Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Do You Remember NYC 1973? "Life on Mars" is Dead-On

Where were you in 1973? Were you even born yet? I was watching “All in the Family” on TV, Nixon was President, gas was well under $1 a gallon, and we listened to Cat Stevens, the Moody Blues, and Led Zeppelin on 8-track tape players. Many of us still had rotary phones, my dad’s car had big-ass fins, and some of my neighbors had been drafted to Vietnam. And “the city” was a dangerous place — 42nd St west of Broadway was one porn-show or peep-show palace after another, with streetwalkers [prostitutes] lining the streets in broad daylight. SoHo, TriBeCa, and NoLiTa were barely ideas, and the Bronx was burning! The World Trade Center was in its infancy.

If you want to go back to NYC nostalgia, or want to appreciate how far we’ve come. Or even if you are like me — secretly longing for a little of the grittiness again [oh that colorful subway graffiti!], catch tonight’s second episode of “Life on Mars” [ABC, 10pm]. If nothing else, the hairstyles are a hoot, and last week I caught a Gremlin [car] on the street. They really are dead-on with the details! Oh, and the political-incorrectness! Every young girl should note the disrespect to women, and appreciate what we burned our bras for!

"Ugly Betty" Will Film in NYC

In a “it should have been that way all along” move, ABC announced this week that its hit series “Ugly Betty” will move to NYC and start filming in the city where the series actually takes place. The fictional Betty works at Mode Magazine in Manhattan, and lives with her family in Jackson Heights, so it’s a natural fit for the show to film here.

And Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Paterson welcome the show, whose NYC filming will create about 200 jobs. ABC is also benefiting from a 35% cut in state and city taxes as a result of the move. People in Jackson Heights are hoping they will film in that neighborhood. When they see street closures and the lineup of trailers, they may eat those words.

Not to mention, the new opportunities for NYC actors, who formerly depended on “Law and Order” for NYC TV roles.

‘Real World’ comes back to NYC, keeps it real

Apparently, the folks at MTV who helped launch the scourge against good programming that is reality TV with “The Real World” back in 1992 are bringing it back to NYC for its 21st season. (Has it been that long? Man, that makes me feel old.) Specifically, the show will be filmed in Brooklyn. There’s no mention of which Brooklyn neighborhood they’ll film in, but like the MTV News blogger, I assume it’ll be Williamsburg, because all the kids think it’s hip or something. (Damn. I feel old again.) Unlike Choire Sicha of the Observer, who would like it to be The Real World: East New York, I’d like to see it in Bed-Stuy, or maybe Bensonhurst. The Real World: Whaddya, a Tough Guy? might be kind of interesting.

Have You Heard About — THE FIBER? Vote For the Most Annoying Local NYC TV Ad!!

We all know them, we all watch them, and worst of all, we all remember them! After all, isn’t that the point? Especially the ones where they repeat a phone number [who can forget the Sheraton commercial decades ago -800-325-3535?]
OK here are my nominees
1) All the Bob’s Furniture ads [the “Bob-o-Pedic” mattress, or the modular sofa bigger than an entire NYC studio apt, with chaise and 2,4, or even 6 cup holders]

2) The Stanley Steemer spot with Toby the dog’s “new trick” [which is cleaning his butt on the new carpet– hey lady, check out the dog’s food!], and the horriffic cry of “Oh God, make him stop—–T-O-B-Y!!]

3) US Window Factory
a) the British guy who says “I don’t even live here, but I’m gonna move here……..”
b) the woman with the white lips outlined in red, 70s-style big disco hair, and the Lawn Guylind twang
“so cawl us; we’ll instawl yaw windahs…”
4) Empire Today 800-588-2300…… see?

5) The Grand Prospect Hall — elaborate violin music, grand staircase, huge crystal chandeliers, so far so good, then the music crescendos, abruptly stops, fade to couple on the spiral steps proclaiming
“We Mek-a Your Drims Kem Troo” in an accent that sounds like a mixture of Eastern European, Russian, and newly-arrived Sicilian”

and finally, who can forget:

6) Optimum Triple Play, complete with bongos, bling, mermaids, and rates to call Puerto Rico, and a number that tattoos on the brain —- 877-393-4-4-4-8!

