Friday, February 08, 2008

Doesn't She Have Anything Else to Talk About?


I'd heard a lot about Jericho, but nothing ever made me say "Yes, I must watch that show!" But recently J expressed interest, so I put it on the Netflix list. We were gonna watch one episode, and ended up watching all four. I can't wait to get the next disk now.

It's not perfect. I mean, no show is, of course. But it doesn't make me want to talk about it, like LOST did, or watch the same episodes over and over, like Firefly or Supernatural. And though they don't in any way overshadow my enjoyment of the show, there are a few too many "that doesn't make sense" moments.

Let's start with the good, though. I like the characters, for the most part, especially the ambiguity of the mayoral candidate/mine owner. Jake's a bit of a Mary Sue (what CAN'T he do? and for a screw-up, he's sure willing to take risks and help strangers!), but I like that and don't want him to be any different. I like the women on the show, too, even though they're all too perfectly beautiful when they're under 50 and over 16, and the perfect blonde stays perfect no matter what she's up against. Seriously, though, I like that she has redeeming qualities as well as annoying ones, and that the "good" one--the teacher--has her own flaws (she's a bit wimpy, despite her core strength).

I like the story, the mystery that is Hawkins, the handling of the issues that come up. I'm really glad we started season one before season two arrives this week, and am recording that. I hope there is enough late interest that they keep it (writer's strike should help!).

Now, the nitpicks . Emily (the blonde? is that her name?) was driving toward Wichita when she ran over the birds. I haven't looked at a map, but at one point someone said that was the opposite direction from the blast (which is why she didn't see it). So at first I was thinking that maybe that was the outer limit of the blast wave, and it pushed all the birds to that point before gravity drew them down, but that didn't fit the location. And the escaped prisoners say the birds must have flown through the radiation. So they all just croaked at the same second, and fell in the same place? That was annoying. I like effect, but I don't like when logic doesn't support it.

Then, also related to Emily, she stopped her truck at the end of the pilot because she ran over the birds and got out to see what they were. Start of the next episode, she's walking with a gas can, presumably back toward Jericho. That makes no sense to me. Why wouldn't she have enough gas to get to Wichita? Why wouldn't she have kept going after she got to the birds? If she hadn't kept going, why not just turn around, and if she just turned around, why would she have run out of gas and why would it take until well after sunrise for her to still be nowhere near town? SUVs have big gas tanks. Now, it could be argued that she figured she'd get gas in Wichita, but then please give me a simple line that explains what's going on, don't leave it hanging. You can also blame the distance between most pilots being shot and the second episode being shot, I guess, and watching in a row on DVD shows flaws more easily.

There were a couple of other things like that, but I don't remember them, so--minor. The other thing that bugged me was that they had this big rainstorm coming, carrying dangerous radiation. Huge threat. I could see the problem right away, and yes, they did exactly what I expected them to do. First, the wind ahead of the rain? Would have carried radiation, too. But the big thing was that it was such a huge thing, and then once the rain passed, it was nothing. The Geiger counter didn't register anything, they took no precautions, they didn't say anything about groundwater or monitoring each other or anything like that. Stanley is a-okay! Yay, no more radiation issue, ever! Okay, I don't know that for sure, but still. It got eliminated pretty damned quickly.

Anyway, overall, good show, glad I started watching, can't wait for more.

I hadn't realized I didn't talk about this yet on here, just in comments, mostly on other people's blogs. I really enjoyed the season premiere, especially the flash-forwards. I find myself more curious about how they're going to play out the seasons rather than who the Oceanic Six are. Like, will they get off the island this season, and then we'll have their deterioration next season, as well as what happens to those left behind, and then the last season have them go back and what happens when they're reunited and trying to get off the island...again? That will be fun to see play out, I think. Best part of last week was Charlie. Man, is dead!Charlie hot! I love the confidence and true swagger he has, as opposed to the false bravado he often displayed while alive. Give me more dead!Charlie!

Last night's ep was like eating a carton of low-fat ice cream, though. It was fine while I watched it, but at the end, I was surprised it had gone so fast and left me with so little. Jack's ambush lines were pretty good, though, and as always, the acting is superb. I'm very curious about the new people from the helicopter, too.

It returned last week with an okay episode. There wasn't enough meat to the episodic story, but the acting was good. I liked all the characters, and of course the moments--when Sam said he had to be more like Dean, when Dean clutched at his brother in pain and Sam shoved him off so he could find the hex bag and save him. When Sam busted down the door *guh*, and later, when Dean talked to Ruby and said there was no way to save him, and she said no.

