NBC’s summer drama Camp has been doing well in the ratings, routinely pulling down 3.5 million viewers. Yet the chatter around the show certainly isn’t setting Twitter on fire. Unlike Shonda Rhimes’ political sudser Scandal, which gained viewers thanks to social media word-of-mouth, Camp seems to be popular despite social media indifference.
You’ll probably never see Camp trending on Twitter; in fact there seems to be an Internet wall of silence around watching the show.
I’m going out on a limb and assuming I’m not the only person in the world watching Camp, unless this is an Orphan Black situation and there are another 3.5 million of me I’m not aware of. So why is the social media and critical chatter so demure when it comes to NBC’s summer dramedy?
The show, set in a fictional “family camp” called Little Otter, features a cast headlined by Six Feet Under’s Rachel Griffiths. You might be asking yourself, “What is a family camp? It it like a bootcamp where you take trouble children and have drill sergeants scream at them? Is this a tough love thing?” The answer is no, although some version of this idea is being pitched right now at the TLC network, somehow involving Honey Boo Boo Child.
Camp does not endeavor to answer basic questions like the difference between a family camp and a regular camp. The show doesn’t even answer questions like how professional adults seemingly get off from work all summer to drink wine and complain about their children.
Having read this description, you might be wondering why anyone would watch Camp. But the truth is, although the show isn’t reinventing the wheel, it is an hour of solid fun every week. The campground shenanigans are usually worth a chuckle and the characters have become more dimensionalized and endearing as the show plugs along.
Splitting time between the young, attractive teen camp counselors and the older generation keeping Little Otter afloat allows the show to juggle a wide variety of storylines. While Griffiths’ camp director Mack tries to bounce back from her divorce with a complicated love triangle, the kids have their own relationship problems to deal with.
Tom Green’s Kip gets a girlfriend who thinks his brush with leukemia makes him dark and dangerous, while power couple Robbie (Tim Pocock) and Sarah (Dena Kaplan) fall out over infidelity. And this doesn’t even touch the walking sex comedy cliche that is Mack’s son Buzz (Charles Grounds), desperate to lose his virginity at any cost. It’s this mix of more emotionally grounded storytelling with -- dare I pun-- a fair amount of campy ridiculousness that makes the show a fun summer diversion.
It’s too soon to tell if NBC will renew the show for a second season, but I certainly hope they do. Even if I’m the only one willing to admit watching.
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The little golden men have been carried away by the lucky winners. The rented jewelry is being returned. Quentin Tarantino is high-fiving himself in a mirror somewhere. Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic are weeping because E! has to put aside its 360 Glam Cam until Emmy time. And Captain Kirk is now safely back in the 23rd century. But, like the bad taste that lingers from host Seth MacFarlane’s “We Saw Your Boobs” song, many questions about the 2013 Academy Awards remain. We consider it a public service to answer 10 of the biggest for you.
1. Who Was Snubbed During the In Memoriam Segment? While more than ever the Academy discouraged applause during the depressing annual segment honoring the film industry notables who’ve died in the past year—hence the lack of a true Applause-o-Meter this time around—we were crying foul about a few notable omissions from the weepy montage. Gee, pa, where was Andy Griffith? Before he played Sheriff Andy Taylor on his long-running sitcom, the Georgia native burned bright in Elia Kazan’s A Face on the Crowd (1957), as a rube turned demagogue, and showed the comic timing he’d later display on the tube in the charming military laugher No Time for Sergeants (1958). Not to mention his latter-day turn as a lovable diner patron in 2007’s Waitress. Not cool, Academy.
Less surprising omissions included Larry Hagman and Phyllis Diller, who, despite making movies, are most strongly associated with TV. The same goes for Richard Dawson, the Family Feud host who played the villain in 1987’s The Running Man. More egregious were the absences of Ann Rutherford, who played one of Scarlett O’Hara’s sisters in Gone With the Wind, Our Gang star Jack Hanlon, and Snakes on a Plane director David R. Ellis.
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The Academy should consider itself lucky that they included Sans Soleil director Chris Marker, or we would have lost it.
