Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Interview with Erin Karpluk of Being Erica

My interview with actress Erin Karpluk is up on Blogcritics now. I really liked the Being Erica pilot, which could be described as 13 Going on 30 meets My Name is Earl. It starts January 5 on CBC and will come to SOAPnet in the spring and BBC ... sometime:
  • Erin Karpluk is Being Erica
    "'The time travel is more a catalyst for Erica to explore her past. She's learning from the past which enables her to make stronger decisions in the present which then shape her future.'" Read more.

Monday, December 22, 2008

JibJab year in review 2008

[Edit: This doesn't seem to work in Firefox, though it does work in Internet Explorer. Give them time and I'm sure it'll be fixed. For now, click here.]

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My TV thoughts on Twitter: Dec. 17-20

As you'll see from my Twitter updates, I have three TV-related interviews to write up in the next few weeks, so some day soon this blog will have something more than Twitter updates. But for now, Twitter updates!
  • Not content at being on every TV show's soundtrack, Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah #1 and #2 on UK Christmas charts. (I didn't have room to say this, and couldn't find an online article to confirm it, but CBC radio said the original version has now also cracked their top 40 because of the publicity.)
  • Cool article on near death experiences and brain/thoughts as quantum mechanics. TV connection? Uh, it mentions ER-vintage George Clooney.
  • Alan Sepinwall in the New York Times mourns the death of network TV. James Poniewozik of Time dances on its grave.
  • Being Erica launches a video diary. Premieres Jan. 5 on CBC (Canada), Spring '09 on SoapNet (US).
  • SAG nominations: Yay, not just Hugh Laurie but House ensemble. Sad that's only way Robert Sean Leonard gets nominated (no Emmy, no Golden Globe). Boston Legal? Ugh.
    • It's a weirdly stale list of nominations. Kinda like the Emmys usually are. Good to see Elisabeth Moss sneak in though.
    • I used to love David E. Kelley but don't get the Boston Legal love. And William Shatner as best actor? My head hurts.
  • Now have 3 interviews to write up soon - Defying Gravity, Being Erica, Cock'd Gunns. Defying Gravity is a Fox/CTV/BBC co-production but no US broadcaster has been announced yet.
  • Flashpoint returns Jan. 9 on CBS and CTV (back to Friday nights). Preview here.
Want to follow me on Twitter? Here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My TV thoughts on Twitter - Dec. 13 to Dec. 16

  • It's official: no Canadian Idol for 2009. Could be uncancelled later, though, so hold the celebrations or tears.
  • Wall Street Journal on Big Bang Theory: A Nerdy Comedy's Winning Formula. Though for me, the winning formula is Jim Parsons = Sheldon.
  • After suspending parliament, the Governor General gets back to serious business: giving Paul Shaffer the Order of Canada.
  • Children's Hospital is only slightly more ridiculous than Grey's Anatomy. I hate geoblocking - have to mask IP address in Canada.
  • Recording SNL tonight. Watched House pilot mostly out of curiosity to see Hugh Laurie in a drama. Now it's a novelty to see him do comedy.
  • Some day I will admit that I don't really like The Mentalist; I just like Simon Baker and his sweater vests.
Follow me on Twitter here.

Beaker meets Beethoven

H/T to Justin Beach.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My TV thoughts on Twitter - Dec. 9 to Dec. 12

Here's the TV tidbits that interested me in the last few days:
  • I was wondering what happened to Matt Roush at TV Guide. Not good news for the (doomed?) website. Or me.
  • I interviewed Erin Karpluk of CBC and Soapnet's Being Erica way too early this morning but it went fine. Will post an article closer to the Jan. 5 CBC premiere.
  • Golden Globes nominees announced. Hugh Laurie and House, Michael C. Hall and Dexter, and Slumdog Millionaire make me particularly happy.
  • Bad news: Pushing Daisies still cancelled. Good news: It won't end on a cliffhanger anymore.
  • They're messing with my beloved Anne of Green Gables. I can't bear to watch this weekend's TV movie.
  • Jon Stewart mocks biggest Canadian political mess since controversial decision to reshape bacon: (in Canada) (in US)
  • CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes YouTube videos are geoblocked in Canada. CBC's Rick Mercer Report videos are geoblocked elsewhere. CBC is weird.
Want to follow me on Twitter and get all this excitement in real time? I'm here.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Bad TV news, good TV news

There was actual news floating around Twitter today, so here's the latest collection of what's on my TV mind lately:

