Monday, December 22, 2008

print versus screen: gossip girl

i honestly believe that the best show on television at the moment is "gossip girl." i don't know what that says about me personally. but i know that the show is unadulterated genius. it is also unabashedly ridiculous, and superlative in its excesses, but that all serves to make it so good.

years ago, a coworker came up to me and said, "you read ya books don't you?" and handed me the first two books of cecily von ziegesar's gossip girl series. i never bothered to read them until i heard of the show, and so before the fall 2007 season i finally read the books. and they are terrible. not only are they terrible, they are terribly written. just because a book is ya doesn't mean that it isn't written intelligently, or that it doesn't have literary value. but these books, lack it all. i read the first book and skimmed through the second--i didn't have the patience to read through it all. then i simply went to wikipedia and read about how it all ended. i figured that would save me time and avoid polluting my brain with the remainder of the series.

strangely, from episode 1 of the series, it was clear that this would be a winner. a guilty pleasure that was surprisingly well-produced, well-acted, and just all around enjoyable. the series has deviated rather significantly from the books, but all the changes have been downright improvements. chuck and blair as portrayed by ed westwick and leighton meester, are the heart and soul of the series, and their on-and-off-again love affair keeps the show interesting.

these moments between them, well, explain it all:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

simply too busy to post

i have a print vs screen post waiting on "gossip girl" and the gossip girl books. but i want to get it perfect since the show is nearly perfect.

plus life keeps getting in the way. i should have more time to post near the end of the week. when i'm home enjoying a green, tropical christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

simply crazed

i don't know what happens in december, but time seems to flit away so quickly, and i'm stuck running after it, trying to catch up. i know i shouldn't complain, because i am pretty much all set. my gifts have been purchased, half of them have been wrapped, and i am some what prepared for the various holiday events i have to attend and cook for next week.

but i look at my departure date of next thursday and think, i still have so much to do. except now that i am thinking of it, really, it's not that much. and i am going home for the holidays and it really isn't all that much, it's not like traveling to a foreign place where you can't just buy the things you need if you forget them.

so i don't know why i feel so crazed. it's likely that i am just over-thinking. and perhaps i am feeling stressed out by the massive amounts of television stored up on my dvr. i already gave up on "heroes" and "desperate housewives," but i'm also considering giving up on "ugly betty" and, though it pains me to admit this, "fringe."

i think once i shed some of those episodes, i'll feel much better.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

print versus screen: bridget jones's diary

one of my favorite guilty reading pleasures is bridget jones's diary and bridget jones's diary: edge of reason by helen fielding. i re-read the books at least once a year. and every single time i am brought to tears, i'm laughing so damn hard. just typing about them, i remember some of the entries and can't help giggling.

i also happen to own the movies by the same titles, and have to say that they do a pretty good job of bringing the character to life. having colin firth play the mark darcy character and hugh grant the caddish daniel cleaver are really what make the movies worthwhile. renee zellweger's british accent is a bit too studied, but she has the right degree of awkwardness and silliness that make her bridget jones seem true to life.

the movies were adapted for the screen by andrew davies, who wrote the screenplay for the bbc's "pride & prejudice" adaptation. and he does a wonderful job of making two movies from a slightly incoherent source material. the books are fun, but they aren't great literature, and bridget isn't the most reliable of narrators, what with her distorted sense of self and ability to be ridiculous.

one of my favorite things in the movies are the fight scenes between grant and firth. two grown men kicking each other and running around like idiots, is always funny.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

simply being right can be satisfying

so i've been annoyed with "grey's anatomy" and this izzie sees denny's ghost storyline, i think it's a cheap knock-off of a bad "general hospital" plot twist, and i think it's really sad that this once enjoyable show has gone so far off the rails. but anyway, now that i know i was right--and don't click on the links if you don't like spoilers--i find myself much more willing to go along for the ride.

