Remote Destination

An Apology

Hey, sorry of the lack of a column for the past few weeks, but I was pre depressed because I had a feeling that Detroit Pistons would lose after an offensively dismal second half in the NBA Finals and didn’t really feel much like writing. But now a week after the game I finally feel up to the task.

What I Watched Last Week Month – Season Finale Edition

Deadwood – I’ve got to admit Deadwood rocked this year. I was certainly sorry to see Wolcott leave, as he was a fascinating character. Sure he was loathsome, but at times he was also highly entertaining. I’m also going to miss Wu’s ponytail.

Mrs Garrett marrying Ellsworth sucks for Bullock, but gives the series a nice bit of tension for next season. It’s also nice to see Simon (or is it Simon) as Hearst. Basically the season ended on a happy note, which is oddly unsettling given the tone of the series thus far. I can’t wait for next season.

24 – Man, they really turned up the tension this year. That whole Chinese embassy fiasco came out of left field. I’m still shocked that the dude who caused the whole thing gave up Jack so quick.

I’m glad that Audrey finally saw Jack for what he is, but happier that Jack “got rid” of his “competition. I’ll admit that I was shook that Tony wouldn’t have the “happy ending” but relieve when he finally did.

But by far the star of the season was the Vice President. From acting like a complete coward to trying to play out David Palmer to ordering the death of Jack, he proved that you can be a great character that people love but don’t know your name. January has never seemed farther away.

Smallville – First off, I’m not feeling the Lex/Lana coupling. It strikes me as odd, and even though she’s now legal, I’ve got to believe A) Lex could pull a better chick and B) he wouldn’t waste his time with someone who’s going to “wait” until she’s married. Didn’t he see how the deprivation of “loving” drove Jason over the deep end?

I am pumped that Smallville has a new arrival. I’m hoping it’s Zod, as that was what I was chanting for the final minute of the episode. And given that Clark was in an are that looked mightily similar to where Supe’s Fortress was it appears that the show is taking cues from the flicks.

Chloe has finally grown on me. She’s no Pete (the only Black person in Smallville, who’s no longer there) but she’s also not nearly as annoying now that she knows about Clark. I am curious how the show is still going to be “Smallville” with folks going off to college next year. The fanboy in me can’t wait for next year.

Desperate Housewives – Um, the big secret was a huge let down. Mary Alice was a killer? That’s the big deal? Boo. Apart from that the finale boring. I’m glad that the neighborhood is finally getting darker, but given that the truth has been told, it probably means that Alfre is harboring some secret which doesn’t bode well for her. Plus she’s not really “sexy” in an American sense, which means she can get killed off pretty easily.

I am glad that Lynette’s backdoor betrayal has come back to haunt her. Finally the show is beginning to show some depth. She’s the reason I’ll be giving the show 50% of my attention next year.

Jack and Bobby – Um, is it just me or did the WB make a huge deal that it was picking this show up for a second season after like the third episode aired, only to cancel the show as the season ended? Boo.

I really liked this show. The characters were interesting and the storylines were refreshing, even if the topics may not have been. I’m glad that the series did get a bit of closure, with us finding out about Jack & Bobby’s pop, and viewer getting the scoop on Jack’s eventual fate.

I’m just sad that this show wasn’t give a second chance to make good. With the advent of DVD sales I really think this show could have had some legs.

Law & Order: Trial By Jury – It’s not really fair to comment on this as a season finale, there aren’t really season long character storylines, so suffice it to say I’ll be back next season and this will be my sole foray into the world of Law & Order.

Grey’s Anatomy – The show is entertaining, enough. I don’t really care for too many of the characters. I kind of care about Cristina, because she’s got my favorite personality on the show. George comes in a close second, but everyone else just leaves me “eh.”

Meredith giving fully disclosure to Shepherd was nice, but I’d have liked her to keep her secret a bit longer. I was enjoying how it was eating her up inside. Webber finding out about Shepherd and Meredith was a clever touch and should prove interesting for next season. I still don’t particularly care for the Burke/Cristina coupling. I’ll tune in next season, if only to wash the Desperate taste out of my mouth.

Lost – This was a pretty worthwhile finale. No questions were really answered, but enough happened that I didn’t feel gypped. Even though it almost bordered on cheesy, I did like how various paths crossed before taking the flight.

