I have largely turned off comments since most of them being made are for older articles and are largely spam. Since I get an e-mail every time someone makes a comment, it was starting to become an annoyance.
The domain name will likely expire soon. I might repay the domain fee renewal but I need every dollar I have right now as I move into my own apartment and look for a paying gig. If I don't, you can check out the archives of this blog at:
Friday, October 4, 2013
When I started Television Lair, I wanted to explore why I liked the shows that I watched. I wanted to know what drew me towards Castle, Fringe, Parenthood, Parks and Recreation, etc. and why I didn't want to watch other shows. Obviously, an entertainment factor was in play but what went into creating that factor was always an intriguing concept. I had also become an avid reader of the AV Club. It's their standard of high-quality analysis that I have always aspired for. There was also an early attempt to create a community and also turn the blog into a television business analysis blog. The first failed as I didn't have a readership to create a community around. That was my fault. The second largely fell to the wayside. It's entirely possible that I might actually start doing that on a semi-regular basis because I think television business is just as interesting as programming. As it stands, I have no plans of actually doing that so I wouldn't expect anything.
When I first started the blog, the reviews weren't as long as they are now. They also weren't as good. At the same time, they were barely time consuming. I could knock out most reviews in an under an hour. As time went on, I improved the quality of my writing. As the quality picked up, I started to make them longer. What used to take me less than an hour now took at least three hours per review. The blog has become a bigger commitment that demands more and more time. This would be fine if I was getting paid, if people were reading the actual reviews, and/or if I was still motivated to do this. The first hasn't become true. There are ads (aimed at covering the cost of the domain) but I haven't made enough money to actually get a check. It's possible I do have a couple loyal audience but most of my reviews hover around 10 page views. As for motivation, I've got admit that I rarely actually want to write a review. It's become such a time-consuming hobby that leaves me with very little time to do anything else and it's also become stressful.
All of these factors kept me plugging along because having a blog looks good on my resume. Nobody might be reading it but at least I could claim I was doing it. It's a claim that I can now use: I ran this blog for two years. Alas, I must shut it down. Why? I have five reasons. The first is that I have fulfilled the purpose of the blog. I believe I have a greater understanding of what makes a show entertaining and good. The second is that college is requiring more and more time. When I first started this blog, I was a sophomore. The little time commitment it took per review and the less homework I had made doing this blog feasible. Now, I'm spending more time doing college work while this blog demands I spend more time doing it. I just don't have time for Television Lair anymore. The third reason is that I don't want to do it anymore. I don't think I need to justify that. The fourth reason is that practically nobody reads. This didn't used to bother me but it's kind of like I'm wasting my time on something I don't want to do anymore for nobody's benefit. The fifth, and final reason, is that I want to dedicate my free time doing other things. As I noted, I might revive this blog with a different focus on doing semi-regular business analysis. I might work on screenplays and/or other writings. Basically, it's to open up my time for something I am interested in doing.
I had always planned on ending this blog in May. I was dedicated to doing that but then I realized something: I'm a week behind. I'm going to be a week behind for as long as I have to spend my time on college work. This is going to turn the blog into a bigger stress than it needs to be-considering nobody reads it. I've considered dropping the amount of reviews I do weekly but...it's still going to be a major time commitment. So I'm doing the most sensible thing:
I'm closing the blog right now. I'll keep paying for the domain name and keep the reviews up. You can always read this for history's sake. I might, as I said, convert this blog to doing business analysis. As of now, I'm doing doing reviews. I'm not going to catch up: The Michael J. Fox Show is the final review. If you have any questions of what I think about any news shows/episodes, drop a comment at any time.
It has been a great adventure. I liked this doing for the longest time...and I hate quitting earlier than I expected. At the same time, I must admit that the time for reviewing shows has passed.
The Television Lair is now abandoned.
- Family Portrait
- Left Field
- Everything is Okay
- The Talk
- There's Something I Need to Tell You
- I'll Be Right Here
- One More Weekend with You
- You Can't Always Get What You Want
- Trouble in Candyland
- What to My Wondering Eyes
- Keep on Rowing
- Small Victories
- One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
- Because You're My Sister
The Michael J. Fox Show
Episode 1: Pilot
Episode 2: Neighbor
By: Carlos Uribe
The Michael J. Fox Show is a series about a news anchor with Parkinson’s disease that goes back to work. It is partially based on Michael J. Fox's real life. I will be covering this show weekly.
The Michael J. Fox Show has a slightly interesting history. Michael J. Fox is a popular television star who became a household name due to his role as young Republican Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties. He became a film star with the classic Back to the Future trilogy and Casualties of War. He would later star in Spin City until he was forced to semi-retire from acting due to his health. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and the symptoms got too severe for him to continue to work on a daily basis. He's managed to make a come-back by having all of his characters written with Parkinson's in mind. The peacock network is in desperate need of a comedy hit. The Office is now gone and it's largely cleaned it's comedy slate. The only series to survive, Parks and Recreation, has always been a critical darling but it's never been able to attract a large audience. It makes sense that the network would look at one of their former stars and hope that he still has a large enough following to launch a new comedy. He was interested in starring in a comedy again so they ordered the project straight to series with a twenty-two episode order. This risky move meant bypassing the pilot season which means the network had very limited quality control. If the pilot was a disaster, the network couldn't forever hold it back. They would have a very limited time to retool it. The episode order is an even bigger risk. Twenty-two episodes is a large order. If the series fails to attract an audience, the network is on the hook for the whole season unless it goes back on it's word. NBC sees The Michael J. Fox Show as the potential messiah but these first two episodes should serve as yet another warning of why skipping the pilot season is rarely worth it.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Episode 1: Born in the U.S.A.