2. Did Samuel L. Jackson skip over part of the teleprompter’s banter when presenting Best Visual Effects? It’s hard to tell if it was teleprompter problems or the awkwardness of having five Avengers stars presenting two awards—for Cinematography and Visual Effects—but Marvel’s Nick Fury got especially tripped up. After awkwardly getting through the cinematography award, Jackson jumped over most of the banter for Visual Effects just to announce the winner, while Robert Downey Jr. tried to stick to the script. Maybe Jackson was worried about getting played off with the Jaws theme—understandable considering his battle with sharks in Deep Blue Sea. Since no other presenters deviated from their sometimes lengthy scripts, despite the bloated runtime of the telecast, it seems Jackson made this decision without prompting from the producers.
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3. The sound editors for Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall both won in their category. How many previous ties have there been in Oscars history? There have been five previous tie winners, but none since the 1995 ceremony. In 1932, The Champ’s Wallace Beery and Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde’s Frederic March tied for Best Actor, because of a rule that allowed two people to share a prize if only one vote separated them. Beery received just one extra vote than March, so both took home statuettes. Under today’s rules, Beery would have been the sole winner.
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At the 1950 ceremony there was a tie in the Best Documentary Short Subject category, and in 1987 there was a tie for Documentary Feature with Artie Shaw: Time is All You’ve Got and Down and Out in America scoring the same number of votes. In 1995, Best Live Action Short film was split between Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life and Trevor.
But the most famous Oscar tie of all occurred in 1969 when both Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand walked away with Best Actress for their roles in The Lion in Winter and Funny Girl, respectively.
4. Where did the 2013 ceremony rank among the all-time longest? Actually, not that high. At three hours and 35 minutes it was the longest telecast since…2010, when The Hurt Locker won best picture at the end of a three hour and 37 minute broadcast. That’s still well short of the longest Oscars ever, the four-hour 23-minute sprawl that was the 2002 Awards hosted by Whoopi Goldberg. The fastest ceremony ever? The 1956 fete that lasted only a brisk 90 minutes.
NEXT: What’s up with Seth MacFarlane’s dig at Entertainment Weekly? And just who is Steve Battaglio?
5. What is Seth MacFarlane’s beef with Entertainment Weekly magazine? At the end of his opening monologue, in which Captain Kirk’s intervention had repaired the timeline and prevented MacFarlane from being declared the “worst Oscar host of all time,” a new headline appeared onscreen that said “Best Oscars ever, says everyone except Entertainment Weekly.”
Why such a pointed dig? Well, it all goes back to April 9, 1999 when EW’s TV critic Ken Tucker published a review of Family Guy. He gave the new show a "D" and never warmed to it thereafter. In the 2005 direct-to-DVD movie Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, the baby breaks the neck of a reporter the moment he learns he’s from Entertainment Weekly. Perhaps I should consider myself lucky then that I emerged with my hide after interviewing MacFarlane in 2011 for EW, after he hosted The Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump. His first words to me: “You’re from EW, huh? Have you fired Ken Tucker yet? Have you guys gotten rid of him yet?” Then on Jan. 13, 2013, he launched a Twitter war with Tucker, in which he said “Dear Ken Tucker and Entertainment Weekly: Please tell me how I may earn a review as glowing as the one you gave Urkel,” and linked to Tucker’s "A" review of Family Matters from 1990. Tucker tweeted back, “Easy: Just be as funny as Urkel once was.” Though the glossy magazine gave MacFarlane a major cover story just two weeks before the Oscars—not to mention that Tucker has left the publication—that faux headline during the ceremony shows he’s still holding a grudge.
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6. Who is Steve Battaglio? All of the fake headlines during that Captain Kirk segment were attributed to a writer named Steve Battaglio. No invention of MacFarlane’s feverish brain, Battaglio is actually the business editor at TV Guide Magazine, a publication for which MacFarlane seems to have greater affection than EW. TV Guide’s LA bureau chief Michael Schneider tweeted, “Seth MacFarlane picked @SteveBattaglio as the author of that nasty review as thanks - Steve was an early supporter of #FamilyGuy.”
