All posts tagged Television

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no laughing matter

I finally watched the NASCAR Awards Ceremony last night. I Tivo’d it on Friday, when it originally aired.

All of my worst fears came to life. Jay Mohr, part-time comedian/part-time actor, was the host and Bill Weber, NASCAR on NBC host, was the announcer. Yea I don’t get that either. Why they needed two people to do the job of one I will never know.

Jay Mohr. Jay, why do you do it? Why do you host the Awards Ceremony when you know that all of your jokes, no matter how funny they are, will always bomb? I don’t know what it is but those people do not want to laugh. Maybe it’s just because there aren’t a lot of people in the audience that it just seems like his jokes are falling flat. For Jay’s sake I hope that’s it but really I’m thinking it’s because NASCAR peeps aren’t really used to being roasted at their own shindig.

The funniest moment of the night was courtesy of Kyle Busch. Because he finished tenth in the standings he was the first from the top ten drivers to give their speech. When he went to thank his girlfriend Erica for her support over the year, he used his brother’s wife’s name, Eva, instead. Needless to say every driver after that ribbed Kyle by making it a point to use the correct name of their significant others.

The awkward moment of the night was brought to us by Jewel. Like I predicted she didn’t sing any songs that had to do with racing or winning or feelings about winning. No, instead she sang “Stephenville, TX” and “Foolish Games.”

Here are some sample lyrics from “Stephenville, TX:”

Housewives told to recapture their youth
By wearing floral print and suede
Fixing their hairdos with PC, chemical-free hairspray
Martha Stewart taught ‘em to make on TV
I was raised a farm girl
Now, I’m too far from home, all alone on the road
Trying to figure out who I am now that the stardust has turned to sand
And the sand has turned to stone — I’m the star making machine

So I think you can understand why I was cringing all the way through the song (and then through “Foolish Games”, where she sings about a love gone awry). I love the song and Jewel in general but not so much at a stock car racing awards ceremony. I mean this is like Mariah Carey singing “Vision of Love” before a NHL hockey match. It just doesn’t work for me.

In terms of the fashions on display I was very disappointed. There wasn’t much to look at, all of the ladies seemed to opt for black, except for Kevin Harvick’s wife, Delana who wore a green Vera Wang gown. You can’t go wrong with Vera.

You’ve gotta check out the video of the “yellow” carpet at the event. The correspondent asks the women who they’re wearing and you get some interesting answers. I recognized two designers Vera Wang and Ungaro, the other ones I have no idea. You have to remember these women don’t have stylists like Hollywood A-listers do. Yes they have a ton of money but they’re not spending all their time shopping on Rodeo Drive.

From left to right, Chandra and NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, joined by actors Jay Mohr and Nikki Cox arrive at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Year-end Awards Ceremony, Friday, Dec. 1, 2006, in New York. (AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh)

Jewel performs at the NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship Cup Series Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, Friday, Dec. 1, 2006. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)

Mark Martin, left, jokes with host Jay Mohr after accepting his award for finishing ninth in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship Cup Series at the awards ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, Friday, Dec. 1, 2006. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)

racin’ through the big apple

NASCAR‘s annual Champions Week is under way in New York. There are a bunch of festivities set up and I wish I was there. But the next best thing, ok, the tolerable next best thing, is watching it all on TV.

So I’m going to make sure I set my Tivo to tape Good Morning America tomorrow morning at 8:50am to watch the top ten NEXTEL Cup Series drivers drive their stock cars through Times Square. According to the press release this is a “moment not to be missed.” Mmm right. Let me see, they’re in their cars driving less than the speed limit in Times Square. Big whoop. I’m sorry but that’s kinda boring.

But of course I’ll still watch it ’cause I’m addicted.

Friday is the big day, the day of the Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf=Astoria. The SPEED channel is broadcasting a live Awards Ceremony pre-show called “NASCAR Takes Manhattan” at 7pm EST. The Awards Ceremony will air on TNT at 9pm EST and then again on NBC on Sunday (Dec. 3) at 2pm EST. (check your local listings for exact times and channels)

Jewel is the musical guest this year who will hopefully sing a song that has something to do with what it feels like to win a championship. I doubt it though. I love Jewel, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t know if “Good Day” or “Again and Again” are appropriate songs for men who drive race cars for a living. Those songs are more apt for say, uhm, I dunno, that new Cameron Diaz/Kate Winslet movie, The Holiday. They’re chick flick songs.

At any rate, it’ll be fun to watch.

she’s gonna set you free

You may have heard of a lil’ reality show called Driving Force on A&E. I’ve got a season pass for it on my Tivo and I try to watch it whenever I can. It’s one of those shows I have to be in the right mood for because, well, I just do.

The father is John Force, a drag racing superstar. He is so funny, and loud and just completely honest. He’s the first to admit that maybe he’s made some mistakes in his life, in his marriage in particular, and he’s aware of them. He kind of just talks and talks and then deals with whatever damage his words have caused later.

Overall I think he’s a great guy. His heart really seems to be in the right place, especially when it comes to his daughters, Ashley, 23, Brittany, 19, and Courtney, 17. He’s interested in them, in their lives, and he’s proud of ‘em too — even if he’d kill to have a son.

It’s a very cool show that gives great insight into the day-to-day life of a family whose world centers around racing. Oh! And they also have the best TV theme song ever because they use the Wolfmother song “Woman.” I love that song right now. Check out a clip from Driving Force below.

racing can’t be reheated

I’ll be honest; I missed the Pepsi 400 this past Saturday night because I went to an Il Divo concert. I missed out on my favorite sport to watch four men in shiny suits sing in languages I don’t understand to a bunch of middle-aged married women. They sounded great, and I did get the tickets for free, so I really can’t complain. :) (Side note: if you’re single and looking for a man, don’t go to an Il Divo concert, it’ll do you no good unless you’re into gay men)

I Tivo’d the race to watch on Sunday morning, but it’s not the same. Some leftovers are good the next day, not so much when it comes to racing. I tried to start from the beginning and just watch it as it happened, but it was just so easy to skip to the end. Racing must be watched live. It’s too easy to speed through the green flag runs and get to the crashes. It’s too easy to fast forward through Chris Myers‘ inane banter with Jeff Hammond; you have to suffer through it in order to enjoy the entire show. It feels like cheating if you don’t.

This weekend the race at Chicagoland Speedway begins the NBC/TNT, ending FOX/FX, coverage of NASCAR. I’m sad that I won’t hear Darrell Waltrip (aka DW) yell “Boogity, Boogity, Boogity!, Let’s go racin’!” at the beginning of each race and Larry McReynolds was really growing on me this year. I used to enjoy NBC’s telecast because of Allen Bestwick as the play-by-play announcer, but then something really weird and annoying happened. They moved Bestwick down to the pits as a reporter and moved Bill Weber into the booth with ex-drivers turned analysts Wally Dallenbach and Benny Parsons. I don’t like Weber, he doesn’t strike me as being very confident. I think Bestwick held his own against Benny Parsons in terms of knowledge of the sport, and he’s got a great voice. Speaking of Benny, he kind of irks me too. I tend to not agree with his opinions of NASCAR’s latest rulings, whereas with DW I’m usually in agreement. But on the bright side I always enjoy Dallenbach, he’s much more relaxed.