Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I get my news from The Young Turks.

One of the least controversial things that one can say about the mainstream media is that - as unfortunate as it is - you can't really trust them when it comes to reporting actual news.

This means that in order to be able to find out what's going on in the world, one has to look for other sources that provide information about things that matter - like politics and other important events.

Fortunately for a guy like me, there's the internet. I pay attention to a lot of sites, from left to right,  but an online show called 'The Young Turks' is the one that I've been watching the most.

There are a lot of reasons why I watch this show every day, but I guess its host Cenk Uygur is the main reason that I like The Young Turks as much as I do.

I mean, considering how full of propaganda the mainstream media is, Cenk (not owned by the corporations) is a breath of fresh air. He's not afraid to say what's on his mind.

For example, Cenk doesn't shy away from saying that it was CIA that killed John F. Kennedy. He's also not afraid of saying that most tv programs on network tv are terrible (his favorite comedy at the moment is Modern Family).

There are lots of other things too: like the obvious need to get money out of politics, which unfortunately has pretty much corrupted the political system.

Of course I don't agree with everything that he says, but most of the time I do. No wonder the show has been such a huge success. I think it's actually the most watched online news show in the world.

Anyway, here's a clip from the show about the fake Benghazi "scandal" that thanks to the republicans and Fox News just won't seem to go away. If only the mainstream media would have the same approach that Cenk has.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Britain's Got Talent rules this year too.

It's not a secret that I'm a fan of Britain's Got Talent. Even though the show is a bit rigged when it comes to some of those singing acts, there are still reasons to like this show.

This season doesn't seem to disappoint us either. I've already seen some pretty entertaining acts that have made me feel better about life.

So, I managed to pick two acts that I think are pretty amazing. Both performances will almost certainly surprise the viewer. I don't think we have seen acts like these before.

The first one stars an 80 year old grandma, who almost dances like a twenty year old. I didn't know "old" people could make moves like these. I had no idea this was possible.

The second video is also a dancing act. This a classic underdog performance that wins you over. Not only does the guy act well,  those dance moves are funny as heck.

Furthermore, the performer manages to tell us a story in just two minutes. I guess everyone can learn something from this:

Would be awesome to see this guy winning. Can't wait to see what's coming up next week.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Modern Family 5x22: serious is good.

One of the biggest issues I've had with Modern Family over the years is the fact that the show hasn't been, well, it just hasn't been that real. Too many times the episodes have been about things that don't really matter.

So naturally I was pleasantly surprised when last Wednesday's episode, titled "Message Received" had some actual drama in it. There was a real conflict between Jay and Mitchell about Cam and Mitch's upcoming wedding.

As it went in the episode, Jay wasn't really excited at all about the wedding ceremony. He's an old school guy, and even though he has accepted Mitch and Cam as a couple, the wedding just didn't feel right to him.

Mitchell of course was hurt by this revelation. In his opinion, had this been about Claire getting married, Jay couldn't have been more excited about the whole thing - and that his father has something against him.

Jay denied this and tried his best to explain what the reasons for his thoughts were, but it didn't make Mitchell feel any better. It made Mitchell think that perhaps Jay shouldn't even attend the wedding at all.

This conflict was well written and for once felt completely real. We also didn't get an immediate resolution to it. The issue was left open, which made it even better. This was pure drama, for the first time in years on the show. It made us care.

Although, to be honest, the episode as a whole was a bit uneven. There were parts that weren't really that well thought out. Especially when it came to the "is Claire pregnant again" farce. It didn't really work.

Nevertheless, I'm not the only one who appreciated this sudden switch to seriousness. A lot of people also responded positively to it and it was difficult to  find negative comments about the episode. The audience felt good about it and for a reason.

Not surprisingly, "Message Received" was written by Steve Levitan, the co-creator of Modern Family. I think he's the most reliable writer on the show and he still hasn't really disappointed me. 

All in all, I just wish they would write more these episodes that tend to have actual conflicts and real drama. There's nothing wrong with being serious. In fact, serious in many cases is good. In this case, it was very good.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

HBO's Silicon Valley is.. ..pretty okay.

I have now watched the first five episode's of HBO's Silicon Valley, a show that started airing like a month ago. It was created by Mike Judge, the guy who's also behind shows like King of The Hill and Beavis &  Butthead.

