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Nov 25

Mind-mushing goodness

I apparently represent an utterly wrong and doomed demographic. Some of my favorite shows didn’t even finish their inaugural seasons, in particular Heist (axed after only 4 episodes) and Threshold, which didn’t even finish it’s season. But mercifully, there are plenty of shows out there to keep this couch potato firmly budding at home:

1. The Office (US) is one of the most cruel, yet oddly enough, simultaneously kind comedy shows out there. For a time, my production assistant insisting I’m the spitting image of Rainn Wilson put me off the show, but I’ve learned to come to terms with resembling him (allegedly). Anyway, great quotes at Wikiquote
2. Boston Legal has some of the most delightful repartee (see Wikiquote) and it’s probably my favorite TV show. There’s the Unofficial Fan Site. The fun of seeing a coldly calculating James Spader being best friends with William Shatner as a priapic old perv is enhanced by a kind of reunion of old TV favorites, from Candice Bergen to Rene Auberjonois.
3. Prison Break. Nail-biting cliffhangers. The Fugitive on a grand scale.
4. Heroes (the Wikipedia entry’s pretty thorough) because no one can have enough of X-Men style stories.
5. Dr. Who. Self explanatory.
6. Torchwood. A spin-off from Dr. Who. Like X-Files but without your wanting to strangle Scully.
7. Spooks. The espionage series takes on 21st century sophistication.
8. Supernatural. Imagine pretty, narcissistic, bitchy Hardy Boys dueling ghouls and demons. Fun.
9. The State Within. A brief series but the latest in the British TV renaissance.
10. Close To Home. I don’t know why I enjoy this show so much, but there’s something I find calming in the story of a Heartland attorney.
11. Criminal Minds begins and ends with nifty quotes (quoted and compiled in Wikiquote) there’s Mandy Patinkin see the fan site, Criminal Minds Online. Because really, we’ll never be sick of wacky serial killer stories, will we?
12. Desperate Housewives. It’s campier by the year, but thank God this season is an improvement on the last.
13. Extras some fun quotes at Wikiquote. With The Office, one of the cruelest but most hilarious shows, ever. More bittersweet than The Office, though. The cameos are brilliant.
14. Ghost Whisperer. Formula fun. You know how every episode will begin and end. And it’s not really scary. But it’s startling enough to keep you wanting to come back for more of Jennifer Love Hewitt.
15. House I hear the medicine’s lousily written. But a cranky, snarly, snappy Hugh Lawrie is the perfect character to watch after a tough day’s work.
16. How I Met Your Mother. It’s going to be legendary!
17. My Name is Earl if you liked Raising Arizona, this is the White Trash version (here’s some quotes from Wikiquote).
18. Standoff: this is a show with the kind of chemistry among the lead characters that leaves you rooting for them (instead of wanting them plowed under by a runaway thresher).
19. Weeds has to be one of the wittiest and most ruthless dissections of suburbia out there.
20. CSI: New York. Because we’re all into one of the three flavors of CSI sooner or later. And I forgot NUMB3RS. It’s like watching a magic show every week.

In view of the above, nifty would be to have a TVMax.

In other weekend odds and ends: I love it when some survey firms send you money to entice you to answer questionnaires. Time Magazine recently sent one out on Toyota, and it came with a dollar bill! Which lead me to two things you can do with your fresh, crisp, free dollar bill: Enroll it in Where’s George? Loads of locations for the Philippines. Or, play OmegaBuck.

Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories are online, complete with the original illustrations! There’s a free audiobook version, too.

Carlos Celdran on how people ignore our mainstream culture and how the Philippine consulate in New York City’s been subdivided and seen better days.

Wierd Meat samples dog meat. theory.isthereason is fascinated by a service that sends you toast with your name (or a tag phrase of your choice) branded on it.

The Mother of All Wheelchairs.

Does the 1% rule apply to this blog?

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  1. fried-neurons

    Weeds and House, definitely! (BTW, it’s just “House”, not “House M.D.” 🙂

    Criminal Minds: lukewarm yay.

    Standoff: ugh.

    The Office: ambivalent.

  2. ricky

    i love Boston Legal. A democrat and a republican bringing out the best in each other. what could be more fantastic?

  3. baycas

    yeah, Prison Break is a runaway!

  4. baycas

    some videos on the TankChair here

  5. wysgal

    I recently got a $1 bill from the Economist as well!

  6. toots ople

    mlq3, i wonder ..with all your deadlines and The Explainer, when do you ever get the chance to watch these shows?! I love Project Runway and am a certified Boston Legal fan. The Office is funny to some extent. I still enjoy the reruns of Friends and Seinfeld esp on weekends. good topic change, mlq!

  7. Carl

    Perhaps mlq3 isn’t too fond of medical dramas or comedies. “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scrubs”, which are extremely entertaining, are not on the list.

