EDDIE’S MEDIA CORNER Oct. 2006
The new fall TV season is here! The new fall TV season is here!
Not unlike the beginning of Steve Martin’s The Jerk. Every year the anticipation is heavy and every year, about one month later, reality sets in, the great shows get dumped, and we—the viewers—are left with the tattered remains of what could have been a great year for television. Last season, loyal readers will recall, I gave you a list of the most promising new additions to the boob tube lineup and proposed that we all played a game to see which would be left standing when the smoke cleared. Ah, and my dear friends, we lost some good ones.
The Comeback only lasted one brief season, but it was truly amazing. Lisa Kudrow was robbed of her best actress Emmy in a role that had depth and heart and compassion. Yes, it WAS difficult to watch sometimes—you could really empathize with Valerie’s frustrations and inadequacies—but therein was the core of the program: the depth of Kudrow’s performance skills. I can’t think of another actress of her stature that could have pulled this one off. Buy it to study on DVD if you have any plans of pursuing a professional career in television. It’s an eye-opener.
Kathy Griffin was great on the D-List for her second season, but perhaps a bit too self-indulgent to be watched weekly. Unless you are a Jewish man who feels he needs a bit more nagging in his life. I don’t.
We lost The Night Stalker…it was a pretty good re-do of the Darrin McGavin series from the sixties, but in a year with too many sci-fi attempts, it just wasn’t weird enough.
Invasion came and went, leaving in its wake the amazing talents of William Fitchner who can now be seen on the West Wing and those of Hope Davis, another great TV discovery who has yet to re-surface.
And yes, Surface—the show—didn’t.
Good. It didn’t deserve to.
Nor did Threshold.
Nor, as far as I’m concerned, did the 4400.
Which continues it’s run on USA anyway. Really bored with this one.
And we say goodbye to Huff, Hank Azaria’s sad and soulful psychiatrist who was far more screwed up than any of his patients. We’ll miss Hank, but we’ll REALLY miss Blythe Danner, who won a couple of Emmys for her role as Huff’s mom, and the amazing Oliver Platt as the lawyer with no conscience but a libido of gold.
So, what do we have left to watch during this long, cold winter ahead?
Plenty, True Believers.
Even though the Sci-Fi Channel should be drawn and quartered for dropping Stargate SG-1, the best show on their measly little network, they are giving Stargate Atlantis at least another year. The former series, on the air now for ten years after beginning it’s journey on Showtime, took a big chance last season with the replacement of Richard Dean Anderson as it’s lead with Ben Browder and Claudia Black from their newly-cancelled Farscape show. Farscape was better. But Browder and Black are sensational in EVERYTHING and just the chance to see them together again after last year’s Farscape movie finale was worth the price of admission. I’ll miss Claudia’s Vala and Ben’s Cameron Mitchell. This was a great one.
Eureka on USA is entertaining in a lightweight sort of way…not a lot to think about, but fun nonetheless.
My Tivo also records the following programs. See how many are on YOUR lists.
CSI—the original one
Project Runway—I know, I know…but this is one reality show that is actually about reality.
The Unit—Dennis Haysbert, the president from 24, should be the REAL president of this country as far as I’m concerned.
Bones—one show that DID survive last year’s weirdness stampede, made emminatly viewable by the pretty presences of David Boreanaz and Emily Deshinel. You gotta love this one.
Queer Eye—don’t start with me! The original is still the best.
The Amazing Race 10—ditto again.
Supernatural—I THINK this one is scheduled to return—I could be wrong.
Weeds—give everyone an award here. The cast is amazing and the show certainly hits home.
The Office—Carell and company best the Brits.
Monk—a bit weary, but still strong despite critical OCD-bashing.
Psych—the newer, hipper Monk…really funny and a great shot for Dule Hill as a loveable sidekick.
Rockstar—it doesn’t even matter what group this show tries to complete, it’s just fun watching Brooke Burke and Dave Navarro and any one of this year’s contestants were better than the winners of American Idol.
