Even those out there who are disinclined to read self-help literature might find something worthwhile in The Tim Ferriss Experiment, precisely because it’s not The 4-Hour Workweek or the sequels it spawned. The new half-hour show on upwave on HLN (Sundays at 8 pm EST) is as much about content as it is about methodology. So for every week Mr. Ferriss brings his credo to a new undertaking, the focus is as much on the subject as how fast the author can learn it.
The pilot episode of the series has Mr. Ferriss working out how to play the drums during a live rendition of Foreigner’s “Hot Blooded,” on-stage during a live stadium show with the band. Though he applies his “80-20 Rule” methodology–finding the 20 percent of work to focus on that will yield 80 percent of the results–to learning how to both play the drums and the song in under a week, he admitted during a live screening with The New York Observer that it’s not always a case of mind over matter.
Law and Order
Well no, not actually the infamous pictures. That would probably take the “ripped from the headline” boast (when did that become the show’s marketing campaign, by the way?) of Law & Order: SVU‘s latest episode straight into lawsuit territory. But it’s okay: The politician who wants to be the next mayor of New York in “October Surprise” isn’t actually Anthony Weiner, see, because in the episode he is caught sexting pictures of his junk to a 15-year-old.
Comedy Bang Bang
Funnyman Scott Adsit is probably best known for his role as perennial sad sack Pete Hornberger on the hit NBC sitcom 30 Rock. A blundering scriptwriter who claims to have been the original bassist for the 80s band Loverboy, Pete is prone to the occasional racist remark and can never seem to satisfy his wife sexually. (To wit, in one episode he brags to a fellow writer: “Last night I was having sex with Paula, and neither of us was wearing a Walkman.”) Read More
As Seen on TV
As a new poll shows her again leading the mayor’s race, Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s campaign is going up on the air with the first ad of the Democratic primary.
Boy Meets Whaaa?
We were super excited when we heard that our childhood friends from Boy Meets World were coming back to television – but we were shocked when the Cory Matthews we knew and loved was replaced by a pointy-nosed impostor.
Girl Meets World, the new Boy Meets World spinoff, has officially been picked up by the Read More
Good ladies of RHONY, we knew thee well. According to several outlets, the stars of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City have refused to ink contracts on the sixth season of the stalwart show, with all six main cast members holding out for a better deal.
In January, I was on the Bowery with Richard Hell, who invented punk rock. We went into an art bookstore on Bond Street and he found a collection of pictures by Richard Prince. After a minute, he jabbed me on the shoulder.
“Check this out!” he rasped, surprised, pointing at the book. It was a Read More
Al Jazeera, the Arab news network, is reportedly nearing a deal to take over Current TV, the struggling cable network co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore in 2005. According to the New York Times’ Brian Stelter, who was first to report on the potential deal, acquiring Current would give the Middle Eastern news channel access to 60 million of the 100 million American homes that get cable or satellite TV.
Update (8:44 p.m.): Current TV founder co-founder Joel Hyatt confirmed Al Jazeera will purchase the network in an email to staff this evening.
As Seen On TV
Have you noticed that in the last several years, most of the “brilliant” TV shows on AMC, Showtime and HBO star these dangerous, psychopathic anti-heroes? From Dexter to Don Draper, Nick Brody to Rick Grimes, Walter White to the ultimate don, Tony Soprano, one gets the sense that while the rest of American culture is taking one step forward on progressive women’s rights issues, our beloved TV shows are moving us two steps back.
And what’s weird is how we love these horrible men. “I’m such a Carrie” no longer refers to the ultimate Bradshaw, but the bipolar Claire Danes on Homeland … the kind of gal who falls in love with a terrorist, despite the fact that he ends up subjecting her to electro-shock therapy treatments after they have sex. And they are still in love, or something! How sexy is that, ladies?
But wait, it gets worse…
“I just saw Annie, and I didn’t look at Daddy Warbucks the way I would have 20 years ago,” Warren Leight told The New York Observer over the phone last week. “The show has really warped the way we look at the world, at least those of us writing it.”
The showrunner for Dick Wolf’s last standing Law & Order program, Special Victims Unit, was struggling to understand how people watch “marathon” sessions of the show he manages. “The children episodes are disturbing, even to us,” said Mr. Leight.
He singled out one such episode, entitled “Friending Emily,” in which detectives go to an FBI office to view images of abused children. Mr. Leight sounded shocked, tired and a little bit horrified over a detail that he and his writers chose to put in the episode. He sounded a lot, in fact, like SVU’s former protagonist, Elliot Stabler.
“There is a kid in diapers whose photo we show,” said Mr. Leight. “We found it on an Internet pornography site. It had 37,000 hits in the last four days.” (Which, it turns out, is the exact line that a government official says during the episode.)