Professor Media Matters

I am a media professional with 6 years as a TV producer and reporter, and college professor in the field of Communications. I am also a Conservative with a passion for pop culture. This will be my attempt to put the "me" in media. It will be my take on movies, TV, books, magazines, newspapers, the Internet and all that is the worldwide media.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

ENTERING THE 21ST CENTURY: My wife and I are trying to keep up. Really we are. In order to stay abreast of the entertainment and information options available to you today, one really must have DVR & DSL. Up until recently, the only D we had was a DVD. But we're trying to make up for lost time.

Last weekend, I was at my brother's house watching a silly sketch comedy program, The Andy Milonakis Show, on MTV2 with my 14 year old nephew Christopher. I had to leave the room and was afraid I was going to miss part of the show. It's hysterical, but if you don't have a silly sense of humor (like me), don't waste your time. Anyway, my nephew pushed the DVR button and started recording it instaneously. So I didn't miss any of the program and plus we got to fast forward through the commercials. It was awesome. And I was so impressed with it we decided to sign up for it this week. DVR is revolutionizing the way we watch TV. It provides you with so many more viewing options. You can watch a program whenever you want, not just when the network decides to air it. Fascinating stuff! And no VCR tapes to mess with.

So soon we will have both DVR and DSL. Mrs. Media Matters will really be a blogging maniac when we no longer have to rely on dial up Internet service.

Stay tuned to this site for reviews and evaluations of our DVR & DSL experiences. And I will occasionally throw in a DVD review as well.

Please put the "me" in media and let me know what you think.

Monday, August 29, 2005

LANGUAGE BARRIER: The Mrs. and I have become attached to a primetime TV drama on BBC America, Footballers Wives. (Don't worry, it is only entertainment programming. I would never count on the liberal biased BBC for news coverage.) It's a fun program, soap opera in style. But even though the characters are speaking English, I can only understand about 50% of the dialogue. The British accents are so thick that every other word is mumbo jumbo. And I am not hip to all the British slang. Needless to say, I have to concentrate much harder when watching Footballers Wives than when I watch other TV dramas. My wife and I are always asking one another, "did you catch that?" or "what did they just say?" Because it's a soap opera and plotlines are familiar, you can usually figure out what is going on. But the English doesn't really sound much like English.

Put your own "me" in media and tell me what you think.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

HOLLYWOOD VS. HOME THEATERS: Hollywood is distressed because box office numbers are down. For (at least) 14 consecutive weeks, ticket sales have been down. Well, I sort of like the idea of Hollywood being nervous. Let the leftist libtards suffer for a while. There are a number of theories as to why box office receipts are slipping. The most prominent one I have heard is that this year's crop of summer films has been dull. Maybe. But the Mrs. and I have seen a number of films that we liked: Mr. & Mrs. Smith is non-stop action, Fantastic Four is good, cheesy fun, and Bewitched was cute and harmless. In fact the only film we haven't liked this summer was Monster-In-Law. So I'm not convinced it is the movie's plots. I would recommend that Hollywood take something from the success of the Passion of the Christ and make more movies that appeal to the heartland of America -- wholesome, family-oriented films, even ones with a blatantly Christian message. But I think the real reason that box office sales are down is because of the advent of the home theater. People don't want or need to leave their homes anymore to enjoy a theater experience. More and more people have advanced equipment in their homes for enjoying DVDs. Services like Netflix and Showtime make it easy to enjoy recent releases in the privacy of your home. Save the $9 bucks on the ticket and the $45 bucks you'd pay for the popcorn and drinks, and just snuggle up on the couch with your main squeeze to watch the latest Nicole Kidman remake. Things have changed. We have now brought the theater experience into our homes. And Hollywood may never get the box office numbers it used to for that very reason.

