TV Eye

Politics as Usual

This year's political campaigns have been just as stupid and offensive as previous ones, but at least Jon Stewart knows how to wrangle a good punch line out of them.
This year's political campaigns have been just as stupid and offensive as previous ones, but at least Jon Stewart knows how to wrangle a good punch line out of them.

In a few short days, it will all be over. The mudslinging, eye poking, rumor mongering, and wailing will end. The final episode of The Bachelor? No, Election Day will have come and gone, meaning the end of all those horrendous political ads.

If there's been an election season with an uglier crop of political ads, I honestly don't remember it. Then again, I tend to put such things out of my mind, like the mercifully canceled Snoops or images of Martha Stewart working with children on Martha Stewart Living (insert shudder here).

The smarmy nature of many of the ads caused dismay, then finally guffaws in my house. Not because the commercials are actually funny, but because, after seeing a couple of them, a jaded attitude is necessary if for no other reason than to wash the bile away. Although many of the ads annoy me, another part of me has to laugh at what lengths some of these people will go to get elected. Fortunately, I'm not the only one. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Comedy Central) has been gleefully skewering elected officials and the election process in a cathartic election special, Indecision 02, which culminates in an Election Night special this Tuesday. Stewart and Daily Show correspondents will deliver interviews, election coverage, and commentary from around the nation. Whether Texas will be covered is unknown, but given the high profile of several Texas races (the Kirk-Cornyn Senate race, the Sanchez-Perry governor's race), it would be highly amusing to hear The Daily Show's take on these races.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart live Election Night special, Indecision 02, airs Tuesday (that's Election Day -- go vote!), 10pm, on Comedy Central.

Also on Comedy Central -- the irreverent That's My Bush! returns for a four-hour Dubya-thon. All eight episodes of the short-lived sitcom starring Timothy Bottoms as President George Walker Bush air this Saturday, starting at 9:30pm. Check listings for details.


'Idol' Confessions

Yes, dear readers -- I admit to falling under the spell of American Idol for a few episodes. Just a few. Maybe two -- or 10. Who's keeping track? So, when local Fox affiliate KTBC asked me to be a judge for their local preliminary auditions prior to the official auditions on Nov. 6, I said, "Why not?" How many times do you get to see a pop-culture phenomena unfold before your eyes?

As one of six audition sites, and the only one in Texas, Austin is sure to attract droves of young folks hoping to climb the American Idol ladder. Me? My goals are less starry-eyed. I just want to see how this enormous animal lives and breathes, and perhaps get to know some of the hopefuls before they get screen time when American Idol II launches in January.

All right, fine! I'd love to see judge Simon "Growl" (aka Cowell) up close in his pec-hugging T-shirts. And I confess to having a soft spot for Randy Jackson. Remember him getting all "Land of the Free, Home of the Brave" on Simon when he told a contestant he shouldn't even try for a singing career? It may have been the ugly truth, but pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is a national mantra on this side of the pond. The sight of Randy wanting to trade chingazos with Simon was just so, so cute. RanDEE! RanDEE! RanDEE!

There. I had to get it out of my system.

Austin's American Idol auditions take place Nov. 6 at the Doubletree Hotel, 6505 N. I-35. The line forms at the ballroom entrance. For the slew of audition rules and regs, go to www.idolonfox.com.


New to DVD and VHS

The award winning HBO miniseries Band of Brothers debuts on DVD and VHS Tuesday. Based on the late Stephen E. Ambrose bestseller of the same name, the series tells the story of Easy Company, a regiment of the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, during World War II. Their journey, from boot camp and D-Day to the Battle of the Bulge and the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest, is brought to life by first-person accounts from the men who were there, many of whom are still alive.

Cast members Ron Livingston and Michael Cudlitz and two veterans from Easy Company will autograph boxed sets of the Band of Brothers on Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 5-7pm at Fort Hood. The event is open only to military ID holders. The Band of Brothers boxed set is sold in local retail outlets.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Indecision 02, The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, the irreverent That's My Bush!, American Idol, American Idol II, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Stephen E. Ambrose, Ron Livingston, Michael Cudlitz, Easy Company, Band of Brothers

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