Why, hello again. How have you been?

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

So … this has been spotty, hasn’t it? The last few weeks have been a bit hectic, thus allowing me less time to babble about television, the Internet, technology and anything else of the like. My apologies for stepping out a bit. It wasn’t because I don’t love you. Just remember that.

What do you normally do when you spend some time away? You catch up, silly. You spend some time gathering yourself and collecting thoughts about all the things you happened to miss. Yes, I kicked off the new year with the usual Netflix Pix earlier this week, but now it’s time to really reacquaint ourselves with one another, don’t you think?

So behold a few bullet points that we can use to catch up with one another below, just to — you know — get the juices flowing again. Make sure our worlds haven’t completely collapsed. Throw around the football. Have a drink. Discuss how many seasons “House” has before they finally pull the plug.

We will return to our regular post schedule next week, though in the meantime, here are a few stories to make sure we can all get the year started off on the right foot. Here’s to a new year, new beginnings, new opportunities and new … television shows for us to (legally) bootleg. It’s all out of love, remember. Love, love, love.

Some cards, a house and a city

Hey, hey. Remember this?

OK. Now quick: What do Kevin Spacey, Omar from “The Wire” and the National Aquarium have in common? They can all now say they have called Baltimore home at one point in their respective lives. From The Associated Press …

“An American remake of the BBC political drama ‘House of Cards’ that will star Kevin Spacey will be filmed in Baltimore,” the news service wrote. “Maryland officials announced Thursday the production will begin filming this spring. The first season includes 13 hour-long episodes and debuts later in the year. It’s directed by David Fincher. The series is based on the novel and series exploring Margaret Thatcher’s era in British politics. It will be distributed by Netflix in what would be the first time its video streaming service gets first-run episodes. Gov. Martin O’Malley says officials expect a $75 million economic impact from the production and more than 2,000 jobs. A state fund offers a partial tax credit for local production expenditures and encourages use of local crews.”

So, do you think they would hire some angry twentysomething who wears glasses, Chuck Taylors and long hair (from time to time)? Anyways, if you remember, this will be the first original programming the red enveloped-company will offer, and a lot of eyes have been turned its way since the announcement of the development all the way back in June.

I can’t recall a time I’ve rooted for a show to succeed anymore than this. Not only might it dictate the future of possible Internet-based television programming, but the show will now star both an actor and a city I adore. Who’s up for a trip to the Charm City sometime in May?

H-B-No, Netflix

Courtesy of an email passed along earlier this week from Ms. Mlot, I was made aware of the following: If I ever plan to actually get into “The Sopranos” some day, I sure as the sun won’t be able to do so through my Netflix account. From Slash Film …

“Shows like ‘The Sopranos,’ ‘The Wire,’ ‘Sex and the City’ or ‘Entourage’ are not available to stream anywhere besides HBO’s latest project, HBO Go. The only way to watch those shows on Netflix is to rent the discs themselves and now reports are that HBO won’t sell Netflix any more copies,” the site wrote. “Basically, in the past Netflix was able to buy HBO DVDs directly from the company, and in bulk, at a discounted rate. But, starting in 2012, that is no longer an option. To stock new HBO shows — such as ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and ‘Game of Thrones,’ which are soon being released on disc – Netflix will have to buy them from a third party at a higher rate.”

Thank God nobody ever gave a shoot about “In Treatment.” Thank God my dear friend Nigel bought me the second season for Christmas. And, well, thank God it ran a measly three seasons.

Sure, this won’t have much of an impact on those of us who opt for the DVD package over the streaming package, but remember: The number of us who continue to stick with the snail mail Netflix option is declining rapidly.

So, what does this mean? Two things. No. 1) HBO Go really is aiming to play with the big boys and seeing the company stick to its guns in such a way is both encouraging and interesting. And, of course, No. 2) How much does it cost to get on board with HBO Go, again?

Say a prayer for Google

The ARMADA 1500 HD Media System-on-a-chip has officially been built into the next wave of Google TVs. The chip, made by Marvell, is aimed at simplifying the user’s experience and making the often-ridiculed Google TV a more slick device for people to play with. Or, in other words, a device that people envision would work like an Apple television might work someday. But there are problems. Yes. There are problems. From CNET 

“It took Google an entire year to deliver a major update to the first round of Google TV products, and it has not been worth the wait,” CNET Reviews said. “While it looks and sounds good in theory, the actual user experience is pretty terrible.”

I guess it’s back to the drawing board for Google TV. This time around might be a bit more deflating as reports have suggested that the following couple generations of the device are supposed to be significantly better. In the end, though, all this announcement does is remind us that we really can’t wait for a real, honest-to-goodness Apple-based television to hit the streets. Poor Google.

‘Community’ isn’t dead. Donald Glover still isn’t a good rapper

Bob Greenblatt, the head of NBC’s entertainment division, spoke Friday and to the delight of many, he reaffirmed that “Community” will be back. Why this was even an issue in the first place is sort of beyond me. Nobody ever said the show was cancelled — they were just taking a break.From Reuters …

“Low-rated comedy series ‘Community,’ was pushed off NBC’s schedule, leading to speculation that it too had been dropped,” the news service wrote Friday. “Greenblatt said the show will be back but he did not confirm a timeslot, saying he was ‘curious to see what something else would do.'”

So, there. Shut up, “Community” lovers. You’ll get your new season, even if it means more people will watch the OWN network than they do NBC. You can all stop with your “Six seasons and a movie” diatribes now.

In more shocking news, the least-watched network is still the least-watched network. It just hurts now more than it did, say, in July, when the heads at NBC still thought “The Playboy Club” was a good idea.

“We’ve had a really bad fall, worse than what I hoped for,” Greenblatt confessed Friday. “But,” he continued, “(it was) about what I expected.”

Expecting failure: Always a great mantra for people to use while navigating through life.

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