Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My return to blogging

Now that American Idol is starting, it's time to return to blogging. For the two or three of you who were wondering why I haven't been blogging since September, I guess the answer to that is ... um .... well, there isn't a really good answer for that--except that in my job, I write all day. Do I want to come home and do that all night too? And when I start a blog post, I want it to be good and say everything I want it to say in an easily understandable way--which means I end up taking an hour to write it, and instead of spending that hour writing, I give up and usually decide to watch TV or go to sleep. But I'm reinvigorated with the start of Idol, and I'll try to do better, but also try to keep my postings shorter.

So let's make some quick observations on this grueling week on television--the two-night, four-hour premiere of 24, the Golden Globes, and four hours of Idol. I'm exhausted and Idol hasn't even premiered yet. And I didn't even mention last weekend's football.

First of all, 24 is an thrilling show which often raises all kinds of interesting questions about terrorism and how governments should deal with it, but it also can be absolutely ridiculous at times, and it was at its peak for that Sunday night. My favorite part of the show was when Jack gets off the Chinese plane, Bill and Curtis tell him that they're giving him over to a terrorist as payment for the terrorist giving them information, and Jack asks if he'll have a chance to wash up (a pretty reasonable request for a guy who's been in a Chinese prison for 20 months.) Bill and Curtis tell him they've set up an area in this airplane hangar for him, and Jack walks over and there's a bowl of water with a jug sitting next to it. That's it? They couldn't let the guy at least take a hot shower before handing him over to be killed? All he gets is a bowl? It looked like the area set up in a synagogue for people to wash their hands before eating. It was one of the funniest things I'd seen in a while.

Almost as good was less than an hour later, when Jack actually escapes from Fayed the terrorist and calls in to CTU. Bill doesn't even seem all that surprised that Jack lived. I don't even think he asked him how he escaped, although Jack would probably just say "There's not much time." Two other great moments from the premiere: Jack standing in the drain after escaping and wiping the guy's blood from his mouth, and the convenience of the subway suicide bomber getting on the last car of the subway train and sitting at the very end of the car, so that Jack could just push him out the emergency door. If you were bombing a subway, wouldn't you get on in the middle of the car for maximum effect?

Last night's episode didn't have as many nutty moments, so let's move on to the Golden Globes. I made the mistake of tuning into a few minutes of the pre-show and quickly turned it off after seeing Ryan Seacrest get the opportunity to interview Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and wasting everyone's time by asking questions such as "Why did you do Babel?" and "Take us through your day getting ready." Ryan, would it have killed you to ask something with a slight bit of edge, like "Do you guys ever get tired of saving the world?" or "How do you do so much traveling with all those kids at home?" I thought the reason magazines like US are so popular is because they're all about celebrities behaving badly--getting drunk, having fights, dumping their boyfriends/girlfriends, acting generally insane. I don't want to hear about Brad Pitt putting on his tuxedo or Angelina getting her hair done. But maybe I'm wrong.

But what got me really annoyed was Jennifer Hudson's acceptance speech at the Globes, not just for what she said--or more correctly--didn't say, but for what it symbolized about the whole night. Hudson didn't mention American Idol in her speech at all, even though I can't imagine she would have gotten anywhere near an audition for Dreamgirls if she hadn't been on the show. Sure, she didn't win, but 30 million people saw her sing every week, so she was anything but an unknown. And really, not thanking American Idol, which is so dependent on fans and their voting, is really kind of a slap in the face to all the fans watching at home. And it wasn't just Hudson. I don't believe anyone thanked the fans all night, which is amazing considering that no television series survives without people watching (series get canceled now after two weeks if ratings aren't decent) and it's rare that a movie wins an award if people haven't gone to see it. All these rich Hollywood people are sitting in this beautiful ballroom drinking champagne and talking to all their fellow beautiful people and they can't even throw a bone to their fans who made them so rich--and are sitting on their couches in their pajamas eating Chinese food out of the carton? Yeah, this all sounds pretty silly, you're thinking--and if someone does thank "the fans" at the Oscars or the Emmys, it's not like I'm going to be dancing around the next day saying, "Wow, Alec Baldwin actually thanked me!" I just think it all speaks to how insular and arrogant Hollywood seems to be. At least when sports teams win, the coaches, and sometimes the players, thank their fans (see Mike Krzyzewski, Joe Gibbs, etc.)

Oh, and I've won three Rockower Awards over the last five or six years (that's the awards for good journalism in the Jewish press--kind of the Jewish Pulitzers, but somewhat less prestigious), but they don't allow winners to give speeches. So I just want to say, thank you to my readers.

12 Comments:

Anonymous John said...

An excellent return of the finger. Um, I was thinking the same thing during Jennifer Hudson's speech, how nice and appropriate it would be if she thanked American Idol and/or her fans.

Other GG thoughts: Tom Hanks's speech was embarrassing; Reese Witherspoon looked delicious; and Eddie Murphy was coolness itself making his speech.

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