CheekyMF! Rant: Hey NBC, why don’t you sit don’t for a bit, we need to have a talk.

The time has come when we must address this. It’s gone on far too long and I just can’t watch this network I grew up adoring frenetically spiral downwards any longer. You’ve got to stop self-destructing, NBC, there’s no other way to say it.

I don’t know if it’s booze or pills. Maybe you’ve gotten yourself hooked on the reefer, but whatever is happening, it has to come to an end.

I grew up knowing that Thursday night could be funny because of you. I can’t begin to count how many Saturday nights were spent quietly awake in my bed, waiting for my parents to finally go to bed so I could come out and laugh at Adam Sandler and David Space dressed as Gap Girls. Five whole seasons of quotable “Newsradio” dialogue that still comes out of my mouth on a near daily basis…. We had some good times, right?

You can get to that place again, but it’s not by putting shows like “Community” and “Best Friends Forever” in limbo while “Whitney!” and “Are you there, Chelsea?” drag you down. When every show has shit for ratings, maybe you need to start looking at why. And I know it hurts to look inside yourself and own your failures, but please, stop now, take a step back, re-assess, and just look at what you’re doing to yourself for a minute.

A fan base is a finicky thing and it takes time. And while you think you’re doing the best for the Parham/St. Claire show by pairing it up with other “girl” shows, you’re really not. The fan base that would have inevitably proven the core for “Best Friends..” is simply not going to show up for Whitney Cummings or Chelsea Handler. I forgot the show was on every week if I’m being really honest. Only tended to remember when Friday morning came around and I realized it had been a while since I’d seen a new ep.

I know that at the end of the day, not every show can stay on the air. And what speaks to the broadest audience and gets the cheapest laugh is what’s likely to win out…but this one hurts, NBC. It hurts to see you give such a small chance to a show that had such potential and still keep shows that have been around for longer and seemed to have inspired less of a fan base. And perhaps that’s what hurts the most, it’s those shows lack of a fan base that cost this show from ever getting a “real” showing.

Please get help, my dear, sweet, NBC. Get help before there isn’t a network left to save.

All my love,

Maya F.

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CheekyMF! Review: Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23.

I love this show. There, I said it, I just came right out and said it. Sure I had my reservations initially, the cheesy title, the lack of a commitment to the word “bitch” itself. Perhaps most importantly, the fact that everyone already has a “Chloe” in their lives and…well…is that really the territory we want to venture into during our “zoning out in front of the tube” time?

Turns out, yes, the answer is yes. The show focuses on the titular “B”, Chloe, (played by Krysten Ritter), her bad girl shenanigans, and her newest roommate, a very good girl, June, (played by Dreama Walker). In the pilot episode, (released on Hulu in advance of the show’s April 11th premiere), June’s world is turned upside down when she shows up in New York to start her shiny new Wall Street job just as the recession has hit. It’s in her apartment search that we’re introduced to Chloe. A, yes, bitchy chick, who we quickly find out has made a career out of scamming bright-eyed & bushy-tailed young gals “just off the bus”.

After having a chance to catch the second episode, I was sold. The growing friendship between Chloe and June is apparent, even if June herself is skittish of the idea. A bitch can be a great friend to have, just, you know, as long as your boyfriend isn’t a cheating asshole. That said, the premise alone would be a stretch to carry an entire series. Luckily, this show has help.

The first of our show carriers comes in the form of “The Dawson”, (and you have to understand that was said in my best Jason Mewes voice!!), James Van Der Beek himself. As himself. Chloe’s ex boyfriend/current non-gay “gay best friend”. It’s a fantastic addition that, well, I mean, come on, do I really have to justify this one? He’s a really decent actor. He made an entire country of 90’s teenage girls fall in looooooove with him, just by pouting his way into our hearts, then he pulled out that little accent in Varsity Blues….oh, and yeah…Haven’t you seen this? Psycho killer, Qu’est-ce que c’est.

This show also gives us another look at Liza Lapira, (NCIS, Psych), as Chloe’s last roommate who appears to be half desiring of vengeance for what Chloe put her though, but also half in love with her. What results is wholly laugh inducing.

With a solid cast and what appears to be decent writing, this show feels like it actually has a chance on surviving in the world of second week cancellations. I hope so, at least.

