Archive for the ‘Andrew’ Category

COMMUNITY

Posted: May 9, 2012 by ahaffner in Andrew

If you haven’t seen this show, then get on it asap. The show follows a group of people from all walks of life who are originally united in a Spanish study group at their school, the hilariously ineffective Greendale Community College. Notable cast members abound here, with Joel McHale,  Chevy Chase, Leslie Chow (aka the Asian dude from the Hangover, Role Models, etc.) and Donald Glover, who moonlights as rapper Childish Gambino. It’s also written and produced by Dan Harmon, a Milwaukee native whose work is featured amongst some of the best comedies of our day. Memorable misadventures include: 2 campus-consuming paintball wars, 1 monkey named “Annie’s Boobs,” 1 crazed ex-student living in the air vents, 1 absurd dean, several, several movie references, and an insane glee club leader. The show is in its 3rd season now, and, as a view since the beginning, it’s been a trip to see the characters learn and grow as their relationships to each other, and their school, change. Hilarious and sometimes heartwarming, Community is an example of quality television.

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SNL

Posted: May 7, 2012 by ahaffner in Andrew

For those who are unaware, SNL, or Saturday Night Live, is a late-night live sketch comedy show featured on NBC. On air since 1975, the show features a cast of actors, commonly drawn from improvisational comedy groups, who perform a series of sketches parodying pop culture, politics, and daily life. Pre-taped mock advertisements and, more recently, Digital Shorts, are also aired, all while a studio audience laughs at appropriate moments.

The show has seen cast members such as Michael Meyers, John Belushi, Eddie Murphy, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Amy Pohler, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Billy Crystal, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, David Spade, and…others. Several movies, including the Blues Brothers, Wayne’s World, and Night at the Roxbury were spawned from sketches, as was Dick in a Box, an Emmy winning song by Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island crew.

So, point is, the show’s a hit. No, sorry, that’s an understatement; despite how you may feel about the show in its current state, it’s a piece of truly iconic American television.

Andy Samberg killin it

THA NEWS

Posted: May 7, 2012 by ahaffner in Andrew

I don’t watch the news on TV very often, but when I do, it’s usually silenced at a gym or restaurant. Like much of my generation, and, I suspect, an increasing portion of those who came before us, I consume most of my news online; lately I’ve been getting more into reading newspapers, as I enjoy the feeling of superiority it gives me. But aside from this, televised news is a long-standing American tradition. From the days of Walter Cronkite and other classic newscasters, to today’s crop of highly partisan, squabbling news squads, we as a nation have valued our news.

Despite the encroachment of the Internet, cable news is still going strong. According to this survey by the Pew Research Center poll results about 57% of Americans reported that they typically watch the news every day. Meanwhile, a poll quoted by The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/27/fox-news-most-popular reported that Fox news was, amazingly, the most trusted news source amongst those polled. Fox is noteworthy in its politically charged programming and targeting of a partisan niche audience, tactics that have driven up its ratings at the expense of long time rivals CNN and MSNBC.

As I said earlier, I don’t watch the news very frequently; I think it’s a little archaic, with its commercials and its set-in-stone list of stories that may not interest me. Many of the topics covered are human interest pieces with considerable shock or cuteness value, which only reminds me that the whole point of the show is to draw in as many viewers as possible. Televised news does occasionally provide us with some awesome clips; here is one of them.

Censorship

Posted: April 26, 2012 by ahaffner in Andrew

What’s the least fun type of boat to be on?

A Censorship!

I made that one by myself! But in all seriousness I’d like to talk about the censorship of American television.  Do you remember the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show? If the Roman numerals didn’t jog your memory, I’ll give you a hint; Janet Jackson’s right nipple. Following a “wardrobe malfunction,”  the aforementioned nipple was exposed for “bare”-ly  a second before she covered up.

Now, I was watching that half-time show, and I saw that nipple. And, sure, it was a hell of a nipple, but neither I nor my family was particularly shocked or, as the FCC claimed, “pander[ed] and titillate[d]” by the display. In fact, if I remember correctly, my parents laughed, I was slightly confused as to what had just happened, and when the half-time show ended we continued watching football as if nothing happened.

Long story short, the FCC slammed CBS with fines for having aired such smut. The Parents Television Council, a socially conservative media watchdog group, rallied to the cause, filing over 65,000 complaints to the FCC.

