Thursday, December 17, 2009

"I'm on the radio EVERY DAY!!!!!"(*)

(*) Can you identify, without Google, the context of this particular "Frasier" quote?

Mo Ryan has posted the second and final part of the chat she had with me and James Poniewozik over pizza(**) in late October. (Part one, focusing mainly on "Lost," is here.) This one has us discussing "Mad Men," "Dollhouse" and more. No spoilers for anything that hasn't already aired, and in fact the "Mad Men" discussion took place before that season ended.

(**) Damn Poniewozik (or one of his Twitter followers) for coming up with the much better subject line "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" for his own post on this discussion. Damn them!

Now, if that's not enough Sepinwall gab for you for the day, or if you want to hear the mellifluous tones of my voice, I'm scheduled to do a couple of radio interviews today, one traditional, one online.

I'm supposed to be on WNYC's "The Leonard Lopate Show" from 1 to 1:20 p.m. today, where New York Magazine critic Emily Nussbaum and I will be talking about the year and decade in TV. (And if you haven't yet read Emily's piece on the greatness of TV in the '00s, you should.)

Then at 3:40, I'm scheduled to be a guest on Mediaite's "Office Hours" live web show, to discuss similar but not identical things.

So the opportunities to read or listen to me bloviate about the state of TV at the end of the decade are plentiful today.


Tripp said...

Martin is excited about Niles being on the radio (filling in for Frasier?), and says "it isn't everyday you get to hear your son on the radio!"

Alan Sepinwall said...

Very close, Tripp. You have the set-up line right, but not the reason for it.

Tripp said...

You're's the episode where Frasier is pranked by the new shock radio hosts, and Martin wants a tape of Frasier on their show that morning. God, I have watched way too much of that show...I'm at least glad that I cannot think of their names.

lady t said...

It's the episode where Fraiser is the victim of a on air prank by two new shock jocks(Carlos and the Chicken)at his radio station,which Martin finds hysterical.

Marty then asks Frasier if he can get a recording of the show and gives as his reason for wanting it,"how often do you hear your son on the radio?" which inspires that furious response.

I know this,due to watching way too many reruns on Lifetime:)

Alan Sepinwall said...

Yup, it's from "Radio Wars." One of my favorite Kelsey Grammer deliveries.

Brien said...

I'm part-way through season 3 of The Shield, should I be careful to avert my eyes during the Armenian Money Train discussion, or does it cover stuff that happened during season 2 (i.e. the planning and attack on the money train)?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Brien, you'll be fine. Mo way oversold the money train thing in yesterday's teaser.

Mo Ryan said...

We only mention the Armenian Money Train. I wish we had discussed that in more depth, but it was really just a glancing mention.

Next time, Alan, I want more thorough explanation of the Money Train. I'll buy the pizza.

So anyway, no, I wouldn't worry about spoilers for that.

James Poniewozik said...

I think most adults are aware by now of the sexual practice colloquially referred to as an "Armenian Money Train." Kudos to Shawn Ryan for sneaking that one by Standards and Practices, since it's pretty risque even by FX's standards.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Shhh... Now you're going to ruin that storyline for everybody!

Byron Hauck said...

This thread seems well attended, so I'm going to ask an unrelated question I hope won't be annoying. I'm two episodes into the Sopranos; when does it get good? The pilot reminded me less of The Wire and more of Everybody Loves Raymond.

Hatfield said...

@Byron, first, I fear your comparison may send thousands into full hysteria and/or murderous rages. But since I seem to be immune, I'll try to answer.

As much as I liked it right away, I think everyone pretty much agrees that "College" is the episode where the show really distinguished itself. It's the fifth episode, but even if you're still skeptical, I would say that Seasons 2 & 3 are better than the first, so try to make it through. If it works for you, it's one of the best shows ever.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

I hope this is the appropriate place to follow up on the Dollhouse discussion. Is there any reason a network like FOX couldn't just, say, write off Fridays in December to air six or eight episodes of a show like Dollhouse that does poorly in the ratings but is likely to have a long lifespan on DVD and with other merchandising? (Actually, "any reason" is the wrong way to put it -- I guess my question is whether the economics of doing such a thing could ever work out.)