My Name is Earl
Doctor Who—the famous BBC series is better than ever.
Real Time with Bill Mahar—a bit left of left, but hilarious and nearly always on political target.
The Showbiz Show With David Spade—what can I say? The dude has always cracked me up.
Dennis Miller—now relegated to some feature spot on cable news—a bit right of right, but still insightful and funny whether you agree with his politics or not.
And, representing the Adult Swim block on the Cartoon Network…
The Venture Brothers—undoubtedly the best animated program on TV
American Dad—Seth McFarlaine’s attempt to clone one of the most original animated shows ever,
Family Guy—which continues to either raise or lower the bar on good taste, depending on where you stand—hellafunny.
Moral Oral—gross but side-splitting.
The Boondocks—award winning commentary shrouded in comedy.
Perfect Hair Forever—sooooo weird.
Harvey Birdman, attorney at law—New episodes are getting me hot!
Dethklock Metalocolypse—the superb adventures of the world’s heaviest metal band. From Brandon Small who gave us Home Movies—a horse of an entirely different color.
And finally, the guiltiest of my pleasures—and don’t even tell me how screwed up I am—is Starface on the Game show Network. Hosted by Danny Bonaduce, this one probably won’t be on the air long, but boy is it a hoot. A nightly half-hour of the pot calling the kettle black…I love it.
We are reading:
Everything by Christopher Moore—my newest favorite author.
This genius has been churning out brilliant prose for the past decade. The most famous of these is probably Lamb: The gospel according to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal.
Side-splittingly funny and warped. Truly warped. This dude is higher than you have EVER been. And I mean that in the best possible way.
Check out everything! Really! You will thank me, I promise.
The Stupidest Angel
Fluke; or I know Why the Winged Whale Sings
The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove
Island of the Sequined Love Nun
And his newest hardcover edition, A Dirty Job, which has got to be the ultimate guide to Death. So if you expect to perish one day—and you really should be realistic about this possibility—this is a must-read book for you.
You are going to LOVE this guy.
In the past, I have recommended all the books of Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River and a spate of other fantastically good reads. One or two of you out there in cyberspace have questioned my praise of Shutter Island. Folks, this one isn’t typical Lehane, but the thrills are nonstop and the prose are flawless, so cut both me and Dennis some slack. This book does rock. Just give it a minute. Or at least, get through the first half before you chastise me any further.
And now I hereby recommend, at absolutely no risk to either me or you, the best book that I have read in years.
It’s not brand new, so if you have already read this one, don’t get all up in my grill. I speak here of
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke.
This one is amazing.
I have never been much of an English Literature buff. I have never read the works of Jane Austin, though I have endured some PBS stuff that has left me semi-cold.
But this book reads like Jane Austin mated with J.R.R. Tolkein and their love child produced a work of fantastical historical fiction. Like Tim Powers at his best, every historical detail is confirmed and the blank spots are filled in with the most revolutionary and imaginative speculation that you can imagine. It’s over 1000 pages long, but it doesn’t feel like it. You won’t be sorry on this one. I’d guarantee it if I could…you know, your money back if you’re not satisfied. Of course, I can’t do that. But the paperback version of this novel, though huge, is priced to buy at something like $10.99 U.S. which is a real bargain. Probably the only novel that you’ll need all school year. And a great one to do a book report on. Highly recommended.
There is radio out there.
In a world where Clear Channel owns everything and the only records that are hits are the ones that they tell you to buy, a small—well, actually a rather LARGE and BOOMING voice—speaks out for a balanced world.
I speak of my good friend Penn Jillette and his daily podcast from his Las Vegas home. You want truth? Penn’ll give you truth. You want smut? Pen’ll give you smut. You want great radio, like your parents told you there USED TO BE? This is it! Penn will take your phone calls, answer your emails and generally tell you whether or not you’re worth his time. Hilarious, insightful and great interactive entertainment with a new topic each day and Monkey Tuesday every week for those simian stories that dwell within us all. Reach out and touch Penn Jillette. If your local CBS station doesn’t carry his show, log onto PennRadio.com to catch the podcast…that’s what I do. Download to your ipod and prepare to be entertained and enlightened.
