Remote Destination

This Column is Brought to You By the Letters “M” & “C”

What is going on in television? Tis only the “summer season” and we’ve already had two miscarriages? The first one (on Six Feet Under) was harsh and heartbreaking. It tore me up, and this is only my second season watching the show. But to lose your pregnancy the day before you’re to be married just seemed a bit brutal.

Now we’ve had a second woman miscarry over on Rescue Me. Enough is enough. I’m so shell shocked that I worry whenever anyone tells me they’re “late” because I’m afraid that they might lose the child they could possibly have. Note to television; it’s summertime, you don’t have to be so heavy.

But First, Some Feedback!

Patrick actually decided to take me up on my offer to run readers suggestions for shows on DVDS. Here’s what he wrote;

1. The Muppet Show

2. A Jeopardy! DVD of dominant runs — Ken Jennings, Frank Spangenberg, Chuck Forrest, etc.

3. Boy Meets World — one of the first shows that could have gone from standard kids fare to a more adult level comedy (either as a spin off, or keeping the show on). Cory and Topanga as an actual married couple post college could have made for a good show later on.

4. Punky Brewster — Classic 80s kid’s sitcom

5. Silver Spoons — The other classic 80s kid’s sitcom

6. Are The Facts of Life on DVD?

7. Press Your Luck — Sure it’s a game show, but the Whammies were entertaining, plus they could do a special section on the Pattern Scandal (where the guy memorized the patterns of the lights to avoid Whammies/always hit big prizes).

(Patrick, check out Amazon where you’ll be happy to find that some of your shows are indeed on DVD.)

More from Patrick

Yes indeed, Patrick has some thoughts on how to cure the drought currently affecting the tube.

This is just a genre they should bring back — Sitcoms where kids are the main character/s, rather than just window dressing to be cute and say the occasional one liner. For a TGIF situation to work again, the kids need to be the focus, not the parents — Family Matters was more about Laura and Urkel than anything else, Full House at least had a decent balance between the parents/adults and D.J. and Michelle (Stephanie didn’t really get too much to do until D.J. grew up).

Dude, those sickly sweet sitcoms are all the rage, the just happen to be Nickelodeon and The Disney Channel. It’s a type of segregation, but I’m cool with it.

I want to give a heartfelt “thanks” to Patrick for bravely sharing this thoughts.

What I Watched Last Week

Six Feet Under – Poor Rico. I always forget about him. But he’s so pitiful. I’m glad that he’s managing to get things back on track. Kind of. Remind me to ask Murtz if everyone in Canada is as naïve as the nanny.

Ruth officially sucks! I’m just glad that George finally caught on to the sham. I liked insane George, but the new George is a decent second. Clair won some cool points for her daydream.

Keith and David need to get on the same page about rearing kids. Sure they’re both gay, but there are cultural differences to child rearing. Nate is dancing dangerously close to cheating, but I’m glad the he and Billy shared a moment. I’ve got no clue how this show is going to wrap everything up by the seasons end.

Rescue Me – Eh, the show was cool. It was nice to see Tommy back in action. But I do think that there’s a difference between “breaking balls” and using the “T” word. The “T” and “C” word rank just below the “N” word in terms of “almost no one can say.”

The episode was kind of slow. It was cool, and it passed the time. But I’m getting tired of Jesus.

Entourage – Eh, not a great outing. Turtle has to sober up for video game competition? Vince gets some Asian booty. Drama gets beat up. Even Ari wasn’t incredibly fun this week. And the commercial was pretty corny, but I usually feel that way when I see Vincent’s work.

The Comeback – Oddly enough it was amusing. It was more “funny awkward” than “awkward to watch.” Even without the star that is Paulie G, I was entertained.

30 Days – Boring. There wasn’t nearly enough tension this week. It was about adopting a new lifestyle rather than being tolerant. Informative, but boring.

Intervention – Solid episode. The twin who was an addict was pretty compelling. But the rageaholic (which isn’t really an addiction) was dope. He was a complete nut! Michael is perhaps the greatest character ever to appear on the program. I was severely disappointed with his actual intervention. I was expecting him to lash out and butt heads with Jeff, but he didn’t. Boo.

Greatest Show Ever…this week – Stella

This show slays me. It’s comedy at its highest. The idea that the guys would actually work at a company is hilarious (even funnier than the time Kramer had a job.) Plus anytime Paul Rudd plays the heavy it’s going to be classic.

