Tuesday, June 30, 2009

FX

Fox eXtended, Channel #40

Using the unofficial "We can curse after 10pm on basic cable." rule for all it's worth FX has made the most of harsh and gritty shows.

One of last channels I got because Cablevision is slow on adding stations to the current packages. Once the only place for Buffy and X-Files repeats but now has a strong original line-up.

The Shield was the best they had. A cop show that where everyone was a criminal brilliantly done.


Currently Rescue Me is their anchor show. Firemen cope with their daily lives in a post 9-11 New York. This show can have some great single episodes but they usually don't keep up the momentum during the following episode. Still it is a great much watch show. Add to that they've filmed around my neighborhood which makes the show even more real for me.

Morally none of the characters are redeemable. At first glance each character seems very stereotypical but they are written with complex backgrounds and enough compassion to keep your attention.

FX has other original shows and comedies with similar formats but I'm trying to cut back so Rescue Me is all I'm watching on this channel.

The rest of FX's programming day is filled with reruns and good movies.

Off Topic: I think this writing a post a day has backfired. While I'm writing easier I've forgotten my CAD skills. I'm trying to make a copper and brass fixture then using finite element analysis software test it. This is a real broken fixture so I know where it will fail but I forgot how to use the CAD drawing tools. I'm one of those students that the second class is out so is my brain. I have to relearn everything from the beginning and can't do that when I blog often.

Blogging is fun and easy, CAD drawing is boring and difficult.
Blogging pays me about $60.00 a month, CAD drawing would pay about $4,000.00 a month, if I can convert the internship.
Not much of a choice if I want to eat in the future.

Monday, June 29, 2009

TBS

Turner Broadcasting System, Channel #39

Sitcom rerun central, good for a few laughs.
They have a few original sitcoms but never seeing them I can't judge the quality.

TV Depression 101

Impact: An ABC Mini-Series
This was basically a television version of Armageddon. An impact on the moon causes a change in it's orbit and the Earth is doomed. That is until a brave group of not-astronauts must journey to the move and save the Earth.

The best part of the mini-series was the kid actors, they kept losing people they loved and kept crying. The science may be a bit iffy and the effects are all CGI but the sentiment was good.

Life after People; Prehistoric New York; Prehistoric Disasters
Apparently we are doomed, we were doomed, and we'll always be doomed.

Gardens of the Night

A very uncomfortable but well done movie about the worst society has to offer. Leslie, 8 years old, is kidnapped and used horribly for years. There is no happy ending but compared to what happens in real life it is a much brighter future.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

USA

USA Network, Channel #38

As Dani pointed out in a recent comment "For the past several summers, the majority of my viewing schedule has come from USA and TNT." I agree but I missed a lot of these shows pilot episodes and would like to watch it from the beginning. Plus paying for premium cable I tend to watch True Blood, Weeds, or any other premium channel show first.

Still I love the crime drama and sometimes I put on USA and watch dozens of episodes of Law & Order: Whatever Unit, CSI: Some City, or NCIS: TGIF.

Another reason these channels have been off my radar is the bad scheduling. Royal Pains started June 5, Burn Notice started June 11, Monk and Psych starts August 7. Season finales this year were early starting in March so it been 3 months of waiting for regular summer shows that put me off TV for a while.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

TNT

Turner Network Television, Channel #37

The reason I got cable again was to watch Babylon 5 on this station. It was worth it and I even enjoyed their spin-off Crusade.

Along with current original shows like The Closer, Hawthorne, and others they are heavy on movies. If you want to watch Braveheart wait 12 hours and it's likely this station is repeating it.

They have quality shows and great movies but with so many other things I watch I never get around to the stuff on this station.

They did have a great mini-series called Into the West one of the best pieces of Americana in a long time.

Friday, June 26, 2009

ESPN

Entertainment Sports Programming Network, Channel #36

Guess what? Mostly sports.

I say mostly because half their line up are shows talking about sports. These sports talk shows are sometimes very good but when I'm not in the sports mood then it just sounds repetitive. Currently I'm big into football (American real football) but the season is over and haven't really been into baseball.

I've been trying to tan and get some fresh air but with 21 days of rain over the last 24 days it has soggy to say the least. It doesn't feel like baseball season at all.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

70s and 80s Beginning To Fade

Alleged reports of some deaths.

Farrah Fawcett was an actress I never got into. She was a staple of many 80s teen wish list. The Burning Bed was the movie I remember the most mostly because it was the first female killer turned hero by television writers. She became a serious actor with this role, something beyond the blond stereotype of her earlier work.
Fawcett died of anal cancer which was said to be brought about by the HPV(warts) virus that today there is a vaccine to prevent. Her alternative treatment was not good to say the least so by the time western medicine got to her it was too late.

