Tag Archives: Television

Before the Cylons Come

26 Sep

I think Dave is a Cylon.

I’m sorry; I shouldn’t come out and just say it like that.  I don’t want to start a witch hunt or anything.  But I do have some pretty serious concerns and I’m not sure where else I can safely entertain them except for the  protected confines of the magical Interwebz.   So don’t freak out or anything but I might be living with an intergalactic death robot.

Well that sounds racist.  He’s not necessarily a death robot.  He could be one of the human-liking ones.  But he could also be preprogrammed to carry out a set of orders related to someone’s (perhaps even my) death. And, well, I just can’t take that kind of risk.

Now, I’ll admit that while inundated with these concerns, I am concurrently rewatching the entire Battlestar Galactica series.  In fact, not even a week ago, I dreamt I was being chased by a murderous cylon.

Unfortunately for me, I rarely have positive dreams.  I’m not entirely sure why that is.  The only exceptions are one very strange piece of creation where I was underground playing Space Monopoly with my grandmother and a few grizzly bears, and one time that I was Mario in Mario 64.

But I digress; I need proof.  My first piece of evidence is the fact that he operates at superhuman levels of labor.  He wakes up at 6 in the morning, works a solid 9 hour day with little break, immediately commutes an hour to arrive at his first 3-hour rehearsal, after which he promptly commutes another hour to arrive to his second rehearsal, which lasts well over two.

Now, I’m accustomed to a portion of that schedule. Particularly at some points last year during postaday deathmatch 2011, I felt like I might die from exhaustion after working all day, going to rehearsal all night, and coming home to polish off a piece of junk from the recesses of my mind to offer up to the Interwebz gods.  But that was an office job, kids.  This robot in front of me is a letter carrier.  A letter carrier.  And if you think that “sounds like a great job”, you are mistaken.  Twenty years ago, being a letter carrier “sounded like a great job” but today, letter carriers are the marines of the service field.  They rarely get real breaks, they’re speedwalking for several hours straight with 80 pounds on their backs, dogs attack them, they have to endure ridiculous attacks of extreme hot and cold temperatures, and every single American citizen thinks that new mailmen should just “know” where their mailbox is as if there’s some sort of government list somewhere that says “42 Wallaby Way’s mailbox is on the back porch beside the terra cotta pig”.   

I know I get upset about the post office a lot.  But you don’t understand; it’s like The Postman out there and attention must be paid.

Do you know what it’s like to work at a place that is open during the entire span of regular business hours, 6 days a week?   I’ll tell you what it’s like.  It’s bloody frustrating.  Getting your hair cut or going to the bank or having a professional appointment is like a unicorn crossing your path and farting a rainbow cloud directly on your face: it’s rare.  Real rare.

Anyway my point is that he is fully functional on very little sleep and maintains this schedule with an alarmingly high rate of frequency; over and over again. Like a robot.

Also, sometimes he makes this super creepy face in the mirror while I’m brushing my teeth and I swear to you no real human could possibly look like that ever.

I suppose that’s really all the evidence I have but it’s also really all I need.  If I uploaded a picture of the face, you probably wouldn’t even need that little bit about the post office being the place where decent, America-loving people go to kill each other as Exhibit A.   So the question now that I’ve ascertained his cylon-ness is what to do about it.  I mean, I can’t go on living like this.  

As of now, my plan is to hold steady until mid-October, at which time my next Lollipop Tuesday will appear in the form of a UFO Convention.  A UFO CONVENTION.  If anyone can understand my predicament, it’s the UFO Convention demographic.   Maybe I can get some answers.

Here’s hoping I survive long enough to attend. 

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I’m *Not* the Next Contestant on The Price Is Right

29 Aug

I promised you a Lollipop Tuesday and my darling ducklings, I have delivered.

Happy Lollipop Tuesday y’all.

For those of you unfamiliar, well, I don’t blame you. I haven’t been diligent and its been quite some time since my last installment. I’ve been holed up in my apartment, not seeking out the unfamiliar but instead drinking and yelling at my cats. It’s comfortable. I like it here.

