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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: June 4, 2009

Today is mailbag day and the latest is here.

Have been trying to get out of "I'm a Celebrity," but reports flew yesterday that Speidi were coming back, and so they did. I managed to just DVR the show and fast-forward through stuff, but caught LDP's rat bites (ewwww), the setup for a Battle of Baldwins and, of course, Speidi's wanting to come back. "The Devil got to us," said Heidi, and once again thoughtful Christians everywhere cringed. Not that I believe a word from either Heidi, or Spencer, or "I'm a Celebrity." The show has decided that the dreadful duo is the key to ratings -- and is so optimistic about the ratings that it has expanded next Monday's telecast to two hours -- and is looking for any way it can to keep them around for another show. The timing of the cast vote on Speidi was so lovely, delayed so long that it had to be held over for the next show (although I wonder what the show would have done if everyone had just said, "yeah, bring 'em back" instead of the apparent no-vote that was happening JUST as the show ran out of time). This is nonstop audience manipulation of the cheesiest sort, but it's also major watercooler fare. As my sister says, "I want to look away but I can't."

Also did some fast-forwarding through Conan III, and the show has found its precise pre-"Tonight" Conan groove. That's not always a good thing, since Conan is not a very good interviewer, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus's story about the White House Correspondents Dinner wasn't nearly as amusing as she seemed to think. On the other hand, the Jack McBrayer portion of the Oscar-stealing bit was very funny, especially his look after he reclaimed the Oscar. And I really liked Andy and Conan and the Year 3000, which managed to be somewhat funny, very silly and -- as Conan so often is -- both a comedy-variety sketch and a commentary on comedy-variety, with Andy's notes about the bit not having changed since he was on the show before, and his complaint about the future costume smelling bad; then there was the twisted-around quality of having the bit being about the year 3000, but including jokes about things going on now -- including a Spencer Pratt joke that got the biggest reaction, which shows again why NBC wants him on "I'm a Celebrity." As for Conan, I am curious about the focus-group bit he promoted on Leno's last "Tonight" show, but beyond that I'll probably just check in when there's a guest or something else that interests me.

I am continuing to put things on my other blog, Northeast Ohio Onscreen. Stop by.

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