  8. rego

    I notice that too….unfortunately I dont have much luxury couching. so I can only watch Greys Anatomy and Despearate Housewives.

    It too bad that they move Greys to thursday. I love it on sundays. So i dont have to allocate anyday of the week end for TV. Sunday was my TV day and I miss the sundays where I can lay in couch and watch 3 of my favorite shows one time. Extreme Makeover ( Home edition), Desperate housewives, and Greys Anatomy.

  9. Starshadow Rivaulx

    CSI:New York is my favorite of all the CSI incarnations, if only because I am a Gary Sinise fangirl. The episode where he was testing out several kinds of Japanese weapons to see which one killed the victim made me appreciate the meaning of the phrase “eye candy” – the man can move so well!

  10. UPn student

    Doesn’t anyone watch Southpark around here? Forget those Danish cartoons… Southpark has dissed any and all religious figures, saints, presidents and premiers and wannabe’s. [GMA too “insignificant” to be parodied, though.]

  11. justice league

    The 3 CSI’s though I find Caruso’s acting a little stiff.

    Scrubs, The Office, Arrested development (too bad it never achieved popularity. They’re even giving away the episodes in the net for free).

    Lost, Boston Legal (Schmidt: Come again? Crane: I hate it when you say that; it puts pressure on me!) and predecessor The Practice.

    Supernatural, Smallville, StarTrek, BSG.

    Simpsons, Xmen, and but of course Justice League Unlimited!

    Shows on Discovery Channel and NGC.

    They are but a few.

    Even with the advent of DVD recorder; the VHS is here to stay for me!

  12. justice league

    I watched one episode of SouthPark. It grossed me out and I never watched again.

    It was the episode where they scooped the poop and used it as model clay!

    Geez, I never looked at the toilet bowl the same way again!

  13. UPn student

    Side-topic : collaborating with Australians can be good for the country. THE Philippines Bureau of Immigration has finally established a real-time computer linkup with the International Police (Interpol). The linkup with Interpol I-24/7 database became possible through assistance provided by the Australian government (for migration and border control management). With the linkup, the bureau could now access and share information with Interpol regarding foreigners wanted for various crimes in their native countries, including terrorism, drug trafficking, murder, and kidnapping.
    The BI facility is also hooked up with the Philippine Center on Transnational Crime, based in Camp Crame, Quezon City, which coordinates joint efforts of various law enforcement agencies in hunting down foreign fugitives in the country.

    Is it okay to say that ollaborating with US-of-A can be good for the country, too?

  14. baycas

    with US-and-A, you mean?

  15. theamateurmisanthrope

    If these shows are mind-mushing, what say you about our local tv shows?

  16. UPn student

    Misantrophe… find yourself five or six music CD’s to your liking and tune out the world. It’s Christmas time, too, so as great a time as any to enjoy each breathing day.

  17. vic

    Or if at home, set them music on your Windows Media Center and configure it with your Entertainment Centre and Blast it off. Christmas Music even while your’re dreaming….

  18. Amee

    Hi Manolo.

    I watch almost anything on t.v. Some of the shows you mentioned have not caught on with me but if there wasn’t anything else on another channel, I’d watch them except for Standoff. In my opinion, that’s got to be one of the worst new shows that debuted this season. But then again, maybe a couch potato like me is not their target demographic. 🙂

  19. mlq3

    misanthrope, the less said, the better, ut then if i had a choice i’d ban all noontime variety shows and substitute educational programming.

    upn student -i actually enjoy southpark and family guy a lot. i’ve heard a lot of good things about gray’s anatomy but haven’t had a chance to watch it.

    and well, regarding standoff: many of the shows i like seem to be doomed.

  20. kiko

    mlq3,

    have you seen the original and brit version of the office? i love the series. it is the saddest and at the same time funniest thing i’ve seen on tv. ricky gervais is a genius! i’ve only seen the first season of extras though. the episode with kate winslet was hilarious. and that seen with the lady with cerebral palsy being mistaken for a drunk left me in stitches.

  21. kiko

    among the csi franchises, i like the original better. and the reason because, grissom’s a bitch! have y’all seen that episode with bobby de ocampo’s son (ramon de ocampo) in it? he played this sick latino who killed his own sister.

    any 24 fans here? the show’s fantastic! kiefer sutherland delivers a fierce performance every season. i know it’s a classic example of deus ex machina, but it just puts me on the edge of my seat everytime. and the twists and turns, albeit far fetched are inspiring, original and absolutely brilliant!

  22. justice league

    I saw that one wherein the sister was being used as a donor.

    I like 24 too but I didn’t get to watch the start of the new series on Channel 23 so I didn’t bother to watch the rest. Hopefully the AXN channel will broadcast it soon and they have a lot of replays within the week.

