Paring Down the Awards Shows

Thanks to everyone that stopped by the third PopRox live chat Friday! Always a good time, for me at least. Next one is scheduled for Sept. 3.

Today’s links:

what? twilight wins at the teen choice awards! noooooooo!!!

what? twilight wins at the teen choice awards! noooooooo!!!

There are too many awards shows. We know that. So just in case you were wondering, here’s how you know an awards show is about as useful as a third nipple — it’s not broadcast on TV live. In other words, people care so little about it that they don’t need to know who won, they can just check it out in a couple days when it’s broadcast on TV. Such is the case with the Teen Choice Awards. When saddled with the decision of whether to broadcast it live on Sunday and pre-empt three hours of Simpsons, Family Guy and Cleveland reruns — reruns appearing on TV now for the third time — Fox decided instead to just to hold off a day, let the newspapers and websites report the results and then broadcast it. That definitively tells you two things:

1. Fox doesn’t care about this broadcast. Instead of going through the extra cost, responsibility and effort to broadcast it live instead of the third airing of Family Guy’s Empire Strikes Back episode, some network executive just said, “Screw it, we’ll take off Lie to Me tomorrow. Good enough?” And everyone in the room nodded and shook hands. To Fox, the Teen Choice Awards is like going to a wedding four hours away of a person you barely know when you’re not even staying overnight. You’ll go, but it’s barely worth it and there’s a 99.99999% chance you’ll be complaining about it Monday to your friends.

2. Teens, apparently, don’t care about these awards. At least that’s the clear message Fox is sending. It’s hard to argue with them since I just did a Google search for “teen choice awards aired live” and didn’t see one article, blog or tweet complaining about not seeing Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson walking down the red carpet live. The only reason teens tune in is to see what their favorite stars are wearing.

So if the network doesn’t care about it, and teens don’t care about it, then why are they still doing this? We’ll never get back to having only the three major award ceremonies televised — Oscars, Emmys, Grammys — but we can at least start to thin out the ranks of the dregs. Teen Choice Awards, you’re officially in the dregs.

there just aren't many more acceptable reasons to watch entourage anymore

there just aren't many more acceptable reasons to watch entourage anymore

Start thinking about the end of Entourage if you haven’t already. The boys couldn’t even go to a bingo parlor and be called “boys” anymore, so let’s make it official — next summer will be the end of Entourage. If you’re one of the four people still crying over this — I’m still a fan, but I’m certainly not crying — first get over it since it hasn’t been really funny for about three years, and then just enjoy the rest of the ride since it seems like there are only 11 episodes left as of right now (five this year, six next year). If you’re still watching Entourage at this point, you’re one of four people, and there really isn’t much wiggle room on this:

1. You find the whole back-room, Hollywood-deal-making stuff remarkably interesting even though you didn’t crack a smile once in season six (that’s me).

2. You’re holding on for dear life hoping it’s going to get funny again (it won’t).

3. You still think it’s funny (stop whatever you’re doing RIGHT NOW and head to the doctor, there may be something seriously, medically wrong with you).

4. You’re along for the ride of the patented Vince’s Hot Nekked Chick of the Week.

In case you haven’t guessed, categories 1 and 4 are the only acceptable tickets to have on the Entourage train if you want to keep your dignity.

Will Ferrell ain’t dead yet. So he set off a Land of the Lost stink bomb last year. It looks like it might have been just a bump in the road instead of a career-turning movie as The Other Guys jumped to #1at the Hollywood box office this weekend. He obviously doesn’t have the same gas he has four years ago with the premiere of Talladega Nights since the box office tallies keep going down since then, but there’s still some life left in him yet. Actually, Land of the Lost isn’t that different from the rest of his career. He seems to have one hit, then one “meh” movie or a bust, and then he goes back to hit. Remember Semi-Pro? Or Stranger Than Fiction? He had to deal with these same questions after those movies and answered them each time. I’m not even a Ferrell fan, I hated Anchorman. Just saying that betting against him isn’t the smart play.

