Friday, October 30, 2009

I have the best job ever.

No, really, I do.  I have the Gold Standard of jobs.  My boss is not evil.  He does not yell, even when I mess up spectacularly (which I've only done once but man, that could have been bad).  He's legitimately nice.  He cc's me on everything, even the stuff I don't need to know, just so I can read and learn.  He's fantastic.  He doesn't make me stay until 10 at night.  He doesn't make me come in at the asscrack of dawn.  But you know why I felt the need to wax poetic about him?

We just spent about an hour watching funny YouTube videos.  I kid you not.  We ended our run with this gem:

Aren't you jealous?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall TV Round Up 3 - FlashForward


I wanted so badly to like this show, but I can't get over the super sloppy storytelling. There are big, gigantic plot holes, the characters are as two-dimensional as a cardboard cutout, and what is up with John Cho's hair? Was it an unspoken victim of the blackouts too?

First problem? Really bad CGI/special effects in the first episode. Must have been amateur hour at ABC. SyFylis has had better CGI in their made-for-TV movies! You'd think that such a high concept show would at least rate a decent FXs budget. Or the producers would go "That kangaroo really is unnecessary, let's cut that." (Animals and children are the fastest way to jack your budget up since you pay for: the animal/child, the handler/parent, the PETA rep/tutor, have limited shooting hours and dubious cooperation. At the very least.)  Or someone would point out that perhaps a world-wide blackout, and showing the fallout from that, may be a little more than you can handle.

But I can forgive bad CGI, particularly when it doesn't seem to be an ongoing thing. What I can't forgive are the plot holes I could fly an Antonov AN-225 Mriya through it.  (You know that that is, right?  The Russian plane that transports their space shuttle?  It's bigger than our Shuttle Carrier Aircraft which is a modified 747...)  My biggest irritation stems from the fact that in the FlashForward universe there appears to be no Google, Yahoo!, Dogpile, or any other internet search engine.  Even without blackouts, I can type "Crow deaths" into Google and see if something's up.  Or find any number of sites dedicated to unexplained phenomenons and how they might interrelate.  We like to call these conspiracy theories, but  it seems FlashForward's conspiracy theorists went the way of Google in this one.  But come on.  You think that if the entire world blacks out for a few minutes the crazies aren't going to be all over that??  Someone needs to re-watch the X-Files.

I suppose if Google did exist, it would take away the completely contrived situation in which Joseph Finnes gets to pardon a convicted Nazi war criminal.  Because no one else in the maximum security German prison looked out their windows and noticed all the birds were dead.  Or, you know, anyone else in the world.  To the writers I say this: NO.  Please to not be freeing Nazis as a cheap way to show your main character 'struggling' with some sort of moral choice that isn't a choice.  Nazi war crimes trumps bird deaths, period end of story.  I'm all for exploring whether the flash forwards determine behavior or not.  I think that would be a really interesting discussion, one that all stories that utilize prophecy deal with: in avoiding the prophecy, do you cause it?  Or would a lack of action bring about the predictions of the future?  (i.e. Are the flashes informing behavior or behavior informing the flashes.)  But that's not what's going on here.  The Nazi gets set free because he says he gets set free.  And he's not necessarily helpful: he just remembers saying he was helpful in his flash forward.  Thus, FlashForward becomes a show predicated on hearsay and not people's actions.  There's nothing happening, everyone's talking about stuff but they're not being proactive.  It's very annoying.

Also, hi American privilege, nice to see you're still fully functioning!  I know we Americans tend to be incredibly xenophobic and convinced of our own superiority, but even a mass blackout in Africa merits someone taking notice. Do we have an intelligence agency? Do we even talk to other countries in your world?

Annnnd...why does no one in the flash forwards act like they remember what happened?  Why isn't there a moment of realization for anyone?

I'm just going to rewatch the last season of LOST for my temporal distortion fix.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall TV Round Up 2 - Comedy Tonight!!

ABC has unveiled a string of new comedies this season because they were feeling the lack.  And last year, NBC dominated with shows like THE OFFICE and 30 ROCK.  This year, over all, NBC is in trouble and ABC has done good.  Fox dominates Sunday with its animation block.  Read More...

