40 Hours of Television

The class is over, but the discussion continues. Does the media shape reality, or does reality shape the media? Art can imitate life...and life can imitate art. "40 Hours of TV" will explore the media and its impact on us all.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Catch my Podcast

I've recorded a segment for Blogcritic's weekly Podcast, and it's available now for download. I read my essay, "Reality Show Humiliation." If you give it a listen, let me know what you think.

Blogcritics -- Podcast #4

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Confessions Of a TV Junkie

I was trying to come up with an idea of a new column to write for 40 Hours, and I was inspired by Larry King. He wrote a column for USA Today a few years back.

Now, I've never read any of Larry King's columns, I just know about them from when Saturday Night Live used to spoof them. I liked the idea of just rambling on from one thought to the next, sort of like James Joyce. Not that I'm saying I'm like James Joyce, or that I think I'm James Joyce. Well, maybe a little. A little bit. I'll try to avoid stream of consciousness rants, but I cannot guarantee that it will not happen. Just keeping you on your toes.

So, last year I decided it was time to go to college. Instead of college, I enlisted in the Navy after high school, and spent 1986-1992 as a military journalist. And as I discovered, getting a job in journalism was a little hard. I'm not going to drag this all out as I want to get to the funny, but fast-forward to 2004 and I'm enrolled in college. Which means having to trim the family budget, and of course the first thing to go is my favorite thing, cable television. Well, not entirely. We now have basic cable, which is essentially the local channels and, teasingly, a few of the standard cable stations, such as The Discovery Channel and E!

I have to say, I really miss Hannity and Colmes. I hated that show, sure, but it was great entertainment, and isn't television really about entertainment? Oh, we like to believe that it's educational, but come on, it's just entertainment. Reading books can be educational, but you don't hear people saying that reading will rot your brain, like television does. So let's be honest about the role of television in our lives: to numb us completely so that we can ignore the horrible world we live in. Add alcohol and you don't even need to leave your couch, or Prozac.

Now, I don't know if the winning Hannity and Colmes format has changed over the past year, but this is how I remember it:

Hannity: I'm Sean Hannity. Thanks for joining us. It's a packed show tonight. Do liberals really want to destroy America? Our panel is here to discuss what motivates liberals, and why they hate America so much. Joining me in the studio are Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, David Limbaugh, our good friend Ollie North, by telephone our good friend Rush Limbaugh, by satellite from Las Vegas Bill Bennet, and in a new feature, via e-mail, a bunch of posters from the Free Republic message board, and also joining us is Outmatched Generic Liberal. Thank you all.
(Confusion as everyone speaks over each other).

Hannity: Generic, let me ask you a question. In 1837, William Howard Taft said "George W. Bush is the greatest threat to the Republic in 200 years, even greater a threat than scurvy." Do you stand by that statement?

Generic: What? First of all, William Howard Taft...

Hannity: Just answer the question, Generic, it's pretty simple. Do you stand by Taft's statement?

Generic: If you'd let me finish, Taft died in 1930, how could he have made a statement about George W. Bush?

Hannity: Are you calling me a liar?

Generic: Well, obviously you made up that quote, and you didn't even get the years right that Taft was president...

Coulter: Sean, that's a typical liberal response: blame the conservative when they cannot win the debate.

Generic: What debate? Taft died in...

Hannity: You're right, Ann. It's a simple question, Generic, and since you refuse to answer it, we'll just assume you agree with it. So, you think George W. Bush is as great a threat to this country as scurvy?

Limbaugh: Sean, that's the problem with liberals today: they refuse to repudiate statements made by leaders of their party.

Generic: Taft was a Republican! What are you talking about?

Malkin: Sean, the liberal media has for far to long let statements like Taft's to be reported unchallenged.

Hannity: What do you think, Ollie?

North: Shameful. George W. Bush is a fine president, and to have your liberal guest suggest that Bush is causing scurvy in New Orleans is just another tinfoil-hat wearing conspiracy theorist, spouting anti-Bush hatred.

Generic: Wait a minute, I never said Bush caused scurvy....

Hannity: We have you on tape, Generic. I just got an e-mail from our friends at The Free Republic: "Sean, typical liberal debate tactic from a traitor, to say something and then deny they said it -- moments after saying it!"

