Get out of the hashtag business, TV networks

Okay. Can the TV networks just dispense with the ham-handed attempts at creating futile Twitter synergy by cramming hashtag phrases down our throats?

I’m sitting here, against all better judgment, surfing the web on my laptop while I have TBS on in the background, where the terrible, terrible hack sitcom “Met At Work” is on, and in the corner of the screen, the TBS geniuses have put up the hashtag “#gibbsvsmilo” because the plot centers on a lame-brained something where Gibbs and Milo are characters, you see, and they are versus-ing against each other in comically hilarious ways. Over some chick, or something. Because guys are such guys!

By the way, did I mention this show is just awful? God. Awful.

Back to the hashtags. I see this all the time on TV shows. The networks invent some two- or three-word phrase tying into the TV show, throw a hashtag in front of it, and pretend it’s some sort of social movement that all the cool kids are going to be talking about.

I’m thinking that if you are tweeting anything that contains “#gibbsvsmilo” then you need to have your social networking license revoked, because you are neither social nor networking. You’re in a vacuum tweeting something lame that a corporation has tricked you into thinking was worth 10 seconds of your time. (Or 10 minutes of mine, in writing this pointless gripe post.) Probably most of the people tweeting these phrases are on the media company payroll, having been forced as part of their job to try to make it look like their hashtag of the hour has any sort of traction.

Just stop it. You’re embarrassing yourselves.

If you get hurt trying this, you can’t sue

Of all the fine print that appears in that small narrow sans-serif white print with black drop-shadow at the bottom of the screen during television commercials, my favorite has to be the one that, for various reasons depending on the activities being depicted, says, “Do not attempt.”

Sunday is the Super Bowl. Count how many of these examples you see during the course of the game.

You know, commercials where multiple cars are being driven through wide-open non-roads in the middle of the desert at 90 mph and then do 180-degree spins while passing each other in opposite directions. “Professional driver on closed course. Do not attempt.” Yes, because I have access to desert expanses of non-roads where I like to go driving my $60,000 luxury vehicle with my friends and their matching $60,000 vehicles. (Read more…)

To grandmother’s house we go!

You can call this post what it is — a snarky, sight-unseen prejudgment of something that just looks stupid on its face.

Red Riding Hood
Amanda Seyfried is going to grandmother’s house. (Warner Bros. photo)

I’m talking about the making of “Red Riding Hood” into a Hollywood “thriller” starring Amanda Seyfried in the title role, and I think involving a werewolf.

Yes.

With any luck, the werewolf, if there is one (and I don’t know that there is; I did NOT consult the Google on the Internets for a plot description), will be played by Taylor Whatshisface, in a crossover appearance from the Twilight franchise.

(And speaking of Twilight, why did they have to go and split the last book into two movies which I’ll now have to sit through with my wife? Greedy Hollywood bastards!) (Read more…)

MLB: Just add instant replay already

So, last night, Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers threw a perfect game. Except it wasn’t a perfect game, because with two outs in the bottom of the ninth — you couldn’t write fiction this implausible — first-base umpire Jim Joyce blew the call. And Joyce admitted after the game that he blew the call. So what should have been the 21st perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball is instead the most infamous one-hitter in the history of Major League Baseball.

Wow. Just, wow.

Today, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said he wouldn’t reverse the blown call because, apparently, that would open up a can of worms that would bring the sport of Major League Baseball to a grinding halt. Or something. (Read more…)

Who needs the iPad? Nobody, I’m sure.

The headline pretty much says it all. What is the point of the iPad? I think this may be the perfect example of the consumer product that exists first and foremost to fleece its buyers out of their money. Goal #2: To convince them that it’s great in the absence of these customers having better reasons for living.

iPad. Who cares.
The wonderful iPad. Frankly, iDontGiveADamn.

Too cynical? Perhaps. Granted, the last thing I should probably do is dare to question the uber-smart-and-savvy Steve Jobs. After all, every high-tech, game-changing, mega-hyped, life-altering, blockbuster piece of techo-wizardry that Apple has released in the past decade has been a slam-bang success, right?

The very first “i” product, the iMac, basically saved Apple from oblivion shortly before the turn of the millennium. After that came the iPod and the iPhone, both of which redefined the notion of success when it comes to cool-ass gadgets. The iPod announced Apple as a company that owned the gadget zeitgeist, and the iPhone was so hyped it confirmed Apple’s lightning-in-a-bottle reputation well before it even came out. For me to question the potential success of the iPad is probably betting against the house, where the house has long ago rigged the game. (Read more…)

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