Tag Archives: television

Lost 3/4/09: Like Sands through the Hourglass. . .

So are the days of their lives… or lives’ …or whatever.

Last week’s Entertainment Weekly featured Ken Tucker’s review of Lost. (note that the review wasn’t written by EW’s resident Lost junkie Jeff “Doc” Jensen.)  In it, Tucker argues that lost has gained some momentum because, unlike many “sci-fi” shows, this one appeals to women.

Well, ladies– this episode’s for you! 

To re-cap, the episode centers on what happens to Sawyer, Miles, Juliet and Faraday after the flash that sends Locke on his journey as Jeremy Bentham (I think last week’s episode will go down as one of the most pivotal of the season, if not the entire series).   

Here’s what we learn:

  • The 4 toed statue used to have a full body.  Has long flowing locks, but we only see it from behind.  Speculation to ensue, I’m sure.
  • Sawyer and Co. seem to be over their time travel sickness.  Apparently this means that Locke succeeded.
  • Soon upon their return, Sawyer and the crew “rescue” a woman (Amy) who is being kidnapped by “hostiles”  One of them is named Paul.  I’m sure there are biblical implications here.
  • The sonic fence thing that killed (but did not kill) Mikael was operational in the Dharma Days.  Apparently some people know how to go through the wall and some (like our fearless leader, James “LaFleur” and his rag-tag group of followers) don’t.
  • Sawyer has convo. with Richard Alpert and tells him what he knows about Locke, the bomb, etc.  Alpert realizes he isn’t Dharma, but doesn’t seem overly concerned.
  • Sawyer, Juliet and Jin stay on the  island as Dharma people for 3 years, in which time Amy marries  and gets pregnant by Horace, yet still holds a torch for Paul, as evidenced by some necklace that surely has significance, but just looks like the Prince emblem to me.  She successfully has a baby boy, thanks to Juliet.  Weird island curse against pregnant women, be damned.  Is this because whatever makes the curse happen hasn’t happened yet or did Locke’s “fixing” of everything all of a sudden cure the island of the curse?  Time will tell, I’m sure.
  • Speaking of Juliet, she’s now shacking up with Sawyer.  Lucky girl.  He convinces her to stay for 2 more weeks.  She stays 3 years.  He tells Horace that 3 years is long enough to get over a girl. 
  • He gets an early morning call.  Jack, Kate, and Hurley are there.  Back from their days as half of the Oceanic 6.  So, Sawyer, is 3 years really long enough?

In his review, Tucker says:

“What’s great about the series this season is that you can dive deep into its familiar-yet-fresh bubbling stew of physics, numerolgy, and smoke monsters… or you can just skim across its blinding sun surface, grooving on the thwarted romances, the time shifting nosebleeds, and how great Kate looks in a suit.”

True, but for me the whole thing was a little too schmaltzy — from the love triangle (now rectangle?) to Sawyer’s hair, everything had an aura of cheesiness on it that kinda turned me off.   Yeah we got the 4 toed statue.  And the mention of polar bears. And the black rock.  And some insight into Daniel (more in a sec), but the main plotline was week.  And cheesy.  And for a show that was clearly geared toward the estrogen set, there wasn’t nearly enough of Sawyer shirtless.  Seriously.  (Come to think of it, was he ever shirtless this episode?)

Then again, I said something similar after the episode last season where Hurley found the Dharma bus and it ended up having a lot more significance later in the season.  So I should learn to keep my mouth shut.

Other random thoughts:

  • I really liked the scene with Faraday where he saw the redheaded girl we can only assume is Charlotte.   Faraday is my favorite character this season. So far, we’re supposed to trust everything he says as “truth” because he’s the scientist and all, but we’ll see how it shakes out. 
  • I’m sure there will be lots of speculation about the baby– who is it?  why was he allowed to survive on the island?  What changes between 1970-whatever and 1994.   My best guess is that the boy is Faraday– he’s really the only one young enough to have been born in the 70s.  His mom’s name is “Amy” on the island, but maybe she changed it to Eloise. Or maybe Amy dies and Eloise raises Daniel as her own.  Or maybe she just ages really quickly.  There are lots of possibilities.  If this is true, though, it contradicts my earlier theory that Daniel was the “clever fellow” who figured out that whole pendulum thing.  Whatever.
  • I’m sure there’s something to Sawyer’s pseudonym, James LaFleur… it’s also the title of this episode.  And there’s that uber-romantic scene with the flower…  That whole scene reminded me of the “before” scene with Juliet and [name escapes me] right before the Lostie’s plane “crashed.” 
  • I couldn’t figure out where I knew the dark-haired Dharma guy from.  And then it occurred to me that he played Jimmy (the TV show host, blanking on last name) on Mad Men.  First The Wire and now Mad Men!!  I love it when my favorite shows cross-pollinate like that. 
  • My favorite lines of the night came from Sawyer (as usual):   To Daniel after he makes some existential statement:    “Thanks anyway, Plato.”  To Miles after he told Miles about the dead guys not being Dharma:  “Hold your horses, bonsai.” (I think he’s called Miles Mr. Miagi in the past.)

