Thursday, November 20, 2008


ABC has to do something about its split personality. Their development department often rises above the usual mundane, feed-em-a-fish banality to create fresh programming ideas. MEN IN TREES, for example, was somewhat literate and extremely well-acted and produced. Gone, gone, gone--after ABC's scheduling and promotion department deflated the show into oblivion. (Even if you were a fan and looking for scheduled episodes, it was always a hard show to find.)

And now ABC is making the exact same blunder. Twice. ELI STONE, one of the smarter, kinder and more intelligent pieces of television will be gone--no order past this season's 13 episodes. But worst of all, PUSHING DAISIES, the Emmy-lauded, inventive series will be no more. (I choose not to put DIRTY SEXY MONEY in the same category--despite Peter Krause, Jill Clayburgh, Lucy Liu, Blair Underwood AND the great Donald Sutherland, it is a soap opera so vapid you can jump in and second-guess what you haven't seen. Few will lose sleep over its departure.)

PUSHING DAISIES, on the other hand, is a spectacular if strange little world, with a cast of endearing characters that made it a televison classic. Original, funny, fast-paced, beautifully acted and amazingly filmed and designed, it was something unique and special. It's absence will be truly felt among its dedicated followers.

(I might add that it has more people watching it than MAD MEN, which is the most celebrated show of the year and no one is cancelling THAT!)

As the networks lose more and more yearly to cable channels, streaming video and the DVD market, they sadly seem to learn less and less about the viewing public. Almost anyone in America could have told them that it was a mistake not to bring the show back last season for SOME kind of wrap-up episodes after the Writers' Strike. Waiting all that time without so much as a re-cap was a huge mistake. What about running the already shown episodes in summer to build new fans, show folks what they missed, and ramp up excitement for the season to come? Where was any kind of real fanfare or promotion to herald PD's return? Any kind of decent marketing buzz would've made sense. And then to continually break up the showing schedule--okay, they actually ran PD against Obama's infomercial, but then left it off the air for two weeks in a row. So the gains it made were soon squandered. They never tried it on another night, nor did they promote it on other major shows.

ABC's marketing department may not be as corrupt or obtuse as the heads of AIG or the Big 3 Automakers who still party hearty and fly private jets to beg Congress for bailouts. But clearly their heads are not atop their shoulders where they should be--and once again, we the viewers suffer for it. And again, they blame the viewers to justify their actions. We're going into a deep recession, people--can't we at least have the shows that lift our spirits with some positive and imaginative storylines?

One can only hope that one of the cable networks will be smart enough to pick PUSHING DAISIES up in some form so it can spread its magic unencumbered. (And then ABC can kick itself, as HBO undoubtedly is over passing on MAD MEN.)

Make your voice heard, viewers. Let ABC know just how ticked off you really are! And while you're at it, drop a line to USA, SciFi, FX, AMC--they're looking for viewers, you know, they just might take the hint. Maybe we should all just boycott Disney and see what the mother ship does . . .

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


It is with enormous pride (and relief!) that we have reached the end of the election season (that lasted over two years).

President-elect Barack Obama. Our soon to be 44th President of the United States.

The fact that the issues led the day, not race, is a source of enormous pride for all of us.

The fact that there really is an undeniable change coming is heartening and uplifting at a time when despair threatened to overwhelm. This doesn't mean that happy days are here again or that all is solved--we are in tough, tough times, and amidst the joy and congratulations, you can't help but think, "That poor man! Why on EARTH would he want this job?!"

But there is something pretty remarkable about him, determined, unflappable, that one has to admire. He is smart and attentive. Thoughtful. Open. And while it may have been one of the most expensive campaigns ever waged, one feels that it was beautifully managed and that every penny spent was spent well and wisely. He handled the ups and downs of the campaign, the triumphs and the tragedies, with strength, dignity and grace, displaying all the leadership qualities we look for in a President. He got through this campaign with his soul in tact. This speaks well for our future.

And I know I'm not the first to remark on this, having been glued to the TV, but it seems Campaigner McCain was exorcised and the decent, if conservative, John McCain returned last night with a truly gracious, thoughtful concession speech. THAT was the man who should have run for President, not the "maverick".

Our President-elect is right--apparently, one can still hold onto their dreams and hope for the best. With hard work, they clearly can come true.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Can I make it any clearer? VOTE!

Do not assume others will do your duty for you--you've maybe done that before and look where it got us!

Do not assume your voice doesn't matter--sometimes it's come down to a relative handful of votes!

Most importantly, you owe yourself a voice. No matter who wins, you need to reconcile yourself with your own needs, your own doubt, your own choices, your own voice. How you will proceed starts from that moment of definition. No one else need know how you voted, true--but YOU WILL KNOW FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! So what you are doing is making a choice, a decision, defining yourself. Do it for you!

DO NOT TRUST POLLS! They've been wrong before, they'll be wrong again.


(And may the best candidate win!)