Saturday, September 22, 2007


I've never "gotten" the whole Nielsen thing. I mean, so much rides on how many "viewers" a TV show gets, but they extrapolate from such a teeny tiny pool, relatively speaking. I have no idea how many Nielsen families there are, but unless there are over a million, I don't understand how anyone can trust it. Besides the fact that people are a lot less predictable, individually, than the system allows for. I'm 36, a college graduate, a married mother of two under 13. So you'd think I watch Gray's Anatomy on Thursday night, right? Of course, you all know me (even if you don't know me, you read this blog, so you know enough), so you're all going "No Way!" Of course, I watch Supernatural.

So anyway, it's always bothered me, even more so in the last few years when I really cared which shows got canned and which stayed, that what I watch doesn't count. When the critics and showrunners and actors beg the audience to watch their show and get friends to watch, what they really need is to get Nielsen families to watch. Right?

I think I need to research that a little.

Anyway, the times they may be changin'. I just learned about this. Nielsen is starting a new program called "Hey! Nielsen." It's in beta now, going to a public beta later this month, I think. Billed as "Part opinion engine, part social network, and part buzz tracker, Hey! Nielsen is the place to share opinions on your favorite entertainment," it sounds very promising if the networks and advertisers will take the data/comments/info seriously.

So everyone who wants to count, go sign up for an invite!


My husband and I went to see Good Luck Chuck today. Superficially speaking, it was a good date movie. Raunchy, sexual, juvenile humor on one side, sweet romance on the other. A lot--and I mean, A LOT of the raunchiness was over-the-top and disgusting, and the "juvenile" label is an insult to juveniles. The romantic plot was cute, nothing special, but it's difficult to be unique in romantic comedy anymore. Jessica Alba was great, and Dane Cook was surprisingly good. Overall, worth seeing, if only to marvel that one film hired every hot blond chick looking for an acting job.


There are a few moments that completely save the movie. The premise that Charlie was hexed at 10, so every woman he goes out with marries the next man she dates after him. People find out about it, and he's overwhelmed by women who want to have sex with him so they can meet their soulmate. My favorite moment is when his assistant, a widow of generous proportions, comes to him for "help." Crying, she tells him to just close his eyes and think of someone beautiful. Resistant until that moment, he puts his hands on the sides of her face and says, with serious intent, "I'll think of you." And he totally sells it.

Of course, there are a few moments that can be considered to totally ruin the movie, too. The best friend is so horribly lecherous--I swear, it's not possible for a real human to be that obnoxious. The vignette during the end credits makes your whole body cringe in horror. You can't stop laughing that awkward, horrified laugh.

There is little depth of characterization, and little that can't be predicted, but the funny parts and the sweet parts make it a nice diversion for a Saturday afternoon and well worth the price of a matinée.


I don't know if I've talked about the fall TV season here yet. I haven't been blogging very regularly (sorry) and I've posted on other people's blogs, so I just don't know. Yes, I could check. I don't have the energy. Sorry again. :)

So, fall TV.

I'm not at all excited this year. Not like last year, when the Upfronts put my anticipation level way high. Then The Nine and Six Degrees, while well done, just didn't grab me. Didn't make me care. Every comedy I watched except one was flat and unfunny (and yes, that counts 30 Rock, about which I have a highly unreasonable level of resentment, not least of which because of their snarkiness toward my favorite new show of last year). The stuff I liked? Got yanked. The Class was my only sitcom (except for Scrubs, which didn't come until midseason). Gone, though it got a "full" season. Studio 60, Daybreak, Drive, all given a varying level of chance, but all tossed away, some too soon, and one wayyyy too soon.

This year, I'm lukewarm. I haven't watched the season premiere of Prison Break yet and have a pretty low level of enthusiasm for it. Part of that, I'm sure, is because I'm early in season 4 of Gilmore Girls and not wanting to stop that. Part is because Eureka isn't over yet, and that's my "summer" show. Part is because none of the rest of my shows premiere until next week, so it doesn't feel like the season started yet. But mostly, it's because Sarah will be gone and the direction of the show seems to be less about smartness and tension and more about violence and fear.

My other returning shows and my level of excitement, in order of air dates:

Eh. I feel the same way that I did all last season. Eager to see the characters I like, wishing the ones I didn't had been killed off in the finale. I'm excited about David Anders and Kristen Bell, but come on, do we REALLY need additional morally ambiguous characters? I really, really, really don't want Sylar around anymore. So we'll see how that goes.

Ugly Betty
Santos is dead. That really dampens my enthusiasm. As long as Henry has tons of air time, I'll be okay--but would like to put in an order for LESS Alexis/Wilhelmina/Daddy stuff.

I watch this show out of habit now. If they kill Chloe, I'm probably done, especially since I know Lana's still gonna be the focus of the show. Hottie Supergirl underwhelms me. And I've heard Tom Welling is a jerk on set, so...

This show has always been quiet for me, inspiring nothing but positive feelings but little passion. If Colby's character is redeemed and stays on the show, great. If not...well, I'll still watch.

Except for Scrubs, this is the latest returning show, and it figures, because it's the only one I am dying to see again. The teaser photos and trailers have been torture. The direction of the plot and the new element in the brothers' relationship are incredibly compelling. Once again, this will be the only show I don't delete as soon as it's watched.

Possibly the only funny sitcom left on TV--or at least, the only one funny enough to make me watch it.