Obligatory Emmy® Rant

First off here’s what I wrote way back when;

How else do you explain the lack of recognition given to the critically acclaimed show The Wire? I think that Will Shatner does a fine job on Boston Legal week in and week out. However I know that Andre Royo has me convinced that he is actually addicted to heroin as Bubbles on The Wire. By the same token Idris Elba, Wood Harris, and Larry Gilliard, Jr play some of the most complex characters on television, but since they’re Black and playing criminals in the drug trade, there is no separation from real life.

Even Oz was neglected Eamonn Walker played the eternally conflicted Kareem Said with vigor throughout the series, but apparently no one noticed.

And again I’m proven correct by the current batch of Emmy® noms. I’m not really disgusted, the same way I’m not surprised when a Black guy gets a beatdown in Howard Beach; things will never change.

But here are my comments on the categories where The Wire would have been in consideration;

Outstanding Drama Series

Since I watched four out of the five nominated shows (only missing The West Wing I’m can safely say that The Wire should have been in the bunch.

Deadwood – Dope show, definitely, but it’s at best a step behind The Wire. Deadwood is dramatic, but a season doesn’t give you a feeling of finality like The Wire does.

24 – Cool show, but it’s novelty is almost done. The fact that Erin was just a plot device and not a character is offending to me. And it’s almost as cliché as Star Trek in terms of, if you’re a CTU agent who’s tagging along with a major character your life is measured in minutes.

Lost – Innovative show, but could we have some answers? Beyond the fact that no one shows any signs of being stranded without grooming implements, characters range from “nearly likeable” to “annoying, why aren’t they dead, oh that’s right they’re ‘safe’ because their main characters.” This nom is proof that the thing is a popularity contest as opposed to based on merit.

Six Feet Under – Powerful show, but c’mon you’re playing favorites. The Wire is just as deserving of this slot as this show is.

Lead Actor in Drama Series

Hank Azaria – Missed his show. I don’t have Showtime, but I loved him on Unscripted.

Hugh Laurie – Missed his show, but I’ve got a friend who went to Mayo who says this show is absurd.

Ian McShane – I’d probably root for him in this category. But if Idris Elba were nominated for his portrayal of Stringer Bell, String would edge him out. Ian does a great job, and deserves this just for passing his stone. However I honestly mourned Stringer, thus Idris should be here.

James Spader – Um, you can get nominated for appearing in a “short” season? Then why isn’t Idris here. James does a fine job as an arrogant lawyer, it’s entertaining, but not nomination worthy.

Kiefer Sutherland – Yeah, he did his thing when he effectively killed Paul, but that was the peak of his acting skill this season. His range is from “frantic” to “tense.” He doesn’t deserve this slot.

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Alan Alda – Missed his show. But I loved him on M*A*S*H.

Naveen Andrews – (translates) See we aren’t against Arabs. We like them so much we nominate their characters! He did a good job, if you can overlook that fact that he spoke in English for his back story (unlike some folks on Lost.) I’m at a loss to see why his portrayal was better than Wood Harris as Avon Barksdale.

Terry O’Quinn – He did do a good job. I forgot about his other roles. He deserved to be here.

Oliver Platt – Missed his show. But I almost watched Deadline.

William Shatner – I actually referenced this guy in my previous rant. Is it really a stretch for William Shatner to play a character who’s hung up on his previous accomplishments and in love with the sound of his own name? Give me a break! Everyone on The Wire deserves this slot. Andre Royo, Wood Harris, hell even the dude who played Marlon should have been in this slot.

Again, The Wire has been robbed. The Emmy’s® are full of $#!*.

Life in Prison or in a Mushroom?

Last week I posed the following scenario;

Good News; you are surrounded by people similar to yourself. Maybe it’s people who look like you. Maybe it’s people who have a similar background. The point it you’re all similar in some regard. Bad News; there’s a dress code. Good News; it’s not a uniform. Bad News; some guys walk around topless and wear funny hats. Good News; you don’t have to worry about food or shelter. Bad News; there aren’t too many women around. Good News; There is a social hierarchy. Bad News; there’s not too much privacy. Good News; tattoos are available. Bad News; you’ve got to fend for your life.

So there you have it; would you rather be a Smurf or an inmate in Oz?

