The Most HD Channels

You’ve all seen them. The outrageous claims. The random AD character sightings (“I’ve used one word to describe myself” and “You stole his eyebrows? They make me look dressier” will be the chosen quotes to describe them.) It all boils down to one common theme: “we have the most HD channels.” But who’s telling the truth? The blond guy, a modern day commercial luminary at a fake news desk? Wayne Jarvis and Stan Sitwell? Or a chick with bug eyes and a 60 second timer in the bottom corner of the screen?

What I’m about to tell you is very important. HD only matters for sports games, nature shows, and movies. I’ll be generous and say thats 25 HD channels that are useful. Just think about the rest of the hundreds of channels on your TV and what they show during the day, and how useless it would be in HD. Thats the most ridiculous part of this escalating ad war. Someone says they have 100 HD channels, then someone else says they have twice that amount as that guy, then this chick says she has 60 seconds to warn me about one of the other two. Where is that chick from anyway, dish network or something? If you think I don’t change the channel for a full minute whenever I see that commercial come on, you’re kidding yourself.

While the battle of who can claim to have the most HD channels rages on, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another commercial regarding HD TV. In my opinion its one of the most counterintuitive commercials I’ve ever seen. The commercial says this: “If you buy an HD Television, you won’t get HD programming unless you have an HD cable box.” Considering you are currently logged on to the internet and reading this blog, you most likely already know this. Considering that someone ran that ad, I’m sure there are people who had no clue. In fact, the cable company that ran the ad isn’t even important. The question is why. Here is the message you just gave potential HD TV buyers: “That huge flat screen that you already barely can afford is just the beginning of your expenses when switching to HD TV! You will also have to switch cable boxes, which will certainly involve calling the cable company AND waiting for a technician to come out (I wouldn’t even wish that on Jeremy Shockey) while also paying more per month for cable service.” How is this not guaranteed to sell less HD TVs? If you already know, the commercial is insulting to your intelligence. And if you didn’t, now you know. Why not wait until someone has bought the TV, plugged it in, wondered why they weren’t getting HD channels, and called up the company hoping they can fix it? They could even charge five times as much for an HD cable upgrade and it would still look dirt cheap next to the price of the TV itself. When people hear things they already know, they tune out. Here are two things I already know: 1. You need an HD cable box to get HD channels. 2. Everyone thinks they have the most HD channels. So much for that commercial.

At the current rate, DirecTV will strike a huge blow to the industry in a year or two, locking up Nick Gas HD to be its 350th HD channel. A few short years later the FIOS network will be available in enough homes, internet video will be good enough, and the years of the worst customer service since the days of the infamous Muffin Man will all combine to make the cable companies the new radio stations – enjoyed by some, but only when that person can’t currently enjoy one of their many other much better options.

But, as tempting as it is to look to the future of the quickly improving TV industry, we still have a key issue at hand. WHO HAS THE MOST HD CHANNELS?!!?? Instead of both Comcast and DirecTV continuing to run ads during every single commercial break, I will instead solve this problem right now. Someone with DirecTV, hit that guide button and see how many HD channels you get. Someone with Comcast do it too. If you have some other shit, like Time Warner or Cablevision, get on it. I will list the results while taking full credit for all work done. And remember, the next time you turn on ESPN2HD for a champions league game, only to see the game in regular definition, even though you KNOW its being broadcast in HD in England, just remind yourself that somewhere, someone is enjoying some H&GTV HD that Comcast just had to have to stay competitive.

– Warsh

Breaking Bad & Lost Come to an End & Bravo Pulls Some Bullshit on Top Chef

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Hello Trifecta readers. We’ve just recently passed the 6,000 hit mark, which may not seem like a lot when compared to the one million hits a week that Stuff White People Like has been receiving recently, but I’m happy to take baby steps. I hope some have started to think of The Trifecta as a place they can come for interesting content from a plethora of amateur, yet talented writers on a variety of topics. I ask that if an article peaks your interest or tickles your fancy in just the right way that you share it with others who you think would also enjoy. I couldn’t be happier with the content generated by guest writers in the past couple months and you can expect a whole lot more coming up including the possible addition of the first female contributor. My newest Rick’s Rants for Movieweb covers Breaking Bad, Lost, and the newest season of Top Chef, so be sure to check it out: Rick’s Rants: Quips on Television’s Finest.

