Monday, September 18, 2006

Studio 60 and personal audio transmitters

The premiere episode of Aaron Sorkin's new show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, aired tonight. I've been looking forward to it all summer. I became a fan of Sorkin's when my sister introduced me to Sports Night, and I was nuts over his A Few Good Men during the opening scene of that movie, and then of course I laughed, cried, and generally was in love for a good couple of seasons of the West Wing (and stuck with it after Sorkin left because I just plain loved the characters). I wasn't enthralled with the premise of Studio 60, but it's Aaron Sorkin and I had to watch.

Interestingly, the promos didn't work for me. Especially, I thought the two main characters (played by Brad Whitford of West Wing and Revenge of the Nerds -yeah, he was in Revenge of the Nerds!- and Matthew Perry of Friends but let us not forget The Whole Nine Yards) lacked interest. They both have that craggy, haggared thing going on, lovely and all, but do I care that they're wired? I'd about had enough of Mr. Whitford's wired thing in the last season of the West Wing, so I wasn't sure about a whole show based on the same performance. And... they didn't have any chemistry.

Luckily, the guys who cut the promos were either A) idiots, or B) just teasing me. I'm actually thinking it was the latter in this case. The moment that Mr. Perry's character took off at a full, painkiller-protected sprint to kick some ass for his drug addict friend Whitford... I fell in love.

So it's another season of fun for me. Can somebody please call in a favor and have them move the show to an 8 p.m. slot? I should not be up this late.

Speaking of which, as the show ended, I crawled under the covers and Luther changed the channel to a football game. Why do people have to shout all the way through a football game? I don't care about some hoots and hollers, it's the strained volume of the announcers for three hours that drives me nuts. And I thought, hey, we need personal audio transmitters.

When you think of it, it's a natural thing for an "information designer" to think about, which is why I've already added features. A personal audio transmitter would be embedded in your head, of course. You can watch TV, and you alone would hear it, unless others in the household changed to the same channel. You'd be able to listen to whatever you want to hear, without headphones, without distortion, perfectly natural -AND hear the outside world if you chose. But the rest of the household and the neighborhood could enjoy some peace and quiet.

The thing about being an information designer, though, is that almost immediately I saw a flaw. You're listening to the game, and your crazy-assed wife who can't sleep starts talking to you. Sure, you can hear her, but goddamn, doesn't she know you're watching the game?

So the technology isn't ready, because I'm pretty sure we can embed the audio transmitter already, but I don't know about the little yellow hologram lightbulb that hovers over your head to show that you're currently listening elsewhere. That might take some time.



Anonymous said...

damn! everybody is talking about new fall shows. don't make me go out and buy a television...

and how come jason can leave a comment with his name and avatar?


bekbek said...

Cross-version comments appear to be fixed now. :)

My Mom and Paul have a television but no cable and no antenna. They just have a nice DVD player. I think I would enjoy something of the same -especially nowadays, when one can buy whole TV series on DVD.

anne frasier said...

i cancelled cable a couple of years ago. then my tv died a few months ago and i haven't replaced it. (i do have a small one in the bedroom.) i've noticed how i know NOTHING of what's going on in the world! NOTHING! and right now i'm kind of enjoying that.

anne frasier said...

it worked!