Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Arsenio Hall Show-Cancelled Again?

Hey everyone! I had this in the vaults, I meant to push publish and I didn't, butterfingers! Here's my take on the Arsenio Hall Show Travesty.

Oh hi and oh no they didn't. They couldn't. It was reported that Paramount/CBS had cancelled the Arsenio Hall Show. To fans of the show, we're saddened and surprised. Make that really surprised. This past February, the show had a segment where fellow talk show host and old friend Jay Leno appeared to give Hall the good news that his show had been renewed for a second season. The crowd erupted, Hall looked visibly happy to the point of tears. It all seemed perfect--and then it wasn't.

In their "explanation," CBS cowardly said the following, "Unfortunately, ‘The Arsenio Hall Show’ will not return for a second season; while there are many loyal fans of the show, the series did not grow its audience enough to continue. Arsenio is a tremendous talent and we’d like to thank him for all the hard work and energy he put into the show. We’d also like to thank Tribune and all our station group partners for their support of the show.” I call bullshit. As a viewer, and a big fan of Hall's 1989-1994 show, the problems were numerous but one was glaring to an almost startling fact: Guests.

In this show, Hall couldn't seem to get many acts on his show. Even denizens from the lower rungs of the B to the C list seemed to stay away. In another fact, Hall's show had hardly any white guests. I remember seeing Mark Harmon, Joel from Parenthood and that's almost it. The only reason for this isn't a "creative decision" but threats from the folks at Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Fans of the show have to notice that this situation was even more pronounced when "Mr. Happy" Jimmy Fallon took over the Tonight Show.Fallon reportedly plays hardball and this took away even more guests from Arsenio Hall. Excuse me, my diapers "full up" and I can't talk anymore.....

My Take: While the show wasn't as strong as Hall's predecessor, it certainly didn't deserve to be cancelled. And really, when was the last time you've heard of a show given the green light to continue in February--only to be reneged on--in May. I've never heard of that. In rarefied, legalese, I think Arsenio has a "suitcase."

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sad Informercial: Life Lock, Derm Exclusive, Meaningful Beauty

Montel Williams- Life Lock Pitchman- You know, part of me thinks watching Montel with his infomercial antics is a little like seeing Willie Mays playing in 1973 with busted out knees. The other part? Well, I like corny television.

The Life Lock infomercial follows a now familiar presence. The production values make it seem like this is a Montel Williams Show. It isn't, it's a commercial. By the time you really think about it, you're already disoriented and you're watching it like it's Kafka. Life Lock is a company that gives you an alert when your identity being taken over--or there's a hint of credit fraud. Williams is steady throughout and exactly acts like he believes this crap. I don't.

Part 2: While the whole idea isn't anything brilliant, the saddest thing is how this is made to look like a real talk show. Rumor has it that Williams was led to believe his show was "back" and when he was told it wasn't, he called me crying/crine up a storm!

Grade **

Dr. Andrew Ordon- Derm Exclusive- You know it's near end times when this monkey has his own informercial. While Dr. Ordon might be known for buying worn women's "intimates" on the internet, he's also known for his part in the daily destruction called The Doctors. And speaking of the Doctors, didn't that show turn into a crap factory. Perhaps in a way to distance himself from that Cleveland Steamer of a show, Doc Ordon has his own thing, a horrible informercial.

Like many other deals, Derm Exclusive supposedly takes away the visible signs of aging. And to drive this point home, Ordon employed some of the most young looking women in the business including Minnie Driver and the patron saint of vague unease and baby hair, Rozonda "Chili" Thomas. This informercial is brutal, even worse than Montel's travesties. It's a lie and the truth isn't in it!

Part 2: I bet Doc Ordon is angling for his own show. He sees the writing on the wall at the Doctors. It's all become a revolving door. Didn't they even take of his "come on down" spot in between the show? Yep.

Grade ** 1/2

Cindy Crawford-Meaningful Beauty- I'm not one to hate on Cindy Crawford as the kids say. Her infomercial? Fair game. I don't know how many shows have been recorded but one is plenty. In one version another pretty woman, Valerie Bertinelli hosts this "show" talking about this miracle ooze that helped Cindy retain her staggering beauty.

For fans of science, we know what's helped Cindy: Genetics, plain ol' good living and other "stuff." Of course this is a commercial enterprise and this good fortune is going to be hitched to a product. And in this case, a doctor, Dr. Jean-Louis Sebagh. In the commercial he's treated like some youth-preserving deity--but the secret ingredient is very simple: Cantaloupes. Cantaloupes? If eating cantaloupes  Scatman Crothers wouldn't have looked a day over 15. Jean Louis Sebagh is a charlatan!

Grade ***


Monday, April 28, 2014

Catching Up With Awful Morning TV

Oh hi. I was just ready to talk about 1st and Ten when something else came to my attention. Horrible news programming. I don't know what it is, I'm still fascinated with the machinations of something that should be easy but often it isn't. Here's some of the recent disasters I've seen.

That's a pic from America's Favorite: Good Morning America. The show is bad. GMA's great distinctions aren't the fact that it's a great news show, it's the fact that it beats the Today's tail in demographics. The other distinction? Despite the happy family ethos ,GMA's got crazy turnover. Really. Sam Champion, pictured in the middle, left GMA to host a show on the Weather Channel (ha!)  His replacement is a computer program named Ginger Zee (pictured in the circle) The chunky guy on Sam's left is Josh Elliot. Elliot had been with GMA since 2011. In a spate of re-ups, contracts, agents, Elliott wanted more money, 8 million dollars to be exact. He didn't get it and signed to NBC Sports. That brings us to these gals...

While Josh Elliott was shot calling and carrying on, two ladies all but took his place. Lara Spencer (in the red) was upgraded to co-host. Why I don't know. Robin Roberts is still there and the show still has George Stephanopoulos bringing everyone down, that table is getting full. Anyway, as for Josh's old job, that went to Amy Robach. Robach and Spencer reportedly hate one another. TV's fun!

Note; Oh yeah, I just noticed that Josh Elliott didn't get a goodbye show. No acrimony there! No One Likes Josh Elliott!

Today- It's still awful even a year after drop kicking Ann Curry between the goalposts. During this time,
 Tamron Hall was named the 4th person for the 9' o clock hour joining Natalie Morales, Al Roker, and Willie Geist. During Today's regular hours, Carson Daly's always hanging around looking crazy. Why is he there? And really, why are more than four people there? You know, I watched a clip of Today from 1979 and it was so much better, it was just Jane Pauley, Tom Brokaw and Gene Shalit--who was on set in case a movie emergency broke out. Anyway, it was such a quiet show. Not so much now...

Part 2: As for the picture, put in Al Roker and that's pretty much a normal day. It's just too many people....

CBS This Morning- Look, three people! There's no bells and whistles with this one, no special guests or gimmicks. And guess what? People are starting to watch. The ratings have reportedly gone up 13% I'm glad. No I'm not, I don't care!