November 13, 2006

Out With DirecTV, In With Time Warner

POST #    2307

After almost two and a half years, I've decided to ditch DirecTV. When I first moved to my building DirecTV was my only option. Sometime late last year our building was finally deemed worthy by the Time Warner overlords of being wired for their service. It wasn't easy though. Someone in our building wrote to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz to complain that Time Warner wasn't acting on several requests to have the building wired. Apparently, that did the trick.

We've recently been experiencing problems with our DirecTV - problems that would result in no sound, a jumbled picture, or nothing at all. When it would rain, there would be almost no chance of any signal. There were even days without a cloud in the sky and the picture would be messed up. Saturday we had Time Warner cable installed and we have no complaints...yet. In addition to cable, we also got a cable modem. So no more DirecTV and no more borrowing the neighbor's DSL connection. Exciting weekend!

Posted by tien mao in TV at 7:59 AM



January 26, 2006

Friends All Over the Place

POST #    2027


Last night, my friend Margaret was on Jeopardy!, which I think is one of the best game shows on TV. I remember watching it during dinner when I was a kid, but from what I understand, playing the game in real life is much harder than watching at home. There's the clicker, the penalty for clicking early, and of course the prospect of making a fool out of yourself on national television.

Margaret, however made her hometown in New Hampshire proud. She was up against a Naval officer and some bald two-day champion. That Navy guy was such a jackass, building off Margaret's "Happiness is a Warm Gun" answer. Not only that, he had a retarded story about how he got out of a ticket on a Saturday. It certainly didn't match Margaret's story about how Steve proposed to her on the Jumbotron of Yankee Stadium. I especially like how Margaret is "from" New Hampshire but actually lives in New York. And can I just ask how the answer for the $2000 baseball answer was "Commissioner Bud Selig is a former owner of this Midwestern Major League Baseball team" - come on! That's just tooo easy. Despite coming in 3rd behind douchey Navy dude and cue ball, you can't help but be impressed. Despite watching plenty of Jeopardy as a kid, I'm not sure I could have made it all the way to Final Jeopardy. I just wonder what her parting prizes were. Clearly Margaret needs to do an interview with me so I can find out all the juicy details.


Another pair of my friends - Jeannette and Yvan - are currently selling their apartment in DUMBO. They even have a nice looking website to show prospective buyers their apartment. I must say, their apartment cleans up nice. It looks like they put a lot of stuff in storage and I don't know that I've ever seen it so clean. They don't even have the extra bed in their living room that I've slept on before. And I'm not sure if I've ever seen their bedroom (pictured) so well lit before.

Also, showing the house over Chinese New Year is a nice touch - they won't even have to sweep after people come. That would be bad luck!

Posted by tien mao in Friends/Family, NYC, TV at 7:58 AM



January 16, 2006

President Palmer, Dead - Good Thing He Has Allstate

POST #    2017

palmerallstate.jpgPrior to last night, I had never watched 24 despite so many of my friends going on about it and how it's "the best show on tv." I kept responding "I already watch too much TV." That and all my Netflix watching, blog maintaining, cat pornography photos, gives me little time for a new show. It seems to me that I've gotten into season 5 of the show after just "two hours." It's just a shame that they got rid of Dennis Haysbert.

Good thing he has a job as the Allstate spokesman. If that doesn't work out, maybe he can go back to being a bad ass bank thief posing as a line cook or as a bad ass Cuban slugger with his friend Joboo.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 8:09 AM



June 11, 2005

A Shamelss Synergy Between Fox Sports and The Post?

POST #    1755

I'm sitting here with the Yankees Cardinals game on in the background and the talking heads of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are discussing Joe Torre's job security. While discussing, Buck casually mentioned an online poll on the New York Post's website:

Buck: "If you go online to the NYP, every article has the poll question 'Should Joe Torre be fired?' right at the top.

McCarver : "Yup."

Buck: "So it is an issue, it is something that is being talked about. 80% said no by the weight of that question. But there are a lot of things hanging out there for this Yankee team."

I wonder how many people nationwide have since gone to the site to vote. Then again, they would have to go through that painful registration process. Nothing like a national network plugging their owner's New York rag.

Posted by tien mao in Sports, TV at 4:41 PM



March 14, 2005

Those Creepy Nike Ads

POST #    1609

Has anyone else seen the Nike advertisements for Nike Pro Brand Apparel? If so, please tell me you find it really creepy too. The ad, which you can watch and download from their site, features six athletes - Albert Pujols, Mariano Rivera, Ladainian Tomlinson, Brian Urlacher, Tori Hunter, and Ben Roethlisberger - who are all wearing the various Nike Pro apparel while in some room with creepy music on in the background. Add that to strange masks that they are wearing and you get a pretty scary advertisement.

