Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The New Fall Season Update

Ok, we know it's been killing you, we being the closet arbiters of good taste, so hearkening back to my post of 10/8 The New Fall Season, here's where we stand as of today:

Everybody Hates Chris: Still love it, it's not, as reported, on Sundays, which of course, makes sense, and we're not sure yet when it IS on. Stumbled upon it sometime this week and laughed and loved it, so this gets a pink hoping for red designation.

Desperate Housewives
: As predicted, we found it, and are still addicted.

Brothers and Sisters: Nope and Nope.

NEW ENTRY: Lizzie and Joe suggested the absurdities to be found in FX's entry It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. We've watched 4 episodes in two weeks and ALMOST like it. Can't speak for Dolli, but I'm out.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip:
OK. It's weird. That same Sorkintalk. Quick, clever characters always talking while walking. Self conscious? Sure. Great? Dunno. Do I love it? Yupster!!

Standoff: Nope

The Knights of Prosperity:
Never heard of it.

Boston Legal:
Yes, yes, Yes, yes!!!! And now the guy who played the Great Max Baer in Cinderella Man is a regular!! Yay!!

America's Next Top Model: Look, we've talked about this. Big assed (only on Tyra, folks) guilty pleasure. And that's that!!!

Justice: Ummmm.... huh?

My Name is Earl: Of course.

The Office: Some have argued that they are now becoming caricatures of their characters, which were caricatures to start with. Probably true, but I'm still chuckling and squirming, so it's all good to me.

Ugly Betty: "America's Best New Comedy!! A Smash Hit!!" Also probably true, and I probably screwed up by not taping it, but... we don't watch it.

Grey's Anatomy: We love this show. There has been a long line, from St. Elsewhere and Hill Street Blues, through L.A Law and E.R's better days... this one nails it, period. Wonderful stuff.

E.R: Not a preseason pick, but it's been pretty OK in that 10PM Thursday slot, and by then we're glued to the couch, so... there.

: I had asked "Who doesn't love Jimmy Woods?" Apparently most of America, at least in this show. We no watch- you no watch-they no watch.

Men in Trees: A passing thought of the past. Maybe 10 frames. No more.

The Wire: Still a big yes, still the best show on TV, still doesn't count cause we have HBO on Demand.

So, we're actually getting some reading, some geetar picking, and some blogging done this season... not to mention Netflix!!!!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Five Things

I’d love to write more, and more often, but once again, I meet the bipolar specs to qualify as an official H. Harvey Gold.

The way Gold Teleproductions works, and this is a milder microcosm of my entire 20+ years in TV, is in a very non linear way. Love comes in spurts, they say. So, as I work from my home most of the time, I’ve had neighbors observe me riding my bike, walking my dog, turning up at the gourmet grocer, all at some ungodly hour like 1:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, giving me that amusing and confusing image of a man who comes from old money. Amusing to me, because we know that many who come from old money wear it well and often look like normal slobs like me. Yes their chinos come from Nieman –Marcus while mine from Caldor, but still…

Then there are the long periods when it appears I have abandoned the planet, not changed out of my pajamas in three days (two, I can say has happened, often, but three? Gimme SOME credit), have been quietly moved by cover of darkness into a sanitarium, or have simply left the neighborhood with, apparently only the clothes on my back.

This period of time leans towards the latter. I say only leans, because when it gets THAT busy, I start vibrating like a coke fiend roughly 27 minutes past the last line of the night, and would not be found to have either the time or the disposition to be writing an entry like this.

Still, it’s been busy and there’s enough surplus to what’s on my plate that even this is being written with the patina of guilt coating every keystroke.

Ok then, all this is to lead into mentioning a couple things:

1) The movie (available on DVD), “The Devil and Daniel Johnston” is a 5 star recommendation (unless you can only handle comedies and warm/fuzzy Jennifer Aniston vehicles).

2) It appears Richard Thompson has a new CD out. This is always a good thing, even if there are at least 15 out there I haven’t spent any quality time with.

