Sunday, January 28, 2007

Did you know...? Because I sure didn't!

I like to think of myself as an observant person, but apparently I've been remiss on two TV-related items, which positively floored me when I finally realized the truth:

1) I've been watching "Top Chef" all season, but it wasn't until this weekend that I noticed that Cliff is only 28 years old. Did you know that? Because I sure didn't! I always thought that he was older, by about a decade. I guess he just seems like a big, solid, self-possessed guy and I couldn't imagine a dude around my age possessing those qualities. Whoops.

2) Have you seen that Olive Garden commercial where the woman enters the restaurant claiming to be meeting a date but then describes her young son? Well, I've seen that commercial about a million times* but it took maybe 999,999 viewings before I finally realized that the hostess who greets the woman is played by none other than Becki Newton, who does an awesome job playing Amanda on my beloved "Ugly Betty". Did you know that? Because I sure didn't! It must be strange for her to have a starring role on a hit show while that Olive Garden commercial is still running. Note to self: Next time I watch "Ugly Betty," I should pay attention to the commercials I zoom past on my DVR; I wonder if the Olive Garden commercial ever plays during that timeslot. It sure seems to play all the rest of the time. Enough already! We get it — soup, salad, breadsticks. We get it!

*only a slight exaggeration

Saturday, January 27, 2007

And the parade continues...

You know that phenomenon when you learn a new word and then suddenly hear it being used everywhere? Well, that's sort of what my TV-watching life has been like after my last post. Since then, it seems like everything I've watched on the Disney Channel has featured someone from another teen/tween show:

The very next episode of "Naturally Sadie" that I tuned into had Shenae Grimes (Darcy from "Degrassi") on it.

Then the next two episodes of "Life with Derek" that I saw featured Lauren Collins (Paige from "Degrassi"). The episode after that? Say hello to Shane Kippel (Spinner from "Degrassi") — playing the drums, no less.

And then I saw "Get a Clue," an old Disney Channel movie starring Lindsay Lohan. Guess who else it starred: Brenda Song and Ali Mukaddam, both mentioned in my last post.

Not that I mind seeing all of these folks over and over again. In fact, it tickles me every time I recognize an old friend, for several reasons:

1) I'm giddy at my own astute ability to pick out these familiar faces (probably the only person out of her teens able to do so).
2) In the case of guest starring on other shows, I imagine how fun it must have been for those actors to be able to do something a little different for a change.
3) Strangely, I feel proud of these little guys for being so successful that they've been able to garner all of these roles. I was especially happy for Ali Mukaddam, so far the only one in my TV studies to cross over to a Disney Channel original from CTV (that's Canadian TV to you). Mazel tov!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Seeing double

I'm so excited about my most recent TV discovery: a Disney Channel series called "Life with Derek." Sure, like all other Disney Channel shows, it's not exactly highbrow — or even high quality — entertainment. But I'm delighted that I happened upon it because it features a familiar face that I have missed since his other show went off the air: Michael Seater, formerly of "Strange Days at Blake Holsey High."

In case you're unfamiliar with that show, which you are probably are: it's another children's TV show, about a boarding school where all sorts of strange scientific phenomena happen. But most importantly, it's a Canadian children's TV show. Why is that a critical point for me to make? Because apparently there are only so many young actors in Canada, and they're always popping up on every show coming out of that country.

Evidence A: So Michael Seater was on "Strange Days at Blake Holsey High" and then went on to star in "Life with Derek." Big deal. This alone would not make for very convincing evidence. BUT also appearing on "Life with Derek" is Shadia Simmons, who — guess what — also had a starring role on "Strange Days at Blake Holsey High."

Evidence B: Speaking of familiar faces on "Life with Derek," I'd like to draw your attention to Kit Weyman, who plays Derek's best friend, Sam. Previously, you might have seen him on "Degrassi" as Sulley (the guy who Manny dated after her sexy makeover).

