That's right. Just 10 days.
It doesn't sound so bad. You still get the broadcast networks. You still get entertainment.
I, a self-confessed TV junkie, was recently forced to go 10 days without cable after my service went down. The cable company promised they were sending someone out to my place to check it out, but it wouldn't be anytime soon. So I was stuck with broadcast TV for a while, like it or not.
This raised a question: how badly do we really need cable TV? And how did this tube-addicted TV writer cope for a week and a half?
I'm disappointed but collected, flipping through the 20 channels I still have--about 400 times. Sitcoms devoid of the com. Suddenly Susan reruns. Infomercials for rotisserie grills.
However, I have videocassettes with episodes of Band of Brothers on them. Whew.
Frustration. UPN. Rotisserie grills again.
So it's back to Band of Brothers. I'm starting to salute people at work.
Emmys night. I have to work until 3 a.m. Nothing but CBS. Hmmm. What was I worried about in the first place? I can do this.
Monday Night Football on ABC. Broncos at Raiders. Watchable.
I'm literally amazed. This is getting easier.
No, this is getting disturbing. I realize I'm growing dumber. No FOX News. No CNN. My coworkers talk about Afghanistan and I just nod. They mention a Taliban-controlled town named Candy Bar--or something like that--and the nodding continues full-force.
I'm in dire need of some real info. Award-winning coverage. I get home and flip to the local news and learn that a guy in the next county caught a really big snake under his house.
Wednesday. Good. West Wing.
Now here I can learn what the president's up to. It's just as good as real life, right?
Insanity looms. I fear for my mental health.
Ah, salvation. Survivor. CSI. ER. An embarrassment of broadcast riches.
This whole cable-free situation isn't so bad. I can catch reruns of The Real World later on. HBO's bound to show Bagger Vance again. (Wanted to see that one for some reason. Charlize, probably.)
And if anything big does happen in Afghanistan, I'm bound to hear about it somehow. Perhaps in the first ten seconds of the local news, before the "Mr. Food" segment.
Lookin' good. Lookin' real good. Charlize good.
Friday: Dear. Freakin'. Lord.
Providence (ouch). Reba (never). That's Life (unfortunately, true).
My remote's batteries are experiencing core meltdown.
I flip by that religious channel that nobody watches and see a motherly nun wearing a pirate-style black eye patch. Surreal. Unsettling.
It could be the whole lunacy thing setting in, but this rotisserie grill guy is on to something. You set it and forget it. Brilliant. The best that broadcast TV has to offer on a Saturday night. I'm so lucky.
Rotisserie grills. I wish I could just climb through the screen like that girl in Poltergeist and learn how to operate the "flavor injector."
Sheer lunacy. Brainwashed. Just nine days ago I was a normal guy.
Sitting on the couch, defeated. Uneducated and behind the times. Credit card charged with four easy payments of just $39.99 each.
My thumb hurts.
Frightened by a public-access nun--wondering what happened in Candy Bar--I sit and wait for a knock at the door, nervous about what's slithering below.
For the newest CBS' smash hit Survivor series, body fat is considered an important attribute.
According to Joe Rhodes, a TV Guide reporter who visited the set of the upcoming Survivor: Africa in July, the new set of contestants cover a wider range of ages-and some of the members are actually "tubby." His stories on the new show will appear in next week's issue of TV Guide.
"The first cast was interesting, and the second was more eye candy-many people thought they were boring," Rhodes said. "The third cast is a combination."
The reason this third installment called for contestants to have a little more meat on their bones is because the food supply is going to be even worse than the previous two shows. No hunting will be allowed on the game reserve where the action takes place.
"All the people got so thin last year that these people were advised they should carbo load," Rhodes said. "The calorie intake is 200 to 500 calories a day once the show starts."
And to add insult to injury, this African crew also will wish for a good hot shower. Apparently the washing opportunities are extremely limited: the nearest river is infested with crocodiles while the nearby spring contains numerous parasites.
