Musical Chairs

It feels like I was just enjoying the music, dancing along, having fun, and now it’s stopped, and everyone has a seat but me. I’ll be over against the wall, humming to myself. Maybe another round will start, or someone will get bored and move on. A space has to open up eventually, right?

September 22, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Mockingbird 360

Hey look!  Now you can follow me on Twitter and friend me on Facebook! Come on, you know you want it.

May 18, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Dogs and Cats, Living Together

I’ve watched Lost from the beginning, but I was never a rabid fan, never tracked down theories and easter eggs on the internet.  They kept spoilers on lockdown, and I stopped looking for spoilers for shows at all a few years ago.  In Buffy days, I was a spoiler whore.  For a short time I was even a spoiler source.  My roommate was friends with Sarah Michelle Gellar’s stand-in, so I broke the news on TWoP of Buffy and Spike having sex.  Because of me, women threw socks at James Marsters when he played with his band.  It’s the small accomplishments in life that mean the most.  I searched out spoilers for Buffy in part because the show could be uneven, and if something sucky was coming up you wanted to be prepared.  I check the TWoP boards for True Blood for the same reason; if they’re going to ruin Eric I want to hide anything I could throw at the set before sitting down to watch.  But Lost was consistently good enough that I wasn’t worried about being disappointed, and they let so few spoilers out that trying to find something to explain WTF was going on was fruitless.

I’m sure I must have pondered what the Island is, wondered about how things work in the world of the show, but mostly I think I was happy just bopping along, watching what Lindelof and Cuse did with the characters.  All the science talk confused me silly and gave my flashbacks to my terrifying college theoretical physics class (why they required liberal arts majors to take a class in such things still confounds me.  I don’t remember a thing, and I failed the tests whether I studied or not, so thank god for my program’s version of The Gentlemen’s C).  I swear half that stuff is made up by scientists drunk and having a laugh.  I just wrote it off as science fiction and was glad for an hour of network TV with intelligence.  I don’t have the DVD’s, so I’ve relied on Emily Nussbaum’s recaps on nymag.com this season to remind me of old plot points being referenced.  I was clear on the fact that Jack last season was annoying.  Rewrite everyone’s history because you’re unhappy?  Shut up whiny baby.  Having daddy issues doesn’t give you the right to decide to change everyone’s fates.

The flashes sideways this season were intriguing, but I was more interested in what was happening on the Island.  I even went to the show panel at the Paley Festival this year (which I wrote about already).  So when Nestor Carbobell said that he had finally found out this season who and what Richard was I was intrigued.  Until I saw the episode.  I know I’m late with this, but it was so bad it still bothers me.  Bothers me in that “Really? All these seasons of following and loving this show and you leave us with Buffy thinking about cookie dough?” way.

So the Island is a cork, meant to keep some Dark Evil in the form of The Man in Black contained.  What’s next, the owls are not what they seem?  An army of teenage girls with super strength and agility and a big stash of stakes?.  And Jacob has spent eons luring people to the island to prove MiB wrong in his assumption that man will choose evil over good.  As everyone he brings seems to end up dead I don’t think he’s winning that argument.  I get that being the only two people on an island for centuries would get boring, but aren’t gods or demi-gods supposed to play chess in such situations?  Maybe a nice game of “I Spy.”  Because sacrificing people to prove your point that people are inherently good is a barbarous way to pass the time, and serves as a direct argument against your theory.  “I’m going to prove that humanity is good by letting innocent people get killed!”  No, not the best of plans, dude.

I liked last week’s episode.  I don’t know why Desmond is such an interesting character.  I think he’s an example of a character that was meant to be small and insignificant and somehow sparked the imagination of the writers.  He’s got a life of his own, and seems to have more agency than the others.  Jack and Locke argue faith versus science, Desmond just is.  It’s refreshing.  But the episode was still annoying.  I’ve watched enough Dr Who to be familiar with the idea of alternate time lines, events that are mutable and ones that are set.  So the idea that the sideways time line has to be put right not because of some big issue like having changed the course of history for the worse or even the consequences of setting off a freaking nuclear bomb, but because people aren’t with their soul mates is a little weak.  Seems in this world the problems of three little people do amount to a hill of beans.

It just feels like the show is devolving into a debate in a sophomore Philosophy class at some liberal arts college.  Kids with a smattering of knowledge of the classic arguments of Good vs Evil pontificating on What It All Means.  I got bored quickly when I was one of those kids in the debate, so watching someone play it out with characters and an FX budget isn’t doing it for me.  The purpose of drama is to take those big concepts, those overarching ideas, and bring them down to an individual level, where the viewers aren’t just watching and talking theory but are really invested and identifying with your characters and situations and are left thinking long after it’s over.

So when it comes to Good vs Evil, Fate vs Free Will, I’ll still be watching Lost, because damned if I’m going to have watched this long and not stick around for the ending, but I’m invested in the fight on Supernatural. On that show, God is a deadbeat dad, leaving his angels to run rampant on Earth, manipulating events to bring on the Apocalypse because they were bored.  Lucifer and his demons know how to exploit the weaknesses of men to their ends, but the angels aren’t any better.  They don’t care how many people suffer and die, they just want the war to start so they can win and have paradise on Earth.  In the kind of coincidence that makes for good drama, Sam Winchester is the chosen vessel for Lucifer, and his brother Dean the vessel for the Archangel Michael.  But neither wants his destined job nor do they want the Apocalypse they were manipulated into starting to come about.  So they fight the forces of Good and Evil with rifles, salt, holy water, and a special demon killing dagger.  Fortified by sarcasm and whiskey.  Sounds a little goofy, huh?  And it is.  But it also tackles the big questions, and does it on a personal level.  Sam and Dean die, again, and go to heaven.  They run into old friends and find out that each person has his own heaven, and it is wonderful.  Yet they’re still trying to get back to Earth to stop the Apocalypse.  Why? their friend asks them.  Billions of people will die, but they’ll come to Heaven and be happy, so why fight it?  They find their way to God’s spokesman, who tells them that God knows what’s happening on Earth, but that he’s not going to intervene and stop it.  They’re sent back to Earth, but with the knowledge that they are on their own, there will be no deus ex machina to save them.  They’ve gone up against War and Famine and won.  Last week was the Whore of Babylon, who used people’s faith and fear to turn them against each other and cause them to condemn their souls to Hell.  That was a good one; when do you question the supposed Word of the Angels?  When do you stand up for your neighbors if doing so will get you condemned alongside them? It’s tackling the big questions without getting up on a soapbox and proclaiming, “These are the big questions!” And this from a show that started out like a cross between Route 66 and Scooby Doo.

April 13, 2010. Tags: , , , . TV Shows, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.