Tag Archives: television

Things I Have Done So Far This Summer, The Honest Version

Written:
Album review: Sondre Lerche – Sondre Lerche (QRO)
Interview: Kid Sister (The Creators Project)

Visited:
Hogwarts
IMG_20110613_100753

Read:
Eating the Dinosaur – Chuck Klosterman
French translation of the first Percy Jackson book
The Partly Cloudy Patriot – Sarah Vowell
One-Hit Wonder – Lisa Jewell
Size 12 Is Not Fat – Meg Cabot
Werewolves In Their Youth – Michael Chabon
A Visit From the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan
Bossypants – Tina Fey
Talking To Girls About Duran Duran – Rob Sheffield
French translation of the Princess Diaries 1/2 books, compiled
Kafka On The Shore – Haruki Murakami
The Wordy Shipmates – Sarah Vowell
The Infinite Wisdom of Harriet Rose – Diana Janney
Slacker Girl – Alexandra Koslow
The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History – Jonathan Franzen
Girl With Curious Hair – David Foster Wallace

Seen in theaters:
Bridesmaids
X-Men: First Class
Midnight In Paris
Beginners

Watched:
Party Down complete series rewatch
The IT Crowd S4
Portlandia
Parks and Recreation
S2 rewatch with extended versions/deleted scenes
Undeclared
Louie
S1
The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret

Surprisingly not watched yet:
Gossip Girl S4
Cougartown
Pretty Little Liars
Teen Wolf

Had:
No life

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Fall TV manifesto

As of now, I am making the decision to not watch Glee this season and instead replace it with Community and Running Wilde. By swapping out an hour-long show for two half-hour ones, I will be spending the same amount of time watching TV. However, this is still an effective time management tactic, because it takes less effort to praise shows I actually enjoy than it does to dissect everything that makes Glee exemplary of shoddy storytelling. Kind of like that saying about how it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile.

Live: Flight of the Conchords @ Greek Theatre – Berkeley – 28 May 2010

Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement may not have signed on for a third season of their hit HBO series, but they proved that the show could go on as they brought their brand of offbeat comedy to Berkeley’s Greek Theatre. The New Zealand duo shared a few new songs amongst old favorites such as “Robots,” “Business Time,” and “Hurt Feelings,” accompanied by a single cellist noted as being the New Zealand symphony. They were joined by Arj “Dave” Barker for “Two Many Dicks on the Dancefloor.” Barker opened for the Conchords, along with Eugene Mirman.

The live show reflected the charming simplicity of the series with its basic setup. A few hints of flashiness–if it can even be called that–were used to great effect. Rainbow lighting accompanied Albi the Racist Dragon’s jellybean tears, Bret performed his karaoke song, and toward the end of the set, the lights were dimmed and the band was revealed to be wearing sequined jumpsuits before launching into “Bowie.” McKenzie’s and Clement’s abundant stage banter featured the naïve sense of humor that has made them successful. Wild tour stories included taking allergy medication and the tale of eating a hotel’s free muffins. There wasn’t a dull moment in the rather lengthy set.

Even if Flight of the Conchords the show doesn’t continue, hopefully Flight of Conchords the band will keep touring for the benefit of the ladies and gentlemen of the world.

Watching the Lost finale in spite of knowing almost nothing about the show (SPOILERS)

So, I just watched the series finale of Lost, even though I’d only previously seen a few episodes of the show two years ago. For the sake of convenience, here’s a list of things I knew about Lost based on those episodes, articles I had read, and what people had told me:

  • On the island, there is a polar bear, a smoke monster, and a random dog running around on the beach
  • The people who were on the island before the flight crashed are called the Others
  • Female characters’ plotlines tend to revolve around men and child-bearing
  • Someone named Jack cries all of the time
  • Everyone hates Kate
  • Charlie is on heroin, but it’s his brother’s fault
  • Somewhere on the island, there is a giant locker full of guns
  • Some guy named Desmond wears a blue shirt
  • A bunch of people go back in time and technically die before they are born
  • There’s something called the Dharma Initiative that has a sinister presence on the island
  • One guy won the lottery using a set of numbers that recur throughout the series

Clearly, I had a very strong grasp on what the show is about, so I obviously had to watch all two and a half hours of the series finale. Hey, I’ve sat through the third series of Torchwood, Misfits, and the Doctor Who episode with paper that eats people. Nothing is too ridiculous.

