24
Apr
2011

Yesterday I started writing up what I think is wrong with American television.  To be honest, when I started I figured it would be one post, and all done.  As I continued to write I realized there is so much wrong with our system that there was no way it could be restricted to just one post without being insanely long.  So, here you are, part 2 of one man’s thoughts on what is going wrong on our television screens.

To briefly recap, in part 1 I discussed that endless renewals lead to writers not knowing how long to stretch out a story, and also how the length of our seasons are just too much to maintain quality.

Reality Television

Storage WarsReality television seemed like an okay idea when it started, but then networks discovered that they can produce them for next to nothing and they started going wider and wider with their ideas of what would make a good show.  Now we can’t seem to escape them, and if you even bother to have your television on any more, you’re going to run of these highly questionable ideas.

While I can take things like Deadliest Catch or Ice Road Truckers as these are real jobs with potentially dire consequences, we now have things like Storage Wars.  If you haven’t caught this gem of a show as of yet, consider yourself blessed.  Where shows such as the aforementioned Deadliest Catch never seemed forced, Storage Wars is just an endless series of scenarios that feel scripted with “people,” although perhaps they would be better referred to as “characters,” that seem to amazingly have short stories that are always wrapped up in 30 minutes.

And that says nothing of the concept.  This is a show about people that travel from one storage facility auction to another, buying up lockers that people failed to pay their bills on.  I get that some people make a living this way, but who was the lunkhead sitting around at A&E (you know, the “Arts & Entertainment” network?) that thought this would somehow make engaging television?

This says nothing of the copycat shows that seem to follow a successful reality show.  Ace of Cakes begot Cake Boss, Ghost Hunters unleashed a slew of much lower quality paranormal shows, Bridezillas wrought a slew of wedding shows and on and on and on.  This says nothing of shows spun off of each other.  How many Real Housewives of … does the world really need?

“Reality television,” and I use the term very loosely, has turned into the cess pool people always thought it would become, if not worse.  How did anyone ever think Mounted in Alaska, a show about taxidermy in, you guessed it, Alaska, was a winning idea?

Sadly, so long as these shows are cheap to produce and bring in enough advertising dollars to turn a profit, they will continue to proliferate.  Course, if someone wanted to start a show about professional bloggers … Blogging Wars?

The Summer

Hell's KitchenJust like taking the summer off is an outdated concept for schools, so should it be for television in general.  While I stated in part 1 that seasons were too long, and some could see this as a contradiction, it isn’t.  Follow the HBO formula I mentioned yesterday of shorter seasons and launch some quality shows.  I know some have attempted this, but they always end up trying to launch risky shows that no one would watch no matter when they are on.  Look at Hell’s Kitchen, yes it’s a reality series, but yet it keeps coming back every summer to great ratings.  Big Brother is another summer staple that, while getting more horrific with each passing season, just goes to prove that people crave new content even in the summer months.

Instead of just filling the summer schedule with reruns, fluff and shows that shouldn’t get on the air at all, lets try some short, well thought out and, most importantly, not just reality seasons in these months.  Lets get something on the air that is actually worth watching and perhaps the networks would finally wake up to the fact that essentially taking three months off a year is just ridiculous.

No, I’m not holding my breath for this one to come to pass.

The System is Broken

There is no doubt that the television system is broken, but it isn’t hopeless.  It would simply take some people with brains and guts to change the system, but why would they want to do that and risk their jobs?  Sadly, I don’t see things changing in the American television landscape any time soon, and my gut tells me that is just going to lead to me dropping even more shows like I’ve done over the past few weeks.

If I was to really analyze all of the problems in TV at this time, it wouldn’t probably turn into a week long series, but I imagine both the readers and myself would get bored to tears before we got to the end.  I do, however, encourage you to leave your thoughts in the comments below, and perhaps it will spark further ramblings from me on where this American institution has gone so badly off the rails.

8
Sep
2010

Discovery Networks has brought speculation to an end in regards to the status of Jake & Josh Harris on the hit series Deadliest Catch.

Jake and Josh Harris are the sons of the late Capt. Phil Harris who passed away due to complications from a stroke on the most recent season of the series.  As the season came to a close, Jake was dealing with his recently revealed addiction to drugs, and Josh was trying to figure out what to do with his father’s beloved fishing vessel, the Cornelia Marie.