Michael Jackson was an incredible musician. Just talking about his music would take several blogs. I remember The Jackson 5 the most as a kid watching another kid being such an incredible thing.
Jackson was said to died of cardiac arrest. He suffered from lupus and vitiligo which has been known to affect the heart. Constant wearing of mask suggest some sort of hypochondria.

In both cases once slightly normal people went, in my opinion, a bit nuts. Denying conventional medicine and science. They went alternative and then fell into faith, the crazy kind not the real kind.

Still whatever happens now they were great once in their field and taking time into account they are worth mourning and maybe a final prayer. (oooh I got all spiritual)

Ed McMahon recently passed. The man was more than a sidekick he was a star. I remember him most for Star Search where he hosted and made the current talent show host look completely classless.
He died of various diseases mainly bone cancer. His later years were a bit of a struggle but he kept family close and was still trying to stay in the business.


By the way I don't believe in the whole 3 at a time thing.

ESPN2

Entertainment Sports Programming Network 2, Channel #35

Once known as the rebellious younger brother of ESPN. They had extreme sports like BMX, motorcross, skating, and snowboarding. Then they would occasionally show off-beat sports like curling, bowling, and others.

Today they just show the top ten sports and all major competitions that ESPN can't handle. One of the few American channels to go to for soccer, why anyone would is still a mystery over here. They did give a 5 second update that U.S. beat Spain and no one cared.

Watching Wimbledon Tennis is semi-interesting but what gets annoying is the reporters going into the stands to banter with the audience. Watching Maria Sharapova is something, hearing her grunt takes it to another uncomfortable level, didn't stay to see who won.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

TVLAND

TV Land, Channel #34

Where reruns go out to pasture. They often have some nice tributes when certain television actors die. Unfortunately they are starting a prime-time line up consisting of all original reality shows.

Watching some random shows toady I learned these moral lessons.

Good Times: The Windfall
Although finding $27,000 in 1974 is great having so much money in a bad neighborhood will get you killed so you must return it. If not you will turn your youngest into a drug dealer, your daughter to a street walker, and your eldest son into a thief. At the end being morally superior trumps the fact you are hungry, living in fear, and have no respect. (Honestly they did the right thing.)

Leave It to Beaver: Ward's Millions
While wanting you dad to be something more you should realize he won't care. That and not every book is worth reading some are just made to sell books. Imagine what Ward would of thought about blogs.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

NIK

Nickelodeon, Channel #33

Kiddie shows all day long and family friendly reruns all night I barely watch it. Their current claim to fame is Spongebob Squarepants. Unfortunately I don't get high so this yellow dish cleaner does not hold my interest.

They are also famous for slime. Back in the days all there kid-game shows involved slime. Now they leave the slime for award shows. I don't like slime, especially green glowing man-made slime so again this hold no appeal.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Parents in Crooked Houses

Jon & Kate Plus 8: Houses & Big Changes

The story of an angry wife, her beat down husband, and their 8 adorable kids reached a new low when they announced their split and a filing for a legal separation/divorce.

That is not the shocking part for fans of the reality show. Personally I expect that any good parent would immediately stop filming. It does not matter if they breached their contract because if you have paparazzi stalking and a family torn apart you should abandon this filming and focus on your family. Trust me there are plenty of "family-first" groups that will defend you if TLC wanted to sue.

So they shocked me by continuing to be under the spotlights.

Well at least the kids got some cool play houses. (About $12,000 worth)
A haunted house, an animal hospital, a garden shop, and a pirates lair.
From http://www.kidscrookedhouse.com/

Here are some sketch-models...

These are nice houses and the site is getting overloaded. Kind of wish I had one when I was little. The are built well and despite the depressing episode they should sell very fast.

Update: TLC, possibly fearing a backlash, will show one new clip show then go on a hiatus until August 3. This is a smart move to try and diffuse a tense situation but it is an empty gesture as the family is still being filmed.

TOON

Cartoon Network, Channel #32

Almost a 24-hour cartoon network they have some non-animated programs. Once filled with classic cartoons but those are now considered controversial and ultra violent, plus Tom, Elmer, and Wile E. never went broke and lost their homes trying to catch their prey.

On my watch list lately:
Batman: The Brave and the Bold - classic Batman teams up with second rate heroes to fight classic enemies
Samurai Jack - not sure if it's still on but beautifully stylized and very depressing
Robot Chicken - Seth Green's great little 15 minute parody clip show

Add to that reruns of other cartoons like King of the Hill, Home Movies, The Oblongs, and other odd broadcast network cartoons for adults. Overall the late night block is good the morning and afternoon schedule is unwatchable.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

DISN

The Disney Channel, Channel #31

I never liked kids shows, even when I was a proper age to watch them. I mean shows targeted for kids with adults. Mister Rogers Neighborhood is one that always freaked me out.

