[sticky post] I surrender.

FriendlyFace
I've been fighting it the entire time I've been in Germany, but I'm too tired to keep fighting:  I just can't keep up with LJ any more.

I've been reading my friends page, but I've been consistently a few weeks behind for the last six months.  Right now, I'm more than a month behind.  I just don't have the time to read consistently like I used to.   In that same six month period, I've written one LJ post that wasn't about television.  All my writing has moved over to my Germany blog.

This is my official notice of LJ bankruptcy.  I give up.  I'm not going to burn any more time reading LJ posts from a solid month ago.  I love all of you guys, but I feel like I'm lost in time here.   I'm not going to delete my account because I may be back some day, but for now, I'm putting the chairs up on the tables and shutting off the lights.

If you need to reach me, there's a myriad of ways.  Here's two  of 'em:
FriendlyFace
Spoiler alert: I called it.  Here's the CW fall schedule.  In the Gone Club are 90210, Cult, Gossip Girl and Emily Owens, M.D.   The final season of Nikita has been held until midseason.

As for the new shows that got put on the fall line-up right out of the gate, I totally nailed it.

MONDAY

8/7c Hart of Dixie

9 pm Beauty and the Beast

TUESDAY

8 pm THE ORIGINALS

9 pm Supernatural

WEDNESDAY

8 pm Arrow

9 pm THE TOMORROW PEOPLE

THURSDAY
8 pm The Vampire Diaries

9 pm REIGN

FRIDAY

8 pm The Carrie Diaries

9 pm America’s Next Top Model

And here's some trailers...

The Tomorrow People looks interesting, actually.  I'll give this a shot.  Plus Mark Pellegrino is always fun to watch.



Reign looks rather pointless, so I'm sure it'll be a huge hit.



Here's a clip from The 100-  this doesn't give me any sense at all of the flavor of the show.



A clip from Star-Crossed - so the aliens just have tattoo-looking patterns on their skin?   They're so alien!  ::sigh::

[Upfront Watch 2013] I can't wait for the CW.

FriendlyFace
I have a dilemma.   The CW will post their fall schedule sometime on Thursday.  However, I'm going to be traveling all day, and I won't be bringing a laptop.  This means I have to post a CW line-up before they announce it.

I guess it'll be a gamble.  I'll post what I think the line-up will be, and I'll come back after the weekend to post the confirmed line-up and offer my thoughts.  On Monday, I'll do a full Upfronts wrap-up.

So let's start with what we know...

These shows have all been renewed:   Arrow, Beauty & The Beast, Hart Of Dixie, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, Nikita, the Carrie Diaries.
These shows are in the Gone Club: Gossip Girl, 90210

Five pilots were definitely picked up by the CW, so I think at least three of them will be on the fall line-up.  At most, they'll hold one or two for mid-season.

Here's the new shows that I'm aware of:

THE ORIGINALS - This spin-off of The Vampire Diaries follows Klaus? (I'm not sure, I don't watch the first show) to New Orleans, where hilarity and zaniness ensue.  I can't find the official description right now. I think this one will be on the fall schedule.



THE 100 - "Based on upcoming Alloy books written by Kass Morgan, the project is set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization. A spaceship housing the lone human survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth to investigate the possibility of re-colonizing the planet."  Without the official promos, I don't know what to make of this. I think this one will be held for midseason.

TOMORROW PEOPLE - "Adapted from the 1970s UK series, it follows several young people from around the world who represent the next stage in human evolution, all possessing special powers including the ability to teleport and communicate with each other telepathically. Together they work to defeat the forces of evil."  Sounds like they're doing this up like the X-Men.  Nice competition for the Shield show over on the other network. I think this one will be on the fall schedule.

REIGN - "The previously unknown and untold story of Mary Queen of Scots rise to power when she arrives in France as a 15-year-old, betrothed to Prince Francis, and with her three best friends as ladies-in-waiting.  The secret history of survival at French Court amidst fierce foes, dark forces, and a world of sexual intrigue."  Might be cool, might be dull.  Still too early to know. I think this one will be on the fall schedule.



STAR-CROSSED - "Passion and politics threaten the peace and an epic romance ignites between a human girl and an alien boy when he and eight others of his kind (The Orion 9) are integrated into a suburban high school ten years after they and hundreds of others landed on Earth and were immediately consigned to an internment camp where they’ve been imprisoned ever since."  The description sounds interesting.   It has elements of what made Roswell fun originally, I think.  I'm looking forward to seeing a promo. I think this one will be held for midseason.

So there you have it-  that's what I know about the CW so far.  I'll come back after my trip and do a more official post with the full line-up and stuff.

Have a great weekend, everyone!
FriendlyFace

  • "CBS has theirs on Wednesday, but when's the last time anyone below the age of fifty watched a CBS show?" - Me, May 2005

  • "Alyson Hannigan and Neil Patrick Harris have a romantic comedy narrated by Bob Saget. No, I'm not kidding. I may look at this one because hey, it's Willow." - Me, May 2005

  • "Two Broke Girls, which is naturally about two broke girls. I'll give this one a try because it's got Kat Dennings." - Me, May 2011

  • "ELEMENTARY - Like a train wreck, I cannot look away." - Me, May 2012


My views on CBS have obviously changed over the last few years.  In 2005, there was nothing on this network that I enjoyed.  Now I like a tremendous amount of their programming.  They continue to make smart choices, including passing on the Beverly Hills Cop tv show.  I think they dodged a bullet there.

I'm pleased that How I Met Your Mother is doing a final season.  Shows that have a specific plan in mind and stick to them have superior storytelling.  I'm looking at you, Supernatural's five season plan.

In the Gone Club are CSI: NY, Golden Boy, Made In Jersey, Partners and Rules of Engagement.

Reckless - "A sultry legal show set in Charleston, South Carolina, where a gorgeous Yankee litigator and a Southern City Attorney struggle to hide their intense attraction while clashing over a police sex scandal."


Here's the fall schedule, with new shows in ALL CAPS and my commentary in bold.  My opinions on these may change after I see promos- so far, my opinions are all based on text and still photos.

MONDAY
8/7c How I Met Your Mother
8:30 pm WE ARE MEN  - "A ditched groom moves into a short-term housing complex and makes friends with some older, divorced dudes in the single-cam sitcom." I'll pass.  I've seen this plot device in too many other shows.
9 pm Two Broke Girls
9:30 pm MOM  - "A newly sober single mom tries to pull her life together in Napa Valley in the multi-cam sitcom." Again, I'll pass.  Nothing about this is entertaining to me.
10 pm HOSTAGES/INTELLIGENCE - Hostages "centers on a family caught in the middle of a grand political conspiracy and a righteous FBI agent at the center of said conspiracy whose role will come as a surprise."  Oh goody, more coinspiracies.  Pass!
Intelligence is "Centered at US Cyber Command, and focuses on a unit that has been created around one agent with a very special gift, a microchip that has been implanted in his brain that allows him to access the entire electromagnetic spectrum." a.k.a. Jake 2.0, sort of.  This has Josh Holloway from Lost, and might be mildly interesting, but I'm not holding my breath.

TUESDAY
8 pm NCIS
9  pm NCIS: LA
10 pm Person of Interest

WEDNESDAY?
8 pm Survivor
9 pm Criminal Minds
10 pm CSI

THURSDAY
8 pm The Big Bang Theory
8:30 pm THE MILLERS - "The multi-cam project revolves around a recently divorced man living with his parents."   We get it- living with your parents after a certain age is funny because it's pathetic.  That doesn't make it good television.  Plus Will Arnett is played out.
9 pm THE CRAZY ONES - "A father/daughter workplace comedy set in the world of advertising."  Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar in a comedy?  I'm in for a look.
9:30 pm Two and a Half Men
10 pm Elementary

FRIDAY
8 pm Undercover Boss
9 pm Hawaii Five-0
10 pm Blue Bloods

SATURDAY
8 pm Comedy encores
9 pm Drama encores
10 pm 48 Hours

SUNDAY?
7 pm 60 Minutes
8 pm  The Amazing Race
9 pm The Good Wife
10 pm The Mentalist


So to recap, here's my personal viewing schedule so far.  It's worth noting that since I'm in Germany, I won't actually be watching them in real time. 

MONDAY
8/7c ALMOST HUMAN (late fall) - I'll give this a chance.
8/7c How I Met Your Mother (Final Season)
9 pm SLEEPY HOLLOW (fall) - I'll give this a chance.
9 pm Two Broke Girls
10 pm Castle

TUESDAY
8 pm MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D

WEDNESDAY?
9:30 SUPER FUN NIGHT
10 pm Nashville

THURSDAY
8 pm Parks and Recreation
8 pm The Big Bang Theory
9 pm THE CRAZY ONES
10 pm Elementary

FRIDAY
8:30 pm The Neighbors
9 pm Grimm
10 pm DRACULA

SUNDAY
8 pm The Simpsons
9 pm Family Guy
9 pm Revenge
10 pm The Mentalist

More tomorrow.  There's just one Upfront left- The CW.  I'll be traveling, so my post might be delayed a little bit.
FriendlyFace
I wanted to embed all of ABC's promos here, but I can't even watch them all because they have chosen, in their infinite wisdom, to prevent viewing by people outside of the United States.   I was only able to watch two, the Once Upon A Time In Wonderland promo, which looked good (damn it), but is not embeddable by me.  And this one, which just looks better and better:

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.



All the other promos are available here.  If you're in the US, you can watch 'em and tell me what you think:

http://tvline.com/2013/05/14/fall-2013-abc-once-upon-a-time-in-wonderland-video/
FriendlyFace
"The Neighbors - Our neighbors are actually aliens.  Ludicrous, but probably pretty funny.  It'll be cancelled in four episodes." - Me, May 2012

The Neighbors turned out to be a really funny and occasionally sweet show.  Not only did it complete a full season run, but it was renewed for a second season.  ABC has had a very good year- most of the shows they lost were brand new and not all that great.  I'll miss Happy Endings and Apartment 23 though; they were both hilarious.

One new show that I panned reversed my opinion on is Nashville.  I panned it during last year's upfronts, but then a friend of mine told me that it was really excellent, so I watched the first episode.  Then I watched the second episode.  After that, I watched the next eleven episodes and I just kept going.

In the Gone Club for next year:  666 Park Avenue, Don’t Trust the B—– in Apartment 23, Family Tools, Happy Endings, How To Live With Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life), Last Resort, Malibu Country, Private Practice, Red Widow and Zero Hour

Here's the fall schedule, with new shows in ALL CAPS and my commentary in bold.  My opinions on these may change after I see promos- so far, my opinions are all based on text and still photos.

MONDAY
8/7c Dancing With the Stars
10 pm Castle

TUESDAY
8 pm MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D - "The adventures of the agents of a covert, quasi-military peace-keeping organization, S.H.I.E.L.D. (or the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division), which was featured in last summer's Avengers movie." Based on the cast description so far and the teaser commercial I posted the other day, this looks like it could be a lot of fun.



