Some Endings…(and some that SHOULD Be)

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Here we are well into 2017 and this is my first post to this blog of the new year.

I had decided to wait long enough for the political dust to settle, but I figured that everyone is so polarized that I could be waiting forever.

Certainly, 2016 was not a fun year as my health took a major step backwards and I had several longtime friends decide to no longer want to be friends, some who were friends over 30 years.  Apparently, they felt that I was too polarizing for them.

I also didn’t want to offend any friends if I could help it.  As an examle, one of my friend’s father had passed away.  I decided to make neither a comment or leave an emoticon as I felt that the last time I made any comment I was blasted by one of their family members as I felt that the picture was funny.  Unfortunately, I decided not to let my feelings known in this very sad occasion.

It was best that I kept a fairly low profile when my health started slipping.  At this point, I still am not out of the woods regarding my health and therefore haven’t been writing much.  It is for this reason that I will not be offering any future annual predictions.  However, I will give the results of last year’s predictions.

So here are last year’s predictions and the results:

  • The Dow will slip to a low of 9,000. (No, didn’t happen.)
  • JCPenney will file for bankruptcy and close all its stores. (No, didn’t happen however the future of the local one is questionable as I write this.)
  • Sears/Kmart will close at least half of their remaining locations before going out of business by year’s end. (Not yet)
  • OfficeDepot/OfficeMax will shut all their locations to allow Staples to buy the company and satisfy the government. (Nope)
  • Playboy will have centerfolds again by September after suffering a huge drop in readers and its main focus will be on getting celebrities to pose for the pictures. ( They have returned so I was only about 5 months off..so I am calling this partly yes.)
  • Nickelodeon will replace all its programming with imported teen shows similar to what happened to Teen Nick over the past few years. (No, but the future of the network is in jeopardy.)
  • Star Wars 8 will be delayed as a major accident on the set causes filming to cease. (No, but the death of Carrie Fisher may slow down the next one.)
  • The Muppets will not see a second season. (Who really thought this mess would not get cancelled?)
  • The Voice gets cancelled. (Despite no big name winners, this show still slugs along.)
  • A new format superseding Blu-ray will be introduced, but will fail as it will not be embraced. (If you call Ultra 4k a new format, then it has not been a huge seller yet, but then again 3D discs are becoming scarce.)
  • MTV, CMT and VH1 will merge into one station. (The future of these Viacom stations are questionable at this point.)
  • Windows 10 will experience a widespread update problem that causes updates to fail for weeks. (Although some problems have existed, updates have been not interrupted much.)
  • Kylie and Kendall Jenner will both get pregnant. (As far as I know, this didn’t happen yet unless a big bombshell happens.)

Out of 13 predictions, I am calling 6 halves and only 1 fully correct.  I may bring predictions back in the future if people request it, otherwise they are history.

Now onto other topics:

“Girl Meets World” has officially been cancelled by Disney Channel.  After 3 seasons, this show has been tossed to the curb.  While I haven’t finished the last 4 episodes, I have no idea how this series will end.

I have read that there is an effort to have this show be revived somewhere else.  One of them was Netflix.  I don’t think this would be a good choice as this show is more of a linear show and not one that could be watched in some random order.  Since I don’t have this service, I cannot think that this would be a great move.
Another option would be to put this on Freeform or as I like to call it the “Harry Potter” network since these movies are always on.  They have 3 series “Switched at Birth”,”The Fosters” and “Pretty Little Liars”, all of which are soon ending.  The problem with putting the show on this network is that there are only 2 comedies and neither are what I would call family-friendly.  Unless this network revamped its entire lineup, this show would never have a chance.

My choice would be to put this show on Friday nights on abc, preferably at 8:30pm – the slot currently occupied by “Dr. Ken”. The best thing about putting this show on Friday is that it’s predecessor was on that night for several years.  Hopefully, this could happen and save this good show.

