This past Sunday, the new Sacha Baron Cohen show, Who Is America?, debuted on Showtime. If you don’t like satire, you won’t like this show (just wait, they’ll re-boot Two and a Half Men). If you like satire, you’ll love it. This show won’t bridge any cultural or political divide that currently exists. But, is that the job of a comedian? No. … Continue reading Review: Who Is America? on Showtime
The past 1 year, 168 days, 22 hours, 10 minutes and 38 seconds (as of this writing) has seen a cavalcade morons march (or goose step, take your pick) into Washington. You might even say Washington is home to a League of Morons. It’s also no secret that the current administration, regardless of educational pedigree … Continue reading Net Neutrality … Again
Comedian in Cars Getting Coffee (July 6) — As Larry David said, “this really is a show about nothing.” The show is not ironically named. Host Jerry Seinfeld returns interviewing more comedians. More hit than miss, this tenth season will have Dave Chapelle, Kate McKinnon, John Mulaney and nine other comedians and actors. Orange is the … Continue reading 10 Things to Watch on Netflix in July
Journalism is a tough racket. It always has been and it’s been made even more so with the explosion of the digital world, the never-ending media conglomeration and the polarization of political ideology. Today’s news appears to exist only in two worlds, one serves as propaganda and the other as a weak platform for resistance. … Continue reading Podcast Review: In the Dark
Last weekend I was scrolling through Netflix looking for something to watch and I stopped on Hannah Gadsby’s Netflix special Nanette. I read the little intro and determined I just wasn’t in the mood to pay the attention needed to watch and listen to an Australian stand-up comedian. So I settled on Portlandia. A few … Continue reading Review: Hannah Gadsby: Nanette on Netflix
The first season of Amazon’s Goliath was good. It was like a typical David E. Kelley show … but with swear words. In the second season, Kelley passes the showrunning duties to Clyde Phillips (Dexter) and Phillips raises the bar considerably. Not so much with the swear words but with the story and the performances … Continue reading Review: Season Two of Goliath on Amazon Prime Video
Are we really surprised? Seriously, are we so surprised that Roseanne Barr said something idiotic and despicable? She’s been this way her entire career. Her comedy was mildly amusing, at best, but there seemed to be something cooking under the surface (turns out it was hatred). Barr’s comedy comes from and is delivered with vitriol. … Continue reading This Business With Roseanne Barr
“Anger is an energy.” Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why returned on Friday and while it’s hard not to mention the unfortunate timing of the release, this isn’t an opinion piece about gun control (although it very easily could be). While we grieve the latest school massacre and wait for the next one (because until things change, … Continue reading Review: Season Two of 13 Reasons Why on Netflix
Every once in a while, something comes along that you just really want to hip everyone to ASAP because it’s so great. The last time I recall being this excited about something was when I discovered Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag on Amazon Prime. This time it’s the podcast This Sounds Serious (click here or go wherever you get … Continue reading Podcast Review: This Sounds Serious
In December of 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal Net Neutrality on June 11 of this year. It’s important to note that the FCC Commissioners are politically appointed. Also important to note, is that the current FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, is a former lawyer for Verizon Communications. More importantly, this issue is … Continue reading Net neutrality. Yes, it’s still a thing.
I think they will, yes. I’ve been prattling about Apple purchasing Netflix for years; mostly to befuddled (at best) and deaf (at worst) ears. Now I’m not alone. Citi analysts say there is a 40% chance that it is possible (not exactly sure how they landed at 40%, but whatever). So, why exactly do I … Continue reading Will Apple buy Netflix?
JOB OPENING: MORNING SHOW HOST/NBC/NYC: Co-host needed for very popular early morning program. Duties will include pandering to celebrities, politicians and successful business executives. Work with seasoned professionals and be willing to indulge their idiocy. Ideal candidate has universal and non-threatening appeal. Candidate should be someone with no pending litigation and not currently under investigation. Experience … Continue reading You Can Read it In the Want Ad’s
Welp, the Internet is officially over. As you have probably heard by now, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has announced his plan to repeal net neutrality with what is being called “The Restoring Internet Freedom Order”. HA! I understand that the concept of net neutrality is a little arcane, but here’s what you need to know; … Continue reading The Repeal of Net Neutrality
Once in a while a show comes along that is poised to change television for the better. Fleabag is that type of show. And I was so thrilled with it, I just wanted to throw this out into the ether so people can get hip to it. All six episodes of the first series are … Continue reading Fleabag
“Some see things the way the are and ask why. I dream things that never were and say why not?“ – Bobby Kennedy The fact is Bobby Kennedy said a lot of really powerful things at a time when they needed to be said. On the plus side, they still resonate. On the negative side, … Continue reading Even More Bobby Kennedy
OUCH! FUCK! Like a sore tooth you can’t help but touch, I, like most media watchers, just can’t seem to stay away from talking about this Donald J. Trump mess (anyone else notice that the J. just sort of appeared, I don’t deny it’s legitimacy, but still…and btw Trump looks an awful lot like cartoon … Continue reading Trump is like a sore tooth.
