The TV MegaSite's Blog Post #152
 

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The TV MegaSite's Blog Post #152

Saturday November 29

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and 4-day weekend! (Sorry if you had to work)  I did work some, but it's okay...I don't mind!

Last night's "Haven" sure had a jaw-dropper at the end. It was a very disturbing episode even before the big bomb they dropped. I can't wait for next week! Poor Duke and Dwight - they both got their love lives cut short. At least they both "got some" before the end of the episode.

"Constantine" was awesome. It grows on me more each week. It's so spooky, and I love the characters. They're very quirky, yet not in an annoying way.

Now I'm watching "Two and a Half Men". I keep waiting for it to be funny. This whole "My Two Dads" story is not that funny. Actually, I enjoyed the original "My Two Dads" better. The part with Berta was cute, but otherwise it was not so great. Maybe it shouldn't have gotten renewed for one more season...

"Hot in Cleveland" was really funny. Yay! That one I'm a bit sad about it being canceled. Sometimes it's very funny and other times, it's just kind of cute and has good guest stars. I guess the ratings went down too much.

I always enjoy "Elementary", but it was weird last week without Joan. I'm glad they have her writing up Sherlock's adventures, though, and I can't wait until the next episode to find out what's going on with that!

Today I was working on the holiday cards that I send to our site's volunteers. Each volunteer gets a card, and an Amazon gift card; and this year I'm also sending these pens I bought that have the site's name on them. The pens also have cool little flashlight at the top. And then I also ordered new holiday business cards, and on the back is a 2015 calendar! So much fun. I wish I could afford to pay myself a salary and hire full time employees, but alas, the site doesn't make enough for that. It just makes enough to pay for the site's hosting and a few other things, like domain names, and a little bit of these cards...

At one time, our site had over 100 volunteers...now it's about 25, but it's roughly the same 25 that we've had for years. I just wish we could get a few more people to help out with the site. There's just so much more I'd like to get done on it.

Sunday November 30

"The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" were all re-runs last week, so that's too bad. Looking forward to this week!

I caught up on last season's "Sleepy Hollow"! Yay! Great show. I love it.

This week's Primetime News and Schedule is here!  And here's next week's. Check on the weekend for that second one. I usually start on it Friday.

Every time we add something on our site, we put a link to it on our What's New page. We add something every day!

I forgot to add "The Mentalist" to my DVR. Thank goodness for On Demand! I love that show... it's back!!!  Woo hoo!!  Great return, too.

Today I was just watching DVD's of last season shows I need to catch up with, like "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and "The Tomorrow People".

Every day I use my ATI device to grab the closed-captioning from the Daytime soaps, and I make it into a transcript for our site. I've been doing this since about 2001! Anyway, here where I live, 3 of them come on at the same time, so I have to record "Days of Our Lives" on the bedroom DVR, then record it to a DVD, then I run the transcript here in the living room. I don't want to just record one show per DVD (that would be wasteful and expensive), so I usually fill it up with 5 other shows that I've recorded on the DVR, or that I record off On Demand. Some of them are shows I watch regularly and some are just filler (shows that I may or may not watch). After I watch the DVD's, I send them to an old friend, Amanda.

So those are the DVD's I've been watching lately. I have over 100. I watch them whenever I have nothing to watch for review for our site or nothing pending on my living room DVR that I'd rather watch.

Monday 12/1/14

Happy December! Wow!

I got to chat this morning with Tim Meadows and Dan Bucatinsky of "Marry Me".  Fun call and I got to come up with a very interesting question. I'll be putting this call and others up on our Primetime Articles and Interviews Page in the next week.

Tonight's "Castle" was fun as ever. They did a sort of take-off on "The Expendables". I didn't even recognize Ted McGinley as the guest star. He really bulked up! He was familiar, but then it took a long time for me to figure out who it was.

I always love seeing "Once Upon a Time". I hate seeing Gold slip back into this evil ways, though. Two more new episodes until Spring! Wow. That would have made a good cliff-hanger, but I guess they have more. Can't wait!

