September 15, 2009

Of all the things...

...I decide to break silence for, this would have to rank right down there as the stupidest. With as much as is going on in the world, surely I should be able to come up with something better.

Then again, that’s my critique of the new Jay Leno show.

All that hype, all that talent, all that money (although we have been assured repeatedly that it’s much cheaper than doing a one hour weekly drama—as if I care), all those local television news reporters dragooned into counting down the days until the premier, and that’s all there is to it?

Now part of this is that I’ve never been a huge Leno fan—I like him best when he’s talking about cars. And that’s about it. I liked him when he was young, but his delivery grates on me, and it’s not gotten better with age. But I do sorta chuckle when he does Jaywalking, and stuff like that, and so the premise of the new show—“Jay doing the stuff people actually think is funny, and cutting out all the crap” at least sounded promising.

Hate to tell ‘em, but they’ve got a lot more to cut.

How about the opening monologue? Or, alternately, if you’re going to have one, at least make it funny.

Kevin Eubanks? I have felt, and continue to feel, very sorry for him that he has to do this job, although I’m sure lots of money makes a good salve for the ego. But he’s not Ed McMahon (late or otherwise) or even Andy Richter, and the skit with the Lenolookalike was disturbing and not funny.

Comfy chairs? They looked uncomfortable to me. Then again, that could have been my reaction to special first guest, Jerry Seinfeld. Gee, a guest about nothing! And I like Jerry Seinfeld. But he nailed it—why have him on? He’s been off the TV forever, and doesn’t have anything new to promote, and his interaction with the weird Head of Oprah was painful to watch, and I don’t care about his wife’s cookbook, and his hair is thinning in a disturbing manner, and he wasn’t funny—and not in a good way.

Kanye? Kan ye just say no? Look, I know he’s topical, but again, not in a good way. He’s an insufferable twit, but sure, go ahead and have him on to sing and all that if you really must, but please, don’t feel the need to “interview” him. Or, if you’re going to go through with that, don’t do it on the comfy chairs—put him behind a table in a hard metal chair with a hot spotlight on him and scream at him to confess or something. That’s what they’d do on CSI. And it would at least be entertaining. Sorta.

The singing comic guy was kinda funny, the ads were funny, the musical act wasn’t my kind of music, but whatever—music’s okay to have. So, you’ve got about a thirty minute show. And oddly enough—none of it really relies on Jay. The ads are funny because someone else screwed up, the segment with up and coming comics is funny because they actually have to work at it, and bands are a completely different, non-Jay sort of thing. This means they could save an even BIGGER load of money if they’d just hire someone to emcee the show in a nice, low-key, witty sort of way, and let someone else who’s actually good do the entertaining parts.

But what do I know—I’m just a viewer. I guess I’ll go back to watching the hour of “King of Queens” reruns that comes on then, or the “I Spy” reruns on Retro Television Network.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at September 15, 2009 10:02 AM

Yeah, the new Leno show is so over-hyped I decided to pass. I'm not a big fan either, but he's better than any of the other yokels on late night, particularly the sad and mean-spirited Letterman. I'd recommend streaming in and watching Speed Racer reruns rather than an hour of "King of Queens". My wife insists on watching "Biggest Loser" tonight. I feel like one watching it, and I gotta keep seeing ads for more Leno - ugh.

I was getting ready to e-mail you, as the last week had me waxing nostalgic over the old days and our blogging beginnings, after the country went through 9/11 and many of us were wondering about our future. Now B. Hussein Obombast spends money we don't have like a drunken sailor, wants me to pay for somebody else's health insurance and house mortgage, plays footsies with bankers and Wall Streeters, and thinks he knows how to make cars better than the auto CEO's. Well, who knows about that last one?

I'm particularly frustrated with the lack of coverage on the demonstrations in Washington over the weekend. It was historic yet did not fit the current administration's paradigm, so just try to sweep it under the rug. There's enough Democrats running scared over the 2010 elections that I doubt much happens with health care. There will be a whole lot of hand-wringing next year at this time when unemployment is still stubbornly high. I pray the Lord will be merciful and minimize the resultant suffering.

