TV

What we learned from Jerry/Larry/Terry/Garry’s AMA.

On what he took home from the set: “Aubrey Plaza” (in reference to the make out session they had on Late Night).”

On who is the funniest person on set: “Everybody is fuNny but Chris Pratt is killer. He could break us up easily. He never did the same thing twice. I think he’s a bit of a comic genius.”

On working on Friends: “I loved doing an episode of Friends. What I realized was that after all those years they really were friends. I’ve worked a lot of shows where by the end the cast can barely tolerate each other. It was a gift on Parks that we all loved each other and I think they definitely had that on Friends too. A very warm and comfortable set.”

On Harris Wittels who recently passed away: “My first memory of Harris was when I was reading Sarah Silverman’s book. There was a picture of a penis…it was Harris’s. I remember thinking that anyone who would be that bold to allow that is someone I could hang with. Harris was always funny but more importantly…he was always kind. He is and will be forever missed.”

On his character becoming the mayor: “I couldn’t have been happier with Garry becoming the mayor…not just temporarily but for the rest of his life. Such an honor for the guy who was the schlameel and schlamazel of his office for 30 years.”

On his favourite moment on Parks: “I loved doing the Fart Attack. I felt that the only way to make it funny was to play it very real. With craziness going on around me I knew that it would be the best way to handle it. The problem was trying to keep it together when you have Aziz asking if I ate farts for lunch. lol.”

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Pilots for the 2015-16 season that I would want to watch

ABC
-Drama
The Broad Squad
Inspired by true stories, the project follows the first four women to graduate from Boston’s Police Academy in 1978. Bess Wohl will write and executive-produce with Stephanie Savage, Josh Schwartz, Len Goldstein and Aaron Kaplan.

Kingmakers
When his sister is found dead during her freshman year at an elite Ivy League university, a young man adopts a new identity to infiltrate the school and its century-old secret society – consisting of privileged students, ambitious faculty, and high-profile alums – in order to investigate her death. Sallie Patrick will write and executive-produce.

Mix
A one-hour dramedy that explores the realities of modern-day families—multi-cultural, multi-generational, built through divorces, affairs and adoptions—set against the backdrop of a revered family restaurant at a crossroads. Jennifer Cecil will write and executive-produce with Le Train Train, Rashida Jones and Will McCormack.

-Comedy
Chev & Bev
A comedy starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo as two baby boomers who are fun, relevant and living a selfish retirement when their world is turned upsisde down and they are suddenly left to raise their grandchildren. Brad Copeland will write and executive-produce with Aaron Kaplan.

Untitled Dan Savage project
Based on the life of boundary-pushing columnist Dan Savage, a picture perfect family is turned upside down when the youngest son comes out of the closet. What seems like the end of their idyllic life turns out to be the beginning of a bright new chapter when everyone stops pretending to be perfect and actually starts being real. David Windsor and Casey Johnson will write and executive-produce with Savage, Brian Pines and Dan McDermott.

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SNL at 40

Back in 1975 nobody would of imagined the impact Saturday Night Live would have on television and popular culture. Forty years later the show is still on the air, and next week Lorne Michaels is celebrating with a 40th Anniversary Special. The three hour show looks to be a treat with a long list of stars returning to Studio 8H. Lorne and members of the five-timers club also have graced the cover of The Hollywood Reporter this week. Check out the cover and the stars who will be on the 40th special down below. 25562DEC00000578-2940280-image-a-88_1423088844700 Clockwise from bottom left: Alec Baldwin, Elliott Gould, Michaels, Tom Hanks, Chevy Chase, Christopher Walken, Steve Martin and Paul Simon.

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My White/Blue/No collar Survivor cast

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As do many other Survivor fans, I enjoy making together my own all star cast lists. With the up coming season having a tribe divide of White Collar vs Blue Collar vs No Collar, I put together a season of returnees with this theme.

WHITE COLLAR
Yul Kwon (13)
Marty Piombo (21)
Andrew Savage (7)
Eliza Orlins (9 & 16)
Kass McQuillen (28)
Corinne Kaplan (17 & 26)

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Australian’s are the biggest downloaders in the world, and our media outlets are partially to blame

Pirate Bay was taken down during raids in Sweden this week, but the site has already resurfaced. If new laws are imposed in Australia, it may be taken away from us again, this time for good. Although today Communications Minster Malcolm Turnbull warned journalist’s to not report the reforms as an “internet filter”, that is exactly what it is. Turnbull’s plan is for internet providers to block any site that illegal downloads can be obtained, and that downloaders would be formally warned about any online copyright breaches.

Before I go any further, I want you to know that I understand why P2P (Peer-to-peer) is such a bad thing. In fact I used to be totally against it, for ethical reasons and what not. But over the years I will admit to having used websites like The Pirate Bay, as many other Australian’s have. Lately I have been wondering why so many of us do this, and I realised a major reason why. Australia is getting such a raw deal so often, that many are being driven to download due to no better options. There are many examples of this happening.

