December 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
To understand a person and how they came to be the person that they are today (though you never truly understand a person) you have to trace back to every day of their existence. Every day is a brick, a chair, a room with a trampoline as a floor since my lifehouse can have that, its my lifehouse metaphor. You may not understand the theme of this article by me only giving you a little bit of background into my upbringing, it simply will not suffice, but I can try.
I was raised by a single mother from the time I was 3, though I am sure she was always raising me alone from the time I was born, since my father had other places to be. I have one sister, four years older, and she was cursed with a curse that all sisters have: She is a girl, and girls, especially ones that are four years older, do not want to hang out with their brothers. When my sister was 10 and I was 6, she wanted to be 16 and I wanted to be 6. That’s just the routine for young boys and girls and so I did not play with my sister very often.
In fact, I can’t recall a single time that I did so without her feeling forced to do so.
So what is a boy left to do during his formative years without anyone telling him how to form? Watch movies. And when there is no television, as we canceled cable several times for financial purposes, make shit up! I spent countless hours jumping around the couch shooting imaginary bad guys with my imaginary guns. I put my action figures into action. I will never forget the time that I was having a funeral for one of my toys, a G.I. Joe lost in battle that was being given an epic send-off, and humming Taps as the other action figures carry his body to the grave, except for one fatal error: It turns out that I did not know Taps, or at least I had gotten confused, because my mother came by and asked why I was humming the wedding song.
*pulls tight collar away from neck and says ‘oh. boy.’*
But that was my childhood. Not the part where I accidentally passed a gay marriage bill for my action figures, but the part where I was living in a reality made up of either movies and television half of the time, or whatever war, adventure, or game-winning sports play that I deemed to be possible for the rest of the time. It’s not that I, at the age of 4 or 8 or 16 or I-should-probably-stop-now, actually believed that I hit the game-winning shot for the Seattle SuperSonics in Game 7 of the NBA Finals (or that they actually allowed me nine attempts to hit the shot) because I am not a psychopath or completely delusional, but I did live with the idea that the world is whatever I want it to be.
I did not choose the reality as we know it. I did not create the Earth, the Sun, the Oceans or the iPod. Those realities are out of my hand. But whenever I want to, I can create a different world, a world where anything is possible and I can be anybody. Who would not want to live in that world?
In movies like Pan’s Labyrinth or The Science of Sleep, these imaginary dreamscapes are better described than what I could explain, but it’s something like that except without really seeing these worlds, settings, or characters. You just have to believe it. And so when I had time to myself as a kid, which was plenty often, I could be whoever I wanted to be and live where ever I wanted to live and the rules of science and math and physics only exist as I allowed them to exist. I don’t live in these worlds much anymore (I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t caught a few game-winning Seahawks touchdowns in my bed over the last couple of years) but that does not mean that I don’t still believe. Whereas I created these Universes* as a child for the purposes of entertainment and passing the time, now I use these same principles as a means of coping with the many unanswered questions that turn the Sun and our very existence into an enigmatic Rubik’s cube for which I will likely die before solving.
I am a logical and rational human being. I don’t want you to think that I have completely lost my shit. I know that the laws of physics seem rather legit. I don’t doubt that E does equal MC squared, even though I could not tell you how Einstein got there or how it makes my popcorn pop in the microwave, but I have no reason to think it’s bullshit. (I mean, I heard that nutrinos could fuck that up, but once again, not my field of expertise.) However, why do we, as people, have to stop there? Why do we have to accept anything and everything that has been told to us? You once told me motherfucking Santa Claus was real and THAT was bullshit, so why should I just bend over, look over my shoulder, and say “Sure, shove the laws of gravity up my butt, I’ll take it.”?
Yeah, gravity seems VERY legit. But what if I told you that tomorrow, there would be no gravity? Or that it would be like Moon gravity and we raised the NBA hoops to 25 feet? You can tell me that it won’t happen, but I will reply, “Why not?” And you would give me a verifiable 100% scientific answer as to why it wouldn’t, but that’s not really the point of what I’m trying to convey.
Here are some questions I would pose to you:
- What if time travel is real? How could you ever really know for certain? The life that you are living right now, what if it didn’t exist until a second ago? What if before that second, someone from the future went back in time and shot Abraham Lincoln and so now you’re Tim Carter instead of Tina Leone? What if Marty McFly was a real person?
- What if the Matrix is real? Fuck, how should I know??
- What if tomorrow you are eating Haagen-Dazs and watching Family Guy and then all of a sudden a vortex pops up behind your couch that leads to God knows where? Would you go through it? You most certainly would at least throw in the ice cream first or eat it all first.
- What if you weren’t even you until this very moment? What if you were transported into this body at this second and implanted with all of your memories that you think are real? What if you’re Quantum Leap but if Quantum Leap didn’t know he was Quantum Leap and what am I trying to stop from happening? Who do I have to stop from getting married or killed?
I am not trying to say that I necessarily believe all of the above because I pretty much don’t. I know that tomorrow I will wake up and go through my regular routine. The sky will be there, the Earth will be there, episodes of Sweet Valley High will still be around somewhere. I know this. But damn it, it doesn’t mean that I am absolutely and utterly against the idea that anything is possible. Please, for the love of Sweet Valley High, tell me that anything is possible.
Tell me that we will all be able to fly tomorrow. Tell me that one day I will get to jump in John Malkovich’s head. Tell me that I can be Limitless like Bradley Cooper in Limitless. Don’t we all sort of get by on hope? Don’t we all sort of get out of bed for a reason and not only because we have to (because hey, you don’t have to do anything), not only because we want to, not only because of what already is, but we also get out of bed because of the things that don’t exist.
“I don’t have a girlfriend.”
GET OUT OF BED!
“I need to pay my bills.”
GET OUT OF BED!
“I can’t walk.”
SOMEBODY HELP HIM OUT OF BED!
Everything we do in life should at least hinge somewhat on the idea that we are going to get something today that we did not have yesterday. Is today the day you fall ass-backwards into a windfall of cash? Is today the day that you look in the mirror and are satisfied with your physique? Is today the day that new episodes of Arrested Development are released? We need a little something to motivate us to go on. We need a little something to believe in. Maybe for me, that little something is the ability to fly, to find a vortex, or to travel back to the day when stock in Microsoft was like $10 a share.
Maybe when I was a bored little boy whose sister wouldn’t play with him I created these worlds and beliefs to pass the time and make the day a little better, but even as an adult I still hold out hope that anything is possible- so that I may pass the time and make the day a little better. It makes the morning more palatable. It makes existence more fruitful. It doesn’t make the Universe more understandable, but perhaps easier to cope with since we know we don’t know very much about it anyway.
For me, that’s all I need to wake up. That, and an action figure wedding.
*Side-Bar About Creativity, Writing, and Comedy
People often attribute creativity to some inherent attribute that never had to be worked on or molded. Many people think that if you are an adult writer, director, painter, musician, or likewise, then you are just one of the “lucky” ones. I have told people that I write and they immediately say “Well shit, maybe I should write too!”
I can probably weave a quick tale, story, subplot, or narrative together for you right now but it’s not because that shit is easy to do. If everybody was a good writer, then 99% of screenplays wouldn’t wind up in a: Fireplace, waste basket, shredder, Recycle Bin on your desktop, or turn into emergency toilet paper. And guess what? If I turned in a screenplay to Hollyweird right now, best be sure that it would wind up in the same place. Maybe if I keep working on it for 8 or 10 or 15 more years, we will see what happens, but where I am today at 30 wasn’t because the writing fairy tickled my nutsack when I was 2 days old and said “You get to be a writer!” No, do you want to know how people become creative? They were really fucking bored for a really fucking long time and so every single fucking day they worked that muscle. For me, I did not work it with the purposes of turning it into anything; it was a means of survival. I watched 1-4 movies every single day. I made up shit every single day. I spent all day in class scribbling and doodling and making up villains, heroes, space battles, and monsters on paper because the I was more interested in that than I was in math. (Maybe an occasional pair of boobs.)
What did a scientist do in class? Probably spent all day in the lab because he or she couldn’t get enough of the beakers and such.
What did a philosopher do in class? Wondered what the fuck he or she was doing there.
What did LeBron James do in class? Probably jack shit because he was great at basketball, but hey, he was/is great at basketball!
Everybody everywhere gets something out of something. You are where you are at least partly because of the shit you enjoyed when you were a kid and how you spent your days. You: Perhaps a musician that picked up a guitar when you were 5 or 9 or 14. Me: Kind of a loser actually. I always had A friend, but I never had like 30 friends. So I coped with my childhood by making shit up and watching TV. You know how funny people are funny? They coped with the society of bullies or feeling that they needed attention or not feeling like they were good at anything else. I was a child that thrived, no thirsted, no hungered, no needed-or-i’m-going-to-have-a-fucking-fit on laughter. Nothing makes ME feel as good as when YOU are having a laugh. Comedians can go through 10+ years of stand-up before making any kind of names for themselves. The first few years are even rougher because you bomb a lot and frankly that’s no different than a classroom. You have to re-live the days when your first *fartnoise* joke causes rolling in the aisles, but dead silence because “Hey we’ve heard that one before, Kenny. Say some shit about crayons!”
I know a lot of people that read blogs, especially on WP, are writers or bloggers themselves. I’m not saying you, yes YOU /reaches through Laura’s computer screen/ are a person that would say that writing is something that comes natural to people, but a lot of people seem to have that inclination. Fuck no it does not come natural and neither does comedy. This is something you live with. This is how you cope. This is something I have been working on before I knew you needed to work on shit to get good at it.
It just so happens that writing for 40+ hours per week has only happened in the last two years. But there was a pretense of over two decades in which I fine-tuned and worked and molded that muscle. In retrospect, I should have been a doctor. But instead, I am a person that likes to write and make jokes. It was not natural.
*Side-Bar Over* *Overruled*
September 26, 2012 § 4 Comments
Time to get back on the train of deciding which network or cable channel is the best of them all. We continue today with a quick look at a cable network that’s quickly growing into the best of both worlds as a hybrid between the excellent programming of a Premium Cable channel, to the “Can’t say ‘Fuck’” of a Network.
Most of the shows that you’re currently watching on FX are less than five years old. Some of your favorites might only be three years old or less actually, but the road for them was paved by other programs that the network took a chance on. Fittingly, FX is the “FOX” of cable channels. It didn’t seem to have anything going for it when it premiered other than being “edgy” and now it’s dominating almost any non-AMC cable channel in terms of programs.