CheekyMF! Review: @DaveKrumholtz on Raising Hope and incidentally, why I hate The A.V. Club.

I’ve recently started to listen to Sklarbro Country as a way to fill time that would have otherwise been occupied by ESPN, as, well, it’s still March, and you don’t have to look far to find what grinds my gears about that fact. Anywho, in one of the podcasts, Patton Oswalt started to discuss how being the first to hate something is cool these days, and well, all honesty, for a long time now I’ve thought that’s what The A.V. Club was all about.

The “first to shit on the prize wins” kind of concept, ya know, and they really didn’t do much to change my thinking with their review of David Krumholtz’s guest spot on “Raising Hope” this week.

For the first time, I think ever, I was actually in front of the TV, not called away at the last minute or stuck in traffic, but actually ready and waiting to watch this week’s episode of the newest addition to the Garcia-verse. In part because the stars were aligned “just so”, but also because of Krumholtz’s guest appearance on the show–

I should explain–I’ve been following him on Twitter for quite some time now, and his drunken revelry and tweet regret are the type of giggle-inducing entertainment that you really…just can’t buy.

That said, a man whose turn as the Doctor-murdering Paul Sobriki in “ER” secured the transition for him, in my mind, from child actor to “serious” actor, he became slightly hard to watch in serious roles. As much as there is the line between fantasy and fiction, I was at a point in my life where I was still able to receive tweets through my text inbox and still be able to use my phone for well, life. I would be struggling to find something to watch and end up settling on say, “Numb3rs”, and then, a few minutes into it, look down when my phone dinged and read something about farts. Or booze. Possibly farts and booze. It kinda killed the seriousness at hand of the show, no one’s fault but my own, but given the choice between getting a grip on my Twitter addiction enough to put it down to watch a TV show or stop trying to watch serious shit when Twitter fun is to be had? The latter wins out. Every time.

So, I was beyond amped when I read that Krumholtz would be doing a guest spot on “Raising Hope”. I’ve adored the show for a while now thanks to a random suggestion on Get Glue, and, well, comedies don’t require one to “Put Twitter Down”, so I busted my ass to make sure my day went smoothly enough to watch it on time. Not have to wait til fucking Wednesday to get my Chance on.

And so I watched. And it was glorious. The over acting of the blind character he portrayed was pretty damn funny. His super power like hearing even funnier.

It certainly wasn’t the subtle choice, but given this show’s unlikely premise of a one night stand with a serial killer producing an adorable, but possibly evil offspring that a lower class family has to then raise, a lower class family, that, it needs to be said, in this very episode, can’t even afford the Sunday paper, so the only solution is to script, and put on a performance, (Complete with costumes!!), of what the Sunday Funnies might have been–it’s quite frankly, the obvious choice.

This show isn’t about the subtlety. It’s just a funny show, and sometimes funny isn’t subtle.

Side note: I really think people that hate TV shouldn’t strive to make a career out of writing about TV. Now you’re just being a dick.

CheekyMF! Review: Awake.

Um, well, I think I might love this show. This one is really hard for me as it has every hallmark of being canceled very soon into it’s run. The back and forth between the two psychiatrists, and ohdeargod!, the scene at the end of the second episode with Laura Innes meeting with the mysterious stranger set off an hours long discussion about what they could have done to this poor detective…

(Here is where I’m going to take a moment and slightly bitch about the fact that there was a 30 second peek into what’s really going on here and then nothing, nothing, nothing else about it and now we’re two more episodes in…possibly not the best idea given that NBC probably won’t give this show a fair chance! I guess what I’m saying here, is I really don’t want it to get canceled, but if it does, I would so rather not be left hanging!!)

NBC stuck this show in a place where, I don’t care what A.V. Club says, is NBC’s “We’re pretty cool with this show failing” time slot, the third primetime hour on Thursday. I mean, this is such a fail spot, that, and I don’t know if you remember this, but it once expanded, to cover all the week nights that exist and featured one Jay Leno. Since “ER” left, this spot has held nothing but despair for the likes of comedies, drama, and thanks to Mr. Leno, variety, nothing will stick here.

And this is why I worry about “Awake”. A show about a detective whose wife and son were killed in separate realities and is now left living a splintered existence of what could ultimately be two different waking dreams is a hard sell to a world with 5 gazillion channels. And the internet. And iPads. You’ve got a lot of competition is all I’m saying. And people are very easily distracted. (Here’s looking at you, average page view of 1 & 1/2 minutes!)