  23. john marzan

    hindi mo type “24”, kuya Manuel?

    paborito ko ay yung project runway. smart show. puro magagaling ang mga designers doon. kung napapunta ng ETC ang queer eye 5, dapat mapadaan rin si tim gunn sa pinas. malakas raw si jessica zafra sa Solar at kay wilson tieng. Make it happen, jessie!

    i tried watching america’s next top model, pero boring. models should be seen… not heard. i lost interest after the first episode.

    i already have dr. who (chris eccleston, hindi ko pa napapanood) on dvd. the Q the Q!

    meron rin yung The Office (BBC, ricky gervais) at yung kay steve carrell. parehong hindi ko pa napapanood.

    prison break 2 is already available on dvd sa quiapo (10 episodes only). just sayin… kung hindi kayo makahintay.

    american guy is okay, natapos ko na ang season 1.

    other shows i tape and watch. leno, letterman, conan, daily show.

    sa mga anime’s naman, “ah! my goddess” season one. at yung “girl’s high.” 😉

  24. Bafil

    I agree with UP student’s assessment of South Park as the one and only show that dares and manages to insult each and every race, religion or politician without being cheap and dumb. At the same time I do agree with justice league that the South Park makers’ obsession with poop as personified by the talking piece of shit named Mr. Hanky is very infantile and perhaps unnecessary. Still, I would recommend to justice league to give this show another chance. Perhaps by watching the South Park movie, which is very funny, very clever and has some unforgettable songs.

  25. The Ca t

    i get to see my favorite desperate housewives, grey’s anatomy, lost, nine, boston elgal online for free. Just log-in abc.com

    i like 24 and csi-vegas.

    naku john marzan, nanood ka ng project runway. But i like it too. pero mas magaling ang designer natin. i hate the next top model, it’s all talk and backbiting. i love jennifer love hewitt im ghost whisperer. the series is well-researched. ganon talaga ang mga taong can see dead people.

  26. Carl

    mlq3 said: “misanthrope, the less said, the better, ut then if i had a choice i’d ban all noontime variety shows and substitute educational programming.”

    Local entertainment hasn’t made much headway over the past few decades, perhaps a reflection of our general state of affairs. There once was a time when the Philippines led all Asian countries in the entertainment field, including TV and cinema. Now, South Korea and Taiwan have overtaken us. We even import telenovelas from those countries. There are a few bright spots in Philippine cinema, but the entertainment field has been generally characterized by tacky & bawdy humor, escapism, little innovativeness and weepy melodrama. The lack of imagination and daring is apparent in the formulaic themes and plots, not to mention the outright replication of foreign programs like “Big Brother” or “Deal or No Deal” (and too many more to mention). Few really exciting and daring personalities have been produced, as we put too much stock on mere good looks, making us the dumping ground of Fil-Americans who don’t have the talent to make it in their country. Dinosaurs like Dolphy, Vic Sotto and even FPJ (thru TV reruns) are still running strong despite their tired old routines.

  27. tbl

    I have seen all of those shows in some occ. and i love most episodes of CSI and Grey’s Anatomy ( though not really realistic in in some episodes…in terms of medicine and ER is a lot better when Clooney was there). However, why was it not a single Filipino show made it in the list? I am thinking of the shows similar to Mang Nano and Chick to Chicks years ago.

  28. cvj

    Carl, while i haven’t been keeping tabs on the matter that closely, i think local TV productions have made some headway in Malaysia. When i was in KL recently, the first thing my client told me upon learning i was Filipino was to inform me that Jericho was in town a few weeks back. He and Kristine Hermosa seem to have developed a following over there.

  29. Carl

    cvj, on that note the old folk tell me that Fred Panopio and Eddie Peregrina were quite big around Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia some 40 years ago. And that Victor Wood was wildly popular in Indonesia 30 years ago. Rico Puno also had a fan base extending to Japan 20 years ago. And when I went there a few months ago, I found out that Christian Bautista has a following in Indonesia and Malaysia, perhaps bigger than Jericho’s. In Thailand, I was also amused to see that Rivermaya is quite popular. So trans-cultural popularity of certain singers, bands or celebrities isn’t a new phenomenon.

    However, the quality of entertainment coming from South Korea and Taiwan has really improved tremendously in the past decade or so. As Renée Graham of the Boston Globe enthuses:

    “For the past half decade arguably no nation has produced more eclectic, provocative, and entertaining films than South Korea. A darling of both critics and cineastes, South Korea is now considered the region with Asia’s most potent and influential filmmakers. Greatly influenced by Hollywood, Korean filmmakers are now garnering much-deserved praise here and throughout the world.”

    The world-wide acclaim of films like “My Wife is a Gangster” and “My Sassy Girl” or “The Way Home” dwarf any films we have ever made. And the flight to quality is reflected in their TV fare as well, albeit there will always be concessions to bad taste and banality.

