Browsing articles tagged with " Television"

One more reason

Feb 17, 2010   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Real Life  //  No Comments

One more reason why it’s great to be a Canadian during these games: Yes, I was a little peeved at CTV last week when they continually showed footage of the fatal luge crash (come on, I did not need to see that), but in the days since, I’ve realized that, in other ways, they’re doing really well these Olympics.

In the past few days, I’ve been talking to my American friends and discovering how incomplete NBC’s coverage is: No live streamed coverage of most events, tape-delayed TV broadcasts of anything major, online access restricted to only customers of certain internet service providers.

And yet, on CTV’s website, there are no fewer than 20 separate streams available for viewing at all times, whether online-only streams of events, online viewing of one of their channels, or past events on demand. Everything is available all the time. Every sport, no matter how obscure, has equal ability to be watched live. CTV is not deciding for Canada that hockey and curling (the only sports streaming live on NBC’s website) are the only sports that need to be available in real time.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m fairly fed up with how far behind Canada is in a lot of things. Cell phone plans and prices are atrocious and make me want to cry. Online shopping still sucks, since a far smaller percentage of Canadian stores or chains offer it (for instance, Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire only allow you to check inventory online, not actually make purchases), and if you do order from the U.S., shipping is often astronomical. I don’t know of a single Canadian ATM that’s as comprehensive and intuitive as the Bank of America ATM, where my cash deposits are credited within hours, instead of the 7-day waiting period that Scotia Bank forces me to endure. And I could go on…

But not in this. In this, it’s so nice to be vindicated; to see that for once, Canada is where we should be.

Nice going, NBC.

And minus the sarcasm, well done, CTV.

Let’s get back to business

Jan 11, 2010   //   by Alida   //   Career, Creative Discontent, Real Life, School  //  No Comments

Well, Christmas is over, and I had absolutely no contingency for any sort of regular updates during the last month of school and over the break, but it’s time to get back to posting regularly. For that matter, it’s time to get life back into a routine of some sort, even though I don’t really know — yet — what that routine will look like.

It’s been a wonderfully relaxing few weeks; time for both Colin and I to decompress from our very busy fall seasons. We’ve spent more time sitting in front of the TV in the past 3 weeks than we did in the rest of 2009 combined. I think the past few weeks have included season 1 of Dexter and Weeds, seasons 1 and 2 of Chuck (in preparation for the season 3 premiere last night), season 2 of Friends… and I know I’m missing something, but those are the ones that stand out right now. Read more >>

A story with dubious source material

Nov 4, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Career, Creative Discontent, Faith, Television  //  2 Comments

I work with a lot of really talented people.

I have classmates, colleagues, and peers (and organizations, for that matter) with impressive lists of accomplishments and accolades. I could make a very long list of people who have received awards and honors; been the first whatever-it-is in their school, field, or industry; participated in world premieres; been accepted to prestigious programs — and the list could go on.

Which has gotten me to thinking lately about humility, pride, false humility, and arrogance.

It can be a little unnerving to listen to someone spout off a list of accomplishments, or to hear someone say, point-blank, “I am the best in my field.” It can be uncomfortable to listen to someone speak of their own achievements, especially without a self-deprecating tone or a “humble,” aw-shucks overtone to the information.

And yet…

Weekly (ha!) Round-Up

Sep 2, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Weekly Round-up  //  4 Comments

This has been a good week to be working from home.

Calgary Arts Development is moving, so this week, everyone’s working elsewhere, since we have no office for a few days. It just so happens that I’ve been fighting a cold and sinus infection of some sort all week, so it’s been nice to be able to take it a little easier without actually taking time off work — and, more importantly for my co-workers, to not be sneezing and spreading germs all over them!

It’s also been a good week, weather-wise, to be working from home, finding excuses to take my computer outside and work from a park bench somewhere. Seriously, some absolutely gorgeous weather here.

And this is really a “Monthly Round-Up,” not weekly (as usual. When do I ever get this out every week?), but here’s the list of what I’ve been watching, listening to, reading, and doing over the past few weeks.


Catching Up

Aug 7, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Weekly Round-up  //  No Comments

And I’m back. Wow. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, and I’m definitely feeling it. This weekend is the first that we’re in Calgary with almost nothing going on since… oh, Father’s Day, give or take. I’m looking forward to it. Of course, when I say that we’ve got “nothing going on,” I mean that our schedule includes two Fringe shows tonight (both of us), a workshop tomorrow morning (me), an appointment at the bank tomorrow afternoon (both), coffee with a friend sometime this weekend (both), mixing the Passion Play recordings (Colin), and a date night tomorrow night (we still haven’t used a gift card that Colin’s parents gave us for Christmas in 2007, and it’s going to expire soon if we don’t use it!).

I have at least three entries rolling around in my brain, bumping up against each other and refining themselves as I continue trying to get them down on paper. Screen. Whatever. For now, though, I’m going to do a “Weekly” update. In other words, I’m going to try my hardest to remember what I’ve watched, listened to, read, experienced, and been working on in the past few weeks. It may not be the most complete list I’ve ever put together, but I’ll see how I do.


Weekly Roundup, of a sort

Jul 24, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Real Life, Weekly Round-up  //  2 Comments
Mixing up the pink hair dye for our Weekend to End Breast Cancer hair-dying party.

Mixing up the pink hair dye for our Weekend to End Breast Cancer hair-dying party.


Die young, leave a beautiful corpse

May 25, 2009   //   by Alida   //   Creative Discontent, Television  //  No Comments

I love Bryan Fuller’s shows; I think he’s brilliant as a show-runner.

However, I have a theory.

Part of the reason that he’s so brilliant is that his shows always get canceled too early. Wonderfalls was 13 episodes, 4 aired. Dead Like Me was two short seasons and a movie. Pushing Daisies is two short seasons.

And as tragic as that is, and as much as I’d love to see his shows last longer, they never have the chance to jump the shark. The plot devices don’t have time to get old; the premises don’t get worn out; the original, fresh storylines that are the impetus for the beginning of the show aren’t played out; the characters don’t have the chance to become something different than what they were in the beginning.

In that short a time — 30 episodes or less, basically — the shows can remain these encapsulated moments of brilliance, and the showrunner is never faced with the challenge of sustaining the world created in the show for a long period of time. I mean, any show that runs for more than a season faces a weak season; a show, no matter how brilliant, can’t sustain the same level forever. Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, Heroes, Ugly Betty, Everwood, Joan of Arcadia — those are just a few off the top of my head that I’ve watched recently, but each of them has strong seasons and weak ones, and each of them has storylines that are generally considered to be weaker than the others. (And, incidentally, each of those shows had first seasons that were widely considered to be exceptionally strong.) Individual fans’ favorites may differ, of course, but the fact is, when a show runs past the initial premise, there are going to be developments that don’t work as well as others.

So, as much as I think it’s tragic that Pushing Daisies was canceled early, and as much as I would have loved to have seen any of these shows go on and live longer, maybe it’s not completely a bad thing. I’d love to see how Bryan Fuller would do as a long-term showrunner, and how he would carry a show through multiple seasons, but at the same time, the circumstances a) allow his reputation as an excellent showrunner to be preserved, and b) allow the various ideas floating around in his head to see the light of day, in one way or another.

(And yes, I realize that he’s working on Heroes now, which is great, and from what I hear, he’s been a big part of turning it around after the very weak season 2. I haven’t caught up on the third season yet — to be honest, it lost me after season 2 — but I’ve heard that it got exponentially better in the second half of season 3, so I need to catch up and see for myself. I’m talking a little more specifically about shows that are his own brainchild, though, as opposed to already-existing shows that he’s working on.)

What do you think?

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