Now,  when it comes the premise of the series: rarely have we seen one that is so obvious to almost everyone: Silicon Valley is a combination of two shows: The Big Bang Theory and Entourage.

By that I mean that we have the geeks working in the computer industry (The Big Bang Theory) - and then we have the premise of them trying to get rich with their 'star' product (Entourage).  

How good is this show then? Well, based on the episodes that I've seen, I haven't really made up my mind yet. There are some undeniably good things about the show and yet there are also some obvious problems that can't be overlooked.

So, first of all, there are too many characters at the moment in Silicon Valley. By that I mean that too many point of views are being presented. The guy who finances these genius geeks doesn't (or didn't) really deserve to have his own individual scenes.

The characters are also a bit shallow at this point. They aren't that interesting. I'm not necessarily rooting for anyone of these guys. This might perhaps change at some point - and I'm hoping that it will.

There's also the problem with the way things are being told. The show is supposed to be story driven, but too many times I feel like I'm watching scenes that aren't really developed or connected well enough. It feels as if I'm watching sketches.

Furthermore, I'm not exactly sure if I'm buying the storyline of them coming up with an algorithm that will make downloading stuff easier. It doesn't perhaps seem interesting enough, especially since they didn't show us them developing it.

But it's not all bad though. For example, I think it's obvious that unlike on The Big Bang Theory, the writers have done their homework when it comes to getting the geek stuff right. There's a lot of tech jargon that I suppose is accurate.

Since this is an HBO show, it doesn't pander to the lowest common denominator. Also, you don't get the feeling that the writers are trying to be smarter than they really are by writing about supposedly smart guys (The Big Bang Theory)

The lack of relationship nonsense is also a definite plus. I don't wan't this series to become like The Big Bang Theory where the guys get 'cured' when they finally meet girls. That is what ruined that particular show.

The acting is pretty solid too. There doesn't seem to be a weak link in the cast. Everyone seems to be pretty believable as a computer nerd and I'm again happy to see Martin Starr as the ultimate "stoned" guy.

Let's not also forget there have been some really funny moments. Especially in the latest episode that aired. The video conference was hilarious and I also found it really funny when the cops showed up and saw what's in the garage.

So, even though Silicon Valley doesn't seem to be a great show at the moment, I think's it worth watching and I have faith that it gets better as we get to see more episodes. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Everyone hates movie screenwriters (it's easier to be a tv writer).

I checked the reviews for Lego: The Movie. Based on what I read I decided to watch this film. After all, its 8.2 rating and 96% fresh on was enough to convince me to give it  a chance.

For once I thought this could be a watchable movie. Nevertheless, when all was said and done, as a whole Lego: The Movie wasn't any good. It was really bad to be honest.

Naturally, after I finished watching it, I checked its message boards where some people had big problems with it. This of course wasn't really surprising, since every movie obviously has its detractors. But they were angry like I was. The movie and its script made no sense.

In a way I think I should be mad at the critics, who gave this bad movie such high marks. I could also blame those regular folks who gave it a high rating - 8.2 on is so good that there's no way the film could be that bad. But it turned out to be.

Yet, in the end I won't be blaming either the critics or the general audience. Instead, like many others, I'm pretty unhappy with those who were responsible for writing this crappy movie.

Those guys who got the writing credit just didn't know what they were doing.  This movie really made me feel mad at them, whether that feeling is justified or not. The script for this movie was just so screwed up.

Because of movies like these, people don't respect film writers anymore. Generally speaking it's really hard to find film scribes that are not hated or reviled (the late John Hughes is one of the very few that people looked up to).

In comparison, when it comes to television writers, things are a bit different. I think most people don't have that negative feelings towards them. The attitudes aren't that hostile, even though quality-wise we're pretty much talking about the same thing.

Just think about writers like Dan Harmon, Seth McFarlane and Chuck Lorre. None of these guys have a clue how to put together a script. Yet, there are loads of people who think they're even awesome. "Dan Harmon is soo great", even though he isn't.

Nevertheless, people don't respect film writers, so in many ways writing movies seems like a scary idea.  I myself like the idea of being liked. I like the idea that people would think that you're a fairly honest and a kind person. Not that you're a totally useless p.o.s.

So what I'm asking is, what's the point in writing movie screenplays? Is there a point? What's there to win? To me it seems like there's no real upside to being a film writer anymore.