The State of my TV

So I know it’s been a long time since I’ve updated.  I apologize as I’m falling down on my NY’s resolutions stating I would post one blog per weekend.  (To be fair, recently I met one big resolution of cleaning out my garage.)  But it’s not all my fault, I am not that impressed with TV.  Let me discuss my current TV shows now:

The Office: Caught up to the episodes last night. I love The Office but it’s something I can watch later.  I’m really enjoying Andy and Erin right now and I got worried when they showed their foster brother.  And can I say I’m rooting for Dwight and Isabelle?

Law & Order: Ok, I’m enjoying this one the most, and not just because of my shipping compulsion for the two DAs.  I think it’s quality has vastly improved these last few years: the current cast, the writing, and finally becoming bolder with personal relationships.  Sadly, now that they moved the show, again, on Monday nights along it’s back to struggling in the ratings.  I’m hoping this has more to do with NBC still recovering from the colossal mistake of the Jay Leno show, but only time will tell.  I will state if you haven’t watched the episode, Innocence, you are missing the best episode of the year (and one that strays from the typical format of the show).

Chuck: Also on Monday nights, my interest has been reduced to zero.  The season started off so promising.  Then they introduced Superman as the next Doppelganger in the Chuck/Sarah relationship.  It’s startling that we’ve got to through this AGAIN, the Chuck/Sarah/Brett triangle made much more sense and had a  lot more layers.  Adding in Hannah doesn’t help, though I did like her, but again, it feels like a repeat of the Lou character and this show can do so much better.  I’ve watched few episodes and have no desire to tune in again.

CSI: I don’t know if it was my imagination or I’m a masochist, but for some stupid reason I get excited for Greg/Sara again.  The idea of Sara/Grissom makes me want to vomit for the rest of my life but maybe I could learn to let it go if she dumped his waddling ass for Greg (only for Greg to dump her ass).  I know that won’t happen.  There was this weird moment some time ago between them, thus I’ve been watching expectantly for a long time but nothing new.  Must have been my imagination.

Survivor: So Russell put one over on Rob.  Or one could say, Russell asked Tyson to switch his vote and the nimrod agreed which threw off Rob’s plan.  The only good news is it mainly hurt Tyson who I always hated anyway.  (Maybe even more than Russell except we’ve seen very little of Tyson).

Lost: They had me all the way up to Charlotte/Sawyer.  NO NO NO NO NO.  Must every ship I love have to be reduced to nothing?  ONe of the main reasons I supported the bomb exploding is that it SHOULD allow for both Daniel and Charlotte to be alive now, and they could have gotten together. Seeing Charlotte and Sawyer together was all kinds of wrong.  The good news is the follow up episode featured Richard pretty much the entire time and I can always get back to that.

V: It should start this week, right?

Glee: Can’t wait to April.

In Plain Sight & Criminal Intent: Should both premier on March 31st.  Looking quite forward to it.

Losting in a New World

So I totally absolutely completely and sincerely apologize for NOT blogging about Lost yet.  There is no excuse.  I have none.  I sat down now to actually compose a blog about Survivor which I can come up with half a dozen subjects to discuss for the 2 episodes we’ve seen.  Then I realized how long it’s been since I spoke about Lost and I felt bad.

There are so many things I could say, but I want to see where this is going...

Please understand, this does not mean that I am not enjoying Lost, quite the contrary.  It’s amazing how the writers can actually take the story into directions I had never imagined in ways that keep my attention.  The problem is…it’s easier to talk about Survivor because it’s an all star season, and the show is chock full of moments to discuss, pick on, laugh at, rejoice in, and worry about.  It’s all straight forward.  I know what to think of Survivor. I don’t know what to think of Lost.

I know we have two universes being the result of the nuclear bomb.  I know that the explosion triggered what would become the death of the island (something I’m not sure happened immediately since we know Ben is alive and well off the island).  The island’s presence gone was something we had suspected and that Flight 815 would land safely in LA.  What I didn’t expect was how much the island interfered with people’s lives before they came to the island.  I had never thought of that.  I knew Richard had visited young Locke and Jacob had made sure to say hello to everyone to specific people as well.  The island of course was the heart of the Dharma Initiative which transported many souls there, employing hundreds of people on whatever the heck they were working on (which still isn’t clear).  It became the magnate to draw Desmond there and Penny’s father, Charles, is probably not the same man he eventually became.