But there is a whole world of strange activity just waiting to be explored and darnit, I promised you I would explore it. So to check out what this is all about and hear tales of everything from infiltrating Scottish Country Dance meetings to competing in the World Pinball Championship, click here. To continue the saga, read on. Because this week I have a treat for you; I wandered over to audition open call for the contestant search for The Price Is Right.

Did you know these existed? Silly me; all my life I thought the college kids and military members and seemingly ordinary folks who run down that aisle were genuinely surprised to have been selected. But they’re not. They’re the result of nationwide open calls in major cities like the one at which I found myself. One day I’m thumbing through huge local paper looking for mischief and the next, I’m standing in a long, tired line at a casino with America’s finest, hoping to win a trip to sunny California and a chance at a Showcase Showdown.

I’m using the term “America’s Finest” quite loosely. I’m pretty sure I was one of a handful of folks who showed up as a result of advertising. Everyone else appeared to have wandered up from the casino after reading the welcome sign. Makes sense. Gamblers make excellent game  show hopefuls.  Well played, casino manager. Well played.

I have to admit that I think I’d make a stellar Price Is Right contestant.  No one knows prices on everyday products like a born and

The Welcome Sign

bred poor kid.  I’ve been blessed with the superhuman power of totaling grocery orders within three dollars just by watching the items roll down the conveyor belt.  Once, when attempting to split the cost of groceries perfectly in half with David, I put half the order in front of the little bar separator and half behind it.  The result was only 15 cents apart.  FIFTEEN CENTS.  That’s game show worthy, friends.  I’m a Showcase Showdown champion just waiting to be discovered.

In case you’re wondering how this sort of thing works, here’s the rundown.  I arrived at the casino, followed the signs to the upper lobby, and found a room with a bunch of ropes that helped to herd the cattle.  At the entrance was a gentleman who greeted me with a form to complete and wished me luck.  At the front of the room were two cameras and folks being recorded.  In the middle was a cross section of the human race that I have not yet encountered in my lifetime.  

There were cat totes.

There were beer cans.

 

There were helping hands.

 

And there was me.

It was a smorgasboard of America and it was a beautiful thing to behold.  

While in line filling out the form that waived any and all rights, I overheard folks in line saying that at the cameras up front, we had to talk for thirty seconds on why we should be on The Price Is Right.  

Crap.  

I do auditions all the time.  I can give them a two minute monologue, dramatic or comedic, classical or modern… but thirty seconds of me talking about something real?  I don’t know about that.  

Luckily there was about an hour’s worth of cattle ahead of me so I had time to put something together.  But in all the time I stood there, I couldn’t think of one good reason I should be picked over anyone else.  I could make something up, but I didn’t want the Price Is Right police coming after me for falsification of Price Is Right records. I have no way of knowing how serious this is.  So I went with what was true: I’m a hermit, I have a blog, I have a Lollipop Tuesday series where I try new things, and flying out to CA to be on a game show would make an excellent story.

I thought it sounded good, but since I didn’t have a script and I’m easily excited and I’m awkward, I accidentally threw in something about pole dancing. 

Where it all fell apart.

I didn’t mean to.  I’m still not really sure how it happened.  I think I was giving examples of some of the things that I’d already tried and written about and while I meant to say family-friendly things like the Civil War Reenactment and ice skating, I actually said pole dancing.   I tried to come across as so normal and television-worthy that I overcompensated. With how overly excited I was and how big my eyes were, I sincerely doubt they’ll ever believe I have trouble getting out of my apartment.  I went from hermit Jackie who wants a challenging adventure to slutty mcslut pole-dancing Jackie who is overly excitable and might attack Drew Carey with her violently chipper demeanor. 

Dammit.   That will never hold up next to all the parents who said they wanted to get on the show to get a new car for their kid.  Well played, parents.  Well played.

Hey: lesson learned.  When auditioning for a family friendly show, make no mention of stripper-related activities.  I’ll get it right next time.  

Pat Sajak, I’m lookin’ at you. 

Do These Olympics Make Me Look Fat?