Generic: But that's....

Colmes: Generic, Alan Colmes. Look, I know for a fact that scurvy is caused by a lack of Vitamin C, and I know FEMA was slow in responding to the disaster in New Orleans, but to say that President Bush caused scurvy makes our side look bad.

Generic: But I never said...

Colmes: We have to take a break. When we return, Geraldo Rivera will join us with a report on how New Orleans has become a breeding ground for scurvy.

Is it still like that? Cause I really miss it.

Speaking of scurvy, it looks like the ratings for Martha Stewart's version of The Apprentice are in the toilet, and The Donald is blaming her for his show's low ratings. Which is a little dishonest, because he's the executive producer on both shows. I don't even know how much creative control Martha has over her show. Maybe none. Let's be honest, both shows kind of suck, and I don't think it has anything to do with Martha Stewart. It's the annoying contestants, like Crazy Jim on Martha's show. Crazy Jim is just friggin' out of his mind. (In case you don't know Crazy Jim, here's his photo from the show). And I hate Crazy Jim. Hate, hate, hate, HATE him. When he's not mugging for the camera, he's uttering things like he'll drink the tears of the losing team because they'll be the nectar of the gods, or something. I've only seen a couple of The Donald's show this season, so I don't have anyone to hate, yet.

And finally, if you haven't already tuned in, make sure to check out UPN's Everybody Hates Chris. It's one of the best new shows of the season. Go! Watch it! Before it get cancelled. Because a good show like this can't last. But a show like Twins, on The WB, will probably last several seasons, and it's horrible, just horrible.

Next week: more random blatherings about television.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Review: "Good Night, and Good Luck"

Throughout his broadcasting career, the legendary journalist and newsman Edward R. Murrow was was known for his integrity, courage and social responsibility. In his latest film, director George Clooney gives us a small slice of life at CBS news, circa 1954, as Murrow and the CBS news team prepared to take on Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Clooney's film isn't so much about the man (and we're not provided much in the way of autobiographical detail) but rather about the idea of responsibility and credibility, and how television has the power to not only entertain, but inform.

Good Night, and Good Luck is a labor of love from Clooney, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Grant Heslov. Clooney has made the wise choice of shooting in gorgeous black and white (and beautifully filmed by cinematographer Robert Elswit), which is fitting for the period the film takes place (most television programs were broadcast in black and white).

David Strathairn is Murrow, in a performance of quiet dignity and intelligence. The film opens with Murrow delivering a speech to a group of radio and television broadcasters, and the story is told in a flashback to 1954. Murrow, and his team at CBS News, have decided to run a controversial story, about how an Air Force officer was drummed out of the service due to Sen. Joseph McCarthy's Senate hearings on communism. Murrow is outraged (although, as Strathairn portrays him, quietly outraged) that the Air Force officer, nor anyone else in his court martial, was allowed to see any evidence that would indicate a tie to communism. So, on his program See It Now, Murrow covers the story.

The CBS newsroom is the main point of action for the film, and it is a cramped, tight place with a lot of activity (and a lot of smoking). Murrow doesn't even have a proper set; he basically sits in a chair at a counter, with his producer, Fred Friendly (George Clooney), literally at his side, tapping him on the leg to let him know he's on the air.

Of course, taking on McCarthy is a bold move, and doing so can result in the loss of advertisers to Murrow's show. Murrow's objectivity is questioned, but Murrow insists that the presentation of facts has nothing to do with objectivity, and he's right.

Eventually, Murrow decides to take on McCarthy directly, offering a blistering 30-minute broadcast laying out McCarthy's bullying ways, using his own words. Clooney wisely uses actual footage of McCarthy, rather than have an actor portray him, and it works wonderfully, as we get a real sense of time and place.

There is an unnecessary sub-plot involving Murrow's colleagues, Joe Wershba (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Shirley Wershba (Patricia Clarkson), who are secretly married -- CBS news doesn't allow its employees to marry one another. Why Clooney included this subplot is a mystery.

Briding segments together are performances of a jazz singer (Dianne Reeves), as we watch her perform from one of the CBS studios. The songs don't really have anything to do with the action on-screen, but serve again to give us a feeling of time and place.

