Category Archives: television

I love bad advice….

Or rather, bad advice columns.

Wait, no. That’s not right. I actually think the advice columns are good, but the problems are crazy.

And therefore awesome.

There’s a rubbernecking, Victorian freak show quality to them. A feeling of moral superiority, laced with a tiny soupçon of guilt.

It’s in the same spectrum of entertainment as reality tv. What you’re thinking most of the time is “thank god that’s not me!”

And when that person does something that isn’t that crazy, a teeny, tiny voice says “OMG. I really, really hope that’s not me.”

It’s the rather neat trick of mixing both empathy and judgement, in differing quantities, depending on the situation. Because while most can comfort themselves with “I would never Botox myself like that”, everyone can relate to the fear of getting older.

The psychological and emotional benefits of a few years is wonderful, but the slow physical slide is less so. Ideally, during that slide, you’ve managed to work on accruing those psychological and emotional so that it just doesn’t bother you that much.

But if you haven’t…well…there you go, botoxed and spray tanned into Madame Tussaud territory. Money can’t buy emotional well being.

In all things, both physical and emotional, let’s always opt for more human and humane. Or it will be like this.

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So spoiled…

Like everyone else, I’ve been watching “Game of Thrones.”

And this last episode…

Ok, so everyone makes a big deal about spoilers, and I went and spoiled everything for myself early by reading all the Wikipedia summaries when Season One was still on.

I KNOW.

But…here’s my second shameful revelation…it’s because I couldn’t get through the book when I first tried reading it before the tv series debuted.

I KNOW. I’m disappointed in me too.

But now I’m going to at least do the spoilers the right way, and read the books, which I just started. And man…everyone was right! They’re really good!! Let me tell you everything that happens…

hahaha! Just kidding!

Incidentally, when looking for an image for this blog post, I started messing around with a standard Game Of Thrones image…and found out.

Using regular art filters create a nice, moody image. Like this…

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But using improperly themed image creating tools, creates a weird schizophrenic effect. And now I’m a teenage girl.

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There be giants!

So I recently finished watching “Attack on Titan” (now on Netflix).

OMG.

It’s really, really good. It’s about a vaguely Germanic world in which giants mysteriously appear one day and begin chowing down on humanity. The design of the show and action are fantastic, and there’s quite a bit of game/military strategy on display as well. The show is already a huge hit in Japan and slated for a live action film.

Now, I know that some people think anime is not their thing. I know. I used to be one of those people (hangs head in shame). But if you’ve ever enjoyed “The Transformers” or “Pacific Rim”, then I’m sorry. You do like anime; you just like bad anime. Try GOOD anime!

When watching the show. I was wondering why the giants looked so familiar to me. They have creepy, blank smiles, and despite their nudity, are about as asexual as possible. I don’t know people like that in real life.

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And then I realized that they reminded me of a picture I saw, years ago when I was reading a story about vegansexuals; vegans who will only sleep with other vegans.

So ironic!

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(That story here http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/14077)

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I’ve traveled to Israel and made an important discovery…

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December 20, 2013 · 8:11 am

The Peculiarities of Procedurals.

I have a weakness for procedural crime shows. They are comfortingly predictable; a murder happens at the beginning, and then a team of policemen and forensics experts solve the crime. The shows are more fantasy than mystery, because despite their inherent violence, they reassure viewers that the terrors of the world can be resolved in about 45 minutes.

But when the show isn’t set in a major city, the level of crime that occurs on a weekly basis becomes implausible. Years ago, this very complaint was made about “Murder She Wrote”, where eventually, the only possible explanation for the high number of murders in such a small town was that the sweet, crime solving mystery writer played by Angela Lansbury, was a serial killer.

So it is with the BBC’s “Inspector Lewis Mysteries”. It is set in Oxford, a city whose gothic spires and dramatic arches have housed a fantastic legacy of writers and artists. The alma mater of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Lewis Carroll, the dining hall at its Christchurch college was more recently used as the set for main dining hall of Hogwarts.

