Thursday, May 27, 2010

Five Best TV Shows

Here are my votes for the best shows on tv right now...or not on anymore (WEEP)

1. Lost. Well DUH. What did you expect me to say? If you read this and still this was a surprise to you, you need to just go away. I'm not even gonna go on a spiel about why I love it.

2. Cougar Town- It is SO easy to roll a derisive eye at this. I know, because before it came out I was definitely one of those people who scoffed. A tv show starring the worst 'Friend' about a middleaged woman who lusts after young'uns. Throw in the lady from 'The Drew Carey Show' and her terrifying new face and mix it up with a fairly terrible first episode, and you got yourself a winner! Strangely I stuck with it and thank the baby jesus for that, because no other show makes my laugh hysterically on a consistent basis. Firstly, you have to throw away your expectations because it is NOT about Courtney Cox being a cougar and lusting after the young'uns. That plot is thrown away within the first few episodes. It's become a show that celebrates friendships and family in all it's forms, as well as drinking lots of wine and beer along the way. Umm, YES! Maybe it's because I see a lot of myself and my friends in the characters, but every week I'm like "I want that life!!" And I don't know why she never showed it before, but Courtney Cox is fucking hilarious. It makes me like Monica Geller a little more. Best thing about the show: Busy Phillips, who plays brassy and klassy (yes, with a 'k') Laurie. Part of the joy of watching the show is the hilarious things they say. The other part is watching Laurie's as she reacts to things. Honestly, it makes me re-watch episodes over and over, just to fall over in laughter at her face. Let me say it again: GET OVER YOUR PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS AND WATCH A FEW EPISODES. Best comedy on tv right now, no question. Even better than 30 Rock *sacrilege!* PENNY CAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNN!

3. Vampire Diaries- STOP ROLLING YOUR EYES! This season was blessed/cursed with shows that it is very easy to form an opinion without ever watching a show (see also: Cougar Town). VD was another one of those, and I admit to mocking it mercilessly before it even came out. Sample thought: "oh gee, ANOTHER teenage drama about wimpy vampires and angst and the sullen girl caught in the midst. PUKE PUKE PUKE". What became very obvious soon after the show began was that it is a decidedly grown up and unstereotypical show. Every character is exceedingly well created and people you would expect to be one way (ie. Caroline, the pretty, blonde, Queen Bee personality) surprise you by surmounting their 'type' to become genuinely interesting. Some take a little longer than others (ie. Jeremy, the sad, broody brother), but give it time. There isn't a weak link among the bunch. In terms of storytelling, VD is probably the most successful at propelling it's main story from week to week, introducing and solving mysteries, building suspense, taking big twists, creating conflicts, etc. I can't think of another show (nope, not even Lost *SACRILEGE!*) that so efficiently tells it's story and holds my interest from week to week. My investment into the ultimate story of Lost was fostered over the course of several seasons, whereas with VD it has come about within it's very first. Impressive stuff! BOTTOM LINE: get over your initial smug, 'oh yay, another teen vampire drama' inclination and you'll be happily surprised.

4. Modern Family- Another comedy! Another show in it's first season! I must be easily impressed by new things. (yeah, pretty much) I have to say, it IS easier to get into this show than Cougar Town or Vampire Diaries, if only because it doesn't create the initial kneejerk reaction of "LAAAAAAAAME". MF is another one of those shows that makes me pretty near wet myself with laughter every time, but in a different way than Cougar Town. It's difficult to say why that is... I'm tempted to call it 'intelligent humour', but that isn't to say that CT isn't intelligent. I guess it's like comparing 'Frasier' to 'Friends', where MF is the Frasier and CT is the Friends. Both funny, well written, with a solid cast of characters, but people always look at "Frasier" as being the more 'highbrow' or the two. MF really is, at it's heart, about family. Three different versions, all related, all with their different idiosyncracies and stories. The gay dads raising their adopted baby, the old man and his younger wife, and the classically 'nuclear family'. All of them are BONKERS :p It's a rare show that can both tickle your funny bone and warm your darkened little heart, and MF does that pretty much every week.

5. I need time to think about this one. I have two shows are are fighting for the title, and I need to carefully consider and pick just one. One is a comedy, one is a drama. WHICH WILL WIN!? tbc

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In the lead up to the finale...

...of Lost, of course!

I've noticed a common thread amongst critics who are reviewing the more recent episodes of Lost. A sentence or phrase that keeps popping up with alarming consistency is "I will be so disappointed if 'insert mystery here' isn't answered by the finale".

Now, I am a card carrying, "I'm A Candidate" t-shirt wearing, blog updating, friend aggravating, theory espousing fan of Lost. (I will pause a moment for you to say "well DUH"). But am I going into the finale with my list of theories that MUST BE ANSWERED OR ELSE I GET HULK-SMASHY? Hell no. The minute I do that, I set myself up to be let down.

I think too many people are heading into sunday's finale with this sense of "alright Lost, I've stuck with you for six years. I forgave you Nikki & Paolo. I acted like I cared about Jack's tattoos. I didn't leave you when you killed Libby/Juliet/Jin/Sun (ok, mostly Sun and notsomuch Jin). YOU OWE ME!". Lost doesn't owe us anything except for to finish telling the story it was always meant to. Oh sure, there are a great many things that I would like to get addressed and/or answered. But will I revolt if they aren't? No.

A review I was reading made a very good point about last week's episode, "Across The Sea", which by all accounts has caused many a Lostie to throw their arms up in disappointment and say a very loud "wtf?!". The author made the point that the episode had the effect of re-focusing our attentions on the themes and motives that REALLY matter to Lost. We've gotten so distracted by things like "What happened to Ben's childhood friend Annie?? Why were the Others building an airplane runway?? What about the Hurleybird??" that we forget the most important question raised by the show: "what is the Island and what do the Losties have to do with it? And what is going to happen to our beloved Losties?" "Across The Sea" very plainly set in motion what is necessary to have those questions answered, so yay for it.

We get so caught up in the little finicky details of the show that it gets difficult to seperate our own vested interest from the ultimate story that Lost is trying to tell. We need to catch our breaths, sit back and let it all unfold as the writers want it to. And frankly, from day one this has been a show that heavily uses ambiguity to pepper it's story. Why shouldn't it end on the same note?

I say, by the time the show is done on sunday night and I have composed myself into a somewhat manageable human-shaped ball of mess, whatever questions remain unanswered are just fodder to keep my brain occupied for who knows how long, gleefully theorizing away.

That being said, if Rose, Bernard or Vincent don't show up in the finale, I'm going to be SO disappointed.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

In Memoriam

Let us please take a moment to remember fondly Jin & Sun, now deceased.
*got the sads*

I shake my fist at you Lost.