It's no secret that George Clooney is a liberal, and Good Night, and Good Luck is not a film that purports to be "fair and balanced." The film has a lot to say about 21st century politics and 21st century television -- how politics has become the politics of personal destruction, and how individuals use the airways (I'm sure Clooney had the right-wing pundits in mind in making this film) to attack anyone who disagrees with them. Clooney has had some well-publicized clashes with Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly, and it's hard to not see that part of Clooney's life reflected in what we see in the movie.

In the end, the film demands that news outlets, and politicians, take more responsibility for what they say and what they do, challenging notions that questioning a presidential administration is not treason, nor is it dissent. It's opinion, and people are allowed to have opinions without fear of retribution.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Review: "Sunset Boulevard"

First off, it has to be said: the restoration of this film to DVD is nothing short of a miracle. It's a gorgeous transfer and looks like it was shot in present-day Hollywood. It's a black and white film, and on DVD the contrasts of black/white/grey are apparent and there is no bleeding. Simply astounding. If you care to see how the film looked before the transfer, fire up the DVD, go into special features, and view the theatrical trailer.

On to the movie (and spoilers).

Sunset Boulevard was released in 1950 and directed by the acclaimed director Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity, Sabrina, Some Like It Hot).

Sunset Boulevard is a classic film noir and a stinging indictment against Hollywood, and certainly a daring film for its time. The movie-making industry usually aren't fans of films that paint that industry in a negative light (and those films are few and far between, with the most recent example being Robert Altman's The Player).

The film opens to a scene of police cars, sirens wailing, heading to a Hollywood mansion. A corpse has been discovered in the pool. A narrator, in voice over, tells us we'll learn what really happened before the gossip columnists get a hold of the story.

The narrator is Joe Gillis (William Holden), a B-movie writer down on his luck, running out of money to pay for the rent of his apartment and the payments for his car. With repo men on his tail, Gillis pulls off into the driveway of what he thinks is an abandoned mansion. It certainly looks that way from the outside, with a mess of foliage and a deserted look. Gillis' car has blown a tire and he discovers a garage at the mansion to hide his car in.

As it turns out, the mansion isn't deserted. Gillis meets Max (Erich von Stroheim), who bids him to come inside the mansion to meet its occupant, who turns out to be the famed silent film star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson, in an amazing performance). Gillis knows who she is: "You're Norma Desmond. You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big." Desmond delivers a classic retort: "I AM big. It's the PICTURES that got small."

Coincidentally, Desmond has been working on a screenplay that would, in her mind, get her back into movies and famous once again. Hesitantly (at first), Gillis agrees to help write the screenplay -- after all, he can't go back to his apartment and doesn't want the repo men to take his car.

It's from this initial meeting that the film takes off. Gillis, who only wanted to say a couple of weeks, is moved into the mansion where he becomes a permanent resident. He also becomes, the film hints at, Desmond's lover, even though (gasp!) she's twice his age. But she needs a handsome young man around to feel like the star she once was.

Gillis gradually warms to the idea of being a "kept man" and allow Desmond to buy him expensive suits and jewelry. As the film progresses, we learn, with Gillis, that something isn't right with Desmond. She's prone to suicidal fits and exaggerated mannerisms, and in one scene, calmly explains to Gillis that she has a gun (to use on herself...or Gillis?)

She throws a lavish New Years Eve party -- for just two guests, her and Gillis. She lives in a sort of dream world where she's the biggest movie star in the world.

A complication arises -- and isn't this true for a noir picture -- when Gillis meets a woman named Betty Schaefer (Nancy Olson). The two had met previously at Paramount Pictures, when Gillis was pitching a script idea, only to have it shot down by Schaefer, who was a Paramount script reader. But now she has an idea of her own for a script and needs Gillis' help to complete it, so the two begin working on the script, at night, like lovers engaged in a secret tryst.

Meanwhile, Gillis has finished Desmond's script and had it delivered to famed director Cecil B. DeMille (playing himself), who isn't interested in doing the picture -- something only Gillis knows. After receiving phone calls from the movie studio (they actually only want to use Desmond's old car in a movie), Desmond decides it's time to pay a visit to DeMille, and she and Gillis head for the Paramount lot. DeMille grants the former movie queen an audience, and basically gives her the run-around on her script.