– Rich

Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 5:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Rick’s Rants Month Late 2007 Year in Review

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So I know it’s a little late for a year in review, but I don’t want to hear that crap. Check it out: Rick’s Rants: Quips on Televisions Finest 2007 Year in Review. I’d also like to take this time to call attention to a new link on the Trifecta. Over to your right you’ll see a little Google symbol. If you click that little guy you can add a nice little Trifecta widget onto your Google desktop that will keep you up to date on all things Trifecta related.

– Rich

Breaking Bad

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I think we can all agree there is nothing good on TV. While there is a plainly obvious explanation for this (think knocking down all the pins in bowling), it doesn’t make it any less true. But today I watched a new show that was good enough to end my Trifecta hiatus and let you, the 15 people a day who read this website by accident, know all about it.

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So, now we know whats on AMC between Godfather marathons. From the networks coming out of the woodwork with TV shows division we present Breaking Bad, from the people at AMC. AMC unfortunately shows movies with commercials, making them unwatchable for any long period of time but nice to flip to during commercials of a game. For their leading man they secured the services of Bryan Cranston, who played the dad in Malcolm in the Middle. He plays a high school science teacher who gets diagnosed with lung cancer, already has one retarded child, and his wife is pregnant. To top it all off, they are poor and in debt. He begins losing control, and eventually starts to cook and sell meth. Now I know you may be thinking “sounds like Weeds 2”, but there is a logical enough progression of events to lead to him selling meth, considering his fragile state of mind. In Weeds we jump right in with Nancy already being a drug dealer, yet nothing is ever mentioned of how she became a drug dealer, or how she makes a living selling to her 5 friends. Where Weeds pokes fun at suburbia and makes clever Bush jokes, and its dealers build bright spacious growhouses, Breaking Bad has people having mental breakdowns while sweating in their underwear in a hot RV cooking up some meth. Thats the basic outline of the show so far. His wife, played by Anna Gunn, (who played Bullock’s wife on Deadwood. The one Bullock was forced to marry because she was his brother’s wife and his brother died. Wonder when that rule died out.) , is apparently already getting suspicious in episode 2 (Sunday at 10 -you can still catch repeats of the pilot on AMC). What I am trying to say is that this show is striving to be realistic and logical, and is so much more engrossing because of it. In Weeds Nancy’s best “friend” Celia takes over 2 seasons to even realize she is dealing. This is a perfect example of the preposterous logical gaps shows will go to to avoid plot conflicts and to enhance comedic situations. While yes, these shows are funny, I also like shows where the going is hard, and things aren’t all smooth sailing for our main character just so we can have some laughs. The interesting part about this show isn’t that Walter White, Cranston’s character, is selling meth. Honestly, the premise of a show doesn’t even matter to me any more. There will never be a premise for a TV show that shocks me again. Between Sci-fi, reality, mtv and 30 seconds of a hot chick I am completely desensitized to shows with “crazy” premises. What makes this show good is that Walter is doing something very challenging and is realistically portrayed as doing it well. Cranston’s intriguing character was pretty much the only one developed during the pilot, but its interesting enough to watch and get in to. If you want, think of it as Weeds but darker, more gritty, and more realistic. And about a guy with a mustache and glasses instead of a hot chick. I give it the Trifecta’s highest stamp of approval.