All y'all better batten down the hatches and stock your larders - it's going to be more than a bumpy ride.

Posted by: Marc V at September 15, 2009 08:49 PM

I used to watch Letterman until the bitterness overtook him. Hard to figure. When he finally had the things that should make a person a bit more mellow--a wife, a baby, financial security--he seemed ever more insufferable. And I hate his insistence on wearing light colored socks with dark suits, and refusing to button his double breasted suit jackets.

As for KoQ, it's all new shows to me, because I never watched a single episode while it was on the air in first run. On Tuesday nights, we watch the local rebroadcast of the high school football game so we can see Jonathan. That takes up a good two hours.

AS FOR waxing nostalgic, this anniversary seemed especially momentous for some reason. Probably due to the change of Administrations, I guess. Past anniversaries seemed to renew the urge to not have a repeat performance, but this one seemed freighted with a different sense (and not a particularly comforting one) that I can't quite describe.

And as for media coverage of anything, it's pretty sad how far down the well of irrelevancy they've gotten themselves. And how energetically they continue to dig.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 16, 2009 08:06 AM

Yeesh. First post in ages and everyone's depressed. Where's the spirit! The Fun! The deep-fried foods?

Seriously - I'm gonna have to look elsewhere for my not-blogging if we're gonna be sad.

Posted by: skinnydan at September 16, 2009 01:10 PM

Well, I could tell you about being interrupted by my middle daughter on Sunday night whilst my bride and I were strolling through the garden of marital bliss.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 16, 2009 02:33 PM

Ah, I'm reminded of the old Led Zep song "'ouses of the 'oly": Let me wander in your garden and the 'ahem' are sown ... ya know-owow. Decorum prevents me from completing the somewhat unsubtle reference.

And it seems unfortunate, but with the guvmint health scare on the horizon, the MP's [Medical Police] will soon be cracking down on delicious and nutritious fried foods, so you can just forget about any Corn-a-meat treats. And pork rinds. And hot wings. And BBQ ... well, they'll get my BBQ when they pry it out of my cold, dead artery-clogged fingers.

Posted by: Marc V at September 16, 2009 05:42 PM

Spot on concerning leno. I tuned in for the first part and got a bush and a cheney joke. I was waiting for the new nixon material.

Posted by: jim at September 16, 2009 06:33 PM

Just remember, Marc--It's For The Children (tm)

And Jim, now that you mention it, all the network hype sorta made the New Jay seem like the New Nixon--he's tanned, rested, and ready to go!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 17, 2009 05:52 AM

As Miracle Max once said - "your first story was better."

Incidentally, if you have a netflix account and you like clever british humor, I recommend Sleepers. It would certainly be an improvement over Leno. And Lenin for that matter.

Posted by: skinnydan at September 17, 2009 08:06 AM

Hey--that's what you get when you complain!

As for Netflix, I haven't tried that particular service yet--I never have time to watch all the videos we have now. I do wish I'd been the one who invented Netflix, though. ::sigh:: If only I was a lot smarter.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 18, 2009 10:14 AM

Or how about Redbox? What a racket! All those services will eventually go down the crapper when download services get up to snuff ... once the fiber reaches out to a majority of people ... and the cable (and satellite?) companies stop paying off Congress-critters.

Oops, not supposed to be so depressed, yet this whole Patrick Swayze thing has got me shook up. No, not because he died, but because Norman Borlaug, a true American hero, died and only got a small fraction of the attention.

Posted by: Marc V at September 18, 2009 11:36 PM

I've seen those boxes and wondered how anyone could make money on them. But I guess it works.

As for Borlaug, if only he'd been in rehab a couple of times, or found a way to turn his research into a hit TV show about a wacky scientist who invents miracle cereal that makes people pretty, he might have been more famouser.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 21, 2009 10:00 AM