Monday, March 31, 2014

Imported Vs. Exported TV Shows

By: Guru Jay

Imports and Exports

You better not get caught sneaking a Cuban cigar into the Florida Everglades. That's a big no-no. Your best bet is to go to Denver or Seattle and puff, puff and puff away.

Don't be like Dennis Rodman and import luxury goods into North Korea. That's a big red flag for the TSA. I'm quite sure they gave Rebounding Rodman a full body cavity search.

You can become super rich by running a legitimate import/export business. Familiarize yourself with International Law & Order and you'll be a millionaire in no time. If you want to be a billionaire, try importing and exporting Television shows.

Did you know the Law & Order TV show was exported to the United Kingdom? 
Or that Shark Tank was imported from Japan? Or that Married with Children was exported to Argentina?

Married With Children Argentina

The Diversity of Television

Turn on your TV. Change the channel. Do a little channel surfing this spring.

Isn't television great? If you missed your favorite show, ten times out of ten the episode will be repeated. Do you know people who watch the same show and same episode over and over again?

Oh, am I describing you or "your best friend" (wink, wink)? There's no shame in loving TV. There's something on TV for everyone to enjoy.

You have your pick of the litter. If you want to watch a show about cats, you can change to the Animal Planet channel.

Meanest Cat Ever

If you want to literally see someone surfing this spring, there is a network for you.

Have you ever wanted to walk in someone else's boots? Why not watch Swamp People? Swamp People is the latest reality show sensation.

Stay up-to-date. TV is changing by the second. Another channel is being created as I write. 

One of my personal favorites is HBO's BoardWalk Empire. OMG, Boardwalk Empire is an experience that takes you back in time. It's a shame the TV executives are canceling the show in the fifth season.

I have an idea. Why don't we start a petition for Boardwalk Empire? I just hate to see the show end. There's nothing else like the Empire.

But, I believe Boardwalk Empire must end because it is too expensive to produce. I will watch the reruns of Boardwalk though, as a way of coping with reality.

Reality is the problem. It seems everybody is addicted to reality shows now. Is this true?

I refuse to believe nobody wants to watch a well-written script and polished production. Maybe, the issue is finances. 

Boardwalk Empire

It all comes down to money. You learn in Accounting that Net Income is the bottom line. The TV executives rather make reality shows because they are cheap.

As a result, TV enthusiasts are getting hoodwinked. If it's reality you want, they'll make sure you get plenty of it. I'm not talking about all reality shows. I am referring to the overwhelming vast majority of them.

Reality shows inevitably show you the hardships of life. That's why I choose to watch sitcoms, TV dramas, and thrillers. I have my own problems, I don't need to see Honey Boo-Boo's trials and tribulations.

If we wanted a reality show, we could get one. Our reality show might help pay  some of the bills. Maybe, reality shows aren't so bad after all.

Okay, yes they are so bad! Seriously, it's entertainment at the expense of sanity. Kim Kardashian and the K-clan have infected the minds of the youth.

Kim Kardashian

Photo By: David Shankbone

Do we really want to send the message of "shopping until you drop" to our children. Think about it. Then, get back to me.

Kim Kardashian has more Twitter followers than the Dalai Lama and the Pope combined. You can't make this stuff up. 

Have you thought about it?

I love good television but I dislike bad television with a passion. I don't watch a lot of TV these days. If I'm lucky I watch an hour per day.

On Sunday, the Walking Dead aired the season finale. I didn't watch it but I read all about it. It's everywhere on the Internet. Chime in if you're a fan...

I dedicate this post to good TV. I compiled a list for your enjoyment. You will find a comparison of Imported Vs. Exported TV shows.

Imported TV Shows

The following TV shows originated overseas.

2. Downton Abbey

3. Flashpoint 

Hugh Dillon

Photo By: Theo & Juliet Photography

4. Doctor Who

5. Orphan Black

Dylan Bruce

Photo By: Tabercil

6. Crossing Lines

7. Continuum

8. The Office

Mark Cuban

Photo By: James Duncan Davidson/O'Reilly Media, Inc.

