Confessions Of A Remote Hog: It's Mail Time, Well, Sort Of


Can you believe this is my tenth Flagship column. Time flies when your writing crap, or something like that. It’s been a fun ride and for those of you out there who have read my column, and possibly even enjoyed it, there are plenty more coming. In honor of this occasion I decided to open up the mailbag and answer many of the pressing questions and respond top the comments sent. So here we go…

Oh, crap. The damn bag is empty. No letters? Wow. Maybe my columns have been so intriguing and well written that they no questions or comments were needed. Fat chance. Well, who needs actually letters, I’m a writer. Why don’t I make up my own letter to answer? Heck, I’m my toughest critic. So, here we go with our first fictional fan mailbag.

Hey Bob. So, how has your InsidePulse experience been so far?

Frank Spevac, Podunkville, Indiana

Hey, Frank. So far, so good. InsidePulse definitely has tons of great writers. As a person who is not really a wrestling fan, doesn’t read comics, has a primitive game system that he rarely uses, and doesn’t own a single figure I was shocked by how well the columnist at this site kept my interest on subjects I wouldn’t have read otherwise. The televisions zone is chock full of so many great writers that it’s an honor to be listed among them. My only criticism of the whole site would be that the Sports Zone needs more rabid Philadelphia Eagles fans writing for them.

Bob, I followed you here from your reality show blogs and only two of your “confessions” columns so far have dealt with reality TV. What’s the deal dude?

John Ashcroft, Washington D.C.

Wow, John, didn’t know you were a such a big fan. Thanks. When I was offered a column over here I noticed that we already some of the best reality show columnists and recappers from the Internet. I have always had a secret desire to be a television critic and thought that this would be the perfect forum to write on more general TV topics. I like to think that I offer something different on this site. I enjoy analyzing the trends on TV and having a forum to rant about whatever TV related topic I want. As far as reality shows, be sure to look for my weekly look at The Amazing Race each week here at InsidePulse.

Yo man, in one of your pieces you said that you thought that shows didn’t need to be all that realistic. What’s up with that? Don’t you think it’s important for writers, producers and actors should do their research?

Sam W. Gangees, Hobbitton, Ohio

Well, yes and no. There is a saying I like that I adhere to when writing fiction, Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. I like gritty and realistic programming, but I think that shows set themselves up for too much criticism when the promote their shows as being “just like real life.” I loved shows like Homicide: Life on the Streets and NYPD Blue, but I remember having to watch all the after show news which would have some lawyer or cop saying why what happened was unrealistic. My point is, Who Cares? Yes, I don’t want my shows being ridiculously unrealistic. I wouldn’t want to see Jack McCoy having to argue a case against a gorilla, but if he misquotes CPL17.4, I couldn’t care less.

I read some where that you were a Political Science Major in college. What are your thoughts about the President?

Michael Moore, Flint, Michigan

Well, thanks for the question Michael. As many of us know the President survived a tough reelection bid full of controversy. Now he is in a struggle with the opposition party over conflicts in the middle east, is being called arrogant, and is having to deal with a personnel shakeup in his administration. I have to honestly say while I have had concerns with this administrations, this is the most ill at ease I have felt. Maybe Jimmy Smits will shake things up and bring back my confidence in President Bartlett and his West Wing staff. C. J. was an interesting choice for chief of staff and I am looking forward to Alan Alda as a Republican Presidential hopeful. Often times the Republican characters on this show have come off as either corrupt or buffoons, with notable exceptions of John Goodman’s character and Emily Proctor’s Ainsley Hayes. I guess the big question will be, is it time for a Republican in the fictional version of the White House? I for one would like to see it.

I get the feeling you aren’t in to the Sweeps stunts. If you ran the television industry what kind of stunts would you like?

