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A big lover of all types of media, from Movies to Video Games, Books to Music, Television to Stage.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm Weighing In On The Charlie Sheen Thing

I'm sorry, because I said this blogsite wouldn't be about rumours and the habits of actors and such, but this Charlie Sheen incident is so prevalent across the interwebs today that I feel I just gotta say something about it.  And now that the show in question, "Two And A Half Men," is on the verge of total cancellation, perhaps I can get away with still retaining my honour in the sense that it isn't just about rumours and antics anymore.  That view is up to you, Good Readers.

So, here's my take:  Charlie, you've become a dickhead.  I can write that, because this is my own blogsite.  If you want to add those types of comments down below, feel free to do so, as this is not going to be censored.  When you put together all that CBS has done to accommodate Sheen's off-camera behaviour, and then add to that the gross amounts of money they were paying him, and THEN take into consideration his recent comments on TMZ and the like...the only answer is simply dickhead.  Charlie Sheen, I love the show, I've enjoyed many of your films, but as for future endeavours you've lost my interest.  You have become the Mel Gibson of the television.  I don't care how minor some of the websites are citing the anti-Semitic comment you made, the point is you chose to go there, and that's enough.

As for all the people who's paycheques you have now taken from their pockets, that is pretty much unforgivable.  Never mind the pressure you've placed on the other actors that you have simply abandoned by your careless attitude, the entire crew has gotten screwed over by the wall you forced CBS to put their backs against.  For that reason alone, you are a self-centred dickhead.

However, I do not feel that Sheen is the only one to blame here.  I strongly believe that anyone who sees someone sliding down the slippery slope of self-destruction, whether it be by addiction or some other means, it is their responsibility to withhold anything that would enable them to do more harm to themselves or others.  I'm not saying they have to help, but they should not go on aiding the situation to get worse.  CBS paid the man, swept his misdeeds under the rug, laughed off the thought that the show would be in any way negatively affected, and went on with business as usual.  That is not how you deal with addiction in your midst, and anybody with ANY knowledge of the facts of the subject would tell you that.

For these reasons, I hold CBS directly responsible for the cast and crew losing their jobs mid-season in this way as well.  After all, Sheen's problems are not new, and have never been secret.  Stopping the show during a summer hiatus would have been the right thing to do, but greed ultimately won out over caring for the star, the actors, the crew, the writers, and anyone else who helped make the show the hit that it has become.  They've hurt Sheen almost as much as Sheen has hurt himself.  Allowing a long summer hiatus in 2010, and bringing the show back the in spring of 2011 with a run that might carry through the next summer would have been the responsible thing for CBS to do, and it might even have ensured a sober lead actor to boot - but I'll bet dollars to donuts that if that idea was even considered, it was quickly dismissed in favour of selling ad time in the fall of 2010.

No, it seems CBS was willing to look the other way, keep paying the talent, and hope everything came out in the wash.  Well, it didn't, and now the dirty sheets are being aired for all to see.  Only, as of yet, nobody is fully blaming CBS.  I firmly believe that when the depth of Charlie's addiction and need for rehabilitation becomes clear, the blame will begin to rest on the CBS doorstep, and it rightly should at least in part.  They never forced him to be a dickhead, but they sure didn't try to help him to avoid becoming one.

As far as I can see, unless his voice was being considered during any of the discussions that were had regarding what to do about Charlie's behaviour, Chuck Lorre is completely innocent of anything other than mildly ribbing comments on his vanity cards - and given the situation, I'm surprised they were as mild as they were.  Since I don't know what involvement Lorre has in the process of deciding whether to go on a hiatus or not, I am assuming on the side of no involvement.  If his opinion counts, and he was for keeping the show going, then he is at fault as well.

So, that's my take on the whole debacle.  I don't care if my view is accepted or disagreeable.  It is how I see it, and since it ultimately means I'm no longer watching a show I've enjoyed for years, I'm entitled to my opinion.  Feel free to share your opinions below.

Until next time, save the recliner for me, would you?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Mid-Season Reviews

I know, I know, I promised these earlier and real life got in the way.  here, then, are the other mid-season reviews I promised a week ago:

"Traffic Light" started off promisingly, as far as the humour went.  I also enjoyed how they tied the name of the series in with the memorial of the passing of one of their friends.  Not a lot else to say about this one, as it is overshadowed by my next title.

"Mad Love" is perfect, right out of the gate.  Remember how I gushed about "Harry's Law," and how the ensemble cast just clicked right away?  This one has the same feel in that regard.  It is really nice to see Jason Biggs in a role that doesn't involve masturbation, pie molestation, or him acting like a loser.  Add to him the excellent Sarah Chalke fresh off of her Scrubs success, Judy Greer whom I personally feel is quite under-rated and could carry her own show/movie without trouble, and Tyler Labine whom is best known as the sidekick 'Sock' from the WB show "Reaper," and you have a great basis for an ongoing hit.  In fact, I already predict that the best friend duo of Judy and Tyler will become this show's Karen and Jack (from "Will & Grace").  Much success will come this show's way, as long as the writers know just how wonderful their actors are.

"The Chicago Code" shocked me right out of the gate as well.  With a pilot episode that ends on a note more likely to be seen as a season finale or sweeps-week stunner, this show grabbed me right off the bat.  It's great to see Jennifer Beals taking the lead, and what a great and menacing bad guy they have in the form of Delroy Lindo.  Casting can't get much better than that.  Two episodes in, and I'm already invested in seeing how they expect to be able to take this guy down, especially when our lead is already into him for a favour.  Complexities abound, let's just hope the writing stays on top of the story.