Disney does a lot of annoying kids for kids show like Hannah Montana and others where kids interact in unreal situations and solve them using kid-logic. I prefer a kid's show like Degrassi where kids face real situations with adult themes. If a kids show warns of adult content it probably is worth a look.

I try to ignore the Disney machine that takes the kids of horrible stage moms and exploits their children until they are either internationally famous or used up drug addicts or occasionally both.

Disney also does a lot of cartoons, mostly based on hit movies. Most again are unwatchable because they are not layered or complex.

When I first got cable again I heard they were experimenting with a custom package and if you eliminate some channels it would be cheaper. I tried to get rid of Disney Channel but they said that this was not one of the channels that could be cut off. Were they every to bring back custom packages I still have this channel on the hit list.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Net

The New Evangelization Television, Channel #30

All religious all the time.

They are broadcasting from Brooklyn and are also known as NET NY. I occasionally watch programming from here especially late night when the play religious music and show bible verses over beautiful nature or art scenes.

While watching last night I noticed that the station only had Catholic themed shows and commercials. The ads were very well done as well as the shows. While I'm not sure if this is a Catholic based network it would seem that way from the little I can gather.

Pioneers of the Spirits: Dante Alighieri

An in depth if not slightly pro-religious view of Dante's life and works. I read Dante's works and knew of his history and while watching this show it came back and even gave a little more insight on his lost love Beatrice. They did go over his opposition and exile in an understated manner.

Tapestry of Faith: Italian and Lithuanian Apostolates

Viewing Brooklyn's Italian history and famed precession, The Feast of San Genaro. Then showing how the Lithuanians rock the same traditions.

Channel of Peace
The multi-lingual church on TV with pretty images.

They do give documentaries on animals which is slightly odd.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Travel

The Travel Channel, Channel #29

As described this is a channel about travel. Great shows specially made for each individual trip. I like the ones about Cuba, China, and North Korea only because those communist countries rarely let documentary teams in without fear of imprisonment.

Some of the ones I've been obsessed with :
Treasure Hunters with Kirsten Gum: Another lady use to host the show but now Gum does it all. Digging through tons of dirt in the desert for a slightly shinier rock than all the other shiny rocks.
I think they haven't made a new episode in a year but still fun to watch.

Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern: This guy eats the nastiest, greasiest, and least sanitary stuff on Earth. The thing is he loves it all. Of the dozen episodes I watched this week he ate 40 meals and the only hated one thing. In Puerto Rico he ate a Custard Apple (Cachiman, Corazon, Jamaican Apple, Snat Apple, Tjé-Bef) and was disgusted granted on the same episode he ate...
• Bacalaito - salt cod fritter
• Octopus cone - paper cone containing fresh octopus salad
• Mofongo - mashed fried green plantains (African)
• Pionono - sweet plantain stuffed with seasoned ground beef (deep fried)
• Mavi - a drink made from the Columbrina tree and sugar
• Alcapurria - fried tube shaped snack made of a mixture of plantains, yautia, and stuffed with meat
• Pasteles - a tamale-like loaf made with plantain and root vegetable paste, stuffed and wrapped in banana leaves
• Tostones - twice fried smashed plantains
• Chicharron -fried pig skin
• Garlic ice cream
• Rice and Beans with Chicken ice cream
• Avocado ice cream
• Corn ice cream
• Sesame Seed ice cream
• Gandinga - a stew of pig liver, kidneys and heart
• Morcilla - sausage made with blood and rice and the popular culantro herb, similar to cilantro
• Sancocho soup - stew made with pork, pumpkin, plantain, etc
• Guinea Fowl stew

On another trip to Nicaragua he ate a rare maggot/worm filled cheese, and of course loved it.

The other great part of this channel is they are constantly showing four US Mint and coin making show, agian I think none have been updated in years but still a great time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

TLC

The Learning Channel, Channel #28

Like the other science channels this one has been co-opted by reality crap.

Looking at an old TV guide from 1996 compared to now:


Old TLC New TLC
7:00 PM Hometime Jon & Kate Plus 8
7:30 PM Hometime Jon & Kate Plus 8
8:00 PM Seatek Jon & Kate Plus 8
8:30 PM Ultrascience Jon & Kate Plus 8
9:00 PM Wild West 18 Kids & Counting
9:30 PM -- 18 Kids & Counting
10:00 PM Iceman's World The Little Couple
10:30 PM -- The Little Couple


The science and learning went on all week back in the days but now it is just about reality shows of unstable families that will never end well.

