Quick bits

- If there was an award category for stoner teen comedy, Harold and Kumar go to White Castle would deserve an Oscar. Aside from being an enjoyable movie, two things stuck out: 1) Most of the white characters are one-dimensional stereotypes, while characters of other ethnicities usually had depth. It’s nice to see the shoe on the other foot, and I thought it was hilarious and illuminating. 2) Neil Patrick Harris doesn’t take himself too seriously, allowing himself to be mocked in both this movie and in Undercover Brother. Most actors can’t laugh at themselves, but NPH continues to let himself be the butt of jokes which is worthy of praise.

- The X games were pretty much a disaster. First they confined programming to just a few hours over the course of three nights on just ESPN instead of a week of programming on any of the ESPN channels (put the whole competition uncut on ESPN 8 (“The Ocho“) at 2am!). Then they insisted on showing things live instead of editing them on tape. This created a couple big problems: worse than just being live, they actually delayed the athletes for TV time, sometimes for 30 minutes or more. That means muscles and minds cooled down during the dead time and people got hurt, badly in some cases. The other big problem was that open-ended events could go on forever. One night’s two hour slot featured two guys on motorcycles trying to jump over a stick for 90 minutes, leaving the bike vert comp to wait, which barely got started at the end. Then the bikes had to delay for a slot within Sportscenter (which wouldn’t have gotten recorded unless I was watching it happen live), and ESPN didn’t show street skating at all, because there was no time that night. It appears that advertisers have left the event (much less top-flight sponsors than previous years), but it would have been nice if ESPN could have recouped their losses by showing more of it on TV — if for nothing else than fans. I suspect at the rate things are going, there will be no X games next year.

- this is the best TiVo story I’ve heard.