COMMUNITY (NBC) and MODERN FAMILY (ABC) are actually pretty funny, though they are both inconsistent too much of the time to be great.  Considering all comedies are going to be judged against the brilliance that was Arrested Development, that means they're both doing pretty well!  Community has been airing episodes out of order, which is painfully obvious in the Britta/Jeff relationship.  It's going around in circles with them deciding to be friends but backsliding in the next episode to where they were.  And honestly, the B/J relationship is probably the least amusing part of the whole show.  I much prefer the ridiculous friendship brewing between Abed and Troy (whom some of you may recognize from Derrick Comedy).  They're hilarious together, though sometimes their ridiculousness falls a little bit flat.

Modern Family sometimes misses the mark in blending its cast of characters and balancing them out.  There are times when one group of  characters overshadows the other, or all of the families are acting too out there.  I find Sofia Vergara (the latina trophy wife of Ed O'Neill) the weakest part of this cast.  She's too stereotypical, and I don't think it's just because the writers write her that way.  Though Rico Rodriguez (Manny) more than makes up for his 'mom.'  That kid is hilarious, and I hope he has a long career in front of him!

But all that aside, when the writers get this show right, they get it very right.  I particularly liked the introduction of the family's crazy matriarch (the real one), played by Shelley Long.  She's a very talented actress and blended with the cast well.  She didn't overshadow the show the way some high-profile guest stars can, taking away the very dynamic that makes a show work.  She plays up to the casts strengths and is just right.  This show also has some awesome on going visual gags that bring all together--like Phil constantly finding a way to end up on top of Gloria (Sofia Vergara) when they're wrestling.  His crush on her is a fun thing to play off of every episode, and there are several such carry-overs that keep cropping up.

Also, I think Jesse Tyler Ferguson is adorable (with the beard).  Seriously, he may be edging out Anton Yelchin for my top ridiculous attraction to unavailable celebrities list...

FAMILY GUY (Fox) is still going strong.  Strong enough that it spun off THE CLEVELAND SHOW (Fox), an animated show about black people written by white people.  It feels that way a lot too, though I'd be interested to hear a black person's opinion on the show.

I love THE BIG BANG THEORY (CBS) simply because of Sheldon. The nerdy stuff doesn't really do it for me since I am a nerd--and about somethings, more of a nerd than the guys on the show who are supposed to be the epitome of nerdom--but I think Jim Parsons is a brilliant actor.  He makes me giggle.  But I often get the feeling that Kaley Cuoco, the hot-but-dumb chick, doesn't have to stretch for her role.  Or act.  She's the weakest part of the show, and disappointingly stereotypical, though she has her moments (like when Leonard mentions a promise he made to Horowitz during their post-coital snuggle and Penny immediately jumps to worst case scenario.  Well played, Cuoco).  I didn't like Kaley on Charmed and she hasn't proven any more likable on Big Bang.  But Jim Parsons cures world hunger.

THE OFFICE (NBC) hasn't had the spark that makes a show great since about the 3rd or 4th season, but it does alright for a show that the American television system is going to keep on the air until it's stale and dead on its feet.  Or until Steve Carrell finally throws in the towel.

PARKS AND RECREATIONS (NBC)...may be growing on me?  I think overall it's eh and a complete rip off from THE OFFICE.  There's nothing NEW there, nothing that makes me tune in.  But sometimes they have wonderfully brilliant story lines--like the one where Leslie unwittingly married the gay penguins and unwittingly became an activist for gay rights--and other times it's beyond boring.  But I have to appreciate that the character Tom is from Beaufort, South Carolina.  And Azize Ansi is my favorite person on that show.  He's hysterical.  I hope to see more of him.

30 ROCK (NBC) still makes me deliriously happy.  Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin are a match made in comedic brilliance.  I hope there are more moments like Jack's Therapy Session in this coming season.

I need ear plugs to get through COUGAR TOWN (ABC).  If Courtney Cox gets any more shrill glass is going to shatter.  Courtney Cox hams it up too much and some of the better parts of the show--like the men who get together and drink Cosmos under a pact of secrecy--are lost in her character's constant neuroticism.  For a 'cougar,' she's extremely insecure.  Her character is an absolute train wreck; I thought part of the cougar appeal was the established, worldly woman aspect.  I guess not.  And I don't feel like suffering through her scenes to get to the genuinely funny parts of this show.

