(So I’m joining up to help fill in the blog here on occasion, and this is a cross-post with my own small blog adventure: Wishray Fountain. *shameless plug*)
I’ve been watching this show, Lie to Me*, since it began, and I’ve got to say some things about it. These things are more than just the usual: you should be watching this, it’s good television, and the drama is engaging. Instead I want to talk about magic and chemistry.
By all rights this is a show that should flop. A lot of its scriptwriting is rather humdrum, some of the characters are cardboard cutouts, and it on occasion breaks down into a formulaic pile of dog poo. However, much like House, it goes beyond all that and you just end up liking it in the end.
I love House M.D. I’ve been watching it every week on the cables for several years now, and have just watched the last episode of season 5 (brilliant!) and the first half of season 6. Now, House M.D. is billed as a “Medical Mystery Show”, but it’s not. After season 3, it seems the writers had figured out for themselves how much it’s not either. I’ve said it before, but it’s still true: All stories are human stories. The mystery is almost incidental.
When we re-watched season 1 (re-runs in preparation for season 4), my mother remembered the “solution” to each of the cases. I usually didn’t. But that’s because in my mother’s mind, the important thing, and thus the core that she remembered was what the mystery, and its solution, were.
I didn’t remember the mysteries, because they were only catalysts for the important thing. The interaction between the cast of characters, and House’s personality. Seeing the ridiculous, often funny, often amusing, sometimes deep, that he’d throw at us, and at his “friends”.
In season 4 or 5, first Wilson and then Cuddy comment on the manner in which House works, how from a seemingly random thing that occurs he makes the connection. A deus ex machina of sorts. If this were truly a mystery show, then this would be horrible, as the solutions are such that are not only very remote and unlikely, but the kind that you as the (non-doctor, or even doctor) watcher could never figure out on yourself – which is the opposite of what mystery/suspense shows want – they always want to make you feel as if you’ve got a chance.
But this is all ok, because you don’t watch the show for the preposterous medical anomalies. You watch it for the people. It’s almost like Gilmore Girls in that sense!
So, do you watch House M.D.? What do you think of it?
This is going to be a shorter editorial style of entry, about the anime known as “A Certain Magical Index”, or “Toaru Majutsu no Index“. Well, it is more about how I watched it in a manner very much unlike my usual manner, which had resulted in my not finishing it, and enjoying it less. It’s not that this technique is “bad”, it’s just not the one for me.
You can see my progression of watching the show (or lack thereof) in the monthly Media Consumption posts.
So, before we get to how I’ve watched this series, let’s talk about how I usually like watching series. I like to blast my way through a series as if I were Kamina from Tengen Toppen Gurren Lagann. I sit myself down and watch a show, 8 hours, 12 hours straight. This usually “slays” most series, but sometimes it takes me two days to go through a series. Yes, this does mean that I don’t let my emotions nurture over time, but they do for me spring up quite forcefully, and I can remember and engage with the world the series is in as if I’m living inside it.
Well, this month had school, school, and some more school. Anime offerings were a bit sparse, but I made up for it elsewhere. I think this month I’ll make a separate post again for the monetary expenditures, heh. I think I’ll give some items here a bit more details.
This is one of the main sections of the Basterds, who are not really the main characters, if you ask me. It also makes you think (if you watch it in an inquisitive mindset), about who’re “The good guys”.
Back in 2007 I had several months of free time, and I decided to watch some of the unwatched DVDs that collected in our cabinet, courtesy of Amazon. I’ve watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, all 7 seasons of it, and the first season of Babylon 5. For those of you wondering, I watched 4-8 episodes a day, so it didn’t take that long.
So what I want to talk about here is “weight”, the weight of the shows. Now, what sort of weight is this? It’s a subjective feel that you have after the show ends. I am not sure if I can grasp what exactly I mean in a short amount of words, so I will make several passes around the concept, and hope that after that, you will know what I am speaking of, even if a definite definition will elude us.
So, some books, some movies, they are “meaty”. After you watch them, you sit there and keep thinking about it, you go and talk to your friends about it, you go online and post lengthy posts about it (;)). The point is, the media item in question has a lot going for it, and you can keep talking and thinking about it for quite some time.
This is sometimes not an attribute of the item in question, but rather how it touches upon something in you, the reader. Good media often touches on enough topics and in such a way that most people will have something to address in such a way.
Well, this is not a post just about the geekier comedies which I love, such as Genshiken (which may not exactly be a comedy, but a slice-of-life series) and The Big Bang Theory, but it’s true for all comedies, and many stand-up shows as well, certainly all those who deal with current events and politics.
I think intertextuality is what geeks thrive upon, and geeks who are into “geeky things” seem to respond and be proud of it, but having watched some comedies that deal with sports, I think it’s true for all geeks – all those who are nearly obsessed with a field respond well to shows that “reward” them for their knowledge, and which separates them from those who do not “get it”. Geeks do tend to take it one step further.
