Mailbag: Ellie, FIOS and ‘Galveston’

EllieA friend writes:

NBC was on at the convenience store this morning. How long has Ellie Kemper been a Today show regular and is it at this point (please PLEASE) understood as a limited time only deal? She’s way too talented to vanish into morning television a la Mariette Hartley or something. I didn’t recognize the male talking head or weathergirl either. Summer replacement crew?

I captively semi-watched the whole of a Kathy Lee & Holga hour too, yuck.

He added:

Incredible musical beginning to True Detective last night. Haven’t seen the whole thing yet, need to re-watch the beginning if only to hear if one can tell which Zevon it is the deejay starts in playing next …

Kemper, the star of online Emmy-bait “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is part of the softer third hour of “Today,” which they call “Today’s Take.” She’s a good addition to host Willie Geist and the weather person, which is usually Al Roker, but yes, it’s a waste of her skills. Maybe she has a little bit left on her NBC contract. I believe it’s supposed to last only through the summer.

As for “True Detective,” if you’re talking about the opening anthem, it’s Leonard Cohen’s great “Nevermind.” Nick Cave, The Ravonettes, Zevon, Conway Twitty, Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Blind Faith have all been used on the show’s soundtrack to date. As in season one, the music director is the great T Bone Burnett.

I don’t know how I feel about the unfailingly dour music by Lera Lynn played in that empty dive bar. It’s almost too much.

From the neighborhood list serve, which has been excited about the advent of Verizon FIOS to compete with Comcast, there is this word of warning. The funny thing is that FIOS has been available on the other side of the street for a couple of years, while remaining unavailable on this side. From the looks of this, maybe it wasn’t worth the wait. One week after the installation, a neighbor writes,

We have no television. What is worse is that the sales person has not followed up to ensure that the installation is satisfactory and that I am a happy customer, customer service takes no ownership, and technical is unable to finalize the installation because of inaction at corporate. I ended a 17-year relationship with Directv (with which I was very happy) for this…

Contacting Verizon and following up on service or partial service or late service, waiting for service technicians, sitting on hold, getting the runaround has become a full-time job.

Given my experience, if you have scheduled installation, I would urge you  to cancel until you hear that they have completed ours. If they cannot make it work for the first house on the line (today’s tech did test other connections and they have the same problem as the one that has been made for us), it will not work for you.

Save yourself the frustration.

No word whether it ever got up and running…

Finally, somebody wrote about a Washington Post thing I wrote about Vietnam-era songs and “Galveston” in particular:

Interesting aspect of the song “Galveston,” besides the clear message of the lyrics, is that the singer (Campbell) does not come back to sing after the instrumental bridge, unlike most any pop song (compare, e.g., Wichita Lineman). He’s gone …

He speaks his piece and gets out. Maybe that’s what helped make it so effective.


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