One bit of information I was on the receiving end of was the news that the Tribune Company has filed for bankruptcy protection. Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune is not only one of my favourite voices in TV criticism, she's an active blogger and Twitter user. So her announcement of the news brought on an outpouring of support. (She says "I'm still reeling, but from what I understand, nobody is fired or laid off now.") Tribune also owns the LA Times among other media outlets. Besides the obvious general badnewsiness of this whole thing, fingers crossed that it doesn't result in even more losses in the shrinking world of professional TV criticism.
  • Writers Guild of America TV award nominations announced. Includes House for episodic (Doris Egan and Leonard Dick, "Don't Ever Change") and other good stuff.
    [The other good stuff includes The Wire, Dexter, Mad Men, 30 Rock, The Office, etc., though the other episodic choices are somewhat odd, including few from the nominated shows.]
  • Love Lisa de Moraes, used to love David E. Kelley, so this cracks me up - she says he’s known as “a kind of brainy tsetse fly.”
  • Lee Goldberg hates Canadian TV, blames lack of showrunners.
  • I love Love, Actually so I'm with this guy. More reruns of that, fewer It's a Wonderful Life takeoffs for me.
  • Suspect reporter who emailed my "TV, eh?" account to ask who I am was expecting a more exciting answer. I'm secretly Kiefer Sutherland?
Want to follow me on Twitter? Here.

Friday, December 05, 2008

This week in my so-called TV life

The Great Twitter Experiment has already given me a little brainstorm. I'm going to gather any appropriate "tweets" every so often and include here too, for painless posts between my now very occasional "real" posts. (All together now: duh. In my defense ... uh, it didn't occur to me before.)

It'll end up being a collection of TV-related links that interest me and short thoughts on what I'm watching. I'll try to post any videos I link to there in same-day posts here, too (this time they're just included below as links). And I won't be able to resist fleshing out those 140 character posts a little, at least fixing syntax. Drives me nuts to write in text speak.
  • Wired and the LA Times have nearly the same article today: science fact in TV fiction, like House, Breaking Bad, Big Bang Theory, etc.
  • Trailer Park Boys series finale sneak peek. I'm no fan, but with 7 seasons, they've done just fine without me.
  • Dollhouse’s Eliza Dushku on the Friday night death slot: “Dude, we're in the age of DVR. People watch what they want to watch.” Dude, ask Tim Kring how much DVR ratings count.
  • If only Ned could bring Pushing Daisies back to life. I'll really miss that show.
  • Rick Mercer's rant on Stephen Harper. (If you don't know Mercer or Harper, you're not Canadian and won't care.)
  • Slowly rewatching old Cupid. Both anticipating and dreading new Cupid. Please don't suck, new Cupid. I want to love you.
  • Tivo guilt? Not me. I'm ruthless with the deleting.
  • Love Dexter. Love Jimmy Smits. Not sure I love Jimmy Smits on Dexter.
  • The LA Times is really reaching for good news: "A SAG strike won't cripple TV." Sure, not if all you watch is Til Death, 90210, or Canadian TV.
  • Watching Cock'd Gunns screeners in preparation for an interview. It's a cross between Spinal Tap and Trailer Park Boys. I think. I never saw Spinal Tap.
Want to follow me on Twitter? Here.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The great Twitter experiment

I have to admit, I've long thought Twitter sounds incredibly stupid. (Don't know what Twitter is? It's like Facebook if it were only the status updates. Don't know what Facebook is? Meet my friend Google.) How can we find the time to do anything with all the time spent telling people what we're doing, and reading about what they're doing? I barely care what I'm up to any given minute of the day, never mind what anyone else is.

But like any tool of expression, of course what we get out of it is more about what we choose to express and ingest rather than the tool itself (I'm ignoring "the medium is the message" for now). Twitter's being used for all sorts of purposes, from "this is what I'm up to" missives, to group chat between friends (it can even be private), to promoting businesses and blogs.

Which is where I come in now, semi-reluctantly, as someone whose job and hobbies involve web technology. It could be an opportunity to promote TV, eh? in a simple and different way and to keep up with a new web toy that doesn't seem to be fading.

So what will my Twitter look like? I'm sure it'll evolve as I figure it out, but I'll focus on TV thoughts, and not just Canadian TV. One of my (ironic? hypocritical?) pet peeves about TV coverage in this country is that Canadian TV is relegated to its own ghetto. It's rare to read an article that mentions a Canadian show unless it's exclusively about Canadian TV.

Of course, what's TV, eh? if not a well-intentioned ghetto, but it's what I can manage. Twitter will let me do manageable microblogging where Canadian TV is just part of my TV thoughts, and if people follow then they'll hear a little more about Canadian shows in the process. And it'll alleviate my current issue with blogging time. With only 140 characters, I won't feel like I have to write more of a "review" than: "Love Dexter. Love Jimmy Smits. Not sure I love Jimmy Smits on Dexter." Hmm, maybe I'll post that one.

Twitter's a community, not a soapbox, so there's bound to be some off-topic tweets (yeah, they call them tweets). The big benefit of experimenting with Twitter is that unlike the great podcast experiment, it's low effort. I won't post the link on TV, eh? until I feel more comfortable with how it'll all shake out, so consider this a beta release for those of you who have forgotten to delete this blog's RSS feed.

If you're not into it, I don't blame you. If you are, follow me here: