15 November 2007

Ever since MST3k was cancelled....

I know that more than a few people were rather disappointed to hear the news in mid-2000 that MST3k would be stopping production. As for myself, that was the one and only show that I cared to sit down and watch on a regular basis. When MST3k left the air, I did give some time to a couple other shows to see if they were still worth watching.

While "South Park" was a decent satire and had some intelligence to its writing, Parker and Stone were also content to fill it with all sorts of rather unintelligent vulgarness. I don't really mind vulgar to some extent, but I do mind the spirit with which it was presented... as pure humor. That's not humor to me, it's just laziness. I left "South Park" in 1999, and have never looked back.

The next show which seemed to offer some promise was "The Daily Show". The first ten minutes, "Headlines", delivered on a pretty regular basis. Unfortunately, "The Daily Show" could not keep my attention for even half an hour... almost every interview ranged from mildly boring to completely excruciating, and many of the comedians they booked to be commentators were rather unworthy of even being called comedians.

It took a couple of years, but I have found at least a bit of relief on the television. Ever since 2005, I have become a fan of "House" on FOX. Some people could certainly draw apt comparisons between "House" and "South Park", but I feel that "House" is just more interesting. I haven't seen too many episodes of "House" where the humor becomes scatological just because it can, for instance.

It also has a high level of snark in the form of the main character, and while some of the medical cases get stretched so thin that I can even see the light between the plotholes, the writing is pretty darned decent... jokes fly at a well-rhythmed clip, the mystery of the week is presented and resolved, and the characters have becomed nuanced and interesting.

My recommendation, if possible, would be to see Season 2... S2 hooked my attention to the show because of the overall quality. While current episodes of "House" haven't quite reached that level since then, it's still worth checking out.

Of course, I also have a recent entry in this list too. I don't know why my wife and I sat down to watch it, but a few weeks ago we caught the second episode of the new "Kitchen Nightmares" series on Fox. It also has some elements of MST3k in it, where one expert (rather than three) checks out a substandard restaurant (rather than movie) and makes comments on what he sees.

Of course, the "humor" contained in "Kitchen Nightmares" is of a far guiltier cast... this IS a reality show, and of course when truth is introduced, especially with the bluntness of the main star Gordon Ramsay, feelings will get bent. On the other hand, two facts are immensely apparent. Ramsay's bluntness is just who he is, it's really not an 'act'... and that he seems geniunely involved in trying to bring
restaurants into a better shape. Seeing the inner workings of a restaurant also brings a very close appreciation for people who run restaurants... and may also give you (possibly reasonable?) pause to make sure any restaurant you're going to is serving good food.

I will be the first to admit that most shows I avoid are because I don't give them a try... I'm not the type that just goes up to the television and flicks it on. I would be far more apt to either turn on a video game or read a book. It was actually surprising that I found the two shows above, in all honesty. On top of that, late-night television (such as "Adult Swim" on Cartoon Network) has always been out for me, due to me graduating from college in the same year that my
daughter was born (2002). And as a young professional on one income, I've had cable television for a total of perhaps 40% of the time since 2002.

Our readership at this blog, I assume, enjoyed Mystery Science Theater 3000 or its offshoots such as MST fanfiction. Therefore, my question to anyone reading is this: What shows on television do you see which continue the Mystery Science Theater 3000 spirit?

Postscript 1 / Strike 2

Most recent possible job fell through. Rather surprisingly too, I thought that I received indications that it was actually moving along successfully. While I know that intellectually, disappointments will happen, that doesn't mean that I *welcome* them. Especially since this was a job that I was really looking forward too, one that could have provided me with a lifetime of fringe benefits. Which leads me to:

Postscript 2 / Effing viral marketeers

Not the ones that try to stir up a word-of-mouth buzz, but the ones that hide little chunks of code into seemingly-legitimate computer programs that end up completely destroying someone else's property... namely, my computer. Last night, I attempted to reload WinXP on my computer. Now I'm working on about four hours' sleep plus having to move back a step (from XP to 98) due to a scratched WinXP CD which now won't install correctly. Today's really starting to become a massive pain in the butt, and I'm more than ready to just take a four-day weekend. Thank heaven it's already set up to be a three-day weekend.

Postscript THREE / Blogger!

I wrote this entry in Notepad, which theoretically has no formatting whatsoever... it's text! Yet I have to spend time formatting this darn thing 'cause I love you readers so. Darn you, Blogger, for your crufty interface and text breaks!

(Note to world. Please don't make me get to Postscript Four. Please?)

08 November 2007

Insert pithy song reference here. ;P

Hey everybody, thought I'd post something too since I haven't done so in a while. As Zoogz mentioned, we have a new MSTing in the works that should hopefully be available in the next few weeks or so if things go smoothly.

I've finally updated the Rifftrax reviews so feel free to check that out and see me do a complete 180 on not one but two previous reviews. ^_^; http://www.nabiki.com/mst/zoogz/mst/blog/2007/03/really-quick-n-dirty-rifftrax-reviews.html

I still haven't got my flu shot yet because I have this stupid virus that refuses to let go and I'm using a prescribed inhaler twice a day now to try and kill it so I can hopefully be flu free this Christmas unlike last year. We just celebrated my mother's birthday recently and fixed a whole bunch of things around our house that we'd been putting off for a while which made her very happy.

