Thursday, March 25, 2010

Microsoft's Crystal Seems To Be Brain Dead

Here's the video and here's what she's really saying:

"I'm Crystal. Not long ago I had a thought, right in the back of my head. And it hurt. Because I'm brain dead and that's why I use Windows 7."

This is why Microsoft needs to fire everyone in their marketing department.  Now.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Carrie Fisher News

I just found out that Carrie Fisher might be coming to TV.  According to Entertainment Weekly, she's doing a pilot called Wright vs Wrong, alongside Cheryl Hines and Debra Messing.  It sounds like some sort of political satire.  Hines is a liberal pundit, Messing a right-wing one, with Fisher as Hines's manager.  I think that's right.  Anyway, I hope it's good because I love Carrie Fisher (I should have included her in my post about actors who should have their own shows).  I also hope she'll write a few of the scripts if the show takes off.  I suppose, though, it's too much to hope it'll be as sophisticated as Absolute Power, a deadly take on PR which starred Stephen Fry and John Bird.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Marriage Ref

After seeing the promos, I really didn't know what to expect.  It was coming from Jerry Seinfeld and friends, so I knew it was going to be kinda quirky.  What I wasn't expecting was carnival — like three-headed dog and woman with a beard stuff.  One couple is fighting over an iguana that the wife dresses and kisses.  Another couple isn't having sex because the man really wants to have sex with his mom.  Discussing the issues are comics (generally friends of Seinfeld like Larry David) and useless actors.  Not that the discussion matters because the ref, another comic friend of Seinfeld, decides completely on his own, using the couple's problems as a brief comic stand-up routine.

Okay — I laughed.  But I'm not sure if I should be laughing, because these couples aren't characters out of Seinfeld played by comic actors — these are real people who seem a little bit out of their depth.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Does Obama Really Want To Be President?

Of course, I'm not a Washington insider and I have absolutely no idea what's going on in President Obama's head, but here's the thing — Obama is on TV a lot.  And not just on Meet the Press or This Week or The Tonight Show.  But on sports shows commentating on the Georgetown basketball game.  And singing karaoke.  I'm beginning to think that the real reason Obama wanted to be President was just so he could be in front of a camera all the time.  Which makes me wonder:  does Obama really want to the president of the USA or does he really want to be the first lady?  Because that's what the first lady traditionally does — fluff media events to sideline the press while the president hunkers down in the White House trying to get things done.  Maybe he should trade jobs with Michelle.  She looks and acts a helluva lot more presidential than Obama.  She's kinda scary.  I bet she could get things done.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kudos to Mad Men

Does Mad Men have an expert on all things British?  I was so impressed by the way they told Lane Pryce's story.  Here's this British guy, sent all the way to America by his British bosses just to do dirty work.  No matter how well he does his job, he'll never get ahead —he's basically stuck as the corporate henchman — and if you're British, you knew that the second he opened his mouth.  It's all in his accent, a nice upper middle class accent, an accent that tells his superiors that Pryce is not one of them.  No wonder Pryce loves NYC.  No wonder he jumps ship.  The Americans appreciate what he can do; his British bosses only appreciate his background — or lack of it.  You see, his bosses have aristocratic names like St. John (and if you're from the right background, you know that this very plummy name is pronounced Sin-Jin) and speak with Oxbridge accents.  They belong to clubs that Pryce would never be allowed to enter, except as a waiter.  Not only do they understand this at a subconscious level, but they expect Pryce to understand this and keep to his station.  Remember that little punk who came to take over Pryce's job?  The one who got his foot chopped off?  No experience, but right accent.  That's why he was getting Pryce's job.  And remember how explosively angry St. John got when he discovered Pryce's betrayal?  It was like his butler had walked into his bedroom at three in the morning and told him to fuck off.  It simply isn't done.

What I found so wonderful in all this was that the writers never tell you any of this.  If you understand the British class system, great!  If you don't, it doesn't really matter because all this is played seamlessly into the plot: Pryce isn't appreciated so there's the subtext for his actions.  I also love the fact that the American characters in Mad Men don't understand any of this either — and they don't care (a comment on American insularity and perpetual near-sightedness?).  This kind of sophisticated storytelling is unheard of on TV.  You don't even see it very much in "literary" novels.  So just who do these writers think they are, anyway?