This week was much, much better. Oh, man, so much goodness. Poor Bobby and his wife, and how he got into hunting. How Dean drew him out of the dream, saying Bobby is like a father to him. When Sam woke up from the dream about Bela! I laughed and laughed, watched it again, and laughed some more. Sam in the bar, all morose--is there anything more appealing than a morose Sam?--and oh, Dean confronting himself. Dean with demon eyes. *guh* some more. And then, of course, the moment he tells Sam he wants to live, and it's understated and quiet but you can feel Sam's relief and their mutual hope, just when it seems there can be absolutely none (from an outside perspective).

The only thing I don't like is that they keep putting Sam in these crucifixion poses. Last week on the wall, and this week tied up on the ground. (At which point I said [internally, of course], "hey, that's MY dream!") We GET it, all right? He's supposed to be the demon messiah. He was sacrificed, betrayed, and came back to life. The facts themselves give us the symbolism, stop throwing it in our faces.

But you can tie Sam up in other ways. I don't mind that.

Next week's episode looks killer. Literally. Poor Sam! I bet those writers had a blast coming up with ways to kill Dean.

Monday is Terminator, which I'm loving and can't wait to see Brian Austen Green next week, and Kyle XY, which is okay, something I watch eventually, when I have nothing else to do. Then Thursday is Lost and Supernatural and then, presumably, a couple new episodes of Reaper when Supernatural is done. Pretty weak. Pleeeaaasssseee, let the deal being presented tomorrow be a good one, and let the writers agree to take it, and let the strike end next week, so they can get back to work quickly and ramp up production. There are so many bigger problems in the world, and even in my own life (though nothing truly major at the moment, knock on wood), but my life feels incomplete without the fictional element.

Random Other Stuff
Speaking of fictional element...

Writers often talk about how they wrote stories from the earliest age, etc. My own biography talks about my first book, written at age six or seven (yeah, we found it recently, I was in second grade, not first). But it was incomplete. I never could keep up a journal, and I didn't write true fiction until after college.

What I did do was narrate my life. And oddly, despite narrating many other lives (in my books, that is), I'm doing it again.

I have a memory of walking along the edge of a lake, and thinking about my actions as if they were written in a book. Describing the sky and the way I moved and what I thought about. I was doing the same thing yesterday, driving to soccer practice, when a car came flying up my side of the narrow back road I was on. I started describing the shoulder and the mud and the sky and stuff. I guess it's another sign I need to get back into my fiction.

I did start revisions on an old book the other day, which got stalled again by an editing job. It was exciting to be back into it, even though I only got through six pages.

That thing I kept meaning to talk about
I finally remembered!

"They" talk about how, when trying to find time to exercise, you should do things like take the stairs and park far from the store so you increase your steps. Several times a week, I am highly amused at myself as I park as close to the health club as I can possibly get. I do the same thing at any store. It's not laziness, though. Most of the time it's weather. It's too cold to walk in that wild, frigid wind! When it's not too cold, it's too hot! The rest of the time--like those six nice days between summer and winter, and winter and summer--it's a matter of time. I'm always in a hurry. I can't stand wasting time on travel, especially when it's not necessary.

So glad I already know English
I've been doing an editing job on some text written by someone for whom English is not their first language, or translated from another language. And as I corrected articles (a instead of the) and tenses (bring instead of bringing) and word selections (beat instead of win), it hit me how damned hard our language really is. Even setting aside exceptions to rules and spellings influenced by too many different sources, there's just so much detail to it! Nuance that has taken me 37 years to learn. It amazes me that adults from other countries can master it so well.

Eloquent Inferiority
I've been keeping up with the writers strike via a number of sources. One of them is United Hollywood, which has posted many thoughtful essays on the issues. I've been amusingly passionate about something that has nothing to do with me--mostly to my husband's amusement, on the rare occasions I've been unable to avoid bringing it up. He doesn't want to hear my rants, really, and is uninformed so won't debate me. Anyway, I'm desperate to get the writers what they deserve, even though I have no control and can't picket and won't be affected professionally, as I don't expect to ever write producible material for any medium.

Anyway, those essays are not only passionate and well-reasoned (both of which I can be from time to time) but philosophical and eloquent, two things I lack. I am unable to evoke emotion via metaphor, or inspire choking laughter, two common results when I read UH.

Obviously, what I lack in quality, I make up for in volume. File this under "five posts in one."

Or at least, have a good weekend!


MaryF said...

LOL! I don't remember nitpicking on Jericho....been awhile. I'm very excited to see the new season starting back this week.

I agree this week of Supernatural was way better than last week, especially when Dean decided he wanted to live :) I cannot wait to see what happens.

Natalie Damschroder said...

I went to Blockbuster to rent the next two disks 'cause I don't want to wait until Tuesday for the Netflix ones. I'll get the last two from NF. :) And I'm not nitpicking as much anymore. There's still the radiation thing being pretty much blown off, but they've got enough problems...