it's funny how that works. i'm the kind of girl that looks at the end of the books she is still in the middle of reading. why do i do it? i often have guesses as to where the story is going and i like to check to see that i'm right. and i have to say i usually am. and i so still enjoy reading the book through to the end. of course, when i'm wrong, sometimes i feel like my enjoyment of the book is lessened, because what is happening isn't what i want to happen, and somehow it feels wrong to me. (for example, i worry about the sookie stackhouse novels because i love love eric and sometimes i worry that he won't be the hero and that makes me kind of sad because i love him and sookie together so much.)

the first book i remember doing this with was little women, i loved watching the show on nickleodeon and when i discovered it was based on a book, well i had to read it. but then i realized that beth actually dies and that laurie marries amy and jo marries the professor and that all of that was horrible. so i stopped reading it. i've never actually read the book the whole way through. it was one of those moments of my childhood that i recall with absolute bitterness. i was so disappointed by the book and how it ended, because even then that ending didn't seem right to me. and to be fair, i've heard other people say this too, because one of the admitted problems of the book is that it was very autobiographical, and that louisa may alcott may have been untrue to the characters in the book since she was trying to depict what actually happened.

the spoiler argument can also be used to talk of television shows. i mean, when i found out christopher and lorelai were getting together again on the last season of "gilmore girls" i watched just that storyline and i stopped watching as soon as they got married. i knew that the writers were going towards a luke and lorelai conclusion, but never having been a luke fan, i didn't want to see that. and so i was able to see the ending i wanted for the girls on my terms, all thanks to spoilers. i admit that it's a strange way to watch television, but i think this way i can control what i see to the extent that it makes me happy. i think spoilers are a great thing. if you know where the writers are going with something you can decide whether or not it works for you and you can see if you want to watch it play out, or if it's time to cut and run. you can even simply stop watching until you know that storyline will cease, i would have stopped watching grey's during the ill-conceived izzie and george coupling.

forewarned is forearmed they say. i think the phrase makes sense even if all we're talking about are books and movies.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

simply destiny

so the wednesday before thanksgiving, there was a "special" episode of gh that focused entirely on robin & patrick and how they were destined to be together. the episode's framing device was this weird dream sequence of robin's that paralleled their relationship, but paired characters and actors who never interact on the standard day-to-day storylines--like robin & matt hunter, patrick & carly, and so on. and honestly, though interesting, it was one of the more unsettling viewing experiences i've had recently. i mean the end message was okay, showing us that robin & patrick are meant to be. but it was still weird.

gh has many bad storylines, it's a soap opera, so of course there is a lot of bad with a few shining moments--at least that's how i would describe it lately--and sonny & claudia engaging in a redux of sonny & carly version 1 is pretty bad, as is the "russians have jake" shenanigans that seem to be the end of liz & jason and sam & lucky as couples and if they end up swapping partners again i will be so thoroughly disgusted i don't even have words to describe it. i fast forward through so much of the show, and even with the limited amount i watch, i am filled with RAGE.

why is this show so bad? because it honestly has the potential to be good. some days it can even be great. but instead it focuses its energy on being MEDIOCRE, and ASTOUNDINGLY AWFUL.

and yes, the all caps are necessary.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

print versus screen: nick and norah's infinite playlist

i am inordinately fond of young adult fiction. some of it is terrible and trashy, but there are some real, serious, literary novels, such as laurie halse andersen's speak. but the book/movie pairing i'm going to cover is a little more frivolous and fun, but is also a really good, fun read and an enjoyable (for the most part) movie-viewing experience.

nick and norah's infinite playlist [the book] and nick and norah's infinite playlist [the movie] are simply good fun. the book is composed of alternating chapters told from either nick or norah's point of view and cover the events of one (special and amazing) night. The book leaves you feeling good, as if anything were possible--it captures the possiblities of adolescence perfectly. The book is inherently sweet, though not saccharine, touching on homosexuality and promiscuity as a matter of course. nick and norah find themselves thrown together and then in pursuit of each other and the novel's conceit of alternating points of view really works because you can see what the main characters are both thinking.

