August 28th, 2006

Ferris Bueller

My First Reality Show

I eschew reality shows.
For lots of reasons I won't get into here.
My wife watches HGTV.
A lot.
HGTV has a new reality show: DesignStar.
If I want to spend time with my wife,
I have to watch HGTV.
Yesterday was one of those days.
I got sucked into DesignStar.
It wasn't bad.
Also, one of my users came in today.
He was praising Sci-Fi's new reality show.
He normally steers clear of reality shows.
Probably for the same reasons I do.
He caught Who Wants to be a Superhero?
Apparently it was pretty good.

Friday night was Movie Night. We watched Rounders. galinda822 left, I got the kids down, piddled around online a little, and went to bed. Then the power went out. I was able to finally fall asleep sometime between midnight and 0200. At 0230, my phone rings. My wife wakes me up, "Your phone is ringing."
"Leave me alone." I tell her, and go back to sleep. The phone rings again. "Your phone is ringing." she says, as she wakes me up again. I repeat myself, "Leave me alone." Thankfully, the caller left a message the second time. My message alert is loud and annoying. I think about what's going on. Someone is trying to reach me in the middle of the night. That means there's a problem somewhere. I listen to the voice message. Work had lost power too, and all but one server had come up. I call the monitoring center and ask them to contact the 'oncall' guy. They couldn't reach him. I give them a secondary number to reach him. That number rolls back over to the monitoring center. I get out of bed and sign on to Sametime. The guy who needs the server powered on and I chat. I tell him I'm "On my way." In reality, I sit, trance-like in front of my computer for half an hour trying to wake up. Finally, I get dressed and drive in. It's a Sun box. I power it on. By this time, I'm starving. Nothing is open except Del Taco, a dive of a joint. I buy the largest, beefiest burrito they have and eat it on my way home. I have a scooby-snack. I'm wide awake now. I chat with crowy until 0500 before finally going back to bed. I sleep until after 1100. My entire weekend is in limbo because of this sleep schedule. All I want to do is die.

Shrek: Ogres are like onions.
Donkey: They stink?
Shrek: Yes. No.
Donkey: Oh, they make you cry.
Shrek: No.
Donkey: Oh, you leave em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin' little white hairs.
Shrek: NO. Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.
Donkey: Oh, you both have layers. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions. Everybody likes cake though. Cakes have layers. Maybe you should be like cake?

"Don't that Cracker know he's white?"


(My dad called to tell me about this one - he mentioned 30 October as the show date on BBC America.)

When McGovern left midway through the third series [of Cracker], saying he "had nothing more to write about", Paul Abbott took up the quill. But Cracker was just not Cracker without McGovern, and Coltrane knew it. Though he was offered big money, he refused to do any more episodes unless McGovern wrote them, which brings us back to that really good news: McGovern has written another script and Coltrane has agreed to return in a one-off special.

BBC AMERICA will also present the U.S. premiere of a brand - new, feature - length episode of Jimmy McGovern's multi-award-winning crime drama, Cracker. Robbie Coltrane (Harry Potter, Ocean's Twelve) reprises his role as criminal psychologist Dr. Edward 'Fitz' Fitzgerald in one of the UK's most celebrated and acclaimed drama franchises. Back in the UK for his daughter's wedding after 10 years living in Australia, Fitz is lured into a police investigation when a well-connected American comedian becomes the victim of a random killer.

Kathryn Mitchell, General Manager, says: "We're thrilled to present two new works from one of the most important writers in modern UK television drama. From the emotionally powerful stories about the relationships of ordinary people in a small blue collar community in The Street to his exploration of international relations in the exciting new Cracker story, these shows demonstrate the incredible range of Jimmy's talents."
Creator and writer of The Street, Jimmy McGovern, is regarded as one of the most important TV and film writers to emerge from Britain in the past 20 years, and is known for creating challenging, thought-provoking and award-winning dramas.


(Due November timeframe.)

ALL OF A SUDDEN, Jews are the new gays. (Very 1911.) After Mel Gibson's drink-inspired tirade and the controversial attacks by Israel on Lebanon, it's open season on Semites these days. Granted, some of the jokes are from Jewish people themselves, like Sacha Baron Cohen, the British star of Da Ali G Show. In November, his roving, bigoted reporter from Kazakhstan, Borat Sagdiyev, will be immortalized in film, and already there's a storm raging. Here are some samples of Borat's mischief:

In the film — during which the main character becomes overwhelmed by a desire to marry Pamela Anderson, the former Baywatch star — Borat goes to buy a car and asks a dealer whether a Humvee would be suitable for running over gypsies.

In another scene Borat insists on driving to California, instead of flying, "in case the Jews repeat their attack of 9/11." In another scene, Baron Cohen, who is himself Jewish, is shown spitting out food given to him by the Jewish owners of a bed-and-breakfast because he believes it may be poisoned. He tells Alan Keyes, a black presidential candidate, he has a "chocolate face."

Most of the outrage in The Times article comes from Borat's victims themselves. Borat's schtick is to bait interviewees into exposing their own bigotry, and for some, as you can see in his infamous anti-Semitic hoedown, it happens rather easily. The Times reports that several of his victims called the cops during filming. Like all extreme comedy, there are times when he crosses the line: the article notes a particularly harsh incident at a Natchez, Mississippi dinner party.

Collapse )