Aaron said...

Ryan: Yeah. But there was also the Armenian Money Train, which I still don’t understand.

Sepinwall: Well, you see, there were these Armenians...

Ryan: And you do not want to mess with them.

Sepinwall: And they have money.

Ryan: On a train.

I actually was expecting some more conversation around the Shield. Bummer

Anonymous said...

Hello Alan,
Long time reader, just wondering whether you have considered doing a podcast? Perhaps weekly, with a round up of your reviews? I'm sure an intelligent television podcast would be very popular.

Shawn Anderson said...

FWIW, "2 Guys a Girl & a Pizza Place" was my RT of it when it was happening.

Of course, if a tweet falls in the forest... ;)

Shawn Anderson said...

Love the chats, by the way... and like some mention, sort of wish it was also a podcast (like the Three Davids discussion from a couple years back).

Here's hoping you can make it a annual/bi-annual/quarterly tradition

Oaktown Girl said...

Apropos of nothing, but since this place is a Lost stronghold, there's a very cool piece over at The Live Feed about a Lost Fan Art Exhibit. Really cool stuff!

(Apologies, Alan, if you already posted about this).

FoundNemo said...

Fantastic conversation, Alan. Enjoyed the transcript a lot and hope the pizza club reconvenes sometime. Hey, Mo Ryan thinks you could make money off it. :D

Sister T said...

Alan, just heard you on Mediaite's "Office Hours" mentioning you'd watched the first couple hours of The Pacific. I eagerly look forward to reading your initial impressions. And what you think of it in comparison to the first couple hours of Band of Brothers.

Adam said...

I'm two episodes into the Sopranos; when does it get good?

Episode 5, "College".

belinda said...

I would also support the idea of a podcast/more transcribed chats of you guys!

I found the discussion on movies vs. tv shows in the podcast to be intriguing. Given the number of tv shows I really enjoy vs. the number of new movies that I somewhat enjoy in any given year, I guess I also find tv shows to have a superior format to really drive into character driven storylines. I wonder where web format (which are episodic, but also much shorter in time than tv shows in its present format) would end up falling into.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Fienberg and I keep talking about doing some kind of podcast, since we waste half the day on the phone together anyway. We just lack the technical know-how.

Anybody have any suggestions on an easy way to do a podcast via, say, Skype?

Anonymous said...

This is COMPLETELY off topic but Amazon has the complete series DVD set of Brisco County Junior on sale for $17.99 right now. I loved that show and just wanted to share with any other TV nerds out there who might want to snap it up. It's in the Holiday Lightning Deals section. OK, sorry to be completely off course but I just had to post that somewhere. ;-)

Henry said...

The one line delivery from Frasier that I always loved was from the episode where he gets reassigned to the graveyard shift and Niles shoots off a starter's pistol in his apartment living room the morning after:

"Oh, I'm sorry. Was I snippy? I don't think it's too much to ask that there be no GUNPLAY IN MY LIVING ROOM!"

Makes me laugh every time I think about it. Frasier was such a good show for so many years...

Shawn Anderson said...

RE: Podcasting using Skype... Here's a couple of sites that give pretty good step-by-step instructions on how to do it.
Video step-by-step for Mac
Vitamin's step-by-step via '06

These are a couple years old in some cases (some software recommended might be behind a version/out of date), but I haven't seen any updated how-to's.

Bix said...


It's not too hard to podcast using Skype. First, you need a Skype recording program (I use PowerGramo Pro).

