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Monday, January 10, 2005

Fox-Blocked

Move over, V-Chip. Now there's the C-chip, or, as it's being called, the "FOXBlocker": a device allowing liberals to filter Fox News from their sets.

The company was planning a similar product to block MSNBC, but found it was faster to call each of the network's four viewers individually.

Related Link: FOXblocker.com

Quiznos Needs A New Ad Agency

Talking babies are freaking creepy. Easily amongst the worst commercials I've ever seen, in a new ad campaign premiering last night, Quiznos resurrected Baby Bob, a disturbing, yammering baby, to hawk their toasty sandwiches.

Where should I start? Baby Bob isn't funny. He's not cute, endearing, or easy to look at. The attempt to make Bob look like he's speaking fails miserably- even the Late Night With Conan O'Brien "Clutch Cargo" sketches do a better job. And, actually, the crux of the issue: Baby Bob is downright creepy. Why would his presence entice me to eat a Honey Bourbon Chicken on Wheat?

There's only one way to make my displeasure clear: In protest, I'm hitting Blimpie for lunch today.

Related link: The Story of Baby Bob and Quiznos Sub (see the spots here!)

Days Numbered for the 30 Second Commercial?

Advertisers have always feared the DVR will dramatically cut down the audience for commericals. Guess what? They were right. TiVo reports 75% of viewers blaze right by commercials.

What does this mean? More annoying product placements and pop-up ads, for certain. And as viewers become more comfortable with emerging technologies, Innovative new interactive ads will soon become the norm too.

As long as I can still filter out the Baby Bob/Quiznos ads, I'll deal with whatever other fallout occurs.

Rathergate: CBS Axes Four

To use a Ratherism, the chickens have come home to roost at CBS: following the release of their independent investigation of the "60 Minutes Wednesday" forged documents story, four CBS executives were fired Monday: Mary Mapes, producer of the report; Josh Howard, executive producer of "60 Minutes Wednesday"; his right-hand, Mary Murphy; and senior vice president Betsy West.

Mr. Rather himself escaped the guillotine, but the scandal has effectively already cost him his CBS Evening News anchor chair.

The People's Have Spoken, And There's No Accounting For Taste

Last night, as the new 12-month long award show season kicked off, The People's Choice Awards doled out their usual slate of cringe-inducing selections.

How can you give this particular award show any credibility after some of these selections? Matt LeBlanc as Best Male Television Star? Will and Grace as top TV comedy? Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica willing any award? If it's true that "THE PEOPLE DECIDE!" I'd like to know where they found so many people with so little taste.

Pertinent awards:
Television drama series: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Television comedy series: Will & Grace
New television comedy series: Joey
New television drama series: Desperate Housewives
Female television star: Marg Helgenberger
Male television star: Matt LeBlanc
Late night talk show host: David Letterman
Daytime talk show host: Ellen DeGeneres
Reality show, competition: American Idol
Reality show, makeover: Extreme Makeover Home Edition
Reality show 24/7: Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica
Pantene fans favorite hair: Jennifer Garner

Monday News Roundup

Bawdy Brits are yelling "Tally-Ho!" for Desperate Housewives. The show cleaned house on Britain's Channel 4 in its premiere last week, with one of every four limeys tuning in... Turns out Alias star Jennifer Garner didn't have a viral infection- she had herself some pinched nerves suffered during another action scene. Hopefully it won't hamper any future on-screen ass-kicking and wig wearing... Just when we thought one Spears in the public eye was one too many, brace yourself for another: Britney's kid sister, Jamie Lynn, is getting her own Nickelodeon show. We wish her a far less irritating career than her older sister.

24 in 99: Hours 1 and 2

Welcome to the premiere of JoeVideo's 24 in 99. In fact, since last night's premiere was actually two episodes, this synposis should really be called 24 in 198. Here's what happened:

Jack's now in taboo-love with new Boss Heller's separated daughter, Audrey. Explosive action time: A guy handcuffed to a briefcase on a train! Guy on a motorcycle with a gun! A parked truck with explosives sitting on the tracks! BOOM!

Bauer meets with Erin Driscoll, CTU chief-of-bureaucracy, who fired him 18 months ago. CTU features new faces like Sopranos-ubergeek Edgar Stiles, AND CHLOE. Thank god they kept her, because college-chum Andrew Paige calls her and says, "SHITE, I've been hacking and found a corrupt NAT-TABLE on the Internets, we're all gonna die!"

Jack goes to CTU and instantly outsmarts everyone there, finds Turkish terrorist Tomas Sherek looking for his dry cleaning, uses the "Tell me where the (insert-this-week's-problem) is" card after he shoots him... it's Heller and Audrey they're after, abducted while visiting son Richard ("Ashton-the-protestor").

