Smash TV: Top Five Reasons Why We Think Jamie Oliver Will Get His Ass Kicked on “Food Revolution”

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 | SMASH Pop Culture with 1 Comment

Jamie Oliver Food Revolution

Last week saw the much-hyped premiere of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on ABC. It did pretty well in the ratings (well, who watches TV on Friday nights anyways?) and it was all over the media outlets, from Larry King Live to the Oprah Winfrey Show. The preternaturally boyish celebrity chef from England, with executive producer (and also boyish) Ryan Seacrest in tow, were busy telling the nation that it was facing a crisis in how poorly its children were eating in public schools all over America. Read the rest of this entry »

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Letterman’s Creepy TV Confession: What’s Next?

Monday, October 5th, 2009 | SMASH Pop Culture, SMASH TV with 1 Comment

Letterman Confession

David Letterman’s admission of an extortion plot and sexual liaison with his own female staffers at the Late Show on Thursday night’s broadcast was surely disturbing, but it also made for compelling TV. Letterman revealed that he had been blackmailed by someone for $2 million who had information about sexual relationships Letterman had had with female members of his own staff over the years. Letterman claimed he had testified with a grand jury and that he had been cooperating with authorities to expose the extortion case. He was also coming clean, so to speak, as a way of saving himself, his family, friends and co-workers, and, he said, his own job.  It’s probably a good idea that Letterman was so forthcoming, but the way he did so in front of his studio audience was unsettling, at times humorous, to say the least. Read the rest of this entry »

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Smash TV: In Search of the New Top Chef Master, Rick Bayless

Monday, August 24th, 2009 | SMASH Pop Culture with 1 Comment

Frontera Grill

We’re big fans of “Top Chef”. The other night the new season of “Top Chef Las Vegas” began just as this past summer’s “Top Chef Masters” was ending. The “Masters” series focused on 24 of the best and most accomplished chefs in America, pitting them in challenges each week. The winner, announced on Wednesday night, was awarded $100,000 that went to the chef’s charity. This year’s Master, went to famed Chicago restaurateur and owner of  Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, Rick Bayless. Read the rest of this entry »

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Smash TV: Two Minute Warning: Keyshawn Johnson is “Tackling Design”

Thursday, July 16th, 2009 | SMASH TV with 1 Comment

A Personal Foul

Keyshawn Johnson is not an interior designer. But that’s what the producers of his new eponymously named reality series want you to believe.

Keyshawn Johnson Picking Colors

In this by-the-numbers show, “Keyshawn Johnson: Tackling Design”, it’s unclear what the focus really is. Is it a how-to show on turning a drab home interior into something vibrant and fresh, complete with actual instructions or at least a few minutes discussing how to use flocked wallpaper or how to use primer to paint walls?

On that score, the show fails miserably and no serious aficionado of HGTV would ever take this half-hour show seriously. At least on “Color Splash”, the fey host with the sleeveless tees shows an admirable sense of aesthetics and an overall vision of how to really transform, say, a family room. Read the rest of this entry »

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SMASH TV: Harper’s Island Finale–It Was the Groom!

Monday, July 13th, 2009 | SMASH TV with No Comments »

Harper's Island

Once again I have squandered several weeks of Saturday night summers by watching TV. Last year it was “Swingtown”, the retro series whose plot seemed only to consist of upwardly mobile Chicago swingers in the bell bottomed, sideburned 70s. It even had a cool soundtrack that CBS endlessly plugged; a Time-Life 70s hit collection CD was hawked every week in a commercial by that old Easy Rider himself, Peter Fonda! Read the rest of this entry »

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Smash TV Spring Roundup: The Five Shows You Can’t Miss

Monday, March 23rd, 2009 | SMASH TV with 1 Comment

Spring 2009 TV

Spring 2009 TV

Spring finally arrived on Friday and you’d think the only event worth catching on TV is all the March Madness basketball on CBS. There have been some thrilling games for sure and the Sweet 16 will continue to battle it out this week and lead up to the Final Four –and huge ratings for sure—all the way into April.

Spring is also the time for networks, both mainstream and cable, to unveil some “mid-season” programming right after the hoopla of the large events like the Oscars and Grammys, which roll through town in early to mid-February. Sweeps period is still February, but given the recent writers’ strike, it seems like some of the old calendar dates for TV entertainment are changing. For one thing, TV is now pretty much all season. Large-scale productions like the dull “Kings” on NBC or new sitcoms (what, I thought they were dead) like “Better off Ted” and “In the Motherhood” are starting later than what used to be called “mid-season”. A couple of shows, a crime drama on NBC with Ben MacKenzie (“The OC”), called “Southland” and a sitcom with veteran Bob Saget called “Surviving Suburbia” (not a catchy title) bow on April 9 and April 6, respectively. Read the rest of this entry »

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Smash TV: Survivor Gabon, Weeks 9 and 10

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 | SMASH TV with No Comments »

Survivor Gabon

After Week Eight’s GREATEST EPISODE EVER in the “Survivor” enterprise, this week’s episode was CBS’s way to do the yearly Thanksgiving catch-up. This is the time for all families who have been belching up their turkey meals on a Thursday night to snooze in front of their fireplaces and remind themselves what a blast Survivor Gabon has been this season. And, there is ample opportunity to hop in and join all the shenanigans. Because this week, CBS managed to actually show not just some nicely edited recaps from the first several weeks, but it also unveiled some of the contestants’ application videos. Some were quite revealing because it helped explain some of the treacherous and evil behavior of some of the castaways up to now. Read the rest of this entry »

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Smash TV: Survivor: Gabon, Week 8

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 | SMASH TV with No Comments »

Survivor Gabon

27 days in captivity with the contestants and this is what we have learned about the Survivor: Gabon this season thus far:

•    This has been a season of blindsides. And not just this, but, in true safari style, some of the victims have been big lions. Ace the mastermind, the sometime British-accented guru: gone. Marcus, the ringmaster doctor who felt he could sway anyone with a wave of a hand: gone. And last week, it was Charlie, the lawyer from New York, who was also as self confident as Marcus, and was possibly in a bro-mance with him, and was trying to call the shots on Fang with evil Corinne: gone. Not that the remaining players are all weaklings, because they’re not. But there is some kind of triumphalism in that comparative weaklings like Susie and Ken, and especially Crystal are moving past the established players. Read the rest of this entry »

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SMASHgods TV: Top Chef New York, Week 1

Monday, November 17th, 2008 | SMASH TV with No Comments »

Top Chef

Tim Goodman of the SF Chronicle wrote an insightful post this week about what makes a good reality show.  For all the “dreck” in current so-called reality shows like “The Hills” and “Real Housewives of Atlanta”, there is also a slew of decent reality shows that are in fact competition shows that, as Goodman states, are “acceptable” non-scripted programs. A show like “Project Runway” inspires awe because the contestants/designers literally have to produce each week, creating, fussing, crying, screaming, and then one of them is deemed “Out” by the Teutonically blunt Heidi Klum, who usually shows up wearing something pretty amazing. Read the rest of this entry »

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