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Archive for the 'TV' Category


GOSSIP GIRLHaving tuned in to the “Gossip Girl” premiere Monday evening with my 16-year-old, and followed that up with a dash of “Hills” and as much *yawn* “90210” as I could stand, I’m finding it difficult to keep vapid, like, you know, language out of this, OMG, blog post. Totally, right? While most parenting watchdog types tell you to shun such racy fare, Liz Perle at Common Sense Media has a refreshing take this morning. Perle says she uses “teen soaps’ over-the-top plots as a great way to have non-loaded discussions with my teens about touchy subjects like sex, drugs, and alcohol” but this week’s viewing left her mulling negative role models – anorexic, alcoholic, bed-hopping, drama-obsessed TV characters.
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Posted on Friday, September 5th, 2008
Under: Gossip Girl, TV | No Comments »

DANVILLE Moms on “Today” Tomorrow

Plate-Mate We’re guessing spilled peas prompted this invention. Two enterprising Danville moms, Michele Wong and Paige Akabane, invented a way to keep their tots’ food corralled on the plate. Now, their Plate-Mate – a spill guard that fits around the rim of junior’s plate – has won a slew of awards. Catch Paige on the “Today Show” tomorrow morning.

Posted on Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
Under: Babies & Tots, Gossip Girl, Teens | No Comments »


Baby TV (Gary Meader illus./MCT Direct) Say “bye-bye” to baby TV. Or rather, say “au revoir.” France just banned the marketing of television shows to babies and tots. And foreign baby channels, including Rupert Murdoch’s Baby TV and Fox Entertainment’s Baby First TV, are required to run warning messages for parents that say: “Watching television can slow the development of children under 3, even when it involves channels aimed specifically at them.”

The French ruling goes on to say,

“Television viewing hurts the development of children under 3 years old and poses a certain number of risks, encouraging passivity, slow language acquisition, over-excitedness, troubles with sleep and concentration as well as dependence on screens.”

Naturally, the honchos at Baby TV and Baby First are aghast. And we keep hoping the Teletubbies weigh in on the debate. Perhaps Tinky Winky could refuse to buy French purses. Seriously though, how bad do you think baby TV is for kids? Do you let your little ones watch? Click “comments” and share your thoughts.

Posted on Wednesday, August 20th, 2008
Under: Babies & Tots, TV | No Comments »

OH PADMA! It’s Top Chef Junior

Teen cooks at Viking Home Chef (Susan Pollard/Contra Costa Times) Yes, it’s true – Bravo is launching a pint-sized version of its uber-popular reality show, “Top Chef.” And they’re casting for “Top Chef Junior” right … now.

The ideal Top Chef Junior is between the ages of 15-18 with “mad skills in the kitchen.” Bravo goes on: “Do you dream of a career in fine dining or are even on your way to one? Is everything about you ready for the kitchen big leagues except your age? Are you plating fine dining fare fit for a food critic?”

If that description fits someone in your household, e-mail their name, age, city, contact info, a photo, a paragraph-long description of the young chef and another blurb explaining why they’d be a perfect match for the show. We’ll have fun watching the results!

Posted on Wednesday, August 20th, 2008
Under: Cuisine, TV | No Comments »

SATURDAY Morning Cartoon Giveaway

George of the Jungle DVD **Yawn** It’s Monday and there’s not enough caffeine in the world to get us started this morning. Oh to be a kid again, lolling in front of the TV on a lovely summer morning, scooping up spoonfuls of sugary cereal and watching cartoons. Of course it doesn’t help that we’re sitting here, staring at a “George of the Jungle: Swingin’ First Season” Cartoon Network DVD and dreaming of Frosted Flakes. You’re on your own for the cereal, but if you’d like a shot at winning the DVD, all you have to do is click “comments” and tell us, what was your favorite childhood cartoon? (This contest is now closed, and congrats are due to our winner, Irma. For the next aParently Speaking giveaway, just click here!)