    And if popularity were a gauge, Korean entertainment and stars are all the rage in China and Japan these days. And that’s where the really huge markets are. Taiwan also has bands like F-4 which are huge in the Philippines and the rest of Asia, bigger than Jericho or Christian. And Taiwan can boast of Ang Lee, who has won Oscar Awards. We cannot boast of anything like that.

  30. mlq3

    carl, that reminds me of a friend who worked in indonesia as a manager in the 90s. he said when music stores would play jose mari chan’s music, people would pause and listen, as if with reverence.

  31. cvj

    Carl, point taken. The Koreans and Taiwanese have clearly shown the way. I’m glad Taiwanese and Korean influences have reached our shores as this would accelerate the process of de-Americanization.

  32. mlq3

    cjv, what’s remarkable is that after what, 4 centuries, the standard of beauty has shifted to the oriented from the mestizo.

  33. john marzan

    i get to see my favorite desperate housewives, grey’s anatomy, lost, nine, boston elgal online for free. Just log-in abc.com

    i like 24 and csi-vegas.

    I’ve seen desperate housewives season one. grey’s anatomy i have on dvd (not yet seen). House on dvd (not yet seen).

    Lost, napanood ko na ang season 1 and 2. on dvd-9.

    most shows are online, but my internet connection is very slow, cath. anyway, lalabas rin naman yan sa dvd eh ASAP. 😉

    naku john marzan, nanood ka ng project runway. But i like it too. pero mas magaling ang designer natin. i hate the next top model, it’s all talk and backbiting. i love jennifer love hewitt im ghost whisperer. the series is well-researched. ganon talaga ang mga taong can see dead people.

    kung may pinoy version ng PR, sino ang magiging tim gunn? at sino ang magiging heidi klum? siguro dapat palaging buntis siya. (HWA HWA HWA… swerti naman ni Seal).

    you said it. america’s next top model sucks. nabobobohan ako. but there’s a pinoy version of next top model in the works. i think i’m gonna watch it because pinay’s are less bitchy at kung mga mestiza ba naman ang sasali eh… why not, diba?

    cjv, what’s remarkable is that after what, 4 centuries, the standard of beauty has shifted to the oriented from the mestizo.

    chinese or oriental beauty is so common. just go to binondo. 🙂

    i still prefer half-whites.

  34. cvj

    where in binondo?

  35. The Ca t

    Heidi Klum-pwede si Melanie Marquez, kuwela pa with her Melanisms.
    Tim Gunn, either si Boy Abunda who is already overexposed or si Ricky o si Mama Renee.

  36. justice league

    Bafil,

    Ok, I’ll kep an eye out for the South Park movie.

    Darna was eyecatchy.

    I like Super Inggo. Kool ka lang was nice till Dagul and Long got pirated and the show ended soon afterward.

    But I definitely love Goin Bulilits. I hope it hasn’t gone off the air but it has been 2 weeks since an episode was shown. I hope the 2 weeks was just because of the Pacquiao fight and the Miss Earth contest.

  37. tbl

    I was surprised one night when I was driving along the Blue Ridge Highway in the Appalachians, I turned on the FM radio….” Anak” by a Filipino song artist was on the air!

  38. eric

    I wish they would show Strangers with Candy here; can’t even find its DVD.

  39. Bafil

    Confirming Carl’s observation about the wide appeal of South Korean movies, I have to say Kim Ki Duk’s movies have been all the rage at the Czech Republic’s leading film festival in Karlovy Vary – he even premiered couple of his flicks there. Real cinema buffs love his movies. But it is worth noting that when another popular Czech film festival – Febiofest – showed a collection of Filipino movies from the 1990s back in 2001, it caused quite a stir, in a positive way. It was something new and very interesting (to Czech audience, anyway), film critics said and appreciated the honesty with which the Pinoy film-makers tackled the hardships of a modern urban as well as rural life. Magnifico was shown in Karlovy Vary in 2003 with similar reactions and Ditsi Carolino’s documentary film Bunso about a jailed kid won an award at the One World Film Festival in Prague last year. No need to belittle the Philippine cinema and its ability to communicate to the intelligent audiences anywhere. Of course, I’m speaking about independent film-makers, certainly not the commercial mainstream, but I do say with all honesty that I respect and enjoy their works very much.

  40. john marzan

    where in binondo?

    okey, okey, nagkamali ako. what i meant was, common ang mga oriental look at chinitas sa binondo. Are they all beautiful? most of them look common to me.

    I wish they would show Strangers with Candy here; can’t even find its DVD.

    you’re not looking at the right place, senor. quiapo. hidalgo st.

  41. nash

    what, no bleak house? extras season 2 is wicked.

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