Granted I do contribute to the problem by watching ,
Jon & Kate Plus 8 - Angry wife, twins, and adorable sextuplet makes for funny times.
What Not to Wear - Tragic dressers get a free trip to NYC to shop.
Little People, Big World - Twins, dwarfism, and a fantasy farm.

They also have dozens of medical shows, most are just modern day freak shows. The problem with modern day medical shows like Mystery Diagnosis is the lack of medical ethics. You have a patient with a rare condition spending an hour complaining how all their doctors failed them until they found "good one".
One thing I learned from watching years of ER, House, and other medical dramas is that medicine is an educated guess. When you have an infection they don't wait until the exact genotype of bacteria is tested, nope the just give antibiotics. Doctors don't use special doses on tailored for each patient, they don't use special surgical equipment only for you.
With the hundred of thousands of possible ailments humans can have no one doctor can do it all. These medical shows try to show the power of the patient but ends up showing the their ignorance and whiny attitudes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

DSC

Discovery Channel, Channel #27

My favorite types of documentaries are about animals and nature and once this channel use to be filled with them. Then came the reality wave and all good documentaries were replaced with non-scripted people-based pseudo-documentaries.

Still I watch various shows:
Deadliest Catch - Experience the deadly job of fishing for Alaska crab.
After the Catch - A sum up of the above.
Planet Earth - Prepare to experience the planet as never before.
MythBusters - Separate truth from urban legend, barely.
Dirty Jobs - Mike Rowe meets people who do jobs you never would.
Any animal or nature special.c

I don't watch shark week because they exploit the shark although I hear this year will focus on the rampant destruction of the species.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

FNC

Channel #26

FOX News Channel is a joke of a news station not because of the obvious media bias but because of the yellow journalism.
Yellow Journalism in terms of five characteristics:[1]

  1. scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news
  2. lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings
  3. use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudo-science, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts
  4. emphasis on full-color Sunday supplements, usually with comic strips (applies to newspapers), TV equivalent is the"Special" or "Exclusive"
  5. dramatic sympathy with the "underdog" against the system.
I've watched enough TV to understand it's all entertainment and escapism. TV is not influential beyond crass-commercialism. FOXNEWS has tried to change that by relating all their statements to the almighty Christian Lord and Savior.

I've also taken years of journalism classes for fun and worked on some school papers, I've also taken many media-communications classes and the one common thread is to tell the story and that's it. As an engineering major I have the extra push to never give opinions and just what happened and not to draw conclusions unless it can be scientifically validate. This station is for political science majors, which is the most useless degree unless you are a obsessed with power.

Just watched Hannity and On The Record with Greta Van Sustreren and they have perfected the scare tactic of nonsense questions. Can wolves kill you family while the democrats do nothing? Well there are thousands of wolves set free by leftists and you may die?
Ignoring the fact about wolves. At the end of the report nothing has solved since there was no problem to begin with. (Oh replace wolves with Obama and your at FOXNEWS or a hate blog.)

All that bad stuff said I do watch this channel on non-NYC breaking stories. Since they have no issues crossing the line they are quick to report any information fast, granted I must wait a few hours to find out if any of it was true or not on another station.

Bill O'Reilly a Morton Downey Jr. replacement out of the NY tabloid market he is famous for starting "The War on Christmas". This "war" was a fictitious thing that he started when someone wished him a Happy Christmas, yes to the rest of world I know that is a common greeting.

I wouldn't say avoid this station just understand what your watching. Once you do the whole thing is very funny.


Sidenote
..to erase the above rant
: I'm still in my senior year and noticed I've taken about 63 classes and have about 189 credits even though all I need to graduate is 130. Just looking over my records I mix half engineering/science classes and half non-degree classes. I love learning new things but after a couple of classes I move on. Spanish, French, Journalism, Computer Programming, Quantum Mechanics, Art, History, etc. all unnecessary, all high grades, and all mostly forgotten.
Still not completing overwhelmed since last semester I got an A, A-, A-, and B+. I'll pat myself on the back for that.

Monday, June 15, 2009

CNN

Channel #25
The famed 24 hour news channel CNN is number one for most of America but not so much in NYC. The quality of local news is so good that most New Yorkers won't bother tuning in to CNN when news breaks.

I've tried a few times to watch CNN for more than 1 hour but with all the scrolling graphics and sad attempts to use the internet live on air it gets dizzying.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

CNBC

Channel #24,
Is CNBC a clone of MSNBC or vice versa? I think CNBC is older and does more stock talk. Lots of speculating goes on with Jim Cramer and others. Maria Bartiromo does the closing bell talk and translates for the common person. Still half the schedule is paid programming, some are financial but most are for ab-crunchers or instant face lifts.

