Poptculture


Take Off, Eh! by tweegnlb

Canada, we are who we are regardless of what others think of us.

Ok, who are we kidding? We love to hear what others think of us. We have a reputation for being the ‘nice’ guys, and we all know what happens to the nice guys, they get forgotten about (and it’s not aboot!)

Well, after years of being placed on the back burner of popular culture, Canadiana has finally come into its own.

We all remember Canada’s grainy attempts at self production over the last 40 years or so, and anyone who has a problem with the Littlest Hobo can answer to me! (I love that dog!) But now it seems we have finally caught up with the rest of television and our stories aren’t just about Joey Jeremiah’s band anymore.

With shows like the Trailer Park Boys and Kenny vs Spenny blazing a brand new trail for Canadian adult sitcoms, we’re finally getting the respect we deserve!

Brent Butt, creator of Corner Gas, has opened the door for family sitcoms based in Canada, (ie) Little Mosque On The Prairie), and has developed characters that can be loved for their small town ways and respected for the subtle, sarcastic, truly Canadian way they poke fun at other cultures the world over. He has done the impossible and generated a steadily growing fan base not only inside our boarder but even in the US and Europe.

But wait, lets not forget what the show SCTV did for us back in the 70’s and 80’s! Many of the best comedians of our time got their start on that show, and lets admit it, where would we be with out Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis’s portrayal of average Canadians: Bob and Doug McKenzie, without whom we would not be who we are today. When anyone the world over thinks of Canada, the image of toque wearing, beer drinking, hosers comes to mind, and we as a culture are proud of that!

We are who we are and we take great pride in it, so join me in taking pride in The Great White North Eh!

UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!!

The Trailer Park Boys are Back!  For fans who have not heard, the Boys are back this Sunday, December 7th, 2008 on Show Case, in an all new one hour special!  Though this will be the last regular episode, the Boys will be back in their second (and hopefully not last!) full length feature film this fall!  Lets all join together and tell these guys how much we miss them, and maybe they will stick around!  (Via showcase.ca)

Also, Corner Gas star Brent Butt has a new brainchild soon to be on CTV.  The show will star Brents real life wife Nancy Robertson, Wanda from the show, as a childrens author with anger issues.  Lets hope Brent makes it on for a couple of cameo appearances!  (Via The Hour)

Advertisements


See, This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things… by tweegnlb

This is a sad, sad time to be a Canadian.

I really thought we were above crap like this.

Last week a new fad struck the nation, one where seemingly intelligent individuals took it upon themselves to fall in line with the stupidity of the group and celebrate national “Kick a Ginger Day”.

(please see this URL for a Calgary news clip)

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/index.php?rn=222561&cl=10789507&ch=222562

I have two problems with this development.  First, obviously, is the blatant stupidity of those who participated, and the pain or embarrassment that they caused their red headed peers.  Second is the fact that in their defense, these idiots are trying to pin their crimes on an episode of the cartoon South Park, which aired last year.

red-cartman

The idea was popularized via a Face Book page of the same name, started by a youth in Vancouver.  Those involved in altercations over the ‘holiday’ are currently being investigated and some may even result in criminal charges being laid for committing a ‘hate crime’.

Now common people, are we really this stupid?

At one point, the writters of South Park made an episode in which Erik Cartman tried to trick the townspeople into reviving the Nazi movement to remove all the Jewish people from South Park.  So does this mean we are now allowed to blame Neo-Nazism on the behavior of a few cartoon characters?  I mean really!  This material is from a show that prides itself on social satire and showing the ridiculous side of human behavior.  Stupid, just stupid…

Now this prompts me to ask you all a question one of my teachers posed the other day:  ‘In situations like this, should we blame the influence of a movie or television show or should individuals be responsable for how they respond?’  To me the answer seems pretty obvious, but im open to discussion so please feel free to comment.



Nostalgia, It Just Keeps Coming Back Again and Again by tweegnlb

Sure it started as a sickness.  Young soldiers had a yearning to go back home, back to a past they longed to relive, but today it captures our attention and our dollars, and we cannot seem to get enough of it!

We have all at one time or another seen an image or felt a feeling that instantly took us back to better days in our childhoods, sometimes even a smell can do the trick.

