Television

RHCP Sue Showtime Over Californication

justiceMy favourite news story of the day comes out of Los Angeles. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have sued Showtime Networks over the name of the television series "Californication," which is also the name of the band's 1999 album and a single on it.

I've written quite a bit about this David Duchovny show we get on TMN. It's a love/hate thing in that I love to hate it. I caught every episode and tore it to shreds with running commentary that my wife will confirm was funnier than the show.

When I first learnt they were calling the show "Californication", I thought it was an homage to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and I didn't think it infringed on copyright. I also noted a character was named Dani California, so they didn't try very hard to hide the name's inspiration. I hit Wikipedia to find out if RHCP invented this term, and there I learnt "Californication is a portmanteau of California and fornication, written about in Time on August 21, 1972 and seen on bumper stickers in the U.S. states of Colorado, Oregon and Idaho."

I can see why RHCP are pissed. If a show is going to bum your name, you want it to be a great deal better than this one.

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Season Finale

humourEarlier this week, I toasted "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and shared one of my favourite exchanges from this season, Get In That Ass, Larry. I've just watched the season finale, and damn, that was awesome.

I'm issuing a very serious spoiler alert here. If you haven't seen the season final of "Curb Your Enthusiasm", and you plan to, don't watch this clip. It's the final two minutes and there's a rather significant twisty turn.

This is the funniest show on television.

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My Desert Island Show

tvWe've all played the desert island game. If you're going to a desert island, which ten CDs would you bring? If you were going to a desert island, and could only bring one food, which food would you bring? Heck, I think I've written a desert island entry or two over the years.

I was just thinking about which show I'd choose if I could only watch one show's new episodes while on a desert island. Got that? The show has to be active and while on this desert island I'll be somehow receiving the new episodes. Which show would I choose?

I'd choose "Curb Your Enthusiasm". While on this desert island, I'm going to want to laugh, and no show makes me life like Larry David's CYE. This season, Larry has adopted the Black family, and it's been damn funny.

I wanted to share a clip from season six, and there are plenty of great ones to choose from, but I wanted one with Leon Black, played by J.B. Smoove. This clip, entitled Get In That Ass, Larry, is NSFW. If you want to keep your job, wait until you get home or put on the headphones.

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Property Virgins With Sandra Rinomato

homeYesterday, Taryn went to some renovation showcase thing for charity. At one of the homes she met Sandra Rinomato, host of HGTV's "Property Virgins". Both my mom and my wife love this show, and because it usually features Toronto neighbourhoods, I've caught my fair share of episodes.

If you haven't seen it, here's a typical episode of "Property Virgins".

  1. A young, sporty, childless couple wants to by a home
  2. This couple wants a home with space to store their biking, camping, skiing and kayaking gear
  3. Starting in a lovely High Park neighbourhood, this couple points out their ideal home to Sandra
  4. Sandra learns this couple can't afford more than $350,000 and asks them to guess what this High Park home will go for
  5. The couple guesses way low and seems surprised to learn their dream house will sell for approximately $750,000
  6. Sandra takes the couple to Mimico where they might actually find a home for $350,000

Some of the details may change, but that's every episode of "Property Virgins" in a nutshell.

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Unable To Contact Rogers On Demand

tvI haven't been keeping up with "Weeds". I've also dropped "Rescue Me" and rarely catch "The Office". My non-sports television these days is primarily focused on programs I can access via Rogers On Demand.

Rogers On Demand, channel 308 at my house, comes with TMN and is how I watch "Curb Your Enthusiasm", "Dexter" and "Tell Me You Love Me". It's also how I catch movies, because it's so damn convenient. The movie starts when I'm ready to watch and I can pause, rewind and all of that good stuff. I'm aware of the PVR option, but I'm hesitant to increase my cable bill any further. Rogers On Demand is currently my television life blood.

Unfortunately, every once in a while, Rogers On Demand goes AWOL. That's what's happening right now. When I visit channel 308, it tells me to "please wait..." and then states it's "unable to contact Rogers On Demand17". Did it try Rogers On Demand 1-16 first?

I'm precisely the kind of guy who would love a PVR. When I'm ready, I want to be able to watch my Sunday night cartoons, "The Office", "30 Rock" or whatever. Until I take the plunge, 308 will have to do.

Maybe it will actually start working again soon...

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When Dad Passed Away

Wonder YearsI used to do this little feature about shows I used to watch. One show I used to watch is "The Wonder Years".

Here's the closing scene from the series finale. The music you hear is from The Natural, and it never fails to get me all emotional. What man can resist the music from The Natural?