Effective though, since it got my attention, but I'm not sure that I'll make a purchase as I don't really have a need for form fitting athletic wear right now.

Posted by tien mao in Sports, TV at 7:51 AM



January 8, 2005

The Winter of My Discontent

POST #    1504

Damn DirectTV. It's sad. I love TV and this winter I might miss some because of DirecTV and the damn clouds over New York. For the past week or so, I've had some major issues picking up a signal on my TV. And when I do have a signal, it's un-watchable and without sound. God, what a fucking pain. Will someone please fix the cloud cover over my apartment? Thank you.

It's strange, it wasn't that big a problem earlier this year, but I guess there are more clouds in the winter or something. I think I need to call customer service. Now I really wish I had the option of regular cable service in my apartment.

I suppose it's not as bad as this, but at least he has a signal and can watch regular channels.

Posted by tien mao in House and Home, TV at 9:55 AM



December 27, 2004

Best two Days of Afternoon TV Ever!!

POST #    1488

I guess I've discovered some appointment TV while I'm down here in Virginia. Today, Knight Rider, tomorrow, Airwolf! What I wonder is why they don't have them on back to back? It would be a ratings killer. Fools! They are really losing out if they are only showing these once a week. What else could be on (Magnum PI is on at night)?

With gems like this from Michael Knight, "Besides, she's not the one i'm interested's you." Man he was a stylish guy. Not only did he have a mullet, a bad leather jacket, and shirts that were only buttoned half way, he had that cool watch that connected him to KITT! No wonder Germans love David Hasselhoff.

Unlike The Simpsons, I can't say that I remember every episode of Knight Rider, but I do remember when KITT and Michael Knight were evil and when Kit faced a big truck that had the same capabilities he did. Something I never noticed before, KITT took 5 1/4" floppy discs.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 3:07 PM



December 7, 2004

Lindsay Lohan "Singing" on GMA

POST #    1451

Because I was curious as to how Lindsay Lohan's first "live" performance would go, I recorded part of Good Morning America yesterday so I could watch her singing later in the day. Not that I really expected her to sing or anything, but she did a decent job of lip synching for her first live performance. I only noticed two obvious miscues in the performance.

Lucky for her, she kind of knows how to conceal it with head turns, pole mic stand moves, and various other dance moves.

Here is a short clip (as in 3 seconds) of her first flub. You can hear the singing start, but she's just raising her head up at that time. Didn't we learn anything from Ashleygate? Yes, make sure the band plays the right song.

Posted by tien mao in Concerts/Music, TV at 7:58 AM



November 18, 2004

2004 Simpsons Viewer's Choice

POST #    1415

Since last week, Fox 5 has been airing The Simpsons Viewer's Choice and this week is the top 10. The top 10, as voted on by Fox 5 viewers.

- 10: Boy Scoutz N the Hood. Bart joins the scouts and Homer leads them astray. Choice quote, "Water, water everywhere, let's all have a drink."
- 9: The Worst Episode Ever. Comic book guy has heart attack, Bart and Millhouse take over store. Really is the worst episode ever, not sure how it got voted in.
- 8: Missionary: Impossible. Homer becomes a missionary after a debt to PBS. Also rather "eh" in my book.
- 7: Homer's Night Out. Homer has his picture taken with a belly dancer.
- 6: Krusty Gets Busted. Klassic episode where Krusty is arrested for robbing the Kwik-E-Mart.
- 5: Who Shot Mr. Burns? Another classic episode where Burns blocks the sun. Homer and crew get rickets.
- 4: Who Shot Mr. Burns? The continuation of #5. There is some Simpson DNA on the gun that kills Burns.
- 3: Homer at the Bat. Ahh, the company softball team. So far, only the 2nd episode that I can agree with (Boy Scoutz being the first).
- 2: King Size Homer. Oh boy do I love this episode. The towel rack, the crazed ice cream truck driving, the muumuu!!
- 1: Flaming Moe's. Also classic, but not my #1.

I went through the chore of picking my favorite 10 last year.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 7:52 AM



November 12, 2004

Worst Preview Ever

POST #    1405

Thanks DirectTV for the free preview weekend with 20 free channels. Too bad they suck. GAC? Home of the Grand Ole Opry? Yeah. that really suits my needs. If that doesn't work for me, I can turn to SOAPnet for hot soap opera action. As long as they have Port Charles, I'll be happy. Frankly, I'm surprised that I don't get some of these channels already. I feel like The Biography Channel and The History Channel should be standard.

I only have one question, "Where's the porn Rupert, where's the porn!?!?!?!" At least they could have been giving away some skinamax.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 7:57 AM



November 3, 2004

The Bachelor is Dirty!

POST #    1390

So I never watch The Bachelor, so I'm not sure if this happens all the time, but I'm killing time tonight and caught the rose ceremony. After picking the girls by giving them roses, he kissed each one on the lips!! There were only three women this time, but what about the previous eliminations?