This year Australia played a major part in Game of Thrones becoming the most illegally-downloaded show in history. It’s no surprise, due to the fact that the popular drama is only available on a paid Foxtel subscription. After the shows penultimate episode of season three in 2013, all anyone was talking about was the “Red Wedding”, leading to a lot of people who hadn’t seen the show, want to be in on the conversations that were happening every week the day after the show had aired. At that time they were able to watch the first three seasons on dvd. Come to April this year, and the show had a massive increase in a fan base, but anyone who didn’t have Foxtel, had only one other way to see the show, and that was online. People couldn’t even pay to watch the show on iTunes, like they had done during the first three seasons, due to Foxtel wanting the show exclusively with them. The move to make more money, only pushed people, who were happy to pay for episodes on iTunes, to illegally download the show.

Foxtel isn’t the only place where viewers are being treated with contempt. Free to air stations love to tell you how many shows they are fast tracking this year. But only some shows isn’t enough. A major part of the problem is that America, where a lot of the television content that Australian’s consume, runs their TV shows from September/October to May of the year after. In Australia, the networks prefer to have a majority of their best content stacked when we start of our TV season, which is in February. Back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, they could get away with keeping a show to play until Febuary, when it had been playing from September the year before, because nobody knew any better. In this social media age, things have changed, but the practices of TV stations haven’t.

Revenge is a prime example of this. This show is now in its fourth season, and has a decent fan base. But year after year Seven holds onto to it until “after the tennis”. And what do you think has happened. Slowly ratings for the show in Australia has dropped off. Not because people don’t like it anymore, but because they can’t wait five months without potentially seeing a spoiler posted on social media.

Not only do they take forever to show some of my favourite shows, but when they do get around to it, they put it on late at night and are forever changing the time slot, pulling shows whenever they feel like it for something else. Viewers are constantly trying to keep up with networks changing their minds at the last second on the nights line up of shows. Not even EPG’s know whats going on.

So we get it right, television in Australia is a mess, and there is no doubt that it’s a major factor in the large number of downloads. The movie industry is no better. First of all the cost of going to the movies is beyond crazy. Even if you wanted to wait to watch it at home and grab it in the stores, you won’t be doing it cheap. I like to experience movies the best way possible, at the moment that means on Blu-Ray. Even though it’s been reported it cost the same for manufactures to make DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s, every Blu-Ray is around $5 more expensive that DVD’s. If you’re looking to experience the film in 3D in your living room, you will be looking at $50 a film.

Another major problem, just like with TV shows, is movies are still coming to Australian screens months latter. I would really love to know why? When a film in released in the states, it should be shown the next possible Thursday here. Birdman staring Michael Keaton, which already has been getting a lot of Oscar buzz, was released in America mid-October. Australian viewers can pay for an overpriced ticket to see the film on the 15th of January next year. That’s one long wait, if you’re interested in seeing the film. In the mean time you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be a torrent online long before January 15th rolls around. That’s not the only film on delay. Disney’s musical-fantasy with an ensemble cast featuring Meryl Streep and Anna Kendrick will be shown in cinemas Christmas Day in America, which made me think it would be a perfect film to see on Boxing Day, but nope, we don’t get to see it until Jan 8th. Yes, that is a shorter break that Birdman, but why not just release it on Boxing Day, a day where many families are going to the movies.

So while downloading instead of paying for things is bad for the industry, the industry needs to take a look at its self first, before they start pointing the finger.

Survivor Seasons 1-8 Thoughts

Over the past six months I have been re-watching the first eight seasons of Survivor. Many consider these seasons to be part of the glory days, when the show was at its peek of popularity. I wanted to put some thoughts together about certain aspects of the show, and its evolution, so here it is.

BORNEO
The Pagong tribe was a mess from the start. All over the place. Even though Gretchen was a great leader, she didn’t have much of a team to lead. B.B. wouldn’t listen to anyone. Ramona was sick, or just wouldn’t eat the food, and couldn’t do much. Gervase thought he could win the whole game by playing cards with people. Jenna was crazy, and Colleen and Greg were always going off on island dating adventures. No wonder they messed up the merge vote.

People may complain about Borneo from a production point of view, but the challenges were good for a show with a summer budget in the first year of the millennium. Yeah, simple, but at least it wasn’t swimming for puzzle pieces every week. And some of these challenges set the basis for what the show would become over the next four years.

Dr. Sean was smarter than you think. The alphabet strategy meant that he would vote for all of the Pagong tribe, before having to write a former Tagi’s name down.

What if moment: Pagong don’t lose the Immunity before merge, and goes in 6-4.

Player that should return: Richard

AUSTRALIA
This is still to this day on the shows best casts. Even the first two to go, Debb and Kel, were memorable.

It only made me hate the Kucha’s more whenever they brought up how they would of been in power if Mike didn’t fall into the fire, but there was a 50-50 chance Ogakor might of won, and I sense Mike would of been voted out anyway if it had to come to it.

Can we all take a moment to think about the moment Colby dumped Jerri on her ass in the reward challenge. And can we just remember how funny the guy was. All they say is five immunities in a row, or how he had a great bod(as Jerri put it), but he was always cracking me up. Hersey bar. Ha!