you do lose this in the movie, which also loses some of the book's edgy coolness and wanders into the realm of standard teenage fare, complete with gross out humor--a scene involving a piece of gum and a port authority toilet comes to mind here. not originally in the book, the sole purpose of that scene is to speak to a puerile teen-aged boy. well, the scene does indeed speak, although if you have a sensitive gag reflex you might want to look away or come prepared with a barf bag. michael cera and kat dennings do some fine work bringing both lead characters to life. an all in all, i can say that the film has done a wonderful job in keeping the book's sweeter nature alive. and they are both truly enjoyable experiences.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

simply thanks

today we give thanks. and there are many things to be thankful for. but i won't bore people by listing all those things. i'm sure i could go on and on. i love many things about thanksgiving, surprisingly not so much the turkey which is fine, but the pumpkin pie, the sweet potatoes, the warmth from the oven, the football games (even though they're terrible this year), the fact that this kicks off the christmas season.

anyway, i just thought these things were worth mentioning.

Monday, November 24, 2008

simply spy games

when i was little i always wanted to be a spy when i grew up. i specifically wanted to be a russian spy--which does seem rather unpatriotic--but in my defense they seemed more glamorous and sexy and more likely to be female during the cold war. and while i do enjoy spy movies (see simply bond), i really love spy shows.

"alias" is one of my all time favorite shows. the first two seasons are masterpieces, and though seasons three to five are roller coaster rides in terms of quality and even enjoyment, it still remains at the top of the list. what worked for the show in its first season was the balancing of life, friends and family, who lived outside the business of spying, the double agent suspense and danger, and the sexy spy handler. the latter being my favorite aspect of the show.

sydney bristow was the embodiment of who i wanted to be when i grew up. except that she wasn't a russian spy. sydney kicked some serious ass, rocked some awesome and ridiculous costumes, and had some serious romantic and sexual tension with agent vaughn. man, did i want an agent vaughn in my life. michael vartan was seriously sexy. even if compared to jennifer garner he was a complete wimp. i still love him.

anyway, i also really love "chuck". this take on the spy genre relies on fish out of water stories, but has a very charming and quirky group of characters. one of the things it seems to do well is avoid the pitfalls of its predecessor, "alias". instead of allowing itself to get sucked in to an insanely complicated mythology, the show follows a "bad guy of the week" formula, while balancing some of the things that worked so well for "alias" too: friends & family outside spy business, burden of living a double life, and sexy spy handler.

the overall tone of the show is more lighthearted and whimsical that the dark melodrama that occasionally overwhelmed "alias" and that's why this show is a keeper. sadly, it suffers from an anemic number of viewers, and though nbc has given the show an early full season pick up, it is by no means guaranteed to continue to air past its second season. so, if you haven't checked it out and you like spy games with a little heart and whimsy, this is the show for you. it is really good. and i can only hope more people will discover it. (i believe it might be airing after the "super bowl" this year, which will hopefully bring it to the attention of new viewers.)

anyway, i still say spies are cool, even if i no longer have any desire to be one. and i'm sure i'll be talking more about spies in the future.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

print versus screen: true blood

in honor of today's finale of "true blood" i thought comparing the show to the original charlaine harris novels would make an excellent topic for my print versus screen feature. the sookie stackhouse/southern vampire series currently spans a total of eight full length novels and a handful of related novellas/short stories. i've read all the full length novels, and plan to catch up with the short stories at some point. a ninth book in the series is scheduled to be published in may 2009, which i personally cannot wait to read.

because the events in the first season of "true blood" correspond to the events that take place in the first sookie stackhouse novel, dead until dark, i've decided to limit my comparison to only that novel and to speak in generalities. i particularly don't want to spoil things for people who haven't read the novels, but are enjoying the show.

there are a couple of major differences between the books and the television series, but the most immediate comes down to the differences in medium, the books tell the story, the tv series shows us the story. sookie is the first-person narrator in the novels, so we see all the action from her perspective, the entire story takes place in her head as it were. on the screen, the story by necessity must unfold differently. sookie can't simply tell us how all the characters are related to each other and to her, the show allows us to infer these things seemingly naturally.