What’s in My Ipod?
Ok, so I’m trapped in the past a bit. But I’ve gotta say that it is wonderfully refreshing to find new compilations from two of the greatest bands from the eighties and nineties. First off, you MUST check out Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was? By the Replacements. This seminal band led by writer/singer Paul Westerberg, was cutting edge alternative when they surfaced twenty years ago and all of their albums are represented here along with two brand new songs that could have been written two decades ago. Like having a jukebox of memories in one place, I can remember where I was the first time I heard all of these great pieces. Westerberg rocks and he’s got enough emotion for at least the two generations that followed Tim and Wish You Were Here.
On a similar note, the other great alt band of the era, Soul Asylum, has also just released a compendium of their best stuff., Closer to The Stars; the Twin Tone years. These are the early pre-Columbia recordings that made Dave Pirner a hero to the disenfranchised. And to me. I love these guys. Even more impressive is The Silver Lining, a brand new album from Soul Asylum after a rather noticeable decade away from a recording studio and the death of a founding member. This album is wonderful. These men have matured.
This music makes a lot of sense in our post-911 world and brings our little problems into much closer focus without any political cloudiness. Pure. That’s the word I’d use. And there ain’t much of that going on in this Black Eyed Peas world of ours.
Dylan is all-new again with Modern Times.
Sounds like the old Bob to me.
And that’s a very good thing.
Still, it’s nostalgia to my mind, and I know that’s my problem.
My daughter Alex turned me onto The Dresden Dolls last year and I really was enchanted by their grasp of history as well as their bizarre take on popular music. Amanda Palmer has found a way to take the smoky Bauhaus warblings of such luminaries as Marlene Dietrich and meld them into Oktoberfest rock songs with sometimes chilling results. All of the hedonism and debauchery present in pre-war Germany is channeled into very MTV images and thrown back in the listener’s face with a Cabaret-like haughtiness. Very disturbing and really fun. Their second album, Yes Virginia, is a bit more modern then the first and actually contains a radio hit, Sing, an anthem for our times. This CD is a lot more diverse than their first despite the sing-along cosmic sensibility of the aforementioned single. Sex Changes and Backstabber, the first two tracks on the record, tell you instantly that you are in for a slightly different, slightly more current take on life then the Boston duo offered up on it’s euphonious first release.
Them’s a whole lotta words for someone who hasn’t churned out a Media Corner in quite a while, and frankly, I’m exhausted.
Thanks to all of you who either bought or downloaded my CD, Dust Bunnies, this summer. It’s still out there, so click on Amazon or your favorite outlet to purchase this rare gem (!) while they last.
And thanks for coming out and seeing our shows this year as the Turtles play in a city near you—it’s been a wonderful concert season.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
I am placing a huge bunch of Turtles, Flo and Eddie and Mothers of Invention collectables on the auction block this winter.
And I mean some REALLY GREAT STUFF!!
Personally owned and authenticated items from Mark Bolan of T.Rex, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, and EVERYTHING from my own collection of Turtles memorabilia, test pressings and acetates, photos and press kits, original sheet music and tour literature, itineraries and articles and literally thousands of albums. These are mostly one-of-a-kind personal treasures that I have been carting with me from house to house for the past thirty or so years and now it’s YOUR time to own a piece of MY rock history.
For complete details on the catalogue, bidding procedures and to just see how much cool stuff I’ve accumulated over the years, go to:
The Howard Kaylan auction—The Turtles and Beyond—is scheduled for December 1, 2006. Just in time for the ultimate Christmas, Easter, Prom or Graduation gifts. (I’m covering all my bases here).
I swear, you are going to FREAK when you see the stuff I’m selling.
Some amazing shit!!
Be the first on your block to own a piece of ME!!!
Hey, let’s talk again soon, OK?
(The artist formerly known as…) Eddie