Saturday, October 01, 2016

September was a rough month. These 5 TV shows got me through it.

Oh how irony always comes back to bite us. Here is something I tweeted on the morning of September 1:

Naturally, September 2016 turned out to be a pretty astoundingly shitty month for me. The short version is that I watched my job completely burn to ashes in the span of about three weeks, which is remarkable considering I spent ten months there thinking it was a pretty great place to work - until suddenly it wasn't. It was uncomfortable to work there knowing I was pretty close to escaping, and then unbearably uncomfortable after I gave my notice.

To be honest, if I hadn't had the distraction of fall TV premiere week and all of the rest of September's new TV offerings, I'm not exactly sure what I would have done with myself. Curled into the fetal position and cried maybe? Anyway, here are five TV shows that got me through a pretty brutal 30 day stretch.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart ended a year ago today. It's time we all moved on.

      Jon Stewart back behind a desk on The Late Show with Stephen
 on Thursday, July 21, 2016.
      Photo Credit: CBS
It was a year ago tonight, on August 6, 2015, that Comedy Central aired the final episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I watched the broadcast from a Winnipeg hotel room feeling a profound sense of sadness and loss. It's now exactly one year later, and to be brutally honest, I kind of hope Jon Stewart never appears on television ever again.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My hypothetical 2016 Emmy ballot

In a stunning display of competency, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences actually managed to correct a long-standing error last year by finally awarding Jon Hamm with the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his work on Mad Men. Dare I allow myself to believe they're capable of recognizing more overshadowed greatness this year and nominate some real dark horses instead of giving the same people a fifth or sixth trophy? Nonetheless, today I get to have my say in what shows, performances, scripts, and what have you should be held up as television's best. The correct list of nominees, with some picks that no doubt were entirely ignored during the last two weeks of voting, after the jump. (Look, I love ya Mark McKinney, but there's just no way.)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Mediocre "Letterkenny" headlines a frustrating experience with Crave TV

The cast of the new Crave TV comedy "Letterkenny".
Photo Credit: Bell Media
(A caveat: I feel the need to preface this anytime I write about a Canadian series, particularly one about which I have a negative opinion : I do not begrudge any Canadian television show for being made; in fact its existence in at least one aspect makes me happy. More Canadian television needs to be produced outside of the CBC. I don't care right now if the programming is not top notch. I'm just happy someone is putting in the time, money, and resources to make it exist at all. More please, and stat.)

It was around last Christmas when my brother asked me something to the effect of, "so I guess Shomi is the new Rogers thing now?" I really had no idea what he was talking about - somehow I had missed being inundated with television commercials for Rogers and Shaw's joint streaming video venture that had launched a month prior. It didn't help that my mother seemed convinced that Shomi was actually a rebrand of the Rogers On Demand service (it isn't, though Rogers sure did a good job of burying their VOD platform in service of Shomi).

Before long though, commercials for Shomi and it's competitor, the Bell-owned Crave TV, popped up everywhere and it became all too easy for me to compare and contrast the services even without actually subscribing to them. Crave offered a deeper program catalogue even before signing deals for the HBO and Showtime libraries, for less than half the cost of Shomi, whose commercials seemed to always feature the same five popular series in every single commercial (i.e., the only ones they had streaming rights to). Neither service seemed "necessary," even as I recognized that I was basically spouting the Canadian version of, "but I already have Netflix, why do I need to subscribe to Amazon?". But they seemed harmless, and if the existing daily schedules of Bell's network and cable channels was deemed insufficient as an on-demand "Big Bang Theory" delivery system, Canadians were welcome to pay $4 a month for their hit.