Don’t forget to read Doc Jensen tomorrow.  I’m sure he’ll have a hootenanny of a time unravelling all the mysteries!

Lost Recap

No live blogging tonight. I had too much to do.

Granted, I didn’t do *any* of it and chose to play Catan online while watching Lost, but that’s neither here nor there.   Lots of answers tonight… mostly to things we’d already speculated about.  But it’s always nice to get confirmation.

Here are my shorthand notes.   Back to full notes and/or live blogging next week.  Maybe.  If Catan doesn’t continue to suck away at my free time.

Charlotte has been on island before.  Is now dead.  Is she Annie, perhaps?
Christian Shepard is Jacob
Eloise Hawking = white haired lady= Faraday’s mother  (Eloise was also the name of Faraday’s lab rat)
Locke = sacrifice = sacrificial lamb
Chrisian “can’t” help Locke up… Kinda like when Locke “couldn’t” shoot Charlie (or was it Jack?)  
Christian = Locke?= Christ= Sacrificial lamb  (Locke is the “main of faith”)
Talk amongst yourselves… Please…  I’m sure there is much better/deeper commentary to be found.
And I promise a post on my Chicago weekend soon.

Lost is Back!!

I didn’t take notes on last night’s ep.  Thought it was good, not great, but I’m glad the show is back on-air.

BIG questions:
— who is Faraday’s mom?  We think probably the white-haired lady
— why are Desmond and Locke “special”?  Are they “constants” for island people (i.e. Alpert, Ethan)
— who was the baby in the opening montage?  That *has* to be significant.  I’m thinking there’s a Jin/Sun connection
— why does time keep changing?  Is Ben still turning the wheel?
— why do they all have to be on the island to make it right?   A Back-to-the-Future kind of thing?
— How did Locke get back to the island?  Who joins which “team”?  Is Ben good or Evil? When/how did the pilot (can’t remember his name… looks like Nick Nolte) die? Is Jin really dead?  Is Locke really dead?  Will he be “reanimated” once he returns to the island?  These are probably the season-long questions…

Other thoughts:
–I have a crush on Faraday.  Yes, Sawyer was shirtless for 2/3 of the night, but Faraday is cute to me.
–Hurley is still funny.  I loved the “I need a cool code name” line and the exchange with the woman in the gas station. ‘No, I think you heart them.’ ahahah!
— It was good to see some old characters re-appear.  Except Hurley’s dad.  I hate his hair.
— I don’t understand why Juliet isn’t giving up more about what she knows of the island.  It seems as if Faraday/Charlotte/Miles are now the “information keepers.”
— Speaking of Charlotte, it’s pretty clear that she’s dead a la Roger Workman.  The bloody nose gave that away. Originally I thought it meant that they had moved to the future (after her real-life death), but that’s not the case.  Has she been dead the whole time?  Or does time travel somehow make her sick?  And how did Roger Workman KNOW he was dead, yet she’s oblivious?

Big Day

The countdown is almost over.  The day has finally arrived.   No, not Obama’s first full day in office, although that is important.

Today marks the day that the new season of LOST begins. And I am pumped.  I have a dinner-drinks-and-LOST date planned for my 30 days.  And I’ll try to post reactions as soon as possible.

In case you don’t remember, check out my entry from last year on Why I Heart LOST.

What to watch??

It’s Sunday night and I’m bummed because there’s nothing on TV …  Mad Men is over, Project Runway is over, and Lost  doesn’t come back on for another 3 months.  Other than The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, there are no shows that I watch on a regular basis.

Part of my problem is that I have a hard time remembering when things are on.   I’ve never been one to schedule my life around TV, so I’ve kinda missed the boat on shows like The Office and How I Met Your Mother.  I’ll watch them occasionally, but I kinda forget when they’re on and I just don’t have all the back story to go on. 

So, now that fall is (allegedly) upon us, I’m looking for some new shows to watch.  I prefer to watch shows on DVD so that I can watch them whenever I want and not have to wait another week for the next batch. Right now my Netflix queue includes the last 2 seasons of The L Word and Weeds.

Any suggestions?

I Love Mad Men. 