And, finally, I have to mention "Mr. Sunshine."  Here we have Matthew Perry returning to sitcom television, bringing along with him Allison Janney, obviously best known from the fantastic series "The West Wing."  While Janney had some comedic turns on her previous show, she isn't known as the kook she is portraying in this one, and it is wonderful to watch as she chews on the scenery whenever she gets onscreen.  The writers need to inject just a little more of the suffering aspect they portrayed in the lead up to this show for Perry's character.  It wouldn't be out of line in this one to actually have him look at the camera/audience, as if to say 'you see what I have to deal with?' every now and again.  Keep the backing cast solid, keep the focus on Perry, and avoid any errant 'Chandlerisms' that might wander into the script, and this one will be around for a while.

There you have it folks, the last of my new show reviews.  I'd review the new "Survivor: Redemption Island," but that isn't new, that's a returning show, so no dice.  Two last things:  "Harry's Law" just keeps getting better, so if you haven't tuned in get to it...and I keep hearing a lot about how wonderful "Fringe" is this year, though the ratings keep slipping.  I know why, and anyone out there who is honest about it will admit that this is true:  Nobody wants you to mess with two universes at once!  Yeah, it's great for die hard science fiction audiences, but that isn't why the main viewers tuned in to the show in the first place!  Take a page from "Heroes" or "Lost," and note that the weirder things got the small the audience tuned in...reel in the strange, folks, or else renewal will not be in the cards.

That's how I see it anyway.  Keep the recliner free for me, would you?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Wait To Coronation Street's 50th Anniversary Is Driving Me Nuts

Okay, we already covered this:  I am a big fan of "Coronation Street."  Yes, I am a guy.  Yes, I have testicles.  Yes, I have a wife, and she is not just for show (though she sure is purdy, hyuk, hyuk).  And, yes, I watch the show religiously.  Not so religiously as other people I've recently read about (I watch Corrie every night on CBC at 6:30, and if I'm not watching at exactly that time, I am PVRing the show in order to watch it slightly later in the same evening - I do not, however, then go and watch the omnibus on Sunday as some people do even after watching each episode during the week), but I haven't missed an episode yet and don't intend to ever do so since I started watching.

This is especially upsetting as we are hoping to be moving to the Dominican Republic in the next two to three years.  See, I love this show so much, I am very concerned that once we are in the Caribbean we will no longer have access to it.  Now, I know that the CBC website allows for watching online, and I also know that the ITV website (home of the show in Britain) does as well, but here's the thing:  If you aren't in the right country, you can't watch the episodes online.  So, while I can catch the CBC website's episodes now, when no longer in Canada I expect I'll be out of luck.  So the question then becomes, does any provider down in the Dominican carry Corrie?  We're looking into this, but results are mixed.

The Dominican Republic has a lot of things that surprise outsiders, considering they are still listed as a third world country.  Did you know that the DR is the most internet-friendly island in the Caribbean?  That the capital, Santo Domingo, is thought of as the Montreal of the region?  That on their two-thirds of Hispaniola (the other third is Haiti) they have opera houses, museums, art galleries, wildlife preserves and botanical gardens?  Most auto dealerships in the world have a piece of the action in the DR, and so do a couple of big names in television programming providers.  According to research done by Andi, my wife, both Direct TV and Sky provide satellite programming to the island, but the problem is we can't get the information on what channels they both offer and whether Corrie is carried by either of them.  This is maddening, but not as bad as something else about the show which is making me climb the walls...

That being the upcoming 50th anniversary week of "Coronation Street" episodes.  See, in Canada we're 10 months behind the current British episodes.  This means that currently, we're watching what happened in March - April of 2010.  Now, that normally isn't a problem, but when suddenly the media outlets are lit up by photos of tram crashes, huge fires, and information about certain characters' untimely demises...well, I wish we could hurry up and get to them!  And yet, I must languish here outside Toronto, waiting until September and October for the lead up to the big event, and the wait is horrible!  Almost as bad as waiting for July to see the second half of the last "Harry Potter" flick!  And the biggest problem is what I know about the upcoming anniversary shows!

I won't include even a single spoiler here, so don't worry if you are a Canadian fan reading this, or Australian as they are also some months behind the air dates in Britain.  I will say that knowing certain aspects of what is coming makes things I'm seeing this week so much more ominous than I thought they would be...and it is just fuelling the fire of my eagerness to watch these episodes to a high flame!  A look here, a random (or, knowing that the celebratory episodes and storyline were planned WAY in advance, probably not so random) line there, it is all just getting too much!  Get to the December episodes now, for crying out loud!  Stop my personal torture!

Worst of all is when I consider what will happen if we do find that one of the providers of the Dominican Republic's television services does in fact carry Corrie, but it is current episodes with no delay.  What am I going to do for those 10 months?  I can't miss ten whole months of episodes!  I mean, I want to see what December 2010 brought to The Street, but I don't want to miss all the episodes separating me from those ones!  I might have to go to Craigslist or something to find someone willing to copy episodes to DVD for those 10 months, record them to DVD in the DR without watching them for the first year or so, then get all the discs together and go on a huge binge of Corrie, just to get to where I'm watching current shows with all the backstory.  What am I to do?

Well, I guess that is my worry...but if anyone has ANY information as to what channels the different DR providers offer, or anyone in Canada willing to do a huge pile of recordings (of course, I would supply the blank DVDs and shipping fees), please let me know.  Leave a comment, and much thanks way in advance.

Otherwise, keep a recliner free for me, would you?  I'll be back soon with a review of the other mid-season replacement shows that just started in February.