Sure, they aren't making out big time or anything, and it's just a peck on the lips, but still. Some of that lip gloss has got to transfer. And what's with the low camera angle in the limo when the girl gets in? That's almost a very revealing camera shot.

The previews make it seem like the bachelor is getting a lot of action from each of the girls. It's like a win, win situation for him. I don't understand why the women would want to go through with a show like this. Is it really the right way for love? Where are the values America?!? Where!!

Posted by tien mao in TV at 9:59 PM



August 16, 2004

Damn, I Miss Bob Ross

POST #    1205

I wish Bob Ross were still alive. He had such a calming and relaxing voice. I remember when I was younger and I would return home from school, find The Joy of Painting, and watch him paint another calming nature scene. In the half hour, I would start with him, doze off, and wake up to find a completed painting. When I stayed awake, I would watch him paint and actually question his painting. It always looked great, and then he would add something else, totally ruining the painting. That is, until he finished that addition and it looked even better. And his fro, gotta love that fro.

Maybe I'll find his show on PBS and start TiVO-ing it so I can have something to calm me down and get to sleep (not that I need that). Just thinking about his voice saying stuff is calming...

"Lets put a little tree here. And lets add a friend for him...there we are. Chooo, choo, choo. Just like so. Lets put little leaves on this. I just decided to do this, but just put these where you think they should be."

"Ready to get crazy?!? Let's go."

Posted by tien mao in TV at 7:35 AM



July 2, 2004

Most Annoying Commercial Ever?

POST #    1131

This spring, Six Flags has started to air one of the most annoying commercials I have ever seen or listened to. If you don't know the commercial, you can actually watch it with Media Player. The main character in each commercial is this old guy who finds Six Flags so much fun that he breaks out in dance. The theme music for the advertisements is the annoying part. They play Venga Bus by the Vengaboys.

The song is annoyingly catchy - trust me on this. If you hear this song, you will be annoyed with it immediately and then get it stuck in your head as well. Not a good combination in my mind. If you hear this song first thing in the morning? Forget it, you're done. Your only hope is to fire up that iPod or iTunes and get Venga Bus out of your system.

At first, I thought this ad might have only been for Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, but that would be too painless. While I was in Chicago last weekend, I saw a billboard for Six Flags Great America also featuring "Mr. Six", as they call the old dancing man. Apparently, they even stage Mr. Six look-alike contests. We can only hope that they play the Vengaboys in the background during the contest.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 8:36 AM



June 16, 2004

Early Show Does a "Wedding In a Week"

POST #    1108

The Early Show, CBS's morning show and the laggard in morning show ratings, has apparently come up with a brilliant plan to win viewers, Wedding In a Week. "Brilliant," say CBS executives. "Retarded," says I. What's so special about a wedding in a week? Sure there is the sappy story of how the couple wants to get married, but that's the formula for every wedding that's made for TV, be it Tristan and Ryan's wedding or a wedding on the Today show or GMA. They all have sappy love stories and reasons they need "the wedding of a lifetime."

Don't these wedding in a week people just get to jump to the front of the line in their preparations? It's really no more "special" than the other televised weddings, is it? You're just skipping all the other people that were planning on getting married. You need your dress altered? Front of the line!! And if it were really a wedding in a week, you wouldn't be able to book the Ritz-Carlton, but would end up doing the wedding in a backyard. Now, I'm no wedding planner or a person that's even thinking about marriage, but from what I hear, if you're looking to get married at a nice place, you've got to reserve way in advance.

Wedding in a week my ass.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 9:02 AM



May 28, 2004

Looks Like My Sundays Are Booked

POST #    1070

Well, now with DirectTV installed, I had to order Sunday Ticket. It's just too good an offer to refuse. I can now watch every game that is on during the NFL season. Mmm...I'm itching with anticipation already and the season doesn't start for another three months! I can picture it now...Sundays, with beer, chips and football. So when the Giants are playing a crappy, meaningless game (I anticipate many) or when I would otherwise be forced to watch the Jets, I can now watch other games involving two teams that I may not care about, but are infinitely more interesting.

I also noticed briefly last night that with DirectTV, I get west coast channels as well as east coast ones. So if I miss something at 8, I can watch it at 11. But since I have TiVO and everything, I'm not quite sure when this would come up. (Yes, I know that if I don't normally watch something or record it, I can go watch the west coast channel.) It should be noted that I think this only applies to network television.

Posted by tien mao in Sports, TV at 8:42 AM



April 17, 2004

Can Trump Do Chicago?

