Tag Archives: cable television

A pat on the back

Hey, Time Warner Cable — mark the date on your calendar!  Someone (me) is giving you positive feedback.

(I’m as shocked as you are.)

alphabetTWC recently changed the way they order their listings in the on-screen program guide.

In the past, they listed all movies and TV shows that began with ‘The’ under ‘T’…which is stupid.  You might miss a program altogether if you forget that all important article tacked on the front of the title.

But recently — I’m not sure how recently, but I watch a lot of TV, so I’m guessin’ it hasn’t been that long ago — they changed their policy.  Now a movie like ‘The Last Five Years’ (which opens in theaters and OnDemand today) is listed under the letter ‘L.’

How groundbreaking. How logical.  How unlike Time Warner Cable.

Let’s hear it for common sense!

 

Mum’s the word

Did you know the Internet was international? Seems obvious, right?

Apparently not to some.

mothering sunday 3.14Today several UK-based celebs have been wishing their mums Happy Mother’s Day.

Dan Stevens, who played the recently deceased Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey.  Chris O’Dowd of Bridesmaid and Girls fame.  But they were quickly corrected by pushy, ethnocentric Americans that “Mother’s Day is still a couple of months away.”

I was at once embarrassed and entertained.

Cable television and the Internet may make programming and actors from other countries available to us here in America, but it doesn’t mean we’re necessarily going learn anything.

Well…at least we’re predictable.

Simpler times

I never watched Sesame Street as a kid.  I was all about Captain Kangaroo.  I loved the Captain, Mr. Moose, Mr. Green Jeans, Dennis the Painter, Magic Drawing Board.

Plus, we didn’t have cable till I was in my teens.

But I have to admit — Sesame Street’s lineup of stars for its 43rd season is pretty impressive: biggies from movies, TV and sports — Jon Hamm and Melissa McCarthy, for example — and a Supreme Court judge.

They’re even doing a parody of Downton Abbey.  I hope those bloody kids appreciate it.

I don’t remember Captain Kangaroo playing the celebrity card.  When I Google the show, it lists the stars he had on the program from time from time.  But that’s not what I remember.

I remember the cartoon “Tom Terrific.”  Ping pong balls dropping from the sky.  The Captain reading stories.  Conversations with Grandfather Clock.  Dancing Bear.

Man, I wasn’t nearly as shallow when I was young.

Lip smackin’!

“Lip Gate” has me feeling deflated.

You’ve heard, no doubt, that psycho-celebrity Lisa Rinna recently had her upper lip surgically reduced in size.  She says it’s to remove scar tissue that has developed over the years from silicone lip injections she had way back in 1986.

Me thinks it is to promote her upcoming show on TV Land, “Harry Loves Lisa.”  Though some folks have come down on her for yet another round of plastic surgery (even if it is corrective),  it is attention for the series, which let’s face it, the small cable network venture can certainly use.

And her lips can certainly use the reduction.  I’ve seen them live and in person….and they were so large, they practically were their own person.

I was sitting in a diner in New York City having breakfast during a visit here before my move, and Lisa walked in — hat shoved down, big sunglasses, the whole celeb disguise firmly in place.

But those big lips sticking out — so big she couldn’t even close her mouth — I knew it was her in a New York minute.

So kudos to Lisa for returning them to a somewhat more natural state.  Maybe it will make her a bit easier for Harry to love.

Monday, Monday

Two of my favorite TV shows air on Monday night.

So why chose Wednesday to talk about ’em?

Because they air head-to-head at 10pm — and no, one of them isn’t Leno — which means I normally end up watching one or both of them on Tuesday, so they are very much top of mind today.

(Plus, I want to give them both a shout-out in hopes they get enough viewers to get renewed next season.  If only The Sticky Egg had such power…)

The two shows in question?  “Castle” on ABC — now in its second season — and “Men of a Certain Age” on TNT.  They couldn’t be more different, and yet, are both so worthy of your DVR programming allotment.

Both shows revolve around appealingly flawed characters portrayed by amazing actors.  Both are well-written and directed with pitch perfect timing.  And both know exactly what they are and who’s watching.  Obviously “Castle” has had more time to find its way, but in its first season, “Men” feels like a series that has been around for years…and that is the highest form of praise.

For the uninitiated, “Castle” is a mystery writer paired with a police detective who together solve crime as inspiration for his novels — pure fiction, pure fun.  “Men” is grounded in the day-to-day reality of middle age.  You feel you know these men, and you probably have (or are) experiencing some aspects of their lives.

If you enjoy great acting, superb writing,  stories told with a sense of humor, and good looking men in all shapes and sizes — and I’m including Ray Romano who I love (but in a very different way than I love Nathan Fillion) — give both shows a watch.

We don’t want to give their networks any ideas.

Local spirit

We only had four television stations in my hometown market — yes, this was the pre-cable days of yore — but during the holidays, these stations always recorded (probably on videotape – gasp) personal greetings from the station employees and their families.

These holiday hello’s were always fairly predictable. Staged shots in front of a Christmas tree. Fake snowball fights outside the station. Watching the family dog run off with a present — oh no!  But it was still fun to see the people both behind of and in front of the cameras outside their work comfort zone, goofing off with their families.

Over the years, we also got to watch their kids grow up…and the spouses come and go. It was a mini-soap opera cast with local characters, showing only at the holidays.

I had thought this a small town phenomena.  Since I left my hometown for college, I haven’t noticed the larger markets adopting such a practice.

And then this year, in New York City, I have seen two stations send greetings from their local employees:  WNBC, the big boys, with a graceful gathering near the Rockefeller Center ice rink, and one of the local cable access channels (name unknown), who did the more silly situational humor I remember from my youth.

Kudos to NYC, the biggest little town that I have ever lived in! You’re keeping the holiday spirit alive in ways big and small.