Saturday, February 13, 2016

Conan O'Brien: Once more in desperation

If this whole Conan thing is as stupid and ironic as the Ex-Talk Show Host would like us to think he thinks it is, why are we watching? Is it because there is a certain percentage in any society who will do anything that's perceived as cool and supposedly subverts authority?

Conan O'Brien: Once more in desperation

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Conan O´Brien (right) and friend.
Conan O'Brien (right) and friend.

If this whole Conan thing is as stupid and ironic as the Ex-Talk Show Host would like us to think he thinks it is, why are we watching? Is it because there is a certain percentage in any society who will do anything that's perceived as cool and supposedly subverts authority?

The media, and, yes, that includes me, unfortunately, is fascinated, because if there are 330 million people in the society in question, and you only get one percent, you hit a home run that goes beyond McCovey Cove.

Who's jealous?

But what if the authority you subvert is as low as NBC, which hasn't done anything right in 10 years? Does getting fired by such an organization convey even greater status? There's something desperate about this show, which is actually named Conan. "I did it so I’d be harder to replace," said the host. "I’m really glad to be on cable. That’s not a joke."

Yes it is. But it's an in joke, see. Only the hippest TV viewers will see how it's mirrors facing mirrors facing more mirrors. Blech.  But no offense, Team Coco, you're on the right side. You're better than NBC. Wow.

His band is named Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band. More supposedly self-deprecating, inside, boy-if-you're-watching-this-are-you-lame humor. But, if you go the last dangerous step, past lame, you're in the world of quiet cool where Jack Kerouac and his pals used to hang.

No you're not. It really is basic cable, and if you put some old lady from the Nutcracker Museum on as your first guest and Joey Vivino sings that she's the most important person in history and the best you can do is keep flogging your exhausted masturbating bear, it's just sad. 

Read my response to your comments in Conan, Part Two.

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My So-Called Life, Seinfeld, The Sopranos, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Survivor, I’ll Fly Away, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The X-Files, Northern Exposure, Roseanne, Gilmore Girls, NYPD Blue, Frasier, Ally McBeal, and, in the much-too-overlooked category, American Dreams, The Riches, Flight of the Conchords and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

TV has given us wondrous fare over the last 20 years, and Philadelphia Inquirer TV critic Jonathan Storm has been paid to watch it. He has also been forced to watch five cycles of presidential debates, Fear Factor, The Swan and Bill O’Reilly. There is no free lunch in life.

He’s still watching and talking to the folks who make TV, from mega-producers Jerry Bruckheimer and David E. Kelley to the little kids in Medium. And now he’s blogging about it, with insights and info that you won’t find anywhere else. Reach Jonathan at jstorm@phillynews.com.

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