Star Trek Into Darkness
Less a classic "Star Trek" adventure than a Star Trek-flavored action flick, shot in the frenzied, handheld, cut-cut-cut style that’s become Hollywood’s norm, director J.J.…
Jay Leno and I go way back. One of my fondest memories is of Jay chasing me around the parking lot of the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles. I always tell people that I thought of the Bel-Air, which I could still afford in those days (long long ago), as more a sanitarium than a hotel. You know how in L.A. your waiter has probably written a screenplay or two? At the Bel-Air, one of the parking attendants had actually starred in an ABC network series several years earlier! He played a wolf-boy.
Aye, it's the age-old story. Oh the naming of a new pope, sure, but there's another less-age-old story: TV networks covering something that their anchors and reporters call a glorious spectacle and then ruining the spectacle with superfluous graphics littering the screen.
Listen -- a billion people are throwing up. That's a rough estimate of course, but every year somebody at the Oscars says a billion people on the planet are watching the program; however many watched this year's Oscar show, they may well have felt sickened by it. It was a stomach-churning, jaw-dropping debacle, incompetently hosted and witlessly produced.
Roughly five months ago, back in the summer of '12, the spectacularly popular Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC's "Good Morning, America," left the show for a sabbatical of indeterminate length. She might be gone for six or eight months, viewers inferred, or for a year. Or, forever.
Back in ancient days of rampant ignorance and sexist effrontery, a TV commercial for a product now forgotten depicted a happy married couple whose cheer seemed guaranteed by the woman's subservience to the man. At the end of the ad he uttered a phrase that entered, to the dismay of millions, the iconography of the time: "My wife -- I think I'll keep her."
by Tom Shales
Okay, now we know: God DOES "care" about the Super Bowl, as people were wondering during the big build-up to the game -- the one that began around Thanksgiving, 2012. Yes, God cares; He HATES it. And that's why He (or, yes, She) turned off the lights on Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans Sunday night and left everybody standing there and waiting for the second half to continue. Maybe it was a kind of Old-Testament warning -- ya think?
By Tom Shales
There was the tense sensation that actual news might break out at any moment -- but we knew it would be just as well if it didn't. The Second Inaugural of President Barack Obama, which occupied most of Monday on broadcast networks and cable channels, was actually rather compelling for an event which had little reason to exist.
By Tom Shales
Jimmy Kimmel still comes across like a guy who crashed a party and got caught at it, yet adamantly refuses to leave. He has no real business being there -- hosting a late-night network talk show, that is -- and may even know in his dark little heart that he's out of his depth, but he's gotten away with it for ten years, so why pull out now? Since he's probably making $25 million a year or so, and ABC has agreed to underwrite the subterfuge, it's hard to imagine Kimmel voluntarily getting the hell out of Dodge.
We can be very glad Barack Obama won his bid for re-election for reasons that have nothing to do with politics. Unlike Obama, his defeated opponent is, to put it gently, not a gifted public speaker. He actually has a warm and semi-mellifluous voice when speaking in a normal tone into a microphone; the best parts of his TV commercials were when he said he was Mitt Romney and he "approved this message. " Up on stages and platforms, however, he displayed little talent for galvanizing a crowd, or even holding attention.
Polls may be open somewhere, results in many races remain inconclusive, but I am willing to make one fearless projection: ABC News is the winner in 2012's Election Night coverage. In fact, ABC's coverage of the entire campaign has generally left competitors red in the face if not green with envy, though that hardly means it was without its own fumbles, stumbles and wretched excesses.