Monday, April 29, 2013

At Large Fake News Monday: 'Splash' Mishaps Jeopardize 'Celebrity Chainsaw Juggling'

HOLLYWOOD (CAP) - An injury suffered by Baywatch star Nicole Eggert on ABC's reality diving show Splash - the latest in a series of mishaps on the set - has producers rethinking plans to go forward with Celebrity Chainsaw Juggling, set for debut this fall.

"Up until now, we hadn't really thought beyond the fact that putting B-level celebrities in situations where they could be gravely injured or killed was ratings gold," noted Chainsaw producer Martin Shafer. "Well, okay, C-level celebrities."

However, "We never really thought about what would happen if they were actually gravely injured or killed," Shafer said, acknowledging that it would probably still boost ratings, but only temporarily.
Celebrity Chainsaw Juggling was set to feature actors Dustin Diamond, Tara Reid and Reginald VelJohnson, singer Courtney Love, Ukrainian pentathlete Boris Onishchenko, "Cathy" cartoonist Cathy Guisewite and former CBS anchor Dan Rather, whose 2006 reality show with O.J. Simpson was cancelled after three episodes.

In the show, world famous juggler Michael Moschen was to train the celebrities on dangerous juggling tricks, starting with maces and axes and working their way up to flaming chainsaws.

"It probably wouldn't be good if Dan Rather wound up on the business end of a flaming chainsaw on national TV," admitted Shafer, noting that if it were Sam Donaldson it would be a different story.

[Read the rest at CAP News.]

Friday, April 12, 2013

Column: Netflix remedies our sharing shortage

Yes, my life SEEMED complete -- I was already sharing every song I listened to on Spotify and every book I read on Goodreads, so that the full breadth of my cultural savvy could be consumed instantaneously by all my friends and acquaintances. No need to thank me -- your awed admiration for my good taste is all the appreciation I need.

But I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing, and as soon as I got the press release from Netflix,  I knew what it was: a “new Netflix/Facebook integration” that “lets Netflix members see what their friends have watched.” That sound you just heard was thousands of closet “Bridalplasty” watchers fainting from embarrassment. (You know, the show where brides-to-be compete for free plastic surgery. And no, that is not a typo.)

I’ll admit I was skeptical at first, given that most Netflix press releases involve them charging you more money for less service and expecting you to thank them for it. But this time they’ve hit it right on the head: What Netflix needed was a way to share its users’ every preference, rather than, say, movie choices that are better than these actual films featured on my Netflix Instant homepage:

“Bad Ass” (2012): “Loosely based on a true incident, this tale follows a lonely Vietnam vet who bravely takes on two menacing hoods on a bus.”

“Fire When Ready” (2011): “A firefighter becomes an avenging angel when he challenges New York’s underworld with his bare hands and a hose.”

“Iron Sky” (2012): “The Nazis retreated to the moon in 1945. Now, they're launching an invasion of Earth!”

OK, one of those was fake -- but probably not the one you think. Regardless, we’ll now have the opportunity to let our online friends know the minute we’ve watched one of these fine movies, or inadvertently clicked on one of them, an occurrence familiar to anyone who’s ever accidentally watched 45 minutes of “Extreme Couponing.” (Er, not me ... other people.)

I of course signed up for this new feature immediately so that my online friends would have the benefit of seeing my “Recently Watched” queue, which currently contains the following:

1) 10 old “Walking Dead” episodes

2) That’s it.

Unfortunately, though, my friends are apparently embarrassed about their viewing habits, or inexplicably opposed to broadcasting their every move, because almost none of them have gotten on board. As a result, my ability to “connect with friends over TV shows and movies” has been sadly limited to one guy, we’ll call him Jeff, who apparently likes pretty much all the same stuff I do. So ... Way to go, Jeff!

Meanwhile, while I wait for my other friends to sign up, I thought I could suggest some additional services that could be useful if we’re really going to reach our full sharing potential as a society. For instance, something that broadcasts our prescription medications as soon as they’re filled, so people can compare notes on their ailments and treatments. (“OMG, I’m on clindamycin phosphate too!” etc.)

Or maybe our supermarket purchases, so we know whether or not our friends are buying store-brand cereals (seriously, “Crispy Hexagons”?). Or something that posts all of our bodily functions in real time, because my 11-year-old son would find this hilarious. Or how about sharing every article we read the minute we read it? Wait, they already have that? (Note to self: Stop taking those online Cosmo quizzes.)

All of these would definitely come in handy, because let’s face it: At the end of the day, we’re JUST NOT SHARING ENOUGH. If people don’t get with the program, I’m going to have to do something crazy, like make my movie decisions based on my own personal tastes. Well, and Jeff’s.

Wonder what he would think of “Bad Ass”? Er ... I just clicked on it accidentally.