CHARLIEPALOOZA CONTINUES TO SCORE BIG WITH FANS: HE’S WINNING!
It was bound to happen. One person in one great shining moment of new technology and brass balls who could give the finger to the network bosses and herald in a new era of really direct tv.
Within three hours, Charlie Sheen’s low-tech, low quality premiere episode of “Sheen’s Korner,” pulled in 631,000 viewers on Ustream.
“Good Evening from Sherman Oaks,” he began, introducing his grand experiment. ”You’re either in Sheen’s Korner or with the trolls!”
He introduced his trusty sidekick, The Rick, and his amazing staff: Jason, Matt, Simon Rex musical director aka Dirt Nasty and one of the goddesses. There was a photographer: The Steve, The leo, and the guy he called his fabulous producer, Brad Weiman (no spelling available.)
During his monologue, (he must be using the term loosely), he held up his arm to unveil a new wrist tatoo. But he forgot, there’s no camera to give him a close up. So he holds his hand up to computer camera where the new tatoo is blocked by lower third banner CHARLIE@charlie sheen. Somehow, we figure out the tatoo spells out “winning,” after which Sheen borrows a page from “Network” and implores viewers to go to their window, open it and chant with him “Winning! Winning! Winning!”
The next segment in the webcast is a series of random pictures including one that shows cat bites dog. Lots of farting noises sound effects continue before we’re off to a segment on “winning” news that begins with a shout out to Zachary, the youngest ever eagle scout who is then welcomed aboard the winning team.
Sheen is wearing a black t-shirt with a green Warhol dollar sign and a bowler hat, covering exactly what we don’t know as he reads another winning story: a bald eagle who survived a crash into a windshield.
About 9:21 in to the premiere, Sheen lights his first cigarette, and then moves on to the story of Josie Dimples, an 80-year-old woman who tweeted Sheen to say she is now winning, too. For that, she gets a polaroid of Sheen, freshly snapped by one of the goddesses. He tells us there will be only one given out on each show.
He adlibs: “As the story develops… ” along with the polaroid coming to life and we watch him sign it.
And there’s more! Howard Schnitzer was kept alive by a chain of neighbors who gave him CPR for over 90 minutes until medical help arrived. Winning news, indeed. Just snapshots, he tells us, of the components of genius you’ll see on Sheen’s Korner.
Frankly, the backyard “let’s put on a show” feel is a lot much more exciting than many network sitcoms and, other than the distracting farting noises, has tremendous potential. It’s like a Wayne’s World with more awkward moments and herkier, jerkier audio, if that’s possible.
Someone named Paul calls to interrupt and tell him he’s watching the show. ”Who isn’t?” Sheen says.
The sidekicks begin to wear thin on us, and Sheen as well, by the time we get to Weighing in with Rick, who is now standing on a scale, (get it… weighing in...) Rick asks viewers to call in to say what they would do, for instance, if they came back from a shopping mall and found the plastic security tag still attached to the item. Would you go back or would you go to the garage and handle it yourself. No one calls in.
Next, Sheen introduces a segment where viewers are instructed to call in with their five favorite Charlie Sheen lines, you know, the ones which ignited the global wildfire of flowing words his warlock mind produced. Still, no one calls. Are the circuits already overloaded?
Solution chamber… hmm, he says that could be a segment.
“Why not do backwards art?” Rick wants to know. “We can’t give away everything on night one,” Sheen tells him. (Heaven forbid. We couldn’t handle that!)
And there are lots of lists like “Wish they were me forever” which includes Dr. Drew Pinsky, Nancy Grace. ”I do have to say this — how ‘grace’ exists in your name… the opposite of winning…. losing…”
On other lists: Sheen wishes he was the following for ten minutes: “Colin Farrell, groovy as they get…” and Brian Fear the Beard Wilson. the man delivers fury, vengeance hatred, world domination, better than you, I don’t care who you are. All BS-ing aside, Sean Penn. Winning. Duh.
Just because they’re bitchin’…. different people will find themselves on the list — it’s up to you week to week or night to night…”
Fastball… the new cue he’s about to educate us.
There was lots of praise for NBC’s Jeff Rossen who Sheen revealed told him “they changed my piece in the middle of the night.” But not to worry, Sheen thought his recorded voice-overs were fair and non-judgmental.
My favorite non sequitur of the night from Sheen: “Hey, I won best picture at 20…”
Then, around 42 minutes in, a refreshing admission from the star: “we ran out of material.” How hilarious.
SO WHAT DID WE LEARN TONIGHT?
Sheen calls the DVD player where he loops “Apocalypse Now” his Apocalypse Now Channel. We got to see Sheen for almost an hour straight, unedited, without breaking away to use drugs, unless there was something hidden in the sippy cup he was using (which is doubtful.)
There has been and will be plenty of time to debate his mental state, his mental health and his mental stability. But tonight, it’s about TV and the fact that Charlie Sheen cut out the middleman, the media, the networks and appears, by the absence of logos and curse words, to be courting sponsors.
In the end, he reminded us: “Here’s the bottom line, you’re still watching us; we’re not watching you.”
And he’s right. I was glued watching… and hoping that Sheen will cause a revolution in television that’s been waiting to happen… where anyone with talent and a laptop can bypass the stodgy, self-satisfied, fickle executives who don’t seem bothered by some-one else’s self-destruction until it spills over to embarrass the boss. It’s time for a creative re-set where the housewives don’t have to tip over the tables at the end of the night.
2011 has already seen a series of political revolutions birthed on Facebook and Twitter. Before tonight, I hadn’t heard of Ustream. But I do know a lot about Livestream where, I’ve read, as many as 16,000 people already have virtual tv channels around the world, including me, Matt Damon, hoards of soccer fanatics and a solo guy who’s reported the news live from the streets of Somalia armed only with his laptop.
The time is now and let’s hope Charlie Sheen’s Korner turns out to be the revolutionary shot heard around the television world today.