Monday, January 20, 2014

What to Watch in 2014

January is mostly over now, so happily a lot of the shows we've been waiting for have returned. To break down every show I have on my #watchlist would be exhausting, and boring. Rather, I'll just post the shows that I try and catch each night of the week, and then talk about my favorite comedy, drama, and science fiction. Keep in mind that several of those shows are on break right now, and one of them won't be back until August of this year.

Game of Thrones
The Walking Dead
Once Upon a Time

How I Met Your Mother
The Blacklist
The Following
Mike & Molly
2 Broke Girls
Almost Human

NCIS: Los Angeles
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Person of Interest
Brooklyn 99
Chicago Fire
New Girl

The Tomorrow People
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Criminal Minds
American Horror Story
Chicago PD

The Big Bang Theory
The Crazy Ones
The Michael J. Fox Show
White Collar
Parks and Recreation
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Hawaii 5-O
Last Man Standing

Saturday Night Live
Doctor Who

Keep in mind, some of these shows I only watch when I can't find something better to do (American Horror Story, Dads). Some of them are new to me, and I'm not sure if I'm going to keep up with it (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Intelligence, The Tomorrow People). Some of them aren't back from break yet (Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Scandal, Glee). And there are even a couple I only watch because my wife likes them (2 Broke Girls, Parks and Recreation). That doesn't mean I don't enjoy them, just that sometimes I could take it, or I could leave it. Oh, and lest I forget, I've also started watching Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. I rarely watch it live, but it's pretty funny to catch it on Hulu. (That way you can pick which guest might be interesting, or read a review of how funny an ep might be.)

The Best Comedy on TV
This really wasn't close. I love The Big Bang Theory, but it's getting a little played out on syndication. Community is funny, but not nearly as funny as it used to be (adios Chevy Chase and Donald Glover). Instead, I confidently say #Brooklyn99 is the funniest show on tv right now. #AndySamberg is brilliant, and the rest of the cast is really good. Each episode is fresh and unique. Most recently, my new favorite character on television is #SergeantPeanutButter.

The Best Drama on TV
This is a tough one. #NCIS has consistently been my favorite show over the past 3 or 4 years.So far this season, a few shows have been better. #Scandal is so intense and amazing, but it's still on break. #Elementary is consistently brilliant, and if I was white, I'd want #JohnnyLeeMiller to play me in a movie about my life. #SVU has taken it up a notch, letting #CaptainCragen #DannFlorek and #SergeantMunch #RichardBelzer walk away. So it's with great difficulty, I have to say #PersonOfInterest has been the best drama of the season. I wish more people watched this, and the critics gave it more acclaim. They killed off a major character this season #DetectiveCarter, brought another to redemption #DetectiveFusco, and sent a main character into a spiral of depression and destruction #JohnReese #JimCaviezel. I thought the Reese/Carter romance was stretched a little thin, but it now has a little more realism the way #MrReese has dealt with it. I hope it stays strong for the rest of the season.

The Best Science Fiction on TV
I automatically want to say #DoctorWho. But Doctor Who isn't coming back again until August, and to be honest, #TheTimeOftheDoctor was a bit disappointing. I disliked it less, than much of the #DW fan base, and I've found myself defending it more than I think I should. Aside from DW, there isn't a whole lot more sci-fi to choose from. I'm not going to say #Intelligence after just one episode. So I guess I have to choose between #Revolution and #AlmostHuman. Revolution is good for post-apocalyptic fantasy, but this season has gotten a little bit wonky, and harder to watch. It's still good, but I'm afraid it's going to get cancelled. Grudgingly, I guess it goes to Almost Human. #KarlUrban is decent as a surly cop, but when I see him all I see is #DrMcCoy and Judge Dredd. I won't even hashtag Dredd because it was such a god-awful movie. #MinkaKelly might well be the hottest woman on tv. She was so hot in #FridayNightLights, I'm glad she looks like a grown (hot) woman now.It's also nice to see #MichaelIrby on tv again. I loved him as #Hammerhead on #TheUnit. But the real scene stealer is #MichaelEaly. His comedic sense is brilliant, and he totally sells it as an older model android than is used in the near future. If you haven't seen it, check it out. It's worth all 42 minutes.

As always, thank you for reading. I have to go now. It's almost 7pm on a Monday night. If you wonder what I'm doing, see above.

Peace, and out.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Captains Close-Up

As I was reminded today and yesterday by my wife, I haven't written anything in almost a month. All of my reason for not having done so are personal, some of them good reasons, some of them not so good. First, I'll try and explain two good reasons, and then I'll tell you about what reminded me to #justwrite.

Even when I'm not being the best father I can be, or should be, my little #padawan dominates all of my thoughts and dreams. Literally, my dreams. I've been having lots of dreams lately that are all about fear. Just in the last two nights I've dreamt about falling through the sky to my death, dropping my son on his fragile neck, and a close family member being on his death bed. Apparently, no matter how much I like this little boy, I still have serious reservations about my role as a father. I understand that. I get it. I just hope that it all goes away before he's thirty years old.