3) Primus is gigging again. My sources (Dolli) say that this in support of a new “Greatest Hits’ comp. but still… Pork Soda for EVERYONE!!! PRIMUS SUCKS!

4) Califone has a new CD out. This is a band led by Tim, former head butcher at ‘Red Red Meat.’ Acolyte Michael Aylward says it kills. We’re seeing them live November 3rd, we hope, and will report on the CD as it suits us.

5) New Stooges Album album in the making with the Ashton brothers.

I recently observed (coming up with a new line for a song) that getting old can come fast and furious. ‘Five minutes ago’ hits without much warning. But with these events comes the whole conversation (which won’t happen here) about what transpires once ‘old’ has arrived, the issue come and gone, and business gets attended to.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

It's My Party, and I'll Cry if....

10/12/1952: Gertie Gold Gives birth to the sweetest little guy. The nurses, already sensing that he can tell the diff between boys and girls nickname him 'Butch'... a name that will not stick past this anecdote.


9:20 AM
I have three vehicles on my property, changing the face, in fact, of said property as I write this, putting in a new septic system. The tanker truck is just now beginning to get to the point where my office is starting to smell like the plant in the valley where we get our oven roasted poop. Only ours isn't oven roasted. Dolli prepares to flee. The Bobcat has dug a trench where the path between the garage and house used to be, only to come up to a point where apparently a rather BIG tree used to live, it's stump and root system a cheerful reminder of the good old days. The main drain from the house, set to be replaced with a nice new PVC one... um... at least until the camera does it's work, can't quite be tracked properly. BULLETIN 9:38AM No new main will be put in. It appears that in order to do so, well... our kids will one day, God willing, get to tear down the garage to get to it.

Gifties so far: 10:55 AM Birthday wishes via a few cards, a call from Selma, a call from Debbie, one e-mail and several welcome MySpace postings. Got a Gift Card to West Point Market. $50 worth of French Mustard, here we come!!! My partner sent me a box o' chocolate which I received yesterday. Super. Got the newest European Film and Video production guide. More to come, I suspect (nod, nod, wink, wink) Grateful for all. Just glad to be here.

From My Dear Friend Paul, who REALLY cares about me:

Dear Harv,

Today is your birthday. How nice that you are still alive. May you
continue to live and thrive as long as you see fit. And if you decide
to shoot yourself in the mouth, may all your detractors who will say
things about you being too cowardly to continue living contract such
horrible diseases that they themselves are forced to kill themselves,
their last thoughts of shame being that they were such hypocrites to
have questioned your motives for taking your own life.


10/13/2006: THE REST IN REVIEW

I had planned on yet another ambitious pictorial, and detailed birthday diary, but:

"You load 16 tons, and whadaya get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
St. Peter don't call me cause i can't go
I owe my soul to the company store"

So I received an enormous number of loving and thoughtful phone calls with birthday wishes. Between those, my usual air traffic controlling hours on the phone, developing my newest show idea, Landscaping Solutions for the Septically Impaired (firsthand research for said project, i.e. the creation by my art department of all that clay based mud of the future in my yard costing several thousand dollars), and the overall non-stop nature of my day, I was led to do something totally uncharacteristic:

At 8:05 PM I told my dear friend and neighbor, Faith, who had thoughtfully stopped in to drop off something she had promised Dolli, bringing her wonderful 'light up a room' smile AND a cute birthday card... to go home. She was actually into one last, probable 15 second 'and by the way...' segment of her goodbye outside when it happened, but still... I hit the wall and caved in.
I am ashamed.

I didn't have any high expectations for this day, truly.

But the ONE THING, the simple idea of peacefully getting take out in time to be settled in on the couch with Dolli, our beloved pooches at our feet, relaxing and chuckling to 'My Name is Earl'and propelling through the only night of Mindless Prime Time (MPT) where we actually have programs we like to watch all the way from 8-11, was NOT going to happen as hoped. So we turned on the VCR to tape Earl while we scrambled eggs to eat with the WONDERFUL SOURDOUGH BREAD (always a silver lining, no?) Maynan had, along with an issue of The Ring, something that has become sort of a 'Periodical Gold' in this era of pugilistic apathy, brought me earlier.

