be on the Blacklist bandwagon, but James Spader manages to annoy me over the years, so it’s not entirely surprising that I’m not a viewer of that show).

But, some turnoffs for me based on the 1st episode of “Blindspot”: they filmed a scene by the subway station near my old workplace, but called that “Brooklyn” (no! I recognized it as the Battery Tunnel exit, Manhattan-side). And, I had no idea that an obscure Chinese dialect could be apparent in written Chinese (I believe not, since written Chinese is just written Chinese). Was this as cool as say, episode one of “Fringe”?  No.  But, I might be suckered into watching episode 2, simply because I wonder if they’ll figure out why is Jane Doe in her situation, so…

I didn’t catch the Emmys Award show, mainly because, during the last couple of years, I’ve slowly pulled back from watching it, even  though I used to be a big Emmy viewer (for many reasons, including that I got tired of watching the same people win for years, not that there was anything wrong with that, but it wasn’t every interesting).

We seem to be in a new Golden Age of TV, but there’s so much out there and I find myself really unable to catch up. And, then again, that’s ok.

But, history got made and I share this quote: “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” – Viola Davis.

I’m both surprised and not surprised that it’s not until 2015 that the first black woman wins an Emmy for best lead actress in a drama (so, yes, kudos to Viola Davis!). Roles must be created, even if we have to create them ourselves (so, yeah, we ought to have more people of color behind the screens too); so, hey, networks, keep it up with the experiment for more diversity in the small screen. Create great roles for great performing artists; I’ll be happy to getting used to seeing more people of color winning awards!

(and, coincidentally,  one of the panel programs at this year’s fall conference of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) covered the issue of racial diversity in casting; it really is becoming a thing where we have to create stuff for ourselves, it seems!).