POST #    950

Everyone seems to know that Bill is The Apprentice, and is going to be the "project manager" for Donald Trump's new Trump International Hotel & Tower. The Times looks at the building and how progress is going so far. The building, a 90-story hotel and condo will replace the Chicago Sun Times building, which Rachelle walks by every day and is supposed to be finished in 2007. Before 9/11, the building was planned to be 150-story building and the tallest in the world. After initial plans came out for the building, Architecture critics lambasted the plans, which were re-worked for a smaller building and were better received.

The Times brings up a good point when it asks, "Why entrust such an important-sounding role on a complicated construction project to someone of Mr. Rancic's experience?" Trump says that Bill will be "working with a team of highly trained professionals who have done nothing but build buildings their whole lives including me." I think the real question is "what Bill is going to be the project manager of?" Is he going to manage sales of the units, the construction project, or something in between? According to The Times, sales of the units is going well, despite being higher in price than typical luxury apartments in Chicago. The condos run from $579,000 to $15 million, with many already in contract. 325 of the 461 residential units and 128 of the 200 hotel rooms are already spoken for. That's impressive for a building that has yet to even secure all its financing yet. Looks like Bill won't be needed for sales. I'm almost certain that selecting Bill as the project manager of the whole building would be a foolish decision since he has no construction experience. Maybe he can supervise community relations or something (although that probably won't be easy either).

Can Trump take his name to another city and build a successful building or is this going to be another unsuccessful Trump venture? I guess we'll find out in a few years.

- NY Times: Chicago May Give 'Apprentice' Lesson in Reality

Posted by tien mao in TV at 8:20 PM



March 12, 2004

Can Someone Explain This Show to Me?

POST #    839

Why do people watch American Dreams? Is it any good? Does anyone under the age of 35 watch this show? I've never seen it, so I really don't know if there are any redeeming qualities to the show. Tell me something more than NBC's drivel about the show. Anyone?

All I know is that Donna Abandando is on the show and that musicians are on it almost every week. Musicians that look to stretch their acting skills by playing...musicians.

As an aside, I like how Hillary Duff has to be referred to as "Lizzie McGuire" in the drivel.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 10:55 AM



February 23, 2004

I've Found a New Reality Show: ESPN's Dream Job

POST #    781

Contestant, Mike Hall and Barry Sanders (the one with the ugly shirt).

Damn the SportsCenter lead-in. Last night, when I should have gone to bed, I got caught up watching the re-broadcast of Dream Job. It's reality television and sports in the same program, how can you go wrong?!? Dream Job takes 12 finalists that want to be the next SportsCenter anchor. They compete in what I'm sure will be various tasks, but tonight they presented some highlights for a SportsCenter segment. They all wrote their own segments and were critiqued by the panelists.

I have two problems with the show (what would a post be without me bitching about something?) - Stuart Scott and LaVar Arrington. I'm not sure I can take much more of Stuart saying "Your SportsCenter begins in 3!...2!...1!" or, "Hugs and hand-pounds." And what the hell is LaVar Arrington doing on the show? His comments seem to be the same as all the other judges. He keeps saying, "I agree," can't he come up with some of his own opinions? Surely there must have been another athlete that could have contributed to this program.

I think I have to pull for the Asian-Jew, Aaron Levine. Oh, so smooth. But seriously, Aaron, Mike Hall, and Nick Stevens have been the standouts so far.

Posted by tien mao in Sports, TV at 8:56 AM



February 20, 2004

What Happened to ER?

POST #    776

So I'm sitting here, watching NBC and it transitions from The Apprentice to ER. I remember watching ER when it first debuted, with a much younger looking Susan brought in after trying to kill herself. Now she's back on the show after a break and pregnant. I think the last episode I saw before today was when Anthony Edwards died. You know a show has gone into the shitter when they kill off Goose.

Now, they sell every ER as "an unforgettable new ER," "an ER that you won't forget," or as "an ER that can't be missed." How can that be? If it were true, I would have watched every episode. Maybe I have, but I've forgotten. On the plus side, they do have two women with British accents and Mekhi Phifer on the show now. And how is Noah Wyle still on this show? Sure, they are throwing money at him, but doesn't he want to move on? Try his hand at other acting roles?

Posted by tien mao in TV at 7:41 AM



February 15, 2004

A Reality Pioneer

POST #    766

I'm not sure what hole I've been living in, but Mary-Ellis Bunim died on January 29th after a long battle with breast cancer. She was only 57. She co-created The Real World, Road Rules, and The Simple Life.

In a way, I grew up with her programming on MTV (a sad reality really). The first season of The Real World was in 1992, when was a mere 14 years old. Since then, there have been 13 more seasons of The Real World.

For better or for worse, television changed with the work of Ms. Bunim.

- Mary-Ellis Bunim, Co-Creator Of 'Real World' And 'Road Rules,' Dies

Posted by tien mao in TV at 12:36 PM



February 13, 2004

I Love "The Apprentice"

POST #    762

I've just decided that I love "The Apprentice", NBC's reality program with Donald Trump. I love that it involves Donald, I love that it's in New York, I love the tasks they are given, and the presence of pretty people doesn't hurt either.