Suze Orman addressing a Senate Committee.Image via Wikipedia

All that aside the station should be called Suze Orman's NBC because she is what all the other shows are scheduled around. The Suze Orman Show is a call in show where people get advice with their financial situations. Most of it is very specific and during better financial times it was mostly about moving your fortunes around to increase your wealth. Lately it is all about how not to eat cat food when you retire.
Her best segment is "Can You Afford It?" where with little judgment you tell her what you want to buy and she looks at your income and savings and yells a response.

When nothing else is on and I'm home on the weekend this is a great show to watch.

Why Movies Why?

I just saw The Dark Knight, Tropic Thunder, and Transformers on cable.

Each one was horrible and badly acted.

Honestly why was Batman still doing the scratchy voice when he was alone with Lucius Fox?
Where were the jokes in Tropic Thunder?
Why does Megan Fox look forty when she is supposed to be a teenager?

I sometimes feel bad when I miss a film at the theater but then I watch it a year or two later and realize I made the right choice.

Update:Megan Fox...confessed to Entertainment Weekly that she was terrible in her breakthrough role in "Transformers."
100% agree

Pushing Daisies: Kerplunk
Series finale ties up most of the loose ends but very hastily. They did some bad CGI with Arquette holding some macaroni. The sweep of the entire town was meant to show every episode but again time and CGI made it looked rushed. The dog running through CGI daisies was laughable.

All in all great show. On par with Wonderfalls.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

MSNBC

At this point we depart the broadcast channels, forever as they really no longer exist as of June 13, 2009.

Family cable starts here and continues for another sixty nine channels. When I restarted my cable viewing in 1996/1997 it was a wonderful world of independent movies, rare documentaries, and premium movies. All the stations were striving for excellence in their given genre.

That has drastically changed for the reality TV and pundit political worse.

Channel #23
MSNBC was never that watchable but at least it was respectful. It once showed stock prices and everything related to wall street until low ratings forced them to hire anchors with opinions.

Watching last night's Rachel Maddow Show was frightening as I thought the lady had gone crazy on air. She does the whole FOX repetitive talk, a technique to reinforce a point that may or may not be valid by saying it repeatedly making it seem valid, and then showed clips out of context.

I enjoy their criminal and prison profiles like Lockup. The general consensus for prison is that the place is not at all enjoyable.

Signal of the Times

Well finally the switch to digital signal is here and a quick rescan of the digital converter box shows that the lowest signal in NYC is 7 then 11 then 13. That means 2, 4, 5, and 9 have all moved on up to the 30s and 40s.

What does it really mean not much since those empty channel have not been put to use. There is no super-wi-fi or amazing cell phone connection just a bunch of dead air and billions in licensing up for auction.

Currently channels 2 and 4 over the air are showing a how to guide, in English and Spanish, on what to do next. Repeating continuously for the next few weeks.


video

Some channels like 18-WMBC and few others are still coming through but it may only be temporary. I will note that I have a VHF antenna hooked up to the convertor box and it would be better if I had a dual VHF/UHF antenna. This allows all the signals to come in.

Friday, June 12, 2009

WNYE or NYC TV


Channel #22 on the box, #25 over the air
NYC TV is part of NYC media group a collection of 20 media channels owed by the city and one of the many great thing Mayor Bloomberg has done for New York. It shows NYC specific shows, documentaries and other stuff. Also they show PBS programs and educational programming.



Last night I saw Citizen Tanouye a documentary about eight high school kids who are sent out to learn about Tech Sgt Ted Tanouye. The story was well told and I found it very emotional even though the kids seem more cool with their feelings.


Other enjoyable shows are
City Scoop - arts and government around NYC
Backdrop N.Y.C. - film makers showing NYC from odd perspectives
Secrets of New York - short time host and next cooking Top Chef superstar Kelly Choi goes around the city looking for less traveled sites
$9.99 - goes around NYC with less than $10 to eat and have fun
Cool In Your Code - goes zip code by zip code showing the best of each

Standard Deviants TV
- an educational show for high schoolers to teach them enough to past standardized tests in any subject

Thursday, June 11, 2009

WLIW

Channel #21 on the box

WLIW is another PBS channel based out of Long Island and does the typical PBS block. Kids show for 1/3 of the day, pledge drives for the other 1/3, and old music for the rest. Granted it's nice to hear Big Band music but the lack of anything truly groundbreaking is annoying.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

WMBC

Channel #20 on the box, #63 on the air
WMBC-TV was the place I use to watch Bloomberg News because I liked all the stock talk. Half the day was this then the rest paid programming then religious programming.
Now they have changed formats to mostly ethnic programs, which I also enjoy. Especially the Chinese news which is the least I understand. Trying to learn the language while watching TV is difficult.