Think of Genshiken, with all of the anime and mangas referenced, and which those of us who watched with subtitles usually had helpful notes explaining what is being referred to. And then you have the self-proclaimed “Big Geeks”, who scoff at those who do not recognize all such references immediately, or TV-Shows such as Stargate where things from the first couple of seasons will show up in season 8 (and then think of conventions where there are minutiae quizes, to prove you’re the biggest fan).
Time is of the essence, or so they say, and time keeps running out. It is funny to say that time runs out, because as many of us know, or at least have been told, time is infinite, so how can it be that we never have enough?
Well, look at space, and what we are told of space and matter. If space is infinite, and the amount of matter is finite, then comparatively speaking, there’s no matter in the world. If you divide any number by infinity, you end up with a zero.
Likewise, the problem is not that time is infinite, but rather that we only have a finite amount of time, so we always have no time, because for us, the amount of time, figuratively speaking, is always zero.
Keep reading to see how it all makes sense, and why it is also seasonal!
There’s something I dread when I watch comedies, and it’s even more prevalent in certain black comedies where they are played seriously, dead-pan. I like to term it “Sympathetic Viewer Awkwardness”, which happens both when the character feels awkward, but much more commonly, when we feel awkward for the character.
Take for instance the American version of The Office, starring Steve Carell as Michael Scott, the boss at a small office where they sell paper. Michael will not miss an opportunity to be rude, racist, sexist, and offensive. His staff obviously pays him no mind, and don’t take him seriously. I do remember the scene where he asked every person in the office to talk as if they were someone from another “group”, and he drew the “Indian” card (India, not Native American), and then Kelly, the Indian worker, had walked in and had slapped him, since she thought he were mocking her.
The thing is, watching The Office is almost a physically painful experience for me, as I can’t help but go, “Oh gawd, he didn’t just do that, did he? He did!” and of course the show actually plays and gives social commentary, by showing you these ridiculously offensive things, and having a character who truly means well, he just really doesn’t know any better. If you watch the show with people who think Michael’s behaviour is legitimate, BTW, know that you are not in Kansas anymore ;) Read more…
Yes, this title is another example of my endless wit.
This series was aired on TV here with daily re-runs, 12 episodes, each about 26 minutes. It’s a drama that you shouldn’t watch unless you’re ready for vulgarities and a lot of naked.
Californication (IMDB, Wikipedia), follows writer Hank Moody, who’s falling into women… It’s not addressed as much, but from the way he’s drinking and how early it is, I’d hazard a guess that the character is also an alcoholic.
Hank is a writer. Hank used to write. Hank does not write any more.
Hank used to live with the woman he loves, with whom he has a daughter, who doesn’t live with him.
Hank used to live in NYC, but now he lives in California, which he loathes, though it is not entirely clear why.
Hank hates his life. Hank is not on a road of self-destruction, when we meet Hank, he’s already at the end. He tries to get back with Karen, but this obviously comes only after she gets engaged.
This show runs for about 26 minutes of episode material, and is a drama. This is something I’m not used to, short-form drama. Sure, there are moments I laugh at in most episodes, but I wouldn’t call it a comedy. I laugh because something is funny, not because the series is a comedy. And there’s some difference I’m having trouble formulating in words.
The series does not have that much characterization, the characters stay more or less the same, and what changes is their relationships, very slowly, or the scenery, such as the women Hank beds, like an assembly line of fucking and self-loathing. Heck, I did get some vibes of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas from the series, if not from the series itself, then Hank did have some Hunter S. Thompson poured into him, or Hemmingway, or another of those old drunk, miserable, coots.
Hank’s daughter, Becca, speaks in a dead-pan voice, and she fulfills the role of the greek choir (such as in Sophocles’ play, Antigone) at moments in the series. Narrating to us how Hank is doing, what his nature is, etc. This is somewhat touching and sad, as she is also his daughter, about 12 years old, and knows of how flawed her father is.
As sometimes happens in such a series, you’re left unsure who’s the parent. Good thing Becca lives with Karen.
Hank: Who said you have to be realistic?
Some other short points:
- The fake male orgasm never sounded or felt more fake. Seriously. No need to grunt when (fake) masturbating for the sake of the camera.
- This is not a story about redemption. This is not a story about falling. This is a story about the wallowing you do when you’re at the bottom.
- Episode 10 is fucked up. It’s written and feels as if everyone involved was high. The writers, the characters, us hapless watchers. It was weird.
Good acting by Madeline Zima, as a girl pining over an older man, whom Hank calls “Sociopath in training”.
I’m not really sure how to classify this series, or how to describe my feelings towards it. I’ve enjoyed watching it, overall. But it was kind of a morbid fascination watch. It’s somewhat well-made, and has some rough edges that I think are intentional.
Worth a watch. I will not try to grade this one, y’all.
Second season begins its daily re-runs tonight. Will share thoughts in 3 weeks or so, when it’s over.