I also love most of the personalities on the show, but I have beefs with two. Heidi and Tammy. Man, that Heidi, she is one annoying woman...with no class. Her accent and voice are just grating. It makes me want to stuff my ears with cotton balls, but I guess that's the Wayne, NJ in her. And what's up with that fake tan and blue eye shadow? Maybe that's the reason she looks like she's 35 even though she is 30. And Tammy needs to think before she talks. You think Rocco DiSprito is going to fly people to Tuscany? You want Carson Daly to ask his friend Tiger Woods to help out? Regis and his wife flying to a exotic destination with strangers? Are you nuts? Think before you talk. Is it that hard? She's got one thing working for her - she's 36, but looks 30.

And what happened to the love connection that was teased in the previews? I know Amy and Nick seemed to get close...but I expected full blown infrared camera action. Damn Superbowl nipple incident causing networks to get conservative.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 7:31 AM



January 22, 2004


POST #    717

Make Them Play Fair

I was checking out and I saw this banner ad (I was refreshing to try to get a cool Visa ad I saw back) about ESPN and Cox Cable. Apparently, Cox is trying to change ESPN from a basic channel into a premium channel. This clearly has a lot of people up in arms. ESPN says that Cox wants to charge it's customers $4.20 for every cable box that gets ESPN, which would result in a lot of added money for Cox. This sounds a lot like the last year's fight between Cablevision and the YES Network (I would have said "no" to the YES Network), but ESPN?!? How can any man live without ESPN?!? Okay, it's not that important, but I think more people watch it than some of the other crappy channels that are on basic cable.

They have a website, commercials, and a snazzy tagline - "Without ESPN, who needs Cox Cable?" They have two commercials, actually, one with Chris Berman's voice and the other with viewer's comments. It's kind of funny, especially the viewer comment one because they say "Cox" a lot.

Of course, Cox has their own website about the whole situation. They don't have any snazzy commercials though, just some print ads.

- Keep ESPN
- Make Them Play Fair

Posted by tien mao in TV at 12:33 PM



January 20, 2004

Why is Bad T.V. Just So Damn Good?

POST #    711

Last night was the premiere of the third season of American Idol, a show that I've never watched before except for five minutes at a time. Let me tell you, the seventy minutes that the show was on was some of the most entertaining television I have seen recently. With the decline in quality of The West Wing (the main reason I never watched American Idol), something has got to hold my attention, no?

I've watched bad television in the past. I've watched most of The Real World series, started to watch The O.C., watched Survivor, and even catch myself watching Fear Factor every now and then, but American Idol is a whole new beast? I'm really not in it for the singing, since I could care less who wins the show. I'm in it for the scathing criticism from the panel of judges and the idiots who actually think they can sing well. Who tells these people that they are any good? Last night, there was this woman from Brooklyn who was wearing a rather atrocious outfit (despite what Paula Abdul said - an aside, does Paula now get shit for her last name?) and "sang" Route 66. She was absolutely horrible. I mean seriously, when would her singing ever sound good? I don't want to picture her in the shower, but I don't think she would even sing well there! American Idol is bad television, but makes for great amusement. No wonder it kills in the ratings.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 11:02 AM



December 31, 2003

Spoiled By Baywatch

POST #    676

Today, we drove up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu so Justin could go on a hike. The highway, which runs from Southern California all the way to Washington, has the Pacific Ocean and its beaches on one side and bluffs on the other. It's quite a site.

The beaches were mostly barren, since it's winter and cold by Southern California standards. Despite the weather, there were surfers on some of the beaches taking in the waves. Also on the beaches were lifeguard towers which, of course, were made famous by Baywatch. I even saw a pick-up truck that looked exactly like the one in the show. Unfortunately, I didn't see any lifeguards that looked like Yasmine Bleeth or Gena Lee Nolin. What a letdown. Can't the AHH-nold, the "governor," change this?

Posted by tien mao in TV at 7:18 PM



December 16, 2003

Camera Adds 40 Pounds and a 3" Radius to Head

POST #    643

My head is big, but not that big. My face is round, but not that round. My hair is long, yes, that long.

My picture on Fox5!

Earlier tonight, I was interviewed by Lisa Evers. Sure enough, it aired tonight on the news. It even aired in the first 20 minutes. Not just a slow news day, but a really slow news day.

- view the tape (2.14 MB .mpg file)

Posted by tien mao in TV at 11:04 PM



November 6, 2003

The Simpsons - Precursor to the Modern Reality Show

POST #    552

As if opening a leftorium wasn't news enough, an Oregon man has bread tomacco! It's almost like pigs will start flying and Mr. Burns will donate all his money to the orphanage soon (one of my favorite episodes).

