Will we ever find out if and how Truxton Spangler takes his own life as the four leaf clover bodes? We are pretty sure Katherine Rhumer won’t be back, unless the supposedly lethal injection was more like what the airplane passengers got on The Event (FYI – they came back to life.) It Tanya really going to quit and write another book? Will Miles have a nervous breakdown and then live happily ever after with the new chick who speaks Urdu?
I was not surprised at all that Will’s new artsy lover (with the fabulous shower curtain) was really undercover protecting him, but who hired her? Arliss? So many unknowns..but what would happen next season? Will Will (ha ha will will) keep trying to take down Atlas McDowell? Will he find happiness so he can have more than just that one perplexed expression on his face.
I was not as impressed with the Rubicon finale as I was with the Mad Men finale, but I am definitely up for another season. I am too tired from fighting with Power Point all day to elaborate more or make a great case for James Badge Dale and his crew but my friend Maureen Ryan at TV Squad (she is not really my friend) wrote this great article called “Six Reasons to Save Rubicon“…read it and support the cause.
Season finale, unreal. Don Draper never fails to surprise me. The smartest, seemingly most together woman in his life who he genuinely cares about on Thursday, tells him he might feel better if he deals with his “stuff” so he runs off to Disneyland and gets engaged to a woman on Monday because she doesn’t cry over a spilled milk shake, his kids love her, and she makes him feel good about himself. I guess I should not be that surprised. But I always expect more from Don.
The whole thing seemed like a dream sequence but that is the beauty of Mad Men. He wanted his life to feel like a fairy tale but WE had to all be able to see that it was ridiculous and it worked. We kept waiting for someone to wake up and tell us it was a dream. No one woke up. Mad Men is genius. I can’t believe we have to wait 8 more months to see how this mess turns out.
Betty is a time bomb that I can not wait to see really explode. Kudos to Peggy who rocks creative. She better get a Clio next season! I love it when Peggy and Joan are friends. I hope Joan does not turn out to be a mom like Betty! These poor tortured people on Madison Avenue in the 60’s. The piece de resistance….the finale ended with Sonny & Cher. Awesome. (I have loved Cher since probably before I was born)
The only show that come close to Mad Men in my opinion is Rubicon which I have fallen in love with it. I can’t lose two shows in one night so I am holding off until tomorrow for the Rubicon season finale… (how awesome I found an image of Don and James Badge Dale!)
I am feeling the need to provide a roundup of Week 2 of the Fall TV season because there has been some fall out:
Of the 6 shows I recommended to check out, one has already been canceled, Lone Star. After watching the second week I liked it less, but I still think it deserved a longer run. I am sad for Bob and really wanted to see what would happen with him and his two wives and crappy dad, but this is helpful for my quest to watch less TV.
Still love The Event, and as mentioned earlier, I am liking No Ordinary Family. Those stay on the list. After week 2 of The Whole Truth, I am dropping it to “have on in the background when paying bills on the weekend” status. Undercovers, RunningWilde did not even make it to Week 2. Hawaii Five-O which I did not officially recommend but did check out, is a big hit, but cop shows don’t do it for me unless they include unexplained phenomenon. Apparently, The Whole Truth and Running Wilde are also in danger of cancellation, not a surprise. (FYI – I get all of the scoop on ratings from my new favorite site tvbythenumbers.com which I learned about from my favorite TV Squad reviewer who made me love Rubicon.)
There is one other show I decided to check out that I really liked and have added to the list, Raising Hope. It is really funny. A young man and his crazy family are raising the baby he conceived in the back of his van and got custody of when the baby momma was sentenced to death. That does not sound funny, so I assumed it would not be, but I was dead wrong. These characters are ridiculous and miraculously….endearing. The cast includes Cloris Leachman and that awesome actress Martha Plimpton who shows up everywhere lately including The Good Wife and How to Make it in America. FYI – Just learned on IMDB (love IMDB) that she is Keith Carradine’s daughter (Carradine = Lundy on Dexter). Had no idea. Anyway, I think it is a nice compliment to round out the hour for my other 30 minute fave, Modern Family. I highly recommend it.
I forgot! There was one more new show to check out and review. I will keep it brief.