And today, a large portion of our popular culture and entertainment aims to do just that.  One of the major influences of this phenomenon is the fact that Gen-Xers and early Millennial s are taking up the reins of large corporations and production companies.  These companies are now remaking and re marketing the television shows, movies and toys of our youth and we have taken it all and demanded more!

One key player in the new market of old memories is actor Seth Green who, along with the geniuses at the magazine Twisted Toyfare, have come up with the highly popular pop culture parody TV show Robot Chicken.

robot-chicken

The show is genius in its simplicity: take comic book superheros, toys and other pop culture phenomenons and put them in adult situations.  The scripts almost write themselves, and the audience is already highly invested in the characters, so the humor flows freely.

Individuals who still have their old toys can have lots of fun taking them out and actually playing around with them again, and trust me it can be hilarious!

03-07-08_182103-07-08_180703-07-08_1754

Incidentally, the common ‘Stick’ was recently admitted into the National Toy Hall of Fame( via The Circuit on Space Channel ) for its unending ability to become a sword or almost any other item one can conceive of in the blink of an eye!

Here are a couple neat sites for nostalgia buffs just in case you’re interested:

http://www.retrocrush.com/archive.html

http://www.retrojunk.com/

All in all, i think we have shown ourselves that nostalgia is a sickness we can live with : )



Evolution Revolution by tweegnlb

When someone sits down to relax they often turn on the TV.

When they turn on the TV, they like to choose what to watch.

This sounds fare, but a new ruling by the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission) may change things forever.

The CRTC has decided to reject airing American cable channels on Canadian television screens, effectively cutting viewers program choices in half.

If a viewer is a fan of a particular American television program, they may have to wait months before a Canadian network or specialty channel picks up the show (which often fall behind American broadcasts by almost two seasons), to even see a new episode!

As good as Can-Con (Canadian content) laws are for making sure Canadian produced programming has a place on Canadian television, they should hardly have the ability to restrict (from the source) the variety of programming available to viewers in the modern age of satellite and digital cable.

Some viewers pay hundreds of dollars per month to get the channels and events they choose, because those are the things that interest them most!  It seems a backward step to encroach upon ones freedom of choice in the world of ‘customization of entertainment’ that has arisen to compete with other forms of entertainment media such as the internet.

Maybe that will be the slap in the face that the CRTC needs to smarten up and realize what they are doing.

The ease of modern downloading software, combined with the rising popularity of television archive host sites, may be the answers frustrated viewers are looking for.  Most people can now navigate the internet well enough to find what they’re looking for, and with the help of massive search engines, like Google, those who can’t can still find something or someone to help them get there.

If the law makers want to force the issue, then the people will turn to the lawless land of the internet to get their entertainment.  Most modern computers have the ability to produce high deffinition audio and video output, that rivals what is offered by cable and satellite companies, and yet only costs a one time fee.

The freedom of the internet (pun intended) could destroy the grip that historical television entertainment rule makers have had on us up to this point.

Come on people, the revolution is only a click away…



November Sweeps Are Upon Us! by noyoufalled

November sweeps have officially begun! The quarterly ratings booster officially began its fall session last night, October 30th, and will continue through till November 26th. November sweeps, in case you haven’t heard the terminology before, refers to a month-long extravaganza where networks deliberately up the ante on their shows in attempt to sway viewers into tuning in. During sweeps we can expect more action and violence, more conflict and tears, more romance and one-night stands, and of course plenty of outrageous guest stars.

Each of the major American networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC, click for day by day schedules) have released a ‘sweeps plan’ outlining some of the surprises we can expect over the next few weeks. Here’s the rundown on just a few of the must-see events from front-runner series coming soon to a TV near you…..

CSI– The Miniature Killer makes an appearance as Grissom is called to testify against Las Vegas’ tiniest murderer. Lady Heather returns as Grissom explores the world of erotica. It’s for a case! Really!

CSI:NY – For the series’ 100th episode, a serial killer bent on extinguishing all individuals named Mac Taylor poses an interesting conundrum for the show’s star investigator: save himself, or save all the little Mac’s of New York? Expect guest-stars popping up everywhere in this episode!