Posted on Monday, August 18th, 2008
Under: Contest, TV | No Comments »

ELMO DVD Giveaway

Elmo's Summer Vacation There are just a few short weeks left of summer, so we figured we’d celebrate it with Elmo. The furry red monster from Sesame Street has a new DVD out called “Summer Vacation” and we’re givin’ it away. And all you have to do is click “comments” and tell us about your favorite, obscure Sesame Street character. Oh sure, anyone can be a Grover lover or Ernie devotee, but who here remembers Teeny Little Super Guy? OK, your turn! We’ll draw a winner’s name this weekend.

(This contest is now closed. Congrats, Mary!)

Posted on Monday, August 4th, 2008
Under: Contest, TV | 2 Comments »

GOSSIP GIRL’S “Mind-Blowingly Inappropriate” Ads

Gossip Girl promoSo “Gossip Girl,” the CW’s frothy soap about privileged, extraordinarily good-looking, prep school teens is back in the news, this time for its racy ads. Wait. Didn’t we talk about this a few months ago? That’s when their ads featured a certain gorgeous blonde, spotted on the East Side, going at it hot and heavy with her BFF’s BF. XOXO. Anyway, the tagline on that ad was “OMFG,” which made the Parents Television Council writhe in horror. (And OK, we laughed, because mainstream magazines use four-letter words these days, and the PTC is upset about letters of the alphabet? Those letters are probably flying right over the heads of everyone outside the Gossip Girl demographic anyway.)

Now, the newest GG ads show their beautiful cast members kissing, lounging, whatever over a new set of taglines, each one a quote from a reviewer: “Every Parent’s Nightmare,” “A Nasty Piece of Work” and “Mind-Blowingly Inappropriate” — a quote from the Parents Television Council review. And man, is the PTC steamed. So, what do you think? Punch a button on the poll or click “comments” and dish…

Posted on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008
Under: Gossip Girl | No Comments »

JAWS TIME: Shark Week is Coming

Whale sharks in Atlanta (Frank Niemeir/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/MCT)
Cue the “Jaws” music. Shark Week starts this weekend! It’s all sharks, all the time on the Discovery Channel , and San Francisco’s Aquarium of the Bay and Berkeley’s Habitot are getting in on the action too with underwater themed activities and a shark-sleepover.

The Aquarium of the Bay — where a clear tunnel gets you up close and personal with sevengill, leopard, spiny dogfish and angel sharks — is hosting family sleepovers on July 26 and August 2. The fun runs from 7:30 p.m. to 9 a.m. and includes guided tours, shark-related activities, late night snacks and a full breakfast ($65). Don’t want to sleep wit’ da fishes? They’re also hosting leopard shark touching pools, scavenger hunts and special shark feedings July 27-Aug. 3.
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Posted on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008
Under: Family Outings, TV | 1 Comment »

1, 2, 3, 4… Feisty Monsters

Sesame Street‘s new season kicks off Aug. 11, but this sneak peek is popping up all over the internet and frankly, it’s kinda irresistible. It’s indie singer Feist singing a variation on her “1, 2, 3, 4” with a bunch of lovable, furry monsters. Enjoy!

Posted on Wednesday, July 16th, 2008
Under: TV | No Comments »

SESAME STREET: Heidi Klum, Jack Black & Elmo 2.0

oscar the grouch As Ernie, Bert and the rest of the Sesame Street gang gear up for a new season — featuring celebs Jack Black, Heidi Klum, Kim Catrall and David Beckham, Indiana Jones spoofs, “Pre-School Musical” and “Are You Smarter Than an Egg Layer?” — the suits behind the legendary 39-year-old television show have turned their attention to something rather different: their web presence.

Sesame Workshop hopes to compete with the likes of Disney and Nickelodeon‘s splashy online sites when it launches its new and very splashy web site on Aug. 11. We’ll take a peek when it goes live, but we hear the new site will include live-action educational Muppet videos and daily playlists of videos and games linked to the day’s theme, whether it’s the number 3 or the difficulty in being green. According to the New York Times, the site’s content will include …
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Posted on Tuesday, July 15th, 2008
Under: TV | No Comments »