Cute. Really cute and funny! In the first 10 minutes, a whole family (husband, wife, and two teenage kids) gets super powers on their trip to Brazil. Everyone who is watching knows this but the characters don’t know it and no one knows what the powers are so the way they reveal themselves is suspenseful and (I think) well written in to the story. Michael Chiklis (formerly of The Shield and the big rock “Thing” in Fantastic Four) is awesome but his side kick (Conrad the drug dealer from Weeds) is HILARIOUS. He built “The Shield” a lair in his garage. “Every superhero needs a lair, with WiFi.” Hilarious. The wife is not using that baby voice she had as Rita on Dexter so she is less annoying. And the dad from Seventh Heaven is on the show. Always nice to see him, but I think he is evil in this one. If you are looking for a fun family show, check it out. Well written with a unique premise. I think this one is a winner (and I happen to know it premiered really well so this is not just my opinion.) Not in the genre of shows I usually “can’t wait to watch” but I like it!
I have an infection in my head (aka a sinus infection.) For those who have never had an infection in your head, I can assure you it is as un-fun as it sounds. It has also derailed the many non TV-related activities I was planning to participate in and blog about this week. (Sadness) The only activity I did manage to make it to was horribly disappointing, but let me tell you about it.
There is a non-profit I have been stalking for about year and a half. This organization (which will go unnamed for now) teaches teenagers basic financial literacy skills. Although I work in the technology industry, I dabbled with the idea of becoming a financial planner a few years ago and used to teach middle school and miss teaching and working with kids. This organization is aligned with my interests and seems like the perfect way for me to “give back” and make my world bigger while keeping my day job that satisfies my need for financial security.
I have had my eye on this non-profit’s web site for a while but nothing ever fit in my schedule. Finally, the stars aligned and there was a volunteer opportunity that I could attend! I had some weird email exchanges with the executive director that indicated a lack of organization and clarity, but I maintained a positive attitude. It was decided that I could not volunteer until I was oriented/trained, which may or may not be until after this opportunity passes but there was an orientation (that might include training?) on September 30th. It wasn’t really clear, but I maintained a positive attitude! On Thursday, I managed to get myself and my throbbing head up to midtown to attend the long awaited orientation session.
It was the worst orientation I have ever attended (and there was no training.) She flipped through some handouts quickly. Maybe it was the infection in my head, but I could not even follow which page she was on. She seemed to skip the most important things. I have no idea when the group started, how many volunteers that have, how active they are, what types of events are coming up, what volunteering would be like, and what they expectations are of the volunteers. (Crazy right?) It turns out that this orientation was specifically for a mentoring program she wanted to start (that she had never mentioned to me and was not the opportunity we discussed.) Not only did she not cover the basics, it was very clear that she really had not worked out the details for how this mentoring program will really work. There was a lot of “we will see what the group wants to do.” Yeah, that will work well with teenagers and a group of complete strangers that walked in off the street. I am not touching that mentoring program with a 10 foot pole (also because I have already committed to mentor a high school student for the next four years with another group that, so far, seems way more organized and I don’t want to double mentor right out of the gate.)
She ended the scheduled 2 hour orientation after 40 minutes. I finally had to stop asking questions because I was bordering on obnoxious, she was not getting it, and my head was really throbbing. It was established that the next step (for people that wanted to mentor or I assume teach in other mysterious capacities that were not discussed) was training and she would let us know when that would be…”maybe around the same time next month.” I left despondent and discouraged (I think those words mean the same thing but I really wanted to make my point!) I don’t know what will happen next but I am not giving up on my quest to save the world. Maybe I will get trained, maybe I won’t. Maybe I will run out of the training session and never go back or maybe I will stage a coup and take over the whole non-profit. Regardless, I will keep you posted.
As you can probably tell from my Weekly TV list, I am not a huge fan of procedurals (a genre of programs in which a problem is introduced, investigated and solved all within the same episode.) What’s cool and different about The Whole Truth is that you are genuinely seeing things from two perspectives AND rooting for both sides. You have you have two awesome leads, one defending (Rob Morrow), one prosecuting (Maura Tierney) and there is no assigned good guy and bad guy. You go back and forth the whole hour wondering who is right and who is wrong. This definitely gave the show a fresh perspective for me. They are also friends (of course) which helps keep the whole thing neutral, but don’t fret, it looks like the obligatory sexual tension will come in to play (of course). What was not so cool was Maura Tierney’s hair so I am really looking forward to it growing back (but probably not as much as she is!) I am very glad she is well and back in my living room and I plan to keep watching and see if this show continues to peak my interest. Entertainment Weekly described it as “not horrible/not great” which is right on. Don’t want to oversell it, but I am not scratching it off the list yet.