Well, last night saw another gathering of the loony tunes characters that has come to be known as a Republican “debate”. In actuality, it’s really just a forum of meglomaniacs who blather on about their xenophobia, misguided economic views and outright fascism under the guise of political discourse (notice I left out the part about … Continue reading (sigh) More Jackassery
Dear Jann S. Wenner, et al, What. The. Fuck. I was an avid Rolling Stone reader for close to 20 years. I even collected the magazines. You try lugging around 15 years of wrapped magazines…this was a source of much consternation with an ex (who eventually took the liberty of throwing them out in my … Continue reading Open Letter to Rolling Stone Magazine
Greetings from the city of lost angels…and souls. So I watched the last hour of the Republican debate the other night. Trying to find it on the hotel television was as complicated as trying to understand the success of the Kardashian family. I eventually ended up streaming it on the Fox News website. Incidently, big … Continue reading Are Republicans Flagrantly Sexist?
“I think we should banish expectations and re-instate wonder.“* Consider it re-instated. Season three of the Sundance Channel’s show “Rectify” wrapped up last night with a few tears from the actors (and this viewer) and an uncharacteristic hint of optimism. For the past month I’ve tried to muscle up words to describe how good the … Continue reading Rectify – The best show you aren’t watching.
The animus that exists between traditional media and new media (linear media and digital media) befuddles me. I understand it as much as I do the longstanding battle between the Hatfield and McCoy’s…let’s hope this media battle isn’t as long. But why the hate? Is it ego? Hubris? Lunacy? All three? I find it hard … Continue reading Modern Day Hatfields and McCoys? Media.
Comcast still doesn’t give a f*ck. They’re still the largest Telecommunications lobbying force in D.C. to the tune of almost $17 million dollars in 2014 lobbying for Telecommunications…by way of comparison, they spent $100,000 lobbying for television. Guess which category the Internet falls under? Control the media, control the message. This is happening now and you … Continue reading (sigh) They’re at it again.
2014. Done. Over. I’d ask you where the time went and all that jazz, but then I would sound infinitely older than I really am. I can’t afford that…no, but really where did the time go? I won’t bore you with some sort of year-end wrap up. Well, not in the traditional sense anyway, the … Continue reading And So It Ends
So I tried. I did. I tried to stay out of this whole Bill Cosby kerfuffle but after reading David Carr’s excellent piece I figured that as both a student & critic of media, it was time to contribute to the fray. Not because my opinion matters all that much, you know what they say…opinions … Continue reading The Bill Cosby Thing
We’re media whores. Comcast, News Corp,. Viacom, Disney, Time Warner (NOT the cable company) and CBS are our pimps. According to a report by Nielsen (hardly a reliable source, but seemingly the only one we have) we spend about five hours a day watching television. Not your laptop, desktop or tablet, the good old-fashioned talking … Continue reading Media Pimps & Media Whores
Ok, so I am a little late on this one. And maybe I take my comedy too seriously (ironic, huh). You see, I avoid Saturday Night Live. I don’t find it funny and personally think it has become an exercise in unfunny. I think people only watch it in the hope that it will be funny and … Continue reading Chris Rock Is Firing On All Cylinders
Yea, that’s right, that Zucker doesn’t need anything from us to convince himself and the corporate war lords, past and present, that he is the go to television executive. I just finished reading this profile by Gabriel Sherman on the Zuckster, the guy with the brown fingered touch, from the 10.5 New York Magazine. It’s a … Continue reading Jeff Zucker doesn’t need you.
So much for that whole “innocent until proven guilty”, huh? So much for the sanctity of marriage and therapy, huh? Look, whatever Stephen Collins did (and it’s allegedly horrible behavior) his career is over. There is no erasing the stink of child molestation, regardless of guilt or innocence. However inappropriate his alleged behavior may have … Continue reading The Stephen Collins Thing
And yes, this is a thing. As it should be. You see the people at battleforthenet.com created a campaign awhile back to raise awareness about the pending FCC decision about net neutrality. So if you encounter a loading symbol on some of your favorite sites today (including Netflix) it stands a pretty good chance of … Continue reading Today is Internet slowdown day
Wherever you sit politically, I think it is a safe bet that you are not paying attention to the Internet “net neutrality” issue or the looming media merger and acquisition blitzkrieg (Comcast buying Time Warner Cable and Fox buying Time Warner Entertainment…with smaller mergers to follow). Not that I would blame you because net neutrality … Continue reading Two important issues you’re probably ignoring.
I originally wrote this in February of 2013 and thought I would revisit it as we move into the annual broadcast television bukkake festival, also known as the network upfront season. The big four networks, CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox have been spiraling downwards, not only in ratings but also in content, for about ten … Continue reading Broadcast Television and the Future of Storytelling – revisted
Covering the Brooklyn Film Festival last year for the Williamsburg Greenpoint News + Arts, I stumbled upon a rare gem of a movie, Hank and Asha. It’s showing at indieScreen here in Williamsburg May 9-15 here and you should see it. Here’s what I had to say about the three films I saw with it … Continue reading Go See Hank & Asha
OK, so this FCC clampdown is not an entirely done deal…at least not in the legal sense. Media coverage of this has conspicuously disappeared from many of the traditional outlets. I wonder if the fact that many of the news networks are owned by the very companies that stand to gain the most by a … Continue reading FU FCC, Part II
As recently as February FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that “Preserving the Internet as an open platform for innovation and expression while providing certainty and predictability in the marketplace is an important responsibility of this agency.” Late yesterday, Mr. Wheeler had a dramatic change of heart and went all Game of Thrones Red Wedding on … Continue reading FU FCC
Comcast, the countries largest cable provider, will testify today before the House of Representatives about its proposed 45.2 billion dollar merger with the countries second largest cable provider Time Warner Cable. A merger, or acquisition, that Comcast steadfastly contends is good for the consumer because it increases competition. You’ll forgive me if I am still … Continue reading Turd Polishing PhD With Comcast