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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TV is Broken - The 2008 Season Sucks

Last season’s writers’ strike caused nearly every non-reality show to have very short runs last season. Between the strike and Kiefer Southerland’s DWI conviction, 24 didn’t even have a season. As a result, TV fans across the nation have been bored with reality shows about modeling (yawn), or worse, they had to go get social lives.

But after 18 months of boredom, die-hards from coast to coast ditched their friends, upgraded their DVRs and got ready for an awesome 2008 Fall season. What they got instead was a bad Sex in the City ripoff, two mediocre X Files clones, and some terrible plotlines for their favorite returning shows.

TV is broken, here’s our proof:

The Worst New Sitcom:
Kath & Kim

It is almost impossible to get viewers behind a show with entirely unlikeable characters. Even when you do it perfectly (It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia), you’re limited to a niche audience at best. Kath & Kim chronicles a spoiled, self-involved woman-child and her enabling mother.

If we wanted to watch annoying people who are in love with themselves, we would have watched The Simple Life.

The Worst New Serial:
Eleventh Hour

With more interesting actors than J.J. Abrams’ Fringe, and with Jerry Bruckheimmer at the helm, we’d hoped this would be interesting. Instead we found an utterly boring, sort of sci-fi show that in its debut chose to get at the forefront of the stemcell/cloning controversy. Of course nobody likes to be preached at, and they’re about six years too late to join the debate.

The Worst Returning Serial:
Prison Break

This is what happens when TV executives get greedy, pure and simple. Prison Break was never supposed to last more than two seasons. But it was making money, so when some producer needed a new chinchilla-skin car cover, they asked “does this really have to be about people breaking out of prison?” Then they started bringing people back from the dead, and not wanting to spend much on the makeup budget, lasered off the ginormous tattoo covering Wentworth Miller’s top half. You’ve jumped the shark, please get off TV now.

The Most Annoying Plotline:
Heroes

Every season is referred to by the show’s creators as a “volume.” First season was “Generations,” followed by “Exodus,” and now we are in the middle of “Villians.” Clearly Tim Kring is a fan of Empire Strikes Back, but who wants to tune in week-after-week to watch their favorite characters get their back-sides handed to them?

To compensate for such wimpy heroes, every time one of them dies, they are miraculously brought back (or turned into a triplet). As long as they keep this up, they’re going to lose tens-of-thousands of regular viewers every week.

Final Thoughts
In The 40 Year Old Virgin Steve Carrell asked “is it true that if you don’t use it, you lose it?” And when it comes to writing compelling TV shows, the answer is a resounding yes. TV writers’ brains have atrophied from not working for so long. And we’re pretty sure they’ll get their groove back, but we have two questions…by the time they do, will anyone still be watching? And, anyone want to buy a used DVR?

Call us corporate shills, but it’s times like these, we’re seriously glad we have Netflix.

Original here

Three stabbed at London music awards

Peter Walker

A music awards show in London erupted into chaos last night after a triple stabbing saw one guest seriously injured and two other hurt.

Police sealed off the 6th Annual Urban Music Awards at the indigO2 Arena in London, keeping 300 people inside the venue until the early hours of this morning, after the violence broke out. One man was arrested.

The event, which featured nominations for performers including Leona Lewis, Estelle, Adele, Dizzee Rascal and Duffy, was abandoned after 90 minutes.

One eyewitnesses spoke of "blood all over the floor" after a huge brawl involving up to 30 people broke out at around 10pm, sending champagne bottles and chairs flying. Another guest spoke of guns being seen inside the venue.

Andre Nevling, 24, said a woman sitting at his table ended up drenched in blood.

"Obviously the guy who got stabbed must have run straight past her and she's pretty shaken up," he said.

"I came out of the auditorium and looked at her and she was just standing there. I saw blood all over the floor and then I was like, 'Jesus you're covered in it'," he said.

Another eyewitness, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "I didn't see what happened but there were champagne bottles flying and I hid under the table."

Ambulance staff said three people were treated at the scene and then taken to London hospitals. None of the injuries was believed to be life threatening.

It was not yet known whether any of the nominees were at the ceremony. An advertisement on the World Music Awards website from two weeks ago claimed that those scheduled to attend would include Amy Winehouse, Craig David, Mica Paris, Sienna Miller, Dwaine Chambers and Ian Wright. Tickets were available for general sale.

After the brawl police cordoned off an area inside the auditorium, a 2,350 capacity venue within the indigO2 Arena, formerly known as the Dome, in Greenwich, south London.

Around 300 guests were kept inside the building and only allowed out one at a time after they were questioned.

Some of those attending complained that security measures had been insufficiently tight. Natalie Williams, 32, said: "There was no security, nothing. Before anything even happened I commented to my boyfriend, because we live nearby and come here a lot, and we usually get screened coming into the building. Tonight there was nothing."

Another guest, Emma Fairclough, said there were reports of guns being spotted at the event. She said: "I have spoken to two people who said they have seen guns in the arena this evening."

• This article was amended on Monday November 17 2008. In the article above we said that the 6th Annual Urban Music Awards had taken place in the O2 Arena. It took place in the indigO2 which is beside the O2 Arena. This has been changed.

Original here

'Lost' Beatles track could finally be heard

LONDON, England (CNN) -- A "lost" Beatles track recorded in 1967 and performed just once in public could finally be released, according to Paul McCartney.

Beatles Paul McCartney, left, and Ringo Starr, right, with Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison.

Beatles Paul McCartney, left, and Ringo Starr, right, with Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison.

"Carnival of Light" -- a 14-minute experimental track recorded at the height of the Beatles' musical experimentations with psychedelia and inspired by avant-garde composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen -- has long been considered too adventurous for mainstream audiences.

In an interview for BBC radio, McCartney said his bandmates and their producer George Martin had vetoed its inclusion on the exhaustive 1990s "Anthology" collection, according to UK's The Observer newspaper.

McCartney confirmed he still owned the master tapes, adding that he suspected "the time has come for it to get its moment," The Observer reported. "I like it because it's the Beatles free, going off piste," McCartney said.

Almost everything recorded by the Beatles from their early days in Liverpool and Hamburg to their break-up in 1970 has been released to meet insatiable public appetite for anything to do with the legendary Liverpool quartet.

In the 40 years since its recording, "Carnival of Light" has acquired near mythical status among Beatles fans who argue that the existence of the track provides evidence of the group's experimental ambitions beyond their commercially successfully pop career.

The improvised work features distorted electric guitars, discordant sound effects, a church organ and gargling interspersed with McCartney and John Lennon shouting random phrases like "Barcelona" and "Are you all right?"

McCartney would need the consent of Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, and George Harrison's widow, Olivia Harrison, to release the track.

Original here