– Warsh
Published in: on January 24, 2008 at 2:21 am  Comments (5)  
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Cloverfield Impresses & More of Rick’s Rants

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After one of the most enticing marketing campaigns completely brain washed me to need to see this movie the second it came out, I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. Its surprising to me that there is such a critical divide over Cloverfield since I’ve found over the years that critics tend to like anything different since they see the same crap over and over again. Cloverfield, on top of revitalizing a genre really did accomplish originality, a rarity in movies today. Critics adored last years The Host, a Korean monster movie that I thought was just plain boring and doesn’t hold a candle to Cloverfield. This monster movie isn’t getting nominated for best picture, but the camera work is amazing, the way they portrayed the story with cuts to our protagonist and his love interest everytime the camera got turned off is extremely intelligent, and the special effects are jawdropping. At one point our heroes seem to be victorious as they climb in a military helicopter. We the viewers, along with our heroes, get our first overhead view of the monster terrorizing Manhattan, but the beauty is fleeting; a monster tentacle whips up and catches the helicopter. Watching a helicopter crash from the viewpoint of the passengers is pretty damn cool. I’m gonna have to classify this as a must see in theaters. If you get motion sickness you might want to pop a Dramamine before you go, otherwise, enjoy the ride.

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My newest Rick’s Rants is up on Movieweb in which I give a very personal account of how FOX lifted my spirits last Sunday with the new Terminator show, Family Guy and American Dad. I also express my discontent with the new American Gladiators. As always, heres the link: Rick’s Rants: Quips on Televisions Finest. I’ll be doing a TV year in review of 2007 for Movieweb, and a movie year in review for The Trifecta as soon as I’ve seen all the possiblities. I just saw the Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which will certainly make my list and should be seen by all. Hopefully I’ll get to Atonement this weekend. Enjoy Cloverfield everyone, its one hell of a ride.

– Rich

The Battlestar Galactica / American Pie Straight to DVD Coupling Fiasco

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My latest Rick’s Rants is up. You’ll find some links new to the site over on the right menu. One is to our friends Jonah’s blog: Media Mavens Musings which gets unbelievably more traffic than this site, but even so, we all believe in it over here at The Trifecta so the link is there. Another is to my friend Jesse Guyer’s blog where he reviews a film every day. I like his reviews and I generally agree with him on most movies. The last link is to Rick’s Rants which you can click on for the back catalogs of my articles. This weeks edition starts off with Battlestar Galactica which may turn some of you off to it, but I think it can be enjoyed by all, being that half of it is about straight to DVD American Pie movies which I think we can all collectively point our fingers at and laugh. Heres the link to my newest one: Rick’s Rants: Quips on Televisions Finest.

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– Rich

Published in: on January 4, 2008 at 2:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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My Weirdest Rick’s Rants Yet

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After writing this edition of Rick’s Rants in one sitting it became pretty clear I had to post it to Movieweb.com despite it being a little out there, since it is a true rant. My ranting includes my insecurities with buying High School Musical 2, a dream Disney board meeting and my general angst with Disney’s financial planning surrounding the High School Musical project. Here’s a link: Rick’s Rants: Quips on Television’s Finest, hope you enjoy it.

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– Rich

Published in: on December 19, 2007 at 1:53 pm  Comments (1)  
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No Country for Golden Compass Bashing Religious Zealots

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Hello fair readers. Today for the first time in a long time I’m going to generate some original content for the Trifecta that is not simply just a plug for my movieweb article (which I’ll still be plugging). In fact, let me just get the movieweb article plugging out of the way immediately: My newest edition of Rick’s Rants: Quips on Television’s Finest has just been posted up on the site as of this evening. In it I rant about It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (my new favorite comedy) and the Futurama movie Bender’s Big Score. Rick’s Rants has officially been upgraded into the Column Section of Movieweb instead of the TV features which will hopefully bring in more readers. As always here’s a link to the article: Rick’s Rants. Hope you all enjoy.

Since I’ve been writing these movieweb articles I haven’t had a chance to write about movies, so now I’ll return to form to discuss two very important ones.

