Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

It’s ok, you can let go…

May 23rd, 2012 Comments off

Two years ago I watched the last episode of LOST, having spent the previous year re-watching, tweeting, blogging and just about inhaling the series on an almost daily basis. I walked to my bed that night, satisfied with the ending. Not just satisfied, but joyful over the way it ended, and brought the story of LOST full circle with the closing of the same eye that opened the 6 years of enthralling television.

The show met me in the time of my life where I had many successes and lots of regrets. The stage of my life that I lived in the summer of 2009 was an uproar of my own making, a plane wreck if we want to speak metaphorically. I was trying to fix myself, I my life had become unmanageable because of an addiction, and at that time I was white knuckling the withdrawals and trying to fix myself. In a way, the reason LOST finale resonated so well with me, is between the end of season 5 and the beginning of season 6 I had reached the end of myself, and started seeking the help of a recovery community. There, in that community of messed up souls, I found a connection with fellow strugglers, that resonated many large themes of LOST. It very well may be that seeing LOST through the lens of that experience I’m reading my own struggle into that work of fiction, and I’ll admit it. Because face it, we all do that.

As a confessing Christian, I also viewed LOST through those glasses, and the themes of forgiveness, loyalty, redemption, sacrifice and community certainly made those facets of the show more vivid to me. The symbols of light and dark, water and fire triggered many things I’ve learned from the scriptures, and helped me to form a tighter understanding of my own faith.

I’ve used LOST scenes to teach some of tenets of recovery, the need to come to grips with our past, what ever happened, what I did, sort through them, then let them go. The reason the finale of LOST resonated with me, is I saw all of the characters I loved pass through that as they remembered the island and the important things that happened to them. Those characters and their shared experience (both the good times and the bad times) are what saved them. Not from the smoke monster and his quest to extinguish the light, but from themselves and their willingness to ignore the light.

When Hurley drank the water Jack offered as a rite, and became like Jack is, I knew the Island is in the best of hands. It will continue to be a place where messed up people like me can find other people to hold on to, to struggle with, and to over come. We all need a place like the island, a place where we can be together.

I can let go of lots of things in my life, I need to let go of a lot more, but the lessons I learned through LOST about love, life, forgiveness and endurance… Those, I’ll hold onto.

Categories: Faith, Television Tags: ,

Glee! – serious readers only.

September 29th, 2010 1 comment

My wife mentioned to me last night that I had left off a major part of my weekly (24+ hours)  television viewing.  I forgot to put Glee in my dietary catalog of shows.  So I should at least cover that oversight.

I’d put Glee as part in the Junk Food/Good Fats category.  It’s very much like that irresistible Hostess Fruit pie, I know the “real fruit” advertising on the packaging is stretching the truth, and the pie crust isn’t, but one I have a bite I omnomnom the whole thing with a smile on my face.  Such is Glee.

Why do I watch it?  1) It’s a show my whole family enjoys, the songs we play on our iPods, sing in the car, connect with the characters, so if I didn’t watch it, I’d be missing some great relational times with my kids. 2) It’s funny quirky, a life without Brittany S. Pierce wry observations or without Sue Sylvester’s put downs or unique takes on American history.  3) It’s just plain fun to watch.

So given that, I enjoyed last nights Britney/Brittany episode.  The intertoobs are taking Glee to task for a lame plot last night.  It’s not that I disagree, it’s just I don’t flip on Glee and open my notebook filled with character sketches and plot arcs and expect a full night of note taking.  Glee can bring the drama, and the plots, when it wants too (see Kurt’s arc last season with his Dad) but it can often stumble in deftly handling the awkward teenage plot lines as well.  Does that make it less of a television show?

People, people, … please ( ripped out of the Amanda Show)

1) the ensemble cast and creative characters all have roles to play, and the plots of their characters have to mesh.

2) they have to bring the sing-a-long music that makes the kids happy, and the parent’s remember the first time they heard Don’t Stop Believing

3) they MUST bring the one-liners and comedy.

That is something that Glee does consistently, and to keep those three plates spinning means sometimes one of the three wobble from time and again.  Some of the characters I don’t connect with, I want to see more Tina and Brittany than Quinn and Emma.  More Puck and Arnie than Finn and will… I cheer for underdogs (see my twitstream for my regrets to Lone Star’s cancellation).

That said, it’s good that people have some strong emotions about Glee (both good and bad) because it’s a show that fun to talk about, whether you hate it or enjoy it.  Kind of like that Hostess Fruit Pie.