9  pm THE GOLDBERGS - "This ’80s-set series revolves around an overbearing, hyper-emotional shopaholic with no sense of boundaries and a big mouth. Nonetheless, she’s a very dedicated mom." Nothing about this sticks out yet.  I need to see promos.
9:30 pm TROPHY WIFE - "They say the third time’s the charm - and reformed party girl Kate (Malin Akerman) is hoping that’s true when she becomes Pete’s (Bradley Whitford) third wife. " Great cast.  It might be pretty good, or it could be crap.  Again, I need a promo.
10 pm LUCKY 7 - "A show about seven employees of a service station in Queens whose lives are changed in many unexpected ways when they win a lottery jackpot."  I'm curious what the 'unexpected ways' are. 

WEDNESDAY

8 pm The Middle
8:30 pm BACK IN THE GAME  - "When Terry Gannon (Lawson), a recently divorced, single mother, temporarily moves in with her estranged father, a beer-swilling former baseball player, she reluctantly starts coaching her son’s Little League team and is drawn back into the world of sports she vowed to leave behind." WHY are so many of these comedies about people moving back in with their parents or parents moving in with their children or single parents? SO boring.
9 pm Modern Family
9:30 SUPER FUN NIGHT - "Three nerdy female friends embark on a quest to have super fun every Friday night in the single-cam project (which was originally developed as a multi-cam comedy last spring at CBS)."  I will watch this just because it's got Liza Lapira in it. Plus it sounds lighthearted and fun.
10 pm Nashville

THURSDAY
8 pm ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND - "In Victorian England, the young and beautiful Alice tells a tale of a strange new land that exists on the other side of a rabbit hole. An invisible cat, a hookah smoking caterpillar and playing cards that talk are just some of the fantastic things she's seen during this impossible adventure. Surely this troubled girl must be insane and her doctors aim to cure her with a treatment that will make her forget everything. Alice seems ready to put it all behind her, especially the painful memory of the genie she fell in love with and lost forever — the handsome and mysterious Cyrus. But deep down Alice knows this world is real and just in the nick of time, the sardonic Knave of Hearts and the irrepressible White Rabbit (John Lithgow) arrive to save her from a doomed fate. Together, the trio will take a tumble down the rabbit hole to this Wonderland where nothing is impossible."  I stopped watching the mothership, Once Upon A Time.  I'm not terribly interested in seeing a Wonderland based spin-off.



9 pm Grey’s Anatomy
10 pm Scandal

FRIDAY
8 pm Last Man Standing
8:30 pm The Neighbors
9 pm Shark Tank
10 pm 20/20

SATURDAY
8 pm Saturday Night College Football

SUNDAY

7 America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 pm Once Upon a Time 

9 pm Revenge
10 pm BETRAYAL - "A beautiful but unhappily married female photographer begins a torrid affair with a lawyer for a powerful family. When he turns out to be defending a murder suspect who is being prosecuted by her husband, the relationship and the case begin a spiraling series of betrayals with cataclysmic results for everyone involved."


On hold for midseason:

Suburgatory (returning)

MIXOLOGY - "Set in the world of a sexy Manhattan bar, the high-concept single-cam comedy chronicles the exploits of singles in search of love - all over the course of one night." How are they going to extend one night for an entire season?  Or are they going to do one night per episode? 




KILLER WOMEN - "Based on the Argentine series Mujeres Asesinas, it centers on the only woman (Tricia Helfer) in the notoriously male Texas Rangers - a ballsy, beautiful badass who knows how to get to the truth and isn’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers." I already watched this show.  It was called "In Plain Sight."

MIND GAMES - "A workplace ensemble centered on the relationship between two brothers - a bipolar genius in human psychology and a slick ex-con - who head a unique agency designed to solve problems using the real science of human motivation and manipulation." This sounds pretty interesting.  I might give it a shot once it finally airs.

RESURRECTION - "This series asks the provocative question, "What happens when the people you have mourned and buried suddenly appear on your doorstep as if not a day’s gone by? The lives of the people of Arcadia, Missouri are forever changed when their deceased loved ones return." OMG, they renewed The 4400!




So to recap, here's my personal viewing schedule so far.  It's worth noting that since I'm in Germany, I won't actually be watching them in real time.   This is mostly carryover from this year, to be honest-

MONDAY
8/7c ALMOST HUMAN (late fall) - I'll give this a chance.
9 pm SLEEPY HOLLOW (fall) - I'll give this a chance.
10 pm Castle

TUESDAY
8 pm MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D

WEDNESDAY

9:30 SUPER FUN NIGHT
10 pm Nashville

THURSDAY
8 pm Parks and Recreation

FRIDAY
8:30 pm The Neighbors
9 pm Grimm
10 pm DRACULA - I'll give this a bite.  (See what I did there?)

SUNDAY
8 pm The Simpsons
9 pm Family Guy
9 pm Revenge


More of this tomorrow.  Here's the remaining Upfront schedule-

Wednesday: CBS
Thursday: The CW

[Upfront Watch 2013] FOX promos are out.

FriendlyFace
Trailers for everyone!

Almost Human - This is severely high concept.  It might be interesting, but I really doubt it will last.



Sleepy Hollow - Ok, they made it Ichabod Crane, Time Traveler, meets National Treasure.  I'm not sure how I feel about this one.



Dads - Seth Green and Martin Mull do "comedy."  I put comedy in quotes there because the promo didn't make me laugh once.  I didn't so much as crack a smile.



Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Suffers from obnoxious-lead-actor syndrome.  See also, Scrubs in the later years, when I loved everything about the show, but HATED J.D.   This would probably be a good show without Andy Samberg.



Rake - This is significantly less interesting to me now that I've seen the promo.



Enlisted - It's sort of like an update of Police Academy, except they're Army guys.  Looks pretty meh.



Us & Them - I hated the idea of this remake of the great BBC Joanna Page show, but it actually doesn't look bad.  Damn my affinity for rom-coms!

FriendlyFace
NBC has posted some promos.

Ironside - Looks like it'll be interesting, for a crime procedural.



Welcome To The Family - Mike O'Malley is EveryDad!



Sean Saves The World - Might be funny.  Thomas Lennon as the boss!



The Michael J. Fox Show- Eh.  I'm really not convinced this will be any good.



Dracula - This actually looks really good.

FriendlyFace
FOX has announced their lineup. Joining the Gone Club are Ben and Kate, The Mob Doctor, Fringe and Touch.  The Cleveland Show is not confirmed cancelled yet, but it's believed to be gone.

FOX has always been big on splitting their shows between fall and later in the year, which means they have twice as many shows, just not all at once.  To be perfectly honest, everything FOX does gets a big exasperated sigh from me.  They have a great record of starting high concept shows that seem interesting, and a  lousy record of letting them finish.

Here's the fall schedule, with new shows in ALL CAPS and my commentary in bold.  My opinions on these may change after I see promos- so far, my opinions are all based on text and still photos.

MONDAY
8/7c Bones (fall)/ALMOST HUMAN (late fall) - Almost Human is "An action-packed buddy cop show set in the near future when all LAPD officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids."  Sci-Fi on FOX is usually very good until it gets cancelled.  I'm curious enough to wait for a first episode before I pass judgement.



9 pm SLEEPY HOLLOW (fall)/ The Following (midseason) - Sleepy Hollow is "A modern-day supernatural thriller based on the legend of the titular Westchester Country, N.Y. town." - I've always liked the Sleepy Hollow story.  I'm curious to see if this will be cool or pointless.  Again, I need to see a promo.



TUESDAY
8 pm DADS - "The live-action, multi-cam comedy revolves around two successful guys in their 30s who find their lives turned upside-down when their nightmare fathers unexpectedly move in with them." I have no interest in this, but Seth Green is usually good in comedy roles.  Plus this is Seth MacFarlane's new thing.
8:30 pm BROOKLYN NINE-NINE - "The single-camera project revolves around a diverse group of detectives in a precinct at the very edge of New York City."  I don't like Andy Samberg much, but it might be fun to see  Andre Braugher and Terry Crews doing comedy.



9 pm New Girl
9:30 pm The Mindy Project

WEDNESDAY
8 pm The X Factor (fall)/American Idol (midseason)

THURSDAY
8 pm The X Factor Results (fall)/American Idol results (midseason)
9 pm Glee (fall)/RAKE (midseason) - Rake "Centers around Keegan Joye, a brilliant but self-destructive criminal defense lawyer." a.k.a. It's House, but House is a lawyer.



FRIDAY
8 pm JUNIOR MASTERCHEF (fall)/Bones (late fall)
9 pm Sleepy Hollow encores (fall)/Raising Hope and ENLISTED (late fall) - "This single-cam comedy follows three very different brothers working together in the Army at a small base in Florida." Pass.

SATURDAY
7 pm Fox Sports Saturday

SUNDAY
8 pm The Simpsons
8:30 pm Bob’s Burgers
9 pm Family Guy
9: 30 American Dad

On the Mid-season front, these shows are waiting:

GANG RELATED - "The action drama follows a rising star in Los Angeles' elite Gang Task Force — led by Terry O'Quinn's Sam Chapel — who teams up with a longtime Task Force member to take on three of the city's most dangerous gangs, including one he has ties to."  I have no opinion on this show.  I'm glad Terry O'Quinn is still getting work, though.  I loved him in "The Rocketeer."




MURDER POLICE - " new animated comedy that follows a dedicated, but inept detective and his colleagues – some perverted, some corrupt, some just plain lazy – in a twisted city precinct." Eh, it might be funny.



SURVIVING JACK  - "An adaptation of Halpern’s book I Suck at Girls, the single-cam comedy tells the story of “a boy becoming a man and a man becoming a father, in a time before ‘coming of age’ was something you could Google.”  I guess this is supposed to be heartwarming?  I don't know anything about the source material make a judgement call.

US & THEM  - "A single-camera adaptation of the UK series Gavin & Stacey, about two very different lovers who try to make a long-distance relationship work." NO.  NO.  NO.  BAD FOX.  NO REMAKES OF BRITISH TELEVISION.  Is there any way for me to rub a network's nose in their own shit?

In keeping with tradition, I will end my FOX post with the schedule of shows from this year's Upfronts that I will actually watch in the fall.  I'll give a few of their new offerings one shot to hook me.

MONDAY
8/7c ALMOST HUMAN (late fall) - I'll give this a chance.
9 pm SLEEPY HOLLOW (fall) - I'll give this a chance.

THURSDAY
8 pm Parks and Recreation

FRIDAY
9 pm Grimm
10 pm DRACULA - I'll give this a bite.  (See what I did there?)

SUNDAY
8 pm The Simpsons
9 pm Family Guy

More of this tomorrow, unless there are more promos to post later today.  Here's the remaining Upfront schedule again-

Tuesday: ABC
Wednesday: CBS
Thursday: The CW
FriendlyFace
NBC has posted a promo for The Blacklist that makes it look very interesting.  James Spader in this role looks like a fun watch.



Additionally, ABC has released a promo for Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., which really needs a better title.


FriendlyFace
"Whitney looks like it'll be pretty funny, but not funny enough to last more than a month or so." - Me, May 2008

When I'm wrong, I'm wrong- Whitney survived the entire first season, and got all the way through a second season before they cancelled it. Joining Whitney in the Gone Club are 1600 Penn, 30 Rock, Animal Practice, Deception, Do No Harm, Go On, Guys With Kids, The New Normal, The Office, Smash, and Up All Night.