It starts with Justified, arguably the best drama on TV. (and the reason I show “Justified!” when I shoot someone in the face.) When I first started to watch Justified, it was only for one reason: Timothy Olyphant, my “If I had to do a guy” guy. I’ve been following the ‘Phant since Scream 2, through Girl Next Door and Deadwood, and now we are here. I wasn’t super impressed with the show early on, it felt like one of those “new crime every week!” shows that are rather pointless to follow like CSI or Law and Order.
Oh sure, I’ll sit down and watch me some L&O:SVU if my TV happen to be on TNT (or USA, or local FOX, or 30 other channels) but it’s nothing that’s going to go down as one of the best shows ever. Too rapey.
However, as Justified started to get into it’s groove by midseason, it had established it’s characters and setting and I was hooked. The on-again, off-again relationship between Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder as the main setting for what should be an epic showdown when it’s all said and done. I came for the ‘Phant, but I’m staying for the backwater shootouts.
American Horror Story debuted last year with much anticipation, and despite the fact that it felt like the show had written itself into a corner and had no way out other than to say, “Wait, this is fiction, I’ll just make something up!” I thought it turned into a show that we could praise for taking chances. It’s definitely weird, dramatic, confusing, and off-kilter, but I thought that’s what people have been praising David Lynch for since the 80s. Except that I think that creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have out-Lynched Lynch, since I actually want to watch AHS. They’re killing it. (As opposed to “The Killing it,” which means that you are actually making frustrating, annoying, shitty television.)
(To be fair, if Lynch had anything to hang his hat on, it’s that he was most successful during his run with Twin Peaks.)
The other drama on FX is Sons of Anarchy, a show that I only started watching earlier this year. I ran through the first two seasons on Netflix, as addicted as one could be to a show, but then they started to lose me. Sons felt forced at times to do something edgy, but then every time you thought something was going to happen… it didn’t. I love Charlie Hunnam because of Undeclared, but it doesn’t feel to me like he truly suits this character.
That’s probably blasphemy to say and I’m sure Sons fans will run me over for saying it, but him in that role stopped working for me. However, I’ll eventually find out where I left off and continue to watch the series. It’s not going anywhere, since last season it saw a major ratings jump when it hit 7.5 million viewers per episode, compared to 3.23 million viewers two seasons earlier.
So when comparing AMC and FX, I’d have to say that they’ve both got strong arguments in the drama categories, but there is no competition in sitcoms/comedy/whatever the hell Louie and Wilfred are. Because FX stands alone in that department.
Giving Louis CK free reign to make whatever show he wanted without notes or post-editing was the best thing that’s ever happened to sitcom television. As mostly the only writer, director, editor, and star of Louie, we get to see his vision exactly as he sees it and holy shit is it amazing.
There are times when I watch Louie and I laugh so hard that I can’t breathe. There are other times that I watch an entire episode without laughing and yet at the end, I’m just very impressed with what I saw. I want to watch it five more times to catch everything that I had missed, and often I’ll find myself again laughing so hard that I can’t breathe, I just didn’t catch it the first time.
This is what Louis CK was meant to do, and I’m grateful that FX let him do it.
Wilfred is another experimental show and though I never seem to hear other people talk about it, I think it’s one of the most addictive, well-written, funniest shows on television. It’s not just about a dog that can talk or a man in a dog suit (though it is also about those things) it’s about depression, anger, manipulation, heartbreak, torture, love, crushes, drugs, and… dogs eating vomit. But it’s also deeper than that.
Two years later we still don’t know what Wilfred is and that reveal might not come for awhile, but at least it’s a sitcom that’s giving me reason to keep coming back. I feel like I’m watching “Funny LOST!”
None of this would have been possible though without the sitcom that broke the mold and the longest running show on FX, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It’s crazy how all these other new shows have sort of made me forget about Sunny after what feels like a very long hiatus, but I sort of did. And now I’m sort of remembering how amazing it is.
First advertised as “Seinfeld on Crack” or something, Sunny turned out to be so much better than a shitty FX tagline. The adventures of Charlie, Dennis, Mac, Dee, and Frank have been far more satisfying than one would imagine from a show that’s often described as “crass” or “crude,” it’s actually one of the smartest written shows on television. The group is actually much smarter than one would think if they judged a book by it’s cover or its dick towel. (Glenn Howerton went to Julliard, for example. And Danny DeVito is Danny fucking DeVito.)
Seven seasons and still going strong, I highly anticipate a new year of a show that set the edge in 2005 and is constantly fighting to stay ahead of it.
Then FX debuted Brand X with Russell Brand and Anger Management with Charlie Sheen and screwed everything up. What the hell, FX? You went for ratings and completely shot your reputation among the smart crowd. Brand X is literally one of the worst things I’ve seen on television.
Archer – Kill me if you must, but I have not yet gotten into Archer.
FX doesn’t try to complicate too much, but they’ve taken chances with their programming that few other channels ever have and it’s paid off. Justified makes a case as the best drama on television. Louie makes a case as the best sitcom (or just plain any show) on television. Wilfred and American Horror Story are two of the most successful “weird” things on television. Sunny is going down as one of the most influential and important shows in cable history. FX has been to cable what FOX was to Networks…
Let’s just hope that Brand X isn’t a sign that they’re going to start a reality singing competition and fuck the whole thing up.
August 28, 2012 § 3 Comments
One of the issues with starting a series during a vampire craze is that you tend to lose interest from people once the craze dies down. I guess that’s part of why True Blood has decided to tap into every single other mythical creature known to man, but I feel like many fans of season one are long since gone.
Since I have a disease that won’t allow me to not finish any series that I invest heavily into, I’m still here. Thankfully, True Blood seems to have recovered from it’s season two disaster and subsequently bad years. The fifth season got back to actually turning in some surprises and interesting characters, but with Alan Ball leaving as show-runner, will it continue?
The following basically contains season five spoilers only, so keep that in mind. This is really obvious from the title of the article, right?
At the end of season four, Debbie, Marnie, Jesus, and Tara were all dead. Steve Newlin and Russell Edgington were apparently not. I’ve decided that the best way to recap the entire season would to do it by characters and explain how I felt about their storyline. This is a new thing I am trying out, so bare with me:
I’ve never really been fond of her character. She’s pissed off about everything, she had never showed much depth other than that, basically only being used as a device for Snookie or Lafayette when they had their own shit going on. Finally this season she was given something to do for herself after Pam resurrected her after Snookie told her that she’d do anything if she saved Tara. Knowing that this would finally give her something to hold over the girl she hates, Pam accepted and turned Tara into a vampire.
At first, I was more annoyed by Tara than ever. Now she was just a really pissed off vampire and again, it was just about how Snookie and Lafayette felt about this. Then she went to be with Pam and while I hated it when she became some stripper, by the end of the season I was finally at ease with Tara. Is it because she and Pam apparently fell in love? Probably. But it’s the least annoying relationship that Tara has ever been in and finally gives Pam some substance too.
Alternatively, Lafayette seemed to get lost this year. His whole thing with Jesus was cool but then after Jesus died, it seems like he didn’t have anything left to do. Sure, he is now like a full-blown medium, but that only makes him useful for when other people have problems.
By the time he had helped resolved issues for Sookie and Arlene, he was just there to be flamboyant and offer people food and drinks. Lafayette’s season five story arc: “You gon’ love me forevah’ when you try this, bitch.” or something. Basically his only purpose this year was really making me want to eat the food he cooked because Alan Ball makes it seem like he’s the best chef and drink mixer in the entire world. Oh and he can talk to dead people.
Arlene and Terry
Did you ever get the feeling that these two are only in the show because sometimes True Blood needs to fill an extra six minutes per episode? If there is a single character in the show that I miss, it’s Rene.
No offense to them, they’re likeable, but what’s their point? They don’t seem to interact with the other characters at all.
Andy Bellefleur and Holly
And this is like another set of “Arlene and Terry” except that Andy does play a part in the rest of the series. I really like that Andy and Jason have teamed up as partners and everything, but now he’s got four fairy babies? What?
Andy Bellefleur has become like a mix of Chief Wiggum and Apu.
Perhaps that most interesting flip in series history was the season five arc of Bill, going from the love of Sookie’s life into Russell Edgington but worse. The series has hinted for awhile now that Bill had some inklings of going into the authority for good, but we always expected that eventually he would become “Nice guy Bill” and never fall out of love with Sookie.
When Eric and Sookie go to him at the end of the season finale, we all knew what was going to happen: He’d be reasoned with, realize how awful he’s been, throw away the blood, and then something weird would happen like he’d be kidnapped by Lilith or some shit. Okay, so much for that!
Bill says, “Screw you guys, man. I’m hella cool now!” drinks all of Lilith’s blood and then dies. Holy shit, Bill is dead! Except that after becoming a pool of blood, he regenerates (with special effects apparently done by the SyFy network) and is super evil now or so I assume. I don’t think that a vampire can regenerate out of his own blood after drinking the blood of evil and be good ever again. Alan Ball has basically confirmed this.
He’s still Bill, but he’s like “Bad re-incarnated Bill” which is cool. I did not expect that. Of course, I’m not really sure how a character like Bill can go from being like the nicest vampire ever to a one-man show of evil and carnage over night, but why ask questions? This is True Blood, not The Wire.
I love Christopher Meloni. I will miss Christopher Meloni. Five meager little episodes.
Part of what turned Bill, I guess, was the character Salome. I never really caught on to what she had to do with anything, why she was important, and why I should care about her except that her short love affair with Bill probably played an integral role in turning him evil.
She was otherwise useless until Bill killed her. Damn, he is evil. Remember when Eric was evil? This show just decides, “Whatever, now let’s make this character good and this one bad.” Breaking Bad has done that, but it made a lot more sense and took a lot more time. Did you see how even in this paragraph about Salome, it was more about Bill? Yeah, that’s her character!
Sam and Luna
Have you ever seen two people more naked? How weird was it to be on that set all season? How awkward was it for Luna to run around with her breasts hanging out for probably 15 hour days on set? I guess that they absolutely must have gotten used to it.
I, however, will never get used to seeing Sam Merlotte make out with himself. Has anyone else noticed that obviously being a shifter is better than being anything else ever and yet everybody else focuses on vampire and werewolves? I think it’s pretty obvious that once people found out that shifters existed, we wouldn’t care about the vampires. I would want to get bitten by a shifter, even if it didn’t turn me into a shifter. That’s how amazing they are. You can shift into any animal and even other humans.