Categories: Television Tags:

A balanced diet is important … when watching TV

September 25th, 2010 3 comments

This past week was the official start of the season for new shows, and with this week out of the way, I can focus a post on what I’m watching and why.  I’ll be mixing in new shows with old standbys, and also some must see shows that aren’t on the traditional schedule.  Just to be creative, which I’m not, I’m putting them into food groups, to help with people that might be watching TV unhealthily, relying on too much junk food to get you through the week.

Junk Food – guilty pleasures

Hellcats – Fun and light show, that, as Damon Lindelof tweeted, is surprisingly not about Hell or Cats.  This cheerleader drama should be right up my teenaged daughters alley, but alas, they’re not interested.  So I’ll keep up with the show to bring them up to speed on the haps of Sharpay (Ashlee Tisdale) and Aly.  In my house the TV spends a lot time on Nick and Disney, and it seems that TheCW is trying to pull those younger viewers in by grabbing the ex The Suite Life and Phil of the future stars.  It’s a teen soap, sure, but it’s on TheCW so won’t be early on the cancel list.

The Big Bang Theory – Used to be a Monday night standard, but shifting it to Thursday (probably a good move, since Monday is being onslaught with new shows) for me makes it a Friday night watch.  Love the characters and the geek humor.  One sad aside from the premiere episode is there seems to be a trend at putting really inappropriate sexual innuendos on at 7PM by CBS, which makes watching this show with my young sons very much awk.ward.  Or maybe I’m getting to be too old and cranky, but speaking of …

How I Met Your Mother – This show about some dude in 2030 telling his teenage kids a long-winded tale about how he met their mother, has always had a bit of the innuendo.  Barney Stinson being the main culprit, which is awesome, of course.  But this first episode was a bit over the top, 7PM Central is a bit early to get the ‘tent in the shorts’ jokes.  I might not have noticed it as much in the past as I time-shifted the show til after the kids went to bed.  I love this show, but it might have to go back to the time-shifted DVR slot for. the. sake. of the children.

Protein – Good meaty dramas

Rubicon – This AMC drama is about 9 episodes into it’s run, sharing Sunday night AMC slow with Mad Men, and it’s gaining strength as the show is connecting many of the crumbs that got dropped early.  The slow place makes it intriguing to watch, not much action, but lots of ‘where are they taking this’ questions get answered in unexpected ways.  I’d recommend going back and finding some good recaps before diving in, or finding the episodes to watch, since this is certainly not a procedural.  I love the mind twisting goodness, and the characters are getting fleshed out, as slowly as the plot.  A show that makes you think, I love that.

Mad Men – THE reason to turn on the TV on Sunday nights for me (not that it’s ever off very long) is to figure out how Don Draper is coping with his life.  The last few episodes either has Don bouncing off his whiskey soaked bottom, or a false bounce with the promise of a deeper crash coming.  Last week, Don lost his anchor, as Miss Blankenship passed on, and daughter Sally has a rebellious streak that we all know Betty won’t be able to handle.  So Don’s new sobriety is tenuously handing on the ledge of Cooper, Sterling, Draper & Pryce’s window ledge, lets see how he handles it.

Terriers – It’s set in Ocean City (small beach suburb of San Diego) and has nothing to do with a canine club full of pedigreed terriers.  Instead it’s following the gritty lives of an ex-cop Hank, played wonderfully by Donal Logue (Life), and his partner Britt, as they start a fledgling Private Investigation business.  They are both all sorts of messed up, but another slow-burn season long arc is unwinding as their partnership begins to jell. It’s on the FX, so some episodes (like this last one) can get the parental warning sign, so keep this one on your DVR and enjoy it after the kids hit the hay.

Castle – This is just a delightful show, I love love love Nathan Fillion and it’s great to see him get a good breakout show.  That said, it’s good because of the rest of the cast, a core family for Rick, and a caring group of cops that keeps Castle grounded as he researches his next novel.  Simmering relationship drama is still fresh and doesn’t feel teased and overdone yet (see Bones).  It’s a procedural, but so much fun that it’s on my must see list.

Grey’s Anatomy – This is weekly date night TV for me. If there is only one show I’ll actually watch on my very busy Thursday night, it’s Grey’s, with my wife, and enjoy it every week.  Characters are still fun and engaging, and the stories are consistently solid.  Good stuff to watch with my favorite person in the world.

The rest are below the fold.

Read more…


September 12th, 2010 Comments off

A man wiser than me once told me when I asked, “Why do you run?”

I run because, frankly, I love to eat food.

Which is probably as good as a reason as anything else.   In the past 42 years, I’ve eaten a lot, and if I was honest, I recognize that I’ve avoided pretty much anything that would balance the scales to make my lifestyle anywhere close to healthy.