Kevin answered first;

I would have to choose the Smurfs only because the mental and physical anguish of prison rape is far worse than having to compete with an entire village for one woman. Plus Gargamel never killed a smurf and lots of people never made it out of Oz.

Colin agreed;

First the obvious: mine is exit only, thanks. I don’t think I’d like prison. The Smurfs win from that alone. Plus, haven’t you seen that episode of Family Guy? Smurfette will smurf you right in the smurfin parking lot! Live in the forest, eat all kinds of crazy mushrooms all day, and thwart a crotchety but inept old man and
his dopey cat give the Smurfs the thumbs up from me.

Patrick didn’t really rock the boat;

I love Oz. I just got the 5th season on DVD (and watched all 8 episodes) two days ago. But no way in hell do I want to be a prisoner there. Seeing Beecher get both his arms and legs broken, not to mention all the fun ways to die, just no way. I mean, Sister Pete and Father Mukada seem like very nice people, but I don’t think it would be my cup of tea. Plus, I’m not sure which would be worse — getting raped by Schillinger or Officer Howell.

So I’ll go with being a Smurf. Number one, you get a label that isn’t Prag. Then again, considering how many Smurfs there are, maybe Prag Smurf is the only name left. Plus, the sense of community just seems better and more positive than in Oz. The only person trying to kill you is totally inept, especially considering that he’s like 6’0″ tall and you’re only about 2 inches tall. I would be pretty concerned though, considering there are like 100 or so male smurfs, and that’s before Smurfette (and later Sassette) was created, so I think I’d dread hearing how the next generation of Smurfs came about, and wouldn’t be particularly fond of participating in that process. Overall, it’s got to be better than being an inmate at Oz.

Aaron comes through with a unique point of view;

Obviously, I’d wanna be locked down in Oz. But, why…I’m not sure. Let’s face it, my life expectancy would drop from around 72 down to “next week”. As an African-American, I’d be something of a man without a country (or “clique”, in this case). I’m not Muslim, so I couldn’t wrest away power from Minister Said (let’s pretend that Joey Showtoons doesn’t kill him off in the sixth season). I’ve dated a few Hispanics in my time, but one of ’em was actually Alvarez’s sister, which would cause nothing but drama. So, that leaves “the others”. Maybe I can fill the wheelchair narrator role that Augustus Hill left before finding fame and torture as the wee Negro on “Lost”. Wait, I know why I’m picking Oz over The Smurfs.

Because, lightly-read net writers will still be talking about me five years after the fad has passed.

As for my thoughts, I’m as much as I’ve wanted to smurf, I’m going with Oz. Not only would I get the chance to answer the age old question (who is bigger Vern or Adebisi), but I’d also have the opportunity to get stabbed in the back by Ryan (figuratively) and a random biker (literally.) Plus, if I’m really talented I could earn a slot on a Law & Order or even, my favorite show, The Wire. Or at the very least Amber Frye; Witness for the Prosecution.

Naturally this leads us to…

Good News/Bad News/Question of the Week
Good news; you’ve got ambition. Bad news; you’re a criminal. Maybe it was an accident. Maybe you’re a criminal mastermind. Who knows? The point is, the milk is spilled and there’s nothing you can do about it. Good news; might be able to get away with it. Bad news; there’s a body. Good news; you did a good job of cleaning up the evidence. Bad news; the cops are still involved.

So, which set of cops do you want on your case; the crew from Law & Order, Special Victims Unit, Criminal Intent or Trial By Jury?

Links

Brendan has problems with the mail.

Matt catches up on Lost and offers his thoughts on the new TV Tome.

Farah has some thoughts on geekdom.

J.A.M.

Aaron comes though, again, this week. He discusses Mos Def, Willie Nelson trying something new, and even new guidelines for IP. Meanwhile, Nick gives me yet another album to add to my “must by list.”

Joe covers a variety of topics this week. From the Emmy’s® to Owen Wilson, he fires on all cylinders. And you’ve got to read his one man hilarious reinterpretation of Do The Right Thing.

Greatest Video of All Time…this week

Common – Go

It’s vaguely reminiscent of Ghetto Heaven, yet I love the song so much I’ll look past it’s oddness. Basically this video gets the nod because it’s a Hip Hop video that almost devoid of clichés. What can I say, it’s been a slow week.