Monthly Archives: November 2011

I Hate My Teenage Daughter, pilot episode

[cast of "I Hate My Teenage Daughter"]I watched the first episode of “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” earlier tonight; it was kind of an interesting show.

For those who haven’t heard about the show, Annie (played by Jaime Pressly) and Nikki are two mothers of teenaged daughters who were social outcasts in high school, and they’re increasingly worried about their daughters, Sophie and Mackenzie respectively. Also in the picture are their ex-husbands, Matt and Gary respectively.

In this episode, the moms are called to the principal’s office on the morning of the first school dance to find out that their daughters locked a wheelchair-bound boy in the women’s washroom. They decide that the girls need to be punished, but Nikki has no clue what that even means. Annie insists that they need to ground the girls, causing them to miss the dance.

This doesn’t go too well; Sophie and Mackenzie drive Annie and Nikki up the wall. Matt and Gary make an appearance but are totally hopeless too. Eventually Nikki caves, and Annie decides to allow Sophie to attend as well. The moms do figure out how to punish the girls in the end, though.

The characters are kind of interesting. It’s hard to imagine any of them having been parents for 15 years. With the exception of Annie (and Jack, Matt’s brother, whose purpose seems mainly to be to point out the obvious to the defective personalities surrounding him) you probably wouldn’t want to let any of the other characters around your children.  Makes sense; we all know how funny upstanding role models are.

And obviously, as a comedy, it’s not going to shed any new deep meaning on life or anything like that for you.  It is sort of interesting to think about the prevalence of lax parenting and what consequences it has.  In real life, is it really all that bad?  Certainly lax parenting has been on the rise over the past decade or two (and even longer) and one only needs to read the news to find examples of the negative effects of this.  If Sophie and Mackenzie were real-life people, we wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the news for knocking over a liquor store or worse.  But certainly a lot more children are the recipients of lax parenting than are doing things like that.

All in all, not a bad show; I may tune in next time.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was released earlier this week. Based on the sales figures (the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game are the #1 and #2 video game bestsellers on and were there well before the game was released), it appears that fans appear to have forgiven and forgotten about the buggy multiplayer mode on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (although a better-quality Call of Duty: Black Ops was released in the intervening time).

There are two interesting trends here. The first is the idea of video game as phenomenon. The game had been promoted as well as a blockbuster movie, at least to the target audience. Thousands of people lined up on Monday night to buy the game when it came on sale at midnight Tuesday. Launch parties were held at over 13,000 retailers worldwide, according to Activision. This isn’t the only game that is released in this manner. Battlefield 3 was released last month, also to wide acclaim.

The other interesting trend is the move towards multiplayer games. Certainly that’s nothing new, but it’s hard to imagine that a lot of people buy CoD:MW3 for the single-player game, which is actually pretty boring. It’s the ability to play multiplayer that really interests the people that buy this game. Originally, video games were social games. You would go to the arcade with your friends and play there. The video game console made games a little less social; you would sit at home by yourself for hours. Now, with online play, these games are becoming more social again.

These two trends are sort of related; the common theme is being able to share these experience, whether it’s the experience of waiting in line to buy the game or the experience of playing the game. Will we see more games which essentially sell the buyers experiences? Only time will tell.