I just don’t know what to say yet.  I refuse to speculate.  I’m always wrong.  Far from wrong.  Wrong wrong wrong wrong.  I am tired of being wrong.  We are dealing in time travel, universe paradox, balance between good and evil as well as minor supernatural elements such as Miles’ ghost talking and Hurley may have it too.  How can I possibly know where this is all going? How can I even venture a guess?  No, I learned my lesson from Harry Potter where I attempted to imagine how Rowling would write the final book and I couldn’t have been more wrong.  The good news in that is I was completely satisfied with her ending.  It’s rare when that happens, most of the time I’m always disappointed.  So far the writers have been keeping me entertained and still guessing.

I’m going to just take the attitude to sit back and relax.  So far we’ve learned that the bomb going off didn’t reset the story but simply created a possible tangent to the story.  We’ve learned the meaning of the numbers which have assignments to certain characters.  We’ve learned a bit more of the NotLocke character as well as meeting a whole new group of others.  Some things I’ve been happy about (the numbers), pleasantly entertained by (the NotLocke) or irritated to their presence (the others in the temple).  But even the latter certainly is entertaining to watch if it’s only in my desire to hope they are wrong (about Sayid).

The season is still young, we’ve got more new episodes ahead of us than behind us so I’m hoping Lost winds up not living up to it’s name, but it’s reputation.

Russell-overrated?

I apologize, I’ve yet to do a recap of Lost this week.  I’m rather intimidated by it. Three solid hours (well two) is a lot to cut through and so much to absorb.  I’m still thinking on it.

What I want to blog on is another show long waited to premiere and that’s Survivor.  Another all star season that has split the returning cast members into two categories, villains and heroes.

I thought I was done with the last season.  But I was rather dismayed at how many people I’ve come across insisting that Natalie stole Russell’s rightful claim of being the winner. What?  Am I the only one who saw through the CBS propaganda of lunacy?  Were people really fooled into thinking he was this brilliant strategist? Maybe I was missing something and I just over thinking the situation.  While I don’t mean to suppose that Natalie was a superb manipulator herself, I do think she deserved to win as much, if not more, than Russell. So I’ve decided to go ahead and go over the Russell history from Samoa and recap.  I hope to not miss anything, and now that we have the ability of hindsight, really analyze his moves in game play.

The beginning

This group shot is only needed to prove we had other players besides the same six they kept featuring over and over.

It’s really funny to think back to the beginning of the season, that first episode where we “met” twenty people.  What’s funny about it is, I never learned half their names. It really did revolve around Russell, the other Russell, Natalie, Jaison, Shambo, Erik and a few girls from Galu who together resulted in a “Mean Girls” clique.  Even before the show aired, CBS was calling that this season of Survivor had the greatest villain we would ever see!  Wow, really?  Greater than Rich?  Greater than Jon who lied about having a dead grandma?  Really?

Well, the first few episodes started.  Let’s run down Russell’s game play from the start.  First, he lies about being a Katrina victim.  Now granted, that’s certainly a manipulation of one’s heartstrings and to try to conjure up sympathy.  But it’s not exactly original nor do I consider it a good strategic move.  Johnny Fairplay already did that several seasons ago, and way more successfully, orchestrating with his best friend way before he even started. It angered many people, and rightfully so.  Russell elected to use the great tragedy of New Orleans’s hurricane, which is still fresh in many REAL survivors minds, as his “dead grandmother”.  First, he did it straight off the bat, the very first night it looked like.  It’s as if he didn’t know how to keep something to himself (a weakness we will discuss later).  Second, again, using the Katrina situation would be seen the same as someone pretending to be a 9/11 survivor.  The public doesn’t take well to such claims and it minimizes that real people have experienced and attempted to overcome on their own.  Seeing a con man on TV attempting to use that so he can win a reality TV show sets a bad taste in my mouth.

But wait, there’s more.  Also from this first episode, Russell goes about sabotaging his tribe.  Yes, during a time when winning competitions is the best way to stay on this show, he is over there emptying water buckets and burning socks.  (Yes, I said burning socks). Now, CBS seems to think this goes under villain category.  I think the term villain is so misused here.  One can be a jerk without getting the respect of being called a villain.  Russell’s actions caused a bit of turmoil in the short run, but in the long run, it hurt his tribe and started them off badly.  One could argue they never recovered from this and that’s why they went into the merge so outnumbered.  After that, Russell’s game play seemed to just target the women on his tribe who were seeing through him.