With things in so much flux in their personal lives, it was unclear if the Harris brothers would continue in the next season of the series, but according to The New York Times, both of the brothers have signed up for new contracts.

The puzzling part is that the article does make it sound somewhat like the brothers may not be on the family’s ship, and may even be on different vessels.  I am sure we’ll know the details in the not too distant future, but still interesting to ponder what might happen with these boys in the aftermath of their father’s passing.

Discovery Channel President and General Manager Clark Bunting said in a statement, “Josh and Jake are part of the Discovery family. We shared a very tough year together and look forward to continuing this special relationship in the future. Right now, they want to get back to fishing and we are doing everything that we can to support that.”

King Crab season should be starting up in Oct. and will be featured in the new season to begin airing next spring.

13
Apr
2010

Tonight is the sixth season premiere of Deadliest Catch, an event that I usually look forward to every year, but yet I go into tonight’s episode in a somber mood, and one filled with trepidation.

As is well-known by now, Capt. Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie suffered a stroke during the Opilio crab season which will make up the second half of the season.  After making it to a hospital, and even recovering from a medially induced coma, he passed away.  According to the producers of the show, they went to leave his room as he recovered, but he motioned for them to come back and to continue filming.  Perhaps he knew he had an opportunity to do something most people never do, and that was for him to leave a memory of his final hours for his family.

While reviews of the season premiere say that there is no mention of Capt. Harris’ death in the season opener, they confirm what I suspected, and that is that it hangs over the heads of those who view it.  It almost feels ghoulish to know I will still watch this show knowing what is coming.  I am normally someone who enjoys spoilers for my favorite shows, but this time it feels like a mixture of blessing and curse.  On one hand I can prepare myself for what is to come, but on the other hand I know I will cringe every time I see him on screen, and potentially add a foreboding weight to every word the man utters up to the inevitable episode.

It has not yet been decided if the footage from the hospital room will be shown, that decision is being left to the Harris family working with the show’s producers.  Will we need to see that?  Who knows, and luckily some of that decision will be taken out of the viewer’s hands.

As silly as it may seem, these men have become part of the lives of their viewers.  Sure the editors dictate what we see, but for five seasons now we have let these men and their ships into our family rooms, and a bond of sorts has formed with them.  We care what happens to them, and knowing that we are speeding with each episode towards the passing one of them is an odd feeling.  A part of you wants to scream at the TV to warn them, that maybe they can get Capt. Harris help before the stroke happens, but, alas, our cries will go unheard.

No matter what, I will watch, but it will be with a different sensibility than seasons past, as, for once, I really wish I didn’t know what was coming.

3
Jan
2010
Written by  |  under Blogging  |  No Comments

Another year has come to close, and has become tradition around here, it’s time to take a look at the top 10 posts for the past year.

First off, a huge thank you for the amazing growth this blog experienced this year.  In 2008 I saw growth I didn’t think could be topped with unique visitors growing by almost 600%, and page views growing by almost 700%.  I really didn’t think I could grow much more, but this year saw unique visitors grow by 325% and page views by 293% … I am floored.

My traffic is certainly not in the major leagues by any stretch of the imagination, but for a personal blog, it’s darn good.  I have no clue how I will continue this growth, but we’ll just have to see how things go.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 posts.

Saturday Night Live – Mother Lover – Last year saw the Who Is The Best James Bond? post bring in more traffic than the entire blog did in 2007.  Well, it happened again this year with Saturday Night Live – Mother Lover bringing in more traffic than the entire blog did in 2008.  Even without it in the equation, this year was still up, but boy did this post help out.  If you don’t know what the post is, just go and look, you’ll laugh.

revenge of the fallen logoTransformers Revenge of the Fallen Robot Pictures – Apparently when you can’t see the robots clearly in the movie, you turn to the Web for pictures of the robots so you know what the heck you were looking at.

47-Year-Old Susan Boyle Wows The Judges On Britain’s Got Talent – Ah, Susan Boyle.  She drove enough traffic to this site that I opened up SusanBoyleFandom.com.  She was an amazingly inspirational story, and said a lot about society and its perceptions.

Christine A. McCallumAnd We Have The First Teacher Sex Scandal Of 2009 – Christine McCallum had the dubious honor of being the first of many teacher sex scandals I wrote up in 2009.  It was a busy year for teachers that didn’t know how to behave themselves.