HANK and THE MIDDLE (ABC) don't really bear much talking about.  Hank has crashed and burn; ABC is still waffling on whether or not to pick them up for a back 9.  Which means they're weighing the cost of keeping and albatross afloat to finish out the season versus launching a new comedy.  In this economic climate, it may be the smarter choice to go with what you've got instead of launching a really expensive advertising campaign for a new show.  I'm pretty sure that's why EASTWICK got picked up for a 13-order and not axed.  I doubt they'll be back next year.  But The Middle is, as advertised, middling.  I think the young son on it is hilarious and adorable, but other than that it's nothing special.  I wasn't even interested enough to set my DVR to record it in absentia...   However, it seems to be doing well enough for ABC to give it a season order.

Not included: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER because I'm still catching up with it.  I'm on season 4!

And might as well get this out of the way--

Shows That Have Passed Their Prime But Are Still Here:

Brothers & Sisters
Desperate Horseflies
Grey's Anatomy
The Office

...all reality TV

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bringing the Funny

I recently discovered The Best of Craig's List. Here are a selection of my favorites:

Level 72 Paladin Seeking 42+ Rogue, Druid, and Sorceress - m4ww

I am seeking a level 42 or above rogue, druid, and sorceress to help me assault the fortress of Mordria, and for hot kinky sex. I am the sole holder of the Axe of Fragyholt and am a level 72 Paladin equipped with Def+ 52 plate mail. I also have a really big penis. I can cast Magic Missile, Icebolt, and am a fairly skilled at cunnilingus. Indeed, Orcs and Goblins are no match for me, not unlike your unsuspecting genitalia, which shall recieve a thrashing, the likes of which have been only whispered in hushed voice in times of darkness. I have a lot of experience, both with annihilating ogres, and the finer points of pleasuring fair maidens, and like to be beaten with wet towels. I live at home with Mother, and you will have to sneak in through the basement window. This partnership boasts many advantages, such as an unlimited supply of Cheetos and Mountain Dew, and hot, steamy, hanky-panky with my massive member. Comic book lovers a plus.

I appreciate how this '72 Paladin effortlessly weaves in the details of his on line and real analog life. Juxtaposing "fortress of Mordria" and "hot kinky sex" allows us to understand that success in World of War Craft will be a thrashing. Yes, we all deserve a good spanking! But remember to be silent, or Mother will be cross...

How could you pass up being with this for the rest of your life?

I lost your number - m4w

hey, I don't wanna plaster your name all over here, so I'll just use your initials. JS, I lost your number and would really like to get a hold of you. I hope you check this part of craigslist, I know you use CL b/c that's how we met. to refresh and so you're sure of who I am and that I'm talking about you. I met you off of CL for some FWB actions. We had a wild first night. It just got crazier from there, we helped each other broaden our horizons. We tried outdoor stuff a lot of role play (you love the rough stuff) that one night that we didn't have a condom we should have refrained. You missed your period and I talked you into getting rid of it. You were a little mad at yourself, and yes, me too.

But anyways, I'd really like to get back in touch. You still owe me 75 bucks for your half of the procedure, plus we could probably fool around some more.

The very definition of a keeper.  For those of you confused by the abbreviations, let me clarify:  FWB is "Friends With Benefits," a casual sexual relationship.  The 'Friends' part is open to interpretation, obviously, as this sounds more like a "Strangers with Benefits" operation to me.  But I think an unplanned pregnancy could count as broadening one's horizons.

To my cockroach ex-wife

Dear Whore of Lucifer:

I have recently enrolled in a 12-step program for people whose lives were decimated and finances ruined by lawyer bills when their spouses filed for divorce after finding someone else to fuck and run off with. I am currently up to Step 8: Willingness to Make Amends. As such, I apologize for the following recent transgressions:

Told the drunk at the bar who wanted a Red-Headed Slut that he's more than welcome to you if that general contractor douchebag is done with you.

Annoyed the staff at several hospitals by calling to see if they had any fresh organ donors on hand with a heart suitable to replace your cold, dead one.

Demanded a refund from Southwest Airlines because I tried to get you on one of their planes but they refused to let my bag fly free as advertised in their TV commercials.

