Archive for the ‘Sidney’ Category

Let’s Get ‘Real’.

Posted: April 27, 2012 by Sidney in Sidney

Reality Television has been around since the beginnings of TV but has only recently become extremely popular. We all recognize Jersey Shore and the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as “reality shows”, but this category is home to many of other types of shows. From game shows like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune to adventure-type shows like Survivor, Man vs. Wild, and Fear Factor, the reality TV genre is much more expansive than you may believe.

Reality TV exploded in the 2000s with the introduction of Big Brother, American Idol, Survivor, and more. Some of these shows have even spurred a global reaction creating similar shows all around the world; American Idol, America’s Next Top Model, Survivor, Dancing with the Stars, The Apprentice, and Fear Factor. The huge increase in viewership was probably due to the fact that shows like this had never been so ‘relatable’ or ‘entertaining’ before! Reality shows can be split into groups even further: those that feature a special living environment (Survivor, Amazing Race, The Real World, Jersey Shore, etc.), those that focus on celebrities’ lives (Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, The Simple Life, etc.), and those that focus on professional activities (Deadliest Catch, Man vs. Wild, Miami Ink, The Bounty Hunter, etc.). With so many types of reality programs available today, it is no surprise that it is one of the most popular genres on TV right now.

Several channels on TV are considered specifically reality channels – TLC, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, Bravo – while others include, but are not limited to, reality programs – MTV, VH1, CW, E!. Just this year, several new reality shows were introduced to the line-up and have made huge impacts in popularity. The most popular reality shows of 2012 (from most popular to least) are as follows: The Voice, American Idol, Duck Dynasty, America’s Next Top Model, Jersey Shore, Survivor, Dancing with the Stars, MythBusters, The Apprentice, and Punk’d.

Though there are always new reality shows being released, I found it interesting that so many of these reality programs have been in the running for several years! American Idol is on its tenth year, America’s Next Top Model is on its ninth, and Survivor is now on its twelfth (does anyone still watch this?!)! I wonder what it is about these shows that they are still being actively produced year after year. What do you think it is? Do you still watch American Idol religiously like you might have the first few seasons? Or is it all getting a little repetitive? I personally still enjoy many of these shows but I do think a few are starting to grow a little old and definitely repetitive.

Also, how do you feel about reality shows being titled ‘reality‘ shows?! Is what these shows are portraying the real deal or are the characters in the shows being fed lines and situations to enhance the entertainment quality? This may not be the case with every program out there, but it is definitely a possibility in Jersey Shore, the Real World, and Real Housewives. What do you think?

Leave a comment! Thanks for reading! :)

Sidney

The Learning Channel…..?

Posted: April 20, 2012 by Sidney in Sidney
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From the completely strange to the completely emotional, TLC sure knows how to entertain its audience!!

I have to admit, I am a total TLC fan… let’s call it my guilty pleasure. There are some strange shows on TLC today (Toddlers and Tiaras, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, My Strange Addictions, etc.) but it has not always been this way! Remember the days of Trading Spaces, Junkyard Wars, and What Not to Wear (this is still on, just less frequently)? Believe it or not, there was a TLC before the TLC we know and love today. The Learning Channel (TLC) was founded in 1972 and was meant to primarily air documentary content relating to nature, science, history, current events, medicine, technology, cooking, home improvement and other information-based topics. The channel continued to be focused on educating the network through television through much of the ’90s despite their narrow audience and low ratings. Slowly, the channel began to air more shows centered around popular consumption and mass-marketing and less documentaries. This change was meant to hit the housewife audience with more shows about cooking, crafting, and home improvement. At last, the TLC we recognize emerged in the late ’90s and early 2000s with Junkyard Wars, A Baby Story, Trading Spaces, and A Wedding Story.

TLC has gone through a few changes even recently! In 2006, the new slogan, “Live and Learn”, was attached to many promotions and centered around ‘life unscripted’ with decorating shows, reality shows, and shows that taught valuable life lessons. Even more recently, in 2008, the slogan “Life Surprises” was introduced. This change meant more personal stories about daily life and family life. During this new period, Jon & Kate Plus 8 , 17 Kids and Counting (much more kids nowadays…), Little People, Big World, and Cake Boss emerged as new hit programs. This most recent change has stuck with the channel probably because people responded so positively towards this type of entertainment. Whether you’re interested in weddings, pageants, crazy obsessions and addictions, makeovers, or unique families, TLC is certain to have a show to keep you entertained.