Sam and Luna are also a “relationship side show” for True Blood, except that they actually do play a part in some of the integral storylines. They played a part in the “Obama” storyline big time and then even the authority storyline by the end. Of course, Sam was once one of the central characters of the show and now he’s not a part of Sookie’s life anymore, so they had to figure a way to get him involved in the meat of it all. But it’s weird because he really is not a part of that vampire stuff at all. Like, does Sookie even work at Merlotte’s anymore? DOES SAM!?!?! HOW ARE THESE PEOPLE MAKING MONEY?!!!
Oh Hoyt. You’re probably one of my favorite characters, but I was really sad to see you give up on Jason. I know how hard it is to forgive him for what he did, but life isn’t about just forgetting its about forgiving. You and Jason are lifelong pals. Asking Jessica to glamour you was total bullshit.
(Glamouring, in general, is total bullshit. Vampires should already have taken over the world years ago if glamouring was real.)
His whole season was up-and-down as he tried to get over the whole thing, going from getting sucked on by any vampire he could to being a vampire hate monger that wanted to kill them. There is only one kind of Hoyt that I like and he was neither of those. Maybe it’s best to get his memory erased after all. Can I have my memory erased from seeing Hoyt in makeup?
Hoyt went off to Alaska, only to return next season, I’m sure. Hopefully without eyeliner.
I do love Jessica, much like Hoyt, but she has a hard time loving anyone as a vampire. She wanted to be friends with Hoyt, which obviously would never work. She was in lust with Jason and then finally in love. Jessica needs something to do, so she’ll probably get a progeny next year.
Who will Jessica turn into a vamp?
I’m assuming this is who that guy was that replaced Eric as Sheriff for like two days.
I live in LA and I think I once saw Alcide (Joe Manganiello) at the movie theater. Often, actors will just look really big on television. I’m 6’6″. This guy towers over me. He is also probably works out. The internet says that he is 6’5″. It could have been perspective that made him look so tall. It could have been entirely someone else.
Oh, what did he do in the show?
Something about a wolf pack. How many creature politics does this show have to go over? There is this other wolf and he is a jerk and he gives the pack “V” and then Russell Edgington is somehow involved and also Luna’s daughter is part-wolf so this makes Luna and Sam involved. He got a girlfriend or something during the season too, but I don’t even know her name.
His dad was played by the T-1000 though, so that’s awesome.
True Blood seems to introduce a lot of characters that just fall in love with Sookie for four episodes and then insists on making them permanent characters with stuff to do. I’m not so sure I care about the werewolves. Maybe if they were fighting against someone else, but they only fight with each other and they probably smell bad.
Russell Edgington and Steve Newlin
Well, we knew that Russell would be back because they didn’t actually kill him. Steve Newlin was a surprise, mostly because I forgot/didn’t care about him, but he actually was a pleasant surprise this year as a gay vampire after being a straight vampire-hater. His character seems to be a great way for Alan Ball to say what he wants to say about gay-hating pastors that are actually just secretly gay. When Steve Newlin came out and decided to be who he really is, he was a much better character.
Russell we always knew was gay, but now he was also a much more likeable character. He no longer seemed to just want to be evil, he just want to have fun. He wanted to feast and be free and be himself and take over the world or whatever but mostly have sex and drink blood.
He is finally dead for real. Steve is out there somewhere and will probably come back next year with all of the puppies.
So now Eric is like the world’s softest dude ever. He used to be a dick and now he’s soft and squishy and has a lot of sex with his sister. Nobody loves Sookie anymore, I don’t think. Also, Eric and Bill were like Superfriends for awhile. This show has completely turned on it’s head and I still can’t understand how. It’s just one episode to the next, characters are different. Maybe subtle things change characters along the way, but seriously… did you see how soft Eric was and how mean Bill was by the end?
I guess Eric was changed in season four. How am I supposed to remember season four?
So Eric and his sister Nora have crazy amounts of fast-forward sex and then he hates her cause she’s a jerk but then she realizes what a fool she was so they get back to having more sex. Whoopie!
Season five also saw a brief return of Godric, played by Elijah Wood’s doppelganger, who was destroyed by Lilith. There was also the naked character of Lilith by the way and that was weird and hopefully over.
Otherwise, this was a rather dull season for Eric. He’s still a primary character but his purposes in the season seemed rather minute. I wouldn’t mind seeing him go back to being a dick, that’s the way I like my Eric Northman.
Thankfully Jason never changes. I mean, he does go through some life-moments, but the heart of Jason remains the same. First he goes to a sorority party and then decides NOT to have sex with a cute young co-ed because he doesn’t want to be that way anymore? But does he mean it.
Well, he ends up having sex with his old teacher, the woman who helped shape the womanizer that he is but rejects her after they finish. Jason winds up getting involved with the fairy stuff and finds out that his parents were actually killed by vampires. This is when things do start to worry me about Jason because now he wants to kill all of the vampires.
That’s not you, man. His anger is misguided because he wants to avenge his parents death but I know that Jason will realize the errors of his ways. After Jessica finally wants to be with him, he’s like “No way” because she is a vampire but I have a feeling that by next season that will change.
Good old stupid, kind Jason Stackhouse.
Finally, it all comes back to Sookie. The main character of the show, Sookie was the central theme mainly because she was what brought together the mean Eric with the kind Bill. She’s central to everything else.
Except that now Bill is a dick and doesn’t care about her. Eric is nice and cares about her, but not as much as he cares about boning his sister. Alcide was rejected and so has moved on and also found out that she killed his ex, which probably doesn’t help. Russell wanted her for her blood, but he’s dead now. Sam is basically married to Luna. Tara hates her. Pam hates her. Lafayette is like her best friend now but he’s all like, “Taste this, bitch.” I think she’s done a No-Call, No-Show at Merlotte’s for eight weeks straight, so she has no waitress friends.
Basically, we’re sitting here after five seasons and after being the central character, she plays a very little part in all of the storylines. Couldn’t you sort of… continue the whole show without her?
Sookie’s mission this season was to find out more about fairies (oh cool!) and then find out what her grams was trying to tell her, which is that some old vampire named Warlow killed her parents and that she is owed to him from a very old pact. So that’s definitely going to be the storyline of season six for Sookie, finding out who Warlow is, but does anybody care about Sookie anymore?
Including you, the viewer?
I’m sure that by then, they will make her more central to the lives of the other 87 characters but as of this year, she was mostly just another arc in the middle of 112 story arcs, not central to anything. Not especially memorable.
At the very end of the season, Bill turns into bloody evil Bill and Eric tells her to run before the shit hits the fan. As we know with all True Blood cliffhangers, it’s going to be okay. But even then I’m asking myself, “Okay, I want to know more about what the hell Bill has become” and I’m not really concerned about Sookie anymore. That’s what True Blood, season five, was all about for me.
August 24, 2012 § 3 Comments
I think that a criticism of this series might be that I come off as a male chauvinist. That it’s sexist to call women “hot” or possibly implying that I think attractiveness is all that women are good for. That idea is what one might call, “Bull. Shit.”
I love women. If anything, I am a feminist more than I am a chauvinist. I was raised by a woman, and only a woman. I grew up with only women. I am probably single partially for that fact because I am not handy around the house and I can’t change the oil on a car, but I definitely relate well to women. Did you not have any crushes as a kid? Did you not hang a Mark-Paul Gosselaar poster in your room?
Of course you did. We all did, men and women alike. He’s Mark damn Paul freaking Gosselaar.
The reason that I personally like this series is that it gives me an opportunity to reminisce, not on famous sex symbols, but of the lesser-knowns. Perhaps the forgottens. The women that shaped the tastes I have in other women as of today, which is probably why I am single because of course none of them are attainable to a schlub like me.
I should have had a crush on Kimmy Gibbler instead of Alex Mack. (I feel so creeped to write that at 29 that I feel the need to remind everyone that I was 12.)
One such woman actually was a woman from the moment I fell in love. I was only 11 or 12 at the time, but Melinda Clarke was already 24. If you looked at her today, you’d say “Oh yeah, of course she’s beautiful. I mean come on, she’s gorgeous” if you are the type to use “gorgeous.” I am usually not because I guess I’m not secure enough in my manhood to do so, but I just did so what the hell am I talking about? Look at her today:
Well, probably not literally “Today” because holy crap that would be fast to get a picture on the internet and have it as one of the top results on Google Images. It also looks like it’s taken at the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards (“what kid doesn’t look up to Melinda Clarke?” he said sarcastically) and I’m almost certain that those weren’t today. I know because I definitely still watch them. (Again, why do I have to come off so creepy? Maybe this whole thing is a bad idea)
Yes, Clarke is a bombshell. If you “didn’t have a thing for redheads” you’d probably question your entire life once you saw Melinda Clarke. You might try olives or mushrooms again because maybe you were wrong about those too.
However, when I fell in love with her, she didn’t look anything like this. Not only because she was younger, but because she had an entirely different kind of make-up on. When I fell in love with Melinda Clarke… she was a zombie.
If you’re asking yourself, “What the hell is wrong with Kenneth?” then welcome to the club. I’m questioning some things about myself at this very moment. But then again I do feel justified for this crush. She is about the most beautiful 1993 zombie ever. Or at least in 1993, since I basically just pigeonholed my whole statement there into that year.
I was and am a major horror movie buff. I grew up watching them from a very young age. I ran to the horror section at Blockbuster every time my mom graciously took me there, and then the teenager behind the counter would say “Stop running, freak. This is a Blockbuster.”
The Return of the Living Dead is my absolute favorite zombie film of all-time, with exception to Shaun of the Dead, which I’d classify maybe a little bit more of a comedy than a zombovie. (Yeah, I know that zomedy works better there, but you can’t tell me what to do. Who are you, the word-mashing police?) It’s not the most popular choice for best zombie film ever made, but it’s my choice. Opinions are funny that way.
Well, this is not Return of the Living Dead, in case you didn’t know, but it is Return of the Living Dead 3. Melinda (who at that time went by “Mindy Clarke”) plays Julie Walker, a rebel without a cause who is in love with her boyfriend or something something zombies. Plot doesn’t matter here. What matters is that she was a cute 24-year-old girl that became infected and then started to transform her look into the craziness you see before you.