Who Is The Best Star Trek Captain – Proving once again that you can come to SeanPAune.com for answers to the questions that keep you up late at night.  My selection for the order of the captains wasn’t too popular, but that is my right as the owner of the site to say things that not everyone agrees with.

Teacher Arrested For Texting Naked Photos To Student – Christy Lynn Martin, a 32-year-old teacher from St. Petersburg, FL was arrested for texting a 14-year-old student with naked photos of herself.  She is the second teacher to win a place on my top 10 posts of the year.

Vince Shlomi, The Shamwow Guy, Arrested For Beating A Hooker – Yes, the Shamwow guy hits women … and this apparently interested a lot of people.

Teacher Sarah L. Tolzien Accused Of Sex With 16-Year-Old – The third teacher to make the list of top 10 posts.  I really wish there were no teacher sex scandals to write about to be honest.

Student Teacher Lindsay Massaro Arrested For Sex With An Eigth Grader – Yes, another teacher … scary isn’t it?

Deadliest Catch Season 5 Premiere Brings More Questions Than It Answers – After the season premiere of Deadliest Catch season 5, it really looked like one of the main boats had sunk.  Luckily the boat didn’t sink, but people sure were curious after the episode aired.

Did you have a favorite post of the year I did?

17
Apr
2009

Scattercast is 39… and very scattered this week!

– My dogs decide to co-host this week with me… sorry in advance.

– This blog is having its best year ever, and I couldn’t be more thankful to each and every one of you.

– Even with me working at SitePoint.com and Mobile.BLORGE.com, I have plans to launch three more blogs over the next few months. No, I won’t say what they are yet, but I think some of you will find them interesting.

Susan Boyle… I just can’t get enough of her.

Dollhouse is on its last legs… sorry I pushed it so hard on all of you.

Bunch of other random stuff… hope you enjoy!

Here’s

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for those who wish to download it, subscribe to Scattercast via iTunes.

14
Apr
2009

deadliest catchWant to know which boat sinks on the Deadliest Catch season 5? Want to know what happens to Phil Harris from the Cornelia Marie? You’ve come to the right place.

The fifth season premiere of Deadliest Catch sure led you to believe that Keith Colburn and The Wizard sink this season, but I am happy to tell you that it does not.  As I mentioned in an earlier post in regards to this season, a cod fishing ship, the Katami, was lost in the same area that all the crab ships were in.  The ship went down and there were 4 survivors, but sadly 5 fisherman lost their lives back in October.

As for Captain Phil Harris, he does miss King Crab season, but reports are that he returns in time for opilio season.  There has been no word on what happens with his blood clots, but seeing as he did listen to his doctor for the first half of the season, it’s probably safe to assume that he is cleared health wise when he comes back.

Sadly there are no other Deadliest Catch season 5 spoilers at this time that I know of, but here are images of all of this year’s crews.

Cornelia Marie

The crew of the Cornelia Marie. Left to right: deckhand Jake Harris, deckhand Dave Millman, Captain Phil Harris, Deckhand Murray Gamrath (front), Deckhand Mark Anderson, Deckhand Josh Harris

Lisa Marie

The crew of the Lisa Marie

Northwestern

The crew of the Northwestern

The Wizard

The crew of The Wizard. Left to right: Crosby LeVeen, Cooper Weatherby, Lenny Lekanoff, Lynn Guitard, Gary Soper, Captain Keith Colburn, and Monte Colburn

The Time Bandit

The Crew of the Time Bandit

Trailblazer

The crew of the Trailblazer. Deckhand Chet Hamilton (green jacket), Deckhand/Engineer Monte Beck, Deckhand/Engineer Tristen Burris, Deckhand Victory Swan, Deckhand Scott Newman, Deckhand Scott “Sky” Doar

Other posts about Deadliest Catch Season 5

Deadliest Catch Ramps Up For Season 5

Deadliest Catch Season 5 Adds A New Boat

Deadliest Catch Season 5 Premiere Announced

UPDATE 02/10/10Capt. Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie has passed away

24
Mar
2009

deadliest catchFor those who have been dying to know, Deadliest Catch season 5 premieres Tuesday, April 14, at 9 p.m. E/P.

