I always want to see SNL stretch and grow. As a Rich-Fix, I have five small suggestions that would have a major impact on the show. This is not your usual commentary; I’m not talking about pruning the cast, I’m not taking pot shots at Colin Jost, and I don’t comment on diversity. As we close out season 39, here my loving recommendations to make my favorite television show even better.
Why can’t my real life be as neat and organized as my digital world? My email is meticulously sorted into folders and subfolders as soon as it is received, while my actual mail piles up on the dining room table. My iPhone apps are immediately updated, but my car has needed an oil change for almost a month. I have an insatiable hunger to organize my bits and bytes that borders on Digital OCD. In my real life, I’m human; a bit disorganized, and somewhat lazy. Why the difference?
As I we close out the 2012-2013 TV season, I’ve noticed that a long-standing trend in only getting worse. A common theme in scripted television is that these shows tell great stories all the way up to the end of the season, and then they can’t stick the landing.
Season finales are broken.
Comedian Louis CK’s fifth stand-up special, Oh My God premiered on HBO last weekend. I highly recommend checking it out. Always funny, occasionally hilarious, Oh My God is a master class in comedy performance. Oh My God will mostly likely be the best stand-up special of 2013.
But watching this special really pissed me off.
When I buy products online, I don’t mind the shipping options, but I have a big problem with the receiving. If I’m buying a product on Amazon, where do I have it sent?
I want a secure place for my deliveries. A place where the package is always going to be accepted because there is always someone available to sign for my packages. A place far away from my co-workers, family and friends so I don’t have to be judged by my often silly purchases. A place available to me 24/7, so I can grab my goods when I’m available - late at night and weekends. And it all has to be for free.
Because most TV shows now end a little bit later than they are scheduled to conclude, every episode of TV recorded on my DVR becomes a cliffhanger. The recorded version of each sitcom abruptly finishes just moments before the actual conclusion of the show. This ongoing case of “premature evacuation” is a very unsatisfying way to watch TV.
One of the most exciting things about buying the iPhone 5 was the ability – no, the freedom – to move from AT&T to Verizon. Switching from AT&T to Verizon has been conservatively described by others as being freed from the shackles of a windowless prison and feeling the sunshine of the Lord on one’s face. So my wife and I made the leap of faith by buying two Verizon iPhone 5s in October. Thanks to the Christmas gift of a iPad Mini with Verizon LTE, the transition is complete. With Verizon, I’m all in. Here’s the cry of a heretic: I want to go back.
I hear a lot of complaints about Saturday Night Live from friends who know I am a lifelong fan. “It’s not funny anymore.” “The sketches are soooo long.” I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve ranted and raved about how flawed and disappointing some episodes have been. I’ve posted my 5 Ways to Fix SNL. But there’s never been a simple way to fix such a complicated television program. Until now.
Coffee chains like Starbucks are amazingly efficient. They’ve refined the process of running consumers through their stores as quickly as possible. And yet, one step in the consumer experience gums up the whole process: The coffee fixins bar.
My wife Gen and I spent this summer indoors again, watching exciting new TV. Big Brother, Louie, The Newsroom, and Breaking Bad filled our nights. But our Breaking Bad was very different than everyone else’s Breaking Bad.
Gen and I had always talked about watching Breaking Bad, but had not previously pulled the trigger. At the urging of our friends, Gen and I fired up the Netflix Watch Instantly account on our TiVo, or as I call it, “the TV Time Machine”, and traveled back to 2008 to start Breaking Bad from the beginning.
I love stand-up comedy. I hate comedy clubs.