Immunity Idol

The question of the immunity idol gets it’s own category.  I will give props when it’s due, and Russell definitely deserved it.  The idea of searching for the idol right away without a clue is so simplistically brilliant, it makes you wonder why no one thought of it before.  Russell was taped running around camp, searching diligently for anything that looked like a hiding place.  One hilarious moment has him waist deep in the bottom of a tree, his legs wagging while a fellow tribemate ignores him by sleeping in a hammock.  It’s quite comical, but makes you wonder the mindset of the people he’s up against, who don’t show the slightest concern at what he could be doing.  I also don’t begrudge Russell using that idol the first time.  Laura seemed to take some great victory in that move, but I didn’t think so.  Russell had the idol, he couldn’t be sure he was safe from the vote so he used it.  That’s what it’s for, and better to use it then be stuck walking out with it, like Erik.

But what does bug me is Russell finding it not one more time, but two more times.  That is not a testament to Russell’s genius game play.  It is simply evidence that Probst’s survivor team as well as Russell’s enemies were lazy and refused to bother to truly hide it.  The second time he found it “one afternoon” while his competing tribe was away on a reward.  It was under a man made bridge.  When I saw that, I was convinced Russell was not a real player.  The show putting it there was ridiculous as it’s an easy place to look.  I also wouldn’t have been surprised if the show was helping him at that point, since the tides had turned and Fao Fao was the underdog tribe (and who’s fault was it that Fao Fao seemed to never gain the upper hand from the first challenge?)  The third time he found it was outrageous.  He freaking had a PICTURE of it.  No, he actually a video of it in a 360 degree angle.  The moss on the rock made it clear that there could be only one place to find it.  The hardest part was he had to ditch THE ONE GUY from Galu who was trying to follow him to find it.

The Merge

Ahh, yes, the merge.  It looked like Fao Fao’s days were numbered and no matter how “evil” Russell truly was, nothing could take down the high numbers of Galu.  Well, this is where I think Russell didn’t seem to do much of anything.  He worried and fretted and tried to make alliances. He targeted Shambo, who had already been to his tribe several times and felt like an outcast by Galu.  Of course, Shambo didn’t need much to betray her tribe.  They ostracized her over and over, something Fao Fao was fully aware of, and it’s hardly masterful game play to select the most likely person to flip to your tribe.

The problem was even with Shambo they were still way down.  They needed a target from Galu and they found one in Erik.  He had made his own enemies on his tribe and decided he was going to be the new leader of the merged tribe.  Seeing their chance, Fao Fao approached Galu about taking advantage of their high numbers and voting off Erik, that thorn in their side.   They would still have plenty of time to destroy Fao Fao later, why not use this lull and remove their biggest headache when they had a chance?  This manipulation worked, and Laura from Galu seemed to buy it hook, line, and sinker along with the rest of her tribe mates.  I think this was probably the best move of the game, because after this, we had Fao Fao start to chip away at Galu’s numbers and work their way up. Of course, the person who stepped up and talked to Galu was not Russell. He was nowhere near anyone to do anything like this. Jaison and Natalie discussed it, and it was the latter who orchestrated it by using her girl power talks with Laura and the Mean Girls gang. For this alone, I am fine with Natalie winning at the end because it proved when the chips were down she was willing to step up and take the heat, but she did it in such a way that nobody really remembered to blame her later.

Now from there, I will admit Russell’s idol collecting came in especially handy for the tribe.  They were able to fool Galu into thinking they didn’t have it the first time which picked off another of their team, then used Shambo’s betrayal to pick off another.   But as stated earlier, Russell was practically given the 2nd and 3rd idols and the true amazing feat was he was able to keep his mouth shut about them (Well, the first two anyway.  Well, to most people on his tribe.  More like to most people on his tribe and Shambo.  Oh, and that other guy he told).  Russell was never one to keep his mouth shut period.  He liked to talk, and he liked to share secrets.  He liked to tell people about his idol and how awesome he was in finding it.  He also liked to create alliances. He alliances with everyone on his own tribe after the merge.  This goes to the myth he “screwed” so many players. Nope, he actually only screwed Jaison and I don’t blame him for choosing to cut him off since Jaison would have made mincemeat of him at the final tribal council.   His only alliance to Galu was Shambo at first but he didn’t seem to make it clear to her he would keep her over his own original tribe, thus no hard feelings when she was voted off. I did laugh myself silly when the last Galu member remained, Brett, and in speaking to him, Russell was prompting him to do an alliance. Yes, an alliance, with the one guy who was everybody’s best friend.  In the end he changed his mind, but it made no sense to even suggest it, and it clouded any chance of a Brett vote Russell could have expected.
Finally, I can’t begin to even touch on how often Russell told everyone he was already a millionaire.  (Something that’s tough to believe given his bad oral hygiene).  First it was just to us.  Then, it was to his alliance mates.  Which was three people.  Then he told Shambo.  Then he found out someone told Galu and went berserk even though it was clearly a trick from a Galu member.  I just think if anyone has paid attention to Survivor, the last thing you want to do is let them know you already have money. That puts you with the biggest target on your back but I think Russell is someone who can’t NOT talk about himself or share perceived accomplishments.  He’s got the biggest head of the game, even before he thought he won it, when he didn’t and cried nearly like a girl on live TV over it.