Please put your own "me" in media, and tell me what you think.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

WORDS OF STEEL: Steel Magnolias is a classic film and a favorite in my house.
Sure, many would call it a chick flick, I don't care because I liked it, too. This 1989 drama with a southern flair for comedy garnered (at least) one major Academy Award nomination for Julia Roberts as Best Supporting Actress. It was her first major film role and she shined like a true southern belle. The story is part drama, part comedy, part tragedy, detailing the turbulent relationship between a Lousiana mother and her grown daughter, along with the support they receive from four other strong southern women who all frequent the same beauty salon. Steel Magnolias featured a stellar cast as Roberts was joined by Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis and Darryl Hanah. This movie will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you think. And it deserved much more praise than it got, if for no other reason than the assortment of classic quotes from the film. Here are just a few of my favorites, with more to come in future posts:

Dolly Parton (Truvy): "If you can achieve puberty, you can achieve a past."

Julia Roberts (Shelby): "I would rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special."

Darryl Hannah (Annelle): "My personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair."

Shirley MacLaine (Ouiser): "He is a boil on the butt of humanity."

Please put your own "me" in media, and tell me what you think.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

KELLY CLARKSON KUDOS: I am becoming a huge fan of Kelly Clarkson. I have never watched "American Idol" so I know only in passing that she is the first big winner of this hit TV program. Now I can understand why. Instead, I have become familiar with her through her radio hits. And they just keep coming. Now with her second CD out, entitled "Breakaway" she has produced multiple radio hits. All three of them have been favorites of mine -- the title track "Breakaway," "Since U Been Gone" and "Behind These Hazel Eyes." These three songs are catchy, rockin' tunes. I highly recommend them and can't wait for her next single to be released. Kelly, keep 'em coming!

On a side note, Kelly has faced some rumors that she lip synchs in concert. To my knowledge, nothing has been substantiated. Personally, I don't have a problem with lip synching in concerts. I want the songs to sound like they do on the radio. And with all the dancing and running around that performers have to do these days to make a show, I can understand why they may need to augment their "live" performance with some lip synching. I do have a problem if you don't sing on your recordings, though, similar to what Milli Vanilli were caught doing in the 90's. That is very lame.

Please put your own "me" in media, and tell me what you think.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

OH REALLY, O'REILLY: First, let me say that I like Bill O'Reilly. I catch portions of his syndicated radio program, "The Radio Factor" almost daily. And about once a week I tune into his high-rated cable news TV program, "The O'Reilly Factor." I appreciate his bluntness. He tells it like it is. Bill is not quite as bullish on the Iraq War as I wish he were. But he is tough on terrorists, criminals and hypocrites, holds their feet to the fire. And I admire that.

Recently I heard him on his radio program talk about how the Natalee Holloway case was a non-story. There was no breaking news and the American media were just beating the story to death. But he, on his programs, was going to leave the matter alone. I applauded this decision. However, the last two times I have tuned into "The O'Reilly Factor" Bill has featured updated stories on the situation in Aruba. What gives? Why did he apparrently change his mind? And did he communicate the reasons behind that decision to his audience? If he did, I missed it. (And if I missed it, I will willingly admit it.) But if he just changed his mind because the competition, like Great Van Susteren and others, were getting high ratings for nauseating non-stop Natalee coverage, then we need to be holding his feet to the fire as well.

Please put your own "me" in media, and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I LOVE KATHIE LEE, BUT...: Kathie Lee Gifford has announced her return to TV. She will be a special correspondent for the syndicated magazine show, "The Insider", hosted by Pat O'Brien. It's a trendy, celebrity-driven piece of fluff, similar to "Access Hollywood" or "Entertainment Tonight." This does not seem to be the best fit for Ms. Gifford's talents. I loved her on "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee", watched every day. She was hilarious and high energy and above all else, spontaneous. While she's been a correspondent before, years ago for "Good Morning America", as a news reporter, you don't have the same opportunity for fun and creativity. She will apparently be covering the New York City/Broadway entertainment beat. Most of America could care less about Broadway. Stars on Broadway are not usually well-known and most of the country never gets to see a play done on the strip. Ultimately, I just don't see this as being a good fit for her talents. I guess what I'd really like is for her to go back to mornings with Regis.

Please put your own "me" in media, and tell me what you think.