It’s Not About Politics, It’s About Bad TV

Some quick news today:

when you're boring, you're boring.

when you're boring, you're boring.

Let’s not bring tout, his down to politics or Tea Parties. Let’s bring this down to TV — Sarah Palin’s reality show sucked, so it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s likely not coming back for a second season. If they infused it with Ted McGinley reading the Wall Street Journal for five minutes an episode, it couldn’t have been more boring. It was a half-hearted stab at “reality” when it was clearly an orchestrated cross between a promotional video for the Alaska Division of Tourism and a 2012 campaign flier. “Hey everybody! Look at me! I’m normal! And Alaska is cool!”I admit, I caught pieces of two episodes because my wife was curious, and it immediately made me salivate back to simpler times when she was addicted to Flavor Flav and I Love New York and the entire VH1 reality lineup. At least VH1 tries to make those funny. The Sarah Palin episodes I saw looked like they were edited by a 10th-grader whose parents just cut Palin a $10,000 campaign check. That couldn’t have been the intention of TLC, they had to have wanted to get something in there that gave Palin some kind of personality. In her attempts to be portrayed as normal, she came off as terribly abnormal. The fact that TLC would be letting the show go — despite very good ratings — is a pretty clear admission that there just isn’t anything interesting going on there. There are dozens of equal-time issues to worry about, but for the ratings it was pulling in, TLC would have figured something out.

But today you get even more faux political TV news! The Kennedys, the eight-part miniseries that was to air on the History Channel in March, has been pulled from the networkbecause it didn’t fit the “History brand,” whatever that is. That’s probably the funniest part of this whole cluster-eff, that a show about the most famous family in American history doesn’t fit the History Channel’s brand, but Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Top Gear Ax Men or whatever other reality trend of the moment all do. Awesome. This isn’t anything but good publicity for the miniseries and you can guarantee that TNT, Bravo, AMC and HBO are bidding like crazy to get the series with the future tagline, “The series the Kennedys didn’t want you to see!”

Whew! That gets us out of political TV and back into regular TV, where ABC has decided it will bring back six of its biggest shows for next season, none of which are surprising. Well, maybe Cougar Town might be surprising since it’s dropping a big chunk of Modern Family’s lead-in, and maybe The Middle is kinda surprising just because it was in doubt to be brought back for its second season, but good move by ABC to keep the best shows of its comedy clock intact. Now if it could only figure out what to do with the unfunny Better With You at 8:30. Good to know it wasn’t renewed, maybe ABC will head back to the drawing board looking for a better fit.

one day, we're going to live in a world where people in boxing shows and movies won't have to make a fake fist. I promise you.

one day, we're going to live in a world where people in boxing shows and movies won't have to make a fake fist. I promise you.

If you’re an FX person like me and you were worried about the direction of the network with the turnover in shows, the downgraded quality and the competition from AMC, it sounds like Lights Out could be the show you’re looking for to renew your faith in the network that gave us some of the best shows of the 2000s. 2010 was a pretty crappy year for FX, but with Lights Out and the season premiere of Justified coming up in a couple weeks, maybe 2011 could be the fresh start it needs.

New rule. If you’re trying to get people interested in movies coming up in January under the guise of “January movies that didn’t suck,” you should make sure of two things. 1. That the movies were actually accessible in January and not given a 10-theater release slate so that people remember they were actually released in January (sorry City of God and 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days) and 2. that the movies didn’t, in fact, suck. Win a Date withTad Hamilton? Freedom Writers? Those movies sucked out loud! You’re completely killing your argument by throwing them on this list. Just thinking about Freedom Writers being included in any list of movies presumably good really cheeses me off, just like Cynthia Nixon in Let It Ride. It makes me angry enough that I’m already developing a predisposition that both Green Hornet and The Dilemma — neither of which have been released to critics yet, btw — will suck.

ok, so this is what piers morgan looks like. now i know.

ok, so this is what piers morgan looks like. now i know.

If anyone can explain to me why Piers Morgan gets to take over for Larry King, feel free to let ‘er rip down there in the comments. Doesn’t seem like he’s done anything other than base his career on being able to criticize people while using his British accent. And writing a gossip column in England. So in addition to not having discernible talent himself, he’s piggy-backing on whatever talent Simon Cowell has. And I’m still trying to figure out what talent Cowell has anyway. But whatever talent Morgan does or doesn’t have, that’s a pretty sweet lineup of guests he’s got piled up for his first week. Other than Stern, he won’t ask them anything remotely interesting, and if you watch the Clooney interview, get ready for 60 minutes of riveting talk about Darfur and the Sudan. Set your DVRs now!

Just thought I’d pass along one of my new favorite websites. From the people that brought you PeopleofWalmart.com, now we’ve got the next phase in what should be a public ridicule of 95 percent of all drunken Facebook photos — D-Bag Planet. It’s about freakin’ time. I’ve had my fair share of pics you could probably put on there, but it’s amazing and fascinating at the same time what people put on their Facebook pages and are convinced is cool. Just incredible.

Ba ha! This is hysterical for two reasons: 1. That anyone would care enough to call a story annoucing George Takai joining a Nickelodeon show “exclusive seeing as it’s a star, network and show no one gives two poops about and 2. That Takai said this back in December while he was serving as the announcer on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM, and by the end of the week I felt like screaming at the radio, “Shut the eff up about the Supah Ninjas already!!!” TVGuide.com has really, really, really gone downhill over the last couple years. No wonder so many TV websites have popped up, the one that should be the market leader blows.

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