Grey’s Anatomy– An old friend of Meredith’s arrives at Seattle Grace as one of the hospital’s newest interns, and receives a less than warm welcome from McDreamy and the rest of Meredith’s crew. In addition to the Chief continuing his quest for greatness (and Bailey cleaning up his mistakes), we can expect a little more screen time for the Callie-Erica romance as Seattle Grace’s first same-sex couple further explores the motherland.

My Name is Earl – Earl loses his list when a series of tornadoes rips through Camden County! Oh no! What will he do?!

Deal or No Deal – 200th episode! We can only guess what Hollywood’s favorite OCD host Howie Mandel will pull out for this landmark!

So, will the amazingness of November sweeps draw you in? Are all these cheap tricks really going to garner more viewers than average?



AND THE WINNER IS??? by hyphenator

Or do we really care?  Apparently not that much because according to Hollywood Reporter the 60th Annual Emmy Awards was the least watched ceremony in history!  Viewing rates were down 12% from last year when Ryan Seacrest hosted the awards.  NBC topped the viewing polls with Sunday Night Football pulling in more viewers than the Emmys.  One MSNBC critic said “For a TV show that celebrates how fantastic television is, the Emmys sure manage to be an exceptionally boring TV show…”.  You know the night isn’t going well when Jeremy Piven and Don Rickles mock the lameness of the night’s events!

“To be honest with you, I was having this moment watching it where I didn’t know where I was.  I didn’t know what was happening … I thought we were being punk’d as an audience”. -Jeremy Piven 

For those who didn’t stay awake or just couldn’t help themselves from changing the channel, here are some of the nights big winners: 

  • Outstanding Comedy Series:  30 Rock
  • Outstanding Drama Series: Mad Men
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in Comedy Series: Alex Baldwin, 30 Rock
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in Comedy Series: Tina Fey, 30 Rock

  • Outstanding Lead Actress in Drama Series: Glen Close, Damages
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in Comedy Series: Jeremy Piven, Entourage
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in Comedy Series: Jean Smart, Samantha Who?
  • Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program (New Category): Jeff Probst, Survivor
  • Outstanding Reality Program: Kathy Griffin: My Life On the D-List
  • Outstanding Reality-Competition Program: The Amazing Race
  • Outstanding Animated Program: The Simpsons

 

Maybe next year the Emmy’s will get some help from Tina Fey….she’s smart, she can act and she can write!

[Via MSNBC.com]

 

 

 

 



Nice teeth and a great sense of humor… by tweegnlb
September 18, 2008, 10:59 pm
Filed under: Television | Tags: , ,

The American sitcom has had a good run.  It has dominated the screens of countless televisions the world over, created catch phrases that define our generation and brought people together over office watercoolers.   Its time is over.

Just like their economy, the American sitcom idea machine is grinding to a halt.  The answer to both problems is to bring in new supports from overseas, and (at least in the case of television) Britain has graciously answered the call.

With geniuses like Ricky Gervais at the helm, new British sitcoms such as The Office, and Extras are paving the way for others to make the jump across the pond.

Simon Pegg, the man behind box office hits such as Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, was in a great sitcom called Spaced a few years ago, which has been given a chance at a new audience thanks to its recent release on DVD.

Another rising star, Steve Coogan, has made appearances in both film and television in the United States, appearing in the movies Tropic Thunder (before he quickly losses his head), and Hamlet II, as well as a guest appearance on one of the few remaining American sitcom goldmines, Curb Your Enthusiasm.  What many do not know is that Steve currently stars in a Britcom called Saxondale, which is slated to have an American version out by next year.  To anyone who reads this, WATCH THIS SHOW WHILE YOU CAN, and while new episodes are still being made, it is too funny.

It is a shame that by the time these great shows make it to North American audiences, they have usually finished their seemingly static two year run and are no longer being produced, and audiences are left with finite episodes of a great new show.  Their saving grace, ironic though it seems, usually comes in the form of American remakes, which, in the case of The Office (US), the magic has transferred over and it has a strangle hold on late night TV.  With the BBc being offered on most cable or satellite subscriptions, it is time to make the effort to catch these shows, you will not be disappointed.

(PS Monty Python is God)