Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Hmm, I don't have TV ramblings today... I went to North Carolina two weeks ago for work and got really behind on my TV. So then I finally caught up this past weekend during the tornadic storm system. But my marathon TV watching didn't leave time for thoughts or processing. I was just trying to get through the DVR list. You really need time to process the show or movie you've just watched, but instead we immediately get dumped to a commercial. It drives me crazy when you have a climactic or meaningful ending to a show and it fades to black and POW! - Coke commercial or a cell phone commercial. Where is my breathing space? Where is my pause to contemplate what I just saw? Of course this is a little better since they started regulating commercial volume so at least we aren't always inundated with the loudness of the commercial. But I still need a visual pause. I want a few seconds for the powerful images of the TV show to sink in before I have commercial images fed to me.

Don't get me wrong, I actually really like some commercials. I think they can be brilliantly executed and effective. Like this lovely Old Spice one.

I know this pause issue is a result of the way shows and commercials are designed and sold. Programs have to be a very specific length (seconds and frames) with specific commercial breaks built in for network and then affiliate spots (down again to seconds and frames). But geez already! I need a breather. I'll never forget the season 5 ending of LOST with Juliette hitting the hydrogen bomb and the screen goes to white and COMMERCIAL! I needed a second to deal with the impact of what I'd just seen.

This is why I prefer to stay through the credits at movie theaters. I need a moment to process. I fall into the movies. So the credits give me the moments I need to conclude if I was satisfied or not with what I've just seen (that and I like to show a little respect for the hundreds of people who put their effort into the movie making process). I don't want to immediately hop out of my theater chair and walk out and ask my movie companion "did you like it?" Gimme a second!

Forgettable Music

As I was stuck at a stop light yesterday and angry at my useless radio stations, I rummaged for a cassette in my center car console and put in a tape of the Rose Chronicles (and yes, I still have a cassette player in my car). But for the life of me, I found no redeeming quality in this once appreciated music. I know my sister and I really liked it at some point in the past. But I don't know why. I think it may have been featured in an episode of Buffy once - maybe that's why we liked it. It is harsh vocals, juvenile and trying too hard - maybe an early indie trying to be emo. I don't know - but I don't like it now.

I usually have a fondness for the music of my past because of the association it brings up. I may not listen to that kind of music now, but I still can go back to it and be transported. But Rose Chronicles just transported me to a place of ick and "turn it off now".

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lars and the Real Girl

I saw Lars and the Real Girl a few months ago and was quite touched by this movie. I had heard of it, heard good things, but knew it would be quirky. But I was surprised at the emotional depth. It features Ryan Gosling as a lonely and sheltered man who buys a real doll and then believes she's his real girlfriend. But the story isn't tawdry or meant to be funny. It's incredibly touching. And his brother and sister-in-law are superbly portrayed by Paul Schneider and Emily Mortimer as concerned, supportive characters to Lars's mental illness. But Ryan Gosling really does shine here in his subtle performance. The scene where he goes to an office party and feels happy for the first time in perhaps ever - is remarkable! He slowly dances with himself and it is heart wrenching.

I guess as a somewhat shy person myself, I found this story very moving. Lars is coming out of a shell and learning how to live in the real world - his real doll serving as an emotional transition. It's a beautifully told story.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I am quite upset at the impending end to LOST. I mean, I've had some shows I really loved that I felt were looked over, the critical darlings that I wish more people had watched (but maybe secretly was okay that only a small group loved and I was a part of that group - the secret club that GOT the show). Bus LOST is something very different for me. And it's different for broadcast TV. It has a huge following - and although some people abandoned it because it got too heady or sci-fi - to be six years in and have this kind of devotion on TV is rare. And we're all in this boat together, waiting to arrive at our destination and hoping it will be everything we thought it would be.

But, I honestly don't care if the show answers all the questions it's raised. It doesn't matter. I watch with great excitement - literally clenching my fists at every commercial break that I have to wait a few minutes for the return or in disbelief of what little secret they've just given us. They've taken me on a journey of incredible characters, intriguing science, themes of choice and redemption. And I'm there. I'll be there at the series ending giddy, anxious, sad to see it go. I'm sure the last show will make me cry, smile, and then leave me to overcome a brief depression from its absence. And I don't feel ashamed that this show has affected me or so many people. It's the mark of a good story, and good storytellers when the audience is left feeling this way. It's a beautiful piece of art - one I feel fortunate to have gazed upon.