Sunday, January 10, 2016

TV Thoughts - 1/10/16

Let me start by wishing my wonderful wife, Debbie, a happy birthday. I know she's too good for me, and thanks to all of you for the constant reminders.

I'm still recovering from last night's Steelers victory over the Bengals, so let's get into it:

WHAT I'M WATCHING

Many shows are on the cusp of returning or about to premiere, so I've been doing a little catch up. Not much new to talk about. Sorry.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

I found two eps left over on my DVR, and it reminded me how funny and informative this show is and why it's on my Best TV of 2015 list.

The show format sticks to the basics. A few big news stories, quick video joke which isn't as funny as the rest of the show, main featured topic, another video joke not as funny as the rest of the show, and some type of celebrity bit.

John Oliver is a very funny man who carries the show, and the writing and usage of video during the desk segments are top notch. It's informative, but not preachy (except for the church he created). It's biting but in such a witty way that you don't mind being reminded how dumb you and the rest of the world really is.

The celeb cameo bits are hit or miss, and there's one too many "and now this" segments, but I love TV that moves me. Last Week Tonight makes me laugh out loud and a little bit more aware of what's going on in our world.

Bravo, Mr. Oliver. Hurry back soon.

NFL Football (CBS)

Jim Nantz and Phil Simms trying to condemn the league that pays their bosses bills was fascinating to listen to as the Steelers/Bengals game reached its conclusion. A lot of what we saw was deplorable, and not only on the Cincinnati side of the ball.

Phil might have seemed lost, but I think he was biting his tongue on what he really thought of the thuggery happening on the field.

Nantz was just warming up for Peyton Manning next week.

The NFL needs to make some changes. Fast. Or there will be no one left on the field to play the game.

Tim's Vermeer (STARZ On Demand)

Howard raved about this documentary about an inventor recreating an 18th century painting, and it is fascinating. I know the plot doesn't sound particularly exciting, but watch what Teller (and Penn) did and judge for yourself.

I'VE ALSO CHECKED OUT

The Man in the High Castle (Amazon)

Watched the second episode and didn't like it as much as the first. I'm in for the long haul though. Something tells me we'll get the country back from the Nazis and Japanese occupying it. Fingers crossed.

Undateable (NBC)

Live TV. Bill Lawrence is doing LIVE non talk show network television every Friday night at 8. It can be done, and not just on Saturdays at 1130 on NBC. Well done, Bill.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

The Chiefs/Texans game made me yearn for the Red Zone. Boring football is one thing, but the ads are just killing me.

I will be on TV this Thursday and Friday at 530pm with Chris Carlin on Loud Mouths which airs on SNY. Can't wait to sound off on some sports with Chris.

My book, Fast Food Maniac, actually printed and is coming out February 2nd. I will be doing some signings and appearances in early February. More details as I get them.

Speaking of books, if you love TV half as much as I do, check out Alan Sepinwall's The Revolution Was Televised. I love his columns, and this book reminds you how good TV can be. Great read.

My daughter studying in London tells me Netflix UK is top notch. Glad she has her priorities straight.

Questions? Comments? Shows I should be watching? Let me know.

Be well,

Jon

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