NBC surprised the pants off of me by renewing Community, which many people feel has lost its edge this year, but then benching it until probably mid-season. Renewals which surprised nobody include Grimm, Revolution, and Parks & Recreation.

NBC came out of the gate early with their schedule announcement. Here's the fall schedule, with new shows in ALL CAPS and my commentary in bold. My takeaway from the new shows so far- NBC's new trend is hitching shows to snappy one word titles- Believe, Blacklist, Crisis. My opinions on these may change after I see promos- so far, my opinions are all based on text and still photos.

MONDAY
8/7c The Voice
10 pm THE BLACKLIST - "The world’s most wanted criminal suddenly turns himself in and offers to give up anyone he’s ever worked with. The catch: He’ll only work with a new FBI agent, one with whom he has no known connection." This has a mildly interesting hook, but I doubt I'll watch it. I'm holding my final judgement until I see a promo.

TUESDAY
8 pm The Biggest Loser
9 pm The Voice
10 pm Chicago Fire

WEDNESDAY
8 pm Revolution
9 pm Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10 pm IRONSIDE - "Based on the ’60s cop drama, a tough, sexy and acerbic police detective is relegated to a wheelchair after a shooting, but is hardly limited by his disability as he pushes and prods his hand-picked team to solve the most difficult cases in the city." Once again, the networks choose to remake an old show while passing on cool new stuff. ::sigh::

THURSDAY
8 pm Parks and Recreation
8:30 pm WELCOME TO THE FAMILY - "In the single-cam comedy, cultures collide when a white family and a Latino family are bonded together by their children who fall in love followed quickly by an unplanned pregnancy." Jeebus, why do so many of these shows sound like tired retreads of other shows we've seen before?
9 pm SEAN SAVES THE WORLD - "A multi-cam sitcom about a man attempting to both parent the teenage daughter who just moved in and appease a temperamental new boss." Meh. I'll wait until I see a promo to make a judgement call on this one.
9:30 pm THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW - "The single-cam comedy is inspired by Fox’s real life and stars him as Mike Burnaby, a husband and father of three in New York City juggling the challenges of family and career while dealing with Parkinson’s disease." We get it- he's inspiring. But will it actually be funny?
10 pm Parenthood

FRIDAY
8 pm Dateline NBC
9 pm Grimm
10 pm DRACULA - "Based on Bram Stoker's novel of the same name, the 10-episode series finds Dracula preparing to unleash hell on the Victorian society responsible for ruining his life. But he's thrown when he falls for a woman who's a dead ringer for his beloved, long-deceased wife." I love that this is a ten episode series. Trying to shoehorn the original Dracula Story into a standard 22-24 episode season would be utter disaster. As a ten episode series, this could be quite entertaining.

SATURDAY
Encore programming

SUNDAY
7 pm Football Night in America
8:15 pm NBC Sunday Night Football

SUNDAY (Post-football/Winter 2013)
7 pm Dateline NBC
8 pm AMERICAN DREAM BUILDERS (Reality) - I don't do reality shows.
9 pm BELIEVE - "Follows an unlikely relationship between a gifted young girl and a man sprung from prison who has been tasked with protecting her from the evil elements that hunt her power." I'm still waiting to see how this is different than "The Powers Of Matthew Star." It might be interesting though.
10 pm CRISIS - - "Examines what happens when an unlikely puppeteer pulls Washington’s elite — including the President of the United States — into an international conspiracy." So many conspiracies on television these days. There's a conspiracy on Castle. There's a conspiracy on Revenge. There's a conspiracy on Arrow. Aren't we all getting a little tired of this plot device?


Midseason replacements:

CHICAGO PD - A spinoff of Chicago Fire. I'm not even making this up.

THE NIGHT SHIFT - "Follows a team of doctors and nurses working the graveyard shift in the ER at San Antonio Medical Center." Once again, I feel like we've seen this show before. Repeatedly.

ABOUT A BOY - "Based on the book and subsequent 2002 film starring Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult, the single-cam comedy centers on the relationship between a man-child and the young boy who moves in next door." Bored now.

THE FAMILY GUIDE - "The single-camera sitcom centers on a son who idolizes his blind father and enjoys his mom’s newfound adolescence after his folks divorce and ultimately grow closer." Still quite bored.

UNDATEABLE - "The multi-cam project centers on a group of young friends dubbed the “Undateables” whose lives are altered when a more confident character enters their world." This could actually be quite funny. Plus Chris D'Elia is free to do it now that Whitney was cancelled. I'll give this one a try.

In keeping with tradition, I will end my NBC post with the schedule of shows from this year's Upfronts that I will actually watch in the fall.  So far their new offerings aren't giving me a shiny feeling...

THURSDAY
8 pm Parks and Recreation

FRIDAY
9 pm Grimm
10 pm DRACULA - I'll give this a bite.  (See what I did there?)

I'll be back later on with a post about FOX after they release their schedule, followed by more Upfront action tomorrow. Here's the remaining Upfront schedule again-

Monday afternoon: FOX
Tuesday: ABC
Wednesday: CBS
Thursday: The CW

[Upfront Watch 2013] Pre-gaming.

FriendlyFace
Welcome to the 2013 Upfront season! I know I haven't written here in a long while, but I thought it would be fun to continue my annual tradition of recapping the Network Upfronts.

I've been writing about the Upfronts every year since around 2005. This makes it my eighth year of talking about the state of network television. I've seen a lot of fantastic shows come and go (Veronica Mars, How I Met Your Mother, Pushing Daisies, Chuck, Better Off Ted, Dollhouse, Heroes, The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and I've seen a lot of total flops (Bionic Woman, Knight Rider, Charlie's Angels- I'm seeing a trend here…)

When I started writing these, TiVo had just changed the way that I watch television. As I write my Upfront posts for the eighth year, I find that my method and style of television consumption has changed again- now that I'm living in Germany, I have to rely a great deal more on streaming offerings and the occasional iTunes season pass purchase to watch my television shows.

This has made selection of good shows that much more important, because I don't have anything like a TiVo here. The biggest result of that impact is that I've given up a lot of shows that I would have continued to watch just from inertia if I were still living in the US. This year, I gave up on Once Upon A Time, Glee, and several others. I won't get into the 'why' of my dropping each show; that's a much longer discussion.

So much has ended this year, and so little of what has replaced it has been good enough to catch my attention. Still more have gone out on their own: 30 Rock is gone. The Office is gone. Leverage is gone. Merlin is gone. (Those last two aren't on the big five networks, but I'm still sad about it.)

The Upfronts start on Monday, with NBC. The sequence doesn't change much from year to year. Here's the 2013 dates-

May 13, 2013 NBC Morning
May 13, 2013 FOX Afternoon
May 14, 2013 ABC Afternoon
May 15, 2013 CBS Afternoon
May 16, 2013 THE CW Morning

In the spirit of doing a little pre-gaming, let's talk about what I already know for each network. There have been a TON of early pickups this year. I'm not bothering to list reality television or the bajillion CSI/NCIS/SVU procedurals. Those can wait until I do the individual network posts as each network releases their fall schedule. So, the advance notes:

NBC
Already renewed: Grimm, Revolution
Already gone: 30 Rock, The Office
Probably a safe bet for renewal: Parks & Recreation
On The Bubble: Community, Whitney
Pilot Fish That Will Likely Be On The Fall Schedule: The Michael J. Fox project, still untitled. Craig Robinson's new project will probably get a slot also. And probably the Jonathan Rhys Meyers Dracula series.

FOX
Already renewed: Family Guy, The Simpsons, Glee (through season 6?!), The Mindy Project
Already gone: Probably The Cleveland Show, Fringe
Pilot Fish That Will Likely Be On The Fall Schedule: Andy Samberg has a cop show and Seth MacFarlane has shit out another show that will probably be a hit. Plus there's a Sleepy Hollow show.

ABC
Already renewed: Not much yet. The early pickups aren't happening as much at ABC.
Already gone: Don’t Trust the B—– in Apartment 23
Probably a safe bet for renewal: Castle, Nashville, Once Upon A Time, Revenge
On The Bubble: Happy Endings
Pilot Fish That Will Likely Be On The Fall Schedule: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Once Upon A Time spinoff.

CBS
Already renewed: 2 Broke Girls, Elementary, How I Met Your Mother (final season), The Big Bang Theory, The Mentalist, Person of Interest, Two and a Half Men - they picked up most of the good stuff from their current schedule, to be honest.
Pilot Fish That Will Likely Be On The Fall Schedule: Beverly Hills Cop, picking up with Axel Foley's son.

THE CW
Already renewed: Arrow, Beauty & The Beast, Hart Of Dixie, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries
Already gone: Gossip Girl, 90210
Probably a safe bet for renewal: Nikita, for a shortened final season.
Pilot Fish That Will Likely Be On The Fall Schedule: The Originals (the Vampire Diaries spin-off)

I'll be back on Monday the 13th for the first official announcements from NBC.

[Repost] Sehnsucht, I Has It

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While I don't usually repost stuff from http://stevenglassman.de over to here because it involves manual copying and pasting, I wanted to crosspost this morning's entry because it was more introspective than I usually go for, and introspection is where LJ lives.  Here's the text of the post:


Over the last several months, I've read some fascinating information and theories on homesickness and culture shock/cultural adjustment. I didn't know before I moved to Germany that there was even a cycle. It goes something like this:

  • Honeymoon Phase - This is what I like to call the "ooh, shiny!" phase. To borrow from Berkeley, "This phase is best described by feelings of excitement, optimism and wonder often experienced when you enter into a new environment or culture." Anyone who knows me well understands that I actually spend roughly 70% of my life in this state.

  • Crisis Phase - This is where the acute homesickness comes in. Changes in eating and sleeping habits, irritability or sadness, calling home much more frequently, and a host of other depression-like symptoms can be attributed to this stage. This is the time when the different stuff feels a little too different, and you just wish you could be back in more familiar surroundings.

  • Recovery and Adjustment Phases - These are exactly what they sound like. You get used to things and you even out. Everything that seemed bad during the Crisis Phase doesn't seem so bad any more. You start to integrate with your new locale a bit more. Some people adjust so well that they never leave. Some don't really integrate at all, and become anti-social and reclusive.


Some variations on the so-called "cultural adjustment curve" use slightly different labels - Honeymoon/Negotiation/Adjustment/Mastery - but the basic cycle is the same.

According to the Great and Powerful Google, most people hit their Crisis Phase at around three months. Now that I think about it, I recall that I was definitely calling home a lot more frequently at three months than I do now, but I don't remember feeling especially homesick at the time. Perhaps my cultural adjustment curve is just slower than most. The reason I bring this up now is because I saw the new Spider-Man movie tonight.

There is no time that I feel more lonely than when I'm in a movie theater filled with other geeks who I can't talk to. In the US, I usually see this type of movie with some friends- people who speak my language.

I'm not just talking about English here, although that's a big part of it. Whenever I hear someone speaking English in town, I always want to be part of the conversation, even if they're going the opposite direction and I have no idea what they're really talking about. I hear the language, and there's a tiny part of me jumping up and down and screaming in a tiny voice, "me! me! talk to me! I want to speak English to you!" Yes, sitting in a crowded movie theatre with four German conversations around me that I can't follow is kind of disheartening. That's not precisely what I mean, though.