My podcast workflow is:

Skype call -> Powergramo Pro -> export call record as a WAV file -> Open the WAV file in Audacity (free) where you edit, de-noise, and normalize -> Output a WAV file from that and drag that WAV into Levelator (Free, amazing, automated program for evening out audio levels and making it sound better) -> Take the WAV file from that and encode it to MP3 using WinLAME (free, custom settings as 48kbps constant bitrate mono at High quality) -> Tag the resulting MP3 in Winamp -> Upload MP3 to -> Link to MP3 from blog.

My site is if you wanna check out the results (Using a free host that allows a full Wordpress installation and thus whatever theme and plugins I want to make it look and work nicer, including stuff like a Flash streaming plug-in, a plug-in that lets me make the blog's RSS feed default to my FeedBurner feed, and a plugin to let me easily edit the "click to read more" tag, among other tweaks).

JanieJones said...

When I read what Maureen had transcribed regarding your three way conversation, I was excited to read all three of your thoughts.
I think a "podcast" would be awesome. I've thought you would do an excellent one for some time.
I don't the first thing as to how to set up one. I use skype to talk to people, particularly in Europe, but I don't the first thing about setting up a podcast.
Folks seem to be pointing you in the right direction.
There must be a copious amount of people that could help you get started.
*What a nice way to start the New Year with a Sepinwall podcast :)

Bix said...

Of course, there's always for the easiest way to podcast (you get an hour streamed live and people can call in, plus a second hour available only via download after the show), but they don't give you much flexibility in the scheduling and their system can be glitchy at times.

Pamela Jaye said...

>since we waste half the day on the phone together anyway

sounds like a friend and I. I keep hoping that, at some point, she will de-lurk here. Keep watching those Chuck posts.

I actually preferred the transcript (though I'm not into Lost and I haven't started Season 2 of Dollhouse - but wouldn't it be funny if I marathoned it just so I could read part 2?)

I'm not sure what it is with me and podcasts. I'm okay with TV and I'm okay with reading, but podcasts never get listened to. Maybe I need to find something to do with my eyes while listening...

I remember one night the three of you were out having dinner - though it seemed more like May, cause there was pending Chuck news - and I was actually kinda jealous, wishing I could be a fly on the wall. (worry not - if I'm not stalking Scott Bakula (and I'm not) you have nothing to worry about). I see now, that the topic (shows I don't watch) does have an impact on my interest levels, but still...

Networks should love it - I mean if people had to hurry up and watch one of their shows so that they could listen to the podcast. :-)

My friend, who shall be nameless if only in this post, actually got the benefit of not knowing about your blog till she was halfway thru season 2 of Chuck, so she got to read all the Chuck posts with less intervening time than I did, and could see the progression. I just know that reading the blog impacted my love of the show - there were so many references that I never would have gotten on my own (spy movies, 80's movies, I had to look up Parkour in wikipedia).

Right now i'm just annoyed that ABC is going to double run Scrubs. I liked the thought of several weeks worth. Tangent? They one did commentaries on the eps that you could download. I never could make them synch up to the ep I was watching.

Pamela Jaye said...

anyway, my point, and I did have one, was that "listening" to you guys talk about TV together is/was/could be lots of fun.

(also, I missed all the radio. up too late last night)

was the tv vs movies in part 1 or 2? I found the serialied/non-serialied interesting. I tend to prefer serialized.

Here's something I've wanted to know: how does one pronounce Poniewozik?
I spent 10 months studying Polish from books, so I'm wondering it's been americanized (and how much)
(a friend thought it random that I just up and studied Polish, but really, there was a boy.. big crush... the thing is, he spoke perfect English, and I could never muster the courage to try out my Polish on him, it was more a case of missing the studying of French and Spanish in HS, deciding Italian was redundant, German sounded like something I could choke mmyself on, and Russian had that Cyrillic alphabet. Polish sounded like Russian and had an alphabel almost like English, so now I have 7 (14 year old) Learn Polish books.
I hit the wall one too many times. finally gave up. but it was fun (and frustrating) at the time. It's still fun to pronounce.
(even if his name isn't Polish, it's got that Slavic look to it.)