I was upset that Arzt was killed. He was a pretty likeable guy, and he spoke the truth about how cliquish the island was. Of course that honest got him killed. But I mourned his passing.

I still hate Jack. I hate him so much. I hope he dies, the show really can go on without him. In my dreams Locke kills Jack, for food. God, I hate Jack. I was very disappointed in Sawyer. He was so gully, and he ends up getting shot before he can get a shot off? What’s up with that? You let me down Sawyer. I should have known you were soft when I found out you were bespectacled.

The real question is; where in the hell is that island? I ask because the folks who made off with Walt had a certain hillbillyness about them. Now, while I’m sure the climate down under lends itself to the redness of the neck, those particular characters seemed very rednecky. I’ll be back next fall, just like everyone else.

The Shield – Um can I just say I’m pretty pissed that Monica didn’t clue Vic into who’s keeping their eye on him? I realize she was in shock from the day she’d had, but that’s still pretty shiesty, especially considering how he helped her undermine the DEA’s deal.

I did appreciate how Monica was written off the show. It seemed very organic and not forced at all. It was nice to see Aceveda getting his hands dirty again, and the Strike Team back together again.

I’m surprised at how much I liked Anthony Anderson’s acting. Seriously. Dutch finally grew some self respect and even turned down a promotion out of loyalty. It was a nice way to cap off the season long storyline about the lost trust between Dutch and Claudette.

Am I the only one who remembers that Julian is gay?

It’s pretty ironic that Lem, argueably the “cleanest” member of the Strike Team (aside from Ronnie, who, let’s face it is little more than Vic’s lackey) is the one I.A.D. is focusing on. I can’t wait for next season.

Next week I’ll fill you in on my summer viewing.

Because Joe Reid Demanded It!

Ok so like two months ago I wrote the following rant;

My roommate and I had our marathon session of the show this week. When were watching the episode from two weeks ago (the one with the house party) there was the scene with Christina and Dr. Burke after the veteran nurse died, when they are in a stairwell and he’s telling her to “let her go.” Well there was a moment in that scene that rubbed me the wrong way. It also rubbed my roommate the wrong way, but neither of us openly acknowledged it but that was warning sign #1

Fast-forward to this weeks’ episode and Dr. Burke brings Christina a coffee. Now since I was still trying to ignore warning sign #1, hoping beyond hope that what part of me know was true, wasn’t really true, I pretended that he was just playing the “mentor” role. Both of them were kind of headstrong, maybe he was just taking her under his wing. Would that be implausible? But no matter how hard I tried to avoid it, this was warning sign #2.

The episode ends with Christina and Dr. Burke hooking up. And by “hooking up” I mean shagging. Disgusting.

I had such high hopes for Dr. Burke. It sucks that those hopes were dashed so early on.

Now Joe Reid has been patiently waiting for me to follow up on this, and “patiently waiting” I mean bringing it up every Monday. So in an effort to set his soul at ease I’ll elaborate.

As a Black guy who watches television I can say that I’ve not often encountered strong Black characters on the programs that I’ve watched. The most memorable being Det. Frank Pembleton from Homicide and Dr. Peter Benton from ER. I became so enamored with Andre Braugher’s portrayal of Pembleton that the character remains my favorite to this day.

To me Isaiah Washinton’s Dr. Burke embodied both characters. He has the professionalism and intensity of Pembleton, yet is an authority figure and figure of respect like Eriq Lasalle’s Dr. Benton.

But what really frustrates me is that we have yet another portrayal of someone Black hooking up with someone outside their race.

It frustrates me because seeing Black love on the small screen is such a rare occurrence. Since Blacks are relegated, for the most part to, sitcoms you almost never see a Black coupling in a dramatic setting (and again I think the best example of this could be found on Homicide with Frank and Mary Pembleton.) And to me that’s offensive on multiple levels.

Firstly, because it’s not a reflection of reality. There is no one in my circle of friends or acquaintances who is Black and involved with someone who isn’t. I don’t know anyone like that. I know married couples, I know folks who are just dating, I know couples who have kids but aren’t married. But a couple that doesn’t feature a Black male and a Black female is unknown to me.

Secondly, I think it speak volumes about the networks reluctance to cast more than one Black regular in any given show. Lets take a look at the shows that I watch;

Deadwood – toyed with having Black characters this season.

Jack and Bobby – Jack has a Black friend, who concedes his feelings for a (white) girl so that Jack can have her.

