Monday, January 25, 2010


This semester I'm taking a television history course focusing on television in the internet/digital age. The first class session was tonight where we saw this video:

Kinda cool, right? I realize I'm only 10 or so years behind the times (what else is new?) but midway through the viewing I couldn't help but smile. Not because of the infectious beat or the dulcet tones of Punjabi Boy Band Pop, rather it was what this video reminded me of:

If you don't recognize this video, then you weren't one of the other four people who watched the VH1 program Mission: Man Band. The concept of the show was to take members of four folded boy bands and create a boy band juggernaut that would devour the pop culture landscape in 2007. The execution, however, failed to take the following items into consideration:

  • Boy bands kind of went to the wayside back in 2002.
  • The boy bands represented: N*SYNC (alright), 98 Degrees (meh), LFO (guh), Color Me Badd (wha?).
  • The representatives chosen from these bands were, um, how do I put this diplomatically? If asked to name the members of their respective groups, they would probably be the last one mentioned, usually after the phrase "Ooo, I know I'm forgetting one...whatshisname?"

    Anyway, the group was doomed to fail from the start. The entire first episode focused on each member going through bouts of "do I really want to do this?" with the guy from 98 Degrees pretty much being like "Is this going to take long? Cuz I got other stuff going on." The general attitude from the participants seemed to reflect the joint hope that the check from VH1 would clear rather than any creative ambition.

    The band, named Sureshot, had a manager who didn't help matters much as she adopted an attitude that she wanted to be there even less than her clients. I can't remember her name, but when I picture her all I can see is Shelly from Celebrity Rehab -- the administrative tech/former coke whore (that description is based on her own stories). Anyway, her strategy for promotion was to first have the band sing during half time at a basketball game (boy band pop + basketball arena acoustics = FAIL) followed by creating a music video. Of course no one wanted to sink money into an experiment doomed to failure before pen touched paper so they had no budget and the goal was to "go viral". Aside from the flu-like symptoms experienced after watching the video, I don't think that plan succeeded.

    I stopped watching after the third or fourth episode, but I don't recall if it was because I lost interest or if VH1 yanked it. Maybe if Sureshot watched Tunak Tunak Tan at the beginning they would have had more fun.
  • Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    Carry a Torchwood

    I joined up with Netflix a few months ago and it has certainly paid off. I think I can count on a shop teacher's hand the number of movies I have seen using the service, but that's okay because the TV access is incredible. Hulu helps too, but Netflix is a bit easier to navigate and their recommendations are usually reliable.

    For example, the British (and soon to be Americanized) series Torchwood. This show is a spin-off (and anagram) of the modern incarnation of Doctor Who. I have seen a handful of episodes of DW but the scheduling on SciFi (as it was called at the time) and the plots of some of the episodes were something to be desired. Also, as many Brits will tell you, DW is a kids' show and they don't understand why American adults are so gaga over the programme (their spelling, not mine). Although I did enjoy a few episodes and the occasional Dalek, the show is a bit more frantic than thought provoking.

    Torchwood, on the other hand, is just the opposite. Although the show spun off via the character of Captain Jack Harkness, who was introduced as a conman on DW, there is a maturity about the story telling that I find rather engrossing. Also, there is a mystique about the character that I find intriguing. I love his aesthetic and I think I've figured out what my Halloween costume is going to be next year.

    I'm only three episodes in, but I'm really liking the show. It reminds me of The X-Files but without Scully's skepticism.

    Saturday, January 16, 2010


    If you follow my other blogs, Rube Goldberg's Device and WTF Little House on the Prairie, you probably realize that I watch what some would consider an appalling amount of television. In my defense, I'm not just a bump on a log passively absorbing the cathode rays -- more often than not I am actively engaged in what I'm watching. If you don't believe me, take a look at the Little House blog.

    Anyway, I wanted to spin off the TV coverage from RGD into its own blog. There will likely be some simulcasting, but I wanted to create a place that didn't mix in personal stories with stuff that I would want to show potential employers. I mean, those potential employers will be able to find that personal stuff easily, I'm just trying to save some space on my resume. Why am I telling you all this?

    So, what sorta stuff is going to be on here? Starting February 1, I will be recapping the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race (you can find the recap I did for episode four of season one here. When American Idol gets down to the Top 12 I'll be starting my "Idol Rules" coverage. I'm also really interested in this year's Survivor ASS (short for All-Star Season), so there will probably be some commentary there. And I'm sure there will be other stuff here and there. Like I said, I watch a lot.

    So...yeah. Let's see how this works.

    Edited to Add: I've transferred a number of my other entries from RGD. Yay one-stop shopping!