Machines know how the scene will end

In the future, machines will ruin movie and TV show plots for us. People who gloat about reading the books that modern entertainment is based on are only are the second worse group on the planet, following ISIS. But what if robots were just as bad?

Researchers at MIT have taught neural networks how to guess how a scene is going to play out based on a still image. They produce videos based on what they think is most likely to happen. They are getting pretty good at it, too. Some 20% of the time, they tricked humans into believing that their videos were the real outcome of the scene. This means that at some point they will be able to call the endings of scene before they happen, because they know how humans thing. Also, one day, the machines will make our most formulaic movies (superhero origin stories, romcoms, Fast and Furious sequels, etc.) for us to keep us complacent and easy to herd.

It will also mean that we can blame bad writing on machines, so that’s good.

The McBournie Minute: Saying goodbye to the creepiest show on TV

Not so many years ago, there were all sorts of good shows on network TV. There were some flops here and there, but for the most part, there were a lot of shows still well-known today. That hasn’t been the case for a long time, and it probably won’t happen again.

Tonight, How I Met Your Mother comes to an end. Its passing will probably be an emotional one for those who have followed the show for its nine seasons, because they have watched the characters go through a lot of things, and not all of them seemingly relevant in the end. For me it marks the end of really any network shows that are worth the time.

The show worked so well because deep down, it was super creepy. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Saying goodbye to the creepiest show on TV

The McBournie Minute: The show’s not dead, it’s hiding in the attic

By this time next week, the fourth season of Arrested Development will have been released by Netflix, and no doubt watched and rewatched by the show’s legions of fans. Hopefully, it will also pick up some new fans, ones that weren’t old enough to get it or just didn’t have it on their radar¬† seven years ago. Anyone who has watched the buzz grow in recent weeks can have no doubt that the crescendo is close.

Netflix has certainly proven it is capable of creating, fostering, producing, pimping and delivering a solid television series–certainly more so than in 2011, when the deal was announced. The company has launched several shows, but the only one worth any serious mention is House of Cards, which demonstrated that a streaming media service can match the storytelling style of HBO, if only for a few fleeting weeks. But Arrested Development is nowhere near as tough of an assignment. All they have to do is let their people work, and it appears they have.

Unfortunately, it’s still going to be disappointing. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: The show’s not dead, it’s hiding in the attic

Just when we were about to launch SGTV

A satellite that brings people cable television (confusing, isn’t it?) has gone rogue, drifting off its course, which mean some cable subscribers could lose their signals in the days ahead.

Apparently it’s not as bad as it sounds, it will really only affect a handful of customers of some company in Europe. But because we’re part of the media, and need to sell ads ourselves: CRAZY SATELLITE THREATENS TO DESTROY CABLE TV AS WE KNOW IT!!!

The McBournie Minute: A new dimension of crappy

Technology is advancing faster and faster these days. In my relatively short lifetime, we’ve gone from UHF/VHF to cable/satellite to digital cable to high-def to Internet TV. The next big step is nearly here. No, I’m not talking about smell-o-vision, as Looney Tunes predicted would happen in the “future” in the 1990s. I’m talking about 3-D television.

We’re already seeing it in movie theaters, and a handful of people actually care about it. It’s like TV companies are following the cues of the movie industry. They do widescreen, we do widescreen (decades later), they do digital projection resulting in a sharper image, we do high-def.

When we heard a bit over a year ago that 3-D movies were coming to theaters near us, we all laughed, picturing the blue and red glasses. We were wrong, instead its glasses that look just as bad but are the same color. And it’s ready to make its way into our homes. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: A new dimension of crappy

The McBournie Minute: Break the fast with the hair of the dog

There is a good chance many of you don’t know this, but I am a gourmet chef. I taught myself, and I believe it is now time for me to have my own cooking show. Of course, the world is saturated with cooking shows (both the how-to and the pseudo-dramatic types), so I have used my creativity and come up with a new angle.

The show will be called The Drunken Chef. Every week, I put back a few on camera, then show you how you can make a great sauce with getting sauced. Here’s how it would go:

“Hello there, and welcome to The Drunken Chef. I am your host, Bryan. I prefer you call me by my first name because we’re all friends here, and I kind of think of this as a bar. You don’t call people Mr. So-and-so at a bar, not even your boss. Anyway, as you have no doubt noticed, during my introduction, I have downed three shots of liquor. Now, today I am using Jim Beam bourbon, because it’s not horrible and it’s less than $40 for a handle. Can’t say that about Jack, can you? Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Break the fast with the hair of the dog

The McBournie Minute: Quiet on the tee, please

When I was a kid–wait, where are you going? Stop it. I promise this isn’t some sort of “I remember when” story, despite how the lead sentence sounds. Can we start over again?

