Thursday, April 17, 2003


I'm no expert at reading into quarterly reports, but I always find it intriguing when a company announcing it's losing money is taken as a positive sign. Netlix, my preferred online DVD rental service, reported earnings today and the news was good. For the quarter, the company had a net loss of $4.5 million, or 20 cents a share. That compared to a net loss of $4.5 million in the first quarter last year, but a loss of $2.20 a share. What confuses me is the profit figure of $31,000. How can a company operate at a net loss and make a profit? All that doesn't sound so good on the surface, but the numbers show that the company is showing outstanding growth at a faster rate than expected. I'm a huge fan of the service, which allows me to rent 3 movies at a time from my online rental queue, and I can rent as many movies as I want for 20 bucks a month. The postage is paid and the turnaround is a lightning fast three days. I'm catching up on all kinds of old movies -- foreign films, musicals, classics, new releases -- and I always have something on hand that I want to watch. The best part is that since I've been using Netflix I haven't set foot in a Blockbuster Video store. Take that, you evil corporate bastards!

Wednesday, April 16, 2003


This may not be common knowledge, but through six seasons of sitcom television I have yet to work on a show that made it to its second season. Technically, this is the second season of "Watching Ellie", but they've only produced a total of 19 episodes, so it's as if they've only done one real season. After assisting the writing staffs of "Boston Common", "Alright Already", "Maggie Winters", "Sugar Hill", "Battery Park", and "The Ellen Show", I may actually have a shot of working on a returning show. Last night was the season premiere of "Watching Ellie" and America was indeed watching. The show finished second in its time slot to one of my favorites, "24", and retained 88% of its lead-in audience, which was a Museum of Television and Radio special honoring the funniest women in comedy. Next week, the show will stay in its regular time slot at 9:30pm on Tuesday, but it will be preceeded by "Frasier", which is slumping badly this season and dying a slow death. Hopefully, people will continue to watch "Ellie" and I won't have to struggle with my employment search next season. Maybe I'll actually be given a shot as a baby writer...

Tuesday, April 15, 2003


Over at The Hot Button, internet film columnist extraodinaire David Poland has put together his Big Summer Movie Preview before escaping for a spring fling in Bermuda. He's pretty confident that this is going to be a blockbuster summer in terms of quality and box office. I'm hoping he's right.

Monday, April 14, 2003


As Brenda so eloquently stated on "Six Feet Under" last night, "Timing is everything in life." Three years ago, Roy Williams was offered the job as head basketball coach at North Carolina, his alma mater, replacing the retiring Bill Guthridge. Guthridge had succeeded the legendary Dean Smith, Williams' mentor, just a couple of years earlier. Back then, the timing wasn't right for Roy Williams, as he declined the offer and stayed at Kansas. In the three-year span since, Williams led Kansas to two Final Fours, this year and last, but failed to win his elusive first national championship both times. The timing must be right now, because Roy Williams broke the news to his Jayhawk players today that he's leaving Kansas to seize a second golden opportunity to click his heels and return home as the coach of the North Carolina Tarheels.

And somewhere, Matt Doherty is feeling like an even bigger asshole than he already was...


Salon's outstanding television correspondent gets a little fired up about Dennis Miller's HBO special "The Raw Feed", which aired live this Saturday night. In her article entitled "Dennis the Menace", the astute critic lambasts Miller's latest stand-up performance and dissects his reference-laden brand of humor. If you came here looking for beer and thought the title was a typo, your Miller Time awaits here...