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This weekend marks the opening of what has been my most highly anticipated film release all year: The Golden Compass. I’ve been a big fan of the books since my friend Pam highly recommended them to me about a year a half back. I plowed through the trilogy and have since been touting them as some of my favorite books. Ever since the announcement of the first cast members I’ve had high hopes that this trilogy could achieve Lord of the Rings status. Now that the opening is upon us it’s become pretty clear that it’s not going to. In fact, I’d say there’s even a danger that the rest of the trilogy won’t get made despite the big name actors that have attached themselves. Why you ask? It seems that the Catholic community has condemned a movie none of them have seen yet. I’m not really surprised, part of what I liked about the books is the obvious Christian bashing, but apparently the movie does a pretty good job of staying non-partisan. Its all about tolerance people! You don’t see the Atheists of the world out protesting the Passion of the Christ or Jesus Christ Superstar do you? If you’re into Jesus or any of those other fairy tales the Bible has to offer I encourage you not to miss a significantly better fantasy story called the Golden Compass.

I’ve seen countless trailers, the first 5 minutes of the movie and tonight, despite my best efforts, couldn’t help but read some early reviews. The consensus seems to be that it looks great but is confusing to newcomers who aren’t familiar with the books. This of course doesn’t bother me one bit, except that there’s potential that my non-Dark Materials-initiated friends, who I’ll drag to see it with me this weekend, will bitch at me because they didn’t like it. Even more devastating though is that the masses might not like it, and if the masses don’t like it, there won’t be more movies (a single tear drips down my left cheek). All I can do at this point is hope.

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The second movie I wanted to talk about is the movie that everyone is talking about: No Country for Old Men. Critics have thrown caution to the wind in praising No Country as the clear front runner for Oscar season and are calling it the best movie of the year. Densen, our guest writer, loved it and thought it was hilarious while Warsh, quite oppositely, thought it was great, but doesn’t deserve all the critical acclaim it’s recieving. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve seen the film and I’m now officially ready to state my opinion on it. I loved it and I think it justly deserves all the critics’ praises. Up until I’d seen No Country I thought that Capitán Vidal from Pan’s Labyrinth was the scariest realistic character ever portrayed on the silver screen. Bardem’s Anton Chigurh certainly takes the prize. Javier Bardem deserves an Oscar for his performance, and something tells me he’s going to get it. There’s been a fair amount of controversy over the ending or the lack there of. When I left the theater I was shaken to the core, maybe more so then ever before from a movie. Obviously No Country was very abrasive and violent, but I think the dominating contributing factor to my core shaken-ness was from the fact that I had very little closure when I walked out. I’m very interested to know what people thought about this movie, so drop a comment if you have time. Danny has promised a new article by the weekend and I’ve been bugging Warsh as often as I can, so please keep checking the Trifecta.

– Rich

The Fall Season

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Hello Trifecta readers. My official apologies for the lack of content on the site. I’ve waded through a minefield of work and have finally broken my writer’s block that has been plaguing me so. I’ve just finished my newest Movieweb article, which is about a week later than it should have been, but I spent a weekend in Vegas music festivaling and gambling, so I basically lost a week of my life to the gods of rock. The latest Rick’s Rants is mostly about 30 Rock with tidbits about Showtime. I hope you all enjoy it and please post comments on this one. Last article there were a ton of hits, but only one comment, and it was made by me. I need you all to step it up and comment the hell out of this new one. I’m gonna start getting on Warsh and Danny’s backs about writing more often, and I think Densen is overdue for another ridiculous article. As always heres a link to the article: Rick’s Rants. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and upon return they’ll be new content galore on the Trifecta.

– Rich

Published in: on November 13, 2007 at 1:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Wonderful Wednesday

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I wanted to let everyone know my second edition of Rick’s Rants: Quips on Television’s Finest has hit the internet. It’s about last Wednesday’s night of television as a prep for tonight, specifically about ABC’s new show Pushing Daisies, Top Chef and South Park. I’ve put out a plea for folks to post their favorite episode of South Park on the article so I ask you all to think hard and comment with your favorite. Here is a link to the article: Rick’s Rants.

– Rich

Published in: on October 10, 2007 at 10:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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