So, here are my reactions from the episode.  I was trying to look stuff up on Wikipedia while I was watching, but I can’t say it was very effective. I can only imagine how the people who have watched the entire series must feel. Obviously, there are spoilers.

(9:02:17 PM): Here we go. Airline montage, there’s a dude in scrubs looking at some x-rays
(9:03:21 PM): Whole bunch of bros reflecting on stuff on the island, and also some packages are ominously being loaded onto the airplane.
(9:04:23 PM): Oh look, some guy got a coffin in the mail!
(9:05:58 PM): Wow Desmond you’re so charming, you sure know how to show a lady a good time.
(9:08:46 PM): Okay, so you’re all going to some sort of mystical spot at the center of the island and stating right away that you don’t have a good feeling about this. Way to set up serious expectations.
(9:11:20 PM): Hummer-driving dude, you’re killing the environment. What, are you planning to be hit by some heavy artillery or something?
(9:12:53 PM): Oh, maybe it helps when you’re hauling around unconscious musicians.
(9:16:13 PM): The random dog on the island is one of the few things I already know about this show, apparently he’s named Vincent.
(9:25:38 PM): Look, a touching sonogram scene! Sun is remembering one of their seventy parallel existences on the island!
(9:31:24 PM): Oh cool, more talking about how everyone’s going to die.
(9:35:19 PM): Kayaking party! I was expecting there to be a sea monster or something, but there’s just a pilot floating in the water.
(9:42:56 PM): Well, this is a pleasant stroll through the jungle! The bald guy is actually some sort of incarnation of the smoke monster, right?
(9:49:46 PM): Cool, more people remembering stuff! It’s like time is standing still.
(9:51:14 PM): Where did Ian Somerhalder come from? Is the Hummer so big because it’s full of secrets?
(9:53:09 PM): Oh, now it’s time to rappell down the golden waterfall! I’m guessing John “Smoke Monster” Locke is going to push Jack down there, too.
(10:01:55 PM): How much shorter would this episode be if people didn’t spend so much time dramatically staring at each other?
(10:03:19 PM): Is there a sea monster in this golden pool? Is he going to be attacked by reanimated corpses like in Harry Potter?
(10:05:22 PM): Wait, did he unplug a pathway to the core of the earth or something?
(10:12:31 PM): Okay, Claire’s having a baby. Isn’t this show known for having weird childbirth hangups or something?
(10:17:08 PM): Bro just got crushed by a giant tree! Chaos reigns on the island! The giant rocks falling everywhere are clearly made of styrofoam!
(10:23:33 PM): At least one of these two guys has to fall off of this cliff, which one will it be?
(10:24:51 PM): Wasn’t John Locke already dead? Will he rebond with the earth as the smoke monster?
(10:43:24 PM): Well, that’s some impressive cliff-diving.
(10:56:15 PM): mmm, tasty puddle water
(11:03:44 PM): Brave pilot, your runway is cracking beneath you!
(11:04:16 PM): I still don’t know what the DHARMA Initiative is.
(11:14:08 PM): Wow, look at this scene of redemption and forgiveness outside of a church. John, Ben, nice one.
(11:26:42 PM): Hugs for everyone! Would this be less cheesy if I had watched the show from the beginning?
(11:28:14 PM): A dog is a stabbing victim’s best friend.
(11:31:57 PM): It was all just a dream? That was three hours of my life, I can only imagine how people who watched all six seasons must feel.

ETA: So it wasn’t all just a dream, but hey, I thought the show was all about polar bears and Jack crying.

Leisure Reading: Sleigh Bells, Local Natives, Blur, Interpol, M.I.A., Cults, and Bored To Death

First things first: listen to Sleigh Bells’ debut album Treats and blow your eardrums out. Pretty much all of the dirty, fuzzy sound from the demos is maintained, except now it’s a crisper sort of dirty and fuzzy. That probably doesn’t make sense in words, so you should just go hear it for yourself. The new version of “Infinity Guitars” is a particular stand-out, becoming even punchier and out-of-control.


There’s a new video for Local Natives’ “World News,” which has preemptively been on my list of favorite songs of 2010 for quite some time now. It’s directed by the same guy who did Dirty Projectors’ “Stillness Is The Move,” and while there are no llamas present, it’s probably nothing like what you would have expected for this song. Watch it here. You can also check out a bootleg of one of their recent sold-out Bowery Ballroom shows here.

Blur haven’t ruled out the possibility of recording new material, so that’s something to celebrate. However, it could be quite some time, considering that Damon Albarn is one of those people who tries to be in every band ever.