What I mean by "people who speak my language" in this instance is people who can dissect the movie with me afterward. When I see a geek oriented film like this, I want to nitpick in a geeky way. I want to have conversations with people who know the source material, the back story, the universe that film is set in. I want to talk about whether the mechanical web shooters are better than the organic ones, or whether we'll see Original Recipe Spock in the Star Trek sequel or whether Smaug will look as cool in the upcoming Hobbit films as the Balrog looked in LotR. I want to talk about whether the sequel to this movie will cover a specific story arc, I want to discuss incidental characters and tiny for-the-fans details that not everyone will catch, and I want to gush about the things the movie got right.

I realized while I was walking home in the lovely cooling rain tonight that I have been profoundly missing this type of interaction. I've felt it to varying degrees every time I've gone to a genre movie here- superheroes, science fiction, Muppets, Sherlock Holmes- when I see these movies, I'm surrounded by a crowd of people who share my interests, and yet I am very much alone. I don't know any geeky types here in Regensburg to join me for this level of obsession. Not in town around Regensburg, anyway. I have friends here in Regensburg, but nobody that seems to be as deeply into geeky pop culture as I am.

I wasn't sure how to wrap this up, so I'll close the post with an explanation of the title.

Sehnsucht isn't only a well-known Rammstein song. It is a German word which roughly translates to longing, yearning, deeply missing something, or nostalgia. It's a word which seems to be difficult to pin down or translate clearly because it describes an emotional state rather than something concrete. Sometimes it's used to refer to a longing for a homeland. CS Lewis described Sehnsucht as an insatiable or inconsolable longing in the human heart for "we know not what."

I do know what I long for, though- a specific type of friendship and interaction that has been missing for me here.

In its absence, I suppose I could be consoled by some tater tots. And a nice tasty Cola-Weizen.

A proper Arrow promo from the CW

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I'm getting more excited about this show.

[Upfront Watch 2012] CW Videos

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The CW has posted videos for three of its four new shows.

First up, Emily Owens MD.



Next, Beauty and the Beast.  I'm less excited about this than I was, but I still want to see a full episode before I piss on it too much.



Last but not least, Arrow.  I've been looking forward to this, and I really want to see where they go with it.  I like the style of this clip.  It has promise.

[Upfront Watch 2012] My Final Viewing grid.

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This is the stuff I'm watching in grid form. I must admit, I really don't take as much pleasure in making these grids as I used to, especially since I watch all of my television on a different viewing schedule now. Some shows are on Hulu, a precious few are purchased through iTunes, and so forth. But for posterity and completeness, here's what I plan on watching next fall. The new shows are in green; everything else is a returning show.

Grid inside this LJ-cutCollapse )

[Upfront Watch 2012] The CW's Schedule

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This year, I was only watching two shows on the CW, Supernatural and Nikita.  Most of the rest of their line-up caters to teen girls, and I just wasn't interested.  However, Dawn "Estrogen" Ostroff is out, and the CW has released a fall lineup with a couple of new shows that look fun.

Not returning are Ringer and Secret Circle.  Here's the new lineup, with new shows in caps-

MONDAY
8/7c 90210
9 pm Gossip Girl  (THE CARRIE DIARIES takes over in January)

TUESDAY
8 pm Hart of Dixie
9 pm EMILY OWENS, M.D. (formerly known as First Cut)

WEDNESDAY
8 pm ARROW
9 pm Supernatural

THURSDAY
8 pm The Vampire Diaries
9 pm BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

FRIDAY
8 pm America’s Next Top Model
9 pm Nikita

I'm really looking forward to two of them-  Beauty and the Beast, and Arrow.   However, I have some small doubts-  It does not take place in the Smallville continuity, which is a shame, because that's a built in audience, with great potential occasional guest stars.  Plus, Justin Hartley is great as Oliver Queen.   It's still a superhero show though, and I love those.  I remain cautiously optimistic that it won't suck.

Here's the network descriptions of the new shows:



Emily Owens, M.D.: At long last, Emily Owens feels like she is an actual grown-up.  She can finally put her high school days as the geeky-girl-with-flop-sweats behind her; she’s graduated from medical school and is now a first-year intern at Denver Memorial Hospital, where she’ll have the chance to work with world-famous cardiologist Dr. Gina Beckett – and where, not-so-coincidentally, her med-school crush Will Rider is also an intern.  So why does everyone keep warning her that the hospital is just like high school?  Emily soon finds out the hard way – her high school nemesis, the gorgeous, popular Cassandra Kopelson, is also just starting out at Denver Memorial, and it seems like they’re rivals all over again – not only as surgical interns, but for Will’s attention.  Fellow intern Tyra Granger warns Emily that the cliques at Denver Memorial are all too familiar: the jocks have become orthopedic surgeons; the mean girls are in plastics; the rebels are in the ER, and Tyra has her own awkward place as the principal’s kid – her father is the chief resident.  Emily’s the new kid all over again, and it’s just as awkward as high school.  Only this time around, Emily will have to balance the personal and emotional turmoil of social politics with the high-stakes world of life-and-death medical decisions.   At least she has fellow intern Tyra and nerdy-but-cute resident Micah, to count on as friends.  Emily is growing to realize that although she may be a geek, she may also grow to be a great doctor, flop sweats and all.



Arrow: After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific.  When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island.  While Oliver hides the truth about the man he’s become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was.  Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance.  As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow – a vigilante – to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory.  By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be – flanked by his devoted chauffeur/bodyguard, John Diggle – while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness.  However, Laurel’s father, Detective Quentin Lance, is determined to arrest the vigilante operating in his city.  Meanwhile, Oliver’s own mother, Moira, knows much more about the deadly shipwreck than she has let on – and is more ruthless than he could ever imagine.



Beauty and the Beast: Detective Catherine Chandler is a smart, no-nonsense homicide detective.  Several years earlier, Catherine witnessed the murder of her mother at the hands of two gunmen.  Catherine would have been killed too, but someone – or something – saved her.  No one has ever believed her, but she knows it wasn’t an animal that attacked the assassins…it was human.  Years have passed, and Catherine is a strong, confident, capable police officer, working alongside her equally talented partner, Tess.  While investigating a murder, Catherine discovers a clue that leads her to a handsome doctor named Vincent Keller, who was reportedly killed by enemy fire while serving in Afghanistan in 2002.  Catherine learns that Vincent is actually still alive and that it was he who saved her many years before.  For mysterious reasons that have forced him to live outside of traditional society, Vincent has been in hiding for the past 10 years to guard his secret – when he is enraged, he becomes a terrifying beast, unable to control his super-strength and heightened senses.  Catherine agrees to protect his identity in return for any insight he may have into her mother’s murder.  Thus begins a complex relationship between Catherine and Vincent, who are powerfully drawn to each other yet understand that their connection is extremely dangerous for both of them.



The Carrie Diaries: It’s 1984, and life isn’t easy for 16-year-old Carrie Bradshaw.  Since their mother passed away, Carrie’s younger sister Dorritt is more rebellious than ever, and their father Tom is overwhelmed with the responsibility of suddenly having to care for two teenage girls on his own.  Carrie’s friends – sweet, geeky Mouse, sarcastic and self-assured Maggie and sensitive Walt – make life bearable, but a suburban life in Connecticut isn’t doing much to take her mind off her troubles.  And even though the arrival of a sexy new transfer student named Sebastian brings some excitement to Carrie’s world, she is struggling to move on from her grief.  So when Tom offers Carrie the chance to intern at a law firm in Manhattan, she leaps at the chance.  Carrie’s eyes are opened wide at the glamour and grit of New York City – and when she meets Larissa, the style editor for Interview magazine, she’s inspired by the club culture and unique individuals that make up Larissa’s world.  Carrie’s friends and family may have a big place in her heart, but she’s fallen in love for the first time with the most important man in her life – Manhattan.

So to recap, here's my personal viewing schedule so far.  It's worth noting that since I'm in Germany, I won't actually be watching them in real time.   This is mostly carryover from this year, to be honest-

SUNDAY
8 pm The Simpsons
8 pm Once Upon a Time
9 pm Family Guy
9 pm Revenge
10 pm 666 PARK AVENUE - I'll give it a chance to hook me.
10 pm The Mentalist

MONDAY
8 pm How I Met Your Mother
9 pm 2 Broke Girls
10 pm Castle
10 pm - REVOLUTION - I'll give it one chance to hook me.

TUESDAY
9 Happy Endings
9:30 pm Don’t Trust the B-- In Apartment 23

WEDNESDAY
8 pm ARROW
9 pm Supernatural

THURSDAY
8 pm - 30 Rock
8 pm The Big Bang Theory
9 pm - Glee
9 pm - The Office
9 pm BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
9:30 pm - Parks and Recreation
10 pm ELEMENTARY - Like a train wreck, I cannot look away.

FRIDAY
8 pm. - Whitney
8:30 pm. - Community
9 pm  - Grimm
9 pm Nikita

If there are videos released, I'll try to post them later, as per usual.


[Upfront Watch 2012] CBS Promotional Videos

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CBS has skipped the traditional 'trailer' style videos, and has done behind the scenes videos instead, so you get some scenes from the show intercut with interview clips from the cast and creators.    So here's what we've got:

Partners, from the creators of Will and Grace, which has a pretty good cast, including David Krumholz and Brandon Routh.  Looks pretty funny.



Vegas is set around the time of the birth of what Vegas is today, and it looks more interesting than I had previously assumed.



Made In Jersey is about a girl from New Jersey becoming a lawyer.  It's one part My Cousin Vinny, one part Legally Blonde, and one part Jersey Shore.  Bored now.



And finally, the one I've been waiting for, Elementary, the Sherlock Holmes show.  It's refreshing to see Johnny Lee Miller using his real accent on an American tv show for a change; he usually doesn't get to do that.  Based on the clips in this trailer, I actually kind of like JLM as Holmes.  However, I hate hate hate Lucy Liu as Doctor Joan Watson.  She's flat and irritating throughout.   I can't wait to see an entire episode.

[Upfront Watch 2012] The CBS Fall Schedule

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CBS had already renewed most of their shows that I actually like, and their lineup is released now.  Not returning next fall: CSI: Miami, A Gifted Man, How to Be a Gentleman, NYC 22, Rob and Unforgettable.

The complete schedule looks like this.  New shows, as before, are in CAPS.  

MONDAY
8/7c How I Met Your Mother
8:30 pm PARTNERS
9 pm 2 Broke Girls
9:30 pm Mike & Molly
10 pm Hawaii Five-0

TUESDAY
8 pm NCIS
9 pm NCIS: LA
10 pm VEGAS

WEDNESDAY
8 pm Survivor
9 pm Criminal Minds
10 pm CSI

THURSDAY
8 pm The Big Bang Theory
8:30 pm Two and a Half Men
9 pm Person of Interest
10 pm ELEMENTARY

FRIDAY
8 pm CSI: NY
9 pm MADE IN JERSEY
10 pm Blue Bloods

SATURDAY
8 pm Crimetime Saturday

SUNDAY
8 pm The Amazing Race
9 pm The Good Wife
10 pm The Mentalist

Here are brief descriptions of the new shows.  If promotional video appears later today, I'll post again later.