5:00 PM WMBC NEWS
6:00 PM RAI - PARLIAMO ITALIANO
6:15 PM RAI - ITALIA CHIAMA ITALIA
6:30 PM RAI - ITALIA FOCUS
7:00 PM RAI - TUTTI PAZZI PER AMORE
7:30 PM RAI - NEWS FROM ITALY
8:00 PM POWER IN THE WORD - KOREAN
8:30 PM
8:50 PM YTN NEWS - KOREAN
9:00 PM WMBC LOCAL NEWS - KOREAN
9:20 PM THE ROAD HOME - KOREAN DRAMA
10:00 PM NTDTV WORLD NEWS
10:30 PM NTDTV - E-STAR
11:00 PM SINOVISION NEWS/DOCUMENTARY CHINESE PROGRAMMING
11:30 PM
This was today. On other days they have Indian and Austrian programming.

History
Started in 1993.
One of a handful of independent station left in the New York area.
Switched from Bloomberg to Ethnic TV in 2002.

Highlights
News - This is New York based foreign news, so no direct feed from China, Italy, or Korea. Just New Yorkers of that culture giving the news from the mother/fatherland.

Soaps - Who doesn't love a good Korean drama? Intrigue, high fashion, money, and swords.

Lowlights
Infomercials to fill the down time.

Advertising
Logo sometimes but I haven't seen it lately. Lots of commercials in the shows native languages but for New York City and local businesses.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

WRNN or WRNNDT

Channel #19 on the box
WRNN (Regional News Network) is 80-90% paid programming or infomercials. At one point the gave The Tribe in the early mornings which I got hooked on because it was a plague killing most of humanity type show. The problems was it's a kids show. Then it's an Australian kids show. Then It was heavily edited for American audiences. Still death plagues are always interesting to watch but this channel stopped airing it.

Don't get me wrong the show was embarrassing to watch but if modified this is a show that can be brought to American TV. Were I ever to remake a kids show it would be this not Land of the Lost.

Back to the channel that is all I ever saw on it and since it has lots of signal troubles I haven't seen anything else there.

History
Started in 1984.
One of a handful of independent station left in the New York area.

Highlights
Kids Show - Some not normally seen on TV kids shows.

Lowlights
Way to many infomercials they have news but it's lost among the 5-minute-ab-crunch-and- popcorn-makers.

Advertising
All infomericals, paid programming, lease time access to shopping channels, and so on. The commercials are some regional and mostly ad to promote infomercials.

Monday, June 08, 2009

HSN

Channel #18 on the box, #68 over the air
HSN or the Home Shopping Network is another popular shopping channel. Never buying anything from them doesn't mean I haven't been tempted. The have computer and coin blocks that are so convincing it has me checking my credit cards for sufficient funds. Still at the end you can it cheaper with online bargains.

History
Started in 1982.

Highlights
How To - Clever marketing mixes selling with some nice tips. I'll add soooo convincing.

Lowlights
Soooo convincing. I fear one day they'll get me and I'll be addicted. Luckily my postal service is horrible so that always stops me.

Advertising
The entire channel is an ad. Once they added an interactive feature the allowed you to order directly through the remote control but it has been taken away. Click here for an old review of HSN itv.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Currently Worth Watching

Pushing Daisies

Pushing Daisies: Water & Power
An Emerson heavy episode where he spends the time in search of one Penny.

TiVo has been recording pilot episodes at random. It took me month to watch them but now I'm hooked. Even when some have been canceled.

Privileged: Pilot
A college grad played by Joanna Garcia goes to NYC fails at being a magazine writer then becomes a tutor to rich brats in Miami. It's funny and clever basically they are making fun of the new generation of celebrities.
It's been canceled so I may watch as many episodes that they air.

True Blood: Episodes 1-8
Since Buffy there has been a lack of good supernatural shows. Supernatural on the CW is fine but a bit ridiculous at times. I did not original watch this show because they said it was a copy of Twilight a series of awful vampire novels for teens/tweens.
Finally bored enough to watch it HBO ramped up the sex and blood and it turn out to be great.

Vampires have announced their presence to he world and in two years are trying to get equal rights, possibly with a hidden agenda. Now they can be sustained by Tru-Blood a Japanese fake blood safe for vamppires. Sookie Stackhouse is a telepath and meets and falls for a nice vampire.
The show asks if vampires and telepathy is possible then what else is possible. The explanation for vampires is magic, at least up to the episode I've seen. June 14 is the second season premiere and I'm catching up quickly.

