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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Some Thoughts on Contemporary Popular Culture

That's actually a pretentious title for a post in which I'm going to geek out a bit. Huzzah! Back to the geekiness!

:: It did excite me that another attempt to bring everyone's favorite Cimmerian, Conan the Barbarian, back to the big screen was in the offing. That excitement became past tense, however, when the big name most likely on board to direct turned out to be Brett Ratner, who has made a nice living out of making dull movies.

:: I'm actually enjoying Grey's Anatomy this season, although I still think the show desperately needs another character or two. They've already added one -- the new emergency medicine chief, who's also an Iraq war vet with a penchant for maverick thinking -- but another, cardiologist Dr. Erica Hahn, is about to depart, so that's a wash. But the show's generally been more interesting this year, what with backing off the constant fluctuations of the Meredith-and-Derek romance a bit, in favor of other characters. And Izzy Stevens hasn't even gotten on my nerves yet, strangely enough, even after Katherine Heigl's classless "Boy, did our writers suck last year!" rant last offseason.

:: I'm also really enjoying The Office, which has turned up the whole "office romance" thing about three notches, supplementing to the eternal sweetness of the Jim-and-Pam romance with Michael and the new HR woman, and the hilarious Dwight-Andy-Angela "triangle" (with Andy blissfully unaware that he's even in a "triangle" to begin with).

There was a wonderful scene a few episodes ago that had Jim and Pam call each other on their cell phones at the exact same time, so each got the other's voicemail, and they proceeded to leave each other messages that reflected the other, almost as if they were actually conversing. I love that show again.

:: My Name is Earl is still funny, but not side-splitting and not nearly as clever as it once was. I don't think it's done, but it's definitely losing steam.

:: That Kath and Kim thing is awful. It reminds me of all those crappy sitcoms that NBC would trot out, one after the other every year, to take the timeslot between Friends and Seinfeld.

:: For campy fun, CSI: Miami is still your best bet. There's not a thing to take seriously in that show. I love it.

:: On The Amazing Race, I picked out two teams to root for in the first minutes of the season premiere. So wouldn't you know it: one of those teams got eliminated in that first show, and the other fell two weeks later. Oh well. There's only one team that bugs me, and I don't even hate them all that much. As far as who I'm rooting for, I'm not really sure. Maybe the Mom and her son. There's certainly nothing like the Hippies to root for, or the Barbies to hate. And there's certainly no Mirna, alas. This year's edition did take us to New Zealand, home of host and gamerunner Phil, who introduced his dad to the contestants at that leg's pit stop. Phil's dad turns out to be a bit of a dirty old man, because when the team of pretty blonds arrived (eliminated later on), he gave them each a nice, lllooonnnggg hug. That's how it's done!

:: Wow, that covers just about all the regular teevee viewing I do anymore. Another few years, and unless I pick up some shows, I might be done with network stuff altogether. What else is there to look forward to? More boring lawyer shows from David E. Kelley?

:: Some photos arrived online from the set of the new Star Trek movie. I'm still not excited about this at all, given how tired Trek became in its last years as a going concern and also given my general lack of enthusiasm for JJ Abrams. And this isn't helping: the new bridge of the Enterprise.



That looks to me like what I imagine Steve Jobs's bedroom to look like, not the bridge for the Federation's greatest starship. That's not a place where you lock phasers on target, it's where you go to upgrade your iPod. Ugh.

:: Apparently a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie is in the works, with Russell Brand said to be joining the cast as Captain Jack Sparrow's brother. Who's Russell Brand? Well, I dunno, but I'm game for more Pirates stuff, since I greatly dug the first three (even At World's End, which a lot of people thought wasn't so good). I do hope that the new film moves into a new story or set of stories for Captain Sparrow and the rest of the Black Pearl gang, since it seems to me the tale of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann is wrapped up nicely.

:: Michael Crichton died last week. I never read any of his books, but I did see a number of movies made from them (I liked the first Jurassic Park, and not so much the second), and I was a big fan for many years of ER (which Crichton created) until it managed the impressive feat of jumping the shark twice in one year. Crichton's global warming skepticism was disappointing, but nobody's perfect.

That about covers it for right now.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

*I am hoping that the new Star Trek movie will be the worst box office failure in half a century but I'm afraid a lot of people will go see it because they can't wait to see how bad it is.

*Since we got cable our network TV viewing has gone waaay down. There's only two or three shows on the big four that we watch. We watch Chuck and we're trying out Eleventh Hour and My Own Worst Enemy. Most of our TV viewing is on the Discovery Channel and the History Channel and, once in a while, movies and shows that pop up on other cable networks occasionally.

Anonymous said...
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