However, some seem to think TLC has gone a little over the top lately with some of the shows they air. Many have criticized shows like Toddlers and Tiaras and My Strange Addiction for their questionable material… but hey, people watch it, don’t they? As much as these critics want to slam TLC for being ‘money-hungry’ by promoting these shows, I don’t think you can really blame the station. These shows get ratings and isn’t that what a TV station’s main goal is? I think so (and it’s not because I may or may not be in love with TLC).

What do you think? Has TLC taken their material too far, or is it all in good fun? Are you a fan of TLC, if so, what’s your favorite show? I know my favorites are Bride Day Fridays with Four Weddings and Say Yes to the Dress on all night… such fun ;)

Leave a Comment! I’d love to hear what you think!

Sidney

The Oprah Winfrey Show…. ’nuff said.

This extremely popular talk show ran for 25 years, ending just a year and a half ago. The show had countless celebrity guests and interviews with incredibly memorable moments – Tom Cruise jumping on the sofa, Kirstie Alley’s bikini reveal, Hugh Jackman’s failed zip-line entrance in Sydney… just to name a few. Among these celebrity appearances, Oprah exposed the world to inspirational stories, helpful health tips, decoration techniques, and traumatic experiences. The country ate up the stories and bought tickets long in advance for the opportunity to be able to be a lucky audience member. The Oprah show became popular for its ability to hit almost all topics that pertain to most everyone, whether it was through personal experiences, book clubs, or general interests. However, Oprah’s most popular shows were most likely the ones where she gave away thousands of dollars worth of electronics, clothing, CARS, and several other things: Oprah’s Favorite Things episodes. Usually based around the holiday season, Oprah would secretly plan a show where every member of the audience would go home with a little bit of all her favorite things from that year. The pandemonium that erupted was massive. Audience members would jump, scream, and cry out of exuberant happiness. Oprah’s Favorite Things became the event that every viewer of the show dreamed of attending but only a select few were lucky enough to do so. A mash-up of Oprah’s Favorite Things throughout the years can be seen at this link: Oprahs-Favorite-Things-Through-the-Years Enjoy ;)

Unfortunately, Oprah’s show had to come to an end sometime. Oprah announced that she would have one final season on November 20, 2009 and the show would end in 2011. As you can imagine (0r relate to), several viewers were heartbroken. The final season of the Oprah Winfrey Show was filled with flashbacks, HUGE celebrity appearances, and some of the best episodes in the show’s history. The very last Oprah show was one to be remembered; the producers of the show planned the finale in secret without Oprah’s knowledge of anything that would happen. In the Chicago United Center, 10,000 fans awaited Oprah’s 4,559th appearance on her show. This was only the first surprise of many. Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Josh Groban, Patti LaBelle, Madonna, Dakota Fanning, Beyonce, John Legend, Diana Sawyer, Halle Berry, Queen Latifah, Katie Holmes, Rascal Flatts, and countless mid-show surprises graced the episode making it one of the most talked about in Oprah Show history.

Whether you were a fan or not, you certainly knew about the Oprah Show for one reason or another. Some of you may have been hardcore fans who turned the TV on at 4 o clock (central time, of course) every week day to see what was new. I was one of those who would come home from school and casually flip to Oprah to see who was on that day. The Oprah Show was part of my life for several years! After the show ended, Oprah announced she was creating a network called, OWN. However, in my opinion, this network has sort of dropped off the face of the earth. I have yet to find it on my channel guide or to be interested enough to tune in to any shows online. So, in reality, the final Oprah show was it; there was no more Oprah to be watched.

Needless to say, the Oprah Winfrey Show and her company, HARPO, made a huge impact on the country and even parts of the world. Hers is one tough show to live up to for the Tyra Banks and Ellens of the world! How were you affected by the Oprah Show and how did you feel when it ended? Did you find a new talk-show to tune into? If so, which one? Leave a comment!

Thanks for reading! :)

Sidney

P.S. For a little humor, here is Dane Cook’s impression of Oprah (warning: contains explicit material, view at your own discretion)

Where are they now?

Posted: March 30, 2012 by Sidney in Sidney

Have you ever wondered what happened to the stars of popular shows and where they are today? I know I do… that’s why this week I chose to see what the Brady Bunch clan is up to today!

The Brady Bunch was an extremely popular TV show that ran from 1969-1979. The show was about the adventures and daily lives of a large family brought together after the marriage of two widowed parents, Mike and Carol Brady. Carol brought three daughters, Marcia, Jan, and Cindy, into the marriage while Mike brought his three sons, Greg, Peter, and Robby. The classic storyline revolved around the family’s sibling rivalries, and other typical issues that come along with growing up. So where is the Brady Bunch today?