The eggs were good, the bread and butter excellent, the Carrot Cake fabulous, and all good wishes and intentions were simply wonderful... Dolli tried and asked and was sweet as that delicious cake she brought home, but I was toast, plain and simple.

So I don't want to seem ungrateful. I was absolutely fine and good and happy and... apparently running on fumes, cause I was fabulous right up until I wasn't... and then I wasn't. Doesn't happen often, and I must say I told Dolli not to worry, that there was absolutely nothing she could do that would be right. I had to get though my snit to the other side, which I did. But I was, and am hungover from it.

I am another year older and on the day to mark it I became a cranky old man!

... and THAT (along with a client-pissed-me-off-driving-me-to-the-ragged-edge- of-irrational-but-justifiable-professional-suicide story that blog-prudence, once again, dictates I'll not tell here) is the REAL story of the day.

Thanks to everyone. I really DO love you all, too!!!!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The New Fall Season !!

Forwarded to us by Culture Czar, B. Ethington:

From an interview with comedian Demetri Martin:

"I don't watch television, unless I'm maybe on the
road and need to fall asleep or something. I try not
to read newspapers, which is kind of irresponsible, I
guess. But I've found that for my head, I'm a lot
happier and more productive if I don't fill it with
that kind of stuff. It seems to me that most of our
culture is based on missing out on something, like the
fear of missing out on something is a great commodity
that's plied to get people to watch things, do things,

Dimitri on 'The Daily Show'

an buy things. Once you actually start missing out
and realize that you're fine, and even better off,

Dimitri, also on 'The Daily Show'

it's so liberating. Like the Super Bowl. I don't care
about the Super Bowl. I want to miss the Super Bowl.
It's like "Season Finale", and I'm like "Well, fuck
the season. Just leave me alone. I want to read a book
or draw."

This has stuck in my head.... but of course, if I take
it seriously, I may have to get another job!


PS ... of course, Demetri Martin would want us to buy HIS
new cd!

Well Bob,

At least Demitri's got perspective. I mean, why watch TV? The Daily Show isn't a REAL TV show, right Mister Well Read? I mean, Geez, does he also smoke a pipe like the guy in Porky's? That'll make him look older.

OK then:

Dolli and I have our favorite programs. While in the past, we've been really religious about watching and/or recording, getting pretty disturbed when that gets screwed up, we managed to hit most of the first (and some second) episodes for this Fall season while in Europe, which may have set a strange new standard for us. Our planned schedule for the new Fall season and how it's come together so far:

7-7:30 CW Everybody Hates Chris A GREAT show, a fabulous traditional family sitcom. Why it was moved to this complete shithole of a slot, I know not, but we've seen none of them, and it doesn't bother us a bit and I wouldn't be shocked if we fell off this one altogether.
9-10P ABC Desperate Housewives Really fun. A terrific guilty pleasure. We've also seen none of these and it's not killing us, but I suspect an effort will be made to catch up. This will be one of those DVD collections many people end up with.
10-11 ABC Brothers and Sisters A new show with a cast I find interesting, but again, haven't seen it, and only if we get into some Desperate Housewives groove might we give it a chance.

Anything HBO throws at us. So far, this season it's just The Wire. And I don't mean that it's 'just' The Wire. This is the best show on TV, period. We watch this religiously, BUT aren't hemmed in on Sunday night, because we have free HBO on demand, so we have the luxury of watching it when we can watch it. Coolio. Look into the blue blue future!!!

10-11 NBC Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip OK!! Aaron Sorkin and Tommy Schlamme!!! Real stuff, real writing, real dialogue. Maybe a real show. We've seen two, I think, and like it... I think. And 'Josh' is in it! Whether it will addict us like 'Sports Night' did me, and 'The West Wing' (after ignoring a couple seasons) did both of us, remains to be seen, but we're up for it.