Made In Jersey - centers on a working-class woman who uses her street smarts to compete with her more polished colleagues at a tony Manhattan law firm.

Friend Me - Centers on twenty-something best friends working at Groupon.   No, really.  Groupon.  GROUPON.

Golden Boy - tracks one cop’s meteoric rise from officer to detective to Police Commissioner.

Partners - Two architects have their life long friendship challenged when one of them proposes to his girlfriend.

Vegas - Set in the 1960s and is based on the true story of Ralph Lamb, a rodeo cowboy turned longtime Sheriff of Las Vegas.

Elementary - Sherlock Holmes, in modern day New York, with a female Watson. Starring Johnny Lee Miller as Holmes and Lucy Liu as Joan Watson.  This is the only new show from CBS that I have any interest in.  I really want to see this, even though I think it will be horribly bad.

So to recap, here's my personal viewing schedule so far.  It's worth noting that since I'm in Germany, I won't actually be watching them in real time.   This is mostly carryover from this year, to be honest-

SUNDAY
8 pm The Simpsons
8 pm Once Upon a Time
9 pm Family Guy
9 pm Revenge
10 pm 666 PARK AVENUE - I'll give it a chance to hook me.
10 pm The Mentalist

MONDAY
8 pm How I Met Your Mother
9 pm 2 Broke Girls
10 pm Castle
10 pm - REVOLUTION - I'll give it one chance to hook me.

TUESDAY
9 Happy Endings
9:30 pm Don’t Trust the B-- In Apartment 23

THURSDAY
8 pm - 30 Rock
8 pm The Big Bang Theory
9 pm - Glee
9 pm - The Office
9:30 pm - Parks and Recreation
10 pm ELEMENTARY - Like a train wreck, I cannot look away.

FRIDAY
8 pm. - Whitney
8:30 pm. - Community
9 pm  - Grimm

More tomorrow.  There's just one Upfront left: The CW
FriendlyFace
I had a chance to look at the little promotional trailers for ABC's new shows, but I still can't embed them in LiveJournal, though.  Oh well.  I don't think a single one of these shows will get a second season, but Malibu Country or Mistresses may prove me wrong, because Americans have no taste.  Here's my super-brief thoughts

Last Resort - A renegade submarine show.  I think it would make a fun tv-movie, but I don't see a series on this premise keeping my interest for all that long.

666 Park Ave. - Terry O'Quinn as the devil!  Neat!

Mistresses - There's no part of this show that actually interests me.  None at all.

The Family Tools - Kyle Bornheimer and JK Simmons are both fantastic comedic actors, but I doubt this will last more than a season.

How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life - I'm sorry Sarah Chalke, but a single mom moving back in with her parents just isn't that funny or interesting.

Malibu Country -  Great cast, but this is really the country music version of the Everwood premise.

Nashville - Why have one show on your network about aging country music stars when you could have two?

The Neighbors - Our neighbors are actually aliens.  Ludicrous, but probably pretty funny.  It'll be cancelled in four episodes.

Red Widow - I watched this trailer and still have no idea what the show is about.  

Zero Hour - Nazis!  Worldwide religious conspiracy!  A show that audiences won't be able to identify with that will get cancelled in half a season!

[Upfront Watch 2012] ABC's Lineup

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ABC has announced their fall lineup.  Cougar Town is moving to TBS, and a bunch of low performers got the ax.  Revenge is moving to Sundays, paired up with Once Upon A Time and one of the  new supernatural shows.

Here's the lineup, with new shows in all caps.

MONDAY
8/7c Dancing With the Stars/The Bachelor (in January)
10 pm Castle

TUESDAY
8 pm DWTS Results
9 Happy Endings
9:30 pm Don’t Trust the B—– In Apartment 23
10 pm Private Practice

In January
8 pm HOW TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE
8:30 THE FAMILY TOOLS

WEDNESDAY

8 pm The Middle
8:30 pm Suburgatory
9 pm Modern Family
9:30 THE NEIGHBORS
10 pm NASHVILLE

THURSDAY
8 pm LAST RESORT
9 pm Grey’s Anatomy
10 pm Scandal

FRIDAY
8 pm Shark Tank
9 pm Primetime: What Would You Do?
10 pm 20/20

In November
8 pm Last Man Standing
8:30 pm MALIBU COUNTRY
9 pm Shark Tank
10 pm Primetime: What Would You Do?

SATURDAY
8 pm Saturday Night College Football

SUNDAY

7 America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 pm Once Upon a Time 
9 pm Revenge
10 pm 666 PARK AVENUE

I don't know all that much about the new shows, and ABC has dickishly kept their trailers from being available in Germany.  I'm sure I'll get to see these later on.

If you want to see the trailers, they're up in various other places.

So to recap, here's my personal viewing schedule so far.  It's worth noting that since I'm in Germany, I won't actually be watching them in real time.   This is mostly carryover from this year, to be honest-

SUNDAY
8 pm The Simpsons
8 pm Once Upon a Time
9 pm Family Guy
9 pm Revenge
10 pm 666 PARK AVENUE - I'll give it one chance to hook me.

MONDAY
10 pm Castle
10 pm - REVOLUTION - I'll give it one chance to hook me.

TUESDAY
9 Happy Endings
9:30 pm Don’t Trust the B—– In Apartment 23

THURSDAY
8 pm - 30 Rock
9 pm - Glee
9 pm - The Office
9:30 pm - Parks and Recreation

FRIDAY
8 pm. - Whitney
8:30 pm. - Community
9 pm  - Grimm

In Midseason,  I'll check out Do No Harm, 1600 Penn, and Hannibal.

More tomorrow.  Here's the two remaining Upfront schedule-

Wednesday: CBS
Thursday: The CW

[Upfront Watch 2012] FOX Promotional Trailers

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FOX has released trailers for its five new shows, and as I expected, they're all pretty dull.  The Following might be ok if it keeps to the psychological drama of the premise.  Still, none of these has me dancing in my seat with anticipation.

The Following



The Goodwin Games


The Mindy Project


Ben And Kate



The Mob Doctor


[Upfront Watch 2012] The FOX Fall Schedule

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FOX has announced their lineup.  Cancelled are:  Alcatraz, Allen Gregory, Breaking In, The Finder, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, Napoleon Dynamite and Terra Nova.

There's a fair amount of shuffling of when things air, so here's the new schedule with new shows in caps.

MONDAY
8/7c Bones
9 pm THE MOB DOCTOR

TUESDAY
8 pm Raising Hope
8:30 pm BEN AND KATE
9 pm New Girl
9:30 pm THE MINDY PROJECT

WEDNESDAY
8 The X Factor

THURSDAY
8 pm The X Factor (Results Show)
9 pm Glee

FRIDAY
8 pm Touch
9 pm Fringe

SATURDAY
8 pm Fox Sports Saturday

SUNDAY
7 NFL OT
8 pm The Simpsons
8:30 pm Bob’s Burgers
9 pm Family Guy
9:30 pm  American Dad

Here's descriptions for the three new titles -

The Mindy Project - Mindy Kaling project, formerly titled It's Messy, finds the Office vet playing a Bridget Jones-type OB/GYN trying to navigate both her personal and professional lives.

Ben & Kate is a single-camera comedy about an uptight single mother whose aimless brother moves in to help raise her daughter.

The Mob Doctor is about a female doctor working for the mafia in Chicago.

Midseason will see the return of American Idol, Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, The Cleveland Show and Cops, along with these two new shows:

The Following (Mondays) -  Revolves around a deranged serial killer  who creates his own cult of murderers via the wonders of technology, and the retired FBI profiler (Kevin Bacon) who is hunting him down..

The Goodwin Games (Tuesdays, from HIMYM's Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and Chris Harris) is a comedy about three siblings who must reconnect in order to inherit their recently-deceased father's fortune.

Of all of the new shows listed, the only one that even sounds slightly interesting is The Following, and I haven't seen so much as a promotional photo on that one yet.

As for the returning shows, I admit to being a little bit curious about how Glee will use Sarah Jessica Parker (one episode) and Kate Hudson (six episodes.)

I'll post again today if FOX releases some promotional video from the new shows.

So to recap, here's my personal viewing schedule so far.  It's worth noting that since I'm in Germany, I won't actually be watching them in real time.   This is still mostly carryover from this year, to be honest-

SUNDAY
8 pm The Simpsons
9 pm Family Guy

MONDAY
10 pm - "REVOLUTION" - I'll give it one chance to hook me.

THURSDAY
8 pm - 30 Rock
9 pm - Glee
9 pm - The Office
9:30 pm - Parks and Recreation

FRIDAY
8 pm. - Whitney
8:30 pm. - Community
9 pm  - Grimm

More tomorrow.  Here's the remaining Upfront schedule again-

Tuesday: ABC
Wednesday: CBS
Thursday: The CW

[Upfront Watch 2012] NBC's Fall Schedule

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The Upfronts are here!  The first network out of the gate this year is NBC, and they've already released their fall schedule.    Here's the lineup, with new shows in all caps-

MONDAY

8-10 p.m. – “The Voice”

10-11 p.m. – “REVOLUTION”

TUESDAY

8-9 p.m. –“The Voice”

9-9:30 p.m. – “GO ON”

9:30-10 p.m. – “THE NEW NORMAL”

10-11 p.m. – “Parenthood”

WEDNESDAY

8-8:30 p.m. – “ANIMAL PRACTICE”

8:30-9 p.m. – “GUYS WITH KIDS”

9-10 p.m. – “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”

10-11 p.m. – “CHICAGO FIRE”

THURSDAY

8-8:30 p.m. – “30 Rock”

8:30-9 p.m. – “Up All Night”
9-9:30 p.m. – “The Office”

9:30-10 p.m. – “Parks and Recreation”

10-11 p.m. – “Rock Center with Brian Williams”

FRIDAY

8-8:30 p.m. – “Whitney”

8:30-9 p.m. – “Community”

9-10 p.m. – “Grimm”

10-11 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”

SUNDAY (Post-football/Winter 2013)
8-9 p.m. – “Fashion Star”

9-10 p.m. – “The Celebrity Apprentice”

10-11 p.m. – “DO NO HARM”

On Hold for Midseason:

Smash, Do No Harm, Biggest Loser, Save Me, 1600 Penn, Next Caller (with Dane Cook), Infamous, and Hannibal.

Right off the bat, I can say that there's only a few new shows that I'm interested in-  Do No Harm, 1600 Penn, and Hannibal look interesting, but they're all for midseason.  

Do No Harm is the Jeckyll and Hyde show.

Do No Harm



1600 Penn is the White House comedy with Bill Pullman, Jenna Elfman, and Josh Gad.





But again, those are for midseason.  On the fall lineup, here's the new stuff.

Go On brings Matthew Perry back to prime time (again), but I'm not convinced it's worth watching:



Guys With Kids, I won't even bother including the trailer here.  It's guys.  With kids.  No thanks.  Although the dialogue in the trailer is actually funnier than the Matthew Perry commercial.

Ok, fine, here's the commercial.



Animal Practice is touted as House with Animals, so it will last about two episodes before cancellation.



The New Normal, about a girl who becomes a surrogate parent for a gay couple, looks like a good concept, but again- it doesn't look like an interesting show to watch.



