Monday, March 12, 2007

Short Takes - March 12, 2007

A short one this time around. I've got a list of reasons for not writing much, mainly things I did today. We had a lot of snow over the winter and it is starting to melt. Which is good. On the other hand if the snow is packed around your basement windows then when it melts the water on the outside can very easily end up on the inside - of my basement. That's a bad thing. I also had to dig some channels to get melting water away from the part of my garage where most of my brother's stuff is stored, and also open the storm drain which the city so kindly covered with about four feet of snow. And then after that I assembled a flat pack desk for my mother. The door on the desk wouldn't open properly so screw it. So basically not much time to aggregate news about TV today.

Sitcom Wars: From my friend Teletoby over at Inner Toob comes word of a March Madness style survey from the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville to "Pick the greatest character in Television history!" At least that's what they say at the top of the survey although what they actually mean is the greatest sitcom character. And actually it is the greatest American sitcom character - no foreigners need apply. (Toby actually apologized to me for the lack of international representation but when it comes to Canada pickings are slim; Red Green and his nephew Harold, and Brent Leroy from Corner Gas leap to mind but there isn't much else - no one associated with Pardon My French or The Trouble With Tracy would ever be confused with great sitcom characters). Actually the big scandal isn't the lack of international representation but who isn't on the list. Only 64 characters were on the list but over 300 were considered and I'm still trying to figure out how you miss some of these people. Among the absent are:
  • Dr. Johnny Fever, WKRP in Cincinnati
  • Granny Moses (listed as Granny Clampett by the paper, but she was a Jed's mother-in-law), The Beverly Hillbillies
  • Oscar Madison, The Odd Couple
  • Maynard G. Krebs, The Affairs of Dobie Gillis
  • Chandler Bing, Friends
  • Fran Fein, The Nanny
  • Niles the Butler, The Nanny
  • Wilhelm Klink, Hogan's Heroes
  • Bert Campbell, Soap
  • Jessica Tait, Soap
and a host of others. The newspaper has it's reasons but frankly some of them seem kind of weak. But anyway go there and make your voice heard, and I'll respect you ... even if you do prefer Norm Peterson to Sergeant Schultz.

Who does the PTC hate this week?: And the winner is CSI:Miami. The episode in question is the February 26 episode, described by the PTC as "a horrific display of sexual violence, murder, and political scandal." The episode is difficult to explain but apparently the PTC disliked the fact that one of the victims was a stripper/prostitute who was accidentally killed giving a blowjob (not of course the word the PTC used) to a guy who was sitting on her chest. Things are further complicated by the deliberate murder of the prostitute's bodyguard. Or maybe it was that Horatio discovers that - horror of horrors - a politician was patronizing the same service that provided prostitute who was killed. The PTC says that "Graphic dramatizations of strippers, murder and the dead bodies that result, earn C.S.I. Miami our pick for Worst of the Week." This is followed by the concluding statement "Graphic murders and prostitutes being raped are simply not appropriate for family entertainment. Such themes should be troubling to all who are exposed them, yet shows like this champion the effort to make them appear normal and even acceptable." Sorry but even for the PTC this is weak. For one thing I'm not entirely sure what they're objecting to. For heavens sake this is a cop show and more over it is a cop show that airs in the third hour not in the first or second. There wasn't that much about the episode that was particularly graphic. Let's face it, the PTC is grasping at straws in calling this their worst of the week and not doing a very good job of holding onto them.

New computer watch: Expected delivery date is March 19 (seven days!) but my mother's friend Mary (the one who persuaded me to buy a Dell) figures I should get it by the end of the week. Which means I have some files to transfer before it gets here.

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