Boston Legal – Barely added a Black female regular before going on hiatus.

Lost – If it weren’t for Walt, an argument for Michael’s asexuality could be made.

24 – Curtis is pretty much asexual, and all Black females are evil.

Desperate Housewives – Richard Roundtree is a menacing omen, and Alfre Woodard has just moved in.

Smallville – Pete, the sole Black resident of Smallville, was shipped off last season.

And finally Grey’s Anatomy – Bailey and Webber are possibly more sexually active than Meredith’s mother, who’s in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer’s.

So you’ll forgive me for being upset when the best Black character on television is shagging someone who isn’t Black.

I’m also upset because I love Isaiah Washington as an actor (after seeing him on Tavis Smiley this week has only made that love grow.) Interracial relationships on television are cliché at this point and frankly shallow. The last time I saw a show that actually broached the depth of the complexity of such a relationship was Line of Fire and the show was canceled before it could really address it.

Well I hope I cleared things up.

The Late Shift

Last week time I posed the following scenario;

Would you rather appear on The Pat Sajak Show, The Magic Hour or The Chevy Chase Show?

First up was Aaron Cameron who offered this;

Dude, The Magic Hour was, like…1998, I think. But, far be it for me to be the fly in your ointment. If it’s an option, then I’ll go with Magic. There was just something surreal about a corn-rowed Tommy Davidson and a weather beaten Sheila E. sharing the stage with…a basketball player. I’d go on the show under the false
premise of promoting my new book, “An Evening with Nick Salemi”, then use my segment as a sociological celebrity study on what happens when people who were famous prior to 1991 don’t save ALL their money. Hey, look…isn’t that Keisha Knight-Pulliam?

Colin completely disagreed;

I’m definitely not going on Magic’s show; trying to outdo Howard Stern is an exercise in futility. And who wants to put up with that nobody Sajak? Not me, I can tell you that.

No, the only true answer here is to go on Chevy’s show. Here’s the plan, flip the script and goof on Chevy. Start asking him about every single person who’s ever worked with him unanimously agreeing that he’s the biggest jerk and scumbag on the planet. It’d be an ambush; like when that cow Rosie O’Donnell bushwacked Tom Selleck, but in reverse. I’d be like Professor Zoom.

Mike Z had a different opinion;

Pat Sajak, no question. The man has talk in his blood. After ‘Later with Bob Costas’ The Pat Sajak Show (despite the fairly lacking name) was my favorite talk show. Sure Letterman had the skits, but Pat had actual conversations with his guests, not just the usual “I’ve got a movie coming out.–Here’s a clip– We’ll be right back.” Rinse. Repeat. That we get from all the others. Another bonus, Pat wasn’t one for the monologues, so there’d be more time to shill my book. On top of all that, he seems like one of the nicer guys in TV, and appears to get along with everyone. There’d be little, if any feigned enthusiasm for my project.

As for me, I’m not really a fan of Chevy so that’s out right off the bat. I think that Pat would have a nice ironic/kitsch factor to it, but that’s not what I’m going for. I too would go for The Magic Hour. At the very least I’d meet Magic and listen to Shelia E.

Of course this brings us, logically to;

Good News/Bad News/Question of the Week

Good News; you’ve got super powers. Bad News; you don’t quite have a handle on them. Maybe you got hit by a strange ray. Or maybe you found a suit that gives you powers. Either way you’ve got them. Good News; there aren’t really any major menaces to threaten your life. Bad News; you a TV super hero.

So would you rather be Andrew Clements (My Secret Identity) or Ralph Hinkley (The Greatest American Hero)?

Links

Farah has some parenting tips.

Matt offers his views on last seasons various shows.

J.A.M.

Aaron is the “A”. Last week he scored big with “McManners” and the obligatory OZ reference. He’s off this week, because he doesn’t love you.

Joe is the “J.” He gushes about Batman Begins and gives you his thoughts on some trailers. Over on his Blog he shows why he’d be a perfect fit here; by gushing about some show called Big Brother. Good luck with all that.

Greatest Video Ever…at least in the last seven weeks

En Vogue – Giving Him Something He Can Feel

This is the video that made me fall in love with Maxine. She absolutely slayed me. However upon viewing this video recently I noticed a very familiar face in the crowd. That was the face of one Simon Adebisi! (How about that for an obligatory OZ reference?) And that’s why this is the greatest video ever.