Evidence C: While we're on the topic of "Degrassi," allow me to bring up Miriam McDonald, who plays Emma. Recently, I saw her on an episode of "Naturally, Sadie," another recent Disney Channel find of mine.

Evidence D: Adding to the "Degrassi" list, I want to introduce Ali Mukaddam, who made some appearances on the show as Mohammed. (Remember him? He picked on Teri for being, ahem, large-boned.) After that, he went on to star in "Radio Free Roscoe."

Alright, I'll stop there; you get the picture. Although, now that I think about it, American children and teen TV empires are just as guilty of this. I'm talking to you, WB and Disney Channel. You want examples? See: Chad Michael Murry's appearances on the WB's "Gilmore Girls," "Dawson's Creek," and "One Tree Hill." Or Keiko Agena's appearances on "Felicity" and "Gilmore Girls." Or Jared Padalecki's appearances on "Girlmore Girls" and "Supernatural." Or Milo Ventimiglia's appearances on "Gilmore Girls" and "The Bedford Diaries." Or Brenda Song's appearances on the Disney Channel's movies "Stuck in the Suburbs" and "Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior" and TV shows "Phil of the Future" and "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody." Or Ashley Tisdale's appearances in the Disney Channel movie "High School Musical" and TV show "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody." Or Orlando Brown's appearances in the Disney Channel movie "Eddie's Million Dollar Cook-Off" and TV show "That's So Raven."

And those are just the ones I've personally noticed! I'm sure that if I trolled IMDB, I could find even more connections. Then again, I guess I don't have to because strangely, I spend a lot of time watching shows aimed at people a decade younger than I am. What can I say? I like mindless entertainment. I guess my blog URL says it all.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Wha? (Alternate Post Title: Worst Show Ever)

Tonight, some friends and I happened to catch part of what is possibly the worst show ever on television. Granted, there are many shows that I haven't seen, and there are also many terrible shows that I have seen. But honestly, this show was really, really bad.

What could possibly draw such ire from me based on such little exposure? I'll tell you: "Assy McGee."

What is "Assy McGee," you ask? Good question. It's a show about a crime-fighting pair of buttocks. No joke. Actually, the premise has some promise to it, but the execution — oy vey.

You know what? I can't even bear to write about it any further. For some reason, I felt compelled to alert my readers (reader?) to this show's existence, but I can't go on any more. (You'll also notice the glaring lack of an image to accompany this post.) If you want more information, you can read about it on Wikipedia.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Hello and Goodbye

Wow, it's been a long time since my last post. One reason is that I was back at my parents' house for the holidays and therefore TV-less for a large part of the last few weeks. The other reason is that I'm lazy. But don't worry, oh single loyal reader, because I have not foresaken this blog. Hence the "Hello" in my post title. Hello, I'm back!

The "Goodbye" in my post title, alas, is my farewell to "The OC," which Fox has recently canceled. I'm very sad to see the show go. Yes, it really went downhill over the last year or so, but it's been recovering its game recently, and I was looking forward to seeing it regain its footing and go back to delighting me as much as it did in its first season. Take tonight's episode, for example. If you didn't guffaw happily like I did when Ryan made a funny face and nodded knowingly at his girlfriend's French ex-husband, then you just have no funny bone. Sure, it was just one moment among many bland ones, but it was a step.

However, now Fox has nipped my hope in the bud, and I am not happy about it. Damn you, Fox! Isn't it bad enough that you poison the airwaves with your unfair, unbalanced news coverage? Now you have to go and take away the one quality show on your network? (Yeah, I don't watch "24.") Thanks for nothing!

Then again, at least Fox isn't the home of the new reality show "Armed & Famous." That's the one where LaToya Jackson, Jack Osbourne, Erik Estrada, and other so-called "celebrities" become actual law enforcement officers in Indiana. My God, CBS, what are you doing? And why? WHY?!