9 Aug

It’s Thursday.  It’s not Wednesday.  Just in case you were wondering man, Jackie posted today – is it WEDNESDAY?! the answer is no.   Not it is not.  It is Thursday, and Jackie failed to post on Wednesday.

I spent the day telling myself I didn’t care.  But that was a big fat lie.  I totally care.  Because here I am on a Thursday, posting.  I just have this nagging feeling that missing a week will throw the entire rest of the year of weekly posting off balance and I shall never, ever recover.  Or maybe you won’t.  This is really about you.  And how much I love you.  Squishy hugs for everyone.  

Okay, now moving on to more pressing matters.

I think it’s really great that as a society we have begun to question the unrealistic body images that constantly affront us in magazines, in movies, and during the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show each year.  More and more often, I’m seeing links to entertaining pages that feature poorly photoshopped celebrities and supermodels.  I don’t know about you but when I come to and find my sausage fingers stuck inside another empty sleeve of Oreos, I like to nurse my wounds by clicking through pages images of accidentally airbrushed-away limbs and before-shot monsterpig faces.

And now I think it’s time to speak out against the unrealistic body images that have been bombarding us for almost two weeks.  You know what I’m talking about.

The Olympics.

My television has done nothing but hurl unrealistic expectations at me every day for the past two weeks with scantily clad men and women that are so perfectly chiseled that in the slow motion playback, the only things that jiggle are their cheeks It’s preposterous.  Not one single female athlete’s arms jiggle when they wave to the audience in celebration.    And have you seen the women sprinters? Not only are they perfectly sculpted examples of human perfection, but they even manage to have well-placed hair! Hair that stays put after rocketing down the track at alarming speeds. HOW DO THEY DO THAT?!  Even the freakish doll monsters that are synchronized swimmers have hair and makeup that sticks on through several minutes of exercising completely underwater.

I can’t get  mine to stay on after the sweat I break while brushing my teeth.

When’s the last time a candid shot of you emphasized your rock hard goddess abs?

The ultimate slap in my fat face was the ESPN body issue featuring naked Olympians and national athletes.  Some of them are in the midst of performing their sport.  Surfers from an underwater shot, rowers pinned on the side of the boat and mid-stroke, ball players gearing up to take a shot – and all of them are perfect. Your humiliation will know no bounds.

This is worse than supermodel fixation.  Much worse.  At least when I open a magazine and see fashion models glaring at me with their smokey eyes, I can coax my love handles into calming down by reminding myself that I could always look like that too if I stopped eating.  But when I’m faced with the chiseled abs and well-shaped thighs of an Olympian, I have no solace.  These people haven’t had dessert in two years.  They train 8 hours a day every day.  They eat the same things constantly.  They have someone whose job is solely to make sure that they’re beautiful, flawless, perfectly sculpted examples of human athletic achievement.

All I have is my cats.  And when I took them to the vet last week, I was scolded for their obesity. 

Even my cats are lard asses.  I would make a terrible trainer.

Hobbes’ inevitable future

Luckily it’s almost over.  In just a few short days, the Olympics will go into hiding for another four years.  Of course, we’ll have to deal with the winter Olympics in just two, but in the winter I can console myself with the improbability of my becoming a speed skater and vats of crock pot comfort foods. 

For now, I must stay strong; they’re almost done.   Maybe I should start with small steps.  Like looking up those outstanding waterproof hair and makeup products.

Or investing in a cat treadmill. ♣

Once Upon a Time: A Break Up Letter

11 Apr

Once Upon a Time on ABC: a big, teasing spiral of disappointment

Okay, Once Upon a Time.  It’s time to have a sit-down.  Because you have a really good thing here and you’re ruining it.  Actually, you don’t have “a really good thing here”.  I made that up to be nice.  What you really have is a promising premise, a handful of decent actors and an audience that desperately wants to support you.  So I guess what you have is potential.  But we’re something like 20 episodes in to Season One and you aren’t showing any signs of comprehension regarding the laws of addictive series-writing.