I've been recording "The 100" because I went to watch the season premiere, and it seemed like stuff had happened that I forgot. I thought that maybe I missed the season finale. So I went to watch the season finale, but I've seen it, after all. Oh, well. Guess it didn't make that much of an impression...

ABC Family sent me a big box of promotional stuff for their shows. That's so cool. I get these things periodically, but I don't expect them, so I'm always very grateful when I do get them.

This month is our 15th year as The TV MegaSite! Woo hoo! I had started my personal website around 95/96, but I didn't officially start the TV website as a separate entity and call it The TV MegaSite until 1999. Originally I just covered "General Hospital" and then "All My Children", but when I started the TV site, I partnered at that time with my friend Amanda, who had many excellent ideas, such as getting volunteers and expanding the site to cover all of the existing soaps and covering other TV shows. Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday 12/2/14

Tuesday is "Supernatural" night - always such a fun show! I love seeing Sheriff Jody Mills back. I remember when she used to be on "Another World" playing a very different character!

Good news: we got all of our soap operas covered again in terms of daily updates (detailed summaries) as well as the short recaps and transcripts, so that's great.  We have been having problems covering the two CBS soaps regularly, but now we have them covered. Yay!

I don't watch the soaps regularly myself any more, although I do see bits and pieces of them and read about them. I happened to see some new guy on "Days of Our Lives" kissing Sonny and then hiding in the closet. That's so silly. I remember a few years ago when Will and Sonny were hiding in the closet, eavesdropping on Gabi. Okay, in real life gay people don't physically hide in the closet, so that's pretty dumb (and a really lame joke).

I read an article in "Soap Opera Digest" that really pissed me off, so I sent them a letter about it. I'll let you know if they publish it.  The article was about how the shows are repetitive and how they try to make them keep things fresh despite that. The problem was, this article, and all of the actors quoted in it, were saying that the repetition was just a normal part of soaps, like they HAVE to be repetitive. I'm sorry, but I don't buy that. There are only two things that a soap opera MUST have: romance and continuing storylines. Repetition is a by-product of the poor writing, not a necessity. Sure, maybe they have to recap occasionally to clue in the occasional viewer, but not nearly as much as they do.  Many primetime shows, especially on cable, have proven that if you make a great show with wonderful dialogue and stories, viewers will tune in and you don't have to treat the viewers like idiots. That's why we're in the "Second Golden Age of Television" as many press have called it. Soap operas are woefully back in the dark ages on that concept.

I still maintain that if they hired better writers and put more money into the productions for writing and promotion, then they would have a better quality product and people would tune in. Look at "General Hospital" as a good case in point. The show was almost canceled. They brought in better writers (not great ones, just better) and it turned it around. The writers pander to fans by bringing in many past characters and pulling "stunts" (outrageous storylines, some of them very unique), and this has brought up the ratings.  The fixes they employed were largely superficial and low budget. Imagine if they actually hired better writers with new ideas and challenged the viewers more, and put money into more publicity and better production? They'd probably have much better ratings. We may never know because TV executives are too short-sighted.

Once you start saying things like, "it's just a soap opera" then you're admitting that you're using cliches and tired tropes, and churning out lower-quality shows. This is why people like me, and many others, have stopped watching them. There are a lot of great shows on TV, and we can now watch them any time of the day or night, thanks to DVR's, the Net, and On Demand, so why would we want to watch crummy soaps just because they happen to be on in the daytime? There are tons of great primetime shows (soaps and otherwise) for us to watch instead.

I'm convinced that the only people left watching soaps now fall into 5 categories: 1) idiots with low standards; 2) people who watch for nostalgia reasons or out of habit; 3) people who love the actors (or one particular actor) and keep hoping the show will improve;  4) new viewers who've never watched soaps before (so the stories are new to them), and 5) people who watch because the shows are so bad that they find them funny. I'm not saying this to insult the fans because up until recently I fell into several of these categories.  It's very sad because the shows used to be pretty good last century. They used to get great ratings and make lots of money for the TV networks, but the networks never really valued soaps despite this (and still don't), probably for sexist reasons (they're "women's shows").  The movie industry has that same attitude towards women's movies, although that seems to be changing.

