Talking Television and Values.

Archive for November, 2006

Cho Brother’s Overly Cautious Approach Loses the Race

Posted by Travis R Grant on November 20, 2006

Up until this episode, I have been a big fan of the Cho Brothers in the Amazing Race. I expected them to do well. However, they became too overly cautious.

One of my personal motto’s about life is work smarter not harder. If there is a way to get something done quicker with less effort, then go for it.

And I think that to a certain extent the Cho Brothers were trying to emulate that principle. While, I don’t think they were doing it actively, they were trying to act based on information and not on gut. However, they weren’t getting the information in the best way. This lead them to work harder and not smarter.

While they did try to get information from cab drivers and did have a few drivers take them places, they would have been better off to pay more drivers to get to their location (i.e., Tyler and James, and Dustin and Kandice). Stopping every five minutes, as Lyn and Karlyn describe it, is just not an effective way to get them to the pit stop.

They could have tried the cheaper way by making friends with some locals (like Rob and Kimberly) who could give them directions to the next point in the race. At least in this case, I believe that they could have saved money and gotten to their stops earlier.

I am sad to see the Cho Brothers go, but the honest truth is, they weren’t the best competitors in the race, and they wouldn’t have won. I admired the way that they played the race. However, once it came down to the final six or five teams. I would have just simply said to the rest of the alliance that it was every team for themselves and fought the good fight.

The Cho’s should not have waited for Lyn and Karlyn after the tanks challenge. They should have wished them luck and moved on. But perhaps this was based on their personal sense of insecurity in the race. They felt better if someone else was tagging along with them. I don’t know their real motivations, but I think that once you are to this point in the game it is time to cut bait. They should still keep friendships, but work more independently.

I really have no disrespect for Lyn and Karlyn for cutting their losses. The Cho’s were holding them back and they did what they had to do. If anything, I think that they should have done it earlier. Hopefully, they can be in the final three to take my predicted spot for the Cho’s. But I think that they too will be out next week. After that I really don’t care much to see who wins.

I will be watching, but I won’t be cheering anybody on. I also won’t be rooting against any of the teams either. There was nobody really all that detestable in this race. Even Rob and Kimberly have some redeeming value.

Posted in Reality TV, TAR, Television, The Amazing Race, TV, Unscripted Dramas | 3 Comments »

Shark Bit and Left a Scar

Posted by Travis R Grant on November 17, 2006

I know that I have praised Shark in the past. I still think that it is a great show. However, the most recent episode really bothered me.

Some might think that my concern stems from the focus on teens and sex. However, the overall sense was that it can lead to problems. And while I didn’t like this aspect of the show it wasn’t what bothered me.

Others might deduce that I was bothered by the lesbian theme and more specifically the teen lesbian kiss. Yes, these did bother me, and I almost turned the show off. But for the main reason that bothered me, I am glad that I didn’t turn off the show.

What really bothered me about this episode are the lies it spreads.

Think back to the scene where Sebastian Stark (James Woods) is on the beach talking with the murder suspect about confessing what really happened the night her friend died. Why was it that Stark was able to tell her that she was confused about telling the truth as to who killed her friend, but he couldn’t tell her that she was confused about her sexual orientation.

Stark out right condoned her homosexual love. She obviously couldn’t be confused about such things. There is nothing sexually confusing during the teen years. Is my sarcasm coming through here?

Essentially, television believes that teens are old enough to make decision about their sexuality, but they aren’t old enough to know when to protect a friend. They are in essence saying “You are too young to know what is best about your murdering boyfriend, but you are old enough to know that you love women more than men.”

That is a lie. As the show portrayed it, it was obvious that this girl was confused. She was dating a boy and a girl at the same time. She didn’t know what was right. This is an obvious attempt at normalizing homosexual behavior. It ignored the confusion about gender identity, and worried more about the girl’s decision about going to jail.

I haven’t added Shark to my will not watch list. However, it has definitely been moved to my only if I don’t have something else better to do list.

Perhaps I am keeping it on my will watch list because I liked that Stark finally started talking to his daughter (Danielle Panabaker) about sex. Well, sort of. He said that he was willing to hear such things because this case opened his eyes to why parents need to be informed about their children’s lives, especially when it comes to sex and drugs.

Posted in Drama, Shark, Television, TV | Leave a Comment »

Mid-Season Preview: 3 lbs.

Posted by Travis R Grant on November 9, 2006

The weight of the brain is roughly 3 lbs. Thus, CBS’s new show about the life and work of brain surgeons is titled 3 lbs. And while this show hasn’t officially aired on CBS yet, you can watch the season premier on their innertube.

Before having watched this show, I honestly wasn’t sure the I would enjoy it. In my adult life, I have never been much into doctor shows, and this seemed to be too much of a rip off of Fox’s House, a show that I haven’t been able to stomach much.