i started reading the sookie stackhouse books while on vacation in italy. i'd been watching the show for a while and couldn't help but be curious about the book series. as i got started it was kind of weird, because the pilot episode was close to word-for-word to the first chapter. but as the book progressed i reached a point where i went beyond what i had watched and i was hooked. i couldn't get enough, as soon as i finished reading one book, i would start the next one. i was very sad when i reached the end of book eight.

it was funny to get to know the characters through the book series, and then to see how someone else interprets them on the screen. there are differences between what i see in my mind and what is portrayed on the screen. and getting to know these characters in this overlapping manner, well what i read ended up being colored by what i had seen, and what i watch now is colored by what i have read.

but i really love both versions. and i think that i will love eric best in both versions. i love eric in the books. i love eric and sookie and their interactions, their relationship in the books. and i think the guy they cast as eric is insanely hot and is as awesome as eric is in the books. i can't wait to see how they develop his character.

i really like how the show has brought sam to life too. it's at once true to the books and more complicated than the books. i think we know sam a little better in the show than we do in the books. because we see things on the show from sam's perspective, a perspective we're not privy to in the books.

the biggest, most substantial difference, is the character of tara. she is way more prominent on the show than she is in the books. in fact, her storyline isn't big until book 4 or 5, and then it is a completely different story. but tara adds another element to the show. she's the voice of reason, she struggles with the supernatural, mystical things happening around her. she questions it all, in a way sookie does not. and that is something very important to have on the show. because unlike the books, where as reader you are being told the story by one specific character, the show does not have a narrator. you have to believe what you see, but it is fantastical, and it is necessary to have someone willing to question it all. or to say no way.

in any case, "true blood" and the southern vampire mysteries are both worth checking out. they are intrinsically tangled together, but they are both truly good.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

simply bond

i'd never really paid much attention to james bond. i knew of him, but i had never really watched any of the films. recently we've acquired the box set of all of the bond films, and have begun watching them in order, beginning with dr. no. (this is not to say that i had never seen a james bond film, in fact, i'd already watched casino royale and have seen a couple of the roger moore films.) but seeing how it all began, with sean connery, is quite an experience. there is a bit more humor, more suaveness to bond in the earlier days. sean connery's bond is a sardonic wit, he loves the ladies, but he loves the business of spying the best. and he's also insanely proud of his legs, leaving them bare at every opportunity.

even if roger moore was a more buffoonish bond, and his bond does do a number of improbably silly things, there is something innately ridiculous about sean connery's lack of pants in the first four bond films. in thunderball, he spends an insane amount of time in the water, in a wetsuit with the smallest pair of white bathing shorts on. and, i mean, his legs are pretty amazing, but it is so absurd to see him in these short shorts, while everyone else around him is wearing normal length pants.

it makes it so hard to take him seriously. even if he is bond. james bond.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

simply character

i watch a lot of television, and i love it. i generally prefer tv over movies. i like the ongoing story of television, when i love a character, i love them. i want to know them. and you can do that with a tv show, you can get to know the characters in depth. i get overly involved with tv shows, in fact i've divorced shows when i've felt that they were being untrue to their characters and sacrificing character development over plot ["dawson's creek" i'm looking at you!]. i'll explain the mechanics of divorcing a show in another post.

anyway, the point of this ramble is that lately i've not been interested in keeping up with my television shows. it seems like there is a dearth of creativity on network tv these days. the shows i genuinely look forward to, those are few and far between, and because they tend to not be mainstream there is the constant threat of cancellation that looms. so it's hard to get invested.

i watch a lot of crap half-heartedly. i even watch some of the critical favorites half-heartedly--i mean i like "pushing daisies" and all, but sometimes it is a little too too much and i can't stand the character of chuck. i keep hoping that ned will just touch her again and put us all out of our misery. but i love the supporting cast, which is why i keep watching. there are so many shows that are like that for me.

i have seven or eight episodes of "heroes" stored on the dvr. at least two episodes of "fringe," and i want to watch them because of my deep and abiding love of the two jj's, but it's hard to get excited about the show. i watch "private practice," "desperate housewives," "brothers & sisters," and, embarrassingly, "90210" in the same uninterested manner.