My second reason is a lot more mundane. People that are into the arts will understand, more than others. When you get out of the habit of using whatever skill you may have, it diminishes. In addition, it becomes harder to get back into a habit of using it. I didn't write anything for a couple of weeks, and I forgot to just sit down and #blog when a great idea came to me. Don't get me wrong, I still have thoughts and ideas scribbled in one of my journals. But unless I'm #Beethoven or #Salinger, what I write in my journals is barely worth the paper it's scribbled on. It's kind of like my stove-top burners. If I don't use them, they stop working. And if I don't have food stored away, it's not worth the ingredients dying in the fridge, and it's not worth the non-stick pan I have in the cupboard.

So what reminded me? Tonight I watched "The Captains Close-Up", a companion mini-series to a #WilliamShatner documentary called #TheCaptains. In the first doc he interviews previous #StarTrek captains about the experience they had running through the Star Trek franchise. In the follow up, which is in five parts on #Netflix, he goes behind the scenes of the Captains' interviews, and adds commentary from previous #Trek cast members. It concludes with an interview of #Shatner, in addition to #ChrisPine. I can't vouch for anything past episode two, but I'll let you know.

#AveryBrooks #DS9 is a crazy, musical, genius. He's still, currently a tenured professor of drama and music at #Rutgers but he doesn't care about that, at all. Shatner asked him about his inspirations and heroes to learn and teach music, and about his role as the first black Star Trek Captain. Bill Shatner mention plenty of inspiring black heroes, but Brooks brushed them all off. "My heroes? My heroes were my parents." Avery goes on to explain that it was his parents that taught him about history, and music, and about being black in a world that didn't get it yet. As for being the first black captain, he didn't care about that either. Because of his education and upbringing he cares, more about the human condition. How do we treat each other in general? Not as a black person, or a white person, or a Jew, or a woman, or any other type of person we could be referred to as. We, as humans need to care about the stake of our spirituality as a race, rather than worry about what we call ourselves, or what others calls us.

I paraphrased his sentiments, but it made sense to me.

I was equally blown away by #KateMulgrew, who I've always said was my least favorite captain. For completely different reasons than Brooks, I was impressed with #Mulgrew. She struggled non-stop with maintaining her family as a mother, a daughter, and a sister. Her cast mates couldn't stop mentioning how hard she worked to maintain her relationships with her family, and her life outside of Star Trek. I can't imagine the task that must have been. She was the first female captain, on one of the most watched shows of all time, and a mother of three. And she still managed to remind her crew mates to not forget to maintain the important parts of their family lives. That's impressive. And also ridiculous.

Anytime I watch a show about an actor, or musician, or any other kind of artist "selling out", I crack up. I watched a #FamilyGuy before my wife and baby went to bed about Bryan selling out to #CBS on his sitcom. These two episodes of #TheCaptainsCloseUp remind me why I don't want to ever do that.

But don't be confused. Offer me a million bucks, and I'll do just about anything.

Over, and out.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Real Outdoor Man

I have a challenge for the people that read this blog. All 3 of you. Write something sweet and heartfelt about the new love of your life, and follow it up writing about your random #BS and thoughts. It's damn near impossible. #NewBaby is everything. But I'm certainly gonna try anyway.

My neighbor, let's call him Lewis, is about 65-70 years old. I hadn't seen in for a few weeks, but I just assumed he was out scrapping. Literally, scrapping. His family grabs old appliances, refurbishes them, and then sell them for a lot more morons, like I, think they are worth. They do pretty well.

Apparently, when I hadn't seen him, it was because he had a stroke about 5 months ago. Understandably, he wasn't out back, working as much. His kids, whom I assume are in their thirties, were out cleaning, shoveling, and working on appliances. But the last couple of weeks, Lewis has been out there kicking ass and taking names.

I mean this as no slight to his kids. Anyone who knows Lewis would be out there doing the work for him. I'm not that great a person, or neighbor, but I'd do it myself if I could. But Lewis doesn't want that. He'd rather do it himself, correctly. I asked him why his kids weren't out there, taking a load off of his back. This is a direct quote. "Everyone else does a shit job."

I have so much respect for that. Even when acknowledging that I'm a lazy prick. That's a man, right there. #LastManStanding is a great show, and #TimAllen is brilliant. On the show he becomes a viral celebrity for his online video rants about being a man, an #OutdoorMan. It's great for his business, but that's not why he does it. He rants because a large population of male humans out there, have become sissies. Sissies that don't care of their spouses, don't care for their kids, don't care about anything but which Starbucks is closest so they can grab a latte.

I get it. And personally, I find Lewis to be inspiring. I'm not just saying that so he'll shake my hand and thank me. (He's too old to be reading #blogs anyway.) I'm saying it because it's right. I should have gotten my ass moving earlier today and shoveled the walkways. I should build something. I should walk the damn dog more often. Thanks, Lewis for reminding me.

Now, having said that, I'm gonna go make myself a latte. (I'm too cheap to buy one.)