If you’ve followed my social media streams, you may have noticed that I’ve made a turn this past May and started incorporating regular exercise in my weekly routine, for one reason to help in my goal to lose weight, and the other is because, frankly, I love to eat food.

This morning at church, our pastor (interim) encouraged us again to study the bible.  I’m a sunday school teacher, so I do that, each week.  But if I’m honest with myself, it’s not really studying.  It’s more like saying, I walk from the car to the elevator, and calling that exercise.  The phrase about running, because he loves food echoed in my thoughts, and I had an epiphany.

I love television, perhaps too much, perhaps in the same way I love food.  Loving food isn’t wrong per se, but when my love of food is out of balance it becomes unhealthy.  Same with consuming popular culture, out of balance and it becomes spiritually unhealthy.  I need to give myself some balance.

Sort of like my weight loss plans, I cut down on the intake, making better food choices, and incorporated exercise that allows me to still enjoy eating food, and also delivers the exertion that my physical body needs.  So in my spiritual diet, I need to cut back on my popular culture intake, make better choices as to how I consume television, and have something spiritual to offset the dose of popular culture and provide my spirit a connection with the Almighty that is needs.

So in that endeavor, I’m going to get back in to a regular bible reading plan.  As a way of using the social media that has been helpful in my physical life style improvement, I plan on blogging about what I read. I don’t promise a daily epiphany, or even any words of wisdom, more just a bit of my thoughts and the scriptures I peruse.  Again the purpose here is accountability to myself, not preaching to you, my readership.  If these posts don’t satisfy, just skip them, just like you might my exercise and weigh-in updates.

Categories: Faith, Life, Television Tags:

LOST Answers Serenity Prayer

May 14th, 2010 Comments off

I understand, I do.  You want answers, and you think that you’re not getting them.  You’ve waited all this time, and you think your entitled.  But let me put a chink into the denial that is camouflaging your LOST answers addiction.  The answers you want (or that I want) don’t matter to the majority of the main characters. 

Like who got shot in the canoe, our LOSTies flashed in and out of the time frame so fast, they had no idea who was shooting at them, or who they shot.  So, while it would be cool to pull a LOSTie loop and have Juliet gun down Sawyer, it just isn’t important to the remaining LOSTies who was in the canoe.  Chalk it up to Widmore goons and be done with it, for you own good.

While you let the denial fade over your answers addiction, here is a modified Serenity prayer just for you.

Damon and Carlton (or your own higher power) grant me the Serenity
to accept the answers that you have written
the courage to develop some answers of my own
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Watching one episode at a time
Enjoying on scene at a time
Accepting character arcs as their pathway to peace
Taking, as all fans have, this wonderful show
as it is, not as I would have it
Trusting that the show will be incredible
if I surrender to it’s awesomeness
That I may be reasonably happy in this season
and supremely happy with rewatches of the DVDs
forever in the future.


Shamelessly reimagined from this

originally posted at LOSTblog

Categories: Life, Television Tags: ,

Pre-Hash: Everybody Loves Hurley

April 13th, 2010 Comments off

Woo! It’s Hugo’s day to shine.  He’s had a lot of background scenes this season, playing Jacob’s lackey and has been part of both Jack’s and Richard’s epiphanies, so hopefully we’ll get a lot more motion along these lines in the island timeline.  The purpose of these prehash post, though is to go back and remember earlier times, to help make the sideways differences pop a bit more visibly. So I’m pushing the way back button, and scrolling to season one and hitting The Numbers, perusing Exodus (focusing on pt 3) and then Season Two’s epic Everyone Hates Hurley as well as Dave. 

Hugo “Hurley” Reyes, lives with his mother Carmen, who desperately wants Hugo (she never calls him Hurley – always Hugo) to get a life, more importantly a lady.  Hugo, however, wants to sit at home, channel surf and have a bucket of Mr. Cluck’s Fried Chicken, while hoping that he might have a bit of privacy.  This all changes when the numbers that he learned while at the Santa Rosa Mental Health from a patient named Lenny. 

See Hugo, at some point was the 23rd person to walk on a desk that was built to hold 8 people.  It collapsed, and Hugo was sure that it was because of his excess weight.  Hugo was fat because he’d been using food to comfort himself ever since his father, David, left for Las Vegas 17 years earlier, last thing he gave little Hugo was a Nestle Crunch bad that Carmen forbade.

