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Reality Bites

Let's face it, folks -- come January, all of us are going to be a little more depressed and a lot more stupid. No, it's not because January and February in Minneapolis are generally soul-crushingly cold (although they generally are, indeed, soul-crushingly cold). This year, as you likely know, our television schedules are going to be flooded with reality television programming due to the prolonged writers' strike. (To which I sing "Solidarity Forever" to the Union.) But fear not, Blogulatorites -- there is a whole world of television available on DVD out there. So, here is a brief guide of what you can fill your time, at least until we get our beloved 30 Rock and Gossip Girl and Late Night with Conan O'Brien back on the air with original material.

HBO
I'm not going to go out on a limb and recommend one series over another here, because it's pretty obvious that most everything from this network is fantastic. For example, I'm watching Entourage right now and even that I don't totally hate. Of course, you can do a lot better -- you can watch presidential candidate Barack Obama's favorite TV show of all time -- HBO's The Wire (which also happens to be debuting its final season on January 6, unaffected by the writers' strike because it's been filmed already). And the show that Blogulator friend The Drax cast a "big-ass funeral scene" for, In Treatment, also debuts soon. If I needed any more reason to keep my HBO subscription, it is for this.

Go To Movies
Hey-a folks, it's the best movie season of the year right now! No, not summer -- awards season. Living close enough to the Minneapolis art house theaters gives Brigitte and I the opportunity to see some swell flicks like I'm Not There and No Country for Old Men and soon There Will Be Blood (P.T. Anderson, bay-bee!!!) and frankly, it enriches my soul to see good movies. Of course, I also get really great naps from movies like Stephen King's Sierra Mist and Southland Tales which friend of the Blogulator Unspar calls "the best movie of the century." If that's not recommendation enough for you to not watch reality television in January, I don't know what is.

Play Games
Someimes, it is fun to hang out with your friends without the distraction of moving picture entertainment, too! For example, try this one -- "Popcorn: The Video Game" is a wonderful card game to play with your friends. This game, developed by Chris and further evolved by others of the Blogulution, without getting to involved in the rules, involves cards, Mark Ruffalo, romantic comedies, childrens films, and actors of all ages. It will make you feel better about missing out on new television shows, and it will encourage you to watch Just Like Heaven and Rumor Has It... which both feature Mr. Rufflebottom himself on HBO/Cinemax. Nothing cures the writers' strike blues like a little Rufflebottom.

12/10/07 11:55 am Addenum:
Here is a short film by Woody Allen in support of the Writers' Strike.

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  1. Blogger DoktorPeace | 12:32 AM |  

    Entourage?
    ...
    ...
    ...
    Rufflebutt rocks.

  2. Blogger chris | 10:21 AM |  

    Yeah that Entourage comment threw me for a loop too.

    For those interested in playing Popcorn: The Video Game, here are the rules!

    Deal out an entire deck of cards but do not look at your hand. The first person puts down a card face up to start a pile and decides what movie or actor to start with, informing the group. The next person then puts down a card and says an actor that was in the movie mentioned or a movie that the actor mentioned was in, depending on what the previous person said, a la Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, without trying to get to Kevin Bacon. If you cannot name an actor or movie, then you must take the pile of cards! The object of the game is, naturally, to get rid of your cards! However, the card you put down can sometimes make certain caveats for what you are allowed to say:

    KING - Action/Drama/Horror/Sci-Fi Movie OR Male Actor

    QUEEN - Romance/Comedy/Musical OR Female Actor

    JACK - Family-Friendly Movie OR Child Actor

    DOUBLES (if you put down the same card the player before you put down) - TWO movies that actor is in or TWO actors in that movie

    ACE - REWIND! State your answer, then the order is reversed around the circle!

    JOKER - MARK RUFFALO MOVIE! The round starts over (without anyone taking the pile) and a Mark Ruffalo movie MUST be named.

    If playing with non-movie geeks, you may play using THREE lifelines (just invented Saturday night):

    1) Use a Leonard Maltin Movie Review Guide (2003 Edition Preferred)
    2) Get a punny clue from another player (example: A player can't remember what Ralph Fiennes is in? Tell them "Just be PATIENT, it will come to you!")
    3) Have other players act out a scene from a movie to help you out!

  3. Blogger chris | 10:21 AM |  

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Anonymous LQ | 11:54 AM |  

    Or, another good example of a pun would be if you were trying to reveal "Two Days in Paris" and said "When I was in Paris, I spent two days there."

  5. Blogger Brigitte | 1:40 PM |  

    who is lq? reveal yourself!

    also, i, too, watched bits of entourage, and i didn't totally hate it, either. that does not mean i would go out of my way to watch it, but if it's on...m'eh, why not.

    i have to say, though, i'm kind of looking forward to one reality show, premiering this week on the CW:Crowned. mothers and daughters compete in teams to win a beauty pageant! break out the popcorn!

  6. Blogger qualler | 1:41 PM |  

    I had never actually seen Entourage before last night, and while I wouldn't go out of my way to continue to watch it, I didn't totally hate it, either, like I would have thought. And I'd still much rather watch that than any amount of reality garbage. I hate all the characters on it, much like I do on Rescue Me, and there isn't a whole lot of merit to the show besides it being entertaining, but I was at least entertained by it, at least by episodes one and two that I saw last night.

  7. Blogger chris | 2:22 PM |  

    seriously brigitte? lq is little qualler!

  8. Blogger Brigitte | 10:55 PM |  

    oh, that's an L...i see...

  9. Blogger Dave | 11:21 PM |  

    CRUMB BUMS
    *cough cough*
    CRUMB BUMS

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