10. Homeland

11. Big Brother

12. Ugly Betty

13. Who’s Line is It Anyway?

14. American Idol

Simon Cowell's Best Insults 

15. The Mole

16. All in the Family

17. The Voice


Photo By: Ames Friedman

18. Sanford and Son

19. Survivor

20. Shameless

21. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

22. Dancing With the Stars

23. Iron Chef: America

Exported TV Shows

These TV shows were made in the U.S.A. 

2. Law & Order (U.K.) 

Law & Order (U.K.)

3. The Simpsons (United Arab Emirates) 

4. The Nanny (Russia)

5. Marry With…Children (Argentina)

6. Everybody Loves Raymond (Russia)

7. The Golden Girls (Greece)

8. Prison Break (Russia)

9. 24 (India)

10. Who’s the Boss (U.K.)

Hugh Laurie

Photo By: Kristin Dos Santos

I encourage you to chime in and get the discussion rolling. No matter what I say, TV is here forever. Even if we watch our favorite shows on our computers over the Internet, it is still television.

Reality shows are another component of TV that have changed the production business. Again, no matter what I write, for better or worst reality shows are here to stay. But, there is still hope for TV.

The purpose of television is to inform and entertain. My hope is that the Guru Jay Blog has provided you informative entertainment. Keep your eyes glued to the screen... I am Guru Jay signing off... In the words of Conan O'Brien, "Bye, everybody bye!"

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Begin Again: Music + Movies = Success

Begin Again 

Music + Movies= Success. This summer Begin Again debuts in theaters. The film starring Keira Knightley is highly anticipated. Critics have already chopped up Begin Again.

Overall, the reviews are looking good. For starters, we have a hot cast. It's an incredible ensemble of actors, musicians, and singers.

The soundtrack is important to a movie’s success. I recently watched She’s Having a Baby for the 4th time. If you have seen it, you realized the power of the ending scene. This Woman’s Work is brilliantly placed on the She’s Having a Baby soundtrack.

You see the soundtrack can change a movie from dull to good. The best films have a well-written script and a wonderful soundtrack. Begin Again is a movie with all the right pieces. Enjoy the trailer.

The cast has a tasty mixture of talent and direction. For the record, Begin Again was released for the first time at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival. The movie has been out of production for a while.

But, you’ll find that the best movies make you wait. Begin Again does a fine job building up anticipation. I strongly believe the film will fair very well at the box office.

In my last post Action Heroes and Zeroes, I explained how marketing may catapult or kill a movie’s chances. Begin Again is a success story.

The film is said to have a sensational soundtrack set to summer in New York City. It is scheduled to premier in the United States on July 4, 2014. The movie trailer has already been given tons of shares, likes and view on YouTube.

I’m interested in Canadians who have seen Begin Again. What did you like about it? Wasn’t the soundtrack sweet?

Does it live up to the hype? Judging by the reviews and information I’ve been given, the move is going to sell out on Independence Day. Can’t wait.

Keira Knightley 

Photo By: Tony Shek

Look into Keira Knightley’s eyes. Are you mesmerized? The British beauty is due for an Academy Award. Don’t be surprise if you hear her name in the news.

Knightley came close to winning the Best Actress statue in 2005 for her portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice. She was too young to win at that time.

I have a background in Government. I can tell you there is politics in everything. The Academy Awards are no exception.

I gave you a breakdown of Hollywood politics in my post of the Top 10 Actresses. Did you know actresses make less money after winning an Oscar? What is more, actors make more money after they win.

Hollywood has the strangest politics in the world. Knightley may not want an Oscar for these reasons, but she’ll get one and I tell you why.

She is becoming too expensive. She’s reaching the mature age of thirty. So the movie industry cannot trick her into taking less. She knows her worth.

Mark my words: she will win an Oscar within 3 years. Remember where you heard it first. Hey, Hollywood is not all fun and games. It’s a big business.

