Friday, July 6, 2007

Lame Summer TV Choices

When they came up with the phrase "dog days of summer" do you suppose they were speaking about the horrendous television programming choices available this summer? I am convinced that nothing will do more for the literacy campaigns and promotions of your local libraries than the boring selections of TV fare that grace the airwaves each night this summer.

Now, before you look for stones to fly out of my glass house, let me say that I am still glued to the set each night. I guess I am just hoping for something new and entertaining or perhaps another TBS showing of The Shawshank Redemption. (Is there a better duo than Andy Dufresne and Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding? I think not)

Let's explore some of the stuff available to TV fans this summer ~

Reruns - Always a safe staple when you see such faves as The Office and My Name is Earl but I can always find those shows locked and loaded on my DVR. I know you can always catch a CSI from some city on any given night as well.

Baseball Tonight (ESPN) - This is a standard fallback when there is nothing else on. You can usually get all the highlights of the MLB action with some quality commentary from ESPN's talking head such as Karl Ravech or John Anderson along with ex-players John Kruk, Dusty Baker and Orel Hershieser. Plus, watching this at 10pm allows you to hit the sack early if you don;t want to stay up for Sportscenter.

Age of Love (NBC) - NBC's entry into the ICBIWTC format which stands for "I can't believe I watch this crap." This is the latest reality show where a 30 something professional tennis player is hooked up with several 40+ year old women and several 20 something girls to see if "love really cares how old people are." It is kind of fun TV trying to figure out which is more fake - the women's act of "falling for the guy after only three days of knowing him or the breasts on 80% of the contestants!

Hell's Kitchen (FOX) - British Chef Gordon Ramsey runs a two-sided kitchen in a restaurant that shares the shows name. There are two teams of aspiring chefs who put up with Ramsey's berating and insults in an effort to "win" a chance to be the head chef and part owner of a new restaurant in Las Vegas. It's always fun to watch just because you wonder how stupid people would be to eat in a restaurant where they are filming a reality show. Sure, you probably get to eat for free and many of those "aspiring stars" currently living in LA need some food and possible "air time" to get noticed by the next great talent scout, but seriously.

And can you even believe they hosted a wedding reception there? Yep, seriously, on last week's episode, they hosted a wedding reception. How proud must the bride's parents have been when informed by their daughter, "and Mommy and Daddy, we want to have our first meal as husband and wife at a place called Hell's Kitchen!"

What's next FOX? Hell's ER with guest host Dr. Jack Kevorkian?

America's Got Talent (NBC) - Quick suggestion to producers of this show - change the name to America's Got Some Talented People but We Have Been Searching for Two Seasons Now and Have Mostly Found a Bunch of Losers, Rejects, Jugglers, and Pre-Teen Singers. I do enjoy the judging combo of David Hasselhoff, Sharon Osbourne and that Pierce dude from England. And much like American Idol's Simon Cowell, he usually gets booed by the audience for having the most common sense and sensible opinions of all of the judges. Bonus points for having King of Bad TV, Jerry Springer, as the host.

Traveler (ABC) - It's a serialized show so if you miss one episode you're not exactly screwed because this show will never be confused with "Hunt for Red October" as far as following the plot and trying to figure it out, but you will spend the first half of each episode wondering how the FBI lost these pretty boy Ivy League grads escape again. Basically, two roommates were set up by their third roommate in a terrorist/stock trade scam/ art heist event in episode #1 and now they are all running for their lives from the stereo-typical bumbling Feds. Not a horrible show, certainly worth a slot in summer, but in a nutshell, this ain't Jack Bauer and 24.

Pirate Master (CBS) - Survivor Producer Mark Burnett's latest effort is a mix of boring action, predictably boring personal interaction and filled with boring pirate-talk. You'd be missing nothing if you decided not to get on board with this one. As for me, I have invested too much at this point in the summer and need to find out how Louie and Joe Don can regain control of the ship from fake accent using Azmyth and his crew of pirates! Argh Matey!

and finally... Big Brother 8 (CBS) - Thankfully, Summer TV is now saved! Last night marked the premier of this summer staple where a bunch of losers get locked into a house with no interaction with the outside world, save for annoying co-host Julie Chen and the occasional "personal mail" for the Head of Household each week. They basically sit around and talk to each other all day long, occasionally playing games for food privileges, competing for the leadership spot (the previously mentioned Head of Household) and bitching to the cameras in the secluded, private "diary room." The house is filled with cameras so those among us who are even more in need of therapy than me can watch the 24/7 feed on their computers. Seriously, I don't even like to stand in front of cages at the zoo when the animals are moving around. What would make me want to watch 14 humans sleep and plot their "alliance's" next moves when I can see it all edited down for me nicely by CBS in one hour sort of like Baseball Tonight mentioned above?

As for predictions on this season, while it is still early and I don't have a good grasp on the contestants names, I will say that Evil Dick, Zach and Nick would be my favorites. But as we all have learned on Big Brother 1-7, Expect the Unexpected!

So that's Carp's Corners TV Update for Summer 2007. What do you think of the shows on the boob tube? Anything I've missed? Let me know by replying to this post.

I guess I can always grab a book, rent a DVD or just go to bed but I'll just keep hoping for better shows in the near future. Because as they said in The Shawshank Redemption - "Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free."

Ground Control to Major Tom!

Hey All,

Will ya look at me? I am venturing off into the "blogosphere" with my first attempt at writing a Blog. I don't think Bill Gates or Michael Dell have anything to worry about.

I hope to be able to use this space for keeping people updated with what I am doing in my life and career, personal accomplishments, family life and other random thoughts on the world as I see it.

I hope you'll be able to bookmark the site and visit often, dropping some comments when you have time.

For now, I have a lot more to learn such as how to set up the homepage and make sure I know how to get back here to update my posts.

Thanks again for visiting.