The Bearded Awesome

TV/Media Commentary and Societal Insights. With a Beard.

4 Dumb Things People Say During Protests

Despite saying there wouldn’t be more original blog content this week, after the widespread internet blackout protesting SOPA/PIPA yesterday didn’t just drive people insane, but also got them to actually pay attention to things, I couldn’t help but write this one.

As Time Magazine reported at the end of last year, protests, and by proxy any campaigns for awareness, have gained fuel and exposure some people claim they haven’t felt since the ’70s.  From Occupy Wall Street in the US, to total revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, people have been getting pissed about shit and want more people to know about it.  Agree with them or not, it’s becoming clear that the array of massive (and effective) protests are more than a fad.


Except this.  This is a fad.

But like everything that has ever happened ever, there are people who disagree and speak out about it.  Considering every protest tends to have people speaking out, this is completely fair.  But just as some people at protests can be really really stupid, much of the opposition (or rather, people who don’t know shit about what’s going on and get annoyed) can also say some equally stupid things.

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Bearded Update

Many websites will be participating in the SOPA strike, so check out that link to learn more and support the fight against SOPA!  I’m going to try and see if I can get WordPress to black out my blog in support, but even if it doesn’t–spread the word!  There’s going to be a reason you can’t run to Wiki tomorrow…

5 Startlingly Common Misconceptions about Customer Service

Ever since “The Customer is Always Right” mantra was coined at the beginning of the 20th Century, anyone with a title ending in something like “representative” or “associate” or “assistant” was pretty much doomed.  What began as a nice, simple business model to make sure the customer felt special grew into a horrifying, selfish, hate-filled beast ravaging every restaurant, front desk or cash register in existence.

A horrifying, selfish, hate-filled beast.

Customers uncovered the idea, realized they could get mileage out of it, and turned it into a weapon. Nowadays, it’s the norm to completely blow up on the person handing you your coffee because JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, WHAT KIND OF A COCKSUCKING ASSHOLE FORGETS THE WHIPPED CREAM?!

But come on, those idiot employees have to try really really hard to screw up such simple jobs, right?  So why don’t we explore the true evils hiding behind the front desk.

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Don’t Britta This Opportunity: How Community Could Make NBC Streets Ahead

Community is a show on thin ice, on a network on thin ice, in a new era of television also on thin ice.  Whether you’re a fan or not, Community has now become the poster show for everything that’s both wrong and right about television and its fans: there are plenty of viewers, but few of them watch it live. It won TV Guide’s Fan Favorite of 2011 contest.  IGN voted it Best Comedy of 2011.  In TV.com’s 2011 poll it not only won Best Series, but also Best Comedy, Best Comedic Actor (Donald Glover) and, hilariously, Most Underrated.  With fans on the internet outnumbering fans in the ratings, Community is representative of the age of online media and its effects on the industry. And as NBC struggles to find a place for it in their schedule, the network might be missing an opportunity to make the next big leap in current media.

Check out my full piece at KSiteTV–a little lengthy, but it’s worth it!

In case you were wondering, more original blog material will be coming in the next couple of days.

5 Retrospective TV Reviews Worth A Look

Hindsight is frustrating in real life.  Of course sitting at a computer reading blogs and never exercising can make you fat and hurt your eyes.  But when those blogs the blind fat you is reading are using hindsight for media, it’s awesome; connecting the dots, tracking the evolving trends, and tying together overarching themes you wouldn’t get from any single installment.  This works for any media franchise, but especially television.

While fans tend to discuss the same sorts of concepts and often repeat the same ideas ad naseum, one way to add some freshness to a fandom is by revisiting the entire series again, watching episodes one at a time, sometimes week-to-week, and then analyzing them one kernel at a time.  The Time Team has done retro-Doctor Who episodes in Doctor Who Magazine since freaking 1999, so it’s not a new concept.  But as many of us get older, the appeal of taking another, more in-depth look at our favorite decade(s) old shows become stronger and stronger.

Retrospective articles and videos are things I plan to post more of, both here and on other sites, but for now, I’m actually going to turn my traffic away, and towards five other bloggers and journalists who are doing a damn good job at retrospectives on their own.  Episode-by-episode, these guys break down, analyze and review each story and character, but with a foresight past reviewers wouldn’t have had.  Yet, in a way, their eyes are still “fresh”–some haven’t seen these episodes in years and only remember vague details, giving them a unique perspective of viewing it 50/50 as a newcomer and veteran, in a way.  If you’ve seen any of these shows, you should check out these sites, in no particular order. Read more of this post

“Chuck Versus the Baby” Review

Check out my review of the latest Chuck episode on KSiteTV–my first review for the site! What a way to start off the new year, eh?