This is the last of the new shows I recommended and felt obliged to comment on in my first “Initial Thoughts” series. Now I can just write when I am inspired. Right now, I am REALLY glad my job is not to write about shows all day long. What if you just don’t feel like it? (because you have a pounding sinus headache, and you are hungry, and you can’t wait to catch up on the Sunday night shows on your TiVo???)
You might be thinking…”I thought this blog was supposed to be about your quest to watch LESS television. All you post about is TV!” Great observation. I realized, as I started blogging, that I can’t write truly honest posts about people I know and things we do together! It is exactly the same reason I can’t go on Big Brother. I would be afraid to say anything mean in the Diary Room and then I would be just boring boring and CBS would probably try to convince the other house guests to vote me out. I don’t want to get voted off WordPress and I love having fans. I can say anything I want about imaginary characters and I don’t know anyone who produces, writes for, or acts in TV shows so for now, I am safe. If this becomes a HUGE super popular blog, I might start getting in trouble (ie Perez Hilton), but that seems highly unlikely with my current traffic. I don’t write long super insightful commentary or TV recaps. I just write the random thoughts I have about my friends on the small screen. Maybe after I warm up with the universally loved topic of television, and get people hooked on my unique form of commentary, I will branch out more. It also just depends on what inspires me and formulates itself as a blog post in my mind. Right now, it is TV, but it seems possible that I could run out of witty things to say about the imaginary people. Only time will tell. I do have a unique ability to tie pretty much every life experience to television so that might be a good way to ease in to it. I am really trying to cut back on the TV and I can tell you that blogging takes up quite a bit of time that could have otherwise been spent watching TV so this has been a fruitful pursuit already!
Hawaii Five-O – Not for me. If I were the CSI/NCIS lovin type, maybe I would like it. I gave it a try out of respect for the buzz (and my secret desire to go to Hawaii and learn how to surf) but my it was not my bag. Jin will always be Jin to me. The cop from NJ is kind of funny but that is not enough. Sharon the Cyborg (from Battlestar Galactica) playing a hot surfer chick that can kick ass will keep the dirty old CBS watching men happy. I stepped away to write this blog entry before I even finished the premiere.
Running Wilde – Not good. From some reason it made me chuckle when when Will Arnett seemed to be sadly tapping out notes on the piano and then stepped away and it kept playing and he had to go back and turn it off. But I have no idea why. The kids name is Puddle and it is not cute, it is annoying. The show is bad.
I got really nervous today when Entertainment Weekly sent this tweet my way…
EW ‘Lone Star’: Already time to call it quits? http://bit.ly/cMsI9j
…so Lone Star was first the show I tackled on the “Now Playing List” this evening. And the verdict is..
I really liked it! First of all Bob is a cute as a button (and sexy to boot) so I don’t I mind spending an hour with him every week. James Wolk plays Bob beautifully and has me convinced that he is in love with two women and is totally conflicted about his life and that his Dad is an ass who likes pancakes. He was SO happy at his BBQ hanging with his buds and drinking and cooking hot dogs. Then he got all spoofed up with his gorilla keys and his other fancy family and almost got in to big trouble. The suspense is building and I can see myself getting agita every week hoping poor Bob does not get caught! I guess I should be thinking more about his ladies and their feelings, but they seem quite content. At the end of the pilot I was wondering how long this charade can really continue, but I guess he could move to NYC and start all over again.
Net net: If the pilot of Lone Star is hanging out on your DVR, check it out. I don’t want it to get canceled before cute/sexy Bob finds true happiness. (Although this would mean I now have THREE new shows to add to my collection. Sigh.)
Amazing! I am a little dizzy from the time travel but it kept me on my toes and I was not bored for a minute! Awesome twists I did not see coming….
An emotional high octane conspiracy thriller…yeah it was!
And now I have another reason to never go on a cruise and additional confirmation that talking to strangers and consuming too much alcohol can be dangerous. How cool was it when Blair Underwood said “I am the President of the United States. I need to know”. Just slightly cooler than when Carrie Weaver ended the episode with “I haven’t told you everything.” If it is on your DVR and you are not sure you have time..make time.
Two new shows watched, two new shows added to the schedule…oh boy.