If this seems an odd thing for me to scream from the rooftops, let me explain.  Back in December I wrote a post called Deadliest Catch Ramps Up For Season 5.  Even since that post went up, I have been swamped with search engine traffic of people looking to find out when the new season would be starting.  Well, just tonight, the official blog of the series announced the date: Tuesday, April 14, at 9 p.m. E/P.

They also announced what crab boats were in this season, something I had speculated on in that same post, and there were a couple surprises.

The Returning Deadliest Catch Boats

Cornelia Marie – After the health scares for Capt. Phil Harris in season 4, it was uncertain if this ship would return this year, but, sure enough, here they are.  Shall we predict the number of engine problems now?

Northwestern – Was there ever any real doubt that Sig Hansen and Edgar Hansen would be back this year?  I predict at some point in the season, Matt, the surly deckhand, will be… well… surly.

The Wizard – The ship is still captained by Keith Colburn, so I predict 1) fights with his brother and 2) a useless greenhorn.

Time Bandit – Kind of like the Hansen brothers, it’s hard to imagine this show without Andy Hillstrand and Johnathon Hillstrand, co-captains of the Time Bandit.

New Ships Joining Deadliest Catch Season 5

Lisa Maria – I wrote about the Lisa Maria here.  She’s a small boat at only 55 pots, should be interesting.

Trailblazer – Remember in season 3 when the Time Bandit raced to save a deckhand that fell off a boat?  That boat was the 133-foot house aft boat, Trailblazer, captained by Wayne Baker.

Ships Not Returning For Deadliest Catch Season 5

Early Dawn – There is next to no information on this boat, or Capt. Rick Fehst, but they are gone from the show.

North American – Season 4 was the first, and apparently last,  season for this ship, and its captain, Sten Skaar.

Deadliest Catch season 5 premieres Tuesday, April 14, at 9 p.m. E/P

I wait all year for this show, so I am excited that we are just weeks away.  I love knowing whivh ships to expect, and I’m not sure why we lost the two boats we did, but at least we kept what have kind of become the core group of 4.  Although I could do without The Wizard at times.  Make sure to tune in and catch Deadliest Catch Season 5!

UPDATE 02/10/10Capt. Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie has passed away

18
Feb
2009

lisa marieAll of you who is waiting to learn the line-up of crab boats in Deadliest Catch season 5, we’ve just been thrown a curve ball.

Back in December  I speculated on which crab boats would appear in Deadliest Catch season 5 by working off the 6 ships of last season.  It was hard to guess which ships amongst Cornelia Marie, Early Dawn, North American, Northwestern, The Wizard or Time Bandit would make it out to the Bering Sea off of Alaska, let alone onto the show.  I did some digging, and Deadliest Reports found the official registery of all the ships that went out for opilio season, and all six of the season 4 ships are registered as being out there fishing.

The curve ball I mentioned came in the form of a blog post on the official blog of the show on Tuesday.  According to the post we will be introduced to the crew of the Lisa Marie.  You can see a picture of Captain Wade Henley and four of his crew members to the right here.  Apparently Lisa Marie is the smallest ship we will have been shown yet seeing as she can only carry 55 crab pots, well below the numbers we’re used to seeing on ships such as Cornelia Marie.  Beyond the captain’s name, number of crew and the pot count, I can not find any other information on this mystery ship.

Of course the biggest question is which, if any, of the other six ships will not be appearing on the show this season.  I think Cornelia Marie, Northwestern and Time Bandit will be on the show for as long as it exists, the other three are toss ups.  My hesitant guess is that Early Dawn is out, and replaced by Lisa Marie.  I just base this on the fact the Early Dawn has not really embraced being on the show like the other five ships of season 4 have, so I’m thinking they may have opted out of this season.

Introducing a ship that only carry 55 pots makes sense to me as we always see the ships pulling up 100+ pot strings, but how do you place your pots when you only have half od that in total?  Can you even afford to soak test pots?  I think they’ll have to just pick a spot and that’s it, that is where you’re fishing, so your captain better have chosen wisely.

The show will probably debut in April (last year it was April 15th), although there has been no firm date announced yet, but I’m sure I and all the other fans will be speculating on the ship roster from now until then.

UPDATE: Deadliest Catch Season 5 Premiere Announced

UPDATE 02/10/10Capt. Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie has passed away