Okay, I've thought about it, and the title makes no sense, but it sounded good when I thought of it.

- news piece on the tomacco (originally from kottke)
- Gothamist on tomacco and the leftorium.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 11:44 AM



October 23, 2003

Breaking News: Nothing Good on TV at 5 AM

POST #    469

I strangely woke up this morning exactly at 5 AM. Apparently I left the TV on again...damn baseball and Baseball Tonight. I guess SportsCenter is a good thing to watch at this hour, but they re-run it so many times that I could just watch it at 6 or 7 if I really wanted. I tried to go back to sleep, no luck. This sucks. There aren't even any people in the post office across the street.

My newspaper isn't even here yet. Damn it's early.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 5:46 AM



October 9, 2003

stupid mt. airy lodge song

POST #    442

all i said was, "now's the perfect time," and the whole song is now stuck in my head.

"now's the perfect time. the season is just right. we can play all day and dance into the night. at beautiful mount airy lounge, all you have to bring is your love of everything. all you have to bring is your love of everything, beautiful mount airy lodge."

Posted by tien mao in TV at 2:39 PM



September 28, 2003

hbo/cinemax & oceans 11?

POST #    412

i'm sitting here, watching cinemax and oceans 11 is on. hbo is mentioned by andy garcia's character when he says, "surely he can get hbo," and something in my mind is triggered. also in the movie is a boxing match that has hbo personalities and stuff like that. i'm wondering if hbo and cinemax got exclusive rights for the movie for the name drop and on-air talent.


Posted by tien mao in TV at 11:13 PM



September 23, 2003

ahh...welcome back tv!

POST #    393

i welcome back tv, like we used to welome kotter back. my hair kind of works for that sit-com, no?

monday night was the first night of the return of new programming on network tv. this is quite exciting for a tv addict like me. i welcome back the shows from previous years as well as a few new shows. all i know is i'm happy there is now good tv to watch. hmm, how will i fit it into my busy social life and netflix schedule.

my tribute to the return of tv to the tune of the "welcome back kotter" theme song, with apologies to the writer of the song (listen to the original song here). on another note, i actually had a "welcome back kotter" lunchbox.

my tribute:
welcome back,
your scripts are my ticket out.

welcome back,
to those same old tricks that we laughed about.

well the shows have all changed since last the time around,
but those plots have remained and they're changed around.

who'd have thought they'd cancel ya (who'd have thought they'd cancel ya)
here is where we need ya (here is where we need ya)

yeah we tease em a lot cause we need them at 8 o'clock, welcome back,
welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 7:30 AM



September 10, 2003

good news and bad news

POST #    364

good news and bad news for people that live in new york (well, at least for me anyway). i'll go with bad news first. an article in the times on hay fever says that it has been delayed and isn't over yet. this is bad news for me, since august is usually when my allergies start acting up. usually, they aren't that bad either, but there was one year where they were really bad (the whites of my eyes swelled up). allergists have said that this year's ragweed crop is "heartier than usual" and that pollen levels "will persist beyond the usual peak dispersal period of mid-august to mid-september." delayed, powerful, and prolonged were words that were mentioned. all this is great news for me, since i've been feeling the effects of my allergies already.

the good news is that the simpsons will now be on 3 times a day in on channel 5 in new york. 6:30, 7:00, and 11:30. woo hoo!!

Posted by tien mao in TV at 7:43 PM



September 5, 2003

mmm...viewer's choice...

POST #    349

vote for your favorite episode here.

the local fox station (i hear it's fair and balanced) in ny, is holding viewers choice voting for the simpsons. they are accepting votes until september 21st. the top 30 episodes selected will then be aired from november 3rd to november 21st.

my votes (in order of original air date):
mr. plow - homer starts a snow plow company.
cape feare - the simpson family relocates in the witness protection program.
$pringfield - mr. burns opens a casino.
deep space homer - homer goes to space because of the two best words in the english language.
lemon of troy - springfield steals their tree back.
king-size homer - homer gets to 300 pounds.
bart on the road - spring break for bart, milhouse, martin, and nelson.
homer vs. the eighteenth amendment - prohibition hits springfield.
the city of new york vs. homer simpson - homer comes to new york (a sentimental favorite).
king of the hill - homer climbs the murderhorn.

episodes that came close, which is only good in horseshoes and hand grenades:
homer at the bat - homer and the all-star company softball team.
boy scoutz 'n the hood - bart in the boy scouts.
homer bad man - mmm...gummy...
homer the great - homer leads a secret society.
homie the clown - homer decides to become a clown.
the springfield connection - marge becomes a cop.
radioactive man - the filming of radioactive man, the movie.
el viaje misterioso de nuestro homer - homer goes crazy after eating an insanity pepper.
bart carny - bart and homer meet some carnival workers.
das bus - the bus goes off course, stranding the children on an island.
girly edition - kidz news and mojo the helper monkey.
lard of the dance - homer makes money by collecting lard.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 8:04 PM




POST #    345

these fools saw ghosts. (for some reason, i like this photo.)

this morning, i was watching good morning america, and they said that in a 183 year old building in shelbyville, kentucky, might have ghosts. the building which houses the town's police headquarters has many signs including: loosened doors, windows, sounds, "hot zones," and the turning of doorknobs. to assess the situation, they called in the scientific investigative ghost hunting team (or s.i.g.h.t.) to investigate the situation. seems a little far fetched to make gma, don't you think?


