Just two years ago post-Katrina, the New York Times gushed over Anderson Cooper, the "anchor who reports with a heart on his sleeve....he's anything but slick and packaged."
I watched the last, interminable eight minutes of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 (or AC 360) the other night. After the inane banter between Cooper and correspondent Erica Hill which ended in Cooper crushing a coke can in an obviously scripted moment, my husband yelled from his office across the hall, "omg! it's the news equivalent of vaporware!"
Here in the Bay Area, we're trapped in our neighborhoods this Labor Day. The Bay Bridge is undergoing some serious earthquake retrofitting. The only direct route from the east bay into San Francisco is closed - yes, closed! - for the duration of the holiday.
Traffic is being funneled instead through Marin onto the Golden Gate Bridge. CHP just announced that they're on the prowl with their new, super-fancy laser detectors (in lieu of the old radar detectors) and. .Let's just say Marin's 101 freeway roads won't exactly be user-friendly this weekend.
So we're staying home.
But this is Marin, so vegging at home is a pretty wonderful thing. We're picking up some local organics at Farmer's Market, kicking' back with a bottle of Holdredge Pinot Noir, and booting up the 42 in. plasma.
If you're similarly cribbin', here's a guide to what's airing on cable over the weekend.
Love Shack Baaaaaay-beeeee! It's 80's weekend on Starz. Back by popular demand Starz Encore's third annual big 80's marathon returns, beginning at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on Friday, Aug. 31.
Hosted by one of the original MTV VJs, Alan Hunter, "Big 80s Weekend" will feature 48 '80s movies, a look at classic '80s pop culture with trivia, news, movie videos, and more - including interviews with '80s rockers Ted Nugent, Bret Michaels, and others.
Sci Fi Channel will run the six most popular Stargate SG-1 episodes based on their Internet polling. The "Viewer's Choice Marathon" airs Friday, August 31, beginning at 4p ET. A ten episode Dead Like Me marathon begins Monday, September 3 starting at 8a.m. ET
Now that HBO's John from Cincinnati, the aimless David Milch surf drama, is going the way of Davy Jones' Locker, Big Love moves into the Sunday 9 p.m. slot for the last two episodes of its Sophomore season.
The move will further confuse viewers who were forced to adjust to a new Monday night time slot after HBO bumped the series from its Sunday perch.
HBO cancelled Deadwood to allow Milch to focus on JfC, a decision that will live in infamy.
Garth Ancier, the fresh prez of BBC America, announced yesterday that the BBCA 7p news feed of BBC World will soon be replaced by what he called a "special U.S-facing, hour-long newscast " provided by BCC World. Ancier noted that BBCnews.com and BBC.com are "together the 5th largest website source of news" in the U.S.
"It's kind of extraordinary when you realize it's based in London, " mused Ancier, "so looking at this from a news background standpoint, having come from CNN, I thought this was a huge asset." Ancier said he wanted to raise the profile of BBC news in the U.S. but provided no further details.
With the formal announcements out of the way, Ancier turned his attention to the panels which he anchored in a living room-like setting on stage. TCA panels can be stiff and overly rehearsed. Not so with the sometimes raucous BBCA sessions which showcased three, new upcoming series - Jekyll, a modern day Jekyll & Hyde story with an X-Files twist; Torchwood, the Dr. Who spin-off based on the popular Captain Jack character; and Hotel Babylon, a series set in an ultra-chic hotel.
The Brits proved to be far more willing than their publicist-leashed American counterparts to give straightforward answers and to engage in the occasional potty humor.
Just ahead of the Fourth of July, Aaron Barnhart, the Kansas City Star television critic, spanked cable providers for their reluctance to carry Al Jazeera English. "Rejected by every major cable company in America, Al Jazeera English is an ambitious attempt to redefine television news. There's absolutely no reason we shouldn't be watching it," asserts Aaron.