Now Russell did win that last immunity challenge (though the Internet is quite vocal about a moment got on camera where Russell does have his hand below the illegal line and should have been disqualified.  Supports my theory CBS wanted him to win but whatever).  He did get into the F3.  But I strike that up to being cast opposite some of the worst players I’ve ever seen in this game, (not just Shambo).  I’m very interested in seeing how Russell will fair against people who have played this game before hard.  He actually does have an advantage over them, the timing of the filming prevented everyone in seeing how Russell played.   I’m very curious to see when up against people with actual brains and ambition, how far will Russell really go?

Survivoga

Ben is gone, and I’m sure not going to miss him.  Though Russell is clearly the evil person, I know his time will last longer then just a mere three weeks, given that the show has decided to promote him as “The worst villain in Survivor history”.

It was funny to watch the girl between Jaison and Ben last night while they argued (there are so many girls on this season I’ve not learned their names).  It’s highly possible that Ben is a racist, but he is certainly an egoist, and he appears to look down upon EVERYONE (hilariously except Russell). Whatever high esteem he has for himself, Ben is a gigantic jerk, and I can’t believe he was telling that one girl she shouldn’t try to do the fire because her hands weren’t big enough or whatever.  However, I want to give Jaison props for going immediately to calling Ben out by name, instead of coyly dodging any type of direct accusation like they usually do.  That was awesome.

Now onto Shambo, her issues with them all doing Yoga might have gone over a lot better if the show hadn’t featured her goofing off while trying to find food and hanging out in a swamp (which really, I’d rather do yoga then get in that filthy water she looked like she was swimming while hiding from her tribe).  That said, I’m glad to see she made friends with Fao Fao.

Russell is still surviving (does anyone else think he look like a giant toad?)  When Ben confronted Ashley, I had to laugh when she asked who told him and he said, “Well it wasn’t Russell” which should have been a clear sign it was, but of course she fell for it because so far Russell has been right and everybody on this tribe are idiots.  Then in Ben’s closing remarks, he made a point to say he thought little of everyone on his tribe EXCEPT Russell who was a hard worker.  Please don’t tell me this is going to be a repeat of Big Brother where you have especially evil people manipulating extremely moronic people?

Survivor’s Puppet Master

A new season of Survivor has started.  Low and behold, just when we think you can’t get more OOT than Coach from last season, they bring us Russell the Rat.  (Not to be confused with Leader Russell on Galu’s tribe).  My cynical self always loves to hate on people in these shows, but I was quite taken aback by this guy.  It’s not so much his pretending to being a Katrina victim (but let me say, that’s ten times worse than Johnny’s dead grandmother story), but the fact he’s emptying water and burning socks.  How does this really benefit him?  He says he wants to weed out the weak, which means he wants to lose?  The idea of sabotaging your own tribe at the very beginning of the game is either someone who is truly evil or has been told by the producers to stop at nothing to be hated by the audience.

Back to Galu, other than losing their first challenge, things seem to be fine for the most part.  The only person who has a real problem is Shambo who contradicts herself by loving Leader Russell when he took charge but then being angry when he agreed to a “5 minute break” and get out into the water. Now, chances are, this break lasted more than five minutes, but I don’t seem the harm in taking one as long as they were able to get back to work and complete everything in a reasonable time.  Since the show never went back to them, I guess that’s just what they did.

I see we have another “Rocket Scientist” on this show.  Haven’t we had one before?  Is that really a job that is so available we are able to fulfill the profession twice before we ever have a garbage collector, receptionist, and web site designer?  I admit I’m not 100% sure we haven’t had these other occupations represented on the show but my point is I know there are numerous jobs you would expect to see more often than rocket scientist and now we’ve had two?