I don’t know exactly what it was. The shit in her face, her naturally good looks, or the partially exposed boob, but I fell in love. I didn’t realize until just this moment that my love of damaged women must have started right around this time. (holy shit that’s a whole ‘nother issue.)
But yeah, this is like the ultimately-damaged woman. She was a young, beautiful girl with her whole life in front of her and then she started to turn into this flesh-desiring beast who mutilated her body and could not be saved… yet me and her fictional boyfriend would have done anything to be with her no matter what. There’s probably a message here that goes deeper than the undead, sort of like a metaphor for young people that become addicted to life-altering drugs, but I think I’ll just keep it simple with the “She’s a zombie!” thing.
I was such a horror movie dork in fact that I subscribed to Fangoria Magazine. Not the usual first-thing-you-subscribe-to magazine for most kids, but I know what I wanted and my mom was cool enough to let me have it.
One day, this arrived:
HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS?
Not only that, but it contained a full-length poster of Melinda Clarke as the zombie Julie Walker! This was my dream come true. Now I knew exactly who I would hang up next to The Goss. At this moment, Clarke was my main squeeze.
Over time, that faded. Clarke became a television “star” of sorts, skipping from show to show and
probably definitely now best known for The OC. But not for me. For me, she’ll always be my zombie bride.
Yes, I am single. Why do you ask?
August 3, 2012 § 1 Comment
I continue my look through the world of television channels by stopping by one of the more unconventional options: The Food Network.
Like basically every other channel, The Food Network has changed quite a bit over the years, transforming from a station directed towards a specific niche audience into one that conforms more to programming for the rest of us. While the daytime programming is still geared towards educational cooking shows like Rachel Ray and Paula Deen, Food Network at night has reality and competition programs that appeal to another niche audience:
People that eat food.
Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to say that everybody watches or likes the Food Network, because that’s definitely not true, but for whatever reason I find myself looking to see what’s on Food Network more often than ever. Sure, I love food, but why should I really care what other people are eating or watch food being made that I’ll never be able to taste?
Because that’s how much people love food. We love it to the point where calling it “Food porn” is not an exaggeration. In many cases we are watching experts beautifully paint on a canvas with materials we love.
“Oh damn, Bobby. What are you going to do with that steak?!”
“Stop, hold up. Is that? Is it? Oh shit, it is. He’s got the garlic salt!”
“Paula, you dirty dirty dirty old woman. But can I substitute your 12 sticks of butter with like, 2 sticks of butter?”
I have said before on this blog that when I lost 150 pounds after college, I spent basically my entire day watching the Food Network. It would seem like the opposite of what you’d want to do if you were trying to lose weight and eat less, but it was more like a healthy substitute. I could imagine what it was like to eat what they were making, but with zero calories.
At that time, they were still mostly just doing the cooking shows and not the competitions or finding the best food and restaurants in America, so it was easy to just stop watching at a certain point. It’s what I’ve referred to earlier as “throw-away television” or “expendable television.” It’s something that was mostly a time-waster and not educational or especially entertaining. It was just something to do.
That has changed in recent years though. Now I find many of the shows to be highly entertaining and I really find myself excited when I know that one of my favorite shows is going to be on Food Network in the evening. Here’s a brief rundown of those shows:
Probably my new favorite thing to watch, Chopped basically takes the best part of Top Chef (the cooking) and condenses it into one hour, where we don’t have to follow the contestants for a whole season. The idea behind Chopped, the fact that not only do the contestants not know the ingredients but that the ingredients provide a certain level of difficulty, adds to the excitement level.
Yeah, watching people cook is exciting!
It’s also pretty fun that we see regular failures on Chopped. Whereas in many shows it seems like these chefs can do no wrong, I’ve gotten to see some pretty terrible foods prepared on Chopped. Like… literally inedible foods and these are professional chefs. I’m happy that they don’t cut it down to just the good stuff. These guys fail a lot and that’s part of what keeps me watching.
I just wish that people would stop saying that they’re being underestimated. Literally every chef seems to either think that the other contestants are going to underestimate them, or they’re incredibly over-confident. If everybody assumes that they’re being underestimated, then obviously nobody is being underestimated.
And stop doing crazy shit with your hair, chefs. The only thing that I want to see in your hair is a hairnet when you’re making my food.
Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives
There probably isn’t a more annoying or douchy host in America than Guy Fieri, but the concept of this show is so good that I will watch any episode I haven’t seen before and sometimes re-watch the same episode multiple times.
Perhaps part of the charm is that Guy is such a douche.
But the real star of the show is the Diners (I almost have never seen and Drive-Ins or Dives but I guess “Single D” wouldn’t have been a good name for the show) and it’s cool that they find places you can actually go eat and not $100 a plate restaurants in Manhattan. This is where the comfort food is. This is where the attainable $7 meals are. This is how the regular person ended up making it in the food industry.
That’s what makes the show watchable despite the fact that a 44-year-old man is still sporting the same hairdo I had in the 7th grade. I made terrible decisions in 7th grade, Guy, why are you still making them?
My favorite restaurant in LA is only a couple of blocks away from me. I was sooooo excited when I saw Gloria’s Mexican Cafe on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Really gave that show some more credibility for me. Just want to throw that out there.
The show ran for 14 seasons but finally came to an end earlier this year. It’s not a traditional cooking show, instead explaining the science of food, which is probably why it was so integral as a part of why the Food Network is what it is today.
Good Eats was one of the first shows I ever watched on the Food Network with regularity and started to break down the barrier that “Only mom’s watch Food Network” when I noticed a lot of my guy friends in college watching it. Alton Brown is like a modern-day Bill Nye!
Iron Chef America
Iron Chef America is basically like Chopped except that they do use world-renowned chefs and they have an hour to cook a five-dish meal with one special, secret ingredient.
Iron Chef in Japan opened up the way for Iron Chef USA (which failed) and then finally Iron Chef America which opened the door for shows like Chopped and so on and so forth. This is the show that made people realize that they just liked to watch people cook great food and then be judged for it.
We really like to judge people.
And Sweet Genius is basically exactly like Chopped except that we have desserts and Ron Ben-Isreal.
Anyways, that’s a quick rundown of the shows I watch on The Food Network. I actually think I’m forgetting one or two, but oh well! I’m not actually giving the channel a spot in my Best TV Channel Tournament because it has no real shot without actually having original scripted programming (how interesting could a Sopranos-style food drama be?) but I wanted to note it’s existence and how much I like watching it now.
There’s a lot of good stuff on the Food Network, but I won’t be able to nominate it until Smell-o-Vision and Taste-o-Vision are real things.
I can’t believe I went the entire article without saying this, but Giada De Laurentiis is my hearts song. Feed me, Giada:
July 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
I watched an episode of Persons Unknown the other day on Netflix. For those of you that don’t know, and I wouldn’t blame you, Persons Unknown was a Lost-wanna-be drama about a group of strangers that wake up in a very small fake town and don’t know how or why they ended up there. It’s an interesting concept created by Chris McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, writer) and I had very high expectations for this show before it premiered a year or two ago. Re-visiting the series the other day helped confirm what I had already felt and then some:
Persons Unknown is without a doubt one of the worst shows I have ever seen. It is one of the worst productions of anything I have ever seen. It’s absolutely terrible, a black mark on the progress of television as a serious medium for drama over the last decade. Persons Unknown is what would come out of you if you ate LOST, took a dump, vomited on your dump, ate the domp/vomit mixture, and dumped it out again. The acting alone would make it one of the worst things I have ever seen (the ONLY person you’ll probably recognize is Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) but the writing, the bad production, all of it… a complete mess.
What else should we come to expect from NBC these days?
Once the gold standard, NBC has turned out bad show after bad show and then pushed aside any good show (Community, Parks and Rec) that they happened to pick up, which could have only happened by accident. It’s gotten so bad that at one point NBC was actually behind UNIVISION in the key 18-49 demographic if you just didn’t count Sunday Night Football.
Outside of Law & Order: SVU, which was started in 1999, the longest-running drama on the network is Parenthood, which started in 2010. Think about that for a second. As The Office and 30 Rock begin their swan songs, and as they push away Parks and Community, what will NBC even be left with? Things are so bad that Whitney is coming back.
I really have nothing left to say. NBC is bad and it only looks like its going to get worse, but they’ve got a whole crapload of new shows coming in the fall and midseason and thank God that Persons Unknown will never air again. (As a huge Usual Suspects fan, I was supremely disappointed in McQuarrie. I later found out that he basically ditched the show in the very early stages and of course they continued to use his name. You’re forgiven.)
Here are the shows that are currently on NBC.
Law & Order: SVU
While it’s very entertaining, SVU is really damn silly. How could anyone sit through an SVU marathon and not giggle for hours on end, even without being high? SVU once peaked at 15 million viewers per episode, but as of last season (without Christopher Meloni) it did about half of that. How much longer before SVU joins regular Law & Order on the cancelled list?
Smash dominated much of the promo season and here’s what I can tell you from reports because of course I never watched it: Quality declined rapidly after the pilot and so did the ratings. Still, its NBC’s #1 drama… and no that doesn’t mean it’s doing good overall. (#47)
I saw the first episode of Grimm and thought it seemed promising, so there’s that.
Parks and Recreation
Up All Night
The first four are rather groundbreaking comedies. Let’s break down the update on that: Steve Carrell is gone. More have left or are leaving The Office. 30 Rock is entering it’s final season. Parks and Recreation is possibly the best sitcom on television, but admittedly low ratings threaten it’s lifespan. If it suffers the same fate as Community, it will wind up on Fridays with Whitney, one of the worst comedies on network television. And Community has lost its creator and showrunner, Dan Harmon.
Up All Night is pleasant.
The top four once could have constructed the best comedy lineup in ALL of television, but somehow they never seemed to wind up on Thursdays at the same time with half-seasons for shows like Parks, Community, and 30 Rock so that they could push new shows like Outsourced. Still, Outsourced was somehow not as bad as Whitney.
As we’ve seen recently, NBC has no problem cutting out quality for laugh-tracked, mass-pleasing CRAP. Damn it America, stop watching shitty shows and pay attention to the good ones.
Animal Practice: Meet Dr. George Coleman, a top-dog New York veterinarian. With an unorthodox style of operating, George’s success comes from his undeniable gift with animals of all kinds. That is, all but the human kind.
I just watched a two-minute preview of Animal Practice, and while I never laughed out loud, chuckled, or laughed on the inside, at least I find Justin Kirk (Weeds), Tyler Labine and Bobby Lee to be fun to watch. It looks terrible but we’ll see.
