The Ill Communication

Overview for television


March 28, 2016 | 22:24 | Written by: snake911

Wow. I just unearthed this blast from the past from the depths of the Internet Archive. This show, The Internet Cafe – later named Net Cafe, was a show that aired on television that talked about the web and all that you can do with it. It ran throughout the latter half of the ‘90s and bled into the early 2000s. I watched it on a local PBS affiliate and tried to watch this show as much as I could, which is weird because I already had the Internet at home, so I don’t know what benefit I got from it. Maybe I was just a tech nerd and had an obligation to watch anything and everything tech related on TV.

Looking back, even though the subjects they talked about were interesting and they got great guests for the show, I just realized just how bad at interviewers the hosts were! More specifically, this one with an interview with Tim Schafer was especially cringeworthy. He kept interrupting Tim, asked him questions that might make him look bad, and was just all over the place without any sort of direction. Even so, this show is still a neat treasure of information of how things were back then.

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True val-vue

March 18, 2016 | 22:38 | Written by: snake911

I noticed earlier this week that Vue is now 10 dollars cheaper than it used to be. Before I was paying 50 bucks for the basic plan, but now I’m paying 40. Crap! That’s 20% off! On top of that they recently added seven new channels to the lineup which includes all of the Disney owned/partnered networks like ABC, Freeform (formally ABC Family), ESPN, EPSN 2, Disney Channel, Disney Jr, and Disney XD. I’m now paying less for more! Who’d of thought cutting cable would be so rewarding?

The most important one is the addition of ABC, which was the missing link from the major networks. But it’s also cool to hear that Vue is now available nationwide. For those who live outside the major metropolitan regions, you’ll be getting a better deal with their newly released “slim” tiers that are cheaper than the primary ones. The reason being they don’t include live broadcasts of the major networks, but on demand services will be available for them as an alternative.

In a time where I’m on my own, this new pricing plan and newly added channels really help with stretching the dollar out for my monthly bills.

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From real life, to book, to miniseries

February 22, 2016 | 19:49 | Written by: snake911

A show I’ve been into over the last several weeks is The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story currently airing on FX. Based on the book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson, it delves into the circus that was the O.J. Simpson murder trial. With it, we see the events that occurred before and during the trial. So far, each episode does a pretty good job of segmenting each block of events. The first episode showing the crime scene and the LAPDs suspicion of O.J., the second episode telling the Bronco chase, and the third episode describing what both the defendants and prosecutors were doing post arrest and pre court trial. Obviously there’s still more to the season as the trial hasn’t occurred yet, but I’d have to guess it’s probably going to be a six episode season.

The show is compelling because it was something I was aware at the time, but I was too young to understand the details. I was ten years old when O.J. showed the nation you can run away from the cops in a slow speed car chase. I knew he was accused of committing murder because there was non-stop coverage from the local news agencies at the time (I live in So Cal, so I received the LA affiliates), and since my parents were big on current events, I just absorbed what they were viewing.

But being ten/eleven, even though I was seeing these events unfold, most of it went over my head. I was ignorant of how the court system worked, I was unware of the connection between the case and the and the LA riots I saw a few years earlier, and I didn’t bother connecting all who was involved with the case from both sides of the proceedings.

American Crime Story really helps in connecting all of those dots. I get to fill in personalities to names I heard of related to the case like Robert Shapiro, Marcia Clark, Johnnie Cochran, and Robert Kardashian. Although, the name drops on the show are kind of annoying. This is especially true in regards to the Kardashian clan. Whenever they show the kids: Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, and Rob, who at the time were around the tween age, really irks me because it seems like the writers are just trying to get the audience to point at the TV and say something like “omg, that’s Kim when she was a teenager!! They were so young back then!” Blargh.

With the show ramping up to the court hearings, it looks like the best part of the show has yet to come, and with it high amounts of drama. Even though I know the outcome of the case, I’m still glued to the TV waiting to see what happens next. I guess that goes to show how good the series is at presenting the details for this semi-recent-non-fiction-story; as where The Walking Dead is good at the opposite with a story of fiction-set-in-a-time-I-don’t-know-if-it’s-in-the-present-or-past.

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Remembrance through a meal

February 19, 2016 | 21:07 | Written by: snake911

Earlier this week I saw Kenji Eno was featured on an episode of Lunch ON! where they showcased a meal from a restaurant he liked to visit. I thought it was pretty cool that they chose to place the celebrity spotlight on him instead of the tradition of picking someone from radio, television, or movies. I was able to capture it, so I posted it on YouTube for all to see.