Posted by tien mao in TV at 7:52 AM



August 28, 2003

mtv vma thoughts

POST #    329

britney, madonna, christina - photo of the kiss mentioned below. from this times article.

i feel like sports guy at the oscars with all the random observations while watching an awards show, but here are my thoughts on the mtv video music awards.

mtv vma notes:
chris rock just said, "good charlotte is more like a mediocre green day." damn, that's messed up. messed up for green day.

christina aguilera is quite dirty. her album should be named "skanky" instead. and what is with the black hair? i guess it's probably closer to her natural color anyway. and i don't recall her ever claiming she was a virgin. hmm, i wonder why.

pamela anderson, i thought she got a breast reduction.

either mtv went broadway with their microphones, or beyonce is lip synching. i mean, at least show us a mic if you aren't going to use one.

ben stiller just made a joke that went over 95% of the audience at radio city. he quipped that the winner was "cruz bustamante." i guess we know who he's going to vote for. i wonder if mtv will edit that out for the west coast.

what the hell is that hat on missy elliot's head?!?

and metallica to close out the show?!? their performance - awesome!

apparently, i missed a madonna tribute with britney spears slipping some tongue to madonna. i eagerly await the re-broadcast.

okay, so just saw the madonna thing and it was pretty cool. amusing parts, when they first showed christina aguilera reveal herself from behind the veil, there was this woman they cut to and she had a face like "damn, that's nasty." if you watch it again, look out for that. and the kiss, that was nice. too bad they didn't show the madonna/christina kiss also, but the justin thing was funny. also, i think christina was darker than all the other people on stage, including missy.

from chris rock's monologue:
"hey dmx, you've been punked." "oh yeah? you've been stabbed." "aston kutcher is literally a mother fu*ker." "seeing janet jackson with jermaine dupree is like finding out they had bentleys on sale for 4 bucks." "getting paula abdul to judge singers is like getting christopher reeves to judge a dance contest." "50 cent got more shots in the face than jenna jameson." "you got the olsen twins over there, so now you got to put r kelly all the way up there."

more coverage on gothamist, of course.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 10:55 PM



August 23, 2003

amusing commercial

POST #    319

so, sitting here, watching a little college football, i saw this amusing commercial for H2, the absurdly large hummer. sometimes these are seen around new york, which is clearly necessary because of all those mountains or dessert sand in the city.

the ad starts with a few kids on the top of a hill waiting for the start of a soap box derby. there are the standard soap box racers and a huge H2, which towers over the other race cars. after the start, the H2 goes off road to cut across the whole course to win the race. anyway, it was amusing.

read about the commercial in ad age (i pretty much agree with the guy), where you can also watch the full ad.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 8:09 PM



August 19, 2003

bill maher, funny guy

POST #    308

so i was about to go to sleep the other night and i flipped to hbo (always a mistake since they tend to have something captivating. from a good movie to soft core porn.) seriously though, "real time with bill maher" was on, and i generally like the discussion of politics. his show is in it's 3rd incarnation. hbo to abc and back to hbo under a new name (it used to be called politically incorrect with bill maher). he has a segment at the end called new rules. this hilarious bit came at the end:

New Rule: Your daughter's a whore. According to the FBI, there's a new wrinkle in prostitution: suburban teenage girls are now selling their white asses at the mall to make money to spend at the mall. Wow, I can't even find an escalator that goes down.

Oh, sure, I know what you're saying: "Upper middle class Caucasian teen whoring, that's something that happens to other people's kids." "But our little Ashley trading her kootchie for Gucci?" "No way."

Well, maybe, but if she comes home with scraped knees, that might not be from skipping rope.

And come on, nobody buys a BMW with babysitting money. If your kid's name is on the mall directory under "services"...

Now, you see, the joke here, of course, is on White America, which always felt superior to blacks, and showed that with their feet, moving out of urban areas. "White flight," they called it. Whites feared blacks. They feared if they raised their kids around blacks, the blacks would turn their daughters and prostitutes. And now, through the miracle of MTV, damned if it didn't work out that way!