Now, I don’t have any experience writing episodes for television.  But what I do have is an overly critical mind, an adoration for excellent screenwriting (Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos), and  a blog.  This trifecta has been leading up to a candid and public assessment of your suckiness.  It’s time to break it down.

I really believed in you.  I thought an adult exploration of my favorite fairy tale characters being trapped in a small town and slowly

Look at Robert Carslyle bein' all like "me? the best actor on the show? why thank you."

being led to realize their true identities was a great premise.  I like complicated timelines and the potential for people’s true colors from their storybook past to show through in their boring lives in suburbia.  I like watching romances that are destined to be find a way to eek out in the midst of adversity and I really, really like Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold.   And you even have Giancarlo Esposito! The man rocked his role in Breaking Bad and then he came to share his awesomeness with you.   If you had a modicum of understanding for the concept of progressing a storyline, you could throw the entire thing on their backs and they could carry it away with ease, even while surrounded by the face-bashing awful performances of almost everyone else.  But you don’t.  

Listen: you have to stop introducing new character backgrounds.  Just for a few minutes let us get a handle on things, would you?  You’re flipping back and forth between fairytale land and reality, you’re giving people concussions and walking us through their memories, you’re moving along the fairy tale book, the queen’s heart collection, and Emma’s realizations at a snail-like pace, and just when I think I’ve got a handle on the shape of things, you run me down rabbit trails with the secret past of side characters and subplots that aren’t even remotely related to the reason I tune in.

Why? Why are you doing that?  Do  you not understand what your central story line is?  II’s your favorite part of having a series delving into complex backgrounds of supporting characters?  Or do you genuinely just not understand that I don’t want to tune in once a week to learn about something completely unrelated to the main plot line that doesn’t look like it has a tie-in for at least several episodes?  As a general rule, let’s just say that if it doesn’t progress the story line, you should probably throw it away, not air it on television to frustrate grumplepuss audience members like myself.   I kept hoping you’d figure this out.  I really convinced myself to hold out for a while.  After all, the first few episodes of a show are always a little wonky – it takes time for you to realize and embrace your potential, for the actors to get a good grasp on their characters, and for everything to start working as a well-oiled machine. 

But I’ve watched eighteen episodes of your premiere season.  Eighteen!  That’s a long time to wait for a plot line to pay off.  But at 45 minutes an episode, you’ve had 13 hours to convince me you’re going to take this storyline somewhere and you’ve failed. That’s half a day.  

In the amount of time it took the Addams Family kids to be converted to optimism by watching Disney movies back to back in a remote cabin, you can’t even convert me from a supporter of your show to a devoted audience member.  I’m disappointed in you.

So it’s time for me to let go.   It’s  not because I want to.  Believe me: I really hate to come to this realization.  I don’t like to be wrong about things and I certainly don’t knowing I spent half a day watching a badly done show instead of investing that time in my life’s calling to start a Puppy Amusement Park.  Maybe if the rest of America hangs in there for you, you’ll come around about half way through next season.  But with a meth lab that’s just blown up after the Mexican cartel’s ringleaders have been taken out on AMC, and a few baby dragons that have just been born during a young bastard prince’s grasp on the Iron Throne on HBO, it’s unlikely my attention is going to be able to revert to Storybrook.

I don’t think I’ve ever gotten the opportunity to say this in a break up before.  So allow me to indulge:

It’s over, Once Upon a Time.  It’s not me: it’s you. 

Puppies and Unicorn Sprinkles,

Jackie 

Why I Should Host SNL Instead of Lindsay Lohan

22 Feb

I’m launching a campaign to host Saturday Night Live instead of Lindsay Lohan.

I feel strongly about this.  I thought hosting SNL was supposed to be a sign that you were relevant and that people wanted to see you.  On occasion, it’s also a tip of the hat to your ability to roll with a gag – to think on your feet – to be, oh, I don’t know- entertaining.  And though I’m really excited about how SNL seems to be pumping out some good stuff lately, I’m pretty disappointed in the choice to let The Lohan host.  Sure, she has a great rack.  And she’s been in movies an attempted a singing career and is now an official Playboy model.  And she’s hosted a bunch of times already.  And she generates more interest in what she wears to court hearings than I do in a well-thought out, carefully constructed blog post. 

