PCR past banners Now in our fourth calendar year
PCR #176  (Vol. 4, No. 32)  This edition is for the week of August 4--10, 2003.

"A Tale of Two Cities: St. Petersburg and Tampa - - A Bay Separating A Gulf of Differences, PART 2"
by Will Moriaty
by Mike Smith
"The Return of Bruce Banner", "ZD TV, where are you now?", and "26 Things"
by Vinnie B.
News topics, television, movies, One-shots, The Slush Pile
 by Brandon Jones
Celebrities Uncensored
 by Ashley Lauren
"Green Fire" and "Club Dead" reviewed
 by Teri Davis & Patty G. Henderson
 by John Lewis
Whatchoo talkin' about Arnold....Kobe and Mike....Hurray For Me....List #1....List #2....Hey, It Could Be About Me....Movie Notes
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
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Archives 2000
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Couch Potato Confessions by Vinnie B.
   The adventures of a boy and his personal video recorder.

The Return of Bruce Banner
The Sci-Fi channel has begun showing reruns of "The Incredible Hulk" show from the late 70's starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno (Weekdays 6:00 pm).

David Banner (I thought his name was Bruce) gets exposed to an overdose of gamma radiation and finds he becomes The Hulk when his blood starts to boil (Prometheus Unbound). The series is part "The Fugitive" as Banner is on the run and part "The Waltons", as both Banner and the Hulk seem to end up being do-gooders for someone at the end of the episode.

This series is both bad and cheesy, but bad enough to be highly entertaining at times. Bad '70's haircuts abound, as does some atrocious '70's interior decorating. Comparing this show to the gritty violent shows of today makes it look like "Father Knows Best", as there is a certain innocence in the misunderstood Hulk and in Bixby as the likable good guy always out to help the downtrodden.

The hair and eyebrows on Ferrigno are classic, and remind me of myself, sans green skin, right before I go to the barber.

I have been enjoying watching this series and of course waxing nostalgic as I originally watched this show when I was into the comic fandom scene. The series is definitely dated but in a refreshing way with its cheesiness and without CGI. It rates a nine on the cheddar scale.

ZD TV where are you now?
For viewers of Tech TV who don't know, the channel was originally ZD (Ziff Davis) TV, an offshoot of the biggest publisher of computer magazines at one time.

In the original days there was a core of shows that had a certain down home geekiness to them. "Call for Help" with Leo Leporte actually concentrated on taking phone calls and helping teach people. "The Screen Savers" with Kate and Leo covered more advanced topics. "Internet Tonight" showed the wacky as well as the interesting side of the web. And my favorite show featured long time PC mag writer John Dvorak in a roundtable discussion of technology, a la The McLaughlin Group.

Like any media empire, Ziff Davis came tumbling down and had to divest of most of their interests. Out of the ashes came Tech TV, with a fancy new logo and expensive redesigned set. They launched "Tech Live", an all day programming event that really was just CNBC with a few tech stories thrown in. Needless to say "Tech Live" bombed and their programming gurus had to scramble to regroup.

This channel just keeps getting worse and worse. Now every show has to have a good-looking Tech TV babe. Phone calls are rarely taken and when they do they rarely help anyone. The station has become the Tech Entertainment channel. Interviews with actors, who don't know a thing about the Internet, are not entertaining nor informative. "Oh I just have my personal assistant check my email". Most of the originals are gone, and just recently tech goddess Sumi Das left the show "Fresh Gear". The rest of their current schedule now consists of Discovery Channel type fare. And I am not even going to get into the horribly tasteless and offensive show "Unscrewed".

The only shows that are still around are "Call for Help" and "The Screen Savers" and they are pale imitations of the originals. I was excited when they started airing Anime, but they have even screwed that up by showing different series at different times. If you're going to show series that are serialized, please show them in the same time slot everyday.

I would really love to see a computer channel that concentrated on the learning aspect of it. From beginning subjects to learning Photoshop and Flash, that is something I would watch, but of course I am a geek who is not 16-25 years old so I fall into the non-existent advertising demographic. ZD TV how I miss Thee!

26 Things
The website, http://sh1ft.org/, just finished holding their "26 Things International Photographic Scavenger Hunt". To view my entry you can go to http://www.sh1ft.org/26things/, and my entry is number 338. Also check out their MayDay project which had people post pictures of a day in their life. Looking at that, I discovered that pets and shopping seem to dominate most people's lives all around the world.

No Column next week, see you in two weeks!

"Couch Potato Confessions" is ©2003 by Vinnie B..  Couch Potato main graphic by Vin Blesi and Nolan Canova.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.