with the exception of "90210" where i don't really have any excuse or explanation as to why i am still dvr-ing, i mostly watch out of loyalty to a certain cast member or executive producer. but the stories are boring, and the characters, well most of them aren't really that compelling. even "grey's anatomy"--a show i loved, whose characters i loved--has me viewing while multi-tasking because i have lost interest in all of it.

i have lost interest in the characters. that's such a sad truth. when i love a show, when i love its characters, i can't wait for the next episode to air. i want to know more about them. i think about what they are doing when they're off camera, that's how crazy and intense about television characters i can be. but lately, i find myself with better things to do than sitting down for an hour and catching up with network tv.

the characters are boring me. the stories are boring me. and that's the worst thing that could possibly happen. [incidentally, the best thing about the dvr is it's fast forward function, not only can you fast forward ads, you can fast forward through the boring boringness.]

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

simply exes

relationships with ex-boyfriends are a strange thing. i was never really friends with any of my exes, and until facebook i pretty much only stayed in contact with one of them. now, almost all my exes are on facebook and we've become facebook friends. so when i get the occasional message or chat or wall post, i can't help but feel a little weirded out. i mean, it's just funny what i remember and don't remember about them. we were clearly a part of each others' pasts, and now we have to prompt one another to remember things that we used to know. i don't know. it's weird.

i know people who have broken up, and have continued to be close friends, even through subsequent relationships. i always thought that could only happen on television, where by necessity the characters play a merry-go-round of partners. but i've actually seen friends be exes the way gh's robin and jason are. and i still think that's weird.

i understand genuinely caring about an ex, and wishing them all the best. but i just can't imagine doing that while inhabiting the same social space. where you hang out, but aren't together. maybe it's just me, but i couldn't turn my emotional reactions off that easily. the ex who i stayed friends with happens to live all the way across the country. and you could seriously debate the nature of our relationship.

this train of thought reminds me of emily giffin's love the one you're with, which covers the weirdness of re-encountering exes really well. i really enjoyed this book, partly because i felt that the narrator was so real and honest. i understood exactly where she was coming from. i liked that as a reader you could see where she was clearly making a bad decision, but that you could still understand why she was doing what she was doing. i love books whose main characters force you to empathize with them even while you know they are behaving badly. it's so much more interesting than having the main character always be the good one, the one who doesn't make a misstep. missteps are part of life. that's what having exes are all about. you learn a lot about yourself in a failed relationship--doesn't matter who is at fault in the failing--at the very least you learn what you want, what you need out of your relationships.

i do love all my exes. they are a part of who i am, and for that alone i'll always appreciate our time together. i don't have any regrets--at least not about the relationships themselves. oh i could have behaved better a time or two, i could have been more graceful, more understanding. but as i said before, that's why having exes is so important. they are how you learn to get it right.

Monday, November 17, 2008

simply mondays

i'm utterly useless on mondays. it seems to take me half the day to become somewhat productive. mondays consist of attending a slew of early morning meetings, answering e-mails that accumulated over the weekend, and sitting at my desk clicking around on my computer waiting to be inspired to get my stuff done. i write out to do lists that go unchecked. i fret about my inability to be more efficient.

i'm actually not inefficient. i'm just unfocused, if something needs attention i can usually take care of it quickly. it's the time before the crisis and after its solution that i worry about. because i spend a lot of time on things i can't quantify. tuesdays and thursdays are my best work days. tuesdays i actually do what i originally intended to accomplish on monday and thursdays i accomplish what i want done by friday. the other three work days, though not wasted, are studies in how i manage to waste time while looking productive.

hmm. that might be a secret talent. i'm trying to figure out if there's a way to market something like that.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

simply absurd

"general hospital" and i go back a long time. i've been watching since 1992, and i'm dating myself here, the summer before high school started. i've been watching for 16 years. it's pretty crazy to quantify it like that. the 90s were a golden age for gh. i have no idea who was writing for the show, but at the time the hospital still played a central role, the mob hadn't taken over, and the stories had heart and emotional pull.