Eventually Desmond discovers that Gillis has been "cheating" on her with Schaefer, and a lover's spat follows, which ends deadly. In the end, a clearly deranged Desmond is being led off to jail for her crime, but believes she is actually on a movie set, and that the cameras filming her are real movie cameras, and not cameras for newsreels; Desmond thinks she's filming her Cecil B. DeMille picture, which brings us that famous line, "Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my closeup."

Billy Wilder was a great craftsman of film, and his artistry is evident throughout Sunset Boulevard, from one great shot to another, whether it's the withered exterior of Desmond's mansion to the gothic interior, all done up on a stage set, with Wilder's camera work suggesting a huge sense of space and place inside that set. You'd never know it was a set.

As I've said, this is a daring movie, and Wilder takes some interesting chances. First of all, his use of real people and institutions within Hollywood, using the real names of people, so the lines between illusion and reality become blurred. It was a stroke of genius to get DeMille to play himself, and in one earlier scene, several greats from the silent era have paid Desmond a visit for a game of cards (Buster Keaton, Anna Q. Nilsson and H.B. Warner).

The casting is also spot-on: Gloria Swanson is perfect in the role of Norma Desmond. She might as well have been Desmond (aside from the craziness), as her own life mirrored her character's life (Swanson had been a big name in silent movies but hadn't kept her fame in the era of the talkie, and hadn't worked in many years before being cast as Desmond). Sure, her performance is exaggerated at times, but that's bound to be intentional: after all, she still envisions herself in silent films, and her physical movements would be the same sort of exaggerations needed to convey emotion in a silent film.

Erich von Stroheim, who plays Max, Desmond's butler, in reality was an acclaimed silent film director in the 1920s and 30s -- and had, in fact, directed Swanson in Queen Kelly in 1929 (that's the film Desmond screens for Gillis). And Swanson had also worked with Cecil B. DeMille in the past.

William Holden brings some complexity to the character of Gillis, and certainly plays him with some moral ambiguity, because we're not really sure if he actually loves Desmond or is just using her.

Nancy Olson is the one bright light in this story, although it would have been nice to see her role expanded a bit.

A great film from a great era of movie making. **** out of ****

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Team Ryno Needs Your Help

You may recall when I wrote about Jim and Tanya Ryno, the couple that are using the power of the Internet to get selected as contestants for Fear Factor. Well, they need your help in voting for them to appear on the show. More details at their blog. You can also vote here. Let's help get them on Fear Factor!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A Little Self Promotion and Martha/The Donald

First up, a shameless plug for the other media site I write for, Blogcritics. A review I wrote for Depeche Mode's album Black Celebration is an editor's choice selection. Thank you, Matt Freelove. They even gave me this nifty award button thingy:

So, that's cool.

Have you been keeping up with The Apprentice: Martha Stewart and The Donald? Are you disappointed? I am. I think they're phoning it in. There's just something missing...could be it's too soon to judge. If you've been watching either show, what do you think?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Recap: "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" week three

When we last left off...

Team Matchstick, headed by PM Weepy Chuck, failed at the task of setting up a floral shop and selling lots of flowers. Tulips didn't sell as well as Team Primarius With Extra Added Celebrity Florist Bouquets. Another defeat for the "creative" types at Matchstick. Weepy Chuck brought Crazy Jim and Sensible Dawn to the boardroom...er...conference room where Chuck took responsibility for his team's failures while Crazy Jim made Crazy Faces. Martha sent Chuck packing. Who will be sent home tonight? Jim! I wish.

Tonight's episode...let them eat cake. Can the teams create and sell their own designed wedding cakes? Team Matchstick has two chefs...surely they'll win! For a change. Right?

We open with Crazy Jim on the phone with Mrs. Crazy Jim. She's about to give birth! Crazy Jim wants to be there, but it's too important to be a contestant on a reality show to witness the birth of his child. Crazy Jim, who is now Grinning Jim, explains that he and Mrs. Crazy Jim had decided Grinning Jim would remain on the show in order to make a better life for him and his family. Yeah, I'm sure the old advertising game just isn't paying the bills like a temporary position with Martha Stewart's company would. So, shut up, Crazy Jim. You're on the show for you. If you mugged for the camera any more often you'd be locked up in jail. Grinning Jim tells his wife good luck on her "task" which I presume is giving birth to his baby without him.