However I cannot say the same for “Riverdale”.  If you grew up in the 1970’s, then you might remember the Archie cartoon series or if you are older you might know the comic book series.  Unfortunately, this show is not a thing like it’s pedigree should be.  This show is more like a fanboy sick fantasy than a really great show.  This show has it all: murder, interracial relationships, lesbian kissing, and sex, just to name a few.  This is where the show has many of its problems.  Like many shows of this type, it all starts with a murder and the show goes downhill from there.  The only difference is that this show uses the Archie comic characters as the basis of the story.  Like “The Muppets” from last season, this show deserves to die quickly and not be rebooted at all.  My score: 1

This show has absolutely no redeeming value and it’s sick lesbian kiss between Betty and Veronica was just too much to unsee.

Finally, I want to discuss the current state of the Time Warner/Spectrum merger.  Here in Maine, it has not happened yet.  We have been promised an updated program guide and still no changes.  Ads are still running with the TWC moniker and no indication of the Spectrum name can be found.  Rumor is that changes are supposed to happen by the end of this month.  The only changes to date is to the phone app, which is nothing more than rebranding the TWC app with the Spectrum name.  I really expected more than this especially after all these months since the merger.

To wrap up this post: 

  • My predictions have ended.
  • “Girl Meets World” has ended.
  • “Riverdale” should end.
  • Time Warner Cable should end it’s name locally and embrace its Spectrum name.

Finally, 2017 will be a year of anniversaries, 3 of them none that are overly happy.  Two will be discussed in my other blog, the third in this one.  The first will come next month.

My next blog post here will be the start of my Florida trip from last year.  It won’t be a boring travel log, but rather a look at interesting things along the way.

Until next time, comments are always welcome here or my Facebook page.

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Facebook’s Many Problems

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When I joined the Facebook community a little over 7 years ago, I thought maybe that I could keep in contact with my friends from my former job or even more so those people who I went to high school many years ago.

 

Little did I realize that there would be so many issues along the way.  Having some people friend me and then unfriend me months later for no really good reason given.  Why did these people friend me in the first place if they knew they had no intention of wanting to continue to be my friend?

 

Add to that the few that have even blocked me for no real good reason either.  To uncover those who blocked me, I created a second account under an alias to spy on others and find out who blocked me by testing their URL with my primary account.  I was shocked at how many people have blocked me even though they never really friended me.

 

However, Facebook has more issues than that as far as who hates me on their site.

 

Recently, it was reported that the site’s trending topics have been slanted to support certain viewpoints.  I will say that I see significant differences in trending topics between my 2 Facebook accounts.  I believe that part of this is because my primary account has so many liked pages and my secondary account has hardly any liked pages at all.  Could they be slanting trending topics toward topics that I have liked pages of before?  It certainly appears that way.

 

Now onto other issues with Facebook:

 

When I started using Facebook, it was on a PC with a browser.  When I got my smartphone, I started using the Facebook app.  However I found the app to be huge and a significant space hog taking up as much as 280mb of precious space.  It has slimmed down somewhat since then but it is still unusually large,  I have tried many of the so-called alternative wrappers of Facebook, which usually are rather small but are hindered by a large number of ads or just don’t work properly.  Currently, I am using the Chrome browser on the phone to access Facebook.  If anyone knows of a really good Facebook alternative app, let me know because none seem to work well for me.

 

The next problem has been with Facebook Messenger.  This program started out as being part of the Facebook app but has since been separated into its own app.  This too is a fairly large program and since I don’t communicate much at all with anyone using the PC version, I find this program totally useless.  However, Facebook still thinks that I need this to use Facebook.  I think not.  If I regularly had any conversation at all with anyone, then I might consider it, but I see it currently as a waste.

 

Next up is the onslaught of friend requests that I have received lately.  I know that most of these requests are fake, but I accept most of them just because I want to report the content in which they are sharing.  Many of these fakes delete their accounts within a few days but others have lingered so they may very well be real.

 

I report at least one post or profile daily.  However, the results from these reports mostly are disappointing as many of them are not considered violating their “community standards”.  This makes me wonder if a real person is looking at what I am reporting or if this is being done by some sort of bot program making the decision.  My usual feedback is negative if the offending item is not removed.  I would say that 80% of the posts are not deleted.  This is a high percentage of material that should not be on Facebook, but somehow still remains.  Sometimes after several times reporting the same post, it does get deleted.  However, nobody should have to report the same thing multiple times to get something deleted.

 

Overall, Facebook continues to be a very mixed bag of frustration, happiness, and hatred.  It doesn’t seem that there is a way to ever make anyone ever happy on the site, so sometimes I still wonder why I stay there except to announce the postings of my blogs.