bj and maxie, robin and stone, karen and jagger, ned and lois, sonny and brenda, lucy and kevin, mac and felicia, luke and laura, sean and tiffany, bobbie and tony, carly and aj, lucky and elizabeth, felicia and frisco, ned and julia, nicholas and katherine, scott and dominique, emily and zander, brenda and jax, sonny and lily, scott and lucy, emily and nicholas, stefan and katherine, tracy and paul, alexis and ned, robin and jason, paul and julia, carly and sonny...

well, needless to say there are many pairings in soaps, and that's a sampling of the couples i watched. and i did watch it for the couples. i mean, gh wasn't aspiring to be a serious medical drama. it was about the trials and tribulations of the residents of port charles and the medical center was simply at its heart.

nowadays the medical emergencies are usually caused by the supposed heroes of the piece--the mobsters with a heart of gold, supposed hearts of gold who spend an awful lot of time killing their supposed enemies in cold blood. and it's boring. the violence, the guns, the mob, it is lame and uninteresting and the show has lost a lot of it's heart. the heart it had when i first started watching. except sometimes, every once in a while, you see that glimmer of heart and that's why i keep watching.

catching up with gh this past weekend (i had two weeks worth stored on my dvr), i enjoyed some of the best storylines gh has had to offer: robin and patrick and the birth of baby emma, the scorpio-jones family rallying together, luke and laura and the extended spencer-cassadine-quartermaine family, these stories that echo the gh i first started watching.

print versus screen: pride & prejudice

i've decided to have a regular feature that covers books i've read and the movies and television series that re-interpret them. i'm calling this feature print versus screen. first up i thought i'd discuss my all time favorite book pride & prejudice by jane austen.

i own three different editions of pride & prejudice. i love my first edition dearly--a paperback signet reprint from 1980. i bought this at a local bookstore called bell, book and candle in san juan, puerto rico when i was still in high school. i've read this book so often that the covers have been taped to the spine, and when reading the pages of the entire first volume fall out in your hand. this is the edition i read when i feel sick, sad, or depressed. it's like my velveteen rabbit of books. to preserve the book from completely falling to pieces, while we were still dating my husband bought me a lovely new edition from modern library classics as a gift for our first valentine's day together as a couple. i've enjoyed re-reading this edition of the novel, but nothing can top the love i have for my first edition. recently i purchased an enhanced ebook edition from penguin, this way i can carry my favorite book with me everywhere, easily.

in keeping with the idea of threes, i'm actually going to discuss three different film versions of the novel. the first up is robert z. leonard's pride and prejudice (1940) starring greer garson and laurence olivier in the title roles of elizabeth bennet and mr. fitzwilliam darcy.

olivier is an excellent darcy, he has the noble, aristocratic vein necessary to carry off darcy's arrogance. greer garson, however, is simply too old for the part of elizabeth. she's pushing 40 (ok, she was 36 when the film was released) and is older than olivier and looks it (she really did have 3 years on him). garson was an amazing actress, and she does an excellent job of embodying elizabeth's overall liveliness and sparkling wit, but watching this version of pride & prejudice has always been somewhat painful. some of my favorite movies are from the silver screen era, one renowned for its lack of realism, but this film rings particularly false to me. it's also not incredibly faithful to the book. i could forgive the differences if i felt they improved the story, but they do not improve much of anything in my opinion.

for loyalty to austen's original tale, you need not look any further than the bbc/a&e miniseries "pride and prejudice" (1995). jennifer ehle and colin firth play elizabeth and darcy in this version, though older than the characters in the book, in many ways they have embodied the spirit of austen's elizabeth and darcy more completely than any other pair of actors. the level of detail in this production is amazing, adding a few more scenes with darcy that round out the character a bit more than austen does in the book. my only real complaint with this version is that at 6 hours, it's a big time commitment. i also find some of the secondary characters unbearable, every line of dialogue alison steadman recites is actually in the book, but hearing her voice in my head is an unwelcome side effect of having watched this miniseries one too many times.