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7. How Does Captain Kirk’s Appearance at the Oscars Fit Into or Disrupt J.J. Abrams’ Rebooted Star Trek Continuity? Along with the realization that this is the first time we’ve seen William Shatner in the captain’s chair since 1994’s Star Trek: Generations comes the sorry recognition that we have to refer to his version of the character as "Kirk Prime," since he fits into the old Trek continuity that was almost entirely erased by J.J. Abrams’ 2009 film. Unlike Chris Pine’s Kirk, Shatner’s didn’t lose his father at the moment of his birth but was raised in a loving two-parent family, meaning that he has so few psychological issues to unpack that he can risk time-traveling to 2013 just to prevent Seth MacFarlane from being deemed the all-time worst Oscar host. Wait…or maybe this means this version of the character has even more issues than Pine’s. Then again maybe by traveling back through time, Kirk Prime erased the alternate history of Abrams’ franchise, throwing the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness into a third timeline—like Fringe! None of this addresses, though, why MacFarlane didn’t warn Kirk that he will be crushed by a bridge. That’s one do-over we really want to see.
NEXT: Are the Malfoys now Oscar winners? Take our quiz!
8. Which barber-free Oscar winner/Malfoy relative is which? These three guys are Claudio Miranda (Best Cinematography, Life of Pi), Paul N.J. Ottosson (Best Sound Editing, Zero Dark Thirty), and Per Hallberg (Best Sound Editing, Skyfall), but not in that order in the photo above. Try to match them up, then find out which one is which in the answers at the bottom of this post.
9. Were the technical nominees playing musical chairs during the broadcast? It sure seemed that way, huh? Seats were designated along the sides of the Dolby Theatre in which to place the technical nominees (for Cinematography, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Makeup, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Costume Design, Film Editing) a couple minutes before the presentation of each category. That way, there wouldn’t be such a long delay as the winners march up to the stage. A good idea as a time-saving measure. Too bad this show was still 20 minutes longer than those in 2011 and 2012.
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10. Is there precedent for someone from the White House crashing Hollywood’s biggest night? GOPers were crying foul on Twitter after Michelle Obama read the winner of Best Picture via satellite from the White House. They should note, though, that this is not the first time someone from Washington has been involved. Ronald Reagan recorded an address for the 1981 Oscar ceremony, shortly after taking office. And in 2002 Laura Bush also taped a segment for the first Academy Awards after 9/11.
What else about the Oscar ceremony left you scratching your head?
Answers to the Long-Haired Winners Quiz:
Oscar Victor on Left: Paul N. J. Ottosson, Sound Editor, Zero Dark Thirty
Oscar Victor in Center: Per Hallberg, Co-Sound Editor, Skyfall
Oscar Victor on Right: Claudio Miranda, Cinematographer, Life of Pi
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credits: Kevin Winter/Getty Images (3); Robyn Beck/Getty Images; Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]
Oscars 2013 Special Coverage
Oscars 2013 Best Dressed: PICS!
• Anne Hathaway: Oscar’s Worst Dressed?• Seth MacFarlane’s Opening: How’d He Do?• Adele’s Performance Gets Mixed Reviews• 15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes• What Happened to Renee Zellweger's Face?• Oscars 2013: The Full Winners List• Why Kristen Stewart Was on Crutches
He who laughs last ... is a she, it seems.
After shocking the audience at last week's U.S. Comedy Arts Festival by saying he didn't like female comedians (and didn't love Lucy!), Jerry Lewis has done the remedial tail-tuck between the legs and issued a statement offering his "humble apology" for his comments at the Aspen, Colorado, event.
Jerry Lewis "There are times when half-statements get misinterpreted, and that's what happened at the Aspen U.S. Comedy Festival [sic] last week," Lewis said in a statement Thursday.
As proof he's every bit "The Ladies' Man" he played in the 1961 comedy of the same name, Lewis named Whoopi Goldberg, Elayne Boosler and Phyllis Diller as female comics he does like.