Mike Brady – The father of the family was played by Robert Reed passed away in 1992 at the age of 6o. After Robert’s career as Mike Brady came to an end, he appeared in several other TV shows and TV movies. Some of his more recognizable roles were his appearances in Roots, Hawaii Five-O, Charlie’s Angels (TV series), The Love Boat, and his final role in Jake and the Fatman in 1992.

Carol Brady – The mother of The Brady Bunch, played by Florence Henderson, is still alive and well at the ripe age of 78. Florence got her start on Broadway before appearing on The Brady Bunch but stuck with TV after the show ended. Florence appeared on The Love Boat, ABC Afterschool Specials, Ally McBeal, The King of Queens, and just last year, Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated as a the voice of Ruby Stone. Florence has written a novel and even appeared on Season 11 of Dancing with the Stars in September of 2010. Though her dance career did not last long, her appearance proves that she is still as lively as she was in The Brady Bunch.

Marcia Brady: Marcia, the oldest daughter, was played by Maureen McCormick who is now 55 years old. Maureen faced some troubles with drug abuse and addiction after her role on The Brady Bunch came to an end. Her reputation in the business was lost when she showed up to a Steven Spielberg audition high on cocaine. However, Maureen went through several bouts of therapy and turned her life around for the better. She is perhaps the best known of the bunch today, but more so for her personal life than for her appearances on TV or in movies.

Greg Brady: The eldest of all the children, Greg was played by Barry Williams, 57 years old today. Barry did not find much success in television after the conclusion of the Brady Bunch and instead focused on musical theater. Barry performed in Grease, The Sound of Music, and the West Side Story. Along with his stage work, Barry appeared on a few shows as a guest. In 1992, Barry wrote an autobiography that stayed on the New York Times Bestseller list for three months. Today, Barry has three shows in the works, Flea, Bigfoot, and You’ll Never Amount to Anything. The future in the entertainment field looks brighter still for Barry Williams.

Though there are four other Brady children, I found these ‘main’ characters to be the most interesting! If you are interested in what happened to Jan, Cindy, Peter, and Robby, IMDb is a great place to start! I think it is interesting to see that even through the huge changes the TV and entertainment industry has gone through, these actors still appear in the business periodically whether we realize it or not.

This search got me thinking and leads me to wonder where the TV stars of today will be in 20 to 30 or more years; addicted to drugs? still appearing in the business? or living a normal life? Only time will tell but maybe these four people are a good indication of the broad range of futures for actors. What do you think? Who is your favorite/least favorite TV entertainer and where do you think they will be in the future? Just a little food for thought… leave a comment!!! :)

 

Have a Fun and Safe Spring Break Madison!

Sidney

Where is the Substance Today?

Posted: March 23, 2012 by Sidney in Sidney

Alright readers, this week you’re in for a unique treat… I am revealing to you one of my (many) favorite shows of all time. Are you ready?! Well, here it is….

Boy Meets World. How can you honestly tell me you did not love this show growing up (and still today if you’re like me)?! This show had it all; drama, comedy, school, family issues, friend issues, relationship issues, and most importantly, lessons about getting older.  The three best friends, Cory, Shawn and Topanga, go through everything a typical teenager goes through. This is one of the reasons I think this show was so great. The relatable plot lines with little humorous twists taught me countless things about what growing up entailed in an entertaining way. The main characters aren’t older than they appear, they aren’t obsessed with fame and fortune, and they aren’t focused on the latest teen pregnancy or celebrity marriage; they are simply trying to get through high school relatively unscathed while simultaneously dealing with the changes that come along with growing up. The show first aired on Disney Channel in 1993 and ran for seven years and seven seasons and is now available on DVD (I, myself, am guilty of owning one season). The cold hard truth of the matter is there really aren’t TV shows like this anymore. Whatever happened to shows about real life that didn’t over-generalize the typical high school experience by overusing stereotypical jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, and misfits? Sure, those TV shows are interesting too, but they aren’t as relatable or as lesson-oriented as the shows of the 80’s and 90’s were. They simply don’t make them like they used to.

If you’re like me, you haven’t turned on Disney Channel for a few years now so I thought I’d check out what new shows are on in this day and age. Everyone, meet Austin & Ally, two aspiring musicians who become an unlikely duo; one writing the songs and one performing them. The comedy focuses on juggling the unique musicians’ newfound fame, school, and family. The show that premiered in December of 2011 has even been described as a “pint-sized version of Entourage” (which I find interesting). Not that I think that any of you readers will be sincerely interested in watching this show (though I won’t judge you if you are) I thought it was worth mentioning to help emphasize the comparison between shows of the 90’s like Boy Meets World and the shows of today, almost 20 years later.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I miss the old shows like Boy Meets World, Full House, the Cosby Show, Fresh Prince, and so many more. I definitely think it is possible that shows had to change to fit the changing times, but is an over-acted, non-relatable show what should be on TV today? I don’t have the answers, but I’d love to hear what you have to say about it! Is it just me, or do you also miss these shows? What was your favorite show growing up?

