Tag: Bob Newhart

Day 999: Buh-Bye, So Long and Hallelujah

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It’s a completely valid question.

For the past 50 or so days I have been fielding one question more often than most: what am I going to do for Day 1000? Will the final kilograph reflect upon the 999 that came before, like some extended clip show of my greatest guffaws and most aww-rending moments? Will I spend my final entry in closing-credits mode, thanking those who have made this all possible and put up with my considerable dearth of free time over the last 2 years and almost 9 months?

In short… no. While my original intent was to meander down that self-serving footpath for my final article, I decided that I would only do so if I could cite the Wikipedia page that had been created about me – as it turns out, that doesn’t exist yet.

In order to figure out my final missive, I felt I should turn to the moulder of my wisdom, the sage oracle who has helped to shape my morality, my perception, and even my understanding of the world: television. I have experienced the highs and lows of series finales – certainly at least one of them could illuminate the road to a poignant, entertaining, and (most of all) worthy coda to this monstrous undertaking.

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My first option is the beloved trope of bringing back a classic character for the finale. In my case I could introduce a surprise cameo by Yoko Ono, Craig David, Mary Nissenson, or if I really want to stretch to my roots, Phineas Gage. I could style the entire piece in a blend of haiku, musical theatre and secret code (did anyone ever figure that one out?). It sounds trite and cliché, but that’s always a place to start, isn’t it? Read more…

Day 461: Friday Night Lights-Out

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Are you planning on watching TV tonight?

Sorry, that was a rather personal and forward question, but I assure you, I’m only trying to survey the bleak and unloved landscape of a network TV Friday night. Purely for scientific reasons. You see, network executives have held Friday night with a degree of disdain for years. For the past three decades it has either been a deathtrap where shows were sent to die against unbeatable competition, or else it has been a vacuum. Viewers either don’t stay at home on Fridays, or else they use that night to get caught up on pay-per-view movies or PVR’ed programs they’d missed.

Hence the term Friday Night Death Slot.

For reasons that will soon become obvious, most images that turn up on a Google search for this term feature the show Fringe.

For reasons that will soon become obvious, most images that turn up on a Google search for this term feature the show Fringe.

The history of this phenomenon dates back to the 1960’s. When Star Trek failed to perform well in the ratings, NBC could have cut off its head and slapped something new in its place. But the network had begun looking at demographic profiles a few years earlier, and they knew the young crowd – the ones with the disposable income that advertisers love – dug the show. Then, in one of many acts of idiocy in NBC’s long and textured history, they moved the show to Friday nights for season two. Read more…