I Can't Stop Watching This Dude Try To Hit A 186-MPH Fastball

Ever wondered what it'd be like to stand in against a big-league hurler? Yeah, this is kinda like that, but if the hurler was, like, a Terminator or something. Here's former Japanese ballplayer Takeshi Yamasaki, trying to get his bat around on a nearly 200-mph fastball (the fun starts at around 3:45 in the video… » 8/29/14 1:30pm 8/29/14 1:30pm

Good Night, Don Pardo, 1918-2014

Don Pardo was an announcer at NBC for 60 years. He started in television so long ago it was on the radio, in 1944. The heaviest moment of his career was in 1963, when he was "booth announcer" on a shift at WNBC-TV in New York. Pardo did an off-camera "rip-and-read," from a big marked-up paper printout of an Associated… » 8/22/14 4:09pm 8/22/14 4:09pm

Search For MILF Island: On Reality TV's Extreme-Matchmaking Revolution

According to IMDB, many people who like VH1's new self-explanatory reality show Dating Naked have also enjoyed a 2000 home video titled Totally Nude Aerobics. Which makes sense: Both titillate via strategic pixilation. What's different this time is the tantalizing prospect of watching real human beings find real love. » 8/21/14 11:40am 8/21/14 11:40am

We Live In The Golden Age Of Sports Documentaries

A piece in this week's SportsBusiness Journal is nominally about how HBO Sports has lost its preeminence in the sports documentary biz, and sure enough, it has gutted its in-house doc unit in recent years. But it's heartening to realize that even as the former biggest player scales back, the sports documentary scene… » 7/23/14 6:03pm 7/23/14 6:03pm

How Rupert Murdoch Could Go To War With ESPN

The blockbuster news that Rupert Murdoch bid $80 billion for Time Warner—and was at least temporarily rebuffed—points to an impending seismic shift in the media landscape. And, as the New York Times points out today, nowhere would that shift be felt more than in the business of televised sports. A Fox takeover of Time… » 7/18/14 10:47am 7/18/14 10:47am

Why I Love So You Think You Can Dance, Dopey (Or Dead) Dads And All

Less than 10 minutes into the first episode of the 11th season of Fox's So You Think You Can Dance, a contestant's dad was onstage dancing to "Blurred Lines." To begin, he set a water bottle on the floor before him, and then, as though initiating an ancient mating ritual, he approached and hovered above that artifact… » 7/16/14 2:17pm 7/16/14 2:17pm

Under The Dome Has A Villain Problem

Stephen King's mammoth 2009 novel Under the Dome features two killer antagonists. One is, well, the dome itself; the other is "Big Jim" Rennie, a bully of a local politician who seizes the dome's sudden appearance as a chance to affirm his fiefdom. Too bad only the inanimate bad guy made the transition to the small… » 6/30/14 3:01pm 6/30/14 3:01pm

HBO's Majestically Bleak The Leftovers Finds God Everywhere, and Nowhere

Organized religion doesn't show up much in prestige television. Which is surprising, given the genre's tendency toward Big Existential Questions, and given how thoroughly Christianity is baked into how America thinks about itself, and given the ways the Christian Right and Mormonism and Scientology perpetually flit… » 6/27/14 2:38pm 6/27/14 2:38pm

Nurse Jackie Is Peaking With A Downward Spiral

"We need to talk about Jackie," All Saints Hospital nurse Zoey (played by Emmy winner and excellent speech-giver Merritt Wever) warns her boss as the penultimate episode of Nurse Jackie's sixth season winds down. That's an understatement. The show's titular caregiver and reckless drug addict (Oxycontin being her… » 6/27/14 12:11pm 6/27/14 12:11pm

Jeopardy! Vs. Wheel of Fortune: Which One Makes You Feel Dumber?

I am a Thought Leader of Television, and so I've been asked to ruminate on the Big News that Jeopardy!—yeah! the exclamation point! is officially part of the title!—beat Wheel of Fortune in the ratings a coupla weeks ago, the first time in over a decade, and is this perhaps an indicator that maybe America is trending… » 6/25/14 9:44am 6/25/14 9:44am