Mark Ruffalo

Photo By: Tony Shek

Mark Ruffalo costars in the film. He is most famous for playing The Hulk in the Avengers. He is a nice addition to the cast.

The great actor has been acting since 1989. He’s seasoned, humble, and talented. He has all the right ingredients.

He’s not going to try to steal the show. We need more actors like Ruffalo. He can a drive a movie to box office success. And, he doesn’t mind taking a backseat.

I believe he is one of the most respected actors in the business. No one ever has a bad word to say about him. He shows up, does his job and goes home.

Hailee Steinfield

Photo By: Nathan Blaney

Hailee Steinfield is a rising star. She brings the most youth to the silver screen. She is famous for her portrayal of Mattie Ross in True Grit.

She has a lot of potential in show business. The casting director deserves a $20,000 bonus; because the three main characters represent 3 different generations.

Adam Levine

 Photo By: ChristinaR

I can’t wait to see what Adam Levine from Maroon 5 brings to the table. He’s a superb singer and not a shabby actor either. It will be interested to see what role he plays.

For all we know, Levine could be like Justin Timberlake. Who can forget Timberlake’s performances in the Social Network and In Time? Levine adds a flavorful ingredient to the mix.

Cee Lo Green

Photo By: Julio Enriquez

Cee Lo Green is underrated as a singer. I remember when he lost his mind! In college, I first heard the Gnarls Barkley Crazy song.

If you haven’t already heard, then listen to Crazy on YouTube. The Crazy song and You’re Beautiful owned the 2005-2006 music season. It will be fun to see the former artist from Gnarls Barkley on the silver screen.

Music + Movies = Success

As an Accountant I deal with the equation Assets= Liabilities + Owner’s Equity on a daily basis. You learn this equation in your Accounting 101 class.

Later on in your accounting courses, you deal with more sophisticated formulas. If you’re a STEM major, more power to you.

If you’re a music or theatre major, I envy you. If there’s one thing I learn in life it is to follow your dreams. No matter what, stay focused.

Don’t forget the equation I introduced to you in the beginning. Music + Movies= Success. It’s a proven fact that soundtracks play an important role in the scheme of things.

This summer the Begin Again movie is sure to please. Don’t only mark my words, mark your calendars. The film debuts on July 4.

Expect fireworks and a roller coaster ride. You don’t have to go to Disney World or Six Flags. Take your family and friends to see Begin Again.

Thank you for Reading, Sharing, and Commenting. If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Stay Tuned for a Special Monday Morning Blog

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Action Heroes And Zeroes: 1's + 0's

By: Guru Jay
Action Heroes

The best Action Heroes command a load of zeroes on their paychecks. Action is a big box office draw. Many Action Movies are rated PG-13. So, action movies often are nice family friendly films.

You will find many Action Heroes in our list of Top 10 Actors.  Action films require a high budget. It’s rare to see a low budget Action movie.

You know it takes money to make money. Think of Action flicks as an investment. Let’s say you bought Google stock.

Now, imagine buying stock in Bruce Willis like you would Google. You want to look at Bruce Willis as an investment. This is how the entertainment industry works.

I love action. You are hardly ever disappointed. Action Heroes have special stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There is a strong bond between Action Heroes and Zeroes.

I vividly recall watching the original Robocop on several Saturdays. In the 90s, Robocop received massive syndication. Unfortunately, for the movie purist, TIVO was not invented yet.

You were forced to watch the commercials that came attached with the featured presentation. We did not mind the advertisements, because every now and again we needed popcorn and a can of Coke.

Technology still remains a major component of Action Movies. It’s a simple fact that Action makes movie executives billions of dollars. Bruce Willis is the ultimate Action Hero.

Photo By: Wikimedia Commons

Look at the Die Hard franchise. As you will see, Willis has dominated decade after decade in the Action genre. Not very many other Action actors have lasted as long.

