Thursday, December 29, 2005

Looking for Authors who Blog

The GCC is looking for a new authors to join the ring. I'm passing along the info from Karin Gillespie.

If you’re a traditionally published female author who has an established blog (three months or more) and who blogs at least once a week, you may be interested in joining the GCC. We now have a couple of openings but they are bound to go fast. The GCC will tour your book on 25 well-established blogs with no cost to you. In exchange you will tour a couple of authors a month on your blog. If you’re interested in being nominated for the GCC, please contact

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

TV Land marathon

On January 1, TV LAND is doing something really cool. They're airing 24 hours of pilots for classic shows like ALL IN THE FAMILY, THE MUNSTERS, CHEERS, MIAMI VICE, ER. This is such a cool idea. I recently saw the pilot for SEINFELD at the Museum of Television and Radio. Elaine was not in the cast yet -- somebody brilliant realized they needed to add a woman into the mix. And it was interesting to see how much it seemed more like a "normal" sitcom than it ended up being. At one point, Jerry sits cross-legged on a table in a laundromat and it looks SO set up and not what he would do. The timing was not yet there, and it wasn't all that funny. So it's really interesting to see how that show needed time to evolve, and for the creative forces to influence what got made.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

TV Guide changed their size

It's no longer that cute little booklet. Now they look like any trashy gossip magazine, but skinnier. I flipped through one at the grocery store check-out, tempted to buy it because of the 99 cent price tag. But it just seemed like an inferior version of Star, or US Weekly, or whatever, with some TV listings thrown in. I hate to say it, but it doesn't really seem like we need TV Guide anymore. But... I don't want them to go away, either. I want them to stay. Just the way they always were. Because I would miss not seeing the old TV Guide's at the check-out. Do they really need to make money off them? Can't they keep making them, just for the sake of always being there for us, at the check-out, nice and comforting?

Monday, December 12, 2005

There's a good article by Jennifer Armstrong this week in Entertainment Weekly about the future of television viewing. Soon we will be able to buy individual episodes for a buck or two. Will we do this? We're so used to getting it for "free" but then of course there is HBO. I hate to say we won't do something in the future because inevitably you sound old-fashioned and will be proven wrong. Evidently they figure sometime around 2010, our current young people will grow up thinking it's normal to buy TV shows to watch, so it'll become second nature. Also, a bunch of old classic shows will soon be available for free through AOL.

I'm sorry -- I have to interrupt myself here for a minute. I'm watching (half watching) Diane Keaton on Ellen right now. These are two of my favorite women in the world. Diane just gave a plug for her new movie The Family Stone, and she said it's so great because it's a story that really respects her character of a "housewife" who doesn't work and devotes her life to raising children. And then both Ellen and Diane took a moment to thank all the moms out there because they aren't appreciated enough. It just sort of amused me because these two women are great examples of women who have chosen to devote themselves to their careers and NOT family. I've been busy emulating THEM and shirking my duties as a housewife/mom (though I did skip the end of Survivor to take my son to the grocery store -- see previous post). Okay, this is better. Now Diane is joking about how she's "done with dating" and hasn't been serious with anyone for twenty years and no one is attracted to her. She's going to the premiere of the movie without an escort. Okay. Thank you, Diane. I'm inspired again. Phew.

Back to what I was mentioning before. Classic shows available online. That's cool. Though I still don't like the idea of watching TV on my computer. I guess that makes me old fashioned. The NEXT generation will do it. Will the next generation want to watch old shows?

I missed the finale of Survivor last night. This seems to be a trend of mine. I saw the first half, and then my son wanted to go to the grocery store. I couldn't say no. So I taped it. And then, when I got home, it was still going on. And I got very confused. Should I watch the end that was still happening in real time? But what about the stuff that I had taped? I could've continued to tape the whole thing and then watched it all later, but I was at the end of the cassette and I couldn't figure out where it had stopped. And I didn't want to check the end of the tape in case it gave anything away. It's was just so confusing. The other thing was, I didn't want to watch the losers bad mouth the people who had tricked them and outlasted them. That's the whole point of the show, right? I wasn't in the mood to listen to them complain. Plus, I hate watching reality shows on tape. You need to be there when it's happening, don't you think? I ended up turning it off and going to bed.

Anyway, I caught up with the online recap this morning. I don't feel like I missed anything. At least AOL didn't SHOW THE WINNER on the home page, but just had photos of the final four. Might I believe they actually learned something or had some sensitivity towards those who had missed the show? Yeah, right...