 

Google Clueless Again

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Fake Warning:  The following contains content not suitable for most people.  It contains content that would make “50 Shades of Grey” look like a Mother Goose fairy tale.

 

I will discuss the above fake warning shortly, but first.

 

A couple of days ago, I received the following email from Google.  Here it is in its entirety:

 

Dear Blogger User,

We’re writing to tell you about an upcoming change to the Blogger Content
Policy that may affect your account.

In the coming weeks, we’ll no longer allow blogs that contain sexually
explicit or graphic nude images or video. We’ll still allow nudity
presented in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts, or
where there are other substantial benefits to the public from not taking
action on the content.

The new policy will go into effect on the 23rd of March 2015. After this
policy goes into effect, Google will restrict access to any blog identified
as being in violation of our revised policy. No content will be deleted,
but only blog authors and those with whom they have expressly shared the
blog will be able to see the content we’ve made private.

Our records indicate that your account may be affected by this policy
change. Please refrain from creating new content that would violate this
policy. Also, we ask that you make any necessary changes to your existing
blog to comply as soon as possible, so that you won’t experience any
interruptions in service. You may also choose to create an archive of your
content via Google Takeout.

 

Let me say that I have a couple of problems with the above message.  First and foremost is that I have not used Blogger in nearly 6 months for any of my blogs and 2 of the blogs have not been used for over 4 years.

 

Secondly, and most important is that I have NEVER EVER had any explicit images on ANY of my Blogger pages.  Nor would I ever have any either.

 

So why the notice was sent is a mystery?

I have 2 theories for this.

 

The first is that this was a mass warning to all Blogger authors so that they know what their new policy will be.  However, given that they flagged my account makes me think that this is not true.

 

My second thought is that Google used some sort of reader to check their accounts for possible content that may be deemed as offensive.  However, since a reader can’t “read” pictures, it can only read words and thinks that some pictures might be included with what is written.

 

I will admit that my “Staples” blog has contained references to adult content, but contained no images.  So apparently, the reader that Google uses can only anticipate what might be there in the blog, not what really is contained within it.

 

In other words, Google is parsing the blogs incorrectly.

 

Yes, I said PARSING.

 

In computer lingo, this means evaluating words while trying to interpret their intended meaning.  Word processors do this all the time as you type trying to anticipate what you mean and try to make sense of what could be improper grammar.

 

This is all well and good if it works the way it should.  However, there are times when parsing doesn’t work quite as planned.  A good example is of course the notice that I received.

 

But there is another which I have been battling for the last six years.

 

It is what I call the job application.

 

Back in the old days, if you wanted to apply for a job, you went to the location of the business and pick up an application.  You would then drop off the application and somebody would actually read it.  If they liked what they read, you would be called for an interview.

 

This is not the case today, however.

 

Today, a job application is filled out online usually at some corporate website.  From there, you enter all your personal information and in some cases, you take some sort of personality test or other type of test.

 

After you finish the application, the applicant is usually given an email response from the company they applied to, sometimes almost immediately.  The result is usually that you don’t meet their qualifications or some other lame excuse.  I really wonder how a computer can make a decision that really should be made by a human.

 

Welcome to another case of how a parser can create unnecessary havoc in a person’s life.  I always believe that a potential employer never gets to know a candidate unless they get a physical interview with them.

 

Over the past six years of applying for a job, I have been turned down every time and have never been selected for an interview despite having over 25 years of job experience.  Ironically, the only company that I heard from for a potential interview is the soon-to-be-late RadioShack.

 

Apparently, they must have parsed my application again and changed their mind.  Maybe that was the only time I felt lucky that I didn’t get a job due  to some non-human reading my job application.

 

Maybe parsing isn’t so bad after all…if only Google would know better.

 

But then again, if they did I would not have anything to write about.

 

Before I close this post, let me explain that fake warning at the beginning of this blog.  This is really a test to see if WordPress decides to implement a similar policy regarding adult content even though no pictures exist.  If I get any notice from them, then I will know that WordPress has a bad parser as well that doesn’t know words from pictures and doesn’t know the way things are put in context and can easily be taken the wrong way if not read by a human.