the most recent film adaptation is actually my favorite, joe wright's pride & prejudice (2005). keira knightley and matthew macfadyen assume the roles of elizabeth and darcy in this version. i think the film does a good job of adapting the novel to a run time of just over 2 hours. i think they cut or merged just what they needed to, i don't really miss those scenes from the book. i also think this film is probably the most natural and realistic of the three. in this film, more than any of the others, there are more exterior shots, rain and weather that reflect the characters' emotional states. this is the version i watch when i don't feel like reading and just want to spend the afternoon with elizabeth and darcy.

i love pride & prejudice. and i'll pretty much take it in any way i can. in fact, i think i'm going to go find my kindle and read my most recent acquisition.

simply disturbing

maybe this only disturbs me because i feel alluded to, but this article i came across is definitely food for thought. i mean i watch a lot of television. all told i believe i watch at least 19 hours of television per week, which is the average for a happy person, but doesn't include any unscheduled television viewing like reruns of seinfeld and the simpsons.

i don't think of myself as a happy person. but i wouldn't say i'm unhappy either. there has to be some middle ground between absolute happiness and despair. i think that's where i tend to be emotionally. i overthink things entirely too much to ever be completely worry-free. i remember too many things to be able to shake off the past easily. i like television because it provides a means of escape. i watch because i enjoy it. i watch because it takes me somewhere else, it allows me to escape the day to day of my everyday life.

the good news here is that i'm not much of a channel surfer. i don't watch much television that isn't scheduled. though because it is scheduled, i sometimes feel tremendous pressure to keep up with what is being recorded. if i don't watch things promptly, i dread flipping through and seeing the long list of shows that has been recorded.

i might have a codependent relationship with my dvr. well, apparently i'm not the only one.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

simply ghostly

i've always been able to forgive "grey's anatomy"'s more self-indulgent transgressions, i.e. meredith dying and having visions of kyle chandler and denny while in a coma, the improbable sexual hijinks between a small sampling of characters, etc. however, this thursday's episode, where denny once again paid izzie stevens a ghostly visit, was even a bit much for me.

as a device i don't generally appreciate ghosts, in this particular case it seems more that the writers were looking for a way to recapture the chemistry of seasons past. to be honest, i never really loved the denny storyline when it was somewhat plausible. so this latest appearance is most unwelcome. and i can't help but think that this is going in the izzie steven's has a brain tumor direction.

here's what troubles me, usually it is "general hospital" stealing storylines from "grey's anatomy", but this time around it seems that grey's is doing the stealing. seriously. on gh, the rich, dark, and handsome nicholas cassadine had a brain tumor that caused him to see his dead fiancée, emily quartermaine, for endless months. tumily, as the vision became known amongst the "general hospital" web-based community was celebrated only when she stopped appearing (nicholas finally had brain surgery that removed said tumor taking with it the ridiculous visions of his dead fiancée).

i wonder what creative name will be created for the ghostly denny. tudenny has a certain ring to it. i guess we'll have to wait and see if this ghost is another brain tumor. if it is, i will have to post an impassioned plea to ask that the writers of grey's not steal any more stories from gh, it will only give the gh writers even more license to execute their terrible story ideas.

i often wonder why i force myself to watch these shows.

simply something

i've been thinking lately of friendship, of love, of the past, future, present. sometimes i think i watch too much television, read too many romance novels. when i watch television, or when i read romance, i have this feeling, this exhilarating feeling, an emotional high that washes over me. and it's so disappointing when it doesn't last.

i love triangles. the way they connect, the shape a perfect three sides. love triangles are my favorite kind of triangle. (though i do also really like isosceles triangles, if only because i like the word.) the best kind of love triangle has the good girl character in the midst of it end up with the bad boy. this bad boy usually has a tough exterior hiding a mushy, vulnerable core. the best television examples of this involve some of my favorite bad boys. pacey witter. ben covington. james "sawyer" ford. alex karev. spike. what i love most about these bad boys is that they are so damaged. they carry so much baggage. they are complicated and layered, but ultimately they love deeply. they love the good girl, and for her they want to become someone better. i think that is so, well, romantic and dreamy.

anyway, those are some initial thoughts. i'm not sure how often i'll update this. but my plan is to post thoughts on television, movies and books here. this blog is meant to be simply about something, whatever happens to be on my mind.