Go On: All you need to know is that everybody loves Matthew Perry, especially the networks that keep bringing him back for more. None of his shows have worked since Friends, but I admit that I’m always slightly interested.
The New Normal: A woman becomes a surrogate mother so a gay couple can start a family.
I’m guessing that this show will last about as long as the pregnancy.
Guys With Kids: “A show developed by Jimmy Fallon…”
(I know how harsh I am being. I am really not trying to be. I thought that the trailer for Community looked stupid as heck and thought a show with Joel McHale would NEVER work. It works pretty well. But to be honest, NBC sees its best shows as its failures and so I can only assume that they’ll continue to add shows like Whitney, Outsourced, and The Paul Reiser Show, and many more that I’m forgetting that sucked, believing that they’ll do better. You’ll only do better if you start adding more quality because you’re about to lose a bunch of it after this fall.)
Revolution: Revolution takes place in a post-apocalyptic future. Fifteen years earlier, an unknown phenomenon permanently disabled all advanced technology on the planet, ranging from computers and electronics to car engines and batteries. People were forced to adapt to a world without technology, and due to the collapse of public order, many areas are ruled by warlords and militias. The series focuses on the Matheson family, who possess an item that is the key to not only finding out what happened fifteen years ago, but also a possible way to reverse its effects.
Revolution is possibly one of the most interesting and compelling upcoming shows of the fall and debuts on September 17 (Mondays) at 10 PM, and not only because of the interesting premise. The show is created by Eric Kripke (Supernatural), JJ Abrams is attached as Executive Producer, Jon Favreau directed the pilot, and Giancarlo Esposito (GUS FRING!) is in it, though he’s deep on the cast list.
There have been many shows (HI PERSONS UNKNOWN, AGAIN!) that have disappointed me. Maybe Revolution will be one of those, but I’m still interested to see it and see where it goes.
Chicago Fire: Do you actually need me to tell you the premise of this show? You get it. Another cop, fire, or doctor show set in Chicago, where all of the people in civic duty are sexy.
I’m not going to go over all of the shows NBC has set for midseason debut, because there are TEN of them. That’s like 8 more new shows than I have seen on other networks. Basically, NBC is cleaning house completely now that it’s scraping the bottom of the network barrel.
Not so promising: there’s a show starring Dane Cook, a show bringing back Howie Mandel as host, a show with Jenny McCarthy, and a reality “finding love” show produced by Eva Longoria. Expect NBC to clean house again next year.
The Biggest Loser
America’s Got Talent
Love in the Wild
Betty White’s Off Their Rockers
I watched a few seasons of Loser and it’s interesting to watch people lose weight but now I would rather just watch HEAVY or Extreme Weight Loss in order to see the transformations all at once and not have Subway pushed down my throat.
America’s Got Talent is like the most contest reality show ever. You’d be amazed at how amazed Nick Cannon is at stuff.
The singing competition shows like The Voice seem to be the lowest common denominator on getting ratings. “We’re struggling, copy American Idol QUICK!”
NFL, Sunday Night Football
Notre Dame Football
French Open Tennis
Tour de France
Despite the fact that ABC is owned by Disney, which owns ESPN, or whatever, NBC really has a leg up on the sports competition. They’ve got Sunday Night Football, PGA golf, some tennis, the Triple Crown, and the Tour de France, all of which boost their ratings and keep people tuning in. They’ve also go the upcoming Super Bowl, which they’ll use to launch some shows and whatever.
But most important right now is The Olympics, which is going to probably save NBC from borrowing money from The CW. I’m excited for the Summer games, for sure.
The Golden Globes
Saturday Night Live
Jimmy Fallon, Carson Daly, Jay Leno
SNL is still on the air after almost 40 years, which is an amazing accomplishment. Variety/skit shows just aren’t supposed to last this long, but even through their down years they’ve managed to stay alive long enough for another string of funny comedians. I’m not sure what the future holds for this cast as more of the funny people leave the show, and it’s not the funniest thing I watch anymore, but it’s still got its moments.
I love my Dateline Mysteries.
Jay Leno has long been the least-funny person on late night shows, but nobody seems to care. Jimmy Fallon is very impressed with Jimmy Fallon.
NBC is in the shitcan with most of it’s programming. Their strongest lineup was the Thursday night lineup and a year from now you’ll see just how far away from funny that has gone from it’s prime. 30 Rock is leaving, The Office is probably next, and Community is going to die on Fridays. Will any of their new programming be funny or will it be like most of the crap they’ve put on in the last two years?
The dramas are terrible, but maybe Revolution could save the day.
Then again, maybe it’s the next Persons Unknown.
June 26, 2012 § 4 Comments
Not every highly-watchable show on television has to be scripted, or comedy, or drama, or on cable, or on network, or original, and especially doesn’t have to be “good.” Such as the Food Network cooking contest show “Sweet Genius,” which is neither scripted, original, nor particularly good. It’s just… hard to stop watching.
The other day there was absolutely nothing on TV to watch, my DVR’d programs seem old the instant that I record them, and sometimes it doesn’t feel like Netflix has added a new movie worth watching since the DVD was invented. So I just flipped the channel to the first show that I saw on the guide that simply didn’t offend my sensibilities: Chopped.
For those that don’t know, Chopped is a show on the Food Network that pits four contestants against each other in a battle royale of three cooking challenges in which crazy secret ingredients force the chefs into precarious corners from which they must escape with a tasty dish or face elimination. In other words: makey good food or get chopped. It’s not original (Hi, Iron Chef!) but it’s just entertaining enough for me to watch.
Chopped is something I consider to be “throw-away television.” This is how I categorize shows that are pleasant to watch but will give you almost nothing in return. Breaking Bad gives me something each time I watch it. The History Channel gives me something when I watch it. Wheel of Fortune, however, gives me nothing. Wheel is just a way to pleasantly kill 30 minutes of my time. I enjoy it, but I could definitely prosper without it. It’s the same with Chopped or Two and a Half Men or many shows on television.
So the other night I had watched Chopped and with nothing much else to do, I kept watching the next show on the Food Network and that show was Sweet Genius. The format is almost exactly the same as Chopped: Four contestants, three rounds, one person eliminated each round until the winner is declared a “Sweet Genius” and given $10,000 for making liver ice cream or some other God-awful creation.
Sweet Genius turned out to be so much more than that and it’s all thanks to the judge of the show, Ron Ben-Israel. Whereas Chopped is inconspicuously hosted by Ted Allen (yawn) and then three guest judges (yawn x3) the strength of Sweet Genius is that there is only one gay madman running the show. (Oooh, do I mean gay as in happy frolicking or gay is in gay? Intrigue!)
Well, I suppose I mean both.
Ben-Israel is an openly gay pastry chef and the show takes on those sensibilities with great pride, I’d say. The show is flashy, glittery, and subtly uses innuendo (“hot behind! hot behind! hot behind!” once yelled out on the show) throughout. I watched two episodes back-to-back and both episodes featured a contestant that was a homosexual male. Not something that is necessarily “taboo” but also not something that you see on most shows so frequently. Sure, being a male pastry chef will always pique curiosities, but not every male pastry chef is gay just like not every male hair stylist is gay. It just so happens (or maybe not just so happens) that both of the episodes featured a gay male contestant.
But the show also makes me gay… with happiness! What’s so watch-able about Sweet Genius?
First of all was the gay innuendos that are constant in the sixty minutes, prompting me to ask my roommate if this was real. It felt like I was watching something created by Sasha Baron Cohen for Bruno but that also had a strong hint of Zoolander. Every moment of the show felt like it was a scripted “reality” show and that the joke was on us, the viewers. It literally feels like a long SNL skit, except still funny.
Secondly, the fact that these contestants are asked to make three different desserts (Frozen, Baked, and Chocolate) but scramble to figure out how to incorporate flavors like squid ink and roasted peking duck into a tasty treat. One contestant actually became so flustered at the end that he simply plopped his whisk from the blender into an ice cream glass and figured, “Yeah, this looks good.”
By the time that the treat had gotten to Ben-Israel, the ice cream had melted and so he was left with a dish of melted ice cream that had a giant whisk sticking in the middle of it. Like, “Hey, here is a kitchen utensil right in the middle of your dessert making it impossible to eat. Enjoy!”
Thirdly, contestants are given “inspirations” that they must incorporate along with their flavors and desserts. It might be a turtle (which Ben-Israel bears a striking resemblance to), or a toy carousel, or a high heel… who knows what the future holds? Perhaps inspirations like lamp, Playstation 2, or the former Soviet Union. The possibilities are literally endless because it seems that they have no bearing on what qualifies as an “inspiration.”
But lastly and most importantly is Ben-Israel. Like I said before, he’s a gay madman. It doesn’t really matter that he’s gay, but it certainly adds to the charm of all the innuendos and the descriptions he gives of the flavors as he tastes the desserts. ”Fresh” “Sexy” and “Playful” being among my favorites. However, it’s the “madman” quality that really sets him apart into the next pantheon of memorable judges.
In real life, Ben-Israel is a world-renowned “cake artist” but as a host he seems like a kid in a candy store, getting to press the buttons, throw out the curveballs, and judge the contestants for their good and their bad. (Especially entertaining when its their bad, like the “disaster” for having a whisk inside of a bowl of melted ice cream. Though the taste of the ice cream was described as “Amazing.”) Another favorite is that he’ll tell you some good things about your dessert but you know a “however” is coming. Everything that comes after “however” could crush your soul.
Probably the top moment for me during those two episodes, and probably one of my television all-time highs, was when the secret ingredient for the chocolate round was roasted duck. One of the contestants basically ended up making a savory meat pie, but this is “Sweet Genius.” The point isn’t to make just anything with duck and chocolate, the point was to make a dessert and her chocolate duck pie was basically just duck pie. Ben-Israel describes the action and flavors…
I get what Ben-Israel is trying to say, that the flavors were overwhelmed with “duck,” but damn. I just about lost my mind when I heard him simply describe the duck pie as “ducky.” Please Ron, teach me how to Ducky. Despite the fact that the flavor was duck, the very last adjective I had expected to hear in describing the taste was “ducky” so therefore I experienced a laughter I haven’t felt on CBS, ABC, or most of NBC for years. Ben-Israel: a far superior comedienne to Whitney Cummings.