Wednesday 12/3

Today was my birthday, so I didn't watch much TV. I treated myself to a nice dinner and watched some DVD's of movies I'd been putting off.

Want to give me a fabulous birthday or Christmas present? Please visit as much of our site as you can, as often as you can, and click on stuff. Our site benefits from the money that we get from advertising.  If you plan to buy anything from Amazon for Christmas, please visit our stores to buy DVD's, books, calendars, and more.

I did happen to see part of "The Bold & The Beautiful" today. I was shocked that Hope would have a baby shower without Brooke. I don't know what excuse they gave, but when you're super-rich like they are, it's hard to believe that any excuse would be good enough. In real life, the actress who plays Brooke is in Europe competing on the Italian "Dancing with the Stars", and the actress who plays Hope is leaving the show, so I guess they had to rush things.  Unless Brooke is missing or on the moon, though, it's hard to imagine she would miss such an important occasion in her daughter's life. Even if Brooke were sick, I would think that Hope would just postpone it.  She's not that far along in her pregnancy, anyway, so it would make more sense.

That's one of the things that annoys me about soaps... they have these really rich people and yet once people leave the show, we rarely see them come back for important occasions or holidays, and often they don't even mention them. In real life, people go home for Christmas (even middle class people do that, let alone rich ones). They also go home for weddings and other events. They should either bring back the actors occasionally or write more plausible reasons why they won't return.  This is what having a low budget does. They can't afford to bring back people even for a couple of episodes. They have a hard enough time getting the whole cast together for weddings any more! It costs them more money. Like I said, very sad.

Here are some plausible reasons: very sick or dying; pregnant and advised not to fly; can't afford to travel (only those characters who are not rich); traveling somewhere else or to see other family elsewhere; can't get days off from the job; saving their vacation days for summer; caring for an elderly person; missing; fighting with another relative; missed their flight; airplane crash; flat tire; another friend or relative in the hospital; funeral; trying to avoid family drama or exes, etc. These are just off the top of my head. Yet when they DO mention a relative, they rarely give a reason why they're not there, or they give a lame reason like "they're too busy" or they "have to work". This is more of the same lazy writing. They should do whatever they can to make the stories and dialogue realistic.

At least when GH's Robert Scorpio doesn't visit Anna or Emma for Christmas, we know it's because he's a Super Spy who's on WSB business!  And Robin has lame excuses, too, but we know that it's because Helena has threatened to kill her family if she comes home. Why don't we ever see Jack's son Keemo on "The Young & The Restless"? Y&R is pretty good at bringing home the Abbotts when they can, though. What about Paul's daughter, Heather? Or Lauren's other son? Why wasn't Phillip at Katherine's funeral? Why don't we see Nina much? DOOL sometimes brings back relatives, like when we recently got to see Melanie. Every single family on a soap whose members have left town should mention them at the holidays and other big events.

More realism is always good. How about having them watch TV and listen to music, and not just when it's part of the contrived plot? Or spend time on the internet? Even rich people with exciting lives do these things. It doesn't have to be boring; they can just fit it in here and there. Maybe if they spent more air time on making the shows more realistic, then they wouldn't have to be so repetitive with the story and dialogue.

Which reminds me, Carolyn Hinsley in "Soap Opera Digest" recently made a joke about how GH's Robin didn't have a bathroom in her lab when she was held captive. I disagree with that idea.  There are 3 walls in TV, so we can assume that the 4th wall probably had a door to the bathroom. I'm guessing that they had a place for her to sleep as well. Either a guard took her there every night, or they had an adjoining sleeping area and bathroom for her. Just because we don't see it, doesn't mean it's not there. No one wants to see Robin going to the bathroom! LOL!  As for them keeping her captive but not letting her have facilities, I can just hear Jerry Jax or Victor Cassadine saying, "I may be a murdering psychopath, but I'm not inhospitable".

