Phil Lesh and Friends Webcast

by The TV Guy

This week I was able to view a webcast of Phil Lesh and Friends as they played the Grate room of Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, California. For those of you who do not recognize the name, Phil Lesh was the bass player for the Grateful Dead. This was the best webcast I have ever seen; the sound was perfect and there must of been at least three, if not more, cameras working the stage. They played for more than two and half hours and there was never a blip in the transmission; at times I felt like I was watching a produced pre-recorded show.

I watch a lot of live TV and movies and this was impressive. When the band came on live the sound was ready to go and it all worked like the webcast guys have been doing this all of their lives. The really strange part of all this is that I only paid $7 to see the best webcast ever. I look forward to more of these in the future and other artists need to think about taking a page out of Phil’s book. I do not know how this could have been done any better, unless I had been in the audience in person. I look forward to getting up to San Rafael to see a show in the 250 person Grate room soon. Thank you for such a wonderful experience!

Metal Hurlant?

thThis is an anthology series in which each episode is a self-contained story set in a different world, with all stories linked together by an asteroid called the Metal Hurlant, which is passing close to the planet that is the focus of the current episode.
This is a weird little show that vaguely reminds me of what would happen if Night Gallery were to meet Twilight Zone, if that reference is applicable at all anymore. It is foreign and some of the voice work is dubbed and well that is odd when other characters are speaking English and then some secondary character is speaking and the words are not matching up.
The stories are fun to watch because each story is different and as a viewer you are never quite sure where it is going. I have to say in this age of rather obvious television this is just foreign and weird enough to keep me watching. So if you are looking for something quite a bit different, this may be just what you have been looking for. The folks over at Syfy are really doing their due diligence to keep the fans happy. It is finishing up its second season Monday night but it is available On Demand and on the Internet.

Narco Cultura

by The TV Guy

This is the documentary that justifies the conversation, I the TV Guy, have been having with anyone who would listen for the last quarter century. The war on drugs is a failure! The sub-cultures and the money generated by narco-trafficking has created are more dangerous and violent than the drugs themselves. This documentary shows just that, and how the city of Juarez, Mexico went from a few murders a year to almost 2000 murders in 2008 to become the murder capital of the world, all to keep the pipeline of narcotics flowing for the Sinloan cartel. While blood is shed on the south side of the border, the Narco’s, as they are known on the north side of the border, are forever memorialized in music known as corridos a form of Mexican folk music that glorifies the murdering, kidnapping and use AK-47’s to do their business.
This is a painful look at how our neighbors to the South have to live because of our desire for substances and our moral sense of superiority. Failed laws have created this situation and have glorified these cultures of criminality. If we really want to fix the problem, we will have to do something completely different, because the solutions thus far have done nothing but make billionaires out of criminals and bring illegal “pharmaceutical reps” to every corner in every major city in North America.
Watch this documentary and ask yourself which is worse… drugs or the cartels who sell them??

How To Make Money Selling Drugs

by The TV Guy

This documentary gives a detailed look at the failed war on drugs and how are country’s futile look at the criminalization of human behavior has created a culture that is dying to get rich. This detailed at times, tongue-in-cheek, documentary shows how even the poorest person with little or no understanding of finance or education can take a few dollars and transform it into a few more dollars and with hard work and dedication rise up through the ranks of “the game.”

With interviews with such infamous drug dealers as freeway Rick Ross who single-handedly built the crack cocaine empire of the 80s in California, making more than $1 million a day, details how this is possible anywhere at any time by anyone because of our current economic and legal structure. Until the current failed war on drugs is put aside, and the United States stops incarcerating more of its citizens than any other country in the world, we are going to continue to have this street culture that encourages anyone who is willing to go out and rob and steal to make this quick money. Failed policy has created multi generations of a failed society. This is a definite must-see if you have any interest in this sort of social commentary on flawed policy.

Bad Teacher! Bad Idea…

by the TV Guy

thSo while waiting for Elementary to start this week, I stopped and crossed my fingers that a movie adapted for TV would work. Usually they do not and they are ridiculous and the viewer is left to cringe and wince at the painful acting and poorly executed jokes and gags. I am an optimist in the truest sense of the word as I tuned into Bad Teacher with a glimmer of hope that maybe this star studded cast of TV alums would carry a relative unknown lead actress and flawed concept over the threshold to television greatness.