But I was improv captain in college, folks.  And if I wear two bras and shove some padding on the lower inside of my bubblie wubblies, I can give the Lohan a serious run for her money.

All she had to do was beg and now she gets the coveted honor of hosting the coolest show on television.  It doesn’t matter that she’s not relevant or that the last time she showed up in public she looked like a bleached Oompa Loompa trapped in a straitjacket.  So if she can flush her celebrity life and hotness down the toilet, follow it up with a bunch of trashy appearances and questionable outings, and then beg to host and get granted her wish, I’m pretty sure I can lock this in with the old-fashioned method of straightforward bullets-by-numbers and overwhelming persistence.  Let’s do this.

Why I Should Host SNL Instead of Lindsay Lohan

  1. I have a proven track record of creating original content.  2011 was the year of The Jackie Blog post-a-day.  And I whooped it.  Hard.  
  2. I don’t think SNL has ever let a humor blogger host and it would be a great way to engage the Internet community and give young, semi-humorous indie bloggers everywhere a senseless feeling of hope.
  3.  I have a fiercely loyal following who would support my endeavor and tune in to reap the benefits of their fandom.
  4. I Know Who Killed Me”  It’s a movie.  It’s bad.  And I didn’t tie myself for the Razzie Worst Actress  award in it; The Lohan did.
  5. My teacher told me I could do anything I wanted to do when I grew up and I’m grown now and I want to host SNL.  This is America, folks.  
  6. My day job is being Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada and this is my only hope to scrape together what remains of my soul before the rest of it is sucked away by Miranda Priestly and the Corporate Machine (which also happens to be a great band name).
  7. 8., 9., and 10.   
 
 
 
So this is the plan: I’m going to send out good thoughts into the great Internet nether and hope that the SNL gods hear my cry.  If that doesn’t work, I’m going to resort to old school mailings.  They’ll feature a hard copy of a blog post from 2011 and a reader endorsement Sharpied on a picture of The Lohan’s face.  You can go ahead and drop me a line in the comments if you want to sponsor a Lohan-face-note.
 
I’m not sure if that will get me an invitation to New York or a restraining order, but I’m willing to risk it.
 
I need to work fast and furiously.  Lindsay Lohan hosts on March 3rd.  That doesn’t give me much time.
 
Then again if this doesn’t work, I could just start lobbying now for her next comeback. 

Please Stop the Holiday Commercials. Please.

24 Dec

It's not Christmas until you get your kid a toy that makes them wet their pants

I’ve been away from television for quite some time.  But as it’s the holidays and most folks just sit around in front of the television until it’s time to carry out an obligatory tradition or two, I have no choice but be subjected to the doom tube.

Today I was introduced to the Wuggle Pets commercial.  Then some stupid dance Skechers that used ballerinas to sell what looks like a running shoe.  Then I saw a woman purposefully knock all her spices out of her cabinet so that the narrator could show me the solution to her intentional hand spasms. And then I gouged out my eyeballs with a dinner fork.

After you’ve been disconnected from the world of flashing lights and blaring voices, it’s a little shocking to be around it again.  There are all sorts of pop culture whosits and whatsists that I don’t understand and advertisements that are so incredibly stupid it makes me want to write a letter to corporate headquarters all over the nation.  Of course, this is really what I always wanted and the very reason I got rid of cable. For a while there, seeing a commercial for Wuggle Pets would have been ordinary to me.

Now it looks like certain death.

So I’m glad I’ve made that transition successfully.  The only unfortunate consequence is that now when I have to sit in other people’s living rooms for a significant amount of time, I get incredibly annoyed and upset by the yelling and screaming to buy products, the stupid reality shows that have people hooked (they’re scripted, people.  scripted.), and I mourn for the fact that I’m not doing anything constructive with my time. We could be playing board games or talking about life or going on an adventure together or volunteering in a soup kitchen or wrapping presents for kids in need or anything, really, except staring at a group of overexcited child actors freak out about a machine that lets them stuff their own stuffed animals. 