By: Carlos Uribe
Revolution is a show set in a world where electricity has died.
Revolution had a troubled first season. There were some decent installments in there but it was mostly a season filled with weak characters, forced relationships, and a nonsensical plot that ultimately ended in frustration. The potential that the premise could have had was largely lost as the production dropped swords in favor of guns. The concentration on turning the power on gave the writers some focus but it ultimately backfired as it consumed the show. It also had the unfortunate side-effect of actually causing people to root for them to succeed which would undermine the whole premise of the show. The last thing any writer is going to want is to root for the show to effectively end. The finale was so frustrating that it ultimately hurt my view of the series as a whole. The twist at the end was so confounding that it actually made me less excited for the second season of Revolution. It was such a terrible piece of television that it also made me completely give up on Revolution. Lucky for the show, I decided I might as well stick around because I like the genre, I'm a fan of Giancarlo Esposito, and because it was still decently entertaining. It helps that I don't really like giving up on shows since it means the investment I had put into earlier episodes was wasted. I like to think of myself as a very loyal viewer. Obviously, there are shows I do end up giving up on (2 Broke Girls comes to mind) but I try to make them as rare as possible. So this is the way I entered the second season: disillusioned with the series, distrustful of the writers, but hopeful that the series can somehow pull itself together. Even if it can't, at least I can expect to be entertained. It's an odd relationship with the series but it's an important one to make note of because it's how I approach it and therefore the reviews. So I'm happy to report that I'm cautiously optimistic about this second season.
Episode 1: I Fall to Pieces
By: Carlos Uribe
Nashville is a series about the country music scene and the political scene of Nashville.
Nashville is by all intents and purposes an interesting series to think about. It's a show that has surprisingly good country music, it's embraced it's soap opera nature, and it has some of the best performances on broadcast television. It's managed to pick up it's narrative speed so things actually seem like they're happening. At the same time, it's almost impossible to actually get excited about this show. I don't think I've ever gone in my head “I can't wait until Nashville comes on the air.” I dropped this series from the review roster after the thirteenth episode because it simply wasn't a fun series to review on a weekly basis. I tried sticking with it as a normal viewer but I didn't want to put in the effort to keep up with it. It really wasn't until a few weeks ago that I went on Hulu and finished the first season. I mean, I know this show has good enough writing and acting that I should be watching it but...it's hard to motivate myself to actually do it. The first season ended on a cliff-hanger that didn't really work. The car crash felt more like a mid-season cliff-hanger than a season finale cliff-hanger. The marriage proposal was between two characters I could care less about. It really didn't make me want to watch the second season premiere at all. The only reason I saw it was because I wanted to check in on the show for the blog and because I have a television where I can watch live broadcasts. It was on after Modern Family so it didn't require any effort from me to tune in. I'm sure if that wasn't the case then I wouldn't have bothered tuning in. It's not a decision I would have regretted it. I have no real interest in continuing to watch Nashville and this premiere didn't really give me any reason to do so. This is because Nashville has a lot going for it but it can't help but be one thing: immensely boring. Why is that?
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Episode 1: Suddenly Last Summer
Episode 2: First Days
By: Carlos Uribe
Modern Family is about a traditional nuclear family, a multi-generational family, and a gay family.
Modern Family begins a one-hour premiere. There are two episodes that aren't really related but they both open the season.
The first episode takes place over the summer. A significant portion of the episode concentrates on most of the characters trying to get rid of their kids. It sounds awful but they are hoping for some kind of break. For Phil and Claire, it's to have a kid-free week. For Jay, it's to avoid being bombarded with Gloria's Colombian family. It makes sense although the latter is largely playing on racial stereotypes. The two suffer different obstacles. Jay is worried that Gloria's close attachment to her son might make her reconsider sending Manny to Colombia by himself. He has to pull all of the stops to make sure that Manny is able to get on board. This creates some pretty good comedic scenes. At the end, he's the one that really ends up missing Manny. On the other side, Phil and Claire have to find a way to get their kids to change dates. This task is largely left up to Phil. Phil tries his best to manipulate Alex into changing the dates she helps Habitat for Humanity by making her feel guilty for going so far away. When he needs her to change again, he basically makes the point that he has to learn to let go and she has to become independent. The reason he has to change is because Luke refuses to budge because he likes a girl. As for Haley, Phil has to bribe her before threatening her. In the end, he's able to get what he wants. I'll admit I was a little confused during the episode because Phil talked about Haley going back to school. Since she had graduated high school but been kicked out of college, it seemed like a continuity disconnection. It's possible I had forgotten that she had decided to attend community college from last season but it would have been nice to have gotten a reminder. It has been three months after all. Overall, these two plots were solid on their own but they really weren't anything special. They had their moments but they were predictable.
- Bringing Up Baby
- The Butler's Escape
- Open House of Horrors
- Yard Sale
- Mistery Date
- When a Tree Falls
- Diamond in the Rough
- New Year's Eve
- Party Crasher
- A Slight at the Opera
- Heart Broken
- Bad Hair Day (Mini-Review)
- Best Men
- The Wow Factor
- The Future Dunphys
- Flip Flop
- Career Day
- My Hero
- Games People Play
- Goodnight Gracie