Personally, I watched the pilot on Hulu a few weeks prior to it actually airing, and then completely forgot when it was supposed to be on, and just happened to have left the TV on “Up All Night” on the night of Awake’s second episode. Perhaps the internet preview was not the best move for a show with so much against it already.

Side Note: NBC, if you’re listening, can you please put “Up All Night” back on Wednesday nights? You know, with all that other stuff my demographic of childless, young denizens of the night have no desire to watch? (Side Side Note: Yes, I’m speaking of the unnecessarily vulgar, about to be engaged “Whitney!” and the please-don’t-make-me-think-of-her-name-even-though-she’s-not-the-star-of-the-show-the-thought-conjures-up-the-image-of-her-haggard-ass, “Are you there, Chelsea?”)

Anyway, it has a bad lead in, a time slot that NBC has seemingly given up on, but it’s a fantastic show.

Gripping, amazing writing, a story that has so many directions it can go in…for what it’s worth, this show has the kind of depth usually reserved for programming on NBC’s sister station, the USA network…but I’m worried about it.

If for no other reason than the fact that those are generally the symptoms of a show gone too soon.

Please watch this show. Please catch up on the episodes that have aired so far on Hulu. See, I’ve made it super easy for ya, all you have to do is click. Go. Now. For reals, you will not regret this, well worth the time.

Did I mention B.D. Wong is in it?

And Wilmer Valderrama?

Just go. Trust me.

Show NBC that it can do so much better than just settling for being a “top 10 network”.

CheekyMF! Sports: The NCAA SHOULD pay student athletes. Hear me out…

I know there have been variations of this argument made to death, but in light of March Madness screwing with my regular diet of Sports Center and Dr. Pepper to get through my days, I’ve been made sick by the whole process once again. I’m sorry, but if you’re going to make money off of someone putting their body at risk for injury and wear and tear, I’m never going to feel OK about that person basically doing it for room and board.

I know the argument can be made that many student athletes are in school on athletic scholarships thereby receiving an education, which could be used for potential financial gain in life, but still, the NCAA makes a fucking arseload of money off of these kids and the kids see relatively little in return.

And the system of giving them nothing, well, quite frankly, doesn’t exist. “Paying” for the play of college athletes has been something that has been an issue since the inception of collegiate athleticism itself. In the early days of Yale and Harvard, you know, when they were still broke as shit and not Ivy League material themselves, they still “paid” for their athletes.

This isn’t a situation where the system once worked and has since become broken, this is one in which the system was created to “clean things up” and in the process the system became the profiteer.

I get that there is a need for a place where not-quite-ready-for-pro-ball athletes need to play, so I can’t stand behind the theory that college athletics needs to simply be abolished. All honesty, it’s become so ingrained in our culture that to make it disappear would be completely implausible…

So, my suggestion is to make it right: If any college sport produces over 10 million dollars in ad revenue each year, at least a small percentage of that revenue needs to be shared with the athletes.

Even if it just came down to a check for a couple of hundred bucks, perhaps a thousand per semester, at least something to show that you’re not just earning ridiculous profits off of the actions of the players.

A 2010 report by Ithaca College researchers showed that the average full scholarship athlete was still responsible for $2900 in out of pocket funds for school-related expenses, some estimates at other colleges place that number even higher with five fucking digits attached to it….

Given that not a year goes by without hearing of some “pay for play” scandal, we all know that to say it’s the rarity is an outright lie. I posit that the rarity is those that are caught…

It’s going to happen one way or another, so I say either let that shit fly and get rid of the NCAA and it’s arbitrary system of “protecting the athletes” while exploiting them for gain altogether….

-or-

We make those fuckers pony up something to the students.

In this system, every student would receive the same percentage whether they play five minutes or forty five. Schools found to be in violation, (any payments made to students outside of NCAA approved “Royalty” payments), would be eligible for an immediate “death penalty”.

A student going to North Carolina would receive the same payment as a student going to Timbuktu U, as long as they are an eligible college with an eligible athletics department, every student has to be treated identically for this to work. This isn’t pro ball we’re talking about here, this is just a payment to the student on behalf of the NCAA for the right to televise said student’s likeness.

