I wanted to take the time to promote a zombie web series put together by Josh Burnell (Gleeful and Idle Review podcasts). Please check out Zombiewood Pines here.
I have decided to cut back most of my TV watching this fall season. I just do not have enough time to keep up with the mediocrity that networks are pumping out these days. From Lost rip-offs to medical dramas there is so much garbage on right now, that it was incredibly easy to pare it down.
I started this process last year. This year I decided to go all out, and eliminate anything with more than a twenty episode season from my viewing schedule. I do have two hold-overs with long seasons, Glee and Supernatural, that I have already been watching so I will continue even though they are long seasons. I have concerns for Glee, since they are planning to do a 25 episode season. There is no way to keep up quality with that length of a season. I haven’t actually started Supernatural this season yet, and still have the finale from last season to watch, but I do plan on watching it eventually.
I did watch the first season of Fringe during the summer but, I really did not have the desire to watch another 23 episode season and commit to a long season this fall as well. Another show I picked up over the summer was Eureka, and it has been added to my TiVo season passes. I’m not sure when it comes back on, but I like that it is a lighter show and is only around 15 episodes on average. Also it is not overwrought with an intense overly complicated mystery that drowns out the characters and fun. Basically, I can accept a lighter show having a slightly longer season, 15 – 20 episodes, but serialized dramas with an intense mystery need to be shorter.
I am looking forward to The Walking Dead in a few weeks, I really hope it lives up to the expectations. The bar is going to be set very high for a show that is on the same network as Mad Men and Breaking Bad. AMC has definitely done it the correct way, by giving us shows that concentrate on characters and story, not an event or mystery. I tried watching the first episode of Rubicon but it was far too slow and uninteresting, so that may be the exception. Mad Men on the other hand, had its best season to date. The characters, except Betty, are compelling and complex, making the show a pleasure to watch.
The big four networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX) have no concept of how to produce shows with great characters anymore. There is not one thing on those networks that spark my interest at all. There may be a show or two that I am missing but I doubt it. I’m not a huge fan of the network comedies either but they are not as bad as the horrible dramas they put out. I’m not sure if these networks will survive to the next generation. The only shows getting serious ratings are watched by older people. Shows like Two and a Half Men, The CSI‘s and the Law and Orders have ratings, but I’ve never met anyone under 50 who watches any of those shows. What are they going to do to appeal to an audience that wants quality and won’t tune in just because it’s on a major network?
I’m not going to rant about the networks any more, they are digging their own graves without any help. Let me just run off a few other shows I am watching or will be watching once they come back.
Terriers I believe it’s on FX and is a great and gritty detective show
American Pickers is on History Channel and a definite to check out if you like Antiques Roadshow or Pawn Stars
American Chopper the show is much better than it has been in the past two season, a guilty pleasure.
LA Ink 100% guilty pleasure, I’ll put it on in the background or buzz through it
Eureka this show is probably nearing the end of its run but I suggest picking it up from the beginning
This isn’t a movie but it is maybe one of the creepiest TV shows ever aired and I had the pleasure of growing up with it. And older guy has a bunch of pageant type kids on his shows to sing, dance and tell jokes. This was on for a very long time and old people loved it. Somehow I just find it creepy. Here is a little clip of Al Alberts Showcase.
Here is what I currently feel about the finale of LOST last night: I thought the scenes between Jack and MiB were great intense classic LOST moments. Watching MiB finally “get to leave” the island, although not how he intended, was completely epic. The light cave has grown on me and I had no issues with that, unlike in “Across the Sea”. Now, the flash sideways is the real game changer. I think I loved it. To me it solidified that the real reason this show worked was not the mythology, but the characters and actors. Watching Vincent lay down with Jack was an absolutely perfect ending. I wasn’t thrilled with the connect the dots style explanation from Christian, but I can live with it.
On another front, I really don’t know how psyched I am for a rewatch. The show’s ending was so complete that I feel like I’ve lost a friend. I will go back and watch episodes here and there, like looking at old photos or videos of someone who’s no longer with you, but I don’t want to relive the experience. I just want to fondly remember a wonderful time in my life and use it going forward to stay positive and grow.
I started watching LOST from the begining like many people and quickly grew to love the show. By the second season I was looking for other ways to enjoy and experience the show which led me to find The Lost Podcast with Jay and Jack. Once I listened to their podcast I started to look for other podcasts and found: Fivehundy By Midnight, The Idle Review with Josh and Jen, The Dharmalars, Media Junkyard, Metrobuzz, The Scope…etc
This then led to involvement in social media like the Jay and Jack message boards and then Twitter. From Twitter I ended up going to Raliegh and meeting many of the people I communicated with on Twitter and sites like Yublog.org. This in and unto itself was a giant step for me. I was someone who was somewhat introverted and this opened a door for me to experience different people and views of the world. So to sum this up, thank you to LOST abs especially “Thank you” to the people in the LOST and associated communities who have accepted me as a part of it.
Flash Forward: I never came back to this one after the break. I would like to finish it up but I doubt that will happen. I really just didn’t care about the characters and fond the story meandering.
