Tuesday, June 23, 2009


An area where I’m probably not ashamed of saying that I haven’t had too much exposure in lately...

I just want this series to be over, and with some sense of satisfaction. My roommate sat in on one episode and said “Oh! This is THE episode about the plane crash. Cool.” And I had to explain “Um... No, this is ANOTHER plane that all the main characters get on, that is going to crash. On the same island. And there’s time travel. And unexplained ghosts/appearances of characters.” It’s a show that’s managed to pile on the crazy just slow enough to not make it noticeable until you sit up and recount everything that’s happened. Sigh, only one season left, I can make it.

Mad Men
The most highly praised show in recent history among my friends. I have to say that the accolades probably sullied my opinion of the show. The bar was just set too high. Being a part of the advertising world is a double-edged sword for me. In some ways, I like that a show is giving exposure to things that I do, and yet, I felt somewhat insulted by the lack of effort at their jobs. In the pilot episode, the main character at the last second comes up with the entire ad campaign, pulling ideas out of his ass. Okay, so sometimes inspiration hits you like a lightning bolt, but I would’ve rather the world see how much thought and effort goes into coming up with solutions for clients. I guess the argument is that that doesn’t exactly make for exciting television. And the blatant sexism and racism in the show is somewhat off-putting. I know it’s a reflection of the era, but it’s such a heavy element of the show that it seems glorified. I gotta say though, that I love the ties and suits. We lost something in the times of polo shirts and khakis.

Strangers with Candy
A friend let me borrow her DVD collection and I have to say that this show is brilliant. I admit that I didn’t pay attention to the show when it aired, I’d like to say mainly because TV just wasn’t my focus at the time. But I probably wouldn’t have fully appreciated what the show was about. A dark satire way before it became the accepted norm, this show is still surprisingly cutting and off-beat. Genius is never understood in it’s day.

The Office
What can I say, I still love this show. No, it doesn’t seem as fresh as it did a few years ago and probably gets overshadowed by the brilliant 30 Rock, but I have such a soft spot for The Office and can’t fully explain why. I recently viewed the BBC version again and noticed how the NBC show has migrated so far from it over the years. Most noticeable is how more vibrant the color palate has become and the characters more joyous. The stories have gotten more sitcom-y and outrageous, which is disappointing, and the monotony of work that pervaded through the BBC version is lost. You don’t get cutaways to fax machines and people simply working anymore and I miss that. But the writing and humor are still top-notch, if not in an altered way. I’m a fan of the Jim and Pam characters, even though they’re more tailored to the safe, wholesome ideals of American television heroes. I’m impressed that the writers have managed to maintain the interest of the relationship long after the “will they, wont they” tension that most shows live and die by. Equally admirable is the show’s history of never being afraid to shake things up. Placing Jim out of the office in Season 3 was a bold, risky move and it’s hard to imagine many other shows with the guts to make it happen. The show generally pulls back into the status quo, but I’m interested in seeing where they put Pam in the next season. Plus, Jenna Fischer is just so hot.

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