Friday, May 31, 2013

Week 2 of "My 25 Favourite Episodes of TV"

Wow, what do you know? This project actually continues into a second week, and right on schedule. Last week we made the list's only check in on reality TV, and this week we look at - well I don't know what the hell you'd call it. But it's the episode on this list that aired the most recently, so there's that. Not really sure why I'm choosing to be so cryptic about this, because it's painfully obvious what's coming.

After the break: Because this blog sure needs another 1,800 words about this show. Spoilers ho.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Upfronts 2013: What's new, what's dead, and what's weird

     NBC unveiling "Revolution" at their May 2012 upfront.
     How'd that work out for ya?

I've been busy the last couple days trying to get a few weeks ahead on my 25 Favourites list, and I completely forgot to write anything about last week's upfronts, in which the major U.S. television networks unveil their fall schedules in front of advertisers in New York City. Some scheduling decisions intrigue me, some seem utterly ridiculous. Let's go network by network: all the fall shows are listed in bold and new shows will hyperlink to a trailer whenever one is available.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Kicking off "My 25 Favourite Episodes of TV"

Today, I'm beginning a new series on this blog in which I write about my 25 favourite episodes of TV ever. I'm hoping that by starting this and trying to stick to a consistent schedule of one post every Friday, I will actually complete this project in 2013 like I've always intended since I thought up the idea back in the winter. I've looked over my list and I'm pretty happy with it, but if anything gets replaced between now and November I'll try to make a note of it. Also worth keeping in mind is that while I'll be talking about why these are good episodes, these are not reviews. I won't be surprised if a few of these write-ups are largely recaps full of funny jokes and moments and me saying something to the effect of "You guys, seriously, this episode" after each one. If that's the case, so be it - I will have effectively laid out why I like the episode. TL;DR: My blog, my rules.

Up first: I believe my only reality episode on this list. I'm probably going to hell. But I had fun on my way there!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Review: MTV's "Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous" is great, as I breathe a heavy sigh of relief

     Zach Stone (Bo Burnham) sets up a shot on "Zach Stone
     Is Gonna Be Famous."
     Photo Credit: MTV

"Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous" premieres tonight at 10:30pm on MTV in the United States. In Canada, the show premieres Tuesday, May 7 at 10:30pm on MuchMusic.

Three or four years ago, a high school friend turned me on to the comedy of Bo Burnham, a lanky, awkward, teenaged theatre geek who first gained attention with original comedy songs he posted on YouTube like "My Whole Family" and "My Little Secret". As his popularity began to grow and his material matured, with songs even more complex and pun-filled like "New Math" and "Cookout," Burnham emerged as the poster child for late aughts Internet fame that would have been unheard of even five years prior. At 18, he became the youngest comedian to ever get his own Comedy Central standup special, and though he had plenty of critics tear him apart for his supposedly illegitimate use of music and rise through YouTube, he cemented his status as one of the most popular comedians of a burgeoning generation.

Burnham is a sort of perfect storm creation: no other comic had the same sharp writing and somewhat antagonistic stage presence, combined with his youth. It's a perfect energy to carry a television show, and I was thrilled when he and MTV announced in September 2010 that they were developing a comedy project.

The months went by. There was no news to report on the show's development. Burnham seemingly fell off the map in 2011, spending the better part of two and a half years touring, writing an hour of new material for an upcoming album, and creating "Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous". And as those newsless months became years, I started to have serious trepidations about this new show. When I found myself listening to tracks from his self-titled debut album or his follow up "Words, Words, Words," I often asked myself the same question:

"This Bo Burnham MTV show is gonna suck, isn't it?"

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Here's a fun thing I wrote about gender portrayals in the media

     If the Aerie Girls went to Neptune High, no doubt they
     would have tried their best to torment the kick-ass
     Veronica Mars.

The theme of the final assignment for the "Journalism and Social Change" course I just completed was simply "gender," which meant I was given another opportunity to get away with writing something fun for school. While catching up on "Veronica Mars" over the past several months, I came across some articles on The CW's dreadful "Aerie Girls" promotional campaign, and I used that as a launching pad to talk about some issues I've had with advertising lately. You can read the column I wrote here, and I would also encourage you to click here to read the features written by my friends and classmates. Or if you'd prefer, you can just click here and cringe at the vapidity of the Aerie Girls.