The season finale was tonight. It was amazing.  ‘Nuff said.

courtesy glark.org

courtesy glark.org

Interview w/Myself

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I hope Hannah is flattered that I stole her interview format for this post. :)

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So, how was your weekend?

Good.  Busy, but good.

Busy, huh?  What did you do?

Well, on Saturday we had the Cross-Town Tournament: Savoy vs. Centennial at boot camp. 

Today I was up brite and early, rode my bike to the grocery store, did a BUNCH of yardwork, started laundry, made a pasta salad and a pot of soup, went to a cookout for my Mom’s birthday, played with her dogs and came home to some more housework.

That cross-town tournament sounds fun.  Did you win?

Oh, no.  We got smoked.  It was a best 2 out of 3 tournament: Dodge Ball, Danish Long Ball and an obstacle course.  We lost the first 2 rounds so we didn’t even need to play the third.  But we did.  And still lost.  That Savoy team is tough.

Is there anything you didn’t do?

Yep. I didn’t go out.  Not once. Not even to watch the Illini game.  And I didn’t go running, watch any of my Netflix movies OR read any one of the three books I have started.

How ’bout those Illini?

Yeah, pretty awesome, huh? I didn’t watch the whole game, but I kept checking the score.  Too bad the Cubs had to disappoint.

How’s the running going?

It’s going good.  Week 4 is really hard.  I decided to take the day off on Saturday because of boot camp.  I’ve been working out 6 days a week and I’m starting to get a little fatigued, so I took today off, too. (Yard work and household chores have to count for something right?) It puts me a little behind schedule, but I’m in no hurry.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes, watch Mad Men.  It’s getting REALLY good.  Also, make sure you’re registered to vote.

Believe it or not…

I don’t have wireless.  Or TiVo.  I generally blog in my spare bedroom/office until it’s time for “my shows” to come on.  Then I stop writing, head to the couch (oftentimes with my laptop), and finish my posts later.  Until Jon Stewart comes on, and then I have to stop again.

I only have about 5 TV shows right now that I *have* to watch every week (The Rachel Zoe Project, Project Runway, Mad Men and Entourage),  but with work, boot camp, running, household chores and somewhat of a social life, this leaves precious little time for blogging.    

It would be so much easier if I could just multitask and watch TV and write at the same time. Or Tivo my favorite shows to watch in my non-blogging time.   Maybe that’s a better solution.  ‘Cuz I have a feeling that if I had wireless, I’d *never* get offline.  Ever.

Emmy Recap

Congratulations!  Mad Men won for Best Drama and Best Writing.  Yet another reason to start watching.  Like, now!  

Fashion

I actually took notes on the fashions, but there wasn’t really much to say.  Everyone pretty much played it safe.  The only looks I hated were Jennifer Love Hewett, Eva Longoria, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, but even they weren’t really *that* bad.  (I can’t even find a pic of JLD)

   

Whatever happened to the days when celebrities dressed up as swans or wore dresses made out of gold cards?  

My favorite moments:

Tina Fey’s multiple wins. . . and her exchange with Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet:

Tina: Thanks for not asking me about Sarah Palin
Ryan: Oh, I was told not to
Tina:  Really?  Well, thanks…
Ryan:  So… have you talked to her?
Tina:  No (visibly uncomfortable)
Ryan: Would you? Like, would you have a drink with her?
Tina:  Well, maybe if she’s free in November. Maybe then I’d have a drink with her.
Ryan: (oblivious to the “free in November” reference) HA HA.  Great talking to you.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Ryan Seacrest is a total douche.  The interview was uncomfortable hilarity at it’s best. I can’t find this on YouTube yet, but I’ll put it up when/if I do.

Josh Grobin’s Tribute to TV theme songs

 

It was great in a schmaltzy cruise-ship kind of way!

Anything with Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert

They both won, which was good. And they were gracious and funny towards one another.  My fave lines:

Stephen:  And I really want to thank Jon Stewart.  But he won’t let me.  Seriously, man, change your mind!

Jon: I’m looking forward to the next administration, whoever it is. I’ve got nothing else. I’m really looking forward to the next administration, whoever it is.

Old.. I mean REALLY OLD stars

As cheesy as it was, it was kinda nice to see some of the old-school TV stars there.

I was especially impressed with the honorary Emmy they gave to Tommy Smothers of the Smothers Brothers.  He voluntarily left himself off the list of writers back in the 60s because his material was too controversial.  His writing staff (including Steve Martin) won that year, so they decided to award him a “commemorative” Emmy this year.