My wife and I had our very first date at a comedy show, and for many years, we were semi-regulars at a number of mainstream and alternative comedy rooms. This summer we resumed that old past time, returning to two of the bigger LA comedy clubs. We saw world-class lineups of comedians, each bringing their A game. Comics like Chris D’Elia, Tom Papa, Sebastian Maniscalco, and Dane Cook (yes, Dane Cook, haters!) had Gen and I doubled over in laughter and gasping for air. It reminded us that stand-up is so much more powerful when it’s live. But our recent pilgrimages into Hollywood also reminded us why we stopped going to see live comedy years ago. We dislike everything about comedy clubs except the performers. At both clubs, we had a lousy time having a great time.
This is going to be an eye-opening week: After years of eye problems, tomorrow is the first of two cataract surgeries. Right now, the lenses in each of my eyes are covered with a white frost, called a “cataract.” I don’t like that term - It makes me feel like a senior citizen. I prefer to imagine that I’m looking at the world through a light dusting of powdered sugar.
To restore my sight, an ophthalmologist will be removing the natural lenses in each of my eyes and implanting artificial replacements, called intraocular lenses. Sounded scary to me at first, but it turns out it’s very routine. I’m not worried about the surgeries. The procedures each only take about fifteen minutes. It’s like going to Jiffy Lube.
My phone continually vibrated throughout my last birthday. Each alert was from Facebook, each indicating another friend had posted a short note to my wall. I received 69 birthday messages that day, with 6 belateds on May 8th. The intent was sweet, but each one made me more annoyed than the last. For the first time, Facebook was ruining my birthday.
I just watched the promos for the upcoming fall TV shows. Many felt oddly familiar. Why? To find the answer, I looked back at two recent NBC shows, Bent and Best Friends Forever for the answer. I liked both of these short-lived series, but they both had the same, odd problem. Both shows felt old, like I had been watching them for years. I had been watching them for years – and by “them”, I mean the actors.
If you still watch "The Office", you’re probably annoyed with me already, just by the title. It sounds like I’m condoning adultery (I’m not) and trying to break up the fairy tale couple of Pam and Jim (I am) by suggesting he give in to the advances of Cathy, the new employee who has the hots for him. But odds are you do not still watch NBC's, “The Office.” And that’s the problem. “The Office” needs to be saved.
It’s embarrassing to admit, but last night I tried to unlock the front door to our apartment by pushing the “unlock” button on my car’s keyless fob. It’s not the first time I’ve made that mistake, and it won’t be the last.
But last night, instead of dismissing the action as silly, I started to think, why not have my front door unlock because I have a wireless fob in my pocket? Is it really too much to ask to be able to open the door with a Jedi wave?
It’s time to start a revolution to bring courtesy back to the Internet.
I rarely get upset with the signature line of an email (you know, the default text at the bottom of the message like "sent from my iPhone"), but this one really burned me up:
Sent from an iPhone. Expect mistakes.
The work acquaintance who sent me this email was basically saying, “Don’t blame me. Blame the tool.” He’s wrong. The phone is a technological miracle. He’s the tool.
I’m getting ready to walk the dogs. Do I need a sweater for outside? I check the weather app on my iPhone. “60 degrees.” Hmm, that’s a lot cooler than it’s been the last few days. But instead of opening the front door and stepping outside to check for myself, I double-check the app. Yup. The phone says its 60 degrees. So I put on a heavy sweater and walk out... into scorching heat.
Download these apps and you will use your iPad more.
A lot of friends unboxed iPads this holiday season. Their reaction to the iPad continues to be the same, encompassed by the following three statements:
- It’s sooooooooooooo beautiful!
- It’s sooooooooooooo fast!
- Sooooooooooooo… what do you DO with it?
I’ve read dozens of lists of recommended apps from other tech bloggers, lists that have ended with me wasting a lot of money in $4.99 increments. I’ve followed their recommendations, buying apps that were really cool the first time I tried them, but I never actually used on a regular basis. Why?
Breaking up with a laptop is hard to do.
We have to talk.
You know that I love you, so don’t take this personally. I’ve decided to get an MBA, and I don’t mean I’m going to business school. I’m going to be replacing you with a MacBook Air. This will be our last time together.