Awkward Press

Independent publishers of imaginative fiction and daily meditations on the ridiculousness of the universe.

Archive for ‘TV’

My Conan Promo Is Live!

August 30, 2010 By: Category: News, TV

Over the two years that Awkward Press has been in existence, I’ve written a lot of posts about all the awesome things my partners Clay and Kyle have been doing. Because they do truly awesome things, like getting a story in Akashic’s Richmond Noir collection and releasing classic rock n’ roll records. Well, I’m proud to report that I finally have some bragging of my own to do. About a month ago, a company I work with in LA called Roger was tapped to do some promos for the new Conan O’ Brien show on TBS. I wrote up a bunch of ideas, and one of them got picked. Within days, the crazy-talented guys at Roger had whipped up a sample video. They asked me to come in and do the voiceover, thinking they’d be asked to put together a more complete version with real actors later.

A week goes by, and the TBS people call them up to say, “Hey! We love it! Thanks!” The Roger guys (none of whom are named Roger, BTW) ask them when they’d like the final version, and TBS says, “This is it! We’re done!” So airing on TBS right now is a promo for Conan O’ Brien that I wrote and narrated. I feel like a high school girl in Passaic who just got asked to prom by the orangest juicehead in New Jersey!

The sound is a little tough to decipher since we did it with a USB mic in iMovie (!), but there you go! Modern advertising at it’s best. Check it out after the break! (more…)

Where My Life Is Going

April 13, 2010 By: Category: TV

At the beginning of March, I set our Tivo (or whatever our generic cable company-provided variation on the Tivo is called) to tape The Marriage Ref. I did not have any interest in The Marriage Ref, but it was getting so much hype that I was afraid I’d be kicked out of my “cool guys who know about things” club if I didn’t get in on the action.

I watched the first episode, the one that premiered after the Olympics. If it had been produced by Mr. Nobody and was airing on some buried cable channel, it would have been pretty bad. But with Jerry Seinfeld and gazillions of dollars behind it, it was a train wreck. I decided it would only last a few episodes and I filed it away in my “Irrelevant” folder next to Heidi Montag and the complete works of Rob Thomas.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that my machine was still dutifully taping The Marriage Ref. And that one of the episodes featured Ricky Gervais, Larry David, and Madonna. If there was going to be a good episode of The Marriage Ref, it would be the one with Ricky Gervais, Larry David, and Madonna. Plus, I didn’t have any new episodes of Nanny 911 lined up, so I decided to give it another shot. (more…)

Twin Peaks A-Z

April 08, 2010 By: Category: TV

According to walking-David-Lynch-encyclopedia Mike Segretto, today marks the 20th anniversary of the first episode of Twin Peaks. In honor of the occasion, he has posted an extremely thorough and throughly extreme overview of the groundbreaking series on his blog, Psychobabble. Whether you’re a casual fan or a Twin Peaks diehard, you’re guaranteed to learn something from Mr. Segretto’s fascinating piece. To wit:

David Lynch and Mark Frost shared a love of pop culture that thoroughly informed the show they created together. “Twin Peaks” is rife with post modern allusions to cinema and television to the degree that listing them all would probably double the length of this article, but some of the most prominent ones are:
• Laura Palmer’s forename was nabbed from Otto Preminger’s 1944 noir Laura, in which the memory of a murdered woman haunts those who loved her and the detective investigating her death.
• Laura Palmer’s cousin Madeline Ferguson got her name from the two main characters of one of David Lynch’s favorite films: Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, which starred Kim Novak as Madeline Elster and Jimmy Stewart as John ‘Scottie’ Ferguson.
• In episode 18, Peggy Lipton and Clarence Williams III share an exchange for no other reason than their history as co-stars of “The Mod Squad”.
• The scene in which Cooper has trouble adjusting his stool in Ronette Pulaski’s hospital room is an homage to a similar scene in which Humbert Humbert struggles to open a folding cot in Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita, another favorite film of Lynch.
• Dancing fool Leland Palmer was named after the actress and dancer of the same name who appeared in Bob Fosse’s 1979 film All That Jazz.
• Gordon Cole, the hearing-impaired FBI Regional Bureau Chief played by Lynch, was named after an unseen character in yet another of his favorite films: Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard.
• Sitcomy couple Lucy and Andy owe their monikers to sitcom pioneers Lucille Ball and Andy Griffith.
• In keeping with “Twin Peaks’” notorious sweet tooth, brothers Ben and Jerry Horne allude to a famous duo of ice cream makers.
• Schizo one-armed man Phillip Gerard/MIKE is a reference to both the police lieutenant of the same name and the murderous one-armed man in the classic TV drama “The Fugitive”.
• In Black Edward’s excellent 1962 chiller Experiment in Terror, Lee Remick is terrorized in the (real) town of Twin Peaks, San Francisco. And the terrorizer’s name? Red Lynch.


Democracy In Action

March 11, 2010 By: Category: TV

I realized the other day that the reason why American Idol is so successful is because it’s the last remaining vestige of democracy. I’m not going to extrapolate on that. But what I am going to extrapolate on is how great Michael Lynche is. I’ve never watched a full season of American Idol, because no one ever sings songs I like and when they do they make them sound like songs I don’t like. But this dude totally has me hooked. He has an awesome story: his wife gave birth while he was auditioning. He wasn’t able to be with her, but he’s going to be in the top 2 of the show, so that kid is going to have a pretty great story to tell her friends when she gets older. And video to back it up.

But lots of people have good stories … what makes Big Mike so great is that he has mad chops. This morning, I watched his performance from last night’s show four times in a row. (more…)

Lost Season 2 Episode 2: No Spoilers

February 10, 2010 By: Category: TV

Shut up! ShutupshutupshutupSHUTUP!

Listen here, Lost. I really worked my ass off for you. For the past several years, I’ve avoided every mention of Lost in the media. I’ve ignored every review, every article, every publicity photo. I did these things because I knew one day I would watch the whole series and I did not want to know what was coming.

And starting last spring, I did exactly that. I watched every episode of this damn series on the digital movie playing machine. My wife quickly “lost” interest, (get it? That’s a pun because it’s the name of the show) but I kept at it. I knew this was the last season and I wanted to enjoy it along with the rest of America.

But so then why are you being so lame to me? I put in my time! I thought we were friends! But you are not being interesting! Half of you is devoted to circumstances that are maybe not even really happening. And then the other half of you is stuck in some ugly cave with a bunch of dickheads that no one cares about. (more…)


New Season of Lost: No Spoilers

February 03, 2010 By: Category: News, TV

So. New episode of Lost last night, right? I have not been waiting as long as most of you people because I just finished the first 5 seasons about 2 months ago. It was a long, hard slog. I had never seen an episode before last year. I’m glad I did it, though, because last night I got to watch the writers fumbling around to make sense of their bloated monstrosity of a series in REAL TIME.

Just kidding. It’s not a bloated monstrosity. It’s fun and smart and everything good about TV, and also sometimes silly and totally convoluted. And I do believe that the writers know exactly where they’re taking us. I am just getting somewhat impatient at having to wait. But such is life. Sometimes we just have to wait.

Last night’s episode was okay. I mean, at this point, there’s really no such thing as good or bad. It will be bad if the series ends badly, and it will be good if the series ends goodly. But the point is, about twenty minutes before the end, this comes up on the screen:

Hmm. I can’t quite read that. ENHANCE.

Finally! Thanks for keeping on top of it, Eyewitness News!

Wait, um, What?

July 28, 2009 By: Category: TV

Via Salon:

As Smallville begins its ninth season this autumn …

Wait, really? They’re still making new episodes of Smallville? Is the XFL still around, too?