7) Time Warner’s response — man eating his daily “colon-blow” cereal, when the doorbell rings;
man looks through peephole to see nerd with a comb-over, and murmurs “this should be fun”,
man opens door, and nerd says “Good Morning. [while making elaborate rainbow-colored arc-shaped sweep of his hand] Have you heard about [pause] THE FIBER??”
Man holds up cereal bowl, and says “I think I’m taken care of in that area” uh-LOL?
8) ___________________________________ write in your own

The winning ad agency gets the “noodgie” award, which is a download of a fingernail scratching a chalkboard!

Who Do You Think Won The Writer’s Strike?

I really don’t know enough about this to have an informed opinion on this. War is rarely pretty. Was it worth it for either side?

Remembering Suzanne Pleshette

Suzanne Pleshette film and TV actress, and NYC native, died of lung cancer at 70.. She is best known for her role as Emily Hartley, wife of psychologist Bob Hartley, on the “Bob Newhart Show”. I have fond memories of watching this show on Saturday nights in the 70s, while getting ready to go out with my friends.Most recently, she had a recurring role on “Will and Grace”.

But Pleshette also acted in beach party movies in the 60s. She played the role of Annie, the schoolteacher who rents a room in her Bodega Bay cottage to Tippi Hedren in Hitchcock’s “The Birds”. And she brilliantly portrayed hotelier Leona Helmsley, in a TV biopic about the “Queen of Mean”.

But I remember her best, saying “Oh Bob…”, kissing her hubby, and then rolling over to fall asleep in the 70s bedroom of a Chicago high-rise overlooking Lake Michigan.

Still working on my unibrow.

What a relief. Now that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have seen fit to cross picket lines and return to their West Side studios (and subsequently the airwaves), I feel that I too can, at long last, return to blogging. You see, as Jon Stewart suggests in the above clip, I now resolve to grow and rock a substantial unibrow as a symbol of solidarity with my screenwriting bruthas. (A computer monitor’s a screen after all…)

Ok, so maybe I’ve just been a little lazy. And also sick. And out of town for the holidays.

But here I am, fresh-faced (except for that brow) and ready for another year in the big apple. Happy 2008 NYC! Anyone else make any bizarre resolutions, involving facial hair or otherwise?

"Matched in Manhattan"

I caught the show on Lifetime TV Matched in Manhattan , and I could say that I wish I had Matt Titus and his wife Tamsen Fadal, when I was a single thirtysomething trying to date in NYC!!

But if you are a woman who needs tips, and you are still in your twenties or thirties [or you might even learn something if you are 40+]. And check out their website

And even if you don’t need help. are male, too old or too young, married, or date outside of NYC, tune in to the show for some good entertainment. But don’t take Matt’s advice as gospel for everyone. On a recent episode, Matt entered a client’s bedroom for some makeover critique. He bristled at her collection of “Hello Kitty” items, and the tank housing her pet snake. They were deal-breakers, so she relegated “Hello Kitty” to a display in the corner, and covered the snake tank. Wrong set of circumstances perhaps. I don’t know about Kitty, but I could definitely envision that snake as a desirable accoutrement in many “love nests” . After all, Matt, this IS NYC!!!!!
“Hello Kitty” paraphernalia were deal-breakers for future pa

Much Ado About Nothing: Nor’Easter Noel

We had the whole nine yards —- the banners across the TV screen, the warnings from the weatherperson to “not go out unless you absolutely must”, and the advise to take in all lawn furniture and Halloween decorations. The last warning was a valid one — this morning it was windy. But it wasn’t, thankfully, nearly as bad as we expected.

Looks like the marathoners will not have to jump over as many tree-trunks and/or downed power-lines as originally thought. Whew!!!

Time Warner Cable engineers don’t seem that bright to me

I’ve lived in NYC almost my entire life. In fact, I’ve only lived in Manhattan, and all within a 20 block stretch on the east side. As a result, I’ve been watching television from one provider, through all it’s incarnations, for about 25-30 years.

About once a year, Time Warner Cable (TWC) rejiggers it’s channel lineup for various reasons. The reasons sometimes include putting “like” channels near each other, promoting new channels (the lower they are, the more people will find them), and moving poorly performing channels out of the way (did you know that WNBC has their own weather channel? #161 in Manhattan).

Normally, I adjust to these changes in a few weeks, and move on with my life. However, sometimes the changes come too quickly and other times they just don’t make sense. Both happened in the last two and half months.

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