More blogs about survivor.
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Friday, December 09, 2005

I am now a member of The Girlfriend's Cyber Circui...

I am now a member of The Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit!!!

This is a group of writers who host each other occasionnally, like when something exciting is happening in our careers. My first guest from the circuit is Tamara Siler Jones. She lives in Iowa with her family, and her second Dubric Byerly Mystery is out. It's about a vicious killer who stalks the quiet towns of the northern reach, kidnapping and murdering boys. With a score dead and two more missing, can Dubric and his team find the killer before he strikes again? A twisted murderer may not be all Dubric is looking for...or the only evil that he will find.

A blend of historical mystery and paranormal fantasy, Tamara Siler Jones delivers a fast-paced, chilling story with THREADS OF MALICE.

I asked Tamara a few questions about her TV watching habits. Considering what she writes, I wasn't surprised to find out what her favorite TV show of all time is...

Are you a TV watcher?

Not generally, no. Every once in a while I'll catch Whose Line is it Anyway? and the hubby and I sometimes watch South Park. That's about it. I have no idea why housewives are desperate, who's lost, or what OC stands for. I'm utterly oblivious. I used to watch quite a bit, but time seemed to disappear with nothing to show for it. Since I've been writing full time, I'm rarely in front of the TV at all, unless it's to watch a DVD movie or something specific with the family.

What's your favorite show ever?

Twin Peaks. I have every episode on tape. I was a Who Killed Laura Palmer fanatic! I made cross referenced charts of the characters with who knew who, and their relationship, and what they knew about Laura and all the little oddities. Wow! From Special Agent Cooper to BOB to the backwards talking midget, every moment, every character meant something. It's just an awesome show! I like intricate quirky shows that make you think - I used to watch the X-Files before David Duchovny left, for example, and I really loved the conspiracy related ones, not the creature-of-the-week episodes so much. I love to find subtle connections and figure things out, so shows like that make the time spent watching TV worthwhile.

What TV character (past or present) do you identify with most?

Heh. Some days it's Aunt Bea from The Andy Griffith Show. She's always taking care of things for Andy and Opie (and butting in when maybe she shouldn't, cooking, fussing, not quite fitting in with the garden club ladies...) other days Mindy from Mork and Mindy, trying to stay sane when nothing around is even close to normal and life just throws one crazy impossibility after another. Mostly I just struggle to stay on top of things and both of those characters do, too.

Does your main character watch any TV in the novel?

Nope, it takes place before electricity's common. There are no TV's to watch. If there were modern televisions, Dubric would probably be a news junkie, always clicking back and forth between CNN, C-Span and MSNBC, or watching old reruns from the 60's and 70's. His squire, Dien, would mostly watch contact sports on ESPN and all the alternates along with Monday Night Football. Lars would likely watch a lot of Comedy Central and TLC, Otlee would be glued to the Discovery Channel and medical type shows. As for the gals, Maeve would like HGTV and Lifetime, Jess would watch network comedies and some established dramas like Law and Order and ER along with an occasional TV movie, and Sarea would watch the Food Network and talk shows, probably staying up late for Letterman. But I'm just guessing.

Do you spend more time reading or watching TV?

Reading. Definitely. But I don't have much time for that anymore, either. What reading I do is mostly work related, researching some gruesome murder method or serial killer motivation.

So I missed the finale of America's Next Top Model. I teach my class on Wednesday nights, and no one at home managed to tape it for me. I guess I can watch the rerun next week, but it's just not the same watching the results of a reality show in a rerun. Plus AOL had to go and put a gigantic picture of the winner on their front page that flashed at me first thing this morning. It's just not right. Why do they think they can do that and ruin it for everyone who hasn't watched?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Maybe I should explain why I titled my blog the History of Television. That might sound a little grandiose. I'm not attempting to explain the history of television here or anything. But my next novel YOU COULD DO BETTER, which won't be out until August 2006, is about a curator at the Museum of Television and Radio here in Manhattan. And so, after a year of obsessively reading about the history of TV, I've decided to focus my blog on my favorite medium.

Last night I watched the last episode of the season for Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry David came to believe he's adopted, and that his birth parents are Christian. It was really funny. Especially when he died and went to heaven. Casting for his mother was perfect: Bea Arthur. I think of her more from her days on Maude than Golden Girls. In a way, Larry David is a reincarnation of Maude -- minus the feminist aspect, of course. And wasn't it perfect that everyone just started arguing about money after he flatlined? I loved how his wife didn't even seem very upset that he was gone. I will miss the show, though.

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