Revolution is the Kripke/Abrams show about life after electricity.  It looks interesting, but I'll only give it one episode to hook me.



Oh yeah, and there's also a show about firemen called Chicago Fire.

So to recap, here's my personal viewing schedule so far.  This is mostly carryover from this year, to be honest-

MONDAY

10-11 p.m. – “REVOLUTION” - I'll give it one chance to hook me.

THURSDAY

8-8:30 p.m. – “30 Rock”

9-9:30 p.m. – “The Office”

9:30-10 p.m. – “Parks and Recreation”

FRIDAY

8-8:30 p.m. – “Whitney”

8:30-9 p.m. – “Community”

9-10 p.m. – “Grimm”


In Midseason,  I'll check out Do No Harm, 1600 Penn, and Hannibal.

I might post a bit more later Monday after the actual presentation, and there's still FOX to announce their schedule in the afternoon.  Here's the Upfront schedule again-

Monday:  NBC and FOX
Tuesday: ABC
Wednesday: CBS
Thursday: The CW

[Upfront Watch 2012] Lots More Early Stuff

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In the past, you really had to wait until the Upfront presentations to find out the fate of your favorite show.  In the Internet age, though, you just have to watch the news feeds, because a lot of the cancellation and pick-up decisions are widely reported ahead of time.  We already have a sense of what next year will be like, and the Upfronts will be more about the schedule and the promos.  

In the last few days, a HUGE amount of renewals, cancellations, and pickups have happened, so let's recap.


ABC-
  • Revenge, Castle, Once Upon A Time, and Happy Endings are renewed.
  • Modern Family, Grey's Anatomy, and The Middle are also renewed.
  • To my vast surprise, they renewed ABC Don’t Trust the B— In Apartment 23.
  • Cougar Town is moving from ABC to TBS.

FOX-
  • Breaking In has been cancelled again.  ::sniff::
  • The Mindy Project, the Mindy Kaling show with a terrible title, has been picked up, so she's leaving the Office.
  • The Following has been picked up- it's a thriller about a serial killer who creates his own cult of murderers using technology, with a retired FBI profiler (Kevin Bacon) chasing after him.
  • The Goodwin Games has been picked up.  This is notable only because it's from the creators of How I Met Your Mother, and it stars Becki Newton, who is currently playing Barney's sweetie on HIMYM.

NBC-
  • Are You There Chelsea? is cancelled.
  • 30 Rock (13 episode final season), Community (13 episodes), Parks and Recreation (22 episodes), The Office, and Whitney are all renewed.
  • The Jeckyll & Hyde-ish Do No Harm has been picked up.
  • Infamous has been picked up.  It's described as an "opulent soap in which a female detective returns undercover to the wealthy family she grew up in as the maid's daughter to solve the murder of the notorious hieress who was ocne her closest friend." 
  • Revolution, the Kripke/Abrams show about a world without electricity has been picked up.  What I didn't know initially is that this is set fifteen years after the initial blackout, so society has achieved a new normal.

The CW-
  • Nikita is renewed.
  • Vampire Diaries is renewed, as is Gossip Girl for an eleven episode final season.
  • The Secret Circle and Ringer are cancelled.
  • The Carrie Diaries has been picked up.  This focuses on a 16 year old Carrie Bradshaw in 1984.
  • Beauty and the Beast, the update of the old show, has been picked up.
  • Surprisingly, they did not pick up The Selection,their Hunger Games knock-off.
  • Arrow has been picked up (yay!), so we get Green Arrow back on the small screen.  I still have my reservations, but I'll talk about that on Thursday when the full lineup is announced.

I'll be writing about the new shows, individual network presentations, and schedules throughout the week, on the day of each Upfront.  Here's the Upfront schedule:

May 14, 2012 NBC (Morning)
May 14, 2012 FOX (Afternoon)
May 15, 2012 ABC (Afternoon)
May 16, 2012 CBS (Afternoon)
May 17, 2012 The CW (Morning)

[Upfront Watch 2012] Some More Early Stuff

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With the upfronts coming up next week, there has already been a slew of news about series pickups and renewals.
  • NBC has ordered a new series called Revolution, a show about a time after a disaster leaves America unplugged from all technology.  The show is from J.J. Abrams (Lost/Alias) and Eric Kripke (Supernatural).
  • NBC ordered a thirteen episode season of 1600 Penn, the White House comedy with Bill Pullman as the Prez and Jenna Elfman as the First Lady.
  • Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock are reportedly on the verge of renewal for short seasons, but those same reports say this is going to be 30 Rock's final season.
A speculative fall schedule that Deadline has posted about suggests that 30 Rock and Parks and Rec are being moved to Wednesdays, away from Community and The Office.

More of this tv crap to come!

[Upfront Watch 2012] Early Stuff

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Every year for a long while now, I have written a series of posts about the television Upfronts, the presentations the networks give to their advertisers to announce fall lineups and to generate buzz for their new programs.   

This year, things are going to be a little bit strange for me.  For one thing, I'm in Germany now, which means that I can't get my television first-hand any more.   I still watch the same programs, but I have to use other means.  Some I can view online, some I've purchased through iTunes- you get the idea.  

For another thing, the Upfronts are May 14-17, which is the week before I go on vacation so I'm not sure if I'll have a ton of time to write up the posts.  I'm still going to try, though.

Another major point-  the fates of most of the shows that I care about have already been determined and announced.

Already renewed:  How I Met Your Mother, Grimm, The Big Bang Theory, Supernatural, The Cleveland Show,  2 Broke Girls, Family Guy, Glee, The Mentalist, The Simpsons.  And I don't watch Fringe, but many of my friends do, so it's good to see that it was renewed for a short final season.

Already gone:  Chuck, Breaking In

Probably a safe bet for renewal:  Castle, Happy Endings, Once Upon A Time, Revenge, 30 Rock, Community, Parks & Recreation

With this much of the landscape already set for next fall, we have to look at the pilots that are being developed for the 2012-2013 television season.  I've already pored through the list of pilots being developed, and out of all the crap, these are the ones that most interest me.  I'm curious to see how many of them will go to series.  It's way too early to tell if any of these will even be watchable.

NBC-
Hannibal - This is a prequel to the movies, so Hannibal Lecter hasn't been jailed yet.  Possibly very interesting.
Do No Harm - "A brilliant neurosurgeon wrestles with his dangerous alter ego that threatens to wreak havoc on his personal and professional life."
1600 Penn - A White House family comedy with a great cast.  Jenna Elfman, Bill Pullman, Josh Gad.
A Sarah Silverman pilot, which had an early order.  I hope it's more interesting to me than her Comedy Central show.

FOX seems like they miss shows like Alias and Veronica Mars.
Karyn Usher-  A teen-spy drama
The Asset- Another female CIA agent pilot.

CBS-
Elementary, a Sherlock Holmes update with Johnny Lee Miller as Holmes and Lucy Liu as Joan Watson.  Set in New York City.  No, really.

ABC has gone overboard on the fantasy/supernatural pilots with the following:
666 Park Ave - A young couple agrees to manage a historic apartment building in NYC; supernatural hijinks ensue.
Gotham - Female cop discovers a magical world within New York City, and supernatural hijinks ensue.
Beauty and the Beast.

The CW -
Arrow, a Green Arrow pilot.  This is the one I'm most hopeful about.  I hope this is good, because I miss having Capes on television.
The Carrie Diaries - A prequel to Sex and The City, this is a young Carrie Bradshaw.  
Beauty and The Beast.  Yes, ABC and the CW are running competing B&tB shows.  This one is a remake of the 80s one with Ron Perlman; Kristin Kreuk is the female lead.
The Selection, which is the CW's attempt to cash in on the Hunger Games concept.

There are other pilots with some of my favorites- Kal Penn, Judy Greer, others.  I'll be curious to see which pilots make it to the upfronts.

The Upfronts  are on the following schedule, so I'll probably be writing about again this starting on Monday May 14th.
  • May 14, 2012 NBC (Morning)
  • May 14, 2012 FOX (Afternoon)
  • May 15, 2012 ABC (Afternoon)
  • May 16, 2012 CBS (Afternoon)
  • May 17, 2012 The CW (Morning)
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I won't be crossposting from my Wordpress blog any more.

On Monday, I discovered that my WordPress installation had been hacked again. I spent a few hours cleaning things up, an then I got really frustrated with the Sisyphean nature of the whole process. Because of that, I decided to move my site from a self-hosted WordPress installation to WordPress.com servers, so that constant vigilance against hacks and software updates would be Somebody Else’s Problem(tm)  for a change.

The annual fees for WordPress.com hosting were, I thought, well worth the one night a month I would gain in not having to clean out my blog’s infection and reset everything.  Most of the functionality I had on a self-hosted installation was available on Wordpress.com-  the only significant exception is the lj-xp plugin, which allowed for LiveJournal crossposting.

I think I'm ok with this.  I'll continue to read my LiveJournal friends, and I will occasionally post here things that are more personal than the public blog posts on stevenglassman.de.  Let's face it, Facebook isn't ideal for personal journal or blog posts.  But for the things that I write about my European adventures, that will be separated out.

This is a logical progression, in my opinion.  I started the blog outside of LiveJournal initially because I expected people to view it who wouldn't necessarily pore through my LiveJournal for this stuff-  people like my 73 year old father, for example.  He just goes right to stevenglassman.de to read it.   

Some people go to the blog when they see a note on Facebook or Twitter that there's a new post-  that functionality is native to wordpress.com installations, which is awesome.  It took me four plugins to get the same stuff working on my own installation.  Whenever I post a new entry, both services get a link back, and Facebook even gets a little slug of text about the post.

Some people read the blog in RSS feeders; that's easy enough-  I use Google Reader myself, and "Byline" for my iOS reading.  RSS works fine.

For those few of you who want to keep reading, but don't want to leave LiveJournal, I have a workaround for you also: steveninde.    I won't see comments left there, but the posts will show up there through regular RSS syndication. 

And I won't have to fix my entire blog once a month, so I'm pretty happy about that.

Where the brave and wise may live forever.

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About ten minutes from my office, in the hills of Donaustauf overlooking the Donau (Danube) river, is a monument called Walhalla.  (In German, this is pronounced just like Valhalla in English.)   Walhalla is modeled after the Parthenon in Athens.  It was built in the 1800s by King Ludwig I of Bavaria. (Well, it was built by people who built things on the orders of King Ludwig I, but I think he still gets credit.)

Whereas the Valhalla of legend is the home to deceased warriors only, this Walhalla also has busts of royalty, musicians, artists, scientists, and philosophers.  Here’s a short list of people memorialized in Walhalla that you  might have heard of:

  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Nicolaus Copernicus
  • Johannes Kepler
  • Albrecht Dürer
  • Georg Friedrich Händl
  • Richard Wagner
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Albert Einstein

…and that’s just eight of the nearly two hundred plaques and busts within the main hall.

Best of all, though, is the view.  Walhalla has an amazing perch.   This is a place where amazing photographs can be taken.  I’m told that in the warmer months, it’s not uncommon to find people sitting on the steps, having picnics, and generally enjoying the hell out of overlooking the Donau.  I took a few pictures on a recent visit there, and despite the small amounts of restorative construction going on, it’s still amazing.  I look forward to going back there after we’re in proper springtime and there’s more sunlight and greenery.  Here’s a brief look at the place.

