Saturday, March 24, 2007

Friday Night TV/Catch-up

Two shows with no real plots, so no spoiler warnings here:

  • Acceptable TV: A really interesting take on a sketch comedy show. Each sketch is presented as a short "pilot episode." Viewers go to to vote for their two favorites. The sketches with the most votes get picked up for another episode, while the rest get canceled and replaced by new pilots. They will also feature user submitted videos on the site, and every week the most popular user creation airs on VH1 during the show. It's an awesome concept for a sketch show, since watching SNL often leaves me wondering why so many of the best sketches never show up again, while that Horatio Sanz in drag sketch, the Nunni's, and Deep House Dish have been harder to get rid of than most STDs.

    But the good concept is wasted if the mini-pilots aren't any good. You can watch all this week's content on the website if you missed the show. 5 mini-shows this week, plus a user submission: Joke Chasers, Who Farted (a great game show parody, but I'm not sure another episode would be any good), Homeless James Bond, The Teensies (easily the weakest), Anna Manesia (user submitted one, but having Steve Agee of The Sarah Silverman Program in your video is kinda cheating for an "amateur"), and Mr. Sprinkles (and animated "Cat in the Hat" spoof).

    I think my votes go to Homeless James Bond and Mr. Sprinkles (or I would if the registration was working, which it currently isn't, at least for me... the voting doesn't last long, so I hope they figure out the issue soon). The Bond sketch had the best jokes of the night, and James Bond movies provide a lot of material to parody, so I think it could last. And Mr. Sprinkles was actually a nice bit of satire. A co-worker mentioned that he was going to sit his kids (aged 6 and 9) down and show them the story about the young boy in Georgia who was recently found dead. He wanted to make sure his kids knew to believe him when he told them to be careful around strangers. And all parents seem to be like this, instilling complete paranoia about people. I'd like my hypothetical (as far as I know) kid to be careful and all, but I'd also want him to know that people in general are good. But I don't think anyone reads this to hear my thoughts on the ills of society, so I'll just say it was funny and move on.

    In general I was pretty pleased with the show. All the sketches are kept short, so if they're not funny they're at least over quickly. Assuming the Acceptable TV viewers have similar tastes to me, it could be pretty great. If you don't want to watch the mini-pilots online, Acceptable TV looks like it's repeating a lot over the weekend on VH1.

  • Penn & Teller: Bullshit: I somehow missed that this had started back up, but hooray! I don't actually subscribe to Showtime, but I can usually find some time to park on a friend's couch to watch their most interesting stuff. Anyway, Bullshit is one of my favorites. They kind of worked their way past the good issues early on, and tend to overstate their cases on the stuff they come up with now, but even if when I think they are bullshitting as much as their targets, the show is still entertaining.

    This week's topic: obesity. A perfect example of overstating cases. I agree that crash dieting is terrible for you, that the BMI is stupid, that the weight loss industry is full of misleading information and has a vested interest in their products not working, that the overweight are unfairly discriminated against, and that we're genetically programmed to eat as much food as we can so the industrialized world with abundant food should naturally start to get fat.

    However, they make it sound like being really fat isn't that bad for you. I'm neither a doctor nor a nutritionist nor do I even follow my own advice, but it certainly seems like people who try to get some exercise and who eat somewhat sensibly are a heck of a lot healthier than lazy gluttons. I know two guys with diabetes and it has been extremely difficult for them. Had they taken better care of themselves, they wouldn't be dealing with these problems. So the message that being fat is ok seemed... overstated. But hey, the Fat Olympics were hilarious, especially the blue shirted guy knocking into every hurdle before finally just going around the last one. An average episode, but for a show that's typically good, I'm happy with that.

Still to watch: Nothing. I tried to watch Raines but fell asleep. And I wasn't all that tired, so I think I'm done recording it.

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