iPhone, PowerBook Gain Celebrity Status
Three New Series on CBS, NBC, & Fox's Fall TV Season Lineup
Feature Apple's Potent Portables-- Could it Mean Something Else?


by Joe Leo, Columnist


FEATURE: (10.16.07)-- Three new shows in the Fall TV lineup all share one thing in common. Despite having different genres--one a comedy, the other a sci-fi show, and the last a crime drama--all feature journalists as main characters in the show and...? All of them use Apple portables to get the job done, making those devices, the "real" stars of the show.

This tech columnist just likes the fact that Apple's potent portables are prominent onscreen.

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Back in July, we mentioned that the "real" star of Summer's hottest film, "Transformers" (by coincidence, also being released today on DVD and Blu-Ray and HD-DVD), was not the CGI robots, the former Disney Channel kid actor gone big time, nor the robot toys from the 1980s now live onscreen. It was Apple because of their presence in the film. [ARTICLE LINK].

Part of the angle to that story was a preview of a still-yet-to-be-written piece on Apple's role in Hollywood and what its use by characters symbolizes onscreen. In short, we said that the good guys use Macs and bad guys use PCs. Because when's the last time you saw a Mac used to destroy the world?

Today's piece can be considered a lead-up to the second angle of that piece coming soon (to a theater near you), a teaser if you will--since we're talking film speak here--on how Hollywood sometimes is a reflection of real life. Instead of the old adage, "life imitates art," the opposite occurs when filmmakers stay true to reality. Art imitating life.

Life imitating art--the norm--would be like, let's take for instance, the new iPod touch. What does that remind you of? Well, if you're not a Star Trek fan, we've finally got a real "PADD" (personal access display device) device from the future, in the here and now.

The communicator device from Capt. James T. Kirk's era of space exploration is another example. The first Motorola flip phones reminded people of Jim's high-tech device. (It won't be long before art imitates life and the next iteration of a Star Trek "communicator" will have to beat the iPhone in terms of what our gadgets will look like in the future).

Art imitating life--the complete opposite--can be found by going back to the "Transformers" movie reference. That movie probably couldn't have been made, or at least, have the impact and realistic feel that it did, if not for our post 9/11 world and the current War in Iraq. The setting for the film was perfect. The sense of fear with these robots and fighting against them.

Makes you wonder if the same impact would have been achieved had that movie been created before 9/11. But, we digress. Let's move on to today's topic. Another form of art imitating life, and more central to our readers' desires, the art of Apple.

So, back to the original angle that sparked today's story. As a tech columnist, and journalism teacher, our favorite films and TV shows are ones that have to do with, of course, newspaper reporters or TV anchors. (Or stories about teachers).

Once it was NBC's short-lived 2000 series, "Deadline" which starred Oliver Platt working for a New York City tabloid. There was the movie "Veronica Guerin" starring Cate Blanchett who starred as a real-life Irish journalist who was murdered for doing her job. On the other side of the coin, you have the totally fictitious farce from 2004, "Anchorman" starring Will Ferrell.

Three new shows in the Fall TV lineup, all on different networks, star actors or actresses portraying journalists. By coincidence, these journalists all use Apple portables--the iPhone and the PowerBook (or MacBook Pro... couldn't tell)--to do their job, or as tools for their job. Though one could argue that in one show, it's more for personal use than journalistic.

And since Hollywood sometimes attempts to imitate everyday life, the question posed here is, do all journalists use Macs? Has the Mac all of a sudden become a part of mainstream culture? (Not that it hasn't, nor wasn't to begin with). Or is the question here, is everyone now using Apple products these days?

In terms of its presence in movies, and television, more specifically, these three new shows we've been watching and have come to like, it would seem so.


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