Les Moonves, Los Angelos, California

I don’t necessarily hate the sweeps stunts. I enjoy a good special guest, a well done cross over episode, or a huge event, as long as it’s not another near miss almost wedding episode. While the stunts don’t really bother me, it’s the lead up commercials to it. While I appreciate that Ray Liotta will be on E.R. Do you really want to sell it as the highpoint of a season when there are like 20 episodes left?

Now, what I would really enjoy is seeing some faces we haven’t seen in a long time. How about Reed Diamond and Clark Johnson on Law & Order: SVU reprising their roles as Kellerman and Lewis from Homicide: LOTS. Or what about John Larroquette showing up as the delightfully evil Joey Heric on Boston Legal? I would love to see a battle of neurosis between Joey Heric and Denny Crane/Alan Shore.

So, you think your so smart? Who have been the big winners and loser this year?

Ivan Preston Freely, Yellow River, Colorado

Easy one Ivan. The biggest winner this year has been ABC. Desperate Housewives is not just a hit, its a phenominum and its what the other networks will be trying to copy for next season. Yet, the alphabet network didn’t stop there. Lost is pulling in excellent numbers and Boston Legal should be practicing on Sunday nights for a while. On a smaller scale, UPN has scored big with Kevin Hill and Veronica Mars, both of which have been picked up for full season runs.

Losers, well, its too early to say for FOX but it doesn’t look good. Financial issues made it push back the premiere of Tru Calling until the winter, and it’s reality shows have so far been a bust. The were so desperate for a hit that the benched their legal reality show The Partner, in hope for a hit with My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss. So far it hasn’t paid off.

Also, NBC has had some big setbacks, especially with its Last Comic fiasco. The Big Loser (another NBC reality crapfest) might end up being the peacock. (Cue Beavis and Butthead: Huh, huh. Huh. huh. You said Pee-Cock.)

Bob, you seem to criticize FOX an awful lot. Why don’t you let up?

R. Murdoch, Syndey, Australia

I think what bothers me most about FOX is that they fail to meet their potential. They have brought about some of my favorite shows of all time, but right now they seem to be resting on their laurels. They are only premiering one new drama series, House, this fall, and two in the winter season. Yet, FX, seems to get all the great and intriguing new shows, The Shield, Nip and Tuck and Rescue Me are all quality programming, heads and shoulders anything playing on their parent network. One bright note though, while the Sunday Comedy lineup premiere was a bit mediocre, Arrested Development was as hilarious as always. That show rocks.

Bob, when are you going to find a nice girl and settle down?

Alexa Reiss, Langhorne, PA.

Thanks for your question, Mom. Until I can find a women who can sit around with me eating Buffalo Wings, drinking beer and watching season one of 24 on DVD straight through with an occasional foot massage thrown in, I am going to stick to my normal routine of bad girls and acting up.

So what have been the biggest surprise of this Fall Season?

Charles Umpton Farley, Asbury Park, New Jersey

For me the biggest surprise of the season has been the fact that the three most entertaining shows on TV, in my opinion, are all new shows. Boston Legal, Lost and Veronica Mars are now must watch programs for me each week. These shows have the most intriguing characters and some incredibly interesting stories.

Honestly, of all the CSI’s and the Law and Orders, which is best?

Dick Wolfe, New York, New York

I think you’ll like this answer Dick. For my money, the best of all these shows is Law and Order: SVU. The stories have just been more compelling, and the characters on the show are just so fun to watch. I just love Much and Fin as a sort of comically mismatched couple, reminiscent of the old Munch and Lewis pairing on Homicide. As far as the CSI franchisees. The original is the best, but Miami is creeping up to it. Personally, I think the Miami cast is better, it just needs some better material.

Admit it. This whole fake letter gag thing was just a cheap and easy way to pump out another column. I mean come on dude, we all see right through you. Next week you better have something substantial.

Murtz Jaffer, InsidePulse

OK, you caught me. Next week, its back to work.

(Note: All letters are fake. Murtz really didn’t chew me out, and I doubt John Ashcroft has ever read my column, but maybe now with his extra time he actually will.)