Tuned In Journal

'Secret Life' continues to bring the crazy

Sunday, 03 January 2010 07:01 PM Written by

RENEE OLSTEAD, CAMILLE WINBUSH, AMY RIDER, ALLEN EVANGELISTA There may be no TV show nuttier than ABC Family's "Secret Life of the American Teenager" (8 tonight), which is simultaneously TV's most wholesome and most sexually explicit teen show.

The kids are all apple-cheeked and wholesome looking but their conversations are some of the dirtiest on TV even though they avoid using wildly explicit language.

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TV break-ups

Saturday, 02 January 2010 07:01 PM Written by

The cast, Robin (Cobie Smulders), Ted (Josh Radnor), Marshall (Jason Segel), Lily (Alyson Hannigan), and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER perform the musical number I'd been planning today's story on breaking up with TV shows for several months but the timing proved fortuitous: I'm just about ready to dump "How I Met Your Mother" after last month's episode revealed all the characters are closet nicotine addicts. On Jan. 11 the show airs its 100th episode -- it ends with an impressive sond and dance ode to Barney's suits -- but I won't shed a tear if I miss future installments because the smoking episode really put me off the characters. Maybe it's because I can't stand cigarette smoke or maybe it's because it seemed completely out-of-character for some of the "Mother" gang to be hooked on cancer sticks. Regardless, I'm not keeping the show in my "must-watch" column.

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Fun with TV newsies

Thursday, 31 December 2009 07:01 PM Written by

For TV newsies and the TV news obsessed, there's a Facebook fan page where you can hear quotes of what's been said in the control room (or studio) while a live program is on the air.

A few examples:

"ZOOM IN CAMERA 2...FOCUS IS OPTIONAL"

Best video flub I remember - Anchor introduces a story on Marge Schott (former owner of the Cincinnati Reds) and when the TD takes the tape it's of Punxsutawny Phil. Director, TD, Audio, Chryon, Cameras and anchors were all on the floor for quite a bit.

Talent to floor director Please direct me to the cameras like I'm an airplane

DIR: Pan right
Camera pans left
DIR: Try the other right

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Dumb 'Demons' on BBC America

Wednesday, 30 December 2009 07:01 PM Written by

Luke (Christian Cooke) and Rupert (Phillip Glenister) in The Brits seem to have a more intense interest in and appreciation for genre shows, particularly in recent years. From "Dr. Who" and "Torchwood" to "Hex" and "Primeval," sci-fi and fantasy have been frequent imports to BBC America.

Add to that list the disappointinly ordinary "Demons" (10 p.m. Saturday, BBC America), the story of the last Van Helsing, a teenager named Luke Rutherford (Christian Cooke). His godfather, Rupert Galvin (Philip Glennister from "Life on Mars" affecting a flattened accent, possibly intended to make him sound American), returns to recruit Luke into fighting supernatural "freaks" that go bump in the night. Their ranks include computer-generated beasties that look like large rats.

The show's concept is summed up in this line from Rupert: "Do you ever see things out of the corner of your eye but when you look, there's nothing there?"

It's a potentially interesting notion but "Demons" quickly devolves into a bland mission-of-the-week show about a boy who doesn't want the responsibility of saving the world ("You can't just hijack someone's life. I had plans!") who is aided by an older mentor (sound familiar, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fans?).

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'P.O.V.' turns its lens on Patti Smith

Tuesday, 29 December 2009 07:01 PM Written by

Patti Smith (PBS)Tonight PBS's "P.O.V." debuts "Patti Smith: Dream of Life" (9 p.m., WQED), a documentary film by fashion photographer Simon Kilburry, who met the punk songstress in 1995 on a photo shoot. This documentary has been 11 years in the making with Smith cooperating with the filmmaker.

Does she think it accurately reflects her life?

"It was shot really between the ages of 50 to 60 years old and it reflects my lifestyle, my relationship with my children, my mom and dad, the things that I was involved in, protesting the policies of the    Bush Administration, pursuing writing, and, you know, making new friends, being encouraged by old friends," Smith said at a PBS press conference last summer. "So I would say it was a pretty accurate picture."

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