It got me thinking as to how Ben-Israel would describe other things, by simply naming what they are…
OF COURSE IT DOESNT HAVE TO RHYME, IT JUST HAS TO BE A THING!
I could go on like this for hours, just like I could watch this ridiculously entertaining show called Sweet Genius, but I won’t. I’ll just give a few and then spend the rest of the week thinking of other things that Ben-Isreal could describe in perfect detail by telling you what it actually is.
In the meantime, I’ll be watching Sweet Genius at whatever time it airs on the Food Network not because it’s so good, but because it’s deliciously bad for all the right reasons and I’ll have a gay old time doing so.
Stay sexy. Stay fresh. Ducky.
June 12, 2012 § 11 Comments
There was a time when ABC dominated my television watching and that time was called “TGIF” and I was just a stupid little kid. Frankly, there’s no bigger insult to the quality of your programming than “Kids love it!!”
Kids are idiots.
ABC is owned by Disney and therefore tries to remain as family-friendly as possible. Since families spend a lot of money and consist of more than just one lonely loser watching TV on his bed while eating a Lunchables, ABC consistently remains near the top of the charts. I’m going to present to you the shows on ABC and I am going to give a little bit of commentary but in the interest of full disclosure, I’ll tell you that I hardly watch anything on ABC anymore.
Since I grew up and the Tanner family moved on, and since we found out that LOST was all a dream that Hurley had after he died and that John Locke was God while Jack was my 5th Grade Teacher Mrs. Lomax, I have also moved on from ABC. There are a few shows that I like and I’ll praise the hell out of them, but I am certainly not ABC’s target audience.
Last time I looked at CBS, which I consider to be “The Old People’s Network,” so again, I’m not their demo. Today we look at ABC, which I consider “Television for Women” like a network version of Lifetime.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m not the demo and every network has their targeted demo except for the bi-polar NBC. There’s good television and then there’s just television.
ABC: Just Television.
Last Man Standing
Don’t Trust the B—– In Apartment 23
It took me a little while to get on the bandwagon for Modern Family, but I’m fully entrenched now. The show has taken some hits from the public since it became popular, many people saying that it’s not as good as it used to be, but I don’t really see a major difference. And even if I did, I wouldn’t care as long as Phil remained one of the funniest characters on television.
You know what the major difference is between ABC sitcoms and CBS sitcoms is though? I can give sitcoms on ABC my respect and a real chance because they don’t insult my intelligence with laugh tracks. ABC has borrowed from both the family-oriented sitcom world and from the “hip and new age” sitcoms like The Office and created a mashup that’s enjoyable for both kids and adults. I’m not a kid anymore, so don’t treat me like one. When I want to hear a laugh track, I’ll watch Full House for the one millionth time way before I’d watch a new episode of The Big Bang Theory.
I’ve seen a few episodes of The Middle and I think it’s mostly stupid and cliche but I can watch it because it doesn’t have a laugh track. Even despite the fact that the
mom from Malcolm in the Middle looks like she’s always wearing a wig, I can watch it. Even despite the fact that she’s in another show called “Middle”! (Hey I am an idiot, confusing Jane Kaczmarek for Patricia Heaton! Thanks ihavekids for pointing that out. Dumb error on my part.) because it doesn’t have a laugh track.
I can even give James Van Der Beek another chance based on the fact that the sitcoms don’t immediately insult me with canned laughter.
I don’t think that ABC has the world’s best sitcoms. Not even close. But I give all of these shows a solid rating between 5 and 7 and probably an 8 or 9 for Modern Family.
Body of Proof
Once Upon a Time
I can make this quick. I have seen a few episodes of Grey’s. I have heard from my friend that doesn’t watch a lot of television that it’s a good show. I kind of assume it’s because they do something like ER, which is soap opera the shit out of you and leave a cliffhanger at the end of every episode, but I don’t know. I couldn’t get over the fact that they were whining about drama like relationships while people were dying. At least in the episode that I watched.
I have never seen an episode of any of these other shows.
NEW AND UPCOMING SHOWS:
Trust Us With Your Life: “an upcoming American improvisational comedy television series expected to premiere on July 10, 2012, on ABC. It will be hosted by Fred Willard and star comedians Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie and Jonathan Mangum. Each week they will act out scenes in the life of guest celebrities.”
Read: I can get on board with that actually. Seems really non-threatening and welcomes back some of that Whose Line stuff we’ve been missing.
Final Witness: The seven-part series, which combines documentary and drama elements, will focus on a different real-life murder each week, narrated by the victim. Each episode will include interviews with the victim’s family and friends, real witnesses, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers, as well as scripted scenes with actors.
Read: I’m in. ABC, you’re two for two so far!
The Neighbors: The series, set in New Jersey, revolves around a gated townhouse community called “Hidden Hills.” This is where the Weavers, a normal average family, have decided to move to. But upon their relocation to this community they discover that this place is populated by residents who are actually from another planet, using names of sports athletes, where men can become pregnant, receive nourishment through their eyes and mind by reading books rather than eating, and cries out green goo from their ears.
Read: Well, ABC, it was a good run while it lasted. You should be proud of yourself for adding two shows this summer that I’ll watch. The Neighbors, which is created by the guy who wrote movies like Cars and Tangled, just sounds like… Well, I’ll be honest, it sounds like the dumbest thing you’ve done since Cavemen.
I could be wrong on this one but this sounds like a show that has gone too far with “creativity” when the best shows are much more simple than gimmicks. The best alien show ever is obviously ALF and how long was that even on the air for?
Nashville: It’s a show about country music and I’m already out!
Last Resort: A bunch of dudes in the NAVY get shipwrecked, left for dead, and declared enemies of their own country. They wind up on an island and try to figure out what happened and how to return home. Sounds like A-Team but without solving mysteries and junk, so what’s the point? The creator, Shawn Ryan, is best known for The Shield but my opinion is that if you’re going to make a drama-action show, don’t put it on a network. Take it to cable. Otherwise, you’re held back too much and for that reason… I’m out.
Malibu Country: There’s only one thing you need to know: the show stars Reba McEntire. When I was a little kid and Tremors was my favorite movie, I actually really like Reba McEntire. I thought she was this cool country lady and she could kill giant worms, so I was on board with her just like I’m on board with everyone that was in Tremors. But that allegiance wears off when we start talking about TV shows. Remember Reba? Hey, remember two seconds ago when I told you that ABC had a show about a female country music star in a show called Nashville? They’re really pushin’ it.
666 Park Avenue: An upscale Manhattan building complex is probably being controlled by the devil. The most important thing to know about this show if you’re going to try and watch it is that Terry O’Quinn from LOST is the shows primary antagonist. Which I assume means that John Locke is playing the devil. That might (MIGHT!) be enough reason to watch for a little while. Maybe. One episode.
Midseason additions are scheduled as: How To Live With Your Parents (For The Rest of Your Life), Red Widow, Zero Hour, and The Family Tools.
Why do any networks insist on having a show with a name as long as that? One word. That’s all you need to identify a show.
Who Gets a Second Season Prediction: Trust Us With Your Life, Nashville, Last Resort, 666 Park Avenue.
The American Music Awards, The Country Music Association Awards, The Billboard Music Awards, Miss America, The Academy Awards.
Well, they’ve got the Oscars which is the only one I consistently watch. So that’s a plus for ABC.
Coming from the network that had Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, you’d think they would have more game shows but the only real game show I see is Wipeout. Which by the way, is one of the best non-scripted shows on television. Such a simple format: people get F’d up by lots of foam and water. But it works so well. I could literally watch Wipeout every night and be fine. Turn off the brain and watch people wipe out.
Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The View.
I do not watch late night shows or daytime shows but I’ve seen plenty of both of these. I mean, it’s whatever. Kimmel is probably a lot better than it used to be, the clips I see on YouTube seem funny and he recently beat Jay Leno for the first time. Or maybe it was Letterman. But he’s come a very long way to niche himself into the market where ABC wasn’t before. Good for him. Seriously.
I can’t stand Barbara Walters. Probably one of the least likable people I’ve ever seen on television.
I don’t really even know how to tell the difference anymore between 20/20 and Dateline. I like them both.
Americas Funniest Home Videos
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette
Dancing With the Stars
Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition
Celebrity Wife Swap
The Glass House
AFV is still on TV?!?! Man. Back in the day, Americas Funniest Home Videos was a revelation. I mean, this was the pre-cursor to YouTube. Seriously. It was a really important show. But man, time has passed you by AFV and that guy that hosts it that is not Bob Saget. With YouTube and Tosh.O, you’re days are clearly over. Your videos, from what I’ve seen, are tame and terrible. It’s over. Please stop embarrassing yourself.
The only other show here that I watch is Shark Tank and I’ve become obsessed with Shark Tank. Since I stopped drinking, all I do on Friday nights is watch Shark Tank and What Would You Do? and I’m perfectly content and happy with that.
Speaking of which, I don’t see What Would You Do listed on Wikipedia but it’s part of Primetime ABC News. What Would You Do is an awesome show that I like to think of as “John Quinones Happy Fun Time Magic Hour” in which people are tricked into either doing the right thing or mocked for not doing anything to intervene. Basically, actors interfere with people’s lives by loudly pronouncing the awful things that they are doing like a mom telling her daughter “YOU’RE GETTING LIPOSUCTION!” not very privately in a restaurant.
Look, it’s not even so much that you’re telling your 15-year-old daughter to get plastic surgery as much as it is that you’re ruining my ham and cheese sandwich. Can’t you do this in the privacy of your own home? Don’t bring into the 30 minutes I get away from work every day. Just shut the heck up!
But it is entertaining television.
The Glass House is a new show that’s basically Big Brother and that’s why CBS is suing ABC in hopes of blocking the show from ever airing even if it costs 150 people their jobs and ABC loses the millions of dollars they invested into it. Sounds like CBS is being whiny but look deeper and you’ll see that they hired away many staffers from Big Brother and even used a copied manual from the show.
Well, I like Big Brother so I might watch a ripoff of it too.
NBA, College Football, The British Open, Wimbledon, IndyCar, Breeders Cup, NASCAR, WNBA, X Games.
I think that ABC used to be a leader in sports but even their partnership with ESPN under the Disney companies rule hasn’t helped them get back the NFL or better college football coverage.
In the hands of the viewer, ABC may not be ahead of CBS all the time but even with shows that I will never watch like The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars, ABC at least has some programming that I would rather not do without like Shark Tank and Modern Family.