All that tragedy landed Hugo in the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute, under the care of Dr. Brooks. In Santa Rosa, Hugo’s constant companion was a man named Dave (there are a few other David’s in the LOST-verse, Jack’s sideways son, Libby’s dead husband, as well as Hugo’s absent father).  The only problem is that Dave wasn’t real, consider Dave as more of a balding Harvey, a pooka. Once Hugo, under the guidance of Dr. Brooks, determined that Dave wasn’t real, he made a real breakthrough, was released from the hospital, moved in with his mother, and got a job at Mr Cluck’s Chicken Shack.

It’s after this that we reconnect with Hugo, he’s watching the TV while enjoying a Mr. Cluck’s bucket of chicken when the lottery comes on and reads the number’s that were burned into his brain by Lenny.  Hugo is a bit afraid of the change, and doesn’t tell anyone for a couple of days.  The knowledge of his financial security does change his outlook, as he realizes that he no longer needs to work for that douche Randy, and quits his job.  In a fit of solidarity, Hugo’s friend Johnny also quits the Mr. Cluck’s gig, and they start on a LOST version of Hugo Reyes’ Day Off.  First stop, record shop, where Hugo tries on some new headphones, and tries on asking Starla the shop assistant out on date to a Hold Steady concert.  Next stop is collecting garden gnomes to then arrange on Randy Nation’s lawn spelling out “CLUCK YOU!” They stop to refill the van at a convenience store, but that where the story changes.  The clerk (who’s also dressed up in the Mr. Cluck’s chicken costume in Hurley’s dream in the swan hatch’s storage room) recognizes Hugo as the big lottery winner.

Winning the lottery is where Hugo’s life changes again.  He has a press conference where he introduced his whole family, including his grandfather Tito.  Sad part is that Tito drops dead from a heart attack.  Hugo’s brother’s girlfriend leaves him for another woman.  The priest residing over Tito’s funeral gets struck by lightning. Weird.  Hugo buys his mother a house, and while surprising her with the new purchase some things happen 1) Carmen doesn’t surprises. 2) Carmen twists her ankle. 3) The house catches on fire. 4) Hugo gets arrested on suspicion of being a drug dealer. (Sure — it had nothing to do with the bright yellow Hummer, loud music and red bandana he’d given his mom to blindfold herself.)

All this misfortune has Hugo thinking the numbers are cursed.  His financial advisor, Ken, doesn’t think so, after all, Hugo is now the owner of a box company in Tustin.  His sneaker company in Canada was over-insured, so even though the fire destroyed his operation (and killed 8 people) he still netted a windfall of more cash.  Surely, Hugo isn’t cursed (cue man falling past Ken’s window.)

Hugo buy’s Mr. Clucks in an attempt to change his luck, only to have a meteorite destroy the franchise and kill Tricia Tanaka.  Hugo’s ready to get rid of the numbers’ curse.  His father, David, returning to his life is the last straw.  Hugo heads to Austrailia to purge the numbers from his life, he needs to visit Sam Toomey, Lenny’s partner and find out what’s up.  Well, Sam’s dead, but Hugo gets to visit with Martha, Sam’s one-legged widow.  Sam killed himself because he thought the numbers were cursed.  Martha saw things differently, and thought, despite her loosing her leg in a freak accident after Sam used the money to win a count the beans in the jar contest, that Sam was the luckiest man alive.

The last part of Hugo pre-crash, is the series of unfortunate events that almost had him missing the Oceanic flight and missing his mother’s birthday party.  First his alarm doesn’t go off, because the socket shorted out (with a black smoke scorched wall).  He has to take the stairs because the elevator is stuffed.  His car engine coughs, stutters and dies and he has to walk to the terminal.  He has to buy a second seat to get on the plane. Is late but can’t cut through the excessively long security line.  He pays an old dude to steal use his electric cart, and arrives at the gate to have the airway door close in his face.  Luckily, Hugo uses his charm to convince the gate agent to open the gate and let him on the plane.

Lucky Hurley.

See Hurley thinks he’s unlucky, but really, he is one of the luckiest people in the world.  Hurley is also one of the worst liars, he simply sucks at it.  Hugo also thought it was unlucky, unfortunate, that he has an uncanny super power of being able to talk to the dead.  That is until he was touched by Jacob in a cab, and told that talking to the dead is an incredible gift.  It certainly has come in handy in Season 6, as Hurley has been a translator to the spiritual guides that helped Jack come to grips with his past, and Richard to entrust the true love of his long dead wife.

What do you think will happen tonight? Are you psyched? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.