When I was a kid, I knew on weekends I could always find my dad watching golf on television. He would eat his lunch, a bologna and cheese sandwich with potato chips mixed in, and sit for hours watching. I tried in earnest several times to watch it with my dad, but my interest always wained.

You see, golf on TV is really, really boring, and this is coming from someone who sits through entire baseball games.

Sure, you can follow along if you know where everyone is and who is leading in the tournament, but the coverage is forced to skip around from one hole to the next after a single shot. This is because nearly every hole has action going on (that’s what she said) and it takes so long for golfers to walk to their next shot. The result is something along the lines of picking up a book, reading page 1, then skipping to page 56, then going to 32, then to page 2 and so on. There’s not much of a story told unless you unscramble it yourself. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Quiet on the tee, please

The McBournie Minute: Some people don’t need their 15 minutes

You may have noticed, but right now, it’s not really a good time to be a celebrity. That is of course if you like being alive. David Carradine, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson (not to mention Billy Mays and some actors who hadn’t worked in 20 years, but let’s stick with the big ones).

Celebrities seem to be kicking the oxygen habit left and right, and this is generally a bad career move. Some can take this as a strange coincidence, but I don’t believe in coincidences (ever notice how Tuesday always follows Monday? Why is that?). Clearly, there is something behind all the celebrity deaths, and I think I know just what it is.

We have too many damn famous people and its time to cull the herd. You see, media moves faster today than it did in a month just 10 years ago, and the entertainment industry tries its best to keep up. This means that we get tired of people faster and faster. After all, you can only watch someone’s star rise so far before you’re ready to see it come crashing back to Earth in a crazy, often drug-fueled, plunge. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Some people don’t need their 15 minutes

Israeli television is very serious business

Here at SG, there are few things we don’t find humor in–recent tragedies, rape, the Boston Red Sox–and add to that list assault. Nope, assault is just not funny in the least.

In Israel, a former television star got really upset with executives who shot down his best chance for a big time comeback. He was so upset about it that he hired some thugs to rough them up. Two men and a woman ended up getting beaten up. His lawyer (notice how we’re not making jokes about a story about Jews involving the media and lawyers) of course is denying that anything like that happened.

Why are we telling you all this?

His name is Dudu Topaz. Yes, Dudu. Israel had a huge ratings getter with a first name of Dudu.


You Missed It: Do not adjust your television set edition

Hi folks. Welcome to 2009, and brand new year for news you will miss. As you may have noticed if you are reading this on Friday, You Missed It is now being published late Friday afternoons, as opposed to early Friday afternoons. If you hadn’t heard about that change until now, um, well, odds are you missed it.

Digital get-down
Did you know that television is changing over to a digital format next month? You probably did, and you are probably still really confused about it. Don’t worry, Congress and President-elect Barack Obama are trying to get the switch over date pushed back. Why? Because, among other things, the federal coupon program ran out of money a couple months ago. By the way, gang, you only need a digital converter if you get your television by bunny ear antenna–that’s it. If you have cable or satellite, you don’t need to worry. You’re welcome.

Charges of corruption and excessively-voweled last name
Today, the Illinois House of Representatives voted to impeach Gov. Rod “The Bod” Blagojevich. Some going to far as to say he had stolen the trust of the people. After the the 114-1 vote with three lawmakers not voting, the measure now heads to the state senate. Why was there one vote against impeachment and three non-votes? Blagojevich promised them all “something really f@$*ing nice. No f%&$ing kidding around.”

The Whopper Virgins will decide
Is the recession getting you down? Did you blow way too much on bar tabs and presents during the holidays? There is a meal in sight for you, for the low, low price of 10 friends. Yes, in this economy, even the value of a friendship can be worth less than something on the dollar menu. For what I assume is a limited time, Burger King will give you a Whopper if you de-friend 10 friends using their new app available on their website Just to make things tougher, there’s no way delete the friends and not have it show up in the News Feed, so everyone will know you would rather 1/10 of a Whopper than their friendship. Ouch.