Speaking of which…happy new year!

Buffy Already Did It, Part 2: Supernatural Season 6

It’s common knowledge among our generation that Buffy the Vampire Slayer played a big role in the development of TV series.  If you’re a moderate TV buff, or have visited TV Tropes even once (seriously, there’s a Buffy reference on almost every page) you’re probably aware that many tropes in current serialized genre shows–Big Badshalf arc seasonsweirdness sensorsChekhov’s gunsheavy continuity–were either invented or popularized by Buffy.  Even if you don’t like it, you can’t deny the impact it’s had on how we watch TV.

Unsurprisingly on shows within the same genre or airing on the same network, there’s bound to be even more similarities in plot structures, characters, etc. Sometimes, though, the similarities and parallels border on eerie.  Surely the writers might have similar genre shows in the back of their heads, but at a certain point it just seems weird.  Two shows specifically brought me to writing this up, both of which are cult genre shows that originated on The WB Network–Smallville andSupernatural.  

Check out my entry on Smallville‘s final season here, but today I’ll be comparing the season 6 of Supernatural and Buffy.  Read it after the jump!


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4 Reasons Why I Would Never Choose to be a Gay Guy

I’ve been “officially” out of the closet for a little over 9 months now, and while at first I was just kind of “meh” about it all, after getting out of the comfortable college atmosphere and thrown into the world of working 9-5 and still living with my parents (who don’t know I’m gay) I’ve started to make some observations. Nothing profound or monumental, just logical conclusions about where my life is headed.

Let me put this out there–I’m proud to be who I am and all that, and I don’t hold any malice towards what life has handed to me at all.  I also figure that once I settle down and actually do the “man having relationship with man” thing, any semblance of insecurities will continue to die down.  However, there are things that will occasionally pop up in my brain and make me realize “Holy shit, this kind of sucks hard sometimes.”  And thus, regardless of scientific evidence, my belief that homosexuality could not be solely choice comes from the idea that I sure as hell wouldn’t have chosen it.

Before you jump to conclusions about that statement, read on to see my explanations laid out in a way that in-no-way-whatsoever resembles a Cracked.com article that I in-no-way want to write for one day.

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Premature Thoughts on Ultimate Spider-Man TV Series

I’ll admit, the wound left by The Spectacular Spider-Man‘s premature (and ill-timed) demise still hasn’t healed yet.  So it’s no surprise that the show following it is going to have to work reaaaaaally hard to find a place in my heart where I’m not constantly thinking in the back of my head “Greg Weisman could do this better.”

There hasn’t been a TON of information released about it, but I did feel like listing some of my thoughts.  There’s a lot more discussion on the what I don’t like section, but only because what I do like is so much more straightforward, and much of what I don’t like is based on speculation.  Overall, I’m just on the fence and still waiting for what’s to come–this is all based on preliminary stuff, so the only thing to do is wait until its ever-nearing premiere (slated to be sometime in the next few months.)

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Buffy Already Did It, Part 1: Smallville’s Final Season

It’s common knowledge among our generation that Buffy the Vampire Slayer played a big role in the development of TV series.  If you’re a moderate TV buff, or have visited TV Tropes even once (seriously, there’s a Buffy reference on almost every page) you’re probably aware that many tropes in current serialized genre shows–Big Badshalf arc seasonsweirdness sensorsChekhov’s gunsheavy continuity–were either invented or popularized by Buffy.  Even if you don’t like it, you can’t deny the impact it’s had on how we watch TV.

Unsurprisingly on shows within the same genre or airing on the same network, there’s bound to be even more similarities in plot structures, characters, etc. Sometimes, though, the similarities and parallels border on eerie.  Surely the writers might have similar genre shows in the back of their heads, but at a certain point it just seems weird.  Two shows specifically brought me to writing this up, both of which are cult genre shows that originated on The WB Network–Smallville andSupernatural.  

 I’ll be spotlighting Supernatural in the next entry, but today I’ll be comparing the final seasons of Smallville and Buffy.  Read it after the jump!


Read more of this post