New shows I'll try, but only after four episodes have aired and they're not in danger of being canceled:

I keep going back and forth on this one. The premise is appealing, the tiny bits I've seen are not so much. Monday is a full day for my TiVo, so I have to VCR this one on the bedroom TV, which is a hassle. The tipper is Adam Baldwin, whom I adore. So I'll give it a try, since it's got critical acclaim.

I have seen more of this pilot than any other show, and it looks very funny. Actually looking forward to it--possibly enough to break my four-week moratorium. After all, The CW has not prematurely canceled any of my shows in the past, and it needs all the support it can get.

Bionic Woman
Pure nostalgia. I was Jamie Somers/Summers/Sommers/however the hell it's spelled when I was a kid. My best friend David was Steve Austin (the six-million-dollar man) and my poor damaged brother was forced to be Oscar Goldman, our handler. I'm skeptical that I can like the show as much as I want to.

Private Practice
I'm totally watching for the cast.

Pushing Daisies
I love the novel premise and the fantasy-level production values, and I'm pretty sure the main promo was narrated by Jim Dale, so that sold me.

Then there's Lost, which doesn't come back until February, but which is the second-most-anticipated show on my schedule.

How about you?


I've refrained from talking about football on here, because the controversy is so painful. Most of you don't care, anyway. :) Suffice to say I'm thrilled football is back, I'm dismayed that the Patriots' reputation is damaged, but I think it's quite intriguing that they have won 38-14 twice, anyway, once against the team that had the second-best Las Vegas Superbowl odds before the season began. 16-0 seems a definite possibility.


What's that? Writing? You're wondering where the status bar is for Hummingbird? Welllll....

I had several nonfiction jobs last week, proofreading/editing, and it took all my time, so there's been no progress. I shall rectify that this coming week. Stay tuned!


vickyb said...

No status bar for Hummingbird??? Humpf. ;)

Let's see - fall TV

I agree mostly with what you said. Though I'm going to add a couple more - House and Bones - looking forward to them. I'm not so much into the disease of the week on House, but love the interaction of the characters and Laurie is a fantastic actor.

Heroes - the 'ick' factor cut me out early, but I've watched some of it. Hard to get into though if you've missed any - which I have.

Reaper sounds interesting and fun. Scrubs is a hoot. Got away from Smallville for a while, but might watch a little just to see what happens to Chloe.

Journeyman sounds a lot like the book "The Time Traveler's Wife" that I just finished reading - might be interesting, but wondering if, like the book, it gets boring after a while.

What about the new vamp show - Nightmare (or something like that) - possibilities there.

So many shows, so little time. :)

Vicky B

Natalie Damschroder said...

House and Bones are, I'm sure, really good shows, but they came along at a time when I was sooooo sick of medical and law enforcement procedurals, so I never got into them.

Journeyman actually sounds more like Quantum Leap to me. Hopefully they can keep it interesting.

New vamp show is Moonlight, and it looks okay, but I am not interested in vamps anymore. The romances burned me out. :)

Rose said...

Hi Natalie,

I quite agree with you about most of the shows. We only watch a couple of the same shows but I agree with the ones that you watch.

Heroes: I kinda like it last season.(but I really hated that they even tried to compare/even say that it was better than Lost when at the end Lost final episodes blew them out of the water) I think they have added way too many new character, if if was only going to be David Anders and Kristen Bell it would have been fine but they have added at least 3 more besides them. I'm hearing on the net that alot of Heroes fans are a bit tired already of Kristen Bell and the way that she has been all over the Emmy's and photo shoots as if she had already been on the show since last year. There is some time of a backlash against her.

I got to see Bionic Woman and Chuck on my on-demand channel and I absoletely loved Chuck. I heard someone compare it to Alias meets 40 year old virgin. I loved it, it was funny,smart and actiony. I loved the main character and his best friend is very funny. On the other hand I really tried to like Bionic Woman but lord did I hate the main character. She is trying so hard to keep her american accent that she looses all the emotions of her character. She is wooden and stiff and I'm sorry after getting all bionic she suddenly can fight like a pro with absoletely no training at all. She looses more than her limbs during the accident and afterwards its not even dealt with and we see no emotions about it. It was a major dissapointement and I really wanted to like this.

The only show that I really want to see back on the screen is Lost. The rest I can dvr and see when I'm not reading or watching whatever is on my Netflix queque. right now I'm rewatching a combination of MI-5 and Farscape.

talk to you soon.


Natalie Damschroder said...

Well, that's a disappointment about Bionic Woman. We'll see if it improves over the first few weeks, since I won't be watching it until four weeks in, anyway. Sounds like that's a sound strategy.

I'm with you on the Netflixing. :) I'm still doing Gilmore Girls and will only watch the new TV when I don't have a disk in hand (except Supernatural, that's ALWAYS live :).

Good to hear from you, Rose!

MaryF said...

3 words for you.


Trish called last night, so haven't seen all of Heroes yet. Tonight, Bones and House!

Natalie Damschroder said...

I know, everyone raves about FNL. But despite the football angle, it doesn't appeal to me. The few people I've seen who don't like it don't like it for reasons I probably wouldn't like it, either. Sorry. :)

Rose said...


I agree with Maryf. I started watching FNL in midseason after a Bravo marathon. I like football but for me the only trouble I've had is the shaky camera. I get would get motion sickness everytime I watched it. It stop being a problem after a while.

Maryf have you watched the season premiere online on Yahootv? I saw it last week and there is just one storyline that I really don't like right now, hopefully they will resolve it soon. That storyline doesn't belong on FNL.