Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fall Television

Yesterday I was discussing the state of television with some good friends and how shows like Dexter and Mad Men, which I mentioned in the previous post "Another Credit Where Credit is Due" are the only thing that is really unmissable on TV.

That said, it's an interesting moment to be a TV fan. The recent writers' strike put everything on hold last season, forcing writers to work feverishly through the summer to get new scripts ready after the strike ended. I'm holding out hope that the strike and being away from their craft for so long forced some extra creativity and ideas. Shows that I used to enjoy, Grey's Anatomy, House, 24, etc., had all been lame in recent seasons. You could taste the stale crumble when biting into an episode of Grey's last year. That fresh, crisp taste that had started the show off had all but gone. Forced storylines, drama for drama's sake, instead of for the plot and character's sakes, engulfed the show's once proud doctors. Blah.

House was OK, but the formula was definitely getting old. Don't even get me started on 24.

So it's with great anticipation that I watch the new season premieres this fall. Here's to hoping that the depth of characters and storylines that you find in shows like Mad Men bleed over into the shows that used to entertain all emotions and be unmissable -- instead of the boring blahs of that make us say, "Well...there's nothing else on..."

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Another Credit Where Credit is Due

Somehow I left my new favorite show, Mad Men, off of the previous post, "Credits Where Credit is Due".


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Simple drawings of a man falling amid period advertisements shows the tension of the time and the industry portrayed within the show's plots. This introduction to the show is very reminiscent of Hitchcock's film openings, and indeed was inspired by the Vertigo Poster and the work of Saul Bass, one of my favorite artists.

Saul Bass put simple, artistic drawing into his work on movie posters and in so doing, captured the essence of the film with a perfect and graceful style. Check out www.saulbass.tv to see some of his other work.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sleepy's Ad Makes Me Want to Weepy

So I just saw a TV commercial for Sleepy's, the mattress store. Now, I've always been a fan of Sleepy's. Their moderately clever slogan of "Trust Sleepy's for the Rest of Your Life" reminds us that there's always something lame you can say to make people say "Wait a minute...!" and feel smart.

But now they've gone too far. This commercial, full of RIDICULOUSLY happy people that are bouncing around on mattresses, is beyond absurdity. It says:

"There's nothing like the thrill of getting the perfect mattress for the perfect price!"

Seriously? NOTHING like the thrill of getting a new mattress at a deal? What the hell kind of people came up with this line? And what do they think of their audience? Presumably that they've been walled up inside a basement, chained to the wall watching TV for the last 20 years and have nothing better do be excited about. (For those of you who loved the Goonies as much as I did growing up, you'll appreciate that Sloth reference.)

Here's an idea -- don't treat your audience like they're fools and perhaps they'll return the favor and buy your product.

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