‘Must-See TV’

On Sunday, February 21st, NBC aired the Must See TV: An All Star Tribute to James Burrows special. Most of the casts from all the shows he’s directed were there including Friends, The Big Bang Theory, Cheers, and Taxi. Each cast had the opportunity to go up on stage and talk about what they loved about Burrows and also answer questions about the show they were a part of. Each segment was either hosted by Andy Cohen, Jane Lynch, or Bill Nye. Jim Burrows is a legend; he has now created and overseen 1000 episodes on TV. He also directed each of his own shows’ pilot episodes. Burrows gave a touching speech at the end of the night, in which he thanked his casts and also thanked those who helped organize this event by saying, “I’m so glad you did this while I’m still around because I wouldn’t wanna miss it.”

Of course the one reunion we were all waiting for was Rachel, Joey, Monica, Chandler, Ross, and Phoebe, which they saved for the very end. Unfortunately, Matthew Perry was not able to attend because he was in London, but he did send in a video message saying he wishes he was there. The clan talked about how Burrows encouraged them to get to know one another and to be real friends rather than just costars. They discussed their favorite episodes as well as the question we all wonder while watching which is “how can these girls, who are supposedly broke, afford this huge downtown NYC apartment?” Most of the cast agreed that the home was inherited while Matt LeBlanc said, “rent control.”

I enjoyed watching this special because all of the casts were sitting together and it was really nice seeing everyone having a good time. The television event was full of nostalgia even for those of us who did not watch most of these shows while there were still new episodes every week. I think it’s safe to say the whole world went, “awwwww” when Matthew Perry referred to his Friends costars as, “my actual friends, who happened to be the cast of Friends.”

Because we study television, we appreciate the shows from the 90’s and we immediately recognize that these were from the “Must-See TV” era. Burrows’ speech was touching and inspiring, which he finished off by saying “I’m not here for a long time – I’m here for a good time.”

http://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/friends-cast-reunites-for-james-burrows-special-w164924

 

NYC converts old pay-phones into Wi-Fi hotspots

When was the last time you used a pay-phone (if ever)? When was the last time you even saw someone using a pay-phone? I don’t think I’ve ever used a payphone and I don’t remember the last time I saw someone use one. Everyone has cell phones and almost everyone has a smartphone. The only thing us smartphone users are concerned about is free Wi-Fi and low battery.

Mayor Bill De Blasio has a plan to convert thousands of the old New York City payphones into free Wi-Fi hotspot kiosks. There are already a number of phones that are operating on Third Avenue. The program is called LinkNYC and it is fully funded by CityBridge. The hotspots are supposed to be faster than any other free Wi-Fi network around the country with speed of up to one gigabyte per second. “LinkNYC is the Wi-Fi network New Yorkers deserve: the largest, fastest municipal Wi-Fi network in the world – and you won’t need to insert a quarter in the slot, because it’s completely free,” says Mayor De Blasio. They are planning on having 500 of these kiosks in the five boroughs by the end of July. These kiosks will have two USB charging ports, free Wi-Fi within a 150-foot radius, and an emergency 911 button.

This looks like an amazing launch that will push the city towards a new age of innovation and rejuvenation. This will allow everyone to use Wi-Fi out on the streets in New York, rather than having to go into a McDonald’s or a Starbucks to connect (and being forced to spend money on drinks and food you don’t want). Besides the Wi-Fi, the USB charging ports are a great addition because I, for one, always find myself on low battery whenever I am in the city. The best part of it is that it is free and it will generate revenue for the City of New York  through advertisements on the kiosks. This seems exciting and I look forward to using this new technology.

Washington for the Weekend

This weekend, I was in Washington, DC to visit some family friends. We didn’t get much time to explore, but we’ve been here before so it was fine. We did get a chance to go to the Washington Monument/WWII Memorial and the Washington National Cathedral. I was a little disappointed when I saw that the reflection pool across from the Lincoln Memorial was empty, but it was a beautiful day so I really couldn’t complain.