But according to “Inspector Lewis”, Oxford is also a place that is rife with murderous professors and psychopathic students. It’s a wonder that any parent would be okay sending their kids there; If the statistics of the show were true, Oxford would be the most dangerous university in the world.

While my university was in a much less idyllic setting, I don’t recall even one professor being arrested for murder, or even accused of a felony. Unless you consider being terminally boring a crime.

Which it is. But not one for which you can be arrested.

Of course it might be entertaining to find a mystery solving team to apprehend and punish someone who is accused of being terminally boring. What sentence is appropriate for the guy at the bar nattering on about his golf score? Perhaps he should be chained to the woman who won’t stop talking about her latest diet? Or is this cruel and unusual punishment for the both of them?

The answer to that last question can be the basis of the spinoff show “Petty Crime Lawyers: justice for banal, first world problems.”

I imagine the setting could be anywhere where the over privileged exist, making it perfect for multi national franchising.

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Having the flu, watching too much Netflix, and the holidays.

While some people like to do things such as shopping, listening to carols, and putting up decorations, I prefer to take a less showy way of celebrating the season. So, annually, without fail, I cozy up with the latest flu virus, spending days in a non-alcoholically inspired lethargic stupor, imbibing large quantities of hot liquids and zinc tablets.

I thought that since I have moved to a part of the country where it’s warm and sunny 99% of the time, the flu fairy would pass me by this time. But it did not. The only difference is, while housebound, I can see how sunny it is outside.

I mostly feel tired and stupid when I have the flu. Which means it’s a great time to clear through my Netflix queue of non challenging shows.

For this flu season, I chose “Supernatural.”

It has handsome men and monsters.

In fact, I think every other season or so, they add another random handsome man, to spark renewed interest or capture a different demographic. Sort of like how family sitcoms will add a new cute child to the mix once the other children outgrow their cuteness.

These are the types of patterns you notice when you consume entire seasons over a few days.

It probably isn’t fair to judge any show when it isn’t experienced the way the creators intended. Emotional payoffs designed to be meted out over the span of years, are experienced in three days instead. Flaws which are supposed to be Achilles’ heels, tripping up the main characters now and again, become acts of unconscionable stupidity and inexplicable amnesia (“Don’t you remember what happened five hours ago?!”) It’s like a supercut of someone hitting their head on a low ceiling. Even when you know the data was compiled over time, watching it all in five minutes makes the subject seem like a candidate for the Darwin Awards.

But it’s still fun. At least for seasons 1-5. The writers tie up a every loose end and resolve all peripheral characters by then, wrapping up the major story arc which started with the series. So when the series continues afterwards, it’s like watching a couple announce a divorce after years of fighting, and then just continue to lethargically live together.

However, as I said, handsome men and monsters. So there’s always that.

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In space, no one hear you cry…a lot.

So I’m late to the “Battlestar Galactica” caravan. But with the magic of Netflix, I can now watch all five seasons without commercials.

I generally like to do this, unblinking, on my couch, for hours, until the sun rises.

I recommend. Bring snacks.

A lot has already been written about this show; the superlative acting, the quality of the special effects, the intricacies of the plotting and character development. How the writers use the word “frack” to get around the censors, leading to terms like “motherfracker”*; a linguistic necessity that is profoundly irritating at first, but eventually normalizes. (However, never use the term out in public. Just don’t. You’re just making everyone uncomfortable.)

All of this is true.

What is also true is that there is more crying and suffering than a Spanish soap opera.

Granted, the characters have a lot to cry about. I mean, sure, most of them are attractive enough to actually be in a Spanish soap opera. But they’re forced to wear grungy clothes, under unflattering lighting!

Plus there’s that whole end of the world, last of humanity, being hunted by killer cyborgs thing to grapple with.

Anyway, if you’re one of those people who generally doesn’t like science fiction, but does enjoy watching attractive people suffer nobly, over many, many hours, give BSG** a shot.

Pretend it’s “Mad Men” without the clothes, historical context, or Don Draper.

*a coal miner with maternal instincts
**Battlestar Galactica. Yeah, I know the acronym doesn’t technically work,  it doesn’t matter. Use it for nerd credibility.

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