Interpol’s new album is done, but Carlos D. has quit the band. Considering how much he’s contributed to the Interpol brand, it’ll be interesting to see where Mssrs. Banks, Kessler, and Fogarino go from here. Will the replacement be required to wear random gun holsters and grow Colonel Sanders facial hair? I have a feeling that no one will be able to suffice in comparison to the real deal.

In other new release news, M.I.A.’s new album will be called / \ / \ / \ Y / \ and will be released on July 13 instead of June 29. Considering that her people hired a blimp to advertise the release date during Jay-Z’s set at Coachella, something serious must have caused the switch. Surely the reaction to ginger genocide wasn’t that strong?

Cults have made a three-song 7″ available for free on Bandcamp. If you like layered vocals, glockenspiel, and lazy sunny days, this is for you.

Filming for season two of Bored To Death is still going. The first set the expectations high (in more ways than one), and we all need more Schwartzman, Galifianakis, and Danson in our lives. Considering that these pictures show the Zach Galifianakis character Ray apparently involved with a dog-walking service, this next season can only get better.

The 11th Doctor emerges in “The Eleventh Hour”

The long-awaited new full series of Doctor Who arrived yesterday with “The Eleventh Hour.” The episode ushered in the next era of the long-running series with a new Doctor (Matt Smith), new companion (Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillan), and new head writer (Steven Moffat, who has penned various terror-inducing scripts for Nine and Ten). Unfortunately, there is also a new mix of the theme song, which is decidedly more low-key than its previous incarnation and does not make me feel as if I could single-handedly conquer genocide.

As for the new Doctor, he’s certainly up to his typical alien antics. Unsure of his new form, one of the first scenes features the freshly-regenerated Time Lord plowing through a kitchen as he determines the likes and dislikes of his new taste buds. (In a break from the traditional bananas and tea, fish fingers and custard become his snack of choice.) Smith retains the manic mannerisms of the previous Doctor, David Tennant, but with a more contained physical presence. He also exhibits more pretty-boy arrogance than someone who looks so much like a foot ought to, but Eleven hasn’t had time to look in a mirror yet, and the new companion doesn’t seem to mind much.

Now, I really wanted to like Amy Pond, and I still want to like her. However, what is presented in this episode is essentially Rose Tyler 2.0, minus the heavy-handed eye makeup. Similarly to Rose, Amy Pond is already in a relationship when she meets the Doctor. Similarly to Mickey, Rory Williams is a sharp young man who seems fully capable of being more than the tin dog. While there is certainly something innately charismatic about the character of the Doctor, that’s no excuse for Amy making sure she gets an eyeful whilst Eleven changes out of Ten’s old suit–especially when Rory is standing next to her. When Amy boards the TARDIS, it is the night before her wedding. While she says that she needs to return in time for the ceremony, it seems apparent that there are no guarantees as to whether or not she will actually go through with the marriage once she has spent more time with the Doctor. Moffat has a history of writing romances for the Doctor, and this seems to be no exception. However, this is still only the first episode–there’s plenty of time to see what the little blue box brings.

Doctor Who: Countdown to Eleven

The adorably foot-faced Matt Smith went on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross to promote the new full series of Doctor Who, which starts April 3. Included were a new trailer and a preview clip.

Trailer:

Clip:

The clip is from the sixth episode, Vampires In Venice, written by Being Human creator Toby Whithouse. Whithouse also wrote the series two episode School Reunion. I think it’s safe to say that we can set the expectations high for this one. However, what’s seen in the clip does come across as being a leftover Ten-era script. Hopefully Eleven will show a little more of his own personality.

Now, I’m as excited as the next fangirl, but I could really go for some new villains. Sure, the return of the Weeping Angels will probably leave me desperately keeping my eyes open for far too long, and I understand that the team was asked to write a Dalek story for the sake of tradition, but Daleks AND Cybermen? We’ve got a new Doctor, what about keeping things fresh?

The Situation Abroad: Jersey Shore Hits The UK

In a move to continue to make American culture look bad, MTV UK is airing Jersey Shore. While my fellow anglophiles know that the UK is perfectly capable of producing its own ridiculously-premised programming, it seems that MTV continues to be unimaginative internationally. You would think that a program like Jersey Shore would not appeal to non-American audiences, but they’re trying anyways. Read The Guardian’s reaction here.

A friend described this development more perfectly than I ever could: “We don’t show that to guests.”