"They're going to be hotter, they're going to be hungrier and they're going to be stinkier," Rhodes said.
For in-depth coverage on Survivor: Africa, premiering Oct. 11 on CBS, stay tuned for Hollywood.com's upcoming Survivor microsite.
Vassili Zaitsev (Jude Law) becomes an unwilling hero of World War II when he rises from the bottom of the Russian ranks to a coveted sniper position with the help of Soviet political officer Danilov (Joseph Fiennes). A master at publicity Danilov turns Vassili into a national hero by publishing Vassili's extraordinary sniping exploits and together they boost the flagging spirits of the Russian army as it attempts to resist the Nazi invasion of Stalingrad. But Hitler wants this city which means Vassili's got to go. Enter the celebrated Major Konig (Ed Harris) a ruthless Nazi sharpshooter sent to Stalingrad to hunt Vassili down and kill him. Oh yeah and there's this love triangle thing between Vassili Danilov and Tania (Rachel Weisz) a female soldier.
This reviewer would watch eye-candy Jude Law in a bad Internet short and as grimy and bloody and war-torn as he gets in two hours he's still mighty fine. Oh yeah and he's good as the humble somewhat bewildered Vassili. You can't help thinking though that no backwoods kid from the Urals (Russia's version of hillbilly country) is going to have the effortless grace beauty and upper-crust Brit accent that make Law more suited for roles like the one he played in The Talented Mr. Ripley. Fiennes is fine as his backstabbing best friend. Weisz as Tania is unnecessary (and please no more closeups of her having sex fer chrissakes - her love scene with Law is so over-the-top it looks more like he's killing her than making love to her. It's a particularly cruel-looking Harris though who commands the screen in a skillful performance almost solely conveyed through his eyes and facial expressions.
Why is it Hollywood used to be able to tell a good war story without a) the nonstop carnage and b) the backside-numbing two-hour-plus run time? Director Jean-Jacques Annaud (Seven Years in Tibet) proves once again that his movies are nice to look at but lack much substance - probably why a promising epic with a good cast like this was released in March instead of Oscar season. Accents were weirdly inconsistent settings improbable and characters virtually undeveloped. Good points: The opening scene reminiscent of Saving Private Ryan with all the bloodshed but less f/x is quite chilling and Annaud gives us glimpses of creativity (the showdown between Harris and Law in the broken glass-strewn factory is one of the few inspired scenes in the movie).
Carmen Electra might be eye candy to some, but the model-actress doesn’t like the way Candie’s Inc. has made her look.
The former “Baywatch” actress filed a lawsuit against the perfume and shoe company, saying that it used her name and image improperly on its Web site after a four-month ad campaign with her and ex-husband-basketball player Dennis Rodman, Reuters reports. The suit filed on Tuesday in federal court seeks unspecified damages.
HERE COMES SANTA GERE: Call him Santa Gere. Business owners in Kittanning, Pa., a small town 35 miles from Pittsburgh, are being asked to keep their Christmas decorations up through March to film Richard Gere's newest film “The Motherman Prophecies.”
So it looks like the holiday season will be extended this year thanks to the actor. Filming is scheduled to begin in February, according to The Associated Press.
In the film, Gere plays a journalist who investigates the legend of a man who could fly.
MORIARTY IN COURT: Talk about turning the tables. Actor Michael Moriarty, who played prosecutor Ben Stone on NBC’s “Law & Order,” was in a Canadian court to face charges of assault, AP reports. Moriarty, 59, is accused of striking a woman last month in a restaurant.
He appeared in court without a lawyer and told the judge that an unidentified woman would represent him. He wasn’t asked to enter a plea but is expected to be back in court for another hearing on Thursday.
THEY'RE BAAACK! It looks like these wives might be up for renewing their vows. Daily Variety reports that Paramount is preparing with producer Scott Rudin to film a sequel to their 1996 hit comedy “The First Wives Club.”
Negotiations are currently under way to bring back its stars, Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton. If all goes as planned, production for the sequel might start in March.