Phone call. It's Martha! She's calling from her stable with a horse. Daughter Alexis must not have been available. She wants everyone ready post-haste! Martha is informed most everyone is sawing logs. Martha says she's been up for hours. With the horse? We hear fake horse sounds. I think there's the growl of a mountain lion in there somewhere.

Let's take a moment for a new segment, "What I learned from Martha." This week, Martha tells us the secret to a successful business is to target a broad market. Brilliant! That means you get more people buying your stuff than if you had set your sights smaller. By the way, this can also be called "Foreshadowing with Martha." You'll see why later in this recap.

Team Primarius and Team Matchstick are assembled and told what the task for the week would be: to design and sell a wedding cake. We learn how the wedding business takes in something like $70 billion a year. The winning team would be the team that sold the most cake. Selling no cake would be bad, right, Matchstick?

Matchstick's PM is Young David, who has divided the teams into two groups: one would design the cake (that's where Matchstick's ace in the hole comes into play: two chefs!), the other to market and sell it. Dawn interviews that she's going to stay out of the spotlight on this one, and only speak when spoken to. I like Dawn. Which means she'll be let go soon.

Over at Primarius, the corporate types have picked Howie to be PM. Howie will soon by Angry Howie. As the team formulates their strategy, a decision is made to do some research at a NYC wedding center. That way they'll know what kind of cake is popular with brides. Problem is the wedding center specializes in Asian weddings, so it's no-go there. Angry Howie emerges after being blamed for sending researchers off to an Asian wedding center. Eventually it's all hugs and puppy dogs and the team gets to work on designing their cake, with a nice five-tier design.

Meanwhile, Matchstick has decided to phone wedding cake expert Sylvia Weinstock for some advice on what kind of cake to make. Pink! That's the ticket. And no small individual cup-cake cakes like the kids are doing. I don't get the kids anymore. Too old. Sigh. So, Matchstick designs a cake that looks like a large spice rack with concentric circle cakes. And puts lots of pink on it. It's Pink Cake! Yum.

Viceroy Charles checks in on Matchstick, where Big Mouth Shawn tells him that the team is going to win. Really! And if they lose, he can fire HER. Shut up, Shawn. Should I just end the recap now?

Over at Primarius, Martha Jr. arrives to see how things are going. Alexis demonstrates that, while women don't cry in business, they do show off lots of clevage when they can. Yikes.

Next day, the teams are hard at work selling their cakes. After a slow start Ryan sells a cake to a young couple who had met online. I wonder if they used Eharmony? I keep seeing commercials for them. You can go online and take a free personality test! Now that's a bargin, gang.

Team Matchstick isn't faring very well with its strange pink cake. Not well at all.

Back in the boardroom...er, conference room....and the winner is...Primarius! What a shocker. How'd Team Matchstick do? Didn't sell a single cake. Nada. Nothing. Whoops. See, they didn't follow Martha's advice on targeting a broad market. Instead, they designed a $10,000 cake that no one could afford to buy. Plus, it looked weird.

For their prize, Primarius has desert with The Donald and The Donald's model wife, Melania. It's Spot The Donald Guest Appearance! Kind of like when you'd see Alfred Hitchcock in one of his films.

PM No Sell Dave has decided to bring Dawn (?!) and Marcela into the boardroom...er, conference room with him. And what's on that conference room table? It looks like plants of moss or something.

Martha isn't buying Dave's choices for elimination, and calls back the rest of the Matchstick Losers into the boardroom...er, conference room. Gee, I wonder who's going to get the boot? We focus on Shawn, who stammers that in the TV biz you "fake it until you make it" which is why she told Charles he could fire her if the team lost. Martha is not happy, and Shawn is sent off to read the weather elsewhere.

Who'll get the big goodbye next week? Tune in next week!

Friday, October 07, 2005

I Heart Court Shows

Some people are embarrassed to admit to watching lots of television. I'm not one of those people. I like television. And I watch it all the time. Enjoying the great outdoors? Not going to happen. Communing with nature? Only if nature is displayed on a large-screen plasma HDTV. Water sports? Nope. Replace my pasty complextion with the bronzing rays of the sun? Not going to happen.