The brouhaha started last Saturday when Lewis, who was being interviewed on stage at the festival by Martin Short, was asked by an audience member who his favorite female comedians were. The French-certified genius said he had none. Short then asked the 73-year-old comedian about Lucille Ball, saying, "You must have loved her."
"No," came the reply. He later added that women were best deployed as baby-making machines.
While apparently feeling the need to save face a little, Lewis did not entirely back down on his stance on Thursday.
"When women, doing comedy, do routines written for them by drill sergeants, I take objection," Lewis' statement said. "Their filth makes me and many ashamed to be in our business, and to me women doing anything, especially comedy, are looked up on by me as one of God's great miracles ... they can make a baby."
(Sigh.) Looks like Lewis' foot has returned to its proper place -- inside his mouth.
OVER THE 'MOON': So, how come Jim Carrey's taking the Biggest Shaft award at this year's Oscars? His "Man on the Moon" director has a theory.v "He's so good, you don't see acting," Milos Forman said at a news conference today at the Berlin International Film Festival. "You see Andy Kaufman. You don't see the sweat of acting, which not everyone appreciates."
But Forman, a two-time Oscar winner who turns 68 today, says he was "shocked" at the snub, noting that comedy always has a tough time with the Academy, and that he's never worked with an actor "who gives so much of his heart and soul and mind to his work."
QUICK TAKES: So Jim Carrey won't be getting an Oscar, but how many nominees can say their name is now tattooed on Renée Zellweger's behind? The actress -- Carrey's gal pal -- displays the emblazoned "Jimmy Gene," reportedly her nickname for him, in March's Cosmopolitan. ...
... "Beverly Hills, 90210" star Vincent Young confirms to TV Guide Online that he and Tori Spelling recently have started seeing each other off-screen. The actor complains the tabloids were running with stories of their coupledom before they were even a couple. "They'll use pictures sometimes that are obvious stills from the show but they'll [pass] it off like it's just us hanging out at night. And it's like, we don't look that good at night! This is, you know, after makeup and hair." ...
... Actress Charlize Theron has been added to the roster of presenters for the 72nd Annual Academy Awards, March 26 at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium. ...
... Oscar host Billy Crystal lassoed a student dressed as a cow and hog-tied him as part of a "City Slickers" homage at the banquet feting his Hasty Pudding Man of the Year honor, Thursday at Harvard University. Crystal, 51, also was presented with a live baby pig and asked to address it as one of his trademark "Saturday Night Live" characters, Fernando. He abided with a little, ``Dahhhling, you look mahhhvelous!'' ...
WEEKLY RUMOR ROUNDUP: If you're having trouble distinguishing your teenybopper pop princesses, Britney Spears is the one who didn't get a boob job (so let it go); Jessica Simpson's the one saving her chastity for her wedding night, and Christina Aguilera's the one who wound up at an Atlanta strip club after the Super Bowl.
No, Aguilera wasn't performing. In fact, she didn't even know the place -- name of Cheetah -- was a strip club before she went there, says her rep at RCA Records. According to the New York Daily News, Aguilera was invited to the well-known Atlanta "gentlemen's club" by MTV veejay Carson Daly.
Aguilera, 19, thought she was going to a party to meet Daly, according to the label rep, and was there only half an hour and didn't drink any alcohol. Daly, 26, says he was alcohol-free as well. One of Cheetah's dancers performed for them, but she danced "in front of [Christina]," her rep says, and did not go do a lap dance as reported by the Daily News ...
... Are they dating, are they not? We're never sure, but the Daily News reports that bongo-playing Matthew McConaughey and Sandra Bullock arrived together to see Sally Kirkland's play "The Powder Room Suite" in Los Angeles and were "quite cozy" afterward. They were first linked in 1996 when they co-starred in "A Time to Kill," and reportedly dated two years, but always under the auspices of being "best friends." Bullock's rep, Brigid Walsh, says, "They're friends, and they socialize, but they don't date." So that's where it's at, until the next questionable appearance, at least.
The misadventures of Will Stockdale, naive Georgia farm boy drafted into the Air Force. Stories relate his attempts to adjust to military life, and the trials and tribulations of his superior officers, who despise his kind and humane philosophy of life.