Bones: This is one I definitely want to catch up on. Last seasons finale really sucked but I did watch the first few eps of this season and enjoyed it. Bones was simply lost in a time crunch. I’ve watched it from the beginning and enjoy the characters although the lack of a major story arch may be why it was easy to forget.
Desperate Housewives: I enjoy campy television and this was good replacement for the original Melrose Place (not the abortion that’s on the CW) but it has run its course and I just can’t stand most of the characters anymore. More babies, break ups, all in all more of the same… yawn.
Supernatural: I kept up on this until March and is the first show, once Lost is over, that I will watch. I love the story, I care what happens to Sam and Dean, and it is just smartly written. Supernatural is one of may favorite shows of the last few years and Dean’s “Eye of the Tiger” performance was a classic TV moment.
There were other that I can’t remember offhand, which means they have no shot of being watched. Here’s a quick list of what I stayed up on:
American Chopper (yes I was the one still watching)
LA Ink (guilty)
American Idol (easy to ffwd through in 20 minutes)
Wow, that list is way shorter than I thought. Most are shows I don’t have to pay complete attention to or can FFWD through, so it was easy to have them in the background. I am looking forward to the return of Mad Men which is my favorite show not named LOST.
So what should I catch up on and what should I check out?
Last week Joe Stack flew a plane into an IRS office killing himself and one IRS employee. He did this in response to a tax dispute and left a long suicide note explaining his actions. This is text-book terrorism. He had a political agenda and used a suicide attack to force his beliefs to be taken seriously and as retribution for perceived wrongs. There has been a hesitation in some circles to call this terrorism, because in my opinion, it stains the current anti-government movements that many media members support. I in no way blame anyone other than the murderer himself but people need to realize that rhetoric can have consequences. We’ve strayed so far from civil debate at this point that I don’t see a way back to normal discourse.
For the past twenty years ,we as a nation, have allowed our political institutions to become like a kindergarten school yard full of cliques and childish behavior. We accept lying and extreme exaggeration as long as it backs our views. We watch stations like FOX and MSNBC that do nothing but stoke the fires of ignorance and add almost nothing to the political discourse. People like Limbaugh, Olberman, and Beck have thrived in this enviroment of stupidity. Rational commentators are almost never seen on TV anymore and it has become way to easy to pick the “news” that fits you beliefs instead allowing ourselves to be challenged by the truth.
The constant stream of bullshit has let the conspiracy theorists to run wild. If you believe 9/11 was an inside job there is news for you. If you think President Obama is an African Muslim Communist there is a news source for you. Joe Stack is a terrorist but he is also a symptom of our ignorance and lack of curiosity. Stop being afraid to hear things that challenge your beliefs. Stop seeking out shows that only express one point of view no matter the evidence. Most of all, America, grow the fuck up and expect more from politicians and news sources and don’t seek out what you want to hear. Seek out what you are afraid to hear.
Here are a few things I found ridiculous and embarrassing during this year.
The Jon and Kate Obsession:
Really, were these folks important enough to be reported on by legitimate news organizations? They had a bunch of kids, so what? Also, to expect a couple of people from central PA to be media savvy enough to deal with the paparazzo coverage and the gossip sites is just silly. Yes they came off poorly but that this story captivated so many is sad.
Tea Baggers… err I mean Partiers
There will always be people who inherently do not trust government, and no matter who is in power they will argue for less government. That however seems to be only a fraction of these folks. The vial racism that is displayed and not addressed by the politicians that attend these rallies is the most disturbing part to me. I can understand the lies that people like Palin, Beck and Armey throw out there, they just want to rile people up for their own gain. That is part of the system no matter how seedy it may be. I know there is know way to reason with this group, I just hope you don’t see anyone take their vitriol to the next level.
NBC and Jay Leno
Has it ever been more apparent that a company was looking to strip costs in order to be sold? They gave up the entire week at 10pm in order to save cash and ultimately be bought up by Comcast. What comes from the Comcast deal who knows, but I don’t hold out high hopes. I assume their best hopes for the Leno move were that a group of viewers who do not want to stay up late would tune in to see Jay at ten but that doesn’t seem to have materialized.
I saw the first movie with my wife and it was like watching a mediocre CW show on the big screen. Pathetic.
Roman Polanski Supporters
Plain and simple anyone who supported or signed a petition in support of this child rapist is a piece of shit.
The Beatification of Teddy Kennedy
Great, he was in The Senate forever. I just don’t get how you make up for being responsible for someone’s death and NEVER paying the price. Note: Not being able to rune for President is not paying a price.
That’s a few of the things that rubbed me the wrong way this year.
up next: Things that inspired me in 2009
I was just watching CNN and there was a promo for an interview with President Obama by Ed Henry. In the promo, one of the questions featured was about Sarah Palin’s book. I immediately stopped watching. Why should we care about what Obama thinks of this book? Everything is going so well in the nation that there is nothing else for Henry to ask about? It’s bad enough that FOX makes the news it reports and MSNBC has followed the FOX lead and lost it’s credibility as well but I was hopeful CNN was going to be the “real” news channel. Sadly inane questions, like the one Henry posed, do nothing to help the standing of the network. That was a question that an ET reporter and not a serious journalist would have asked. If this is the type of info the masses want, then leave the masses behind and target people who want honest thoughtful reporting and not tabloid schlock.