Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Cavemen: T.V. Armageddon

Television Armageddon is now scheduled for Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. (7:00 Central Time). Beginning tonight, with the premier of ABC's Cavemen, the end of T.V. as we know it will be upon us.

"Cavemen has a lot of people talking since it was first announced. People will continue to talk… about just how astoundingly awful it is".

Blogger comments such as these are just the beginning of the backlash against the program, known mostly for being the show that knocked George Lopez off the air. It was just last May that Lopez, the stand-up comic turned sit-com icon, blew a gasket in an interview with the Los Angeles Times when he said, "I get kicked out for a...caveman and shows that I out-performed because I'm not owned by [ABC Television Studios]...So a...Chicano can't be on TV but a...caveman can?"

Lopez went on to say, "You know when you get in this that shows do not last forever, but this was an important show and to go unceremoniously like this hurts. One hundred seventy people lost their jobs".

However, others, even within the same industry, had differing opinions of Lopez and his comments. Take, for example, lines from an episode of the FOX animated comedy, Family Guy.

Meg: "Chris, change the channel. I want to watch George Lopez."

Chris: "That show just furthers the stereotype that George Lopez is funny."

Now THAT'S funny.

And, as far as sneak-peak reviews are concerned, nothing about Cavemen is.

"This pilot is slow, talky and dull… with the only real visual flourishes revolving around the Cavemen donning different costumes throughout the show in their bid to fit in.

"One of (the actors) actually reminded me a little bit of Sanjaya.

And finally.

"This video will get passed around like the infamous “Star Wars Christmas Special.” It’s nice to know that the spirit of Ed Wood lives on."

Back in the early '70s, comedian Tim Conway had a vanity licence plate that read, "13 WEEKS". He said at the time that it stood for the number of weeks a show he was involved with would run before the network pulled the plug.

If there was a line in Vegas for how many weeks Cavemen will last before George Lopez can dance on it's Neanderthal Burial Grounds, it wouldn't be 13 weeks.

Cavemen's run may be one for the books. The history, err... prehistory books. For those of us with TiVo this might be our only chance to make a memory (fossil?) of one of television's greatest moments.

After all, Armageddon only comes along so many times.

Portions of this story originally appeared in, Ain't It Cool News and The Los Angeles Times

Copyright © 2007 Bill Friday

Monday, October 1, 2007

Dodgers' Season Ends As Angels' Season Begins

Today, at 4:32 p.m., the Los Angeles Dodgers' season came to an end.

Six months and 162 games. Every year the same for every team. Batting practice, the same. Plane flights and bus rides, the same. The towns and hotels, the same. Same bats, same ball, same effort. but for some, vastly different results.

As Andy LaRoche, the third-baseman of the future, flied out, stranding left-fielder of the future Delwyn Young after outs by center-fielder of the future Matt Kemp and first-baseman of the future James Loney, in a game lost by ace-of-the-staff-of-the-future Chad Billingsley, 2007 for the Dodgers was over.

And on Wednesday, October the 3rd, the season for the Los Angeles Angels will have just begun.

In Boston, the Angels will begin the real season - the post season - while the Dodgers go golfing, or fishing, or siting on the couch playing video games, or whatever a bunch of young, twenty-something pro athletes do when they have nowhere to be until next February 15th. As recently as July 15th, the Dodgers held the best record in the National League and a one game lead in the West over the San Diego Padres. Tonight, after the season-ending 11-2 loss to San Francisco, the Dodgers end the year in 4th place, only 2 games over .500, and 8 games behind division champ Arizona.

On the other hand, after cruising to a fourth American League West title in the last five seasons, the Angels... well, that's another story for later in the week.

Expect firings, new-hirings, and loads of veteran players moving on to greener (read that long green) pastures as the L.A. team that hasn't won a World Series in 20 seasons tries to move forward with a core group of players, most of whom were not yet in kindergarten the last time the team played that late into October.

Vin Scully, sole remaining bright spot on the last day of the season, summed it up this way, "Baseball... It's designed to break your heart."

At least if you bleed Dodger Blue.

Copyright © 2007 Bill Friday