Wednesday, April 21, 2004


Tonight was to have marked the first time a "Written By Barry Langer" credit appeared on a network sitcom. However, as previously reported, CBS cancelled "The Stones" a few weeks ago. Instead of "The Stones," CBS will be rolling the dice for big ratings with a rerun of "Yes, Dear." I suggest you avoid that pitiful excuse for comedy like the plague and head over to Fox for some soapy fun on "The O.C.", which thankfully just received a pick up order for next season. And don't worry, I'm confident that you'll be seeing the "Written By Barry Langer" credit plenty in the future. Then one day... "Created By Barry Langer"

Tuesday, April 20, 2004


Believe me, I'm well aware that I've been slack in my blogging... duties, but a couple of items caught my attention today and I'm bloggin' the hell out of 'em.

The first item is a press release announcing Blender magazine's 50 Worst Songs Ever! The list will be published in Blender's upcoming issue, and will be the basis for a VH1 special called -- I'm not making this up -- 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs Ever.

The second item is an outstanding photo essay on Rem Koolhaas by Christopher Hawthorne on Slate. I'll admit to possessing only a superficial knowledge of the world of architecture, but it's a subject that fascinates me and I'm always looking to learn more. On instinct, I find Koolhaas' buildings and designs to be dazzling and daring, but I want to have a better understanding of the ideas behind the concepts. On the recommendation of the photo essayist, I'm planning on reading Rem Koolhaas' Delirious New York. Then I'm going to build my own city. But, under no circumstances will I be using rock 'n roll as my foundation.


I got the flues. And I got it bad. Caught the flu bug from My Girl and have basically been bed-ridden since Friday. Between the two of us, we've gone through nine boxes of Kleenex, two bottles of Dayquil, and a bottle and a half of Nyquil in five days. It's ugly. It's phlegmy. It's mucousy. It's complete lethargy.

While laid up, I've taken advantage of the downtime to catch up on some sitcoms. I must admit, one of my greatest pleasures these days is deleting things off TiVo after I've watched them. We have two TiVo's in our household, with a maximum of 115 hours of storage capacity, yet we're still fighting a losing battle. So, forced by illness to sit still, I watched the entire season to date of "Scrubs". Now, I'm not going to claim that "Scrubs" is the best show on TV, but I have a soft spot for it. I really enjoy the characters and the tone, and it's a great show to watch when you're sick. Despite having to continually lobby to keep saving the episodes, TiVo allowed me to create my own "Scrubs" marathon when I really needed it. So, now I'm up to date and I'm looking forward to Turk and Carla's upcoming wedding.

In addtion to about twelve episodes of "Scrubs," I also watched three episodes of "Arrested Development", which just cracks me up. Quite possibly the funniest show on television right now. It's a shame nobody watches it. Unless you're "The X-Files" eight years ago, 9:30 Sunday night on Fox is not a great place to be. Also, "Arrested Development" is not broad comedy. It's unfamiliar and unique, and if you're going to do that kind of comedy, generally you want to be on HBO or Comedy Central or BBC America or Bravo or some place on the dial where smart, curious people are actually looking for quality stuff. These days, the networks aren't particularly known for breeding hilarity. I just hope Fox shows some patience and sticks with this wickedly funny show until the people show up. On a personal note, I think Buster is my favorite character on the show.

So, if you're scoring at home, that's 12 for "Scrubs," 3 for "Arrested Develepment," and you can add 3 for "Significant Others". Airing on Bravo, this show about four couples in therapy features a gifted group of improvisational actors who do a skillful job of finding truth and humor in portraying seemingly real relationships. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend checking it out. They only made a total of six episodes, and Bravo repeats them frequently, so it won't be difficult to get up to speed if you so desire.

To round out the scorecard, you can chalk up 3 God-awful "Friends" episodes from this season, and 3 funny "Will & Grace" episodes from the current season that I worked on but never saw cut together. Add it all up and you get comedy overload. By the end of it, I couldn't even bring myself to laugh at the things I thought were funny. But, I did manage to mix in a ton a of sports along the way. Watched a very disappointing Yankees-Red Sox game, a special Friday night telecast on Fox. The Yanks were listless and lifeless, playing a poor brand of baseball and not having much fun doing it. They wound up losing three out of four to the detested Red Sox, culminating in yesterday's late inning collapse on Patriots Day. So the Red Sox win Round 1. But I wouldn't write the Yanks off just yet. They have too much payroll and too much talent. I mean, come on, A-Rod's not going to hit .150 for the entire season.

Besides baseball, I also watched some playoff hockey and portions of each of the opening round games in the NBA playoffs. The only game I was truly invested in was the Miami Heat game. I've been a Heat fan since they were born, having attended the first ever regular season Heat game -- a twenty-point loss to the Clippers. I was excited to see them back in the playoffs for the first time in a while, and they've got a really young, athletic, and exciting team. True to form, they took control of the game against the New Orleans Hornets, only to show their youth and inexperience in a horrendous scoring drought down the stretch. The Hornets came all the way back from a 12-point fourth quarter deficit to tie the game in the final minute. It took a driving, curling, twisting clutch play by Miami rookie phenom Dwayne Wade to win the game with one second left on the clock. Unbelievably frustrating to watch them squander the lead with such inept play, then tremendously exciting to see them pull it out in such dramatic fashion.

All this from the comfort of my own bed. Armed only with the TiVo remote. And some Dayquil, and a few mugs of Cold Care tea, and a bag of Halls Mentho-Lyptus cough drops, and an endless stream of Kleenex with Aloe...