 

Here to hoping that WordPress can interpret their blogs properly and not the way that Google does with its Blogger service.  I am so glad I no longer use that service and if any of you readers out there still do, I recommend switching to something else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nick and Disney and the Mostly Bummer Summer Thus Far

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Well, it was bound to happen.

 

Just it wasn’t expected to be this soon however.

 

“Sam & Cat” is officially dead.

 

I wasn’t really surprised that this happened, but given the facts it is pretty easy to understand why.

 

Many of the problems as far as I can tell revolved around actress Jennette McCurdy.  Between the racy lingerie pics to her not showing up for the Kids Choice Awards earlier this year, it was apparent, she was not happy.

 

In the last week or so, she has even written that she is “not a role model” and that she thought the real reason for the show’s cancellation was that she was not happy how adults were portrayed on the show, mostly as stupid people.

 

As if this was really the case that caused the show to be cancelled.

 

I believe that between her costar Arianna Grande’s music career taking off and Jennette’s career otherwise being stagnant, Jennette felt she was going nowhere fast.  While I can understand her pain, it certainly was not a great idea to sabotage the show like she did.

 

My thought is that Jennette wants to get out of working for Nickelodeon once and for all and possibly even out of kids shows as well.

 

So what does she think her future lie?  Here are my ideas (in order from best to worst):

 

  • Bring back her country music career. She has already released one EP last year.  Maybe it is time to get to the studio to start recording again.
  • Get a new show on a non-kid’s network possibly like ABC Family. She really is not standard network material yet.
  • Follow in the career path of people like Lindsay Lohan by doing a Playboy and adult films like “The Canyons”. She has already proven she has a body and likes to show it off so maybe this is what she really wants to inspire to do.  Of course, this only works if she goes on drugs and starts drinking and partying.  Certainly, not the ideal career choice if she wants to have any fans left.

 

Beyond Jennette’s problems, this show was full of problems of having lousy storylines and a couple of stunt castings.  It also had many jokes that would go over the heads of most of their audience only to be appreciated by older viewers.

 

The blame for that lies strictly on creator Dan Schneider, who seems to be in burnout mode as his latest creation of “Henry Danger” was not so great.  It was a lousy superhero movie (it was less than an hour, which I don’t call a movie, by the way) that lacked anything close to being either funny or dangerous.  This show reminded me of the 1960’s Batman series, just not nearly as entertaining and certainly not memorable.  My grade after the premiere episode is a 2.  I will report back later if I feel if it gets better or worse.

 

Speaking of movies, both Disney and Nickelodeon aired lousy movies in the last few weeks.  “Zapped” (Disney)  and “Terry the Tomboy” (Nickelodeon)  were both forgettable movies and both were pretty bad.  Both were 90 minutes of torture and neither was enjoyable.  My score on both is a 3 and I would rather watch anything for 90 minutes than either of these clunkers.

 

All has not been totally bad this summer on the kids show front.

 

There is one shining knight in a sea of junk.

 

And that shining light is “Boy Meets World—The Next Generation”.

 

Oops, that is not the title.  Its real title is “Girl Meets World” and it has joined the Disney Channel lineup.

 

For those people who loved the show in the 1990’s with Cory and Topanga will be happy that they are happily married with 2 kids.  This new series focuses upon their daughter and her best friend and their everyday struggles just like the original series did 20 years ago.  I loved the original and I love this new series as well.  The only downside to this series is that it is running on Disney Channel and may get an early end given that Disney has a policy of cancelling shows when they reach a certain number of episodes regardless of how well the show is doing.

 

My suggestion would be to move this show to its sister station of ABC and put it on Friday nights just like the original show was.  The memories that this placement would create and possibly even last longer than the original.  I highly recommend this show and give it a grade of 9.

 

Overall, we have one more official month of summer and only one winner in a crowded field of wannabes.  This week Nickelodeon is running a new live-action “Odd Family” movie.  My hope is that it is equal to the previous one and not be more summer garbage.

 

My fingers are crossed for a better August. Of course, we always have the fall to look forward to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 100th Post – State of the Blog

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Hello and welcome to the 100th post.

 

This blog has come a long way from its humble beginnings.

 

Maybe I should say the lack of beginnings.

