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Archive for the ‘Chuck’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: JACK WHITE-“Sixteen Saltines” (2012).

I really liked the first White Stripes album.  After that things were just a little too samey to me.  So I pretty much stopped listening to him.  This new album is all the rage (as is everything he does), and this is a song that NPR picked as one of their favorites of the year so far.

And as with everything Jack White does, it’s immediately fun.  It’s also simple as anything, with a raw and aggressive sound–just like everything else he does.  I usually don’t mind when an artist plays the same stuff over and over, I mean it’s called a signature after all, but for some reason it bugs me with him.  Or maybe I just don’t like him as a “person.”

Anyhow, I can’t deny that this song is fun (the vocals done in a kind of R&B vein (sounding like Michael Jackson a bit?) and the addition of keyboards half way through are a nice touch.  But I can’t say that I’ll remember the song much after it’s over.

[READ: June 16, 2012] “Black Box”

I have been meaning to read Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad for quite some time.  But in the meantime, I’m happy to have read this short story, which I assume is nothing at all like her novels.

“Black Box” is written in a series of small numbered black boxes.  And each box contains a number of statements in the second person.  It’s a striking and unusual way to concoct a story.  I didn’t really think it would be all that intriguing because the tone is so matter of fact and instructional.  But I was thrilled with how much of a story Egan created out of this style.  And, yes, it is a full story.

So Box number one begins: “People rarely look the way you expect them to, even when you’ve seen pictures.”  Then, “The first thirty seconds in a person’s presence are the most important.”  Then, “If you’re having trouble perceiving and projecting, focus on projecting.”  Then, “Necessary ingredients for a successful projection: giggles; bare legs; shyness.”

So, what is this?  instructions?  advice?  quips to live by?  Well, it turns out that they are instructions to a “beauty.”  And this beauty is working for her country, to take down a bad guy.  She is a spy, although not a professional spy, she’s just a beauty doing her country’s work.  The instructions show (in a very unexpected way) how the story unfolds: “‘Shall we swim together toward those rocks?’ may or may not be a question.”  And so, “you” and your Designated Mate swim to an island where sex in inevitable.  “Begin the Dissociation Technique only when physical violation is imminent.”  For indeed, “you” are married, but your husband approves of this mission, for the good of United States and the world.

As the story unfolds, the reader realizes that this is not just a beautiful woman who has been called into the service of he country, but something a little more. “If you are within earshot of his conversation, record it.”  Well, how will she do that one wonders.  “A microphone has been implanted just beyond the first turn of your right ear canal.”

Cool. (more…)

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The TV Season scheduling continues to confuse me.  It’s February and two shows are done already.  And new shows are starting this week.  I actually appreciate this rolling schedule because it means new shows instead of repeats.

So hey, networks, why not go all the way and just let the shows run for twenty weeks and then end.  Stop showing reruns (or better yet, rerun them at like 2 in the morning so we can watch them if we miss them) and the introduce a new show for the next half a year.  We wouldn’t have this six weeks off nonsense of Community and Glee or three weeks of repeats of other shows.

I’m picking this week to write this simply because of the ending of the two shows.  We haven’t had a look at the new ones yet, so it’s a clean slate.

Somehow we don’t even have time to watch movies anymore, so the TV shows must be very good. (more…)

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I was planning to write this post early in the TV Season.  I found out that the TiVo website rather helpfully includes a page of all the premiere dates of shows, which in addition to telling us when shows started, has also turned out to be a good way to keep track of the shows that were cancelled already.  Our goal is basically to get every good show cancelled so that we can watch our poor Netflix DVDs (which now that we had to change our policy we have mercifully fewer discs that we are not watching).  Um, thanks for the hike Netflix?

Anyhow, it’s now  about seven weeks into the season and we’ve already lost a number of shows–some as quickly as two weeks in…which, really?  I mean why bother.  Surprisingly, none of the FOX shows were cancelled yet.  That’s probably because FOX didn’t pick anything cool or interesting enough for me to want to watch–that’s actually not true, they have some good new shows this season, but nothing like Arrested Development.

So, this time I’m breaking it down by day of the week (which is silly since we TiVo everything and watch it whenever).  And this time red shows are shows we have given up on and Green ones are ones that we’re still enjoying. (more…)

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The new Fall TV season is pretty much underway.  It brings back a lot of old favorites, as well as a few new series that we’re going to check out. (more…)

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I just learned that one of my favorite shows, Better Off Ted has been canceled for next year.   I’m not going to blame Lost for its demise, although, Ted did get pushed around a lot because of the return of Lost.  I’ll just blame it on the sad fact that hilariously quirky comedies need to build an audience, and on the sadder fact that a quirky show with a devoted audience seems to be less desirable than a popular show that burns out after a  season or two.

Also canceled of shows we watch:

Scrubs (no surprise, really, the show should have ended on a high note last year).
Happy Town (we season passed this show, but never even finished watching the first episode.  It was pretty good, and quite spooky, but it was very late so we saved it for the next day (several weeks ago).  I wonder if it’s worth watching it now.
New Adventures of Old Christine (This surprises me as the show got an Emmy not long ago; however, it was getting a little sloppy lately, so I’m not too upset by this).
Sit Down, Shut Up (no surprise here).

Shows that got renewed: (more…)

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I have concluded that I have personally killed or mortally wounded every TV show that I adore. Sports fans have their rituals that ensure their team will win, and I have a ritual that ensures a show will stay on the air: don’t watch it.

Here is a list of TV shows that I have single-handedly (with some help from my wife) sent to an early grave:

Reaper
Pushing Daisies
Aliens in America
Arrested Development
Wonderfalls
Clerks the series
Greg the Bunny
Firefly
Dead Like Me
Police Squad (although really, how many more episodes could they have made of this nonsense?)

[Notice that there’s a real pattern here of Fox picking up great, weird cutting edge shows and then canceling them after one or two seasons.  It makes me love and hate Fox at the same time].

Freaks and Geeks*
Undeclared*
Futurama*

[although I don’t know how to classify the weird reprieve they’ve gotten in releasing DVDs and a new season]

*Okay, technically I caught these shows on DVD after they were cancelled, and yet, the point remains that I would have loved them if I knew about them. (more…)

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This is my final TV recap post.  It was the first entry on my TV page (except for TV I have killed, which will come shortly.  2010 comments are in brackets.

Down below Soon, you’ll see the TV shows that I have killed. It was a sad day when two of my favorite shows were canceled for good last year. However, we move on. And so, this is our current [circa 2007] household lineup: (more…)

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