Boosters caught attempting to circumvent the system receive a ten year ban. Harsh enough penalties do have a tendency to curb the problem, but only when fairness is in play. Right now, it isn’t, and I can’t honestly say that I see what some boosters are doing as a bad thing. I mean, some of these students need the extra financial help, to say that every student that goes to school to play ball is a student that would be there purely for academia is bullshit. This is the motivator for some of these students and we need to recognize that. In at least some way. Would giving every student in a profitable college sport a grand a year to just..help..subsidize out of pocket costs a bit really break the NCAA? It’s no longer an amateur sport when it’s become this profitable. To keep the players stuck in the delusion that it is, is beyond reprehensible.

Now, bear in mind, I’m just spitballing shit here, but the point I’m getting to is the NCAA never worked. It was created to try and fix a broken system and somehow just fell into a ton of de facto power that it really never deserved in the first place. Players still receive enticements to play at certain schools. If they didn’t we wouldn’t hear about so many records being discredited…

The NCAA has become nothing more than a clearinghouse for advertising dollars…

It’s a travesty all around…

Fix it. Overhaul it. Pay the players something so that the nothing they’re receiving currently isn’t offset by the guilt of boosters. And if you can’t–Or perhaps you won’t–

Then you, my dearest NCAA, you’re the one that needs to be put to pasture.

CheekyMF! Review: The Simpsons Tapped Out game.

Let me start by saying, this game is reserved for those who truly just hate themselves. I’m not sure quite what happened here, but EA produced this game in conjunction with Fox and decided to, I suppose, test the waters with a small marketing campaign on Hulu. Within hours, the ads had been pulled, the server had crashed and those who did get what has ultimately become a beta test of the game..well, we were in for an adventure that’s turned out to be more heartache than silly fun.

As it stands in this “Farmville-esque” take on Springfield’s first family, I have no less than 28 distinct “universes” saved under my username. When I first downloaded the game, it would crash almost as soon as the little movie would start up, unsure whether this was due to my phone’s overwhelmingly outdated capacity or the game itself–I kept trying. Each load attempt resulted in an individual universe being created and saved. Now, every time I open the game up, I have to cycle through a vast majority of the 28 to get to the only active universe I have.

Don’t ask me how, but I’ve somehow managed to get to Level 11. ‘Twas no easy task though. Even in that universe, if I can’t manage to exit out of the game in just the right way, (Have I not mentioned the lack of a ‘Save’ function yet? WTF?!? Seriously, EA, this is Gaming 101!!!!), the next time I manage to win the universe lottery and get into my actual game, all of the Springfeldians are back at the tasks I previously freed them from. Any new buildings that should be “under construction” have now mysteriously disappeared. Every step forward takes me at least one back.

As of the last time I checked, this game was still not listed as available in the app store after having been pulled just a day or so after the initial release. I’m half expecting that when it is available, and I delete and re-install, I can rid myself of the excess baggage created when the initial server meltdown re-enacted the Nuclear meltdown that the game was based upon. Well, that’s what I hope at least. Until then, I will still play it. Still attempt my hardest to level up even though the time spent playing the actual game is nothing compared to the time I spend just trying to load it all proper like.

And of course, I will still mutter “fuck!” under my breath every time I tap Homer ten times in a row and I am not awarded a free donut as I was promised in the initial advertisement for the game.

I’ve come this far, why stop with the mindless torture now?

UPDATE: EA has finally responded to the issue, but with a solution that may or may not be something one would consider “acceptable” from a company who IS gaming. For more, see: mayacadence.info

Blackout

Thanks for the post, Vernon Lowe

A big storm came through the other night and all the power went out. That means I had no cable orwireless internet service, so I was bored out of my mind. I have a big paper due next week, so the storm completely threw off my schedule since I had planned on working on it. I didn’t have any good books to read on hand, and on top of it my dog was really scared of the storm and was freaking out all night. He was pacing back and forth and wouldn’t go to sleep, so I couldn’t sleep either. It made me think about how dependent we have become on technology. I couldn’t even manage to go one night without my TV and computer without going nuts. I decided I was going to start reading more so that next time there was a power outage I would have something to do. Next time there is a blackout I will be prepared with candles, a good book, and a bottle of wine so that I can have a nice, calm night by candlelight.