"The family that grows up together, blows up shit together." Mom and Dad Araz work for bad guys, and they've trained teenage son Behrooz how to pass around the stolen briefcase- if only he could resist the white women! Ronnie (who took Bauer's job) spars with Jack and gets shot. Andrew is abducted. An incredibly realistic webcast of Heller-in-chains follows. Until Monday...

Love/Hate: The O.C.'s Mischa Barton

This week's Love/Hate is a little more hate than love, but that's not stopping Irina D from putting one of TV's hottest young actresses in her crosshairs.

Now, I love The O.C. I love the soapy plotlines, and the adult characters and, of course, I very much love the adorable Adam Brody. But, my God, I hate Mischa Barton.

Not only is her character, Marissa, inexplicably beloved by the other characters of the show, but she is astoundingly unbelievable as an actress. She's wooden, her line-readings are flat and she is nearly always dressed in "designer" clothes that make her look like a crazy hobo. In a recent episode, Mischa donned a short-sleeved white blouse with a vest (a vest, people!) with an enormous brooch topped off with the largest newsboy hat one has ever seen, a newsboy hat with a giant velvet bow on it. The worst part is, I'm fairly certain she chooses her own wardrobe.

And her fashion crimes are exacerbated by her amazing lack of acting talent. Last week, Marissa was meant to be drunk at a party, a state of mind the director actually had to convey by having the camera lurch from side to side, as in an old Star Trek episode. I frequently yell at her when she's on-screen, and- I assure you- it's never anything flattering.

Sometime soon, promos have indicated Marissa will have some kind of lesbian fling with new chick Alex, who is also pretty annoying. Will that make me care about her at all? No. But I'll watch all of her scenes, and I'll continue to scream at my T.V., and wish fervently that Marissa dies in some sort of graphic, horrible on-screen accident.

Monday Trivia: The Brady Bunch

One of the following statements about The Brady Bunch is faker than their astroturf lawn. Which is it?

1) The Brady’s cat’s name is Fluffy.
2) Alice's last name is Nelson.
3) Carol's maiden name is Martin.
4) Sam's last name is Franklin.

Answers tomorrow.

The Geek Files: N.C.I.S.

Fasten your seatbelts for Pusher's strangest Geek Files yet. It's a personal, heartwrenching story involving N.C.I.S. that- dare I say it- borders on fan fic. You be the judge.

Recently I've gotten into NCIS; mostly for Mark Harmon, although hadn't been a big fan. I'd never watched St. Elsewhere or Chicago Hope. I only knew him as Ted Bundy or Sam- the character who ruined my beloved "Moonlighting."

Imagine my surprise after this dream: (Cue the squiggly waves.)

We're in a world in which people who can fly are looked down upon. I can fly but nobody knows it. There's a house where Mark Harmon has just married Marlee Matlin. There's a big crowd gathering trying to get a glimpse of the couple who have just ducked into a limo. I decide to fly through their open window and land on the seat in front of them. Apparently, meeting these two is worth the ridicule of people knowing I can fly. I tell M&M congratulations. Presumably Marlee is reading my lips since I'm not signing. (Although I sign later on, and boy is it ridiculous.) I turn to Mark and tell him I like N.C.I.S. and we have a little moment of good eye contact.

With that, I fly off. But my friend grabs my legs and berates me for flying. I'm humiliated. I kick her away and fly up to the top of a Mann's Chinese Theater-type building next door. I plan to commit suicide by flying into the high-voltage wires running above the crowd. My first attempt is unsuccessful as I pull up at the last second. Too many people in the high bleacher seats (this wedding was a spectator sport, apparently) were in my way and I didn't want to kill innocent "non-flyers." I fly to the top of the building again and plan a different route.

I look down and spy Mark Harmon in the middle of the crowd looking up at me. He signs something to me. I sign something back. (I warned you this was ridiculous.) I fly off the roof and head for the wires still intending to kill myself when Mark flies up out of the crowd in a beam of white light. As I'm about to cross his path in midair, I change direction and we both fly
off together.

That's it. I woke up.

I'd like to apologize to Pam Dawber, Marlie Matlin and anyone who knows me in real life. It's not easy being a TV Geek.

Tonight's Tube

Monday: After 24, I'm giving into the hype and checking out Patricia Arquette in NBC's new quasi-hit Medium. I know, I know. I'll let you know how crappy it is.

Oh, and there's some new Las Vegas thing on the Travel Channel. A Vegas special on The Travel Channel? Shocking!