I liked the fact Kevin and Winnie didn't end up together but I always hated the four words that were only written to make you all misty eyed. It's so manipulative, but effective. Randy Newman's score from The Natural is bellowing and Daniel Stern says "when dad passed away".

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Seinfeld Cancelled?

TVWhen I named a recent entry I'm Telling You For The Last Time, it was a subtle tribute to Jerry Seinfeld. Jerry named his 1998 HBO special "I'm Telling You for the Last Time".

I still enjoy watching Seinfeld reruns when I stumble upon them. I can rarely stomach anything a second time, so the fact I can watch Seinfeld episodes over and over again is something special. I can really only do this with a handful of shows.

HH shared this earlier today and it's quite funny. If you ask me, Larry's been going through the motions for years. It's about time someone called him on it.

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Oz: Where Are They Now?

tvFor years, Friday nights at my house meant Oz. I'm not talking about the Wizard of Oz with Dorothy and the gang, I'm talking about the HBO series that aired from 1997 until 2003. I loved that show, and every time I'm reminded of it, I get bummed that it's no longer airing.

I'm constantly reminded of Oz because so many of the actors I knew from Emerald City appear in shows today. The Law & Order series are littered with them, I see a couple on Dexter and Lost and Dean Winters seems to show up here and there.

Here's a little "where are they now" list I've put together for those actors we loved in Oz. Ryan O'Reily, by the way, is my third favourite television character of all time. Here are my five favourite characters from Oz. Now on to the list...

  • Harold Perrineau (Augustus Hill) - Lost
  • Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Simon Adebisi) - Lost
  • Dean Winters (Ryan O'Reily) - Rescue Me, 30 Rock
  • Lauren Velez (Dr. Gloria Nathan) - Dexter
  • Christopher Meloni (Chris Keller) - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  • J.K. Simmons (Vernon 'Vern' Schillinger) - The Closer
  • Kathryn Erbe (Shirley Bellinger) - Law & Order: Criminal Intent
  • David Zayas (Enrique Morales) - Dexter
  • Lee Tergesen (Tobias 'Toby' Beecher) - Desperate Housewives
  • Scott William Winters (Cyril O'Reily) - Dexter, 24
  • Ernie Hudson (Warden Leo Glynn) - Desperate Housewives
  • Eamonn Walker (Kareem Said) - ER, Justice
  • Otto Sanchez (Carmen 'Chico' Guerra) - Kidnapped
  • Kirk Acevedo (Miguel Alvarez) - Law & Order: Trial By Jury, The Black Donnellys
  • muMs da Schemer (Arnold 'Poet' Jackson) - Boston Legal
  • J.D. Williams (Kenny Wangler) - The Wire
  • B.D. Wong (Father Ray Mukada) - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  • Luke Perry (Reverend Jeremiah Cloutier) - John From Cincinnati
  • Tom Mardirosian (Agamemnon 'The Mole' Busmalis) - Law & Order
  • Rita Moreno (Sister Peter Marie Reimondo) - Cane
  • Zeljko Ivanek (Governor James Devlin) - Law & Order
  • Robert Clohessy (Officer Sean Murphy) - Kidnapped
  • Edie Falco (Officer Diane Whittlesey) - The Sopranos
  • Seth Gilliam (Clayton Hughes) - The Wire
  • Luis Guzman (Raoul 'El Cid' Hernandez) - John From Cincinnati

That took longer than I thought it would. Phew.

oz

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Out Of This World: Grade A Crapola

tvI don't know Lori, but she seems to have me all figured out. She likes it when I delve into the dusty corners of my 33 year old mind to come up with old shows I remember. That stuff really appeals to Ontarians born in the mid-70s, I've noticed.

Lori sent me a YouTube video and asked if I remembered the show. Unfortunately, I remember it all too well. In fact, I've seen several episodes of "Out Of This World" and would get that damn theme song stuck in my head on a continuous loop.

Out Of This World was just about as bad as a sitcom can get. The principle character was half alien which gave her the ability to freeze time, Zack Morris style. When everyone was frozen, Evie could still chat with her alien father, Troy Garland of Anterias, who was voiced by none other than Burt Reynolds.

The effects were cheesy, the plot was hokey and the show ran at strange times. I think it ran Saturday or Sunday afternoons on CFMT here in Toronto, but I could be mistaken. Here's that catchy reworking of Bing Crosby's "Swinging on a Star".


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Bill Maher the Bouncer

tvThis is a neat little clip from Real Time with Bill Maher. What I find fascinating is that there's this group of people out there who believe so strongly that 9/11 was staged they're willing to protest.

Of course, there are Holocaust deniers and people who think the moon landing was staged, so maybe it's not that surprising.

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