Yeah, I know, the thought of already giving up on the summer with about a month left is pretty depressing, but if you want to be ahead of the curve, it’s time to start looking toward fall, where we start to see Oscar contenders on the film release scheduleand a new TV season. And by October, we start seeing some of the year’s biggest music releases so that Santa plants those big CDs under the tree. There are only two things I’m giddy-excited for this fall — The Social Network and the return of Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I would have loved to have said Blue Valentine because of its local connections, filmed in and around Scranton and Wayne County, but I have yet to like Ryan Gosling in anything he’s done. With the 30 or so shows I keep tabs on, Always Sunny is #1 on my list. When my friends and/or family get together these days, it’s the show more than any other that we quote. And once it starts, it takes us at least a full half-hour to get through it. 

Steve Buscemi’s place in credible pop culture is completely and definitively cemented. The guy shows up in everything, and every time he does brings the goods. He’s a favorite of directors (Coens, Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez), of stars (Adam Sandler) and producers (Jerry Bruckheimer). He’s got about 120 items on his IMDB resume, and he keeps taking small roles that lend to his legend. But in all that time, he’s never had a real #1 starring role. At least I can’t find one. His most memorable performances — Mr. Pink, Seymour in Ghost World, Donny in Big Lebowski, Carl in Fargo, and yeah, Rock Hound in Armageddon — have all been third-billed or lower. He’s made tremendous career choices, rarely taking anything that is going to tarnish his impeccable reputation. Even Bruckheimer movies! He must have had dozens of offers to have his own TV show, or to have a major starring movie role. Until now, he’s turned them all down. So when he says that his starring role in Boardwalk Empireis a dream come true, I tend to believe him. This show makes or breaks HBO for the next five years. If it fails, another in a string of HBO original failures that have failed to catch on in the mainstream, the talk will be that it’s officially lost it’s touch. If it succeeds, you’ll hear nothing but “HBO is back!” talk. One way or another, Buscemi’s place in history is safe.

sad, happy or torturous, it's still one of the TV's best

sad, happy or torturous, it's still one of the TV's best

Good to see Matt Saracen getting some work now that his Friday Night Lights days are over. And since this is the last link on the day, if you’re not a Friday Night Lights fan — or if you haven’t watched it yet — just go ahead and stop reading here. That way I won’t have to bug you with thoughts on Friday’s fourth season finale. Waiting … waiting … OK, we’re alone now, so here goes: It’s ridiculously implausible that East Dillon could ever beat West Dillon. It would be like a satellite campus of Penn State starting a football program and beating the real Nittany Lions later that season. In the process, that satellite team would turn their entire satellite town into believers even though they’ve been outscored something like 432-63 on the year. Also, the satellite campus wouldn’t have its best player, it’s only star player, for the first half. But because this is Hollywood, and because Friday Night Lights stopped worrying about football reality years ago when it granted Tim Riggins a sixth year of high school football eligibility, and because every character on this season of Friday Night Lights has been through every form of tragedy short of a kidney stone, we all knew that ball was going through the uprights before good ol’ whipping boy Lance stepped to it. I’m fine with that. Anyone who made it through this season of FNL without becoming a chain smoker or a full-blown alcoholic deserved some kind of end-of-season reward. Friday’s FNL was that reward. As much as I love the show, I admittedly had thoughts of, “Do I really want to go through this again next year?” The abortion. The abortion aftermath. Sarcen’s dad. Saracen leaving. Saracen and Julie breaking up. The Riggins Boys’ impending jail term. Vince and his mom. Vince and his boys. Coach being humiliated on a weekly basis. Watching this season of FNL was some kind of wonderful form of emotional torture, if there even is such a thing. We needed something like Friday’s finale, where we could all cheer the show instead of involuntarily screaming out a safe word in the hopes the show would release you from its gag ball. It sucks that Riggins is in jail and that Julie and Matt broke up for sure this time, but anyone who didn’t see those coming three episodes away have never seen this show before. In the Taylor household and the world of Dillon, everything is as right with the world as it possibly could be — and the McCoys got their comeuppance. Really, that’s all we were looking for. FINALE GRADE: B. SEASON GRADE: B+.

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