However, I think that CBS has put together a great program here. The young but experienced doctor, Jonathan Seger (Mark Feuerstein), joins the most renowned brain surgery group in New York.

At first, Dr. Seger is excited to work with best brain surgeon in America, Dr. Douglas Hanson (Stanley Tucci). However, he soon finds out the Dr. Hanson isn’t the easiest person to work with. But this doesn’t stop Dr. Seger. He pushes on and will hopefully find great success in his new job.

In the premiere, Dr. Seger and Dr. Hanson are asked to work on a gifted teenage musician’s brain tumor, but after the exploratory surgery, the musician loses her ability to form words. The mother, who had lost a daughter a year earlier, is nervous that she will now lose another child, get caught up in “hospital politics” and almost turns her daughter over to the less experienced radiologist to heal her daughter.

Caught in the middle of this mess, Dr. Hanson finds out the truth about the politicking and talks to the mother. This leads to an ending that leads you to wanting more. Not only are you interested in the doctors. You are interested in their successes and failures, both professional and personal.

This show is a little too House and a little too CSI. However, for now it has me hooked. While this show did push some value buttons, for now only time will tell if it goes too far.

Posted in 3 lbs., Drama, Previews, Television, TV | Leave a Comment »

New Intersection Divides the Six Pack

Posted by Travis R Grant on November 6, 2006

In yet another effort to add variety to unscripted dramatic television, The Amazing Race instituted a new twist in their game last night. The concept behind the Intersection is to force teams to work with another team (friend or foe).

If the teams are friends then they will help to get each other to the end. If they are foes then they are hoping some conniving will happen to mostly make the show entertaining, but also to create more rifts between the teams.

But as time as shown again and again, these things just don’t work. At least, they don’t work the first time. The Cho Brothers and Dustin and Kandice put it together to take the lead, even so much that Dustin and Kandice came in first again. This really blows my theory out of the water. But the unpredictability of it all is what makes it fun.

If you remember I predicted that Dustin and Kandice would be the first team out. With my track record, I should have known that would take them to the final three.

Unfortunately, David and Mary were the first victims of the new marked for elimination rule. I am really sorry to see them go. But in all reality, it was there time. They could have faired better if they had teamed up with Dustin and Kandice or the Cho Brothers. I am still not sure why they didn’t even try. Lyn and Karlyn haven’t really ever shown their willingness to stick with them in the past.

I would be willing to bet that if David and Mary had asked the Cho Brothers would have partnered up with them. However, David and Mary have never really done much thinking in this game. They have truly ridden on the coat tail of the Cho’s.

I will miss them, but they were honestly past due for elimination. Now, it is just a matter of seeing the Cho’s can pull to the head of the pack and win the Race.

Posted in Reality TV, TAR, Television, The Amazing Race, TV, Unscripted Dramas | 2 Comments »

Online Broadcasting Reviews

Posted by Travis R Grant on November 2, 2006

The new mid-season programs are coming up, and this is the start of the November Sweeps, but I thought that I would take a minute to review some networks online broadcast programs.

I would have to say that the absolute best is ABC’s video. I got hook on the last season of Alias during it final run last spring. I didn’t watch much of the first few years, but I was bored and started watching Alias.

ABC has really put together a great program here. So far they are allowing people to watch all past episodes from this season. So, if you miss one of their more popular shows, you can always catch it the next day online.

The video quality is good at ABC’s Internet Broadcast. Sure it can get choppy at times, but I am amazed at how infrequently ABC’s is choppy. They also did a great job at managing the commercials. While some commercials will run for a minute or more, if you are attentive enough, you only have to let it play for 30 seconds. Then it is on to the show.

The second best Internet broadcaster, and I mean second by a long shot is CBS’s innertube. When it comes to quality of video, CBS, FOX, and NBC are all pretty much the same. The commercial handling is pretty typical and not very creative.

CBS wins the second slot for one simple reason. They have the widest selection. Not only do they provide the complete season, they also provide a lot of extras. You can watch either more footage from the shows or interviews with the stars. They even have several Internet only broadcasts. I don’t know why, but I am sort of hooked on BBQ Bill.

The third place Network Internet Broadcaster is probably FOX on demand. They earned third only because they too provide the complete season. Otherwise the quality and download is roughly the same as CBS or NBC.

And last place goes to NBC Rewind. Simply put, if you missed last week’s episode, you better get to it before next week’s airs, or you will be out of the loop.

One thing that NBC does do that I think other networks should consider is they put up a splash screen telling the viewer this the program airs. I honestly don’t know when some of my favorite shows air. I just wait to watch them on the webcast.

I think that it is great that all of this webcasting is happening. It has made it so I watch shows that I might not have watched otherwise. However, that has also leads me to watching Ugly Betty. Which is a show that I hate to like. More on that later, maybe.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »