Monday, December 17, 2007

on charlie

In the past bunch of weeks I've gotten a little obsessed with Charlie Rose. My prior experiences with his show usually involved me coming home late on a weekend night, snacking to ward off any next-morning ugliness, and randomly catching a rerun of Charlie on PBS from the prior week.

It doesn't get more basic than Charlie. He possesses a knowledge and wit so broad that I've recently see him go toe to toe with everyone from current presidential candidates to Jay-Z. He's been criticized in the past for being softball, but he is no clueless Larry King - if only he wasn't relegated to his late timeslot (or in my affiliate's case, weird next-day afternoon replays that force me to tape 5 days a week). The variety of A-listers from heads of state to the big stars and directors on Film Fridays provide an insightful daily mix of discussion.

I wonder if PBS has some sort of cradle-to-the-grave programming mandate actually, as Charlie is the comfortable old-person's Mr Rogers. Not a bad plan.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

In favour of...

The Hills. Monday marks the end of Season 3 of what remains, ratings and (perhaps more
important) US covers, one of MTV's key shows, and as such, maintains
some essence of influence in the grand pop culture scheme of things.

What's the appeal? Though a lot is made of the ongoing friendship feuds and boy drama,
The Hills is a veritable Seinfeld of the 90s, a bold claim perhaps-
but it might be even bolder to claim that the Hills is 'about' anything.

A major part of the show has to be its own Aftershow, where a finely chemistry-ed team
deconstructs what little has happened in the prior 22 minutes, and advertently creates
the impression of compelling television, with a fair amount of tongue placed in cheek. The
'stars' of the main show, who are often targets of derision on the Aftershow, seem only
willing to acknowledge it when contractually obligated to do so.

The Hills (and its necessary counterpart) are a brilliant one-two punch, making the case for more
faux reality shows in its wake.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Meet Mesya, who I will be taking care of for the next month or two. Her ongoing exploration of every last square centimetre of my apartment is probably continuing as I write this.