Thursday, February 26, 2009

Busy, busy

Much to do of late, as I am teaching two new courses this semester. One, a large introductory lecture, the other a graduate seminar. Both are going well but extremely time-consuming. Plus lots of TV to manage--always a challenge in Idol season. Those of you in the teaching/learning biz might be interested in the website for my lecture course, Television and Radio in American Society, and the class blog for my seminar in Gender and Popular Culture. The latter is great thanks to my super duper students. Too tired after a rousing seminar today to say much of note, but here's a few recent, random-ish thoughts on TV and other media consumed:

-- The sexism and homophobia of Idol is really bugging me this season. The excessive discussion of the female contestants' attractiveness when their singing stinks? Ryan and Simon's homophobic taunts? Yuck.

-- But I join the bandwagon of excitement around hometown boy Danny Gokey. I just want him to make it to the top 3 so I can go to his home visit festivities! Though I am convinced I know that Adam Lambert from somewhere. Anyone know if he was a student at UW-Madison or Milwaukee at some point?

-- Mamma Mia is quite absurd, isn't it? But I was amazed to see a Hollywood product so baldly designed for the pleasure of middle-aged women.

-- I liked the Hugh Jackman-hosted Oscars. The individual tributes for the acting awards were nice, but I found those for the actresses way more moving and genuine than those for the men. Better acting or just greater comfort with the emotional display?

-- Fascinated with the new Disney XD channel for boys and its flagship series Aaron Stone. I may a have a paper in me on this one.

-- Finally finished watching last season's episodes of Lipstick Jungle. Gotta say, I really like that show. I think it's a case of a show one may watch but is not supposed to discuss.

-- I was so saddened by the "special" GH reflecting on what would have happened if Maxie had died and B.J. had lived woe those many years ago when the show was THE AWESOME. Kirsten Storms gave it her all with her sassy commentary but too much of it just made no sense for those with any awareness of the show's history. Carly got involved with Tony only AFTER BJ had died. Bobbie and Tony were as solid as soap couples come before losing their child. Makes no sense that Carly would have been married to Tony in the scenario they offered. And why no recognition that Lulu and BJ were cousins? And why did Maxie's absence have anything to do with Johnny becoming a jr. Sonny? So lame. The show just makes me sad, sad, sad.

-- To end more hopefully, do you know how many free magazines one can acquire by agreeing to free trial issues with no-obligation cancellations? And once you're in the system, they just keep offering you more free issues every time you cancel.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Video catalog hits 1000!

Today I enter the 1000th dvd into my video catalog. As I have described previously, I am at work on a continuous dubbing and cataloging project, recording off-air shows to DVD and transferring my large collection of videotapes to DVD, as well. I know that DVD is an imperfect archival medium but the ability to save (at least for a while) my stuff in a compact form, cataloging it in the process, is too good to pass up.

What is the 1000th disc, you ask? Why, four episodes of The Nanny from the late 1990s. I wrote a paper about the show once upon a time, still kind of love it, and will perhaps return to it again someday. Sure, the show is available on commercial DVDs, but here I have some of my favorite episodes, with original commercials, and I don't have to pay the MSM to receive them. Or maybe I'm just a pack rat.