  
I had never been to the Washington National Cathedral so I’m happy we got to go as a last minute stop. It is absolutely stunning. There are so many sections and mini churches within the cathedral that are each unique! It was really beautiful and I highly recommend going!

  
 We also drove through Georgetown, which has such a cute little old-timey feel to it. I could spend an entire day walking around but unfortunately we didn’t have time.


Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl Performance 

(Though this is a bit late and most people are now talking about her outfit on the red carpet at the Grammy’s yesterday, I wanted to share this)

Lady Gaga’s performance of the National Anthem was incredible. She has such a powerful and beautiful voice is that truly was moving. The fact that most people immediately started talking about and mocking her glittery red eyeshadow and hairstyle really shows that whatever is on the outside is what counts (unfortunately) for many. Focusing on and criticizing something so trivial such as her outfit choice when she is passionately singing the Star Spangled Banner is immature. I thought her outfit and overall appearance was classy and really suited her.

No more long ‘thank you’ speeches at the Oscars

One of the most uncomfortable moments at any award show is when the winner has a million people to thank and they either can’t remember everyone or the music starts playing and they’re still listing all the people in their lives. It’s long, boring, and means nothing to anyone except the people whose names are said. The producers have decided to make modifications to the acceptance speeches. All the nominees are being asked to submit a list of people they want to thank, which will scroll on the bottom of the screen while the winner accepts the award. The idea is so the winners do not forget to thank anyone and so they can have more time to give a more emotional and heartfelt speech. According to show producer David Hill, “there is a long list of winners who have totally forgotten their directors.”

I think this change will be successful because the “thank you’s” take up more than half of the winners’ time, so this is their chance to give a meaningful message (or maybe crack some jokes) to their fans and those pursuing acting. I’m sure there will still be some people thanking their parents and loved ones, which is expected. Hopefully in that crazy state of excitement, the winners will remember that their list of people to thank is currently scrolling on the bottom of the screen! If there is a positive response to this huge change, then it won’t be long until the rest of the award shows follow in the Academy’s footsteps.

Source: http://www.today.com/popculture/no-thank-you-oscars-try-put-end-long-acceptance-speeches-t72236 

Strong Ratings for ‘Grease: Live!’

On Sunday night, the much anticipated musical, “Grease: Live!” starring Julianne Hough as Sandy and Aaron Tveit as Danny Zuko, aired on Fox. There was speculation leading up to the event that they were going to delay the performance because of the rainy weather (there were multiple scenes outside) and that Vanessa Hudgens’ father passed away not even 24 hours before. Nevertheless, they put on an amazing show, and even Hudgens, who played Rizzo, did an outstanding job. The ratings were pretty high for a 3-hour live event. According to Variety, the musical “drew the best ratings for a musical since NBC’s “Sound of Music Live” in December 2013.” Overall, there was 12.2 million viewers from the hours of 7-10 PM; the number rose to 12.81 million during the last half hour. “Grease: Live!” even surpassed the number of viewers for the final season premiere of “American Idol.” There was also a huge social media presence with many using the hashtag #GreaseLive to talk about their opinions, most of which were positive.

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I always have very low expectations while watching these live musical television events because they are always based on a movie that was created many years ago and they can’t ever do it justice. However, as I am a fan of Vanessa Hudgens and Julianne Hough, I knew this would be no joke, so I was very much looking forward to it. Nowadays, the only time television gets high ratings is during a sports event or maybe a season premiere of a popular show; the ratings of Fox’s live musical event really show how much the audiences not only love the original movie from 1978, but also appreciate the revival and the modern adaptation. The work and effort of every single actor was evident through their intricate and careful portrayals of their characters, no matter how big or small the part. You may think three hours is a long time, but it was so enjoyable that I didn’t even notice 2 hours and 45 minutes had gone by during the final carnival scene. The cast and crew as a whole did an outstanding job, even through the wind and rain.

 

Original article: http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/grease-live-ratings-strong-fox-1201693599/