What if moment: Kimmi didn’t reveal Jeff got a vote at their first tribal.

Players that should return: Jeff and Alicia.

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My 2014-15 TV Schedule

Okay, let’s imagine I had time every night to sit and watch as much television as possible. And imagine that I actually lived in America (one can dream). Well this is what my week would look like.

SUNDAY
08.00 – The Simpsons (FOX)
08.30 – Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)
09.00 – Resurrection (ABC)
10.00 – Revenge (ABC)

MONDAY
08.00 – Gotham (FOX)
DVR – The Voice (NBC)

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Ranking Survivor Winners (Season 1-8)

Richard Hatch, Borneo – While Hatch often gets discredited for being part of the inaugural season with a bunch of people who didn’t know what it took to win, I believe this fact makes him even more deserving of the top spot on this list. His perception of others and self-awareness, along with the fact he knew forming a voting block would be necessary, makes him the best of the first eight, and would still be in the top five for overall winners.

Sandra Diaz-Twine, Pearl Islands – “Any one but me”. While this strategy can be linked back to Vecepia three seasons earlier, Sandra really made it her own, and it is how more players need to think. She always had the intentions of booting Rupert with Christa, but the rug was pulled out from under her when FairPlay did it before she could. At the final seven she sat outside the core alliance but somehow made it to the end, and got six out of seven jury votes.

Tina Wesson, Australian Outback – Due to the edit not wanting to show off much of their winner, we didn’t get to see nearly enough off her. All I need to say here is she convinced Colby Donaldson to basically give her the million. Do you need anymore convincing on how good she was?
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So many singing shows, but so few singers

After seven seasons of Australian Idol, two seasons of The Voice, and five seasons of The X Factor, we have very little to show for it.

I could name contestants from American Idol in an instance, while I would have have to think real hard about singers on our local version. Keep in mind that I’ve never watched a full season of USA Idol, and know the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Chris Daughtry, and Jennifer Hudson due to their international success. With Australian Idol, Guy Sebastian and Jess Mauboy are the only two that have really continued on from their reality tv show fame, that come to mind instantly.

The Voice Australia is even worse. The show, which is currently in its third season, is a massive ratings hit, with many tweeting along every night. Season one winner Karise Eden has only released one album since her 2012 win on the show. The album, My Journey, featured one original, along with twelve other covers. She is also known for the biggest drop from number one in ARIA history. Her single “Stay With Me Baby”, which is a cover of Lorraine Ellison’s hit, dropped from number one down to number fifty four. A week after that the song was completely out of the top 100. Season two winner Harrison Craig, has faired no better. He managed to release a follow up to his debut album, titled L.O.V.E, but it was full of covers once again. Third place getter from season one, Rachel Leahcar, is in the same boat, as she has just released her third album titled, Here Comes The Sun, jam packed with covers of The Beatles. Do you see a pattern here.

The Voice’s rival The X Factor, over at Seven Network, has been more favourable with developing stars who have a chance of getting anywhere. The past three winners Dami Im, Samantha Jade, and Reece Mastin, have all had relative success with four top five albums between them, and all are currently working on studio albums full of ORIGINAL MATERIAL.

Still after all these years, our first Idol winner, Guy Sebastian, is the one and only to make a dint in the American market. At the same time we are currently watching the likes of 5SOS and Iggy Azalea become well known in the states. Makes you wonder. Are these singing shows around purely for our entertainment, or to create stars?

Survivor: Borneo, Australia, Africa, and … Cagayan?

While the twenty eighth season of Survivor wraps up today, I’ve just finished re-watching the first three seasons. Survivor Cagayan has been one of the best in recent years, and dare I say, one of the best in the franchises history, but there would of been many who have watched this season of Survivor, that have never seen the shows conception and beginning. I’ve heard over the years people saying the show is totally different now, than what it was fourteen years ago. Maybe in production value, but the core of the show is still there. Only thing is this year with Cagayan, it’s been as clear as ever, how this show is still the same.

What makes the first three seasons, Borneo, Australian Outback, and Africa, is the great characters and everyone’s desire to win. Nobody is sitting around for third place (which is another topic in itself). In Borneo every castaway that made the merge was memorable, and was given quality screen time. Same thing for Australia and Africa. I can also say this for Cagayan, while I can’t say that for all seasons from the past few years.

In this season we had Tony, the villain playing super hard. Spencer, the young underdog. Kass, the outspoken older woman. Trish and Woo, playing under the radar in Tony’s majority alliance, and the challenge beast, Tasha. This final six was one where every single person had a case to win. Which is not un-similar to the seasons I have mentioned, where their final six’s featured legends of the game like Richard Hatch, Rudy Boesch, Sue Hawk, Colleen Haskell (from Borneo), Tina Wesson, Colby Donaldson, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Amber Brkich (from Australia), Ethan Zohn, Lex van den Berghe, Tom Buchanan, and Teresa Cooper (from Africa). So if you’ve enjoyed Survivor: Cagayan, but haven’t seen how the whole show started, definitely check them out.