WFTY

Channel #17 on the box
For years over the this Long Island station has been come in very weak on channel 67. At first it was local stuff then it was a home shopping channel now it's Telefutura. Again it is an all Spanish station that I've never watched for more than a second or two. I have no idea of the line-up.

History
Started in 1973.
Became Telefutura in 2001/2002.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

WNJU

Channel #16 on the box, #47 over the air
Like Univision (WXTV) this station is completely Spanish. Unlike Univison they show non-original programs and movies, mostly from the United States. The problem is the translation. While going to school we are taught Spain-Spanish, growing up in New York you hear Puerto Rican or Dominican Repulic Spanish. This station translate everything into Mexican-Spanish.
That is like watching Irish show with a deep French-Creole Louisiana accent. While it's understandable the entire tone of the show is changed. If I were in California it may be different but I think regional translations should be made for all channels.
Because of this and the fact the signal is weak both on cable and over the air I hardly ever watch this channel.

History
Started in 1965.

Highlights
Soaps - Come on they're fun to watch even if you don't know the language.

Local Culture - They will carry a special on Puerto Rico tomorrow as well as the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade on June 14 one of largest parades in the country. Santo Domingo Invita a show that tours Domincan Republic is nice as they give little documentaries of events around that country.

Lowlights
Translation - Not only are they awkwardly translated they don't keep names.
For example: Dennis The Menace Strikes Again is on right now but in the show they call him Daniel. Remembering a Simpsons episode with Luke Perry as a guest star they translated, in Spanish, his name to Robert Redford.

Advertising
Logo in the corner. National and few local ads. They sponsor a lot of things around the city like parades, festivals, and street fairs (not all in Spanish).

Friday, June 05, 2009

QVC

Channel #15 on the box
QVC is the "Quality, Value, Convenience," home shopping channel. I've never bought from this or any home shopping channel so I can't validate any of the claims. They seem to focus on women with their exclusive make-up and clothing lines. I watch on occasion when they have electronics or computers only because it looks so shiny. Every once in a while while they demo a gadget you learn a shortcut or trick to work your electronics better.

History
Started in 1986.
They became so popular they spun-off into actual brick and mortar retail shops.

Highlights
How To - Clever marketing mixes selling with some nice tips.

Christmas & New Years - They stop all programming during the yuletide season and play classic songs and videos.

Lowlights
Pushy - The are their to sell and the fake smile and non-witty banter makes it very annoying at times.

Live Calls - They often take live calls that are sometimes pranks but more often just awkward.

Advertising
Seriously, the entire channel is an ad. 1/4 of the screen is pricing, instructions, and details on the current offering.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Royal Pains


Royal Pains: Pilot
On September 26, 2008 I stumbled upon the filming of Royal Pains. At the time I couldn't take pictures so I had someone else take the shots and they gave me a great post you can see right here ...

Almost one year later it final premiered on the USA network and they showed the scene that took 24 hours to set up.

video

13 seconds maybe?

The show is about a brilliant doctor Hank Lawson who, one his day off, brought his basketball friend to the hospital while the rich hospital donor was also being admitted. Both had identical cardiac conditions and while the rich donor was stable he went and helped the young baller. The donor dies and instantly Dr. Lawson is being sued and he becomes a medical pariah.
After a time he is on vacation in the Hamptons and becomes an instant hit with his great medical knowledge, honesty, and quick response. Dr. Lawson becomes a concierge doctor which mean he works out of a SUV and gets paid for one time discrete service.

The show is funny at moments and the people are beautiful but all of the Hamptons becomes one giant stereotype. Personally I've never been there but it may be completely accurate from the few documentaries I have seen. I will watch the rest of the season.



Sidenote: I listen to Loveline Live online and David Carradine was recently on and was far from depressed so the entire Thai closet death is extremely fishy. Thai police ruling it a suicicde means nothing.

CVCHG

Channel #14 exclusively on the box
The Cablevision Channel Guide unlike the TV Guide channel shows only the channel line-up and no original programming. On a rare occasion they show hockey games on this channel. While showing the scrolling guide from channel 1-100 they play music. Sometimes the music is great most of the time it is muzac.
Christmas time is great with non-stop yuletide fun.



Advertising
Top of the screen is mostly self-promotion. Sometimes they give public service ads like "Don't Drink & Drive".

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

WNET

Channel #13 on the box
PBS-The reason I enjoy television so much.
Things have changed but back in the days, up to just ten years ago, Channel Thirteen provided a window to things only equaled by reading a library of books.

Real documentaries, global, and uncensored with full joyous and tragic outcomes.

Movies from every time and every country also uncensored in their original language.