The short answer is… well of course not.  The show was as bad as the movie of the same name without the high powered names that the movie brought to the screen. This show was hammocked between Two and Half Men and Elementary, ensuring that people would have to watch this monstrosity. This is 30 minutes I cannot get back and this is my fault. CBS, please stop employing the children of senior management, Bad Teacher was not worth seeing as a movie, nonetheless a TV show.

Not As Seen On TV

by The TV Guy

It is not like they show us on TV or in the movies; the stoic counselor with a beard and an office full of books and fine leather furniture with diplomas covering the walls. The reality is a rather young, untrained, “green” counselor floundering about attempting to guide clients through genuine life experiences that many of them have never had to deal with on any real life level while trusting the experience of other counselors or mediocre textbooks. I fear for the future of counseling!

I am working on a Master’s degree and having to banter back and forth with other students, some young, some old, and well I fear for those who will open up and share the deepest portion of their soul with these delightful morons. They have chosen to help others and for this I commend them, but I am so scared that they are headed out into the world to mess up people much worse than the world they have come in from to get the care they so desperately need.

So, if you are in need of a counselor, please take your time and ask a lot of questions and do not accept that because the person sort of sounds like they know what they are talking about that they really do. There are so many bad counselors/ therapists out there and this is your warning… be careful, do your homework, and if it does not feel like a good fit, find another one. There are good counselors out there; you just have to find them.  Counseling is a very personal experience and accepting the first yahoo as a qualified professional can be a traumatic mistake.


by The TV Guy’s Stepmom

thYou’ll need to turn to NetFlix for this series, which ended its network run several years ago, with its concluding episodes, 4 and 5, distributed on satellite TV. Glenn Close stars as Patty Hewes, a cutthroat attorney, who chews up and spits out young associates. She hires a young lawyer named Ellen Parsons, and takes her under her wing. Ellen is a quick study, who after a short time, proves that she can match wits with her mentor.  Each season features a stand-alone plot line, but the series should be watched in order to really enjoy and understand it. Lots of flashbacks, so you need to give the show your full attention.

House of Cards Season 2

by The TV Guy

thTo all the fans of House of Cards season 1, season 2 was made available on Netflix in time for Valentine’s day. The loving, borderline psychopath couple are back, and this time Frank (played by Kevin Spacey) is the Vice President of the United States. They are just as conniving and ruthless as they ever were and are ready to take over the world. That last statement is a little dramatic but it sure has that feel to it when I watch the show.

I could offer up spoilers but I shall not as each and every one of you should have the joy and elation of experiencing all the drama as it comes through the TV. With the many twists and turns, you will be pleasantly surprised by the latest season.

Why Do I Like The Michael J. Fox Show?

by the TV Guy’s Stepmom

thI like Michael J. Fox, and I have since Family Ties. I wasn’t sure about his return to network TV, in a series about a TV newsman returning to the air after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The plot line doesn’t hide his affliction, nor does it make it front and center.
The show is quirky, an acquired taste for sure.  It’s funny and has some great laugh-out-loud lines.  It’s a good ensemble cast, with Mike’s wife, Betsy Brandt (Marie from Breaking Bad), his three kids, his sister and his work mates. Without a laugh track, I have to decide for myself what’s funny, which is actually refreshing!
Some of the story lines are “out there” implausible, my one criticism.
I don’t expect this show to make it to a second season, but I recommend a look.


Catching up with Breaking Bad

Guest post by The TV’s Guy’s Stepmother

Unknown-1After my nephew urged me to watch his favorite show, the TV Guy’s father and I watched the first episode of Breaking Bad. Five weeks later, we have somehow managed to watch 40 episodes (way more TV than I like to watch in such a short span of time…)  Needless to say, we are hooked!
The show has far exceeded our expectations, as former high school chemistry teacher turned crystal meth cooker, Walter White, has undergone an amazing transformation. By now, some of the characters are in so deep that their lives are forever changed, and there is no turning back.  It’s as if they were swept up in a wave.
Irony is everywhere, especially as Skylar, Walt’s sometimes estranged and perpetually conflicted wife, goes about finding a way to launder the drug money that her husband continues to amass.  The camera finds the face of their infant daughter and juxtaposes her innocence against her parent’s turmoil.
And we can’t forget Hank, Walt’s DEA agent brother-in-law, hot on the trail of Walt’s elusive alter-ego, Heisenberg.
Don’t plan on reading a magazine or checking Facebook while you’re watching this show… the plot twists demand-and deserve all of your attention.
Fourteen episodes to go for us until August 11th, when the first of the final eight installments airs.  I hate to see it end, but at the same time, can’t wait to find out
what the writers have in store for Walt and Skylar.