It was also fun to see Betty White.  And Don Rickles w/Kathy Griffin.  And the Laugh-in thing.  Kinda cheesy, but also kinda fun.  Way better than the “bits” the hosts did. What was up with Jeff Probst and that Dragnet costume? Lame-O!

Other than that, it was your run-of-the-mill boring Award show. I don’t even watch half of the shows that are nominated.  Lost was completely shut out and I really, really, really wish that Jon Hamm would’ve won in the Best Actor category. 

In Other TV News…

I also watched Entourage and America’s Next Top Model during the Emmys.  Entourage was better than it’s been in a *long* time.  The scene with Ari and the cops had me laughing out loud and I actually cheered when Ari bitch-slapped Davies.

I was kinda bummed that Jeremy Piven won again at the Emmy’s, but the Ari-centered episodes really are the best.

ANTM was just okay:  Makeover challenge, make-up challenge and swimsuit photo shoot. We’ve seen it all before.  It was sorta interesting to watch Isis, the tranny model, try to “work” her bikini though.

Watch Mad Men.  Do it!

Mad About Mad Men 

Mad Men is a show about advertising executives in the 1960s. In addition to being my current pop-culture obsession, it’s up for 16 Emmy Awards tonight. To me, Mad Men is like a combination of the best parts of The Wonder Years, The Office, and The Sopranos all rolled into one.

Even if you don’t generally like “critically acclaimed dramas” I highly recommend you give Mad Men a shot.  Here’s why:

It’s visually stunning
The lighting, the costumes, the hair and the make-up are all just gorgeous.  It really brings back  a much more glamorous and put-together kind of world.

The nostalgia factor
The show provides an interesting glimpse into everyday life in the 60s.  People smoke constantly on the show—at home, at work, even in the doctor’s office (!).  They also drink heavily (sometimes while driving), and work at desks… without computers!  It’s amazing to think of the kinds of work they did back then without any of the technology we take for granted. 

 I’m also really intrigued by the advertising stuff.  The clients range from Lucky Strike to Kodak to American Airlines. Here’s an especially moving moment from one of the ad pitches:

Historical time period
Mad Men is peppered with all kinds of historical details—from big things like the Kennedy-Nixon debates to little things like kids riding in the car without their seat belts.   

But, more importantly, the timing of the series gives us a unique perspective on a pivotal time in American history. Season 1 takes place in 1960 and Season 2 is set two years later. This is the beginning of the 60s… before the Kennedy assassination, before Woodstock, before the escalation of the Vietnam War. In the Mad Men world, life is good…hardworking men score big accounts, have trophy wives and liquid lunches, drive Cadillacs and sleep with their secretaries.

We know that there are huge cultural shifts underfoot and can see some foreshadowing of change, but the characters of Mad Men are, for the most part, oblivious to all of this.

I’ve read that the creators of the show hope to continue the show through 1972, so it will be interesting to watch these admittedly “old school” characters as they learn to cope during one of the most tumultuous times in our history.

Great Writing, Storytelling, and Characters

Although the time period is fascinating, the writing, acting, and storyline are what keep Mad Men from becoming just another kitschy novelty show (a la Swingtown, which is just horrible!).

The characters are complex and well-written.  Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is the suave creative director who has the “magic touch” when it comes to wowing clients.  He has a lovely wife, a house in the suburbs, two adorable kids, a bunch of mistresses—and a secret past.   Even though he does some deplorable things, you can’t really hate him. Creator Matthew Weiner used to be the head writer for The Sopranos, so comparisons to Tony Soprano are plentiful.

The supporting characters at the Sterling-Cooper ad agency are also interesting in their own right.  There’s the closeted gay guy, the ruthless up-and-comer, the literary poet, and a couple of guys that seem to be there just for laughs.

But, what really impresses me is the complexity of the female characters.  On a show set in the 60s called Mad Men, it would be easy to write the women as merely supporting characters—wives, secretaries, hookers.  And, in some respects, they are.  But the writers have given these women great roles to work with. 

There’s Don’s wife Betty, who looks like Grace Kelly and plays the part of the perfect suburban housewife.  But underneath, she’s jealous, manipulative, and sometimes cruel. 

At the agency, there’s Joan, the knockout office manager who has the men in the office wrapped around her finger.   Then there’s Peggy, a frumpy girl from the secretarial pool who landed a job as a copywriter.  It’s interesting to watch the two of them as they use their sexuality and intelligence to navigate office politics in a *very* male-dominated environment.

All in all, it’s just a fantastic show and I look forward to watching it every week.  Unfortunately, there is no new episode this week, due to the Emmys.  Guess I’ll just have to watch those!

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Mad Men airs Sundays at 9:00 CST on AMC.