Bruce Willis is underrated. Although he earns a wad of zeroes, he is underpaid. As you may already know, Willis commanded a percentage of the Six Sense. He clearly made a calculated move.

Timing is everything in entertainment. Bruce Willis is a timeless actor. If you placed him in films from the fifties and sixties, he ‘d still be popular.

100 years from now, Bruce Willis films will still be popular. Mark my words. I can’t even express how much money Bruce Willis is worth. If you look anything like Willis, you’re welcome in Hollywood.

Here is Bruce in the first Die Hard .

Another Action movie legend is Sylvester Stallone. I admire his Rambo movies. A lot like Bruce, Sly has owned the box office results. It’s safe to say Mr. Stallone is a senior citizen, but he does not act his age.

He still is pushing steel and pumping iron. And, he keeps on producing high quality productions such as the Expendables. I enjoy the Expendables because it is nostalgic.

Those Expendable actors put in a ton of work at the gym and on the silver screen. That’s why Stallone makes seven to eight zeroes per movie. He is the darn movie executive.

Watch the Rambo II trailer from the 80's.  

What about Rocky? Everybody loves Rocky. How many box office knockouts has Rocky had?

Next, is Jean-Claude Van Damme? He is an international Action icon. What’s more, he practices what he preaches. Van Damme is a martial artist master.

He’s a man you don’t want to argue with. He can paralyze his foe in one quick hand movement.  Like Stallone, Van Damme does not act his age.

His global appeal is brilliantly marketed in this Volvo commercial. 

It’s easy to tell he is true to his craft. I like his authentic nature.

If I excluded Arnold Schwarzenegger I wouldn’t be able to call myself a journalist. I truly think he is half man and half machine. Prove me wrong.

P.S. He'll be back!

He has matured into arguably the greatest action hero of all time. Schwarzenegger started his career as a bodybuilder and took off from there. His Terminator franchise is legendary.

If you plan to write a piece on movie history, it’s only right you mention Arnold Schwarzenegger in the discussion.

The Action filmography of Will Smith speaks for itself. He has earned a spot at the top because of his value. He brings value to each movie he is associated with.

Smith’s box office results are not comparable. That’s why he also garners seven to eight zeroes. The only knock on Smith is he should star in more films.

Take a few more risks like After Earth. No risk, no reward. You can’t make a hit all the time.

Photo By: Tais Melillo

Here comes the Men in Black! Don't they defend the galaxy or something?

The Men in Black franchise is a major part of action/science fiction cinema. All
Three films are spectacular. Independence Day was an instant classic. Watch a clip of Will Smith at his best.

Angelina Jolie is an Action Superwoman.  She is a hero for all women. She commands several zeroes because of her brand. She sells her characters better than Procter & Gamble. 

Watch the official Salt trailer.

As you can see, Jolie is versatile. She proves to the entertainment world that women can star in more than romance and comedy. She is legitimate.

Her box office results in movies like Wanted speak volumes. 

Here's a scene from Wanted

Jolie has some of the best sex appeal ever filmed. But, she is more than a sex symbol. Angelina is an amazingly talented actress. She is in the heavyweight division just like Sylvester Stallone.

Remember, when I said you are hardly ever disappointed with Action. Well, sometimes you get robbed. Sometimes, you respectfully ask for your money back.

After all, money doesn’t grow on pine trees. Money grows on trees in Larry Page’s backyard.

Action Zeroes

Action movies staring Rob Schneider should never be made. He is an above average comedian. He is not an Action star.

First of all, looking the part is a prerequisite. Secondly, acting the part is just as critical. Jay Leno is first on the list of Action Zeroes.

I showed you a strong connection of Action heroes and zeroes. Now, let’s go to the other extreme. These Action actors don’t command a lot of zeroes. In fact, they are Action Zeroes.

The following five actors are the five worst Action Stars judged by Xfinity.

5. Rob Schneider

4. Shaq

3. John Stamos

2. Vanilla Ice

1. Jay Leno

And 0

This is Guru Jay signing off…Have a great weekend everybody!