Leave a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts! :)

Have a fantastic day!

Sidney

Sex and the City… Again?

Posted: March 16, 2012 by Sidney in Sidney

Everyone knows and loves Sex and the City… well almost everyone.

For the select few who have not had the pleasure of watching this classic television show, here is the general overview: Sex and the City is a sitcom about four very unique New York bachelorettes who share everything about their “ever changing” sex lives with each other. The main bachelorette, Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker), is a columnist who narrates the series with opinionated ideas about anything that might impact the modern woman’s sex life. Her best friends, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte, have unique lives of their own that keep the show exciting, humorous, and emotional. There is a character to represent every woman’s personality in the real world; something that made the show so popular and relatable to its devoted viewers. The show began in 1998 and filmed until 2004. After the show concluded, a Sex and the City  movie with the same characters released in 2008. For all of the dedicated fans of the show (and even some Sex and the City newbies), the movie was a big hit. Even more recently, a sequel to the Sex and the City movie, Sex and the City 2, was released in the summer of 2010. This film was less well received than the first… maybe the nation was getting a little sick of the series?

NOW… A Sex and the City Prequel, The Carrie Diaries, is in the works for a new TV show on CW. E! News wrote an article on February 27 about the director’s decision to cast AnnaSophia Robb of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Race to Witch Mountain as the main character, Carrie Bradshaw. The one hour long “dramedy” (that’s drama and comedy for those of you that aren’t up on the ling0) will be set in the ’80s  in Carrie Bradshaw’s young life. The prequel will center around Carrie’s first decisions about sex, love, friendship, and, of course, fashion. The series has not officially been picked up by CW quite  yet, but the final decision is set to be made in May.

 

What do you think… Are you excited for The Carrie Diaries or is it time Sex and the City is retired for good? Leave a comment explaining why, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Weekend!

Sidney

Read the E! Online Article available via our Facebook Page

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I Love Lucy vs. GCB

Posted: March 8, 2012 by Sidney in Sidney

Okay readers! Here’s an oldie that I’m sure plenty of you all have heard of…

I Love Lucy. I, too, love Lucy (Lucille Ball that is)! If you’re a comedy lover like me, this show (arguably) was/is the most popular TV comedy in the country… perhaps even the world. But for those of you who have not heard of I Love Lucy, here is a quick synopsis of the show: Beginning in 1951 on CBS, I Love Lucy was the first sitcom filmed with a live audience. The show is about Lucy (Lucille Ball) and Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) living in a New York apartment managed by their friends, Fred and Ethel Mertz. Lucy’s eccentric personality and “zany” antics as a housewife yearning to be in the spotlight leads way to many laughs. Ethel takes the part of Lucy’s “partner in crime” and the two continuously find themselves in crazy situations. The show became the number one in the rankings after just one year and even pushed President Eisenhower’s inauguration off of the front pages the day Lucy Ricardo AND Lucille Ball (Lucille and Desi were real-life husband and wife) had their first child. The show continues to be incredibly popular today and reruns play almost everyday on TV Land or another similar channel. I could even go so far as to say that I Love Lucy inspired many comedic television shows and continues to make a big impact today.

Comedic television has come a long way since the 1950’s but the basic synopsis of today’s shows resembles those of the past. A new ABC show, GCB is a comedic drama based on the book Good Christian Bitches (no wonder ABC uses the acronym). The show centers around a former high school ‘mean girl’ who returns back to Dallas after 18 years and just so happens to live right across the street from the unpopular high-school-student-turned-diva, Carlene Cockburn (played by Tony and Emmy Award-Winner Kristin Chenoweth). The hilarious antics ensue and the competition between the two is exaggerated in both a funny and heartwarming script. Still stuck in the teenage days, the “GCBs” rule the school… (Dallas Society) and the drama unravels. Worth a view, GCB airs Sunday nights at 9 pm (central time) on ABC and is sure to be a fun experience much like I Love Lucy was in the 50’s (though nothing really compares to the crazy antics of Lucy and Ethel).

If you’re interested in either show, leave a comment or check out the links I posted below!

Happy ‘Spring’ Madison! :)

Sidney

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043208/ – I Love Lucy

http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/gcb – GCB (full episodes available here)