Dots & Slashes
What ARE "Dots" and "Slashes"...?
In the TV world there's "cheers and jeers." In the movie world there's "thumbs up" and "thumbs down." Well, here in cyberspace, there are (...) dots and (/) slashes. Such are the icons for this web site's own quickie "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" list, which is added to whenever the latest entertainment news requires it. What news bytes hit their mark, and which should be slashed? Here are the latest of them.
Feel free to contribute. As always, review submissions are accepted!
Fall/Early Winter, 2007
Slash : To the Golden Globes, for not nominating Disney's Enchanted as one of the Best Musical/Comedies of the year. Okay; so Oscar gets a free pass, since Best Picture in Academy Award terms means best overall picture, and very rarely does comedy or musical trump out drama or epic. Yet the Globes have this neat way of dividing best drama from best musical. So what do they do? They snatch defeat from the jaws of victory; that's what! Disney's Enchanted was more than the best comedy of the year, or the best musical; it was both. There's only one word for anyone who disagrees: wrong. To have not even nominated the best musical/comedy of the year is a travesty only explained in one way: they never saw the movie. Not to be one of those guys who uses Rotten Tomatoes to win yet another "the movie was bad/good" argument, though come on: 93% of all professional critics can't be wrong!
DOT : To some of the finest holiday gifts, for fans of various TV series. Fans of various cable series got special holiday episodes, weeks before their planned fourth-season premieres in 2008. The Closer offered a new two-hour episode, while Monk and Psych offered new holiday-themed episodes as well. Meanwhile, fans of the FOX crime drama Bones got to have their cake and eat it too, in the form of Bones (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz) sharing a kiss under the mistletoe...without losing the credibility of the story. The idea is that Bones and Booth are "just friends" even though there's some serious chemistry between them. We all know that as soon as they hooked up, the episode would have "series finale" written all over it...unless, for example, they were tricked into kissing each other. Bones needs a favor from a judge, and what does the hopelessly romantic judge want in return, but to have Bones and Booth kiss under the mistletoe. This is the sort of holiday episode fans want, regardless of the dark-spirited crime involved. Whose murder is being investigated? Of course: Santa Claus...though not the "real one," so rest easy tonight, kids!
Slash : To, conversely, a brutal insult to fans, in the form of CSI's final two-part story arc of the year. The sales pitch: an episode directed by William Friedkin, who directed To Live and Die in L.A....arguably, the movie which made series lead William Petersen a star. Yet the first time you heard this "unforgettable" episode would not air until after sweeps, we all should've guessed how flawed it was. As well "directed" as it was poorly scripted, one might ask if writer Dustin Lee Abraham had ever watched a single episode of the series (FYI: he has...though it doesn't show, does it?). The story had you believe that Warrick (Gary Dourdan) ---after eight years, and hundreds of cases solved--- was suddenly a mental case, screwing up a murder investigation to the point of seemingly looking like one of the main suspects. To make matters worse: Grissom (Petersen) treats Warrick like this was their first case together, and why not, when Warrick acts like this was the first murder case he ever tried to solve! Seeing Warrick as the "Gilligan" of the CSI island was painful to watch. If this was meant as a "holiday gift"; may we have the gift receipt?
DOT : To Julianne Hough, for adding such an enjoyable breath of fresh air to the recently-completed fifth season of ABC's Dancing With the Stars. Though she is the professional dancer and not the "celebrity" in her duet (her designated celebrity partner was two-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves), we see big things in Julianne's future. It's saying something for Julianne, as a professional, that she was able to take Helio straight to the finals, even though Helio had not a single professional dance lesson prior to this season. Yet it's Julianne's exuberant attitude and obvious love of dancing, which made every moment with Julianne and Helio shine. All I can say is: if any musical/comedy is casting right now, let us give you some casting advice: hire Julianne today.
Slash : To the upcoming season of Celebrity Apprentice, for rewarding the series' most bitchy non-celeb a spot in the celebrity circle. Okay; so maybe first season reality TV alums become quasi "Celebrities" in some way, like Richard Hatch or Amazing Race's "Team Guido." Yet Omarosa was so reviled by her first season cohorts; they actually played a few bars of "Hallelujah" when showing the teaser for the first episode, after she left. So now they're planning a "Celebrity" edition of The Apprentice, and among the celebrities who signed on are: rocker Gene Simmons, supermodel Carol Alt, actor Stephen Baldwin, Olympian Nadia Comaneci, The Sopranos' Vincent Pastore, and...Omarosa? There's no gentle way to say this except in acronym form: Seriously, The Donald, WTF? Is the message here that if you act like the biggest jackass that The Apprentice has ever endured, you earn a celebrity seat? Curious.
DOT : To a brilliant crossover that should've happened years ago. One of the big November sweeps episodes for CSI and Without a Trace will be a crossover, with the characters of each show coming onto the other. How cool will Thursday, November 8th be, with two hours of TV as cool as this? CSI will end with the crime solved, albeit with someone still missing. Who should solve the case, but the gang of Without a Trace, whose series airs immediately afterwards? That's the sort of November sweeps idea that we should see more of.
Slash : To networks not informing viewers that their shows run overtime. It's commonplace these days for some shows to pull a little "trick" to get you to stay for the following show; extending a more popular show to one or two minutes, and then quickly "jump" to the show afterwards. They problem: the networks are not informing Tivo/etc. that this is what they're going to do. So you're left with a whole bunch of recorded shows with no endings to them. Way to make your shows "popular," guys. Now we not only ignore your less popular shows; the shows we wanted to record don't have the endings to the show on them! Enough with the cheap tricks. If we don't watch your 9:00 show, it's because we don't want to. We do want to see the endings of the 8:00 shows, though. If we can't...well, we'll just have to tune into a different show, won't we?
Slash : To that stupid trick entertainment news programs do whenever promoting a new movie, paparazzi-style. Oh! Hilary Duff looks like she nearly drowned! More on this shocking news story later! Then later: tee-hee! It's all for her upcoming movie! Psych! They've been doing this all year; enough. One celebrity is apparently hurt. Another is "suddenly" pregnant. There are really cute ways to promote a movie, guys. This isn't one of them.
DOT : To one of the more fascinating Survivor seasons in years. Survivor China is not just another rubber-stamp beach in the middle of nowhere; it's a location that's as hard to survive in as it is totally fascinating. Best of all: it appears that CBS didn't want to cause World War 3, so all the contestants this season seem like decent, fun loving folk, and not the next Johnny Fairplay...or "Evel" Dick! Speaking of whom:
Slash : To the worst Big Brother of all time. Yes we're talking about "Evel" [sic] Dick, and his spoiled daughter Danielle, who together demoralized, dehumanized, and all out degraded not just their "opponents" this season, but the whole game itself. There's nobody above the mentality of a 12 year old that was actually rooting for the farting/belching/spitting mysoginist, Dick, who in horrifying unfairness, actually won half a million dollars for...what? Well; for one, he intentionally burned one female house guest with his lit cigarette. What is this: Big Brother: Trailer Park Edition? To kick and punch the "fun" of reality TV even further: he joked about how he'd like to rape a female house guest until she bled to death. Yet through it all; he won the game. Shame on you, CBS. Now do the moral, ethical, and outright intelligent decision...and cancel this stupid series.
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