 

 

Originally published at StevenGlassman.de. You can comment here or there.

Short Post: Spinat!

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I’ve done several posts on how the food and grocery shopping experiences here are different than what I’m used to, but I’m still constantly finding more.  For example, frozen spinach!

In the US, frozen spinach is typically in a pouch that can either be boiled or microwaved.  Here, the frozen spinach is actually in frozen cube form.  Pictured here is a sleeve with two cubes of frozen spinach.  There were four in the box.

This spinach is also microwaveable, but in this case, you just spoon five or six spoonfuls of water over the spinach cube before you microwave, and then cook it for the specified amount of time.  The end result is spinach that only requires a little bit of fork-on-greens action to change out of a cube form into something that is more recognizable as a leafy green vegetable.  Here they are in their cooked but still cubed state:

Best of all, however- this spinach was absolutely delicious, and it couldn’t possibly be easier to prepare.  I feel healthier already.

Originally published at StevenGlassman.de. You can comment here or there.

Ultimate Spider Man...

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They can't seem to stick with just one Spidey cartoon. They had a different one, Spectacular Spider-Man, just a short while ago and I liked that one, but they decided not to renew it. Instead, they're moving forward with this Ultimate Spider-Man. I'm not sure how I feel about the whole 'Spidey getting trained by Shield' angle. As with every other superhero show, I am cautiously optimistic.

Back to Nürnberg, Part Two

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After I was done at Doku-Zentrum, I took the tram back toward the Bahnhof, and from there I met Heather from “Heather Goes Deutsch”  for lunch and some hang time.  Heather lives in Nuremberg and teaches English there.

I’ve noticed a trend among other Americans that I’ve run into here. We tend to be in one of three categories:  Technology workers, Teachers,  and Students.  (Although there are a huge amount of American troops here in Germany, I’m not counting the military folk because they’re not necessarily in Germany by choice, and many of them tend to have short term assignments here before getting deployed elsewhere.)

Ah, but I digress.  I was talking about Nuremberg.  Heather went to lunch.  On the walk there, we saw some preaching Christians.  They were much louder and more preachey than the Mormons from my previous visit.

Heather and I ate at Alex, which is a chain-  I’ve eaten in the Regensburg location as well as the Nuremberg one.  Alex feels a bit like TGI Fridays or Applebees back home.   It overlooks a large courtyard which was filled with a green market at the time.

After lunch, it was time for a walk up a very steep hill to see the castle that I missed last time I was in town.  It was tall and castley.  Heather warned me about the hill, but it was much steeper to get all the way up than I expected.  (The journey back down looked like it would have been a lot of fun on roller blades.  Until you broke your neck, that is.)

Here is a rare photograph where I’m in front of the camera instead of behind it:

The castle ramparts were sufficiently high up that the view was pretty spectacular looking over the town.  Here’s part of it:

After our controlled descent from the castle, we walked around the city a little bit more.  While Regensburg has monuments to Kepler, Nuremberg has the Albrecht Dürer house.  Dürer, as it turns out, spent quite a bit of time in Nuremberg, born there in the late 1400s and returning for parts of the 1500s.  He was there in between stints in Italy and the Netherlands, and his famous painting of a hare has resulted in a lot of rabbits in stores and sculptures.   For example, there’s this super creepy statue.  I told Heather that it looks like Alice in Wonderland on peyote.

By this point in the afternoon, I was pretty much ready to hop a train back home, so we started to follow the city wall back toward the train station. Interesting fun fact:  The wall around the city of Nuremberg is mostly stil intact  You can walk along large sections of it and eventually you’ll wind up back at the train station.

On the walk back, I saw some nifty stuff that needed to be photographed. I’ll close out the post with these last three photographs-

1) Some nifty graffiti that translates to “Against sexism, against homophobia!”  At some point I will take pictures of more graffiti around town in Regensburg.  I’ve already got a nifty collection of pictures of the decals that people put on street signs and lamp posts- I find it fascinating.

2) A street musician playing an instrument that I can’t quite identify.  It’s not quite a harp, but it’s similar.  It also looks quite heavy.

3) Random Greenpeace protest.  Apparently they’re against nuclear power.  (And power is yet another topic on my future posts list.)

Originally published at StevenGlassman.de. You can comment here or there.

Back to Nürnberg, Part One

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This weekend, I found myself with a free Saturday-  no plans.  What I did have was a BahnCard, a nearby train station, and a surge of wanderlust.  But where could I go that would be interesting, but wouldn’t involve a hotel or an overnight stay…  well, I never did get to see all the touristy stuff in Nuremberg, so that seemed like a winner.

Administrative note #1:  I referred to the city in the title of this post as Nürnberg, and in the paragraph above as Nuremberg.  Both are correct- Nürnberg is the German word, and Nuremberg is the English spelling.  (See also: Munich and München.)

Administrative note #2: I’m splitting this trip into two posts because I’ve got about twenty photographs and there’s a good and logical place to split them apart.  Moving on!

Every trip to another place so far has started with the same thing:  Trains!  And while the view from the train last time I travelled was snow covered fields, this time around the green is starting to come back.  The snow that was there melted off, and the plants are pretty happy about it.

The trip to Nuremberg on an ICE (Inter City Express) train is roughly an hour long; a very quick and comfortable ride.  Once I got to the city, I followed the signs to the tram, which is basically a ground level train system.  The streetcars in San Francisco are more or less the same thing.

Side note:  The crutches the girl in this picture is using?  They’re very common in Germany.  Frankly, I think they’re much better than the sore-armpit crutches that are commonplace in the US when people sprain an ankle or what have you.

The #9 tram takes about ten minutes to get to the Dokumentationszentrum Reichsparteitagsgelände, or the Doku-Zentrum for short.  This is the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rallying Grounds.  It’s a museum in the unfinished Congress Hall where many Nazi party rallies were held.

There is a tremendous amount of archival footage from the Nazi rallies, along with artifacts from that time.  Although Nazi symbols and paraphernalia are illegal in Germany in the present day, that wasn’t always so.  There’s an example of old army man toys- the same kind that children in the US play with all the time.  The difference between little green US Army men and these is obvious and striking though:

It’s also interesting to see the commemorative things-  this is the sort of products that the Franklin Mint sells today, except this was all Hitler all the time:

There were also newspapers on display from many nations during that time period.  It was interesting for me to see the political cartoons of the time from the American newspaper.

There were a great many photographs and films of bombings, of allied troops reaching Nuremberg, and so forth.  There was an entire section dedicated to the Nuremberg trials, and the original books, logs, and tapes of the Goering interviews are all on display here.

The exit path of the museum contains a section with chips that have the names of many concentration camp victims on them, along with the names of the camps.  It’s designed to look like a train track that goes on and on-  very striking.

All in all, this was a fascinating museum.  Since my arrival, I’ve seen lots of news reports about Nazi activity- as I said previously, it’s illegal here now, but there are still pockets of Nazi activity in some of the cities.  While I don’t think anything like the Holocaust could happen again, this was still a pretty sobering experience.

Luckily, the rest of the Nuremberg trip was all fun and games.  And lots of walking.  Lots and lots of walking.   That will all be in the next post.


Originally published at StevenGlassman.de. You can comment here or there.

Comic books on TV - Arrow

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With some dude named Stephen Armell in the title role, filming for the CW pilot of the Green Arrow television show, titled "Arrow," began filming yesterday, March 10th.

I am trepidatious.

While I love that the CW is trying to put another superhero on the small screen, I think it was a mistake to not pick up where Smallville left off with the character.  Justin Hartley has a built in fan base for his portrayal of Oliver Queen.

Also making my 'please don't suck please don't suck' hackles go up:  "“It’s very provocative and sophisticated and edgy. It’s not as comic book-y as Smallville or other [superhero projects] from other networks.”  This was a quote from Thom Sherman, executive vice president of development at the CW.  In other words, he's a suit, not a comic book fan.  The suits have also been comparing this Green Arrow to Rambo and Jason Bourne.  I have a very bad feeling about this.  When people who don't understand comic books make comic book shows and movies, we get Steel.

To add to my uneasy feeling, they're making a lot of tiny changes to the mythology of the character.  Oliver's mother is still alive, there's a step-father-who-took-over-the-company stereotype, Speedy is now the nickname for Oliver's little sister, and so forth.

I want to like this, I really do- after all, it's a comic book based show, and we all know how much I love the capes.  I'm really worried about the impending suck, though.

Then again, it could implode like last season's terrible David E. Kelley Wonder Woman pilot and never even make it to air.

vier Monate (four months)

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Four months ago today, I boarded a plane in Miami to move to Germany.  One third of an entire year has passed.    It’s kind of mind boggling to me-  the time has passed very quickly.  I feel like I’ve been here no time at all.  And I simultaneously feel like I’ve been here for so much longer than four months.

Since I arrived, I have:

  • Survived my first three weeks in a hotel.
  • Found an apartment.
  • Learned to bank in Germany.
  • Successfully navigated German bureacracy with help from my colleague Michael – I have a residence permit, permission to work, and a German tax ID and social security number.
  • Equipped that apartment with furniture, mostly from Ikea, as well as an Internet connection.
  • Worked a lot.  I don’t really talk about work on this blog, but it’s there.  It’s what brought me to Germany in the first place.
  • Survived my first winter in Germany.  My first winter anywhere, really- I lived in Florida for my entire life before this, so snow and ice is very new to me.
  • Learned to grocery shop in a new country.
  • Learned a great many food words in German, become fairly adept at reading menus.
  • Tried an enormous amount of restaurants and bars in Regensburg. (Special thanks to Jenny for being my semi-constant mealtime companion.  She has really great taste in food.)
  • Become a regular at an Irish pub.  (I’ve always wanted to be a regular at a pub. Neat!)
  • Learned to navigate the alttstadt (old town) better than some folks who’ve been here for much longer.
  • Learned how to use the bus and train systems in Germany.  Acquired a Bahncard.
  • Travelled on my own to a concert in Kempten, near the Alps on the Austrian border.
  • Travelled to Munich to see an Orchestra perform the entire score to Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • Travelled two Nuremberg twice, once with a friend and once on my own. (The second trip to Nuremberg will be a coming-soon post.)
  • Met another American blogger who lives in Germany. (Hi, Heather!)
  • Met a lot of people from at least eight other countries besides Germany and the US.
  • Had a Russian girl named Elena drink me under the table.  (My Russian ancestry cries every time I can’t keep up.  Need more practice.)
  • Learned and embraced a lot of very German customs and behaviors.
  • Watched The Lion King and The Muppets in German.  Also, lots of Big Bang Theory, Futurama, Star Trek, Family Guy, Simpsons, and How I Met Your Mother in German.
  • Learned a lot of German- still not enough for a conversation, but that will come in time.
  • Tried very hard to never fit the “stupid American” stereotype.
  • Discovered the tasty, tasty addiction that is Butterbreze- buttered pretzels.

…and most importantly:

  • Met a lot of really great people, and even made some friends.