Oh, and I know TV people are all beautiful, healthy and fit (unless they get some deadly or weird disease), but how come they almost never have diabetes, asthma, allergies, bad backs, bad knees, flu, colds, or other minor health problems that we all get in our lifetimes? Unless it's a lame plot device that comes out of nowhere, of course.  When they do have them, they get rid of them later. For instance, GH's Lucas has diabetes, yet here he was talking about eating candy and popcorn on Halloween. Or as they often complain about in SOD, Maxie had a heart transplant but has no scar and it hasn't seemed to affect her health often.

I guess I expect too much from TV, but I would rather expect them to be great and be disappointed than watch them with low expectations; especially since I used to enjoy them so much back when they were more innovative.

I don't just blame the writers, either. I know there are others involved, above them, like the executive producer and the other network people who try to micro-manage the shows and keep them low quality and low budget. If so, then the former writers and the TV press should be writing about that and putting pressure on them to do better.

Thursday 12/4/14

This is the time of year when all of the Christmas movies and programs come out. The best places to watch holiday movies are probably ABC Family, Hallmark, Lifetime and Up TV.

This morning I got to be on a conference call interview with Jimmy Smits about his role on "Sons of Anarchy", which is ending next week. He was very very nice on the call. I'd spoke with him a few years ago when he joined the show, but it was nice to chat with him again.

I haven't yet watched the Peter Pan special, but I'm sure I'll get around to it at some point. I love musicals, but I don't always have time to watch them. I still haven't watched last year's "Sound of Music"! I know people like to make fun of these specials, but I love them.

Lots of people have TV theme ringtones. What about you? I have "The Simpsons" theme. The other day I heard someone with the Peanuts TV theme.

Friday 12/5/15

This morning I had a one-on-one phone call with Victoria Rowell. Many know her from her days on "The Young & The Restless" and "Diagnosis Murder". Since then, she's done many guest-starring roles and movies. Last year she did this Christmas movie "Marry Me for Christmas", and this Sunday is the sequel, "Marry Us for Christmas". It airs on the fairly new cable channel UpTV. You should definitely check out the movie if you get a chance. It's a pretty good holiday movie and romantic comedy. Rowell is an excellent actress and also an outspoken activist for black and women's rights. Here's where you can find the interview!

After that, I was in another conference call interview with Kathy Bates, to speak about her role in "American Horror Story". Apparently her character was killed off last week (I don't watch it regularly--too gross and scary for me). It was certainly an honor to speak with my fourth Oscar winner! She was very normal and down-to-earth.

It was a great morning, speaking to both ladies! Monday I'm interviewing FOX "Bones" writers/creators/producers Stephen Nathan and Hart Hanson, and then Bree Turner from NBC's "Grimm".  Sundi is interviewing the guys who created and run the new Syfy miniseries "Ascension". Then on Wednesday, she's interviewing Keith Urban from FOX's "American Idol", which returns soon. (I did not know he was Australian until just now!)

I feel very stressed out, I have to admit. The holidays are doing this to me this year. I feel behind on everything, from working on the site, to putting up Christmas decorations and sending out cards. UGH. 

There was no new "Big Bang Theory or "Family Guy" this week, and both "Gotham" and "How to Get Away with Murder" are finished until the Spring. Boo!

As I said earlier, "Two and a Half Men" continues to be disappointing and not very funny. How did this show go from being a show about horny guys with a kid to being about two undersexed guys with a kid (and pretending to be gay)? It doesn't work. I thought it was still pretty funny after Charlie Sheen left, once they figured out what they wanted to do with Ashton Kutcher's character, but then this year they went in a completely different direction, and not for the better. I like it better when it's a tad raunchy.

The "Haven" season finale was just awesome. I mean, wow!! They sure know how to do great story on that show, as well as tug on the heartstrings and give a fantastic cliff-hanger.

I did see "The Flash" half of the cross-over episodes with "Arrow" but haven't watched the latter yet because I'm still far behind on that show, but I enjoy both shows.

Have a great week! Like I said, I'm behind, so I have to go build this week's Primetime News and Schedule page. Next week's will be here.

You can find my older blog posts at http://www.tvmegs.com

Chronicles - My personal blog, which is not about TV.

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Page updated 12/7/14


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