I know this is not a typical reaction.  I know.  I need to accept that Wuggle Pets are part of my reality and that turning a blind eye to them doesn’t mean they stop existing.  If I can just hold out for two more days, Christmas-oriented advertising will be off the playlist until next fall.

Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Try not to gouge out eyes with silverware. 

Zooey Deschanel Is Mocking Me

14 Oct

Zooey Deschanel and I are kind of fighting right now.

I say kind of because she doesn’t know who I am, even though she is obviously playing out my entire life on national television.

For those of you who don’t know who I’m talking about, allow me to post a picture of enlightenment.  But I warn you: she’s totally cute.  So if you’re a guy and you don’t already know who she is, prepare yourself to get a little excited by her adorableness.  And if you’re a girl who doesn’t already know who she is, prepare to feel inferior.   Not inferior in a ‘wow she’s hot’ kind of way.  Inferior in a ‘man she’s really lovely and looks like she’s probably a nice person too.  Sonuvagun’ kind of way.

Look at her basking in her awesome life. For the record, I got this image from a site that claimed to have gotten the image from another site. So to go ahead and bypass all that mumbo jumbo let's just say this obviously isn't mine and you can click on the image to find lots more pictures of her that aren't mine.

 You might recognize her face as the crazy girl from 500 Days of Summer.  Or maybe as the crazy girlfriend on Weeds.  Or maybe as the crazy roommate in Failure to Launch.  Or, most recently, as the star of the show ‘New Girl’, which was stolen from the transcripts of my life.

I was first made aware of this travesty when one of my older brothers texted me telling me I had to watch it right away because it was me.  The premise of the show is that the lead – Jess, played by the offender in question – has just been cheated on and moves in with a houseful of guys, where she talks in crazy voices, does stupid things, and makes up her own jingles.  And with only a few almost unnoticeable adjustments, this is my life from college.  Except New Girl replaced all of my awesome guy roommates with bad actors.  Also, I’m not as attractive as her. 

This makes me upset.  Not just the not-being-as-attractive-as-her thing, but the whole shebang.  Zooey Deschanel is exactly what I’ve always wished I looked like, starring in a sitcom I always wish I could have had.  And guess what: she has a band.  Yeah.  She gets her singer-songwriter on too.  The real kicker is that she isn’t even very good at any of these things. Honestly, she’s not.  I’m not being rude – she’s very lovely and I don’t hold anything against her except that she has entirely and heartlessly usurped my dreams from me by claiming them for her own.  But it’s just an empirical observation that she’s rather average in every area outside of her bangin’ cute looks and soul-slurping doe eyes.   She just tries to be amusing about the fact that she’s average and people like that about her.

She even has likability.

So I keep watching New Girl.  Over and over again.  I don’t even think it’s very good.  It could have been good if they would have called me to get more information instead of just running with the basics.  But they missed a few very key points about the roommates that I’d love to fill them in on.  You know, if they’ll replace Zooey with me.  Obviously.  And they’re going to need a few cats.  The cats are vital. But I keep watching it in spite of its mediocrity because I’m in shock at how much she is like me and how completely annoying I am. 

Look at her. She knows what she's doing. (Photo by Noel Vasquez – Image courtesy gettyimages.com)

 

Really, I can’t stand her character.  I don’t know how people put up with me.  At least when I lived with four guys I could kind of spread my personality amongst them all.  Now that I live with just one – oh man.  How does Dave do it?! Honestly, how does he not smother me in my sleep?

The other day I woke him up with an improvised song about how he was wrapped up in his blanket all funny.  It was called Breakfast Burrito.  And while I was proud of my rendition at the time, I’m now watching Zooey ‘I-steal-your-dreams-and-play-them-out-in-front-of-you’ Deschanel and I’m thinking Woooow.  Someone needs to body slam me until I shut up.

Really.  If Zooey woke me up with a song about how I looked like a breakfast burrito, I’d have the urge to take her out at the knees.

Well, at least maybe then I’ll have a shot at understudy. 

 

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