ABC is a shell of its former self after losing one of the best dramas that has ever aired on network television and they (as well as every other network) have tried and consistently failed to find the next LOST. That won’t keep them from trying with shows like 666 Park Avenue, but that also won’t keep them from failing. Here’s a tip: If you don’t have talent like JJ Abrams, it won’t matter.
Their sitcoms are far superior to CBS but the dramas on either channel aren’t worth watching for me. I may not be the demo but when I heard that Desperate Housewives had it’s series finale recently, I had to wonder if I had traveled back in time five years and didn’t know it. “That show is STILL on the air?!”
Which is probably what I’ll say about Grey’s Anatomy in five years, long after it’s been relevant in popular media.
ABC: Not Always Relevant, Not Always Bad.
May 16, 2012 § 5 Comments
Over the course of I-don’t-know-how-long, I will be breaking down which network or cable channel currently has the best lineup of programming year-round. It would be too much to simply throw it at you at once, so I’ve broken it up and we’re starting with the primers.
These primers will help me and help you understand the shows that are currently on, as well as the shows that have been picked up for the fall and so on. It’s impossible to 100% accurately judge a show before it’s aired, but I’m going to do it anyway. I mean, did anyone honestly think that Whitney was going to be good? I think even Whitney herself saw those billboards and said “Oh God.”
We’re starting with a network that has almost nothing for you if you’re under the age of fifty. Okay, so I know that many of you just love The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, and I’m not discounting that fact, but CBS is a drama, sports, news, old person network.
CBS has six sitcoms and they are mostly shitty.
Two and A Half Men
How I Met Your Mother
The Big Bang Theory
Rules of Engagement
Mike & Molly
2 Broke Girls
Evaluation: Even if HIMYM and Bang were as funny as everyone tells me that they are, we live in a world where laugh tracks are about a decade behind when they were already outdated. The sad part about it, is that there is still something ingrained in popular America that people just don’t seem to think that something is funny if the show doesn’t blatantly tell them: “Hey, DID YOU NOT NOTICE HOW HILARIOUS THIS IS? LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE LAUGHING!”
Basically all of the great sitcoms on TV anymore do not use a laugh track, and I have no problem understanding my cue to laugh. Because laughing is a response to an emotion you feel, not something you do when you’re simply told to do so. If you’re at the store and you see an old lady slip on a banana peel, do you need to me to come up next your ear and go “HAHAHA, ITS OKAY TO LAUGH NOW!”?
Laugh tracks are terrible, awful, gross, and pathetic. No matter how good the writing is on these shows, it’s been covered in a veil of sorry laugh tracks and I can’t take them seriously. Again, even when CBS is good, it’s a channel for old people.
Two and A Half Men proved that they did the right thing by not paying Charlie Sheen because they still have huge ratings with Ashton Kutcher. Shouldn’t they just replace all of the characters with monkeys and pay them in bananas? Two and a Half Monkeys = Profit.
The Good Wife
Person of Interest
Uhhh.. I watched CSI about seven years ago when it had the dad from Fear and not Lawrence Fishburne but is he even still on the show? Maybe I don’t watch these shows but you know what? I have never heard anyone talk about these shows either. You know why? Because I’m not 60 and my friends aren’t that old either.
And yet, according to a Harris Poll, NCIS was voted as America’s favorite TV show. Ever? Really? Do you know who participates in Harris Polls? Really freakin’ old people! Not a single time in my life have I watched NCIS, and it’s been on for nine years, but I’ve never even seen a non-ironic tweet about the show either. You know why? OLD PEOPLE DON’T TWEET.
It’s not mainstream, it’s not popular, people don’t have NCIS parties. The only person I know who is on the show is Mark Harmon and only because I just read that article. The only person I know on NCIS: LA is LL Cool J because haha LL Cool J your career is ridiculous. NCIS has been on for nine years and has been nominated for two Emmy’s in it’s entire run (Stunt Coordination in 2008 and Guest Star Charles Durning in 2005) and not that awards are everything but it’s an indication that nobody gives a shit about NCIS or it’s spinoff.
I’ve heard that The Good Wife might be legit and The Mentalist has a really funny show title but that’s about it. The saddest part is losing the David Caruso meme after CSI: Miami was cancelled.
However, none of this will ever change because nearly 20 million old people watch shows like NCIS and CSI every week and CBS is happy with it’s number even if it’s not the “target demo” that networks really seek.
New and Upcoming Shows:
Partners - “Partners centers around Charlie (Krumholtz) and Louis (Urie), two business partners who are also old friends. Charlie is straight and Louis is gay. When Charlie decides to propose to his girlfriend, Louis’ over-the-top attempts to be a supportive friend could result in the breakup of his own relationship.”
Read: Gay guy and straight guy? Guess what: Partners is written/produced from the makers of Will & Grace! No way! Considering how many gay people are in/run Hollywood, you’d think other people would come up with shows with gay characters, but there aren’t many!
But then again… Sophia Bush…
Friend Me: “Pals from Indiana (Nicholas Braun and Superbad’s Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who move to Los Angeles to seek new jobs and have differing views about blending in.”
Read: McLovin’s movie career stalls, gets a TV pilot. The friends work at Groupon, and while the internet coupon company says that they aren’t involved with the show, you have to believe that there’s some effort here to give new life to the quickly failing/scamming company.
Vegas: “Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis star in “Vegas,” a show inspired by former Las Vegas Sheriff Ralph Lamb, a fourth-generation rancher who tries to bring order to sin city in the 1960s.”
Read: D-Quaid makes the inevitable move to television. Wasn’t there already a shitty show called Vegas on NBC? This is set in the sixties and is based on a true story or something but frankly “gritty” shows on network television are rarely gritty. If this was on cable, I’d be interested.
Elementary: “Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson in a modern-day take on the crime-fighting duo that’s set in New York.”
Read: I constantly hear Jonny Lee Miller referred to as “the guy from Eli Stone” but not to me. Come on. It’s the guy from Hackers! That’s what he is! And now he’s solving mysteries in a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, so maybe this will be as good as The Cosby Mysteries. Mystery shows belong on one channel: USA.
Made In Jersey: “Janet Montgomery as a lawyer at a high-powered New York law firm who draws on her background as a prosecutor in Trenton, New Jersey.”
Read: Street smarts in a “man’s world!” Hey, it’s working for Maria Bello on Prime Suspect, right? Oh, it didn’t? That got cancelled? Uh oh. On the bright side, hellllooo there Janet Montgomery!
Golden Boy: “about the rise of the youngest police commissioner in New York and the professional and personal costs he pays to achieve that rank.”
Read: Also known as: Doogie Howser, P.D. this show was originally set to star Ryan Phillippe but he pulled out and it’s now starring Theo James from Downton Abbey. I tried to watch Downton Abbey once but in the middle of the first episode I got the hankerin’ to watch the second half of Titanic and so far haven’t gotten back to D.A. but I will one day so that I know what everyone is talking about.
Who Gets a Second Season Predictions: Partners, Elementary, and Made in Jersey.
The Grammy Awards, The People’s Choice Awards, The Daytime Emmy Awards, The Tony Awards, The Academy of Country Music Awards. Nothing to see here. Oh Grammys? Yeah… I agree with Homer Simpson’s take on the Grammys.
Game Shows: The Price is Right. Sorry Drew, but I miss Bob.
Late Night: Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
CBS has the best late night lineup, but I haven’t watched late night talk shows since I was a teenager and I won’t watch them again until I retire.
News: 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, 48 Hours: Mystery, Crimetime Saturday.
As a lover of real crime shows and mysteries, 48 Hours Mystery is a good show but I pretty much always watch shows like that on Investigation Discovery. However, I applaud 48 Hours for these specials!
Reality: Big Brother, Survivor, The Amazing Race, Undercover Boss
Confession: BB is my guiltiest pleasure. I didn’t watch it for a long time but now when it’s on, I become a little obsessed. It’s a good way to pass the time, I think. I haven’t watched Survivor in years, but it’s still a decent reality show. Never watched much of Amazing Race. Undercover Boss seems like total bullshit to me. If there were cameras on me while I worked, I would do a really great job, too. I wouldn’t be writing this right now.
Upcoming reality series “3″ will follow three women as they search for love. I’m sure it’s totally “unscripted.”
Another new series from Survivor-creator Mark Burnett is “The Job” as contestants vie for a “dream job” at some of America’s “most prestigious” companies, because, you know, it really sucked when we had to earn things like that through interviews, resumes, college, etc.
Sports: NFL – the AFC Games, AFC Championship, Super Bowl every three years, SEC College Football, Formula One, NCAA Mens Basketball including the Tournament, The Masters and the PGA Championship, US Open Tennis.
As a sports lover, I appreciate any channel that covers the NFL, though I am not as big of a fan of the AFC. Having the Super Bowl is a major prize for any network. SEC is the most dominant division in college football. March Madness is huge. The Masters is probably the tournament in golf.
If you’re a sports fan, CBS has major win.
Do you think that CBS stands much of a chance in my TV Channel Tournament? Am I underselling them in anyway? Overselling them? Forgetting anything?
CBS has a win in the sports department, probably for reality shows, and for comedies and dramas that you want to watch when you really feel like shutting your brain off. Hey, that has a market. A big enough market to make CBS the most-watched network in America! Just not with very good programming.
March 23, 2012 § 12 Comments
Who Killed Rosie Larsen?
Who. Really. Gives. A. Shit. Anymore?
Oh right, I do; Because I am a completest and I have been suckered into the show and finding out how it truly ends, I just hope that it only lasts two seasons. Much like how Detective Sarah Linden should have never gone on that final call regarding Rosie, I should have never turned on that first episode of The Killing. If you’ve never seen the show and if you’re thinking about catching up before the April 1st season premiere of the second season, let me give you some advice: Don’t.
It’s funny what AMC seems to get away with these days in terms of dramatic television. Living off of the success of Mad Men and Breaking Bad (which are either the two best dramas on TV right now or the two best TV dramas of all-time) AMC has continued to churn out new dramas in the hopes that it can strike gold a third time. In my opinion, it has yet to do that.
In the last year and a half, AMC has debuted three new series with great anticipation from the audience: The Walking Dead, The Killing, and Hell on Wheels. AMC also debuted a show called Rubicon that was cancelled after one season and that I know nothing about, which tells you something else about how “Not everything on AMC is to be revered.”
