2010
02.02

Television.  You’ve heard of it.  It’s similar to crack and just might be the death of America’s youth.  I tried to quit T.V. once.  I wanted to be like the hip kids and everytime someone said “hey man, did you see such-and-such last night on T.V.?” Then I could be a freakin’ badass like this hip cat replied to me once with “I don’t watch T.V.” Because let’s be honest, that kid puts on a silk robe, sits in his leather recliner, smokes a pipe, and reads the works of literary masters in his study while  Natalie Portman sits nude in his lap nightly, right? A-hem.

I digress. So, I went a year without the boob tube and things were fine. My wife (girlfriend at the time) and I had just moved in together and it gave us time to really get to know each other. I think we made it almost a complete year without the cursed box. Then before I knew it, college football season reared its ugly head and I had to have my fix again. Once again I became a cable slave. There is nothing like watching football in HD when you can’t be there yourself. Once you go HD you can’t go back. But once football season was over I was left with the stinking pile of crap that is today’s cable package

The problem with cable is that the programming is so horrible that I with over 1000 channels, I MAYBE watch 6 of them on the reg. I refuse to watch any reality programs, any drama that deals with police work, law, medical, or cheating house whores (that about covers all dramas). So, that leaves me with about 2 shows in syndication. Other than The Office, The Big Bang Theory, and re-runs of My Name is Earl, That 70’s show, MASH, and Three’s Company (which is rarely on), and a few other old shows, occasionally I will watch something informative like the History Channel, A&E, or something on Nat Geo (some crazy shit about snipers last night). That about covers it. If none of these show’s are on then what am I to do? We’ll that leads me to my newest discoveries in syndicated entertainment.

The future of programming is bright my friends. There is an end in sight to the horridness and the networks are squirming like little roaches trying to find a way to keep their finger on the button. There are options and my current favorite one is free! You can subscribe to netflix, or Tivo, or many other types of DVR’s or even Apple TV or Window’s Media Center. But, the one that has really caught my fancy for now is Boxee.

Boxee is now in the beta phase which is a major improvement over the alpha phase. But, here’s the deal…the alpha release was amazing as well. It’s just more user friendly now. I can’t say enough about how much I love it. The coolest thing in the world is that there is also, an “app for that”. You can download a free Boxee app that turns your iphone into a remote! Freakin’ A! Basically, my setup is really simple. I have my Macbook Pro hooked up to my HD TV with a DVI to HMDI cable that plugs right into the TV. I use the audio out on my Macbook and hook it into my TV to the surround sound. I hook up the power supply and wa-la…I have an amazing media center setup. Boxee will pull down RSS feeds for you and it works amazing with Hulu.com. If you are a fan of old and new shows Hulu.com is amazing. They have the first 3 complete seasons of The Twilight Zone on there. Not to mention TONS of Hitchcock and just about anything you could imagine. Did you miss the latest episode of The Office? If it’s been 24hrs since it aired you can watch it with only four 30 second commercials in-between. The best part about all of this is that you don’t have to sit through a shit-ton of commercials that make you forget what you were watching. Some of the programs even let you select if you would like to watch the 2 mins of commercials before the program starts and then watch it with no interruptions or if you would prefer to watch them in the four 30 second intervals. There is so much more I love about Boxee that I could write pages on it, but for now I’ll just say that you should go and try it out for yourself. Here is the demo video:

Boxee Beta from boxee on Vimeo.

The next revolution that I recently discovered is basically internet television. By using Boxee I realized that there are good number of sites out there with their own internet syndicated shows. Youtube has allowed any ya-hoo in the world with a video camera and a connection to post any type of “show” that they want. There are definitely more than a few shows that are entertaining and failblog.org’s Youtube channel is one of my personal fave’s. I love to check them out when I need a quick laugh. One channel has recently caught my eye and they have been around for a bit. Their website could use a re-skin but, hey the concept and content is pretty interesting

www.channel101.com has a unique concept in that anyone can submit a pilot show to the creator. The creator then screen the pilots at a theater in L.A. for an audience, once a month I believe. The pilots are then voted on and the top ones get syndicated on the site. People have really come up with some great creative shows for this site. I was amazed at some of the entries. I know how much time it takes to make even a shitty video and these people have invested plenty of time and money just for the love of the craft. The first show that lead me over to discover the Channel101.com site was called “Yacht Rock”. I am a fan of Jason Lee (the actor from My Name is Earl fame and early 80’s – 90’s skateboard star) and I had somehow discovered that he was in the final episode of some underground internet show called “Yacht Rock”. So, It was during one of those wild induced internet binge trips though the looking glass and down the rabbit whole that I ran across this show. Yacht Rock is described by Wikipedia as “an online video series following the fictionalized lives and careers of American soft rock stars of the late 1970s and early 1980s.” It’s a pretty hilarious show that made it to 11 episodes on Channel101.com before being canceled/retired. Here is the first episode that I also found on Youtube:

Another amazing show that I found on Channel101.com is this sick twisted animated show in the vein of Adult Swim called “House of Cosbys”. This show had it’s initial run in January – June of 2005 before the creator was promptly sent a cease and desist letter from none other than the Cos’s personal lawyer. The theme song itself is really cool. It sounds like something the Butthole Surfers laid down. The lyrics explain the premise of the show with greatness.

“He was a Cosby fan at heart it’s clear.

He searched and found a Cosby hair.

He spent 10 long years and built a cloning machine.

And now he’s accomplished his wonderful dreams.

To make a house of Cosby’s.

It’s a house of Cosby’s”.

All of the episodes are still here on http://www.channel101.com/shows/show.php?show_id=121. You can view the episodes on Youtube as well, here is the first episode:

So, my friends due to our human creativity and ingenious ways to still get our voices heard, the future of entertainment is in good hands. That’s basically why I started this blog. I want people to know that there are infinite talented and creative artists out there for every medium. You just have to get off your lazy ass and search for them. Remember don’t drink the cool aide that they throw in your face. Bad advertising, pointless music, and shows with no substance are abundant and it could just be a “test run” for the media monopolies to control your every move. Let’s fight the “Manchurian candidate” syndrome and make an effort to support these artists that are doing it for the love they have of the craft. Like Chuck D. said, “Fight the Power”!

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