 

This blog was born out of my desire to talk about everything that my other blog didn’t cover.

 

Certainly politics was a major topic over the last year or so of this blog.  Anger exists of the stupid politicians and how they seem to want to hurt more than help the people who put them in office in the first place.

 

Love it or hate it, Time Warner Cable has been a constant evolving problem.  Things may get better or worse if the proposed takeover by Comcast takes place.  In fact, one person I know expressed his hatred to merger despite the fact that he not only doesn’t watch TV, he doesn’t have cable or as far as I know don’t even own a TV.  How can anyone be angry at a merger without knowing how bad things currently are?  I guess ignorance is bliss.

 

Ignorance also showed its ugly head with customer service as well.  When companies like Newsweek ignore their customer’s subscriptions like I was ignored, then going out of business would be a blessing.  Sad when a company offers no solution to help a customer.

 

As far as television is concerned, we mourned the death of shows like iCarly and Victorious while criticizing the rotating horrors of Saturday night on Nickelodeon.  The movies on the network fared no better overall.

 

On the Disney side, shows like “Liv & Maddie” are promising and “Teen Beach Movie” was a hit, but other newcomers may have some issues.  Unfortunately, “Shake It Up” and “Good Luck Charlie” are two of the better shows that are both history now.

 

Speaking of history, we kiss goodbye to “The X Factor”.  After 3 painful years, it is finally over.  However, the real question will be the survival of a revamped “American Idol”.  Only time will tell over that one, but at least the drama queens are gone.

 

Speaking of drama queens, there was no shortage of displays of nudity of former Disney queens Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus.  Can’t these girls keep their clothes on at all?  What are they trying to prove by doing all that nudity and what influences are they upon their younger fans?  I consider neither a role model anymore and I hope others feel the same way.

 

Finally, the topic of bullying sparked the biggest comments, mostly from those on Facebook, which ironically is the biggest source of the problem.  Facebook also has seen its ups and downs on the number of friends I have.  Some have tried to be friends while others have left with no explanation.  My thought is its their loss not mine.

So what am I looking forward to discussing in the future.  Here are some of the topics I have in mind for the future:

 

  • Why go blue?
  • What the TWC merger means to us?
  • Disney vs. Nick:  why are the wheels falling off both companies?
  • And finally, possibly coming next a multi-part post:  Why I never intend to attend my high school reunion ever?  I expect that this one will offend a lot of people who still are friends with me from high school.

 

Overall, this has been humbling road since the first post which just had one vote as to whether I should have left my original blog to Blogger.  Thankfully I extended to WordPress because the blog has increased significantly since.  Hopefully, this one will see similar growth when I reach post #200.

 

So until next time…happy reading.

 

 

 

 

2013 and 2014 Predictions

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For those of you who don’t read my other blog, I make annual predictions of what I expect for the New Year.  This year I am moving my predictions to this blog as I feel it is much more appropriate here.

 

Let’s see how last year fared:

  • JCPenney will be out of business by year’s end.  The revamped store format just won’t work  (this didn’t happen yet)
  • Sears will spin off Kmart to survive on its own.  It won’t work and Kmart will inevitably die off.  (didn’t happen despite closing several Kmart stores including the one I have previously shopped at in Portsmouth, NH)
  • Another mass shooting brings the U.S. government to ban all automatic and semi-automatic weapons no matter what the NRA says. (shootings happened, but no ban)
  • Chicago murders will top 750 by year’s end.  (nowhere near that number which is good news)
  • Kim Kardashian aborts her baby after public break-up with Kanye West much against her family’s wishes. (didn’t happen)
  • Ali Lohan, Lindsay’s younger sister, will join her older sister for a Playboy layout. (didn’t happen, but Lindsay did appear nude in an NC-17 film)
  • A major earthquake will strike in Alaska disrupting the oil pipeline in the area.  It will be disrupted for at least 4 weeks and gas will go up to at least $4/gallon again. (earthquake never happened)
  • Simon Cowell calls Demi Lovato his “new Paula” as he decides to keep her for another season of “X Factor”.  Unfortunately, Mario Lopez will be running solo as another Kardashian sees herself out of a job.  (mostly correct, but Lovato is gone for the 4th season)
  •  “American Idol” will have a female winner for the first time in a few years.  However, the drama between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey increases as the weeks go on causing both to storm off the show for at least 2 episodes.  Replacement judges are called in to fill in until the two return.  (female winner yes, however the fireworks kept both on the show)
  • Beyoncé will have a wardrobe malfunction on the Super Bowl.  However, she won’t even realize it happened.  (no wardrobe malfunction, but we question whether she performed her songs live)
  • Nickelodeon cancels Big Time Rush, but the show is picked up by Disney Channel for a fall schedule addition.  (cancelled and broken up – no future for any show)
  • Hilary and Haylie Duff will return for a TV movie in 2013.  More than likely to air on ABC Family channel(Haylie had a Christmas movie, but Hilary nowhere to be found)
  • And finally my former want-to-be girlfriend Tanya will return to Maine wanting to get a real relationship going after her stint in California didn’t quite work out  not calling her because I misplaced her phone number.  (I will have more to say about this in my other blog at a future date—all I can say is that it didn’t end the way I ever thought it would)