For instance, The Walking Dead is incredibly popular, well-received, and is the “water cooler drama” of the moment, having just finished it’s second season after a long mid-season intermission. The season two finale was watched by nine million people, making it the most-watched basic cable drama telecast in history, which will assure that it stays on the air for awhile. How good is it really though? The Walking Dead has its moments but is incredibly flawed in story-telling, continuity, character development, and can go weeks without anything interesting happening. Why do I watch? Because I love zombies. That’s basically it. However, Dead has taken too long to get from point A to point B and the ultimate standoff between the protagonist and antagonist should have been established in season one. Look at the epic-ness of shows like Justified and Breaking Bad and you’ll see what I mean. I see what you’re trying to do Dead, so why not just do it already?
And this is still coming from a Walking Dead fan but are you going to make season three epic or are you going to drag this out for another two years?
Let’s be honest on level of epic-ness: Breaking Bad/Mad Men………………. BIG GAP…………………… The Walking Dead. Can anyone really disagree with that?
The other show that came out during that time was Hell On Wheels. The show had a lot of potential but I admit that I’ve still got the last four episodes on my DVR and they’ve been sitting there for months and I’ve never once heard anyone on Twitter or Facebook mention the show a single time. It’s just sort of… there. And it’ll be back for season two.
Back to the heart of this matter, now that I’ve given AMC the proper beat-down it needed on the other shows and talk about the really stupid show that was nominated for six Emmys. The Killing will be back next Sunday and kick-off season two in the hopes that it gives you less answers than the first year. There are a lot of reasons that you should not watch, but here are just five of them:
Mireille Enos was actually nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress at the Emmys and Best Actress in a Drama at the Golden Globes (the more sensible Globes didn’t nominate The Killing in any other category) and I only have one question: WHY?!
As Detective Sarah Linden, Enos plays a “take shit from nobody female cop that chews gum and shit and has hunches and is so much better than Detective Holder who is lazy and stupid and I’m the lead you got it cause as I said before I do not take shit from anyone did you think that just because I am a small woman that I am a pushover because you should know that I’m tough as nails and I don’t take shit from nobody.”
And the thing with The Killing is that there are very few good actors on the show so anyone that’s decent at acting should really stand out. Those people are: Brent Sexton (Stan Larsen), Michelle Forbes (Mitch Larsen), and Eric Laden (Jamie Wright.) I’ll give Joel Kinnamen credit because I had no clue that he was a full-blooded Swede, but that helps explain his stupid-sounding-thug accent. Unless Enos turns out to actually be a 4-foot-tall black man in real life, I am not really sure where the “Best Actress” nominations came from but she is far from the worst actor on the show:
“I’m not a pedophile but I did marry Chrissy from Growing Pains”
“Hi. I’m Regi.”
Councilman Darren Richmond (the WORST)
“Almost twenty years ago I was The Rocketeer. Let’s just say my career didn’t ‘Skyrocket’ after that!”
Watch a show like Mad Men, they can sit around and talk about baseball for an hour and you’ll be entranced at the talent and method of the craft of acting. Watch The Killing for an hour and if they don’t produce a dead body you might as well pray for the same fate as Rosie. It doesn’t help that the show is….
Really F’ing Cheesy
Well, I could make you watch any scene with Tom Drexler the investor
or we could just point out some of the best quotes of season one:
- Holder: So good little dead girl was a bad little web girl.
- Tom Drexler the Investor: People like me can do whatever the hell we want and do you know why? Because the Richmonds of the world will always clean up after us.
- Holder: Yeah, you’re a real role model. You teach her how to shotgun a beer?
- Tom Drexler: One shot and you get your five mil. Now you miss it, and you resign from the race. What do you say? Yes we can?
- Darren Richmond: Adams wants to play dirty, he best like the taste of mud.
- Mayor Adams: In no time at all, Darren’s come here and built himself a real rainbow coalition: blacks, fruits, whores, and drug addicts.
- Linden: You don’t seem like the type that shares your toys
- Linden: Cause you dress like Justin Bieber and eat pork rinds for dinner.
- Linden: In situations like this, I like to ask myself: what would Jesus do? Holder: Don’t know. I’ll ask him.
Disrespects My Home City, Seattle
Not because a young girl is murdered there, because young girls are murdered everywhere (and okay, Seattle has a certain reputation with serial killers) but by the obvious fact that everything the writers and producers of The Killing know about Seattle, they probably learned on TV and movies.
Fact: It actually doesn’t have torrential downpour every single minute of every single day. It rains a lot in Seattle, relatively, but did you know that the sun actually does appear every day in Washington? No joke! We are part of the earth! I know, crazy, right?
I live in Los Angeles now and down here we actually get much heavier rain than you’ll see in Seattle. Sure, it rains about ten times less often, but the hard rain is in LA and the consistent rain is in Seattle… but it’s not THAT consistent. We don’t need to walk around covered in tarps 24/7. We do things during the day as well. And the sun comes out.
“I’ll end up as security at the Space Needle” says Holder in one episode, in a way to note that “YES WE ARE INDEED IN SEATTLE. I MADE A SPACE NEEDLE REFERENCE.” I can honestly say that the only people who ever talk about or ask about the space needle are people that have never been to Seattle. I expect in this season at some point Linden will say “Let’s go arrest the perp, but first let’s throw fish at Pike’s Place Market.”
Finally, and this has always bugged me…. WE DON’T HAVE A DEL TACO IN SEATTLE SO WHERE THE FUCK DID YOU GET THAT IDEA HOLDER?
I’m glad to finally get that off my chest. Maybe it would be easier to accept all of this if I liked any of the characters but….
There Isn’t a Single Character To Root For
Watch a good show like The Wire or Breaking Bad or Mad Men and you’ll find yourself invested in characters that you shouldn’t root for, but you do anyway because they are amazing. A criminal like Omar, a liar and cheater like Don Draper, a psychotic chemistry teacher like Walter White… you love them for their faults and you hate them for their faults but God Damn It you LOVE them. Who the hell am I supposed to love or even like in The Killing?
The stupid ass mayor and his stupid ass aides? The teacher that married his student and has an inappropriate relationship with Rosie? The detectives that are kind of shitty at their job, one of whom is a recovering druggie that seems to have really good skills at picking up high school chicks when he need to and the other one that can’t keep her emotions in check when a murder investigation is ongoing? And don’t even get me started on her fiance that can’t understand why she needs to finish A MURDER INVESTIGATION OF A YOUNG GIRL.
The only person that I can even kind of root for is the father Stan Larsen (and not his wife who freaks out and gets mad at him for everything he does) and I think I mostly root for Stan because he kind of looks like Louis CK:
Also, how amazing would it have been if the show had cast Louis CK? How much more watchable would it be then, because Louie can actually do a really good “sad” even if his overall acting is a work in progress. Just imagine Louie in this world as a grieving father and looking around The Killing and calling everyone out for their bullshit. Amazing.
Too bad they didn’t though because I really don’t care what happens to any of these characters. I just want to find out with 100% certainty who the killer is but will that ever happen, because….
You Won’t Get Any Answers, You Only Get Red Herrings And Questions
The end of season one seemed to answer the question of who killed Rosie Larsen but also left it open so that the writers could change their minds if they wanted to. Ginia Bellafante of The New York Times defended the ending of season one, but is also a vehement defender of the show and believes it’s got a lot more positives that meet the eye. I don’t think so. I think we’re looking for answers but The Killing isn’t giving us any. At least three times during the season did it seem like we had a serious candidate for who the killer was and then the next week they tore it out of our hands.
This season on The Killing:
Linden: Bennet, we’ve got you on tape murdering Rosie Larsen and the DNA evidence proves it.
Bennet: But I didn’t do it!
Holder: You clearly did, we have all the evidence we need to put you away for life.
/Well that’s clearly it for Bennet…
The next week….
Seattle Chief of Police: We’ve got evidence that Bennet has a rock solid alibi.
Linden: But what about the video and the DNA?
Chief: The video was faked by the Coalition of People Against Muslims and the DNA was planted.
Holder: Damn son.
The writers feel like they can do anything and then get away with it the next week by writing something else that proves it was all a fake-out. That’s why Ginia is clearly going to be proven wrong on her assertion that “They did prove who the killer was in season one and they’ll just move onto the next crime.”
I am absolutely certain that The Killing will throw a wrench into the gears next Sunday and tell us that indeed the killer was setup and we’re going to have to keep looking for Rosie’s killer. Why? Because the show isn’t very good and it hates to give us answers when it knows that by giving us bullshit, they won’t lose viewers. Twin Peaks was seen as one of the greatest shows in TV history during it’s first season and was an absolute American obsession that year… until they wrapped up season one and went into season two with a new plight and was cancelled shortly thereafter. The Killing will drag this murder on for as long as it has to, trust me.
I feel like the viewer is Tom Cruise and The Killing is Jack Nicholson:
The Killing: You want answers?
The Viewer: I think I’m entitled to it.
The Killing: You want answers?
The Viewer: I WANT THE TRUTH!
The Killing: YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!
The Killing: Son, we live in a world that has television, and that television has to be created by men with families and responsibilities. Who’s gonna do it? You? You Kenneth Arthur? Writers have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep or Rosie Larsen, and you curse the writers. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That dragging out Rosie’s death, while tragic, probably keeps you tuned in another week. And our existence, while annoying and incomprehensible to you, gets viewers. You don’t want the answer to who killed Rosie because deep down in places you don’t talk about at the water cooler, you want me writing TV, you need me writing TV. We use words like red herring, Space Needle, and “Yo Linden!”. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent annoying the shit out of television viewers. You use them as a punchline for your TV reviews. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to viewers who rise and sleep under the blanket of cable television and then question the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said “Thank you” and bought the DVD box set. Otherwise, I suggest you write your own damn TV show and get a pilot sold. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.
The Viewer: Did Richmond murder Rosie?
The Killing: I did the job I….
The Viewer: DID RICHMOND MURDER ROSIE LARSEN?!?!
The Killing: WE HAVEN’T THOUGHT THAT FAR AHEAD!
And that’s pretty much exactly how I feel about it. The writers wrote a premise and they didn’t write an ending so that’s why you get a new red herring every week and open-ended questions about who really killed Rosie. Because those assholes that wrote the show didn’t even know. And yet I sit here every week, knowing that I’ll watch season two because damn it, I want the truth.
I can handle it.
Follow me on Twitter and I’ll tell you who really killed Rosie Larsen!