Tuesday, January 15, 2008

STRIKE EXTRA! Who needs writers?

Paul here.



With the studios and networks intransigent, there's no end in sight for the WGA strike. Herewith, a preview of an unscripted crime drama that may look familiar. But is something missing?

So, with scripted shows on hold, what the heck is television doing to entertain you? Take a look, if you dare.


"AMERICAN GLADIATORS" also show their abs in the brothel known as NBC

"PARKING WARS" on A&E. Cameras watch as meter maids and tow truck drivers argue with car owners. Just guessing, but could this win the Emmy for WORST REALITY SHOW NOT STARRING DONALD TRUMP?

"CELEBRITY REHAB WITH DR. DREW," on VH-1. Watch Chyna, Jeff Conaway, and Daniel Baldwin battle their addictions. Or just shoot yourself, now.

Q: So, Paul, it's an election year. Care to tell us your political philosophy?

A: I'm glad you asked. I think Leonard Cohen summed it up nicely.

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Full song below, illustrated:


Today's Los Angeles Times reports that the spread of syphilis across the globe was sparked by Christopher Columbus and his crew, who ferried the bacterium from Guyana back to Europe.

When informed of this, Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said, "It was God's will." Okay, so he didn't really say that. Yet.

On a happier note, Sunday's Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch had this to say:

Like its predecessor, "The Crazy School" is a classic whodunit with an enormously appealing heroine. But this is a much darker story, and Maddie's wisecracks appear less frequently. They're still hilarious, but the appeal here is the mystery -- there's a big clue that history buffs might spot -- and Cornelia Read's continuing development of damaged, lovable Maddie. You'd be nuts to miss it.

And here's the lead of Oline Cogdill's review of Jim Grippando's "Last Call" in the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel:

It's not just the brisk action and solid plotting — and there is plenty of both, even the occasional car chase and gun battle — that make James Grippando's thrillers so enticing.

It's the Miami author's ability to hone in on realistic characters caught up in situations over which they have no control. It's the tactic that the best thriller maestros, from Hitchcock to Harlan Coben, utilize to the maximum. Grippando has a secure place on that list.




  1. Paul, as always, a great post. Guess a lot of people are watching DVD reruns of really good series (personally, I want to watch the entire West Wing from first to last shining episode, and I've always loved Northern Exposure), trouble is, in a way that's like crossing a picket line, because the writers aren't getting the residuals they're due. I never watched much TV, but considering what's on offer - and you highlight it so well - I will probably never watch it again. Oh, except for a bit of Masterpiece Theater, perhaps ....

    Solidarity indeed!
    And congrats, indeed, to our fellow Nakeds - Cornelia and James - terrific reviews!

  2. Jacqueline,
    Feel free to watch all the Northern Exposures & West Wings you want.

    Those residuals will be duly paid, thanks to earlier generations of writers who fought for them (as well as health benefits and contractual minimum fees per episode).

    The issue now is getting paid for work distributed via the Internet.

  3. Can you guys sue that Lifetime show for copyright infringement?

    Or maybe just get Born to appear on the show?

    Oh, no, that wouldn't work. It's not "How to Look Really Strange Naked" is it?

    Not that I've seen Born naked... well, there was that time in the bathroom during Edgars Week.

  4. Welcome back Paulie!!!!! And congrats to James and Cornelia for those stellar reviews. I'm with Our J. I don't watch much TV. By the time the good stuff comes on, I'm already in bed reading a good book.

  5. Aw, Paulie, thank you so much for including that review. My husband lost his job yesterday, so all the PR I can get really helps even more, as of this morning.

    Your summary of the new shows just made me laugh so hard I'm glad I didn't have a mouthful of beverage--and I sure did need a good laugh this morning.


  6. Congrats to Cornelia and James! And best wishes, Cornelia, in a rough time.

    I have to admit that I don't watch much TV, the shows that matched my tastes seem to have died long ago. Is this really the Dumbing Down of America, the Lowest Common Denominator?

  7. I concur with the reviewers!

    Oline rarely gets things wrong.

    Good post, Paul.


  8. I admit I'm a cranky Yankee curmudgeon, and the dumbing of all of America and TV is pretty astonishing. If you want to be really ill, try watching any episodes of The Girls Next Door, about Octegenarian Hefner and his current 3 bimbettes and Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The latter makes me feel sorry for Bruce Jenner, both for his apparently unfortunate plastic surgery, (think latter-day Kenny Rodgers) and for falling from actual Olympic athletic achievment to sad hanger-on in the post OJ world of sleazy women without brains or taste. Maybe this will be like the baseball strike--- and people will learn to pull the plug on the Idiot Box?

  9. Is it just me or does Dr. Drew look just like Mark Coggins? :)

  10. No way. I've definitely got more hair than him!