Why is there such a strong distate for televised nipples in this country? Do we not like boobs? The same thing goes for swearing. I understand why we don’t air foul language on Cartoon Network, but if it’s after ten o’clock or so, on, say, AMC, then what the hell are we worried about?

CARTOONS!!!!

Posted: April 2, 2012 by ahaffner in Andrew

I’m a fan of cartoons. Have been ever since the by-gone days of Rocko’s Modern Life, Angry Beavers, and the venerable and too-infrequently remembered KaBlam!  These days I’m 19, and, as some would say, “too old for cartoons”, but I have the good fortune of having an 8 year old brother with whom I can watch without being judged. I am sorry to say, dear reader, that the cartoon crop that’s out there these days is pretty dismal. That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of options, because there are; unfortunately, most of them shoot for the lowest common denominator and end up rubbish. That being said, I’m pretty well aware that I’m not exactly their target audience. But at the same time, who/what IS their target audience? I’d say stupid little kids, but my brother seems to enjoy some of this stuff, and I’d like to believe that he isn’t a li’l dummy. So it’s very possible that the producers of such content have realized some essential facts of the industry; kids inherently like cartoons and are willing to watch dang near anything that is animated, features child protagonists/talking animals, and is on whenever. If you make a show that matches these criteria, you’re as good as golden dynamite, or at least as good as I like to imagine that would be. Out of all the cartoon stuff my brother watches on the tube, the only programs I can really condone are Adventure Time and Regular Show. If you haven’t seen these, I’d say they’re pretty well worth the time. Adventure Time is kind of psychedelic, and incorporates a lot of humor that I, as an aforementioned 19 Y.O. can appreciate. Regular Show runs along the same vein. Both, I’d say, are righteous, and receive my full endorsement. Aside from those, however, the pickings are slim. Even Spongebob has dropped off, for god’s sake. Spongebob! C’mon now!…to be honest, when I compare the kids programming that I see today to what I, as a child of the 90’s, was exposed to, I almost feel sorry for the little folk out there. Call me a sentimental fool, but they just don’t make ’em like they used to.

Is TV better than books?

Posted: March 27, 2012 by ahaffner in Andrew

Today, whilst searching the web for something to ramble about for the sake of a blog post, I came across something of genuine interest to me. This article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/television/john-doyle/mad-men-and-the-triumph-of-television-over-books/article2379660/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=Opinions&utm_content=2379660 talks about how the sociological importance of modern television, as well as the psychological depth of character seen in certain shows, has led to supremacy of television over novels. I for one definitely have watched more tv in the last 2 months or so than I have read books; however, I think that there are a few reasons for this, with non of them being that tv is just out and out better than a book. TV is easy. TV is accessible at the flip of a switch. TV is social. I read plenty of newspapers and magazines, but a book requires a real time investment. I am far less likely to compulsively read part of a novel than I am to watch an entire TV episode. Give the article a look if you’re interested, I think it makes some points that are worth thinking about.

Ad Free TV

Posted: March 19, 2012 by ahaffner in Andrew

While I am a huge movie fan, it’s been a while (far too long) since I’ve seen any good movies. This sucks, but at the same time, I can’t complain; I’ve been getting all kinds of a fix from the TV shows on Netflix. About a week ago I logged onto my family’s Netflix account to see a notice in red posted at the top of my screen; it read something like “Your credit card is about to expire! Give us new billing info so we can take your $ you lazy fool!” The notice was nicer than that, but, given my family’s tendency to neglect the Netflix account, (leaving it to my own devices) it meant that the magic could end at any moment. So I’ve been on a mission. A mission to watch a ton of stuff before Netflix pulls the plug on me. And it’s been going just swell. What is the point of this post, you may ask? There isn’t really one, I may answer. Back home I had access to both Netflix AND On Demand. This meant that recent content, aka that new episode that I missed because I forgot about it, could be viewed On Demand, while the older episodes I never saw could be found on Netflix. Hulu is similar to On Demand in that it provides content as it airs on TV; thus, while not live, you can still easily follow the current season. Netflix, on the other hand, has a different licensing agreement with the producers of shows that allows it to provide a more complete collection while sacrificing current content. I think this blows. I’d like to see a combination Netflix/On Demand. I’d like to see shows the day after they aired, but also the pilot, and the one from the second season where the thing happened. Or something like that. And that’s it, that’s all. Peace