I'm so obsessed with Whose Line Is It Anyway? (US version) lately that I'm even watching Price is Right again and the Canadian version of 'Smarter than a Fifth Grader' because Drew Carey and Colin Mochrie are hosting.
I've also ordered the first two volumes on DVD along with the new Bret Hart book which I may review here at some point if I think I can do a decent job of it.

I gotta say I'm really looking forward to this sunday's 'Family Guy' as the cliffhanger last week was very well done and had a pair of very nice callbacks which included a gag from the very first episode of the series and mimicking one of the greatest season finales of all time from Star Trek: The Next Generation right down to the music. Here's hoping they don't screw up the conclusion.

I hate my slim jim PS2. I only got it because my reliable older model died after six years of loyal service and this one is not only a pain to open up but if I fast-foward too much (say past the opening credits of each episode of Garfield and Friends on DVD because Fox is too fucking lazy to put in chapter stops) the disc starts to randomly skip and only resetting the machine seems to fix it. I realize getting a seperate DVD player for movies and merely playing the games on the PS2 would probably solve the problem but damn it, I shouldn't have to do that!
Suffice it to say, I'm not getting a PS3 (or any other system) anytime soon until the price goes down, the game library fattens up and they work out all the bugs. I'll stick to cheap used PS2 and GC games for the next couple of years.

Speaking of games, I rented Manhunt 2 last week. I wanted to get 'The Simpsons' game but it was already rented out, as was 'Okami' so I figured what the hell, the first game had a passable story... what a fucking mistake. This game eats. Big time. The outdated graphics didn't bother me that much as I mostly care about a good solid story to keep my interest but Manhunt 2's storyline was weak and predictable, your character, hell ALL the characters in this game were duller than a Harrison Ford interview and the supposed big draw of this series, the numerous executions, were heavily filtered thanks to the ESRB overreacting, though honestly even if they were unfiltered, they wouldn't have helped make the game any more interesting for me anyway. While I'm a big fan of some of Rockstar's other games 'GTA III', 'Vice City', 'Bully' and 'The Warriors', this sequel was a complete waste of my time and will probably do more harm than good for Rockstar in the long run even if the current controversy sells more copies of the game. (Ooh, it's banned in the UK? Give me five copies!)

Ok, I think I'm rambled enough for now. ;P


Megane 6.7

06 November 2007

As time goes by.....

A couple updates to provide both on the personal front and on the MSTings front. Megane 6.7 and I are still working on a new MSTing, and we're projecting it to be done when it's done. :) We're currently trying to polish the jokes so that they shine, and we'll see what the results are soon. There were more than a few spots in this MSTing that I enjoyed, and hopefully you folks will enjoy the finished product when it's posted!

For those people waiting for updates from me, well, there is a bit of an update. I had an interview for a job that was at least six states away from me. This was thankfully a phone interview. In the course of the phone interview, I was asked my current wage and then asked what my requested wage would be. I provided them both numbers. The interview went well... so well that the recruiter I was working through called me only forty-five minutes later saying that said company wanted to fly me to their location for a face-to-face interview. On top of that though, she also said that this company told her that the most they would offer was lower than my request, by only 13%.

While I'm sure others would probably say, "That's negotiable, get your foot in the door, and go from there," I dragged my feet. This is a major move, projected to hopefully be the last move in my life, and this company isn't anteing up the money in my mind. I told the recruiter that unless they can come up the final 13%, that I would not even attend the interview. I feel that this was the best solution, because ultimately I want my new company to know that they have to work with me immediately and that they're not able to steamroll me. And I have that kind of leverage because of the things I know as well as the fact that I want this to be my last move. That and the fact that if this company called the recruiter almost immediately after my interview, and did not need to take time to consider my answers, that they thought that I was a good candidate. Now's the time to see if they want to put their money where their intentions lay.

This all happened between yesterday and today. Ordinarily, I would not have probably bothered to write anything, but on the other hand a blog with no actual content is a sad blog indeed.

As a postscript to this whole situation, I received a second call only five minutes after the lowball offer from the interview. This one was from my supervisor. It seems as if my dream job is contacting him for my background information. I am not only keeping my fingers crossed but also my toes, because I would take this dream job ten times out of ten even over a better offer from the first job. This may be another reason that some may accuse me of sabotaging the interview process for the first job, but on the other hand even if I work at the other job for all of six months and get an offer for this dream job, it'll be a lot of wasted effort in my opinion. Granted, I may never get an offer from this dream job, but I would be extremely content to wait them out prior to possibly taking any other job south of $80k yearly, and that's probably not happening anytime soon.

Admittedly, it is nice to be able to negotiate from a position of strength.

Thanks for the indulgence from our fans for our extremely limited release schedule, and there certainly may be more and newer projects afoot from at least my desk shortly.