Things that are still very much on my to-do list:

  • By the time I’ve been here for one year, I want to have basic conversations in German.
  • I still need to file my German taxes from 2011. D’oh!
  • More blogging.  Always more blogging.
  • More travel. I still need to see Vienna, Salzburg, Budapest, Prague, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, London, Cardiff, Barcelona, Berlin, Heidelberg, Zurich, and many other places that I can’t think of right now.
  • Less McDonald’s.  Having two McD’s within a short walk from here is somewhat lethal-  when you’re really hungry and/or tired, it’s too easy to slip in for a burger and fries.  It’s especially tempting after a night of drinking at the Murphy’s Law.
  • Acquire a traditional Bavarian outfit complete with lederhosen.  Maybe.

 

 

Originally published at StevenGlassman.de. You can comment here or there.

Short Post: Demonstration This Morning

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While walking to the bus stop this morning, I couldn’t help but notice a very large group of people with flags, banners, and signs walking up the street.  The signs all said, “Wir Sind Es Wert,” which I now know means “We are worth it.”

The group, as it turns out, is a union called Ver.Di.  I’m not entirely sure what they’re demonstrating about, but it was interesting and somewhat random, and I hope that the demonstration doesn’t mean they’re striking, because a union strike would affect the bus that I take every day.

Originally published at StevenGlassman.de. You can comment here or there.

German Customs 101: Mahlzeit!

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One of the more amusing customs I’ve seen since I moved to Germany is the usage of the word Mahlzeit.  Loosely translated, the word means “meal time,” but it’s used in a few different ways. Some people use it as a greeting even away from food, but I haven’t seen that as much.

The most common usage, and the one that I see every day, is that when someone goes to eat lunch, most people who see them say ‘malhzeit.’   This seems to happen any time in the afternoon, and I’ve seen references that say that any meal after about 11am but before late afternoon qualifies. Once you get to early evening, it shifts to guten abend.

The first time I ran across this, I was mildly incredulous.  When you leave the office to get some food, it’s not uncommon for everyone in the room to say mahlzeit to me.  The person leaving is supposed to say mahlzeit as well. When someone else is leaving, everyone says mahlzeit to them.  When you’re already sitting and eating, people who wander into the kitchen to get coffee also reflexively say mahlzeit.  I’ve had days where four or five people have walked by and said mahlzeit in a row-  the desire for privacy is actually a pretty good incentive to leave the office for lunch.

Some, just to be contrary, say ‘guten appetit.’  I always want to say “marsite,’ which sounds similar enough that most people wouldn’t notice, but references pool decking instead.

Originally published at StevenGlassman.de. You can comment here or there.

Two If By Train

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I’ve always wanted to see Europe.  Lots and lots of Europe.  Up until I moved to Germany, however, I had never actually been to Europe. When I was given the chance to work in Germany for Mr. Company, one of the biggest draws was that I would be here for a long period of time-  exploring Europe from Europe is a great deal simpler than trying to do it in a series of shorter trips from the US.

To add to my wonderment,  Regensburg sits on a major rail line.  The Regensburg Bahnhof is a five minute walk from my apartment.  From there, I can be to Munich in just under 90 minutes.  In five hours I can be to Vienna, Salzburg, or Prague.  In less than seven hours, I can reach Berlin or Zurich.  In eight hours, I can reach Amsterdam, Budapest, or Paris.  If I have ten or twelve hours, I can reach Venice, Rome, or London.  That’s just rail-  if I take a 75 minute train to Munich, I can hop a flight to just about anywhere in no time at all.

I just got my BahnCard, too.  The BahnCard system is a wonderful boost to someone like me.  For a yearly fee up front, you get a percentage of all of your rail travel discounted within Germany.  The BahnCard 25 is less than sixty Euros up front, and is 25% off your rail for that year.  The BahnCard 50, which I purchased, is 240 Euros per year, but it provides a 50% discount.   I’ve already made back 20% of the expense, and I just got the card last week.   There’s also a BahnCard 100, which is an obscene amount of money up front, but BC100 holders do not pay anything additional for their German rail travel for that year.  It’s the Black Card of the EuroRail system, literally- it’s actually a black card.  Regular BahnCards arrive in a flat white envelope, but the BC100 arrives in a presentation box, pictured below. (And shamelessly stolen from http://blog.mahrko.de/.)

To add to the seven layer burrito of awesome that is the BahnCard, RailPlus is automatically granted on every BahnCard, which grants 25% off of ticket prices for another 24 countries.  From here, I can start planning on little rail trip weekends whenever I feel like it.

I’m gonna go everywhere.

Originally published at StevenGlassman.de. You can comment here or there.

Another One Rides The Bus

FriendlyFace

When I first found out that I would be moving to Germany, I was convinced I would need a car here.  One of my co-workers spent a few months here doing pretty much the same job that I’m doing now, and he rented a car for the duration.

The more I researched the area and the more I learned about life in Regensburg, the more I realized that I didn’t want a car here if I could avoid it.  While I do have an International Driving Permit, I didn’t want the expense.   To own a car here means insurance, a probable car payment, winter tires, fuel with a hefty per-liter price- no gallons here.  On top of that, I would need a new set of skills-  there are road signs here that I’m not familiar with.  The traffic patterns are different.  The stop lights are set before the intersection instead of across it, so that’s another thing to get used to.

I could have had my car shipped over here, but that would have cost thousands of dollars for a vehicle that’s already six years old.  Her mileage is low, but I don’t know if the cold would have agreed with a car that spent its entire life in Florida.

For those rare occasions that I might need a car for other reasons, there are always options.  When I got my bed from Ikea back in November, I rented a van at an hourly rate with which to transport the bed and a co-worker did the driving.  If I find a need for a car for a longer journey, there are many car rental places around such as Europcar.

Goodbye, little blue friend.

When I left the country, I handed off my car keys to my brother and gave him instructions to offload the car.  I’m going to be here for a few years and it made more sense to sell the car than to try to store it.  This week, my car was successfully sold back in Florida.  I’m sad to see the Civic go, but it’s better this way. I last drove her on November 11th, the morning that I left the United States.

That’s also the last time that I’ve driven anything though, and for the most part I don’t miss it.  For the last three months, I’ve been a regular rider of public transportation.  I’ll talk more about the awesomeness that is the German train system in a future post; for now I just want to talk bus riding.

Before I took the bus for the first time, I nearly had an aneurysm trying to read the bus schedule.  The way the schedules are formatted is extremely easy to read, but only after someone explains it to you.  Without that explanation, it’s easily the most confusing document I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t had a headache already today, go look at http://www.rvv.de/Linie-9-Haltestellenfahrplan-ab-11.12.2011.d1757.pdf.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

In my time here, I feel like I’ve already become a veteran bus rider.  I’ve run full-tilt for a bus, only to see it pull away from the curb at the last minute.  I’ve been on a bus where someone very close smells like they just ran a marathon through a sewer.  Oh, the joys of public transportation.

Those frustrations are small, though, compared to the benefits.  The bus system here is excellent and I take that to and from work every weekday.  I’ve also learned to find my way around to a number of great specialty stores for home goods and the like.   The first time I was on the bus ride home from work and I saw the blue flashing lights of a traffic snarl, I just leaned back, sighed happily, and turned to the next page on my Kindle book.

Each month, I go to an automated machine to get my monthly ticket. I pay a fee of roughly fifty Euros a month for unlimited rides within zones one and two.  Zone one is the city center of Regensburg, and zone two contains several of the surrounding towns, including Neutraubling, where the office is located.  That’s a small amount of money compared to what I paid back in Florida for gasoline, insurance, and so forth.

There’s several different types of vehicles in use here-  some of the more frequented lines like the 1 and the 11 to the University have double-length buses with an accordion thing between the sections.  It’s really pretty astonishing.    There are certain buses that are red and seem to be affixed to specific lines, and others that are yellow- I’m not sure if there’s a specific reason for that, or if the colors represent anything other than the region the bus travels through.

I’ve also found that the bus lines have their own personalities.  It’s hard to describe, but they really do.  I even have a favorite bus line, although that might change over time; I’ve only actually been on five or six of the different lines.   There are three that will take me to work.  There’s one line that runs hourly to Ikea- pretty handy if you want to go eat meatballs on a Saturday afternoon.

I just realized that I wrote an entire post about buses without including a picture of a bus.  Here’s one of those nifty double-length accordion buses I was talking about to make up for that.

Originally published at StevenGlassman.de. You can comment here or there.

Thud!

FriendlyFace

This picture makes me laugh so much, for one reason:

The presence of the warning sign on the glass partition- “Caution- Glass!” – means that somebody, probably several somebodies, have already walked into it.  Heck, I almost walked into it myself, and I saw the sign.

Originally published at StevenGlassman.de. You can comment here or there.

It’s a bad, bad day to be a necktie.

FriendlyFace

Just before the end of January, I was in the grocery store with a friend when we passed an aisle filled with costumes-  the exact same sorts of costume gear that you would normally see in a Target or a Walgreens just before Halloween.  Naturally, I asked what the deal was.

It turns out that there’s another holiday here that involves dressing up.  It’s called Fasching, and it’s this month.  Fasching is Carnival, a.k.a. the local version of Mardi Gras, and it happens roughly seven weeks before Easter.  It spans several different days, with a variety of different events.

The Thursday before Ash Wednesday is known as “Weiberfastnacht”, or “Women’s carnival night”. On this day tradition dictates that women are allowed to cut off the tie of any man within reach.    The women are also allowed to kiss any man they like, according to some versions of tradition.  (Not one to waste an opportunity, I bought four cheap neckties.  And some ChapStick.)

The following Monday is known as Rosenmontag (Rose Monday). On Rosenmontag there are various street processions involving lots of costumes and carnival floats. Faschingsdienstag (Carnival Tuesday) is the last day of Fasching and when most of the festivities happen. Faschingsdienstag is not an official public holiday in Bavaria, but it’s still celebrated.

The traditional food of Carnival season is Krapfen, or donuts.  They’re available in every bakery, in all sorts of different flavors.  I’ve heard of varieties containing sweets such as vanilla, marmelade, or chocolate.

According to legend, it used to be customary to choose a man  to be the “sacred king” of the tribe for a year. The method of choosing the sacred king was the King’s Cake. A coin or bean would be placed in the cake before baking and whoever got the slice with the coin was the chosen one.  Another version of the King’s Cake story says that it’s just a king for a day scenario.  I haven’t found any reference works that I trust to be completely authoritative so far, but I’ve seen  numerous references indicating that the King’s Cake idea has evolved into the donuts that we’re familiar with today.

My favorite part of this, so far,is the costumes though.  So far today, I’ve only seen three people dressed in costume so far, and two of them worked in the bakery where I get my morning pretzel.  I’ve also seen posters for Kinder-Fasching, which is basically for the kids. (Kinder = children.)  I suspect I’ll see a bunch more costumes after work, but I expect to see more when I go out this evening for my usual bi-weekly Stammtisch.  The word doesn’t translate easily to English, but a stammtisch is just a meeting group. This particular stammtisch is the Regensburg English Stammtisch, which is a group that meets every other Thursday to drink and chat in English.  I try not to miss it because it’s a heap of fun.

Naturally, I’ll have another tie on for that part of my evening.

Originally published at StevenGlassman.de. You can comment here or there.

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