Hail of bullet points from rewatching:

  • Hugo’s grandpa Tito, worked for 52 years.
  • Hugo’s Mom doesn’t like surprises.
  • 8 people died in the in fire in his Canadian shoe factory. 
  • Hurley is spry.
  • Lenny loves playing Connect 4 while chanting the numbers.
  • Lenny’s comments after Hurley told him he played the numbers: You used those numbers play the lottery?  You shouldn’t have done that, you’ve opened the box! Shouldn’t have used the numbers, it doesn’t stop. You have to get away from those numbers! It doesn’t stop.
  • When they come upon a rickety bridge on the way to Rousseau’s to find batteries for the Raft. Jack: Never mentioned anything about a bridge.  Sayid: I’ve never saw this before.  Lucky Hurley made it across, little Charlie didn’t. 
  • Hugo is often used as a greek chorus speaking for the audience, and to the audience, cluing us into the narrative of the story.  Except when the show features Hurley’s story, he’s much less in that role, and it switches often to Sawyer, Miles or Charlie.
  • Hugo brought hope to the castaways when he found the old Dharma van, and with the help of Sawyer, Jin and Charlie got it running again.  Key line while convincing Charlie to join him: Look, I don’t know about you, but things have really sucked for me lately and I could use a victory. So let’s get one, dude. Let’s get this car started. Let’s look death in the face and say, "whatever, man." Let’s make our own luck. What do you say?

LOST – A story of addiction recovery?

January 22nd, 2010 Comments off

Last night Jeff “Doc” Jensen published his long teased theory of LOST as a reflection of a recovery program in his article: ‘LOST’: A Shot at Redemption. It is a wonderful article, and the theme of redemption and recovery resonates with me partly because of where/when this build up to its ultimate season occurred and how it has affected me personally.

Before you read any further, this is not a humorous look at “LOST addiction.” My hope is to start a very real discussion of real life addiction, and how recovery programs have made a difference, not only in my life, but in a great many others too.

Read more…

Categories: Life, Television Tags: , ,

LOST Fans … exciting things are brewing.

January 13th, 2010 1 comment

and I don’t mean a pot of coffee (well that’s not the ONLY thing, because, well… coffee! yum!)

I might be announcing something in the next few days, that will most likely leach any additional hits from this site…

that’s all I can say for now, stay tuned.

don’t forget #LOST #WFTB tonight 9pm for #S5E12 Dead is Dead

Categories: Television Tags: , ,

LOST WFTB Tweetcap S5E11 Whatever Happened Happened

January 12th, 2010 Comments off

Enjoy reading the tweets.

Categories: Television Tags: ,

I submitted this somewhere… and now I crave feedback!

January 11th, 2010 Comments off

In my quest to put food on the table, I’m gonna try to get a paying gig, because this internet petition thing isn’t paying too well, nor is the blog with no google ads thing.  So I’m trying out for a reality TV gig.  This is what I posted.

The CBS franchise Survivor, is launching its 20th season with a spanking new concept. Bring back popular Reality TV stars and split them up into teams and let them try to Outwit, Outplay and Outlast each other for a million bucks. Okay, maybe it’s not that new, given Survivor All-stars, and Survivor Fans vs. Favorites and recurring roles for popular players that got burned playing the game the previous season. Aside from all that, this is a BRAND NEW CONCEPT! See they’ve split the teams into two teams, one playing for the side of good (insert dah-dah-daaaw trumpet sound), and the other for the side of evil. (insert maniacal Dr. Evil laugh).

Only how to categorize the players in a game that known best for its backsides and blindside and other dirty play. How can you get 8 heroes? Last night CBS revealed the cast of the much anticipated new season, that promises (again) to be the most exciting season of Survivor. Ever. Period. Exclamation Point.

Heroes: Rupert Boneham, James Clement, Colby Donaldson, Cirie Fields, Amanda Kimmell, Jessica “Sugar” Kiper, Stephenie LaGrossa, James “J.T.” Thomas, Tom Westman, Candice Woodcock

Villians: Tyson Apostol, Randy Bailey, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Danielle DiLorenzo, Russell Hantz, Jerri Manthey, “Boston” Rob Mariano, Parvati Shallow, “Coach” Benjamin Wade, Courtney Yates

While "generally" the categories hold based on perhaps viewer feedback, but this is basically a producer school-yard. How else to explain branding devious Sugar, who was all smiles when not bawling her eyes out, then blindsiding Randy and delighting the fans a Hero. While aggressive Boston Rob a perennial favorite with fans, and a respected player is branded a Villain. Sure Randy is hated almost as much as "Coach" Wade, and Rupert is LOVED by all along with James all of them got blindsided thinking that they were adored by their peers.

In other words, neither the Heroes tag nor the Villains tag is really self-descriptive. How long until the Merge? Will they be Hillians? or Veros?

Categories: Television Tags: , ,