Scrawled your cell number in the stall of the john of the bar at the American Legion post down the street with an offer of free prostate exams for all veterans 65 and older.

Told my neighborhood U.S. Marine Corps recruiter that I knew the exact location of the dank, hopeless cave Osama Bin Laden was hiding in and provided the GPS coordinates to your pants.

Lit several offering candles at your church with prayers that karma would hurry its ass up and come around to you while I was still alive to see it.

For these things, my dear handmaiden of Satan, I make my amends. I'd still love to see your head squeezed in a vice until your eyeballs squirt out of their sockets, but I have to go along with the program.
 I wish all break ups were this awesome.  This falls somewhere between Passive-Aggressive and YOU MAKE ME TOUCH YOUR HANDS FOR STUPID REASONS.

re: bisexuals

Lesbians like sushi and bisexuals like hot dogs and sushi. Lesbians would never be interested in eating hot dogs. A lesbian can eat sushi all day every day and never consider hot dogs. In fact, lesbians can never eat too much sushi. A bisexual can go without sushi, then really miss the feel and taste of sushi, because there is nothing like sushi. Then they go out and get some sushi. They swear they can go without hot dogs, because sushi is so much better. They start to eat sushi all day every day. The lesbian continues to do the same.

Then one day the sushi is a little stale and the bisexual remembers how hot dogs are different. She didn't have that problem with hot dogs, at least not that she can remember. Eating hot dogs was easier and less complicated. The lesbian does not start to crave a hot dog when this happens. The lesbian knows she only likes sushi, so even though it got stale, she is still focused only on the sushi. She wants the sushi to get better, because she knows really great sushi is hard to find. The bisexual won't try as hard to figure out why the sushi got stale. Sooner or later she will do what is easier. She will go out for a hot dog. There are hot dogs on every corner and she knows she'll have a few to choose from soon enough. Perhaps she will just have hot dogs for a long time or will try some hot dog rolls or sushi dogs. This is why I prefer lesbians. The only problem is that they may go out for some completely different sushi, thinking that the new sushi will be different. But at least they are aren't out eating hot dogs.

Sexuality: it does not work how you think it works. Also, never eating hot dogs OR sushi ever again. I'm sticking to hand-rolls. (Whatcha gonna do with THAT?)

And one to grow on...

Planned Parenthood protestors - w4m

I was having trouble finding the clinic Saturday morning, but then I saw you guys waving your signs around, and I knew exactly which exit to take.

I made it to my abortion with five minutes to spare. Keep up the good work!

Wow. The protesters have a redeeming quality? This means I have to reevaluate everything I know about the world...

Thursday, October 15, 2009


13-Year-Old Villain: This is getting childish.
Twenty-something Heroine: Eat my pissy caca poo-poo.

Fall TV Round Up - Part 1: The Bad

We're at that place again where I can rant, fawn, and make O.o faces at certain shows. We'll start with the BAD.

NURSE JACKIE (ShowTime), HAWTHORNE (TNT) and MERCY (NBC) are all the same. Down to what happens in their first episodes and the characters in them. Seriously. The main character is a Nurse Who Knows Better Than the Doctors. There's the token Gay Latino Man. The New Young Nurse Who is Warm And Fluffy (in sharp contrast to the jaded, capable star of the show). There's the One Doctor Who is On the Nurses' Side. The Voice of Reason Nurse. And the Evil Administrator. These shows are so derivative they've almost boiled down their premises into the most pure form. The Essence of Derivation, if you will.

Joining the new crop of medical fail are TRAUMA (NBC) and THREE RIVERS (CBS). I would personally like to off every single character on TRAUMA. They all suck. And the stories are boring. There's this rule in theater where the audience has to care about your characters before you can start asking us to care about their problems. The writer's room should have studied that. It's boring, trite, and I would like a helicopter to land on them all.

I'd say THREE RIVERS is this season best new medical drama, but that's damnation by faint praise and I say that mostly because it has a rich look to it. But the acting is horrible, the storytelling stilted, and I don't think the writers know what message they're trying to send. Which spells death.

Leaving the medical field behind, we have...

HANK (ABC) is going to go quietly into the night. Which is a pretty big accomplishment as Kelsey Grammar is known for his incessant chatter.