Overall, I did better than last year.  I got 2 ½ correct.  Let’s see what the crystal ball has up its sleeve for this year.

  • Justin Bieber will go to jail.
  • Kim Kardashian will admit that “Baby North” really never existed and that her pregnancy was fake.
  • Kim Kardashian will marry and divorce Kanye West all within the year.
  • RadioShack will be out of business.
  • JCPenney will be out of business.
  • Kmart will be out of business.
  • Amanda Bynes returns to TV in a new comedy show, but will also do an interview with Oprah describing the last few years.
  • Time Warner Cable will be sold and broken up into pieces leaving smaller markets such as where I live without any providers at all.  This means that many small independent cable operators will start up after many years.
  • Lady Gaga will do a Playboy layout proving that he/she is dual gendered leaving many fans disgusted.
  • Nickelodeon will scrap “Sam & Cat” and Dan Schneider will leave the network and produce shows for rival Disney.
  • Hilary Duff will divorce and sister Haylie will marry.
  • ABCFamily cancels that horrible “The Vineyard” and “Twisted”.
  • Fox News fires Karl Rove after making offensive statements that the network hates.

I predict out of this year’s 13 that at least 3 of them will be true.  We will find out a year from now.

 

 

Miley Cyrus on Saturday Night Live: The Second Coming

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Right up front let me say that I am not a regular viewer of Saturday Night Live (SNL).  The last full episode I watched was when Betty White hosted a couple of years ago.  I am just not interested in the show.

 

With that said, I was interested in seeing what media mess Miley Cyrus would do on the show.  In her opening monologue, she stated that “Hannah Montana was murdered”.  Yes, that was true and she was the murderer killing the show’s any chances of getting any repeat play on Disney Channel.

 

The opening skit before this monologue featured current Miley talking to “old Miley”.  While this skit was sort of funny, it just proves just how bad Miley has gone out of control lately.

 

After the monologue, Miley was in a skit parodying the government shutdown while portraying Michele Bachmann against a John Boehner lookalike.  This was again sort of funny but was also stomach churning at the same time.

 

The rest of the sketches in the remainder of the show were not even remotely funny and highly forgettable.  There was not a bit of a controversy brought up in any of the sketches which made the show look very tame.  Contrast this to Ms. White’s appearance which had some very entertaining skits and one can easily tell that this episode had many half-cooked skits that just didn’t work at all.

 

However, if one was looking for controversy in her musical performances that too would be a big disappointment as well.  The musical performances were done very well with a much-clothed Miley in top form unlike some highly questionable pictures of her lately that had some nudity in them.  Two good performances that showed she has talent even when dressed.

 

Overall, this show was a mixed bag.  The performances were very good while the skits not so much.  Maybe this show was hurt by starting a half hour late (on the east coast due to football), but according to ratings it won its time slot.

 

It should be interesting to point out that Miley is now on RCA Records, the same record company that another controversial artist was on.  His name was Elvis.  Maybe Miley is inspiring to be the next Elvis.  She certainly has the skin showing thing down for certain.

 

My Score:  8 (for musical performance), 5 (for sketches), 6 (overall score)

 

Summary:  A late start to a not-so funny appearance of Miley.  Maybe a third time will be the charm.  This was certainly a sophomore slump.

 

 

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