February 28, 2006
A thought by James Berardinelli

This is another one of those entries in which I ramble. I'm not sure whether that's indicative of having too much or too little to write. Or whether I'm procrastinating with the Oscar picks. I can only delay for so long. Of course, if I wait until Monday morning, I'll be assured of 100% accuracy.

I fully plan to sleep through at least a portion of the Oscar telecast. One sad truth is that I almost always fall asleep while watching television. (This is usually not the case if I'm watching a movie, although I have been known to doze off during film festivals. Then again, so does everybody else, from time-to-time.) I can't get through an entire baseball game, and the Olympics are an invitation to slumber. The danger is the commercial break. That's usually when I shut my eyes - then open them two hours later.

Speaking of the Olympics, when is NBC going to get a clue? Prime time "recap" shows are a thing of the past. No one wants to watch sports of any kind unless it's live. Bite the bullet if it happens half-way 'round the world. Show the big events live at 7 am or 10 am or 1 pm, then provide a prime time recap on a cable network for the dwindling audience that likes that kind of thing. If people want to watch something at night, let them record it then view it later. Until NBC can figure out how to properly program the Olympics, the network is going to continue to bleed viewers and absorb criticism. The '08 summer games are going to be a challenge with prime time coverage ending as the next day's live events begin.

A new television program has entered my regular rotation, replacing Lost, which has fallen out of favor. I endured enough teasing during my school years that I don't need to relive the experience on those occasional Wednesday evenings when one of Lost's seemingly rare first run episodes airs. The new show I have been watching is on the National Geographic Channel (stop laughing). It's called Seconds from Disaster. It seems to be on just about every Tuesday night, with two airings (9 pm ET and midnight ET). Maybe it makes me ghoulish, but I enjoy the detailed chronologies and autopsies of well-publicized disasters. I especially enjoyed the programs detailing the crashes of TWA Flight 800 and the Concord. This week is Mount Saint Helen's. Next week is one of those weeks when it is inexplicably replaced by Megastructures, which means I'll be watching House instead.

Why am I seeing Aquamarine? I have been asked that question more than once since I put up this week's upcoming reviews. The answer is simple: there's a convenient screening. Also, my goal is to have as many weeks with no fewer than three reviews as is possible. That means seeing Aquamarine as well as Ultraviolet (no advance screenings for that one, so I have to see it when it opens - bad sign). Plus, how can I effectively review M. Night Shyamalan's upcoming mermaid tale if all I have to compare it to is Splash?

Finally, I have completed 2006 improvement #1 to the website. I am referring to the RSS feed that sprung up overnight with little fanfare. If you don't know what RSS is, you can safely ignore this. It won't impact your viewing of the site and if you're really curious, you can Google it. (I believe this is the first time I have ever used that verb - at least since I outgrew baby talk.) If you're "into" RSS, hopefully this will enhance your reading pleasure. Eventually, I'll probably split the feed into three pieces (one for new reviews, one for video reviews, one for ReelThoughts entries), but not at the moment. Now, on to revamping Video Views.

Oh, and the running 2006 list is now up. I snuck that one in, too.

Now on to March, the Oscars, and the return of yardwork.