BORED TO DEATH (HBO) lives up to its name. I usually give shows at least three episodes, because first episodes are HARD *pout*. But I couldn't even get through the second episode of this with it playing in the background as noise. It was that bad.

EASTWICK(ABC) is one I want to like so badly. I love Paul Gross. He is a brilliant actor, and I had the biggest crush on Fraser from due South for so long. (He's been married for longer than I've been alive and I DO NOT CARE, that's how much I would jump on that.) But I think he's wasted as Mr. van Horne (or Satan is just badly written), as is Lindsay Price--whom I adore--who sticks glasses on her face in order to be 'the plain one.' Seriously, glasses haven't equaled unhot nerdiness since the mid-90s. Or whenever Urkle went off the air. Additionally, Rebecca Romijn manages to suck the life out of every scene she's in. This show also leads me into a side rant about the proliferation of rape on television, particularly in sci-fi/fantasy genres, which includes the shows DOLLHOUSE (Fox) and STARGATE: UNIVERSE (SyFyllis), but I'll save that for another post.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rain, Rain, Stay and Play!

It's been raining in LA for two days now, which is the Los Angeles equivalent of a hurricane. Or the threat of ice in South Carolina. People go out and buy bread and milk, the smart ones also buy batteries, and people try not to leave their houses.

It's also and excuse for people to forget how to drive.

"It wasn't my fault, I slipped on the ice!"
"Sir, there is no ice."

I try not to drive when it rains if at all possible. Not just so I can maximize on the lazy feeling of an overcast day and revel in the sound of rain hitting the roof. It's because someone tries to murder me with their car no less than three times per drive. I am not exaggerating.

Driving in LA is a chore. It's going to take you about 4 times as long to get to where you're going as it would in a sensible place. For example:
According to Google Maps, my place of work is 5.8 miles from my doorstep.

It should take me about 15 minutes, with lights, to get to work.

It takes about half an hour.

So I've devised a series of games to pass the time. One is called Car Points. When you start your trip, you identify the car next to you by some distinguishing feature: a pro-Bush sticker, an obnoxious license plate, it's two different cars soldered into one. That is your ZERO CAR. Now for every car that crawls past you, mocking the fact that you chose the wrong lane, again, you get minus a point. For every car you pass, you gain a point. (Busses are two points, one for each half that you pass.)

You can also award yourself points for Passing a Jackass, Keeping a Jackass Behind You, and variations there of. I also like to award myself points for Not Killing the Idiot on a Motorcycle and Spotting the Bicyclist Before S/He Dies.

The 'Rainy Day' driving game? Count the number of cars that don't have their lights on because it's "daylight hours." Yeah, I can't count that high either.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Times are Tough

For those of you not in LA, one of the biggest talent agencies, CAA, throws a yearly "Young Hollywood" party/fundraiser. The assistants are invited, and most of the established companies buy tables and spots. And there's a swag bag involved.

Last night, the CAA grab bag included a hat and sample of EXTENZ.

Apparently the economy is hitting everyone hard...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's alive!!

Yes, yes I am! And things have been crazy. I officially have a Master's degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the country, arguably the #1 school in the world for what I want to do. What does that mean?


No, really. It means nothing other than I paid lots of money to meet some really cool people. (Okay, it's more complicated than that, and I really do like the people I met through the program, but let's not mince our words, K?)

But in the time since I last posted, I experienced my first bout of how crappy people in this industry can be. I accepted an internship with a brand new company that was a really good job prospect. Four execs in the office, a burgeoning TV side, looking to expand to about 20 people within three years. Seemed like a great first job with the possibility of expansion. And the execs, who liked me, would say things like "we want to put you on the payroll," "you could have a niche here," and "we want to hire you." So graduating-me is all excited.

Only once I graduate, I get "finish up your internship and we'll help you find a job." Um, EXCUSE ME? WTF mate. What happened to "we want to hire you"?? Yeah. So I speant a couple of days being angry, then decided to take a much needed break and go home for four weeks, with a stopoff in Texas to go to my best friend's sister's wedding. Sometimes the answer is to get the hell out of LA. Because the moment I got back? Job interview Thursday, hired on Friday, started on Monday.

With some place that didn't include a crazy receptionist/assistant who hates me. But more on that later, I have plenty of Internship Horror Stories to start updating with. But hey, at least you know this story has a happy ending!