You see, MTV is where Snoop and Jay-Z and 50 Cent tell their stories, the stories of their youth. And being poor blacks, pimps and drug dealers were the only role models they had. And now, that whole world view is all up in your kid's brain. That's right. Little white boys want a chocolate momma with a huge ass. And the girls in the suburbs apparently have accepted being a "ho" as just another hip lifestyle choice.

So if you take your kid to the mall this Christmas and she climbs into Santa's lap face first--perhaps you should look into it. And remind your little princess, if a young woman must exchange sex for material goods, they should do it the old-fashioned way, through the sanctity of marriage.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 2:45 PM



August 11, 2003

gregory hines, all around good guy

POST #    288

the late, great, gregory hines.

late saturday, gregory oliver hines, a dancer, singer, and actor, died of cancer. i can't say that i knew his work that well, but i do know that he was one of the best dancers in his generation and one of the most influential tap dancers in america.

my memories of mr. hines stem from elementary school (the school related to an episcopal church), where his son, zach, and i were students. the two of us were partners in the school's partners program, which teamed up older students with younger students in a mentor-like way. mr. hines was always there for zach, showing up for various school functions for his son, and was clearly a loving father. i also remember meeting him several times, where he always remembered my name, didn't act larger than life, and was always cordial. his artistry as a dancer will not be the only thing that will be missed.

read more about his life in the times' obituary.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 8:26 AM



August 4, 2003

seen on the way to work

POST #    274

yum! i love stewart's beverages.

no key lime cap? what a shame. the rest are good too though.

oooh...not five minutes after writing this, the king of queens had stewart's key lime and stewart's orange 'n cream in the episode!!

Posted by tien mao in Photos, TV at 9:28 PM



i guess i won't be changing channels

POST #    273

with an ever increasing number of options for television viewers leading to channel surfing during commercial breaks, nbc hopes to keep people tuned-in with some "minimovies." this article says that they will be about a minute long and broken into two 30 second parts with each movie concluding by the end of the night. nbc also hopes that viewers might stay with the network the entire night to see the conclusion of the stories.

it's quite possible that this is getting a mention just so i can put this picture up.

incidentally, gothamist also covered nbc's actions. i swear i had it up first though. after seeing the coverage in the paper version of the times ("all the news that might be true"), i must say that color goes a long way. read their coverage here.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 8:53 AM



July 26, 2003

guilty pleasures

POST #    251

i have discovered a new guilty pleasure...the espn great outdoor games. while i love a lot of things on espn (baseball tonight, sportscenter, bodyshaping, etc.), the great outdoors is now a guilty pleasure. it's strange, because i don't really identify with any of the participants since i'm not exactly a hunter or a lumberjack. the only events that i like are the "timber events." my favorite event is the springboard.

with saws this size, how can you go wrong?

"as long as i keep running, i won't bust my face on the next log."

Posted by tien mao in Sports, Sports, TV at 1:53 AM



July 3, 2003

tivo, i need tivo

POST #    22

"Well, I wake up in the morning,
And the 'larm gives out a warning"...

i turn on the tv this morning, and what is on?!? saved by the bell! i seems like it's on tbs from 7-8 am, just like it was on tbs when i was a kid. at least they finally got rid of the starting 5 minutes after every other station thing. how am i supposed to watch this show again at such an early hour? that's why i need tivo (i guess replay tv will do also).

Posted by tien mao in TV at 7:52 AM



June 2, 2003

family guy

POST #    56

woo, i just found out that adult swim on the cartoon network has the family guy on at 11:30 pm. i guess i've found something to watch at that time slot. thats if i remember.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 11:44 PM



March 18, 2003

award time

POST #    110

"i, james gandolfini proudly accept this award for my role in 'the mexican'. initially, people said it would be hard for me to play the role of a gay hitman, but my efforts on 'the sopranos' helped me to achieve the level of acting that was required of me in this movie. i would like to thank my mom, the beautiful julia roberts for her great performance, brad, gore verbinski, and of course dreamworks for taking a chance and releasing this movie. thank you!"

Posted by tien mao in TV at 9:55 AM



March 12, 2003

"I had a little lesbian thing"

POST #    103

so says ginger spice. check it out. also, how is she the host of the show "all american girl'? thats like peter jennings hosting the national news or something. (both on abc...i think that still stands for american broadcasting corporation.) dont get me wrong, i do like peter jennings, but i didnt know that ginger spice's Q rating was that high. couldnt they get a better host? foolish abc execs.

okay, reuters was wrong. she is a judge on the show or a "coach" as they are calling it.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 10:54 PM



February 25, 2003


POST #    69

for some reason, i identify with this guy. check out his random quote generator here.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 4:08 PM



February 24, 2003

the grammys (not to be confused with the grannies)

POST #    62

For a worthy read about the Grammys, check this out. the sports guy is one of the funnier guys that i have stumbled across online. and he writes about he cant go wrong.

Posted by tien mao in TV at 3:58 PM


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