8-9 Fox Standoff Looked like something worth checking out. Won't happen.
9-9:30 ABC The Knights of Prosperity. See Standoff
10-11 ABC Boston Legal We have loved this show as if it were our own child. The self conscious references to 'this episode' 'this season' even talking about the night they're on creeps me out. Been done so much... after once, ever, anywhere, done way too much. Gimme my walls, I say. Still, these are the roles of a lifetime for both James Spader and William Shatner. We missed last week, and THAT bothers us. Thank you, David E. How's Michelle looking this week?

8-9 CW America's Next Top Model What can I say? Not that you care, but I'm tiring a little of Tyra's screaming and assumed wisdom of the ages. That aside, screw it, we love this show, missed it last week and are very, very not happy about that, hoping to catch up on a replay this week. So there!
9-10 Fox Justice Yet another one that looked like it deserved a try, but isn't likely to get one.

But wait... 30 Rock, with my favorite comic Stanley Kowalski of all time, Mister Former Kim Bassinger is coming soon. We'll likely be there... or will we, Tina Fey?

8-8:30 NBC My Name is Earl A consistently great show. Jamie Presley is just the best cartoon character, as are, now that I think about it, pretty much all our regulars... except the Hispanic maid. She's just both hot and adorable at the same time. We missed much of a season of it making a non Tivo (there, we're facing our demons) decision, but are on the case, absolutely this season.
8:30-9 NBC The Office We had too many 'uncomfortable' shows going on the first season this aired: Larry David, Lisa Kudrow, and probably more, along with some sort of competition on another network, which also had an effect on 'Earl,'... Chris Rock? No matter. We've grown to love this thing and it's cast without it being ruined by having seen the brilliant and wonderful (will HBO bring back 'Extras'?) Ricky Gervais with his original version... one thing that also gives us a DVD wonderland to look forward to, as long as we can put subtitles on it "What did he sayyyyyyy!!!"

8-9 ABC Ugly Betty Great reviews continue. This looks kinda like a success, but... unless I decide I want to add yet another one to our roster by taping it, I think it's probably not happening... at least this year.

9-10 ABC Grey's Anatomy OK then. ANTM might be more addictive (our only Reality Bite) as a sick guilty pleasure, and The Wire may be simply the best thing on the tube, but THIS my friends, is our favorite, period, so don't even bother us about it. It rocks. We laugh, we cry, we... a lot like ER used to be, and sometimes (though very seldom) still is.
10-11 CBS Shark. I mean, who DOESN'T love Jimmy Woods?
I mean c'mon.... but we haven't watched it and probably won't.
Dark Horse: Had no intention of watching ER for another tired season. That Mambo Mouth experiment was pretty stunning last season, no? So now, Mr. Full House, Mr. Former Rebecca Blue X-Babe is the latest... and I kinda like it. So, sorry Mr. Terrorist Identifier, we're back with the gang. But if we miss one, it'll be OK.

9-10 ABC Men in Trees This still may get us. Hasn't shown up yet. But really, Friday's Friday, and there are so many dates to be had!!

There was a time when I was pretty much, with the exception of maybe a total of 2 hours, booked for the entirety of Prime Time. So now, out of the serious 15 hours between Sunday (a newcomer to the Prime Time Big Time, but a valid one) through Thursday (Friday is date night and always a load of crap), I had planned on 11 of them and 90 minutes to 2 hours of taping. What have we got? 7, and much of that isn't gonna kill me if I miss it. Maybe I'm getting old. Or maybe I've developed a taste for staring blankly while watching really attractive people say things in French. Can't tell. Too much TV blunts the mind.

So how does this relate to that first note? Well the note is silly. Books are for kooks. I'm loving 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay' btw. Movies? Gimme a break... but go see 'This Film is Not Yet Rated,' not because it's a great film, but for me and the rest of my Huey brothers, K?

And the Yanks lost 3-1. I take some blame. I only watched or listened to maybe 14 innings. Then again, a pitching staff made up of one killer, one OK guy who pretty much never shows up for the playoffs, one fella older than me, who had a bad back 10 years ago, and a guy who's only real claim to fame was the fact that he beat the Yanks a few times. Great! Seeya Joe. It's been fab, truly.