Educational shows that teach basic to advance subjects.

And of course muppets, Sesame Street.

When you don't have cable and want to watch a high quality movie without commercials and not heavily edited for family friendly viewing the only choice was Thirteen. I say "was" because since the station depends on public funding and they no longer take risks. The station is a target of Conservatives because they often fear truthful stories that do not have their one sided slant.
All the the movies, documentaries, and art shows that ran late at night and contained nudity were ripped off the air. Most of the foreign programming were replaced with music concerts.

Watching a documentary that spanned decades or a movie of childhood in Sweden, South Africa, or the Soviet Union was incredible and to this day is not seen on regular TV.

Highlights
How To - Cooking shows, building houses shows, fixing stuff shows, learning languages, and general education. This Old House is still among my favorites.

From A Celebration of Me, Grover, showing much...Image via Wikipedia


Travel - Showing every country from helicopters, down the streets, and even through the sewers. Made want to travel despite my lack of money.

Movies - see rant above.

Documentaries - Best in the world because they use sources from around the world.

Concerts - Older bands, singers, and old concerts are always fun to watch.

Kids Shows - Puppets teaching you to count is great.

Lowlights
Running Scared - The new Thirteen focuses less on bringing movies from the world and instead goes after more American stories. Late night is just concerts no more art shows.

Pledge Drives - Now every 3 months they spend a week or two interrupting all their shows begging for donations.

Cookie Monster - Denied cookies, how dare you!

I know I will never get the wonderful free uninhibited station but at least it left me open to see the true size of this big slightly egg shaped world.

Advertising
Very seldom used logo in the corner. Once completely ad free except for a simple list of high money contributors they've changed to show full commercials before and after every program. Most of the ads are direct sponsors to that particular show.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

N12KN

Channel #12 exclusively on the box
News 12 Brooklyn another 24-hour news channel that is even more local than NY1. Focusing mostly on Brooklyn issues is fine but I just sleep here. I got to school, work, and have fun in Manhattan. Brooklyn for me is just a place to take a nap so what happens in the borough does not consume my thoughts. Add to that Brooklyn is huge Williamsburg and Coney Island may as well be in different cities.

History
Started in 2005.
A spin-off from the original News 12 started on Long Island in 1986.
there are 9 different News 12 stations around the city.
Cablevision owns them under the Rainbow Media umbrella and so it is exclusive to Cablevision/Optimum systems with a few other cable services showing these channels.

Highlights
Profile - Person of interest stories are touching.

Lowlights
The Crawl - During the September 11 attacks so much information was coming through that a crawl at the bottom of the news was added to most stations. Before this the news crawl or ticker was for stock quotes, weather, or school closings basically any kind of list. Now most 24-hour stations keep the crawl underneath to announce every little bit of news.
News 12 has a large crawl that sometimes shows full paragraphs. Seriously, I can't read that fast and it takes away the focus from the story that is being played.

Advertising
Logo in corner with full crawl. Mostly local ads.

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Monday, June 01, 2009

WPIX

Channel #11 on the box
Always one of my favorites. The news is fun and with no hype. They always dedicate time to kids programming, movies, and regular shows. Yankees and Mets games have been a staple for decades. They focus on the teen/tween market and have done it successfully with shows I won't watch lie America's Top Model, 90210, and Gossip Girl. Back in the day I would watch Buffy and Angel on this channel but they wee more realistic then the slew of teen angst dramas currently on.

History
Started in 1948.
Broadcast nearly every NY sports team from the baseball Giants to the football Giants and hockey, basketball, marathons, and others.
Showed classic programming most of the 80s like Three Stooges, The Little Rascals, and Laurel and Hardy.
Hippie favorite of mine The Magic Garden, no judgment please I was a child.
Knocked off the air on September 11, 2001 and had image of Twin Towers burning frozen on screen all that day.
In 1995 they became WB11 with the takeover by Warner Brothers.
In 2006 they became CW11 with the merger of CBS and Warner Brothers.

Highlights

Hip Shows - Supernatural and Smallville.

News - Kaity Tong has been on this station for decades and is both fun, professional and well respected. Recently when fellow anchor Jim Watkins started blogging she literally rolled her eyes and dismissed is new venture but with the popularity of the blog she finally gave in and started her own blog. Trying to keep up with the new media while keeping up credibility has been this news team's strongest part.

Lowlights
Trying to Hard - The new 90210 was sort of successful so a new Melrose's Place is coming. Gossip Girl is unwatchable but they promote it like it was Shakespeare via text message.


Advertising
Logo in corner of course with pop-ups during the shows. National and local ads, lots of self-promotion.

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Mo" Money

TV is educational. If you can't learn something everyday your box is broken.