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Responsible as an adult

February 8, 2016 | 20:17 | Written by: snake911

Some people pay for their TV service by mailing a check, others pay online, but for me I go to…GameStop?!

It’s odd to say that I go to my local GameStop not just for fun anymore, but to have a legit reason and pay off a bill. Every month around this time I pick up a $50 PSN card for the sole reason to re-subscribe for another month to PlayStation Vue, my TV service that I’ve had since November when I moved into my new place.

I wrote about the service a few months back when I used the 7 day free trial before moving out, but at the time I hadn’t planned on actually using Vue as my primary way of getting TV. My original plan was to use a plain old TV antenna, but that blew up in my face when I found out I was in a dead zone for picking up any broadcast signals as there is a hill that blocks the line of sight between my place and the transmitter towers which are all un-conveniently located in one spot on Mt. Wilson.

My cable Internet provider noticed I didn’t have a TV plan so of course they tried to get me to sign up with them, but when all was said and done my total bill per month for both TV and Internet would have been $139. Jebus, I can’t afford that! The saving grace was when Sony announced Vue would be compatible with Amazon products like Fire and Fire TV Stick. With this, I exchanged the TV antenna -- which was an Amazon product -- for another Amazon item: the Fire TV Stick.

I subscribe to the low tiered plan titled Access because everything I want is on there. Sure, it would be nice to have some of the other channels found on the higher tiers, but budgeting my life so I don’t starve takes priority. And with Vue, I’m happy with what I got: local affiliates, around 50 cable channels, a DVR service, ability to pause live TV, and on demand. It may not be as elegant as traditional cable or satellite services, but with my interest in vegging out in front of the TV all evening becoming less of an interest, the clunkyness of navigating though the menus on an Amazon box don’t bother me that much.

As a nice gesture, Sony sent me a Fire TV Stick, free of charge. That’s cool since I have two TVs, but I haven’t gotten around to using it yet so it sits on my dining room table unused. It would have been really cool if they sent me it before I bought one, but whatever, I appreciate their generous gift. But I rather would have preferred if they made Vue compatible for PlayStation TV, which I already owned before I moved out. It would have made it actually useful and I would have purchased a PlayStation remote to use with it. But that more and more of a pipe dream as time goes on.

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Similarities regarding the word “south”

January 27, 2016 | 21:14 | Written by: snake911

What do you get when you combine the character art from a Mark Hentemann carton like 3 South, the political humor of Seth MacFarlane, and the voice of Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons? Why you get Fox’s latest animated show, Bordertown. That's what.

Didn’t even know this show existed until my dad mentioned it to me a few weeks back while we were talking on the phone. I was reluctant to watch it when I heard Seth MacFarlane’s name attached to the project. His work has been steadily less interesting for me as time goes on. The only things from his work that I care for are American Dad and episodes of Family Guy prior to its cancellation in 2002. Annnd his work on Johnny Bravo.

I decided to watch Bordertown just to see what it was about since only two episodes had aired. Other than hearing it from my dad, I’ve haven’t heard anyone else talk about it. Not from radio, television, online, anything. Episode one didn’t interest me in the least, but that’s to be expected because writers normally have to pen a watered down story that needs to include the majority of the characters to get introductions out of the way. For me, it didn’t catch my attention till the second half of the second episode. There were a few jokes in there that kept me entertained and interested in the story. From there episode three was pretty good too. The show mostly covers political, racial, and cultural topics regarding a town near the US/Mexico border.

As obvious as it could have been, I didn’t notice the character art was strikingly similar to another animated show until the end of the second episode. It’s the same character art as seen in 3 South, a show I absolutely loved back in the day that dealt with college life. The main character in Bordertown, Bud Buckwald, basically looks like an older version of Sanford Reilly from 3 South, and with the same voice as Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons. There are a few other characters that look similar to other 3 South characters, so it got me on the hunt for 3 South episodes.

It’s a darn shame their hasn’t been a DVD release for the show, but some marvelous human has uploaded all thirteen episodes of 3 South on YouTube. If you never seen the show before, I recommend checking it out. To make it easy, I’m imbedding episode one here (hopefully it’s still there when you are reading this). Bordertown didn’t start as good as 3 South did, but here’s hoping Mark Hentemann, the creator of both shows, can make it as good as his previous work.

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