Now, I'm a big fan of reality shows, and I've posted on that topic before. What I really love the most are the court shows. There are so many of them! Good grief, sometimes I wonder how I can muster the energy to leave my home in order to attend classes at college.

Back in the day you could turn on the TV at 7:00 a.m. and watch court shows until late in the afternoon. That's not the case so much anymore, and in reality I only watch one court show, Judge Judy, with any regularity. But I've seen a few minutes of some of the other shows out there, and I thought I'd share my observations with you, dear reader.

Judge Alex
Zzzz....huh? Whazzat? Oh, yeah, Judge Alex. New court show. BORING. Judge Alex Ferrer lacks in that most important of television traits, charisma. Presence. Maybe he'll get better with time. Probably not.

Eye for an Eye with Judge "Extreme" Akim
Hosted by OJ's former houseguest - Kato Kaelin, Eye for an Eye is a bizarre entry into the court TV genre. Judge Akim "Extreme" Anastopoulo wields the mighty baseball bat of justice as he tries cases to what appears to be Jerry Springer's studio audience. Litigants and defendants appear in...cages, and after hearing the case, Judge Extreme Akim yields judgments in an "eye for an eye" manner. What does that mean, exactly? Well, in the episode I saw today, some little people had a lawsuit related to dwarf tossing, so Judge Extreme Akim made the normal-sized litigants experience dwarf tossing first-hand by being, get this, tossed by really large people. I'm not sure what kind of lesson is being communicated. Also, the audience likes to chant "Extreme Akim" over and over and over. I already have a headache that I think will last all season for this show.

Judge Joe Brown
When did Judge Joe turn his program into a game show? His show's been on the air a long time, but now it's been jazzed up with...Joe's Jury. I guess with some cases (all cases?) Joe polls the courtroom audience to whether they think the plaintiff or defendant should win, and Judge Joe will go with his "jury" in awarding damages.

Texas Justice
This show has failed to catch my attention, despite years of attempting to enjoy it. I guess I don't understand Texas humor. Or Texas justice.

Judge Judy
Ten years on the air. Everyone knows I love Judge Judy. 'Nuff said.

Judge Mathis
Another show I've watched on and off for years that has failed to catch on with me.

Divorce Court

Judge Hatchett
I used to really like Judge Hatchett. She had a unique show and now it seems more like your basic court show, which is kind of boring.

The People's Court
I'm on the edge with this one. I kinda like Judge Marilyn Milian, but hate the format of the show, especially the post-verdict "interviews" with Curt Chaplin. I hate you, Curt. Oh, and the outdoor interviews with attorney Harvey Levin...more hate.

Stay tuned as I watch more television so you won't have to.

Monday, October 03, 2005

A Rant Against Bad TV

I've been watching a few shows from the new fall TV season, and most of them are horrible. HORRIBLE. I know, some may wonder, why do you keep watching the shows? Well, dear reader, it's to provide you with an entertaining look into the world of pop culture and the media. Even if it does cost me my soul.

First up on my list of shows I hope to god will be cancelled is the WB's "sitcom" Twins. Three weeks in and the show still hasn't gone beyond the sort of humor that your average eight-year-old finds amusing. Two weeks worth of poop jokes, and in the most recent episode, we were treated to incest jokes. Oooh, daring! And stupid. I'm not going to get into the show's details here as I've already reviewed the show, but take my word for it, you're not missing out on anything if you don't tune in.

Second on the list is Fox's horribly unfunny The War At Home. It's bad. Really bad. Incredibly bad. Watching it, I could feel a small part of my soul die, that's how bad it is. I've also reviewed this show, so I'll skip out on the details as I'm too lazy to repeat them. I guess the show's creators were looking for a show to bring back memories of Married With Children and maybe All In The Family. Instead of funny, the show is just mean-spirited and, yes, racist. I guess "racist" means "edgy" today. I don't know. Avoid this show at all costs.

One good show is UPN's Everybody Hates Chris. Watch this show! It's one of the best sitcoms so far this season. It's actually funny, and doesn't even need a fake laugh track like The War At Home to make you laugh.

Stay tuned as I suffer through more horrible shows.