Cynical Hope

So Big Brother is winding down…thank God.  I have to admit this season was decent and for a few short days I actually was riveted.  Now that Michelle is out of the house because Jeff and Jordan proved to be the stupidest partnership since Beavis and Butthead, I’m not sure I even want to watch the finale.  I can live with watching people I dislike wind up in the final two, like Natalie and Kevin.  But their despicable game is only known to be 100% deplorable by the audience.  Some of the HGs have no idea how dirty these two have played it, even if they slightly suspect it’s not enough to think they are that detestable.  (I feel like I should get a reward for using “d” words to describe their derogatory behavior.)

So what’s coming up?  Heroes I’m trying to get excited about.  Rachel Melvin will show up in the season premiere and I’m curious to see her scenes.  I’m mildly interested in the carnival but this show has disappointed almost as often as Days has, and I quit watching that.  Can they take this season and make me enjoy it like I did way back in the first season?  Well, let’s see, Hiro is not done finding his “inner child” while at the carnival, Claire will have a huge storyline, and Tracy is not only still around but probably going to be showing herself to be naked and wet most of the time.  Sylar appears like a ghost of himself and I’m sure Peter will be whining before long.  I’m just not moved to really watch (don’t worry, I will).

The new season of Survivor (19!) is coming along, but I’m more interested in All Stars which is the Spring.  Not sure why I want to see all the returning favorites, most of them are people I’ve seen not once before but at least twice before (Colby, Jerri, James, Rupert, Amanda and more).  How many chances do these people get to play this game?  Oh, let’s not forget Coach will be returning.  Let’s all rave at how excited we are that!  *crickets*  Alrighty then.  We already know one person from S19 will be returning to S20, so we can expect that person to be memorable.

CSI is coming up and I’m still so relieved Grissom is gone.  Now that GSR was no longer around to torture me, I could sit back and watch.  I miss Warrick a bit, but not too much.  I still have Greg on there who does have chemistry with Riley and I’m doing my best not to ship them since I got my first big dose of shipping disappointment which jump started me on this streak of losing ships from Days (Nick/Chelsea) to Lost (Dan/Charlotte, Juliet/Sawyer).  Frankly, I’m scared to like any character now.  Greg is the only real survivor in this, but let’s not forget he’s had the crap beaten out of him and basically set on fire like a flare.  I have heard Jorja Fox is returning which amuses me, I still say she left the show because she didn’t want to continue playing the suffering love interest of William Peterson, and now that he’s left, she longs to return.

Lastly, there’s The Office.  I don’t know any spoilers.  We know Pam and Jim are pregnant which should be hilarious once Michael finds out, as well as Dwight.  It would certainly behoove them not to mention it to anyone until the kid graduates from college.

Items to ponder

Yes, I know I’ve been missing in action on the ‘net.  I have to blame work, but it’s a good thing because I’m getting a lot if, while television tells me that is rather unusual.  I am watching TV so I thought I would like to make some random thoughts.

Lost

Shouldn’t young Ben be running around the island with Sawyer, Juliette (love them), Jin, Miles and Daniel?

What will the Oceanic six ask about first, what have the ones left been doing, or what is up with their hair?

Could it actually be possible the reason Richard isn’t getting older is because they really are a part of the island?  (No I don’t know what means.)

If Daniel doesn’t warn Charlotte (who was supposed to be born in ’79 but appears as a toddler in ’74) could she wind up alive later on?  *denial*

Heroes

I have decided it’s too awesome that Sylar “played” his father last night by pretending to be interested in the taxidermy but wound up tricking him into “desiring life again” so he could turn around and deny him?

I also want to forever be thankful to the show the kid was missing from Sylar’s moment.

Claire’s skin is all waxy and gross.  Is this the cross I have to bear for HD?

I didn’t think there was any way to make me dread Hiro scenes anymore.  By adding a baby, they succeeded in doing so.

I liked the aqua guy.

The Office

I never ever want to think about Phyllis and Van again.  Eeeewwww.

Angela has been the center of a triangle TWICE?

Though it was funny as hell, I can not view Kevin as anything but “special”.

Survivor

I’m glad Sandy is gone.

I really hope that Tyson is being sarcastic in most of his commentaries.

I hated Coach the second I reailzed he brought a black blazer with black dress shirt to the tropics.

Days of our Lives

If Rachel Melvin goes, does this mean I won’t get anymore hits asking about her hair?

When I said I was willing to let the uncle/niece rule go on Heroes, that did not mean Hayden Panettiere should hang out with Darin Brooks.

I am very glad as a computer geek I wasn’t a witness to corporate Titan being invaded by a Trojan.  Knowing the budget that Days is under, they would have wrapped a computer in latex for protection.